Usury on The Macroeconomic Scale

Also Known as, “Credit”

The most relevant and likely example of a deflationary crisis results as a consequence of usury, or debt, otherwise known as “credit.” The only way a country can sustain inequality when its currency is highly valued is by providing an unprecedented volume of credit, which is why The United Kingdom is the most indebted nation in the world today (we’re talking “private debt,” not “public debt”). The same rule applies in an inflationary economy. When wages remain stagnant while the money supply expands, money flows into the hands of the few while the majority treads water in an ocean of high prices and excessive debt. Americans now own almost 40 trillion dollars in private debt, or over two times the GDP. That means we would all have to work a little under three years without any income to pay it off. If you were to add public debt to the equation, which - including intragovernmental holdings - exceeds the national GDP by roughly 1 trillion dollars, then the total United States debt today equals a little under 57 trillion dollars, or almost four times the GDP.

Our ancestors were well aware of the consequences of debt. Numerous groups were excommunicated from the church, exiled from The Roman Empire and denounced by prophets for the negotiation of loans at interest. It was considered exploitative, unnatural and abusive. Aristotle called it “the most hated sort” of money-making, “for money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. This term ‘interest,’ . . . means the creation of money from money . . . Of all methods of acquiring wealth, this is the most unnatural.” Thomas Edison, the cut-throat businessman and inventor, summed it up neatly in a New York Times article published on December 6th, 1921.

“If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good, makes the bill good, also. The difference between the bond and the bill is the bond lets money brokers collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%, whereas the currency pays nobody but those who contribute directly in some useful way. It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30 million in bonds and not $30 million in currency. Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people.”

Economies suffer as a result of debt and inequality. That’s the bottom line. The stock market has little or nothing to do with it. The stock market is the biggest circle jerk in history. Yes, it measures profit, but it neglects to trace the origin and destination of those profits. When banks loan each other money - remember, today, those loans are issued at an extremely low interest rate - they loan 90 percent of every deposit, and so on. If those loans were being made to fund local commerce, this practice, which is referred to as fractional banking, could possibly help the economy, but like the money slushing around in the stock market, we’re unable to trace the origin or destination of those loans, and manipulation of the stock market is relatively easy provided you have access to the funds necessary for its execution. Jim Cramer did, and in a 2007 interview with, an online boiler room he co-founded with Marty Peretz, the former Wall Street mogul confessed that hedge funds regularly engage in “pump and dump” and “short and distort” schemes, rumor mongering and price fixing. “Too-big-to-fail” banks, the engines that power the stock market, receive an annual 83 billion dollar subsidy from tax payers, an amount that’s nearly equal to the bank’s annual “profits.” That same subsidy amounts to 830 billion dollars over ten years, the exact amount targeted by across-the-board budget cuts, the domestic austerity measures referred to as “sequester.”

Next Story — Bridgeport Coffee Company Resignation Letter
Currently Reading - Bridgeport Coffee Company Resignation Letter

Bridgeport Coffee Company Resignation Letter

“Would you like cream with that?”

Chicago IL 60609

July 1, 2014

Bridgeport Coffee Company
3101 S. Morgan, Chicago IL 60608

To all whom it may concern,

On the 27th of June, 2014, after almost a year of employment, after having worked several weeks under new management, I was momentarily barred from entry into my place of employment, Bridgeport Coffee Company’s Hyde Park location, when the new manager, [Redacted], attempted to physically intimidate me by employing a gesture that would have ended in a fist fight in any public space and many private establishments as well. Namely, he stared into my eyes at a distance of what I estimate to be no more than five inches for a period of time that must have lasted over one minute, for as long as it took me to remove my sunglasses, fold them, place them in the collar of my tee-shirt, consider how to conduct myself, determine to straighten my back, broaden my shoulders and wonder what I should say under such awkward, bizarre and strenuous conditions. Later that evening, while my coworker, [Redacted], and I were working, [Redacted] and the assistant manger, [Redacted], entered the shop without a word, worked on the computer in the kitchen for no more than ten minutes, and left as quietly as they arrived. Two hours prior to closing, I used the computer to check my email and was surprised to find an open Word document of the upcoming schedule that neglected to account for both my coworker and I. In other words, both [Redacted] and I weren’t scheduled to work after July 6th.

We repeatedly dialed the phone numbers for both the manager and his assistant with the hope of clarifying the reason management sought to deprive us of work, yet both numbers were unavailable. Their phones weren’t turned off. The numbers simply weren’t assigned to any phone, a predicament that could only serve as a detriment to ownership and the upper management of Bridgeport Coffee Company if there were an emergency. At approximately eight in the morning on the following day, June 28th, [Redacted] called me in response to a prompt I sent him via social media. After asking him why [Redacted] and I were omitted from the schedule after July 6th, he responded by saying, “It ain’t none of your damned business,” and followed with, “I ain’t even told you nothing yet.” The absurd rationale that my job security is “none of my business,” and the use of the word, “yet,” were particularly revealing.

I replied as any self-respecting human being would and told the newly minted manager to go fuck himself before hanging up the phone. After having my livelihood threatened and experiencing physical intimidation in the workplace, after “a long train of abuses” I had no intention of returning to Bridgeport Coffee Company, but by noon that day, [Redacted], the co-owner, called, asking that I speak with her in person at Bridgeport Coffee Company’s Hyde Park location. I found it curious that upper management felt compelled to plead for my continued employment and additionally confounding that [Redacted] rebuffed me instead of heeding my plea to work for the previous manager of the Hyde Park location, [Redacted], who had been moved to Bridgeport Coffee Company’s Roosevelt location after [Redacted], the former manager of that store, was fired without cause. I also noted [Redacted]’s claim that [Redacted], a man who once wrote a thesis on how water effects coffee, was fired for plausible reasons, reasons she never unveiled.

Uncertain of how to proceed, I agreed to continue working, yet provided no guarantees, and after two additional days of employment, three days later, after further reflection, I’ve decided to resign from Bridgeport Coffee Company, effective immediately, and following are my reasons.

I see no reason to trust upper management. My feelings of insecurity and frustration began shortly after [Redacted] was moved to the Roosevelt location, when [Redacted] mentioned that Bridgeport Coffee Company is going to “save on labor” and encourage “efficiency.” The comment was predictable since it followed what resembled a purge at the Roosevelt location, which paid its employees a significantly higher wage until recently. What I hadn’t expected was [Redacted]’s reply to the rhetorical question I posed in response. “So they [upper management] are going to cut hours and lay people off?” I asked. “No,” he said. “That’s not what that means.”

I don’t appreciate when people lie to me, and I downright resent when people lie to my face. “Efficiency” usually means, “Cutting hours and laying people off,” and it always means, “Cutting hours and laying people off,” if the word follows such transparent language as, “Saving on labor.” I became increasingly concerned that my employment may be terminated after a regular customer informed me that the manager divulged to him the implementation of “changes” that included my departure. When I broached the subject with the manager, [Redacted] feigned ignorance, and when I asked if the customer was lying, he shrugged. The following morning, I sought clarification from upper management and the owner, [Redacted], reassured me that I wouldn’t be fired. Shortly thereafter, the manager attempted to physically intimidate me and removed me from the schedule after July 6th. During my discussion with [Redacted], she claimed she had never authorized the schedule, but pettifogged in her attempts to clarify whether [Redacted], the majority shareholder of Bridgeport Coffee Company, authorized it. Regardless, [Redacted] and [Redacted]’s draft of the schedule was written with intent and the expectation that it would be authorized, and although I was told that [Redacted] is no longer the manager at Bridgeport Coffee Company’s Hyde Park location, the spate of new employees hired shortly after his promotion believe he continues to function in that capacity, whereas those who’ve been working there for the last several months or longer remain uncertain of the identity of their current manager. Some of my colleagues have speculated that [Redacted], who has worked for the company for no longer than a month, is the manager, but what comfort is that to me? He helped [Redacted] draft a schedule that spelled out my unemployment.

Upper management is incompetent. It’s only reasonable for me to expect to be placed under the care of my former manager after the new manager attempted to physically intimidate me, yet when I proposed the idea to [Redacted], she responded defensively. “You’re giving me an ultimatum,” she said.

Dear owners, your manager attempted to physically intimidate me — he barred me from entering my place of employment — and instead of firing him or moving me to another store, you’ve decided to schedule us on opposing shifts that overlap for no more than one hour during the day. You prefer to create an obstruction rather than remedy the situation by employing me at The Roosevelt location, a store that’s operating on a skeleton crew and continues to recover from an ongoing exodus of employees, a store where there are openings. It begs the question, “Why do you want me to work for you if it’s only under the condition that my employment at your establishment handicaps your ability to manage your stores effectively?” Are you concerned that I may consult The Illinois Department of Employment Services? Why should I trust that you won’t fire me or my coworkers without cause, to save on labor and encourage efficiency? What reasons have you given me to trust you? Why do you insist on prolonging a hostile work environment? This line of questioning is self-perpetuating and seemingly without end. 363 days out of the year? Did you run a cost-benefit analysis comparing the resentment and antipathy roiled up by the decision to open your doors for business on The Fourth of July and the meager amount of revenue generated when few of your customers show because they’re celebrating with family and friends? Have you considered the effect of placing the operation of all your stores in the hands of someone who has worked almost exclusively at the roastery, who possesses minimal or no experience managing any of your stores and knows only a fraction of your employees?

Your relationship to labor and the community could only be described as negligent or abusive. When one of your employees was killed by a speeding driver two blocks south of your company’s original location, you insisted on keeping your doors open, even during her memorial. [Redacted] brutally assaulted a homeless man suffering from severe bipolar disorder. Many of his employees have described him as misogynistic, homophobic, racist and sociopathic, and others have been deprived of overtime pay or sent on errands that demand hours out of their day without pay. You disgrace the memories of those Irish immigrants who founded the neighborhood of Bridgeport by perpetuating the exploitative mentality that lead to their suffering and deaths. You certainly don’t live in Bridgeport, on The Southwest Side or South Side of Chicago, you’re not from here, and you don’t even appear to like it here, so what exactly are you doing here? You don’t deserve the name.



Next Story — Anarchic Astroturfing
Currently Reading - Anarchic Astroturfing

Anarchic Astroturfing

Voluntaryism: Propaganda to Destroy Government

How would you react if you knew that the same people who endorse an armed march on the nation’s capitol organized the protest in which you’re participating? How would you feel if you were lumped in with groups that advocate the abolishment of public education, public lands, the minimum wage, Social Security, universal healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid? How would you feel if you were unwittingly lured into association with a group that stakes its reputation on a promulgation and intensification of the same economic policies that have mired the country in some of the worst financial crises in American history, including a return to the gold standard, austerity (sequester) and regulations in favor of private and corporate interests (total “deregulation”)? How would you feel if they were thrust into a category of people that would replace the precedent of law with guns and property?

Welcome to Anarchy with a capital “A.” Welcome to The Free Market. Welcome to The Brownshirts.

Welcome to Voluntaryism.

The theoretical framework of “Voluntaryism” is based upon several Orwellian concepts, which include — but are not limited to — fantastical ideas like “the non-aggression principle” and “sovereign rights,” and a slew of a priori concepts like “argumentation ethics” and “rule consequentialism” that seem to serve no purpose other than the emasculation, denigration and debilitation of the poor and working class. In a Voluntaryist utopia, law would be reduced to property acquisition and self-defense, and since these anarcho-capitalists renounce any notion of a social contract, the criteria for property acquisition and self-defense would remain undefined and unlimited. Rights would be alienable and malleable, subject to whim and circumstance, and conflict resolution would be conducted privately between consenting parties, regardless of the power, size and resources of the parties in negotiations. If these radical corporatists realized their vision of the ideal society, there would be no United States of America. Many openly express their contempt for The Constitution, which they view as a meager step in the direction of an anarchist utopia founded upon pure, unadulterated “free-market” capitalism.

The movement’s organizers combine social media, subversive messaging and emotional appeal to reign in potential converts, then employ coercion, intimidation and classical conditioning to retain them in the thrall of groupthink. The group is expansive, well-organized and has developed a network of outlets on Facebook that leverage noteworthy journalism of government corruption while omitting articles of corporate abuses, which they top off with a dollop of fear, a sprinkling of hatred and a splash of postmodern gibberish. These fronts cover a spectrum that runs the gamut from fluff to blatant anti-government political propaganda (with a lot of conspiracy-theory-paranoia in between). Members then populate the comment sections of these fronts (or other websites) with neoliberal talking points while soliciting friendship to two types of people: potential converts and detractors. When unsuspecting Facebook users accept anonymous friend requests from these propagandists, they invariably expose themselves to disinformation, fear and hate mongering. Posts from anonymous friends and Facebook pages that promote an anti-government agenda may initially seem — or even be — non-political. Propaganda begins and ends with “liberal” iconography that has been co-opted by the anti-government movement. This imagery includes — but is not limited to — images of nature, hearts, pagan symbolism, Guy Fawkes, “Occupy” and — you guessed it — anarchy.

Anarchy is a smart choice for a right-wing astroturf campaign of this magnitude. It’s a honeytrap for the youth. With a voter turnout of 50 percent, almost 2 out of 3 young people voted Democrat in the 2012 presidential election, a demographic that’s always growing. The youth is among The Grand Old Party’s biggest obstacles, and young people posses a natural desire to rebel, especially during adolescence, and they’re apt to associate anarchy with the molotov-cocktail-throwing, black bloc anti-fasci of Europe instead of the suburban, white, middle-class anarchist moms and dads of America. It’s irrelevant whether the young make these connections. Once people distrust the precedent of government, they’re less likely to vote.

At the center of this group are idealogues like Stefan Molyneux, a professional political propagandist who encourages young people to disown their families, and Adam Kokesh, a shell-shocked Iraq War veteran and libertarian activist who called for an armed march on the nation’s capitol and state capitols across the country on July 4th, 2013. The armed march, which was dubbed “The Final American Revolution,” brought the movement to my attention. What I at first discounted as a far-flung group of disturbed individuals, I later discovered is a well-organized group of disturbed individuals that rally around a carefully contrived agenda.

Anti-government sentiment generates skepticism towards a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” which serves only to disempower the people, it reifies the concept of absolute anarchy as a legitimate substitute when no such societal paradigm has ever existed nor is possible, and it provides tacit approval for a host of supragovernmental activities that would lower the standard of living in this country to fourteenth century conditions. If an anti-government agenda were fully realized, there would be no mitigating force acting upon the system of profit that has been exploited by people in positions of power for their own gain, and the majority of people would be so enfeebled, there would be no recourse for them but subjugation by corporate rule.

The principal deceit of any anti-government belief-system is that it refrains from discussing the nuances of systemic corruption in American politics and instead relies on a faulty generalization that condemns all forms and/or aspects of government as exploitative and dangerous. Despite the childish, emotional and paranoid rationalizations required to reinforce such an irrational fear, anarchists, voluntaryists and extremist libertarians have been handed a treasure trove of corrupt politicians and poorly-conceived public policy decisions in an economic slump of historic proportions: enough kindling to set Rome on fire, enough fire to turn the mind of man against himself. Instead of viewing a problem in the light of reason and recognizing that we have the good fortune to live in a place where the infrastructure of a democratic republic still exists, instead of reinforcing the importance of community, anti-government sentiment breeds fear, pessimism and hatred. Instead of recognizing that fault lies only with ourselves — the voters — anti-government sentiment scapegoats government in general, or in the case of the aforementioned groups, a specific political party or politician.

If this right-wing, anti-government movement is gaining ground and bleeding into progressive social circles — and I believe it is — it’s only because anti-government social media outlets combine pathetic appeals with a degree of authoritative journalism that covers subjects ranging from government surveillance, such as The Executive’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, to a lack of judicial oversight, such as Eric Holder’s announcement that “too-big-to-fail” banks are above the law, or what is popularly referred to as “The Monsanto Rider,” a provision slipped into The 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill that allows The Department of Agriculture to grant temporary non-regulated status to companies of its choosing without judicial oversight. Yet the movement is shaped as much by articles and evidence it refuses to share with its subscribers as articles it eagerly makes available them. For instance, although the following information would cast Democrats in a negative light, you’ll be hard-pressed to find mention of The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the telecommunications industry, reducing the number of media companies from 50 to 6 in the span of 15 years, and The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act. Signed into law by Bill Clinton, The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act repealed Glass-Steagall, a bill signed into law in 1933 that separated commercial and investment banking to address the underlying causes of The Great Depression. The negative consequences of “deregulation,” or regulation in favor of corporate and private interests, doesn’t fit into the anti-government narrative, nor does the offshoring of trillions of dollars of untaxed profits or income and similar corporate abuses.

A counter-argument may suggest that there’s growing anti-government sentiment among the plurality of Americans and these social media outlets are merely providing a platform for those concerns, but I refute that notion. These social media outlets follow a script that capitalizes upon people’s fears to advance a narrow agenda that is neoliberal, anti-government and radical, the sort of “radical” that advocates on behalf of violence. The information they propagate consists of a blend of conspiracy theories, news of government overreach, negative portrayals of the president, of the Democratic Party, abstract concepts of anarchy and links to public figures like Adam Kokesh and Alex Jones. They add varying degrees of “liberal” fluff to broaden their subscriber base, then intermittently provide links to pages, websites or videos that reveal the broader implications of their platform.

The net result of the anti-government movement’s efforts will be lower voter turnout, especially among young people, or the molding of opinion in favor of a perceived alternative like Rand Paul. Tea-party-like rhetoric is being exposed to a demographic that would have previously been opposed to it. This is of utmost concern to moderate Republicans, Democrats and progressives alike, who can attribute the success of the anti-government campaign to their own failings.

Instead of allowing topics like the National Defense Authorization Act, Clapper V. Amnesty et al. and The Monsanto rider to proliferate in the hyperbolic arena of anti-government sentiment, they should be placed within their proper context by emphasizing responsible democratic reform and the role that corporate and private institutions play in our politics and economy. These topics should be discussed openly and honestly with the public, and that isn’t happening, which is a sticking point for Independents like me. Right-wing anarchists (think, “secessionism”) may cherry-pick information to promote a narrow agenda and use subterfuge to coerce an unsuspecting demographic to march behind their cause, yet they’ve done so by capitalizing upon events that are of importance to the public. Ignoring these issues in the Age of Social Media is no longer possible, and politicians who don’t adequately address their constituencies’ concerns are both fanning the flames of extremism and putting their jobs in jeopardy.

Next Story — Dangerous Thoughts
Currently Reading - Dangerous Thoughts

Dangerous Thoughts

A Political Remedy for A Political Problem

You say,
“Trickle-down economics,” then mention something I haven’t heard before,
Something called, “middle-out economics,”
Yet you’ve neglected to mention
The Bottom-UP,
Despite your stunning analysis,
I’ve arrived at the tentative conclusion that you are out-of-touch with the only people who can save you.
You should be talking to the ones who refuse to marry and rear children because the amount of debt they owe
Than what they could save in a lifetime.
Talk to the inner-city charter school teacher who provides the most victimized among our children a chance at life for 23,000 dollars per annum.
“Will I pay off my student debt before I die?”
She’ll get right on that, she decides, after she slams another one.
To be perfectly honest,
You’re either too old or
Too middle-class
To understand.
You’re talking to the grandson of a guy who was raised to fight in the streets.
My old man’s
Saw the danger before you, me, and
Family, friends, neighbors;
The Ancients called it,
The citizen muttered it to himself every day,
“We will not be forgotten.”
Then — slowly, with time— We forgot. We forgot that when Billy here deposits his pay stub, he’s betting on a rigged game, and if everyone owns a coequal share of every enterprise that effects the outcome of his or her life — one man, one vote — we may have a chance at freedom.
Not better wages,
Not better business opportunities.
That’s money-shit.
We’ll claim that and more.
I’m talking about FREEDOM.
We were sold into slavery a long time ago.
Ask the dimple-cheeked public school teacher who sees hunger in the eyes of her students every day.
This is a political problem that requires a political remedy.
You tell me there’s an economic solution in this economic system.
You encourage me to participate in a fraud.

We will write the law.
We will draw the blueprints.
We will not be excluded.

The middle class is old and dying.
In its place you will find a synthetic implant
That responds to the press of a button.
We are all that’s left between history and annihilation.

Next Story — Thirsty for That Blood Money
Currently Reading - Thirsty for That Blood Money

Thirsty for That Blood Money

The World’s Largest Arms Dealer and The Rise of American Imperialism

World War 2 was a boon for the United States economy, the linchpin in FDR’s economic reform, a windfall for The American worker, and with its resolution followed fears of recession. From those fears arose The Truman Doctrine, the consecration of United States’ modern foreign policy, which began with America’s transformation from an agrarian society to an industrial economy, a transformation that began with The Gilded Age and ended with The New Deal. If FDR’s domestic policy sustained America and World War 2 guaranteed her maximum employment, then The Truman Doctrine laid the foundation for the preservation of that model, a model predicated upon war - covert war, total war, The Cold War - a complete reversal of traditional American isolationist foreign policy, which was established with George Washington’s farewell address.

“The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.”

Truman was not the first to undermine the precedent set by America’s patriarch. James Monroe expanded upon American foreign policy in his seventh State of The Union Address, in which he outlined a policy of limited interventionism that would later be dubbed “The Monroe Doctrine.” In his address, Monroe vested The United States with a duty to defend sovereign nations in The Western Hemisphere from colonial power and declared America’s neutrality in all matters affecting those who reside opposite The Atlantic and Pacific. The Monroe Doctrine would later be leveraged by Theodore Roosevelt to legitimate imperialistic interdiction in the Western Hemisphere.

“Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.”

Ten short years after Roosevelt delivered his 1904 State of The Union address, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and American business interests, smelling blood, lead by J.P. Morgan Jr. And Bethlehem Steel, propelled The United States to war with Woodrow Wilson’s blessings. In 1915, Wilson lifted a ban on loans made to warring nations in Europe despite objections from his Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, who had written a letter to Wilson on August 10th, 1914, in which he noted that The United States’ “refusal to loan to any belligerent [warring nation] would naturally tend to hasten a conclusion of the war.” The House of Morgan issued well over 500 million dollars - or approximately 2.5 trillion dollars after adjusted for inflation - in loans to The French Government to assist Europe in her self-immolation. Bethlehem Steel contributed 65,000 pounds of forged military products, 70 million pounds of armor plate, 1.1 billion pounds of steel for shells and 20.1 million rounds of ammunition to the meat grinder in the trenches. Tensions between Wilson and Bryan escalated, then climaxed over a disagreement on how to respond to the sinking of The Lusitania. Germany claimed that the ship was carrying arms and ammunition and was a de facto target of war since it was included on Britain’s list of AMCs (armed merchant cruisers) and Bryan capitulated. Wilson disagreed, however, and kindly requested that his Secretary tender his resignation. The sinking of The Lusitania was a violation of international Cruiser Rules and grounds for war according to Wilson, although archaeologists have since confirmed that the merchant ship was smuggling arms to Britain while being used as a passenger vessel.

The New Deal shepherded America’s farmers into the nation’s cities and factories, which were being purchased by the beneficiaries of President Roosevelt’s largesse, monopolists who had expanded operations using funds from The United States Treasury. The advent of war brought full employment to American soil. Industrialists who had consolidated power using Treasury funds would be rewarded with an endless stream of revenue in the form of government contracts. All was leveraged to advance the war effort. Automobile manufacturers were retrofitted for the fabrication of B-52 bombers, M4 Shermans and artillery shells. With over 12 million men enlisted for military service, the government was begging for more employees to man the assembly lines at arms manufacturers across the country. Wages and salaries doubled, consumer spending increased, nest eggs were fat and hearty. This is the military-industrial-complex that Eisenhower referenced in his farewell speech.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.”

Factories, cities and wage labor fueled the war machine that allowed The United States to prosper during The Second World War. Industry paved the road for Eisenhower’s “technological revolution.” The United States had evolved into the biggest arms dealer in the world and she needed clients, which required war, and Truman gave it to her. He gave her The Cold War and The Korean War, the latter of which was ordered by fiat. Although Eisenhower established law, order and peace, although he brought The Korean War and Suez crises to an end with iron-fisted diplomacy, he instructed the CIA to assassinate El Jefe, The Dominican Republic’s fascist dictator, and engaged in “joint action of the President and the Congress . . . to undertake . . . programs of military assistance and cooperation” in The Middle East. JFK would later authorize the assassination of El Jefe, equip Israel’s military and provide covert resistance to violent revolution in South Vietnam while assisting the Ba’athist coup in Iraq. Although Kennedy expressed a desire to withdraw U.S. support for American involvement in The Vietnam War prior to his assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson intervened on behalf of The South Vietnamese with the full extent of American military force after Congress abdicated with its war powers in Southeast Asia for an indefinite period of time.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident, a sea skirmish initiated by The USS Maddox on August 2nd, 1964 with a three-round burst of 127mm guns on two North Vietnamese torpedo boats, which resulted in neither American casualties nor material damage, would be the catalyst for a war that would allow Congress to shirk their constitutional duty to “declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.” The Vietnam War would claim 3.1 million civilian lives, 300,000 Cambodian soldiers, 200,000 Laotian soldiers and the lives of 58,220 Americans. Alternatively, an attack on The USS Liberty by Israeli nationals that resulted in 34 dead and 171 wounded crew members in June 8th, 1967 would end with a cover up.

If LBJ’s rationale for committing American military personnel to Vietnam was untenable, then Nixon’s sabotage of the 1968 Paris Peace Accords for political gain is unthinkable. In order to secure his election, Nixon actively undermined U.S. peace talks between The North and South Vietnamese, which extended the war for a period of four years. Ronald Reagan would also intervene in international politics for political gain when he arranged for the sale of arms to Iran via a third party (Israel) to prolong The Iran Hostage Crises, fund rebels in Nicaragua and secure his victory in the 1980 U.S. presidential election.

From 1982 until the present, The United States has interceded in bilateral disputes to advance her own interests, intervened by land, sea and air in coordination with NATO, participated in large-scale bombing campaigns, intimidated sovereign nations, supported and established dictatorships throughout Central America, South America, The Middle East and Africa, propagated fear and hatred, destabilized populist and democratic governments under the auspices of The War on Drugs, acted militarily in contravention of United Nations decree and declared war upon a vague enemy on a battlefield that spans the globe. Her targets have included Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Somalia, Nicaragua, El Savador, Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia and Grenada (to name a few). United States military actions since 1963 have killed, maimed and displaced well over twenty million people and today The United States is on the verge of monopolizing the global arms trade.

Sign up to continue reading what matters most to you

Great stories deserve a great audience

Continue reading