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Portrait of Caligula

Image: Caligula, Wikmedia Commons, Public Domain

Tyranny... What is it? Does the word mean anything any more? Like so many terms it has been distorted to serve the ends of powerful interests until its meaning has been blurred. In its dictionary definitions the common element is the exercise of power without accountability to the ruled.

High-powered academic research has established beyond debate that Americans have nothing to say about what is done in their name by the State. Their opus wasn’t needed. It’s painfully clear by now that we are ruled tyrannically and if you’re not flaming furious about that, you’re dead.

Or maybe you’re like The Marchers. Maybe you are a Marcher. Marchers are good people, pushed to the streets by outrage and pain they have no effective way to express. They assemble in great numbers for unity and impact but tyranny ignores them. Their outrage--in the huge rally against the Iraq invasion, say--has no effect. It’s permitted for exactly that reason. Nothing will be done about guns and gun murder after the recent march because the people’s will doesn’t matter. Go ahead: resist. And then..?

Similarly, the figurehead of our tyranny can order the massive, blundering, wastrel military machine that eats our money and makes us hated the world over to destroy victim countries, entirely against the will of most Americans.

Because people are ignorant, pressured, and credulous, because all major information outlets promote the tyranny and Americans are propagandized to submit to it, their vast power is confused, fragmented and neutralized.

None of this is new; tyranny did not begin with Trump. It’s been America’s reality for lifetimes; what is new is that awareness of it has spread widely.

What to do with it? Marching does nothing without blood and sacrifice and a broken, intimidated America has no stomach for that. And if it had, our gestapo state is schooled in organized violence and how to administer it.

There are no easy lines of action to reverse the process that has taken our rights. Voting does nothing. Both parties are stupid, lying, clueless war mongers, led by ancient, decayed whores for rapacious Capitalism; senile, doddering cartoons possessed by their own empty, outworn cliches, with no idea what lethal agonies and emotional horrors our imperial blood hunger has inflicted on millions of baffled, helpless people we call enemies, nor the imagination to see that such suffering could come home to roost. But, it could. And, if they pursue their blind provocation and idiot bellicosity, it will.

Beyond the appalling risks the tyranny and the Deep State, its matrix, are running in baiting, vilifying and insulting both Russia and China--each of which alone could inflict terrific destruction on America--there is the yet greater risk posed by climate change, which our rulers, in their imbecility, elect to deny and ignore, though it is as certain, scientifically, as sunrise.

The vast majority of Americans can’t face the fact that their situation and the fate it dictates for them are now desperate and inevitable. As long as they are provided the means to live more or less comfortably and divert themselves, they ignore the undeniable signs of advancing catastrophe.

There is nothing surprising in this fatal passivity. Empires are destroyed and replaced not by popular rage and coordinated mass uprisings but by internal, organic disease, often sped by wars they can no longer win. The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union’s crash are prime examples.

The American Empire, barely into what the Neocons loopy braintrust touted as “The American Century”, is a bitterly conflicted, viciously class-stratified, economic hollow shell, run on debt, and led by sick frauds and sociopathic incompetents toward what will be the greatest system implosion in history.

It will be said this is a dark and pessimistic assessment. Those who think so need to lay out their path to a brighter outcome with more muscular ideas than getting money out of politics, abolishing the electoral college, creating organic farms and worker co-ops, dispersing the energy grid, and
increasing the minimum wage. Those are all admirable goals. Along with seeking world peace... But they have nothing actual to do with our reality.

We had a slick President who sold us happy talk of “hope and change” he never meant to deliver. Let him be the end of our illusions. The one we have sells us xenophobia, bigotry, sexism and war, and we deserve him.

The deck chairs have been re-arranged too often. Leave them as they are. When the Titanic goes down, look sharp, and grab something that floats.


Paul Edwards is a genuine Renaissance man, gifted with many talents and participant in many events and struggles of our tormented times. Our colleague Jeff Brown, who did a fine interview with him, sums it up thusly: “Paul’s life story is worthy of a biography: a rebel youth growing up, traveling and working around the world and then a long career as a Hollywood writer. Through it all, he has never lost his lifelong wrath against US imperialism and global capitalism, while seeking social and economic justice for humanity’s 99%…” A writer and film-maker in Montana, he can be reached at: 

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