B.F. Skinner in the preface to his 1948 book Walden II broached the subject of those with the intellectual superiority having the obligation to control people for their own good now that we had the psychological tools to accomplish that end. That was the whole theory behind Walden II. Milton Friedman during the same period was just starting to theorize an extreme form of Capitalism. Both had succumbed to supremacy theories even though it was not about race but science, ideology and economics. Neither one promoted torture as a necessity or genocide against those who held different beliefs but wherever Free Market Capitalism has risen it has been accompanied by brutal forms of torture, jailing, and the killing of political opponents all to achieve behavior modification.
The obvious question is should theorists be held responsible for the use of torture and deaths of thousands because of the use and or misuse of their theories, and to a lesser degree the idea that we have a right to use techniques like behavior modification and medications on people because those in power have determined what appropriate behavior should be. In the present, are we intentionally labeling those who question the status quo as mentally ill and institutionalizing them to teach them our desired behaviors in a milder form of what techniques governments would use to install Free Market Capitalism the world over.
But why do we give the authorities this power, and haven't some of the methods come out of America's clandestine experiments with torture in the 1950's and 1960's by Ewen Cameron at McDill University and funded by the CIA?
These torture and behavior modification techniques involved use, without the person's awareness of drugs like LSD, and sensory deprivation, and shock therapy, as a means to wipe the persons sense of self and belief system clean and then rebuild it in the approved manor. America has created some of the most extreme and brutal forms of torture in history that have been used extensively, first in Latin America with the CIA and Friedman's Chicago School of Economics backed coup d'état in Chile removing the popularly elected Salvadore Allende to put in place the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet.
After Chile came Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, then eventually Asia, and Africa and now as we approach our debt ceiling limit and impending default the United States. In every country save the United States, though we show police state signs and symptoms, Milton Friedman's Free Market ideology has required terror, torture, and mass killings to behaviorally modify the people into acceptance of a program that creates gross inequality and poverty for the vast majority of a nations citizens and curtails expression of civil rights while giving vast wealth to a chosen few.
America just didn't begin using torture in Iraq. We perfected it in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and other parts of the globe in the 1970's and now we don't even bother to pretend we don't use torture we use the self same justifications as Pinochet in Chile to justify what we have done to the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. But make no mistake they are the same techniques that grew out of Cameron's experiments in the 1950's and 1960's labeled MKUltra mind control and contained, as Melanie Klein pointed out in her book Shock Doctrine, in the CIA Kubark manual.
One of the ironies of Melanie Klein's 2007 book was the notation that in 1976 Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize for Economics. In 1977 Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace prize for confronting the torture and brutality in countries that had installed Friedman's Free Market Economics in Latin America. But we continue to pretend there is no connection and while America killed Saddam Hussein and sought to bomb Assad for brutal crimes our government, for over forty years, has supported even more brutal leaders the world over including Saddam and Assad when it suited our purposes..
In every country that has installed Free Market Economics the first ones identified are Liberals, Progressives, organized labor leaders, and intellectuals to be rounded up tortured, jailed and killed. Not because of anything but that they are organized and effective in opposition to Free Market policies and brutal greed these policies reward. These are the self same targets of Right Wing extremists in this country who are also America's proponents of Free Markets. Is that by accident?
Here we sit within days of a what could be a debt ceiling economic melt down that could occur as early as Thursday of this week. Given that Free Market economics has usually required economic and physical shock and awe to the populace so they will not resist, it occurs to me to ask is this how America slips into complete Free Market extremism and while most Americans are disoriented and confused in sneak the Right Wingers to put most of ALEC legislation in place with the police state able to enforce their will.
I was told as young man when I thought, because of a lack of life experience, that I had all the answers that only a fool has no doubt. The Right Wing has no doubt and they have the belief in their superiority to make contemplating an end to America's democratic experiment a real possibility. I guess we will know soon.