27 Feb 2009
Feminist writer Naomi Wolf discusses the ethical challenges President Barack Obama faces in dealing with special interest groups representing intelligence, surveillance and the defense industry. "I trust his intentions are good, but he's playing with fire," she says.
Wolf argues that what's needed is a massive grassroots- based democracy movement to hold Obama and the American Congress' feet to the fire to keep the pressure on so that reforms are not superficial.
She contends that a great deal of money is being made right now in shredding the American constitution. Why? A third of the American economy before the fall of the Berlin Wall was devoted to manufacturing cold war weapons systems. So when the Berlin Wall fell, companies such as Boeing were facing declining market share - unless they could find a new global enemy - hence the pursuit of the global war on terror.
These companies, she says, switched to security and surveillance technology, as it is in their interests to hype the narrative about the global war on terror to maintain their market share.
According to Wolf, companies are trading on Wall Street for future profits that are going to be made from changing China into a surveillance state.
Wolf argues that the big challenge going forward, will be fighting the efforts of special interest groups who want to turn nations into benign police states, as opposed to vibrant states where citizens' actions and the forces of democracy hold sway.