Scott Horton Interviews David Bromwich

Scott Horton, July 05, 2011

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David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses his article “The Bipartisan Case Against U.S. Involvement in Libya” for the Huffington Post, how divisive fringe issues are used to create political divisions that keep the public from realizing the real conflict is the state vs. everyone else, hypothetical cross-party 2012 presidential tickets: Obama-Palin and Paul-Kucinich, taking liberties with language, from Bush’s “enhanced interrogation” to Obama’s “limited military action,” and how the “hostilities” referred to in the War Powers Act have been reinterpreted by Obama’s lawyers to mean “US soldiers in harm’s way” in order to pretend the war in Libya is legal.

MP3 here. (20:05)

David Bromwich teaches literature at Yale. He has written on politics and culture for Huffington Post, The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is editor of Edmund Burke’s selected writings On Empire, Liberty, and Reform and co-editor of the Yale University Press edition of On Liberty.

5 Responses to “David Bromwich”

  1. I must confess that I was for the no-fly zone because it would have saved lives but Nato-Obama have taken this far beyond that. Also by branding Ghadafi a war criminal has made it impossible to reach a compromise since instead of a safe retreat into exile he now faces a certain death penalty which he probably deserves but, in this case, Peace ( or truce) is more valuable than Justice since it would wind things down and restore order.
    ' a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act' : Might as well say that there's a secret interpretation of, say, the Bible where the people in charge can twist morality to whatever they feel they need at the moment. I don't know for sure but I kinda suspect that may be true – in both cases.

  2. I've been reading a book about colonial America (Taylor of U.C. Davis is the author). The PTB have always been able to manipulate the peeps. For example, wealthy whites turned slavery into a matter of pigmentation, which got the poor whites on their side. (Then of course, further turned the slave community against itself by appointed black "drivers" and supervisors.) This stuff is as old as the hills and I don't know how you fight against it.

    The current guise is for elected officials to be deliberately incompetent, rail against govt to get themselves elected with money from the superwealthy. They get just enough voters who are disgusted with the govt to win the election, with their antigovt messaging paid for by the superwealthy, who also started the TP. The PTB are very practiced and very deliberate at manipulating the peeps.

  3. Kucinich is a wimp who always folds in the crunch. Looked like a whipped dog when he caved to O's medical plan. Too lazy to see if it's on youtube, but it's a classic.

  4. My my, you are one of the few I have seen the truth about the TP. I'm a libertarian, free market type, and I see the whole of this. The State, while constituting a class interest, is largely in service to the rich regardless of who is in power. Big Business needs the megastate to bail it out, keep out foreign competitors with tariff, and regulate to keep out new guys (while removing regulations only when inconvenient to them). The main thing they ask are for privileges, while accepting regulation when it keeps out competitors.

    In brief, it is TPB that benefit from the State. As much as they complained outwardly, inwardly they knew FDR was the best friend they had. Most of the stuff he implemented, they wanted and still wanted.

    Albert Jay Nock penned a small treatise "Our Enemy, The State". But, who is the 'our'? The poor, the migrants, the non-white, the worker, the struggling entrepreneur, the kooks, the crackpots, the fetishists-the marginalized of society. The rich, even the middle class, are not the enemy of the State-they are it's chief beneficiaries. The poor get the scraps, rightist complaints about people on welfare notwithstanding.

  5. For the record, what is the title of the book?

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