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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, October 30, 2015

Offshoring the Economy: Why the US is on the Road to the Third World

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch

Roberts belongs to a circle composed of a large number of critics who are best identified as national capitalists. The members of this group, like Protestants, belong to a number of sub-denominations: liberals, social-democrats (Richard Wolf, Naomi Klein, and Bernie Sanders), traditional conservatives (PC Roberts, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul), and many independent critics of neoliberal capitalism as manifested today in the US Empire. They all share in their dislike for what capitalism has become in the 21st century and want to return to nationalist capitalism that came to rule the world in the 20th century. 

Thus Roberts in this essay doesn't seem to understand that powerful capitalists in the Empire have changed the form of capitalism forever to a globalist form known as neoliberalism under their command. The latter, to secure and advance their interests for every greater wealth and power, are at war with any independent nations who refuse to submit to their command and their application of neoliberalism. This new globalized capitalism is creating ever greater concentrations of wealth and power for ever fewer trans-national capitalists while also creating greater numbers of poor and powerless people in the areas of the world under their command. Borders are being breached for their commercial operations and their movement while those for the control of workers and ordinary people are being erected everywhere in the Empire. 

Roberts, like many other critics, seems to think that we can revert to a nationally based capitalism, and they are upset at the direction it is going. Using the provisions of  the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses of the new trade treaties (TTIP, TPP, & TISA), Empire capitalists have been planning in secret negotiations to subordinate governments of individual nations to the power of transnational capitalist legal tribunals

With his narrow focus on the US, Roberts seems oblivious to the growing world problem: increasing numbers of poor and powerless people everywhere in the world controlled by shrinking numbers of powerful and wealthy trans-national capitalists. In other words, the First World and the Third World will exist everywhere in the world. Instead, with his old-fashioned nationalist view, he narrowly focuses on the effects here in the US. He apparently wants, and believes is possible, a return to nationally based capitalism. He, like many other critics, simply does not understand that the concentration of wealth and power is an inevitable result of capitalist dynamics, and Empire capitalists are not going to allow national borders to stand in their way. 

Only politically conscious workers can prevent this from happening, and prevent the many anti-social effects of capitalism by replacing the system with one that serves all the people everywhere.