by Mike Meyer
The waffling continues. The short term American, predominantly US, political collapse is, I’m close to certain, past the point of no return. Denial is an amazing thing. It transcends rational understanding in its power to avoid even seeing what is right in front of us.
The full extent of the Trump regimes’ criminal activities was confirmed by Mueller in hours of Congressional testimony. This was already well documented in the full Special Prosecutor report so in most cases he simply referred back to that document.
Confused reactions to the testimony and desperate regime apologists crowing that nothing has changed further illustrated the accelerating political collapse. Congress must begin the full impeachment investigation.
It actually does not matter if Trump and stooges are removed by the impeachment process itself. We know quite enough of the details as well as the incompetence of the culprits to also know they will not survive the revelations that would result from the public investigations and hearings.
That is the cause for all the frantic attempts to block everything while making the absurd claim that a president is above the law. The cobbled together mess of lies, corruption, conspiracies, incompetence, ignorance, and greed that is in control the US government cannot survive any light at all. Pulling one thread into full public view will cause the whole sordid mess to fall apart. And there are dangling threads everywhere.
As was made clear by Mueller, the most critical issue is Russian interference in the next election. Based on the, just released, Senate investigation all fifty states were targeted by Russian intelligence agencies and fronts in 2016. On the same day McConnell blocked two election security measures designed to prevent foreign interference. Why? This is also obvious. Russia is the Republican Party’s only hope and they have sold out.
They must prevent any thread from being pulled and that is an impossible task. Even without the immediate launch of an impeachment investigation I expect incriminating documents to begin appearing in public places. We are at the point that the people, and people in government, will begin to take this into their own hands. If they don’t they deserve what they get.
The Trump figurehead and the Republican criminal organization is close to collapse in any case. The majority of the population is at the point of recognizing that the system has ceased to function politically and is pathologically dangerous. The initiation of the impeachment investigation is all that is required to trigger the fall. The question is whether there is any shred of respectability left to cushion the political collapse. It will happen in any case.
The hard question is what happens afterward. This will be only the beginning of an incredibly difficult and dangerous process. The challenge will be to find the balance in amputation of diseased and dysfunctional national components to determine a survivable entity.
In this the failure to recognize what has been happening or to take responsibility for acting to correct it comes home to roost. Those people desperately holding on to the past and longing for a return to some earlier time will panic and manically fixated on that hopeless quest.
That hopelessness is the result of their inability to even identify a time to return to. The national political disaster dates back, on several levels, to the beginning of the 19th century with institutionalized racism and genocide, the failure to complete the civil war, and the rise of imperial style expansion. But that is early history.
National memory recalls the 1950s as the peak. The US was, at that point, well on its way to creating a socialist democratic system that would correct for the structural failure of capitalism while maintaining a strong, prosperous middle and working class. The failure to complete the elimination of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia while experiencing the beginnings of massive social change from prosperity, education, and new media, along with the disaster of the Vietnam War, critically weakened the political structure. The result was the rise to power of the old elements of authoritarianism, racism, and the beginnings of predatory capitalistism with Ronald Reagan.
The history from that point, 1968, was decline to the present authoritarian disaster. The 1950s are so far gone as to be irrelevant. So what do we go back to? The Clinton years of abandonment of all social protection and acceptance of both neoliberalism and military industrialism? The endless wars and economic disasters of the second Bush? The illusion of hope in the Obama years with token change and neoliberal lockin? Where is the past these people want to restore?
That past either never existed or is completely unreachable from the first quarter of the 21st century. The abandonment of even the pretense of national policy in the Republican Party with its slide into corruption and criminal voter suppression in the face of changing planetary demographics left only one party. That party, forced to be all to almost everyone, was so broadly inclusive as to be almost unmanageable as well as crippled by the commitment to maintenance of increasingly diseased, predatory capitalism.
This, I think, clearly shows the vacuum at the heart of the call for moderate and minor change to achieve an illusionary restoration. There is nothing there and nothing left to restore. The tottering remnants of late 19th century modifications to an eighteenth century structure are wide open to 21st century attack and social manipulation. And that is without old fashioned traitors in the center of authority and power.
So appealing to nearly nonexistent ‘moderates’, particularly in the Republican Party, is certain death. Our youngest generations understand this and have been calling for full reform and protection from climate driven collapse. There is no workable moderation there but only accelerated death.
An alternative danger is a temporary reprieve from fascism only to collapse back into fascist dictatorship as economic reductions to prevent climate disaster begins to bite with confusion and misinformation allowed free reign. This is, effectively, the same as allowing the current regime to survive.
A very useful model of this is the failure to end the civil war with what were the confederate states still tied to rampant racism and ugly reaction one hundred and fifty years after the end of hostilities. Trump pandering to southern white extremists in 2018 was a sickening display of what happens when needed change is not completed with logic and determination. There are always people who will, if allowed, see this an opportunity to control and loot resources with the aid of angry racists.
While the search for a fantasy past to return to is deadly, a fascist/nationalist alternative is a violent suicide. With the size and power of the US that suicide could well take civilization and our species with it.
Both of the above alternatives are abdications of human responsibility. They represent the easiest routes including simply ignoring the disaster and complaining when it is too late. In one case you let the fascists rule because it is too hard to fight their vicious misinformation, in the other you let the fearful rule on a hopeless quest for restoration that endlessly performs the same functions expecting a different result while repression grows.
A better alternative would require broad, active involvement in a national discussion on reforming the US constitutional system. The federal administration would need to be maintained with executive or legislative control while a plan with an interim federal administration was put in place. This would then be followed by a national debate and direct democratic surveys of all elements of the reform.
Yes, this is probably impossible as the old civil war boundaries would simply harden and the authoritarian population would attempt to impose their will on everyone or destroy them in trying all with Russian funding and assistance. Perhaps trauma of the collapse of the federal government would make people more open but I simply would not expect that. Again we are simultaneously faced with the greatest threat in human history producing an unending series of worsening disasters and the final failure of the old Western political and capitalist economic systems. Everything must change. There is no reprieve.
The best alternative would be a national agreement to let regions, i.e. cities and/or states, move away from the union either individually or in new alliances. National services could be maintained or slowly divided up based on desire and capability. This would be a modified version of ultimate states rights and the confederacy could be born again neutralizing the unbridgeable gaps between paradigmatic populations.
A bunch of banana republics, or dictatorships, would be formed with perhaps three or four planet level metropolitan entities, e.g. LA, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Dallas, Houston, Chicago or combinations. These would be economically viable administrative entities based on metropolitan diversity and supporting industrial, semi rural, and rural areas.
A background benefit would be that the problematic states that are current major beneficiaries of the main metropolitan regions through federal redistribution of wealth would be greatly reduced in power. The biggest loss would be the problematic areas becoming free to impose racist laws and massive suppression of major portions of their population that they are, in fact, attempting to do now.
The abandonment of US Constitutional rights at the regional level with significantly increased sovereignty, to use the old term, by the new city-states would be hard to accept. The solace would be the prevention of autocracy and rights destruction for the entire nation if no action is taken. The solution would be active protection for open borders and movement of populations escaping oppression and climate disaster. All of these issues coincide with the climate crisis.
The move by the strongest city states to protect population movement would, hopefully, when combined with the need to unify planetary climate actions, allow the unification of human rights at the planetary alliance level, however that would be configured. Much of this would evolve from the demands and need for planetary climate action and relief coordination of climate related disasters, population flows, and food shortages.
These are some ideas of how this could work its way out. The biggest question is the willingness of people in industrial and postindustrial countries to become very active in their own and their species survival before it is too late to have any effect.
We can only hope.