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I believe that there is a window of opportunity to redeploy the military industrial complex to a different campaign - ie the survival of the planet - and that the enabling factor is pervasive direct instantaneous communication.
That's a pretty provocative statement, Chris. I agree the potential to do great things would be there with a redirected military/industrial machine humming down the green highway, but--given this "pervasive instantaneous communication"-- then what? The military I know so well will think, first, how the enemy can jam it, then how to censor it, then how dissidents might use it to foment ---insurgencies.
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
kinder, gentler killing machines.
who, when they're not 'needed' for enemy-disposal, can balance their karma by doing stuff that lil' folks can't on their own. tree planting, well digging, levee building.
keep them fitter than always blowing shit up, too.
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
and that the enabling factor is pervasive direct instantaneous communication.
In fact I left a lot out by putting it like that. Although cyberwarfare is definitely a growth area, I wasn't really referring to that.
I think that the changes in political economy which flow from globally networked markets and financial systems could lead to a mechanism which gives the military industrial complex a more 'profitable' area of investment. ie to turn swords to green ploughshares could well become the smart thing to do, economically.
It is energy shortage that will lead to a pull-back by the US, and ensure that no single dominant nation is in a position to project global power in the same way as the US, and the British before them.
"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed"
The military I know so well will think, first, how the enemy can jam it, then how to censor it, then how dissidents might use it to foment ---insurgencies.
At this point there is likely no point in doing more than just monitoring the sorts of discussions occurring on ET, Booman DKos, etc., but I am reasonably certain that such sites are characterized and categorized by multiple agencies. But there are severe limits on the amount of reasonably high level analyst time can be devoted to non-critical matters. But then what do we know of what others think is "critical."
So I chose just to "not let it bother me." I believe I know approximately where the bounds of civil discourse are, and I know what are supposed to be my individual rights under the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for whatever protections those may afford, and I attempt to remain within those as well.
Meanwhile I continue my feeble attempts at subverting the blinders with which we are provided by the conditions of our culture and society. A lot more people than some might expect are coming to see just how invidious to the interests of >95% of the population are the current power arrangements in the US and Europe and how detrimental to the welfare of that >95% majority are the policies that are directed to the benefit of the <1% minority. I find that this is becoming apparent to store clerks, plumbers and other ordinary people I meet in Northern Arkansas.
I think those inside the D.C. beltway are also beginning to sense this. Thus the Kabuki around the bailout bonuses and the threats to remove anti-trust exemptions for the insurance industry. The real question will be what they will do if and when it becomes obvious that relatively cheap gestures and the offering up of scapegoats is insufficient.
The 2010 mid-term elections are only 54 weeks away. The Masters Of The Universe may think that they have put the genie back in the bottle, but first they had to glue the bottle back together. The system is unstable, non-linear and under stress. If even a few of those with underwater residential mortgages decide to stop paying and gamble on the banks not being able to show title, that alone could bring the system down.
The MOTU and their nominees at the Fed and Treasury have accomplished a putative recovery by tossing the futures of most US citizens into the machine. The longer it goes, the worse the end will be. How much longer can the levitation and manipulation continue? Until it doesn't, I suppose, and it will collapse rather suddenly.
On the bright side, at least we get to know how it feels to be a millenarian, waiting for The End. I think that The Long War, hubris beyond dreams of grandiosity, will likely be a lot shorter than the Iraq war--not because the US population will rise up against it, but because, when the next shoe drops, when the next down leg in the economy comes, it will be spectacular and the pretense that we can afford a Long War will be exposed for the folly it is. Should we attempt to wage it, that will accelerate the loss of global reserve status for the US Dollar. Without that ace and without the support of solvent allies, how can we finance such a war?
The real dark side is the possibility that the current system could prop itself up for another 5-10 years, but for that to happen, the bad debt would have to be dealt with. It doesn't appear that that will happen any time soon, and wealth has become so concentrated that all that now remains is for the MOTUs to turn on each other. Trying to extract more money from the general population is coming to be like extracting gold from US Midwest topsoil. Have a nice time at the top of the pyramid, Goldman.
"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
The system is unstable, non-linear and under stress. If even a few of those with underwater residential mortgages decide to stop paying and gamble on the banks not being able to show title, that alone could bring the system down.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
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