Polarization in the US is worse now than in the 1960’s, when cities burned and leaders were murdered. Still, there was hope then. There’s not much of that going around now, and no one thinks it’ll get better any time soon. Why are our police so overly-militarized? Why are banksters who are obviously guilty of multiple felonies not prosecuted? News talk shows are mainly screaming matches. Political campaigns have little to do with issues and exist on scarcely-disguised bribes called campaign contributions. The center is not holding.
The backdrop behind all of this is the by-now-obvious collapse of the US empire. When empires collapse, their citizenry becomes confused, baffled, angry. Things start falling apart. Corruption becomes more common The privileged classes (and everyone else) grab whatever they can. The society becomes polarized, and sometimes falls apart.
Empires are like bacteria in a Petrie dish; unthinking, unseeing, unfeeling, they expand until they run out of food or contaminate their environment with their waste, and then they die. They are automatons, and they just can’t help it: they are programmed to expand or die, expand or die, and, in the end, expand and die.
What does the empire feed on? It feeds on money and fear; your money and your fear, both obtained with your cooperation.
We all know that the US military-industrial complex has become a self-perpetuating and uncontrollable organism, just like Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in 1961. Everyone knows the phrase and Eisenhower’s warning—it is part of our collective memory. At a trillion dollars a year and growing, with over 1000 bases ringing the planet, it has expanded far beyond what Eisenhower could have imagined in his worst nightmare. We can’t say we didn’t know: he warned us. After the National-Socialist episode in Germany, many good Germans voiced regrets at not speaking up, claiming that they didn’t know what was being done in their name. But we do not have that excuse: we all knew all along.