swede:So the discussion continues, and here's my reply:
you should indeed write more if you are inclined to do so, especially about the US occupation of europe, as you call it. i am sceptical about this thesis, but would be interested in hearing more.
thnks to everyone else as well, for the many interesting comments.
Thanks or your interest, and yes I will write about it. But it's not a thesis, it's a fact (as pointed out by Jean-Baptiste earlier in the discussion). There are indeed US troops occupying Germany, Italy and several other European countries.
Gaventa's theory of power shows that power is established in three stages: 1) first by the superior means to apply violence, 2) secondly, once the occupation is a fact, by the building of institutions, and 3) finally by mind control so that the opressee no longer sees himself as oppressed.
The United States always call their occupations liberation. The fact that the oppressees buy into this and are in denial about the fact that we are occupied by US troops shows how completely the US power over Europe is established, it has reached the third step since long ago.
Furthermore, according to Gaventa's three-step approach, each stage rests upon the fundament of the previous stage. It is not possible to build your institutions before you have militarily defeated the country you invade (try to imagine the US building institutions in Germany before 1945). The institutions in turn supports the brainwashing. So all power ultimately rests upon the superior ability to apply violence. So if you want to analyze the power situation, look for who's holding the gun. He's the one calling the shots. Only someone having reached stage-three brainwashing could miss such an obvious fact.
So let's repeat Gaventa's three stages of power. At the first stage the losing side has access to the arena and are struggling there. The arena could be the battlefield or a political arena (this model works equally well to describe the situation of e.g. the Sweden Democrats). At the second stage the losing side tries to enter the arena but is effectively blocked out by the institutions built by the winner. At the third stage the losing side has even lost its awareness of its self-interest and is no longer even trying to enter the arena. They have completely accepted to be oppressed, but actually do no longer see themselves as oppressed. They no longer see it as a conflict; the power of the winner has eaten itself all the way into their brains. This is the moment when the power is total and complete. But also the moment when an inattentive observer will say that there is no conflict of interest in such a place -- only peace, harmony and friendship.
Allegedly the US troops are in Germany as their friends and allies. But you would find that it would be as impossible to put German troops in the US as building a church in Saudi Arabia. What does that tell you?
This power structure has to be fought by unwinding it in the reverse order that it was built. At the third level the brainwashing makes the people consider expression of their self-interest as thought crimes. This hampers people from joining the Sweden Democrats or even to vote for them. At the second level the Sweden Democrats (once people have joined the party in substantial numbers) are blocked out from the medial arena, and thereby effectively blocked out of the political arena. At the first level -- which the Sweden Democrats have not entered yet, but probably will in the next election -- they will continue to lose for quite a long time more. And the brainwashing and the institutional oppression will still be operative until they have won on the political arena, that is until they are in government.
The same applies to the US occupation of Europe. First the people has to be made aware of the fact that we are indeed occupied by US troops (I'm sure I will be able to provide people who doubt about this with documents and pictures that would convince you that there are indeed US troops in Germany, Italy etc.). But we have to get to the first and basic level to break the power, i.e. the US troops have to leave Europe. And the best way to get to this is to break the power-holding institutions, in this case specifically NATO, which is the fundament for all the other power-holding institutions.
Finally, if the US wants to make the point that they are not occupying Germany etc., their best "argument" would be to withdraw their troops. If they use this argument I will admit my defeat in this debate.