Sunday, 14 October 2007

Unconquerable?

A generally sensible article by Simon Jenkins. But is he too complacent?

"I see the West...as powerful without precedent. The American-European economic and political axis is unconquerable. For all its occasional and manifold lapses, capitalist democracy has been tested and not found wanting."

18 comments:

Jose said...

In my opinion "the West" is wrongly considered as the ensemble of powerful nations, i.e. the nations as entities exclusive of their inhabitants. The latter have been the forgotten part of those entities in the consideration of this exaggerated capitalism we have been "gifted" with, and that is the main mistake of the system. As an example the US has a total of 35 million inhabitants, something incredible in such a powerful country. The rest of the western countries are not very far behind.

I hear and read Spain is the 8th world power, but I can see by myself without the aid of any external influences, that every year the Spanish people, generally speaking, find it harder to make both ends meet.

This Capitalism of ours has given extraordinary preference to those who generate power by investing, neglecting extraordinarily the main component of their power which is no more no less than their populations, because everybody is fundamental to the system: either by being active or passive as without consumption Capitalism would be bound to failure.

It is about time the populations be taken into preferential consideration and not as a source of cannon fodder.

That way the West weight would effectively influence the international balance.

anticant said...

Actually, the USA's population is 350 millions.

Jenkins is correct when he speaks of the most inept Western diplomacy since the 1930s, but he does not seem to fully realise the extent of the harm that has been done since 9/11 by the ineptly conceived and incompetently executed 'War against Terror' in mobilising the passive if not the active hostility of the entire Muslim world against the West in general and the USA in particular.

Even with sorely needed changes in Western policy, this hostility will take generations to subside. Thanks to the purblind dishonesty, incompetence and corruption of the worst American administration in living memory, the world is a far more dangerous place now than it was a decade ago.

To my mind, the West is far from being unconquerable. Capitalism is only benign if it is subject to regulation by the State in the public interest, and that is not the case today.

Richard W. Symonds said...

The last paragraph is what Fabian Socialism was all about - now a distant memory like the dinasaurs.

anticant said...

Don't be so gloomy, Richard! These things go in cycles, and 'what goes around comes around' as they say.

In actual fact, the postwar pre-Thatcherite Conservative governments were more concerned with regulating capitalism in the public interest than any government has been since 1979.

Yankee Doodle said...

"The American-European economic and political axis" was a result of common threats, Nazism and Communism.

With those vanquished, the alliance is coming apart. Europe asserts itself against America, at times to its own detriment -- does Europe at times merely wish to demonstrate its independence?

anticant said...

"Europe asserts itself against America, at times to its own detriment". What a chauvinistic remark! You seem to think that no-one else should ever assert themselves against America. It's this type of attitude which is making America so deeply unpopular [rightly or wrongly] in the rest of the world.

AS for US/UK, the "special relationship" was a sentimental myth of Churchill's - himself half-American - which it was highly convenient for him to foster in order to edge America into WW2.

In fact, if you look at the history objectively from 1776 to date, there has only been a 'special relationship' for a few relatively brief periods. There has always been a strong ongoing strain of anti-British feeling in American politics - and not just on the isolationist wing.

Emmett said...

THE Trouble with 'regulation by the state' is that the personalities common to an era infest /both/ the corporate and 'regulatory' worlds; in this case, the blinkered judgemental personalities; the careerist adventitious; and, the statistical sociopaths. ("There are, as well, all the REST of the G-d-d-mned, don't forget THEM!" says Judson Andersen, of this place.) Only a few of these apples will rot /any/ barrel, alas.

AS To 'the special relationship', as much as anything when this dead cat is dredged up and flang about by the politicians (as in the case of the Baby Jesus!) it is mainly a trope by the East Coast anglomaniac 'elite', to keep the heartland german-american and scotch-irish undermen (and 'their' women) in order....

FINALLY, All of this invinciblist (/sic/) cheer on the part of the egregious Jenkins reminds my eighty-eight years' old welsh- and danish-american farmer-neighbour, Mr Judson Andersen, of an unpleasant analogy which he derived from household economy:

"THE Lightbulb ALWAYS blazes to beat H-ll just before it GOES to H-ll!"

Jose said...

Sorry, Anticant, I meant to say 35 million poor inhabitants in a total of 300 million.
My mind went faster than my fingers, I must say.

State Capitalism was what the USSR turned into with Stalin's last years, something that accelerated the extinction of Communism.

It's funny - not to say pathetic - how people tend to believe what their leaders tell them.

anticant said...

What else do they have to go by, except what they gather from the media, and perhaps through blogging?

I was interested to read in 'Private Eye' that Murdoch was a decisive influence in persuading Brown not to hold an early election.

Jose said...

Not surprising, Anticant, given that Murdoch "supported" Blair in his campaigns and Blair had Brown with him.

I lean to believing that Murdoch is behind the whole top brass of Labour.

He also took on former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar, who in his own words is earning now more than he did as PM.

Richard W. Symonds said...

Murdoch is just the chief "messenger boy" for the big boys...always has been.

anticant said...

Can you let me have the big boys' names and contact addresses, please, Richard? I'm short of a bob or two.

Richard W. Symonds said...

The private banks within the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve should do for starters ;)

anticant said...

I doubt if they would think me creditworthy.

Richard W. Symonds said...

They wouldn't even think me "worthy" of living, AC.

anticant said...

Oh come on, Richard, even the meanest worm can turn!

Jose said...

Anticant, except Saddam and his cohort. I know you are a fervent pro-life advocate, though and know, too, of your acute sense of humour.

anticant said...

Yes, Jose, I am pro-life - even for Saddam! - but not in the Pope's sense. And a sense of humour does help, otherwise we'd be weeping in near-despair all the time.