The Heroes and Villains in Niall Ferguson’s latest xenophobic screed. Old Socialist comments

Headline: America’s power is on a financial knife edge

Sub-headline: China’s online payment platforms are the real threat to US hegemony

Mr. Ferguson simply can’t let go of that old  Western and British straw-man of The Yellow Peril, and its racial and ethnic paranoia, mixed with a generous helping of political version of that same fixation.  Alibaba and Tencent  are the instruments of the unslakable Chinese will to political/economic hegemony on the world stage.

If America is smart, it will wake up and start competing for dominance in digital payments. The shortest cut to a system to rival Alibaba and Tencent is Libra, the digital currency proposed by Facebook, which, with its 2.4bn active users, is uniquely positioned to create something on a Chinese scale — and fast. This would not be a true blockchain cryptocurrency, but more like a digital currency in the Chinese style, with the difference that it would be backed by a reserve, held in Switzerland, of dollars and other main currencies.

In his overwrought political melodrama, its Facebook’s Libra that can, indeed must ride to the rescue of the American indispensable economic leadership!

A bit of honesty might just put Mr. Ferguson’s polemic in its proper perspective. First Mr. Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss Twins were looking for dates, that required the rating of women as to their ‘hotness’. So look for the origins of Libra to that of ‘Lean In’ evangelist Cheryl Sandberg, protege of Larry Summers. But can its save U.S. Economic dominance! Mr. Ferguson has some answers:

History teaches us power is inseparable from financial power. The country that leads in financial innovation leads in every way: from Renaissance Italy, through imperial Spain, the Dutch republic and the British Empire to post-1930s America. Only lose that financial leadership — just ask poor Mr Pound, once worth $4.86 — and you lose your place as global hegemon.

The US-China rivalry today (what I call the Second Cold War ) is too focused on trade and telecoms. Washington needs to turn its attention, as a matter of urgency, to the race for monetary leadership, which America is in danger of losing.

The New Cold War has been brewing for quite some time, without Mr. Ferguson’s help, one need only look to the Ukrainian Coup and the contentions in the South China Sea as two of its manifestations.

Old Socialist

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/bet-your-bottom-dollar-moneys-future-is-digital-stt96nthv

P. S. Not to forget the Western NGO inspired Hong Kong Riots:

Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence

 

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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