Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project

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Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms on indebted countries as well the manipulation of financial markets, the engineered  collapse of national currencies, the privatization of State property, the imposition of economic sanctions, the triggering of inflation and black markets.

The economic dimensions of this military agenda must be clearly understood. War and Globalization are intimately related. These military and intelligence operations are implemented alongside a process of economic and political destabilization targeting specific countries in all major regions of World.

Neoliberalism is an integral part of this foreign policy agenda. It constitutes an all encompassing mechanism of  economic destabilization. Since the 1997 Asian crisis, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program (SAP) has evolved towards a broader framework which consists in ultimately undermining national governments’ ability to formulate and implement national economic and social policies.

In turn, the demise of national sovereignty was also facilitated by the instatement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, evolving towards the global trading agreements (TTIP and TPP) which (if adopted) would essentially transfer state policy entirely into the hands of corporations. In recent years, neoliberalism has extend its grip from the so-called developing countries to the developed countries of both Eastern and Western Europe. Bankruptcy programs have been set in motion. Island, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, etc, have been the target of  sweeping austerity measures coupled with the privatization of key sectors of the national economy.

The global economic crisis is intimately related to America’s hegemonic agenda. In the US and the EU, a  spiralling defense budget backlashes on the civilian sectors of economic activity. “War is Good for Business”: the powerful financial groups which routinely manipulate stock markets, currency and commodity markets, are also promoting the continuation and escalation of the Middle East war. A worldwide process of impoverishment is an integral part of the New World Order agenda.

Beyond the Globalization of Poverty 

Historically, impoverishment of large sectors of the World population has been engineered through the imposition of IMF-style macro-economic reforms. Yet, in the course of the last 15 years, a new destructive phase has been set in motion. The World has moved beyond the “globalization of poverty”: countries are transformed in open territories,

State institutions collapse, schools and hospitals are closed down, the legal system disintegrates, borders are redefined, broad sectors of economic activity including agriculture and manufacturing are precipitated into bankruptcy,  all of which ultimately leads to a process of social collapse, exclusion and destruction of human life including the outbreak of famines, the displacement of entire populations (refugee crisis).

This “second stage” goes beyond the process of impoverishment instigated in the early 1980s by creditors and international financial institutions. In this regard, mass poverty resulting from macro-economic reform sets the stage of  a process of outright destruction of human life.

In turn, under conditions of widespread unemployment, the costs of labor in developing countries has plummeted. The driving force of the global economy is luxury consumption and the weapons industry.

The New World Order

Broadly speaking, the main corporate actors of the New World Order are

• Wall Street and the Western banking conglomerates including its offshore money laundering facilities, tax havens, hedge funds and secret accounts,

• the Military Industrial Complex regrouping major “defense contractors”, security and mercenary companies, intelligence outfits, on contract to the Pentagon;

• the Anglo-American Oil and Energy Giants,

• The Biotech Conglomerates, which increasingly control agriculture and the food chain;

• Big Pharma,

• The Communication Giants  and Media conglomerates, which constitute the propaganda arm of the New World Order.

There is of course overlap, between Big Pharma and the Weapons industry, the oil conglomerates and Wall Street, etc.

These various corporate entities interact with government bodies, international financial institutions, US intelligence.  The state structure has evolved towards what Peter Dale Scott calls the “Deep State”, integrated by covert intelligence bodies, think tanks, secret councils and consultative bodies, where important New World Order decisions are ultimately reached on behalf of powerful corporate interests.

In turn, intelligence operatives increasingly permeate the United Nations including its specialized agencies, nongovernmental organizations, trade unions, political parties.

What this means is that the executive and legislature constitute a smokescreen, a mechanism for providing political legitimacy to decisions taken by the corporate establishment behind closed doors.

Media Propaganda

The corporate  media, which constitutes the propaganda arm of the New World Order, has a long history whereby intelligence ops oversee the news chain. In turn, the corporate media serves the useful purpose of obfuscating war crimes, of presenting a humanitarian narrative which upholds the legitimacy of politicians in high office.

Acts of war and economic destabilization are granted legitimacy. War is presented as a peace-keeping undertaking.

Both the global economy as well as the political fabric of Western capitalism have become criminalized. The judicial apparatus at a national level as well the various international human rights tribunals and criminal courts serve the useful function of upholding the legitimacy of US-NATO led wars and human rights violations.

Destabilizing Competing Poles of Capitalist Development

There are of course significant divisions and capitalist rivalry within the corporate establishment. In the post Cold War era, the US hegemonic project consists in destabilizing competing poles of capitalist development including China, Russia and Iran as well as countries such as India, Brazil and Argentina.

In recent developments, the US has also exerted pressure on the capitalist structures of the member states of the European Union. Washington exerts influence in the election of heads of State including Germany and France, which are increasingly aligned with Washington.

The monetary dimensions are crucial. The international financial system established under Bretton Woods prevails. The global financial apparatus is dollarized. The powers of money creation are used as a mechanism to appropriate real economy assets. Speculative financial trade has become an instrument of enrichment at the expense of the real economy. Excess corporate profits and multibillion dollar speculative earnings (deposited in tax free corporate charities) are also recycled towards the corporate control of politicians, civil society organizations, not to mention scientists and intellectuals. It’s called corruption, co-optation, fraud.

Latin America: The Transition towards a “Democratic Dictatorship”

In Latin America, the military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s have in large part been replaced by US proxy regimes, i.e. a democratic dictatorship has been installed which ensures continuity. At the same time the ruling elites in Latin America have remoulded. They have become increasingly integrated into the logic of global capitalism, requiring an acceptance of the US hegemonic project.

Macro-economic reform has been conducive to the impoverishment of  the entire Latin america region.

In the course of the last 40 years, impoverishment has been triggered by hyperinflation, starting with the 1973 military coup in Chile and the devastating reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The implementation of these deadly economic reforms including sweeping privatization, trade deregulation, etc. is coordinated in liaison with US intelligence ops, including the “Dirty war” and Operation Condor, the Contra insurrection in Nicaragua, etc.

The development of a new and privileged elite integrated into the structures of Western investment and consumerism has emerged. Regime change has been launched against a number of Latin American countries.

Any attempt to introduce reforms which departs from the neoliberal consensus is the object of “dirty tricks” including acts of infiltration, smear campaigns, political assassinations, interference in national elections and covert operations to foment social divisions. This process inevitably requires corruption and cooptation at the highest levels of government as well as within the corporate and financial establishment. In some countries of the region it hinges on the criminalization of the state, the legitimacy of money laundering and the protection of the drug trade.


Originally published on 2016-06-16

Author: Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Note: The above text is an English summary of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s Presentation, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, May 17, 2016. This presentation took place following the granting of a Doctor Honoris Causa in Humanities to Professor Chossudovsky by the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN).

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