Thursday, March 20, 2008


Deterring Democracy Copyright © 1991, 1992 by Noam Chomsky. Published by South End Press.
Chapter 11: Democracy in the Industrial Societies Segment 7/7
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6. Some Broader Effects

Apart from the rearmament of Germany within a Western military alliance, which no Russian government could easily accept for obvious reasons, Stalin observed all of this with relative calm, apparently regarding it as a counterpart to his own harsh repression in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, these parallel developments were bound to lead to conflict.

In his review of the reverse course in Japan, John Roberts argues that "the American rehabilitation of the monopolistic economies of Western Germany and Japan (largely under prewar leadership) was a cause, not a result, of the cold war. Their rehabilitation was, undoubtedly, a vital part of American capitalism's strategy in its all-out vendetta against communism" -- meaning, primarily, an attack against the participation of the "popular classes" in some significant range of decision-making. Focusing on Europe, Melvyn Leffler comments that the approach to European recovery led American officials to act

to safeguard markets, raw materials, and investment earnings in the Third World. Revolutionary nationalism had to be thwarted outside Europe, just as the fight against indigenous communism had to be sustained inside Europe. In this interconnected attempt to grapple with the forces of the left and the potential power of the Kremlin resides much of the international history, strategy, and geopolitics of the Cold War era.30

These are critical undercurrents through the modern era, and remain so.

Throughout the reconstruction of the industrial societies, the prime concern was to establish a state capitalist order under the traditional conservative elites, within the global framework of U.S. power, which would guarantee the ability to exploit the various regions that were to fulfill their functions as markets and sources of raw materials. If these goals could be achieved, then the system would be stable and resistant to feared social change, which would naturally be disruptive once the system is operating in a relatively orderly fashion. In the wealthy industrial centers, large segments of the population would be accommodated, and would be led to abandon any more radical vision under a rational cost-benefit analysis.

Once its institutional structure is in place, capitalist democracy will function only if all subordinate their interests to the needs of those who control investment decisions, from the country club to the soup kitchen. It is only a matter of time before an independent working class culture erodes, along with the institutions and organizations that sustain it, given the distribution of resources and power. And with popular organizations weakened or eliminated, isolated individuals are unable to participate in the political system in a meaningful way. It will, over time, become largely a symbolic pageant or, at most, a device whereby the public can select among competing elite groups, and ratify their decisions, playing the role assigned them by progressive democratic theorists of the Walter Lippmann variety.31 That was a plausible assumption in the early postwar period and has proven largely accurate so far, despite many rifts, tensions and conflicts.

European elites have a stake in the preservation of this system, and fear their domestic populations no less than the U.S. authorities did. Hence their commitment to Cold War confrontation, which came to serve as an effective technique of domestic social management, and their willingness, with occasional mutterings of discontent, to line up in U.S. global crusades. The system is oppressive, and often brutal, but that is no problem as long as others are the victims. It also raises constant threats of large-scale catastrophe, but these too do not enter into planning decisions shaped by the goal of maximization of short-term advantage, which remains the operative principle.

Go to the next chapter.

30 Roberts, Leffler, op. cit..

31 See next chapter, pp. 367f. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.

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posted by u2r2h at 8:06 PM


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