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happens, and the "racially" dominant middle class cedes all power to a despotic state to protect their homes and wimmin from the sexually depraved, dark "other." Blood and soil. In the United States, an economic depression right now could very well give us that result.

Right now we are seeing a preparatory phase by the fascist executive branch, putting in place the legal infrastructure to impose a distinctly American fascism if the opportunity arrives.  Guantanamo, PATRIOT act, the FTAA demonstrations, all of it.  The Greenpeace case is possibly the most bizarre, where to prosecute Greenpeace civil disobedience they plundered the legal archives for an archaic law that applied to 19th Century pimps waiting for ships' crews on shore leave.  I swear I wonder what's in the water in Washington these days. Maybe bin Laden got to the water towers with a batch of old MK Ultra LSD from his CIA days.

I am leery of the word democracy just like I'm cautious about using the word fascism.  If it's defined, I can judge for myself whether it exists or not.  Otherwise it's just another buzz word.  There is far too much right-wing demagogy going on right now. Populist or left-wing demagogy doesn't correct it.  The people need the truth as near as it can get delivered, along with some new perspectives and categories to overcome all that media-produced "knowledge."

[JVB] What do you think is going to happen to the democratic "way" in America? Do you agree with many activists that dissent is increasingly being repressed?  Did you follow the FTAA protests, and if so, do you have any comments about what happened -- the large police presence, with snipers on rooftops, the aggressive actions and arrests? What do you think of Police Chief Timoney's statement that this was the new blueprint for homeland security?

[SG] The reaction to Miami was a good sign in a bad way. No one likes to get pepper-sprayed or beaten down, but the fact that the police turned out in such a militarized fashion shows that the movement has some efficacy.  That's why the police were out in force.  The big boys fear you.  I don't know about any democratic way, like I said.  If it means power to the people, or some form of equality beyond a shared franchise in money-rigged elections, then I can say without any hesitation that there has never been democracy in America.

On the consumer surface, we see this morally repugnant and seemingly over-reactive police action in Miami.  But far deeper, underground, there are these more totalizing trends. Richard Du Boff at Bryn Mawr recently did a piece on "hegemony," where he laid out the basic economic numbers.

Between 1950 and now, the US share of world gross product declined from 50 percent to 21 percent.  Manufacturing went from 60 to less than 25.  Europe has already passed the US decisively in commercial services exports.  China, with the irresistible gravitational pull of its low-wage labor force has siphoned off US manufactories. The economic power of the US is based on two fragile things.  The primacy of the dollar as an international currency, what is called dollar hegemony by some, and by its military force.  The entire economic edifice of the United States, our whole so-called standard of living, is completely based on the enforcement of this system. The financial reality of the US is that both publicly and privately, we are all atop a sandy mountain of debt pretending it will never

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