A letter from an alumnus about
the U.S. and capitalism
March 11, 2002
The brief comments by Turhan Tirana 57 on my current activity and
Notes, February 27) were fair-minded if limited by space.
It is instructive to note that CBS Television News disclosed on September
l0, 2001, that the Pentagon "lost" $2.3 trillion in fiscal year
1999 and $1.3 trillion in fiscal year 2000. It is the tip of the iceberg
and but a glimpse into the standard ways of a kleptocracy, constituting
the rule by that 2 percent of our population that owns and controls 90
percent of the national wealth.
Much of this pillage is secreted in thousands of offshore accounts and
laundered through off-balance sheet transactions that are the defining
modus operandus of corporate and banking capital in the U.S.
This does not speak to the hundreds of billions of stolen dollars in cost
overruns, sweetheart contracts that are the standard procedure in the
trillion dollar soup line of "defense contractors."
The top 17 corporations in the U.S. go 10 years at a time without paying
taxes and will now receive rebates for any such years in which taxes were
Thus, the state in capitalist America is but the milch cow of the tiny
if concentrated oligarchy of banking and corporate capital that has long
usurped control over governance in our society. The big property party,
with two names, is funded interchangeably by this cabal, guaranteeing
the continuity of its rule and its dictatorship over what passes for a
The academy is hardly divorced from this defining institutional reality
in our society. In my experience, Princeton University has labored efficiently
to inculcate the values, perceptions, and ideological prerequisites in
the privileged young, aspiring for the most part, to take their place
among the administrative and governing few.
The recent disclosures concerning Enron do not constitute "scandal,"
so much as they reveal the daily functioning of corporate and finance
capital in the U.S.
During the past decade, Enron, Unocal, Halliburton, Exxon, Mobil et al
have prepared plans for the seizure of control of trillions of dollars
of oil and natural gas in the Caspian Sea region.
The division of these spoils, reminiscent of the San Remo Agreements preceding
World War I with respect to Middle Eastern oil were worked out methodically
in the National Security Council, Energy Institute, Afghanistan Foundation,
Council on Foreign Relations, specific and detailed plans entirely contingent
upon a causus belli that would provide the pretext for massive U.S. military
Those of your readers who are open to an understanding of the dependence
of U.S. capital today upon arms production and continuing war win be able
to place the events of September 11 in their proper context: a calamity
instigated and orchestrated by the military and intelligence apparatus
of the corporate and banking rulers who command the State in Ameria.
Alumni and others who may wish to avail themselves of the explanatory
model and the precise evidence that sustains it are invited to tune in
every Friday from 10:00 a.m. to noon on radio station WBAI 99.5 FM in
New York to "Taking Aim With Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone."
Listeners outside the greater New York area may use the Internet by going
to www.wbai.org then to "listen" and then to "radio."
We are heard regularly across the Americas, from Cuba to India and from
Norway to Iran.