BOOK REVIEW: FIVE STARS
Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire by Axel Abella
This book is a revelation on just how right wing radical corporate America unlocked the link to the financial takeover sidestepping and plundering community values. Private enterprise was exterminated while schools, health care, and even prisons were corporately privatized making billionaires while wringing the last cent out of the general public.
America had the very best politicians and lobbyists that money could buy.
Many of these were recruited to help RAND design what was intended to be the most powerful weapon in the world—the “super,” the top-secret H, or hydrogen, bomb meant to be thousands of times more powerful than the twenty-kiloton blasts that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Controlled by a single ruler, as the Soviet Union was under Stalin or Germany under Hitler, is even capable of sacrificing millions of its citizens in this kind of venture. A purely quantitative analysis misses the historical fact that collective-leadership governments, like the Soviet Union’s in 1959 under Khrushchev, no matter how authoritarian, cannot afford to take those chances as the leadership will quickly splinter into opposing factions. Only absolute rulers—or a nation under attack—may take such risks.
It is the American people who have bought into the myth of rational choice, it is the American public that wants to consume—politics, culture, technology—without paying the price of sacrifice and participation, it is the American voter who has closed his eyes and allowed morality to be divorced from government policy. We’re okay as long as we get what we want, be it Arab oil, foreign markets for our products, or cheap T-shirts from China. The American empire is for the good of America, after all. Or so we’re told. If we look in the mirror, we will see that RAND is every one of us. The question is, what are we going to do about it?