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Power Dynamics

Is this the End of the American Dream?

How the virus scare empowers Big Tech Oligarchs

The global establishment has almost universally welcomed the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the presidency of a republic that is still the world’s largest economy. All the usual suspects rejoiced in the ousting of the much-reviled former President, Donald Trump. We may never know for sure whether electoral fraud occurred on such a massive scale to reverse initial reports of an electoral college win for the incumbent and to assign a sizable 5 million lead to the winning ticket. Owing to the USA’s changing demographics a Trumpian candidate, appealing to a broad cross-section of socially conservative middle-class Americans, may never again win a majority. Critics have long observed the fusion of the Democratic and Republican Parties into one big business party. Their brands appeal to different electoral bases, whose composition has changed dramatically over the decades. While both Democrat and Republican senators have spoken out against the military industrial complex, a term that Dwight D. Eisenhower coined in 1961, once in power both red and blue administrations have pursued interventionist foreign policies. The Republicans once appealed more to the urban professional and business classes winning states like California and New York, while the Democrats retained a large base of redneck supporters in states like Arkansas and Alabama. Now the Democrat base is split between the metropolitan elites and the welfare-dependent classes, namely the people who have least to lose from the ongoing destruction of the middle classes.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the American Dream spread to Western Europe, Japan and Australasia. It promised hundreds of millions the chance to prosper through their endeavours either as well-paid workers of larger firms or small business owners in an age of opportunity. If you worked hard, acquired sought-after skills and kept out of trouble, you could aspire to live a comfortable life with a house, car and holidays. That’s not to say there were no conflicts or struggles as industries modernised, laid off workers and transferred operations to new more highly automated plants overseas. Nonetheless, until recently our economies revolved around wealth creation through hard work and consumption. Whereas as once the manufacturers and retailers of consumer products would dominate economic activity, today’s biggest growth sectors, the infotech and biotech industries, manage information and genetic sequences. Put another way, while people would once consume products, now we are the products, more useful to our new technocratic masters as guinea pigs than as workers. The aspirational middle classes have branched into three. In the middle we have the remaining blue-collar workers who struggle to make ends meet on devalued salaries. When their skillsets become obsolete, they may either move down to lower-paid short-term service-sector jobs or try their luck in the more intellectually demanding tech and creative sectors. As smart automation gathers pace amid medical martial law, we can expect more and more to leave the labour market for good. The current crisis has wreaked havoc for millions of small businesses who need real-life contact with customers and cannot easily adapt to the rigours of covid safety. Online firms may give their owners the semblance of independence but rely on infrastructure owned and controlled by big tech and often provide services ripe for artificially intelligent automation. In the US, corona-containment measures have been much stricter in the more densely populated Democrat-controlled states. This will only accelerate the cultural divide that became so obvious in the Trump years between the old and new Americas. One the one hand we have family-oriented workers and tradespeople who want to be masters of their own destiny in a land of opportunity. On the other we have a parallel society micromanaged by a network of corporate and state actors with shrinking spaces for personal initiatives and independence of mind. America has long struggled to reconcile the benefits of private enterprise within a free market and the concentration of power in a handful of large corporations. NASDAQ 100 companies can buy influence in government, fund academia and charities and thus subvert democracy. Until recently they have tolerated the first and second amendments of the US Constitution that enshrine free speech and gun rights because they controlled the printing presses and airwaves and could rely on the police and national guard to outgun any small insurgencies. Now most social, educational and commercial activity has moved online, the tech giants call the shots and have not shirked from exploiting the corona scare to justify the suppression of free speech on all key scientific and geopolitical issues. Beyond doubt, corona containment measures have drastically curtailed economic independence and with it the American Dream itself.

In the first two weeks of his presidency, Joe Biden’s team has reversed most Trump-era initiatives that sought to resurrect American Exceptionalism and its core entrepreneurial spirit. Big Tech has now joined forces with radical Democrat politicians to undermine the very basis of Western democracy, free speech.  Opinion leaders now talk openly about re-educating Trump supporters in the same way as the occupying Allied Powers sought to denazify Germans in the bitter aftermath of WW2. Yet the American military industrial complex committed its worst war crimes under successive Democrat and Republican administrations, often via proxies, with the full approval of the same corporate media that now tries to blame the short-lived Trump administration for everything that’s wrong with the USA. Did Trump build an economic model reliant on unsustainable mass consumption, automotive extravagance and sky-high personal debt? No, that’s been the mainstay of US economic policy since Roosevelt. Did Trump start wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria? No, he merely carried on where his predecessors left off. Let us not forget Billion Clinton and Barrack Obama had both voiced their disagreement with past US military adventures, respectively in Vietnam and Iraq, only to let the Deep State start new wars once in power. Indeed, even Trump’s rabble-rousing about illegal immigration only attempted to slow a rapid demographic transition that is already destabilising the federation’s delicate social cohesion at a time when most low-paid manual jobs are subject to smart automation.

The great irony is that American Deep State, for want of a better term, now seems happy to distance itself from the last 70 years of US Foreign policy as it merges with an evolving multipolar One World Government. Many on the notional left will welcome this, but the wars against restless natives and non-compliant local governments will not stop. They will simply be joint ventures with the Chinese, Indians and Europeans.

Biden will oversee the transformation of the United States from the world’s dominant economic, cultural and military superpower to a mere province of a global empire that looks to Beijing and Brussels as much as it looks to Washington DC. To the likes of Walmart and Amazon, North America is a mere market that must now be regulated to consolidate their grip on power. American CEOs now look on the Chinese model with envy. They want compliance and loyalty without the inconvenience of civil liberties for the great unwashed.

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