Amerikas role in world politics 1914-2003


Richard Moore


Following is the draft of a chapter I've been asked to contribute to a book 
project.  As usual, your comments are welcomed and the text will surely improve 
as a result.

The themes will be familiar to you from past postings, but I think this 
treatment is more solid than what has gone before.  As I looked over older 
things, like Escaping the Matrix, I found many of the points were made a bit 
awkwardly.  I'd be interested in your opinions on this observation.

I'm currently thinking that this piece, and the one on "Faith, Humanity, and 
Power" could be combined with ZGT to make up a new book, a kind of 
second-edition ZGT.  Thoughts invited.



  "Amerikas role in world politics 1914-2003" 

1776-1918 -- a quick review
American history can be viewed through many useful lenses --
political structure, social changes, economic development,
etc.  But there is one lens that is most natural to that
history, and that lens is imperialism.

The American colonies had been imperial outposts of Britain,
and American merchants and traders were active participants
in the business of empire.   Boston became the empire's
third largest trading port.  When the British were kicked
out in 1789 America was in a very enviable position to
pursue imperial expansion.  Being so far away from Europe it
had no worries about balance of power and all those
rivalries the European powers needed to deal with.   It had
loosed itself from the ban on industrialization and from
trade restrictions imposed on the colonies.  It had a whole
continent to conquer.  It had a huge trading fleet engaged
in international trade.   It had immense natural resources. 
And the new Constitution had been designed so that the
commercial elite would be running things (as they have to
this day).   A lion had been loosed into the international
community.  A lion that had been borne and raised in empire,
which had a fierce appetite, and which was dedicated to
growth and expansion.

For most of its first century, the lion was content to
gobble up or exploit the territories in its immediate
neighborhood.    It expanded westward -- an enterprise which
was called nation building but which amounted to imperial
expansion on a grand scale.  It carried out imperial
ventures to the south -- gunboat diplomacy, Mexican War,
Monroe Doctrine, etc.  The Civil War can be seen as an
imperial conquest of the South by the North, bringing the
aristocratic economy into the capitalist fold, and
politically enabling the protectionist policies required by
rapid industrialization.

There isn't any other nation in the world today so
characterized by growth and expansion. It's in the blood, in
the myths, in the national character.  Individuals with
their careers, corporations with their portfolios, and the
nation with its adventures -- it's all about growth,
expansion, and acquisition.  And at the heart of this growth
ethic lies a dedication to capitalism.  Capitalism is a
system which must have growth in order to survive.  If
investors don't have growth opportunities to invest in, the
whole system collapses.  The expansionist American spirit
and capitalism fit together like hand and glove.  
Expansionism provides growth opportunities and capitalism
knows how to exploit them, how to "capitalize" on them.

At the end of the nineteenth century,  when the more local
growth opportunities had been exhausted, the US finally
became a player on the more global scene.  It picked a fight
with Spain and grabbed Cuba and the Philippines.  To the
other great powers, this may have looked like a new behavior
by the US -- coming out of its shell so to speak, finally
getting into the conquest game.  But if you understand the
preceding history, you realize the US was continuing what it
had been doing from the beginning -- growing and expanding.

So when World War I came along, the US was a mature player,
hungry for a bigger game.  British historians talk about
their balance-of-power wisdom, but no nation has ever
exploited leverage the way the US habitually does.  Why
actually get involved in the bloody fracas in Europe?  Leave
them to it.  Act like you aren't sure which side to come in
on.  Wait until near the end to get involved and then see
what pieces you can pick up, what brokerage role you can
play.  Minimal effort, maximum gain, astute use of leverage.
Similarly, in its imperial activities, leverage has been
the primary style.  Instead of installing a colonial
administration, European style, the US would simply arrange
a coup and put in some dictator who was beholden to his US
helpers.  Much cheaper.  Same favored access to resources
and markets.  Leverage.

1918-1941 -- The Inter-War Period
This is one of the most important eras in US history.  The
conventional historical myth is that the US slept during
this period -- lost in its isolationism while Europe
suffered under civil wars and fascism.   In this myth, the
US giant is awakened only by a surprise attack on Pearl
Harbor.  Then the noble giant, aroused, goes forth to aid
the forces of democracy and freedom against the forces of
darkness.  The truth is oh so very different.

There is one thing about America that it is important to
understand.  This is not unique to America by any means, but
it gets overlooked nonetheless.  In America there are two
realities.  You might call them the realities of White House
announcements, and the reality of what business is up to. 
I'll call them PR and the real world.  In PR, the US acts to
"protect American citizens".  In the real world some US
corporation is having trouble with some local government. 
What the two worlds have in common is that the Marines are
being sent into Santo Domingo.

If we want to understand what America is up to, it is often
more useful to look at what kind of business its
corporations are carrying on than it is to examine political
speeches and diplomatic position papers.   During the
inter-war period, while America was officially neutral,
General Motors had factories in Nazi Germany turning out the
Panzer tanks and the Luftwaffe bombers that were later to be
unleashed on the plains of France and over the skies of
Britain.  So was the US neutral or not?   Was GM a rogue
profiteer, acting against Washington's wishes, or was it a
covert instrument of geopolitical manipulation?    Perhaps
we begin to find an answer when we note that those GM plants
continued to operate throughout the war, and that during the
war critical military supplies were sometimes shunted by
American corporations to the Nazis, when it was desperately
needed by Allied forces.

In  America, and again this not unique, the same  elite
community that dominates the boards of the big corporations
also runs the government agencies, heads the think-tanks,
and acts as Presidential advisors.   In the real world, the
US government acts as a kind of Chamber of Commerce for
American big business.   Its main job is to make the world
safe for American profiteering, and to ensure that
sufficient growth opportunities are available to keep the
quarterly reports in the black.

I suggest that the US -- as an international player -- is
defined largely by what its corporations do.  The government
acts as a supporting agency.  Corporate activities only
seldom show up in the news or in the history books, but that
is where the action is.  When things are going smoothly for
business, there is nothing the government needs to do and so
we see news reports about something else.   If problems come
up, then the Marines are dispatched and we hear a story
about a humanitarian peace keeping mission.   By the nature
of what we understand to be "news", the important business
of the world never gets reported.

From this perspective, the inter-war years look quite
different than the historical mythology.  What the US
actually did during these years, if you follow the money,
was to systematically set all the ducks in a row --  so that
it could emerge from the coming war as the most powerful
nation on Earth.   It supported the rise of fascist regimes
in Italy and Germany; it helped finance and arm the Nazis;
it invested in and traded heavily with Japan; it provided
technological assistance to Japan and Germany; it made lots
of money in the process.  This is not neutrality.  This is
collaboration.  The aggressive, nationalist governments of
Germany and Japan were something that the US helped create
and nurtured in their growth.

Hitler's agenda was clear.  He had published it in Mein
Kampf and he remained true to it always. His main mission in
life was to subjugate Russia and establish it as a great
enslaved hinterland of the Reich.   Japan's agenda was also
clear, defined by its vision of a Co-Prosperity Sphere.  The
US collaborated -- by its business actions -- in helping
these aggressors prepare for their campaigns.  It watched
while they launched their attacks and embroiled their troops
in wars with huge adversaries.  It waited until just the
right moment, the moment of maximum leverage, and then it
entered the fray as an official player -- just in time to
pick up the marbles from all the other exhausted players.

The "right moment" had been very carefully identified in
advance.  The  Council on Foreign Relations carried out a
series of studies from 1939 to 1941 and decided that
Southeast Asia was the line that Japan could not be allowed
to cross.  And when that line was crossed, Roosevelt
promptly froze Japanese assets in American banks and thereby
cut off Japan's oil supply.  Japan considered that an act of
war, which it was, and Japan's reaction was anticipated by
Roosevelt.   He waited patiently for the inevitable attack,
which was soon known to be Pearl Harbor.  When the
intelligence reports came in identifying the time of attack,
the strategic carriers were dispatched to sea and antiquated
ships were left in harbor as sacrificial lambs.   By first
pretending neutrality, and later pretending surprise and
outrage over Pearl Harbor, the US was able to enter the war
as a wronged party, presumably innocent of any imperial
designs of its own.

Notice the use of leverage at every turn.  Instead of
marching out to conquer the world, Hitler style, the US set
up everyone else to fight one another, making a tidy profit
in the process.  Instead of declaring war on Japan, and
being identified as an imperial player, it provoked Japan
into providing a more appealing PR scenario.   Instead of
entangling itself with formal alliances, it simply invested
in those regimes it wanted to foster, and then turned on
them when it saw fit.   Instead of sending troops in to
fight Hitler, it waited in its UK bases until the Russians
turned the tide on the Nazis.  Then it rushed in with its
D-Day fanfare and raced to try to get to Berlin before the
Russians, being opposed by only a small fraction of the 
Nazi divisions deployed in the Russian theater.

The supposedly slept-through inter-war years prepared the
way for a brief four years of high-leverage US military
activity between 1942 and 1945.  When the dust had settled,
the US emerged with control of the seven seas, 40% of the
world's wealth and industrial capacity, and had escaped the
destruction and economic hardship suffered by all the other
participants in the war.  It was at its peak while everyone
else was on the floor.  It had pulled off the greatest coup
in world history and no one even noticed.   It had arranged
to become global hegemon while being perceived as a
benevolent liberator.  It had power, wealth, and psychology
on its side as it set out to shape the postwar world.  The
lion was preparing to run the world, and he was being
welcomed world wide as a lamb.

1945-1980 -- The Postwar Era
The US had a blueprint for the world, a plan that had been
prepared in that same series of CFR studies that had
identified the entry point for US intervention.  The UN, the
World Bank, the IMF, and the whole Bretton Woods setup had
all been carefully worked out in advance, before Pearl

On the PR surface, Bretton Woods appeared to be yet another
act of benevolence on the part of liberator Uncle Sam. 
After saving the world from fascism, the US was now
sponsoring a new era of peace and stability.  Nations would
sit down in the UN and work out their problems instead of
settling them by warfare.  Currencies were to be stabilized
and democracy was to be spread throughout the world as the
old colonial empires were gradually disbanded.

The reality, however, was quite different.  In Holly Sklar's
anthology, "Trilateralism", Laurence Shoup and William
Minter examine the discussions that went on in the pre-1945
CFR planning sessions:

  "Recommendation P-B23 (July, 1941) stated that worldwide
  financial institutions were necessary for the purpose of
  'stabilizing currencies and facilitating programs of capital
  investment for constructive undertakings in backward and
  underdeveloped regions.' During the last half of 1941 and in
  the first months of 1942, the Council developed this idea
  for the integration of the world.... Isaiah Bowman first
  suggested a way to solve the problem of maintaining
  effective control over weaker territories while avoiding
  overt imperial conquest. At a Council meeting in May 1942,
  he stated that the United States had to exercise the
  strength needed to assure 'security," ' and at the same time
  'avoid conventional forms of imperialism.' The way to do
  this, he argued, was to make the exercise of that power
  international in character through a United Nations body."

In fact the Bretton Woods system was a design for a new
regime of global imperialism.   The old regime was one of
competitive, partitioned imperialism.  France, Britain, and
the other players each had their own private colonial realm.
Economic opportunities for each nation could be measured
by the size of its colonial realm, and competition over
realms was the cause behind the frequent wars among the
European powers.  The US vision was to convert competitive
imperialism into collaborative imperialism.  Instead of
partitioned realms, there would be one global market where
all players could seek their fortunes.  European nations
would no longer need to compete militarily for territories,
but could instead compete in a business sense for the
opportunities opened up by the global market.

The US would provide a level economic playing-field to its
European counterparts, but it preserved certain prerogatives
to itself.  The US was to be the primary policeman, the
supreme arbiter of imperial stability.  This prerogative was
challenged just once, when Britain and and France launched
the Suez War -- the kind of thing they had been doing for
centuries.  The US promptly put an end to that and Pax
Americana has reigned supreme ever since as the
international military order.  

For centuries people thought that European wars would never
end; they had been regular affairs all that time. But once
Pax Americana was established, the idea of France, Germany, 
or Britain fighting one another became ludicrous.  Credit is
commonly given to the EU for ensuring this peace, but that's
simply pro-Brussels propaganda.  By the time the EU came
along European peace had already been ensured -- the
motivation for inter-sibling warfare had been removed.

It seems strange now to realize how peripheral the Cold War
was to all this.  The Cold War seemed so important at the
time, so central to world affairs.  Perhaps it was the fear
we all had of nuclear catastrophe.  But in fact, now that we
can see it in perspective, the Cold War was simply a matter
of the US excluding the Communist World, in so far as
possible, from interfering with or participating in the
global imperial regime which the US had established.  We
were presented with a myth of an expansionist Soviet empire,
threatening the Free World.   What we actually had was a
global American empire, with the Soviets more concerned
about their own economic and literal survival than with any
kind of expansionism.   So, in the end, the Cold War stands
only as a side chapter in the story of the twentieth
century, a temporary distraction to the main story -- the
continual growth of American wealth and power.  That is why
the end of the Cold War did not bring the great relaxation
of tensions that we had all hoped for.  It turned out to be
irrelevant the real business of America, the business of

The American scheme for postwar global development performed
brilliantly, as measured by the prosperity of Western
nations and populations.

In the world of Western elites there was one kind of
prosperity going on.  Corporations launched forth into the
global marketplace, experienced rapid growth, and developed
into what we now call the transnational corporations (TNCs).
There had always been a few TNCs, ever since the Hudson's
Bay Company and the British East India Company.  And we had
the Seven Sister oil companies.  But in the postwar era TNCs
sprung up in every business sector, and became commercially
dominant and all-pervasive on a scale never seen before.  
The commerce of the world was being centralized, under the
control of the boards of a few dozen global corporations. 
From a capitalist perspective, the postwar years might be
called the "Era of Global Consolidation".

In the world of ordinary people in the West, another kind of
prosperity was going on.   This was an era characterized by
high employment, rising standards of living, improved
working conditions, low crime rates, increased social
services, a growing middle class, and gains in civil rights
and civil liberties.  From a social perspective, one might
call the postwar period "The Great Era of Liberal

It is an era which is no more.  Our own time can be
characterized almost as the opposite of the postwar years --
rising unemployment, lowering living standards, worsening
working conditions, rising crime rates, decreasing social
services, a shrinking middle class, and losses of civil
rights and civil liberties.  Where did it all go and why?

On the surface everything seemed rosy for the West in the
postwar era.  The problem with the scenario was that it was
not sustainable.   All that prosperity was being driven by a
particular engine -- the engine of rapid and profitable
global development.   The new imperial regime had been
established for the purpose of creating an open global
marketplace and exploiting the huge development
opportunities that then became available.  That happened,
and the rewards were reaped, in particular by the US,
Europe, and Japan.  But the Earth, large as it is, is
finite.  Even global markets can eventually be saturated and
stop growing.

In the 1970s that is what began to happen.  The postwar boom
was losing its bang.  Economic growth was slowing down. 
Something was going to have to give somewhere.  It would no
longer be possible to afford everything that had been
possible during the height of the postwar boom.  Things
weren't going to collapse overnight, but the handwriting was
on the wall.  In such circumstances a smart person or group
would make preparations to deal with the change -- if  in a
position to do so.

Elite Planning and Global Management
Recall that the whole postwar global scenario was
orchestrated with some considerable precision way back
before Pearl Harbor by a study group of the Council on
Foreign Relations.  Their blueprint was implemented, and it
led to the kind of results it had aimed for.  The US
government showed itself to be capable of shepherding the
project along and keeping it close enough to a true course,
through the effective use of money, diplomacy, and force of
arms -- both overt and covert.  And the US government, along
with the elite-run media, was able to maintain adequate
public support through the twists and turns of the project
-- creating cover stories and spin at every juncture to hide
the real meaning behind what was going on.

To put it another way: Throughout the postwar era the world
was being intentionally guided and managed according to an
explicit plan that was hatched by a group of professional
analysts who were reporting to top elements of the American
elite establishment.   In it's high-leverage, indirect,
behind-the-scenes style, the US and its elite had been in
effect running the world their way ever since 1945 -- even
though most people did not fully realize that was going on.

Although the original Bretton Woods blueprint was remarkably
comprehensive and foresightful, the business of running the
In the postwar years a huge intelligence & analysis
apparatus arose around the Washington beltway to carry out
such required tasks of empire.  The CIA and related
intelligence agencies, countless think tanks and consulting
firms, and the Council on Foreign Relations all play a role
in this elite-run apparatus.

When things were booming in the postwar era, the job of this
apparatus was to keep things booming, and to alert the
political apparatus whenever intervention was going to be
needed.   And when things began to stop booming, the
attention of this apparatus sensibly turned to
re-considering the founding blueprint.   Smart people
prepare for predictable change, and that is exactly what

One particular document stands out as a pivotal and candid
expression of the kind of thinking that was going on in US
elite circles as the postwar boom began running out of
steam.  In 1975 Samuel P. Huntington, of the Council on
Foreign Relations, published his now-infamous essay, "The
Crisis of Democracy".   Consider this passage, and again I
am borrowing from "Trilateralism":

  "To the extent that the United States was governed by anyone
  during the decades after World War II, it was governed by
  the President acting with the support and cooperation of key
  individuals and groups in the executive office, the federal
  bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important businesses,
  banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute
  the private sector's 'Establishment'."

Huntington's view of how the US is governed, evidently, was
in complete alignment with the perspective I have been
presenting in this chapter.   He makes no mention of the
electorate or the political process as providing input to
the policy process.  Instead he identifies a constituency
which is more or less the same as what I have been calling
the "commercial elite" and the "intelligence & analysis
apparatus" -- and I have several times mentioned
collaboration by the elite-run media.  Perhaps we can take
Huntington's words as an insider corroboration of that
aspect of this analysis.

Elsewhere in his essay, Huntington tells us that democratic
societies "cannot work" unless the citizenry is "passive."
The "democratic surge of the 1960s" represented an "excess
of democracy," which must be reduced if governments are to
carry out their traditional domestic and foreign policies.

He is saying that whether American society  (in particular)
"works" is defined by whether or not the government can
carry out its "traditional domestic and foreign policies".  
That is: if the elite establishment can continue to run the
nation according to its agenda, then the society can "work";
otherwise it can't.   In order to keep society "working", 
which is presumably an obvious imperative, Huntington is
suggesting that the level of democracy needs to be reduced
-- presumably by means of appropriate actions to be
undertaken by the elite establishment.

It is difficult to tell how widely shared Huntington's views
were in elite circles in 1975.  He may have been summarizing
an emerging elite consensus, or he may have been championing
new ideas which were later to find wider acceptance.  But we
do need to keep in mind that Huntington was and is a
prestigious member of the elite community, a highly
respected Professor of History at Harvard, and one whose
ideas are taken very seriously by many influential people. 
We can at least infer from his words that elites were
discussing the crisis of declining global growth, and that
they were willing to entertain a radical re-examination of
the basic foundations of the 1945 blueprint in order to
respond to that crisis.  An explicit curtailment of liberal
democratic institutions, for example, was not beyond
consideration by serious people in the elite community.

1980-2001 -- The Era of Corporatization
Let us consider for a moment the problem of declining
economic growth -- from the perspective of elite planners.  
What options were available to them to deal with that
problem?   Certainly they would not consider abandoning
capitalism -- and under capitalism economic growth is not
simply desirable, it is an absolute necessity.   The
planners needed to find new growth room for capitalism no
matter what the cost might be in non-monetary terms.

From the birth of the US until the 1970s the problem of
economic growth had always been solved by expansion of its
economic operations  The whole economic pie kept getting
bigger by this means, and from that pie the nation was able
to run its affairs, the people were able to take their
livelihoods, and the elite were able to extract their
capital gains.  But this time that solution was no longer
available.  Expansion had reached the ultimate global scale
and was finally beginning to exhaust itself.

If the overall pie could not grow any more, the only
solution for the elite was to increase the share of the pie
which they claimed for their own profit-taking.   The
continuation of capitalism required that the nation must run
its affairs with less, and that the people must survive on
less -- so that the elite could continue to have more.  That
is what was required for the American system to continue
"working", for capitalism to survive.  The postwar blueprint
had been based on a growing pie, and a new blueprint was now

Redistribution of the economic pie was the only available
solution, and the implementation of that solution is
precisely what was launched with the political campaigns of
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and carried forward in
their subsequent administrations.  As we review their
policies, we can read the new blueprint.

Corporate tax cuts were one of the central policies.  That
represented a direct transfer of wealth from governments to
corporations -- an obvious redistribution of the pie
favoring elite investors at the expense of social programs
and other governmental operations.

Privatization was another central policy.  Infrastructures
and programs which had been run on  a non-profit basis for
the public good were thereby turned into profit-making
ventures under the control of private operators.  This
increased the elite share of the pie still further.  The
cost of privatization was of two kinds.  In monetary terms,
the population had to pay for the profits taken  by the
investors.   In terms of democratic institutions, the cost
paid was a loss of control.  Programs and infrastructure
which had been under the control of the political process
were now under the direct control of elite investors and
their hired managers.   This is part of what was implied by
Huntington's "reduction" of "excess democracy".

Deregulation was the third major policy, and again this
represented a disenfranchisement of democratic institutions
-- for the benefit of elite profit-taking.  To the extent
regulations were removed, corporations were free to increase
their profits in ways that were contrary to the public good
and destabilizing to the national economy.

The consequences of these policies included loss of
government control over cross-border currency transactions,
elite looting of formerly protected industries (eg., UK
pension funds, US Savings & Loan Industry),  curtailment of
social benefits, a general and continuing decline in living
standards and quality of life, and the impoverishment of
governments due to under-funded budgets.    The core of the
new blueprint was clearly a transfer of both wealth and
power from nations and their populations to corporations. By
this means economic growth was able to continue under the
capitalist system.

The next stage of the new elite program was to export these
neoliberal polices from the US and Britain to the rest of
the world -- a process that came to be known as
"globalization".  In order to accomplish this, it was
necessary for American and British elites to persuade
European elites to go along with the program.  This was not
difficult as European elites were facing the same problem of
declining growth.   The US and Britain had found a formula
that "worked" and that was an inarguable selling point.  
Thus when the Maastricht Treaty was drafted, by financial
ministers rather than political ministers, its core
provisions focused on what was called a "conservative fiscal
policy".   Thereby neoliberalism got its foot into the back
door of Europe, avoiding the political difficulty of
entering by the front door as had been accomplished via
Reagan and Thatcher.

With Western elites generally on board, globalization began
to move into high gear.  The GATT treaty process was
employed to force through agreements which were aimed at
transferring wealth and power to corporations globally, at
the expense of governments and populations.   The IMF
introduced "restructuring programs" which forced third-world
governments to adopt neoliberal policies in order to obtain
needed financing.  In the third world, the economic
suffering and political destabilization caused by
globalization far exceeded that experienced by Western

The WTO, the IMF, and the other globalist institutions were
becoming a de facto world government.  These institutions
have immense power to regulate not only international trade,
but also to dictate internal policies to national
governments. Environmental protection laws and safety
regulations by nations are routinely overruled by the WTO,
on the pretext that they are "protectionist".   These
globalist institutions are under the direct control of
elites, with no public representation or input.

As the Twentieth Century drew to a close, the world had
become a quite different place than it had been during the
postwar era.   Instead of governments regulating
corporations, corporations now regulated governments through
the authority vested in the World Trade Organization and IMF
by neoliberal treaties. Instead of prosperous nations and
improving living conditions in the West, governments were
struggling to manage their budgets and living conditions
were continually deteriorating.  The overall pattern of the
new elite blueprint was now becoming clear: the world was
being corporatized.   The transnational corporation was
becoming the primary unit of power in global society, rather
than the nation state.  Political power had become
subservient to corporate power.  Capitalism had triumphed
over democracy. The Enlightenment vision of sovereign and
democratic republics had been covertly replaced by
corporatism -- Mussolini's preferred name for fascism.

2002-? -- The Great American Century
The previous section was characterized by a heavy emphasis
on economic affairs.  This may at times have seemed out of
place in a chapter on "world politics", where traditional
geopolitical issues may have been more expected.  I suggest
however that this emphasis has been entirely appropriate.  
The world of politics has been transformed in such a way
that economics and politics are now difficult to separate. 
Corporations had been seen as economic enterprises and now
they have evolved, as TNCs, into entities with more wealth
and more political power than most nations.  Any discussion
of political affairs would be quite incomplete without a
treatment of these developments.

This chapter has also devoted considerable space to the role
of elites in American society, which might also seem to have
been overemphasized, given our topic.  But again I suggest
this emphasis has been appropriate.   One cannot understand
the role America has played since 1945 from the traditional
perspective of "national interests".   In the postwar era
America broke the traditional nationalist mold and embarked
on a course of world management rather than outright world
domination.  America's elite were using the power of the US
as a policing tool on behalf of an agenda that went beyond
narrow national interests.    Japan and Europe benefited
right along with America during the postwar boom years. 
Japanese and European elites benefited along with American
elites during the era of globalization and corporatization. 
But we must never forget that this was all due to the covert
activity of a well-organized and entrenched elite community
whose nerve center lies along the Washington DC beltway.

For, like the postwar era before it, the corporatization era
also came up against the limits of growth.  Indeed,
capitalism will always encounter a limit to its growth, no
matter how many times its elites find a way to reshuffle the
economic and political cards.   In a finite world,
capitalism is simply unsustainable.  Neoliberalism managed
to squeeze more profits out of Western populations, and
globalization has been squeezing the daylights out of the
third world.   But when you squeeze the juice out of
something, even something big, you sooner or later run out
of juice.  When you get down to a trickle, you move on to
the next course.

The collapse of the Korean "Tiger" economy can be taken as
the symbol of the beginning of the end of globalization as
we've known it.   Pundits rushed in to explain the crash in
terms of unwise economic policies, lack of transparency, and
the like.  However, those same pundits only months before
were praising Korea as a paragon of competitiveness.  They
can't have it both ways.   What actually happened is that
Korea was taken out, snuffed.  Its currency was raided in a
coordinated attack, and then the IMF came in and supervised
the systematic looting of Korean assets by non-Korean
corporations.   The wolves of globalization were beginning
to devour one another.

The postwar era opened up a new global market and
corporations rushed out to exploit that level playing field.
When that ran out of steam, neoliberalism was invented so
as to squeeze still more out that global market and out of
the domestic imperial economies.  When that began to run out
of steam, the only thing left was to pursue a shakeout
strategy.   Collaborative imperialism was OK when it
"worked", but when push comes to shove we must remember that
the top-gun elite community is centered in the US, not in
Tokyo or Seoul -- or Berlin or Paris.

Let us consider for a moment America's insistence on a Pax
Americana in the postwar world.  If US elites were willing
to share the global marketplace, why were they not willing
to turn policing into a collaborative venture?   Perhaps
they simply wanted to be the only ones in town with a
six-gun -- just in case.   Or perhaps they were even more
foresightful than we've given them credit for so far.   But
the fact today is this: if there is going to be a major
shakeout among the world's corporate and national players,
the US elite holds a decisive advantage by being in control
of the world's only superpower.

The New American Century began on September 11, 2001.   At
the top of the TV screen was the slogan, "War on America",
and within hours the blame had been laid on a sinister
looking villain, a villain whose only motivation was a
pathological desire to destroy democracy and freedom.  It
was right out of 1984, or perhaps Batman.  And it wasn't
long before we heard about a War on Terrorism that would
last indefinitely, and already they knew it would cost
exactly $30 billion.   From the very early days, the episode
had all the earmarks of a Reichstag Fire, an inside job.

As evidence has become available regarding the events
leading up the the attack, that evidence has all been been
in conflict with the official story line, and none has been
corroborative.   As the official story has twisted and
turned, in response to the incriminating evidence, that has
only detracted further from the story's credibility.   The
administration keeps repeating its claims as truths,
offering no evidence, as one would expect in the case of a
Big Lie.  From the perspective of an objective detective
trying to solve a case -- where everyone in the room is a
suspect -- an inside-job Reichstag Fire is by far the most
likely explanation for what happened that fateful day.

On the other hand, if the far-fetched Bin Laden conspiracy
theory is true, then we must give the American elite credit
for an incredibly fast-footed response.   In that case they
managed to exploit an unexpected fire with all the same
precision and speed one would have expected following a
pre-planned job.

We now know that Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and crew came into the
White House with a detailed agenda up their sleeve, and it
was an agenda that would have been very difficult to pursue
without the dramatic events of 9-11.   Indeed, such an
agenda would have been incomplete if it did not include a
plan for achieving domestic public acceptance and
international acquiescence.

The agenda was written up as a report for Rumsfeld et al a
year prior to 9-11 by the "Project for the New American
Century", one of those think-tanks that comprise the
intelligence & analysis apparatus.   The report calls for
the US to seize control of the world's critical resources
and to maintain itself indefinitely as the undisputed global
hegemon.  No challenge, large or small, to American
pre-eminence is to be tolerated.   The report calls for the
US to take military control of the Gulf region regardless of
what the Saddam regime does or doesn't do.  And,
significantly, the report says that what America needs in
order to dominate the world in this way is "some
catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl

As with Huntington's "Crisis of Democracy", one cannot tell
from the text whether the writer is tossing out new ideas or
is acting as a spokesperson for an elite consensus.  One can
only tell afterward, by whether unfolding events match the
written agenda.   The agenda for a New American Century
would have seemed beyond belief -- if it wasn't coming true
before our eyes, and if it's promoters weren't running the
White House.

In response to yet another capitalist growth crisis, the
American elite establishment has adopted yet another
blueprint defining yet another paradigm of world order.  In
the postwar blueprint, the US invited the other great powers
and their populations to join in the collective
imperialization of the third world, betraying the victim's
trust in the Bretton Woods rhetoric.   In the corporatist
blueprint, the US elite invited the elites of the other great
powers to join them in betraying their nations and
populations -- for mutual benefit.  In the New American
Century blueprint, the last surviving  collaborators are
being betrayed as well.  The American elite have circled
their wagons and little more than the Pentagon and the
Homeland Security apparatus remain inside their circle. 
Homeland Security is needed to keep the domestic population
under control, while the Pentagon keeps everyone else under



    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in humanity, not gods or ideologies.

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