“Where to Invade Next”
This brilliant new movie by Michael Moore may be his best yet. Michael sets out on his tour of Italy, France, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, Norway, Tunisia, and Iceland after meeting with despondent Pentagon generals tired of losing wars. In the process of reclaiming America’s lost history he shows how the American Dream is alive and well overseas. He discovers eight weeks of vacation per year, nutritious school lunches, little homework in the best K12 school system on the planet, cost-free higher education, worker controlled corporations, rehabilitation oriented prisons, a woman’s revolution in an Arabic country, and countries transformed by female executives from “me” oriented to ”we” oriented. The only thing he doesn’t do is explain why America has become such a backwards country lately.
When he asks the Norwegians why they have such a humane penal system, they cite the US constitutional proscription against “cruel and unusual punishment”. He then goes on to cite the State of Michigan in 1846 as the first English speaking government on the planet to abolish the death penalty. When in Germany, he points out how Germans teach the school children the dark history of the Holocaust, and even shows plaques in the cement remembering each Jewish family that once lived in a house before being taken away. He notes that we do not teach the genocide against Native Americans nor the building up of much of America by slaves. The history of the US women’s movements is also missing from US schools. In Iceland he interviews a female executive who points out that one woman on a board is a token, two is a minority, but with three or more the nature of the board of directors changes. The only bank that survived the recent collapse of banking in Iceland was run by women. The economy there is back stronger than ever and the legislature is not allowed to have more than 60% of either men or women. He cites the more than thirty countries that have had a woman leader and how that transforms a country.
How America Regressed
Michael Moore shows scenes in his movie of prisoners being brutalized, the black man in New York whose last words were “I can’t breathe” over and over again as he is being killed by police assault, and the tanks advancing on the marchers in Ferguson Missouri. Here is the link to my most visited article on my academia.edu website about how we got that way:
Like the tale of the frog that will jump out of a pot of boiling water, but will stay and boil to death if the heat is gradually raised over a long period of time, America did not get this way overnight. The tale of the emergence of the modern American empire was at once sudden and gradual. Some have cited how the prosecution of a pro Nazi priest from Croatia by the Soviets was reported as religious persecution in the West. The 1947 Paris conference was instrumental in changing European attitudes of revulsion towards war after the World Wars to fear of the Soviets as 2000 US journalists descended on that conference. Then there is the history of the 1947 National Security Act passage, which renamed the Department of War the Department of Defense and created the Central Intelligence Agency. This Act overturned centuries of American military tradition to keep a small army between wars and depend on volunteers to fight wars. This Act violated the Founding Fathers’ fear of a standing army and launched the age of the American worldwide empire that now has some 800 bases worldwide in about 130 countries.
Consequences of Empire
Michael Moore, like most of American society and even much of the academic world, doesn’t understand the direct link to high levels of military spending as the prime cause in America’s economic, political, and social decline. Even great writers like Seymour Melman have only an imprecise understanding, providing strong evidence but lacking in a precision model like the one I have created, that shows military spending is the key domino in the chain of effects. Most analysts, lacking clear and convincing evidence, resort to anecdotal accounts to explain modern empire. They do not establish a strong chain of causality from one inference to the next. Philosophers, Physicians, Nonviolence Experts, and Conflict Resolution Experts all seem to have a partial monetary, violence, and international relations-related understanding of the nature of military spending. Few of them see the withering away of economic strength that is the direct result of high level of military spending maintained for long periods of time. The real genius of what I have done is in the nuts and bolts of establishing the various tentacles coming from the octopus of non productive military spending. Manufacturing and Regional Effects are poorly understood and rarely related to the political machinations. Social consequences of empire are also seldom directly connected to the prime overall cause of high military spending. The right wing often inverts the causal chain suggestion that moral decay leads to the other decays, but the negative implications of the high military spending stagnant economy lead much more directly to the moral decay.
Here is a broad description over time of the consequences of empire, the twelve stages:
Episodes of Empire
Nature and global warming also have a big role to play. The 54 year cycle is too easily misunderstood and ridiculed by looking at only part of its effects. Only by showing the deep natural roots of the cycle and connecting the natural, economic and political phases of the cycle together is it possible to show there is no alternative to understanding those cycles.
Here is my presentation to the World Future Society:
Here are some key statistics and relationships:
Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute, Madison, Wisconsin