By James Moylan
Since WWII the American government has been taken over by big business. Much of the American population does not vote, simply because they do not believe that their vote will count. And until recently, it was hard to disagree with this assessment.
When you think about the sort of country that the US has become, it is not hard to label it as a ‘rogue state’. It has 5% of the world’s population, consumes more than 50% of the worlds spending on armaments, it owns more than 82% of the world’s wealth and is directly responsible for 72% of the ‘two-state’ conflicts since WWII.
There has not been a single second since the end of WWII, in which the US has not been officially engaged in at least one war. And even in the wars where it is not ‘officially’ involved, it is usually deeply implicated.
The US currently has troops stationed in 118 of the 196 countries in the world. In these ‘official’ conflicts the US has killed more than 20 million people in 37 “Victim Nations” since the end of WWII. This estimate of causalities is dwarfed when the casualties inflicted in wars that were backed by American interests and undertaken using American armaments, are also taken into account.
In the Middle East alone, another 20 million souls have lost their lives when the ‘unofficial’ conflicts are added to the tally.
Why this huge army and armed presence? It simply reflects the reality that the US is now the home for the vast majority of the world’s wealth. The total value of all the assets on the face of the globe is a difficult sum to work out but, by all estimates, the US, or US corporations, control the vast bulk of all the assets that exist: anywhere.
The US government alone spends more than 7 million dollars a minute. All this in a country that tells its people that it cannot afford to provide a social safety net, a universal pension plan, or medical or hospital benefits, for its citizenry.
Aussies, like all of the western world, have been conned by our press into believing that the American alliance is essential for our safety. We are constantly told we need to be allied with this greatest of empires, if we want to remain safe.
However, few people bother to sit back and consider that the reason we need to be allied with the US is because we need to be protected from the conflicts that the US starts and controls. An alliance with the US is more akin to a protection racket than it is any sort of an open handed agreement.
America offers it’s ‘protection’ with a nod and a wink and a sly comment that: ‘It would be terrible to see something happen to your nice little country; wouldn’t it?’
Don’t get me wrong: I detest Mr Trump and virtually everything he stands for.
However, he is not a puppet of the establishment forces in the US, nor is he beholden to either of the corporately controlled political parties that have a stranglehold on the US political scene. So while he is a loose cannon, perhaps he is the loose cannon we need to have?
Trump is the face of corporate America when it steps out of its democratic drag. He is ugly, unhinged, greedy, and entirely self-centred. However, the damage he will inflict will be primarily restricted to the US economy and society. His lunatic actions are unlikely to unravel the social protections that are enjoyed by residents within many other countries.
So perhaps it is good to have a ‘leader of the free world’ who is openly, rather than surreptitiously, horrific? Perhaps it might cause the population of the globe to rethink the idea of ‘American exceptionalism’.
Is Trump really all that uglier than the last few incumbents in the White House? His ambitions are certainly disgusting and offensive, but Obama was happy to kill many thousands of people with unmanned drones, continue George Bush’s monetary policies, punish any country that dared step out of line with American financial interests, deport record numbers of poor and disaffected workers, increase military expenditure from obscene levels to even more obscene levels and expand and extend US military adventurism.
Perhaps Trump is just the raw face of American power where Bush and Obama and all the rest, were simply much the same thing, but wearing makeup and a fancy dress.
If the arrival of Trump causes the other 195 countries on earth to rethink their relationship with the U. S., can that be a bad thing? Maybe his arrival might even shake loose a little of the dead hand of control that the corporations exert on the American government and economy?
After all, it seems to have mattered little who was in the White House during the last fifty years: the corporatocracy was still in charge of the country.
Consider that even under Obama the banks got bailed out even after they had stolen trillions of dollars from the working public across the globe and had almost wrecked the global ‘economy’. Even after it was obvious that their actions were not only criminal but despicably unethical and greedy, not a single Wall Street banker was gaoled for their complicity in theft.
While the US continues to lock up a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world, very few if any, of these inmates are guilty of corporate crimes.
The US corporate sector continues to cause massive destruction and murder across the globe, yet right now, as you read this, America has in its prisons and gaols more than one in every one hundred of its own citizens. However, these are mostly the poor, the disaffected, and members of minority groups.
In parts of the American continent a black man between the ages of 18 and 24 has a one in three chance of being in gaol right now. But not black businessmen. Or white businessmen. Or any businessmen.
If you steal to eat in the US then you will be gaoled; if you destroy the poor and disaffected population of an entire third world country, you will likely retire in comfort and be praised for your efforts. Perhaps one of the reasons they lock up such a huge percentage of their population, is because the inmates can never vote?
Perhaps another reason is because it provides for a workforce of millions who will work for the corporations for as little as 37c a day? The Russian Gulag system was never as populous, nor as efficient. Gaoling so many people must have some sort of a rationale: after all – it certainly does not seem to be doing anything to make America a safer place to live.
While Obama may have been black; he was nothing if not a part of the ruling class. The US gaol population continued to increase while he was in power. The disparity between the rich and the poor continued to grow. US corporations continued to plunder the world’s resources without check nor hindrance.
So while the change to a lunatic and ugly American President may be of significance for the American public, and while Trump might accentuate and worsen the hellish conditions for poor Americans within America, it is difficult to see how his presence can worsen the effects of the American empire outside of America.
The American Corporate Empire already has full control of the globe. It is hard to see how it can be made any worse.
So perhaps the reality that the American government is now being run by a monster who actually looks, sounds, and acts like a monster, may actually be a benefit?
Perhaps it might cause the population of the globe to question the nature of the propaganda that the American empire has been pumping out so skilfully over these many years.
Maybe we might even see a backlash within America? Maybe Trump is the disaster that we all have to have?