Friday, June 26, 2015

The things being done in our name, and the lies therein -- Additional


Patrick L. Smith has another excellent piece in Salon.com about the march towards reestablishing a viable NATO threat, as well as a reinvigorated "Cold War". Readers should take note that this effort coincides with the push to reestablish a new nuclear arms race, but it also jibes with the effort to make sure we and China face off as enemies (see the contrast there with these links: Cyber Attacks Not necessarily ChinaChina Is Leading Suspect In Cyber AttacksWill China's Rise Lead to War?US-China war 'inevitable' unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea).

There are at least two essential aspects of the bottom line here in my view. The first certainly is the nexus of competition surrounding resources and commercial interests. Our history of playing quite fast and loose with where real national interest begins and ends, and where purely commercial concerns overlap with same, and the lies we've been fed repeatedly over the many decades in that interaction, makes trying to sort through all of the political gibber jabber tricky to say the least. The bottom line in this is that, even though we have faced real threats from time to time, certain facts still remain.

You need only start with wars by proxy, or boots on the ground via other names. The majority of the actual consequences of these resulted in far more instability long term, via the corruption of harsh proxy states, the hatred inherent in resource rape, as well as the inevitable drawing of do not cross lines of other major power states (who either envy what we've done, or want to ensure it doesn't happen to them), than confronting the advertised threats behind them with means other than force would have done. And as bad as that is, there is the further absurdity that the majority of us here have not become materially much better off for it (if not actually a lot poorer), while an ever more concentrated few have become vastly more powerful.

The other essential aspect in the bottom line here is simply that, whatever real threat we face to our continued existence as a nation state from foreign powers is, there are also other threats as well. First and foremost of these is our continued survival as a species on this planet. Next is our ability to maintain true quality of life when, given the challenges of the first threat mentioned, will be formidable regardless of the economic model we decide to go with. And by quality of life I am not merely talking about leisure time, or the toys we get to have to amuse ourselves with. In this is health, and education and meaningful occupation.

The real problem here is that, in talking about proper prioritization of what will always be competing priorities, bringing in what constitutes the factors behind each of those priorities is inescapable. And in that, obviously, we are talking about various vested interests, as well as their respective abilities to make their needs the most prominent in ranking decisions. If you think the majority of us carry the day there you haven't been paying attention at all. Not to what I've been saying here, but to our own national reality as well

The interesting thing here, however, goes beyond the mere fact that our current economic model makes power concentration a virtual given. It is also part and parcel to why nation states are doomed to be power competitors as well, as each inevitably ends up being the puppets of power dictators of one stripe or another.

Get this through your heads. We will never be able to prioritize properly with he current economic operating system. Worse still is the fact that our ability to stay sane enough to engage in truly meaningful observations of reality, let alone cooperative decision making, remains at risk if we keep with the mutated, electrified, marketing and consumptive, monster that Capitalism has become. In that munching, virtualized dream land, everything is suspect and surreal. Everything profitable no mater how ugly or destructive. And with the net gain thus repeatedly amplified, you end up making insanity a geometric, self perpetuator.

We restarted the Cold War: The real story about the NATO buildup that the New York Times won't tell you