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Weimar Comes to America -- Taking Back the New Deal

“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the Stars & Stripes.”

There was something inherently creepy in the stony visage of Lincoln staring down on two preposterous figurines who think they might one day rule over America. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin bore the distinct appearance of the Royal Couple parading before the cheering populace, like Mr and Mrs Shrek on warp factor five steroids. Anyone who thinks this is just a Disney fantasy is advised to visit Phillip Roth’s brilliant and immensely sobering novel The Plot Against America, set in a 30’s Depression USA which succumbs to aviator hero turned strutting fascist strong man Charles Lindbergh, always remembering that misty figures of those times indeed considered running him for the White House. In Roth’s superb tale the rabid isolationist (as he was in real life) first defeats FDR, then arrests him and establishes a pro-Nazi dictatorship. If Beck and Palin are not setting themselves up as the dream ticket of Christian Fascism coming soon to a ballot station near you, then goodness knows what are they are up to?

The broad mass of confused Americans can no longer think straight enough to understand that the structures of the republic are being demolished by charlatans. They are deliberately dosed with a lethal virus of toxic religious fervour and ersatz populism, the well established by-products of fear and uncertainty. What this does is etch away at functioning brain tissue with the result that rational objectivity is displaced by parasitical and illogical fantasies. This is not accidental and is in fact closely related to the country’s overall parlous feel of fin de siecle. Put simply, Americans in vast numbers are surrendering their marbles, or more precisely, throwing them away, at the instigation of an elite which, by bitter irony, is itself gripped by fear and uncertainty. 

These folk in their gated castles are not fools and they can sniff the approach of pitchforks and tumbrels as the economy, the out-of-control war machine and unfolding eco-disasters head for the last lap of the Big Dipper. Consider: when the government nationalises rainwater, or persecutes farmers for drinking milk from their own cows and still others for growing ‘too many’ crops, we have definitely arrived in the land of the paranormal. The answer, as so often in the past, is to sell the sweaty ones into slavery.

The rot is obviously being spread by the fictitious confection called the Tea Party but it is not the only example of the new Big Top theocratic hypocrisy swamping the country. The absurd frump Hillary Clinton, with all her lawyerising millennium hen-clucking of the ‘New American Moment,’ which is nothing more than sky-is-falling denial, is circulating similar psycho-prop waffle. But then, here’s a chick who knows whitewater whenever she is up to her neck in it. Americans are sold that line as another bedtime sedative, even as the empire is plainly imploding around their ears.

The Tea Party is a back stairs establishment get-up with ‘Dirty Digger’ Rupert Murdoch’s fingerprints all over it. We can also be sure the Texas Koch fratelli, that furtive pair with a well-known dread of daylight, are not writing the cheques out of some misplaced egalitarian solidarity. Congress may already resemble a knackered stallion but even better a compliant committee of public safety charged with managing the affairs of the oligarchy and their friends in Pentagonia.

The United States is no stranger to wildfire politics and their tendency to run out of oxygen once all the brushwood has burnt out. This one is different. The Tea Party reminds one of the classic Cold War movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which the Soviets – masquerading as the dead – rise from their graves to consume the living – who of course are the ciphers of embattled freedom. Like some pernicious amoeba subsuming its host, the Republican Party seems helpless to prevent itself from being subverted from within. The usual fate of such victims is ultimately total paralysis. The evolving drama evokes close comparisons with the Bolsheviks, who in their clamber to power, ruthlessly cannibalised the far more numerous Menshevik social democrats, and National Socialism, which made itself the champion of traditional German values. The first conclusion to draw is that the Tea Party, like these two examples, belongs firmly in the ancestral line of emerging authoritarianism. So far the GOP establishment is feeling the heat. But this leads naturally to a second conclusion, that the adrenalin generated by this apparent new force has the real capacity to infect the structures of the Democratic Party. If that does prove to be the case, then some way down the road, and that road may not be a long one, the United States may wake up to find itself a formal one-party state.

There are other striking comparisons with the Soviet putsch. Sarah Palin sank to the top in the immediate aftermath of the brief post-Bush American Glasnost preceding the election, a child of the Town Hall meetings, that Augenblick of the Obama Springtime. This is chillingly close to the supposedly democratic peoples’ Soviets – chapels of the proletariat – who formed the seeding grounds for the Communist take-over. John McCain’s strange choice of political bride has never been satisfactorily understood. But almost certainly the only explanation, in the view of this writer, is the prodding of the national security apparatus, the burgeoning secret government which has progressively journeyed towards an active interventionist stake in re-ordering the shape of the American polity.

In fact, the fast proliferating janissaries of the national security crowd really are the government in waiting. Palin, eerie though she is, is actually much more important than Beck, on account of her sheer mediocrity. And that, in turn, raises her to the Delphic status of the hot line to Unter-America. This suggests Palin is a starlet straight from the CIA casting couch. Beck’s umbilical connections to the Spook Party, which we reach in a moment, are no less interesting. It was also certainly curious how Ron Paul suddenly blurted on a Beck show in January this year that the CIA ‘had staged a coup.’ This is Looking Glass Land par excellence, so Paul’s motives might have any one of a number of explanations. If the intelligence mob are behind the Tea Party, is Paul himself simply another creation of the same force? In which case did he let the game slip?

The Tea Party’s early nativity as a populist backlash against Wall Street and the bail-out bonanza was an obvious inverse take on New Dealism. The famous ten-point manifesto has a lot to say about democracy (a favourite theme of Hitler and Lenin, too) but skirts altogether one of the chief causes of America’s travails, the huge amounts devoted to the burgeoning national security state, the arms industry and hopeless foreign ‘security interventions’ in the name of the war on terror. Sometimes, as Sherlock Holmes explained, the dog that does not bark supplies the most important clue. The curious omission of gazillions of dollars that never sate the appetite of this King Kong of tax gorgers suggests an alternative name may also be appropriate: the War Party.

The Tea Party phenomenon displays every of sign of being a creature of the CIA’s embedded culture of cultivated duplicity, accumulated over the past sixty years and perfected to such an extent that Machiavelli must be gazing down from his astral balcony in spellbound admiration.

It scarcely matters whether the legendary behavioural scientist Gene Sharpe and his pocket Albert Einstein Institute are officially elements of the CIA food chain because the fact remains that the Agency has ruthlessly purloined his ideas to organise the rash of flower power, peaceful resistance coup d'états under disguise in, among other countries: Portugal (carnation, 1974), Czechoslovakia (velvet, 1989), Georgia (rose, 2003),Ukraine (orange, 2004), Kyrgyzstan (tulip) and Lebanon (cedar) both in 2005, Burma (saffron, 2007) and Iran (green, 2009). In all of these countries the US had, and hardly by co-incidence, strong or potential strategic interests.

These painting-by-numbers people power flowerings are stacked with the unmistakeable and giveaway crude symbolism of American consumer packaging and marketing. Further, since ideological shop-lifting has always been the order of the day, it was a repetition of the similar ‘peaceful but vigorous agitation’ which Marx urged upon upstarts right across Europe in the heated atmosphere which accompanied the 1848 Springtime of the Nations (colour me red).

The Tea Party displays every sign of coming from the same display cabinet. There is another Sherlockian clue to the rapid rise of an apparently grass roots movement which swiftly adopts demagogic overtones and a loyalty symbol. This appears to be, of course, a colour: namely, purple, visible in Beck’s sports shirt, Palin’s outfits, the apparel of a growing host of Tea Partiers. The choice of name – a play on the powerful revolutionary overtones of Boston 1773, amplified by the distinctly Gene Sharp-like inspirational twist to make ‘tea’ represent ‘taxed enough already’. This in turn strikes a chord with the exhortation of Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto: “Workers of the World, Unite!” As Henry Thoreau said, some co-incidences exceed the remarkable ‘as when you find a trout in the milk.’ So, an instantly short and memorable phrase becomes the rallying cry of the revolution.

America’s slice of real estate on the other side of the Atlantic, the rib from which she sprang, offers an interesting example of contemporary events running in parallel. Thus the potent symbolism of Blackshirt corporatism which soaked Blair’s ‘New Labour’ project (symbol, a red rose) was followed right through to the ritual gutting of parliament, defenestration of ancient protections dating back to the Magna Carta and the Statutes of Westminster, rampant politicisation of the police and the courts. Get the picture? American civil rights are already in a state of ominous peril. Wait till the Tea Party avatars, and their close cousins, the libertinistas, who seem to be shaping up to some kind of fraternal co-operation, advance on The Hill.

There is no such thing as a chicken in every Sunday pot, as Lloyd George, another pedlar of populist clap-trap, promised shattered British war veterans after World War One. The bleak dawn of every citizen as suspect in a mass surveillance society will therefore not be changed by the new Coalition’s take on the Blairite New Deal. Indeed, David Cameron’s very first move was the anti-constitutional innovation of fixed-term parliaments, something entirely new in the British landscape. Not a single observer in the spineless mainstream media noted or knew that one of Blair’s most sinister reforms was the snatching of power by the government: to over-ride parliament’s cherished standing privilege to dismiss or prolong itself beyond the standard electoral term, or if push came to shove, turf out the government altogether.

The boot ended up very firmly on quite another foot. Effectively all the machinery is now in place for a very British constitutional coup d’etat. Viewed in this light, Blair was treading the well known path hacked out by Benito Mussolini. David Cameron is pattering along nicely.

Blair was a useful inspiration for the Tea Party in a variety of ways. He cynically recognised that old fashioned political systems were past their sell-by date, so he openly promoted what he called ‘cross dressing’ across redundant party divisions. He was promoted – and fashioned – as a creature of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. He preached the message of inclusivism and veneration for rights and privacies while stripping them away like wings from a fly. He evolved into a toe-curling Godaholic, like some slow maturing holy chrysalis. A man with a self-admitted blind spot when it came to history (he discovered with amazement that Iraq was formerly a British protectorate thanks to a 1920’s Anglo-French carve up), Blair stood very clearly in the evolutionary line of Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), regicide, rightful patentee of first pre-modern European fascist.

Cromwell’s personality (he may have been what is known nowadays as a manic depressive, subject to sudden mood swings, as Hitler was too) linked to adept military skills inevitably steered him to the summit of a complex rebellion against the monarchical system -- promoted by an unwieldy coalition of farmer-barons, radicals climbing the slippery slopes of primitive socialism, soldier-activists, Quakers and ranting joy-fearing Puritans -- a sort of New Labour big tent of its times. Cromwell was not so much drawn to the revolt by its egalitarian pretensions as the desire to limit the king’s demands for money by means of taxes which upset the shoe-pinched rural yeoman gentry, such as, specifically, the obscure Mr Cromwell, MP, Esquire. The role of ‘citizen’ Cromwell requires some considerable qualification, as in the case of Blair. But we should study his career, and its implications for current circumstances, with careful attention.

History would not have noticed this famously warty-faced and portly Puritanical farmer from the flat fenlands of East Anglia but for an unfolding set of fortuitous circumstances. At heart the English Rising began as a ‘taxed enough already’ rebellion which turned into a trial of wits with a stubbornly foolish king, and then ran into a devastating civil war between parliament and the throne. In the course of it the monarch was brought before a rigged trial and then lost his head altogether. The tax issue was simply the catalyst. A bone-headed king who cared more for his dynasty than his kingdom walked on stage bang on cue.

So far we seem to be looking at a rehearsal for the French Revolution a good century later. The English Revolution certainly threw up spectacular sparks. A chronically arthritic political system, essentially unaltered from its inherited feudal characteristics, hit the San Andreas fault of change. Really we could say it was unfinished business left over from the loutish tyrant Henry the Eighth’s divorce from Rome and the nationalisation – seizure – of the vast church estates. Cromwell’s ‘New English Moment’ also bumped into the aftershocks of Wat Tyler’s 12th Century Peasant Revolt, which suggested that the English personality had not accommodated a permanent settlement with a rigid class-based, top-down consensus. Yet the curiosity was that a Puritanical God-bothering moral majority of the intolerant religious right did not have its power wrested away by so many fellow travellers with a different agenda altogether. I offer an explanation shortly.

Notably, Cromwell never stopped invoking the Almighty, even to justify the holocaust of horrific atrocities and mass deportations he personally conducted during his ‘pacification’ of Catholic Ireland. Entire cities were put to the sword, the population decimated. Ireland was for generations to come England’s Iraq, an intractable colonial bog which still defies a comprehensive solution.

Cromwell’s intense religiosity made him believe he was the captain of the English moral compass. The many vocal critics of Blair have made the identical point, that he sported the same conviction of insufferable, not to say pompous, invincibility. It was Marx of course who notoriously dismissed religion as the ‘opiate of the masses.’ This phrase has not only worn very well, it is a ready tool in understanding the 180 degree volte face in the affairs of a movement which started as a tax rebellion against big government and profligate public spending. It now appears, superficially anyway, to be some kind of moral crusade: Elmer Gantry there with his loud hailer, packing the tent for every performance.

What the Tea Party needs to avoid at all costs is the dangerous trap posed by that thorny question ‘where’s the beef?’ Blair got around this by windy evocations, blackmailing party recalcitrants, Rupert Murdoch’s ghostly role as ‘the 24th member of the Cabinet’ and his pop-media comfy cardigan style of sofa politics. But he too often alluded to the Almighty as his spiritual guardian at his shoulder, while ‘New Labour’ – notoriously light in the agenda department, Blair himself being largely what beef there was – took on the allure of a crusade. Once they had captured parliament, and then executed the monarch, the devout pilots of the English Revolution were left kicking around, with no firm conviction of what to do next. Such was the bankruptcy of ideas, they turned to Cromwell and beseeched him to take the Crown.

He felt understandably insecure on this point, having decapitated the late occupant of the throne, but after a great deal of brooding in his Fenland retreat, like some embryonic English de Gaulle, he returned to London as Lord Protector – and virtual dictator. The English ‘taxed enough already’ rebellion abandoned the path of constitutional change, the establishment of deeply rooted parliamentary democracy, the adoption of a thoroughly pre-modern kaleidoscope of political culture, and turned instead to leaden Quakers and Puritans who abolished Christmas, sinful music and all unseemly demonstrations of public frolicking. The country was as dull and dreary as only a never ending Puritan Sabbath can be.

This new deal was called the Common Wealth. Wealth there was, and even the sulking Royalist gentry had to admit that, but ‘common’, certainly not. Cromwell was, at heart, an unreconstructed reactionary spawned by the propertied system and he had no business doing away with that in a country by now swarming with radicals, including, perilously, the rank-and-file of the pre-storm- trooper, shock-and-awe New Model Army. The lesson for those lured to the banners of the Tea Party is quite an obvious one. In the early 17th century, there was a window through which enlightenment might have passed. Cromwell closed it. The English or, if you prefer, the British, were condemned to an atrophied class structure which resulted in the permanently arrested development of democracy.

Cromwell, the champion of parliamentary rule, showed his true colours when he closed parliament by sending in his troops. Hitler staged 27/2 in 1933. He had the Reichstag burnt down and declared a permanent state of emergency. Mussolini rigged parliament by pseudo elections which favoured the Blackshirts. Bush used 9/11 to sentence America to the destruction of civil liberties, ditto Blair, particularly after the bombings on the London Transport system in 2007. In each case the free were punished by the bogus argument that in order to retain their freedom, they must surrender their inviolable rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Modern America, drawing on the Puritan connection, has drawn on the same bigoted Cromwellian confection. When Beck glorifies America once again turning its face towards the Master Craftsman, then he is recognising the sacred compact, which Henry Luce, back in 1941, put another way but just as effectively, exhorting fellow citizens to “accept wholeheartedly our duty to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.” Amen to that, as Cromwell might well have said. Translated Luce was saying that the transparent and obvious goodness of America, represented by her perfectly Godly-ordained constitution, legal system, the national government and over-awing power, and last but not least her abounding faith, were the gifts of God which entitled to her planetary rule. Anything or anybody that got in the way should expect the big boot. Which is more or less how matters turned out.

The Lindbergh comparison works almost perfectly in the Anglo-American context, for several important reasons. History, as Mark Twain said, has an uncanny way of chiming close with earlier events. So, it is the big money men who are running the Tea Parties, like Cromwell’s merchants and men of property in the new model republic of yore. Henry Luce was ready to throw Time behind a Lindbergh run, just as the ex-socialist Murdoch’s media empire, notably of course Fox News, is at the service of the proto Blackshirt (purple shirt?) Tea Party movement. Lindbergh and his backers proposed to profit from surging anti-Semitism. Cromwell drew on government-promoted revulsion of Catholics. The images of persecution of American Jews which Roth captured in The Plot have actually become the documentary background to the rise of Islamomania in America today. The race card was the powerful symbol of fascism’s ascendancy in the 1930’s. The tandem act of Bush and Blair, two well-marketed born-against Christians, famously pronounced the death of multi-culturalism because their real target was Islam. So here we are again, the synagogue swapped for the mosque, the minaret the symbol of the extinction of the Cross as the signature of civilisation.

But let us be sure of one thing concerning the leading personalities of the Tea Party that we now see emerging. Sarah Palin surely represents the suppression of intelligent inquiry in any recognisable form. As a repository of holiness, she is stupendously incredible to the point of excellence. Unfortunately, she shares those qualities with millions of Americans whose faculties have turned to jelly under the relentless assaults of instant consumer gratification, Fox TV’s relentless babble and the never-ending state fair of takeaway religion. Palin’s contorted Barbie world view comforts fashionable chattering circles that she is ultimately unelectable (forgetting she has already run for the heartbeat job). By elevating her weird chalice of counter-reason and superstition she cultivates a swelling constituency which, paraphrasing Orwell, regards ignorance as the crucible of truth.

This is precisely the furrow that the security janissaries and their consorts in Pentagonia plough. It follows that scoffing at the dim vaults of her mind may provoke the law of unintended consequences. She repels the barbs of imbecility like a tin duck popping up at a fairground shooting gallery. Hitler performed much the same act from the Munich Beer Hall putsch to his seizure of total power.

In the early fall of 2010 over a quarter of the US electorate could see the Alaskan Teflon Wonder Woman taking the presidential oath. Don’t expect natural forces to prick this balloon. The accelerating economic implosion, which supplies the gas for the Tea Party’s fuel tanks, is fertile territory for the rhetoric of deviationist nationalism. America has always been dangerously close to that form of seduction, going back to the clutch of labour-farmer movements of the 1890’s (transparently proto-national socialist in flavour, so another clue there to the true identity of the Tea Party) through to Jerry Falwell’s melding of cod creationism with militant flag-waving Puritanism.

It is all very Cromwellian, the same expression of the moral majority. When the Tea Party starts dishing out sainthoods, Falwell is certain to be up there with a super-strobe halo. And, returning to the real time Lindbergh scenario, if there had been no FDR around in the Great Depression, then a Lindbergh ticket might well have been the only game in town, with incalculable consequences for America and the world. By comparison the current caretaker incumbent – or more probably, prisoner - of the White House resembles a bored janitor allotted the daily ritual of winding the schoolhouse clocks and swabbing the loos.

Beck the ubiquitous talk fiend quite obviously regards himself as the resident star of the Glenn and Sarah Tea Plot. He is a practised sloganising seductionist, nearer in mood perhaps to Mussolini – another chest-puffing pseudo journalist – than Adolf Hitler, who was a brilliant orator, if a tad high-pitched. Nonetheless he could charm vultures to brunch on a vegetarian smorgasbord. Beck, with his catalogue of substance abuse as long as the Book of Revelations, not to mention a decidedly rocky career as a shock jock, is said to have dried out and cleaned up ten years ago. His present act definitely suggests something – or rather somebody – got hold of him and gave him a good shaking. Smart-casual, soft-faced relaxed apparel, Sunday morning wholesome look of the jib, but still uncannily close to the Toon figure Baby Herman in the brilliant spoof Who Killed Roger Rabbit, who is an adult trapped in an infant’s body. Like Baby Herman, the impression that Beck too came from central casting is impossible to shake off. There are interesting connections to put flesh on this supposition.

One of these is a mysterious New York businessman James Deak, whose father was an ex-OSS (pre-CIA) operative. He seems to be the sole obliging white knight of the Ground Zero mosque, and is also connected to an ultra-secretive Pentagon-backed lobbying outfit peopled by retired military and CIA big shots. One who came under extensive web-world finger pointing is none other than James Pavitt, former deputy director for operations at the CIA, who in June 2004 took a bow with his boss, George Tenet, as a blinder to off-side critics of Bush’s Iraq fiasco. Pavitt oversaw a massive multi-billion-dollar world-spanning budget with thousands of operatives on the books. His tasks included heading up the agency’s game plan after 9/11, which for any man would be a delicate task given the extent of pre-knowledge within the Agency of the false flag operations which camouflaged both the real attackers and the motive.

A side corridor from these outfits leads to an on-line gold factoring firm which is currently under investigation by Californian regulators for rail-roading allegedly gullible customers. This same firm, Goldline, just happens to be a sponsor of Beck’s nightly hate hours. As a pundit he took the curious step of mounting a prime-time defence against the firm’s accusers – government persecution, he said – with the background nodding of Fox management. And Beck it was who called for critics of Ground Zero to put on the purdah. None of this proves conclusively that Baby Herman is a CIA stooge but we are certainly firmly back in the fish-in-the-morning-milk territory.

Beck is an assertivist whose message avoids specific remedies for society’s ills in preference to turning to a higher and conveniently non-communicative authority. God will right America, and Beck is simply Moses with the tablets. Because of America’s bi-focal presidential monarchy, this is where Sarah Pail squeezes in as the side act. In order to decode the Tea Party message it is educating to look back again to Adolf Hitler and his constant evocations of the Deity during his ascent to ultimate power.

“Who says I am not under the special protection of God?” This he pronounced in 1933, after the Nazis won enough seats to control the Reichstag.

Hitler’s speeches and proclamations consistently stressed his commitment to a Christian Germany, which he evoked at every opportunity as his moral sword against the forces of atheism, specifically communism. At the height of his power he declared: "My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter.” Let’s be clear concerning the hidden message there. Hitler was a calculating realist addressing a nation virtually 100% pious, whether Protestant or Catholic, allowing for a significant religious minority, the Jews. Hitler proposed to resolve the problem by nationalising the church (taking his cue from Napoleon) and exterminating the economically significant but deviant arrivista, the story of pogroms down the ages. Idi Amin ejected prosperous Indian merchants who more or less ran Uganda for the same reasons. He was ‘taking back’ the country. In the same vein Zionists ‘took back’ Israel.

The Tea Party message is an advance on anything that Hitler said, although similar in the linguistics, in that it advocates a theocratic America, in which the deity comes to earth as the supreme invisible ruler while his agents perform the essential daily offices. God, in other words, is ‘taking back’ a slice of his personal real estate which is called the United States, while earthlings mind the shop. This is an extraordinary reverse shuttle to the temple political system dating to the Sumerian era and man’s quaking uncertainty of his own place in the yawning cosmos, and which Cromwell echoed in his own bleak visions.

The analogies with authoritarianism in the Tea Party script do not stop there. Hark back to the most famous (so far, at any rate) New Deal, namely Franklin Roosevelt’s. This came in a wrapper marked ‘home grown.’ In fact as FDR alluded on many occasions, he was inspired by Mussolini’s corporatist revival of the Italian economy, on which he poured warm compliments. (See the excellent Three New Deals : Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939, Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Macmillan, 2007). We fail to heed Aristotle’s warnings of more than two thousand years ago concerning godly icons with feet of clay at our peril. The mix of populism and state power invariably opens the door to demagoguery, which if we glance for a moment outside the purely Anglo-American context, can be witnessed, disturbingly, in Sarkozy’s France and Berlusconi’s Italy. Australia and Canada are perilously close to the same brink. And reverting to the transatlantic cousins, remember that Winston Churchill, a wanton populist with woefully over-promoted judgement, spent much of the inter-war years in thrall to Mussolini.

Purely on the economics of the issue, the corporative state, which is surreptitiously the ambition of the Tea Party’s backers, is not so much Mussolini’s heavyweight top-down Sovietised version as self-government by wealth, in which the corporatocracy and Wall Street syndicalism reduces Congress and the presidency to a cipher. Superficial prosperity is generated by massive borrowing in the form of public debt, which in turn drives purchasing power and imperialist militarism with endless horizons (Luce, 1941). That is exactly the bind in which Americans find themselves today. It is why thinking people correctly see the bank bailouts and the misnomered stimulus money hose-piped on private industry as a form of fascism. When FDR did the same he shamelessly aped Hitler and Mussolini. But like the works of those two characters, it was another exercise in trickery. Cromwell is our prescient warning of the tyrant who arises by consent. FDR promoted war – and the arrival of permanent warrior national socialism – as the final antidote to the Slump. Keynes, the father of globalism, rightly suspected that America could not sustain rampant consumerism and her imperial mission in any other way.

There was no mass electorate in Cromwell’s days, of course, but he nonetheless demonstrated how relatively easy it was to permeate the structures of government and overthrow the system, even at the cost of a civil war. Cromwell could have settled with the embattled king once the royal army proved no match for the Ironsides. In fact, like Lenin, or any Jacobin, he proved determined to fight, like a true revolutionary, to the bitter end. This is similar to the language that we now begin to hear from the Tea Party and their GOP womb warmers. The same proclamation to smash up the system and remake America anew. Cromwell was nearly blown off course by a parliament, which a good hundred years before the sparks thrown up by the French revolution, began to evolve nascent political parties, to form expert committees and an outline government. When that happened, he struck with an iron fist. God did not want any of it. Nor did Oliver Cromwell.

What exactly God wants for America is the prescient question to ask. A minor French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), sometimes called the first modern political scientist, enjoyed a giddy tour of the young republic in the 1830’s (he was actually deputed by the authorities in Paris to inspect American penitentiaries) and wrote the book that made his name: Democracy in America. He coined the phrase American Exceptionalism, which has endured ever since and furthermore to America’s lasting cost, to describe a nation which had deviated so far from the disgraced values of Old Europe to rank as something extraordinarily fresh and invigorating.

But he also recognised an inbuilt gene of potential delinquency which might lead down the avenues of totalitarianism. De Tocqueville had after all experienced the revolution at home, in which his own family members and associates perished, so he had an understandable wariness of the sans culottes wherever they might spring up. Chiefly de Tocqueville worried about the very wildness and rugged nature of the New Americans, which might at some point in the future lead to the kind of unrestrained populism which he associated with the recent troubles in France.

John Ward, the much respected and percipient London political blogger, has stressed frequently that he sees the present climate as extremely similar to the mid 30’s, when the roller coaster towards fascism picked up serious speed. Evolution is a continuous process, so he doesn’t expect jackboots this time around so much as some kind of suited figure. Nor does he rule out female candidates for this important future office of dictator of the Atlantic Isles. However I find his nomination of Harriet Harman, the nearest creature there is to the Typhoid Mary of the Labour Party, less likely than another candidate. There is something about the self-satisfied smugness of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, grinning from the dust cover of his valedictory ghosted pot boiler, that makes it all too obvious his ambition is still around, even if the rest of the cat is temporarily on sabbatical.

The adopted grandson of a fiery Glaswegian communist is now a millionaire forty-five or so times over, which is nice work for a once obscure barrister, but what the seedy tabloid memoirs tell us is that he has not yet done with his big fix: adulation. That is the joint he is really on. Blair the manufactured man of no fixed political geometry is precisely the kind of nominee the Queen, or some other agency acting on her behalf, would send for to ‘restore order’ in the event of a catastrophic breakdown in the general state of the nation, which called for the smack of authority.

The Tea Parties exploit the deeply imbibed potion of ‘American Exceptionality’ which insists that the United State is under the personal guidance of the Master Craftsman. In departing from his prescribed path of works, Americans have lost their rightful inheritance of special honours and denied all other nations. Beck is the new Savonarola, preaching hellfire and damnation to all who step in the way of the approaching rapture. America has always been a democracy in name. The Framers were in the main wealthy land and slave-owners, money lenders, and worse, members of the accursed tribe of lawyers. But they were creatures of the émigré bigots who peopled the land in the first place. The chief protocol of the Constitution is sanctity of the law of contract. The pretence to democracy ended with the Civil War. FDR, who institutionalised the presidency as a kingship, performed the last rites.

Plato suggested that all systems of government eventually degenerated into tyranny, not least as Socrates also explained, because of the ineradicably entrenched desire for mass self-gratification. That is now being used against the people. If, as I suspect, the slump was deliberately engineered, then the perfect circumstances arose for an elitist seizure of power. The masses in the end clamour for their own enslavement. Resistance, when the truth finally dawns, is useless against a militaristic regime which controls access to the most vital resources of food and water. Obama’s nationalisation of rain water is hardly a foible. Housing is now fully controlled by the State, which having invoked the property crash, is left in charge of that other vital commodity, a roof. Nor is the imminent castration of the Net a co-incidence. No nation which permits such an abomination, slipped through on the back of a bill dealing with defence expenditure, knowing full well the Congress lacks the collective attentive power to assimilate detail, is entitled to make cheap calls about democracy.

And yet our world of illusions is incomplete. Throughout its existence the CIA has displayed a bizarre fascination for the exotic: the promotion and exploitation of fatalistic and suicidal quasi religious cults (Jones Town, Guyana), black magic, mind-altering chemistry, brainwashing, distance viewing (predicting the future), artificial intelligence, and much more in the way of para-normal esoteric diversions. In this context the factoring of old-time religion as the string element of the Tea Party’s mission starts to look like another significant clue as to the paternity of the bawling infant.

This is another way of saying that what is paranormal, apparently, to the world is accorded the status of the everyday and normal in the struggle for the world conducted from Langton, Virginia. Thus, the Tea Party incubus which has entered the body of the Republican Party is ultimately intended to infect the rest of the American body politic. When Tea Partiers start to circulate stories of the ‘Hillary Democrats’ preparing to head for the lifeboats, the American Republic may well be entering its most parlous times. The CIA has certainly always believed that psychological warfare is at least and probably more important in achieving outcomes than the hardware version. The test will come in November. This is no third party, vote-splitting collision, but a congregation of political ghosts whose presiding self-interest is survival. Weimar, 1933. The United States, 2010.