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(12,977 posts)
7. This one is about the government more than corporations
Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:30 PM
Aug 2013

It's a matter of "energy independence" -- which in turn is code for "ain't nobody can tell us to do shit."

The United States came out of World War II with its eye on world domination, a situation where we could boss everybody else around and nobody else could tell us to do anything. (Much like your average four year old, only with bigger guns.)

The Soviet Union was a bit of an impediment to that, especially after they got the bomb -- never to the extent that they could tell us what to do, of course, but as long as the USSR existed, smaller countries (like Cuba) occasionally felt free to defy us. For a long time, and to some extent even now, much of the agenda of US foreign policy was based on using everything from foreign aid to CIA-backed coups to make sure that sort of defiance didn't get out of hand.

But then the Soviet Union collapsed, and it seemed the Holy Grail of world hegemony was finally in sight -- except for one minor impediment, which was US dependence on foreign sources of energy. So at that point, around 1990, the emphasis pivoted from fighting communism to maintaining US dominance in the Middle East and Central Asia. And that's where we've been pretty much stuck ever since.

But now along comes fracking and tar sands oil. And suddenly the alluring specter arises again of a situation where we don't have to be beholden to anybody. And at the same time, the machinery of surveillance proliferates to furnish the other side of the equation -- a world where we can control them and they can't lay a finger on us.

This is ultimately a very nasty business, and dealing with it is going to be a lot harder than just fighting corporate greed. I fully expect that at some point fracking will be declared a matter of national security -- and the Espionage Act will be rolled against anybody who blows the whistle on its dangers.

Hard time a-comin' for sure.

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