Swans Commentary » swans.com March 12, 2007  



Consent Of The Governed


by Philip Greenspan





(Swans - March 12, 2007)  Hitler proclaimed that his Third Reich would last for one thousand years. The evil genius had to be taken seriously. He had taken over a defeated, exhausted, and debilitated nation and within eight years -- the term of a re-elected president -- he had effectively taken control of Europe, the continent with the most militarily and economically powerful nations on earth -- containing imperial states such as France, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. The lone survivor, England, was hanging by a thread and appeared destined to fall like the others. The British were fortunate that Hitler did not order the Germans to engage them at Dunkirk thereby allowing a third of a million troops to retreat to safety. And his army did not attempt to cross the 26-mile English Channel to administer a knock-out blow.

But das Fuehrer forged an alliance with another fast rising power, Japan -- a nation that would soon control an area even more extensive than Hitler's in the Far East. And when he was ready to pounce on Poland he neutralized Stalin by entering into a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union that secretly okayed his new buddy's grabbing a chunk of Poland and other adjacent lands.

He seized power through his own efforts over many years by building up a mass following of disgruntled people who were buffeted by the intolerable economic conditions in Germany and by securing the backing of major industrial forces throughout the world. Amongst his numerous US admirers were Henry Ford, William Randolph Hearst, Prescott Bush (Dubya's grandfather), as well as the corporate bigwigs who headed General Motors, DuPont, IBM, International Tel & Tel, Standard Oil of NJ, National City Bank, and others.

He was ruthless, and shortly after gaining political power eliminated all potential rivals. The first were the Communists and other anti-Nazi individuals and groups. He even conducted a purge of loyal party members whom he grew suspicious of. Long-time, hard-working friends and associates were knocked off! Adolf was a no nonsense guy. If you weren't with him, YOU WEREN'T!

But as many of the most repressive and harsh dictators have learned, in spite of all precautions taken they remain constantly vulnerable. Numerous attempts were made on his life and in one such attempt, a bomb planted by an army colonel at his headquarters seriously injured him. Imagine that, a trusted officer could not be trusted!

Germany was completely finished in less time than it took to miraculously transform that nation from weakness to the most formidable power on earth. The thousand-year Reich lasted only thirteen years. Hitler was just one, the most notorious one to be sure, of the authoritarian rulers whose control of their countries was short lived. They were vicious, brutal and oppressive. They employed incarceration, torture, and murder by their ever-present police security forces be they the Gestapo, SS, Tonton Macoutes, SAVAC, etc. Yet they could not keep the public suppressed indefinitely. In the last century colonies all over the world surprisingly overthrew their more powerful imperial masters and gained independence.

Thomas Jefferson's most famous and most notable composition declares that governments derive their power from the "Consent of the Governed." The document additionally declares that where such consent is missing "...it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness..." Oh, how right he was! The people who overthrew those tyrants were obviously not giving their consent to the bums who were suppressing them. They were demanding a government that would merit their consent. It seems that governments that have lasted the longest are those that afford its citizens a voice in that government and the opportunity for a timely change of that government.

US foreign policies are not working as planned. They are encountering troubles galore. The elite-controlled major media has been throwing out a lot of crap about the US bringing democracy to other countries. A gullible American public may be fooled but the people in those foreign lands who are living and experiencing what is claimed to be democracy know better. They have overthrown many US puppets -- the Shah, Marcos, Baby Doc, Somoza, etc. They didn't want the U.S. and/or its allies as occupiers in Vietnam, and they don't want them now in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Okinawa, and in the many countries where the military maintains bases. They are well aware that globalization is colonialism with a brand-new label and in a novel form. Joining that pesky bugaboo Cuba are Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and other counties in Latin America that are breaking free of the overpowering influence of the U.S.

At times the US government lost the consent of its own citizens. The two parties were more solicitous of their elite masters than of the general public. Neither Tweedledee nor Tweedledum, the lesser of the two evils, was responsive to the public's needs. During such times, if the public made demands of its leaders that were not favorably addressed violence would often ensue.

The Constitution would never have been ratified if the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was not promised. Civil rights, women's suffrage, labor rights, veterans' benefits, Social Security, Medicare, environmental laws all resulted from forceful demands of citizens. FDR possibly saved the country from rebellion with a heavy dose of New Deal legislation that ameliorated the desperate public mood due to the depression. The turbulent 1960s ushered in major legislation that calmed the agitation at that time.

Has the US government lost the consent of its own citizens? Will their cries for an end to the war and for the reinstatement of constitutional protections be heeded? And if not what consequences will ensue? Both parties are beholden to the warmongers who continue to profit from war. To override the payoffs of the special interests, overwhelming numbers of citizens must make demands -- loud and clear -- to get a satisfactory response. If you want changes from the government but haven't taken any action yet, contact your congressional representatives, write letters to the editor, join a protest (there are plenty going on all over the country) and do it now! The sooner more of us do it -- the sooner the changes will occur!!!


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
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Published March 12, 2007