« Hundred-day wonders | Main | The venal center »

Not even the end of the beginning

By Owen Paine on Sunday May 3, 2009 01:51 AM

Here's a think piece on whither Pox Americana, and it roars off straight from the starting blocks:

"President Barack Obama’s first appearances outside North America – in London, Strasbourg, Prague, and Istanbul – galvanised world attention. But what that trip singularly failed to do was paper over a startling fact: the “Washington Consensus” about how the global economy should be run is now a thing of the past. The question now is what is likely to replace it."
Indeed. This gent's answer:
"The Beijing consensus".
Say whaaaat?
"The Obama administration is clearly moving towards the kind of government intervention that China has been promoting over the past two decades.

In this model, the government, while continuing to benefit from the international market, retains power over the economy’s “commanding heights” through strict control over the financial sector, restrictive government procurement policies, guidance for research and development in the energy sector, and selective curbs on imports of goods and services."

Note carefully, this is not Clement Atlee dismantling the Raj here, shrinking the fleet and pulling back from east of Suez.

A pause in the offensive? A time to consolidate? Maybe even appear prepared -- some day -- to "share the spoils of empire" a little more evenly with our junior partners in the OECD?

Maybe it's the necessary remedy to neoliberal overreach, but I wouldn't recommend declaring its "come home America time" here at Laputa Magna. Turns from overt expansion, like, say, the FDR first term, always have contextual explanations.

They are eddy-like phenomena -- the prevailing trade currents will all too soon reassert themselves.

Comments (3)


"Pattern recognition" -- as I recall, it's one of the areas of the SAT that you could do well in without really knowing anything -- drawing on our native American tracking instincts, of course.

A lot of us pattern recognizers ended up in English literature, spotting seven, eight, nine types of ambiguity in every text we read.

Now, apparently, we are all doing political commentary, helping our leaders spot emerging global trends.

Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago and have been reading it over the past few days.

Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago and have been reading it over the past few days.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Sunday May 3, 2009 01:51 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Hundred-day wonders.

The next post in this blog is The venal center.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31