The Gathering Storm
It started years ago. Hell, I could go back decades, but I won’t. A dozen years will suffice. Forgive a few generalities. Most of you are very familiar with most of the details, so in the interests of brevity I’ll skip them.
9/11/2001. Everything suddenly changes. Freedoms curtailed. The loss of good jobs accelerates. Manufacturing job losses take off. The Afghan War that Never Ends begins. Everyone could just feel a change in the air, and not for the better. As if 9/11 gave license to the ruling classes to really turn the screws.
2003-2008. The Iraq War. The conquest and occupation of a country that never attacked America, all on the basis of lies that became very well known. The good jobs that most Americans once thought they could obtain disappear in greater and greater numbers, replaced by wage slavery.
2008. The mortgage casino meltdown. The bailout. The election of a self-proclaimed reformer who deliberately portrayed himself as the Black FDR II to a desperate nation.
2009-2012. The self-proclaimed reformer does everything in his power to enhance the wealth and power of the already way-too-wealthy and powerful. The ACA, aka the HICEA(Health Insurance Corporation Enrichment Act) aka UIA(Unaffordable Insurance Act). Increased American military involvement overseas: Pakistan. Yemen. Libya. Much of the rest of Africa. Saber-rattling at Iran and more. Refusal to prosecute Wall Streeters and the previous Administration for flagrant crimes. Accelerated rise of a police state. The crushing of the Occupy Wall Street movement. And much more, but you already know that.
2012, the election. The self-proclaimed reformer gets re-elected on a platform that basically says, “I know I suck. You know I suck. But the Other Guy would suck even more! ”
2013. Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. Edward Snowden and the NSA domestic spying apparatus revealed. The Boston bombing and the totally unnecessary lockdown of a great American city. The push for yet ANOTHER imperial war, this time in Syria. The federal government shutdown. And the hits WILL keep on coming.
I don’t know exactly how the shutdown will end, but it will probably be some “compromise” that the Europeans call “austerity.” Then the debt ceiling, that will be raised because the ruling investor class on Wall Street will insist on it. Then, the slightly more distant future.
2014: Obamacare, the ACA, the HICEA, the UIA, whatever you want to call it, gets real. Americans are required by law to purchase health insurance from private, for-profit corporations that most cannot afford. The promised subsidies to keep costs down for consumers just never materialize. I can feel the rage already. Another push for, or just starting, yet another imperial war. More layoffs, more homes lost, more infrastructure deteriorating, more wealth and power for the few and more declining standards of living and fewer benefits in the system for the rest of us. Veterans trained to kill unable to find jobs or get the mental health help they need and deserve. Active duty military worn out and increasingly angered by deployment after deployment for things they don’t understand because they really don’t make any sense except to those who profit from such things. More police laid off or allowed to stay on for less pay, just like the rest of us.
And, waiting in the wings, the student loan bubble, the China bubble, Europe on the edge, a dramatic effect of climate change or something else, and…
Hope for existing institutions, for the existing government, for the existing political and economic power structure, to change things for the better for most Americans evaporates like morning fog in the sun.
SNAP! The breaking point is reached. The storm breaks. It’s happened before, just not here. 17th Century England, 18th Century France, 20th Century Russia and Germany. A nation that has never known true revolution goes through one, sometimes followed by true civil war and sometimes not, but all with effects that changed them, and the world, forever.
I think the public outrage over the push for war in Syria was just the first rumble of thunder. Stay tuned. The times, they are getting interesting.