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Well, you cannot save the system. The banks (Wall Street and its private army the CIA) and corporations control the government. The hard place is politics, the rock is the climate crisis. The system is devolving into a Mad Max, tripling down on burning carbon, fascist dystopia. Here's an orderly, radical, yet responsible solution that requires a left populist leader using executive power and leading all workers on a national general strike, and declaring under national emergency: Nationalize every bank, fossil fuel and weapons maker. Place their CEOs under house arrest pending trials for crimes against humanity. Slash the military budget in half. Tax the rich and corporations. Well, won't happen but nice to consider.
When I hear former military personnel who have seen the error of theirs and other's errors, I always feel a bit of rage and sadness.
Rage, at the system that psychologically lied for imperialism, and sadness at the fact those like Bacevich do not understand the problem.
The problem is global capitalism and imperialism.
Until we begin to understand this, the rest is kibble for commentators.
Why Americans accept the state of the world they both help to construct and subsidized can be answered by looking at what they 'eat' for news, entertainment and culture.
The Bread and Circus is certainly the problem.
Couple this with and educational system that fails to teach critical thinking, and you have a recipe for what we are seeing today.
As to the 1619 Project, Bacevich would do well to wrestle with the arguments of Gerald Horne, a frequent guest of Chris' who argues that the American Revolution was a counter revolution.
African Americans, unlike suggested, do not wish to become part of a narrative of war and capitalism.
Marx and Engels saw the events leading to the Civil War as momentous.
In a January 1861 letter to Engels, written after the election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln, but before his inauguration, Marx wrote,
“In my opinion, the biggest things that are happening in the world today are on the one hand the movement of the slaves in America started by the death of John Brown, and on the other the movement of the serfs in Russia.”
(Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, Vol. 41 (New York: International Publishers, 1985), 4. John Brown was a leader of revolutionary abolitionists, both white and Black, who attacked and seized the military arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859).
Sadly, America is finished in terms of social mobility and too many are swaddled in despair.
As George Jackson noted from his cell at San Quentin before being murdered:
"The trappings of this pseudo mass society are empty, cheap, spectacular leisure sports; parades where strangers meet, shout each other down and often trample each other to death on the way home; mass consumption of worthless super-suds or aspirin; ritualistic, ultra-nationalistic events on days to glorify the idiots who died at war or other days to deify those who sent them out to die.
A mass society that is actually a mass jungle.
At its core, fascism is capitalistic and capitalism is international.
Beneath its nationalist ideological trappings, fascism is always ultimately an international movement.”
"Acceptance of enslavement is deeply buried in the pathogenic character types of capitalism. It is a result of the sense of dread and anxiety which is the lot of all men under capitalist rule. Compulsive behavior and disordered obsessional longings are actually made synonymous with “character” in our disordered society. But to emphasize these conditions before examining the institutions from which they spring is to confuse effect with cause and further cloud the point of attack. So far, cultural analysis has established that the psychosis is so ingrained, the institutions so centralized,
that what is needed is total revolution, the armed struggle between the have-nots with their vanguard and the haves with their hirelings or macabre freaks that live through them….”
George Jackson, Bood in my Eye, Classes at War
Any mythical appeals to FDR fail to resonate for capitalism is a criminal organization that cannot be regulated.
Military Keynsianism ushered in fascism under the moniker American Exceptionalism..
The Empire then ate the Republic.
And the fascists and imperialists put a military contractor in every state to assure the juice flows to the right people.
Many Americans think that the 850 so military bases abroad are a problem and they are.
But each state in the US is itself a military base.
Conquered long ago under the auspices of Peace and Prosperity.
The country was conquered by its own Praetorian guards.
America's only hope now is the success of the global south.
For if it is not successful the most irrational ruling class in human history will destroy us all.
Too soon old, too old smart? Bacevich admits his willful ignorance about Vietnam and the phony domino effect. But those who did see through it were black listed, called commies and dismissed as the loony left! One of the few who did see was Noam Chomsky an oracle who in a working democracy would have been lauded not smeared. My country right or wrong dogma dismisses dissent. We can trace the last 40 years of war to Ronald Reagan an anti commie John Bircher from California the permanent wartime economy state! The unsaid part of America the land of "free speech" that is illusion, when it comes to war. You can be hard right Conservative and support war ANY war or a pro war "light" Democrat but Anti war rhetoric is banned from the airways. The PNAC crowd flooded the airways, lied their a--es off and never held to account, they are still marched out on CNN, CNBC as experts. While the real experts who warned of the folly were black listed and censored to this very day. All of these pro war experts should be revealed as what they really are Pentagon Propandist's. The insane hate of Russian's, is Pavlovian that go back to WW!. Forgotten by censure is the fact that Russia destroyed Hitler's armies and the D-Day invasion would never have happened were it not for Russian sacrifice. Cherry picked history and myth rule in the nation of Private Ryan's!
The Military Industrial Complex has infiltrated the entire society, from sports to cinema to the dependency of states and cities on the factories and facilities related to the production of military- related items. So many Americans and their families depend on their income , whether directly or indirectly, from their employment by these facilities that they will not criticize the policies that create their jobs ( even if they were to consider the issue at all). The anti-war movement is not allowed expression in the mainstream media which acts as handmaiden to the system. I agree with Andrew that it would require radical actions to change things, but before action comes thought. If the belief in the myth of America as the best of all possible countries persists despite wars of death and destruction waged to protect the myth and domination of the world's economy and political system, then I foresee only conflict and more war.
Dogs may bark, but the Caravn moves on
It was difficult to listen to him after he denied that slavery was a central reason for the founding of the US Empire. Gerald Horne, who was a guest of "On Contact" outlined this in his whole series from Apocalypse to 1836 Texas and Facism. Thanks for bringing that up during the convo, Mr. Hedges.
The international intervention for the profiteers started with the CIA. Start by dismantling it, move on to the other dark state and hold truth and reconciliation tribunals. Sadly, this can only come from a revolt because our elected officials are complete dupes as is the media.
The wars in the Mideast were not fruitless. A lot of oil was stolen and the weapons manufacturers made a bundle.
Imperialism is passé. #WeThePeople are disavowing killing entirely, like #Jesus, #Gandhi & #MLKjr espoused. #CivilDisobedience like at Atlanta’s “Cop City,” & the @BDSmovement (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) are THE democratic means to take & hold the “moral high ground” in our Ages Old struggle (not a “fight”) for #SocialJustice.
Ours is a strictly nonviolent & nonpartisan #RevolutionOfAwareness (ref. Bollyn.com) for #FreeingTruthAndReconciliation (ref. John 8:32 & #NelsonMandela, respectively).
Identify as #CREATORS (Conspiracy Realist Educator Activist Truther Organizer Reader Socializers), #Like #Love & #PleaseShareWidely.
this isn't related to this post but I have no other place to vent/question. I just got one of those emails saying the folks you follow on substack recc these things to read -- and Chris is listed as reccing Kucinich...do you all think he's in favor of Kucinich now that the dude signed on with Kennedy? -- ugh.
Seemingly Coincidentally, I’ve just finished Russell Banks’ magisterial work of historical fiction about John “Osawatomie” Brown: Cloudsplitter (1998).