11/01/2013 11:55 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Governments Inciting Public Hatred To Further Corporate Conquests is Nothing New

The destructive monoculture of corporate globalization is imposing itself on political economies throughout the world, but it didn't happen overnight. A prelude to corporate conquest was (and continues to be) the "conquest" of our collective minds.

As Naomi Klein argues in The Shock Doctrine, a shock or a disaster -- sometimes manufactured, sometimes not -- can be manipulated to serve this ulterior purpose.

If the goal is mid-east hegemony, for example, manufactured hatred for Muslims (Islamophobia) becomes a necessary first step. The 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon created a huge shock on the mental landscapes of the U.S and the world. This shock created a collective numbness, and a window first for Islamophobia (psychological "conquest"), and then for military action.

The huge loss of innocent American lives, therefore, became a pretext for a war of terror, and for the erosion of human rights at home and abroad. Consequently, the illegal invasion of Iraq, though not even tangentally related to the events of 9/11, became more palatable to some American citizens because their "mental landscapes" had been manipulated to serve the purposes of corporations -- especially the military-industrial complex -- and the neo-conservative, war-mongering political economies of the Bush administration, and to a lesser degree, the UK.

The consequences in terms of loss of life are staggering. By 2011, almost half a million people had already perished as a result of war and occupation in Iraq.

The "shock and awe" invasion itself, and the subsequent toppling of the indigenous regime to install a corrupt neoliberal political economy was/is a war crime according to International Criminal Court (ICC) standards.

Once the foundational conquest of the collective mindscape is secured, however, even war crimes become palatable to large portions of humanity. The rule of international law is subordinated to notions of "exceptionalism" without a second thought. Former "enemies" such as al Qaeda, become trusted allies in Syria, and Putin is condemned, not the "rebels".

In this upside down manufactured world-view, monopoly capitalism and neoliberal economic theory are more important than democracy, as proxy dictatorships squash fledgling democracies throughout the globe.

U.S. coup masters -- well-practiced in the art of illegal interventions in sovereign countries --- are tacitly supported by other countries such as Canada, that choose to take the moral and legal low ground, by hypocritically supporting (and profiting from) these (shocking) crimes of conquest.

Consider some examples of coup "shocks" -- past and present -- implemented to undemocratically force political and economic change.

In 1953, the U.S. CIA and the U.K. M16 orchestrated a coup d'etat that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. Key beneficiaries of the coup were petroleum companies.

On Sept. 11, 1973, a U.S. orchestrated a coup -- through covert actions, psychological (psy ops) campaigns, and economic sabotage -- destroyed the democratically-elected government of Chile's Salvador Allende, who was replaced by the murderous dictator Pinochet. Key beneficiaries of the coup were Freidman's "Chicago Boys" who used Chile as a blank slate to test their disastrous neo-liberal market theories on the shocked and traumatized Chileans.

More recently, Canada and the US are benefiting from a military coup that deposed democratically-elected president Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, who was replaced by Roberto Micheletti, appointed by those who undertook the coup. In Jan 2010, Porfirio Lobo Sosa assumed the presidency under what many termed undemocratic and illegitimate elections.

The "beneficiaries" in this case include Canadian mining interests. While former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya suspended mining concessions, Lobo's government revised the mining code to favour deregulated mining "extractivism". Consequently, the terms of the "Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement" are impacted by the illegal coup, since a de-regulated environment means more short-term profits for distant investors.

These intersecting and repeated trajectories of lawlessness --- that demonstrate a blatant disregard for human rights and human lives --- are mirrored at home.

In Canada, the Harper government -- through disinformation campaigns --- engineers an atmosphere of racism against indigenous peoples so that it can continue to deny and negate First Nations' rights in favour of de-regulated extractive industries. It's the same dynamic.

Continued awareness of these crimes, especially from Constitutional and human rights perspectives, gives us insights into repeated patterns flowing from governance that is seamlessly integrated with corporations.

Once aware of these repeated patterns, we become better equipped to combat the de-humanizing and corrupting practices of our current governance, and to re-valorise our constitutional and human rights.

If we can change or make a shift away from this corporatist "mental landscape", and the strategies used to implement it, we can then reject the current business model of corporate globalization, and we can embrace better alternatives, including a renewed democracy.

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