Brock, your essential problem is that you take more-or-less valid criticisms of state power, or of official narratives. And you wed them to random chunks of conspiracy theory.
It's like, you go "they're lying to us, therefore
they must be Reptons from Zabriska VII!"
General Brock wrote:If the German government is a person under German law, OK, but who exactly defines what the order is going to be? Germany is a responsible nation that does not act unilaterally and declare is exceptionality. Its government reflects that; there's been no break between popular expectation and government actions unresolved by an election. America is not so lucky just at the moment, but in response they have a pre-existing culture of unilateral constitutionalists who can address unilateral governance.
Except that this 'check' on unilateral governance has proved to be a meaningless farce. Where were the constitutionalists during the Bush administration? I happen to know where a lot of them were, but one answer has to be "not very effective."
Expressing your awe and reverence for how the Consitution can fix everything is stupid. Without the will to actually resist and reform the abuses of state power, the Constitution is meaningless and can be lawyered into irrelevance by renegade constitutional lawyers (e.g. "unary executive" lickspittles). With
the will to resist and reform, the Constitution is at best a useful form of backup, and indeed much of what we need to do involves reforming the Constitution itself rather sharply.
You see, Brock, there is NO written constitution that cannot be loopholed until it ceases to matter. Living wills always find a way to defeat the dead hand of a written document. This is doubly true of a written constitution that dates back to the 18th century and reflects 18th century concepts of state power, what threats the state faces, what threats the state presents.
To give just one example:
There's a reason that the Constitution, as written, contains several paragraphs on court proceedings, but nothing whatsoever on the right to privacy as such. Because in 18th century monarchical tyrannies, kangaroo courts were commonplace, but comprehensive spy networks weren't... and there was literally no such thing as wiretapping.
It turned out that a system which comprehensively spies on us via wiretapping and traffic analysis was a threat- one nobody could have foreseen until roughly the mid-20th century, by which point the government had enough of a vested interest in being able to spy on us that they were never really going to amend the Constitution to protect us from the threat. Oops. It turned out that massive drug bans could choke the court system and create miscarriages of justice even with the courts in working order.
Yes, but what happens if there is a persisting split between those forming the government and the People, not confined to any particular government?
Then the wording of the military's oath is irrelevant, at least to the majority of real humans in the 21st century.
Men are not computers. Oaths are not programs. I suppose you could find 18th century gentlemen who would decide whether or not to stage a revolution or risk death on the basis of the exact wording of an oath... but not many even then. As a rule, people take their cues on what is and is not worth taking risks over from their cultural background.
So stop getting obsessed with irrelevant minutiae.
This is what the American Continuity of Government (COG)
Continuity of Government, the real term with a real meaning, refers to the system by which the US government can continue to function in the face of a 'decapitation' attack aimed at destroying Congress, the President, the top echelons of the military chain of command, and/or the central leadership of key government departments. It has been a major concern of the US government ever since the invention in 1945 of weapons capable of destroying Washington, D.C. and the key facilities of US governance. It has been slightly amended
to deal with the threat of massive terrorist attacks, but was always in play to deal with the threat of Soviet ICBMs.
Continuity of Government is not the problem and is not the target.
Now, what IS the problem is that many of the Bush-era policies have become 'locked in' by the bureaucracy, to the point where removing Bush did not remove the policies.
And that Obama has turned out to be quite willing to follow a ballistic trajectory of ignoring most of the problematic aspects of the War on Terror. And for that matter of the Bush administration's collusion in allowing Wall Street financiers to reach a state of overweening power that made the current depression possible.
Describing these things as COG and rambling about its evils, when COG is a real term
with a real meaning
, is stupid. It's like if you decided that "bears" was a good name for the threat to democracy in America and started rambling about how we're being subverted by bears. Even if you
don't actually mean to refer to the hairy ursine quadrupeds, and think "bear" means something totally different, it doesn't matter. People will read and listen to you, conclude that you're a nut, and move on.
In 2008 America voted against neoconservative warmongering justified by American unilateral exceptionalism. Obama has proven tweedle-dumber, and brought in neoliberal humanitarian interventionism justified by unilateral American exceptionalism. The difference between neoconservatism and neoliberalism is the difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. The only constant is that they have their unilateral governing ideals from the American Enterprise Institute, not the American People. Post modern representative government seems characterized by hijacking by special interest groups.
Neoliberalism is a real term that does not mean what you think it means
. It's about laissez-faire economics, shrinking government via deregulation and the reduction of the social safety net, and a shift of power from public to private (corporate executive) hands.
Republicans are, if anything, more reliably neoliberal than Democrats.
And it is thoroughly possible to be a neoconservative and a neoliberal at the same time, because neo-conservatism
is mostly a foreign policy ideology based on the idea that the Cold War is over, we won, and now we get to rule the world. Neo-liberalism is an economic ideology mostly concerned with domestic affairs.
Germany hasn't fully experienced that yet under its new constitution. However, 60 prominant Germans have signed a "Not in Our Name"
petition against the Merkel government going along with American/NATO war plans against Russia, and they reflect popular sentiment. They are being dismissed as ignorant
by commentators siding with the government.
Honestly, I think the commentators have a point. It is part of ANY government's responsibility to be prepared for the prospect of war. Making plans about war, and building up equipment to fight a war, are normal things any government should be expected to do.
Germany's military is in a lamentable state where it is essentially incapable of defending the state from serious foreign aggression, with at best 10-20% of its heavy military hardware fit for battle, and training levels in the process of collapsing.
So this is not a time when the bare fact that several dozen German celebrities wish to embrace pacifism should stop the government from providing for the common defense of the German people.
America's unilateral constitutionalists are part of a long tradition of democratic republican dissent, of which the "We Can't Breath"
movement is also a part. They can point to the Constitution, not just emotionally strong but specifics-vague appeals to the nation.
If we're still referencing the German constitution, the German constitution has plenty of specific provisions for the rights of the people.
If we're talking about different classes of dissent in the US... The problem is that the Tea Party is a revolt against the very kind of governance it would take to fix
the problems cited by "We Can't Breathe" or the Occupy movement. It's the construction workers mobilizing to smash the hippies
for protesting the Kent State shootings. Sure, all these protests and counterprotests reference the Constitution. But that does not mean they represent a unified political force that could unite everyone across party lines.
At least, not until the right-wing propaganda machine now in use by the Republican Party breaks down and the current tea-ists realize how very badly they are being lied to and manipulated.
Unfortunately, the author of the article you linked on the Tea Party, Occupy movement, and "We Can't Breathe" movement is incapable of recognizing this. Because he is a libertarian and therefore thinks universal health insurance and police strangling unarmed men to death in the street are basically similar in that both are "excessive government power" or whatever.
... Of the three, the anti-police movement (sans the looting by the few) is the most unambiguously deserving of support, at least for me. The police are the frontlines of the state. There was a time, when I was a kid, when it was possible to think of them as part of the structure of civil society, the aspect of the state that we actually need to keep order.
But all of that changed after 9/11, when the federal government essentially implemented an undeclared martial law and armed local cops to the teeth with military weaponry. A crazed paranoia also overtook all law-enforcement institutions. All citizens were suddenly potential terrorists. We were treated as such by the regime. Anyone around in those days remembers the feeling of being under foreign occupation, not by Al Qaeda but by our own government.
9/11 was not the turning point here; the War on Drugs was. Black people were being beaten and shot unjustly by police long before 9/11.
I'll grant that the (most likely white) author of this article may not have noticed
that this was going on until he (horrors!) first had to submit to a TSA checkpoint. But if you lived in the ghetto you already knew this was going on.
The decisive moment came after the 2008 financial crisis, when local government turned to the cops to be revenue-collecting agents. That’s when the full force of the law came after our property and rights at every turn. Quiet and implicit antagonisms became loud and explicit.
They'd always been doing this, and the revenue-collecting cops were mostly collecting property on behalf of other private actors.
If you think this is wrong, you should revisit your libertarianism- or at least, the author of the article should revisit his.
But in the end, we all face the same struggle. It’s the struggle between the voluntary associations that constitute the beautiful part of our lives, on the one hand, and, on the other, the legal monopoly of violence and compulsion by the institutions of the state, which lives at the expense of society.
Remember that the protests we see are only the visible ones. Underneath them, there is a seething in the very foundations of society among all classes, races, and political outlooks. For every protester in front of the camera, there are hundreds of thousands of sympathizers, which is what happens in a country where government impositions have stopped household incomes from rising in real terms for 20 years. (And this reality has struck us during a time of explosive technological improvements that would have otherwise conferred massive material benefits on society!)
See, this guy just cannot get off his soapbox long enough to understand what's going on.
The abusive power structure here is fundamentally a "public-private partnership" of the kind neoliberalism embraces.
So the threat is a public-private partnership dedicated to stripping the American people of their wealth and concentrating it in corporate hands, while removing the public's ability to resist or alter the situation by a combination of propaganda, suppression of dissent, and refusal to prosecute rich abusers of power by granting them "privilege" (literally, 'private laws')
Again, the threat is a public-private partnership. Occupy Wall Street was a protest against the existence of the partnership and against the private side of it. "We Can't Breathe" is a protest against the security apparatus that is really only a minor adjunct to the partnership, but plays an important role in keeping the lower and lower-middle class too immiserized to fight back effectively.
Meanwhile the Tea Party is manning the barricades to fight against... black people in the White House and fictional welfare queens and subsidized health insurance for the poor.
This is not three protests based on the same "the Constitution is being violated!" sentiment. This is two protests and a counterprotest, or two protests and a counter-reform anti-protest.
The rise of power has robbed us all. We experience different forms of victimization. We express our frustration in different ways. We have a different set of triggers. But when it comes to knowing the enemy, we should all be clear and united: it is the state. We must never lose sight of the solution, which is human liberty.
Occupy Wall Street never thought the enemy was the state, or it would have been Occupy Lafayette Square.
This is a lucky person who is very comfortable with the rise of the elite beneficiaries of the public-private partnership, trying to pretend that a tyrannical government without
private backers is the problem.