At times like now, ideas lying around dormant on the shelf become reality.
Economic and other crisis conditions are times when most people can be convinced to accept unacceptable policies they’d likely reject otherwise.
During and after 2008-09 economic crisis conditions, Americans were brainwashed to accept force-fed austerity, frozen wages, and loss of benefits when economic stimulus and other government help were needed.
Economic recovery was for the nation’s privileged class exclusively.
Ordinary Americans experienced protracted hard times that may become much worse today looking ahead, the same true in other Western societies.
In his 1995 book titled, “The Rotten Heart of Europe,” noted euro expert Bernard Connolly said the following: “The true story of the ERM (Europe’s Exchange Rate Mechanism) has been one of duplicity, skullduggery, conflict; of economic harm done to every country and in the caste interests of the elite; of the distortions of economic logic and the dilution of political accountability,” adding, “The implication is that increasing globalization of economic activity and mobility of production has been purposely implemented in such a way as to render already destroyed ‘nation-state[s]’ meaningless entit[ies] in economic terms.”
Protracted “austerity will lead to social unrest” in Europe, the US or elsewhere. Hard times are fertile ground for revolutions and fascist dictatorships.
Censorship is the new normal in the US and West—speech, press, and academic freedoms at risk. Without them all other rights are threatened.
Social and conventional media, Google, and other tech giants are complicit in a campaign to suppress content conflicting with the official narrative.
Controlling the message is the hallmark of totalitarian rule. Anything conflicting with the official narrative on vital issues is considered “inauthentic behavior.”
The US already is a police state. Is martial law the next shoe to drop? Will Trump declare it if current conditions worsen?
While not included in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 9 mentions suspension of habeas, saying the following: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”
Will Trump invoke “public safety” or another pretext to take this action?
Article 1, Section 8 empowers Congress to call “forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
The US military and National Guard are today’s “militia.”
Martial law suspends civil rule, replacing it with military authority under the president as commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces—including the National Guard when activated.
During the Civil War, Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers.
He suspended the Constitution and habeas corpus, forcefully closed courts, arbitrarily ordered arrests, conscripted US citizens without congressional consent, and closed newspapers opposing his policies.
His Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free a single slave. He wanted them deported at war’s end to maintain America as a white supremacist society.
History taught in the US at all levels of education conceals the nation’s dark side.
What happened before can happen again by presidential diktat.
According to Constitutional Law Professor Bruce Ackerman, US presidents can institute policies by executive orders, military orders, national security and homeland security presidential directives, along with other ways of circumventing Congress and the courts.
They wage illegal wars without Security Council and congressional authorization.
White House lawyers justify the unjustifiable. “They serve as authoritative judges for the executive branch, providing a legal framework for millions of civilian and military personnel as they implement executive decrees,” Ackerman explained.
Checks and balances don’t work, new ones needed, he stressed—enforced to restrain executive power-grabbing.
Following Japan’s December 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Hawaii, not a US state at the time, was placed under martial law.
After Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, martial law was declared in New Orleans.
Throughout US history, it’s been imposed by federal or state authorities numerous times on the pretext of public safety, restoring order, or another reason.
Will Trump impose it if the US economy is reopened too soon, as apparently planned, and COVID-19 outbreaks increase greatly?
Will larger-scale outbreaks than already if they occur be used as a pretext for hardening police state rule, including suspension of the Constitution and imposition of martial law?
Most of the population is locked down. Will Trump by presidential diktat order the extrajudicial arrest and indefinite detention of targeted individuals on the phony pretext of public safety and security?
This type harshness is what fascist tyranny is all about.
Is it coming to the US full-blown in the form of presidential national emergency powers?
The USAPATRIOT Act was written before 9/11. Is other draconian legislation on the shelf—ready to be rolled out by congressional action or presidential decree?
Is America the way it was pre-COVID-19, warts and all, to be replaced by hardened rule?
If COVID-19 abates and more greatly flares up this summer or fall will November elections be suspended or cancelled?
Whatever may unfold ahead most likely was planned by the nation’s ruling class.
It happened pre-and-post-9/11. It may be happening again now for ill, not good—including draconian mass surveillance more intensive than before, along with other police state policies.
Is a dystopian future coming for ordinary Americans, resisters subject to harsh repercussions—constitutional rights declared null and void?
What’s unthinkable may be planned and inevitable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.