Saturday, May 17, 2014

Waiting for that Nixon-in-China moment

The US strategy toward Russia and the Ukraine is following the neocon playbook: contain Russia, prevent the pan-Asian trade zone from happening.

At one time I believe we fought (another illegal) war in Vietnam to “contain” China, a vast country on the brink of abandoning old-style Communism well before the Soviet Union fell.

Nixon went to China in 1972, before the fall of Saigon. Deng beat out Mao’s chosen successor in the late Seventies and started liberalizing the economy in about 1980, just as the US was abandoning capitalism for right-wing plutocracy.

Subsequently trade with China helped the diminishing American middle class via inexpensive imports, even as it aided its diminishment by taking some of its jobs.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of vilifying Gorbachev, Putin could take Gorbachev’s advice and permit democracy to flourish? And if Obama could see that Russia, like China, is a huge market with little sovereign debt that we are going to lose?

But we seem to be on the downside of a long wave in a time when confidence fails everywhere, a time, as Martin Armstrong points out, in which governments almost everywhere exist in a state of sclerotic corruption and codependency with the international plutocracy that seems ultimately to serve only the families of the plutocrats.

May the meek inherit the Earth on the other side of this. And meanwhile, pity the poor broke Ukrainians, caught between two mad plutocracies who want the black Ukrainian soil but not their debts and who are trying to figure out if a war might give them clear title.

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