ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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US-Iraq War Ten Theses on Late Imperialism

The relative decline of US economic investment and trade has increased the weight of the 'ideological and military' components of the US imperial state in shaping the priorities of policy and the instruments in pursuing them.

Retreat of the Intellectuals

Retreat of the Intellectuals James Petras The world-wide retreat of the intellectuals is intimately related to the declining power of the working class movement and the rising power of capital

US Ruling Class

the 1980s James Petras Christian Davenport BASIC changes in the structure of US capitalism have been under way for more than twenty years. A number of studies have described the declining role of industrial capitalism and the fact that it is no longer the organising principle around which US society is structured.1 One line of thought has posited the emergence of a post-industrial high technology information economy, while, more recently, the emphasis has shifted toward the ascendancy of financial, real estate and speculative capital.2 By the 1980s, the US was no longer the major manufacturer of machine tools. It had become a net importer of industrial manufactured goods and was quickly losing its dominant position in advanced computers.3 The ramifications of this transformation were manifold: industrial employment for working class youth dried up, forcing many to choose between minimum wage service employment or the 'underground economy', i e, drugs and related illicit sources of income.4 Those writers who advanced the thesis of the ascendancy of speculator and financial capital noted that a minimally educated, housed and healthy labour force was no longer necessary. State policy drastically reducing spending on education, health services and housing was compatible with this new phase of capitalist development. Moreover, the growth of real estate and finance capital, it was argued, increased the returns on rent and interest at the expense of profits, thus further undermining the US global industrial position and nationally employed. The ever-increasing 'junk bond' market is a perfect reflection of this phenomenon, as the high risk-high expected return mentality is paramount.5 The total number of 'junk' bond issuance has consequently risen from 1.1 million in 1977 to 45.6 million in 1986.6 'The growth of the 'paper economy', however, operates in an increasingly volatile climate punctured by wild fluctuation of the stock market and burgeoning corporate indebtedness. 7 The declining US trade position and the growing budget deficits reflect both the loss of industrial market power and the increasing use of the state to finance and subsidise capital growth. The restructuring of US capitalism has thus been a major factor affecting both the internal structure of US society and its economic stability, as well as its international competitive position. In this article we analyse the shift in US capitalism through an examination of the principal sources of income for the wealthiest 400 US capitalists as listed in Forbes magazine over the last decade.8 In addition to this, we shall also explore the manner in which the US economy is reconsolidating itself and what effects this has on the greater society. In line with our previous discussion, we examine the proposition that the principal source of wealth has shifted from industry to finance and real state among the leading sectors of the capitalist class.

Electoral Defeat of the Sandinistas

The results of the Nicaraguan elections have been tragic, not only for Nicaragua and Central America, but for progressive forces everywhere. Nevertheless, painful lessons can he extracted from the Nicaraguan experience.

The World Market Battleground for 1990s

James Petras Analysing American imperial decline this paper draws attention to the elements that define the specificities of this decline. These include general decline of the national political economy along with a general increase in the rates of profit of particular corporate groups, world-wide decline of American political influence and global acceptance of its 'free market' discourse, the harnessing of US technology by Japanese and European investors increasing foreign takeovers of American productive units. Arguing against the use of non-class categories and in discussions of the US decline the author suggests that it is a class determined and class experienced crisis.

US-Soviet Relations-Non-Reciprocity in Big Power Agreements

One of the major consequences of the 'new era' of US-Soviet relations has been to create in Washington a feeling that it can act with impunity against the third world, disregarding the possibility of a Soviet response THE most striking aspect of US-Soviet relations in the 1980s is the one-sided concessions ceded by the Soviets and the lack of reciprocity from Washington. The Gorbachev period has been characterised by withdrawal of Soviet influence from major regions of world politics, cooperation with the US in reasserting the latter's influence in conflictual regions and pressure on allies to accommodate US interests, even where the consequences will result in changes inimicable to long-term Soviet security interests. The consequence has been a novel historical moment in two senses: the US

Class Politics, State Power and Legitimacy

The notion of political legitimacy, which has become a central concern among academics, writers and journalists, is an irrelevant issue or at best a derivative or subsidiary concern. Different electoral regimes derive their legitimacy from different class reference groups and different balance of class forces.

Metamorphosis of Latin America s Intellectuals

Intellectuals James Petras IN Latin America twenty years ago it was virtually impossible to And a leftist intellectual willing to accept' financing from externally-funded foundations. Today it is rare to find a researcher connected with any established institute who is not financed by one of the major or minor European or North American foundations. And for most of those who are not funded, it is not because they object but because they have not yet established the proper contacts or connections.

US Foreign Policy for the 1990s

After the initial large-scale military build-up and bellicose rhetoric, the last years of the Reagan era have seen a relative freeze in new increases in military spending and less abrasive rhetoric directed at the Soviets. Late Reaganism seems to foreshadow the 'pragmatism' of a Dukakis or Bush regime, just as early Reaganism was a continuation and a deepening of the Cold War rhetoric and military build-up that began during the last two years of the Carter administration.

Nuclear War and US-Third World Relations-The Neglected Dimension

The Neglected Dimension James Petras Morris Morley INTRODUCTION THE subjects of nuclear warfare, the nuclear arms buildup, and the possibility of nuclear confrontation have become a major preoccupation of writers on international conflict. Part of the debate has centred on identifying the possible catalysts. Those deemed most likely to precipitate nuclear warfare or those appearing most frequently in the literature are: (1) Accident, error, or equipment malfunction or system failure; (2) The actions of a 'rogue general', or irrational behaviour by those in control of nuclear weapons; (3) Miscalculations. A conventional war could escalate if one government underestimates the other side's willingness to use nuclear weapons and, thus, deploy them. Or one combatant may experience either 'wishful thinking or exaggerated fears', cither of which could 'distort the assessment of risks in a crisis'1 and lead to a nuclear response; (4) The unintended consequences of a continuing military buildup by the superpowers; (5) A 'bolt-from-t he-blue' preemptive first strike by one superpower on the nuclear arsenal of the other to minimize losses from an attack by the other. Discussion of this possible action usually is premised on the belief thai a political conflict can be resolved only by military means and that a surprise nuclear offensive is better than waiting for the inevitable strike by an opponent; (6) Technological developments that have shortened the time nuclear weapons take to reach their targets or the time required to deploy new nuclear weapons; (7) Either deliberate or unintended consequences of actions by third parties that lead to superpower involvement. A third party may puusue an objective involving the use of nuclear weapons; or seek a goal by non- nuclear means that produces a sequence of events leading to nuclear war Involving the superpowers; or simply create an accident; and (8) Nuclear proliferation, especially in the third world, may increase the likelihood of nuclear war involving the two superpowers.

UNITED STATES-Speculators, Lumpen-Intellectuals, and End of Hegemony

February 7, 1987 UNITED STATES Speculators, Lumpen-Intellectuals, and End of Hegemony James Petras THE basic facts about the Iranian arms sale are not at all revealing or out of the ordinary, whichever version of the account one accepts

LATIN AMERICA- Dialectics of Growth and Regression

October 11, 1986 LATIN AMERICA Dialectics of Growth and Regression James Petras THE main feature of Latin American development' in the past six years has been economic and social regression in practically all countries, most sectors and classes of society. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel, despite the periodic upbeat statements emanating from Washington. Sustained regression continues despite the changes in political regime, from military dictatorship to elected civilian regime. In most cases, the inauguration of elected regimes has not prevented deepening socioeconomic deterioration but, has furthered it by assuming the previous socio-economic policies of the military regimes regarding debt payments, wage-income and investment policies and the role of the market.


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