Home > economics, General Comment, political-economy, politics, shorter work time > Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (10)

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (10)

Continued from here:

To really understand National Security Council Report No. 68 (NSC-68 ) you have to understand something about yourself.

You are more or less educated, thoughtful, compassionate, empathetic, and humane.

At least, that is how you imagine yourself. That is how you want to be known. Those are the words you want on your gravestone.

But, we know better, don’t we?

We know, in fact, you are capricious, unstable, irresponsible, ignorant, untutored, incapable of understanding any concept which can’t be written on a bumper-sticker, volatile, apathetic, moody, hysterical, withdrawn, complacent, lethargic, superficial, over-reactive, violent, panicky, and. above all, dangerous to human beings and pets.

Yeah, like a book – like a god-damned book, we can read you!

Insulted?

Tough.

Because, that is just how the people who developed and enshrined NSC-68 as national policy saw you; and, since that policy has remained more or less in force for 60 years, it is pretty obvious they were on to something – they captured that thing in you so repulsive you cannot admit its existence to yourself.

In fact, every time you hear a Washington politician address, “My Fellow Americans,” that is to whom he is talking: an ignorant, uncultured nation of boobs, who can be led around by the nose, and ordered to jump through hoops on command.

Do you imagine I am lying about all this?

Prove me a liar: simply download, and read this document, by Steven Casey, which describes in detail how you are seen by Washington, and how, based on that analysis of your weak-minded personality, they created a campaign to have you foot the bill for an unlimited decades-long buildup of American military force, at the expense of your hopes and dreams, and those of your family.

According to Casey:

Inside the foreign-policy establishment there was a widely held conviction that the public’s ignorance about foreign-policy issues, rather than always leading to apathy, often resulted in volatile oscillations, as the popular mood shifted rapidly between complacency and hysteria, withdrawal and engagement…the popular mood was highly unstable, often characterized by “sudden shifts of interest or preference.” As Almond succinctly put it, “the superficiality and instability of public attitudes toward foreign affairs creates the danger of under- and over-reaction to changes in the world political situation.”

Because the popular mood was highly susceptible to such violent mood swings, leaders had tread carefully, tailoring their message to suit current conditions. On occasion, this might well entail overselling, perhaps even exaggerating the importance of an international incident, in order to jolt the populace out of its torpor. But at the same time, clear dangers lurked in going too far in this direction, for such activity might also create an overreaction, perhaps even sparking a widespread popular hysteria. As a result, the goal of any information campaign was to generate interest in times of apathy, but without creating a panic when the mood swiftly began to shift.

In short, they played you like a fine violin.

Just as the Moron has played you in our present conflicts, exaggerating the threat posed by cave dwellers in the most inhospitable regions of western Pakistan to make you surrender your most basic constitutional rights, and celebrate the slaughter of 1.2 million Iraqis and Afghans.

To continue:

Wikipedia has this to say about NSC-68:

NSC-68 or National Security Council Report 68 was a 58 page classified report issued April 14, 1950 during the presidency of Harry Truman. Written in the formative stages of the Cold War, it has become one of the classic historical documents of the Cold War. NSC-68 would shape government actions in the Cold War for the next 20 years and has subsequently been labeled its “blueprint.” Truman officially signed NSC-68 on September 30, 1950. It was declassified in 1977.

This document, which was withheld from you for 27 years, and basically ignored for the last 30, had a profound impact on your life, the lives of your parents, and grandparents, and the lives of your children, who, even as I am writing this, are adding to the mountain of Iraqi corpses steadily accumulating in the Garden of Eden.

Which is not to say, had you, or your parents, or your grandparents been aware of this document at the time, things would have turned out differently. At the time it was written, America was flush with triumphalist spirit – the Axis powers had been defeated, and the rest of the planet was laid waste with massive damage to the infrastructure, and governments of many nations. Aside from Pearl Harbor, however, the United States had suffered no damage on its territory.

Still, an estimated 70 percent of Americans were prepared to raise their own taxes to boost military spending!

The impetus behind NSC-68 was obvious: seventy-two million people were dead, and we were the only operating concern open for business. It was as if Hurricane Katrina had wiped out all of New Orleans, yet, spared all the Wal-Marts. People needed everything from bread, to diapers, to matches and cigarettes, and ‘Uncle Sam’s’ Club was the only place to get them.

Given that the United States had for years been devoting half of its output to war, and had withdrawn 12 million men in the prime of their productive working years for the same period and applied them to the task of generating huge numbers of corpses in such place as Dresden, Normandy, and Hiroshima, you might expect that, with the end of hostilities, Americans might be entitled to a ‘peace dividend’.

It might have been fair to expect that as much as 50 percent of the workweek could have been shaved off without causing undue economic dislocation.

But, there were all those people who needed bread, and diapers, and matches and cigarettes. And, it seems, they were willing to agree to just about any terms the Truman administration dictated to get them. Americans had the opportunity to gather all the poker chips from the table, and everyone seemed willing to let them do it, in return for easy credit.

That is, everyone except the Soviet Union, which, in the eyes of the Truman administration, wasn’t playing nice.

Curious at this obstinacy, the administration sent a series of questions to the American embassy in Moscow, and received a detailed reply by none other than George F. Kennan. That answer, the so-called, Long Telegram, described the Soviet Union as:

…a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no permanent modus vivendi, that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our traditional way of life be destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken, if Soviet power is to be secure. This political force has complete power of disposition over energies of one of world’s greatest peoples and resources of world’s richest national territory, and is borne along by deep and powerful currents of Russian nationalism. In addition, it has an elaborate and far-flung apparatus for exertion of its influence in other countries, an apparatus of amazing flexibility and versatility, managed by people whose experience and skill in underground methods are presumably without parallel in history. Finally, it is seemingly inaccessible to considerations of reality in its basic reactions. For it, the vast fund of objective fact about human society is not, as with us, the measure against which outlook is constantly being tested and re-formed, but a grab bag from which individual items are selected arbitrarily and tendentiously to bolster an outlook already preconceived.”

Kennan drew a picture of Soviet Union as an ominously resource wealthy people who were fanatical, hostile, subversive, jingoistic, unreasonable, delusional, and unable to separate reality from their dogmas.

Now, if this characterization of the Russian poeple sounds familiar to you, it should.

It was pretty much how the authors of NSC-68 described you!

To be continued

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