War Profiteering

This post started as a response to a comment by my friend Todd here in response to this post. Recently I read many letters of George Washington written throughout the entire founding period, collected in this book. The following excerpts are from letters written in 1779 in response to questions about the duration and management of the War for American Independence. They relate specifically to the concept of those who want to extend or encourage war as a way of making money.
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Terror

Something happened yesterday. An accident. Two unfortunate deaths. Sadness and loss.

However, based on the news stories, the inuedno, and the fear it would appear that “liberal mainstream media” is participating very willingly in promoting the war on Terror. Continue reading “Terror”

John Adams, John McCain and the Moral High Ground

The entire duration of John Adams’ presidency was complicated by the threat of war with France. No one was sure how things would turn out as the Jacobins battled the old aristocracy and Bonaparte for control. The French were capturing U.S. merchants vessels and behaving as if the U.S. were only a transient entity on the world-stage. In the U.S. politicians, the media, and the people had divided themselves into two camps: the Federalists (led by Alexander Hamilton), who pushed for war with France to establish the U.S. as a power and to push attain vengeance for prior bad acts by the French; and the Republicans (mainly Thomas Jefferson and James Madison) who pushed for reconciliation and almost capitulation to the desires of France.

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Imperial Democracy: How the history of Athens may foreshadow the future for the U.S.

During the 4th century BC, Athens dominated the Eastern Mediterranean artistically, economically, politically and philosophically. Sparta remained a power because of its military structure and political stability, but economically she exerted little influence. Fast forward 2500 years. The U.S. dominates the world politically, economically and sadly, culturally (Michael Jackson, Brittney Spears, etc.). There are a few militaristic nations that remain a power (China and Russia), but the U.S. is the sole superpower. Does Athens’ behavior have any correlation with its fate, and is the U.S. falling into the same situation?

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Protectionism and Capitalism Win Smashing Victory Over Free Trade and Equal Opportunity.

The headlines don’t read so blatantly, but the failure of the Doha round of the WTO talks essentially results in the above title. With the U.S. unwilling to work to eliminate farm subsidies and the European Union and the U.S. unwilling to open their markets to poorer countris, they have only perpetuated the protectionism and poverty and limited the opportunities for third world countries to enter the world market. No wonder Hugo Chavez can argue that capitalism doesn’t work to take care of the poor and that the U.S. practices unfair economic policies because he is right on both accounts.

The U.S. demands that third-world countries open their markets, but as the richest, most prosperous nation, is unwilling to do so. If the U.S. is going to be a lasting world leader, they must lead by example, by implimenting the law of universality and allowing for application to itself the restrictions and recommendations it essentially imposes on other countries.

The Role of the Critic (and an appropriate response)

Throughout history there have been those who argued against the status quo; who railed against the dominant paradigm; who were willing to point out that the emperor had no clothes. These range from Socrates, Isaiah and others anciently to Marx and Chomsky more recently to current political characters like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The question I pose is: how do we react to the words of the Critic?

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The Split Between Democracy and Capitalism-Focal Point: Latin America

This is the outline of a speech I gave for a current events seminar. It’s somewhat rough, but gets out the ideas. I’m sure this will provide plenty for discussion and argument.

Equal opportunity is the bedrock of freedom. This nation was established to preserve, protect, and ensure that opportunity. The United States (and the world) will need to make a very important decision over the next 30 years: whether to choose democracy or capitalism. One system protects equal opportunity while the other stifles it. These opposing approaches to political economy have been bed-partners for over 150 years, being bound more tightly during the 20th century as the world attempted to settled the question of totalitarianism (as the face of fascism and communism) vs. parlimentarianism (as the face of capitalism).

Latin America provides an interesting focal point to discuss this split. Over the next few minutes we will discuss 10 questions that lead us through the issues. In order to explain this decision, we must first define our terms.

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