Stan Goff Awtt Portrait

Stan Goff

Author, Veteran, Anti-war Activist : b. 1951

“The physical reality is that ‘sustainable growth’ is an oxymoron. A soft energy landing from the last two hundred years of development will require massive conservation, especially by the overdeveloped countries, and that can only happen in a nongrowth (and therefore noncapitalist) society. The choice is now becoming either capitalism or humanity.”


Stan Goff grew up in a staunchly conservative, anti-communist family. In 1970, he joined the Army. Goff retired in 1996 as a Special Forces Master Sergeant. During his tenure, he was sent to Vietnam, Haiti, Panama, Colombia, and Somalia, participating in several different military attachments. Goff would later write that his time spent in Latin America shifted his politics to the left. His experiences, particularly in Haiti, are recounted in his 2000 book, Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti.

In between stints in the military, Goff studied literature and philosophy at Garland Community College, Henderson State College, and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Soon after retirement, Goff began a career in activism, studying Marxism and briefly joining the Communist Party USA.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Goff became active as a speaker against an invasion of Iraq. His status as a veteran gave him credence and popularity with anti-war activists. In 2003, Goff wrote “Bring ‘Em On?” for the online journal Counterpunch. It was a response to the taunting phrase “Bring ’em on!” uttered by President Bush regarding Iraqi guerrillas.  In the article, Goff compared the Iraq war to his experience in Vietnam. He wrote of being told by a fellow veteran that “All Vietnamese were the enemy…this was a race war. Within one month, it was apparent that everything he told me was true, and that every reason that was given to the American Public for the war was not true.” He ended by stating that President Bush’s “legitimacy has been eroded as even the mainstream press has discovered that the pretext for the war was a lie. It may have been control over the oil, after all.”

The popularity of this article led to the formation, with other veterans and activists, of the organization Bring Them Home Now.

His 2004 book, Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century, critiques US foreign policy. According to the publisher, Goff “depicts the new ‘American Empire’ as over-reliant on technology, ignorant of the lessons of history, and backward in the stereotyping of other countries.”

Goff began studying and writing about feminism, particularly how it relates to war. This re-examination is brought together in his article “Sex and War”, where he argues that war is not an instinct of man, but rather, “men are made into killers by governments, corporations, and systems of power.” His latest book is a compilation of essays called Energy War.

Stan Goff´s  is an active voice on the Internet. He is a frequent contributor at The Huffington Post. He also maintains his own blog called Feral Scholar, and a website at. He is a principal member of the website Insurgent American, that defines insurgents as “pretty much anyone who disagrees with the dominant consensus and does even a little bit more than talk about it…we [insurgents] exist to promote a fundamental transformation of power relations within our society.”


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