A New Birth of Freedom
By: Ernest Partridge - 07/23/03
We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
-- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for
the people, shall not perish from the earth. - Abraham Lincoln-Gettysburg Address
Earlier this month, in an essay titled The late, great,
American Republic A Report from Mid-Century,2050 [http://www.liberalslant.com/ep070803.htm] I projected a dark future for the United States if trends and conditions set in motion by the Bush Administration
continue well into the future. In this follow-up I fulfill my promise to portray a brighter alternative future.
It is a future that we will not see, unless a sizeable portion of our population takes courageous, intelligent and
persistent action in opposition to the Bush regime, the reactionary Congress, the Republican leadership, and the media that
slavishly support them.
The reader must keep in mind that this essay offers a scenario, not a prediction. It is certain
that the future will not unfold precisely this way. For example, to avoid partiality to any of the announced Democratic candidates,
I project that Gen. Wesley Clark will get the nomination. Furthermore while any number of the developments suggested here
might contribute to the downfall of the Bush regime and the renewal of our democracy, if that desirable outcome is achieved,
there will no doubt be many other contributing factors not anticipated here.
The essay takes the form of a letter,
written in the summer of 2005 to a friend abroad. Because it is my good fortune to have many such friends, I have chosen a
name belonging to none of them. My make-believe friend is a biologist at Moscow University, Mikhail Ivanovich Milankov.
July 21, 2005
Your amazement at the Second American Revolution of the past
three years is no greater than my own. Few are privileged to live through such an astonishing moment in world history, and
I am pleased to give my contemporary observations, not only to fulfill your request for an account of how it came about, but
also to provide our children and their children some understanding of these events.
But, of course, you also have had
such an experience. I recall vividly our conversation on that misty day in August, 1991, as we walked along the Moscow River
past the Russian Federation Parliament building. I asked you then if there were any likelihood of significant political reforms
in the Soviet Union beyond the glasnost and perestroika reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev. You were doubtful not,
you said, as long as the Communist Party remains in firm control.
Three days later, I was back home in
California, riveted to the TV screen as I watched the 1991 revolution and then the counter-revolution unfold at that very
site of our conversation. At the close of that year, the Communist Party was broken as a political force and the Soviet Union
was no more. (Authors note: This was, in fact, my personal experience except, of course, my Russian friend was not named Mikhail.
And so we have both learned: never say never.
In the Spring of 2003, the Republican control
of our government seemed every bit as secure as Leonid Brezhnevs control of yours at the peak of his power. In November 2000,
the Bush administration seized power through massive vote fraud and manipulation in Florida, followed by the judicial coup
detat in the Supreme Court. The public, the Democratic Party, and their candidate Al Gore, meekly accepted. And so the Bush
clique wondered, just what more can we get away with? As it turned out, it was a very great deal and even more,
after the American public was stunned by the catastrophes of September 11, 2001.
Raid the US Treasury, give it
to the super-rich, and pass the bill on to the masses and future generations? Why not? Dismantle the social contract between
the government and the public by starving government agencies of funding? No problem. Abrogate judicial rights guaranteed
by the Constitution? The USA PATRIOT Act did just that and the Congress, with virtually no opportunity to read this massive
bill, approved it without a whimper. Just as it cheerfully handed over its Constitutional power to declare war to the President.
the Bush regime came to believe, not without justification, that the American public would accept almost anything, provided
it was sugar-coated by the captive mass media. All the while, the polls reported that George Bushs approval ratings
were solidly between the high sixties and low eighties. With control of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the mass media, and
apparently a sizeable majority of the public, what politician could ask for more.
And so, on March 19, George Bush
confidently went to war with Iraq, ostensibly to disarm the brutal dictator of his allegedly deployed weapons of mass
destruction and to liberate the Iraqi people, but in fact to establish a power base in the Middle East,
seize the oil fields, and set an example to the world of American military power and his willingness to use it.
mid-summer, 2003, a few of us began to detect whiffs of the political firestorm that was soon to follow. For, at long last,
the Bush regime had over-reached in its ambition, and had overestimated the limits of public tolerance and gullibility. Official
evidence of Saddam Husseins weapons of mass destruction, presented by Bush in that most solemn public statement,
The State of the Union address, was found to be concocted and groundless. Following the expected easy military victory in
Iraq, the American troops were greeted, not with cheers and flowers, but with determined resistance. While state and municipal
services schools, universities, police, firefighters, infrastructure maintenance, etc. were starved of funding, billions of
dollars were flowing to Iraq, through favored American corporations such as Haliburton and Bechtel, to rebuild that shattered
country and to stem the growing disaster, all the while the coffins of fallen soldiers were regularly shipped back to embittered
friends and families throughout America.
At long last, the muted Democrats found their voice and spoke out in eloquent
protest. The solid wall of media support of Bush and the Republicans began to crack, as first a few columnists, then more
and more reporters, began to resume the roles of journalists rather than of propagandists and apologists. This tentative return
to journalistic integrity was encouraged also by the growing disaffection of a public that turned to foreign sources, such
as The Guardian in England and The Toronto Star in Canada, and to the internet, for their news and information.
approval ratings plunged until, by early August, they finally dropped for the first time below 50%, as more than 50% of those
polled reported that they were not inclined to vote for Bushs re-election in 2004.
Facing this loss of public support,
Bush reached into his trusty bag of tricks for the device that had previously bloated his ratings: In October, he ordered
the invasion of Syria which, he said, was hiding the Weapons of Mass Destruction that the US Military had failed to discover
With that, the iron discipline of the Congressional Republicans collapsed. Four Republican Senators, Chaffee,
Snowe, Collins and Voinevich, unwilling to be fooled twice, declared themselves as Independents, joining Sen.
Jim Jeffords of Vermont. The control of the Senate reverted back to the Democrats, who promptly rescinded the war resolution
of 2002 and adopted a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops in Syria. The Senate then ordered a series
of investigations of alleged abuses of power by the Bush Administration.
Soon thereafter, fifteen moderate House Republicans
fled the GOP fold and declared themselves independents. The House of Representatives reorganized under a Democratic-Independent
coalition, set up a parallel series of Select Investigation committees, and drew up a bill of Impeachment against both President
Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Following upon these political seismic shocks, a few dissenters slogans, which had
been circulating throughout the progressive internet, broke into public consciousness and conversation. Among them, Is
this the kind of country you want yourself, your children and your grandchildren to live in? [www.crisispapers.org/Editorials/dear-ceo.htm] And to the traditional Republicans, What is more important to you, your Party or your Country?
For more and more Republicans, desertion from a party captured by a radical-anarchistic-evangelical fringe, became first imaginable,
and then for many, compelling. The levee of party discipline began to crumble before the flood of outrage.
In the Fall
of 2003, the right-wing monopoly in the media was finally broken with the inauguration of a liberal radio talk-network, and
a liberal cable news network. Both were funded by investors who did so out of sense of dedication and with full expectation
of huge financial losses. Both featured unbiased news reports in addition to progressively oriented analysis and commentary,
and authentically balanced liberal-conservative debates. To the astonishment of all, both ventures drew audiences, and then
sponsors, that far exceeded the most optimistic expectations. Clearly there was a vast audience starved for comprehensive
and unbiased news reporting and for the progressive messages offered by these new networks. Moreover, the talent pool available
to these ventures was virtually bottomless, consisting of celebrities who had been shunned and slandered by the right-wing
media Martin Sheen, Robert Redford, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins. On the radio talk shows, Al Franken and Michael
Moore were instant sensations, and on the new cable network, Phil Donahue returned, uninhibited by conservative management,
with a program that surged to the top of the ratings, as it featured such individuals as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Nat Hentoff,
Greg Palast, and other progressives whose previous appearances had been confined to University lectures. No longer fearing
spin and slander at the hands of media personalities, Democratic notables such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and
Jimmy Carter rejoined the public conversation. And finally, established media personalities, such as MSNBC reporter Ashleigh
Banfield, who had paid dearly for their lapses into candor and integrity, had a career alternative a refuge. Many such high-profile
individuals signed on to the new networks, while others who remained with the established media, gained, with this alternative
at hand, a leverage which allowed them more freedom and which moved the media in general toward the center and toward renewed
The progressive opposition had long lamented that if only they could get an even break with
the media and get the compelling facts about the Bush policies out to the public, the days of the right-wing domination of
politics and public relations would be numbered. At last Thomas Jeffersons faith was re-affirmed: corruption, demagoguery,
abuse of power, and oppression, he wrote, could not survive in the bright light of a free, open, independent and diverse press
and now, broadcast and internet media.
But the right wing did not surrender easily. In February, the offices of the
liberal publication The Nation was fire-bombed. The culprit said that he was motivated by columnist Ann Coulters remark that
she had wished that Timothy McVeighs Oklahoma truck bomb had exploded alongside the New York Times offices. The consequences
of this act were not what the right wing terrorists had expected or wanted. Donations of equipment, personnel and cash flowed
toward the emergency offices of The Nation, which was back in operation with quadrupled subscriptions within two weeks. This
act of sabotage alerted and reinvigorated the journalistic profession more than any amount of ink on paper could have done.
It was the catalytic moment of the restoration of the free media in America.
There remained another dragon at the gate
to political reform: the dreaded paperless computer voting machines. Throughout the country, states and municipalities
were adopting computerized voting, whereby ballots would be tallied electronically, with no paper records, and with software
that was proprietary i.e., the undisclosed property of the machine manufacturer. In other words, the election
returns were to be taken on the word of the computer manufacturers, all of which, by the way, were supporters
of and contributors to the Republican Party. In fact, a major investor of one company, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, was elected
by the machines made by a firm of which he was a major stockholder. Moreover, had the pre-election polls of the 2002 mid-term
election proven fully accurate, the Democrats would have taken control of the Congress. However, in a few of the contests
tallied by paperless computers, there were statistically improbable shifts toward the Republicans, [www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0211/S00078.htm]
who thus controlled the Congress. In that same election, exit polls, which had consistently proved to be the best indicators
of election results, were cancelled for reasons never fully explained. Predictably, the mass media were astonishingly uncurious
about these strange anomalies and coincidences, and so the public accepted the results of the 2002 election without protest.
this changed when three Democratic state Attorneys General launched investigations into computer vote fraud. Computer experts
demonstrated the ease with which a 50-50 voter input to a computer voting machine could yield a 60-40 output, with no traceable
record in the software. At length, three software programmers employed by the computer companies testified, under oath and
the threat of perjury, that they had done just that in the 2002 Georgia election.
In January, 2004, the Absolve
Allegiance movement emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, and then from everywhere. Absolve Allegiance
(the words are from our Declaration of Independence) had a starkly simple message: if the 2004 Presidential Election is decided
by unverifiable computer programs, we will absolve our allegiance to the resulting United States government. Individuals were
then invited to sign pledges to that effect. The response was tepid and slow at first. But then Attorney General Ashcroft
proclaimed that he would regard any individual who signed a pledge to be immediately eligible for loss of citizenship and
deportation. This so outraged the public that a flood of pledges followed, many by Governors, Mayors, celebrities and more
than a few United States Senators and Congressmen. By March, 2004, more than five million pledges had been signed and verified,
and copies dumped at the office of the Attorney General. Pressure on Congress to pass the Holt Voter Confidence Act [holt.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=5996]
became irresistible, when it became clear that for many Congressmen, opposition to the bill was a sure ticket to defeat. The
Bill became law in May, 2004, ensuring a fair Presidential election in the fall.
In the meantime, with the freedom
of the media renewed, and with the Congressional investigatory committees hard at work and their public hearings widely broadcast,
the corruption and maladministration of the Bush Administration became painfully apparent to the public at large. At last,
the public came face-to-face with the dreadful consequences of Bush policies for the economy, for civil liberties, for environmental
protection, for health and safety regulation, and for a myriad of other government functions heretofore taken for granted
by the public.
In addition, the American public was obliged, at last, to acknowledge and deal with the devastating
loss of international prestige and honor, brought about by the international lawlessness of the Bush Administration.
disclosure in June, 2003, of the lies about the alleged Iraqi WMDs proved to be a snowball tossed upon the mountain slope
that set loose the avalanche that would eventually sweep George Bush, and the so-called conservative revolution,
out of the American body politic.
By mid-Summer, 2004, with his approval ratings at 20%, and his re-election numbers
at 15%, and the Congress moving decisively toward impeachment and conviction, George Bush announced that he would not be a
candidate for re-election in 2004. In the meantime, faced with influx of millions of protesters to the September GOP convention
in New York, the Republican National Committee moved the convention to Dallas, Texas..
The Presidential election of
2004 was almost anti-climactic. Dubbed by the press as The Army-Navy Game, General Wesley Clark soundly defeated
Senator John McCain. Though highly regarded as an honorable man, McCain could not overcome the burden of his discredited party.
Both houses of Congress were won by the Democrats by substantial margins. This was particularly surprising in the case of
the House of Representatives where, it was believed, the two parties had arranged to have districts drawn so that election
to the House amounted, in most cases, to lifetime appointments. They had not counted on a voter rebellion of such magnitude,
as voting shifts of fifteen to twenty percent swept sixty Republican incumbents out of the House.
Chief Justice Rehnquist
and Justice OConnor had intended to retire when a Republican President and Senate were likely to appoint conservative successors.
These hopes vanished with the revolt of the independents and the impending impeachment of George Bush. And so,
when they retired in the Summer of 2004, their seats remained vacant pending the outcome of the Presidential election. Soon
after the election, President Clark nominated and the Senate confirmed Senator Patrick Leahy as the new Chief Justice, and
Lawrence Tribe, a Harvard scholar, the new Associate Justice. The appointment of these liberals blunted the effects of the
Bush appointments to the lower federal courts. For now, the more outrageous decisions in the lower courts faced reversal in
the Supreme Court.
Scarcely had President Clark finished his oath of office when the new President and Congress set
upon a breathtaking and exhilarating program of reforms.
He announced the withdrawal of all US occupation forces in
Iraq, as soon as a contingent of UN peacekeepers, heavily represented by Middle East and Islamic nations, assumed administration
of the country. At the earliest opportunity, elections would be held and an Iraqi government installed. Generous reconstruction
aid would be sent to Iraq, to be administered by their new government. We may not like the government they elect, said
the President, but it is their choice, and we will respect it.
It was abundantly clear to the new administration,
as to the public at large, that radical reforms in campaign financing had to be enacted, if the dreadful abuses of the recent
past were not to be repeated. And so the Campaign Reform Act [www.crisispapers.org/Editorials/bribe.htm] included, among its
many provisions, a limit on campaign spending for each office, a ban on corporate political contributions, an allowance of
personal contributions to blind general funds (so that no particular candidate could be benefitted by a particular contribution),
and a requirement that free broadcast time be allotted for candidate debates. When GOP and corporate interests challenged
the campaign rules, the Supreme Court upheld the reforms, ruling that the free speech clause of the First Amendment did not
condone bribery, and that the apportionment of political influence to wealth violated that most fundamental Constitutional
principle carved above the Supreme Court portico: Equal Justice Under Law.
The Bush tax policies were
thrown out, and taxes on estates and dividends restored. The income tax rates were restored to the levels set by President
Clinton, which, as we know, resulted in the previous decade in a period of prosperity and budget surpluses. US companies which
had incorporated off-shore to avoid US taxes, were regarded as foreign enterprises subject to tariffs, and barred from federal
contracts. This put an quick end to off-shore tax evasion. With the increased cash flow to Washington, the rising unemployment
peaked and subsided as laid-off public employees teachers, police, administrators, researchers, etc. returned to their jobs,
and federal contracts created still more jobs. Hard core unemployed were invited into government training programs, or put
to work repairing the infrastructure. Federal funds were directed to the states which were suffering severe budget deficits,
and these funds created still more jobs as neglected infrastructures were repaired and government services restored. The Treasury
Secretary, Dr. Paul Krugman, cautioned that due to the considerable damage to the economy caused by the Bush policies, the
recovery might be prolonged. Even so, early indications showed significant improvement in the national economy which, in turn,
reversed the long-term decline in the stock market.
The Congress promptly repealed the USA PATRIOT Act, whereupon,
Attorney General Hillary Clinton ordered that within two months, either charges be brought, attorneys assigned and trials
scheduled for all federal detainees (including those at Guantanamo Bay), or that these individuals be released. Thus the Fifth,
Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Articles of the Bill of Rights were restored. The Fourth Article was restored with the abolition
of the search, seizure and eavesdropping provisions of the Patriot Act.
Interior Secretary Lester Brown instituted
a widespread program of restoration of public lands, in particular the neglected and dilapidated National Parks. The Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge was added to the National Park system with permanent protection from development.
of the looming decline in world petroleum production, President Clark launched an Energy Apollo Project, under
the direction of Energy Secretary Amory Lovins, with a goal of total energy independence and 80% renewable energy use within
There remained the devastated landscape of our foreign relations. The Senate resolution reinstating
all treaties in effect as of George Bushs January, 2001 inauguration has been very helpful, as has the payment in full of
UN dues and the appointment of former President Jimmy Carter as Ambassador to the United Nations. Much improvement has resulted
from President Clarks recent tour of reconciliation to Europe, where our friends abroad have assured the President
that their complaint was not with the American people, but with the Bush administration a misfortune shared both by the Americans
and the world beyond. The overthrow of the Bush regime and with it the neo-conservative imperialists, all to the credit of
the American people, has gone a long way toward restoring the reputation of the United States. The Presidents scheduled trip
this Fall, to Asia and the Middle East, promises to be equally productive.
This is only the beginning of a long list
of reforms put in place by President Clark and the Congress. But there is no need to elaborate, for you know of these through
the reporting of our restored free press.
Like the Russian people in August, 1991, we Americans barely escaped disaster.
Had the ordinary citizens of Moscow and St. Petersburg not crowded in front of the Byelii Dom (Parliament) and into Nevsky
Prospect, Gorbachev and glasnost would have been overthrown and the dark days of Communist oppression would have returned.
In our case, the dogmatism, the greed and the arrogance of the Bush regime finally roused the American public from its media-induced
slumber. You Russians had an advantage, for you knew that your media lied, and so you ignored it. We didnt come to that realization
until it was almost too late. The Bush regime believed us to be a nation of docile and credulous sheep, willing to be led,
shorn, and impoverished, without complaint. For two and a half years we gave them little reason to believe otherwise. And
then they overplayed their act.
American hate to be lied to, and hate even worse to be taken as suckers.
that realization seeped into the public mind, and then burst forth, the Bush insurgency was finished.
And this is how, painfully, persistently, and courageously, the American people achieved their new birth of
All the best,
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in
the fields of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" www.igc.org/gadfly and co-edits the progressive website "The Crisis Papers" www.crisispapers.org He is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant
And what might be the alternative to this optimistic future?
Here's a bleak and not-impossible scenaio by the same author:
The Late, Great American Republic
From Mid-Century - 2050
By: Nigel Doowrite, as told to Ernest Partridge - 07/08/03
A note from the real author: The following is an imaginary
essay by an Oxford University historian at mid-21st century. It assumes a continuation of current political and economic trends
set in motion by the Bush Administration. With a sudden and early awakening of sanity amongst the American public, the media
and the elites, which catalyzes effective dissent, protest and reform, a far different future might be realized. In our next
essay, we will project such a better-case scenario. (Ernest Partridge).
Who could have imagined, at the turn of this century, how quickly and completely
the American republic would collapse? Historically, the decline and fall of great empires normally takes place over decades,
and in the case of Rome, over several centuries. The disintegration of the United States took place in just a few brief years.
the close of the twentieth century, the United States was at peace and enjoying one of the most sustained and productive periods
of prosperity in its history a prosperity that favourably affected all segments of society. President Clinton, though mercilessly
harassed by his political opponents, was highly esteemed by heads of state and ordinary citizens throughout the world. The
United States, despite its manifest faults, was widely admired and envied by free peoples everywhere.
It was, to put
it simply, a great time to be an American.
And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
The American economy
collapsed and the American leadership, unlike the Roosevelt administration during the great depression of the 1930s, lacked
the insight and will, and the federal treasury lacked the funds, to effect a rescue. The admirable American system of constitutionally
guaranteed civil liberties, of a free and diverse press, of free enterprise and economic opportunity, and of popularly elected
government was, by the close of the first decade, replaced by a despotic oligarchy in total control of the permanently ruling
Republican party. Finally, the United States, through a unilateral abrogation of its treaty obligations and a series of aggressive
wars, was transformed from the leader of the free world into a rogue state. As we all know, the community of
nations responded to the new threat of American economic imperialism by forming the alliances that are today the dominant
world powers: the Eurasian Union and Islamia.
Distrusted and isolated from the global community, the United States
withdrew into itself to become the pitiful and impoverished third-world despotism that it is today.
The forces set
in motion during the illegitimate Presidency of George W. Bush that led to this decline and fall were plain for all to see,
and amazingly, however outrageous and contrary to the most fundamental American political traditions, they were not effectively
resisted. When the American public came face-to-face with the dreadful consequences of these regressive and despotic forces,
it was too late to resist and turn back. The fate of the American republic was sealed.
The American Economy
in the twentieth century, twenty percent of the private wealth in the United States was owned by the top one percent of the
population. At the turn of the century, that share had doubled. Then, with abolition of dividend, capital gains and estate
taxes, the flow of national wealth to the very few accelerated, so that in 2012, midway through the Jeb Bush administration,
eighty percent of the national wealth was in the hands of the top one percent.
Of course, by that time, the United
States was in the depths of The Great Depression. By the beginning of George Bushs second administration, the unemployment
rate was above ten percent and rising, eventually to reach one-third of the work force when his younger brother succeeded
him in 2009. Compounding that disaster was the retirement of the baby boom generation, which found that the
Social Security and Medicare funds which they had confidently expected, had been exhausted. Those retirees who could not be
cared for by their children often ended up in the streets, for the only remaining social services faith-based
agencies supported by federal funds were overwhelmed and willing only to accept devout members of their various (usually evangelical)
The primary cause of the depression was compellingly obvious: with the wealth of the nation withdrawn
from the population at large, there was little disposable income remaining to feed the cash-flow of commerce. First the expendable
industries amusements, recreational vehicles, resorts, automobiles were bankrupted and their employees discharged, causing
the succeeding dominoes to fall and leading to the downward spiral of depression.
Prominent so-called conservative
theoreticians in the first decade, such as Grover Norquist, with the full support of the George Bush administration, called
for the virtual elimination of all government services and functions, federal, state, and municipal, with the exception of
the military and Homeland Security which soon evolved into the Federal Police. Of course, the obvious fact that
no civilized and industrialised nation has ever functioned without a central government, did not concern these theoreticians.
Consumed by dogma, they had no inclination to be confused by the facts. And so, their stated objective of drowning
the government in the bathtub and bankrupting state governments was achieved, with disastrous results.
public schools and universities closed and, unable to afford the tuition of the remaining private schools, most of the children
were deprived of an education. Similarly, private college and university enrollments plummeted. Literacy rates fell and the
pool of trained and competent workers evaporated. Attempts to privatise the infrastructure roads, bridges, electrical grids,
pipelines, etc. failed dismally, and with the governments bankrupt, no funds were available to bail them out. And so, these
facilities fell into useless ruin, which further crippled the national economy.
Due to widespread evictions, single-family
homes and apartments became crowded communes when only the combined resources of three and four families could pay the utilities,
rents and mortgages. And these were the lucky ones, as millions of Americans were forced to live on the streets or in tent
The United States of America, once the powerhouse of the world economy, was headed hell-bent toward the third-world
status that it has today.
The World Economy
When the United States was the predominant economic power
in the world, economic policy-makers used to say that when the US sneezes the world gets a cold, and when the US gets a cold,
the world gets pneumonia. So when the US economy collapsed in 2006, this had serious global repercussions. And yet, to the
amazement of all, the world economy fared far better than expected. By employing the sort of cooperative and collective policy
and planning despised by the American conservatives, and free of interference by American corporations, the
global economy soon recovered and went on to prosper.
The greatest shock to the world economy was the sudden
announcement by President Jeb Bush that the United States would no longer recognise its three trillion-dollar foreign debt.
A resulting collapse of the world economy was averted when the governments of the leading industrial nations agreed together
to absorb the debt a policy that accelerated the emergence of the Eurasian Union.
With the American credit-rating thus
reduced to zero, the United States was effectively isolated from the world economy. The Americans then discovered that they
were in desperate need of raw materials that were unavailable within their borders. The world at large, on the other hand,
enjoyed resource-independence from the Americans. The Americans suffered most acutely from the severe shortage of petroleum,
upon which their once-thriving agricultural industry depended. And so the spectre of famine, unimaginable in the previous
century, haunted the unfortunate Americans. (See The Oil Trap [www.gadfly.igc.org/eds/envt/oiltrap.htm]).
In the 20th Century, Americas primary contribution to the world economy
was its advanced technology, as young students from around the world flocked to its excellent universities to acquire advanced
degrees and to engage in cutting-edge research and development. With the closing of the public education system and the end
of federal research funding (except, of course, for the military), superior centers of scientific and technological research
appeared in Europe and Asia. First to depart was bio-medical research, severely crippled by the United States ban on stem-cell
research. But this was only part of the story. The manifest contempt for science, by the Bushes and their corporate and fundamentalist
supporters accelerated the demise of the scientific and technological pre-eminence of the United States.
the United States government in the complete control of the petroleum industry, the Bushes had no inclination whatever to
build a bridge to the post-petroleum age with predictable and disastrous results. In stark contrast, the Eurasian Union clearly
foresaw the coming emergency, and made massive preparations for it. Thus, today, in Eurasia the remaining petroleum reserves
are being properly utilised for their petrochemicals, while the combination of biomass, solar, nuclear fusion and other sources,
and the hydrogen fuels produced thereby, offer abundant energy to the peoples of Eurasia and Islamia. The United States, with
no exportable commodities or technologies of any worth, and bankrupted by the tax policies of the George and Jeb Bush Administrations,
is unable to enjoy the advantages of these innovations, except, of course, out of the largesse of humanitarian aid from Eurasia.
The American democracy died with the invention and complete implementation of paper-less computer
voting. But this was a coup-de-grace, delivered to a body politic critically injured by the rigging of the 2000 Florida presidential
election, engineered by Jeb Bush and his accomplices, and the subsequent vote of five Republican operatives on the Supreme
Court in the notorious ruling, Bush v. Gore. The winner of the 2000 election, Al Gore, meekly acceded to this judicial coup
detat, and the public followed his lead.
Encouraged, if astonished, by this passivity of the public and the opposition
party, the victorious George Bush administration proceeded to snuff out the civil liberties of the American people, until
the final lights went out halfway through the Jeb Bush administration. This twilight of the American democracy was accelerated
by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 upon New York City and Washington, DC, whereby a stunned public and Congress
accepted without protest a draconian attack on the Bill of Rights, cynically named the USA PATRIOT Act.
after the re-election of George Bush in 2004, and the uncovering by the CIA and FBI of an alleged plot by al
Qaeda to set off a nuclear device in New York Harbor, Patriot Act II was enacted by the Republican Congress.
With this, habeas corpus, and the constitutional rights of citizens to open trials by juries, access to counsel, were all
suspended. On the assumption that you are either for us or against us, as articulated by George Bush soon after
the September 2001 attacks, critics of the government were regarded as traitors. Mere hours before their intended
arrests, dissenters Noam Chomsky and Paul Krugman escaped to Canada and thence to the faculties of Oxford and Cambridge. Democratic
presidential aspirants Howard Dean, John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich were not so lucky, and have not been heard from since their
disappearance in the summer of 2004.
Quite possibly these dissenters joined millions of others in the Alaskan Gulag,
perchance to work in the oil fields of ANWR and Prudhoe Bay. Or perhaps they were impressed along with the millions of the
unemployed to toil as farm laborers when, due to the acute petroleum shortages, the farm machinery was shut down and it became
impossible to transport sufficient food for the starving masses in the inner cities. You work or you starve,
was the stark choice given to the unfortunate unemployed. Sadly, many who remained in the cities did, in fact, starve or,
weakened by malnutrition, fell victim to the great plagues of the "twenty-teens."
Despite these catastrophes,
the Republicans have been the sole ruling party in the United States throughout the 21st century to this date. Typical Congresses
have contained about 80% Republican seats. The Democrats exist at the sufferance of the Republicans, as unpersuasive window
dressing to preserve at least the appearance of democracy. Republicans congressmen who show any independent tendencies
are marked by the Party bosses for defeat in primary elections, or in the general elections by designated compliant Democrats.
from abroad regard American elections with the same contempt as historians show toward elections in Nazi Germany
and the Soviet Union. Informal polls (conducted with great difficulty and at great risk) show a residual opposition to the
Republicans, and often an overwhelming majority preference for the Democrats. But no matter. The official results issuing
from the paperless voting machines are uniformly just what the Administration desires. As always, the voting machines are
manufactured, and the secret software codes are written, by corporations completely controlled by the Republicans (as, indeed,
are all corporations). Exit polling is banned. Advance polling by organisations such as Gallup accurately predict the final
results. But, of course, the Gallup organisation was acquired in 2006 by the Murdock corporation.
Ninety percent of
the media are owned by the three interlocking corporations of The First Amendment Consortium. The remaining
ten percent are licensed by the federal government. Independent newspapers or magazines that dare to criticise the government
are soon absorbed in hostile takeovers by the Consortium. Of course, independent broadcast media no longer exist
in the United States.
In 2005, Rupert Murdock acquired full ownership of the Internet, whereupon dissenting (unpatriotic)
websites were banished from the Net.
A tragedy, to be sure, but not unforseen. As early as 2003, the journey
to this dreadful destination was well-embarked. The stolen 2000 Presidential election, well known to those who cared to study
it, was two years in the past. The PATRIOT Act had been enacted and several American citizens were being held incommunicado,
in violation of the Constitutional rights. The use of paperless computer ballot machines was widespread and growing. The FCC
successfully ruled in favour of media conglomeration, and dissenting liberal opinions were severely restricted on television,
and virtually non-existent on the radio.
Finding no resistance, the triumphant Republicans proceeded and by unopposed increments
destroyed American democracy.
The New World Order
A fundamental rule of politics, well-known to Aristotle
and political philosophers since, asserts that alliances are formed out of the shared perception of a common threat. Thus,
in the mid-twentieth century, the United States, England and the Soviet Union joined forces against Nazi Germany. Following
the defeat of Germany, that alliance fell apart, as the NATO alliance arose to meet the Soviet threat.
of the Eurasian continent, long assumed to be a fantasy, was brought about by the shared perception of a threat by the rogue
American imperialists. The American neo-conservatives could not have been clearer in their intention that the United States
would go it alone in the world. Following their statement of this intention in such documents as the Project for the
New American Century, the George Bush administration proceeded to follow this guideline to the letter, abrogating
treaties at will, invading defenseless countries on patently false pretenses, and in general earning for itself the fear and
contempt of the global community.
In the face of this, the once-inconceivable unification of Europe and Asia became
Similarly, following the invasion of Iraq in early 2003, and thence of Iran in the spring of 2004,
the Islamic nations united to form the Federation of Islamia, which now stretches from the Atlantic, across north Africa,
all the way to Indonesia. The unity of Islamia was enhanced by the expulsion of the American forces from Iraq in 2005, followed
by the establishment of a Shiite Islamic republic. As in neighboring Iran, Iraq suffered through a period of fundamentalist
repression, until the fanaticism consumed itself and was replaced by a moderate semi-democratic government. So it has been
throughout Islamia, as the member states, faced with a choice between religious fundamentalism and technical-economic development,
have chosen the latter option.
The overwhelming American military, the budget for which, at the turn of the century,
almost equaled the sum of all other military budgets combined, proved to be of little use to the United States. Nuclear blackmail
would not work since, of course, the Eurasia was also a nuclear power. And as Viet Nam and Iraq proved, the strategically
astute response to a technologically overwhelming force is to absorb the force and then bleed it white with a thousand cuts.
(The Russians used the strategy successfully against Napoleon and Hitler. The Americans, typically, learned nothing whatever
from this history).
Furthermore, the Eurasians and Islamics wisely understood that even if the an opposing nations
military is invincible, it does not follow that the nation itself is invincible. It might be vanquished non-militarily. And
this, of course, is exactly what happened. The United States, starved of resources and credits, weakened internally by the
fiscal insanity of the Bush brothers, blinded by dogma to the insights of science and scholarship, collapsed from within.
(See The Vulnerable Giant [www.crisispapers.org/Editorials/vulnerable-giant.htm]).
After their military had suffered several defeats in Islamia, the United
States withdrew, whereupon the military was put to use by the Department of Homeland Security to put down insurrections, to
protect the few oligarchs in their gated communities, and to keep the masses confined to their gated ghettos in the inner
cities. In this capacity, aircraft carriers, submarines and ICBMs proved to be of little use.
And so, the world
beyond the shores of the United States has gone on to an era of prosperity and enlightenment which the Americans cannot share
excepting, of course, those fortunate American who manage to escape from the despotic Republican regime and are welcomed immigrants
in the Global community.
The growing community of American expatriates, who have contributed so generously to
world science, scholarship, literature, art, industry and culture, have also brought to our world the vivid memory of the
magnificence of the first two centuries of the American Republic and the undying aspiration for its restoration in that once-blessed
In the American diaspora, the spirit of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Roosevelt survives and flourishes.
it soon return to its home
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the fields
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" www.igc.org/gadfly and co-edits the progressive website "The Crisis Papers" www.crisispapers.org He is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant
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