The G7 prelude to the NATO Summit... and its contradictions
The G7 summit was the prelude to what we will see as of tomorrow in NATO: friction, tensions and sniping between the big European imperialisms, Turkey and the US, in the bargaining between them for a new imperialist division of the world into economic-military blocs which they can only hope to impose by means of the generalization of war.
The contradictions accelerated by war: inflation, oil and the tearing apart of the global productive network
Scholz speaks to the press at the G7 2021 in Elmau
By now, after purchase upon purchase of equipment by the US, it is clear to all the powers that the war is going to go on forever. The head of US intelligence speaks of "an ongoing conflict for years to come". And France and especially Germany know a href="https://en.communia.blog/the-eu-the-first-defeated-party-in-the-ukrainian-war-is-heading-for-a-long-crisis-and-threatens-internal-rupture/">what this means: the breakdown of the global productive structure, a new international division of labor and, as a consequence of all this, the unsustainability of their model of accumulation. And for the first course: a rampant and threatening inflation, the worst nightmare of the German bourgeoisie.
The sales of many German companies in China are falling. German machines are bought less and less all over the world. Everything is becoming more expensive. The more the world de-globalizes, the more vulnerable the German model of success, which depends on open markets, becomes.
G7 meeting in Elmau, Der Spiegel
Read also: The losers of the Ukrainian war (7/4/2022) and The economic consequences of the war will not be temporary (8/3/2022).
The resentment is obvious and is slowly surfacing, but any wiggle room is narrow. Even if France and Germany see Biden weakened and begin to toy with the scenario of a Trump comeback, they do not have the capacity to stop the avalanche they themselves accelerated by jumping on the Ukrainian war bandwagon.
Moreover, their bourgeoisies are not monolithic in this respect either. A part of the German bourgeoisie would like to accelerate a free trade agreement with the USA and definitively integrate both economies as a way to find a safe place in the coming bloc-divided world. A part of the French bourgeoisie sees the militarist development and the entry of NATO in Africa as a way of recovering its influence vis-à-vis Russia and China.
And on the other hand are the urgencies of inflation. The rise in interest rates and the end of massive aid to companies has already begun to produce a string of bankruptcies in countries like Spain whose economic policies are already reduced to an endless succession of impotent emergency plans.
Biden, aware of the tensions and needing to "show leadership" to keep them at the lowest possible level while Europe is sinking, offered as a way to curb inflation to import Russian oil at set and agreed prices.
Macron saw the bet and doubled it, proposing to set price ceilings not only for Russian oil, but for all oil producing countries, including the US itself. An unacceptable option, evidently, for Biden, but which showed the limits of Washington's imperialist power, incapable today of dragging the oil-producing countries into anything resembling this. The same blockade on Russian gold purchases, presented as the great anti-Russian success of the summit, sounded like a toast to the sun: the biggest buyer is Switzerland and it does not seem to feel concerned.
A Euro-American Silk Road
Semi-colonial countries have not joined the sanctions against Russia.
But it's not just Switzerland. Oil-producing countries are turning a deaf ear to US pressure to reduce prices. And in general, the semi-colonial countries of America, Africa and Asia have not adhered to blockades and sanctions against Russia.
In other words, the US has achieved a historic success in projecting AUKUS into Europe and dragging the EU into direct belligerence against Russia and China... but it is still far from putting together a bloc similar to the one it led during the Cold War.
The recent "Summit of the Americas" rendered the underlying problem very clear: the US is approaching semi-colonial countries demanding alignment, but with nothing material to offer to their national capitals. Even Bolsonaro clearly sees that China is a better deal and runs to the BRICS summit, which already leaves room for new countries such as Argentina and is even considering creating its own international payment system.
The answer: a "Counter Silk Road" that, like the original Chinese one, grants credits to carry out public works and obtains gigantic tenders in semi-colonial countries taking as guarantees sources of basic industrial supplies.
Textbook imperialism, but also, as Biden recalled, the first attempt to design the material structures necessary for the new international division of labor that the US is pounding on to isolate China: new rail networks, ports and highways to structure the traffic of goods in the new bloc it hopes to articulate.
But if the original approach, presented by the EU at the end of 2021, boasted big numbers but provided little hard cash for the ambition it displayed, its extension to the US does not seem likely to substantially change the scenario.
The Global Infrastructure Partnership must "give the world a better deal on infrastructure investment," the German chancellor stressed. The United States alone promises to "mobilize" some "$200 billion" over five years.
But "mobilize" does not mean that the states themselves will provide these large sums. Washington comes to a total of $200 billion by combining loans, public financing - some of it already in place - and private financing incentivized by the U.S. executive. With these large numbers still uncertain and these good intentions, can Westerners reverse the trend vis-à-vis China? The United States wants to believe so.
At the G7, Washington launches a vast investment program that will supposedly thwart China, Le Monde
And tomorrow NATO
The G7 summit was the prelude to what we will see from tomorrow at NATO: friction, tensions and backstabbings between the great European imperialisms, Turkey and the US, in the negotiation between them of a new imperialist division of the world into economic-military blocs which they can only choose to impose by means of the generalization of war.