Thursday, March 13, 2014
Are we heading towards war?
I am working on the issue I raised in my last blog on poverty and believe I have a proposal to make that should engage the next revolution. But before I do, Cousin Vinnie asked me if I think a war is coming. I think the question very much relates with what I have been thinking regarding poverty. Here is my response.
The conclusion of my own study (and here I agree with Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky who are strong critics of Democratic and Republican foreign policy) is that the American economy (and now the global economy under US hegemony), the way it is now constructed beginning with the industrial revolution into the information revolution, requires that there be an underclass and oligarchs. And it requires a perpetual war on something (Fascism, Communism, Poverty, Drugs,Terrorism, Islam, God) to keep people in line. War is also a tremendous opportunity to make weapons, technology, jobs, and a lot of wealth for those who control those things. War is built into our history because it is built into our economy.
Since our political parties need mass appeal in a society that uses popular vote and polls to be elected, they need large amounts of money to use the mass media to influence the vote. When you need money you go to those who have it and that is largely the rich and their institutions (the corporations), whether liberal or conservative, which now, through very well-paid and legally trained lobbyists, make sure that legislation goes their ways. You also encourage fear of the other guy--e.g. the liberal or conservative--to mask what and who are really driving things. Therefore many politicians only see things from the point of view of their rich patrons (not unlike Italy under the Medici's and getting close to Italy under Nero). Because of this, I no longer believe we are living in a democratic republic with liberty and justice for all. We are more a plutocracy and fast becoming an oligarchy--not just in America but worldwide.
We have transitioned to a society, in an overpopulated world, that thanks to technology and robotics does not need as many workers. War, especially for the winners, can really solve lots of economic and popular problems. Throw in some machismo, some tribal religion, and an over-extended empire that thinks it is exceptional and of course right in all they do, and yes, we have the prescription for war. If not now--then when the seas rise and some disasters hit.
So yes, I agree with you. In all three dimensions of our personal and collective existence, economics, politics, and culture, we are on a course towards war.
(In fact that war is now going on. We have just been distracted by our gadgets.)