I am in complete agreement with you on this. Maybe it is because we both came into our working lives early 1970s America despite having come from very different backgrounds. I also suffer from a skewed perspective, to some degree, because I was raised in a small Northern California town that was more-or-less insulated from the harsher post WWII experience of the rest of the nation. My views changed radically when I moved, in 1969, to a much bigger, and largely “blue collar,” city to go to college.
The Neo-Con faction in America has long prepared for the massive social upheaval their looting of the nation’s wealth and global empire building will generate on the domestic front. I have long resisted the paranoia of the anarcho-libertarians and the progressive left while witnessing what Chris Hedges refers to as the “radical right wing coup in slow motion” that has overcome almost every facet of our society and government since the early 80s. I have now come to see the horrible light that has been shining, for at least a decade, from that infamous document produced by the Neo-Con PNAC, the Project for a New American Century in the late 90s. I am now feeling genuine fear.
The scenario for revolution you propose seems entirely plausible. If such wide spread social unrest were to occur, the federal government will meet it with deputized, highly militarized, local police forces, a greatly expanded incarceration capacity (a national network of FEMA detention camps and privatized prisons), and the power of legal enforcement granted by the Patriot Act, domestic FISA court warrants, and the powers granted under the National Defense Authorization Act enabling the military to act domestically to quash social unrest. The “national state of emergency” declared by the Neo-Con driven Bush administration immediately after 9/11, enabling these domestic military interventions, has been renewed yearly, by the president, for the past 15 years. Any social unrest will be squashed with lethal force and the obviously rebellious will be either confined or killed.
An old friend of mine, a French-Algerian woman who fled Algeria with her family in 1955 at the onset of the anti-colonial revolution, told me that the beginning of a real revolution can be marked by the point at which the people completely stop listening to the government. I believe we are reaching this point in America. Mistrust of, and contempt for, the government has reached an apex and some sort of massive citizen rebellion is just over the horizon. No political faction in America, from the anarcho-libertarians, to the radical ultra right and radical ultra left, seems happy with the way things are now. And nobody seems to be listening to their “leaders” at all.
I don’t know where this current is taking us and I am as worried as you seem to be. If martial law is imposed, it will be the last straw. An underground resistance will immediately form and we will be thrown into a society that is composed of warring factions, permanently divided against itself, and ruled by a lethal, militarily supported, fascist oligarchy. We have only to look to South America for clear examples of this dynamic.
A bleak future, if it comes to pass. It seems to me that the only thing that might prevent it is the putting aside of differences (at least temporarily), and a meeting of the minds, to reach a re-agreement that our founding principles — namely, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — are the only governing concepts and rule of law that we, as a nation, will be willing to accept. This will take a huge amount of cooperation, and a massive effort on EVERYONE'S part, if we are ever to realize it.