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(DV) Papathanasis: The Obliterator







The Obliterator
by Theo Papathanasis
April 8, 2005

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"... And God's vultures savage your metal heart."

-- Georg Trakl

Among many reasons for his being Republican, grand prize winner of the golden state of California's zany 2004 gubernatorial game show, tinsel town glitteratus Arnold Schwarzenegger gave:

"Because Milton Friedman is right and Karl Marx was wrong." [1]

If Friedman is right, the Bush tax cuts are great. "I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible," is how Friedman originally promulgated a soundbite that's flowered into today's blatantly pro commercial sector tax relief. That tax relief is the tax policy of the Bush ownership society, a society composed, by definition, of "haves". To use well-sampled wording from the 1997 US Space Command "Vision for 2020":

"The globalization of the world economy will also continue, with a widening between 'haves' and 'have-nots'." [2]

It's not unreasonable to assume the US Armed Forces aim to defend the Bush ownership society, that is, the society of haves. It's further reasonable to suppose in light of this global having and having-not chasmic gapping, the ownership society might eventually find itself confronted by seemingly unassailable numbers of have-nots. US Space Command further noted:

"Accelerating rates of technological development will be increasingly driven by the commercial sector -- not the military. Increased weapons lethality and precision will lead to new operational doctrine." [3]

These observations illustrate the haves' need for overwhelming force. The driving corporate interests of the so-called American military industrial complex, the commercial sector, belong to the haves. Extrapolating ad absurdum, the haves' perfect future will have been realized when the Earth is target-locked by orbiting weapon stations, when recon drones and unmanned fighters zoom the layered atmosphere [4] and automated assault vehicles armed with micronukes [5] prowl the planet's surface and seas, some deploying robot troopers [6] to control battlespace increasingly designated as urban. [7] Needless to say, it is in urban space [8] that the significantly more numerous have-nots will dwell in more threatening concentrations, populating a planet glooming under the arching firmament of a militarized technodrome. Humanity itself will be helotized by both the obliterator of blazing omnicidal fury from heaven above and the neighborhood threat of patrolling hunter-killer androids, poised to process any starry-eyed crowds of protest and resistance into meat and gristle in an exact and savage execution of their program.

It should be everyone's human right not to be gunned down or torn to pieces by some insect-minded assassinator droid dreamed up out of camp family films like Short Circuit starring Steve Guttenberg. Presumably that is why US Space Command, displaying the prudence of historically sensitive self-preservation, largely absolved itself of responsibility for any possible unleashing of the multinationals' invincible machinery upon humanity, pointing out how many developments are driven by commercial interest (not military), tacitly indicating how the profit motive accelerated the evolution of these instruments of global cannibalism.

Is this a delightfully pranksome, deconstructionist untangling of some suggestively premonitory social criticism plucked with ease from Schwarzenegger's blockbuster Terminator saga? No, this remains a cheerless comment on the wretched logic of the ownership society informed by a few looks to the evolving future of military technologies and the policies guiding their development and intended application. This futurological doomscape is a possible world, whose logical outcome is the isolation of annihilative power in as few hands as possible, in those of the haves, corporate overlords locked tight in the accumulative groove.

Their geostrategic vision is, simply put, acquiring the coercive tools necessary for the chrematistic few to lord it over the luckless many and the soft selling of some plutocrats' fully automated omnipotence with sci-fi sex-appeal to pooh-pooh any hoo-ha about hot, worldwide class war. It is likely that legions of mech-forces would be needed to safeguard the legitimacy of a planetary nexus of robotic weapon systems informed by real-time, panoramic, god's eye vistas as the trendy terror war justification for this devolutionary tumble is an argument empty as an unloaded pistol.

It is a tactical impossibility for a strategic policy acceptant of and driven by growing global disparity of wealth to meaningfully combat terrorism, a phenomenon rooted in poverty and violent frustration. Space fighters, lunar outposts, particle beam lasers, cyborg shock troopers and an intrusive police culture of surveillance and reprisal will never lay waste to the mindlessly acquisitive economic underpinning that tears the planet apart in its tortured clockwork of greed, but simply strengthen, facilitate, defend and institutionalize that system of having and having-not.

Assuredly, some diehards will tut-tut these dismal musings about metallic hordes and earth-gobbling weapons bulwarking capitalism's forever free lunching on all creation as hellfire fantasizing, claiming the global income rift is an illusory and misguided analysis -- a Marxian throwback on Prozac -- with all the surefire grace their school forecast how pre-occupation Iraq teetered on eruption and would inundate the earth itself with nuclear tsunamis and poisonous terror storms; prophesying that left these militarist practitioners of the mantic arts with the credibility of antiquity's readers of avian entrails, demonologists and astrological quacks. Their poster boy for the victory of metal over mankind will forever remain the Terminator, a machine-head politico, robotistically flashing day-glo smiles, mouthing economic mantras, oblivious to the nightmare implicit in his art and brewing in his politics.

Theo Papathanasis is secretly collaborating with the forces of Grand Archon Nabqilzar from the planet Yxorlox to enslave Earth with an orbiting Black Hole Detonator before the United States can mount a space-based defense. He can be reached at:

Other Articles by Theo Papathanasis

* Fascism: Scare? Tactics?: A Comment on Mickey Z. and Antiwar Tactics




[3] ibid.

[4] Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Drones Crowd Iraq's Skies to Fight Insurgents", NYT, April 5, 2005.