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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.

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