Newmedia on Thu, 13 May 1999 00:41:18 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Greater United States by IVO SKORIC

It is understandable that *something* has to be blamed for evil.  So, why
not the U.S.?

Ivo Skoric's essay tells us why not.

Look at the title. "Greater United States." This is obviously a joke.  
It is a pun (intentional, one presumes) on "Greater Albania" and "Greater
Serbia" where the ethnic identity implied by "Greater United States" is...
black, urban youths!

That's where the baggy pants came from.  That's where the music for what
Time magazine calls "Hip Hop Nation" came from.  That's what a "Bulls"
hat/shirt is all about.  Black kids.  Black style.  Ghetto sensibility.

So, according to Ivo, the proof of the ethnic identity of the "Greater
United States" is white kids in Germany pretending (sorry, marketeers call
it "aspiring") to be black kids in Harlem. Very funny.  And, then this
cultural phenomenon is blamed for Kosovo? Very funny, indeed.

Yesterday, I was at a venture investment conference where I listened to
the presentation by a company called Platform Network.  They are "a
Web-based media/marketing/development company focused on urban youth
culture."  They were careful to underscore that "Platform is
internationally scalable." They were confident to announce that "Platform
believes that within three years it can build itself into the dominant
media company in its market." Pretty impressive.

Platform has a policy of never asking the race of their "users" but, based
on the shipping addresses where they send all the (mostly hip-hop) stuff
they sell, only 15% of their "users" are even marginally "urban."  It
seems everymotherfuckerson wants to be a "homey." Fubu rules!

No, there is no way that Kosovo is a particularly U.S. project.  Not the
U.S. Military, not the U.S. population. It's much more interesting than

Yes, Holbrooke is nominally an American. But, he's not now and never has
been a representative of the U.S of A. He's a long-time
"internationalist." He's a peacenik. He's a child of the 1960's. He's a
"dove." He wants to totally remake the world using bombs.

That's not a U.S. project. That's a technocratic utopian project.  
That's the project of an internationalist elite who are by no means to be
identified with the U.S. It's the flip-side of the WIRED project. Same
PoGO "revolutionary" program; two sides of the same coin. And, it's a
currency we should be very familiar with.

Last night (May 11), U.S. Public Television ran an unusual documentary in
its "Frontline" series.  In this remarkable show (for U.S. TV, at least),
the careers of Holbrooke and one "Snuffy" Smith were paralleled.  It seems
they were both there in Vietnam.  It seems that Smith became NATO
commander while Holbrooke became Balkan-czar. It seems that Smith and
Holbrooke fought bitterly over Bosnia.  Holbrooke was the "maximalist"
with the "broad mission."  Smith wanted to do the soldiering and stay away
from the policing. Smith got fired. Holbrooke (and Clark) took over.

The "Frontline" documentary directly called Holbrooke and his ilk "moral
imperialists" and "compassion warriors" who used bombing as "immaculate
coercion."  Instead of "ending the war" (the consistent objective of the
U.S.  military), the goal became "building the peace."  Like I said, this
was an unusual TV show.

The "Greater United States" has little to do with the U.S.  It is very
real, however, and has a very strongly unified sense of purpose but this
reality and this purpose doesn't originate with nor live very comfortably
in the U.S.  at large.  In fact, there is a very deep seated suspicion in
the actual U.S.  about those who promote a "Greater United States."  
That's why Americans can still own guns, for instance.

The "Greater United States" is much more of an attempt at a re-creation of
earlier empires -- particularly the British Empire of the late 19th
century (although some of those involved go all the way back to the Roman
Empire).  Whereas, the actual U.S. was formed to fight the British Empire.  
The actual U.S. was based upon the need to build a multi-ethnic
nation-state (a republic) strong enough to defend (and even close) its
borders, resist "free-markets" and to use the government to stimulate
industrial growth (read Hamilton's "Federalist Letters").  Surprisingly,
the actual U.S. still exists, although not particularly in elite
interantionalist policy circles.

Of the many ironies elevated by Kosovo, perhaps the greatest is the fact
that a generation of "anti-war" internationalist elitists are now pursuing
a relentless campaign to end the existence of the nation-state, thereby,
if they succeed, ending the existence of the United States of America.  
Isn't it delicious?

Meanwhile, protesters in China seem to think the United States is
responsible for all this evil. Okay, that's just the NYTimes version.  
I've been to China. The Chinese aren't nearly so stupid. Neither should
nettimers be so stupid.

Just as Ivo Skoric implies, this same internationalist elite responsible
for this war has been aggressively homogenizing what remains of "culture."  
The Global village is not only a very violent place (as McLuhan's 1968
"War and Peace in the Global Village detailed), it is also a very tribal
place.  It is fitting that the only "tribe" which has enough cachet to
spread all throughout the "village" is... black, "urban" youths.

Could it be that the kids of the world somehow know that they are being
herded into a new form of slavery?  So, they're getting ready by learning
all the right moves?  All you need to know is...

Yo!  'Sup?,

Mark Stahlman

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