". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Frontier Brutality 4: Frontier as Gold Rush

Naomi Klein lays it out starkly, succinctly, why frontiers are spaces of unconstrained brutality, dripping gore from tooth and claw:

[ Give a bunch of contractors billions of dollars with no accountability, while simultaneously eviscerating the Iraqi state (de-Baathification, laying off the army, flinging open the economy with no regulation) and they'll gorge. Give a bunch of Heritage Foundation interns control of an economy with no oversight and they'll try to privatize everything in sight. The entire disaster in Iraq was utterly predictable. But what I argue in the book is that not only was this predictable, it was the plan. The plan wasn't to destroy Iraq; it was to create a market frontier. And the reason you build a frontier is always the same: nothing is more profitable. Adam Smith wrote about it in The Wealth of Nations: on the colonial frontier, land can be grabbed, taxes are few, and capitalism can exist in its purest, most profitable form. That's why the Wall Street Journal has been comparing Iraq to a "gold rush" from the very first reconstruction conferences in 2003 -- any frontier is a gold rush. ]

Additionally, John Cusack prefaced the above from his interview with NK, with this:

[ What Naomi does so well is put the corruption scandals into a broader context, unveiling and meticulously documenting how the scandals of the Bush regime -- from the invasion of Iraq to the inability of FEMA to locate the Superdome for days after Katrina hit -- are actually part of a new emerging economy, what she calls the Disaster Capitalism Complex, which itself is the culmination of a 35 year ideological campaign of radical privatization and de-regulation. It is not a conspiracy in any sense, but a very open, fundamentalist ideological war against the New Deal in America and Keynesian economics around the globe. Francis Fukuyama called the supposed peak of this movement "the End of History." But what may actually be ending is the illusion that this campaign has done anything but great damage to people around the globe. Blackwater is a perfect case in point. ]

Once again it is stated what I came to believe about 3 years ago that what the media and so many others perceived as unbelievable mis-management, mistakes, incompetence, idiocy was in reality The Plan -- it was deliberate, in order to wreck our nation's federal government -- see Katrina and all the countless cockups nationally. What frontiers resist and fear most of all is oversight, governance and order.

1 comment:

Sontín said...

I am reading "A War Against Truth: An Intimate Account of the Invasion of Iraq" by Canadian Journalist Paul William Roberts who was in Bahgdad when the bombs fell. He also presents a convincing case that the war was planned well before 9-11.

It is good book too. I find myself changing between laughter and anger as I read it.