Minton's Playhouse
All about Me: the Family
All about Me: Growing Up
All about Me: High School years
All about Me: TODAY
All about Me: the FUTURE
Baby Talk
Gotta Have FRIENDS
Relationships: Past & Future
On Gay Marriage
Back to Blackwell
Welcome to the Theater
Loving Lynda Barry
I confess! I'm a BRIGHT
Max's Book Club
my personal interests LINKS
Angels in America
Good Witch / Bad Witch
Triumphs over Homophobia and Racism: the Amazing Gay Pride Month June, 2003
WHY WE HATE BUSH -- by Ted Rall
Impeach the Lying Bastard !
A New Birth of Freedom
COMPASSIONATE FASCISM: the Republican Agenda
Max Rants
What's NEWS ?
send MAX e-mail
A New Birth of Freedom
This briliant, entertaining and inspirational essay first appeared at , specifically 
Perhaps it is just speculative fiction, but it brought me more hope than anything I've read in the mainstream media in a very long time.


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 [] 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

Dorogoi Misha!

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. EP).

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.

Thus 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.

By 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.

Bushs 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 in Iraq.

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? [] 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 journalistic integrity.

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, [] 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.

All 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 [] 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.

The 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 [] 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.

In anticipation 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 ten years. 

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.

When that realization seeped into the public mind, and then burst forth, the Bush insurgency was finished. 

But just in time!

And this is how, painfully, persistently, and courageously, the American people achieved their new birth of freedom.

All the best,

Tvoi Droog,



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" and co-edits the progressive website "The Crisis Papers"  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
A Report 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.

At 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

Late 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) denominations.

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.

The 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 cities.

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 []).

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.

Finally, with 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 New Despotism

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. 

Soon 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.

Observers 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.

The unification 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 an inevitability.

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 []).

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 land.

In the American diaspora, the spirit of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Roosevelt survives and flourishes.

May 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" and co-edits the progressive website "The Crisis Papers"  He is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant


Find more articles by Dr. Ernest Partridge in the Liberal Slant Archives