Decades ago, Andre Gunder Frank wrote: “[T]he solutions to the problems of underdevelopment become even more impossible within the capitalist system which creates them, and as the bourgeoisie is less and less able even to face these problems with bourgeois programs, the long exploited people themselves are being taught and prepared to lead the way out of capitalism and underdevelopment.” (Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America, Historical Studies of Chile and Brazil, Monthly Review Press, 1969) In terms of the problems the bourgeoisie has created, today’s Brazil is not much far away from AGF’s observation made about half-a-century ago. Resolution of political problems is beyond the capacity of the rich classes as they have already shown – resorting to corrupt political practice, black mailing, conspiracy, manipulation of legislative procedure, and acting under the guidance of interventionists.
With a soft coup, intervention by world masters, a huge mass of corruption, attempts to re-take people’s sphere by anti-people’s forces, and a people with experience of all these and of struggle, coming days in Brazil will be stormy, tumultuous. Interventionists and their local collaborators – the rich classes in Brazil – will not have an easy, enjoyable ride as they continue following their old ravening method. Already the following is in the air:
“‘[I]f Temer government’s struggles become more serious, we will have to reassess our view,’ said Craig Botham, emerging markets economist for Schroders in London.” (Forbes, June 2, 2016, “Global Investors Put Brazil’s Interim President Michel Temer On Notice”) Dilma, the president conspiratorially ousted in Brazil, said on June 30 Lula would stand in the 2018 presidential election. She said May’s legislative coup against her government was motivated by fear of the popular former president returning to office. “Today, despite all the attempts to destroy his public image, Lula remains one of the most beloved personalities in the country,” she told French daily L’Express. These developments are not to be ignored.
There’s no reason to imagine that interventionists will be able to put their hot knife on a soft piece of butter as conditions in many places in the world don’t favor interventionists although conditions in home of interventionists create possibility of making interventionists reckless and desperate, a condition that takes away wisdom and farsightedness from leadership while pushes it to adopt plans totally based on ad hoc basis. It’s – the rise of the reckless and desperate trend – dangerous for the entire world. Already, a part of the imperialist leadership has shown its lack of farsightedness and ad hoc approach. In places, it is collaborating with the force it is “fighting” against – a “strange” tact it is following as it finds no other option. It’s an evidence of its position: In a tight corner.
The following opinion tells a part of volatile situation being faced by the Empire:
“After losing its key advantage as a price maker in the oil market, Saudi Arabia is at risk of losing another key advantage: its role as a stable Middle East regime – advantages which form the foundation of its close ties with Washington.
“‘As the largest (by far) oil producer in OPEC, Saudi Arabia has also played the role of the key “swing producer” in the group, raising or lowering production to help stabilize prices or supplies on the international market’ says oil expert Kevin Rooney. ‘While they certainly have their own agenda, the Saudis have always taken the long view. The importance of the US-Saudi relationship lies in the fact that we both recognize that actions taken by either party have geopolitical and economic consequences, and that moderation begets stability which, in turn, begets a level of economic growth which is far more predictable.’
“That’s something that suited the US, as Saudi Arabia wouldn’t dare to change oil prices without authorization from its close American ally.
“[…] Saudi Arabia’s and OPEC’s powers declined much earlier than the fracking revolution, as it is graphically explained by Mathew Simmons in Twilight in The Desert.
“[N]ow Saudi Arabia is at risk of losing its […] key advantage […] – stability […]
“Saudi Arabia’s loss of its role of a swing producer in the oil market, and rise of terrorism, has some American observers questioning the reliability of the kingdom as a key Middle East ally.
“‘The last argument frequently made against US ties with the Saudi government has to do with the regime’s supposed fragility, which some experts argue makes Riyadh too frangible to serve as a reliable long-term partner,’ writes F. Gregory Gause III in the Foreign Affairs. ‘Very few analysts predict that the House of Saud is likely to fall sometime soon. But many point to the myriad problems within the kingdom and ask whether the United States take the prospect of the regime crumbling more seriously.’
“Perhaps, it does. That’s why it is, once again, warming up to the Iranian regime.” (Forbes, July 10, 2016 “Saudi Arabia Is At Risk Of Losing Another Key Advantage”) Is it a Hobson’s choice case for the Empire?
The opinion cites two comments:
(1) “Middle East oil prices were always controlled by the US and Saudi Arabia would have never dared to change oil prices without the explicit authorization of the US. Oil has been always a political weapon and most of the time it was used by the US to intimidate those who do not necessarily agree with their politics.”
(2) “Since Saudi Arabia came into existence under the late King Abdul Aziz, Saudi oil was more or less committed to the US at low prices against a commitment to protect Saudi Arabia and the royal family from any and all present and future enemies. Even when the oil prices shot over $100 per barrel, the US had privileged prices much less than the market price. Let’s call it protection money.”
But, now, the oil-strategic map is changing with new findings, deals and rise of new deal-makers in the global economy. It is going to impact world masters’ position.
Stephen Kinzer writes: “As the horrific carnage in Syria continues, a depressingly familiar chorus is rising from Washington. The new consensus is the same as it was in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Bombing isn’t working, so let’s bomb more. A familiar coalition — generals, defense contractors, and politicians, along with think tanks and much of the press — is demanding escalation of our military campaign in Syria. There may be a limit to how many unwinnable wars the United States wants to wage in the Middle East, but it evidently has not yet been reached.” (The Boston Globe, July 10, 2016, “Time to Talk in Syria”)
Stephen Kinzer’s observation cited above, and the recent “leak” of “dissenting voice” in the foreign affairs arms of a major world lord show a portion of the rise of warmongers – a symptom of desperate situation for the world masters. This desperate situation will lead to more bloody conspiracies and interventions. There’s every possibility of rise of a hawkish, interventionist, desperate leadership backed by the Wall Street. Imperialist media shrouded with thick cloak of dignity is singing the song assigned to it as imperialist media is nothing, but a tool of imperialist capital. All the holy sermons of neutrality, credibility, accountability, democracy, which it propagates now and then, are defined by the interests it is assigned to uphold. The Wall Street needs this leadership, which behaves in a reckless way. Decays in its state mechanism make it more reckless. For securing hold on steering, it doesn’t restrain itself from resorting to tact and steps injurious to its institutions and its state machine, doesn’t take into account the loss of credibility of its essential arms for rule, doesn’t step back from making mockery with its political process, doesn’t desist itself from uttering words and taking measures that go to criminal falsification. The situation of competition is so much demanding to it. It finds no other way than resorting to ways frauds follow. These interventionists don’t take into account possible consequences of their steps on their own machine for rule. Already there are examples of this pattern of assault.
This creates the urgency of standing together by people around the world as interventionists are re-positioning them, are befriending a group of so-called progressives to hide the old face of intervention, as a few of the interventionists are reckless and desperate, and as only people unified can resist.
The people of Brazil are facing a charged situation: an assault unleashed by the Brazil-oligarchy on people’s sphere, and interventionists’ increasing role. On the other hand, the people in Brazil will not yield as they are already aware of the oligarchy’s design, and they have experience of assaults by the elites and resistance to those. Already the people in Brazil are striking. This conflict-situation will overwhelm the coming days in Brazil.
Farooque Chowdhury, a Dhaka-based freelancer, has authored/edited only three books in English: Micro Credit, Myth Manufactured (ed.), The Age of Crisis, and What Next? The Great Financial Crisis (ed.), and doesn’t contribute to or operate any blog like “Farooque Chowdhury’s Blog”.
This is a modified version of an article, which first appeared in the on-line edition of Frontier from Kolkata.