Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,
Dancing on the crumbling precipice
The rocks are coming loose just at the edge
Are we laughing? Are we crying?
Are we drowning? Are we dead?
Or is it all a dream?
The bombs are getting closer everyday
“That can never happen here” we used to say
Have these wars come to our doorstep?
Has this moment finally come?
Or is it all a dream?
Rise Against – The Violence
This recent song by Rise Against, inspired by the turmoil since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, captures the feeling of angst and uncertainty engulfing the world today. This Fourth Turning is entering its most violent stage, where blood will be spilled in vast quantities as an epic conflict between good and evil plays out across the globe. Eighty years ago, the bloodiest conflict in human history began, as the social mood turned dark and compromise was no longer a viable option.
It wasn’t a coincidence World War II began exactly eighty years after the onset of the American Civil War, which began as compromisers died off and hearts hardened on both sides. We are now eighty years gone since the outset of World War II and a global mood of impending doom overshadows our daily lives. The inevitability of conflict, domestically and internationally, eclipses all efforts to bridge the ideological differences of competing interests around the world. The cycles of history will not be denied and this Fourth Turning will play out as those before, with clear victors and clear losers.
Tim McIlrath, the lead singer of Rise Against, observing the violent conflict raging in our country in the press, social media, in the streets, and on battlefields across the Middle East wondered whether violence is an inevitability of the human condition, or whether we can make a choice to reject it. In an interview with Kerrang!, McIlrath stated:
“As we were watching the news and seeing all the different things [unfold] around the planet, I realized that violence has such a role in a lot of what we see when the world is falling apart. The violence is a reflection of whether our [aggression] is in our nature, our DNA, or whether we have a choice to be part of it. And it is a choice that we make – a conscious one – to use violence as a means to an end. Aren’t we better than this? Aren’t we the apex of the animal kingdom? Aren’t we the only ones on the planet that have the capacity for compassion? Aren’t we good enough or brave enough to not sink to violence?”
I hate to break the bad news to Tim, but human nature never changes. We aren’t better or worse than the billions of people who have proceeded us on this earth. We are all susceptible to the vices which have plagued mankind for eternity: pride, greed, anger, envy, lust, gluttony and laziness. We are also capable of elevating our society through exercising displays of courage, applying justice fairly, prudently managing our affairs, treating others with respect, and acting charitably towards mankind.
As Solzhenitsyn noted in his masterpiece, Gulag Archipelago, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”. The violence in our nature is ingrained in our makeup as human beings. The Bible details our violent nature in the Garden of Eden, with the murder of Abel by Cain, his brother.
Are we not good enough?
Are we not brave enough?
Is the violence in our nature
Just the image of our maker?
Are we not good enough?
Are we not brave enough?
To become something greater
Than the violence in our nature?
Rise Against – The Violence
The ability to use violence against others is most certainly in everyone’s nature, but average hard-working folks trying to survive in this dog eat dog world are not prone to violence or conflict. They are too busy working, living, raising kids, buying shit they don’t need, paying the credit card bills for shit they don’t need, being entertained by modern day techno bread and circuses, and being propagandized by their government and their mouthpieces in the corporate media.
The overwhelming amount of gun violence occurs in the Democrat run urban ghettos with the strongest gun laws. The violence is not a function of being poor. Poor folks in rural communities (aka flyover country) own firearms, but are not killing each other in large numbers, if at all. Extreme levels of violence are a function of morality, culture, and lack of family and community cohesiveness. The legally armed “deplorables” are family oriented and law abiding. They will only resort to violence when pushed too far. The extremist left wing politicians bloviating on a daily basis, inciting their sycophant followers towards aggression have lit the fuse for the coming civil war.
“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods
The violence in our inner cities is insignificant when compared to the violence exported across the globe by the sociopaths at the highest levels of our government and their co-conspirators in the military industrial complex. It is naïve to think the violence engulfing the world is primarily the result of the average person’s nature. It’s the result of dangerous men inflicting their warped worldview, blood lust ambition, thirst for power, and hubristic arrogance upon the unsuspecting dupes inhabiting their countries.
Sociopaths like Bolton and Pompeo have risen to positions of immense power, believing global disorder and war are beneficial to a bankrupt declining empire flailing about trying to preserve its superpower stature. The Deep State elevates power hungry conscienceless men into positions where they can promote the agendas of the Deep State with no remorse or restraint.
The export of military hardware to Middle East countries that hate us is a prime example of how a flailing empire will do anything for a buck, while its corrupt politicians are fellated by the corporate war industry. Pro-longed warfare has never benefited a nation over the long-term. The American empire had a national debt of $5.7 trillion, with the annual budget virtually balanced in 2000 when our leaders began a pro-longed period of non-stop warfare.
We’ve added $16.3 trillion of debt and are running $1.2 trillion annual deficits as our out of control war mongering has put the country on a path to destruction. Both feckless political parties vote for more war spending, more arms sales to Middle Eastern countries, and continued provocation of nuclear powers – Russia and China. As trillions are wasted on the violent overthrow of countries who refuse to buckle to American power, our basic infrastructure crumbles, our government-controlled healthcare system is an expensive joke, our educational system is a disaster, and the rich get richer while the poor die fighting for empire.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a military man through and through, warned the nation what would happen if we allowed the unholy alliance of government and the military industrial complex to dominate our society. We didn’t heed his warning and allowed our country to be taken over by evil Deep State oligarchs who realized war is good for their bottom line. They use faux displays of patriotism, create enemies when there are none, lure easily manipulated young men as cannon fodder, spread the war machine factories across congressional districts to ensure votes for more war spending, and compensate the corporate media to support war and spread propaganda.
Whenever the government and media are in lockstep regarding an issue, like Russia throwing our elections or Julian Assange being a traitor, you know it’s a false narrative designed to misinform the public. War is a racket designed to enrich the Deep State and their pliable acolytes. It’s only the average person who suffers.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
The question Tim McIlrath wants answered is whether we as a people can end the violence and war. The truth is the only way to put an end to the never-ending global war is through a violent overthrow of the Deep State who firmly control the levers of power over our government, financial systems, corporations, and media. Ironically, violence initiated by the good law-abiding people of this country against the corrupt, powerful, rich, deceitful oligarchs is the only chance for reversing the downward moral spiral we currently face.
Believing change will be achieved through the ballot box is a fool’s errand. Just observe the extremists, imbeciles, and craven narcissists we are currently stuck with in Washington D.C. by falsely believing change can be achieved through the ballot box. We are being manipulated and managed, just as Edward Bernays taught his disciples, and how Ray Bradbury described in his dystopian novel about the future.
“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Our overlords have been successful in creating generations of non-thinking automatons who have been socially engineered through government education and TV programming to feel (not think critically) and be easily manipulated through their techno-gadgets, the boob tube, and now social media. We are drowning in trivialities, mindless entertainment, gossip, and propaganda, unable to decipher truth from falsehood. The “truth” is whatever suits the purposes of those in power. Observe how the Deep State promotes their war machine through sporting events and the local news.
You have Air Force flyovers at every football game. The military uses your tax dollars to pay the professional sports leagues for those “touching” tributes to military personnel during every sporting event. Those “heart-warming” stories of military personnel surprising their kids at school are nothing but propaganda narrative fed to the public to support never ending war. How many millions of your tax dollars are used on those flashy recruiting commercials promoting the lie our military is protecting us by blowing up brown people in distant countries. Hemingway recognized the truth about the war machine, decades ago.
“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.” ― Ernest Hemingway
As this Fourth Turning has reached its midway point, it has become evident to those awoken to the truth of a world run and controlled by a relatively small cadre of powerful men and their paid off disciples, a reckoning is at hand, with violence and bloodshed an inevitable outcome. The election of Donald Trump has functioned as the catalyst, forcing those in the shadows to reveal their true purpose and nature.
The Deep State attempted coup of a sitting president based upon a false Russian narrative has blown up in their faces, but they will not admit defeat, because to do so would mean loss of their power, wealth and control. They will be willing to risk world war with nuclear powers or create the atmosphere for a civil war rather than cease their sociopathic thirst for controlling the world. With the arrest of Julian Assange on bogus charges, they push the country ever closer to civil chaos. Truth is treason in an empire of lies.
It appears the oligarchs are losing control of the narrative and are reacting in a desperate manner to retain their ill-gotten riches and unconstitutional control over the levers of government power. We have entered an era of extremism which will surely lead to more violence. We have elected politicians pushing extreme positions like open borders, socialism for all, infanticide, going to war with Russia and China, prosecuting patriots who revealed misdeeds by our government, cheering for terrorists, and supporting a surveillance state coup of a sitting president.
We have a president promoting a stock market bubble, vilifying the money printers at the Federal Reserve for being too tight when they have kept real interest rates at zero or negative for the last ten years, encouraging coups in other countries while fighting off a coup against himself, and running deficits of $1.2 trillion after campaigning on balancing the budget.
The magnitude of extreme positions, policies, proposals, and politicians is off the charts, making me feel like I’m living in a new country called Extreme-istan. Our daily existence is nothing more than a frustrating crusade through a blizzard of lies, in search of the truth. Extremism dominates our financial markets, our foreign policy, our politics, our media, and interaction on social media platforms.
Extreme positions are not met with calls for moderation, but contrary extreme positions. This is how it rolls during Fourth Turnings. There will be no compromise solutions domestically or internationally. As the extreme positions solidify and become entrenched, violent conflict becomes the only form of resolution, with clear victors and losers.
When the extreme multiple financial bubbles burst simultaneously and create the global financial crisis to end all financial crises, the anger and vengeance likely to be doled out against those identified as being responsible for the trillions in losses and collapse of debt laden corporations and governments will be blood curling. With desperate politicians trying to pacify their angry constituents, they will go to their old standby – start a war and try to appeal to the patriotism of an ignorant populace who they have successfully manipulated in the past.
This is when the “deplorables” are likely to push back. This is when the true enemies will be identified and those firearms they have been trying to confiscate will be put to use. Joseph Heller understood generals and politicians supposedly on our side could be the enemy. The Deep State is our enemy. Until they are violently defeated, they will continue to treat us as nothing more than cattle and cannon fodder.
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Steinbeck thought war was a failure of thinking men; while Hemingway thought all war was a crime; Voltaire thought war was murder and those declaring war were the murderers; and Smedley Butler thought war was a racket. They were all right. Rich old men send young poor men to their deaths to feed the coffers of corporate arms dealers. War is a means for arrogant hubristic men to wield power in a violent display of egotistical criminality, using innocent citizens as cannon fodder in their vain endeavor at historical glory.
Tim McIlrath’s final lyrics capture the essence of human history. We are a book without an end because human history is cyclical and we start at chapter 1 every eighty years or so. He calls for something new, but he doesn’t grasp that the existing social order is always overturned during a Fourth Turning and something new arises. Whether that is good or bad is up to the victors. But, sadly, the elimination of violence is not in the cards and is likely to be ratcheted up to new highs during the next ten years.
To a predetermined fate are we condemned
Or maybe we’re a book without an end
We’re not stories, we’re not actors
We’re awake and in control
And this is not a dream
So can we break this mold
And set in motion something new
Forgetting what we know
An evolution overdue
Fight the current
Pull the ripcord
Rise Against – The Violence
Violence is in our nature, but good men and women only resort to it when pushed to their breaking point. That point is rapidly approaching. The hubris of the ruling class has led them to brazenly reveal their true purpose in pillaging the wealth of the nation, while impoverishing the middle class, creating global disorder, promoting civic decay and ensuring global financial chaos through creating trillions of unpayable debt. The attempted coup of Trump, the arrest of Assange, rigging of financial markets and the continued provocation of Russia have pushed the country to the brink. The two captured political parties are bereft of courageous patriots, while being infested with corrupt extremist imbeciles. Sworn enemies, domestically and internationally, are standing waist deep in gasoline striking matches.
Anyone not realizing the direness of our situation is either dependent upon the Deep State for their sustenance, a lackey for the establishment, choosing to be willfully ignorant, or is too dumbed down and distracted by their techno-gadgets to care. The war has begun and the storm gathers, but nobody knew when the conflagration would erupt. The Deep State is already at war with average Americans, but they haven’t acknowledged that fact. When they do, things will get interesting. Get ready.
“The war had begun and nobody saw it. The storm was lowering and nobody knew it.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods