By John Bachtell
Capitalism is a crisis-ridden system. A crisis anywhere in the global capitalist system can become a world contagion. It is only a matter of time before a new one occurs, perhaps even more destructive than the 2007 financial crisis. Neoliberalism is the current set of economic policies defining globalization. The extreme right originated these policies to undo the New Deal and Great Society gains and reverse the falling rate of profit.
Domestically the result was deregulation, privatization, and austerity. Globally the result was a race to the bottom for the working class and the widening gap between the North and South, between developed capitalist and developing economies. Everywhere it resulted in extreme wealth concentration, industry oligopolies, and attacks on democracy and national sovereignty.
The scientific, technological, and mass communications revolutions have facilitated globalization and the creation of far-flung production chains. Financial and economic crises originating in one place can quickly spread globally. The mass communications revolution has also elevated the battle of ideas. Cyberwarfare and mass disinformation, including “deep fakes,” are seemingly impossible to stop and can bring down governments, affect politics, and alter election outcomes. Cyberwarfare is also aimed at a nation’s infrastructure, military installations, and critical industries, geared to disrupt and disable the natural functioning of the economy, government, media, and social media. They present new challenges to democracy and national sovereignty.
The world is a smaller, more complex, and interconnected place. A new global order on the horizon After WWII, a new global order with the U.S. as the dominant capitalist power was established. Alliances, institutions, and rules comprise what is called the “liberal international order.” Both the Democratic and Republican Party establishments have generally supported this order.
However, the world is changing rapidly, and the old global order is increasingly battered by crisis and contradiction. Has the current phase of neoliberal globalization exhausted itself? Is a new global balance of forces and new stage emerging, perhaps one that is not capitalist but not yet socialist-oriented?
U.S. imperialism is a descending superpower in today’s world. The ability of the U.S. and other capitalist powers to define globalization and dominate the global order has weakened. Globalization is increasingly shaped by the rise of China, emerging economies, and alternative global institutions and blocs.
There are other factors. The inclusion of China, Russia, the Eastern European, and newly emerging economies in the global capitalist market system. China and Russia are increasingly challenging the current global order. Growing trade between China and emerging economies and between emerging economies themselves, and the creation of new alliances and trade blocs (BRICS). Greater integration and sharpening competition between capitalist powers, and Russia, also a global capitalist power.
Then there is growing resistance to U.S. foreign policy in response to the history of regime change, military aggression, and occupation in the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
How will U.S. capitalism respond to this new reality, shifts in the world balance of forces, and growing infeasibility of the post-World War II global order? Will U.S. ruling circles adjust or seek to regain a dominant status by military force, as happened in the invasion and occupation of Iraq?
Trump’s foreign policy is shaped first and foremost by Wall Street and U.S. capitalist corporations, primarily the banks, fossil fuel, and military corporations. It embraces free-market capitalism and the elimination of socialism. Bolton, Pompeo, and some sections of U.S. capital, in alliance with the right-wing governments in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, are obsessed with carrying out regime change in Iran. The provocations toward Iran could quickly spiral out of control, escalating into a regional conflict and possibly nuclear war.
The refusal by Israel to recognize the right of Palestinian people to national self-determination, the occupation of Palestine, and its annexation through an expansion of settlements has created an explosive situation. The right-wing extremist alliance of the Trump administration, Netanyahu government, and the Middle East feudal monarchies have created new dangers of war without end.
Trump’s “America First” demagogy is geared to mobilize his base of supporters. Racism and white supremacy, anti-immigrant hate, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-communism, and nationalism infuse this demagogy.
Immigration, foreign policy, and militarization intersect at the U.S.-Mexico border. The goal of Trump and the extreme right is to slow down, halt, and reverse changing racial demographics. Trump is trampling on U.S. and international law on migration, refugees, asylum, and religious freedom.
The Trump administration sees China as the chief strategic and competitive rival and is building a global front against China through the military encirclement and the trade war. Although it differs in significant ways, some aspects of Trump’s policy echo Obama’s approach to isolate China by the “Pivot to Asia” and now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Undermining China’s socialist orientation, its ability to compete scientifically and technologically, and increasing profits for key US corporations is Trump’s goal.
The U.S. seeks to restore its single dominant power status in the Western hemisphere, through regime change in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, the defeat of anti-imperialist centre-left governments and reverse increasing economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties and cooperation with Russia and China.
But the rest of the world is not going along with Trump. He finds little support for his efforts to foster regime change in Iran and Venezuela, and nearly every country continues to support the Paris Climate Accords.
Building a broad global democratic alliance for peace, sustainable development, and a new democratic global order is the only way to counter U.S. and global imperialism, and especially the extreme right, and fascist circles connected to the Trump administration.
This alliance includes every force possible to isolate the global extreme right, including global public opinion, non-militarized states, socialist-oriented, and independent developing nations and blocs.
Global working-class unity and solidarity of all peace, environmental, and democratic forces are critical. Unity of communist, socialist, and revolutionary left democratic forces, and currents are also critical. A new world is possible through long struggle by broard unity of these democratic forces. (IPA Service)
Courtesy: People’s World