Tuesday, April 05, 2011

“Our” Values and Interests Are Actually the Same Thing

By Edward Herman, Z Magazine, April 2011

The upheavals in the Middle East have created acute problems for establishment officials and pundits, and their discomfiture, squirming, and gyrations have added further pleasure to the shifting political scene. “We” are allegedly strongly in favor of democracy and hostile to one-party rule and repression, but sometimes geopolitical calculations (also called “our interests”) override this democratic proclivity. But in reality, the public has nothing to do with making these decisions; the public never voted to seek favorable climates of investment over the entire globe, or to move to a permanent war system, or to keep pumping up the arms business as the civil society cries out in pain. These have been elite decisions, reflecting elite interests and values. The use of “we” and “our” in this context is thus deceptive and trickery.

Furthermore, can democracy be “our” true value if it is so systematically overridden? Is it a true value even at home if the more aggressive quest for a favorable climate of investment in the United States itself has steadily weakened the electoral choices and effective political participation of ordinary citizens and brought with it intensified and savage class warfare? (See my “Toward a Homeland Favorable Climate of Investment,” Z Magazine, March 2011.)

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