How were the terms of US political and economic debate severed from basic standards of evidence and common sense? Why does the word "hypocrisy" seem inadequate to describe the pretzel logic of the neo-conservatives? Why do the people of the United States remain inert as the madness at the top claims the authority to hemorrhage its execution of Iraq into a nuclear war on Iran?The people . . . inert to the hemorrhage-authority-claiming madness . . .
John McMurtry is a decorated professor of philosophy who has pursued questions like these to the ideological foundations of today’s US-centric global empire. His analysis offers insights that can help us identify and think our way out of this now ubiquitous "mind-lock". McMurtry’s approach also turns out to be useful for illuminating core ideological contradictions in Israel’s US-supported ethnic cleansing regime, which has been forcing Palestinians off their lands for the last 60 years.Taking time out for meals, of course.
McMurtry narrates the ascendance of a "fanatic mind-set" in the west following the demise of the Soviet Union, when "a strange ideological inversion occurred." Marxism’s ‘economic determinism,’ "abhorred by liberal theory," was swiftly replaced with the West’s own brand of imposed economic determinism. "Inevitable globalization" was framed as a product of unaccountable and unstoppable forces unleashed by a veritable law of nature, the ultimate "wisdom of the market" that benefits all.The convergence of the Big and Little Satans . . .
McMurtry demonstrates the destruction of value and meaning inherent in the adoption of this absolutist dogma, which claims to encompass all human activity and reflexively rules out of order any other explanation or concern. He also traces the use of this irrationality to justify brutal economic and military predation under the twin deceptions of "free trade" and "democracy". The nakedness of this nonsense is revealed by McMurtry’s observation that it glorifies its "no alternative" market theory and bullying imperial trade policies as the ultimate in economic freedom . . .
Observers of Israel and its influence within the United States see a long trend toward ideological convergence between the two nations, especially in foreign policy, war, economics, and propaganda. One of the little-noted fundamentals of this growing affinity is a mutual and increasing need and desire to justify unjustifiable acts and obscure incriminating truths.
So it is not surprising that Israel is awash in the same intellectual process of inversion that McMurtry finds so pervasive in the US.Israel . . . awash in a pervasive inversion process . . .
Indeed, one could argue that many of Israel’s ideological contradictions are at least as old as the state. Using McMurtry’s style of formulation and taking broad liberties with his method, here are a few of the more obvious inversions of meanings and values underlying the Israeli government’s proclamations and practices. US readers may note the obvious parallels:You mean, prosperity *doesn't* equal poverty?!?!
Israel’s "right to defend itself" assumes the "harsh necessity" of its military and civilian occupation of Palestinian land, which is an illegal act of war. Self-defense = Aggression
Israel’s security depends upon the continual provocation of forces that will threaten Israel’s security when provoked. Security = Promotion of insecurity
Israelis’ freedom depends upon the imprisonment of another people. Freedom = Denial of freedom
Israel’s democracy depends upon the racist exclusion of its indigenous5 citizens and the empowerment6 of the most intolerant of its privileged citizens. Democracy = Apartheid
Israel is a "bastion of religious freedom" in which civil law is based on an "orthodox" version of a single religion. Religious freedom = Religious exclusivity
Israel’s continued prosperity requires "market liberalization" that dramatically increases poverty and consolidates wealth at the top. Prosperity = Poverty [...]
Crossposted on Soccer Dad