STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Secession's Warning This Time
By Staff News & Analysis - November 23, 2012

The hurricane of hatred that greeted Obama's election and the tsunami of slander since that has questioned his religion, his birthplace and his legitimacy show that, 150 years after the Civil War's end, many Americans fail to live up to Lincoln's noble aspirations. The scale of sublimated race hatred that underpins the birther movement and the numbers who consider the president to be alien or foreign betray widespread racial prejudice. Conservatives have demonized all successful liberal leaders, starting with Franklin Roosevelt and reaching fever pitch with Bill Clinton. But the visceral venom and dog-whistle racism directed toward Obama is even more intense. And directed toward a wider group of Americans. Not many are offended when FDR is attacked for being a traitor to his class. Clinton may have been half-jokingly dubbed the first black president, but conservatives didn't hate him for his skin tint. But when Obama is attacked for being black it is an offense against American ideals and an assault upon all blacks. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Secession is not an option.

Free-Market Analysis: Recently, a Daily Bell editorial pointed out that a dominant social theme seemed to brewing as regarded the power elite and US secessionaist tendencies. You can see the editorial here:

Secession's Violent Subtext

The editorial quoted a Keene Sentinel article entitled, "Post-election secession talk misses the point," that reported on secession movements in the US and seemed to issue a veiled warning as well about what would happen to such movements.

Our editorial concluded: "The power elite behind globalist bigness will resist splintering tendencies at all cost. One hundred and fifty years ago they mounted a war to stop it. Violence lurks in the subtext of this editorial."

We see the same sort of dominant social theme being promulgated in this Reuters editorial. The hint of violence is faint right now but the uptick in mainstream articles about the looniness of secession is unmistakeable.

There is a subdominant social theme also inherent in this sort of coverage. It can be found in the background and conclusion of the Keene Sentinal article, as follows: "The re-election of President Barack Obama has prompted petition drives across the country for states to secede from the nation … Their effort ignores the fact that the people have spoken – at the polls last week – and will have the opportunity to do so again every time an election rolls around."

This is fairly clear. The democratic process has worked and secession efforts or other kinds of programs that seek to undermine this process are illegitimate. If one wants another outcome, one will need to vote for one in a few years' time.

It is, in fact, a variant of another power elite meme focused on the idea that the people get the government they deserve. But this does not address the issue of what we call "directed history."

The powers-that-be have evidently and obviously attempted to shape society in a certain way, based on control of education and professional options. Almost anything involving any serious monetary endeavor ends up supporting the system as it is … and the eventual goal that is apparently world governance.

It's very difficult to make changes from within the system. Only because of the Internet and what we call the Internet Reformation have we lately obtained even the vocabulary necessary to address issues of import – and growing concern.

Secession (or in some cases nullification) is a last resort for those frustrated by the system who see no way out. The re-election of Barack Obama has only provided additional impetus for dissatisfied conservatives and libertarians to particpate in seccessionist movements, or at least discuss creating or joining them.

Some 40 or so states now reportedly have active secessionist movements, though many are small and not well organized. Others, like the Texas movement, are significant. Nearly 100,000 have signed an online Texas petition for secession. New Hampshire and Vermont have well-established secession movements.

And now there is beginning to be elite pushback, in our view. The dialogue is joined. Attempts to manipulate public opinion are seemingly being employed. The initial tool of choice is the media (movies and television).

Later on, if the secession movements catch on, other forms of elite control will be exercised. Attempts will be made to co-opt the movements and replace their leaders. This is what happened to the so-called Tea Party movement in the US.

Right now we are seeing movies being made that glorify Lincoln. We've written about the movie that portrayed Lincoln as a vampire killer. And now there is this adulatory film, "Lincoln." Coincidence? Perhaps. But as meme-watchers we think we detect a trend. It has more to do with the issue of secession than Lincoln, however.

Major US movies often seek to communicate something beyond entertainment or even particular plot elements. There is often an underlying "messaging" that is being projected by blockbuster oriented films. Certainly Steven Spielberg, who directed and produced "Lincoln," is a blockbuster type of creator.

As his career has lengthened, Spielberg has created more and more movies directly associated with what we would call power elite memes. We would offer to our readers the idea that the current spate of Lincoln movies – and the celebration of Lincoln generally – is no accident. Here's some more from the article:

You have got to admire Steven Spielberg. He has taken the well-worn story of Abraham Lincoln's final days and turned it into a pointed piece of contemporary political commentary. When he first met Doris Kearns Goodwin back in 1999, well before she had completed her masterly account of the Lincoln White House, Team of Rivals, it seems Spielberg decided to film an episode in Lincoln's life that would ring true at the time of release many years later. He chose to concentrate his "Lincoln" movie on a pivotal time in the presidency: the final five months when Lincoln had just been re-elected, when the Civil War was all-but won, and when the fractious House was undecided about whether to fall in with Lincoln's stated aim of abolishing slavery.

There is an obvious comparison to today's politics, with President Barack Obama newly re-elected and facing a similarly hazardous short period to dragoon a recalcitrant and largely hostile House to do his bidding over taxes, entitlements and spending. Where Lincoln was working against the clock to ensure the Civil War would continue long enough to prevent Southern pro-slavers from returning to the Union Congress to wreck his plan to outlaw slavery, so Obama is teetering at the edge of a similarly perilous precipice. And just as Lincoln was surrounded in government by his old rivals, so Obama has as loyal lieutenants his former challengers for the Democratic candidacy, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton … Whether Obama can pull off a similar coup and save America from a ruinous combination of high taxes and deep public spending cuts remains to be seen.

Spielberg's Lincoln is also an eloquent reminder that not long ago Republicans were the defenders of civil rights for all. The Party of Lincoln has long since turned its back on such noble thoughts and become a redoubt of grouchy old men bemoaning the fact that America, a nation of immigrants, has become a multicultural haven. What would Lincoln have made of the skulduggery and dissembling that led Republicans in so many states to hastily pass laws ostensibly to ward off voter fraud that are in fact shameless attempts to hinder the poor, the young, the old and those in racial minorities from using the ballot box? That pained groaning you hear is Honest Abe spinning in his tomb in Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln has been built up in the US into a kind of secular saint. It has only been in the past decade that alternative views regarding Lincoln have emerged. A representative of big New York banks, Lincoln pressed Northern commercial advantages even when Southern legislators objected.

The Civil War emphatically was NOT about slavery, no matter how Spielberg and others present it. It was about ensuring that the US did not grow unimpeded into the world's most powerful republic. The Southern agrarian states with their Jeffersonian perspectives were a powerful threat to old Europe and the banking cartel that remains with us today.

After the Civil War, everything in the US changed, in our view. Big commercial banking took over the nation, corruption expanded financially and politically and the foundation for the current "empire" was laid. Southern resistance was at an end and European mercantilism ruled the day.

While millions died during the Civil War, the predominant culture of the US remained Jeffersonian and even agragrian. It is this cultural resonance that lingers today, especially in South, but in the North, in New England and in the Midwest as well.

While the US's relative prosperity covered over larger cultural stresses and strains, the North's long-ago victory did not fundamentally change US culture. There is still an agrarian/republican tenor to the US dialogue.

Hard times tend to exacerbate cultural dissonance. The US, as has been observed many times, is not one country but a number of cultural regions. As stresses build, elements of the populace will inevitably look favorably on secession. This trend is evident in Spain, China and numerous other countries.

After Thoughts

This trend and the elite dominant social themes that will accompany it have not yet begun to play themselves out. In time they surely will. Movies will not stop it.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
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