13 June 2007

Failed States

Writing about the United States Government's perceived need to 'reframe pretexts not only for [military] intervention but also for militarized state capitalism at home', Noam Chomsky writes:
It is sometimes argued that concealing the development of high tech industry under the cover of "defense" has been a valuable contribution to society. Those who do not share that contempt for democracy might ask what decisions the population would have made if they had been informed of the real options and allowed to choose among them. Perhaps they might have prefered more social spending for health, education, decent housing, a sustainable environment for future generations...as polls regularly show. Failed States (page 127)
Quite. If people want to subsidize at vast expense, high technology, non-stick saucepans, or the replacement of wildlife by oil-burning heavy machinery let us at least make those decisions for ourselves. Given the sums involved and the destruction and conflict such subsidies can create, they are hardly trivial. Any half-sensible outcome-based policymaking system, such as a Social Policy Bond regime, would give a high priority to the polls that Prof Chomsky refers to, rather than the short-term interests of corporate or 'defence' lobbyists.

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