Friday, February 28, 2014

Fear and loathing in a uni-polar world

I suppose what's good about a uni-polar world is that there is but one hegemon to fear and loathe.

The way things stand that would be the American Empire.

That's why the Empire spends so much political capital trying to brand Putin as the second coming of that trusted and true adversary, the Evil Empire, aka the Soviet Union.

Those were the glory days when you didn't have to think too long and too hard about what side you were on.

And if you did appear to think too long and/or too hard about it, your next appearance would be in front of a McCarthy hearing about why you might be thinking too long and too hard about it.

Times have changed.

America has more or less morphed into a totalitarian state. True, you still have the right to choose between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Or the Republicans and the Democrats.

But what does it matter?

The panic that pervades current decision making by the stewards of American Empire is driven by fear that the singularly independent operator Putin is somehow recreating the bi-polar world of yore.

If you take a close look at that bi-polar world of yore you'll realize that it was not nearly as anti-capitalist or anti-American as you suppose. There are several biographies floating around about Armand Hammer. He was an American capitalist who did lots and lots of business with the very first wave of Bolsheviks.

You could almost say he was to Russia in the 20s and 30s what Dan Gertler is to the DRC today. Or what Sam Bronfman was to prohibition era American culture; ie a guy who knew how to do an end run around red tape.

My favorite Hammer book is his autobiography. While he's busy air-brushing his own history, he also does a damn good job prettifying the great communist experiment in the Soviet Union.

The larger point being that the only major anti-capitalist country of the modern era was from top to bottom tied into the capitalist network from the very beginning.

And Putin's Russia is as well. Nothing about Putin today or Lenin or Stalin yesterday ever threatened the reality of capitalist hegemony.

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