That’s nice to hear, but please bear in mind that when you listen to my records you’re listening to Marxist, socialist, anti-war, pro-welfare state music made by somebody who believes the rich should feed the poor and who strongly disapproves of the dropping of white phosphorous munitions on children and other innocent civilians.
I hope this doesn’t spoil your enjoyment.
Brilliant Just when I thought “Joyful Wonder” couldn’t possibly get any better…
I agree with what you write Ott. I’m now finishing off a 3-year undergraduate degree on North American studies at the University of Oslo, and naturally I’ve spent a lot of time working with this debate.
What I find is that our discussion turns into something even more interesting once we’ve finalized our arguments against American hegemony and their foreign policy, because that criticism is as necessary as it is delicate.
But here’s the kicker.
Looking at emerging empires today, China certainly is becoming a force of considerable power. They’re already now aquiring assets in the Middle east, buying Norwegian oil companies from the Americans, and purchasing land for possible new oil fields.
China literally sacrifices people to work in their booming economy. They bring slaves from the countryside, strip them of their rights, and send them to work till they die. The US - with all their constitutional erosion can never ever compete with a Chinese market built on the complete removal of human rights. As a centralized economical structure is globally intact, China surely will rise to immense power within the next 20-30 years.
Let’s be frank. I fundamentally believe the US needs to be in power, if we have to choose between China and the US as the main source of power and influence over others. Their influence over us is not fundamentally good, but it is by far the lesser evil. There’s no question the US went into Iraq to keep oil a western commodity, France’s oil-fields have been booming the last 5 years, and Norway are making record profits. Because of the Iraq war, the Norwegian welfare society can live off its rents for yet another decade. The Clinton and Bush doctrines only emphasize this. Yes, people suffer greatly at the American expense, but nevertheless, Europe needs the US to keep hegemony. The UK is in dire need of the integrity of American power, so much that they provide the intelligence for American led NATO wars, to aquire the assets for the continued integrity of western markets.
Our criticism of the US and their relentless cynicism only reflects one side to the love / hate relationship the US always have been subjected to. Now, I don’t mean to be too deterministic, but it looks like this is the fate of our world for now.
My point is - all this is reflected through the Nobel Peace Prize. Europe, again, chooses their allegiance. We choose our Empires. Obama is an image of a new, progressive US, which is exactly what the weak European politicians need nowadays. The peace prize has provided conscience for American will, and the dissilusionment that followed the prize is only a reflection of the fact that Europe is backed up into a corner - as is the US.
It all boils down to the problematic nature of critisizing the US for what they do. US foreign policy is horrible, immoral and despicable, and we need to vocalize our opposition to it. Similarly, we need to look at ways of keeping American power intact, while minimizing the toll other people, and ecology need to pay for it. US power is the very thing that keeps European societies floating on a relative wave of wealth. But, we’re on a down slope now. Things look really, really bad over the pond right now. Being realistic the US will probably wage a cold war against China, now that US power is condensed to military power alone. The outcome of such a conflict is going to keep Europe as a pawn in a brutal game of chess between the empires. I think we’re in for some tough times.
EDIT: I went to Vancouver this summer, and found a great bumper sticker.
“If you liked Iraq, you’ll love Iran”