Friday, 9 November 2012

Paul F Green of U3A and the Invisible Empire

Paul F. Green presented a paper as a part of the University of the Third Age Superpower Lecture Series on November 7th, 2012. It was entitled ‘The USA and the Invisible Empire’.

Paul F. Green should be congratulated for writing and presenting such a hard hitting lecture/presentation on the subject.
It is a solid and detailed piece of work and covers the subject in great detail yet uses a language form that can be clearly understood.

I was drawn to it after listening to ‘Don’s Discourse’ on Access Radio last Thursday where Don Esslemont suggested that it was more of a sermon than a discussion paper. Don stated that while he didn’t think highly of it the others at the lecture seemed to like it. That immediately fired up my interest. When I was lunching with a friend who had attended Paul’s lecture/presentation and stated how he absolutely enjoyed it I was doubly interested in the subject matter.

He supplied me with a copy I carefully read the document and found it well worth the effort.

This opening paragraph sets the scene:

“This paper will develop the idea that America’s superpower status was built on over-exploitation of its natural resources, the imperial conquest of its native population, the intimidation and military defeat of neighbouring states, and the growth of its monopolistic industrial corporations”.

Paul went on to say:

America’s businesses initially attracted foreign investors to expand America’s mining and transport infra-structure and these investors also supported the growth of its scientific technologies. Its industrial capacity, which historically developed in the north and northeast of the country, also explains its rapid transition from a developing capitalist state to a position of world dominance at the end of WW2. In this respect, however, I will argue that Americans were delighted to be left as the wealthiest and most unscathed of the Allies but were woefully unprepared for their superpower role as the world’s police force. The association of industrial wealth and military power is and has been a critical feature of its imperial expansion in both the 19C and 20C.

Let me skip half a dozen pages and come to the section that I think upset my fellow Access Radio broadcaster Don Esslemont:

The Reagonomics obsession with deregulation had taken the teeth out of environmental controls, the airline industry and many other health and safety regulations that governed standards applying to medicine and food processing. Again self-regulation based on trust in the integrity of the producers was being relied upon in an unregulated environment of profit driven companies. The elephant in the room however was the environmental damage being done by pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, polluting lakes and rivers and adding toxins to the groundwater. The extinction of species of flora and fauna like the claims of global warming were being treated by the oil industry and its political allies in Congress and the White House as gross exaggerations by environmental fanatics. By 2006 the scientific evidence that the warming was due to human intervention, primarily from burning fossil fuels, was beyond reasonable doubt. John D. Rockefeller IV wrote to the CEO of ExxonMobil expressing his outrage at the 20 year long multimillion-dollar campaign to debunk the scientific evidence. There were obviously some ‘experts’ who, like politicians, could be bought  

Back to Paul’s dynamic paper: This is his conclusion;

The actions of the invisible empire of Big Oil have subverted governments and disrupted the lives of people all over the world and American military forces have been used by the U.S. government to defend their interests. The oil reserves these companies hold include some of the dirtiest tar sands, that when burnt, produce far more pollution than the traditional crude oil. Their continued exploration and production in offshore locations is as we know both costly and dangerous and the fracking techniques could also prove even more dangerous. An oil spill in the Arctic Ocean, which is melting rapidly and being explored as we speak, could accelerate dramatically both the melting and the global warming. The oil cartel is not only the richest group of corporations in the world; they constitute an unholy alliance of anti-democratic plutocrats. The two greatest terrors facing the human race today are the possibility of a nuclear war and climate change that threatens the ecological integrity of life on earth. With the threat of war against Iran and the apparent determination to burn up the remaining fossil fuels, Big Oil look very much like the biggest terrorists in the world today.

If you would like a full copy of Paul’s paper simply drop me an email [ ]and I will supply you with one. His paper is particularly relevant today because we [NZ] are still following: The Reagonomics obsession with deregulation.

To read more about my views vs. Don’s go to:

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