Monday, April 07, 2003

Interview with Herman: A "War On Terror?" Not!
'David Ross: In The Real Terror Network (1982), you documented how the U.S. government did not support democracy around the world as we've all been taught, but instead, supported totalitarian states that would insure a good climate for investment.

'Ed Herman: We support democracy when it will serve our interests, but as The Real Terror Network indicates, not when it won't serve those interests. The interests were talking about are not the general, public interests, but the interests of the forces that dominate U.S. foreign policy.'

Its often very hard for intellectuals in the Western world to grasp or comprehend the concept that the United States does not support democracy, but rather supports tyranny and dictatorship, for reasons that in the end amount basically to financial gain. As Chomsky has said, the cold war was primarily a war by the United States againt the Third World, and secondarily a war by the Soviets against their satellites. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the limited deterrent it provided has been removed and we now witness an expansion of aggressive warfare by the US against Third World countries.

The failure of the Western public to perceive this is due to the power and success of the propaganda system. People see Goebbels and his propaganda for what it is, clever techniques but not something any sophicticated person would be fooled by, especially after the event; they can also see how the Soviet press was a 'factory of lies'; but it is apparently inconceivable that the US corporate media could be in a similar category. Hence the enormous importance of Herman and Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent' and Chomsky's 'Deterring Democracy' which lay the whole matter out in a manner which can be compared to Robert Conquest's devastating expose of the Stalinist regime in his book 'The Great Terror.'

The interview here with Herman is well worth reading but it contains the major outstanding flaw of the progressive/left movement: a continued reliance on Marx. Herman says: 'Is Marx finished? I would argue that Marx has now come into his own, because Marx was analyzing how capitalism works, and I could make a case that capitalism was not really pure capitalism since 1989.' The fact is, Marx is finished, and the sooner the body is buried and forgotten the better. Anarchism culminating in Chomsky provides by far the most powerful critique of the ideological, political and military foundations of 'capitalism'; and what is most important but simply nowhere recognised, Georgist economic analysis provides the most effective critique of the capitalist 'economics'. Marx's set task was to analyse the mechanisms of economic exploitation but he failed completely. Georgism provides the clues to the successful completion of this basic task. On the Georgist side however, there is a tragedy that it has been unable to conceive the importance and relevance of the anarchist /socialist movement, and the necessity of its presence and involvement in these groups. George himself presented his remedy as a stand alone panacea and unfortunately his followers have tended to adopt the same isolationist attitude.

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