Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2023

On 'Sub-Imperial Power' (by Arnaud Bertrand)

by Arnaud Bertrand
(reproduced with the author's permission)

I just finished reading “Sub-Imperial Power” by Clinton Fernandes, a former Australian intelligence officer and now professor of international and political studies at the University of New South Wales.

Full disclosure, Clinton sent me the book and wrote a nice dedication on it, calling me a “public educator”, which is a nice way of saying I tweet too much 😄

But I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t really like the book, which I actually believe is essential reading if you want to understand Australian geopolitics, or are interested in geopolitics generally.

The book makes one of the best descriptions of the “rules-based international order” that I’ve read, describing in details how Australia isn’t a vassal or a client state of the U.S., like many believe, but rather a “sub-imperial power”. What this means is that Australia, as well as other “sub-imperial powers” like Israel or the UK, are essentially the henchmen of the US’s current “imperial” rule, tasked with preserving it in their respective regions. Which means that as henchmen they aren’t so much victims of an hegemonic US rule but instead feel that they derive such disproportionate benefits from it that they’re willing to go to great length to help the US preserve this rule against the actual victims, those who disproportionately lose out from the order.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is how it departs from the theories of realism, championed by the likes of John Mearsheimer or Stephen Walt, who assert that all states - regardless of culture, religion, social hierarchy or political system - will act in the same way because they all prioritize survival and security above all else. They assert that given that maximizing power is the best way to survive in the international system, if they had the opportunity all states would seek to become hegemons like the US is today, or imperial Britain was yesterday.

Fernandes makes a very different case, which I actually think is a far better explanation of how the world actually works, and of the historical behavior of various states. His point is that there’s something unique about US geopolitics, and that of Western colonial states before it, in that they have these extremely aggressive characteristics - the impulse to subjugate and pillage others - that actually often harm their security rather than safeguard it. And he explains this with the undue power the moneyed class has over the state in those systems of government. Which is hard to deny if one looks at things historically: for instance it is the East India Company that initiated the colonization and pillage of India, not the British state that only came afterwards to essentially pacify growing rebellion in India so as to perpetuate the ongoing pillage. Or take a more recent example: the war in Iraq. It makes very little sense from an American security or survival perspective but it makes eminently good sense from a US oil company or economic hegemony perspective. Or again the current conflict in Gaza, which is extremely negative for American security as it generates busloads of hatred throughout the Muslim world against America and diverts American attention from more consequential geopolitical challenges. But it makes sense if you look at it from the standpoint of perpetrating a hegemonic system.

In other words, Fernandes’ point is that the key characteristic of the “rules-based international order” relates to the actual structure of the American (or British, French, Australian, etc) social and economic system, which seeks to enforce an order where the whole world is open to the penetration and control of their respective national moneyed classes. Which is why the order is about hegemony, and not about security, and why the former so often comes at the expense of the latter.

It’s interestingly something that John Mearsheimer often laments about if you listen to him: “why would the U.S. act in such foolish ways that go against what my realist theories recommend?”. He was adamantly opposed to the war in Iraq, warned for many years about the risk of a clash with Russia in Ukraine if we expanded NATO, and keeps speaking out against the U.S.’s unequivocal support of Israel. And by doing so Mearsheimer actually admits that realism doesn’t quite explain the behavior of states and that his theories are therefore not quite right. Fernandes here offers an explanation that better predicts the actual behavior of the US and its “sub-imperial powers”: you cannot understand states’ behavior if you limit yourself to a state-centric view, you also need to look at the unique characteristics of their political, social and economic system.

A last interesting point is that, given the fact he argues that states’ political and economic systems play a key role in defining their geopolitics, Fernandes’s book implies a prediction that as China’s power rises, it will behave in vastly different ways than the U.S. and its imperial henchmen. Given the Chinese system, it will undoubtedly seek to maximize its power but this time it will actually be for its own security and survival, and not to serve the interests of its moneyed class, and as such will behave in much less aggressive ways than the US. Again, interestingly Mearsheimer kind of admits this too because he repeatedly says “when I am in China, I’m amongst my people”: as in they follow his realist theories much more faithfully than the US. We can already see the contours of this: it’s absolutely obvious that the Chinese state isn’t at the mercy of its moneyed class, quite the contrary, China is not exactly a country where billionaires have an easy life 😂 Same thing with respect to hegemony: China just doesn’t do military alliances (it doesn’t have any), foreign interference or coups d’états. In fact they haven’t as much as fired a single bullet abroad in over 4 decades. On the contrary, it seeks to create an order with indivisible security and mutual respect embedded in the system, where it’d ideally be the most powerful state - sure - but not for the purpose of pillaging or subjugating others but because this guarantees its security and stability. Which is exactly how it behaved for 1,800 years when it was the most powerful state on the planet before the industrial revolution: it never went around trying to colonize and pillage the world as it believed this would eventually come at the expense of its own security, much like it comes at the expense of American security and interests today. Instead it sought relationships of trade and mutual respect that maximize security and stability over the long term.

Anyhow you should really read the book, it’s all too rare that such a book gets written by Western academics. You typically get the usual utter bullshit about the inherent superiority of Western values and various ill founded theories as to why we should rule the world. This gives you a peak outside the matrix.

end of text by Arnaud Bertrand
---

b here.

You may dismiss the "sub-imperial power" discussed above as a "lame phrase so [the Aussie] wouldn't have to say vassal". There is some truth to that.

But to distinguish monetary hegemony from security driven imperialism as the root cause of the global mess is, to me, a new insight. Said differently: The survival and security aspect is only relevant as far as it concerns the moneyed class. Mearsheimer's realist view somewhat misses that aspect.

Posted by b on November 24, 2023 at 8:35 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Can confirm. This book is a great primer on Australian geopolitics and geopolitics in general.

Anyone who wants to know more about Australia specifically should check out Clinton's other book, Island off the Coast of Asia (2018).

Posted by: SpatialFix | Nov 24 2023 8:42 utc | 1

idk about his thoughts on Mearsheimer. Mearsheimer keeps saying that China is a threat because he thinks they will end up doing the same things America is doing. He's also a warmonger advocating containing China

Posted by: leaf | Nov 24 2023 8:57 utc | 2

Hell's Bells, I should have entered political science as a career! I would have been great!
Sorry for being ludicrous, and really I'm not usually that arrogant, but: Hasn't that been obvious? That the actions of states in capitalism are largely determined by economic interests?
Assuming rational decisions by all parties - which is necessary if you wish to understand anything -, many actions especially by the USA only make sense if you take the economic sphere into account. They don't seek hegemony because they are "evil", but because an economic system that requires constant growth to function drives them to consume more and more. And also, because - like all empires in history - they live on tributes, which they need to keep inner peace, and need more and more tributes to keep more and more people happy. If you disbelieve that the USA take tributes, have a look at their trade balance.
The USA and the British empire are not the inventors of aggressive imperialism. Rome worked the same way, of course, and Akkad, and probably the Inka and Aztec empires, too, and many others that I'm not aware of. Whether Russia and China will go down the same way remains to be seen. I agree with the authors that it seems unlikely to me. Culture, too, has an influence by the way it shapes economy.

Posted by: Konrad | Nov 24 2023 9:10 utc | 3

I think the difference in philosophical outlook is evident in the top down vs bottom up orientation of each nation state. I have been talking about this for some time.

China, is a bottom up, state-controlled system tolerant of capitalism(monopoly power does not exist in private enterprise); the economic interest are useful but always a challenge

while

the USA and its vassals are top down states, controlled, from the top by capitalist who have extracted and transferred nearly all of the state owned monopoly powers from the state into private hands (privatization); the governed are sometimes useful, but always a burden.

China is a government controlled by the needs wants and aspirations of those it governs, while the western governments are controlled by the needs, wants and aspiration of those who control those who govern.

In the west, those who control the state are privately owned monopoly powered corporations and the wealthy owners of those MPCs, while in China, those who control the state are custodians of the wants needs and aspirations of the people who are governed by the state.


great article B.. thanks.

Posted by: snake | Nov 24 2023 9:32 utc | 4

What happened to America's Anti-imperialist league in the 19th century? I remember even Mao commented once upon a time of viewing America as an ally in the fight against colonialism. How come America went down a different path? Is it because of the UK/European heritage? Just a question to anyone else out there, but do you think this predetermined.

Also reminds of Eisenhower talking about the military industrial complex.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg-jvHynP9Y

He knew then, so how come it couldn't be prevented?

Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 9:46 utc | 5

In my thesis I used the term 'comprador vassal states'

I guess this 'it's all in the interest of capital' idea is a revelation mainly for people who never read any Marx, who was much better at, and overwhelmingly focused on, the predictive rather than the predictive or prescriptive. Still worth reading today

Posted by: stozi | Nov 24 2023 9:46 utc | 6

A SUB-IMPERIAL POWER - EUPHEMISM FOR A COUNTRY THAT BENDS OVER FOR THE US EMPIRE

Posted by: Addendum | Nov 24 2023 9:50 utc | 7

"...John Mearsheimer or Stephen Walt... assert that all states - regardless of culture, religion, social hierarchy or political system - will act in the same way because they all prioritize survival and security above all else".

That's fallacious, because it assumes the actual existence of things called "states". That is, it assumes that a "state" has physical existence, whereas in fact it is nothing more than an idea held by some people.

Why does it matter, I hear you cry? Because a "state", operationally defined, amounts to a group of people all acting partly in their joint interest and partly in their individual interests. Today we see many states - definitely including the USA, the UK, all the NATO states, Australia and New Zealand - acting almost entirely in the interests of the individuals who hold power, without the slightest regard for the interests of the citizens as a whole.

The individuals who control "Western" nations today mostly couldn't give an airborne act of intercourse for the security or survival of "their" states or the people who inhabit them. They have got theirs, in the form of wealth and power today and a secure (they hope) retirement tomorrow.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Nov 24 2023 10:01 utc | 8

Hah, "sub imperial power". What does that even mean? A lower level thug for the Mafia don?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Nov 24 2023 10:05 utc | 9

In fact they[China] haven’t as much as fired a single bullet abroad in over 4 decades

'nuff said.

Posted by: john | Nov 24 2023 10:07 utc | 10

Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 9:46 utc | 5

Ike bore his share of blame in helping the MIC develop. it's true he admitted the danger, something the sainted JFK did not, but he did precious little with his power beside make a good speech. I know all the alleged grand things JFK was going to do in his second term; I think second term JFK was going to be very much like second term Obama. We also heard of all the grand things Obama was going to do once he was unleashed from the need to seek a second term. what did he do? more of the same.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 24 2023 10:07 utc | 11

This sub-imperial concept echoes and develops a proposition posed 4 months ago by Timofey Bordachev:

Joining NATO is an exchange of state sovereignty for the indefinite retention of power by the ruling elite. This is the secret of every political regime's desire to join the bloc: it gives them the possibility of “immortality" in spite of any domestic or economic failures.

https://www.rt.com/news/579613-us-never-allow-ukraine-join-nato/

Posted by: neutrino | Nov 24 2023 10:12 utc | 12

Sub-imperial power is just another way of saying franchise, no? Like how McDonald's is primarily run through franchising.

Posted by: indi.ca | Nov 24 2023 10:13 utc | 13

It seems there is someone who gets it. The USA of today are a vastly different beast from the British Empire. The British Empire was in competition with the other great powers, while the USA, after the WWII, is in league with these other powers (from the UK to Japan). The reason of this collaboration, instead of competition, lies in the fact that the ruling elites so decided for their own interest. The most obvious case is exactly that of the UK: after the Suez crisis, the British financial elite chose to adapt to the new power balance instead of fighting back against it (like they would have done in the XIX century). Since then, the UK lives in symbiosis with the USA, as the money laundering specialist of the gang. The Zelenskys and Haniyehs of the world receive their rich wage for their valuable services to their rulers, pay back their taxes as donations to the Democratic Party or the Clinton Foundation, and then deposit their money in a safe place, like the Cayman Islands or Jersey. Everybody wins. The USA is not an empire, because the rulers of the West are a transnational private club of financial capitalists with no allegiance to a particular nation or state (with, maybe, the exception of Israel).

Now, a few notes.

Given the Chinese system, it will undoubtedly seek to maximize its power but this time it will actually be for its own security and survival, and not to serve the interests of its moneyed class, and as such will behave in much less aggressive ways than the US.

Maybe, but that alone does not mean that the world will be more peaceful or safer. It is a bit like the mesopredator release theory: it could lead to more conflicts between middle powers. And maybe we are witnessing that right now.


Which is exactly how it behaved for 1,800 years when it was the most powerful state on the planet before the industrial revolution [...]

Not this idiocy again. Being powerful does not equal having a few hundred million peasants more than the others. It is a matter of surplus, social complexity and a lot of other things that China did not have. Compare the history of preindustrial China with that of preindustrial France: France was led by one dynasty for over 1000 years until the revolution, while China was in a constant state of war with its neighbour, its rump states and its satellites, usually losing all wars against these outsiders.

Posted by: SG | Nov 24 2023 10:20 utc | 14

On social media there has been a lot of discussion in the last year about the political theory of a war between the two rival elite factions of the American establishment isince the 1960s known as "The Yankee and Cowboy War," and its current version and relationship with the Trump movement

The following tells the details on the history of the Cowboy and Yankee War between the two main factions of American elites in the 1960s-70s, how it then changed and merged to become the Uniparty, and where we are today with their war against the neo-Cowboy Trump movement. See: The Uniparty and Cowboy War

Posted by: kana | Nov 24 2023 10:33 utc | 15

Lots and lots of euphamisisms envoved by the aurthor as has been said above.

Basicly britain, Austraila, Europe and Canada are submissive to America and America is run by the zionists so it turns out.

That status que benifits those countrys leaders... its a small club and we are not in it.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 24 2023 10:36 utc | 16

I don't think anyone would deny that Mearsheimer is an American supremacist - he says it himself - and only really looks at things from the point of view of the US. I stopped thinking that his position represents the good of the world a long time ago.

Posted by: laguerre | Nov 24 2023 10:40 utc | 17


What is told can be said much shorter : The author describes a Class who pursue their own interests which are contrary to the interests of their native Country and People,
with other words :

TRAITORS and SCUMBAGS selling out their Nation for personal Gain

This situation applies ( among other nations ) to ALL WESTERN COUNTRIES today and has been the case for many Years ... to the detriment of the socalled West.

It also underlines the Strength of Russsia who is blessed with a Leader who serves the interests of his Nation and People :

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN

Posted by: OLEGRO | Nov 24 2023 10:42 utc | 18

<<"you cannot understand states’ behavior if you limit yourself to a state-centric view, you also need to look at the unique characteristics of their political, social and economic system.

A last interesting point is that, given the fact he argues that states’ political and economic systems play a key role in defining their geopolitics">>

*****
I would hope that both Bertrand & Fernandes are more than familiar with the prolific work of Prof Michael Hudson. His early seminal work 'Super Imperialism' was ignored by the left (its intended audience) and instead adopted by the CIA as a manual on how to drive its hegemony. It made him the highest paid analyst on Wall St and, among other things, he showed how the US Global Military Industrial Empire expenditure exactly mirrored the US Current Account Deficit.

Further study with Harvard Anthropology Dept placed his work within a broader context and a much longer timescale, examining the history of debt and financial organisation in the Ancient Near East. There autocratic rulers were established to protect the 95% from the inevitable emergence of a wealthy oligarchy who would expropriate and turn them into debt-slaves. As no economy on the planet has ever managed to grow faster than compound interest on debt. Regular 'debt jubilees' or wiping the slate clean of private debt obligations, kept the oligarchs down and the state functioning long-term. With the population both able and willing to transfer resources to the centre for infrastructure and self-defence. Debtors Rights were paramount, based on ability to pay.

This changed in the Hellenic and Roman Empire which provide the foundations of Western Law. Creditors Rights became paramount, and oligarchies emerged which, once they had exploited the 95%, dispossesing them and forcing them to work as serfs on their latifundia (plantations), then needed to look to move beyond the domestic frontiers.

Until eventually the oligarchs (Senate) found that everyone, including the mercenaries hired to defend the Empire, hated them so much they ended up supporting the so-called 'barbarians' to come and destroy these oligarchs.

It is no coincidence Western elite and public architecture, White House, Capitol etc mirror the creditor-based Roman Imperial models.

https://michael-hudson.com/2023/05/the-arc-of-time-pro-creditor-history/

https://michael-hudson.com/2019/06/food-blackmail-the-washington-consensus-and-freedom/


The michael-hudson.com site is a goldmine, maintained by his students, is extremely searchable using tags

Posted by: neoliberal nightmare | Nov 24 2023 10:59 utc | 19

I think Bertrand is splitting hairs - to be a vassal or a client state of the U.S., entails the exercise of “sub-imperial power”. That's what the loyal follower does, on a measured scale, and that's what the Yankee Jackboot enables.

Posted by: Gerry Bell | Nov 24 2023 11:00 utc | 20

It's neither the one nor completely the other, but far closer to Fernandes. The realist theory is obviously flawed - neither the US nor Britain, say, are strengthened by mass immigration, rather weakened. But what has improved are the finances and power of the moneyed elite.

"Fernandes’ point is that the key characteristic of the “rules-based international order” relates to the actual structure of the American (or British, French, Australian, etc) social and economic system, which seeks to enforce an order where the whole world is open to the penetration and control of their respective national moneyed classes"

I'd suggest that today's Bilderberg types are essentially "denationalised". Boris Johnson, for example, is a classic rootless cosmopolitan - and one who, while opening Britain's borders to over a million people in his last year of power, himself lives in an Oxfordshire manor house with a moat round it.

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | Nov 24 2023 11:13 utc | 21

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 24 2023 10:07 utc | 11

I have to say you are right on JFK. And what a disappointment RFKjr has been (although I am sure many here are not surprised).

But why is the US like this, once the land was taken they could have became a proper autarky. They have a large landmass, small population relative to it, an abundance of resources and no neighboring enemies (Canada to the north is basically America, and Mexico could be a natural ally if treated better).

We are talking about the largely Anglo-Saxon nations here, but what of India? It looks like they have fully embraced the US position. What would they gain from this? Has Britain left that much of legacy on them?

Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 11:20 utc | 22

Posted by: laguerre | Nov 24 2023 10:40 utc | 17

I think it’s childish to think of people like Mearsheimer in terms of good or bad. Obviously being American he is biased towards American interests as he sees them. However, his main contribution is his theory of how the states act and in this context what policy should the US pursue.

Posted by: RB | Nov 24 2023 11:29 utc | 23

Posted by: RB | Nov 24 2023 11:29 utc | 23

The point is he doesn't look wider than that.

Posted by: laguerre | Nov 24 2023 11:34 utc | 24

I haven't read this book, and I admit I probably won't, but I have a broad remark about discussions concerning the state and imperialism:

What is the state? It is so often the case that a definition is never offered in such discussions; it is simply assumed: "everyone knows what the state is". However, it is absolutely fundamental to understand what is meant by the state. A common way in which the state is understood is as an independent entity that holds power over a territory and people by virtue of its monopoly of violence, and is accessible to control through different forms of political struggle. In this view, it is like a chair that is occupied by some group, which can at any moment be seized by a different group. This definition sits behind the following conceptions:
- that a liberal democratic process can succeed in overcoming great social challenges (e.g. if only we vote the right people into power, we can overcome poverty/racism/forever wars/climate change/etc.)
- that "regime change" in a different country will provoke the desired transformations
- that a state may be captured or subordinated by some domestic or foreign entity (e.g. views such as the Neocons are in control, EU Commission is subordinate to the US Empire, or "the Chinese state does not to serve the interests of its moneyed class" like Mr. Bertrand said above)

This definition shows its limits when electing "the right people" does not lead to the desired changes, when regime change doesn't provoke the desired transformations, or when a captured or subordinated state takes actions that go against the interests of its supposed masters.

To me, the most useful definition of the state is the one offered by Lenin in his "State and Revolution":

"The state is a special organisation of force; it is the organisation of violence for the suppression of some class."

It is helpful to accompany this with the following elaboration for the specific case of liberal democracies:

"Take any parliamentary country, from America to Switzerland, from France to England, Norway and so forth - the actual work of the 'state' there is done behind the scenes and is carried out by the departments, the offices, and the staffs. Parliament itself is given up to talk for the special purpose of fooling the 'common people'."

I have found that taking Lenin's definition as the starting point has been far more helpful in understanding the world we live in. It is compatible with the points raised by Mr. Bertrand above, and also helps to explain the contradictions found in Mr. Mearsheimer's theories. Beyond that, it also goes further in helping us understand why the conceptions I have listed above are false or at best naive.

Posted by: Palm & Needle | Nov 24 2023 11:38 utc | 25

he explains this with the undue power the moneyed class has over the state in those systems of government. Which is hard to deny if one looks at things historically: … the key characteristic of the “rules-based international order” relates to the actual structure of the American (or British, French, Australian, etc) social and economic system, which seeks to enforce an order where the whole world is open to the penetration and control of their respective national moneyed classes. Which is why the order is about hegemony, and not about security, and why the former so often comes at the expense of the latter.

Well said, b—or perhaps well quipped?

The US oligarchy—going back to Jefferson, and which was only challenged by, maybe, Roosevelt (or the Kennedys)—has always only ever been focused on eradicating “subhumans” in service to “hyper-humans”, which are defined in US English as: Ivy League inheritors, of which there are many.

Or, to rephrase that: the US oligarchs have only ever been interested in eradicating any people who oppose their complete control of the pathways to power over the greater US

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 24 2023 11:45 utc | 26

As a Brit I have no idea why the UK thinks it benefits from such an arrangement.

Posted by: scepticalSOB | Nov 24 2023 11:51 utc | 27

It is not my intention to dilute interest in the book (which is going on my to-read list) but I, for once, don't find anything new or surprising on the idea of penetration and control over security. Just figure how economic elites treat their own hosts: one could arguably say the United States has all the intelligence and resources to be a stable, solid society that focuses on high standards of living, similar to North Europe, where economic elites have a guarantee of foundational stability. But the choice is often profit maximization in detriment of high wages, accessible healthcare and education or environment protection with the consequential public disarray. That is, economic penetration is preferred to economic, social and political stability. One would not expect international behavior to be any different.

Posted by: Johnny | Nov 24 2023 11:53 utc | 28

Used to be a charming board game published by Wargames Research Group in UK, called Decline and Fall. Roman player would win if he made enough money, even if Rome burned, Vandals and Goths won by breeding and taking land, Huns won by killing Goths and pillaging them, history would follow all sorts of interesting twists.
Sounds like the new book has captured the game mechanic of the current millennium, crucial insight is the empire is driven by the evil rich who will destroy country and planet for profit, the normalising myth of national interest is just a myth . Mearshimer and the "realists" , are really utopian nationalist: there is nothing that realistic in their critique: they ignore the real mechanics of how their polities are run

Posted by: FredA Kilt-tran | Nov 24 2023 12:05 utc | 29

I am a bit surprised about this being a new insight for b.

But my main problem with the whole piece is that the powerful anglophile networks go unmentioned at least in b's short review
And about associated intel agencies and plethora of thinktanks NGOs and university programs conditioning the establishmenst members against their objective national interests.

That makes all the difference.
Since the moneyed class in Australia could surely collaborate successfully WITH China's win-win concept.

You have to be blind not to see that.

Those networks have played a paralysing role with respect to everything that lifts our spirits to a higher level. Kept us in the dark.
Kept the worlds population in ignorance.

Likewise the Rothschilds and all other private bankers could have, if they werent threatened by the imperialists, have successfully collaborated with Germany Russia and any other partner willing to offer fair conditions under that same principle of win-win

The characteristic traite of private bankers is that they are pliant not powerful.
They might deny that themselves, but if they are really seen as powerful while looking at how they make their priorities one sees a series of failed opportunities for experiencing a constructive and rewarding role and being part of a culturally and otherwise developing world.
You may say : But they are satanic and dont care for development.
If so they are in full understanding with the masonic imperialists who have been behind everything and that means they are pliant.

An empire with a national bank and welleducated but not wealthy staff wouldnt necessarily be a disadvantage for an empire. However a rogue empire needs praetorians to do its dirty job. Thats where a certain minority is invited and exploited as middlemen.

I agree about the critique against Mearsheimer but I wonder if he ever discloses his real views.

The anglosaxon and usually anglophile elites are disciplined and they know how to behave in the context of their careers.

americans4innovation have brokened the long silence related to that discipline.
The Larouche circle have done that for some fifty years and few of you seem to relate to them or have anything generous to say about them.

I dont know but to me it does seem that the lack of genuine interest for the british link is what obscures the debate

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Nov 24 2023 12:09 utc | 30

Brief response to Konrad in post 3, the insight to me is that is not "economic interest" if one thinks of economic interest as a social, national or large oligarchic corporation effect, it's actually personal pay outs and pay offs. Niall Ferguson described Gladstone making 5k pounds by invading Egypt, while telling everyone it was for the canal. It was in "Cash Nexus" I believe. You could think of national interest or economic interest as one of those myths that George Lakoff debunked in "Metaphors that kill"

Posted by: FredA Kilt-tran | Nov 24 2023 12:19 utc | 31

What do multiple US admins and the CCP have in common?

Not much, however, both have taken overt and covert actions against bitcoin and bitcoiners…

Posted by: E | Nov 24 2023 12:20 utc | 32

There are 'vassal' states for sure (Japan, South Korea and Germany), but the other G7 nations are best described as 'courtiers'. They depend on the imperator state (the US) not for their existence, but for their perfumed and pampered exalted status - competing with each other for who can be the most sycophantic to the imperator. The 'courtier' class in each nation (the politicians/elites) do not act in the interests of the populations of the nations any more than medieval earls and barons acted in the interests of the serfs. Essentially, it is a set up lifted from the Middle Ages, and the 'courtier class' are neo-feudalists.

Posted by: Cornelius Pipe | Nov 24 2023 12:23 utc | 33

It's the OECD stupid! :-)
List of OECD States - https://www.oecd.org/about/document/ratification-oecd-convention.htm
It's a Club, and if you ain't in it.... tough luck.
Some Club members have more Power than others and Australia is just one of those.

'Sub-Imperial Power' vs Vassal? Location Location Location :-)
When push comes to shove Australia is as expendable as Ukraine is and just as powerless.

ex-PM John Howard admitted that the Governments decision to back the US in the Iraq War had absolutely nothing to do with WMD - even if they knew there was no WMD - Australia would still have gone along with the US to please them, be Loyal allies, because Australia's national security and future wealth solely depends on it.

Australia is small rich wealthy WASP settler-colonial power in an ocean of others not like us.

Australia loves being a 'Sub-Imperial Power' because it feeds the deserved sense of WASP superiority and self-importance! It's called being 'better than' in every way.

It's feels great to be able to throw your weight around with impunity. Even a nation of 1.4 billion Chinese doesn't scare Australia. Israel also knows what this feels like - they love it!
Having the USA as your protective big brother has that kind of effect on a national culture.

The complete pro-US subservience of the landed wealthy class, the uniparty and corporate establishment, and the deep state technocrats have complete control over the narratives.

There is no alternative viewpoint in the national consciousness - it simply doesn't exist.

The entire Australian political and mass media system (private and govt funded) is 100% pro-US pro-Israel pro-Capitalism-on-Steroids no questions asked.

Anything else is suppressed, ridiculed, if necessary criminalized and memory-holed.

It hasn't always been like this. And yet in some ways it was. Being given huge tracks of land for free really helps. It distorts the mindset and creates all kinds of pernicious effects that are generational.

"The sins of the father are handed down to the son."

Posted by: Lavrov's Dog | Nov 24 2023 12:35 utc | 34

@scepticalSOB | Nov 24 2023 11:51 utc | 28

Watch "The spider's web - The second British empire". The average englishman has little to no benefits from this arrangement, but the financial elite of the UK was able to keep all its wealth, even with the Empire crumbling. The financial elite of the UK gains a lot of money and power from the endless war of the USA.

Posted by: SG | Nov 24 2023 12:37 utc | 35

'China just doesn’t do military alliances (it doesn’t have any), foreign interference or coups d’états. In fact they haven’t as much as fired a single bullet abroad in over 4 decades'.
...Well maybe don't want to look too closely at activities in Tibet or the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, at its military commitments in Myanmar and 'skirmishes', shall we say, in Northern Thailand and on The Vietnam border. Hey, water resources, right?

The Han are the biggest racists and supremacists going! What is their problem with another nation speaking Chinese? Basically, because their nation and culture are so monolithic they can't tolerate a distinction. I don't see Xi's utterly corrupt version of a communist party as any sort of model for fair government. Nor do those many hundreds of thousands that have fled the socialist paradise for anywhere around the Pacific Rim. Why would they need to do that?

Posted by: Gerry Bell | Nov 24 2023 12:52 utc | 36

My first reaction was -- _Hillary_ Clinton sent B a book? And he liked it?

Posted by: je | Nov 24 2023 12:52 utc | 37

@27
"The US oligarchy—going back to Jefferson, and which was only challenged by, maybe, Roosevelt (or the Kennedys)—has always only ever been focused on eradicating “subhumans” in service to “hyper-humans”, which are defined in US English as: Ivy League inheritors, of which there are many."

The US oligarchy goes back but not to Jefferson. Jefferson was against a British type central bank. Hamilton, Burr, Madison were the Oligarchs not Jefferson who believed, ""The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." That is not the voice of an Oligarch.

"Based on Great Britain's national bank, Hamilton wanted the government to develop bank branches in major cities, a uniform currency, and a place for the federal government to deposit or borrow money when needed. Thomas Jefferson believed this national bank was unconstitutional."

Jefferson died broke-that's not the script for a true Oligarch.

https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/alexander-hamilton/

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 12:58 utc | 38

It's a very Marxist view of the world and, as such, deeply flawed.

It is true that monetary interest do play a role in influencing policy. But it is exaggerate to say that these interests pilot the destiny of nations.

Every time that a government puts in act a policy that helps a certain segment of the production world, this goes to the detriment of every other segment. One can get bribes from the producers of cannons, but another cna get bribes from the builders of council houses built instead of the cannnons.

In my eyes, the key to understanding the way nations act in simply in the elementary mixture of their political system and the quality of their political personnel.

Let's take the Ukraine. The modern times are dominated by TV and social media. A conflict erupts. The degenerate Western media all side with the Ukraine, because Putin is actively Christian and does not like degeneracy. As a result of the massive media campaign, millions of people put the Ukrainian flag near their Facebook profile. Before you know weak politicians (who also know it pays to please the degenerate lobby) need to show that they act decisively, or their career is at an end. Then it is a case of government falling the mad herds on social media, lest they drown in a sea of outrage.

This dynamic will only be altered is there are very strong politicians who are leaders rather than followers. People who (like Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher) change the way people think. But this is a rare occurrence.

This thing with the armaments lobby deciding for everyone has always been stupid. It's not that all the others economy sectors would not want that money for their own projects. It's that the elected politicians (after rigging an electio, or not) want to pursue certian policies, and they will always find those willing to support them.

Posted by: Augusto Pi | Nov 24 2023 12:59 utc | 39

As a Brit I have no idea why the UK thinks it benefits from such an arrangement.

Posted by: scepticalSOB | Nov 24 2023 11:51 utc | 28

The UK cares not a whit about the common voter-the The City of London decides what the government is going to do; don't believe me, whatever happened to Liz Truss-City threw her out.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 13:00 utc | 40

As to the cultural aspect: the Anglos have this marked, barely bearable attitude that all the world needs to conform to their ethical views. When they like sexual deviancy, they make of this a "human right". When they have done that, everybody who does not conform is the bad guy.

They do it with everything, from democracy to climate to sexuality. This has, again, become worse in the age of social media. The facebook activists are, say, vegans and thik that cow farts destroy the planet. Their politicians will be all too willing to impose anti-cow legislation and be hostile to pro-cow governments. They are, again, following the mad herd on Facebook and elsewhere.

This, not the "monetary powers", is the real issue.

Posted by: Augusto Pi | Nov 24 2023 13:06 utc | 41

Marx, Lenin and others discussed this in depth long ago. It's pretty obvious really but Marxist ideas of imperialism are perfectly adequate to understanding modern geopolitics

Posted by: WestCountry | Nov 24 2023 13:08 utc | 42

I can’t remember to whose blog I posted this comment several months ago, but it’s something I’ve known for a hot minute. I’m just glad that this view now has an academic “imprimatur “ on it. The idea, putting it in blue-collar lingo is:

In the West, the State serves the Oligarchs. In Russia and China, the Oligarchs serve the State.

That is why our Oligarchs and their political / military minions hate Putin & Xi. Putin and Xi put collars and leashes on those MF’s and “trained” them. Submission is the worst nightmare any of those guys can ever have.

Though I must say, it would be kinda fun to see Bill Gates or George Soros saddled and ridden by a Dominatrix!

Posted by: OldFart | Nov 24 2023 13:09 utc | 43

Lets call Spade a Spade

Well, it would be better to compare it with a Mafia Organization. The USA being the BOSS and Australia, UK, the EU, etc are just the CAPOs and SOLDIERs that enforce the "protection", "robbery" and "commission" Racks.

The UK and Australia are "capitanos" in their own regions or areas... the Rest "soldiers" and "enforcers" and some of them even just "whores" (Poland and Germany come to mind)


Posted by: Illusionist | Nov 24 2023 13:10 utc | 44

Salaam.I am of a different opinion where Mersheimer and Walt are concerned with hegemony.A peoples culture and history has a great part in building their character,so where Russia and in particular China are concerned theirs would not align with the standard Mersheimer and Walt theory on hegemonic power.Here -"If one day China should change her colour and turn into a superpower,if she too should play the tyrant in the world,and everywhere subject others to her bullying,aggression and exploitation.The people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism,expose it,oppose it and work together to overthrow it"Den Xiaoping./April 1974 UN.Recall Russia and China were never colonisers.

Posted by: 4q8 | Nov 24 2023 13:22 utc | 45

Posted by: Konrad | Nov 24 2023 9:10 utc | 3

You are not being arrogant or ridiculous in the least. It is simply that you skipped schooling and were not indoctrinated in the ‘just so’ formulations that are designed to obscure matters.

Same precise thing happens in economics: you skipped schooling and so see the obvious cancerous nature (which you correctly note) of the economic system built on usury, but you (probably) would not had you majored in economics. (To any such unlettered contemplating the very notion of usury and fractional reserve banking, its immoral, unethical, and predatory nature is clearly evident.)

Beyond indoctrination, there is also the matter of character. If these matters are clear to us, rest assured many ‘schooled’ ones have also come to the same realization. This is where self interest and the very powerful need of humans to ‘belong’ and be ‘accepted’ does its magic.

Posted by: robinthehood | Nov 24 2023 13:24 utc | 46

I want to add an observation regarding private bankers and why the US/UK wants bankers to be private while a national bank would have been perfectly in order. The empire could have been rogue just fine anyway.
But then it would have been harder to bring the focus to a certain minority.
The observation I add is that when a private banker accumulates enormous wealth there is an inertia involved. It isnt easy to move it around.
So that kind of private banker is tied to the empire. While, like I initially mentioned there is a need for protection.
This means they are stuck and the minority is as well.

Is that enough to explain what is going on, that the imperialist need a minority group in need for protection to hide behind?
It seems to be in agreement with how the Venetian oligarchy operated
They too outwards encouraged the public to show indignation against the money lenders but behind the scenes they operated together.

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Nov 24 2023 13:25 utc | 47

"How come America went down a different path?"
Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 9:46 utc | 5

Because of greed ... the bigger the market and the fewer the competitors the more money you make ... and as a bonus US investor class doesn't have to pay for their own security with the American taxpayer footing the bill.

Posted by: HB_Norica | Nov 24 2023 13:25 utc | 48

I more or less agree with the theme, but at some point the hegemony declines and begins to attack its own. Its own being Europe and with trade agreements, NAFTA comes to mind, it is a parasite on neighbours. As the empire continues to decline, the oligarchs who have embraced and use Washington institutions including the military increasingly dismiss the obligations for their own tax base. I will not bring up the added confusions of globalism in the latter point, but believe it is a serious faction that also compromises the very idea of the hegemony.

Posted by: Larry P. Johnson | Nov 24 2023 13:26 utc | 49

@Larry P. Johnson | Nov 24 2023 13:26 utc | 52
I suspect the globalists originally came to their ideas because the bankers among them were prevented by the british from collaborating with Britains rivals.
Since deaththreats were eventually issued they arent anxious to bring it up.
And the US/UK is fine with the resulting hegemonic status.
So the elites may agree as long as the rivals arent able to change things.
I dont know any details about any threats in the 18th century beyond the general rumours about illuminati and jews but the so called french revolution seems to me like the first globalist coup.

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Nov 24 2023 13:36 utc | 50

no wonder things change; younger generations eventually tire of the increasingly irrelevant rhetoric & disbelieve with increasing frequency

it's nonsensical to assume that the thinking & decision-making process is the same for molecules, organs, individuals, tribes, cities, states and nations; hence much of the "academic" discussion descends into blather (adolescent desires? Maxwell's demon? Mearsheimer's rationality?)

1 system's logic is another scale's "artificial" intelligence

Posted by: Roger Erickson | Nov 24 2023 13:38 utc | 51

Six of one, half a dozen of the other blather. The Book of Unrevelations.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Nov 24 2023 13:42 utc | 52

...
The survival and security aspect is only relevant as far as it concerns the moneyed class. Mearsheimer's realist view somewhat misses that aspect.

Posted by b on November 24, 2023 at 8:35 UTC | Permalink

Thanks for this book review by Bertrand, b. It's better than the previous Bertrand dog's breakfast you reviewed. But it left me wondering when/whether he'll find an author who'll admit that "Jews rule the World aka West by proxy?"

But Fernandez book at least hints that Totalitarian Capitalism isn't the ideal path to a civilised world; so I suppose it's a step in the right direction.

Xymphora thinks Mearsheimer isn't going to STFU but feels obliged to toss occasional table scraps to The Lobby for 'personal security' reasons.(?)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 24 2023 13:43 utc | 53

Does the book address Gough Whitlam's removal?
If not, then it is junk.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 24 2023 13:44 utc | 54

SG | Nov 24 2023 12:37 utc | 37

"the financial elite of the UK was able to keep all its wealth, even with the Empire crumbling"

The financial elite did, but not many of the old landowning aristocracy. "Death duties" were YUGE in 1940s-1970s UK. Only those who were clever with trusts etc (like the Grosvenors/Westminsters) kept their wealth.

I know a stately home near me where the lord was killed fighting in WW2 and his heirs then had to sell up.

The story of Wentworth Woodhouse is a sad one.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/24/inside-wentworth-woodhouse-a-key-piece-of-northern-heritage

Posted by: YetAnotherAnon | Nov 24 2023 13:45 utc | 55

The realism of people like John Mearshimer, Kenneth Waltz and Stephen Walt abstracts from internal dimensions of state action in International Relations. I recall hearing Mearshimer say that 70% of the time you can predict how a state will act without knowing anything about its composition and nature. As I tell my class, a 30% error rate is pretty high.

Posted by: Chip Poirot | Nov 24 2023 13:48 utc | 56

Get ready for a few Manchester Arena type false flags coming soon, probably in the US/ UK.
The Dublin rioting may be a precursor.
The PTB are rattled over the size of mass demonstrations in recent weeks.
All the howls of outrage and calls to ban demonstrations.

Posted by: anon | Nov 24 2023 13:50 utc | 57

Posted by: Konrad | Nov 24 2023 9:10 utc | 3
..

Posted by: robinthehood | Nov 24 2023 13:24 utc | 49

To follow up, Konrad, I wonder if you have also noticed the complementary phenomena of *distortion of critical discourse* regarding the topic of global geopolitical and economic order.

Let’s take the phrase “Debt forgiveness”. Please note that *the ethical and moral obligation* of usurious debt is 100% validated by the formulation of “forgiveness”. So here even in the supposedly “radical” quarters of these considerations, “debt” requires “forgiveness”. No wonder the cabal keeps rocking, century after century.

Which brings us to the matter of the impact of ‘character’ on thought or public discourse. For example, one false formulation (“international law”, and “international community”) has engendered another (“empire”, “vassal states”) in reaction. Groupings (social in nature) partition to map to the lie and the reaction-to-the-lie. Indoctrinated enforcers on all side stamp out deviation from the formula.

Posted by: robinthehood | Nov 24 2023 13:54 utc | 58

The USA and the British empire are not the inventors of aggressive imperialism. Rome worked the same way, of course, and Akkad, and probably the Inka and Aztec empires, too, and many others that I'm not aware of. Whether Russia and China will go down the same way remains to be seen. I agree with the authors that it seems unlikely to me. Culture, too, has an influence by the way it shapes economy.

Posted by: Konrad | Nov 24 2023 9:10 utc | 3

The problem is that the world is Darwinian in nature.

Which is a truism reiterating the simple observation in the case of relationships between groups of humans that if you pair an aggressive entity with a peaceful one, the end result will be the peaceful one being conquered by the aggressive one.

It works on all levels -- tribes in a hunter-gathered world, states once ``civilization'' develops, and also at the level of religions (none of the countless hippie-kind religions succeeded in taking over, it was the aggressively expansionist Abrahamic ones that did so, and in the case of Christianity that required forgetting a lot of what Jesus is supposed to have said).

What happened to America's Anti-imperialist league in the 19th century? I remember even Mao commented once upon a time of viewing America as an ally in the fight against colonialism. How come America went down a different path? Is it because of the UK/European heritage? Just a question to anyone else out there, but do you think this predetermined.

Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 9:46 utc | 5

The Anti-imperialist league was inevitably defeated by the pro-imperialist forces, because the latter were much better at taking control of the state apparatus and commanded greatly superior resources (money, control over media, etc.). Which in turn was directly related to them being pro-imperialist.

The only practical solution to this problem ever found was epitomized in the persons of Felix Dzerzhinsky and later Stalin. No need to go into the details here. But even they did not find a once-and-for-all solution to the problem, so it quickly regenerated itself later once they were gone.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 24 2023 13:54 utc | 59

It's a neofeudal future, this books idea gets it, although I like my title phrase better.

Kings and barons, areas of responsibility, yup I've seen it and been unable to make anyone understand it
But maybe this book gets it.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Nov 24 2023 14:03 utc | 60

Posted by: Gerry Bell | Nov 24 2023 12:52 utc | 39

Nonsense.

Funny how all those regions you mention were fine until the West came along. This is what happens when other countries draw up your borders. I am not arguing that China is perfect, but no country is and your sweeping generalization of a whole people isn't informative. I wouldn't say this about any nation.

Posted by: Wee_Scot | Nov 24 2023 14:05 utc | 61

As far as the money powers are concerned, there is an interesting remark in Claude JANVIER, LES DEMASQUES (the unmasked) 2023. He points to Vanguard (which also participates in Blackrock and vice versa). It is not listed in the stock exchange, so you and I cannot buy into it. Their shareholders are 13 families:
Rothschild, Orsini, Bush, British royalty, DuPont, Goldman Sachs, Soros, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller... Some of these names are overlooked in international surveys. The Orsini are interesting, they have produced several popes.

Posted by: Teraspol | Nov 24 2023 14:12 utc | 62

Posted by: Augusto Pi | Nov 24 2023 13:06 utc | 44

This post is utter nonsense. You’re attributing everything to identity politics, while participating in identity politics. Identity politics is a dead end, employed by the ruling class to divide and disorient the working class.

As has been stated, Marxist theory has long since demonstrated that ruling class interests dictate geopolitics. We mustn’t refer to eg ‘US actions’ as it’s more accurate to refer to ‘US ruling class actions’, on the basis that the majority of citizens or subjects in each of these (outdated) nation states have zero agency over the often illegal actions of their governments, which themselves are beholden to ruling class interests and propaganda mechanisms.

Thanks b. I shall buy this book as a Christmas present for those friends like Augusto Pi who thanks to the propaganda mechanisms are terrified of Marxism, even if applying it would improve their life and the lives of the majority of the world.

Posted by: Lev Davidovich | Nov 24 2023 14:13 utc | 63

Kind of explains “Five Eyes.”

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Nov 24 2023 14:22 utc | 64

I have not read it but it does make me think of Antonio Gramsci's wiritings about "hegemonic discourse":

According to Gramsci, hegemony (“predominance by consent”) is a condition in which a fundamental class exercises a political, intellectual, and moral role of leadership within a hegemonic system cemented by a common world-view or “organic ideology.”

Posted by: DR-Montreal | Nov 24 2023 14:32 utc | 65

your distinction between realism and the arguments presented by Clinton are false; war and colonialism isn't good for the people in the country that perpetrate such abuse, but the people aren't factors in the consideration. Colonial aggression serves those in the halls of power, and to THEM go the spoils. They have to dupe the people, who fund their colonial aggression, so these acts are sold on a heap of bullshit, but all the better for those in the halls of power. There's no conflict, or difference.

Posted by: scottindallas | Nov 24 2023 14:43 utc | 66

I am not an academic but I'd like to note the following point as food for thought after closely observing the economic war since the special military operation began.

The moneyed class that Clinton Ferndandes talks includes those from the Global South.

The only exception is China and after Feb 2022, Russia.

Consider Russia as an example, the oligarchs made money off both Russian land and Russian people. But where did they put that money? In UK, US, EU, those Mercedes, those football clubs, yatches none of which benefitted the Russian people.

This is not unique to Russia. Point me a corrupt politician or wealthy person from Latin Ameica, Africa or Asia with a dollar, pound or euro account in the west and I'll show you a member of the moneyed class part of the sub-imperial power. Plus points if they are attendees to the WEF.

These are the people why de-dollarization which is a decade long direct attack by China on the western economic hegemony kept miserably failing.

Until Feb 2022.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I believe the special military operation beyond it's stated goals is primarily a trap for the west masterminded by Jinping and Putin.

Once the moneyed class in the global south saw the Russian oligarchs be humiliated overnight with assets like yatches seized, the CPC and the Kremlin now have something to work with.

For two years, I've been observing Jinping and Putin point to the moneyed class in the global south and say, "see? that could be you one day. Put your money in our (Shanghai exchange/New Development Bank/BRICS) system where it will be safe".


Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | Nov 24 2023 14:54 utc | 67

Mearsheimer has a new book out (Keff Sachs just interviewed him about it on Youtube) called "How States Think" where he tries to resolve the contradiction between his claim that states are largely rational actors and the fact that states do seemingly irrational things. his argument to Sachs wasnt convincing to me. ultimately it seems to me that we have to revist what states really are. rather than political expressions of some will (individual/collective), they seem to be merely institutions with force monopoly inherited by succeeding competing interest factions (both horizontal and vertical factions). rather than a self-driving car with set (rational) programming, it's your dad's '69 VW van passed down to you and your brothers....everyone arguing over where you'll take it and whether it's a daily driver or an offroad camper. Elite theory and anarchism go a long way toward making sense of what drives states to do stupid things.

Posted by: ZT | Nov 24 2023 14:56 utc | 68

Thanks for posting this article, b.

There's been a debate: does trade follow the flag or does the flag follow trade. Many thinkers have written about both.

My view, like Fernandez, and bourne out by US history, shows that while both can occur, the flag rarely goes where an economic interest has not already been established. Hawai'i, Dakotas, Central America, the Middle East, etc...

While political power is the consolidating power in US society, economic considerations are the prime motivating power that triggers the supporting and consolidating power of the state.

I think Mearshimer knows this, but including economics as the major factor in his theory would make him appear too much like an anti-capitalist.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Nov 24 2023 14:59 utc | 69

Major General Smedley Butler said it in the 30's, War is a Racket. In a capitalist society, those with money rule and their interest are the policies of the "state".

Posted by: jasper | Nov 24 2023 15:01 utc | 70

Sorry...Fernandes and Mearsheimer, not Fernandez and Mearshimer.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Nov 24 2023 15:04 utc | 71

Very interesting, b. Certainly connects the dots for me. The European Empires were first and foremost about theft, as George Orwell discovered serving as a policeman in Burma.

William Dalrymple wrote an eye-opening piece for me a few years back. Here is the link.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/04/east-india-company-original-corporate-raiders

Posted by: Moses22 | Nov 24 2023 15:07 utc | 72

I bet "subempire" is accurate from their point of view. Most likely they use the present arrangement to affirm their perceived superiority over other peoples

Posted by: Hmm | Nov 24 2023 15:19 utc | 73

@Larry P. Johnson | Nov 24 2023 13:26 utc | 52
"I suspect the globalists originally came to their ideas because the bankers among them were prevented by the british from collaborating with Britains rivals."

I don't buy that at all. In the Napoleonic wars the Rothschilds were financing both sides of the war.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 15:19 utc | 74

As far as the money powers are concerned, there is an interesting remark in Claude JANVIER, LES DEMASQUES (the unmasked) 2023. He points to Vanguard (which also participates in Blackrock and vice versa). It is not listed in the stock exchange, so you and I cannot buy into it. Their shareholders are 13 families:
Rothschild, Orsini, Bush, British royalty, DuPont, Goldman Sachs, Soros, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller... Some of these names are overlooked in international surveys. The Orsini are interesting, they have produced several popes.

Posted by: Teraspol | Nov 24 2023 14:12 utc | 62

From what I understand from banker friends of mine that the Rothschild are junior only to the Orsini family whose ancestry goes back to ancient Rome.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 15:23 utc | 75

European Imperialism has remained largely continuous and unbroken for the past 400 - 500 years and continues to this day with the U.S. assuming leadership of this group in the 20th century.

The Second World War was a conflict between European Imperial powers. Russia and China were themselves the victims of this European Imperial aggression and therefore have been and remain against imperialism and colonialism.

The US and the Europeans Re not only disdainful but also fearful of the Global South. Just as Israel with the Palestinian, they know what they have done and fear karma.

Posted by: Moses22 | Nov 24 2023 15:24 utc | 76

Although I am not up to reading a lot now, that is I book I would like to read.
Just going on Arnaud Bertrand's summary, a few aspects may not be right - Israel France being part of the imperial power block. France certainly has not lost its imperial ambitions under Macron. Its African possessions are still under French control due to France keeping control of their finances though it seems many of the African possessions are now rebelling and declaring Independence.

Israel is I believe and as RFK stated in an interview, An unsinkable aircraft carrier to help control the Persian Gulf oil. But Zionism itself is very likely a means by which London controls the US.

In saying that, if even after reading the book I still feel evidence points towards my theory, I am sure there would be a number of valuable insights in it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 24 2023 15:30 utc | 77

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 24 2023 13:54 utc | 59

Excellent analysis thanks-at the bottom every tribe, every nation, however elaborate or complex they may seem to be ,they are, quintessentially, just a rerun of William Golding's, "Lord of the Flies" (1951).

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 15:30 utc | 78

Illusionist 44 - I agree. The similarities to the mafia cannot be missed, with different families working together but occasionally in competition. The US is the don right now, with the other four Eyes plus Israel the inner circle.

Posted by: Moses22 | Nov 24 2023 15:33 utc | 79

The three states referred to, the US, Israel, and Australia were created by settler colonialism. The taking of others land to secure free resources for a capitalist political economy dependent upon these resources to accumulate surpluses informs their 'imperial' outlook towards the rest of the world. To add to Fernandez point, Iran, like China, has not attempted to colonize any other nation. Russia performed an extraordinary repudiation of colonialism never accomplished by a capitalist nation when it allowed many of its former 'republics' to become independent. Meanwhile, the US, in search of more resources to plunder to continue the accumulation of surpluses for its power elites, has attempted to colonize Ukraine in order to expand its acquisitive aggression directly at Russia.

Posted by: Wilikins | Nov 24 2023 15:34 utc | 80

Major General Smedley Butler said it in the 30's, War is a Racket. In a capitalist society, those with money rule and their interest are the policies of the "state".
Posted by: jasper | Nov 24 2023 15:01 utc | 70

This.

War is a Racket

Much better put than Arnaud and Fernandes.
Listen to the speech, watch the videos, read his short book.

Posted by: Winston, journalist | Nov 24 2023 15:42 utc | 81

I usually read all the comments, don't have time this morning but want to respond to the posting

The quote from it

In other words, Fernandes’ point is that the key characteristic of the “rules-based international order” relates to the actual structure of the American (or British, French, Australian, etc) social and economic system, which seeks to enforce an order where the whole world is open to the penetration and control of their respective national moneyed classes.

Why is there the lack of understanding communicated that the moneyed class we are dealing with is not national but international and they rule over any upstart national new money sorts?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2023 15:47 utc | 82

In would like to give a a great shoutout to the MoA commenters - the job you have done with this post is great!
Yes, what is commented here is not a big surprise for anyone who has read some Marx (and other thinkers beside him). You don't need to agree on Marx's views to gain some insights from his works...

And yes, the "sub imperial power" denomination is crap (feelgood crap to be easily assimilated by the serfs, maybe?). The most exact definition in my opinion would be the plain old "comprador elite".

Posted by: ConcernedCeltiberian | Nov 24 2023 15:48 utc | 83

So Australia is a "sub"? As in the opposite of a "dom"?

That does make some sense. Sorta like the gimp-suited EUians, I suppose.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 24 2023 16:00 utc | 84

I think that the word comprador could be sprinkled liberally throughout the essay without any change in meaning.

Posted by: Degringolade | Nov 24 2023 16:00 utc | 85

China has a prosperous peaceful future for one simple reason.....no jews.

Posted by: 24ouncer | Nov 24 2023 16:02 utc | 86

Thanks for the post, b, and to the bar - great thread. Following up on @50 plus shadowbanned , canuck and others, I think we needn’t be too careful to make it all so very sensible.

I turn to three articles from Canadian satirical news site, The Beaverton, to elucidate:

QUIZ: Is it a pyramid scheme or just a regular cult?
https://www.thebeaverton.com/2023/02/quiz-is-it-a-pyramid-scheme-or-just-a-regular-cult/

Chapters-Indigo to phase out books to sell more fleece blankets, reading socks
https://www.thebeaverton.com/2017/12/chapters-indigo-phase-books-sell-fleece-blankets-reading-socks/

Millennials could save money just by making coffee at a Starbucks franchise they personally own
https://www.thebeaverton.com/2023/11/millennials-could-save-money-just-by-making-coffee-at-a-starbucks-franchise-they-personally-own/

(I understand the questions and debate about what constitutes a state - but - I tend to think, whatever it is, it’s a bit more sensible than this?)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Nov 24 2023 16:02 utc | 87

I think what's missing here is how capitalism has historically evolved from nation based, democratic Capitalism, an advance on fuedalism, to a predatory, globally oriented and anti democratic imperialism.

Essentially, there is a development in the national socioeconomic organism fron a healthy vigorous youth to a rotten unhealthy old age, senescence and death.

The British empire was the first capitalist nation state with a huge head start over feudal europe. It evolved to imperialism first, then declined to a vassal (sub power) of the US in the wake of it's clash with a nascent then aborted German imperialism.

US imperialism is at the bloody messy end of it's evolution. As a late stage imperial power it has become the opposite of it's healthy young capitalist self. China is the newest capitalist power and it shows this with it's health vigor and generally democratic attitude to other global players.

It is unique in that it has a Leninist political structure and a quasi communist ideology running it's capitalism and that is rooted in the fact it was overrun and crushed by western imperialism for centuries.

It's unique history and political structure may allow it to consciously avoid imperialism, but that remains to be seen.

Also, the idea China doesn't have military alliances is pretty naive. Its very diplomatic so it will not declare them before it's necessary, but we can already name a number of countries that would be in full military alliance with China should it be necessary.

Again, if the USSR had taken Lenin's analysis seriously, they would not be in the difficult situation they are in today.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/

And again, just because it was written a long time ago, doesn't make it wrong. There's a tendency to consider new theoretical innovations as always better than prior thinking. That might be true if the world had evolved to a higher socioeconomic system, but it hasn't. We're in essentially the same socioeconomic fish bowl we were in at the start of WW1, albeit at a more advanced stage of crisis, with some new players and a more extensive globalization. Oh, and with nukes, so no margin for error this time.

There was no way to stop WW1 short of a social revolution. That remains true today. The Imperialists must be taken out of power and forcibly disarmed to avert disaster today.

Trump, Kennedy, Mershheimer any other capitalist politician will just slightly alter and prolong the world crisis.



Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 24 2023 16:13 utc | 88

"Why is there the lack of understanding communicated that the moneyed class we are dealing with is not national but international and they rule over any upstart national new money sorts?"
@psychohistorian | Nov 24 2023 15:47 utc | 82

Answer
They are not international but they would have liked to be.
However the angloamerican masonic imperialists have never allowed them to be international except when the angloamericans are the main beneficiaries.
That is why we have had world wars and revolutions and why the FED made it possible to unite the elites.

Those masons like Palmerston even took to bring the navy to Greece officially to protect a single english jew, Don Pacifico.
Palmerston made a lot of noise about Pax Britannica.
Wherever a british citizen etc etc...

The way I look at it this gave Palmerston a chance to rub into the consciousness of those 'international' operators to realise Britain had a leash

Palmerston controlled the networks needed to start any uprising anywhere.
Even if it wasnt Lord Pam who organised the uprising it gave him a chance to remind the jews about their need for protection to convince them to remain faithful.

My guess is you would interpret it in a different manner. And say Look how subservient the British were to the jews
Am I right about your way of seeing it?

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Nov 24 2023 16:14 utc | 89

And yes, the "sub imperial power" denomination is crap (feelgood crap to be easily assimilated by the serfs, maybe?). The most exact definition in my opinion would be the plain old "comprador elite".

Posted by: ConcernedCeltiberian | Nov 24 2023 15:48 utc | 83

I like the Mafia analogy better-Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada and all NATO countries are "made men". You attack one and you have the whole Family after you.The US is an old Don relatively in the same position as was Corleone Don (Marlon Brando)when he got shot by Salazzo, Tagliatta in the hospital is akin, health wise, to the US burden of monstrous debt and Wokeism.

In the Godfather Don Corleone had a smart, able son (Al Pacino) that saved the family by murdering their assailants-the Pacino character is symbolized by -youth, money and resources (see ROW, Iran and Russia).

The Empire/Corleone might be evil, immoral and reckless but they are not stupid. They know they are fucked unless they grab West Asian and Asian resources (Pacinos) through war -or scare the ROW enough so they buy US treasuries again- without either they are done. They are stuck on Total Mackinder and can't, won't, will not change gears.

I know its an awkward metaphor but hey, that's why I am a commentator not a master blogger like our b.

According to Kondratieffs 80 year cycle 2024 will be worst since WW2. Doesn't sound like fun.

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 16:14 utc | 90

Posted by: OLEGRO | Nov 24 2023 10:42 utc | 18

Excellent summary Olegro. Which bridges neatly into this..

Neoliberalism has not been about applying Chicago-style economic theory.

https://billmitchell.org/blog/?p=61261

They never believed for one minute that there should be no government intervention.For the ruling class, the issue was how to reconfigure government intervention in their own favour. Take full control over the state and pack parliaments with lobbyists and businessmen.

The entire neoliberal agenda has been about that reconfiguration – using the powers of the state to advance the agenda of the ruling class and undermine the prosperity of the rest of us, to varying degrees.

The ‘pure’ Milton Friedman line that emerges out of Chicago, for example, would never support the massive Military-Industrial complex funded by engorged government money, which is helping Israel commit human rights abuses in Gaza.

Friedman advocated a volunteer army which would be market driven – citizens would pay for protection according to their own valuations of that service.

That economists have been used by the ruling class to justify all sorts of things that increase the power of that clasd and subjugate ordinary citizens further, that ultimately cannot be justified by the pure theories that the economic departments preach. Their money story changed when the Berlin wall was put on wheels for example, was a massive hint to what they had planned.

Masquerading as ‘science’ is an elaborate power grab that bridges nearly and leads into the ideas and debates in this book no doubt.


Reclaiming the State and taking it out of their clutches and to be given back to each and every one of us. Is the only way to stop them.

https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745337326/reclaiming-the-state/

Which was also written by an Australian.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 24 2023 16:17 utc | 91

I would like to weigh into the “elites vs ordinarily citizens” debate, as in whether it is America and Americans behaving this way or an elite group of Americans or globalists.

Without the full participation of its citizens, empires cannot survive. Therefore the vast majority of imperial citizens must benefit and believe in the founding myths of their empire. There are no innocents here. It’s only when the money runs out, and bread and circuses are no longer sufficient that the imperial rabble is roused in self-righteousness. The enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, etc in Europe were financed on the looting of India, China, and other colonies. Before these colonies, most of Europeans lived in abject poverty and darkness. The glory and splendour was in India, China, and elsewhere.

So let’s not lay all the blame on the Rothschild, Orcini’s, Vanguard etc. Look in the mirror and take a good look at the enemy if you are a citizen of the Collective West. Yes, you were lied to, but you believed the lies because you were better off with the Lie than the truth. And this still applies to a vast majority of citizens living in the Empire or Lies, and its vassals states or sub-imperial structure, or however we wish to describe them.

As an example, take Hollywood and its woke, limousine liberals. Besides Susan Sarandon and Angelina Jolie, who else has spoken out against the slaughter in Gaza? Why not? Because they do not want to ruin their careers. Almost everyone was ok and sucked up to Weinstein until it became safe and cool to #Me Too.

If people choose to be sheep and live on all fours, let’s not blame the elites for behaving like wolves.

Thanks again, b. I enjoyed very much the book review. I checked it out on Amazon already, but am a bit sick of feeding Amazon also.


Posted by: Moses22 | Nov 24 2023 16:17 utc | 92

The British East India Compay and Dutch East India Company always operated with royal imprimatur. So did British pirates.

Official royal sanction was nice to have. Very clear who pulled the strings. Even look at any recent photographs of Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby, with King Chuck. Very clear who wears the pants. Stanleys have been around for two millenia or more, Saxe-Coburgs are upstarts. And basically created by Stanleys from amongst their poor relations.

The technical and organizational edge the West had when it was led by the East India Companies is long gone. The messianic ferocity remains. The hubris remains. The lead role of commercial interest, narrowly viewed, remains. The notion of government as servile to commerce remains.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 24 2023 16:20 utc | 93

A better, historical, view:

The presence of systemic evil within the known civilizations of mankind, is best known to qualified historians and the like by the name of "The Oligarchical Model," the model associated with such examples as ancient Babylon and the Achaemenid empire. It is, otherwise, fairly described as "The Asian Model," against which ancient Greece fought to defend its struggling civilization against conquest from imperial forces within Asia Minor. It was when an Athens whose youth had been polluted by the Sophistry which radiated from the Delphi Gaea/Apollo/Dionysus cult, and which had corrupted a generation of young Athenians of influential families, that that generation of ancient Grecian "Baby Boomers," typified by Sophists such as Thrasymachus and Glaucon, prompted a corrupt Athens under Pericles, into a campaign of rape against other parts of Greek culture. In this fashion, Athens was self-destroyed, in large part, by the added crime of its judicial murder of Socrates, a crime perpetrated by an organization of ancient (almost Sarpian) Liberals known as "The Democratic Party of Athens."

Despite the great leadership in morals, science and statecraft provided by Plato, ancient post-Peloponnesian War Greece never regained what Athens had been before Pericles' corruption—never, to the present day![13] However, the heritage of Classical Greece of Socrates and Plato lived on, chiefly under the benefit of Christianity, to erupt gloriously in the great A.D. 1439 session of the great ecumenical Council of Florence, and the launching of the modern nation-state republic and methods of modern physical science introduced under the leadership of the greatest, most moving genius of that time, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.

Posted by: GEORGE CHAMBERLAIN | Nov 24 2023 16:24 utc | 94

FieryButMostPeaceful | Nov 24 2023 14:54 utc | 67--

You've observed well, and so have Putin, Xi and Team.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2023 16:25 utc | 95

The reason for the attack on Iraq (and Libya and Syria and the desire to attack Iran, etc) was to deny a hostile or non-compliant state access to resources that it might otherwise use to maintain its independence or non compliant policies. The participating states were all beneficiaries of the hegemonic status quo or wished to demonstrate their fealty to that system.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 24 2023 16:26 utc | 96

They didn't even try and hide it. They admitted it on TV time and time again. Why they changed their money story as the Berlin Wall was put on wheels.

" We need an economic system that represents NATO "

They told you what they were going to do on TV

Here....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lUH4RzAofv8

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 24 2023 16:27 utc | 97

"The technical and organizational edge the West had when it was led by the East India Companies is long gone. The messianic ferocity remains. The hubris remains. The lead role of commercial interest, narrowly viewed, remains. The notion of government as servile to commerce remains."

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 24 2023 16:20 utc | 93

Impressive three sentences-you nailed it

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 16:28 utc | 98

Posted by: Moses22 | Nov 24 2023 15:24 utc | 76

Russia was and remains an empire in the classic sense: a core nation with peripheral (in the sense of nearness to seat of power) nations aggregated as empire. It also, until recently, strongly claimed to be a European nation. Russian empire was deeply involved in all the ‘imperial’ maneuvering (wars, etc.) at least since the French Revolution. A conversation with any educated (east) Asian should convince you of the identification of Russian empire as a European empire by the natives in those locales and colonies. Even if we attempt to distinguish between these European powers (fair word?) in context of state finances, we see the Russians were participants in the common “imperial” economic system:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repudiation_of_debt_at_the_Russian_Revolution

The classic modern empires of Europe were themselves first penetrated (socially colonized). The sovereigns of these empires were themselves deeply beholden to the bankers. It is in this sense that we can see and say that (modern) empires exist to service debt to the bankers.

The historic fact of the apparent helplessness of kings and emperors in face of international banksters, e.g. to simply confiscate the banks, is informative. These are the same emperors and empires that were using (and still use) extreme violence to take what belongs to others. Somehow the bankers were never subjected to imperial might. The last European king that did the obvious thing and just took the bank was a French king doing away with Templars; framed as a “religious” act, most understand it as settling financial and political accounts. This “day of ill-fortune (for bankers)” is known to us as “Friday the 13th”.

Not a single lousy emperor of these Europeans “powers” ever again attempted to just take the bank. The notion offered to us (‘puzzled plebes’) is that to do so would be “immoral”, “illegal”, “governmental over-reach”. How else to explain the British plebes paying taxes to service debt e.g. for slavery.

Yet these very same government routinely commit “immoral”, “illegal” acts (where in abroad it is called imperialism) and never shy away from “overreach” (as far as the puzzled plebes are aware — c.f. Covid madness) .

What explains this power of bankers over “empires”?

Actual “Capitalism”, as an ideology informing power relations, occurs between Bankers and sovereigns (state or person). In this sense, we can agree with Psychohistorian that this is the God of Mammon, since sovereigns of European were ‘divinely ordained’ and are now subject to the anointed of Mammon.

The “capitalism” of the public market involving labor is a secondary effect of the failing of the sovereign/state/community to protect its population from the predatory Cabal.

Posted by: robinthehood | Nov 24 2023 16:30 utc | 99

Posted by: canuck | Nov 24 2023 16:28 utc | 98

Agreed, powerful mojo from oldhippie.

The best to you both.

Posted by: anon2020 | Nov 24 2023 16:32 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.