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World View: 'USA: The Fallacy of the Free Market' and 'Middle East: Thirsting for Conflict'

1. 'USA: The Fallacy of the Free Market' 
2. 'Middle East: Thirsting for Conflict'_______________________________________________________
USA: The fallacy of the free market
The illusion that is peddled by sharp-suited government spokesmen on television about the benefits of the free market system is just that—an illusion. Every government in the world is in favour of free trade when their owning class is in a favourable position to compete and in favour of protectionism when some competitor from another country has the drop on them.
The British toadies of capitalism are bad enough but, in the USA the hypocritical posturing of the worshippers of the market system is truly nauseating. As the foremost industrial and commercial power in the world, the USA is loud in its praise of free trade as the cure-all for social problems. In practice, though, it often favours the strictest protectionism and some recent examples from the Press starkly prove this.
The notion t…

All That Glistens

Book Review from the June 2001 issue of the Socialist Standard
The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession . By Peter L. Bernstein. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
The author is president of his own economic consulting firm and author of seven books on economics and finance. He is also well-connected with powerful establishment figures, citing for example in his foreword the "significant assistance" of such as Alan Greenspan and Milton Friedman. In addition he also acknowledges the assistance of half-a-dozen researchers. So what is the outcome of such an undertaking into a fascinating subject? There is an astounding collection of stories, anecdotes and speculations on the subject of gold that embraces Biblical legends, Greek mythology, medieval nonsense and modern received wisdom, but nowhere will you find an explanation of what determines the value of gold.
The researchers have obviously been assiduous in their set tasks of tracking down just about every reference to gol…