Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

The Secular Stagnation as an Immanent Feature of Post-2008 Neoliberalism

Image courtesy of Koren Shadmi (What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism? Maybe the Economy - The New York Times, Oct 14, 2016)
News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as antidote to Neoliberalism Chronic Unemployment Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism
Forthcoming slow motion collapse of global neoliberal empire led by the USA Anti-globalization movement Why Peak Oil Threatens the International Monetary System Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Economics of Peak Energy Upward Redistribution of Wealth
Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Neoliberalism war on labor The Great Transformation Eroding Western living standards Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Greece debt enslavement Ukraine debt enslavement
Neoliberal rationality Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura The fiasco of suburbia Quite coup Casino Capitalism Lawrence Summers Oil glut fallacy
Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks: The efficient markets hypothesis Austerity Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Energy Geopolitics Corruption of Regulators MSM propagated myth about Saudis defending market share Great condensate con
Russia oil production Helicopter Ben: Arsonist Turned into Firefighter Financial Quotes Casino Capitalism Dictionary Financial Humor Humor Etc


Secular stagnation is a term proposed by Keynesian economist Alvin Hansen back in the 1930s to explain the USA dismal economic performance during this period. The period in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, coincide with a problematically low (even negative) real interest rates even in the face of the extraordinarily easy monetary policy. Later a similar phenomenon occurred in Japan. that's why it is often called called Japanification of the economy.  Secular stagnation returned to the USA in full force after the financial crisis of 2008 (so called The Long Recession), so this is the second time the USA society experience the same socio-economic phenomenon. 

Formally it can be defined as any stagnation that lasts substantially longer then the business cycle (and dominates the business cycle induced variations of economic activities), the suppression of economic performance for a long (aka secular) period. It also can be viewed as the crisis of demand, when demand became systemically weak (which under neoliberalism is ensured by redistribution of wealth up).

The global stagnation we are experiencing is the logical result of the dominance of neoliberalism and a sign of its crisis an a ideology. It is somewhat similar to the crisis of Bolshevik's ideology in the USSR in 60th when everybody realized that the existing society cannot fulfill the key promise of higher living standards. And that over centralization of economic life naturally leads to stagnation.  The analogy does not ends here, but this point is the most important.

Neoliberalism replaced over-centralization (with iron fist one party rule) with over-financialization (with iron fist rule of financial oligarchy), with generally the same result as for the economy ( In other words neoliberalism like bolshevism is equal to economic stagnation; extremes meet).  The end of cheap oil did not help iether. In a sense neoliberalism might be viewed as the elite reaction to the end of cheap oil, when it became clear that there are not enough cookies for everyone.

This growth in the financial sector's profits has not been an accident; it is the result of  engineered shift in the elite thinking, which changed government policies. The central question of politics is, in my view, "Who has a right to live and who does not".  In the answer to this question, neoliberal subscribes to Social Darwinism: ordinary citizens should be given much less rather than more social protection. Such  policies would have been impossible in 50th and 60th (A Short History of Neo-liberalism)

In 1945 or 1950, if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today's standard neo-liberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage at or sent off to the insane asylum. At least in the Western countries, at that time, everyone was a Keynesian, a social democrat or a social-Christian democrat or some shade of Marxist.

The idea that the market should be allowed to make major social and political decisions; the idea that the State should voluntarily reduce its role in the economy, or that corporations should be given total freedom, that trade unions should be curbed and citizens given much less rather than more social protection--such ideas were utterly foreign to the spirit of the time. Even if someone actually agreed with these ideas, he or she would have hesitated to take such a position in public and would have had a hard time finding an audience.

And this change in government polices was achieved in classic Bolsheviks coup d'état way, when yoiu first create the Party of "professional neoliberal revolutionaries". Who then push for this change and "occupy" strategic places like economics departments at the universities, privately funded think tanks, MSM, and then subvert one or both major parties.  The crisis of "New Deal Capitalism" helped, but without network of think tanks and rich donors, the triumph of neoliberalism in the USA would have been impossible: explanation for this triumph of neo-liberalism and the economic, political, social and ecological disasters that go with it is that neo-liberals have bought and paid for their own vicious and regressive "Great Transformation". They have understood, as progressives have not, that ideas have consequences. Starting from a tiny embryo at the University of Chicago with the philosopher-economist Friedrich von Hayek and his students like Milton Friedman at its nucleus, the neo-liberals and their funders have created a huge international network of foundations, institutes, research centers, publications, scholars, writers and public relations hacks to develop, package and push their ideas and doctrine relentlessly.

Most economists are acutely aware of the increasing role in economic life of financial markets, institutions and operations and the pursuit of prifits via excotic instruments such as derivatives (all this constituted  financialization). This dominant feature of neoliberalism has huge the re-distributional implications, huge effects on the US economy, international dimensions and monetary system, depth and longevity of financial crises and unapt policy responses to them.

They have built this highly efficient ideological cadre because they understand what the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci was talking about when he developed the concept of cultural hegemony. If you can occupy peoples' heads, their hearts and their hands will follow.

I do not have time to give you details here, but believe me, the ideological and promotional work of the right has been absolutely brilliant. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, but the result has been worth every penny to them because they have made neo-liberalism seem as if it were the natural and normal condition of humankind. No matter how many disasters of all kinds the neo-liberal system has visibly created, no matter what financial crises it may engender, no matter how many losers and outcasts it may create, it is still made to seem inevitable, like an act of God, the only possible economic and social order available to us.  

Neoliberalism naturally leads to secular stagnation due to redistribution of wealth up. which undermines purchasing power of the 99%, or more correctly 99.9 of the population. In the USA this topic became hotly debated theme in establishment circles after Summers speech in 2013.  Unfortunately it was suppressed in Presidential campaign of 2016. Please note that Sanders speaks about Wall Street shenanigans, but not about ideology of neoliberalism.  No candidates tried to address this problem of "self-colonization" of the USA, which is probably crucial to "making America great again" instead of continued slide into what is called "banana republic" coined by American writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter 1862–1910). Here is how Wikipedia described the term:

Banana republic or banana state is a pejorative political science term for politically unstable countries in Latin America whose economies are largely dependent on exporting a limited-resource product, e.g. bananas. It typically has stratified social classes, including a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy of business, political, and military elites.[1] This politico-economic oligarchy controls the primary-sector productions to exploit the country's economy.[2]

... ... ...

In economics, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by a collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, in which the profit derived from the private exploitation of public lands is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are a public responsibility.

This topic is of great importance to the US elite because the USA is the citadel of  neoliberalism. It also suggest that the natural way neoliberal economic system based on increasing of the level of inequality (redistribution of wealth up) should behave: after the initial economic boom (like in case of steroids use) caused by  financialization of economy (as well as dissolution of the USSR), helped by off-shoring of manufacturing, the destructive effects of this temporary boost come into foreground. Redistribution of wealth up increases inequality which after a certain delay starts to undercuts domestic demand. It also tilts the demand more toward conspicuous consumption (note the boom of luxury cars sales in the USA).  

But after  inequality reaches certain critical threshold  the economy faces extended period of low growth reflecting persistently weak private demand (purchasing power of lower 90% of population).  People who mostly have low level service economy jobs (aka MC-jobs) can't buy that much.  Earlier giants of American capitalism like Ford understood that, but Wall Street sharks do not and does not want.  They operate under principle "Après nous le déluge" ("After us, the deluge").

An economic cycle enters recession when total spending falls below expected by producers and they realize that production level is too high relative to demand. What we have under neoliberalism is Marx's crisis of overproduction on a new level. At this level it is intrinsically connected with the parasitic nature of complete financialization of the economy. The focus on monetary policy and the failure to enact fiscal policy options is the key structural defect of neoliberalism ideology and can't be changed unless neoliberal ideology is abandoned. Which probably will not happen unless another huge crisis hits the USA. That might not happen soon.  Bolshevism lasted more then 70 years. If we assume that the "age of neoliberalism" started at 1973 with Pinochet coup d'état in Chile, neoliberalism as a social system is just 43 years old (as of 2016). It still has some "time to live"(TTL) in zombies state due to the principle first formulated by Margaret Thatcher as TINA ("There Is No Alternative") -- the main competitor, bolshevism, was discredited by the collapse of the USSR and China leadership adoption of neoliberalism. While Soviet leadership simply abandoned the sinking ship and became Nouveau riche in a neoliberal society that followed, Chinese elite managed to preserved at least outer framework of the Marxist state and the political control of the Communist party (not clear for how long). But there was a neoliberal transformation of Chinese economy, initiated, paradoxically, by the Chinese Communist Party.

Currently, no other ideology, including old "New Deal" ideology can  compete with neoliberal ideology, although things started to change with Sanders campaign in the USA on  the left and Trump campaign on the right. Most of what we see as a negative reaction to neoliberalism in Europe generally falls into the domain of cultural nationalism.    

The 2008 financial crisis, while discrediting neoliberalism as an ideology (in the same way as WWII discredited Bolshevism), was clearly not enough for the abandonment of this ideology. Actually neoliberalism proved to be remarkably resilient after this crisis. Some researchers claim that it entered "zombie state" and became more bloodthirsty and ruthless.

There is also religious overtones of neoliberalism which increase its longevity (similar to Trotskyism, and neoliberalism can be called "Trotskyism for rich"). So, from a small, unpopular sect with virtually no influence, neo-liberalism has become the major world religion with its dogmatic doctrine, its priesthood, its law-giving institutions and perhaps most important of all, its hell for heathen and sinners who dare to contest the revealed truth.  Like in most cults adherents became more fanatical believers after the prophecy did not materialized. The USA elite tried partially alleviate this problem by resorting to military Keynesianism as a supplementary strategy. But while military budget was raised to unprecedented levels, it can't reverse the tendency. Persistent high output gap is now a feature of the US economy, not a transitory state.

But there is another factor in play here: combination of peak (aka "plato" ;-) oil and established correlation of  the speed of economic growth and prices on fossil fuels and first of all on oil. Oil provides more than a third of the energy we use on the planet every day, more than any other energy source (How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth - Bloomberg). It is dominant fuel for transport and in this role it is very difficult to replace. 

That means that a substantial increase of price of oil acts as a fundamental limiting factor for economic growth. And "end of cheap oil" simply means that any increase of supply of oil to support growing population on the planet and economic growth now requires higher prices. Which naturally undermine economic growth, unless massive injection of currency are instituted. that probably was the factor that prevented slide of the US economy into the recession in 2009-2012.  Such a Catch-22.

Growth dampening potential of over $100-a-barrel oil is now a well established factor. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Drop of oil price to below $50 as happened in late 2014 and first half of 2015 did not increase growth rate of the USA economy. It might simply prevented it from sliding it into another phase of Great Recession. Moreover when  economies activity drops, less oil is needed.  Enter permanent stagnation.

Also there is not much oil left that can be profitably extracted at prices below $80. So the current oil price slump is a temporary phenomenon, whether it was engineered, or is a mixture of factors including temporary overcapacity . Sooner or later oil prices should return to level "above $80", as only at this level of oil price capital expenditures in new production make sense. That des not mean that oil prices can't be suppressed for another year or even two, but as Herbert Stein aptly noted   "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,"

 The alien spaceship landing

Imagine the alien spaceship landed somewhere in the world. There would be denial, disbelief, fear, and great uncertainty for the future. World leaders would struggle to make sense of the events. The landing would change everything.

The secular stagnation (aka "end of permanent growth") is a very similar event.  This also is the event that has potential to change everything, but it is much more prolonged in time and due to this less visible ("boiling frog effect").  Also this is not a single event, but a long sequence of related events that probably might last several decades (as Japan had shown) or even centuries. The current "Great Recession" might be just a prolog to those events. It is clearly incompatible with capitalism as a mode of production, although capitalism as a social system demonstrated over the years tremendous adaptability and it is too early to write it down completely.  Also no clear alternatives exists. 

A very slow recovery and the secular stagnation is characteristic of economies suffering from a balance-sheet recession (aka crisis of overproduction), as forcefully argued by Nomura’s Richard Koo and other economists. The key point is that private investment is down, not because of “policy uncertainty” or “increased regulation”, but because business-sector expectations about future profitability have become dramatically depressed — and rationally so — in a context characterized by heavy indebtedness (of both households and corporations). As businesses see the demand falls they scale down production which creates negative feedback look and depresses demand further. 

The key point is that private investment is down, not because of “policy uncertainty” or “increased regulation”, but because business-sector expectations about future profitability have become dramatically depressed — and rationally so — in a context characterized by heavy indebtedness (of both households and corporations). As businesses see the demand falls they scale down production which creates negative feedback look and depresses demand further.   

Five  hypothesis about the roots of secular stagnation

There are at least five different hypothesis about the roots of secular stagnation:

Summers’s remarks and articles were followed by an explosion of debate concerning “secular stagnation”—a term commonly associated with Alvin Hansen’s work from the 1930s to ’50s, and frequently employed in Monthly Review to explain developments in the advanced economies from the 1970s to the early 2000s.2 Secular stagnation can be defined as the tendency to long-term (or secular) stagnation in the private accumulation process of the capitalist economy, manifested in rising unemployment and excess capacity and a slowdown in overall economic growth. It is often referred to simply as “stagnation.” There are numerous theories of secular stagnation but most mainstream theories hearken back to Hansen, who was Keynes’s leading early follower in the United States, and who derived the idea from various suggestions in Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936).

Responses to Summers have been all over the map, reflecting both the fact that the capitalist economy has been slowing down, and the role in denying it by many of those seeking to legitimate the system. Stanford economist John B. Taylor contributed a stalwart denial of secular stagnation in the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, Paul Krugman, who is closely aligned with Summers, endorsed secular stagnation on several occasions in the New York Times. Other notable economists such as Brad DeLong and Michael Spence soon weighed in with their own views.3

Three prominent economists have new books directly addressing the phenomena of secular stagnation.4 It has now been formally modelled by Brown University economists Gauti Eggertsson and Neil Mehrotra, while Thomas Piketty’s high-profile book bases its theoretical argument and policy recommendations on stagnation tendencies of capitalism. This explosion of interest in the Summers/Krugman version of stagnation has also resulted in a collection of articles and debate, edited by Coen Teulings and Richard Baldwin, entitled Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes and Cures.5

Seven years after “The Great Financial Crisis” of 2007–2008, the recovery remains sluggish. It can be argued that the length and depth of the Great Financial Crisis is a rather ordinary cyclical crisis. However, the monetary and fiscal measures to combat it were extraordinary. This has resulted in a widespread sense that there will not be a return to “normal.” Summers/Krugman’s resurrection within the mainstream of Hansen’s concept of secular stagnation is an attempt to explain how extraordinary policy measures following the 2007–2008 crisis merely led to the stabilization of a lethargic, if not comatose, economy.

But what do these economists mean by secular stagnation? If stagnation is a reality, does their conception of it make current policy tools obsolete? And what is the relationship between the Summers/Krugman notion of secular stagnation and the monopoly-finance capital theory?

... ... ...

In “secular stagnation,” the term “secular” is intended to differentiate between the normal business cycle and long-term, chronic stagnation. A long-term slowdown in the economy over decades can be seen as superimposed on the regular business cycle, reflecting the trend rather than the cycle.

In the general language of economics, secular stagnation, or simply stagnation, thus implies that the long-run potential economic growth has fallen, constituting the first pillar of MISS. This has been most forcefully argued for by Robert Gordon, as well as Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel.6 Their argument is that the cumulative growth effect of current (and future) technological changes will be far weaker than in the past. Moreover, demographic changes place limits on the development of “human capital.” The focus is on technology, which orthodox economics generally sees as a factor external to the economy and on the supply-side (i.e., in relation to cost). Gordon’s position is thus different than that of moderate Keynesians like Summers and Krugman, who focus on demand-side contradictions of the system.

In Gordon’s supply-side, technocratic view, there are forces at work that will limit the growth in productive input and the efficiency of these inputs. This pillar of MISS emphasizes that it is constraints on the aggregate supply-side of the economy that have diminished absolutely the long-run potential growth.

The second pillar of MISS, also a supply-side view, goes back at least to Joseph Schumpeter. To explain the massive slump of 1937, Schumpeter maintained there had emerged a growing anti-business climate. Moreover, he contended that the rise of the modern corporation had displaced the role of the entrepreneur; the anti-business spirit had a repressive effect on entrepreneurs’ confidence and optimism.7 Today, this second pillar of MISS has been resurrected suggestively by John B. Taylor, who argues the poor recovery is best “explained by policy uncertainty” and “increased regulation” that is unfavorable to business. Likewise, Baker, Bloom, and Davis have forcefully argued that political uncertainty can hold back private investment and economic growth.8

Summers and Krugman, as Keynesians, emphasize a third MISS pillar, derived from Keynes’s famous liquidity trap theory, which contends that the “full-employment real interest rate” has declined in recent years. Indeed, both Summers and Krugman demonstrate that real interest rates have declined over recent decades, therefore moving from an exogenous explanation (as in pillars one and two) to a more endogenous explanation of secular stagnation.9 The ultimate problem here is lack of investment demand, such that, in order for net investment to occur at all, interest rates have to be driven to near zero or below. Their strong argument is that there are now times when negative real interest rates are needed to equate saving and investment with full employment.

However, “interest rates are not fully flexible in modern economies”—in other words, market-determined interest rate adjustments chronically fail to achieve full employment. Summers contends there are financial forces that prohibit the real interest rate from becoming negative; hence, full employment cannot be realized.10

Some theorists contend that there has been demographic structural shifts increasing the supply of saving, thus decreasing interest rates. These shifts include an increase in life expectancy, a decrease in retirement age, and a decline in the growth rate of population.

Others, including Summers, point out that stagnation in capital formation (or accumulation) can be attributed to a decrease in the demand for loanable funds for investment. One mainstream explanation offered for this is that today’s new technologies and companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, require far less capital investment. Another hypothesis is that there has been an important decrease in the demand for loanable funds, although they argue this is due to a preference for safe assets. These factors can function together to keep the real interest rate very low. The policy implication of secular low interest rates is that monetary policy is more difficult to implement effectually; during a recession, it is weakened and can even become ineffectual.

Edward Glaeser, focusing on “secular joblessness,” places severe doubt on the first pillar of MISS, but then makes a very important additional argument. Glaeser rejects the notion that there has been a slowdown in technological innovation; innovation is simply “unrelenting.” Likewise, he is far less concerned with secular low real interest rates, which may be far more cyclical. “Therefore,” contends Glaeser, “stagnation is likely to be temporary.”

Nonetheless, Glaeser underscores secular joblessness, and thus the dysfunction of U.S. labor markets constitutes a fourth pillar of MISS: “The dysfunction in the labour market is real and serious, and seems unlikely to be solved by any obvious economic trend.” Somehow, then, the problem is due to a misfit of skills or “human capital” on the side of workers, who thus need retraining. “The massive secular trend in joblessness is a terrible social problem for the US, and one that the country must try to address” with targeted policy.11 Glaeser’s argument for the dysfunction of U.S. labor markets is based on recession-generated shocks to employment, specifically of less-skilled U.S. workers. After 1970, when workers lost their job, the damage to human capital became permanent. In short, when human capital depreciates due to unemployment, overall abilities and “talent” are “lost” permanently. This may be because the skills required in today’s economy need to be constantly practiced to be retained. Thus, there is a ratchet-like effect in joblessness caused by recessions, whereby recession-linked joblessness is not fully reversed during recoveries—and all this is related to skills (the human capital of the workers), and not to capital itself. According to Glaeser, the ratchet-like effect of recession-linked joblessness is further exacerbated by the U.S. social-safety net, which has “made joblessness less painful and increased the incentives to stay out of work.”12

Glaeser contends that, if his secular joblessness argument is correct, the macroeconomic fiscal interventions argued for by Summers and Krugman are off-base.13 Instead, the safety net should be redesigned in order to encourage rather than discourage people from working. Additionally, incentives to work need to be radically improved through targeted investments in education and workforce training.14 Such views within the mainstream debate, emphasizing exogenous factors, are generally promoted by freshwater (conservative) rather than saltwater (liberal) economists. Thus, they tend to emphasize supply-side or cost factors.

The fifth pillar of MISS contends that output and productivity growth are stagnant due to a failure to invest in infrastructure, education, and training. Nearly all versions of MISS subscribe to some version of this, although there are both conservative and liberal variations. Barry Eichengreen underscores this pillar and condemns recent U.S. fiscal developments that have “cut to the bone” federal government spending devoted to infrastructure, education, and training.

The fifth pillar of MISS necessarily reflects an imbalance between public and private investment spending. Many theorists maintain that the imbalance between public and private investment spending, hence secular stagnation, “is not inevitable.” For example, Eichengreen contends if “the US experiences secular stagnation, the condition will be self-inflicted. It will reflect the country’s failure to address its infrastructure, education and training needs. It will reflect its failure to…support aggregate demand in an effort to bring the long-term unemployed back into the labour market.”15

The sixth pillar of MISS argues that the “debt overhang” from the overleveraging of financial firms and households, as well as private and public indebtedness, are a serious drag on the economy. This position has been argued for most forcefully by several colleagues of Summers at Harvard, most notably Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.16 Atif Mian and Amir Sufi also argue that household indebtedness was the primary culprit causing the economic collapse of 2007–2008. Their policy recommendation is that the risk to mortgage borrowers must be reduced to avoid future calamities.17

As noted, the defenders of MISS do not necessarily support a compatibility between the above six pillars: those favored by conservatives are supply-side and exogenous in emphasis, while liberals tend towards demand-side and endogenous ones. Instead, most often these pillars are developed as competing theories to explain the warrant of some aspect of secular stagnation, and/or to defend particular policy positions while criticizing alternative policy positions. However, the concern here is not whether there is the possibility for a synthesis of mainstream views. Rather, the emphasis is on how partial and separate such explanations are, both individually and in combination.

Neoliberal economy actually needs bubbles to function

As Krugman said "We now know that the economic expansion of 2003-2007 was driven by a bubble. You can say the same about the latter part of the 90s expansion; and you can in fact say the same about the later years of the Reagan expansion, which was driven at that point by runaway thrift institutions and a large bubble in commercial real estate." In other words blowing bubbles is the fundamental way neoliberal economy functions, not an anomaly.

As much as the USA population is accustomed to hypocrisy of the ruling elite and is brainwashed by MSM, this news, delivered to them personally by the crisis of 2008 was too much for them not question the fundamentals (A Primer on Neoliberalism):

Of course, the irony that those same institutions would now themselves agree that those “anti-capitalist” regulations are required is of course barely noted. Such options now being considered are not anti-capitalist. However, they could be described as more regulatory or managed rather than completely free or laissez faire capitalism, which critics of regulation have often preferred.

But a regulatory capitalist economy is very different to a state-based command economy, the style of which the Soviet Union was known for. The points is that there are various forms of capitalism, not just the black-and-white capitalism and communism. And at the same time, the most extreme forms of capitalism can also lead to the bigger bubbles and the bigger busts.

In that context, the financial crisis, as severe as it was, led to key architects of the system admitting to flaws in key aspects of the ideology.

At the end of 2008, Alan Greenspan was summoned to the U.S. Congress to testify about the financial crisis. His tenure at the Federal Reserve had been long and lauded, and Congress wanted to know what had gone wrong. Henry Waxman questioned him:

[Greenspan’s flaw] warped his view about how the world was organized, about the sociology of the market. And Greenspan is not alone. Larry Summers, the president’s senior economic advisor, has had to come to terms with a similar error—his view that the market was inherently self-stabilizing has been “dealt a fatal blow.” Hank Paulson, Bush’s treasury secretary, has shrugged his shoulders with similar resignation. Even Jim Cramer from CNBC’s Mad Money admitted defeat: “The only guy who really called this right was Karl Marx.” One after the other, the celebrants of the free market are finding themselves, to use the language of the market, corrected.

Raj Patel, Flaw PDF formatted document, The Value of Nothing, (Picador, 2010), pp.4, 6-7

Now for the second time in history, the challenge is to save capitalism from itself

Now for the second time in history, the challenge is to save capitalism from itself: to recognize the great strengths of open, competitive markets while rejecting the extreme capitalism and unrestrained greed that have perverted so much of the global financial system in recent times. It took such a statesman as Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rebuild American capitalism after the Great Depression. New Deal policies allowed to rebuild postwar domestic demand, to engineer the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and to set in place the Bretton Woods system to govern international economic engagement.

With the abolishment of those policies blowing of one bubble after another, each followed by a financial crisis  became standard chain of the events. Since 1973 we already have a half-dozen bubbles following by economic crisis. It started with  Savings and loan crisis which partially was caused by the deregulation of S&Ls in 1980, by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act signed by President Jimmy Carter on March 31, 1980, an important step is a series that eliminated regulations initially designed to prevent lending excesses and minimize failures.

To hide this unpleasant fact neoliberals resort to so called the Great Neoliberal Lie:

What is neoliberalism

The fallacious and utterly misleading argument that the global economic crisis (credit crunch) was caused by excessive state spending, rather than by the reckless gambling of the deregulated, neoliberalized financial sector.

Just as with other pseudo-scientific theories and fundamentalist ideologies, the excuse that "we just weren't fundamentalist enough last time" is always there. The neoliberal pushers of the establishment know that pure free-market economies are as much of an absurd fairytale as 100% pure communist economies, however they keep pushing for further privatizations, tax cuts for the rich, wage repression for the ordinary, and reckless financial sector deregulations precisely because they are the direct beneficiaries of these policies. Take the constantly widening wealth gap in the UK throughout three decades of neoliberal policy. The minority of beneficiaries from this ever widening wealth gap are the business classes, financial sector workers, the mainstream media elite and the political classes. It is no wonder at all that these people think neoliberalism is a successful ideology. Within their bubbles of wealth and privilege it has been. To everyone else it has been an absolute disaster.

Returning to a point I raised earlier in the article; one of the main problems with the concept of "neoliberalism" is the nebulousness of the definition. It is like a form of libertarianism, however it completely neglects the fundamental libertarian idea of non-aggression. In fact, it is so closely related to that other (highly aggressive) US born political ideology of Neo-Conservatism that many people get the two concepts muddled up. A true libertarian would never approve of vast taxpayer funded military budgets, the waging of imperialist wars of aggression nor the wanton destruction of the environment in pursuit of profit.

Another concept that is closely related to neoliberalism is the ideology of minarchism (small stateism), however the neoliberal brigade seem perfectly happy to ignore the small-state ideology when it suits their personal interests. Take the vast banker bailouts (the biggest state subsidies in human history) that were needed to save the neoliberalised global financial sector from the consequences of their own reckless gambling, the exponential growth of the parasitic corporate outsourcing sector (corporations that make virtually 100% of their turnover from the state) and the ludicrous housing subsidies (such as "Help to Buy and Housing Benefits) that have fueled the reinflation of yet another property Ponzi bubble.

The Godfather of neoliberalism was Milton Friedman. He made the case that illegal drugs should be legalised in order to create a free-market drug trade, which is one of the very few things I agreed with him about. However this is politically inconvenient (because the illegal drug market is a vital source of financial sector liquidity) so unlike so many of his neoliberal ideas that have consistently failed, yet remain incredibly popular with the wealthy elite, Friedman's libertarian drug legalisation proposals have never even been tried out.

The fact that neoliberals are so often prepared to ignore the fundamental principles of libertarianism (the non-aggression principle, drug legalisation, individual freedoms, the right to peaceful protest ...) and abuse the fundamental principles of small state minarchism (vast taxpayer funded bailouts for their financial sector friends, £billions in taxpayer funded outsourcing contracts, alcohol price fixing schemes) demonstrate that neoliberalism is actually more like Ayn Rand's barmy (greed is the only virtue, all other "virtues" are aberrations) pseudo-philosophical ideology of objectivism  than a set of formal economic theories.

The result of neoliberal economic theories has been proven time and again. Countries that embrace the neoliberal pseudo-economic ideology end up with "crony capitalism", where the poor and ordinary suffer "austerity", wage repression, revocation of labor rights and the right to protest, whilst a tiny cabal of corporate interests and establishment insiders enrich themselves via anti-competitive practices, outright criminality and corruption and vast socialism-for-the-rich schemes.

Neoliberal fanatics in powerful positions have demonstrated time and again that they will willingly ditch their right-wing libertarian and minarchist "principles" if those principles happen to conflict with their own personal self-interest. Neoliberalism is less of a formal set of economic theories than an error strewn obfuscation narrative to promote the economic interests, and  justify the personal greed of the wealthy, self-serving establishment elite.

Bubbles as the neoliberal tool for wealth redistribution

The 1930s, a well researched period of balance-sheet recession, provides some interesting perspective despite large historical distance.  Roosevelt was no socialist, but his New Deal did frighten many businesses, especially large business which BTW attempted a coupe to remove him from is position. Fortunately for Roosevelt CIA did not exist yet.  And New Deal  government projects has been much bigger and bolder, then anything Obama ever tried, because Obama administration was constrained in its action by dominant neoliberal thinking. Like regulatory capture, which is an immanent feature of neoliberalism,  there is also less known and less visible ideological capture of the government. Which also makes neoliberalism more similar to bolshevism as this ideological capture and related inability of the USSR elite to modernize the economy on some "mixed" principles, when over-centralization stopped working. It, along with the collapse of the ideology,  probably was one of the main reasons of the collapse of the USSR.  Chinese leadership managed to do this and introduced "new economic policies"(NEP). 

Uner New deal regime when public investment and hence aggregate demand expanded, the economy started to grow anyway. Roosevelt did have a vision and he did convince the electorate about the way to go. Cheap optimism of Reagan, or even audacity of hope "Obama style" were not enough. After all, as Francis Bacon may remind us: “Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper” (Apophthegms, 1624).

Obama/Bernanke-style attempts to stimulate growth by pure injection of cheap money in this environment not only inflate new bubbles instead of old one, with which the fighting starts. They also lead to massive redistribution of wealth that makes the problem even worse:

Paul Krugman tells us that Larry Summers joined the camp concerned about secular stagnation in his I.M.F. talk last week, something that I had not picked up from prior coverage of the session. This is good news, but I would qualify a few of the points that Krugman makes in his elaboration of Summers' remarks.

First, while the economy may presently need asset bubbles to maintain full employment (a point I made in Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy), it doesn't follow that we should not be concerned about asset bubbles. The problem with bubbles is that their inflation and inevitable deflation lead to massive redistribution of wealth.

Larry Summers was the first establishment economist who conceded that this is the fact (Wikipedia)

... Larry Summers presented his view during November 2013 that secular (long-term) stagnation may be a reason that U.S. growth is insufficient to reach full employment: "Suppose then that the short term real interest rate that was consistent with full employment [i.e., the "natural rate"] had fallen to negative two or negative three percent. Even with artificial stimulus to demand you wouldn't see any excess demand. Even with a resumption in normal credit conditions you would have a lot of difficulty getting back to full employment."[13][14]

Robert J. Gordon wrote in August 2012:

"Even if innovation were to continue into the future at the rate of the two decades before 2007, the U.S. faces six headwinds that are in the process of dragging long-term growth to half or less of the 1.9 percent annual rate experienced between 1860 and 2007. These include demography, education, inequality, globalization, energy/environment, and the overhang of consumer and government debt. A provocative 'exercise in subtraction' suggests that future growth in consumption per capita for the bottom 99 percent of the income distribution could fall below 0.5 percent per year for an extended period of decades".[15]

One hypothesis is that high levels of productivity greater than the economic growth rate are creating economic slack, in which fewer workers are required to meet the demand for goods and services. Firms have less incentive to invest and instead prefer to hold cash. Journalist Marco Nappolini wrote in November 2013:

 "If the expected return on investment over the short term is presumed to be lower than the cost of holding cash then even pushing interest rates to zero will have little effect. That is, if you cannot push real interest rates below the so-called short run natural rate [i.e., the rate of interest required to achieve the growth rate necessary to achieve full employment] you will struggle to bring forward future consumption, blunting the short run effectiveness of monetary policy...Moreover, if you fail to bring it below the long run natural rate there is a strong disincentive to increase fixed capital investment and a consequent preference to hold cash or cash-like instruments in an attempt to mitigate risk. This could cause longer-term hysteresis effects and reduce an economy's potential output."[13] 

Cost of energy as a defining new factor

The cost of energy is probably another reason of secular stagnation along with excessive public and private debt. Rising cost of energy is deadly for capitalism.  Here are some comments that might clarify the situation:


This is the biggest crybaby column Krugman's ever written. He should be ashamed of himself and return his Nobel prize immediately. Has he ever put down Keynes long enough to read a little Marx?  Here's Robert Brenner summing it up in 2009:

 What mainly accounts for the long-term weakening of the real economy is a deep, and lasting, decline of the rate of return on capital investment since the end of the 1960s.

The failure of the rate of profit to recover is all the more remarkable, in view of the huge drop-off in the growth of real wages over the period.

The main cause, though not the only cause, of the decline in the rate of profit has been a persistent tendency to overcapacity in global manufacturing industries."

 There's more, too. Instead of siding with crackpot Summers, Krugman should expand his research and be of some use to us all.


I am not sure that it is correct to think about public debt as internal debt. It's all about energy.

That means that public debt is to a large extent foreign due to unalterable oil consumption (and related trade deficits). And that completely changes the situation unless you are the owner of the world reserve currency.

But even in the latter case (exorbitant privilege as Valéry Giscard d'Estaing called it ) you can expect attacks on the status of the currency as world reserve currency. The growth is still supported via militarization, forced opening of foreign markets (with military force, if necessary) and conversion of the state into national security state. But as Napoleon admitted "You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them"

One positive thing about high public (and to a large extent foreign owned) debt in the USA is that it undermines what Bacevich called "new American militarism" ( Bacevich argues that this is distinct political course adopted by the "defense intellectuals," the evangelicals, and the neocons. And they will never regret their failed efforts such as Iraq invasion.

From Amazon review:

=== Quote ===

Bacevich clearly links our present predicaments both at home and abroad to the ever greater need for natural resources, especially oil from the Persian Gulf. He demolishes all of the reasons for our bellicosity based on ideals and links it directly to our insatiable appetite for oil and economic expansion. Naturally, like thousands of writers before him, he points out the need for a national energy policy based on more effective use of resources and alternative means of production.

=== End of Quote ==

Heinberg's Five Axioms of Sustainability

As Heinberg explained fossil fuels, primarily oil, permeate every aspect of our modern culture - from agriculture to cities and a long-term perspective. In the age of almost 7 billion people demanding more and more of limited resources, the media, politicians and governments tend to only report short-term perspectives and ignore Heinberg's Five Axioms of Sustainability to the extent that these concepts are taboo to be spoken, discussed or thought (Heinberg, Richard (2007) Five Axioms of Sustainability):

1. (Tainter’s Axiom): Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse.

Exception: A society can avoid collapse by finding replacement resources.

Limit to the exception: In a finite world, the number of possible replacements is also finite.


2. (Bartlett’s Axiom): Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained.


3. To be sustainable, the use of renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is less than or equal to the rate of natural replenishment.


4. To be sustainable, the use of non-renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is declining, and the rate of decline must be greater than or equal to the rate of depletion.

The rate of depletion is defined as the amount being extracted and used during a specified time interval (usually a year) as a percentage of the amount left to extract.


5. Sustainability requires that substances introduced into the environment from human activities be minimized and rendered harmless to biosphere functions.

In cases where pollution from the extraction and consumption of non-renewable resources that has proceeded at expanding rates for some time threatens the viability of ecosystems, reduction in the rates of extraction and consumption of those resources may need to occur at a rate greater than the rate of depletion. 

Archaeologist Joseph Tainter, in his classic study The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988), demonstrated that collapse is a frequent if not universal fate of complex societies and argued that collapse results from declining returns on efforts to support growing levels of societal complexity using energy harvested from the environment.  Jared Diamond’s popular book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005) similarly  makes the argument that collapse is the common destiny of societies that ignore resourse constraints. This axiom defines sustainability by the consequences of its absence—that is, collapse.

Historical periods of stagnation in the United States

Adapted from Wikipedia

Excluding the current, there were two period of stagnation in the USA history:

Construction of structures, residential, commercial and industrial, fell off dramatically during the depression, but housing was well on its way to recovering by the late 1930s.[17]

The depression years were the period of the highest total factor productivity growth in the United States, primarily to the building of roads and bridges, abandonment of unneeded railroad track and reduction in railroad employment, expansion of electric utilities and improvements wholesale and retail distribution.[17]

The war created pent up demand for many items as factories that once produced automobiles and other machinery converted to production of tanks, guns, military vehicles and supplies. Tires had been rationed due to shortages of natural rubber; however, the U.S. government built synthetic rubber plants. The U.S. government also built synthetic ammonia plants, aluminum smelters, aviation fuel refineries and aircraft engine factories during the war.[17] After the war commercial aviation, plastics and synthetic rubber would become major industries and synthetic ammonia was used for fertilizer. The end of armaments production free up hundreds of thousands of machine tools, which were made available for other industries. They were needed in the rapidly growing aircraft manufacturing industry.[18]

The memory of war created a need for preparedness in the United States. This resulted in constant spending for defense programs, creating what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.

U.S. birth rates began to recover by the time of World War II, and turned into the baby boom of the postwar decades. A building boom commenced in the years following the war. Suburbs began a rapid expansion and automobile ownership increased.[17]

High-yielding crops and chemical fertilizers dramatically increased crop yields and greatly lowered the cost of food, giving consumers more discretionary income. Railroad locomotives switched from steam to diesel power, with a large increase in fuel efficiency. Most importantly, cheap food essentially eliminated malnutrition in countries like the United States and much of Europe.

Many trends that began before the war continued:

Researchers who contributed to understating secular stagnation

One of the first researchers who clearly attributed secular stagnation problem to neoliberalism was Alan Nasser, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. In his September 22, 2005 paper  ECONOMIC LAWS, STRUCTURAL TENDENCIES, SECULAR STAGNATION THEORY, AND THE FATE OF NEOLIBERALISM  he pointed out the key features of secular stagnation long before Summers started to understand the problem  and even befor the economic crash of 2008 ;-)

September 22, 2005 |

Alan Nasser Invited presentation, University of Lille,

"We have now grown used to the idea that most ordinary or natural growth processes (the growth of organisms, or popu- lations of organisms or, for example, of cities) is not merely limited, but self-limited, i.e. is slowed down or eventually brought to a standstill as a consequence of the act of growth itself. For one reason or another, but always for some reason, organisms cannot grow indefinitely, just as beyond a certain level of size or density a population defeats its own capacity for further growth."

Sir Peter Medawar, The Revolution of Hope

"A business firm grows and attains great strength, and afterwards perhaps stagnates and decays; and at the turning point there is a balancing or equilibrium of the forces of life and decay. And as we reach to the higher stages of our work, we shall need ever more and more to think of economic forces as those which make a young man grow in strength until he reaches his prime; after which he gradually becomes stiff and inactive, till at last he sinks to make room for other and more vigorous life."

Alfred Marshall, Principals of Economics (1890)

"Though Keynes's 'breakdown theory is quite different from Marx's, it has an important feature in common with the latter: in both theories, the breakdown is motivated by causes inherent to the working of the economic engine, not by the action of factors external to it."

Joseph Schumpeter, Ten Great Economists

In this paper I shall address two major issues. Firstly, I shall discuss the implications for economic theory of a conception of economic laws widely at variance with the empiricist and/or positivist account of what laws are, how they are discovered, and how they are related to theory. At the same time, I will reject one cornerstone of anti-positivist thought, namely the idea that one cannot provide an account of laws that is fundamentally the same for the natural and the social sciences. Thus, I shall argue that an anti-positivist account of laws is entirely compatible with a conception of scientific laws that applies to both the "hard" (natural) and the "soft" (social) sciences. I shall defend this position by showing its application to economics and economic laws. In doing so, I will compare and contrast both natural-scientific (primarily physical) laws and social-scientific (primarily economic) laws. Secondly, I will argue that perhaps the most significant economic law descriptive of mature capitalism is the law of secular stagnation. The latter states that it is the natural tendency of a developed, industrialized capitalist economy to default to a state of chronic excess capacity and underconsumption. And this is itself a result of the tendency in advanced capitalism for the economic surplus (roughly, the difference between the Gross Domectic Product and the cost of producing the GDP) to grow at a rate more rapid than the growth of profitable industrial investment opportunities. In the course of my discussion I will use the United States as a paradigm case, Much as Marx attempted to identify the underlying features of the accumulation process by reference to England during the Industrial Revulution.

This has in fact been the state of global capital since the end of the "Golden Age" and the commencement of the age of globalized Reaganism/Thatcherism, i.e. the Age of Neoliberalism. I date the transition as commencing in 1973, the last year of post-War Keynesian growth rates in the USA. In fact, I will argue, neoliberal economic policy exacerbates capitalism'a tendency to stagnation. Let me begin with an account of economic laws.


On the Humean or radical empiricist (positivist) account of laws, the latter are descriptions of observed regularities. Presumably, the scientist observes a "constant conjunction" of different kinds of happening, and infers from the regularity of the conjunction that the latter could not be merely accidental, and so concludes that the observed pattern of regularities must be nomological or law-like. 'Sodium chloride dissolves in water' and 'Metal expands when heated' would be simple examples of the results of this account of how laws of nature are discovered.

That this empiricist account is flawed becomes evident when we consider full-fledged laws of a genuine natural science, e.g. physics. I emphasize that laws are components of theories, which themselves are constitutive of established scientific disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, and biology. In fact, the two "laws" mentioned at the end of the preceding paragraph are not laws of physics at all. Among the genuine laws of physics is, e.g., 'Falling bodies near the surface of the earth accelerate at a constant rate.' This law is certainly not established by the observation of repeated conjunctions of events. On the contrary, actually observed falling bodies in "open systems", that is, in the circumstances of everyday life, conspicuously fail to conform to this law. Yet this is not taken to refute the law. For the law describes the behavior of bodies in a vacuum, that is to say, in a "closed system", one created by the scientist, typically in a laboratory situation. Philosophers of science have tended to ignore the distinction between regularities observed only in closed systems, and conjunctions observed in everyday life, which, as such, have no value as contributions to scientific knowledge. These philosophers have, accordingly, written as if the regularities in question were features of open systems, of nature. This confusion impedes our understanding of all types of laws, from physical to economic.

This failure –until relatively recently- of philosophers of science to properly attend to the importance of laboratory work in the acquisition of scientific knowledge is due to the fact that these philosophers have focused almost exclusively on science as established theory, i.e. as a way of representing the world. They had ignored how these theories were actually established. That is, they paid little attention to experiment, which is a way of intervening in the world. This inattention to what happens in closed systems created in the laboratory led thinkers to miss the importance of the concept of tendencies or dispositions in grasping the concept of a law of science. Let us dwell on this point and its relation to economic laws.

It is not that our knowledge of natural laws is not based on observed regularities. The point, rather, is that these regularities are not found in nature. They are found in closed systems, elaborately designed experimental circumstances found in laboratories. Yet, we correctly believe that what we learn in experimental situations gives us knowledge that is not confined to these situations. We believe that what we learn from observations of repeated patterns in experiments gives us not only knowledge of the behavior of objects in laboratory circumstances, but also knowledge of these same (kinds of) objects as they behave in nature, in the open systems of everyday life. But scientifically significant repeated patterns are not found in the world of daily life. This raises profound epistemological and ontological questions.

The most significant epistemological question arises from the following consideration: Were it not for the intervention of the experimenter, closed-system regularities would not obtain. Hence, the experimenter is a causal agent of the pattern of regularities observed in the laboratory. It is these contrived conjunctions which we invoke to justify our belief in (usually causal) laws. And while these regularities are the (partial) result of the intervention of the experimenter, we do not believe that the experimenter in any way originates the laws whose existence is attested to by the contrived regularities. The question therefore arises: What justifies our (correct) belief that knowledge obtained in closed laboratory systems designed by an agent applies also in open systems, i.e. in nature, which of course is not designed by scientists and does not evidence the regularities found under designed experimental circumstances?

I want to suggest that this question comes to the same as the following question: What must nature be like, and what must experiment reveal, in order for experimental knowledge to be able to be legitimately extended to the world outside of the laboratory, i.e. to nature? Note that this is a Realist question: it asks what we must presuppose about the constitution of the world in order that our experimentally-based scientific beliefs be justified. This is the precise Realist counterpart to Kant's Idealist question: What must we presoppose our minds –as opposed to nature or the world- to be like in order for scientific knowledge to be possible? I will argue that the answer to our Realist question provides the conceptual resources to elucidate the general nature of economic laws and economic theory, and the nature of the subject matter investigated by economists.

I will argue that since we believe that what we learn by experimental observation justifies our claim to knowledge of the experimental objects as they behave in nature, we must assume that these objects possess natural structures, similar to what Aristotle and the scholastics called "natures" or "essences." A natural structure must be conceived as what Critical Realists call a generative mechanism (hereafter, GM). The latter is a specific mode of material organization. What GMs generate are tendencies or dispositions to behave in characteristic ways. The statement that a physical thing or a social institution or structure tends to generate characteristic regularities is a statement of a law. The natural structure of salt, expressed in chemistry as HCl, is such that when it is mixed with water, whose natural structure or organization is expressed as H2O, it tends to dissolve. Gases tend to expand when heated and falling bodies near the surface of the earth tend to accelerate at a constant rate. These are statements of chemical and physical laws. We shall see that precisely the same kind of analysis can be made of laws in economics.

Tendencies are not the same as trends. The latter are merely observed regularities; there need be no implication that an underlying structural feature of the thing in question generates the regularity. This feature of laws is reflected in ordinary language in non-scientific contexts: we might say "He has a tendency to exaggerate." We mean that a disposition to exaggerate is a natural expression of his underlying character. We do not usually mean that he exaggerates whenever it is possible for him to exaggerate. This is part of the meaning of 'tendency.' Thus, tendencies can exist without being exercised. This happens when, e.g. salt is not mixed with water. Salt's nomological tendency to dissolve in water remains its categorical property even in the absence of circumstances in which its tendency to dissolve can be exercised. In addition, tendencies can be exercised without being realized. This is the case in the natural sciences when we observe, in non-laboratory situations, falling bodies accelerating at different rates. Indeed, no falling body in open systems is observed to accelerate at a constant or the same rate. But of course this is not taken to falsify the law of falling bodies. In nature, GMs continue to act in their characteristic ways without producing the patterned outcomes observable in closed experimental systems. This is so because in nature a multiplicity of GMs combine, interact and collide such as to result in the (scientifically irrelevant) flux of phenomena of the everyday world. The realization of a natural tendency can, in other words, be offset by counteracting forces. Thus, empiricism's mistake is to fail to recognize that GMs operate independent of the effects they generate. That is, GMs endure and go on acting (in the way that experimental closure enables us to identify) in nature, i.e. in open systems, where patterned regularities do not prevail. Statements about tendencies are not equivalent, salva veritate, to statements about their effects. Laws may exist and exercise their tendencies or powers even though no Humean "constant conjunctions" are observed. (This would be the case if it happened that the practice of creating closed experimental conditions had never been engaged in, i.e. in a world without science.)


GMs are not confined to the natural world. Natural structures are not the only structures there are. Plainly, there are humanely constructed structures. Capitalism is one such structure. Structures of this kind, GMs, that are dynamic by nature, i.e. which are characteristically diachronic, be they natural or socially constituted, share the same ontology. This should not be confused with the radical empiricist (positivist) claim that the natural and the social sciences share the same method. Clearly they do not: closed experimental situations exist but are not typical i istic outcomes ceteris paribus, ie. other things being equal, i.e. ceteris absentibus, other things being absent. When we identify the tendency of a thing, we specify what will happen, as a matter of course, if interfering conditions are absent. That is the point of vacuums in the closed systems created in laboratory experiments: they permit exercised tendencies, i.e. tendencies in operation, to be realized. If we want to know what gases tend to do when acted upon by heat, we eliminate all potential counteracting forces by creating a vacuum in the chamber, so that both gas and heat can express their natures unimpeded.

Thus, implicit in both physical- and social-scientific practice is the crucial distinction between the exercise and the realization (or manifestation) of a tendency. This distinction is essential to structural analysis in economics because of the impossibility of creating the social equivalent of a vacuum in the social sciences, which deal with the open systems of everyday life, where a great many forces and tendencies collide. Accordingly, just as the law of the tendency of falling bodies to accelerate at a constant rate is not falsified by the failure of falling bodies to behave accordingly in open systems, so too, e.g., the law of the tendency of the growth of productive capacity to outpace the growth of profitable investment opportunities -the thesis of secular stagnation theory- is not undermined by the remarkable growth rates of the Golden Age. In both cases, the presence of offsetting factors prevents the structurally generated tendency from being realized or manifested. I argue that the same can be said for any putative economic law.

In social science –and this is most conspicuous in economics, the most theoretically developed of the human sciences- we compensate for the absence of experimentally closed systems by constructing their functional equivalent, which we might call, in terms redolent of Weber, an ideal-typical theoretical model. It is an unfortunate habit (perhaps a tendency in the above-elaborated sense…) of mainstream economists to employ these models as if they described the open-system observable facts of economic life. This is, I suspect, a consequence of the economic empiricist's mistake referred to above, namely to think that GMs, if they must be spoken of at all, are to be conceived as reducible to their effects. (Recall Hume's claim, inspired by his reading of Newton, to expunge all notions of "power", "generation" and "production" from his analyses.) But, as noted above, GMs in both the social and the natural sciences employ unrealistic models, i.e. models which do not pretend to offer the equivalent of a photographic representation of the world. In both natural-scientific experiments and social-scientific ideal-type models, an attempt is made to abstract from the nonessential. We seek to place the spotlight of theory on what is necessary to the situation, system or institution under investigation, and to prescind from the arbitrary and accidental. In economics we seek to identify those features of capitalism that make it what it is. This enables us to identify capitalism's distinct and characteristic tendencies, and to describe what will happen as a result of the exercise of these tendencies, ceteris absentibus.

That there are such tendencies seems to me to be uncontroversial. We all know, for example, that cyclical downturns are not mere empirical contingencies of capitalist development, but structurally generated tendencies which follow inexorably from the specific mode of organization (structure) of capitalism. And like all tendencies, their realization can be offset, as we have seen above, by counteracting factors, such as fiscal and monetary policy. Other examples would be what Marx called the tendencies of capital to concentrate and centralize. The tendency, and corresponding law, with which I will be primarily concerned in this paper is constitutive of the theory of secular stagnation, and is far more likely than the immediately foregoing examples to generate controversy. I refer to the tendency of mature capitalism to suffer from a chronic paucity of profitable industrial investment opportunities, relative to the great magnitude of its investable surplus. Let us look more closely at this tendency.


It is worth mentioning that the view that the continuous accumulation of capital is both essential to the normal development of capitalist societies and essentially self-limiting was held by virtually all of the major modern political economists, in the form of one version or another of the doctrine of the falling rate of profit. Adam Smith explained the secular decline of the profit rate by the increasing abundance of capital in a developing capitalist society. Ricardo and Mill believed that the rate of profit would be depressed by the diminishing productivity of the land which would drive up the price of wage goods and therefore of the wages of labor, and so drive down the profits of capital. Marx pointed to the increasing capital-intensity of industry and the paucity of working-class purchasing power relative to the productive capacity of the economy, as the principal threat to the profit rate. And Keynes held that in mature capitalist economies the "marginal efficiency of capital", i.e. the expected rate of return (over cost) on an additional unit of a given capital asset, would tend to decline. All these thinkers had an at least intuitive appreciation of the fact that the growth of capital tends to be terminally self-limiting. (It is worth citing a remark of Joseph Shumpeter at this point:

"Though Keynes's 'breakdown theory is quite different from Marx's, it has an important feature in common with the latter: in both theories, the breakdown is motivated by causes inherent to the working of the economic engine, not by the action of factors external to it.")

In my estimation, no one understood the underlying dynamics of the tendency to stagnation better than the Polish economist Michal Kalecki, who is known to have developed the essentials of Keynes's General Theory before Keynes himself (and to have produced far more elegant mathematical formulations thereof). Perhaps the best way to understand Kalecki's thought is to see him as having argued that certain features of a not-yet-mature industrializing economy persist after the process of industrialization has been accomplished, with the effect that the developed capitalist economy is saddled with a problem of chronic excess capacity. Let me sketch this train of thought.

In the course of their natural growth capitalist economies reach a level of industrial development characterizable as maturity, a point beyond which growth must either cease, or be sustained by exogenous (in a sense to be elucidated below) means. Straight away we are confronted with a rejection of an assumption that is implicit in mainstream neoclassical theory, viz. that both the supply and the demand curves shift, virtually automatically, to the right. On the stagnationist conceptualization of growth or development, the process of development is not everlasting, but rather is at some point accomplished. There is the period, industrialization, during which the economy is developing, and which culminates in a (finally) industrialized or developed infrastructure. At this stage there will have been built up, or "accumulated", a complement of plant and equipment in steel production, machine tools, power stations, transport systems, etc., that is capable of satisfying a level of consumption demand consistent with the moral limits of a reasonably civilized style of life, the constraints imposed by a finite fund of natural resources, and, most importantly for stagnation theory, the limited possibilities of what Marx called "expanded reproduction" imposed by the accumulation process itself.

This account point can be expanded as follows. During any period of industrialization, the growth of the capital goods industry (hereafter, following Marx, Department I, or DI) must outpace the growth of the consumption goods industries (hereafter, again following Marx, Department II, or DII). Indeed, it belongs to the nature of the process of industrialization that the demand for the output of DI cannot be a function of the behavior of consumption demand; during industrialization, investment demand is both rapid and relatively autonomous. For if the principal project is to develop the means of production, then a disproportionate share of national wealth must be devoted to investment/accumulation at the expense of consumption. Strategic capital goods such as transport and communications networks and steel mills cannot be built bit by bit. This is clear with respect to railroads (Recall Keynes's remark that "Two pyramids are better than one, and two masses for the dead better than one; but two railroads from London to York are not necessarily better than one."), but perhaps not as clear with respect to steel facilities.

Suppose 1) that the efficient production of steel requires equipment with the capacity to produce 200,000 tons of steel, and 2) that demand turns out to be for 300,000 tons. The investor has two alternatives, either to forgo an extra market or to take a chance and add another 200.000 tons. On the second alternative, the one virtually assured in a period of (rapid) industrialization, the manufacturer is left with a surplus capacity of 100,000 tons. Here we see, writ small, a crucial source of two basic tendencies of capitalist development, the unrelenting pressure to expand markets, and the tendency to overproduction of a specific kind, namely the overproduction of capital goods, the tendency to overaccumulation. Each of these tendencies is the basis of a corresponding law of economics: Wherever we find a competitive, profit-driven market economy, we must also find a system-driven tendency to expand markets, and: Wherever we find a competitive, profit-driven market economy, we must also find a system-driven tendency for the growth of productive capacity to outpace the growth of effective demand.

As we have seen, all the major classical political economists anticipated the stationary state; they all assumed that the period of development or industrialization would come to an end. Basic industries would be in place, and DI would be capable of meeting all the replacement and expansion demands of DII. Prescinding for the moment from the emergence of new industries, DI would no longer be a source of substantial expansion demand for its own output; most of DI's internal expansion demand would be extinct.

But this is not th hread of classical (and perhaps neoclassical) theory contains the assurance that the capitalist economy provides a mechanism that in the long run counteracts the tendency of the demand for the products of DI to peter out. As one might expect, this is the price mechanism, which brings about, in the circumstances described above, a falling rate of profit (or interest) and thereby a simultaneous check on accumulation and spur to consumption. The causal chain is simple: the fall of the profit rate would lower capital's share of national income, i.e. it would transfer income from capital to labor. Thus, the demand gap created by the sharp waning of DI's expansion demand would be made up by the increase in consumption demand, which would of course mean an expansion in the demand for the output of DII. Moreover, an immediate expansion of DII at the expense of DI in order to assure a rapid transition out of the stationary state would be entirely feasible given the adaptability of certain key industries in DI to new market conditions resulting from the newly-expanded purchasing power of the working class. The construction of new factories could, for example, yield to the construction of new homes.

The theoretical elegance of this scenario is impressive -almost inspirational- but, alas for illusions, the price mechanism does not work this way. For the above-mentioned transfer in national income from capital to labor is supposed to happen when industrialization comes to an end by virtue of its having been accomplished. But from the capitalists' perspective, it is as if nothing counts as industrialization coming to an end. New industries, for example, can create a situation functionally equivalent to industrialization. "Accumulate, accumulate, that is Moses and the prophets."

We have at this point arrived at a picture of a developed capitalist economy which is in a state of permanent industrialization. Excess capacity prevails and working-class income is stagnant or declining. Interestingly, this has in fact been the state of both the U.S. and the global economy since 1973. According to the foregoing analysis, this reflects the fact that the U.S. and global economies are now instances not merely of the exercise of the law of the tendency of mature capitalism to stagnate, but of its realization. To put it differently: these economies are now in their natural state.

But important questions immediately arise. Why are these economies in their natural state now? And if there is a structurally generated tendency for capitalist economies to stagnate, how shall we account for the historically unprecedented growth rates of the Golden Age? I have barely sketched an outline of a response to these challenges above: if there is indeed a tendency for capitalism to stagnate, then there must have been in operation during the Golden Age what I called "counteracting forces and tendencies" which had spent themselves by the mid-1970s. In the absence of new offsetting forces, the tendency to stagnate has, as we should expect, re-asserted itself. These claims require further elaboration, and it is to this task that I now turn.


In order to account for the actual pattern of capitalist growth in the context of stagnation theory, we must reflect on the kind of growth required by capitalist economic arrangements. Mainstream theory does not distinguish between kinds of growth if and when it addresses the specific requirements of capitalist growth at all. This is, I believe, a serious error. I will begin by introducing the notion of transformational growth, which transforms the entire way of life of society and absorbs exceptionally large amounts of the investible surplus. My point shall be that a capitalist economy cannot sustain growth merely by producing more and more different types of widgets, in the absence of pervasive structural change. Growth sustained in the latter manner is transformational growth.

We are forced to introduce the concept of transformational growth for reasons related to my earlier discussion of the structural features of mature capitalism which generates a chronic tendency to stagnation. I will now embellish this analysis. It should be clear that capitalism cannot grow in the way in which a balloon grows: its growth cannot leave its proportions intact, i.e. such that there are no new products and no new processes of production. This is to say that a capitalist economy either undergoes transformational growth or it stagnates. The argument is as follows.

Investment expands productive capacity, which in turn requires that demand increase at the same rate as potential production. Without the required rate of demand growth, underutilization/excess capacity will discourage further investment or capital accumulation and the result will of course be stagnation. Let us not address this issue in the manner of the neoclassical economist, who seems to assume that both supply and demand curves can be counted on to perennially shift to the right (absent, of course, undue government interference). But this quaint assumption is belied by the enormous literature on the development and indispensability to capitalism of the marketing and advertising industries, which we might view as massive efforts to counteract Keynes's declining marginal propensity to consume by deliberately creating among the consuming masses a full panoply of "manufactured" consumption desires. These considerations point to the need constantly to exogenously stimulate consumption demand in order to narrow the demand gap generated by the tendency to overaccumulation. But they do not yet establish the need to generate a broad, nation-wide pattern of demand required by structural change and transformational growth.

What is needed at this point are concrete examples of the generators of transformational growth, and of exactly how these generators accomplish one of the fundamental features of transformational growth, the mobilization and coordination of the economic resources of the entire country into a grand national project which stimulates demand not merely for this and that consumption good, but for crucial commodities and institutions such as oil, steel rubber, and other primary products, and communication and transportation facilities. What this requires are what Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy termed, in their influential Monopoly Capital (Monthly Review Press, 1966), "epoch-making innovations". Edward Nell and Robert Heilbroner have characterized these same innovations as "transformative innovations". Let me approach transformative innovations by looking at the tendency to stagnation from yet another perspective, one which focuses on the role of competition as a major force behind the growth of both investment and consumption.

Competition reduces the need for investment by tending to increase both productivity and savings. Let us see how this happens. As a result of competition business is under continuous pressure to cut costs and produce more efficiently. To the extent that business succeeds in these respects, productive potential is increased. At the same time, competition also requires business to hold down wages and salaries and to pay out dividend and profit income relatively sparingly. Together, these pressures hold back both worker and capitalist consumption. The result is a tendency for productive capacity to expand faster than consumption. This means that there is no reason for investment to grow, for capital to achieve the required rate of accumulation, unless there are major pressures transforming the way people live. In the absence of such pressures, we may expect stagnation.

There are two dimensions of transformative innovations which are in fact two aspects of the same phenomenon. One dimension is solely technological, and the other points to changes in a population's entire way of life. Neither of these is part of a process of steady, balloon-like growth, nor is either automatically, or normally, generated by the fundamental capitalist dynamics identified by the mainstream textbooks. For this reason I have called the stimulus imparted by these innovations 'exogenous'. Let us look first at the technological dimension of transformative innovation.

This can be identified, after the owl of Minerva has spread its wings, by reflecting on some of the requirements of ideal-typical capitalism. Neoliberals correctly remind us that the bottom line is of course "freedom", primarily the freedom of capital to roam the world seeking markets, sources of cheap labor and investment opportunities. Microecenomic textbooks in fact tend to assume the perfect mobility of both capital and labor.

Let us focus on sources of power, which became especially important after the industrial revolution. Technological development resulted in the virtually total replacement of human and animal muscle power by inanimate sources of power, mainly water and steam. But reliance on water as a source of power places extreme limits on the mobility of capital, and hence on the possibilities of capitalist growth. Water power is site-specific, and the number of rivers and streams is limited. Moreover, the water had to be fast-running and productive facilities had to be located as far downstream as possible. And of course water power is only seasonally available. These restraints alone place an intolerable obstacle to the free and ongoing accumulation of capital. Here we find an overwhelming incentive to switch from water to steam power. This constitutes a huge stimulus to the accumulation of capital on a national scale.

Capitalism requires sources of power that are independent of nature and can be applied constantly wherever they are needed. And these are precisely what steam power made possible. It was now possible to set up productive facilities virtually anywhere; a major fetter to the accumulation of capital was removed. The universal mobility required by capital was now much more fully realized. At this point I want to emphasize that this technological /economic transformation was necessarily accompanied by profound social and cultural changes. For the steam engine's reduction of the seasonality of water power made possible a feature of work that is increasingly common on a global scale: the emergence of modern year-round work habits. With this change comes a dramatic transformation of our notions (and practices) of work and leisure, with all the consequences these have for the felt experience of everyday life. That is an instance of the second dimension of transformative innovation, i.e. its introduction of dramatic cultural changes, changes in the way populations live.

Much the same can be said for the subsequent shift to electrical power, which makes possible trolley cars, refrigerators (as opposed to what used to be called, in the U.S., "ice boxes"), ranges, toasters, radios, washing machines, fans, et al.

The railroad too is a transformative innovation par excellence. Consider the spectacular effects of railroad expansion: internal transport costs are sharply reduced; both new products and new geographical areas are brought into commercial markets; it is now possible to deliver exports to port with unprecedented efficiency, thereby encouraging the extensive development of the export sector; and impetus is provided to the development of the coal, iron and engineering industries. As with the steam engine, these technological and economic benefits wee necessarily accompanied by profound social and cultural changes. The railroads changed the way of life of the people by binding them as never before. The possibility now existed for mass production, mass consumption and indeed mass culture.

And of course the establishment of a national rail network absorbed massive amounts of investible capital, thereby spurring sustainable growth and offsetting the realization of the economic law that capitalist economies tend to stagnate. Apropos: in the latter third of the nineteenth century, railroad investment in the U.S. amounted to more than all investment in manufacturing industries.

And who can doubt that the transformative effects of the introduction of the automobile were epoch-making? The expansion of the automobile industry was the single most important force in the economic expansion of the 1920s. Car production increased threefold during this decade. (The automobile industry produced 12.7% of all manufactured output, employed 7.1% of all manufacturing workers, and paid 8.7% of all industrial wages.) Immediately after World War II the auto industry continued what was to be its breakneck expansion, and the possibilities created thereby constituted what was perhaps the most extensive transformation of the country's way of life in its history.

Consider the stimulus to capital accumulation and employment constituted by the following, each and all a consequence of the increasing automobilization of American society and culture: the migration of the population from the central city to the suburbs and exurbs (first made possible by the streetcar, before the major streetcar operations were bough and then quickly dismantled by the auto companies); the need for surfaced roads, road construction and maintenance, highway construction and maintenance (which had already accounted for 2% of GDP in 1929); the suburbanization of America, with the attendant construction of housing, schools, hospitals, workplaces, and more; the growth of shopping malls; the expansion of the credit industry; the spread of hotels and motels; and of course the growth of the tourism/travel industry. Never before had any population's way of living been transformed so profoundly in so short a period of time. And of course no one has failed to recognize that Americans' main symbol of their most precious possession, their personal freedom/liberty, is their ability to drive, solo, cars that have increasingly come to resemble tanks. Americans' liberty, embodied in the automobile, has become, literally, a commodity.

The long-term growth of the U.S. economy cannot be adequately explained or described without reference to these transformative innovations. None of these are required by the models of capital accumulation found in neoclassical, Keynesian or Marxian growth theory. After the civil war, growth in the last third of the nineteenth century was spurred primarily by the railroads. This stimulus fizzled, as railroad expansion began to slow down, around 1907, when, in spite of extensive electrification of urban (and even some rural) areas, the U.S. economy began a stretch of slow growth, which lasted until the outbreak of World War I. After the end of the War, the economy experienced a brief slump, which was followed by a period of fairly sustained expansion in the 1920s. The latter, as we have seen, was spurred mainly by the growth of the automobile industry. But the rate of growth of the automobile industry slowed down after 1926, and with it the rate of growth of almost all other manufacturing industries. And wages and employment had not risen as rapidly as production, productivity or profits.

In fact, the economic situation in the U.S. at the end of the 1920s bore a remarkable resemblance to the current economic situation in America. After 1926 overcapacity emerged in many key industries, the most significant of these being automobiles, textiles, and residential construction. Contractionary forces are cumulative: excess capacity caused business confidence to decline, with resulting cutbacks in spending on productive capacity in the consumer durables and capital goods industries. The economy was intensely unsound at the end of the 1920s, and the indications at the time were clear. Consumer demand was held down by a steadily growing inequality of income. Thus, an increasing percentage of total purchases were financed by credit in order to foster purchases of consumer durables. About seventy-five percent of all cars were sold on credit. Accordingly, both home mortgages and installment debt grew rapidly. This was the extension of a trend that had begun as early as 1922, when total personal debt began rising faster than disposable income. Thus, underconsumption and traces of excess capacity, key indicators of stagnationist forces, were in effect from the very beginning of the "roaring '20s". These tendencies became increasingly foregrounded over the course of the decade.

Excess capacity in key manufacturing industries was displacing workers from capital-intensive, technologically advanced sectors to industries relatively devoid of technological advance, i.e. service industries such as trade, finance and government. With capital unable to find sufficiently profitable investment opportunities in high-productivity industries, rampant speculative activity ensued, fostered by the growing concentration of income and therefore savings during the decade. More than two thirds of all personal savings was held by slightly over two percent of all families. The wanton optimism of the 1920s led those with substantial savings to want to get richer quickly, and with little effort. The stock market bubble that materialized at the end of the decade seemed to justify the expectations that fortunes could be made overnight in real estate and the stock market. When investors acted on these expectations, the existing bubble became bigger and hence more fragile. To those familiar with the current state of the U.S. economy, the present situation presents itself as history repeating itself -contra Marx- yet again as farce.


The mounting instabilities of the economy of the 1920s led to a Depression that was unresponsive to the Roosevelt administration's elevenfold increase in government spending. When U.S. entry into World War II finally brought about a resumption of growth, there was nonetheless an abiding fear among economists that once War spending ceased, the forces and tendencies that had generated the Depression might reassert themselves and exceptionally slow growth could resume. Instead, much to the surprise of many economists, American capitalism began the most sustained period of expansion in its entire history. The period from 1947 to 1973 has come to be called "The Golden Age", and appears, on the face of it, to be a fatal anomaly with respect to secular stagnation theory. After all, if the causes of the Great Depression were structural, and the exogenous stimulus provided by the War was what produced a resumption of growth, how was it possible that the economy, in the absence of powerful exogenous stimulus, exhibited an historically unprecedented period of long-term growth?

I have suggested that sustained national (as opposed to intra-national regional) growth has been engendered by the emergence of transformative innovations, and it is this kind of consideration that I believe offers the most plausible explanation both of Golden-Age expansion and of the petering out of this growth period and the resumption of (global) stagnation. Five stimuli to long-term growth were set in motion after the War, and these were for the most part exogenous in the sense indicated, and essentially limited. I will construe these stimuli as forces counteracting the tendency to stagnation. Once most of these stimuli had spent their potential, stagnationist tendencies re-asserted themselves, and overinvestment became evident once again. With profitable industrial investment opportunities in short supply, the economic surplus was invested instead in what became a vast proliferation of financial instruments. When the bubble created by this process finally burst, it was replaced with a housing bubble. Indeed a variety of bubbles, in financial assets, in housing, in credit, and a substantially overvalued dollar now threaten an historically unparalleled reassertion of the tendency to stagnation. But let us look first at the counteracting forces.

After the War, and as a result of wartime rationing, Americans had accumulated a very large fund of savings, and the time had come when these could finally be spent. This accounted for an immediate surge of consumption spending which temporarily averted the onset of recession. But the effectiveness of this source of spending was soon spent. What truly impelled the sustained growth of the Golden Age was 1) the resumption of a vast expansion of the automobile industry, and with it the stimulation of the broad range of investment and employment opportunities discussed above in connection with automobilization; 2) large-scale economic aid to Europe, which stimulated export demand; 3) a nationwide process of suburbanization, which, in tandem with the expansion of auto production, expanded significantly the demand for the output of every other major industry; 4) the emergence of what president Eisenhower christened the "military-industrial" complex, which provided additional stimulus to the industries most vulnerable to economic instability, the industries of DI, the capital goods sector; and finally 5) the steady and growing expansion of business and especially consumer credit, which in recent years has assumed elephantine proportions.

Three of these factors bear the two most important features of epoch-making innovations. The expansion of the auto industry, suburbanization, and the ever-increasing expansion and extension of credit all absorb massive amounts of investible surplus, and transform the mode of life of the entire population. In so doing they impart a massive push to the macro-growth process. The first two of these have their initial direct effect on investment. The third factor, the growing importance of credit, affects both investment and consumption, but the long-term trend of the credit industry in the U.S., evident now in hindsight, is much more significant in relation to consumption. There is now in the States a credit bubble of menacing proportions, with consumers now in debt to the tune of about107% of disposable income. The Marshall Plan (number 2 above) affected mainly and directly investment and employment, with boosts to consumption following thereupon. By the mid- to late-1970s, the employment-generating capacity of the military had declined. Washington determined, in the light of the defeat in Vietnam, that hi-tech warfare, which is of course technology- rather than labor-intensive, must replace traditional forms of subversion and aggression, in order to render less likely a repeat of the "Vietnam Syndrome."

It is worth mentioning that the military-industrial complex and the vast extension of consumer credit were what constituted what Joan Robinson called "bastard Keynesianism" in the United States. Recall that Keynes had insisted that fiscal and monetary policy were necessary but not sufficient conditions for avoiding stagnation. The tendency to stagnation could be offset for the long run only if some key industries were nationalized, and income redistributed. Nationalization would allow the State to offset lagging demand by providing cheap inputs to the private sector, thereby enabling lower prices. And redistributing income would transfer liquidity from those who had more than they could either consume or invest to those whose consumption demand was severely constrained.

American policymakers saw it as their challenge to reap the effects of nationalization and redistribution without actually nationalizing industries or redistributing income. The solution was ingenious: the military-industrial complex would be the functional equivalent of state-owned industries, and would, as noted above, stimulate the demand for the output of those very firms that produced capital goods. And the extension of consumer credit would allow working people to mortgage future years' incomes and spend more without a corresponding increase in either their private or their social wage.

As mentioned earlier, these forces counteracting the tendency to stagnation were all inherently limited and temporary. By the late 1960s, the automobile industry had achieved maturity, suburbanization had been accomplished, and aid to Europe had not only long ended, but had apparently created for America the economic equivalent of Frankenstein's monster. Europe and Japan were now formidable threats to U.S. economic hegemony. (Germany, for example, has overtaken the U.S. as an exporter of capital goods.) These three colossal absorbers of surplus were now no longer in operation. In the mid-1960s social spending had overtaken military spending as the larger share of government spending. And credit had begun to function as a supplement to declining real income, rather than a further addition to growing income.

These combined developments rendered the post-War counters to the realization of the tendency to stagnation obsolete. The result was the onset of stagnation not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. In America there has been overcapacity in autos, steel, shipbuilding and petrochemicals since the mid- to late-1970s.

This general picture is widely reflected in the business press. Business Week noted that " outpaces demand everywhere, sending prices lower, eroding corporate profits and increasing layoffs" (Jan. 25, 1999, p. 118). The former chairman of General Electric claimed that "..there is excess capacity in almost every industry" (The New York Times, Nov. 16, 1997, p. 3). The Wall Street Journal noted that "..from cashmere to blue jeans, silver jewelry to aluminum cans, the world is in oversupply" (Nov. 30, 1998, p. A17). And The Economist fretted that " the gap between sales and capacity is "at its widest since the 1930s" (Feb. 20, 1999, p. 15). At this time excess capacity in steel is exceeding twenty percent, in autos it has fluctuated around 30%. And these figures look good in comparison to unused capacity numbers in the "industries of the future" of the "New Economy", semiconductors and telecommunications. Not long ago, ninety-seven percent of fibre optic capacity was idle.


Let us begin with the indisputable fact that the regime of neoliberalism has brought with it a substantial decline in economic growth. The most widely cited study on this issue, produced for the IECD by Angus Maddison, shows that the annual rate of growth of real global GDP fell from 4.9% in 1950-1973 to 3 % in 1973-1998, a drop of 39 %. Theoretical commitments can guide perception: neoliberal economists either denied or ignored the decline in global growth because of their reliance on Say's Law, that it is not possible for total demand to fall below full-capacity supply over the long run. In my earlier remarks I offered an explanation of sluggish growth rates since 1973. Many orthodox economics have done something similar: they have offered explanations of the initial rise in excess capacity. But what has not been explained is why global supply did not eventually adjust itself to the slower rate of demand growth, with the result that in the mid-1970s the global economy would enter a period of sluggish expansion. And it is worth mentioning that even Keynesian macro-theory is inadequate in this regard. It assumes that slow growth in aggregate demand will result in a proportionate decline in the growth of aggregate supply through its effect upon investment and therefore productivity.

An adequate explanation of the sustained character of excess capacity can be constructed from insights from Schumpeter, Marx and the contemporary economist James Crotty. The analysis that follows should be understood within the framework of the version of secular stagnation theory sketched above.

Before the shift to neoliberal policies by Jimmy Carter, Reagan and Thatcher, the global economy was already subject to downward pressures on demand growth resulting from two oil price shocks and the restrictive macro policy imposed in response to oil-price induced inflation. These impediments to demand growth were exacerbated by neoliberal policies. In combination, these forces led to a sharp rise in excess capacity in globally competing industries. At the same time competitive pressures were further intensified by the reduction of the market power of national oligopolies caused by the removal of protectionist barriers to the free movement of goods and money across national boundaries. Accordingly, competitive pressures between nations rose dramatically. In this context, normal stagnationist tendencies operated to further constrain global demand growth and further reproduce industrial capacity faster than either neoclassical or Keynesian theory could comprehend.

The Achilles Heel of neoclassical theory with respect to its inability to account for the persistence of overcapacity during the neoliberal period is its account of competition. So-called "perfect competition" is alleged to lead to maximum efficiency and the elimination of excess capacity. This claim appears inconsistent with the history of real-world, pre- and post-oligopolistic competition. Textbook-like competition has led to periodic market gluts or overproduction crises, price wars, plummeting profits, unbearable debt burdens and violent labor relations. Neoclassical theory banishes these demons with the aid of two assumptions which appear designed explicitly to make them impossible. The first assumption claims that production cost per unit rises rapidly as output increases, and the second that exit from low-profit industries is free or costless. If these assumptions were indeed true, then pure competition could not be shown to have stagnation- or depression-inducing effects. But these assumptions are, I shall suggest, false.

I will begin with the least plausible of these two assumptions. It states that there is free or costless exit from low-profit industries. But productive assets are typically immobile or irreversible, i.e., they are not liquid, and this forces a sizeable loss in the value of a firm's capital should it choose to leave an unprofitable industry. Whether they are sold on a second-hand market or reallocated to a different industry, productive assets will lose substantial value. Capital flowing out of the aerospace industry has been found to sell for one third of its replacement cost. Insolvent telecom firms in the U.S. have sold their assets for 20 cents on the dollar. And isn't this what one would expect? For it is usually poor profit prospects and/or great excess capacity that heighten a firm's incentive to leave an industry. But it is precisely those circumstances which deeply depress the price of industry-specific assets on the second-hand market, since the supply of these assets grows even as the demand for them has collapsed.

Before I turn to the slightly more plausible (yet still false) assumption -that unit production cost rises dramatically as output increases- I will outline the corollary of neoclassical theory itself which neoclassical economists seek to evade by introducing this assumption. The theory tells us that pure competition will force price down until it covers marginal cost. Now if unit production cost remained constant irrespective of the output level, then marginal production cost and average production cost per unit would be equal. When perfect competition forces price to equal marginal cost, total revenue will be equal to total production cost. But in this case there will be no revenue left over either to pay the "fixed" cost of maintaining capital stock in the face of depreciation or obsolescence, or to pay interest and/or dividends to investors. Thus, perfect competition is seen to cause the representative firm to suffer, in each production period, a loss that is equal to fixed costs. Keeping in mind that most important global industries have huge fixed costs, no industry could long survive the consequences of intense competition.

We seem to have found a tendency to stagnation or complete system breakdown where we would least expect to find it - in neoclassical theory itself. But the theory claims to have a response to this embarrassment. It simply denies the claim that appears to entail the undesired consequence, namely the claim that unit production cost remains constant no matter what the output level. Armed now with the (false) assumption that unit production cost rises rapidly as production increases, the conclusion is drawn that marginal cost and price are greater than average unit production cost. Thus, in equilibrium, the gap between price and average production cost is sufficiently large to cover all fixed costs. Let competition be as fierce as you wish, the typical firm will not lose money. Voila!

I have claimed that each of the rescuing assumptions discussed above is false. What would realistic assumptions about marginal cost and the reversibility of invested capital look like? To answer this question we must recognize the distinctive character of the dominant industries of global trade and investment. These industries include steel, autos, aircraft, shipbuilding, petrochemicals, consumer durables, electronics, semiconductors and banking. Studies of this type of industry suggest that marginal cost does not typically rise with output, with the rare exception of cases when the industry is producing near full capacity output. Marginal cost behaves as we would expect in cases of economies of scale: it remains constant or declines as capacity utilization rises. It follows that if free competition forces price to equal marginal cost in these industries, we should count on an ensuing wave of bankruptcies. Here again we see that neoclassical theory, corrected for unrealistic assumptions, seems to commit us to conceptualize mature capitalism as subject to the law of an inherent tendency to stagnation or worse.

The issue I am focusing on here turns on the dynamics of unrestricted competition among oligopolies in the context of economies of scale. The importance of economies of scale underscores the crucial similarity of all the dominant industries, including the new information-technology and telecommunications (ITC) industries. I stress this point because influential neoclassical economists have wanted to claim a significant difference, with respect to overcapacity problems, between the ITC industries and the other dominant industries. For purposes of explaining the persistence of excess capacity under neoliberalism, we want to remember that as scale economies grow, marginal costs fall as fixed costs per unit rise. Thus, the greater the economies of scale, the more destructive becomes the marginal cost pricing required by intense competition. With this in mind, we can more easily see that 1) these dynamics in especially conspicuous operation in the ITC industries, and 2) that such differences as there are between ITC and the other dominant oligopolies are insignificant for the analysis of secular stagnation theory, and of capitalist growth in general.

The key issue right now, recall, is the highly destructive consequences of the tendency of free competition among dominant industries to force price to equal marginal cost. That this is the case is easier to see in the ITC sector than in the other dominant industries. This is because in ITC marginal cost is often close to zero. Producing another copy of software or adding another customer to eBay is virtually costless. This has led many mainstream economists to argue that ITC industries are exempt from the laws of the neoclassical theory of perfect competition. Since ITC firms have marginal costs much lower than their large fixed costs, the argument goes, the possession of at least temporary monopoly power is the only guarantee of an incentive to produce anything at all. Without monopoly pricing power prices will be competed down to marginal cost and fixed costs will be unable to be covered. Thus, the motor of the "new economy" is said to be the constant pursuit of monopoly power. But, contrary to the neoclassical claim, none of this distinguishes significantly between ITC and other key industries. The drive to monopoly power is characteristic of all large corporations in the present age.

As Paul Sweezy argued in his Marshall Lectures, the typical firm in an oligopolized industry strives to be a monopolist. Each firm does this individually, and they all do it collectively. Individual firms seek monopoly status through the sales effort, where the firm's product is put forth as the best in the industry and as different from all the others. Firms within the same industry seek to approach monopoly status by collusion with respect to pricing policy, especially by agreeing to refrain from cutthroat price competition. For reasons developed at length above, therefore, all dominant firms, whether old- or new-economy operations, will tend to achieve monopoly status and to be chronically saddled with excess capacity.


We are in the midst of another unparalleled period of historical capitalism. Since the onset of stagnation, the median wage in the States has not changed at all for the vast majority of wage workers. Over the past six quarters the gowth of wage income has been negative. A brief sketch of the state of the U.S. economy toward the end of last year highlights features whose most plausible explanation may lie in the fact of secular stagnation. If stagnation theory is accurate, what follows is precisely what we would expect to find. The current state of the U.S. and the global economy is best understood, I believe, against the background too briefly elaborated above. Here is a picture of the U.S. economy today. The key to a healthy economy is job- and income-creating investment in capital goods, which in turn generates a virtuous cycle of further growth in investment, jobs and income. Ominously, the investment, growth, employment and income pictures are unprecedentedly dismal.

Compared to cyclical recoveries between 1949 and 1973, recoveries during the neoliberal period have been weak. Indeed, one or two of the post-1973 upturns has been weaker than some downturns during the Golden Age. Since the stock market collapse of four years ago, the situation has worsened. Growth rates since 2000 have been half their previous average. Even this weak performance required historically unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus: 13 rate cuts, three tax cuts, massive government deficits and record growth in money and credit.

Official figures mask the economy's most serious problems. Growth figures are annualized by U.S. statisticians. Thus, the much-touted 7.1% growth rate in the third quarter of 2003 was the one that would emerge after twelve months if the current trend were to continue. The same growth rate would have been reported in the eurozone as 1.8%. This is an uncommonly weak performance.

Investment data are equally misleading. Since the mid-1990s the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has adjusted upward actual business dollar outlays on computers and related equipment to take into account quality improvements (faster processors, bigger hard drives, more memory). BEA calls this "hedonic adjustment." Accordingly, the BEA estimates that business high-tech investment quadrupled between 1996 and 2002, from $70.9 to $283.7. But in actual dollars spent, the increase was only from $70.9 billion to $74.2 billion, very low by historic standards. The high-tech boom was both greatly exaggerated and misleading. After all, neither profits nor wages are taken in "hedonically adjusted" dollars.

The difference between real and hedonic outlays explains what would otherwise be a paradoxical feature of the years 2000-2003: government was reporting big increases in high-tech investment, while manufacturers were bemoaning declining sales.

Hedonic pricing has accounted for a steadily rising percentage of all reported capital investment. But if we look at actual dollars spent, we find that since 1998 the growth rate of business fixed investment has actually been declining. Real capital investment has in fact not been this weak since the Great Depression.

The fudging of investment figures also obscures the sorry state of the jobs market. The Commerce Department's figures on nonresidential investment for the third and fourth quarters of 2003 reported increases of, respectively, 12.8 and 9.6%. A closer look reveals that the "adjusted" hi-tech sector is the only bright spot, with production and capacity rising, respectively, 24.6% and 11.1% over the past year. But hi-tech is not where significant jobs increases are found. Employment in hi-tech has declined steadily through the so-called "recovery" since its 2001 peak.

In non-hi-tech manufacturing, where investment figures are not adjusted, production from January 2003 to January 2004 rose only 0.9%, while capacity actually declined -0.2%. This represents a record nineteen-straight-month decline in mainline manufacturing capacity. Since it is mainline manufacturing which employs almost 95% of all manufacturing workers, it comes as no surprise that for the first time since the Great Depression the economy has gone more than three years without creating any jobs.

The jobs crisis is even worse than it appears. Here again statistical sleight-of-hand, this time by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), obscures economic reality. Based on data gathered employing the "net birth/death adjustment," BLS announced in April, 2004, that the long-awaited jobs recovery had finally arrived. Nonfarm payrolls had allegedly surged by a whopping 308,000 in March, 2004. The birth/death model uses business deaths to "impute" employment from business births. Thus, as more businesses fail, more new jobs are imputed to have materialized through business births. This improbable statistical artefact accounts for about half of the reported 308,000 March, 2004 payroll increase.

The birth/death model is based on statistics covering 1998-2002. This was a period of explosive telecom and startups, quite unlike today's flat economic landscape. Thus, two thirds of the 947,000 new jobs BLS "imputed" for March-May, 2004, were never actually counted by BLS and never reported by any firm.

BlS's household and establishment surveys tell a more sobering story. March employment by private industry actually fell by 175,000, and the number of self-employed workers declined by 288,000. Without the simultaneous increase of 439,000 government jobs, the March job announcement would have been a calamity. And both average weekly hours and total hours worked declined markedly, even as (according to the dubious birth/death findings) the work force increased. This is the first time in U.S. history that net job growth has been negative 26 months into a recovery.

The wage and salary picture has also set grim records. During the current recovery, wage and salary growth has actually been negative, at -0.6%, in contrast to the average increase of 7.2% characteristic of this point into each of the other eight post-War recoveries. In fact, median family income in the post-War period exhibits an ominous trend. From 1947 to 1967, real median family income rose by 75%. But since 1967, it has grown by only 30%.

Labor's losses have been capital's gain: since the peak of the last recovery, in the first quarter of 2001, corporate profits have risen 62.2%, compared to the average of 13.9% at the same point in the last eight recoveries. Never in American history has any recorded recovery had such a lopsided balance in the distribution of income gains between labor and capital.

Given the dismal investment, wage/salary and employment pictures, how has it been possible for consumption to have risen to 71% of GDP in the early nineties, from its prior post-War average of 66%? The answer is a growth rate of consumer debt never seen before in America. For the first time ever, in March 2001, overall debt levels (mortgage debt plus consumer debt, mainly credit card debt and car loans) rose above annual disposable income. And from 2001 to 2004 consumer debt rose from 101% to 116% of disposable income. In the first half of 2004, consumer borrowing has been at its highest ever. It has declined slightly in the meantime. So has consumer spending. Should Americans decide to significantly increase their saving and service debts, while lowering correspondingly their consumption expenditures, the global economy could experience a major disruption.

Up until very recently, consumers had stepped up their borrowing to compensate for slowing income growth. Thus, such growth as the U.S. has experienced in recent years has been almost entirely consumption- and debt-driven. More fundamentally, it has been bubble-driven, fueled principally by bubbles in home values and credit.

Since the collapse of stock market/hi-tech bubbles in 2001, the illusory "wealth effect" has been sustained, and consumer spending thereby encouraged, by another bubble, the enormous inflation of house prices. The biggest increase in household debt came from home mortgage debt, especially home mortgage refinancing. With mortgage rates low and home prices rising, households' home equity ballooned. Bloated home equity then provided rising collateral to underwrite still more borrowing.

What makes this especially problematic is that over the last ten years, the average family has suffered under large increases in health premiums, housing costs, tuition fees and child care costs. As a result, households' and individuals' margin of protection against insolvency has dramatically declined. Filings for personal bankruptcy are approaching a record high.

There are indications that these weaknesses and imbalances in the economy are reaching a critical mass. The mortgage refi boom has fizzled, and consumer spending is beginning to decline. Two years ago the Fed's quarterly Beige Book reported a disturbing shift in the composition of credit spending: more and more families are using their credit cards to finance spending on essentials, such as food and energy.

It is no exaggeration to say that both the U.S. economy and the global economy are hugely dependent on the American consumer's increasing willingness to spend more than (s)he makes. (Imported goods have been a rising proportion of all goods purchased here.) Thus, a decline in U.S. consumer spending portends further declines in investment, jobs and income. From January to July of 2004, consumer spending rose at an annual rate of 2.8%, down from 3.3% in 2003 and 3.1 % in 2002. For perspective, during the boom years 1999-2000, growth rates were 5.1% and 4.7%.

Spending on consumer durables is the most significant indicator of healthy growth, and the drastically lower spending in this area is cause for alarm: spending for consumer durables was down to $23.5 billion in the first seven months of this year, in contrast to $71 billion on 2003 and $58 billion in 2002.

Should consumer spending continue to decline, the economy faces the genuine likelihood of a severe recession. Of course not a single American politician addresses this issue.

What is required is a shift from bubble-, debt-, and consumption-driven growth to investment- and income-driven growth. This in turn necessitates a decline in Americas principal export, jobs. Domestic job growth, a higher minimum wage, tax cuts aimed predominantly at low- and middle-income families, a sharp reduction in defense spending and a redirection of these funds to long-neglected and pressing social needs such as health care reform, the provision of universal pre-school, and across-the-board repair and upgrading of America's deteriorated infrastructure of roads, highways,tunnels and bridges, all these should be at the forefront of a Democratic administration's agenda. The restoration of infrastructure is especially labor intensive, and would generate an enormous number of productive jobs. And as a national project spearheaded by government initiative, government would emerge as a major employer.

All this si entirely incompatible with the overwhelming neoliberal bent of even the most "liberal" political leaders. It was after all Bill Clinton who urinated on the grave of Franklin Roosevelt when he proclaimed "the end of welfare as we know it".

As unfashionable as it is to suggest such a thing at a conference of economists, the only hope for the world's majority seems to be the revival of the kinds of mass movements witnessed here in May of 1968, and throughout the world during the 1960s. And time may be short.


Alan Nasser is Professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. His book, The “New Normal”: Persistent Austerity, Declining Democracy and the Globalization of Resistance will be published by Pluto Press in 2013. If you would like to be notified when the book is released, please send a request to

Thomas Palley » Blog Archive » Explaining Stagnation Why it Matters

John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff clearly identify stagnation in their 2009 book The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (HERE). They conclude with a section titled “Back to the real economy: the stagnation problem” and they write:

“It was the reality of economic stagnation beginning in the 1970s, as heterodox economists Ricardo Belliofiore and Joseph Halevi have recently emphasized, that led to the emergence of “the new financialized capitalist regime,” a kind of “paradoxical financial Keynesianiasm” whereby demand in the economy was stimulated primarily “thanks to asset-bubbles” (Foster and Magdoff, p.129).”

My own 2009 New America Foundation report, “America’s Exhausted Paradigm: Macroeconomic Causes of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession”, concluded (HERE):

“The bottom line is macroeconomic failure rooted in America’s flawed economic paradigm is the ultimate cause of the financial crisis and Great Recession…. Now, there is a grave danger that policymakers only focus on financial market reform and ignore reform of America’s flawed economic paradigm. In that event, though the economy may stabilize, it will likely be unable to escape the pull of economic stagnation. That is because stagnation is the logical next stage of the existing paradigm.”

That report became a core chapter in my 2012 book, From Financial Crisis to Stagnation, the blurb for which reads (HERE):

“The U.S. economy today is confronted with the prospect of extended stagnation. This book explores why…. Financial deregulation and the house price bubble kept the economy going by making ever more credit available. As the economy cannibalized itself by undercutting income distribution and accumulating debt, it needed larger speculative bubbles to grow. That process ended when the housing bubble burst. The earlier post–World War II economic model based on rising middle-class incomes has been dismantled, while the new neoliberal model has imploded. Absent a change of policy paradigm, the logical next step is stagnation. The political challenge we face now is how to achieve paradigm change.”

The big analytical difference between Foster and Magdoff and myself is that they see stagnation as inherent to capitalism whereas I see it as the product of neoliberal economic policy. Foster and Magdoff partake of the Baran-Sweezy tradition that recommends deeper socialist transformation. I use a structural Keynesian framework that recommends reconstructing the income and demand generation mechanism via policies that include rebuilding worker bargaining power, reforming globalization, and reining in corporations and financial markets.

Larry Summers’ story of serial bubbles delaying stagnation has substantial similarities with both accounts but he avoids blaming either capitalism or neoliberalism. That is hardly surprising as Summers has been a chief architect of the neoliberal system and remains committed to it, though he now wants to soften its impact. Instead, he appeals to the black box of “secular stagnation” as ultimate cause and suggests fiscal policies that would ameliorate the demand shortage problem. However, those policies would not remedy the root cause of stagnation as they leave the economic architecture unchanged.

Though Summers and Krugman are relative late-comers to the stagnation hypothesis, they have still done a great public service by drawing attention to it. Now that stagnation has been identified, the real debate can begin.

The questions are what caused stagnation and what must be done to restore shared prosperity? There is no guarantee we will answer those questions correctly (my prior is mainstream economists will continue their track record of getting it wrong). But it is absolutely certain we will not get the right answer if we do not ask the right question. So thank you Larry Summers and Paul Krugman for putting stagnation on the table. Let the debate begin.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 12:53 pm and is filed under Economics, U.S. Policy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Summers makes the idea of secular stagnation mainstream

Larry Summers (“Why Stagnation May Prove To Be The New Normal,” The Financial Times, December 15, 2013)  suggested the current "lack of demand" is not anomaly but a feature of the current sociao-economic system.  He suggested that we have been in the throes of stagnation for a long while, but that has been obscured by years of serial asset price bubbles. His article produced great public debate and marked the point when the idea became mainstream. The debate began with Summers’ speech to the IMF’s Fourteenth Annual Research Conference in Honor of Stanley Fisher. Summers noted that the panic of 2008 was “an event that in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009 … appeared, by most of the statistics—GDP, industrial production, employment, world trade, the stock market—worse than the fall of 1929 and the winter of 1930. …”

Tha means the major defeat for “stabilization policies” that were supposed to smooth the capitalist industrial cycle and abolish panics. And the problem preceeds the 2008 panic itself.

The highly misleading unemployment rate calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor notwithstanding, there has been a massive growth in long-term unemployment in the U.S. in the wake of the crisis, as shown by the declining percentage of the U.S. population actually working.

The current situation also refute the key tenet of neoclassical economy (which is pseudo-religious doctrine, so that only increase fanatic devotion of its well-paid adherents). Neoclassical economists insisted that since a “free market economy” naturally tends toward an equilibrium with full employment of both workers and machines, the economy should should quickly return to “full employment” after a recession. This is not the case. See also Secular Stagnation Lawrence H. Summers

There were several uncessful attempts to explaint his situation from neoclassical positions. In Secular Stagnation, Coalmines, Bubbles, and Larry Summers - Paul Krugman  emphasized the liquidity trap – zero lower bound to interest rates which supposedly prevents spending from reaching a level sufficient for full employment.

Larry’s formulation of our current economic situation is the same as my own. Although he doesn’t use the words “liquidity trap”, he works from the understanding that we are an economy in which monetary policy is de facto constrained by the zero lower bound (even if you think central banks could be doing more), and that this corresponds to a situation in which the “natural” rate of interest – the rate at which desired savings and desired investment would be equal at full employment – is negative.

And as he also notes, in this situation the normal rules of economic policy don’t apply. As I like to put it, virtue becomes vice and prudence becomes folly. Saving hurts the economy – it even hurts investment, thanks to the paradox of thrift. Fixating on debt and deficits deepens the depression. And so on down the line.

This is the kind of environment in which Keynes’s hypothetical policy of burying currency in coalmines and letting the private sector dig it up – or my version, which involves faking a threat from nonexistent space aliens – becomes a good thing; spending is good, and while productive spending is best, unproductive spending is still better than nothing.

Larry also indirectly states an important corollary: this isn’t just true of public spending. Private spending that is wholly or partially wasteful is also a good thing, unless it somehow stores up trouble for the future. That last bit is an important qualification. But suppose that U.S. corporations, which are currently sitting on a huge hoard of cash, were somehow to become convinced that it would be a great idea to fit out all their employees as cyborgs, with Google Glass and smart wristwatches everywhere. And suppose that three years later they realized that there wasn’t really much payoff to all that spending. Nonetheless, the resulting investment boom would have given us several years of much higher employment, with no real waste, since the resources employed would otherwise have been idle.

OK, this is still mostly standard, although a lot of people hate, just hate, this kind of logic – they want economics to be a morality play, and they don’t care how many people have to suffer in the process.

But now comes the radical part of Larry’s presentation: his suggestion that this may not be a temporary state of affairs.

2. An economy that needs bubbles?

We now know that the economic expansion of 2003-2007 was driven by a bubble. You can say the same about the latter part of the 90s expansion; and you can in fact say the same about the later years of the Reagan expansion, which was driven at that point by runaway thrift institutions and a large bubble in commercial real estate.

So you might be tempted to say that monetary policy has consistently been too loose. After all, haven’t low interest rates been encouraging repeated bubbles?

But as Larry emphasizes, there’s a big problem with the claim that monetary policy has been too loose: where’s the inflation? Where has the overheated economy been visible?

So how can you reconcile repeated bubbles with an economy showing no sign of inflationary pressures? Summers’s answer is that we may be an economy that needs bubbles just to achieve something near full employment – that in the absence of bubbles the economy has a negative natural rate of interest. And this hasn’t just been true since the 2008 financial crisis; it has arguably been true, although perhaps with increasing severity, since the 1980s.

One way to quantify this is, I think, to look at household debt. Here’s the ratio of household debt to GDP since the 50s:

There was a sharp increase in the ratio after World War II, but from a low base, as families moved to the suburbs and all that. Then there were about 25 years of rough stability, from 1960 to around 1985. After that, however, household debt rose rapidly and inexorably, until the crisis struck.

So with all that household borrowing, you might have expected the period 1985-2007 to be one of strong inflationary pressure, high interest rates, or both. In fact, you see neither – this was the era of the Great Moderation, a time of low inflation and generally low interest rates. Without all that increase in household debt, interest rates would presumably have to have been considerably lower – maybe negative. In other words, you can argue that our economy has been trying to get into the liquidity trap for a number of years, and that it only avoided the trap for a while thanks to successive bubbles.

And if that’s how you see things, when looking forward you have to regard the liquidity trap not as an exceptional state of affairs but as the new normal.

3. Secular stagnation?

How did this happen? Larry explicitly invokes the notion of secular stagnation, associated in particular with Alvin Hansen (pdf).  He doesn’t say why this might be happening to us now, but it’s not hard to think of possible reasons.

Back in the day, Hansen stressed demographic factors: he thought slowing population growth would mean low investment demand. Then came the baby boom. But this time around the slowdown is here, and looks real.

Think of it this way: during the period 1960-85, when the U.S. economy seemed able to achieve full employment without bubbles, our labor force grew an average 2.1 percent annually. In part this reflected the maturing of the baby boomers, in part the move of women into the labor force.

This growth made sustaining investment fairly easy: the business of providing Americans with new houses, new offices, and so on easily absorbed a fairly high fraction of GDP.

Now look forward. The Census projects that the population aged 18 to 64 will grow at an annual rate of only 0.2 percent between 2015 and 2025. Unless labor force participation not only stops declining but starts rising rapidly again, this means a slower-growth economy, and thanks to the accelerator effect, lower investment demand.

By the way, in a Samuelson consumption-loan model, the natural rate of interest equals the rate of population growth. Reality is a lot more complicated than that, but I don’t think it’s foolish to guess that the decline in population growth has reduced the natural real rate of interest by something like an equal amount (and to note that Japan’s shrinking working-age population is probably a major factor in its secular stagnation.)

There may be other factors – a Bob Gordonesque decline in innovation, etc.. The point is that it’s not hard to think of reasons why the liquidity trap could be a lot more persistent than anyone currently wants to admit.

4. Destructive virtue

If you take a secular stagnation view seriously, it has some radical implications – and Larry goes there.

Currently, even policymakers who are willing to concede that the liquidity trap makes nonsense of conventional notions of policy prudence are busy preparing for the time when normality returns. This means that they are preoccupied with the idea that they must act now to head off future crises. Yet this crisis isn’t over – and as Larry says, “Most of what would be done under the aegis of preventing a future crisis would be counterproductive.”

He goes on to say that the officially respectable policy agenda involves “doing less with monetary policy than was done before and doing less with fiscal policy than was done before,” even though the economy remains deeply depressed. And he says, a bit fuzzily but bravely all the same, that even improved financial regulation is not necessarily a good thing – that it may discourage irresponsible lending and borrowing at a time when more spending of any kind is good for the economy.

Amazing stuff – and if we really are looking at secular stagnation, he’s right.

Of course, the underlying problem in all of this is simply that real interest rates are too high. But, you say, they’re negative – zero nominal rates minus at least some expected inflation. To which the answer is, so? If the market wants a strongly negative real interest rate, we’ll have persistent problems until we find a way to deliver such a rate.

One way to get there would be to reconstruct our whole monetary system – say, eliminate paper money and pay negative interest rates on deposits. Another way would be to take advantage of the next boom – whether it’s a bubble or driven by expansionary fiscal policy – to push inflation substantially higher, and keep it there. Or maybe, possibly, we could go the Krugman 1998/Abe 2013 route of pushing up inflation through the sheer power of self-fulfilling expectations.

Any such suggestions are, of course, met with outrage. How dare anyone suggest that virtuous individuals, people who are prudent and save for the future, face expropriation? How can you suggest steadily eroding their savings either through inflation or through negative interest rates? It’s tyranny!

But in a liquidity trap saving may be a personal virtue, but it’s a social vice. And in an economy facing secular stagnation, this isn’t just a temporary state of affairs, it’s the norm. Assuring people that they can get a positive rate of return on safe assets means promising them something the market doesn’t want to deliver – it’s like farm price supports, except for rentiers.

Oh, and one last point. If we’re going to have persistently negative real interest rates along with at least somewhat positive overall economic growth, the panic over public debt looks even more foolish than people like me have been saying: servicing the debt in the sense of stabilizing the ratio of debt to GDP has no cost, in fact negative cost.

I could go on, but by now I hope you’ve gotten the point. What Larry did at the IMF wasn’t just give an interesting speech. He laid down what amounts to a very radical manifesto. And I very much fear that he may be right.

Supplement 1: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit (reprint)

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit - The Baffler

David Graeber

A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like. I am referring not to the standard false promises that children are always given (about how the world is fair, or how those who work hard shall be rewarded), but to a particular generational promise—given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties—one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about what our adult world would be like. And since it was never quite promised, now that it has failed to come true, we’re left confused: indignant, but at the same time, embarrassed at our own indignation, ashamed we were ever so silly to believe our elders to begin with.

Where, in short, are the flying cars? Where are the force fields, tractor beams, teleportation pods, antigravity sleds, tricorders, immortality drugs, colonies on Mars, and all the other technological wonders any child growing up in the mid-to-late twentieth century assumed would exist by now? Even those inventions that seemed ready to emerge—like cloning or cryogenics—ended up betraying their lofty promises. What happened to them?

We are well informed of the wonders of computers, as if this is some sort of unanticipated compensation, but, in fact, we haven’t moved even computing to the point of progress that people in the fifties expected we’d have reached by now. We don’t have computers we can have an interesting conversation with, or robots that can walk our dogs or take our clothes to the Laundromat.

As someone who was eight years old at the time of the Apollo moon landing, I remember calculating that I would be thirty-nine in the magic year 2000 and wondering what the world would be like. Did I expect I would be living in such a world of wonders? Of course. Everyone did. Do I feel cheated now? It seemed unlikely that I’d live to see all the things I was reading about in science fiction, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t see any of them.

At the turn of the millennium, I was expecting an outpouring of reflections on why we had gotten the future of technology so wrong. Instead, just about all the authoritative voices—both Left and Right—began their reflections from the assumption that we do live in an unprecedented new technological utopia of one sort or another.

The common way of dealing with the uneasy sense that this might not be so is to brush it aside, to insist all the progress that could have happened has happened and to treat anything more as silly. “Oh, you mean all that Jetsons stuff?” I’m asked—as if to say, but that was just for children! Surely, as grown-ups, we understand The Jetsons offered as accurate a view of the future as The Flintstones offered of the Stone Age.

Surely, as grown-ups, we understand The Jetsons offered as accurate a view of the future as The Flintstones did of the Stone Age.

Even in the seventies and eighties, in fact, sober sources such as National Geographic and the Smithsonian were informing children of imminent space stations and expeditions to Mars. Creators of science fiction movies used to come up with concrete dates, often no more than a generation in the future, in which to place their futuristic fantasies. In 1968, Stanley Kubrick felt that a moviegoing audience would find it perfectly natural to assume that only thirty-three years later, in 2001, we would have commercial moon flights, city-like space stations, and computers with human personalities maintaining astronauts in suspended animation while traveling to Jupiter. Video telephony is just about the only new technology from that particular movie that has appeared—and it was technically possible when the movie was showing. 2001 can be seen as a curio, but what about Star Trek? The Star Trek mythos was set in the sixties, too, but the show kept getting revived, leaving audiences for Star Trek Voyager in, say, 2005, to try to figure out what to make of the fact that according to the logic of the program, the world was supposed to be recovering from fighting off the rule of genetically engineered supermen in the Eugenics Wars of the nineties.

By 1989, when the creators of Back to the Future II were dutifully placing flying cars and anti-gravity hoverboards in the hands of ordinary teenagers in the year 2015, it wasn’t clear if this was meant as a prediction or a joke.

The usual move in science fiction is to remain vague about the dates, so as to render “the future” a zone of pure fantasy, no different than Middle Earth or Narnia, or like Star Wars, “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” As a result, our science fiction future is, most often, not a future at all, but more like an alternative dimension, a dream-time, a technological Elsewhere, existing in days to come in the same sense that elves and dragon-slayers existed in the past—another screen for the displacement of moral dramas and mythic fantasies into the dead ends of consumer pleasure.


Might the cultural sensibility that came to be referred to as postmodernism best be seen as a prolonged meditation on all the technological changes that never happened? The question struck me as I watched one of the recent Star Wars movies. The movie was terrible, but I couldn’t help but feel impressed by the quality of the special effects. Recalling the clumsy special effects typical of fifties sci-fi films, I kept thinking how impressed a fifties audience would have been if they’d known what we could do by now—only to realize, “Actually, no. They wouldn’t be impressed at all, would they? They thought we’d be doing this kind of thing by now. Not just figuring out more sophisticated ways to simulate it.”

That last word—simulate—is key. The technologies that have advanced since the seventies are mainly either medical technologies or information technologies—largely, technologies of simulation. They are technologies of what Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco called the “hyper-real,” the ability to make imitations that are more realistic than originals. The postmodern sensibility, the feeling that we had somehow broken into an unprecedented new historical period in which we understood that there is nothing new; that grand historical narratives of progress and liberation were meaningless; that everything now was simulation, ironic repetition, fragmentation, and pastiche—all this makes sense in a technological environment in which the only breakthroughs were those that made it easier to create, transfer, and rearrange virtual projections of things that either already existed, or, we came to realize, never would. Surely, if we were vacationing in geodesic domes on Mars or toting about pocket-size nuclear fusion plants or telekinetic mind-reading devices no one would ever have been talking like this. The postmodern moment was a desperate way to take what could otherwise only be felt as a bitter disappointment and to dress it up as something epochal, exciting, and new.

In the earliest formulations, which largely came out of the Marxist tradition, a lot of this technological background was acknowledged. Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” proposed the term “postmodernism” to refer to the cultural logic appropriate to a new, technological phase of capitalism, one that had been heralded by Marxist economist Ernest Mandel as early as 1972. Mandel had argued that humanity stood at the verge of a “third technological revolution,” as profound as the Agricultural or Industrial Revolution, in which computers, robots, new energy sources, and new information technologies would replace industrial labor—the “end of work” as it soon came to be called—reducing us all to designers and computer technicians coming up with crazy visions that cybernetic factories would produce.

End of work arguments were popular in the late seventies and early eighties as social thinkers pondered what would happen to the traditional working-class-led popular struggle once the working class no longer existed. (The answer: it would turn into identity politics.) Jameson thought of himself as exploring the forms of consciousness and historical sensibilities likely to emerge from this new age.

What happened, instead, is that the spread of information technologies and new ways of organizing transport—the containerization of shipping, for example—allowed those same industrial jobs to be outsourced to East Asia, Latin America, and other countries where the availability of cheap labor allowed manufacturers to employ much less technologically sophisticated production-line techniques than they would have been obliged to employ at home.

From the perspective of those living in Europe, North America, and Japan, the results did seem to be much as predicted. Smokestack industries did disappear; jobs came to be divided between a lower stratum of service workers and an upper stratum sitting in antiseptic bubbles playing with computers. But below it all lay an uneasy awareness that the postwork civilization was a giant fraud. Our carefully engineered high-tech sneakers were not being produced by intelligent cyborgs or self-replicating molecular nanotechnology; they were being made on the equivalent of old-fashioned Singer sewing machines, by the daughters of Mexican and Indonesian farmers who, as the result of WTO or NAFTA–sponsored trade deals, had been ousted from their ancestral lands. It was a guilty awareness that lay beneath the postmodern sensibility and its celebration of the endless play of images and surfaces.


Why did the projected explosion of technological growth everyone was expecting—the moon bases, the robot factories—fail to happen? There are two possibilities. Either our expectations about the pace of technological change were unrealistic (in which case, we need to know why so many intelligent people believed they were not) or our expectations were not unrealistic (in which case, we need to know what happened to derail so many credible ideas and prospects).

Most social analysts choose the first explanation and trace the problem to the Cold War space race. Why, these analysts wonder, did both the United States and the Soviet Union become so obsessed with the idea of manned space travel? It was never an efficient way to engage in scientific research. And it encouraged unrealistic ideas of what the human future would be like.

Could the answer be that both the United States and the Soviet Union had been, in the century before, societies of pioneers, one expanding across the Western frontier, the other across Siberia? Didn’t they share a commitment to the myth of a limitless, expansive future, of human colonization of vast empty spaces, that helped convince the leaders of both superpowers they had entered into a “space age” in which they were battling over control of the future itself? All sorts of myths were at play here, no doubt, but that proves nothing about the feasibility of the project.

Some of those science fiction fantasies (at this point we can’t know which ones) could have been brought into being. For earlier generations, many science fiction fantasies had been brought into being. Those who grew up at the turn of the century reading Jules Verne or H.G. Wells imagined the world of, say, 1960 with flying machines, rocket ships, submarines, radio, and television—and that was pretty much what they got. If it wasn’t unrealistic in 1900 to dream of men traveling to the moon, then why was it unrealistic in the sixties to dream of jet-packs and robot laundry-maids?

In fact, even as those dreams were being outlined, the material base for their achievement was beginning to be whittled away. There is reason to believe that even by the fifties and sixties, the pace of technological innovation was slowing down from the heady pace of the first half of the century. There was a last spate in the fifties when microwave ovens (1954), the Pill (1957), and lasers (1958) all appeared in rapid succession. But since then, technological advances have taken the form of clever new ways of combining existing technologies (as in the space race) and new ways of putting existing technologies to consumer use (the most famous example is television, invented in 1926, but mass produced only after the war.) Yet, in part because the space race gave everyone the impression that remarkable advances were happening, the popular impression during the sixties was that the pace of technological change was speeding up in terrifying, uncontrollable ways.

Alvin Toffler’s 1970 best seller Future Shock argued that almost all the social problems of the sixties could be traced back to the increasing pace of technological change. The endless outpouring of scientific breakthroughs transformed the grounds of daily existence, and left Americans without any clear idea of what normal life was. Just consider the family, where not just the Pill, but also the prospect of in vitro fertilization, test tube babies, and sperm and egg donation were about to make the idea of motherhood obsolete.

Humans were not psychologically prepared for the pace of change, Toffler wrote. He coined a term for the phenomenon: “accelerative thrust.” It had begun with the Industrial Revolution, but by roughly 1850, the effect had become unmistakable. Not only was everything around us changing, but most of it—human knowledge, the size of the population, industrial growth, energy use—was changing exponentially. The only solution, Toffler argued, was to begin some kind of control over the process, to create institutions that would assess emerging technologies and their likely effects, to ban technologies likely to be too socially disruptive, and to guide development in the direction of social harmony.

While many of the historical trends Toffler describes are accurate, the book appeared when most of these exponential trends halted. It was right around 1970 when the increase in the number of scientific papers published in the world—a figure that had doubled every fifteen years since, roughly, 1685—began leveling off. The same was true of books and patents.

Toffler’s use of acceleration was particularly unfortunate. For most of human history, the top speed at which human beings could travel had been around 25 miles per hour. By 1900 it had increased to 100 miles per hour, and for the next seventy years it did seem to be increasing exponentially. By the time Toffler was writing, in 1970, the record for the fastest speed at which any human had traveled stood at roughly 25,000 mph, achieved by the crew of Apollo 10 in 1969, just one year before. At such an exponential rate, it must have seemed reasonable to assume that within a matter of decades, humanity would be exploring other solar systems.

Since 1970, no further increase has occurred. The record for the fastest a human has ever traveled remains with the crew of Apollo 10. True, the commercial airliner Concorde, which first flew in 1969, reached a maximum speed of 1,400 mph. And the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144, which flew first, reached an even faster speed of 1,553 mph. But those speeds not only have failed to increase; they have decreased since the Tupolev Tu-144 was cancelled and the Concorde was abandoned.

None of this stopped Toffler’s own career. He kept retooling his analysis to come up with new spectacular pronouncements. In 1980, he produced The Third Wave, its argument lifted from Ernest Mandel’s “third technological revolution”—except that while Mandel thought these changes would spell the end of capitalism, Toffler assumed capitalism was eternal. By 1990, Toffler was the personal intellectual guru to Republican congressman Newt Gingrich, who claimed that his 1994 “Contract With America” was inspired, in part, by the understanding that the United States needed to move from an antiquated, materialist, industrial mind-set to a new, free-market, information age, Third Wave civilization.

There are all sorts of ironies in this connection. One of Toffler’s greatest achievements was inspiring the government to create an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). One of Gingrich’s first acts on winning control of the House of Representatives in 1995 was defunding the OTA as an example of useless government extravagance. Still, there’s no contradiction here. By this time, Toffler had long since given up on influencing policy by appealing to the general public; he was making a living largely by giving seminars to CEOs and corporate think tanks. His insights had been privatized.

Gingrich liked to call himself a “conservative futurologist.” This, too, might seem oxymoronic; but, in fact, Toffler’s own conception of futurology was never progressive. Progress was always presented as a problem that needed to be solved.

Toffler might best be seen as a lightweight version of the nineteenth-century social theorist Auguste Comte, who believed that he was standing on the brink of a new age—in his case, the Industrial Age—driven by the inexorable progress of technology, and that the social cataclysms of his times were caused by the social system not adjusting. The older feudal order had developed Catholic theology, a way of thinking about man’s place in the cosmos perfectly suited to the social system of the time, as well as an institutional structure, the Church, that conveyed and enforced such ideas in a way that could give everyone a sense of meaning and belonging. The Industrial Age had developed its own system of ideas—science—but scientists had not succeeded in creating anything like the Catholic Church. Comte concluded that we needed to develop a new science, which he dubbed “sociology,” and said that sociologists should play the role of priests in a new Religion of Society that would inspire everyone with a love of order, community, work discipline, and family values. Toffler was less ambitious; his futurologists were not supposed to play the role of priests.

Gingrich had a second guru, a libertarian theologian named George Gilder, and Gilder, like Toffler, was obsessed with technology and social change. In an odd way, Gilder was more optimistic. Embracing a radical version of Mandel’s Third Wave argument, he insisted that what we were seeing with the rise of computers was an “overthrow of matter.” The old, materialist Industrial Society, where value came from physical labor, was giving way to an Information Age where value emerges directly from the minds of entrepreneurs, just as the world had originally appeared ex nihilo from the mind of God, just as money, in a proper supply-side economy, emerged ex nihilo from the Federal Reserve and into the hands of value-creating capitalists. Supply-side economic policies, Gilder concluded, would ensure that investment would continue to steer away from old government boondoggles like the space program and toward more productive information and medical technologies.

But if there was a conscious, or semi-conscious, move away from investment in research that might lead to better rockets and robots, and toward research that would lead to such things as laser printers and CAT scans, it had begun well before Toffler’s Future Shock (1970) and Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty (1981). What their success shows is that the issues they raised—that existing patterns of technological development would lead to social upheaval, and that we needed to guide technological development in directions that did not challenge existing structures of authority—echoed in the corridors of power. Statesmen and captains of industry had been thinking about such questions for some time.


Industrial capitalism has fostered an extremely rapid rate of scientific advance and technological innovation—one with no parallel in previous human history. Even capitalism’s greatest detractors, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, celebrated its unleashing of the “productive forces.” Marx and Engels also believed that capitalism’s continual need to revolutionize the means of industrial production would be its undoing. Marx argued that, for certain technical reasons, value—and therefore profits—can be extracted only from human labor. Competition forces factory owners to mechanize production, to reduce labor costs, but while this is to the short-term advantage of the firm, mechanization’s effect is to drive down the general rate of profit.

For 150 years, economists have debated whether all this is true. But if it is true, then the decision by industrialists not to pour research funds into the invention of the robot factories that everyone was anticipating in the sixties, and instead to relocate their factories to labor-intensive, low-tech facilities in China or the Global South makes a great deal of sense.

As I’ve noted, there’s reason to believe the pace of technological innovation in productive processes—the factories themselves—began to slow in the fifties and sixties, but the side effects of America’s rivalry with the Soviet Union made innovation appear to accelerate. There was the awesome space race, alongside frenetic efforts by U.S. industrial planners to apply existing technologies to consumer purposes, to create an optimistic sense of burgeoning prosperity and guaranteed progress that would undercut the appeal of working-class politics.

These moves were reactions to initiatives from the Soviet Union. But this part of the history is difficult for Americans to remember, because at the end of the Cold War, the popular image of the Soviet Union switched from terrifyingly bold rival to pathetic basket case—the exemplar of a society that could not work. Back in the fifties, in fact, many United States planners suspected the Soviet system worked better. Certainly, they recalled the fact that in the thirties, while the United States had been mired in depression, the Soviet Union had maintained almost unprecedented economic growth rates of 10 percent to 12 percent a year—an achievement quickly followed by the production of tank armies that defeated Nazi Germany, then by the launching of Sputnik in 1957, then by the first manned spacecraft, the Vostok, in 1961.

It’s often said the Apollo moon landing was the greatest historical achievement of Soviet communism. Surely, the United States would never have contemplated such a feat had it not been for the cosmic ambitions of the Soviet Politburo. We are used to thinking of the Politburo as a group of unimaginative gray bureaucrats, but they were bureaucrats who dared to dream astounding dreams. The dream of world revolution was only the first. It’s also true that most of them—changing the course of mighty rivers, this sort of thing—either turned out to be ecologically and socially disastrous, or, like Joseph Stalin’s one-hundred-story Palace of the Soviets or a twenty-story statue of Vladimir Lenin, never got off the ground.

After the initial successes of the Soviet space program, few of these schemes were realized, but the leadership never ceased coming up with new ones. Even in the eighties, when the United States was attempting its own last, grandiose scheme, Star Wars, the Soviets were planning to transform the world through creative uses of technology. Few outside of Russia remember most of these projects, but great resources were devoted to them. It’s also worth noting that unlike the Star Wars project, which was designed to sink the Soviet Union, most were not military in nature: as, for instance, the attempt to solve the world hunger problem by harvesting lakes and oceans with an edible bacteria called spirulina, or to solve the world energy problem by launching hundreds of gigantic solar-power platforms into orbit and beaming the electricity back to earth.

The American victory in the space race meant that, after 1968, U.S. planners no longer took the competition seriously. As a result, the mythology of the final frontier was maintained, even as the direction of research and development shifted away from anything that might lead to the creation of Mars bases and robot factories.

The standard line is that all this was a result of the triumph of the market. The Apollo program was a Big Government project, Soviet-inspired in the sense that it required a national effort coordinated by government bureaucracies. As soon as the Soviet threat drew safely out of the picture, though, capitalism was free to revert to lines of technological development more in accord with its normal, decentralized, free-market imperatives—such as privately funded research into marketable products like personal computers. This is the line that men like Toffler and Gilder took in the late seventies and early eighties.

In fact, the United States never did abandon gigantic, government-controlled schemes of technological development. Mainly, they just shifted to military research—and not just to Soviet-scale schemes like Star Wars, but to weapons projects, research in communications and surveillance technologies, and similar security-related concerns. To some degree this had always been true: the billions poured into missile research had always dwarfed the sums allocated to the space program. Yet by the seventies, even basic research came to be conducted following military priorities. One reason we don’t have robot factories is because roughly 95 percent of robotics research funding has been channeled through the Pentagon, which is more interested in developing unmanned drones than in automating paper mills.

A case could be made that even the shift to research and development on information technologies and medicine was not so much a reorientation toward market-driven consumer imperatives, but part of an all-out effort to follow the technological humbling of the Soviet Union with total victory in the global class war—seen simultaneously as the imposition of absolute U.S. military dominance overseas, and, at home, the utter rout of social movements.

For the technologies that did emerge proved most conducive to surveillance, work discipline, and social control. Computers have opened up certain spaces of freedom, as we’re constantly reminded, but instead of leading to the workless utopia Abbie Hoffman imagined, they have been employed in such a way as to produce the opposite effect. They have enabled a financialization of capital that has driven workers desperately into debt, and, at the same time, provided the means by which employers have created “flexible” work regimes that have both destroyed traditional job security and increased working hours for almost everyone. Along with the export of factory jobs, the new work regime has routed the union movement and destroyed any possibility of effective working-class politics.

Meanwhile, despite unprecedented investment in research on medicine and life sciences, we await cures for cancer and the common cold, and the most dramatic medical breakthroughs we have seen have taken the form of drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Ritalin—tailor-made to ensure that the new work demands don’t drive us completely, dysfunctionally crazy.

With results like these, what will the epitaph for neoliberalism look like? I think historians will conclude it was a form of capitalism that systematically prioritized political imperatives over economic ones. Given a choice between a course of action that would make capitalism seem the only possible economic system, and one that would transform capitalism into a viable, long-term economic system, neoliberalism chooses the former every time. There is every reason to believe that destroying job security while increasing working hours does not create a more productive (let alone more innovative or loyal) workforce. Probably, in economic terms, the result is negative—an impression confirmed by lower growth rates in just about all parts of the world in the eighties and nineties.

But the neoliberal choice has been effective in depoliticizing labor and overdetermining the future. Economically, the growth of armies, police, and private security services amounts to dead weight. It’s possible, in fact, that the very dead weight of the apparatus created to ensure the ideological victory of capitalism will sink it. But it’s also easy to see how choking off any sense of an inevitable, redemptive future that could be different from our world is a crucial part of the neoliberal project.

At this point all the pieces would seem to be falling neatly into place. By the sixties, conservative political forces were growing skittish about the socially disruptive effects of technological progress, and employers were beginning to worry about the economic impact of mechanization. The fading Soviet threat allowed for a reallocation of resources in directions seen as less challenging to social and economic arrangements, or indeed directions that could support a campaign of reversing the gains of progressive social movements and achieving a decisive victory in what U.S. elites saw as a global class war. The change of priorities was introduced as a withdrawal of big-government projects and a return to the market, but in fact the change shifted government-directed research away from programs like NASA or alternative energy sources and toward military, information, and medical technologies.

Of course this doesn’t explain everything. Above all, it does not explain why, even in those areas that have become the focus of well-funded research projects, we have not seen anything like the kind of advances anticipated fifty years ago. If 95 percent of robotics research has been funded by the military, then where are the Klaatu-style killer robots shooting death rays from their eyes?

Obviously, there have been advances in military technology in recent decades. One of the reasons we all survived the Cold War is that while nuclear bombs might have worked as advertised, their delivery systems did not; intercontinental ballistic missiles weren’t capable of striking cities, let alone specific targets inside cities, and this fact meant there was little point in launching a nuclear first strike unless you intended to destroy the world.

Contemporary cruise missiles are accurate by comparison. Still, precision weapons never do seem capable of assassinating specific individuals (Saddam, Osama, Qaddafi), even when hundreds are dropped. And ray guns have not materialized—surely not for lack of trying. We can assume the Pentagon has spent billions on death ray research, but the closest they’ve come so far are lasers that might, if aimed correctly, blind an enemy gunner looking directly at the beam. Aside from being unsporting, this is pathetic: lasers are a fifties technology. Phasers that can be set to stun do not appear to be on the drawing boards; and when it comes to infantry combat, the preferred weapon almost everywhere remains the AK-47, a Soviet design named for the year it was introduced: 1947.


The Internet is a remarkable innovation, but all we are talking about is a super-fast and globally accessible combination of library, post office, and mail-order catalogue. Had the Internet been described to a science fiction aficionado in the fifties and sixties and touted as the most dramatic technological achievement since his time, his reaction would have been disappointment. Fifty years and this is the best our scientists managed to come up with? We expected computers that would think!

Overall, levels of research funding have increased dramatically since the seventies. Admittedly, the proportion of that funding that comes from the corporate sector has increased most dramatically, to the point that private enterprise is now funding twice as much research as the government, but the increase is so large that the total amount of government research funding, in real-dollar terms, is much higher than it was in the sixties. “Basic,” “curiosity-driven,” or “blue skies” research—the kind that is not driven by the prospect of any immediate practical application, and that is most likely to lead to unexpected breakthroughs—occupies an ever smaller proportion of the total, though so much money is being thrown around nowadays that overall levels of basic research funding have increased.

Yet most observers agree that the results have been paltry. Certainly we no longer see anything like the continual stream of conceptual revolutions—genetic inheritance, relativity, psychoanalysis, quantum mechanics—that people had grown used to, and even expected, a hundred years before. Why?

Part of the answer has to do with the concentration of resources on a handful of gigantic projects: “big science,” as it has come to be called. The Human Genome Project is often held out as an example. After spending almost three billion dollars and employing thousands of scientists and staff in five different countries, it has mainly served to establish that there isn’t very much to be learned from sequencing genes that’s of much use to anyone else. Even more, the hype and political investment surrounding such projects demonstrate the degree to which even basic research now seems to be driven by political, administrative, and marketing imperatives that make it unlikely anything revolutionary will happen.

Here, our fascination with the mythic origins of Silicon Valley and the Internet has blinded us to what’s really going on. It has allowed us to imagine that research and development is now driven, primarily, by small teams of plucky entrepreneurs, or the sort of decentralized cooperation that creates open-source software. This is not so, even though such research teams are most likely to produce results. Research and development is still driven by giant bureaucratic projects.

What has changed is the bureaucratic culture. The increasing interpenetration of government, university, and private firms has led everyone to adopt the language, sensibilities, and organizational forms that originated in the corporate world. Although this might have helped in creating marketable products, since that is what corporate bureaucracies are designed to do, in terms of fostering original research, the results have been catastrophic.

My own knowledge comes from universities, both in the United States and Britain. In both countries, the last thirty years have seen a veritable explosion of the proportion of working hours spent on administrative tasks at the expense of pretty much everything else. In my own university, for instance, we have more administrators than faculty members, and the faculty members, too, are expected to spend at least as much time on administration as on teaching and research combined. The same is true, more or less, at universities worldwide.

The growth of administrative work has directly resulted from introducing corporate management techniques. Invariably, these are justified as ways of increasing efficiency and introducing competition at every level. What they end up meaning in practice is that everyone winds up spending most of their time trying to sell things: grant proposals; book proposals; assessments of students’ jobs and grant applications; assessments of our colleagues; prospectuses for new interdisciplinary majors; institutes; conference workshops; universities themselves (which have now become brands to be marketed to prospective students or contributors); and so on.

As marketing overwhelms university life, it generates documents about fostering imagination and creativity that might just as well have been designed to strangle imagination and creativity in the cradle. No major new works of social theory have emerged in the United States in the last thirty years. We have been reduced to the equivalent of medieval scholastics, writing endless annotations of French theory from the seventies, despite the guilty awareness that if new incarnations of Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, or Pierre Bourdieu were to appear in the academy today, we would deny them tenure.

There was a time when academia was society’s refuge for the eccentric, brilliant, and impractical. No longer. It is now the domain of professional self-marketers. As a result, in one of the most bizarre fits of social self-destructiveness in history, we seem to have decided we have no place for our eccentric, brilliant, and impractical citizens. Most languish in their mothers’ basements, at best making the occasional, acute intervention on the Internet.


If all this is true in the social sciences, where research is still carried out with minimal overhead largely by individuals, one can imagine how much worse it is for astrophysicists. And, indeed, one astrophysicist, Jonathan Katz, has recently warned students pondering a career in the sciences. Even if you do emerge from the usual decade-long period languishing as someone else’s flunky, he says, you can expect your best ideas to be stymied at every point:

You will spend your time writing proposals rather than doing research. Worse, because your proposals are judged by your competitors, you cannot follow your curiosity, but must spend your effort and talents on anticipating and deflecting criticism rather than on solving the important scientific problems. . . . It is proverbial that original ideas are the kiss of death for a proposal, because they have not yet been proved to work.

That pretty much answers the question of why we don’t have teleportation devices or antigravity shoes. Common sense suggests that if you want to maximize scientific creativity, you find some bright people, give them the resources they need to pursue whatever idea comes into their heads, and then leave them alone. Most will turn up nothing, but one or two may well discover something. But if you want to minimize the possibility of unexpected breakthroughs, tell those same people they will receive no resources at all unless they spend the bulk of their time competing against each other to convince you they know in advance what they are going to discover.

In the natural sciences, to the tyranny of managerialism we can add the privatization of research results. As the British economist David Harvie has reminded us, “open source” research is not new. Scholarly research has always been open source, in the sense that scholars share materials and results. There is competition, certainly, but it is “convivial.” This is no longer true of scientists working in the corporate sector, where findings are jealously guarded, but the spread of the corporate ethos within the academy and research institutes themselves has caused even publicly funded scholars to treat their findings as personal property. Academic publishers ensure that findings that are published are increasingly difficult to access, further enclosing the intellectual commons. As a result, convivial, open-source competition turns into something much more like classic market competition.

There are many forms of privatization, up to and including the simple buying up and suppression of inconvenient discoveries by large corporations fearful of their economic effects. (We cannot know how many synthetic fuel formulae have been bought up and placed in the vaults of oil companies, but it’s hard to imagine nothing like this happens.) More subtle is the way the managerial ethos discourages everything adventurous or quirky, especially if there is no prospect of immediate results. Oddly, the Internet can be part of the problem here. As Neal Stephenson put it:

Most people who work in corporations or academia have witnessed something like the following: A number of engineers are sitting together in a room, bouncing ideas off each other. Out of the discussion emerges a new concept that seems promising. Then some laptop-wielding person in the corner, having performed a quick Google search, announces that this “new” idea is, in fact, an old one; it—or at least something vaguely similar—has already been tried. Either it failed, or it succeeded. If it failed, then no manager who wants to keep his or her job will approve spending money trying to revive it. If it succeeded, then it’s patented and entry to the market is presumed to be unattainable, since the first people who thought of it will have “first-mover advantage” and will have created “barriers to entry.” The number of seemingly promising ideas that have been crushed in this way must number in the millions.

And so a timid, bureaucratic spirit suffuses every aspect of cultural life. It comes festooned in a language of creativity, initiative, and entrepreneurialism. But the language is meaningless. Those thinkers most likely to make a conceptual breakthrough are the least likely to receive funding, and, if breakthroughs occur, they are not likely to find anyone willing to follow up on their most daring implications.

Giovanni Arrighi has noted that after the South Sea Bubble, British capitalism largely abandoned the corporate form. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, Britain had instead come to rely on a combination of high finance and small family firms—a pattern that held throughout the next century, the period of maximum scientific and technological innovation. (Britain at that time was also notorious for being just as generous to its oddballs and eccentrics as contemporary America is intolerant. A common expedient was to allow them to become rural vicars, who, predictably, became one of the main sources for amateur scientific discoveries.)

Contemporary, bureaucratic corporate capitalism was a creation not of Britain, but of the United States and Germany, the two rival powers that spent the first half of the twentieth century fighting two bloody wars over who would replace Britain as a dominant world power—wars that culminated, appropriately enough, in government-sponsored scientific programs to see who would be the first to discover the atom bomb. It is significant, then, that our current technological stagnation seems to have begun after 1945, when the United States replaced Britain as organizer of the world economy.

Americans do not like to think of themselves as a nation of bureaucrats—quite the opposite—but the moment we stop imagining bureaucracy as a phenomenon limited to government offices, it becomes obvious that this is precisely what we have become. The final victory over the Soviet Union did not lead to the domination of the market, but, in fact, cemented the dominance of conservative managerial elites, corporate bureaucrats who use the pretext of short-term, competitive, bottom-line thinking to squelch anything likely to have revolutionary implications of any kind.


If we do not notice that we live in a bureaucratic society, that is because bureaucratic norms and practices have become so all-pervasive that we cannot see them, or, worse, cannot imagine doing things any other way.

Computers have played a crucial role in this narrowing of our social imaginations. Just as the invention of new forms of industrial automation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had the paradoxical effect of turning more and more of the world’s population into full-time industrial workers, so has all the software designed to save us from administrative responsibilities turned us into part- or full-time administrators. In the same way that university professors seem to feel it is inevitable they will spend more of their time managing grants, so affluent housewives simply accept that they will spend weeks every year filling out forty-page online forms to get their children into grade schools. We all spend increasing amounts of time punching passwords into our phones to manage bank and credit accounts and learning how to perform jobs once performed by travel agents, brokers, and accountants.

Someone once figured out that the average American will spend a cumulative six months of life waiting for traffic lights to change. I don’t know if similar figures are available for how long it takes to fill out forms, but it must be at least as long. No population in the history of the world has spent nearly so much time engaged in paperwork.

In this final, stultifying stage of capitalism, we are moving from poetic technologies to bureaucratic technologies. By poetic technologies I refer to the use of rational and technical means to bring wild fantasies to reality. Poetic technologies, so understood, are as old as civilization. Lewis Mumford noted that the first complex machines were made of people. Egyptian pharaohs were able to build the pyramids only because of their mastery of administrative procedures, which allowed them to develop production-line techniques, dividing up complex tasks into dozens of simple operations and assigning each to one team of workmen—even though they lacked mechanical technology more complex than the inclined plane and lever. Administrative oversight turned armies of peasant farmers into the cogs of a vast machine. Much later, after cogs had been invented, the design of complex machinery elaborated principles originally developed to organize people.

Yet we have seen those machines—whether their moving parts are arms and torsos or pistons, wheels, and springs—being put to work to realize impossible fantasies: cathedrals, moon shots, transcontinental railways. Certainly, poetic technologies had something terrible about them; the poetry is likely to be as much of dark satanic mills as of grace or liberation. But the rational, administrative techniques were always in service to some fantastic end.

From this perspective, all those mad Soviet plans—even if never realized—marked the climax of poetic technologies. What we have now is the reverse. It’s not that vision, creativity, and mad fantasies are no longer encouraged, but that most remain free-floating; there’s no longer even the pretense that they could ever take form or flesh. The greatest and most powerful nation that has ever existed has spent the last decades telling its citizens they can no longer contemplate fantastic collective enterprises, even if—as the environmental crisis demands— the fate of the earth depends on it.

What are the political implications of all this? First of all, we need to rethink some of our most basic assumptions about the nature of capitalism. One is that capitalism is identical with the market, and that both therefore are inimical to bureaucracy, which is supposed to be a creature of the state.

The second assumption is that capitalism is in its nature technologically progressive. It would seem that Marx and Engels, in their giddy enthusiasm for the industrial revolutions of their day, were wrong about this. Or, to be more precise: they were right to insist that the mechanization of industrial production would destroy capitalism; they were wrong to predict that market competition would compel factory owners to mechanize anyway. If it didn’t happen, that is because market competition is not, in fact, as essential to the nature of capitalism as they had assumed. If nothing else, the current form of capitalism, where much of the competition seems to take the form of internal marketing within the bureaucratic structures of large semi-monopolistic enterprises, would come as a complete surprise to them.

Defenders of capitalism make three broad historical claims: first, that it has fostered rapid scientific and technological growth; second, that however much it may throw enormous wealth to a small minority, it does so in such a way as to increase overall prosperity; third, that in doing so, it creates a more secure and democratic world for everyone. It is clear that capitalism is not doing any of these things any longer. In fact, many of its defenders are retreating from claiming that it is a good system and instead falling back on the claim that it is the only possible system—or, at least, the only possible system for a complex, technologically sophisticated society such as our own.

But how could anyone argue that current economic arrangements are also the only ones that will ever be viable under any possible future technological society? The argument is absurd. How could anyone know?

Granted, there are people who take that position—on both ends of the political spectrum. As an anthropologist and anarchist, I encounter anticivilizational types who insist not only that current industrial technology leads only to capitalist-style oppression, but that this must necessarily be true of any future technology as well, and therefore that human liberation can be achieved only by returning to the Stone Age. Most of us are not technological determinists.

But claims for the inevitability of capitalism have to be based on a kind of technological determinism. And for that very reason, if the aim of neoliberal capitalism is to create a world in which no one believes any other economic system could work, then it needs to suppress not just any idea of an inevitable redemptive future, but any radically different technological future. Yet there’s a contradiction. Defenders of capitalism cannot mean to convince us that technological change has ended—since that would mean capitalism is not progressive. No, they mean to convince us that technological progress is indeed continuing, that we do live in a world of wonders, but that those wonders take the form of modest improvements (the latest iPhone!), rumors of inventions about to happen (“I hear they are going to have flying cars pretty soon”), complex ways of juggling information and imagery, and still more complex platforms for filling out of forms.

I do not mean to suggest that neoliberal capitalism—or any other system—can be successful in this regard. First, there’s the problem of trying to convince the world you are leading the way in technological progress when you are holding it back. The United States, with its decaying infrastructure, paralysis in the face of global warming, and symbolically devastating abandonment of its manned space program just as China accelerates its own, is doing a particularly bad public relations job. Second, the pace of change can’t be held back forever. Breakthroughs will happen; inconvenient discoveries cannot be permanently suppressed. Other, less bureaucratized parts of the world—or at least, parts of the world with bureaucracies that are not so hostile to creative thinking—will slowly but inevitably attain the resources required to pick up where the United States and its allies have left off. The Internet does provide opportunities for collaboration and dissemination that may help break us through the wall as well. Where will the breakthrough come? We can’t know. Maybe 3D printing will do what the robot factories were supposed to. Or maybe it will be something else. But it will happen.

About one conclusion we can feel especially confident: it will not happen within the framework of contemporary corporate capitalism—or any form of capitalism. To begin setting up domes on Mars, let alone to develop the means to figure out if there are alien civilizations to contact, we’re going to have to figure out a different economic system. Must the new system take the form of some massive new bureaucracy? Why do we assume it must? Only by breaking up existing bureaucratic structures can we begin. And if we’re going to invent robots that will do our laundry and tidy up the kitchen, then we’re going to have to make sure that whatever replaces capitalism is based on a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth and power—one that no longer contains either the super-rich or the desperately poor willing to do their housework. Only then will technology begin to be marshaled toward human needs. And this is the best reason to break free of the dead hand of the hedge fund managers and the CEOs—to free our fantasies from the screens in which such men have imprisoned them, to let our imaginations once again become a material force in human history.

Top Visited
Past week
Past month


Old News ;-)

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

2015 2014 2013 2012

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a political novice, and while she has sharp elbows she's extremely naive and makes blunder after blunder

Notable quotes:
"... I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing. ..."
"... *Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden. ..."
"... From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

Jeff W , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

" if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit "

If Elizabeth Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, the pressure on her to combine her delegates with those of Sanders -- from those supporting Bernie Sanders and those legitimately concerned with Joe Biden's chances against Trump* -- will be enormous . And, if , instead, Warren helps nominate Biden and Biden then goes on to lose to Donald Trump -- as I'm all but certain he will -- it will be all too clear just who played a pivotal role in helping to make that match-up even possible.

I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing.

*Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden.

rusti , January 21, 2020 at 2:07 am

In Sanders' case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime. We needed to point out that he would be dangerous as president since he made clear he would appease terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.

If this is really representative of a line of attack that the Trump campaign plans to use on him, that would be great. I can't imagine anything that would resonate less with voters. But I was a bit surprised to see this in a Bernie fundraising mail:

The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce its provisions, and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address our other concerns with Iran, including their support of terrorism.

What groups are they referring to when they say this? Hezbollah, which is part of Parliament in Lebanon? Iraqi PMF that are loosely integrated with the Iraqi army?

Bill Carson , January 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

Yep, Warren is a political novice, and she's extremely naive. That Massachusetts senate seat was practically handed to her on a silver platter. She has no idea that she was played in '16 and she's being played now.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren "Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism

She endorced Hillary in 2016. That tells a lot about her... Now she backstabbed Bernie. What's next?
Notable quotes:
"... Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage. ..."
"... My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni. ..."
"... She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard. ..."
"... Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. ..."
"... The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent. ..."
"... The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. ..."
"... My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

Massinissa , January 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm

"Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism.

Amit Chokshi , January 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage.

As pointed here on NC she's great at grandstanding when bank CEOs are in front of her and doing nothing following that.

My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni.

Yves Smith Post author , January 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

I don't see how she is anyone's VP. She is too old. You want someone under 60, better 50, particularly for an old presidential candidate. Treasury Secretary is a more powerful position. The big appeal of being VP is maybe it positions you later to be President but that last worked out for Bush the Senior.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

And Bush the Senior lost his re-election bid.

pebird , January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am

Because he asked us to read his lips. And he didn't think we were lip readers.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

She may be looking to be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. /s

Sue E Greenwald , January 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard.

jackiebass , January 21, 2020 at 6:40 am

I've watched Bernie for years. Even long before he decided to run for president. He is the same today as he was then. Bernie isn't afraid to advocate for something , even though he will get a lot of backlash. I also believe he is sincere in his convictions. If he says something he believes in it.Something you can't say for the other candidates. Bernie is by far my first choice.

After that it would be Warren. Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. As a life long democrat, I can't support or vote for a Wall Street candidate. Unlike one of the other commenters, I will never vote for Trump but instead wold vote for a third party candidate. Unfortunate the DNC will do anything to prevent Bernie from being candidate. Progressive democrats need to get out and support a progressive or the nomination will again be stolen by a what I call a light republican.

Robert Hahl , January 21, 2020 at 7:26 am

What is great about Bernie is that he is so sure-footed. It was visible in the hot-mic trap Warren set for him where she got nothing, it actually hurt her.

Anonymous Coward , January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent.

Howard , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. By many reports, Warren has an excellent ground game in IA and The NY Times endorsement has given a path for her to pick up Klobuchar voters after round one of the caucus.

Biden is a mystery to me. How the heck is he even running. Obama pleaded with him not to. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes in the top two. Buttigieg is the wild card. I think the "electability" argument will hurt him as he can't win after NH.

ALM , January 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

According to a recent poll, Elizabeth Warren is one of the most unpopular senators with voters in her own state as measured against approval rates of all other senators in their states. I find this very surprising for someone with a national profile. What do voters in Massachusetts not like about her?

As for me, I find it more and more difficult to trust Warren because she takes the bait and yields to pressure during a primary when the pressure to back down, moderate, and abandon once championed policy positions and principles is a great deal less than it is during the general election. Warren has gone from Medicare4All to a public option to, in the recent debate, tweaks to the ACA. Despite her roll-out of an ambitious $10 trillion Green New Deal plan, Warren is now to the right of Chuck "Wall Street" Schumer as evidenced by her support of NAFTA 2.0 which utterly fails to address climate change. WTF! Where will she be during a general election?

And her political instincts are awful as recently demonstrated by her woke, badly executed girl power attack against a candidate who has been a committed feminist for his entire political career.

Another Scott , January 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

She also has horrible constituent service. I had an issue with a federal student loan a few years ago (I believe it was the servicer depositing money but not crediting my account and charging me interest and late fees). After getting nowhere with the company, I tried calling her office, figuring that as this was one of her core issues, I would get some response, either help or at least someone who would want to record what happened to her actual constituent. I didn't hear back for about a month, by which time I had resolved the issue – no fees or additional interest through multiple phone calls and emails.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren's constituent service is worse than Sallie Mae's.

T , January 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

The stupid Ponds cold cream lie is the worst. Unless she teed up the "how do you look so young!" question , the corrected answer is to point out the nonsense of talking about a candidates looks and addressing actual sexism.

Instead she has a goofball answer about only using Ponds cold cream which lead to Derm pointing out her alleged method was not good advice and also pointing out that she appears to have used botex and fillers, which I don't think people were talking about before then, in public.

The most generous explanation is she was caught flat-footed and, once again, showed she has terrible instincts.

Just a dumb dumb move.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

If Bernie Sanders can get it through the thick noggin of the nation that he stands for and will implement the principles, policies, and values of the New Deal–the attitude that got us through the Great Depression and Wotld War II–he has every chance of being elected the next President of the United States.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

Btw, is Inauguration Day just a year away?

The Rev Kev , January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

Google says Wednesday Jan 20, 2021: Swearing-In Ceremony. And here is a countdown page-

Trust me. By the time it comes around you won't care who gets sworn in as you will just be glad that all the vicious, wretched skullduggery of this year's elections will finally be over.

Pat , January 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

And hoping you get one day of rest before the vicious, wretched skullduggery of undermining the desires of the American people gets started. Obviously Sanders will make the Trump years look a cake walk. Anyone else (Democrat or Trump) we will see lots of 'working for' and 'resistance' type memes while largely doing nothing of the sort, but a whole lot of 'bipartisan' passage of terrible things.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

It sounds like Sanders, in the famous 2018 conversation, may have been trying to politely encourage EW to not run in 2020. Her moment was 2016 and she declined to run then when a Progressive candidate was needed. Her run in 2020 to some extent divides the Progressive vote. EW interpreted, perhaps intentionally, Sanders' words to imply that he thinks "no woman can win in 2020", and then weaponized them against him.

The very fact that she is running at all suggests to me that she is not at heart a Progressive and in fact does not want a Progressive candidate to win. If she had run in 2016, Sanders would not have run in order to not divide the Progressive vote. EW knew that Sanders would run in 2020 and planned to run anyway. It is hard for me to not interpret this to be an intentional bid for some of the Progressive vote, in order to hold Sanders down.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

I agree. She decides to do things based on her own self-interest, and uses progressives as pawns to work her way up in DC. My guess is that Warren chickened out in 2016 and didn't run because maybe she didn't think she had a chance against the Clintons. When Warren saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, how close he was at winning, I think only then she decided that 2020 was a good chance for a progressive, or someone running as a progressive candidate, to win the nomination.

She saw how Sanders had fired up loyal progressive support in the Democratic Party. She chickened out back then when she could have endorsed Bernie in '16, but chose not to, probably hoping not to burn bridges with Clinton in order to get a plum role in her administration. Her non-endorsement in '16 worries me because it shows once again that Warren makes decisions largely based on what is good for her career, not what she thinks is better for the country (if she really is the progressive she claims to be).

Knowing that there was now a strong progressive base ready to vote for a candidate left of Democratic candidates like Biden and Clinton, Warren saw her entry into having a good chance at winning the presidency. Rather than thinking about the implications for Bernie and the possibility of dividing left-wing voters, her desire to become president was more important. Remember, this is exactly what Bernie did not do in 2016 when he urged Warren to run, and was willing to step aside, if she had agreed to do so.

If I had been in Sanders position, I probably would have sat down and talked to Warren about the serious implications of the both of them running in 2020. How he had hoped to build on the momentum from his last campaign and the sexism that was used against Clinton in 2016. Hey, if I had been Sanders, I probably would have told Warren not to run. Not because she's a woman, but because it would have been obvious to Bernie that with Warren running alongside him, they would both end up splitting the progressive vote.

What is happening now between the two of them should have been no surprise to either Bernie or Warren. They are both popular among Democrats who identify as progressive or left-of-center. Democrats will always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. And I agree that when it becomes evident that one of them cannot win, either Bernie or Warren must step aside for the good of the country and fully back the other. There is no other option if either of them truly wants the other to win the nomination rather than Biden. I'm hoping that Warren will do so since it is becoming more clear that Sanders is the stronger progressive and the stronger candidate who has a better chance at beating both Biden and Trump.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

> "no woman can win in 2020"

The claim was "no woman can win." It was not qualified in any way.

landline , January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

If sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders begins to look like the presumptive nominee, look for a new candidate to throw her hat into the ring. Her name: Michelle Obama.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

> sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders

I'm so sick of that sheepdog meme (originated by, much as a respect BAR, by a GP activist bitter, I would say, over many years of GP ineffectuality). The elites seem to be pretty nervous about a sheepdog.

pretzelattack , January 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

if he were a sheepdog, why would the shepherds have to intervene? they wouldn't.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

And now we have Sanders apologizing for an op-ed in the Guardian by Zephyr Teachout accusing Biden of corruption.

The op-ed simply says what Sanders has said all along, the system is corrupted by big donors. Then she explicitly states the obvious, which Sanders won't at this point say but that Trump certainly will: Biden is a prime example of serving his donors' interests to the detriment of most of the rest of us. Sanders subsequently apologizes for Teachout's baldly true assertion, stating that he doesn't believe that Biden is corrupt.

I guess we're meant to draw a clear distinction between legalized and illegal corruption. I don't know. They both look like ducks to me.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

Sometimes it's better for Bernie to keep his mouth shut.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

I have read that Sanders is the #2 choice of many Iowans who favor JB; it makes a lot of sense for him to not "go negative" on JB in the run-up to the caucuses.

There will be time for plainer speaking. Sanders has been clear about his views on the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. JB is exhibit #1 within the D primary field and there will be plenty of opportunity to note that.

I suspect that there is a great deal of "method" in what may look to us like "madness" in the Senator's civility.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

To put it another way, I doubt very much that Sanders believes that JB's legislative agendas were not significantly influenced by the sources of his campaign funds. And I'm sure that attention will be drawn to this at the right time.

One can charitably affirm that one believes that JB is not a consciously corrupt , pay-for-play, kind of person, while also affirming that of course he has been influenced by the powerful interests that have funded his career, and that this has not served the interests of the American people. All in due course.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted, and make it well. Too bad she has shown so completely that can't be trusted as a person, because she often looks good on paper

inode_buddha , January 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I think Warren misses the key point that the reason why the system is corrupted is because the players in it are corrupted. They can be bought and sold. That is why they have no shame.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

> The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted

That's not the right answer at all. The climate crisis, for example, is not caused by a lack of transparency in the oil industry. It is caused by capital allocation decisions by the billionaire class and their servicers in subaltern classes.

urblintz , January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

"The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University's decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa's restrictive new voter-ID law. That's a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake." Iowa is not the Twittersphere – Laura Flanders

ptb , January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Thanks for giving this the attention it needs, analysis of the primary has been too light on estimation of delegate numbers and strategy.

Prior to Warren's apparent turn to some new direction, the setup for a 3way DNC with a progressive "coalition" was not only conceivable, but actually expected from the polls.

We are on pace for Sanders+Warren's combined delegate total to exceed Biden by a healthy amount (say 4:3) with all others falling below 15% state by state and getting few or no delegates. Obviously subject to snowballing in either direction, but that's the polls now and for most of the past year.

Warren's attack on Sanders, and NYT endorsement, say the national party doesn't expect any such coalition. Therefore Warren has made her choice. That's that.

The path to winning the Dem primary is a little narrower for Sanders, and also for Biden, since he seems to lack the confidence of his the top strata. The DNC screws a lot up but they know how to read polls. I'm pretty sure that running Warren in the General is not their plan A.

Voters in Iowa and the early states (incl. TX and CA) look like they will be deciding it all this year. The tremendous enthusiasm of Sanders followers gives him, IMO, the best ground game of the three. Will be an interesting 6 weeks.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Running Warren in the general might be their plan A. They may not want to win. Of course they might rather have Klobuchar but

Hepativore , January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

She seems to have gone full establishment at this point.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

> I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.


ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

The youngish rehab therapist, a woman, said this morning that of the women running, she likes Klobuchar. "If only her voice wasn't so screechy. And I'm saying this as a woman." She was seriously disturbed by Clinton's attack on Sanders.
Several neighbors are leaning towards Yang.

John k , January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

The value of her endorsement

My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie.

This means most of those remaining will probably migrate to Biden if when she drops out even if she recommends Bernie. (If 1/3 of her supporters that had Bernie as their second choice switch to Bernie, then 60% of her remaining supporters have Biden as their second choice.)

2016 was different, Clinton already had the older females. But there was a period where just a little support might have tipped the scale in what was a very tight race.

Anyway, I see going forward she will be mostly holding supporters whose second choice is Biden even as she maybe doesn't reach the 15% barrier
and same with Amy. So I hope they both stay in at least until super tue.

And While I previously thought she was a reasonable choice for veep, I now realize she'd be an awful choice. Maybe treasury if she does endorse which she will do if Bernie looks a winner.

worldblee , January 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

How can anyone be surprised at the lack of trustworthiness from a politician who chose to endorse Clinton in 2016 rather than Bernie? Warren has been playing the DNC game for a long time now, which ideologically is in line with her lifelong Republican stance before changing to the more demographically favorable party when she was 47. She's not progressive now, and never has been or will be.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a "damaged goods" now: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a political whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton.

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. ..."
"... I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here. ..."
"... "She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

Both campaigns are backing away from greater public conflict. Whether that holds true in the long run is anyone's guess, but my guess is that it will. Still, the following is clear:

So far, in other words, most of the damage has been borne by Warren as a result of the incident. She may recover, but this could also end her candidacy by accelerating a decline that started with public reaction to her recent stand on Medicare For All. None of this is certain to continue, but these are the trends.

... ... ...

But if Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, as it seems it might -- and if the goal of both camps is truly to defeat Joe Biden -- it's incumbent on Warren to drop out and endorse her "friend and ally" Bernie Sanders as soon as it's clear she can no longer win . (The same is true if Sanders becomes unviable, though that seems much less likely.)

Ms. Warren can do whatever she wants, certainly. But if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit, and frankly, helps nominate Biden. She has the right to do that, but not to claim at the same time that she's working to further the progressive movement.

TG , January 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton. If Warren were a real progressive, the big money would never go for her like this.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders. But I will vote for Trump over Warren. Better the moron and agent of chaos that you know, than the calculating vicious backstabber that you don't.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:26 am

> She simply MUST be a wh0re,

I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here.

Phillip Allen , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

"She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 8:26 am

I favor the term "corporate lickspittle".

russell1200 , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

She's got the Clinton's and now Obama folks behind her.

I doubt they are thrilled with her, but probably view as someone they can work with and the other options are worse or too low in the poll numbers. I assume Buttigieg is fine with them, but his numbers are stuck.

doug , January 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

You are so right. Hillary says she will not support him if the nominee. Gloves are off. I hope the Sanders campaign has some Karl Rove types .

Amfortas the hippie , January 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm

from the sidebar of that link:

from cilizza, no less. that Hilary speaking thusly is actually good for sanders.

False Solace , January 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

Personally I cannot consider voting for a drone murderer like Trump, who cozies up to the Saudis and has tried to cut SS and Medicare. He's shown what he is, just as Warren has. We'll never get M4A from either one of them.

If it's not Bernie I'm voting Green. I live in a blue state that almost went for Trump last time – my vote potentially matters and will serve as a signal. Voting for the lesser murderous corporatist scum is what got us into this mess. I'm over it. I will not vote for evil.

HotFlash , January 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

In 2016 I might just have voted for Trump, as a middle finger to the Dem establishment that crowned HRH HRC, since at that time he had not committed any war crimes. But now, no way. One of my unshakeable principles is that I will not vote for a war criminal. Green , write-in, or leave the Pres slot blank. But I hope and pray (and I'm an atheist!) that it doesn't come to this. We really don't have another 4 years to waste on this, the earth can't wait.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 12:41 am

It's very unfortunate that it has come to this, but I've always been uneasy about Warren. This incident and her accusations against Bernie solidified my suspicions about her. Her being a Republican until her late 40s, her lies about sending her child to public school, her lies about her father being a janitor, her plagiarized cookbook recipes, and claiming to be Native American. It's all so bizarre to me and for a while I had believed her to have a personality disorder that caused compulsive lying. I wanted to feel good about my vote for Warren, but now? If she wins the nomination I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but I don't trust her to not sell out to the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party. I also don't trust her to endorse Bernie if she drops out before the convention. She didn't endorse him in '16, so what makes progressives think she'll do so this time. It would not surprise me in the least if she endorsed Biden or agrees to be his running mate.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:27 am

Warren is not agreement-capable. Much as it pains me to say this, the Obama administration was correct to hold her at arm's length.

Adding, that doesn't mean that Sanders can't negotiate with her, if that must be done (to defeat Trump). But any such negotiations cannot proceed on a basis of trust.

JohnnyGL , January 21, 2020 at 8:13 am

The most generous interpretation i can come up with is that i's possible she told the story to several of her clintonite staffers in confidence. Those staffers went to CNN and forced her to stand by her story, even if she didn't want to go public, because she was threatened with staffers calling her a liar.

She might have been mad at Bernie for not bailing her out.

This version, which i don't believe, but consider it possible (not plausible) would be arguably as bad because her staffers got the upper hand and pushed her around.

John Wright , January 21, 2020 at 10:17 am

Warren could have said something to the effect that

"Bernie and I had a private conversation and I believe he suggested that electing a woman president in the USA would be difficult."

"Unfortunately, I mentioned this private conversation to some staffers, who apparently mentioned this to the press."

"This does not mean that I believe Bernie to be sexist."

"I appreciate opinions and advice from someone as experienced as Bernie."

"I want others to know that, private advice supplied to me by anyone will be treated as private information, not to be divulged to the press."

"The staffer responsible for passing this information to the press has been released from the campaign."

"I apologize to Bernie for allowing this to happen."


jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

The problem is the country has become so irrational and susceptible to soundbites and twitter shame and etc. that you can't even say "electing a women president would be difficult" which might be true, or it becomes like Hillary's deplorable remark, we all know it's true some Trump supporters fit the description, but it gets taken way out of context and exaggerated beyond all recognition.


Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

The "invisible hand" of the Clinton Staffers then forced her not to shake Bernie's hand, I take it.


jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

She didn't even have to deny it. Should could have just been "That was a private conversation, I will not go into what was said in private. Bernie is a good friend of mine, who has supported women candidates on many occasions".


none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:


Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.


ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist.
What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."


[Jan 21, 2020] Tucker Carlson Warns 'Mistake' To Assume Trump Victory In November

Notable quotes:
"... RealClearPolitics ..."
Jan 21, 2020 |

The president base is clarly more narrow then in 2016: he used anti-war repiblicansand independents aswell as "Anybody but Hillary" voters (large part of Sanders votrs). Part of military is now Tulsi supported and probalywill not vote at all, at least they will not vote for Trump.

Fox News 's Tucker Carlson on Monday warned Republicans not to get complacent, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could wind up taking "many thousands " of votes from President Trump if he is able to secure the Democratic nomination, according to The Hill 's Joe Concha.

"A year from today, we'll be hosting this show from the National Mall as the next president of the United States takes the oath of office," said Carlson, adding "Will that president be Donald Trump? As of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident it will be."

"The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show -- elderly socialists accusing each other of thoughtcrimes. Republicans are starting to think victory is assured. That's a mistake ," said Carlson. "America remains as divided as it was three years ago. No matter what happens, nobody's going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don't happen anymore. Trump could lose. Will he? That depends on what he runs on. "

Carlson then showed numbers for Trump on the economy that show while the main indicators are strong, there are some other numbers that should concern the president. He pointed to a Pew Research study that shows just 31 percent of Americans say the economy is helping them and their families, and just 32 percent say they believe the current economy helps the middle class.

Carlson then pivoted to Sanders's potential appeal to certain voter groups and said Republicans need a plan to battle that appeal.

" Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination ," Carlson said. " If he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next 10 months reminding you that socialism doesn't work , and never has. They'll be right, obviously," Carlson explained. - The Hill

So what's Bernie's appeal?

Recall that a not-insignificant Sanders supporters voted for Trump out of disgust following revelations that Hillary Clinton and the DNC conspirted to rig the 2016 primary against him.

According to Carlson, however, "if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he'll still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need a plan to make it better, or they'll be left behind."

"They're conservative in the most basic sense: They love their families above all," the host concluded. "They distrust radical theories of anything because they know that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt. They don't want to burn it down. They just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better -- incrementally, but tangibly -- will be inaugurated president a year from today."

According to a RealClearPolitics average of seven (oh so reliable) polls, Sanders would take Trump if he gets the nomination. Tags Politics

MANvsMACHINE , 3 minutes ago link

Bernie doesn't have a ******* chance once he has to debate Trump. Trump will pull every straggly hair from Bernie's nearly bald head.

Mustafa Kemal , 2 minutes ago link

I disagree. Trump hasnt had to debate someone with character and intelligence before.

Boogity , 6 minutes ago link

Carlson is right. The overwhelming majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with many working two jobs to make ends meet. The economy sucks for the working and middle class. Facts are stubborn things.

[Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
Jan 21, 2020 |

The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.

Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 |

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayl of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 |
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.

Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal/neoconservative compact by Bill Martin

Notable quotes:
"... In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6). ..."
"... This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take. ..."
"... So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better! ..."
Jan 19, 2020 |

Let's be clear, there is a difference between substituting geopolitical power calculations for a universal perspective on the good of humanity, and, on the other hand, recognizing that the existing layout of the world has to be taken into account in attempts to open up a true politics. (My larger perspective on the problem of "opening" is presented in the long essay, "The Fourth Hypothesis," at

Personally, I find the geopolitical analyses of George Friedman very much worthwhile to consider, especially when he is looking at things long-range, as in his books The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade. The latter was published at the beginning of 2012, and so we are coming to the close of the ten-year period that Friedman discusses.

One of the major arguments that Friedman makes in The Next Decade is that the United States will have to reach some sort of accommodation with Iran and its regional ambitions. The key to this, Friedman argues, is to bring about some kind of balance of power again, such as existed before Iraq was torn apart.

This is the key in general to continued U.S. hegemony in the world, in Friedman's view -- regional balances that keep regional powers tied up and unable to rise on the world stage. (An especially interesting example here is that Friedman says that Poland will be built up as a bulwark between Russia and Germany.)

In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6).

This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take.

(As the founder, CEO, and "Chief Intelligence Officer" of Stratfor, Friedman aimed to provide "non-ideological" strategic intelligence. My understanding of "non-ideological" is that the analysis was not formulated to suit the agendas of the two mainstream political parties in the U.S. However, my sense is that Friedman does believe that U.S. global hegemony is on the whole good for the world.)

In his book that came out before The Next Decade (2011), The Next 100 Years (2009), Friedman makes the case that the U.S. will not be seriously challenged globally for decades to come -- in fact, all the way until about 2080!

Just to give a different spin to something I said earlier, and that I've tried to emphasize in my articles since March 2016: questions of mere power are not questions of politics. Geopolitics is not politics, either -- in my terminology, it is "anti-politics."

For my part, I am not interested in supporting U.S. hegemony, not in the present and not in the future, and for the most part not in the past, either.

For the moment, let us simply say that the historical periods of the U.S. that are more supportable -- because they make some contribution, however flawed, to the greater, universal, human project -- are either from before the U.S. entered the road of seeking to compete with other "great powers" on the world stage, or quite apart from this road.

In my view, the end of U.S. global hegemony and, for that matter, the end of any "great nation-state" global hegemony, is a condition sine qua non of a human future that is just and sustainable. So, again, the brilliance that George Friedman often brings to geopolitical analysis is to be understood in terms of a coldly-realistic perspective, not a warmly-normative one.)

Of course, this continued U.S. hegemony depends on certain "wise" courses of action being taken by U.S. leaders (Friedman doesn't really get into the question of what might be behind these leaders), including a "subtle" approach to the aforementioned questions of Israel and Iran.

Obviously, anything associated with Donald Trump is not going to be overly subtle! On the other hand, here we are almost at the end of Friedman's decade, so perhaps the time for subtlety has passed, and the U.S. is compelled to be a bit heavy-handed if there is to be any chance of extricating itself from the endless quagmire.

However, there's a certain fly, a rather large one, in the ointment that seems to have eluded Friedman's calculations: "the rise of China."

It isn't that Friedman avoids the China question, not at all; Friedman argues, however, that by 2020 China will not only not be contending with the United States to have the largest economy in the world, but instead that China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior.

Certainly I know from study, and many conversations with people in China, this was a real concern going into the 2010s and in the first half of the decade.

The chapter dealing with all this in The Next 100 Years (Ch. 5) is titled, "China 2020: Paper Tiger," the latter term being one that Chairman Mao used regarding U.S. imperialism. Friedman writes of another "figure like Mao emerg[ing] to close the country off from the outside, [to] equalize the wealth -- or poverty " (p.7).

Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy, I certainly believe anything can happen in social matters, but it seems as though President Xi Jinping and the current leadership of the Communist Party of China have, at least for the time being, managed to head off fragmentation at the pass, so to speak.

Friedman argued that the "pass" that China especially had to deal with is unsustainable growth rates; but it appears that China has accomplished this, by purposely slowing its economy down.

One of the things that Friedman is especially helpful with, in his larger geopolitical analysis, is understanding the role that naval power plays in sustaining U.S. hegemony. (In global terms, such power is what keeps the neoliberal "free market" running, and this power is far from free.)


... ... ...

Two of the best supporters of Trump's stated agenda are Tucker Carlson and Steve Hilton. Neither of them pull any punches on this issue when it comes to Republicans, and both of them go some distance beyond Trump in stating an explicitly anti-war agenda.

They perhaps do not entirely fit the mold of leftist anti-imperialism as it existed from the 1890s through the Sixties (as in the political decade, perhaps 1964-1974 or so) and 1970s, but they do in fact fit this mold vastly better than almost any major figure of the Democratic Party, with the possible exceptions of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang. (But none of them has gone as far as Trump on this question!)

Certainly Elizabeth Warren is no exception, and at the moment of this writing she has made the crucial turn toward sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. That is her job, in my view, and part of it is to seem close to Bernie's positions (whatever their defects, which I'll discuss elsewhere), at least the ones that are more directly "economic," while winking at the ruling class.

There are a few things Carlson and Hilton say on the Iran situation and the Middle East in general that I don't agree with. But in the main I think both are right on where these issues are concerned.

As I've quoted Carlson a number of times previously, and as I also want to put forward Hilton as an important voice for a politics subservient to neither the liberal nor the conservative establishments, here let me quote what Hilton said in the midst of the Iran crisis, on January 5, 2020:

The best thing America can do to put the Middle East on a path that leads to more democracy, less terrorism, human rights and economic growth is to get the hell out of there while showing an absolute crystal clear determination to defend American interests with force whenever they are threatened.

That doesn't mean not doing anything, it means intervening only in ways that help America.

It means responding only to attacks on Americans disproportionately as a deterrent, just as we saw this week and it means finally accepting that it's not our job to fix the Middle East from afar.

The only part of this I take exception to is the "intervening only in ways that help America"-bit -- that opens the door to exactly the kinds of problems that Hilton wants the U.S. to avoid, besides the (to me, more important) fact that it is just morally wrong to think it is acceptable to intervene if it is in one's "interests."

My guess is that Hilton thinks that there is some built-in utilitarian or pragmatic calculus that means the morally-problematic interventions will not occur. I do not see where this has ever worked, but more importantly, this is where philosophy is important, theoretical work and abstract thinking are important.

It used to be that the Left was pretty good at this sort of thing, and there were some thoughtful conservatives who weren't bad, either. (A decent number of the latter, significantly, come from the Catholic intellectual tradition.) Now there are still a few of the latter, and there are ordinary people who are "thoughtful conservatives" in their "unschooled way" -- which is often better! -- but the Left has sold its intellectual soul along with its political soul.

That's a story for elsewhere (I have told parts of it in previous articles in this series); the point here is that the utilitarianism and "pragmatism" of merely calculating interests is not nearly going to cut it. (I have partly gone into this here because Hilton also advocates "pragmatism" in his very worthwhile book, Positive Populism -- it is the "affirmative" other side to Tucker Carlson's critical, "negative" expose, Ship of Fools.)

The wonderful philosophical pragmatism of William James is another matter; this is important because James, along with his friend Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), were leading figures of the Anti-Imperialist League back in the 1890s, when the U.S. establishment was beating the drums loudly to get into the race with Europeans for colonies.

They were for never getting "in" -- and of course they were not successful, which is why "get the hell out" is as important as anything people can say today.

What an insane world when the U.S. president says this and the political establishment opposes him, and "progressives" and "the Left" join in with the denunciations!

It has often been argued that the major utilitarian philosophers, from Bentham and Mill to Peter Singer, have implicit principles that go beyond the utilitarian calculus; I agree with this, and I think this is true of Steve Hilton as well.

In this light, allow me to quote a little more from the important statement he made on his Fox News Channel program, "The Next Revolution," on January 5; all of this is stuff I entirely agree with, and that expresses some very good principles:

The West's involvement in the Middle East has been a disaster from the start and finally, with President Trump, America is in a position to bring it to an end. We don't need their oil and we don't need their problems.

Finally, we have a U.S. president who gets that and wants to get out. There are no prospects for Middle East peace as long as we are there.

We're never going to defeat the ideology of Islamist terror as long as these countries are basket cases and one of the reasons they are basket cases is that our preposterous foreign policy establishment with monumental arrogance have treated the middle east like some chess game played out in the board rooms in Washington and London.

– [, transcribed by Yael Halon]

So then there is the usual tittering about this and that regarding Carlson and Hilton from liberal and progressive Democrats and leftists who support the Democrats, and it seems to me that there is one major reason why there is this foolish tittering: It is because these liberals and leftists really don't care about, for example, the destruction of Libya, or the murder of Berta Caceres.

Or, maybe they do care, but they have convinced themselves that these things have to swept under the rug in the name of defeating the pure evil of Trump. What this amounts to, in the "nationalist" discourse, is that Trump is some kind of nationalist (as he has said numerous times), perhaps of an "isolationist" sort, while the Democrats are in fact what can be called "nationalists of the neoliberal/neoconservative compact."

My liberal and leftist friends (some of them Maoists and post-Maoists and Trotskyists or some other kinds of Marxists or purported radicals -- feminists or antifa or whatever) just cannot see, it simply appears to be completely beyond the realm of their imaginations, that the latter kind of nationalism is much worse and qualitatively worse than what Trump represents, and it completely lacks the substantial good elements of Trump's agenda.

But hey, don't worry my liberal and leftist friends, it is hard to imagine that Joe Biden's "return to normalcy" won't happen at some point -- it will take not only an immense movement to even have a chance of things working out otherwise, but a movement that likes of which is beyond everyone's imagination at this point -- a movement of a revolutionary politics that remains to be invented, as all real politics are, by the masses.

Liberals and leftists have little to worry about here, they're okay with a Deep State society with a bullshit-democratic veneer and a neoliberal world order; this set-up doesn't really affect them all that much, not negatively at any rate, and the deplorables can just go to hell.


The Left I grew up with was the Sixties Left, and they used to be a great source of historical memory, and of anti-imperialism, civil rights, and ordinary working-people empowerment.

The current Left, and whatever array of Democratic-Party supporters, have received their marching orders, finally, from commander Pelosi (in reality, something more like a lieutenant), so the two weeks or so of "immense concern" about Iran has given way again to the extraordinarily-important and solemn work of impeachment.

But then, impeachment is about derailing the three main aspects of Trump's agenda, so you see how that works. Indeed, perhaps the way this is working is that Trump did in fact head off, whatever one thinks of the methods, a war with Iran (at this time! – and I do think this is but a temporary respite), or more accurately, a war between Iran and Israel that the U.S. would almost certainly be sucked into immediately.

So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better!

Bill Martin is a philosopher and musician, retired from DePaul University. He is completing a book with the title, "The Trump Clarification: Disruption at the Edge of the System (toward a theory)." His most recent albums are "Raga Chaturanga" (Bill Martin + Zugzwang; Avant-Bass 3) and "Emptiness, Garden: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 (Ryokucha Bass Guitar Quartet; Avant-Bass 4). He lives in Salina, Kansas, and plays bass guitar with The Radicles.

Dungroanin ,

I have read through finally. And comments too.

My opinion is Bill Martin is on the ball except for one personage- Hilton. If he is Camerons Hilton and architect of the Brexit referendum – for which he is rewarded with a 'seat at the table' of the crumbling Empire. The Strafor man too is just as complicit in the Empires wickedness.

But I'll let Bill off with that because he mentioned the Anti-Imperialist Mark Twain – always a joy to be reminded of Americas Dickens.

On Trump – he didn't use the Nuclear codes 10 minutes after getting them as warned by EVERYONE. Nor start a war with RocketMan, or Russia in Syria, or in Ukraine or with the Chinese using the proxy Uighars, or push through with attempted Bay of Pigs in Venezuela or just now Hong Kong. The Wall is not built and the ineffectual ripoff Obamacare version of a NHS is still there.
Judge by deeds not words.

Soleimani aside – He may have stopped the drive for war. Trumps direct contact with fellow world leaders HAS largely bypassed the war mongering State Department and also the Trillion dollar tax free Foundations set up last century to deliver the world Empire, that has so abused the American peoples and environment. He probably wasn't able to stop Bolivia.
The appointments of various players were not necessarily in his hands as Assad identified- the modern potus is merely a CEO/Chair of a board of directors who are put into place by the special interests who pour billions, 10's of billions into getting their politicians elected. They determine 'National Interests'. All he can do is accept their appointment and give them enough rope to hang themselves – which most have done!
These are that fight clubs rules.

On the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – after 20 full years of working towards cohesion- they have succeeded. Iran is due to become a full member – once it is free of UN sanctions, which is why Trump was forced into pulling the treaty with them, so that technicality could stop that membership. China is not having it nor is Russia – Putins clear statement re the 'international rules' not being mandatory for them dovetails with the US position of Exceptionality. Checkmate.

As for the Old Robber Baron Banker Pirates idea that they should be allowed a Maritime Empire as consolation- ha ha ha, pull the other one.

The ancient sea trading routes from Africa to China were active for thousands of years before the Europeans turned up and used unequal power to disrupt and pillage at their hearts content.

What made that possible was of course explained in the brilliant Guns, Germs and Steel.

These ancients have ALL these and are equal or advanced in all else including Space, Comms and AI. A navy is not so vital when even nuclear subs are visible from low orbit satellites except in the deepest trenches – not a safe place to hide for months and also pretty crowded with all the other subs trying to hide there. As for Aircraft carrier groups – just build an island! Diego Garcia has a rival.

Double Checkmate.

The Empire is Dead. Long live the Empire.

Dungroanin ,

And this is hilarious about potus turning the tables on the brass who tried to drag him into the 'tank'.

'Grab the damn fainting couch. Trump told the assembled military leaders who had presided over a military stalemate in Afghanistan and the rise of ISIS as "losers." Not a one of them had the balls to stand up, tell him to his face he was wrong and offer their resignation. Nope. They preferred to endure such abuse in order to keep their jobs. Pathetic.

This excerpt in the Washington Post tells the reader more about the corruption of the Deep State and their mindset than it does about Trump's so-called mental state. Trump acted no differently in front of these senior officers and diplomats than he did on the campaign trail. He was honest. That is something the liars in Washington cannot stomach. '

Rhys Jaggar ,

I am not an expert on US Constitutional Law, but is there any legal mechanism for a US President to hold a Referendum in the way that the UK held a 'Brexit Referendum' and Scotland held an 'Independence Referendum'?

How would a US Referendum in 'Getting the hell out of the Middle East, bringing our boys and girls home before the year is out' play out, I wonder?

That takes the argument away from arch hawks like Bolton et al and puts it firmly in the ambit of Joe Schmo of Main Street, Oshkosh

wardropper ,

Great idea.
Main problem is that most Americans are brought up to think their government is separate from themselves, and should not be seriously criticized.
By "criticized", I mean, taken to task in a way which actually puts them on a playing field where they are confronted by real people.
Shouting insults at the government from the rooftops is simply greeted with indulgent smiles from the guilty elite.

Richard Le Sarc ,

George Friedman is a bog standard Zionist, therefore, out of fear, a virulent Sinophobe, because the Zionists will never control China as they do the Western slave regimes. China surpassed the USA as the world' s largest economy in 2014, on the PPP calculus that the CIA,IMF and just about everyone uses. It' s growing three times as fast as the USA, too. The chance of China fragmenting by 2020 is minuscule, certainly far less than that of the USA. The Chinese have almost totally eliminated poverty, and will raise the living standard of all to a ' middle income' by 2049. It is, however, the genocidal policy of the USA, on which it expend billions EVERY year, to do its diabolical worst to attempt to foment and foster such a hideous fate inside China, by supporting vermin like the Hong Kong fascist thugs, the Uighur salafist terrorist butchers, the medieval theocrats of the Dalai clique and separatist movements in Inner Mongolia, ' Manchuria', Taiwan, even Guandong and Guangxi. It takes a real Western thug to look forward to the ghastly suffering that these villainous ambitions would unleash.

Antonym ,

In RlS's nut shell: China can annex area but Israel: no way!

Dungroanin ,

Which area is China looking to annex?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Ant is a pathological Zionist liar, but you can see his loyalty to ' Eretz Yisrael' , ' ..from the Nile to the Euphrates', and ' cleansed' of non-Jews, can' t you.

alsdkjf ,

I'm surprised that this author can even remember the counter culture of the 60s given his Trump love.

Yet more Trumpism from Off Guardian. One doesn't have to buy into the politics of post DLC corporate owned DNC to know Trump for what he is. A fascist.

It's just amazing this Trump "left". Pathetic.

Antonym ,

Trump .. better than HRC but the guy is totally hypnotized by the level of the New York stock exchanges: even his foreign policy is improvised around that. He simply thinks higher is a proof of better forgetting that 90% of Americans don't own serious quantity of stock and that levels are manipulated by big players and the FED.

Look at his dealing with China: tough as much as the US stock market stays benign in the short term. Same for Iran etc.

Sure, he is crippled by Pelosi & the FBI / CIA, but he is also by his own stock dependent mind. Might be the reason he is still alive ???

alsdkjf ,

Trump crippled by the CIA? Trump?

I mean the fascist jerk appointed ex CIA torture loving Pompeo to replace swamp creature oil tycoon as Secretary of State, no?

He appointed torture queen within the CIA to become CIA Director, no?

He went to the CIA headquarters on day one of his Administration to lavish praise, no?

He took on ex CIA Director Woolsey as advisor on foreign policy during his campaign, no?

I tell ya that Trump is a real adversary of the CIA!

Gall ,

Roger that. Trump appoints a dominatrix as DCI. Only a masochist or a sadist would Dream of know the head of the torture squad under Bush. Otherwise nice girl. PompAss is a total clown but a dangerous one who even makes John Bolton look sane. Now that's scary!

This guy is Hilary Clinton in drag. The only thing missing is the evil triumphalist cackle after whacking Soleimani. Maybe it wasn't recorded.

So much for "draining the swamp". The Whitehouse has become an even bigger swamp.

Antonym ,

Forgot about John Brennan ex- CIA head or James Clapper ex-DNI honcho?
John Brennan On 'All Roads With Trump Lead To Putin' | The Last Word | MSNBC
They practically too Trump hostage in his first year.

one ,

my take from this article:
There are, among the murderers and assassins in Washington, a couple of characters who appear to have 2% of human DNA.
They author may confirm.

two ,

"israel is right in the cen "
sorry, the muderous regime israel has repeatedly proven, it's never never right . please avoid this usage.

three ,

There are 53 or 54 'I's in the article, including his partner's Is. The author may confirm.

Dungroanin ,


That is a lot of words mate. Fingers must be sore. I won't comment more until trying to re-read again except quote this:

"Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy,.."

I must say i had a wtf moment at that point see ya later.

paul ,

The idea that Trump's recent actions in the Middle East were part of some incredibly cunning plan to avoid war with Iran, strikes me as somewhat implausible, to put it (very) charitably.

Even Hitler didn't want war. He wanted to achieve his objectives without fighting. When that didn't work, war was Plan B. Trump probably has very little actual control over foreign policy. He is surrounded by people who have been plotting and scheming against him from long before he was elected. He heads a chaotic and dysfunctional administration of billionaires, chancers, grifters, conmen, superannuated generals, religious nut jobs, swamp creatures, halfwits and outright criminals, lurching from one crisis and one fiasco to the next. Some of these people like Bolton were foisted upon him by Adelson and various other backers and wire pullers, but that is not to absolve Trump of personal responsibility.

Competing agencies which are a law unto themselves have been free to pursue their own turf wars at the expense of anything remotely resembling a rational and coherent strategy. So have quite low level bureaucrats, formulating and implementing their own policies with little regard for the White House. In Syria, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department went their own way, each supporting competing and mutually antagonistic factions and terrorist groups. Agreements that were reached with Russia over Syria, for example, were deliberately sabotaged by Ashton Carter in 24 hours. Likewise, Bolton did everything he could to wreck Trump's delicate negotiations with N. Korea.

paul ,

Seen in this light, US policy (or the absence of any coherent policy) is more understandable. What passes for US leadership is the worst in its history, even given a very low bar. Arrogant, venal, corrupt, delusional, irredeemably ignorant, and ideologically driven. The only positive thing that can be said is that the alternative (Clinton) would probably have been even worse, if that is possible.

That may also be the key to understanding the current situation. For all his pandering to Israel, Trump is more of a self serving unprincipled opportunist than a true Neocon/ Zionist believer in the mould of Pence, Bolton and Pompeo. For that reason he is not trusted by the Zionist Power Elite. He is too much of a loose cannon. They will take all his Gives, like Jerusalem and the JCPOA, but without any gratitude.

It has taken them a century of plotting, scheming and manoeuvring to achieve their political, financial, and media stranglehold over the US. but America is a wasting asset and they are under time pressure. It is visibly declining and losing its influence. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a similar host. Who else is going to give Israel billions a year in tribute, unlimited free weaponry and diplomatic cover? Russia? Are Chinese troops "happy to die for Israel" asUS ones are (according to their general)?

paul ,

And they are way behind schedule. Assad was supposed to be dead by now, and Syria another defenceless failed state, broken up into feuding little cantons, with Israel expanding into the south of the country. The main event, the war with Iran, should have started lond ago.

That is the reason for the impeachment circus. This is not intended to be resolved one way or the other. It is intended to drag on indefinitely, for months and years, to distract and weaken Trump and make it possible to extract what they want. One of the reasons Trump agreed to the murder of Soleimani and his Iraqi opposite number was to appease some Republican senators like Graham whose support is essential to survive impeachment. They were the ones who wanted it, along with Bolton and Netanyahu.

paul ,

It is instructive that all the main players in the impeachment circus are Jews, under Sanhedrin Chief Priests Schiff and Nadler, apart from a few token goys thrown in to make up the numbers. That even goes for those defending Trump.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Don' t forget that Lebanon up to the Litani is the patrimony of the Jewish tribes of Asher and Naphtali, and, as Smotrich, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, said on Israeli TV a few years ago, ' Damascus belongs to the Jews'.

bevin ,

" China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior."

This is not Bill, but Bill's mate the Stratcor geopolitical theorist for hire.

What is happening in the world is that the only empire the globe, as a whole, has ever seen- the pirate kingdom that the Dutch, then the British and finally the US, leveraged out of the plunder and conquest of America -the maritime empire, of sea routes and navies is under challenge by a revival of the Eurasian proto-empires that preceded it and drove its merchants and princes on the Atlantic coast, to sea.

We know who the neo-liberals are the current iteration of the gloomy philosophies of the Scots Enlightenment, (Cobbett's 'Scotch Feelosophy') utilitarianism in its crudest form and the principles of necessary inequalities, from the Austrian School back to the various crude racisms which became characteristic of the C19th.
The neo-cons are the latest expression of the maritime powers' fear of Eurasia and its interior lines of communication. Besides which the importance of navies and of maritime agility crumble.
Bill mentions that China has not got much of a navy. I'm not so sure about that, but isn't it becoming clear that navies-except to shipyards, prostitutes and arms contractors- are no longer of sovereign importance? There must be missile commanders in China drooling over the prospect of catching a US Fleet in all its glory within 500 miles of the mainland. Not to mention on the east coast of the Persian Gulf.
The neo-cons are the last in a long line of strategists, ideologists and, for the most part, mercenary publicists defying the logic of Halford Mackinder's geo-strategy for a lot more than a penny a line. And what they urge, is all that they can without crossing the line from deceitfulness to complete dishonesty: chaos and destabilisation within Eurasia, surrounding Russia, subverting Sinkiang and Tibet, employing sectarian guerrillas, fabricating nationalists and nationalisms.. recreate the land piracy, the raiding and the ethnic explosions that drove trade from the land to the sea and crippled the Qing empire.
The clash is between war, necessary to the Maritime Empire and Peace, vital to the consolidation and flowering of Eurasia.

As to Israel, and perhaps we can go into this later: it looms much larger in the US imagination (and the imaginations the 'west' borrows from the US) than anywhere else. It is a tiny sliver of a country. Far from being an elephant in any room, it is simply a highly perfumed lapdog which also serves as its master's ventriloquist's dummy. Its danger lies in the fact that after decades of neglect by its idiotic self indulgent masters, it has become an openly fascist regime, which was definitely not meant to happen, and, misled by its own exotic theories of race, has come to believe that it can do what it wants. It can't-and this is one reason why Bill misjudges the reasoning behind the Soleimani killing- but it likes to act, or rather threaten to act, as if it could.

(By the way-note to morons across the web-Bill's partner quotes Adorno and writes about him too: cue rants about Cultural Marxism.)

Hugh O'Neill ,

Thanks, Bevin. The article was so long, I had quite forgotten that he laid too much emphasis on the Stratcor Unspeakable. Clever he may be, but not much use without a moral compass. Talking of geo-strategists, you will doubtless be aware of the work of A.T. Mahan whose blueprint for acquisition of inspired Teddy Roosevelt and leaders throughout Europe, Russia, Japan.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Friedman is a snake oil peddler. He tells the ruling psychopaths what they want to hear, like ' China crumbling', their favourite wet-dream.

bevin ,

I agree about Mahan's importance. He understood what lay behind the Empire on which the sun never set but he had enough brains to have been able to realise that current conditions make those fleets obsolete. In fact the Germans in the last War realised that too- their strategy was Eurasian, it broke down over the small matter of devouring the USSR. The expiry date on the tin of Empire has been obvious for a long time- there is simply too much money to be made by ignoring it.
Russia has always been the problem, either real (very occasionally) or latent for the Dutch/British/US Empire because it is just so clear that the quickest and most efficient communications between Shanghai and Lisbon do not go through the Straits of Malacca, the Suez Canal, or round the cape . Russia never had to do a thing to earn the enmity of the Empire, simply existing was a challenge. And that remains the case- for centuries the Empire denounced the Russians because of the Autocracy, then it was the anarchism of the Bolsheviks, then it was the autocracy again, this time featuring Stalin, then it was the chaos of the oligarchs and now we are back with the Tsar/Stalin Putin.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Phenomenal diagnosis, Bevin. However, one suspects that there is still too much profit to be made by the MIC in pursuing useless strategies. I imagine Mahan turning in his grave in his final geo-strategic twist.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-Zionist hubris will get Israel into a whole world of sorrow.


More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain't.

Any article with mention of mother-'Tucker' Carlson is one that is pure propagandistic tripe in the extreme. Off-G is a UK blog yet this Americanism & worn out aged propaganda still prevails in the minds of US centric myopics writ large across all states in the disunity equally divided from cities to rural towns all.


johny conspiranoid ,

"More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain'"
Is this even a sentence?


It was a sentence when I was smoking marijuana yesterday, Johnny C. Today it is still a sentence IMHO, but you transcribed it incorrectly, and forgot the end of the sentence.

NOTE: When I smoke marijuana I am allowed to write uncoordinated sentences. These are the rules in CANADA. If you don't like it write to your local politician and complain bitterly.


Charlotte Russe ,

Bush, Obama, and Clinton are despicable. In fact, they're particularly disgusting, inasmuch, as they were much more "cognizant" than Trump of how their actions would lead to very specific insidious consequences. In addition, they were more able to cleverly conceal their malevolent deeds from the public. And that's why Trump is now sitting in the Oval Office–he won because of public disgust for lying politicians.

However, Trump is "dangerous" because he's a "misinformed idiot," and as such is extremely malleable. Of course, ignorance is no excuse when the future of humanity is on the line

In any event, Trump is often not aware of the outcome of his actions. And when you're surrounded and misinformed by warmongering neoconservative nutcases, especially ones who donated to your campaign chances are you'll do stupid things. And that's what they're counting on.

alsdkfj ,

Trump is some virtuous example of a truth teller? Trump?

The biggest liar to every occupy the White House and that is saying a lot.

Swamp Monster fascist Trump. So much to love, right?

He could murder one of your friends and you'd still apologize for him, is my guess.

Hugh O'Neill ,

It was a long read, but I got there. In essence, I agreed with 99%, but I hesitate to share too much praise for Trump's qualities as a Human Being – though he may be marginally more Human than the entire US body politic. I was walking our new puppy yesterday when he did his usual attempt to leap all over other walkers. I pleaded their forgiveness and explained that his big heart was in inverse proportion to his small brain. It occurred to me later that the opposite would be pure evil i.e. a small heart but big brain. Capitalism as is now infects the Human Experiment, has reduced both brains and hearts: propagandists believe their own lies, and too few trust their own instincts and innate compassion, ground down by the relentless distractions of lies and 'entertainment' (at least the Romas gave you free bread!).
I get the impression that Trump's world view hasn't altered much since he was about 11 years old. I do not intend to insult all eleven-year-olds, but his naivety is not a redeeming feature of his spoilt brat bully personality. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker every John Wayne cowboy movie and thinks the world can be divided into good guys and bad guys depending on what colour hat they wear. In the days of Black & White TV, it was either black or white. The world seemed so much simpler aged 11 .(1966).

Dungroanin ,

Yet I have yet to see one photo of Trump with a gun or in uniform.


The Duck learned to dress appropriately for business, I'll give him that. As a New York Real Estate scion you will never see him dress otherwise. Protocol in business is a contemporary business suit. No other manner of dress is allowed for the executive class in North America or UK.

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 |

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 |


in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.

DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

[Jan 19, 2020] If History Repeats Itself, Is Elizabeth Warren Doomed - Lessenberry Ink

Feud with Sanders complicated Warren position. Like previous blunder it shownthat she isfar from gifted politician.
Jan 19, 2020 |

She may, especially if Bernie Sanders falters, win the nomination in Milwaukee next July.

But here's something you might consider:

Once upon a time, there was a liberal Democratic Senator from Massachusetts who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary easily, and then swept to the nomination.

His opponent was a largely unpopular Republican president who had deeply divided the country. Democrats thought they could smell victory. On Election Day, their candidate did sweep the northeast and the Pacific west. But except for a few states around Chicago, he lost everything else -- and the presidential election.

His name was John Kerry, and that was 2004.

Once upon another time, there was a Democratic candidate from Massachusetts who made a better-than-expected showing in Iowa, swept New Hampshire, and breezed to the nomination.

By summer, he was 17 points ahead in the polls, and the race looked about over. But then the Republican spin doctors went to work on his record, and his campaign went into a tailspin. In the end, he lost 40 states. His name was Michael Dukakis, and that was 1988.


Now, it is a new century, and one of the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination is Ms. Warren, another liberal senator from, yes, Massachusetts who is leading in some polls in early key states. Every election is different, of course.

The political landscape isn't the same as it was in 1988 or even 2004. But it would be hard to blame any Democrat who looks at this and asks themselves – haven't we seen this show before?

Doesn't it have an unhappy ending?

This analysis could be faulty. No two campaigns are the same, and most people are still not paying a lot of attention.

To be sure, nobody like Donald Trump has ever been in the White House, and given his negative approval ratings and other obvious weaknesses, an economic downturn could possibly doom his reelection no matter who the Democrats run.

David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, is no fan of Warren's – but thinks she may win because by that time, the nation will realize they have to get rid of Trump, no matter what.

Incidentally, he also thinks it would be the duty of any thinking American to support her if she and Trump are the nominees.

But a New York Times /Siena College poll released Nov. 5 indicates that nominating Elizabeth Warren could be the biggest gift the Democrats could give President Trump. Their survey showed former Vice President Joe Biden beating Trump in virtually every swing state, except for North Carolina.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont led the President narrowly in the three states that decided the last election, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But Warren trailed in every swing state except Arizona.

Polls are notoriously unreliable, especially this early in any election cycle, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll the same day showed Warren with a 55 to 40 percent lead over Trump.

But even that poll showed the more moderate Biden doing better. The New York Times survey found that many voters just plain did not like Warren, some because they did not like her "Medicare for all," health insurance plan; others because they disliked her personality or speaking style.

Some said they felt like she was lecturing them; others, like Elysha Savarese, a 26-year-old Floridian, said "I just don't feel like she's a genuine candidate. I find her body language to be very off-putting. She's very cold basically a Hillary Clinton clone."

That may be unfair, and it is clear from Warren rallies that many women and men adore her.

There are also a few older Democrats who note that John F. Kennedy was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and he was elected. That is true – but it was also six decades ago.

Kennedy, who was perceived as a middle-of-the-road moderate, could count on states like Louisiana and Arkansas and Georgia that no Democrat – certainly not one on the left – has much if any hope of winning today. Additionally, the playing field is different.

Voting strength and electoral votes have shifted dramatically from the Northeast, which was and is JFK and Warren's base, to the South and West. New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had a combined 93 electoral votes in 1960. They have a mere 60 today.

Florida, which President Kennedy, (like Hillary Clinton) narrowly lost, had 10 electoral votes in 1960; it has 29 today. Geography has become less favorable to a Massachusetts Democrat. The day after Paul Tsongas won the 1992 Democratic primary, the legendary Texas Gov. Ann Richards, a often irreverent Democrat, dryly told a friend of mine, "So they want to give us another liberal from Massachusetts, and this one has a lisp."

Democrats did not, however, nominate Tsongas, but instead chose Bill Clinton, the governor of Arkansas who was perceived as a moderate. That fall, he won.

History does not always repeat itself. But it does, sometimes, provide signposts for the future.

(Editor's Note: A version of this column also appeared in the Toledo Blade.)

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.

Jan 19, 2020 |

c1ue , Jan 18 2020 17:57 utc | 153

@psychedelicatessen #117
You are making a number of assumptions which I don't necessarily agree with.
1) That Sanders and Warren are on the same "side" and are viewed the same by the "establishment". They clearly are not. Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.
2) Trump vs. Sanders - again, depends on which part of the deep state. It is an error to assume the deep state is any more monolithic than anything else. The most credible breakdown I've seen is that the "deep state" is really 3 parts: the corporates who are happy with Trump, the intel agencies who are not, and the military which was unhappy originally but is now ok since they've come out ahead of the intel agencies and still have representation at the highest levels.
Looking at these same 3 with Sanders: the corporates would/are not happy. The intel agencies are fine with Sanders and so is the military (F35, baby!). So it isn't clear at all the "deep state" overall cares about/hates one more than the other - the constituent groups simply have different goals.
3) Control over petro-dollar dominance. Frankly, I don't see how Trump or Sanders matters there. The tactical plays are very clear: keep the Saudis happy so they won't accede to China wanting to buy Saudi oil in RMB, because the Saudis don't have any other reason to stipulate dollar payments any more.
4) Economic collapse: I am curious as to how you think this will happen. Specifically what is the driver?
If it is de-dollarization - that is going to take decades, unless the US has a debt crisis before then. And frankly, I don't see it coming soon because there is simply too much international trade dollar cushion for the US debt accumulation to be a visible problem for quite some time.
If it is domestic collapse not due to de-dollarization - what is the driver? The economy is already no longer a major manufacturing, etc - with helicopter money going to the 1%. As much as the neoliberals hate it, the reality is that the pain Trump inflicts via the trade war ultimately is net positive for domestic production. It takes a while to make an impact, but the trade war and the anti-China machinations have already caused Chinese manufacturers to move production abroad - and to increase in-US production.
Plus there are ways to extend the runway: health care in particular. That's a big, deep and very popular pot of gold which could be attacked, should Trump desire to do so. As far as I can see, he doesn't have any particular fondness or historical partnerships with the health care/pharma industry.
In 2016, HRC received $32.6M from health care (#1 overall) vs. Trump's $4.9M (#5 overall).
Compare with defense: Trump and Clinton were about equal (tied for #1 but only $1M or so).
Trump has also pushed through some laws which definitely aren't liked by the health care folks, like the hospital bill transparency law.

[Jan 19, 2020] Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style by Kathleen Wallace

Notable quotes:
"... Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan. ..."
"... The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 |
To say Elizabeth Warren is a political opportunist is not giving her enough credit. She has taken the struggles, as well as the identities of others (women, school teachers, Native Americans, public school supporters, people who are able to tweet with humor, actual humans) and has weaponized these categories until the meaning of it all is lost.

Her tweet about leaving your ghosting boyfriend and getting a dog despite your roommate's objections should have placed her in the pandering hall of fame, and with that should have included a one way trip to some kind of holding cell for the criminally trite.

Her obvious lies (she's not even good at them, shaking and being sketchy with a tweaker-looking-body-vibe-thing when she tries to pull them off) -- well that bit regarding Bernie Sanders has electrified her twitter feed with images of snakes and has even managed to get #RefundWarren trending. At this rate, maybe she can pull in a negative donation for this quarter. What an achievement. The first female candidate to pull that off! Grrrrl Power! Her political instincts are as feeble as her lies -- to have her tell it, she was a selfless public servant most of her career (more like a teacher long enough to mention it, and a corporate lawyer as the subsequent defining profession). Her kids only went to public schools (umm no), she is of native heritage (shouldn't she have helped a bit at Standing Rock with that 1/16600600606006 ancestry that she is so proud of?) . Oh yes, her father was a janitor (again, what? No). She is but a champion for the veracity challenged. That's true at least.

Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan.

This current trend to take on the struggles of others as your own has been powerful of late. Cops pretend to have coffee cups served to them with pig slurs and Warren puts forth that the very individual who actually urged her to run for president in 2016, changed course and told her women can't win (despite ample evidence that Sanders has a track record that is decidedly feminist). I think she said Bernie offered her a cup of coffee in their meeting that had written on it something like "Women can't win, you're a bitch, how's menopause treating you, and also your hair is dry and brittle." (It was a Starbucks Trenta cup so he could go full on misogynist because there was a lotta space to write on–thanks Starbucks, first a war on Christmas, now a war on Women).

So I'd say this is weaponizing a status and taking the struggles of others to pretend they are your own. Stolen valor, really.

For many of us Sanders is a compromise. The changes needed are massive, but he's the closest thing we've got at this point. The hulking size of our nation and the lack of immediacy to those in power over us lends a situation of creating an infantalized population. This is where we are at now. There should be direct accountability and of course we have nothing of the sort. I suspect far in the future, if humans are to survive in any manner, it will go back to some sort of mutual aid, and direct accountability from those making life and death decisions over others, in short, more of a tribal situation. But right now, in our lifetimes, we are tasked with attempting to keep the planet below 150 degrees, to not bake our children before next week.

We have utter nonsense pouring in from the Warren corporate shills and it is wasting our precious time. The recent CNN debate should render that channel irrelevant at best, a direct threat at the worst. Fox comes in with obvious bias, but the CNNs and MSNBCs slip in behaving as if they are reasonable and neutral, assaulting those of us unlucky enough to have to watch them as captives at dental offices. They most certainly help the Warrens and other corporate shills by providing red herring distractions and pleas for incrementalism. This is akin to only turning up your boiling water that you bath in a degree or two every 5 minutes rather than trying to stop the boil. They care about immediate profits and in truth are terribly stupid. Many of us have been raised to be polite and not utter this about others, especially those in power. We look for reasons and conditions for their behavior and choices, but the stark fact is that a lot of these people are ignorant as fuck and want to remain that way -- little or no intellectual curiosity and full of base greed. And this will kill us all.

The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. He probably told her that he needs help against Corn Pop and while sniffing her hair and unwashed face, (I'm not being snarky without reason, she shared her beauty routine with the media since that's so pressing in these days of turmoil) well Biden decided that she would be the one to stroke his leg hairs in the oval office as VP.

They are the golden hairs of a golden white man, he says. This is the way of Washington–lots of white men thinking their leg hair is the best, but her instincts were shit to have taken a deal like this. No way in hell is Biden going to win, even if the DNC does manage to prop him up as their candidate.

Trump will have a field day with him (Biden of the reasonable Republican fable) and if they do debate, the entire country might have a collective intracranial bleed from the batshittery that will be spoken.

Trump will be there, all eyes dilated, snorting and speaking gibberish; Biden will be there, all blood eyed and smarmy, talking about how poor kids can be smart too (the more you know). I cry in a corner even considering such a spectacle. I'd rather see Topsy electrocuted than watch that.

Anyway, it's not unlikely that Warren will get a challenger for her senate seat due to this Judas move. The Bernie supporters will be generous with political donations if that individual materializes, I'm sure. But I'm guessing she will try something again in terms of reinvention and she will refer to herself as the politician formally known as Elizabeth Warren and try to get a judge show on antennae tv. I won't watch it even if she hits the gavel and says to leave the ghosting boyfriend and get a dog in the event of a sassy landlord tenant dispute brought before her court.

I plan on ghosting Elizabeth Warren and her lying ass.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest.

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism

Warren is no "progressive," as her beating a retreat from Medicare for All demonstrates. She now has shown herself to be a bald-faced liar as well as a political phony.
Jan 18, 2020 |

Andrew a day ago

Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism.
Me Andrew a day ago
Warren is the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"

It's hillarious that even after the shafting they got in 2016 by CNN there are still some Bernie supporters who are finally catching on to what Trump supporters have been saying the whole time, the MSM are a bunch of lying propagandists. I wonder who these people are who think Bernie is going to fight against the Establishment when he can't even stand up for himself against CNN, Warren, Hillary, the DNC,.... or anyone.

former-vet Me a day ago • edited
I'm with you, Me. I expected to see Bernie come out swinging after that exchange with Senator Warren if he was to have any chance against Trump. Sucking it up for "the team" is loser talk. Warren accused him of blatantly lying on national TV, and he's okay with that?

Kathleen Garvey a day ago

Storm in a tea cup.

This manufactured 'controversy' has absolutely no relevance to electoral chances of either, outside of the campus/media bubble - whose battle lines are already entrenched.

Connecticut Farmer Kathleen Garvey a day ago
Or, as the late historian Daniel Boorstin called it, a "pseudo-event."

[Jan 19, 2020] CNN is Trash

Jan 19, 2020 |

Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN moderator ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?

SANDERS: That is correct.

CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to know that you'd be better off with free college and Medicare for All than with yet another war to recognize the bias here.

Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in never mentioning the cost of any of the wars, but pounding away on the misleading assertions that healthcare and other human needs cost too much. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
" Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan? "

There was even time for this old stand-by bit of name-calling: " Senator Sanders, you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. But more than two-thirds of voters say they are not enthusiastic about voting for a socialist. Doesn't that put your chances of beating Donald Trump at risk? "

So say the people who did so much to elect Donald Trump.
Source, links:

[Jan 19, 2020] The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

Jan 19, 2020 |

karlof1 , Jan 17 2020 21:44 utc | 26

I just finished the lengthy Dr. Hudson interview/discussion "Democratizing Money" I was sharing excepts from on the open thread which has great bearing on the foundational issues of this thread's topic and subtopics, and provides information that help inform an answer to Rose-Marie Larsson @21, for example.

The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

That Daniel thinks anyone here is trying to argue trump's "some sort of anti-establishment hero" is grossly incorrect as all the evidence points to him as being an extension of Clinton, Bush, Obama; although Trump denied any such connection during his campaign, his actions speak otherwise, the evidence being well presented in Hudson's talk.

Want to learn why the NYSE is going to crack 30,000 by the end of January; read the discussion. Why 911? To insulate Wall Street from having the set of laws it wanted established so it could expand its crime spree from being undone or even discussed as it turned out. (That's my take, not Hudson's.) Finally, what're the main weapons Trump's used in his foreign policy? Weaponized Financialization and its kin Lawfare.

As Hudson admits, he's radical for the political solution he proposes:

"If you're going to do something so radical as to wipe out the financial class's claims on the rest of society, you have to go and finish the revolution that Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Alfred Marshall, Marx, and almost every 19th century classical economist advocated.

"You have to change the tax system so that you avoid having a financial system that makes its money by taking unearned income and monopoly income or land rent that should be basis of the tax base, for itself....

"So Steve [Keen] has an elegant mathematical solution that would work, but I'm more radical when it comes to the political solution.

"[Edgar] You want the creditors to lose in the Jubilee.

"Yes, it's one great advantage. It's just as important to wipe out the wealth of creditors as it is to wipe out the debt. If you leave the post-1980 gains with the creditors, you're going to have a ruling class much like the feudal landlords. You're going to have financial feudalism. If you leave all of this financial wealth intact, while the rest of the economy has so little wealth

"[Edgar] Well, we already have that.

"Yes, and I want to reverse it by wiping out the financial wealth. It's really overhead, because it's owed by the bottom 99%, siphoning off their income and ultimately depriving them of property."

Essentially, Hudson proposes we demonetize the 1% such that they lose their power to buy government while reregulating banks so they must return to a legitimate business model instead of their current pursuit of fraud as their business model. Once those two legs of the triangle are severed, the MIC having lost its allies will be easy to downsize to that of a "normal country."

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 |

Connecticut Farmer a day ago


Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.


Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 19, 2020] The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters

Jan 19, 2020 |

"The Marxist political parties, including the Social Democrats and their followers, had fourteen years to prove their abilities. The result is a heap of ruins. All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and uprooted nation.

In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron resolution and dogged perseverance. Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism. Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.

Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and sick. The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative."

Adolf Hitler, Radio Appeal to the German People, February 1, 1933

"Both religion and socialism thus glorify weakness and need. Both recoil from the world as it is: tough, unequal, harsh. Both flee to an imaginary future realm where they can feel safe. Both say to you. Be a nice boy. Be a good little girl. Share. Feel sorry for the little people. And both desperately seek someone to look after them -- whether it be God or the State.

A thriving upper class accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings, who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings,to slaves, to instruments... One cannot fail to see in all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blond beast, prowling about avidly in search of spoil and victory; this hidden core needs to erupt from time to time, the animal has to get out again and go back to the wilderness."

Friedrich Nietzsche

"At a certain point in their historical cycles, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties, in their particular organisational bias, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by their class as their own, and representing their interests. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous, because the field is open for violent solutions, for the activities of unknown forces, represented by charismatic 'men of destiny' [demagogues].

The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1930-35

"Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable

"The more power a government has the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects."

R. J. Rummel, Death by Government: A History of Mass Murder and Genocide Since 1900

"This is as old as Babylon, and evil as sin. It is the power of the darkness of the world, and of spiritual wickedness in high places. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past, or in a book, or in some vaguely frightening prophecy -- it is happening here and now."


"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Plunder, rape, and murder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."


"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.

And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."

Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

Erich Fromm

"We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.

If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."

William Law

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren always looked like a female careerist with sharp elbows

Jan 18, 2020 |

Let's look at the video again shall we?

The audio from the moment where Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders' hand has been released.

The #DemDebate scuffle came after Warren accused Bernie Sanders of saying, a woman can't win, a claim that contradicts his public comments over decades and one he denies.

-- BERNforBernie2020RegisterToVote(@BernForBernie20) January 16, 2020

Yep that woman is full of it. You can decide what 'it' is.

Aaron Mate:

Joy Reid should invite this body language expert back, tell the story about the time when a computer hacker inserted homophobic statements into her old blog posts, and ask the expert to analyze whether she's lying.

More from Aaron.

Did this Orwell quote inspire you in the present to make the false claim that a computer hacker wrote your homophobic posts in the past?

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 18, 2020

Brianna Joy

This campaign is owed an apology.
What are they going to do next, phrenology?
This is why no one trusts the media. These people are digging their own professional graves.

People aren't buying what Joy is selling.

joy reid brings on a phrenologist to prove that liz warren's cheekbones make her native and dna test was wrong

Interested timing for this letter to come out Bernie Sanders Called The Democratic Party 'Intellectually Bankrupt' In 1985 Letter

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) once told a fellow left-wing activist that the Democratic Party was too "intellectually bankrupt" to allow the progressive movement to flourish within it.

In a 1985 letter newly obtained by HuffPost in which Sanders debated running for governor, he wrote: "Whether I run for governor or not is really not important. What would be a tragedy, however, is for people with a radical vision to fall into the pathetic camp of the intellectually bankrupt Democratic Party."

Sanders' three-paragraph missive was addressed to Marty Jezer, an author and progressive activist in the state. Then-Mayor Sanders was writing in response to an August letter from Jezer in which he apologized that a memo he wrote to Sanders had leaked to the press. While the exact contents of the memo are unclear, Jezer's letter indicates that it encouraged Sanders to run for Congress instead of challenging Kunin.

"1986 is the wrong time for such a race," Jezer, who died in 2005, wrote. "I hope you will listen to the voices of the committed activists around the state. We sink or swim with this together."

Sanders ultimately reached a different conclusion: He ran against Kunin as an independent. But the decision was not without dissent. An editorial from the socialist magazine In These Times criticized Sanders for dividing the left.

"In choosing to create a three-way race, Sanders is dividing the left and making more likely the defeat of an incumbent liberal woman governor by a more conservative Republican," In These Times wrote. (At the time, Kunin was one of only two female governors in the country.)

The editorial prompted Sanders to reply: "I believe that the real changes that are needed in this country are not going to be brought about by working within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party."

The Vermont senator's critiques of the Democratic Party are well documented, as CNN reported last July. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was adamant that a progressive movement could not be built within the party and was highly critical of the moderate "New Democrats" who argued that the party's progressivism in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s had alienated voters.

"I think that nationally, the party has on issue after issue sold out so many times that if you go before the people and say, 'Hey, I'm a Democrat,' you don't usually generate a lot of enthusiasm," Sanders said in 1991 about the idea of a progressive trying to work within the party.

Commenting on civil rights activist Jesse Jackson's Democratic presidential runs in the 1980s, Sanders said he did not agree with Jackson's decision to work "within the Democratic Party." (Sanders endorsed Jackson's candidacy.) His skepticism of the party continued in subsequent decades. In 2011, he said Democrats could be called "Republican-lite" for considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to lessen the deficit. And his first presidential campaign in 2016 didn't shy away from blasting the party apparatus.

Sanders' willingness to criticize the Democratic Party speaks to the progressive bona fides highlighted by his supporters. His campaign often relies on decades-old videos of Sanders warning against the Iraq war, multinational trade deals and the climate crisis using the same rhetoric he still uses today.

But the senator's view of the party -- and the role of progressive politics within it -- has evolved. He's since refined his critiques to focus on the "corporate wing of the Democratic Party," which is composed of the same centrists, including organizations like Third Way, that pushed the party to the right during the 1980s and '90s.

That hasn't been enough for many of his critics, who accuse him of only half-heartedly campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 after dragging out the primary, and question whether he would be willing to support down-ballot Democratic candidates who don't share his progressive ideology.

I recently watched Jimmy's show where he played a clip of Rachel praising Bernie for campaigning so hard for Her. Her wrote him a letter telling him thanks for working so hard to get her elected.

Bernie did 37 rallies for her in 14 days. Hillary only did 8 for Obama. Let's talk about this, Hillary! You worthless ^*#%^! - strife delivery

snoopydawg on Sat, 01/18/2020 - 7:21pm

Cenk might have just sunk his campaign

It turns out media sources might have leaked to one another about Warren-Sanders dispute & that didn't come from @ewarren campaign. Anyone still denying national media has hostility toward @BernieSanders campaign is being purposely obtuse. No one hates progressives more than MSM.

-- Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 18, 2020

Come on dude this ain't rocket science. It's true that the media has goosed this goose, but Warren doubled down on her accusations.

Man people are flying high on Twitter today. I'm seeing lots of great stuff that I'm not posting here.

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren has showed her true colors

Jan 18, 2020 |

c1ue , Jan 17 2020 23:59 utc | 68

Anyone who thinks impeachment will succeed needs to exit the Russiagate/DNC/CNN black hole.
And while I do believe Sanders could beat Trump, I have little faith the Clinton controlled DNC will allow that to happen.

Warren has showed her true colors

Biden is a less competent male HRC and the rest of the field ranges from billionaires to Intel agency drones.

Sure, Trump could lose "if". What matters is the candidate, though and none of the candidates besides Sanders can energize enough people to beat Trump.

Rob , Jan 18 2020 0:29 utc | 75

@Daniel (13). You hit the nail on the head, brother. Trump bears responsibility for all of the shit he has pulled, which includes hiring the worst possible people to advise him and run his administration. Throwing blame on the jackasses around him only proves that he is the biggest jackass of all.

And for the record, U.S. elections rarely turn on foreign policy issues. As Bill Clinton (another jackass, though much smarter) famously said: "It's the economy, stupid."

[Jan 18, 2020] 'Rigging election again' Trump says impeachment all a ploy to... shaft Bernie Sanders -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," ..."
"... "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch." ..."
"... Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls. ..."
"... Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden." ..."
"... whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 |
The impeachment trial against Donald Trump is not just a "witch hunt," but a ploy to "rig" the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Joe Biden, the US president has claimed. "They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously," Trump tweeted on Friday.

They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy...

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020

"They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," he continued. "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch."

Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls.

Also on Impeachment circus begins in earnest, and will change nothing

The caucuses are the first major contest in the presidential primary season, and eight out of the last 12 caucus winners went on to win the Democratic party's nomination.

Sanders' fellow 2020 frontrunner Elizabeth Warren will also return to DC to hear the case against Trump, while Biden, the former Vice President, will be free to stump for support with impunity.

Trump has savaged the case against him from multiple angles, alternately calling it "presidential harassment," a "partisan hoax," and a "witch hunt" led by the "Do Nothing Democrats." Lately, however, the president has taken to stoking division among his opponents, talking up "Crazy Bernie Sanders" surge in the polls and amplifying a brewing feud between Sanders and Warren – two candidates representing the leftist, progressive wing of the Democratic party.

Bernie Sander's volunteers are trashing Elizabeth "Pocahontus" Warren. Everybody knows her campaign is dead and want her potential voters. Mini Mike B is also trying, but getting tiny crowds which are all leaving fast. Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020

Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden."

The Democratic establishment is widely believed to have "rigged" the 2016 primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton, with an email leak from within the DNC revealing the extent of the bias . Clinton was notified of debate questions in advance, her foundation was allowed to staff and fund the DNC, and Sanders' campaign strategy was secretly passed to the Clinton camp.

The rest is history, and whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016.

[Jan 18, 2020] The US China Phase 1 Deal Interpeted: Break Thing, Claim to Fix Thing, Repeat

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 |

...if nothing had happened in the US-China trade war. Well, me might have gotten to where we are supposed to be with the deal

..a honest question. In terms of the environment and global climate, is it a good thing that farmers will be producing more monoculture grains, dairy, beef and pork for export?

[Jan 18, 2020] The joke is on us: Without the USSR the USA oligarchy resorted to cannibalism and devour the American people

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 |

In another sense, however, the passing of the cold war could not have been more disorienting. In 1987, Georgi Arbatov, a senior adviser to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev , had warned: "We are going to do a terrible thing to you – we are going to deprive you of an enemy."

...Winning the cold war brought Americans face-to-face with a predicament comparable to that confronting the lucky person who wins the lottery: hidden within a windfall is the potential for monumental disaster.

[Jan 18, 2020] Germany behaviour in Naftogas-Gasprom conflict makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power

Jan 18, 2020 |


Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 23, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
About this whole Ukraine-Russia gas transit thing that Felix is panicking about. It seems Germany had a key role in facilitating the deal.

However, that risk receded this week after Moscow and Kyiv concluded a landmark agreement that will ensure Russian gas continues to transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 is completed. Germany played a critical role in brokering the agreement and pressuring Russia to maintain Ukraine's transit status.

Why would Germany spend all this time and resources to construct these pipelines and then suddenly pressure Russia to maintain the transit fees? That makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power. My pet theory: Germany most likely caved to US pressure and tried to triangulate at the last minute in a bid to stave off a larger German-US conflict.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 24, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@Swedish Family

What Germany wants, it seems to me, is (1) cheap energy for German industry, (2) a maximally weak Russian hand visavi Ukraine (which is now in effect a NATO/EU dependency), and (3) good enough relations with the Kremlin for Russia not to go rogue. Goals (1) and (3) obviously sit uneasily with goal (2), which is why we see so much back and forth.

I agree with (1) and (3) but I'd disagree over (2). I am not convinced Germany cares much about Ukraine's well-being. It is a very small economy (barely over 100 billion USD) and Germany's trade exposure to Ukraine is minimal. It isn't part of NATO, EU or any other major Western framework.

If Ukraine collapsed it would create significant refugee streams but Ukrainians are very easily assimilated into Western European countries, unlike Syrians or Turks, so even in a worse-case scenario the fallout would not be a major problem. If Croats or Serbs can mix into Germany easily, I don't see why Ukrainians would be a problem. Germany's shrinking work force would in fact even need such an influx. The only kink would be Russia's expanding borders if both Belarus+Ukraine was swallowed up but Germany probably would calculate that Russia wouldn't attack a NATO ally (and they wouldn't be wrong). I'm not saying Germany would want such an outcome, only that the worst-case scenario wouldn't be a big problem for them.

I think this has the fingerprints of the US all over it. Trump personally hates Ukraine, which has been documented in leaked documents during the impeachment process and major personalities of the Trumpist movement like Tucker Carlson openly cheers for Russia. So it wasn't Trump or his people who pushed for this but rather the permanent national-security state that was behind it and they are obsessed with keeping Russia down, or inventing fake Russiagate hoaxes to justify their paranoia. Germany made a 180 and suddenly pressured Russia to do something which Germany itself had no interest in keeping for the longest time. That suggests Germany caved to US pressure and tried to do a compromise. The US interest would be for NS2 to be scrapped completely. This was a German attempt at triangulating.

Either way, Ukraine got a big win purely because of Great Power politics over which they had no direct control.

[Jan 16, 2020] Corrupt Clinton Democrats like Biden as just republican in disguise -- wolfs in sheep clothing

In this sense only Sanders, Warren and Tulsi are authentic democrats... Major Pete is definitely a wolf in sheep clothing.
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate. ..."
"... A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all. ..."
Jan 16, 2020 |

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.

Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.

If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren attack on Sanders is backfiring

Jan 16, 2020 |

Kali , Jan 16 2020 18:40 utc | 12

Now that Warren has been exposed as the charlatan ( The Damned Debates ) many of us knew she was all along, the media is all freaked out that her plan to attack Bernie Sanders is backfiring and that she is losing support rather than gaining it.

It looks to many like she made a deal with the Wall St. crowd funding the DNC who support Biden to attack Bernie for them in exchange for a VP spot.

They are obviously very worried about Biden though because the Trump-GOP attack on Biden over Burisma is coming, and they know they have nothing to stop it. That is what the impeachment is all about ( Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President ), and what the recent claim of Russia hacking to harm Biden is all about. It is all about trying to protect Biden from the upcoming Trump-GOP Burisma related attack on Biden. So with Biden in trouble and Warren stumbling, expect Hillary to save the day? LOL.

They are worried, but unless Bernie is far ahead when it matters then the superdelegates will save them. But if they do that then they fear many people will go 3rd party next election cycle, meaning the DNC has no chance to beat the GOP in the future if that happens.

What will they do? Right now they are full on trying to threaten their way to keep their new world order as it crumbles around them ( Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Place ). Times they are a changin.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren's take on Soleimani's killing

But what was actually good in Soleimani killing? He was an Iranian official and only the fact that the USA is 300 pound gorilla save us from the war for this extra-judicial killing. Because it was essentially a declaration of the war.
Is some weaker state tried the same the result would be complete devastation of both this state and Iran in a protracted war. Israel hides in such cases over Uncle Sam (in other version uncle Schmuel ;-) back so it essentially is allowed the same privileges in extrajudicial killings as the USA, but that will last only as long as the USA dominance in world affairs. After that bill with came due for Isreal and it will not be pretty.
Jan 16, 2020 |

Ignacio , , January 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

Talking about centrists following strictly Trump's playbook, another good example is Warren's take on Soleimani's killing.

If she believes that she has any chance of defeating Trump as a strong defender of the US against terrorism, she must be drinking some new kind of kool-aid.

Fortunately, in this sense, Sanders is being much more clever than Warren. I see Sanders as the only and last opportunity to avoid the worst.

[Jan 12, 2020] Luongo Fears "An Abyss Of Losses" As Iraq Becomes MidEast Battleground

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 |

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

The future of the U.S.'s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, following President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. and Israel are determined this border crossing remains closed and have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to prevent the free flow of goods and people across this border.

The regional allies of Iran are to be kept weak, divided and constantly under harassment.

Iraq is the battleground because the U.S. lost in Syria. Despite the presence of U.S. troops squatting on Syrian oil fields in Deir Ezzor province or the troops sitting in the desert protecting the Syrian border with Jordan, the Russians, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces continue to reclaim territory previously lost to the Syrian government.

Now with Turkey redeploying its pet Salafist head-choppers from Idlib to Libya to fight General Haftar's forces there to legitimize its claim to eastern Mediterannean gas deposits, the restoration of Syria's territorial integrity west of the Euphrates River is nearly complete.

The defenders of Syria can soon transition into the rebuilders thereof, if allowed. And they didn't do this alone, they had a silent partner in China the entire time.

And, if I look at this situation honestly, it was China stepping out from behind the shadows into the light that is your inciting incident for this chapter in Iraq's story.

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

It doubles China's investment in Iraq while denying the U.S. that money and influence.

This happened after a massive $53 billion deal between Exxon-Mobil and Petrochina was put on hold after the incident involving Iran shooting down a U.S. Global Hawk drone in June.

With the U.S balking over the Exxon/Petrochina big deal, Iraqi Prime Minster Adel Abdul Mahdi signed the new one with China in October. Mahdi brought up the circumstances surrounding that in Iraqi parliaments during the session in which it passed the resolution recommending removal of all foreign forces from Iraq.

Did Trump openly threaten Mahdi over this deal as I covered in my podcast on this? Did the U.S. gin up protests in Baghdad, amplifying unrest over growing Iranian influence in the country?

And, if not, were these threats simply implied or carried by a minion (Pompeo, Esper, a diplomat)? Because the U.S.'s history of regime change operations is well documented. Well understood color revolution tactics used successfully in places like Ukraine , where snipers were deployed to shoot protesters and police alike to foment violence between them at the opportune time were on display in Baghdad.

Mahdi openly accused Trump of threatening him, but that sounds more like Mahdi using the current impeachment script to invoke the sinister side of Trump and sell his case.

It's not that I don't think Trump capable of that kind of threat, I just don't think he's stupid enough to voice it on an open call. Donald Trump is capable of many impulsive things, openly threatening to remove an elected Prime Minister on a recorded line is not one of them.

Mahdi has been under the U.S.'s fire since he came to power in late 2018. He was the man who refused Trump during Trump's impromptu Christmas visit to Iraq in 2018 , refusing to be summoned to a clandestine meeting at the U.S. embassy rather than Trump visit him as a head of state, an equal.

He was the man who declared the Iraqi air space closed after Israeli air attacks on Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) positions in September.

And he's the person, at the same time, being asked by Trump to act as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran in peace talks for Yemen.

So, the more we look at this situation the more it is clear that Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.

It's clear that Trump doesn't want to fight a war with Iran in Iran. He wants them to acquiesce to his unreasonable demands and begin negotiating a new nuclear deal which definitively stops the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and as P atrick Henningsen at 21st Century Wire thinks ,

Trump now wants a new deal which features a prohibition on Iran's medium range missiles , and after events this week, it's obvious why. Wednesday's missile strike by Iran demonstrates that the US can no longer operate in the region so long as Iran has the ability to extend its own deterrence envelope westwards to Syria, Israel, and southwards to the Arabian Peninsula, and that includes all US military installations located within that radius.

Iraq doesn't want to be that battlefield. And Iran sent the message with those two missile strikes that the U.S. presence in Iraq is unsustainable and that any thought of retreating to the autonomous Kurdish region around the air base at Erbil is also a non-starter.

The big question, after this attack, is whether U.S. air defenses around the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi were active or not. If they were then Trump's standing down after the air strikes signals what Patrick suggests, a new Middle East in the making.

If they were not turned on then the next question is why? To allow Iran to save face after Trump screwed up murdering Soleimani?

I'm not capable of believing such Q-tard drivel at this point. It's far more likely that the spectre of Russian electronics warfare and radar evasion is lurking in the subtext of this story and the U.S. truly now finds itself after a second example of Iranian missile technology in a nascent 360 degree war in the region.

It means that Iran's threats against the cities of Haifa and Dubai were real.

In short, it means the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq now measures in months not years.

Because both China and Russia stand to gain ground with a newly-united Shi'ite Iraqi population. Mahdi is now courting Russia to sell him S-300 missile defense systems to allow him to enforce his demands about Iraqi airspace.

Moqtada al-Sadr is mobilizing his Madhi Army to oust the U.S. from Iraq. Iraq is key to the U.S. presence in the region. Without Iraq the U.S. position in Syria is unsustainable.

If the U.S. tries to retreat to Kurdish territory and push again for Masoud Barzani and his Peshmerga forces to declare independence Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go ballistic.

And you can expect him to make good on his threat to close the Incerlik airbase, another critical logistical juncture for U.S. force projection in the region.

But it all starts with Mahdi's and Iraq's moves in the coming weeks. But, with Trump rightly backing down from escalating things further and not following through on his outlandish threats against Iran, it may be we're nearing the end of this intractable standoff.

Back in June I told you that Iran had the ability to fight asymmetrically against the U.S., not through direct military confrontation but through the after-effects of a brief, yet violent period of war in which all U.S., Israeli and Arab assets in the Middle East come under fire from all directions.

It sent this same message then that by attacking oil tankers it could make the transport of oil untenable and not insurable. We got a taste of it back then and Trump, then, backed down.

And the resultant upheaval in the financial markets creating an abyss of losses, cross-asset defaults, bank failures and government collapses.

Trump has no real option now but to negotiate while Iraq puts domestic pressure on him to leave and Russia/China come in to provide critical economic and military support to assist Mahdi rally his country back towards some semblance of sovereignty

* * *

Join My Patreon if you want help making sense of this insane world. Install the Brave Browser if you want to build an internet free to allow us to do so.

MalteseFalcon , 3 minutes ago link

OK kids,

Play time is over.

China needs Iraqi oil to build the BRI.

Last one into Africom is a rotten egg!!!!

daveeemc2 , 14 minutes ago link

This is the most delicious of irony

The american imperial style of intervention is dead.

China debt trap model of belt and road is the path forward.

They will win hearts and minds, and not a single shot fired.

USA gets debt from paying war machine and killed and maimed soldiers whose personal psychiatry will haunt them for an entire lifetime.

In the end, Americans get nothing but debt and risk their own soverignty as a population ages and infrastructure crumbles....kinda like now.

MalteseFalcon , 1 minute ago link

The last 30 years of American foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster.

yerfej , 26 minutes ago link

How about "what is the goal?" There is none of course. The assholes in the Washington/MIC just need war to keep them relevant. What if the US were to closed down all those wars and foreign bases? THEN the taxpayer could demand some accounting for the trillions that are wasted on complete CRAP. There are too many old leftovers from the cold war who seem to think there is benefit to fighting wars in shithole places just because those wars are the only ones going on right now. The stupidity of the ****** in the US military/MIC/Washington is beyond belief. JUST LEAVE you ******* idiots.

Rusticus2.0 , 22 minutes ago link

Your comment should have been directed at Trump, the commander in chief.

I guess that's still a bridge too far, but sooner than later you're going to have to cross it.

BobEore , 29 minutes ago link

Excellent Smithers, excellent:

Sometimes, in treading thru the opaque, sandstorm o ******** swept wastes of the ' desert of the really real '...

one must rely upon a marking... some kind of guidepost, however tenuous, to show you to be still... on the trail, not lost in the vast haunted reaches of post-reality. And you know, Tommy is that sort of guide; the sort of guy who you take to the fairgrounds, set him up with the 'THROW THE BALL THRU THE HOOP... GUARANTEED PRIZE TO SCOOP' kiosk...

and he misses every time. Just by watching Tom run through his paces here... zeroing in on the exact WRONG interpretation of events ... every dawg gone time... one resets their compass to tru course and relaxes into the flow agin! Thanks Tom! Let's break down ... the Schlitzy shopping list of sloppy errors:

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, f ollowing President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq. Urusalem.. and its pathetically obedient dogsbody USSA ... are busy setting up RIMFISTAN Tom.. you really need to start expanding your reading list; On both sides of that border you mention .. they will be running - and guarding - pipeline running to the mothership. Shia miitias and that project just don't mix. Nobody gives a frying fluck bout your imaginary 'land bridge to the Med'... except you and the gomers. And you and they aren't ANYWHERES near to here.

  • Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.
  • Ok... this is getting completely embarrassing. The man is a 'caretaker' Tom... that's similar to a 'janitor' - he's on the way out. If you really think thats' being pivotal... I'm gonna suggest that you've 'pivoted' on one of your goats too many times.

Look, Tom... I did sincerely undertake to hold your arm, and guide you through this to a happier place. But you... are underwater my man. And that's quite an accomplishment, since we be traveling through the deserts of the really real. You've enumerated a list of things which has helped me to understand just how completely distorted is the picture of the situation here in mudded east.. is... in the minds of the myriad victims of your alt-media madness. And I thank you for that. But its time we part company.

These whirring klaidescope glasses I put on, in order to help me see how you see things, have given me a bit of a headache. Time to return to seeing the world... as it really works!

simpson seers , 14 minutes ago link

says the yankee chicken ******......

Fireman , 32 minutes ago link

Like Ukraine, everything the anglozionazi empire of **** smear$...turns to ****.

BGO , 39 minutes ago link

The whole *target and destroy* Iran (and Iraq) clusterfuck has always been about creating new profit scenarios, profit theaters, for the MIC.

If the US govt was suddenly forced to stop making and selling **** designed to kill people... if the govt were forced to stopping selling **** to other people so they can kill people... if the govt were forced to stop stockpiling **** designed to kill people just so other people would stop building and stockpiling **** designed to kill people... first the US then the world would collapse... everyone would finally see... the US is a nation of people that allows itself to be propped up by the worst sort of people... an infinitesimally small group of gangsters who legally make insane amounts of money... by creating in perpetuity... forever new scenarios that allow them to kill other people.

Jesus ******* Christ ZeroHedge software ******* sucks.

Fireman , 40 minutes ago link

Understanding why Agent Orange is a meat puppet.

The following has been known to cure T.D.S.

Wantoknow , 44 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option? What do you believe are the limits of Trump's options that assure he must negotiate? Perhaps all out war is not yet possible politically in the US, but public sentiment has been manipulated before. Why not now?

One must not yet reject the idea that the road to Moscow and Beijing does not run through Iran. Throwing the US out of the Middle East would be a grievous failure for the deep state which has demonstrated itself to be absolutely ruthless. It is hard to believe the US will leave without a much more serious war forcing the issue.

So far Trump has appeared artless and that may continue but that artlessness may well bring a day when Trump will not back down.

Fireman , 39 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option?

Ask the towel girls at Maralago and Jeffrey Pedovore.

Rusticus2.0 , 49 minutes ago link

The motivation behind Trump pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action wasn't because, after careful analytical study of the plan, he decided it was a bad deal. It was because Israel demanded it as it didn't fit into their best interests and, as with the refreezing of relationships with Cuba, it was a easier way to undo Obama policy rather than tackling Obamacare. Hardly sound judgement.

The war will continue in Iraq as the Shia majority mobilize against an occupying force that has been asked to leave, but refuse. What will quickly become apparent is that this war is about to become far more multifaceted with Iraqi and Iranian proxies targeting American interests across numerous fronts.

Trump is the head of a business empire; Downsizing is not a strategy that he's ever employed; His business history is a case study in go big or go bust.

not-me---it-was-the-dog , 32 minutes ago link

so it will work like this....

trump's zionist overlords have demanded he destroy iran.

as a simple lackey, he agreed, but he does need political cover to do so.

thus the equating of any attack or threat of attack by any group of any political persuasion as originating from iran.

any resistance by the shia in iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the currect governement of iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the sunni in iraq will be considered subversion by iran, or a false flag by iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

trump's refusal to follow the SOFA agreement, and heed the call of the democratic government we claim to have gone in to install, is specifically designed to lead to more violence, which in turn can be blamed on iran's "malign" influence, which gives the entity lackeys cover to spread more democracy.


Brazen Heist II , 55 minutes ago link

America is a nation of imbeciles. They have meddled in Iraq since the 1980s and still can't subdue the place to their content.

Dey hate us for our freedumbs!

Ghost who Walks , 54 minutes ago link

I'm more positive that Iraq can resolve its issues without starting a Global War.

The information shared by the Iraqi Prime Minister goes part way to awakening the population as to what is happening and why.

Once more information starts to leak out (and it will from those individuals who want to avoid extinction) the broad mass of the global population can take action to protect themselves from the psychopaths.

new game , 1 hour ago link

This is what empires in decline do. Hubris...

meanwhile China rises with Strategic economic investment.

And the econ hitmen aren't done yet...

moar war...

Arising , 1 hour ago link

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

Come on Tom, you should know better than that: the U.S will destroy any agreements between China and the people of Iraq.

The oil will continue to be stolen and sent to Occupied Palestine to administer and the people of Iraq will be in constant revolt, protest mode and subjugation- but they will never know they are being manipulated by the thieving zionists in D.C and Tel aviv.

Ms No , 1 hour ago link

Agreed. It will take nothing short of a miracle to stop this. Time isnt on their side though so they better get on it. They will do something big to get it going.

RoyalDraco , 14 minutes ago link

This isn't "humanity." Few people are psychopathic killers. It is being run by a small cliche of Satanists who are well on their way to enslaving humanity in a dystopia even George Orwell could not imagine. They control most of the levers of power and influence and have done so for centuries.

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's testimony before the Nuremberg tribunal on crimes against humanity

[Jan 11, 2020] Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 |

renfro December 19, 2019 at 6:23 am GMT 2,600 Words

Tucker could have done a number on Trump friend Schwarzman too.Mark my words you're gonna have another melt down now that all the people who lost their home and ended up in rentals stop paying their rent that is now 2 1/2 times what their mortgage was.
This is another fake bubble being securitized and sold off. Just like putting people into houses with ARMs who couldnt afford them when the rates went up, Scharzman will fill up his rentals to 99% occupancy with special deals to sell them to investors, when the special deal period runs out and the rent goes up people will move out looking for cheaper housing and the securities wont be worth shit.

Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation's impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Wall Street's foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It's going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it's devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.

Since the buying frenzy began, no company has picked up more houses than the Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm. Using a subsidiary company, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has grabbed houses at foreclosure auctions, through local brokers, and in bulk purchases directly from banks the same way a regular person might stock up on toilet paper from Costco.

In one move, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. As of November, Blackstone had spent $7.5 billion to buy 40,000 mostly foreclosed houses across the country. That's a spending rate of $100 million a week since October 2012. It recently announced plans to take the business international, beginning in foreclosure-ravaged Spain.

Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it's the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation -- and of a whole lot of other things, too. It owns part or all of the Hilton Hotel chain, Southern Cross Healthcare, Houghton Mifflin publishing house, the Weather Channel, Sea World, the arts and crafts chain Michael's, Orangina, and dozens of other companies.

Blackstone manages more than $210 billion in assets, according to its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission annual filing. It's also a public company with a list of institutional owners that reads like a who's who of companies recently implicated in lawsuits over the mortgage crisis, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and of course JP Morgan Chase, which just settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over its risky and often illegal mortgage practices, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $13 billion fine.

In other words, if Blackstone makes money by capitalizing on the housing crisis, all these other Wall Street banks -- generally regarded as the main culprits in creating the conditions that led to the foreclosure crisis in the first place -- make money too.

An All-Cash Goliath

In neighborhoods across the country, many residents didn't have to know what Blackstone was to realize that things were going seriously wrong.

Last year, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange happening. Home prices were rising. And they were rising fast -- up 20 percent between October 2012 and the same month this year. In a normal market, rising home prices would mean increased demand from homebuyers. But here was the unnerving thing: the homeownership rate was dropping, the first sign for Alston that the market was somehow out of whack.

The second sign was the buyers themselves.

"I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn't for lack of trying," says Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Hispanic. Instead, all his buyers -- every last one of them -- were besuited businessmen. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

Between 2005 and 2009, the mortgage crisis, fueled by racially discriminatory lending practices, destroyed 53 percent of African American wealth and 66 percent of Hispanic wealth, figures that stagger the imagination. As a result, it's safe to say that few blacks or Hispanics today are buying homes outright, in cash. Blackstone, on the other hand, doesn't have a problem fronting the money, given its $3.6 billion credit line arranged by Deutsche Bank. This money has allowed it to outbid families who have to secure traditional financing. It's also paved the way for the company to purchase a lot of homes very quickly, shocking local markets and driving prices up in a way that pushes even more families out of the game.

"You can't compete with a company that's betting on speculative future value when they're playing with cash," says Alston. "It's almost like they planned this."

In hindsight, it's clear that the Great Recession fueled a terrific wealth and asset transfer away from ordinary Americans and to financial institutions. During that crisis, Americans lost trillions of dollars of household wealth when housing prices crashed, while banks seized about five million homes. But what's just beginning to emerge is how, as in the recession years, the recovery itself continues to drive the process of transferring wealth and power from the bottom to the top.

From 2009-2012, the top 1 percent of Americans captured 95 percent of income gains. Now, as the housing market rebounds, billions of dollars in recovered housing wealth are flowing straight to Wall Street instead of to families and communities. Since spring 2012, just at the time when Blackstone began buying foreclosed homes in bulk, an estimated $88 billion of housing wealth accumulation has gone straight to banks or institutional investors as a result of their residential property holdings, according to an analysis by TomDispatch. And it's a number that's likely to just keep growing.

"Institutional investors are siphoning the wealth and the ability for wealth accumulation out of underserved communities," says Henry Wade, founder of the Arizona Association of Real Estate Brokers.

But buying homes cheap and then waiting for them to appreciate in value isn't the only way Blackstone is making money on this deal. It wants your rental payment, too.

Securitizing Rentals

Wall Street's rental empire is entirely new. The single-family rental industry used to be the bailiwick of small-time mom-and-pop operations. But what makes this moment unprecedented is the financial alchemy that Blackstone added. In November, after many months of hype, Blackstone released history's first rated bond backed by securitized rental payments. And once investors tripped over themselves in a rush to get it, Blackstone's competitors announced that they, too, would develop similar securities as soon as possible.

Depending on whom you ask, the idea of bundling rental payments and selling them off to investors is either a natural evolution of the finance industry or a fire-breathing chimera.

"This is a new frontier," comments Ted Weinstein, a consultant in the real-estate-owned homes industry for 30 years. "It's something I never really would have dreamt of."

However, to anyone who went through the 2008 mortgage-backed-security crisis, this new territory will sound strangely familiar.

"It's just like a residential mortgage-backed security," said one hedge-fund investor whose company does business with Blackstone. When asked why the public should expect these securities to be safe, given the fact that risky mortgage-backed securities caused the 2008 collapse, he responded, "Trust me."

For Blackstone, at least, the logic is simple. The company wants money upfront to purchase more cheap, foreclosed homes before prices rise. So it's joined forces with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank to bundle the rental payments of 3,207 single-family houses and sell this bond to investors with mortgages on the underlying houses offered as collateral. This is, of course, just a test case for what could become a whole new industry of rental-backed securities.

Many major Wall Street banks are involved in the deal, according to a copy of the private pitch documents Blackstone sent to potential investors on October 31st, which was reviewed by TomDispatch. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse are helping market the bond. Wells Fargo is the certificate administrator. Midland Loan Services, a subsidiary of PNC Bank, is the loan servicer. (By the way, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank are all members of another clique: the list of banks foreclosing on the most families in 2013.)

According to interviews with economists, industry insiders, and housing activists, people are more or less holding their collective breath, hoping that what looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck won't crash the economy the same way the last flock of ducks did.

"You kind of just hope they know what they're doing," says Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "That they have provisions for turnover and vacancies. But have they done that? Have they taken the appropriate care? I certainly wouldn't count on it." The cash flow analysis in the documents sent to investors assumes that 95 percent of these homes will be rented at all times, at an average monthly rent of $1,312. It's an occupancy rate that real estate professionals describe as ambitious.

There's one significant way, however, in which this kind of security differs from its mortgage-backed counterpart. When banks repossess mortgaged homes as collateral, there is at least the assumption (often incorrect due to botched or falsified paperwork from the banks) that the homeowner has, indeed, defaulted on her mortgage. In this case, however, if a single home-rental bond blows up, thousands of families could be evicted, whether or not they ever missed a single rental payment.

"We could well end up in that situation where you get a lot of people getting evicted not because the tenants have fallen behind but because the landlords have fallen behind," says Baker.

Bugs in Blackstone's Housing Dreams

Whether these new securities are safe may boil down to the simple question of whether Blackstone proves to be a good property manager. Decent management practices will ensure high occupancy rates, predictable turnover, and increased investor confidence. Bad management will create complaints, investigations, and vacancies, all of which will increase the likelihood that Blackstone won't have the cash flow to pay investors back.

If you ask CaDonna Porter, a tenant in one of Blackstone's Invitation Homes properties in a suburb outside Atlanta, property management is exactly the skill that Blackstone lacks. "If I could shorten my lease -- I signed a two-year lease -- I definitely would," says Porter.

The cockroaches and fat water bugs were the first problem in the Invitation Homes rental that she and her children moved into in September. Porter repeatedly filed online maintenance requests that were canceled without anyone coming to investigate the infestation. She called the company's repairs hotline. No one answered.

The second problem arrived in an email with the subject line marked "URGENT." Invitation Homes had failed to withdraw part of Porter's November payment from her bank account, prompting the company to demand that she deliver the remaining payment in person, via certified funds, by five p.m. the following day or incur "the additional legal fee of $200 and dispossessory," according to email correspondences reviewed by TomDispatch.

Porter took off from work to deliver the money order in person, only to receive an email saying that the payment had been rejected because it didn't include the $200 late fee and an additional $75 insufficient funds fee. What followed were a maddening string of emails that recall the fraught and often fraudulent interactions between homeowners and mortgage-servicing companies. Invitation Homes repeatedly threatened to file for eviction unless Porter paid various penalty fees. She repeatedly asked the company to simply accept her month's payment and leave her alone.

"I felt really harassed. I felt it was very unjust," says Porter. She ultimately wrote that she would seek legal counsel, which caused Invitation Homes to immediately agree to accept the payment as "a one-time courtesy."

Porter is still frustrated by the experience -- and by the continued presence of the cockroaches. ("I put in another request today about the bugs, which will probably be canceled again.")

A recent Huffington Post investigation and dozens of online reviews written by Invitation Homes tenants echo Porter's frustrations. Many said maintenance requests went unanswered, while others complained that their spiffed-up houses actually had underlying structural issues.

There's also at least one documented case of Blackstone moving into murkier legal territory. This fall, the Orlando, Florida, branch of Invitation Homes appeared to mail forged eviction notices to a homeowner named Francisco Molina, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Delivered in letter-sized manila envelopes, the fake notices claimed that an eviction had been filed against Molina in court, although the city confirmed otherwise. The kicker is that Invitation Homes didn't even have the right to evict Molina, legally or otherwise. Blackstone's purchase of the house had been reversed months earlier, but the company had lost track of that information.

The Great Recession of 2016?

These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out.

Although Blackstone has issued only one rental-payment security so far, it already seems to be putting this strict protocol into place. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, the company has filed eviction proceedings against a full 10 percent of its renters, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

About 9 percent of Blackstone's properties, approximately 3,600 houses, are located in the Phoenix metro area. Most are in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

Forty thousand homes add up to only a small percentage of the total national housing stock. Yet in the cities Blackstone has targeted most aggressively, the concentration of its properties is staggering. In Phoenix, Arizona, some neighborhoods have at least one, if not two or three, Blackstone-owned homes on just about every block.

This inundation has some concerned that the private equity giant, perhaps in conjunction with other institutional investors, will exercise undue influence over regional markets, pushing up rental prices because of a lack of competition. The biggest concern among many ordinary Americans, however, should be that, not too many years from now, this whole rental empire and its hot new class of securities might fail, sending the economy into an all-too-familiar tailspin.

"You're allowing Wall Street to control a significant sector of single-family housing," said Michael Donley, a resident of Chicago who has been investigating Blackstone's rapidly expanding presence in his neighborhood. "But is it sustainable?" he wondered. "It could all collapse in 2016, and you'll be worse off than in 2008."

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:39 am GMT

This is not surprising that this has happened. All of the de-regulation on Wall Street, lobbied for by Wall Street has allowed this to transpire.

Congress does not even read the bills that they sign into law, let alone write them! Many are written by ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Realtor's assosiation, the Medical Industrial Complex, public employee unions, and various other special interest groups!

Why is it a pressing issue to actively promote homosexuality? What is the point? That is really strange! There is a difference between not actively discriminating and actively promoting!

Are they trying to worsen the AIDS epidemic or lower the birth rate? It does not make sense to be actively promoting and encouraging homosexuality.

sally , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright There are many venture capitalist that are not Jewish.. Venture Capitalist don't always advertise their wealth. Not everybody in Wall Street or the City of London is Jewish.

I think it is important to separate the Jews from the Zionist , many in that small group (Zionist) are Jewish and Christian but most Jews and most Christians are neither Venture Capitalist nor Zionist. Time after time I have asked my Jewish friends are you are Zionist, and most say they do not really know what Zionism is? Zionism hosts many races among its members; in the states, Christian Zionism is big, maybe bigger even than Jewish Zionism.. see Christian Zionism : The Tragedy and the Turning: the cause of our Conflicts (on DVD) by .

Zionism is an economic system. Zionism is a winner take all system of Economics . Zionism is like an adult version of the game called King of the Mountain. In such a game, no one is allowed to play unless they first have sufficient resources to be counted, and are then willing to and believe they are personally capable of defeating the then residing well armed king (Oligarch). IMO, all Jews everywhere, would be well advised to avoid being labelled a Zionist<=hence the reason ?

Zionism is not the same as Judaism, its not a race, its not a religion, its not even a culture, it is an economic system with virus like attributes.

mark green , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:23 am GMT
@Lot You are quibbling. You are prevaricating. You are obfuscating.

Joyce has assembled a powerful case against a known cast of financial parasites. This phenomena is hardly new. It brings to mind another financial scandal of a generation ago that was chronicled in James B. Stewart's book 'Den of Thieves'.

The mega-wealthy swindlers of that era were also all Jews: Boesky, Siegel, Levine, Milken, among others. Some twenty years later, another Wall Street Jew, Bernie Madoff, succeeds in pulling off the biggest fraud in US history. There's a pattern here.

Yet all you can do, Lot, is deflect, denigrate, and deny.

Joyce is giving us more actual names. These are the actual perps as well as institutions they hide behind. These ruthless predators collude with one another as they exploit the labor of millions of gentiles worldwide, then shower Jewish causes and philanthropies with their loot. Their tribal avarice is revolting. And insatiable.

Do you deny this phenomena?

Is it all just another 'anti-Semitic canard'?

You even claim [Joyce] is

"retarded and highly uninformed".


He's brilliant and persuasive.


He's erudite and scholarly.

You, Lot, are demonstrating again devious tribal dishonesty. It's glaring, it's shameful, and it's obvious. This is a trait I've observed in virtually all of your writings. You invariably deflect and deny. But Jewish criminality is real.

Joyce aptly concludes:

[T]he prosperity and influence of Zionist globalism rests to an overwhelming degree on the predations of the most successful and ruthless Jewish financial parasites.

So true. So tragically true.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 am GMT
This is a Jewish conspiracy to make Jews look terrible. Congress should slam the breaks here. The de-regulation of the powerful combined with the over-regulation of the powerless is criminally wreckless. Kind of like the friends don't let friends drive drunk approach.

Congress slam the breaks, yeah right, that'll happen! Lol!

This won't end well.

HammerJack , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright Andrew Carnegie left behind institutions like Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University, and over 2500 Free Libraries from coast to coast, in a time when very little was done to help what we now call the "underprivileged".

In fact, he gave away 90% of his massive fortune–about $75 Billion in current dollars. Funding, in the process, many charities, hospitals, museums, foundations and institutions of learning. He was a major benefactor of negro education.

He was a staunch anti-imperialist who believed America should concentrate its energies on peaceful endeavors rather than conquering and subduing far-off lands.

Although they are even more keen to put their names on things, today's robber barons leave behind mainly wreckage.

PetrOldSack , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
@anon "Crowing on a pile of dung", global in scope, local and exclusive to thier own.
Ghali , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:46 am GMT
Jews are destroying the world. Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. Look at Europe, Africa and the Americas, Jews have left their ugly footprints. Corruption, prostitution, drugs and human trafficking are their trade.
Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT
@anon A combination of both I would say, although some would like to make it out that Anglo-Saxons were the epitome of honour, they too resorted to morallly abject tricks and swindles to acquire their wealth.

WASPs allowed Jews into their lands and both of them struck a sort of implicit contract to work together to loot the world, when the word had been sucked dry, the conflict between Jews and WASPs began and Hitler and the National Socialists were a last gasp attempt to save the WASP side from being beaten, in the end higher Jewish verbal IQ gave them the upper edge in the ability to trick people.

It is hard to feel sorry for WASPs, they struck a deal with the Jews centuries ago to work together and were backstabbed, what is happening to these Third World countries will now happen to WASP countries, it is poetic justice. Luckily the torch of civilisation will continue by way of East Asia and Eastern Europe, who were true conservatives in that all they wished was prosperity for their people in their own lands without any aggressive foreign policy moves.

Basically, WASPs thought that they could win in the end, but they were out Jew'd and now they are crying.

The one difference you will notice is that certain subsections of WASPs, notable the British, actually did build infrastructure in the countries they looted, this to me was borne out of a sense of guilt, so to be fair, WASPs were not as parasitic and ruthless as Jews.

But in the end, the more ruthless wins. To quote the Joker

You get what you fucking deserve

Sean , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am GMT
@Lot Kyle Bass's fund is called 'Hayman', maybe because the MSM loathe the Bass family that fellow Texican Bass is not related to. They are not the only ones aware of the drawbacks of a name. Elliot is Singer's middle one.

The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds

If someone owes you money and you cannot collect, you factor the account, (sell it on) and then people who are going to be a lot less pleasant about it will pay them a visit and have a 'talk' with them. While it is good to have a domestic bankruptcy regime in which innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged– to the extent that people are not routinely gaming the system–I don't see why Argentina should benefit. Singer became notorious for what he did to Argentina after he bought their debt, and he is pretty upfront about not caring who objects. Puerto Rico is neither foreign or protected by Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code so it is a borderline case, which is probably why the people collecting that debt tried to hide who they were.

The way he took down Jonathan Bush and others led to Bloomberg dubbing Singer 'The World's Most Feared Investor'. Singer buys into companies where he sees the management as as failing to deliver maximum value to the shareholders, then applies pressure to raise the share price (in Bush's case extremely personal pressure) that often leads to the departure of the CEO and sale of the company. That immediate extra value for the shareholder Singer creates puts lots of working people out a job. Because of Singer and his imitators, CEO's are outsourcing and importing replacements for indigenous workers in those services that cannot be outsourced. All the while loath to foster innovation that could bring about long term growth, because that would interfere with squeezing out more and more shareholder value.

Singer is less like a vulture than a rogue elephant that is killing the breeding pair white rhinos on a game reserve, and they are going extinct. Well it's a good thing! Thanks to Singer et al (including Warren Buffett) Trump got elected. According to someone in jail with Epstein, he had an anecdote about Trump being asked by a French girl what 'white trash' was, and Trump replied 'It's me without the money'.

Trump is now essentially funded by three Jews -- Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Sheldon Adelson, together accounting for over $250 million in pro-Trump political money. In return, they want war with Iran.

All to the good. Iran won't leave Saudi Arabia (serious money) alone so Iran is going to have to be crushed as a threat to the Saud family like Saddam before it anyway. If the Jews think they are causing it, let 'em think so.
When the Israelis occupy nearly all of the West Bank with Donald Trump's approval and start "relocating" the existing population, who will be around to speak up? No one, as by that time saying nay to Israel will be a full-fledged hate crime and you can go to jail for doing so

Loudspeaker goes off " All Anti–Zionist Jews to Times Square ".

silviosilver , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:48 am GMT
@Colin Wright No judeophile, but it's 90% demagogic horsehit.

God forbid anybody should ever have to pay back money they borrow! Why, that's utterly Jewish!

These so-called "vulture" funds didn't originate the debt. They simply purchased already existing debt at deeply discounted prices either because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

What Joyce zeroes in on is these vulture funds' willingness to use all legal avenues to force debtors to make good on their debts, including seizing the collateral the debtors pledged when they borrowed the money. Joyce chooses to characterize this practice as "Jewish," implying that gentile creditors would instead be overcome with compassion and let the debtors off the hook and wear the loss themselves.

What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. The size of these funds, their legal expertise, and their political connections mean that borrowers can more successfully be held to account. If I owned, say, Puerto Rican debt in my retirement account, the chances that I could make Puerto Rico honor its obligations are much slimmer.

None of this is to suggest that finance, as we today know it, is perfect and that it couldn't be reformed in any way to make its operation more conducive to nationalistic social values, only that anti-cap ideologues like Joyce weave lurid tales of malfeasance out of completely humdrum market economics (which is precisely the same market economics that Tucker Carlson learned about too, btw).

J Adelman , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
Mr. Joyce
Your obsession with us will prove to be your downfall.
Jewish people have always stood against tyranny against the working class, the poor and other people of color.
The phrases and catch words that you used to vilify Jews are in many cases pulled from the age old tropes used to demonize Jews for centuries and are anti-Semitic through and through. They can't be overlooked nor hidden by claims of legitimate political disagreements.
We know that it is not only the Jewish community that is at risk from unchecked antisemitism, but also other communities that white nationalists target.
I find it very offensive that people like you continue to demonize us for no reason.

I dare you to hold a debate with me on this so called "Jewish Influence".
I am not even hiding my name here.

[Jan 11, 2020] Can The US Assassination Of Qassem Soleimani Be Justified by Barkley Rosser

Notable quotes:
"... We know from various Congressional folks that briefers of Congress have failed to produce any evidence of "imminent" plans to kill Americans Soleimani was involved with that would have made this a legal killing rather than an illegal assassination. ..."
"... As Sergey Lavrov and President Putin have stated for a long time (and long before President Trump came along), the USA is 'agreement incapable'. However, now you have to wonder if any country really trusts any agreement they will make with the USA. Without trust on any level, cooperation/trade treaties and so on on are impossible or eminently disposable, i.e., not worth the paper upon which they are written. ..."
"... 603 Americans killed in Iraq, he says Trump supporters claim, but we had millions of Iraqi's, Syrians, Libyans and others killed or their lives uprooted by Bush and Obama and company – yet they were not assassinated. ..."
"... NO. Shockingly bad decision; you can just manage to glimpse around the edges of the war propaganda the embarrassment and backpedaling for having willingly stepped into such a gigantic steaming pile of excrement. The parade of smooth-faced liars on the MSM asserting that the US is now safer (the "war is peace" crowd) is sickening. Some even have the gall to assert that the enormous crowds in Iran are forced to attend by the repressive regime. Of course, there's no evidence of a provocation and they'll never produce any. ..."
"... I find it interesting that Pompeo was "disappointed" – what did he think would happen? For a Secretary of State, he's obviously extremely out of touch with the rest of the world if he didn't have some realistic idea of how this would go down. ..."
"... One other glaring omission from the article – the only reason there was a US military contractor in Iraq available to be killed in the first place is due to the illegal war based on false premises launched almost two decades ago by the US, which continues to occupy the country to this day. ..."
"... Pretty clear who the terrorists are on this case. ..."
"... Fascinating developments on this issue today. Pompeo admits that nothing was "imminent." Given the very specific definitions of Imminence that draw red lines between what is or is not legal in international law, this could get big very quickly. ..."
"... War hawks dressed in red or blue can become mercenaries and create Go Fund Me drives to protect their investments and any particular country which they have a personal affinity or citizenship. ..."
"... Lest we forget: "War is a racket." ..."
"... How does this meet the internationally recognized legal requirement of "imminent" danger to human life required to kill a political or military leader outside of a declared war? All public statements by the U.S. political and military leadership point to a retaliatory killing, at best, with a vague overlay of preemptive action. ..."
"... If you agree that the "Bethlehem Doctrine" has never been recognized by the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, or the legislatures of the three rogue states who have adopted it, the assassination of Suleimani appears to have been a murder. ..."
"... "I cross-checked a Pentagon casualty database with obituaries and not 1 of the 9 American servicemen killed fighting in Iraq since 2011 died at the hands of militias backed by Suleimani. His assassination was about revenge and provocation, not self-defense." ..."
"... The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration's killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated. ..."
"... For some "exceptional" reason we don't recognize international law! We are the terrorists not them. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 |

Can The US Assassination Of Qassem Soleimani Be Justified? Posted on January 10, 2020 by Yves Smith Yves here. Even though the angst over "what next" with the US/Iran confrontation has fallen a bit, there is still a depressingly significant amount of mis- and dis-information about the Soleimani assassination. This post is a nice high level treatment that might be a good candidate for circulating among friends and colleagues who've gotten a hefty dose of MSM oversimplifications and social media sloganeering.

Update 6:50 AM: Due to the hour, I neglected to add a quibble, and readers jumped on the issue in comments. First, it has not been established who launched the attack that killed a the US contractor. The US quickly asserted it was Kat'ib Hezbollah, but there were plenty of groups in the area that had arguably better motives, plus Kat'ib Hezbollah has denied it made the strike. Second, Kat'ib Hezbollah is an Iraqi military unit.

By Barkley Rosser, Professor of Economics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Originally published at EconoSpeak

We know from various Congressional folks that briefers of Congress have failed to produce any evidence of "imminent" plans to kill Americans Soleimani was involved with that would have made this a legal killing rather than an illegal assassination. The public statements by administration figures have cited such things as the 1979 hostage crisis, the already dead contractor, and, oh, the need to "reestablish deterrence" after Trump did not follow through on previous threats he made. None of this looks remotely like "imminent plans," not to mention that the Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. What a threatening imminent plan!

As it is, despite the apparent lack of "imminent plans" to kill Americans, much of the supporting rhetoric for this assassination coming out of Trump supporters (with bragging about it having reportedly been put up on Trump's reelection funding website) involves charges that Soleimani was "the world's Number One terrorist" and was personally responsible for killing 603 Americans in Iraq. Even as many commentators have noted the lack of any "imminent plans," pretty much all American ones have prefaced these questions with assertions that Soleimani was unquestionable "evil" and "bad" and a generally no good guy who deserved to be offed, if not right at this time and in this way. He was the central mastermind and boss of a massive international terror network that obeyed his orders and key to Iran's reputed position as "the Number One state supporter of terrorism," with Soleimani the key to all of that.

Of course, in Iran it turns out that Soleimani was highly respected, even as many oppose the hawkish policies he was part of. He was viewed as crucial to the victory over ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Iraq, much feared by Iranians. Shia take martyrdom seriously, and he is viewed as a martyr. It appears that even Trump took notice of the massive outpouring of mourning and praise for Soleimani there up to the point of people dying in a stampede in a mourning crowd in his hometown. But, hey, obviously these people simply do not understand that he was The World's Number One Terrorist! Heck, I saw one commenter on Marginal Revolution claiming Soleimani was responsible killing "hundreds of thousands." Yes, this sort of claim is floating around out there.

A basic problem here is that while indeed Soleimani commanded the IGRC al Quds force that supported and supplied various Shia militias in several Middle Eastern nations, these all were (and are) ultimately independent. Soleimani may have advised them, but he was never in a position to order any of them to do anything. Al Quds itself has never carried out any of the various attacks outside of Iran that Soleimani is supposedly personally responsible for.

Let us consider the specific case that gets pushed most emphatically, the 603 Americans dead in Iraq, without doubt a hot button item here in the US. First of all, even if Soleimani really was personally responsible for their deaths, there is the technical matter that their deaths cannot be labeled "terrorism." That is about killing non-combatant civilians, not military personnel involved in combat. I do not support the killing of those American soldiers, most of whom were done in by IEDs, which also horribly injured many more. But indeed this awful stuff happened. But in fact this was all done by Iraqi -based Shia militias. Yes, they were supported by Soleimani, but while some have charged al Quds suppplied the IEDs, this turns out not to be the case. These were apparently made in Iraq by these local militias. Soleimani's al Quds are not totally innocent in all this, reportedly providing some training and some inputs. But the IEDs were made by the militias themselves and planted by them.

It is also the case that when the militias and Americans were working together against ISIS/IISIL/Daesh, none of this happened, and indeed that was still the case up until this most recent set of events, with the death setting off all this an American civilian contractor caught on a base where several Iraqis were killed by a rocket from the Kat'b Hezbollah Iraqi group. Of course with Trump having Soleimani assassinated, this cooperation has ceased, with the US military no longer either fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh nor training the Iraqi military. Indeed, the Iraqi parliament has demanded that US troops leave entirely, although Trump threatened Iraq with economic sanctions if that is followed through on.

As it is, the US datinrg back to the Obama administration has been supplying Saudi Arabia with both arms and intelligence that has been used to kill thousands of Yemeni civilians. Frankly, US leaders look more like terrorists than Soleimani.

I shall close by noting the major changes in opinion in both Iran and Iraq regarding the US as a result of this assassination. In Iran as many have noted there were major demonstrations against the regime going on, protesting bad economic conditions, even as those substantially were the result of the illegal US economic sanctions imposed after the US withdrew from the JCPOA nuclear deal, to which Iran was adhering. Now those demonstrations have stopped and been replaced by the mass demonstrations against the US over Soleimani's assassination. And we also have Iran further withdrawing from that deal and moving to more highly enrich uranium.

In Iraq, there had been major anti-Iran demonstrations going on, with these supported to some degree by the highest religious authority in the nation, Ayatollah Ali Sistani. However, when Soleimani's body was being transferred to Iran, Sistani's son accompanied his body. It really is hard to see anything that justifies this assassination.

I guess I should note for the record that I am not a fan of the Iranian regime, much less the IGRC and its former and new commander. It is theocratic and repressive, with many political prisoners and a record of killing protestors. However, frankly, it is not clearly all that much worse than quite a few of its neighboring regimes. While Supreme Jurisprudent Khamenei was not popularly elected, its president, Rouhani, was, who obeyed popular opinion in negotiating the JCPOA that led to the relaxation of economic sanctions, with his power reduced when Trump withdrew from the agreement. Its rival Saudi Arabia has no democracy at all, and is also a religiously reactionary and repressive regime that uses bone saws on opponents and is slaughtering civilians in a neighboring nation.

xkeyscored , January 10, 2020 at 6:12 am

with the death setting off all this an American civilian contractor caught on a base where several Iraqis were killed by a rocket from the Kat'b Hezbollah Iraqi group.
Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding this, but it appears to be presented here as a fact.
Kat'b Hezbollah have denied responsibility for that rocket attack. To the best of my knowledge, no proof whatsoever has been presented that it was not an attack by jihadis in the area, whom Khat'b Hezbollah were fighting, or by others with an interest in stirring the pot.

Cat Burglar , January 10, 2020 at 12:37 pm

They are having a hard time coming up with public evidence to support any justification, aren't they?

The latest was Pence's "keeping it secret to protect sources and methods" meme. Purely speculating here, but I immediately thought, "Oh, Israeli intelligence." Gotta protect allies in the region.

xkeyscored , January 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Debka, run by supposedly-former Israeli military intelligence, was enthusing about upcoming joint operations against Iran and its allies a month or two ago. In contrast, they've been uncharacteristically quiet, though supportive of the US, regarding recent developments.

Trump and Netanyahu confirm US-Israel military coordination against threatened Iranian attack

A US-Iran military front is fast shaping up on the Syrian-Iraqi border – with a role for the IDF

Dwight , January 10, 2020 at 6:32 am

Secretary of State Pompeo claimed that Soleimani was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria. Basically blaming Iran for all deaths in the Syrian war.

Donald , January 10, 2020 at 8:35 am

People more commonly do this with Assad. A complicated war with multiple factions fighting each other, armed by outside sources including the US, most with horrific human rights records, but almost every pundit and politician in the US talks as though Assad killed everyone personally.

Once in a while you get a little bit of honesty seeping in, but it never changes the narrative. Caitlin Johnstone said something about that, not specifically about Syria. The idea was that you can sometimes find facts reported in the mainstream press that contradict the narrative put out by pundits and politicians and for that matter most news stories, but these contradictory facts never seem to change the prevailing narrative.

ChrisFromGeorgia , January 10, 2020 at 9:15 am

That sounds suspiciously like sour grapes and another possible motive for the killing – revenge.

Soleimani led a number of militias that were successful in defeating the Saudi (and CIA) sponsored Sunni jihadis who failed to implement the empire's "regime change" playbook in Syria.

No doubt a lot of guys like Pompeo wanted him dead for that reason alone.

Thuto , January 10, 2020 at 6:36 am

The simple answer NO, killing a sitting army general of a sovereign state on a diplomatic mission resides in the realm of the truly absurd. Twisting the meaning of the word "imminent" far beyond its ordinary use to justify the murder is even more absurd. And the floating subtext to all this talk about lost American lives is that the US can invade and occupy foreign lands, engage in the sanctimonious slaughter of locals and whoever else gets in the way of feeding the bloodlust of Pompeo and his ilk (to say nothing of feeding the outsized ego of a lunatic like Trump), and yet expect to suffer no combat casualties from those defending their lands. It's the most warped form of "exceptional" thinking.

As an aside, I wonder if the msm faithfully pushing the talk about Iran downing that Ukrainian commercial jet is designed to take the heat off a beleaguered Boeing. The investigation hasn't even begun but already we have the smoking gun, Iran did it.

Olga , January 10, 2020 at 8:27 am

Even the question is wrong. The killing was cowardly, outside all international norms (this from a country that dares to invoke "international order" whenever it is suitable), a colossal mistake, a strategic blunder, and plain destructive.
The more one learns about QS' activities, the more it seems that he was "disposed of" precisely because of his unique talent and abilities to bring together the various local factions (particularly, in Iraq), so that then – unified – they could fight against the common enemy (guess who?). He was not guilty of killing amrikans – nor was he planning to – his "sin" was to try and unite locals to push the us out of ME. It was always going to be an uphill battle, but in death he may – in time – achieve his wish.

Susan the other , January 10, 2020 at 11:49 am

I'm in this camp too. But with a twist. Pure speculation here – and I'm sure it would never be exposed, but is there even any proof we did it? Was it an apache helicopter or a drone; whom have we supplied with these things? Who is this bold? Since our military has been dead-set-against assassinating Soleimani or any other leader it seems highly unlikely they proposed this to Trump. Mattis flatly refused to even consider such a thing. So I keep wondering if the usual suspect might be the right one – the Israelis. They have the proper expertise. And the confusion that followed? If we had done it we'd have had our PSAs ready to print. Instead we proffered an unsigned letter and other "rough drafts" of the incident and then retracted them like idiots. As if we were frantic to step in and prevent the Rapture. We could have taken the blame just to prevent a greater war. Really, that's what it looks like to me.

bold'un , January 10, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Surely the whole point of the strike is that it was illegal: that is to say that it was a message to the Iraqis that they are NOT allowed to help Iran evade sanctions, NOT allowed to do oil-for-infrastructure deals with China and NOT allowed to invite senior Iranians around for talks: i.e. Iraq is not yet sovereign and it is the US that makes the rules around there; any disobedience will summarily be punished by the de facto rulers even if that violates agreements and laws applicable in Iraq.

If you disagree, then what should the US do if Iraq does not toe the Western line?

makedonamend , January 11, 2020 at 4:29 am

Hiya Olga & t'Others,

" The killing was cowardly, outside all international norms (this from a country that dares to invoke "international order" whenever it is suitable), a colossal mistake, a strategic blunder, and plain destructive "

I think the immediate impact which has long terms implications for how other countries view USA foreign policy is simply that any high ranking individual from any other country on earth has got to be aware that essentially no international norms now exist. It's one thing to 'whack' a bin Laden or dispose of a Gaddafi but another whole kettle of fish to assassinate a high ranking official going about their business who's no immediate security threat to the USA and when no state of war exists.

For example, might a EU general now acquiesce to demands about NATO? Not saying this is going to happen by a long shot, but still a niggling thought might linger. Surely the individual will be resentful at the very least. I'm also reminded of a story about John Bolton allegedly telling a negotiator (UN or European?) that Bolton knew where the negotiator's family resided. These things add up.

As Sergey Lavrov and President Putin have stated for a long time (and long before President Trump came along), the USA is 'agreement incapable'. However, now you have to wonder if any country really trusts any agreement they will make with the USA. Without trust on any level, cooperation/trade treaties and so on on are impossible or eminently disposable, i.e., not worth the paper upon which they are written.

This is where the middle term ramifications start to kick-in. We know that Russia and China are making some tentative steps towards superficial integration in limited areas beyond just cooperation. Will they find more common ground? Will European countries (and by extension the EU) really start to deliver on an alternative financial clearing system? How will India and Japan react? Does nationalism of the imperial variety re-emerge as a world force – for good or bad?

Will regional powers such as Russia, China, India, France or Iran quietly find more common ground also? But alliances are problematic and sometimes impose limitations that are exploitable. So, might a different form of cooperation emerge?

Long term its all about advantage and trust. Trust is a busted flush now. (My 2 cents, and properly priced.)

vlade , January 10, 2020 at 6:40 am

As Thuto above says, the simple answer is "No". IF S was guilty of all those things ascribed to him, he'd have been judged and sentenced (yes, I do realise Iran would never extradite him etc. etc. – but there would have been a process and after the process, well, some things would be more justifiable). But we have the process because it's important to have a process – otherwise, anyone can find themselves on a hit list for any reason whatsoever.

If the US doesn't want to follow and process, then it can't be suprised if others won't. Ignoring the process works for the strongest, while they are the strongest. And then it doesn't.

timbers , January 10, 2020 at 6:53 am

603 Americans killed in Iraq, he says Trump supporters claim, but we had millions of Iraqi's, Syrians, Libyans and others killed or their lives uprooted by Bush and Obama and company – yet they were not assassinated.

I think – just a guess – the reason Soleimani was killed can be summed up in one word:


That, and on a broader, bird's eye view level in broad strokes – Michael Hudson's recent article outlining U.S. policy of preserving USD hegemony at all costs, that has existed since at least the 1950's, which depicts Soleimani's assassination as not a Trump qwerk but a logical application of that policy.

You might say the swamp drainers came to drain the swamp and ended filling it up instead.

Darius , January 10, 2020 at 8:04 am

The mostest terriblest guy in the history of this or any other universe, but the average Joe never heard of until they announced they killed him. His epochal terribleness really flew under the radar.

Wukchumni , January 10, 2020 at 8:14 am

A joke I heard on the slopes yesterday: Nobody had ever heard of Soleimani, and then he blew up overnight, so now everybody knows who he is.

Philo Beddoh , January 10, 2020 at 8:13 am

The swamp drainers are so busy guzzling as much as they can quaff, without drowning; writhing each others' dead-eyed, bloated feeding frenzy; that obscene media distractions need to escalate in sadistic, off-hand terror. But, it's so ingrained into our governance, we just call it democracy?

Susan the other , January 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Hudson's take on USD hegemony is reasonable, but I don't think we'd assassinate Soleimani in anticipation of losing it. We have dealt with all the sects in the middle east for a long time and we have come to terms with them, until now. In a time that requires the shutting down of oil and gas production. I think (Carney, Keen, Murphy, etc.) oil is the basis for our economy, for productivity, for the world, that's a no brainer. But my second thoughts go more along the lines that oil and natural gas will be government monopolies directly – no need to use those resources to make the dollar or other currencies monopolies. Sovereign currency will still be a sovereign monopoly regardless of the oil industry. That also explains why we want hands-on control of this resource. And with that in mind, it would seem Soleimani might have been more of an asset for us.

Yves Smith Post author , January 10, 2020 at 8:48 pm

I hate to tell you but as much as we are fans of Hudson, he's all wet on this one. The dollar is the reserve currency because the US is willing to run sustained trade deficits, which is tantamount to exporting jobs. Perhaps more important, my connected economists say they know of no one who has the ear of the military-intel state who believes this either. This may indeed have been a line of thought 50 years ago but it isn't now.

rusti , January 10, 2020 at 7:18 am

much of the supporting rhetoric for this assassination coming out of Trump supporters (with bragging about it having reportedly been put up on Trump's reelection funding website)

I thought I had a pretty strong stomach for this stuff, but it's been really nauseating for me to see the displays of joy and flag waving over the assassination of someone the overwhelming majority of people were wholly unaware of prior to his death. My guess is that it's mostly just a sort of schadenfreude at the squirming of Democrats as they (with few exceptions) fail to articulate any coherent response.

The response should be clear without any caveats, "Trump is a coward who would never gamble with his life, but will happily gamble with the lives of your kids in uniform." This should resonate with most people, I don't believe that neocons really have any grassroots support.

carl , January 10, 2020 at 7:27 am

NO. Shockingly bad decision; you can just manage to glimpse around the edges of the war propaganda the embarrassment and backpedaling for having willingly stepped into such a gigantic steaming pile of excrement. The parade of smooth-faced liars on the MSM asserting that the US is now safer (the "war is peace" crowd) is sickening. Some even have the gall to assert that the enormous crowds in Iran are forced to attend by the repressive regime. Of course, there's no evidence of a provocation and they'll never produce any.

PlutoniumKun , January 10, 2020 at 7:49 am

Politico Europe is reporting that behind Europes seemingly supine response, officials and politicians are 'seething' over the attack. Its clearly seen around the world as not just illegal, but an appalling precedent.

So far, American efforts to convince Europeans of the bright side of Soleimani's killing have been met with dropped jaws .

The Historian , January 10, 2020 at 10:30 am

The silence from other countries on this event has been deafening. And that should tell Trump and Pompeo something, but I doubt if they are smart enough to figure it out.

I find it interesting that Pompeo was "disappointed" – what did he think would happen? For a Secretary of State, he's obviously extremely out of touch with the rest of the world if he didn't have some realistic idea of how this would go down.

Eclair , January 10, 2020 at 11:17 am

One wonders it this will be recalled as the episode in which the US finally jumped the shark.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , January 10, 2020 at 2:56 pm

On one hand, the life of each and every victim of head-separation and droning is as precious as that of one Soleimani.

On the other, the general's is more precious and thus, the behind the scene seething by Europe's politicians and officials. (They and many others are all potential targets now, versus previously droning wedding guests – time to seethe).

Which is it? More precious or equally precious?

Harry , January 10, 2020 at 7:57 am

The more I think about it, the more it seemed like the Administration and its allies were probing to see how far they could go. They bombed PMUs and appeared to get away with it. So then they upped the ante when the Iraqis complained and finally got some moderate push-back. Not taking American lives in the missile strike seems to prove they Iranians didn't want to escalate. Still, I dont know about the Pentagon, but I was impressed with the accuracy.

Procopius , January 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm

I was impressed with the accuracy.

Yes. From the picture at Vineyard of the Saker, they hit specific buildings. There were comments after the drone attack on Abqaiq and Khurais oil fields in KSA that they showed surprising accuracy, but perhaps this time surprised the intelligence agencies. Perhaps that was why Trump declared victory instead of further escalating. This is speculation, of course.

The Rev Kev , January 10, 2020 at 7:23 pm

There is also a good article giving more detail of these attacks and underlining the fact that not a single solitary missile was intercepted. What percentage did the Syrians/Russians manage to intercept of the US/UK/French missiles attack back in 2018? Wasn't it about seventy percent?

Yves Smith Post author , January 10, 2020 at 8:51 pm

The Iranians are not done retaliating. They have a history of disproportionate retaliation, but when the right opportunity presents itself, and that routinely takes years. The limited strike was out of character and appears to have been the result of the amount of upset internally over the killing.

Darius , January 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

I have more a lot more respect for the strategic acumen of the Iranian regime than I do for that of the American regime. Now it's led by a collection of fragile male egos and superstitious rapture ready religious fanatics. Before them the regime was led by cowardly corporate suck ups. They all take their cues from the same military intelligence complex.

lyman alpha blob , January 10, 2020 at 8:18 am

One other glaring omission from the article – the only reason there was a US military contractor in Iraq available to be killed in the first place is due to the illegal war based on false premises launched almost two decades ago by the US, which continues to occupy the country to this day.

Pretty clear who the terrorists are on this case.

Amfortas the hippie , January 10, 2020 at 8:55 am

Aye! This!
assume a ladder on a windy day, with a hammer irresponsibly left perched on the edge of the top rung.
if i blithely walk under that ladder just as the wind gusts and get bonked in the head by the falling hammer whose fault is it?
we shouldn't be there in the first damned place.

and as soon as the enabling lies were exposed, we should have left, post haste .leaving all kinds of money and apologies in our wake.
to still be hanging around, unwanted by the locals, all these years later is arrogant and stupid.

during the Bush Darkness, i was accused to my face(even strangled, once!) of being an american-hating traitor for being against the war, the Bush Cabal, and the very idea of American Empire.

almost 20 years later, I'm still absolutely opposed to those things not least out of a care for the Troops(tm) .and a fervent wish that for once in my 50 years i could be proud to be an American.

what a gigantic misallocation of resources, in service of rapine and hegemony, while my fellow americans suffer and wither and scratch around for crumbs.

Mikel , January 10, 2020 at 8:32 am

Another of many questions that remain involve the warped interpretation of "imminent" of the Bethlehem Doctrine. What institution will put a full stop to that doctrine of terror?
It is a global hazard to continue to let that be adopted as any kind of standard.

Susan the other , January 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Under the Bethlehem Doctrine the entire political class in the USA, and possibly a few other countries, could be assassinated. What is legal or justified for one is justified for all.

David , January 10, 2020 at 8:33 am

Rosser is an economist rather than a philosopher or. jurist, and so he doesn't appear to realize that "justification" in the abstract is meaningless. An act can only be justified or not according to some ethical or legal principle, and you need to say what that principle is at the beginning before you start your argument. He doesn't do that, so his argument has no more validity than that of someone you get into a discussion with in a bar or over coffee at work.
Legally, of course, there is no justification, because there was no state of armed conflict between the US and Iran, so the act was an act of state murder. It doesn't matter who the person was or what we was alleged to have done or be going to do. There's been a dangerous tendency developing in recent years to claim some kind of right to pre-emptive attacks. There is no such legal doctrine, and the ultimate source of the misrepresentation – Art 51 of the UN Charter – simply recognizes that nothing in the Charter stops a state resisting aggression until help arrives. That's it.
Oh, and of course if this act were "justified" then any similar act in a similar situation would be justified as well, which might not work out necessarily to America's advantage.

Carolinian , January 10, 2020 at 8:36 am

Via ZH site this article is an interesting take on the situation

General Jonathan Shaw, former commander of UK forces in Iraq, put it well: Iran's objectives are political, not military. Their aim is not to destroy any American air base, but to drive a wedge between the US and its Arab allies -- and the Soleimani assassination has achieved more to this end than anything that could have been cooked up in Tehran. The Sunnis are standing down and the US and Israel now once again face being without real friends in the region. When push came to shove, all Kushner's efforts amounted to nothing. How elated the Iranians must be, even in the midst of such a setback.

Which if true means that instead of divide and conquer Trump and Pompeo may instead be practicing unite and be conquered when it comes to US meddling in the Middle East.

The Rev Kev , January 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

I think that I see a danger for Israel here with a very tight pucker factor. I had assumed that if there was a war between Israel and Hezbollah, that Hezbollah would let loose their older rockets first to use up the Israeli anti-missile ordinance that they have. After that would come their modern accurate missiles.

But part of that Iranian attack on those US bases was the use of older missiles that had been retro-fitted with gear for accurate targeting which obviously worked out spectacularly. Israel could assume that Iran would have given Hezbollah the same technology and the implication here is that any first wave of older Hezbollah missiles would just be as accurate as the following barrages of newer missiles.

Susan the other , January 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm

I wonder if it is remotely possible that all countries, say at the UN, could design acceptable language to make oil and natural gas a universal resource with a mandated conservation – agreed to by all. Those countries which have had oil economies and have become rich might agree to it because the use of oil and gas will be so restricted in future that they will not have those profits. But it would at least provide them with some steady income. It would prevent the oil wars we will otherwise have in our rush to monopolize the industry for profit; it would conserve the use of oil/gas and extend it farther out into the future so we can build a sustainable worldwide civilization and mitigate much of the damage we have done to the planet, etc. How can we all come together and make energy, oil and natgas access a universal human right (for the correct use)?

The Rev Kev , January 10, 2020 at 8:38 am

Actually Soleimani was guilty of the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters that is. Do they count? The Saudis, Gulf States and the CIA may shed a tear for them but nobody else will. When Soleimani arrived in Baghdad, he was traveling in a diplomatic capacity to help try to ease off tensions between the Saudis and the Iranians. And this was the imminent danger that Trump was talking about. Not an imminent danger to US troops but a danger that the Saudis and Iranians might negotiate an accommodation. Michael Hudson has said similar in a recent article.

I think that what became apparent from that attack last year on the Saudi oil installations was that they were now a hostage. In other words, if the US attacks Iran, then Iran will take out the entirety of Saudi oil production and perhaps the Saudi Royal family themselves. There is no scenario in an Iran-US war where the Kingdom come out intact. So it seems that they have been putting out feelers with the Iranians about coming to an accommodation. This would explain why when Soleimani was murdered, there was radio silence on behalf of the Saudis.

Maybe Trump has worked out that all of the Saudi oil facilities becoming toast would be bad for America too but, more importantly, to himself personally. After all, what is the point of having the Saudis only sell their oil in US dollars if there is no oil to sell? What would such a development do to the standing of the US dollar internationally? The financial crisis would sink his chances for a win this November and that is something that he will never allow. And I bet that he did not Tucker Carlson to tell him that.

nippersdad , January 10, 2020 at 10:17 am

Fascinating developments on this issue today. Pompeo admits that nothing was "imminent." Given the very specific definitions of Imminence that draw red lines between what is or is not legal in international law, this could get big very quickly.

And the Iraqi's are not backing down.

Without a SOFA in place that leaves us open to charges of war crimes; prolly not something that Trump wants to see during an election year.

JTMcPhee , January 10, 2020 at 11:36 am

What percent of the presumed Trump base, and imperial Big Business and Banksters, not to mention the sloshing mass of other parts of the electorate subject to "spinning" in the Bernays Tilt-a-Whirl, would give a rat's aff about "war crimes" charges? Drone murders to date, the whole stupid of profitable (to a few, externalities ignored) GWOT, all the sh!t the CIA and CENTCOM and Very Special Ops have done with impunity against brown people and even people here at home, not anything more than squeaks from a small fraction of us.

And Trump is the Decider, yes, who signed off (as far as we know) on killing Soleimani that was lined up by the Borg, but really, how personalized to him would any repentance and disgust or even scapegoat targeting by the Blob really be, in the kayfabe that passes for "democracy in America?"

I always though de Tocqueville titled his oeuvre on the political economy he limned way back when as a neat bit of Gallic irony

xkeyscored , January 10, 2020 at 11:54 am

I don't know. Might Trump benefit from charges of war crimes, spinning them as further proof that the United Nations, International Criminal Court, etc. are controlled by commies and muslims out to get the USA?
As for the imminence of the hypothetical attacks, "There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks being plotted by Qassem Soleimani," Pompeo told the Fox News host. "We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where, but it was real."
Remember that imminent=possible at some time in the near or distant future, and
Vice President Dick Cheney articulated shortly after 9/11: in Mr. Suskind's words, "if there was even a 1 percent chance of terrorists getting a weapon of mass destruction -- and there has been a small probability of such an occurrence for some time -- the United States must now act as if it were a certainty." That doctrine didn't prevent Bush's re-election.

shinola , January 10, 2020 at 10:19 am

The assassination was carried out by the Good Ol' USA – ipso facto it was justified.

Shiloh1 , January 10, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Declare victory and bring them all home. Leave behind W's Mission Accomplished banner and pallets of newly printed $100s with Obama's picture.

Along the lines of Bismarck, not worth the life of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Not my 20 year old, not anybody else's in my name, either, especially since this began before they were born.

And to whom will they sell their oil and natural gas? Who cares – its a fungible commodity of perhaps only of concern to our "allies" in Western Europe. Not my problem and great plan to mitigate carbon emissions!

War hawks dressed in red or blue can become mercenaries and create Go Fund Me drives to protect their investments and any particular country which they have a personal affinity or citizenship.

Synoia , January 10, 2020 at 12:13 pm

It is US election year, and much money is to be had by pandering to various piles of money.

Wacking an effective Iranian General is good news to some pile of money, and would encourage the pile of money to the Wacking party.

I see this incident as no more that the behaviors of criminal gangs.

The real question is Quo Bono. The answer appears to be the Israel Supporters giving $ to Trump.

JTMcPhee , January 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Lest we forget: "War is a racket."

Monty , January 10, 2020 at 2:36 pm

The whole episode reminds me of a Martin Scorsese plot line. A disagreement among "Made Men". The unfortunate symbolism and 'disrespect' of the embassy protest demanded a response, especially after all the fuss Trump made about Benghazi. Some things cannot be allowed. The Iranians, Russians and Americans probably decided between themselves what would be sufficient symbolism to prevent a war, and so Soleimani was sacrificed to die as a hero/martyr. A small price to prevent things spiraling out of control. The Iranian response seems to add weight to this hypothesis.

Rosario , January 10, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Forgive me for taking this a little more in the direction of theory, but can the rest of the world justify the assassination of CIA/Pentagon/CENTCOM officials in a similar manner given the opportunity? Are these organizations not an analog to Quds? That seems to be more in line with the type of questions we need to be asking ourselves as US citizens in a multi-polar world. This article, despite its best intentions, still hints at an American exceptionalism that no longer exists in the international mind. The US could barely get away with its BS in the 90s, it definitely can't in 2020.

The US no longer has the monopoly on the narrative ("Big Lie") rationalizing its actions, not to say the other countries have the correct narrative, just that, there are a whole bunch of narratives ("Lies") out there being told to the world by various powers that are not the US, and the US is having a difficult time holding on to the mic. The sensible route would be to figure out how to assert cultural and political values/power in this world without the mafiosi methods. Maybe some old fashioned (if not icky, cynical) diplomacy. It is better than spilled blood, or nuclear war.

The US military/intelligence wonks overplayed their hand with Soleimani. I think the Neo-Cons gave Trump a death warrant for Soleimani, and Trump was too self-involved (stupid) to know or care who he was offing. His reaction to the blow back betrays that.

Now he is f*****, along with the chicken-hawks, and they all know it. They just have to sit back and watch Iran bomb US bases because the alternative is a potential big war, possibly involving China and Russia, that can't be fought by our Islamist foreign legions. It'll demand the involvement of US troops on the ground and the US electorate won't tolerate it.

Ashburn , January 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Anyone who has worked in the counter-terrorism field knows that when a credible and imminent threat is received the first act is to devise a response to counter the threat. It may involve raising security measures at an airline security checkpoint, it may involve arrests, if possible, of the would-be terrorist(s). It may involve evacuating a building and conducting a search for a bomb. It may involve changing a scheduled appearance or route of travel of a VIP.

The point is to stop the operators behind the threat from completing their terrorist act. What it certainly does NOT involve is assassinating someone who may have given the order but is definitely not involved in carrying out the act. Such an assassination would not only be ineffective in countering the threat but would likely be seen as increasing the motivation behind the attack. Such was the assassination of Soleimani, even if one believes in the alleged imminent threat. This was simply a revenge killing due to Soleimani's success at organizing the opposition to US occupation.

David in Santa Cruz , January 10, 2020 at 1:08 pm

We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where, but it was real.

How does this meet the internationally recognized legal requirement of "imminent" danger to human life required to kill a political or military leader outside of a declared war? All public statements by the U.S. political and military leadership point to a retaliatory killing, at best, with a vague overlay of preemptive action.

If you agree that the "Bethlehem Doctrine" has never been recognized by the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, or the legislatures of the three rogue states who have adopted it, the assassination of Suleimani appears to have been a murder.

This is absolutely chilling. These "End Times/Armageddon" lunatics want to destroy the world. Who would Jesus have murdered? They stand the lessons of his state-sanctioned murder on their heads

xkeyscored , January 10, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Mintpress has an interesting article: Study Finds Bots and MAGA Supporters Pushing #IraniansDetestSoleimani Hashtag

A social media disinformation expert studied 60,000 tweets from nearly 10,000 accounts using the hashtag #IraniansDetestSoleimani and found that the most common phrases in those users' biographies were "Make America Great Again" and "Trump."

Monty , January 10, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Shocking! /s

Tom Bradford , January 10, 2020 at 1:56 pm

My two-pennyworth? The US press and the circles surrounding Trump are already crowing that he 'won' the exchange. If, as speculated, he went against military advice in ordering this assassination, his 'victory' will only confirm his illusions that he is a military genius, which makes him even more dangerous. There are some rather nasty parallels with the rise of Hitler appearing here.

mauisurfer , January 10, 2020 at 2:03 pm

The claim that Soleimani had killed hundreds of Americans was repeated, word for word, in many articles in the papers of record (e.g., New York Times, 1/7/20; Washington Post, 1/3/20, 1/3/20) as well as across the media (e.g., Boston Globe, 1/3/20; Fox News, 1/6/20; The Hill, 1/7/20).

These "hundreds of Americans" were US forces killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the Iraq War, supposedly made in Iran and planted by Iranian-backed Shia militias. As professor Stephen Zunes pointed out in the Progressive (1/7/20), the Pentagon provided no evidence that Iran made the IEDs, other than the far-fetched claim that they were too sophisticated to be made in Iraq -- even though the US invasion had been justified by claims that Iraq had an incredibly threatening WMD program. The made-in-Iran claim, in turn, was the main basis for pinning responsibility for IED attacks on Shia militias -- which were, in any case, sanctioned by the Iraqi government, making Baghdad more answerable for their actions than anyone in Tehran. Last year, Gareth Porter reported in Truthout, (7/9/19) that the claim that Iran was behind the deaths of US troops was part of Vice President Dick Cheney's plan to build a case for yet another war.

J7915 , January 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm

IIRC the "sophistication claim" was made years ago. Apparently the basic technology is applied in oilfields to pierce oil well lining tubes at the oil layer. So the Iraqis knew all about the basic technique, only needed some more information.

Bill Carson , January 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

About those "603 American deaths" that Soleimani is posthumously being charged with .

"I cross-checked a Pentagon casualty database with obituaries and not 1 of the 9 American servicemen killed fighting in Iraq since 2011 died at the hands of militias backed by Suleimani. His assassination was about revenge and provocation, not self-defense."

Robert Mackey on Twitter

mauisurfer , January 10, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Larry Johnson:

"The U.S. Government and almost all of the media continue to declare that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism. That is not true. That is a lie. I realize that calling this assertion a lie opens me to accusations of being an apologist for Iran. But simply look at the facts."
"The Trump Administration needs to stop with its infantile ranting and railing about Iran and terrorism. The actual issues surrounding Iran's growing influence in the region have little to do with terrorism. Our policies and actions towards Iran are accelerating their cooperation with China and Russia, not diminishing it. I do not think that serves the longterm interests of the United States or our allies in the Middle East"

read whole story here:

Bill Carson , January 10, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Also this -- -

"On the night the US killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, it tried to kill another senior Iranian military official in Yemen, two sources say"

CNN Breaking News on Twitter

Somebody's got some 'splainin' to do.

xkeyscored , January 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Thank you, Bill.

The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran's elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration's killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.

sierra7 , January 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm

"Justification"????? You're kidding right? "They", those who we firstly "embrace" for our own interests are "for us" until we decide we are "against them"! What a farce our foreign policies are!

For some "exceptional" reason we don't recognize international law! We are the terrorists not them.

rjs , January 10, 2020 at 7:09 pm

NB: the comment i had removed from this post is now posted on a copy of the same post at Angry Bear

oaf , January 10, 2020 at 7:23 pm

the more that is at stake, the less one should listen to advisers

Jack Parsons , January 10, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Prediction for this stupidest of all worlds: Iraq really does boot us out, T-bone siezes on this for its obvious popularity among his base, and uses "He Kept Us Out Of War" for re-election.

Shiloh1 , January 11, 2020 at 10:37 am

Feature, not bug.

Where is my peace dividend after fall of Berlin Wall and Soviet Union?

Poppy and MIC wouldn't have it, hence April Galaspie's "no instructions" response to Saddam's initial inquiry over the Iraq / Kuwait surveying and mineral rights dispute on Kuwait's drilling at the border 30 years ago.

[Jan 10, 2020] America's Hamster Wheel of 'Career Advancement' by Casey Chalk

Notable quotes:
"... Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World ..."
"... The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good ..."
Jan 09, 2020 |

We're told that getting ahead at work and reorienting our lives around our jobs will make us happy. So why hasn't it? Many of those who work in the corporate world are constantly peppered with questions about their " career progression ." The Internet is saturated with articles providing tips and tricks on how to develop a never-fail game plan for professional development. Millions of Americans are engaged in a never-ending cycle of résumé-padding that mimics the accumulation of Boy Scout merit badges or A's on report cards except we never seem to get our Eagle Scout certificates or academic diplomas. We're told to just keep going until we run out of gas or reach retirement, at which point we fade into the peripheral oblivion of retirement communities, morning tee-times, and long midweek lunches at beach restaurants.

The idealistic Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer's bestselling book Into the Wild defiantly declares, "I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one." Anyone who has spent enough time in the career hamster wheel can relate to this sentiment. Is 21st-century careerism -- with its promotion cycles, yearly feedback, and little wooden plaques commemorating our accomplishments -- really the summit of human existence, the paramount paradigm of human flourishing?

Michael J. Noughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and board chair for Reel Precision Manufacturing, doesn't think so. In his Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World , Noughton provides a sobering statistic: approximately two thirds of employees in the United States are "either indifferent or hostile to their work." That's not just an indicator of professional dissatisfaction; it's economically disastrous. The same survey estimates that employee disengagement is costing the U.S. economy "somewhere between 450-550 billion dollars annually."

The origin of this problem, says Naughton, is an error in how Americans conceive of work and leisure. We seem to err in one of two ways. One is to label our work as strictly a job, a nine-to-five that pays the bills. In this paradigm, leisure is an amusement, an escape from the drudgery of boring, purposeless labor. The other way is that we label our work as a career that provides the essential fulfillment in our lives. Through this lens, leisure is a utility, simply another means to serve our work. Outside of work, we exercise to maintain our health in order to work harder and longer. We read books that help maximize our utility at work and get ahead of our competitors. We "continue our education" largely to further our careers.

Whichever error we fall into, we inevitably end up dissatisfied. The more we view work as a painful, boring chore, the less effective we are at it, and the more complacent and discouraged. Our leisure activities, in turn, no matter how distracting, only compound our sadness, because no amount of games can ever satisfy our souls. Or, if we see our meaning in our work and leisure as only another means of increasing productivity, we inevitably burn out, wondering, perhaps too late in life, what exactly we were working for . As Augustine of Hippo noted, our hearts are restless for God. More recently, C.S. Lewis noted that we yearn to be fulfilled by something that nothing in this world can satisfy. We need both our work and our leisure to be oriented to the transcendent in order to give our lives meaning and purpose.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good . There are "bad goods" that are detrimental to society and human flourishing. Naughton suggests some examples: violent video games, pornography, adultery dating sites, cigarettes, high-octane alcohol, abortifacients, gambling, usury, certain types of weapons, cheat sheet websites, "gentlemen's clubs," and so on. Though not as clear-cut as the above, one might also add working for the kinds of businesses that contribute to the impoverishment or destruction of our communities, as Tucker Carlson has recently argued .

Why does this matter for professional satisfaction? Because if our work doesn't offer goods and services that contribute to our communities and the common good -- and especially if we are unable to perceive how our labor plays into that common good -- then it will fundamentally undermine our happiness. We will perceive our work primarily in a utilitarian sense, shrugging our shoulders and saying, "it's just a paycheck," ignoring or disregarding the fact that as rational animals we need to feel like our efforts matter.

Economic liberalism -- at least in its purest free-market expression -- is based on a paradigm with nominalist and utilitarian origins that promote "freedom of indifference." In rudimentary terms, this means that we need not be interested in the moral quality of our economic output. If we produce goods that satisfy people's wants, increasing their "utils," as my Econ 101 professor used to say, then we are achieving business success. In this paradigm, we desire an economy that maximizes access to free choice regardless of the content of that choice, because the more choices we have, the more we can maximize our utils, or sensory satisfaction.

The freedom of indifference paradigm is in contrast to a more ancient understanding of economic and civic engagement: a freedom for excellence. In this worldview, "we are made for something," and participation in public acts of virtue is essential both to our own well-being and that of our society. By creating goods and services that objectively benefit others and contributing to an order beyond the maximization of profit, we bless both ourselves and the polis . Alternatively, goods that increase "utils" but undermine the common good are rejected.

Returning to Naughton's distinction between work and leisure, we need to perceive the latter not as an escape from work or a means of enhancing our work, but as a true time of rest. This means uniting ourselves with the transcendent reality from which we originate and to which we will return, through prayer, meditation, and worship. By practicing this kind of true leisure, well treated in a book by Josef Pieper , we find ourselves refreshed, and discover renewed motivation and inspiration to contribute to the common good.

Americans are increasingly aware of the problems with Wall Street conservatism and globalist economics. We perceive that our post-Cold War policies are hurting our nation. Naughton's treatise on work and leisure offers the beginnings of a game plan for what might replace them.

Casey Chalk covers religion and other issues for The American Conservative and is a senior writer for Crisis Magazine. He has degrees in history and teaching from the University of Virginia, and a masters in theology from Christendom College.

[Jan 08, 2020] Meghan McCain Has To Ask Warren Three Times To Admit Soleimani Was A Terrorist

Jan 08, 2020 |

Meghan McCain had to ask Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren three times to admit that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist. Profile image of author Daily Caller Jan 07, 2020 Search results

  1. Sarah Abdallah ‏ @ sahouraxo 16h 16 hours ago More
    • Copy link to Tweet
    • Embed Tweet

    Just a few years ago, CNN was praising Qassem # Soleimani for being the driving force behind the defeat of ISIS. Today they call him a "terrorist" and expect you to believe them.

[Jan 06, 2020] Warren Questions if Soleimani Strike Linked to Impeachment -- Look at the Timing Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN ..."
Jan 06, 2020 |

On Sunday's broadcast of CNN's "State of the Union," 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned if President Donald Trump's reasons for the Qasem Soleimani assassination was to distract from impeachment.

Warren said, "I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago, and why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can't keep their story straight on this. They pointed in all different directions. And you know, the last time that we watched them do this was the summer over Ukraine. As soon as people started asking about the conversations between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine and why aid had been held up to Ukraine, the administration did the same thing. They pointed in all directions of what was going on. And of course, what emerged then is that this is Donald Trump just trying to advance Donald Trump's own political agenda. Not the agenda of the United States of America. So what happens right now? Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know that he is deeply upset about that. I think that people are reasonably asking why this moment? Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war? We have been at war for 20 years in the Middle East, and we need to stop the war this the Middle East and not expand it."

Tapper asked, "Are you suggesting that President Trump pulled the trigger and had Qasem Soleimani killed as a distraction from impeachment?"

Warren said, "Look, I think that people are reasonably asking about the timing and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers. In the first 48 hours after this attack, what did we hear? Well, we heard it was for an imminent attack, and then we heard, no, no, it is to prevent any future attack, and then we heard that it is from the vice president himself and no, it is related to 9/11, and then we heard from president reports of people in the intelligence community saying that the whole, that the threat was overblown. You know, when the administration doesn't seem to have a coherent answer for taking a step like this. They have taken a step that moves us closer to war, a step that puts everyone at risk, and step that puts the military at risk and puts the diplomats in the region at risk. And we have already paid a huge price for this war. Thousands of American lives lost, and a cost that we have paid domestically and around the world. At the same time, look at what it has done in the Middle East, millions of people who have been killed, who have been injured, who have been displaced. So this is not a moment when the president should be escalating tensions and moving us to war. The job of the president is to keep us safe, and that means move back from the edge."

Tapper pressed, "Do you believe that President Trump pulled the trigger on this operation as a way to distract from impeachment? Is that what you think?"

Warren said, "I think it is a reasonable question to ask, particularly when the administration immediately after having taken this decision offers a bunch of contradictory explanations for what is going on."

She continued, "I think it is the right question to ask. We will get more information as we go forward but look at the timing on this. Look at what Donald Trump has said afterward and his administration. They have pointed in multiple directions. There is a reason that he chose this moment, not a month ago and not a month from now, not a less aggressive and less dangerous response. He had a whole range of responses that were presented to him. He didn't pick one of the other ones. He picked the most aggressive and the one that moves us closer to war. So what does everybody talk about today? Are we going to war? Are we going to have another five years, tens, ten years of war in the Middle East, and dragged in once again. Are we bringing another generation of young people into war? That is every bit of the conversation right now. Donald Trump has taken an extraordinarily reckless step, and we have seen it before, he is using foreign policy and uses whatever he can to advance the interests of Donald Trump."

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

[Jan 06, 2020] Anti-War Conservatives Join Protests Against Trump's Iran Confrontation by Hunter DeRensis

Notable quotes:
"... "I think the more people who are prepared to stand up and say it [the assassination] is completely, not only inappropriate, not only illegal, not only unjust, but an act of war to do something like this, the better," said Nicole Rousseau with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which has been planning anti-war protests in D.C. since 2002. ..."
"... This is the moment, as Donald Trump embraces the neoconservative dream of war with Iran, that the Republican base must stand on their hind legs, lock arms with their progressive allies, and say no . ..."
"... Tucker Carlson Tonight ..."
Jan 06, 2020 |

Now is the time for Republicans of conviction to stand together.

t speaks to the state of American politics when for three years the continued defense of Donald Trump's record has been: "well, he hasn't started any new wars." Last week, however, that may have finally changed.

In the most flagrant tit-for-tat since the United States initiated its economic war against Iran in the spring of 2018, the Trump administration assassinated Major General Qasem Soleimani, who for more than 20 years has led the Iranian Quds Force. The strategic mind behind Iran's operations in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the rest of the Middle East, Soleimani's death via drone strike outside of Baghdad's airport is nothing short of a declaration of open warfare between American and Iranian-allied forces in Iraq.

While the world waits for the Islamic Republic's inevitable response, the reaction on the home front was organized in less than 36 hours. Saturday afternoon, almost 400 people gathered on the muddy grass outside the White House in Washington, D.C., joined in solidarity by simultaneous rallies in over 70 other U.S. cities.

The D.C. attendees and their co-demonstrators were expectedly progressive, but the organizers made clear they were happy to work across political barriers for the cause of peace.

"I think the more people who are prepared to stand up and say it [the assassination] is completely, not only inappropriate, not only illegal, not only unjust, but an act of war to do something like this, the better," said Nicole Rousseau with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which has been planning anti-war protests in D.C. since 2002.

Code Pink's Leonardo Flores, when asked what politicians he believed were on the side of the peace movement, named Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Senator Rand Paul. "I don't think peace should be a left and right issue," he said. "I think it's an issue we can all rally around. It's very clear too much of our money is going to foreign wars that don't benefit the American people and we could be using that money in many different ways, giving it back to the American people, whether it's investing in social spending or giving direct tax cuts."

This is the moment, as Donald Trump embraces the neoconservative dream of war with Iran, that the Republican base must stand on their hind legs, lock arms with their progressive allies, and say no .

It's happened before. In 2013, when the Obama administration was ready for regime change in Syria, Americans, both left and right, made clear they didn't want to see their sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters die so the American government could install the likes of Abu Mohammed al-Julani in Damascus.

Of course, it was much easier for Republicans to stand up to a Democratic president going to war. "It's been really unfortunate that so much of politics now is driven on a partisan basis," opined Eric Garris, director and co-founder of, in an interview with TAC . "Whether you're for or against war and how strongly you might be against war is driven by partisan points of view."

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the movement that saw millions march against George W. Bush's war in Iraq disappeared overnight (excluding a handful of stalwart organizations like Code Pink). Non-interventionist Republicans can't repeat that mistake. They have to show that if an American president wants to start an unconstitutional, immoral war, it's the principle that matters, not the R or D next to their names.

Garris said the reason was founded in 1995 was to bridge this partisan divide by putting people like Daniel Ellsberg and Pat Buchanan side by side for the same cause. "These coalitions are only effective if you try to bring in a broad coalition of people," he said. "I want to see rallies of thousands of people in Omaha, Nebraska, and things like that, where they're reaching out to middle America and to the people that are actually going to reach the unconverted."

The right is in the best position it's been in decades to accomplish this. "I don't know if you saw Tucker Carlson Tonight , but it was quite amazing to watch that kind of antiwar sentiment on Fox News," Garris said. "You would not have seen [that] in recent history. And certainly the emergence of The American Conservative magazine has been a really strong signal and leader in terms of bringing about the values of the Old Right like non-interventionism to a conservative audience."

This also includes the core antiwar members of Congress, all of whom are Republican , and new conservative veterans groups like Bring Our Troops Home .

It's the anti-war right, in the Republican tradition of La Follette, Taft, Paul, and Buchanan, that has the power to stop middle America from following Trump into a conflict with Iran. But it's both sides, working together as Americans, that can finally end the endless wars.

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter with The National Interest and a regular contributor to The American Conservative. Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis .

[Jan 06, 2020] Elizabeth Warren on Qasem Soleimani killing- People are reasonably asking, why this moment

Warren kept her ground wonderfully in this exchange. Warren suggests that people are reasonable asking about timing. Also warmongering of Trump.
Jan 06, 2020 |

Richie Beck , 6 hours ago (edited)

"When everyone else is losing their heads, it is important to keep yours." - Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and Irony.

Bob Bart , 7 hours ago (edited)

" What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party. " ~ Henry David Thoreau

personal cooking , 4 hours ago

China is laughing.US pay attention in middel east now.

[Jan 06, 2020] Tucker Carlson is livid with anger and frustration at Trump's actions .

Jan 06, 2020 |

KA , says: Show Comment January 5, 2020 at 8:57 pm GMT

@Just passing through

Tucker Carlson is livid with anger and frustration at Trump's actions .

Death to America is a rallying point for Iran to emphasize the same aspect of American status .
They talk in future . Carlson is reminding that we are already there .

If people woke up with anger at Iran., they would find that the dead horse isn't able to do much but only can attract a lot of attention from far .

The reason Taliban didn't inform Mulla Omar's death was to let the rank and file continues to remain engaged without getting into internal feuding fight .
A trues state of US won't be televised until the horse starts rotting but then that would be quite late .

I don't recall any dissent until this assassination . Now 70 cities are witnessing protests and a few in Media are not happy at all .

There is a big unknown if and when Iran would strike back and at who. Persian is not like khasaogi murderer or Harri kidnapper .

[Jan 06, 2020] On top of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, be the long-awaited beginning of the end of America's imperial ambitions

Jan 06, 2020 |

the grand wazoo , says: Show Comment January 4, 2020 at 3:36 am GMT

And it might well, on top of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, be the long-awaited beginning of the end of America's imperial ambitions.

One must ask; Is the US presence in the ME really because of imperial ambition? At least if it is I can understand. I mean, it's bad but that's what nations have done for centuries. Or is America in the ME at Israel's insistence? Hers's the roll: Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq 2003, Libya in 2011, Syria shortly after that; not one of these countries threatened America, not one. Yet we invaded these nations, and brutally murdered Qadhaffi and Hussain, and we did it all based on lies dreamed up by Jewish dual citizens who call themselves American patriots but who are really agents of Israel.

I'm not using the term neocons any longer, as the term is a lie, a mask. They are just a large group of powerful dual citizen Jews many descended from Trotskyites that immigrated from Russia in the 1930s. They hide their real intentions. And what are those intentions? To protect Israel by scaring the American public through their propaganda organ known as the MSM, scaring us into allowing a Trillion dollar military budget, and these forever wars. And anyone who questions them is an anti-Semite. And, that's right from the mouth of Nathan Perlmutter in his essay; "The Real Anti-Semite In America"

These parasitic dual citizen Jews and their Washington Think Tanks have to go. They are liars and cowards who will fight for Israel to the last drop of blood spills from the last American soldier. Trump knowingly, or not, is being used by these bastards. Today he's a traitor and a liar too. Iran poses no threat to America. None Zilch

Rome was imperialist, Spain, England yes, but the US doesn't fit the definition. What does fit is 'hired gun'. Right? So, who hired the USA? And, are they paying, or are they somehow threatening us or blackmailing us?

... ... ...

[Jan 04, 2020] The US shows some symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars

Jan 04, 2020 |

Adam , Jan 4 2020 19:18 utc | 43

The US shows every symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars. By 2009, soldiers of fortune outnumbered US military personnel 3-1 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Add in the war-profiteers, wide open borders, collapsing infrastructure and history-making wealth inequality, and an entire generation of healthy young white men destroyed by drugs and suicides, a despair engineered by Jews, who unlike Iranians, mock us as they do it. Let's see tranquility on the home front survive skyrocketing food and gas prices.

A war with Iran is our line in the sand as well. All white men must boycott the military, which is run by people who despise us more than any supposed international enemy ever will. The last 3 years of having our rights and civil liberties whittled away show that it is white Americans who will always be the US plutocracy's first and last enemy. If you are currently serving, you can get honorably discharged by declaring yourself a worshipper of Asatru and anonymously emailing your superior officers pretending to be a deeply concerned member of Antifa. Even if open war doesn't break out, the recent massive troop buildups in the Middle East guarantee you will be a target. Let Zion send its anarchist neo-liberal foot soldiers in your place!

We must prepare our own populist anti-war protest movement to bring the war home. We must remain steadfast in the face of a coming era of political repression nobody has seen in generations.

The people of Iran are not our enemy. They share the same abominable foe and deserve our solidarity. They must know that the citizens of America are ignorant of who rules them, and that decisions made using our flag are not made by us.

In the name of the existence of our people and the future of our children, and even broader in the name of humanity, we must ensure that this will be Judah's last war.

Only then can we all be free.

james , Jan 4 2020 19:29 utc | 47

thank you b... i see you articulated a paragraph that is out of grasp of the american msm crowd, so i am going to repeat it.. it is worth repeating...see bottom of post... my main thought is that no matter what happens everything will be blamed on iran - false flag, and etc. etc. you name it... all bad is on iran and all good is on usa-israel.. that is the constant meme that the msm provides 24-7 and that us politicians and the state dept run with 24-7 as well. it is so transparent it is beyond despicable..

@ 13 old hippie.. that about sums up my impression.. thanks

@ 22 BM.. thanks.. i share your perspective, but am not as articulate..

here is the quote from b..
"The U.S. did not only murder Qassem Soleimani. On December 29 it also killed 31 Iraqi government forces. Five days later it killed Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU/Hashed al-Shabi) and leader of Kata'ib Hizbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There were also four IRGC and four Kata'ib Hizbollah men who were killed while accompanying their leaders. The PMU are under direct command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. They are official Iraqi defense forces who defeated ISIS after a bloody war. Their murder demands that their government acts against the perpetrators."

oldhippie , Jan 4 2020 18:11 utc | 13
Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end.

This sentiment is bottom to top in America. Measured response? No way can Iran 'measure' a response.

More generally the sentiment is that a little war in Iran, a few nukes, is not even a big thing. Football scores more important.

Isabella , Jan 4 2020 18:22 utc | 16
"Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end."

That's pretty much the picture i get from reading responses in UK MSM, not only from English, but many giving American addresses. They are all pretty much thoroughly brainwashed, believing as gospel the lies they've told, and still think that they are the "White hatted, good guys, who do good things for the places they bomb and invade".

it seems they will be supportive of an attack on Iran, and if their maniac "leaders", the basement crazies who got out of the basement, realise this, it increases substantially the chances of a "hot" war. In that case, should it escalate out of control, your Chicago coffee deadheads will get the Glass parking lot they want. It just wont be in the ME. Or Russia. They can have their very own, in their own back yard.

Oriental Voice , Jan 4 2020 19:40 utc | 52

@13 oldhippie; @16 Isabella:

You guys are right on money! I'm a retiree in my seventy's. My social circles are old school college graduates in late fifties to late seventies, supposedly the segment of population wise enough to decipher world affairs. But no, they care more about who's gonna win today between Titans and patriots or whether Tiger Wood will win another major in 2020. US murder of another nation's leader has no frigging importance in moral or consequential terms. Such is the general IQ status of the west today. Really, it takes someone intelligent and inquisitive enough for years and years to really get aghast and appreciative enough to ponder what the murder of Soleimani in Trump's hand in the manner it was executed would mean to world peace. MSM counts on this stupidity and thrives in lies and false-flag propaganda.

... ... ...

karlof1 , Jan 5 2020 0:03 utc | 114
Two min twitter vid :

"Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening."

Many thousands; very impressive and moving!

Vid of Baghdad protests :

"Hundreds of thousands of #Iraqis attend the #martyrs last farewell in #Baghdad and protest against the US military presence in #Iraq."

And here's Zarif's tweet and photo montage :

"24 hrs ago, an arrogant clown -- masquerading as a diplomat -- claimed people were dancing in the cities of Iraq.

"Today, hundreds of thousands of our proud Iraqi brothers and sisters offered him their response across their soil.

"End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun."

The idiots at the helm of the Evil Outlaw US Empire really have absolutely no clue as their short term thinking has destroyed what mental capacities they once had and has reduced them to imbeciles.

[Jan 02, 2020] Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

Jan 02, 2020 |

vk , Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

Here's another evidence capitalism has reached a stagnant level of both technological progress and birth rates:

Over-65s to account for over half of employment growth in next 10 years

Workers aged 65 and older will be responsible for more than half of all UK employment growth over the next 10 years and almost two-thirds of employment growth by 2060, according to new figures.

Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

The reason for this is what I mentioned earlier: no more technological progress and negative birth rates. The USA is still benefitting from mass immigration from Central America, but this demographic bonus won't last for much: now even the Third World countries are barely above the minimum 2 children per woman (including most of Latin American nations). Only a bunch of African nations (which have high mortality rates either way, so it doesn't matter) and India still have the "demographic bonus" in a level such as to be capitalistically viable.

This problem is not new in cotemporary history. It happened once: in the USSR.

In the 1970s, only 6% of the Soviet population was necessary to produce everything the USSR needed, so the only solution available was to expand the economy extensively, i.e. by reproducing the same infrastructure more times over.

The problem with that is that the USSR had reached its limits demographically. Its population growth entered into stagnant to negative territory. Decades passed until the point where it didn't even matter if they came up with a revolutionary technology, since there were simply not enough children to teach and train to such new tech. Add to that the pressure from the Cold War (which drained its R&D to the military sector), and it begun to wither away.

Now we can predict the same thing is happening to capitalism. Contrary to the USSR, the capitalist nations had the advantage of having available the demographic bonuses of the Third World - specially China - to maintain their dynamism even when some countries like Japan and Germany reached negative birth rates. Now China's demographic bonus is over and also much of Latin America. To make things even worse for the capitalists, China managed to scape the "middle income trap" and go to the route of becoming a superpower, thus adding to the demographic strains of the capitalist center.

The solution, it seems, is to do pension reforms and force the old people back to work. France is going to destroy its pension system; Brazil already did that; the USA was a pioneer in forcing its old population to work to the death; Italy destroyed its pension system after 2008; the UK is preparing the terrain now that its social-democracy is definitely destroyed.

Patroklos , Jan 1 2020 2:49 utc | 65

Posted by: vk | Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

As always I find your application of Marxist critique succinct and correct. This coming decade, with its unravelling of the financialization phase of our current phase of capitalism (i.e the US consolidation phase following British imperialism, c.1914-2020s), will be its terminal decade. The signal that we had entered the financialization phase were the shocks of 1970-73, and the replacement of industrial manufacture (i.e. money>commodity>money+x, or M-C-M') with finance/speculation (i.e. money>money+x, M-M') has unfolded more or less according to Marx's analysis in Capital vol.3. This is as much a crisis of value creation as anything else. In Australia (where I am) the process is particularly transparent: we have almost no manufacturing sector left and so we exchange labour-value created in China for mineral resources and engage in the ponzi-scheme of banking and property speculation, which produces no value whatsoever. Either way the M-C-M' phase in Australia has vanished and government dedicates itself to full-spectrum protection of the finance economy and mining. All the while a veneer of productivity is created by immigration, which destroys cities (because there's no infrastructure to accomodate them), inflates prices and creates the illusion of 'growth'. This is propped up by a media who perpetuate xenophobia by creating panic about refugees (5%) while saying zip about the fact that Australia only has economic growth at all because we bring in 250K new consumers every year. This collapsing financialization phase will only accelerate this decade and we will wake to find we don't make anything and have crumbling 1980s-era infrastructure: Australia will suffer badly as the phase plays out, not least because of a colonial-settler looting mentality around the 'economy' that persists at every level of government.

What I like about the point you're making in your post (#32) is the wider expansive question of productivity -- or, how do we continue to produce value? It is often overlooked that Marx sought to liberate human beings from expropriative labour of every kind (which occurred as much under the Soviets as it does today); this means that capital's aorta connecting labour to value via money must be severed (rather than the endless attempts to reform capitalism to make it 'fairer' etc, a sell-out for which Gramsci savaged the union movement). The relation between work and value must be critiqued relentlessly. To salvage any kind of optimism about the future we need to invest all our intellectual energy in this critique and find a radically new way of construing the link between time, labour and value that does not include social domination.

In the meantime the scenario to which you have drawn our attention -- the parasitic vampirism now attacking the elderly and the retired -- is an inevitable consequence of our particular moment in late capitalism, hurtling at speed toward a social catastrophe of debt, wealth inequality, neo-feudalism and biopolitical police state, all characterized by an image of 70-year-olds trudging to work in an agony of physical suffering and mental meaninglessness which will end in a forgotten grave.

[Jan 01, 2020] Financial oligarchy is a cancer and Jewish financial oligarchy is just the most abhorrent flavor of it

Notable quotes:
"... I don't even know what capitalism means anymore. It doesn't seem like it's an actual free market system. Seems like it is slavery for the little guy, and parasitism for the rich. Maybe we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism. ..."
"... That scary thought has crossed my mind, too, Art. I've even started wondering if this whole impeachment circus is really part of an elaborate plot to guarantee Trump's re-election. I mean, would Pelosi's insane actions make the slightest sense otherwise? And everyone has noted how this is such a 'Jew coup,' haven't they? It all looks so suspicious ..."
"... It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act. ..."
Jan 01, 2020 |

Mulegino1 says: December 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm GMT 300 Words @J Adleman

You and other whites here are like the bad guys in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass -- even if it takes four sequels to make it happen -- but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time. Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends. Our ankles survive.

Talk about deflection. Any nation, empire, culture or civilization wherein the Jewish collective gains critical mass and ultimately absolute power turns into a real horror, not a movie. The Jews may be said to be the true prototype of the "bad guys in every horror movie", since they can only be gotten rid of by very rigorous means taken in the healthiest and most vigorous cultures and societies. Indeed, antisemitism itself is the healthy immunological reaction of a flourishing culture, and its lack thereof the pathology of a moribund one.

Woke Christians of European provenance have nothing to envy the Jew (the archetypal Jew) over. We realize that the true measure of success is not primarily monetary or the fulfillment of cheap ambitions, but a spiritual and cultural one. On the contrary, the Jewish hatred against Christian Europe and the civilization that it constructed is engendered out of sheer envy and malice, because Jewry understands that is would never be capable of constructing anything similar, and never has. In all of the arts, Jewry has produced nothing of note.

This is not to say that individual Jews have not made contributions to the arts and sciences, but they have done so only by participation in gentile culture, not qua Jews. Jewry only tears down and deconstructs; it is not creative in the sense of high art, and can thrive only in the swamp of gentile decadence and moral putrefaction. Whatever Jewry touches, it turns to merde.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT

@Anon specifically push them away from materialism and desire for money and power, even at the expense of others. That is the exact point of religion (self-improvement) btw, so the next question is – is the Jewish religion effective?

At which point, the Jewish ideology becomes the wolf in the hen house – because it fails to tame the human away from such materialistic desire (as it btw claims it does best).

Should the hens be allowed to point out what they see as a wolf? Yes.

That the supposed wolf then obfuscates and justifies their actions by pointing to others, mostly, betrays that it is, in fact, a wolf.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

I have become totally disenchanted with the SEC. Stupid, Evil, Crazy! It would not surprise me if they are the ones that have been terrorizing me, with stupid, evil, crazy chants through appliances after illegallly implaced RFIDs, microchips, or sensors illegally implanted in my ears and nose that started after my first phone was hacked in 2017! Can't expect stupid people not to be stupid, evil people not to be evil, and crazy people not to be crazy! They were just born that way!

9/11 Inside job , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
@J Adleman :

"The US will become minority white in 2045 Census projects " :

"During that year [2045] whites will comprise 49.7 per cent of the population in contrast to 24.6 per cent for Hispanics , 13.1 per cent for Blacks , 7.9 per cent for Asians and 3.8 per cent for multi-racial populations " Are these projections good or bad for the "Jewish people " ?

Agent76 , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT

Jan 28, 2010 The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)

A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

Nov 22, 2013 Thomas DiLorenzo – The Revolution Of 1913

From the Tom Woods show Loyola economics professor Thomas DiLorenzo discusses three events from 1913 that greatly escalated the transmogrification of America from the founder's vision (limited government) to its current state (unlimited government).

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
@Onebornfree 001. It just as murderous as the first Zion century.

If we had a free press that calls out the Jewish Zion Mafia that in itself would solve the problem.

This Zion Mafia is destroying our planet faster than any Climate Change or any pollution.

Yet, we can not speak about it. It is anti-S to speak about what the Big Js do.

Onebornfree, the J mafia roams the world without being bound to any nation. A nation-less world would not stop their menace.

The best way to stop this world wide menace is free speech to talk about it. Usury control is the next step to end this menace to our planet.

More R1b, Less H1B , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Lot sons of Abraham name their businesses after themselves (I'm sure this will insincerely be attributed to some fear of native kulaks' repressed urge-to-pogrom, even in Finland or Japan.) The other is an observation made by an associate of a famous Austrian landscapist: even merely remarking on their origins causes these guys mental distress.

Here in the melting pot, the difference couldn't be any starker. You can make small talk with any flavor of goy based on it: that's a Polish name, isn't it? Yeah, how did you know! Try this one with Levy or Nussbaum down at The Smith Group or The Jones Foundation and watch them plotz.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm GMT

Jews have always weaponized usury. Long before Christianity, Jews operated the East/West mechanism on donkey caravan trade routes. Silver would drain from the West, and Gold would drain from the east, while Jewish caravaneers would take usury on exchange rate differences. This operated for thousands of years.

Haibaru donkey bones have been discovered outside of Sumer. The Aiparu/Haibaru (Hebrew) tribes were formed as merchants operating between city states. In those days, psychopaths and criminals would be excommunicated from civilized city states, and would take up with the wandering merchant tribe.

Why do you think the Jew is always interested in owing the money power? Why do you think the Jew perpetually stands outside the walls of the city state, plotting its destruction?

History tells us things, and we had better listen. That is – real history, not what you learned in (((public skool))). There are two ways to deal with the Jew: 1) Remove him from your country. 2) Limit him.

Limiting was done by Byzantium under Justinian. The Jew was limited FROM money counting/banking; limited from participation in government; limited from access to pervert young minds – especially as school teachers and professors.

It takes a King or Tsar who cares about his population, and is willing to eject or filter out toxins from the body politic. (((Democracy))) is a failed form of government, whereby monied Oligarchs control the polity by compromat and pulling strings.

You are not going to be able to vote your way out of the Jew problem.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Echoing words once supposedly used by Hermann Goering: whenever I here the word 'philanthropist' these days, I instinctively reach for my revolver!

Agent76 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:03 pm GMT

Jan 23, 2012 Why the Constitution Had to Be Destroyed | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Archived from the live Mises tv broadcast, this lecture was presented by Tom DiLorenzo at the Mises Circle in Houston on 14 January 2012.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres edina. Ergo, Wahabbi Islam and the Takfiri's are doctrinaly correct, while Judaizer Christians (those that worship the old testament) are out of alignment and heretics.

Judaism is actually a new religion that came into being after 73 AD, when the verbal tradition (Caballa) became written down into Talmud.

Our Jewish friends have always been practicing usury, going back to since forever.

Our Jewish friends, I count as worse that Islamics. However two wrongs don't make a right. Islam badly needs reform or to be expunged. Talmudic Judaism is by far the worst religion on the planet, and its adherents must malfunction by definition.

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Jewish bigwigs think that the world will be their oyster if there are less White Euros in the world.

Yet, Jewish Advisors have been at the top of white Euro nations for centuries as their oyster to pillage the planet.

Non-White Euro people may not be so welcoming to Jewish Advisors at the top telling to them to go to war or pillage their fellow non-White Euros.

I don't think that the big Jews at the top thought this out too much.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@Onebornfree You are missing something because you are unwilling to adapt and learn with new information. This makes you an ideologue.


There are no such things as free markets. Money's true nature is law, not gold. Money didn't come into being with barter and other nonsense lolbertarians believe.

Most of the luminaries that came up with "libertarian" economics are Jews, and it is a doctrine of deception. The idea is to confuse the goyim with thoughts and ideas that make them easy pickings.

A determined in-group of predators operating in unison, will take down an "individual" every-time.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm GMT

Don't expect anything to improve with Jay Clayton as SEC Chair, and his wife and her father Gretchen Butler Clayton who was CEO of CSC and mysterious WMB Holdings which share the same address in addition to many Goldman Sachs divisions. Gretchen was employed by Goldman Sachs as an attorney from 1999-2017. Many companies affiliated with the Panama Papers share the same address as well.

Secrecy has expanded under Clayton.

alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:34 pm GMT

Jewish people have treated me better than my own White Euro family.

Jews are tribal, gee what a surprise after 1000's of years of people trying to wipe them out . and so their charity is within the tribe, but there is no charity within the tribe among Whites.

Jews, along with Asians and at least some Africans, believe in not just climbing the ladder, but in actually helping others – at least family – up it also. Whites believe in climbing the ladder and then pulling it up after them.

I was explaining to a friend recently: My (relative) has proven that if I showed up at their door, starving, they'd not give me a cheese sandwich, while in my experience, strangers have been overall a fairly kind lot and a stranger, 50/50, might. Therefore, while I find the idea of robbing or burning down the house of a stranger abhorrent, I don't mind the idea so much when it involves a person who's proven to be cold and evil.

For more on this, see the book Angela's Ashes. The Irish family could have stayed in New York where they were being befriended by a Jewish family. There was a ray of hope. The Irish kids, at least, would have been fed, steered into decent schooling, etc. But foolishly they went back to Ireland, to be treated like utter dogshit by their fellow White family and "people".

Most of the predation going on in the US and worldwide is being done by WASPS who are using Jews as a convenient scapegoat.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:36 pm GMT
@tono bungay

Feel free to offer us some counter-examples, tono. How many such funds to you know of that aren't disproportionately Jewish? We're all ears!

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:01 pm GMT

Finally! An intelligent criticism of Trump for a change. So tired of the brainless Democrat/MSM impeachment circus. They make me feel like a reflexive MAGAtard just for defending the constitution, logic, etc., from their never-ending stream of inanities. Meanwhile, the real problem with Trump is not that he's Hitler; it's that he's not Hitler enough!

I am also so tired of Zionist-loving cucks bleeting on about the evils of the CRA without ever considering the role played by the (((profiteers))) who lobbied such policies into law in the first place. Realize that what Paul Singer does for a living used to be illegal in this country up until recently. That's right: US bankruptcy law used to forbid investors from buying up debt second-hand at a discount and then trying to reclaim the entire face value from the debtor. But I see all kinds of people even on this thread blaming the victim instead -- 'Damn goyishe deadbeats!' Whatever

What Singer and the other Jewish vultures engage in is not productive, and isn't even any recognisable form of work or business. It is greed-motivated parasitism carried out on a perversely extravagant and highly nepotistic scale. In truth, it is Singer and his co-ethnics who believe that money can be printed on the backs of productive workers, and who ultimately believe they have a right to be "showered by free stuff promised by politicians."

Nuff said?

renfro , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT
@anon maintain your honor, and manners and still succeed. Jews take the easy low road of deception and cheating. WASP take the higher road of harder work and ethical business practice.


the grand wazoo , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT

"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I" care not who makes its laws"

That is what Mayer Amschel Rothchild said in the 1750s. Now, is it a stretch of my imagination to believe the Central Banks of the West, all Jewish controlled, would unfairly favor their 'own' when issuing or disbursing the money they are permitted to create.

We are not allowed to audit the Federal Reserve, so we know not what they do with it beyond what they tell us. In 2016 it was discovered that between the year 1999 and 2016 well over $23 trillions had been stolen from just 2 departments of our government, the DoD and HUD. (Someone should look at NASA). Is it possible the seed money, for not only Venture capitalists schemes but also buying governments and law makers, has been diverted, shoveled out of the back door of these corrupt central banks and into the hands of their fellow jews?
Anyway, the more exposure articles like this get the closer we get to ending their reign.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 pm GMT
@Mefobills he pressure will only be towards violence – for any nation or faith!

Judaism has monopolized for millennia though, and still acts as a victim. Different kettle of fish.

Also, you can debate the positives and negatives of Islam with a Muslim (not as a rabid ignoramus of course – you must be polite, and have learnt something, as well as be open to learning more). Almost every debate with a Jew about Judaism has started with, continued with, and ended with name calling for me however.

Judaism fails as a religion because it does not encourage the practitioner to look at themselves when confronted with error, Islam still does imo.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT

So I scanned through the posts quickly -- probably too quickly.

How many specific, gentile vulture capitalists currently prominent in the field have been named so far?

When you list them, please respond to my post so that I will be notified.

anarchyst , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Your statement: "Jews actually collaborated extensively in the imposition of tyranny on the working class in Eastern Europe from 1917 to 1991" not only applies to Europe, but the united States of America as well.

Mark Hunter , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT

1. Re Sidney, Nebraska: Maybe I'm missing something but wasn't it Cabela's owners, for example co-founder and chairman Jim Cabela, who sold Cabela, not Elliot Management (Singer et al)? I gather Elliot Management owned only 11% of the company. Was that enough to force them to sell?

2. The article confuses honest straightforward loans with tax farming and government corruption. Loans can be very useful, e.g. for a car to get to a job, or for a house so you build up equity instead of paying rent.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT

According to the Talmud, we goyim are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, like the Jews. No, we are the bastard progeny of Adam's first wife, Lilleth, who eloped with the demon Samael. So we goyim are really all half-demons and therefore we are an abomination in the sight of Jew-hova, and we get what we deserve at the hands of his 'chosen people'.

All clear now?


Art , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:03 pm GMT
@Colin Wright to get carried away with this. Figures such as Andrew Carnegie, while impeccably gentile, were hardly paragons of scrupulous ethics and disinterested virtue.

Andrew Carnegie built something that made life better for people. Making steel is a beneficial thing.

These evil vulture Jews build nothing – they make people poorer. They suck the wealth out of people who have little. They know 100% what they are doing.

Jesus expressed anger against the money changers on the temple steps.

It is OK for you to have natural human feelings and be angry at these Jew bastards.

Do No Harm

Art , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

Major Kudos to these three heroes – Ron Unz, Tucker Carlson, and Andrew Joyce – for this article and discussion.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 pm GMT
@anon ith him on this trip. It was an awful experience – consistent with all the books I read on psychopaths and also that book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, the weight of 3000 years

Another very wealthy American mother of a friend asked her South African friends (also jews) to help her book trips in South Africa (and they of course recommended only their Jewish friends) – it's their son who told me this.
So a lot of backstabbing, cultural nepotism and actively (but in a hidden way as most psychopaths like to do) they do at wakening and isolating their host. That's their only advantage – not intelligence (at least in my experience )

Old and grumpy , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT

I don't even know what capitalism means anymore. It doesn't seem like it's an actual free market system. Seems like it is slavery for the little guy, and parasitism for the rich. Maybe we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism.

the grand wazoo , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT

No, not stupid whites, they're not to blame. It's the greedy corrupt politician: white, black, or white jew, who are to blame.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres o – including offensive war. I used the term political authority on purpose, because Islam is more than just a religion, it is a political-theocratic construct that is all-encompassing.

There may not be a specific verse allowing aggressive violence, but there is something going on based on the data. (I admit to being a lay-man and not an expert on minutia of Islam. I don't want to go there based on what I already know to be true.)

In Christianity, if there are calls for aggressive violence it is OUT OF ALIGNMENT because of super-session. Christian adherents who do this are Judaizers, and have to use the old testament for justification.

annamaria , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:43 pm GMT

'Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. "

-- They always find the willing local collaborators ready to make a big profit. Who can forget Dick Cheney, the Enemy of Humanity? The same kind of unrestricted criminality and amorality lives on in Tony Blair the Pious.

The fact that this Catholic weasel and major criminal Tony Blair is still not excommunicated tells all we need to know about the Vatican.

Assange is rotting in a prison, while Tony Blair and Ghislaine Maxwell are roaming free. The Jewish connections pay off.

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:59 pm GMT
@J Adelman s as "strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine," the Democratic senators declared, "We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump," before demanding Lutsenko "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation

And yet Trump pulls the Jews ever closer. A ruling race of ubermenschen now.

'No reason'.

Can you imagine what American Blacks and savage Hispanics let alone whites are going to do if the US economy craters like the Russian economy, and everything is transferred to the banks?

DaveE , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm GMT
@Old and grumpy

Yeah . fine idea. I've always maintained there are two uses of the word "capitalism" industrial capitalism or competition of ideas vs. financial capitalism, the Darwinian struggle for the most ruthless bankster to rig the "markets" most efficiently.

Whether we give it new terminology I don't care much . but I sure wish people would understand the difference, one way of another !

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:05 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit as extended, and had aunts and uncles and cousins, who lived in the general area for centuries, then there would be a network to fall back on.

See slaughter of the cities by Jones:

And yes, the FIRE sector and impetus behind the destruction of your extended family was JEWISH. The breakdown of neighborhoods and ethnics was on purpose.

The Jew is anti-logos, and whatever he touches he destroys. (There are exceptions of course – but these people no longer possess a negative Jewish spirit.)

Sorry your family was destroyed. When whites become un-moored they don't know how to act.

Father O'Hara , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT
@J Adleman

Quite bizarre post. First,he makes a half ass defense of Jew character.(Weinstein, Epstein don't represent jews! Well, they kind of do. Any jew who is called to accounts for his crimes automatically does not represent jews! )

Antares , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT

if you think it's wrong to buy or try to collect on defaulted debt, what is the alternative set of laws and behavior you are recommending? If debts can simply be repudiated at will, capitalism cannot function.

Capitalism includes money. You can't separate the risks in lending from other risks. Bad investors should be punished and good investors rewarded. Resources should be well allocated. Otherwise it's not capitalism.

Happy Tapir , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT

I looked at his book on amazon. Do you believe all that stuff? Are these people with psychoses or delusional disorders?

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT

These insane Boomers seem to think that there is a Jewish coup underway to remove Trump because of all the things that Jews are saying in Jewish publications and every single person involved being Jewish and stuff.

Adrian , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm GMT
@Germanicus About the Carnegie donated "Peace Palace" in The Hague, presently the seat of the In ternational Court of Justice:

Germanicus claims:

They are a function of Empire in Hague, who protect empire criminals, and assume a non existent legitimacy and jurisdiction as a private entity to take down empire opponents.

Such as this ruling for instance:

Guardian 3 Oct.2018:

International court of justice orders US to lift new Iran sanctions

Mike Pompeo indicates US will ignore ruling, after judges in The Hague find unanimously in favor of Iran

Informed Reader , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Colin Wright: Tel Aviv University's Medical School is called the "Sackler Faculty of Medicine." Does that help answer your question?

annamaria , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT

"What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. "

-- Of course. I hope you did not miss the fact that the Jewish vulture funds -- ruthless, unethical, and leaching on goyim -- contribute to the Jewish Holocaust Museum.

Is not it touching that the same bloody destroyers of nations demand from the same nations a very special reverence -- out of ethical considerations, of course -- towards the Jewish victims of WWII? But only Jewish victims.

All others were not victims but casualties. See Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. See the unlimited hatred of ziocons towards Russia.

utu , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm GMT

" but maybe a few leftist thinkers would receive a much needed electric shock if they were to see the JQ framed in marxist terms " – I would not count on the effect of the electric shock on the leftist thinkers. The role of Jewish Bolsheviks in the Cheka, NKVD, GULAGs, genocides by famine has been known from the very beginning and yet it left no impact on the leftist thinkers.

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT

Browder's case is really interesting. /jhr/v17/v17n6p13_Michaels.html

"According to Harvard University scholar Graham Allison, who is also a former US assistant Secretary of Defense, ordinary Russians have experienced, on average, a 75 percent plunge in living standards since 1991 -- almost twice the decline in Americans' income during the Great Depression of the 1930s. But in the midst of this widespread economic misery, a small minority has grown fabulously wealthy since the end of the Soviet era."

"Although Jews make up no more than three or four percent of Russia's population, they wield enormous economic and political power in that vast and troubled country. "At least half of the powerful 'oligarchs' who control a significant percentage of the economy are Jewish," the Los Angeles Times has cautiously noted. (See also: D. Michaels, "Capitalism in the New Russia," May-June 1997 Journal, pp. 21-27.)"

It's interesting how the appeal of Eduard Topol to Jews in Russia is now starting to echo Jewish calls in the United States for Jews to stop the path they are currently on.

Here is the complete text of Topol's extraordinary "Open Letter to Berezovksy, Gusinsky, Smolensky, Khodorkovsky and other Oligarchs," translated for the Journal by Daniel Michaels from the text published in the respected Moscow paper Argumenty i Fakty ("Arguments and Facts"), No. 38, September 1998:

Magnitsky and Bill Browder is also really interesting.

It turns out that a large measure of the Russiagate story arose because Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who traveled to America to challenge Browder's account, arranged a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign advisers in June 2016 to present this other side of the story.

Apparently that's collusion.

But this isn't collusion.

Remember when Obama literally said he would sell out US defence interests to the Russians on a hot mic?

Then we had Democrats actually literally word for word doing what they accuse Trump of doing in Ukraine.

"It got almost no attention, but in May [2018], CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as "strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine," the Democratic senators declared, "We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump," before demanding Lutsenko "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation."

What's the first rule of Communist and Satanist Saul Alinsky? Always accuse your opponents of what you are doing.

Imagine having a Grandfather as the literal Chairman of the American Communist Party, and all the amazing lessons you would learn about political maneuvering and ideology.

And it's amazing.

Browder's story is that Russian officials stole his companies seals and then fraudulently formulated a tax avoidance scheme with a complete paper trail that they fabricated against him in totem. Precisely matching the amount of money he was trying to remove from their country, like those other Jewish Oligarchs who imposed conditions that were multiples worse then even the American depression.

When under oath it turns out that Magnitsky wasn't even a lawyer at all, and didn't go to law school. Why did the media owned by Mormons of course keep saying that Magnitsky was Browder's lawyer?

Why did the Russians fraudulently fabricate a paper-trail for another Jewish Oligarch to steal money out of Russia? Just like they colluded with Trump when a Russian lawyer sought to explain what happened. Because that totally happened.

Maybe the problem isn't Capitalism. Maybe, when even the ur-Shabbos goys at National Review are shaking their head and washing their hands like Pilate, maybe it's a different problem.

Yet Trump holds these people ever close to his beating heart.

And then there are all these connections to Jeffrey Epstein that are like an explosion linking all these people.

Poor old Russia. Even Putin isn't worse then what came before.

renfro , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT

t class is not tied to any territory has been observable since 1960.

I don't have time now to look up how many of 199 directors are Jews . but I know enough of the economic history of various countries to know that Jews were the first business and finance globe trotters,,,,.from Spain to Amsterdam, France to Africa , etc.etc. Jew were first hired as reps and facilitators by the gentile business owners especially because of their breather tribal contacts in many countries ..that was their stepping stone to becoming transnational capitalist themselves.

Understanding our global capitalist ruling elite and who they are is not rocket science

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT

Yet more evidence is piling up that Donald J Trump is the Great Betrayer. A man who had the biggest mandate in post war history to clean up the Swamp that is D.C., reform Immigration to save America and reform the economy for American workers. He has squandered all of it while pandering to Jews.

When the Donald is revealed as the Great Betrayer where will Jews run? Yes, they have several back up plans. Patagonia, Ukraine and Israel.

Imagine that. They have their own country and 2 back up plans. It is really tough being a hated, oppressed minority.

JUSA , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT

being much more cautious in their borrowing since the borrowing cost is so high.

Instead, this current arrangement basically uses bond funds to put up a false front, telling a debtor they can borrow at 2% when the real rate should be at 20% given the known risks, then the debtor goes crazy borrowing because it's so cheap to borrow, and when they can't pay back, the bond gets sold to the vultures who come collecting at 20% or they seize assets.

This is no different than the subprime mortgage crap, except now that is regulated so they go after sovereign debt and corporate debt instead. These vultures need to go die period.

bike-anarkist , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:16 pm GMT

This is a great, concise overview of Canadian media influence by the "silent" Jewish overlords via Golden Tree.

I tried copy/paste of your comment on CBC, but it did NOT last 2minutes before being suspended!!

I am sorry to have used your comment without your permission, but I am going to "misspell" some words to defeat the algorithm to get your message across.

Anon [112] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
@Lot e, and these golfy-sounding names (Elliot, Monarch, GoldTree, OakTree, Canyon, Tilden Park) fit the perception. We whites receive the society's hate for the wealth disparities created by high finance.

4. No, it is not difficult to do finance differently. Every other investor has higher patience for poor countries in Central America and Africa, and they all look at Elliot with confused scorn.

And, things would probably run fine without hyper-aggressive multi-billionaires in pushing the courts to f- over those who default on debts they owe to the maximum degree. Japan and Norway do quite fine with businesses that are run by gentle and humble goys who feel ashamed at the thought of getting "too rich."

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
@J Adleman

You will be thrown out.
You will have to choose between Israel, Ukraine and Patagonia. No one else will take you.
You have destroyed our politics, media and economy.
You are not respected.
You buy compliance with money.
You have bankrupted the U.S. dollar with debt pursuing Israel's enemies.

You should pack.
Real Soon.
Good Riddance.

Anon [112] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Just passing through

I accept the guilt for what whites have done in the past.

But whites have become incredibly generous and gentle with the Other. We have turned in the opposite direction, we are not the same.

Great Britain gave up many of its colonies with no fight. Kenya was given up before there was even an anti-colonial movement in Kenya!

We whites are fair-players, and we respect the right of other peoples to self-determination. We haven't in the past, but we have learned.

thotmonger , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT

Ben Franklin and the American revolution was almost put in a similar pinch by the Amsterdam banker Jean DeNeufville. In a letter to John Adams, 14 December 1781*, Franklin explained that DeNeufville wanted as security for a loan "all the lands, cities, territories, and possessions of the said Thirteen States, which they may have or possess at present, and which they may have or possess in the future, with all their income, revenue, and produce, until the entire payment of this loan and the interests due thereon."

Franklin considered that "extravagant" but Newhouse rejoined, "this was usual in all loans and that the money could not otherwise be obtained". Franklin retold in this lengthy letter, "Besides this, I was led to understand that it would be very agreeable to these gentlemen if, in acknowledgment of their zeal for our cause and great services in procuring this loan, they would be made by some law of Congress the general consignee of America, to receive and sell upon commission, by themselves and correspondents in the different ports and nations, all the produce of America that should be sent by our merchants to Europe."

Talk about shooting the moon

While Wikipedia says DeNeufville was Mennonite, Franklin concluded with this colorful -- and bitter -- remark , "By this time, I fancy, your Excellency is satisfied that I was wrong in supposing John de Neufville as much a Jew as any in Jerusalem, since Jacob was not content with any per cents, but took the whole of his brother Esau's birthright, and his posterity did the same by the Canaanites, and cut their throats into the bargain; which, in my conscience, I do not think Mr. John de Neufville has the least inclination to do by us while he can get any thing by our being alive. I am, with the greatest esteem, etc., ✪ B. Franklin."

Perhaps it was just an expression based on an earlier stereotype?

*Bigelow, 1904. The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 9 Letters and Misc. Writings

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen o to Uganda and Ugandans were willing, but NO Zion had to have Palestine, and they got it through war, deception, and murder. It was funded by usury, as stolen purchasing power from the Goyim.

The fake country of Israel, is not the biblical Israel, and it came into being by maneuverings of satanic men determined to get their way no matter what, and is supported by continuous deception. Even today's Hebrew is resurrected from a dead language, and is fake. Many fake Jews (who have no blood lineage to Abraham), a fake country, and fake language. These fakers, usurers, and thieves do indeed have their eyes set on Patagonia, what they call the practical country.

Anonymous [147] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat feel this makes me weird.

I've been to TOO. However I can't bring myself to start commenting on a white nationalist website. I will admit I am unable to articulate this discomfort presently.

As to your point about Marx – I actually forgot about his work on the JQ. The Saker, who is a columnist on this site, referenced Marx's essay on the JQ some time ago. I must have not read the whole thing or I'd have remembered it. I didn't know that Marxism originated with anti-Semitism, but that is fascinating. I have encountered some Marxists in my time and they focus exclusively (predictably) on the cis-white-male patriarchy, or whatever occupies their brainwashed minds after an Introduction to Gender Studies class.

Johan , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
@Anon repudiated at will, capitalism cannot function."

Is this children's capitalist theory class time? throwing around some simple slogans for a susceptible congregation of future believers?

Should be quite obvious that people, groups of people, if not whole nations , can be forced and or seduced into depths by means of certain practices. There are a thousand ways of such trickery and thievery, these are not in the theory books though. In these books things all match and work out wonderfully rationally

Then capitalism cannot function? Unfortunately it has become already dysfunctional, if not a big rotten cancer.

secondElijah , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMT
@J Adleman Ezekiel 21:25 25 'Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end
Jeremiah 5:9 Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the LORD. "And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

As Jesus said which of the prophets have you not killed or persecuted? The truth hurts. As for me I do not hate Jews ..I feel terribly sad for a people that are capable of greatness and squandered the gifts given to them by God. Are you a holy nation? Don't make me laugh. Repent. Your time is coming. No more running and hiding. Deception will no longer save you only acceptance of the Messiah.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Father O'Hara

he can't be bargained with,he can't reasoned with,he doesn't feel pity,remorse,or fear " In other words – a 'culture' as a PSYCHOPATH it's a well-oiled psychopath support group

Clutch these pearls, sqrt, sqrt, sqrt , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:36 pm GMT

Hey! Don't mention anything a Jew ever did, especially usury, or else the entire cult will go up in a holocaustal mushroom cloud of emo nasal whining. In Judaism you've got a fanatical sect that systematically selects and brainwashes its members to inculcate extreme values of two Big Five personality axes: high neuroticism and low intellect (where intellect means open-mindedness.) Note the existential crisis triggered by a straightforward lecture from The Society for the Study of Unbelievably Obvious Shit.

Of course Israel is holocausting the Palestinians. This is what happens when the founding myth of a nation is, We wiped em all out and then they wiped us almost all out so now we gotta wipe em all out etc., etc., etc.

Fuck Israel. Fuck the Jewish State.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT
@J.W. en a narcissist and a psychopath is that the former need people to like them whereas psychopaths genuinely could not care less (although they learn early that acting as if they do can be very helpful , as can always trying to elicit sympathy etc).
As I noticed while reading a few books on psychopathy (I was inspired to after reading Steve Job's biography) – their whole 'culture' is structured as a (collective ) PSYCHOPATH.
It seems that (collectively) they cannot care about others even if they wanted to. Due to their sickness

I am not saying they are all that way – but overall their 'culture' seems to be that way

Skeptikal , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:56 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

The Sacklers occupy a hoity-toity rung in the philanthropy universe, as they have given enough $$$ to Harvard for H to paste their name on its museum housing I believe its whole Asian art collection.

Students have now protested Harvard's high-profile gift of probity and cultural status to the Sacklers via, literally, an "Aushangerschild" on a major university museum. Harvard protests back: Jeez, if we don't take the Sacklers' dough we might be obliged to stop taking the dough from Exxon, etc.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:04 am GMT
@Anon ou are right that loans should be repaid – it is immoral to allow a well connected mafia to change all the laws and remove protections while pushing up prices of everything because it suits the lender (who has a licence to print).
They basically lend money that does not exist and get interest for that. So the more sheeple are tricked into borrowing the better for them, but the worse for everyone else
They should not be allowed to bribe politicians to remove all the protection that was there since 1920s I think.
It's a marriage from hell: easy to bribe Anglosheep meets the masters of predatory bribing who own the printing press
lavoisier , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 12:22 am GMT

That stupid cuck Trump just got impeached by the House. Thats a good lesson to everybody how much good Jew-ass kissing does for you .you get stabbed in the back anyway lol

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and treacherous scumbag!

But he should have been impeached for his treachery to the constitution and to the American people for his slavish devotion to all things Jewish!

PCA , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT
@mark green

The singular is PHENOMENON for God's sake. Phenomena is plural.

Have Americans always been this illiterate?

BannedHipster , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 12:26 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

True, but irrelevant. The Jews that matter don't read the Talmud or believe in "Adam and Eve."

It's 2020. The Jewish religion is "The Holocaust" and we're all "Nazis."

Frankly, it's these traditional religious notions of "anti-semitism" that get in the way of understanding what is, at the core, an ethnic issue. It's Sheldon Adelson, the Zionist entity in Palestine, and the ADL that are the problem, not some looney-tunes rabbi living in Brooklyn.

Daniel Rich , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:31 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

But I see all kinds of people even on this thread blaming the victim instead -- 'Damn goyishe deadbeats!' Whatever

The number of families who're unable to pay an $500 emergency bill is staggering as is the number of families being 1 paycheck away from bankruptcy.

Yes, some people are totally irresponsible and burn through their money faster than it can be printed, but not all 55,000,000 of 'em.

Rafael Martorell , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT

The other side of the explanation is the lacking of reaction of the victim, the american people. The least that the people that loot the world trough and with the USA power should do, is ,at least ,let us,the american people, a free ride.

Milesglorious , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:50 am GMT

And when it comes, vae victis.

Frank Frivilous , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT

Well, DynCorp has a particularly insidious reputation beyond your run of the mill Usury.

Not illegal in the Talmud either but most certainly illegal in all of the countries that DynCorp was caught profiting from this type of business. For some reason they never seem to suffer for their exposure suggesting that they may be wielding the same influence that Epstein had over our elected officials.

Rafael Martorell , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:59 am GMT

We dont have to get back to the Singer of this world but to our own politicians ,that allowed them to do this to us,and to the world.In this kind of abusive realtionship the 2 sides are to blame.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:14 am GMT
@Just passing through h and then moved over to the West with their newfound gains, buying up properties, forcing prices up for the natives. The western corporations not only wanted cheap products to export back to the U.S., but they were also developing a whole new market – Chinese consumers who would buy their products as well. Double plus good!

And once in the West, the Chinese and the Indians stick to their groups. They hire their own, promote their own, do business together. A lot of corruption, money laundering, cheating, taking advantage of and bending laws. Rule of law? Code of ethics? Morals? Do unto others? They never learned it. Opportunistic dual citizens.

Isthatright , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:23 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Tucker is smart. He never uses the J word. Great article.

Fayez chergui , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:31 am GMT

The only path to understand the spirit of jews to money is to read the Old Testament : clear and sharp.

lavoisier , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT

I would not count on the effect of the electric shock on the leftist thinkers. The role of Jewish Bolsheviks in the Cheka, NKVD, GULAGs, genocides by famine has been known from the very beginning and yet it left no impact on the leftist thinkers.

It unfortunately has not had much of an effect on a lot of people in the West, who remain ignorant or in denial of the role played by Jewish Bolsheviks in historic mass murders and totalitarian repression.

Waiting for the Hollywood movie to tell the story.

Rebel0007 , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT

[Too much totally off-topic crackpottery. Stop this or most of your future comments may get trashed.]

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT

This is why you need to start with Zarlinga, as there is no BS to lead you astray. Hudson tends to drill the bulls-eye too. There is so much deception in the field of money and economy, that it is easy to get caught up in false narratives, like one-born free libertarianism. Usury flows fund the deception, even to the point of leaving out critical passages in translations, such as in Aristotle's works. Or, important works are bought up and burned.

Michael Hudson is the leading economist resurrecting Classical Economics. Reading all of Hudson and Zarlinga will take some time and effort, but it is good to take a first step.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
@Anon According to Wikipedia : " The armed rebellion of the Mau Mau was the culminating response to Colonial rule . Although there had been previous instances of violent resistance to colonialism , the Mau Mau revolt was the most prolonged and violent anti-colonial warfare in the British Colonial colony. From the start the land was the primary British interest in Kenya ."
Just as the Kenyans suffered the consequences of British colonialism , the "Palestinians will suffer
the consequences of Zionist colonialism until Israel's original sin is boldly confronted and justly remedied "
Realist , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:17 am GMT
@the grand wazoo

No, not stupid whites, they're not to blame. It's the greedy corrupt politician: white, black, or white jew, who are to blame.

Who votes these greedy corrupt politicians into office? Hint: It is Whites who are the majority.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:20 am GMT

distinction of Jewish investors versus gentile investors – on average, of course – is their use of bribery to get the force of government behind them. Rather than taking a bet about some group being able to pay back some bonds and letting the chips fall where they may, Jews start bribing or influencing politicians to force that group to pay back the bonds.

Buy some bonds, charge outrageous fees, bribe officials in some form or other, get govt to force the payment of bonds and outrageous fees. Rinse and repeat. Jews have been doing this in some form aor another for 1500 years. It's why the peasants get a tad angry at both the Jews and their bribed politicians/nobility.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:22 am GMT

money. Dear me, wait until that comes out.

Trump is in league with the Jews? Yeah, who isn't? Obama's lips are still sore from kissing Jewish Wall Street bankers' asses (notice that none of them went to jail). Same with the Clinton's.

You can get politicians to pass all sorts of laws in your favor if you've got enough dirt on them. After all, your side owns the media, Hollywood, academia, the courts, the banks.

If dirt doesn't work, you can always threaten to impeach them in order to get what you want.

But Trump is also revealing every last dirty one of them (accidentally or on purpose). People see them now.

Robert Dolan , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:37 am GMT

...Trump sucks. All decent people should stand up and fight against these scumbags.

They can't play whack a mole with all of us.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 2:49 am GMT
@Informed Reader

'Colin Wright: Tel Aviv University's Medical School is called the "Sackler Faculty of Medicine." Does that help answer your question?'

That sort of thing is what led me to ask the question.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:50 am GMT
@Father O'Hara

I now use therm 'Weinsteined' to mean 'raped' (by jewish banksters, investors etc)

Also Jewish , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:52 am GMT
@J Adelman

J Adelman comes out swinging. He's such a tough guy. But does he make sense? Does he care if he makes sense? The writer is talking about those Jews who are vulture capitalists. He's not talking about every Jew. Isn't it a little odd that nearly all of these funds are run by Jews? Can your corrupt mind accept that fact and address the question? Or are you going to bore us with your religion and by that I mean your obsession with anti-semitism, which is your religion.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 3:00 am GMT

I posted the same comment on the Facebook a few hours ago and it's still there

Colin Wright , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 3:04 am GMT

'Hmm -- The day after Trump in inaugurated for his second term -- will Iran be in his crosshairs? We need to think very seriously about that!

My guess is Iran is in the crosshairs. Trump probably promised he'd start the war as soon as he was elected the first time -- but he putzed around, and now it's almost 2020. Adelson et al are pissed -- but Trump's got a point. If he starts the war now the unknown Democrat will win -- and do you trust their word instead? They just gotta trust Trump. Let him get reelected -- then he'll come through.

This is one of those cases where I'll be happy to be proved wrong -- but such is my suspicion.

mark green , says: December 20, 2019 at 3:23 am GMT

Stop splitting hairs. Is this the best you can do? Are you one of Lot's cronies? I don't normally address petty matters of this kind but Joyce is describing a multitude of sins and misconduct orchestrated by various Jewish financiers around the globe. It is not merely one phenomenon; thus, 'phenomena' fits. Go troll someone else.

redmudhooch , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT

Typical Jew baiting article. Mitt Romney isn't a "Jew" Ashish Masih isn't. Many more examples of gentiles taking advantage of their brothers. May as well consider the Walton family of Wal-Mart to be vultures as well since they benefit the most from this system, they're so called Christians, not Jews.

The problem is capitalism. Author seems to suggest that a moral economic system has been corrupted. The system was designed in an era of widespread slavery folks. Its an immoral system that requires theft, slavery, war, immigration, all the things you hate, to survive. The system is working exactly as it is designed to work. Exploit workers, the environment and resources, shift all the profits from workers to the owners of capital, period. Welcome to the late stage, it eats and destroys itself

From the days of the colonists slaughtering the Injuns and stealing their land. The days of importing African slaves, and indentured servants. The days of child labor and factory owners hiring Pinkertons to gun down workers who protested shitty wages and working conditions. The good ol days of the gilded age. Now the age of offshoring to China or some other lower wage nation. Overthrowing leaders not willing to let their resources and people be plundered and enslaved, driving refugees to our borders fleeing violence and poverty. Importing H1B workers to drive down wages. It was always a corrupt system of exploitation/theft/slavery. This is nothing new and doesn't require "Jews" to be immoral.

And all these so called "Christians" like Pastor Pence approve. Usury and capitalism run amok. I'm sure Jesus is smiling down on all these Bible toting demons who allow their fellow man to be exploited by the parasites. Sad!

Good for Tucker. He has his moments I'd watch his show if he wasn't a partisan hack. But that will never happen working for Fox or any other corporate media.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT

You've read "Red Notice", but that is only Browder's side. To get the other side, read these articles from Consortium News:

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright , maybe you're just assassinated.

Trump loves his daughter and she is married to a Jew. If they're not getting their way, I could see them telling Trump: "Sad what happened at the Pittsburgh synagogue, isn't it? Sure hope nothing like that happens to your daughter."

I don't envy Trump. He not only is up against the Democrats, but he is also fighting the globalist neocons in his own party. Both parties want open borders and more war, something Trump does not believe in. As far as I can see, he's throwing them bones in order to shut them up. If he gets elected again, which I think he will, we might see a different Trump. Who knows.

ivan , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:38 am GMT

Rather amusing to read our resident Jewish apologists carrying on about the absolute sanctity of the necessity of collecting debts to the functioning of the capitalistic system. These nations and corporate entities that are now in thrall of the Wall Street Jews , were herded into debt by that other faction of the capitalist system, the dealers in easy money. Snookering the rubes into lifelong debt, telling them that money is on the tap, promoting unsustainable spending habits and then let the guillotine come down, for the vultures to feed on. They are two sides of the same coin.

Its damned funny that the rich Jews nowadays are absolutely addicted to usury, rentier activities, and debt collection, when the Bible itself condemns such activities. But they are our elder brothers in faith according to some.

PaddyWhack , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Carnegie was a Protestant. The Protestant cancer serves it's Jewish masters. Read 'The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit' by E. Michael Jones. There is definitely a revolutionary nature to the international Jew just as there is to their Protestant dupes. Jewish nature is to subvert the natural order and the west was built by the guidance of LOGOS. The Catholic Faith created by God guided the creation of the west. These Jewish exploits are a result of the Wests rejection of its nature and its enslavement

Calvin Simms , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT

Amazing article from the ever insightful Andrew Joyce. The usual apologists are sputtering to try to mitigate the damage, but the game is almost up.

anno nimus , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT

1. rich or poor, creditor or debtor, in the final analysis, ultimately, all will become equal in the grave. the filthy rich might decide to lay their corpses in coffins made of gold, but it will be in vain. the sorrows and the joys of this fleeting world shall quickly pass like the shadow.
2. talmudics feel the need to accumulate money in order to have sense of security since they were stateless for two millennia. paradoxically, amount of wealth is indirectly proportional to a sense of security, provoking backlash from aggrieved host people.
3. establishment of State of Israel did not reduce the need for the accumulation but has only heightened it since now talmudics feel the need to support it so that she could maintain military superiority over neighbouring threats.
4. as long as Palestinians are not free and Israel does not make peace, talmudics will continue to meddle in American politics. if you don't want to save the Palestinians for the sake of humanity and truth or justice, at least you should do it for your own sake.
5. loan sharking, vulture whatever, etc., is the ugliness of big capitalism with capital C, what is beyond sickening is the promotion of sodomy. if one becomes poor or homeless, it's a pity. to go against nature is an abomination.
6. by using such words as "homosexual" you have accepted the paradigm of the social engineers and corruptors, and are therefore collaborating with them. words have consequences since that is how we convey ideas unless you own Hollywood and can produce your own moving pictures too.
7. talmudics is a better word than as a great American scholar says, since people who promote sodomy are absolutely opposed to the Torah (O.T.). those who still struggle to follow it couldn't care less what happens to benighted goyim, only becoming reinforced in pride of their own purity as opposed to disgraced nations. thus, practically, they too are talmudics, alien to the spirit of the ancient holy fathers and prophets of Israel. the word "Orthodox" has been stolen and now has lost all meaning or it means the exact opposite of what it originally meant.
8. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

Wizard of Oz , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Well there's nothing wrong in principle about specialists in valuing distressed debt and managing it nuying such debt and using the previously established mechanisms for getting value out of their investment. So the problem is how they go about enforcing their rights and the lack of regulation to mitigate hardship in hard cases.

Still it is notable that it should, overwhelmingly be a Jewish business and such a powerful medium for enriching Jewish causes and communities at the expense of poor Americans.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright

George Bush needed Tony Blair's support to attack Iraq , Donald Trump now has the support of Boris Johnson to attack Iran : "Boris Johnson refuses to rule out military intervention on Iran ."

It is said that the "deep state " removed Theresa May from office as she was "too soft" on Iran . As you suggest the attack will not happen until Trump's second term unless, in the meantime , there is a false flag attack like 9/11 which can be blamed on the Iranians .

Realist , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:07 pm GMT

While Whites theoretically still have the numbers to affect/determine the outcome of elections, a majority of Whites usually stay home because they are tired of the 'evil of two lessers' choice they are offered -- even voting for Trump got them little/nothing.

I said nothing of an electoral solution to America's problems the problems will not be solved that way.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT

That scary thought has crossed my mind, too, Art. I've even started wondering if this whole impeachment circus is really part of an elaborate plot to guarantee Trump's re-election. I mean, would Pelosi's insane actions make the slightest sense otherwise? And everyone has noted how this is such a 'Jew coup,' haven't they? It all looks so suspicious

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT

What our Jewish friends have done to Argentina, through maneuvering the elections, killing dissidents, and marking territory, is a cautionary tale to anybody woke enough to see with their own eyes.

Yup. And don't forget that ongoing Zionist psy-op known as the AMIA bombing:

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT

"'I'm HARDCORE Zionist and so is president Trump!' – Roger Stone"

If Trump was hardcore Zionist, they wouldn't have been going after him since the day he announced he would run for President.

No, they see him as an absolute threat to their existence.

As they twist to fight him, they are all exposing themselves.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Mefobills mo.. maybe other than when 100% of the Ummah agree on something, I read that could remove a surah of the Quran, like a voice of God. That rhymes nicely imo.

Of course how to judge which ruling to use? I agree, it brings in a casuistry into the faith that generally helps to confuse.. I don't know much about it though yet.

I think Islam preaches a decent message, but the average practitioner is open to misinterpret it quite a bit. This is a failing of the teaching.. but I think Mohammed's message was corrupted like Christ's message pretty much straight after his death. Gospel of Thomas and Tolstoy's rewrites all the way for something closer imo.

Desert Fox , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm GMT

Trump is a hardcore zionist and the impeachment is another zionist scam to divide the American people, read The Protocols of Zion.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
@sally n in iniquity, and that is where your eye should gaze, not necessarily at the FED or any central bank.

The debt money system and finance capitalism is state sponsored usury, and is a Jewish construct.

Vulture capitalism is simply vultures buying up or creating distressed assets and then changing the law, or using force to then collect face value of the debt instrument or other so called asset. Vultures will use hook or crook to force down what they are buying, and hook or crook to force up what they are selling. God's special people can do this because when they look in the mirror, they are god, and are sanctioned to do so.

Trinity , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm GMT

Maybe the vulture should replace the bald eagle as America's favorite bird since our dear shabbos goy President Trump and cohorts are undermining the First Amendment and trying to make it a crime to criticize Jews and/or Israel. Oh and don't think I am promoting the other Zionist and their shabbos goy on the demshevik side. The Jew CONTROLS both sides and "our" two party system has become Jew vs. Jew, not republican vs. democrat. Lenin said that the best way to control the opposition was to lead it and (((they))) are at it AGAIN.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres zies, who twist scripture. Judaism, especially Talmudic Judaism is Kabala and utterances of the sages, and it morphs and changes over time. For example, after Sabatai Sevi, the Kol-Neidre was weaponized, and this construct is used by today's Zionists to wreak havoc. Before Sabatai, there was Hillel, who weaponized usury.

Yes, I agree about Christianity changing quite a bit. In the first 300 years it was much different than today, especially after the Arien controversy was settled by Constantine's maneuvering of Bishops at council of Nicea. For example, before; reincarnation was part of Christian doctrine, and after; reincarnation was excluded.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
@utu Great clip! I always loved Fry & Laurie.

I have long maintained that libertarianism/capitalism is really like a kind of Calvinism for atheists. Calvinists used to assume that, since whatever happened was God's will and God's will was invariable good, then whatever happened was good. Likewise, many modern cucks seem to have just substituted The Market for God. Morally speaking, it all lets man off the hook for anything that results–especially when those men happen to be Jewish financiers!

No, boys and girls, The Market is not inherently good. It requires that a moral system be superimposed on top of it in order to make it moral.

likbez , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Anon k of this MI6 asset (and potential killer) who tried to fleece Russia, you probably can benefit from watching a movie by Nekrasov about him. See references in:

It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act.

Anonymouse , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

There is no defending these jewish malefactors. It has been pointed out that immorality is a disposition to be found in every ethnicity. The problem is that the jews with that disposition are more clever than folks from other ethnicities with the same dispostion. Being more clever, they are outstandinly better at depradation. I don't see how and why the recognition of the existence of evil jews justifies the author's hatred of jews as a whole.

Brundlefly , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:04 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Colin, I'm going to assume this is a rhetorical question, as there is not one example that would cause you to suspect there is really any doubt about the types of organizations that the Sacklers are donating their ill-gotten wealth to.

annamaria , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:27 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat ocities, including the murder of civilians, predominantly Jews and Poles under the Nazi German administration. The term Banderites was also used by the Bandera followers themselves, and by others during the Holocaust, and the massacres of Poles and Jews in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia by OUN-UPA in 1943–1944.

The zionists have been asking hard for a backlash:


Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm GMT

@Digital Samizdat and infest England, is not well understood by the average Goy.

Our modern world is a direct line back to this big-bang event. Christian Zionism goes back much further in time than to just Cyrus Scofield and Darby. Our Jewish friends in Amsterdam were even publishing bibles at great expense, to then push the narrative that the "people of god and old testament" deserve to return to England.

(The usurers had been previously kicked out of England by King Edward in 1290. The usurers had been plying their game, and "putting house to house" to where English citizens were being dispossessed from their own lands.)

Sound familiar?

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Anonymouse y Jewish as were the Bolsheviks of a hundred years ago, and they have greatly benefited from the political immunity provided by this totally bizarre inversion of historical reality. Partly as a consequence of their media-fabricated victimhood status, they have managed to seize control over much of our political system, especially our foreign policy, and have spent the last few years doing their utmost to foment an absolutely insane war with nuclear-armed Russia. If they do manage to achieve that unfortunate goal, they will surely outdo the very impressive human body-count racked up by their ethnic ancestors, perhaps even by an order-of-magnitude or more.
ANZ , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Mefobills ted into being seen as the greatest victims, a transformation so seemingly implausible that future generations will surely be left gasping in awe.

Aided by no small part by chutzpah. The uncanny ability to ability to call black white and to call good evil. With no cultural love of truth to anchor them in reality. Thus detached, they are free to invent an alternate reality. I wonder if they do not suffer from cognitive dissonance. They seem genetically protected from it.

They are actually self-deluded and want to infect the rest of us with their visions of victimhood.

Long live the internet

alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT


Not saying fellow Whites haven't helped me out, but Jews have, out of proportion to their numbers in the population by far.

I'm not sure how tons of Nobel prizes, advances in medicine, etc are "destroying everything they touch".

There was nothing done to my family to make them cold, short-sighted, selfish bastards. That's just White culture for ya.

eah , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Realist ; votes these greedy corrupt politicians into office? Hint: It is Whites who are the majority.

My first comment to you was #256 -- again "for the record": I did not give enough of a damn about you or your idiotic statement ("Stupid Whites are responsible for allowing this to happen") to comment/reply to you before you mentioned voting .


And I don't appreciate it when people attribute specific words, views, or thoughts to me that I did not express -- make a note of it, asshole.

You fucking prick.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
@Thomasina ich changed the meaning of the Statue.

Descendants of this immigration wave are the liberal jews pushing the jew coup against Trump. This is why they are from Ukraine (former pale of settlement area) or Russian haters.

To my mind, Trump is a Christian Zionist and has naturally allied with Bibi and the Zionist religious factions, such as Chabbad/Likkud.

Since U.S. has been fully infiltrated, then having Mossad and its agents on your side, is a strategy to keep from being suicided by the deep state, like JFK.

I'm willing to give Trump some lee-way, given the circumstances of our current reality.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:40 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit n pale of the settlement, or in Polish Shtetls, they created nothing of import.

Only when operating within the confines of Western Christian culture, or forced into western education by the Tsars, did Jews break free to be productive. And even then that production came at high cost to the host societies.

In other words, a good argument can be made, that if Jews had never infiltrated into Western Civilization, then said Westerners would have been much better off.

Sorry if real history is butt-hurting.

Today's Iran is another model on how to deal with the Jew problem. Jews are limited there in the same way as was done in Byzantium.

Druid , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:52 pm GMT

Your Jewish friends are, as they're wont to be, Zionist talmudists liars!!

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Colin Wright ow" href="">over at CounterPunch

So here's my entirely speculative tea-leaf reading: If there's a hidden agenda behind the urgency to remove Trump, one that might actually garner the votes of Republican Senators, it is to replace him with a president who will be a more reliable and effective leader for a military attack on Iran that Israel wants to initiate before next November. Spring is the cruelest season for launching wars.

His story is that the Israelis consider Pence to be more reliable. Who knows

Art , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Pelosi is a figurehead controlled by AIPAC.

The most important committee chairmanships to Israeli interests, are all held by Jews.

Nita Lowey – Appropriations Committee
Adam Schiff – Intelligence Committee
Jerrold Nadler – Judiciary Committee
Eliot Engel – Foreign Affairs Committee

This ploy of holding back the impeachment documents sounds like something crazy Schiff would do.

I think that there is something mentally and culturally wrong with that guy – he has zero regard for truthfulness.

Pelosi has trashed her legacy. That's what happens when you get close to the Jews.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
@ANZ 11/13/the-psychopathology-of-being-jewish-and-getting-away-with-it/">

No wonder that the majority of Jews do not want to live in the Jewish State. too many Jews there.
They are quetching about antisemitism while attacking the western civilization -- from the assault on the First Amendment to the cheerleading for more wars for Israel in the Middle East.

No one keeps the Jews from joining their brethren in Israel. There is no need to sing "Next year in Jerusalem." Enough already. Just go there -- and stay there.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:49 am GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit o humanity, the Jewish style.
Buddy , says: December 21, 2019 at 2:34 am GMT
@Mefobills ons that distract us from seeing the top of the pyramid. However, it would appear that Marx finally gets to finance in Volume Three of Capital. I could read the whole thing myself, but I would rather simply ask you what you think. How do you reconcile Marx the Illuminati Jewish agent with Marx the perspicacious critic of capitalism? Where were his real loyalties? Did he stick the dynamite at the end of his magnum opus instead of at the beginning in order to hide it from his finance masters, whom he knew would never actually read that far? Was he attempting to assuage a guilty conscience by sneaking the truth into a footnote?
ANZ , says: December 21, 2019 at 3:31 am GMT
@annamaria are quetching about antisemitism while attacking the western civilization -- from the assault on the First Amendment to the cheerleading for more wars for Israel in the Middle East.

The complete lack of shame it takes to act like this is amazing to me. Also the hubris it would take. Though if you see yourself as a chosenite, those behaviors fit.

Apparently if you hang around then long enough, the behavior is contagious. Biden's shady Ukrainian dealings, which are 100% real are being denied and instead projected onto Trump. It's infecting our politics. The shabbos goy are emulating their masters.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 21, 2019 at 3:49 am GMT


'before I do, you must define venture capital.'

Vulture capital, actually. How many gentiles you can name in that category?

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:48 am GMT
@redmudhooch ts since the cave but that is not capitalism. Capitalism is Usury – profit for the sake of profit independent of usefulness, welfare, community, lifestyle.
And as was argued by the great German economist/sociologist Werner Sombart, Capitalism was really invented by Jews However as E Michael Jones has argued, Protestantism – particularly Anglo Calvinism- was a backsliding of Christianity into Jewish materialism – the spiritual basis for capitalism. So everything seemingly goes around and around. Capitalism cannot be blamed solely on the Jews but Jews can never be abstracted from the evils of capitalism. We have to keep both balls in the air
Daniel Rich , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:51 am GMT

Grab a small piece of paper. Add some fancy, symbolic stuff to it, like a fire-breathing dragon, with big, burning eyes, named ' Nimajneb , the faerie overlord, that hovers over an upside-down pyramid. Oh, and you'll need a number, let's say, '100.' Done. Print it out. Walk to the nearest person, say, "I've got here a $100 bill," and see what happens

Yet, the FED can take the same little piece of paper, sprinkle some magic dust on it, et voilà, you've got your $100 greenback [aka IOU $100 banknote].

Money makes the world go round?

Spin out of control into a state of utter madness, I'd say.

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

Interesting argument. Please see my comment -# 313

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
@Buddy can read through economic history or texts and spot the lies and fakery. So where does that leave the average layman to turn and not be hoaxed?

Sorry it is so hard out there to navigate. I commend you for trying. I'm feeling pressure to write a book, because even Hudson does not initiate people from level zero up to someone advanced enough to resist the hoaxers.

Richard Werner is pretty good, but you have to navigate around his favoritism of private banking. Money is law.. and he doesn't want to acknowledge that. This is what you run into, and the only way is for you to navigate as best you can and see if things ring true.

Miggle , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:16 am GMT

This ploy of holding back the impeachment documents sounds like something crazy Schiff would do.

I think that there is something mentally and culturally wrong with that guy – he has zero regard for truthfulness.

Wrong? Zero regard for truthfulness is mentally and culturally right for Schiffty. Very Jewish. The right way, if one is Jewish.

Nonny Mouse , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:27 am GMT
@anno nimus

I think Talmud means Pentateuch, not O.T.

Nonny Mouse , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:35 am GMT
@Nonny Mouse

Sorry, I meat Torah, not Talmud. You called the Torah the O.T. It's only the first few books of the O.T., I think.

Anon [388] Disclaimer , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
@Achilles Wannabe moral framework informing their behaviour.

Real science has been suppressed and removed from the public sphere. Or it's been perverted for mass surveillance and social command and control and dual systems.

I fully believe that execrable demons like Soros never die because they're getting baby blood from orphans passed through some heinous engine into their vile bodies.

Meanwhile, we're forced to deal with nonsense like anthropogenic climate change, string theory, dark matter and other Jewry the sole purpose of which is to centralise power over mind and body in the hand of Jews and Masons.

The Capitalist Jew is the Science Jew.

The answer to both is the same.

Robjil , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm GMT

Poland created Askenazis by inviting them in 1025. They grew from 25,000 to the millions we have today all over the world.

Yet, now the Ashkenazi tribe wants to stick it to Poland for creating them.

The Zionist racial bigotry behind S447 was foreshadowed by Israel Singer of the World Jewish Congress in 1996:

"More than 3 million Jews died in Poland and Poles will not be the heirs of Polish Jews. We will never allow it. We will harass them until Poland is ice covered again. If Poland fails to satisfy Jewish demands, it will be publicly humiliated and attacked internationally . – secretary general of the World Jewish Congress"

Notice the guy's last name – Singer. This is another form of Jewish mafia vulture capitalism, using any means to hurt the masses.

What is S447?

Section 3 of Act 447, the provision for heirless property, is the part that reveals the law's intent. Under existing laws, heirless property becomes the property of the state. After WW2 there was a lot of property without owners (whether owned by Poles or Jews), and it has been sold ever since. This law has the potential to cause national havoc, as the vast majority of Poles own their own homes. Even in the relatively cosmopolitan capital of Warsaw, 79% of city-dwellers own their homes and apartments.

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora. If this law is put into practice, approximately 30% of Warsaw homeowners will be forced to pay "rent" to random Jews claiming to be Holocaust survivors or their descendants in New York City and Tel Aviv.

How would this "law" work in Poland?

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora. If this law is put into practice, approximately 30% of Warsaw homeowners will be forced to pay "rent" to random Jews claiming to be Holocaust survivors or their descendants in New York City and Tel Aviv.

Trump was "impeached" for not giving arms freely to ZUS controlled Ukraine. The arms have been used to shell and kill civilians in East Ukraine. Yet, Trump should be impeached for pushing this Jewish Mafia vulture like capitalism on Poland.

Pressure from the US government is only reason this law is even being considered. While Donald Trump appeals to the West and Polish patriotism in his speeches, his government's actions say something radically different. Last February, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded the Polish state pass this law. Last August, the American congress urged more pressure on the Polish state to get S447 through.

George , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:39 pm GMT

"Tucker Carlson's recent attack on the activities of Paul Singer's vulture fund"

Yup, the bricks and mortar outdoor gear shops, Cabela's + Bass Pro need 2 HQs. Nebraska could have stopped it but instead chose farm subsidies, forever war, and pensions for government workers. To have that much spending excess in the government spending you need high efficiency from the civilian sector.

The reaction in Nebraska seems to be a big yawn. My guess is Cabela was constantly trying to reduce their state and local taxes, at some point keeping the low wage retail jobs while dumping the high wage HQ jobs made sense, short term, so they sold Sidney NB down the river.

Candidate targets Sasse on Sidney response, other issues

"Nobody tried anything," was the compaint(sic) Innis heard on his visits to the struggling community.

REI is probably safe as it is a Consumers' co-operative.

mcohen , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:40 pm GMT

Mefo says

"Forces jews into honorable laboring professions"

That is funny.I feel a laugh coming on.

Well mefo let me tell you a funny story.This guy i know made some nasty comments about jews and not long after he got cancer.His doctor,a jewish cancer specialist put him back on his feet.
Know what the funny part is.He still makes the same comments.

From an article in the jew york times

Few escaped the pervasive prejudice, however. In the early 1900s, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, a German Jew who discovered a treatment for syphilis and is considered the father of chemotherapy, popularized the term "magic bullet" to describe a medical compound that would "aim exclusively at the dangerous intruding parasites" yet not "touch the organism itself."

But though Dr. Ehrlich was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908, he was not made a full professor at a university until 1914, a year before he died. (That posting was at the University of Frankfurt, in the year of its founding.) In the 1930s, as the Nazis came to power, his name was removed from textbooks and taken off Frankfurt's street signs. Paul-Ehrlich-Strasse regained its name only after World War II.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@ANZ of bankers and religious fanatics or a land-based theocratic toy-state of Israel.

It is the spirit of parasitism that is "infectious" and works against patriotism. Hense the local profiteers, from Rumsfeld to McCain, Biden, Brennan, Pelosi, Rubio and the likes who have been hastening the demise of the US for the immediate monetary compensation tied to the allegiance to the Jewish cause. The zionized NYT and the presstituting stink tanks the Atlantic Council (affiliated with the openly subversive Integrity Initiative), American Enterprise Institute and such have been working openly against the US interests and for ziocon interests.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm GMT

"Herzyl admired the Germans of the day, and wanted Jews to be like the German's he so admired. Herzyl thought that if Jews had their own country of Zion, they would settle down and become normal people."

-- The dream was an illusion. When the meme "is it good for the Jew?" beats all and any moral principles, then the world gets a nation of thieves and murderers quetching non-stop about their eternal victimhood. Pathetic.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT

From the position of the USA Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright pushed for the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, when NATO planes bombed without a UN mandate. She also supported the jihad in Bosnia during 1992-1995, and the manipulation of the facts about Srebrenica, but also personally earned from the privatization of Kosovo Telecommunications. She should, therefore, bear the consequences of her political decisions and acknowledge responsibility for the bloodshed, in which thousands of civilians were killed.

FvS , says: December 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm GMT

But in fairness, the Koch brothers are no damn good for the nation either.

No, they are (were) not. However, they also got a lot of negative media attention while these Jewish vulture capitalists have mostly been given a pass. Also, whites are about 55% of the population while Jews are about 2%.

Mr. Anon , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@silviosilver er because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

If A enters into a contract with B to borrow money, and then fails to be pay it back to B, why should C be able to come in and buy the debt from B and expect to be paid back? A entered into a contract with B, not C. And why should C expect to be able to employ the machinery of state coercion to force A to honor a contract that A didn't even make with C in the first place? Mr. Anon , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

It's important not to get carried away with this.

I agree. Mitt Romney was also a financial hustler. The over-representation is real, but not exclusive.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian ters sent representatives to a small central government. This form of government was usurped in 1913, by the "money powers," and these money powers use elections as a veneer to sanction their behind the scenes rule.

Here is another quote from the Ivan the Terrible article, which sums things up:

n 1601, just a few years after Ivan's death, Russia was starving, leaderless and under attack. Again, under elite rule, with no ruling monarch, Russia was plunged into years of war and violence. Fighting oligarchy has been the traditional job of any monarch and is the ultimate purpose of government.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Robjil olves to the "were so smart" and look at the medical advances, nobel prizes, etc. we've contributed.

Conveniently left out of account, is that these advances would have been done anyway in their absence. The goyim do possess the intelligence and fortitude to solider on without jews in our midst, and in-fact, when jews are absent from our civilizations, advancement accelerates.

The best thing for a jew to do is turn his back on the tribe, and re-join humanity.

To any Jew reading this . walk away from the tribe. Man-up and get some intestinal fortitude, leave the parasite method behind you, and join humanity.

niceland , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT

I'm feeling pressure to write a book, because even Hudson does not initiate people from level zero up to someone advanced enough to resist the hoaxers.

Have you considered writing articles? Series of articles could later on become raw material for a book. Perhaps easier path to take and could perhaps provide useful feedback along the way.

It sure looks like you could write far more informative and interesting articles than many writers here on Unz because of your broad perspective. The big picture is always more interesting and I agree with you about the importance of the subject.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Mr. Anon d by these degenerate types of people in order to take illicit gains.

In the U.S., (I'm an American), these usury flows funnel into the press – to where the press becomes owned, so that these Oligarchic interests can continue to take rents and unearned income through their various schemes.

I might add, our intelligent UNZ readers, have noticed that the U.S. mainstream press is predominantly Jewish owned. Intelligent people notice patterns are some of us are unwilling to look away. No amount of deception through the mainstream press can reduce the revulsion moral people instinctively feel when watching vultures operate.

ThreeCranes , says: December 21, 2019 at 9:37 pm GMT
@Bookish1 ing whiteness has never been more urgent.' By Mark Levine"

When challenged for apparently encouraging genocide, Levine and his cronies answer that "whiteness", as they are employing the term, is merely an accidental property as opposed to an essential quality. So stripping an organism of its whiteness will not diminish it to any significant degree, does not threaten its very existence, merely prunes it into a more acceptable shape.

And yet when some poor misguided soul has the temerity to put up a sign saying "It's Okay To Be White", the Mark Levines of the world have a cow. Suddenly, "white" is not a mere accidental quality at all.

mark green , says: December 21, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT

The Koch Brothers (what's left of them; one died recently) are industrialists. They build things people want. They are innovators. Yes, the Koch Brothers are filthy rich but they employ tens of thousands of people in the US alone.

Most importantly, the Koch Bros. are not parasitic, money-skimming extractors or wealth like the vulture capitalists described by Joyce.

Buddy , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:50 pm GMT
@Mefobills s and schemes. The advantage of their technique is that it does not leave a positive trace but a negative trace. It is much more difficult to notice absence than presence. You can't see all the money that is constantly being vacuumed out of the economy. It doesn't leave a visible hole. And since none of us has ever witnessed firsthand what a rent-free economy might actually look like (since they are not allowed to exist), we internalize the belief that such an economy goes against natural law, when in fact the contrary is true.

Is there any way for you to link to more of your writing without giving away your identity?

mcohen , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:52 pm GMT
@mcohen class="comment-text">



Ah so you're a team.interesting.protecting the ween.

How about this paul generation

Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932) is an American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.[2][3] He is the Bing Professor of Population Studies of the Department of Biology of Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:52 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian

Straw man argument. I am not for democracy or human rights. Apparently you don't want to let go of your false worldview.

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:01 am GMT
@mark green dding.Stop posting on unz,its for adults only.
A Whistle-Blower Accuses the Kochs of "Poisoning" an Arkansas Town
Web results
David Koch Built a Toxic Empire -- with Human Consequences › entry
Koch Brothers' Toxic Legacy Detailed In New Report | HuffPost

Reid right on claiming Kochs produce more pollution than oil giants

Wally , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
@Achilles Wannabe

Don't like a product or service that a "capitalist" makes or offers?

Fine & dandy, don't buy it, don't pay for it.

It's called choice .

There is no choice under your preferred Communism, as we have seen repeatedly.

Daniel Rich , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:19 am GMT

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora.

Let's make a variant of the Polish S447 applicable to Palestinians and find out how much the illegal occupiers of Palestine like to see 'justice.'

Dingo jay b , says: Website December 22, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT

To be brief :Wasn't. Singer originally behind the dossier on Trump?

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:42 am GMT
@mcohen eir factories full of low IQ but compliant workers. 3) The finance banking class who want new debts to pay off old debts. New Debtors help fund a new debt cycle. 4) New people through population replacement, destroy the history and cohesion of the host country. By de-racinating and destroying the host people, then Plutocrats can continue with their thefts unchallenged.

The debt money cycle is something like a pyramid, where it sucks upward toward plutocracy. Plutocrats and Oligarchs then emit hypnosis and propaganda through the owned press to maintain their status. The funnel, or bottom of the pyramid wants new debts and new debtors.

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:46 am GMT
@Father O'Hara

how do entities like Puerto Rico get so far in debt in the first place? so many problems because of what appeared to be incompetent and comatose government.

Yes, ultimately the blame must lie with the voters: they picked douche, when they should have picked turd.

Robjil , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:55 am GMT
@Daniel Rich l, Germany and Russia were both strangled. The US's turn is now. The US wants to strangle Poland too with this s447 law. Trump should have been impeached for pushing this law on Poland.

Pressure from the US government is only reason this law is even being considered. While Donald Trump appeals to the West and Polish patriotism in his speeches, his government's actions say something radically different. Last February, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded the Polish state pass this law. Last August, the American congress urged more pressure on the Polish state to get S447 through.

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:58 am GMT
@Svevlad uple of centuries, nearly took Europe too, and were a serious thorn in everyone's side for a thousand years

In other words, they did much better than the Jews over the same period

Ball-breaking is a viable strategy, apparently

I think that all afroasiatic-speaking populations are like this, if they were to gain in intelligence the world would get weird real fast

Nah, no danger: it's just first-mover advantage, which, by definition, can belong only to one entity

Things went a little differently two thousand years ago, people like Joyce could just as easily have been writing about Kurds or Alawites or whatever

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:03 am GMT


The real eureka moment for me came when I finally understood that money and debt were created at the same time on opposite sides of the ledger. Only the two columns are not equal. One column grows through magic while the other does not. Once the sorcery has been wrought, the creditors can simply sit back and wait as the mechanism eventually transfers all the wealth in the world to them.

That is pretty good. Economics and most equations do not codify time. The equal sign cannot comprehend time, so most of the math used in economics textbooks is telling lies.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, the bad guys put their thumb on the scale and call things equal. They do this with swaps of unlike kinds. For example, you can build up housing prices with bubble economics, then collapse the economy by preventing new loans, or doing call-in loans. That then forces prices downward. The bankster/vulture class then forces a swap of the asset to collapse (cancel) the debt instrument. In this case, the house is transferred to creditor to erase debts. The house transfers to collapse a money contract, which is a swap of unlike kinds. Vultures do the same thing, they don't necessarily want money in exchange for the debt instrument they have bought.

With regards to double entry hypothecation – at the first instance of time, when debt instrument is signed ONLY THEN IS IT A MIRROR. The credit created and the debt claims are 1:1 only at the instant (minus fees). Later in time, the debt claims grow while the credit created does not. This is why debt claims destroy the natural world, as people rape the world converting forests to board feet of lumber, to then make a price, to then fetch money.

In the first cycles of a loan it is ALL USURY. Worse it is seignorage. Seignorage is greater purchasing power now, whereas the money is worth less later.

In the first cycles of the loan, the bank credit that you pay back, virtually none of it goes to paying off principle. The credit decrements the asset side of your ledger (your savings go down) and then point at the banker, to increase the asset side of his ledger. In the first cycles of the loan, your liability column (principle on the loan) goes down only slightly or not at all.

This is pure usury, plain and simple. There is little to risk the loan emitter either, as a house is fungible and can be grabbed by law. If a real asset is attached to the double entry ledger, it is to lower risk to the creditor (banker), not the debtor. A double entry ledger can lie, or tell the truth. It would tell the truth if we used fees in this case and didn't hypothecate new credit. But, then again, as you mention most people are locked into a hypnotic trance.

The proper way to do things is with sovereign money, not private corporate bank money at usury.

Whenever a nations people demand their sovereignty, they are attacked by the usual suspects. A lot of people don't want to admit that both world wars were started by the finance class, with Jews as leading agents, to then demonize Germany.

Germany had the temerity under the Kaiser to run an Industrial Capitalist Mixed Economy using its own sovereign credit, and then Hitler resurrected this system in 1933.

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT

How about this paul generation

Oh, sorry a different Paul Ehrlich.

You are only making my point. If a jew is in an honorable profession, he can be of benefit to the host society.

Maybe Jews should also be limited from the press too, so they may not have a malign influence on easily duped goyim minds.

But then, I don't want to lose the brave and honorable Jews like Ron Unz who are for the truth of things, even if it is damaging to their co-ethnics.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:40 am GMT ; "US Court sentences Israeli CEO to 22 years for scamming Americans , media ignore it ":

"The company specifically targeted the elderly and the vulnerable , one of over 100 companies perpetrating a scam called binary options Israel permitted the scam to go on for a decade "

Will Trump pardon him before he leaves office ? The Jerusalem Post : " Trump pardons Israeli drug smuggler" after serving just 4 years of a 20 year sentence .

Bookish1 , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT

To get it straight: Trump is playing their game but not totally. He isn't invading Iran so the globalists aren't getting everything that they want.

Bookish1 , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:51 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

Maybe the dems want Trump in because they see a world war coming and the Republicans in for that.

Hibernian , says: December 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Mr. Anon

Contracts often have provisions for successors and assignees. The real question is whether the weaker party was sufficiently strong to know what they were signing and have a good chance of being able to carry out their side of the bargain. Many sovereign buyers are about as good risk as an unemployed man who wants to buy a car on credit.

Lot , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:11 am GMT

I agree this is a real problem, but no need to exaggerate. It isn't 99%. Outside of the USA, it is probably well under half.

Desert Fox , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:28 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Trump will do anything his zionist masters tell him to do, I am sure they have enough videos of Trump to last a lifetime.

KA , says: December 22, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
@Just passing through countries have been looted, the Jews have turned on the Whites and the latter are now crying that their criminal comrades have now betrayed them."

It's called comeuppance.

But IQ doesn't explain fully but the readiness to believe the west . Congo is particularly a sad case. It has been fighting a war for last 60 years .

As far as Belgium is concerned, that nations should be swamped to the brim with Congolese making it burst at the seams .

Who cares if some moronic Trump supporters get all shook up in Battle Creek . Who gives a toss ?

Trump is a fraud , a huckster a corrupt filthy white thrash

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
@geokat62 iven the environmental damage said industries have caused. The vulture capitalists recover debt from failed states. A worthy cause indeed, especially for investors.

mark green says:
December 21, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT • 100 Words

The Koch Brothers (what's left of them; one died recently) are industrialists. They build things people want. They are innovators. Yes, the Koch Brothers are filthy rich but they employ tens of thousands of people in the US alone.

Most importantly, the Koch Bros. are not parasitic, money-skimming extractors or wealth like the vulture capitalists described by Joyce.

hotrod31 , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:03 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Should one suspect that your last question is, rhetorical? Quite, i'm sure.

geokat62 , says: December 22, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT
@mcohen ly able to secure large amounts of debt at very favourable interest rates. But this very soon changed. The vultures at GS, after peering into the Greece's true financial records, knew how vulnerable Greek finances were and were betting heavily against Greek sovereign debt by shorting it. This soon drove borrowing rates sky high which made it nearly impossible for the Greek govt to roll over their short term debt obligations.

So, thanks to the vulture capitalists at GS, a large percentage of the Greek population has been suffering and will continue to suffer under the austerity policies that were introduced in the wake of the financial crises.

ANZ , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
@annamaria d us out from the classic American tradition into the modern Zionist vision. These turncoats are a uniquely despicable lot since they come with smiles and handshakes to kill the soul of our nation.

If history serves as a guide, it will take a government led by s strongman to right this ship. Democracy has proven too easily corruptible by a private banking cartel that can print its way to dominance. This cartel will select, groom, install and maintain their double agents into our political, economic and cultural spheres.

Here is the most plain lesson I can take from this: don't allow privatized money as the national currency.

Thales the Milesian , says: December 22, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT

I know you are not. Go and tell that to the World. Stop preaching democracy, and other crap.

Mr. Singer will prosper as this is the will of the American people and you can do nothing to change that.

Thales the Milesian , says: December 22, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian

By the way Mefobills people like you are the problem. Sitting on your butt, doing nothing and whining.

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT

Geo you cannot bullshit me.i am teflonika. Retitrement age was 55 but now it is 67.

Great people.Failed state."They"stole his

Robjil , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT
@mcohen oycott abroad. It did this by using a barter system: equipment and commodities were exchanged directly with other countries, circumventing the international banks. This system of direct exchange occurred without debt and without trade deficits. Germany's economic experiment, like Lincoln's, was short-lived; but it left some lasting monuments to its success, including the famous Autobahn, the world's first extensive superhighway.1

Greece or any nation need not be in "debt". It is a game, a game of money printed out of thin air. All Greece has to do, is give up the debt game. Barter game is a better game.

MrFoSquare , says: December 22, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT

@Buddy three.

Roger Elletson, in his excellent book "Money: A Medium of Power"(Amazon), defines the purpose of usury: "Under the current monetary regime, the effect, and indeed the purpose, of usury is to create compounding (think 'little by little') monetary claims from usurers against the productive output and underlying assets of nations."

In his unpublished manuscript, "The Triumph of Western Civilization," Elletson says: "What Parapometrics© now reveals, however, is that usury is the ultimate expression of parasitic (or mammonic) monetary law; it is the life principle of satanic power and human parasitism."

Mefobills , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:13 am GMT
@Robjil n proportion to the economies needs, as is what happened in Germany. Hitler laughed at the gold-men, and considered gold money as a tool used by the Jews in their "international capital game."

Purchasing power was put into the German economy using Oeffa and Mefo bills. When the bills were discounted (redeemed) at a bank, said bank turned around and presented the bills to the Central Bank (Reichsbank). Reichsbank then created new Reichsmarks to pay off the Bills. In this way millions of marks of new credit flooded into the German economy. By 1938 the tax roles in Germany had almost tripled, and it was not due to Gold or "international credit."

NoseytheDuke , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:16 am GMT
@Thales the Milesian

All that you and I really know about Mefobills is that information about the nature of money and economics is being freely given and appears to be much appreciated according to other commenters. We don't know anything about what other activities Mefobills is engaged in so your comment is nonsense thinly disguised as petty insults.

Robjil , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:00 am GMT
@Mefobills ding began.5

In Billions for the Bankers, Debts for the People (1984), Sheldon Emry commented:

Germany issued debt-free and interest-free money from 1935 and on, accounting for its startling rise from the depression to a world power in 5 years. Germany financed its entire government and war operation from 1935 to 1945 without gold and without debt, and it took the whole Capitalist and Communist world to destroy the German power over Europe and bring Europe back under the heel of the Bankers. Such history of money does not even appear in the textbooks of public (government) schools today.

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:47 am GMT
@Colin Wright

The underdog in Israel are Palestinians. The Chosen, in Israel and elsewhere, treat them like vermin. The Israeli chosen are the most color-conscious and racist people in the Western world.

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT

What benefit did the vulture capitalists give to the Greek people that they must now pay for with austerity?

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:21 am GMT
@Just passing through

I would say WASP's and Jews savaged Germany in WW2. Perhaps then the Jews turned on the WASPS. But WASP's are a curious bunch. They seem to have absolutely no loyalty to their own people. Look at what they have done to the English white working class. WASP's also are very enamored of Jews. If anything their loyalty sees to be to the Jews and not their own

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:46 am GMT

"we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism."

Best idea I've heard in awhile. Likewise change Economics Departments to Usury Departments – at least in the Anglo=Judeo Sphere

ivan , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:48 am GMT
@Nonny Mouse

That may be the case in the Exodus dramas but the idea of 'who is thy brother' was already made clear earlier in Genesis – the story of Abel and Cain. The later Jews and the Christians merely rediscovered what was the original plan : that is, that all mankind share one brotherhood under one God.

mcohen , says: December 23, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT

Mr 4

Aah so more bullshit.

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 7:44 am GMT

So the Greek debt was caused by the purchase of too many weapons to defend against other countries like Turkey in NATO, an American-led organization that promises to provide security to all its member states? So the populace of a treaty-bound ally should suffer US-enforced austerity to have weapons so that vulture capitalists can enjoy large profits which they largely funnel to Jewish causes while the Jewish state never is expected to suffer austerity for weapons?

Buddy , says: December 23, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
@MrFoSquare . The texts are diabolically equivocal and ingeniously interlocking. The exoteric interpretation is innocent (Torah) and full of plausible deniability, the esoteric interpretation is malevolent (Talmud), and the ultra-esoteric interpretation (Kabbalah) is Satanic. At the very bottom you have the ultimate esoteric language of gematria. The good news is that it is easy to see through the necromancy once you understand how money magic functions. But this is only possible if we refuse the temptation of greed. We have not done a very good job of resisting greed, and those of us who succumb to this temptation deserve to be swindled.
Just passing through , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@Achilles Wannabe re to be Jewish, people like Joyce would be on the case saying it was all da jooz, but he isn't very keen to blame WASPs for the black-on-white violence in American public schools, makes ya wonder.

WASP's also are very enamored of Jews. If anything their loyalty sees to be to the Jews and not their own

Jews have always been present in the elite, WASPs identify with Jews because they identfy with the elite. I am quite sure even to this day, WASPs and Jews are working together, it is just that the lower rungs of White society are being overwhelmed first and it seems unlikely that these North-Eastern WASPs will feel the pain any time soon.

Hibernian , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Achilles Wannabe

New England Neo-Calvinists never saw Southern and Border Anglo-Celts as brothers. Not at all. Thus the Civil War. As for their closer kin, poorer Mayflower, etc., descendants, they mixed in with Germans, Scandinavians, and, horror of horrors, the Irish, as they moved West. Bing Crosby was a Mayflower descendant.

George F. Held , says: Website December 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT

Trump is a bad president for the reasons you cite, but neither Pence nor any demorat would be better. So let him be

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
@eah conclusions?

Joyce's conclusions -- that any of this behavior is uniquely "Jewish" -- are absurd. The facts he cites refer to no more than simply the standard operations of the market economy.

Some people just loath the very concept of credit and finance, so they reflexively praise any "analysis" which they believe justifies their anger.

Others are casting about for somebody or something to blame for their own incompetence -- the poor, downtrodden debtor "victims" -- and they too are happy to have their failings explained away.

On the substantive issues, this essay is just hot air.

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm GMT

@jack daniels e financial system by allowing widespread bank failures. But the banking executives whose criminal incompetence and, in some cases, corruption led to the crisis should definitely have been jailed, or at least permanently barred from ever working in the industry again. (Liberal egalitarianism shouldn't so lightly get off the hook either. After all, it is lunatic egalitarians who insisted that blacks and hispanics are just as good credit risks as whites, and who demanded that banks extend loans even to obvious deadbeats.)

This is an infinitely more important issue than bellyaching about "vulture" funds and trying to portray them as uniquely Jewish.

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
@Wyatt what they owe – in other words, to just give their money away?

And if there's a predilection among jewish men to engage in predatory lending and collecting tactics that is disproportionate to their of the population, there's something about their genes or their culture that shapes them to be this way.

Okay, but so what? Given that there's nothing immoral – and much that is beneficial – about lending and borrowing, why should this be any more of an issue than that west Africans genes help them excel at sportsball or east Asians genes at math and engineering?

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm GMT
@Just passing through

Jewish elites are infinitely more tribal and ethnocentric than WASP elites, which is demonstrated by their charitable giving, which is far more narrowly focused on specifically Jewish causes than that of WASP elites is focused on specifically WASP causes.

Given their small numbers, Jewish elites usually must make tactical alliances with Gentile elites; but when their ethnic interests conflict with general elite interests (e.g., Marxist class conflicts), the former will almost always prevail. Hence, any WASP "loyalty" to Jews as a group is foolish.

Farrakhan.DDuke.AliceWalker.AllAgree , says: December 23, 2019 at 10:35 pm GMT
@Mefobills this month's Executive Order Jews extracted from Trump declaring Jews to be a distinct race/nationality.

Usury is a power relation, where you steal from others because you can. Laws are changed to enable the thefts.

The people of Euro lineage, i.e., the descendants of Christendom, usually don't steal even when they easily could because they are naturally indifferent as to materialism, their complimentary instinctive drives being 1) for adventure in overcoming challenges while staying within the bounds of ethical self-restraint; and 2) intellectual curiosity to learn what's out there and how to harmoniously survive and coexist with realities discovered.

renfro , says: December 24, 2019 at 1:52 am GMT
@silviosilver ws: An Overview – Jstor
by M Amir – ‎1971 – ‎Cited by 3 – ‎Related articles

"The Jewish crime rate tends to be higher than that of non-Jews and other religious groups for white-collar offenses, that is, commercial or commercial finance.

*Also where special laws have been enacted for religious groups the crime rate among Jews tended to be even higher.
*Jews are found to be significantly over-represented in both fraudulent and genuine bankruptcies (almost ten times the rate of non-Jews)."

silviosilver , says: December 24, 2019 at 2:33 am GMT
@annamaria t's not news to me that hyperethnocentric Jewish financiers help fund hyperethnocentric Jewish organizations.

Ultimately, though, that funding is a consequence of Jewish participation in the economy. So if that in itself is wrong, then this essay is not so much a criticism of Jewish behavior, but crosses over into a criticism of Jewish existence – how are you supposed to live if you're barred from economic participation? – which to me is a different kettle of fish altogether. As much as I hate the term, that's something even I would call anti-semitic (note the absence of sneer quotes, which for me are practically mandatory).

silviosilver , says: December 24, 2019 at 2:45 am GMT
@Mr. Anon er appetite for risk. See, sometimes I don't know that I'm not going to be repaid; it's just that I now assess the prospects of being repaid as failing to meet some risk criterion I have. Other people's risk assessments differ from mine, which creates a market for existing debt.

Sometimes the market highly irrationally prices financial assets – most evident (in hindsight) at market peaks and troughs – so there are certainly some good opportunities in distressed debt. I just don't see that "vulture" funds which scan the market looking for distressed debt are doing anything fundamentally different to any other buyers of debt.

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 24, 2019 at 4:59 am GMT
@Hibernian ch and Germans from NY and the middle colonies like the Rockefellers Roosevelt's. Basically they are individualized deracinated people who are not even brothers to each other. They worship mammon – money and power. Jews are of course anything but deracinated. They are however the world's leading usurers so the WASP with his Protestant Ethic – usury sanctified – is bawled over by them – not just financially but psychologically. They have handed the Jews their universities, their cultural institutions. They are a people who gave themselves up to a people for whom there is no one but themselves. The rest of us are just along for the ride – treacherous as it is
Hibernian , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:13 am GMT

I'd be very surprised if the last sentence of the above excerpt was true. Also it's a no brainer that US courts are more favorable to foreigners than third world courts are.

Mr. Anon , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:44 am GMT

A bond is a financial asset, and like other financial assets it can be bought and sold virtually at will.

Yes, but a bond is also an agreement between two parties to lend money and to pay it back.

Mr. Anon , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:56 am GMT
@silviosilver ought legal recourse to exact repayment?

No, but they shouldn't necessarily expect to get it. They took the risk in lending to a bad credit-risk. At least they provided something of value – the money. Singer's fund provides nothing of value. They're just parasites.

Should they simply be forced to "lend" to people who are completely unwilling to pay what they owe – in other words, to just give their money away?

Nobody forced them to lend anything. They did it of their own accord. They didn't have to make the loans. They could have done something else with the money.

Elsztain and Mindlin, both Top Jews, now control Argentina.

Elsztain and Mindlin's close connections to a merging network of some of the most powerful globalists in the world today suggest their role to be one of sniffing out the opportunities and laying the groundwork for hostile take-over of resources and infrastructure by these elite scavengers who prey upon target nations, protected from view by the likes of Elsztain and Mindlin, who are little more than mafia outreach agents."

Robjil , says: December 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm GMT