July 12, 2014
The world rushes into madness again as the crumbling Empire which designates itself indispensable becomes, in fact if not in its fictions, dispensable and the exceptional people who rule the Empire and its vassal states around the world become, in their vanity and greed, unexceptional.
And the rest of us? We who are not exceptional people? Depending on where we are on the Empire’s enemies list – whether Palestinian, East Ukranian, Syrian, Libyan, Russian, Chinese or just children fleeing across our borders to escape the violence in their home countries – we are discounted, denigrated and dehumanized. Even our allies are not immune. (Remember how French fries suddenly became Freedom fries when the Empire felt France was not subservient enough in our foray into Iraq?)
As John Pilgar pointed out his Counterpunch article, today, http://www.counterpunch.org/ we are, everywhere, propagandized into “unpeople” by our leaders and a compliant media.
“We?” you might say. “Not us. We’re Americans. We’re too exceptional.”
Are you sure? Read through some of the twenty or so pages of articles at Police State, USA http://www.policestateusa.com or similar sites on the internet. Or just read your daily newspaper without the jaundiced eye.
Right now, it’s the poor or homeless, the mentally ill, the handicapped, the elderly poor, minority poor, petty criminal or juvenile offender who – even though crime rates overall are down – are everywhere unpeopled in the Empire as police become more militarized and everyone who has never really been one of “us” becomes a suspect.
And have you noticed how as the Empire declines, it becomes more paranoid here at home? Everyone becomes a potential enemy, everyone becomes a possible terrorist to be spied on in our communications, or groped or detained or put on lists as we go from place to place to carry out our business.
We are even encouraged to see each other as enemies – Democrats when Republicans are in power; Republicans when Democrats control the government; Muslim- Jewish- Christian- Atheist-American, teacher, student, pastor, penitent, gay, straight, black, white, brown – anyone who might not resemble “us” in some manner, great or small.
Look a little closer, because even people we once thought were members of “us” have now been declared traitors and unpeopled –Manning, Snowden, Swartz among an increasing number who have sacrificed to bring us the unvarnished truth. Now, even a few main stream reporters like Risen have made the list of unpeople. We are all slowly being unpeopled to each other by an Empire terrified of its own citizens.
This is what almost always happens when empires fall. Those countries who threaten the Empire in some way, who decline to bend to its will in some manner, are declared enemies and unpeopled first.
Next, those who have allied with the empire, but disagree with or resist some policy that is untenable or damaging to them are unpeopled – perhaps temporarily, but more permanently the longer they are seen to threaten the “national interests” of empire as the decline accelerates.
Finally, the empire begins to devour itself from within – the poor and vulnerable are first, then the middle class and petty bureaucrats, followed by the wealthy, the political class, the military and the ruling class until at last the sheer weight of unpeople within and without bring it and its civilization to a bloody end.
Each day that we believe the propaganda, each day we choose to fear, each day we unpeople another group of our fellow human beings, we bring that fate closer.
We become the unpeople and that which we feared will have come upon us.