Wednesday, February 26
Out of the Wreckage:
By Tearing Up the Global Rulebook, the US is in Fact Undermining Its Own Imperial Rule
George Monbiot, The Guardian, February 25, 2003
The men who run the world are democrats at home and dictators abroad. They came to power by means of national elections which possess, at least, the potential to represent the will of their people. Their citizens can dismiss them without bloodshed, and challenge their policies in the expectation that, if enough people join in, they will be obliged to listen.
Internationally, they rule by brute force. They and the global institutions they run exercise greater economic and political control [...]
... The end of multilateralism would force the US, as it is already beginning to do, to drop this pretence and frankly admit to its imperial designs on the rest of the world. This admission, in turn, forces other nations to seek to resist it. Effective resistance would create the political space in which their citizens could begin to press for a new, more equitable multilateralism.
There are several means of contesting the unilateral power of the US, but perhaps the most immediate and effective one is to accelerate its economic crisis.
Already, strategists in China are suggesting that the yuan should replace the dollar as east Asia's reserve currency. Over the past year, as the Observer revealed on Sunday, the euro has started to challenge the dollar's position as the international means of payment for oil. The dollar's dominance of world trade, particularly the oil market, is all that permits the US Treasury to sustain the nation's massive deficit, as it can print inflation-free money for global circulation. If the global demand for dollars falls, the value of the currency will fall with it, and speculators will shift their assets into euros or yen or even yuan, with the result that the US economy will begin to totter. [...]