On this edition of Parallax Views, economist Michael Hudson joins the show to discuss his seminal 1972 book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, now available in an updated and expanded third edition. We begin the conversation by discussing how the futurist Herman Khan of the hawkish, conservative Hudson Institute surprisingly showed an interest in the book (which Hudson thought would be more well-received by the political Left). Khan commented on the book by saying:
You’ve shown how the United States has run rings around Britain and every other empire-building nation in history. We’ve pulled off the greatest rip-off ever achieved.
Michael goes on to explain how the book was of interest not only to Khan, but also people within the CIA and State Department. He then explains the thesis of the book which deals with the major shift in how the international economic system worked after the U.S. got off the gold standard. Hudson speaks to U.S. military spending and investment in foreign countries vis-a-vis organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank became a strategy for American hegemonic dominance through the dollar. In the course of our conversation, we also discuss such issues as immigration, the World Economic Forum and Davos, an alternative system arising with China and Russia that could challenge the U.S. hegemon, the multipolar world, sanctions, Germany, and much, much more.
Then, in our second segment, James A. Smith joins us to discuss the article he co-wrote with David Slavick for the left-wing magazine Jacobin entitled “The Labour Left’s Fatal Contradictions Are Still Unresolved”. James offers a critique of the Left’s relationship with populism wherein populism is alternately cheered on and reviled. More controversy, James takes issue with the Left’s embrace of lockdown measures during the pandemic. We discuss this as well as issues like de-platforming, big tech, the fall of Jeremy Corbyn and Corbynism, Left vs. Right Populism, and much, much more.