By PARAG KHANNA
Published: January 27, 2008
Photo Illustration by Kevin Van Aelst
“It is 2016, and the Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Barack Obama administration is nearing the end of its second term. America has pulled out of Iraq but has about 20,000 troops in the independent state of Kurdistan, as well as warships anchored at Bahrain and an Air Force presence in Qatar. Afghanistan is stable; Iran is nuclear. China has absorbed Taiwan and is steadily increasing its naval presence around the Pacific Rim and, from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. The European Union has expanded to well over 30 members and has secure oil and gas flows from North Africa, Russia and the Caspian Sea, as well as substantial nuclear energy. America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline.”
The capitalist regimes that have saddled the world for centuries have produced poverty, wars, inequality and environmental destruction. This fascinating book excerpt from The New York Times Magazine is a wake-up call to American neo-conservatives who will be (hopefully) reeling for the next few years from the drunkin’ sailor days of the Bush presidencies. This author is beyond reproach as far as academia is concerned. However his is an analysis by an elite for the global specialized classes. They will fight among themselves for If his scenario is accurate the working class of the world will simply have the same old yoke around our neck and have a specialized class leading us by the nose.
The excerpt should also serve as a wake-up call for the working class who will think that if Clinton, Obama or McCain become president, the world will somehow recover. Socialist and all working class activists know that our work will never end. Just as David Lewis’ famous story of the cats and the Mice showed it won’t matter whether the world is run by American, Chinese or European capitalists. The same old paradigm of war/poverty/environmental decline will continue.
“So now, rather than bestriding the globe, [the U.S. is] competing – and losing – in a geopolitical marketplace alongside the world’s other superpowers: the European Union and China. This is geopolitics in the 21st century: the new Big Three. Not Russia, an increasingly depopulated expanse run by Gazprom.gov; not an incoherent Islam embroiled in internal wars; and not India, lagging decades behind China in both development and strategic appetite. The Big Three make the rules – their own rules – without any one of them dominating. And the others are left to choose their suitors in this post-American world.”
The author writes that “[t]he more we appreciate the differences (emphasis mine) among the American, European and Chinese world views, the more we will see the planetary stakes of the new global game. Previous eras of balance of power have been among European powers sharing a common culture. The cold war, too, was not truly an “East-West” struggle; it remained essentially a contest over Europe. What we have today, for the first time in history, is a global, multi-civilizational, multi-polar battle.” There are no differences between worldvies of capitalists. It’s just more of the same. The global working class must get better organized to take on the next practitioners of mobster capitalism.