CHRIS HEDGES—Liberals like Chris Hedges are almost always extremely efficient and eloquent in their diagnoses of what ails society. In this talk, Hedges provides, for example, a good anatomy of what constitutes the main working parts of the imperialist organism, currently managed by Joe Biden (the collective Biden, not the real, physical Biden). This, Hedges insists, is just an army of professional bureaucrats dedicated to the design and implementation of policies conducive to the perpetuation of a global, deeply undemocratic oligarchic cabal, with HQ in Washington. The problem with Chris is that his analysis does not advance much in the manner of solutions, aside from recommending extra-electoral mass mobilizations (something we certainly agree with). And Chris’s anti-communism and anti-Sovietism do not help matters much, either.
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PATRICK LAWRENCE—We do not have 800–odd military bases around the world, as commentators on these matters usually report. We have military facilities, various sorts of manned and unmanned installations, and bases that come to 800–odd. This is nonetheless well, well more than a sufficiency, as the English say. Northeast Asia, Southeast, Africa, all over Europe (Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy), all over the Pacific, and, of course, up to Western Europe’s border with the Russian Federation. How hollow to celebrate on our Main Streets what our military is up to in all of this. How brazen a gloss on American conduct abroad. Peoria is comfortably distant from Damascus.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—The empire feeds on oppression, exploitation, ignorance, and blood. It is impossible to dominate the planet with a unipolar world order if you don’t use violent force, and the threat of violent force, to uphold that world order. If you’re not strangling people at home and bombing people abroad, then you cannot have an oligarchic empire. Period.
The main rift you see on the leftmost end of the American political spectrum is between people who seek an end to the imperialist murder machine, and people who just want the imperialist murder machine to give them healthcare. The first group faces a very difficult uphill battle to get what it wants. The second group is just masturbating an impossible fantasy.
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MOA—ince December 2019 the United States has a Space Force as one of eight branches of U.S. Armed Forces. Each of those branches has lots of higher ranking officer positions. All people who are put into those want a lucrative board seat at some weapon manufacturer when they retire. They will only get one if they manage to create enough revenue for those manufacturers while they are still in uniform.
The new command therefore needs new weapons. Otherwise there will be no revenue for the weapon manufacturers and no lucrative board seats for retired officers. But spending tax dollars on weapons requires at least some nominal justification. There needs to be a threat that requires new weapons to counter it. Thus we are presented with an onslaught of UFO rumors and silly grainy videos.
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People in the West generally continue to see themselves as morally superior to people in the majority world. They continue to talk about their countries in North America or the European Union as democracies whose leaders mean well, have the best interests of their peoples at heart and generally seek to do good in the world. Every few years, Western electorates vote for which flavor of fascism they prefer, apparently unaware that dictatorships too have elections and elite leadership struggles.