America is a fairy tale whose plot is being re-written by gnomes. The fairy godmother is the villain and the wicked witch the saint, Cinderella is a slut, and the handsome prince is doing time in Guantanamo. Grey clerks, pale and unimaginative (except in their greed and fanatic thirst for power), are styled to be heroes and patriots, while true heroes are painted as traitors, kooks or criminals and some of them are locked up indefinitely without trial. Even the narrator no longer says “once upon a time in a land far far away”. He has now been replaced by well-paid masters of political spin who report that “embedded journalists have sent video proof that the land far far away wants our democracy and demands our bombs.”
“If you ever wondered where the communists went after the Iron Curtain fell, just look around you.” This is something a friend whom I met behind the Iron Curtain many years ago has told me having spent a few subsequent years in the US. For somebody who’s experienced the wonders of “communism” and “socialism” first-hand, both are a handy synonyms for “totalitarianism.” Sadly, however, more roads than one lead to it. Some are even more underhanded, if at all possible. Just like a theocracy corrupts morality, communism perverts the notions of class equality, while fascism subverts the free market ideology and becomes the same web of lies virtually indistinguishable from the former. In neither system have the working classes ever come close to owning the means of production and each system, as historically applied, relies on near-identical propaganda, deceit and strong-armed coercion by the government. People who have lived through Soviet-style communism don’t see America so much as turning into a fascist state (unless they’ve also lived through WWII), but into a socialist or even a communist one! That’s because the Nanny State bears so much more resemblance to a socialist rather than a capitalist model. Communism was seen as “capitalism for the few” after all, by those who experienced it. And it is from that perspective that I will present the thoughts that follow for your consideration.
When the Trotsky-inspired godfather of the neocons, Irving Kristol, put forth his world-views in a series of articles and books, he probably only dreamed of hijacking the conservatives. But it seems his ideas fell on a soil much more fertile than he could ever have hoped for. “Once upon a time” is with us now and it’s a time when the neocons are no longer the fringe – they’re the mainstream. Their totalitarian, and ultimately socialist-inspired values insidiously – and thoroughly – permeate both the republican and democratic agendas and ideals. Democrats and republicans alike, often without even realizing it, have become neocon drones, cheering for wars and globalization – and the Nanny State. The difference between the two parties has become even less significant than Carrol Quigley would have dared to suggest.
The political dialogue in the States, and indeed in Europe as well, no longer welcomes opposing views. In the true Leninist-Stalinist style (which is one of the acknowledged inspirations behind the neocon movement), opposition is treated with derision by the corporate media wholly owned (or at least infiltrated) by their neocon brethren carefully sourced from both sides of the illusory political divide. And if the opposition is too loud, it might at times result in criminalization (e.g. Assange/Wikileaks).
The neocons have learned the lessons of communism well. Communism failed because it has always been heavy-handed and virtually came prepackaged with built-in opposition. Fascism too was near identical in its social application. Socialism, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to be a much more effective tool for controlling the masses. By corrupting the population with “for your own good” rules, “social” services and government “assistance” (in short, The Nanny State), the neocons and their ideological brothers everywhere have made Joe Public their co-conspirator who no longer sees the evils of the neocon agenda (or sees them as “necessary evil”), nor does he even recognize them in his party’s platform. Instead, he fires up at the very notions of personal freedom or international non-intervention, treating too much of either as subversive or unpatriotic.
The one mildly redeeming characteristic of this situation is the rapid development of the popular sense of humor. The former communist block citizens knew that their best line of defense were political jokes at the expense of the ruling class. Telling political jokes was illegal and could cost you years in prison – and that made telling them that much more satisfying – and seriously dangerous. Hundreds of “new” jokes are now being told by Americans about the US government, but few realize that they’re Soviet-era imports – word for word, with only the key characters changed.
Some of the examples that follow are already in circulation, while others soon will – if you let things continue the way they do.
* CNN does a feature on “The Happiest Day Of Your Life” where it interviews citizens on the street. The reporter comes up to a man and asks him “Sir, could you tell us what was the happiest day of your life so far?” The man answered: “one night I heard loud banging on my door and the voice said ‘This is the Homeland Security, are you Joe Smith?’ – and I answered, ‘no, this is John Brown, Joe Smith lives next door!”
* Rumsfeld misplaced his pipe during a break in the staff meeting and ordered his aide to check if anyone may have seen it. A few minutes later, he finds his pipe in his briefcase and calls back his aide: “Never mind, I found it. Call them back in.” The aide answers: “I’m sorry sir, but half the staff already admitted to stealing it and the other half died during questioning.”
* FBI comes knocking on the door: “Does John Smith live here?” “No.” “What’s your name?” “John Smith.” “So why did you say you don’t live here?” “You call this life?”
* John’s walking down the street with one shoe on. A friend sees him and says “John, you lost a shoe.” “No, I found one!”
* A judge leaves his chambers laughing with abandon. A collague asks him “What are you laughing about?” The judge says “I just heard the funniest political joke ever.” “A political joke? Come on, tell me!” “Can’t do that!” says the judge, “I just put a man away for life for it!”
* An American and a Russian go to Hell and the devil asks “Do you want to go to American Hell or Russian Hell?” “What’s the difference”?, they ask. The devil answered “In the Russian Hell, you’ll have to eat a bucket of sh*t every day, and in the American Hell, you’ll have to eat two!” Both men, being patriotic, decided to pick their respective national Hells. A year later, they’re allowed to a little break and they meet in the yard. “How’s it going in your Russian hell?” asked the American. “Can’t complain,” said the Russian, “I eat my bucket of sh*t each day and then I’m free to do what I want. And you?” “Can’t complain,” said the American. “I’ve never eaten any sh*t yet. There are always shortages of either the sh*t or the buckets.”
* Joe is writing to his cousin in China, trying to let him know how tough life has become in the States. But he also knows he must be careful what he writes because all correspondence is being read by the NSA. So, he writes: “Dear Jim, life in these United States is wonderful and has never been better. Why, for a mere 100 dollars I can buy myself an elephant! But what would I do with so much meat? I only need to pay an extra fifty and I can get a chicken!”
* A flock of sheep is stopped by border guards, trying to illegally cross into Mexico. “Why do you wish to leave the United States?” asked the guards. “It’s the Homeland Security,” said the sheep, “they arrest all elephants!” “But you are sheep, not elephants…” “Try telling that to the Homeland Security!”
Well-balanced socialism (if ever there was such a thing) might be hard to overthrow because of its effectiveness in brainwashing and corrupting the population. Inevitably, however, Socialism is Wannabe-Communism. And with that comes the heavy-handed “national security” apparatus, censorship, repression, ever-increasing central-planning, corruption, and – inevitably – economic collapse. The same is true of capitalism which, under some conditions might morph into corporatism and then fascism, but the difference which makes the US and the Western world today appear more left than right-leaning is the omnipresence of the Nanny State – as well as the near-identical propaganda.
Sweden, a model of a reasonably well functioning socialism (till recently), is now finally beginning to adopt totalitarian “communist” practices as things begin to slowly unravel (the recent corruption of justice with the false and politically motivated charges against Julian Assange being only one tiny example). The UK, where socialist policies have cost the country solvency, is increasingly “communistic” in nature and dictatorial – there’s more things you can’t do there than things you can and cameras monitor you wherever you go – everywhere. France is tearing itself apart from the inside with its population demanding more government handouts and support even as their economy continues to sink to unprecedented levels.
We should try to change this mindset, while there’s still time. And yet, any attempt at “converting” the well-meaning supporters of the Nanny State, be they on the “left” or “right” (make that 90% of the population who love the idea of getting something for nothing from the government), is a tough proposition. People have been too conditioned to be reliant on the government. The Nanny State loves to dictate how to do everything, right down to how people should raise their children or what they’re supposed to eat. And people accept that. It’s for their own good after all. Socialism wins, and they stay dumb. The national curriculum sees to that.
So America is becoming a hotbed of political, social and ideological contradiction. It is far right (downright fascist) in how it’s allowed its free market to become hijacked, and it’s far left in how uncannily “socialist” many of its Nanny State policies have become. A visitor from behind the former Iron Curtain, unaware of technical distinctions between social and political systems, now sees only budding “communism” in the Land of the Free. And, ironically, more than anyone, we have the neocons to thank for that!
Communist-style contradictions slowly but surely become the rule of the day. We now witness the days of doublespeak when something called the “Patriot Act” is a boon for traitors while the “Fairness Doctrine” serves to stifle free speech. We’re sanctioning a situation where children can no longer sell lemonade on street corners and adults are forbidden to drink raw milk – or else! We’ve helped usher in a time when politicians talk about accountability and people power, and yet they counterfeit money and grow the government continually because people can’t do anything right by themselves.
In spite of all that, Americans and Europeans alike, oblivious to recent history, embrace neocon/fascist/socialist/communist models wholeheartedly. They avoid calling themselves “socialists” or “communists” (or supporters of totalitarianism in whichever guise) refusing to admit that this is precisely what they’ve become. And they continue to embolden their collectivist governments to be ever more intrusive. “There should be a law against that” is their motto. They reject and ridicule intellectuals with honest reform plans (like, for instance, Ron Paul) and choose party apparatchiks like Obama – or Romney. And then they’re surprised that nothing’s changed. And they’ll get what they deserve, tragically not just for the themselves but also for the rest of us.
Some might argue that the current US path will lead to fascism and maximum corporatism rather than socialism and ultimately communism, but those who’ve witnessed the joys of the Soviet system first-hand see very little difference between these concepts – and with the ever-present over-regulation, courtesy of the Nanny State, most would prophesy a communistic or at least socialistic future for this exceptional country, once so committed to individualism. So, if Ron Paul doesn’t get elected in 2012 (which seems, sadly, rather likely), you’ll have the Union of Socialist Soviet North American Republics within the next ten years.
To help you prepare for that, here’s some more humor expansion for you. You’ll need it. All kinds of police jokes will soon start flourishing. The more repressive they get, the more such jokes you’ll hear.
* Why do policemen always patrol in threes? One can read, the other can write and the third likes the company of intellectuals (alternatively: the third one watches the other two as they might be subversives).
* Another version: Policemen walk in pairs and always have a dog with them – why? One knows how to read, the other one knows how to write – and the dog knows the city.
* How many American journalists does it take to change a light bulb? None – they prefer to keep you in the dark.
* A European to an American: “In Europe we can still criticize our government!” “So what, in America we can also criticize your government!”
I’ll leave you with a recommended video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH75aZcoMJQ ) and a quote from Margaret Thatcher: “The only problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.“
One final note: the average person with no intimate knowledge of the finer distinctions between economic systems (e.g. capitalism or socialism), political movements (e.g. communism) and ideologies (e.g. neoconservatism, fascism, nazism) will tend label any form of totalitarian rule with a catch-all phrase which does away with the finer distinctions between them. While most American intellectuals (rightly) point out that the US is rapidly descending towards “fascism”, many outsiders who have experienced totalitarianism behind the Iron Curtain first-hand, will predict a “communist” future for the Home of the Brave. Neither is yet the case, but no matter what you call the upcoming storm, we must work very hard to turn this ship around to avoid it.