On The Road To Obama
Martin Jacques in When China Rules The World (2009) posits that the invasion of Iraq signaled the downfall for the Bush administration. Far from the United States presiding over a reshaping of global affairs, it rapidly found itself beleaguered in Iraq and enjoying less global support than at any time since 1945. The exercise of overwhelming military power proved of little effect in Iraq but served to squander the reserves of soft power--in Joseph S. Nye's words, 'the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals and policies'--that the United States had accumulated since 1945.
Failing to comprehend the significance of deeper economic trends, as well as misreading the situation in Iraq, the Bush administration overestimated American power and thereby overplayed its hand, with the consequence that its policies had exactly the opposite effect to that which had been intended: instead of enhancing the U.S.'s position in the world, Bush's foreign policy seriously weakened it. The neo-conservative position represented a catastrophic misreading of history.
Military and political power rest on economic strength. The ability of nations to exercise and sustain global hegemony has ultimately depended on their productive capacity. America's present superpower status is a product of its rapid economic growth between 1870 and 1950 and the fact that during the second half of the twentieth century it was the world's largest and often most dynamic economy. This economic strength underpinned and made possible its astonishing political, cultural and military power from 1945 onwards.
Moreover, the precondition for being a hegemonic power, including the ability or otherwise to preside over a formal or informal empire, is economic strength. In the long run at least, it is a merciless measure. Notwithstanding this, imperial powers in decline are almost invariably in denial of the fact. That was the case with Britain from 1918 onwards and, to judge by the behavior of the Bush administration (though perhaps not Obama's)--which failed to read the runes, preferring to believe that the U.S. was about to rule the world in a new American century when the country was actually in decline and on the eve of a world in which it would find its authority considerably diminished--the U.S. may well make the same mistake, perhaps on a much grander scale.
The financial meltdown in 2008 belatedly persuaded a growing number of American commentators that the United States might after all be in decline, but that was still a far cry from a general recognition of the extent and irreversibility of that decline and how it might diminish American power and influence in the future.
The cost of the Iraq invasion will go beyond the $3 trillion, which Jacques predicted. The inordinate cost of Iraqi occupation that, regardless of political considerations the financial burden of any similar proposed invasion of Iran--in practice likely to be much higher--would always have been too large: for military as well as political reasons, the Bush administration was unable to seriously contemplate similar military action against Iran and North Korea, the other two members of its 'axis of evil.'
The United States is, thus, already beginning to face the classic problems of imperial overreach. The burden of maintaining a huge global military presence, and over 800 American bases dotted around the world, has been one of the causes of the U.S.'s enormous current account deficit, which in 2006 accounted for 6.5 percent of U.S. GDP. In future the American economy will find it increasingly difficult to support such a military commitment.
The United States has ceased to be a major manufacturer or large-scale exporter of manufactured goods, having steadily ceded the position to East Asia. The U.S. has been in deficit spending since 1982. Current account deficits can of course be rectified, but only by reducing growth and accepting a lower level of economic activity. Growing concern on the part of foreign institutions about these deficits led to a steady fall in the value of the dollar until 2008, and this could well be resumed at some point, further threatening the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency and American financial power.
Moody's credit rating agency warned in 2008 that the U.S. faced the prospect within a decade of losing its top-notch triple-A credit rating, first granted to the U.S. government debt when it was assessed in 1917, unless it took radical action to curb government expenditure. And this was before the financial meltdown in 2008, which, with the huge taxpayer-funded government bail-out of the financial sector, will greatly increase the size of the U.S. national debt. This is not to suggest that, in the short run, the U.S. will be required to reduce its military expenditure for reasons of financial restraint: indeed, given the position that the U.S military occupies in the national psyche, and the primary emphasis that U.S. foreign policy has traditionally placed on military power, this seems most unlikely. Being an imperial power, however, is a hugely expensive business and, peering into the future, as its relative economic power declines, the United States will no longer be able to sustain the military commitments and military superiority that it presently enjoys.
ON THE ROAD TOWARD THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST
I like to give credit to all the writers whose work I appropriate for the theses of my blogs. One of my favorites is John Higgs and his historicism in Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History of the 20th Century (2015), and the others' text that I mention by name and copywriters date. I do this for authenticity and the fact that America has an abundance of "free" public libraries so that my reader is able to secure documentation for themselves because what I write is contrary to popular opinion and propagandized national belief.
The road to the American Holocaust began innocuously with an election in Great Britain, an appointment in America, followed a presidential election in the United States and the employment of a neo-conservative claiming to be the godfather of neo-conservatism. The elections and appointment in question is the election of Margaret Thatcher as the British prime minister in 1979, and the arrival of the economist Paul Volcker as chairman of the US Federal Reserve in 1979, as well as the election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States, which according to John Higgs, led to the justification of neoliberalism worldwide.
Neoliberalism was a school of economic thought that dated back to the 1930s which became the orthodox belief system for politicians and corporations following the speeches of Irving Kristol and essays of other neoconservatives ensconced in the White House. Kristol was invaluable because as a former Trotskyite, he understood the working-class; therefore how to manipulate and undermine it.
Kim Phillips-Fein in Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement From the New Deal to Reagan (2009); and David Priestland in The Red Flag: A History of Communism (2009), both agree that Irving Kristol was a perfect choice to betray the working class. And this is evident in his essays published in The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009 (2011), especially in "Human Nature and Social Reform" (1978); "The Two Welfare States" (2000); and "Forty Good Years" (2005), where he brags about the social destruction caused by his support of Neoliberalism, while ignoring that he has participated in White lives having not mattered in the past 40 years down to today. Instead Kristol thought of himself as a postmodern Moses who had led his own people into the promised land of Whiteness and has taken revenge against both "jumped-up" Blacks and the WASP society that had wronged his ancestors.
Higgs writes that Neoliberalism at its heart, argued that the state was just too dumb to be left in charge of people's wellbeing. It just didn't understand the nature of people in the way that the markets understood them. It had only a fraction of the information needed to make good decisions, and it was too slow, inept and politically motivated to put even that knowledge to good use.
As the neoliberalists saw it, the role of the state was to put in place a legal system that protected property rights and allowed for free trade and free markets, and to protect this system by military and police forces. State-owned industries needed to be placed in private ownership and run for profit. At that point the state had to step away and not interfere. Private enterprise would take care of the rest.
Neoliberalism was always going to create inequality, but it claimed that this was for the greater good. If a small elite became immensely wealthy, then this wealth would "trickle down" to the rest of society. Or in a phrase which came to symbolize the 1980s, "greed is good." Wealth did not trickle down, needless to say. It passed upwards from the middle class to the very top.
Few economists now take the idea of the trickle-down effect seriously, but the thinking behind it still colors much of the discussion about global economics. It is still common to hear the very rich described as "wealth creators," rather than the more accurate "wealth accumulators."
By the end of the twentieth century neoliberalism had become orthodoxy. As corporate power grew, its influence over politicians and media companies increased, in a small part because of their need for corporate money. Protest about corporate power occurred only outside of the political and cultural mainstream. The idea that a Western democratic politician from a mainstream political party could gain office with a platform that aimed to reduce corporate power, or increase corporate responsibility, became increasingly implausible.
NEOLIBERALISM AND THE MYTH OF PERPETUAL ECONOMIC GROWTH
The years following what Paul Krugman named the socio-economic change the began at the end of the 1970s: the "Great Divergence," commonly known as Neoliberalism led to the rise of China, as unfair competition initiated by Western corporations in the 1970s. Corporation increasingly embraced globalization and reimagined themselves as stateless entities in no way beholden to the nations that formed them. This combined with the collapse of the Bretton Woods Agreement in August 1971, eventually led to the financial collapse of 2008.
The Bretton Woods Agreement was a framework for international monetary management that had been agreed in the small New Hampshire town of Bretton Woods towards the end of the Second World War. The pre-war, every-man-for-himself approach to currency valuation had been responsible for some of the instability that led to war, so Bretton Woods was an attempt to create a more stable environment for international finance. It tied the value of international currencies to the US dollar, which was in turn tied to the value of gold reserves.
DISSOLUTION OF BRETON WOOD & THE MADNESS ON WALL STREET
The link between the dollar and gold was important. This link between money supply and actual physical wealth created confidence in a currency, but it was a constant frustration for those who dreamt of perpetual, continuous economic growth. The gold standard, as the link between paper money and precious metals was known, tended to produce periods of growth interspersed with periods of deflation and even depression. This may have been a natural and sustainable system, but it was not the sort of thing that democratic societies voted for.
Richard Nixon's response to a period of economic pain was to end the gold standard, cut the link between the dollar and physical wealth, and ultimately bring Bretton Woods to an end. The value of the dollar could then bring Bretton Woods to an end. The value of the dollar could then float free, worth whatever the markets said it was worth.
Thanks to this neat trick of divorcing money from physical reality, the perpetual-growth economy continued in what would otherwise have been a period of recession. It also transpired that the ever-increasing amount of consumption needed for perpetual growth could be financed by creative bookkeeping, and the creation of debt. Debt Mountains began to grow. When the approach ran into difficulty, in the early twenty-first century, taxpayer-funded bailouts kept the dream of perpetual growth alive.
Financial traders were able to create wealth out of thin air using wild and psychedelic financial instruments such as those traded on the derivatives market. This involved the trading not of actual things, but of changes to how the market would value things over time. It is not oversimplification to describe the derivatives market as pretty much incomprehensible, which is a problem for those who wish to regulate it. It was recently estimated to have a notional value of $700 trillion, or about ten times that of the entire global economy. In the opinion of the billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, "derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal."
The fact that markets such as these created wealth on paper, while not actually doing anything of value or creating anything tangible, did not unduly trouble those who profited from them. But when Adam Smith defined wealth in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, he said it was "the annual produce of the land and labor of the society." Economics was supposed to be a mathematical model of what happened in the real world.
FALL OF WALL STREET
Before being ejected from opensalon.com I wrote a blog called: Elvis In The White House, which received mention of a BBC reporter. Sam Phillips famously said, "If I can find a White man who can sing like a Black man, I can get rich!" or something on that order. And he did, his name was Elvis Presley. By 2004 there were signs that things were going south in both Afghanistan and Iraq and the economy was in deep trouble due the machinations on Wall Street, plus the destruction that Hurricane Katrina wreak on New Orleans--proof that Bush could not rescue a major American city in an emergency (most of the National Guard troops and heavy equipment was in Iraq). All these events were linked to Bush's close associated with the Neocons.
James Moore and Wayne Slater in The Architect: Karl Rove and The Master Plan for Absolute Power (2006) charge that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had filled their administration with "Isreal-firsters," with "dual loyalties." The most influential of the Bush choices were Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith, while Cheney's were I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, John Hannah, and David Wurmser, all of whom had exhibited a predisposition to favor Israel in policy and decision-making processes.
Wurmser, who became Mideast adviser to the vice president as the war was unfolding in 2003, might be the most ideologically aggressive in the group. Along with his wife, Meyrav, and Perle and Feith, Wurmser had coauthored a 1996 paper for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" called upon Israel to attack Syria and Lebanon and overthrow Saddam Hussein as critical steps for redrawing the political power structure of the Mideast. The document appears to have served as a kind of template for the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and, in almost every aspect, seems to have informed Bush administration policy.
Meanwhile the liberal Jewish community remembering their history in Germany, a country that had some the attributes of the USA in population, race and dominant religion, became alarmed at the behavior of the East Coast Neocons/Zionists, and a civil war of words broke out between the united front of Hollywood and Chicago against the Eastern Neocons. Liberal Jews persuaded Michael Bloomberg to drop out of his run for the Office of the President of the United States. And what is so tragic is that Bloomberg stood a chance of winning because he held the main attributes of Trump without his trashiness. He was/is a billionaire businessman--conservative, but is a conservative-humanist, i.e. a traditional American. He was so popular among the American public that his height, looks and lack of blond hair did not matter, i.e. White America had forgotten he was a Jew. He could win handily, that is until the Neocons began their campaign for "a clean break," which threatened to result in an American Holocaust. He understood that too many nouveau riches, well-armed, Hill-Billy’s had lost wealth via speculation in the market--foreclosures on McMansions due to banking machinations, and their jobs due to the Wall Street collapse, plus "we were losing the war." And an age-old Christian scapegoat was at hand.
With less than a month left in office, the discussion of Barack Obama’s legacy is in full swing. In next month’s Atlantic Magazine, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates explores what it meant for the country to be led by an African-American man for the last eight years. His cover story is called “My President Was Black: A History of the First African-American White House – And of What Came Next.” He traces the roots of Obama’s optimism on race relations, analyzes his relationship with the African-American community while in office and explains why he believes race was key to the election of Donald Trump
A talk was given to Bloomberg by the Chicago gang, who then decided to give up his life's dream of becoming the first Jewish President of the United States in favor of Barack Obama. Why Obama--a black man with little experience in government, and no money? Obama was their Elvis--a product of a White Mother and an African father, who could use charm on the most racist voter in the rural part of the state of Illinois and win. He possessed a Harvard Degree in Law, taught at the University of Chicago, and had written at least one book. He was tall, dark enough, and handsome with an intact family--an All American in Black.
The situation that the Neocons had created by their duplicity and hubris was dire and the only correction was a massive shock put into the society, which would divert the holocaust that was in the air--understanding that once the slaughter started in the United States, it would go worldwide with not a Jew left alive. Hitler was limited by the use of punch-cards, but now there were computer programs, most of which created by Jewish technicians themselves.
Meanwhile, promises were made to Hillary Clinton that if she would withdraw from the Primary--delay her quest to be the first US female President--she would be fully financed and backed by the Jewish community in the next four to eight years. A promised that was kept in 2016.
SHOCKING THE MONKEY
Senator Barack Obama's 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention marked him as "the one"--the Messiah figure to lead out of the "unpromising land." He was even able to convert staunch Neocons to see the light. John Higgs writes that in 1992, American political scientist and Neocons Francis Fukuyama published his most influential book, The End of History and the Last Man. Fukuyama argued that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the neoliberal argument had won. Capitalism was the only option on the table and liberal democracies were the only justifiable form of state. Fukuyama claimed that we had reached the predetermined, final form of society, an argument that was essentially teleological and therefore religious in nature. He wrote in a deliberately prophetic, evangelical tone, proclaiming the "Good News" of the eternal triumph of the capitalist paradise.
Fukuyama was, fortunately, entirely wrong, as he would now be the first to admit. He split from the neoconservative movement over the US invasion of Iraq, a conflict he initially was in favor of, and voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
The shock of Obama "helped into Office" by Jewish money and ingenuity produced the hoped effect and affect. Obama’s election and "charm offensive" cooled the White population out, and thrilled the Black population. The White population were so dumb-struck--and some enthralled that it gave space and time for the Neocons to publish an article, "Neo Culpa" in Vanity Fair Magazine, which convinced Bush to send in a surge of US troops to rout the "non-enemy" enemy, and the overwhelming show of power quelled the Iraqi rebellions. And this gave him time and space to make a graceful exit from office as the country was crumbling into the Second Great Depression.
President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for winning Election 2008 because the Europeans were "waiting to exhale" so frightened of the Neocons control over Bush. But the man who really deserved the Nobel is Michael Bloomberg, an unknown--unrecognized hero, who gave his all for his people, a Moses who will never get to his promised. If he were Catholic he would be made a Saint, but since he is a Jew, he can be named in the pantheon of biblical Prophets, or martyrs.
Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, are my equivalent of Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goring to the ambitions of African Americans alone, nonetheless to White working-class Americans. They like other neoconservatives/Neocons/American Zionists--thought they had no more need of the Negro and that he/she was ungrateful for their past liberalism, but Karma has a way of kicking one in the ass. This is what pisses me about Zionists like Dershowitz, et al. They have long memories about Black peoples' faults--shouting anti-Semitism at the least criticism of Israel or Zionist Jews themselves, but have amnesia about their own betrayal of African Americans--and Irving Kristol and his neo-conservatism’s involvement in making White lives not matter since the 1980s.
THE MOSES OF HIS PEOPLE
THE END OF PART FIVE