Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Melvins Explore Premium Audio Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis UniOrlando Best Camping & Hiking Gear in Outdoors STEM
Customer Review

322 of 388 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where will this Drift towards Privatizing our Democracy Ultimately lead?, March 27, 2012
This review is from: Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Hardcover)
Ms. Maddow, a Rhodes Scholar and liberal MSNBC Talk Show host, has provocatively tapped into a rich vein of public debate pointing to what in recent years has come to be known as "normalized governmental corruption," involving the "mother" of all corrupt organizations, the military industrial (and now National Security) complex.

This is an issue that none other than the illustrious solid Five Star Republican General, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about in his Farwell Address more than a half century ago. The reader may recall that in one of Ike's most solemn speeches as he was leaving office, he said in part that:

" ... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

The author of this book takes a politically balanced point of view, since it is clearly the case that all sides of the political spectrum have been caught "slopping" at the same government trough. Carefully researched but with a hint of "lightness and humor" that can sometimes be "off-putting" -- betraying a lack of seriousness -- she nevertheless hones in on several interrelated themes:

(1) that the military-industrial complex has drifted away from the ideals of the nation into the realm of perpetual war for the sake of war (spelled for the sake of profits);

(2) that wars are fought by soldiers who today are more like mercenaries, since they fight along side and on an equal footing with heavily funded military contractors, to whom our wars are now often being "outsourced to;" and

(3) that the burdens of fighting our wars is not shared equally, with the poor families of our voluntary army carrying the lion's share of the load.

I was mildly disappointed in the fact that the author seemed not to have closed the circle between her thesis about our "changed way of war" and its connection to our political authorities' larger attempt to "privatize everything" in our society? Otherwise she undoubtedly would not have missed that the single link in the chain that connects them are:

(1) the wide-scale corruption of our political process by weak sycophantic politicians,

and

(2) the missing predicates that places all the responsibility on us that is mentioned in the penultimate line of Eisenhower's Farewell address.

To wit: that "only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

That we as a citizenry have fallen down on the job since Ike's warning, seems all but self-evident now, and in itself is shameful. However, the point I think Ms. Maddow has missed is just how prescient General Eisenhower really was: Since his warning, this cancer has spread from the security industrial complex, to the Wall Street cabal, to the prison-industrial complex, to the medical, drug and Pharmaceutical-industrial complex; and will soon be moving on to the health and education industrial complex. In a short time nothing will be left that has not been turned into a globalized profit center, including every individual American?

Once our democracy has been completely strangled by mindless and immoral profitmaking privatizers, we will of course by then have reached the point of no return, far down the road to fascism. And make no mistake about it the potential for sliding into Fascism was exactly what General Eisenhower was warning us about.

These disingenuous attempts by "raiders of democracy for fun and profit" in order to place major aspects of our national functions under the complete control of some form of profitmaking enterprises, and then acting as if this is a patriotic act, have in the process neutered our democracy, outsourced our jobs, stripped away what is left of the social safety net, and rendered our nation infinitely more insecure both socially and militarily. That is precisely why those who are anxious for commercial enterprises to take over every function of our government and every aspect of our democratic freedoms, are also the ones quickest to assail the very government upon whose largesse they depend? They want no controls, no responsibilities and no obligations except to their stockholders' bottom line. But saddest of all, Ike would be considered a "flaming liberal" on today' severely "right-shifted" political spectrum. Three stars
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 8 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 113 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 27, 2012 9:12:01 AM PDT
You are absolutely correct in your analysis of what ails the USA today. However, I'm getting fed up with all the "here's what's wrong", with none of the "...and here's what we should do to fix it" analysis.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 11:45:05 AM PDT
A fair point, however we are so deep into a number of "moral crises above our head" that there are not many degrees of freedom to fix anything?

To wit: our politics are gridlocked because those who pay for our politicians know that all they need do is demagogue to keep the sides at each other's throats; our politicians, almost to a man and a woman, are all like 14th St whores; the rank and file American reads only dumb ideological and cheap religious stuff; the youth only want cheap mindless entertainment; and the races are at each other's throats?

So you tell me, where is there room for a solution in the mess that we are all complicit in allowing to happen?

What gives you the right to stand aside "like an innocent" and ask others how to fix it? We are both as much a part of the problem as we are a part of the solution?

I throw the question back at you: How would you fix it? And also, is it better to keep our heads in the sand, or to say something even when we don't know what to do?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:56:06 PM PDT
A. Sayman says:
I'm far from an expert on the way things work above my rank, but talking about it with humility and respect will do a lot of good. You said the problems were really with the people. If America has grown into this body of sheep that is so willing to be fleeced, it shouldn't be a surprise when dishonesty springs up from that. It IS something that We the People are allowing to happen... because we're comfortable and passive when it comes to politics. It's just hasn't been taken seriously. It's been turned into entertainment. It's been turned into a reason to FIGHT instead of a path to mutual respect and enlightenment. From my perspective, it almost seems like political debate in itself is just a colossal distraction for the plebs while the big guys at the top play chess. I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way, either.

I'd rather speak than put my head in the sand... So, what would happen if we increased the number of representatives in the House to reflect the increase in population? I think the constitution said that it wasn't supposed to exceed one Representative for every 13,000 citizens, right? That number has increased to around 7 million. I think I would have more confidence in the government if there wasn't such a disconnect. What would make that work?

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 1:23:03 PM PDT
Rissa says:
>I was mildly disappointed in the fact that the author seemed not to have closed the circle between her thesis about our "changed way of war" and its connection to our political authorities' larger attempt to "privatize everything" in our society? Otherwise she undoubtedly would not have missed that the single link in the chain that connects them:

Are you sure about that? Rachel has often talked about this on her show.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 1:26:14 PM PDT
Rissa says:
>However, I'm getting fed up with all the "here's what's wrong", with none of the "...and here's what we should do to fix it" analysis.

Well, maybe she will address that in her next book. In the meantime, you yourself can effect change by voting, writing to your representatives and joining or contributing those organizations that are working for change.

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 2:33:54 PM PDT
it's funny how the end of eisenhower's farewell address is the only part that is remembered, and is also totally miscontrued. in the same speech, eisenhower also had the following quote:

"A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction."

he also declared that the establishment of a "permanent armaments industry of vast proportions" was necessary. as far as undue influence from a military industrial complex goes, eisenhower's final budgets showed more than 1/3 of the gdp going to defense spending. today, defense takes up about 15% of the gdp. judged in non-adjusted dollars, eisenhower's last defense budget was $160 billion less than the defense budget in 2009. when factoring in inflation, the 1961 defense budget would have been $1.5 trillion more than the 2009 defense budget. perhaps people have already heeded ike's advice.

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 5:26:39 PM PDT
Fred Bichl says:
You have mischaracterized the corruption within our government by omitting one player.
{the "mother" of all corrupt organizations, the military industrial (and now National Security) complex.} is incomplete.
Congress needs to be added to the responsible parties.

I promise to read the book. Rachel described it so well on the David Letterman show.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 3:53:01 AM PDT
I also have thought I heard her do so on the show? But not in the book?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 3:57:12 AM PDT
Well,

this comment strikes me as mindless support of "defense industries" rather than "defense per se." No one has said that we do not need a robust defense, just not one that strips away all of our democracy?

I am sure you saw the difference but chose not to acknowledge it. Therefore we must agree to disagree.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 3:59:07 AM PDT
See comment above to Ms. James.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Next ›