sour-faced Germans

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Fri Feb 12 14:52:05 PST 1999

On Fri, 12 Feb 1999, Max Sawicky wrote:

> > But I wonder more and more about this. Was the Nazi regime really all that
> > different from the Pax Americana?
> yes.

Sorry, but this is just too simple. One of the most interesting facts about the rule of multinational capital nowadays is that, by and large, people still feel, think, and ideologize *nationally*. And every national identity is based on competition/antagonism with others. The Pax Americana constructed its own ideology on the basis of an alleged "openness" and "freedom" as compared with "totalitarianism". We're good, you see; and those Nazis, well, they're just Germans, and we know what they're like, right? And if we can't find evil Germans to bomb, or Russians to threaten with bombs, well we'll just send the warplanes to dust those evil totalitarians in Baghdad.

When you total up all our Cold War interventions, the crimes of Third World debt and neoliberalism, you're going to find that the Pax Americana murdered way more people than the 50-60 million slaughtered by the Axis regimes. The dialectical flip side of this is that Americanization (or the installation of regimes of state-monopoly accumulation) also *produced* more people throughout the world-system, via industrialization in the semi-peripheries, the spread of modern medicine throughout the Second and Third World via Cold War technocratic regimes, etc. Progress, as I said before, in late capitalism is also and everywhere regress, and if we reduce this complexity to the easy simplicites of Good Leaders and Bad Leaders (read: effective businesspersons and ineffective businesspersons), then we've lost the battle with Capital before we've even begun to fight.

-- Dennis

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