When George Bush “took” office following the 2000 elections it signaled a drastic and dramatic turning point in U.S. and modern history.  It was, I believe, the highly dramatic yet subtle beginnings of a coup; staged by a group known commonly as the “neo cons” who as (their) luck would have it are highly entrenched in the military-industrial complex and the global arms trade (which, by no coincidence is inextricably intertwined with the oil industry, as control of global oil means control of national militaries, who can’t move a tank, a soldier, or fire a missile without the gas fuel to do so).  If one were to articulate a litany of steps which described or foretold the centralization of power that a relatively open society can be seen to go through on a move towards a destructive and unaccountable closed society (i.e., fascism), it seems sure that the Bush presidency has been little more than exactly this formula.  Some now are suggesting that the past few weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in the “closing” of our liberal democracy and complete take-over of our lives by small handful of people; yes, fascism.

And, if you’re wondering, it’s not just crack-pot conspiracy theorists who are sounding the alarm bells.  For my part, in my younger days I was quite fond of any and all conspiracy theories, more so because of the possibility of the seemingly impossible than for any kind of blind belief in the absurd.  Those days are gone though as I’ve kicked the drugs and now have a stubborn insistence on applying rational thought to nearly everything I encounter.  However, those of you who read my recent piece, The Dismal Science, will be familiar with my insistence real political and economic theory (and the two are hardly divorced from one another) is little more than observation followed by reasonable prediction.  Observing the past 8 years of American government, specifically the Bush Administration, and even expanding that to observe the past 50 years of capitalist States, and looking particularly close to the events of the past month, one can easily draw some frightening conclusions based on previous moments in history and what the State and the people with power can be expected to do and tend towards.

Yes, there is good reason to believe that there has been a coup in the United States.  If the events of the past month (or, 8 years) in the U.S. were being observed in another country (like, say, Ukraine or Georgia or Venezuela) and commented on by our beloved “free press” the story would almost certainly be of a “military coup”.  Of course, in recent memory the mainstream press in this country have entirely done away with references to “right-wing coup’s” since there’s an unspoken acceptance that the political right-wing is always good, but I remember when this phrase was used on occasion.  And it’s arguably happening on this occasion, in this country right now.

Now, as I’ve said before in other posts on this site- politics and economics are almost never Law; they’re not scientific in that their theories are demonstrable with 100% verifiability.  However, when the same or similar circumstances are put in place, there’s a reasonable degree of accuracy that we can place on the suspected outcome based on what’s been observed in the past.  And put straightforward enough George Bush (more specifically and accurately, the group of Republican bureaucrats known as the neo-conservatives) came into power by fraudulently claiming power in 2000.  Careful observers of power dynamics know with certainty that seldom if ever do concentrations of power and authority decentralize and relinquish on their own; they tend naturally to centralize and tighten over time unless held accountable and in-check by a greater force (even if that greater force is more subtle or latent, as in the power of the population as a whole).

Aside from the recent dramatic power-grab over the financial and credit markets by the State (hyped and sold to us as somehow undesirable to them but necessary, despite the widespread assertion by countless experts and economists that not only were there other options for avoiding economic and social ruin through the current “crisis” but in fact much doubt and little anecdotal proof that the Fed’s actions will be entirely effective) (to say nothing of the un-popularity of the Fed’s actions, which gives us a quick glimpse into their concerns and accountability to the people they’re supposedly working for and representing in Washington), drastic steps have been taken in the very recent past which possibly foreshadow things to come.  Left-social comentator Naomi Wolf:

If you’re easily inclined to write her off as a left-wing lunatic, perhaps elected members of Congress are a bit more “authoritative” and honest in your mind.  Listen to this simply amazing assertion by Rep Sherman of Ohio:

Yes, “told there would be Martial Law” as a result of the economic crisis, unless the Administration were allowed to seize the control and power they demanded.

If you, like millions of other Americans, don’t believe there could or would ever by Martial Law declared in this country simply based on your lack of having experienced it before, than all I can suggest to you (other than taking a moment to study the history of nation-states and empires) is that you seriously consider the unprecedented and certainly unconstitutional permanent deployment of National Guard troops on the ground of the continental U.S..  Of course such action is sold to the public (though minimally publicized) as being done to aid in natural disasters and under scenarios of terrorist attacks.  Though they’ve backtracked, the initial justification of the unconstitutional use of militia forces domestically did include their deployment to “contain civil unrest”.

But there’s more.  Regular readers will remember my recent post linking to a report from the UK Guardian that “high level” Dutch intelligence told them that before the U.S. elections there would be bombing campaign against Iran.  This was so certain that the Dutch took the extremely dangerous and compromising position of removing spy operatives from the ground in Iran in order to ensure their people wouldn’t be at the locations (i.e., nuclear targets) in Iran when the bombings begin.  In addition, remember back to the first signs of the current fiscal “crisis” when McCain declared (unprecedentedly and bizarrely) that he was “suspending” his campaign and urge Obama to do the same.  While quickly digested and written off as a footnote by the press and public, I think a whole lot more about this seeming “misstep”.  What McCain accomplished, though his campaign “suspension” quickly withered, was the planting of a seed in the public sphere.  He created, out of thin air, the meme that the meltdown of the global credit market was of such extraordinary magnitude that the normal operations of American life and the electoral process itself could, and perhaps would be disrupted and “suspended” as a result.

Of course, as I began this post:  I don’t mean to dip into the world of conspiracy theory and hyperbolic paranoia.  What I do mean to suggest though is the very real possibility that no presidential election will happen next month.  Again, I’m not proposing this with any certainty.  I am, however, juxtaposing the current political climate in the United States with other fascist movements and “military coups” throughout recent history and there’s a clear map being followed.  Unaccountable power and authority can be expected to tend to further concentrate, not dilute itself, and is by definition, well, unaccountable.  I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong, but nonetheless the recent developments in the American political arena as well as the actions of the Bush Administration should have all of us very, very concerned.