“Never since the end of the Second World War have international capitalism and its class relations been subject to such withering critical onslaughts as at present,” writes Frederic Clairmont in Globalization: The Purgatory of Delusions. In the first of the two essays published here, the celebrated economist and humanist provides us with his own rich critical insights on what he considers to be the irreversible debacle of monopoly capitalism, in which the meltdown of 2007-08 but one aspect of the continuing crisis.
The raging upheavals and stagnation in the eurozone, and what the author considers its non-sustainability, joined to the endemic depression of American capitalism, underscore the convulsive character of imperialism and its ideological expression, neoliberalism. Amid the rising tide of poverty, unemployment and human misery, economic power is becoming ever more concentrated in the hands of an elite minority, and the criminal workings of high finance ever more repugnant in the eyes of the stricken majority concisely designated as the 99 percent. This crisis of capitalist globalization, asserts Dr Clairmont, conclusively shatters the illusion of perpetual prosperity peddled by the zealots of the free market.
The second essay in this book, The Demise of the Quisling Duo: Reflections on Imperial Pathology, offers a no-holds-barred look back at the lives of Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens, who passed away within days of each other in December 2011. An entrenched anti-communist and founding president of the Czech Republic, Havel and his foreign backers rocketed his country into the imperialist orbit, while Hitchens, who had always masqueraded as a “socialist”, became a staunch cheerleader of the US invasion of Iraq. As Dr Clairmont observes, each “served, … in his own specific way, the cause of imperial genocide”.