The Official James Petras website


New book: “Global Depression & Regional Wars” by James Petras

Clarity Press :: 14.08.09

These extraordinary times–unprecedented in modern history–are marked by a worldwide depression and regional wars involving all the major imperial powers. This book exposes the roots of the crisis in the unsustainability of the United States\’ military-driven empire building based on a volatile speculative economy, and influenced by Zionist policy makers committed to the colonialist state of Israel


BY James Petras

ISBN: 0-932863-68-X ISBN13: 978-0-932863-68-3 $16.95 / 234 pp. / 2009

Related books by Petras

The Power of Israel in the United States

Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists, Militants

Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power


These extraordinary times–unprecedented in modern history–are marked by a worldwide depression and regional wars involving all the major imperial powers. This book exposes the roots of the crisis in the unsustainability of the United States’ military-driven empire building based on a volatile speculative economy, and influenced by Zionist policy makers committed to the colonialist state of Israel. It offers a critical study of the collapse of the empire and a profound indictment of the respectable and prestigious personalities either responsible for the debacle, or for its continuance. Petras provides clear insight into how the ramifications of the world depression and regional wars that originated in Washington and on Wall Street are extending throughout the world, provoking popular challenges especially in Latin America, while reinforcing the belligerency and increasingly fascistic nature of the state of Israel. He demonstrates how unending wars and a deepening capitalist depression have demolished the ideology of free market neo-liberalism and forced to the forefront the need for structural changes. He points out how the collapse of the capitalist free market and the need for large-scale, long-term interventions by the state have once again raised the question of whose interests states are presently promoting, and whose interests in actuality they should serve. Both in the United States and Latin America, center-left regimes are proposing economic reforms to try to save the capitalist system. However the deepening crisis is raising the prospect of mass support for 21st Century socialism, which focuses on public investment, ownership and control.


James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 64 books published in 29 languages, and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Life Time Career Award, Marxist Sect i! on, of the American Sociology Association, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. Some recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), Unmasking Globalisation (2001), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author) Multinationals on Trial (2006). His most recent title, The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, Inc. 2006), has been acquired for Japanese, German, Italian, Indonesian and Arabic editions. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in L a! tin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, Le Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.



1. FINANCIAL DEPRESSION AND WORLD CRISIS The Demise of the Economic Expert World Depression: A Class Analysis From Over-Accumulation to the Dominance of Finance Capital Indicators of the Onset of Depression / 24 Regional Impact of the Global Crisis / 26 Latin America / 27 Eastern Europe and the Ex-Communist Countries / 29 Asia: The End of the Illusion of De-coupling and Autonomous Growth / 30 The Middle East: Depression and Regional Wars / 31 An Unprecedented Crisis / 32 The Failure to Address the Structural Basis of the Crisis / 33 What Is Needed for Recovery / 36 The Basic Priority of Public Policy: A Better Life for All / 37 Twentieth Century Lessons for 21st Century Socialists / 38

2: BERNARD MADOFF: WALL STREET SWINDLER STRIKES POWERFUL BLOWS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE / 41 An Introduction to the Mega-Swindle / 41 The Big Swindle / 42 The Positive Side of the Big Swindle (The Inadvertent Hand of Justice) / 43 Conclusion / 46 Postscript / 48

3: THE ELECTION OF THE GREATEST CON-MAN IN RECENT HISTORY / 49 The Self-Opiated Progressive Camp Followers / 51 Obama’s Economic Con Game / 52 The Two Faces of Obama / 53 Obama, the Militarist, Outdoes His Predecessor / 54 Conclusion / 56


5: LATIN AMERICA: PERSPECTIVES FOR SOCIALISM IN A TIME OF WORLD CAPITALIST RECESSION/DEPRESSION / 63 Specificities of the Current Recession/Depression / 63 The Uniqueness of the ‘New Capitalism’ in the Contemporary World / 64 US Recession/Depression: The Domestic Consequences / 66 The World Recession Hits Latin America / 69 The New Statism / 71 No Reprieve in Sight The Recession’s Potential for the Left: Big Gains or Big Losses? / 73 US-Latin American Relations: 1998-2008 / 74 The Demise of US Dominance: The Popular Uprisings of 2000-2003 / 75 The Period of Relative Autonomy: 2005-2008 / 76 From Economic Boom to Bust: 2008 / 78 Taking Stock of Present Conditions / 80 Perspectives on Latin American Relations to the US Empire / 83 The Impact of the Capitalist Crisis 2009 on US/Latin American Relations / 86 Latin America: What Is To Be Done / 88

6: OBAMA’S LATIN AMERICAN POLICY / 90 The Export-Driven Model Breaks Down / 93 G-20 Adopts Protectionism, Promotes Return of the IMF / 97 Facing Up to De-Globalization—or Not / 98

7: ADDRESSING ECONOMIC NEEDS VIA ELECTORAL PROCESSES: THE CASE OF VENEZUELA / 100 Electoral Systems and Democracy: Substance and Structure / 100 The Role of the Mass Media in Influencing Mass Politics / 101 Navigating the Barriers to Change Through Democratic Process / 107 The Transition to Democracy / 108 Vital Steps Towards Deepening Venezuelan Democracy / 109 Victories for Venezuelan Socialists in Crucial Elections: November 2008 / 110 Democratic Socialism and the February 2009 Vote on the Re-election Amendment / 111 Continuing Obstacles to Democratization / 113 Conclusion / 114


8: MASTERS OF DEFEAT: RETREATING EMPIRE AND BELLICOSE BLUSTER / 119 The Geography of Imperial Failures / 121 Iraq and Iran / 121 Africa / 122 South Asia / 123 Caucasus / 124 Israel and the Arabs / 125 The Western Hemisphere Overseas Consequences of Failed Military Strategies 126 Domestic Consequences of Failed Military Empire Building / 126 Conclusion / 127

9: THE OBAMA REGIME, THE ZIONIST POWER CONFIGURATION AND REGIONAL WARS / 129 Obama Acquiesces to Major Israeli Positions / 130 The Israeli Invasion of Gaza / 130 Illegal Israeli Activities in Occupied Palestine / 131 Israeli Condemnation of the World Conference Against Racism / 131 The Appointment of Key Advisers and Policy Makers in the Middle East / 131 The Charles Freeman Appointment / 132 The Break-Up of the Syria/Iran Alliance / 135 The Weakening and Destruction of Iran / 136 Ignoring Iranian Concessions and Assistance / 136 Punishing and Prohibiting Iranian Development of Nuclear Energy / 137 A Wider Campaign Against Arabs, Muslims and Islam / 137 Implementing an Illegal Claim to Jerusalem / 138 Zionist Control of US Foreign Policy: Some Consequences / 139 Now They’re Obama’s Israel-Firsters / 139

10: ISRAEL SUPREMACY FROM GAZA TO TEHRAN: IMPERIAL OVERSTRETCH? / 144 Gaza Blitz: Dress Rehearsal for an Assault on Iran? / 145 Invisible Threats and Visible Impunity / 146 Gaza: Testing the Subservience of the US Congress and the White House / 147 Promoting Israel’s Big Lie / 148 Israel’s Military Threat to Iran / 149 Zionist Penetration of the Obama Administration / 151 The Dennis Ross Roadmap for War on Iran / 156 Possible External Constraints on Zionist-Israeli-US War on Iran / 158 Conclusion / 162 Addendum / 162

11: THE POLITICS OF AN ISRAELI EXTERMINATION CAMPAIGN: BACKERS, APOLOGISTS AND ARMS SUPPLIERS / 165 Overseas Allies: The Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO) / 176 The ZPC and the Israeli War of Extermination in Gaza / 177 Defending Israel’s War of Extermination / 178 Favored Themes of the Israeli Big Lie / 179 The Propaganda Role of Jewish Religious Organizations / 182 Where is the Outcry? / 183 What is to be Done / 185 Appendix: The 51 Member Organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations / 188

12: IRANIAN ELECTIONS: THE STOLEN ELECTION HOAX / 190 The Electoral Fraud Hoax / 191

13: THE NEW AGRO-INDUSTRIAL NEO-COLONIALISM: TWO, THREE, MANY MASS REVOLTS / 196 Old and New Style Agro-Imperial Exploitation / 197 Neo-Liberalism and the Rise of New Agro-Imperialism / 198 Target Countries / 200 Present and Future Consequences of Agro-Imperialism / 201



16: OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY FAILURES / 215 Failures of Stimulus Proposals at the April 2009 G-20 Summit / 216 Summit of the Americas: US Faces Isolation and Divergences / 217 NATO Conference: Obama’s Military Escalation in Search of Allies / 220 Iran: The Zionist Presence and Lost Opportunities / 221 North Korea: The Unmasking of a Policy / 224 Afghanistan-Pakistan: Extending Warfare and Destabilizing a Client / 225 Israel-Palestine Policy / 226 Consequences of Obama’s Failed Policies / 228

INDEX / 231

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