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The fall of America’s benevolent empire There will be no more Marshall Plans

Truman’s world no longer exists (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Truman’s world no longer exists (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


April 3, 2023   5 mins

Exactly 75 years ago, the foundation stone of the transatlantic relationship was laid. After the Marshall Plan was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, the US would go on to send billions of dollars in economic assistance to help rebuild Western Europe after the Second World War, laying the groundwork for a mutually beneficial North Atlantic alliance that offered Europe several decades of economic prosperity and military security. America, the President claimed, would be “the first great nation to feed and support the conquered”.

Today, Truman’s world no longer exists. Indeed, the contrast between the Marshall Plan and America’s approach to Europe today couldn’t be more jarring. The Marshall Plan may still be regarded as one of the pillars of America’s post-war mythology, but under Biden, America is pursuing an isolationist economic policy and a ham-fisted foreign policy that both run counter to Europe’s vital interests. Moreover, the actual impact of the Marshall Plan is also worth reassessing.

In spite of the largesse and generosity usually associated with the European Recovery Program, as it was officially called, between 1948 and 1951 the funds actually only amounted to about 3% of the combined GDP of the recipient countries, accounting for a direct increase in GDP growth of less than 0.5%. Some authors have credited the Marshall Plan with having a much larger indirect effect on the recovery, through the promotion of a macroeconomic environment conducive to growth, but such analyses are largely speculative. Overall, its contribution to Europe’s recovery was relatively modest. Much of the money also flowed back to the US in the form of purchases of American goods and services, including oil, while many of the materials and equipment used to rebuild Europe were supplied by American companies, creating jobs and profits for American businesses.

Regardless of the actual economic impact of the Marshall Plan, there is no doubt that it was a resounding political success for America — to the extent that it secured US geopolitical influence and control over Western Europe. Part of the logic was that more prosperous societies would be less amenable to communist and Soviet influence — though, as we have seen, it’s questionable whether the programme had much of an impact on economic and social gains during the post-war boom.

An arguably more important channel through which the Marshall Plan consolidated US influence was through the funds it channelled to those European centre-right parties which stood to gain from being integrated into the nascent American empire. This included covert CIA funds to ensure their electoral success — especially in Italy and France — at the expense of communist rivals. As the historian Sallie Pisani shows in her book The CIA and the Marshall Plan, under the guise of the Marshall Plan, the US used “massive foreign aid and non-military covert operations to reshape war-torn Europe in the image of the US”.

Just as crucially, the Marshall Plan was also a key catalyst for the formation of Nato, through which the US exerted its military control over Western Europe — in addition to dozens of military bases, especially in the defeated nations, many of which still exist today. The Marshall Plan also played an important role in fostering European integration, by creating new intergovernmental institutions to administer and coordinate the programme. These included the OEEC, the precursor to the OECD, and most importantly the Schuman Plan, which led to the European Coal and Steel Community, then the European Economic Community and ultimately the European Union. The Americans also played a crucial role in promoting, also financially, the cause of European federalism through the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), founded in 1948, whose first chairman was the former head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) William Joseph Donovan. The vice-chairman was Allen Welsh Dulles, who would later become the head of the CIA.

Taken as a whole, then, the Marshall Plan appears to embody a form of “benevolent imperialism”, through which the US gained control over Western Europe and cemented its position as a global superpower, while also fostering, for much of the post-war period, economic prosperity and — at least until the end of the Soviet Union — military security on the continent. Europe clearly benefited from the spoils of empire, even if in a subordinate position.

Today, however, this no longer seems true. In economic terms, over the past six months, Europe has seen a massive fall in industrial output while governments have been forced to foot an €800 billion energy bill as a result of their decision to follow the US strategy in Ukraine. Riots have broken out in France and there is no reason to think they won’t spread. A European-wide poll taken in October last year showed that a majority of voters in Europe’s four largest countries expected social unrest and public protests in the coming months due to rising living costs. Meanwhile, senior EU officials have accused the US of profiting from the war — and from Europe’s hardship. Not only is it reaping the benefits of Europe’s switch to American natural gas, but it is also the main beneficiary of Europe’s rearmament.

Moreover, anger has also been mounting in Europe over America’s Inflation Reduction Act, a $369-billion package of subsidies and tax breaks enacted by the Biden Administration to boost American manufacturing (under the guise of the “green shift”). One may call it a Marshall Plan of sorts — but one that is directed at America, not Europe. Indeed, from a European perspective, the bill constitutes a protectionist measure that encourages companies to shift investments from Europe and incentivises customers to “Buy American”, dealing a serious blow to Europe’s already struggling industry. The president of Imperial College London recently said that the IRA represents an “existential threat” to European economies. Even Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, not known for being critical of American policies, last week criticised Biden’s “massively distortive” investment plan.

Such concerns might seem hyperbolic, but they highlight the cognitive dissonance of most members of the European establishment. On the one hand, they are constantly forced to repeat public platitudes about Western unity and resolve; on the other, they are slowly beginning to realise that America is playing its own game, and it doesn’t include Europe, which is no longer seen as a strategic ally anymore but as a competitor and a rival.

In security terms, things aren’t looking much better for Europe, which is looking more vulnerable today than it has been for decades. As the possibility of a direct Nato-Russia confrontation becomes more likely, what used to be a security umbrella today looks more like a big flashing target. From America’s perspective, however, the conflict has been an opportunity to reassert its waning hegemony over Europe, first and foremost by revamping and expanding Nato, which was going through an existential crisis prior to the conflict. Indeed, from America’s perspective, this was likely a desired outcome. Driving a wedge between Europe (and Germany in particular) and Russia, and preventing the rise of a Eurasian geopolitical reality, has always been an American geopolitical imperative. No wonder some thought the US was behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline, which severed Russian-German relations.

In this context, why should Europe remain anchored to the US? Especially when we consider the radical geopolitical realignment that is underway. As I noted recently, the conflict in Ukraine has accelerated the rise of a new international order in which American dominance is losing its attraction. US actions in Ukraine have driven together its two greatest adversaries, Russia and China, whom along with India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa and dozens of other countries comprising most of the world’s population are giving rise to the world’s largest and most dynamic trading bloc — and the US is not part of it. In only the past few days, two important events gave further impetus to this trend: Brazil and China reached a deal to trade using their own currencies rather than the US dollar, while China’s national oil company CNOOC and France’s TotalEnergies completed China’s first LNG trade settled in yuan. All of which points to the increasing isolation of the US from the rest of the world, and a dramatic reduction in its influence and ability to extract resources which it can then distribute to its protectorate states.

In other words, the America of the Marshall Plan is gone — and in its place, China hopes that its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will become the new economic engine of the post-Western bloc. Many in the West are suspicious of the BRI, but this has not stopped 147 countries — including 18 EU states — from signing up to its promise of connecting Asia with the rest of the world through infrastructure, investments and trade.

Should we be surprised? Our age of uncertainty is the perfect stage for a new Marshall Plan. And while Truman’s world may no longer exist, that doesn’t mean China can’t recreate it.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Steven Targett
Steven Targett
1 year ago

The author lost me when he included South Africa in the list of rising powers. The current government is on the verge of collapsing the state. Energy, transport and mining are on the verge of collapse due to rampant corruption. Another 10 years and SA will be another Chinese satrapy along with so many other African countries. Its past time for Europe to take on it’s own defence, something which has been shamefully neglected since the end of the Cold War especially by Germany.

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

South Africa – Zimbabwe 30 years ago.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

Chinese satrapy tends not to involve prior regime change and prelminary carpet bombing so has a few advantages over US satrapy..

Anwar Shah
Anwar Shah
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

All ended after Brandon and his allies blew ul his allies pipelines

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

South Africa – Zimbabwe 30 years ago.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

Chinese satrapy tends not to involve prior regime change and prelminary carpet bombing so has a few advantages over US satrapy..

Anwar Shah
Anwar Shah
1 year ago
Reply to  Steven Targett

All ended after Brandon and his allies blew ul his allies pipelines

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
1 year ago

The author lost me when he included South Africa in the list of rising powers. The current government is on the verge of collapsing the state. Energy, transport and mining are on the verge of collapse due to rampant corruption. Another 10 years and SA will be another Chinese satrapy along with so many other African countries. Its past time for Europe to take on it’s own defence, something which has been shamefully neglected since the end of the Cold War especially by Germany.

J Guy
J Guy
1 year ago

I am always suspicious of articles that reference accusations as substance, or self-reference the author’s own opinion as if it were a valid data point. Many of us in America are very troubled by Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine, despite it being far more vital to Western Europe‘s interests than our own.

Enough with this nonsense about American Empire, we spent a lot of blood and treasure to help stabilize Europe in the 1940s because it was ultimately in our interests to do so. There’s nothing wrong with countries acting in their own best interests, in fact it’s what our leaders are democratically elected (as opposed to those in Russia and China) to do.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Great. Just don’t expect europe to have those same interests. Besides the destruction of the pipelines (which might well have caused a permanent reduction in German output), there’s all the destabilising caused by American adventurism in North Africa and the Middle East. As well as that there’s the insanity of US ideologies like trans and anti whiteness (the latter being a clear disaster for European identity).

All of this is destabilising.

astralplainer
astralplainer
1 year ago

Europe doesn’t, but the EU clearly does.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  astralplainer

Does what?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  astralplainer

Does what?

Tim D
Tim D
1 year ago

Europe could have moved towards Solar Cells when President Jimmy Carter installed them on the White House roof on the 1970’s instead of damaging fossil fuels.
Let’s review what has happened historically where the US withdraws presence. A World where the US did not fight against the Germans? Sp the alternative is the failing destructive Russian life or oppressive China one think about Japan)? The handwriting is on the wall. Saudi Arabia for one has foolishly burned their oil putting the wealth at the top.
Healthy Humans insist on honest choice. Those that have no choice often settle for the illusion of control, sold with illusion. Let’s learn from the recent AI meltdowns to understand that collective action is powerful but needs checks. Unattended Big Data leads to disaster when it is one-way, top/down).
It also occurred to me how much trouble those countries which either ban religion or install one to power are messing up the world. The economic conflict instigated by the Russian Orthodox Church is unappreciated in Ukraine. There needs to be honest accounting.
Sophistry is the weapon. Corporations run on verbal deals, can be put on the shelf; the written contracts pretend while actions are behind closed doors. No need for continued nourishment or housing just dissolve and transfer the assets. When equated with People in Federal Rights, Corporations make the individual disappear. How absurd. 
Without representation to the Central Government for each Individual, economic gears grind and rust and eventually stop turning in a global system. Originalism wants those rights to flow thru the States, stealing their profit. That is the brilliance of our US Bill of Rights – a direct say in the Central Controls. Without individual consent to be governed, the top will fall and faster than most will predict. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Tim D
Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim D

Solar cells – useless at night, and not green in manufacture in the first place.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim D

Firstly, it was the Russians who defeated Nazi Germany with minor involvement from the West.. in the ratio of 20:1. The US arrived very late to mop up and ensure European indebtedness to US banks.
Secondly, Saudi Arabia has ceased doing the US’s bidding only because the USD/petrodollar is doomed.
American infrastructure is crumbling, US debt is unsustainable, US Militarism is put of control, US politics belong in Alice’s Wonderland and civil war is close.
Any country with a lick of sense is running a mile from the declining USD and from US hegemony and exceptionalism. A few are hanging on grimly, some hopeful in the face of hopelessness and most fearful of brutal reprisals.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim D

Solar cells – useless at night, and not green in manufacture in the first place.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim D

Firstly, it was the Russians who defeated Nazi Germany with minor involvement from the West.. in the ratio of 20:1. The US arrived very late to mop up and ensure European indebtedness to US banks.
Secondly, Saudi Arabia has ceased doing the US’s bidding only because the USD/petrodollar is doomed.
American infrastructure is crumbling, US debt is unsustainable, US Militarism is put of control, US politics belong in Alice’s Wonderland and civil war is close.
Any country with a lick of sense is running a mile from the declining USD and from US hegemony and exceptionalism. A few are hanging on grimly, some hopeful in the face of hopelessness and most fearful of brutal reprisals.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago

The first thing most European nations do is call for U.S. military forces to interfere, if there is a conflict or civil war taking place in Europe (also in the aftermath of the break up of Yugoslavia), because they don’t have proper military forces themselves. Right now the Green/Socialists in Germany are the fiercest war mongers, after they tried for decades to cut the German defence budget. The irony is that the current German Chancellor very reluctantly parts with their meagre military equipment, but calls on everybody else to help.
There is still no iron clad prove, that the destruction of the gas pipeline was done by the U.S. Also the German leftist government cut itself off Russian gas supply, long before the explosions happened. You don’t need to have any pity for the German reduction of industrial output as they are doing enough destruction themselves, deindustrialising their country with their radical Green agenda.
I agree that the US had too many “adventures” in the Middle East and the leftists‘ trans and anti whiteness cults there are insane. But it seems the Europeans happily picked up this cultish behaviour. Look at leading British politicians bending their knees to BLM and getting themselves twisted in all the trans issues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You forget: this is not a Europe v Russia war, this is a NATO, ie USA v Russia proxy war.. so I as a European say to you: fight your wars and stay the hell out if Europe! Everywhere you go death and destruction is all you bring, unlike China and Russia that have never invaded other nations, nor enslaved their people, nor bombed them into oblivion like the US has done 50+ times in the last 30 years with a death toll of 6 million and counting!

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Btw. I am a European too…
In your opinion it is not a European /Russian war? But European governments are begging the US to interfere. Finland just joined NATO ( both Socialists and Conservatives agreed for once on this policy) Eastern European countries couldn’t wait to join NATO after the fall of the wall. Most of its peoples have a historical fear of Russia. I have Eastern European relatives and therefore know enough of their loathing of the historic behaviour of the Russian “Empire” towards Eastern Europe.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Btw. I am a European too…
In your opinion it is not a European /Russian war? But European governments are begging the US to interfere. Finland just joined NATO ( both Socialists and Conservatives agreed for once on this policy) Eastern European countries couldn’t wait to join NATO after the fall of the wall. Most of its peoples have a historical fear of Russia. I have Eastern European relatives and therefore know enough of their loathing of the historic behaviour of the Russian “Empire” towards Eastern Europe.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You forget: this is not a Europe v Russia war, this is a NATO, ie USA v Russia proxy war.. so I as a European say to you: fight your wars and stay the hell out if Europe! Everywhere you go death and destruction is all you bring, unlike China and Russia that have never invaded other nations, nor enslaved their people, nor bombed them into oblivion like the US has done 50+ times in the last 30 years with a death toll of 6 million and counting!

astralplainer
astralplainer
1 year ago

Europe doesn’t, but the EU clearly does.

Tim D
Tim D
1 year ago

Europe could have moved towards Solar Cells when President Jimmy Carter installed them on the White House roof on the 1970’s instead of damaging fossil fuels.
Let’s review what has happened historically where the US withdraws presence. A World where the US did not fight against the Germans? Sp the alternative is the failing destructive Russian life or oppressive China one think about Japan)? The handwriting is on the wall. Saudi Arabia for one has foolishly burned their oil putting the wealth at the top.
Healthy Humans insist on honest choice. Those that have no choice often settle for the illusion of control, sold with illusion. Let’s learn from the recent AI meltdowns to understand that collective action is powerful but needs checks. Unattended Big Data leads to disaster when it is one-way, top/down).
It also occurred to me how much trouble those countries which either ban religion or install one to power are messing up the world. The economic conflict instigated by the Russian Orthodox Church is unappreciated in Ukraine. There needs to be honest accounting.
Sophistry is the weapon. Corporations run on verbal deals, can be put on the shelf; the written contracts pretend while actions are behind closed doors. No need for continued nourishment or housing just dissolve and transfer the assets. When equated with People in Federal Rights, Corporations make the individual disappear. How absurd. 
Without representation to the Central Government for each Individual, economic gears grind and rust and eventually stop turning in a global system. Originalism wants those rights to flow thru the States, stealing their profit. That is the brilliance of our US Bill of Rights – a direct say in the Central Controls. Without individual consent to be governed, the top will fall and faster than most will predict. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Tim D
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago

The first thing most European nations do is call for U.S. military forces to interfere, if there is a conflict or civil war taking place in Europe (also in the aftermath of the break up of Yugoslavia), because they don’t have proper military forces themselves. Right now the Green/Socialists in Germany are the fiercest war mongers, after they tried for decades to cut the German defence budget. The irony is that the current German Chancellor very reluctantly parts with their meagre military equipment, but calls on everybody else to help.
There is still no iron clad prove, that the destruction of the gas pipeline was done by the U.S. Also the German leftist government cut itself off Russian gas supply, long before the explosions happened. You don’t need to have any pity for the German reduction of industrial output as they are doing enough destruction themselves, deindustrialising their country with their radical Green agenda.
I agree that the US had too many “adventures” in the Middle East and the leftists‘ trans and anti whiteness cults there are insane. But it seems the Europeans happily picked up this cultish behaviour. Look at leading British politicians bending their knees to BLM and getting themselves twisted in all the trans issues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

I am not sure it was the Marshall Plan that was the enabler, although it was a stimulus. The US pact was protecting free trade for all who aligned with the US security model. The US acted in its own interests which aligned with the rest of Europe with the spectre of the USSR and nuclear war hanging over it. The way that this model has enabled globalism might have been an unintended consequence that has been regrettable.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

…or of course it might have been the plan all along. Sometimes the simple, obvious, clear option is the correct one.. especially when all the evidence points in that direction! Duh..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

…or of course it might have been the plan all along. Sometimes the simple, obvious, clear option is the correct one.. especially when all the evidence points in that direction! Duh..

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

The US is not a democracy – it is an oligarchy. Oh yes, the people have a vote but only after all candidates with even the faintest hope of securing power are carefully vetted by Big Money (the oligarchy). The power of the oligarchy was massively increased in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled 5:4 in favour of allowing large corporations the freedom to finance political campaigns – thus making it virtually impossible for alternative candidates to match the almost unlimited funding available from the oligarchy for their pre-vetted candidates.

So in reality it’s much the same as Russia or China – except, of course, that there are more people incarcerated per capita in the US than in either Russia or China.
Politics in the US is pure theatre with the script written by the Koch brothers et al.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

“The US is not a democracy – it is an oligarchy.”

“the Supreme Court ruled 5:4 in favour of allowing large corporations the freedom to finance political campaigns”

“it’s much the same as Russia or China”

“Koch brothers et al”

I’m sure we’ve all met people who talk like this and wished we could help.

jonathan Rothermere
jonathan Rothermere
1 year ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

Sadly the type of help we can offer is not the medical kind.

jonathan Rothermere
jonathan Rothermere
1 year ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

Sadly the type of help we can offer is not the medical kind.

jonathan Rothermere
jonathan Rothermere
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

You really believe that the US is the same as Russia and China and offers the same quality of life, opportunity and justice system? Have you ever been to Russia or China or read about the frequent disappearances and failed flying attempts out of high rise buildings?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Ahh yes. The good ole Koch brothers. The one and only family that the left can still use to counter the serious billionaires on the left, who represent the plank in your eye.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

It’s not just the Koch brothers there is so many disgustingly wealthy that we don’t know about, who pour money into elections on both sides making it impossible for a candidate who is not self-serving to win. It’s quite hopeless.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

It’s not just the Koch brothers there is so many disgustingly wealthy that we don’t know about, who pour money into elections on both sides making it impossible for a candidate who is not self-serving to win. It’s quite hopeless.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

This is correct. And just as US Big Pharma profited from the not-a-pandemic, so the US Arms Industry is profiting from the war in Ukraine.
They both have more than enough reason as sinful and greedy people to want both to continue as long as possible. Which is desperately sad for the people of Ukraine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic S
stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

The difference is that the US is 90% responsible for Big Pharma/NIAID/GDA/Chapel Hill manipulation of the planet’s health (Wuhan gets the other 10%) whereas the US defence industry can thank Putin without taking any real credit.

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

The difference is that the US is 90% responsible for Big Pharma/NIAID/GDA/Chapel Hill manipulation of the planet’s health (Wuhan gets the other 10%) whereas the US defence industry can thank Putin without taking any real credit.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Hurrah! You have put into words exactly what I have always thought. America may have (roughly) the same language as us but they are nothing like us (or other western democracies) with their skewed electoral and voting system, political court justice. biased sentencing,and all-powerful Head of State.
But worse than that, they will lead us into another world war.through their dominant position in NATO. .

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Question: would you rather live in China/Russia or in the US? Because you are writing pretty simple stuff here…

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
cj 0
cj 0
1 year ago

The poster may not be making the most artful of arguments but it’s supported by the data and research. There’s a couple of relevant studies but Page & Gilens, Northwestern & Princeton, I remember. They reviewed 20 yrs of public opinion surveys of proposed legislation or policy changes. Selecting only surveys including respondents income, the answers of medium income voters were used to represent average citizens and the 90th %tile income respondents to represent economic elites. A third group of special interests, lobbyists & industries created and their positions on the legislation/policies was compiled and included.

What they found was average citizens only get what they want when it coincides with the preferences of the elites & interest groups. 90% of America has virtually no effect on policy.  https://bit.ly/3U4xPAL

He’s not wrong on campaign finance either, but it’s complex, you can research it for detail but briefly: early 2000 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act passed. Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit sought an injunction to be exempted from one section. It made it’s way to SCOTUS in 2010 which went way broader in it’s consideration than the original petition and effectively said political spending is a form of free speech, protected under the First Amendment, effectively opening the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to support their chosen political candidates. Then further court challenges limited individual spending while creating Super Pacs to which individual millions flowed..

So yes, it’s fair to say we are an Oligarchy. Our financing law has managed, through a combination of legislation and court rulings, to allow a small group of wealthy elites/corps decide who’s elected and how they govern.

Last edited 1 year ago by cj 0
cj 0
cj 0
1 year ago

The poster may not be making the most artful of arguments but it’s supported by the data and research. There’s a couple of relevant studies but Page & Gilens, Northwestern & Princeton, I remember. They reviewed 20 yrs of public opinion surveys of proposed legislation or policy changes. Selecting only surveys including respondents income, the answers of medium income voters were used to represent average citizens and the 90th %tile income respondents to represent economic elites. A third group of special interests, lobbyists & industries created and their positions on the legislation/policies was compiled and included.

What they found was average citizens only get what they want when it coincides with the preferences of the elites & interest groups. 90% of America has virtually no effect on policy.  https://bit.ly/3U4xPAL

He’s not wrong on campaign finance either, but it’s complex, you can research it for detail but briefly: early 2000 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act passed. Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit sought an injunction to be exempted from one section. It made it’s way to SCOTUS in 2010 which went way broader in it’s consideration than the original petition and effectively said political spending is a form of free speech, protected under the First Amendment, effectively opening the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to support their chosen political candidates. Then further court challenges limited individual spending while creating Super Pacs to which individual millions flowed..

So yes, it’s fair to say we are an Oligarchy. Our financing law has managed, through a combination of legislation and court rulings, to allow a small group of wealthy elites/corps decide who’s elected and how they govern.

Last edited 1 year ago by cj 0
Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

“The US is not a democracy – it is an oligarchy.”

“the Supreme Court ruled 5:4 in favour of allowing large corporations the freedom to finance political campaigns”

“it’s much the same as Russia or China”

“Koch brothers et al”

I’m sure we’ve all met people who talk like this and wished we could help.

jonathan Rothermere
jonathan Rothermere
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

You really believe that the US is the same as Russia and China and offers the same quality of life, opportunity and justice system? Have you ever been to Russia or China or read about the frequent disappearances and failed flying attempts out of high rise buildings?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Ahh yes. The good ole Koch brothers. The one and only family that the left can still use to counter the serious billionaires on the left, who represent the plank in your eye.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

This is correct. And just as US Big Pharma profited from the not-a-pandemic, so the US Arms Industry is profiting from the war in Ukraine.
They both have more than enough reason as sinful and greedy people to want both to continue as long as possible. Which is desperately sad for the people of Ukraine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic S
Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Hurrah! You have put into words exactly what I have always thought. America may have (roughly) the same language as us but they are nothing like us (or other western democracies) with their skewed electoral and voting system, political court justice. biased sentencing,and all-powerful Head of State.
But worse than that, they will lead us into another world war.through their dominant position in NATO. .

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Question: would you rather live in China/Russia or in the US? Because you are writing pretty simple stuff here…

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Nothing wrong with that, and Europe was deeply grateful. That being the foundation of this essay. That things change is also natural, as is that American and European interests might diverge. And diverge they most assuredly have. The thing about US perspectives on Europe is that they invariably come from an air of superiority, as though Europe were a perpetually poor cousin waiting to borrow money at every turn. A Europe barely recovered from the bombing of WWII, as though history were frozen in time for 80 years. A ‘West Side Story’ view of Italy, in particular, where “Every-teenk-oh-khay-eeen-Ameerrrikah.”. Ah, those comedic Latin cousins of Mussolini! Whereas in truth Europe is in infinitely better emotional and material shape than the US. Added to which, the US needs Europe just as much as vice-versa, enmeshed in which matter of fact was a post-1991 redundant NATO, constituting as a Cato Institute author presciently cautioned some years ago, the ‘Dangerous Dinosaur’. And please, the Ukraine war proves not that NATO was needed to protect Western Europe against Russia. Russia actually wanted to join NATO, was profoundly pro-Western not least because she is Western, and was repeatedly rebuffed for various bad reasons, leading to our present self-fulfilled prophecy of war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Agreed, but when your best interests involve toppling democratically elected governments theft of oil/resources, carpet bombing and the deaths of 6 million Vietnamese, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans etc etc etc the other side, ie the victims might see it differently. Surely you can understand that?

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Great. Just don’t expect europe to have those same interests. Besides the destruction of the pipelines (which might well have caused a permanent reduction in German output), there’s all the destabilising caused by American adventurism in North Africa and the Middle East. As well as that there’s the insanity of US ideologies like trans and anti whiteness (the latter being a clear disaster for European identity).

All of this is destabilising.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

I am not sure it was the Marshall Plan that was the enabler, although it was a stimulus. The US pact was protecting free trade for all who aligned with the US security model. The US acted in its own interests which aligned with the rest of Europe with the spectre of the USSR and nuclear war hanging over it. The way that this model has enabled globalism might have been an unintended consequence that has been regrettable.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

The US is not a democracy – it is an oligarchy. Oh yes, the people have a vote but only after all candidates with even the faintest hope of securing power are carefully vetted by Big Money (the oligarchy). The power of the oligarchy was massively increased in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled 5:4 in favour of allowing large corporations the freedom to finance political campaigns – thus making it virtually impossible for alternative candidates to match the almost unlimited funding available from the oligarchy for their pre-vetted candidates.

So in reality it’s much the same as Russia or China – except, of course, that there are more people incarcerated per capita in the US than in either Russia or China.
Politics in the US is pure theatre with the script written by the Koch brothers et al.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Nothing wrong with that, and Europe was deeply grateful. That being the foundation of this essay. That things change is also natural, as is that American and European interests might diverge. And diverge they most assuredly have. The thing about US perspectives on Europe is that they invariably come from an air of superiority, as though Europe were a perpetually poor cousin waiting to borrow money at every turn. A Europe barely recovered from the bombing of WWII, as though history were frozen in time for 80 years. A ‘West Side Story’ view of Italy, in particular, where “Every-teenk-oh-khay-eeen-Ameerrrikah.”. Ah, those comedic Latin cousins of Mussolini! Whereas in truth Europe is in infinitely better emotional and material shape than the US. Added to which, the US needs Europe just as much as vice-versa, enmeshed in which matter of fact was a post-1991 redundant NATO, constituting as a Cato Institute author presciently cautioned some years ago, the ‘Dangerous Dinosaur’. And please, the Ukraine war proves not that NATO was needed to protect Western Europe against Russia. Russia actually wanted to join NATO, was profoundly pro-Western not least because she is Western, and was repeatedly rebuffed for various bad reasons, leading to our present self-fulfilled prophecy of war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

Agreed, but when your best interests involve toppling democratically elected governments theft of oil/resources, carpet bombing and the deaths of 6 million Vietnamese, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans etc etc etc the other side, ie the victims might see it differently. Surely you can understand that?

J Guy
J Guy
1 year ago

I am always suspicious of articles that reference accusations as substance, or self-reference the author’s own opinion as if it were a valid data point. Many of us in America are very troubled by Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine, despite it being far more vital to Western Europe‘s interests than our own.

Enough with this nonsense about American Empire, we spent a lot of blood and treasure to help stabilize Europe in the 1940s because it was ultimately in our interests to do so. There’s nothing wrong with countries acting in their own best interests, in fact it’s what our leaders are democratically elected (as opposed to those in Russia and China) to do.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I know I shouldn’t really be quite this blunt, but I don’t suffer fools gladly and I’ve had enough of this nonsense. It’s hard to know whether Fazi is naive or just not very bright. Or perhaps a little of both.
Have US actions re Ukraine really forced China and Russia closer together ? China is clearly also very unhappy with the continuation of this conflict and Russia’s behaviour in creating and prolonging it.
Is this supposed new trading alliance really “dynamic” ? Will it really be the “world’s largest trading block” ? A less trained observer than Mr. Fazi might be distracted by the observation that the countries in this group are definitely not amongst the world leaders in GDP per head, innovation and technology, culture, corporate governance and accounting, rule of law, personal freedom, freedom from corruption, freedom from censorship, religious freedom, … I could go on. In short a sort of “loser’s club”.
But that’s OK. They’re somehow going to wipe the floor with the rest of us. Not.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’re not being blunt in putting forward your argument, and like you i’m not sure how Fazi got this gig with Unherd. It’s not as if his opinions somehow go against the media grain; in fact, they’re simply reflective of much of MSM.
It’s as if Unherd is experimenting with ChatGPT and are attributing the results to a fictional character they’ve called Thomas Fazi.
On the other hand, perhaps he elicits sufficient Comments and it’s simply a marketing exercise.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The MSM is anti China and BRICS. Most of the “China is doomed” brigade are picking that up from the MSM. All of the MSM is hostile to Russia. What’s interesting about unherd is the hatred of ideologies that emanate from the US, allied with a deep love of the US.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

Maybe that attitude is generated by the lack of the rule of law on most of the countries and the tendency of the larger to believe that if that want something they just take it.
Maybe normal people don’t like living near to neighbours who are capable of invading, killing, raping etc just because they can

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

…nothing strange about that at all. You’ll find on all major issues a 50:50 split is the norm. If it’s 90:10 it’s not really at issue is it?

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

Maybe that attitude is generated by the lack of the rule of law on most of the countries and the tendency of the larger to believe that if that want something they just take it.
Maybe normal people don’t like living near to neighbours who are capable of invading, killing, raping etc just because they can

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

…nothing strange about that at all. You’ll find on all major issues a 50:50 split is the norm. If it’s 90:10 it’s not really at issue is it?

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

While I don’t agree with Fazi’s prognosis, it’s nice to have different perspectives reflected in Unherd

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Isn’t that rather my point?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Exactly. I like the originality of perspectives of the writers, not so much the comments.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Isn’t that rather my point?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Exactly. I like the originality of perspectives of the writers, not so much the comments.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

…reflective of MSM? ..surely you mean alternative media?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The MSM is anti China and BRICS. Most of the “China is doomed” brigade are picking that up from the MSM. All of the MSM is hostile to Russia. What’s interesting about unherd is the hatred of ideologies that emanate from the US, allied with a deep love of the US.

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

While I don’t agree with Fazi’s prognosis, it’s nice to have different perspectives reflected in Unherd

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

…reflective of MSM? ..surely you mean alternative media?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“ Have US actions re Ukraine really forced China and Russia closer together ?”

Yes. Clearly. Don’t know what you are reading.

“ A less trained observer than Mr. Fazi might be distracted by the observation that the countries in this group are definitely not amongst the world leaders in GDP per head, innovation and technology, culture, corporate governance and accounting, rule of law, personal freedom, freedom from corruption, freedom from censorship, religious freedom”

Ignoring all the guff about nice stuff that you claim the US and the West has, but doesn’t really, the main factor is population vs GDP per capita multiplied by population. If that multiplication confines to grow faster than the west then these trading blocks become more powerful.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Population/GDP. But it isn’t, is it ? China and Russia are in rapid and terminal population decline. The USA is still growing. Not least because people from poorer countries want to go there for the economic opportunities and greater freedom. Unlike Russia and China where almost no one wants to emigrate to. Coincidence ? Hardly.
And these millions of people who queue up to go the the USA simply don’t know what they’re doing then ?
Back to the earlier point. The Ukraine conflict will accelerate the dependency of Russia on China. This is very different from a voluntary and mutually beneficial alliance. Beneficial for China. Not for Russia.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Chinese already have eyes of some border areas within Russia. Like Belt and Road, the Chinese will own Russia and all that fuel should conditions continue. Be assured that they will also mismanage that well.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Your confusing real US hegemony with a fictional version attributed to China. You also forget Russia has all the resources.. I know that would be irrelevant if it was the US instead of China because you would simply orchestrate a coup, assassinate the leader, install a puppet regime and steal the resources.. or if that didn’t work you’d simply carpet bomb them, invade and do that way. Sure isn’t that what you’ve done over and over again; 50 times in the last 30 years?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Your confusing real US hegemony with a fictional version attributed to China. You also forget Russia has all the resources.. I know that would be irrelevant if it was the US instead of China because you would simply orchestrate a coup, assassinate the leader, install a puppet regime and steal the resources.. or if that didn’t work you’d simply carpet bomb them, invade and do that way. Sure isn’t that what you’ve done over and over again; 50 times in the last 30 years?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Nancy Austin
Nancy Austin
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Also, if you believe China’s GDP growth figures, I have a rather nice bridge I’d like to sell.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

…unlike all those countries that have benefitted from their “alliance” with the US, eg Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.. and now Europe thanks to the US blowing up Nordstream’; and then selling us LNG at 5 times the price! With friends like the US who needs enemies eh?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Chinese already have eyes of some border areas within Russia. Like Belt and Road, the Chinese will own Russia and all that fuel should conditions continue. Be assured that they will also mismanage that well.

Nancy Austin
Nancy Austin
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Also, if you believe China’s GDP growth figures, I have a rather nice bridge I’d like to sell.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

…unlike all those countries that have benefitted from their “alliance” with the US, eg Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.. and now Europe thanks to the US blowing up Nordstream’; and then selling us LNG at 5 times the price! With friends like the US who needs enemies eh?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..the hint is in the term “emerging” as against the term applicable to the high GDP pc G7 states which are “declining”. Anyone who cannot see the decline of the US is either blind, or deaf, or ignorant, or stupid or in denial of the blatantly obvious.. or possible all of the above.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Population/GDP. But it isn’t, is it ? China and Russia are in rapid and terminal population decline. The USA is still growing. Not least because people from poorer countries want to go there for the economic opportunities and greater freedom. Unlike Russia and China where almost no one wants to emigrate to. Coincidence ? Hardly.
And these millions of people who queue up to go the the USA simply don’t know what they’re doing then ?
Back to the earlier point. The Ukraine conflict will accelerate the dependency of Russia on China. This is very different from a voluntary and mutually beneficial alliance. Beneficial for China. Not for Russia.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..the hint is in the term “emerging” as against the term applicable to the high GDP pc G7 states which are “declining”. Anyone who cannot see the decline of the US is either blind, or deaf, or ignorant, or stupid or in denial of the blatantly obvious.. or possible all of the above.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Since you’re in blunt mode, I presume I can be blunt as well. Fazi is much, much smarter than you, with vastly more knowledge about the real world. He can also write well.
You live in an MSM bubble – filled with a cocktail of copium, hopium and plain ignorance of what’s actually happening in the real world.
That bubble of yours is about to be burst – squeezed between the colliding tectonic plates of geopolitics. I can’t improve on H Kissenger’s quip:
‘To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal’.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Of course – be as blunt as you like.
I’m curious how you arrived at the conclusion that Fazi is “much, much smarter” than I am ? You may well know Fazi (I don’t), but I very much doubt you know me.
How are you able to evaluate my knowledge of the world against Thomas Fazi’s ? Mr Fazi appears to be 32 and live in Rome. I’m getting on for double his age and have lived in the UK, USA and France and almost certainly travelled more widely, been exposed to more cultures and met a wider range of people than Mr Fazi.
Besides which, being “smart” – however you may care to define it – is certainly no guarantee of being correct. You wouldn’t be smart if you assumed that to always be the case.
I rather think this quote “filled with a cocktail of copium, hopium and plain ignorance of what’s actually happening in the real world” describes your world view better than mine – i.e. it’s projection. But we shall see …

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Of course – be as blunt as you like.
I’m curious how you arrived at the conclusion that Fazi is “much, much smarter” than I am ? You may well know Fazi (I don’t), but I very much doubt you know me.
How are you able to evaluate my knowledge of the world against Thomas Fazi’s ? Mr Fazi appears to be 32 and live in Rome. I’m getting on for double his age and have lived in the UK, USA and France and almost certainly travelled more widely, been exposed to more cultures and met a wider range of people than Mr Fazi.
Besides which, being “smart” – however you may care to define it – is certainly no guarantee of being correct. You wouldn’t be smart if you assumed that to always be the case.
I rather think this quote “filled with a cocktail of copium, hopium and plain ignorance of what’s actually happening in the real world” describes your world view better than mine – i.e. it’s projection. But we shall see …

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

If you extract your head from the sand and look at what is happening and listen to what is being said around the world (and stop being a sucker to MSM propaganda) you might see the light.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’re not being blunt in putting forward your argument, and like you i’m not sure how Fazi got this gig with Unherd. It’s not as if his opinions somehow go against the media grain; in fact, they’re simply reflective of much of MSM.
It’s as if Unherd is experimenting with ChatGPT and are attributing the results to a fictional character they’ve called Thomas Fazi.
On the other hand, perhaps he elicits sufficient Comments and it’s simply a marketing exercise.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

“ Have US actions re Ukraine really forced China and Russia closer together ?”

Yes. Clearly. Don’t know what you are reading.

“ A less trained observer than Mr. Fazi might be distracted by the observation that the countries in this group are definitely not amongst the world leaders in GDP per head, innovation and technology, culture, corporate governance and accounting, rule of law, personal freedom, freedom from corruption, freedom from censorship, religious freedom”

Ignoring all the guff about nice stuff that you claim the US and the West has, but doesn’t really, the main factor is population vs GDP per capita multiplied by population. If that multiplication confines to grow faster than the west then these trading blocks become more powerful.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Since you’re in blunt mode, I presume I can be blunt as well. Fazi is much, much smarter than you, with vastly more knowledge about the real world. He can also write well.
You live in an MSM bubble – filled with a cocktail of copium, hopium and plain ignorance of what’s actually happening in the real world.
That bubble of yours is about to be burst – squeezed between the colliding tectonic plates of geopolitics. I can’t improve on H Kissenger’s quip:
‘To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

If you extract your head from the sand and look at what is happening and listen to what is being said around the world (and stop being a sucker to MSM propaganda) you might see the light.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I know I shouldn’t really be quite this blunt, but I don’t suffer fools gladly and I’ve had enough of this nonsense. It’s hard to know whether Fazi is naive or just not very bright. Or perhaps a little of both.
Have US actions re Ukraine really forced China and Russia closer together ? China is clearly also very unhappy with the continuation of this conflict and Russia’s behaviour in creating and prolonging it.
Is this supposed new trading alliance really “dynamic” ? Will it really be the “world’s largest trading block” ? A less trained observer than Mr. Fazi might be distracted by the observation that the countries in this group are definitely not amongst the world leaders in GDP per head, innovation and technology, culture, corporate governance and accounting, rule of law, personal freedom, freedom from corruption, freedom from censorship, religious freedom, … I could go on. In short a sort of “loser’s club”.
But that’s OK. They’re somehow going to wipe the floor with the rest of us. Not.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

After World War I the victorious allies looted Germany with reparations and got Hitler. After World War II the US intended to deindustrialize Germany but changed its mind with the Cold War.
So the Germans — who invented everything from modern philosophy to chemistry to cars — were able to get their Mittelstand going and benefit the world.
To think that the US ruling class has ever had a serious global strategy and executed on it is, in my opinion, fantasy.
No, the usual suspects are stumbling and bumbling around as usual, and pretending that they and their alphabet bureaucracies are saving the world.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

If you go back 80 years the US was the saviour of Europe. Since then only bad things have come from the US of A – and Europe has followed. Take for example, Viet Nam, aids, drug addiction (luckily we weren’t stupid enough to get addicted to opioids), the cholesterol years which probably killed hundreds of thousands, woke attitudes, the Floyd overreaction, irresponsible behaviour of Hollywood stars. Now the idiots are talking about $5 million to each black person and we are talking about it as well.
Although this site hates any mention of China, the do-gooders in the world recently have been the Chinese. They have a recent history of helping poor countries in Africa and Asia. Admittedly, they did it to gain much-needed resources but America’s charity wasn’t just charity either.
So, you hate China because of its government system. You believe that COVID came from China. China is the enemy. But the US of A is not a friend.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

If you think the Chinese are ‘helping’ in Africa I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

J Guy
J Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Yes, just like how they ‘helped’ the Sri Lankans…

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

And Tibet.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  J Guy

And Tibet.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The Africans think so.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

Time will tell, if you can’t meet the repayments and all the assets worth having will belong to the CCP

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..unlike the US driven IMF and World Bank who just forgive bad debts right?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

..unlike the US driven IMF and World Bank who just forgive bad debts right?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Who’s accusing the Africans of being prescient or even bright? Unfortunately, too many African leaders are too interested in their own personal gain – their countries be damned.
Africa is Corruption-R-US

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

What they need to do is adopt the corruption free US model where $50 trillion of wealth has been transferred from the workers to the filthy rich friends of the DEMS and GOP!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

What they need to do is adopt the corruption free US model where $50 trillion of wealth has been transferred from the workers to the filthy rich friends of the DEMS and GOP!

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

Time will tell, if you can’t meet the repayments and all the assets worth having will belong to the CCP

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Who’s accusing the Africans of being prescient or even bright? Unfortunately, too many African leaders are too interested in their own personal gain – their countries be damned.
Africa is Corruption-R-US

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Funny how all those African countries fall for Chinese malintent, instead of trusting all those benign countries that colonised them, enslaved them, murdered their leaders and robbed their resources. Some people have no gratitude!

J Guy
J Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Yes, just like how they ‘helped’ the Sri Lankans…

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The Africans think so.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Funny how all those African countries fall for Chinese malintent, instead of trusting all those benign countries that colonised them, enslaved them, murdered their leaders and robbed their resources. Some people have no gratitude!

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Go on then, where do you think covid came from?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Who knows.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It came from a US controlled lab in China where a bioweapon was being developed run by a guy called Fau Chi… so I guess it came from …China!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It came from a US controlled lab in China where a bioweapon was being developed run by a guy called Fau Chi… so I guess it came from …China!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Who knows.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

If you think the Chinese are ‘helping’ in Africa I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Go on then, where do you think covid came from?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

It’s the Wizard of Oz hiding behind his big green curtain which is made of US dollars.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

If you go back 80 years the US was the saviour of Europe. Since then only bad things have come from the US of A – and Europe has followed. Take for example, Viet Nam, aids, drug addiction (luckily we weren’t stupid enough to get addicted to opioids), the cholesterol years which probably killed hundreds of thousands, woke attitudes, the Floyd overreaction, irresponsible behaviour of Hollywood stars. Now the idiots are talking about $5 million to each black person and we are talking about it as well.
Although this site hates any mention of China, the do-gooders in the world recently have been the Chinese. They have a recent history of helping poor countries in Africa and Asia. Admittedly, they did it to gain much-needed resources but America’s charity wasn’t just charity either.
So, you hate China because of its government system. You believe that COVID came from China. China is the enemy. But the US of A is not a friend.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

It’s the Wizard of Oz hiding behind his big green curtain which is made of US dollars.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

After World War I the victorious allies looted Germany with reparations and got Hitler. After World War II the US intended to deindustrialize Germany but changed its mind with the Cold War.
So the Germans — who invented everything from modern philosophy to chemistry to cars — were able to get their Mittelstand going and benefit the world.
To think that the US ruling class has ever had a serious global strategy and executed on it is, in my opinion, fantasy.
No, the usual suspects are stumbling and bumbling around as usual, and pretending that they and their alphabet bureaucracies are saving the world.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Fazi’s usual mantra about the “rising BRICS,” and the declining First World.
That may be true for China (up till now). But India, Brazil and South Africa are in just as much economic hardship as the rest of the world. And the reason why is what holds back much of the world: elite corruption.
Moreover, China itself has managed to create a demographic Death Spiral that will make Japan’s slow growth in the last few decades seem like boom times.
As for Russia, entering year two of a no-win war (far more destructive to Russia itself than Vietnam or Iraq ever were to the US) does not bode well for Moscow’s long term survival. So, Fazi’s idea that Europe will suddenly abandon the US with a Russian army at the door is pure fantasy.
(Has anyone told him that Hungary just allowed Finland into NATO? No, guess not)
There are always people who gather around a shop with a smashed front window, hoping that they may somehow get their hands on the goodies inside.
But the shop windows are still intact. So, people like Fazi may just have to put their hands in their pockets and move on.
The police are still on this beat.

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I think we’ve already seen peak China. Even mainstream outlets have come round to this point of view over the last couple of years.

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Don’t tell Fazi that. He and his US buddy Friedman would need new scrips for their rose coloured glasses.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

It’s a possibility I suppose but unlikely I think. What is a real possibility, more a probability, is that we’ve seen peak USA… the upcoming Trump led civil war will seal it if de-dollarisation doesn’t do it first. There’s also the nuke option for the US elite.. with their bunkers and supplies topped up I feel sure it’s an option being considered..

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

Don’t tell Fazi that. He and his US buddy Friedman would need new scrips for their rose coloured glasses.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

It’s a possibility I suppose but unlikely I think. What is a real possibility, more a probability, is that we’ve seen peak USA… the upcoming Trump led civil war will seal it if de-dollarisation doesn’t do it first. There’s also the nuke option for the US elite.. with their bunkers and supplies topped up I feel sure it’s an option being considered..

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The Chinese “death spiral” is massively overestimated. The drop to 1.3 tfr last year was largely due to covid shutdowns, China will probably bounce back with population increases for another decade. And the CCP are actually talking about fixing demographics unlike in Europe where most people don’t even know about much longer term demographic decline. Or in the US where nobody things the population will decline but on present trends it will without significantly increased immigration.

Or that Korea and Taiwan are at a tfr of 5%

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

You might want to read the April issue of NatGeo where those demographics are detailed. Note that Japan and South Korea are much richer/per capita than China thus can manage a little better. That one child policy is now really a problem.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

You might want to read the April issue of NatGeo where those demographics are detailed. Note that Japan and South Korea are much richer/per capita than China thus can manage a little better. That one child policy is now really a problem.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

” China … demographic Death Spiral” – Indeed. So much for overtaking the US economically. Chinese women don’t want children. Chinese men can’t find partners. Their society aging rapidly with no immigration to supply workers spells trouble. Russia faces a similar problem at a lower scale.
Sadly, the notion of the US as the world’s policeman is coming to an end with nearly every nation facing a sovereign debt problem. And because nearly everybody has turned their back on energy, getting out of that debt means all face a lower standard of living. Party while you can; the refreshments are being put away.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Funny that “every nation faces ‘debt” …who is the debt owed to? The Martians?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Funny that “every nation faces ‘debt” …who is the debt owed to? The Martians?

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I think we’ve already seen peak China. Even mainstream outlets have come round to this point of view over the last couple of years.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The Chinese “death spiral” is massively overestimated. The drop to 1.3 tfr last year was largely due to covid shutdowns, China will probably bounce back with population increases for another decade. And the CCP are actually talking about fixing demographics unlike in Europe where most people don’t even know about much longer term demographic decline. Or in the US where nobody things the population will decline but on present trends it will without significantly increased immigration.

Or that Korea and Taiwan are at a tfr of 5%

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

” China … demographic Death Spiral” – Indeed. So much for overtaking the US economically. Chinese women don’t want children. Chinese men can’t find partners. Their society aging rapidly with no immigration to supply workers spells trouble. Russia faces a similar problem at a lower scale.
Sadly, the notion of the US as the world’s policeman is coming to an end with nearly every nation facing a sovereign debt problem. And because nearly everybody has turned their back on energy, getting out of that debt means all face a lower standard of living. Party while you can; the refreshments are being put away.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Fazi’s usual mantra about the “rising BRICS,” and the declining First World.
That may be true for China (up till now). But India, Brazil and South Africa are in just as much economic hardship as the rest of the world. And the reason why is what holds back much of the world: elite corruption.
Moreover, China itself has managed to create a demographic Death Spiral that will make Japan’s slow growth in the last few decades seem like boom times.
As for Russia, entering year two of a no-win war (far more destructive to Russia itself than Vietnam or Iraq ever were to the US) does not bode well for Moscow’s long term survival. So, Fazi’s idea that Europe will suddenly abandon the US with a Russian army at the door is pure fantasy.
(Has anyone told him that Hungary just allowed Finland into NATO? No, guess not)
There are always people who gather around a shop with a smashed front window, hoping that they may somehow get their hands on the goodies inside.
But the shop windows are still intact. So, people like Fazi may just have to put their hands in their pockets and move on.
The police are still on this beat.

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

I really can’t work out if Fazi is a Chinese CP shill or not, but he does seem to get excited about their ‘impending’ world dominance.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

He’s the tankie’s tankie.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The essay came across as adolescent bleeting; mom and dad have been helping me forever, but I don’t need the help, on the other hand when is the next check arriving? Why is Europe framed as being so needy all the time? It’s almost as if ‘a thought or head realignment’ is required.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

That’s a good assessment as any. I’ll add to your analogy that because he’s pissed at Mom and Pop (USA), he decides he’ll throw in with the street gang (China) who demands only obedience.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Maybe if mom n pop are bombing the crap out of him, assassinating his friends, stealing his oil and corrupting him he’s better off taking his chances with the street gang?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Maybe if mom n pop are bombing the crap out of him, assassinating his friends, stealing his oil and corrupting him he’s better off taking his chances with the street gang?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Where do you get these crazy notions? MSM and idiot politicians I guess? and war hungry MIC too I suppose?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

That’s a good assessment as any. I’ll add to your analogy that because he’s pissed at Mom and Pop (USA), he decides he’ll throw in with the street gang (China) who demands only obedience.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Where do you get these crazy notions? MSM and idiot politicians I guess? and war hungry MIC too I suppose?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

…either that or he is a realist, capable of reading the signs and seeing the obvious while the blind and the deaf bleat around him.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

He’s the tankie’s tankie.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

The essay came across as adolescent bleeting; mom and dad have been helping me forever, but I don’t need the help, on the other hand when is the next check arriving? Why is Europe framed as being so needy all the time? It’s almost as if ‘a thought or head realignment’ is required.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

…either that or he is a realist, capable of reading the signs and seeing the obvious while the blind and the deaf bleat around him.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

I really can’t work out if Fazi is a Chinese CP shill or not, but he does seem to get excited about their ‘impending’ world dominance.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

It is not unexpected if the US starts to pivot away from Europe. When it was US vs USSR, Europe was important. As it becomes US vs China, South and East Asia take centre stage. Europe, through its protectionism and regulation, high-cost-low-growth, with anti-US rulings on competition and data, and reluctance to pay for its own defence, risks becoming a dead-end backwater. Why would the US fund an old white competitor, that blocks its corporations, when the money can be better applied elsewhere to hold back the Chinese-sphere of influence? To play devil’s advocate, what does the US get from Europe except bills?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

It bears remembering that Biden just barely beat Trump, who declared in typical fashion, directly and without tact, that Europe was free riding under the American defense umbrella and should be forced to pay more of the cost and even threatened to dissolve the alliance. The EU rejects GMO’s for unscientific reasons, and this largely excludes American agricultural products, the export of which would go quite a ways towards enriching the places where isolationism is strongest. Those in Europe that like to bash the US should be careful what they wish for, as I don’t see the situation getting any better if the US decides to pick up and leave, focusing their resources on other places that actually benefit American interests.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Oh yes, please, please go.. and please stop your warmongering in Europe, and please don’t blow up any more of our pipelines; and please let us make peace with our fellow Europeans the Russians (yes, Russia is in Europe; the Asian part is sparsely populated) and take your racist Evangelist hatred with you. You are a blight on humanity; a plague bringing nothing but death and destruction wherever you go.. with ‘friends’ like you who needs enemies eh?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Oh yes, please, please go.. and please stop your warmongering in Europe, and please don’t blow up any more of our pipelines; and please let us make peace with our fellow Europeans the Russians (yes, Russia is in Europe; the Asian part is sparsely populated) and take your racist Evangelist hatred with you. You are a blight on humanity; a plague bringing nothing but death and destruction wherever you go.. with ‘friends’ like you who needs enemies eh?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

What does the US get from any of its vassal and conquered states? Booty! ..it has that nice ‘benevolent’ appearance but it is rotten to the core.. a bit like the benevolent British Empire before it and the benevolent Roman Empire before that. Exploitation, corruption, theft, coups, assassinations, regime toppling etc. Murder, mayhem, death and destruction follow wherever the US goes.. those are the words of the American professor Jeffrey Sachs, and American Noam Chomsky, and American Col. Scott Ritter, and American Col. Douglas McGregor and every other intelligent American I’ve heard speaking on the subject.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

It bears remembering that Biden just barely beat Trump, who declared in typical fashion, directly and without tact, that Europe was free riding under the American defense umbrella and should be forced to pay more of the cost and even threatened to dissolve the alliance. The EU rejects GMO’s for unscientific reasons, and this largely excludes American agricultural products, the export of which would go quite a ways towards enriching the places where isolationism is strongest. Those in Europe that like to bash the US should be careful what they wish for, as I don’t see the situation getting any better if the US decides to pick up and leave, focusing their resources on other places that actually benefit American interests.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

What does the US get from any of its vassal and conquered states? Booty! ..it has that nice ‘benevolent’ appearance but it is rotten to the core.. a bit like the benevolent British Empire before it and the benevolent Roman Empire before that. Exploitation, corruption, theft, coups, assassinations, regime toppling etc. Murder, mayhem, death and destruction follow wherever the US goes.. those are the words of the American professor Jeffrey Sachs, and American Noam Chomsky, and American Col. Scott Ritter, and American Col. Douglas McGregor and every other intelligent American I’ve heard speaking on the subject.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

It is not unexpected if the US starts to pivot away from Europe. When it was US vs USSR, Europe was important. As it becomes US vs China, South and East Asia take centre stage. Europe, through its protectionism and regulation, high-cost-low-growth, with anti-US rulings on competition and data, and reluctance to pay for its own defence, risks becoming a dead-end backwater. Why would the US fund an old white competitor, that blocks its corporations, when the money can be better applied elsewhere to hold back the Chinese-sphere of influence? To play devil’s advocate, what does the US get from Europe except bills?