American writer Tracy Kidder points out: “In order to go on with our lives, we are always capable of making the ominous into the merely strange.” We ignore ominous warning signs at our own peril. But ignore them we will, and have. And we continue to call them strange, thus attempting to build a protective shell around our tender psyches, comforting ourselves with an amorphous web of blatant lies.
Daniel Ellsberg knows about conspiracies and ominous signs. As he says, “Secrets … can be kept reliably … for decades … even though they are known to thousands of insiders.” These include, for example, the conspiracy he exposed with the Pentagon Papers, as well as the CIA’s apparent assassination of JFK. Such conspiracies are particularly likely in a police state such as the United States where habeas corpus no longer exists and American citizens can be “legally” assassinated. Strategic assassination is just another step toward complete compliance of the citizenry.
In other words, conspiracy theories sometimes are fact. If opportunity, motive, and means are evident, don’t rule out conspiracy merely because you’ll be labeled a conspiracy theorist.
English philosopher Bertrand Russell put his own spin on the horrors of uncovering the truth via thought:
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
Small wonder, then, most refuse to think. Thinking is hard, so the majority of Americans prefer television instead. Swimming against a profoundly strong cultural current is nearly impossible, especially when the resulting discomfort threatens our own privilege. And conspiracy theories certainly threaten the ill-founded notion of American exceptionalism.
False-flag terror attacks? Check.
American government agencies buying enough ammunition to kill every citizen five times? Check.
U.S. Supreme Court collaborating with the executive branch to increase corporate power? Check, since 1971 (at least).
Goldman Sachs defrauding its clients with the knowledge of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Check.
Civilian deaths from drones covered up? Check.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is dead, though most Americans refuse to acknowledge that truth. But the former U.S. Marine arrested for patriotic posts on Facebook knows. After his relatively innocuous posts, he was placed in a Stalin-like mental ward. Displaying the “wrong” political view warrants the same treatment. Apparently questioning 9/11 — an obvious inside job, as anybody paying the slightest attention has known for years — makes one crazy. Or a terrorist. Or both. And if you think 9/11 wasn’t an inside job — the evidence for which is overwhelming and physically undeniable — then you believe in coincidence but not the Laws of Thermodynamics.
When will your silence be met with incarceration, then torture, then early death? These United States are well down the road of tyranny, regardless the mantra of the mainstream.
Meanwhile, the man who campaigned on the closure of the torture facility at Guantanamo Bay recently signed a law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without trial. People keep telling me he’s our best hope. And maybe he is. But I cannot support evil, not in the name of lesser. So I won’t.
It’s not just America, of course. The West is a giant banana republic. Just ask Julian Assange.
Fortunately, the entire set of living arrangements known as industrial civilization hovers on the brink. Near-term collapse is inevitable.
How quickly can industrial civilization unwind? Last October, Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker warned banks they could collapse before Christmas of last year. And of course, collapse in Europe is absolutely inevitable. I suspect that would seriously influence the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
We’re one step from full-scale completion of a long, ongoing decline, as even the occasional Congressional Representative is willing to admit. The next step will be the big one. The monetary situation is direr than the Great Depression and, according to the World Bank, the economic recession ahead will be more severe than the 2008-2009 recession (the one that nearly terminated industrial civilization, according to Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S.). From an imperial perspective, the ongoing economic depression is good news because demand destruction is the only phenomenon keeping the omnicidal boat above water.
Unfortunately, collapse has come too late to save our sorry species. Greenland’s melting breaks the record four weeks before season’s end. Arctic sea ice likely will set a new record next week. Sea level will rise more than 15 cm (6″) annually in the first few years after 2015. In short, we’re done. Alas, it seems we were just getting started.
That our species is headed for near-term extinction is no excuse to throw in the towel. Resistance is fertile, and there is still plenty to fight for. Coming immediately to my mind: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy.