by Courtenay Barnett There is no need for obscurantist speculations about world affairs. In very clear and historically precise terms one can see why and how America, as the world’s most powerful nation, has reached where it has at this time. With just Nixon, China and the military-industrial complex expenditures as reference points one can see in very clear economic terms what has transpired from the early 1970s until the present day. In the early 1970s then President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, made a rapprochement with China using cheap Chinese labour combined with the investment of American capital to ensure huge profits for American capital (cheap labour; no union challenges; no environment protection legislation to contend with; no pension obligations etc = huge profits – for a while for American corporations). China, during the same period purchased huge amounts of American debt and holds today significant amounts of Treasury Bills etc. ( i.e. China could tank the US economy if it made a call on all the outstanding debt; it won’t; no good biting off your financial nose to spite your economic face – it is a symbiotic relationship which exists of which the Chinese are well aware of as they now invest usable US dollars globally while the dollar still has some value). Add A and B together and include now the size of the defence budget relative to the demands of the military-industrial complex and you will clearly see the challenge which America is presently facing. Conclusion: one simply cannot continue printing fiat money and expect an economy to thrive and survive. So, how do you change the process of decline of the US economy? Simple. For all the pontification and pontificators circulating on the internet, they can put this in their intellectual pipes and take a good draw on those ideas and then in reverse order, apply the following process, for the benefit of the American people and by extension, the vast majority of humankind:- C Substantially reduce the budget relative to the military-industrial complex’s demands on public expenditures. For, there is an opportunity cost to be paid for the directing of such a large proportion of the US budget to arms production, militarism and war. B Design a transitional global financial plan which fully includes, for starters, the national interests of the so-called BRICS nations. A Set out to recapitalise the US domestic economy on a basis which factors in the social needs of ordinary American people while simultaneously making job space to absorb the steadily declining military human spill over from the reduced military-industrial complex. Simple. Or, continue to believe the ‘fake news’ ( yes – really – a lot of what is circulating on the internet and in MSM, does not want people to look at the most obvious explanations staring everyone in the face). To look at the financial and economic elephant in the Congressional room is also to discern that there is a better way. Alas, Congress is bought and paid for. And, the US status quo (assisted by a complicit MSM) simply therefore never finger the true foundational and structural roots of the America’s economic problem – for then the people’s eyes will start to be opened. Thus – just blame the Mexicans; the immigrants; the Blacks; the Muslims; the whoevers – but never, never look at the economic and financial fundamentals to then try from that foundational understanding to then extrapolate into addressing the obvious pressing and real difficulties the American economy is facing. But – who am I to say – that most of the MSM analysts argue around the core source of the problem but rarely, if ever, start from the core and reason therefrom outwards? Obfuscate as much as possible, feed false information, fake news and confound any chance of ordinary people beginning their understanding of the underlying structural problems at the core of America’s economic problems – which affect them. Yeah – the armchair revolutionary can say what he wants for he shall but recline in his armchair when all is said and little is done. AMEN! For years I have observed, read and written on world affairs. I had been accepted as a post-graduate student to read International Relations, but I changed my mind and focused solely on a career in the law. My intention at that time was to become a diplomat. However, despite abandoning that ambition and substituting it with an activist practice in the law, I have never lost my interest in world affairs – and would therefore describe myself as a self-educated student of world affairs. So – read and/or listen to each piece – and – hopefully there will be a realistic and comprehensive, objective understanding of some of the major tenets which presently drive our world. Not a majority of global issues here broached, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least a lucid introduction to some of the immediate and major ones – oil – the avowed violation of the concept of sovereignty – US Presidential racism – and so on. I shall confine myself to the post World War 11 period – for that is what the past 30 plus years of my readings have mainly focused on. The list of 5 issues below, for me is a brief refresher course. For all to whom I forward this email – it is also an invitation to share ideas, disagree with me at will, make comments if so motivated to do – and – please do so and tell me where I got it wrong. 1. The structure of the post World War II period based on American ascendance. First – one needs to be acquainted with the name “George Keenan”, who was the US architect of the “Cold War”. He can be googled, but I share with you some of his more prescient observations:- “We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”― George F. Kennan ( i.e. he is speaking here of what imperialism actually is – and – I observe that this is not a mere aberration. To better understand what I am conveying – please watch the youtube video of General Wesley Clark below) “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”― George F. Kennan 2. One needs to understand that the basis for making sustainable argument is to back same with unassailable empirical evidence. Any properly trained scientist would have been taught this. The empirical evidence of US/NATO global aggression is there for all to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E 3. On a smaller scale I forewarned of what Libya would become after the imperialists attacked that country. In Pazambuka, the largest of all Africa online news publications, my article was published:- https://www.pambazuka.org/human-security/natos-neo-colonial-war-whither-international-law 4. On a non-racist – and progressive note, the same publication accepted my submission on President Trump:- https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/president-trump-and-past-and-present-cognitive-dissonance 5. And – as a catalyst for global conflict, I explained my views and observations on the Iraq invasion, in this piece. I was invited to give a public lecture, which I did, and it was the US State Department official in attendance who asked the most questions of me ( but – details of that for another time):- Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, has been subjected to death threats, and has argued public interest and human rights cases.