[OPE-L:6859] Re: Re: Iraq

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Tue Apr 02 2002 - 13:53:11 EST

In 6849 Cyrus writes:

>  US had hegemony as the
>apex of the post-war inter-state system of Pax Americana.  This system
>represented the organic whole of the imperialist as well as dominated
>('Third World') nations, which were a part and parcel of it.  For instance,
>Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcus of the Philippines, Somuza of Nicaragua,
>etc., etc., were as much as the part of this system as the United States.

>The implosion of the Pax Americana was self-inflicted but unintentional.
>The evolution of global social relations of capitalism did the job for them.
>But it did it in an awkward manner, like the 'history' itself.  These
>commotions, therefore, (as I, repeatedly, argued in my many pieces before,
>see, for instance, my pieces in Arab Studies Quarterly, 1993 and 1995) is
>due to the lack of US acceptance of being without 'hegemony'

Yet the dollar's role has world reserve currency has been 
strenghtened which in turn allows its financial sector to enjoy 
economies of scale and global competitive advantage; its military 
stands alone in its ability at global projection;  and its singularly 
vibrant market allows it to turn the threat of blocked access and 
protectionism into concessions; it has maintained a strong position 
in leading technologies (logic chips, software, medical equipment, 
pharmaeuticals, high tech arms) and services (e.g., the global 
position of Hollywood seems not to have weakened); despite its 
massive debt, its debt remains denominated in its own currency, thus 
reducing the risk of insolvency; it has been able to take advantage 
of recessions in Japan and slow growth elsewhere in the form of cheap 
raw materials, cheap consumer goods and cheap capital (the interest 
payments of US corporations have grown much more slowly than their 
actual debt load in the last ten years).

How has the US lost hegemony? Or how has the evolution of the global 
social relation undermined any bid at hegemony (this is indeed a very 
important hypothesis,  I believe)? And  I must also say that I find 
it quite illuminating to think of US foreign policy as reactionary in 
the precise sense that you articulate.

All the best, Rakesh

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