"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."


November 4, 2010

The 2010 midterm elections confirm that the United States is now a militaristic plutocracy.

True, the United States still has a veneer of republican forms.  But its 57-channels-and-nothin'-on information system strictly enforces the Doctrine of Good Intentions (according to which those who govern the United States always have the best intentions), so neither of the words we've just used—militaristic and plutocracy—are allowed to appear there.  Just try getting them on the air or into a newspaper, even if you're a former presidential press secretary like Bill Moyers.  "Great and terrible is the power of money," as Anthony Trollope once said.

Tuesday's elections were the first to be conducted in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010), in which the high court decided by a 5-4 majority that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment.  We've just lived through the result—and wasn't it great?  We can all look forward to an even more blinding blizzard of inanities in 2012, when the presidency is on the line.

If you read the mainstream media, though, what this year's festival of First Amendment freedoms produced was a "populist" revolt—one that returned control of the House of Representatives to that longtime bastion of populism, the Republican Party.

When a real populist revolt comes, one expects financial markets to plummet.  On the day after the 2010 election, the stock market continued the rally that began in late August, when expectations of Republican victory in November grew in confidence.  And no wonder:  not only did the House fall into the hands of the GOP on Tuesday, but on Wednesday the Federal Reserve announced it would be "spending" $600 billion on U.S. Treasury bonds in the coming months.  The Washington Post tells us that this is "really stimulus spending under another name," but since those billions will be going to the banks that own the Federal Reserve, it's the banks that will be stimulated, not to any of us plebes.

UFPPC's preoccupations, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, were scarcely mentioned in the election campaign.  News of horrific acts of violence in Baghdad, evidence of stalemate in Afghanistan, the horror of war by remote control in Pakistan, and revelations about U.S. war crimes from Wikileaks came out during the campaign, but, as usual, scarcely any of it registered in the corporate press as worthy of front-page coverage, editorials, or further investigation.  Like quite a few of our 31,929 veterans wounded in Iraq, stories like these have no legs.

That's because the mainstream media are almost entirely owned by large corporations—whose profits, thank you very much, are on the rise ($1.18 trillion in the second quarter of 2009 to $1.42 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009 and $1.64 trillion in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Commerce Dept.).  It's too bad about all that unemployment, but the American people should realize that the United States is now a market-state (Philip Bobbitt's term), not a nation-state.  Its government aims not at "the general welfare" of "the people of the United States" quaintly mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution, but at economic growth and the maximization of the ability of its citizens to be producers and consumers of wealth.

To conclude on a positive note, Americans still possess real freedoms, so groups like UFPPC can still grouse without anyone telling them to pipe down.  Now if we can just find a few million dollars, so we can make ourselves heard in 2012 .  .



"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."