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Washington Connection And Third World Fascism: The Political Economy Of Human Rights (Volume 1) [Paperback-2015]
Noam Chomsky
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Category:Politics- Political Science
Publisher: Pluto Press Uk | ISBN: 9780745335490 | Pages: 0

Statement of purpose for this two-volume project: “It has a dual focus: on facts and on beliefs” (ix). The basic fact is that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite. The fundamental belief, or ideological pretense, is that the United States is dedicated to furthering the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the wo Statement of purpose for this two-volume project: “It has a dual focus: on facts and on beliefs” (ix). The basic fact is that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite. The fundamental belief, or ideological pretense, is that the United States is dedicated to furthering the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the world. (id.). That is all in fact basic and fundamental. Along with Manufacturing Consent, this set should be considered part of the core Chomsky writings. The main concern is how the US has “globalized the ‘banana republic’” (1), a “plague of neofascism.” This has proceeded through “interventions explicitly designed to preserve non-freedom from the threat of freedom […] and to displace democratic with totalitarian regimes” (3). Even though the US is the worst distributor of products in the global market for unlawful killing (inclusive of “the peasants of Indochina served as experimental animals for an evolving military technology” (3)), the majority of kenomatic development occurred under the US clientage system, a group of “subfascist” regimes, characterized by “most of the vicious characteristics of fascism [but] lacked the mass base that a Hitler or Mussolini could muster” (30). That is, the US client system, as an imposition by an imperialist, lacks “the degree of legitimacy of a genuine fascist regime” (id.), which regime normally is a rightwing populist movement indigenous to the state of its eruption. The principal axis of argumentation here is the analysis of the presentation of this subfascist system by the US imperial-oriented for-profit consciousness production industry, i.e., what Althusser might reference as the journalism ISA, and amply described otherwise by Bagdikian’s Media Monopoly, McChesney’s Rich Media, Poor Democracy, the writings of Michael Parenti, Project Censored, and so on. So, regarding subfascist crimes, the US media ISA has numerous strategies: distraction with emphasis on positive things, insistence that the US is a bystander, sleight of mind to refocus on alleged communist crimes, &c. (11 ff.). Very much a reply to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago in the chapter “The Pentagon-CIA Archipelago” (41-83), with the principal comment: Even liberal commentators rarely focus on the systematic character of the US support for right wing terror regimes and the simple economic logic of the ‘Washington connection.’ This evasion may even be said to define the limits of permissible liberalism in the mass media—one may denounce torture in Chile and ‘death squads’ in Brazil, but (1) it is unacceptable to explain them as a result of official US policy and preference and as plausibly linked to US economic interests; and (2) it would be highly advisable even when merely denouncing subfascist terror to show ‘balance’ by denouncing Soviet and left terror in equally vigorous terms. […] Needless to say, a similar balance is not required in establishment and extreme right commentators. One rarely finds any criticism of Gulag Archipelago for balance as a picture of Soviet society and its evolution, let alone for its neglect of unpleasant aspects of the Free World. (78-79) Nice listings of CIA technique (assassination, mercenary conspiracy, political bribery, propaganda, ersatz protests, corruption of organizations, and so on (50 ff.). The objective is a “favorable investment climate” (53 et seq.), of course: “Democratic threats to the interests of foreign investors, such as a Philippines Supreme Court ruling prior to the 1972 coup prohibiting foreigners from owning land, or a Brazilian dispute over a mineral concession to Hanna Mining Company, or agrarian reform in Guatemala, or nationalization of oil in Iran, are expeditiously resolved in favor of the foreigner by dictators” (53). It must be made plain: “terror is not a fortuitous spinoff but has a functional relationship to investment climate” (54). The US can’t accomplish all of this on its own, which is why subfascist local clients are required; the process is “denationalization,” a process whereby the US might “virtually disregard the sovereignty of this large and theoretically independent country. The catch, of course, is that Brazil was not an independent country—US penetration was already enormous by the 1960s and US leaders acted as it they had a veto over Brazilian economic and foreign policy” (52); the leaders were denationalized insofar as they had “strong ties and dependency relations” (id.). The gallows humor moment here is that “a curious aspect of this massive subversion operation in a country such as Brazil is that it is not regarded as subversion. If the Cubans are found to provide weapons to insurgents in Venezuela such a discovery is given great publicity as evidence of Cuban perfidy” whereas “the subversion of Brazil by the United States in the years leading up to the coup of 1964 […] is the natural right of power—where domination is so taken for granted that the hegemonic power intervenes by inevitable and unquestioned authority” (52-53). Anyway, lotsa detail on these points. In this subfascist system, “the majority of the population is a means, not an end” (59). We should expect these processes to accelerate now, given the local result in recent US elections, the cruel conversion of labor forces in the so-called third world into mere agambenian instruments, zoe whose bodies are subject to the usage of capital, wherein violation of the categorical imperative is the default condition of possibility for the system. This system “flows naturally from control by denationalized elites in a system of suspended law and arbitrary privilege” (66)—which is to situate the US subfascist clientage system within the agambenian state of exception, a kenomatic state wherein the absence of law in the client is the arche of the law in the US. The argument thereafter develops three principal mechanisms that constitute the biopolitical management of the subfascist system: “benign terror” (85 ff.), “constructive terror” (205 ff.), and “bloodbaths” (299 ff.). In “atrocities management” (97), the first step is that the imperialist insists on a zone of indistinction between “civil rights workers and bomb-throwers” (93) in order to throw legitimate protest in with unauthorized violence. The manager thereafter institutes “permanent counterrevolution” such that “the indiscriminate violence puts into operation a feedback process of ‘communist creation’ that affords the intervention legitimacy in the eyes of imperial power” (99), the creation, i.e., of a state of exception that runs parallel to and thereby supersedes the rule of constitutional order. Examples of benign terror (about which “attitudes in the United States have been characterized mainly by sheer indifference” (105)) include East Pakistan in 1971 (105 ff.) (which has been estimated variously to have involved anywhere from 300,000 to 3,000,000 civilians massacred); Burundi in 1972 (250,000 massacred) (106 ff.); Native Americans in Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil (millions dead?) (109 ff.); East Timor in 1975 (100,000 killed?) (129 ff.)—much detail on this last. Instances of constructive terror, by contrast, “contribute substantially to a favorable investment climate” (205), and typically involve systematic torture, arbitrary i

About the Author

am Chomsky is the bestselling author of over 100 influential political books, including Hegemony or Survival, Imperial Ambitions, Failed States, Interventions, What We Say Goes, Hopes and Prospects, Making the Future, On Anarchism, Masters of Mankind and Who Rules the World. He has also been the subject of numerous books of biography and interviews and has collaborated with journalists on books such as Perilous Power, Gaza in Crisis, and On Palestine. am Chomsky is Institute Professor (emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona.

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