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, forthright.media. https://forthright.media/2017/10/04/alfred-mccoy-in-the-shadows-of-the-american-century-the-rise-and-decline-of-us-global-power/
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 https://www.democracynow.org/2023/3/10/xi_jinping_china
Russia & China: Together At Last https://www.democracynow.org/2022/3/21/ukraine_war_strengthens_china_russia_alliance
The Grand Theory Driving Putin to War https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/22/opinion/russia-ukraine-putin-eurasianism.html
On the Most Fundamental of All Human Rights: Survival https://tomdispatch.com/climate-crisis-at-the-top-of-the-world/
Climate Crisis at the Top of the World https://tomdispatch.com/climate-crisis-at-the-top-of-the-world/
Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change https://tomdispatch.com/to-govern-the-globe/
In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/12/xi-jinping-china-beijing-new-age-of-imperialism
China Biggest Winner in Afghanistan https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/13/china-biggest-winner-afghanistan?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Emai
The US military trained him. Then he helped murder Berta Cáceres https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/dec/21/the-us-military-trained-him-then-he-helped-berta-caceres
Washington’s Great Game and Why It’s Failing https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/06/11/tomgram-alfred-mccoy-washingtons-great-game-and-why-its-failing/
Julius S. Scottt, Groundbreaking Historian of the Caribbean, Dies at 66 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/16/obituaries/julius-scott-dead-common-wind.html
How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/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 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/14/heres-how-to-repay-developing-nations-for-colonialism-and-fight-the-climate-crisis