Saturday, December 30, 2006

RIP Saddam Hussein

One of the most reviled men in recent history is now dead. His once-dignified existence has been rapidly terminated by Iraqi executioners just prior to the start of the Muslim holiday Eid and just before the end of the Gregorian calendar year. James Brown, Gerald Ford, and Saddam Hussein all dead in one week. That's a helluva dead cast of characters in such a short period of time. I'm more in mourning for Mr. Brown than either of the other two folks, but I've definitely spent some time pondering the implications of the passings of all three famous gentlemen.

The death of a political leader is most certainly welcomed by people who suffered under his yoke. Saddam directly caused the deaths of upwards of one hundred thousand people, although George W. Bush could now be said to have commanded military campaigns that have resulted in even more murders. Yet, Bush's murders are not of his own countrymen, so perhaps that is more palatable for people to swallow. The club of murderous gentlemen has swelled its ranks in the past century, with the advance of arms technologies that make swift killing a facile task. The great paradox of modern life is the simultaneous development of medical technologies that prolong life and of potent weapons that are capable of cutting short an immensely high number of lives. The modern availability of guns, bombs, and the exponentially increasing population densities have led to deathly conflicts in parts of the world that never possibly could have been this violent prior to the arrival of killing tools. We now have tools that facilitate living and tools that facilitate dying.

Over time philosophers and poets have suggested that nearly omnipotent entities were dead in order to call attention to their ephemerality or incipient demise. When Nietzsche proclaimed that God was dead, he meant that this was true merely due to the perception that people no longer feared him and thus his existence was not so relevant. Nas has declared the death of hip-hop due to similar causes. Folks don't lend credence to the power of hip-hop and have instead ushered in its decline. But, the question begs itself: are such proclamations indicative of the desire on the part of these proclaimers to kill or conversely to revitalize the entities that whose survival they lament.

God certainly isn't yet dead, since upwards of 90% of Americans believe in him. The deity's credit rating may have been downgraded through the years, but his existence is still honored by countless mortals. Similarly, hip-hop appears not to have disappeared, even if its quality has been degraded since its golden age in the mid-90s. Hip-hop glory has been eroded, no doubt. But as a creed and arbiter of cultural moeurs, this mammoth is far from deceased.

On the other hand, Saddam the paranoid totalitarian dictator has kicked the bucket. His New Year has been ruined by masked Iraqi executioners. Leagues of Shiites and Kurds are ecstatic. Gerald Ford is also dead and gone. As a result of this American Presidential death, we have a federal day of remembrance on Tuesday with no mail service and closed financial markets. I wonder if Iraq will honor its felled leader with a similar day of mourning and closures. All I know is that James Brown contributed more joy and funkiness to the world than either of these political clowns. His funeral procession involved four darling white horses, an ivory white carriage, and a 24-karat gold coffin. This is a man's man's world, for sure, and these dead men are being commiserated the world over. However, it's no longer just dead white men that we commemorate. I'm fairly certain that Saddam won't be resurrected anytime soon, but we can expect hip-hop to rise from the dead sometime around Easter. I got my Limewire prepped for that revival.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

PHEVs on the Horizon

The next hot shit to hit the street will be PHEVs. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine the best of both worlds: electric car world and hybrid car world. These puppies are essentially souped up hybrid electric/internal combustion engines with an extra lithium ion battery that gets plugged into a 120volt outlet. That means you can plug it into anywhere, preferably at night when the overall demand on the electric grid is low and power is cheap. This killer combo means that total carbon dioxide emissions will be almost half of what they are with straight internal combustion engines. MPG can reach 90 to 100. That's amost 5 score miles to the gallon at an equivalent cost of what amounts to about 1$/gallon. That's strictly unfathomable, right? Today, I hath seen such glory with my own eyes. The deadly PHEV is here to stay, and eventually this whip will be able to handle flex-fuel, i.e., some combo fuel of gasoline, biodiesel, and ethanol.

The county government of Fairfax VA had the environmental wherewithal and the unexpected prescience to order hybrid vehicles in 2002. However, this uncanny sense of ecological responsibility was not cashed in for a PHEV until several weeks ago, when Hymotion in Toronto shipped the folks down in Fairfax their brand new battery pack to slap down in the trunk of one of the fleet's 2004 Priuses. The car takes about 3-4 hours to charge up, and the charge will last about 30 some miles, after which the hybrid engine will take over completely. There is a manual switch that can take you back and forth, but the engine automatically goes on from electric only when there is significant giddy up needed. The car has the performance of any other Prius, low long-term maintenance costs, and becomes greener and greener as it ages. The theory goes that as the grid becomes more and more replete with renewable energy in the future, the plug-in takes advantage of these green changes as well.

PHEVs are going to be the viable way we transport ourselves in private motor vehicles in the medium to long term. Eventually, we will most like have the hydrogen distribution system and cheap hydrogen fuel cell technology to power our cars like so. But, in the meantime, get used to the concept of a PHEV. Though they cost around 15k to equip if you've already got a hybrid on hand, the price of the battery kit is decreasingly rapidly. The battery technology will continue to improve immensely, as one automaker after the other begins to commit to plug-in hybrids. GM has already promised to release a Saturn Vue PHEV, and "Who Killer the Electric Car" inspired New York State to order the electric conversion of 600 vehicles in its hybrid fleet. One day, fleets of PHEVs will power buildings and machinery in the event of electrical outages. If you want serious fuel mileage and a smoothe electric ride, get your body electric on down to the PHEV paradise. Fight the Axis of Carbon with your zip zap zooom.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

World War IV Rumbles Onward

I must give credit to the neocons (and certain paleocons such as Huntington) for recognizing the onslaught of World War IV. Commentators most frequently compare this World War to World War II, due to the supposed similarities between fascism and Islamo-fascism, among other things. In the buildup of the American empire over the course of the past 100 years, each successive World War has served to bring in enemy nations from the cold, domesticate them, and therefore ensure their dutiful participation in the Empire (as termed by Hardt and Negri) in the political, economic, and military spheres. American military basing went from being limited to the Caribbean and near Pacific to becoming a globally present phenom that has taken root from Djibouti to Jalalabad. The World War IV in which we are now embroiled has become the dominant paradigm with which to conceptualize global affairs. Perhaps we have fanned the flames of war by means of bellicose semantics, yet whether normatively good or bad, the war is here regardless.

Recent declarations by outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan buttress this point. He emphasized the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the morass of events within the Middle East. Though internationalists and leftists typically don't employ the same semantics as reactionary folks in qualifying the world they perceive, it has become evident that that clash between the West and Islam is truly of gargantuan proportions. For one, as I heard Colin Powell declare in Baltimore a few days ago, the United States was in need of a new enemy at the end of the Cold War. Without the Communists to orientalize and stigmatize, the American yearning for global domination needed an outlet. Out of a bipolar system in which American alliances often formed with those who were sworn enemies in the prior World War (Germans, Japanese) emerged a new World War IV alignment in which old pals overnight became transformed into mortal archnemeses. American World War III funding to the Taliban and Iraqi Baathists was intended to further American anti-Soviet agitation. The Soviets were the primary enemy in World War III, although Communists located everywhere else in the world, whether within America itself or in Vietnam, Korea, and Angola, were considered enemies.

The Cold War was thus the World War from which World War IV emerges. World War III has not completely subsided. World Wars in this postmodern epoch do not contain a clear-cut beginning or end because of the multi-layered nature of violent conflict and its sociological bases. There are World War III enemies that still gnaw away at American imperial might (Cuba, North Korea). The last vestiges of World War III won't be settled for some time now. Most notably, the superpower rivalry between the US and the USSR did not end in full reconciliaton and amity. Far from it, Russia is currently very adamantly opposed (understandably so) to the continuing American policy of encirclement, which has brought Western troops to Russia's doorstep in Estonia, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, and beyond. The West will continue to enjoy only limited support from Russia in its attempts to rollback Iranian, Palestinian, and Chinese military potential.

World War IV's deep roots lie in Israeli independence, which itself was a process very similar to many other nationalist movements across the world ranging from Ghana to Slovenia. However, the Arab world couldn't stomach the imperialist foot of the West all the way up its hind quarters. Yet, World War IV did not really get heated until 1973's oil embargo. Amidst staggeringly high oil prices, it continued to escalate during the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iran. Still World War III was raging, through the heightened pace of the arms race during Reagan's massive increase in defense expeditures, which led to the creation of massive American public debt. World War III came to a close as Communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe lost steam, and the Soviet puppet states in turn led to the Soviet Union's own demise. The 90's were solidified as an upbeat decade during which American hegemony expanded, and the lack of a significant external threat permitted some political hacks to declare that the end of history had been reached. Such was wishful thinking, as men with big guns eventually get tired of holding up their guns if they never get to fire them. Thus, the new Pearl Harbor occurred on a dreadful day in 2001. World War IV only then became the dominant paradigm for explaining the alignment of nation-states, as the "terrorist" soon replaced what had been known as the "communist." Straussian ideology had found its new emnity that could be employed to catalyze national action and mobilize the masses to redirect their hope, dreams, and fears. The catastrophic events of September 11th allowed for a subsequent shift in focus, and the big guns were soon drawn.

Anti-American regimes were soon replaced in Afghanistan and Iraq by puppet states, despite protracted violent strife in both of those nations. While much of Europe rested contentedly on its laurels, the Anglo-American coalition (plus a few others like Denmark and Tonga, which actually withdrew its 45 troops in 2004) took on the white man's burden. The Yankees gladly accepted their role as world policemen, and a fresh balance of power surfaced. World War IV, as the second postmodern World War, does not feature simplistic and and isolated battles between clearly defined nation-states. Rather, complex ideological and supranational agents carry out their plans on many different levels through a sophisticated system of financial, diplomatic, and military strategery. Actors are not bound by loyalty to constantly shifting national identities. Populaces often do not wish to fight on the same side of this World War as their governments. Such is the case in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Egypt, countries whose Sunni Muslim governments are theoretically on the American side of World War IV. The US contributes billions of dollars to the development of economic and political infrastructures in these nations, yet millions of people that reside therein swear each day to destroy America.

Therefore, in explaining the role of critical geopolitics in evaluating today's alignment of countries, we must realize that arbitrary borders between states and illusions of sovereignty make impossible the conventional ways of establishing truths about violent conflict. The dualism inherent in the traditional dichotomy of victory and defeat does not explain why nations, transnations, or supranations make war these days. Winners do not win wars like they used to. Protracted struggles entail that both sides must compute whether death toll, financial loss, and social destruction amount to sufficient negative "externalities" or "blowback" to turn off the war machine. A minority of citizens supports the actual and ongoing violent struggle, yet hordes of believers have lent tacit approval to various social, ideological, and professional programs that necessitate their complicity in carrying out jihad - on both sides. War is big business. Religion is for sale. Fundamentalist guerilla fighters govern better than governments.

This line of thought will be followed up at a later date. For now, it suffices to generalize by saying that Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezb'allah, al-Qaeda are on one site of World War IV and the U.S., Israel, EU, and a number of Middle Eastern regimes are on the other. A more nuanced picture will emerge graphically later.

The conclusion of this line of thought is that the West is ultimately going to place international keepers of the peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors at those points where no peace agreement has been cemented. By establishing a network of internationally-sanctioned Israeli insulation from Arabs, the Western security forces are shoring up the borders of their imperial space. Perhaps it is ultimately Europe's responsibility to physically protect Israel from the Arab aggressors? Is this the ultimate result of the Holocaust? American soldiers are in a position to fight on the brutal colonial frontier, where coveted geopolitical resources such as oil are at stake, while Europeans will be the guardians of peace.

The split between people and their governments is ever-lasting. Populist-Islamist forces vs. Capitalist-western-oriented regimes creates a looming Civil War within the Arab world in which the West is intervening. In fact, it is rather an imperial war, but the West merely has learned how to commission Arab manpower and assets in order to fight for the West. Given the current dichotomy, Baathist government, while nasty and brutish, doesn't seem that horrible. Are Arab nationalism and pan-Arabism more palatable than medieval Islamism or Islamo-fascism? Are Islamist governments even sincere? Or is religion just twisted to provide a form of systematic propaganda for despotic and anachronistic governmental methods of population control? Is Islamism more xenophobic and/or backward than medieval Christian rule? Bush, though revolting and rather ayatollesque, is a pawn submerged in a struggle amongst forces far stronger than himself. Though the Arab-Muslim world is divisively split and seemingly backward, it's more advanced that medieval Europe was during its intra-European Civil Wars, which raged on for decades. The intra-Arab Civil War has just begun. Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq are zones are peril. It's time to plant some olive trees.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wire on Tap

Drugs get transacted. Buyers and sellers develop an extensive system of exchanging product for capital. The industry thrives, while the city ails. Addicts, runners, snitches, and bystanders get stomped by industry head honchos, who patrol the streets of the ghetto with full impunity. Their eyes are lit up with the knowledge that their code of behavior is more robust than the official rule of law. Cops attempt to rollback the prevailing urban pharmaceutical system of distrubution with the courts, zero tolerance, aggressive enforcement tactics. But to no avail. This is the world inhabited by the Wire, HBO's stellar program that just concluded its fourth season.

Authenticity is the province of this show, as its writer and director were born and bred on Baltimore's police, journalism, and urban mayhem. There is substantial reason to believe that the show expertly captures the gritty reality of a vast segment of Baltimorean cultural and economic life. The dealers are case studies in diehard entrepreneurialism, their egos stroked by a city whose fiends soak up a constant supply of chemical sustenance. The drug kingpins in the Wire are depicted as masters of their domain who generally are inclined to knock off relatively undeserving interlopers. Stringer, the Barksdales, and Omar consist of the business elite in the show's capitalizing upper echelons. Their drive to accumulate wealth is egged on by the mouths of the hungry and hopeless habitual drug users, who number around 50,000 in today's Baltimore.

That's in a city of about 640,000 folks. A city on the population rebound from it's lowpoint in 2000. An urban unit that suffers from the highest per capita murder rate of any American city with a population over 250,000. Averaging between 250 and 300 murders yearly, Baltimore's murder rate remains stagnant at about 6 times New York's. Believe it or not, Baltimore was the largest American city after NYC until 1870.

In this context, the Wire portrays B-more as a city on the edge. Though so far I've not watched past the first season, the show depicts my hometown as a battlefield. The cops try desperately to pursue justice the best ways they know how, without trampling on too many civil liberties but also without full respect for the rights of the criminals. Clearly, in the Machiavellian world of the drug trade, the cops can't be too bothered by the letter of the law. Clearly, the dealers aren't bound by anything more than a primitive Stop Snitching ethic that supposedly governs their actions - until they too face the Prisoner's Dilemma head on and must rat to save their own skin.

Is the show excessively negative in its depiction of a criminal culture that seems to overshadow the more promising aspects of city life? What does the show owe the city in terms of positive reinforcement of viable role models or upright citizens? The show does not delude viewers into thinking that the drug trade is all gravy. And neither does it suggest that police work is sacred. To the contrary, no one truly ends up on top in the Sisyphean challenge of preserving a semblance of urban order. Cops need to cooperate with the dealers to whom they have access. The way they pit certain players against others that get played reiterates the idea that anyone is liable to "get got" at almost any time. The brutish tendencies of both sides in the drug war belie the best intentions of certain cops to earn an honest living and of the few dealers that seek to minimize the collateral damage of their daily peddling and gun-toting.

The Wire treats enterntainment as a profane pursuit. Whereas some cop shows profess to contain sacrosanct messages about public policy or social redemption, this particular one steers clear of moralizing. The nightly reality of Baltimore's thug culture is straight fucked up. There's no denying the deadly characteristics of a street game that, while increasing the inner city GDP by a significant multiple, renders decrepit vast expanses of the city and creates an entrenched cycle of violent engagement between urban security forces, opposing drug gangs, and the dreaded snitches that bridge the gap in this civil war of sorts. Government soldiers cannot be entrusted with the authority to enforce laws on an equal basis. Gangsters produce an endearing culture of criminal glorification with regards to the urban other. Historically accurate fiction gives us the impression that we are privy to these social universes that are far removed from our own. The Wire has got me on tap.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The War on Carbon

Either you're with us or you're against us. This is a battle to the death between good and evil. The simple binarisms carry over beautifully into this campaign. This is another war on a noun, but it is brought to you by rather different folks who inculcated you in the other wars on nouns. This war hath no clear beginning nor end. That is, unless the first act of war was the commencement of the Industrial Revolution...and then the endgame would be the day when the earth turns into an overheated hellhouse where we all burn up and die. The War on Carbon is upon us. Aiding or abetting in the conspiracy to commit acts of Carbonism are punishable by death. Carbonism is a crime tantamount to treason.

A Convenient Truth: Carbonism is akin to Communism

Essentially, committing Carbonism entails the decision to perfidiously turn against one's country. All Carbonist offenses are deemed sinful, unAmerican, and thoroughly unpatriotic. Such disregard for the national wellbeing will not be tolerated in a society where full-blooded patriots and God-fearing folk must swear allegiance to the anti-Carbonist crusade and root out any Carbonist who hides among us. In fact, your neighbor might be harboring Carbonists. Your next door neighbor might be the most unrepentant Carbonist ever to step foot on American soil. If you see something, say something! You shall report your neighbor to the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that this traitor is doomed to a life of misery for Carbonist crimes against the environment and thus against humanity. Failure to abide by Western civilization's environmental creed is something only illegal aliens or lesser races would consider. Carbonists have pledged their loyalties to the God of pollution, waste, and profligacy. Even some holy roller figures have recently been implicated in Carbonist scandals that involved homosexual prostitution, crank, and illicit conspiracy to destroy the moral fabric of the nation.

The Axis of Carbon

Carbonism in all its forms has been decreed to violate the principles behind our Constitution. Carbonism that relates to either power plants, motor vehicles, or domiciles can never be differentiated. Carbonist-related activity, especially if it initiated in a state-sponsored Carbonist network, must be rooted out once and for all. Once a Carbonist, always a Carbonist. Carbonism is beyond unconstitutional. It's subhuman, for God's sake! Never again will we tolerate such levels of Carbon in our stratosphere! The time has come for us to realize that the current clash of civilizations between Carbonists and true Westerners must be won before it is lost! Carbonist agitation has reached dangerously high levels. Although all of us once consented to the funding of Carbonist infrastructures in a number of societies, we've reached a national consensus that this support for fundamentalist Carbonism was a mistake. We allied with the Carbonists back then merely to ensure victory over the last noun that we summarily defeated.
Carbonism Threatens Your Children!

Carbonists deserve to be stripped of their citizenship, civil liberties, and financial assets. In the event that any vacancies arise at Guantanamo Bay, Carbonists ought to serve out their life sentences amongst the most vile convicts of other wars on nouns. Carbonists are the worst type of enemy combatant. They deserve no legal representation and certainly no right to habeas corpus. Carbonists and all Carbonist sympathizers deserve to be stripped fully of their dignity, for they have attempted to ensure that the Axis of Carbon will triumph over freedom and democracy.

Carbo-Fascism is Primitive and non-Western

All fundamentalist Carbonists attempt to overthrow the Western belief in the rule of law. They actually value death more than life. Indeed, they believe that engaging in lifelong pursuit of maximum carbon emission will result in one's ascendance to heaven, where there will be hordes of virgins waiting to please even the most extremist Carbonist. Carbo-Fascism is the work of the heathen who has forsaken the tenets of Western ideology in favor of a fundamentalist crusade to overheat this earth, in effect turning our planet into a greenhouse.

Greenism is the Antidote to Carbonism

Greenists will soon defeat all Carbonist insurgents and their allies. Carbonists have been reported to threaten a number of capitals in certain regions of the world. However, the true will of the people shall prevail. The Western way of life will triumph over this demonstrable evil. Carbonist regimes will be punished to the fullest, and unrepentant Carbonists will pay the price for their willful destruction of our habitats and our sanity. This earth cannot bear the brunt of Carbonist bombings and brutality. Carbonist supporters claim to follow an elite of freedom fighters. However, no rational human being actually wants to live in a society run by Carbonist crusaders, but the debased Carbo-Fascists continue to swindle ordinary people into supporting their evil deeds. End the reign of Carbon before it's too late! Behold, the doctrine of Carbonism is the most dire threat this civilization has ever faced. The Carbon menace is upon us, and the time is now to take up arms against anyone suspected of being involved in Carbonist-related behavior. Anti-Carbonists of the world, unite! The Carbonists shall not be allowed to take from us our freedom and our way of life. We will win the War on Carbon no matter the cost. Set their Carbonist smokestacks ablaze, and usurp their Carbonist fuels. Carbonism has been on the rise for far too long. We must reverse the tide of Carbonist expansion to ensure that our children enjoy freedom from Carbonist oppression. The War on Carbon must be fought on all fronts. The Carbonist hates you because he knows he's up against truth and morality. Fear not, we will not cease the War on Carbon until each and every last Carbonist is brought to justice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

United Nations = Global Government

For better or for ill, the United Nations forms the basis of what has become the global tier of government in the modern age. Although the levels are government in this supposedly globalized society are usually said to be local, state, and federal, there is no reason why we ought to stop at the federal level when we conceive of what political layers of hierarchy are ruling over our lives. While the global level of government is not nearly as powerful as it will be some time down the road, it surely took centuries before the nation-state system became the dominant organizational form of political relations between people. But, at this juncture in political evolution, it seems clear that nation-states have indeed ceded power to a superior level of governmental might.

This becomes undeniably true upon comprehension of a foundational infrastructure that takes root on another plane. Introducing the world government, which, having been dominated by the Western neocolonial interests since its inception, is augmented semiotically by the merger-cum-emergence of two disparate loci of power that inhere seminally beyond the pale. Planar ascendance becomes the overarching focus of political discourse, as the anachronistic planar arrangements are cast out for a new round of infectiously legitimate but nihilistically ontological precepts...Without forecasting the complete submersion of inferior levels of government under the global mantra, it does seem however necessary to explain the extent of globally active governing bodies.

The IMF, World Bank, and WTO are some of the more invidious world bodies that exert a tremendous amount of control over the monetary, economic, and financial systems that regulate the flow of goods and currency throughout the world. In the financial realm, though these bodies control and govern in unprecedented ways, multinational corporations have proven that, in the financial sphere, the world government is still relatively weak - especially when compared with the powers of the multinationals, as well as central/national banks.

In terms of military prowess, the global government is decidedly even weaker than on the economic front. Though the UN Security Council is endowed with certain rights under international law that supposedly leave the bottom line military issues to be resolved by this body, most nations ultimately will act unilaterally if they so deem necessary. I believe, like one notorious Sam has suggested, that the optimal UN fighting force should be composed of professional soldiers who are paid by the global body politic and are not explicitly or publicly tied to any nation-state. While they would not be considered mercs, they run the risk of being treated as such. In order to combat this tendency, it seems that UN member countries should donate a number of soldiers to this international force that is proportional to their national populations. The force would be 6 million strong if countries contributed a mere .1% of their populations to this force. The soldiers would not serve as representatives of their nations; they would honor the sovereignty of the UN command structure.

In the human rights and ecological discourses, which are dominated largely by non-governmental organizations, the world government is rather strong. Its capacity to impose quasi-Western standards upon the rest of the world is even resisted by nations that do not yet pass muster in the house of the world government. Next, I see that in the social and cultural spheres, localized production will reign supreme, and peoples that do not wield the most economic or military advantage will nonetheless often incur tremendous cultural dominion over their spheres of influence. Cultural memes are often spreading like wildfire across the globe and creating empires of which treasury ministries, military chiefs, and parochial diplomats are unaware. There are innumerable ways of measuring progress, of redefining progress, and of re-evaluating what preference orders filter into the list of global governmental priorities. Social, ecological, and cultural goods will be incorporated into the Pax Suprema that replaces imperialist and coloniast discourses, even if these former discourses pretend already to represent peace and freedom in the current era.

Yet, critical geopolitics demands that we explain how this normative plan becomes a reality. Is the above prescription a recipe for disaster in that it does not account for basic human nature and the Prisoner's Dilemma? Will nations and other units that currently control resources at different levels not be willing to forsake these powers in order to fulfill some universalist directive? Does this cosmopolitan, globalizing plan smack of conspiratorial schemes to foment a so-called new world order? Do these goals appear to entertain fraudulently revolutionary or phony messianic views of how the future will be capable of resolving the current material problems facing our world? Perhaps there are fundamental rules of the geopolitical universe that I have ignored in this outline. If so, then now is the time to develop pragmatic solutions to the material dilemmas that plague our planet. It is also necessary to break the stranglehold that ideology has achieved over our linguistic discourses. Maybe this plan for united world government will be fruitless if it too falls for the same ideological traps that befall my ideological opponents. I have tried not to rely on idealized assumptions about resource accumulation or the entrenched domination of capital in how we measure our lives.

So, all this definitely does not mean that I am in favor of the neoliberal turn, which has been one of the most dominant forces in the establishment of global authority over human life. I seek progressive government that allows for a high degree of regional and local autonomy in the decision-making proces. I support open, democratic governance where it is possible to attain such a level of understanding between governors and governed. However, I am not quixotically supportive of efforts to spread the gospel of democratic peace to the vast majority of the world that is so-called underdeveloped. I find that the buzzwords of freedom and democracy are generally pseudonyms for economic prosperity and/or cultural-racial superiority. Spreading American-style democracy and thus achieving American-ushered neoconservative global domination & neoliberal economic control is disingenuous and ill-advised. While Western geopolitical might has indeed reached critical mass in attaining dominion over much of the earth, and while most socioeconomic systems inherently seek merely to reproduce themselves, I find that it is best to limit the strength of any of the various imperial traditions that attempt to secure control over the global government. Perhaps this is naive to think that we could simply throw out the old assumptions about the Old World of foreign policy realism and the bottom line of hard power.

It is indeed idealistic to seek the creation of a new, progressive bottom line that emphasizes peace, justice, and tolerance. Yet, we must be ambitious about what objectives we strive to fulfill. The domination of the world is currently accomplished by globalizing influences that tend to monopolize access to credit, exert military force in unjust ways, and leave world bodies (corporations, NGO's, and the UN Security Council!) unaccountable to the people over which they rule. Perhaps my yearnings are horrifically populist or naively simplistic, in hoping that the masses might somehow be able to attain a greater degree of sovereignty over the decisions that regulate how they are fed, where they work, and who their leviathan is. Or, conversely, libertarians might scream that they desire not to have any sort of global tier of government which would supersede even the American federal government in its capacity to regulate, tax, and control. I too am skeptical about unifying this world under a massive bureaucracy that would control so many details of our lives. I harbor doubts about this global government's ability to promote the sort of governance that I imagine is possible. If I can't even get a federal government in this country of which I approve, why do I expect that I would appreciate the decisions made by my global regime du jour? Because I consider myself an alter-mondialist. We ought to aim for a constantly evolving system of alter-globalization. Un otro mundo es possible.

The answers are so complex that I will leave discussion of most of these topics to another time. However, i do know that uniting the consciences of the world under the umbrella of world government is perhaps a visible and realizable goal for the body we now know as the United Nations. This organ is poised to project itself boldly into primacy in terms of its role in the formation of a globally governing regime. This regime, we shall say, is beyond the 2006 conception of regime. A new sort of hegemonic force will be unsheathed as the World Government supersedes the Federal government, La Republique, and the Crown. At the moment when Emperors and Dukes, Amazonian Chiefs and Chechen Lords, all bow down to the same sovereign, so to speak, of the world government food chain, the world will have evolved beyond the myopic competition of empires and the clash of civilizations. This supernational approaches high quality of control over the mass of population groups in the process of accumulating a sufficient quantity of capital that is requisite for this level of political transfer between the aggressively uppity national governments and the World Government. Fear not the Talibanisation of federal structures, both within the traditionally-defined Islamic world and without. The subaltern governments would indeed experience gross fragmentation under the strain of a more sturdy planar People’s Palace from the top. At the supreme level of world government, this project of post-immodernity brings together a planar and hierarchical structure that results in the extension of layers of control exercised by the internationalist refusenik compadres over sinister nationalist apparachiks.
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