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Anti-American Manifesto by Ted Rall

A Nightmare on Main Street

In his foreboding book Anti-American Manifesto [2010], 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.

And if you think it's far-fetched or fantastic to contemplate the end of the federal government, ask yourself: How will the U.S. resolve its national debt and headlong plunge into bankruptcy, deliberately created by a three decade long string of extreme right wing profligate corporatist governments? The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya? How will the U.S. solve its 20% unemployment and impending social collapse with 1 in 8 homeowners facing foreclosure and real estate values continuing to erode? How will the U.S. respond when Global Warming starts to flood coastal cities and pollution causes 40% its children serious respiratory problems?

Which is more far-fetched: the government of the U.S. suddenly reversing a 35-year trend to become functional, wise, unified, egalitarian, effective and decisive? Or a continuation of the gradual, spiraling path toward oligarchic rule and massive wealth disparities where 1% of the US population now controls more wealth than the bottom 90%?

Rall's thesis is compelling. He put himself in harm's way twice by traveling around Afghanistan unescorted by the military. He knew from the outset that the U.S. war in Afghanistan, as it was for the USSR, doomed, and he was among the first to write of the U.S. gulags now scattered throughout the world. Then the US went into Iraq, an unmitigated disaster.  

The US is FUBAR says Rall, and that external pressures and internal breakdowns dictate that it will inevitably collapse sooner or later, no matter what we do. It is therefore the responsibility for people of good will and conscience to begin a grass roots movement to create an ideological framework and strategic plan before the entire socio-economic edifice comes tumbling down. That may at least allow for the possibility of something better. If we do not, then the power vacuum will be filled, likely by armed, angry and dangerous right wing fascists or theocrats. We know it can happen, as it did in Italy and Germany between the two great wars of the 20th Century. Adding weight to this argument is the existence of the corporatist financed Tea Party, Christian Fundamentalists, KKK, Aryan Nation, and other armed ultra-right wing lunatics and hate groups already poised to take over, should the opportunity arise. This book presents some grim and frightening prospects, but there are many of us who, especially after the nightmare decade of George W Bush, have sensed that the premonitions talked about in this book are possible.

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:




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