America’s Global Security State

W.J. Astore “Global reach, global power”: that was one motto of the U.S. Air Force when I was on active duty.  “A global force for good”: that’s the new motto in advertisements for the U.S. Navy.  Note that word: global.  For the ambitions of the U.S. government and military transcend national security: they truly are…

Reforming the National Security State (updated)

W.J. Astore At TomDispatch.com, Tom Engelhardt has an especially fine exposé of the National Security State as a religion with its own priesthood, holy books, dogma, and true believers/followers. I recommend reading the entire article, but I do want to highlight some implications of his argument.  Like the Catholic Church (and I’m Catholic), the National…

Fear and Monsters

W.J. Astore Tom Engelhardt has a stimulating article at TomDispatch on the many monsters stalking us, both real and imagined.  The imagined ones we can deal with; the real ones, well, not so much.  As Engelhardt notes: “we’re living in a country that my parents would barely recognize.  It has a frozen, riven, shutdown-driven Congress,…

George Bernard Shaw’s Warning from History

  In the preface (dated 1907) to the first German edition of The Perfect Wagnerite, George Bernard Shaw issued a warning about trends that he saw in German character and culture.  What struck me upon reading them was not just their insight into the Second Reich (1871-1918) and their prescience about the Third Reich to…