Friday, August 23, 2013

Two Political Parties? Not So Much

Two Political Parties? Not So Much
P. Schultz
August 23, 2013

            In a book entitled, The Short American Century, edited by Andrew Bacevich, there is an essay entitled, “The Heavenly City of Business,” written by Eugene McCarraher, which is quite good. McCarraher argues that there is an “eschatology of corporate business” that animated American foreign and domestic policies and is endorsed pretty much across the political spectrum. By way of illustration:

            “Neoliberalism – or “neoconservatism,” its more bellicose twin – arose from anxiety over the prospect of the American Century ending. Shaken by the turbulence of the 1960s and the economic crisis of the following decade, American mandarins across the political spectrum detected a waning on imperial hegemony. So the imperial intelligentsia ensconced in venues such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the New York Times, and the Washington Post set out to restore the nation’s economic supremacy and strengthen its domestic resolve….By the 1990s, intellectuals already enveloped in the piety of the ‘American Century’ had developed the ‘Washington Consensus’: unfettered global trade, privatization of public services, and deregulation of corporate finance and industry. A renewed obduracy marked the political elites of the American Century: as President George H.W. Bush told the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, ‘the American way of life is not negotiable.’…In neoliberal millennialism, God and History competed for the role of premier eschatological force. President Bill Clinton, for instance, alluded to Scripture when he told a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Geneva in May 1998 that the demise of communism and the end of the cold war has ushered in ‘the fullness of time’ – a biblical phrase denoting the birth of Christ.” [pp. 219-220]

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