Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
The World Flees From The American Disease

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The only way to avoid another dose is to reject economic entanglements with the Americans.”

The world is reorganizing itself to avoid further exposure to the most virulent strains of what is now commonly referred to as “the American disease.” The contagion is dreaded like the worst kind of venereal infection. This disease is transmitted through political and economic intercourse with the Typhoid Mary of the planet, the United States. As headquarters nation for global finance capital, the U.S. acted as vector of the current planetary economic meltdown.

No country is fully immune to the ravages of the American transmitted disease. Having penetrated nearly every corner of the planet, the scourge, first spread by Wall Street hustlers, now threatens to undermine the economic organs of the entire Earth. Just as with biological infections, the disease must be contained before it can be cured. That means avoiding contact with the Americans and their hopelessly contaminated financial instruments: those festering derivatives that so poisoned the U.S. economy, it is virtually paralyzed.

When the Wall Street plague hit Europe in October of last year, the assembled heads of state were quick with a diagnosis, but not a cure. “We want entrepreneurial capitalism and not speculative capitalism, “ declared French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. But speculative capitalism is the only kind the United States has been peddling for a very long time. By now, much of the world has come to the realization that the only way to avoid another dose of the American disease is to reject economic entanglements with the Americans.

The pathology will continue eating away at the political economy for at least four more years.”

Meanwhile, the United States continues to incubate the infectious agents. The Obama administration is riddled with carriers of the disease – corrupt bankers and their accomplices at every level – ensuring that the pathology will continue eating away at the political economy for at least four more years. There can be no cure if you don’t get rid of the germs.

As the world erects defenses to keep the American disease from repeatedly infecting its global neighbors, the effect will be similar to the redlining of neighborhoods. The U.S. will fall further into decline as it is walled off from other nations’ efforts at economic development. That’s the meaning of the redlining of America.

The United States has been the object of redlining since at least 2003, when George Bush finally convinced the world that Washington was bad company with his illegal invasion of Iraq. Nobody wants to do business with a crazy man – or a crazy superpower. By late 2005, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations decided not to invite the United States as an observer to its annual meeting, but allowed the Russians and Chinese to attend as official observers. When the U.S. sent a diplomat anyway, he was turned away. Last December, the heads of 33 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean pointedly failed to invite Washington to their summit meeting in Brazil. Increasingly, the Americans are shunned as bringers of war and killers of economies, the two most feared symptoms of the American disease.

The corporations that threw their money behind Barack Obama for president were hoping his fresh face and charm would be seen by the world as a prophylactic for the American disease. But the Wall Street street walkers and the Pentagon refuse to change their risky behavior. Increasingly, the world has no choice but to put them in isolation. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20090209_gf_american_disease.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT