As I've listened to the media and all that is going on in our country, I can't help but see some stark similarities to events in the Star Wars universe, both in the movie canon and the expanded universe.
Shortly after the election of President Obama, his then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is its an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
In Star Wars Episode 2, we hear a similar, though more defined, line. "This is a crisis! The Senate must vote the Chancellor emergency powers! He could then approve the use of the clones [for an army]."
A recent talking point by commentator Glenn Beck has come from a speech by Van Jones that the revolutionary "movement" needs to be "top-down, bottom-up and inside out." Glenn's analysis of this statement is analogous to the Czechoslovakia of the late 1940s. Those with power (on the top) agitate those without (the bottom) in order to squeeze those in the middle, forcing them to turn to the people in power for help.
Now, let's look at the rise to power of Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine. From the beginning, he was playing both sides. Overtly, its as the kindly Senator of Naboo. Covertly, he's Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who approaches the Trade Federation about placing a blockade on Naboo
. He squeezes his own people between the Trade Federation and the bureaucracy of the Galactic Senate. The slow movement of the bureaucracy forces a vote of no confidence in the current Chancellor of the Senate. In the end, Palpatine is nominated, then voted Supreme Chancellor of the Senate.
Throughout the second and third movies he continues to manipulate the Trade Federation (and its allies), increasing the pressure on the Senate to vote more authoritative powers to him, not to mention extend his time holding the position of Supreme Chancellor.
Speaking of the Senate giving the more power to Palpatine, the same could be said of the United States Congress as they approve advisers and write laws that put more power in the hands of the Executive Branch.
The Cloward and Piven strategy was a method to transform a government system by slowly growing the welfare dependancy system (with the goal of overtaxing the system) and simultaneously installing the "framework" of a new government.
The universe of Star Wars does not discuss any kind of welfare system. Instead, the threat to the stability of the galaxy put forth is war.
As was already mentioned, Palpatine had manipulated both sides from the beginning. As he garners additional power to fight the war against the Confederation, he becomes exceptionally powerful. In the end, only one group could challenge his authority, the ranks of the Jedi. They attempted to arrest him, learning the truth about his manipulations and when they failed (due to the interference of Anakin Skywalker), he used it as a rallying cry to transform the Republic into his Galactic Empire.
In the Clone Wars, the two sides were the Republic (the current government) and the Confederacy of Independent Systems
(referred to in the movie as the separatists). The Confederacy was made up mostly of massive corporations who banded together due to a Republic tax
on their trade routes and to fight the Senate corruption. Simplified, its the government vs. the corporations.
As you listen to the current administration, particularly speaking about the current economic environment, the blame lies with the greedy corporations. In an interview with 60 Minutes, President Obama states that, "I didn't run for office to help Fat Cat Bankers."
Who messed up the gulf? It was 100% all BPs fault (ignore the fact that government regulation forced rig placement in such deep water).
Why did we need the health care reform legislation? Those greedy health insurance companies.
was a massive, government-constructed communications grid (think a combination of our Internet and television). It was able to disseminate information galaxy-wide nearly instantaneously. Only planets from the Outer-Rim Territories were excluded (plans to include them were set, then delayed due to budget constraints). With the reorganization of the Republic into the Galactic Empire, the Holonet was heavily restricted and limited to military and "approved" news/free speech.
Right now, we have efforts to bring in "localization," the Fairness Doctrine and net neutrality.
The Imperial Holovision was one of the largest news and entertainment providers in the galaxy. In the years before the Empire, it was known as HoloNew News or Republic HoloNew News.[Imperial Holovision's]
executives were not on the Imperial government's payroll; they didn't have to be. They were largely holdovers from the fall of the Republic, who were trained to be loyalists as a matter of course. Their allegiance to the Emperor was freely given; it did not have to be purchased. But they were still journalists, and sought a certain amount of autonomy in their reporting...Rather than distort the Empire's more questionable policies, it simply ignored them altogether, ensuring that the population at large never even heard about the New Order's atrocities.
Meanwhile, in the real world, we've got news organizations like MSNBC where commentators have 'thrills up their leg' and 'forget he is black' when they hear the President speak. We have stories that is outright ignored by the vast majority of news organizations, leaving the public in the dark. Those that choose to report these stories are labeled as fringe or not legitimate news organizations.
The Galactic Empire was highly xenohobic, holding up humans as superior over all other species. This divided the galaxy, not just into human v. non-human but also humans who believed it and humans who did not. A divided galaxy would be an easier galaxy to control as the groups could be played off each other. However, if a non-human was talented or powerful enough, they could be included in the structure of the government.
Similarly, there are many people of power, in and out of the government, who seem to be more than willing to use race, gender, social status, etc. to divide the country. Set the poor against the rich or white against black so as to create the tension needed to sustain the "emergencies" needed to push through certain agenda items.
Imperialization is a term for the process by which the Galactic Empire established a system of control over the individual, instructions, commercial enterprise, or planets, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce. There were dramatic increases in state control and centralization of economic procedures by nationalization of commercial enterprise (like many Separatist organizations including: the Trade Federation the Techno Union, the Commerce Guild, the InterGalactic Banking Clan, the Corporate Alliance and the Hyper-Communications Cartel) and commerce in some regions of the Empire.
In a deleted scene of A New Hope, we even hear this line: "What good is all your uncle's work if it's taken over by the Empire? You know they're starting to nationalize commerce in the central systems. It won't be long before your uncle is merely a tenant, slaving for the greater glory of the Empire."See the scene, begins 3:00
Its quite easy to see the bank bailouts, auto company bailouts, the health care legislation and the government's "partnership" with GE as nationalization in varying degrees.
Throughout the whole of the prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) one thing is abundantly clear about any person or group associated with Palpatine/Sidious who thinks they have power...they will soon be out of the picture. Palpatine/Sidious has no compunction about allowing his subordinates to die if it improves his position. A prime example is former Jedi Count Dooku (played by Christopher Lee), who is allied with Palpatine/Sidious. He serves his usefulness as the rallier of the Separatist movement, but in the beginning of Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine has him executed.
Its much more difficult to find anyone that could be defined the same way in the current government. Van Jones, while forced out of the administration, is by no means out of the picture. We may have to wait until 2012 to see if Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton or some other high-ranking personality is removed because it is politically adventageous for the President. The national-level ACORN, which did what it could to aid through the 'get-out-to-vote' effort (setting legality of their actions aside), was placed in bankruptcy, but its state and city-level subsidiaries changed their names and still exist.