The U.S. is back in the “arbitrage by war” mode

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine evolves, the United States has been increasing sanctions against Russia, dropping the “financial nuclear bomb” that expelled Russia from SWIFT. Then, it announced a ban on Russian energy. European allies, who were once in great difficulty on these two issues, also chose to follow the card because of the “situation Yao”. By refusing to send troops directly and instead stepping up behind the scenes, the U.S. is repeating the pattern of profiteering through war advocacy in the Ukraine crisis.

In the post-Cold War era, in order to maintain the operation of the capitalist world’s capital accumulation mechanism, within the framework of the “U.S. dollar and U.S. debt” circulation system, and by means of the so-called “global labor arbitrage”, the U.S.-led group of Western developed countries has been lying in the comfort zone constructed by “industrial technology monopoly + financial monopoly” for the past few decades to make easy profits.

However, with the rise of emerging market economies, the excessive profits obtained through “global labor arbitrage” have been gradually diluted, and with the disorderly expansion and arbitrariness of Western financial monopoly capital, the global macroeconomic situation caused by the 2008 international financial crisis has been deteriorating. Although that crisis has passed, the logic embedded in it continues to extend and is gradually manifesting itself in the global geopolitical landscape and the frolics in the internal governance patterns of the major developed industrial countries.

It is not that the U.S. government does not want to get out of the resulting internal and external dilemma. But as a kind of common sense in modern international political studies, we know that the national interests of the United States and the core interests of transnational monopoly capital do not exactly coincide. When the two are in conflict, the agents of transnational monopoly capital may even choose to sacrifice the national interests of the United States. In order to change this situation, the U.S. since the Obama administration has tried every possible way to break out of this cycle, but the only means used is often to make emerging market economies pay for the U.S. debt and financial crisis as much as possible.

The Obama administration mainly intended to solve this problem by continuously expanding the U.S. federal debt, but it didn’t work, and at most it delayed the outbreak of the crisis. The Trump administration, while promoting “America First” and provoking trade with China, tried to solve the problem using the American conservative political tradition, but this touched the interests of transnational monopoly capital, and the poor response to the epidemic made the policy unsustainable. The Biden administration, on the other hand, returned to the policy path of the Democratic Party as a more reliable agent of transnational monopoly capital, which also resulted in a more extreme approach to governance.

As the ultimate evolution of the logic of the international financial crisis, the Biden administration, faced with the blockage of global capital flows caused by the extension of the new pneumonia epidemic since 2020, in order to escape from the double crisis of debt and finance combined with the impact of the epidemic and, to a certain extent, to curb the severe inflationary trend at home, finally took the desperate step of replacing the tried-and-true model of the past decades, namely, the arbitrage model by advocating war. The “global labor arbitrage” has not worked too well. Specifically, the political leverage is manipulated to drive away foreign capital flows by stimulating and inducing local proxy wars of what is thought to be a manageable intensity in order to ‘strategically prepare’ for the upcoming Fed rate hike. Looking back on 100 years of global capitalist development, this is a more convenient but also more dangerous tool for the West.

Western public opinion today is almost unanimous in its condemnation of Russia, unable to allow the slightest reflection on the deep roots of why the Russian-Ukrainian conflict erupted, and directly ignoring Moscow’s opposition to the unrestricted expansion of NATO to the east in order to safeguard Russia’s national security. In turn, looking back at Russia’s development over the past 30 years, in the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “the West has lied to us. Even though it has made institutional and economic adjustments to the West, Russia, a geopolitical power with more than 17 million square kilometers and 150 million people, and which inherited most of the Soviet Union’s nuclear armament, is still considered a threat by the West. Continued containment, containment, and isolation have become the next consistent options for the U.S. camp.

It should be noted that narrow geopolitical logic continues to distort the U.S. and Western political elites’ perceptions of national security in the post-Cold War era: regardless of the objective facts, as long as they subjectively feel Russia is insecure, they have good reason to remain antagonistic to the “polar bear” with its massive nuclear armament. This subjective bias, which has reached the level of the “collective unconscious” of U.S. and Western politicians, is to some extent the political legacy of the century-old British-Russian “Great Game” and is now being packaged and shaped by the powerful Western public opinion machine into a black-or-white The political binary logic of “democracy V. dictatorship”. But a century of history has shown that this dualistic logic is often a major source of war disasters.

French President Macron has on several occasions lamented the decline of Western hegemony and the “lack of political imagination” of Western leaders. The Enlightenment political ideas represented by the concepts of “individual rights, separation of powers, multi-party politics, freedom of the press” and other political dogmas that have occupied the hearts and minds of politicians and people in the capitalist world in the past centuries are increasingly stretched in the face of the world’s century-old changes and the epidemic of the century, and no longer have sufficient interpretative power, nor can they provide moral justification for their political rule. They no longer provide moral legitimacy for their political rule.

The political misbehavior of U.S. politicians, as represented by their lack of political imagination, has focused on extreme anxiety in the security concept, and they have to create “world enemies” by preaching political “self-fulfilling prophecies” again and again, for the purpose of diverting The second is to initiate a pattern of profiteering through war propaganda. But this is unfortunate, both for their own national interests and for the well-being of all mankind, and will only drag the world into the mire.