On Elections in an Empire
By Dennis Loo (11/26/15)
Everyone in the world knows, including in this country, that the US is the sole superpower.
What everyone does not know, most especially those in this country, is what exactly being a superpower entails.
The simplest way to put this - and the way that members of the pundit class have increasingly openly admitted in the last fifteen years or so - is that the US in an Empire.
This is explicitly admitted to and gladly embraced by both right wing and some of the liberal wing of the intelligentsia: people who appear in syndicated columns in places like the Washington Post, on MSNBC and Fox, and in books and magazines.
If It Were Truly Human Nature...
By Dennis Loo (10/20/15)
One comment that regularly comes up from at least some students during my sociology classes at some point is some variant on this statement: "It's human nature and that’s why we have social problems. People are naturally selfish, greedy and violent." This is something that you can hear someone in the street or other setting state very readily and with great assurance in their voices that what they're saying is as true as the sky is blue.
The follow-up statement to this is usually: "So any plans to change anything are bound to fail because of human nature."
This is so common an idea and taken for granted as so well understood and true that nobody has to bother to try to justify it. Some teachers in fact can be heard in some classes engaging in what appears to be a routinized call and response with their students of: “And why can’t this problem be fixed class?” Chorus: “Because of human nature!” “That’s right,” the professor declares with great satisfaction.
By Dennis Loo (9/11/15)
In what has to be a completely unprecedented turn of events, Congressional Republicans are complaining that intelligence assessments of Islamic State's strength are being downplayed by the Obama Administration.
And intelligence analysts are feeling pressure to toe the official administration line that Islamic State is being degraded.
Someone needs to be fired, declares the press, citing an unnamed CIA Director under Obama.
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)