UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper LXXVI: March 9, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S.World Dominance
(London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, [March] 2003.Second edition. First published 1972 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston as
Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire
Most of the revisions in this 2003second edition were made shortly afterthe 1972 publication of the first edition,but no publisher was found (xiv-xv);apart from a few references to Hudson’ssubsequent books and some quotationsfrom the 2001 third volume of RobertSkidelsky’s biography of John MaynardKeynes, covering the years 1937-1946,there are few recent references.][
“The thesis of this book is thatit is not to the corporate sector that onemust look to find the roots of moderninternational economic relations as muchas to U.S. Government pressure oncentral banks and on multilateralorganizations such as the IMF, WorldBank and World Trade Organization.Already in the aftermath of World War I,but especially since the end of World WarII, intergovernmental lending and debtrelationships among the world’s centralbanks have overshadowed the drives of private sector capital. — At the root of this new form of imperialism is theexploitation of governments by a singlegovernment, that of the United States,via the central banks and multilateralcontrol institutions of intergovernmentalcapital rather than via the activities of private corporations seeking profits.What has turned the older forms of imperialism into a super imperialism isthat whereas prior to the 1960s the U.S.Government dominated internationalorganizations
by virtue of its preeminentcreditor status, since that time it hasdone so by virtue of its debtor position”(23-24). — “Economic imperialism hasproduced some weird and almostincomprehensible results in its history,but never before has a bankrupt nationdared insist that its bankruptcy becomethe foundation of world economic policy.But U.S. officials [in 1971] insisted thatbecause of their nation’s bankruptcy oninternational account, all other nationsmust warp their economies towardtransferring its bankruptcy tothemselves” (264).]
Preface to the second edition [dated2002].
There has been no change in theU.S. Treasury’s neglect of its balance-of-payments deficit from 1972 to 2002 (ix).It amounts to a system of taxation theU.S. imposes on the world without itsconsent (x). “This book aims at providingthe background for U.S.-European andU.S.-Asian financial relations byexplaining how the U.S. Treasury billstandard came to provide America with afree lunch since gold was demonetized in1971, and why the IMF and World Bankcannot be expected to help. Publishedthirty years ago, it was the first tocriticize the World Bank and IMF forimposing destructive policies on theworld’s debtor economies, and to tracethese policies to U.S. diplomaticpressure” (xi). Hudson’s career, 1971-1977 (xi-xiv). “No serious alternative . . .to the American-centered financialsystem” is in sight (xvi-xviii).
“The United States hasachieved its global position through novelpolicies that were not anticipated byeconomists writing prior to World War I,or indeed prior to the 1970s” (1). U.S.diplomacy reflects a strategic drive forworld power, not merely “the profitmotives of private investors” (1). Thiswas achieved “from the unprecedentedterms on which [the U.S.] governmentextended armaments and reconstructionloans to its wartime allies” (1).