It was recently reported that 459 Iraqi and Syrian civilians, including a hundred children, have been killed in air strikes targeting ISIS. As a parent, this news hit me hard. I try to imagine my 12-year son being blown apart by a bomb dropped from the sky. No, that’s not quite true, I don’t try to picture the gruesome murder scene, but I imagine how it might feel to have my heart broken in this way.
I think former Secretary of the U.S. Madeline Albright summed up the government’s position on remorse–it’s devoid of any. (She was noting the 500,000 children who perished during the sanctions against Iraq.)
“I’d expect as much from investors, but shame on the politicians who pander to them.” (emphasis added)
Therein lies the ‘human shield’ of predatory capitalism. How many people regard their investments as sacrosanct/patriotic/class identity and rationalize the malfeasance against life in coded terms that amount to willful denial; what is the psychic impact of this veiled inflicting of ‘self-harm’ that were it done physically to themselves would be regarded as a pathology?
Money has placed us all somewhere between slave-drivers and slaves. It’s absolutely the greatest con-trick ever enacted. It’s intrinsically worth nothing but TPTB make sure no one gets to think that way. All hail the new gods - The Economy, Profits, Margins, Growth, Investment, The Markets, The Troika, Business Confidence… Remorselessness!
Major General Smedley Butler:
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
I noted that as well–forgive the investor, condemn the politician? I don’t think so!!! Without the investors, those companies would not be as big and influential as they are. Anyone who willfully invests in mechanisms of death and destruction, knowing full well how these will be used, is every bit as evil as those who facilitate their use.
A conscience is a toxic asset
By the same token - a consciously full fledged movement for ethical investing could turn the world around in a generation. No more ‘planned obsolescence’ for starters. I don’t think people have even begun to approach the challenge and possibilities of this single premise. The waste that this alone represents could meet needs on a vast scale.
Being a bully, while dressed as the world’s policeman, means having to never say you’re sorry.
They’re deemed “collateral damage”…just ask the former prez, GWB. Using that phrase creates “plausible deniability” along with the policy of not keeping count of lives lost of the “enemy” and/or civilians practiced by his administration, the policy that has apparently remained to this day. If they do not see or recognize it, it simply does not exist in their insular worlds. In the “War on Terror,” even young children are deemed as potential “enemy combatants” ready, armed, and willing to join in jihad.
Like Robert Duval’s character (general or colonel) said in the movie. "Apocalypse Now: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…”
Could we possibly come up with the propaganda to make fighting global warming/climate change as glamorous and heroic as war against humans? I realize it would require replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy and making that politically feasible would require keeping our too big to fail fossil fuel firms busy and out of mischief doing something more constructive and/or pensioning them off, maybe some of each. I also figure that placating our too big to fail fossil fuel firms AND also at the same time replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy is likely to nearly double our energy budget from around 9% of GDP to about 18% of GDP, unless we manage to overlap placating too big to fails and replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy. But we very much need to keep our makers of weapons busy and out of mischief fighting global warming/climate change at the same time as placating too big to fail fossil fuel firms.