The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Un traité cryptique aux origines oubliées et aux conséquences secrètement totalitaires

What sphinx of cement and aluminum has smashed their skulls and devoured their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Loneliness! Dirt! Ugly! Unobtainable garbage cans and dollars! Children screaming under the stairs! Boys sobbing under the flag! Old men crying in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the severe judge of men!

Allen Ginsberg, « Howl », II, 1956 (1)

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deserves more attention than it gets, and for good reason. First of all, the negotiations between the European Union and the United States are neither more nor less than secret, and what filters through them requires translation work that is beyond the reach of the non-specialist. When the orderly media briefly interrupt their silence about him, they make it a point to repeat the neoliberal mantra. No dissent is allowed, which is not a good sign either. Then, its deep roots are no longer known. Finally, it should be noted that this agreement under negotiation is not simply « commercial » and is not really an agreement in the sense that it would establish a « partnership ». We are heading towards voluntary servitude with all sails set.

However, civil society is getting organized with platforms such as « Attac » and « No-transat » (2) and we already have the excellent work of activists such as Yannick Bovy, Raoul Jennar and Bruno Poncelet (3). After briefly explaining how the draft treaty is cryptic and media-invisible, we recall the socio-historical roots of the project and its consequences on the sovereignty of the peoples of Europe. In conclusion, we seek to define a « meta » position in order to understand the urgency of an activist response.


I. The Cryptic Treaty

We are dealing with a draft treaty that is triply cryptic.

First, only a very small circle of experts is aware of the exact nature of the issues at stake and the treatment of the transatlantic partners’ grievances. There are three filters: the texts are in English, they deal with economic mechanisms unknown to the general public, and they adopt the lexicon and euphemisms of the World Trade Organization. Of course, it is expected that the United States will argue (we should write « argue ») in favor of a leveling down (or « dumping ») of all existing European regulations, while Europe likes to believe (or to make believe) that it will be possible to save some of the social gains and to obtain recognition of the specificity of what must now be called the « European Way of Life ». But everything is officially and unofficially nebulous.

Second, this treaty does not seek to constitute, as one might imagine, a new customs framework for transatlantic free trade. It is not simply a question of removing all tariff barriers, but rather of removing non-tariff barriers: the aim is to make the regulations and standards in force in European countries compatible with those applied in the United States, so that global standards can subsequently be defined and imposed.

Third, deregulation will also address international trade law and its implementation. The « investor-state dispute settlement mechanism » seeks to render legal customs and practices obsolete by replacing the courts with arbitration by private lawyers. The exception will become the rule.

It is therefore not surprising that the media is particularly discreet about it. If there were any ethical qualms left among journalists, they would of course be quickly disciplined by their superiors, worthy representatives of shareholder interests (no pun intended). It is safer to say that the transatlantic free trade agreement will boost growth and create jobs and thus significantly increase the standard of living of the populations concerned.


II. The forgotten roots

The secondary roots are well known: the work of undermining social achievements began between 1986 and 1994 with the Uruguay Round, which gave rise to the World Trade Organization (1995); it was echoed by the Delors Commission, which was in power from 1985 to 1995. As early as 1990, one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States and the European Union signed a first transatlantic resolution to promote the principles of the market economy. There is no alternative to the primacy of free and undistorted competition (« TINA »); all obstacles to the movement of capital (first) and goods and services (second) must be removed. (One can guess here a hesitation on the status of « human resources », which have neither the nobility of capital nor the efficiency of consumer goods). All this coincides with the first missions of NATO: curiously, it is only after the end of the Cold War that NATO starts to intervene abroad (operations « Anchor Guard » in 1990 and « Ace Guard » in 1991), with the success that we know.

The main root, very present in the so-called « scientific » literature, must be recalled: Friedrich von Hayek published in 1944 The Road to Serfdom, a pamphlet in gestation since 1940. His thesis is simple: there is no political freedom without economic freedom; any measure that strengthens one necessarily strengthens the other. Negatively, this means that economic interventionism by the state, however minimal, necessarily opens the way to totalitarianism. In the name of democracy, the rule of law — and its democratic foundations — must therefore be urgently liquidated! Social security leads to the Gulag, trade unionism to the Vietcong and free thought to anarchy. With a slight rectification of the notion of democracy, the argument is coherent and applicable, but it is proposed at a time when the communist ideal is on the rise while Russia is in the process of crushing Nazi Germany (10 million Nazi soldiers will lose their lives on the Eastern Front… out of a total of 13.5 million missing). This is evidenced by the famous program of the National Council of the Resistance, adopted underground on March 15, 1944.

What to do? Hayek subscribes to the same strategy as that proposed by Gramsci in his Prison Notebooks, which date from 1926–1934: the destruction of the hegemony of international capitalism can only be achieved by gradually infiltrating all civil and political institutions. Similarly, Hayek believes that only a policy of small steps will lead to the destruction of the communist threat and its fifth column. Twenty years later, on September 30, 1965, he achieved his goal with the first implementation of a neoliberal system in Indonesia, following Suharto’s coup d’état that cost the lives of more than a million communists (some say 3 million were executed). It was a kind of repetition of Pinochet’s coup d’état, which took place on September 11, 1973. It is thus in 1965 that communism lost the game — unless its bankruptcy dates from the accession to power of Khrushchev and his destruction of the Stalinist legacy (1953) (4).

In conclusion, the WTO is not a creature that appeared out of nowhere and it is not easy to send it back to its night and fog. It is the result of an ideological corruption that began in 1945 and produced its first tangible results in 1965. We are not witnessing the launch of a new program of infiltration of capitalism into the political fabric, but its emergency landing in the context of a global systemic crisis that is becoming terminal. Of course, we would have to go back to what happened between 1945 and 1973, between 1973 and 2001, and between 2001 and 2008 — but it is a history of the recent deployment of US imperialism, of its excess (its « hybris ») and of its fall that should be written (5). From a European point of view, we would then be particularly interested in the cultural war that has been waged on all fronts, starting with the media supported by the Hollywood industry (6)Among the employees of the newly created CIA were Paul-Henri Spaak, Robert Schuman, Joseph Retinger and Baron Boël of the « European Youth Campaign ». (7). As Annie Lacroix-Riz has written so well, Europe is nothing more than a succession of convenient agreements between the large German and French financial groups, with the United States ensuring that the marriage contract is respected (8).

Can we speak of a conspiracy? Yes, because everything is done to avoid transparency and the big capitalists are pulling the strings through false names and overqualified lieutenants. Besides, it is always piquant to use the language of the adversary to denounce one’s own practices: the conspiracy theorist is not the one who critically expresses himself on sensitive social issues, but the oligarch who stealthily networks in order to tighten his grip on the people. No, because it is the internal logic of a paradigm launched in 1944 by Hayek that continues to unfold its effects through countless agents who are victims of bourgeois symbolic violence. It should be noted, however, that it is easier to cross swords with individuals than with structures located in tax havens and that the first hypothesis is pragmatically the most appropriate.


III. The secret consequences

Unfortunately, it is not possible to talk about the expected positive effects on this side of the Atlantic: they exist only in the imagination of technocrats. This free trade treaty will not help to boost growth, create jobs or increase the standard of living of the populations concerned. Even if there were to be an infinitesimal resumption of growth, it would not be good news because it would be at the expense of citizens and the world of work in particular. (Not to mention the fact that outside of degrowth there will be no salvation). Only the financial world should see its societal power and its turnover increase. The treaty, if finalized and ratified, will have two main consequences: the subordination of Europe to the United States and the definitive and explicit transfer of political power to economic power. In short, we get a US-EU binomial driven by US multinationals. The term « leonine clause » is used when one of the contracting parties obtains rights that are disproportionate to his obligations; this is the lion’s share. How is it broken down in this case?

First, the subordination of the socio-political to the economic world, itself enslaved by finance, will preserve the hegemony of the dollar economy, of Wall Street and the City — from which most European decision-makers already come. Think of all those political creatures who have benefited — or still benefit — from a salary at Goldman-Sachs, who have been appointed to the French American Foundation (the famous « Young Leaders »), the The« harmonization of regulation » will lead to a greater liberalization of financial services, to the impossibility of controlling banks and, a fortiori, of fighting against hedge funds.

Second, what remains of European culture will be rendered obsolete. Culture means atmosphere (or « grand narrative ») that is conducive to both individuation and solidarity. But, as Tocqueville had already observed in 1835, « democracy in America » denies individuals the right to be themselves and communities the right to be united. Conformism and atomism are the rule — and the war of all against all the compass — of dissociety. The citizen, with his own personality and his understanding of the general interest, sought, by becoming himself, to strengthen the social fabric. Only the craft industry can supply such a « market ». The consumer is nothing more than a clone: he is inhabited by exactly the same tastes and desires as his neighbor and he intends to satisfy them before him. We can therefore sell exactly the same hamburger to living clones 6,000 km away (a journey that the meat itself has probably made several times): the economies of scale are enormous and the creation of monopolies is easy. The very first strength of the US economy is here: 320 million clones consuming on demand. In a land as culturally fragmented as Europe, it took decades of advertising investments to obtain any semblance of results… It is therefore understandable that social, food, sanitary and ecological standards are null and void, while respect for privacy has no place in a political regime that no longer governs by fear but by anxiety. (9). There is a perfect complementarity between the economic and political aspects of this « cloning ». Finally, let’s point out the particular threat to the agri-food industry (there are still customs duties on agricultural products and anti-GMO regulations that are detrimental to the US-US industry) and to the world of education: what educational ideal would resist the demands of the market? Cloning is also required here (10).

Third, political subjugation will be entrenched. As if by chance, H. Clinton talks about an economic NATO — but NATO is the structure that forbids Europe to emancipate itself diplomatically and militarily. But this is only an intermediate step, as liberalization requires the dismantling of states and the establishment of what is hoped to be global « governance » based on market standards. The ins and outs of the balkanization of the Middle East should definitely arouse our curiosity.

Fourth, while climate change clearly calls for more regulation, no less (11)The draft treaty will make it potentially impossible to limit greenhouse gas emissions, to promote short circuits, local production, preferably organic, democratization… Either the blindness is total, or the collapse is actively sought. Let’s not forget that crises are always new opportunities to increase the concentration of capital to the detriment of the small holder whose portfolio is not diversified enough and whose character is not aggressive enough to survive to the detriment of all.

Fifth, and rarely mentioned, the huge military market is not unrelated to these issues. The question has different facets: one can conceive the necessity of a citizen’s army in order to defend one’s territory; the professionalization of the army constitutes a first betrayal which allows many others, starting with privateer wars; the privatization, by sections, of the army constitutes the next step. It is accompanied by the privatization of a whole series of ancillary tasks and intelligence activities, which we now know who benefits from them: intelligence contracts are a windfall for the private sector and allow, regardless of the strategic and tactical value of certain data, to spy on policy makers and to hack into advanced technologies and R&D.

To get an idea of this market, one need only look briefly at the US defense budget. Although it cannot be estimated directly, it seems reasonable to claim that 66 percent of the federal budget is devoted to it: to the Department of Defense (« DoD »), which includes the Pentagon and the various army corps, one must add a nebulous array of « defense agencies » (CIA, Secret Service, NSA, NRO, DIA, DARPA, etc.), expenditures related to veterans, secret programs (« black programs ») that can only be investigated ex post, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, which is in charge of nuclear weapons production channels, NASA, whose mission is to make imperialism interplanetary, and the countless envelopes that fund research and development, i.e., the protean military Keynesianism (12). (This governmental side is complemented by a corporatist side which is also sprawling: the military-industrial complex). In addition to the sums spent on weapons systems, their maintenance, etc., the sums siphoned off are colossal: on September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld castigated the bureaucracy of the Department of Defense, which, according to him, was responsible for the disappearance of 2 trillion dollars from its accounts. A more recent estimate (2013) gives the figure of $8.5 trillion, missing from the accounts since 1996 (13). What can we do with 8,500 billion dollars? The Apollo program (1959–1973) would have cost, in constant dollars, only $109 billion… If one were to charge a penultimate generation aircraft carrier (14) at $8.5 billion a piece, the DoD would have mysteriously misplaced 100 aircraft carriers in 17 years, or 6 per year. Either the negligence is Kafkaesque, or there is a secret program that is more secret and more expensive than the others (15).

The military market thus offers unimaginable opportunities for the sale, lease and detour of equipment and services. The icing on the cake of liberalization is the development of private detective companies, security companies and private armies. We have always complained about police brutality and the indolence of the army; the time will come when we will regret the truncheons and the gene. Here too, America is on the cutting edge. For example, when John D. Rockefeller decided to put an end to the miners’ strike movement in Ludlow (Colorado), he could count on the goodwill of the National Guard, but its methods were not expedient enough, and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency intervened with machine guns on April 20, 1914.

Security companies have always developed in regions and countries where the wealthy cannot rely on the overworked or corrupt police. The difference between mercenaries and private military companies is only the legal vacuum they exploit to give themselves an honorable business facade, the explicit political support they have and the firepower they have become. A clean-cut CEO leads disciplined employees who only slaughter, pillage and rape on command. With Academi (formerly Blackwater, formerly Xe Services), created in 1997, we are between the Great Companies (or « road companies ») of the 12th century and WatchGuard International, created in 1965 on the model of the British SAS.

From this point of view, what is the trend in the draft transatlantic treaty? At present, the US management of trade disputes is burdened with a heavy procedure: when a multinational is in dispute with a state, preferably from the Third World, it must take its case to Washington, through a representative sympathetic to its cause, claiming that it is the victim of primary anti-Americanism, or even secondary terrorism; a political decision must then be taken to involve the Pentagon, which is run, until proven otherwise, by senior officers who have sworn allegiance to the Constitution and to the people, officers who are also bound to respect the international conventions applicable in this matter, starting with the Geneva Conventions. An underground intervention by the CIA is of course always possible (16), but all this is tedious and time consuming. As soon as the multinational in question can simply order the intervention of a private company, the response is immediate and we no longer have to deal with politicians whose grease is not suitable for sprinting, nor with the hazards related to the expression of military duty. For the sake of completeness, let us note that an intermediate solution exists: fomenting unrest through an NGO, fuelling it with villainous actions by mercenaries renamed « contractors », and finally using the latter without restraint to wage an expeditious civil war. Moreover, it also becomes possible for any multinational to enter into conflict with its own government and with its own population, which unfortunately is always likely to refuse the commodification of human beings.

Considering the question of mercenarism is therefore very enlightening because it allows us to define the version of extreme capitalism that is in the making. One might think that capitalism requires, for its proper functioning, a police state, that is, a state that has renounced all its functions except the monopoly of legitimate physical and symbolic violence (cf. Max Weber). Robert Nozick has thus become the spokesman for libertarian minarchism: we need a state, but a state reduced to its simplest expression. Defending the territorial integrity, the property of the widow and the orphan and the interests of the aggrieved entrepreneur classically requires army, police and judiciary. It is not the anarcho-capitalist thesis that is being defended here; all the functions of the state can clearly be fulfilled by private structures. The transfer of power from politics (or what remains of it) to economics (the multinationals) must be complete.

What to conclude? What — and why — should we advocate for?

First, it is difficult to understand the insistence with which commentators speak of the undemocratic way in which the transatlantic treaty is being negotiated: they deplore the lack of transparency, the absence of popular consultation or parliamentary debate, the fact that Europe’s representatives are unelected experts, etc. So what? On the one hand, as J.-Cl. Paye shows, US-US democracy committed suicide in 2001 with the adoption of the Patriot Act (17); on the other hand, it can be argued that democratic Europe died no later than 2009 when the Lisbon Treaty, which renders unconstitutional any policy that is not neoliberal, came into force. Ideological duplicate of the « Constitution » project rejected by those who were asked for their opinion (the Dutch and French in 2005; the Irish in 2009) (18)The Treaty was knowingly drafted in impenetrable language while politicians were simply asked to take their word for it. Doesn’t that remind you of something? Whether an expert is elected or not makes no difference: the representation of the people has long been undermined by business and professionalism. It is simply the return of totalitarianism that is coming. In this regard, should we point out that warrantless searches, wiretaps, body searches and undercover operations are now commonplace in the United States? Thathabeas corpus, the foundation of the rule of law, is no longer systematically applied and that detention, whether preventive or not, is de facto no longer regulated? That extrajudicial executions by drone are deemed necessary even though no legal principle authorizes them (not to mention the Fourth Geneva Convention)? That the use of torture is officially encouraged and that true apologies for torture are published in newspapers by « intellectuals », while Hollywood stages it with relish (19)? That the suspects disappear, as the protagonists of 1984 were abolished, rendered into nothingness, vaporized (20)? And finally that the concentration camps are back?

Second, we should finally be aware of the pedigree of our interlocutor. The history of the United States is marked by countless genocides, massacres, wars and betrayals. The country is the direct heir to the 400 or so treaties that were successively signed with the indigenous peoples (the « Indians ») — treaties that were all flouted with impunity by the colonists (21). Washington’s international policy is of the same ilk: a long series of staged events to systematically plunder resources and strangle any opposition. Even if we were to put this series of carnage, war crimes and crimes against humanity (who remembers Hiroshima?) in brackets, we would have to ask ourselves whether it is appropriate to unite our destinies with a country at perpetual war. Common sense should not have too much difficulty in answering. The constant use of US-US military force to settle disputes is as well documented as it is little commented on (22) The future use of « surgical strikes » is also politely ignored, whereas it would be enough to listen to characters like Donald H. Rumsfeld to understand that the « Great War On Terror » will be a « Long War » of perhaps a hundred years (23) According to Leon Panetta, it will last at least thirty years (24).

Of course, in a way, NATO is already answering this question. But its structure, which is defined by its origin (to counter a Warsaw Pact that would only exist six years later) and its purpose (the implementation of Article 5), is obsolete in the current international political framework. Preventive and pre-emptive wars (both illegal) have become humanitarian interventions (even more difficult to justify) and if the war rhetoric has varied slightly in recent years (« rogue state », 1985; « axis of evil »; 2002; « outposts of tyranny », 2005), the imperialist aim is the same: the total domination of all battlefields (« full spectrum dominance », 2000)

Third, how do these historical and ideological remarks avoid the pitfall of primary anti-Americanism? The attentive reader will have understood that this is not the case: it would be racism, a double error in this case, since the concept of race, which is very dubious in itself, cannot be applied to the United States, a country composed of 99 percent immigrants. One cannot condemn the US citizens, who are the first victims of their oligarchy, and one must on the contrary salute the dissidents, who are exposed to much greater sanctions than in Europe (for the moment at least). US imperialism is the worst in human history simply because it benefits from unprecedented technical and technological advances. There is no doubt that England, France, Spain or Portugal would have reached the same degree of ignominy if the opportunity had been offered to them… and that the regrets of their oligarchs are eternal. We are simply witnessing a new episode of the class struggle.

Fourthly, the European unfortunately has difficulty in realizing that we are already in a state of war. On the one hand, NATO’s state of mobilization has not changed since Article 5 was invoked following 9/11; the theaters of operation have simply diversified. On the other hand, the media hype that we are witnessing at the moment is the tangible sign of a will to fight with the Muslim nations, we knew it and we are working on it night and day, but also with Russia and, as soon as possible, with China. Anne Morelli has very pedagogically exposed the elementary principles of war propaganda, very early identified by Arthur Ponsonby: we do not want war; the opposing camp is the only one responsible for the hostilities that are coming; the leader of the opposing camp has the face of the devil; our cause is noble, etc. (25). In fact, only the implosion of the US economy could prevent war. What do the Russians think? Nobody knows this because they are not asked for their opinion and when they speak in the Russian media they are very reserved. However, the facts speak for themselves. Dmitri Olegovich Rogozine, deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry since 2011, is in the process of modernizing the Russian armament industry with a 2020 horizon. He thus seems to hope, exactly as Stalin did in 1934 (at the XVII Congress of the CPSU), to have time to prepare for the inevitable confrontation with Western imperialism. By signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939, following the refusal of the British to conclude an alliance against the Nazis, Stalin paid a high price to complete the operationalization of his military industry. History will prove him right since the Nazi army was already routed in December 1941, at the gates of Moscow, six months after the start of Operation Barbarossa. The battle of Stalingrad, which ended in February 1943, marked the end of the Nazi adventure. For the record, the Normandy landing took place in June 1944; Grouchy would not have done better. The Nazis lost, let us repeat, 13.5 million soldiers from 1939 to 1945, including 10 million on the Eastern Front; the Soviets lost 10 million soldiers and 20 million civilians during the hostilities; the United States lost 230,000 soldiers from 1941 to 1945. Why such amnesia on the part of the Western intelligentsia? What can we conclude about the threat that Soviet imperialism posed to the world in 1945?

Fifth, the pseudo-legal gesticulations of the draft treaty — they are in fact nothing but law-denying devices — only make sense in the context of the global systemic crisis. That is to say that the crisis we will not go through is the result of a synergy between all the cardinal poles of our civilization: it is financial, economic, energetic, demographic, political, religious, cultural, societal, geostrategic, ecological and climatic. Attempting to standardize legislation to allow free market circulation of capital is the instinctive reaction of capitalism. However, it is difficult to see how the free localization of products and services will resolve any of these critical issues. The tired Titanic metaphor is appropriate: the iceberg was identified in 1968, the collision took place in 1971, and while the ship is listing inexorably, we are still counting the number of flooded compartments and recalculating the flow of pumps. « The Iron Throne (26)  » offers more contemporary metaphorical possibilities: the seven kingdoms of Westeros are plagued by infighting and frontal attacks from all sides; even the weather is becoming threatening and chaos is setting in everywhere. It is still impossible to know the cause that will accidentally trigger the collapse, but it is already palpable in the cultural atmosphere (the « Stimmung »).

Historically, philosophy has been defined as a discipline fighting against opinion, against what Bourdieu theorized with the concepts of habitus and symbolic violence. Few people are able to let go of their opinions and allow their doors of perception and cognition to be cleaned. The resulting reversal seems too painful at first glance. Such work has never been more urgent. When it is carried out, we are led to a double conclusion: on the one hand, the fight against the transatlantic treaty project is urgent and it will be decisive to change the disastrous political trajectory that is ours; on the other hand, history teaches us that a project of such a magnitude will not be revoked by a classic citizen’s fight. If the negotiations were to fail or if the treaty were not ratified, it would be imposed in a less subtle way, that is to say, by means of a project 2.0 that would escape the procedures by which the first one was defused or that would be simply a modality of the state of emergency decreed to fight against the terror, real or imaginary, in which imperialism will have projected us. The real conclusion is that we must call for a democratic renewal worthy of the name. The neoliberal sham has gone on too long. As Newton said, everything that goes up must come down.

Michel Weber

Notes et références
  1. « I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, […] Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks ! Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch ! Moloch the loveless ! Mental Moloch ! Moloch the heavy judger of men ! » Je cite la traduction légèrement modifiée de
  2. Cf.,,,,,,
  3. Voir, e.g., Raoul Marc Jennar, Europe, la trahison des élites (Paris, Éditions Fayard, 2004) et Le Grand Marché Transatlantique (Perpignan, Cap Bear Éditions , 2014) ; Ricardo Cherenti et Bruno Poncelet, Le grand marché transatlantique : Les multinationales contre la démocratie ([2011], Paris, Bruno Leprince, 2014).
  4. Les études qui revisitent l’histoire du XXe siècle sont aussi nombreuses que méconnues : Albert E. Kahn & Michael Sayers, The Great Conspiracy Against Russia, London, Collet, 1946 ; Douglas Tottle, Fraud, Famine and Fascism: The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard, Toronto, Progress Book, 1987 ; Geoffrey Roberts, The Soviet Union and the origins of the Second World War. Russo-German Relations and the Road to War, 1933–1941, New York, Saint Martin’s Press, 1995 ; Michael Jabara Carley, 1939, The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War 2, Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 1999 ; Geoffrey Roberts, Victory at Stalingrad. The Battle That Changed History, London, Longman, 2003 ; David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006 ; Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953, New Haven & London, Yale University Press, 2006 ; Domenico Losurdo, Stalin, Storia e critica di una leggenda nera, Milano, Carocci, 2008 ; Grover Furr, Khrouchtchev a menti ([2011] Paris, Éditions Delga, 2014) et Blood Lies: The Evidence that Every Accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands Is False (New York: Red Star Publications, 2014).
  5. Tout récit a un commencement arbitraire. S’il fallait questionner les origines de l’impéralisme US-américain, on serait renvoyé, de proche en proche, à l’histoire de la révolution industrielle. Plus prosaïquement, ce sont les contradictions du capitalisme et l’histoire de la lutte des classes qui expliquent l’engrènement des guerres par le retour des crises systémiques (1873, 1924, 2008).
  6. Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper ? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London, Granta Books, 1999 ; Udo Ulfkotte, Gekaufte Journalisten — Wie Politiker, Geheimdienste und Hochfinanz Deutschlands Massenmedien lenken, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kopp Verlag, 2014.
  7. Le premier memorandum à cet effet daterait du 26 juillet 1950 : voir Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, « Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs », The Telegraph, 19 Sept. 2000.
  8. Annie Lacroix-Riz, Aux origines du carcan européen (1900–1960), Paris, Delga / Le temps des cerises, 2014.
  9. Cf. Michel Weber, « Le 11-Septembre entre mythe et grand récit », Kairos 8, septembre / octobre 2013, p. 13–15 ; « Peurs et angoisses en politique — A propos de Davos », Kairos 13, avril-mai 2014, p. 7.
  10. Cf. Michel Weber, Éduquer (à) l’anarchie. Essai sur les conséquences de la praxis philosophique, Louvain-la-Neuve, Éditions Chromatika, 2008 et « “Freedom is Slavery” : A Whiteheadian Interpretation of the Place of the Sciences and Humanities in Today’s University », Interchange, 2015 [à paraître].
  11. Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything. Capitalism vs. The Climate, New York, Simon and Chuster, 2014.
  12. En investissant massivement dans la recherche, le développement et la commercialisation de produits militaires, de leurs précurseurs et dérivés, l’État capitaliste stimule l’innovation technologique, l’emploi et la production industrielle. De plus, il offre des débouchés sûrs : le gigantesque marché militaire est garanti par l’État et financé par les impôts (payés par les pauvres) et les prêts (bénéficiant aux « marchés financiers »). La réticularité de cette pratique digne de la Russie soviétique (qui, soulignons-le, n’a fait que s’adapter, par la force des choses, au militarisme occidental) est tellement profonde et puissante que sa quantification est virtuellement impossible. Un exemple suffira : en 1955, lorsque Chomsky est titularisé comme professeur de linguistique au MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology), l’Institut était financé à 100% par trois corps d’armée. Le lecteur naïf s’étonnera d’abord que des travaux aussi abscons que la grammaire générative et transformationnelle soient entièrement financés par le Pentagone. Il ajoutera peut-être que le MIT était à l’époque le centre principal de résistance du mouvement anti-guerre et que, de fait, Chomsky n’a jamais épargné ses efforts pour dénoncer le militarisme impérial des USA. On admettra en effet que certaines recherches semblent fort éloignées d’une application militaire directe, mais dans le cas de la linguistique, il n’en n’est rien : comprendre la structure fondamentale du langage permettrait en effet de formaliser toutes les langues et de créer des logiciels de traduction universelle (et donc panoptiques) ; du reste, la programmation d’ordinateurs complexes, d’automates performants, de drones et de droïdes passe également par la création de nouveaux algorithmes. Que le MIT soit au surplus un nid de contestataires importe peu — à la condition expresse que ces universitaires contribuent par leurs travaux à alimenter la machine militaire et qu’en tant que contestataires leurs voix se noient dans le bruit médiatique. Si d’aventure elle se faisait entendre très brièvement, l’oligarchie s’empresserait d’y voir la preuve de la liberté d’expression qu’elle autorise avec la bienveillance qui la caractérise. (Reste évidemment la question de savoir ce que Chomsky est venu faire dans cette caserne virtuelle…)
  14. Le PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), dernier de la classe des « supercarriers », semble avoir coûté 13 milliards de dollars plus 5 milliards en recherche et développement.
  15. Autre exemple : en janvier 2005, il est apparu que 8,8 milliards de dollars avaient été siphonnés du Development Fund for Iraq ; en janvier 2005, le député (membre de la Chambre des représentants) Henry Waxman, interroge la raison du retrait en liquide de 12 milliards de dollars du compte du DFI. Et ainsi de suite.
  16. Un exemple au hasard : quand Jacobo Arbenz exproprie en 1952 la « United Fruit Company » (devenue « Chiquita Brands International » en 1989) en calculant le montant de l’indemnisation à partir de la valeur déclarée (et donc taxée) des terres, la UFC se plaint au gouvernement des États-Unis en transformant le litige commercial en attaque anti-américaine. La CIA organisera promptement un coup d’État et tout rentrera dans l’ordre.
  17. Jean-Claude Paye, La Fin de l’État de droit. La lutte antiterroriste : de l’état d’exception à la dictature, Paris, Éditions La Dispute, 2004.
  18. Ajoutons que les Norvégiens ont également refusé par référendum, à deux reprises et en vain, de rejoindre l’Union : en 1972 et en 1994.
  19. On assiste bien ici et là à des combats d’arrière-garde, comme lorsque Karen J. Greenberg, professeur de droit à la Fordham University, dénonce l’illégalité de la pratique, mais personne ne pose la question de savoir quel type de société permet la réalisation et la distribution d’un film — Zero Dark Thirty (2012) — qui encourage la pratique de la torture… En quoi une décapitation est-elle plus scandaleuse ? Même le but de la torture est travesti : la torture ne cherche jamais à faire parler et toujours à faire taire le résistant et à terroriser sa communauté (Sironi).
  20. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four [1949]. Introduction by Thomas Pynchon, London, Penguin Books, 2003, p. 22.
  21. Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States : 1492–Present, New York, HarperCollins, 1980, pp. 526, cf. 131, 142, 525. (Une traduction française a été publiée chez Agone en 2002.) Zinn reprend inlassablement la litanie des forfaits impériaux : en 1847, une « invasion mexicaine » fut mise en scène ; en 1898, l’Espagne fut condamnée pour la destruction de l’USS Maine dans le port de La Havane ; en 1915 le Lusitania est envoyé à sa perte, etc.
  22. 1801–1805, première guerre des Barbaresques ; 1812–1814, guerre contre la Grande-Bretagne afin de conquérir le Canada ; 1815, seconde guerre des Barbaresques ; 1834–1839, guerre indiennes suite au Removal Act ; 1845, annexion de la République du Texas ; 1846–1848, guerre contre le Mexique ; 1845–1846 Chine ; 1852–1853 Argentine ; 1853 Nicaragua ; 1853–1854 Japon ; 1854 Nicaragua ; 1855 Uruguay ; 1859 Chine ; 1860 Angola ; 1895 Hawaï ; 1898 Cuba ; 1898 Philippines ; 1903 Colombie…
  23. Cf., e.g., En 2007, le général Wesley Clark a révélé qu’en septembre 2001 le département de la défense planifiait des guerres contre l’Afghanistan, l’Irak, la Syrie, le Liban, la Libye, la Somalie, le Soudan et l’Iran (interview pour « Democracy Now ! », March 2, 2007 : Il faut conclure que l’Ukraine, la Russie et la Chine étaient au menu d’un autre département / agence que le Pentagone.
  25. Arthur Ponsonby, Falsehood in War-Time.  Propaganda Lies of the First World War, London, Allen and Unwin, 1928 ; Anne Morelli, Principes élémentaires de la propagande de guerre, utilisables en cas de guerre froide, chaude ou tiède, Bruxelles, Éditions Labor, 2001 ; cf.élémentaires_de_propagande_de_guerre, qui reprend les dix thèses : 1. Nous ne voulons pas la guerre. 2. Le camp adverse est le seul responsable de la guerre. 3. Le chef du camp adverse a le visage du diable (ou « l’affreux de service »). 4. C’est une cause noble que nous défendons et non des intérêts particuliers. 5. L’ennemi provoque sciemment des atrocités, et si nous commettons des bavures c’est involontairement. 6. L’ennemi utilise des armes non autorisées. 7. Nous subissons très peu de pertes, les pertes de l’ennemi sont énormes. 8. Les artistes et intellectuels soutiennent notre cause. 9.Notre cause a un caractère sacré. 10. Ceux (et celles) qui mettent en doute notre propagande sont des traîtres.
  26. « Game of Thrones », issu de l’œuvre de George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire (New York, Bantam Press, 1996–).

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