It was only a matter of time before the waning US Empire and its loyal allies had to withdraw from Afghanistan. The US outlay over the last 20 years has been around $2 trillion. This astronomical sum may have empowered the likes of Halliburton, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin but it has brought Afghanis and military personnel alike nothing but death, destruction and more virulent strains of Islamic fundamentalism. Predictably much of the Western Media has blamed the current incumbent masquerading as the USA’s Commander-in-Chief for abandoning his troops and allies. The stage is set for Joe Biden’s exit for health reasons. The new Global Empire no longer needs American and European troops trapped in Central Asia. They can let China, Iran and India fill the vacuum. Besides, those troops may soon be needed much closer to home.
Have you noticed that some of the same high-profile opinion leaders who once evangelised humanitarian wars are now among the strongest advocates of our emerging bio-security state? They promoted the first kind of intervention to spread liberal democracy and overthrow tyrants and the latest kind to rid the world of a nasty disease. I’m thinking naturally of the likes of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell in the British context, but Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Ardern are very much in the same mould. Younger leaders may have distanced themselves from past escapades that have since proven electorally unpopular. However, they are ideologically committed to the concept of interventionism to guide us towards their vision of a progressive utopia or rather to put the little people in their place.
Interventionism is the idea that large organisations should take over the management of individuals, families and communities. It may take many forms. Outwardly it may mean military actions against naughty local leaders who fail to cooperate fully with multinational entities. However, it may also involve government agencies taking coercive actions to regulate the behaviour of people who fail to comply with expected psychological, medical or environmental norms. While many wishful thinking lefties may have opposed recent military interventions in the Middle East, they often championed coercive social interventions against people in their own country as necessary means to a progressive end. Such interventions may include early years mental health screening, gender theory lessons in primary schools, taking children into care if their parents fail to comply with expected behavioural norms, monitoring politically incorrect speech on social media or in people’s private spaces and censoring media outlets that permit dissent from the dominant progressive narrative. More disturbingly, we have now learned such progressive interventions may also entail stay-at-home orders, mandatory medical procedures, digital health passports and total surveillance, allegedly to protect the public against ever-mutating nanoscopic genetic sequences.
What else do these policies all have in common? They all have powerful lobbies deeply embedded in the world’s media giants and administrations and require multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns to win public support, usually by spreading fear that a failure to take immediate action will result in greater human misery. By this logic, a failure to bomb Afghanistan could have, purportedly, condemned Afghani women to permanent enslavement under Taliban rule. A failure to invade Iraq could have let Saddam Hussein deploy weapons of mass destruction and continue torturing his own people. A failure to impose strict coronavirus containment measures could lead to a proliferation of vulnerable people dying from respiratory infections. And last but not least, a failure to track the movement of every human being on the planet through mandatory microchip implants could lead to more tragic child abductions, such as the much-publicised Madeleine McCann story. In all cases, technocratic lobbyists want us to trade personal responsibility and traditional cohesive communities for the engineered safety of their corporate partners.
The alternative to interventionism is not necessarily complete anarchy but rather decentralised management of our affairs or self-determination at a personal and communal level. In the normal course of events, the cultural and ethical choices of other individuals, families, communities and small nation-states should be none of our business. The last century of growing interconnectedness has shown us that more humane societies are also more successful in the long run. Societies with greater personal freedom attract the best and brightest minds and let their people unleash their creativity. Given a choice, nobody wants to live in tyranny. Totalitarian regimes could only survive by granting cooperative key workers special privileges. Under international law, self-defence remains the only justification for military action. That’s why George W Bush and Tony Blair had to use weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq back in 2003. The trouble with humanitarian wars is that all sides in a conflict can play the same game. As countries like Australia ban protests and keep their citizenry under house arrest, other regional powers may take the moral high ground. China may never need to occupy Australia militarily, but corporations with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party will find it much easier to acquire the country’s assets with a dumbed-down populace.
Just as the eye-watering sums squandered on the occupation of Afghanistan did not defeat terrorism or Islamic fundamentalism, the trillions of dollars spent worldwide on covid containment measures will not eradicate deadly viruses. Likewise, the colossal expenditures on psychiatric screening and surveillance of private lives will not free us of emotional distress or child abuse. They will serve instead to identify troublemakers and remove children from their parental homes. Strict censorship and tight controls on the free movement of ordinary citizens can suppress all evidence of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by the privileged classes. Nearly all top-down interventions, however well-intentioned they may seem, serve to consolidate elite power. The phoney humanitarian wars of the early 21st century empowered the military-industrial complex. Now, the battle against elusive coronaviruses has facilitated the greatest transfer of wealth and power away from the affluent upper-middle classes to the biotech-industrial complex.