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Hierarchy and Near Term Extinction

“It is often said that the invention of terrible weapons of destruction will put an end to war. That is an error. As the means of extermination are improved, the means of reducing men who hold the state conception of life to submission can be improved to correspond.”

– Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You (1849)

According to the theory of Near Term Extinction (NTE) the human race is about to go the way of the Dinosaurs.   Though polls on the subject are scarce, it is safe to assume that the majority of humanity disagrees.  Most of us remain at least cautiously optimistic about our long term survival prospects.  Notable exceptions can be found amongst various apocalyptic cults, whose followers anticipate near term divine judgement, as well as trans-humanists, who anticipate the rise of post-humans due to exotic new technologies.  In contrast to these views, NTE is not rooted in religion or science-fiction but a pessimistic reading of the environmental sciences, probability theory and the law of unintended consequences.  Nor it NTE limited to the fringe.

Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Noam Chomsky are among a growing number of scholars who consider near term extinction plausible, though certainly not inevitable (predictions range from years to decades to centuries).  Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, environmental crises such as climate change have supplanted global thermonuclear war in the pessimist’s hierarchy of doom.  Yet these threats are not mutually exclusive.  A leaked 2004 report by the Pentagon on global warming anticipates increased risk of “Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting…Once again, warfare [will] define human life.”[1] Though such predictions are self-serving – environmental crises are deemed another threat that can only be contained by militarism – they are also rational.   Under capitalism, competition for diminishing resources may exacerbate violent conflict, creating a feedback loop not unlike global warming itself.  This essay will argue that if the human race is to survive, anarchic systems based on participatory democracy must replace top down models of state rule.

Realpolitik 

In his book The McDonaldization of Society, sociologist George Ritzer portrays rationalism as a paradox: highly rational models frequently produce highly irrational outcomes.[2]   The modern workplace, where we spend most of our waking hours, provides a familiar illustration: rationalist modes of production based on efficiency, calculability, predictability and control have reduced human beings to human resources, disposable entities afforded little in the way of self-determination and dignity.

In the realm of international affairs, rationalist models have led to the school of realpolitik.   Unlike idealist interpretations of the state, which focus extensively on ethics, realpolitik is primarily concerned with power.   The 16th Century Italian diplomat and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “How we live is so far removed from how we ought to live, that [the ruler] who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather bring about his own ruin rather than his preservation.”[3]   Since the ruler’s primary objective is to maintain power – ostensibly for the “greater good” – immoral behaviour is not only acceptable but necessary.   Brutally practical, Machiavelli suggested that people should either be “well treated or crushed.”[4]

The 19th Century anarchist Mikhail Bakunin agreed with Machiavelli’s cynical understanding of power but came to very different conclusions about how humanity should proceed.   He praised the Italian philosopher for exposing the state with “terrible frankness,” and demonstrating that “crime…is the sine qua non of political intelligence and true patriotism,” yet rejected the notion that such crime was inevitable.  “We are the sons of the revolution…We believe in the rights of man, in the dignity and necessary emancipation of the human species.”[5]   The state – as well capitalism – should be abolished.

Up until the mid-twentieth century, and with the exception of a few rogue philosophers who advocated world government, self-government or no government at all, near-constant warfare between competing states has been viewed as an unfortunate but necessary byproduct of international relations.   The invention of the nuclear bomb changed that – or would have, if the idealists were correct.   American military strategist Bernard Brodie was overly optimistic when, in 1946, he wrote, “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars.  From now on its chief purpose must be to avert them.  It can have almost no other useful purpose.”[6]

The military establishment, soon to be termed the military industrial complex by President Eisenhower, did in fact have another purpose, namely to expand American power through imperialism.  Tolstoy was proven correct: not even the creation of the most “terrible weapons of war” would put an end to the state’s quest for dominance.

Noam Chomsky describes current models of international relations theory as “quite rational.”  Nevertheless, these seemingly rational models may bring about the irrational consequence of “collective suicide.”[7]

Few people who consider themselves rational would advocate for the disarmament of the state apparatus in which they live.  Yet in the age of nuclear weapons, it is precisely this insistence on “national security” through state power that is most likely to kill us.   If, as Bakunin argued, “small states are virtuous only because of their weakness,”[8] powerful states demonstrate an ineluctable tendency toward dominating others.   The result is militarism.

MAD

The history of civilization is sufficiently blood-soaked that many modern intellectuals, including Albert Einstein, have argued that competitive state frameworks must be abandoned if the human race is to survive.

Following the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Einstein implored:

A world government must be created which is able to solve conflicts between nations by judicial decision. This government must be based on a clear-cut constitution which is approved by the governments and nations and which gives it the sole disposition of offensive weapons.[9]

It is doubtful that a world government such as envisioned by Einstein – which allowed for the centralization of “offensive weapons” – would have eliminated the nuclear threat, let alone war, if for no other reason than secessionist movements and other power struggles would have remained a constant concern (we will return to this subject at the essay’s closing).

In any case, Churchill, Truman and Stalin would carve up most of Europe at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, creating the foundation for the Cold War.  As if to underscore the improbability of world government, the three leaders had an argument over who would enter the Potsdam conference room first; they eventually decided that they would enter at precisely the same time through three separate doors.[10]

The new paradigm was MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction.   Because man is a rational being, he would not risk nuclear annihilation by attacking his foe.  Game theorists at the Rand Corporation, a Pentagon think tank, provided the theoretical basis.   According to the prisoner’s dilemma, both players had to assume the other was rational.

While most nuclear strategists took it for granted that the point of the game was to maintain peace between the super-powers, others believed, quite logically, that the point of the game was to win it.

Among those who embraced the “winner takes all” view was General Curtis Lemay, purported model for the character “Jack the Ripper” in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.  

Best known for masterminding the massive bombing campaign against Japan during WWII (which resulted in half-a-million dead and about five million homeless), Lemay headed up the Strategic Air Command and served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965.

During his service, Lemay drew up a war plan which involved dropping “the entire stockpile of atomic bombs in a single massive attack” on the Soviet Union – 133 atomic bombs on 70 cities.  The Washington Post later quoted the General as stating, “Every major American city – Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles – will be reduced to rubble.  Similarly, the principal cities of the Soviet Union will be destroyed.”[11]

According to then Defence Secretary Robert McNamara, Lemay was “absolutely certain” that “the US was going to have to fight a nuclear war with the Soviet Union,” and that “we should fight it sooner rather than later.”[12]

Equally disturbing as the super-hawks at the Pentagon were the numerous academics – people who considered themselves highly rational – who advocated a similar strategy.  Most found their home at the Rand Corporation.

One of Rand’s most notorious strategists was Herman Kahn.  He believed that the US atomic arsenal was a wasting resource.  So long as the Soviet Union continued to build its own arsenal, America’s would decrease in value.   For Kahn, nuclear weapons were like a precious commodity in danger of depreciation on the global marketplace.   Though he did not explicitly advocate a first strike, Kahn believed that a nuclear war was “winnable.”[13]

Breaking the Chain of Command 

MAD is widely regarded as a triumph of both rationalism and hard-nosed realpolitik.  The missiles stayed in their silos.  We didn’t go extinct.   Starry-eyed idealists who rejected Ronald Reagan’s belligerence and exorbitant military spending were proven wrong.

What few realize is that we escaped destruction primarily due to a handful of individuals who rejected the chain of command – and even the logic of their computer screens – in order to embrace the better angels of their being.

In my documentary film The Power Principle I explore several of the biggest “close calls” during the Cold War.

The most serious event occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In the midst of the conflict, a group of United States Navy Destroyers began dropping practice-depth charges on a Soviet submarine positioned near Cuba in order to force it to the surface.  The sub commanders believed WWIII was underway.

According to Soviet military protocol, the commanders had previous permission to launch missiles if all three reached consensus.  Two said yes – one said no.  Then “an argument broke out among the three, in which only Vasili Arkhipov was against the launch.”  Thomas Blanton, a director of the National Security Archive, later remarked, “A guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world.”[14]

In 1983, a computer malfunction at a nuclear warning facility near Moscow falsely indicated a nuclear attack by the United States. The probability indicator was at level 1.

The man in charge, Stanislav Petrov, did not have the ability to launch a retaliatory strike. However, were he to pass on the information to the top command, the Soviet leadership would have only had a few minutes to decide on whether to launch a counter-attack. According to Bruce Blair, a Cold War nuclear strategist, “the top leadership, given only a couple of minutes to decide, told that an attack had been launched, would [have made] a decision to retaliate.”  Petrov broke military protocol, and waited.

It turned out that the computer malfunction was caused by “a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds and satellites.”[15]

The third biggest close call occurred in the same year when NATO began a war exercise; the scenario – an all out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.  It was codenamed Able Archer.

When the Nazis invaded Russia during WWII, they did so under the guise of a war game.  Alarmed by Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” rhetoric, as well as America’s deployment of Pershing II strategic missiles in Europe, hard-liners in the Kremlin became convinced that history was about to repeat itself.  In the run up to the exercise, the Soviets secretly mobilized all key components of their military forces, including nuclear submarines. One mistake by either side and a holocaust would have resulted.

There are other examples, though not quite as hair-raising. A report by the Nuclear Files Foundation lists over 20 “close calls” during the Cold War.[16]

The greatest danger has never been a rogue commander in the vein of “Jack the Ripper” – though that threat is real enough – but accidental nuclear war caused by incompetence and/or technical malfunction.

“So long as nuclear weapons exist,” states Noam Chomsky, “the chances for the survival of the human species are quite sleight.”[17]   Former Defence Sectary Robert McNamara eventually came to the same conclusion.  In his promotion of various arms reduction treaties he wrote, “It can be confidently predicted that the combination of human fallibility and nuclear arms will inevitably lead to nuclear destruction.”[18]

Unlike most of the public, US military leaders are well aware of the numerous close calls of the Cold War.   The same is presumably true of most men and women who (along with military leaders) formulate current US policy.   If their goal was the survival, let alone health, of the human race, the United States would have long since abandoned aggressive war.   A fraction of the US military budget could eliminate poverty worldwide [19], and in doing so drain the swamp of resentment and rage that provides the lifeblood of the “terrorist threat.”

For critics of American foreign policy, the failure of US leaders to pursue a peaceful path following the collapse of the Soviet Union is often attributed to a uniquely American belligerence or depravity.  Yet a cursory glance through the history books shows that the American empire, while exceptional in terms of global reach and technology, is anything but exceptional in terms of base motivation; it is behaving in a remarkably similar fashion to every empire that preceded it.  We can only conclude that powerful states – and the people to tend to wield great power within them – share peculiar forms of logic that are alien to most of their citizenry.

The Power Principle 

The dominant view amongst anthropologists is that we have lived in relatively peaceful, cooperative, egalitarian societies for 99% of our history.  In the words of anthropologist Christopher Boehm, “Humans were egalitarian for thousands of generations before hierarchical societies began to appear.”[20]  Many of the behaviours we now celebrate – “success” through the hoarding of wealth, for example – were traditionally considered socially deviant.   Ethnographies of extant nomadic foragers reveal that they are “all but obsessively concerned with being free from the authority of others.  That is the basic thrust of their political ethos.”[21]

The Utku in the Canadian Arctic have an extreme intolerance for “displays of anger, aggression, or dominance” (Boehm).[22]  The Pintupi Aborigines insist that “One should assert one’s autonomy only in ways that do not threaten the equality and autonomy of others” (Myers).[23]   Among the Wape tribe in New Guinea, “A man will not tolerate a situation where a neighbour has more than he has.  A man should not possess either goods or power to the disadvantage of others” (Mitchell).[24]

In both egalitarian and hierarchical societies, power is jealously guarded. For egalitarians, the goal is to maximize freedom through group solidarity; for despots, the goal is to maximize the “freedom” of  rulers to oppress the majority.

Among political philosophers, only anarchists have seriously considered the threat posed by hierarchy in human affairs.  For this reason they have been labeled “utopian.”  Yet it may be that idealized notions of benevolent hierarchies are not only unrealistic but wildly implausible.  Just as systems of domestic law have proven incapable of preventing tyranny, so too have international laws utterly failed to prevent war.

For anarchists, the reason for this is obvious: the logic of power is power.   There is no law or principle so compelling that it will not be tossed aside at the first sign that those who hold power are in danger of losing it.   Hunter-gatherers are able to prevent social dominance hierarchies because they act in a group wide coalition; under the state apparatus, with its entrenched hierarchies, this ability is severely curtailed.

Nevertheless, for the vast majority of political philosophers, the idea that a select minority should rule over the mass is taken for granted.  James Madison, the “father of the American constitution,” argued  that a primary purpose of government was to “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.”  His great fear was “levelling tendencies,” in other words, real democracy.[25]

If nation states existed in a vacuum, incapable of waging war against other states, minority rule would perhaps be tolerable, depending on the disposition of the men and women who happen to rule over the majority at a given time.  The problem is that states are not content to rest on their laurels.  Schopenhauer’s famous quote about wealth – that it is “like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we get” – applies equally to power itself.   The anthropologist Gregory Bateson explained the phenomenon in terms of “optima” and “maxima”: “the ethics of optima and the ethics of maxima are totally different ethical systems.  The ethics of maxima knows only one rule: more.”[26]

Egalitarian societies are able to maintain optima due to a low center of gravity.   In large hierarchical societies, wherein power becomes centralized, leaders or entire social classes can easily become despotic. As the great American novelist Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “Human beings are chimpanzees who become crazy drunk on power.”

Austrian political scientist Leopold Kohr, who described himself as a “philosophical anarchist,” regarded powerful states as the most dangerous expression of the maxima principle:

There could be no gentler peoples on earth today than the Portuguese, the Swedes, the Norwegians, or the Danes. Yet, when they found themselves in possession of power, they lashed out against any and all comers with such fury that they conquered the world from horizon to horizon. This was not because, at the period of their national expansion, they were more aggressive than others. They were more powerful.[27]

Great powers may temporarily “check” one another, to the point where – depending on the global power configuration – some powerful states may seem positively benign; nevertheless, by their very nature, states must exist in an environment of perpetual conflict; when a “critical quantity of power” is reached by one state in relation to others, war or even genocide is a likely result.  For these and other reasons, Bakunin believed that international law is always destined to fail.

There is no common right, no social contract of any kind between them; otherwise they would cease to be independent states and become the federated members of one great state. But unless this great state were to embrace all of humanity, it would be confronted with other great states, each federated within, each maintaining the same posture of inevitable hostility. War would still remain the supreme law, an unavoidable condition of human survival.

Every state, federated or not, would therefore seek to become the most powerful. It must devour lest it be devoured, conquer lest it be conquered, enslave lest it be enslaved, since two powers, similar and yet alien to each other, could not coexist without mutual destruction.[28]

Universal Hostility 

In my documentary The Power Principle, Noam Chomsky rhetorically asks, “Why wasn’t NATO disbanded after the Soviet Union collapsed?” After all, “there was no more Soviet Union to defend ourselves against.”

Why indeed did NATO not disband?

According to Chomsky, the simplest answer is that Washington was terrified of “Europe going off in an independent direction.”[29]   In other words, U.S. leaders were frightened of a diminution in their power.

Speaking in 2005, American military geostrategist Thomas Barnett boasted that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, “demand for our services has increased 4-5 times.”[30]   Instead of the “peace dividend” promised by Bill Clinton, aggressive war by the United States actually escalated.

Twenty years after Perestroika, Gorbachev lamented that his concessions – rather than creating more peace and harmony – had produced a “winner’s complex” among the American political elite.[31]   Gorbachev had envisioned for post-Soviet Russia a social democracy similar to the Scandinavian nations.  What actually followed were a series of brutal “free market” reforms engineered by technocrats from the Chicago school of economics.   It took decades for Russia to regain some semblance of stability.  Now that it has – and despite the vanished pretext of an ideological battle between capitalism and communism – the Cold War is back with a vengeance.

When Gorbachev allowed for the peaceful dismantling of the Soviet Union, he was promised by George H.W. Bush that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.”[32]  Instead, NATO has expanded to much of the world – including Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Baltic and Central Asia.   Coinciding with these aggressive policies of expansion and encirclement, the US has insisted on establishing anti-missile systems in Poland designed to eliminate Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

The theoretical basis behind America’s treatment of post-Soviet Russia crosses party lines.  Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defence under George W. Bush, wrote in Defence Planning Guidance (1992): “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere.”[33]  Similarly, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argued in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard that control of Eurasia – to the exclusion of Russia – is the key factor in ensuring American primacy

In February 2014, the democratically elected albeit corrupt government of Ukraine was overthrown in a right-wing putsch supported by the United States, prompting Vladimir Putin to engineer a referendum in Crimea allowing for its annexation into Russia.  Long before the crisis, and in response to previous provocations on Russia’s borders, Putin delivered a speech to the Kremlin in which he stated:

Their [U.S.] defence budget in absolute figures is almost 25 times bigger than Russia’s. This is what in defence is referred to as ‘their home — their fortress’. Clever…Very clever.  But this means that we also need to build our home and make it strong and well protected.  We see, after all, what is going on in the world.  Comrade Wolf knows whom to eat, as the saying goes.  It knows whom to eat and is not about to listen to anyone, it seems.[34]

In Putin’s portrayal of America as a ravenous wolf we see an echo of Bakunin’s maxim that states must “devour lest [they] be devoured.”

The desire by Russian leaders to retain control of their Black Sea port in Crimea and to project power into neighbouring (hostile, NATO-affiliated) states is a classic expression of the cordon sanitaire or “quarantine line.”  In state-craft, the term is defined as a protective barrier against a potentially aggressive nation or dangerous influence.

Putin has not been without his own forays into military violence, such as the brutal subjugation of Chechnya in the mid-90’s (during which the capital, Grozny, was largely reduced to rubble).  Nevertheless, the Russian leader has focussed most of his attention on building economic alliances, most notably that of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Following the first BRICS summit in 2009, member nations called for a new global reserve currency (rather than the US dollar) that would be “diversified, stable and predictable.”[35]

Apart from the small matter of nuclear weapons, it is in the economic realm that Russia is considered most dangerous.   Russia provides the European Union with about a third of its gas, remains one of Germany’s largest trading partners, and is currently arranging a massive natural gas supply deal with China.

In the same way that NATO has attempted to encircle Russia, the Pentagon’s “Asia pivot” seeks to quarantine China militarily.   China has responded by announcing a new Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea, overlapping disputed territories with Japan.  In April, the US established a new “Defence” pact with the Philippines.

Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed US-sponsored Security Council Resolutions that would have allowed for the “legal” bombing of Syria (which houses one of Russia’s last foreign military bases outside of the former Soviet Union).  But this has not prevented the United States from attempting to subvert the Syrian government through semi-covert means.  The CIA, the British SAS, Saudi Arabia and NATO member Turkey have been training and supplying Syrian rebels in Jordan since the beginning of the insurgency against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.[36]   Syria, in turn, has a mutual defence pact with Iran.

As always in the recent history of the Middle East, the wild card is Israel.

The destruction of Iran remains Israel’s primary foreign policy objective.   Though Hezbollah has sensibly warned that an attack against Iran would “set the entire middle east ablaze,”[37] Israeli leaders perceive Iran as a potential counter-check to Zionist power.   In addition to geopolitical concerns, Israeli leaders embrace a peculiar military strategy known as the “mad dog” doctrine.   First articulated by Israeli military leader and politician Moshe Dayan, it calls for Israel to behave “like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”[38]

The most disturbing manifestation of this strategy is the so-called “Samson option.”  Named after the biblical character Samson, who pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, thereby killing both himself and his captors, the Samson option calls for destroying much of the world in response to an existential threat to the Jewish state.   Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld explains: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions…We have the capability to take the world down with us.”[39]

The Samson option, and Israel’s behaviour in general, has led the American political scientist Norman Finkelstein to describe the country as a “lunatic state.”[40]

In his article “Marching as to War,” American paleoconservative author Pat Buchanan expresses incredulity over American Vice President Joe Biden’s post-Ukraine-coup trip through the former Soviet bloc countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  During the junket, Biden reiterated America’s commitment to “protect” these nations: “our word” is “solemn” and “iron clad.”  According to Buchanan, Biden was “affirming war guarantees General Eisenhower would have regarded as insane.”[41]

Here we may say that while Biden’s actions may have been insane during the Eisenhower administration, they are perfectly logical under the Obama administration.   In keeping with the theory of the Power Principle, or Kohr’s notion of “critical quantities of power,” the collapse of the Soviet Union eliminated the primary check to the American empire.   The dogs of war could be fully unleashed.   Now that Russia is resurgent, and the US declining economically, there is a great deal of barking going on.

On April Fool’s Day, 2014, NATO Sectary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated:

NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our territory and our people.  And make no mistake, this is what we will do.  We will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments.[42]

Rasmussen is nothing if not worldly, considering that “his” people evidently include populations from countries as varied as Albania, Croatia, France, Iceland, Italy, Romania, the UK and the USA.

The illegal bombing of Serbia by the Clinton administration may be regarded as the starting point in the New Cold War, for it was during the assault that NATO began its eastward shift.

The destruction of Yugoslavia was “rational,” argues historian Michael Parenti, because “Yugoslavia was the one country in Eastern Europe that would not voluntarily overthrow what remained of its socialist system and install a free-market economic order…Yugoslavs were proud of their postwar economic development and of their independence from both the Warsaw pact and NATO.”[43]

Considerably less rational was the behaviour of US General Wesley Clark during the conflict.   According to British pop singer James Blunt (best known for his song “You’re beautiful”), who commanded 30,000 NATO troops in Bosnia, he was instructed by the US General to attack a squadron of Russian soldiers at the Pristina Air Base.

The direct command [that] came in from Gen Wesley Clark was to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as ‘destroy’ came down the radio.[44]

Like Vasili Arkhipov during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Stanislav Petrov during the 1983 nuclear-warning “computer glitch,” James Blunt disobeyed orders.  He was backed up by British General Sir Mike Jackson.  Said Jackson: “I’m not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War III.”[45]

In contravention of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which demands “good-faith” efforts to work toward nuclear disarmament, the United States is projected to spend 1 trillion maintaining and expanding its nuclear weapons systems over the next 30 years [46] – assuming we survive that long.

End of Part 1 

Scott Noble is a documentary filmmaker.  His films can be viewed online at Metanoia-Films.org

NOTES

[1] Mark Townsend and Paul Harris, “Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us” The Observer (22 February 2004)

[2] Peter Kaufman, “The Rationality of Irrationality,” http://www.everydaysociologyblog.com/2012/09/the-rationality-of-irrationality.html

[3]  Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1513): Chapter 15.

[4] Ibid., Chapter 3.

[5] Mikhail Bakunin, “The Immorality of the State,” http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bakunin/bakuninimmorality.html

[6] Gregory G. Brunk, Donald Secrest, Ioward Tamashiro, Understanding Attitudes About War (University of Pittsburg Press, 1996): 37.

[7] Noam Chomsky, “The Dimming Prospects for Human Survival,” http://www.alternet.org/visions/noam-chomsky-dimming-prospects-human-survival

[8] Bakunin, supra note 5.

[9] Nicholas Hagger, The World Government (John Hunt Publishing, 2010): 30.

[10] Brad MacDonald, “President Obama and the Phone Call that Endangered America” The Trumpet (17 October 2013)

[11] Paul Lashmar, “Stranger than ‘Strangelove’: A General’s Forays into the Nuclear Zone” Washington Post (3 July 1994): C9.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Louis Menand, “Fat Man: Herman Kahn and the Nuclear Age” The New Yorker (27 June 2005)

[14] Marion Lloyd, “Soviets Close to Using A-Bomb in 1962 Crisis, Forum is Told” Boston Globe (Retrieved 7 August 2012): A20.

[15] Burrell’s Information Service, “War Games,” Dateline NBC ( November 12, 2000)

[16] Alan F. Philips, “20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War,” http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/accidents/20-mishaps-maybe-caused-nuclear-war.htm

[17] “The Power Principle.”  Directed by Scott Noble (Metanoia Films, 2012)

[18] J. Peter Scoblic, “Robert McNamara’s Logical Legacy,” http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_09/lookingback_McNamara

[19] Bo Filter, “Slaying Goliath: Give David a Stone,” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13919.htm

[20] Christopher Boehm, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behaviour (Harvard University Press, 2009): 5.

[21] Ibid., at 68

[22] Ibid., at 50

[23] Ibid., at 74

[24] Ibid., at 98

[25] Noam Chomsky, “Consent Without Consent,” http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/ConsentPOP_Chom.html

[26] Morris Berman, The Reenchantment of the World (Cornell University Press, 1981): 506

[27] Leopold Kohr, “The Power Theory of Aggression,” http://www.panarchy.org/kohr/power.html

[28] Bakunin, supra note 3.

[29] Noble, supra note 17.

[30] Ibid. 

[31] Claire Shipman, “Gorbachev: ‘Americans Have a Severe Disease'” ABC News (21 July 2006)

[32] Noble, supra note 17.

[33] “Excerpts from Pentagon’s Plan: ‘Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival'” New York Times (8 March 1992)

[34] Noble, supra note 17.

[35] “BRIC wants more influence” Euronews (21 June 2009)

[36] Greg Miller, “CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels” Washington Post (2 October 2013)

[37] “Hamas will not come to Iran’s aid in a case of war with Israel: official” Al Arabiya (13 April 2014)

[38] Jonathan Cook, “‘Mad dog’ diplomacy: A cornered Israel is baring its teeth,” http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/‘mad-dog’-diplomacy-a-cornered-israel-is-baring-its-teeth.html

[39] Felicity Arbuthnot, “Attack Iran?  Nuclear Insanity: ‘We have the capability to take the world down with us,'” http://www.globalresearch.ca/attack-iran-nuclear-insanity-we-have-the-capability-to-take-the-world-down-with-us/28723

[40] “Norman G. Finkelstein: ‘Israel is Now a Lunatic State,” http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/finkelstein310510.html

[41] Patrick Buchanan, “Marching as to War,” http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2014/03/21/marching-as-to-war/

[42] “NATO takes measures to reinforce collective defence, agrees on support for Ukraine, ” http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_108508.ht

[43] Michael Parenti, “The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia,” http://www.michaelparenti.org/yugoslavia.html

[44] “Singer James Blunt ‘prevented World War III'” BBC (14 November 2010)

[45] Ibid. 

[46] Robert Dodge, “Budgets as Moral Documents,” http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/11

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The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
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World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
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All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
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Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
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