Thursday, January 5, 2017

Heiko Khoo — Collapse of Anglo-US model highlight of 2016

It was a dramatic year in world politics. After a long period of slowly-accumulating social and economic contradictions, a new and tumultuous era has opened up, heralding a time of sudden transformations, social and cultural upheavals, and ideological flux.
In June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, thus reversing the trend towards globalization. Similarly, the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President signals the end of American-backed multilateralism. In consequence, the Anglo-U.S. model of Neoliberal Capitalism is dead.
Such developments hide a broader and deeper malaise affecting world capitalism. In order to balance the books and restore "economic credibility" many countries adopted draconian austerity measures following the Great Recession of 2008-9.
In the advanced capitalist countries of Europe and the United States, overall living standards have fallen. Many poor and middle-income countries experienced catastrophic social consequences.
This is leading to a revolt at the ballot box, against what is often called "the political class" or "the establishment."
It also exposes the falseness in four long-promoted "commonsense" myths: that enriching the few eventually benefits the many; that countries will increasingly integrate and collaborate; that wealthy capitalist democracies assist poor countries to develop; and that these same wealthy countries are international guarantors of peace, justice and human rights....
Western soft power had a tough year.
One thing is certain, none of the central problems in society will be resolved by the solutions proposed by the present rulers of Europe or the U.S. And this is because of the structural foundations of the system.
Politics is like a theatrical performance whose function, at root, is to help the biggest companies maximize their profits. Control over the political script and the performance on stage is normally guaranteed.
Deeply entrenched economic interests dominate politics. In this system - no matter what shade of government is in power - the interests of the largest privately-owned profit-seeking companies, shape the contours of the world's economy....
 Pretty good analysis and commentary "with Chinese characteristics." Definitely nowhere near as crude as it was years ago. And it's informative to see how others see you.
Collapse of Anglo-US model highlight of 2016
Heiko Khoo, columnist with

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