Think Globallygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Centralization = control. When this country was on the drawing board, great pains were taken to limit the power of central government. All powers not given to the federal government devolved to the States. That pretty much went out the window with the Civil War, and the establishment of a privately-owned central bank as the controller of the money supply. Stalin understood this principle when he modernized the Soviet Union, putting factories as far away from their sources of raw material as possible. Interdependence between regions = dependence upon centralized government. It happened in America a long time ago, and it's occurred globally in the last 20 years.
The founders understood that individual liberty was preserved by decentralization. With a limited federal government, most decisions about how one lived were made by local and state governments. They warned about how banking and corporate interests would threaten this liberty and promote centralization, but I don't think they quite understood the severity of the threat, and the determination of the plutocrats to transform the Republic into a de facto Empire.
Look where we are today. The Bill of Rights is being used as toilet paper by law enforcement across the country: vehicles can be searched at routine traffic stops - without cause. Property can be stolen by police in "civil asset forfeiture" procedures; this can happen on the strength of an anonymous informant, and you must sue to get the dollar value of the liquidated property returned to you, even if your case is thrown out of criminal court for lack of (or total absence of) evidence. The few who are successful in this rarely receive the full amount, and the money goes directly to the agency that kicked in the door, so they have an incentive. The second amendment right to defense of life and property is being eroded into a meaningless right to own only weapons which are effectively useless toward that end. Our intelligence services now publically admit (after reaching out their long arm to sqelch the San Jose Mercury news story of Gary Webb) to dealing with drug dealers to fund their end-runs around the constitution. Meanwhile our prisons are growing faster than our schools, and 40% of the inmates are there for non-violent drug offenses - while violent offenders serve shorter sentences for lack of prison time, and politicians use the crowding as an excuse to build more, and to fund and equip an increasingly militarized police state. While drug-war mania has kept the price of drugs up for the Contras and others, it has brought the Constitution from it's place as "The Supreme Law of the Land" to a worthless relic. It has as much relevance to our plutocratic empire as the Windsors do to the government of Britain. We live in a centralized police state. A state at (drug-) war with itself, in a permanent state of national emergency that justifies constant erosion of liberty and dependence upon centralized authority.
One of Clinton's recent executive orders is about to go into effect. It's the Order on Federalism, which supercedes Reagan's similarly titled order. Here is a comparison of the two documents. If you care to know what boat you're on, and where it's going, read the highlighted differences between the two, to gauge our country's direction:
States have no authority; we are now one monolithic State, an Empire by any other name, and the concrete is setting. Because the forces that steer this Empire are not sentimental about the Constitution, or anything but profit, we will soon be merged into a regional trade block, like the E.U. (which used to be the EEC). As much is obvious looking at NAFTA, GATT, and MAI, unconstitutional agreements which give multinational corporations to challenge our national laws, (environmental and labor laws) passed by our congress. The globalist agenda then dictates that these trade blocks be coordinated by a body such as the UN (which is now openly pushing for it's own army, and the right to tax citizens of all nations to pay for it), into one world government. If this is a shock to you because you don't hear this from Tom Brokaw or Cokie Roberts, just go to another thread and forget about it. If it seems reasonable, and you're familiar with the trends discussed (whether you are pro-globalist or anti-globalist), let me know how you think Y2k might impact the general trend toward centralized federal power, erosion of liberties, and world government. If you think liberty for "stability" is a fair trade-off, and you're in favor of world government, I want to hear from you too, and while I may disagree, I won't flame you. Some who hold similar views to mine like to use a "Tower of Babel" metaphor; suggesting that the powers that be are going to be thrown for a loop, and ecologically sound, socially just local economies will develop from the Y2k ruins. Others, like myself, think that the general confusion will allow the national security state to consolidate survelliance and control - especially if warfare results from the economic pressures of the existing global economic collapse combined with the chaos of Y2k. I think the military will be hit hard, but not as hard as the general population.
So let's talk about the prospects for human freedom. More liberty or less? Local economies or centralized economy, post-Y2k? Resurgence of nationalism, patriotism (the p-word!), reinstatement of the U.S. Constitution as the "Supreme Law of the Land?" Or a global hive, with fewer democratic and egalitarian pretensions?
I also welcome comments on the comparison between Clinton's and Reagan's Executive Order on Federalism, above.
-- E. Coli (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998
E. While I completely agree with your assessment of the move toward a global village, I think it would be very difficult to make any headway rapidly. Consequently, I'm hoping that y2k will have a silver lining and set back this foolishness. If there is a regression of society large enough to allow a rebuilding, I opt for local systems, utilizing trade and treaty agreements to cordinate with other local systems. Let's face it, a big government will never address basic needs. As far as a return to constitutional governance, I would agree that many freedoms protected therein should be part of any system. However, I percieve a number of flaws. The congress should never have had the power to borrow. And Judges that are appointed by politicians for life is another bad idea. Then there are the statements that allow arguement for unlimited abuse of the public funds, such as "promote the general welfare".
So I choose the local committee form. We can reach out and touch 'em if they get outa line.... ;-)
-- R.A. Mann (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
You ask the hard questions. Questions that I have a feeling are toward the bottom of the list for most people to spend mental energy pondering. I don't know what your life circumstances are, but I also have a feeling that for the majority of people in this country (world?) questions of liberty and globalism are far from pressing concerns. And maybe that's a big problem.
I have this unarticulated image of the political and economic structure of the world, post Y2K, and what the heck - I'll try to begin to articulate it now...
"Balkanization" has been the global trend since the breakup of Communism (and even before) We don't really think about it in this country, but there are those forces at play here. Texas has a small fringe movement. Northern California has a larger not quite as fringe movement. A couple of years ago I voted "Yes" to a ballot initiative here in New York to allow a study of the implications of letting Staten Island "secede" from the rest of NYC. (not because i thought secession was a good idea, I thought it was good political mischief) I think that post Y2K there will be largescale political breakups all over the world.
Economic trends have been the opposite. We're back to the days of the "Bigger is better" corporate agenda. Megamergers and the like are the rage. Information is power, the more an entity has, and the clearer its channel of communication are, the more "competitive" it can be. (so the theory goes) Unfortunately, in the real world, I don't think there is a corporate entity on this planet that isn't a muddled mess. Still, I think "after the event" there will be companies that will survive and they'll gobble up everything else.
Where am I going? I'm not sure. In the next few months, we're bound to start the fall (in THIS country) A year from now, it'll be panic. What happens after 1/1/00? Assuming many of the channels of information communication have broken down, there will be minor to massive chaos. Banks/Telecom/Power - we all know that it largely depends on the status of this holy troika. I see it as a potential 6-8. Then what happens? If there are major problems, how can a massive organization like the US government possibly mobilize the resources and communication infrastructure neccessary to maintain centralized control of this huge country? I have trouble seeing it.
I think for a while (1 year? 5 years? 10 years?) most transactions will be local. I think there will be "data islands" of companies that managed to save and isolate their data, and everything that the gobbled up and they will figure out, along with some surviving government agencies, how to use that information. If there isn't a global war, I think we'll see a re-emergence of the City-State, with a global Corporate State overlay. I think the Federal Government will grind to a halt, and a Military Dictatorship will replace it (for a while, anyway) It will "nationalize" key industrial sectors, control certain areas of certain city-states, and do away (temporarily) the illusion of "Democracy." And, my worried friend, it will do so with the full knowledge and consent of "The American People." In fact that majority I mentioned earlier will BEG FOR IT! because I think for most people Security is more important than Liberty.
I really can't imagine a world with a perfect blend of security AND liberty, short of removing the organ kundabuffer. I think that political and economic movements occur in response to the present situation. (and usually not in a rational manner. It seems like things happen in the exact OPPOSITE way that they "should") I think it's pretty clear to most of us that our current consumer driven society has gotten out of hand. Will it get any better? I doubt it. Will we build a more sustainable future? I hope so. Will the "people with the power" do "the right thing"? I doubt it. Will I be able to prepare for the not too distant future in a way so that I can be secure, and reasonably free? I hope so.
Later - Actually, I think there may be a backlash against large systems. "This huge conglomeration is what got us into this mess in the first place! Frig it! I'm gonna grow my own food and trade locally. I don't need Thai TVs and Indonesian Nikes!" For those of us who get through it, anyway...
-- pshannon (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
Thank you both for replying to this unentertaining and impractical post. We seem to be on the same wavelength.
Unfortunately, I particularly agree with your suggestion, Pshannon, that folks will BEG for a national (as opposed to a federal, constitutional) government after Y2k. There may be resistance movements, but they are likely to be coopted and inflamed into acts of terrorism such that the legacy of the "old way" will be irreparably tainted and victory of the new order more welcome and more decisive.
BTW: "They'll take my kundabuffer away when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers!"
-- E. Coli (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
E., R.A., ps, I think you all hit every nail on the coffin. I've been trying to get people to understand for a long time that our system doesn't just HAVE to exist. WE have to keep it going. Too bad, but most people just don't get it.
If we are to be a great democracy and a great nation we must go through these trials and tribulations.
Just think about this, there are a lot of Americans out there that are much more angry and frustrated than are we. How do you think they will react to the situation that y2k brings about? Their perfect opportunity to start something... which side should we be on?
-- Michael Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
So what it boils down to is there's an automatic "loss of control" programmed into the controller's systems. How elegant.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
Mike, I agree, but "starting something" can be a tricky proposition. Everyone should be aware of the ways that dissenting political groups are infiltrated and provoked to terrorist actions, actions which are calculated to lose them the sympathy and support of the public. I'm really concerned that a lot of the violent "militia" and "patriot" rhetoric out there is provoked by such infiltration. Some of those groups may even be created out of whole cloth for the purpose of marginalizing and discrediting views that don't "fit the program." The time to "start something" -something nonviolent, based in educating ourselves and eachother, and demanding accountability from our representatives- is now, while there is freedom, and a vestage of constitutional democracy, remaining. If the notion of American agents provocateurs should sound fanciful to any of you, read about it here. We have a long history of secret police management of the electorate:
-- E. Coli (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
In systems theory the larger and more complex a system gets...a normal state of evolution in systems...the less flexible it is...and the less able it is to respond to anything,...so yes, Diane you are correct...built into the political/societal hierarcy we see all around is the end of the system's viability...Smaller is better....better able to be flexible, better able to respond to change...
I'm hoping Y2K ushers in much smaller units of people responding and acting...I think it is the only way humans will live with any sanity in the future...I'm hoping enough people are left who understand that we cannot keep doing the same old, hierarchical, huge, machine-like stuff over an over...(thinking it's doing something new to boot)...and expect healthy humans...healthy lives...growth...etc.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. So if you want change, do anything else!"
--from Neurolinguistic Programming
-- Donna Barthuley (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
I share the concerns of this thread.
It seems to me that powerful dictators, cloaked in the secrecy of "democracy" and media bias are replacing more noble approaches.
On an individual basis, the past has offers us the model of Christianity, which in short is a personal "help-thy-neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" philosophy. Compare that with today's "every man for himself" approach, with government playing the role of a largely self-serving god. For the record, I have great respect for many other religions/philosophies (especially eastern), but I am looking for pragratic, earth-bound ideas at the moment.
On a group basis, we have "The Legend of King Arthur" (a kind and gentle king) and The Constitution of the United States (rule of law - not men). I would be happy to hear of others. I don't think "Stalinism" would be a good example...
If there was ever a time to "talk-up" positive ways for us to "evolve" it is now. The thought of being at the mercy of rioting crowds, a King William (Clinton, assuming elections in 2000 are cancelled) or a 3rd-world dominated UN scares the hell out of me. I don't want to live under a global 3rd-world dictatorship.
Right now, the US is viewed by the Arabs as the "Great Satan", and at risk of substantial terrorism - especially since the US has recently re-committed to helping Israel if they are attacked. This would be a VERY good time to improve our "image". I don't think offering a socialist/communist "blend" (democracy, with lots of accountants to watch the financial system) to the world will help.
-- Anonymous (Anonymous@anonymous.com), November 06, 1998.
Yes E. but the problem boils down to most people not wanting to rock the boat. I forsee a lot of extreme problems coming in about 30 years when nanotech really takes off - when anyone who can afford a small plot of land can provide all their own basic necessities and luxuries - many big corps will either go under or try to outlaw the new technology. The word economy will become meaningless as anything that has been scanned by nanotools can be replicated by nanotools - what price a $500 bill? What price the 10,000th Mona Lisa - which could not be told from the original unless 'markers' of some sort were implanted by the nanotools on construction. Who would buy anything if they can build their own - and what could you trade or barter with anyhow? The fight against personal nanotool ownership will start in no more than 20 years or so - and it will be vicious as it will be a fight for survival of large corps and big government. In the words of the bard "You ain't seen nothing yet".
-- Paul Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1998.
Thank you for raising so many important issues. Right now, rather than wade into the deep waters of so many strong currents, I'll address only a subtopic.
To readers of the comparison between Clinton's and Reagan's Executive Orders at www.libertymatters.org/federalismsidebyside.htm --
I wish the author of this comparison site had added a few notes of clarification, because some simple misunderstandings have led to ridiculous arguments about these EOs.
A) Read the definitions (Section 1) of each EO carefully before proceeding to the rest of the EO.
Note in Clinton's EO 13083 the definition of "agency" (section 1, definition (c)), which does not appear in Reagan's EO. If you will follow the reference to 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), you will find that the definition of "agency" there _includes_ "Executive departments". That means that all the subsequent places in which Reagan's EO had "Executive departments and agencies" but Clinton's EO has only "agencies" _are legally identical_.
Failure to do that definition lookup has misled some critics to baselessly attribute sinister motives to Clinton's deletions of the "Executive departments" or "departments" wording in his EO 13083, relative to Reagan's EO 12612.
B) Note that in both EOs the definition of "State" or "States" is identical, and it includes "units of local government and other political subdivisions established by the States". This means that all the little differences between the EOs in use of "local governments", "communities", and so forth are legally trivial.
C) Clinton issued another EO on the relationship between the federal government and tribal governments, on the same day as EO 13083 (see Section 7 (d)). That split out the tribal government issues, so that the disappearance of "tribal" references in EO 13083, relative to Reagan's EO 12612, is as unsinister as the "Executive department" deletions.
-- No Spam Please (email@example.com), November 06, 1998.
is one place to start for looking up Executive Orders and other documents of the Clinton era.
-- No Spam Please (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1998.
Possible political change: emergence of the super government (multi- national NWO, aka shadow government) as it comes out from decades of hiding and partially reveals its true position, at the top of the multinational pyramid and underlying all major government, media, and economies.
Meanwhile the farthest branches of the tree split into more local autonomy. This parallels the trend toward distributed computing, the rise of the PC to displace the mainframe as it evolves to higher performance levels and efficiency.
However the network remains, and the power structure is likely to continue as a hierarchy of star topologies. The older monolithic centralized power structure is too top-heavy and crumbles under its own weight. Like an avalanche or a landslide, the power is redistributed across all the branches for better stability.
One of the greatest technological dependencies is our increasing reliance on the petrochemical industry over the past 50 years. How would commerce and transportation survive if every molecule of fuel on earth were to vanish overnight? A big 10.0 on the scale, followed by a transition to electric power. If fuel supply is cut by 50% for a year or so (i.e. a price increase), the economy slows down as alternative energy sources are developed. Electric cars are now being sold at Saturn dealerships. If each home and business had its own fuel-cell power source, electric vehicle, and satellite dish for communication, we can discard most of the old infrastructure anyway. But ever since JP Morgan and Edison stole Tesla's triple-phase AC transmission invention and monopolized the power grid, we've been woven into a web of dependency along with the telco and petrochemical cartels.
-- Jon (email@example.com), November 06, 1998.