Real America, an Endangering and Endangered Ruination

A Ruination

Real America is not the window dressing of a nation posed by her government or by the corporate dominated mass media. Behind that pose is an endangering and endangered “ruination.”

If you follow unbiased accounts of current events and conditions, you know I am not exaggerating. For decades I have been keeping tabs on Real America’s conditions and her actions at home and away and they are appalling. To summarize them I compiled and reported elsewhere a list of what I call “sadtistics.” ((Brumback, GB. America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying, Create Space Independent Platform, 2015, Chapter 8.)) They amount to a pitiful portrait of every element of America that matters, whether domestic (e.g., high rates of homelessness and poverty), environmental (e.g. polluted rivers/reservoirs/drinking water) or international (e.g., ubiquitous military bases and destructive and deadly military and CIA operations around the globe).

According to Charles Derber, a distinguished sociologist, Real America is already a sociopathic society in which there is a predominance of antisocial and harmful behavior by individuals and institutions. ((Derber, C. Sociopathic Society: A People’s Sociology of the United States. Paradigm Publishers, 2013.)) Real America is also a nation that always has been led by presidents with psychopathic personalities, if we can believe a host of experts, and I do. ((Howard, J. Psychopathic Personality Traits Linked With U.S. Presidential Success, Psychologists Suggest. The Huffington Post, September 13, 2012; Frank, J. Bush on the Couch. Harper Perennial, 2005; and also, Frank, J. Obama on the Couch. Free Press, 2012.))

Real America is already a fascist state. It meets all 14 attributes (e.g., controlled mass media, obsession with national security) political scientist Lawrence Brit identified as characteristics of a fascist state. ((Brit, L. “The 14 Characteristics of Fascism,” Free Inquiry Magazine, Spring, 2003.))

Real America’s Abysmal Future

Rome’s militaristic imperialism lasted over 500 years. But times and conditions are not so forgiving and repairable today. If Real America continues her ruinous course, she is unlikely to reach her tri-centennial. Real America could eventually become a failed state; could undergo civil war; could experience escalating blowbacks; and could irreversibly suffer with the rest of humanity one or more global calamities.

(a) Failed State

While it is not one of over 100 nations on the “failed state index” published by the non-governmental organization, Fund for Peace ((Fund for Peace. The Failed State Index 2013)), there is ample evidence from the list of “sadtistics” that America is becoming a failed state or close to becoming one. Once an economic superpower, for instance, Real America is on the way to economic ruin according to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. ((Roberts, P.C. “Ruin Is Our Future”. OpEdNews, January 16, 2015.))

(b) Civil War

The conditions and discontent of the working class and the unemployed conceivably could explode into a civil war. The government undoubtedly has a contingency plan to combat armed revolution and is already training for the possibility of it happening. That may be why swarms of Black Hawk helicopters were flying over Minneapolis in the summer of 2014. ((Rupar, A. “Downtown Minneapolis Invaded by Black Hawk Helicopters”, The ]Minneapolis City Pages, August 28, 2012.))

Any civil war would probably be followed by a dictatorship, which in turn would eventually deteriorate into a state of dystopia and ultimate collapse. That has happened to a few nation states in the history of civilization and there is no guarantee it won’t happen to Real America.

(c) Escalating Blowbacks

Unless Real America’s endless warring and spying ends more blowbacks besides the monumental one in 2001 are inevitable and intuitively obvious. Some very authoritative people agree. Four-star Marine General James Cartwright, for example, a confidante of President Obama for years, warned that U.S. drone strikes “are begging for retaliation,” and Ralph Nader has warned that there must be “smarter foreign policies” or we risk “bigger blowbacks.” ((Dreyfuss, B. “General Cartwright Warns of Drone ‘Blowback”, The Nation, March 22, 2013; Nader, R. “Smarter Foreign Policies or Bigger Blowbacks?”, Dissident Voice, July 10, 2015.))

(d) Global Calamities

The adage, “things will have to get worse before they get better” is a fallacious, self defeating and potentially fatal one. It awaits possible refutation by one or more of four global calamities that threaten our species; ecocide, genocide, manufactured plague, and nuclear Armageddon.

1. Ecocide. Mother Nature may have the last laugh, or blowback, if we don’t start placating her instead of plucking her. The planet, offering finite, not infinite resources for human use and having exceeded its carrying capacity for nearly seven billion humans and counting almost exponentially, could very well become unlivable eventually with air that is un-breathable, with soaring temperatures that are unbearable, with water that is undrinkable, with food that is toxic, and with no oil to lubricate and combust. Before those extreme conditions would happen there very likely would be an outbreak of “resource wars.” ((Klare, M. Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. Holt Paperbacks, 2002.)) And we can “depend” on our military being in the thick of it.

2. Genetic Engineering. The military has discovered that it could make its arsenal of biological weapons more effective by genetically altering them. ((Emerging Technologies: Genetic Engineering and Biological Weapons: A Report by the Sunshine Project and Third World Network, 2004.)) Since there are very few natural pathogens that lend themselves to biological warfare, the genetic engineering of unnatural pathogens is where the military is apparently staking its future in remaining a superpower and threat to uncooperative nations. The military’s secretive research arm, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), has launched an expensive program called “Living Foundaries,” a misleadingly innocent name if there ever were one. “Think of it,” says journalist and editor Katie Drummond, “like an assembly line, but one that would churn out modified biological matter — man-made organisms — instead of cars or computer parts.” ((Drummond, K. “DARPA, Venter Launch Assembly Line for Genetic Engineering”, WIRED, May 22, 2012.)) Just think, too, of what might happen if a psychopathic warrior-in-chief, unrestrained military and political advisors, and mad scientists all came together to plot and unleash an explosion of unnatural pathogens on their adversaries. Can’t you just picture it sometime in the future; our one-eyed, two-headed, three-legged species walking down the street, if any streets are left?

3. Manufactured Plague. The recent scare of a spreading Ebola epidemic has heightened concerns about biological warfare and Ebola terrorism in particular.  A journalist writing in Scientific American reports that “National security and infectious disease experts agree the obstacles to a large-scale assault with Ebola are formidable.”  She concludes that “—the possibility of rogue organizations sowing this terror on a similar scale seems largely out of reach.” ((Maron, DF. “Weaponized Ebola: Is It Really a Bioterror Threat?” Scientific American, September 25, 2014.)) But the journalist and the experts may be too sanguine. Several readers using their imagination in commenting on the article described some very plausible and easy ways for suicide carriers of Ebola to “carry” it to populated areas.

That journalist, moreover, apparently was not referring to any “rogue organizations” in America deliberately manufacturing a plague in various parts of the world. If the following news item is authentic, there should never be any doubt about how fiendish an American regime can be. Dr. Cyril Broderick, a Liberian scientist and a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry, claims that the US Department of Defense had been funding Ebola trials on humans in Guinea and Sierra Leone just weeks before the Ebola outbreaks there. ((Guzman, TA. “U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist”, Global Research, October 17, 2014. See also, Roberts, PC. “The Entry of Ebola into the US Has Hallmarks of a Planned Happening”, OpEdNews, October 21, 2014.))

4. Nuclear Armageddon. It may someday be a reality, not just a scriptural prophecy. Humanity has had the capacity for total self-destruction ever since Real America introduced nuclear bombs to the world. Armageddon could happen by accident rather than by intent, and there have indeed been several “near misses.” ((Schlosser, E. Command and Control, Penguin Press, 2013.)) Or it could easily happen if there were escalating blowbacks or confrontations among one or more warriors-in-chief and one of them had the mentality of the late General Curtis Lemay, who seriously proposed dropping “the entire stockpile of atomic bombs in a single massive attack” on the Soviet Union during the cold war. ((Lashmar, P. “Stranger than “Strangelove: A General’s Forays into the Nuclear Zone”, Washington Post, July 3, 1994.))

Nine countries thereabout currently possess nuclear weapons. ((Kimball, D. “Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance”, Arms Control Association, June 23, 2014.)) Not all of them have signed a treaty agreeing to discontinue expanding their nuclear weapon capability. The U.S. has the most adversarial relations with three of those nations, China, North Korean, and Russia. Sometimes the disputes become overheated and high-level warnings by one or both parties are issued. Whether these verbal exchanges would ever culminate in an exchange of nuclear bombs hurling back and forth remains to be seen. Some pundits argue that U.S. militarism is heading it toward WWIII, and an international group of world renowned scientists has moved their “doomsday clock” from five minutes to three minutes until midnight doom. ((Boyle, FA. “American Militarism Threatening To Set Off World War III”,  OpEdNews, December, 12, 2012. See also: “Chossudovsky, M. Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War. E-Book Series No. 1.0, Global Research Publishers, 2011; Roberts, PC. “Pushing Toward the Final War”, OpEdNews, March 28, 2014; and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Timeline: It is 3 Minutes to Midnight,  January 25, 2015.))

An Alternative: Alter America

That clock can be stopped. None of the foregoing scenarios is inevitable. A very different “Alter America” without the corpocracy and without the sadtistics can be built. For several years now I have been making detailed proposals toward that end. ((Brumback, GB. The Devil’s Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy In the Lurch, Arthor House, 2011; also, Brumback, op. cit., 2015.)) Nothing has come of them. Neither though, has much happened of any significance nationwide to begin reversing the sadtistics. And nothing but continued deterioration toward an abysmal future will come out of the general election of 2016; the twin parties are the two sides of the same corrupted coin. Consequently, I will briefly sketch in the remainder of this article a revised initiative, one that I will call here the “Alter America” campaign.

For the campaign to be successful there must be a shared vision; leadership in the form of stewardship; an organized and strategically guided effort with follow through; and a mobilization of public support.

(i) Shared Vision

To Einstein imagination was more important in life than knowledge. Knowledge is limited to an understanding of what already exists. Imagination is an envisioning of an Alter America with the following attributes:

  • A democracy, not a corpocracy
  • Peacemaking, not war making
  • Domestically tranquil, not domestically violent
  • Economic justice, not injustice
  • Social justice, not injustice
  • Environmentally responsible, not irresponsible
  • Full employment, not outsourced jobs
  • Adequate standard of living, not impoverishment
  • Adequate health care coverage for all, not excluding anyone
  • Fair, not rigged elections favoring the twin parties
  • Viable political alternatives to the twin parties
  • Public service politicians, not corporate pawns
  • Public services for the public, not privatized services for profit
  • Socially responsible, not irresponsible capitalism
  • Localized economies, not globalized “free” trade

(ii) Stewardship

No more charismatic and domineering leaders. They invariably have led our nation astray. The campaign needs to be steered by a strategic plan and stewards who advise and responsibly manage, not misuse, resources.

(iii) Organization

Common goals cannot be achieved without organizing. Proposed here is a campaign “headquarters” and outposts or operating units in either the four geographical regions of the country or the 435 Congressional districts (Ralph Nader has proposed a “watchdog group” in each of those districts). ((Nader, R. “Enlist the Enlightened Super-Rich!” HuffPostPolitics, March, 29, 2013.))

The headquarters need not be in a physical office since on-line communication ought to be sufficient. The headquarters would consist of a stewardship/advisory council and several task forces. The number of council members should be large enough to have quorums on critical decisions and small enough to be manageable. The council members need to be prominent and influential citizens who are critical of the status quo, who may also have led reform initiatives of one kind or another, and, most importantly, have time to serve pro bono.

There must be scores of such people. The problem is identifying, contacting and persuading them to give pro-bono service. Several potential sources of volunteers are third party and independent candidates who win or lose the 2016 election; prominent investigative journalists, activists and bloggers; and editors of and contributors to the alternative media.  I am deliberately omitting here as a source non-governmental organizations. I have tried futilely in the past to engage them in concerted actions. They are basically indebted to the corpocracy rather than being an effective adversary of it. ((See my articles, “Tyranny’s Hush Money”. OpEdNews, September 28; The Greanville Post, September 29, 2013; and, “Do Antiwar Organizations Depend on War?”, Dissident Voice, October 22, 2012.))

The council would set up several specialized task forces to educate and mobilize the public into action; target political, economic and environment obstacles and solutions; and to monitor progress. At the outset an inventory needs to be made of all incidents of opposition against the corpocracy to learn what has failed and why and what has succeeded and can be expanded. ((An excellent source for compiling and categorizing daily news of opposition against the corpocracy is the PopularResistance.Org Daily Digest))

(iv) Strategic

A good strategy sets goals and their priorities and determines the way and means to reach those goals. The council would develop the strategic plan. For each goal there would be initiatives to meet it, the resources needed, and a list of criteria for knowing when the goal had been met. The reverse of the sadtistics or the characteristics of the shared vision could be turned into goals and their measureable criteria.

The goals need to be prioritized, putting the most doable and “small wins” first so as to provide encouragement, allow time for more resources (e.g., volunteers) to be added, and to keep the momentum going.

In developing the plan the current status of any initiative anywhere in the regions needs to be assessed. For example, a legislative victory in a state on an environmental issue needs to be known, factored into the plan and possibly modeled.

Progress toward each goal would be monitored by both headquarters and the outposts. The second part of the adage “plan to change and change the plan” needs to be heeded during the monitoring. There probably has never been a plan of any substance or scope that did not have to be changed because of unexpected setbacks or opportunities.

(v) Mobilization

The late anthropologist, Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ((Lutkehaus, N.C., Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon, Princeton University Press, 2008, p. 261.)) Well, I doubt it. I think it will take many millions of citizens to help the campaign turn Real America into Alter America.

There are indeed millions of Americans out there getting shafted, the working class and the unemployed most conspicuously among them. Nearly one-half of all Americans consider themselves to be working class people. ((Newport, F. April 28, 2015 Fewer Americans Identify as Middle Class in Recent Years, Gallop Poll, April 28, 2015.)) Nearly 8 million are unemployed. ((Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 4, 2016.)) Two-thirds of Americans reportedly can’t afford a $500 emergency. ((O’Connell, B. “Two-Thirds Of Americans Can’t Afford A $500 Emergency”, Popular Resistance Newsletter, January 23, 2016.)) Understandably, Real America is pockmarked with discontent and reportedly falls behind 14 other nations in a “happiness” index. ((Newsday Staff. “World’s Happiest Countries Ranked in Report”, Newsday, December 23, 2015.))

From time to time these pock marks erupt into issue-specific protest movements that the corpocracy can tolerate. Such movements and all discontented Americans need to be mobilized into a unified coalition that can provide through various means such as petitions, protests and the like intense, unrelenting and massive pressure by millions upon millions of people on the corpocracy’s leaders.

The solution to the lack of any unified coalition can be found in the very meaning of the term “coalition,” a union of separate elements that have some commonality. The commonality in this case is their grievances against America’s corpocracy on a variety of injustices and conditions of life and the environment.

In Closing

If there is any merit to the proposed Alter America campaign, the most compelling question becomes how to jump-start it. I am at a loss for an answer. My previous answers and attempts have all failed. I may have some cache within a relatively small professional niche but none outside it. I am easily ignored. ((Here’s an example of my insignificance. I had dedicated one of my books [18, 2011] to Ralph Nader and sent a complimentary copy to him through his aid who promised to give it to Mr. Nader. Five years later and I have never heard from him. Rather than being peeved though, I empathize with him. He has encountered more than his share of apathy over the years.)) I have never been able to coax luminaries into helping me implement my proposals. Now, at my age, I am going to leave the matter entirely up to others if any are interested.

Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Read other articles by Gary.