Tyranny Event Horizon

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In 1947, when mathematician Kurt Gödel decided to become a US citizen, he took it upon himself to do an in-depth study of the US Constitution in preparation for the citizenship exam. As might be expected of the discoverer of the Incompleteness Theorem, Gödel discovered what he believed was a logical flaw. He declared there was an inconsistency in the US Constitution that could allow the government to degenerate into tyranny.

I don’t know the details of what Gödel discovered, but I have my own theory about that. All that is required for the US government to descend into tyranny — or any government for that matter — is a sufficient number of powerful people inside the government to agree together to violate the law. Call it a Tyranny Event Horizon, or TEH, in keeping with the language of physics and mathematics.

You don’t have to use too much imagination to believe that the American government could descend into tyrannical dictatorship. It would happen slowly or quickly, depending on the extent of the corruption. It would begin with the revocation of individual civil rights.

For example, the right of a woman’s autonomy over her own body, or to use contraception. The right of people of colour to vote. The right of certain people to marry. The right of people to practise a religion of their choice, or to practise no religion at all. The right of self-expression. The right of a free press. The right to travel freely. The right of Due Process. The right of free and fair elections.

In such a government, any expression of a belief system in contradiction to the official orthodoxy of the government could be outlawed. Newspapers could be shut down. A police state could be established, where police officers of all jurisdictions would be indemnified against prosecution and answerable only to the leaders of the government.

It would be a paradise for people who embraced the dogma of the state, and hell for anyone who didn’t. It would be, in short, a MAGA Christofascist government.

We already know of such an entity inside the US government. It is the Supreme Court of the United States. Through the Dobbs decision, SCOTUS has already effectively abrogated Roe v Wade, a bulwark of personal autonomy. Clarence Thomas has said that the right to contraception and the right to marry are also on the table.

Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts recently declared gerrymandering “nonjusticiable,” meaning federal judges were barred from deciding them no matter how egregiously bigoted the gerrymander might be. SCOTUS holds a 6 to 3 majority. They have exceeded the Tyranny Event Horizon. So much for one branch of the government. Just two to go.

Imagine a Congress and a Senate with a TEH majority of Marjorie Taylor Greenes and a president like convicted felon Donald Trump. That would complete the troika of federal tyranny. Then imagine a majority of states whose legislatures were full-on MAGA. That would complete the total nightmare.

Imagine a world where elections are only ever fair when MAGA wins, where trials are “rigged” whenever MAGA gets convicted, where lifelong, dedicated public servants like Dr Anthony Fauci are declared to belong in prison, and you can easily imagine what that world would be like if such people were ever handed the levers of power in the majority.

MAGA holds power right now in the United States government. They remain in the minority everywhere except the House of Representatives and SCOTUS. That could change. Right now we have the power to stop it.

The 248 year old experiment in enlightened democracy could come to an abrupt end if MAGA takes over. America has survived bad people in government before, but that was because they were always mostly in the minority, or their badness or corruption wasn’t extensive enough to matter. Today they have the ability and appetite to break or ignore the law, and SCOTUS and the House have already turned that ability and appetite loose.

To be sure, plenty of Republicans disagree with the MAGA agenda of tyranny, but they do so largely in secret. Theirs is the complicit cowardice of appeasement and silence. They will be carried along with any MAGA agenda, no matter how outrageous. If MAGA should win, they will comply.

This trend will undoubtedly survive Donald Trump and continue for as long as it can. The question is, will it gain power before we can end it? I honestly don’t know, but I hope not. And I intend to never give up the fight against it. I hope you do as well. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

Important Note: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Support us via PayPal and GoFundMe.