Title

Emergence of "The Lone Superpower": Implications for Exploitation, Repression, and Resistance

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-31-1998

Abstract

A simple time line of events is illustrative. In 1933, [Hitler] informed [Neville Chamberlain]'s British ambassador of a desire to rectify Germany's eastern borders. Despite this, a 1935 treaty between England and Germany "permitted" Germany to build up its navy in defiance of Versailles. In 1936, Germany formed an alliance with Japan--the Anti-Comintern Pact--which Italy joined the following year. In 1937, Chamberlain's foreign minister, Lord Halifax, praised Germany as "a bulwark of the West against Bolshevism." In 1938, Chamberlain propagated Hitler's lie of an uncoerced unification of Germany and Austria. Later that year, in meetings that gave up Czechoslovakia, Hitler told Chamberlain that Germany respected Britain's right to its empire, and that Great Britain had nothing to fear from Germany's interest in its eastern and southeastern European "frontier." This understanding reached, the mood of the meetings became even more jubilant ([Leibovitz, Clement] and [Alvin Finkel] 1997, 29). Only in early 1939, when intelligence began to confirm German plans to strike east and west, did Chamberlain begin to criticize Hitler. Later that year, Germany's renunciation of its nonaggression treaty with Poland and its naval treaty with Great Britain, and its conclusion of a nonaggression treaty with the Soviet Union led to a defensive alliance between Great Britain and Poland. But despite England's declaration of war following the invasion of Poland, Chamberlain continued to pursue an alliance with Germany against the Soviet Union. Not until the invasions of Norway and Denmark in 1940 does the somewhat less fascistic Churchill faction take over. Only then does England aggressively engage Germany militarily.

Domestic opposition to U.S. imperialism since World War II has been repressed with the same concern for civil liberties and human rights demonstrated by the Nazis. Fascistic attacks against the Left proceeded through the House Un-American Activities Committee, through the purging of the CIO, and generally through a campaign of Red Scare propaganda. With the emergence of the social movements of the 1950s and 1960s, dissent was treated as treason. By refusing to investigate, prosecute, or convict vigilantism (often stirred up by federal agents), the government repressed the civil rights movement. The FBI's COINTELPRO crushed the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (Churchill and [Jim Vander Wall] 1990). As the movement became an explicit critique of capitalism and U.S. imperialism, federal repression became much more direct and militaristic. Although the Left in the United States was pushed off the streets, the U.S. government left nothing to chance. In the event of opposition to his Central American genocide, [Ronald Reagan] was prepared to implement the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "REX84" (a plan for invoking martial law and detaining dissidents in military bases). And to win support for his policies, Reagan initiated a program of "public diplomacy" and "perception management," bringing home CIA psychological warfare techniques (Parry 1999).

The inevitable opposition to these trends must be repressed. Vigorous opposition to the only superpower is coming from both social movements and governments. The most threatening opposition is repressed militarily. Yugoslav resistance to the dictates of the IMF led to the cultivation of its breakup and the criminal bombing of Serbia--the least compliant of the republics. In East Timor, however, Indonesia acts as the U.S. quisling. War crimes have been committed, but the U.S. policy (as in World War II) is "non-intervention"--our Indonesian surrogates are well-prepared to "restore order" to East Timor. Australia (the only nation to have recognized the illegal annexation of East Timor by Indonesia) is considered qualified to lead the token UN effort. Indonesia will be allowed to contribute troops, and the United States will provide "intelligence and logistical support." Had the Serbian leadership championed the elimination of social programs and opened their labor and resources to Nike and Freeport McMoRan as aggressively as the Indonesian regime, they too might have been permitted to "restore order" to Kosovo.

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