Saturday, June 21, 2008


Crises in Context

In a recent exchange, the notion of an American popular uprising was broached, conditioned on some future government having gone too far. My response was that this is not in our nature, culturally speaking, but that random violence toward scapegoats is. My suggestion was that prophylactic measures be initiated at community levels in anticipation of public panics generated by ongoing social and political neglect.

Three books come to mind that might help put our present circumstances in context: Peddlers of Crisis by Jerry Sanders, The Science of Coercion by Christopher Simpson, and The Iran-Contra Scandal by Peter Kornbluh.

Sanders illustrates how the National Security Agency (enacted in 1948) enabled secret, unaccountable government that helped to create our current crises; Simpson shows how the methodology of advertising merged with that of psychological warfare to maintain this anti-democratic development; and Kornbluh documents the consequences in the form of the criminalization of US policy and administration under President Reagan. Taken as a whole, these three books help to create a backdrop for the prognosis delineated in A New Dark Age by Phil Williams.


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