Date: Tue, 17 Mar 98 22:51:53 CST
From: Workers World <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Why U.S. is seen as 'capital of global arrogance'
Article: 30172
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Why the U.S. is seen as ‘the capital of global arrogance’

By Ali Azad, Workers World, 19 March 1998

In a Feb. 28 piece, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman admitted to some facts that ordinary people not ideologically beholden to the capitalist ruling class have known all along.

[You] can't understand [the Iraq crisis] without reference to some more modern political trends—namely U.S. hegemony after the Cold War and globalization, he wrote. This is a frank admission from a writer who cruises the globe interviewing heads of state on five continents and advising the U.S. big business class.

Friedman expressed frustration at obstacles facing U.S. global domination: What does Iran call the U.S. today? It's not ‘the great Satan’ anymore. Iran says America is ‘the capital of global arrogance.’

Well, guess what? That's what the French, the Russians, the Japanese, the Chinese and the Arabs also call America behind its back.

But what many bourgeois writers dub globalization is really nothing new in capitalism's historical development. It is a last-ditch attempt by U.S. monopoly capitalism to assert itself over its imperialist rivals in the cutthroat competition for world domination.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Workers World Party Chairperson Sam Marcy analyzed the dynamics of capitalist economic contraction in the United States at the time. He explained that U.S. finance capital was driven to militarism in order to beat out its imperialist competitors and dominate world markets.

Marcy's analysis of the workings of U.S. capitalism in that period is the best example of using Marxism to understand the class nature of events—so the working class and oppressed can draw correct conclusions in their struggle for social justice and against war. In 1980 Marcy remarkably predicted the dimensions of what is today called globalization.

In the pamphlet Reindustrialization: The Menace Behind the Promise, Marcy wrote: Now that the U.S. has been slowly but surely losing its preponderant position in world trade and commerce as a result of the inroads made by its imperialist rivals, it has awakened to the need to retool and re-equip its industrial apparatus. The dimensions that this entails are of such proportions as to be beyond any one industrial giant or industry. They involve a vast outlay by the capitalist government and a huge intensification of the rate of exploitation of the working class on a scale unparalleled in U.S. history.

There has rarely if ever been a declining empire built on exploitation and conquest which has not dreamed of restoring the old glory and splendor of its golden age of robbery and oppression with just one more try.

In the last two decades, U.S. imperialism, in its last attempt for world domination, has caused massive pain and misery around the world.

It spent billions of dollars to overthrow the progressive socialist government in Afghanistan, supporting the most reactionary and feudal forces in that country. It aided and abetted Iraq in its eight-year war against Iran, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage. Then, in 1991, U.S. imperialism turned around and unleashed an inferno of destruction against Iraq, causing unprecedented misery, death and economic devastation.

Washington spent billions of dollars propping up reactionary armies against Nicaragua and Angola. By embarking on one of the most costly military expansions in history against the Soviet Union, it drained that country's much-needed economic resources, contributing to its collapse.

At the same time the United States reinforced its military position in Europe and helped fracture the united and socialist republic of Yugoslavia. Now, once again, the Pentagon is on the verge of creating more catastrophes and carnage in the Middle East and the Balkans.

The Times columnist equates U.S. hegemony and globalization with mod ernity. This is an absolute distortion of history.

The living experience of even just the last two decades points to the foolishness of this claim. To billions of workers and oppressed people around the world, the last two decades have reincarnated some of the most ghastly chapters of medieval times.

Only the working class and oppressed can genuinely lay claim to the establishment of a modern age—by building a new, socialist civilization based on people's needs and not on predatory, monopoly capitalist interests.