Yves here. Below is the text of a new Micael Hudson speech for China’s Global University, which he delivered Monday morning. It’s already gotten 200,000 views in China and is getting coverage in the Chinese press. It focuses on how neoliberalism is a major culprit in the West’s wrong turn. Michael has graciously given us the first English transcript.
By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is The Destiny of Civilization. Originally published at his website
A real end of history would mean that reform would stop in every country. That dream seemed close when U.S. neoliberals were given a free hand to reshape Russia and other post-Soviet states after the Soviet Union dissolved itself in 1991, starting with shock therapy privatizing natural resources and other public assets in the hands of Western-oriented kleptocrats registering public wealth in their own names – and cashing out by selling their takings to U.S. and other Western investors.
The end of the Soviet Union’s history was supposed to consolidate America’s End of History by showing how futile it would be for nations to try to create an alternative economic order based on public control of money and banking, public health, free education and other subsidies of basic needs, free from debt financing. China’s admission into the World Trade Organization in 2001 was viewed as confirming Margaret Thatcher’s claim that There Is No Alternative (TINA) to the new neoliberal order sponsored by U.S. diplomacy.
There is an economic alternative, of course. Looking over the sweep of ancient history, we can see that the main objective of ancient rulers from Babylonia to South Asia and East Asia was to preventa mercantile and creditor oligarchy from reducing the population at large to clientage, debt bondage and serfdom. If the non-U.S. Eurasian world now follows this basic aim, it would be restoring the course of history to its pre-Western course. That would not be the end of history, but it would return to the non-Western world’s basic ideals of economic balance, justice and equity.
Today, China, India, Iran and other Eurasian economies have taken the first step as a precondition for a multipolar world, by rejecting America’s insistence that they join the U.S. trade and financial sanctions against Russia. These countries realize that if the United States could destroy Russia’s economy and replace its government with U.S.-oriented Yeltsin-like proxies, the remaining countries of Eurasia would be next in line.
The only possible way for history really to end would be for the American military to destroy every nation seeking an alternative to neoliberal privatization and financialization. U.S. diplomacy insists that history must not take any path that would not culminate in its own financial empire ruling through client oligarchies. American diplomats hope that their military threats and support of proxy armies will force other countries to submit to neoliberal demands – to avoid being bombed, or suffering “color revolutions,” political assassinations and army takeovers, Pinochet-style. But the only real way to bring history to an end is by atomic war to end human life on this planet.