Samir speaks at Open Source Radio, Brown University, US on ‘Obama as Gorbachev: a Regime in Crisis’, 2009




March 19, 2009
Link to original website (from minute 19.00 onwards), with Christopher Lydon

1. Unless the West suddenly gets a new act together, China wins the global crisis — because it has cash, a production machine, an orderly, top-down system co-designed by Milton Friedman and Stalin, and a domestic market of customers if and when export demand collapses.

2. The turmoil in finance capital has also the dimensions of a “civilizational” crisis (what do we stand for after greed and consumption… of such things as a new Paris Hilton line of apparel, for dogs?) and an advancing crisis of the human habitat, our lifeline with nature.

3. One way to see Barack Obama in this situation is as “our Gorbachev”: the designated captain whose assignment is to save the crumbling pillar on our side of the old Cold War, or surrender the regime.

By the old rule that the trick in life is to locate three main points (in anything), there’s my free translation of a fascinating Watson Institute conference last weekend. Between the lines, most of it, but clear enough.

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