Saturday, February 25, 2006

Check Your Conscience at the Door: We're Building an Empire

By Jason Miller

Blaring its typical jarringly cacophonous morning radio jabber, the suddenly welcome sound of my alarm rescued me from the maelstrom of a nightmarish Neocon world spawned within my unconscious mind. As consciousness flooded my being, I had an epiphany. My breed of human being is a pariah in the American Empire. In the minds of the Regime's loyal foot soldiers (the Neo-Tories of the Twenty First Century) American society is waging a domestic war between those they define as liberals and those they qualify as conservatives. Since 9/11, Fox News and the Bush Regime have brain-washed them into believing that terrorists and their sympathizers are lurking around every corner, poised to infect them with a lethal virus, slice them with box cutters or obliterate them with a suicide bomb. In the black and white perspective of the Neo-Tories, you are with us or against us. If you do not fit into their narrow and misguided notion of conservatism, you must be a "liberal". The American media/propaganda machine (which the Empire's power moguls have brilliantly portrayed as "liberal" to obfuscate the fact that six corporate conglomerates own 90% of the mainstream media market) has sharply defined the “treasonous”, “ineffectual” nature of "liberals", portraying them as soft on crime, sympathetic to those demonic terrorists, Socialists and Communists, immoral, and militarily weak.

Masters of delusion

To their credit, Israel, AIPAC, the Bush Regime, powerful families (with names like Koch), the numerous multi-millionaires in Congress, powerful lobbyists, think tanks, major corporations, and the 1% of Americans who harbor 38% of the nation's wealth have done a phenomenal job of convincing a majority of the poor and working class that they are fortunate to have the privilege of fighting over the remaining crumbs of the economic pie after the ruling elite gorge themselves. Despite the 13% of Americans living in poverty, 46 million without health insurance, and approximately 3 million homeless wandering our streets, the gallimaufry ruling the United States according to the Golden Rule (he that hath the gold maketh the rules) has artfully convinced "Main Street" that it "doesn't get any better than this". The Empire's Neo-Tories boast that capitalism and the free market are "kicking ass" while Communism and Socialism have been relegated to the dustbin of history. (Obviously they have not been paying much attention to South America lately). With "free market" think tanks like Cato Institute (funded by “humanitarian-environmentalists” like Charles Koch) to provide the propaganda (sorry, I meant to say research), there is virtually no end to the "evidence" supporting the "benefits" of government deregulation of businesses and corporations.

Unfortunately, I was born with a social conscience and a powerful aversion to tyranny. My strong support of universal human rights and dignity, social justice, equality, peace, and protection of the environment has led me to dissent vehemently against the American Empire. My strenuous objections to the widening wealth gap, the state terrorism committed by the United States and Israel, corporate abuse of consumers, employees and the environment, egregious violation of international law by the US (including torture on a wide scale), obscene hypocrisy concerning nuclear capacities, rapidly diminishing civil liberties, insane expenditure of our tax dollars for military purposes, and the rapid consolidation of power into the Executive Branch have earned me the brand of "liberal".

Now is the time for the Neo-Tories to make the sign of the cross, reach for their garlic, brandish their vile of holy water, and invoke incantations from Ann Coulter. In so doing, they are certain to vanquish the lot of us weaklings who stand in the way of the true “progress” which will only occur once the Empire dedicates itself fully to the concept of survival of the fittest. Remember, Hitler eradicated the Socialist/Communist scourge as he rose to provide us with a viable sociopolitical model encompassing gross intolerance, cruel injustice, imperial conquest, genocide, and overt concentration of power in the hands of the elites.

In my poignant moment of clarity, I decided it was time for me (and others like me) to surrender our fatuous devotion to childish notions of fairness and equality. The Neocons and their Neo-Tory bootlicks possess an unwavering commitment to domination that will enable them to lead the American Empire (unfettered by weaknesses like compassion and empathy) to its true destiny: global hegemony. How could I have been so blind to the truth that the many must suffer so the few can prosper? It is an inescapable aspect of the human condition. Only 250,000 Iraqi civilian have died for the noble cause of spreading freedom and democracy (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). In the process, we have also taught those filthy Middle Easterners that we will not tolerate them selling their oil for Euros and we have established the 52nd state of the union (to complement the 51st state formed through the genocide of the Palestinians). Never mind that the Machiavellian and illegitimate Bush Regime has reduced the value of the Constitution to that of toilet paper (albeit it would probably be too rough even for that purpose).

Bury the efforts and sacrifices of Women's Suffragists, Populists, Progressives, organized labor and civil rights activists! Join the Neo-Tories in a Twenty First Century renewal of fealty to King George! William Kristol, Robert Kagan and the Empire-building signatories of the PNAC had the cajones to announce America's intentions to dominate the world. We owe it to them to make their wet dream a reality....

Imagine a nation unfettered by the silly constraints of conscience, the rule of law (over the whims of individual rulers), humanity, and justice! My mind is reeling in orgasmic delight at the virtually infinite array of possibilities. America has the potential to become an empire like no other. Envision endless hedonistic orgies, mountains of blood-drenched cash harvested from the Neo-colonies, uninhibited rape and plunder of the world’s resources, obscene exploitation of the billions of human beings not fortunate enough to inhabit the “Empire proper”, and military domination by air, sea, land and space. Sign me up to help make it happen!

In the wake of my startling realizations, I finally began seeing the light as I envisioned the American Empire as it should be. Thankfully, I have come to my senses and will cease my frivolous pursuit of inane ideals that don’t create wealth, advance technology, dominate other human beings, provide immediate gratification, or satiate carnal desires.

This is America, baby! Shut up and swear allegiance to the Flag, the Dollar, the Corporatocracy, and to the Regime.

Taking off the mask (and the gloves)

It has become too cumbersome to carry on the charade of democracy. Staging two consecutive fraudulent presidential elections, maintaining a Congress which has evolved into a rubber-stamp for the Regime, and giving the populace access to a court system packed with ideologues who eagerly await the opportunity to endorse the Empire's edicts have effectively enabled tyranny under the guise of democracy. However, these unnecessary hindrances have become obsolete. Besides, if we are to rescue Scott McClellan from eternity in Malebolge, it is time that the Bush Regime comes out of the closet and simply issues its own version of the Enabling Act.

As President-elect George Bush stated on 12/18/00:

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

Let's not keep him waiting any longer! Stop haranguing him about wire-tapping without FISA approval. Implement Patriot Act II. Embrace torture as an acceptable and necessary means of expanding the Empire by breaking its alleged enemies and dissenters. Habeas corpus and Posse Comitatus are antiquated impediments to domestic tranquility. They must be eliminated.

One of my co-workers recently asserted that everyone who disagrees with the policies of the Regime needs to be rounded up and shot. I agree. We need to implement a nation-wide dragnet to capture subversives, dissidents, liberals, war protesters, and the remaining scum whose treasonous activities retard the Empire's progress. A bullet is a hell of a lot cheaper than a prison cell. We have plenty of bullets; let's put them to use.

The Business of America is Business

Calvin Coolidge, a visionary president who recognized the necessity of laissez-faire economic policies, knew what America was about. It is time we got back to our roots by removing quaint ethical, legal, and moral constraints on businesses. American society reached the peak of its evolution during the Gilded Age. Let's reclaim that glory.

Corporations and business magnates have been hamstrung by archaic laws long enough. Let's truly free the free market. Unshackle the movers and shakers of our capitalist economy and the American Empire will blow the doors off the rest of the world. We are only consuming 25% of the world's resources now. America needs to buckle down and significantly increase its share of the world's bounty. Since the other 97% of the world's population is comprised of terrorists, savages, Socialists, non-Christians, and non-Caucasians, they need to yield to the moral imperative of the Christian God and further enrich the American Empire.

Minimum wages, Child Labor Laws, mandatory extra pay for so-called "overtime", legislation prohibiting discriminatory hiring practices and sexual harassment, and ridiculous protections for the disabled need to go. Our children have too much free time on their hands; idle hands do the work of the devil. Blacks and other minorities need to buck up and deal with it if Whites feel uncomfortable hiring them. Women need to develop a thicker skin and realize that sometimes keeping their job requires a little "extra effort". If someone is blind or wheelchair-bound, we have no obligation to accommodate their weaknesses.

Clean air and water are luxuries Americans can no longer afford. Endangered species need to go the way of the Dodo if they can't hack it anymore. The Bible clearly defines man's dominion over this planet. If Mother Earth has a problem with the way we are treating her, she can take it up with the Man Upstairs.

End the Gravy Train

Entitlements are a waste of our precious resources. Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, food stamps and the rest of those nauseating Socialistic programs must go. If someone doesn't have money, it is time they got a job. Those of us who work and pay taxes owe the lazy and weak nothing. Can't find a job or the money you need for basic necessities? Tough. If God had intended for you to survive, he would have given you the attributes and resources to do so.

Shedding our puerile concerns for the plight of the poor, the elderly, and the disabled will enable us to focus more of our resources where they belong. The $600 billion a year we spend on defense represents a mere 60% of world military expenditures. What self-respecting imperial entity would settle for such a miniscule piece of the pie? Exempting the military, the Department of Homeland Security, and the other offices of the Executive Branch necessary to rule the Empire, it is time to follow Grover Norquist's brilliant advice and start running the bath water.

Like the one in Jericho, this wall must come down...

A crucial aspect the American Empire lacks is the marriage of church and state. A tyrannical Bush Regime wedded with the powerful elements of the Religious Right and Dominionists would empower the "iron men" to rid our society of harlots and sinners like Hester Prynne.

We are a Christian nation. Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans and other followers of unenlightened religions need to convert or face harsh consequences, including crucifixion, stoning, or if we are feeling lenient, simple expulsion from our nation. Homosexuality, prostitution, abortion, and atheism will be punishable by death. Blasphemy will result in surgical removal of the tongue. Adultery will be grounds for severe torture involving the genitals. Women and children will again subjugate themselves to the masters of our nation, their husbands and fathers.

Religion will return to the public square. Those who refuse to say Merry Christmas will be flogged until they lose consciousness. Prayer will be mandatory at all public events and non-participants will receive severe beatings. Failure to attend church on a consistent basis will result in assignment to re-education centers. A government entity analogous to the IRS will oversee the collection of mandatory tithes. Those caught cheating the Church will have their hands severed. A Ministry of Decency will monitor all forms of media and stage mass public bonfires to eliminate profane, pornographic, and blasphemous materials.

The Church of the Empire will be jointly administered by members of the Bush Regime and such Christian luminaries as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Tim LaHaye. To prevent the Empire's bounty from going to waste in a heavily tithed society with Puritanical laws, the segments of the populace comprising the ruling elite (including the Church leadership) will be exempt from their own edicts. "Do as I say and not as I do" will be the order of the day.

It is time for the "Culture of Life" to prevail in the United States.

Whoring girls and women who become pregnant out of wedlock deserve to be butchered at the hands of back-alley abortionists. And as for the abandoned or abused children arising from unwanted pregnancies, they will provide a ready supply of cheap labor once we eliminate those hopelessly idealistic Child Labor Laws.

Perpetual war to expand our sphere of influence is the only way to ensure American dominance over the rest of the world. To hell with concern for the murder of innocent civilians. Those individuals are merely "collateral damage" for which we cannot be held responsible. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Better luck next time. Besides, when we murder, we are morally and legally justified because our terrorism is committed in uniform and for the cause of “freedom”. Hopefully Hamas will not discover our secret and start putting uniforms on their freedom fighters.

The Empire's work in Iraq is only beginning. Permanent military base completion, generous dispensation of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, murder, mayhem, and environmental devastation will keep us busy for a few more years. Once we have secured Iraq and the precious oil, we can take a serious look at Iran. While there are several compelling reasons to refrain from attacking Iran today, once we bring the nation of Iraq to its knees (regardless of the cost), we can set our sights on another member of the Axis of Evil. In the interim, we will further solidify our strategic position in the Middle East through our unflinching support of Israeli genocide against the malevolent Palestinians. They made their bed by electing Hamas. Now they must lie in it. Unless Hamas quietly acquiesces to the ongoing rape of its people, we will teach them obedience. We will not rest until the vermin infesting the West Bank and Gaza are servile or dead.

We can stem the tide of the ongoing threat from our subhuman black population by stepping up implementation of the death penalty. Since public lynchings are no longer an option, state murders need to become public events once again. We know that black males in particular have natural criminal inclinations, so we need this powerful deterrent to keep their savage tendencies in check.

Embryonic stem cell research must not take place. Blastocysts are human lives, whether they have been implanted in a womb or not. We need to appropriate federal funding for funerals and proper burials for those tiny human beings discarded by fertility clinics. God mandates that we deter the murderers who want to use these precious little children for their evil scientific experiments.

Finally, to keep the citizens of the Empire complacent and fulfilled, we will continue to burnish unbridled consumption into their psyches. Alluring advertising from Madison Avenue, easy credit, and the commercialization of virtually every aspect of our culture (we will even have to desecrate our sacred Christianity a bit, but such is the nature of an imperial dynasty) will prompt consumers to power the engine of America's economy.

Mirroring our spiritual bankruptcy, our people and our government will revel in false riches derived from borrowed money we can never hope to repay. But who will challenge the most powerful nation on the planet? If China calls our notes due, we will simply incinerate them with the space weapons we will have developed.

You think the American Empire is hubristic, xenophobic, cruel, avaricious, and murderous? You're right. As Aldous Huxley wrote:

"The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."

Many Americans forgot that many other sets of people were human long ago. They checked their consciences at the door and are building an empire. Join me in letting go of the delusional belief that you can stop them. Resistance if futile. Accept your fate and surrender gracefully.

To the glory of Washington!

Excuse me now while I wretch and vomit profusely. Once I purge the toxins of imperial fantasy from my being, I will resume my dissent. In spite of my tenacious efforts, I was unable to divorce myself from my conscience. It looks like I won’t be swearing allegiance to the American Empire any time soon.

Jason Miller is a 39-year-old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. When he is not spending time with his wife and three sons, researching, or writing, he is working as a loan counselor. He is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. He welcomes responses at or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner.