As production is moved to ever more distant locales, with ever lower labor and environmental standards, the corporations behind these moves want all barriers to the movement of raw materials and finished products removed. Thus the era of so-called “free trade” agreements. These agreements, which are written to elevate corporations to the level of national governments (and in practice, actually above governments), have become so unpopular thanks to the efforts of grassroots activists to expose them to public scrutiny that governments have become cautious about embracing new ones.
The systemic breakdown that our socioeconomic system is creating has the potential to do more than worsen the suffering of the people. Capitalism has survived so long because it’s been able to exploit the crises it creates, to profit off of wars, depressions, pandemics, and environmental catastrophes. Yet in certain instances, these crises have instead produced victories for the working class. World War I made the Russian revolution possible, World War II made the Chinese revolution possible, the living standards crisis that the IMF engineered across the Global South made the formation of many anti-imperialist governments possible. When the capitalists disrupt society, they do so with the risk that the outcome will be not greater profits but an end to their rule.
Economists Michael Hudson and Radhika Desai join Danny Haiphong to break down the economics of the Ukraine proxy war between NATO and Russia as the one-year anniversary of the military operation approaches.
In this episode of Geopolitical Economy Hour, economists Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson discuss inflation: what it is, what causes it, and what are the problems in how the Federal Reserve and other central banks respond to it.
Every so often, the World Bank puts out a paper that calls for better social protection or at least a somewhat better deal for working people. The public relations people there evidently believe we have very short memories.
Questions from Almayadeen TV, Lebanon by Mohammad Itmaizeh
1: In light of the conditions that Europe is experiencing, in terms of high energy prices and the repercussions on the industrial sector, like the closure of factories and the high cost of production. In your opinion do European countries have the capacity and resources to prevent industrial investments from “escaping”? Especially since the US plans in general to restore industry to its lands, thus, it may represent an opportunity to lure European industries to move to there and take advantage of cheap energy prices. This shift will have wide repercussions on Europe’s productive capacities and competitiveness, as well as on its trade balance. So, what happens to the position of Europe in the global economic system? Will it remain part of the capitalist center or deviate from it?
Prof. Hudson speaks on the nature of US financial dominance, the role of World Bank in developing countries, USA’s ability to run a huge balance of payment deficit, changes in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, the problems of US economy with post-industrialization, and the role of neoclassical economics in all this.
There is no respite from class warfare. Past annual Global Rights Index reports issued by the International Trade Union Confederation have invariably shown that there is no country on Earth that fully protects workers’ rights and the 2022 edition is not only not an exception but finds that repression of labor organizing is increasing.
The United States is considered the longest standing “democracy” by bourgeois thinkers because it’s never actually been a democracy, and has survived so long by undemocratically suppressing its proletariat. The jingoists who say it’s a republic and not a democracy are at least being honest about the nature of the social order they support. The USA was designed to be a modern version of Rome, an empire that only represented the interests of those who most directly benefit from the violence against the oppressed nations. Those being the rich, and the social base that’s bribed to align with the interests of the rich.
What are we to make of a Democratic Party that has embraces an election strategy that includes demobilizing the majority working-class non-Republican electorate; legitimizing right-wing agendas and narratives; seeks bipartisan cooperation with right-wing politicians such as Liz Cheney; refuses to attack archaic minority rule institutions including the Electoral College and the Senate filibuster; repeatedly backs down from hauling Donald Trump into court and funds far-right Republican candidates in this year’s primary elections, repeating the disastrous Hillary Clinton campaign’s “Pied Piper” ploy of promoting the supposedly “more beatable” Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries?