Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2022

Harpers Declares It's Over - The 'American Century' Is Gone

This month's Harpers title is astonishing.


To declare that the U.S. century is over, without a question mark, is in the mainstream view still heresy. Sure the American Conservative has already done that years ago. But Harpers is positioned on the more liberal side of things and there the view is rarely expressed.

The lead essay in the edition, by one Daniel Bessner, is headlined:

Empire Burlesque
What comes after the American Century?

For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States confronts a nation whose model—a blend of state capitalism and Communist Party discipline—presents a genuine challenge to liberal democratic capitalism, which seems increasingly incapable of addressing the many crises that beset it. China’s rise, and the glimmers of the alternative world that might accompany it, make clear that Luce’s American Century is in its final days. It’s not obvious, however, what comes next. Are we doomed to witness the return of great power rivalry, in which the United States and China vie for influence? Or will the decline of U.S. power produce novel forms of international collaboration?

In these waning days of the American Century, Washington’s foreign policy establishment—the think tanks that define the limits of the possible—has splintered into two warring camps. Defending the status quo are the liberal internationalists, who insist that the United States should retain its position of global armed primacy. Against them stand the restrainers, who urge a fundamental rethinking of the U.S. approach to foreign policy, away from militarism and toward peaceful forms of international engagement. The outcome of this debate will determine whether the United States remains committed to an atavistic foreign policy ill-suited to the twenty-first century, or whether the nation will take seriously the disasters of the past decades, abandon the hubris that has caused so much suffering worldwide, and, finally, embrace a grand strategy of restraint.

At Consortium News Andrew Bacevich provides additional background and offers a mild critique of Bessner's essay. He seems to largely agree with it.

Me? I have always been for a policy of restrain, not just for the U.S., but for all countries on this planet. People are too different in personal believes, history, tradition and social surroundings to be put under one form of government or to submit to one peculiar form of economic organization. Attempting to do such is, as Michael Hudson provides, ruinous for those who try.

It is also a question of personal capacity. The U.S. does not have the leadership, and has not had it for some time, to be successful in such an endeavor.

Even Democrats have recognized that their current president is not up to the task. The New York Times writes Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows. The Washington Post adds Democrats are skeptical of Biden in 2024. Will the party’s left finally win?. Other have also chipped in with a NYT columnist outright declaring: Joe Biden Is Too Old to Be President Again.

Matt Taibbi calls this political signaling:

Along with companion outlets like the Washington Post and The Atlantic (as pure a reflection of establishment thought as exists in America), the paper in this sense fulfills the same function that Izvestia once served in the Soviet Union, telling us little or even less than nothing about breaking news events but giving us comprehensive, if often coded, portraits of the thinking of the leadership class.

The Democrat 'leadership class' has declared that Biden is now a lame duck president and that he better signal that he will not run again before the likely catastrophic results in the midterms election come out.

I agree with that view but it is not just Biden's mental fragility that is the matter here but the incompetence of the people around him who essentially set his policies. The Sullivans and Blinkens of this world or what Ray McGovern calls the Effete Elite:

The questions posed led me to comment candidly on the regrettable state of Western statesmen like EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Yes, the same Blinken who, in one breath excoriates China and the “systemic challenge” it supposedly represents, and in the next makes a pathetically quixotic attempt to cajole his Chinese counterpart to abandon Beijing’s lockstep with Russia on Ukraine.

Blinken's anti-China policy is, to say it mildly, not a success:

Washington has devised a series of plans to counter China, but few of them have won firm support in the region.

A coalition between the United States, Japan, Australia and India, known as the Quad, is meant to show solidarity in the Asia-Pacific region, but India buys huge quantities of oil from Russia; a new U.S.-led economic group of 14 countries, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, received a lukewarm reception from its members since it fails to offer tariff reductions for goods entering the United States; and an agreement for the United States and Britain to share technology to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines remains vague.

This 'elite' who thought out those policies is now baby sitting Biden to prevent him, but not themselves, from making more 'mistakes'.

Dan Cohen @dancohen3000 - 14:57 UTC · Jul 12, 2022

2 days ago, the NYT reported that the White House is so concerned by Biden's age that it delayed his trip to the Middle East by a month so he could rest. Now we learn that Blinken will accompany him. Another daily reminder that Biden is a figurehead and his advisors run the show.

Biden's and Blinken's current Middle East trip is also likely to add to their collection of failures:

President Biden is traveling to Israel on Wednesday for a four-day trip to the Middle East to try to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, speed up the flow of oil to American pumps, and reshape the relationship with Saudi Arabia without seeming to embrace a crown prince who stands accused of flagrant human rights abuses.

All three efforts are fraught with political dangers for a president who knows the region well, but returns for the first time in six years with far less leverage than he would like to shape events.

A month ago Biden declared that he will not meet the Saudi clown prince:

"I am not going to meet with MBS. I am going to an international meeting, and he is going to be part of it," Biden told reporters at the White House.
However, a Saudi statement announced that MBS and Biden: "Will hold official talks that will focus on various areas of bilateral cooperation and joint efforts to address regional and global challenges."

We will likely soon see photos with Biden and MBS shaking hands. Biden needs higher Saudi oil production and lower prices at the pump to lessen the Democrats midterm losses. He can hardly condemn Mohammed Bin Salman for killing the 'journalist' and lobbyist for Qatar Jamal Khashoggi while at the same time ignoring the Israeli murder of the U.S.-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The return to the nuclear agreement with Iran was botched by Biden and Blinken when they dithered for months after their inauguration before starting talks. They then made new demands that Iran was obviously unwilling to fulfill. They are now left with contradicting their own arguments:

In the early spring, Mr. Malley and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said there were just weeks, maybe a month or so, to reach a deal before Iran’s advances, and the knowledge gained as it installed advanced centrifuges to produce uranium in high volume, would make the 2015 agreement outdated.

Now, four months later, Mr. Biden’s aides decline to explain how they let that deadline go by — and they still insist that reviving the deal is more valuable than abandoning it.

Following various financial crises and too high spending U.S. financial leverage is gone. As it has proven in the Middle East, and now in Ukraine, its hyper expensive military is unable to win wars against small and big competitors. The U.S. role in international institutions has been diminished by China's and Russia's competing efforts like the Belt and Road program, the Asian Development Bank, Russia and Iran's North-South Transit Corridor.

The Harpers title is correct. The U.S. century is indeed over. As the Harpers lead essay concludes:

The American Century did not achieve the lofty goals that oligarchs such as Henry Luce set out for it. But it did demonstrate that attempts to rule the world through force will fail. The task for the next hundred years will be to create not an American Century, but a Global Century, in which U.S. power is not only restrained but reduced, and in which every nation is dedicated to solving the problems that threaten us all. As the title of a best-selling book from 1946 declared, before the Cold War precluded any attempts at genuine international cooperation, we will either have “one world or none.”

One world, in which the individual countries refrain from boundless greed and provide for the common good, is certainly the better choice.


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Please consider to contribute.

Posted by b on July 13, 2022 at 13:45 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Conditioning the elite for a reality that has arrived.
The question are.
How hard will the reality hit be?
And what are the fall out consequences for everywhere else.?

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 13 2022 13:58 utc | 1

b, tried to send you some dosh twice today, but the Visa debit didn't work, it got rejected.

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 13 2022 13:59 utc | 2

BTW, for context, see Michael Roberts latest:

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 13 2022 14:02 utc | 3

Thank you for this link! Astonishing cover. This truly is the end. Next stop, full-blown fascism.

Sadly, the writer is little but another dime-a-dozen liberal internationalist "criticizing" liberal internationalism. And as always in these sort of "think pieces," he's incapable of making distinctions between presidential administrations. JFK = LBJ


Posted by: EJK | Jul 13 2022 14:18 utc | 4

U.S.-led Imperialism is the World’s Leading Purveyor of Chaos, by Danny Haiphong:

It is an undeniable fact that chaos follows U.S. imperialism wherever it goes. In Latin America, stability exists only where leftist governments have secured sufficient sovereignty . In Africa, the spread of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has led to widespread destabilization and political insecurity in the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO-AFRICOM invasion of Libya in 2011. In Asia, U.S. militarism has facilitated war in the West and attempted to organize a coalition of vassal states against China in the East. U.S. meddling in Taiwan has created a dumping ground for defense contractors and prompted Joe Biden to articulate on three occasions that the U.S. is willing to militarily intervene to “defend” the island , a guaranteed nuclear exchange scenario. [more]

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jul 13 2022 14:20 utc | 5

The Project For A New American Century got more than they bargained for? Their "century" is over after only 25 years?

From the document "Rebuilding Americas Defenses" : "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."

They imagined 911 to be that event, but the revolutionary change may be coming to them now.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 13 2022 14:22 utc | 6

What's next?

First the fits-and-starts of acknowledging reality internally. That'll take a lot of to-and-fro of very powerful political tides. Mag articles are interestingly new, but the re-pointing of the ship of state entails a lot of oxen getting gored.

Not just the existing revenue streams (rent extractions), but also all that debt that's collateralized by those rent streams. That's a problem.

Many of our rich people have to figure out who to dump Defense stocks upon. That takes time, and much bickering.

So does setting up the new boondoggles. The Wurlitzer is gonna get a workout.

Then there's the question of "how do we extract rents, and from whom, if our intn'l extraction taps have busted out? (Russia, China, etc.)"

That question has to get answered, and the cynic in me says, in addition to new boondoggles domestically, there's the likely burgeoning of interest in the near-international. Think Canada, central America, and South America.

They may be about to become our even-better friends.

As raised last-thread, there is the perennial question of "how is a decent citizen to act in the face of all this stupid?".

We'll get plenty of chance to address that question in the next few years.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 13 2022 14:24 utc | 7

30 years late and a Francis Fukuyama short

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 13 2022 14:25 utc | 8

The attempt at an American Century is over, but objectively how much control did they really have? They succeeded in creating chaos but not control in most places where they invaded or intervened against governments who did not follow diktats.

Even among allies, they may be listened to by the government, but they are widely despised by the general populace.

Sad to see b shilling for "one world". Pluralistic regionalism will encourage a diversity of ideas and political/social structures.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 14:28 utc | 9

Read that essay by Bacevich the other day, and it was spot on. As is the article by Bessner in Harper's. I want to add this piece by William Hartung titled 'Fueling the Warfare State - America's $1.4 Trillion "National Security" Budget Makes Us Ever Less Safe'.

"This lust for yet more weapons spending is especially misguided at a time when a never-ending pandemic, growing heat waves and other depredations of climate change, and racial and economic injustice are devastating the lives of millions of Americans. Make no mistake about it: the greatest risks to our safety and our future are non-military in nature, with the exception, of course, of the threat of nuclear war, which could increase if the current budget goes through as planned."

Posted by: semiconscious | Jul 13 2022 14:29 utc | 10

No worries. There is plenty of water in Lake Mead. And if there isn't there is a political or financial fix.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 13 2022 14:32 utc | 11

It seems that Biden is intent on weakening the US - politically, financially, economically, militarily.

It is being suggested that this is part of a global reset.

Z/H posting article (short of info) about IMF to fund Ukraine via SDRs, because US has exhausted its financial resources.

Posted by: jared | Jul 13 2022 14:45 utc | 12

I don't think it's a bad idea for a president to travel with their secretary of state for meetings like this. When the braintrust is as bad as Biden/Blinken though it really doesn't matter.

The fundamental problem for the US is there is no one the political horizon capable of leading the nation in the direction it needs, and now that the CIA has completely subsumed the State Department any president who tried (Trump kinda did, in a few ways) will be thwarted. The US has a lot of problems, but the one that will hurt most is the devolution of its political classes. There simply isn't anyone with the intelligence and vision, much less power, who could be put in position to lead through the necessary changes. Such a person would never make it high enough in the professional bureaucracy and they certainly would never make it through either political party's system for selecting future "leaders".

Trump had his chance when Covid came along. If he had addressed the economic issues facing most Americans through actions like debt jubilee, driving the banking giants out of the economy, etc. he likely would have had so much popular support from even a good chunk of democratic voters that he would have had the freedom to pursue his foreign policy. It wasn't a great foreign policy because he is, at the end of the day, an idiot. But many of his inclinations were correct. He got saddled with too many FP minders from the Blob and DoD. Freed from those in the way that Reagan fired the original neocons, he might have gotten FP advisors who could help him realize his inclinations. But without overwhelming popular support he could never take on the Blob (i.e. deep state) and win.

Posted by: Lex | Jul 13 2022 14:49 utc | 13

Hot tip for the Russian MOD!

Wanna find where those pesky HIMARS that are blowing up all you ammo dumps are hiding?

Try tracking Chris Cuomo's phone, check the timestamps from the metadata from his Instagram account... and trace it from there with your finest ISR satellites!

Literally, he posted on his Instagram as one was being loaded, i kid you not:

(scroll right, 3rd photo i think)

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 13 2022 15:07 utc | 14

I'm waiting for Europe to wake up to this reality.

From the looks of it ... could be a while.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Don Fireneach | Jul 13 2022 15:12 utc | 15

Note that the Effete Elite (nice turn of phrase, that) are not elected, nor do they seek elected office.

As a further aside, it is also worth pointing out that, while the PMC are the hegemonic class, class members themselves are usually not counted among the Very Rich, the .1%, but rather, the Comfortably Well-To-Do.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 15:22 utc | 16

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 13 2022 15:07 utc | 14

Did you and Baghdad Bob take the same courses? It's over. Dunzo. Finished. Dustbin of history and all that.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 13 2022 15:38 utc | 17

No worries. There is plenty of water in Lake Mead. And if there isn't there is a political or financial fix.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 13 2022 14:32 utc | 11

As a Canadian, I have often wondered when the US is going to come after our fresh water, which is supposedly protected under NAFTA.

The double folly of the Biden Admin cancelling Keystone XL, was that it could have been used to send water south, not oil.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 15:42 utc | 18

@Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 15:22 utc | 16

The PMC are not the hegemonic class, they are just the courtiers for the real capitalist elite.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 13 2022 15:42 utc | 19

Um, it's the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, sponsored by China--not the Asia Development Bank, a US creature ostensibly run by Japan.

Posted by: Forbes | Jul 13 2022 15:43 utc | 20

"Joe Biden is too old" says the NYT.

Joe Biden is too senile to even know what to do, once his airplane lands somewhere.
The disastrous situation his country is in, is a direct reflection of the calamity that he is.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 13 2022 15:50 utc | 21

"century" my ass. 100 years ago prohibition was passed, women finally got the right to vote, radio was a new technology in its nascency and the stock market crash that set off the great depression was 9 years away. then of course the aforementioned depression hit from 1929 to 1939. whatever period "belonged" to the US started around that time when WWII essentially gave the US monopoly status while europe and the rest of the world rebuilt and recovered.

anyhoo, just me being pedantic. as for the end of those "halcyon days" i'd put it somewhere around JFK's brains getting blown out and watergate. vietnam was the nail in the coffin and the 1980s "greed is good" period only benefited the "gordon geckos" (and patrick batemans) of the day and their noxious spawn who currently run things. if anything, it's been the "century of mammon" in all its ups and downs.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 13 2022 15:51 utc | 22

OpportKnocks@18 what makes you think that fresh water is not being taken from the Great Lakes and down the eastern seaboard. The border runs through the lakes, the US has been helping themselves to water for awhile now. Tunnel bored in a few years ago. No need to come up north and haul it back frozen block by frozen block. I seem to recall some concern when the level in one Lake dropped by a few feet.....climate change and all......

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jul 13 2022 15:53 utc | 23

It may have been a shorted American Century, but it was never about an American Empire. Empires improve themselves at the expense of their underlings. With an open southern border, dilapidated infrastructure, senile leadership controlled by a teleprompter, the US or A looks nothing like an empire. Trains flipping over, bridges collapsing and running out of Afghanistan with natives dropping from USAF planes is not empirelike.

Sometimes empires are nationalistic, but often not. But in any case, they would never actively work against their native citizens, ie, in this case white males.

Seems a more accurate description of this American Century, is as a targeted host country under the control of outside financial interests, imposing a financial mechanism to extract wealth from the rest of the planet at the expense of America. This mechanism employs a full spectrum of coercion, from bribery, blackmail, assassination, all the way to direct military intervention. I guess you could look at it like a rainbow; like a rainbow from hell.

Posted by: meshpal | Jul 13 2022 15:54 utc | 24

*102 years ago, technically. i was just lumping "1920 stuff" under "1920s stuff". if was being more exact i'd say "the first insulin treatment, the first navy aircraft carrier, "nosferatu" premieres and hyperinflation starts in germany".

Posted by: the pair | Jul 13 2022 16:01 utc | 25

"...With an open southern border, dilapidated infrastructure, senile leadership controlled by a teleprompter, the US or A looks nothing like an empire. Trains flipping over, bridges collapsing and running out of Afghanistan with natives dropping from USAF planes is not empirelike...."

'Private affluence, public squalor' is the way that JK Galbraith described the phenomenon. The public squalor simply shows that there is no limit to the greed of the imperial rulers: they are just as happy to devour the wealth of their compatriots as those of foreigners abroad.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 13 2022 16:11 utc | 26

The oligarchs response to the loss of global full spectrum dominance will be increased military action. Their ability to foment support for aggression by the American citizenry will be used as a response to the success of China's model of foreign investment in trade and reproduction, which will become the scapegoat for dwindling purchasing power caused by financialization of the American economy.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jul 13 2022 16:13 utc | 27

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jul 13 2022 14:20 utc | 5

It is an undeniable fact that chaos follows U.S. imperialism wherever it goes.

Actually, it's much more than chaos. It's Death. Disease. Destruction.

That's why the USA should be properly address as the United States of Death, Disease and Destruction.

Good riddance! I just hope that it doesn't go out with a Big Bang!

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 13 2022 16:15 utc | 28

meshpal @24

It may be a degenerate empire and the American Empire may not have the best interest of Americans in mind, but it's still an empire. People in Europe, South America, and in every country that is in the clutches of the Empire are praying for it to end soon. It will be for the better of the whole world and this includes the U.S.

Posted by: aquileia | Jul 13 2022 16:18 utc | 29

@Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 13 2022 15:38 utc | 17

Bro, maybe someone put too much chilli in your pretzels last night, but how about chilling the f out?

How about... it was just a little sarcastic comment highlighting the brazen stupidity of both the UAF and Cuomo in posting footage of Russia's number 1 item on their target list on Instagram? And wtf does Baghdad Bob have to do with anything anyway? Never heard of geolocation on smartphones?

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 13 2022 16:19 utc | 30

Withdrawals of water from the Great Lakes is strictly limited:

Posted by: bob sykes | Jul 13 2022 16:20 utc | 31

I'm waiting for Europe to wake up to this reality.

Posted by: Don Fireneach | Jul 13 2022 15:12 utc | 15

They won't – people like von der Leyen, Borell, Baerbock or even Macron will double down, get more aggressive and try to replace the US. The only chance would be if the people would finally be waking up and replace those elites.

Posted by: Zet | Jul 13 2022 16:21 utc | 32

thanks b.... harpers got it right.... what's next? i suppose it can always be worse, but things are pretty bad as it presently stands.... and they seem to be getting worse - not everywhere though! it seems like money and power and those who wield it, are the biggest problem at present...

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2022 16:21 utc | 33

What's Next?!?

It could be Iran or Korea, but my money is on Taiwan.

The USoDDD needs a final fix and that can only come from a peer competitor like China. They aren't going to go nuclear or even conventional with Russia except via their Uky proxy. So, the only thing left to do is to confront China and the only way to do it is to help the Taiwanese declare "independence" or some shit like that. Then China will have no choice but to use the military option.

What happens next? Your guess is as good as mine.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 13 2022 16:28 utc | 34

daniel Bessner mentioned Russia only 4 times in his article, and was harping at China all the time. In the question Russia, he is still in the cold war times, and seem to have no idea what Russia is doing to bring down the US(D) hegemony, and that's not just the physical SMO in the Ukraine. He should at least read Putin's speech in Pekin, just before the SMO...

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 16:37 utc | 35

@Roger Fischer:

You can run a business just fine without inherited money or even private capital, but you cannot run so much as a hot dog stand without managers. This is why the PMC exert outsized influence relative to their economic weight.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 16:50 utc | 36

I swear, what passes for "analysis" here so often gives it's ideological benders away for free with little tiffs and quibbles.

"Open Southern Border" , for example. WTF. US capitalists want cheap labor. Y'all will bitch and moan about E-legals and ferriners. But will never on penalty of death take on your US capitalist chums. Suck up, punch down is trash ideology bro.

And you can miss me with that Dreizen "CRT = Cultural Marxism" BS, That Barnes "Populist Right" nutiness, as if such a thing could ever actually exist,
That Lira "Americans burning down their own cities" code word crap,
and any one of you old grandma sounding nutballs that pronounces anti fascist as "An Tea Fuh"

I prefer analysis, please. Not your constant old Bircher granny horse trash. You can follow Mr Forrestal out the hospital window now. Cheers.

Posted by: Wester | Jul 13 2022 16:51 utc | 37

In 1945 USA was the best world could have. At the time there were extracting colonial empires. But maybe not now.
Most of modern military interventions will not increase power, it's just an opposit. Lots of resources were spend with pretty doubtfull results.
Afghanistan was labeled as The graveyard of Empires. Maybe it is so.

Most of Empires felt not becouse of external factors but becouse of internal. Gingiz Khan conquered large part of the World but his empire soon was divided into pieces with no reminds exept some dinastic names. British empire could not extract enought wealth from India, colonies become a burden.
I don't think Chinese empire would be any better. But with competing empires others could chose like Shri Lanka, 'China offers too mutch of dictate maybe we should increase interaction with West.'

Posted by: Alef | Jul 13 2022 16:54 utc | 38

Liberals always prattle on about peaceful, respectful, enlightened and generous they are. The truth is Liberals are the biggest warmongers, criminals and hypocrites around. It were the progressive liberals of the 1800s that push the colonial projects as a way of uplifting the poor savages of Africa and Asia, of course the massive profits that they pillaged out of these societies was just an unintended side-effect of their self-righteous banditry. Harper's running a story about the American century being "over", actually means that they admit the US cant conquer the world on their own, so they need to wrap their hands even more tightly around the necks of Europe and Japan as slave markets to wring out every penny till their populations are literally dropping dead like flies from their crushing poverty. Once the American empire has re-filled their treasury with this stolen wealth they hope to once again storm out to pillage new economies. of course, in reality they are too corrupt to stick to this plan and will rush out on a disastrous new war the second the 1st check arrives only to fail yet again. I say "get ready for 20 more years of horror as the US loses war after war, the tax mules of the US, Canada, Japan and Europe are going to find out what real pain is and there is a lot of pain in a country".

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 13 2022 16:57 utc | 39

The Project For A New American Decade, Full WordCloud Dominance, from Global Strike to General Strike?

Posted by: anon2020 | Jul 13 2022 16:57 utc | 40

I can't help laughing out loud whenever some half-witted dork mentions that imaginary alliance called the Quad - Japan, India, USA & Oz. Despite the fact that Oz"s MSM has been thoroughly neoconned since the Yanks regime-changed Ukraine, outlets with a conscience have still managed to acqaint consumers with the fact that Modi's vision for India is to make India into a top-ranking and CO-OPERATIVE Superpower.

So another Yankee wet dream bites the dust - or dries out in the intellectual desert know as Amerikkka.

Posted by: Hoarsewhlsperer | Jul 13 2022 17:10 utc | 41

And so of course you have had the economy deindustrialized. It’s this idea that you can make money financially without an industrial base, without a manufacturing base; you can make money without actually producing more or doing anything productive, simply by having a central bank increase the price of the stocks, and bonds, and the loans made by the wealthiest 10%.

And of course, ultimately, that doesn’t work, because at a certain point the whole thing collapses from within, and there’s no industrial base.

And of course, when that happens, America will find out, wait a minute, if we close down the economy, we’re still reliant on China and Asia to produce our manufacturers, and to provide us with raw materials, and to do everything that we need. We’re really not doing anything but acting as a world – well, people used to say parasite – as a world rentier, as getting something for nothing, as a kind of financial colonialism.

So America you could look at as a colonial power that is a colonial power not by military occupation, but simply by financial maneuvering, by the dollar standard.

And that’s what’s being unwound today as a result of Biden’s new cold war.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:16 utc | 42

What I vorries most is not the fate of Empires, like EU - Charlemage/Prussian United Germany - the first ever empire of buerocrats. But the upcoming economical situation. Most of economists predict crisis, recession and so on. 'Maybe we will achieve soft landing.'
Standart and Poor 500 index in first 1/2 year felt like in 1970 if whe look at the numbers. However if numbers are adjusted to inflation S&P 500 felt like in 1870! It do not affect "main street" now but it eventualy will.

Economics was 'foamy' with lots of bubbles and very "liberal" spending especialy on covid. With rising inflation risky assets like bloated tech stocks, Ark investment and crypto is falling down. Even their cult figure Warren Buffett is down. Lots of publics was in these, adds and easy access services was very aviable creating some b.hurt. As I opened youtube Alec Baldwin suggested me to buy Tesla, Amazon and Apple stocks, don't be late.

Energy prices are rising. EU is sanctioning itself so that EU members are trying to evade their own sanctions by mixing russian oil with non-russian oil. But food prices is mostly outside popular news. Untill it will become concerning issue. Nothing could be done now, they alredy had sanctioned fertilisers + heat wave in regions. New prices will come with new crops in fall. There could form something like food OPEC.

Posted by: Alef | Jul 13 2022 17:16 utc | 43

what makes you think that fresh water is not being taken from the Great Lakes and down the eastern seaboard. The border runs through the lakes, the US has been helping themselves to water for awhile now.

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jul 13 2022 15:53 utc | 23

Obviously all cities that border the Great Lakes use it for their local water supply. There is no pipe to the eastern seaboard because there are sufficient closer reservoirs.

The proposal I was referring to was to divert water from western Canada to the drought plagued US southwest, which has not been dusted off since the 1960s...

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 17:19 utc | 44

Based on my own pet version of "reading between the lines" found in the Global MSM since mid-Decembr, 2021, I'm predicting that France, Germany and probably Italy will tell Amerikkka to STFU and Get Lost - before the end of 2022.

Posted by: Hoarsewhlsperer | Jul 13 2022 17:22 utc | 45



There is very little that a central banker can do when the West has declared a war, basically, a war on a country that is completely isolated.

The response has come from President Putin and from Foreign Secretary Lavrov. And they pointed out, well, how is Russia going to trade and get what it needs. And this is what the recent meetings of the BRICS are all about.

Russia realizes that the world is now broken into two halves. America and NATO have separated the West. Basically you have a white people’s confederation against all the rest of the world.

And the West has said, we’re isolating ourselves from you totally. And we think you can’t get along without us.

Well, look at the humor of this. Russia, China, Iran, India, Indonesia, and other countries are saying, hah, you say we can’t get along without you? Who is providing your manufacturers? Who is providing your raw materials? Who is providing your oil and gas? Who is providing your agriculture, and the helium, the titanium, the nickel?

So they realize that the world is breaking in two, and Eurasia, where most of the world’s population is concentrated, is going to go its own way.

The problem is, how do you really go your own way? You need a means of payment. You need to create a whole international system that is an alternative to the Western international system. You need your own International Monetary Fund to provide credit, so that these Eurasian countries and their allies in the Global South can deal with each other.

You need a World Bank that, instead of lending money to promote U.S. policies and U.S. investments, will promote mutual gains and self-sufficiency among the countries.

So already, every day in the last few weeks, you have had meetings with the Russians about this, who said, ok, we’re going to create a mutual trading area, starting among the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

And how are we going to pay? We can’t pay in dollars, because if we have money in a dollar bank, or a euro bank in Europe, they can just grab the money, like they grab Venezuela’s money. They can just say, we’re taking all your money because, essentially, we don’t want you to exist as an alternative to the finance capital world that we are creating.

So essentially, Russia, China, and these other countries are saying, ok, we’re going to create our own international bank. And how are we going to fund it? Well, every member of the bank will contribute, say, a billion dollars, or some amount of their own currency, and this will be our backing. We can also use gold as a means of settlement, as was long used among countries.

And this bank can create its own special drawing rights, its own bancor, is what Keynes called it. It can create its own credit.

Well, the problem is that, if you have Brazil, for instance, or Argentina, joining this group, or Ecuador, that sells almost all of its bananas to Russia, how is it going to get by?

Well, if there is a BRICS group or a Shanghai Cooperation Organization bank, obviously the Western governments are not going to accept this.

So Russia realizes that as a result of Biden’s Cold War Two, there is going to be a continued rise in energy prices. You think gasoline prices are not high now? They’re going up. You think food prices are not high now? They’re going up more.

And in Europe this is especially the case, because Europe now cannot buy Russian gas to make the fertilizer to make its own crops grow.

So you’re going to have a number of countries in the Global South, from Latin America to Africa, being squeezed and wanting to trade with the Eurasian group.

And the problem is Russia says, all right, we know that you can’t afford to pay. We’re glad to give you credit, but we don’t want to give you credit [where] you’re going to simply use the money you have to pay your dollar debts that are coming due.

Because one of the effects that I didn’t mention of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates is there is a huge flow of capital from Europe and England into the United States, so that if you’re a billionaire, where are you going to put your savings? You want the highest interest rates you [can get]. And if the United States raises interest rates, the billionaires are going to move their money out of England, out of the euro, and the euro is going back down against the dollar. It’s almost down to a dollar a euro.

The British pound is heading downwards, towards one pound per dollar.

This increase in the dollar’s exchange rate is also rising against the currencies of Brazil, Argentina, the African countries, all the other countries.

So how are they going to pay this summer, and this fall, for their food, for their oil and gas, and for the higher cost of servicing their dollar debts?

Well, for Eurasia, they’re going to say, we want to help you buy our exports – Russia is now a major grain exporter, and obviously also an oil exporter – saying we want to supply you and give you the credit for this, but you’re really going to have to make a decision. Are you going to join the U.S.-NATO bloc, or are you going to join the Eurasian bloc?

Are you going to join the White People’s Club or the Eurasian Club? And it really comes down to that. And that’s what is fracturing the world in these two halves.

Europe is caught in the middle, and its economies are going to be torn apart. Employment is going to go down there. And I don’t see wages going up very much in Europe.

You’re going to have a political crisis in Europe. But also you’ll have an international diplomatic crisis over how are you going to restructure world trade, and investment, and debt.

There will be two different financial philosophies. And that’s what the new cold war is all about.

The philosophy of US-sponsored finance capitalism, of making money financially, without industrialization, and with trying to lower wages and reduce the labor force to a very highly indebted workforce living on the margin.

Or you’ll have the Eurasian philosophy of using the economic surplus to increase productivity, to build infrastructure, to create the kind of society that America seemed to be growing in the late 19th century but has now rejected.

So all of this is ultimately not simply a problem of interest rates and central bank policy; it really goes beyond central banks to what kind of a social and economic system are you going to have.

And the key to any social and economic system is how you treat money and credit. Is money and credit going to be a public utility, or will it be a private monopoly run for the financial interests and the 1%, instead of a public utility run for the 99%?

That’s what the new cold war is going to be all about. And that’s what international diplomacy week after week is trying to settle.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46

Another excellent piece, b.

Am VERY encouraged to see this article in Harpers which would have missed had you not linked it, so thank you.

Signifies that, however slowly, the behemoth tanker that is the US-based Empire of Lies is now beginning to turn...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 13 2022 17:32 utc | 47

@ Hoarsewhlsperer | Jul 13 2022 17:22 utc | 45

that would be the smart thing to do, but not sure if they are capable of saying and doing this..

@ karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46 michael hudson quote -

"And the key to any social and economic system is how you treat money and credit. Is money and credit going to be a public utility, or will it be a private monopoly run for the financial interests and the 1%, instead of a public utility run for the 99%?"

this nails what pyschohistorian has been saying all along and it remains the central question.... obviously the answer from the 1% will be the same - keep it as a private monopoly... in order for them to hold onto this - it will be a continuation of war - real war... i don't know that they are going to succeed however...

thanks for your posts karlof1..

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2022 17:33 utc | 48

Are you going to join the White People’s Club or the Eurasian Club? And it really comes down to that.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 17:36 utc | 49

If covid is a product of Defense Department biolabs, I wouldn't say that the threat is nonmilitary in nature.

Posted by: Lysias | Jul 13 2022 17:37 utc | 50

There will be two different financial philosophies. And that’s what the new cold war is all about.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 17:38 utc | 51

OpourtKnocks @ 18

They already have locked up the fresh water, see The Columbia River Treaty, among others. This started in the 40's. Canada is on the hook for water and electricity in annually increasing amounts, any shortfalls made up in green backs. Contact the Rossland historical museum, they may still have Jacks info pamphlet available on this subject. 250 362 7722

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jul 13 2022 17:41 utc | 52

Or you’ll have the Eurasian philosophy of using the economic surplus to increase productivity, to build infrastructure, to create the kind of society that America seemed to be growing in the late 19th century but has now rejected.

So all of this is ultimately not simply a problem of interest rates and central bank policy; it really goes beyond central banks to what kind of a social and economic system are you going to have.

And the key to any social and economic system is how you treat money and credit. Is money and credit going to be a public utility, or will it be a private monopoly run for the financial interests and the 1%, instead of a public utility run for the 99%?

That’s what the new cold war is going to be all about.

How nice!

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 17:42 utc | 53

@Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 16:50 utc | 36

The PMC do the bidding of the real elite, otherwise someone else will replace them. The PMC live in a stress-filled world, where there is always someone else ready to take their place. The whole "woke" thing is a way for the PMC to compete with each other and try to cancel others that threaten the position of in place PMC types or take down someone in such a position. Thats why they work such long hours and spend so much time "networking". I spent a long time being a banking executive, you miss the profit growth goals or fall foul of some other directive and you can be gone fast. Had a daughter of the real elite working for me, a combination of arrogance and incompetence, but she was untouchable.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 13 2022 17:42 utc | 54

Imo the world and us are moving towards balanced trade. This means that the us will have to stop buying 1T more than we sell, and also we won’t be able to afford foreign adventures or 800+ foreign bases.
This we’ll be forced on us by a falling dollar, no matter the $ is strong now vs the euro (which area is headed for self-inflicted depression), and this in turn will stem from the waning interest of those running massive surpluses with us to hold $. Granted, those countries have a problem… what to hold instead? China is bulking up on commodities that they know they will need but eventually will allow the yuan to appreciate, allowing their workers to consume more of what they produce; saudi will try to sell to non-western countries, etc.

Posted by: John k | Jul 13 2022 17:44 utc | 55

If anyone wants to see yet another example of how top heavy American economics has become please refer to the chart below.

As a person who has multiple family members working in the front lines of the medical industry in the US, watching the destruction of the discipline for over the last 40 years has been depressing, to say the least.

Not only are there dearth of practitioners, but also through the electronic medical record they have converted some of the most highly trained professionals into unpaid clerk typists, adding additional work to a stressed out profession, primarily to the benefit of the insurance industry.

The funny part is that this was evident during the initial EMR trials in the 90s, but shuffled under the rug.

If one claims that it is the fault of the government, just remember who owns the government.

Posted by: Michael.j | Jul 13 2022 17:48 utc | 56

To get behind the paywall of the Harper's article I used my extension:

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 13 2022 17:52 utc | 57

And the key to any social and economic system is how you treat money and credit. Is money and credit going to be a public utility, or will it be a private monopoly run for the financial interests and the 1%, instead of a public utility run for the 99%? [Hudson]

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46

Where to start. At the macro level, the creation of money and credit already belongs to the government, typically managed by an arms-length entity like the Bank of England, Bank of Canada, or the Federal Reserve. At the retail level, it is run by private banks, which is where most credit creation occurs.

I cannot imagine operating in a system where a centralized government bank manages retail credit. Here in Canada, the federal government recently directed that the bank accounts of the funders of political opponents be frozen. Can you imagine the perils to individual liberty and expression when a Central Bank Digital Currency is created alongside Social Credit Scores?

There is a sensible alternative that works for the 99%, without the heavy hand of government, the widespread use of Credit Unions. I have been a member for almost 50 years and have benefitted from higher interest on deposits and lower interest on loans.

It is a mystery to me why Credit Unions are not more popular, and why people like Dr. Hudson talk up big government socialism where small co-operative democratic structures would do a far better job.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 17:54 utc | 58

Important article. But I would add that Blinken et al are not policy makers. How foreign policy is made in America has been studied in depth by sociologists for years, the conclusions show that political figures in an administration are fronts for a coalition of very rich families and corporate executives, in fact in America there has developed an aristocracy of wealth who control the government through their control over how the government works, who is appointed or elected, and which organizations have influence, e.g. Brookings, CFR, Business Roundtable, etc. See Enemy of T̷h̷e̷ Their State

Posted by: Kana | Jul 13 2022 17:59 utc | 59

It is not the end, yet. And the end may mean the end of all of us. Anything is possible. The scope and nature of destruction that can be caused by the US and its loyal troops (EU and the other Eyes) is immense. Immense. Please watch this brief video and, perhaps, your heair will stand on your head, like mine did:
See also: Modern War Institute :

At the same time all Western national, and international institutions under US and all control, are mobilized against Russia. In that vain, there was a conference in The Hague today organized by the Dutch Government and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (unheard of!) called:
Ukraine Accountability Conference.
Take a look at these three items: - US Dep of State press statement 13 July 2022

Posted by: JB | Jul 13 2022 18:00 utc | 60


Are you going to join the White People’s Club or the Eurasian Club? And it really comes down to that.
Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 17:36 utc | 49

Lots of white people in the Eurasian Club. Lots of non-whites in the rest too. Hudson should be more careful in his choice of words. I wonder what "club" he intends to retire in?

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 18:00 utc | 61

The US foreign service has replaced intellectuals with yes men. Blinken has to seek approval from politicians like Mrs. Clinton and institutions like Goldman Sachs before he can do anything. Intellectuals like Stephen Cohen and were sidelined, and the many failures of US foreign policy are the result. Sadly, instead of partnering with China, Russia, etc., the US prefers confrontation as if the market and military power used to dominate small and developing countries is effective against peer competitors.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jul 13 2022 18:02 utc | 62

Snake Sullivan is a friend of Dorothy.
He is almost as pathetic as Ned Price.
Wendy Sherman is a social worker

The unraveling of the USA as a political construct is well advanced and unstoppable

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jul 13 2022 18:07 utc | 63

Blinken is so like Norman Wisdom

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jul 13 2022 18:09 utc | 64

Blinken is the poster child of the limits of ethnic nepotism

Posted by: Exile | Jul 13 2022 18:20 utc | 65

#---Posted by: too scents | Jul 13 2022 14:32 utc | 11

About the water-level of Lake Mead

Posted by: Anne B | Jul 13 2022 18:20 utc | 66

"...I prefer analysis, please. Not your constant old Bircher granny horse trash. You can follow Mr Forrestal out the hospital window now. Cheers.." Wester@37
Motion Seconded!

Posted by: bevin | Jul 13 2022 18:21 utc | 67

@Roger: the PMS do face a lot of stress, but at the same time, they are needed, otherwise the elite would just do the job themselves. From this, they have an outsized influence.

Hence the old adage "personnel is policy". Not ownership, personnel.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 18:23 utc | 68

Imagine the mindset of people who look at 47 million people living in deserts and running out of water, and thinking the "solution" is to build a massive pipeline through mountains and plains draining a northern lake so that the 47 million people can continue to live in the desert with their lawns and golf courses and fountains.
This is why we can't have nice things.
When we have nice things the technology believers figure out ways to destroy them.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jul 13 2022 18:24 utc | 69

It is a mystery to me why Credit Unions are not more popular, and why people like Dr. Hudson talk up big government socialism where small co-operative democratic structures would do a far better job.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 17:54 utc | 58

This is always the sticking point to me when reading about socialist views, namely the assumption that the only way to get there is by Big Government which implies over-centralization which in my book is always, always, always a recipe for tyranny/disaster over the long-term no matter how buoyantly it begins.

Ideally, I suspect, most government/leadership should be local but most local communities should also follow national and even perhaps later global codes or laws which ideally can be fit onto no more than 5 pages, i.e. core, binding principles not management-level policies. That way such communities, or local polities, can fit in with the rest of the world relatively seamlessly. Anything to reduce oppressive, stultifying and bloated government at any level in the matrix.

That said, if we leave government to each nation state to figure out in their own way and indeed end up with a multipolar world comprised of sovereign, equally valued nation states, the differences between those states will act as both spur and buffer to many positives and negatives without the need for any over-arching body of law or administration of the same.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 13 2022 18:28 utc | 70

Reminds me of a song, guess most will know it:

This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
The end of laughter and soft lies

When I got to know this song, I felt intrigued by the idea of a situation where there's neither safety, nor surprise.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jul 13 2022 18:35 utc | 71

You're alright and I've never caught you in a lie. Also, you've scooped a couple of important stories, so I chipped in 20 Euro. Spend it before it's only worth two bits.
As a humanitarian gesture, I was thinking of saving my farts in a bag to send to Germany this winter to help them stay warm.

Posted by: Rabbit | Jul 13 2022 18:37 utc | 72

"and in which every nation is dedicated to solving the problems that threaten us all."

Wrong. The US needs to be dedicated to solving problems in the US, like getting government out of the way of energy production. Diplomacy yes. We can make mutually beneficial agreements where we get a net benefit. But the time for solving other countries' problems is over.

Posted by: JackG | Jul 13 2022 18:45 utc | 73

Hudson won't retire; he'll die first. And his wife's Chinese, so he knows very well how the White People's Club works.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 18:47 utc | 74

The present age of irony shows no sign of slowing.

The end of the American Century means the rebirth of America.

The rise of the "Global Century" means a prevailing anti-globalist sentiment among all nations.

Try as you might to subdue the world with your global technicity, Spirit spins free from your grasp. And then to its ethereal mist, we should hopelessly cling, rather than hope to contain.

"Life can be only understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."

~ S. Kierkegaard

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 13 2022 19:32 utc | 75

Hudson won't retire; he'll die first. And his wife's Chinese, so he knows very well how the White People's Club works.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 18:47 utc | 74

Of course he won't retire, like Chomsky the lifelong tenured professorship is too lucrative of a gig to pass up. Add in the generous speech making fees and travel and it is a good life. Who will he eventually leave his millions too?

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 19:33 utc | 76

I wonder what "club" he intends to retire in?
Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 18:00 utc | 61

You better ask Michael Hudson, or karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46 😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 19:56 utc | 77

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 19:33 utc | 76
Biden also won't retire, but will just fade a vegetable...😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 19:58 utc | 78

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46


It is a mystery to me why Credit Unions are not more popular, and why people like Dr. Hudson talk up big government socialism where small co-operative democratic structures would do a far better job.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 17:54 utc | 58

Hudson recognizes the usefulness of small banks. Credit created by small banks won't go to the 1% but the 99%.

but where is the money going?
consumption -> consumer price inflation (covid).
buying existing assets (e.g. houses, stocks) -> asset price inflation (2008 - 2020)
productive investment (machines, etc. ) -> economic growth

ofc the tricky part is: what is productive? Thats the real job of the Banker, finding out if the business model of the client is profitable i.e. his ability to repay the loan.

It's explained here by a friend of Hudson:

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 13 2022 19:58 utc | 79

The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has introduced a ban on the export of fuels such as gas. "The time has come for the government to declare a state of emergency," said Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas.

Well, we have funny "unity" in the EU/NATO...

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 20:00 utc | 80

re: Opport Knocks @58,

As someone who is a member of a Credit Union I can say their biggest problem is that they need quality staff (plus redundancy) and while people talk about the advantages of a smaller personal business between the business and the client, there are also significant disadvantages. 1. Personal relationships can be bad as well as good, if the Credit Union loan officer doesn't like you or doesn't think you're a good business prospect he can freeze you out entirely. 2. Credit Union, like most small businesses usually rely on 1 or 2 key charismatic personalities to keep everything going as they are too small to rely on bureaucracy keeping the business going, so if those key figure(s) go, the business usually putters and then bought out. 3. Trust - Credit Unions are legally distinct from Banks because they are so small they cant afford the same legal auditory standards. Because they dont have the same audit protections to prevent fraud they are more reliant on good character to prevent theft, if a bad apple gets in they can crash the whole business.

I am personal familiar with the last one as the Ontario Teacher's Credit Union went bust because of a massive embezzlement by one of the senior executives. It was then bought out by PACE Credit Union, which also went bust (also because of the SAME massive, multi-year fraud that they knew about before they bought it - idiots) and has now been bought out by Alterna Savings, all of this happened over 7yrs. you'll be happy to know however that just like a proper bank, after a 3yr investigation that cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars, the executive was not criminally charged with embezzlement, but simply repaid part of her prior year-end bonus and clarified that she was "mistaken" when she 1) approved loans to non-existent people, 2) "mis-marketed" high risk mutual funds as low risk to investors 3) hired unqualified family members for vital roles at inflated salaries. I for one am glad that the system works and that Credit Unions can bring the same qualify of fraud big hedge funds are experience in to the small investor and saver

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 13 2022 20:01 utc | 81

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 13 2022 17:52 utc | 57

To get behind the paywall of the Harper's article I used my extension:

Thank to Scorpion for posting this entire article for free!

Two significant observations or facts:

The United States’ power was similarly astounding after the Soviet Union’s collapse in the early Nineties, especially when one aggregates its strength with that of its Western allies. In 1992, the G7 countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—controlled 68 percent of global GDP, and maintained sophisticated militaries, which, the Gulf War seemed to demonstrate, could achieve their objectives quickly, cheaply, and with minimal loss of Western life.

But this is no longer the case. By 2020, the G7’s GDP had dwindled to 31 percent of the global total, and is expected to fall to 29 percent by 2024. This trend will likely continue. And if the past thirty years of American war have demonstrated anything, it’s that sophisticated militaries do not always achieve their intended political objectives. The United States and its allies aren’t what they once were. Hegemony was an anomaly, an accident of history unlikely to be repeated, at least in the foreseeable future.

In just 30 years, the G7 nations have lost more than 50% of their share of the world's GDP, from 68% to 31%!

The BRICS nations alone account for 28% of the world's GDP in 2022. But even more significantly, they have 40% of the world's population.

Meanwhile, the cool-aid drinking aka American sheeple still believe in the "American dream" or fantasy:

At the present moment, however, a majority of Americans side with the liberal internationalists: in a Pew poll taken in early 2020, 91 percent of American adults thought that “the U.S. as the world’s leading power would be better for the world,” up from 88 percent in 2018.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 13 2022 20:08 utc | 82

Most of the detractors acting on this thread project this image: You simply aren’t equipped to get it. And refuse to learn it. All of which are the signatures of sophisticated trolls dominating this thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 20:12 utc | 83

@ karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 20:12 utc | 83

and they aren't all that sophisticated either..................

Posted by: james | Jul 13 2022 20:15 utc | 84

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 13 2022 19:32 utc | 75

Neat post...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 13 2022 20:15 utc | 85

karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46

Thanks for the salient Hudson quotes, and for all of your educational posts. I'm beginning to understand Russia/China's chessmasters' patience in birthing a new world paradigm and why Hudson foresees it as a 20+ year process. I do hope the empire itself unravels long before that (please), but avoiding the potential catastrophic, reckless reaction by a wounded predator requires caution ... perhaps with tranquilizers and a strong cage? Beyond that, restoring a healthy interdependent economic ecosystem will take many years I suppose. I hope I live long enough to see it born at least.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jul 13 2022 20:19 utc | 86

@Paul Greenwood, #64:

Blinken is so like Norman Wisdom

Do you mean Norman Wisdom the person himself or Norman Wisdom the role model played in his movies? Norman Wisdom the person was vastly more intelligent and sincere than Blinken can ever hope to be. Norman Wisdom the role he played in his movies was vastly funnier but also much more sincere than Blinken ever can imitate.

Obviously, I disagree with your allegation. I think one of three stooges may come close to what Blinken actually is like:-)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 13 2022 20:27 utc | 87

"Elite" is such a weird word. Within my US worldview, something very different is meant by an "elite football player" vs. an "elite politician" or the "elite in DC" and i'm not talking about the difference in sport and the difference in connotation is absolutely negative towards the leadership class.

Posted by: David | Jul 13 2022 20:34 utc | 88

to build infrastructure, to create the kind of society that America seemed to be growing in the late 19th century
Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 13 2022 17:24 utc | 46

You are mistaken. Let's recap top line US history: weak central gov and 50% "Jeffersonian" ag until GDIII "New Deal".

Your "infrastructure"? east coast rail and canal transpo started in the early 19th, interrupted by a decade-long collapse of US, UK stock markets (GDI), and capitalized the gilded "barons" who most certainly financed euro-immigrant steerage, replacing slave labor and feedin manifest destiny with "professional" soldiers.

A great, contemporaneous read, The Entailed Hat, a propos c1ue | Jul 10 2022 5:03 utc | 138 nod to "Mary Lee Custis ... December 1882"

Let us note. The Spanish War (1898-1904) comprised fed's stimulus package to bury GDII (The Long Depression, 1873-1896) not only ended a decade of Reconstruction profiteering from SC through Texass along the westward rail. It inaugurated US imperial aspirations in each hemispheres --west and east.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 13 2022 20:36 utc | 89

ofc the tricky part is: what is productive? Thats the real job of the Banker, finding out if the business model of the client is profitable i.e. his ability to repay the loan.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 13 2022 19:58 utc | 79

Credit Unions and small banks can cover the low end retail and small business very effectively. So let's move up to middle tier private capital which is beyond their scope.

I am close to a VP of Construction for a company that builds medium and high rise rental accommodation in the order of $200 million per project with syndicalized capital model. Capital tranches are in the order of $20 million per participant. It would be a nightmare for the company to find and vet the sources of capital for each project on their own, so they use Goldman and other Mega Banks for the task. Most of the money comes from public and private pensions with the occasional wealthy individual, some fleeing socialist regimes like Venezuela.

The bank collects hefty fees for vetting all the partners in the venture, drafting legal agreements and ensuring the capital transfer. The developer makes money by bringing in the project below the pro-forma budget and from the operation of the complex. The insurance companies and pension funds get (almost) guaranteed annual income plus long term capital appreciation.

Is this a case of "Private Capital Gone Bad"? Clearly not.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 20:42 utc | 90

Daniel Bessner is an associate professor at the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

All he talks about is China, China...and a wee bit about the Soviet Union in his Harper's essay. He doesn't appear to know how the Soviet Union was run, what engines it had, who the Soviet person was. He doesn't appear to understand the Chinese person of the Communist China either. (I read the article twice, once faster, once slowly.) Most probably, he understands his own American society, what runs/fuels it, but doesn't appear to fathom what fuels either China or modern Russia, or former USSR.

He looks at the matter from the view of an American university professor, and that's all. He doesn't fathom what is this "friendship without limits" between China and Russia, or about the economic cooperation between China and Russia, countries of two different political, economic systems. Why the BRICS started (since 2006), before the famous 2007 Putin's speech in Munich. The plan to kick the US(D) hegemony started a long time ago, and was intended.

Anyway, on one thing Daniel Bessner is right: America as United States is dying.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 20:52 utc | 91

All I gotta add is that Canadians had better be praying for rain in the American southwest and snow in the Rockies `cuz they are in line to learn the hard way to empathize with the targets of American "Shock&Awe™" when Lake Mead goes dry and those California über alles start getting thirsty.

Go ahead and laugh. Laugh until the high explosives and napalm ("Shake`n Bake") start falling on your completely non-military civilian population centers. Laugh until you learn the hard way that your skin tone won't save you when you have something the empire wants.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 13 2022 20:53 utc | 92

It took the British half a century to begin to let go of Empire. Many of them still live in the old mental frame. Don't hold your breath waiting for Americans to understand. Expect lasting stupidity.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 13 2022 20:55 utc | 93

David | Jul 13 2022 20:34 utc | 88

That's the power of ideology: to make people greedy for "highness".

Blame Plato.

Posted by: sippy the shot glass | Jul 13 2022 20:55 utc | 94

Why the surprise? History never fails. An average empire lasts about 250 years; the GAE is in 246. Sad, but move on with a new system- a multi-polar, win-win partnership, instead of the typical British hegemony crap. The GAE never escaped the shackle from Britain.

Posted by: HoHo | Jul 13 2022 20:56 utc | 95

Is this a case of "Private Capital Gone Bad"? Clearly not.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 13 2022 20:42 utc | 90

No, not always, but you're ignoring the glaring should-be-criminal casino activities of the same "banks." Would you be against re-implementing something like Glass-Steagall to again separate the depository bank functions from the casino gambling "investment" functions in that space?

"Fleeing socialist regimes like Venezuela..." LOL, precisely *who* is fleeing and *what* are they fleeing, pray tell? Couldn't be the post-colonial (white) compradores who had previously stolen or been handed productive land or oil leases by the conquering Europeans and their progeny or the consequences of massive economic sabotage/war being waged on them by the USSA, could it?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 13 2022 21:00 utc | 96

Now that's a great term: 'pointillist empire', coinage Daniel Immerwahr. Clara Immerwahr's grandson.

Posted by: LeaNder | Jul 13 2022 21:03 utc | 97

Daniel Bessner writes,

But in the past six years, two transformational events have begun to reshape the United States’ place in the world.

First, the election of Donald Trump...

Second, the emergence of China as an economic and military powerhouse has decisively ended the “unipolar moment” of the Nineties and Aughts...

And, that's all he talks about. And, mostly about China...China...
Nothing at all about Russia. (Well, he mentions Russia just 4 times, but nothing of significance.)

Just another American professor writing for money...

Posted by: ostro | Jul 13 2022 21:05 utc | 98

@Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 13 2022 18:23 utc | 68

The PMC do the tactics to implement the strategy that they are given, in that respect they are important. Any big decisions though will be referred back to the real centres of power, worked through by the think tanks and facilitated by the foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Gates etc.). The WEF, Bildeberger, Aspen, CFR and Trilateral Commission meetings provide the interactions, as well as meetings set up by the foundations. In addition, companies like Goldman Sachs and Blackrock act as proxies for their super-wealthy clients.

van Apeldoorn and de Graaff have done excellent research on how the PMC folks are filtered through billionaire and corporate funded think tanks and foundations to make sure that they align with elite interests. They have a great book "American Grand Strategy and Corporate Elite Networks: The Open Door since the End of the Cold War" but its pretty pricey. The two papers below are open access.

van Apeldoorn and de Graaff,

van Apeldoorn and de Graaff, US–China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions?

Inderjeet Palmer has also investigated the role of foundations in facilitating the working through of an elite consensus on domestic and foreign policies. The foundations also spend large amounts of money to mold the beliefs and careers of scholars in policy-oriented fields, up to half of all academic grants in the US are provided by the foundations. The scholars end up internalizing capitalist elite interests, and if they do not they will be quickly weeded out.

"one of the functions of networks is to incorporate and socialise scholars through providing research funds and career-building structures such as professional societies, conferences, and journals. Networks build careers and as individuals progress through the ranks, the structural probabilities for radically different thinking rapidly diminish. Added to this is the increasingly policy-oriented or at least utilitarian character of academic knowledge production – favoured by foundations – that scholars are (structurally) socialised or incentivised to conduct. Therefore, such socialising structures tend to have politically-moderating effects on scholars, scholarship and political action"

Inderjeet Palmer, Foundation Networks and American Hegemony

Posted by: Roger | Jul 13 2022 21:05 utc | 99

I have always suspected (but never done any rigorous reading or research to back it up) that the rise of the PMC in the West directly and linearly coincided with the transition from industrial capitalism to finance capitalism. People gotta put food on the table and they'll usually take any job they can get to make that happen. Problem is, the PMC bourgeoise have expensive tastes, and "need" them a nice mcmansion in the quiet suburbs or recently gentrified inner cities. Must always have moar!

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 13 2022 21:05 utc | 100

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