When the Citizen is the Enemy

Aubrey Lynch

When the most powerful entity in the world, the US empire, begins to focus on its own citizens as enemies of the state, we must conclude that the empire is indeed dying.

The evidence is mounting.  The empire has not won any war that it has initiated or joined since WWII.  It has been fought to a standstill in Cuba, Korea, Somalia, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Mexico, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Syria and on and on.  The US collects enemies as a shop-a-holic collects shoes.  The difference is that the US cannot control its collection.  It is as if it has the compulsion to dominate and exploit, but never quite reaches fulfilment.  One begins to suspect that it is the pursuit that satisfies the purpose rather than the goal.  Since the oligarchs always make money in times of war, the purpose becomes very clear.

Apparently, the clear record of failure has exposed the US as an impotent imposter.  Like the Wizard of Oz, there is nothing behind the facade.  Amorphous, non-identifiable groups of resisters tweak the nose of the bully at will.  Whenever the empire has attacked some supposedly helpless victim country with the “shock and awe” of its mighty weapons, rag-tag groups of indigenous people show that they are anything but impressed.  They watch the giant flailing about in ignorance and arrogance.  Soon enough they are able to deliver a precise strike at the most vulnerable part of the beast.  The vaunted warriors of the empire must then slink home to nurse the wounds in body, mind and soul while the oligarchs count the take from their very profitable adventure.

The string of defeats has taken a disastrous toll on the empire.  The oligarchs have initiated so many fruitless wars that the treasury of the formerly richest country in the world has been stripped of all reserves.  The oligarchs are now picking at the bones of the poor in the US, having stripped the middle class of all of its accumulated wealth.  But, the methods used to bilk the citizens are increasingly open to observation due to modern communications technology.  In other words, the citizens of the empire now have the means to find out how the oligarchs control the system.

The citizens have become the enemy of the empire.

The oligarchs are becoming ever more obvious that they are feeling the pressure from the heavily exploited citizens.  The system began to crack on 9/11/2001.  The most arrogant and clueless representative of the ruling class, George W. Bush, puffed himself up and declared that, “You are either with us or against us.”  The lap dog media propagandized heavily and assured the oligarchs that the citizens were with them.  Not content with the assurance, the oligarchs took measures to ferret out any citizen who might be against them.  That gave birth to the Orwellian “Homeland Security.”  This modern version of the Gestapo and the KGB spawned the National Security Agency.  The main purpose of these agencies is to spy on and to protect the oligarchs from the citizens who have been so brutally exploited and denuded of any security.

Paradoxically, the heavy handed methods that the oligarchs are using to protect themselves from the citizens have ensured that the citizens are much more conscious of their exploitation and vulnerability.  As the super rich seek to protect their ill-gotten gains from the wrath of an enlightened citizenry, they are putting themselves in a position to lose it all.  By treating the citizens as the enemy, they are guaranteeing that the citizens will be their enemies.

The only weapon that the citizens possess is knowledge and understanding.  As long as the citizens are dependent on state controlled media, they remain weak and vulnerable.  As long as the educational system in the US is the laughingstock of the world, the citizens will lack the ability to understand.  But, there are always a few who have both knowledge and understanding.  With modern means of gathering and disseminating information, there is always hope that the citizens can be awakened.  An aroused citizenry is a fearsome thing as the oligarchs well know.  That is why they have taken such outrageously punitive actions against so-called “whistleblowers.”  Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond are the most prominent of the citizens who have willingly given up their freedom so as to expose the inner workings of the empire and its wars on other countries and on its own citizenry.  The draconian sentences imposed on these information technologists for exposing secrets is clear evidence of the power of knowledge and understanding in the hands of ordinary people.

Let us not kid ourselves.  We citizens of a dying empire are extremely vulnerable.  The oligarchs and their political and media stooges will do whatever they deem to be necessary to protect themselves and their riches.  WWII marked the definitive end of several empires and empire wannabes.  In such conflagrations ordinary citizens always suffer.  Poor people die horrible deaths.  We in the US have been insulated from the suffering that the US empire has inflicted on any number of weak countries.  It is not clear that even the oligarchs are prepared to risk themselves in another such worldwide event as WWII.  What seems to be happening now is that the oligarchs are busily throwing to the wolves the poor and the middle class of the US in order to save themselves.  Since this is a path the world has not recorded before, it remains to be seen how the citizens might write their own ending to the story.

Will US citizens allow the oligarchs to continue destroying the whistleblowers with impunity?  Will the citizens protect and encourage more whistleblowers so as to gain as much powerful knowledge and understanding as possible?  Will US citizens protect and encourage unions and teachers from the oligarchs and their political stooges?

In the modern age, revolutions do not depend on weapons as the hapless, highly weaponized US military has shown.  The US military in all of its gross and impotent might has shown intself to be a Gulliver in a world of Lilliputians.  No, revolutions no longer need barricades and pitchforks.  An informed citizenry that does not allow itself to be blinded by lies and trinkets can bring down the mightiest empire.  I believe that the revolution has begun..and it is not being televised.


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