Friday, December 26, 2014

Geopolitics, Geostrategy, Neoliberalism, and Globalization

Catching up on geopolitics, geostrategy, neoliberalism, and globalization.
Increasing China’s outbound investment is part of Beijing’s long-term economic and political strategy.
Enter the dragon.

The Diplomat
China Urges Companies to ‘Go Global’
Shannon Tiezzi


This is a geopolitical and geostrategic scenario that I have been alluding to. Hopefully it won't prove correct and cooler heads will prevail. 

But this is essentially the same scenario that led to WWI, when Britain and France became concerned that the rising German Empire was upsetting the balance of power in Europe after the Franco-Prussian War aka the War of 1870.
The problem is that by way of pure demographics the Western Alliance concedes a majority of the world’s assets will be owned by the East within the next few years and with majority of wealth typically comes control. James Wolfensohn, ex president of the World Bank, lays out the global power shift very clearly in his address at Stanford University. But so how does the Western Alliance hold onto global control whilst no longer holding the majority of the world’s assets? Well that is the challenge James presents to students in his address. In reality the Western Alliance is not calmly passing the challenge onto these future leaders but is very much initiating the battle to end all battles. You see it is natural for the Alpha dog to eventually pass on the crown. It happens in all top-of-the-food-chain species, lions, wolves, bears, etc. The dominating male will eventually be challenged by a more impressive up and comer. And while that alpha dog can hold onto his top rank for a few years past his prime by putting on a show of strength eventually it comes down to his last fight.

I see that as where America and the Western Alliance stands today. You see we’ve been barking very loud and putting on an impressive show of strength by taking on very weak challengers since the beginning of the new millennium, however, the real challenger is China. And we’ve all known that for some time. As Wolfensohn discusses it is becoming a now or never reality for the Western Alliance. Either they find a way to contain the impressive beast or they give up their Alpha status. And so here they are in the fight for global control. In that earlier piece I wrote I describe how the Western Alliance is targeting energy, as it is China’s achilles heel. China’s energy source for the future is Russia. Given its economic, military and energy prowess, a Sino-Soviet Alliance will trump the Western Alliance. The objective then is to destroy the Soviet variable before the Sino-Soviet Alliance is fortified. Control China’s energy and you can contain China.…
China’s future growth is dependent on Russian energy, and so on Russia itself. As such, China will never allow the Western Alliance to crush Russia as China understands the end objective is not a containment of Russia but China itself. I made the point in the previous article that China will not only step in economically, which we’ve already seen by example with the signed energy deals and now explicitly stating they will back the Russian economy but, if comes to it, China will be prepared to step in militarily, they have no choice. 
That is a very scary WWIII proposition and one might wonder why in the hell are we headed in that direction? It is obviously not something citizens of any involved countries would want. Again the reason goes back to that very natural process of Alpha selection. It requires a final fight of the Alpha dog, the one in which he loses his reign of power to a new more impressive Alpha dog. Sometimes this is done without violence when the Alpha simply knows he is no longer top dog and he moves on. Often times it ends is horrible violence.
The is the history of elites confronting each other from time immemorial.

First Rebuttal
Reuters Objectively See’s Russia’s Options as Losing or… Losing Badly
Thad Beversdorf


The rise of neoliberal corporatism as the global market society under oligarchic "democracy."
Much has been written, at least in the alternative media, about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two multilateral trade treaties being negotiated between the representatives of dozens of national governments and armies of corporate lawyers and lobbyists (on which you can read more here, here and here). However, much less is known about the decidedly more secretive Trade in Services Act (TiSA), which involves more countries than either of the other two. 
At least until now, that is. Thanks to a leaked document jointly published by the Associated Whistleblowing Press and Filtrala, the potential ramifications of the treaty being hashed out behind hermetically sealed doors in Geneva are finally seeping out into the public arena. 
If signed, the treaty would affect all services ranging from electronic transactions and data flow, to veterinary and architecture services. It would almost certainly open the floodgates to the final wave of privatization of public services, including the provision of healthcare, education and water. Meanwhile, already privatized companies would be prevented from a re-transfer to the public sector by a so-called barring “ratchet clause” – even if the privatization failed. 
More worrisome still, the proposal stipulates that no participating state can stop the use, storage and exchange of personal data relating to their territorial base.…
Wolf Street
LEAKED: Secret Negotiations to Let Big Brother Go Global
Don Quijones

Michael J. Glennon is a professor of international law at Tufts University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He’s written a book, National Security and Double Government, which has garnered the attention of news outlets like the Boston Globe. The book is an expanded edition of a journal article which is available online. …

Glennon likewise posits that the United States is also afflicted by a double government, and that in domains related to national security presumably extrinsic agents like the President and Congress have very little say in matters. Glennon states that “judicial review is negligible, congressional oversight dysfunctional, and presidential control nominal.[i] 
In Glennon’s worldview real power lies elsewhere: down in the bureaucracy where actual decision making is conducted by “several hundred executive officials who manage the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies[ii].” According to Glennon this explains the striking continuity in national security policy despite the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
Blaming Government Surveillance on the Government Ignores the Plutocrats Behind the Curtain
Bill Blunden

The American global war on terror (GWOT) has devolved into a bi-partisan foreign policy shambles. The U.S. government careens from one crisis (usually of its own making) to another, without any introspection into the reasons why its policy is creating enemies faster than it is killing them. 
At the same time, on the home front, the political leaders of both parties have exploited the politics of fear to (a) debase civil liberties (b) condone the use to torture and arbitrary incarceration in a network of secret prisons, and (c) incite a compliant mass media to propagandize and traumatize the people, and thereby suppress demand for a coherent political debate at home.…
The result is an insecure, tuned-out, and dumbed-down public, together with its corollary, the absence of a corrective feedback loop to place a dysfunctional political decision cycle on a salutary pathway into the future. A fearful, tuned out, and dumbed-down public is exactly what James Madison feared in his famous letter to W.T. Barry dated 4 August 1822, when he said: 
"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."…
The Blaster
GWOT: A Prologue to a Farce, a Tragedy, or Both?
Chuck Spinney

When Castro ousted Fulgencio Batista’s despotic rule, he nationalized foreign corporate assets. Originally valued at around $1.8 billion. 
At 6% simple interest, now worth around $7 billion. From sugar processing plants, other factories, mines, oil refineries, power plants, hotels, 75% of Cuba’s arable land, cattle ranches, other assets. 
US companies have 5,913 outstanding claims. Including from ExxonMobil, Coca-Cola, Freeport-McMoRan, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter and Gamble, Goodyear, Firestone, General Motors, Owens-Illinois, Avon Products, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and many others…. 
Rights linked to claims remain enshrined in US statutes. America’s embargo was imposed largely in retaliation for nationalizations.…
It’s unclear precisely how Obama officials intend doing it. A fact sheet released coincidentally with Obama’s announcement didn’t say.…
America wants things its way. It remains to be seen how tough issues are handled. Expect months of negotiations to follow.
Global Research
Corporate Predators Want Compensation for Lost Cuban Assets They Stole
Stephen Lendman

Contrary to rumour, the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa alliance confirmed it would avoid challenging the unfair, chaotic world financial system at the Fortaleza summit on July 15. 
The BRICS “are actually meeting Western demands,” as China Daily bragged, “to finance development of developing nations and stabilize the global financial market.”
If BRICS subservience continues, remarked financier Ousmène Jacques Mandeng of Pramerica Investment Management in a Financial Timesblog, “it would help overcome the main constraints of the global financial architecture. It may well be the piece missing to promote actual financial globalisation.”
Fawning to finance reminds us of the term Brazilian political economist Ruy Mauro Marini coined a half-century ago, ‘sub-imperialism’: i.e., “collaborating actively with imperialist expansion, assuming in this expansion the position of a key nation.”
Global Research
How BRICS Became Co-Dependent Upon Eco-Financial Imperialism
Patrick Bond

At the same time, against the background of the evident cooling of the EU-Ukraine relationship, the EU-Russia relationship is returning to a more cordial format.
For example, on December 19 Angela Merkel unexpectedly said that Putin “ought to be taken at his word.”
Merkel reviving to Ostpolitik?

Fort Rus
EU is Tired of Ukraine and Poroshenko
Anatoliy Shariy

Fears of German neutrality are not new. In the early 1970s, Henry Kissinger, then the U.S. national security adviser, warned that West Germany’s Ostpolitik could play into the hands of the Soviet Union and threaten transatlantic unity. He argued that closer economic ties with the Soviet Union would increase Europe’s dependence on its eastern neighbor, thereby undermining the West. The danger Kissinger foresaw was not so much that West Germany might leave NATO but, as he put it in his memoir, that it might “avoid controversies outside of Europe even when they affected fundamental security interests.” Fortunately for Washington, the Cold War kept such impulses in check, as West Germany relied on the United States for protection against the Soviet Union.
Now, however, Germany finds itself in a more central and stronger position in Europe. During the Cold War, West Germany was a weak state on the fringes of what became the EU, but the reunified Germany is now one of the strongest—if not the strongest—power in the union. Given that position, a post-Western Germany could take much of the rest of Europe with it, particularly those central and eastern European countries with economies that are deeply intertwined with Germany’s. If the United Kingdom leaves the EU, as it is now debating, the union will be even more likely to follow German preferences, especially as they pertain to Russia and China. In that event, Europe could find itself at odds with the United States—and the West could suffer a schism from which it might never recover.
Ostpolitik is one of Washington's worst nightmares.

Foreign Policy
Leaving the West Behind — Germany Looks East
Hans Kundnani

1 comment:

MRW said...

Tom, a spectacular choice of articles. The snippets chosen in the aggregate reflect exactly what I've been perceiving for the past year.

Thank you.