Sunday, July 15, 2012

Western Civilization is an Oxymoron

Just as with military intelligence, so with Western Civilization, we are confronted with an oxymoron of puzzling dimensions. After considering the works of three diverse authors covering the imperial aggression of corporate America, we can no longer consider western achievements as anything more than rapacious conquest of weaker peoples.

But, you may say, the West gave us democracy, technological innovation, Christianity, and the American Dream. These are theoretical ideas for the 1%, but meaningless charades for the rest. Three unrelated authors, Chalmers Johnson, Naomi Klein, and John Perkins have spelled out the brutality which American plutocrats have visited upon the world, a brutality baked to perfection with the basic recipes of their European counterparts.

Lest you think that we are resurrecting the assault on Western civ which started in the Ivy League schools a generation or more ago, let me point out that Genghis Kahn, the Qing emperors, and the Japanese warlords could be equally ruthless.

A cursory study of American management labor relations in the 19th and 20th centuries should assure the benighted reputation of plutocratic behavior, even for the man often credited with the most good will – the viciously anti-Semitic Henry Ford whose legacy was Adolph Hitler and concentration camps in Europe co-founded by Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) prior to World War 2.

Chalmers Johnson notes the destructive plague of British misrule on the Indian subcontinent. After subduing its many kingdoms and factions, the British proceeded to demolish Indian manufacturing which for at least a couple of centuries had far surpassed that of Western Europe. The reason of course was to promote the fortunes of the British East India Company and other plutocrats engaged in the raping of India.

But the British were only an excursis for Johnson who pointed out that the Americans were only following the British pattern of political and economic conquest.

Naomi Klein, in Shock Doctrine, shows how the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman used its warped ideas of laissez-faire to subjugate Latin America for such industrial giants as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and United Fruit Company, just to name a few. The physical brutalities which were visited upon the impoverished workers of Brazil and Argentina by Ford should keep any decent person away from its products for the company has never admitted its complicity in brutality.

Klein shows how the MKULTRA psychological assault weapons of the CIA were used to demolish most of South America culturally, economically, and politically all for the benefit of corporate America. To extend Johnson’s idea of blowback, we can completely understand why Venezuela despises America  in general, and its plutocrats in particular.

John Perkins’ landmark Confessions of an Economic Hit Man shows in detail how corporate interests were frequently used by the CIA and US government to advance American foreign policy in an incestuous relationship which President Eisenhower called the military-industrial-complex.

One of the more sickening stories Perkins tells in his follow-up book is that of sportswear giant Nike’s slave labor camps in Indonesia where the company paid its workers, at the time of publication, 1.25 USD per day. Anyone who buys Nike products is a slave owner.

A team of reporters attempted to document the atrocities of Nike, but the company ran them off with death squads when they returned for a second visit to the camp.

The American Dream is nice living if you can get it, but it is limited increasingly limited to the few who have avoided the ravages of stemming from the planned economic enslavement of America’s fast disappearing middle class. Perkins shows how the politics of debt is used to shackle the Third World countries in perpetuity, while we would note that that the same techniques are used at home.

Perkins was deeply troubled by the fact that most nations which had fallen into the hands of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and American economic powers never prospered – except, that is, the elite 1%.

The West in general and America in particular, have been a plague and blight on humanity.  Its elite and privileged – the top 20% - bathe themselves in sumptuous luxuries obtained on the backs of millions of people whose labor is stolen for their leisure.

Just as decorated USMC General Smedley Butler recognized that the Marines were nothing but the military branch of the plutocrats, It is time for us to turn from such evil and to give  back these people their lives and dignities - even if it means a demotion of our standards of living.

Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins
[Various Works], Chalmers Johnson
Copyright 2010-12 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

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