Enemies, Foreign and Domestic
I recall a story that I read in the magazine “Russian Life” called “Off the Record” by Paul E. Richardson from the March/April 2005 issue. It was a transcript that he’d uncovered of a meeting between the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During the course of this conversation Rice pressed her Russian counterpart on Putin’s government nationalization of the last private television station in Moscow — NT6, I believe it was. After extolling the values of Capitalism and an independent judiciary, Lavrov went on the offensive. He asked Rice a number of rhetorical questions like, “Do you know how many American cities had competing newspapers 100 years ago?” This line of questioning put her on the defensive — saying, “Well see, today many Americans get their news from the Internet and not from a newspaper.” Sergei Lavrov pursued, “Did you know that 92% of radio in America is controlled by a conglomeration of three companies or that 95% of television is controlled by five companies?” Sergei Lavrov has a reputation for being one of the shrewdest diplomats on Earth. It wasn’t surprising to see how he tore apart our vaunted Condi Rice. However, this is not the reason I tell this story.
I tell this story because Lavrov was attempting to make a point. He was basically saying: While our masters may be in the Crimson Towers of the Kremlin, your masters are in the Ivory Towers of Wall Street.
Around 2010 I was speaking to a fellow American in Mosul, Iraq and I told him this story. He quickly defended Wall Street, so I reminded him about 2008. Long story short, we had to agree to disagree. I had asked him which he trusted more — government or corporations — he emphatically answered corporations. At least civil servants normally operate out of their concept of benevolence — giving back to the society that gave them so much. As long as proper oversight and transparency is afforded government, then it can be trusted by the people who form any “Social Contract.” However, if you privatize everything — as we have done in 21st Century America — who is this army of intelligence analysts beholden to? Their respective stockholders. If they are a for-profit corporation, they’re not beholden to the voters, but instead to their stockholders… or their underlying motivation isn’t benevolent, but raw greed and lust. Of course, this means we failed in our pledge to protect the US Constitution from “enemies foreign and domestic.”
We are entering a new age. Our US Constitution is effectively dead. You still see news correspondents talk of the FISA Court as though it was still relevant, but the U.S. President’s raw Article II authorities which were effectively executed on October 7th, 2001 means we’re operating under Emergency Powers. Notice that Congress still insists that they won’t have to approve another U.S. military deployment because the “War on Terror” isn’t finished … it isn’t a fight against a nation, but against an ideology — they can essentially keep this thing going a very long time — preemptive strikes and all. The thing that comes to mind now to tell my friend from Mosul: Congratulations! You got what you wanted. John Perkins* is right, corporations essentially run the world today — not governments.
Perhaps I’ve been too hasty. When you look at corporate America we see giants like Edwards Deming, Malcolm Baldridge, and Kaoru Ishikawa espousing “Quality,” where everyone should be viewed as your “customer” (even your boss). Since people are the source (or cause) of many mistakes within the manufacturing process, then it only stands to reason that I would wish to minimize human contact with any manufacturing process. Leave it to the experts, right! Ishikawa’s “fishbone diagram” or “cause-and-effect” diagram shows us just how to optimize quality. We can streamline the processes, procedures, methods of production in order to bring costs down. In essence, we can optimize human governance the same way we optimize humanity’s corporate output.
At least within a corpocracy they push empirical data, right? They rely on science. Scientists tend to dare you to look at the data yourself! Religion on the other hand, forbids you to challenge your faith. “Faith as a mustard seed,” they cry. Religion is about control, government is about control, but science (or untainted science) is apolitical… it’s about sharing data, not about control. Of course, anyone would love that everyone agree with them, but in science you have to prepare yourself for challenges… unless, of course, your science is the official story of 911, or the magic bullet from November 22, 1963, or proof that global warming is an alarming existential threat or the narrative of the Holocaust… then it too becomes our dogma — people shouting naysayers down.
I used to think that Steven Greer was part of a disinformation campaign of the CIA, but what if he’s onto something? There are so many people who believe in ghosts and angels. Hell, people will believe anything. What if they did fake an encounter with extraterrestrials? My greatest fear is that they would convince everyone that they’re aliens from outer space and that Jews are truly the chosen people. I’m not anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic. I just worry how readily people would grapple onto such a belief system because it fits nice and snugly within their present belief system. (Read my article, “What Do You Believe?” because our belief system is tied to the way we learn.) Don’t take my word for it — look it up yourself.
* NOTE: John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”