A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The American disinformation regime - a hermetically sealed "bubble" - convinces its citizens that the U.S. is and forever will be supreme on the planet. Ignorance may be bliss, but cannot alter the facts of rapid U.S. decline, a spiral that is the inevitable "blowback" of 60 years of undeserved, coerced, and artificially constructed dominance. The tools and traps that were designed to ensnare the planet in the U.S. corporate/military web, have instead led to American shrinkage in all things except military might. But weapons of war cannot replace a bulldozed manufacturing base, or reinvigorate a service sector whose services are increasingly unwanted, or repair a U.S.-led financial system that is terminally choked with worthless paper "instruments." The West-East, North-South shift is well underway - whether Americans know it or not.
Americans of all races behave as if the United States is the center of the world. This is quite dangerous, not just to the 95 percent of the world's people who do not live in the United States, but to the U.S. population, as well. The planetary financial pyramid atop which the U.S. has perched its over-fat and undeserving butt for over 60 years, is in a state of transformation. The countries that actually produce things - oil, gas, manufactured goods, minerals, and most of the planet's agricultural commodities - can no longer support the dead weight of artificial and pretentious U.S. claims to supremacy.
Most of us are somewhat familiar with the dollar's problems, its ever-falling value. But the global system, itself, is hopelessly out of balance, and has outlived its usefulness. The grand schemes and dreams of corporate globalism, centered in the U.S., haven't worked out as the American ruling elite expected.
Corporate globalism was supposed to open up vast new markets to U.S. companies and money-masters, and to hopelessly entangle foreign governments and elites in a system controlled by U.S. financial institutions and their servant organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The United States wouldn't have to manufacture anything anymore, but would remain top dog by "servicing" the world economy - at a premium, of course. That's why all those office skyscrapers have replaced factories in American cities.
"The era of U.S. domination is coming to a close, whether the American people know it or not."
If anybody in the rest of the world didn't like this arrangement, the U.S. military was available to Shock and Awe them into submission. That's why the United States spends more money on weapons than all of the rest of the planet, combined.
The dollar was a weapon, too. Since it was the only world reserve currency, the dollar could be used as a club to beat down resistance among nations that wanted to cut a better deal for themselves in the world market.
But for a host of reasons too numerous to explain in a brief commentary, the American elite can no longer impose its will on the planet, not by financial intimidation and - as is now clear to all but the insane - not by force of arms. The era of U.S. domination is coming to a close, whether the American people know it or not. The United States enters the final stages of decline with its manufacturing sector in shambles and, for the first time, the service sector shrinking. Multi-billionaire George Soros says flatly that the balance of world power must shift to the countries that actually produce things.
But it's worse than that. The U.S. and European financial order is paralyzed, having created phony money in the form of hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives and other paper instruments that they can't sell to anybody - not even each other. That's the real definition of a "paper tiger" - and the world knows it. The U.S. subprime crisis is only a symptom of a much larger, global sea change.
What will Obama, or Clinton, or McCain do about it? They don't have a clue. And the American people understand the real world less than citizens of any other industrialized nation. Which means, as the crisis deepens, we won't know what hit us, here in what we thought was the center of the world.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford.