Guns and Roses

Military rule and the seizure of power away from corrupt civilians by the military amidst a tumultuous economic, political, and social climate in the United States is an idea and a possibility that has already been explored by certain academics and experts. The first time I was exposed to the idea that the military could seize power from corrupt civilians in the United States was in a “Survey of the Middle East” class I took as a freshman in college. The professor highlighted the fact that literally, the only thing that restrains the military and police from taking power away from corrupt civilians in the United States and in any other society is a piece of paper. That is how fragile the balance is between civilian and military rule in any society.

            The second time I heard this idea of the military seizing power away from corrupt civilians was from a professor who taught the “U.S. Foreign Policy Institutions and Processes” class I took in grad school. The same professor supervised my master’s thesis, or “Substantial Research Paper” (SRP) in 2013 where I projected that the Taliban would take over Afghanistan in a matter of time. What is startling is that we are seeing this idea or theory of militaries taking power away from corrupt civilians being put into practice in a number of places. We saw this idea being put into practice in Thailand in 2014. Then, it occurred in Myanmar, Guinea, Tunisia, and now Sudan just in 2021 alone.

            The main idea is that corruption, war crimes, arrogance, and hubris lead to a breakdown in social order, which in turn leads to the military and police intervening in the domestic affairs and politics of a nation. And we have plenty of corruption, war crimes, arrogance, and hubris to go around for everyone. Thus, even though the idea of a military and police force taking power away from corrupt, criminal, arrogant, and hubristic civilians may seem eccentric when it pertains to the United States, the possibility of this occurrence cannot be totally excluded.

            Moreover, the internet and social media has eroded state-society relations to a large extent. We hear discussions of Facebook’s role in stoking the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill all the time on mainstream media outlets. However, the government and mainstream media do not have the same clout that they used to have in shaping popular perceptions because of the internet and social media. As a result, when state-society relations erode, the only ones who can put a lid on the economic, political, and social turmoil which results from an erosion of state-society relations are the ones with a monopoly of force. As Mao Zedong famously said: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

            Afghanistan is also a major intervening factor in what could be a tumultuous economic, political, and social climate over the course of the next three years or so. The track record of modern powers that have gone in and out of Afghanistan – namely, Britain and the former Soviet Union – shows that economic, political, and social turmoil automatically result after a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The post-Afghanistan descent into turmoil has slowed as a result of Joe Biden, but it has not stopped when you take inflation, gas prices, and supply chains into account. Joe Biden is desperate to sweep Afghanistan and war crimes under the rug. But as history shows, you cannot sweep these things under the rug easily. Karma and natural law have an incredible way of holding people accountable and bringing the truth out, no matter how hard people try to sweep corruption, war crimes, arrogance, and hubris under the rug. The Biden Administration seems to have millions and billions of dollars for Afghanistan, Lebanon, Sudan, and Ukraine, but not for education, health care, and universal basic income (UBI) for its own citizens.

Thus, when you take Afghanistan, corruption, sheer arrogance, hubris, and war crimes into account, and when you add the likelihood of the military and police staying neutral in a polarized economic, political, and social climate, what may follow is an election dispute that will perhaps exceed the magnitude of the previous election dispute which took place in 2020. One should expect the populists to be ready for an election dispute if they do not win outright, given that populists always beat progressives when it comes down to the ballot box and elections. Populists have the numbers, and numbers matter in elections. But another thing that populists may have in their favor in both the midterm elections of 2022 and the general election of 2024 is voter apathy.

Thus, a major election dispute in 2024 is a possibility, but not a certainty, because nothing is certain in life except for an eventual death. But if the populists don’t win this time around, their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court may not fall upon deaf ears as it did in 2020 because everyone will have witnessed Biden’s corruption, arrogance, hubris, and incompetence by then. Already in the year 2021, Biden’s approval rating has dropped from 50 percent to about 35 percent. People voted for Biden because no one knew how to manage the coronavirus properly. Now, Biden has nothing to run on.

And in the U.S. Supreme Court, the balance of power favors the right, not the left. Ultimately, the balance of power and rules determine outcomes in domestic affairs and domestic politics in the United States, as well as in any other society. And if the balance of power and rules cannot be determined by the ballot box, it will perhaps be the U.S. Supreme Court – not the military and police – which will decide the outcome of the general election in 2024. And in turn, because of the rule of law, the military and police will have to honor the will of the Court. In sum, when ambition cannot be checked by ambition, and when appetites cannot be balanced by countervailing appetites, either the courts or the ones with the guns have to step in to put a lid on the situation. There is a reason why the eyes of the world ultimately revert to the United States.

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