There is no reverse gear on the machine of governmental power. If power exists, it will be seized and exploited. To do what? That will be revealed in the course of this power’s employment. Its potential uses will automatically be discovered by those who have it or seize it, and may provide surprises. William Pfaff

Many people are asking the following question: why has the United States government been massively spying on nearly everyone in the world?

The answer is very simple: because now they can, that’s why.

What was once a labor intensive trade (spying) has been made affordable thanks to recent progress in the crunching of mega-data. More and more is being done in our world with fewer and fewer people. And of course a small number of people are making huge fortunes from all of this.

Thus we can see that PRISM is a metaphor for how technology is eliminating jobs in all the developed world and subcontracting what were once lifetime jobs of total commitment to an organization and its core competencies, pension included, to under-qualified temps of unknown and questionable loyalty, while creating wealth for those who manage all of it.

To get the sort of surveillance that NSA is trying to achieve, the East German Stasi had half of the population spying and informing on the other half and on each other and they had the ministries of the West German capital, Bonn, filled with handsome young East German spies that wooed and bedded the spinster typists of the West German ministers… all of this was very labor intensive.


You bet, but hey, with probably a smaller expenditure percentage-wise of their GDP on black arts than the USA, the DDR had full employment.

But what the godless communists who ruled the German Democratic Republic never figured out was how to get really rich doing this stuff. Here again, America leads the way.

Of the estimated $80 billion the government will spend on intelligence this year, most is spent on private contractors. It is highly doubtful, however, that American taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. The basic justification for outsourcing government work is to get a job done better and cheaper. Outsourcing intelligence does not appear to achieve either aim. Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, cited research from 2008 showing that the government paid private contractors 1.6 times what it would have cost to have had government employees perform the work. That may help reduce the government head count. But employing fewer government workers at greater cost to taxpayers is not downsizing. Such outsourcing simply shifts taxpayer dollars to private hands, where it can wind up in lavish executive pay packages and greater shareholder returns.(…) On top of all these problems is one that makes it hard to acknowledge, let alone solve, any of them: the revolving door between government intelligence agencies and private-sector contractors that conflates public and private interests and entrenches the status quo.   New York Times

Americans like to think of ourselves as the “good guys,” a “light unto the gentiles,” a “city on the hill,” an example and a standard for all humanity to follow. This is getting to be much like an aging person, with eyebrows arched from botox, a dyed hairpiece and lips enhanced to ducklike proportions from injections of bovine collagen, gazing into the mirror and thinking how young they look. They are fooling themselves (which is the object of the exercise) but they aren’t fooling anybody else.

Today the USA is a corporate-financial-military security state… in short a “regime.”

Where is all this heading? What is to be done?

I opened with a quote from favorite international affairs commentator William Pfaff and I can think of nothing better than ending with another quote of his.

How is this system to be checked and reversed? It is a form of increasingly authoritarian state capitalism practiced by a government that rather than controlling it is controlled by it, because of the development in the past twenty years of an electoral system dominated by money and commercial television. Both parties must conform to their exigencies. All its decisive actors, government, corporate business, and communications industry, have a powerful interest in its perpetuation. Historically, such systems have fallen only to wars or revolution. William Pfaff

Will there ever be an “American Spring” like Turkey’s or Brazil’s?

Cross posted from:

David Seaton

David Seaton