Daily Archives: December 1, 2010

Capital

Looks like people making more than $250,000 per year– less than 2% of the US population– may be getting tax cuts even as 2 million unemployed Americans lose their jobless benefits and US corporations break records for the most profitable quarter in 60 years, raking in mad cash to the tune of $1.659 trillion.

Continue reading

Wikileaks

Amazon.com has booted wikileaks from its server at the behest, apparently, of Sen. Joe Lieberman. Comment on the disclosure of diplomatic documents continues, though rather than thumb through the greasy pages of pundit-class rhetoric I’ll refer you to this article at the UK Guardian and these pointed remarks by Glenn Greenwald. At the moment, one of the most interesting things to note, I think, is that even as the State demands access to the private lives of citizens– the collection of biometric data, the use of full-body scanners and pat-downs, the surveillance of public space, the “wire-tapping” of internet users, etc.– that very state reserves the right to shroud its activities– ex. the use of proxy forces and special operators in Iran, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia in addition to a shadowy archipelago of detention centers and military bases in Central Asia, etc.– in secrecy.

One of the core virtues of a democracy is supposed to be its transparency, a term which Obama used with some frequency prior to his election, though which we don’t hear so much about anymore. I think it is safe to say that the National Security State, born in the early years of the Cold War, shows no sign of diminishing and every indication of burgeoning. This is not, strictly speaking, a left/right issue any longer. Even a cursory survey of US history demonstrates that liberals are just as adept at instigating and prosecuting wars as are conservatives. What might alarm us, however, is that today’s Democratic Party bears very little resemblance to the one that demanded hearings on COINTELPRO 40 years ago. The National Security State– its bureaucratic apparatus– has proliferated since that time, increasingly steeply in the wake of 9/11. It remains to be seen if popular discontent will manifest sharply and widely enough to arrest that tendency.