“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
— “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot
Barely three years into the 2020s, and we seem to be living out the prophesies of the Book of Revelation with its dire warnings about plague, poverty, hatred and war.
Just as the government hysteria over the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be dying down, new threats have arisen to occupy our attention and fuel our fears: food shortages, spiking inflation, rocketing gas prices, and a Ukraine-Russia conflict that threatens to bring about a world war.
Is this the end of the world as we know it? Or is this the beginning of the end of the world?
Will the world end with a bang or will it end, as T.S. Eliot concludes, with a whimper?
Robert Frost, torn between a vision of the world ending in fire (the hot flame of violence, anger and greed) or ice (the cold burn of hatred), suggests that either would suffice to do the job.
And then there’s the Polish-American poet Czeslaw Milosz, who envisioned the day the world ends as a day like any other:
“Those who expected lightning and thunder are disappointed. And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps do not believe it is happening now. As long as the sun and the moon are above, as long as the bumblebee visits a rose, as long as rosy infants are born, no one believes it is happening now… There will be no other end of the world.”
In Milosz’ words can be found a distant echo of a warning issued by Bertram Gross in his book Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America:
“Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties, or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. In any First World country of advanced capitalism, the new fascism will be colored by national and cultural heritage, ethnic and religious composition, formal political structure, and geopolitical environment…
“In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic-as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic facade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal. I am worried by those who fail to remember-or have never learned -that Big Business-Big Government partnerships, backed up by other elements, were the central facts behind the power structures of old fascism in the days of Mussolini, Hitler, and the Japanese empire builders.”
Look beyond the drum-pounding distractions of war and the fear-inducing tactics of the Deep State, and consider the long-term ramifications of the so-called sanctions being levied against Russia right now: not just the governmental sanctions, but the corporate lockdowns.
As CBS News reports,
“Car shipments were paused. Beer stopped flowing. McDonald’s shut down sales of Big Macs. Cargo ships dropped port calls and oil companies cut their pipelines. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is leading some of the world’s best known brands — from Apple to Disney and Ikea — to abruptly exit a country that’s become a global outcast.”
This is shunning on a global scale.
Some companies, as Fortune reports, have gone above and beyond what was required by government sanctions. For instance, “major oil companies, including Exxon, BP, and Shell, ended joint investment projects with Russian oil companies. Major retailers, including H&M, Nike, Ikea, and TJX, have shut down Russian sales and closed stores. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express shut down global services in Russia… Boeing cut off support for Russian airlines and closed its offices in Moscow, while Delta ended its Russian code-sharing arrangement… FedEx and UPS shut services to Russia. Apple, Alphabet, Meta, and Microsoft all have taken significant action to combat Russian aggression and disinformation.”
“You basically have Russia becoming a commercial pariah,” confirmed economist Mary Lovely. “Pretty much no company, no multinational, wants to be caught on the wrong side of U.S. and Western sanctions.”
Russia’s military aggression has paved the way for a show of force by a punitive Big Business-Big Government power alliance that, until recently, had been exerting itself on a smaller scale to sanction individuals whose behavior was deemed to be hateful, discriminatory, conspiratorial or anti-government.
There’s no going back from here.
This may well be the end of the world as we know it.
This particular apocalypse is the fallout from a silent coup that has given the Corporate State a taste for punitive power and an understanding of the ease with which it can use that power to manipulate, control and direct the world governments.
For good or bad, it will change the way we navigate the world, redrawing the boundaries of our world (and our freedoms) and altering the playing field faster than we can keep up.
This new world order — a global world order — made up of international government agencies and corporations owes its existence in large part to the U.S. government’s deep-seated and, in many cases, top-secret alliances with foreign nations and global corporations.
This powerful international cabal, let’s call it the Global Deep State, is just as real as the corporatized, militarized, industrialized American Deep State, and it poses just as great a threat to our rights as individuals under the U.S. Constitution, if not greater.
We’ve been inching closer to this global world order for the past several decades, but COVID-19, which saw governmental and corporate interests become even more closely intertwined, shifted this transformation into high gear.
Now, in the face of Russia’s aggression, fascism is about to become a global menace.
Given all that we know about the U.S. government — that it treats its citizens like faceless statistics and economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, and tracked; that it repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn; and that it wages wars for profit, jails its own people for profit, and has no qualms about spreading its reign of terror abroad — it is not a stretch to suggest that the government has been overtaken by a power elite that do not have our best interests at heart.
It remains unclear whether the American Deep State (“a national-security apparatus that holds sway even over the elected leaders notionally in charge of it”) answers to the Global Deep State, or whether the Global Deep State merely empowers the American Deep State. However, there is no denying the extent to which they are intricately and symbiotically enmeshed and interlocked.
Consider the extent to which our lives and liberties are impacted by this international convergence of governmental and profit-driven corporate interests in the surveillance state, the military industrial complex, the private prison industry, the intelligence sector, the security sector, the technology sector, the telecommunications sector, the transportation sector, the pharmaceutical industry and, most recently, by the pharmaceutical-health sector.
All of these sectors are dominated by mega-corporations operating on a global scale and working through government channels to increase their profit margins. The profit-driven policies of these global corporate giants influence everything from legislative policies to economics to environmental issues to medical care.
On almost every front, whether it’s the war on drugs, or the sale of weapons, or regulating immigration, or establishing prisons, or advancing technology, or fighting a pandemic, if there is a profit to be made and power to be amassed, you can bet that the government and its global partners have already struck a deal that puts the American people on the losing end of the bargain.
We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long — sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs — that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.
The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished.
In its place is a shadow government — a corporatized, militarized, entrenched global bureaucracy — that is fully operational and is not only running the country but is about to take over the world.
Given the trajectory and dramatic expansion, globalization and merger of governmental and corporate powers, we’re not going to recognize this country (or the rest of the world) 20 years from now.
It’s taken less than a generation for our freedoms to be eroded and the Global Deep State’s structure to be erected, expanded and entrenched.
Yet mark my words: the U.S. government will not save us from the chains of the Global Deep State.
The current or future occupant of the White House will not save us.
For that matter, anarchy, violence and incivility will not save us.
Unfortunately, the government’s divide and conquer tactics are working like a charm.
Despite the laundry list of grievances that should unite “we the people” in common cause against the government, the nation is more divided than ever by politics, by socio-economics, by race, by religion, and by every other distinction that serves to highlight our differences.
The real and manufactured events of recent years — the pandemic, invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers — have all conjoined to create an environment in which “we the people” are more divided, more distrustful, and fearful of each other.
What we have failed to realize is that in the eyes of the government, we’re all the same.
When the government and its Global-Industrial Deep State partners in the New World Order crack down, we’ll all suffer.
If there is to be any hope of freeing ourselves, it rests — as it always has — at the local level, with you and your fellow citizens taking part in grassroots activism, which takes a trickle-up approach to governmental reform by implementing change at the local level.
One of the most important contributions an individual citizen can make is to become actively involved in local community affairs, politics and legal battles. As the adage goes, “Think globally, act locally.”
America was meant to be primarily a system of local governments, which is a far cry from the colossal federal bureaucracy we have today. Yet if our freedoms are to be restored, understanding what is transpiring practically in your own backyard — in one’s home, neighborhood, school district, town council — and taking action at that local level must be the starting point.
Responding to unmet local needs and reacting to injustices is what grassroots activism is all about. Attend local city council meetings, speak up at town hall meetings, organize protests and letter-writing campaigns, employ “militant nonviolent resistance” and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts and marches.
And then, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, if there is any means left to us for thwarting the government in its relentless march towards outright dictatorship, it may rest with the power of communities and local governments to invalidate governmental and corporate laws, tactics and policies that are illegitimate, egregious or blatantly unconstitutional.
By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead, Guest writers