Garland Nixon and Joti Brar: The decay of western imperialism

Why are poverty and inequality increasing fast within the imperialist heartlands, and what does it mean when imperialist ‘allies’ will turn even on each other?

In another wide-ranging discussion, Garland and Joti discuss:

1. The significance of the Nord Stream attack – what does it say about the relationship between the USA and Germany? What does it say about the state of US imperialism in general, and the progress of Nato‘s war against Russia?

2. Recalling Lord Palmerstone’s dictum that “Britain has no permanent friends, only permanent interests”, is it true that the fundamental essence of imperialism is domination via brute force? And does this law of ‘might is right’ apply even to relationships between supposed allies? Do the populations in the USA’s allied imperialist countries still believe that Uncle Sam has their best interests at heart? Why and how does capitalist crisis intensify the competition between capitalists and between countries?

3. What’s the essential difference between ‘democracy‘ of the western bourgeois type and democracy as seen in popular, people-oriented and socialist countries? Does having a vote and a ‘choice’ of political parties translate into having a real say in how things are done? Why are so many workers in the west giving up on voting altogether? How does a socialist democracy avoid the problems of corruption and careerism? And what role does the media play in shaping any type of democracy?

4. How is it that workers in the west have so little real understanding of imperialism, what it is and what suffering it creates in the oppressed world? How did the Chinese Revolution catapult that country’s development far beyond that of its neighbour India? Why does India still suffer from the plagues of desperate poverty, lack of basic sanitation and electrification, illiteracy, peasant ruin and women’s oppression alongside the most obscene inequality? What effect did the systematic and brutal looting of India on an industrial scale by British colonialism have on its development?

5. What should westerners understand about north Korea that they are not being told right now? Why are we so endlessly bombarded with hysterical and dehumanising propaganda about its leaders, its people and its system? How did Korea end up divided? What is the strategic significance to imperialism of Korea’s geographic position? Why does the USA fear a unified, socialist Korea like the plague?

6. What does it say about capitalism that the centres of imperial power are in such an advanced state of decay? Why is the public infrastructure falling apart? Why is inequality, poverty and homelessness now so widespread? Why are we seeing the return of all the supposedly ‘Victorian’ diseases of poverty in the west?

7. How is it that Britain’s rulers are so oblivious to the suffering of their own people? And why so they not seem to realise that the ‘special relationship’ is becoming ever more one-sided? How are they coping with their global decline? And how do they trying to prove their ‘unique’ worth to the big bosses in Washington?

8. What does it signify when French or German bourgeois commentators and politicians call for an independent European army? Could that demand have a progressive content if it is in contradiction with the US-led bloc?

9. It seems as if the imperialists are laying plans to mislead ordinary people when they start to become insistent in their demand for revolutionary change. Is it possible that the lifespan of this dying system might be extended again via such subterfuge? And why is it that the ruling-class’s ‘planners’ so consistently ignore the scope for independent action of the masses?


Watch the previous conversation between Garland and Joti: Capitalism, imperialism, the ‘left’ and the Platform