The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars.
I want to argue from a different perspective, focusing on the increasing subdivision of markets, the deepening autonomy of political action from economic development, the greater threat of military interventions and increasing political accommodation. I believe that we will experience a radical making and remaking of political and economic integration, East and West, within and without nations states. ‘States Rights’ will re-emerge as an antidote to globalization. Big countries will compete in regional wars with limited commitments but with global goals.
Catastrophic developments are unlikely but radical incremental changes will be frequent and have cumulative consequences.
To understand these important trends, it is important to analyze and discuss the major national actors in this panorama – starting with the United States.
Trends in the US
The present and near future of the US is and is not about the Trump Presidency and its domestic opposition.
The struggles between the Congress and the President have not produced major changes in the global position of the United States. The US continues to impose sanctions on Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Its trade with China grows. The military exercises and threats against North Korea raise the specter of nuclear war. In other words, incremental and inconsequential activity accompany the fiery rhetoric. Corporate economic policies benefit from the state’s largesse, but are divorced from everyday politics. What is most significant, ‘markets’ have fragmented or disconnected: Stocks rise, but productivity stagnates. Corporate debt skyrockets, but high tech profits boom. Exports and imports move in opposite directions. Jobs increase and wages decrease.
There are one, two, many markets, each operating on similar principles, all deepening the concentration of wealth and the interlock of corporate directorates.
Just as there are several markets, there are multiple centers of political leadership. Specifically, the US is a multi-polar ‘Presidency’. For all the talk about ‘Trump’, policy and strategy are defined, promoted and opposed in many centers of decision making. In general terms, the intelligence, military, media, financial, legislative, trade and international policy elites are mired in rivalries as well as temporary alliances, making strange bed-fellows. Moreover, new international power configurations have entered and appropriated positions of power.
Who rules America? This question should be rephrased to take into account the plurality of authoritarian self-serving elites totally divorced from the majority of the manipulated public.
Nominal ‘President’ Trump shifts foreign policy decisions according to the interests of multiple domestic and overseas power centers. Trump argues against and is opposed to multilateral trade agreements while favoring unilateral, US-centered pacts. Despite his rhetoric, nothing of the sort has emerged. Trade with Asia, Europe and Latin America has increased. China, Japan, India, Germany, Korea, Canada and Mexico remain centers for US exports and imports. Bankers, multinational corporations, Silicon Valley billionaires continue to over-ride Trump’s stated agenda.
Trump argued for reconciliation with Russia and was threatened with impeachment. The Congress, the intelligence agencies, the legislature and NATO contradict, reverse and redirect the US both toward and away from nuclear confrontations.
Trump proposes to renegotiate trade with Asia, particularly with South Korea, Japan and China.
Instead, the Pentagon, the media, the neo-cons and the Japanese militarist elite dictate nuclear confrontation with North Korea and threats against China. (Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is the grandson of the ‘Butcher of Manchuria’ Kishi Nobusuke.) The business, financial and Silicon Valley elite challenge the ‘America First’ ideologues, the Pentagon and local US manufacturers over China. Meanwhile thousands of container ships carry raw materials and merchandise between China and the US, their captains waving to the handful of US warships patrolling a few piles of rocks in the South China Seas.
Trump flourishes his threats against the European Union and the World Trade Organization and then hops on his jet to Davos to socialize with the German, French, British and American ‘Free-Traders’.
The big decisions are the non-decisions. The continuities of policies and the elites, at best simply deepening the prior policies that promote financial markets, depress wages and multiply local wars and military confrontations. The decisive decisions of 2018 are those which are not made by Trump, but by his allies and adversaries at home and abroad.
Trump’s Marginal America First
A close-up of the marginal decision-making, bypassing Washington would include: the North-South Korea conciliation; Russia-China agreement over US sanctions; Israel ’s overt power grab against the Palestinians; Iran’s challenge to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and the Pakistan-Taliban ‘covert’ alliance.
Washington ’s marginalization is evident in the economic spheres. The US stock market booms but productivity declines; profits surge but worker life expectancy drops; immense concentration of wealth parallels a rise in maternal and infant mortality; American youth have the highest chance of dying before adulthood among all industrialized countries. Mortality has replaced mobility.
Washington is the center of intense warfare over inconsequential issues.
Beyond US marginalization, new regional power centers have emerged and successfully annihilated or neutralized US clients. Turkey is a striking example. Ankara has attacked and undermined the Pentagon’s plans for an armed Kurdish client force controlling Northern Syria. Iraq has over-run the US-Israeli backed Kurdish militias under the Barzani warlords in Kirkuk. The Taliban are moving from the Afghan countryside and mountains and staging almost daily uprisings in the urban centers and capital Kabul. The Venezuelan government has effectively defeated the US-backed uprisings in Caracas and other cities. The US puppet regime in Kiev has failed to conquer the ethnic Russian separatist enclaves in the Donbass region where a de facto government operates with Russian support.
Let us recognize that marginality, retreats and defeats do not spell the ‘end of Empire’; but let us also admit that the competing sectors of the US economy (stocks, bonds, technology and profits) are in a dynamic phase, even if they are heading for a major correction. The probable reason is because the economy operates independent of the political system, the turmoil in Washington and the US marginality abroad.
The mass media-propagates domestic partisan conflicts thru scandal-mongering. Its vision of an impending collapse and demise of Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China have not a whisper of influence on the real dynamics of global market forces. China grows by 7% and all the major US-EU economic players from Airbus to Amazon, fight to join Beijing’s multi-polar markets. Markets ignore, if not flourish with, government shutdowns. Markets ignore the latest eruptions from the Pentagon, ‘The New Military Strategy’ against China and Russia. South Korean businesses embrace US markets while seeking to secure access to North Korea’s skilled labor force.
Washington’s decisions to deny the reality that the future requires increasing productivity via a skilled, healthy and well-paid domestic labor force dooms the US to a downward spiral of political marginality, military futility and robust bombast. The media, the pundits and political elite ignore the fragmentation of US power and the separation of military and market forces – each going its own way. Class inequalities and rising working class mortality rates may encourage immigration but it also undermines the foundation of American influence. A ruling class rules by linking a unified state to a dynamic market, producers to the consumers, importers to exporters and increasing wealth to rising wages.
Trump and anti-Trump antics are irrelevant at best and a destructive sideshow at worst. The foundations of the US state and its markets are substantial but crumbling. What is important is not the status quo, but its direction and structures.
Prolonged wars at the margins of state power or Secretary of Defense Mattis’ threats of global conflicts with world powers, like Russia and China, to ‘protect the US standard of living’ will inevitably and inexorably lead to deeper fissure between the US economy and the militarist state. US political institutions, President or Congress, utterly fail to come to terms with the real economic dynamics of the existing world market.
They still confuse rising stock prices and profits with the long-term factors of growth and stability. Let’s think about ‘death on the installment plan!’
Originally published on 2018-01-28
Author: Prof. James Petras
Source: Global Research
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag TerrorIn the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria.This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasionsadmitted their part in the ...
Tributes to Zoran Djindjic, the assassinated prime minister of Serbia, have been pouring in. President Bush led the way, praising his “strong leadership”, while the Canadian government’s spokesman extolled a “heralder of democracy” and Tony Blair spoke of the energy Djindjic had devoted to “reforming Serbia”.
In western newspaper obituaries Djindjic has been almost universally acclaimed as an ex-student agititator who bravely led a popular uprising against a tyrannical dictator and endeavoured to steer his country into a new democratic era.
But beyond the CNN version of world history, the career of Zoran Djindjic looks rather different. Those who rail against the ...
Imagine that Vladimir Putin were not a murderous autocrat and kleptocrat who has spent his fourteen years in power living up to his KGB past and dragging Russia ever back towards Communist autocracy, illiberalism, and expansionism. Imagine that instead he were one of the greatest leaders that Russia has had, whose policies have helped produce a massive rise in living standards and life expectancy, recuperation of national pride, and enforcement of the rule of law, who has tackled kleptocrats and gangsters wisely and well, whose foreign policy has on balance been realistic, diplomatic, and conducive to peace, who has presided ...
This last Friday it became public record that FBI Director James Comey reopened the Hillary Clinton email server investigation after repeatedly testifying before Congress and the world up to last July that he’d closed the case, after in his words not finding sufficient evidence of “any criminal wrongdoing” to indict her in spite of her four years as Secretary of State egregiously breaching our national security:’
-committing obstruction of justice and willful tampering with evidence,
-deleting 30,000 emails after receiving a court subpoena constituting destruction of evidence,
-not to mention repeatedly engaging in perjury before Congress and the FBI.
But obviously a federal investigation still in process in late June never stopped Bill Clinton’s illegal ...
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“For Russia, the war in Afghanistan is a domestic issue, with a direct impact on the drug trade and terrorist attacks on Russian cities”.
If the United States were not a superpower, it would be the joke of the planet, a nation whose government tells the most outrageous and ridiculous lies -- and may actually believe them -- and whose corporate media report those lies as gospel truth. The latest whopper comes from the mouth of James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, who claims the Russians are providing weapons ...
Kosovo(stan) Parliament announced "independent" state of the "Republic of Kosovo" on February 17th, 2008 as a democratic and multicultural political community.Here we present two photos from November 2015 on which you can see heavily damaged Serbian Orthodox church and totally destroyed Serbian Orthodox tombstones in the southern part of the town of Kosovska Mitrovica inhabited by the Muslim Albanians. Kosovo(stan) ISIS is doing its job profoundly.Enjoy Kosovo(stan) "independence"!P.S. Today (February 17th, 2018) on the 10-years anniversary of Kosovo(stan) "independence", Burundi canceled its previous recognition of it. Just guess why?Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you ...
Comparing testimony from Vietnamese women and American soldiers, Gina Marie Weaver, in her book Ideologies of Forgetting: Rape in The Vietnam War, finds that rape of Vietnamese women by American troops during the US invasion of Vietnam was a “widespread”, “everyday occurrence” that was essentially “condoned”, even encouraged, by the military, and had its foundation in military training and US culture. She explores why US rape in Vietnam was so common, and why this aspect of US behavior has been virtually “erased” from “narratives of the war”. She stresses the issue is also important as rape in the US military continues ...
The US military forces committed a classical example of the aggression on one sovereign and independent state on April 6th, 2017 by bombing a territory of Syrian Arab Republic by 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles killing civilians who are proclaimed as usually as “collateral damage”. A formal excuse for the aggression was based as many times before (from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya… cases) on traditional political false flags and mainstream media fake news used by the US propaganda machinery to sanction the Pentagon’s hegemonic policy of the Pax Americana.
The Fundamental Dilemma
The fundamental dilemma is why the US administrations of Obama ...
A news compilation on New Cold War.org on March 8, 2017 reported the controversy that has broken out in Canada surrounding the family history of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her maternal grandfather edited two pro-German newspapers in Poland and Austria during World War Two. He and his family settled in Canada after the war.
The minister told a March 6 press conference in Ottawa that inquiries into her family history constitute a ‘Russia disinformation’ campaign directed at her and the Canadian government. The minister as well as sympathetic journalists state that the ‘disinformation’ has been aided and abetted by ...
So much after the fact; so much in terms of opportunism gone to seed and destruction. But planned historical calamities tend to be rare. There are only absurd moments, dastardly opportunities, and tragic convergences. History is less the outcome of wise deliberation than folly dressed up as reason, occasionally tinged by a touch of malice.On November 2, 1917, the British government published the Balfour Declaration (one of “sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations”) by means of a letter written by Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. It suggested forthcoming British assistance for the establishment of a Jewish ...
The Serb holocaust during the WWII in the Independent State of Croatia is not a misnomer, an accusation, and even less a speculation. It is an historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of Croatia as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Hundreds were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military corps which committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few ...
America’s and its allies’ violation of the U.N. Charter, in regards to their recent actions to force a regime-change upon the sovereign nation of Venezuela, are baldly, and with unambiguous clarity, in violation of one of the seven founding “Principles” that are stated in the U.N. Charter.These violations are so severe as to demonstrate that the U.S. Government is an international rogue-regime — a blatant and unapologetic and repeated violator of the U.N. Charter, and of other major sources of international law.The U.N. Charter contains 19 “Chapters” or main divisions, and 111 “Articles” which include each subdivision within each “Chapter.” ...
General Adolf Heusinger (August 4, 1897 – November 30, 1982) was a German general officer who briefly served as Adolf Hitler’s Chief of the General Staff of the Army during World War II and served as the first Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, the West German armed forces, from 1957 to 1961. Heusinger served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 1961 to 1964.Heusinger was born in Holzminden, in the Duchy of Brunswick, German Empire. He entered the Imperial German Army on June 17, 1915, and was assigned to 7. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 96, an infantry regiment raised in ...
The historical and political precedents for the creation of a greater Sqiperia or Greater Albania was set during World War II when the Kosovo and Metohija regions along with territory Southwest of lake Skutari from Montenegro and the western region of Southern Serbia, or Juzna Srbija (now part of Macedonia), were annexed to Albania by the Axis powers led by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, under a plan devised by Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler to dismember and to destroy the Serbian Nation and people, which the Germans and Italians perceived as the main threat to the Axiss powers and ...
While much is said in some American media outlets about “fake news” in the US, the smallness of the matters being discussed might come into focus when compared with Ukraine, which is of late producing rather much fake news about the Holocaust and elementary points in World War II history.As we reported back in October, Ukrainian media outlet Radio Svoboda — the Ukrainian arm of the US Government-funded arm of RFERL — posted a picture from the US Holocaust Museum. It is an image of Polish Jews being deported to a death camp. There was just one problem. Radio Svoboda claimed the picture ...
Prof. Djordje Jankovic, Ph.DFaculty of PhilosophyBelgrade UniversityMiddle Ages in Noel Malcolm’s Kosovo: A Short History and Real FactsBefore presenting the interpretations of the mediaeval past of Kosovo and Metohija in Noel Malcolm’s work, one should be aware of the tasks set by the author before writing the book. That way, the acrobatic handling of the evidence which he uses or does not use will become clearer. In the introductory text, ten pages long, he clearly presents his political and ideological position. They are as follows (p. XXXIV-XXXV): “Kosovo” is one of the cultural crossroads of Europe – which is wrong; ...
Read more about the magazine at:IMPRESSUMPublish and AdvertisePublish your articles on global politics online & advertise your website for a moderate fee on our website.Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.Join the debate on our Twitter feed: @Ovsishte
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its successful effort to establish a global treaty that bans nuclear weapons. Peace, disarmament, and civil society groups around the world celebrated the announcement and congratulated ICAN for its landmark treaty accomplishment.In a statement, ICAN called the prize “a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face ...
Led by the US and NATO, the clash of imperialist powers accounts for the absence of stability not just in the Middle East and Africa, but also the Ukraine and parts of Asia. Behind the rhetoric of democracy, national security, and anti-terrorism there are direct diplomatic and indirect diplomatic efforts through government-financed and pro-business NGO’s. There are overt and covert military operations carried out by the US, EU, China, Russia and their less powerful allies motivated by aggressive intentions for spheres of influence and markets. Behind the “war on terror” and regional conflicts around the world rests the reality of ...
Is Israel and its infamous Wall of Separation representative of a modern evolving democratic state, based upon Biblical principles and teachings, as applied towards the original indigenous Palestinian peoples of Palestine, or is it an example of yet another ethnic-cleansing, apartheid state, possessive of the same genocidal-racist tendencies as those 19th century colonial-imperialistic powers – like the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa – who also once invaded and committed wholesale destruction of other ancient indigenous peoples entire ways of life; sweeping their survivors aside onto reservations, reserves and Bantustan-type compounds to be ultimately ignored and forgotten?
Professor Ilan Pappe, ...
False Flag Terror: A Historical Overview
Zoran Djindjic: The Quisling Of Belgrade
The Real Reasons Why FBI Director James Comey Reopened the Hillary Email Investigation
The U.S., Not Russia, Arms Jihadists Worldwide
“Independent” State of the Republic of Kosovo(stan)
American Rape of Vietnamese Women was Considered “Standard Operating Procedure”
The US Aggression on Syria and the Principles of a “Just War”
“What About Crimea?” – Latest Narrative From Canada’s Foreign Minister
The Tragic Declaration: Colonial Legacies, Balfour and Israel
Documentary Movie: “God and Croats” (English Subtitle)
Blatant Violation, by U.S. & its Allies against the U.N. Charter
Adolf Heusinger: Hitler’s Army Chief and NATO’s Chairman
Kosovo Albanian “Skanderbeg SS Division”
More Fake News, Again from Ukraine and Once More — About the Holocaust
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written With an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (Third part)
Nobel Peace Prize goes to Abolitionists while US Conducts Nuclear War Games
Clash of Imperialists: 21st Century Competition and Confrontation by the Great Powers
Israeli-Zionist Genocide and Racism Unmasked