America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

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Tom Palven
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America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Tom Palven » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:37 pm

I just received and browsed through William Blum’s America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, 2013:
https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Deadlie ... est+export

If you’ve read Gore Vidal’s book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace…
https://www.amazon.com/Perpetual-War-Pe ... tual+peace

or Ron Paul’s book, Swords into Plowshares…
https://www.amazon.com/Swords-into-Plow ... plowshares

…or one of Blum’s other books including Freeing the World to Death or Killing Hope, you won’t find too much to surprise you here, although there are chapters on Wikileaks and Conspiracies that weren’t discussed in Blum’s previous works.

My favorite line in the book is in his chapter, Conspiracies, where he says

“Don’t believe anything until it’s been officially denied.”
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:39 am

Humm

It seems to me to be a misnomer. The deadliest export is not democracy, but military intervention.

By the way democracy has little to do with the USA. After all, it has never truly been a democracy, and the origins of democracy go way back in history, before anyone even knew a land mass existed across the Atlantic.

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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Tom Palven » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:48 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:39 am
Humm
It seems to me to be a misnomer. The deadliest export is not democracy, but military intervention.
You are right and Blum would agree with you 100%,

If you read anything by Blum you'll know that he was using the word "democracy" sarcarcastically, and probably should have put the word in quotes.
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:19 pm

Tom Palven wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:37 pm
I just received and browsed through William Blum’s America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, 2013:
https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Deadlie ... est+export

If you’ve read Gore Vidal’s book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace…
https://www.amazon.com/Perpetual-War-Pe ... tual+peace

or Ron Paul’s book, Swords into Plowshares…
https://www.amazon.com/Swords-into-Plow ... plowshares

…or one of Blum’s other books including Freeing the World to Death or Killing Hope, you won’t find too much to surprise you here, although there are chapters on Wikileaks and Conspiracies that weren’t discussed in Blum’s previous works.

My favorite line in the book is in his chapter, Conspiracies, where he says

“Don’t believe anything until it’s been officially denied.”
First, many thanks for those book recommendations. I'm going to look for Vidal's book when I go to the library today. Ron Paul is at least honest, although I don't share his libertarian views (if he's the Ron Paul I'm thinking of). As for Blum, his general position on the USA is very close to mine, but I was very turned off when I read Freeing the World to Death to find him dismissing and whitewashing the horrendous Stalinist purges by saying that "people die every year, and who knows what these people died of." (Approximate quotation from memory.) Believe me, we KNOW, because the Communist Party itself revealed the truth.

Here are the OFFICIAL, USSR figures on the purges compiled by a special commission of the Central Committee. That commission was charged with explaining the carnage among delegates to the seventeenth Party Congress in 1934. In his speech to the twentieth Party Congress in 1956, Nikita Khrushchev reported that “of the 139 members and candidates of the Central Committee who were elected at the 17th Congress, 98 persons, that is, 70 per cent, were arrested and shot (mostly in 1937–1938).” In addition, Khrushchev said that “of 1,966 delegates with either voting or advisory rights, 1,108 persons were arrested on charges of anti-revolutionary crimes, that is, decidedly more than a majority.”

The commission opened the files of the security forces and discovered the following records of arrests and executions:

Year Arrests Executions

1935 114,456 1229
1936 88,873 1118
1937 918,671 353,074
1938 629,695 328,618
1939 41,627 2601
1940 127,313 1863

Thus, at the height of the terror, in 1937 and 1938, an average of 2121 people were being arrested every day, and 934 of those arrested were being shot.
Last edited by Upton_O_Goode on Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:48 pm

And their families billed for the bullet.
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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:05 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:48 pm
And their families billed for the bullet.
That's a touch added by Mao in China. I don't think that was done in Russia. But Russia invented the concept of Chesir (Член семьи изменника родины) an ungrammatical phrase (the genitive case in the last word should be dative) meaning "member of the family of a traitor to the country". They didn't have to pay for the bullet, but many of them were gratuitously arrested and sent to camps, especially if they inhabited a flat that was coveted by somebody in a position of authority.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist

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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:01 pm

So the essence of the phrase, contempt for the relatives of the dead person, carried through.
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Re: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:29 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:01 pm
So the essence of the phrase, contempt for the relatives of the dead person, carried through.
Exactly! Guilt by association. There's an old fable (probably goes back to Aesop---I haven't checked) published in French by La Rochefoucauld and then translated into Russian and published as if new by Krylov, called "The Wolf and the Sheep." The wolf tells the sheep that the sheep is roiling up the mud in the river and spoiling his drink. The sheep meekly agrees to move downstream. That doesn't satisfy the wolf, who begins to complain that the dogs who guard the flock are always trying to kill him and that the sheep slandered him with lurid atrocity tales the year before. The sheep protests that he was not born until this year. The wolf then says, "Well, then it was your brother." The sheep says, "I don't have any brothers." The wolf then says, "All right, maybe it was your godfather. I don't have time to go into all the details of your offenses. It's your fault because I'm hungry." And drags the sheep off into the forest....
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist