Blog No 160.
It is said that “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed shall be king.” Given the ancient wisdom behind this statement, it is interesting to see its uptake by someone as one-eyed as Donald Trump. To make America great again and to ensure its ascent to the royal throne, America appears to have embarked on a policy of attempting to blind all other nations that, together with their allies, might be in contention for greatness.
It is important to make the distinction at this point. American policies are not entirely determined by the President. The Congress, the Senate, the Intelligence Agencies, the Pentagon and the Federal Reserve, as well as the government bureaucracies, all have the ability to influence and sometimes determine policies affecting foreign nations in ways that are not necessarily in accord with Donald Trump’s own views or wishes. The recent Senate’s setting in train the imposition of another round of fresh sanctions on Putin’s Russia, subsequent to the apparent (and to the Washington hawks, unacceptable) non-confrontational nature of Trump’s recent Helsinki summit, being a most obvious case in point. Despite the above, it is certainly Trump who is setting the tone and the pace of the current confrontation between the USA and the global community at large.
To gouge out the eyeballs of other nations, the USA has resort to three types of weaponry: its much flaunted, overwhelming military supremacy, increasing control of the media and an increasingly blatant and reckless abuse of its privileged position as controller of the world’s reserve currency.
I don’t feel there is any need to dwell on the USA’s ostensible military supremacy. Some relevant statistics are given at the start of this blog.(1)
In regards to the media, the only aspect of the US constitution, other than the right of the citizenry to bear arms, which seems, so far, to have withstood the ravages of a greedy elite intent on the maximisation of its own power, are the provisions for free speech. Commentators still remain free to advance any viewpoint that they might wish. The establishment has instead concentrated on making it increasingly difficult for any of their opposing views to be heard. Until now, this has been largely achieved by drowning out dissenting voices with a careful and far-reaching orchestration of the news and views carried by the mainstream media and its ridicule of those ‘conspiracy theorists’ and others with dissenting views.
Many of my previous blogs have dealt to this matter (2.) In recent times, the mainstream media has had to face an increasing threat from social media and now too, the social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest Apple and Spotify are being targeted by the establishment to ensure that the only voices, especially those from overseas, that are to be heard, are those of which the establishment approves. The Israeli version of the truth is acceptable: the Iranian version is not! (3) and (4.)
The weaponisation of media, both social, and mainstream is building apace. The blogosphere, where the establishment faces its most stringent questioning, is full of trepidation as the censorship comes closer to home. If other subject nations of the Kingdom of Earth, are silenced and their alternative views not available to add to the debate, the one-eyed will be well on the way to occupying the throne.
The third, and perhaps the most effective development in the USA’s armoury, is the increasing weaponisation of monetary policy. Having, at the end of WWII, been entrusted with the role of playing reserve banker to the world, the USA has greatly benefited from its ability to print money, which other nations have to earn. If we accept that the growth of the world economy, and alongside it, the global population, is ‘a good thing’ (where others might argue that it will ultimately have doomed the human species to extinction) then there is no doubt, that the USA has played a most useful role in helping post-war recovery and raising millions from abject poverty.
However, as its monopoly on economic power, from which it has so greatly benefited, has come under increasing pressure from other parvenu, national power centres, the USA has increasingly resorted to economic blackmail and has been responsible for forcing millions more back into poverty. Its increasingly lavish use of sanctions as a means of economic blackmail has, under Trump, been augmented with tariffs, other trade barriers and more blatant use of the USA’s control over such institutions as the IMF and World Bank. As Greece and Ecuador have recently discovered, if you want a loan you had better do what you are told. Little nations, such as Cuba have long suffered under this sanctions regime, but other unfortunate nations are constantly being added to the list (5.) The list of those adversely affected is constantly expanding, but currently the most visible are Russia, Iran, North Korea, Turkey, Yemen and Venezuela. (6)
Venezuela: the fruits of economic warfare (and mismanagement.)
But with Trump has come a new willingness to exert financial blackmail, with the tariff wars he is entering into with China and the EU having the potential to cause serious disruption to multiple lives. At the same time the USA appears to be reducing the global supply of US dollars and thereby raising interest rates, raising the value of the US dollar and causing liquidity crises in multiple nations that have allowed themselves to become too dependent on the ‘goodwill’ of the global economic hegemon. In the short term, this will probably result in the flight of foreign capital to the USA – much to the making of America great again and the impoverishment of others.
In the meantime, desperate attempts are being made by such as Russia and China to circumvent the USA’s reserve currency monopoly (7.) Certainly, global bankers are looking for alternatives to trading in US dollars – such as increasing the usage of SDRs (Special Drawing Rights.) When that happens, the USA’s bubble will almost certainly pop. Prior to that possibly too distant event, we might well have serious disruptions and even accidental wars. (8.) The outcome of the trade war, now in its early stages, that will be fought between China and the USA is as yet uncertain and will be the subject of another blog. So too will the developing situation in Iran as the fresh sanctions bite with the intent that the citizen unrest that will ensue will suffice to bring about a change of regime.
I apologise for the haste with which this blog has been put together and the lack of detail. I am in the midst of shifting house and my time for detailed research and subsequent composition is limited. I am hoping to be settled into a new domestic routine in a fortnight’s time.