Thursday, September 14, 2006

Losers of 9/11 Part 2:
Many other actors lost opportunities due to the events of 9/11. The lost opportunities of the American ruling class were discussed in Part 1. The ordinary American people also lost as well. Their interests are not the same as those of their rulers. Certainly not the same as all factions of that ruling class, for the ruling class has factions that have different interests. This may seem a truism, and most of the American left will make ritual genuflections in this direction just like a good Catholic will before the host contained in the tabernacle whether they really believe that that piece of bread is the body and blood of Christ or if it is just a verbal formula. The more radical and academic sections of the American left adopt a general attitude towards their fellow countrymen that is, in fact, the precise opposite of seeking to aid the aspirations of ordinary people.
The Leninist theory of imperialism- factually wrong in terms of modern economics, assuming it ever was right- that explained the ability of some sections of the western working class to better their condition by imagining that they participated in some "looting" of the imperial colonies is a mere newly hatched chick to the dinosaur sized Great Rock of modern American leftist "guilt spinning". This web of feelings and rhetoric assigns an "ist" and an "ism" to so many conditions of life that presumably (whether they do in reality of not) "give benefit" to some imaginary oppressing group that it pretty well excludes 100% of Americans and 99.9999% of the world's population from the ranks of the "totally oppressed". The end result is psychological one-up-man-ship, not politics.
What follows is not anarchist propaganda. It merely assumes that the American people are mostly decent and that they deserve benefits which they lost due to a misguided reaction on the part of the American government to the events of 9/11. None of the opportunities that they lost really have much to do with anarchism except in a peripheral sense in the loss of their liberties and potential for security through greater self sufficiency and conservation. What they lost presumes basically the same general political economy that they have had in the past, but one managed a bit more intelligently than it has been in recent years.
Some of the losses of the American people are obvious. They have far fewer civil liberties today than they had six years ago. It is doubtful that this has increased their security any more than a focused effort on Al Queda, without the distraction of the Iraq invasion, would have done. The likelihood is precisely the opposite. The Americans are losing "the war of ideas" because of the domestic actions of their government, just as they are losing it because of its foreign adventures.
But there are other losers that they have suffered that are much more in the way of lost opportunities. Before 9/11 America was in a much better fiscal position that it is now. Not that their position was perfect, but matters such as the deficit and the negative balance of payments were at least possibly fixable. Add a trillion dollars via the undertaking of a hopeless war and the problems become insoluble. similarly, other pressing matters such a an infrastructure deficit, a poorly performing educational system, loss of innovative capacity, growing social inequality that threatens the implied "social contract" of America's myth of equality, etc. get swept away from consideration by the breeze generated by so many waving flags. These problems don't disappear. They fester and become worse the longer they are ignored. In a climate of war hysteria generated by a government determined to widen an inevitable war into a series of optional wars they will continue to grow in magnitude.
As America wastes its resources trying to achieve the impossible other, more sensible, countries become much better at competition because they use their resources wisely. In the end the living conditions of the American population stagnate at best and, more likely, begin to decline. The Americans are presently paying the price for allowing themselves to be swept up in the ideological myth generated by the present government. They have begun to wake up, but precious time has been lost. An hopeless crusade to try and monopolize Middle Eastern oil has put the necessary development of energy conservation and alternative sources of energy in the USA back at least a decade. Ignoring this necessity is treason to the American people because it perpetuates the dependence of the USA on vulnerable foreign supplies. The Republicans end up giving Al Queda greater assistance than the most "liberal" of American politicians ever could.
All the above is written from an "in their shoes" point of view. It assumes the general perspective of a rational citizen of the USA with all their general beliefs about politics and economics. It doesn't contradict any major system of American belief. When I examine the other "losers" I will indeed go beyond these beliefs. But for now...
More later

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