USpol and totalitarianism, a thread
"Totalitarian regimes are often characterized by extensive political repression, a complete lack of democracy, widespread personality cultism, absolute control over the economy, restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism. Other aspects of a totalitarian regime includes the use of concentration camps, repressive secret police, religious persecution or state atheism, extensive practice of capital punishment, possible possession of WMDs, fraudulent elections (if they take place), and potentially state-sponsored mass murder and genocides."
So with all that in mind, is the US a totalitarian regime?
(The rest unlisted, click on thread to read)
USpol and totalitarianism (2/11)
It must first be understood that the real power in the West is not the government, but the "ruling class," the "bourgeoisie," the industrialists, the bankers, call them what you will: they are the owners of all real property. The government, the "state," is a puppet, a proxy, a mask they wear to shield and protect themselves both ideologically and by means of the state's apparatus of violence. Ultimately, everything done by the state is in service to this ruling class. The ruling class enforces this control by carefully controlling access to the resources needed for survival at every level of society, and ruthlessly suppressing those who attempt to reclaim any independence for themselves. This class is as hereditary as any peerage thanks to inheritance laws, and asserts divine authority via "prosperity gospel," itself merely a reframing of the "divine right of kings."
With that being said, let's examine the various markers of totalitarianism.
USpol and totalitarianism (3/11)
Extensive political repression: the Overton Window is a very real force in US politics, and it currently frames a solidly capitalist, neoliberal narrative. Those who deviate from the norms enclosed by this window even slightly are deplatformed, derided, sometimes even disappeared. No party that deviates significantly from the neoliberal message has any meaningful chance of succeeding.
USpol and totalitarianism (4/11)
A complete lack of democracy: the "democracy" in the United States is a sham. For any office, we are presented with two candidates, both of whom have been thoroughly vetted by the ruling class and deemed acceptable. We are permitted to "choose" between these two candidates, who then assume office and proceed to almost completely ignore the wants of their constituents in favor of the instructions of the "wealthy donors" or their "lobbyist" agents, i.e. the neomonarchy. This is no accusation: studies have shown that popular support for an idea or policy is almost completely irrelevant to whether that policy gets passed.
Popular candidates do occasionally manage to marshal enough support to assume power. But there are checks in place on this as well -- one Senator can hardly make any difference, and even the President has little power to effect meaningful change in the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.
(Bernie will never be President. Bet.)
USpol and totalitarianism (5/11)
Widespread personality cultism: we elect politicians we like, and we defend those politicians to the death. Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale on the strength of his personality cult. Bill Clinton beat George Bush by being "cool" and "slick," and Bush's son beat wooden, stiff Al Gore by being likeable and relatable. Obama's personality cult was unlike anything American politics had seen in my lifetime, until Trump came along, and Trump's only real potential challenger is doing so on the strength of his personality cult. Policies matter, but if they aren't presented by a candidate we like, we ignore them.
USpol and totalitarianism (6/11)
Absolute control over the economy: The neo-monarchy controls the purse-strings, and decides what and how much gets made when. Every single economic decision in the capitalist market is made with one goal in mind: accumulating as much wealth (power) for themselves as possible. Small businesses must pay homage to the neo-monarchy via licenses and permits, and such business get outcompeted or swallowed up if they appear to be threatening to the power structure in any way.
Restriction of speech: you can say whatever you want ... until people start listening. How many revolutionary leaders have ended up dead, imprisoned, or otherwise silenced? How many union organizers have been summarily fired?
USpol and totalitarianism (7/11)
Mass surveillance: this one is a no-brainer. Every single thing we put out on the internet, including this article, is read and archived by intelligence agencies in at least fourteen countries. Planes with AR tech fly above our cities. License plate readers track our driving habits, and we carry GPS-enabled tracking devices on our person at all times. We are the most surveilled people in history -- and this doesn't even touch on how the government has been keeping tabs on minorities for over a hundred years.
USpol and totalitarianism (8/11)
State terrorism: the police are militarized to an alarming degree, and routinely harass minorities (if not outright shooting them in the streets). Agitators and activists wind up dead if they cause too much trouble. Our every move is tracked and can be used to suppress us, deny us employment, even imprison us. All of this is to create a climate of fear, to keep us in line. It is the use of force to send a political message: fuck with us and we'll kill you. That's state terrorism.
Concentration camps: reservations, "internment camps," border camps ... again, a no-brainer.
USpol and totalitarianism (9/11)
Repressive secret police: every single progressive organization is going to have an undercover cop in it. This tactic is used routinely by the government to surveil and suppress dissidents. Agents provocateur troll protests, doing what they can to get the protestors to cross a line and justify arrest and brutality. Check.
Religious persecution: Our treatment of Muslims, Jews, and Indigenous religions speaks for itself. We are a Christian supremacist society, and "Christian values" are used to justify targeting those who do not conform to those norms.
USpol and totalitarianism (10/11)
Extensive practice of capital punishment: the death penalty is off the books in a lot of places, but again -- how many activists end up dead? How many Black people are shot in the streets for the crime of being Black in public?
Possession of WMDs: the United States is the only state ever to use nuclear weapons against an adversary, and maintains the largest arsenal of such weapons in the world.
USpol and totalitarianism (11/11)
Fraudulent elections: Look at what happened in 2016. Look at what happened in Iowa. Look how only the "big two" parties' candidates get any media coverage, presenting us with a false choice. Our elections are consistently rated as among the shadiest in the world by international observers.
State-sponsored mass murder and genocide: Slavery and manifest destiny.
In conclusion, every single point outlined in the Wikipedia article on totalitarianism applies to the United States. By the definition of the word, the conclusion is obvious.
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