Thinking back on the past 50 years of US history - the many wars fought or sponsored by the US government, the growth of privatization, the increase in state surveillance and state secrecy, the decline of labor unions, the ever increasing disparity in wealth, the ongoing and escalating attacks on the social safety net - looking back on this, many liberals conclude that ‘mistakes have been made’. After each war, the liberals who initially supported the war look back and say they were mistaken, not because the war itself was inherently unjust or illegal but because it was managed ‘disastrously’ or ‘incompetently’. When social programs are cut back or eliminated liberals blame it on the misguided policies of conservatives (though, usually, you will find a significant plurality of Democrats in Congress who ‘compromised’ to pass the cutbacks). So, again, the policies are simply ‘misguided’ and a result of political accident.
Parenti puts this nonsense to bed. US policies are not a series of blunders and mismanagement, but follow a logic of late stage imperialism. He makes a strong case for the intentionality of the policies that have brought us to where we are. The end goal is concentration of all wealth in a few hands, leaving the rest of us in a state of debt peonage, with political and economic power equally concentrated.