Commentary on Between Two Ages by Zbigniew Brzezinski
By Alan Mercer
(From Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1971, Viking Press, New York)
Continuing, Brzezinski writes (around 1969) about a growing awareness of “global interdependence” and how global events intrude into our homes. He says this “evokes uncertainty” instead of making for a better comprehension of events (p. 22).
Feelings of insecurity are intensified by the explosion in scientific knowledge. The “sharing of new common perspectives” becomes more difficult as knowledge increases (p. 23).
He claims that we can no longer sustain traditional perspectives such as “primitive myths” or “historically conditioned ideologies” (p. 23).
In other words, even back then, he was observing that ordinary people are having their frameworks and ability to communicate with each other shredded.
I think Brzezinski disarms the reader by writing in a way that appears to be objective and often critical about the changes he discusses. The impression is sill conveyed to the reader that concepts such as “post-industrial” society, “global interdependence”, and enormous government subsidies to science are just natural stages in human development.
When commenting on H. G. Wells’ The Open Conspiracy, I compared the cultural and military imperialism of the globalist “cosmopolitan” revolution to a blender that grinds resistant (indigestible) cultures and traditions into mush.
In the same vein, Brzezinski discusses how America has the biggest effect on “all other societies”, prompting a change in their “outlook and mores”. The United States is the innovator, and is a “major disruptive influence” (p. 24). This contradicts the one-sided indoctrination that many of us received during the Cold War that the Soviet Union was the main source of societal revolution.
Remember that Brzezinski later became Carter’s national security advisor. The overall impression I get, frankly, is that Brzezinski believed the U.S. was much more effective in pushing the world towards a collectivized global order than the Soviet Union.
He describes America’s impact historically, at first, as idealistic because America was all about freedom. Later, the influence changed to being more materialistic (p. 25). I can’t be sure what he thinks about freedom or materialism, but that assessment sounds correct to me. He discusses how America’s association with ideals was tarnished by Vietnam, racial tensions and assassinations. Now, America’s main influence is scientific and technological (p. 25), which by the way, is in line with Francis Bacon’s descriptions in his utopian New Atlantis.
America spends “more on science and devotes greater resources to research than any other society.” A footnote mentions that, according to a 1968 congressional report, “current spending on research and development in the United States amounts to some $24 billion annually – about two-thirds financed by the Federal Government.” (p. 25)
Huge transfers of tax money from the people towards research and development obviously contradicts the idea many of us have that the U.S. Founding Fathers supposedly established a limited federal government with their constitution. But America is, in reality, at least since World War II, this enormous tax-collecting and tax-redirecting (redistributing) engine of science and technology, especially military technology. So how is this “limited” government? It’s not. And is it really for the “defense” of the people? Of course not.
The footnote continues: “The number of scientists, engineers, and technicians engaged in research and development totaled 1,159,500 in the United States.” (p. 26 )
He refers to American education as being “intellectually deficient” in many respects, but that the “broad base of relatively trained people enables rapid adaptation” of science and technology. America was particularly strong in the “frontier industries”, such as computers, lasers and nuclear power (p. 27).
An OECD report is referenced in a footnote, which states that American society was “trying to build its future on the progress of science and technology.” The OECD report says its technological projects “have an impact on the destiny of the whole nation, and it seems natural that all skills should be mobilized to cooperate. In this way industry and the universities and private organizations are associated with the Government project.” (p. 29)
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