Wednesday, October 06, 2010

China’s Growing Independence and the New World Order


By Noam Chomsky, In These Times, Oct 5, 2010


Chinese leaders are unlikely to be impressed by such [U.S. warnings], the language of an imperial power desperately trying to cling to authority it no longer has.

Of all the “threats” to world order, the most consistent is democracy, unless it is under imperial control, and more generally, the assertion of independence. These fears have guided imperial power throughout history.

In South America, Washington’s traditional backyard, the subjects are increasingly disobedient. Their steps toward independence advanced further in February with the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which includes all states in the hemisphere apart from the U.S. and Canada.

For the first time since the Spanish and Portuguese conquests 500 years ago, South America is moving toward integration, a prerequisite to independence. It is also beginning to address the internal scandal of a continent that is endowed with rich resources but dominated by tiny islands of wealthy elites in a sea of misery.

Furthermore, South-South relations are developing, with China playing a leading role, both as a consumer of raw materials and as an investor. Its influence is growing rapidly and has surpassed the United States’ in some resource-rich countries.

More significant still are changes in Middle Eastern arena. Sixty years ago, the influential planner A. A. Berle advised that controlling the region’s incomparable energy resources would yield “substantial control of the world.”

Correspondingly, loss of control would threaten the project of global dominance. By the 1970s, the major producers nationalized their hydrocarbon reserves, but the West retained substantial influence. In 1979, Iran was “lost” with the overthrow of the shah’s dictatorship, which had been imposed by a U.S.-U.K. military coup in 1953 to ensure that this prize would remain in the proper hands.

By now, however, control is slipping away even among the traditional U.S. clients.

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