Australia as client state

PaulIn a new review at the JCA publisher’s website, Kosmas Tsokhas reviews Australia as US Client State: The Geopolitics of De-Democratization and Insecurity (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2016.1172327).

The book argues that Australia’s participation in the American-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq has been a result of “a shared destiny, derived from militarist patriotism, to reaffirm social cohesion, national identity and territorial sovereignty, within the Anglosphere which consists of the United States…, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.” Paul argues that this shared destiny is “underpinned by the way that the ‘wealth and power’ of Australia’s elites have become reliant on ‘US corporate and security power elites’ which ‘have become major players in Australian politics’.” At the same time, Australia’s citizens have been “depoliticised” because “the state has been hijacked by a coalition of neoliberal and neoconservative elites to serve common but narrow interests … closely tied to the American imperial project.”

The “Anglosphere” is held together by the “need for collective interventionist wars, regional balance of power arrangements and political subversion, disguised as the war on terror or as the promotion of human rights, democratic institutions and individual freedoms. The real aim is to suppress opposition to and rebellion against open markets and unrestricted investment, which favour the Anglosphere, as national and social movements try to assert their independence, mobilise for democratisation, strive to reverse growing international inequality and attempt to compete over scarce resources due to climate change.”

Tsokhas argues that more attention to the labour theory of value might have made this short book’s economic analysis more powerful. He finds it a useful analysis.

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