We pride ourselves with the notion “That it can’t happen here,” a revolution that is. That could well turn out to be a completely false and naïve belief. What do you think might happen, for example, if we have an extended shutdown and refuse to raise the debt limit? As we already have millions living in or on the edge of poverty, others working for starvation wages, most of the wealth in the hands of a very few individuals and powerful corporations, extremely unsettling conditions of government, and unrest growing daily, an extended shutdown may very well provide the one spark that could bring about a genuine and serious revolution.
Imagine, if you will, with conditions as they presently are, with Congressional popularity already in single digits, confidence in government at an all time low, what might happen when millions more suddenly no longer get their Social Security checks, Medicare and Medicaid, banks are forced to close, savings disappear, and the 99% are hungry and with little or no hope. I venture to say those obscene billion dollar fortunes in the hands of so few will quickly disappear as they are confiscated by the starving masses for the public good. Corporate largesse will likewise quickly fade from memory as a world-wide depression sets in and people can no longer afford to coddle our military/industrial/political complex in the style to which they have become accustomed. Those multiple mansions owned by the Romneys and the McCains, and many others, the lush second and third homes, vacant most of the time, will likely be taken over by the homeless, hopeless, and the abandoned. Scenes from Dr. Zhivago will be multiplied a thousand fold, the obscenely wealthy will be spat upon if not tried as enemies of the people.
And remember, if such a scene were to occur in the U.S. it will not be a bunch of peasants using pitchforks, with some three hundred million or more guns in the hands of those who know how to use them it will be far more serious. And while it is true the government will have tanks and planes and drones and nuclear bombs they will be no more effective against the revolutionaries here than they have proven to be against the Afghans and the Vietnamese. If we cannot control gun violence now what will it be like when “comes the revolution?”
And don’t think those who will be responsible for the shutdown will escape accountability. As they apparently cannot be removed by the democratic process, when that process ceases to function as it already is, all bets are off. “Throw the rascals out” will seem benign when the real blood bath begins. It won’t be merely the few morons who bring about this disaster but also those cowards who stood by and allowed it to happen, fearful of retribution for actually doing their jobs. And once the revolution is in progress I would not like to be a Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Glenn Beck, Malkin, Coulter, or others of that ilk, those outside of government who stimulated and encouraged the hatred and the shutdown, won’t it be great to see them in handcuffs, dragged off to the slammer where useless haters belong, wasting away in Slammerville without a mike to mouth their idiotic nonsense into? A long term shutdown might be worth it just for that alone.
I do not like to contemplate what might happen in the event of an extended shutdown and a failure to pay our debts. But I fear that our longstanding claim that “It can’t happen here” may prove to be merely a shibboleth, as empty of meaning as any other of the vast array of “Lies my father told me.” It perhaps might be true if we had a truly democratic society, but when democracy fails, as ours surely is, there is no telling what might happen. Let us hope that the nitwits we nitwits have elected to serve their corporate masters will not succeed in destroying us all in their greed and apparent eagerness for “the end times.”
This is all pure speculation on my part, of course, but imagine for yourself what might happen when there is suddenly no government, no government checks for anything, no health care, no safety net, no law but that of the jungle.
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.