Presentation by Simone Chun, Tim Beal, K.J. Noh, and Gregory Elich, discussing how the Biden-Yoon Summit signals a shift toward raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula in particular, and the Asia-Pacific in general. Live program originally shown on May 23, 2022, the day after the summit.
As work nears completion in the first phase of an ambitious project in Montenegro to develop a highway that will connect the Adriatic port of Bar with Serbia, Western officials and mainstream media are ramping up attacks on the endeavor. Western commentators are united in condemnation, ranging from fear-mongering over China’s role to disparaging the plan’s viability. Consistently, they dismiss it as “the highway to nowhere,” implying foolishness on the part of Montenegro and presenting it as a cautionary tale on the dangers of doing business with China. The theme fits neatly within the framework of Washington’s campaign to economically isolate and cripple China, its main competitor in the global economy.
Back in August, South Korea’s 90-day notice that it would withdraw from the General Security of Military Intelligence Agreement (GSOMIA) set off alarm bells in Washington. The agreement provided the means for South Korea and Japan to directly share military intelligence on North Korea.
On a global scale, the reign of free market ideology has wrought profound changes. Manufacturing jobs in the developed nations are rapidly shrinking, while abroad there has been a rise in sweatshop production, bringing with an exploitation of labor that is reminiscent of the 19th century. The effect has been to widen the gulf between the living conditions of the wealthy and those who labor for them.
Inequality has reached such an astounding level that it requires an act of willful blindness on the part of Western media not to notice it. Over half of the world’s population subsists on less than $2 a day, while the 200 richest individuals own more wealth than 41 percent of the world’s population, or in other words, more than 2.6 billion people. Such an extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of the few cannot be construed as a failure of global capitalism. Indeed, it is a mark of its success, for this is what the system is designed to do. Nor can the mass immiseration on which the system rests be dismissed as an unfortunate and unintended byproduct of the process. The system is the very engine that drives the accumulation of riches. Read More »