Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fwd: Panel discussion and good primer on neoliberalism

------ Forwarded message ----------
From: John H

Attached is a very good and interesting panel discussion held at West Point involving a number of retired military personnel who are critical of the current state of endless war now engaged in by the United States all around the globe.  The panel is chaired by Andrew J. Bacevich, a retired Army Lt. Col. And military historian teaching at Boston College.  While the discussion is both interesting and important, it does fail to address what I believe is the core basis for this nation's otherwise inexplicable determination to wage war on just about every not already subservient to our military posture.  It now appears that our military interventions are completely out of political control and essentially operating on automatic pilot because so much of the U.S. economy is dependent upon military and security contracts and the sale of military hardware to other nations and terrorist groups around the world.  Furthermore, the areas of operation are largely determined by political submission to the will of Israeli Zionist radicals (including neocons here in the U.S.) who have essentially gained control of our political processes and are determined to have the U.S. wipe out any real or imagined adversaries in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

In this process the U.S. has intentionally created, supported and funneled weapons to a multitude of designated terrorist organizations which we simultaneously claim that we are determined to destroy.  The end result is a proliferation of terror groups which regularly attack military and civilian targets, thus further justifying the need for ever increasing military activities on our part and on the part of our NATO allies.  This results in an endless cycle of violence, mass casualties and refugees in those areas in which we intervene which quite naturally leads to the declared need for greater security measures and the concomitant loss of civil rights at home and abroad, as well as the rampant rise of right-wing nationalism in those nations (including ours) impacted by the refugee crisis. 

What is also often missed in this horrific assault on some of the poorest nations on earth, is how much of it is stoked by the simultaneous rise of neoliberalism as a political and ideological movement in lock-step with the militarization and the severe limitations on previously granted rights.  Neoliberalism, at its core, operates on the premise that only the "market" has rights; everyone is subject to market forces.  This leads to policies which effectively tie corporations which, under neoliberalism can do no wrong, directly into government which is charged with protecting the rights of corporations and those who manage them.  This leads to a situation where corporations become dependent upon government subsidies to prosper and survive and what better way to provide subsidies than through the Defense Department.  This, combined with the neoliberal financialization of virtually all aspects of economic life, leads to a situation where only the interests of powerful international corporations can be taken into consideration by government policy makers.  And so, war becomes the natural constraining force used to cow the populace into ultimate submission – because they convinced us that there is no alternative; or as Margaret Thatcher so cleverly put it, TINA.

This, as a result, is, almost without question, the single most dangerous time in human history…  Or, as the old Chinese curse is reputed to have augured, may you live in interesting times.  We surely seem to have found those times the curse referred to, and then some.   When combined with man-made climate change humanity is on a downward spiral which may well not be survivable during the lifespan of those now alive.



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