[OPE-L:6027] rentier state

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 12:07:57 EDT

Jerry writes:

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

jerry, i am not in a position to render judgement on theories of energy 
pricing; i was just reporting different theories. however both theories put 
potential surplus profits at the hands of the Saudi state. 

 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. 

bin laden has also unequivocally railed against the robbery of oil wealth.  

jerry notes that

" 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."
i do doubt that in the absence of the precipituous decline in Saudi incomes in 
the last twenty years that Osama bin Laden would be able to recruit so 
successfully against the US occupation of holy sites.  many saudis seem 
convinced that since the americans are not needed for protection after the 
decimation of saddam, they are only there to ensure that saudi oil wealth is 
essentially controlled and invested by American interests and that Saudi wealth 
is invested in the US and Europe. It is in this context (as well as the loss of 
Arab land to invaders) that the american occupation of holy sites is 
experienced as so humiliating, imo.


jerry then writes:

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

yes but what puzzles me about bina's argument about the decline of US hegemony 
is own documenting of the overwhelming success by the US in channeling the 
Saudi's massive dollar reserves towards it own objectives. 
jerry then notes

 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.

the dollar is still the international reserve currency despite the introduction 
of the euro.  as the article from the economist suggested, this is in part due 
to the continued pricing of oil in dollars. 
lastly jerry asks:

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


i was unsurprisingly referring to grossmann's theory, and saying that the 
injection of surplus value into the US capitalist system by Saudi holding of US 
treasury debt probably weakens that tendency. 


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