Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ending the American Empire by Americans

In the light of day, world's collide.

As the accumulation of America's woes grows, so does one's dispair, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction with so much of what might otherwise be percieved as trivialities.

Yet when someone else speaks out about what one sees and thinks, it presents a moment of respite. A moment of respite as if the weight of the world is lifted from your shoulders, if not for only a moment.
This effect arises from the article Case for Imperial Liquidation by Chalmers Johnson:

Americans have been betrayed by the chorus of pundits and business controlled media and political sources that shape public opinion. Who cares about Britney Spears, what Hillary is wearing or what Mitt believes? It will require perhaps 40 years before your house is paid for in full, excluding terrible health costs, criminal charges, or your child goes to medical school. Gas prices will likely reach $4.00 a gallon this years, and likely $5.00 within two years. Are incomes growing at the same pace? The price of milk is, so are the prices for many things. And governments are willing to "lease" public infrastructure like highways, roads, and eventually sewer systems to private firms just to raise funds to pay for governance. The price of living is outpacing real people to the benefit and profit of corporate "persons".

Johnson proposed a list of changes that America must undertake to avoid the ruin of past empires like Rome. Included was the deconstruction of the military industrial complex, the disempowerment of the office of the presidency. These two are perhaps the most difficult. But Johnson notes that the secrecy of the Bush presidency has served to disempower the engaged, active citizenry. He assumes reversing that by shedding light on the presidency: reaffirming the FOI act, opening meetings and contacts to public scrutiny: the Sunshine effect (similar to the Florida state government 'Sunshine' provisions of making public record of all political machinations). But that is not enough.
Recently, a British journalist named Packard said in an interview that the office of the American president as the same powers that the British monarch did 200 years ago. Thus, the British people acted to dismantle the office's powers through legislative process. The American people must take similar actions and dismantle much of the power of the presidency. Can this be done? Can such executive power amendments even pass today in such a political climate where lobbying corporate powers transcend the powers of any and all political parties?
More later....

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