Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The world's oldest profession?

... well, we all know the answer to that one.

And then along came the first entrepreneur—the genius who saw that the world's first professional needed ... management and representation. The first pimp invented white-collar work.

The second oldest racket? I'd put my money on the protection shakedown.

I've recently been coming around, in sort of a nebulous way, to thinking of of the Military Industrial Complex as perhaps the most sublime iteration of the protection racket.

In an article titled "It's an Awful Lot of Money to Makes Us Less Safe and Less Free," an anonymous defense analyst named Werther takes up this Pentagon-as-protection-racket meme in in a (depressingly) cutting manner:
Let us be plain. Any organization that employs lethal force, operates in secrecy, always gets what it wants, and is unaccountable to the citizens is indistinguishable from a protection racket. And if, in return for surrendering their wallets, the citizenry is made less safe (as the more objective intelligence reports have repeatedly warned about the $300+ billion Iraq war), then some hole-in-corner reform is not going to get us anywhere.
What will it take to tame the beast? Werther offers no solutions, but states that superficial reforms ain't gonna cut it. Sadly, I agree.

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