Monday, January 31, 2005

When is an election not an election?

Iraqis voted today in their "national" election. The media is covering it as an example of extraordinary progress for all of Iraq. They don't happen to mention that the media is allowed to report from only four polling places in the entire country. And the media isn't even complaining. "Yip! Yip!" say the lapdogs.

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I just finished reading, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins. This is one of those "I was an asshole for imperialism, but now I'm admitting my crimes" tell-all books. Every few years one of these jokers comes around. I remember Phillip Agee and Robert Stockwell from 20 years ago revealing nefarious deeds they participated in while working for U.S. intelligence agencies in Central America and Angola. This author is no different.

What always amazes me about these people is that they understand the evil that they've done to further U.S. global dominance.Yet they consider there experience as an aberration from true capitalism. None of them ever question the very basics of the system. All capitalism needs is a bit of tweaking and everything will come out smelling like roses.

Perkins is even worse. He's decided that all we need do is learn the secrets of proper living from shamanistic tribes. But guess who gets paid to tell us all about it? The shamans themselves? Of course not! What we need is a disillusioned white man, Perkins himself, to show us the way at a conference that will cost you a mere $1,000! Yeah, he's certainly gotten over exploiting people, hasn't he?

And yet, this kind of book will get through to certain people who are just beginning to question the myths they've been told about the beauty and goodness of capitalism. They won't listen unless they hear it from somebody who benefitted from the system and rejected it nevertheless. A struggling worker is just jealous of rich people or expressing sour grapes. A rich person is more credible on the topic.

Yeah, maybe. But I don't have to like it, now do I?

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