At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a popular theory that the capitalists of the Earth had reached some sort of detente and would have no further use for war.
Another theory said that the capitalists were no different from gangsters fighting over their “turf.” Creating world wars was an intrinsic part of their very nature.
World War I and then World War II validated the second theory and completely discredited the first. Modern monopolistic capitalists were willing to kill millions in wars to establish their financial control over different parts of the planet. Their national armies were basically at the service of the bankers. Each “nation” was in fact a separate military operation, each opposed to the others.
This was explained in 1916 in a very important booklet named “Imperialism” by V.I. Lenin. There’s a short version on-line.
The big wars temporarily worked out great for the victorious bankers, despite having been hard on the millions killed, imprisoned, or maimed and on the nations who lost.
The New Theory Was Really the Old
Then in the 1980s, a new version of capitalist peace on Earth began to circulate. It was especially boosted when the Soviet Union failed. Opponents of the new theory called it “neoliberalism” rather than the classic name “imperialism.” Those who promoted the idea, which included virtually all the information sources in the rich countries, called it “globalization.” (I called it “gobblelization”).
The new theory, like the old one, held that the capitalists of the world had brought about a new world order based on extending the benefits of the “invisible hand” of capitalist markets to all the world through “free trade.”
Is It “Free?” Is It “Trade?”
The name “free trade” was a tremendous publicity success. Who’s against freedom? Who’s against trade?
Through long hard work, a few workers’ organizations, particularly unions of the world, explained that these so-called trade deals were nothing but agreements between capitalists at the expense of the workers in their respective territories. Time and a flood of actual data proved we were right. The capitalists were only agreeing among themselves that they would move their operations around to obtain the lowest possible wages and the fewest possible pollution controls.
Just as they had previously used their government’s armies to obtain their wishes, the bankers were now using their respective government’s negotiations. The ends were the same. The bankers from the countries with the biggest armies obtained more advantages over the countries with less clout. Only the 1% of any country benefited.
A Lot of People Bought Into the “New” Theory
Nevertheless, the idea that capitalism had established a new and lasting peaceful relationship persisted, and a lot of people thought it was true. Then, in 2016, came super nationalism, came Brexit, came Donald Trump.
The British poked a hole in the European Union from which it may not recover. The Scots tried to leave the British. Polls showed that near-Nazi nationalists were gaining electoral power in several major capitalist states. President Trump declared “America first” and spit in the faces of several other nations.
Will Capitalism Ever Bring Peace?
People must now review the two theories of international relations. We have to ask ourselves, “Are the bankers who control the major capitalist countries creating a peaceful world, or are they actually no different from gangsters fighting over turf?”
I’m on KNON.org and 89.3FM in Dallas every Saturday at 9 Central Time. If you want to know what I really think, click here.