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The recent scandals surrounding the NSA surveillance operations and the DOJ crackdowns on whistle-blowers, confidential leaks, and journalistic sources, are providing common ground between the political forces usually opposed to each other – the progressive left and the libertarian right.  Both are taking sides against the federal government’s abuse of constitutional authority after revelations about its omnipotent surveillance apparatus, and intimidation tactics against anyone who would reveal its secrets, have been made public.  While the principled outrage of progressives and libertarians is not yet generally shared amongst the larger, more pragmatically-oriented population, their impromptu confluence on these issues must be of great concern for those who occupy the seats of power in America.

Revolutions don’t happen when either the political left or right gain enough strength to overthrow the current government.  When that does happen, as it did in 1930’s Germany and on countless other occasions, it is more akin to a hostile takeover or coup d’etat.  Revolutions, on the other hand, are populist movements that bring together otherwise divergent peoples in opposition to a common enemy – which is, most often, the ruling establishment.  For example, 1776 was not a left versus right or right versus left conflict.  It was a revolt of American colonists against what they perceived as an oppressive British Empire.  The legacy of that rebellion still lives in the hearts of all Americans regardless of political ideology.  The French Revolution was more inherently populist than the American one was, and the Russian Revolution even more so.  What these historic events show is that the normal left-right political paradigm becomes irrelevant when the level of social discontent reaches a critical level.

For better or worse, The United States is leaving its republican (i.e. rule of law) and democratic (i.e. citizen participation in governance) roots behind and moving towards an authoritarian corporatist state where administrative institutions become so large that they cease being responsive to the populace.  This is a recipe for social unrest, and consequentially, could result in the very kind of populist versus establishment sentiment that gives rise to revolution.  What is most troubling, however, is that the global symbiosis between public and private institutions (i.e. government and big business) will probably resist populist sentiment till the bitter end.

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From:  The PRISM spin war has begun

The war over how to spin revelations of the National Security Agency’s latest spying program has officially begun.

On the heels of media reports that the NSA has gained access to the servers of nine leading tech companies — enabling the spy agency to examine emails, video, photographs, and other digital communications — Google has issued a strongly worded statement denying that the company granted the government “direct access” to its servers. That statement goes so far as to say that the company hasn’t even heard of “a program called PRISM until yesterday.”

At first glance, Google’s statement is difficult to believe. Senior intelligence officials have confirmed the program’s existence, and Google’s logo is prominently listed on internal NSA documents describing participating companies. But Google may be engaging in a far more subtle public relations strategy than outright denial.

Google’s statement hinges on three key points: that it did not provide the government with “direct access” to its servers, that it did not set up a “back door” for the NSA, and that it provides “user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

From:  Spy agency seeks criminal probe into National Security Agency leaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. intelligence agency formally requested a criminal probe on Saturday into the leak of highly classified information about secret surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, a spokesman for the intelligence czar’s office said.

A “crimes report has been filed,” said Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report, which goes to the U.S. Justice Department, was filed by the super-secret NSA, he said.

5 thoughts on “If America’s political dichotomy shifts from left-vs-right to populist-vs-establishment, watch out!

  1. This speaks for UK too. If anything is going to be done about our corrupt establishment we need to stop fighting each other and focus on what the puppet masters are doing. Otherwise we are all being played for fools.

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