Welcome to Capital Account. Rarely do we ever delve into the space of politics and foreign policy, despite being situated in the nerve center of Pax Americana. We find the independence granted to us through such detachment to be worth more than the benefits of opining on matters of state. We leave that to the Fox News’ of the world.
But tonight two candidates vying for the presidency in 2012 take the stage in what has become an annual circus of sorts for political pundits, and a source of indigestion for the rest of us. Today we have a guest who forecasts trends, not just economic, but political, geopolitical, social and cultural. It is a good opportunity, therefore, for us to break our silence on matters of state, and offer an opinion or two, for whatever they are worth. It appears to us that somewhere, somehow, America veered wildly off track.
After a great depression that lasted, on and off, for more than a decade, Americans were plunged into a World War that saw roughly 60 million dead from a global population of just over 2 billion people. These numbers, though estimates, are nonetheless staggering by any contemporary measure. The economic devastation, of course, was immeasurable. And so, Americans returned from the war to the only industrialized nation left standing unscathed: their own – the United States. It was the beginning of a multi-decade boom for a country of hardened men and women, and after 15 years of peace, they elected the first president from their own generation, John F. Kennedy.
Months before his assassination in Dallas Kennedy spoke at American University, in Washington DC. In his famous speech he announced plans for the development of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and his decision to unilaterally suspend all atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. It was a bold step towards peace, and one that was not unilaterally popular, certainly not amongst those who derived purpose, as well as profit, from war. In his speech, president Kennedy stated:
“What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. ”
We have become so obsessed with security, that we have conflated it with peace. JFK understood the difference between these two, which is why he identified “the security of the slave,” as a false prophet for peace. He spoke of “a peace that makes life worth living” not a peace that comes with a state of perpetual war, perpetual fear, and an ever shrinking world of opportunity and freedom. There was constructive action in his remarks about peace, whereas today, it seems that all the talk of peace involves surrender in every place but the battlefield.
But, not everyone has been so dulled by the propaganda abounding on matters of war and peace. Many out there are committed to freedom AND peace; those who believe we can have BOTH, despite the false claims of flag waving, armchair generals. Joining us, is Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Journal.