Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thankfully, War is Becoming More Democratic

Warfare is becoming more Democratic. Cities are now targets in "legal" war.

A revolution in gun metal technology in the 1800's created trench warfare. A later revolution in mechanization got soldiers out of the trenches and onto the roads. It became understood that speed and combined operations were paramount in avoiding an intolerable loss of soldiers inherent in trench war. Air power introduced a new vector into this functioning. Soon factories in cities became targets. In another quick-step of logic, the city itself becomes a legitimate target. Now a myriad of destructive agents, and delivery vectors are available - the bulk of which target cities.

As the technology of warfare achieved a thoroughness that is known as total war, the experience of it is being shared by more and more people. Since photographs of war were first displayed(Washington,1861), the experience of war has become ubiquitous.

Before these technological innovations, wars were fought between armies on battle fields. Sometimes armies siege cities or did battle in cities, but the city itself was not the primary target, the army with-in it was. Since WW II, the city itself has become an important target.

Cities account for 90% of populations in 'First-world' economies, 10% are 'on the land'. Chinese plans forecast that during the current modernization, a population shift of 300 million people will take place. The majority of humans will soon be resident of cities, targets in 'legal' war.

The economist Karl Polanyi talked of how technology 'dis embeds' itself from the society that created it. In other words, advances in the technology constantly challenge the previous cultural construct negotiated in the previous cultural/technological paradigm.

The technological advances in warfare have brought us to a fundamental contradiction with in a Polanyian' model. The technology of warfare like all technology is dis embedding, but unlike other technological eras, the ultimate effect of this dis embedding could be the total destruction of the civilization that created it.

On the other hand, with this level of technology comes the World Wide Web, the infrastructure of direct democracy. "The Rights of Man", liberty, property, security, and the opportunity to resist oppression(the pursuit of happiness), are intricately linked to the functioning of a modern economy. The inter-connectivity of the modern post-industrial society paves the way for advances towards direct democracy.

So different elements of the current technological Diaspora are dis embedding at different rates. The innovative manipulation of communications technology in a truly mass scale is creating a hooking function, where-in two objects with different vectors pass each other, one hooks on altering the vectors of both. Or as in this example, slowing the dis embedding of technology and speeding the cultural adaptation to it.

This is expressed in our time by a qualitatively New Left.

The explosion of the Seattle Movement that 'came out of nowhere' was the first truly mass virtual Movement. It did not come 'out of nowhere' though, it came from the www; e-mail organizing, web paging and faxing, and connected by mobile phone technology.

Next, the World Wide Peace Movement showed up, marked by world wide demonstrations in 2003 around the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. The movement choose the best slogans in an Internet 'fashion show' of ideas in art, a design process that took place in communities from around the world. There was no edict issued from any where, people just choose what art-work best expressed what they felt. Advertising in reverse I guess you could say.

The speed at which the 9/11 Truth Movement has reached 'critical mass' is astonishing. Fueled by lap top movie making and distribution, they have collectively/independently created a sub-culture of dissent, a 'buzz' that marketers salivate for is mushrooming out of the American diaspora.

A revolution in the Democratic Party is an on going development. Go to 'Daily' to take a warm bath in it.

So, war is becoming more democratic; and so is the civilization that created it. The question is: Will the culture be able to 'catch' the quickly dis embedding military industrial complex? Can the information revolution change the repeating algorithm before it destroys its creator?

It sounds like the outline for a Godzilla movie.

" Mothra! Please help. "

Saturday, September 2, 2006

WWIII: An Oil-Centric View.

"Americans are paying $3.00 a gallon," I heard someone say, "in Europe they've been paying $4.00 a gallon for years."


Europe was reconstructed, post-WWII, with a built-in high gasoline price structure - to reflect the relative value of the European economy to the rest of the world. Europe was re-building after total destruction.

$4.00 a gallon expresses the value of the regions' economy relative to the American economy at $1.00 a gallon(in our recent past experience).

The victors of WWII(August,1945) had to tie the American dollar to something tangible the real world. They announced the price they would pay for oil, a world price. At the same time they tied the value of the American dollar to the value of a barrel of oil ($35 American = 45 gallons of oil).

They could do this because they were the biggest buyers and they owned the most aircraft carriers.

They set the price low, and they wanted all they could get. Caveat emptor though: if supplies are curtailed the USA would consider that an Act of War. The fact that the US could declare this to be - and have it stick - was the Final Victory of WWII. The USA was the Empire du jour, if she choose that enterprise.

Four years later the world changed. The USSR, a country with the most men in uniform at the time, (5 million) achieved nuclear capability and rocketry. They thus became a De-facto Super Power along with China - shortly there after. The nuclear 'club' has expanded ever since.

The true value of nuclear weapons appears to be coming under some question though: China has said they believe the nuclear threat is that of a Paper Tiger. Apparently it is so; conventional proxy wars continue today as before, through the end of the so called 'Cold' war.

In 1999 real American debt was so high, its value was in question. A result of a concerted effort towards global dominance. This amounted to a revolution in world power. American power was no longer 'Super' with out the balancing terror of the opposite force.

The catalyst for this destabilization was China's new demand for oil which is in the process of changing the balance of power in the world. The relative rarity of the commodity is causing price fluctuations. Instead of a duality (two super-powers) we face an algorithm involving seven power centers: USA, UE, UK, Russia, China, India and Brazil.

This thing, it should not be spoken, least it be believed.

The US could not allow this to happen; firstly because of their incredible foreign debt, the cost of financing it would sky-rocket and hobble the economy; Secondly, it wasn't true , the US economy remained the most efficient and productive, and the largest by double.

One solution was to break OPEC's monopoly through conquest. Another has been the creation of a speculative price bubble, which oil companies and corporate banks are trying to maintain right now - to ensure a stable High-Oil price; since they can no longer maintain the Cheap-Oil model. A retreat for future gains.

The new players in the post cold war era are supporting the insurgency in Iraq. They hope to stale-mate the Bush Whitehouse's conquest plan, and use it as leverage, covertly, not publicly - as that would be an act of war they cannot win. They are forcing the Americans to address a realignment of power with-in a new international political reality.

Politics through the barrel of a gun. A proxy war in Iraq between the same old powers(and some new ones) who involved themselves in the last two world wars, this time with Arab civilians and coalition volunteers as fodder. Now we see the reason there had to be a 9/11 pretext; The politics of fear and greed. There was no reason that this realignment needed be violent, except by an ascension to power of a Military Industrial/Political alliance in Washington.

The disgraced Neo-Con politician, and deep thinker Newt Gingridge said, as we watched Israeli air power in July 2006, "WWIII has begun."

I love this guy!

Couldn't have said it better.

Newt Gingridge