Change of plans

Our feral elite have a new economic plan to re-shore American manufacturing, but it’s not in response to the bombed out cities and towns, the neglected infrastructure, or the deaths of despair that made the election of Donald Trump not just probable but inevitable. No, it’s because they want a war with China to maintain the neocon inspired imperialist strategy of seeking world dominance.

What’s humorous is that the US, after lecturing the world on the benefits of open markets and free flows of capital with a religious fervor, is enacting tariffs and planning on industrial policies. Secretary Yellen recently delivered a speech on the U.S.-China relationship, implying that China largely had prospered on the back of this Anglo, ‘free workings’ market order; yet now was pivoting toward a state-driven posture: one that “is confrontational towards the U.S. and its allies”. The U.S. wants to co-operate with China, but wholly and exclusively on its own terms, she said.

Then there’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan’s ‘New Washington Consensus’ speech in which the entire trend of policy, since the Reagan years, is scheduled to be reversed – from a return to protectionism; to central government intervention in support of industrial policy; to a bold investment in capacity-building;‘resilience’ and the re-appropriation of internal supply chains.

This is not however a true blueprint for reforming the U.S. economy – though it is billed as such. True reform would require huge structural change. In reality it’s all about re-orientating the economy for possible conventional war with China. The Biden administration has imposed unprecedented export bans on semiconductor technology to China. The U.S. wants to curb China’s economy for its own gain and to hamper the development of a multipolar global economy. The real concern is that U.S. dominance and its dollar hegemony are threatened by China’s growing economic power.

What’s ironic is that the US has spent the last 30 odd years shipping manufacturing to China as a way to screw workers and eviscerate American labor unions for the sake of short-term profits, while celebrating globalized supply chains. By offshoring its manufacturing jobs, the global corporations destroyed the American middle class and the ladders to upward mobility that had made America the land of opportunity. Today many former American manufacturing and industrial cities look like the remains of bombed cities. In the process the plan was to financialize the Chinese economy and turn their elite into compradors. The aim of which was to transform them into becoming docile, compliant vassal colonies of the United States, using the illusions of democracy, human rights, liberty, and other Color Revolution slogans of political misdirection.

Funny how that’s not how our feral elite describe their project to colonize China.

We saw a baby shark and thought that we could transform it into a dolphin over time, to become a friendly sort of system,” Pottinger said. “Instead, what we did was we kept feeding the shark and the shark got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And now we’re dealing with a formidable, great white.”

“With a shark you put up a shark cage,” added Pottinger. “The shark doesn’t take it personally. It bumps into the cage. It respects those barriers.”

That one way to put it. Like I said before–the national security state doesn’t provide security for you and me. It’s geared to provide security for US multi-national corporations and their Wall Street owners, which is why they off-shored US manufacturing to begin with. Because it was profitable.

And, by the way, if John and Jane Q. Public embraces this narrative they’re even dumber than I thought.

But you never know.

What’s been absolutely astounding is the economic development subplot to the dust up. The US, for the last 40 odd years has devotedly followed the neoliberal playbook, privatizing, financializing, and undermining labor, while China has followed the model the US originally used to industrialize. While China has gone from strength to strength, the neoliberal transformation in the US has led to an economic catastrophe.

Even the “so-called” industrial policies called for in the manifestos mentioned earlier are bogus. If you look closely, what’s passing for industrial policy is essentially still neoliberalism, which is to say giving more subsidies to big corporations. Because neoliberalism, for all the talk about free markets and free trade, has ever been about governments favoring corporations by giving them low interest credit, privatizing assets so these companies can get even bigger, giving them subsidies, etc. Neoliberalism, in reality is a rentier economy that pretends to be pro-growth but it’s just an extractive economy rather than a productive one.

Then there’s the purpose of US neoliberal-based imperialism which is to constantly open up more and more of the world to US corporations so they could have access to markets, investment opportunities and profit opportunities and cheap labor and cheap materials. And that’s what really sticks in the craw of our feral elite. China was to be the big prize but instead, China has industrialized contra to neoliberal diktats. They have maintained a productive economy managed by the state rather than a rentier economy managed by Wall Street.

It’s no wonder they’re clamoring for war.

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