Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rethinking Imperialist Theory

By James Petras

"The ‘fluidity’ of US power relations with Latin America is a product of the continuities and changes in Latin America. Past hegemony continues to weigh heavy, but the future augurs a continued decline. The current balance of power will however be determined by shifts in world markets, in which the US is destined to play a lesser role. Hence the greater probability of more divergences in policy, barring major breakdowns within Latin America.....

Nevertheless, there are powerful reasons to consider the decline in US power as a long term and irreversible trend. Among the most important structural considerations is the embedded military-zionist power configuration which dictates continuing wars which bankrupt the treasury, devalue the currency and undermine any effort to project economic power and new initiatives to recover market shares in Latin America.

Secondly, the new dynamic capitalist centers in Asia are firmly established, growing and defining a multi-polar economic world. They have established in the minds of Latin American policymakers and ruling classes a new ‘world view’: Their future interests lie in Asia. As a consequence of this fact Latin America’s rulers have reoriented the direction of trade and investment, away from the US.

Thirdly, there are no signs of any reversal of the decline of US manufacturing; nor has Washington demonstrated any capacity to curtail the trade and budget deficits. Washington lacks the capacity to challenge, subvert or co-opt the emerging capitalist power configuration which underpins Latin America’s independent politics [Washington can only control, intimidate, threaten and bully its House Arabs.]. "

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