“Build Back Better”: The Battle for America's Soul Continues
1. Back to the starting point: Russia conducts a “special military operation” targeting Kiev and eastern Ukraine with the explicit aim of ousting the government that complies with the West — the EU and NATO — and replacing it with a pro-Russia one. Occupying territories bordering the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the east of the country that are loyal to Moscow is supposed to protect them against constant incursions and attacks by Ukrainian forces and secure the annexation of Crimea by military means. At the same time, Russia declares that its much broader strategic goal is to secure its own existence against the advance of the Western military alliance up to its western border. It sees NATO and the EU’s co-opting of its Black Sea neighbor as an anti-Russian outpost, possibly also for stationing American medium-range missiles, as a fundamental threat to its own strategic defense capability — a threat that must be repelled.
These two objectives are on quite different levels.
Three parties are involved in the war in Ukraine: Russia as the aggressor that is carrying out a “special military operation”; Ukraine as the attacked state with its USA/NATO–trained and equipped army; and the West, i.e., USA and NATO in a newly united front including the EU. This third one may not be a direct party to the war, but it is a double one. It is firstly financing the Ukrainian state and organizing its military power.
Competition of Capitalists
IV. Growth through centralization of capital: The competitive struggle to overcome competition
There is war in Ukraine. So once again, we get to witness just how ruthless states can be when they see their self-preservation at stake. The warring powers leave no doubt that they alone decide when their existence is on the line and what that entails for their people. And yet, the same people, across the globe and especially in Europe, feel morally obligated to take sides.
Have they lost their minds?
Russia is struggling to assert itself as a strategic power — America is struggling to finish Russia off as a strategic power
Right in the middle of our beautiful Europe with its wonderful peaceful order, suddenly there’s war again? Just how could it come to this? Yes, how indeed? One thing is for certain: war did not just break out all of a sudden in the midst of the most beautiful peace. Nor did some crazed Russian autocrat rush into war for some inexplicable reason. As is always the case, the reasons for this war were created in peace. They were created by states that have once again reached a point in their dealings that they each think they have to inflict a crushing defeat on the other.
A number of things can be observed in and about Israel in the course of the year 2019. Taken alone and and even more so taken alongside each other, some of these phenomena rank among the customs in all established democracies of the West, which Israel decidedly is part of, some of them are due to the populism increasingly widespread in the West, and some of them are rather unusual in Western nations.
There is one achievement the capitalist mode of production can count on making a good impression with, or at least commanding respect: unstoppable technological progress, seen in all kinds of consumer goods along with the means for producing them. It is popularly illustrated by sophisticated equipment in fashion at the moment. On suitable occasions it is measured in the few hours and minutes of working time required for producing a certain product nowadays as compared with the past. “Downsides” are not ignored: the oversized “footprint” left by the consumption of resources, destruction of the environment, loss of jobs due to “rationalization” — all this is recognized as problematic. But “rationalization” is still called by that name; and the solution of choice for the excessive load on “nature” is considered to be — alongside a personal willingness to do without things — more technological progress. Yet it is quite clear that neither free choice nor rationality is the reason for the unstoppable technological progress the capitalist mode of production impresses with. It is caused by a practical constraint that industrialists actually create for themselves.
In the market economy, growth is an officially and quite generally recognized necessity. It is taken for granted that the growth of the economy is the precondition for prosperity; when growth slows down or actually stops altogether, there is a risk of want and need. Those who warn that continuous economic growth is an absurdity go more or less unheard in the culture section. Critics who maintain that a growth geared solely to immediate economic performance is too narrow a focus for society’s well-being and who call for broader criteria and values to be included are suspected of being anti-consumerist or anti-progress, or accused of ultimately having no idea of human nature and inherent human needs. Even the most sober reference to “natural limits of growth” will face the accusation of being divorced from reality. And indeed it is — reality being that those in charge of business definitely do not know or recognize any ‘natural limit’ that could thwart the economic purpose that is in effect and being practiced: a market economy needs growth. The only question is why? Where does this absolute necessity come from?
The American world power and its kindred Chinese counterpart
Trump gets down to business — and so does Xi!
President Trump's “America first!” targets the whole world. But the degree to which the US is affected by the politics in other states comes down to more than the differences in numbers that the President loves to read from the figures of America’s negative bilateral trade balance. There is one rival above all others — actually just about the only one — that is ultimately incompatible with “America first!”: the People's Republic of China.