Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thigh Bone's Connected to . . .

I've turned over a new leaf. I've decided to spend less time in front of this computer screen. Why? Because much as I enjoy surfing around and getting sucked into reading all the interesting stuff you can always find, there is only so much profitable time in a day, and I'm pissing away too much of it with the computer. Even as we speak, I'm in a room surrounded by books on four sides. My first love and my most constant, whom I've been avoiding--to my own detriment, I fear. So beginning last Monday, I set aside several hours a day just to read (and listen to classical music while doing so).

Which brings us to Mr. Morris Berman and his book Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire. A most engrossing read. But don't come near it if you're looking for sweetness and light. The gist of it is this: It's already too late for us. We've been a national security state since the end of WWII. We're a a thoroughly militarized society. Our foreign policy has been centered on advancing the fortunes of corporations (either overtly or at root) since the late 19th century. Globalization = Americanization. The US military is there to enforce this over any objectors. We Americans absolutely despise revolutionary movements, especially those that don't square with our view of what is acceptable--i.e., not inimical to US interests, non-socialist. These two categories exclude virtually all revolutions.

This rendition hardly does the book any justice at all. It's much more than this, and I'm not finished with it yet.

What's striking is the continuum here. Ankle bone is Manifest Destiny; calf bone is Mexican War; knee bone, extermination of Native Americans; thigh bone, Spanish American war . . . you get the idea. Cold War presented us with what we love: a black and white choice where answer is "we good, they bad." That's as complicated as we can stand, and we're going to go straight down the tubes of history because we're too ignorant and too arrogant to see it any other way.
Post a Comment