Last year, when the Bolivian people fought back against brutal repression to force out the coup regime that the U.S. empire installed in 2019, the imperialists quietly went into panic mode. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked visibly discouraged at the news that the Movement for Socialism (MAS) Party’s Luis Arce was to become the country’s president. Just a year after Washington had used its terrorists to force out the previous MAS president Evo Morales, the indigenous proletarian movement had reversed the counterrevolution.
The 1697 Treaty of Ryswick legalized French control over the western third of the island of Hispaniola – a Spanish asset – under the name of Saint-Domingue. The colony proved to be a valuable spigot of wealth. In 1789, Saint-Domingue supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade. It was a greater source of income for its owners than the whole of Britain’s thirteen North American colonies combined. The labour of half-a-million slaves propped up the dazzling opulence of the French commercial bourgeoisie, and formed the hidden foundations of cities like Bordeaux, Nantes, and Marseille. In August 1791, after two years of the French Revolution and its ripple effects in Saint-Domingue, the slaves revolted.
Covid-19’s unparalleled U.S. death number, this last year’s irreversible unemployment of tens of millions of U.S. residents, the proliferation of fires throughout the last decade, the extreme heat within much of the country that’s forced many to evacuate, and the other destabilizing factors in the core of global imperialism come in the context of an intensifying class war. A class war that the CIA, the corporate media, the police state, and the other instruments of counterrevolutionary warfare in U.S. borders are intent to keep their pulse on as the conditions of the masses slip ever deeper into chaos.
The Republican Party – described by Noam Chomsky years ago as “the most dangerous organization on Earth” – is now a fascist party (I will develop this point further in a future report on the state-level Republican jihad against Critical Race Theory). The sheer equivalence some “radicals” posit between the dismal neoliberal Democratic and the white-nationalist Amerikaner GOP is false. Just for starters, try to imagine the self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or for that matter, the corporate liberal Nancy Pelosi winning a Congressional seat in Kentucky, Iowa, or Wyoming and the QANazi Marjorie Taylor Green being elected to the U.S. House from Brooklyn, Chicago, or San Francisco.
Modern imperialism, like the socioeconomic system it’s based upon, is a house of cards. Capitalism, the socioeconomic system that it depends on to continue functioning, wouldn’t be able to go on if its range of market control were to shrink too much. This is because capitalism’s natural tendency towards growth inevitably creates for it a crisis of overproduction, which can only be alleviated by perpetually expanding its market control. As Michael Parenti observed, there can be socialism in one country, but there can’t be capitalism in one country.
In this wide-ranging discussion on the Moderate Rebels podcast, Hudson addresses US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, the policies of the Joe Biden administration, Beijing’s economic model, cryptocurrencies, and dedollarization – the potential end to the dollar as the global reserve currency.
The story of the climate’s deterioration is intertwined with the story of class conflict, with the battle between the revolutionaries and the counterrevolutionaries. Much to the chagrin of U.S. national security technocrats, factors show that the instability and destruction from the climate collapse is most likely going to harm the strategic interests of the counterrevolutionaries far more than those of the revolutionaries.
Escalation has consequences. When a government pushes its people too far, a revolt is going to happen that the government may not be able to contain. We’ve seen this in the last year, when the latest series of murders by police following the coming of a new Great Depression resulted in the largest protest movement in U.S. history. And U.S. military experts understand that over these next several decades of ongoing living standards deterioration within the capitalist world, further unrest will come about should the government take its repressive efforts too far; a 2016 Pentagon training video implies that when the U.S. Army gets sent in to suppress internal revolts, it will need to err on the side of caution if it wants to avoid killing civilians and consequently destroying the state’s perceived legitimacy.
Nearly half a millennium ago Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince described three options for how a conquering power might treat states that it defeated in war but that “have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom: … the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.”
This essay comes with a caveat: that the process of descent into a failed state has already been very much at play. And for a long time, too. At least since the 2008 economic crash, the core of global imperialism has been transitioning into the kind of instability which its military has inflicted upon nations like Libya and Yugoslavia. And during this last year in particular, the collapse has been accelerating.
On 27 March, 2021, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released a press statement wherein he said:
“The United States is deeply concerned by growing signs of anti-democratic behavior and the politicization of the legal system in Bolivia in light of the recent arrest and pre-trial imprisonment of former interim government officials.”
Within today’s capitalist world, particularly the core imperialist countries, the system is held together by a type of cultural hegemony which fits our increasingly grim conditions. This cultural hegemony goes deeper than the set of myths and propaganda narratives that the imperialist media spins to justify the U.S./NATO empire’s perpetual war operations, or the free market fundamentalist dogma that our ruling class uses to justify its cruel neoliberal economic designs. These ideological constructs remain dominant in our culture because for the average person in our society, no cohesive alternative cultural narratives are detectable. It’s due to our lack of culture and guiding ideology that the hypocritical, dishonest ideologies which our ruling class has manufactured are allowed to go unchallenged.
by Yanis Iqbal
Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 12, 2021
Since January 4, 2021, student protests have been going on in Turkey. At Bogazici University in Istanbul, rectors are elected through free and fair elections by faculties. The only time in the institution’s history when these democratic processes were suspended was in the aftermath of the 1980 coup d’état. In today’s time, it is again being done.
There are two different versions of the great-power competition that Washington is waging against Russia and China. One is the version portrayed by the U.S. political and media establishment, which acts like Washington’s modern rival superpowers are eventually going to be subdued like the Soviet Union was. The other is the reality of the conflict, where Russia and China are strengthening their military alliance unlike was the case after the Sino-Soviet split, Russia is assured to win the proxy war with Washington’s puppet state Ukraine, and China has already arguably ended U.S. military primacy in the Indo-Pacific while making the Belt and Road Initiative’s success assured.
Capitalism—the system by which a relatively tiny group owns the means of production and enriches themselves through hoarding the workers’ surplus value, transforming the natural world into goods and services—is inherently destructive, exploitative, and polluting. Capital is concentrated in very few hands. The richest one percent own half of the world’s wealth (Frank, CNBC, 14 Nov 2017), and the three wealthiest humans in the United States own more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of the population of the country (Kirsch, Forbes, 9 Nov 2017). This trend of the rich getting richer only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billionaire wealth skyrocketed while the masses suffered.