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
Monday, June 13, 2016
Allen Dulles’ “Indonesian Strategy” and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy [a best post]
I believe that this book is extraordinarily important in providing more details about the emergence of the capitalist right-wing to power in the US and the subsequent construction of the US-led Empire that we see today.
It is my belief that the combination of the rise of a fabulously wealthy capitalist elite in the US in the early 1900s and the Soviet revolution in 1917 provided the basic ingredients that fermented during the Great Depression of the 1930s and led to an aggressive fascist element within the capitalist ruling class. In the 1930s right-wing capitalists were greatly disturbed by the restrictions placed on their up-until-then freewheeling capitalist adventures caused by the mild concessions the FDR administration made to working people, and they went to work on various projects to establish their uncontested power over US society.
Agents of Wall Street tried to recruit the popular Gen. Smedley Butler to head a new government after a coup was planned to remove FDR. The next project was to destroy the Soviet Union by supporting the rising corporate-fascist elements in Germany while hiding under the banner of "isolationists". (To be sure, there were genuine isolationists, but few among the ruling capitalist class. After all, war is good for business!) Having failed that, they then quietly went about preparing for takeover of the cumbersome machinery of government after the war. It was a project to preserve only the facade of democracy, to rid government and the entire society of the legacy of social democratic laws passed during the FDR administrations and to remove from all institutions any key people who advocated worker interests. (If you are not familiar with what happened during these dreadful years, read this Wikipedia summary.)
While this was going on, they rather stealthily constructed largely unaccountable secret agencies like the CIA and NSA to work outside of the purview of the official government to build a capitalist empire under their control. The assassination of Kennedy in 1963 (and his brother a few years later) signaled to all social-democratic and liberal rivals in the capitalist ruling class that a right-wing capitalist deep state had taken control of the US.
I strongly disagree with the reviewer's state that this assassination "...forces us to consider how different the world would be if JFK had lived." The fact that revolutionary forces on the left failed to overthrow the rule of capitalists made the right-wing coup of Dulles and others an inevitable outcome of so much power and wealth that was concentrated in so few hands. Individuals play a role of little significance compared to a social-economic system.
This book promises to fill in some missing pieces to this largely secret history of this right-wing accession to rule. And as they say, the rest is history. The legacy of this history is what we see today: the rule of a deep state behind a facade of "democratic" government complete with managed elections, a huge propaganda apparatus straight out of Orwell's 1984, NATO armies engaged in never-ending wars, corrupt head-chopping allies, use of sovereign debts to control entire nations, sponsorship of terrorist armies to undermine others, neoliberal trade treaties to enrich the already rich, the ongoing military threats to Russia and China, and all the rest of their obsessive efforts to extend their control over every nation on earth.