JR'S Free Thought Pages
Anti-American Manifesto by Ted Rall
A Nightmare on Main Street
In his foreboding book Anti-American Manifesto , Ted Rall warns us to take back our country from Governments bought and paid for by Corporate Cowboys before the ultimate and final collapse will make it too late to do so. Although the book 's arguments are applicable to the United States, they can be equally applied to Canada, Europe and other failing democracies throughout the world. The biggest lie says Rall is the expectation by the bewildered herd that "change from within" is possible. It's an article of faith, false hope promoted by conservative power elites since time immemorial. But faith won't last forever without some substantive changes. When you are a conservative perched atop the economic pyramid, you'll resort to anything to "conserve" your precious historical entitlements. That's the essence of conservatism - self-interest and the status quo. But conservatism can be defeated as it was during the scientific revolution and the humanist enlightenment. Let's be honest; without progressive ideas, skepticism and free thought, we'd still be mired in the moral abyss of feudalism, appropriately called the Dark Ages when oppressive religions and monarchies prevailed.
You will probably think that a radical book discussing the eventual collapse of the U.S. government might seem wildly speculative, over-the-top, or conspiratorial. But a series of profound national events, starting with the 2000 Presidential Coup by the Supreme Court and continuing forward though 9/11, two failed wars, Hurricane Katrina, exponentially increasing national debt, the global financial collapse and taxpayer bank bailouts, the Great Depression Version 2.0, widespread environmental degradation, global warming and the BP Oil Spill have shown the U.S. government to be systemically corrupt beyond redemption, and wholly unwilling and or unable to effectively respond to any sort of real crisis facing the population. The final jackboot on the neck of the working classes was the second coming of George W Bush with a brain - the presidency of Barack Obama, thought by the deluded to be a resurrected FDR. For a brief credulous period during his campaign of "hope and change" he was thought to be the last, best chance for a transformative federal government, but now revealed as a total fraud and the ultimate in cynicism and futility.
The primary accomplishment of Ronald Reagan's disastrous two terms is that he convinced Americans to stop demanding that their government do anything for them. This is ludicrous. Democratic governments were ostensibly created to give power to the people, to create an egalitarian society as against conservative authoritarian systems that existed for centuries under monarchies, popes, oppressive theocracies, huge landowning elites, feudal slave barons and countless other tyrannies. In fact the revered capitalist system that ironically emerged from the enlightenment was founded on slavery and merciless colonialism. Many would argue this is its primary impetus today. What has been created instead are governments that do virtually nothing for people but anything for big business, even saving them from failure and insolvency after committing horrendous crimes. The average citizen now has no voice because it's been drowned out by corporate power, which now dominates Washington and most other jurisdictions throughout the world.
Here are some passages from The Anti-American Manifesto:
"We've let the assholes run the show in their asshole way" (p. 59)
"It costs one million dollars a year to keep one soldier in Afghanistan for a year."
"...the richest nation that has ever existed in human history. While billionaires shop for their eighth home and corporations buy profitable companies so they can shut them down and fire their workers. In the United States poverty is unnecessary. The government could end it overnight. It has chosen not to. It has defended and propped up its true constituents: Wall Street investment banks, commercial banks and military contractors." (p. 62)
"Credit card companies and banks are universally reviled. Even after they received billions in federal tax dollars to save them from bankruptcy, banks continued to collect billions more from consumers in the form of usurious overdraft fees and double digit interest rate charges - some as high as 40%, many around 20%. The same banks pay out a paltry 1% or less on savings accounts." (p. 178)
"...[since the Second World War} the United States has suffered military defeat. And not just one, but a whole half-century of cluster-fuckery! Since 1945 every military conflict has ended either in a draw or a loss: Korea (loss), Vietnam (loss with a generous helping of total humiliation and shame) and the Gulf War (draw). Afghanistan and Iraq into a decisive loss category...the United States has spent twenty-two trillion dollars on the military since the end of World War II, and what does it have to show for it? Junk-yards full of rusted artillery shells and Madrasses full of young Muslims who [rightfully] wish we were all dead." (p. 216)
Check out the interview with Ted Rall here: