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(en) Russia, avtonom: Peter Gelderloos on lithium in Afghanistan and the decline of binary anti-imperialism [Traduction automatique]

Date Tue, 24 Aug 2021 16:24:17 +0300

The path to the Afghan lithium lay through the end of the war. The only way to end the war was a Taliban victory. ---- The largest defeats in its foreign policy of the United States experienced when they first chose an undefined enemy, and then could not destroy him. Doing business with both parties is much more profitable. At the Doha talks, the Taliban once again demonstrated that they are open to business. ---- The difference between "hawks" and "doves" in American politics is largely reduced to different strategic understandings of hegemony. The global system established by the United States and its allies after World War II is based on an optimistic idea of international law that provides a non-zero-sum game. It is as if "everyone" wins. Of course, by "all" we mean only those who have subjectivity at all: capitalists with access to state power. Actually, one of the main functions of international law is to ensure more or less equal access for capitalists to power around the world. The history of this world system is described in more detail by me here .

From the very beginning, everything went well for American capitalists: those who have more invest more, and therefore receive more. But for many, this was not enough. In addition, after the Second World War, the production of money became completely dependent on state power. Those who had this power decided that they deserved more. Overconfident American leaders no longer liked the situation where everyone could be a winner. They wanted the whole pie, and they wanted to run a pie factory. This is where the roots of the corrupt and rotten contract system in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq grow.

Decision-makers use statist arguments (democracy promotion, militaristic analysis of friends and enemies) to justify all these exercises in exercising state power. Funnily enough, they also strive for capitalism, but without masking the connection between money and power. The winner takes it all. A similarly polarized worldview is evident in the looming Cold War between the United States and China, although its intensity is lower there. "Communist" China was probably the most important US ally in the victory over the USSR. The American and Chinese economies are extremely tightly connected (but note that the USSR also actively participated in the global economy organized by the United States). However, both countries use state power to capture as much of the savings as possible,

The next cycle of global accumulation will almost certainly be associated with green capitalism and energy shifts. Over the past 20 years, the United States has controlled most of the Afghan economy. This "economy" mainly consisted of laundering and redistributing charitable money from various governments to private hands. This is a great scheme, but it is not a growth driver. Unlike lithium.

Now the geopolitical question is whether local and international players (mainly the United States, China, Pakistan and Iran) will be able to eat from one very large trough. Or will they burn everything to the ground again in an attempt to take possession of the trough alone? In any case, for Afghans, it is a choice between the misfortunes of commodity capitalism and the misfortunes of war.

And that brings us to a much more important question. Will global activist movements be able to support the resistance that is now growing in Afghanistan? To do this, you will have to use communication technologies as an amplifier of real connections between people, and not as their ersatz substitute. It will also require rejecting the binary anti-imperialism that endlessly "chooses the other side" in the battle between different kinds of capitalism. The same goes for the Green New Deal, climate reductionism and green growth.

You can read about how to help people in Afghanistan on Twitter @asranarshism

Peter Gelderloos

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