Sunday, July 27, 2014

thirsty in the detroit littoral: writing off the future of a large part of humanity...,

ragblog |  What are Obama’s drones except a robotized version of the Phoenix program?

Tom may also be prescient in implying that the current celebrity of the unorthodox ‘warrior thinker’ – whether personified by Kilcullen or the sinister General McMasters – doesn’t necessarily put any new ideas on the empire’s table. But Down from the Hills – and this why I blurbed it – does register with stark honesty a global reality that foreign policy mandarins have generally ignored: the consequences of warehousing a billion poor people in peripheral slums with negligible hope of ever finding employment in the formal world economy.

An agricultural ‘apocalypse’ (and here the term is accurate) has driven hundreds of millions into cities where, apart from the world factory of China and its periphery, capitalism no longer creates jobs or rewards education. Moreover, economic globalization, as it were, has ‘leaked space.’ Without an international red menace incubating in the slums, governments have often abdicated everything except police violence and extortion in their poorest and most rapidly growing urban districts.

Into this “vacuum” of governability, Kilcullen claims, has rushed a motley mob of terrorist militias and super-street gangs who have transformed the despair of the young into a new strategic weapon: suicide bombers. A chief architect of counter-partisan warfare in the Middle East, he now concedes that special-ops can also be a steroid to the very movements it seeks to behead. So ‘smart power’ must now pay attention to underlying causes. Indeed the analysis in his new book drives him part way into the arms of Jeffrey Sachs. (Or, more accurately, into those of Dilma Roussef, Brazil’s ex-1960s-guerrilla president, who extols the military occupation of Rio’s favelas as ‘profound reform.’)

Tom gives all this a deserving yawn: hearts and minds redux. While desperate liberals having been seeking light at the end of Obama’s tunnel, Tom has been thunderous in denouncing this scary administration’s love affair with executive immunity, special ops and universal surveillance.

But I believe if you carefully read Kilcullen and the literature coming out of places like the Naval War College (where they recently had a think-tank discussing the implications of ‘deglobalization’), you’ll come to the recognition that the Pentagon’s killing machines are not the most profound danger ahead. Rather it’s the fact that the military intellectuals are already exploring the consequences of writing off the future of a large part of humanity. They see an absolute darkness on the horizon.
During the high Cold War, of course, there was no social group or acre of sovereign land that wasn’t seen as a valuable ‘stake’ by one side or another. Ideology had to rhetorically address the condition of all humanity, whether by the promises of five-year plans or Alliances for Progress. With the collapse of the USSR, however, the ‘Free World’ became an unnecessary pretense on a planet of free markets while any vision of common humanity was abdicated to NGOs and UN speeches.

What material interest now remains in wooing the poor or helping them adapt to global warming? 

What geopolitical leverage do they possess in a world without a powerful international left?

The ultimate warning of my book Planet of Slums was about the ‘triage of humanity’ that since the 1990s had become the new unspoken framework of international politics. The greatest evil is no longer that capital exploits labor but that it expels it from the circuits of production entirely. To the extent that this surplus humanity poses no realistic threat of reorganizing society on more egalitarian principles, it’s simply a problem whose ultimate management – after the helicopter gunships and Predators – may be through pandemic disease, famine, and unnatural disaster.

In another of my fraternizations with the enemy, I had a beer with an admiral a few years ago in Coronado who wanted to pick my brain about the convergence of urban poverty and natural disaster.
He had commanded a carrier task force in the Gulf and as he put it, “my kids really didn’t like bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan. But morale soared when we provided relief after the 2004 earthquake/tsunami in Indonesia.” He emphasized that only the US Navy could bring the infrastructure of a medium-sized city (in the form of ships supplying power, medicine, supplies, helicopters, etc) to a littoral region devastated by floods or quakes. “No one else – not China, Russia, the UK or the UN – has this capability.”

“But here’s the rub,” he said, “Congress will never authorize a serious expansion of humanitarian missions, especially when we’re likely to see more Katrinas and Superstorm Sandys on our own coasts.” “So at some point,” I completed his thought, “no one would ride to the rescue.” “That’s right,” he said, “no one. And this is the kind of future that some us at Newport [Naval War College] have been trying to understand.”

21 comments:

Vic78 said...

It looks like there's an opportunity here. How many adults are crippled with mental scars but can't afford therapy? We know the brain is malleable. The people that benefit from what I'm talking about the most are athletes and people in the military. Someone could say get the six dollar book. I'll say many could use encouragement and competent coaching never hurt anyone.

CNu said...

There's a HUGE opportunity in rototilling and replanting how public education is done which focuses squarely on the coaching instructional approach. Work currently in progress and approaching fruition.

CNu said...

I'm pretty sure I despise MHP. At this moment, she has assembled a loathsome crew to specifically go in on "The Myth of the Magical Daddy" - it's on days like these that I find myself rooting for Paul Ryan and his unsustainably expensive http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/07/paul_ryan_s_anti_poverty_plan_is_paternalistic_it_s_also_a_thoughtful_compassionate.html

DD said...

http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/07/whats-in-a-name-everything/372271/?google_editors_picks=true

Interesting piece refuting the idea that wealth levels truly do change over 1 or 2 generations.

Constructive_Feedback said...

[quote]An agricultural ‘apocalypse’ (and here the term is accurate) has driven hundreds of millions into cities where, apart from the world factory of China and its periphery, capitalism no longer creates jobs or rewards education.[/quote]

http://exmayor.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/slap-my-head.jpg

And what did SOCIAL JUSTICE create in capitalism's wake?

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother Ed - I agree with you on this one.


As I told the "Garvey-ite" in Atlanta about 3 weeks ago: THE #1 FORCE WHO IS GOING TO CUT YOUR THROAT, however, are the SAME FORCES that applauded when your "spiritual leader" Garvey got deported.


This was in response to his notion that ALL BLACK PEOPLE MUST UNITE before we can advance.


HE COULDN'T SEE that SOME AMERICANIZED NEGROS have vowed to NEVER, NEVER EVER lose their POSITION inside of America and they will "cut the baby in half" if that is what it takes to retain it.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Of the food you ate last week - how much of it was "farmed indoors" by YOU as you prepared for your independent sustenance?

CNu said...

It's no wonder these critters are mad, who'n'a'phuk wants to pass on their name and whatever they bring to the "lottery" with this? http://on.msnbc.com/1l5hCCR

Vic78 said...

I wish you were concise. Man, you really have to get a grip. I'm going to guess you mean to ask why am I not appeased with Medicaid expansion and you're asking me about my not speaking on the Negro ailment of their not being able to do anything for Black folks outside of the states. To answer the first question one should never be satisfied when it comes to policy. There will always be new and old issues to deal with. As for the Negro ailment, I've spoken on it on this site more than once. I just don't talk about it at times. I was pretty much done with this thread when I made my first comment.

This thing you do is pretty damn annoying. You don't have to do your standard blog post every time you drop a comment. Say your piece and keep it moving. I'm not saying don't argue; what I'm saying is that you can do without the filler. Me talking about the Americanized Negro is filler. Fuck Donald Trump. Bringing up my statement on healthcare being a mess and tying it to THE PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE is world class fuckery. To bring up VOTING FOR THEIR SALVATION in every comment makes it look like you have a one track mind. Everything shouldn't fit through that lens.

Vic78 said...

Okay...I was responding to Ed's comment about urban farms with my comment about indoor farming. I was talking about doing it on a large scale. What the fuck is up with you? Do you like being a jerkoff?

And yes, I know a little bit about growing shit indoors. Instead of worrying about me, you should start your own indoor project to get in front of the coming changes.

CNu said...

lol..., bears repeating: You don't have to do your standard blog post every time you drop a comment. Say your piece and keep it moving.
You don't have to do your standard blog post every time you
drop a comment. Say your piece and keep it moving.

You don't have to do your standard blog post every time you
drop a comment. Say your piece and keep it moving.

Teach brother teach:Everything shouldn't fit through that lens.
Everything shouldn't fit through that lens.
Everything shouldn't fit through that lens.and the jarring fact that no matter how many folks or how many times and how many different ways he's been told this simple truth, but he insists on doing the same thing over and over again - watching and waiting for a different result begins to look a little like _________________?

CNu said...

Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and
literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment
late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and
ethnicity, a large study has found. "These findings are important,"
explained the lead author of the study "because it challenges earlier
research that suggests associations between race and ethnicity,
particularly among Latinos, and an increased risk of late-life cognitive
impairment and dementia. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725110944.htm

BigDonOne said...

It's called bad nurturing, bad environment....the human equivalent of shooting up BigBlue with an AK-47....

Vic78 said...

Between this and Charles Murray advocating everyone getting a check, I'll say we're making progress.

Constructive_Feedback said...

[quote]To answer the first question one should never be satisfied when it comes to policy.[/quote]


THE POLICIES that took dominate control over the places that took your advice on "Black Voter Registration" seems to have SATISFIED the Black voters WITHIN to the notion that they are NOT going to receive what they had hoped for after local political success, so now they are left vulnerable to the "Center For American Progress' " Scheme to compel the NEGROES WHO HAVE MOVED BACK DOWN SOUTH to "Vote Progressive" with the hopes that NATIONALIZATION will make them satisfied with Progressive Public Policy.


You are not bothered with my "ONE TRICK PONY".
YOU ARE BOTHERED that that PONY has an excellent sense of SMELL and is on your trail regarding the consequences of YOUR misaligned scheme.


MORE THAN you being silent about the impact of POLICIES adopted by AMERICANIZED BLACKS on the "Black Diaspora" I would be thrilled if YOU heard the "Embedded Black Confidence Men" who are harvesting the minerals of Black Americans into politics then talk about forming a GLOBAL UNION OF BLACK PEOPLE, that you responded by TELLING THEM that "You are not worried about any Negro who breathes outside of the US Sovereign borders".


THEY USE this claim of GLOBAL BLACK UNITY to DISARM the Americanized Negro into going along.


It is interested that ME - ONE BLACK MAN - bothers you so yet the LOOSELY COUPLED, FRAUDULENT "Black Racial Services Machine" which molests the content of the "Artificial Horizon" that the Americanized Negro navigates from - seems to go relatively unscathed from you DESPITE their POWER and the number of operatives that they embed within.


When you say I AM INCONSISTENT - then I will make note.
If you say that MY MODEL OF THE TRUTH IS ASKEW - I will make note.

The fact that you give me ENGLISH LESSONS - asking me to be more brief and that you say that I AM REPETITIVE - is little more than an attempt for you to shy away from the CORE CONTENTS and my DAMNING OBSERVATIONS.

Vic78 said...

"It is interested that ME - ONE BLACK MAN - bothers you so yet the LOOSELY COUPLED, FRAUDULENT "Black Racial Services Machine" which molests the content of the "Artificial Horizon" that the Americanized Negro navigates from - seems to go relatively unscathed from you DESPITE their POWER and the number of operatives that they embed within."

That is not true. You're going to accuse me of something that a casual reading of past comments disproves. You're fucking hard headed . You just can't help it; at this point you're on autopilot.

Naive Tom said...

Yeah this is getting almost like the way Ken talks.

CNu said...

They're both bible-buddies - so drinking from the same toxic well. What intrigues me is that Bro.Feed is well-educated enough and presumably intelligent enough (he's a network security guy) to know better. In my own experience, he represents a unique extreme outlier. social conservative + negroe conservative + IT professional + gradually increasing scope of responsibilities (you could tell in his timeline about when his employer started letting him produce and run powerpoints for customers - because his always hypergraphic blogging suddenly got larded up with clip art compositions) and along about the same time he began coining his many peculiar and obscurantic euphemisms.

Dood genuinely believes he's doing something, but objectively speaking, his continuing development has been arrested for quite some time now and all he's doing is repeating himself ad nauseum. Maybe that's how he has to work? Maybe it takes him a few thousand iterations to squeeze out a breakthrough?

Naive Tom said...

I think, or hope, that CF is gnawing on a real bone in his anti-evolution posts. At least I think there is a real bone nearby, I've done a lot of my own gnawing and digging in that part ofthe yard, and so it sounds reasonable to me. In contrast to Ken, who I think is simply playing games.


But it sure seems like CF keeps calling Vic on stuff Vic already disposed of upthread. I'm naive so I'll just say I find that confusing.

Naive Tom said...

Maybe that's how he has to work? Maybe it takes him a few thousand iterations to squeeze out a breakthrough?


Or something. As I get older I do ruminate more, where when I was younger and had never had any authority I'd just flap stuff out there and be damned.


Whether it's an aid or an obstacle to the creative process I'm not sure.

CNu said...

Ken calls himself trying at least a little bit, as evidenced by the article googling and citing he did last night. http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2009/04/lynn-margulis-symbiogenesis.html#comment-1507669659 Neither one of them, however, is making a genuine good faith effort to learn and grow - rather - each starts with the authoritatively "received" notion that science is not only wrong but wrong-headed - and then radiates out from wherever in that received notion they began.

i.e., they don't want to engage in any scientific inquiry or discourse, rather, they only want to show the science is flawed such that it cannot possibly challenge their received anthropomorphic notions about the origins of living complexity.