While it may seem that I've strayed off topic, all of these issues are related. For example with so much of the economy structured around the 'defense' industry it has become like a cancer that can't quit growing. Throttling down the militarist engine wounds the American economy. Rather than secure our freedom the Military-Industrial complex and especially those who sit atop it have made us all into slaves. They're the worst thing for our country, for our society and for the world but we can't divorce ourselves from them....it would bring America down.[i]
At this point the reality of the situation not even discussed. The Establishment media never reports the truth. In fact it’s taboo to even raise these questions. It has become axiomatic that American soldiers are heroes defending our freedom. The reality is the military and those who are part of its mission are social parasites, literally destroying our freedom. 11 September 2001 was an act of desperation by a group of fleas wishing to strike at an elephant. While visually dramatic it did little to affect the United States....except it created fear, an irrational fear within the public. However this fear in the end did not serve the designs and purposes of the terrorists...which might be expressed as ‘End your Empire and get out of our business.’
Instead it served the interests of the Militaristic Power Elites. Now they had an excuse to once again expand the Military state and install mechanisms which would actually diminish our civil liberties at home.[ii] For that sector, a terrorized public generates profit and opportunity.
Fear, economic and social slavery, loss of liberty.......and yet somehow these pawns are the heroes, these are the indispensable super-citizens of our society?
They are entitled to special treatment when it comes to jobs, health care, and their budgets should always expand. By 'They' I mean active duty, retirees, and the people who have left active 'duty' but continue within the greater sphere of the complex.
The other day an old friend called. Let's call him Bill. Bill used to be in the American military. He didn't stay in long enough to retire and receive a pension, but he's still very 'gung ho' about things military. He's a good Fundamentalist and strongly oriented toward the political right. After assuring him that I didn't think the globalists were going to take over, I didn't think that Bernanke and Obama were conspiring to bring America down, he brought up the looming fiscal cliff. This of course refers to the process called Sequestration where across the board budget cuts kick in. After several delays, it would seem this will become a reality in March.
Every economist laments and dreads this and they all assure us it will greatly harm the American economy leading to recession and a rise in unemployment. Whether that’s correct or not remains to be seen, but for many there are ethical components to these indiscriminate cuts. For those on the Left they are concerned about the poor and for many on the Right, the cuts to the military complex are morally paramount.
Part of Sequestration would involve 'defense' cuts that are labeled as drastic by Conservatives even though they would only take us back to 2005 or 2006 levels. Presently we've been sitting on a 13 year increase in military spending, which reached unrestrained and obscene levels after 11 September 2001. The reality is Sequestration doesn't even begin to cut the military budget enough. I say that both in terms of economic realities and in terms of the morality of American militarism.
But Bill who is a good conservative and hates 'big government' has in fact spent his entire adult life working as a government employee within the military sector. Bill drafted a paycheck for his time on active duty and has continued by working in the 'Defense' Aerospace industry. He works at a large plant involved in some of the most costly projects. There have already been layoffs and he's convinced he will lose his job when the Sequestration budget cuts kick in.
For Bill his job 'serves' the public, and is not only good but necessary. He has no qualms about living off of tax money that's used to support his industry. Even though these industries sell their tax funded products abroad, their sales strategy, marketing, in fact every step of the way is intimately tied in with the US government funding and policy, and with the Pentagon establishment. The Empire pushes its agenda and they essentially cash in on it every step of the way.
Now to my mind, his job is a drain on our society and contributing to the demise of our culture and has certainly contributed to destroying our economy and our freedoms. I strongly resent and morally object to paying tax moneys that would support his industry. Those at the top benefit the most, growing fabulously rich...but even he benefits, with a nice job and nice benefits denied to millions of other Americans. This is not envy. This is moral revulsion.
Not only does their industry exist at the expense of others, it is a wicked industry promoting imperial power and death and those involved in it profit at the expense of others, in terms of both money and blood. Some do more than very well. They are literally profiteers in the industry of death.
But in his mind (and here's the wicked part) it's all wedded to some cancerous Nationalistic American heresy that he thinks is equal to Biblical Christianity. The conversation was awkward and yet I did not let it explode. I planted seeds and let it go. He's not ready to hear the truth and even less ready to accept it. It's a hard thing when you've been brainwashed and devoted your life to idols.[iii] I could expose them for what they are but his response would be one of misguided and mistaken indignation. He would be morally offended at my moral objections. And it would quickly end the relationship and thus any opportunity I might have to gently help him see his error. Though at times I must admit I think perhaps the blunt approach is what some of these people actually need.
So powerful is the hold of this way of thinking that the average person can't even follow or grasp the argument that exposes the lies and idols for what they are. I often feel in many ways that we in fact live in some sort of Orwellian science fiction world. People (and almost especially professing Christians) have become impervious to the truth. It almost can't get through. It requires a certain level of knowledge and ability to grasp concepts that the average person doesn't seem to possess. They are slaves in body, mind, and soul… in every way imaginable.
But in our present social model, the single mother who works seven days a week at two part time jobs and yet doesn't make enough to get by...and takes a heating subsidy or food stamps....she's a taker, a mooch, a parasite. Meanwhile she's working for people that are making money hand over fist who are able to do this in part because they're able to play their employees a less than reasonable wage. She's a bad person.
But my friend Bill and his bosses, their 'good' people. They work hard and earn their living and contribute to society.
I see things quite the opposite. I see the hard working woman as someone who is being exploited but is too ignorant to see it and I see Bill and his bosses as the parasites and drains upon our society. The lady takes a few thousand a year in help but Bill and his people take tens of thousands every year in wages and benefits. His bosses take in hundreds of thousands, and their bosses....millions.
They produce nothing that helps society and in fact they contribute to a death machine, a great evil and a force that has enslaved our society and undermines it.
They are the ones who are living on welfare.
But it's not just them. Romney cited the 47% as the takers and victims. Well, there are 53-54% of the people in our country invested in the stock market. Many of these people possess 401k packages often tied in with mutual funds. Every single one of these people is in part benefitting from the ‘defense’ industry. Their stock portfolios are tied in with this machine. Every major mutual fund has at least some investments in the Defense Contracting sector as well as other industries tied in with the Military complex. These industries are dependent upon tax money and yet these investors, even though they are benefitting from tax subsidized industries… they're not 'takers' or benefiting from government subsidies?
Look into the energy industry. Look into railroads, airlines, even sports and sports stadiums.
In fact the more you look it becomes astonishing. How many Wal-mart stores and other big industries receive waivers on property taxes, sales taxes and other kickbacks? In some cases Wal-mart’s collect the sales tax but due to the particulars of the arrangement they established with local government, they’re not required to pay it and in fact pocket the tax. This robbery is justified by local officials because supposedly they’re bringing jobs into an area. But anyone who lives (as I do) in a rural area has seen the devastation these companies bring as they destroy the local economy and then slowly raise their prices once they have a virtual if not actual monopoly.
And what jobs do they bring? Low wage part time jobs that end up putting even more people on subsidies. Their business model depends on the fact that a good number of their employees will sign up for them. Their financial office is quite keen to help them do this. And this is all at the expense of local business people who actually are invested in the affairs and success of the local community. Sure Wal-mart gives donations, they throw the dogs a bone. It’s pennies to them. But it is evident the company cares nothing about the communities it functions in. All businesses seek a profit, but Wal-mart and many other large corporations are in the business of profiteering and exploitation. And like the military has become a detrimental force within our society. Few realize the force they exert internationally and how this affects US policy and drains the treasury in order to protect their interests. Do you think the United States government is going to let Wal-mart or Monsanto take a hit overseas? Are they going to let them be thwarted or hindered in the pursuit of business? These questions and issues are viewed from multiple perspectives. These companies serve the Empire in projecting power but also the Empire protects them because the domestic economy has come to rely on them. This power projection is usually framed under the euphemism of ‘overseas interests’. How much in military and other spending has been utilized to maintain these companies and protect them? How often has the United States engaged in violence and coup d’état for the sake of corporate interests? This has a long and sad history and very few Americans know anything about it or the anger and resentment it has generated from Latin America, to the Middle East, to Africa and Asia.
How many of these companies have received massive perks and benefits to move into a community and then without hesitation walk away, leaving hundreds or thousands unemployed, destroying the local infrastructure and revenue base…all for the sake of maximizing profits by moving offshore?
And yet these companies are exalted. Some even dare to hang a flag on the outside of their buildings as if their presence was somehow patriotic. Some are even more worthy of praise because the minimum wage part-time worker says ‘Merry Christmas’ as you come in. Meanwhile the workers they exploit and the people in other countries who suffer and die because of this massive corporate-imperial machine… they are wicked when they fail to show proper love and appreciation for the United States, the storm troopers it deploys and the political puppets it empowers and installs.
[i] This is exacerbated by the fact that all large scale military projects are broken up and divided into as many districts as possible. If possible each plane or missile is manufactured in 20, 30, or even 50 different locations. This way the people of the respected districts want the programme to continue and the economics of the question virtually guarantee the political representatives will vote for its continuation, regardless of their political orientation.
[ii] A lot of Christians confuse the word liberty. If it's being used in a way that contradicts the designs of Christian Transformationalists they say you're using it in the sense of license, while the Bible means liberty from sin. If you're a Christian-Right Patriot you use Bible verses that refer to theological liberty (from sin) and apply them to the civil realm. Let's not confuse the two. There's a liberty that comes from being 'in' Christ and there's another type of liberty that speaks to the civil and social order. They are not the same thing. One is eternal and part of the Kingdom of Heaven. The other is a temporal and thus temporary arrangement that allows human beings (Christian and Pagan) to get along in a fallen world and not end up at each other's throats. Both liberties can be abused.
[iii] See my “Days in the Cult”