Friday, January 6, 2012

Michael Parenti: The Goals and Results of American Imperialism

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New World Notes News
Vol. 5, No. 1 -- January 6, 2012

This fortnight in New World Notes, radio programs #201-202, January 10 & 17, 2012

Michael Parenti:
The Goals and Results
of American Imperialism

In brief

Progressive political scientist Michael Parenti is in fine form in this recent speech, which brings together his key insights about the practice and purpose of the U.S. Empire and imperialism. Some of Parenti's main points will be familiar to long-time fans. Here they are made with fine wit and good specific examples from current events.

He argues that the purpose of our imperialism is not national glory but rather the further enriching of Wall Street and other transnational corporations. U.S. foreign policy seems "stupid," "irrational," or "self-defeating" only to those who misunderstand its real goals.

Highlights of Part One (NWN #201) include a look at how empires bleed dry the republics from which they grew. For instance, the city of Oakland, California, is closing most of its public libraries for lack of funds--while spending millions to equip its police force with military gear.

Highlights of Part Two (NWN #202) include a survey of the many governments the U.S. government has overthrown in recent decades. In each case, Parenti shows, the other country had attempted to chart an independent economic course. The list includes Iraq, Panama, Haiti, Chile, Yugoslavia, and--very recently--Honduras and now Libya. And who could forget our glorious military victory over Grenada (1983)?

Parenti ends his talk with a surprisingly explicit call for democratic socialism.

Introductory comments and a postscript by K.D.

Notes, credits, & links

Parenti spoke at the University of Guelph (Ontario) on November 2, 2011. Audio (edited by KD) taken from the videotape of the talk available at Dandelion Salad.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "oppressive yoke") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

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Series overview:
Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

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  • January 24 -- Howard Zinn
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