"Joshua Milton Blahyi (General Butt-Naked to his foes) ... was once a warlord in the Liberian civil war. Back in the bad old days, Joshua specialised in turning boys into psychopaths...
"He began, he said, by promising boys status. ‘They followed me at first because I was powerful and strong, and they wanted to be important like me.’ It was crucial that this first step was freely taken; that it was their choice. After that, the monster-making began. They were shown violent movies. ‘So they can see,’ said Joshua, ‘that these people in the movies, they intentionally shoot people that die, that killing is just a Hollywood game.’ Hollywood movies, I asked, not African ones? ‘Yes, Hollywood films.’
"The next step was to let them play with guns, shooting blanks, showing off, pretending to kill, and then: ‘We give them a knife to stab dead bodies,’ said Joshua. ‘At first it is hard for them, they feel fear. Later they are stabbing the bodies on and on… On and on and on.’
"...You must escalate the violence all the time, he said, so as to keep the boys in line. Once they’re happy killing, you make them rape, torture, behead. There are things Joshua made his young recruits do that are too horrible and too sad to repeat..."
Overleaf in the print edition, we have James Delingpole's panegyric to violent computer gaming, headed:
"The greatest joy of playing Grand Theft Auto V? It lets you give the finger to the PC brigade. It’s condemned for its outrageous sexism, racism, misogyny and violence. But it’s damn good fun."
And one in the eye for his false opposite, "feminazis".
John Ward's piece last night also has a go at the brainless dichotomies offered by neoliberalism, starting with:
"Problem: On the whole, regulators of markets have no experience of commercial life….and thus they tend to both miss the villainy – and come up with daft regulations that just get in the way.
"Neoliberal solution: Deregulation. No more regulators at all."
We have seen what financial deregulation has done since the 1980s. And the latest twist is global regulation in favour of big money - TTIP and so on.
Neoliberalism - as far as the term has any sense to me - may be neo, but it is not what I understand by liberalism. It is not about promoting the freedom of individuals, but - as far as I can see - destroying their defences against oligarchic power and wealth. Now international law is co-opted, so for example if GATT stalls at Doha in 2008 because smaller countries worry about American export disruption to their domestic markets, the US crashes into the TPP to find another way round. The juggernaut rolls on.
|From a review in the Sydney Morning Herald |
of Ludwell Denny's book, "America Conquers Britain" (1930).
This week also, Charles Hugh Smith looked at the "clerisy", those who serve themselves by serving the world's would-be masters:
"The Status Quo around the world--from France to China to the U.S.--is optimized to protect its Elites and the sprawling Upper-Caste of academics, managers, think-tank toadies, technocrats, apparatchiks, functionaries, factotums, lackeys and apologists who serve the Elites, and are well-paid for enforcing the Status Quo on the disenfranchized castes below..."
What a shame it would be if, in his efforts to get noticed by Rupert Murdoch, Jame Delingpole should eventually find himself wearing the livery of the clerisy.
Can anything stop them? "What chance has the world?"
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