[OPE-L:6026] Re: rentier state

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 09:36:19 EDT

Re Rakesh's [6022]:

> Cyrus Bina argues here that it is America's aged oil fields, not coal,
> that determines energy prices.

This, however, is a very different explanation than that offered by Chibuzo
Nwoke cited in [6012]:

   "The actual world price of crude oil is thus governed by the individual
     price of coal production and the great demand for coal in the world
     energy market".

These positions are mutually contradictory. Do you now support Bina's
position rather than that of Nwoke?

> It seems that Osama bin Laden has not forgiven the US for pressuring the
> to contribute billions to the financing of the Afghan War only to then
> the Saudis in effect to pay for the occupation of their own land and to
> to the appropriation of monopoly profits by American companies.

This is speculative. What is not speculative, however (since bin Laden has
explicitly stated this) is that he has not forgiven the US for using
military bases in Saudi Arabia, which are not far from Islamic holy sites,
to attack Iraq in the Gulf War.  It would be most unwise, imo, to
the force of religious convictions in motivating bin Laden. He may be a
(heir to an enormous oil fortune) but he is motivated more than by the
credo to accumulate.

> By the way, I don't agree with Bina  that US is giving way to Japan in
terms of
> global hegemony.

The US may not be 'giving way', but it is no longer the hegemonic power that
it was in the post WW2 period since the US capitalist class now has
significant and powerful rivals in other nations, e.g. Japan and Germany
(and now
Europe). Of course, the US still has the preeminent military force in the
world (and the US$ is still the international currency for which US capital
significant economic advantages), but fantasies of a "New World Order" led
by the US  that developed at about the  time of the Gulf War (and the
euphoria accompanying the "failure of communism") have been blown
asunder in the subsequent period.

> However, the US ability to channel massive Saudi revenues may
> weaken...which would probably strengthen the tendency towards breakdown in
> American capitalism.

What is the 'tendency towards breakdown'  re US capitalism?

In solidarity, Jerry

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