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30 June, 2016

Brexit: US fears unraveling of neoliberal world order

The United States fears Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) is one more symptom of the neo-liberalism's terminal decline, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on recent statements of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

On Tuesday, Obama dismissed the global reaction to Brexit as hysteria. “I would not overstate it. There has been a little bit of hysteria, post-Brexit vote. As if somehow NATO is gone and the transatlantic alliance is dissolving and every country is rushing off to its own corner. That's not what's happening.

Hours later, Kerry has said that Brexit might never happen, calling the process of leaving the EU complicated. "This is a very complicated divorce," Kerry said on Tuesday, one day after he met with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

US President Obama, as one would expect, is downplaying the significance of Brexit, while his Secretary of State, John Kerry, has stated that Brexit might never happen, calling the process of leaving the European Union ‘complicated,'" Professor Etler said.

"In attempting to downplay its significance both have inadvertently highlighted the fact that Brexit is a watershed event in the geo-political contention that has come to characterize the current global situation,” he stated.

In fact Obama expressed its true significance when he said, ‘As if somehow NATO is gone and the transatlantic alliance is dissolving and every country is rushing off to its own corner. That's not what's happening,’” he added.

While it is premature to characterize European affairs in such stark terms his statement clearly articulates the fears Washington has as it looks out at the fraying ‘Western’ alliance. The neo-liberal Washington Consensus is being challenged on all fronts,” the analyst noted.

In the US insurgent presidential candidates on both the Left (Sanders) and the Right (Trump) have waged vigorous campaigns that have resonated with a large number of disaffected voters. When combined the strength of the anti-establishment vote constitutes a majority of the electorate.

Popular reaction against neo-liberalism

It is not only the US which is seeing an upsurge in popular reaction against the neo-liberal status quo, popular support for Brexit, and similar sentiments in other European nations, attests to burgeoning discontent with the stagnant economies, and austerity measures that have overwhelmed and impoverished many sectors of the continent. Coupled with the refugee crisis triggered by US/NATO intervention in the Middle East and North Africa, the ‘European Dream’ represented by the EU has become a nightmare,” Professor Etler said.

While NATO has not yet ‘gone’ and the transatlantic alliance has not yet ‘dissolved’ both are under more stress than at any time in the past,” he stated.

The Washington consensus is also being challenged in other regions of the world. In the Middle East the US and its Zionist/Wahhabist allies are confronted with an anti-imperialist front backed by the military might of a resurgent Russia which will no longer kowtow to Washington, while in the Asian-Pacific region US hegemony is being challenged by a rising China which refuses to be intimidated by attempts to rein it in,” he said.

US losing hegemonic control over world

The emergence of a Sino-Russian entente and the consolidation of an Eurasian geo-political center of gravity is sending ripples across the globe, spurred on by China's growing network of trade routes and financial heft. The US is desperately trying to stem the tide, but to no avail. Its trade initiatives in both the Pacific Rim (TPP) and the transatlantic (TTIP) are now in limbo,” Professor Etler said.

Its attempt to isolate and cordon off Russia is failing, while its plans to turn the tables against populist regimes in Latin America are meeting with renewed resistance. Brexit is thus the latest blow to the floundering neo-liberal Washington consensus. The unraveling of the post-WW2/post Cold War status quo is inevitable,” he pointed out.

What is emerging is a world based not on the ‘limited sovereignty’ of US hegemonic control, but a world in which free, sovereign nations work together to build a better world based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, namely mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and equality and cooperation for mutual benefit and sustainable development,” the academic concluded.

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