The Last, Lost Empire: 3rd Edition 2012
by Ted Becker
American presidential elections have harbored within them virulent viruses that have caused severe mutations within the presidential election process from its infancy and throughout its life cycle. These have included: (1) the development of the 2 party system (1800); (2) the virtual disappearance of a major party after the election (1856; 1892); (3) TV debates between the two major party presidential candidates (1960) and even one with a third party candidate (1992); (4) the internet being used more and more as a fund raising and grassroots organizing tool (2000, 2004, 2008); and will include what’s to come in 2012, i.e., unprecedented events.
Yup, 2012 is shaping up as perhaps the most unusual ever. It augurs likely and far reaching changes in both process and subsequent policies forever afterwards. Moreover, these transmutations couldn’t come at a better time, what with the American Empire due for a radical correction, if not drastic contraction and the American economy mired in what Paul Krugman calls “The Third Depression”, and what I call “The Not So Great Depression.”
The three major potential influences in 2012 on the American presidential process, the prevailing current political economic narrative, and the next composition of Congress are: (a) The Occupy Wall Street Movement; (b) The Justice Party; and (c) AmericansElect.org. Others may pop up early in 2012, but as 2011 draws to a close, these stand out as likely “game changers” either by themselves, but more dramatically, evolving along parallel lines.
The main victim of this triumvirate would be—at long last—the stupidity known as REAGANOMICS. It and its mantras, groups of acolytes and disciples—are headed into the relative obscurity they dwelled in prior to the late 1970s and the pathetic ascendance to power of its namesake: Ronald Reagan, The Great Miscommunicator.
#OWS Nationally and Globally: The New Anti-Oligarchy Narrative
Wishful thinkers among the American Corporate Oligarchy #3 and its global partners and competitors believe that the #OWS movements have been largely spent and contained, mostly by evicting them from their “encampments” by force and violence in 2011…from Bahrain and Syria to Zucotti Park and the University of California at Davis. Dream on!
Various forms of oligarchy misnamed as “representative democracy” or “republic” or “constitutional monarchy” are crumbling all over the world. Mass political protests are as rife today as climate change events…and both will only increase in 2012. This even led as oligarchic a news outlet as Time Magazine to dub “The Protester” as “Person of the Year 2011.” When as “conservative” a publication as Time sees the handwriting on the wall, you know oligarchies everywhere are looking for places to hide their misbegotten wealth and for places where extradition is unlikely.
Thus, instead of being dispossessed and ground into the dust by varying degrees of police brutality on non-violent passive protesters during the winter of 2011 and 2012, #OWS is regrouping, rethinking and transforming —into wholly new life forms capable of exploding in size exponentially. These cocoon bound caterpillars will turn into vibrant clouds of Monarchs and create a lot more than a “butterfly effect” in the chaos of the American and other decaying political and economic systems. How so?
The most obvious primary effect of #OWS on the U.S. presidential and Congressional elections is the fact that the early phase of this movement has already changed the major themes of political discourse on the American economy from “free market job creation”, “lower taxes” and “debt reduction” in a major economic depression (all fundamental, traditional “Reaganomics” positions and policies right out of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead) to “social justice” (“We are the 99%”), “tax the rich,” “corporations are not people” and “government investment in the capitalist infrastructure” (all consistent with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations). America has not heard this kind of debate since FDR thumped the Republicans in 1932 and 1936.
In the meantime, #OWS is using its “occupation” theme and tactics in situations where it vividly and visually demonstrates its harmony and solidarity with the American poor, middle and working classes. They create dramatic scenes that millions of the 99% can relate to because of their personal circumstances, for instance, the high-handed, cruel and continuing practice of massive (and possibly fraudulent) bank foreclosures on private homes. #OWS “chapters” are showing up and squatting on front lawns around the nation in support of keeping the sheriffs at bay and are compelling bank and official rethinks (and renegotiations) here and there. Too little, too late, Mr. Potter!
What to do about “the big banks” and the biggest of them all “The Fed” will be a galvanizing issue in the 2012 elections. Many Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Green, and perhaps Justice Party candidates for the U.S. Congress will zero in on the many problems of banks “too big to fail,” the “bank bailouts,” “auditing the Fed,” and investigating the heretofore immune from prosecution investment banking frauds that led to the global and American financial crisis of 2008-12. The outrage fostered by these issues will be a major factor in the changing dynamic of Congress in 2013. Although many have seen and spoken about this before #OWS, it would not have become the cardinal issue it will be without their brave new lingo and non-violent activism.
Another tactic that was rehearsed in late Fall 2011 by #OWS is to associate itself with the American labor movement in empathy with its being “downsized” and “outsourced” to death. Thus, we have seen a number of scenes where #OWS local chapters on the West Coast have organized “occupations” that strangely resemble labor strikes, particularly in blocking major ports—which also emphasizes the imports of products made in Asia by workers who have taken American jobs and which results in the grandiose trade imbalances that continue to drain the American economy and dampen demand—thereby keeping U.S. unemployment and underemployment so high.
All of this will intensify and spiral outward into other aspects of impoverished American life as ideas pour into #OWS from affiliated and sympathetic sources. Thus we already find articles, blogs, tweets, YouTubes and whatever with titles like: “Occupy Campuses,” “Occupy Banks,” # 1 “Occupy Government,” “Occupy Congress,“ Occupy the Fed,” “Occupy the Constitution” (a phrase I’ve coined and will blog about in depth soon), and “Occupy the Food Supply.” All this augurs a myriad of colorful and unanticipated peaceable “occupations” and “flash mobs” that will defy “riot police” to deal with them all at once everywhere…and in unexpected places unreachable by “militarized” tactics. The overflow impact of these relentless and ever more dramatic and traumatic “occupations” on all kinds of elections will become clearly apparent as Election 2012 wears on. Indeed, it is quite possible that the elections will become a mere backdrop to the turbulence and imagination of #OWS protests, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.
Still, the main cumulative effect will be the empowerment of “the people” (even if that’s only 75%) to make their dissatisfaction with THE SYSTEM directly felt throughout the alleged “election” (Russia, Egypt, France will also be intriguing to watch) and lead to “alternative” politicians running in primaries, elections and run-offs at all levels of government hither, thither and yon. “The People’s Mic”; “The General Assembly” and “We Are The 99%” are here to stay in America and will make their popular might felt throughout and beyond the general 2012 election cycles in America and elsewhere.
These are solidly American new political rallying cries which I bet are bound to be translated and echoed throughout the world. After all, aside from maybe Switzerland, there’s not a real democracy at the national level anywhere on this entire planet.
Below are two short YouTubes to make the point that the American “storm trooper” crackdowns have had some solidifying effect for #OWS for 2012. The first is on Russia Television, or RT, which is a big fan of #OWS in the U.S. but which will probably not be rooting for any “Occupy the Kremlin” in Moscow. The other shows #OWS’s resolve, resilience, popularity and creativeness shortly after it was rousted from Zucotti (“Liberty”) Park in November 2011.
Stay tuned and plan on being amazed.
Tags: #OWS, American Corporate Oligarchy, Election 2012, Occupy the Constitution, Occupy Wall Street, Oligarchy, Reaganomics, The Last Lost Empire 3rd Addition 2012, The Presidential Election 2012, “The Protester”