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Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire:
Bankers, Zionists, Militants
by James Petras
Price: 16.95
ISBN: 0-932863-54-X * 264 pp * 2007








see below for
REVIEWS  SYNOPSIS  AUTHOR  CONTENTS  

    REVIEWS

    “This is another must-read book by a distinguished intellect and major figure on the left”
    — Stephen Lendman
    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=14014

    "Sociology professor emeritus James Petras surely ranks as one of the most astute scholars and chroniclers of
    capitalism and imperialism, as well as being a realistic appraiser of progressivist movements in the world. His
    latest book Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire is a valuable compendium of how power is distributed and
    wielded in society and among states."
    — Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/10/empire-and-imperialism/

    SYNOPSIS

    This book provides a comprehensive guide to the systemic dimensions of the US empire. Petras elaborates the
    changes within the US ruling class, as its manufacturing sector declines and gives way to the ascendancy of
    finance capital, illustrated by its dominance of both the US economy, and the parameters for political debate on the
    US role in the world economy (globalization, trade liberalization). Petras addresses the fallacy of discussions on
    the imminent collapse of capitalism when what is occurring in reality is the collapse of workers’ rights. He
    elaborates the contradictions in current immigration/trade liberalization policies, and how these work toward
    forcing the displacement of peoples, and furthering the underdevelopment of third world countries. He reveals the
    dark heart of modern empire, in the emergence and proliferation of holocaust-scale carnage.and further outlines
    how the world capitalist system is laced together in an intricate hierarchy where the US pulls most of the strings,
    even outside its ostensible area of dominance.  The role of corruption in securing world markets is addressed, as
    are the reasons for the spectacular global growth in new billionaires.

    The role of the Zionist Lobby in America is examined as it relates to the catastrophic wars in Iraq and Lebanon,
    and the threat of a further attack on Iran. A mounting schism within the US ruling elite between its pro-Zionist
    sector concerned with advancing the interests of Israel, and the traditional ruling elite concerned with protecting
    US imperial interests worldwide is addressed in relation to the Iraq Study Group’s failed effort to introduce
    changes in current US Middle East policy.

    Finance capital and its political representatives in the US government depend on the support of client regimes in
    other countries, which include those considered relatively ‘center left’, to sustain the US empire. However, in
    pursuit of freedom, justice, national independence and peace, powerful social movements and in some
    circumstances armed national resistance forces have emerged to challenge American dominance.

    Petras sheds light on the actual status of contemporary resistance to US hegemony within China, Latin America,
    and the Middle East.

    AUTHOR

    James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton
    University, New York. He is the author of 62 books published in 29 languages,
    and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American
    Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of
    Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies.  He has published over
    2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the
    Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left
    Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his
    commentary is widely carried on the internet.   His publishers have included
    Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books
    and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from
    the American Sociological Association's Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert
    Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political
    Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include  Unmasking
    Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The
    Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-
    author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With
    Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006), and The Power of
    Israel in the United States (2006)

    The UK Daily Telegraph listed James Petras as #59 in its list of America's 100
    most influential liberals

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PART I:  THE US EMPIRE AS A SYSTEM / 13

    Chapter 1
    WHO RULES AMERICA?/ 15
    Introduction / 15       
    The Ascendancy of Financial Capital / 18
    The Dance of the Billions: Finance Capital Reaps the Profits
           from Their Power / 20   
    Crisis of the Working and Middle Class (Inequalities Begin to Worry
           the Ruling Class) / 23           
    Now the Financial Ruling Class Also Governs / 25        
    Ruling Class Political Power: Paulson Takes Over Treasury / 25  
    The Future of the Financial Ruling Class / 27

    Chapter 2
    CRISIS OF US CAPITALISM OR CRISES OF US WORKERS? / 29
    Introduction / 29
    Myths about the ‘End of US Capitalism’ /        30
           The Budget Deficit / 30
           The Balance of Trade Deficit / 32       
           A Speculative Economy / 33
           The Weakness of the Dollar / 33
           The Energy Crisis / 34
    The ‘Unsustainability’ of US Capitalism / 35
    Is US Capitalism in Crisis? / 35
    The Facts Against the Collapse of Capitalism Theory / 36
    Conclusion / 38

    Chapter 3
    MARKET LIBERALIZATION AND FORCED EMIGRATION / 39
    Introduction: Micro-Analysis / 39
    A Marxist Critique and Alternative Approach / 39
    The Imperialist-Centered Model of Capitalist Accumulation / 40
    Imperialism and the Regulation of Immigration / 42
    US Imperial Practice and Mexican  / Central American Immigration / 44
    Imperial Militarism and Immigration As Refugee Flight / 45      
    Who Supports and Who Opposes International Immigration / 47
    Costs and Benefits of Second-Wave Immigration  / 49
           The Costs of Out-Migration / 49
            Remittances and Development / 51        
    Conclusion / 51

    Chapter 4
    ECONOMIC EMPIRE-BUILDING AND
    THE CENTRALITY OF CORRUPTION / 53
    The Imperial Necessity / 53
    Corruption as the Key to Success / 55
    Conclusion / 57

    Chapter 5
    THE SYSTEMIC APPLICATION OF FORCE:
    HIERARCHY, NETWORKS AND CLIENTS / 59
    Introduction / 59       
    Hierarchy of Empire / 59
    Independent States and Movements / 63
    Contested Terrain / 63  
    The Anomaly:  Israel in the Imperial System / 63        
    Regimes in Transition / 64      
    The Case of Somalia: Black Masks/White Faces / 65       
    US Intervention:  The United Nations, Military Occupation,
           Warlords and Proxies / 66       
    Invading Somalia:  the Empire and its Networks / 69
           
    Chapter 6
    IMPERIALISM:  THE DRIVING FORCE OF GENOCIDE / 72
    Defining Genocides / 72
    Components of Modern Genocides—or Not? / 73
    Critique of Psycho-Cultural Explanations / 75     
    The Deployment of Collaborators / 76   
    Genocides, Cohesion and Imperialism / 77
    Genocides as Repression of Revolutionary Challenges / 77
    Why Imperialism Leads to Genocides / 79
    Genocides as Case Studies in Modernization and Empire-Building / 80
    Genocides:  Their Aftermaths and Dubious Legacies / 83  
    Conclusion / 85

    Chapter 7
    THE GLOBAL RULING CLASS:  
    BILLIONAIRES AND HOW THEY “MADE IT” / 88
    Latin America / 91
    How to Become a Billionaire / 92
    Conclusion / 94

    PART II: ZIONIST POWER IN THE UNITED STATES / 97

    Chapter 8
    NO EXIT:  THE JEWISH LOBBY SINKS THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP / 99
    Introduction / 99
    The Baker Camp / 99
    The Jewish Lobby Rolls Back the Baker Initiative / 103.
    Olmert Swoops In / 105
    The Defeat of Peace Initiatives from Syria / 110        
    Fending Off the Iranian Peace Overtures / 113   
    Shooting Down Palestinian Peaceful Overtures / 114
    Conclusion / 116

    Chapter 9
    FACING DOWN THE FACTS: THE LOBBY AND
    THE MEDIA ON LEBANON / 121
    Introduction / 121      
    The Jewish Lobby Rallies to the Destruction of Lebanon / 122
    Lobby and Media Re-interpret Lebanon for the Credulous / 124
    Consequences of the Israeli War of Aggression / 126

    Chapter 10
    US EMPIRE AND THE MIDDLE EAST:
    ZIONISM, PUPPET REGIMES AND POLITICAL ALLIES / 130
    The Vectors of US-Middle East Power / 131
           The Israel-Zionist Power Configuration / 131
            Instrumental Clients / 134
    Regional Alliances: Middle East Power Sharing? / 137
    The 21st Century Experience of US Empire-Building
           in the Middle East / 138

    PART III:  THE POSSIBILITY OF RESISTANCE / 141

    Chapter 11
    PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF CHINA:
    FROM SEMI-COLONY TO WORLD POWER? / 143
    Introduction / 143      
    Methodological and Conceptual Clarification / 144
    Stages of Chinese Development: From Semi-Colony to Revolution / 150
           Stage I: From Colony and Neo-Colony
                    to a Revolutionary Socialist Regime / 150
           Stage II:  From Communism to State Capitalism 1970-1989 / 153
    Transition from State Capitalism to Liberal Capitalism / 156
    Foreign Capital: The First Beachheads / 158
    The Future:  Will the Transition from Liberalism to Neo-Liberalism
           Lead to the Eclipse of the National Bourgeoisie? / 160
    The Deepening Social Crisis: The Return of Class Struggle / 164                  

    Chapter 12
    US-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS:
    RUPTURES, REACTION AND THE ILLUSIONS OF TIMES PAST / 167
    Introduction / 167      
    Continuities and Expansion of US Influence / 168
           Bilateral Free Trade Agreements / 168
           Military Bases and Training Programs / 168
           Economic Presence / 168
            Ideological Conformity:  The Neo-liberal Ascendancy / 169       New Realities:  Relative Changes / 169
           Coup and Reversals: The Resurgence of US
                    Power—1976-1980s / 171
           The Golden Age of US Dominance: 1990-2001 / 172
    Crisis and Collapse of US-Backed Clients:  The End of the
           Golden Era / 173:                
    The New Realities of the 21st Century / 176
    Fluidity of Hegemony: Relative Losses, Relative Gains: (2003-2007) / 179
    Empire-building in a Time of New Political and Economic Realities / 181
    The Shortsightedness of Historical Projections / 181    
    Four Competing Blocs of Power / 183     
    Conclusion / 188

    Chapter 13
    NEW WINDS FROM THE LEFT OR HOT AIR FROM A NEW RIGHT / 191
    Introduction / 191
    What is “Left”: Method / 191    
    What is Left: Criteria / 192
    Brazil: President Lula to 2007 / 193
    Argentina:  President Kirchner, 2003-2007 / 194
    Uruguay: President Tabare Vazquez / 196
    Bolivia:  Evo Morales / 197
    A Note on Peru and Ecuador / 200
    The Misleading Acclaim of Left Intellectuals / 200
    Conclusion / 202                 

    Chapter 14
    FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN LATIN AMERICA:
    SOCIAL COSTS AND POLITICAL RISKS / 204
    Introduction / 204      
    Part I: Six Myths about the Benefits of Foreign Investment
    Conclusion / 209
    Part II:  Foreign Investment’s Prejudicial Incentives / 210
    Privatized Lucrative Public Enterprises / 210
    De-Nationalization of Natural Monopolies         / 211
    Subsidies / 213
    Export Processing Zones / 213
    Tax Privileges / 214
    Market Liberalization / 214     
    Cheap Labor: Unskilled, Skilled and Professional / 215

    PART IV: AN AGENDA FOR MILITANTS / 219

    Chapter 15
    ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVES / 221
    Countering FI Strategies to Counter Social Reform / 221
    Countering the Threat of Disinvestment / 221     
    Preventing Capital Flight / 222
    Countering Systemic Pressure / 222       
    Promoting and Implementing a New Developmental Model / 222
    Engaging in the Battle of Ideas / 223
    Countering Corruption / 223
    Addressing Labor Legislation and Price Constraints / 224
    Is Anti-Imperialism Compatible with Foreign Investment? / 224
    Arguments for Foreign Investment / 226
    A Regulated FI / 227
    Arguments Against Foreign Investment / 228
    Alternatives to Foreign Investment / 231
    Alternative FI Management Strategies Where FI is        Unavoidable / 233
    Advantages of Worker-Engineer Public Control (WEPC) / 234
    Tax Evasions and Tax Revenues / 234
    Capital Flight versus High Reinvestment Ratios / 234
    Speculative Investment versus Long-Term Investment in
            Research and Development / 234
    Social Investment versus Profit Remittances and Privileged
            Salaries / 234
    Capitalist Privileges versus Social Welfare / 235
    Mobile Capital/Fixed Labor versus Fixed Capital/Mobile Labor / 235
    Potential Problems in the WEPC/ 235    
    Conclusion / 237

    Chapter 16
    LATIN AMERICA:  THE MIDDLE CLASS, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE LEFT / 239
    Towards an Alternative Orientation / 242

    Chapter 17
    THE CENTRALITY OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN IN DEFEATING THE EMPIRE / 243

    ENDNOTES / 245
    FOREIGN
    LANGUAGE
    EDITIONS:
    Japanese
    (hardcover),
    Italian, German
    Arabic
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    "James Petras, teacher and  
    humanist of  a rare, encyclopedic,
    analytical intelligence ... has  long
    been recognized  as  the foremost
    social scientist of the United
    States."
    Frederick Clairmonte
    Former Senior Economist,
    UNCTAD

    "James Petras is one of the best
    informed political scientists of his
    generation."
    Tom Brass, Editor
    Journal of Peasant Studies,
    Cambridge

    On December 8 2010 The Club of Mexican Journalists awarded James
    Petras  its prestigious International Journalism Prize for Investigation and
    Analysis of the News within the global context.

    "Dr. James Petras is one of the greatest personalities of critical intellect of our time. His
    numerous books, which have been translated into many languages, and his opinion articles
    which are invariably defined by their rigor and decisive data, widely documented and
    placed within their social context, have turned this thinker into one of the most lucid and
    coherent minds of recent times. Naturally, this has earned Dr. Petras the resentment of
    those who feel affected by his tireless efforts. Nevertheless, countless readers all over the
    world seek the words of this thinker to defend themselves from propaganda that intends to
    make us sympathize with the single-minded thinking of neoliberalism."