By Martin Love

Martin Luther King was right: the world does bend towards justice…

June 29, 2020 - 13:48

Back 65 years ago when television was in its childhood if not infancy in the U.S. one TV game show had contestants going for a grand prize of $64,000, which in those days was a tremendous sum of money (not any longer, really), so any big issue or question that had not yet been resolved gave rise to the common cliché of “the $64,000 question” as to how it might pan out.

Another regular television drama series back then featured the surprise award of a million bucks to some lucky fictitious family that had been deemed exemplary by a character named “John Bearsford Tipton” (a name literally created to suggest wealth!), a generous fictional multi-millionaire who sent his agent to announce the award. It was all innocent fun to see lives suddenly transformed to extreme good fortune, how they reacted, how suddenly grateful the family became.

The spark of the murder by Minneapolis police of a Black man in May, along with other incidents of racism and racial abuse by the militarized police, has awakened many Americans this past month to the degree of their repression, and change is definitely in the wind, but it’s going to take a long time before real change takes hold while the battle lines are more or less clearly drawn. This TV menu sampler was well before big lotteries sprouted, in part to raise taxable revenue for various state governments in the U.S. Nowadays, U.S. network television features reams of crime, corruption, violence, and mayhem, plus “news” programs heavily slanted and propagandized to one side or another of the political spectrum. Evil characters abound, and often they are foreigners, say “Arabs” or “Iranians” for example, or other Asians farther east, or Africans and poor citizens of Latin America.

One question obviously is whether human nature or at least American human nature, has over the course of several decades become so badly corrupted and purged of sweet innocence and benevolence to be confronted in the media with such dreck and social illness. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine that human nature has EVER changed so dramatically anywhere.

One possible answer is that the rise of such sorry media “entertainment” possibly corresponds with the blatant, in-your-face rise of  U.S. “imperialism” and its notions of U.S. exceptionalism, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union when American “leaders” got it in their corrupted heads that they could rule the world militarily and economically and cast foreign peoples and cultures that have objected to U.S. “imperialism” in action as simply some objectionable “other” that had to be dominated, reduced and demonized for the benefit of an ever narrower, very wealthy U.S. “elite”. Now, remarkably, with recent administrations in Washington, and especially Trump’s, the “other” has been expanding to include many Americans, too: the entrenched poor, people of color, immigrants, religious minorities such as Muslims and virtually anyone at the mercy of the almighty government.

The spark of the murder by Minneapolis police of a Black man in May, along with other incidents of racism and racial abuse by the militarized police, has awakened many Americans this past month to the degree of their repression, and change is definitely in the wind, but it’s going to take a long time before real change takes hold while the battle lines are more or less clearly drawn.

At one extreme is the potential for real “revolution” similar to Iran’s revolution 40 years ago, which is still unlikely, and at the other are years of seeming decline, chaos, and adjustments where very slowly better, fairer, brighter Americans somehow begin to get their hands on the levers of power at least at the local level and begin to reject business and government and various social ills as too long evident catering to the few, as it has been becoming for over 30 years.

This latter evolution at least has a certain inevitability about it, so in some respects, if much of the rest of the world can avoid precipitous actions that could ignite further U.S. hostilities whether wars or more attempts to strangle countries with sanctions, there is some reason for optimism and hope in the longer run. Racism is real in the U.S. and always has been since America’s inception even if many have attempted to reject and expunge it. And racism is part and parcel of imperialism, so if imperialism dies, so too perhaps does rampant racism.

The fact is that current attitudes and policies at the top of the U.S. “establishment”, or many of those found in Trumpism, in the GOP and also in parts of the Democratic Party, probably cannot be pushed much further and will likely be forced to recede. The narrow “establishment” seems to be slowly losing the very means to continue to project itself not just at home but around the world. There are hordes of factors, not least of which is that the U.S. is fast losing what popularity it has had, alienating even some of its Western allies in its overweening efforts to maintain power and control.

One case in point are U.S. efforts to kill Germany’s access to ready and inexpensive energy supplies from nearby Russia via Nordstream II, which after a year of sanctions and delays will probably be completed by the end of this year. Another factor among others may be inherent in Iran’s courageous push-back against U.S. sanctions and threats, this seen lately in Iran’s shipments of fuel and oil field supplies to beleaguered Venezuela. And it’s obvious China and North Korea and others are going to try to stand strong against U.S. diktat and aim at a minimum to carve out some breathing space between themselves and U.S. imperiousness.

But perhaps the biggest factor is simply that the U.S. has been living way beyond its means since the Vietnam War, and when it went off any semblance of a gold standard in 1971 and the U.S. dollar became purely fiat (along with every other currency), U.S. debt and money printing have become so enormous that the dollar simply cannot maintain its grip on the world’s financial architecture much longer, probably not for another decade at the most. Some kind of major “reset” is ahead, and it’s a reset that will include the loss of U.S. financial dominance, and thus its ability to project so much economic and military power.

One can even thank the wild emergence of COVID 19 and its mismanagement by Trump, where fiscal deficits are now set to expand into the several trillion unless the U.S. drastically reduces spending, which in itself will dramatically change American life, bending towards initial poverty, like nothing else.  The other “bending” was cited by Martin Luther King before he was assassinated decades ago: that the human world no matter what in the long term, to its credit, “bends” towards justice.

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