Friday, August 9, 2013

Foreign Policy?

Foreign Policy?
P. Schultz
August 9, 2013

            Someone has noticed the connection between what we label “foreign policy” and what we label “domestic policy,” creating the illusion that these are two separate kinds of policy, each one dedicated to a different set of “problems” calling for different sets of “solutions.” In fact, as I use to say to students all too often, “foreign policy” almost always is formulated and practiced in the service of “domestic policy.” So, if you think that the creation of our surveillance state is meant to “solve” or help “solve” foreign policy issues, you have, as my mother use to say, another think coming. [“If that’s what you think you are going to do, Peter, you have another think coming.” Which I believe meant that I was not going to do whatever it was I thought I was going to do!]

            “It is at least clearer that our world, our society, is becoming ever more imperial in nature, reflecting in part the way our post-9/11 wars have come home.  With its widening economic inequalities, the United States is increasingly a society of the rulers and the ruled, the surveillers and the surveilled.  Those surveillers have hundreds of thousands of spies to keep track of us and others on this planet, and no matter what they do, no matter what lines they cross, no matter how egregious their acts may be, they are never punished for them, not even losing their jobs.  We, on the other hand, have a tiny number of volunteer surveillers on our side.  The minute they make themselves known or are tracked down by the national security state, they automatically lose their jobs and that’s only the beginning of the punishments levied on them.”

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