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Friday, March 21, 2008

Golden Straitjacket ? . . . more like Golden Steak-knife . . . . through the ribs

Thomas Friedman wrote ‘The Lexus and the Olive tree’ as an advertisement for globalisation. One of his main selling points was that all types of economic activity could be bundled and then sold (commoditised) to outside investors (or The Herd, as Friedman calls it). The results of this can be seen in the collapse of both Bear Stearns and Northern Rock.

A decent deconsruction of Friedman can be found here: The Anti-Friedman Page

In this page I suggest that Friedman's understanding of globalization is in fact extremely narrow, one-sided and misleading. His frequent and vociferous denunciations of those protesting against neoliberal globalization, and the arguments which Friedman advances in his book, are singularly ill-informed, poorly reasoned and, in a number of cases, demonstrably false.


Absent from Friedman’s advertisement was any in-depth discussion of military action in order to cause ‘regime change’ in favour of ‘the herd’. Of Course military action is not the only weapon in the Pentagon/Globalists arsenal these days. Due to the work of one Gene Sharp, who is partly responsible for the so-called 'colour revolutions' we've heard so much of over the last few years, non-compliant governments can by removed by a combination of repetition of phrases such as 'The current gov't are a bunch of election thieves' and organising student riots in favour of whatever political party offers the best deal for the predatory corporations.


Mr Sharp is 'a Senior Scholar' of the cleverly named Albert Einstein Institution

The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.

Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops.

The Albert Einstein Institution and Senior Scholar, Gene Sharp, have recently come under attack by certain writers and in speeches by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.


Which as far as I can tell means that they help topple gov'ts that don't want to follow the neo-liberal/Globalist agenda of selling the country's resources and infrastructure to what often turns out to be (funnily enough) the Corporation that offers the worst deal for the local inhabitants.

Here's a useful blog entry from What's Left about Stephan Zune's connection to the Institute employing Mr Gene Sharp:

Stephen Zunes and the Struggle for Overseas Profits

Another Center associate is Robert Helvey, whose book “On Strategic Non-Violent Conflict: Thinking about the Fundamental”, is promoted on the Center’s website. Helvey is a retired U.S. Army colonel and former U.S. military attaché to Myanmar (like Rodal’s, an improbable background for a budding Ghandi) who has been linked to anti-Chavez groups. Chavez has accused Helvey’s employer, the Albert Einstein Institution, of being behind an imperialist conspiracy to overthrow his government (4). Zunes says that “charges that…Bob Helvey” or the Albert Einstein Institution or the ICNC “are serving as agents of U.S. imperialism are totally unfounded” and that “the only visit to Venezuela that has taken place on behalf of any of these non-profit groups engaged in educational efforts on strategic nonviolence was in early 2006 when” Zunes “led a series of workshops at the World Social Forum in Caracas.” (5) Chavez, he says, has fallen for a conspiracy theory. These “individuals and groups” are not “plotting with his opponents to overthrow him.” (6)

But a Reuters’ report says Helvey was brought to Caracas in 2003 “by a group of businessmen and professionals to give courses to young activists on how to ‘resist, oppose, and change a government without the use of bombs and bullets.’” (7) Is Zunes unaware of this, or is he paltering with the truth?

Helvey’s dalliances with the anti-Chavez opposition came fast on the heels of “his work in Serbia before Milosevic’s fall” where he “briefed students on ways to organize a strike and how to undermine the authority of a dictatorial regime.”


I recently watched a video of a presentation given by a guy by the name of Thomas P.M. Barnett. Barnett is more like the ‘real’ Friedman, or a more honest Friedman. He openly discusses all the ways in which the Gobalisers can use/abuse US military and Media might to induce circumstances favourable to the economic rape of any country foolish enough to think they might be better off deciding their own future.

A good deconstruction of Barnett's philosophy can be found here: 'A Post-Modern Nimrod'

Barnett is all things to all people. Given competing visions, he can affirm them all, as long as they are imperial and grand. He is bipartisan and non-sectarian. He believes that once his sheer clarity and strategic genius hit home, all Presidents and administrations of whatever party will carry out his program forevermore.

Barnett’s now famous map (PDF!) is the conceptual center of his book. His vision is more and more cited, and he may have created a following. This means big trouble, as we shall see. [3] In addition, Barnett means to create a new language whose very framing will force those who buy it to accept his grandiose prescriptions for “a future worth creating” (The Pentagon’s New Map, p. 5, his italics). The effect is somewhat like having Oliver Cromwell come back as a motivational speaker, who then divides his time between Pentagon briefings, Rotary Club meetings, and doing commentary on Fox News.......

Barnett doesn’t want to make war against a mere tactic – “terrorism” – he wants to crusade against his own abstraction, “disconnectedness,” in behalf of another one: “connectedness.” This may be the first “war” fought for-and-against verbal nouns. Along the way, globalization becomes so reified that it “has a past” and, evidently, a great future. A great deal can and must be sacrificed, it seems, to a particular reading of this (by now) irritating construct.

Thus: “Whether we realize it or not, America serves as the ideological wellspring for globalization. These united states still stand as its first concrete expression. We are the only country in the world purposely built around the ideals that animate globalization’s advance: freedom of choice, freedom of movement, freedom of expression. We are connectivity personified. Globalization is this county’s gift to history…. More important, to abandon globalization’s future to those violent forces hell-bent on keeping the world divided between the connected and the disconnected is to admit that we no longer hold these truths to be self-evident: that all are created equal, and that all desire life, liberty, and a chance to pursue happiness. In short, we the people needs to become we the planet” (p. 50, his italics).

Anyone interested should go here and search for ‘Barnett’. Then start reading and downloading. Plenty of videos and plenty to read.

Of particular interest to me was this video http://www.takeoverworld.info/vid/Barnett_160.avi (160mb, but smaller versions are available at the above link) of a presentation he gave, titled ‘Pentagon’s New Map - Blueprint for Action’ to what appeared to me to be an audience of Military/Industrial employees.


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