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LQD William Engdahl on the world economy

by melo Sun May 24th, 2009 at 04:45:11 AM EST

"Not even Jesus could reverse the decline in the US" | Politics from 2009-05-04 | RT

RT: So how long do you think it is going to take before we see the end of this recession?

W.E.: The point is we are at an epochal change. This is something that happens perhaps every four or five hundred years. This is not a once a decade recession we are living through. And I call it in my new book the `Decline of the American century'. This is a terminal decline as you had with the British Empire after WWI. It would not matter if Jesus Christ was the President of the US today. There would be nothing he could do to reverse that decline process. We would almost have to reorganize and start from scratch, because the cancer of this financial system has embedded so deeply that they've destroyed the industrial technology in the US.

They outsourced manufacturing over the past 25-30 years to Asia, to Eastern Europe, all over the world. The American elite have rotted itself from the inside out over the past 30-40 years since the early 1970s.

So Europe, very much including Russia or let's say Eurasia... Eurasia is a vast continent which has every resource man could imagine for everything we would want to build economically. It has the brainpower, it has the scientific talents, and we have not totally destroyed that as in the case of the US. And that is all we need. It has the raw materials, Russia has unlimited resources of natural gas and oil. The Russian geology is likely years ahead of American and Western geology, geophysics let's say, because it is based on real physics science and not on hocus-pocus to hide the fact of how much oil the world has. There is nothing that is lacking.

The decision in the Western Europe, the EU is, for many European elites, I know this from discussions here in Germany in the recent years - they have to make a choice, and they're schizophrenic about that choice right now: either strengthen the Atlantic alliance with Washington and go down with the sinking Titanic called the American century, or carefully try to reorient the supertanker called the EU and build bridges of cooperation with Russia above all, with China above all for economic markets and whatnot.

Interesting analysis, non? Nothing new we haven't already discussed here (possibly ad nauseam!), but tidily summarised and punchily put.

(more fire in the basement)

RT: What are your thoughts on US President Barack Obama? Do you think he is the man to control the situation?

E.W.: No. To my mind, and I said this in print a year before Barack Obama became president, the American power establishment since the time at least of Abraham Lincoln, with the possible exception of John F. Kennedy, has never allowed any candidate to get near White House who they do not totally control.

We see that in the case of president Obama, so there is nothing that the Obama administration is doing to rock the boat. He is merely, if you will, a cosmetic change. How do you say - `old wine in a new bottle'? That's Barack Obama. He is simply an attempt to deceive, to put the rest of the world off balance, but I think it is certainly wearing thin on the American public.

  I think he's jumping the shark a bit here, the global afterglow of his election is still somewhat phosphorescent, but he may be right 6 months from now.

  Read the whole article, if y'all have time, and bring your own bottle to the comments.

  Buona Domenica!

  Don't take any wooden euros!

Why the duplication?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 05:15:52 AM EST
someone already diary this?

sorry, but i was not aware of that, still ain't for that matter.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 08:13:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

You've put Engdahl's answer in the first box into the second box as well....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 08:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh darn, right you are, oops.

i haven't figured out where to click to edit a diary once published, notwithstanding my efforts.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 08:46:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fixed. You should find the 'Edit' link on the grey bar under the diary.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 08:56:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, still no magic button.

years ago it was there, but not for a while.

oh, and since you're here, i wonder why if i rate a comment from the comment reply page, it doesn't stick, though it seems to at the time.

the other really weird thing that happens is i can't post a comment unless it's a reply to another.

so i can never do the first post on a thread, even my own diary.

firefox latest, mac osx jaguar.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 02:18:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a long term forecast:

Europe will always be Greece to America's Rome.

That said, it worth recalling that the Roman empire lasted in Greece for about 1000 years after it ended in Rome.  

A shorter term forecast:

Engdahl is engaging in wishful exaggeration, not fact based analysis. When the recession ends, America is likely to be stronger, in almost every dimension, relative to most of the rest of world, which will suffer more than America will, and that will buy it considerably more time as the core metropole of the world political system than it appeared to have after the strategic mistkes of the Bush administration.  Russia will be stronger as well, and will remain America's principal "loyal opposition" as far as global governance is concerned, but America's demise is simply not something that appears any more evident today than it did in the mid-1990's, when people were exaggerating in the opposite direction.

by santiago on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 06:43:50 PM EST
Well as I always say when the Greece/Rome Europe/America comparison comes up. come back in another couple of centuries when things are clearer, at the moment US supremacy could be just a huiccup in the colonial decay of Europe.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 06:56:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with Engdahl in one sense and that is that the US $ hegemony and days of empire are over. To use a UK political analogy, we have just gone from a majority government/ elective dictatorship to a minority government requiring a different approach and skills.

But that is not to say that the US may not in future be first among equals. In my view, we will in the next few years see an entirely different networked and disintermediated global economy emerging.

I think that it is possible that the US still has the resources in intellectual capital and other resources to lead the necessary transition from the military-industrial/carbon energy economy to a knowledge /renewable energy economy.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 08:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're right on this point: environmental policy leadership.  If Obama can't lead the world on greenhouse gas emissions, then it is possible that Obama simply can't lead the world.  GHG emissions are an area where there are global interests as well as competing interests, and there is also a willingness on the part of some countries -- primarily the third world which, as of this year surpasses the GHG emissions of the industrialized world -- to surrender their interests to the interests of America acting in the interests of the wealthy countries.  That's the definition of power.  GHG emission reduction policies, if followed in China and India, will reduce the growing economic and political power of their new industrial elite in favor of the old economic and political elite of America and Europe.  Europe proved unable to gain the cooperation of the third world under Kyoto without American involvement.  Now will be the true test of whether American empire is over or not.  Can American GHG emissions leadership provide the necessary discourse to sufficiently limit pollution in the third world, even if it means prolonging American (and European) economic domination?  
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:31:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except for an unresolved dependence on imported oil, a current accounts deficit that they don't even try to remedy, a bad case of imperial overstretch and the fact that their political caste does not appear to have learned anything from the meltdown, sure.

Political dominance and military power will only get you so far, and when your economy is rotting away one outsourced factory at a time, military power merely delays the inevitable. Cash flows, incidentally, are largely irrelevant to this - when push comes to shove, heavy industry beats trade as a geopolitical power factor any day of the week.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 06:27:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of AIG's credit default swap losses occurred in London.

That's the way capital works, it knows no borders.

So, saying America is in decline is kind of like saying one subdivision needs overhaul because it's not producing as it used to. And meanwhile the monolith keeps doing what it does. Seeking profits, growth generators, trading Japan for Korea, Korea for China and Indonesia, and now increasingly trading them all for India.

How can this be "decline" when the profits keep rising up? As they always have? And the power brokers are still in power?

Or is decline simply a measure of the social cohesiveness of most Americans? As if the power brokers ever cared.

by Upstate NY on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:26:28 AM EST
Read it here first. But Hitler died, so now US dies, simple. I will search for references, promised...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 11:43:16 PM EST
even ET did not know about it...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 11:44:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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