[FoRK] US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within
Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK)
fork at ianbell.com
Wed May 4 16:27:21 PDT 2005
On 4-May-05, at 12:58 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> I don't doubt that these activities have had an Imperial effect to
> some extent with some countries. I'm curious how much that was the
> direct intent; certainly it seems that South America has had some
> suspicious patterns.
Well I would suspect that the appointment of former Defense Secretary
James McNamara, who ran the World Bank from 1968-1981; or that the
appointment of Paul Wolfowitz from Deputy Secretary of Defense to the
World Bank this year, might be indicative of the criticality of the
process in implementing US foreign policy.. but maybe that's too
Of course, there doesn't NEED to be an explicit conspiracy in this
regard. The furtherance of the corporate agenda (which motivates us
all to make decisions to enrich ourselves) embedded in the design of
our economic system is enough to motivate most imperial activities. In
the latter 20th Century, Imperialism was no longer driven by
authoritarian monarchs and their generals, armed with powerful navies
and foreign legions; it was driven by plutocrats and their middle
managers, armed with Excel spreadsheets and development aid.
> The .com boom/bust, with its very beneficial leap forward in
> technology, awareness, and access and transfer of wealth from
> moduls/foundations to the meritous-middle class, is a creative
> destruction model to desire.
I'm sorry ... I realize I'm questioning our own existence here, but
what exactly is/was the profound human social benefit of the dot com
boom/bust? How does eBay really contribute to the furtherance of
mankind? Are fewer babies dying of malnourishment because I can now
shop for books and DVDs online? Does ubiquitous broadband really
further the human endeavour or does the subsidized propagation of
internet access merely allow countries to compete economically with
other countries who, well, also subsidize the propagation of internet
Given that the majority of those who were left holding worthless shares
were that selfsame middle class I suspect that any detailed analysis of
the flow of funds during the era would reveal that the opposite was
true: the dotcom boom/bust had more to do with a transference of
wealth from the middle class to the moguls/foundations than the
inverse, as you've stated. That a few "meritous" Sergeis, Yangs and
Koogles were beatified by those moguls to serve as beacons to the
slaving masses is hardly evidence of such wealth transference having
To assume that more technology is a good thing perpetuates a very
Western-centric view of humanity. The Achuar tribe in Ecuador has
lived sustainably and happily in the same area for thousands of years
and I don't think they have much interest in getting internet access,
or in buying and selling securities. Of course, their primary interest
over the past 30 years has become growing and selling enough cocaine to
buy weapons to defend themselves from the encroaching oil companies and
their US-trained government security details. Ironic that both the
cocaine and the oil end up in the same place though, no?
> We should all hope that the world leaps forward in all of these ways,
> however messy it is and whatever path it takes.
When it wipes out societies, cultures, and species; when it consumes
every available resource as it careens down a blind path to global
ecophagy; when it actively promotes the deaths of millions of people
whether they're in New York, Iraq, Panama, or Israel .... I'm beginning
to think that maybe it's a bit too messy for me.
And the assumption that such leaping moves us forward is perhaps even
more problematic. The point is that if your yardstick for "progress"
says Made In America then every person on the planet must be measured
on a continuum with the Bush family at one end and a starving
HIV-infected baby on the other. The point is that the success of the
Bush family is entirely dependent upon a system which necessitates the
existence of both groups in increasing numbers, leaving progressively
fewer of us in the middle.
> The main cause of villany is ignorance
The main cause of villainy is personal greed. Ignorance allows
villainy to scale. Profound ignorance allows villainy to scale
"Economics" is a very good mechanism for the institutionalization and
export of ignorance.
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