US TV shows: Cultural expressions of civil war scenarios

nopolicestateOne new television show and the second season of another both start with potential civil war scenarios for the U.S. Both are on ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney. The shows are a reflection of the current reality of contending policing authorities in the U.S., like the military, CIA, FBI and Homeland Security, with contention between them and with the presidency. They also reflect the fact that existing governing arrangements are failing to sort out conflicts among the ruling circles and between them and the peoples here and abroad.

The new show, titled Designated Survivor, begins with the Capitol building being blown up during the State of the Union address, when the whole government is present. The bombing wipes out the entire government — the President and his Cabinet, Vice-President, Congress, Supreme Court. The only one left is the “designated survivor,” the one cabinet member who does not attend just in case such an event happens. His position is what is considered one of the more lowly, inconsequential posts of Housing and Urban Development. He then becomes president. One member of Congress, a woman senator was also designated and she then becomes the only surviving member of Congress. Then another representative is miraculously found in the rubble. So there is one senator and one representative.

The story line that then ensues includes various challenges to the President. It is quickly claimed that a terrorist group did the bombing. One of the military generals wants immediate and swift action against the terrorists who might be responsible. The President wants to proceed more slowly. The appearance is given that the general is conspiring with others to remove the president and replace him with a military person, perhaps himself. Then there is the Governor of Michigan who starts rounding up and arresting all Muslims. The President calls for him to stop. The Governor refuses. The President attempts to federalize the state National Guard to stop the Governor and the General heading Michigan’s Guard refuses to obey and sides with the Governor.

Then of course the FBI pursues an investigation without telling anyone that appears to implicate the surviving representative and the military as being responsible for the bombing. The surviving representative is being positioned to become vice-president.

All of these are very possible scenarios in the present circumstances. And it can hardly be a coincidence that they are being played out on TV now, right during elections.

The President then secures his position, not as a civilian concerned about restoring government, but by being Commander-in-Chief and raiding the group supposedly responsible using SEAL Team Six, capturing the supposed leader of the terrorists. This too is consistent with current conditions, where the president is not so much a civilian responsible to society, but a Commander-in-Chief exercising police power.

A second ABC show, Quantico, featuring the FBI, has a story line where the G-20 heads of state are meeting in Manhattan and the building is taken over by “terrorists.” The president agrees to negotiate with the “terrorists” , to save his wife and other leaders, negotiations which he says occur all the time, the public just does not know it. However, though he does as asked, his wife is publicly beheaded anyway. FBI agents who have infiltrated the CIA are trying to stop the takeover. Then it turns out the takeover is being conducted by a group of rogue CIA agents! Again, a plot of contending armed policing authorities battling each other and contending with the president.

The significance here is that when such storylines are openly presented on regular TV shows, it indicates just how close to reality these various civil war scenarios are. And how urgent the aim of organizing for an anti-war government as a means to block such a possibility.

Source: Voice of Revolution, U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization, November 8, 2016

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