GLOBAL FRACTURE: The New International Economic Order by Michael Hudson
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GLOBAL FRACTURE: The New International Economic Order

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A perspective of the recent events that could be leading to the establishment of a new international economic order in which, the author notes, self-sufficient regional blocs of industrial powers and Third World Nations operate independently of American interest and influence. This shift, he contends, signals the break-up of the laissez-faire trade ""that enabled the United States to tap foreign wealth with almost no constraint"" after WW II. The emergence of what amounts to a neo-mercantile system, Hudson concludes, will accelerate the trend to statism: ""For better or worse, it [government] will become more active in shaping the market structure within which private enterprise operates. . . ."" The inevitable results, he predicts, will be wage and price controls, allocation of credit, and tight regulation of investment by outsiders. Hudson presents convincing evidence that an exploitative America has failed to practice the free-enterprise it preaches, citing such actions as institution of increasingly protective trade and investment programs, and inflation of the global economy with excess dollars. But the work is less an anti-imperialist treatise than a well-documented history of the consequences of economic imperialism. A turning point was reached in 1973, Hudson believes. During that apocalyptic year, Western Europe closed its currency exchange markets and spurned Henry Kissinger's proposal for a New Atlantic Charter (designed to preserve the postwar status quo), while OPEC quadrupled crude oil prices. Even earlier, however, trade and payments problems with traditional allies had triggered a US rapprochement with Russia, which was experiencing similar difficulties with its satellites. DÉtente, Hudson maintains, convinced Common Market and Third World countries it was time to break out of America's economic orbit since both superpowers could go it alone if need be. While the book suggests no definitive scenario for a US response to the new international economic order, it provides a scholarly and distinctly readable guide for anyone with a stake in the outcome.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1977
ISBN: 0745323944
Publisher: Harper & Row