Middle East Mind Lock
By JAMES BROOKS
"How were the terms of US political and economic debate severed from basic standards of evidence and common sense? Why does the word "hypocrisy" seem inadequate to describe the pretzel logic of the neo-conservatives? Why do the people of the United States remain inert as the madness at the top claims the authority to hemorrhage its execution of Iraq into a nuclear war on Iran?
John McMurtry is a decorated professor of philosophy who has pursued questions like these to the ideological foundations of today's US-centric global empire. (1) His analysis offers insights that can help us identify and think our way out of this now ubiquitous "mind-lock". McMurtry's approach also turns out to be useful for illuminating core ideological contradictions in Israel's US-supported ethnic cleansing regime, which has been forcing Palestinians off their lands for the last 60 years.
McMurtry narrates the ascendance of a "fanatic mind-set" in the west following the demise of the Soviet Union, when "a strange ideological inversion occurred." Marxism's 'economic determinism', "abhorred by liberal theory", was swiftly replaced with the west's own brand of imposed economic determinism. "Inevitable globalization" was framed as a product of unaccountable and unstoppable forces unleashed by a veritable law of nature, the ultimate "wisdom of the market" that benefits all.......
In the US, we face a threat to our national sanity that is similar to the physical danger bearing down on the caged and impoverished Palestinian people-the destruction of what we have left. Our common foe is an irrational ideology that inverts fundamental values and legitimizes crimes against humanity. For us, the struggle to overcome the threat begins in the mind."