We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Europe Tilts East Towards China (Parts 1 and 2)

Click here and here if you wish to access the transcripts of these Real News Network interviews with economist Michael Hudson.

I promised in a posting last Tuesday that I would follow up on this new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that has been organized by China as an alternative to the US dominated World Bank and the IMF. Here in these interviews Hudson offers his views on the significance of this new funding organization. I promise to continue to post articles from different credible sources on this subject.


I remain convinced that in the long range, capitalist ruling classes in China, Russia, etc. are only offering a more attractive model for funding development projects as a means of competing against the dominate capitalist gang in world affairs. So, what could be wrong with that? Well, the current top dog, the US Empire, in this vicious struggle for world dominance is baring its fangs in what is likely to be a fight-to-the-death. This is hardly good news for a peaceful world that desperately needs to devote all of its attention and resources toward weaning the world off of fossil fuels and creating economies that can function in harmony with a stable biosphere.

Also, Hudson apparently wants us to believe that the Chinese capitalist gang has some special virtues that the US capitalist gang lacks. I might grant this as a temporary phenomenon, but I remain solidly unconvinced that the Chinese gang or any other capitalist gang will function any differently in the long-run than the US led capitalist gang. Here is the way (which I believe is accurate) he describes the US gang's funding organizations:
...the purpose of the World Bank lending [is] essentially for plantation export crops, for export crops to make countries avoid producing anything that might compete with American exports, above all grain, although every single mission of the World Bank, country mission, has recommended that countries undertake land reform and agricultural extension to help promote family farming and countries to feed themselves. The World Bank has not made loans for this.

The World Bank, under U.S. congressional pressure, has said, look, we're not going to finance countries becoming independent of the United States; our function is to make them export more to the United States and to buy from the United States.
Now compare that with his view of the Chinese gang's funding organization:
...the Chinese Development Bank is to help make other countries get independent of this sort of neocon, neoliberal, right-wing economic philosophy and work government-to-government, help governments develop infrastructure, so that they can provide basic services at a lower cost or a subsidized cost, or even freely to the populations.
Although he didn't present much evidence to back up this view, I have seen some that does. However, I don't for a second believe that Chinese capitalists are doing this for anything like altruistic reasons.