Let the Empire Burn

fireI have stopped myself all day from writing about the Voting Rights Act case. I will write about it in the morning. But I wanted to briefly explain how much this bothers me. It isn’t like it is a surprise; it is what I was expecting. But it seems more and more that the Supreme Court majority is nothing but a bunch of political hacks. The moderate minority act like traditional judges, but the other five act like they spend more time listening to Rush Limbaugh than reading law books.

The Supreme Court is, understandably, a microcosm of our larger political system. It has extremists on the right. It has moderates. And it has just one liberal: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And Ginsburg will very likely be the next to retire and will be replaced with… a moderate! The conservatives on the court would not be a problem if there were liberals on the court to counter them. But instead, what we get are extremists on one side and the others who are just acting like judges. I suspect that the non-conservatives must be confused how the conservatives even consider themselves judges.

On tonight’s All In, Chris Hayes argued that John Roberts had put the Republicans in a bad position because they would now get pressure to do something about the Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. But I don’t think that’s true at all. This is perfect for them. Up until now, they had two choices: they could change to be more appealing; or they could stop minorities from voting. They were never going to do the former. And they won’t lift a finger to stop the latter. Sometimes liberals are so silly. Do they not see the same conservative movement that I do? Conservatives do not feel shame or guilt; they just feel the rush of power. And the game is on.

There are things that Democrats can do. We can spread out all over the nation getting IDs to all the people who need them. That will cost a lot of money, but it can be done. The problem is that voter-ID laws are just the beginning of what conservatives have in store. And their plan is to so warp the voting process that it will be a couple of generations and tens of millions of unnecessary deaths before it gets sorted out. If it ever does.

The United States is a dying empire. Maybe this is all for the best. Let the mother fucker burn.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Let the Empire Burn

  1. My understanding is that suits have been filed in some voter ID states saying that those laws will require tracking down every citizen and providing them with a free ID (after all, if it isn’t free, it’s a poll tax.) Hence an appeal could be made to moderate conservative voters that ID laws will cost more.

    But, yeah, I get "let the empire burn." Some years ago I tried watching the HBO John Adams miniseries, and while the cast was beyond wonderful, the "witness the birth of our great nation" stuff just irritated me. As I told the SO, "this country’s just killed too many people I care about for me to idolize its inception."

    I just finished "The Cause" by Alterman/Mattson (it’s not only loooooong, but full of such detail that I enjoyed reading it more slowly than most books.) In the epilogue (pp. 465-466) they make the argument that the New Deal only accomplished what it did by deliberately limiting its democratic empowerment to mostly white voters. They suggest that Northern Europe was able to win stronger power for workers because of more homogenous populations. The fact that those European workers’ rights are now under their strongest attack since Fascism, using immigration as a pretext, suggests that at least some of this analysis has truth to it.

    If is is largely true — if liberal policies are impossible to implement in modern multicultural societies — then there’s a vicious irony at work. Modern racism was essentially invented to serve the ideological interests of colonialism (as opposed to tribal/kinship loyalties and prejudices, as old as the species.) So, essentially, working people the world over are being manipulated and boned by a mindset invented for the convenience of super-rich sociopaths.

    Graeber and others hold that the New Deal/post-war labor-business truce was an anomaly, created by unusual circumstances unlikely to ever occur again. That the history of America (and of any modern powerful nation) is one of increased efficiency and efficacy of exploitation — for which racism has always proved the most useful apologist.

    Let the empire burn, indeed.

    Still, remember, if we are fucked, the comparison to a terminal patient. If someone is doomed, we may perhaps make the choice to stop trying to save them. But we never stop trying to alleviate the suffering their disease causes.

    And we may, appearances and disheartening trends aside, not be fucked. During Reagan’s ascendancy, how easy was it to find common-sense opposition writing by the likes of a Baker, Reich, Stiglitz? No, they aren’t invited to TED talks or Davos, but a lot of people read them. Where was the equivalent of Matt Taibbi in 1983? Of the failed-but-huge Arab Spring, Wisconsin public employee, Occupy civil protests? The (tentatively, still vulnerable in their infancy) more successful South American anti-IMF movements?

    What Chalmers Johnson called "blowback" is coming. It’s rising. And every anti-human act of power’s arrogance is building momentum for it. (They’re not just "trickling down" pee anymore; they’re shitting on our faces.) As I’ve mentioned before, if I were to wager on the final outcome, it wouldn’t be a happy one. But nobody can predict the future.

    And it’s worth keeping in mind that the shitheads in power — the "c***s still running the world" — claim for themselves an ability to predict the future, and on economic trends and international affairs they have ALWAYS been 100% wrong. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine that their forecast of increased political domination is equally a myth.

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