Great Britain — the pioneer of modern social reforms
A model lesson on the magic formula for how to use wages and the social welfare budget as weapons in global competition

With their common market, the European states have removed tariffs and trade barriers to set down the same conditions for competition for capital based in Europe. But they didn’t come to an agreement concerning the working class. For the treatment of labour, the member states have reserved special rights for themselves so that they can use all elements of the proletarian standard of living as instruments in their competition against each other. Great Britain has even refused to sign the European Social Charter, however limited it is, and is adamant that no regulations imposed by the European Union should come in the way of national self-assertion. Today, “pro-European” Blair is just as determined to defend the British right to “opt out” against Brussels as “Euro-sceptic” Thatcher was in her time. He, too, insists that only reckless treatment of the working population ensures the nation’s competitive edge, his prime objective. And he sees himself corroborated by the course of events.

Crisis and competition in Europe
Great Britain — the nation fights for its credit, and for benefits from its EU membership

This is the most serious financial crisis that [Great Britain] has ever seen” (Sir Mervyn King, 6 Oct 2012), so the governor of the Bank of England has been saying since the crisis broke out nearly six years ago. The Prime Minister explains the reason for the crisis to the common folks: it started across the Atlantic with the property crash but “we were hit particularly hard by the banking crisis because of the significant size of our financial sector” (David Cameron, House of Commons, 13 May 2011). The nation whose capital city accommodates the greatest concentration of international banks and other financial speculators — this nation is a victim infected by the American financial markets? The matter is slightly different from what the national view would pretend. Along with the USA, Britain is the prominent cause of the global financial crisis. No wonder the country is also among those most affected by the crisis — and therefore one of the principal actors in the crisis competition of states.

America’s Crusade Against Terror — Second Stage: War on Iraq
Bringing the World into Line Undermines the “Free West”

America is going to have its war on Iraq: the aims of the troop deployments — “disarmament” and “regime change” — leave no doubt about it. Ever since the only remaining superpower learned that it, too, can be attacked on its own territory, it has considerably broadened its view of its own vulnerability: there are unbearable nations; nations that simply stand against America’s cause by exercising their sovereignty and pursuing their interests. America no longer endures such states; it demands a world of unconditionally pro-American states.

The Crisis in Argentina
A Case of Innovative Dollar Imperialism

Argentina “is recovering.” It’s true that the population has been starving there for over two years now and will continue to do so to an extent never before seen in this — as the wantonly uncomprehending analysts report — “basically rich” country. Even today there isn’t a whole lot of production and trade taking place, not nearly as much as before the “major payments crisis” around the turn of year 2002. And the nation as a whole still hasn’t regained much international credit. However, the speculators are active once again. They are speculating within Argentina, on its stock exchange for example, which has apparently survived every economic catastrophe. They are speculating on Argentina, on its assets and government bonds that supposedly possess a bit of value again and could once again bring in some good money, even though the newly elected Kirchner administration has left much to be desired. Of course, the country must first of all fulfill a few conditions: the IMF and Argentina must agree to new loan guarantees and conditions; the country must newly resettle and service its national and international debts; some progress needs to be seen in the balancing of the national budget; in other words, the country must once again become ‘calculable’ and make a return to ‘normalcy’ in the eyes of the business world and according to its standards. The financial markets, in this sense totally unperturbed, are now handling the entire country as an object of their speculation that has become interesting again, a country in which the entire monetary system recently collapsed under their very direction.

Freedom on the March, Revolution by Ballot
America Bestows Free Elections on the World

Freedom, which according to George W. Bush is a gift that God has given to all of mankind, is realized in free, equal and secret elections. These are what separate humane rule from tyranny. According to the American messenger of God’s gift, no people shall be deprived of the privilege of free elections. No society or culture is so backward or aberrant as to be ignorant of the glory of free elections, and no people is to be regarded as unripe for the right to vote. In fact, he maintains that it would be typical Western racism to believe that we who are privileged with the freedom to vote are the only ones worthy of this universal achievement of mankind, the only ones who deserve, desire and can treasure this act of liberty.

The War On Iraq and the Americanization of International Law

Many an observer of global politics took the U.S. government’s declaration of war on Iraq as a profound turn in international relations. When the Bush administration, even without awaiting general authorization by the UN and its Security Council, resorted to a “preemptive strike” in order to eliminate this Mesopotamian threat to the law-abiding human species, they sensed a breach, if not an abandonment, of international law as an institution of international politics on the part of the superpower. Advocates of the legal form of relations between nations considered the approach of the “hawks” to be “legally suspect” and therefore regrettable and alarming. And yet what is noteworthy here is that the United States for its part obstinately insisted on its right to wage war in general and to launch a “preemptive strike” in particular.

The richest capitalist power looks after its working class
The proletarian version of the “American way of life”

Every American President still declares it to be a decisive component of his program to want to take care of the living conditions of that section of its citizenry that never manages to take care of its own maintenance. However, the continual repetition of this message is never meant as an admission of some sort of failure on this front, as a national self-criticism perhaps. Poverty after all is the indestructible downside of American wealth: if, in defiance of all government efforts, growing wealth is accompanied by a tendency for the poor to become ever poorer in increasing numbers, then that’s just the situation that state power sees itself confronted by; a “challenge” it faces and for which it always seeks, and must seek, suitable “answers” anew.

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The Communist Manifesto
A flawed pamphlet — but still better than its good reputation today

If Marx and Engels’ old agitational publication had not turned 150 years old this year, nobody would give a hoot about it. But the critical intellects of free public opinion simply couldn’t resist the fascination of the big round number : a look back was in order, along with a critical assessment of the early work of the “founders of communism.” Their late effects are of course deplored more than ever: since the Soviet power disbanded, its system is increasingly regarded only as a crime. But westerners, as the victors of history, can now find something interesting that until recently they felt threatened by and therefore had to take more seriously than they would have liked.

World Market And World Power
Globalized Civil Society And Its Anti-Terrorist Culture Of War

Reasons for war come about in times of peace — when else? Conversely, peace is the “state of affairs” brought about by wars and is unthinkable without the capacity and willingness to wage them. This is something the Romans were already aware of long ago when they declared, si vis pacem, para bellum (if you seek peace, prepare for war).” And in the twenty-first century, NATO follows the same principle when it commits to being willing and able to carry out no less than six simultaneous military missions at any time — two larger wars with 60,000 troops and up to four smaller wars with 20,000 to 30,000 troops — for the purpose of securing world peace.

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