Summary of the Common Thread Running through these Essays


"I am persuaded no constitution was ever before as well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government."

–Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, April 27, 1809
 

"The day is within my time . . . when we may say by what laws other nations shall treat us upon the sea. And we shall say it."

–Thomas Jefferson, 1801
 

"Montesquieu’s doctrine that a republic can be preserved only in a small territory [has been proved a falsehood]. The reverse is the truth. Had our territory been even a third only of what it is we were gone. But while frenzy and delusion like an epidemic gained certain parts, the residue remained sound and untouched, and held on till their brethren could recover from the temporary delusion; and that circumstance has given me great comfort."

–Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Nathaniel Niles, 1801
 

"Imperialism has penetrated the fabric of our culture, and infected our imagination, more deeply than we usually think."

–Martin Green, Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire, 1979

The post-Cold War pattern of unilateral U.S. military aggression conducted with virtual absolute impunity poses an extraordinary danger to any prospects for world peace and threatens the future livability for our species on the planet. This unipolar power position of the United States approaches a nearly ultimate ethos of arrogance, i.e., a global "Manifest Destiny," with few or no checkmates or legal/institutional limits. Peace American style, or Pax Americana, calls the shots. A closely related issue is the escalated drive under "neoliberal economics" to privatize all natural and human resources at public and ecosystem expense. It seems to me that this unchecked U.S. lawless interventionism to protect limitless greed is the primary political issue that we as a people must address. This bully foreign policy of the United States, of our so-called Constitutional democracy, is applied with gruesome violence whenever the U.S. President unilaterally so determines without any declaration of war or debate as required by our Constitution. Furthermore, it is carried out with the most incredible of double standards enraging populations of people all over the world. This behavior, then, greatly endangers the future safety and well being of U.S. citizens who will increasingly be objects of the growing rage brewing throughout the world. Thus, U.S. policy is both foolish and dangerous, extremely unwise. The people of the United States need to express their outrage at the U.S. government for conducting policies that almost certainly will produce growing threats to our lives.

There are many people and organizations throughout the globe that are increasingly aware of how this dangerous situation is threatening their wellbeing. Increasingly active efforts are becoming more visible to educate about and hopefully stop destructive unfettered global capitalism and the related U.S. and NATO military buildups with their corresponding varieties of international interventions. This organizing activity can be seen on the various continents of Asia, Africa, and Central/South America as well as in the United States and Europe. This is hopeful.

It is important to recognize that the connection between domestic (and generally western) values and lifestyles, and U.S. (and generally western) foreign economic and military policies are intrinsically connected. These interventionist foreign policies are absolutely necessary in order to maintain western values and lifestyles. These policies of the "free" market are increasing the rate at which breakdown is occurring in human cultures and Earth ecosystems. There is a Mother of all structural problems that stimulates these policies. Here in the U.S. with but 4.5% of the world’s population we collectively consume nearly half of the world’s resources. In the "developed" world 25% of the world’s population collectively consume 85% of the world’s resources. This means that the 75% in the impoverished world are squeezed with but l5% of the world’s resources. To maintain this incredibly unfair, immoral enforced exploitation on others, a model that is totally unsustainable for any period of time, the privileged must be assured of access to virtually all the earth’s resources wherever they may be found, including chattel and wage slavery as necessary to assure maximization of private corporate profits. Noble sounding rationales and convenient systems of denial are important aspects to this imperial system. This enables application of policies that assure control over people’s lives and their land, precluding any possibilities for genuine justice and authentic self-determination (democracy). Since people generally resist this kind of control and repression over their lives, force must often be used to subdue them. This fundamental structural problem will be stressed throughout the readings as it is very important to fully grasp if we are to develop strategic alternative solutions.

This structural issue, it seems to me, must be addressed by people of conscience and integrity in the West, especially those of us who live in the United States and Europe. It poses as an extraordinarily difficult historic challenge because virtually all inhabitants of the U.S. and the western countries, no matter their socio-eonomic status, are to varying degrees, complicit. Of course there is substantial poverty and misery in the United States, with one in every five children growing up in poverty, for example. And the disparity in wealth and income is widening in the U.S. as well as globally. But relatively speaking, misery in the U.S. is somewhat less miserable than for a large portion of the world’s impoverished. And there are a substantial number of persons in the U.S. who are not in misery, who are capable of being or becoming aware of the structural injustices. The people who are aware of the domestic and foreign crimes of state, and the incredible exploitive base supporting the U.S. lifestyle, or the American Way Of Life (AWOL), have special obligations, both under international and U.S. domestic law, as well as conscience, to stimulate local, regional, national and global debates about these life threatening, unprecedented threats to justice and genuine democracy. This would include articulating and experimenting with alternative economic and political theories and practices.

The challenge in the U.S. is complicated by the fact that our touted "democracy" is in fact a plutocracy and oligarchy, where the few rich, including the transborder corporations, own the formal, Constitutionally-based political system. This reality presents creative challenges as to how to genuinely organize and educate at the grass roots levels throughout the hinterlands of the United States. A grassroots organizing process could conceivably lead to a genuine democracy, despite the seemingly intransigence and criminality of the national political system.

The essays contained herein are intended to be informative about U.S. past and contemporary history, as well as raising questions, perhaps important, for building a new popular movement in the United States, and linking with similarly thinking and acting people and organizations on the other continents.

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