The U.S., Carter said, has been at war for all but 16 years of its 242-year history. (China and Vietnam actually fought a brief border war in early 1979, weeks after normalization of U.S.-China relations.)
He called the United States “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” because of a tendency to try to force others to “adopt our American principles.”
- Hurst, Emma. 2019. “President Trump Called Former President Carter To Talk About China.” 90.1 FM WABE (blog). April 14, 2019. https://www.wabe.org/president-trump-calls-president-carter-to-talk-china/.
The only US president to complete his term without war, military attack or occupation has called the United States “the most warlike nation in the history of the world.” . . .
Carter then said the US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.”
- Common Dreams. 2019. “Jimmy Carter: US Is the ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World.’” Alternet.Org. April 18, 2019. https://www.alternet.org/2019/04/jimmy-carter-us-is-the-most-warlike-nation-in-history-of-the-world/.
On China and U.S.’s worry that China is “getting ahead of us”, see at point 39:40 Chomsky’s comment on just this point, the trade agreements with China, being “an effort to prevent China’s economic development”:
Which reminds me of a book I heard about via Mano Singham’s blog:
During the Second World War, the United States honed an extraordinary suite of technologies that gave it many of the benefits of empire without having to actually hold colonies. Plastics and other synthetics allowed it to replace tropical products with man-made substitutes. Airplanes, radio, and DDT enabled it to move its goods, ideas, and people into foreign countries easily without annexing them. Similarly, the United States managed to standardize many of its objects and practices—from screw threads to road signs to the English language—across political borders, again gaining influence in places it didn’t control. Collectively, these technologies weaned the United States off the familiar model of formal empire. They replaced colonization with globalization.
Globalization is a fashionable word, and it’s easy to speak of it in vague terms—to talk of increasingly better technologies drawing a disparate world together. But those new technologies didn’t just crop up. Many were developed by the U.S. military in a short burst of time in the 1940s, with the goal of giving the United States a new relationship to territory. Dramatically, and in just a few years, the military built a world-spanning logistical network that was startling in how little it depended on colonies. It was also startling in how much it centered the world’s trade, transport, and communication on one country, the United States.
. . . . . .
It may help to look at the decline of colonialism from a different angle, focusing not just on supply but on demand as well. The worldwide anti-imperialist revolt drove the cost of colonies up. Yet at the same time, new technologies gave powerful countries ways to enjoy the benefits of empire without claiming populated territories. In doing so, they drove the demand for colonies down.
The “empire-killing technologies” ranged from skywave radio to screw threads, and they worked in different ways. But, collectively, they weaned the United States off colonies. In so doing, they also helped to create the world we know today, where powerful countries project their influence through globalization rather than colonization.
. . . . . .
Now markets scamper across borders, planes land anywhere, and communications satellites connect the most seemingly distant places.
But all that is relatively new, an artifact of post–World War II globalization. That globalization, in turn, depended on key technologies devised or perfected by the U.S. military during the Second World War. These were, like synthetics, empire-killing technologies, in that they helped render colonies unnecessary. They did so by making movement easier without direct territorial control.
Immerwahr, Daniel. 2019. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Electronic version, hence no page references)
We began with Jimmy Carter. Notice something else about the challenges Carter faced:
Propaganda War On “Philosophical Enemies of Capitalism”
Simon (1978a:191, 222; 1978b:6) offers an analysis of economic-political problems in 1978 and solutions to them. The Carter administration is, he asserts, ‘careening with frightening speed towards collectivism’. The regulatory agencies of ‘an economic police state’ are spreading ‘terror’ among the corporations. Simon, explicitly following Irving Kristol, attributes this crisis of American democracy to the pervasive influence of un-American intellectuals (Simon 1978a: 193—5; Kristol 1975). He asks ‘What then can we do?’ and responds chat ‘funds generated by business must rush by the multimillions’ to the rescue. Some major foundations (he instances the Ford Foundation) have been ‘taken over’. By whom? By the ‘philosophical enemies’ of capitalism, people of egalitarian outlook. The only possible solution is to create new foundations which will ‘serve explicitly as intellectual refuges for the non-egalitarian scholars and writers in our society … They must be given grants, grants and more grants in exchange for books, books and more books’ (Simon 1978a:228—31). (Carey 1995:96)
Exactly this development has occurred in the United States, where so-called ‘issue advertising’ or ‘advocacy advertising’ has become a $100 million industry and a major aspect of business’s grassroots propaganda. For example, during the conservative assault on public opinion that occurred between Carter’s election and Reagan’s election, Mobil Oil spent $5 million per annum on advocacy advertising, which included full-page ads in the New York Times once a fortnight. (Carey 1995:103)
In the United States the Carter administration attempted, too late, to restrain business’s advocacy advertising by taxation and other methods (Ehrbar 1978:68). In 1978, when American business was spending $ 1 billion per annum on grassroots propaganda (a significant part of it in the form of advocacy advertising) the Supreme Court in a 4 to 3 judgment overturned a law restricting such expenditure. (Carey 1995:104)
Carey, Alex. 1995. Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty. Edited by Andrew Lohrey. Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales Press.
A Better Vision
You’ve surely seen this before many times over by now, but it deserves a place here, too:
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