Thursday, January 1, 2009

Should Any Country Trust U.S. Advice/Investment in Future?

Would it be a big surprise to learn that no developing world country would want a U.S. ambassador in their country again (ever) due to the now well-documented (thanks to the internets) history of "self-serving economic-hit-man actions," not to mention all that past support for thes murder of innocents and coups d'états (almost) proudly admitted to by U.S. leaders? Not so much. But we could ask Dick Cheney (during one of his valedictory speeches before the Heritage Foundation perhaps) or perhaps everybody's favorite bad boy, Bushy (on another one of his grand last tours as he continues celebrating his victories in cleverness and lack of candor). And, let's face it, as long as there are no future foreign policy implications stemming from these feckless reckoners . . . . Like perhaps our ex-good friends in South America?

LA PAZ, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) - Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that the September expulsion of U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg was "a success and not a mistake because it "thwarted " an opposition coup plot. . . . On Sept. 10, (Evo) Morales declared the U.S. ambassador "persona non grata" and ordered him to "immediately" leave the country, accusing him of encouraging, together with the opposition, protests against his government. Washington called Morales's decision "a grave error." . . .The actions set Bolivian-U.S. ties at its lowest level, worsened by Bolivia's suspending the activities of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the country.
The argument used to be that everyone benefitted from U.S. noblesse oblige (polite term for "ripping off resources of poor countries at premium prices"), although I can remember asking my Poli Sci profs in college "Couldn't they have gotten a much better deal if they could have bargained from the position of strength that their possession of such demanded resources would have afforded - and why wouldn't our upright government officials support this?" (This was before I began reading the books by Henry Kissinger - imagine my surprise to learn that they actually had their hands in the till.) Add to that the societal costs of the fraudulent drug war necessitated by the drug trafficking created to fund the illegal political activities (like in South and Central America and the Middle East), and it becomes even more questionable (except for the very well-connected on the inside I guess). The famous economist, John Maynard Keynes, who is largely unread by anyone today - except for Paul Krugman - had some important thoughts on this topic that might benefit someone in the new administration (but it probably won't be Larry Summers or Tim Geithner) to peruse for a few odd moments (if there's really going to be any change in foreign policy at all).
The privateering pattern is clear: in high times, the transnational free-range corporations fly in to places like Cambodia with their international credit and their cutting-edge technology and their first-rate organization, but when the great sucking sound begins, and the rip tide is in the offing - they fly right on out, collapsing the local asset markets and taking much "domestic paper capital" back with them to the Manhattan metropole and its imperial dollar. Moral: the tangled web in the end snares the threadwalking fly. Here is the great and glorious Keynes, circa deep dark depression days:
"I sympathize, therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than with those who would maximize, economic entanglement among nations. . . . I have become doubtful whether the economic loss of national self-sufficiency is great enough to outweigh the other advantages of gradually bringing the product and the consumer within the ambit of the same national, economic, and financial organization. Experience accumulates to prove that most modern processes of mass production can be performed in most countries and climates with almost equal efficiency. . . let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national. . . ."
Mr K not a globalizer, eh? Back to Cambodia. Now I have a history with this place and its brief essay into radical autarky back in the 70's, so I think of it often when the wild and wooly down side of "limited liability internationalism" raises its head, like it has recently. One has to wonder if Keynes meant this passage above to apply to the likes of today's descendent of Pol Pot's Democratic Kampuchea. More broadly, can we say the periphery of the earthwide Yankee empire is safe for practioners of Keynesianism? Can little brown states run like big white ones do? Let's begin by doubting it.
That seems about right to me. Is change really coming? I'm hoping to be surprised. Suzan ___________________________________ Tribute to Delaney Bramlett


Juan Moment said...

Hello there Suzan,

thanx for your well wishes & a Happy New Year to you too!!!

Sorry I haven't been visiting, not to mention commenting much lately, but as you saw from my blog, I haven't had much time to put into my own writings, or other's for that matter. I miss the time online, but running my own small business plus at times being a single parent, does leave me on many occasions too drained to surf a great deal, or even write comments. Hopefully that will change again in the near future. I might yet start on drafting my first post for 09.

How are things with you? I hope life has been treating you well. At a time when so it seems many other blogs that call a spade a spade either close doors or change tunes, it's good to see you haven't lost any of your zest for keeping the bastards honest. And this staunchness has never been more important than today. For all the indications given out, Obama’s reign might be just as blood soaked as his predecessors. I crave for it to be the period of change as promised, but my gut feeling tells me that the plutocrats heist will continue unabated, with the US military the enforcer on hand when diplomatic arm twisting doesn’t yield the desired profits.

Anyhow, I’ll be sure to pop in from time to time, knowing that your blog is always worth reading. Until next time, sooner rather than later, best wishes. Stay as you are :)


Suzan said...

Hello Juan,

It's so good to hear from you (and I know you are BUSY).

And I'm afraid (almost terrified due to the economic news, et al.) that I agree with you about the caution needed before jumping in as cheerleaders for the new regime. And with Richardson just reneging on the offered position of Commerce Sec'y (doesn't anybody vet BEFORE anymore?), I'm afraid your comment "the plutocrats heist will continue unabated" can only be seen as prescient.

Would that it were not so.

Hope springs eternal, friend.

And so do we.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Carry on.