CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Any think tank with the words “foreign policy” in its title is nothing other than a group of intellectuals who are paid by plutocrats to come up with the best possible arguments for why it would be very good and smart to do things that are very evil and stupid, and Naveed Jamali sits comfortably there.
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Our biosphere has been punctured by an amoral system of industrialism, taken to sociopathic levels by US-led capitalism. The American population, long indoctrinated in all-out irresponsible consumerism, addicted to cheap, infantile escapism, and anesthesized to the need for urgent mobilization and changes in their sacrosanct way of life, have played a nefarious role in enabling America’s malignant leadership to derail world efforts to coordinate an appropriate and timely response.
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BRYAN FARRELL—Despite this powerful history of nonviolent resistance, we still consider tree hugger a derogatory term. Meanwhile, a current example of forest protection in Brazil, where the country’s environmental agency has a special ops team that hunts down illegal loggers, gets all kinds of glory. Not that it shouldn’t, considering Brazil has cut deforestation by nearly 80 percent since 2004. But do environmental heroes need to, as the BBC recently described Brazil’s forest agents, “wear military fatigues, with heavy black pistols slung casually on their thighs” in order to get any respect?
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MORRIS BERMAN—That Francis Fukuyama could write a book around that time called The End of History and be a professor at a major university has got to be the most laughable thing imaginable. (Don’t get me started on the degradation of American higher education. Jesus, talk about decline!) As though history could end! What a dummy! One of the things I’ve argued is that there is a lot of stupidity in the United States, and it includes large numbers of people with high IQs. There are people running around with high IQs – David Brooks, for example – who are in fact little more than bad jokes, and yet are worshipped as sages. Fukuyama is a good example of this.
So, what have you got? You’ve got a deep systemic emptiness. This comes from the fact – in the case of consumerism, capitalism and so on – that you’ve embraced an ideology without knowing it’s an ideology, whose basic philosophy is “more.”
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Mexico is therefore in a conundrum because it must urgently deal with the cartels yet there’s no perfect solution for doing so, as the existing “hard” policy has evidently failed while the “soft” one could amount to surrendering the state to their clutches. These groups are also much too enticing of a lever of possible influence against the Mexican government for US intelligence agencies to willingly abandon them, especially since they might one day want to exploit them as Hybrid War instruments against AMLO if his foreign policy becomes too multipolar.