[Marxism-Thaxis] Observer on US Foreign Policy

Joanna Sheldon cjs10 at cornell.edu
Sat May 26 18:52:10 PDT 2001

At 00:12 23-05-01, Rob Schaap wrote:
>G'day Joanna,


>Well, it's inappropriate if they're after maintaining close alliances with
>powers with the potential to be strong rivals - or maybe they're after
>forcing a new cold war climate, in which the new loathing wouldn't be
>enough to prevent old lap dogs coming back to heel, I dunno. Or maybe we
>are watching, as you say, the early stages of a new mediaevalism.
>Imperialist blocs competing for their fiefdoms, the resurgence of military
>and serf classes, but with the $ replacing the cross on all those banners.
>1984 a la Plantagenet ...

Yep. Better yet, slam a dollar on those banners so's to maintain the all-important pointer to the divine: "In God We Trust" is stamped on every greenback.

Btw, I just discovered that it was immediately after the Civil War that US coins first got religion (the bills got it in 1957). The reason: "This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed." http://www.ustreas.gov/opc/opc0011.html Which sounds like a good candidate for blasphemy, to this heathen. But politics is politics, and maybe they understood what a good part faith can play in quieting the folk, and how easily faith can be transferred. Once people identify with a power greater than themselves you can lead 'em by the nose -- it's a short step from God to Capital (ref: the recent discussion on LBO)... all you have to do is slather the secular with the sacred. With Nobodaddy claimed as protector to a personal government (the US presidency) you've got Daddy-knows-best, squared -- which is at least compatible with complacency among the masses. For me it's not so much religion itself that is the opiate as mono(andro)theism.

(This is not to deny the good work done in the name of "God" in Latin America, but liberation theology took a view from below, started from the suffering of the oppressed, did not identify with power, and besides, divinity, IMO, was irrelevant there, hijacked, as in E. Germany, because the churches were places where people were allowed to gather.)

> >In much the same way the feudal lords must have liked to stir up
> >trouble. Not only does it bolster one's position amongst one's peers, it
> >makes the yeofolk cling all the closer to the castle walls.
>At least those yeofolk understood themselves to be in divinely ratified
>contractual relationships with their lords.
>Er, mebbe in America they still do ...
>Sigh ...

Well, yeah. When Government inscribes the means of exchange with its own claim to divine protection, personalising itself in the process, I suppose every enterprise becomes a crusade. And every failure a sin.

cheers, Joanna S


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