Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The corporate takeover marches on

Not content with having privatized and outsourced much of the military, police and penal responsibilities previously the remit of the public sector, it seems that our right-wing, market fundamentalist overlords in the White House and Congress are now handing over significant amounts of responsibility for intelligence and national security to "private contractors" as well. Lo and behold, the public is only discovering the extent of this by accident.

Ironically, one of the touchstone issues that initiated the rise of conservatism to its dominant, mainstream position in US politics during the 1980s and '90s was, of course, the notion that "liberals" had not just allowed but actively encouraged a number of reckless entitlements, allowing "special interests" to "feed at the public trough" at the expense of hard-working taxpayer/citizens. Ronald Reagan once, (in)famously, told audiences on the campaign trail an apocryphal tale about an inner-city "welfare queen" in order to illustrate the incompetence and injustice fostered by "big government". That one wasn't even true, whereas the corporate sector's increasingly-extravagent free breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the public's expense are now (unwittingly, in the case of the Director of National Intellgence's PowerPoint presentation) a matter of public record.

So when does the left - or what passes for the left in the US - start hammering away at this as relentlessly as the cranky old conservatives did during their rise to power? And will the message be heard as loudly and as often this time, considering that pretty much next to every media outlet is controlled by corporate interests these days?

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