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tv   World Apart with Oxana Boyko  RT  September 1, 2013 6:29pm-7:01pm EDT

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it's still fairly rare well to attempt to do just that i'm now joined by geoffrey somerset associate professor of political economy at the university of wisconsin in milwaukee thank you very much for your time mr summers i know that you are a frequent guest here in moscow and you are on today you will be speaking on what the ways the world off to the end of american imperialism beach i think is the kind of topic that will certainly resonate with many people in moscow but i assume that for many americans it's not just a provocative topic some may perceive that as simply and patch are already on the part well you know i thought that patriotism is rather weak in the united states today but i think americans are very weary they're not particularly patriotic right now and they feel under a great deal of stress and so they're not really thinking in terms of patriotism in the way that they once did especially during the cold war now i think that there are a couple of words in the political science vocabulary imperialism being one of them
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that are sort of dirty i mean the ones who use them you raise being classified as well conspiracy theories there may be an american hater but as far as i understand your main message is not so much about the if america is a great nation but rather the end of certain policies by the united states government that you view as no longer sustainable yes definitely and in fact i also find the term somewhat problematic because it's very value laden as you suggest but what i'm very concerned about is the introduction of these austerity policies frankly which have been the primary response of not only the u.s. government but also of the european union to their crisis and these policies seem to be spreading globally as a response to this crisis in the united states the european union and increasingly the world and i think it's very dangerous because my wife so we've done this once before you know the famous american literary figure mark twain once used to. say
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the history doesn't repeat itself but it certainly wrongs well in the one nine hundred thirty s. and actually the one nine hundred twenty s. as well we had governments in germany japan and italy all try austerity policies in response to a crisis which they experienced and with all of them within a couple of years they opted for military fascist regimes as responses so you see it is something that people. regularization of political class that in the fact that you also had radical nationalists within their respective militaries who were not happy with just how much their nations were being weakened so i'm not suggesting that we'll see an exact repetition of that but what i am suggesting is that we're playing with fire by introducing these austerity policies and they're really really hurting people and at some point somebody is going to come along with a message that resonates with the popular will and we could see something that perhaps is not very democratic and perhaps quite unpleasant as we did with
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mussolini and hitler and the military regimes in japan now in addition to. that have been introduced all around the world that in particular western world we also see something that i would argue is a continuation of the old imperialist had joined and what i mean by that is for example the united states is still very active in scheming certain military adventures for example in syria it's still unquestionably supports israel it's still involved in some sort of shady deals with the gulf states so. it is difficult to understand why would you what do you think personally that we are seeing beyond of the american imperialism because all of those very expensive policies are still in place despite all the suffering that you know ordinary folks subjected to yes well i mean the reason primarily is because the united states cannot just unilaterally one. they decide to disengage from the rest of the world
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but it is slowly disengaging and if we take a look at syria for instance which you've mentioned there have been pressures for the united states actually to engage much more intensively but it has not and one of the reasons of course is that the country is broke and plus they're tired the american people are tired of this military adventurism so while they are intervening they're not intervening with the vigor and the strength that they have previous i think the way they are intervening is quite consistent for the obama agenda all leading from behind any case obviously they're still in talks with many of the countries in their own just the arms are still being flown into the region as for example the saudi arabia and qatar who are the main receivers of american arms are also very active on that front so they may not be intervening directly in terms of standing troops and having troops on the ground but obviously the impact on the country of syria where the war is waging is quite significant oh it is i
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mean i wouldn't differ with you on that and again i'm not arguing that they're completely disengaging i'm just saying just as you suggested that the character of the engagement is different and it does represent the a certain scaling back i mean when you don't send tens or even hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground that's a different kind of engagement and it does suggest the united states that it's becoming more cautious and a bit weaker so the whole i think this is actually a positive trend i would like to see of course the united states disengaged even further from some of these conflicts but i do think that we would have seen a different kind of response of this we're ten years back in other words before the second tyrol war so i think there is a bit of a chance you do you think it is just because the united states is weaker financially that it can no longer afford that or maybe because the decision was made that you know some old ways and no longer practical right or right you can do the same thing and i choose the same as by different probably cheaper means well i think it's we. both economically and it's weaker politically as well the iraq and i
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will call this by its very value laden term debacle which it was really weak and the united states politically it weakened its position around the world so the united states is no longer in the same kind of leadership position that it once was so it cannot act with the same aggression that it once did or with the same force that it once did so it has to as you said lead from behind. this is not a non and gauge moment but it is a different kind of engagement and i think we need to recognize that there is a difference what do you think awaits the world off to the end of these american imperialism well i mean again what i'm really speaking about is the end of the american century and a kind of imperialism is only one dimension of it but i'm also talking about economic leadership and the failure of the united states to continue to lead the world economically so the short answer is that i think we're going to see a kind of poly centric global system one that is not u.s. led we will see multiple centers of power so we will just see one big chief
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dominant power but we'll see many countries cooperate in such as with the bric countries or with the proposed eurasian union many different kinds of configurations which will represent alternatives to a purely u.s. led the order and i think this message of you know the end of the american erase perceived very negatively by many americans because it has some fabulous the connotations of god but. i think many people misunderstand that what the world is really asking for is not the again the end of america because the united states can still have a very productive and significant influence on the well both politically and economically but i guess a more fair system a system that they'd be more thought thoughtful in that way while i think you're absolutely right and i think american empire for lack of a better word which is what we saw after world war two it was very bad for the united states and so i think some retraction. back from this global leadership it
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is actually a good thing it's good for the united states we have to remember the way that the united states got rich historically before world war two it was having a very very small peacetime military and it did not engage in most of the world's affairs now it interfered routinely in latin america which the united states in its own backyard exactly right right so it saw its sphere of influence and you know we can say that that was perhaps a negative thing but the united states did not just routinely go around to the rest of the world invading countries or intervening in their affairs no in part what this did was it helped to create a very very strong economy and a very very strong society so what i'm arguing is that this is actually good for the united states and it's good for the world now one thing that always surprised me is the gap between the use the mastic image these shining city on the hill right now the greatest force for good in the wild and how the united states is sometimes perceived abroad because many countries see it as
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a very cruel and sometimes mindless bully and i think the only comparison that i can think of was the soviet union because you know it also had one impression of itself and that's sickly and totally different impression of itself internationally but the soviet union at the time had the aryan curtain that stopped the flow of people thought the flow of information but right in this way in this america's defriended it is a free country people can travel probably they have to go an extra mile to access some of your writings but you can still have access to it so. why do you think explains the fact that we have such a divergence in terms of. self image and international image so i think that's disappearing i think we're seeing conversion so just as you saw in the one nine hundred eighty s. a kind of convergence between international opinion of the soviet union and domestic opinion within the soviet union of itself we're seeing the same thing happening within the united states so americans are becoming increasingly critical of. government know and there's society but this is still very defensive be not
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only american men and many of them are even quite aggressive i mean so we can even take it to that extreme as well this is what worries me in other words the american people are becoming very very critical of the government and very very critical of the country now this can take any number of directions one of the directions that we're seeing it take within the united states it's kind of an extreme right wing direction led by media outlets such as fox news and others and so this can be a dangerous thing because the hostility that people are feeling the pain that they're feeling from austerity and from their declining wages increasing work hours increasing insecurity at the workplace is manifesting itself as a kind of just generalized aggression against other people minorities but again as i said before the government and it's a very common phenomenon yes see that in many other countries around a while as well yes yes except the united states of course is still a very powerful country and this could lead to
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a very dangerous developments of people like this actually manage to fully capture state power now and in fact they already have captured state power partly the tea party congress as an example of this so the republican party has become something that's quite different from what it used to be the party always had these kinds of fringe lunatic elements within it but now they're the mainstream of the party so they've gone from just kind of orbiting the periphery of the republican party to being the poor part of it so i see that it's very dangerous now on a more positive side that's being balanced by a democratic party that is developing a bigger left wing faction within it to counter them so the political character of the country is changing this is a very interesting conversation but we have to take a short break we'll be back in just a. the
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bible says many times that god is the father of all. i'm sure he called me to say if these children. in the orphanage that you know. my fellow pilgrim. is probably the kindest soul in the world. he can't abandon the child he knows that they wouldn't survive so he endures to the end. dreams can be summed up in just a few words russia and the world was no wolf and we don't want any children to wake up in orphanages we firmly believe that the parents out there every child speed up my ego's.
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technology innovation. developments around russia. the future covered. welcome back to all the part where we are discussing the state of democracy and capitalism with jefferson and associate professor of political economy university of wisconsin milwaukee. mr summers just a couple of years ago maybe a decade ago noam chomsky norman finkelstein will probably be. who
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best know on american dissidents that people all around the world knew but now we see this whole new generation of dissidents appearing in the united states i wonder whether it is the result of just internet and you know some of those views getting more blissett tikrit or those views are indeed being more widely shared by the american public well i think it's both actually and the former issue that you mentioned is certainly a powerful one working to kind of decentralize channels of information and how they flow and it used to be of course that you got your information primarily from books and from major television networks and of course we have this fragmentation though i did was say the other very prominent american intellectual said more than a decade ago that one of the reasons for the questioning attitude toward them american policy is. the american people was this sort of american unity that was constantly being manufactured by the american media and then american government
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and you alluded to that in the in the first part. but manufacturing unity is not just the political or wasn't just a political task is it's also an economic project that it was relatively easy at a time when your economy was growing and the credits were cheap but obviously this is a major challenge one the can all make times a bit rough can the united states afford manufacturing unity as a political and economic value and also it's pretty dangerous when you lack unity in your country you know public protests and disenchant invigorate the population that's that could lead you to civil war and not just the united states but any other countries well sure sure no it is very dangerous but the conditions that were present for creating national unity of course are no longer there just as they are no longer there in russia so world war two was central for both nations in terms of creating national unity will hopefully. we won't have world war three but if that
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is the best unifying factor that's what you mean well you mean it's little bit more complicated than that the wars in both countries brought people together from vast . vastly different areas right and they brought them together in a common purpose and a good purpose and so that created some sense of national unity the cold war did the same thing an external threat but next was the different set of economic policies in the united states beginning in the one nine hundred thirty s. the united states moved away from the austerity policies which should have been falling right before or i should say the early stages of the great depression it moved towards a more equitable distribution of income so it became a fairer society and a more equitable society well in the one nine hundred eighty s. it began to turn away from that and it's continued to move in that trajectory and so now it's very hard to maintain a sense of national unity and purpose now i think what you just mentioned is a very important point because obviously the soviet system and the communist
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ideology also attempted to instill some sort of fair and that is by using administrative means to sort of level all of those income inequality so obviously the soviet system failed and some could argue that you know this was one of the main reasons for that. income inequality in western countries in capitalist societies is now probably at its highest level is that a serious danger to the system itself it's a massive problem because number one the economy cannot continue to function without demand so we can produce way more stuff than we can consume with the given distribution of income that we have now we've been fixing it as in the short term since the one nine hundred eighty s. with credit and with government debt but both now have gotten so large that we can't use them and that's why we've deployed austerity but that's even worse than the two previous solutions that were deployed so we need something new and that new thing is the old thing it should be a return to more new deal like f.d.r. type policies and with respect to russia. and it's a view of the united states well it had
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a very favorable view of the one nine hundred eighty s. of the united states they felt they were viewing the united states the role of reagan but they were not they were viewing the united states of franklin delano roosevelt it's the america today that is the america of ronald reagan and other words this policies are now really being felt i find that many american and western economists in general so indoctrinated their sort of embrace. capitalist system so just as blindly as they used to decry the communist system but when we look at the successful models both among developed and developing countries usually except for models represent some mixture of capitalism with. very generous those of socialist parlous is no where would be one example china is a very different example but they are also mixing the two doesn't mean that pure capitalism doesn't exist on may be simply not realistic in the same way that pure
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communism wasn't really but i think you're getting at a very important point i mean there is no such thing as just capitalism there are many varieties of capitalism and so the variety that we have now i guess is the most pure form that we've seen although it's one which has still been constructed by the state and that's what neo liberal is neo liberalism is the construction of a liberal economy by the state in other words it doesn't happen and it was a fair way just by itself the state constructs it and it's proving to be very unsustainable so just as you've said where we've had these mixtures of the past of the state and the private sector working together with some significant regulation i think this is what we need to return to and this in fact is what the japanese did as well they successfully developed you just said that there are many different forms of capital and yet whenever a developing country faces a major crisis like for example russia back in the early ninety's it is all was given the same with wise by western. economies that is last year economy hit the
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bottom very. only if your economy will be able to prime itself once this recent crisis hit obviously many western economies didn't follow the advise the previously dispensed to the developing countries is it just hypocrisy or you know simply a realisation that again you cannot afford to follow that advice well i think the economists who actually trafficked in this kind of advice they really believe that i mean they're like fundamentalists is what's and they really really believe that these economic programs work in terms of real world examples i mean we've seen a russia that introduced to these kinds of shock therapy policies and we've seen china's path towards capitalism and i think we know which one works best regarding the nature of it do i think there's a popular see will absolutely. is there also as you said secondarily of this realization that these policies don't work yes that as well although in the european union they're rather slow to come to that realization and many of those.
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ideas i find them extremely deeply indoctrinated one of them for example is the idea that the united states is the myth that the united states is this land of opportunity where everybody can you know rise from the bottom to the top but there have been a lot of studies including the one done in two thousand and nine by the organization for economic cooperation and development that found that the united states and britain have some of the lowest levels of upward mobility in the developed world and you know some of those countries that on the contrary have very strong reading like nordic states no way granted that. again they have a very very strong. socialist policies and a very very high responsibilities that the governments assume and there are a lot of people who find this as a conspiracy that you know all these do it yourself type of rhetoric makes you feel good but ultimately what it also does is. christian to be not just the burden on
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the government but also responsibilities that governments and big corporations big businesses have to face in private and he harmonious society sure sure well i mean absolutely i mean you have opiates for lack of a better term who want to shed these responsibilities because it's work and it costs money but in the long run it's actually much better for society including for those businesses and those governments because it does create more stability and just as you said in many west european countries we now see greater social mobility there than in the united states and this is an absolute reversal of trends that we've seen for the past two centuries it used to be the united states that had much higher rates of social mobility up until about the one nine hundred eighty s. or so and then it began to reverse what's quite interesting and counter-intuitive is that capitalism is more dynamic when the state is actually more involved so in other words when people have access to national healthcare solid national pension systems they can take risks and start businesses so that's why we see in countries say even as italy much higher levels of entrepreneurship in the united states so we
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need to get rid of these kind of pure platonic ideal some terms of understanding the systems that understand that reality is more and what's interesting is that people who are usually you know hold those pure platonic i.d.'s also have absolutely no problem with embracing regulation and authoritative measures when it says them and great what i mean here is that where is the bailout in the united states with eighty five percent of the population being strongly against it and nothing even you know democratic institutions and the will of the people would prevent the government from actually implementing it so it seems that market principles are have only guarded only. when they see a decision maker is there or maybe beneficiaries of the capital but i think you raise a vitally important point there as well and it was really disgraceful the crisis was handled in terms of opposing the popular vote. well now on one level they did
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actually have to do something in order to restore some stability within the system but they could have nationalized banks and do other things to ensure that credit continued to flow but yes i mean we have created a system that is against the will of the people and that is too big to fail we've jailed no bankers that committed these heinous acts which destroyed trillions of dollars of wealth and so it does bring into question the very strength of democracy right now i would argue that it's quite weak how would you or i guess raid the state of democracy in the united states and the level of engagement all of people in the running of their own country it's high and low at the same time so there are many people who are just very alienated very disconnected from their neighbors or their communities they're watching fox news who was always you know yelling at them and getting them in this agitated state and then again there are younger people who are actually getting more involved in their communities and they're beginning to live with their communities as well now one form of public engagement that has been
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popular arrest in recent years is public protest and we've seen that in public protests happening all around a while then in some places for example in the middle is down in southern europe i think you can argue that rather than being a form of expressing public to set a sack with the can on the conditions public protest is now becoming a major hurdle to simply do anything within your own country both politically and economically do you see that as a localized phenomenon or is there any greater danger that something like that will spread around the world especially given the economic hardship is still significant in many of the western countries and the chances that it will go deeper within the society there are still pretty high it will it depends of course upon the region desolate i mean there are certain countries that seem to be given two pots of style protests and others that. or not i would argue that despite especially some big
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anti-war protests the united states is a country which is not given to large protests for the most part but. all three are you know even that. it appeared quite dynamic at first but then it became quite muted and then it just kind of petered out and it really didn't have any kind of transformative effect i was very supportive of it but it didn't have any significant long term impact well and i think many people would agree with the view of they assume this country specific approach when it comes to public protests for example many people in the united states that at least i had a chance to talk to believe that what is happening in egypt or in syria would be impossible in the united states and yet there are a couple of polls that i've seen in recent years that suggest that. very significant percentage of americans more than forty percent do know of. exclude the possibility of taking up arms to defend their rights and in the united states as
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you know with the second amendment arms are easily available right so that does that represent. any danger not just to the united states but to the developed world could have the rise of kind of right wing paramilitary movements i mean i could see that under conditions of greater instability and americans are terribly well armed dangerously so you know fortunately this is not the same situation that we see in many other parts of the world. but the armed groups are very very right wing and if they actually did begin to protest. it would be to kind of reinforce a more authoritarian state rather than weaken it so it represents a very dangerous current and one which i do think that we have to have some pause and some concern about well i guess we'll all hope that this is not going to happen but it always did this is all we have time for please join us again same place same time. here and wolf
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a pile. of . gold. i live oh. good speech. she gave. her. i wish i. looked. like
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a missile good. luck. just see the enemy. come out front of me a little and. they were ready to do anything for their country tell me is to love the country more than yourself if you join the military for any other reason that you're probably not going to have a good day they were tools in the hands of the state now they live remembering the past which is impossible to get rid of i'm proud that i've been to war. but however good people do get hurt. and i've heard good people empty silent. a lot. but would prefer. or not to be sometimes i feel like.
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i should have died over there. because. i saw some people who had died. there is cheaper than tariff. on our. secret laboratory tim curry was able to build a new most sophisticated robot which fortunately doesn't sound anything turns mission to teach me creation why it should care about humans and. this is why you should care only.
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u.n. asserts only it is able to provide a credible answer on whether toxic gas was used in syria last month is the u.s. ramps up its case for a military strike while continuing to blame the assad regime. meanwhile members of the arab league refused to go along with the syria attack including iraq which is still witnessing the effects of the u.s. led invasion there. radiation levels rise of japan's crippled fukushima nuclear plant as readings show exploded or could cause a death in as little as four hours. on the merkel saying a debt stricken greece may need a third ballot while the country struggles to meet the terms of current payments and i don't play that remains the highest in the e.u. .


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