In this semi-regular slot, we respond to your comments and criticisms received over the past month or so.
On US foreign policy.
Following on from our episode on the political-economy of dollar hegemony (no. 139), we turn to look at how the dollar underpins American empire. Is 'permawar' a product of structural factors, rather than merely the result of poor policy decisions? And how is this related to the global financial architecture?
We also discuss how the current period fits into US history, how US foreign policy might evolve over the next four years, and what a left-wing alternative foreign policy might look like.
- To End Forever War, End the Dollar’s Global Dominance, David Adler & Daniel Bessner, TNR
- Trump’s America may be declining in global soft power—but US empire rolls on, Daniel Bessner, Prospect
- The coronavirus crisis is an opportunity to finally move past the post-WWII era, Daniel Bessner, Responsible Statecraft
On Lebanon's crisis.
We call up Rima Majed in Beirut to talk us through the aftermath of the enormous explosion and ensuing protests. How has Lebanon's history since the civil war created such a profound, multi-layered crisis? We cover the desperate economic situation and the October 2019 revolt, before going deep on the politics of sectarianism, the regional scenario impacting Lebanon, the legacy of the Arab Spring, and the risks of foreign intervention.
- Beirut explosion and protests - (07:04)
- Lebanese history 1990-today - (23:53)
- Economic crisis - (38:05)
- Sectarianism - (51:16)
- Regional scenario and foreign intervention - (01:04:54)
- International solidarity - (01:24:38)
–> For donations & help for local organisations other than the Red Cross: Google Doc
Readings (all Rima Majed):
- Lebanon’s ‘October Revolution’ must go on!, openDemocracy
- The Political (or Social) Economy of Sectarianism in Lebanon, Middle East Institute
- Financial Collapse, Revolution, and Pandemic: Where are the Unions?, LCPS
- Why the Lebanese support the same sectarian leaders, al Jazeera
- Lebanon's October Revolution: Hope in the Midst of Crisis, Princeton
- Understanding the October Uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon, Global Dialogue ISA
In this latest Three Articles, we discuss the durability or otherwise of right-populism in the UK, US and Brazil.
Conservatives’ grip on ‘red wall’ holding firm, Sebastian Payne, FT
Lawmakers ‘Alarmed’ by Reports U.S. Envoy Told Brazil It Could Help Re-elect Trump, Ernesto Londoño, Manuela Andreoni and Letícia Casado, NYT
“Imagine the damage a president could cause”: What would happen if Trump refused defeat?, Emily Tamkin, New Statesman
On dollar hegemony.
Dutch disease has long been seen as the curse of resource-rich economies in which a currency appreciates and jobs are lost overseas. But what if the greenback is having the same effects on the US economy, the largest in the world? Many historians and economists have studied the global effects of having the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. But what is the effect on the US economy itself? The authors of an influential essay on this question join us to talk about the feedback effects of dollar hegemony.
- The Class Politics of the Dollar System, Yakov Feygin & Dominik Leusder, Phenomenal World
- Dollar and Empire, Herman Mark Schwartz, Phenomenal World