Peddling Fear of Financial Collapse for Profit and Politics
Source Dave Anderson
Date 13/09/23/00:39
Peddling Fear of Financial Collapse for Profit and Politics
Chip Berlet

SHOCKING NEWS! BY mid-October, President Obama plans to destroy the
United States by creating federal regions that eliminate individual

Even in the overheated conspiracy world of the antigovernment Patriot
movement this claim stands out as outlandish. “California to be
absorbed into Mexico by October” is the headline on the advertising
e-mail sent out this week by the Townhall website on behalf of Wall
Street Daily, a financial publishing company. The far-right Internet
tabloid WorldNetDaily sent out a similar e-mail titled “The America
you know and love could look completely different in a matter of

Townhall is a popular website where Tea Partiers and the Patriot
movement intersect with conservative celebrities, media pundits and
Republican Party operatives. WorldNet Daily is generously described as
in a similar orbit, but the outlet typically features the more zany
right-wing conspiracy theories.

The theme of the e-mails and the accompanying video is that as soon as
mid-October the federal government will have a total financial
meltdown with catastrophic consequences, including food riots and
anarchy in the streets. The video features several experts
interspersed with snappy text boxes sporting alarmist messages such

“When the Bubble bursts, the Feds will seize your retirement and
savings accounts.”

“If anarchy prevails, grocery stores only have three days of food on
the shelves.”

“The federal government has already scheduled 16 states for termination.”

In the video, Floyd Brown, the ultra-conservative political operative
and co-founder of Citizens United, claims he “was pulled into an
office on Capitol Hill where they showed me this map, and they told me
about the plans that the United States already has for emergency
procedures.” According to the video, the secret plan is to abolish
individual states, divide up the United States into regions, and
jettison financially unstable states, including California, from the

Brown is best known as the architect of the infamous Willie Horton
television ad used to attack Democratic presidential nominee Michael
Dukakis in his 1988 campaign against George H.W. Bush – an ad
condemned by civil rights groups as overtly racist. In 2010, Citizens
United, the group he co-founded, won a ruling by the U.S. Supreme
Court that overturned the government’s ban on corporate spending
intended to influence political campaigns.

It’s all very confusing and difficult to tell what is actually being
predicted in the video and online messages. Despite repeatedly
referring to 16 states in text, 17 are shown on the map as being
“eliminated” or “terminated” by the secret federal plot: Arizona,
California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico,
Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin. Apparently, all except Hawaii
are to be merged into larger regional entities. Hawaii is cast adrift.
How California supposedly ends up joining forces with Mexico is not
explained. Anyway, the set of maps is available to those who pay $49
to subscribe to Wall Street Insider’s daily update.

The scary video achieves two purposes: It attracts subscribers to the
Wall Street Daily online publications and other fee-based financial
information services, and it increases the already-palpable fears of
right-wing Tea Party activists and others in the Patriot movement that
the impending congressional budget deadline confrontation in
mid-October is a pivotal moment in saving America from treachery.

The suggestion that California will merge with Mexico rings bells for
those who believe in the conspiracy theory that claims the United
States, Mexico and Canada will form a North American Union similar to
the European Union. A clever numismatist even minted a series of Amero
coins mimicking the Euro coins. The video could also trigger fears of
the creation of a new Aztlán, an independent nation to be carved out
of the states of the U.S. Southwest. Although an actual historic
Chicano cultural reality, the idea of impending secession exists only
in the conspiracy theories of anti-immigrant nativists. Some in the
target audience will see a racist subtext of getting rid of
Southwestern states with large populations of Latinos and other people
of color. All of the “terminated” states are described as parasitic
freeloaders on the national economy in the video.

The U.S. map featured in the video is similar to various federal
regional planning maps that for decades have been fodder for
right-wing conspiracy cranks who warn of a plan to split up the United
States and destroy state sovereignty. This is sometimes portrayed as a
step toward imposing tyranny and installing the dreaded New World
Order – usually featuring jack-booted United Nations troops arriving
in black helicopters. This was a major fear of the armed militia
movement of the 1990s and has been revived in recent years as the
Patriot and militia movements have reemerged since the election of
Obama. According to the video narrator, “What you’re seeing is a
post-collapse America …where following [a] default by the federal
government not every state is able to survive.”

The video begins with a black helicopter sequence followed by scenes
of rioting and looting.

October is just around the corner, so we will find out soon enough.
And if the apocalypse doesn’t come to pass, will the Wall Street Daily
issue a correction? Stay tuned.

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