Daniel BessnerJul 25, 2022
The Bland Corporation
On the RAND Corporation and the Defence-Intellectual Industrial Complex
New Books Network 2022
Welcome to week two of our Darts and Letters summer showcase! Darts and Letters is a show about the politics of ideas. We’re celebrating joining the New Books Network by bringing you some of our favourite past episodes of the show. Each week, we’re following a different theme. Last week’s was “ideas in strange places” - and today, we’re kicking off a week of episodes about the politics of education.
This episode asks a big and nefarious question: have intellectuals enabled the US empire? Our host Gordon Katic looks at the RAND corporation (famously lampooned in Dr. Strangelove as the BLAND Corporation), and the broader defence-intellectual industrial complex. Get ready to meet some of the boring calculator men who are partially responsible for our permanent state of war.
We’ll be launching brand-new episodes of Darts and Letters here on the New Books Network starting on September 18th - until then, stay tuned for more of our greatest hits.
——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————
- Have a look at Daniel’s book Democracy in Exile and check out his other books and articles on his academic homepage, including his co-authored volume The Decisionist Imagination: Sovereignty, Social Science and Democracy in the 20th Century.
- Listen to his podcast, American Prestige, including the latest episode special “Auf Wiedersehen, Merkel.”
- Read more of his popular writing in The Nation, including “Can We Live Without Twitter,” The New Republic, including “The Case Against Humane War,” and Jacobin, including “Everything You Need to Know About What’s Happening in Afghanistan — An Interview with Derek Davison.”
- For some further reading on the national security state, dig into Top Secret America: The Rise of the American Security State by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin.
- For more from Daniel, visit his personal homepage.
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Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our assistant producer for this episode was Ren Bangert. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop wrote the show notes and is a research assistant. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.