A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
The capitalist ruling class is frightened, for good reason: the empire cannot peacefully contain the rising economic powers of the South and East. “The Lords of Capital know there is no future for them in a world where the dollar is not supreme and where Wall Street’s stocks, bonds and derivatives are not backed by the full weight of unchallenged empire.” War is the only card they have left to play – and Hillary Clinton is their favored dealer.
“The Lords of Capital are creatures of U.S. imperial dominance; they go out of business when the empire does.”
By virtually every measurement, the United States is in deep crisis, as both a society and as the headquarters of global capitalism. We can roughly measure the severity of some aspects of the crisis with the tools of economic analysis. Such an analysis is quite useful in explaining why Washington is so eager to risk war with Russia and China, whether in Syria or the South China Sea or along the ever expanding borders of NATO. To put it simply, the U.S. and western Europe become smaller, in terms of their economic influence, with every passing day, and cannot possibly maintain their political dominance in the world except by military force, coercion and terror. Those are the only cards the imperialists have left to play. The ruling circles in the U.S. are aware that time is not on their side, and it makes them crazy — or crazier than usual.
The ruling class’s own analysts tell them that the center of the world economy is moving inexorably to the East and the South; that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future; and that the U.S. is already number two by some economic measures — and dropping. The Lords of Capital know there is no future for them in a world where the dollar is not supreme and where Wall Street’s stocks, bonds and derivatives are not backed by the full weight of unchallenged empire. Put another way, U.S. imperialism is at an inflection point, with all the indicators pointing downward and no hope of reversing the trend by peaceful means.
Now, that’s actually not such a bad prognosis for the United States, as a country. The U.S. is a big country, with an abundance of human and natural resources, and would do just fine in a world among equals. But, the fate of the Lords of Capital is tied to the ongoing existence of empire. They create nothing, but seek to monetize and turn a profit on everything. They cannot succeed in trade unless it is rigged, and have placed bets in their casinos that are nominally seven times more valuable than the total economic activity of planet Earth. In short, the Lords of Capital are creatures of U.S. imperial dominance; they go out of business when the empire does.
Beat the Clock
The rulers are looking class death in the face — and it terrifies them. And when the Lords of Capital become frightened, they order their servants in politics and the war industries and the vast national security networks to take care of the problem, by any means necessary. That means militarily encircling Russia and China; arming and mobilizing tens of thousands of jihadist terrorists in Syria, in an attempt to repeat the regime change in Libya; waging a war of economic sanctions and low-level armed aggression against Iran; occupying most of the African continent through subversion of African militaries; escalating subversion in Latin America; and spying on everyone on earth with a digital connection. All this, to stop the clock that is ticking on U.S. and European world economic dominance.
Left political analysts that I greatly respect argue that Hillary Clinton and the mob she will come in with in January will pull back from apocalyptic confrontation with Russia in Syria — that they’re not really that crazy. But, I’m not at all convinced. The ruling class isn’t just imagining that their days are numbered; it’s really true. And rulers do get crazy when their class is standing at death’s door.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].