Agricultural Imperialism in the EU

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A new monthly column for German newspaper Berliner Wochenende. Ever since World War II, U.S. trade strategists have based their international policy on control of two key commodities: oil and grain. Economically, they have been the mainstay of the U.S. balance of payments, the leading categories of export surplus (along with weapons), especially as the U.S. economy has deindustrialized. And politically, these are basic needs of every economy. U.S. diplomacy has sought to make other countries dependent on American grain. In the 1950s, most notably, U.S. opposition to Mao’s Communist revolution in China sought to impose a grain embargo on that country. But Canada broke the sanctions – creating good will for decades. U.S. trade strategists have sought to promote grain dependency on U.S. farmers by opposing foreign attempts to achieve grain ...

Universities as Tentacles of the Police State

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“Have you no sense of decency?” The recent Congressional hearings leading to a bloodbath of university presidents brings back memories from my teen-age years in the 1950s when everyone’s eyes were glued to the TV broadcast of the McCarthy hearings. And the student revolts incited by vicious college presidents trying to stifle academic freedom when it opposes foreign unjust wars awakens memories of the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War and the campus clampdowns confronting police violence. I was the junior member of the “Columbia three” alongside Seymour Melman and my mentor Terence McCarthy (both of whom taught at Columbia’s Seeley Mudd School of Industrial Engineering; my job was mainly to handle publicity and publication). At the end of that decade, students occupied my office and all others at the New School’s ...

Labour in the Ancient Near East

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A new transcription of an earlier recording. One of the first interviews where Michael talked about the Ancient Near East. KARL FITZGERALD: 3CR, radio that's independent, progressive and making a difference. And welcome to The Renegade Economists with your host, Karl Fitzgerald. This week, we're stepping back in time, way back some 10,000 years BC, into the world of archaeology, Egyptology and Assyriology. Yes, it's time for another special with Professor Michael Hudson. That's right. Michael Hudson back on the show.  He's got a new book called "Labor in the Ancient World". And I asked him to give us a bit of a precis on the background to this very interesting process. Hang on for another riveting conversation here on 3CR's Renegade Economists.  MICHAEL HUDSON: It's a symposium of a group put together ...

Germany as Collateral Damage in America’s New Cold War

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As published in Berliner Zeitung. The dismantling of German industry since 2022 is collateral damage in America’s geopolitical war to isolate China, Russia and allied countries whose rising prosperity and self-sufficiency is viewed as an unacceptable challenge to U.S. hegemony. To prepare for what promises to be a long and costly fight, U.S. strategists made a pre-emptive move in 2022 to turn Europe away from its trade and investment relations with Russia. In effect, they asked Germany to commit industrial suicide and become a U.S. dependency. That made Germany the first and most immediate target in America’s New Cold War. Upon taking office in January 2021, Joe Biden and his national-security staff declared China to be America’s number one enemy, viewing its economic success as an existential threat to U.S. hegemony. To ...

Economics as a Form of Art

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https://youtu.be/d2hWvaqjMmk Robinson Erhardt discussion, March 10 ,2024 Michael Hudson discusses his work Robinson: Michael, I read in your book, Killing the Host, that you decided to become an economist after meeting one named Terrence McCarthy, who explained to you why financial crises tend to occur in the autumn after crops are harvested. And this was an interesting question. What's the story and why was it so compelling for you? Michael: Well, most economies used to be agricultural economies. That was the center and there was something called the autumnal drain. In other words, when it was time to move the crops, banks needed to provide the credit for the wholesale buyers of grain to pay the farmers for their crop, to buy the crop. That would drain money out of the banking system and ...

New School University Race to the Bottom

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I found a story in Saturday’s New York Times that I think epitomizes the crapification of higher education in the United States. It concerns the New School, where I taught at the graduate faculty from 1969 to 1972 (when it was still called the New School for Social Research). Sharon Otterman, “Facing Budget Troubles, Some Colleges Look to Sell the President’s House,” The New York Times, February 16, 2024. The New School wants to sell its presidential residence in Manhattan for $20 million. It joins other small colleges that are turning to their real estate to help them through budget troubles. The president of the New School in Manhattan is about to lose an extraordinary perk: a five-story West Village townhouse that for decades has served as the university head’s official residence. The school, ...

Global Insecurity

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io0H1i7Xf8s RADHIKA DESAI: Hello and welcome to the 19th Geopolitical Economy Hour, the program where we discuss the evolving political and geopolitical economy of our time. I'm Radhika Desai. MICHAEL HUDSON: And I'm Michael Hudson. And we bring you this program with the help of our host, Ben Norton, our videographer Paul Graham, and our transcriber Zach Weisser. The carnage in Gaza has paused, though the possibility that this will open the door to a permanent resolution is remote. Little else seems to have changed. The U.S. remains doubled down on its one-sided support for a murderous Israel, the tail that wags the U.S. dog. MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, it's not only the United States that's doubling down, it's Europe that's doubling down. And it's becoming, you're seeing, they've banned protests supporting the Palestinians ...

The Dumb Luck of Dollar Hegemony

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https://youtu.be/Zjni3f13XMw Support Michael Hudson's unique perspective by joining his Patreon group, where we hold these quarterly discussions. Next is Thurs Dec 7th. Karl: Welcome everyone to another quarterly session with Michael. We’ve got to come up with a good nickname with these (sessions). They're great discussions and we like to have a fireside type conversation with Michael, who, of course, you all know, as one of the world's leading experts of neoliberal era we live in. And yeah, Michael, we have with Patreon now about 270 supporters. So it's absolutely fantastic that we've grown to that many.  M: I'm glad you encouraged me to start it.  K: Yeah, well, it's been a nice way to get to know a few of your supporters and having these Q&A sessions certainly helps. So, yeah, a big ...

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic?

If the prophets of ancient Israel such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi and Amos were alive today, Benjamin Netanyahu would accuse them of anti-Semitism for daring to describe his government as a travesty of what the Mosaic covenant was all about. A common thread running throughout the Jewish Bible – Christianity’s Old Testament – was to criticize kings, the wealthy and corrupt courts for violating the Mosaic commandments to create a fair and equitable society protecting the poor from the economic oppression of debt bondage, and loss of their land. If the prophets were summoned to give judgment today, it is Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party and the steeply unequal economy of Israel that would be condemned as violating the most basic laws of Biblical Judaism. Prophet after prophet described the Lord ...

Twice as Important

IMF showdown with China in Morocco, October 12, 2023 This year’s annual IMF/World Bank meetings in Morocco are the most explicitly confrontational yet by US/NATO diplomacy toward China and its fellow BRICS+ allies. It is not really rivalry, because US neoliberal financial policy is so different from the aims that the BRICS+ countries have been developing at their own recent international meetings. At issue is not only what countries will be the major beneficiaries of future IMF and World Bank loan operations, but whether the world will back US unipolar dominance? Or will it start to move explicitly toward a multipolar philosophy of mutual support to increase living standards and prosperity? This is counter to the anti-labor austerity imposed by US demands, using these two organizations as arms of its New ...