The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Economics

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Introduction In these times, when the United States pursues an unprecedented military build-up, promotes coups and trade wars, breaks weapons agreements, organizes the illegal seizure of overseas financial accounts, building barriers and walls along the southern border, Washington can count on the mass media to provide a variety of propaganda messages, ranging from the predictable... Read More
History is told by Walls and Roads which have marked significant turning points in the relation between peoples and states. We will discuss the story behind two walls and one road and the circumstances which surround them and their consequences. The Berlin Wall In the aftermath of World War II, Europe was divided between East... Read More
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Introduction The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China’s growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and... Read More
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Introduction Bankers, agro-business elites, commercial mega owners, manufacturing, real estate and insurance bosses and their financial advisers, elite members of the ‘ruling class’, have launched a full-scale attack on private and public wage and salary workers, and small and medium size entrepreneurs (the members of the ‘popular classes’). The attack has targeted income ,pensions, medical... Read More
Introduction Republicans and Democrats are befuddled by President Trump’s attacks on Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau; has repudiation of NAFTA; the bilateral agreement with Mexico; tariffs, trade quotas and threats of trade constraints of billions more to come. Many are the experts, political leaders and media commentators who have offered a variety of explanations. The... Read More
Introduction For decades and longer, the United States and Europe lectured and encouraged countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia to welcome and accept foreign investment as the virtuous path to modernization, growth and prosperity. With few notable exceptions western leaders and academics promoted unlimited flows of capital (and the outflows of profits). No section... Read More
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Introduction Journalists, academics, pundits and experts have ignored the complexity of President Trump’s impact on the state of the US Empire. To properly assess the geopolitical configuration of power, we will consider the military, economic, political and diplomatic advances and setbacks of the Trump regime in Latin America, the European Union and Asia (including the... Read More
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Introduction The world is riven with class conflicts in Latin America, political conflicts between the Anglo-Americans and Russians, and economic conflicts between Washington against Europe and Asia. The conflicts have called into question the capacity of ruling elites to promote growth, to secure international stability and to foster global as co-operation. To understand the underlying... Read More
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Introduction Nero played his fiddle, Obama shot baskets and Trump twittered while their empires burned. What makes empires decay and what makes empires expand has everything to do with their relations between rulers and the ruled. Several factors are decisive. These include: (1) rent, land and housing, (2) the direction of living standards, (3) the... Read More
Introduction During his recent visit to New Hampshire on 3/20/18, President Trump declared once again that the US is facing a ‘drug epidemic’. This time he advocated the death penalty for criminal drug dealers as the solution to a national crisis that has killed over 1 million Americans since the 1990’s (when the blockbuster prescription... Read More
Introduction US Presidents, European leaders and their academic spokespeople have attributed China’s growing market shares, trade surpluses and technological power to its “theft” of western technology, “unfair” or non-reciprocal trade and restrictive investment practices. President Trump has launched a ‘trade war’, - raising stiff tariffs, especially targeting Chinese exports – designed to pursue a protectionist... Read More
The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars. I want to argue from a different perspective, focusing on the increasing subdivision of markets, the deepening autonomy of political action from economic development, the greater threat of military interventions and increasing... Read More
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Class Struggle and Imperial Wars as the Motor Force of US History
Introduction The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973. Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state. Between the mid 1970’s to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing... Read More
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Shake Up and Shake Down
Introduction Major changes are roiling the states, societies and ruling classes of the biggest industrial economies, oil regimes and military complexes. China is re-allocating its economic wealth toward building the most extensive modern infrastructure system in history, linking four continents. Saudi Arabia is transferring a trillion dollars of pillage from princes to princes, from old... Read More
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(Lumpen Capitalism refers to an economic system in which the financial and military sector exploits the state treasury and productive economy for the 1% of the population.) Introduction US journalists and commentators, politicians and Sinologists spend considerable time and space speculating on the personality of China’s President Xi Jinping and his appointments to the leading... Read More
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America has the greatest inequalities, highest mortality rate, most regressive taxes, and largest public subsidies for bankers and billionaires of any developed capitalist country. In this essay we will discuss the socio-economic roots of inequalities and the relation between the concentration of wealth and the downward mobility of the working and salaried classes. How the... Read More
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The fall of 2017 will witness the most brutal assault on working and middle class living standards since the end of World War II. Three presidents and their congressional allies will ‘revise’ labor legislation, progressive income tax laws and regulations and effectively end the mixed economy in France, the US and Brazil. Throughout the summer,... Read More
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Introduction Every day and throughout the world we read and hear of turmoil, of threats, violence, divisions, wars for peace and peace for wars, freedom as oppression and oppression as freedom. In a world where words have lost their meanings and meanings have no words, how do we go about understanding turmoil? Surely, economies rise... Read More
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The ‘White Plague’ of the 21st Century
Introduction Over the past two decades hundreds of thousands of Americans have died prematurely because of irresponsibly prescribed narcotic ‘pain killers’ and other central nervous system depressants, like tranquillizers and their deadly interactions. The undeniable fact is that they have been mostly from the white working and lower middle class from rural and deindustrialized regions.... Read More
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Introduction: The cross border flood of millions of immigrants provokes profound political divisions, violence and the rise of mass movements challenging the unity of the European Union (EU) and the survival of the dominant political parties in the US and Europe. Both the progressive pro-immigrant and rightwing anti-immigration parties and movements propose easy answers and... Read More
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Introduction: From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse. They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to... Read More
Introduction: The Financial Times’ Special Report (2/16/2017) published a four-page spread on the ‘use and possible dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Unlike the usual trash journalists who serve as Washington’s megaphones on the editorial pages and political columns, the Special Report is a thoughtful essay that raises many important issues, even as it is fundamentally... Read More
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Introduction By the end of the first month of President Trump’s Administration we are in a better position to evaluate the policies and direction of the new President. An examination of foreign and domestic policy, particularly from a historical and comparative perspective will provide insights about whether America is heading for a catastrophe as the... Read More
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Introduction: During his inaugural speech, President Trump clearly and forcefully outlined the strategic political-economic policies he will pursue over the next four years. Anti-Trump journalist, editorialists, academics and experts, who appear in the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have repeatedly distorted and lied about the President’s program as... Read More
“The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.” H. Balzac Among the current crop of Wall Street financiers, Laurence “Larry” Fink has received the greatest number of awards and plaudits. He is the CEO and Chairman of Black Rock (BR), the world’s largest multinational investment management... Read More
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Brazil under Lula Da Silva 2003-2010
Introduction: Leftwing academics, writers and journalists have written tendentious articles where they manage to transform reactionary political leaders into working class heroes and present their dreadful policies as progressive advances. Recently, leftist pundits throughout US and Latin America have plagued the reading public with gross distortions of historical events contributing, in their own way, to... Read More
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Introduction: During most of the past two decades Washington has aggressively launched military and economic wars against at least nine countries, either directly or through its military aid to regional allies and proxies. US air and ground troops have bombed or invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. More recently Washington has... Read More
The concentration and centralization of the agro-business multi-nationals advances with gigantic strides: Potash Corp and Agrium have combined into a $30 billion monopoly over the world fertilizer market. Dow Chemical and DuPont combine in a $130 billion dollar deal in the seed and agricultural chemicals sector. ChemChina prepares to takeover Syngenta in a $44 billion... Read More
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Introduction: Large-scale political and economic challenges are confronting the US multi-national corporate elite. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Pfizer and scores of other multinational tax evaders are facing the triple threat of multi-billion dollar fines, the redistribution of their wealth and the possible reintroduction of equitable socio-economic programs, which could undermine their power. Washington-backed exporters and... Read More
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Introduction: China and the United States are moving in polar opposite directions: Beijing is rapidly becoming the center of overseas investments in high tech industries, including robotics, nuclear energy and advanced machinery with collaboration from centers of technological excellence, like Germany. In contrast, Washington is pursuing a predatory military pivot to the least productive regions... Read More
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Introduction: The white working class in the US has been decimated through an epidemic of ‘premature deaths’ - a bland term to cover-up the drop in life expectancy in this historically important demographic. There have been quiet studies and reports peripherally describing this trend - but their conclusions have not yet entered the national consciousness... Read More
Capitalist expansion and the explosion of class struggles in Mexico follow a very distinct trajectory. Large scale, long-term foreign investment in minerals and land from the late 19th to early 20th century based on high intensity exploitation, set the stage for the Mexican Revolution. The correlation of forces shifted dramatically in favor of peasant armies,... Read More
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Introduction: What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?... Read More
Introduction: The IMF is the leading international monetary agency whose public purpose is to maintain the stability of the global financial system through loans linked to proposals designed to enhance economic recovery and growth. In fact, the IMF has been under the control of the US and Western European states and its policies have been... Read More
Introduction: Pundits and commentators on the Left and Right are pronouncing ‘the end of the progressive cycle in Latin America’. They cite the recent presidential elections: 1. Argentina, where hard-right Mauricio Macri was elected; 2. Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff has appointed a neo-liberal ‘Chicago Boy’ economist, Joaquin Levy, as Finance Minister and launched an... Read More
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Distortion, Fabrication and Falsification in the Financial Press
Introduction: With the collapse of the Communist countries in the 1990’s and their conversion to capitalism, followed by the advent of neo-liberal regimes throughout most of Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America, the imperial regimes in the US and EU have established a new political spectrum, in which the standards of acceptability narrowed and... Read More
China’s wealthiest classes have secured their recent fortunes through various means, both legal and illegal: These include (1) the privatization of public enterprises; (2) the savage exploitation of cheap labor after destroying workers rights , protections and social welfare legislation; (3) large-scale, long-term corruption of government officials; (4) the often violent state-sponsored land-grabs from towns,... Read More
Introduction: Rightwing politics now dominate the globe. Broadly speaking, the Right can be divided into a US-centered rightwing bloc and a variety of anti-US rightwing regimes and social forces. The US-centered rightwing includes absolutist monarchies, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and Jordan; neoliberal electoral regimes and opposition parties in the European Union and... Read More
First as Tragedy, Second as Farce, Thirdly as Vassal State
Introduction: The Greek people’s efforts to end the economic depression, recover their sovereignty and reverse the regressive socio-economic policies, which have drastically reduced living standards, have been thrice denied. First, the denial came as tragedy: When the Greek majority elected Syriza to government and their debts increased, the economy plunged further into depression and unemployment... Read More
Introduction:The post neo-liberal regimes which flourished in five Latin American countries in the first decade of the 21st century were a product of three inter-related historical processes. The breakdown of the neo-liberal development model, which in turn ignited mass popular movements for radical political-economic transformations; the incapacity of the mass movements to produce a viable... Read More
Introduction: Class conflict is always present, endemic, in Latin America. What changes, over time, is the character of the class struggle. By ‘character’ we mean, the principal classes and leaders, who direct in the struggle, set the political agenda and define the parameters of socio-economic changes. What is striking about the class struggle in Latin... Read More
Introduction: Throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, rightwing governments have increasingly adopted extremist socio-economic policies, slashing social expenditures, labor and welfare legislation, while increasing corporate subsidies and reducing taxes for the elite. The rightwing has launched increasingly reckless military interventions via-invasions, proxy wars and massive weapon build-ups on the frontiers of Russia, China and... Read More
The Rise of the Non Leftist Left
Introduction: Over the past decade fundamental changes have taken place in Southern Europe, which have broken with previous political alignments, resulting in the virtual disappearance of traditional leftist ’parties, the decline of trade unions and the emergence of ‘middle class radicalism’. New political movements, purportedly on the left, no longer are based on class conscious... Read More
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How the ‘Hard Left’ embraces the policies of the Hard Right
Introduction: Greece has been in the headlines of the world’s financial press for the past five months, as a newly elected leftist party, ‘Syriza’, which ostensibly opposes so-called ‘austerity measures’, faces off against the “Troika” (International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank). Early on, the Syriza leadership, headed by Alexis Tsipras, adopted... Read More
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The Rise of “Criminal Capitalism”
Introduction: About 75% of US employees work 40 hours or longer, the second longest among all OECD countries, exceeded only by Poland and tied with South Korea. In contrast, only 10% of Danish workers, 15% of Norwegian, 30% of French, 43% of UK and 50% of German workers work 40 or more hours. With the... Read More
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Seven Mistaken Assumptions, Presumptions and Prescriptions
Introduction The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations recently published a Special Report entitled, “Revising US Grand Strategy toward China”, (Council on Foreign Relations Press: NY 2015), co-authored by two of its Senior Fellows, Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis (‘B and T’), which proposes a re-orientation of US policy toward China. The Report a policy... Read More
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Introduction: A recent article by Jorge Elbaum, the former executive director of DAIA (Delegation for Argentine Jewish Associations), the principle Argentine Jewish umbrella groups, published in the Buenos Aires daily Pagina 12, provides a detailed account of the damaging linksbetween the State of Israel, US Wall Street speculators and local Argentine Zionists in government and... Read More
Introduction: The Brazilian working class is facing the most savage assault on its living standards in over a decade. And it is not just the industrial workers who are under attack. The landless rural workers, public and private salaried employees, teachers and health professionals, the unemployed and the poor are facing massive cuts in income,... Read More
Introduction: Over the past 30 years, wealth has grown exponentially and has become increasingly concentrated foremost in the upper .01%, then the .1%, followed by the 1% and the upper 10% - 20%. The large scale, long-term concentration of wealth has continued through booms and busts of the real economy, the financial and IT crises.... Read More
“You Can’t Have Wars and Public Health”
Washington escalates its military interventions abroad, launching simultaneous air and ground attacks in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; multiplying drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; training, arming and financing proxy mercenaries in Jordan, the Gulf States and Iraq; and dispatching National Guard battalions to West Africa, ostensibly to combat the Ebola epidemic, though they lack... Read More
James Petras
About James Petras

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.


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