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American Global Government: Will It Work? - Peter Gowan

American Global Government: Will It Work? - Peter Gowan

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Current Marx 2002
Current Marx 2002

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Published by: peterVoter on Mar 30, 2013
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The government of the world that America has afuture?
translated from English by
Françoise Armengaud, Fabrice Bensimon and Nanon Gardin *
Current Marx 2002, n.
31 (gennaio-june)
The United States is not only the most powerful state in the world today,they dominate the system of relations between states.
Essentially, the"global governance" exists only insofar as the U.S. government wants orpermits.
Of course, international agencies make many decisionscollectively, often without that U.S. officials do not intervenestrongly.
But they do so only according to the pleasure of Washington.
The United States call the shots (1).My question is whether it is likely that this arrangement works, not inthe sense of whether it will solve the major problems of the planet, butmuch more limited in the sense of its practical viability in the mediumterm.In short, my answer is that the government of the world by the UnitedStates is not based on secure foundations, and is already in declinebecause it lacks the proper tools to maintain its supremacy in theconditions of post-Cold War era.
If the current Bush administration doesnot opt for drastic action to reassert its political domination, the modelthat prevailed during the last decade continue.
This is a model based ondazzling demonstrations regarding political initiative from the UnitedStates, all other major powers who joined them, before the U.S. Stateconsolidates local triumphs strengthening basic Structural its worldpower.
In response to changing that results, other social and politicalforces make connections detrimental to global supremacy of the UnitedStates.
The Marxist political analysis
In exploring this theme, I'll try to be what I think the Marxist politicalanalysis of international relations.
Isaac Deutscher was, of course, a
great master of the international political analysis.
But it really workedin another historical period the last phase of the world communistmovement.
It was a time when there was a cosmopolitan movementwith supporters in all countries of the world: a social movement andpolitical significance, to reform the world, for a secular humandevelopment project that would unite humanity.
Nothing betterexpresses what has disappeared with the collapse of this movement thata character like Osama bin Laden.
Here, we see people who findexpression in a character whose social base is composed of pre-capitalist social structures located in payys like Saudi Arabia,Afghanistan and Pakistan, and whose message is a form weirdconservative revolution against the modern world.
In summary, there iscurrently no international political force with a positive vision of a worldbeyond capitalism.
The movement against capitalist globalization isinteresting and is, potentially, important sign of something new.
But itremains a highly defensive movement of protest against whathappened, rather than questioning positive policy, to a world order of adifferent type.So here's how I see the context of any Marxist analysis of theinternational political situation: we are in a phase where there is no realpolitical movement of emancipation participation that challenges thecore capitalist states by an alternative program positive which is visibleto the great mass of humanity.
So, it radically alters the concerns andefforts of the major capitalist states.However, at the same time, it would be a grave mistake for us toimagine that political protest by anti-capitalist forces has disappearedfrom the horizon.
The disarray of the left and changes of social poweragainst the labor movement in many parts of the world did not end thepossibility of further challenged by the labor movement during the nextdecade.
I would say that the probable increase in conflicts betweencapitalist states and the essential contradictions of the new model of capitalism for the semi-peripheral countries may well open newperspectives for a new left.
Future prospects of contemporary capitalism
Many people, especially on the left, see the new international contextmarked by the extraordinary dominance of the United States.
And theyalso believe that it is marked by a grand unification of forces of thecapitalist world led by the United States.
Global capitalism or more?
Both the left and right, we share the widespread view according towhich capitalism is, in a sense, unified internationally in the 1990s,while outside the scope of the nation state (2).
Thus, by "becomingglobal" capitalism has finally solved the contradiction there was to beboth national and transnational: he became, in the words of Robert Cox,a "nebulous" world in which all Western states are creatures.
Or, in thewords of Kees Van der Pijl (although not necessarily according to itsanalysis), we now have a "transnational ruling class" (3).According to this view, it is conceivable that the activities of the U.S.government are not only guided by the motivations and objectivespurely American, but by those of a class or a transnational capitalistsystem.Even within the European Union (EU) and the Euro zone, it is still notpossible to speak of a single European capitalism.
An indication of thepersistence of national capitalisms in CPUE is that member states retaincontrol of a wide range of instruments always very critical in shaping thestrategic capital accumulation.
The legal and institutional structure of financial systems, business law, taxation, export policy, policies oncapital flows, most of the funding of Research and Development and theability to use the huge markets and state budgets to influence patternsof accumulation: these instruments are still in the hands of memberstates.
European capitalisms now consult widely in their relations withthe other two centers, vis-à-vis the East and toward their own workingclass.But vis-à-vis each other, they have no "disarmed" the political andinstitutional (6).

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