“Why do people hate us so much?” So goes the cry of so many Americans as they hear news from around the world. Those who travel extensively (based upon my readings more than my actual lack of travel) will tell you that this is not really the case. The people of the world don’t hate Americans, per se. What they hate is Yankee arrogance and American Imperialism. Many Americans don’t understand how this could possibly apply. After all, we are sending billions of dollars to help poor countries, and we have waged wars to help our allies. What’s so wrong with that? If they don’t want our help, then we should just leave them to take care of themselves! The reaction of most countries if we really would take that approach would be a big sigh of relief and maybe rejoicing in the streets.
In order to understand the frustration of many foreign countries with America, Americans should pay attention to what is happening now in America. The seeming collapse of our economy and the trillions of dollars of wealth that have evaporated over the last five years is a backlash to the foreign economic policies that have been created by the American-led banking and trading system. The crux of the crunch was cause by the creation of mortgage derivatives that were an attempt to offload the risk of bad mortgages from American bank portfolios onto other investment groups that neither understood nor appreciated the enormity of the risks they faced by trading collateralized debt.
One reason for creating such securities was the fact that less developed countries (LDC) had grown tired of having their currency raided by American investors, as pointed out in by Sebastian Mallaby in More Money Than God, as well as having their economies decimated by by over-funded and under-performing public works projects that were contracted to American companies, as John Perkins illustrates in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The result was massive defaults on American loans and virtual enslavement to the American military-industrial complex. Countries around the world began to resist the easy money/hard debt agreements with American concerns, mostly by overthrowing the greedy dictators who were getting rich from American pay-offs while allowing the citizens to live in absolute poverty. As the process of American industrial globalization was slowed, focus was turned instead toward using creative trading and money valuation schemes to pick up the slack. This created a boom in securities which everyone enthusiastically rode right into the ground. As the house of cards fell, one layer after another of this elaborate Wall Street Ponzi scheme was eliminated, and an estimated $50 Trillion in imaginary wealth evaporated.
It’s ironic that the soaring US government debt may actually work to the benefit of the LDCs. Large borrowing has already been mitigated with two rounds of quantitative easing, otherwise known as printing more money. More dollars in circulation, along with the high national debt, are almost certain to result in eventual inflationary pressures and a devaluation of the dollar. As this happens, loans to LDCs will also be devalued. However, such is the crippling effect of these loans to LDC economies, that most will still find it difficult to pay the loans and maintain infrastructure. This is mainly because the modernizing of LDCs has left them with facilities that cannot be maintained with revenues that remain after debt service. These countries have the choice of either continuing to contract expensive services from American companies in exchange for more debt load, or allowing the infrastructure to collapse and returning to abject poverty, except with the added bonus of polluted lands and decimated cultures.
Now that the debt load of the US government has reached unsustainable levels, the American people themselves are about to understand why the US Government is so hated around the world. The final phase of completing world domination by the corporatocracy is the subjugation of the very nation that waved the flag and cheered it on as it seized control of the rest of the world. We Americans are guilty of blind patriotism. We all believe in the idea of the America that our founding fathers gave us. We have tended not to look under the hood and see who was fiddling with the engine. For this, we can thank our two parties. While they are not ideologically the same, both parties have been so infiltrated by the corporatocracy that they are complicit in its gradual dismantlement and takeover of what was once The Republic.
Jenkins recounts a few stories that bring home the point that American arrogance is not just a corporate issue, but that individuals tend to perpetuated the stereotypical ugly American. Case in point is his travels to Panama, when the Canal Zone was still American soil. The Americans took advantage of the best that Panama had to offer in entertainment and the bounties of nature, all the while spitting on the language and culture of the native people and treating them like slaves. In other parts of the world, he recounts how Americans are insulated from the daily realities of the natives, instead being housed in fine hotels and allowed access to exclusive Western amenities and clubs. The special treatment brings in a lot of tourism revenue, but it insulates most Americans from seeing the true picture.
American men, especially, tend to treat the women of the world as their playthings. Even though Thai and Singaporean governments have cracked down on underage prostitution, it is still a rampant problem to this day. Prostitution in Thailand is a booming industry. Since the culture demands that the youngest daughter must take care of the parents as they age, and nowhere is the money flowing like it does in the red zones, young girls in search of a way to fulfill their filial duty flock to the zones frequented my American men ready to take advantage of the situation. This is not to say that it’s a one-way street. American companies also provide female entertainment as they woo foreign dignitaries. Jenkins points out that Saudi Prince W. had a penchant for blonds.
What American hasn’t found movies of foreign intrigue exotic and fascinating? Yet, on the screen we are divorced from the reality. We may beat our breasts a little and mumble something about “that’s just the way it is.” But now, as America itself is turned into an LDC, what once was a fantasy is about to become reality. As many an economist knows, once the military-industrial beast has consumed everything else, eventual, it will eat itself. We may have seen the beginnings of this in the Crisis of 2007. Or it just may be that, by making slaves of all Americans, the corporatocracy will find its last breaths of life and live on for a while. Either way, we need to kill the beast now or prepare for the inevitable.
.Note: It’s interesting that Mallaby attacks Perkins’ view of American financing in LDCs. Look up Perkins on Wikipedia to see the argument. However, it’s also interesting that Mallaby’s background is almost completely within the military-industrial complex. Perhaps Perkins is hitting a little too close to home.