Four More Years of War

December 25th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Expect Obama to prioritize advancing America's imperium. He did aggressive in term one. New wars are planned. Current ones won't end. Proxy ones continue. So does increasing America's global military footprint.

Fiscal cliff hype is about greater force-fed austerity to free up more funds for America's war machine. Waging them isn't cheap. Profiteers depend on wasteful spending to boost bottom line performance.

It pays to have friends in high places. They assure all the billions wanted. Social America is being sacrificed to provide them.

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The Religious and Social Crises and Political Consequences

December 25th, 2012

James Petras

Introduction

The opening long decade of the 21st century (2000-2012) has been a period of repeated and profound economic and social crises, of serial and prolonged wars and declining living standards for the vast majority of Americans. How have people responded to this crisis? No large scale, long term, socio-political movements have emerged to challenge the bi-partisan dominent classes. For a brief moment the “Occupy Wall Street” movement provided a platform to denounce the 1% super-rich but then faded into memory.

Questions arose whether in the midst of prolonged hardship people would turn to religion for solace, escape into spiritual pietism. The question this essay addresses is whether religion has become the ‘opium of the people’ as Karl Marx suggested or whether religious beliefs and institutions are themselves in crisis, losing their spiritual attraction in the face of their inability to resolve the everyday material needs of a growing army of impoverished, low paid, unemployed and contingent workers and a downwardly mobile middle class. In other words are major religions growing and prospering in our time of permanent economic crise and perpetual wars or are they on the downslope part and parcel of the decline of the US Empire?

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