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By Sivad
#14967588
The blob is a term coined by Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes for the Washington establishment foreign policy elite. “The blob” is a homogenous, unthinking repository of conventional wisdom made up of the bipartisan group of experts that populate the U.S. government and think tanks and other nongovernmental institutions.


Most recently, the blob has come under fire from leading intellectuals such as Harvard’s Stephen Walt, the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and MIT's Barry Posen. These and other academics concede that America had an effective foreign policy during the Cold War. But after 1989, Washington embraced a radical doctrine of “liberal hegemony” and fought wars without end in an effort to transform the world. That approach, Mearsheimer alleges, was “prone to failure, sometimes disastrous failure”: It produced quagmire after quagmire, it fired global anti-Americanism, and it fueled conflict around the world.

This self-defeating approach has persisted, these scholars argue, because the blob abhors dissent and engages in rampant fearmongering to protect its privileges and influence. The blob gets its way, writes Walt, by “exaggerating international dangers, overstating the benefits that liberal hegemony would produce, and concealing the true costs.” Although many of these intellectuals have been harshly critical of Trump himself, they thus see the establishment just as Trump does: a failed elite looking to hold onto power.



“Instead of being a disciplined body of professionals constrained by a well-informed public and forced by necessity to set priorities and hold themselves accountable,” Walt writes, “today’s foreign policy elite is a dysfunctional caste of privileged insiders who are frequently disdainful of alternative perspectives and insulated both professionally and personally from the consequences of the policies they promote.”

Walt points to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council and the Center for New American Security, among others, as constituting a kind of interlocking directorate that fosters groupthink and consists of mandarins intolerant of dissenting views.
By Sivad
#14967591
Socialists and Libertarians Need an Alliance Against the Establishment
Stephen M. Walt

The United States needs a new foreign policy, but who is going to conceive, articulate, and implement it? In particular, could the emerging democratic socialists of the left, libertarians on the right, and realists in the center join forces to produce a foreign policy that would command support at home and perform effectively abroad? It’s possible, but it won’t be easy.

Over the past quarter-century, U.S. foreign policy has been in the hands of a loose alliance of liberal interventionists and hawkish neoconservatives. Both groups firmly embrace American exceptionalism, see the United States as the indispensable power that must exert active leadership all over the world, favor overwhelming military supremacy, and endorse the broad goal of spreading liberal values (democracy, human rights, rule of law, markets) to every corner of the world. They disagree somewhat about the role of international institutions (liberal interventionists see them as useful tools, neocons as potential constraints on America’s freedom of action), but that’s about it. Despite occasional disagreements on tactics and the usual jostling for position and status in Washington, this broad alliance has held firm across both Republican and Democratic presidents. And since 2016, it has also been working overtime to keep President Donald Trump from abandoning America’s position as leader of the so-called liberal world order.

Unfortunately, the foreign policy to which these elites were committed has been a dismal failure. Their shared strategy of liberal hegemony—defined as using U.S. power to spread liberal ideals around the globe—did not produce a more harmonious and prosperous world. Instead, it helped lead to a series of failed states, deteriorating great-power relations, a global recession, declining confidence in democracy itself, and a xenophobic backlash against globalization. America’s foreign-policy elites once thought the wind was at their backs and that spreading U.S. ideals would be relatively easy; today, these same ideals are under siege and the liberal world order they sought to expand is on life-support.

Not surprisingly, a number of commentators are beginning to realize that the United States needs an alternative. Writing in the Atlantic, the recovering liberal interventionist Peter Beinart now favors a far more restrained U.S. foreign policy, more or less identical to the one that realists have been advocating for years. Last week, the historian Daniel Bessner of the University of Washington wrote a provocative op-ed in the New York Times calling for the emerging democratic socialist left to get serious about foreign policy and to unite around a platform combining anti-militarism, accountability, greater congressional oversight, and threat deflation.

Which raises the obvious question: Would it be possible to assemble a sufficiently broad coalition behind such a program, one both large and cohesive enough to overcome the liberal-neocon alliance that has caused so much trouble? As noted above, the obvious candidates are anti-war progressives (i.e., the democratic socialists highlighted by Bessner); realists who favor a grand strategy of restraint or offshore balancing; and the libertarian right (e.g., Rand Paul, the Cato Institute) that has been questioning America’s imperial proclivities for decades.

All three groups agree that the pursuit of liberal hegemony over the past 25 years was unnecessary, unwise, and unsuccessful. And a more restrained foreign policy is consistent with many of their individual political objectives, which could make a working coalition feasible.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/24/so ... blishment/
By Sivad
#14967669
starts @34:25
User avatar
By Steve_American
#14969157
@Sivad,
I can agree with this.

I would like to add that there is a Blob II. This one is all about Neo-liberal economics. Also called Neo-classical, mainstream and other names. Blob II has a mighty grip on the EU and firm grip on the US (including the minds of the majority of the posters here). It is impervious to any alternate view and even facts. When, for example, it is so obvious that austerity in southern Europe didn't have the expected results and instead made the problems worse, and some Neo-liberal experts in the IMF and/or the ECB wrote papers that came straight out and said exactly that; that these papers are ignored even by their authors going forward. That is, their authors later call for more austerity and not a rethinking of the situation.
. . It is almost as if there is a vast conspiracy by the super rich to create and now maintain the orthodox theory of economics in the face of strong evidence from experience that it doesn't work at all like it says it will.
. . I read a book titled, "The Family" about just such a conspiracy. It was started in 1937 and has been going strong ever since. The group for decades has hosted the national prayer breakfasts every year in Washington DC. Google it.
By Sivad
#14969164
Steve_American wrote:@Sivad,
I can agree with this.


. . It is almost as if there is a vast conspiracy by the super rich to create and now maintain the orthodox theory in the face of strong evidence



It's called the establishment and that's exactly how it operates. It concocts some bullshit theory or ideology that serves its interests and then it gets all the experts in the world to endorse and promote it and all the babbitts in the world to defend and uphold it. That's true of every academic discipline, every social institution, every government bureaucracy, every legislating body and executive office, there is no area of human thought or activity of any political or economic significance that the blob hasn't at least tried to infect and commandeer and very few if any that it hasn't been largely successful in co-opting. It's know as capture, regulatory capture, academic capture, journalistic capture, all the way up to state capture.

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