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Farewell to the unipolar world and Disaster capitalism: back to Marx!

by Matthias Brockers and Michael Haller
The sanctions have already proved to be a dangerous boomerang because they hit Europe harder than Russia... It is a suicidal illusion to try to win a war against the raw materials giant Russia - which possesses more than a third of all fossil energies and raw materials on earth - and the world's largest high-tech workshop, China, which is united with it.
Farewell to the unipolar world
In eight theses, Mathias Bröckers lays out why the idea of a global order dictated unilaterally by Washington is at an end. Exclusive reprint from "On the End of the Unipolar World".
by Mathias Bröckers
[This article posted on 11/23/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/abschied-von-der-unipolaren-welt.]
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Whether moral sermons are received also depends very much on the credibility of the moralists.

The Western alliance has lost a great deal of credit after countless wars, all of which have caused chaos and suffering in the countries concerned. After the collapse of the Eastern bloc, some dreamed of an end to history. What was meant was a stable order, no longer subject to change, which would be based on the unilateral dictates of the "free world." Such an order would be guaranteed by the superiority of Western values, but also by the invincibility of the NATO alliance. For such a vision of the future, the foundations have broken away at the latest with the Russia-Ukraine war. Not only have the West's moral concepts become obsolete, but the alliance's ability to enforce them globally is also waning. In eight concise theses, the author here explains conclusively why the events of the current war in particular mark a historical turning point in this regard. Exclusive reprint from the introduction of the book "From the end of the unipolar world: why I am against war."

"Fortune is always on the side of the big battalions" - the French saying also handed down by Prussian King Frederick II needs to be rephrased in the 21st century. Now that The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs has taken place, according to Andrei Martyanov's book of the same name (2019), the fortune of war is on the side of "hypersonic weapons": precision missiles that, due to their extreme speed, cannot be intercepted by any air defense system and hit their target from thousands of kilometers away to the meter. Since only Russia (and soon China) has such weapons - not to mention that these missiles can also be equipped with nuclear warheads - the U.S. and NATO are outgunned in any direct military engagement. Even their many times larger battalions cannot help. Even a massive nuclear "first strike" on Moscow and St. Petersburg cannot prevent a resounding response on Washington, New York or London - mutual annihilation is guaranteed. Or rather, was guaranteed. This is because superior air defense systems (S-400/S-500) can close Russian ballistic missile airspace and most likely intercept the "first strike." But there is no defense in the West to the Russian counterstrike. Therefore, NATO cannot and will not intervene directly militarily in Ukraine.

2

With the arrival of hypersonic precision weapons on the battlefield - the Russian "military operation" in Ukraine saw the first use of such "Kinschal" missiles - the military situation for the U.S. empire changes fundamentally and dramatically. Not only has the doctrine of military "full spectrum dominance" of the globe become baseless, but for the first time in its history the "homeland" of the USA itself is no longer secure. From their favorable position - "Americans are a very fortunate people. They are surrounded to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish," Otto von Bismarck once allegedly paraphrased them - they can no longer derive any profit. The age of "cheap wars" and of enemies from whom one had nothing to fear at home is over and will not return. Therefore, Russia, with its weapons that will probably remain invincible for a long time, will use "military-technical means" to enforce its security interests put forward in Washington in December 2021 - military neutrality of Ukraine, withdrawal of NATO medium-range missiles from Eastern Europe - until watertight and bulletproof treaties on them are in place. The U.S. can drag out this process by continuing to let "fight to the last Ukrainian" (or European), but they cannot prevent it.

3

The geopolitical strategy of the collective West - to use the Ukraine conflict and economic sanctions to bring about regime change in Moscow and then to target the "ultimate adversary" China - is doomed to failure. The sanctions have already proved to be a dangerous boomerang because they hit Europe harder than Russia, which is by no means isolated internationally but, beyond NATOstan (in about 15 percent of the world's population), continues to do excellent business with the rest of the world and cooperates with China economically and militarily as closely as never before. It is a suicidal illusion to try to win a war against the raw materials giant Russia - which possesses more than a third of all fossil energies and raw materials on earth - and the world's largest high-tech workshop, China, which is united with it.

The foreseeable military defeat in Ukraine marks a decisive geopolitical turning point: the end of a "rules-based international order" dictated by Washington and enforceable by military means.

And with it, an end to the role of the "petrodollar" as a forced international reserve currency and the U.S. dollar as "cheap money" that could be printed in vast quantities without losing value because the whole world, in order to pay for its oil and gas, ensured steady dollar demand. The last two statesmen to break the petrodollar monopoly and offer their oil in exchange for local currency - Iraq's former President Saddam Hussein and Libya's former head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi - could still be bombed out of existence by NATOstan. That is no longer possible. India, for example, is already paying for its oil in rubles in exchange for rupees, and other countries will follow suit. An alternative global monetary and financial system with a commodity- and gold-backed international currency is emerging that will end the global autocracy of the dollar and Western finance capital.

4

A European Union (EU) that strangles itself on U.S. orders and cuts itself off from cheap energy supplies from Russia is giving up not only its economic future but also any sovereignty. As soon as the boomerang effect of the sanctions really hits - so far Russia has not even used its "energy weapon" and continues to supply Germany via the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline in accordance with the contract - the major European nations in particular will have to ask themselves whether they really want to surrender to a fate of being the disconnected colonies of the U.S. empire. And if so, how they as rulers can sell such a hopeless future to their unemployed, impoverished, freezing citizens without being hounded out of office with shame. No one will buy the fact that "freedom and democracy" will now have to be defended in the Donbass for the next 20 years instead of in the Hindu Kush. An EU without cheap Russian raw materials is not globally competitive and will fall apart. Nations will have to decide: for permanent war as vassals of Washington, with the goal of regime change in Moscow and Beijing; or for trade and change with Russia and Eurasia, with the goal of a new security and peace treaty in Europe.

5

Because the Soviet Union's military and economic capabilities were regularly overestimated in the West during the first Cold War, its collapse in 1990-91 came as a complete surprise. For years, Kremlin propaganda had succeeded in simply keeping negative developments under the carpet. In the new Cold War, the situation has changed fundamentally: Russia is severely underestimated militarily and economically, and the U.S. has fallen into a mode of permanent creation of "alternative" realities against which good old Soviet propaganda virtually pales. "Russiagate," for example, the story invented from A to Z that Donald Trump is being blackmailed by Vladimir Putin and that the U.S. election is being manipulated by invisible "Russian hackers," was presented as reality for five years through all channels, including Hillary Clinton, who was thus able to put the "Putin = Hitler" equation into the world back in 2016. Not only the media were involved in the charade in a leading role as the "lying press", but also the secret services, the FBI and the US Congress played along unabashedly. This fact-free fake news campaign laid the foundation for the anti-Russian narrative, which then went into turbo mode as the Ukraine conflict intensified. In which the unprecedented sanctions campaign then started, but based on another misjudgment of Russia's capabilities. This time, a gross underestimation: completely surprisingly for the U.S. think tankers and "experts," it turned out that the Russian economy and ruble cannot be ruined simply by "freezing" (vulgo: stealing) Russia's dollar and euro reserves. Despite sanctions, Russia took in 50 percent more from oil and gas exports in the first five months of 2022 than in the same period last year and will continue to suffer far less from sanctions than the West. And the ruble, which Joe Biden wanted to smash into "rubble," is the strongest currency of 2022.

6

The fact that NATO has long ceased to be a "defensive alliance," but has wreaked more havoc and catastrophe with wars of aggression since 1999 than any other military alliance, is not a Russian conspiracy theory, but historical fact. Like Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan posed no threat to the U.S. or Europe - and yet NATO "defended" them vigorously as a vassal of the geopolitical interests of the U.S. empire.

These wars, supposedly waged for the purpose of spreading "democracy", "freedom" and "human rights", have caused nothing but murderous chaos and have led to the fact that in Libya - previously the most prosperous country in Africa - there are now open slave markets again.

And now in Ukraine, battalions of flawless Nazis trained and armed by NATO to spearhead the fight against Russia and against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass region. Ending these attacks, which have caused more than 13,000 civilian casualties since 2014, is the stated goal of the so-called Russian "military operation," which will presumably be achieved soon, as the Ukrainian army is currently (mid-June 2022) losing 500 soldiers killed or wounded every day. For NATO, which supports this army and war by all means (except ground troops) and feels "united as never" again - just driven out of Afghanistan by a barefoot force - thanks to Russian intervention, this would mean another humiliating defeat. Because Russia will enforce its security interests not only in Ukraine but also in the neighboring countries "militarily-technically" if necessary - and NATO cannot do anything about it - it definitely makes itself superfluous as a "protecting power". And in doing so, it will at the same time clear the way for a new security architecture for Europe and Asia that stretches from Lisbon to Beijing.

7

It was not the "Ostpolitik" of Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr ("change through rapprochement"), which dim Bellicists are currently berating as a "historical mistake," that was wrong, but the U.S. policy of deploying its missiles in Ukraine at any cost, even that of war. It was not Russia's insistence on reunification under the Minsk Agreements that was the historic mistake, but its ignorance of Russian security concerns and its arming of Ukraine. And it is not Germany's reliable, obvious and cheap supply of Russian oil and gas that is the "mistake of the century" (Der Spiegel), but the Anglo-American strategy to prevent Eurasia from growing together, especially a German-Russian cooperation. Twice this has succeeded in the past century, at the price of two world wars.

If Europe does not want to become the battleground of another world war, it must no longer allow itself to be harnessed to this geopolitical strategy. Its failure has become evident with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It marks the end of the unipolar world and the project pursued by American neoconservatives for three decades of having military supremacy in every region of the world, forcing every rising power into submission. This will also put an end to the hegemony of financial capital and global monetary policy controlled by Wall Street and the City of London. The gold- and commodity-backed ruble/yuan-based unit of account will provide 85 percent of the world with a most welcome alternative to the debt-based FIAT money, dollars and euros of the Western Hemisphere.

8

"I am not sure with what weapons the third world war will be fought, but in the fourth world war they will fight with sticks and stones," Albert Einstein has said. Today, when we are fairly certain about the arsenal available, his warning is more urgent than ever. Whoever wants to end the conflict must not supply weapons, whoever wants to end the suffering of the people in Ukraine must negotiate instead of shooting, whoever wants peace must not follow the plan of Anglo-American geostrategists to prepare "their Afghanistan" for the Russians in Ukraine and involve them in an endless guerrilla war. And certainly he should not - especially as a German - ally himself with flawless Nazis of the Azov regiment for this purpose. And he should ask himself what actually speaks against Russia's security demands - a militarily neutral Ukraine. And why these cannot be taken seriously and finally accepted for the sake of peace. Until it is so far, I remain "Putinversteher" and ask all NATO-understanders and friends of the Yugoslavia-, Iraq-, Libya-, Syria- and Afghanistan-wars to reconsider their position. Peace!

This text is an excerpt from the book "Vom Ende der unipolaren Welt - Warum ich gegen Krieg, aber noch 'Putinversteher' bin" by Mathias Bröckers.

Mathias Bröckers, born in 1954, belonged to the founding generation of the taz and was culture and science editor there until 1991. He then worked for Die Zeit and Die Woche as a columnist and as a radio author, and served as a member of the Süddeutsche Zeitung's nonfiction book jury. His books. "The Rediscovery of the Useful Plant Hemp" (1993), "Conspiracies, Conspiracy Theories and the Secrets of 9/11" (2001) and "We Are Always the Good Guys - Views of a Putin Versteher" (2016) (with Paul Schreyer) were international bestsellers. Most recently he wrote "Klimalügner - Vom Ende des Kaputtalismus und der Zuvielisation" (2020) and "Mythos 9/11" (2021). He blogs at broeckers.com.

Read more
Blown away by war

Pete Seeger's song "Tell Me Where the Flowers Are"-adapted from Marlene Dietrich-illustrates how war makes the world a lifeless place.
11/19/2022 by Oliver Ginsberg
Planned loss of control

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Disaster capitalism: back to Marx!

by Martin Haller
[This article posted on 11/21/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Desaster Kapitalismus: Zurück zu Marx! | marx21.].

The multiple crises of capitalism, or why the left needs to ask the system question right now. By Martin Haller

"Accumulate, accumulate! That's Moses and the prophets!" The insanity of capitalist relations cannot be summed up more aptly than in this famous Marx quote from his main work "Das Kapital". Production under capitalism is not for the satisfaction of human needs - not even the needs of the capitalist class - but to enable one capitalist to compete against the other.

Each of them fears the competition of the other, that's why they drive their workers as hard as possible, that's why they pay them the lowest possible wages, that's why they accept any destruction of our environment and livelihoods, no matter how devastating, in order to save their profits and to hold their ground in the competition. The compulsion for capitalists to accumulate in competition with each other explains the great leap forward that industry underwent in the early years of its development. But something else arose at the same time: recurrent crises.

The crisis nature of capitalism

The inherent crisis-ness of capitalism, however, is not exhausted in the cyclical ups and downs, the interplay of upswing, stagnation and recession. Instead, the entire system is increasingly reaching its inner and outer limits. Capital can only counteract the trend toward falling profit rates by intensifying the exploitation of people and nature. After decades of redistribution from the bottom to the top, social division has long since assumed intolerable dimensions, both globally and within the societies of individual countries.

The system is reaching its limits

While corporations and governments around the world are once again trying to pass on the costs of the crisis to the wage-dependent population, the fortunes of the super-rich are growing immeasurably. The ten richest people in the world have doubled their fortunes since the start of the pandemic alone. Meanwhile, politicians are urging us all to tighten our belts and practice austerity. The overexploitation of nature and the destruction of our environment and climate have reached such drastic proportions that we are now facing the greatest extinction of species in millions of years and our own livelihood will soon be irreversibly destroyed if we do not radically change course. But within the framework of an economic system based on limitless growth, this is impossible.

Accumulation and competition

The capitalist principles of competition and the compulsion to accumulate, that is, to constantly increase the capital already accumulated, are also reflected at the interstate level - in the form of intensifying imperialist state competition. With the crisis of global capitalism, the competition between the individual capitalist states is also growing, and with it the conflicts and danger of war. Each bourgeoisie is trying to rehabilitate or save itself at the expense of others. Tensions between the great powers as well as between some regional powers have been increasing for years, which is expressed in a new arms race as well as in regional crises, proxy wars and the internationalization of civil wars.
With the war over Ukraine, a new stage of escalation in the imperialist competition has now been reached. Putin's attack on the neighboring country as well as the massive military and economic support of Ukraine by the NATO states have led to a fire-threatening proxy war in Eastern Europe, which has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war.

The potential for conflict is growing

But the potential for conflict is also growing domestically almost everywhere in the world: Frustration is rampant after decades of neoliberal restructuring of society, regardless of the party. Anger about stagnating or declining living standards, poor prospects for the future, and an undemocratic ruling class that is accountable to no one has been coming to the surface in more and more countries for years. The global hegemonic crisis of neoliberalism manifests itself in increasing social polarization. It means both a rise in class struggles and the emergence of new left social movements, as well as the advance of the radical right - both at the parliamentary level and in the form of movements in the streets. Against the backdrop of intensifying global economic and military competition, we have witnessed the return of economic and then political nationalism in numerous countries in recent years. Parts of the bourgeois class advocate an authoritarian solution to the crisis. They are gathering authoritarian political forces to impose a more radical line on crisis management within their own class.

Responses of those in power to the legitimacy crisis

The legitimacy crisis of the political and economic system weakens the traditional political center. The rulers' response to this almost everywhere is to foment racism and nationalism as a divisive ideology. The result is the rise of nationalist to fascist formations in numerous countries, which have been observed for years and which try to channel the discontent into their own channels - with increasing success. Instead of solidarity and class struggle, their response is nationalism, racism, exclusion, agitation and kicking the can down the road. That the radical right can position itself as an alternative is also due to the weakness of the left. With the subjugation of large parts of international social democracy to the neoliberal mainstream and with the social democratization of former communist or Eurocommunist parties after the collapse of Stalinism (Rifondazione Comunista in Italy or Syriza in Greece), a political vacuum has emerged on the left that can be filled by the right.

Capitalism: Many crises, but one system

Economic crises and growing social division, climate crisis and environmental destruction, imperialism and war, pandemic and health crisis, as well as the rise of the right and the threat of a new fascism: we live in times of multiple crises. But the simultaneity of multiple crises should not obscure their common cause. There are many crises, but one system: capitalism. All these capitalist crisis elements are interconnected. They condition and aggravate each other.

But resistance is also forming from below. All over the world, people are taking to the streets, rebelling against their governments and demanding a policy that forces the crisis profiteers to pay: people before profits! From Haiti to Sri Lanka, from Zimbabwe to Iraq - protests, uprisings and strikes are shaking the rulers on all continents and in some cases even have the potential to develop into revolutionary uprisings.

Crisis of the Left

In Germany, too, the left is called upon to build resistance against the policies of the federal government, against the passing on of the costs of the crisis to the wage-dependent population, but also against the AfD and other fascists who want to steer discontent into their right-wing channels. But so far it has not been able to do justice to this task. The reason for this is that the Left is in a deep crisis - and this affects not only the party DIE LINKE, but the social Left in Germany as a whole. First the dispute over how to deal with flight and migration, then the pandemic, and finally the war over Ukraine have pretty much weakened the left's ability to act politically.

The left can only be consistently anti-racist and anti-imperialist!

One thing is clear: a left that does not unconditionally fight against racism and other forms of oppression and stands up for the right to a good life for all people has lost its raison d'être. But a left that is not steadfast in its stance against imperialism, militarism and war and instead falls for the propaganda of its own rulers also gambles away its credibility. The left can only be consistently anti-racist and anti-imperialist!

Where is the Left Party going?

Many who placed their hopes in the work of the Social Democrats and the Greens in the traffic light coalition are disappointed. But the betrayal of both the Social Democrats and the Greens is systematic. But where can the disappointed turn? The left is currently in a poor position. The Left Party in particular is not recognizable as a clear opposition to the traffic light. Where it is involved in government, there is no fundamental change in policy. Instead, DIE LINKE is becoming a co-administrator of the status quo or even supporting deteriorations (read the marx21 article here: DIE LINKE: Raus aus der Regierungsfalle!). It is not only the disputes over content and the programmatic softening of left positions on the part of various parties that are paralyzing DIE LINKE. An important reason for its crisis also lies in its strategic misalignment with parliament as the central locus of change. While an understanding of DIE LINKE as a parliamentary force that relies on elections and proxy politics ultimately dominates in all camps within the party, the extra-parliamentary left, with few exceptions, remains isolated in its social niche because it does not succeed, or only insufficiently, in addressing broader sections of the wage-earning class and bringing them into action.

What we need!

What is needed is a locally and workplace-based left that not only appeals to and mobilizes the already convinced, but is able to win over the mass of wage-earning workers and give them a place to build collective resistance together. Instead of focusing on elections and parliamentary work, the left must be concerned with becoming the engine of the class struggle together with others and changing the social relations of forces.

A left that merely makes good demands and develops alternative political concepts, but does not build concrete struggles, is doing something wrong. Conversely, a left that builds struggles but does not have the big picture in mind is doing the same thing.

This means that within individual struggles around concrete demands, we must always seek generalization, point out connections and give fundamental anti-capitalist answers. For especially against the background of the permanent crises, the left must not see itself as a doctor at the bedside of capitalism. It must say clearly: This system must be overthrown! The disaster that is capitalism belongs on the garbage heap of history.

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