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5/29/16

Focus on the future: America’s Worst Laid Plans – by Michael Brenner

The United States has been pursuing an audacious project to fashion a global system according to its specifications and under its tutelage since the Cold War’s end.

For a quarter of a century, the paramount goal of all its foreign relations has been the fostering of a system whose architectural design features the following:

–a neo-liberal economic order wherein markets dictate economic outcomes and the influence of public authorities to regulate them is weakened;

–this entails a progressive financializing of the world economy which concentrates the levers of greatest power in a few Western institutions – private, national and supranational;

–if inequality of wealth and power is the outcome, so be it;

–security provided by an American-led concert that will have predominant influence in every region;

–a readiness to use coercion to remove any regime that directly challenges this envisaged order;

–the maintenance of a large, multi-functional American military force to ensure that the means to deal with any contingency as could arise;

–all cemented by the unquestioned conviction that this enterprise conforms to a teleology whose truth and direction were confirmed by the West’s total victory in the Cold War.

Therefore, it is inherently a virtuous project whose realization will benefit all mankind. Virtue is understood in both tangible and ethical terms.

American ‘Destiny’

The motto: There is a tide running in the affairs of man; so, now is the time for America to steer the current and fulfill its destiny.

The project has registered some remarkable successes (at least by its own definitions). The Washington sponsored Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its counterpart`, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTPI), ensconce a privileged position for corporate interests that supersedes that of governments in binding international law.

The towering financial conglomerates have emerged from the great financial panic and Great Recession, which they caused, not only unscathed but bigger, stronger and with a stranglehold over macro-economic policy across most of the globe.

The United States, the progenitor of neo-liberalism and its operational guide, has seen its democracy converted into a plutocracy in all but name. The more things change, the more they must be made to seem the same.

These tenets of neo-liberalism have been codified into an orthodoxy whose dogma permeates the intellectual fiber of academia, the media and the corridors of state power. Challengers are ruthlessly put down – as witness the crucifying of Greece’s first Syriza government. Political leaders who deviate find themselves the object of international campaigns to oust them, e.g., Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Iran and Russia.

As an indirect consequence of the project’s successes, political resistance now comes not from the Left but rather from a recrudescent nationalist Right as is occurring in Europe – the rebellion in both the East and the West against the European Union’s brave new world of technocracy of, by and for the corporate elites.

Trumpism represents the analogous phenomenon decked out in stars-and-stripes garb. This exacerbates the tensions generated internally by the guided globalization project. Within the decision centers of Washington power, that could either provide new impetus to the external dimension of establishing a global order under American aegis – or handicap it.

Whichever proves to be the case, the turn toward authoritarianism and xenophobia within the liberal democracies shows how ill-conceived and ineptly executed the design for a new world order is. For it has overreached at home and abroad.

Read the full report: : America’s Worst Laid Plans – Consortiumnews

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