The Black & White of Elite Imperialism with Jill Stein

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Fighting Russia & China to Last American: Destroying US From Within Dr. Jill Stein & Michael Hudson


NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Today we’re going to talk with Dr. Stein, 2024 presidential candidate in the United States and her policy advisor, Professor Michael Hudson. And we’re going to talk about Ukraine, Taiwan, Israel, and domestic policy in the United States.

And so let’s get started with the conflict in Ukraine. Michael, how do you find the current face of the war in Ukraine? How do you find the policy of the Biden administration? It seems that they want to continue this war in Ukraine. How do you find it so far?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, despite the pretense that somehow Ukraine can still win, they know that the Ukrainians have already lost. The Russians are moving pretty much at will up to the Dnieper and then along the north shore of the Black Sea, all the way to Odessa. And once they move to Dnieper and Odessa, they’ve got really what they want in Ukraine. Now, there won’t be resistance.

So what does Biden mean when he said this will go on and on? He’s in agreement that just like Putin said it’s going to go on probably for 10 years, Biden says it’s going to go on for 10 years.

And the reason he’s saying that is because France and England both say that they’re going to come in, Poland is going to come in. And so the war in Western Ukraine is going to be not so much against the Ukrainian army, which is now pretty depleted, but against other NATO troops. And it’s going to be an escalation, and it’s going to be a forever war.

And the objective of the administration here is simply they believe that a forever war will keep depleting Russia’s arms and missiles and tanks and army so that it will be in a lesser position to defend China when Mr. Biden says that he intends to follow the military plans to attack China in 2025 and 2026. So the United States plan is for a forever war basically, extended from the Ukraine to China, and probably in the Near East, because Iran is the third main enemy designated by the United States.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Dr. Stein, how do you find the foreign policy of Biden administration in Ukraine?

JILL STEIN: As Michael describes it, this is absolutely Orwellian. It is terrifying. It reflects this mindset of a state of permanent war of a country that thinks that it is the sole imperial power, which is basically rampaging around the world and butting up against conflicts that are huge, that could go global, that could go nuclear. This is unfortunately a microcosm of that mindset.

It has been absolutely clear from the get-go that for NATO to continue to move to the East, violating the promise of the United States and NATO basically to Russia that it would not expand to the East, not one inch after the reunification of Germany, which constituted an existential threat to Russia, which was just recently recovering from the Second World War and the loss of some 20 million, maybe 27 million of its citizens after an invasion over the Ukrainian border.

So Russia is understandably touchy about its border, but no more touchy than the United States is about its borders. In the same way that the United States was ready to go to nuclear war, in fact, we had the nuclear bombs launched and in the air when it was discovered that Russia had placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, we were ready to go to war to prevent that threat of nuclear missiles placed so close to our capital and to our country that there would really be no defense against a launch.

It’s exactly the same for Russia. This is understandable. This is what all informed Russia experts and Russia watchers had advised for years. It was considered insane to be butting up against Russia’s border and to be breaking the promise that had been made to Gorbachev.

It is an extremely warmongering, ill-informed, aggressive policy. When did this war surge? Actually, it goes back to 2014 and the interference of the U.S. in domestic Ukrainian politics in participating very much in the overthrow of the democratically elected ruler, president of Ukraine at the time, who simply wanted neutrality for Ukraine, which is essentially what Russia was asking for, was neutrality, not to take one side or the other. This war has been specifically ginned up by the U.S.

When the war in Afghanistan basically came to its disastrous end, as the whole war had been a disaster, when it finally wrapped up, that’s when the war industry cannot bear for there to be a peace dividend for the people of the world and the people of the United States. Instead, we were then plunged into this ginned up, absolutely unnecessary war, which could have been averted at any point.

Russia was begging for negotiations, which the U.S. basically refused to participate in. After the war had begun, there were negotiations that took place under the auspices of [Türkiye], where Russia showed that it did not want this war, it was ready to come to the table to negotiate and to compromise substantially. The U.S. and the U.K. basically shut it down.

This is a war being ginned up by the war industry. It’s absolutely a disaster. It’s part of an endless war machine that is impoverishing the American people and endangering the whole world. This could go nuclear.

As Michael was referring to recent statements by France and England, that France may be sending troops and that England was basically giving their blessing to the use of weapons provided by England to be used to attack the interior of Russia, it’s no surprise whatsoever that Putin basically said this is an existential threat and began to engage nuclear war exercises again, which is a horrifying development.

And there’s every reason for this war to end, but even as Ukraine is losing more and more territory now, you have Biden again, or Blinken, I think it was actually just the other day, declaring that there will be no end to U.S. support. And the Democrats, I must say, voted unanimously for this latest $61 billion to be thrown into this fire. It’s basically just fuel being thrown on a fire, which is a disaster above all for the people of Ukraine who are paying in blood here, essentially for the exercise of just military might on the part of the U.S. But it’s military might that is extremely ill-conceived and could be challenged by the other nations of the world.

The U.S. is no longer the sole power now, as it had been for prior decades. It no longer is. We’re living in a multi-polar world, no longer a unipolar world.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, what makes it so striking is that the polls show that I think over 80% of the American public wants the war in Ukraine to end, or at least the United States to stop spending the money in Ukraine. They also opposed the genocide in Gaza. And yet, despite what the public wants, we’re having a Congress voting completely the other way, in the inverse proportion to what the American public wants, not spending on war, spending at home.

What you’re seeing is that this is not democracy. This is not the idea that other people have of how America works. How is it that the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress together are taking a position almost unanimously against what the people want, and yet America does not have a parliamentary system like Europe, where you can get third parties and fourth parties and fifth parties to provide an alternative.

There’s not an alternative in the United States, which explains the problems that Jill is having. She’s the only anti-war candidate, and she’s trying to get on the ballot. And the Democrats and Republicans are doing everything they can to prevent any third party on the ballot, which really means any second party to the Republican-Democrat duopoly.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Dr. Stein, can you explain what you’re facing right now in New York?

JILL STEIN: Yes, exactly. And that’s exactly where I wanted to go, because New York, in many ways, is the last stand of empire. It’s empire’s last stand. This is where the most difficult rules have been concocted in order to make our elections extremely undemocratic, in order to keep alternatives off the ballot, because the forces of war and Wall Street know that they cannot beat us in the court of public opinion. So their solution is to simply prevent us from having a voice in this election at all.

And as Michael mentioned, we are the only anti-war, anti-genocide, pro-worker campaign that is on track now to be on the ballot across the country.

So New York is where the most difficult rules have been put together, basically in a poison pill that was inserted unbeknownst to most observers. This was not debated. It was not discussed. It was just rammed into a budget package in 2022 in New York State by the now disgraced Governor Cuomo, who basically tripled the requirement. So the requirement is now for 45,000 valid signatures. Valid meaning the signature has to match exactly the signature on the voter registration form. If you used a middle name on your voter registration and you didn’t use it in your petition, your name can be thrown off the petition count. And so 45,000 of these are required, which is why we have to double the numbers, because the Democrats are using every dirty trick in the book in order to use trivial technical details to challenge the signatures.

And they have hired, as they have actually had the gall to admit, they’re shameless about this, they have hired an army of attorneys in order to challenge these ballot signatures to try to prevent their competition.

So when people bemoan the potential of Donald Trump to advance fascism, it’s really important to remind people that we really have fascism. Democracy is under attack. It’s terrible to challenge the peaceful transfer of power, but it’s also terrible to throw political opponents off the ballot. This is another hallmark of authoritarianism that has been practiced shamelessly by both parties, but in particular, by the Democrats for a long, long time. So this is why New York is such a really, it’s a moment of decision. It’s like, will genocide, will endless war, will the crushing inequality, will climate collapse, will the plight of workers, will the assault on our democracy with the police state now being called in to bash heads on campuses for students who are simply standing up for what the American people believe, for what the International Court of Justice has validated, what the United Nations General Assembly and the steering committee as well, the Security Council has also validated for young people who are simply doing the job of democracy, exercising their democratic rights. Their heads are being bashed in by police forces, largely trained in part by the Israeli occupation forces in these horrible, dehumanizing, and abusive practices. Young people are standing up against that.

This is where the American people agree, we need to be doing the right thing here, yet we have a Congress and a White House that is completely, there’s a total disconnect here. What’s wrong with the picture is that this is unfortunately the state of American democracy. It is in a state of all-out emergency, and we need to reassert that democracy by getting out and overcoming these obstructions and getting these critical issues front and center in this election.

We are otherwise on track to be on the ballot across the country. We have 75 percent over that, in fact, of the total burden of signatures that are collected. But New York is the main obstruction right now, so I really want to urge people to go to jillstein2024.com, or you can also go to the New York Green Party, you can Google the New York Green Party, and join the ballot struggle. Not only sign a petition if you are a registered voter in New York, but anyone who is a registered voter anywhere in the country can carry a petition, and we need to be attaining that margin of safety now of 20 or 30,000 signatures in the next two weeks. So we already have the bulk basically guaranteed, but we need to go all out in the remaining time.

MICHAEL HUDSON: I want to ask one question that I haven’t had a chance before. You know, scientists have a policy, strategy to get rid of mosquitoes. They make sterilized mosquitoes, and they let them loose so that the mosquito breeds ends.

Now, I understand that there’s another candidate that has already got 100,000 signatures, RFK, and all of his signatures for the ballot, had been, they go up to people and say, do you want a third party candidate? Well, many people have signed not knowing that he’s the third party candidate. They’ve covered that up. Now, my question to you is, if somebody’s already signed a ballot for one of these sterile mosquitoes, and the same people signed for your ballot, does that, is that grounds for disqualifying the whole page of signatures?

JILL STEIN: Yes, it is. And there are very complicated rules in every state, and they are different in every state. In New York, it is true that if a registered voter signs for one candidate, they cannot also sign for the other. And exactly which one gets discounted, I don’t know. It may depend on which set of signatures gets turned in first. But this is just another one of the booby traps that’s basically built into the ballot access process here, which is essentially, it is a screen, you know, it is a filter to prevent grassroots campaigns from getting on the ballot.

If you are a member of the parties of War and Wall Street, that is, if you are a Democrat or a Republican, this set of requirements does not apply to you. You’re essentially grandfathered in simply by getting the nomination of your party.

But for Greens, for socialists, for alternative third parties, for libertarians, that does not apply. We have to attain this mountain of signatures.

Now, if you are taking money from billionaires and bankers, and you have a super PAC that’s doing the job for you, a super PAC, which can accept, you know, money from billionaires without, you know, any limit on it whatsoever. It’s essentially a conduit for big money and for corporations to pull strings from the inside. If you’re doing that, you know, you can be quite assured that you’re going to get on the ballot.

And, you know, we know that RFK has a billionaire running mate who can help fund this. He also has a super PAC with, you know, basically billionaire funders as well. In fact, there are two of them who are funding the majority, you know. So what kind of democracy is that, you know, when basically it’s powerful special interests who are funding you? That is a guarantee, you know, that your campaign will be serving, you know, nefarious purposes, basically.

So if you’re a big money campaign, you can game these rules. These rules essentially are designed to stop grassroots, true people-powered political movements, which is why we must overcome them.

And, you know, there’s a whole game plan here because the state of emergency of our democracy has everything to do with money. It has everything to do with limiting ballot access. It has everything to do with the corporate consolidation of the media, which, by the way, can be challenged on day one. We can instruct our Department of Justice to undertake essentially antitrust lawsuits against consolidated corporate media as well. So there are solutions. You know, we can get money out of politics by having publicly funded campaigns. We voted that in my home state. We passed it by voter referendum to have public funding. And then the Democrats, the progressive Democrats, repealed it on a voice vote in our legislature. I mean, for me, that was the final straw to know that I would never be a Democrat. And I had never been a member of, you know, of either political party because I grew up in the Vietnam era. Again, seeing the Democrats calling out the police state to crack the heads of protesters who were objecting to another genocidal war.

You know, so for me, it’s this fundamental corruption of the entire system, which is embraced by Democrats like Republicans and exactly why it is we need to prevail.

And by the way, I won’t go into it at this moment, but sometime today before we’re done, I want to talk about that there is actually a pathway forward. This is a black swan election, and the American people have shown every indication of not proceeding along predictable pathways. Witness, for example, the primary of the Democratic Party here in New York State, where there was a phenomenal 12 percent uncommitted vote, but there was an equally phenomenal 83 percent no-show compared to the voters who turned out to support Joe Biden in 2020. They are voting with their feet and the floor has fallen through in the Democratic Party and people are, you know, tearing their hair out for other options here besides these two zombie candidates being rammed down our throats. So people need to feel very empowered here about totally transforming the direction of our democracy.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, this seems to be a digression, but it’s not. It’s directly factored into what Nima’s question was about the war in Ukraine. Because New York is a Democratic Party state, and the Democrats and Ms. Biden have said that you are the main threat to Biden’s victory. Because if you get on the ballot, that means fewer people will vote for Biden, and they blame you for Donald Trump’s winning in 2016 under the fantasy that if people wouldn’t have voted for you, they would have voted for Biden, which of course is absolutely silly. There’s no way they’re going to vote for Biden.

Well, right now, you’ll notice that Biden and the Democrats in New York have done everything they can to promote the candidate of RFK Jr., a neoliberal libertarian, and who they think will take more votes away from the Republicans. So they’re all in favor of a third party candidate that will take votes away from Republicans. But they’re afraid of you. And as you know, the former managers of RFK have left his campaign to go over to your campaign. So you really have covered the whole third party scheme. And that’s what frightens the Democrats. That’s why this election shows, is America really a democracy or isn’t it?

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: We know that Biden is defining new tariffs on China, and these tariffs are going to influence the life of Americans. This is the same policy, the same old policy coming from the Trump administration. And right now, Biden is doing the same. What’s your take on these new tariffs?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, it’s not only the tariffs against steel and against solar panels and e-mobiles. He also wants to confiscate TikTok, because it’s much more successful than any of the other major platforms in America. And both Biden has said that AIPAC and the Israelis are absolutely right. You must get rid of TikTok, because there are writers on there that say, we support the United Nations, and we support the International Court of Justice. They say that is anti-Semitic, because you can’t have any discussion that genocide is occurring or any criticism of Israel. They want to take over TikTok. So it will be stripped of any opposition to the government as Facebook and X and the other media are already there.

But what is so especially hypocritical is Biden says that, well, the reason we’re imposing the tariffs on China is because we want to industrialize the United States again.

The real reason is that he’s declared China the number one enemy, and he’s doing everything to do to sanction it. But the fact is, the pretense that somehow these tariffs are going to create jobs just exposes what’s gone wrong with the American economy. It’s been deindustrializing ever since the Clinton administration in the 1990s. And the last 30 years have basically concentrated wealth at the very top of the economic pyramid financially and left the rest of the economy.

The average employee is so expensive that if you were given every wage earner in America, all the food, all the clothing, all the transportation for nothing, they still couldn’t compete with any other country because of the two problems. The rents here are so high that they outstrip any other country, and the medical costs are too high, and the student loans are so high. If you have people entering the workforce who’ve had to pay $50,000 to $100,000 a year for four years and begin the workforce having to pay off a quarter million to a half million dollar in debt, how can their employers pay them enough money to live and still pay for their housing and the student loans?

There’s no way America can reindustrialize, and the United States is somehow trying to break off and isolate China and the whole global majority. If China, Russia, and the global South didn’t exist, they think somehow all the neoliberalized countries will be in the same boat, and yes, we will all be equally competitive, but what are we going to do about the 85% of the population? How can America compete?

I think Jill has some solutions.

JILL STEIN: Yes, exactly. I think that simply erecting tariffs, which will add further impediments to greening the economy, and it will also normalize a high cost for electric vehicles. It’s good for electric vehicles to be available at a price that everyday Americans can afford because if the price gets doubled, which is certainly what these tariffs will do because they’re 100% tariffs, it basically adds this huge inflationary factor to the American economy.

In terms of Michael’s larger point, you don’t create an industrialized economy simply by implementing a tariff. This is like the patient with multi-system failure on a bed in the intensive care unit. They have multi-organ failure, and you can’t just address one little superficial part of it. It needs a total reboot.

We need to address that cost of healthcare that makes American industries absolutely uncompetitive. We need to move to a Medicare for all system, which will not only improve our health, cover everyone in all capacities. There are huge holes right now in coverage, but it also cuts the total cost by half a trillion dollars a year. 30% basically of the cost can be recouped right away.

We need to address the issue of rent. Rents are completely going through the roof right now. Half of all renters are severely economically stressed, just trying to keep a roof over their head, paying over 30% of their income just for their rent, which doesn’t leave enough for putting food on the table after you’ve paid your student loans, etc. There are simple solutions that can be implemented nationally, including federalized rent control, including a tenant bill of rights so that evictions without cause basically are a thing of the past. There need to be accessible housing attorneys to assert tenant rights. We need to bring back public housing, which has essentially been prohibited by legislation that essentially makes it impossible for quality public housing, now called social housing, to be built.

There are practical solutions that we can put on the table to address that part of the uncompetitiveness of American industry.

Above all, we have a Green New Deal program, which will put substantial dollars, like trillions of dollars, initially in the first year to jumpstart an economic recovery program by training people and creating projects for greening our energy system, for phasing out fossil fuels within the next 10 years, for greening our agriculture so we can bring back family and community farms instead of this very destructive and unsustainable agribusiness that has basically put the family farmer and the Black farmer in particular essentially out of business. We can create the jobs that we need without creating these tariffs that essentially destroy the little bit of climate policy that’s underway currently.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, there’s still a problem in trying to do this, and that’s the debt problem and the related problems that you have.

Right now, you have in the New York Times and the other democratic media writers by the journalist Paul Krugman, for instance, that’ll say, why don’t the wage earners get it? 80% of Americans say that the economy is very bad and that their living standards are bad. Paul Krugman says, how can they say that? The consumer price index is stabilized at 3.5% and unemployment is down. Gee, many families can get two or three jobs to get by. What are they complaining about?

Well, all of the attention from the economic reports of the Federal Reserve every week or every month are the consumer price index, but there are no indexes that are published in America of the debt problem. Debt is not part of the consumer price index. The reason that Americans are so unhappy right now is they’re debt burdened. They’re so burdened that arrears and defaults are occurring for every category of debt, for student debt, for mortgage debt, for bank and credit card debt, especially for automobile debt to drive to your job to get it.

The fact that the debt service is going up is basically what is blocking the ability of employees to buy the products that they produce. There’s no circular flow there. It’s all siphoned off to finance at the top.

The consumer price index doesn’t show how prices is going up right now because the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates so high, the mortgage rate is seven and a half percent. That means that if you take out a mortgage to buy a house, in 10 years, the bank gets as much for the house as the homeowner who sold. The doubling time of seven and a half percent is under 10 years at compound interest.

Just imagine, at this rate, individual families cannot afford to buy a house anymore.

What you’ve had since 2008 is something amazing that no one’s talking about. In 2008, before the Obama bailout of the banks, the home ownership rate in America was 59 percent. The idea was that the entrance to the middle class was going to be owning your own home. But right now, with the interest rates so high, people can’t buy homes. The home ownership rate now is below 50 percent.

America is no longer a homeowner society. England, Scandinavia, Europe, 70 to 80 to 90 percent of the population are homeowners, not the United States. After Obama evicted 8 million American families to bail out the banks from the victims of junk mortgages and false credit reports and bank fraud, their homes were all picked up by private capital firms like Blackstone and others. And you’ve had these private capital firms playing the role today that landlords did in the 19th century England, before you had all the reforms of classical economics. So America’s gone backwards. The word neo-feudalism is picking up more and more in the papers.

We’ve gone backwards and are making it really impossible to achieve an economic recovery without almost a total systemic reform. And I know Jill has outlined particular elements of those reforms. But as she said, one or two fixes won’t work. You really need the whole system. And in order to have that, you have to have a discussion of what are the problems and what to do. There’s no discussion of the problems. That’s one of the reasons that we need a politician who can actually introduce this discussion into the overall discussion and debate about policy.

You have to realize the problems that are holding America back, not just saying, you should be happy. We don’t know why you’re not voting Biden back in.

JILL STEIN: And if I could just add quickly, I saw something, you know, flashed by my iPhone, on my iPhone screen about the stock market attaining some unprecedented height as of today. You know, and this is the mindset of our political class. You know, they live within the top 5%. And so the economy is doing great as far as they’re concerned. But, you know, we’re in an economy where 3 billionaires have the wealth and resources of half the population altogether.

And, you know, year by year, this is not getting better. This is only getting worse, because we’re now in this like vicious feedback loop right now, where the economic elites are basically giving the marching orders to the political elites. And in many cases, they are the political elites themselves, you know, the billionaires who enter into our political system, you know. And so inside of the political system, they are then generating the policies that further concentrate wealth and the advantages of the oligarchs, you know. So we’re in a situation right now of oligarchy and empire. They go hand in hand in the same way that Martin Luther King said, you know, that we have this triple evil of militarism, materialism, extreme materialism, and racism, basically.

And, you know, and the system is like an airplane going into a tailspin right now on its way down. And we got to pull out of that, out of that tailspin. And it really requires a systemic fix. And that’s why, you know, that’s why we’re in this race. That’s why we need to be on the ballot in New York. That’s why we need, you know, every one of us to do everything possible, you know, to jump into the mix here and to, you know, get the airplane into a pull-up, we need to pull up out of this tailspin while there’s still time.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, basically the real voters are the donor class, the billionaires that you’ve mentioned, because they can give money to back the candidates. And money is what buys television time, buys people to get the signatures on the ballot. And you could say it’s a democracy for the oligarchs, but that’s called oligarchy. And not only do these sort of unelected billionaires end up deciding who gets to be on the ticket in the primaries, depending on who they’re backed, but there’s also the blob, the secret government, the damage of the CIA, NSA, FBI, and the deep state.

And one of the programs that Jill has suggested is a new Church Commission. We need something like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. What has the CIA and the National Security Council been doing behind our, to try to push for these regime changes all over the world that lead to the American involvement in wherever there’s been a regime change in one of the 800 military bases the United States have all over the world?

JILL STEIN: And to add to that, it was a big wake-up call for me when I discovered this kind of the hidden history here that the CIA has essentially overturned, the count is somewhere around 70 countries now since the Second World War. If you look at South America, one of the shining examples in South America is Costa Rica, which basically doesn’t have a military because when they had their revolution against their military, and I think it was 1952 or -3, something like that, but it was just before the CIA was created. And that’s why Costa Rica sort of stuck in under the wire. They actually had a socialist revolution. They dismantled their military. They put their national resources largely into the social needs of their population.

Whereas, go not too far away, you have Guatemala where the democracy, the democratically elected president, Arbenz, I think his name was in 1954, just a year or two later, he was then subject to regime change by the US acting on behalf of United Fruit, which did not want to see land redistributed out of the hands of corporations and into the hands of everyday people and peasants.

And it’s taken, what is it now, 70 years for Guatemala to recover. I think Guatemala just elected a real reformer. Let’s hope that holds steady. But this is not a simple thing when the US is in the business of overthrowing other democracies.

And so we badly need not only a Church Commission, we need to re-engage congressional hearings in general on substantive issues. One of the products of the Church Committee, which was the creation of these intelligence committees in the Senate and the House, they were supposed to do the watchdogging, but they’ve now become full collaborators in these plans and are not doing the watchdogging that desperately needs to happen. So we need to reconvene meaningful congressional hearings in the same way that we also need to hold the feet of elected representatives to the fire by forcing them to meet with their constituents.

We used to have an institution called town hall meetings. They are not used anymore because congressional reps and senators are way too busy raising money from their billionaire donors and their corporate donors, the surrogates for the corporations at any rate, the executives of corporations. That’s where they’re spending their time instead of actually meeting face to face with their constituents.

So we have some very serious problems here, but there are real solutions that we can bring to bear simply by virtue of the power of the presidency, the executive power, or the bully pulpit to really compel certain institutions to get started again to begin this process of recovery for our democracy.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, I think there’s a reason why you just mentioned that the Congressional Oversight Committees aren’t doing their job. That’s because in the Democratic Party and the Republicans, every politician, in order to get on a committee, has to contribute. Given 100,000, 400,000 committee chairmanships, you have to raise $500,000.

Now, who has this money to give them? We’re back again to the PACs, the political contributors that determine who’s suggested. Now, the military-industrial complex will give so much money to their selected politicians that the politicians can buy their chairmanship of the committee, and other congressmen or senators can also use the money that their contributors give to the committee.

And this has been discussed for a long time, the corruption of Congress and why Congress does not represent the people.

There’s also a parallel to this that’s occurred recently, and that’s the same thing of billionaires determining policy has occurred, as you’ve seen in the last month, over the entire educational system of this country. You’ve seen all of the demonstrations opposing the genocide in Gaza, and you’ve seen two university presidents already fired because their donors of the university have said, We are not going to give you funding unless you fire, you take the names of all of the students and give us the names and expel them from the university because they’re opposing, they’re supporting the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. Support of the United Nations is anti-Semitic. You must fire them, and you must fire any faculty member that opposes American military policy.

Now, this has happened in one campus after another. Columbia is obviously the most notorious, but the first was Harvard. I think Bill Ackman, a fund manager, said, I’m withdrawing all my money from you if you don’t fire the president and put faculty members and a curriculum that I and my colleagues approve of. The same thing at Columbia. They threatened the donors of one of their hospitals, said, we’re not going to give you the half million dollars we promised or the 10 million to finish your diabetes hospital unless you fire the protesters who say, if you say that Palestinians are human beings, that’s anti-Semitic.

Congress has just proposed a law saying that to say “from the [river to] the sea” or to defend the Palestinians is, by definition, a criminal anti-Semitic act. This has actually been proposed in Congress. There’s very little chance of the Senate passing this because the Senate is not quite as nutty as the Congress, but I don’t think the rest of the world realizes how radical this change is and how nothing like it has ever, ever occurred before in American history, not even under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1920s.

JILL STEIN: Wow.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: One of the other dimensions of this economic problem in the United States would be de-dollarization. We know that Putin and Xi are so hand-in-hand to de-dollarize their trades. And recently, Putin just said that in two years they could reduce their dependence on US dollar from 54% to 13%. That’s huge. And what’s going on, Michael, right now, considering Russia, China and Brexit?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, here’s what I don’t understand. Biden repeatedly says, “China is our number one enemy,” “Russia’s our number two enemy,” you’ve seen the United States and its Europe satellites already confiscate all of Russia’s foreign exchange that’s held in Europe and the United States. Why doesn’t China fear this?

As you point out, it’s moving gradually to de-dollarize, but if America is actually going to go to war with a country, of course, it’s going to grab its foreign exchange and foreign reserves, just as it grabbed the foreign reserves of Iran, Venezuela, any other country, Libya. We still don’t have any idea what happened to Libya’s gold after Hillary Clinton and the French got in and devastated the country.

It’s obvious that the world is splitting into two parts, and this split in the world part is affecting the U.S. banking system very substantially because the International Monetary Fund just recently came out saying, finally acknowledging the third world countries, that is, the global south, cannot afford to pay their dollar debts. The flow of money is from the debtor countries to the creditor countries, not the other way around.

Every calculation shows that if the global south countries do not default on their dollar bonds or stop paying the dollar bonds, they will have no money at all for social spending of any form. And in order to prevent the currency from collapsing, just like the German mark collapsed when they tried to pay reparations, the global south countries are paying reparations for 75 years of financial colonialism under the way that the United States has forced a false austerity program on them, a false economic doctrine that austerity and cutting labor’s wages is the way to get rich.

The way to get rich is the way that America and Europe did. You raise labor’s wages to make it better schooled, better dressed, better fed, healthier. That’s the way to raise our productivity.

But debtor countries lack the money to do that, and they’ve followed the directions of the IMF and the Washington consensus. And they have every right now to say, we’re going to put our own population first, not the creditor nations. We cannot afford to pay the dollar debt without bankrupting our economies and having a revolution here.

I’m sure that right now when President Putin is meeting with President Xi, they’re discussing how to de-dollarize. Well, I think that if countries are going to, global majority countries, realize that, okay, we’re not going to pay the debts, the United States is going to essentially confiscate what they have in this country and do to them what it did to Venezuela and even Argentina.

So the result will be, anticipating this, I would expect global south countries to say, by the way, we have our gold in the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England or in Africa, the Bank of France, could you please return the gold to us? Get your gold out, sell your American securities, especially China will sell its billion dollars worth of treasury bonds and convert it into something else. Like, certainly 40% of it will probably go into gold. The rest will be to develop infrastructure throughout the Belt and Road.

Now, if that happens, and there’s no way that it can avoid happening, not paying the dollar debts is going to lead to insolvency for a lot of American banks. There will be a financial crisis here. If you can imagine, the government’s going to say, who are we going to put first, the banks or the voters? You can guess who they’re going to put first. And so this is going to be what the next administration is going to have to confront from as soon as whoever wins takes power next year.

JILL STEIN: And I’ll just throw in that this is sort of the ultimate dysfunction and incompetence, really, of our national so-called leaders who don’t have a clue about how to be a team player, whose military policy is formally described by the term full-spectrum dominance. That is, that the U.S. will dominate all potential areas of competition. We’re all about dominating competition and essentially squelching competition, as opposed to having some kind of a notion of collaboration or cooperation.

It’s as if the leadership of the U.S. and its allies are people who don’t have a clue how to be team players and who have to dominate their relationships, which is not a good way to make friends and influence people.

For many decades, the U.S. has prevailed coming out of the Second World War, where basically all other powerful countries were destroyed and we were protected by our distance from the conflict. So we emerged unscathed and became the global dominant power.

Well, time has run out, basically, and the curves have now crossed so that it is China and its allies, the BRICS Association, essentially, and much of the global south that is increasingly productive and prevailing and now actually has a larger GDP than the U.S. and its allies.

So, you know, we’re kind of running out of steam here in this illusion that we are kind of the dominant global player.

Our leaders could not have done a better job of mobilizing our chief competitors and bringing them together in alliance against us.

And sooner rather than later, for all of us, we need to have an enlightened administration that’s capable of being a team player and can be part of the global economy in a way that’s not exploiting, preying upon, and seeking to destroy the rest of the world, which is basically what the full spectrum dominance position says. That any rising power, even on a regional basis, will not be allowed to rise and that we will basically squash that power.

So this is not working out good for us. And what Michael has just described about, you know, the looming de-dollarization should be very good reason right now for people to stand up and demand that this incredibly dysfunctional, immature and incapable regime in the U.S. just be, they need to be retired. They need to be moved out of positions, not only of power, but positions of really controlling our lives and potentially destroying our lives, largely through conflicts that could blow up on us in many places around the world right now.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Michael, when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine, we know that they’re saying that the United States is willing to fight the war in Ukraine to the last Ukrainian. Right now in this economic war of the United States and China, especially, Putin in his interview with Tucker Carlson said that we are looking for some compromise and cooperation with the United States. He, in his last visit to the United States, was seeking some sort of compromise and cooperation with the United States. The question here would be, is the United States willing to sacrifice each and every life in the United States in order to fight Russia and China?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It’s willing to fight every, fight to the last American too. Yes, it is. These are, the neocons are people who have, let’s say, not more than a chip on their shoulder. They really have a fear that if they don’t control the world, the world will do something that they might not like. There’s a desire for control of other countries and a fear that there’s really a different economic system than the system that has concentrated all the wealth in the hands of the 1%.

Well, it’s called socialism. And since China calls itself a socialist economy, the danger is that other countries may do what China has done and have the monetary system and the banking system a public utility.

Well, we have some people here like Ellen Brown that have talked about public banking. The one fear of the 1% who have made their money financially is that other countries will create a system where the economic surplus is used to raise the living standards of the population as a whole, instead of concentrating it in the 1%, especially the 1% that lives in the United States and is concentrating it all here.

This means the end of their dominance. And it’s more than total spectrum. It’s total control and total concentration of the wealth and decision-making power.

And the neocons want an economy that shifts resource allocation and policy out of the hands of Washington and other financial centers into the hands of Wall Street, England, the Paris Bourse, the Bank of Japan. The fight is over who’s going to control the economy. And this is where they’re willing to fight to the very end, just like the Roman oligarchy was willing to fight civil war rather than to give in, cancel the debts that the population was demanding in the civil wars that erupted in the first millennium BC.

So, yes, it’s literally a war of civilization. And you’ve had the Americans in the 1990s, the American phrase, the end of history. We’ve won. We’ve won, and now we can take over the world.

Well, now they’re saying there’s a fight of civilization, and they’re treating it just as you’re having in America and the whole world just like what you’re seeing in Israel, a fight between two irreconcilable systems.

Well, America says our democracy, which is their euphemism for oligarchy, is incompatible with autocracy, their word for socialism and a government policy run to try to uplift the economy as a whole. That’s the fight that we’re in, and it’s a fight that’s going to go beyond this election year.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Yeah. Dr. Stein, what would be your policy considering compromise and cooperation with the rest of the world, with the global majority?

JILL STEIN: Well, I mean, it’s clearly the only way forward. The U.S. is no longer the dominant economic power, nor are we the dominant military power. We sort of have parity with Russia in terms of nuclear weapons, but there are all sorts of other weapons right now where Russia seems to have the upper hand in the super fast missiles and so on. And it’s a crazy system in which we can all spend ourselves into oblivion in this endless arms race, which has basically been reengaged now for at least a decade or so.

But I think at the moment where we are right now, we can’t assume that we have parity or that we have adequate defenses against Russia’s super fast missiles. And this is not to reengage that arms race. That is not the solution. That’s never going to solve it. We’re already spending down in our own country the resources that we desperately need for housing and for health care and to deal with the climate crisis and so on. We need those resources.

In fact, we need to be demilitarizing. And so the foreign policy that we are advocating is a foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy. And what we see going on right now in Gaza is not only a death watch for two million people whose lives are on the line now by the hour, really, because there’s no water, there’s no food coming in. And now the little trickle that was getting into the country has basically been shut down by Israel when it took possession of the Rafah gate. And, you know, so I mean, this could, an epidemic, you know, cholera or whatever, you know, there’s just anything could happen now. People are malnourished. They don’t have food. They don’t have shelter. They’re being bombed. They’re being targeted. They’re being shot at like fish in a barrel. It’s just, you know, unconscionable what is going on here now.

And this is sort of a symbol of where U.S. militarism goes. It’s, you know, this is kind of the tip of the iceberg. It’s not the first genocidal war. You know, we killed three million people in Southeast Asia, you know, in that war, which was simply, again, about an exercise of U.S. power, really without a rational reason for it. And in all the wars since, we are spending down the resources of the American people in this foreign policy based on essentially militarism and the control of economic markets and resources. That’s what the game is about. It is an absolute disaster. We have lost every single one of these catastrophic wars, certainly since Vietnam and including Vietnam, but all the recent Middle East wars, which have been just a series of disasters.

And you have a media now, a mainstream media, which is, it is a lapdog. It’s not a watchdog. And without a vigilant media, you know, the public is endlessly misinformed and disinformed by our, you know, our security state and by the Pentagon writ large. So we need fundamentally a foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy.

And Gaza shows us where we are going in the absence of that. It’s not just two million people whose lives are on the line right now in Palestine. It’s also the lives and the future of Israelis, because when you have Egypt, the major partner of Israel in making peace with its neighbors, when Egypt is now joining the lawsuit with South Africa, and when Egypt has actually threatened several weeks back to tear apart its treaty with Israel, if Rafa proceeded, you know, they have good cause to do that.

Now you have crowds in Jordan where people are also demanding an end to the peace accords with Israel. So it’s the lives of Israelis who are also in the target hairs and absolutely people all over the Middle East. And because nuclear weapons could easily be triggered here, it’s really people all over the world. And if we are in the business of destroying international law and human rights, which is happening in Gaza right now and in Palestine, where we are normalizing the torture and the murder of children on an industrial scale, if we allow that to go forward, we’re basically normalizing this in a future where we are no longer the dominant power. So all of this needs to be seen as fundamentally a threat to the future of civilization and the threat to we ourselves, who are no longer top dog in this setting. So we need to start, you know, working for a world that works for all of us, like our own lives depend on it, because in fact they do and they will increasingly, going forward.

NIMA ROSTAMI ALKHORSHID: Michael.

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, I can bring Saudi Arabia into all of this. Jill didn’t mention it, but you’ve seen Saudi Arabia is in a squeeze. All of its national wealth, its government money, is held in the United States because when it increased the oil prices in 1974 and 75, it was told that you can charge as much as you want for your oil, but you have to keep the proceeds in the United States. We’re not going to let you buy any American industry that’s important, any company that’s an American company. You can buy treasury bonds, you can buy overall stocks, you can buy real estate like the Japanese have done and lost their shirts on, but you have to keep your money here, then charge whatever you want as long as we get all of what you charge.

Well, now they’ve done that since 1974. This is 50 years of their savings are there. Now suppose that their population that’s largely Palestinian rises up as they may do in Jordan or in Egypt. Well, if they rise up, they’re going to give pressure. You have to take the Palestinian side and break relations with Israel.

Well, if they do that, the Americans are holding all of Saudi Arabia’s and Kuwait’s and the United Arab Republic’s money in the United States hostage. They can do to the Arab countries just exactly what they did to Russia and Venezuela, simply confiscate it.

At a certain point, if Saudi Arabia that I think has applied for membership in BRICS, if it does indeed support BRICS, what is it going to do with the foreign reserves? Well, obviously the BRICS are going to say, we want you to keep your savings as part of the new civilization. I think if they anticipate doing that, they should begin to withdraw their savings in the United States. Again, put it into gold and other or each other’s currencies.

Well, you can imagine what that will do to the dollar. And if the dollar goes down, there goes the American price index way up. So the cost of America supporting the war in the Near East, and it’s really America’s war. Everyone says they’re blaming Netanyahu and it’s Israel’s war. All these bombs are Americans. It’s the Americans that tell the Israelis where to bomb. It’s the Americans that tell Israeli leaders, and I’ve heard them tell Netanyahu’s leader in person, you are a landed aircraft carrier. I’ve sat in on these discussions.

And the Americans want this war against Palestine. It’s the first step of greater Israel taking over Near Eastern oil on behalf of the United States. Obviously, it will get some for itself. But this is America looks at oil as the key to the world’s energy and hence the world’s industrial production. And if it controls oil, as well as food, then it can have a stranglehold on countries that do not produce their own and non oil energy and do not produce their own food. So this is the implicit threat to the Americans of the bricks and the new economic order. And it’s the promise to the global majority that yes, there can be a new civilization. We don’t have to do what America and Europe is doing. We can make our own fate. That’s what the whole fight is going to be about. And it’s going to be fought in the financial area, the trade area, and I’m afraid the military area too.

JILL STEIN: And just to underscore what Michael is saying here, Ronald Reagan himself said the quiet part out loud in the 1980s, when he said that Israel is the unsinkable battleship for the US in the Middle East. And I think it was Joe Biden himself who said, and I’m not sure when he said it, but that if we didn’t have an Israel, we would have to invent an Israel.

Again, this is all part of that major game plan of full spectrum dominance. The US will not allow any other power to rise in any region and take command of important global resources. So even before greater Israel, even with the lesser Israel, you have basically a very powerful military outpost for the US in this region of major oil resources, where the US is positioned to essentially control the flow of oil.

And that war is already taking place right now. And the skirmishes between Yemen and Israeli ships or other US and allied forces, it’s a taste of what’s to come if this is allowed to proceed. This is an absolutely suicidal, homicidal foreign policy that is just, we’re doomed here with this, because the world is armed and angry right now. And this needs to be put to a stop. We need adults in the room here who are able to approach international relations and diplomacy as adults and as members of a team in a multipolar world that just is the condition of the world today.

And we need entirely new leadership. Our current leadership needs to be removed from power as soon as humanly possible, so we can have a future not only to thrive in, but a future that we can actually survive in, because that is all very much imperiled right now.

MICHAEL HUDSON: No wonder they don’t want you on the ballot.

JILL STEIN: Exactly. If we’re on the ballot, mainstream media cannot lock us out. They will condemn us. They will vilify us. Bring it on. That’s all just fine. But they will seek to make us unknown. And currently we are unknown. We have, I think, the highest “do not know what that candidate is about” in polling of any of the candidates. And that’s the way they want to keep it.

Even some of the so-called liberal outlets that typically cover kind of a greater spectrum, they’re not talking about us. They are talking about solo voices in the wilderness who have the political positions that we do, but they’re not talking about us because we are actually on track right now to be on the ballot across the country. And New York is their last holdout. So again, I want to encourage people to go to jillstein2024.com and get out for a day or 10 days, whatever you can do to ensure that there’s a margin of safety, because if we are on the ballot, they cannot lock us out. And everything that we’ve been talking about here today, you will then hear about the mainstream media will be forced to cover these issues. We want this to be front and center. It has to be front and center. This has to be discussed. The minute it’s discussed, it’s unstoppable. In the words of Frederick Douglass, power concedes nothing without a demand. We need to bring that demand into political discourse. But in the words of Alice Walker, the biggest way people give up power is by not knowing we have it to start with.

And we do have enormous power, not only 68 percent, depending on which poll you look at, but there’s a strong majority of Americans that wants an immediate ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the genocidal war going on now by Israel on Palestine. There’s a huge majority there. There’s, you know, 44 million young people who have no future locked into student debt. And in fact, people under 25 now, 50 percent describe themselves as hopeless. 25 percent have considered harming themselves physically within two weeks of the poll. What does that tell you about the status of our civilization, where young people are basically being devoured by a predatory economy? What society, you know, lives on and perpetuates itself by devouring its young? But that’s now become, you know, the latest cash cow for the ruling elites.

If you look at health care, 87 million people who do not have adequate health care coverage, 100 million locked into debt.

So there is the makings here of a huge super majority, you know, even in a two-way race. But we’re going to be in a four-way race where a vote divided four ways can be won by as little as 26 percent. And in Wisconsin, for example, we’re currently running 22 percent among people 30 and under, people who sort of can say which way the wind is blowing, you know, who predict which way trends are going. And we’ve been running, I think, eight percent overall in Wisconsin. It’s not a huge leap to go from eight percent to 25.

This is entirely feasible, given that people revile the zombie candidates being forced down their throats right now. And this is, you know, this is the makings of a perfect storm to really demand the deep political change that actually is possible right now. And for us to have the courage of our convictions and to, you know, take the example of the students who will not be shut down, who are continuing to fight, you know, and a poll just came out, I think, today showing that the American people overwhelmingly approve of, you know, this fight by the students and, you know, and the effort to shut down this genocidal war. So if we stand up with the courage of our convictions, we really can change the direction of the future. And there’s no better time to make this happen than right now.

MICHAEL HUDSON: I think I should point out a technicality many people may not realize. It is unlikely that you will be elected as president, but that’s not, that doesn’t mean that either Biden or Trump will be the next president, because if you have enough delegates in enough states that actually go into Congress, then, and neither Biden nor Trump has more than 50 percent, and each of them have, you know, we’re talking about most American elections are 51 percent versus 49 percent. If you can get enough candidates, then the whole election is thrown into the House, and it’s a grab bag.

And that means that you’ll have the same position that a third party will have in Germany or England. You can say, well, if you want my vote to elect you or whoever the compromise president is, which may be neither Biden nor Trump, then here are the policies that I insist on in having to give my vote.

So you don’t have to be elected president. You just have to win enough delegates to be able to be in a position to dictate your terms, and as the trade-off time comes in November.

JILL STEIN: Yeah. And if I can just add on to that, the name of the game here, I think, is standing up and pushing against this very corrupt and dangerous system as much as we possibly can. It is entirely possible, it may not be likely, but it is possible to actually win the office especially in a four-way race, where three candidates are going to be splitting the pro-genocide, pro-war vote. It’s entirely possible that we could prevail over that, but it’s also possible we will fall short, but we come up with something like, say, it’s 6 percent of the vote or 10 percent of the vote. That is a huge leap forward. And typically, that is the way that political movements build. They attain one count in one race, and then in the next they attain greater. And in the system that we have right now, it is so biased against independent people-powered politics. It’s taken many runs to just get to this point, but this is a point at which we can continue to build. So the name of the game, in my view, is what Alice Walker said, that the biggest way we give up power is by not knowing we have it. We do have that power, and it’s absolutely critical to stand up and fight for it, like our lives depend on it, because, you know, in fact, they do more than ever.

Image by Július Imrovič from Pixabay