Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics

Ever since Sen. William Knowland of California, beginning in the late 1940s, advocated for Taiwan, Chiang, and the liquidation of Mao, China, more even than Russia, has been code for mounting America’s most extreme reactionary policies, domestic and foreign. “The Fall of China” was a theme that vitalized the Right in America, feeding into HUAC, McCarthyism, an impetus to the larger Cold War itself—much of which had little to do with China, but served as a pretext for rolling back progressive energies and changes at home while simultaneously tilting US “defense” efforts increasingly toward global counterrevolution.

Not surprisingly, Taiwan is back in the news, not simply because of Trump’s election and the now-famous congratulatory phone call from its “president,” (quotation marks, because tokening an independence which plays into the larger scenario of a Chiang-like takeover of all of China, a militarized fascist formation aligned with America in the political-economic control of Asia), but because Trump is merely indicative of an accretive policy-making from the end of World War II to the present.

America has been on a joy ride for two-thirds of a century, bent on unilateral global hegemony, grabbing hold of every point of crisis, manufacturing many of them, for leverage in securing its position and resulting stabilization of a new status quo from which to go forward and expand. Cuba was America’s Caribbean Taiwan, Chile, its South American, etc., on a world basis, wherever Left forces, threatening American interests, appeared. The result, at home, of this steady pressure, was a paralysis of will to democratize the American social system. The US is what it is: artificially fear-driven to promote the social regimentation of its people as the ratifying condition for channeling its national wealth into military spending. Behemoth swallows up decent universal health care in its maw, just as it does constructive environmental measures, and other long-suppressed needs of the people.

Trump presses the right ideological button: Taiwan, ergo gross maldistribution of wealth at home, internment camps for immigrants, witch-hunts, enforced patriotism, the liberation of fascistic tendencies among American workers (an unpalatable truth, their presence, for radicals to admit, but amply borne out by the election results), the whole ball of wax characterizing where the United States is presently at, including the ranks of both major parties. Perhaps a new plateau has now been reached, with no systemic-structural-ideological turning back, a platform-change from crypto-fascism toward the full realization of the genuine article.

But it is a mistake to put the onus on Trump alone: he is a creature of American historical development, the molding and shaping of monopoly capitalism from at least 1900 on. Most recently, Bill Clinton had sent the fleet into the China Sea and Barack Obama, with his Pacific-first strategy and Trans-Pacific Partnership, has made no secret (except for doubletalk about trade) of the military significance of his so called “pivot,” to isolate and confront China. One wonders if Trump is emboldened to act now because of Obama’s already putting the policy framework and war machinery in place with respect to China?

From the announcement of his key positions thus far, it would be fatuous and blind to think a striking escalation of American militarism is not underway. As trending thusly before, the US nevertheless appears to be embarking on the Great Leap; this kind of political nihilism finds war irresistible, and, contemptuous of establishment-thinking in foreign policy (as witness raising the Taiwan issue), as bad as such thinking is, Trump is demonstrating that he is capable of far worse. Dulles brinkmanship is child’s-play in his hands. The modern-day quintessential world capitalist is baring his fangs, showing what is implicit or latent in the politicization of such a system. The roles are inseparable, a moral bankruptcy whether the insatiable desire to acquire more property, or to display power and strength for their own sake.

America is being hung on its own petard of wealth, status, and quest for dominance—not for the nation as such, though done in its name, but its ruling circles, which, in addition to industrial-commercial-financial elites, must also include the military, an amalgam of power-interests already historically identified with early-to-middle stages of fascism. Taiwan, then, is more than a blip on the political-ideological radar screen. Its treatment—I’m waiting, e.g., to see Mattis and Flynn, both having Trump’s ear, in action—is a harbinger of things to come.

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.

October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lockheed and Loaded: How the Maker of Junk Fighters Like the F-22 and F-35 Came to Have Full-Spectrum Dominance Over the Defense Industry
Lawrence Davidson
Israel’s “Psychological Obstacles to Peace”
Brian Platt – Brynn Roth
Black-Eyed Kids and Other Nightmares From the Suburbs
John W. Whitehead
You Want to Make America Great Again? Start by Making America Free Again
Zhivko Illeieff
Why Can’t the Democrats Reach the Millennials?
Steve Kelly
Quiet, Please! The Latest Threat to the Big Wild
Manuel García, Jr.
The Inner Dimensions of Socialist Revolution
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ Over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Adam Parsons
A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Crash
Binoy Kampmark
The Tyranny of Fashion: Shredding Banksy
Dean Baker
How Big is Big? Trump, the NYT and Foreign Aid
Vern Loomis
The Boofing of America
October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail