Monthly Archives: December 2021

Alfred McCoy TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: World Orders & Catastrophic Change

Alfred McCoy is University of Wisconsin Harrington Professor of History. He was our guest in 2017, when his book, IN THE SHADOWS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY: THE RISE AND DECLINE OF US GLOBAL POWER, was published by Haymarket Books. That archived interview can be heard on our website,

Fifty years ago, the publication of his book, THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTH EAST ASIA, led to his testifying before the Senate Committee on Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee in June 1972. His research, including traveling to Hmong villages in Laos, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency was knowingly involved in the transportation of heroin in the Golden Triangle of Burma, Thailand, and Laos. The CIA tried to block its publication, but it has been translated into 9 foreign languages with three English editions and is regarded as the “classic” work on global drug traffic.

His new book, also published by Haymarket Books, is titled TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: WORLD ORDERS & CATASTROPHIC CHANGE.

In it, he explores the interplay of three factors—sovereignty, human rights, and energy—in shaping the succession of empires and their global systems from the Black Death of 1350 through the coming climate crisis of 2050.

It is packed with meticulously researched facts and analysis of world history of the last 600 years, examining the continuities and disruptions that create systems that rule international affairs.

He asserts that China will become the world hegemon by 2030, via initiatives such as the Belt & Road Initiative, which makes manifest Halford Mackinder’s thesis that who controls the World Island, controls the world.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

As Tensions Rise over Taiwan, U.S. & China “Edging Ever Closer” to War

Russia & China: Together At Last

The Grand Theory Driving Putin to War

On the Most Fundamental of All Human Rights: Survival

Climate Crisis at the Top of the World

Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change

In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy

China Biggest Winner in Afghanistan

The US military trained him. Then he helped murder Berta Cáceres

Washington’s Great Game and Why It’s Failing

Julius S. Scottt, Groundbreaking Historian of the Caribbean, Dies at 66

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

Here’s how to repay developing nations for colonialism – and fight the climate crisis

Spencer Ackerman REIGN OF TERROR: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America & Produced Trump

Spencer Ackerman had just graduated from Rutgers University, when the attacks on 9/11 occurred. He began his journalism career, focused on national security, with the New Republic in 2002, and then went on to write for Wired, The Guardian and The Daily Beast.

He won a 2012 National Magazine Award for his reporting on biased FBI training, and a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service (with Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras, and others at the Guardian) for reporting on revelations of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency based on the Edward Snowden revelations.

His recent book, REIGN OF TERROR: HOW THE 9/11 ERA DESTABILIZED AMERICA AND PRODUCED TRUMP, was published by Viking in August, 2021. We spoke with him on December 3, 2021.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

House Responds To GOP’s Lauren Boebert With Islamophobia Bill Sponsored By Ilhan Omar

US rejects calls for regulating or banning ‘killer robots’

The rise of the killer robots – and the two women fighting back

How Sept. 11Gave Us Jan. 6

McChrystal: ‘Impossible to Argue’ War on Terror Was Worth It

Donald Rumsfeld, Killer of 400,000 People, Dies Peacefully

Secret Court Reveals: FBI Hunted for Domestic Terrorists Without a Warrant

The Insurrection Isn’t Over

Maj. Ian Fishback, Who Exposed Abuse of Detainees, Dies at 42

Pentagon Chief Orders New Inquiry Into U.S. Airstrike That Killed Dozens in Syria

‘The goal was to silence people’: historian Joanne Freeman on congressional violence

US added to list of ‘backsliding’ democracies for first time

Can American democracy escape the doom loop? So far, the signs are not promising