Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ian Welsh's essays always provide the most light around (not to overlook his commenters who flesh things out nicely, so to speak).

Mark Pontin

January 20, 2021

Hugh wrote: ‘We should take a moment to consider Trump’s accomplishments. He killed 400,000 Americans, as many as died in World War II, and he did it in one year not the 3 1/2 the war took.’ We should take more than a moment. In the UK, Brits complaining about the incompetence and venality of the current crop of Tories were told by some of their fellow citizens of Indian and African extraction, “Now you know what it’s like to be ruled by the British.” So, too, with Trump.

Now Americans have a little idea of how it is to be ruled by the U.S. empire, which has murdered some 20 million people around the planet in recent decades.

Well, thank God for ordinary Americans that at least the rest of the empire’s methods won’t be re-imported back into the homeland and we’ll never see measures like a Green Zone erected in the nation’s capitol and …. Oh, wait. Biden explained his administration’s intentions: “Nothing’s going to change.” In other words, the empire will take those measures it considers necessary to maintain itself and, as Ian warns you here, an anti-terrorism meat-grinder will be built out.

I’ll go further than Ian. Constructing the apparatus of meat-grinder promises to be enormously _profitable_ for the usual suspects. Thus, it will grow ever-larger, and more mindlessly destructive and oppressive to increasing numbers of Americans, further feeding ‘terrorist’ anti-government, anti-elite feelings among them and growing the numbers of Americans who hate ‘their’ government. Recall, too, that some 22-23 percent of the population are _already_ like Thomas G. here, in that they consider the current administration an illegitimate construct foisted upon the country by the Deep State and Wall Street. They’re not wrong about that, either.

Furthermore, all this is _fine_ for those who profit from building the meat grinder because increases in anti-government hostility will constitute a rationale for further building it out and so more profits. To put this in perspective, the U.S. military-industrial complex has often been described as a self-licking ice cream cone, in that the destruction and repression it creates as it flails around overseas feeds the hostility of populations there towards the U.S. and their resistance, which in turn provides a rationale for further funding of the U.S. military to try and maintain ‘battlespace supremacy.’

Now that self-licking ice cream cone is coming home. Because it’s profitable to certain parties, the anti-terrorism machinery will be built ever-larger, and flail around ever-more heedlessly. What will that look like? Well, for one instance, the U.S. already has the largest population of imprisoned people of any nation on Earth, for instance. That population will increase. Similarly, technology and methods to surveil and repress the U.S. population will be developed further and deployed.

This will mean not just homegrown U.S. technology from Silicon Valley, but the importation of the more advanced technology the regime in China has already developed along those lines. In this scenario, the U.S. will essentially get CCP-style repression but not the relative competence of the CCP, only the psychopathic, short-term grifting of the current neoliberal U.S. elite. You’re welcome.