Here's what I've been reading today:
- "Al-Qaeda-affiliated networks remain useful as mercenary proxies for Anglo-American regional geostrategy in the Middle East" (157). As in - we're paying for so-called terrorism (though we can't completely control it - that's how double- and triple-agency works) to justify the government's having such a huge military, which we use to protect our interests of controlling all of the world's natural resources so we can continue to live the cushiest lives for as long as we can.
- "These crises [global ecological, energy, and economic] are recognized not as evidence that the global imperial system is fundamentally unsustainable and therefore requiring urgent transformation, but as vindicating the necessity for Western states to radicalize the exertion of their military-political capacities to maintain the existing power structures" (161-162). This is similar to what I wrote above. I agree with much of it but disagree with the implication that the people in power think that global imperial system is fundamentally unsustainable. There is a difference, I suppose, between thinking and knowing something and recognizing it publicly. I firmly believe that the people in power know that the house of cards is about to fall and just want to ride the wave (on the backs of the "have nots" of the world) as long as they can and live as well as they can before dying a fiery fiery death. They know it can't last but they don't want to be the ones to suffer.
- "While, internally, capitalist markets are designed to work without government interference, the actual creation of such markets in new territories requires a violent transformation of their social relations to take control of productive resources, dispossess large numbers from the land to create wage labourers, and open markets to foreign capital. If such efforts are resisted by local populations, then counter-insurgency measures are required to forcibly establish the 'liberal' conditions of the market - that is, a regulatory private property framework supported by appropriate political, legal and ideological institutions.Hence, military doctrines come hand-in-glove with a potent vision of 'liberal' imperialism, advocating 'the forceful extension of free markets, electoral democracies and human rights,' all of which are essential ingredients in the maintenance of 'legitimate states and capitalist markets to secure the expanded reproduction of a liberal world order'" (165, with author citing Alejandro Colas's 2007 Empire). - If this part isn't abundantly clear, what I interpret is that capitalism as we know it is bullshit. I was going to start writing about how in individual communities, doing work for profit makes sense, but then my brain started thinking about the psychological studies that refute the idea that people are best motivated extrinsically. The bottom line, I believe, is that turning land, plant and animal life, and even HUMAN life into "capital" and "resources" is wrong. It's the fundamental idea I've been wrestling with for about 12 years now - there is no "self" and "other." We MUST respect everything else as being part of what we are. Separating ourselves through the many means we use is wrong and it's going to kill life on this planet. [Future blog ideas about deifying separating institutions like language, religion, government, etc.]
- "The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our culture assault" (166, quoted from Ralph Peters's 'Constant Conflict' from Parameters 1997; Peters is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel).
These quotations and the barely explained thoughts of mine derived from them are the reason I abbreviated the lunch break I took to make time to read them; there was too much here to add on to and too much I wanted to put into words to draw on in future arguments. Input is most welcome.