Economic Upheaval and the Rise of the US Police State — November 22, 2019

By the end of the Vietnam War, US corporations were no longer competitive in the world economy and were losing the bulk of their domestic market to imports, leading to de-industrialisation and the large-scale relocation of manufacturing to Asia, primarily China. Since then, the US has experienced large and increasing trade deficits regardless of currency exchange rates or other external conditions. With its military adventures financed entirely on debt, the US also began running increasingly larger budget deficits, with increasingly fewer funds for public programs like social welfare or education, or to maintain or rebuild its already-dilapidated physical infrastructure.
After the US abandoned the gold standard and unilaterally scuttled the Bretton-Woods agreement, debt financing for the Vietnam War resulted in a massive expansion of the money supply, leading to a decade of ruinous inflation. It doesn’t appear widely known or understood that during that single decade the US dollar depreciated by about 95%. As one measure, in 1971 a typical 3-bedroom home in an attractive suburb cost around $25,000 while ten years or so later that same home was priced at around $250,000.

It was then, at the end of the 1970s, that the US experienced the biggest political upheaval in its recent history, what James Petras appropriately called “The Great Transformation”. It was during this time under President Ronald Reagan that the invisible elite took the US government and the nation on an alarming ideological turn to the extreme right, and everything changed. In addition to the mass deindustrialisation of the country and the destruction of labor unions and workers’ rights, Reagan opened the doors to deregulation and privatisation, and effectively turned the keys of the country over to the elites and their large corporations and banks. It was this that paved the way for the parade of human, economic, political and military atrocities that continue to this day.
This was when Reagan, under the advice of his handlers, proclaimed at least 200 Presidential Directives designed almost without exception for the benefit of the secret government and their banks and corporations. One need only look at the historical record to prove this point. Reagan was painfully unintelligent, without the mental capacity to have even conceived of such plans for the devastation and cannibalisation of so many nations, all of which were illegal by every measure and concocted solely to satisfy commercial greed. These were primarily private laws dictated by the secret government which authorised the use of the US military and CIA to overthrow dozens of governments and to fund and install dictators that would permit the wholesale plundering of nations with unconscionable civilian repression resulting in at least 10 million deaths.
This was when became openly mainstream activities, and which continued until the world could no longer stomach the tales of atrocities. This was when the CIA dusted off its 1,000-page torture manual, accumulated from long experience in the Philippines and Indonesia, and distributed it widely for decades to America’s puppet dictators. It was when we saw an explosion in the US military budget as well, tripling in a short time to the extent that the US today spends almost twice as much on its military as the entire rest of the world combined, when the US global military expansion accelerated even as the domestic economic situation degenerated.
This was when Washington’s neocon Zionists took virtually full control of US foreign policy, especially including the Middle East but also utilising the US military for their aggressive financial predation of South and Central America. This was when the US Congress began to lose the final vestiges of a democratic government, surrendering its legislative and oversight powers to the White House and AIPAC. This was when the US entered its long series of current wars, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, meant to end with the destruction of Iran and Somalia, all to ensure the American Zionists’ (many of whom are dual US-Israeli citizens) plans of solidifying Israel’s overwhelming power in the Middle East.
And in all of this, we witnessed a steady growth of the domestic police state apparatus conducted with military aggressiveness. You may have read the report produced for the Trilateral Commission by Samuel Huntington, where he complained that the civil protests and disobedience were a crisis of “excess democracy” and that the public needed to be properly indoctrinated as passive observers. This was the origin of America’s decisive swing to civil repression and fear as a means to ensure the desired apathy and noninvolvement of the people in the affairs of their government. This was when the NSA so broadly expanded both its domestic and international espionage activities into ever more illegal areas and methods, and when the FBI became increasingly involved in suppressing dissension in all its forms.
This was when we began to see the enormous growth of the domestic security and quasi-military agencies like Homeland Security and the proliferation of a multitude of repressive government powers and policing agencies involved in every aspect of civilian life. It was when decisions were made to create an enormous civil-military bureaucracy focused on domestic civilian control, when the Department of Homeland Security built and staffed its 800 internment camps in preparation for the civil unrest that would be unleashed from the invisible government’s planned economic and social policies.
Naturally, there was increasingly less funding available for the nation’s social programs, resulting in the gradual evisceration of all social services, primarily education and health care, the huge budget deficits and national debt being used to justify dismantling the social safety net. This was when Reagan claimed that a universal health care plan “would mean the end of freedom in America”. Included here was the new hysteria for privatisation. The prison system perhaps most worthy of note since it reflected a planned return to the world of slavery and convict leasing, and second would be the privatisation of the 911 system of urgent request for police assistance. This was when bankers began the push to the extreme financialisation of the US economy and for deregulation, especially of the US financial system.
When we look at the facts, it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that these massive financial and tax changes occurred primarily to assist the bankers and elites in a vast plan to eviscerate the lower and middle classes and embark on what was perhaps the greatest planned transfer of wealth in human history.
As Reagan, and then Bush Sr. disappeared from the political scene, Clinton had already been primed to complete the transition. It was under Clinton’s watch that the invisible government effectively legitimised a war on social policy and completed the removal of worker protection. It was his weakness and virtual treason that conspired to de-regulate the US banking system, repealing the Glass-Steagal Act, opening wide the doors to the financialisation of the economy, abandoning US economic policy to the FED and the Wall Street bankers, and paving the way for their massive profits leading to the 2008 social collapse.
It was also under Clinton that American Zionists were inserted in about 80% of all strategic posts, effectively taking control of US foreign policy in the Middle East, thus ensuring Israel’s military and hegemonic ambitions were fully imported into the White House and that the US military would execute them by proxy. This was so true that Jewish publications boasted that they held more than 50% of all important US government positions and were then “equal partners” with the Americans in running their country. It was also Clinton who initiated the expansion of the prison system and much of the repressive police state anti-terrorist legislation. It is true the US has never been a paragon of socialism but it was Clinton’s conversion to Zionism and his own ideological orientation that strongly propelled the US on its path from the remaining vestiges of humane social policy and good government to a police state.
Under George Bush, America more or less completed the transition to surrendering full control of its legislative and executive branches to AIPAC and the invisible government. In many respects Bush was the ideal puppet; gullible, grateful, eager to please, surprisingly unintelligent and uninformed, weak and easily-led; putty in the hands of his neocon Zionist masters. The multiple outrageous wars, the massive increase in military spending, the vast network of torture prisons, the unlimited unregulated freedom for the FED and Wall Street to work their magic of financial destruction and wealth transfer.
There was also a new campaign with heavy media support, to demonise Muslims and to repress domestic activists, especially anyone critical of Israel. And of course, coincident with the financialisation of the US economy and the evisceration of the middle class, under Bush we saw the continued dumbing-down of education, a devastating rollback of social programs and the rise of a vast political-police apparatus designed for domestic suppression and civil war.
Obama inherited these social, financial and military crises and may well have harbored hopes for a change in direction but, due in equal parts to naïveté, ambition and cowardice, he capitulated to the demands of the secret government, with all parts of the grand plan continuing unabated and some increasing in both scope and brutality.
Under Obama and an increasingly compliant and complicit Congress, the falsely-christened “Homeland Security” apparatus has grown exponentially, today comprising almost 400,000 employees and a budget of almost $200 billion. And few military actions deserve more vicious condemnation than his destruction and looting of Libya by proxy for his Zionist masters.
The essential point is that all of these items, programs, processes and events were related, part of the same plan concocted by the same invisible government. Today we are in the final stages of the deep structural changes involved in this grand process, witnessing more dismantling of social services and education, a still-increasing financialisation of the economy, the continued impoverishment of society, and a vast increase in both domestic and international espionage and surveillance as part of the support mechanism for the police state.
It is partially due to the fact that the event of 9-11 formed such an integral part of this program that a great many remain firmly convinced 9-11 was a planned event meant to facilitate and justify much of the remainder of the agenda, especially civilian repression and curtailing of civil rights, and to justify the perpetual war on terror that would itself be used as a kind of proxy for increasing world domination.
In case you’re tempted to dismiss the above comment as an over-reaction or a kind of ‘conspiracy theory’, consider this quote by David Rockefeller in an address to the Trilateral Commission. (1) Rockefeller is referring to the Bilderberg Group – whose existence was hotly denied for decades and derided as just another conspiracy theory:
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of public scrutiny during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and fully prepared to march towards our one world-government. The supranational sovereignty of our intellectual elites and world bankers is surely preferable to the globe as a whole.”
It was also Rockefeller who stated that his group needed one final dramatic impetus, “another Pearl Harbor event”, to bring this New World Government to the throne. 9-11 was that event. (2)
The Jewish Zionists who hold, or have held, key positions in various presidential administrations and in the scaffold that supports the police state, have featured prominently in smoothing the transition. James Petras pointed out that it was Michael Chertoff who intervened immediately after 9/11 “to free scores of Israeli spy suspects and 5 Israeli Mossad agents who had been witnessed filming and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center and were under active investigation by the FBI”. Chertoff was also the chief architect of the global war on terror and of the Patriot Act, both of which have served to severely limit civil and legal rights and to accelerate the transition to a police state. In no small part, their support emerges from the majority of members of the US Congress who define themselves as “Israel First”, and who appear more than willing to place the interests of that nation second to those of their own.
In 2013, Finian Cunningham wrote a valuable article in which he critically and bluntly outlined concerns about the US totalitarian system, claiming that US democracy was for all intents and purposes a dead corpse. He began by stating that the desperate US manhunt for Snowdon showed above all else how petrified US leaders have become of ordinary citizens revealing the truths about their despotic rule. He wrote:
“American society is collapsing from the sheer weight of its decrepit capitalist economy. The social system is unsustainable. It is like a distended rotten sack that is coming apart at the seams from inexorable burgeoning pressure. Today, the US has evolved into a dystopia, not a democracy, where obscene wealth and privilege stand in the face of massive poverty and misery. One indicator of this abysmal inequality is the fact that the 400 richest Americans have more material wealth than 155 million of their fellow citizens combined. Another datum: some 50 million Americans – a sixth of the population – are surviving on food handouts. Unemployment, homelessness, suicide rates, prescription drug addiction, rampant gun crime all speak in different ways of social meltdown.” (3)
He wrote that it was hard to believe that not so long ago the US was regarded as the economic paradigm of the world, but now increasingly resembles a giant sprawling ghetto of unremitting poverty interspersed with a few gated rich communities populated by the top one percent of society.
“The American ruling class, as with their elite counterparts around the world, are figuratively sitting within their privileged niches and petrified by the mounting discontent ‘outside’. Through their criminal ransacking and rigging of wealth, the powers-that-be have through their own insatiable greed created a powerful potential enemy – virtually the entire population, both in the US and around the world. In this highly unstable situation of elites and masses that bankrupt capitalism has furnished, “democracy” can no longer be tolerated by the rulers. That is why the rulers have embarked on massive information gathering, monitoring, spying and surveillance. It is all about maintaining “control” of a precarious and explosive disequilibrium.”
Cunningham again:
“One basic duty of any state is to protect its citizens from foreign enemies who are conventionally understood to be state militaries or non-state terrorist groups. But from Snowden’s revelations of US government surveillance of telecommunications, the vast bulk of America’s spying is on civilians. Snowden disclosed in one instance how Chinese hospitals and universities – not military installations – were among the many international civilian targets for American government snooping. US national security officials defend this global dragnet method as a necessary way to trawl for terrorists.”
But we now know that no terrorist plots have been uncovered anywhere, at least none that were not fabricated by the FBI, and in truth the only dangers from terrorism today are those created by the US itself.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote that Americans have learned that the US surveillance apparatus is not directed primarily at the Chinese or Russian governments or terrorists, but at them, and that
“what has been ‘harmed’ is not the national security of the US but the ability of its political leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability.” (4)
Cunningham wrote, and I concur, that America’s increasing militarism and an imperative to assert control over social meltdown and rebellion, were the result of the imploding neocon capitalist system. He said this
“historic failure of capitalism explains the alarming growth in militarism and the intensification of domestic surveillance powers and civil repression. It was in this context where he claimed “American democracy is, for all intents and purposes, a dead corpse. Only criminal wars and repression of its citizens are keeping the moribund system on a life-support system.”
In the 1970s, US Senator Frank Church led an investigation into illicit American government covert operations and warned that if the NSA were to ever become deployed against the American public, as opposed to foreign enemies, then that country’s democracy would be finished. That is precisely the present abysmal outcome of secret US state powers. (5) (6)
No police state can function without a centralisation of power. This is especially important in areas of surveillance and espionage coupled with a reliable and ruthless quasi-military and police for control of civilian conduct and political dissension. It’s not for nothing that power has been increasingly concentrated in the White House for several decades now, nor is it an accident that we have seen legislative changes creating the immense Homeland Security apparatus, as well as the illegal creation of a widespread domestic surveillance network.
Successive US Presidents have not only assumed powers not entirely theirs but have increasingly taken advantage of what are called Presidential Directives, which are one-man executive orders made under the guise of advice from the National Security Council and which have the full force and effect of law. Given their presumed connection with national security, many of these are classified Top Secret and cannot be revealed even to the elected Congress or the courts. It is by these ‘laws’ that the government prosecuted the Occupy Wall Street protestors and that political dissidents are convicted of ‘terrorism’.
In court, the government charges a dissident with breaking a secret law, the content of which cannot be revealed for reasons of national security, and for which crime the evidence also cannot be revealed for the same reason. Every day, individuals are prosecuted and foreign policy initiatives taken, none of which can be disclosed. If this isn’t a fascist police state, what would be?
Media control is an essential and integral part of a functioning police state, centralisation being necessary to distribute propaganda and censor information and to help maintain and manipulate the climate of fear which permits the reduction of civil liberties. It is therefore not an accident that US legislative changes permitting corporate concentration have especially included the mass media. This control of public opinion has steadily increased and become more powerful over the years through media concentration. The US government has increasingly responded to intense lobbying and finally permitted media monopolies and oligopolies to emerge, resulting in the extreme centralisation and control of content and ideology we see today.
In November of 2014, Dave Lindorff wrote an article titled “Metastasizing of the Police State of America”, which he opened by stating
“One can no longer speak in terms of the US as a country that is moving towards becoming a police state. We are living in a police state”.
He noted that “at least 40 agencies of the US government from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Supreme Court are using undercover agents to spy on … citizens”, and says the US has “passed the tipping point” of being a police state. He noted too that, according to a New York Times report, “even NASA and the Smithsonian Institution have undercover operatives. Undercover cops and agents are assuming the identities of teachers, doctors, journalists and even priests”.
Lindorff wrote,
“This information has to be put together with the rampant militarization of local police forces, who have become an occupying army, and with the proliferation of spying activities by state and local police agencies, encouraged by the establishment by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security of myriad “Joint Anti-Terrorism Strike Forces, and of 76 so-called Fusion Centers.” (7)
Lindorff said he used to scoff at what he saw as wild claims that Americans were living in a police state, but that he’s changed his mind, and that Americans are totally ignorant of the fact that they are being constantly watched and subject to arbitrary arrest, that they discover the truth only when they cross a line. In discussing the freedom of Americans to criticize and protest against the ruling elites, he wrote that while they may feel free to act, Americans must note “the terrible lengths to which this government is going to repress political activists. The list of people being hounded and persecuted by the US police state is far too long to publish. Suffice to say if police repression can happen to the people on that list, it can happen to all of us.” And that says it all.
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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. His writing has been translated into more than 20 languages and is available on more than 100 foreign-language websites around the world.  He can be contacted at: