Michael Moore links US imperial adventurism, the state of permanent war and unending military occupations, with the devastating impacts these have generated at home. Moore is thus advancing the kind of deeper and more comprehensive concept of “blowback” which I have been advocating. He directly ties war, inflated military spending, and the dominance of corporate “defense” contractors, with not just cutbacks to social services and expenditures on health, education, and infrastructure, but also tying permanent war to the entrenchment of militarization in everyday social relations.
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