Home > economics, General Comment, political-economy, politics, shorter work time > Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (14)

Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible? (14)

Continued from here.

To the question, “Is serious left criticism of government’s share of GDP possible?”, we have so far offered a review of changes in that share from 1914 to the 21st Century.

We have offered an explanation for the changes in the government’s share of GDP, using the words and actions of successive administrations, and showing how these changes, in every case, were linked to what Bertrand Russell correctly called, “payment for past wars or preparation for future wars…”

In the case of the United States, by 1950, we suggest this, “public expenditure of most civilized Governments”, had been enshrined in national economic policy under the rubric, “Full Employment”, meaning not the right of Americans to a decent job with a living wage, but the conversion of the economy itself to building, supplying, maintaining, and provisioning a Cordon Militaire around the Soviet Union and its satellites.

It would seem to follow that whatever, “imbalances”, in the economy to which Jared Bernstein refers are connected to this militarization of the American economy, or, heavily influenced by that conversion.

The militarization of the economy is, fundamentally, the diversion of human effort from the satisfaction of human need – the diversion of human productive capacities from its logical conclusion in the act of human consumption; the detachment of the act of production from the act of consumption.

In practical terms, this presents the paradox of over-production and under-consumption in a new historical form, as massive effort is devoted to the production of military armaments, and other ex-consumption items, while millions go with basic needs unmet – education, housing, medical care, decent wages, etc. – necessary infrastructure crumbles into disrepair, and even to the bizarre outcome that poor backward nations like India and China provide, essentially gratis, hundred of billions in consumer goods and capital to the richest nation in human history.

Let them eat dirt cookies!

Above all else, it is a hellish and repugnant squandering of the wealth of the nation and the entire world – wealth which is not the least bit measured in the output of goods or by artificial statistics which are the fetish of economists, but only in our free time, and the possibilities for unencumbered self-development.

It is this astonishing waste of human effort that Jared Bernstein’s candidate, Barack Obama, and his opponent, John McCain, seek not only to continue, but to expand if either is elected to the Presidency this fall.

We could continue to wax eloquent  on the possibility for a society devoted to human needs, to human self-development, to the unprecedented burst of human creativity and productivity that would be unleashed with the breaking of the national security state.

Fine words, indeed! But, no more than wishing pigs to fly, were it not impossible that the present circumstances should continue.

Truth be known, we have no illusion you will waken from your stupor to seize your life back from the relentless machinery of empire – the designers of our present circumstances knew you better than your own mother – intellectually lazy, dissipate, incapable of forming a coherent thought – all in all, a populace completely in tune with all the most notable qualities of the present occupant of the White House.

Yes, the Moron is your special product.

Were circumstances to depend on you rousing yourself from a six decades long slumber, we might as well await the Second Coming.

Most notable in this regard: whatever your personal judgment as to the necessity for the Cordon Militare erected around the Soviet Union, no matter which side of the Cold War you held to be least offensive, no matter your political loyalties to dogmas of Republican or Democratic administrations, one fact stands in sharp relief:

The Soviet Union collapsed – just as predicted – nearly twenty years ago, yet, the machinery of war allegedly erected to counter its (again) alleged existential threat to the United States continues to grow unimpeded by any significant domestic opposition.

It disappeared…



Down the rabbit hole of history.

And, you are still cruising the oceans with carrier groups, while deadly hydra-headed missiles slip silently through the planet’s deep waters, threatening the extinction of life itself.

And, this is considered by the brightest and mostly worldly among you to be normal behavior.

The nations then dominated by the Soviet Union, whose military-industrial potentials were supposed to augment the military power of their Soviet overlords, are, today, being integrated into the G8, NATO and the European Union, and, in several cases, adding to the coalition of the willing currently piling up bodies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, or, stocking the aisles of Wal-Mart.

The Cordon Militaire erected around the now defunct Soviet threat, under the banner of containment, has now been given new life under the banner of Full Spectrum Dominance while you were watching reruns of American Idol.

Remember the Alamo!

Remember the Maine!

Remember the Lusitania!

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Remember the 38th Parallel!

Remember the Gulf of Tonkin!

How often has some convenient outrage has been raised as a justification for you to do that which you have always been more than willing to do.

Were this latest outrage not to exist, would we not invent it?

It follows, thus, the events of September 11, 2001,  which have served to give justification the slaughter of a million Arabs, the befouling of mankind’s own cradle, and the overture to World War IV,  draw their power not from the wild fanaticism of cave dwellers, but from you.

And, just as likely,  the frustration of these designs hinge not on you,  as you imagine yourself – the injured and innocent party – but must be the very forces you unleash, which impose themselves on you as a consequence of your own actions, and, as an impenetrable barrier to the furtherance of your designs.

Simply stated, we are forced to consider the circumstance under which, despite your further efforts to extend government’s share of GDP  in service to your murderous perversities, the very extension of that share becomes an intolerable burden to you – a burden which must be thrown off on pain of your self-destruction.

To be continued

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