USA, What Next?

EDITORIAL, 21 Mar 2016

#420 | Johan Galtung

Washington, DC

Nobody knows. But under US presidentialism presidents matter; close to a dictatorship for one administration.  That is where democracy–for, by if not of the delegates, it seems–enters; with a painstaking nomination process, like nothing in the rest of the world. And then the elections in November, after party conventions in July.

There are three parties in the USA: Democrats, Republicans; and Democrats in the South, loyal to the party leadership DNC and vice versa, Southern Baptist conservative, traditionally for blacks, women, working class, minorities (Southern Republicans are white Anglo men).  Very different from Yankee democrats up in the North producing Bernie.

So we get a South-North gradient Hillary-Bernie, with exceptions. However, there is also an age gradient for both genders even if more for men: the older the more Hillary, the younger the more Bernie. If, likely, Hillary is nominated, Bernie will leave an imprint on US politics and many states in the North, and more so as time passes.  But socialism, age and vague foreign policy rule him out as president.

Then, the Republican story, mainly the Donald Trump story.  Again an outsider, a challenge to RNC like Bernie to DNC–Wasserman-Schultz.  Whereas Bernie is about class-bankocracy-speculation-inequality, Trump is about race-religion-ethnicity, “demonizing anyone who is not white and Christian–flirting with Ku Klux Klan–stereotyping Mexicans and Muslims” (Washington Post, 17 Mar 2016).  The class focus makes Bernie non-eligible, the race-ethnic focus makes Trump non-nominable. So it may be Hillary vs Cruz with Hillary status quo belligerence winning. Both are a disaster for the world; Trump only for the USA.

However, a suspicion: the bipartisan anti-Trumpism is also about his relation to a Putin-type foreign policy: less war, less enemies, “Cuba: fine with me”, “great mistake to bomb Serbs who were our allies in both world wars” (March 7).  We will hear much more of that kind.

Whoever wins takes the reins of a failed state.  Consider this list, not What Next? but What Now?, badly reflected in the campaigns.

The war against the blacks, killing young men on sight and making them, like slaves, again forced labor, now through incarceration.

The highest world incarceration rate (no. 2 Russia); privatized prisons on stock exchange, making more crimes pay for investors.

Like making more wars pay for investors in arms manufacturers; in the military-industrial-Congress-banking-intelligentsia complex.

More wars and killing around the world than ever; thoughtless killing of whatever moves, not winning, producing more resistance.

Suicide terrorism increased from 350 1989-2003, mainly by Tamil tigers, to 1,883 2004-2009, 92% anti-American, -foreign occupation.

“Revitalizing nuclear weaponry” (INYT, 29 Apr 2014); “mini-nukes” below Hiroshima for not unlikely use to “win”, getting desperate.

Resolutions against North Korea doing what the veto powers have been doing for years: using nuclear weapons to deter and threaten.

Since WWII “The Leading Terrorist State” (Chomsky) tried 55 times to overthrow foreign governments they did not like, half successfully, 18 in Latin America-Caribbean (Blum); but not Batista, Pinochet et al.

The 33 Latin America-Caribbean states Fourth summit of Heads of State in Quito in January welcomed the Caribbean Community Reparation Commission for the “atrocious crimes” of slave trade and slavery.  Hardly mentioned in Western media. And USA continues supporting coups.

“Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War” (Leonid Savin), “calls on Twitter to travel to Germany have mostly come from the US” may lead to reactions in Europe similar to Latin America-Caribbean.

Aggressive US policy in Ukraine supporting a corrupt and bankrupt Kiev regime against the Russian-Orthodox part mainly in the East has divided NATO on the issues, with USA far away from the arena.

China’s Belt and Road policies reach others but not far away USA.

The American Dream fails on three counts: children are not better off than their parents; working hard does not guarantee a decent life as the value produced goes elsewhere; house-car-college unaffordable.

The system is not even able to replace a deceased US Supreme Court justice; responsible for the disastrous Citizens United ruling that donating money for politics falls under freedom of expression.

Huge increases in inequality with the three government branches decreasingly able to do anything, also pitted against each other.

The Walton family owning Walmart where employees make $8 an hour makes $1.5 million an hour, having a net worth of 42% of US families combined ( 3 Dec 2014). The richest 1%, 115,000 households, each increases their wealth by an average $10 million per year while 138,000 children are homeless; as $30 trillion new wealth was created the number of kids on food stamps increases 70%; the food stamp program was cut $8.6 billion, paid to corporate agriculture ( 16 Mar 2015).

The US infrastructure, airports, rail, roads, metro, streets sink to former Third World levels, where the infrastructure now improves.

A staggering total US multi-trillion debt to be served at the expense of not serving the people and the infrastructure.

Inequality is also high in China, but “lifting the bottom 400 million up” 1991-2004 created a 58% domestic demand increase to meet the 2008 crisis; with no such US policy the economy gets worse.

One author’s conclusion: “After I lived in Norway, America felt backward.  Here’s Why”, by Ann Jones (The Nation, 15 Feb 2016). Also Bernie’s conclusion, but not the DNC’s, nor the voters’.

Any president will have to come to grips with these 12 + 8 = 20 calamities and more. If not, What Next? Is not left or right.  Down.

Unless there is a switch from a foreign policy of war to peace; and people are helped, locally and state-wise, to help themselves.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Mar 2016.

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23 Responses to “USA, What Next?”

  1. Thomas Krogh says:

    Funny. Johan Galtung simply can’t help himself. Every single pieve he writes about the US reflects his intense hatred of the place, and the range of conspiracy theories, undocumented claims, distortions and outright lies he present undermine the valid points that indeed are present in the core of his argument.

    Why this hatred and lack of self-criticism Mr Galtung?

    • Deldano says:

      This is fun. I was missing you Mr. Krogh. We are a bit of a monothematic person are we not? Let me put it this way, I’d appreciate your help in making this discussion thread somewhat more sophisticated: please try to substantiate your claims?

      (1) intense hatred of the place
      (2) range of conspiracy theories
      (3) undocumented claims
      (4) distortions
      (5) outright lies

      Educate us.

      P.S: He failed to mention that “the USA killing more than 20 million in 37 states since WWII, and more than 245 military interventions since 1801 (Jefferson in Libya)–simple facts the West is unable to absorb.”

      which I happen to believe is quite accurate.

  2. Thomas Krogh says:


    Indeed it is fun – Galtung’s hatred is long past the level where you can take him serious. As for his hatred of the place I’ll just refer you to his pieces on Transcend, and compare them to what he writes about – say – Russia and China. As you mention his – often repeated – lie that the US had caused “20 million” deaths, while he never dared mention the countless millions killed by e.g. the Chinese. Why do you think he doesn’t dare mention that?

    As for the conspiracy theories, he introduces a new one here. ” “Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War” (Leonid Savin), “calls on Twitter to travel to Germany have mostly come from the US” may lead to reactions in Europe similar to Latin America-Caribbean.”

    Of course he – conveniently – “forgets” to mention that the only source for this is a Pro-Putin conspiracy site, that quotes itself. Why do you think he doesn’t metion that? Or why he “forgets” to mention that the main reason for refugees going to Germany may be that Merkel is one of the few leaders that actually opened the doors for them.

    As for undocumented claims, lets take just a few of them above. “And USA continues supporting coups.” Really? What “coups”? Where is the proof of this?

    As for distortions “Aggressive US policy in Ukraine supporting a corrupt and bankrupt Kiev regime against the Russian-Orthodox part mainly in the East has divided NATO on the issues, with USA far away from the arena.”, well you would never know that this covers supporting a country that just has lost a part of its territory to Russia itself. What did Galtung expect the US to do? To bend over and support war criminals in Moscow just as he did himself? Do you? Really?

    As for more distortions (as well as lies) you can take the stuff about Walmart. The average wage for a full-time Walmart employee was just boosted up to $13.38, and Part-timers will get an an average hourly wage of $10.58, up 6%.

    Let’s compare that to the regimes Galtung dare not critize. What is the average minimum wage in Russia? In China?

    And you want more?

    ” the food stamp program was cut $8.6 billion, paid to corporate agriculture”

    Actually it wasn’t. A number of cuts was put in place, that – over a 10 year period – would amount to $8.6 billion, but most of these cuts were absorbed (, and there is zilch evidence that these savings are for “corporate agriculture”.

    and more?

    “The US infrastructure, airports, rail, roads, metro, streets sink to former Third World levels, where the infrastructure now improves.”

    Uhm no:

    But then again – Galtung will never have the guts to admit he is wrong.

  3. Werner T. Meyer says:

    Thomas Krogh: really interested in facts?

    Deaths In Other Nations Since
    WW II Due To Us Interventions
    By James A. Lucas
    24 April, 2007

    Werner T. Meyer

    • Thomas Krogh says:

      Wernet T Meyer

      I’m well aware of that site – we have discussed it here on the site earlier.

      And it only confirms my point – that in order to get to Galtungs stupidly inflated figure, you basically have to blame the US for everything. Even the Soviet (!) invasion of Afghanistan, the Chinese (!) supported murderous regime in Cambodia, the North Korean (!) invasion of the South and so on.

      Which is exactly my point – only this kind of US-hating lying will ever get you to Galtung’s “20 million”. But thanks for proving my point.

      • Werner T. Meyer says:

        How about William Blum’s “Killing Hope” ? “Far and away the best book on the topic.” – Noam Chomsky.

        Werner T. Meyer

      • Thomas Krogh says:


        With regard to the GDR I trust the East German spy chief and the countless GDR sympathizers that left for East Germany and later told their stories, rather than a conspiracy nut as Blum.

  4. Thomas Krogh says:


    Blum? They guy that promoted the factoid that the Berlin Wall wasn’t so bad, and really only was the US’s fault, promoted the – completely undocumented – claim tha Hugo Chavez,was murdered (!) by the CIA and so on?

    Is this really the kind of “sources” that are required in order to blame the US for all the deaths caused by the Soviet, China and so on?

    • Werner T. Meyer says:

      So you know better than Noam Chomsky. And you have access to the CIA’s killing agenda? Take care and for heaven’s sake dont try to walk on water in the next days.


  5. Deldano says:

    Krogh, you’re trolling.
    What does that sentence even mean to hate the USA?
    Seriously, what does that even mean? The sentence is utter nonsense.
    Galtung has made it clear numerous times that he hates the U.S empire but loves the U.S. republic. So what are you even talking about?
    Here is the very statement on video. Went to research it just for you:

    Also, were you not aware of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s and Wilson’s roles in the invasion of Afghanistan? If not you’re not just a troll, but a waste of our time. Check here:

    Kissinger facilitated the murder of 3 million people in Cambodia… dude what planet are YOU! getting your facts from???

    Are you not aware that 1/3rd of North Korea’s population was killed in the 1953 to 1956 war? By U.S. troops?

    Some people really care about LIFE and the uphold of it Krogh. Everywhere. Including the one that you are obviously wasting as a lapdog for the “USA wrong or right: USA always right!” position.

    It doesn’t matter who does the killing. What matters is to make it STOP. Regardless who is doing or facilitating it. There is more than enough for all of us on this planet. Some rather maintain the verticality inbuilt into the inequity of the distrbution chains and THAT is what your friennemy Galtung has been teaching the world for 60 years straight. And it is getting worse and worse. Are you blind to the pyramidal patterns of politics and economics on this planet? What are you a fool? Are you still greatful to the USA for saving Europe from Nazism? That was 70 years ago. Get an update. The world is looking for a way out of the NATO and Security Council Straight jacket. Jesus … Krogh… how deep is Rand Corporations brainwash up your spine from where the sun wont shine?

  6. Deldano says:

    ha. Korea war was 1950 to 53. not 53 to 56. anyhow.

  7. Thomas Krogh says:


    You can easily be against “US Empire”, and there are obvious reasons to argue that point, and reasonable people do it all the time. However only haters resort to conspiracy theories, distortions and outright lies such as we see from Galtung, and thats why I completely disagree with you. Galtung is so fanatical in his hate that every journalistic, historical and scientific standard is left behind. And – as I have pointed out over and over again – even when he is caught in any of the above he never corrects himself. Never. Nor willæ his supporters dare to admit when he is wrong. It simply doesn’t happen. And we know why.

    I’m certainly aware of the Brzezinski interview. Does that mean that the US is responsible? Only if the Soviet’s now are responsible for the Vietnam war, as they armed the insurgents there.

    Oh they are not?? Oh I see – the rules only cover the US. Basically you are arguing that whatever the background, whatever the position of the parties, whatever happened, it is always the US’s fault. ASnd of course the US “forced” the Norks to invade the South, push their forces to the Pusan perimeter and kill contless civilians. Everything is the US’s fault, in the view of Galtung and his loyal followers.

    But thank you for confirming the monolitical and utter onesidedness of the US-hatred that drives this site. Luckily we are some than can provide a much more nuanced picture of the world, but that is of course utter irrelevant for Galtung and co.

  8. Deldano says:


    Imputing nonsense to your detractors is a backwards ploy and does little to honour your own intellect.

    That said, you’re being facetious. I honour your diatribes by reading them. Top to bottom, you do not even bother to read what you respond to. How does your sentence “” talley with my clear “Some people really care about LIFE and the uphold of it Krogh. Everywhere. (…) It doesn’t matter who does the killing. What matters is to make it STOP. Regardless who is doing or facilitating it.”

    You have an agenda. Accuse Galtung of Anti-USism, and it is moot. The guy actually lives in the USA, in WDC of all places. Why should one trust your mosquito comments on the views of an elefant… academically speaking. Unless of course you also have a phd in mathematics and sociology and have founded your an entire discipline by yourself. Which you haven’t. Or we would be posting under your personal weekly editorial, which we are not.

    What really gets me going here, is your repeated claims that you know better sources than Galtung, which HOWEVER you NEVER share… This is where Mr. Deldano turns around grabs his cat and prefers caressing it than wasting time on the Krogh. If you have stuff to share, for heaven’s sake, hyperlink it and let’s get on with the substantiation. Or consider this a dead end.

    You come here looking for the eternal truth from Galtung’s editorials, that is where you go wrong. Have a mind of our own. Many who read this editorial come here for serious inspiration for our own reflections on global politics.

    What is it you come here for?

    • Thomas Krogh says:


      Wrong on all accounts. I not only read the posts, but I alæso react to them. However you fail to read and understand. Or don’t want to understand. And instead of focusing on the content, you dive in to personal attacks. On repeat. Try re-reading your own stuff, and next time try without the whining, cursing and attacks. Deal?

      As for your points, you asked me for examples of Galtung’s rethorical lies and distortions, and I gave them to you. Only you obviously didn’t like them and had to ignore the answers. And – unlike Galtung – I also gave you documentation. Which you obviously didn’t like either.

      Does all this matter? Of course it does. The only way to peace is through *dialogue* and through *facts*. Every single time a part in a conversion start using lies, distortions and zany conspiracy theories – all Galtung staples – he og she on purpose aim at de-ratiling the conversation.

      There is only one way to peace. Through truth. Galtung is so obsesssed with his hatred – and his followers so blind and unwilling to admit when he is wrong – that he and they are wandering blindly ahead. When Galtung post one of his idiotic anti-US conspiracy theories you just nod in agreement, don’t you?

      If you have any documentation for Galtung’s pile of claims – that I hve shown to be obviously lies and distortions – please share them as he refuses to do it himself.

  9. Deldano says:

    You are not very well read. I am. And to be honest I hate wasting my time with people who pretend to be well versed in something but are not. It takes me hours a day to read and get through stuff. I have been doing this for 40 years. Which is why I at some point started quipping at you sideways. Your lack of intellectual sophistication is blatant and insulting. Anyhow – make some time and read An eye opener even for dimwits like you.

  10. Deldano says:

    And as for China not being criticized in this editorial: AND THEN THE DECLINE AND FALL OF CHINA by Galtung himself. Look Krogh, you have a problem and it is nt curable.

  11. Thomas Krogh says:


    You may certainly be well-read. Unfortunately you haven’t provided a single proof for this. You stick to your personal attacks and avoid the issues at all costs. Did I or didn’t I give you evidence of what you asked for? Does it hurt to admit it? Do you have the same inability to admit errors as Galtung? What a complete intellectual surrender.

    Is this example supposed to qualify as Galtung’s “critizism” of China? A speech that is half anti-Japan/anti-West and half “good advice”. And with another of Galtung’s classical surrenders to totalitarism:

    ” In a culture seeing education, wisdom, as the key to good governance, arithmetical democracy by multi-party national elections is unlikely. Locally yes; as multi-person rather than multi-party choice yes; as transparency and dialogue inside the party and elsewhere yes; as citizen petitions using the open windows of bureaucracies yes. That is already a lot. West, take note; learn.

    So this disgusting apologism to a totalitarian system is what qualifies as “criticism”?

    Ands I suppose you will give Galtung’s totalitarianism your full-throated support, won’t you? You know you cannot criticise Galtung. Impossible. Not permitted.

  12. Werner T. Meyer says:


    This battle started over the recognition of Norwegian feudal titles.
    The The Norwegian Nobility – survey of 1886 ( ) says:
    I. Norwegian Uradel
    Galtung – the only noble family left from the pre-Danish period.

    And many lines later:

    Other families, like Bang, Berg, Brun, Cold, Darre, Kofod (Kofoed) and von Krogh, are not recognised…..

    But the Internet is endless and full of spirits haunted by other spirits, haunted by …

    Who cares?

    Werner T. Meyer

  13. Checkmate?

    ;) I was enjoying you guys making Krogh dance…

    • Thomas Krogh says:

      Oh well, unfortunately nobody really did provide any support for Galtung. Actually I enjoy his supporters ability to confirm my points. 😊

      Can we expect another dose of Galtung’s distortions nexr week?

      • Per-Stian says:

        Depends if you show up or not, I suppose. You are strong on delusions, but weaker on reality. It can be amusing, though, so thanks for the laughs.

        People like that crop up every now and then and make similarly faulty statements about Chomsky’s work.

  14. Muhammed Bouthari says:


    You are wasting your breath and ink. For the guys here Mr Galtung is King and infallible and the US is “bad”. No amount of evidence or examples of Mr Galtung’s lies will change anything here. Don’t disturb the one-dimensional world-view.

  15. Thomas Krogh says:


    You are more than welcome to point out the errors I have made. “Galtung is right” is a rather worthless point in itself, so please help us.

    And i certainly don’t compare Chomsky to Galtung. Even though I often disagree with Chomsky he – unlike Galtung – has the integrity and honesty to distance himself from unproven and rediculous conspiracy idiocy.