re: more productive discussions

Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:27:22 -0400 (EDT)
Andrew Wayne Austin (

On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Richard K. Moore wrote:

> Example: "U.S. hegemony is not yet a fiction". Your mere statement is
> supposed to stand as a refutation of my argument.

Richard, you asserted that U.S. hegemony is a fiction. On what basis do
you make that statement? I regard U.S. hegemony as a self-evident fact.
And we have previously agreed that the transnational elite are using U.S.
political hegemony as a tool to transform the international system. So I
was surprised when you suddenly contradicted yourself by saying that U.S.
hegemony was a fiction. The position I advance is one argued quite
cogently by both Stephen Gill and William Robinson. Is U.S. hegemony in
decline? Yes, I believe it is. Certainly the material basis for U.S.
hegemony is eroding. However, the material basis for nation-states in
general is eroding in the transnationalization process. This is what I
mean when I use the term "globalization." Dominant economic power is
transnationalized (and deterritorialized), and political power is in the
process of transnationalization. But the U.S. is still the major world
power despite who is working through its machinery.

> This is not discussion,
> this is a case of "Yes it is. No it isn't. Yes it is. ...". My argument
> was that even though obvious US hegemony is prominently displayed before us
> in the daily news, it is a fiction because it is not really _US_ hegemony,
> but elite _corporatist_ hegemony we are seeing, with a corporate-dominated
> US serving as a corporatist agent. Hegemony isn't a fiction - the "US
> Interests" part is.

We already agreed that this is the case. However, this does not translate
into fictional hegemony. An example of a fiction would be the claim that
world is run by free masons through the UN. If the transnational elite see
it as advantageous to use U.S. political and military might as an
instrument to crack open the world, then this must mean that *they* don't
see U.S. political hegemony as a fiction.

> This argument can certainly be challenged, but a challenge needs to address
> the argument. You might, for example, say you don't believe the US is
> controlled by corporatist interests. Or you might claim, empirically, that
> US hegemony is employed mainly to further US interests at the expense of
> other G7 powers. But simply to assert the contrary of my conclusion, and
> dismiss the distinctions I was proposing, is not refutation.

The US *is* controlled, to a significant degree, by transnational and
national business and policy elites (through direct and indirect means).
US hegemony is used to advance the goals of a world capitalist class, and
the US nationalist fraction of that class. We have already stipulated this
point in previous posts. But, I stress, this does not mean that U.S.
hegemony is a fiction.

Andrew Austin