Taking notes 27: Is there a method in Syrian madness?

by Slavoj Žižek We all remember President Obama’s smiling face, full of hope and trust, when he repeatedly delivered the motto of his first campaign: “Yes, we can!” – we can get rid of the cynicism of Bush’s era and bring justice and welfare to the American people… Now that the US is approaching a decision about attacking Syria, we can imagine peace protesters shouting at Obama: “How can you advocate another military intervention?” Obama the reluctant warrior looks back at them and murmurs perplexed: “Can I? Should I?” And this time, he is right. All that was false in … Continue reading Taking notes 27: Is there a method in Syrian madness?

China at century’s end

by Salvatore J. Babones One year ago I published an article in Foreign Affairs magazine predicting that China’s outsized rate of economic growth would soon slow down to the levels that are typical of other middle-income countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Russia.  Foreign Affairs published my article under the punning but (in my view) inappropriate title “The Middling Kingdom.”  There is nothing middling about China: it is the world’s largest country, the center of one of the world’s great civilizations, and in many ways the most important place on Earth.  But will its economy continue to grow at 10% per … Continue reading China at century’s end

Taking notes 1

The US dollar’s (USD) continued decline in international standing took the next inevitable step reflecting the systemic failure of capitalism. The predictable effects of unbridled capital accumulation in America manifests itself yet again in recent media reports that China and Japan are promoting direct currency exchanges to facilitate commerce and profits for their enterprises and boost bilateral trade. The move essentially is to replace the USD as a reserve currency and allows both East Asian economic giants to convert yuan and yen directly, and so by-passing currency conversion via USD. This also saves on currency conversion costs. The move effectively … Continue reading Taking notes 1