A Pivotal Evolutionary Moment for the World

October 1, 2002

Hearts & Minds Veterans Radio Show


Sunday, October 6, 2002


1:30-3:00 p.m., KMUD Radio


Redway (91.1) and Arcata/Eureka (88.3)

On September 20, 2002, the selected resident of the White House submitted his National Security Strategy to Congress, perhaps the first time our nation has so openly espoused a doctrine absolutely and explicitly imperialist. Its declaration of permanent global dominance "beyond challenge" over the 95 percent of humanity that is non-U.S. is indeed frightening. The coming egregious assault upon Iraq will be its first implementation, no matter whether the U.N. or other nations vigorously object. Even IF the Congress objects, resident Bush has argued that the Joint Resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force, overwhelmingly passed by Congress in the aftermath of September 11, authorizes military actions on his own volition. Call it what you will, but we are experiencing a virtual dictatorship ruled without respect for law, with one party comprising two right-wings preempting effective checks and balances.

I believe a global imperial policy has its roots in our civilization’s history. Its current boldness in a unipolar world is a logical and inevitable result of the collective Western and American Way Of Life (AWOL). The United States, with but 4.5 percent of the world’s population, in fact consumes anywhere from 25 percent to nearly half the world’s resources, and together with the West, comprises 25 percent of the world’s population consuming 85 percent of resources. Thus, 75 percent of the world’s human beings are impoverished with but 15 percent of the remaining finite resources. This grotesque injustice is further exacerbated by globalization’s demands for ever-increasing production and consumption of limited resources, with life-destroying pollution a by-product. If we insist on continuing to rationalize business-as-usual with our insatiable addictions, expansion of our global hegemony is required to assure access to ever-more resources, markets, and cheap labor, as if they are infinitely exploitable. However, if we insist on continuing, know that we are committing species suicide.

The seeds of our cultural ethos and mind-set originate in the extreme ethnocentrism and deep-seated racism of our European ancestors in the 1600s, when the white Puritans mandated their godly nature to reign supreme over the "savage" Indigenous inhabitants already living here. John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts, wrote in 1630: "We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to overcome a thousand of our enemies; we shall be as a City upon a Hill." Expanding westward was a given, and by the 1840s, John L. Sullivan, editor of the Democratic Review, wrote that territorial additions were "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions."

By the end of the 19th Century, domestic production exceeded consumption capacities. Continued profitability demanded overseas economic expansion as the new frontier. Woodrow Wilson lectured at Columbia University that "Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed must be battered down." The McKinley administration, with the Spanish-American War in 1898 that acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and annexation of Hawaii the same year, launched what some call "the American Century." Teddy Roosevelt soon took Panama from Colombia. The U.S. was becoming an imperial power.

With victory in World War II and utilization of shocking new weapons of cosmic violence, the U.S. possessed a new cockiness. Its only obstacle was the Soviet Union, the product of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution that espoused socialism as the first comprehensive alternative to capitalism. Though the U.S. knew the Soviets were exhausted after the war, losing 15 percent of its population with much of its industrial and agricultural capacity destroyed, it was deemed important to eliminate the threat it posed for inspiring the impoverished of the world to revolt from centuries of colonialism.

In 1948, George Kennan, director of the U.S. State Department’s planning staff, secretly advocated an honest approach to our foreign policy: "We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population. We cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our task is to.maintain this position of disparity. Our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere. We should cease to talk about unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts." Shortly thereafter, secret National Security Council study known as NSC-68 asserted that the U.S. had a unique right and responsibility to impose "order among nations," needing to "check the Kremlin" so that "our free society can flourish." U.S. policy, it said, "must foster a fundamental change in the nature of the Soviet system," assuring "belief in ourselves and in our way of life." It was framed in apocalyptic terms: "Fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself."

From 1947 to the present, the U.S. militarily intervened over 200 times, covertly perhaps as many as 10,000 times, in more than 100 nations, thwarting the restiveness of aggrieved peoples. Virtually all interventions, if known, were couched in pretexts subsequently proven false. Hundreds of millions were murdered, maimed and impoverished. Today, we have military troops in over 100 countries, training programs in 180. This history was preceded by earlier genocides committed against the original Indigenous inhabitants and Africans, providing us a "free" land base and labor pool. Millions were murdered. Thus, the foundation for U.S. and Western civilization is systemic, virtually incomprehensible injustice, murder and plunder. Our fantasy lie exposed demands radical consciousness shifts toward justice and mutual respect.

We are living in view of our apocalyptic City on the Hill that seeks to control everyone and everything everywhere. It is a fundamentalism that has no equals. We are living during an evolutionary opportunity to SEE the deleterious effects of our Way Of Life on all life, everywhere. Perhaps we are offered a cosmic Zen gift disguised as modern Puritan extremists that might enable us to comprehend the EXTREME danger our materialist values and policies pose for all. When serious threats are perceived, our species possesses an ancient survival mechanism able to motivate unprecedented responses. Our 8 million year evolutionary journey as a bi-pedal species has succeeded so far through many adaptations and much cooperation.

Archaelogist V. Gordon Childe wrote, Man (sic) Makes Himself. What we have created we can uncreate. We are completely capable of identifying sustainable alternatives to the violence of civilization, while withdrawing our support from its oligarchic structures. To survive, we must take responsibility for extricating ourselves from complicity in the dangerous U.S. American civilization which, if not stopped, promises to destroy the Earth as we know Her, accelerating our rapid extinction. Gandhi prescribed nonviolent resistance to imperialism accompanied by living the local, self-reliant alternatives. The time is now!


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