Monday, January 23, 2012


The United States perpetuates a state of permanent war. The names change -- hell, sometimes they change by just a single letter -- but the result is the same. Call it "permawar."

The fatal error of all those who oppose these wars is to focus on individual outrages: U.S. out of Iraq! Rethink Afghanistan! No Iran War!

When are we going to step back and see the forest for the trees? All of the wealth and power of the United States is dedicated to perpetuating a state of permanent war, and we are all swept along in it.

In my opinion, the vast majority of Americans have internalized this reality, and that's why, confronted with the suggestion that they oppose the wars, they look the other way. "What do you expect me to do about it?" they seem to say. Most people have been rendered helpless.

That would tend to explain why so few people vote.

Of course, there are still a minority of people who will proffer counter-arguments when you suggest that they should oppose war, say, against Iran. "Oh, but those guys in Iran are really bad guys!" I'm becoming more and more certain, however, that those arguments are just a cover for helplessness: "I know my voice isn't heard, and I'm sure my vote doesn't count; perhaps I can still retain a shred of self-respect by repeating the government line; maybe then this person will leave me alone ...."

Now, this theory of "permawar" only makes sense if there is somebody -- or some group of somebodies -- who benefit from perpetuating a state of permanent war. Who might that be?

Who benefits from war? and who benefits from "permawar"?

Related posts

More than anyone else, the beneficiaries of permawar are the politicians who thrive on the power to make and control wars. The number one prime beneficiary is the President, as well as presidential aspirants. But it doesn't end there . . . .

(See J'ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar )

To many people, the relationship between finance and war is obvious: banks finance the military-industrial complex. In my opinion, however, that misses the point. Banks finance everything (in our society); so why, in particular is it so desirable to have all these ongoing wars?

(See Why Permawar? It's All About the "Vol" .... )

It's important to recognize that Goldman, Bloomberg, and the CME -- and ALL of the entities and individuals that profit from the "vol" -- can live with more or less taxation, or more or less regulation, or more or less business-friendly legislation. The one thing they can't live with? Peace . . . .

(See Finance's Unholy Trinity of Permawar: Goldman, Bloomberg, and the CME )

It is time now to turn to the dirty secret of American life and the primary dilemma of the antiwar movement: the military money that flows to EVERY Congressional district, and in particular the "good jobs" that members of Congress think they are protecting when they vote for ever-higher levels of military spending.

(See Drones, Permawar, and the Problem of "Good Jobs")