Like billions of people around the world, I was following closely the USA elections’ drama. I must even admit that, as it became clear that Trump is going to go off the stage, I felt some relief. Having a completely ego-maniac unpredictable moron holding the console and playing with the buttons that can blow up the world is quiet unnerving. But what about the system that brought him to that position? And is Joe Biden really any better, or would he just carry on the same destructive policies in a more consistent way?
The view from Haifa, Palestine
Living in Palestine and struggling against Israeli Apartheid give you special insights into the mechanisms of international politics. Israel is regarded by the western powers as their dearest soul-mate and the bearer of western democratic values in the “barbarian” Middle East. Yet Israel controls the historic land of Palestine from the river to the sea and the majority of the population, the original Arab inhabitants, are completely devoid of any voice in determining the country’s and their own destiny.
The people most affected by Israel’s rule of Palestine are the millions of Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes, all their property was confiscated and they are not allowed to come back. But even those Palestinians (in the territories that were occupied in 1948) who gained formal Israeli citizenship and are allowed to vote to the Knesset are completely marginalized, to the level that the Zionist opposition preferred to join the hated and corrupt Netanyahu government rather than build a government that would be supported by Arab MPs.
“How is all this connected to the recent US elections?”, ask my impatient readers. Yes, it is true that there is “voters’ suppression” and that not all votes have the same weight in the US “electoral college”. But, in the end, wasn’t Biden elected by Black and other minority votes, against the surge in white supremacist support for Trump? And, isn’t the election of Kamala Harris another proof of the development of the US democracy toward being more inclusive?
Well, we learned some things while opposing Apartheid in Palestine. In order to really understand the nature of the regime – you should count all the people that are under its rule, not only those that are eligible to vote.
Believe me, we were watching so closely and nervously the US elections not because we care so much for the fate of some strange people in North America, but because we care about ourselves. Actually, those elections are likely to have a much bigger impact on people all over the world than they do over the citizens of the USA. And I speak about the daily consequences of US policy, not about climate change, where the USA was sabotaging any attempt to prevent the burning of the world.
More than half the 1438 billion dollar of the US Federal Budget discretionary expenses are dedicated to military expenditure (see attached chart) – those “lovely” bombs and “smart” missiles that are likely to fall on our heads, we the worlds citizens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and elsewhere. And they were approved in the famously divided Congress by a vote of 377–48 in the House of Representatives and by a vote of 86–8 in the Senate. This is only part of the budget that the US spends to develop the weapons that enable the continuation of Israeli Apartheid, to sustain military dictators like A-Sisi of Egypt and to defend the “freedom” of the feudal emirs of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cut the heads of their subjects and bomb poor Yemenis.
So, if we are the main “beneficiaries” on the receiving end of this government, why don’t we have the right to vote?
There is only one world
We live in a global capitalist society. You can hardly find any product that was created in a single country, without ingredients from many others. We breath the same air, so the pollution in any country is dangerous to all of us. Climate change is an imminent danger to all of us and it requires worldwide effort to confront and to mitigate its damages. The 2020 Corona pandemic proved that also our health can be protected only by a world-wide effort.
The companies that rule our economy are global companies. Most of them are registered in the US, but they operate all over the world. “The Economist” published recently a graphic illustration of “selected global platform by market capitalisation”, showing how US companies in the technology sector overshadow all the rest. Only some Chinese companies are recently starting to compete for a place in the world economy – what provoked an outcry all over the western “free” world: “how dare they eat from our cake?”
The United States’ government is the political tool of these global companies. They need to keep their political hegemony and military superiority in order to assure that the world is open for them to invest, exploit, pollute, make profits and avoid taxes. The US government try to bully and punish even their allies in the European Union when some of its countries try to tax the profits that US companies make in their countries. Most third world countries would not even dare to think about it.
We pay the taxes
While claiming their independence from the British Monarchy, the North American colonialists settlers, the would be “USA”, raised the slogan “no taxation without representation”. Once again, we witness the situation in which the real rulers, now in the form of the big US companies, are not paying almost any tax. And those who are paying most have no voice at all.
By their control over the world economy, US companies, by the force of the US government and army, force all of us to pay by the best fruits of our hard work for the building of their empire. This is done in many overt and covert ways. I will mention just some of them:
- US companies hold direct ownership or financial stronghold over much of the worlds’ enterprises and governments.
- They dictate the conditions that force the third world to pay high interest or dividend to imperialist owners, financiers or holders of “intellectual rights”. At the same time everybody is forced to hold reserves in dollars for which they actually receive no interest at all.
- Whatever is produced in the third world, by the world’s proletariat and peasantry, is sold damn cheap, while everything that is monopolized by the imperialist companies is sold at an exorbitant price.
- The third world bourgeoise are practicing super-exploitation in order to survive in neo-liberal markets, but are afraid to leave their money in the countries that they exploit. So, they channel it to the imperialist economies (and “America First”) enriching and develop the same system that farther undermine their competitive position.
- Big part of the brightest sons and daughters of the third world, that their families and states invested their most precious limited resources in educating, are tempted by higher salaries to emigrate and use their education to work for and farther empower the imperialist centers.
- The US uses its control of the world financial system to strangle other states, companies and banks. Foreign banks were forced to pay “fines” worth billions of dollars for “offences against US law” like trading with Iran. This money is finally paid by the banks’ customers and their customers’ customers – mostly poor people all over the world.
- Defense of “patents” and “intellectual property” became a major political and commercial tool to suppress the sharing of technological progress and allow owners to extract fees that amount to usurpation, not least against the most vulnerable people all over the world who need medical treatment, millions of them die as they can’t afford to pay for life saving treatments.
- Last but not least, as the world reserves are held in the US, its policy of printing huge amounts of dollars to finance its government’s deficits and prop its big companies is actually depreciating the value of the assets of the rest of the world, the savings of the world’s poor for the hard times ahead. Actually, today’s US banks, shares and government bonds are the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Like the British imperialists at the time, it is clear why the US is doing whatever it can to devoid the people of the world from participating in deciding our small world’s destiny. They wouldn’t be able to live in our expense otherwise.
No democracy and no rights in Apartheid
To my North American comrades and fellow citizens, I must say: Don’t be sorry for the inevitable fall of “your” empire. The US became great not only by robbing the rest of the world, but also by making you, the people of North America, small and enslaved.
How come you don’t have the right to health and education that people in so many other countries, not only the rich but many poor countries also, take as their basic rights?
The bourgeoise in the third world is weak because it lives out of a fraction of the added value from what “their” countries and “their” workers produce. Most of it goes to the imperialist masters. Because they are weak and afraid, they may resort to draconian and dictatorial measures. But when the workers and the rest of the working people unite and struggle for their rights, they may produce real change.
You are weak in front of “your” capitalist class because they own the added value from the work of people all over the world. In fact, you are almost “dispensable”, except from some services that can’t be outsourced or mechanized. You should unite with the workers and oppressed nations of the rest of the world in the struggle to put an end to North American imperialism in order to regain your strength and acquire control over your destiny.