See: UNIFIED COMBATANT COMMAND
CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
See: THINK TANK
CENTER VERSUS PERIPHERY THEORY
A theory of the social world today which focuses on the exploitation and/or oppression of the “peripheral” countries of the world by the “central” dominant countries. It sometimes seems that the purpose of using this terminology is to avoid the word ‘imperialism’.
See also: DEPENDENCY THEORY, NORTH VS. SOUTH THEORY, Samir AMIN
See: BANK, FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA)
The most important of the many intelligence and covert operations agencies of the United States government. It is notorious for overthrowing elected governments in other countries (such as in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954), for assassinations, torture and virtually every other crime that can be thought of, all in the service of U.S. imperialism.
The CIA is also notorious for its incompetence and stupidity when it comes to actually gathering intelligence! (It failed to foresee the collapse of the revisionist Soviet Union or the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda, for example.)
The death toll incurred by CIA activities and by governments that have been installed with the help of the CIA runs into the millions, with covert operations ranging from Indochina, Indonesia, Latin America and Africa which include horrific episodes of torture and political persecution. A recurring CIA specialty seems to be to support forces that later turn against the U.S. government and that must then be “neutralized”. (This phenomenon is part of the more general category known as “blowback”.)
CIA activities are occasionally “investigated” when some information about them comes to light, with some minor reforms or reprimands enacted. But these are at most cosmetic and invariably totally ineffective, as demonstrated by the revelations of still more nefarious activity later on. The CIA has been nicknamed “Capitalism’s International Army” (among other more unflattering titles, like “Cocaine Import Agency”, for its purported role in starting the inner-city “crack” cocaine epidemic) and the operatives of the agency (at least of its covert activities wing) are highly indoctrinated servants of American capitalism who see themselves as its guardians. The CIA is currently involved in activities throughout the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, where it is busy trying to subdue local Islamist militias and terrorist groups (i.e., those who threaten U.S. strategic designs on the region). One particularly ugly aspect of this activity is the kidnap and torture flights known as “renditions”, where suspects are flown to countries where torture is routinely practiced. —L.C.; S.H.
CENTRAL ORGANIZING THEORY
All theories in science are constructed for the purpose of organizing and explaining a diverse group of data, and as such all theories may be viewed as organizing theories. However, in any specific sphere of science there is usually one central theory, or at least only a very few such theories, without which the whole subject has little coherency and makes little overall sense. This is what we mean by a central organizing theory. In biology, for example, the theory (or fact) of evolution is often appropriately considered to be the central organizing theory. In geophysics, the theory of plate tectonics is now the central organizing theory. In the science of revolutionary Marxism the central organizing theory is historical materialism.
[In Marxist usage:] Views and positions which attempt to find a “middle ground” between revolutionary Marxism, on the one hand, and liberalism or revisionism, on the other hand. In other words, centrism is in practice usually a weaselly form of revisionism itself.
It should be noted, however, that merely from the fact that one holds a view which is in between two extremes, it does not follow that one is a “centrist” in the Marxist sense. For example, revolutionary Marxism itself holds a view in between pacificism and the sort of wild-eyed anarchism that views violence as always being appropriate, no matter what the circumstances.
See also: IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE—Within the Revolutionary Movement [Lenin quote]
Dictionary Home Page and Letter Index
MASSLINE.ORG Home Page