policies, as well as the financial and political powers backing them, ensured
that the City and its most vulnerable citizens would be adversely affected.
Infrastructure deteriorations, breakdown of water and sanitation and prolonged
electrical blackouts are products of public disinvestment and private
profit-taking; delays in repairing the electric grid are products of cuts in
the labor force. While the state and federal government compiles detailed data
files on every mosque, and Muslim charity donor and whoever else might voice a
criticism of the State of Israel, it has no ‘data’ on our vulnerable elderly
and disabled citizens trapped in high rises, public housing and nursing homes. These
citizens suffered cold, thirst and hunger in darkness and many lacked
medicine. Some died. None existed in the priority registries of Homeland
Petras, “Tropical Storm Sandy:
Natural Disaster or Political?” November, 13, 2012.
the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and Kosovo in the early 1990s we were not all
suddenly oppressed Muslims; after the Central African genocide of the mid-1990s
- at the expense of perhaps 700,000 lives - the citizens of the world did not
all become Tutsis; nor did we become Timorese nor Palestinians nor Guatemalan
peasants. After the horrific bombing of trains in Madrid in 2004, we did not all become
Spaniards, nor Russians after Beslan.
Smith, The Endgame of Globalization
miles outside of Birmingham,
writes Douglas A. Blackmon, “spread in haphazard rows across the forest
floor…were sunken graves of the dead from nearby prison mines once operated by
ago, they tell us.
Neoliberalism’s business of “freeing of people” flourished with the flames from Little Boy and Fat Man.Title
to Indian lands passed to the English Crown, thanks to the Doctrine of
Discovery. This international law, explains Robert J. Miller, “preempted sales
of these lands to any other European country or any individual, and granted
sovereignty and commercial rights over Indian Natives to the Crown and its
this is older still! Only look to the future, warns President Obama as did his
again a November 1918,” shouted Hitler. And Hitler became a politician (Chris
Hitchens, “Imagining Hitler,” Arguably
Essays by Christopher Hitchens, 2012). His first act of business once he
took office? Naturally repressive:
down the unions and then viciously pillaged the galleries of a once civilized
nation to hang most of the best modern painting in Germany in a wildly
philistine 1937 exhibition - in Munich - entitled (sic) ‘Degenerate Art.’
past is never the past for those whose task is to conceal and to manipulate.
again, shouted Nixon, will Black leadership muster the courage to resist and
gain support of Red, Brown, Yellow, and white Americans, workers, poor and
middle class, anti-war activists, housewives and feminists, youth and student
the United States,
we are at a stage in the globalization process where it is less about
forgetfulness and more a blatant display of ignorance and indifference, no care
whatsoever about the country’s violent role in world affairs, past or present.
May 2008, Bush II celebrated Israel’s
60th birthday. Israelis and Americans cheered. “Many Israelis look at Bush as
one of the best friends we’ve ever had in terms of understanding our problems
and his attitudes toward Israel,”
said Elihu Ben-Onin, former Israeli general (Huffington Post). Bush was the best friend of Israel, but now
it has another.
Listen carefully to the donkeys and the elephants!
praised Bush’s successor this past March 2012 when he visited the White House.
The friendship of the Israeli prime minister and the president of the United States
is of utmost importance and rest, states Netanyahu in Israel’s ability “to make
its own decisions” as a sovereign state. “it must have the ability to defend
itself, by itself, against any threats.” Of course, billions in U.S. funds and U.S. weaponry is a given. Obama,
the newest friend’s response: The bond between our two countries is
unbreakable” (The Daily Mail).
congratulations on your victory, Mr. Obama!
asked geographer and historian Neil Smith, did citizens around the world
respond to the World
attacks by shouting, “We are all Americans now?”
certain racism - perhaps more accurately a sense of some differential value of
citizens from different groups, countries, or hemispheres - surely framed some
of the differential response to September 11th, and the global power of
U.S.-owned and controlled media, for whose executives these events were
obviously highly personal, accentuated response. (Endgame of Globalization, 2005)
after all, Americans are the “good guys,” the saviors of the world - but
American will not tolerate anti-Americanism! The piercing look of the American
Eagle, a donkey on one side and an elephant on the other, searching for
advantages in the adversity it creates, only mean the “revolution” for “peace”
can proceed…Proceed where?
a course of action begun in its past and continuing, according to Smith, in
what he calls “the endgame global America,” the “culmination of a
U.S.-centered (but not exclusively
American) political and economic globalization.”
those dead millions and millions of people, all the suffering, and struggling, not
at the hands of communism or fascism, but in the name of “democracy,” is
sponsored by “U.S. repression and exploitation,” denied or justified, writes
Smith, “as a pragmatic necessity for the nefarious enemies.”
They display the posture of indifference toward their fellow citizens.
despised worldwide, “many U.S.
multinational firms and their subsidiaries and contractors,” manage to attract
many, at home and abroad, to the American Dream. Victims they may be of the
corporate mentality, worse, they display the posture of indifference toward
their fellow citizens. As Marxist economist David Harvey notes, Thatcher
famously announced that there was “‘no such thing as society, only individual
men and women, “- and she subsequently added, their families” (A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 2007).
all are welcome to our one, big, prosperous community where there is a slice of
the pie for everyone. America,
the Empire, has enemies. The Empire’s crusade against terrorism concedes
certain levels of collateral damage to the ideals of liberty, equality, and
idea of freedom ‘this degenerates into a mere advocacy of free enterprise,’
which means ‘the fullness of freedom for those whose income, leisure and security
need no enhancing, and a mere pittance of liberty for the people, who may in
vain attempt to make use of their democratic rights to gain shelter from the
power of the owners of property.’ (Karl Polanyi qtd. in Harvey, The Brief History)
hungry child in Cleveland, the farmer in India, the millions of homeless in the
proxy state of Ethiopia, the Bradley Mannings, Darius Williams, and Trayvon
Martins, the hounded and deported mothers and fathers, and the invisible
Indigenous Americans in the U.S. are marked as expendable as those daily
victims of U.S. drone attacks.
the conservative leadership wish away the contradictions while liberals “fold
the contradictions into a narrative of realities verses ideals and focus on a
moral parsing of specific events and episodes, sorting apart the regrettable
failings of the ideal, the causes thereof and their implications” (The Endgame). Listen carefully to the
donkeys and the elephants! In the language of “freedom, equality, and rights,”
Smith continues, “measures and agreements” that sound as if for the good of the
world’s citizens, are actually “proposed on terms heavily favorable to U.S. economic
interests.” The “global ambition” of the U.S., voiced by the donkeys and
elephants is, writes Smith, “constitutively nationalist.” In other words, “American
nationalism is founded on globalist claims.”
American will not tolerate anti-Americanism!
Hitler’s Nationalist Nazi regime sought “Lebensraum,” that is, living space,
the Roosevelt administration advisor Isaiah Bowman offered this: The Nazis will
get a Lebensraum - “only this time it would be an economic - not a geopolitical - Lebensraum, it would be global, and it would be American.”
Bowman aside, does Hitler smile? All
the non-pure made to comply, scrabble or die! All the resources amassing wealth
and workers on the cheap! All the global living space under the control of a
II’s “more direct means of global economic dominance…as the platform for this
restructuring of the global economy,” writes Smith, falls in line with the
neoliberal brand of nationalism. He could and did claim himself heir of Woodrow
Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.
democratic idea was pushed aside and the doors opened for a Hitler to wave
across the aisles and across the ocean. In the U.S.,
Roosevelt, (later echoed by Bush II) spoke to
convinced we’d have a revolution in [the] US and I decided to be its leader and
prevent it. I’m a rich man too and have run with your kind of people. I decided
half a loaf was better than none - a half loaf for me and a half loaf for you
and no revolution. (FDR)
again! Continuity for US!
“new” unilateralism of the U.S.
in global affairs predates the Clinton
administration’s mobilization of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “to
liberalize - deregulate and re-regulate - the financial sectors of economies
across the world.” Truman fostered the business of “freeing” people, for it’s a
“liberator’s prerogative” to install capitalist governments, particularly
wherever democratic nationalism elsewhere threatens to challenge the American
Neoliberalism’s business of “freeing
of people” flourished with the flames from Little Boy and Fat Man, and the U.S.
hailed, as the savior of lives has been working toward “peace,” with its
friends and allies.
The past is never the past for those whose task is to conceal and to manipulate.In
its own backyard, Smith writes, “the U.S. struggled against the
democratic nationalism of peoples who refused the American yoke.” Reagan
defined “freedom fighters” and hissed fire and brimstone at the contras. Carter
had his Paul Volcker and Clinton his Rubin. Obama had Petraeus to strategize,
his Geithner to oversee funding, and his Duncan to dull the senses of a new generation
of American citizens. “Just wars,” drones, and the NDAA further open doors, so
the rulers believe, for the U.S.
to achieve the goal of One Nation under neoliberalism. “Any political movement
that holds individual freedoms to be sacrosanct is vulnerable to incorporation
into the neoliberal fold.” (Harvey,
The Brief History).
all looks similar to freedom and equality for all! It is no wonder, as Smith
notes, (The Endgame), Kerry found it difficult to distinguish himself from
Bush. Well, no surprise: Obama and Romney, covered in the red, white, and blue
of neoliberal nationalism, one way or the other, would continue, to use
Harvey’s words, to restore and, in some cases, to create “the power of an
economic elite” (A Brief History) - that
is, corporate ruled, answering to the political and military interests of the
this big, endgame, for now, there are no losers: Only winners and enemies. Citizens of the U.S. stand with the government,
right or wrong! No need to know the details or the past! Everyone wants to
partake in this brand of nationalism!
too, traditionally endorse empire, writes Smith (The Endgame). Proponents of neoliberalism openly embrace “the nation
of an American Empire.” What is so paradoxical about a philosophy that overwhelmingly
relies on military, economic, political, and cultural power “rather than
immediate territorial control?” This is progress, and if this philosophy
resonates with the neoconservative platform - well, yes! As Smith argues,
neoliberalism gave birth to neoconservatism: “the reinvention of anomalous
left-wing liberalism in the US
in the twentieth century has, quite ironically, paved the way for a global
rediscovery of some of the basic tenets of liberalism as the conservatism of
capitalism par excellence.”
preserves conservative values! The neoliberals emphasis on “property, the
market, state-mandated individualism (and the wealthier the individual the more
sacrosanct the individualism)” promotes the
American future! “When viewed outside the twentieth century American box,
liberalism is not the antithesis of contemporary conservatism, but its political
backbone,” Smith writes. We should not be confused when witnessing liberals
“outing themselves as pro-war, worse, pro-empire!” because, as Smith explains,
it simply represents “an historical reconstruction to liberal roots.”
Again! “We are all Americans now” - except for the poor, the working class, the
“have-nots,” the “terrorists.”
a global American imperialism looks set to fail is the good news; the tragic
news, of course, is that in the course of that failure, a flailing Americanism
may exact a horrific cost in human lives,” Smith concludes - unless we seek an
alternative vision for the nation and the world. A nationalism, he argues, such
as the U.S.’s,
“located within the borders of a global hegemony...is…likely to enhance rather
than diminish violence.
leaves organized opposition as the most realistic alternative to the clash of
terrorism. Tackling that clash of terrorisms requires opposition to war. It
also requires opposition to the political economic interests and logics of
globalization that fuel such an impossible war.
Board member and Columnist, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern
American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.