8/7/7 Bare Butt Naked: Truth You Won't Hear on TV

"Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."
Z. Brzezinski.The Grand Chessboard, 1997

Digest commentary:
Several analyses from both neoliberal and neconservative imperialists are excerpted at length in this issue because they are laser beams slicing through the quotidian lies, mystification, obscurantism and psywar called 'news'. These 'not for mass consumption' analyses make absolutely clear what and why the U.S. agenda is, how fundamental bipartisan ruling class unity behind the U.S. agenda is hidden by the media -manipulated circus of partisan 'disunity'...fooling mostly us in the US but able to obscure reality, justify imperialist terror ,or crush resistance in most of the world. The horror and enormity of this imperial juggernaut is overwhelming. It's meant to be: Shock and awe.. stories of non-stop horror, of encroaching state -church terror, wrapped up in electoral politics propaganda to misdirect us is succeeding in suckering even genuine anti-war forces into democrat plans to continue the same global war of terror. We've been stupified into believing it's about politicians/policies, not the system they serve.

Politicians are performers and pimps whose faux partisan squabbles are magnified to maintain the illusion of real opposition, but these analyses reveal the truth these players hide: they're all on the same team.

First, an article "Reconsidering the Role of the Warrior in Our Post-Enlightenment World" by Hatem Moussa takes us inside Lee Harris' latest book The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West ,leading us to look more closely at this very influential 'philosopher' not much in public view, and a few of his 'neocon' admirers Daniel Pipes and Baron Bodissey.

Then from 'across the 'aisle', but very much in the same capitalist court, more sophisticated, equally american supremacist Zbigniew Brzezinski and Michael Ignatieff eloquently explain the necessity and 'burden' of securing this benign imperial supremacy ...without provoking so much 'barbarians at the gate' resistance to their benefactors.

Demolishing such racist american mythology, two brief historical analyses "Any form of resistance to this barbarity is ethical" by Anu Muhammad and "The new Arab world: The Arab nation has passed a threshold, a culture of resistance rising in unity" by Hana Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty

Back to terror central, an uncritical NYT review of In Dusty Archives, a Theory of Affluence by UC Davis 'economic historian' Gregory Clark espousing -- and exposing -- the vile depths of academia sugar-coated 'rationalized' white supremacy with a feeble sociological "theory" that resurrects reactionary and discredited Malthusianism, updating it with a heavy dose of genetic reductionism, to counter Marx' analysis of capital by attributing capitalist wealth, privilege and superiority to anglo-american genes. Genetic reductionism sucks scientifically but politically / ideologically is on target and broadcast widely, buttressing bipartisan pretexts for the latest U.S. global domination war.

Finally, brief excerpts from Marx and Lenin on the nature and necessity of capital: revolutionaries whose theory and practice warrant serious study who represent revolution capitalism understands is its ultimate nemesis: despite hundreds of years of trying to kill it, slavery, genocide, war, exploitation, mental and physical terror to divide and conquer, to destroy peoples and nations for the relentless expansion and rule of U.S. capital, nothing will finally work -- because as Marx' Capital irrefutably proved "...what the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."

Reconsidering the Role of the Warrior in Our Post-Enlightenment World
Hatem Moussa/Associated Press
Palestinian militants pray while training in the evacuated Israeli settlement of Netzarim in April.
Published: August 6, 2007
In one of the final events of the recent Lincoln Center Festival, a lone Mongolian bard named Burenbayar came onstage and chanted “The Secret History of the Mongols.” He had memorized the 13th-century text during long hours grazing animals on the steppes of Central Asia. And as is true of many ancient sagas, he sang of arms and the man — that is, of warfare and heroism.

His subject was Genghis Khan, a conqueror of many peoples who was both barbarically ruthless and soulfully sentimental, reveling in revenge by tearing out an enemy’s heart and liver with his bare hands while also forgiving, again and again, the bloody treachery of an envious childhood friend. He was at all times a warrior whose goal was conquest and whose demands could not be assuaged, except by victory.
Almost every culture has such figures in their past, men like Odysseus, King David, Muhammad and Aeneas, whose triumphs were often attained through extreme, horrific battle. Such founding figures often also display powerful streaks of sensitivity and elevated vision along with prophetic abilities; on their broad chests and battle-readiness rest the later triumphs of their civilizations. But warriors don’t have to display such qualifying attributes; throughout history they are revered.
Except for now, it seems, and particularly in the West. Today we are so wary of the warrior that we would find it unthinkable to celebrate him with elaborate descriptions of the beheading or disemboweling of his enemies. Instead we think of the warrior as a fanatic, an extremist with a streak of the berserk.

In “The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West” (Basic Books), a new book in which the idea of the fanatic warrior plays a central role, Lee Harris points out that the word berserk comes from Icelandic accounts of Norse warriors of the 12th century who were so fierce in battle they fought without armor and raged like wolves. They were called “berserksgangr.” These days we tend to think of all warriors as berserk.

It isn’t that we don’t recognize, at some level, a need for warriors. At least in our cinematic fantasies warrior heroes abound. But they are kept on a short leash; they need a license to kill. Though they keep testing constraints on acceptable behavior, when they violate them, people around them tend, as the films put it, to “die hard”; freelance warriors like those played by Bruce Willis pay a steep personal price.

It is a measure of how distant we are from the ancient Greeks, Mongols and Romans that the most complete contemporary incarnations of the warrior are supervillains. Such evildoers display, as their ancient models do, a fierce tribal loyalty; a scorn for any life that stands in their way; a blood lust that megalomaniacally affirms human expendability. “Do you expect me to talk?” James Bond asks Auric Goldfinger, who has strapped Bond to a table where a knifelike laser beam gradually approaches his crotch. The villain laughs in amazement and says: “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.”

We watch these figures or read about their exploits with a certain sense of superiority. We like to think we have transcended this kind of ruthlessness; we are no longer tribally bound, but universally concerned; we don’t imagine eliminating our enemies in battle, we imagine driving them to the bargaining table. The West, riven by tribal and religious wars for centuries, imagines that humanity is capable of overcoming that past. Genghis Khan has been superseded by Jimmy Carter. The world’s remaining barbarians, even those in our midst, will eventually come to learn the virtues of the Enlightenment, the powers of reason and the prospects of a democratic future.

On the other hand Mr. Harris’s arguments should give us pause. And his book demands close attention even by those who would mistakenly consider him another form of berserk. By taking a long view of history Mr. Harris argues that the modern view of how to vanquish enemies is based on false ideas: first, that history progresses; second, that it progresses toward greater influence of reason; and finally, that reason, through its powers, can overcome all opposition. Our smug disdain for the warrior, he suggests, is based on a mistaken view of the powers of modernity and the Enlightenment.

In Mr. Harris’s view these errors are affecting the crucial confrontations now taking place between jihadists and Western liberal culture. We keep straining, he says, to see terrorists as if they were just slightly more extreme versions of ourselves, reflecting our own convictions, as if the jihadist were advocating destruction in the name of a version of liberalism.

A Palestinian blows himself up in a pizza parlor, a Shiite drives a car bomb into a crowded plaza of Sunnis (or vice versa), videotapes display beheadings and Internet sites herald massacres. Such horrific deeds are taken almost as proof of suffering, poverty, frustration. The surest cure for terrorism, the argument goes, would be to ameliorate injustice; in the meantime violence can be curbed with well-considered policing.
But Mr. Harris suggests that the jihadist is more accurately thought of as a fanatic, a warrior of the old school, whose technique has been remarkably successful over the centuries. Such warfare accepts no rules other than fealty to the tribe and accepts no compromise other than victory. Islam, he points out, has made “permanent conquests in every part of the world into which it has expanded with only three exceptions: Spain, Sicily, and certain parts of the Balkans”: three areas where Islamic fanaticism was confronted with opposing fanaticism.

Mr. Harris argues that by failing to characterize Islamist warfare accurately, the West deludes itself, even employing another Enlightenment idea — tolerance — to grant harbor to those who seek to destroy it. And the West implicitly affirms that, in the end, reason will triumph.

But why? The Enlightenment had inordinate faith in itself and the evolutionary progress of history. But look closely at the few places in the world where these ideas have triumphed, Mr. Harris writes: their success is more fluke than destiny. Democracy and reason displaced warfare and fanaticism not because of their superior powers, but because of rare historical circumstances difficult to replicate (including, he argues, in Iraq). Their survival, far from being inevitable, is always tenuous; liberal societies will always need to live with war.

So Mr. Harris mounts a challenge, and even if we harbor less apocalyptic visions, that challenge is considerable. If we believe, as Mr. Harris affirms, that the societies that have arisen out of Enlightenment ideas, whatever their flaws, really are morally superior to others, if we are convinced that the values of the West are rare and crucial and fragile, then to what extent are we willing to make a stand on their behalf?
In the most extreme case, how does a liberal society embrace the practices of the warrior, which are inimical to its most fervent beliefs? Wouldn’t this destroy precisely what’s being defended? Mr. Harris can’t fully imagine the ways in which liberal society will evolve under such circumstances, but he believes we will soon need to find out. And one way or another somebody like Genghis Khan will be involved.
Connections, a critic’s perspective on arts and ideas, appears in NYT every other Monday.

Lee Harris:
"...Both the tribal mind and fanaticism are rational adaptations to a world ruled by the Law of the Jungle – rational in the sense that they increase the odds of surviving. On the other hand, the rational actor doesn’t have a chance of survival in the jumgle. He who has neither tribe nor pack to defend him will perish. That is why the rational actor must be horrified at the very thought of a return to the Law of the Jungle – in order to exist at all, the rational actor must be living in an environment in which the Rule of Law has replaced the Law of the Jungle. Yet in the modern liberal West, the Rule of Law has been so successful in pushing back the jungle that many in the West have forgotten that we are the exceptions, and no the rule.
In short, today there are two great threats facing the survival of the modern liberal West. The first is its exaggerated confidence in the power of reason to alter the human condition; the second is its profound underestimation of the power of fanaticism to change the world."...

[Lee Harris on Why the U.S. is] Discarding War's Rules
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
July 22, 2003
"Since the events of 9/11," observes Lee Harris, America's reigning philosopher of 9/11, "the policy debate in the United States has been primarily focused on a set of problems - radical Islam and the War on Terrorism, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein in Iraq."

We sense that these three problems are related, Harris notes in an article at TechCentralStation.com, but we can't quite figure out how. He proposes a subtle link between these seemingly disparate issues - and it's not specifically their common Muslim identity. Rather, it has to do with their unearned power.

"All previous threats in the history of mankind have had one element in common. They were posed by historical groups that had created the weapons, both physical and cultural, that they used to threaten their enemies." States achieved power through their own labor and sacrifice, developing their own economies, training their own troops and building their own arsenals.

The same cannot be said of the threats emanating from the Muslim world. Al Qaeda destroys airplanes and buildings that it itself could not possibly build. The Palestinian Authority has failed in every field of endeavor except killing Israelis. Saddam Hussein's Iraq grew dangerous thanks to money showered on it by the West to purchase petroleum Iraqis themselves had neither located nor extracted.

How, despite their general incompetence, has this trio managed to guide the course of events as if they were powers in the traditional sense?

The cause of this anomaly, Harris replies, is that the West plays by a strict set of rules while permitting al Qaeda, the Palestinians and Saddam Hussein to play without rules. We restrain ourselves according to the standards of civilized conduct as refined over the centuries; they engage in maximal ruthlessness.

Had the United States retaliated in kind for 9/11, Harris tells me, the Islamic holy places would have been destroyed. Had Israelis followed the Arafat model of murderousness, the West Bank and Gaza would now be devoid of Palestinians. Had the West done toward Iraq as Iraq did toward Kuwait, the Iraqi polity would long ago have been annexed and its oil resources confiscated.

While morally commendable, Harris argues, the West's not responding to Muslim ruthlessness with like ruthlessness carries a high and rising price. It allows Muslim political extremists of various stripes to fantasize that they earned their power, when in fact that power derives entirely from the West's arch-civilized restraint.

This confusion prompts Muslim extremists to indulge in the error that their successes betoken a superior virtue, or even God's support. Conversely, they perceive the West's restraint as a sign of its decadence. Such fantasies, Harris contends, feed on themselves, leading to ever-more demented and dangerous behavior. Westerners worry about the security of electricity grids, computer bugs and water reservoirs; can a nuclear attack on a Western metropolis be that remote? Western restraint, in other words, insulates its enemies from the deserved consequences of their actions, and so unintentionally encourages their bad behavior.

For the West to reverse this process requires much rougher means than it prefers to use. Harris, author of a big-think book on this general subject coming out from the Free Press in early 2004, contends that Old Europe and most analysts have failed to fathom the imperative for a change. The Bush administration, however, has figured it out and in several ways has begun implementing an unapologetic and momentous break with past restraints:

* Pre-empt: Knock out fantasist leaders (the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat) before they can do more damage.
* Rehabilitate: Dismantle their polities, then reconstruct these along civilized lines.
* Impose a double standard: Act on the premise that the U.S. government alone "is permitted to use force against other agents, who are not permitted to use force."

In brief, until those Harris calls "Islamic fantasists" play by the rules, Washington must be prepared to act like them, without rules.
This appeal for America to act less civilized will offend some; but it does offer a convincing explanation for the inner logic of America's tough new foreign policy.
From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/1169

Is Islam Compatible With Democracy?
by Baron Bodissey
The Fjordman Report
This essay was originally published in five parts at Jihad Watch: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” - The Koran, 8.12
“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy)’” - Hadith of Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220
“He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.” - Claudian, Roman poet
Occasionally I get annoyed over the fact that I am compelled to spend significant amounts of my time refuting Islam, an ideology that is flawed to the core and should be totally irrelevant in the 21st century. But then I try to see it from a positive angle: The good part about our confrontation with Islam is that it forces us to deal with flaws in our own civilization. It has already exposed a massive failure in our education system and our media, both filled with anti-Western sentiments and ideological nonsense. These legacies from the Western Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s have left us unable to recognize the Islamic threat for what it is. Thus, when we are confronted now with the question of whether or not Islam is compatible with democracy, we also have to ask under what conditions a democratic system is able to function.

Harris rewrites history --and Marx -- for U.S. new world order
Our World-Historical Gamble
By Lee Harris
Editor's note: The following is longer that the traditional TCS essay, but its timeliness and importance prompted us to break with tradition and publish such a lengthy feature this week. We have included a 'quick jump' navigation tool to help reading the essay on the Internet, but we encourage you to print the entire essay and read it at your convenience, or bookmark the article and return to it several times. We are confident the piece will challenge you and may change how you think about the coming conflict.

1. The Problem
2. The Source of Our Uncertainty
3. The Lesson of Marx
4. The Unintended Consequences of The Liberal World Order
5. The End of Classical Sovereignty
6. The Threat of a "Rogue" Nuclear Strike
7. Cutting the Gordian Knot
8. Beyond Clauswitz

P20G: The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks
by Chris Floyd
November 1, 2002
According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization--the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)"--will carry out secret missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to "counterattack" by U.S. forces.

"Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."
Z. Brzezinski.The Grand Chessboard, 1997

Neoliberal imperialist geostrategic architect Zbigniew Brzezinski spills the beans...
The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski,
President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser
Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998
Posted at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html 15 October 2001

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

1997: THE GRAND CHESSBOARD: American Primacy & its Geostrategic Imperatives
publisher: Basic Books / 1998-10 / Paperback / 240 Pages/ isbn-10: 0465027261 / isbn-13: 9780465027262 / Edition: Reissue
"...The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power... (p. xiii)
"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book. (p. xiv)

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. (p.30)
"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)

"Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them;... second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above..." (p. 40)

"...To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)
"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)

"... [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold." (p.124) [Emphasis added]
"The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)
"Uzbekistan is, in fact, the prime candidate for regional leadership in Central Asia." (p.130)

"... an Islamic revival - already abetted from the outside not only by Iran but also by Saudi Arabia - is likely to become the mobilizing impulse for the increasingly pervasive new nationalisms, determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian - and hence infidel - control." (p. 133).

"For Pakistan, the primary interest is to gain Geostrategic depth through political influence in Afghanistan - and to deny to Iran the exercise of such influence in Afghanistan and Tajikistan - and to benefit eventually from any pipeline construction linking Central Asia with the Arabian Sea." (p.139)

"It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p148)
"Without sustained and directed American involvement, before long the forces of global disorder could come to dominate the world scene. And the possibility of such a fragmentation is inherent in the geopolitical tensions not only of today's Eurasia but of the world more generally." (p.194)
"America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy." (p.194"With warning signs on the horizon across Europe and Asia, any successful American policy must focus on Eurasia as a whole and be guided by a Geostrategic design." (p.197)
"That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy..." (p. 198)
"The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." (p. 198)

"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been... ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."
It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."

"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last."

"As America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."
Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard

[excerpt] 1997: A Geostrategy for Eurasia
Zbigniew Brzezinski
From Foreign Affairs, September/ October 1997
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in 1977-81, is Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Professor of Foreign Policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, The Grand Chessboard.

Seventy-five years ago, when the first issue of Foreign Affairs saw the light of day, the United States was a self-isolated Western hemispheric power, sporadically involved in the affairs of Europe and Asia. World War II and the ensuing Cold War compelled the United States to develop a sustained commitment to Western Europe and the Far East. America's emergence as the sole global superpower now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative.
Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy. After the United States, the next six largest economies and military spenders are there, as are all but one of the world's overt nuclear powers, and all but one of the covert ones. Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's.
Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and historical legacy.
A sustainable strategy for Eurasia must distinguish among the more immediate short-run perspective of the next five years or so, the medium term of 20 or so years, and the long run beyond that. Moreover, these phases must be viewed not as watertight compartments but as part of a continuum. In the short run, the United States should consolidate and perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralism on the map of Eurasia. This strategy will put a premium on political maneuvering and diplomatic manipulation, preventing the emergence of a hostile coalition that could challenge America's primacy, not to mention the remote possibility of any one state seeking to do so. By the medium term, the foregoing should lead to the emergence of strategically compatible partners which, prompted by American leadership, might shape a more cooperative trans-Eurasian security system. In the long run, the foregoing could become the global core of genuinely shared political responsibility.
In the western periphery of Eurasia, the key players will continue to be France and Germany, and America's central goal should be to continue to expand the democratic European bridgehead. In the Far East, China is likely to be increasingly pivotal, and the United States will not have a Eurasian strategy unless a Sino-American political consensus is nurtured. [...]

Zbigniew Brzezinski Autumn 2005

America today is the world’s most sovereign state. To be sure, in our time
the concept of sovereignty has been largely drained of content by the
reality of increasing interde- pendence among states. For most states,
sovereignty now verges on being a legal fiction. Even in the case of the
more powerful few, practical rationality lessens the temptation to
arbitrarily assert sov- ereignty. Ultimately, of course, any state (or
rather, its leadership) can commit even a suicidal act of folly, but the
scope for such self-assertion is increasingly constrained by the overlapping
interests of some 200 states in a more politically congest- ed and
interwoven world. In that context, America’s military action against Iraq
and its less dra- matic but also largely solitary stance on the
International Criminal Court and the Kyoto Treaty were striking assertions
of the unique status of the United States as the last truly sovereign
...In brief, America’s post-9/11 foreign policy is too short range in its
focus, overly alarmist in its rhetoric, and has been too costly in its still
early consequences. Its overall effect has been to increase America’s
national vulnerability while undermining the legitimacy of its international
primacy. Even worse, the strategic diag- nosis on which it rests does not
provide an historically relevant, nationally unifying or internationally
legitimating definition of America’s long-term global role...
It is no overstatement to assert that now in the 21stcen-
tury the population of much of the developing world is politically stirring
and in many places seething with unrest. It is a population acutely
conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and often resent-
ful of its perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access
to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community
of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by dem-
agogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign
borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the
existing global hierar- chy, on top of which America still perches. Today,
one cannot analyze the future of China or India without considering the
likely behavior of populations whose social and political aspirations are
now shaped by impulses that are no longer exclusively local in ori- gin. One
cannot help but be struck by the political sim- ilarities of the recent
turmoil in Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and Bolivia. The Muslims in the Middle East,
Southeast Asia, North Africa, and a growing number of them in Europe—and
Indians in Latin America, too—increas- ingly are defining what they desire
in reaction to what they perceive to be the hostile impact on them of the 42
The American Interest outside world. In differing ways and degrees of
intensity they dislike the status quo, and many of them are susceptible to
being mobilized against the external power that they both envy and perceive
as self-interest- edly preoccupied with that status quo. The youth of the
Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic
revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well. With the
exception of Europe, Japan and America, the rap- idly expanding demographic
bulge in the 25-year-old- and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of
impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images
that emanate from afar and which intensify their disaffection with what is
at hand. Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from
among the scores of millions of students concen- trated in the often
intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of
developing countries.2 Typically originating from the socially insecure
lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions
of students are revolutionaries- in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large
congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay
on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in
Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just
waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred. To sum up,
the ongoing political awakening is now global in its geographic scope, with
no continent or even region still largely politically passive; it is compre-
hensive in its social scale, with only very remote peasant communities
still immune to political stimuli; it is strikingly youthful in its
demographic profile and thus more receptive to rapid political mobilization;
and much of its inspiration is transnational in origin because of the
cumulative impact of literacy and mass communications. As a result, modern
populist political passions can be aroused even against a distant target
despite the absence of a unifying doctrine (such as Marxism), with America
increasingly the conflicted focus of personal admiration, social envy,
political resentment and religious abhorrence...

Spengler’s notions of manipulated masses clamoring for a war willed by their
leaders, Toynbee’s of suicidal state- craft that undermines its own imperial
power, and Huntington’s of culturally antagonistic democratization have
particular relevance... after 9/11, the politically
aroused world expects better from America: that it reach out with a serious
commitment to uplift the human condition. Only with America’s sovereignty
dedicated in an historically relevant fashion to a cause larger than its own
security will the American interest again coincide with the global interest.
5 Spengler, The Decline of the West: An Abridged Edition, ed. Helmut Werner,
trans. Charles F. Atkinson (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp.
26–7, 376, 382, and 395–6. 6 Toynbee, A Study of History: Abridgement of
Volumes I-VI, ed. D.C. Somervell, (New York: Oxford University Press,
1946), pp. 190, 419 and 422. 7 Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and
the Remaking of World Order(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), pp. 91, 94
and 102. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12243.htm

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
Samuel P. Huntington

The Burden
January 5, 2003 By MICHAEL IGNATIEFF
In a speech to graduating cadets at West Point in June, President Bush
declared, ''America has no empire to extend or utopia to establish.'' When
he spoke to veterans assembled at the White House in November, he said:
America has ''no territorial ambitions. We don't seek an empire. Our nation
is committed to freedom for ourselves and for others.''

Ever since George Washington warned his countrymen against foreign
entanglements, empire abroad has been seen as the republic's permanent
temptation and its potential nemesis. Yet what word but ''empire'' describes
the awesome thing that America is becoming? It is the only nation that
polices the world through five global military commands; maintains more than
a million men and women at arms on four continents; deploys carrier battle
groups on watch in every ocean; guarantees the survival of countries from
Israel to South Korea; drives the wheels of global trade and commerce; and
fills the hearts and minds of an entire planet with its dreams and desires.

A historian once remarked that Britain acquired its empire in ''a fit of
absence of mind.'' If Americans have an empire, they have acquired it in a
state of deep denial. But Sept. 11 was an awakening, a moment of reckoning
with the extent of American power and the avenging hatreds it arouses.
Americans may not have thought of the World Trade Center or the Pentagon as
the symbolic headquarters of a world empire, but the men with the box
cutters certainly did, and so do numberless millions who cheered their
terrifying exercise in the propaganda of the deed.

Being an imperial power, however, is more than being the most powerful
nation or just the most hated one. It means enforcing such order as there is
in the world and doing so in the American interest. It means laying down the
rules America wants (on everything from markets to weapons of mass
destruction) while exempting itself from other rules (the Kyoto Protocol on
climate change and the International Criminal Court) that go against its
interest. It also means carrying out imperial functions in places America
has inherited from the failed empires of the 20th century -- Ottoman,
British and Soviet. In the 21st century, America rules alone, struggling to
manage the insurgent zones -- Palestine and the northwest frontier of
Pakistan, to name but two -- that have proved to be the nemeses of empires past.

Iraq lays bare the realities of America's new role. Iraq itself is an
imperial fiction, cobbled together at the Versailles Peace Conference in
1919 by the French and British and held together by force and violence since
independence. Now an expansionist rights violator holds it together with
terror. The United Nations lay dozing like a dog before the fire, happy to
ignore Saddam, until an American president seized it by the scruff of the
neck and made it bark. Multilateral solutions to the world's problems are
all very well, but they have no teeth unless America bares its fangs....

America's empire is not like empires of times past, built on colonies,
conquest and the white man's burden. We are no longer in the era of the
United Fruit Company, when American corporations needed the Marines to
secure their investments overseas. The 21st century imperium is a new
invention in the annals of political science, an empire lite, a global
hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights and democracy,
enforced by the most awesom military power the world has ever known...
with a conviction that it alone, in Herman Melville's words, bears ''the ark
of the liberties of the world.''...

In this vein, the president's National Security Strategy, announced in
September, commits America to lead other nations toward ''the single
sustainable model for national success,'' by which he meant free markets and
liberal democracy....
Even now, a President Bush appears to be maneuvering the country toward war with Iraq,
the deepest implication of what is happening has not been fully faced: that
Iraq is an imperial operation that would commit a reluctant republic to
become the guarantor of peace, stability, democratization and oil supplies
in a combustible region of Islamic peoples stretching from Egypt to
To call America the new Rome is at once to recall Rome's glory and its
eventual fate at the hands of the barbarians. A confident and carefree
republic -- the city on a hill, whose people have always believed they are
immune from history's harms -- now has to confront not just an unending
imperial destiny but also a remote possibility that seems to haunt the
history of empire: hubris followed by defeat. ...

Weapons of mass destruction would render Saddam the master of a region that,
because it has so much of the world's proven oil reserves, makes it what a
military strategist would call the empire's center of gravity.... An
inspections program, even a permanent one, might slow the dictator's weapons
programs down, but inspections are easily evaded. That leaves us, but only
as a reluctant last resort, with regime change.

Regime change is an imperial task par excellence, since it assumes that the
empire's interest has a right to trump the sovereignty of a state.... Regime
change also raises the difficult question for Americans of whether their own
freedom entails a duty to defend the freedom of others beyond their borders.
...it remains a fact...there are many peoples who owe their freedom to an
exercise of American military power. It's not just the Japanese and the
Germans, who became democrats under the watchful eye of Generals MacArthur
and Clay. There are the Bosnians, whose nation survived because American air
power and diplomacy forced an end to a war the Europeans couldn't stop.
There are the Kosovars, who would still be imprisoned in Serbia if not for
Gen. Wesley Clark and the Air Force. The list of people whose freedom
depends on American air and ground power also includes the Afghans and, most
inconveniently of all, the Iraqis.

The moral evaluation of empire gets complicated when one of its benefits
might be freedom for the oppressed. Iraqi exiles are adamant: even if the
Iraqi people might be the immediate victims of an American attack, they
would also be its ultimate beneficiaries. It would make the case for
military intervention easier, of course, if the Iraqi exiles cut a more
impressive figure. They feud and squabble and hate one another nearly as
much as they hate Saddam. But what else is to be expected from a political
culture pulverized by 40 years of state terror? ... The disagreeable
reality for those who believe in human rights is that there are some
occasions -- and Iraq may be one of them -- when war is the only real remedy
for regimes that live by terror. [digest: not a confession of U.S. state

Like all imperial exercises in creating order, it will work only if the
puppets the Americans install cease to be puppets and build independent
political legitimacy of their own.

If America takes on Iraq, it takes on the reordering of the whole region. It
will have to stick at it through many successive administrations. The burden
of empire is of long duration, and democracies are impatient with
long-lasting burdens -- none more so than America. These burdens include
opening up a dialogue with the Iranians, who appear to be in a political
upsurge themselves, so that they do not feel threatened by a United
States-led democracy on their border. The Turks will have to be reassured,
and the Kurds will have to be instructed that the real aim of United States
policy is not the creation of a Kurdish state that goes on to dismember
Turkey. The Syrians will have to be coaxed into abandoning their claims
against the Israelis and making peace. The Saudis, once democracy takes root
next door in Iraq, will have to be coaxed into embracing democratic change

All this is possible, but there is a larger challenge still. Unseating an
Arab government in Iraq while leaving the Palestinians to face Israeli tanks
and helicopter gunships is a virtual guarantee of unending Islamic wrath
against the United States. The chief danger in the whole Iraqi gamble lies
here -- in supposing that victory over Saddam, in the absence of a
Palestinian-Israeli settlement, would leave the United States with a stable
hegemony over the Middle East. Absent a Middle East peace, victory in Iraq
would still leave the Palestinians face to face with the Israelis in a
conflict in which they would destroy not only each other but American
authority in the Islamic world as well....

The Americans have played imperial guarantor in the region since Roosevelt
met with Ibn Saud in 1945 and Truman recognized Ben-Gurion's Israel in 1948.
But it paid little or no price for its imperial pre-eminence until the rise
of an armed Palestinian resistance after 1987....

This is finally what makes an invasion of Iraq an imperial act: for it to
succeed, it will have to build freedom, not just for the Iraqis but also for
the Palestinians, along with a greater sense of security for Israel. Again,
the paradox of the Iraq operation is that half measures are more dangerous
than whole measures. Imperial powers do not have the luxury of timidity, for
timidity is not prudence; it is a confession of weakness.

The question, then, is not whether America is too powerful but whether it is
powerful enough. Does it have what it takes to be grandmaster of what Colin
Powell has called the chessboard of the world's most inflammable region?

America has been more successful than most great powers in understanding its
strengths as well as its limitations. It has become adept at using what is
called soft power -- influence, example and persuasion -- in preference to
hard power. Adepts of soft power understand that even the most powerful
country in the world can't get its way all the time. Even client states have
to be deferred to. When an ally like Saudi Arabia asks the United States to
avoid flying over its country when bombing Afghanistan, America complies.
When America seeks to use Turkey as a base for hostilities in Iraq, it must
accept Turkish preconditions. Being an empire doesn't mean being omnipotent.

Nowhere is this clearer than in America's relations with Israel. America's
ally is anything but a client state. Its prime minister has refused direct
orders from the president of the United States in the past, and he can be
counted on to do so again. An Iraq operation requires the United States not
merely to prevent Israel from entering the fray but to make peace with a
bitter enemy. Since 1948, American and Israeli security interests have been
at one. But as the death struggle in Palestine continues, it exposes the
United States to global hatreds that make it impossible for it to align its
interests with those Israelis who are opposed to any settlement with the
Palestinians that does not amount, in effect, to Palestinian capitulation.
The issue is not whether the United States should continue to support the
state of Israel, but which state, with which borders and which set of
relations with its neighbors, it is willing to risk its imperial authority
to secure. The apocalyptic violence of one side and the justified refusal to
negotiate under fire on the other side leave precious little time to salvage
a two-state solution for the Middle East. But this, even more than rescuing
Iraq, is the supreme task -- and test -- of American leadership. ...

the American presence overseas is increasingly armed, in uniform and behind
barbed wire and high walls. With every American Embassy now hardened against
terrorist attack, the empire's overseas outposts look increasingly like Fort
Apache. American power is visible to the world in carrier battle groups
patrolling offshore and F-16's whistling overhead. In southern Afghanistan,
it is the 82nd Airborne, bulked up in body armor, helmets and weapons, that
Pashtun peasants see, not American aid workers and water engineers. Each
month the United States spends an estimated $1 billion on military
operations in Afghanistan and only $25 million on aid.

This sort of projection of power, hunkered down against attack, can earn the
United States fear and respect, but not admiration and affection. America's
very strength -- in military power -- cannot conceal its weakness in the
areas that really matter: the elements of power that do not subdue by force
of arms but inspire by force of example.

It is unsurprising that force projection overseas should awaken resentment
among America's enemies. More troubling is the hostility it arouses among
friends, those whose security is guaranteed by American power. Nowhere is
this more obvious than in Europe. At a moment when the costs of empire are
mounting for America, her rich European allies matter financially. But in
America's emerging global strategy, they have been demoted to reluctant
junior partners. This makes them resentful and unwilling allies, less and
less able to understand the nation that liberated them in 1945.

For 50 years, Europe rebuilt itself economically while passing on the costs
of its defense to the United States. This was a matter of more than just
reducing its armed forces and the proportion of national income spent on the
military. All Western European countries reduced the martial elements in
their national identities. In the process, European identity (with the
possible exception of Britain) became postmilitary and postnational. This
opened a widening gap with the United States. It remained a nation in which
flag, sacrifice and martial honor are central to national identity.
Europeans who had once invented the idea of the martial nation-state now
looked at American patriotism, the last example of the form, and no longer
recognized it as anything but flag-waving extremism. The world's only empire
was isolated, not just because it was the biggest power but also because it
was the West's last military nation-state.

Sept. 11 rubbed in the lesson that global power is still measured by
military capability. The Europeans discovered that they lacked the military
instruments to be taken seriously and that their erstwhile defenders, the
Americans, regarded them, in a moment of crisis, with suspicious contempt.

Yet the Americans cannot afford to create a global order all on their own.
European participation in peacekeeping, nation-building and humanitarian
reconstruction is so important that the Americans are required, even when
they are unwilling to do so, to include Europeans in the governance of their
evolving imperial project. The Americans essentially dictate Europe's place
in this new grand design. The United States is multilateral when it wants to
be, unilateral when it must be; and it enforces a new division of labor in
which America does the fighting, the French, British and Germans do the
police patrols in the border zones and the Dutch, Swiss and Scandinavians
provide the humanitarian aid.

This is a very different picture of the world than the one entertained by
liberal international lawyers and human rights activists who had hoped to
see American power integrated into a transnational legal and economic order
organized around the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the
International Criminal Court and other international human rights and
environmental institutions and mechanisms. Successive American
administrations have signed on to those pieces of the transnational legal
order that suit their purposes (the World Trade Organization, for example)
while ignoring or even sabotaging those parts (the International Criminal
Court or the Kyoto Protocol) that do not. A new international order is
emerging, but it is designed to suit American imperial objectives. America's
allies want a multilateral order that will essentially constrain American
power. But the empire will not be tied down like Gulliver with a thousand
legal strings. ...

...the impulses that have gone into this new exercise of power are
contradictory. On the one hand, the semiofficial ideology of the Western
world -- human rights -- sustains the principle of self-determination, the
right of each people to rule themselves free of outside interference. This
was the ethical principle that inspired the decolonization of Asia and
Africa after World War II. Now we are living through the collapse of many of
these former colonial states. Into the resulting vacuum of chaos and
massacre a new imperialism has reluctantly stepped -- reluctantly because
these places are dangerous and because they seemed, at least until Sept. 11,
to be marginal to the interests of the powers concerned. But, gradually,
this reluctance has been replaced by an understanding of why order needs to
be brought to these places.

Nowhere, after all, could have been more distant than Afghanistan, yet that
remote and desperate place was where the attacks of Sept. 11 were prepared.
Terror has collapsed distance, and with this collapse has come a sharpened
American focus on the necessity of bringing order to the frontier zones.
Bringing order is the paradigmatic imperial task, but it is essential, for
reasons of both economy and principle, to do so without denying local
peoples their rights to some degree of self-determination.

The old European imperialism justified itself as a mission to civilize, to
prepare tribes and so-called lesser breeds in the habits of self-discipline
necessary for the exercise of self-rule. Self-rule did not necessarily have
to happen soon -- the imperial administrators hoped to enjoy the sunset as
long as possible -- but it was held out as a distant incentive, and the
incentive was crucial in co-opting local elites and preventing them from
passing into open rebellion. In the new imperialism, this promise of
self-rule cannot be kept so distant, for local elites are all creations of
modern nationalism, and modern nationalism's primary ethical content is
self-determination. If there is an invasion of Iraq, local elites must be
''empowered'' to take over as soon as the American imperial forces have
restored order and the European humanitarians have rebuilt the roads,
schools and houses. Nation-building seeks to reconcile imperial power and
local self-determination through the medium of an exit strategy. This is
imperialism in a hurry: to spend money, to get results, to turn the place
back to the locals and get out. But it is similar to the old imperialism in
the sense that real power in these zones -- Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and
soon, perhaps, Iraq -- will remain in Washington.

At the beginning of the first volume of ''The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire,'' published in 1776, Edward Gibbon remarked that empires endure only
so long as their rulers take care not to overextend their borders. Augustus
bequeathed his successors an empire ''within those limits which nature
seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries: on the west
the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the
east; and towards the south the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.'' Beyond
these boundaries lay the barbarians. But the ''vanity or ignorance'' of the
Romans, Gibbon went on, led them to ''despise and sometimes to forget the
outlying countries that had been left in the enjoyment of a barbarous
independence.'' As a result, the proud Romans were lulled into making the
fatal mistake of ''confounding the Roman monarchy with the globe of the earth.''

This characteristic delusion of imperial power is to confuse global power
with global domination. The Americans may have the former, but they do not
have the latter. They cannot rebuild each failed state or appease each
anti-American hatred, and the more they try, the more they expose themselves
to the overreach that eventually...

Until Sept. 11, successive United States administrations treated their
Middle Eastern clients like gas stations. This was part of a larger pattern.
After 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet empire, American presidents
thought they could have imperial domination on the cheap, ruling the world
without putting in place any new imperial architecture -- new military
alliances, new legal institutions, new international development organisms
-- for a postcolonial, post-Soviet world.
The Greeks taught the Romans to call this failure hubris. It was also, in
the 1990's, a general failure of the historical imagination, an inability of
the post-cold-war West to grasp that the emerging crisis of state order in
so many overlapping zones of the world -- from Egypt to Afghanistan -- would
eventually become a security threat at home.... America has inherited this
crisis of self-determination from the empires of the past. Its solution --
to create democracy in Iraq, then hopefully roll out the same happy
experiment throughout the Middle East -- is both noble and dangerous: noble
because, if successful, it will finally give these peoples the
self-determination they vainly fought for against the empires of the past;
dangerous because, if it fails, there will be nobody left to blame but the

The dual nemeses of empire in the 20th century were nationalism, the desire
of peoples to rule themselves free of alien domination, and narcissism, the
incurable delusion of imperial rulers that the ''lesser breeds'' aspired
only to be versions of themselves. Both nationalism and narcissism have
threatened the American reassertion of global power since Sept. 11. ...
The core beliefs of our time are the creations of the anticolonial revolt
against empire: the idea that all human beings are equal and that each human
group has a right to rule itself free of foreign interference. It is at
least ironic that American believers in these ideas have ended up supporting
the creation of a new form of temporary colonial tutelage for Bosnians,
Kosovars and Afghans -- and could for Iraqis. The reason is simply that,
however right these principles may be, the political form in which they are
realized -- the nationalist nation-building project -- so often delivers
liberated colonies straight to tyranny, as in the case of Baath Party rule
in Iraq, or straight to chaos, as in Bosnia or Afghanistan. For every
nationalist struggle that succeeds in giving its people self-determination
and dignity, there are more that deliver their people only up to slaughter
or terror or both. For every Vietnam brought about by nationalist struggle,
there is a Palestinian struggle trapped in a downward spiral of terror and
military oppression... America has inherited a world scarred not just by
the failures of empires past but also by the failure of nationalist
movements to create and secure free states -- and now, suddenly, by the
desire of Islamists to build theocratic tyrannies on the ruins of failed
nationalist dreams.

Those who want America to remain a republic rather than become an empire
imagine rightly, but they have not factored in what tyranny or chaos can do
to vital American interests. The case for empire is that it has become, in a
place like Iraq, the last hope for democracy and stability alike. Even so,
empires survive only by understanding their limits. Sept. 11 pitched the
Islamic world into the beginning of a long and bloody struggle to determine
how it will be ruled and by whom: the authoritarians, the Islamists or
perhaps the democrats. America can help repress and contain the struggle,
but even though its own security depends on the outcome, it cannot
ultimately control it. Only a very deluded imperialist would believe

Correction: January 26, 2003, Sunday An article on Jan. 5 about the United States as the ruler of a new kind of empire associated a political theory erroneously with a recent study by a Georgetown University professor about nonmilitary aspects of promoting American interests abroad. ''Warrior caste,'' a concept introduced by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and defined as the military presence used by a world power to project its influence, was not cited in the study by Robert J. Lieber.

from lies to truth, from rhetoric to reality...
Any form of resistance to this barbarity is ethical
Anu Muhammad
For many different reasons the US has emerged as the guru of this war-hungry global system. The survival of the US as a superpower, expansion of its hegemony and the function of global capitalism actually depending on war machine and militarism are evident... truer than ever before....

‘We leveled it. There was nobody left, just dirt and dust.’ This was a proud statement by US Army Major Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, speaking of the destruction of three villages in the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan in 2002. This expression can easily be put in the mouth of US invaders in Iraq and Israelis currently in Lebanon as well. Destruction, occupation, plunders, genocide all over the world are proud achievement of US Empire since 1945.
The towns, villages, schools, hospitals, roads, highways –– all places and corners have been witnessing barbarian terrorism from US-backed Israel. Children, old, men, women, Muslims, Jews and Christians all are under attack. Therefore, everybody is united there to resist and fight these global terrorists. Hezbollah, the party that is called an ‘Islamic terrorist organisation’ by the US and Israel, has become sole leader of all, across religion, in Lebanon resisting occupation, destruction and bloodbath there. The Hezbollah has been fighting Israel for long and it has grown mature with the struggle. Let me cite conversation of Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah with Ekbal Ahmed in 1998 (Al Ahram, 30 July, 1998). In that conversation, Nasrallah pointed out their special characteristics that helped them to accommodate people across religion and create a vision of Lebanon and Palestine for all free from Israeli Aggression. He said, ‘We should begin by noting a significant difference in the doctrinal development of Sunni and Shi’a schools of thought. Among the Sunnis, the doors of ‘ijtihad’ (issuing Islamic rulings on issues not mentioned in the Qur’an or the tradition of the Prophet) were closed some centuries ago, and despite the advocacy of several Sunni scholars, they have not been re-opened. In the Shi’a tradition, the doors of ijtihad were never closed, and the mujtahid (person who issues the rulings) has remained a figure of great importance and influence.’ When Ekbal Ahmed asked, “But how do you reconcile the existence of an Islamic party in Lebanon, a multi-religious, multi-denominational country in which no one party can impose its ideological agenda on all others? In other words, why an Islamic party in a country which cannot accommodate an Islamic statehood?’ Nasrallah replied, ‘Your question assumes the uniformity of mission and political agenda among Islamic parties. Between Hezbollah and the Taliban, there is a large gap of objective and outlook. Our primary objective has been resistance to Israeli occupations. I993 was a watershed of sorts as Israel’s invasion then, and our resistance to it, brought us national legitimacy that made even Christians accept Hezbollah as an authentic national force.’
It seems that Israel and the US in its recent terrorist attack on Lebanon could not read Hezbollah’s acceptability among non-Muslims as well. Despite media campaign people in Lebanon and elsewhere recognise Hezbollah as necessary political force who fight from their heart and with their life to resist invaders. The US, the centre of global terrorism, as usual supported Israeli aggression as an attempt to self-defence. But the logic of self-defence is appropriate for the victims. Therefore for self-defence, Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans and Lebanese, along with people around the world have the right to fight Israel and the US in any form because they are under attack from US empire.
For many reasons the US has emerged as the guru of this war-hungry global system. The survival of the US as a superpower, expansion of its hegemony and the function of global capitalism actually depending on war machine and militarism are evident. This has become visible since the Korean War. Bertrand Russell’s observation in the midst of Vietnam War that, ‘every food store and every petrol station in America requires, under capitalism, the perpetuation of war production...’, is now truer than ever before. Base structure report of US department of defence shows in 2004 that the US has stationed troops in 135 countries, number of troops deployed abroad is nearly 3 hundred thousand, and total strength is around 15 hundred thousand. US defence department’s physical assets consist of ‘more than 600 thousand individual building and structures at more than 6000 locations, on more than 30 million acres.’ Everywhere the US has its ally amongst ruling class. In the Middle East, it has Israel on the one hand as main ally and on the other hand, it has Muslim Kings, Amirs and dictators who play their role as mirjafor in Arab World.
War is a means to expand hegemony, war is a means to translate racial hatred into bloodbath, and war is a means to make good business too. In occupied Iraq, the second to the US army is the private companies. Naomi Klein, writer of No Logo, correctly observed, “after all, negotiations with sovereign nations can be hard. Far easier to just tear up the country, occupy it, then rebuild it the way you want.’ Afghanistan and Iraq clearly show how reconstruction turns into privatisation of state and common property in disguise. The Pentagon spends an estimated $10,000 per second on the war from the US taxpayers’ money. Much of these bloodstained money recycled into profit of US corporate bodies. The profit is blood!
A myth has been created through media, embedded with the military-industrial complex, that 9/11 of the year 2001 has brought war and destruction. Was it different in the pre-9/11 period? William Blum, the authentic observer of US role in the world, has rightly pointed out the US record: ‘....atomic bombs on the people of Japan; carpet-bombing Korea back to the stone age; engulfing the Vietnamese in napalm and pesticides; providing three decades of Latin Americans with the tools and methods of torture, then turning their eyes away, closing their ears to the screams, and denying everything...and now, dropping 177 million pounds of bombs on the people of Iraq in the most concentrated aerial onslaught in the history of the world.’ He continues, ‘From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.’ Who else can be termed as global terrorist then?
In an article published in 2002, the US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld himself said that, much before the ‘terrorist attacks’ on New York and Washington, they had decided to expand war machine to achieve ‘six transformational goals.’ The goals he mentioned were: ‘to protect the U.S. homeland and our base overseas’, ‘to project and sustain power in distant theatres’ ‘to deny our enemies sanctuary, making sure they know that no corner of the world is remote enough, no mountain high enough, no cave or bunker deep enough, no suv fast enough to protect them from our reach’ ‘to protect our information networks from attack’ ‘to use information technology to link up different kinds of U.S. forces so they can fight jointly’ and ‘to maintain unhindered access to space’.
In order to do this they decided to increase funding for defence of the US homeland and overseas bases by 47 per cent; for programmes to deny enemies sanctuary by 157 per cent; for programs to ensure long-distance power projection in hostile areas by 21 percent; for programs to harness information technology by 125 per cent; for programs to attack enemy information networks and defend our own by 28 per cent; and for programs to strengthen U.S. space capabilities by 145 per cent. (Transforming the Military, Foreign Affairs, Vol.81, No.3, May/June 2002).
New York Times, reported on 8 March 1992 on US ‘Defence Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999’, that categorically stated that, ‘our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union....we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order....we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.’
Even before that, on 11 September 1990 (note the date), George Bush (the father), the 41st President of the US, in his speech to the Congress presented arguments for war –– war primarily against Iraq. President Bush argued that the US action would create a ‘new world order’. Iraq was attacked by the US in 1991.
Millions of people around the world have chanted slogans against war since 1991, called for ‘no blood for oil’, still oil remains the focal point of US military action. Kretzmann (2003) showed a striking correlation between the presence of oil and the deployment of the US military globally. Some evidences are as follows:
In Somalia, in 1991, nearly two-thirds of the country’s territory had been granted as oil concessions to Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips.
The Andean countries of Columbia, Venezuela and Ecuador together produce about 20 per cent of the oil imported by the United States. In 2002, the Bush administration allocated $98 million to deploy 60 to 100 Special Forces troops to train a “Critical Infrastructure Brigade” of Colombians for the explicit purpose of protecting an Occidental Petroleum pipeline.
In March 2001, the United States pledged $4.4 million in military aid to oil-rich Azerbaijan in the name of “counter threats such as terrorism”. According to Azeri President, “guaranteeing the security of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan and the Baku-Tblisi-Erzurum oil and gas pipelines is an integral part of our struggle against terrorism.”
In February 2001 US military support including ‘advisers’ specialised for counter terrorism to Georgis was, according to the Georgian defence ministry, ‘servicemen trained under the US Train and Equip programme might help provide security for the [Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan] pipeline.’
In 1997, BP and Halliburton proposed the Trans-Balkan pipeline (TBP). In 1999, US forces insoutheast Kosovo began construction of Camp Bondsteel, largest new military base since the Vietnam War. In December 2002, ExxonMobil and Chevron Texaco both expressed their eagerness to participate in the Trans-Balkan pipeline.
From Nigeria in the North to Angola in the South has become a ‘vital interest’ for the US. This area is important for oil reserve and other mineral resources. US is going to build a naval base in Sao Tome. Etc etc.
After 11 years of the declaration of war by Bush, the father, on the same day, under Bush, the son’s regime, twin tower collapsed by a yet-to-be-demystified air attack and we find new world (dis)order of renewed terror, war of terror, full of injustice, bloodshed, tension, restriction, tearing down all international laws by the US administration. Religion and racist culture have always been there to give bloodthirsty operations a shield.
Where does UN stand? Where are international rules and norms? What is International criminal court doing before US-Israel crime against humanity? Jesse Helms, the Chairman, US senate Foreign Relations Committee, categorically stated US position on international rules, norms and institutions that reflected the psyche of US ruling class and its audacity. He said that the “American people (read administration) will never accept the Secretary General’s claim that the United Nations is the ‘sole source of legitimacy on the use of force’ in the world. True the US Senate ratified the UN charter fifty years ago, yet in so doing, America did not cede one syllable of it’s sovereignty to the United Nations” and “The Court’s (UN International Criminal Court) supporters argue that Americans shall be willing to sacrifice some of their sovereignty for the noble cause of international justice. This, frankly, is laughable.” He further said that, “no UN institution...is competent to judge the foreign policy and national security decisions of the United States”.
In this context, what else innocent and powerless people around the world can do other than stand before this satanic force by any means to save the world and to save the humanity? To resist this barbaric demon, to save lives of humans and nature, to save the present and the future any form of resistance, therefore, is nothing but ethical. Because no other language can stop them, no other language can save the world. http://www.newagebd.com/2006/aug/13/oped.html#1

The new Arab world: The Arab nation has passed a threshold, a culture of resistance rising in unity
Hana Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty
The project for a new Middle East was stillborn and is now buried. There is a democratic renaissance sweeping the Arab world that calls for independence, an Arab Palestine, unity, justice and democracy. It cannot be stopped. The political map of the region is being redrawn, but not by the Americans, nor the Israelis. The success of this renaissance is a gift for us all, pointing as it does towards a renewal of the international order along the lines of justice and the defence of human values. The page has been turned on 50 years of US-Israeli foreign policy. It is a new era. The tide has turned. Only how much destruction the bloodthirsty US-Israeli war machine will be able to inflict before it admits defeat remains to be seen and depends on our ability to resist globally. Arab victory is certain.

The project for a new Middle East was based upon three myths and lies. All were intertwined and originate from the discriminatory assertion at the heart of Occidental imperialism that Arabs are naturally backward. According to the first lie, Arabs are unable to develop democratic movements and naturally support dictatorial, extremist regimes (the definition of which always lies in the mind of Western powers). The “free” world should therefore, like charity, bring democracy to the region. The second lie follows that due to their backwardness, the Arabs cannot defeat Israel and must accept the dispossession its inception forced upon them as a fait accompli. Following successive humiliating Arab defeats (1948, 1967, 1973) while trying to bring an end to the alien Zionist occupation of Palestinian land, the US and its local client regimes tried to force upon the Arab people the belief that Israel is invincible, underlining the logic of normalisation and the second class status of Arabs. The third virulent lie is that nothing unites the Arabs, their backwardness and tribalism leads them to sectarian and feudal forms of organisation.

American empire is exceptional in that contrary to all previous empires it does not herald the promise of universalist values but instead brazenly declares its goal as the propagation of its own interests. The implementation of its strategy serves only the welfare of local, feudal, corrupted warlords, denying even the right to life to local populations. In the space of three years, US occupation and its stooges have attempted — and still attempt — to destroy Iraq both as a state and a nation. In the long tradition of divide to rule, they tried to deprive the Iraqi people of their unifying Arabo-Muslim identity by promoting sectarian forces. It resulted in the rape of the Iraqi nation, the plunder and theft of its resources, and the cold-blooded killing of its citizens. Meanwhile, democratically elected Palestinian representatives are abducted by Israel; the population starved as stated policy, continually subject to military attack. The latest criminal assault on Lebanon exposed the faultlines once and for all. US refusals to call for a ceasefire — to stop the criminal slaughter of Lebanese civilians and the destruction of their infrastructure which lasted four weeks — outraged all Arab people and millions worldwide. We knew it, but now no one can doubt it: US-Israeli plans for the region are the enemy of our people.

The myth of Israel’s invincibility also collapsed along with the justifications of servile Arab regimes for the continued repression of their own people. While entire Arab armies have in the past been defeated within days, Hizbullah proved not only its endurance but also its swift ability to change military tactics in tune with events while retaining its composure and humility in defending Arabs everywhere. The dignity alone that Hizbullah’s triumph has afforded to Arabs is a signal of, and is essential to, the defeat of Zionism. For 30 years Arabs have been assigned to second-class status. In just over 30 days they have thrown off this worthless mantle as though it were nothing. The blow is not just to Zionism. Hizbullah’s military maturity and communications prowess has exposed the cowardliness and impotence of all Arab regimes who pretend to be nationalist but who advocate for, and repress in the name of, normalisation with Zionism. Hizbullah, within days, did more for democracy in the Arab world than Arab regimes achieved in years, the latter forced to retract their recriminations against the former in the face of popular pressure.

In Lebanon the third enduring myth about Arabs being unable to think except along sectarian lines collapsed magnificently. Perhaps the US-Israeli strategists thought it would be easier, following 15 years of civil war for Lebanon to rapidly fall into civil strife. They don’t learn, but struggling people do. Lebanese unity behind Hizbullah — as much as 87 per cent according to polls — destroyed the myth that Arabs can never unite. Likewise after three years of relentless attempts to create civil strife in Iraq by any means, the US occupation has not managed to pitch Iraqis against each other. Never in 4000 years have Iraqis been sectarian. That occupation-linked sectarian militias are fighting each other and killing thousands of civilians is not a sign of sectarianism in Iraq. It is a US-imposed tactic of bringing chaos to decimate the inherent unity of Iraqi and Arabo-Muslim identity. Along with Zionism’s ill-fated misadventure in Lebanon, it failed before the invasion. Rather, there is a growing movement across the region that believes in the skills, maturity, will and ability of the united Arabs to liberate themselves from post-colonial agendas. Never will this movement accept the existence of a state created on their land to serve foreign capitalist interests.

Across generations and regardless of the ideology embraced or the leader embodying the movement, rising Arab struggles adopted the same slogans: independence, unity, Arab Palestine — with people of different faiths living as equal citizens and in peace — and an efficient state. Today, the youth of the nation is eager for real justice and democracy and adopts the same slogans. The servile Arab regimes, already deeply isolated from and fearful of their own people, failed to understand this growing movement of resistance and further alienated themselves — as proven by ignominious statements absolving Zionist aggression. Their fate, along with the US-Israeli project, is cast. Israel’s systematic destruction of Lebanese national infrastructure, which passed without comment from Washington, exposed unequivocally that the US-Zionist project cares nothing for Arab advancement. The War on terror is a war on all forms of resistance to US-styled globalisation and its imposition by military power.

Since the very day the occupation forces came to Iraq and the Iraqi state collapsed, there has been an uprising by all Iraqi movements and organisations; including those defending women, or unemployed youth, human rights organisations, trade unions, professional syndicates, agencies defending environmental issues and the rights of prisoners, and all other cultural and political organisations, side-by-side with provincial and tribal communities and peaceful and armed resistance groups. They have all risen following an unwritten political agenda that symbolises the whole society and derives its legitimacy from the deep sense of belonging to Arab and Islamic tenets. Likewise, the Lebanese civil resistance swift organisation to defend their land and sovereignty, as proven by the south Lebanese’s refugees’ insistence to return despite the presence of unexploded cluster bombs, and the Lebanese peoples’ unequivocal support for Hizbullah regardless of their respective political background, proves the same tendency. The interest of the lower and middle class have merged and will result in a never ending social and if necessary armed struggle to achieve independence, justice and democracy. The youth of the nation, which believes and trusts in the richness of its culture and civilisation will not accept selling short the rights of the country and the nation. It is confident of carrying the technical and intellectual skills to administer its own resources for the benefit of all, without foreign interference in their internal affairs.

Attempts to choke Arab development cannot but fail. The three main currents developed by Arab societies — nationalists, Islamists and leftists — are intrinsically anti-imperialist and therefore opposed to US-Israeli regional designs. For nationalists, retaining control of national resources to serve the general interest is sacrosanct. For leftists, opposing the international chains of imperialism and globalisation is a baseline. For Islamists, resistance to foreign occupation — as written in the Quran — is a duty. Their interest lays currently in achieving unity in the struggle. They are united by their Arabo-Muslim identity. They share common principles and values as follows: the natural resources, material heritage, and the riches of culture and civilisation are the property of the totality of the people. The totality of citizens constitutes the people. The people are the sole source of sovereignty and of constitutional, political and judicial legitimacy. Government is responsible and accountable to all the citizens. Solidarity between citizens — between generations, the able and ill, the elderly and young, the orphan and every human being who finds himself in a state of weakness — should form the basis of any government’s social policy. The general interest is the justification and basis for the operation of the state, with every citizen, free of all forms of discrimination, sharing in the fruits of national wealth and social development. In struggling against military-imperial powers, the Arabs fight in defence of values around which a majority in the world gathers in consensus.

What US-Israeli neo-imperialists have to offer is not only contrary to the interests of the Arab people, it is immoral. Never in history has a single political agenda — US-Zionist imperial dominion — been opposed by so many, in all countries, and across all continents. The Arab liberation struggle stands at the forefront of this global rejection and is the centre of an historic battle not between civilisations but for civilisation. Thus it is Israel, not the Arab nation, which stands in violation of rafts of UN resolutions, daily committing new atrocities in Gaza or the West Bank at the same time as it bombs residential areas in Beirut in violation of international humanitarian law — the baseline of civil protection against state terrorism. It is the United States that presides over a situation in Baghdad whereby government-supported death squads sweep and terrorise whole neighbourhoods and in the month of July alone more than 1800 corpses appeared strewn around the city, hundreds marked with signs of sadistic torture. To prevail in this context marks not only a victory for all Arabs, but all peoples in the human struggle towards freedom and justice. When in the centre of the storm Arabs fight with their lives for a better world they challenge the same neoliberal and neoconservative elite classes that waves of anti-globalisation activists, civil society movements, and democracy and human rights advocates worldwide oppose.

Resistance is a matter of situation. Not all should or can carry arms. Tel Aviv and Washington are desperate. The edifice of their military superiority and moral authority is shattered. Not even chemical weapons, which Israel uses freely in Gaza and Lebanon as the US used in Tel Afar, Ramadi and Fallujah, can bring the Arab people and its ever-widening culture of resistance to its knees. Empire is already buried. Short of annihilating every Arab to the last woman, child and man, US-Israeli plans are already defeated. But there is no room for complacency. Now is the time for the people of this world to endorse and support the Arab struggle globally.

Every advocate of an alternative world should play a part in supporting the transformation that the renaissance of Arab struggles heralds. Whereas brute force has too often decided history, in the new world there will be no peace without justice, and no justice without the right of return for every displaced Palestinian; the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the occupation from Iraq, along with the cancellation of all laws, treaties and agreements passed since the illegal invasion of the country; respect of Lebanese sovereignty and the condemnation and prosecution of Israel for the numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity it has perpetrated in Lebanon and in Gaza; that all Arab states and people which have been aggressed should receive fair reparations and compensations for the human and material loses they’ve endured; that all political prisoners should be set free immediately. Until these requirements are met, global civil disobedience is not only justified, it is a moral duty.

The writer is a member of the Executive Committee of The BRussells Tribunal (www.brusselstribunal.org).

from Marx and Engels: The Communist Manifesto, 1848
"The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie."

[Capitalism] "compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image. ... increased the urban population as compared with the rural ... made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West ... and has concentrated property in a few hands."

"But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons - the modern working class - the proletarians ... a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market."

"the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery ... What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."

FLASH: "Genetically-Based Capitalism Rules to Defeat All Barbarians aka "Terrorists"
capitalist white supremacy dredged up to counter the reality -- and Marx-- in rotten old pseudo-scientific genetic determinist dregs ...
In Dusty Archives, a Theory of Affluence
For thousands of years, most people on earth lived in abject poverty, first as hunters and gatherers, then as peasants or laborers. But with the Industrial Revolution, some societies traded this ancient poverty for amazing affluence.Historians and economists have long struggled to understand how this transition occurred and why it took place only in some countries. A scholar who has spent the last 20 years scanning medieval English archives has now emerged with startling answers for both questions.

Gregory Clark, an economic historian at the University of California, Davis, believes that the Industrial Revolution — the surge in economic growth that occurred first in England around 1800 — occurred because of a change in the nature of the human population. The change was one in which people gradually developed the strange new behaviors required to make a modern economy work. The middle-class values of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save emerged only recently in human history, Dr. Clark argues.
Because they grew more common in the centuries before 1800, whether by cultural transmission or evolutionary adaptation, the English population at last became productive enough to escape from poverty, followed quickly by other countries with the same long agrarian past.
Dr. Clark’s ideas have been circulating in articles and manuscripts for several years and are to be published as a book next month, “A Farewell to Alms” (Princeton University Press). Economic historians have high praise for his thesis, though many disagree with parts of it....
Samuel Bowles, an economist who studies cultural evolution at the Santa Fe Institute, said Dr. Clark’s work was “great historical sociology and, unlike the sociology of the past, is informed by modern economic theory.”...

Given that the English economy operated under Malthusian constraints, might it not have responded in some way to the forces of natural selection that Darwin had divined would flourish in such conditions? Dr. Clark started to wonder whether natural selection had indeed changed the nature of the population in some way and, if so, whether this might be the missing explanation for the Industrial Revolution....

“Thrift, prudence, negotiation and hard work were becoming values for communities that previously had been spendthrift, impulsive, violent and leisure loving,” Dr. Clark writes. Around 1790, a steady upward trend in production efficiency first emerges in the English economy. It was this significant acceleration in the rate of productivity growth that at last made possible England’s escape from the Malthusian trap and the emergence of the Industrial Revolution. In the rest of Europe and East Asia, populations had also long been shaped by the Malthusian trap of their stable agrarian economies. Their workforces easily absorbed the new production technologies that appeared first in England.
It is puzzling that the Industrial Revolution did not occur first in the much larger populations of China or Japan. Dr. Clark has found data showing that their richer classes, the Samurai in Japan and the Qing dynasty in China, were surprisingly unfertile and so would have failed to generate the downward social mobility that spread production-oriented values in England.

After the Industrial Revolution, the gap in living standards between the richest and the poorest countries started to accelerate, from a wealth disparity of about 4 to 1 in 1800 to more than 50 to 1 today. Just as there is no agreed explanation for the Industrial Revolution, economists cannot account well for the divergence between rich and poor nations or they would have better remedies to offer.
Many commentators point to a failure of political and social institutions as the reason that poor countries remain poor. But the proposed medicine of institutional reform “has failed repeatedly to cure the patient,” Dr. Clark writes. He likens the “cult centers” of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to prescientific physicians who prescribed bloodletting for ailments they did not understand...

Dr. Clark says the middle-class values needed for productivity could have been transmitted either culturally or genetically. But in some passages, he seems to lean toward evolution as the explanation. “Through the long agrarian passage leading up to the Industrial Revolution, man was becoming biologically more adapted to the modern economic world,” he writes. And, “The triumph of capitalism in the modern world thus may lie as much in our genes as in ideology or rationality.”...

Robert P. Brenner, a historian at the University of California, Los Angeles, said although there was no satisfactory explanation at present for why economic growth took off in Europe around 1800, he believed that institutional explanations would provide the answer and that Dr. Clark’s idea of genes for capitalist behavior was “quite a speculative leap.”

“The actual data underlying this stuff is hard to dispute,” Dr. Clark said. “When people see the logic, they say ‘I don’t necessarily believe it, but it’s hard to dismiss.’ ”

Based on Karl Marx' irrefutable analysis of the origins and nature of capital, Lenin examined the following five features characteristic of the epoch of imperialism in his pamphlet, still the uncontested best analysis of capitalist "globalization":

"Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism", V. I. Lenin
The epoch of imperialism opens when the expansion of colonialism has covered the globe and no new colonies can be acquired by the great powers except by taking them from each other, and the concentration of capital has grown to a point where finance capital becomes dominant over industrial capital.
(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopoly capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.
[Lenin, Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism, LCW Volume 22, p. 266-7.]

"[Imperialism] is something quite different from the old free competition between manufacturers, scattered and out of touch with one another, and producing for an unknown market. Concentration [of production] has reached the point at which it is possible to make an approximate estimate of all sources of raw materials (for example, the iron ore deposits)... [throughout] the whole world. Not only are such estimates made, but these sources are captured by gigantic monopolist associations [now called multi-national conglomerates]. An approximate estimate of the capacity of markets is also made, and the associations "divide" them up amongst themselves by agreement. Skilled labor is monopolized, the best engineers are engaged; the means of transport are captured – railways in America, shipping companies in Europe and America. Capitalism in its imperialist stage leads directly to the most comprehensive socialization of production; it, so to speak, drags the capitalists, against their will and consciousness, into some sort of a new social order, a transitional one from complete free competition to complete socialization.

"Production becomes social, but appropriation remains private. The social means of production remain the private property of a few. The general framework of formally recognized free competition remains, and the yoke of a few monopolists on the rest of the population becomes a hundred times heavier, more burdensome and intolerable."
(p. 205)

"The development of capitalism has arrived at a stage when, although commodity production still "reigns" and continues to be regarded as the basis of economic life, it has in reality been undermined and the bulk of the profits go to the "geniuses" of financial manipulation. At the basis of these manipulations and swindles lies socialized production; but the immense progress of mankind, which achieved this socialization, goes to benefit... the speculators." (p. 206-207)
LCW vol.22, http://www.marxists.org/glossary/frame.htm