by Prabhat Patnaik
August 3, 2010
There is a very pervasive view that the current capitalist crisis consists exclusively of the financial crisis and, in so far as the financial crisis is now over, the crisis as a whole is over. This, I believe, is erroneous, and this is because, like Bob Brenner, I also believe that the current financial crisis itself is embedded within a deeper structural crisis of capitalism. This structural crisis has no signs of getting over, and as a result what we are going to see now is in fact a fairly protracted crisis, a crisis which one would be quite justified even in calling an impasse as far as capitalism is concerned at this moment. But before that let me try and develop a few things.
Watch as Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today’s economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown.
For most of its existence since the end of Reconstruction following the election of 1876, the Republican Party has been the party of reaction in the United States. In fact, the only reason that Rutherford B. Hayes, the GOP candidate in that disputed election, won was that he agreed to end Reconstruction, essentially turning over the Southern states to the former slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan. There was one bright exception to this rule, Theodore Roosevelt. There were two other exceptions, although not on the scale of the great reformer (and imperialist too). One was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, at the end of World War II did not know to which party he belonged. In fact, Harry S. Truman tried to recruit him to be the Democratic nominee in 1952. “Ike” chose the Republicans and defeated Robert Taft for the nomination.
The U.S. ended the four-day Invincible Spirit joint military exercise with South Korea on July 28, which consisted of 20 warships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 8,000 troops “in the sea, shore and the skies”  of South Korea and in the Sea of Japan near the coasts of North Korea and Russia.
On the same day the Taiwan News ran a feature entitled “China reports: the US means to set up another NATO in Asia,” which cited Chinese news media, scholars and analysts warning that “The US is establishing another ‘NATO’ in Asia to contain China as evidenced in the ongoing high-profile naval exercise with South Korea and a perceived intrusion in South China Sea affairs. [T]hese moves including explicit intervention in Asian affairs underline the US’s schemes to challenge China over its growing presence in this area….”
B is for billions. And b is for it’s hard to believe that they’ve done it again. The last time, even more money vanished, which I noted in my article, Following Pentagon trillions to Israel and 9-11. This was under the Zionist Dov Zakheim’s watch as Comptroller of the Pentagon from May 4, 2001, to March 10, 2004.
I wrote in that article, “At that time he was unable to explain the disappearance of $1 trillion dollars. Actually, nearly three years earlier, Donald Rumsfeld announced on September 10, 2001, that an audit discovered $2.3 trillion was also missing from the Pentagon books. That story, as I mentioned, was buried under 9-11’s rubble. The two sums disappeared on Zakheim’s watch.
Japan on Friday marked the 65th anniversary of the nuclear bomb attack on Hiroshima. U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos attended the annual ceremony that marks the event. It was the first time a U.S. official had done so. The New York Timesexplains the reason:
Until Friday, American officials had always skipped the annual ceremony, fearing their presence would renew the debate over whether the United States should apologize for the World War II bombings, which together killed more than 200,000 people in explosions so intense that many victims were vaporized, leaving only ghostly shadows on walls, while others died in agony from burns and radiation sickness.