I'd like to teach the world to sing. Globalisation in reality has been a toxic mix of forced trade and the trans-national corporation. In its US form, globalisation has been seen as an attempt at creation of empire. Picture: © 2003 Terence Bunch - Cancun, Mexico.
In the modern period, globalisation1 has come to the forefront of political discourse as a result of the large scale economic disruption seen in capital markets during the period between 2007-20092. Quantitative easing3, sovereign debt4, structural adjustment5 and economic stagnation6 have in equal measure prompted large scale debate in all quarters regarding the competence of economic planning within the framework of theoretical and practical globalisation.
In the period following the 2007-2009 collapse, economic thinking on globalisation has proposed two possible scenario's to the crisis: the seeking of more strident Capitalist dogma in order to generate domestic growth in business and industry, and direct government economic intervention in order to prompt growth through government spending on domestic infrastructure. Throughout this period, and enveloping the debate, austerity7 has been the pole around which these strategies have rotated. At present severe economic regional disruption has appeared in Greece, a member of the EU [European Union]. Greece is believed to be about to kick out from integration with Europe, and into a policy of economic isolation. In France, the electorate have returned a Socialist President, François Gèrard Georges Nicolas Hollande, committed to a policy of economic intervention: a dismissal of organised 'austerity'.
These recent events take place with contemporary analysis pointing firmly to the collapse of 'globalisation' on the international stage.
Empire involves all aspects of a nation state toward extension of its sovereignty on the international stage. There have been many empires over the course of modern history, antiquity and ancient history. Broadly speaking, empire can be divided into two generic types. Those that are coercive and those that are not. In both instances, regional, national and international power is realised in a variety of forms.
Coercive empire may not derive exclusively from a desire to impose sovereignty on a foreign territory. In modern history and antiquity, the challenges faced by navigating a large domestic military or trading fleet through territory would outstretch the carrying capacity of the force involved. When travelling over land or across stretches of water, food, fresh water and other resources needed to maintain the force did not allow excessive expansion over considerable distance before those resources would be exhausted. For this reason, any moving force would be forced to co-op the resources of the territory being navigated. In order to span considerable distance, any force would ordinarily be required to trade 'along the way'. It is entirely possible that an empire of sorts might form over time during the normal course of exploration without any attempt to impose sovereignty on a nation state. In the initial formation of exploration, especially in antiquity, trading regimes could form without a distinct attempt at creation of empire.
For the most part, it is highly likely that earliest forms of empire were simply the by-product of exploration.
As nation states learned to navigate territory and built those exploration routes, coercive empire became more likely in an attempt to consolidate and protect the territorial thoroughfare. In this sense, a clearer distinction between coercive and non-coercive empire building can form based on the use of military force to elicit complicity or the use of trade to encourage the same degree of compliance.
In the modern period free of the necessity of territorial exploration, but laden with the necessity of trade between nation states, the United States can be identified potentially as a deliberate force acting to bring about synchronicity between its own domestic economy and the economy of foreign trading regimes. Globalisation in its modern form, is entirely within the scope of rationalisation of empire.
Globalisation is a loose and general contemporary term used to describe the internationalisation of business logic and economic theory across national and international boundaries, along with removal of barriers to trade. Globalisation may refer to the spread of cultural values, religious dogma, political diktat, social control theory or economic activity. In trivial form, modern globalisation is used to describe economic low-level activity stretching across pan-regional or pan-continental boundaries especially undertaken by nation states or trans-national institutions. This ordinarily involves the economic activity itself absent centralised planning by any political or institutional body. Trivial globalisation may involve the setting of tariffs between nation states by independent bodies or may describe government policy of an interventionist form. The vast bulk of trivial globalisation entails stripping away of economic impediments to trade such as trade tariffs, localised taxes on goods and services across boundaries, enforcement of prices for goods and services, enforcement of penalties for trade infractions, the discouraging of protectionism and general economic devices to encourage the free exchange of goods and services at rates set and enforced by industrial monetary markets.
In non-trivial form, globalisation is defined by planned and deliberated policy formation undertaken by international political or business and industrial entities in order to affect a regimented system of economic activity in policy form. This is seen where international bodies agree to meet to determine economic policy and is largely a political or legislative process. Non-trivial globalisation is primarily engaged with enforcement and planning of how trivial globalisation is undertaken.
Globalisation: A brief history.
It is impossible to determine with absolute accuracy the initial beginnings of trivial globalisation as it is seen in the modern world. For as long as trade has taken place, interested trading parties have attempted to facilitate easy trade with one another through bi-directional trading agreements. In the historical sense, the very beginnings of the modern commercial economy in both theory and practice originated in Syria between the 12th and 7th century BC8 under the charge of the Canaanites. At that time, Syria stretched from the peninsula's of Anatolia [modern day Turkey] all the way down to the Sinai and was much coveted for its ports. Along with the first commercial economy, the Syrians also invented the modern alphabet, organised an ocean going fleet of ships, practiced large scale textile and ceramic manufacturing, expanded and systemised geography and collectively coagulated these disciplines into a non-expansionist civil and governmental order that would later, with the help of the Greeks, become 'western civilisation'.
Centuries later, the kernel of western civilisation would begin the march toward modern globalisation with the appearance of economic colonialism and the sea voyages from Europe to Central America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and North America. As the British, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgians and Germans fought each other for economic dominance, continental territories opened up in and were quickly overrun with outbound settlers from Europe eager to exploit the riches of the new continents. The colonial pursuit of wealth in raw materials and foreign labour provided not only riches in abundance for the new powers, but the beginnings of a global cobweb of economic adversarial globalisation regimes stretching over much of the world's territory.
Throughout, the economists built their treasuries.
Throughout the prosecution of the pan-European conflict of 1939-1945, the production line churned out weapons in all forms including aircraft, ocean going vessels, armour, artillery, small ordnance, firearms, tanks, mines and more in quantities only available from regimented production using abstract planning. The production line assembly of military weapons by the millions of units was made possible by regimented labor work hours, time and motion, division of labor and other abstract economic planning. Throughout the entire conflict period, assembly lines like the one above manufacturing Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft for use on aircraft carriers churned out military weapons in quantities that were truly staggering. This required not only complex economic practice to manage the assembly lines, but a complete re-arrangement of national government economic planning. During the 1940-1945 period, the America's and Europe were rigidly centralised federal economies. As Capitalism overheated during this cycle of overproduction, it took on the moniker and identity of Communism.
War after war followed as each power jockeyed for position until colonialism collapsed into chaos with the appearance of the first pan-European conflict of 1914 - 1918. Defeat for the German Empire brought forward crippling economic 'reparations'9, followed by the rise of extreme nationalism, and the inevitable slide into the second pan-European conflict of 1939 - 1945. In these two conflicts, eighty two million [82,893,000] were injured, went missing, or died outright. The vast majority of whom, had come into first direct contact with the new colonial economy of war.
On every continent from the America's to Europe, from Asia to Australasia, domestic colonial economies had been spitting out mechanised weapons technology by the tonne competing with each other to feed the European conflict while realising staggering private profits. By the wars end, the United States stood alone as the victor, with much of the Eurasian continental plate in ruins. The colonial powers had started the conflict, but it was the colonies which inherited its legacy.
As the dust of war settled, the economist's and mathematicians of the old colonial era assembled to plan again their elusive globalisation 'economy utopia'.
John Maynard Keynes11 advocated an 'interventionist' economic policy at the 1944 Bretton Woods meeting as a result of economic disruption seen throughout the Great Depression and immediate post-War period. For Keynes, the establishing of a 'World Bank' with a global reserve currency would allow the trading surpluses and deficits of member nations to be banked and offset. Trade imbalances which resulted would form the basis of national economic policy enacted by the domestic polity. His ideas were rejected by the US keen to exploit its post-War victory. What emerged from the Bretton Woods meeting was a global economic regime spearheaded by the US and the beginning of a modern 'American Empire'.
After the end of the pan-regional European conflict of 1939-1945, many states emerged from the conflict with severely damaged economies along with severe depletion of domestic resources. The United Kingdom, Germany and Russia felt the brunt of this damage most acutely. In light of this collapse, many states looked to recover what they had lost by formalising trade agreements between nations. In July 1944, the major powers met at Bretton Woods,10 New Hampshire, US in an attempt to create a global trading environment to mitigate their losses.
The impetus for these meetings already existed as a result of poor economic management in the 1920's leading to a slump in worldwide trade otherwise known as the 'Great Depression'. In this period, global trade fell12 by 62% with a further 32% collapse in industrial production. The Bretton Woods meeting would attempt to adopt the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, a British economist and mathematician who, at the time, advocated an 'interventionist' approach to monetary policy. Intervention, according to Keynes, equated to an act of social responsibility and could be used to control unemployment, production and purchasing power.
What could potentially emerge at Bretton Woods, was a consensus among 44 nation states to create a new economic policy framework for the post-War global economy. A new 'Keynesian' co-operative international monetary system that would protect national sovereignty while encouraging economic stability. The Bretton Woods consensus however, did not emerge as intended.
A critical proposal put forward by Keynes was to establish a 'World Bank' which would manage a global 'reserve currency' under the momentum of globalisation. The purpose of the bank in Keynes opinion was to rotate global trade surpluses within the bank in order to offset or finance trade deficits. Any nation that developed a surplus, would be encouraged to bank the surplus, allowing the bank to offset it against the deficits of other nations. Similarly a deficit could be banked against another nation's surplus. Any imbalance of trade which developed, would form the basis of the economic policy of that nation, under the control of that nation's political order.
US Treasury Secretary Harry Dexter White13 was employed at the US Treasury and was a key figure in bringing US wishes to the table during the Bretton Woods meeting in July 1944. In direct confrontation with his nemesis, John Maynard Keynes, he 'articulated' the US political position rejecting the Keynes approach aggressively arguing for a free-market economic system based on a global US dollar reserve currency strengthened by subjective loans to member states, fixing of international exchange rates, subjective currency conversions and a number of organisations tasked with issuing loans at crippling interests rates. Dexter White was later hauled14 before the US 'House Un-American Activities Committee' and was later quietly accused of passing state information to the Soviet Union during the European conflict, a measure almost certainly designed to placate the United Kingdom given the US's hostile and aggressive stance at the Bretton Woods meeting.
However in the post war environment, the political situation of the United States stepped forward keen to consolidate its victory in Europe. In place of a 'World Bank' operating under an international global reserve currency, a system of free trade was setup with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [IBRD], IMF [International Monetary Fund] and GATT [General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs] institutions serving as poles around which US globalisation foreign and economic policy could be enacted.
The IBRD would act to collect the nations of devastated Europe up into members of the bank, the IMF would act to issue loans and would set the economic policy of each nation at a domestic level and GATT would act to regiment trading tariffs to regulate and control the movement of goods and services throughout the world. All institutions would come together under the umbrella 'dollar reserve currency' which would allow the domestic currency of the United States to be printed in global quantities for distribution worldwide.
Steps to empire: the International Monetary Fund [IMF].
The fundamental purpose of the IMF15 in its initial charter was not to manage a global currency system with the intent of controlling trade surpluses or deficits, but to create and control an international 'fixed' exchange rate system, to create and control currency 'conversions' across national or international boundaries, and to act as a lender to nation states. The IMF would in effect act as lender, currency converter and would fix international exchange rates all under the umbrella of the globalisation of the US dollar. This situation would hand the US political order the building blocks of an empire it would control through monetary policy which would be determined not by impartial or objective monetary policy specialists, but by US strategic interests in political form. The 'coup' would be finalised by the US Treasury Secretary Harry Dexter White who demanded that the ability of the IMF to issue loans to nations states would be arranged under a quota system.
The quota system16 at the IMF requires that 'member' nations pay into a global fund $1 for every unit of quota they have. In technical parlance, the IMF's unit of quota are Special Drawing Rights [SDR's]. The unit of quota they have is determined subjectively according to their economic position. Smaller nations have a smaller quota with larger nations retaining the largest quota. The loans which the IMF is able to make to its 'members', directly correlates to the size of the nation's IMF quota.
The United States currently has the largest quota. While this requires that the United States pays into the fund the largest amount due to its possession of the largest quota, the US dollars status as global reserve currency enables the US to print bank notes at will and for all occasions. When the United States is required to pay into the fund, it prints the required number of bank notes! No other nation on earth operates under the same privilege.
The International Monetary Fund is based in Washington DC, the United States.
Steps to empire: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
The IBRD's17 initial charter was to provide a framework for reconstruction for those nations most severely damaged by the war. It would accept dues from member states and in return would make low interest rate loans available to fund internal domestic infrastructure reconstruction. Fundamentally, this would allow nation states struggling with reconstruction to avoid private institutions or banks attempting to profit excessively from the European reconstruction industries. This reconstruction industry promised large-scale investment and was followed quickly by further US exploitation. In 1948, the United States began the 'Marshall Plan', an attempt to consolidate its over-producing domestic war-industries by exploiting foreign reconstruction efforts. Between April 1948 and December 1951, the United States made $12.5 billion18 USD available to 16 European nations predominately in grant form.
As time wore on, and reconstruction in Europe led to recovery, the IBRD turned its attention to the southern hemisphere and adopted 'development' in place of 'reconstruction'. At this time, the IBRD became known as the World Bank.
In the 1950's, the World Bank created three subset institutions: the International Development Association [IDA], International Finance Corporation [IFC] and the Multilateral Insurance Guarantee Agency [MIGA].
The World Bank has throughout its life, changed and revised its strategy to accommodate the international trading arena. From its initial beginnings as the bank for reconstruction, and on toward its funding and 'poverty reduction' strategies, the World Bank has always operated to ensure that the US dollar maintains its place as the world's reserve currency. All current and previous funding programs have been made in US dollars and all repayments are similarly made.
The World Bank is based in Washington DC, the United States.
Steps to empire: the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs [GATT].
GATT19 began its life under a cloud of disagreement. At Bretton Woods, the initial proposal was to create an International Trade Organisation [ITO] which was rejected. For the US, free-trade was the primary negotiating point and so any attempt to setup any trade organisation would have to be de-linked from employment protection policy, fair-trade for smaller producers and anything resembling protectionism, much of which was being advocated by the other Bretton Woods attendee's. For three years, disagreement's continued until finally in 1947, the GATT organisation was formed again with very heavy influence from the United States. GATT would then emerge as a body regulating trade rules between nation states. In reality, as it turned out, this entailed an overt policy of destroying barriers to trade and killing off tariffs wherever they could be detected.
In conjunction with the IMF and the IBRD, GATT would realise the true potential of the US dollar and all four devices would bring about a global system of free-trade rotating around a globalised super-currency, the US dollar. Throughout, these institutions by design, have created a system heavily weighted toward the domestic economic arena of the United States, in character, process, environment and practice.
After a long period of international 'legitimisation' with consensus being drawn from around the world, the GATT talks eventually merged into the World Trade Organisation [WTO] in 1994.
Steps to empire: the World Trade Organisation [WTO].
In this world map compiled from data published by the WTO, nation states or FTR's [Foreign Trade Regimes] are identified according to membership status. Each nation seeking membership of the WTO must first make an application for membership, followed by submission of a 'memorandum' of understanding setting out the framework of their domestic economic status. Then begins a long process of 'accession' toward membership. Over the course of the past decade, US foreign policy has shown itself to be almost perfectly synchronised with the application, memorandum and accession processes of the WTO. Full map [4500px X 2234px @72dpi], 1.01MB.
The WTO20 now operates as an economic framework for nation states to seek membership to further their economic trading systems within a global trading system backed heavily by the global US dollar. Membership of the WTO is sought by an individual nation state which then forms a 'working party' to oversee their application. A 'memorandum' is submitted and a long technical process then takes place toward full membership of the WTO referred to as 'accession'. At any point during the initial application, a nation state may be blocked by another nation state halting the process. At present, Iran is currently blocked from WTO accession by the United States, despite operating in a regional environment that is not easily linked in any material way to the domestic economy of the United States. However, Iran is a Gulf state with immediate proximity to the Persian Gulf, a place where the United States derives the bulk of its current oil reserves21 from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
At present, there are 155 member states of the WTO (May 10th 2012) with a number of states currently in the process of accession. There are also a number of states that have avoided any interaction with the WTO in any form including North Korea, Turkmenistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Western Sahara, the Bahamas' and South Sudan. Nations that have outstanding applications and who are in the process of accession are the Russian Federation, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran (blocked), Yemen and Pakistan.
The WTO is a global entity based in Geneva, Switzerland.
In this two comparison images, the effects of globalisation on our world can be seen. In the first image (left) of a US air force major in an observation balloon high above the French front lines taken in June 1918 during the First World War, the fields below contain a whole variety of different crops being grown mostly for local consumption. This multiple crop rotation system ensures variety of food choices for the local populace as well as ensuring high rates of employment for local producers. In the second image (right), monoculture wheat is produced in fields for global consumption. This type of food production is not only dangerous but has severe effects on the local environment as well as the local populace. Monoculture crop production demands the producer obey minimum employment doctrine in order to maximise profits. Growing crops this way also leads to faster spread of pathogen disease through the single crop by encouraging large scale single crop pest infestation along with forcing out other insects in turn leading to bio-homogeneity.
The fundamental change brought about by globalisation is variability to homogeneity. This is seen in the fields of employment practice, employment law, employment turnover, business logic, domestic taxation and government revenue, salary remuneration and methods of production. In an interdependent world, large-scale trans-national corporations supposedly exist to bring about greater efficiency in production by minimising costs and maximising profits. While this works in theory, it very rarely works in practice. In reality, trans-national corporations or global production business entities are only viable in a world in which their numbers are strictly controlled by a centralised authority. If a large number of trans-national corporations or business enterprises exist, in an environment in which they compete, the end result is simply resource exhaustion leading to production destruction. In the field of food production, this can be catastrophic.
In the video above produced by the London Guardian, major industrial scale fishing fleets slaughter and freeze staggering quantities or marine life in the area around western Africa for consumption globally. This oceanic factory system displays all the typical hallmarks of globalisation in practical form along with its inherent dangers. Ocean going marine rendering plants, otherwise known as 'factory ships', scrape huge quantities of marine fauna from the world's oceans for global consumption, using industrial sized nets. Not just in the Oceans around western Africa but also in the South & North Atlantic and the Indian Ocean around the Maldives. The largest of these vessels at present is the 'Annelies Ilena ex Atlantic Dawn'22. It can catch and process upwards of 350 tonnes of marine fauna per day. Due to the design and function of these types of vessels, and the size of the netting used, very large quantities of incidental marine fauna may be scooped up with the intended catch, which is simply discarded dead back into the ocean as waste by-product .
As the video illustrates, not only is there staggering waste generated by this industry, but serious effects are felt by the local and regional populace. In Senegal, a nation still recovering from depopulation23 during the colonial slave trade era, major and serious loss of income from their own fishing fleets is being felt. As a direct result of the appearance of these major factory ships, collapse in ocean marine life along with serious damage to the local environment is likely to coalesce with economic disruption in Senegal sparking a regional conflict. This is a very typical effect of globalisation which is very typically lost or discarded at the point where the conflict erupts. When this occurs, the world's attention will be turned toward populist narratives such as humanitarian intervention, terrorist proscription, sovereign conduct or enforcement of trade interaction.
The fundamental product and purpose of globalisation. The F-22 'Raptor' strike fighter aircraft is a component of the United States military. At a cost of $412,000,000 USD24 (four hundred and twelve million dollars) per aircraft, the United States has planned to produce a total of 183 aircraft at a total cost of $75,396,000,000 USD (seventy five billion, three hundred and ninety six million dollars). This cost goes far beyond the domestic carrying capacity of the US economy. Without globalisation and the trade regime the United States has created, this development program would not be possible. As a result, the people of the United States must accept high unemployment, subscription to continuous war, staggering rates of domestic inequity, large-scale migration inside and outside the United States, stringent and crippling restriction of wealth at a local level, domestic monetary starvation, major and serious loss of personal freedoms, severe wealth instability and finally generic and permanent failure to control their government even by democratic means. Globalisation for the American people, reduces political engagement and political freedom to a level more often seen in nation states struggling under the polity of state of emergency.
In broad terms, globalisation is fundamentally the result of industrialised nations destroying their own national and regional industries in favour of global production doctrine. In the United States and Western Europe, and increasingly throughout the world, there has been a general move away from self-containment, and towards post-industrial expansionist consumerism. This is driven by so-called 'progressive' political dogma. In a consumerist economy, the onus is on consumption of material resources in order to accommodate and drive technological advances leading to the excessive production of goods and services which have little use as far as the basic needs of a populace are concerned. Technological advancement is seen in the west, as being a critical component of arms development, superiority and military cost effectiveness. By renovating western economies toward the manufacture of non-critical components, western economy is 'progressively' motivated away from production of critical goods such as food, and toward non critical goods such as information technology. Here, the trans-national corporation leads the way.
Globalisation: advocacy and criticism.
Throughout the period of globalisation that has taken place as a result of the Bretton Woods meeting, anti-globalisation has attempted to act as a brake to prevent smaller nations from being swallowed up by hostile economic policy emanating from the US. Here, anti-globalisation protesters assembled in Cancun, Mexico in 2003 to oppose this policy as enacted by the World Trade Organisation [WTO] in its 5th Ministerial meeting. The WTO had assembled in Mexico in an attempt to set global trade tariffs a number of which severely curtailed the ability of the 'developing world' nations to operate without experiencing severe disruption to their domestic economies. The Cancun talks eventually collapsed when a 55 year old Korean farmer, Lee Kyang Hae25 [below], committed suicide on September 10th 2003 at a military barricade surrounding the conference meeting. Picture: © 2003 Terence Bunch - Cancun, Mexico.
Advocates of globalisation point to the spread of regimented commerce around the world as representing the best interests of nation states and routinely append this with recognition that globalisation in its ontological form is the best way to alleviate both absolute and relative poverty. In addition, advocates of globalisation often claim that regimented economic practice across international boundaries creates the safe framework needed for business and industry to operate in multiple markets.
Where a regimented economic order exists across territories, advocates claim, reductions in legislative law making take place with less intrusion into business and industry by political bodies representing the interests of specific states. Where reduction in legislative law-making is seen, advocates claim, business and industry perceives a free environment for trade which in turn encourages fair competition, wider take up in self-employment, more effective local welfare provision planning, wider private ownership of resources including housing and land, greater take up of business ownership and resultant domestic development of infrastructure, welfare and governance.
Finally, advocates of globalisation claim that a fully involved and free trade environment, when it exists in a domestic territory, encourages the spread of common values across national boundaries leading to a reduction of nationalism, internecine conflict and regional instability.
The Korean farmer Lee Kyang Hae lies with a self-inflicted knife wound to his chest on the ground surrounded by anti-globalisation campaigners at the western end of Kukulkan Boulevard in Cancun, Mexico on 10th September 2003. Kyang Hae had been protesting against unfair tariffs which the WTO was attempting to formalise. Hae was taken by ambulance to a local hospital but died in transit. Hae's suicide brought the Cancun round of 'talks' in Cancun to an abrupt halt causing the meetings collapse.
For critics, globalisation in its modern form has always existed and is best identified as a natural process that takes place by default where regional trade takes place. Business and industry is no guarantor of stability, stability is instead dependent entirely on the political order of a nation state or region, whether by public direction or not. In areas in which ethnic displacement is the primary driver of trade, or where some localised polity exists to limit and restrict regional trade, globalisation in its current form cannot take hold. In this regard, modern globalisation and specifically its spread across the international arena, is seen as simply the product of a 'unifying' outside presence directed toward enforcement of regional trade at the international level. Where that 'unifying' presence arrives in violent form, such as military intervention into the sovereignty of a nation state, globalisation is seen as 'force majeure' initiated by coercion from the arriving force.
For many critics, globalisation brings about the removal of regional economic structures which fundamentally and unfairly affects local and small business far more than their larger trans-national counterparts. In the modern period, movement of trans-national corporations into and out of regions introduces unfair trade practices because large-scale trans-national corporations are able to produce goods at far lower prices due to scale of production schematics. If a small nation state produces goods for domestic consumption through local industry, the unit costs of those goods are set by the rate of production along with the national price. If that nation state then allows a large-scale trans-national corporation to enter into its territory and begin production of the same goods, the goods will be produced at a global production rate leading to lower domestic price. Local business then fails leading to increases in unemployment, higher take up of domestic welfare (if it exists), migration out of domestic territory, immigration into domestic territory, social, religious and cultural friction and finally, eventual collapse of domestic sales of the goods leading to the trans-national corporation departing in order to seek other more stable markets for exploitation.
What is left, is a nation state in economic ruin with a decimated production line.
Finally, critics of globalisation claim that the movement of trans-national corporations into foreign territories often causes the profits made from a territory being siphoned off and redirected back to the headquarters of the corporation leading to a terminus loss of domestic wealth along with often violent currency production disruption.
Aspects of Empire - Law & Order.
In 2004, the United States met with severe resistance to its invasion of Iraq and undertook a major military operation in Fallujah. The population was ordered out of the city prior to a major bombardment from the air. Shortly after, US forces entered the city and began a series of operations that were later identified as war crimes.
The law & order of empire is the law & order of globalisation. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia the United States military is or has been encamped claiming to be concerned solely with the domestic security of its nation state. For a capitalist state exclusively concerned with on-going globalisation, domestic security means security of its trade and its freedom to trade. Where trade is blocked or obstructed, the United States willingly identifies a threat to its national security. From 2001 to 2009 the United States named this policy the so-called 'War on Terror'. From 2009 to present the United States under the Democratic Party moniker has renamed the policy the 'Overseas Contingency Operation'26 27. The policy has switched from direct military deployment to indirect military deployment. In tandem with the recently appearing legitimate drive to democracy undertaken in nation states of North Africa and the Middle-East, otherwise known as the 'Arab Spring', the United States and its partners have latched onto the momentum of this movement in order to drive regime change in accordance with the overall globalisation policy of economic regimentation through the WTO.
This policy is claimed by the United States to be of humanitarian origin but is almost exclusively directed toward those nations not yet fully ascended to the WTO trading regime. In both Libya and Syria, the conduct of the foreign policy of the United States cannot be described as humanitarian except in the most spurious way28 29 30 .
At present, the United States is joined by other regional partners in channelling arms31 and weapons into Syria in an attempt to depose the Presidency of Bashar Assad. For the United States, the Syrian nation represents a major prize and a doorstep to intervention in Iran in order to fully secure the Persian Gulf and its oil supply trade. For Israel, now withering away under the weight of its own nationalism, Syria represents a block to Iran and destabilises Iran's support for the Palestinian case at the UN regarding the illegal occupation of the adjunct territories seized by Israel in 1967. Israel continues, with the support of elements within the United States, to occupy these territories in violation of resolution 24232 of the UN Security Council.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, and later in Libya, the United States has routinely violated international law and undermined the concept of international justice at the international community level. These violations have been joined by France and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, there is no detectable support for this policy in public form. France has just rejected the policy officially.
In Saudi Arabia, tactical support for the United States is derived not only by its material domestic trade regime, and its voluntary surrender of its domestic territory for the accommodation of US military aerial forces, but by its large scale oil revenues and trading regime in petroleum products. The Saudi regime has a long and stable history of acceding to the United States in almost all economic matters and enjoys complete freedom to operate despite materially meeting many of the requirements needed by the United States to invoke military intervention and deposition of its domestic polity and government.
As US forces entered the city, many who simply were not able to leave due to age, ability or sheer fright were identified as terrorists and killed in an operation that was touted around the world as an anti-terrorism operation. To this day, international media carry the appalling burden of what subsequently happened here.
As a direct result of US conduct in the realm of law & order within globalisation strategy, the United Nations has been despoiled and weakened with the bulk of the member states undermined. Even under the auspices of the 'Overseas Contingency Operation', a renaming of the 'War on Terror', the UN has again been despoiled and robbed of its legitimacy. In Libya, NATO [North American Treaty Organisation] intervention was qualified by security resolutions 1970/1973 to be to protect the Libyan people. In the event, it led to the barbaric hunting down and bloody public murder of Khaddafi, much to the glee of the US political order. This act went far beyond the terms given to NATO by the UN Security Council.
To date, the post-2001 period of indirect 'law & order' is marked by bloody intervention after bloody intervention into Muslim states and now threatens to emerge as an 'socio-religious war' driven by political and religious fundamentalism of the very worst kind.
The law & order of globalisation in the pursuit of profit and free-trade is fundamentally illegitimate at every conceivable level.
From 1945 to present the United States has been involved in states of conflict33 with Korea [1950-1953], Vietnam [1955-1972], Laos [1962-1975], Dominican Republic , Laos & Cambodia , Cambodia , North Vietnam , Nicaragua , El Salvador , Lebanon , Grenada , Libya , Haiti , Panama , Libya , Iraq [1991-2003], Somalia [1992-1995], Bosnia [1993-1995], Haiti [1994-1995], Iraq , Afghanistan and Sudan , Serbia , Afghanistan [2001-present], Yemen [2001-present], Iraq [2003-2011], Liberia , Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea , Pakistan [2004-present], Somalia , Iraq [2010-2011], Libya , Pakistan  and Somalia . These conflicts comprise a mix of attempts at enforced trade, or attempts to stabilise its wider geo-strategic intentions toward a policy of enforced trade in neighbouring or adjacent territories.
As US forces attempted to take 'control' of the city, the bodies began to pile up in the streets. The vast majority of those killed were not 'terrorists' but simply ordinary Iraqi's too frightened to leave, unable to leave, or in the case of the younger Iraqi's determined not to be bullied from the city they had grown up in. Even so, US soldiers killed them in large numbers. By the operations end 36,000 homes, 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines had been completely destroyed. Over 6,000 had been killed.
Within these regularly occurring conflicts the United States has maintained a previously existing list of states it has proscribed as 'rogue states'34 these being nations that have so far resisted membership of the WTO and other US globalisation institutions. In 2012 only Syria, Iran and North Korea remain.
The 'financial crisis' in 2007-2009 can therefore be explained not so much by the obvious disgust shown by the world over the conduct of the United States unitary police authority over its 'war policy' in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even by its clear and equally obvious attempts to second the natural resources of those nations, but more by its attempts to 'police' those nations into compliance with the worldwide globalisation regime it has been party to, in association with 'other' extremist states. Here, a loss of confidence in monetary form with attendant collapse of monetary markets can only be seen as existing in light of the US's failure to conduct its obligations in an orderly manner. The United States has failed to live up to its international obligations sparking a worldwide collapse in monetary confidence leading to an international 'segmentation' of economic interests.
At the beginning of the second decade of the modern twenty first century, the United States has come to be considered the world's leading human rights abusing state.
The Empire of the United States.
In this truly repellent image, an Iraqi man is tortured in crucifix position at the US Abu Ghraib occupation facility. This image denotes not only clear evidence of torture freely undertaken by US military, but severe religious animosity toward non-Christians. As a result of globalisation, and in conjunction with terrorist atrocities committed against the people of America, the United States has undertaken a series of events that have alienated the bulk of the rest of the world against its legitimacy and toward the post American era. This image came to epitomise the so-called 'War on Terror' as being a religious type conflict in accordance with racist and nationalist doctrine. It should be remembered that a large part of the US political order is comprised of strategic helpers and representatives of foreign entities. A disproportionately large number of ideological Zionists are always present as non-Democratic representatives in positions to advise the US President. This type of ill treatment of Muslims is almost certainly the result of 'religious dogma' being present in proximity to the President's ear.
The empire of the United States is not so much a centralised empire in the traditional sense of the word, but more a nation state that has distributed the tools of empire among allies, and then asked for strategic consensus in return. Its misuse of these tools determines in the eyes of many its current human rights status. In almost all areas, closer examination reveals the United States to be more an autonomous circus troop than empire. Its military deployments around the world are limited, small and horribly overstretched. It derives almost all its power from propaganda and misuse of conventional media. It has a very heavy dependency on seconding the wealth of foreign states and has by far the largest foreign debt35 of any nation on earth. No empire in the past has placed itself in such a precarious position from the outset.
It has heavy dependency on energy resources which it is forced to source thousands of miles from its domestic territory, has little control over its public spending, has little or no support from its immediate regional neighbours and is terminally dependent on its domestic currency continuing to operate as a global reserve. Any one of these problems might at any time explode into an existential crisis causing horrific implosion of the US's influence around the world. All things considered, the United States is a nation state that has built its wealth and influence on a post-War recovery model which has outlived its usefulness.
In this image US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, poses for photographs with Libyan nationalists soon after Libya falls to rebel forces financially and militarily supported by the government of the United States. This image is representative of the newly quantified 'Overseas Contingency Operation' whereby the strategic economic interests of the US is redirected toward 'deposition' of foreign governments and non-tradable regimes by financing and arming foreign government opponents. The change in strategy is clumsily dubbed 'humanitarian' by Whitehouse and Pentagon officials. Despite this, no change in public discourse has taken place and the change in tactic has simply accelerated the US's journey to pariah status.
In 2012, the United States is at a crossroads. Its power to garner consensus is clearly and obviously challenged. Hardly a day goes by without some post-American critique appearing in persuasive form. Over the past three year period, substantial and very compelling evidence has emerged clearly indicating the limits of American power. Fundamentally, it is content to generate headlines.
As the Arab world learns these lessons and further consolidates the tiresome journey toward democratic legitimacy, the United States and its allies are fixed into a policy of attachment and policy appendage onto the back of events it has little control over. Gone are the days in which the alternative narrative of a global empire to be feared held sway, and in its place appears a new logic in which the empire of the United States is scuttled on the banks of its own treasury...by its own hand.
The United States economic systems are not directed toward sustainability of its domestic populace. Instead, the US economy is directed toward technological advancement in order to service its global ambitions. 'Progressive' polity, military-economic theory and the trans-national corporation collectively serve to flip foreign nation states on their heads in order to provide the 'chaos' needed to effect seizure of assets. The people of the United States, almost in their entirety, are subject to this discipline either by coercion or by outright physical brute force. The empire of the United States is present on the world stage in policing form and tolerates no interference in its affairs. Consensus, a critical component of globalisation theory - is a myth.
In the post-War period, the United States opted toward the exploitation of the economy of 'conflict recovery'. At the Bretton Woods meeting in 1944, the US economy was bloated and swollen with over-production. In order to alleviate this economic imbalance, the United States government opted to capitalise the recovery regime by hijacking the market for recovery in Europe and Eurasia. This was fundamentally an exploitative doctrine which Europe and Eurasia had no option but to consent to. The United States had built its economy on the back of the economy of war, had decimated Europe, and then forced it into conjunction with its 'regime for recovery'. Much of Europe's populace had been slaughtered.
As a result of the events of 9/11, the United States was able to deploy its military into the sovereign nation of Iraq on a tidal wave of nationalism. In 2003, Iraq fell to the invasion with the hunting down and murder of Saddam Hussein by hanging. In this image taken in Baghdad in 2003 by the Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic during a 'press event' staged to appeal to US domestic nationalists, a US marine drapes a union flag of the United States over a statue of Hussein. For just a few moments, the actual purpose of the entire United States political and military nexus was fully revealed. The flag was hurriedly removed by a senior military officer realising the mistake that had been made. Picture: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters.
However, 'recovery' by its nature reaches an end point and there comes a time when the process has completed.
In the modern period, the attempt to morph the polity of war recovery into a globalisation strategy has now failed. Nation states have little or no interest in being policed by a centralised foreign state, no matter how convinced of its intentions that centralised foreign state may be. Regional tariffs, trade and economic exploitation is now the business of the recovered states to enact according to the needs of their local populace. It can never be the case that global security must be provided for on the basis that without it, states will inevitably go to war. The pan-European conflicts of 1914 - 1918 and then again in 1939 - 1945 were aberrations of the political and economic order. These catastrophes emerge when globalisation and nationalism merge into one.
In the modern period, the United States is attempting to play a role few if any states are concerned with. In reality, the United States only realistic partners in this endeavour are in the Middle-eastern region. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar freely still encourage a state of dependency for either strategic reasons or because they could not survive on their own. Israel is broadly considered to be an example of strident nationalism without friends anywhere else but in America. It is in material long-standing breach of international law. Its treatment of its own people is derived fundamentally from its own political order which is absolutely dependent on the encouraging of conflict and war just to survive!
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are all states that have large-scale energy resources they do not have the military prowess to secure. As a result, the United States is trapped into a regional situation that brings it into direct conflict with the regional powerhouse...Iran. On the western edge of the giant Economic Cooperation Organisation [ECO]36 and its kernel the Common Economic Zone [CEZ],37 Iran projects its power directly into the Persian Gulf with serious might. At any time, clumsy misadventure on the part of Israel or even naive voices within America itself could fling the US into a conflict it would not be able to extricate itself from. The strategy used by the United States in surrounding Iran with military forces, simply served to reveal chronic anti-US belligerence which survives to this day. If the United States were to attempt intervention in Iran, it would be quickly sucked into a ground war, and would find itself outflanked at once with old vengeful adversaries...with a professional and skilled addition directly in front and overhead. War with Iran would certainly involve manpower from three nations, with a fourth in reserve in Pakistan...and the Russian's waiting gleefully in the wings.
In this map of RTA's [Regional Trading Agreements], seven major pan-continental economic zones and political influence spheres can be identified around the world. They are North & Central America, Latin America, Europe, North and Central Eurasia, South-East Eurasia & Australasia, North/South Africa & Arabia and finally Western Africa. All of these RTA's have formed in the post-War era alongside the development of the WTO, however, not all members of these RTA's have reached full accession to the WTO. These RTA's have all formed over the past forty year period and all involve direct military intervention by the United States. In almost all cases, the United States has used populist vitriol to explain its conduct. Globalisation has gone on apace throughout. At the present time, the United States globalisation strategy has reached exhaustion causing it to retire to its domestic territory. It is now preparing for dependency on Canadian energy resources. In December 2011, Canada renounced its membership of the Kyoto Protocol leaving only the United States and Canada as non-signatories.
As detailed above, globalisation at the present has first actuated membership of the WTO often by military coercion, and secondly has actuated not a state of individual nation state interdependence, but a global multi regional series of economic 'blocks'. In North America the North American Free Trade Area [NAFTA] is offset in global terms by its North & Central Eurasian cousin. In South-East Eurasia, a much larger economic block has formed involving two of the world's most populace states, China and India. In Latin America, dozens of South American nations have converged into a fourth regional 'block' joined by the African Pan Arab and North & Central African 'block'. In addition to the European Union, globalisation has brought forward seven regional trading areas' each of which exists separate from the global arena.
There exists now, a world of regional trading entities each of which has the capacity to strike out on their own, under their own steam. In all regions, energy reserves are in abundance. North America, Latin America, North & Central Eurasia, South-East Eurasia and the Pan Arab and African region are all self-contained units with domestic energy reserves stretching far into the future. Whatever the environmental implications of further economic development, the situation is substantially aggravated by on-going conflict and competition generated and maintained by nations that are approaching resource exhaustion, as in the case of the United States.
The Kyoto Protocol is currently attended to by almost all nations of the world; only the United States has so far failed to ratify the agreements. As a direct result of the US's failed policing attempts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Canada renounced the protocol in 2011 in order to make its own very substantial petroleum reserves available to the war weary US, a decision that will have direct implications for the US, the world's leading polluter.
The failure of globalisation is for the most part, a failure of US foreign policy. Its attempts to police the rest of the world have been a mask for the development of a new world order.
The emergence of the major regional powers and structural Multi-Polarity.