RE: [OPE] industrial capital is shifting to .... and imperialist rivalry

Date: Thu Sep 11 2008 - 10:02:35 EDT

> I was wondering how long the US can continue expending $430 billion on defence when its budget deficit is $400 billion with> a trade deficit with China alone of around $250 billion.> The Republicans who are saying that the USA has got to be tough on Russia and China, don't seem to realize> the extent to which US forces are being subsidized by the central banks of these countries buying US debt.> In the event of a serious escalation of inter-imperialist rivalry, would a block made up of China and Russia> not be in a position to significantly out produce the USA, whilst at the same time starving the US govt of> the funds needed to maintain its overseas adventures?
Hi Paul C:
Yes, China and Russia can exert a lot of leverage on the US
economy - if they want to. But, do they want to? So far,
I think their (non-) actions indicate an unwillingness to use
that leverage because they feel that although they can hurt
the US's economy they will also hurt their own. Yet, both
countries are clearly tired of being dictated to by the US
government and hence may want to demonstrate some economic
'muscle'. For example, if China instructed some of the lending
institutions to sell off US debt, then it would send a 'message'
to the US government. The 'message', of course, would be that
if you continue with aggressive policies and other policies we
strongly object to, then we can do a lot _more_.
The leverage that the US has is its knowledge that if
China and Russia were to withdraw capital from the US
it would hurt not only the US economy but also the
world capitalist economy including Russia and China.
The US, of course, has muscle of its own: military muscle.
But, they are not _so_ crazy that they would launch
military actions against either Russia or China. But, they
could send a 'message' of their own by invading a smaller
country which has (non-military) alliances with Russia or
This kind of 'gamesmanship' (reminiscent, tactically, of the
'Cold War') is a recipe for heightened inter-imperialist rivalries
- especially since none of the above actions would resolve any
of the underlying conflicts.
I think that Russia and China (and a lot of the rest of
the world) are somewhat in a waiting pattern - hoping that a
change in administration in the US (a Obama presidency or -
more likely - a McCain presidency) will emphasize diplomacy more
and saber rattling less. This may or may not be a futile hope.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Thu Sep 11 10:07:34 2008

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