Myth 1

The “US” has a huge trade deficit with “China” amounting to $162 billion in 2004.

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Reality: There are two basic problems with this statement: 1) almost half of the “trade deficit” is accounted for by US multinational corporations (MNC) in China exporting to their “home market”. 2) What is called “China” and the “US” is a fiction as the commercial transaction takes place within a world network or “empire”, in which the growth of ‘exports’ and trade ‘surpluses’ accrues to the US MNC and the trade ‘deficit’ affects the US domestic economy. The Chinese method of calculating the trade imbalance does not include exports by US MNC based in China to US companies.

Myth 2

The US Empire has successfully expanded because of its military activities - wars, invasions, and special assassination teams.

Reality: In reality the US military interventions and wars have been the least successful weapons of empire building - witness the prolonged and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the popular resistance in Haiti. Imperialist advances have been most successful in conquering countries with the least cost via civilian -political intervention, bogus elections and the organization and financing of client leaders and non-governmental “front” organizations, and buying off political parties. The cases of the Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan are illustrative.

Earlier success in clued Nicaragua, El Salvador in Central America. In South America, US ideological, political and economic influence on and strategic alliances with reputed “center-left” parties and regimes have successfully converted Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador into free-market clients of the Empire.

Myth 3

Successful electoral outcomes in the former Soviet Union are a reflection of the growing popular desire for democracy and free markets.

Reality: Each and every electoral outcome in the former Soviet Union was organized and financed by non-elected foreign officials, who set the agenda, elected the leaders and subsequently incorporated the new regimes into their imperial orbit. The elections had nothing to do with democracy, and everything to do with empire building. The proof is found in the rapid privatization and transfer of public enterprises to foreign capital, the incorporation of the new regimes in NATO, and the rule by a new corrupt political elite responsive to the IMF and not the electorate.

Myth 4

“Asia” is a rising global power challenging US global supremacy.

Reality: This simplistic “prophecy” has numerous important flaws. First, “Asia” is not a unified homogenous bloc - some countries are in chronic crisis (Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal and so on) and others are in conflict among themselves, while others have formed alliances with the US against other Asian countries. India, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan have recently signed economic and security agreements with the US imperial regime.

South Korea and China are in conflict with Japan over territorial waters and military policies. Taiwan is de facto allied with the US. The US is successfully playing off India and Pakistan to its advantage. Equally important, what passes for “Chinese” economic power is in reality US and European MNC anchored in coastal enclaves exporting back to their companies in the US and Europe. Finally the US has greatly expanded and deepened its military presence throughout South Asia with numerous military bases in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Georgia and Iraq - with prospects for new bases in the Ukraine and the Philippines.

Myth 5

The victory of US imperialism over Communism has strengthened the technological and industrial supremacy of the United States.

Reality: The defeat of Communist and nationalist regimes has led to the rapid de-industrialization of the US and the continuing relocation of the leading technology enterprises to India and other countries with cheap skilled professionals. Increasingly the US economy is a “service economy: made up of an elite of well-paid financiers, entertainers and investment bankers at the top and a growing mass of poorly paid, uninsured, service workers employed in retail trade, restaurants, hotels, janitorial and clerical work at the bottom. Leading US MNCs, like General Motors and Ford are only one notch above “junk bond” status, while all the leading airlines are in or near bankruptcy, firing workers, lowering salaries, reneging on pension and health programs of retired and employed workers.

Bourgeois economists have argued that the re-location and outsourcing of employment of manufacturing to less developed countries would be compensated by an increase in employment in high-skill, high-pay service jobs in the imperial centers. This has proven to be false: The MNCs have moved toward outsourcing highly skilled, service work to Third World countries. Today Microsoft, CISCO, Intel, Hewlett-Packard have all moved research and design to Bangalore, India, home of 150,000 software engineers. According to the Financial Times (April 6, 2005. p.4 Special Section) a total of 826,540 information technology jobs with a combined salary value of $51.6 billion dollars were exported by the US, Europe and Japan to underdeveloped countries. Tens of thousands of software engineers in the US are unemployed or working part-time as ‘contract workers’.

Conclusion

Paradoxically the defeat of Communism led to the relocation of imperial capital, which in turn led to a decline of domestic manufacturing and high technology industries in the “advanced countries”. While the empire and its main vehicles, multi-national corporations and banks grow and military bases proliferate, the domestic economy decays, burdened by debts and deficits, unstable low-paid, low-skill employment and unemployment for its skilled professionals and workers.

The fastest growing sector in the US is the growing mass of low-paid service workers competing with even lower paid immigrant labor. The leaders of the economic and military empire have little to fear from the “masses” who are more concerned with the death of the Pope, the pedophile trial of Michael Jackson, shopping at Wal-Mart and waving the flag, than opposing the empire which is destroying their livelihoods.

There is no question that the US Empire is still expanding and that it has successfully surrounded Russia and China, and its MNCs have succeeded in lowering costs and increasing profits via relocation.

The strategic weakness of the US Empire is found in its failed military interventions and in the systematic destruction of its techno-productive structure within the US. As the “superstructure” of the Empire grows, the “domestic base” in the Republic is rapidly collapsing; demagogic politicians promote mystical religious fundamentalism, military chauvinism and mass speculation in real estate. The Empire will collapse not because of competition with Asia or Europe but because it has become too competitive and in the course has destroyed its domestic foundations.