We are republishing a scientific paper by Dr. Baghdoyan which he presented in an international conference held at the Shanghai Administive Institute in September 2008 in celebration of the 160th anniversary of the first publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
We believe our readers will find Dr. Baghdoyan’s analysis highly relevant in light of the rapidly deteriorating international geopolitical environment. ED.
United States Militarism in the
Global Class Struggle
‘The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.’
Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848.
The words quoted above open Section I of the Manifesto. Their majestic simplicity is matched only by their immense profundity.
Class struggle, the fundamental concept of historical materialism, persists in different dimensions and magnitudes. One can speak of class struggle:
Within the confines of a given society
- Within an empire where a dominant country rules tributary peoples
- In the relationship between an occupying colonialist state and its colonies
- Within an imperialist relationship, whereby a core (developed) country exploits peripheral (underdeveloped) countries though concessionary trade and investment rights, unequal exchange of products and labor, use of financial manipulations, etc.
- Within a globalized capitalist system, whereby advanced capitalist countries use their economic power to control rules of international economic engagement on a global scale, imposing special microeconomic and macroeconomic policy structures on peripheral states to ensure the continuous flow of wealth from the periphery to the core
This paper is concerned with the study of the military dimension in the conduct of international class warfare by the United States, which has been the leading capitalist country for over a century. It focuses on the militarization of the U.S. foreign policy and its role in the establishment and maintenance of an expansionist system. Finally, it highlights dramatic reactions to the American unilateralism.
A Cursory Perspective on U.S. History
What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women—not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
John F. Kennedy, Commencement Address, American University, June 10, 1963.
If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem.
George W. Bush, January 2001.
American expansionism is not a new phenomenon. It was not launched after the implosion of the Soviet Union, nor was it started at the end of World War II. Expansionism has been an inherent part of the American political psyche since the formative years of the United States.
In attempts at territorial expansion, John L. O’Sullivan, in his essay ‘Annexation’ written in the Democratic Review (1845), urged the United States to annex the Republic of Texas, not only because Texas desired this, but because it was ‘our manifest destiny (emphasis AB) to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.’ O’Sullivan believed that Manifest Destiny was a moral ideal (a ‘higher law’) that superseded other considerations. The expression ‘Manifest Destiny’ was later used as the ideological anchor and the guiding principle of American expansionism.
Three impassioned assumptions stand at the root of American pretensions:
- The virtue of the American people and their institutions
- The mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the U.S.
- The destiny under God to accomplish this work
The Monroe Doctrine constitutes a defining moment in the foreign policy formulation of the United States. This doctrine, enunciated in the seventh State of the Union Address to the Congress on December 2, 1823, states that the United States will no longer permit European powers to colonize or interfere with the newly independent countries of the Americas. With the Monroe Doctrine, the United States practically claimed the sole right for influence and interference in the countries of Central and South America.
Empire building through economic, political, and military aggression has been a continuous thrust in U.S. history, beginning with the colonial and revolutionary days. The Spanish-American War of 1898 inaugurated the era of American imperialism and instituted in the U.S. foreign policy establishment a militaristic mindset. Professor Quincy Wright observed in 1942: ‘The United States, which has, somewhat unjustifiably, prided itself on its peacefulness, has had only twenty years during its entire history when its army or navy has not been in active operation some days, somewhere.’
The imperial policy did not abate after World War II. Rather, the U.S. ruling establishment initiated a deliberate strategy of global military involvement. ‘Each year since 1945,’ writes Richard Barnet, ‘somewhere in the world American forces have been engaged in battle. The primary thrust of the American military operations has been counterinsurgency warfare, wars against political movements and people rather than governments.’ At the end of World War II, the U.S. military forces controlled 434 bases around the globe. By 1969, approximately 1,222,000 American troops were operating 399 major overseas installations and 1,930 minor installations.
Two main goals are associated with the ascent of militarism in the U.S. society in recent history:
- Subversion of existing socialist states and thwarting of national liberation movements in the periphery of the capitalist system
- Extension of U.S. power to the colonies of former great powers as West European colonialism declined in Africa and Latin America, and Japanese influence waned in Asia
The predisposition for intervention and the zeal to extend their influence in foreign lands under the guise of ‘fighting communism’ led the ruling circles of the United States to the war in Vietnam. At a critical moment of that war, President Lyndon Johnson, speaking at the National Foreign Policy Conference at the State Department, defined the American national interests with primitive candor: ‘We are the number one nation, and we are going to stay the number one nation.’
Richard Barnet concludes from Johnson’s definition of the American National Interests: ‘Staying number one is a struggle for permanent victory.’ Evidently, an objective condition of permanent war is the sine qua non for permanent victory.
The U.S. imperial hubris reached unprecedented heights after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The neo-conservative ideologues reigning in the White House determined that the time had finally arrived for the United States to launch an unlimited imperial expansion relying on its military supremacy to achieve ‘full spectrum dominance’ around the world.
Paul Wolfowitz, Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy, enunciated the globalized class content of the U.S. interventionist military strategy in a memorandum that he wrote in 1992. After George W. Bush appointed him undersecretary of defense, he began implementing the memorandum ideas in 2001, with his colleagues in the Executive. According to Patrick E. Tyler, ‘The defense department asserts that America’s political and military mission in the post-Cold War era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia, or the territory of the former Soviet Union……The new [Wolfowitz] plan sketches a world in which there is one dominant power, whose leaders must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.’
In a parallel initiative and with the same purpose, William Kristol and Robert Kagan co-founded a right-wing neoconservative think tank called Project for the New American Century (PNAC) in early 1997 as a ‘non-profit educational organization.’ The Washington, D.C.-based PNAC’s stated goal was ‘to promote American global leadership.’ Its original ‘Statement of Principles’ considered the following points as pivotal to the pursuit of U.S. national interests:
- Significantly increasing defense spending
- Strengthening ties to democratic allies and challenging regimes hostile to U.S. interests and values
- Promoting the cause of political and economic freedom abroad
- Accepting responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to its security, prosperity, and principles
PNAC exerted a prominent influence on high-level government officials and strongly affected Bush Administration’s military and foreign policies, especially in national security issues and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the Iraq War slipped into a quagmire, however, PNAC stopped functioning in 2006 or 2007 and ‘came to a natural end’, according to its former executive director, Gary Schmitt. PNAC suspended its operations and closed its website on July 8, 2008.
The concurrent objects of Wolfowitz and PNAC were officially embedded in the 2002 national Security Strategy of the United States, a key policy document. In a vision analogous to the megalomania of Pax Romana, American pundits nourished the ambition of a Pax Americana extending throughout the world.
It must be emphasized that there is nothing notable or original in the propositions of Wolfowitz and PNAC. Even though the U.S. has been an expanding empire since its foundation, its apologists have tried hard, sometimes quite successfully, to portray it as a peaceful and benevolent superpower, unlike other empires in history. However, in spite of all their efforts, it is simply impossible to conceal the following facts:
- The commanding influence of the military-industrial complex on the economy, and consequently on the foreign policy of the United States
- The establishment of a permanent war economy during the Truman Administration with the proclamation of the Truman Doctrine in March 1947
- The transformation of the American republic to a national security state after World War II, largely exempt from congressional oversight and answerable practically to no one
The economic factor, combined with the militarization of the American foreign policy, has been the key to the transformation of the republic to an empire. According to Andrew Bacevich, this process started in 1890 and continues to this day. Since the creation of an international order with no barriers to capital movements and global free market economy dominated by the United States would necessarily create opposition from aggrieved countries and peoples, the foreign policy of the U.S. would have to be supported by an unequaled military capability. This posture has been the strategic consensus of the American foreign policy elite regardless of the political party in power.
The American imperial ambition was no different from that of other Western great powers. The British Empire used ‘white man’s burden’ inspired from Rudyard Kipling’s1899 poem to claim the right to rule peoples that could not rule themselves. Similarly, the French justified their colonial ambitions by a so-called ‘mission civilizatrice,’ with the self-assurance that France had to spread civilization to savage countries. The United States used the pervading spirit of ‘manifest destiny’ as a God-given right to rationalize the expansion of the empire to teach the benefits of American values to subjugated peoples. It was the belief in the “manifest destiny” that produced the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, and which evolved into the Truman Doctrine of 1947. The defense of “freedom and democracy” and their spread throughout the world became the catch phrase of every American administration from the forcible annexation of Hawaii in 1893 onward through the 20th century and into the 21st century to conceal the imperial intent.
Militarization of the Economy
The militarization of the US foreign policy has progressed steadily as American capitalism has seen its usual sources of external wealth acquisition through colonialism and imperialism dwindle. In keeping with the objective of staying the number one nation, the United States has conducted and is conducting—especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the onset of a unipolar world—an unrelenting military assault on any country that stands in opposition to its policies. In the push to control global resources and perpetuate ‘the American way of life,’ the United States currently stations over half a million troops, spies, contractors, dependents and others on more than 737 military bases around the world. These bases are located in more than 130 countries. The cost of this global ‘force projection’?
When you include its array of privately outsourced services, our professional, permanent military currently costs around three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year….[we are] running the largest government as well as trade deficit s in modern economic history….Unfortunately, our political system may no longer be capable of saving the United States as we know it, since it is hard to imagine any president or Congress standing up to the powerful vested interests of the Pentagon, the secret intelligence agencies, and the military-industrial complex.
During the Korean War (1950-53) U.S. defense spending rose from about $150 billion in 1950, measured in 2002 purchasing power, to just under $500 billion in 1953. The second buildup financed the Vietnam War. Defense spending in 1968 was over $400 billion in 2002 dollars. At no time from 1955 to 2002 did defense spending decline to pre-Cold War, much less pre-World War II, levels. Instead, the years from 1955 to 1965, 1974 to 1980, and 1995 to 2000 established the Cold War norm as the baseline for military spending.
The planned expenditures of the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations‘ military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China. Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history.
From the Korean War to the first years of the 21st century, the institutionalization of these huge defense expenditures fundamentally altered the political economy of the United States. Defense spending reached staggering levels and fused into the ‘civilian’ life of the American society, as defense contracts became the most propitious instruments for industrial expansion and job creation. All members of Congress, regardless of their political orientation, scrambled to attract defense contracts to their districts. Rampant militarization was so intricately rooted in the economy that its undoing threatened the very survival of the American capitalism. This is the main reason why the capitalist ruling circles strived to embed—quite successfully through the willing concurrence of a servile media—the mindset of a perpetual mission of ‘saving freedom and democracy everywhere’ into the American foreign policy logic.
Hyper Power Syndrome
The neo-con elite running the Bush Administration had an easy answer for the stagnating economy of the U.S. and the implementation of their hegemonic policies. The arrogance of invincibility led the George W. Bush Administration to the belief that military power would ultimately not only save the desperate state of the capitalist economy, but also help the capitalist elite strong-arm national economies into a global free market system. This policy would enable the ruling circles of the dominant capitalist states to perpetuate the exploitation of the less developed countries. Neo-con strategists designed a vision of international class division to the detriment of the periphery, which would confine the underdeveloped or developing countries to the role of continuous providers of surplus value to the domestically exhausted developed capitalist states.
We should remember that the Cold War against the Soviet Union did not start after World War II. It began right after the revolutionary takeover of political power in Russia on October 25, 1917. After the military intervention of the Western allies in the Russian civil war failed, the United Kingdom recognized the Soviet Union de facto in 1921 (de jure in 1924). The United States did not establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union until 1933.
After World War II, the United States and the West in general intensified the Cold War against the Soviet Union and its allies. The United States used every possible instrument of coercion to prevent the rise of the Soviet Union as a world power. In addition to the economic blockade, political containment, and the arms race, the United States resorted to multiple subversive tactics. The 1950 National Security Council Document (NSC) No. 68 proposed that the U.S. must ‘foster a fundamental change in the nature of the Soviet System; ‘foster the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system’; force it to ‘change its policies drastically’; and use ‘any means, covert or overt, violent or non-violent’ including ‘overt psychological warfare’ and ‘covert economic warfare.’ Wars in Korea, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, among others soon followed. By the time the Cold War ended in 1991, the United States had spent over $1 trillion in its quest to bring down the Soviet Union.
The demise of the Soviet Union was a cataclysmic watershed in human history. American and West European ‘economic experts’ on the eastern Europe and Russia imposed a deliberately destructive system of free enterprise without controls under the rubric of ‘shock therapy.’ The chaotic political and economic shocks disconnected the production and distribution networks and brought the Russian economy down more than 50% within months. A handful of oligarchs emerged from nowhere and usurped most of the social wealth produced by the Soviet people over more than seven decades. Tens of millions of people were severely impoverished overnight and reduced to begging. The world had never experienced such a calamity befall on so many with such fury in a peacetime condition. These were the opening shots of the post-Cold War era that paved the road for a savage imperialist assault on the rest of the world by the United States, now reigning supreme as a hyper power.
The United States unleashed its ambitions to exercise monopolistic power over the world’s political direction as well as important industrial and financial resources. However, energy was the most critical strategic resource that the United States targeted for control. This, the neo-con theorists envisioned, would be achieved with ‘Full Spectrum Military Dominance’ that had become possible with the total destruction of the Soviet Union as an economic, military and political power.
Control Over Energy Resources
Abundant and exceedingly affordable domestic oil production was the basis for the rise of the first giant multinational corporations in the U.S. American industrial and technological growth relied chiefly on the bedrock of inexpensive oil. Without the abundant availability of oil, ‘the United States would never have experienced the historic economic expansion of the post-World War II era.’
Competition for supply of energy and control over energy resources have been major thrusts behind the U.S. geo-strategic interests, regardless of the nature of the political superstructure or the social order of possible competitors in the world arena. The modern version of this strategic stance pursues two main goals:
- To establish partial monopoly over an important resource necessary for the economic development of other countries, especially for a presumptive competitor like China
- To further intensify the strategic soft war on Russia and China
To appreciate the significance of control over world energy resources, one need go no further than two sets of information: 1) Data on the world oil production; 2) Data on the world oil consumption.
Table 1 gives the world crude oil production by selected major producing countries.
Table 1: Crude Oil Production by Major Producing Country (Partial List)
Thousands of Barrels Per Day
United Arab Emirates
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Annual. See alsohttp://www.ela.doe.gov/emeu/iea/contents.html (accessed July 11, 2007). From Table 1346, Statistical Abstracts of the United States, 2008.
Table 2 shows the world energy consumption by selected countries. It is clear from the data that the advanced capitalist countries consume a much higher per capita share of energy production than the developing countries. This is expected and hardly surprising. Since a secure supply of energy is the essential enabler of economic growth, countries on the way to development would need increased per capita energy supply to improve their living standards. Hence the crucial importance for control of energy resources.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Iraq and Iran together have almost 20 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. All excuses, pretexts, and outright lies notwithstanding, this is the material basis behind Washington’s urge to go on the offensive to create client and compliant states in the oil-rich areas of the Middle East.
Both the IEA (International Energy Agency) and EIA have warned consistently of global oil-demand growth. The IEA projects that the total global oil output must increase by two-thirds from 2001 to 2020 and that this will require some $3 trillion of investments, mainly in the Persian Gulf region. However, there is considerable distress in the global oil industry and among oil-consuming states that this investment is not proceeding rapidly enough to prevent productive capacity from falling decisively behind demand by the oft-cited 2020 deadline. Furthermore, it takes from 7-10 years before investments in new capacity come actually on line.
Table 2: Energy Consumption by Country: 2000 and 2004 (Partial List)
|Country|| Total (quad. Btu)
| Per Capita (mil. Btu)
2002 2004 (preliminary)
|World total||399.5 446.4||65.7 70.1|
|United States||99.0 100.4||350.6 342.7|
|Russia||27.5 30.1||187.1 208.8|
|Japan||22.4 22.6||177.2 177.7|
|Korea, South||7.9 9.0||167.3 186.5|
|U.K.||9.7 10.9||162.6 166.5|
|Venezuela||2.8 2.9||117.5 116.3|
|Iran||5.0 6.4||76.2 95.5|
|Mexico||6.3 6.6||63.33 63.0|
|China||38.8 59.6||30.6 45.9|
|Cuba||0.5 0.5||41.0 41.5|
|Korea, North||0.9 0.9||39.7 39.2|
The U.S. claim to the superpower status rested on a vast domestic availability of accessible oil from the end of World War II to the height of the Cold War years. Inexpensive domestic oil enabled the American economy to prosper and expand. In parallel, abundant oil made the deployment of vast armies overseas relatively cost-manageable. However, the oil sea has been shrinking since the 1950s, with the domestic production having reached its peak in 1970. ‘When it came to reliance on [oil] imports,’ says Michael Klare, ‘the United States crossed the 50% threshold in 1998 and now has passed 65%.’
Control over the oil regions of the world and the main corridors of oil transportation is the critical component of American supremacy. This is the primary reason why the United States has squandered financial resources in the trillions of dollars and has sacrificed thousands of troops in its war in Afghanistan and particularly in Iraq.
Taking cost data from the Congressional Research Service, zFacts.com has drawn a graph of total Iraq war expenditures now exceeding $600 billion. Presently, the U.S. is spending $10-12 billion on the Iraq War each month. ‘The US budget for Iraq in FY2007 came to $4,988/Iraqi,’ writes zFacts.com. ‘This is triple Iraq’s per-person GDP. It is like spending $121,000 per person ($484,000 per family of 4) in the US.’
‘It is crucial to recognize,’ writes Tom O’Donnell, ‘that it is not some subjective neo-con ideological bent which is driving the U.S. to forcible regime change in Iran (though of course this exists); rather, it is the objective politico-economic realities of the oil order today that are compelling the U.S. to take the offensive if the oil order is not to be undermined by a demand crisis in the future. Such a crisis could, in turn, spell disaster for global capitalism generally (emphasis AB), as well over 90 percent of all transportation is dependent on oil.’
The U.S. is not going through an unprecedented overextension of its military for altruistic reasons even if, in an attempt of evident duplicity, the ‘U.S. military strategists are rewriting the decades old military doctrine to place humanitarian mission on par with combat,’ writes Bryan Bender and concludes: ‘Needless to say, the mission of global unilateralism and dominance does not change. It is only being finessed to fool the world into accepting a ‘benevolent’ U.S. empire.’
Full Spectrum Dominance
The U.S. ruling circles have been preoccupied with a persistent theme that took on the character of an acute problem as the implementation of neoliberal free market policies widened the disparity of wealth and income between countries and within countries around the world.
A U.S. Space Command study titled U.S. Space Command Vision 2020 (February 1997) argues the necessity and presents a plan for the domination of the space by the United States. The following are some quotes from the document:
- ‘Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment’
- ‘The emerging synergy of space superiority with land, sea, and air superiority will lead to full spectrum dominance’
- ‘Control of space is the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operation within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required’
The 1998 ‘Long Range Plan’ of the U.S Space Command. echoed the issues raised by Vision 2020. This document states clearly that the growing gap between the rich and the poor will necessarily lead to political instability in poor countries as well as to confrontation between rich countries and poor countries. The document concludes that to control any insurrectionary developments or regional unrest and maintain the existing balance of economic relationships in the world, the U.S. needs military space development.
In concert with the political ideology of the Washington neo-cons discussed earlier, the Space Command documents present a sweeping military project for the indefinite global supremacy of the United States.
The Target of U.S. Militarism
As the leading capitalist country, the United States finds itself at the dawn of the 21st century in an inextricable quandary:
- To solve the problem of economic stagnation and to keep the American economy growing, it needs to maintain a permanent military supremacy to be able to expand its reach around the world and exercise control over global strategic resources
- To maintain a permanent military supremacy it needs an indefinite growth of its capitalist economy
The explosive interdependence between militarism and the necessity for economic expansion make the United States a troublesome partner in international relations.
The war on Iraq, the conflict with Iran, and the ‘war on terror’ are directed principally against China and Russia as major powers and emerging global competitors. The threat is extended more so against any country that dares to challenge the commands of the U.S. imperialism. Following the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center towers, President George W. Bush enunciated a new foreign policy mantra clearly and succinctly to all countries: ‘You are either with us or against us.’
We have seen from data in Table 2 that the American economy runs on a huge consumption of energy and that currently the United States imports 70% of its energy needs. It is understandable that to satisfy its domestic needs and to insure its global ambitions, the United States wants to control the economic development of other countries and prevent the emergence of any competitive power. It should not be a surprise then that control over the Middle Eastern oil resources (presumably 40% of the world proven reserves) is crucial for the American geo-strategists.
In NATO’s April 2008 meeting in Bucharest, the ardor for global aggression was proclaimed once more as a warning against recalcitrant countries. ‘NATO,’ President Bush told the gathering, ‘is no longer a static alliance focused on defending Europe from a Soviet tank invasion. It is now an expeditionary alliance that is sending its forces across the world to help secure a future of freedom and peace for millions.’ The alliance approved membership for Croatia and Albania, and only French and German opposition prevented the Bush Administration from adding the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia.
In another aggressive act against the vital interests of countries like Russia and China, the U.S. Administration is on its way to deploying in the Czech Republic and Poland anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM) purportedly to defend Europe against a possible nuclear attack by ‘a rogue state’ such as Iran. The NATO alliance has encircled Russia with allies and military bases, has increasingly sidelined the United Nations, is intensifying the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is preparing to install itself in the Pacific Basin.
Reactions to Full Spectrum Dominance
The response to the U.S. aggression on the rest of the world is coming from many regions. In fact, the reaction is so strong, that we may be witnessing the disintegration of the Western-inspired and Western-controlled international organizations, the end of neoliberal globalization, and the birth of regional powers and trade organizations.
The central thrust of the reactions reflects the exasperation of other great powers with the unilateralist dispositions of the United States, its dismissal of the United Nations, and habitual disregard for international law. Despite self-righteous warnings from blind advocates of monocentrism that ‘mutipolarity will likely bring with it renewed instability and conflict,’ and that ‘the return of the world of multiple power centers necessarily means the return of the geopolitical fault lines,’ the world can ill afford to let American unilateralism and imperial dominance go unchallenged. The last couple of decades provide ample evidence for this inevitability. Assertions of regional power in two areas augur especially well for the emergence of a polycentric world: military and trade.
Dealing with U.S. Military Expansion
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), formed in 2001, was a natural reaction to the military arrogance and imperial expansionism of the hyper power of the world. The Sino-Russian sponsored organization includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran has observer status, although it has applied for full membership.[*]
A Financial Times editorial says that the SCO is ‘everything that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger—who sought to keep Russia and China apart—tried to prevent.’
According to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, the SCO meeting of last August in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, ‘mapped out Sino-Russian ties and upgraded bilateral strategic coordination.’ The two nations also agreed ‘to join forces to tackle other major security issues, in a concerted effort to safeguard the strategic interests of both countries.’ People’s Daily reported that the SCO discussions included strengthening the United Nations and ‘the common challenge facing the two countries, emanating out of the U.S. plans to deploy the missile-defense plans targeting Europe and the East.’
The Bishkek summit adopted a declaration that took direct aim at the Bush administration’s foreign policy, condemning ‘unilateralism’ and ‘double standards,’ supporting ‘multilateralism,’ and ‘strict observance of international law,’ and underlining the importance of the UN, among other critical demands.
Writing in the official China Daily, Fu Mengzi, vice-president of the institute of Contemporary International Relations, accuses NATO of trying to tighten a ‘noose’ around Russia, and charges that the United States is not as worried about terrorism as it is about ‘major power challenges.’ Fu argues further that ‘We are watching a rekindling of the Cold War mentality in Washington’s efforts to find allies and partners while beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, East Europe and South Asia, apart from occupying Iraq indefinitely.’
In the same week that SCO met in Bishkek, the Russians announced their response to NATO’s ABM system: a resumption of strategic air patrols, improvement of Moscow’s anti-missile system, modernization of the Topal-M ICBM, and construction of new missile firing submarines.
In an almost last ditch effort to establish the foundations of peaceful and non-threatening relations with the Western powers, Russia on July 8, 2008 presented to NATO’s top diplomats another proposal for a new security architecture in Europe. The proposal includes nonaggression treaties and is designed to create a legally binding security pact to which would participate China and India. ‘Russia may want to create a new organization that would get rid of the Organization for Security and Cooperation and NATO,’ commented Lieutenant Colonel Marcel de Haas, a Russia security analyst at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. ‘Russia believes that the current security architecture in Europe is a remnant of the Cold War bloc ideology,’ said Andrew Monaghan, a Russia analyst at NATO’s defense college in Rome. ‘The proposals…have clearly no chance of being accepted by the United States and its allies,’ opined Judith Dempsey in her New York Times report, even before NATO diplomats had received the full details of the proposals, once more echoing the truly uncompromising attitude of the West.
August 8, 2008 marks a watershed in post-Soviet Union international relations. On that date, in a surprise attack on South Ossetia, Georgian armies killed 10 Russian peacekeepers and massacred hundreds of civilians. Tens of thousands of people fled north to Russia for refuge. This aggressive and bloody act prompted a swift response from Russia, whose army occupied South Ossetia and parts of Georgia proper. The U.S., Georgia’s ally, used the Russo-Georgian confrontation—in which the U.S. responsibility could hardly be discounted—as a pretext to push through the immediate signing of the American-Polish treaty for the installation of anti-ballistic interceptor missiles in Poland, an act of clear hostility and threat to Russia and China.
As of this writing, a truce has been agreed upon by the two sides. South Ossetia and Abkhazia (another contentious territory between Georgians and Abkhazians) have declared independence. The Russian Federation and other countries have already recognized de jure the independence of the two new countries.
Another direct consequence of the Russo-Georgian war has been the irrevocable assertion of Russia as a global military power. Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has already invited the military aircraft and naval forces of Russia for military exercises in Venezuela. Russian prestige rose globally as fast as was the demise of the Soviet Union.
The events following August 8 prompted Paul Krugman, a columnist of the New York Times, to observe in assessment of the significance of the Russo-Georgian conflict: ‘By itself the war in Georgia isn’t that big a deal economically. But it does mark the end of Pax Americana—the era in which the United States more or less maintained a monopoly on the use of military force.’ The West, however, seems to be unable to handle the emergence of the East as a major player in international relations.
Acknowledging the shift of power balance from the West to the East, Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist, writes in the August 21, 2008 issue of the paper: ‘The world we are familiar with, dominated by America and Europe, is a historical anomaly.’ He concludes his column with the following comment: ‘That flexibility [of peaceful evolution] is one of China’s great strengths, and it’s one reason that the most important thing going on in the world today is the rise of China—in the Olympics and in almost every other facet of life.’
Even though the turnaround in the balance of global forces was nothing less than astounding, its advent was simply inevitable. Placing the American maneuvers in the Caucasus region within the context of the “Great Game” of the 21st century, Armen Baghdoyan observed in 1998: ‘The goal of the [United States] is to break the north-south barrier at the focal point of the Caucasus and northern Iran. This will enable the United States to open a corridor of penetration into the Asian heartland and be within reach of Western China. Iran will be encircled in the south and Russia will be isolated in the north.’ Baghdoyan warned that the aggressive poke of the U.S. in the Caucasus would create intolerable political and geo-strategic conditions for Russia and China alike both of whom could not let it go unchallenged.
Dealing with International Trade Conflicts
Reacting to the U.S. and European Union (E.U.) claims to represent free and fair trading practices and to speak about the importance of the market-based economy in the capitalist model, one hundred and ten countries united to form G110 in December 2005, a grouping of the world’s middle and lower income developing nations. The participant countries demanded that the U.S. and the E.U. practice what they preach. The G110 accused the developed Western countries that while bearing the torch of free markets, they practiced entirely different trade policies, namely protectionism and interventionism, to shield their own markets against competition from other countries.
Many recent developments in the international arena point to the facts that neoliberalism is in its last throes. The most conspicuous sign of the demise of neolibaral globalization is the collapse of the Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in Geneva on July 29, 2008. Negotiations have been dragging on and off since 2001. The Western media attributes the failure of the Doha round to ‘China’s and India’s growing might on the world stage and the decreasing ability of the United States to impose its will globally.’
The New York Times columnist David Brooks laments the collapse of the Doha round, recalling with nostalgia the days of Harry Truman, George C. Marshall, and Dean Acheson who ‘created forward-looking institutions after World War II….In the late 1940s, global power was concentrated…..The United States accounted for roughly half of world economic output.’ David Brooks complains that ‘today power is dispersed…… Globally, power has gone multipolar, with the rise of China, India, Brazil and the rest.’ He attributes the failure of the Doha round to ‘parochial interests,’ which he blames China and India to have pursued in the talks. It never occurs to him that the world’s patience with American unilateralism and Western rules that have governed the international institutions for over four decades to the benefit of developed countries could have been exhausted. However, it is refreshing to read an admission from one of the highly regarded conservative columnists in the United States that multipolarity has finally made its entry to the global political stage.
Writing in the New York Times a few days after the fateful collapse of the Doha round, David E. Sanger offers a far more perceptive and rational analysis. ‘Over the last two decades,’ he writes, ‘China has managed to turn the forces of globalization into the most successful antipoverty project the world has ever seen.’ He does not think China wants to destroy globalization. But he rightly asserts that ‘the era in which free trade is organized around rules set in the West—with developing nations following along—definitely appears over, and few are mourning its demise.’ In the same article, David E. Sanger observes: ‘This wasn’t about tariff rates. It was about a fundamental shift in power.’ Then he quotes Adam Segal, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who studies China: ‘This doesn’t mean the breakdown of globalization, the end of trade, or back into some pre-World War II kind of protectionism. The Chinese just feel that they don’t have to put up with people lecturing to them anymore about how to manage their economy.’ David E. Sanger echoes approvingly: ‘Especially Americans.’
Almost simultaneously, at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran blamed the big powers for most of the ills of the world. However, he said, ‘the big powers are going down. They have come to the end of their power, and the world is on the verge of entering a new, promising era.’
Global Exacerbation of Inequality
Corporate globalization has served the richest fifth of the world’s people who now receive 80 percent of the world’s income compared to the 2 percent earned by the poorest fifth.
Branco Milanovic has documented that the top 1 percent of the world population receives 57% of the world income, and the income multiple between those at the top and those at the bottom has increased from 78 to 114 times.
Class struggle intensified in the past four decades under free market economic policies promoted by neoliberal ideologues. The IMF and World Bank provided financial assistance to countries seeking it, but forced a neoliberal economic agenda as a precondition for providing the loans. The IMF and World Bank, acting concurrently, imposed on the debtor nations Structural Adjustment Policies (SAP) to guarantee the priority of debt repayment.
The policies of successive U.S. administrations and the neoliberal governance of the capitalist financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank increased inequalities not only among, but also within countries, developed and developing alike. Class struggle aggravated globally, between as well as within countries, with both intranational and international dimensions.
Vincent Navarro offers a critical analysis of the ignoble failure of the declared neoliberal policies of spreading economic development and prosperity through the miracles of the free markets. Table 3 taken from Navarro’s article shows the deterioration of economic growth in developing countries since the onset of neoliberalism (1979).
In words reminiscent of an alliance between capitalists of the core and the comprador classes of the periphery, Vincent Navarro writes: ‘We cannot understand the world from Iraq to the rejection of the European Constitution, without acknowledging the existence of classes and class alliances, established worldwide between the dominant classes of the developed world and those of the developing capitalist world. Neoliberalism is the ideology and practice of the dominant classes of the developed and the developing world alike.’’ (Navarro’s emphasis)
Table 3: Economic Growth, 1960-2000 
|Rate of economic growth in developing countries(except China):
Annual economic growth
Annual economic growth per capita
Rate of economic growth in China:
Annual economic growth
Annual economic growth per capita
Sources: World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2001, CD-ROM; Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent (Verso, 2003) 131.
Table 4 shows that the average rates of growth in both OECD and developing countries have decreased in the two decades of 1981-99 compared to the decades of 1961-80. It also shows a dramatic polarization in income in the capitalist world—400% differentials between the growth rates of developed and developing countries during the triumphant years of the neoliberal ideology, totally discrediting the disingenuous claims of neo-conservative ideologues of speeding up the economic development of poor countries.
Table 4 shows a stark evidence of lingering economic stagnation in the developed countries of OECD from 1980 to 2000, during the mantra of the free markets, open borders, and capitalist corporate globalization.
A look at the Latin American economy provides further evidence of the declining growth of the developing world. Touted as instruments of development, the IMF, World Bank and WTO have been a spectacular failure in Latin America by any indicator:
- In the period 1960-80, per capita income in Latin America grew by 82 percent, whereas in the next 20 years it grew only by 9 percent. In the last 5 years, it has grown only by 1 percent
- In one decade, the number of poor increased by 14 million
- From 1990 to 2002 U.S. banks and multinational corporations remitted $1 trillion in profits, interest payments, and royalties from Latin America
- In the 1990s more than $178 billion of state-owned industries were privatized
This massive transfer of wealth and social polarization could not have occurred without the collaboration of Latin American elites and their satellite middle classes.
Table 4. 
1. Average Annual Rate of Per Capita Economic
(A) OECD countries
(B) Developing countries
Growth differential (A/B)
2. Growth in World Income Inequalities, 1980-98
Income of the richest 50% as share of the poorest 50%
Income of the richest 20% as share of the poorest 20%
Income of the richest 10% as share of the poorest 10%
Income of the richest 1% as share of the poorest 1%
4% more unequal
8% more unequal
19% more unequal
77% more unequal
Sources: World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2001; Robert Sudcliffe, A more or Less Unequal World? (Political Economy Research Institute, 2003); Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent (Verso, 2003) 133.
In the United Sates itself, the inequality has reached intolerable levels. In a study published in July 16, 2008 and titled ‘The Measure of America: American Human Development Report 2008-2009,’ the researchers analyze the comparative ability of U.S. residents to access healthcare, education, employment and housing. Jaimeson Champion indicates some eye-opening statistical findings in the report:
- Of the thirty countries comprising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. has the highest proportion of children living in poverty
- U.S. infant mortality ranks 34th globally, despite spending more money per capita on healthcare than any other country
- The difference between vast wealth and deep poverty within proximate geographical areas is simply astounding. For example:
- The 14th Congressional District on Manhattan’s Upper East Side ranks as the richest of the 436 congressional districts. Nearby, the 16th Congressional District in the Bronx ranks 431st
- California’s 20th Congressional District is ranked 436th, the worst in the country. But California as a whole contains 10 of the top 20 wealthiest congressional districts
Outrageous global inequality between and within countries has been and continues to be the hallmark of the capitalist order, regardless of the economic development stage of a country within the order. It would be totally unrealistic and anti-Marxian to expect the cause of this acute global ailment to contain within itself the solution of problems facing humanity today, unless that solution is self-destruction. As Marx and Engels state in the closing remarks of Section I of the Manifesto: “What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.”
Concluding Remarks: Changing Global Context
The Demise of Pax Americana
Pax Romana crumbled despite centuries of glorious achievements because of a major social disease: the acute class polarization in the Roman society. As thoroughly documented by Michael Parenti, Pax Romana was a very unequal and repressive Pax. Underneath the veneer of peace, class struggles eroded the foundations of the empire. Pax Romana concealed the elements of its own destruction since it had never been a benevolent rule of peace, but an exploitative rule by a single power controlled by aristocrats over vassal states and over plebeians within the Roman society itself. Parenti argues that even Julius Caesar’s assassination had a class origin.
The American version of Pax Romana is not a novel idea. Its origins go back to the end of World War II. When the United States emerged from the conflagration as the most powerful country economically and militarily, President Truman and his advisors envisioned an American sphere of influence to combat ‘communism’ wherever and whenever it might appear. The nature and the enforcement method of Pax Americana have been no different from those of Pax Romana. The neo-cons exploited the demise of the Soviet Union to extend the boundaries of Pax Americana to include the whole world.
This paper has tried to show that the attempt at global extension of the American imperialism necessitates an extreme degree of militarization. We have also seen that military expenditures have been embedded in the American economy so deeply and critically that their curtailment would exert enormous pressure on the economic survival of the U.S. capitalist system itself. Since the American economy is also dependent on constant growth, the United States will not change its predatory international behavior unless forced to do so.
Throughout history, the establishment of peripheries to serve the interests of a great power has proved disastrous to the vassal states. Colonialism, imperialism, neoliberal globalization have not only exacerbated the class struggle between and within countries, but have also erected insurmountable boundaries on underdeveloped nations to achieve industrialization and economic development. The Roman Empire kept its tributary vassal states in extreme poverty; the British Empire enforced rules that benefited the United Kingdom at the expense of the ‘Commonwealth.’ American imperialism claimed the right to own the wealth of the world and to control the economic development of other nations. Evidently, these imperial systems are untenable and will have to end eventually.
The first decade of the 21st century has witnessed the reckless aggrandizement of American ambitions. Before even the decade is over, the American ruling circles will have to admit—as the American people have already understood—that military power cannot solve global issues nor can it maintain the supremacy of a country over other nations indefinitely. Unipolarity is ending because the important powers of the world could never accept it as a workable global system. And, perhaps more importantly, because of its globally exploitative class content.
With the impending demise of unipolarity, the great powers should focus on the real problems that are ailing people in many parts of the world: poverty, disease, unequal development, and ecological challenges.
In his Kennedy Memorial lecture on April 18, 2008, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, spoke passionately about international cooperation and the need for a change of the selfish mindset in solving the global problems of inequality and environmental decay. ‘Challenges,’ the prime minister said, ‘[that] all point in one direction—to the urgent necessity for global cooperation. For none of them—from economy to environment—can be solved without us finding new ways of working more closely together.’ Continuing his vision for the solution of global issues, the prime minister stressed: ‘[T]o address the worst evils of terrorism, poverty, environmental decay, disease and instability, we urgently need to step out of the mindset of competing interests and instead find common interests—summoning up the best instincts and efforts of humanity in a cooperative endeavor to build new international rules and institutions for the new global era.’ (Emphasis AB)
We can only wonder how sincere the prime minister of the United Kingdom is when he advocates equality, cooperation, and commonly accepted new rules and institutions for solving global issues in view of the continuing aggressive militarism of the United States through the instruments of NATO.
The Socialist Perspective
The socialists experienced the most devastating ideological retreats towards the end of the last century with the collapse of major post-revolutionary experiments, particularly the implosion of the Soviet Union. The adoption of capitalist methods of production in large sectors of the Chinese economy further unsettled the faith in a socialist future. Socialism found itself on the defensive and the left showed numerous signs of cracks and defections under the propaganda pressure of the market gurus of ‘triumphalist’ capitalism.
Less than a decade into the 21st century, we are already witnessing the agonizing manifestations of an ignominious failure of free-marketism around the world and hearing calls for ‘socialism for the 21st century.’ The inability of capitalist globalization to grapple with the problems of poverty, economic inequality, social injustice, and threat to the world ecology has equipped the socialist community with solidified ideological weapons ‘to transcend [its] defensive posture and to engage fully with the most urgent problem of our time: the creation of a sustainable socialist order.’
Over two decades ago, Paul Kennedy, analyzing the rise and demise of past empires, warned that ‘the United States now runs the risk, so familiar to historians of the rise and fall of Great Powers, of what might be roughly called ‘imperial overstretch.’’ Immanuel Wallerstein, one of the leading world system theorists, pronounced the year 2008 to be the year of the Demise of the Neoliberal Globalization. Observing the ongoing decline of the U.S. economic and political power, Wallerstein argues the inevitability of the decline of its military supremacy. More recently, another analyst, Minqi Li concludes that in the relationship between ‘The United States, China, Peak Oil, and the Demise of Neoliberalism,’ we are witnessing major realignments in the global political and economic forces. Analyzing the geopolitical implications of the September-October U.S. financial crisis that shook the foundations of the global capitalist system, Philip Stephens concludes: ‘For more than two centuries, the U.S. and Europe have exercised an effortless economic, political and cultural hegemony. That era is ending.’
Within the context of the international class warfare, the meek and the weak have scored incredible successes in the past decade. The following are some of the defining developments:
1. Decline of U.S. power:
a. Military powerlessness in Afghanistan and Iraq
b. Erosion of economic dominance
c. 2007-2008 financial meltdown
2. Victory of Hezbollah in the Israel-Hezbollah war of July-August 2006
3. Hamas party’s intrepid resolve to stay in power in the Gaza Strip despite massive military pressures and remorseless economic blockade by Israel
4. U.S. and Israeli failure to shape the Middle East to their liking
5. The resurgence of Russia as a global power player and the spectacular rise of China as a great economic power
Class warfare is also evident in the rejections by the working people of the proposed European Constitution, designed to protect the European institutions that operate as agents of Europe’s dominant elites.
French and Dutch voters first rejected the European Constitution in 2005. As a result, the E.U. issued the Lisbon Treaty in December 2007 in an attempt to make it more palatable to the working classes. In a referendum on June 2008, the Irish people rejected the amended constitution with a majority of 53.4 percent of the votes, jeopardizing the very future of the European Union.
The dominant Western European countries and their governments are finding increasingly difficult to forge a union with common interests for all 26 members of the European Community.
Class war is internationalized to a degree never experienced before: East against West; Eastern Europe against Western Europe; South America against North America. In a parallel development, the class-consciousness of working people everywhere seems to score new heights, and the pendulum of initiative in global socio-economic struggles seems to be moving toward oppressed people. More people in the developing as well as developed countries are finally concluding that capitalism is not and has never been the answer, but rather the problem. This historical transformation within a period of less than four decades should fill the hearts of socialists with great optimism about the future. As Hugo Chavez, the revolutionary president of Venezuela heralded in a 2006 speech: ‘We will defeat imperialism sooner than later.’ This faith in the future, which would have sounded hollow in 1990, seems quite a realistic vision in 2008.
September 12, 2008
[*] The SCO turned down the applications of the United States and Japan for observer status.
 John L. O’Sullivan, ‘Annexation,’ United States Magazine and Democratic Review 17 (1): 5-10. Retrieved on May 20, 2008 (Wikipedia).
 Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1935.
 William Earl Weeks,. Building the Continental Empire: American Expansion from the Revolution to the Civil War (Chicago, 1996).
 Monroe Doctrine, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_doctrine
 Quincy Wright, A Study of War, vol. 1, 236 (Chicago, 1942)
 Richard J. Barnet, The Roots of War (Kingsport Press Inc., 1973) 24
 Ibid., 30.
 Harry Magdoff, ‘Militarism and Imperialism,’ Readings in U.S. Imperialism, (eds) K. T. Fann, Donald C. Hodges (An Extending Horizons Book, 1972) 131
 Richard J. Barnet, op.cit., 3. Lyndon Johnson is quoted by Townsend Hoopes,in The Limits of Intervention (New York, 1969) 206.
 Ibid., 3.
 Patrick E. Tyler, ‘U.S. Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop,’ New York Times, March 8, 1992.
 Wikiipedia, Project for the New American Century.
 Elliott Abrams, et al., ‘Statement of Principles,’ June 3, 1997, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#Signatories_to_Statement_of_Principles
 Paul Wolfowitz, ‘Remembering the Future,’ National Interest, (Spring 2000) 36; David Armstrong, ‘Dick Cheney’s Song of America: Drafting a Plan for Global Dominance,’ Harper’s Magazine, (October 2002) 76-83.
 See, for example, Charles A. Kupchan, The End of the American Era, New York, 2002; Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire,Penguin Books 2004; Herfried Munkler, Empires, Eng. Trans. (Cambridge, 2007)
 Eisenhower Farewell Address, January 17, 1961.
 Monroe Doctrine, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_doctrine
 Morris Berman, Dark Ages America (W. W. Norton & Company, 2006) 141.
 Andrew J. Bacewich, American Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002) 3-4, 6, 9.
 Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2006) 5.
 Ibid., 7-9.
 Chalmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire, (Metropolitan Books, 2004) 56.
 Chalmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire, op.cit., 56-7..
 Dallas Darling, ‘A Nation-fulfilled Prophesy?’, Aljazeera.com, (August 28, 2008) http://www.aljazeera.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=152814
 Sergey Badalian, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia, private communication, 1992.
 Michael T. Klare, ‘An Oil-Addicted Ex Superpower’ Asia Times Online, (May 20, 2008).
 EIA, http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/oilreserves.html
 IEA, http://www.iea.org/
 zFacts.com ,http://zfacts.com/p/447.html (accessed July 15, 2008).
 Tom O’Donnell, ‘The Political Economy of the U.S.-Iran Crisis’, Z Magazine (June 2006) 43.
 Bryan Bender, ‘Pentagon Flexes its Altruism Muscle,’ The Boston Globe (July 28, 2008).
 United States Space Command Vision 2020, (February 1997) http://fas.org/spp/military/docops/usspac/visbook.pdf
 United States Space Command (April 1998), http://fas.org/spp/military/docops/usspac/lrp/toc.htm.
 Conn Hallinan, ‘Dispatches from the Edge: New Cold War?, Berkeley Daily Planet, July 3, 2008.
 Charles A. Kupchan, The End of the American Era (New York, 2002) 263.
. Conn Hallinan, op. cit.
 Russia Proposes a Security Revamp, International Herald Tribune (July 28, 2008).
 Judith Dempsey, ‘Russian Proposal Calls for Broader Security Pact,’ New York Times (July 28, 2008)
 See, for example, Mohau Pheko, ‘Fighting in Georgia provides clarity on US’s true intentions,’ The Times, August 16, South Africa. Commenting on the Russo-Georgian war of August 8, Mohau Pheko writes: ‘Washington’s bloody fingerprints are all over the invasion of South Ossetia. It is obvious that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili could not have launched a massive military attack unless he had received unambiguous orders from his bosses at the White House.’
 Paul Krugman, ‘The Great Illusion,’ New York Times, (August 15, 2008)
 Nicholas D. Kristof, ‘China’s Rise Goes Beyond Gold Medals,’ New York Times (August 21, 2008.):
 Armen Baghdoyan, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh: Problems of Security and Development (Boston, Independent Publication, 1998) 19-22.
 Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, ‘The Group 110 is born,’ Pravda.Ru ( December 17, 2005).
 Stephen Castle and Mark Landler, New York Times (July 30, 2008.)
 David Brooks, ‘Missing Dean Acheson,’ New York Times (August 1, 2008).
 David E. Sanger, ‘Beyond the Trade Pact Collapse,’ New York Times (August 1, 2008).
 Associated Press, New York Times (July 30, 2008),
 Branco Milanovic, Worlds Apart (Princeton University Press, 2005).
 Vincent Navarro, ‘The Worldwide Class Struggle,’ Monthly Review, 58, no. 4 (September 2006)
 Maria Paez Victor, ‘Mr. Danger and Socialism for the New Millennium,’ Z Magazine ( June 2006).
 Jaimeson Champion, ‘Research Study Shows Growing U.S. Inequality,’ Workers World, 50, no. 30 (July 31, 2008).
 Michael Parenti, ‘The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome’ (New York, 2003).
 Gordon Brown, Kennedy Memorial lecture, April 12, 2008.
 Editorial Note to Istvan Meszaros, ‘The Communal System and the Principle of Self-Critique,’ Monthly Review, 59, no. 10 (March 2008), 33.
 Paul Kennedy, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,’ New York, 1987.
 Immanuel Wallerstein, The Demise of Neoliberal Globalization,’ Commentary no. 226 (February 1, 2008), http://www.binghamton.edu/fbc/226en.htm.
 Minqi Li, ‘An Age of Transition,’ Monthly Review , 59, no. 11 (April 2008).
 Philip Stephens, Financial Times (October 10, 2008).
 Liu Mingli, Down But Not Out, Beijing Review, 51, no. 29 (July 17, 2008)