We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Sunday, October 22, 2017
"Above All" - The Junta Expands Its Claim To Power
Because I have limited time today, here is some thoughts off-the-top-of-my-head (def.) to this article.
I think that Bernhard is reacting to a surface phenomenon. It is rather easy to see that Trump has included many military figures in his cabinet and other government posts and mistake this for military takeover of government. I rather think that it reflects Trump's mindset: he is authoritarian because of the nature of being successful at business enterprise, and he is racist given his socialization in the US. Thus, he likes soldiers because they have been trained to follow and give orders. He also has demonstrated his racism by pursuing blindly and in a most visceral fashion everything that was associated with the Obama administration: opening up to relations with Cuba, the Iranian nuclear accord, and the Affordable Care Act. Otherwise it appears so far that he is leaving most all other foreign policy matters to his military men, and pursuing domestic issues to serve his class (example: lowering taxes for the rich).
His allowing the generals to determine military policies, of course, is dangerous because the generals have been trained to make war and to devise strategies to defeat any opponents of the US and its empire. They have not been trained or socialized as people who understand the many political complexities of any given situation; and they have not been educated in the real history of humanity, rather they have been subject to intensive indoctrination to capitalist views and values. The latter also makes them very comfortable for Trump to relate to.
I feel that Bernard underestimates the staying power of the capitalist Deep State: those who have since the late 19th century have accumulated vast quantities of wealth, and have ever since then, promoted the use of this wealth by first taking over the control of the currency in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act, by taking control over every social and political institution (especially those engaged indoctrination and propaganda), and have organized a vast network of secret agencies (even organized crime syndicates) to commit illegal acts and to spy on ordinary Americans who might be inclined to carry their dissent to defiant acts of resistance.
Bernhard's thesis that a military junta has taken control of the US under the Trump administration depends largely on a piece published in The New Yorker, a ruling class magazine that inspires a following of the upper classes (from the upper-middle class to the capitalist class). However, I think that this piece functions only as a part of the ruling class campaign to get rid of Trump, and to prepare American "opinion leaders" for the removal of Trump from the White House.