Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Machinery of Night

If liberty and freedom survive in America, I'm convinced that it will be in no small part due to the relentless clarity and general excellence of Glenn Greenwald's analysis:

A much more critical issue here is whether the President should have the power to conceal evidence about the Government's actions on the ground that what the Government did was so bad, so wrong, so inflammatory, so lawless, that to allow disclosure and transparency would reflect poorly on our country, thereby increase anti-American sentiment, and thus jeopardize The Troops. Once you accept that rationale -- the more extreme the Government's abuses are, the more compelling is the need for suppression -- then open government, one of the central planks of the Obama campaign and the linchpin of a healthy democracy, becomes an illusion.

I hope Obama, and enough Democrats in Congress, come to see the truth of this: if not, we the people need to demand that they see it or suffer our wrath.

The pessimist in me fears that the country may be too asleep from mindless, pornographic entertainment and the decayed remains of the Fourth Estate to care much about the potential utter ruination of America as a Republic. Maybe the Powerful in America have figured out that you don't need to be a formal autocracy to rule the world and your citizens as an empire; you just need to keep the plebes busy with porn and "When Planes Crash" -style "reality" television and gladiatorial contests and bread and circuses. Just keep their reptilian brains busy and stimulated enough so they don't notice their increasing powerlessness and slavery - they just feel free because they vote every four years for candidates, none of whom pose any real threat to the lever-pullers controlling the Machinery of Night (to borrow a phrase from Ginsburg) that binds their souls and enacts their slavery.

Or, maybe Americans will begin to talk to one another one-on-one about the danger posed to their freedom by ceaseless propaganda-in-service-of-empire, and turn off their televisions and porn and stop eating themselves into gaseous stupors, so they can look hard enough to actually see what's really going on all around them.

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