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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chilling Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Willing To Preemptively Nuke Other Nations

Click here to access article by Darius Shahtahmasebi from Anti-Media
What it [the research] ultimately shows is that Americans want to fight (and instigate) wars but no longer want to expend their own people commissioning such conflicts. Polls have also demonstrated that the majority of Americans approve of the use of drone warfare against suspected terrorists, another example of Americans approving of killing people without realistically endangering personnel.
Contrary to this conclusion arrived at by the author of this article, I believe that the research results show the power of the US ruling class to instill hatred of their enemies in the minds of ordinary Americans. I know from my own experience that the ongoing portrayal of the Japanese as beasts by US media enabled the American populace to accept the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same applies to Iran. (I was awakened to this discovery when a sibling expressed such hatred toward Iran and praised the virtues of Saudi Arabia.) 

Also one must factor in the ruling class's induced passivity and acceptance of authority into one's interpretation of the results. What the 1974 classic Milgram study demonstrated is that in a society taught to induce blind obedience to authority figures, people can be rather easily encouraged by authorities to apply apparently very painful electric shocks to others in conditions where they will suffer no adverse consequences themselves and will please authorities in their presence. Thus ruling classes can create conditions to induce ordinary people to commit horrific acts by teaching them to hate their enemies using all kinds of fake information and officially sanctioning such acts.

Americans, like the Germans and Japanese, are intrinsically no different than anyone else when allowances are made for their idiosyncratic experiences and their history of being untouched by the experience of war on their continent since the Civil War of 1860. What they do share with millions across the globe is living in nations that are ruled by self-serving ruling classes that are overwhelmingly capitalist. The system itself, fueled by the quest for profit and power, encourages war for access to cheap resources and labor. The solution, which this research and others like it supports, is not to denigrate Americans but to end the rule of tiny classes of people, and in today's world that means the end of capitalist rule and the creation of social systems that can support harmony among people and with nature.