Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Founding Fathers Would Weep

Chris Hedges writes that, with the sentencing of Bradley Manning, the United States is now a penal colony:

There are strict rules now in our American penal colony. If we remain supine, if we permit ourselves to be passively stripped of all political power and voice, if we refuse to resist as we are incrementally reduced to poverty and the natural world is senselessly exploited and destroyed by corporate oligarchs, we will have the dubious freedom to wander among the ruins of the empire, to be diverted by tawdry spectacles and to consume the crass products marketed to us. But if we speak up, if we name what is being done to us and done in our name to others, we will become, like Manning, Julian Assange and Snowden, prey for the vast security and surveillance apparatus. And we will, if we effectively resist, go to prison or be forced to flee.  

 The dark future which Orwell warned us about has now arrived:

Wednesday’s sentencing marks one of the most important watersheds in U.S. history. It marks the day when the state formally declared that all who name and expose its crimes will become political prisoners or be forced, like Edward Snowden, and perhaps Glenn Greenwald, to spend the rest of their lives in exile. It marks the day when the country dropped all pretense of democracy, obliterated checks and balances under the separation of powers and rejected the rule of law. It marks the removal of the mask of democracy, already a fiction, and its replacement with the ugly, naked visage of corporate totalitarianism. State power is to be, from now on, unchecked, unfettered and unregulated. And those who do not accept unlimited state power, always the road to tyranny, will be ruthlessly persecuted. On Wednesday we became vassals.

And, Hedges warns, America will pay a price for instituting the new surveillance state:

We will pay for our criminality. We will pay for our callousness and brutality. The world, especially the Muslim world, knows who we are, even if we remain oblivious. It is not Manning who was condemned Wednesday, but us.

The founding fathers would weep.

This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.


Lorne said...

Chris Hedges is probably the best-known voice standing up to the abuse of power that is becoming endemic in democracies worldwide, Owen. Although he is virtually shut out of the mainstream media, we can only hope that his words will be heard and acted upon by the millions of others who are needed if the battle to reverse creeping totalitarianism is to have any chance of succeeding.

Owen Gray said...

Orwell would have admired Hedges, Lorne, because Hedges understands what made Winston Smith a hero.

Anonymous said...

Hedges is right. We now live in a totalitarian corporate security state, also known as the penal colony.

Individuals now have to make choices. Will one accept this murderous condition, and wander about the ruins of the empire, buying the corporate junk and being unhappy? Or will one choose freedom and happiness?

I'm ready for my date with the rats in room 101.

Owen Gray said...

It would appear that we should all begin to prepare for our appointment in Room 101, Anon.