On 8/19/06, ??? wrote:
The only thing that generates progress is money. From ancient Greece and Rome through the Holy Roman Empire to present day (such as the last 300 years) men have struggled for power and riches. This struggle has caused pain and suffering but it has also fired technology and sociology. This may not suit some of the pseudo-intellectuals but nevertheless, that's the way it is and we had best find a way to make it work for us and our country. If this means imperialism and conquest, why not?
Why Globalization and Connectivity (Conquest and Imperialism) Mean Capitalism Will No Longer Keep Americans Safe and Warm
By Nathan Jaco:
It is true one should think of things in terms of the economic system, but also, if one is to adhere to a reasonable sense of ethics, one should think of things in terms of the human consequences. There have actually been successful systems; a recent example would be many of the Scandinavian countries' quasi-Socialism, of government that has been effective at social organization without relying heavily on the framework of ultra-competitive success.
Actually America's system of imperialism and conquest, the Pentagon system, has essentially failed as a result of the activities of the private sector capitalists. For example, under the system of globalization if one wants to have a successful furniture company, one could close down factories in Pennsylvania, putting American workers out of jobs, and ship the wood to China to be processed and shipped back. The finished product would essentially be being bought from China at a cheaper price than employing American laborer. This kind of practice would run up the US trade deficit immensely (and economists are scratching their heads trying to salvage America's economy), but it would turn huge profits for the shareholders and thus the wealthy investor class, 1% of Americans own around 50% of the stock, and in the process destroy the American economy and the middle class, causing devastating human consequences for American working-class families, like yours. This hypothetical is actually based on an example discussed by Sen. Byron Dorgan at a conference televised on C-SPAN.
So this is the problem that we all must face, the highly-contrived and unnatural system of investor-friendly globalization means that capitalism will no longer keep Americans', at least most of us, safe and warm in our beds.
The Pentagon system of imperial conquest that I mentioned earlier, was extremely harmful to the economy overall, but the wealthy elite, and I am referring to perhaps half of a percent of a population of 300 million, made out fine. The Pentagon system was American state intervention into industrial policy planning. It put capital resources into military production and not things that could be sold to consumers on the market. It boosted the GDP, by boosting the state sector of the economy, especially in things like high-technology - fiber optics and microelectronics and the like. However, it was bad for the market, and in 1982, a poll by the Wall Street Journal showed that "83 percent of Wall Street executives were opposed to increases or sharp increases in the military budget" ("The Disarmament Debate: New Directions," National Forum 63:4, Fall 1983, pp. 38-39).
The Reagan administration failed in its efforts to boost the competitive market economy from a global standpoint because he could not get other nations to waste money through military spending to a comparable degree. This is why the Japanese did so well in the 1980's, because though they had a similar system of state socialist planning (the state sector of the US economy can be considered socialist by the way), the Japanese systems focused on increasing competition among participants; competition among many participants rather than handing multi-billion dollar contracts over to a giant corporate conglomerate like Lockheed-Martin. The state sector of the US economy rewards conquest in business, and fascist ways of thinking in business, even successful business, lead to rewarding monopolies.
Under the new grand strategy, as outlined by Thomas Barnett at the National Defense University on 18 August, most of those monopolies are now poised to make lots of money in emerging markets like China by investment and lucrative infrastructure building opportunities. And China buys large shares of American debt through trading, so it can turn around and give it to American corporations. Then you have imperialism and conquest - the concentration of economic resources and thus decent quality of life into the hands of a few private citizens will others must fend for themselves in a highly competitive and brutal global economy for the rich.
We must use the Golden Rule, and think of the human consequences. How would you like to watch your wife starve because American citizens rolled over and let the imperialist world system take its course? These are potential, and perhaps even plausible, human consequences for conquest and imperialism. They have already affected the world and examples abound in history. Guatemala in the 1950's. Vietnam in the 1960's. Indochina and East Timor in the 1970's and 1980's. The system of American imperialism has and is causing genocide all over the world, and you say "why not imperialism and conquest?" Is it because you think you and your family are safe from the consequences. Well you are not any longer; Thomas Friedman essentially told everyone that.
However, the world is far from flat, and connectivity, or by another name, corporate imperialism, will bankrupt American citizens like the Pentagon system. That is not to mention, we may lose this competition to the ASEAN plus three nations or an Islamo-fascist Salafistic empire - and then they will dictate our life according to their interests, as we have been doing to others for centuries. That is why compassion, universality, and a focus on human consequences should emerge as the prevailing paradigm in government policies, in order to save us from the same fate - torture, rape, murder and starvation - that we damned so many millions of people to for so long.