Robert E. Lee foresaw the consequences of Lincoln’s victory in a letter to Lord Acton: “the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
General Lee was right. The centralized regime that arose during the WBTS has indeed brought ruin, not just to the victims of DC’s wars, but to Americans as well, in the form of crushing debt and assaults on basic liberty. The government justifies its acts at home and abroad with the same assurances Lincoln used: it’s promoting democracy and equality, a scam we have exposed before. But even though the Empire puts a benevolent face on its acts, those acts are still those of a rogue, predatory force that is the world’s greatest threat to peace and liberty. Its campaigns in remote battlefields have rebounded to diminish liberty at home – the news that the government plans to use drones to patrol American skies is just the latest grim proof.
Two powerful and seemingly disparate groups fuel the endless cycle of intervention, pro-war Neocons and pro-equality civil rights activists. Each aids the other: Civil rights activists provide the narrative of government-backed liberation that justifies a government big enough to finance a global military force. And Neocons are happy to reciprocate by backing civil rights initiatives. The result is an ever-expanding central government.
Justin Raimondo of AntiWar.com has just published a remarkable piece that reenforces that argument. Despite apparent differences, both Neocons and civil rights activists advocate an all-powerful central government as an enabler of their agendas. So it’s no surprise that both groups evolved from the same source, the ideology of an American Marxist named Max Shachtman. Raimondo writes:
Shachtman … had become an advisor to AFL-CIO chieftain George Meany, and a confidante of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the warlike Democratic Senator from Washington state whose foreign policy views often led his critics to describe him as “the Senator from Boeing.” In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Shachtman’s followers became influential in the labor movement and in the budding civil rights movement: Bayard Rustin, the real organizer of Martin Luther King’s famous “March on Washington,” was a Shachtmanite, although kept out of the limelight by his homosexuality.
That’s why I’m pulling for an Obama win in November – DC’s endless wars, which were launched in the name of defending and promoting democracy, are instead accelerating the loss of American liberty. Since 9/11, which was itself blowback from DC’s earlier interventions in the Middle East, we have the two Patriot Acts, the Department of Homeland Security, fusion centers for domestic surveillance, and a chief executive that claims the power to indefinitely detain and even execute Americans without a trial. As bad as Obama is, Romney will be worse – he’ll launch a war against Iran that will further impoverish us and justify even more totalitarianism.
It’s increasingly clear that Leviathan cannot be reformed. The good news is that big government is dissolving in a global movement toward smaller, human-scaled political units. Know hope.