We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Sunday, May 7, 2017
War and Empire: the American Way of Life
The title of this article is also the title of Atwood's book which is being translated in Farsi for the Iranian audience. As such it is primarily intended for the latter, but it also offers an excellent overview of the imperialist history of the United States as propelled by capitalist interests of wealth and power, and specifically the launching of the US imperial project after WWII with emphasis on the consequences for Iran. The article, and presumably the book, emphasizes the power of US institutions of indoctrination (education, corporate media, and entertainment (especially Hollywood) to deceive ordinary Americans into believing that government policies and actions were always benevolent or "in the interests of national security" if they provided media coverage at all.
I confess I haven't read the book or even heard of it. I believe that is another piece of evidence to illustrate the latter phenomenon: the book simply was ignored by all corporate media and received scant coverage in alternative media. I notice that I did post one article by Atwood back in 2012, and in my commentary I criticized him for his lack of references to capitalism and instead using circumlocutions to refer to capitalism's role in shaping US policies and actions. This is certainly not the case in this article I posted today. Although his book was mentioned in the 2012 article, I had assumed that he used the same style in that book as he did in the article.
I was very happy to see that he is no longer using circumlocutions to hide the fact of capitalism. It has been one of the purposes of my website, which I started in late 2009, to eliminate such practices by authors on the left. In 2009 I was appalled by this practice and other similar practices which tended to obscure political reality particularly in relation to the post war project of global domination that was planned and carried out to a great extent by the capitalist ruling class in the US and their partners-in-crime abroad in the Empire.