To the editor:
The Reader is certainly not to be commended for printing an article on the whole notion of conspiracy by the likes of David Futrelle ["Who's Responsible for This?" July 28] when it could have done Chicagoans a real service by giving Michael Parenti some press--in a manner similar to that of smaller publications -like Steamshovel Press and Prevailing Winds. At least Parenti, the author of such outstanding books as Democracy for the Few and Power and the Powerless, has something of value to offer on the subject.
One of Robert Anton Wilson's best quips is: "Anyone in the United States today who isn't paranoid must be crazy." I'll give Futrelle the benefit of the doubt, though, and won't argue on the basis of Wilson's exceedingly astute observation that he's just a lunatic--not that Futrelle wouldn't deserve to be dismissed so easily given his own eagerness to suggest that anybody trying to get to the bottom of things is wacky, unhinged, and so on. Because of this thoroughly demeaning, disrespectful, arrogant attitude -of his, though, we also can't let him off the hook by simply characterizing him as just another naive, ignorant airhead. And wouldn't it have been nice to skewer him with a slight modification of one of his own statements, such as: "In America those with (ideas like his) end up retreating from the world of real politics to the safer havens of their own minds--to a kind of politics of the imagination, a politics responsible to no one and indifferent to its real-world consequences."
In reality, calling Futrelle a lunatic or an airhead would be much too charitable because what we actually have here is a disgusting apologist for the Economic Elite of America and the worldwide misery/evil its technofascist system has created. When he writes in such a manner as to have us believe that the following notions are idiotic his vile pen drips with the worst kind of hypocrisy: "There's evil simply because the bad people have power," "hidden powers rule the world," and the government is characterized by "boundless, cabalistic evil." Anybody who has read--just for starters--the aforementioned Democracy for the Few, Lundberg's The Rich and the Super-Rich, Domhoff's Who Rules America, Sutton's The Secret Establishment, Bagdikian's Media Monopoly, Blum's The CIA: A Forgotten History, and Herman's The Real Terror Network knows there is a hell of a- lot of truth to these supposedly "paranoid" notions.
As Parenti doesn't hesitate to point out in his Prevailing Winds article, the gangster state that America has become--under the firm control of its conspiring Economic Elite--has murdered and assassinated tens of thousands, if no-t millions, "in order to prevent social change, to destroy any kind of redistributive politics--any kind of government, any kind of social movement that is not willing to reduce its people to economic fodder for the Fortune 500." In fact, in this same article he goes on to note that "what makes the assassination of JFK so compelling is how nakedly the gangster nature of the state is revealed." I refuse to believe an admittedly clever ever bullshit artist like Futrelle isn't aware of the fact that the super-rich (basically the politically active elements of what is generally known as the Eastern Establishment) calls the shots in this increasingly technofascist plutocracy.
Thus I don't believe Futrelle can even cop a plea on the basis of a psychological condition Parenti calls "conspiracy phobia." This intellectually limiting condition prevents one from accepting any evidence of conspiracy, no matter how compelling. One so afifticted is prone to say: "Do you actually think there's a group of people sitting around a room plotting things?" To which Parenti facetiously replies: No, th-ey meet on park benches or they jump out of airplanes and talk while they free-fall." And then, in order to make his feelings perfectly clear, he adds: "Of course, they sit around in rooms! Where the hell else would they sit?"
I'd like to know who is more likely to conspire than the Economic Elite of America. Apparently, Parenti would like to know, too, because he writes: "No one confabulates and plans than the political and corporate elites of America. No one does more consciously self-interested policy study--much of it in secrecy. They have whole professions in the national security state and spend billions of dollars, dedicated to making the world safe for their interests." And their interests sure as hell aren't our interests. With this particular line of bullshit, Futrelle proves himself to be an enemy of the 99.5 percent who don't fall into the category of super-rich. He's also an enemy of the truth. In fact, as far as he and his constituency of one-half of one percent are concerned, searching for the truth does "more harm than good." And, given the vile nature of the truth surrounding the various conspiracies of the Economic Elite, it's easy to see why they would want to discourage us from digging it out.
Gary "vent some serious spleen" Green
PS: I'd like to see Futrelle attempt to claim he isn't an apologist for fascism merely because he has some unkind words for militia members. Assuming all militia members are the fascists the mainstream media would now have us believe they are, anybody with half a brain in his/her head would know that they were simply serving as diversionary fodder for the real fascists firmly ensconced in the Economic Elite.