Monday, October 27, 2014

The Universal Smedley - 4

This series began with a post about a general named Smedley, then expanded out to others who made a career out of the massive war industry, educational system of war, and over-arching politics of war (The Universal Smedley, 2, 3).

What I am talking about in this series, then, is those who were and are the architects of current industrial civilization (Viva Egypt - 2; Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4; The Peak of Sanity - 3).

In today's post, among other things, I want to discuss a book written by a recent addition to the Smedley Corps, one whose mind also encountered and absorbed some or all of the Smedley memes:
Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has said of the upcoming Concert for Valor:
“The post-9/11 years have brought us the longest period of sustained warfare in our nation’s history. The less than one percent of Americans who volunteered to serve during this time have afforded the rest of us remarkable freedoms -- but that freedom comes with a responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them, and to appreciate the skills and experience they offer when they return home.”
It was crafty of Schultz to redirect that famed 1% label from the ultra rich,
At Amazon
represented by CEOs like him, onto our “heroes.” At the concert, I hope Schultz has a chance to get more specific about those “remarkable freedoms.” Will he mention that the U.S. has the highest per capita prison population on the planet? Does he include among those remarkable freedoms the guarantee that dogs, Tasers, tear gas, and riot police will be sent after you if you stay out past dark protesting the killing of an unarmed Black teenager by a representative of this country’s increasingly militarized police? Will the freedom to be too big to fail and so to have the right to melt down the economy and walk away without going to prison -- as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase, did -- be mentioned? Do these remarkable freedoms include having every American phone call and email recorded and stored away by the NSA?
(Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?). His notice of the 1% diversion by a 1% figure (Howard Schultz) was interesting.

It was interesting because the original universal Smedley, author Fanning's ideological ancestor, had coined the phrase in the 1930's:
"We are divided, in America, into two classes: The Tories on one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 per cent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came. That class hasn’t any privileges except to die when the Tories tell them. Every war that we have ever had was gotten, up by that class. They do all the beating of the drums. Away the rest of us go. When we leave, you know what happens. We march down the street with all the Sears-Roebuck soldiers standing on the sidewalk, all the dollar-a-year men with spurs, all the patriots who call themselves patriots, square-legged women in uniforms making Liberty Loan speeches. They promise you. You go down the street and they ring all the church bells. Promise you the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth,–anything to save them. Off you go. Then the looting commences while you are doing the fighting. This last war made over 6,000 millionaires. Today those fellows won’t help pay the bill."
(The Universal Smedley). The original universal Smedley also wrote a book "War is a Racket."

Do we do the math (Cost of War) or count the cost of freedom buried in the ground some other way:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(The Greatest Source Of Power Toxins?, quoting James Madison). Whatever "freedom" is, "no nation" can preserve it in the midst of continual warfare.

MOMCOM has some of "it" on sale now --cheap (MOMCOM - A Mean Welfare Queen), but it is feudal "freedom" since we are so low on inventory / stock of the James Madison type of freedom right now (American Feudalism - 6).

The previous post in this series is here.

Another accounting method:

1 comment:

  1. Rory Fanning recalls his de-mythification process during his conversion from Killer Ranger to conscientious objector (link).