Sunday, November 16, 2008

Homogenized Planet for a Hegemony World

Planet Earth seems to be heading towards a really boring place, the Westernization of the world. Instead of treasuring the diversity of Planet Earth humanity seems to be moving toward a homogenized sameness where everyone wears the same clothes, eats the same food, thinks the same thoughts, and shares one world view. In one sense this is being driven by modern technology and communications but it is also being driven by war like the U.S. War on Terrorism. The whole idea of nation building is to make other nations more like us isn’t it? We want them to have democracy so that they will think more like us which will somehow make darkies less threatening to fat white Americans and make the world a safer place. Nobody seems to question the wisdom of turning the world into one where everyone is a greedy self-absorbed jerk hogging more than they could ever need. It should be a great place where everyone and everything is half-assed and mediocre. In Tibet the Buddhist Monks will be playing Nintendo while swilling booze instead of pursuing enlightenment of the mind. In India instead of preserving their traditional music they will listen to the same dismal garbage that passes for music in the West, pop music, Barf-a-Roni. Already China and India are busy industrializing their nations which is another way of saying that they are being westernized. People of the Western World rarely assume that ancient cultures have anything worthy to offer rather they relegate other cultures to the past replacing anything that takes effort and thought with useless technological garbage that nobody really needs.

One danger of a homogenized planet is becoming readily apparent with the economic woes that began in the U.S. and has rapidly spread to other nations. Not only does news, and information, most of it misinformation by self-appointed experts, spread with the speed of light but so do economic recessions. I don’t claim to know much about economics but then nobody else does either except for a small handful so I find it annoying when almost everyone claims to know where the blame for our economic woes lie. Sasan Fayazmanesh a professor of economics at CSU Fresno discusses why economic downturns are unpredictable and the state of economic experts.

Link

Why were the experts so wrong? They were wrong mostly because economics is an underdeveloped discipline dominated by pure, unabashed ideology. The dominant school of economic thought during the Great Depression was, and remains to this day, the “neoclassical” or marginalist school. But in the “neoclassical” world there is no such thing as a crisis. This is not the real world in which we live. It is a classless world, consisting of “consumers” and “producers.” It is a harmonious world modeled mostly after mathematical physics. In such a world there is no history; there is no past, no present and no future. Nothing of consequence ever happens in this world, especially no catastrophic event. This unreal, insipid and a-historical marginalist world should have been abandoned a long time ago, particularly after the Great Depression. Yet, its seemingly mathematical elegance combined with its unadulterated and brazen defense of capitalism, or “free market” as its proponents prefer to call it, has kept it alive. Of course, since the Great Depression the “neoclassical” theory has been somewhat amended by a few ideas from the British aristocrat John Maynard Keynes, ideas that tried to add some elements of reality to the unreal theory. But the result, the so-called “neoclassical synthesis” or “neo-Keynesianism,” is no more than a hodgepodge of disjointed, unclear and incoherent ideas that are fed to the students of economic theory under the rubric of “micro” and “macroeconomics.”


Click the link above to read the rest.

While reading the above essay I was struck by this sentence… “In such a world there is no history; there is no past, no present and no future. Nothing of consequence ever happens in this world, especially no catastrophic event.” This is also in part quite true of the main stream news media where news articles often repeat whatever a national leader says like so many tape recorders or they report that so-and-so will now be the next Secretary of State or whatever without even a moment given to what said candidate has done in the past. Indeed when I read the news I often note the complete disconnect between a more complete reality and whatever topic a given news article is reporting on. When Donald Rumsfeld was replaced by Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense Gates was hailed as a “Realist” by all and sundry as well as lauded as a sign of hope, another “Steady hand behind the loose nut behind the wheel” in a manner similar to that of Powell, a smarmy slug by any other name, much earlier during the build-up to the Iraq War. Compare and Contrast is always a good thing to attempt so let us turn our attention to the following glowing article by the New York Times about Robert Gates of “Realist” fame.

Link

WASHINGTON — The last time a Democratic administration moved to town, 15 years ago, Robert M. Gates was a key player in the effort to assure a smooth transition of power from a Bush presidency to the fresh occupant of the White House.

Mr. Gates, who served as director of central intelligence through Bill Clinton’s Inauguration Day, even traveled to Little Rock to deliver a global intelligence briefing to Mr. Clinton, who was then the governor of Arkansas, during the presidential campaign. The substantive issues selected by Mr. Gates remain remarkably resonant today, and included “the turmoil in Russia,” as well as “developments in Iraq, North Korea, China, and Iran,” according to the C.I.A.’s official history of the transition.

And if one listens to informed conjecture, or at least to Beltway rumor, Mr. Gates might be asked to play a key role again, this time even after the inauguration of Barack Obama — and this time with the nation at war.

It is a case being made publicly by columnists and commentators, and quietly by leading Congressional voices of Mr. Obama’s own party — that Mr. Gates should be asked to remain as defense secretary, at least for an interim period in the opening months of the new presidency.

Although Mr. Obama’s vice president, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, is among the party’s most respected experts on foreign policy, the president-elect himself has more modest credentials in military affairs. The security threats facing the new president are daunting, as the nation tries to negotiate a military-to-military agreement with Iraq and scale down its commitments there, stabilize a worsening campaign in Afghanistan, prevent another terrorist attack and manage a menu of significant security risks from Russia to Iran to North Korea — and those are just the known challenges.

A career intelligence professional, Mr. Gates has worked for Democratic and Republican administrations as a C.I.A. officer, and also spent nine years on the staff of the National Security Council, under four presidents of both political parties.

Since returning to government in December 2006 as defense secretary, he has scored high marks on Capitol Hill for his ability to reach across the aisle to leading Democrats. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, the chairman, Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, opened the session by saluting Mr. Gates.



Well, you can read the rest if you have the stomach for it but you get the general drift. Gates the reliable, Gates the experienced, Gates the realist, blah, blah. The Times gives us a very brief history of Gates but what they have left out of the Gates history is quite substantial and by its absence helps slant the news article into what amounts to an out and out lie about the true nature of Robert Gates. Robert Parry, an investigative reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Iran-Contra affair regales us with a much more complete history of the Golden Boy Gates and offers up a stark contrast to the Times article.

Link

When the Soviet Union – the CIA’s principal intelligence target – collapsed without any timely warning to the U.S. government, the CIA analytical division was derided for “missing” this historic moment. But the CIA didn’t as much “miss” the Soviet collapse as it was blinded by Gates and other ideological taskmasters to the reality playing out in plain sight.

Goodman was not alone in identifying Gates as the chief culprit in the politicization of the CIA’s intelligence product. Indeed, Gates’s 1991 confirmation hearing to be George H.W. Bush’s CIA director marked an extraordinary outpouring of career CIA officers going public with inside stories about how Gates had corrupted the intelligence product.

There also were concerns about Gates’s role in misleading Congress regarding the secret Iran-Contra operations in the mid-1980s, an obstacle that had prevented Gates from getting the top CIA job when Casey died in 1987.

Plus, in 1991, Gates faced accusations that he had greased his rapid bureaucratic rise by participating in illicit or dubious clandestine operations, including helping Republicans sabotage President Jimmy Carter’s Iran hostage negotiations in 1980 (the so-called October Surprise case) and collaborating on a secret plan to aid Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein (the Iraqgate scandal).

Despite significant evidence implicating Gates in these scandals, he always managed to slip past relying on his personal charm and Boy Scout looks. For his 1991 confirmation, influential friends like Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David Boren, D-Oklahoma, and Boren’s chief of staff George Tenet made sure Gates got the votes he needed.



Also this.

Gates’s connections – and his timing – served him well when he was placed on the Iraq Study Group in 2006 along with its co-chairs, Lee Hamilton and Bush Family lawyer James Baker. By fall 2006, the ISG was moving toward recommending a drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Meanwhile, President George W. Bush found himself in need of a new Defense Secretary to replace Donald Rumsfeld, who had grown disillusioned with the Iraq War.

Though Rumsfeld was viewed publicly as a hardliner, privately he sided with his field commanders, Generals George Casey and John Abizaid, in favoring a smaller U.S. “footprint” in Iraq and a phased withdrawal. Rumsfeld put his views in writing on Nov. 6, 2006, the day before congressional elections.

With Rumsfeld going wobbly, Bush turned to Gates and – after getting Gates’s assurance that he would support Bush’s intent to escalate the war, not wind it down – Bush offered him the job.

Rumsfeld’s firing and Gates’s hiring were announced the day after the Nov. 7 elections and were widely misinterpreted as signs that Bush was throwing in the towel on Iraq.

Rumsfeld’s memo was disclosed by the New York Times on Dec. 3, 2006, two days before Gates was scheduled for his confirmation hearing. [See Consortiumnews.com’s "Gates Hearing Has New Urgency."]

But Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee were so enthralled by the false narrative of Bush tossing over the ideologue (Rumsfeld) in favor of the realist (Gates) that they took no note of what the real sequence of events suggested, that Bush was determined to send more troops.

Gates was whisked through to confirmation with no questions about the Rumsfeld memo and with unanimous Democratic support. Sen. Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats praised Gates for his “candor.”



There is much more so click the above link to read the rest, it is well worth your while.

So as Obama continues to surround himself with Washington “Insiders” and other unsavory characters, many of whom are responsible for many of the ills facing the U.S. and the rest of the world, I wonder just where is this wondrous change I have heard so much of for so long is supposed to come from?

Personally I cannot think of a more deserving bunch than the Western World (Though it affects much more than just the West) for a nice little depression considering its bloody past of centuries of slaughter and mayhem much of it directed at weaker peoples and nations mostly of the Third World variety steeped in vainglorious terms such as Manifest Destiny and other such egotistical drivel as they have marched down the Imperial Road. There is also a remarkable silence by so-called liberals as Obama continues to stick knives and swords into their persons with his flip-flopping on issues that I had assumed, perhaps mistakenly, that were core and of the utmost importance to progressives. This time of “Transition” is when the progressives should be the loudest as Obama puts his Cabinet together and makes plans for what he would like to accomplish as President. But all I hear is the sound of silence, that or unmitigated malarkey, much of it from people who know better.

Meanwhile the homogenized mass group-think of American Hegemony marches on into the dark night. War planes roar and thunder over numerous Third World Nations dropping death from the sky as bodies are blown apart and blood drenches the earth.

3 Comments:

At November 17, 2008 10:06 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

If boring was the only problem I'd say it was a small price to pay-- if it meant none of the killing and none of the trampling of basic human rights in the name of maximized profits and "productivity", but I don't think that's part of the deal.

 
At November 18, 2008 10:14 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

In my world, you're treated like a outcast if you dare express beliefs like this. "What, you'd perfer McCain?" is the usual indignant response--while Obama is contemplating having Hillary take over at State. Just what we need for peace in the world--a Caucasian Condi.

 
At November 18, 2008 9:46 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Mimi,

No, it doesn’t pay to criticize Obama when amongst the faithful. Heck, you might destroy the universe if you did. If Obama makes Hillary Secretary of State (SOS?) it is all part of Obama’s all-inclusiveness. Heck, Time has an article about Obama and McCain telling us how they “need each-other.” It’s really a bizarro world.

Jonathan,

Not part of the deal for sure. Time for a cheeseburger!

 

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