- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Metropolitan Books; Reprint edition (2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805087281
- ISBN-13: 978-0805087284
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#242,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #289 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Corruption & Misconduct
- #426 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Political Economy
- #457 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > International & World Politics > Security
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Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic Paperback – January 22, 2008
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“Chalmers Johnson, a patriot who pulls no punches, has emerged as our most prescient critic of American empire and its pretensions. Nemesis is his fiercest book--and his best.” ―Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism
“Nemesis, the final volume in the remarkable Blowback trilogy, completes a true patriot’s anguished and devastating critique of the militarism that threatens to destroy the United States from within. In detail and with unflinching candor, Chalmers Johnson decries the discrepancies between what America professes to be and what it has actually become―a global empire of military bases and operations; a secret government increasingly characterized by covert activities, enormous ‘black’ budgets, and near dictatorial executive power; a misguided republic that has betrayed its noblest ideals and most basic founding principals in pursuit of disastrously conceived notions of security, stability, and progress.”―John Dower, author of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II “Chalmers Johnson’s voice has never been more urgently needed, and in Nemesis it rings with eloquence, clarity, and truth.”―James Carroll, author of House of War “Nemesis is a stimulating, sweeping study in which Johnson asks a most profound strategic question: Can we maintain the global dominance we now regard as our natural right? His answer is chilling. You do not have to agree with everything Johnson says―I don't―but if you agree with even half of his policy critiques, you will still slam the book down on the table, swearing, ‘We have to change this!’” ―Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress
“Chalmers Johnson's voice has never been more urgently needed, and in Nemesis it rings with eloquence, clarity, and truth.” ―James Carroll, author of House of War
“Nemesis is a stimulating, sweeping study in which Johnson asks a most profound strategic question: Can we maintain the global dominance we now regard as our natural right? His answer is chilling. You do not have to agree with everything Johnson says--I don't--but if you agree with even half of his policy critiques, you will still slam the book down on the table, swearing, ‘We have to change this!'” ―Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress
“Nemesis is a five-alarm warning about flaming militarism, burning imperial attitudes, secret armies, and executive arrogance that has torched and consumed the Constitution and brought the American Republic to death's door. Johnson shares a simple, liberating, and healing path back to worthy republicanism. But the frightening and heart-breaking details contained in Nemesis suggest that the goddess of retribution will not be so easily satisfied before ‘the right order of things' is restored.” ―Karen Kwiatkowski, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
“Last fall a treasonous Congress gave the president license to kidnap, torture--you name it--on an imperial scale. All of us, citizens and non-citizens alike, are fair game. Kudos for not being silent, Chalmers, and for completing your revealing trilogy with undaunted courage.” ―Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst; co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
About the Author
Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, is the author of the bestselling Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire. A contributor to the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper's, and The Nation, among others, he appears in the 2005 prizewinning documentary film Why We Fight. He lives near San Diego.
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Chalmers Johnson was one of the first Americans to recognize that our actions will have repercussions and he coined the term "blowback". This book is a good introduction to his thinking and will help broaden the perspective and add to the understanding of those with an open mind. I appreciate that having an open mind is not at all common in the United States where bigotry rules the day. It is far easier for the elites to control a population when they are able to set one faction against another.
"Keynesianism" is named for the great British economist John Maynard Keynes who wrote "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" (about the disastrous economic consequences of the Versaille Treaty - which would eventually lead to Hitler), "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" published in 1936 and other influential books. In his writings and public career he developed a scheme to save captitalist economies from cycles of boom and bust as well as the severe decline of consumer spending that occurs in periods of depression. To prevent the economy from contracting and the social unrest that might ensue, Keynes thought that the government should step in, and, through deficit spending, put people back to work. Conversely, during periods of prosperity, he thought government should cut spending and rebuild the treasury. He called his plan counter-cyclical "pump-priming."
During the New Deal in the 1930s the United States put Keynesianism into practice with great success but they also saw the rudimentary beginnings of a backlash. Conservative capitalists feared that too much government intervention would delegitimate and demystify capitalism as an economic system that works by allegedly "quasi-natural laws." They also feared that too much spending on social welfare might shift the balance of power in society from the capitalist class to the working class and its unions. At first they tried to hold back counter-cyclical spending but World War II intervened and unleashed a torrent of public funds for weapons.
The term "Military Keynesianism" was coined in 1943 by the Polish economist in exile Micha Kalecki to explain Nazi Germany's success in overcoming the Great Depression and achieving full employment. Before World War II Hitler was celebrated around for world for having achieved a "German economic miracle." However, this was accomplished by employing counter cyclical pump-priming for military purposes. The military thus becomes an employer of last resort, like the old Civilian Conservation Corps but on a much larger scale. The negative aspects of Military Keynesianism include its encouragement of militarism and the potential to encourage a military-industrial complex. Such a complex sooner or later short circuits Keynes insistence that government spending be cut back in times of nearly full employment - in other words it becomes a permanent institution whose "pump" must always be primed.
The two most prominent generals in our history have given us warnings of the dangers militarism in a democracy. George Washington, in his farewell address, warns about the threat of standing armies to liberty, and particularly republican liberty. And perhaps the more famous one, Dwight Eisenhower, also in in his farewell address, where he invented the phrase "military-industrial complex" - he wanted to say "military-industrial-congressional complex" but was advised not to go that far. Today, fifty years later, the "miitary-industrial-congressional complex" is a fact of life and has permeated into all but a handful of Congressional districts.
The Pentagon tries to conceal the real cost of the military in various ways. There are numerous military activities not carried on by the Dept. of Defense and are, therefore, not part of the Defense Budget. Adding the non-Defense Deptartment expenditures, the supplemental approriations for whatever wars are being fought at the time, and the military contruction budget to the Defense Appropriations Bill actuallly doubles what the government calls the annual defnse budget. It is an amount larger than all other defense budgets on earth. Still to be covered are interest payments for the cost of past wars going back to 1916!
The combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor an imperial presidency. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play: isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialsim and bankruptcy. Our present policies appear to be unsustainable; we can't go on like this indefinitely. As Herbert Stein, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Nixon Administration, once famously said: "Things that can't go on forever, don't."
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