Home / Economy / Blackouts and Flashpoints in 2018: Who Rules America, Globalization and Geopolitics

Blackouts and Flashpoints in 2018: Who Rules America, Globalization and Geopolitics

By Prof. James Petras

The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global prophesy trimming from rising economies to inauspicious global wars.

I wish to disagree from a conflicting perspective, focusing on the augmenting resolution of markets, the deepening liberty of domestic movement from mercantile development, the larger hazard of military interventions and augmenting domestic accommodation.  we trust that we will knowledge a radical making and remaking of domestic and mercantile integration, East and West, within and but nations states.  ‘States Rights’ will re-emerge as an remedy to globalization.  Big countries will contest in informal wars with singular commitments but with global goals.

Catastrophic developments are doubtful but radical incremental changes will be visit and have accumulative consequences.


To know these critical trends, it is critical to investigate and plead the major inhabitant actors in this scenery – starting with the United States.

Trends in the US

The benefaction and nearby 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 constructed major changes in the global position of the United States.  The US continues to levy sanctions on Russia, Iran and Venezuela.  Its trade with China grows.  The military exercises and threats against North Korea lift the ghost of nuclear war.  In other words, incremental and insignificant activity accompany the burning rhetoric. Corporate mercantile policies advantage from the state’s largesse, but are divorced from bland politics. What is many significant, ‘markets’ have fragmented or disconnected: Stocks rise, but capability stagnates. Corporate debt skyrockets, but high tech boost boom. Exports and imports pierce in conflicting directions. Jobs boost and salary decrease.

There are one, two, many markets, any handling on identical principles, all deepening the thoroughness of resources and the interlock of corporate directorates.

Just as there are several markets, there are mixed centers of domestic leadership. Specifically, the US is a multi-polar ‘Presidency’. For all the speak about ‘Trump’, policy and strategy are defined, promoted and against in many centers of decision making. In ubiquitous terms, the intelligence, military, media, financial, legislative, trade and general policy elites are mired in rivalries as good as proxy alliances, making bizarre bed-fellows. Moreover, new general energy configurations have entered and appropriated positions of power.


Who manners America?  This doubt should be rephrased to take into comment the comparison of peremptory self-indulgent elites totally divorced from the infancy of the manipulated public.

Nominal ‘President’ Trump shifts unfamiliar policy decisions according to the interests of mixed domestic and abroad energy centers. Trump argues against and is against to multilateral trade agreements while bearing unilateral, US-centered pacts. Despite his rhetoric, zero of the arrange has emerged. Trade with Asia, Europe and Latin America has increased. China, Japan, India, Germany, Korea, Canada and Mexico sojourn centers for US exports and imports. Bankers, multinational corporations, Silicon Valley billionaires continue to over-ride Trump’s settled agenda.

Trump argued for settlement with Russia and was threatened with impeachment. The Congress, the comprehension agencies, the legislature and NATO contradict, retreat and route the US both toward and divided from nuclear confrontations.

Trump proposes to renegotiate trade with Asia, quite with South Korea, Japan and China.

Instead, the Pentagon, the media, the neo-cons and the Japanese militarist chosen foreordain nuclear fight 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 chosen plea the ‘America First’ ideologues, the Pentagon and internal US manufacturers over China.  Meanwhile thousands of enclosure ships lift tender materials and sell between China and the US, their captains fluttering 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 consort 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 before policies that promote financial markets, subdue salary and greaten internal wars and military confrontations. The wilful decisions of 2018 are those which are not done by Trump, but by his allies and adversaries at home and abroad.

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A close-up of the extrinsic decision-making, bypassing Washington would include: the North-South Korea conciliation; Russia-China agreement over US sanctions; Israel’s sincere energy squeeze against the Palestinians; Iran’s plea to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and the Pakistan-Taliban ‘covert’ alliance.

Washington ’s marginalization is clear in the mercantile spheres. The US batch marketplace booms but capability declines; boost swell but worker life outlook drops; measureless thoroughness of resources parallels a arise in maternal and tot mortality; American girl have the top possibility of failing before adulthood among all industrialized countries. Mortality has transposed mobility.

Washington is the core of heated crusade over insignificant issues.

Beyond US marginalization, new informal energy centers have emerged and successfully annihilated or neutralized US clients. Turkey is a distinguished example. Ankara has pounded and undermined the Pentagon’s plans for an armed Kurdish client force determining Northern Syria. Iraq has over-run the US-Israeli corroborated Kurdish militias under the Barzani warlords in Kirkuk. The Taliban are moving from the Afghan panorama and plateau and entertainment almost daily uprisings in the civic centers and collateral Kabul. The Venezuelan supervision has effectively degraded the US-backed uprisings in Caracas and other cities. The US puppet regime in Kiev has unsuccessful to conquer the racial Russian separatist enclaves in the Donbass segment where a de facto supervision operates with Russian support.

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Let us commend that marginality, retreats and defeats do not spell the ‘end of Empire’; but let us also acknowledge that the competing sectors of the US economy (stocks, bonds, record and profits) are in a energetic phase, even if they are streamer for a major correction. The illusive reason is since the economy operates eccentric of the domestic system, the misunderstanding in Washington and the US marginality abroad.

The mass media propagates domestic narrow-minded conflicts thru scandal-mongering. Its prophesy of an imminent fall and passing of Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China have not a wheeze of change on the genuine dynamics of global marketplace forces. China grows by 7% and all the major US-EU mercantile players from Airbus to Amazon, fight to join Beijing’s multi-polar markets. Markets ignore, if not develop with, supervision shutdowns. Markets omit the latest eruptions from the Pentagon, ‘The New Military Strategy’ against China and Russia. South Korean businesses welcome US markets while seeking to secure entrance to North Korea’s learned labor force.

Washington’s decisions to repudiate the reality that the future requires augmenting capability around a skilled, healthy and well-paid domestic labor force dooms the US to a downward turn of domestic marginality, military futility and strong bombast. The media, the pundits and domestic chosen omit the fragmentation of US energy and the subdivision of military and marketplace forces – any going its own way. Class inequalities and rising operative category mankind rates may inspire immigration but it also undermines the substructure of American influence. A statute category manners by joining a one state to a energetic market, producers to the consumers, importers to exporters and augmenting resources to rising wages.

Trump and anti-Trump antics are irrelevant at best and a mortal sideshow at worst. The foundations of the US state and its markets are estimable but crumbling. What is critical is not the standing quo, but its instruction and structures.

Prolonged wars at the margins of state energy or Secretary of Defense Mattis’ threats of global conflicts with universe powers, like Russia and China, to ‘protect the US customary of living’ will fundamentally and inexorably lead to deeper crevasse between the US economy and the militarist state. US domestic institutions, President or Congress, definitely destroy to come to terms with the genuine mercantile dynamics of the existent universe market.

They still upset rising batch prices and boost with the long-term factors of expansion and stability. Let’s consider about ‘death on the installment plan!’

The strange source of this essay is Global Research

Copyright © Prof. James Petras, Global Research, 2018

Image credit: Anthony Freda Art

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