|(l-r)Thorne, Good, Wilson, DeHaven-Smith (head), Witt|
Concurrent Session III, Session #1Really, there are women at this conference, they play a big role, but I'm afraid the two panels I've covered so far are just men.
Saturday June 1, 2013
Panel: "Between Rocks and Hard Places, Dystopias and Utopias: Of Cold War, Camelot, and Beyond”
Cold War hysteria made John F. Kennedy's peace overtures to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev—first in Cuba, then Indochina—into the dystopian nightmares of the military industrial complex (MIC) and its allies. The usage of Kennedy’s assassination to render salient and vivid the MIC’s preferred narrative of an evil other poised against a forever virtuous America, a "City on the Hill", links the deaths of the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and scores of others. We know from the Church Commission hearings the extent to which civil rights activism was tarred with communist hysteria by the machinations of the FBI and its COINTELPRO units. Presumptive dystopian vistas fabricated by state secrecy, counter-insurgent propaganda (the "conspiracy theory" and “red scare” memes) and media manipulation form a clear and coherent pattern of elite usurpation of government authority in U.S. history over the past several decades. Today war mongering and profiteering culminate with the dystopian nightmare of a forever militarized US devoted to Orwellian contradictions, teetering perilously towards the very real nightmare vista William Sloane Coffin limned succinctly: "Hell is truth seen too late." This panel assembles papers that key into topical areas #1 and #2 of this year’s PATNet conference call, examining direct and indirect political and administrative consequences of President Kennedy’s assassination and the legacy of permanent war zeitgeist now inscribed throughout U.S. governing institutions.
Convener: Matthew Witt, University of LaVerne
“The Dystopian Turn in America’s Political Lexicon after the Assassination of President Kennedy”
Lance deHaven-Smith, Florida State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The assassination of President Kennedy is widely considered to have marked a turning point in American politics and civic culture. Almost immediately after the assassination, the Kennedy years were described in utopian terms as “Camelot.” This label was associated with youth, prosperity, progress, and grandeur, and this is how the “Kennedy Era,” as it is now called, continues to be viewed. Eventually looking back, Americans viewed themselves as having lost pride and faith in the nation’s political class, its optimism about the nation’s future, and its trust in government. As scores of polls indicate,
“Dystopian Crucible: The Kennedy Assassinations and the Fate of “American Liberalism”
Aaron Good, Temple University
Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, this paper reexamines the consequences of the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers. It finds that rather than being stochastic and ultimately insignificant phenomena, the assassinations were pivotal events with enormous structural effects on American politics in the decades since. Questions examined include the
Dystopian Spectacle and the False Flag Mechanism: Dallas, The Gulf of Tonkin, and Watergate
Eric Wilson, Monash University
Abstract: As David Kaiser has recently demonstrated in his magisterial The Road to Dallas: the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 2008), the stage-managing of self-induced political crises and states of emergency—the ‘false flag’—became part of the standard operational procedure of the US ‘dual state’ over the course of the Cold War. Discussing Operation Northwoods and its uncanny resemblance to the ‘Cuban angle’ of both Lee Harvey Oswald and Dallas, Kaiser reveals how the Kennedy assassination, even if it were the handiwork of a ‘lone gunman’, can be cognitively situated into the wider networks of parapolitical relationships of the dual state. Whatever the truth of Dallas, the ‘false flag’ was successfully deployed in the Gulf of Tonkin crisis of August 1964, leading to direct and
Moderator: Kym Thorne, University of South Australia
There was another paper scheduled, but the presenter didn't make it. Judging from the name, I'm guessing missing the presenter is a woman.
“Dystopian Denial: How Failure in Public Discourse Fuels the Drug-Security Relationship”
Laurie Manwell, University of Guelph
Utopia” is inextricably linked with Western hegemony and violence and cannot be productively rehabilitated unless the denial of a dystopian reality is destroyed. Since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Western "drug-security relationship" has fueled America’s economic and military influence over the rest of the world--notoriously revealed by the Iran-Contra scandal. Collective denial of such “deep state events” (global criminal syndicates) is a way to control information related to drug trafficking, human security, and war policy. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) now emphasizes research “based on a public health and human rights approach,” including “drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation efforts focused on decreasing vulnerability among at-risk groups, including women, youth, prisoners, people who have been trafficked and people living with HIV/AIDS” (UNODC, 2010, p. 43). Yet collective denial of the “the twin forces of sanctioned violence and drugs” has permitted the metastasis of the “deep state” of which there will be no recompense until “these interactions are publicly exposed and debated” (Scott, 2010, p. 16). If not, we face the looming prospect of “the dystopic future toward which the United States is inexorably heading[…]when ordinary people are threatened with imprisonment for petty offenses while they see elites illegally spying, invading, torturing, and plundering with nearly total impunity” (Greenwald, 2011, p. 273-4). This paper examines the role government and public administration can and should play to subvert contemporary utopian imaginings founded on misleading campaigns linking drugs and violence.