Reflections from afar on the escalation of ideological warfare in the United States.

(June 20, 2018) The United States, under Trump and likely for the foreseeable future, is on a dominate-the-world-totally (and space) trajectory. This is a consequence of the economic situation where imperialism (as the highest stage of capitalism) is now confronted with intensifying contradictions, whose symptoms are the various crisis on the imperial periphery of Southern Europe and the two temporary collapses since 1997. The capitalists at the center of contemporary imperialism, in the USA, need to achieve the most intense monopoly conditions for themselves possible. This requires maximum political dominance worldwide, both vis-a-vis the 3rd world, including the large 3rd world countries as well as the other imperialist countries (the EU, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) and also Russia.

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Why Australia is an imperialist country.

by Max Lane.

(Written June 8, 2018) Australia is a small country of 25 million people. It ranks between 12thto 14th in the world in terms of the overall size of its economy. Although the gap between it and the large population, industrialised countries is substantial. Its military spending, ranking also around 12th in the world, therefore matches its ranking in size of economy. However, while the US economy is almost 20 times larger than the Australian economy, Australian defence spending per capita is very high at about 65% of that of the United States. Australia spends high on the armed forces for its small population. Military spending rose by 29 percent in inflation-adjusted terms between 2007 and 2016 and is projected to grow from $35 billion in 2017-18 to $42 billion by 2021.

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Indonesia: 20 Years After Suharto, Is Something Starting Anew?

by Max Lane, written May 24, 2018

May 21, 2018 marked the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the dictator Suharto, who ruled Indonesia from 1965 until 1998 — 33 years; a very long time. This 33 years constituted a massive percentage of the time Indonesia has existed. The leadership of the national revolution proclaimed independence on 17 August, 1945 but the colonial power, the Netherlands, was not forced to take its soldiers and bureaucrats home until the end of 1949. Its capitalists remained dominant there until they were expelled between 1956-1958. The effort to consolidate a new nation and a new state only began in 1950.

The challenge of consolidation in the first years was greater for the nation — a new community — than the state itself — the congealed power of a (capitalist) ruling class, who faced no immediate threat from any other organised class force.

For full article on the Verso Books Blog click HERE

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A progressive union contingent marches in Jakarta on May Day, 2018. via Serikat Buruh Demokratik Kerakyatan (SEDAR).