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, January 2, 2012

Imperialism and the “Anti-Imperialism of the Fools”

Click here to access article by James Petras from Information Clearing House.

This Professor Emeritus and sociologist provides an historical look at the evolution of strategies that imperial rulers have used to acquire and maintain their empires. This has consisted of propaganda designed to justify their actions, divide and rule strategies, promoting domestic ruler clients, and finally to what we have seen more recently--the promotion of “anti-imperialist” and “pro-democracy” “grass roots movements”, also known pejoratively as "astroturf" organizations. He criticizes many on the left for being fooled by the latter ploys.
Their support for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia led to the break-up of a multi-national state and the creation of huge NATO military bases and a white slavers paradise in Kosovo. Their blind support for the imperial promoted “liberation” of Eastern Europe devastated the welfare state, eliminating the pressure on Western regimes’ need to compete in providing welfare provisions. The main beneficiaries of Western imperial advances via ‘grass roots’ uprisings were the multi-national corporations, the Pentagon and the right-wing free market neo-liberals.
It may sound a bit cynical, but I would argue, that is the function that political liberals serve in bourgeois democracies: to legitimatize imperial policies among ordinary people who are concerned about human and civil rights. Liberals are often richly rewarded for their services by advancement in their careers and gaining access to mainstream media.