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

Monday, November 19, 2018

The World Order That’s Now Emerging

Click here to access article by Eric Zuesse from Strategic Culture Foundation. (Commentary edited for greater clarity at 4:15 PM CT.)

There are numerous errors in this article which in the first example illustrates sloppiness on the part of the author and the editor for this website, but following this error are errors due to long years of indoctrination that is an integral part of all education in the capitalist US-led (trans-national) Empire.

The first error is so obvious that I wonder about the editorship of this website. Zuesse's mathematical skills seem to be lacking when he divides 13.7% by .32% which is clearly more than 4.28. The correct calculation is 42.8. Thus those killed in the Soviet Union were 42.8 times greater than US killed in WWII. (11/22/2018: This error has now been corrected.)

The remaining errors he commits are the result of the long years of indoctrination he received to insure that he was thoroughly convinced of virtues of capitalism and likewise convinced of the failures of Marxist theories. The remainder of his essay provides numerous examples of this. 
... the USSR’s communist regime was additionally hobbled by Karl Marx’s labor theory of value, which produced prices that contained no useful information about demand and thus no constructive information for planners.
Whatever the weaknesses were of the Soviet Union, one was not charging much less for essentials like housing and food. Of course, they clearly had other measures to determine demand other than market prices. Thus, housing was dirt-cheap (like only a few dollars per month) and food likewise. This is true of every country claiming to be socialist. Socialism requires that such essentials as shelter and food not be a commodity the price of which is determined by the market. If there is a shortage of such items, genuine socialist societies will always resort to rationing.

Throughout his posts he typically avoids referring to capitalism, ruling class, etc. by always using the feudal term "aristocracy" instead of the capitalist ruling class. He summarizes his liberal/left bias by stating:
America’s post-WW-II dominance, combined with Marx’s crippling economic theory, and produced the exodus of East Europeans to The West.
He goes on to argue that the great errors of the US "aristocracy" (sic) was to embark on a goal of world domination and adopted a "greed is good" orientation--not that capitalist systems inevitably result in ruling classes and must forever seek the accumulation of wealth in order exercise control/dominance otherwise they will be absorbed by others who gain more wealth and power. Thus, one often hears from capitalists about the necessity to grow or die. Zuesse avoids the intrinsic antisocial nature of the system by implying that this was simply an error of judgement by the US "aristocracy" (sic).

Otherwise the essay is excellent in that it argues that we are on a path that will lead to a devastating WWIII, and is supported by excellent documentation. Also Zuesse accurately directs our attention to the two main weapons used by the US Empire to rule the world: military dominance and the maintenance of the US dollar as the world's currency.

Could it be that his perspective has found sympathy with the editors of this Russian website because Russian society has a large component of a capitalist contingent in their economy and government? In any case, I think you can agree that Zuesse's views illustrate what passes for a liberal-left perspective in America, and as such retards the rejection of a system that will be the death of all of us.