We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Book Review: The Modern Mercenary
The capitalist propensity to "own" everything has also gone global in the form of private armies, spy services, security services, etc., all in support of the application of violence to promote their interests of power and profits. These new privatized agencies of violence have stealthily eroded what we were familiar with: state monopoly of violence and the embryonic development of international laws and norms governing the use of violence. As the state also morphs into an essentially privatized entity, governments often contract out their applications of violence to these agencies especially if they are illegal and secret such as false flag operations. Or if the operation is not secret, the government can directly hire and train combat units consisting of mostly foreign mercenaries as they have done, and will continue to do, under the Division 30 project for attacks against Syria. Fitts offers a brief review of a new book that deals with this new, mostly unrecognized phenomenon.