FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

America the Indispensable

There is a screaming need for us to properly account for the things that come from the bounty of nature. If ever there was something that was not developed privately and belongs to us all publicly that thing is nature. And yet business is taking an extremely costly free ride at our collective expense by failing to account for and pay for the full costs of their activities. Unfortunately a proper accounting and payment plan cannot begin until this free ride becomes common knowledge and cause among the U.S. people. Who then must force that knowledge on to the U.S. Congress, Senate and Supreme Court. I single out the U.S. for what needs to be a global effort because she is for better or worse the exceptional nation. The indispensable nation. What I mean by that is however very much not what Obama or Bush or Reagan or Clinton meant when they used the very same words.

The U.S. is exceptional in the amount of resources that its people consume and the amount of green house gasses that this consumption creates. When you consider both absolute terms and per capita terms no other nation is close. Truly the U.S. is exceptional. The U.S. is also indispensable in that it is the largest arms builder, arms seller and arms user in the world. And what is the U.S. fighting to maintain? The physical flow of and its access to the profits from the very substance that is choking the life out of the planet. If there is today a more perverse use of technological expertise and national wealth I’ve yet to find it.

The U.S. dollar is the foreign reserve currency of the world with all of the political and economic power that this entails. The U.S. dominates how trade laws are written. The rules of global finance. Until very recently the U.S. was at the forefront of laws created to protect its citizens from being poisoned and their environment from being extinguished. Still today the U.S. media and entertainment industries in combination with its public relations industry and political lobbyists do more to shape everyone’s understanding of the world than any other nation in history. Much is made of the fact that there are U.S. military bases on every continent of the world. What is more important is that there are U.S. dollars and U.S. ideals in every country of the world. The ability of the U.S. to effect change and exert influence is unparalleled. From such an exalted position there is much the U.S. could do. Much the U.S. does do. There is however one thing above all others that the U.S. must do if the world is to meet the challenges that industrial civilization has presented us.

The U.S. must, finally, move its economy from a war time footing to a peace time one. The real enemy today is not terrorism. The real war today is not a clash of civilizations. The real war today is the war that human civilization is waging against the biosphere. If we are to survive this war the U.S. is indispensable to that effort. She is the richest nation in the world. She is the most technologically advanced nation in the world. She is today spending close to a trillion dollars a year on the wrong war and so has ample discretionary income to transfer to the right war. She is also the foreign currency reserve for the world, and just as she recently printed trillions to save Wall Street from itself she can print trillions to save us from ourselves.

We speak much today of disruptive technologies and they are not without importance. But the true disruption required is not technological but societal. We must move from the age of technological advances and military conquest to the age of technological advances and the plenty that peace affords. For hundreds of millennia we have felt besieged by nature. We have felt cowed, and small, and insignificant against the size of her oceans, her deserts, her plains, her forests, her mountains. We have fought her indifference. We have fought her elements and her plagues. We have suffered at her hands. This war has gone on for as long as we have existed, and we have paid for every inch of advance with our lives. We have died at sea. We have died in the deserts. We have died of cold, and thirst, and famine, and we have buried our kin in her earth. But we refused to be defeated, we never relented, and we now finally have won! The war is over, and nature now lies at our feet. It is time to make an honorable peace. To accept our victory with the necessary humility, and to rehabilitate our vanquished foe. It is now time that we the masters of all we survey ensure the survival of our most ancient nemesis. That we make of her the ally she has always been even if we did not know it. Having won the war let us not lose the peace.

More articles by:

December 13, 2018
John Davis
What World Do We Seek?
Subhankar Banerjee
Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode
Lawrence Davidson
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
James McEnteer
Breathless
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s new Jews?
Dean Baker
Pelosi Would Sabotage the Progressive Agenda With a Pay-Go Rule
Elliot Sperber
Understanding the Yellow Vests Movement Through Basic Color Theory 
Rivera Sun
The End of the NRA? Business Magazines Tell Activists: The Strategy is Working
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Historic Opportunity to Transform Trade
December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail