Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

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The Spotlight On the New World Order

  • Has a velvet hammer been brought down on an unsuspecting public?
By Robert Treat Paine

Can you imagine a time when chronic unemployment and seething racial tension choked this land in its tracks or where shadowy elites made a secret pact with incumbent politicians to put a stranglehold on democracy? Two scholars did, nearly 20 years ago. The predictions they made in their remarkable book, American Politics: Policies, Power, & Change, have proven shockingly accurate over time. The pair, professors Kenneth Dolbeare of the University of Massachusetts and Murray Edelman of the University of Wisconsin, combined in 1977 to produce a 564-page study of the health and future of the American political system. In 22 chapters they examined every facet of our representative democracy, from income distribution and national security to the courts, the presidency, and the Constitution.

In the end, they came up with four "alternative futures" that our country might follow.


One called for a continued evolution of the era's corporate-dominated economic and political status quo; another for a reversion to "progressive" political reform, culminating in welfare state capitalism. A third called for a leftist-based revolutionary uprising, with democracy giving way to either socialism or fascism.

The most likely future, the professors rued, was a fourth: reactionary change culminating in "electoral fascism" and the emergence of a police state. Judge for yourselves how perilously close we've come. Stating in 1977 that such a condition could evolve by the early 1990s, the authors began their forecast with the prediction that a stagnating economy would cause unemployment to spiral and force government to cut back on services.

The White working class and minorities would suffer the worst, the authors suggested, inciting racial conflicts while retarding "class consciousness"-that galvanizing awareness of who has the money and why that is essential to undermining the tyranny of American political and economic elites.

Mincing no words, the authors went on to predict a future where: "Social tensions multiply, there appear to be many severe problems but no solutions, and no clear moral or spiritual principles seem applicable. Amid this general social fragmentation and purposelessness, various militant populist-type protest movements gain adherents. Some call for a general redistribution of wealth, others for a 'return to fundamentals'; all are impatient with the continuing claims of minorities for equal status and opportunity."


Thus, they warned, the stage would be set for a covert attack on electoral freedom:

"Governing elites, particularly those with roots in the corporate and financial world, grow alarmed at the obviously decaying social situations and worsening condition of the economy. They make a private alliance, tentative at first, either with incumbent politicians or with major popular leaders, enabling them to remain in or rise to power on this combination of elite and mass support."

Worse was to come. Painting with broad and eerily incisive strokes the scholars continued their chilling narrative:

"A disorganized left offers little serious resistance, manifesting itself chiefly in isolated strikes and occasional terrorism. The new government uses the latter to justify exaggerated public attacks on minorities, the left, and all forms of unorthodoxy and un-Americanism. Infiltration and surveillance are used in a broad campaign of intimidation. The general public, genuinely alarmed by the apparent reality of the alleged threat to national security, supports vigorous repression as necessary and justifiable."

Could the suspiciously convenient calamity of the Murrah building bombing have been in their crystal ball? Certainly the jackbootery of today's federal law enforcement community was.

The authors' warning continued:

"Swept along by the hysteria, courts and juries find the means to jail people suspected of unorthodox actions or intentions. The Supreme Court, staffed by the nominees of the same elites, approves (and thereby legitimates) such uses of the police and judicial systems. The acknowledged vulnerability of the society appears to justify far-reaching supervision and control over behavior to prevent outbreaks."


Underestimating the insatiable greed of the plutocrats while overestimating their willingness to maintain domestic prosperity, the pair continued: "... Established elites [proceed in] regimenting the domestic working population, actively insisting on opportunities for American investment and trade in various parts of the world, and employing American military power freely on behalf of both ends."

Accurately predicting that mainstream political opposition would dissolve into complacency, the authors pressed their case:

"Because of their similar perceptions of social conditions, and trends among those in authority and among voters, few recognized political leaders seriously dispute the propriety of existing pubic policy. Elections thus become contests between candidates who share a commitment to repression of dissent and promotion of the needs of the economy at practically any cost. Regardless of the winning political party, and because of the widespread inability to perceive any alternative to surveillance and repression, such policies once undertaken become fixed, and can only intensify."

Driving home their lance, the pair ended with profound foreboding:

"In this manner-by the steady erosion of fixed standards of due process and fair procedures, coupled with rigid insistence on the status quo-a police state evolves. The American version of fascism, well grounded in popular support, is complete."

Just how close is such an Orwellian nightmare to the America of 1996? How much has already arrived, cloaked in a velvet glove wrapped around an iron hammer; a hammer a mass media-blinded public begs to have used upon itself in the interests of its own so-called "security?"

SPOTLIGHT readers can attest to how large and dark such a shadow of totalitarianism looms. Only vigilance and an inspired electorate can prevent its hoary veil from settling over our Republic for good.