Other problems include the fact that this system rewards the least scrupulous behavior and penalizes community oriented behavior. It concentrates wealth in the hands of the wealthy and in so doing also concentrates the power at the top, creating a plutocracy in the least case and economic feudalism in the worst case.
The problem in the United States is a kind of willed ignorance. A decision that people make not to know things. I think that is the primary problem in the United States;that people with education and access to information make a choice not to know things. Because to know things if one retains any sort of moral sensibility, if you know about something that's going on that is inconsistent with your own principles, once you know about it there is the moral question about why have you not acted.
In the United States part of this mass mediated, mass marketed mass medicated world is about allowing people to remain willfully ignorant. That is another level that we have to combat. This is where I often find myself again in tension because if you look at things like the movie industry and television and spectacle sports, all of this industry that is designed to keep people out of touch, that has to be resisted and when you resist that, then you are told that you are being elitist and ya know you got to understand that it is good to go to the Cubs game now and then. And I think, “No!” I actually think that's part of the problem. So these tensions work out too, in organizing. How do you reject that part of the society without doing it in a way that seems to be talking down to ordinary people? How do you make that analysis part of a bigger politics that tries to offer an alternative to the mass mediated, mass marketed, mass medicated world? So its both about critique and construction of alternatives.
Robert Jensen – “The Old Future's Gone – Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crises” which can be heard in its entirety at Unwelcome Guests #428 and #429.
Tag: The Trilateral Commission
Mar 15 2009
Jan 13 2008
Wikipedia tells us that the concept of a “permanent war economy” originated in 1944. Such a war economy, it was predicted, would be one in which there would be a post-WWII arms race. It was argued at the time that:
the USA would retain the character of a war economy; even in peacetime, American military expenditures would remain large, reducing the percentage of unemployed compared to the 1930s.
The concept was also used by U.S. businessman and Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson to refer to an institutionalized war economy, a semi-command-type economy which is directed by corporation executives, based on military industry, and funded by state social spending…whereby the collusion between militarism and war profiteering are manifest as a permanently subsidized industry.
Wilson warned at the close of the war that the U.S. must not return to a civilian economy, but must keep to a “permanent war economy.” Wilson was made Secretary of Defense under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was largely instrumental in reforming the Pentagon as an instrument for facilitating a closer relationship between the military and industry.
The military, originally conceived as a small order fed by state militia, has now become an empire, the largest and most expensive feature of our government.