The Global Capitalist Crisis and the End of Neoliberal Capitalist Globalization
The “Great Recession” is not just another economic downturn from which we are “recovering.” Instead, we are experiencing a profound transformation of global proportions that will prove more significant than the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the Cold War, more than any other power in history, the United States enjoyed something approaching world hegemony. At that time, the U.S. sought to perpetuate its domination of the world economy through neoliberal globalization. Although many “free trade” agreements were reached that have served to protect corporations from political regulation —to make people less able to defend themselves from corporate predation-that effort stalled due to global opposition. Neoconservative unilateralism emerged in the attempt to achieve the same end with regard to the most fundamental commodity in industrial societyoil. This attempt even more quickly failed as a result of the growing opposition around the world. Now, with the rise of China over the last decade and the growing Russian influence, the United States has lost the status of “lone superpower.” With the economic collapse, the United States has been fully unmasked as a nation with a “crony capitalist” polity supported by a crumbling infrastructure and living beyond its means through the goodwill of other nations. Whether the United States becomes one power among many, a junior partner of a more solvent nation, or fully degenerates into an unviable society is uncertain, but the “New American Century” that the neoconservatives tried to impose on the world, in large part thanks to their efforts, lasted less than a decade.