"At the heart of neoliberal narratives are ideologies, modes of governance, and policies that embrace a pathological individualism, a distorted notion of freedom, and a willingness both to employ state violence to suppress dissent and abandon those suffering from a collection of social problems ranging from dire poverty and joblessness to homelessness" - Henry Giroux, 'The Politics of Cruelty - America's Descent Into Madness' (smirkingchimp.com)
In the previous installment I examined how Russia was brought to its economic knees using the "shock doctrine" of the Neoliberal capitalist imperialists, documented in excruciating detail in Naomi Klein's book, 'The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism' (2007). But as Klein describes, the shock doctrine's basis of "disaster capitalism" was to deliberately use assorted confected crises - whether military or economic- to justify subverting the will of many other nations and their citizens to make the world "safe" for global capital. In one chapter where Klein coins the term "disaster capitalism" she analogizes it to the electric shocks delivered via certain tortures, say to a person's head & genitals. The shocked victims became so mentally incoherent, terrified - that they were ready to accept just about anything demanded of them.
In the aftermath of what the Neoliberals did to Russia, it perhaps wasn't surprising they'd turn their eyes to the U.S. itself. But how to do it? Capitalism in a way was already entrenched, at least in terms of a mixed economy, i.e. which also had aspects of mild socialism (for example, inherent in social insurance). But the Neoliberals and their military shock troops ensconced in a de facto shadow government (exposed in Kathryn Olmstead's Challenging the Secret Government, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1996) needed a way to: a) keep citizens hostage to the Neoliberal imperative, which demanded ever increasing removal of economic security - especially in "entitlements", and b) demanded an ever expanded military -surveillance structure to halt anti-capitalist protests in the country, as well as establish global capital beach heads in others. This meant dramatically inflating the military- surveillance budget. The problem was how to do it, given the old enemies had been brought to heel.
The ideal way to instill shock (in an already market-hostage consumer nation) if one wished to ramp up surveillance and defense budgets (at the cost of entitlements), would be an attack on American soil - which would then be milked for all it was worth as justification for increased security-defense spending. The attack would be such that 99% of Americans would be so traumatized that they'd be prepared to give up anything (except maybe shopping), even long established rights- liberties, just to be protected from further attacks. If the attack was large enough or spread out, the putative security state could exploit it to instill more fear, paranoia by subsequent use of color coded "alerts". The media would help by replaying the images which would then permeate every neuron of every sentient citizen in every state - much the same way the public slaughter of John F. Kennedy has been emblazoned in the minds and eyes of later presidents to make them understand they aren't the real heads of state, only puppets. If the enemy was also demonized enough, it might rival the Cold War boogeyman of "Reds under the bed" confected by the McCarthyites and their latter-day clones.
Whether one is a "9/11 Truther" or shares a milder perspective (like me, e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-responsible-was-bush-for-911.html) it is indisputable that the Bushite regime - shoehorned into power by five Supremes - benefited enormously by the 9/11 attacks. Not only did Bush's approval rating soar from the toilet (35%) to over 90% in days, but within barely five years the defense budget had doubled, from 2.4% of GDP to 4.9% while the surveillance budget had exploded even more - thanks to the provisions in the "the Patriot Act" which most of our dutiful reps didn't even bother to read before they signed it into law.
Worse, these reprobates rolled over like beaten whelps as the Bushites pumped the false basis for invading Iraq - seeking to validate a nearly 10 -year long invasion that would suck our own nation dry in its domestic resources, as it ramped up deficits - which of course, was the plan. It was part of the shock doctrine to generate monstrous debt, the better to justify cutting those nasty entitlements as the Neoliberals demanded.
Thankfully, at least one true patriot and courageous citizen, Joe Wilson, had the guts to expose the Bushie's "yellowcake- Niger" fakery (part of what they claimed was the reason to attack Saddam, since otherwise we'd all be incinerated in a nuclear cloud). However, his wife Valerie Plame paid the price by being outed by the Bushies as a CIA agent. Talk about treason! But some Americans- who now blather about Ed Snowden - seem lost at sea as to who are true traitors and who are patriots.
Amidst all this changes were being made in terms of mass surveillance. Though the Bushies were caught red-handed illegally going around the 1978 FISA law to get illegal wiretaps - of those terrible 'terrists, at least suspects- a wimp congress looked the other way and actually approved the illegal wiretaps by CHANGING the law! Never in the history of these United States has a bigger consortium of treasonous rats been exposed. And to make it even worse, a subsequent congress actually approved the extension of the bastardized law several years later.
The seeds of the shock doctrine applied to the U.S.. were already well in hand. In her Chapter 15 ('The Corporate State') Naomi Klein describes in detail how the U.S. was transferred into a massive corporate state with the security apparatus to back it up. (Red flags about too many energetic citizen protests to globalization had already appeared with the anti-WTO Seattle protests in 1999, made famous in the movie, 'The Battle of Seattle'). So the privatization forces (who also at the time were making a full court press to privatize Social Security based on the Bush Texas plan) needed mass surveillance to identify would-be trouble makers, and they also needed something more: a martial law fallback position to lock up anyone they deemed too 'activist".
Thus does Klein, in the opening paragraphs of Chapter 15, introduce us to the continuity of government (COG) program I'd blogged on earlier, i.e. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/06/between-skeleton-key-and-cog-how-close.html
She writes (p. 390):
"In the heat of the mid-term elections of 2006, three weeks before announcing Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, George W. Bush signed the Defense Authorization Act in a private Oval Office ceremony. Tucked into its 1400 pages was a rider that went almost completely unnoticed at the time. It gave the president the power to declare martial law and 'employ the armed forces' - including the National Guard - overriding the wishes of state governors in the event of a 'public emergency' in order to 'restore public order' and 'suppress disorder'"
Klein added that the declared emergency could 'be almost anything' including "mass protests". Obviously, the Seattle 1999 anti-World Trade Organization protests had given the Neoliberal imperialists a wake up call and they weren't about to take it any more. Hence also, the way they bore down on Occupy Wall Street in 2011, e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2012/12/national-security-state-spied-on-occupy.html to the extent of even aiming sniper rifles at them in Houston.
Klein notes that before Bush's treachery martial law could only be enacted in a time of actual insurrection. Worse, deploying military on American soil violated the Posse Comitatus law.
As time went on, the corporate gangster war-surveillance state was consolidated in multiple ways. But like the proverb about the frog who jumps from boiling water when dumped into it, but is boiled alive while immersed if the water temperature is increase only 1 degree at a time , Americans (most) were oblivious as their nation was slowly transformed into a fascist police state. Or maybe they were still too shocked from the events of 9/11 to do anything, especially with the Bushies manipulating them with a series of yellow, orange and other "alerts".
Because in 2006, right under their noses, the Military Commissions Act was passed which effectively removed the age old right of habeas corpus. Not long after the National Defense Authorization Act (of 2011, then 2012, then 2013, and soon 2014) which codified the indefinite military detention of American citizens without requiring they be charged with a specific crime or given a trial. (See also: http://truth-out.org/news/item/17070-indefinite-surveillance-say-hello-to-the-national-defense-authorization-act-of-2014
In Klein's examination we also learn that the Bush martial law insertion via hidden rider to implement continuity of gov't could be traced back to John Foster Dulles who defined a two -pronged priority for the country: 1) defeating communism, especially as manifested in Russia, and 2) protecting multi-national corporations - through whatever means necessary including coups staged in non-cooperative nations, who refused to allow resources to be exploited. Thus, the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala using the CIA to protect the profits of United Fruit.
Dulles made it clear that "coups and military interventions were the means to the end" of corporate hegemony- to thereby arrive at stable environments for business to prosper. Translation: make every country with ripe resources plum for the taking and be prepared to put down any nation or its government that got too uppity. Oh, and kill any upstarts!
But why worry? After all, we now know actual American citizens can be killed at the will or discretion of the executive. Anyone paying attention? Maybe the shock doctrine has indeed worked because it has imposed shocks that benumb the populace into ceding everything away as they mutate into consumers - away from citizens.
Interested readers may then ponder the 14 characteristics of fascism, noting in particular: Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -because of fear of enemies and the need for security, Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - people rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe, Supremacy of the Military (Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding); and Obsession with National Security -- Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
See more at: http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2011/10/14-characteristics-of-fascism.html