[Marxism] Re Whats at stake in the Ukraine

Ilyenkova at aol.com Ilyenkova at aol.com
Wed Dec 1 12:41:50 MST 2004

A hard US intervention in the Ukraine at this point should not be a surprise. Just last week Putin announced that Russia would shift its reserve holdings from two-thirds to only one-third dollars with the majority of the balance to be switched to Euros. 

Samir Amin's lead article in last month's Monthly Review, U.S. Imperialism, Europe, and the Middle East, provides a useful overview from a world-systems perspective of the articulations and contradictions of the three main blocs he sees at the center of 'collective imperialism.' Below is a short excerpt from the article. When Colin Powell says that the results of an election are 'unacceptable and will have consequences,'you know the fat's in the fire. The proposals surfacing from the pro-Russian East to split Ukraine along pro-western and pro-Russian lines would seem to suggest a tactical retreat by Putin.

"Within this perspective, the American establishment has perfectly understood that, in the pursuit of its hegemony, it has three decisive advantages over its European and Japanese competitors: control over the natural resources of the globe; its military monopoly; and the weight of the Anglo-Saxon culture by which the ideological domination of capitalism is best expressed. The systematic manipulation of these three advantages reveals many aspects of U.S. policy: the systematic efforts that Washington exerts for the military control of the oil-producing Middle East; its offensive strategy with regard to China and Korea—taking advantage of the latter’s “financial crisis”; and its subtle game aiming at perpetuating divisions in Europe—by mobilizing its unconditional British ally while preventing any serious rapprochement between the European Union and Russia. At the level of global control over the resources of the planet, the United States has a decisive advantage over Europe and Japan. Not only because the United States is the sole international military power, and thus no strong intervention in the third world can be led without it, but more because Europe (excluding the ex-USSR) and Japan are by themselves largely devoid of essential resources for their economy. For example, their dependence in the energy sector, in particular their oil dependence with regard to the Persian Gulf, will persist for a considerable time, even if it were to decrease in relative terms. By militarily seizing control of this region through the Iraq war, the rulers of the United States have demonstrated that they were perfectly conscious of the utility of this type of pressure, which they bring to bear on their (allied) competitors. Not long ago the Soviet Union had also understood this vulnerability of Europe and Japan, and certain Soviet interventions in the third world sought to remind them of it, so as to induce them to negotiate on other grounds. It was clear that the deficiencies of Europe and Japan could be offset in the event of a serious rapprochement between Europe and Russia (the “common home” of Gorbachev). This is the very reason that the danger of this construction of Eurasia remains Washington’s nightmare.

Concerning the Conflicts between the United States and its Triad Partners 

If the partners in the triad share the common interests in the global management of collective imperialism implied in their relationship with the South, they are nonetheless in a serious potentially conflictual relationship. 

The American superpower sustains itself due to the capital flow that feeds the parasitism of its economy and society. This vulnerability of the United States constitutes, therefore, a serious threat for the Washington project.

Europe in particular and the rest of the world in general will have to choose one of the following two strategic options: either invest the surplus of their capital (that is, savings) so as to provide for the continuing financing of the U.S. deficit (consumption, investments, and military expenditures) or conserve and invest this surplus at home." (www.monthlyreview.org/1104amin.htm)


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