FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital

This week the conflict surfaced of the presumed difference between Trump’s economic nationalism and Clinton’s globalization, the former thought in the liberal media a betrayal of enlightened internationalism (similar to the condemnation of Britain’s exit from the EU) and, on the side of constructive economic statesmanship, a world order of free trade and peaceful harmony. The Great Obfuscation: Both are mere alternative strategies to ensuring US unilateral global hegemony, to be realized through military power and a geopolitical framework of counterrevolution. Trump and Clinton feed from the same Wall Street trough. Both are imperialist, their differences cosmetic, confrontational with respect to Russia and China, unquestioning about America’s right to dictate the conditions, acceptance, and demand for systemic legitimacy of world capitalism (under, of course, US leadership).

Foreign policy is the elephant in the room, more decisive than domestic policy, though crowded off the stage (both Sanders and Warren conspicuous by their silence) in defining America’s progression down the road to fascism. Trump and Clinton both have willing accomplices to that end in a white working class that, unlike fifty-sixty years ago possessed the democratic vitality for preserving and pushing further a radical agenda of social welfare, and now a kept class ideologically beaten down so far as to throw in its lot with the forces of reaction and, in trickle-down fashion, upper capitalism itself.

Whether Trump rejects Nafta and TPP or Clinton accepts them, discounting for rhetorical flourishes, each wants an hierarchical social order favoring economic consolidation, the interpenetration of government and business to ensure the farcical nature of the regulatory process, and environmental degradation through lax standards and winking at corporate abuse. In sum, both, in close embrace, have a seat on Obama’s lap—the National Security State as a shill for corporatism in America.

Meanwhile, the Left has been noticeably quiet, or perhaps no longer exists as the fighter for peace and social justice, tied up in knots by the flight to the culture wars as a substitute for engaging in the struggle to democratize foreign and domestic policy. America has become the bastion of Reaction, quibbling, as in this election, over how best to maintain dominance abroad, a class system in denial of its basic inequality at home. Why not fascism? For many in society the name is off-putting, but the spirit of authoritarianism is not, nor the viciousness in defending capitalism against all comers. The nation is further away from democracy than ever before. Anti-immigrant feeling is an excellent indicator; callousness to human suffering, the detachment that sees only Americans as capable of bleeding, that universal humanity is some sort of Left-propaganda, that no child should experience privation, a subversive principle, shame on what we’ve become.

It would be less hypocritical if there were a Trump-Clinton ticket (either one on top) devoted to military supremacy and capitalist peak-intensity, than what we have at present. And those of us fooled by Sanders and Warren, nibbling at the edges of the Left while leaving the essential conditions intact for a corporate-financial-military unified ruling group to guide US policy, have still not reacted to the obvious betrayal. The two parties have proven their underlying similarity, white workers split between them, forming a bridge to the homogenization of American politics steps closer to, beyond what once was termed plutocracy, a feel-good cauldron of hate waving the banner of exceptionalism.

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 06, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 and the Failures of Capitalism
W. T. Whitney
Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die
Cesar Chelala
Cuba’s Promising Approach to Cancer
David A. Schultz
Camus and Kübler-Ross in a Time of COVID-19 and Trump
Nomi Prins 
Wall Street Wins, Again: Bailouts in the Time of Coronavirus
Dean Baker
Getting to Medicare-for-All, Eventually
Dave Lindorff
Neither Pandemic Nor Economic Collapse is Going to Be a Short-Lived Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
Capitalism in America Has Dropped the Mask: Its Face is Cruel and Selfish
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 7 Pro-Contagion Reversals Increase the Coronavirus Toll
David Swanson
A Department of Actual Defense in a Time of Coronavirus
Ellen Brown
Was the Fed Just Nationalized?
Jeff Birkenstein
Postcards From Trump
Nick Licata
Authoritarian Leaders Rejected the Danger of a COVID-19 Pandemic Because It Challenged Their Image
Kathy Kelly
“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”
Graham Peebles
Change Love and the Need for Unity
Kim C. Domenico
Can We Transform Fear to Strength In A Time of Pandemic?
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Files Lawsuit to Stop Logging and Burning Project in Rocky Mountain Front Inventoried Roadless Area
Stephen Cooper
“The Soul Syndicate members dem, dem are all icons”: an Interview with Tony Chin
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
Kathleen Wallace
The Highly Contagious Idea
Kenneth Good
The Apartheid Wars: Non-Accountability and Freedom for Perpetrators.
Andrew Levine
Democracy in America: Sorry, But You Can’t Get There from Here.
Ramzy Baroud
Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the State-of-Emergency Pandemic
Matthew Stevenson
Will Trump Cancel the Election? Will the Democrats Dump Joe?
Ron Jacobs
Seattle—Anti-Capitalist Hotbed
Michael T. Klare
Avenger Planet: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature’s Response to Human Transgression?
Jack Rasmus
COVID-19 and the Forgotten Working Class
Werner Lange
The Madness of More Nukes and Less Rights in Pandemic Times
J.P. Linstroth
Why a Race is Not a Virus and a Virus is Not a Race
John Feffer
We Need a Coronavirus Truce
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”: the Ultimate Floating Signifier
Victor Grossman
Corona and What Then?
Katie Fite
Permanent Pandemic on Public Lands: Welfare Sheep Ranchers and Their Enablers Hold the West’s Bighorns Hostage
Patrick Bond
Covid-19 Attacks the Down-and-Out in Ultra-Unequal South Africa
Eve Ottenberg
Capitalism vs. Humanity
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran
Jonas Ecke
Would Dying for the Economy Help Anybody?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail