This last week, U.S. intelligence officials and their allies in the corporate media spread the evidence-free claim that Russia has put bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. This propaganda campaign was both an attempt to reinforce anti-Russian sentiment, and a subtle way to manufacture consent for the ongoing Afghanistan war. Which prompts one to ask: why is the empire so committed to perpetuating war? Why haven’t any of the wars it’s started since 9/11 been ended, and why does it evidently have every intention of making sure they don’t end?
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 30, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.
In 2014, the CIA-tied media outlet the Washington Post published an article titled “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer.” Its author Ian Morris reasoned that wars have been necessary to carry out what it called the “civilizing process,” wherein the European empires have grown through conquest and the United States has been created through the seizing of indigenous lands. Its argument was racist and biased in favor of Western capitalist interests, and this was the point. It acknowledged that the wars which brought the U.S. empire to power, and which the U.S. empire continues to wage, are good for “us”—the people in the imperial core who benefit from imperialist wars.
Global University for Sustainability on Apr 24, 2020
On 22-24 November 2019, International Seminar on Land, Finance, and De-dollarization was held in Macau, China, which was co-organized by Global University for Sustainability, Lingnan University, Southwest University, and the Federal University of Espirito Santo.
Since the United States became the main world power in the 1940s, opening corporations up to the countries the U.S. empire would come to exploit in the following decades, working class people in America have filled a role more disposable than had previously been the case. Labor could be easily extracted by U.S. corporations from the Third World, because capitalism was now centered around the largest empire in world history. But now the economic order is changing, and the U.S. capitalist class is needing to adapt.
Here we go again. Now that Bernie Sanders has completed his predictable circuit of loss and capitulation, leftists—those who stand for socialist and anti-imperialist, or even serious social-democratic and antiwar, politics—again confront the quadrennial quandary: Must one vote for the thoroughly neo-liberal and imperialist Democratic presidential nominee?
“The liberal class’ embrace of right-wing policies, its subservience to markets, bailouts for the rich and the crushing austerity for the poor and working classes has led to a legitimate rage among American workers. And in these moments of unfettered capitalism that human beings, as well as the natural world, become nothing more than commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse.”
Since the beginning of colonialism, there’s existed a category of middle class people who’ve shared certain economic and social interests with the capitalist class. These interests consist of the wealth, security, and opportunities that one receives while benefiting from imperialism. And since these benefits are shared both by the property-owning class, much of the working class, and even some of the poor within the core imperialist countries, the rich have been able to keep most of the people in these countries opposed to socialist revolution.
The biggest problem with the future is that you can’t know what it will be. When Ronald Reagan was elected United States president in 1980, we did not at the time realize a new era of capitalism had begun; that the ascension of Reagan in the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher in Britain a year earlier definitively brought the end of the Keynesian period. Less than a decade earlier Richard Nixon had said, “We’re all Keynesians now.”
The global economic crash that we’ve entered into is going to be more disastrous for capitalism than was the case for the Great Depression. This is because now, the system has no way to stabilize itself amid the widespread impoverishment and loss of profits that will ensue. After the Great Depression, the United States and the other core imperialist countries moved towards welfare statism, neutralizing the class conflict that had been arising amid the crisis. But no such fix will come during this even greater shock to the system.
Haruki Murakami said that “Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.” It’s with this self-awareness of my attraction to the apocalypse that I confront the converging crises of our era. These crises point towards an outcome that’s not as dire as the literal end of the world, but that still conjures the sense of fascinated suspense which Murakami described.
“To leave error unrefuted is to encourage intellectual immorality.” — Karl Marx
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I am not sure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
When liberal politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders say that we can solve inequality by taxing the rich, they’re trying to make it seem like the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is a legislative dispute instead of a class war. They’re proposing that the interests of the ruling oligarchs can be reconciled with our interests, and that all this will take is a rearrangement of the tax system.
Updated: Feb. 28, 2020
When you compare socialist countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, and the DPRK with neoliberal countries like the United States and Britain, a particular factor stands out in how their developments have differed: the socialist countries have vastly more social cohesion than their counterparts do. By this, I mean they have a lack of serious political polarization and a relatively small amount of ethnic or class divides. In these countries, most people think favorably of the governing parties, racial and religious violence aren’t sanctioned by the state, and strong social safety nets and firm checks on private business keep inequality from becoming too pronounced. These places aren’t perfect, but they lack the deep rottenness that pervades neoliberal societies.
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.