Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
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:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail