by Grant Morgan
6 May 2011
Donald Trump, a leading Republican contender for the US presidency in 2012, is promising his supporters that he would tell China's leaders: "Listen you motherf***ers, I'm taxing your products 25 percent". (See video below.)
A similar bellicose (though not as derogatory) attitude is on the rise amongst China's leaders. For instance, military commanders are publicly boasting their armed forces will soon become the world's number one military machine.
What does this mean? Well, when leaders of one of the planet's two big powers think they need to openly threaten leaders of the world's second big power, it means each is canceling the other out. It means neither power enjoys such an economic and military superiority that crude belligerence becomes an unnecessary impediment to smooth sway over lesser imperialists.
So it's another sign, at the level of political immediacy, of America's irreversible slide from global hegemon to merely one of a number of rival imperialists.
Yet it's also a sign that America retains enough muscle to block China, and any other rising power, from claiming the status of new hegemon. And, with all its advantages, the US state will continue to do so until the end of global capitalism.
The emperor is dying, but his throne will remain empty. There will soon be no imperial hegemon with the strength to keep relative world order among fractious capitalist competitors. And that is sure to trigger a spike in inter-imperial tensions, as Trump's insulting threats indicate, bringing the prospect of shooting wars between nuclear-armed powers.
It's a grim prospect. However, the Arab revolutionary wave shows us an era-changing alternative.