Monday, March 14, 2005

bush versus america


if you want to understand george bush, the first thing to do is to stop listening to what he is saying. the politician, like a conjuror, makes a lot of dramatic gestures. if you are curious as to how the tricks are done, always watch the other hand.

once you stop listening to what they are saying, the way is clear to see what they are doing. you then see that the policies pursued are largely self-reinforcing. they are positive feedback loops - and the feed in the feedback is rewards for campaign contributions. if you ask a shopkeeper why he stocks certain items, the answer is -' because that is what they are buying.' that is a fair guide to present policies. why does the administration market a certain policy? same story - because that is what the corporate customers are buying.

america inc. is being run by businessmen, big businessmen, and on business lines. right at the moment it looks increasingly like one of those companies that makes a whacking loss, but still manages to pay off the c e o and executives with share options, which they cash in, just in time, with benefit of inside information . . .

so if you now want to know where policies are leading, the answer may be to eventual bankruptcy, and in the meantime, more of the same.

the multinational companies which can afford to pay campaign contributions are interested in having a global field to play in. it is therefore logical to expect the administration to be in favour of globalisation. thus if you wish to know whether china is to be the future business partner of the united states, or to be encircled and contained as a potential rival superpower, the answer is - both, because nationalism, militarism, and america-is-number-one-ism are alive and well. but when it comes to the crunch - and crunches come - the multinationals will do all they can to avoid a descent into nationalism, war, and a retreat from trading relationships. they will not order any war that disrupts trade on a global scale.

the wars that they can tolerate, are those against minor enemies, like iraq. these also hold out the promise of contracts for reconstruction and newly cleared fields for expansion. iraq makes more sense as a takeover, business style, than as an invasion or a liberation. it may not be working, but that is the best explanation of how it was meant to work. a generals' war followed by a businessmens' occupation.

promoting the opening up of china to economic development has a similar rationale. the multinational companies see enormous markets, enormous opportunities for outsourcing basic production, and possibly, in a country not yet democratic, enormous potential for bribes and sweeteners to leaders not subject to media probing or democratic accountability.

the winners are the multinational corporations and their shareholders. the losers are the employees and ex employees of america's own manufacturing industries. how long before these workers, with real wages static for twenty years, start getting behind nationalist and protectionist politicians?

we live in a strange world, where trade has become globalised, but politics remains within national borders. at the top, the multinationals and the footloose capital that makes its home in offshore havens, are growing out of being dependent upon any one country. strange times, when the chinese and the japanese intervene massively to support the dollar and thus the health of the global economy, while the buffets and the gates have their money in other currencies, and wealthy americans buy dozens of shanghai flats and hope that the dollar takes a dive. the great bear raid on america?

in the end the clash between globalisation and nationalism will become apparent. more than communism v. capitalism, or islam v. the christian west, this is the division of our times. globalisation also implies global economic growth, and growth without new sources of oil will pose its own problems.

if you want to understand george bush, you need to appreciate that he is not in the same class as a napoleon or a hitler. when america was last at war in the far east - bush did not go. this was in the tradition of his family, who made money during, if not out of, the second world war. bush may act the patriot, but that is part of the conjuring show. to understand george bush, follow the trail of the campaign contributions. the biggest contributions come from the biggest corporations. the biggest corporations are multinational. the multinationals are committed supporters of globalisation. if and when the crunch comes between nationalists and globalisers, bush and his cabal will be found on the side of the globalisers, and however heavily dressed up in fatigues and the flag - against america.

and if you think that is bad news, there is worse. america is deliberately being driven into a debt crisis after which drastic measures will be needed. this may be intended as the cue and the opportunity for a further consolidation of the power of the cabal. some new military diversion might conveniently take place at the same time. the great strength of the neo conservatives is the refusal of the liberal side to believe that all of this is really happening. so no champion comes forward to defend the people against the purchase of politicians by corporations, the root of the problem.

that is the bad news - the worse news is that when the showdown does come between bush and america - bush may well win.


Blogger Hans Castorp said...

The rush for private accounts is another example of misdirection... "In this hand I hold private accounts..." while the other hand is actually fixing the problem - raising revenue or cutting benefit. Unfortunately that's the way you have to deal with people who vote like we do - give us the benefits, and cut our taxes.

4:28 AM  

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