Earlier this month during a 90 degree-plus day, the power in Detroit failed for four hours. People were sent home from work, people were stuck in elevators, breathing-impaired elderly were left suffering in apartments without air-cooling, the criminal courts were evacuated, at least one prisoner escaped, traffic lights were off and fender-benders escalated, kids were sent home from school, the university was closed, just about everything happened that could happen in a power outage.
Except that it wasn’t an outage. It wasn’t a systemic failure or a technical breakdown, it was done at the order of the Dictator of Detroit, Kevin Orr. It seems that the Dictator had decided to teach the people of Detroit a lesson. For several months, Orr has been preparing to sell off the municipally-owned power plants to private for-profit business. He thought it might be a good time to zap the people so as to soften them up for the sellout (give-away) to corporate interests. Dictators in other countries have done the same sort of thing to create crises so as to confuse and overwhelm the population prior to converting public assets into privately-owned goods. It’s known as “Shock Therapy” and it has worked in Bolivia, Chile, Albania, Poland and Russia. A “shocked” public is rendered fearful and disoriented and thus unwilling to fight or protest.
Lest one thinks I am engaged in journalistic hyperbole in describing Kevin Orr as the Dictator of Detroit, I hasten to add that is not my purpose. Orr is named the Dictator simply because he IS the Dictator of Detroit.
In the State of Michigan, the rabid Right captured the Legislature and a crook became the Governor. One item in Fascist program authorized the Governor to declare any elected local government to be in a State of Emergency, depose the elected officials and appoint an “emergency manager” to run the city or county or school district. The emergency manager is subject to no check or balance and reports to no one except the Governor. The “manager” is empowered to make or break any contract, fire any employee, sell off any public asset or resource, levy taxes or rebate taxes, make backroom deals or whatever meets his fancy. While not expressly empowered to shut off the power, there is no prohibition on his doing so, and he did.
He cannot be sued, he cannot be held accountable. He is Shah-in-Shah, Tsar of All, Absolute Despot and Grand Poobah. This is the future of local government in the United States (BTW much the same model already in use in China) and will be the goal of the Corporateer-led astro-turfed Tea Parties once the U.S. Senate is secured in the very next election.
FREEDOM is SLAVERY – DEMOCRACY is DICTATORSHIP – And all animals are equal except the pigs are just more so *
* References to George Orwell’s 1984 and his Animal Farm, you figure it out