April 10, 2012

Thanks to Chris Floyd for passing this along. Our nation, horribly enough, is being rotted from the inside:

[In a new book, historian Timothy Parsons] wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Washington has nothing to show for it except possibly some part of the drug trade that can be used to fund covert CIA operations.

America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about?

The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America … The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. ...

In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security. The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at April 10, 2012 10:43 PM
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Professor Wolff (the other Professor Wolff, the one who is an economist) explains it all in a nutshell right here in this amall preview of what will apparently be a movie All those Republicans voting to have taxes cut didn't realize it meant cutting business and very wealthy people's tax and shifting that burden over to the 99% of individuals so they got to pick up the tab that they used to share somewhat fairly.


Posted by: Buck on April 11, 2012 1:10 PM

For me it took getting into the history of the American West -- not the Vaseline-lensed Olde Pioneer stories but the real stuff -- to realize that we are and always have been a colonial country with a colonial mentality. Our economies and government are largely descended from the patterns set when North America was a patchwork of European resource-extraction colonies. Parts of this country -- Nevada, for example -- have never even made the transition out of colonial status. Those places that have transitioned, have flipped from colony to colonizer, as though a place had to be one or the other. So of course powerful Americans are always looking for new places and people to extract from. It's who we have been for four or five hundred years.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on April 11, 2012 5:40 PM

P.S. Via A&L Daily, further implications of the term "self-colonization". Shudder.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on April 11, 2012 9:25 PM
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