The theory of "free trade", appearing in the 18th century, was initially formulated to prevent the Dutch from closing their colonial empire to English commerce. It served as the political rationale for British colonial expansion, imposing an international division of labor that revealed itself to be much more effective for pillaging resources than the colonial system itself.
In 1941, the Anglo-Saxons devised, as an aim of the war, a shift from the prevailing mode of colonial exploitation to that of unequal exchange in the aftermath of victory over Nazi tyranny. The Atlantic Charter promoted decolonization, free trade and freedom of the seas. This model was formalized in 1947 with the GATT Agreements. This was reinforced during the Reagan-Thatcher era by a vast movement of privatization and deregulation.
In 1991, President Bush announced his vision of a new world order: globalization. The objective was to fill and profit from the void created by the disappearance of the USSR and extend Anglo-Saxon domination in a manner that closely twinned economic and military expansion.
The new model encompassed not only the free trade of goods but also of services and capital, to be regulated by an arbitrating tribunal that would constrain the sovereignty of individual states, which is today embodied in the World Trade Organization.
In the 21st century, this on-going process has led to the dematerialization of the world economy. Favoring the expansion of military-related industries while manufacturers of domestic consumer goods shut down, the Anglo-Saxons created an economy based on "financial products’ (meaning speculation) and the profits derived from "intellectual property" (so called "fair use"). They extended their control over the free trade of goods and services in air space using the "war on terror" as a pretext and over the seas under cover of a "war on piracy". In the meantime, however, the exorbitant costs of the neocolonial occupation of Iraq in 2003 nearly brought about the complete financial collapse of the empire.
At this point, President Obama and Prime Minister Brown attempted to save the system by eliminating foreign financial positions thus compelling capital to migrate in the direction of an Anglo-Saxon fiscal paradise. Additionally, Western governments have in a concerted way placed their means of public finance entirely in the hands of a small number of private banks. As a result, these are now in a position not only to avert collapse but also to acquire firms as they spiral into failure, accelerating the already gigantic concentration of riches.
Profoundly affected by the financial crisis, the Spanish economy has moved into recession. Madrid has been compelled, or has deemed it necessary, to genuflect before the International Monetary Fund which has saddled it with a harsh austerity plan. The Zapatero government caved in even before the Spaniards had been given an opportunity to discuss other options.
Syrian President Bashar el-Assad is on a trip to Latin American that has taken him first to Caracas.
His host, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, has hailed Syria’s efforts in its fight against Yankee imperialism and free-market capitalism, calling for the establishment of a Syrio-Venezuelan Axis.
Syria - still at war with Israel which continues to occupy part of its territory and unflinchingly supportive of the Palestinian and Lebanese people - is the target of a stiff unilateral blockade (...)
1. In Toronto, we held our first Summit of the G-20 in its new capacity as the premier forum for our international economic cooperation.
2. Building on our achievements in addressing the global economic crisis, we have agreed on the next steps we should take to ensure a full return to growth with quality jobs, to reform and strengthen financial systems, and to create strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.
3. Our efforts to date have borne good results. Unprecedented and (...)
Dear G-20 Colleagues:
When we met in London in April of 2009, we were facing the worst worldwide economic financial crisis since the 1930s. We acted with unprecedented speed and aggressive action to boost demand and repair our financial systems. It worked.
In Pittsburgh, with recovery beginning to take hold, we agreed to work together to achieve a more balanced pattem of global growth and financial reforms to strengthen our financial system and protect our economies from instability.
The Greek budgetary crisis, which has become a crisis of the euro, is not the inevitable result of market self-regulation, but rather the consequence of a deliberate attack. According to Jean-Michel Vernochet, the crisis was provoked by an economic offensive directed from Washington and London that followed similar principles to those of contemporary military warfare, employing game theory and a strategy of ‘constructive chaos’. The ultimate aim is to oblige the Europeans to enter into an Atlantic bloc, i.e. an empire where Anglo-American budgetary deficits would be automatically financed through the expedient of a dollarised euro. The agreement concluded between the European Union and the IMF, giving the Fund partial oversight of Union economic policies, is a first step in this (...)
Much of the Right’s rhetoric about the economic recession in the United States scapegoats immigrants for domestic economic ills. Nothing could be further from the truth. Constrained to do jobs that most U.S. citizens would never accept and bound to a single employer, "guest workers" are trapped from the very outset in a labyrinth of blackmail, exploitation and virtual servitude. Work visas are manipulated to control labour costs in the industry, raking in fabulous profits. Whether the expected immigration reform, which Barack Obama keeps putting off, will aim to reduce the exploitation of this immigrant work force remains to be seen.
This sobering overview of post-neo-liberal Latin America raises the question as to whether the policies pursued by populist and social democratic governments in the region have actually been designed to favour their electoral base. Recent strikes and demonstrations in several of these countries, fueled by the absence of substantive structural changes, are definite signs that their credibility and “progressive” identity is beginning to wear thin. James Petras wonders whether we have fallen prey to the ‘theater’ of a self-described “new left” and its “anti-neo-liberal” rhetoric.
There are disconcerting parallels between Argentina’s catastrophic decade, 1991-2001, which ended in massive default, and Greece’s recent and impending difficulties. In both cases, international credit organisations were to blame and both countries were beset by widespread protests and riots over austerity measures imposed by the IMF. Argentinian economist Adrián Salbuchi offers a hard-hitting analysis of this engineered crisis which knows no boundaries.
Introduction: The End of the Third World?
For decades, students of security and international politics have debated the emergence of a multipolar system. It’s time we recognize the new economic parallel.
If 1989 saw the end of the “Second World” with Communism’s demise, then 2009 saw the end of what was known as the “Third World”: We are now in a new, fast-evolving multipolar world economy – in which some developing countries are emerging as economic powers; others are moving towards (...)
The effects of the economic crisis on the developed countries are much deeper than political pundits would have us believe. Accordingly, in 2011, the United States will have a public debt comparable to its GNP. Due to population ageing in most Western countries, forecasts say that deficits will rise sharply, making it impossible to reimburse the current debts. The fatal day will arrive when creditors will want to recover their dues and states will be plunged into bankruptcy. Such are the conclusions of a report released by the Bank for International Settlements, which have been reproduced in full below. Only those countries which will have extended working life in their societies can hope to absorb the shock.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyane, the younger brother of the president of the United Arab Emirates and director of the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund (ADIA) was reported missing on 27 March 2010, at the age of 42.
He was in a glider which came down in a lake near Rabat (Morocco). Only the pilot was recovered alive.
With more than $800 billion in assets, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is the world’s largest investment (...)
The second 2009 Censored Project selection unmasks the hard-core militarization agenda behind the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) agreement, which has been obscured by the mass media. Its aim is to create a seamless North American Union under U.S. control to maximize profits for its corporations and to insure free and unlimited access to Canadian and Mexican resources. Despite his campaign reservations about pursuing NAFTA, President Obama has done nothing to alter the plan.
From his vantage point as former adviser to one of the Papandreou governments, James Petras examines how the Socialist Papandreou dynasty has, ever since World War II, relentlessly turned Greece into a client state, surrendering sovereignty and sacrificing class solidarity for patronage. Currently mired in debt and faced with mass unrest, Prime Minister George Papandreou is perpetuating the same logic, having turned to foreign bankers and imperial powers for direction while cracking down on the social protests that are rocking his country.
After painstaking efforts, it looks as though Israel might be admitted to the OECD this year, even though the conditions of extreme poverty in which its Arab population is kept fly in the face of the organization’s accession criteria. Tel-Aviv intends to exploit its presence in the OECD to legitimize its apartheid economy both at home and in the illegally-annexed territories.
Is German Chancellor Angela Merkel waging a new type of conquest war? The question arises from the declarations made by several members of her government coalition.
It is widely known that Germany has exploited the rules of the European Union to its own advantage, in order to increase its exports within the Euro zone to the detriment of its smaller partners, chiefly Greece and Portugal. This aggressive attitude, compounded by administrative hardships, have already driven Greece to (...)
Speaking before the representatives of the D8 (a group of 8 developing countries made up of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey), the Iranian president denounced the world financial system.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sustained that over the past 30 years the United States printed 29 000 billion dollars worth of Treasury bonds and fiat money without any real backing. With this fictitious currency, they took possession of the world’s most important resources, pulling off (...)
In December 2009, the U.S. Treasury bonds owned by Japan increased by 11,5 billion dollars, going up to a total of 768,8 billion dollars.
At the same time, China slashed its U.S. treasury bond holdings by 34,2 billion dollars, down to 755,4 billion dollars.
On 1 January 2010, the major foreign holders of U.S. treasury bond were:
Japan 768,8 billion dollars
China: 755,4 billion dollars
United Kingdom: 302,5 billion dollars
Brazil: 160 billion (...)
May I of course begin by thanking Professor Schwab and all the Davos Forum organizers for inviting me to give the opening address of this 40th session.
Let me make things clear: I have not come here as a political leader to lecture anyone, but to tell you that we must all together learn the lessons of the crisis. Why must we, all together, learn the lessons? Because we are all responsible for it. And because, above all, we are responsible for the world we are going to leave to our (...)
In the current showdown between Google and the Chinese Government, the media is portraying Google as the champion of Internet freedom upholding the human rights of the Chinese people. This is sheer hypocrisy considering that Google is part of a cartel of Internet companies colluding with the US intelligence apparatus, including in foreign government destabilization. Is it any wonder that the Chinese authorities should perceive Google as a conduit for black propaganda?
Geography and bad luck are only partly to blame for Haiti’s tragedy. Haiti was born of slavery and revolution, declaring independence from France on 1 January 1804. In exchange for diplomatic recognition, France forced the new republic to pay enormous reparations. Ever since, Haiti has been trapped in a spiral of crippling debt and exploitation through decades of US occupations and policies combined with strangling IMF-World Bank diktats. The fundamentals of the Haitian human tragedy can hardly be pinned on nature.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
The collapse of our banks and the difficulties following in the wake of the world economic crisis have created profound difﬁculties. Although the Icelandic state has undertaken various liabilities of a magnitude greater than those involved in the Icesave case, the debate on this case has become the focus regarding how we deal with the challenge of the past and also of the future.
The Althingi has now again passed legislation on this matter. This amends the current (...)
The G-20, the self-proclaimed global regulation authority, has decided to bolster the capacity of the FMI and the World Bank to siphon the wealth from the South in order to solve the crisis in the North. In an effort to conceal the ruthlessness of this policy, at their Istanbul meeting the international institutions agreed to give the IMF a new face while leaving intact the voting principles of its General Assembly. The leaders of the CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt) denounce this consequential widening of world imbalances.
"Life has no price"
France Telecom said an employee at its research and development centre in the Brittany town of Lannion killed himself at his home today – the 25th suicide at the company in 18 months.
The death comes two days after a France Telecom employee in Marseille was saved at the last minute from taking his life. Unions blame the suicides on stress linked to restructuring. Many of the employees have left notes blaming management decisions or stress at work.
Didier Lombard, the (...)
The Heads of State and Government of countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, met in Cochabamba (Bolivia) where they signed a treaty creating a new virtual currency, dubbed the Sucre.
The currency - named after General Antonio José de Sucre, Simón Bolivar’s companion and hero of the Latin American liberation struggle against Spanish imperialism - is slated to replaced the dollar in all commercial exchanges between ALBA countries.
Indeed, as explained (...)
September 24 – 25, 2009
1. We meet in the midst of a critical transition from crisis to recovery to turn the page on an era of irresponsibility and to adopt a set of policies, regulations and reforms to meet the needs of the 21st century global economy.
2. When we last gathered in April, we confronted the greatest challenge to the world economy in our generation.
3. Global output was contracting at pace not seen since the 1930s. Trade was plummeting. Jobs were disappearing (...)
On 2 October 2009, Ireland will vote in its second referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty), which is set to change the workings of the European Union (EU). There is an idea abroad, especially in North America, that the European Union represents a progressive alternative to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism. This argument can be found in numerous books and has even been echoed in numerous left-leaning journals. However, according to this expert in international relations and diplomacy, nothing could be further from the truth and he tells us why.
UBS offices on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
The governments of Switzerland and the United States have reached an agreement in principle on the major issues in their tax evasion dispute involving Swiss bank UBS.
US district judge Alan Gold agreed to cancel a trial that was supposed to begin on Monday into a demand for the confidential information of 52,000 UBS clients.
Gold had already delayed the case three weeks to allow all parties to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a “united future world currency.”
“Here it is,” Medvedev told reporters today in L’Aquila, Italy, after a summit of the Group of Eight nations. “You can see it and touch it.”
The coin, which bears the words “unity in diversity,” was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of G-8 delegations, Medvedev said.
The question of a supranational (...)
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