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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 25, 2017

McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy

Click here to access article by Mike Whitney from CounterPunch

It looks like the neoconservative part of our deep state has scored a major victory by replacing Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor with H.R. McMaster according to Whitney's well argued essay. 

This is not surprising to me that a major and successful player at the capitalist game plays to his own interests even if by playing he cooperates with other power figures which he disagrees with. Winning in American capitalist culture is, to paraphrase noted sports figures, not only everything, it is the only thing that is worth doing. And "winning" in America is achieving wealth and power, the ability to dominate and control others, even torture or crush them if necessary to win. The winning rich and powerful have so thoroughly indoctrinated most of us in this ideology that we eagerly pack stadiums in the 100s of thousands every game day in hopes of seeing "our" team (owned by some rich guy) win, that is, thoroughly dominate, control, and even crush their opponents.

This same ethic of "winning" applies to our ruling class. The are out to dominate, even crush, opponents like Russia and China. Given that winning is the only thing, they will risk a nuclear war in order to "win". Now that Trump has moved from the "national league" to the "international league" he is beginning to learn a few new rules of winning at this level. I have no doubt that he will learn them, and "win" again depending on who puts enough pressure on him. Regardless of the outcome, the rest of us will lose, and lose big with even more deterioration of our nation's infrastructure, loss of more jobs, becoming ever deeper in debt, possibly even more wars, and more extreme weather events due to a destabilizing climate.

Donald Trump is only another human product of this system. He, like most of us, believes in the game, and has clearly demonstrated that he is a "winner". He is not only fabulously rich and powerful, he has a gorgeous trophy wife to prove it. We may not like him, but we must understand that he, like most of us, is only playing to the rules of the capitalist game. If we don't like the kind of people and the results that the game produces, we must collaborate with other like-minded people to change the system so that other rules and morals apply--rules which promote collaboration and cooperation, sustainable production so that everyone benefits, opportunities to participate in major decisions, and to foster some hope of a future for the generations of humans that follow us on our finite planet.

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