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Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization

News Corporatism Recommended Links Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Operation Gladio
Predator state National Security State Neocons as USA neofascists Inverted Totalitarism Crisis of Neoliberalism and Shift to neofascism Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime
Nation under attack meme The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Big Uncle is Watching You Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
National Socialism and Military Keysianism F-scale American Exceptionalism Neo Trotskyism aka Neoconservatism Neo-theocratic Movements Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust
Totalitarian Decisionism New American Militarism The Grand Chessboard Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Corruption of Regulators Double High Authoritarians The Iron Law of Oligarchy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Reconciling Human Rights IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
The Tea Party Mayberry Machiavellians War and Peace Quotes Henry A Wallace Quotes Snowden Quotes Etc
"Fascism: Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship, and forcible suppression of opposition."

--Merriam-Webster Dictionary

"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites , abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

- Robert Paxton


Introduction

Classic fascism can be viewed a variant of ultra-nationalism, which aspires to bring the renewal of a nation deeply in crisis and replacement of the corrupt liberal democracy with authoritarian dictatorship.  In a way, classic Fascism strongly correlates with the mental state of nation which is attacked by strong enemy, the enemy which has supporters inside the country. In addition it typically promotes militarism and territorial or economic expansion as the way to deal with internal problems.  Wikipedia defines the term in the following way:

Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism, anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-anarchism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.

In its essence fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite. It remains a viable right wing program for setting up a highly centralized regime with militaristic, nationalistic policies (especially external expansion, for example in the form of neoliberal empire expansion), merge of industrial and financial corporations with the government, total population control, rigid control of MSM, and violent suppression of opposition.

Neofascism essentially relax the same postulates. For example it does not directly oppose to parliamentary democracy and is ready to work within parliamentary system to get to power, it does not advocate violate as the primary means of suppressing the opposition, but now this is unnecessary as modern technology polished the ways of suppression any opposition by other means (see Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism ). The strongest lhe link is  rampant militarism and exaggeration of external threat to the nation well-being (for example, the threat from Islamic terrorism)  which makes it surprisingly close to the ideology of National Security State  (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

In other words while classic fascism now is almost extinct, there are multiple and more viable mutations of far right nationalism (which experience renaissance due to effects of population caused by neoliberal austerity) that are called by generic name of neofascism. And it proved to be highly adaptable ideology.

For example, some flavors of neofascism replace physical suppression of internal opposition with MSM control (which already achieved in neoliberal societies).  Opposition is simply pushed out of mainstream media into alternative media and ignored, but not physically suppressed.

Similar the idea of racial/ethnic purity can be replaced by cultural "belonging", by rejection speakers of alternative languages (and  culture) in particular country. It can be Spanish in the USA or Russian in Ukraine.  In other words neo-fascism deploys more sophisticated forms of identity politics, than classic fascism. And it less oriented on open violence. Neo-fascists often reject ethnic-based identity policies preferring "cultural nationalism" based solely on the language and culture identifies.

Similar, the idea of one party system can be replaced with two party system, producing the same effect and allowing to preserve parliamentary democracy, while achieving basically the same goals as one party system as both party candidates are selected by non elected cabal, be it  the "Deep state" or the "party elite" 

As a political behavior all flavors of fascism are distinguished by  obsessive preoccupation with militarism, community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood (Nation under attack meme) and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and the idea of national rejuvenation (as reflected in "make America great again" slogan, although it originated in Paleoconservatism movement which is not connected to fascist ideology of any kind). After all, the concept of national rejuvenation historically was one of the key reasons  classic fascist regimes of the last century came to power. First Mussolini and then Hitler espoused citizens’ duty to recover their respective nations ancient strength and glory.

The key question for particular country is:

"Do the country has an organized, committed nationalistic (please note that "exceptionalism" is a form of nationalism) militants, in alliance with traditional elites, who are ready to use violence without ethical or legal restraints for internal cleansing of the society and external expansion?".  

So all those signs of neo-fascism but without militants organized in military fashion as was the case in Ukraine are not enough to classify a movement which adheres to those ideas and is ready to use extralegal means including violence as a fascist movement.

But it can well be neofascist. It is the readiness to go to extra-legal means the is the key distinction between neofascism (and any far right nationalism) and regular nationalism.    "Regular" nationalism and nationalists still is adhering to the existing legal framework and fights for its ideas on election booth. Neo-fascists cross this boundaly (and that's why they often are called far-right).  They despise traditional dual law  enforcement (one for elite and one for common people) and oligarchic democracy (the democracy for only top 1% or less of population).

Another important distinction is  presence of elements of social democratic requirements, requirements for social justice in their program: neofascists movements typically are more pro-middle class and, at least partially, pro working class then far right movements.  They typically despise financial oligarchy and "unearned" income. 

They are also anti-elite, anti multinational corporations and transnational organizations like NAFTA or WTO.  And especially against transnational financial oligarchy (in Nazism that degenerated into anti-Semitism, but it is is not necessary for a fascist movement to be anti-Semitic per se).

Like classic economics, a typical neofascist movement distinguished between "earned" and "unearned" income and consider the later a sign of parasitism and decadence of the society.  NSDAP program of 1920 explicitly stated "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery." Without this point we can talk only about for-right nationalism or in case of Bannonism "bastard neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without globalization).

Just looks at NSDAP program of 1920 and you will clearly see the requisite elements for neo-facsism. Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. to say nothing about Republican Party: 

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

And as far as external expansion goes, neoliberalism can definitely viewed as a form of neofascism ("Permanent War for Permanent Peace"), so there is a strong connection between neoliberalism and neofascism in foreign policy area and for this reason neoconservatism should probably be viewed as a modern flavor of neofascism.  See Professor Andrew Bacevich excellent book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

There are strong objections of using this word due to its historical baggage (and first of all the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in WWII), but the ideology of neofascism now experience strong Renaissance in most European countries. Critics claim that the term lost any precision and in many respects become a catchall for any kind of totalitarianism. In other words the term became useless.

But, in reality it is not, even if it is used as a synonym of "far right nationalism", because most modern far right nationalism movement borrow key ideas of the three classic fascist regimes -- Mussolini in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Fracoism (falagism) in Spain.  New is often well forgotten old.   As Robert O. Paxton noted in his essay "The Five Stages of Fascism":

We cannot give up in the face of these difficulties. A real phenomenon exists. Indeed, fascism is the most original political novelty of the twentieth century, no less. ... If we cannot examine fascism synthetically, we risk being unable to understand this century, or the next.

We must have a word, and for lack of a better one, we must employ the word that Mussolini borrowed from the vocabulary of the Italian Left in 1919, before his movement had assumed its mature form. Obliged to use the term fascism, we ought to use it well.

Similarly there is a right for existence of the term neofascism, which is general denotes more aggressive and violent forms of far right nationalism, but at the  same time expelssing interests of lower middle and working class and having strong anti financial oligarchy centiments (for example, distiguishing between earned and unearned income (rent)).  This is a set of trends and far right political movements  now observable in many countries which experienced neoliberal austerity, especially in Europe.

Like fascism and neoliberalism, in no way neofascism is a coherent ideology. It is often self-contradicting and contains mutually exclusive elements. That are several sometimes conflicting types of neofascism in modern societies:

Neofascism ideology is pretty fuzzy and flexible (remember that allies of Nazi Germany in WWII were Japanese, which were as far from Arian ethno type as we can get; while  Nazy were adamantly anti-Slav, which represents very similar to Arian ethnic type).

All-in-all it represents a popular and rising in importance on the political scene post–World War II ideology, which proved to be more enduring and popular then the communist ideology. It well coexists with neoliberalism (and can be completely merged with it as in Chile under Pinochet). While "excesses" of classical fascism are rejected it still has the key elements of "national socialism" in the form of  "socialism for 1%", if you wish.

There are multiple similar terms, such as military-industrial complex (neoconservatives can be viewed as lobbyists of military industrial complex, and as such neofacistat least in foreign policy strategy and goals),  predator state, national security state, etc which essentially describe the same phenomenon, stressing different aspects of it. 

For example, look how close to basic tenets of neofascism (if we assume that Arian nation is limited to financial, government and corporate oligarchy) is what James K Galbraith called the predator state (from the review by Thomas I Palley of the book in Asia Times Online,  Aug 22, 2008):

Economist Jamie K Galbraith's recent book [1] describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a "predator state". Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an "American corporate" predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.

Kleptocratic predator states, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Sese Seko Mobutu's Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.

It is important to understand the social origins of the American corporate predator state because understanding is a necessary part of developing responses for caging the predators and replacing them with another, better, order. Those origins clearly trace back to the military-industrial complex that president Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final televised address to the nation on January 17, 1961.

That complex has captured politics and corrupted the business of government, including of course the conduct of national security policy. The fact that it has wrapped itself with the flag makes it impossible to confront without being charged as unpatriotic. Worst yet, its enormous enduring profitability has provided a model for imitation by other industrial complexes like Big Pharma and Big Oil.

The political success of these predators is clearly linked to money's role in politics. Money gives the power to buy the political process, and that power is defended by a gospel of free speech that takes no account of the fact that out-shouting someone is qualitatively equivalent to silencing them. Economics also comes to money's defense with its absurd myth of a market for ideas in which participants compete on a level playing field and truth is effortlessly sorted from error.

The American worship of business and businessmen, which Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt, 1922) wrote about long ago, also plays a role. This worship privileges business over thought and other activities, and is behind the dismissive sneer "if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" As a result, Americans are all too willing to hand over their government to business predators. Today, it is in Goldman Sachs we trust.

Another feature of business worship is a tendency to conflate profit with free markets. That means the distinction between fair competition (which is good) and fat profits (which are bad) is lost, thereby providing cover for predators.

Lastly, there is the legacy of the Cold War which contributed to economic dumbing-down and suppression of awareness of class and class conflict. This suppression was seen as necessary for blunting the dangerous appeal of Soviet communism, but a consequence was to create blindness to the predators in our midst.

All of this reveals a deep deficit in America's social and economic understanding (some deficits really do matter). And as long as this deficit remains, the predators will have a starting-gate advantage in the game of political persuasion.

Yet, how to close the deficit and insert another understanding is an enormous challenge. There are deep institutional obstructions in the academy, the media, and the Democratic Party. Moreover, raising these issues may create unsettling cognitive dissonance that pushes voters into denial and a closer embrace of the predators.

In effect, there is a paradox to be solved. Lasting progressive political victory requires transforming understanding, but the immediate political incentives are aligned to discourage engagement with such a project.

Note: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K Galbraith, Free Press, 2008.

Thomas I Palley is the founder of the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project.
 

Classic fascism

Fascism is not a uniform doctrine. From the very beginning there were different flavors of it. In this sense attempt to distill key features of such regimes are difficult and non-rewarding task beacuse facism was alway a national not universal (like Marxism) phenomenon.  Such attempts as Arendt's leave much to be desired. Even within a single country there can be several competing version of fascism. They can be even hostile to such an extent that the supporters of one of fascism movement strive to completely destroy the supporters of the other.

Since 30-ies of XX century, there were four "classic" flavours of fascism: Italian fascism, Nazism,  and Spanish Francoism(falangism) and (mostly Latin American) "induced fascism" régimes.  All "classic" versions rely on mass political movement of the "middle class" making a claim to political power -- to the detriment of the traditional elites and "working classes".  They were mildly hostile to monopolies and, sometimes, to financial oligarchy. For example, Nazi decried  "unearned income" -- rentier capitalism.  All those regimes were revolutionary in a sense that they  accepted violence as the legitimate political tool in the struggle to get to power. 

But even within them there are multiple and significant differences both in social base and proclaimed goals:

The political views of the "new right" coincided with the views of practitioners of neoliberalism in the era of Reaganomics and Thatcherism. Not by chance the Pinochet regime (a classic example of "induced, puppet fascism") is characterized as "Militant Thatcherism". Even the fundamental views publicly expressed by Thatcher and Pinochet, were often identical (e.g., he and the other refused to recognize the existence of society - which was, in fact, merely a repetition of the doctrine of Italian fascism). What parties and movements, connecting the idea of "new right"   has achieved in recent years greater success in elections in Western Europe: the national front of  Le Pen in France, the party of P. Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the freedom Party. Haider in Austria, etc. (revealing, incidentally, that the Freedom Party is included in the Liberal international!).

Other cases pre-war neofascism was monarchist far right regimes developed in countries of Eastern Europe.   Rapid inclusion of these parties and regimes in the orbit of Italian and German influences have masked their identity, on the one hand, and did not allow them to develop into independent phenomenon.

There can me multiple fascism movements in the same countri. In France before the war all three classic brand of fascism were well represented: French version of the Italian fascism ("francism", etc.), the French version of Nazism (French people's party, etc.), the French version of francoism ("capulary") and, finally, the original aristocratic elitist fascism "action française", close to the monarchist-fascism. Sometimes the supporters of the different flavors of fascism fight with each other. In Austria  supporters of Italian fascism came to power in February 1934, but in July, the Nazis organized a putsch and killed Chancellor E. Dollfuss, and ended the fight by smashing austrofascism and initiating the Anschluss. In Hungary, the supporters of Italian fascism - hungarista led by Admiral Horthy was overthrown in 1944 by the Hungarian Nazis movement  headed by Salashi. In Romania, the confrontation between supporters of Italian fascism and Nazism - "seleniumselenium", "jeleznovodask", Antonescu and Horia SIMA - has resulted in mutual mass terror .

After World war II the Western ruling elite has never repeated his pre-war mistakes and understood that fascism is a tricky bet in the fight against social revolution. So it was relegated as a tool for countries "About  which we do not care" They understood that such a movement as  "classical" fascism or other extremist movements of "middle class" easily get out of control.  All post-war fascist regimes relied on mass movements. Such movements were outlawed in most Western countries.  

Fascism vs. far right nationalism

As neofascism has a lot of common features with far right nationalism it is very difficult to say when one ends and another starts. Those terms can be used as synonyms, but I would suggest that neofascism is a specific flavor of far right nationalism that has anti-financial oligarchy bent.   It is a more "socialist" version of far right nationalism and always was.

So far right nationalism a more generic term then neofascism: all neofascists are far right nationalists, but the reverse is not true.

Neofascism is more narrow concept that emphasizes/defines more features of the movement then far right nationalism.  Typically neofascism movements are a more radical, more anti-democratic, more statist than an "average" far right nationalism movements.  And their flavor of militaristic bent includes the idea of expanding the "living space"/empire  for the particular nation (or country) by promoting rampant militarism (which also serves as a tool to "unify" the nation and suppress dissent).  Like for example neoconservatives in the USA.  Also neofascism has a certain flavor of "victimhood" which far right nationalism does not necessary possesses. 

What is clear that there is a much larger political space for far right nationalist movements then for neofascist movements in modern societies. The backlash against neoliberal globalization now mainly take the form of far right nationalism, but not necessarily neo-fascism: many such far right movement are completely devoid of the hostility to financial oligarchy and unearned income. 

So it's given that far right movements and their more specific case -- neofascism -- have many common features, many similarities:

  1. Like far right nationalism, neofascism denies equality of people. So in a way it oppose to Christian and other major religions. This is a clearly anti-elitarian ideology "at large" while it can be egalitarian "in  the small", within an  "Arian nation" whatever it means for the particular movement.  In a fundamental way internal fascist policies are just a transfer of policies and methods used Europeans in colonies to the specific ethnicities in European countries (Slavs, Jews, Gypsies).  In a way the Hitler idea of colonizing and exterminating Slavs was a plagiarism from the USA colonists treatment of Indians.
     
  2. If we abstract from external expansion, then the idea Arian ("titular") nation or social group in fascism is a variation of the theme of Apartheid and can be called internal colonialism, or internal colonization of the country.  The same is generally true about far right nationalism although the selection of Arian group is different.
     
  3. Like far right nationalism neofascism  instills hatred and direct, open discrimination of some identifiable social groups and/or nationalities (immigrants, Jews, Gipsy, Russians, Chinese, etc)  -- the key ideas fascism stems from the concept of "national socialism" or socialism for one "chosen"/Arian nationality at the expense of others (the idea very similar to American Exceptionalism, in which the USA is proclaim to be special, blessed nation, that has the right to extent its power and influence any way it likes on other states and nations). In fascist ideology one group of people is classified as Ubermensch  and everybody else as  Untermensch. This division of people into two distinct classes is a fundamental feature of both far right nationalism and neofascism. Various forms of far right nationalism and neofascism differ only in the criteria of this division. It can be separation by race, nationality, language, or even between "creative people" (capitalists) is everybody else as in Randism.
     
  4. The idea of inferiority (of other nationalities, countries, political systems, etc). Neoliberalism is classic example of this trend. It simply denies the right to exist of any other form of political rule and practice so called "export of democracy" (read export of neoliberalism, often by military means, much like fascist governments of the past.
     
  5. Nationalist hysteria with a particular scapegoat as the tool to increase unity,  for example anti-Russian hysteria which replaced anti-Jewish hysteria in the past.
     
  6. Both promote militarism and "national security state".

But there are some minor  differences.

Like communists, classic fascists  promote violence as a legitimate political tool, but this is less true about neofascist.  Classic fascism, Payne says, requires "a philosophical valuing of violence, of Sorelian violence. [Fascists believe] that violence is really good for you, that it's the sort of thing that makes you a vital, alive, dedicated person, that it creates commitment. Fascism makes violence not just a political strategy, but also a philosophical principle. For fascists "war is the health of the nation". That's mentality is unique to fascism. This feature is reduced and subdued in neofascism, but still is present.

Classic fascism also has some anti-clerical bent and typically promotes  a specific  secular, "political religion" in which the nation is considered a real, living, and yet sacred thing to be revered and protected, instead of traditional religion.  This goes well beyond typical far right nationalism views on religion. Far right nationalists more commonly promote an existing religion  (Vox). But those two trends can happily co-exists.

The idea of rejuvenation of the nation also is typical for both. But look more closely at the way Trump talks about rejuvenating America:

These statements are much closer to the "I want my soccer team to win" version of patriotism — and much more concerned with the qualities of Donald Trump as the leader, than America the nation.

Two classes of people and NSDAP Party program of 1920

Neoliberal MSM brainwash people running a campaign hypertrophied dehumanization of  Untermensch. Essentially this campaign is directed toward conditioning people to view "lower classes" as a category of cattle, much like in slavery. This tendency ot "blaming poor" is definitely a defining trend of modern day US neoliberalism.  And that's as close to fascism as one can get.

Socialism in national socialism exists only for Ubermensch. And for them (and for them only) it does contain almost all major socialist elements. This is undeniable if we analyze the  NSDAP Party program announced by Hitler on February 20, 1920. It is also important to  remember that some fascists leaders, such as Benito Mussolini, previously were prominent figures in the social-democratic  movement (Wikipedia)

The National Socialist Programme (aka the 25-point Programme and the 25-point Plan) was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP) but on the same day of the announced party program it was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), headed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 in front of around 2000 people in the Munich Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who, having explicitly supported Hitler, had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation.[1]

... ... ...

  1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
  2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
  3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
  4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
  5. Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
  6. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
  7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
  8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
  9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
  10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
  11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
  12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
  13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
  14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
  15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
  16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
  17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
  18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
  19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
  20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
  21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
  22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
  23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race; b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language; c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
  24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.[9]
  25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

Neoliberalism demonstrate the resurgence of classic fascism tendencies with the sharp division between upper class (Ubermensch) and lower class, "inferior people"  (Untermensch)  and the associated cult of violence. Although  in new slightly more moderate form, but with the same set of core ideas and principles.

In neofascism unrestricted violence, terror against "inferior people" is subdued. As the criteria nationality is often (but not completely) replaced with culture and especially the national language (language nationalism) and is directed almost exclusively to foreigners, immigrants and national minorities who continue to use "wrong" language because it is their mother tongue (for example, Russians in case of Far Right Forces in Ukraine).

In neoliberalism nationality is replaced by "creative abilities", which are understood as the ability of capital accumulation and self-enrichment. In cultural variant of neofascism the language and culture replace the race as a defining point of "belonging", and the key distinction between "Arian race" and Untermensch. Replacement of nationality with the cultural identity makes it closer to ultra-right republicanism as exists in the USA. It is also clearly visible in Ukranian far right movement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vUDhy4BA-Xs

But all-in-all neofascism remains just a mutation of classic fascist ideology (yuricareport.com):

Call it Pseudo Fascism. Or, if you like, Fascism Lite. Happy-Face Fascism. Postmodern Fascism. But there is little doubt anymore why the shape of the "conservative movement” in the 21st century is so familiar and disturbing: Its architecture, its entire structure, has morphed into a not-so-faint hologram of 20th-century fascism.

...Unlike the genuine article, it presents itself under a normative, rather than a revolutionary, guise; and rather than openly exulting in violence, it pays lip service to law and order. Moreover, even in the areas where it resembles real fascism, the similarities are often more familial than exact. It is, in essence, less virulent and less violent, and thus more likely to gain broad acceptance within a longtime stable democratic system like that of the United States.

It is important to understand that neofascism inherited the major traits of fascism connected with creating a scapegoat nationality or anti-immigration sentiments, often induced by actual misbehavior of immigrants (such a rapes, beating of people by criminal gangs, etc) or large influx of immigrant from other nation in economic crisis (Immigrants in Europe, Russia, to lesser extent in other "countries of immigrants" such as USA, Australia, Canada, etc). At certain stages it can actually "return to the roots" and adopt violence as the key form of dealing with the opponents (see EuroMaidan )

The key element of any flavor of fascist ideology is rejection of liberalism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy (and implicitly to the rule of law). It is the cult of "strong hand" the makes it similar to authoritarism. While officially neofascists parties no longer endorses violence as a chief means to silence the opposition, they often resort to it as a temporary mean to achieve their goals, and, especially, to come to power.

Allegations that a group is neofascist are typically hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.

Revolt of the elite against "commoners"

neofascism can be viewed as one of the forms of the "revolt of the elite", a mutation of corporatism that invariably emerges during acute economic crises and related loss of profitability of many businesses. While cannon fodder of neofascism are small business owners, the puppeteers always are large business owners and, especially, financial oligarchy and oligarchy connected to  military-industrial complex. For the latter neofascism is an ideal regime.

That's why right now proto-fascist and neofascist groups and sentiments are on the rise in many countries including, but not limited USA, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Norway. In many cases neofascist parties such as Ukrainian Svoboda get enough votes to be represented in national parliaments (algemeiner.com/2013/05/24):

In Ukraine, the noisiest anti-Semitic group is the Svoboda ( "Freedom”) party. Established in 1991 as the "Social-National Party of Ukraine” under the SS-era symbol of the Wolfsangel. In 2004, with new leader Oleh Tyahnybok, the party renamed itself and adopted innocuous symbols.

That, however, didn’t change the Nazi characteristic of the party. Tyahnybok himself has stated on several occasions that the "Moscow-Jewish mafia” is running Ukraine. Other prominent party members have often used the derogatory, anti Jewish slur ”zhid”, including against Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, suggesting she was not a "real” Ukrainian because of her Jewish heritage.

Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division. (To Svoboda’s vocal displeasure, Poland’s parliament recently introduced a resolution condemning the OUN and the UPA for wartime massacres of Polish civilians.)

Here is another telling video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z24XaNIbmp0

Skinheads is also a prominent phenomenon which is typical for many European countries. They are definitely part of neofascism movemeent. This rage is directed toward immigrants. Torch processions borrowed from classic fascism now became common in many countries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20929755)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MEKJDle0nZ0

7 January 2013 Last updated at 01:38 ET Help

A sudden rise in popularity of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, has caused concern both inside and outside the country.

Svoboda, which means "freedom" in Ukrainian, is allied with European far-right parties. But many observers warn that its views are extremist.

David Stern reports from Kiev.

Also popular are typical for classic fascism physical violence such as street fights with opponents. A new element is that now it can happen during football matches like recently in Poland:

Removed by Youtube

Neofascism and National Security State

While neofascism is anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, unlike classic fascism which openly declared itself as such, they deployed as thick smoke screen of propaganda to present itself in completely different light. The destruction of meaning by creating "empty phrases" combining opposite ideas has, as we have seen, become a prominent strategy deployed by the conservative movement.]

Another key element of neofascism is "vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people." It often covered with a fig leaf of "fight against terrorism". DW.DE 09.01.2014

Like classic fascism neofascism remains rabidly anti-socialist. Actually socialists and communists, let's not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and "liquidated" by the Nazi regime.

Early on during the first term of the Bush presidency many progressives characterized Bush's statements and actions as "neofascist". It is also true that Bush II has some neofascist baggage, as Bush family did has some ties with fascist regimes in the past and the U.S. government found that Bush's grandfather had illegally aided the Nazis during the 30's. It's true that regime of Bush II has some neofascist leanings. It definitely introduced into public discourse and tried to implement in practice several elements of neofascist ideology. Some of them with some interesting innovations. For example, unlike classic fascism instead of mass mobilization Bush government preferred political passivity as prescribed by Inverted Totalitarism doctrine ("go shopping" was his famous recommendation after 9/11).

But full development of neofascist ideas and forming a popular party is impossible without acute economic distress

www.youtube.com/embed/Z24XaNIbmp0

or political crisis (like the one in Ukraine) and a real economic crisis arrived only at the end of Bush Presidency (2008). So paradoxically the major implementer of Bush neofascist ideas and first of all the idea of total surveillance was the regime of Barack Obama. With a tea-party being a close proxy of radical neofascist parties in Eastern Europe. There is distinct racial element in it. Nobody will try to disprove the claim that it has mainly white middle class composition. And like European radical parties of neofascist orientation it endorses violence to achieve its goals. See Tea Party and right wing rage

But even if we assume that 9/11 was a false flag operation that is reminiscent of Reichstag Fire generally the USA neofascist elements were innovatively mixed with the ideas from the theoretical model called Inverted Totalitarism. Direct violence toward opponents never materialized. Just the pre-existing process of the conversion of the USA into National Security State dramatically increased. Now we know more about the new role assigned to NSA during this period.

American exeptionalism ideas promoted by Bush administration clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. The unique feature here is that they were integrated into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime. So it's more like "top 1% uber alles" then "The USA uber alles" ;-).

The common features that constitute "generic fascism"

It should be stressed that some of ideas inherent in neofascist doctrine are integral part of European culture. As Paxton describes them (Robert O. Paxton, "The Five Stages of Fascism," The Journal of Modern History 70 (March 1998): pp. 3-5.) in the following way:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan [neo]liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Paxton's list makes easier to identify typical "passions" which are at play in proto-fascist environment, particularly during the debate over the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it (Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

In 2002, Laurence W. Britt's Fascism Anyone? analyzed seven fascist regimes in order to find the common features that constitute "generic fascism". He selected the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, Papadopoulos's Greece, Pinochet's Chile, and Suharto's Indonesia. He found 14 common characteristics (reprinted below, with 6 additions by Umberto Eco) and concluded:

"Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not."

We think "maybe not." It's just a matter of degree. There is an ongoing transformation of the US in this particular direction.

List of Generic Features of a neofascist Political Regime

It is difficult to tell when far right nationalistic group get brown color. Litmus text is the creation of paramilitary group (death squads, stormtroopers, etc) for repression of opponents and adoption of terror as a legitimate methods of struggle for power. Those paramilitary group exists outside law, the key interpreter of which became the party not the counts. Another telling sign is the creation of concentration camps.

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism is carefully stroked up. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of foreigners that often borders on xenophobia. In the USA the role of nationalism serves American exeptionalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. While the regime can and often pay lip services to human rights, this is just a smokescreen. In reality such regimes views human rights of opponents as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Terror against opponents considered to be legitimate. At the same time, they can promote human rights as false flag operation at home and at foreign policy. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses of paramilitary squads by marginalizing, even demonizing groups or nationalities being targeted. When abuse was egregious as was the case in Guantanamo Bay detention camp and Abu Ghraib, the tactic is to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice -- relentless propaganda and disinformation --were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite 'spontaneous' acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, Russians Chinese, other ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and "terrorists." Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly. Paradoxically the attempt to enforce absolute equality to people of non traditional sexual orientation can serve the same purpose.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. But the immanent feature of this type of regimes is that a disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism/exeptionalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite. See New American Militarism. The second part of this trend is cancer-style growth of intelligence agencies. Which at some point became uncontrolled government of the country and are engages in political actions. Role of CIA in JFK assassination is still covered but many researcher consider CIA the major player in the plot to kill JFK.
  5. A controlled mass media. Under most of neofascist regimes, the mass media is under strict direct or indirect control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Monopolization of MSM works that same way as total government control representing slightly more sophisticated and more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, buyout of journalists and news anchors, various direct or indirect forms of bribes, and implied threats. Sometimes physical violence is used too. The owners of the mass media are an integral part of the elite and as such do its bidding. The net result was usually complete success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes excesses.
  6. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus under direct control of the ruling elite is the most effective tool for crushing social protest, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting 'national security'. Questioning its activities is portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
  7. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as defenders of religion . The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda is used to keep up the illusion that the ruling elites are defenders of the faith.

    A perception is manufactured that opposition to the power elite is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  8. Power of corporations, oligarchy is protected, while power of labor suppressed.. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of 'have-not' citizens. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
  9. Suppression of "non-conformist" intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security. In modern day direct physical suppression or elimination of opponents is no longer necessary. Indirect ways such as silencing them are no less effective. Universities are tightly, but indirectly, controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed and deprived of funding. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent are silenced. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
  10. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations, directed at lower classes. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Difference between regular and political crimes sometimes is fuzzy due to trumped-up criminal charges which sometimes are used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred of criminals is promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power and repression of political opponents. Police are militarized and provided with powerful weapons and military level communication tools.
  11. Rampant cronyism and corruption. On propaganda front such regimes often pretend to be anti-oligarchic and populists. But in reality rampant cronyism rules. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
  12. Fraudulent elections. Under such regimes elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls are usually bogus. With public opinion polls servicing as a powerful mean to ensure results of election not as a simple sampling tool. When actual elections held, candidates are preselected and both represents the same "party in power" just under slightly different sauce (Bush vs Kerry), This way the whole idea of elections is perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Additional methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Here are six more characteristics found in Umberto Eco's "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt," from New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15.

  1. Neofascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For neofascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People. Because of its qualitative populism, neofascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell neofascism.

  2. Neofascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of neofascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show. [When fascism is employed in a society with democratic tradions, one strand of Newspeak is to use the traditional words, like "freedom," but to give them new meaning. This strategy is also employed when new programs are initiated. --Politex]

  3. Disagreement is treason. [As opposed to neofascism,] the critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For neofascism, disagreement is treason. neofascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus neofascism is racist by definition.

  4. Skilled manipulation of social frustration. neofascism derives its power from individual social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

  5. Life is permanent warfare. For neofascism life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

  6. Cult of personality. [The neofascist leader presents himself as a hero, a strong man. As such, his image is ubiquitous in the media, and is often photographed in costume in conjunction with images or people that represent the fascist characteristics noted above. --Politex] Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the neofascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since for such people sex is a difficult game to play, the neofascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

Rise of neofascism in Eastern and Western Europe

Both Eastern and Western Europe are experiencing a new and important cultural and political development: the appearance of a new breed, new generation, of far right, extremist movements. These are some indications of the emergence of a new, emerging political forces in Europe which emerged as a reaction to neoliberalism with its dominance of globalized banking. That lead to paradoxical situation when many of Le Pen's votes come from former Red strongholds. In other word like in 20th and 30th the working class is, for very understandable reasons, is turning to nationalism as an antidote to casino capitalism enforced by the USA. So the USA neoliberal empire is the main precondition for resurgence As Slavoj Žižek noted:

The Ukrainian nationalist right is one instance of what is going on today from the Balkans to Scandinavia, from the US to Israel, from central Africa to India: ethnic and religious passions are exploding, and Enlightenment values receding.

These passions have always been there, lurking; what’s new is the outright shamelessness of their display.

... ... ...

One of the signs of this regression is a request often heard on the new European right for a more "balanced" view of the two "extremisms", the right and the left. We are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme left (communism) the same way that Europe after the second world war treated the extreme right (the defeated fascists)

But in reality there is no balance here: the equation of fascism and communism secretly privileges fascism. Thus the right are heard to argue that fascism copied communism: before becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist; Hitler, too, was a National Socialist; concentration camps and genocidal violence were features of the Soviet Union a decade before Nazis resorted to them; the annihilation of the Jews has a clear precedent in the annihilation of the class enemy, etc.

The point of these arguments is to assert that a moderate fascism was a justified response to the communist threat (a point made long ago by Ernst Nolte in his defence of Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism). In Slovenia, the right is advocating the rehabilitation of the anti-communist Home Guard which fought the partisans during the second world war: they made the difficult choice to collaborate with the Nazis in order to thwart the much greater evil of communism.

Among other condition that favor resurgence of such groups we can name such features of neoliberal regimes, what now dominate the continent as demographic pressures from immigrant labor, social dislocation due to dismantling of social security state, and economic pressures inherent in "dog eat dog" capitalism and outsourcing to lower wage countries advocated by neoliberalism. In many ways neoliberalism represents a perfect environment for nurturing neofascist movements.

Those pressures are very similar to pressures which used to exist in 20th and 30th of the last century. As before they stimulate the formation of a new generation of far right movements whose motives and characteristics while somewhat differ from the right wing groups of the early twentieth century what came to power in Italy, Germany and Spain are still driven by the same resentment of middle class and "Lumpenbourgeoisie". They use the same ideas of dominance of particular ethnic group. scapegoat in form of another ethnic group, glorification of state, using violence against opponents, limitations on civil rights in the name of giving the state more power to protect the populace from "destructive elements" within the society and external aggressors. Fall of "fist generation" fascist regimes did not destroy the movement which acquired strong roots in neoliberal societies across the globe.

They are different from classic far right nationalist of the past that the criteria of belonging is no longer ethnicity per se (although some elements, for example anti-Semitism and Russophobia, of this remained) but "cultural affiliation" and first of all the language. In other words they are not fascists, they are neofascists. But in Ukraine they are not only alive, they are particularly well. Ukraine is the first Europian state where element of neofascist Party were included in the government after putsch of February 22.

All that means that the huge rise of Ukrainian far right forces is not a unique and isolated phenomenon. Far right organizations that first crystallized around football ultras and skinheads are European-wide phenomenon. See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG-2HdFdvkY

This process also includes Russia although level of suppression of nationalism and especially neofascism in Russia is probably one of the highest among European countries.

And it goes without saying that all major EU counties experience dramatic rise of far right forces too. That includes Germany, France, Sweden as well as usual suspects Hungary, Poland and Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). The whole story of the EU since the Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Euro was about neoliberal conversion similar to the USA conversion. And this conversion destroyed standards of living of lower middle class, especially small merchants, across southern Europe. Now the Southern Europe have had enough and are going to send nationalists to the European Parliament (The Guardian, May 14, 2014):

In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.

This new wave of nationalism is different then the previous wave which arose in the beginning of XX century and which led to establishment of "classic" fascist regimes. It can be called "cultural nationalism" where not ethnicity, but cultural identity was put in the center of the nationalistic doctrine.

For "cultural nationalism" a common identity is based more on acceptance for the language and the culture than on the racial solidarity (although it dies not exclude xenophobia). Due to the power of the USA and general alliance with the West, fewer of this movements and parties are openly anti-Semitic and if they are anti-Semitic then the stress is on refusal of Jews to accept the national culture, the charge similar to the change of "country less cosmopolitans" trials in the USSR in late 40th of the last century.

Ukrainian fascists love the Russia-hammering NATO, but detest the Russia-accommodating and supra-nationalistic EU.

And they aren’t alone. Fascism — and anti-EU sentiment — pervade parts of Europe that never felt Stalin’s wrath. In the last elections for the European Parliament, "eurosceptics” and xenophobic ultra-nationalists scored significant gains, led by Marine Le Pen, whose National Front took 25% of the French seats.

A lot of it has to do with the equivocal track record of globalized neo-liberal capitalism in the last decade. We’re all Pikettyists now, and it seems that among the most important outcomes of neo-liberalism are income inequality and oligarchs.

It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.

Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the current system to secure and expand their wealth and power; liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear to be recipes for national impotence. Transnational free markets in capital and goods breed local austerity, unemployment, and poverty. Democratic governments seem to follow the free market playbook, get into problems they can’t handle, and surrender their sovereignty to committees of Euro-financiers.

Fascism, with its exaltation of the particular, the emotional, and the undemocratic provides an impregnable ideological and political bulwark against these outside forces.

Fascism has become an important element in the politics of resistance: a force that obstructs imposition of the norms of globalization, and an ideology that justifies the protection of local local interests against the demands of liberal democracy, transnational capital, and property and minority rights.

Maybe it’s neo-liberalism, not fascism, that is facing a crisis of legitimacy and acceptance.

So the idea that fascism can be treated as a delusional artifact of the 20th century and the challenge of fascism to the neo-liberal order can be ignored is, itself, wishful thinking.

... ... ...

For some, resentment will, inevitably, congeal around nationalism and the perception that fascist resistance, defiantly militant, uncompromising, and irrational, racial and undemocratic, exclusionary and brutal, is the best instrument to achieve local identity and agency—power– in an ever bigger, more dangerous, and less responsive continental order.

New nationalist movements and far right groups widely use Internet and have well established Web presence including such social sited as Facebook and Google++. They also establish cross-border links with similar parties. For example Ukrainian far-right group have links not only with Germany far right (which is natural for them), but paradoxically also with Polish far-right with which they theoretically should be bitter enemies and sometimes even with Russian neo-liberals (several of them visited EuroMaidan in "support missions") and far-right groups (despite the fact that Russian culture and by extension people are official cultural enemy of Ukrainian nationalism)

Strong support by the government and big business

The story of 20th and 30th repeats again. Far right groups are nurtured by both government and part of the big business as the most adequate response to the challenging and poorly controlled political situation at home.  That happened, for example, in Ukraine under Yanukovich who essentially nurtured his own demise. As Helena Smith reported about Greece (The Observer, [Jun 09, 2014):

It has been a bad week for democracy in Athens. All around this great Greek city, the politics of hate now lurk. On Friday I got a taste of it in the tiny Italian-style cafe I frequent off Syntagma Square.

It arrived in the form of two middle-aged men, both supporters of the neofascist Golden Dawn – and, by their own account, the holders of university degrees, well-travelled and well-informed. Over espressos, they began to engage in an animated discussion about all that is wrong with Greece.

The first, a self-described businessman decked out in designer suit, brogues and silk tie, blamed the country's economic collapse on malfeasance, corruption and uncontrolled immigration. "The only way to teach our filthy politicians is to bring in Golden Dawn," he trilled, his eyes locked in a fierce glare. "These gentlemen are patriots, proud Greek nationalists, and they know how to deal with the scum, the foreigners who never pay taxes, who steal our jobs, who have taken over our streets."

What makes Ukrainian experience more interesting is the Ukrainian far right forces are classic case of forces brought to the front stage and openly supported by the neoliberal government. They were covertly supported by all Ukrainian governments, but, especially, by pro-US "democratic" Yushchenko regime, since 1991 as a way to create "Ukrainian national identity". This is when they got open state support and Yushchenko even dared to bestow the title of hero of Ukraine to the leader of Ukrainian nationalists in WWII Stepan Bandera, who is guilty of serious crimes such an ethnic cleansing against Polish citizens and Jews.

Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology.

But paradoxically it was not Yushchenko, but Yanukovich regime and his financial and logistical support which essentially launch Svoboda into mainstream. As CounterPunch noted (The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism):

Ukrainian nationalists turned largely toward fascism, specifically toward a concept of "integral nationalism” that, in the absence of an acceptable national government, manifested itself in a national will residing in the spirit of its adherents, not expressed by the state or restrained by its laws, but embodied by a charismatic leader and exercised through his organization, whose legitimacy supersedes that of the state and whose commitment to violence makes it a law unto itself.

That leader, at least for many Ukrainians of the fascist persuasion, was Stepan Bandera. The organization, his OUN-B faction.

This state of affairs persists in today’s successor to the OUN-B, Pravy Sektor, with its fascist trappings, leader cult, and paramilitary arm. The "mainstreaming” of the second major fascist grouping, Svoboda, looks more like a strategic repackaging in order to strive for greater electoral success by hiding its fascist antecedents.

So, unfortunately for apologists for the current Kyiv regime, the correct description of these two groups is not "nationalist” or "ultranationalist”; it is "fascist”.

Fatally, the Ukrainian government has turned to fascist nationalism and heroes in order to forge a post-Soviet, essentially Ukrainian, identity for the post-1991 state

Narcissism of small differences

Paradoxically, part of Ukrainian far right groups, at least superficially, are pro-EU. It is less paradoxical then it sounds is we assume that the cultural affinity is the key to the new nationalism. Ukrainian nationalists cultural identity is based on strong, fanatic rejection of all things Russian demonstrating a perfect example of Narcissism of small differences -- the tendency to exaggerate the dissimilarities of those who resemble us in an effort to buttress our own self-regard...

An excellent discussion of why this is the case and why they are nurtured by the US government was provided in the article Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist Insurrection from The Polemicist blog (March 19, 2014). I recommend to read this excellent analysis in full, but here is a (large) relevant quote:

To pretend that the ex-post-facto parliamentary maneuvers that ratified the result of this insurrection actually confer some kind of retroactive constitutional legitimacy on it is ludicrous. As Nicolai Petro points out, these actions were taken by "a Parliament that rules without any representation from the majority party – since most of the deputies of the east and the south of the country are afraid to set foot in Parliament… [and] all across the country, headquarters of parties are being sacked by their opponents,” by a parliament that outlawed the only effective remaining opposition party (the Communists) and that "consolidate[ed] the powers of the speaker of the Parliament and the acting president in a single individual, giving him greater powers than allowed under any Ukrainian constitution,” in a context where "Vigilante militias routinely attack and disperse public gatherings they disapprove of.”25 Please, let’s recognize these parliamentary acts as what they are – the ratification of an insurrection, in defiance of the extant constitutional order. Call them the first steps in a new, post-insurrection constitutional order if you want, but recognize the radical break they represent.

And why not call this what it is? Isn’t that what revolutionary change is all about – a radical break with the old order? To reprise what I said in a previous post on Egypt: An electoral process can be a thin facade of democracy and, effectively, a tool of disempowerment, justifying militant extra-electoral politics, or even insurrection. A serious revolutionary conjuncture, a real break into a new social order, usually involves both. It’s an unapologetic, forceful, seizure of power that seeks to be definitive and irreversible. (Of course, not every insurrection is a revolution, or even a step forward, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.)

As someone who accepts the revolutionary socialist argument, I do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se. And guess what? All the self-proclaimed liberal, conservative, moderate, non-violent, constitutional, parliamentary democratic thinkers, politicians and commentators who are proudly and loudly supporting what happened in Ukraine also do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se – they just don’t want to admit it. Like me, they will support an insurrection, depending on what it’s about. Unlike me, they will pretend it wasn’t really an insurrection at all, just another, maybe somewhat "messy,” but fundamentally non-violent, constitutionally-authorized transition within the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. And that’s because, as the man said: We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

It’s quite amusing, until it gets sickening, to watch American leaders—who cling to the notion that a thin, corrupt, disempowering electoral process legitimizes them — embrace the forceful overthrow of a democratically-elected leader in a functioning parliamentary democracy while insisting they are doing no such thing.

Let’s recognize that virtually nobody really supports or opposes what happened in Ukraine, or anywhere else, because it was an insurrection, but because of what kind of insurrection it was – what it’s explicit and implicit socio-political objective was, what different kind of society and polity it was moving toward creating. And let’s recognize that the US would denounce, and help to crush, any insurrection, no matter how popular or righteous the cause, in which leftist forces played anything close to the prominent fighting role that right-wing, neofascist forced played in this one. If revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists had been the vanguard of the Maidan, Yanukovych would have been America’s "democratic” hero.

As for "democracy” (along with "nonviolent,” one of the most dishonestly abused words in the American political vocabulary), it certainly does not just mean having an election. It means power to the people. Neither Ukrainian oligarchs, nor the EU-IMF neo-liberal "technocrats,” nor the American government, nor NATO, want that. They have too much to lose.

It was a right-wing, imperialist insurrection, powered by fascist groups and permeated with fascist ideology.

The overthrow of Yanukovych was an insurrection accomplished by a political movement that was driven by popular socio-economic discontent and thoroughly imbued by "ultranationalist”—i.e., neofascist—ideology.

It was decidedly not a revolution, in the strong sense of the word. A revolutionary insurrection marks the beginning of a change in the social order. This movement did not, will not, and, given its foundations, could not, establish a popular government that will create anything like more widespread prosperity and deeper democracy, let alone a new social order.

It was a regime change, fuelled by popular discontent, powered by neofascist militants, and surreptitiously managed by American intelligence diplomats, with Ukrainian oligarchs maneuvering for ultimate control behind the scenes—factions that have different, sometimes internally contradictory, agendas. It will create a government that will be controlled by and benefit some Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of others, that will benefit European and American capitalism at the (acknowledged, indeed promised!) cost of austerity and immiseration for Ukrainian working people, and that will benefit American and NATO plans for an ever-tightening military encirclement of Russia at the expense of possible war and perpetual tension for Ukraine.

The only possibility for a more serious, "revolutionary” break from neo-liberal standards of oligarchic-imperial rule in the near future would come from the neofascist groups, who indeed imagine themselves to have a radically different agenda. But guess what? Faced with any popular uprising against its policies, from the right or the left, the new neo-liberal, Euro-facing, Russia-hating, America-loving, Ukrainian government, and its international supporters, will trot out the bourgeois democratic principles that its leaders, of course, never really contravened, and insist, Berkut (by any other name) and all: We won’t permit that in our democratic, European capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

Is there anybody who honestly doubts any of this?

Brendan O’Neill makes the point quite nicely:

For what we have in Ukraine is not revolution, but regime change …As for the word ‘revolution’ … its deployment in Ukraine takes its bastardisation to a new low: there has of course been no replacement of one social order by another in Ukraine, or even the installment of a people’s government; instead various long-established parties in parliament, some of which are deeply unpopular among certain constituencies in Ukraine, are forming an interim government. Revolutionary? Hardly.

The Western debate and coverage … has certainly made externally generated regime change seem revolutionary, and the Western-assisted anti-democratic removal of an elected leader seem like an act of people’s democracy. It has exposed a severe dearth of independent critical thinking among the Western commentariat. …

The truth of what has happened in Ukraine is this: the EU and Washington have effectively brought about regime change, replacing an elected pro-Russian regime with an unelected, still-being-formed new government that is more amenable to the institutions of the West.26

Regarding the "fascism” question, Max Blumenthal’s Alternet piece, and Per Anders Rudling’s detailed scholarly study are indispensable sources. Rudling understates considerably, when he says: "The far-right tradition is particularly strong in western Ukraine.” The fascist currents in the Kiev movement are undeniable. They are represented in the parliament by the Svoboda (Freedom) Party (originally called the Social National Party). In December, 2012, the European Parliament condemned Svoboda for its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views,” and urged other Ukrainian parties "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.”27

As Blumenthal notes, Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, defines his mission as freeing his country from the "Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” His deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn founded a think tank named after a historical figure he admires greatly: The Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. Svoboda’s – and, unfortunately, much of western Ukraine’s – "nationalism” is embodied in the revered figure of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian (OUN), which helped to form a Ukrainian division of the Waffen SS to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. From 1942-1944, Yaroslav Stetsko, the "Prime Minister” of ONU-B (Bandera’s wing), who supported "bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine,” oversaw the killing of "more than 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews” in western Ukraine. Banderists in Lvov circulated a pamphlet telling the city’s Jews: "We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet.”28

After the war, Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) continued its fascist campaign for "a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe,” engaging in a futile armed struggle against the Soviet Union, until KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Nothing "neo” about this Nazi.

Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology. He "tasked a set of nationalistically minded historians” into "disseminating a sanitized, edifyingly patriotic version of the history of the ‘Ukrainian national liberation movement,’ the leaders of which were presented in iconographic form as heroic and saintly figures, martyrs of the nation.”

Thus, in 2010, against the protestation of the European Parliament—which he accused of having a "historical complex” — Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title of "Hero of Ukraine."29 As Rudling notes: "There was little protest from intellectuals who identify themselves as liberals.” It was the government of big, bad Yanukovych that later annulled the award.

And thus, still satisfied by their political research, Svoboda led a 15,000-person march in honor of Bandera in Kiev on January 1st of this year, with chants of "Ukraine above all” and "Bandera, come and bring order!” 30

Now, as a result of the insurrection, Svoboda, which won about 10% of the vote in the last election, has effectively muscled the much larger (34% of the last vote) Party of the Regions out of parliament, and seeks nationally to outlaw it and the Communist Party (13% of the vote), whose leader’s house was burned down. With the help of its Right Sector allies, these parties have already been banned in a number of regions. Svoboda now holds "key leadership positions in the parliament and law enforcement, four ministerial portfolios in the new government [including Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister] and several appointed governorships.” Svoboda’s co-fouder, Andriy Parubiy, is head of the National Security & Defense Council of the new, democratic, government of Ukraine.31

So, fourteen months after denouncing Svoboda for its "racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” European governments are gushing over the new "democracy” in Ukraine over which Svoboda presides. And, as the BBC reports: "Inside the columned central hall of Kiev's city council, an activist base of operations, hung a giant banner with a Celtic cross, a symbol of ‘white power,’ and an American confederate flag….and an immense portrait of Stepan Bandera.”32

Keep in mind, too, Rudling’s point that the whole Banderist "national liberation” narrative "was well received in western Ukraine but was received coldly or met open hostility in the eastern and southern parts of the country.”

As Svoboda represents fascism in the parliament, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) represented fascism in the maidan, and continues to do so with its intimidating tactics in the streets and administrative offices of Kiev and the regions, as well as from its new positions in government. Right Sector is a confederation of far-right groups such as Patriots of Ukraine, the Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Stepan Bandera’s Trident, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Their favorite ensign is the wolfsangel--a favorite, too, of the Waffen SS--which was on display all over the maidan:

As Ukrainian journalist Oleg Shynkarenko points out, Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh defines the group's creed thusly: "We are against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, but we support traditional morals and family values, against the cult of profit and depravity.” Right Sector’s websites rail against the "liberal homodictatorship” of modern Western society.33 Blumenthal points out that Right Sector is: "linked to a constellation of international neofascist parties,” and "through the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN), Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on ‘a great European Reconquest’.” In some ways, the neofascist right does want power to the people—just the morally and ethnically pure people.

BBC did a decent report on the "Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine.” Again, maybe not so "neo.” The reporter, Gabriel Gatehouse, interviews Svoboda and Right Sector militants, meets a group called C14 (apparently an armed wing of Svoboda) under a portrait of Lenin in the Communist Party headquarters they had taken over, and shows two Svoboda MPs displaying "14” and "88” tokens. These numbers, which are often displayed in combination, and which appeared in graffiti throughout the maidan, have special fascist significance: "14” stands for from the Fourteen Words coined by an American white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” (there’s an alternate version, about "the White Aryan woman”); "88” represents a double of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, HH, for Heil Hitler. [I cannot make this stuff up.]

Yes, it depends what you’re fighting for.

My favorite is this 2½-minute tidbit from a young Right Sector gentleman, explaining the group’s, and his, affinity for "National Socialist themes,” and assuring his interviewer that they want a society that’s just "a little bit like” that "under Hitler”:

"http://www.youtube.com/embed/5SBo0akeDMY

The leader of the Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is now the deputy head of the National Security Council, and is running for President, of Ukraine’s new, democratic, government.

You might also take a look at this video, where Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko roughs up a local prosecutor to show him who’s the boss now, and threatens to have him lynched: "Shut the fuck up, you bitch! Your fucking time is over… If you think I am goodie because I’ve come without my rifle, you are gravely mistaken. I’ve come with a pistol. There are a few choice videos of Muzychko, who is also identified as a member of the "Wiking" unit of the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), another post-Banderist right-wing paramilitary group.

So there’s no question that fascists were part of the insurrection, and there is no question that they were crucial to its success. As Oleg Shynkarenko insists, the scenes of fighting resistance and advance were led by Right Sector and allied groups:

[I]t was the far right that first started to talk back to Yanukovych in his own language. They were the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades. They were amongst those who burned two military troop carriers that attacked the barricades on February 18. The Euromaidan won thanks to the resoluteness of people who were ready to fight rather than to negotiate in parliament when any negotiation became pointless.
Nicolai Petro agrees, and points out the political ramifications:
I ascribe a much greater role to the Right Sector…the spearhead of the revolution. … [T]he actual coup was accomplished thanks to the armed intervention of extreme nationalists, led by the Right Sector. And the fact that they were so instrumental in accomplishing this change of power has put them in the driver’s seat. From now on, whatever political decisions are arrived at will really be at the sufferance of the Right Sector.
Let’s be clear, also, that these neofascist groups not only fought and defeated Yanokovych’s police, they attacked and drove away any political group from the left that tried to establish a presence in the maidan. The fascists made sure they controlled the radical politics of the square. Sascha, a member of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, recounts in an interview published in mid-February:
A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.34
And Mira, of the same group, adds:
One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!...
Early on a Stalinist tent was attacked by Nazis. One was sent to the hospital. Another student spoke out against fascism and he was attacked.
Pravy Sektor got too much attention after the first violence, the media gave them popularity and they started to think they’re cool guys. Pravy existed before but now it’s growing and attracting a lot of new people.
Ilya Budraitskis, a Russian Socialist who came to the maidan in January, tells us how the "ultranationalists” brutalized and evicted everyone from leftish Europhiles to anarchists:
Another part of the left repetitively tried to join the movement, even after they were repetitively kicked out of it. Some of the "euro-enthusiastic” leftists came to Maidan in November with red (instead of blue) flag of the EU, with banners for free healthcare and education, and with feminist slogans. They were brutally attacked by Nazis. Then there was an episode when the far-right attacked the tent of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine near the Maidan. A man on the stage said that there were some "provocateurs” and said that "men know what to do”; as a result, a mob of Nazis has broken ribs of the trade union activists, tore their tent with knives and stolen their property. The victims hadn’t been doing anything "leftist” per se, but they were members of the left movement, known to their political adversaries, and that was enough….
[T]here is also another group of people who are often confused with the radical left. …who call themselves anarchists but actually have a very conservative political agenda full of machismo and xenophobia. After the protests have begun, they shifted to the right dramatically; they reached truce with the nazi groups and showered Molotov cocktails at the police together. Eventually, they parted ways with left movement finally.
A week ago they, together with some actual leftists who wanted to "act”, decided to form an "anarchist sotnia [defense unit]” in the Maidan self-defence. In order to do that, they were prepared to give an oath to [Svoboda leader] Andriy Parubiy. But when they formed their ranks to do this, they were met by approximately 150 Svoboda fighters with baseball bats and axes. The fascists accused them of being racially impure and politically irrelevant and forced them out of Maidan.35
So much for Professor Snyder’s agora.

Of course, the great majority of the people in the square are not fascists, but, for all the reasons of history and ideology discussed above, a lot of people in western Ukraine are susceptible to their charms. As Denis, from Kiev Autonomous Workers Union says: "[I]n the long run the rightist political hegemony is being reinforced,” because "That’s what happens when you don’t have a developed left movement and your liberals are too corrupt and ugly!” Here’s how he describes the rightward political momentum on the maidan:

[Far right] ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). ... Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy. … But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media.
The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, "economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists … [whose] political programme had always included critique of the EU’s "liberal fascism”. … The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through…
[P]eople are new to politics, they just "know” they are rightists and nationalists. And therefore they trust the more politically experienced leaders to express their views and formulate their programme for them. It just so happens that those leaders are nationalists or even Nazis. And they shift the centre of the political discourse even further to the right.
But, first of all, their ideas are welcome among the apolitical crowd; second of all, they are very well organized, and also people love their "radicalism”. An average Ukrainian worker hates the police and the government but he will never fight them openly and risk his comfort. So he or she welcomes a "vanguard” which is ready to fight on their behalf; especially if that vanguard shares "good” patriotic values….And since the basic "common sense” had long ago been established on the nationalist fundamental assumptions, the radicalization goes only further in that direction.36
As we all know, fascists don’t have to be a majority to determine outcomes, and their power to do so can increase very quickly under favorable conditions. Perhaps the most telling, and disturbing remark of the leftists cited in these interviews was this, from Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a couple of weeks before the head of Right Sector became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council: "If Pravy [Right Sector] has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.”

Oh, yes they are. Consider the stunning turn of events we have just witnessed: "the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power” in a European country for the first time since WWII, greeted with a stunning non-chalance—nay, embraced as an exemplar of democracy—by the Western liberal democracies. University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski specifies: "The paramilitary right sector has de facto power at least in some Western Ukrainian regions,” and "The far right in Ukraine has now achieved the level of representation and influence that is unparalleled in Europe.”37

Then imagine, please, Professor Katchanovski’s last sentence with "left” substituted for "right,” and consider how unthinkable it is that any American government would be so welcoming of such a "democratic” outcome. The United States and its allied liberal democracies are, in other words, willing to accommodate very hard swings to the right in order to secure and/or extend the neo-liberal capitalist, and US/NATO imperialist, order, but will abide not an inch of movement toward resistance from the left—no matter how righteous or democratic the cause.


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Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline. [...]

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Robert Paxton

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 11, 2018] It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [280] Disclaimer , April 10, 2018 at 5:33 am GMT

It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

This is worrying. Nobody is that stupid so it's more like they don't care about credibility going forward. Like it won't matter.

Kiza , April 10, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
We have moved way beyond the Skripals case now. Simply put, if US shoots in Syria, Russia will shoot back this time, yes back at US. USS Donald Duck has been placed as a bait to be sent to the bottom of Mediterrenain sea by the Russians, similar to Arizona et al at Pearl Harbour.

Many dissenter websites are currently under attack by the cyber forces of the Western regimes and Israel, one of them being this one. Another site under attack is my favorite johnhelmer.com. In addition to saying that he is under attack, the current message from John is:
WHEN THE RULE OF LAW WAS DESTROYED IN SALISBURY, LONDON AND THE HAGUE, AND THE RULE OF FRAUD DECLARED IN WASHINGTON, THAT LEAVES ONLY THE RULE OF FORCE IN THE WORLD. THE STAVKA MET IN MOSCOW ON GOOD FRIDAY AND IS READY. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY "THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES". THIS MEANS ONE AMERICAN SHOT AT A RUSSIAN SOLDIER, THEN WE ARE AT WAR. NOT INFOWAR, NOT CYBERWAR, NOT ECONOMIC WAR, NOT PROXY WAR. WORLD WAR.

The West is utterly bankrupt, morally as well as financially and we are experiencing the Western remedial plan and actions – war!

annamaria , April 10, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
"In 2016 an official British government inquiry determined that Bush and Blair had indeed together rushed to war. The Global Establishment has nevertheless rewarded Tony Blair for his loyalty with Clintonesque generosity. He has enjoyed a number of well-paid sinecures and is now worth in excess of $100 million."

– The character of Blair and the Establishment is well established: Blair is a major war criminal supported by the major war profiteers. His children and grandchildren are a progeny of a horrible criminal.

What is truly amazing is the complacency of the Roman Catholic Church that still has not excommunicated and anathematized the mass murderer. Blair should be haunted and hunted for his crimes against humanity.

With age, Blair's face has become expressively evil. His wife Theresa Cara "Cherie" Blair shows the same acute ugliness coming from her rotten soul of a war profiteer.

Blanco Watts , April 10, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
The UK is governed by the same Neo-liberal psychotic cabal that runs the US, Israel and France.
JR , April 10, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
Keep in mind how long ago all this is:
Skripal was recruited around 1990 and arrested in 2004. Guess that the Russian attitude towards Skripal took the chaos of the 90′s as mitigating circumstances into account.
Skripal served his sentence of only 13 years till 2010 when he was pardoned and given the option to leave. Russia did not revoke Skripal's citizenship. The UK issued Skripal a passport too. On arrival in the UK Skripak was extensively debriefed by UK intelligence services. Skripal has lived for 8 years in the UK now.

And now out of the blue this incident nicely dovetailing with May ratcheted up anti Russia language only a few months before this false flag incident and the rapidly failing traction of the Steele/Orbis/MI6 instigated Russia collusion story on the basis of that fake Trump Dossier. By the way Orbis affiliated Steele and Miller have been among Skripal's handlers.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 10, 2018 at 8:43 am GMT
From the Steele dossier lies falling apart to the Skripal lies falling apart to the 'Assad did it' lies falling apart:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/08/open-letter-to-die-linke/

^

Paul Craig Roberts is correct when quoting The Saker:

"The Russian view is simple: the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified." -- The Saker

I expect that makes the Russians right

[Apr 11, 2018] Unfortuntely, even among friends and aquaintances, the story about evil Assad killing Children is often readily believed

White Helmets was the greatest war propaganda invention since Goebbels "big lie"
The sheeple might realize that they were duped only when it's too late... It's all very darwinian: Elite is too nasty and common people are too stupid and too busy with surviving in economic uncertanty to decipher lies
Notable quotes:
"... "the West is ruled by a gang of thugs" ..."
"... It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson. ..."
"... The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative. ..."
"... Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Stuck on Zero -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:16 Permalink

No other nation will go to war with the U.S. They are too smart. All they have to do is wait till we burn ourselves out and fight amongst ourselves.

IridiumRebel -> Stuck on Zero Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

This is my hope.....

beepbop -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

"the West is ruled by a gang of thugs"

Those THUGS are Jewish Neocons/Zionists/Bolsheviks. They've got the USG in their pockets. They're the HIDDEN HAND .

Let's tell it like it is.

Dutti -> DownWithYogaPants Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson.

Unfortunately, even among friends and acquaintances, the story about "evil Assad killing Children" is often readily believed.

The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative.

Very sad and disheartening.

FBaggins -> Dutti Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=168513

[Apr 09, 2018] In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.

Notable quotes:
"... Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience). ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Babak Makkinejad -> Prince Monolulu , 4 hours ago

Reasonably intelligent people? Like this Iranian woman (in US) whose postings during the war for Aleppo was full of righteous indignation for the rebels. when I told her that the people whose fate she was bemoaning would do many evil things to her as a Shia Iranian woman; she would not hear of it.
ceasley7 -> Babak Makkinejad , 2 hours ago
Couldn't agree with you more Babak. My dad is a 78 year old Orthopedic physician here in the US. He would be considered intelligent by most people. And he is. Except when it comes to Geopolitics. He believes everything the MSM parrots and I gave up long ago in voicing my opinion to him. It's hopeless. And consider the vast majority of the citizens of my country are far less intelligent than him. In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.
Prince Monolulu -> Babak Makkinejad , 4 hours ago
Yes, people like that. Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience).

[Apr 09, 2018] Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you

The Brits blinked and did not punish the criminal liar Blair. Since then, the war profiteering based on false flag operations has become a national British pastime.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

GreatUncle Sun, 04/08/2018 - 10:51 Permalink

The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. Human minds are reinforcing the concept of untrustworthy governments that actually lasts far longer than the elected period of time of those who purport to represent the population we now know to be a deceit.

As example, take Blair ex-UK prime minister who concocted the whole Iraq dodgy dossier in the UK who most people I know now call him a war criminal but nobody will put on trial in the Hague. He has not been PM since 2007 but nobody forgets the criminal acts he instigated and supported and will be remembered for a long time for this. So how do you make Blair appear human again to the population?

You can apply this concept to so many elected criminals in the west ... join it up those that rule us are in fact criminals not ordinary people. The psychos rule over us and to them we are no more than dead meat.

[Apr 08, 2018] Do brighter minds incline to honesty by James Thompson

Apr 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Simon Gächter & Jonathan F. Schulz. Intrinsic honesty and the prevalence of rule violations across societies. Nature, Letter doi:10.1038/nature17160

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c4TxciNeJZS0JfOGZQNnBhVkE/view?usp=sharing

The authors argued thus:

Good institutions that limit cheating and rule violations, such as corruption, tax evasion and political fraud are crucial for prosperity and development. Yet, even very strong institutions cannot control all situations that may allow for cheating. Well-functioning societies also require the intrinsic honesty of citizens. Cultural characteristics, such as whether people see themselves as independent or part of a larger collective, that is, how individualist or collectivist a society is, might also influence the prevalence of rule violations due to differences in the perceived scope of moral responsibilities, which is larger in more individualist cultures.

If cheating is pervasive in society and goes often unpunished, then people might view dishonesty in certain everyday affairs as justifiable without jeopardising their self-concept of being honest. Experiencing frequent unfairness, an inevitable by-product of cheating, can also increase dishonesty. Economic systems, institutions and business cultures shape people's ethical values, and can likewise impact individual honesty.

I described Gachter and Schultz's work in April 2016, and thought I could immediately see a problem with the interpretation that the authors placed on the results. Putting forward a different perspective took a few days. Getting that new approach published has taken 2 years. For how long will researchers put up with these absurd delays which impede the prompt assessment of arguments?

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/honestly

The authors of this very interesting study, having revealed the cheats, interpreted the national differences as being due to cultural factors, particularly whether there were institutions in each society which encouraged honesty. Of course, this leaves open why one society would have such institutions and another would not. Culture must come from somewhere. A reasonable hypothesis is that the institutions of a county are built by the people who live there. Here is our reply:

Honesty, rule violation and cognitive ability: A reply to Gächter and Schulz
Heiner Rindermann, David Becker, James Thompson.
Intelligence, Volume 68, May–June 2018, Pages 66–69.

https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Wl5h_3fG8aUwo

Our argument is that both institutions and honesty are determined by the intelligence of people, and that bright people can see the long-term benefits of honesty and of institutions that support honest behaviour. Any institution with a code of conduct leads its members toward probity, and shows prospective applicants what standards are expected of them. However, those institution do not arise randomnly.

Gächter & Schulz assumed that institutional rules affect individual honesty.
We added cognitive ability as further factor explaining national differences.
Stronger effect of IQ (total 0.55) than of rule violation (total −0.34) on honesty.
Stronger effect of IQ (total −0.68) than of honesty (total −0.26) on rule violation.
________________________________________
Abstract
Gächter and Schulz (2016) assumed an effect of institutional rule violation on individual honesty within societies. In this reply we challenge this approach by including a nation's cognitive ability as a further factor for cross-national variations in the prevalence of rule violations and intrinsic honesty. Theoretical considerations, correlational and path analyses show that a nation's cognitive ability level (on average β = |.62|) better explains and predicts honesty and rule violation. While institutional and cultural factors are not unimportant, cognitive factors are more relevant.

The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others.

Cognitive ability seems to have the strongest causal effect on the honesty of a society:

The same pattern holds true if you assume that social levels of honesty intermediate individual levels of honesty as shown by rule violation.

Either way, it seems that intelligence explains whether some societies cheat at games and cheat in real life.


KA , March 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT

Society rots from top and doesn't matter who is at the top. It still remains valid even when the so called least intellectually developed honest poor people get shafted for hundred of years by so called high IQ nations who bring cheating,dishonesty,and violations of existing laws and destruction of existing institutions without replacing them nationwide. Often these newly created institutions are nothing but vehicle to whitewash the corrupting and corrupted new system.

Public moral status has a lot to do with corruption at the top -both local and international in these days of neoliberalism and post -colonization. It sounds painful and hurtful though.

res , March 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
Interesting work! I am amazed academics have the patience to deal with such a long lag time for letting arguments play out.

Is there any chance of you publishing a scatter plot matrix of the variables you used and/or the data itself?

Do you have the correlation matrix for your variables? By any chance did you try single and multiple variable models to try to predict rule violation from the other variables? It would be interesting to see how much variance an assortment of those models explained.

Has anyone explored the idea of "cheater fraction" (analogous to smart fraction) to explain dishonesty in societies?

James Thompson , Website March 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm GMT
@res

Cheater fraction sounds interesting. I assume that if it is higher than 16% then the society in question is worth avoiding, if at all possible.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm GMT
Honesty can be anything, it's look like obedience to authority instead true or pure honesty
Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm GMT
@Santoculto

I mean, based on proto-concept used.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:37 pm GMT
So ashekl jews [on very avg or not] are the exception in collective terms **
Miro23 , March 23, 2018 at 11:59 pm GMT
It's an interesting question. Some years ago The Economist did a "European Honest Test " leaving a wallet with a fair amount of cash in it (but also including clear contact details of the owner), in capital cities around Europe.

The test was to see how many wallets were returned – and they found that the Scandinavians returned almost all of them, and the Italians returned almost none – with a clear North/South gradient in the results.

By coincidence, at about the same time, I found a wallet beside some rubbish bins with € 400 in it and some credit cards (one from my own bank). So on my next visit, I told them about it and soon got a call from the owner ( a Spanish carpenter working in Germany). His reaction was 1) to check that the money was still in the wallet 2) say that not many people would return a wallet with € 400 in it 3) leave 2 bottles of wine at my front gate.

I checked this reaction with my secretary at the time, and asked her what she would have done, with the answer that it would be a "Regalo de Dios" (Gift of God), i.e. it was not going to be returned to the owner, so there seems to be some anecdotal evidence for the result.

Godfree Roberts , Website March 24, 2018 at 12:31 am GMT
China's position on the Intrinsic Honesty chart is puzzling both at the macro level (remarkably honest, competent policy-makers) and at the individual level (above average IQ).

The Edelman Corporation, which has a lock on international surveys of personal and institutional honesty has consistently found the Chinese to be among the most trusting people on earth, as have World Values Surveys in their own, independent polls of the Chinese.

The source of the discrepancy appears to be the source of the data: "a n indicator of political rights by Freedom House that measures the democratic quality of a country's political practices; the size of a country's shadow economy as a proxy for tax evasion; and corruption as measured by the World Bank's Control of Corruption Index (Supplementary Methods)".

Relying on George Soros' Freedom House for information about China is akin to relying on the neighborhood fox to keep an eye on your chickens while you go on vacation. Garbage in, garbage out

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSwBCAPkkvGYMGa-7qn79nTF-eX-EnPauQYK8a_NqIAxY7nO7gwjp-m4u9BpRpcOOGZXnkrfe65MOaz/pub .

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@Miro23

Regalado.

Anonymous [388] Disclaimer , March 24, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
I would rate Japan pretty high for getting things returned, but this ethic has eroded over the past three or four decades.

Also, in the past you'd see adult males scolding unrelated misbehaving teens in public, who'd slink away with their tails between their legs. This you do not currently see: men are less masculine and assertive and some teens at least are more beligerant.

Dieter Kief , March 24, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
I think, David Perkins' findings about high IQ-people being also very tribal would make for a nice addendum here, to better understand how IQ and honesty are related.

I refer to Jonathan Haidt's argument, that he bases explicitly on Perkins' findings, that because of the tendency of high IQ-people to be even more tribal than the lower IQ ranks, ist is so crucial, to understand with J. S. Mill's On Liberty (and I add: with Kant and – – the Kantian Habermas' "Theory of Communicative Action"), that the core achievement of modernity is the institutionalization of disconformation in the democratic/liberal rational discourse and liberal public sphere (universities, the media, etc.).

Here's Jonathan Haidt, referring to Perkins and Mill to make clear, how important the institutionalization of disconformation actually is:

Ilya G Poimandres , March 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm GMT
Correlation≠causation. Maybe honesty leads to brighter minds. Is it your knowing the right answer that makes you follow it, or is it you looking at the situation, as it is, considering evidence and proof, and getting the right answer through correct deductive reasoning, which is then to be followed? You can't be honest and act ideologically, because by definition you follow your observations of the world, not your ideas of the world. An honest person is bound to direct observation, an intelligent person is not. Honesty is probably primary to an accurate understanding of the world.
Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@James Thompson

I think that 16 per cent is a bit arbitrary. In a class or caste dominated society you might, if of a class which can choose to avoid countries, decide that it really doesn't matter if your butler and housekeeper have to terrify the lower orders to stop them ripping you off (and the butler and housekeeper have enough relations they want to place in employment to keep them to the rules as to how much they cheat you).

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm GMT
@Miro23

I recently lost my wallet for a short time in a supermarket-plus-other-shops complex as I wheeled my trolley to the car park. I thought my pocket had been picked so went to a nearby poluce station to see if they could accelerate access to CCTV. Mr Plod was useless and unhelpful. (Fortunately I didn't start cancelling credit cards immediately as he pretty well demanded). Back in the shopping centre I was directed to a caretaker's office where a 30 ish man of Pakistani origin had my wallet that had fallen out of my pocket as I went up a ramp. He had taken the trouble to count the cash and wrap it separately with a note on it that the amount was $915 or whatever. I never bothered to count it myself or even unwrap it for several days. What does that say about the standard of civilisation in one of Australia's biggest cities?

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
As anyone who has seen how inadequate religion is today to form moral young people may have thought, the obvious starting point is to ask oneself how I bring up my children and what moral rules I rub in (preferably by example as well as preaching). One knows children are not going to be cunning ruthless sophisticates by nature – unless psychopaths – and will not benefit from being taught to think immediately how they can get away with some theft or lie. So you bring them up with rules which will help to make sure they are both trusted and trustworthy – seeing you return the small amount of change over paid for exsmple to rub in the message about rules they should still be obeying without thought when they have children. Morality is about the customs of the tribe, its mores, and children are rarely done any sort of favour by not being trained to be strictly moral (even if taught Christian forgiveness, especially for the "poor in spirit"). However ..

It occurs to me that the place of intelligence in this may extend to what hss been called Divergent Thinking (does this overlap with Lateral Thinking? Or imagination?)
A quick imaginative laterally thinking brain may think of several ways some dishonest subterfuge may go wrong almost st the moment temptation arises. So honesty for him he quickly concludes is the best policy. And so down the speculative path on which little evidence is to be found. After all what is one to make of the arrogant lawyer that one reads about in the big tax case who thought arrogantly he could get away with something and the Mr Plods of the tax office would never sus him out and prove his wrongdoing to a court?

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

I was guided by my recollection of the modelling of neighbourhood crime risk, but it is a sliding scale, I agree. I assumed, years ago, that at the 16-20% level one would begin to notice a difference from base rate. See, in this particular example, Fig 2 and Fig 3

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/hood.htm

Miro23 , March 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

What does that say about the standard of civilization in one of Australia's biggest cities?

It doesn't really say anything. You need some standardized parameters and a reasonable sample size. Then you can draw some conclusions and assess the level of accuracy – like The Economist did with their wallet test – quite a good experiment.

However , at the individual level, a continuing positive outcome would be the wallet owner saying thank you, and being more inclined to return the favor one day.

Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 1:52 am GMT
Yep. Fair enough. (All of it).
Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 2:08 am GMT
@James Thompson

It occurs to me that 5 per cent might be a horrible worrying prospect if you, as a lawyer or doctor, thought it applied to the five or ten thousand you might come across as fellow professionals in your city or state. But then it could be that you rarely gossip about others and only regard as liars and cheats those who have done it to you (apart from the few who have been busted for insurance fraud). Maybe 16 per cent sometimes fudge or fiddle something but you don't know so you remain happily (and honestly) complacent, and proud of your profession.

Jonathan Mason , March 25, 2018 at 3:24 am GMT
More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.
Drapetomaniac , March 25, 2018 at 4:13 am GMT
@Miro23

I only look at the lost wallet in one light: it's not my property.

One of the factors I consider when looking at whether a person is a member of mankind or humankind – property.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
@Miro23

I've lost a wallet once and then I was visited home by shop owner, who carefuly tracked where I could live by using data from the wallet. She wanted nothing in exchange.

On university, I also was also given back a wallet once; I got back also a cellphone (which was quite expansive at the time) I left somewhere few years ago.

OTOH once I left a wallet with cash at university and it was not returned.

So, here you are my anecdotal evidence from Poland: three wallets and one cellphone, one time not returned, two plus one times returned.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 9:07 am GMT
@James Thompson

"my recollection", " _I_ assumed, years ago" ??? Does that mean La Griffe du Lion is you?!?

Svigor , March 25, 2018 at 9:28 am GMT

More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.

The purpose of the institution in question is to "figure out ways to rip off customers." It's neither dishonesty nor cheating. The trick is not to have a culture that puts corporate/employer concerns first.

Obviously smarter people are going to tend to be more moral; you need to know what the fuck morality and ethics even are, and assess the circumstances, before you can make your decisions. Retards can't even get to the point of making a decision. Stupid people are great at missing the moral implications of their behavior. Smart people are the ones who need to come up with rationalizations.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 9:54 am GMT
All "honesty" begins with the self. Lying to your self, about your self is the basis of delusion and
in-authenticity. How can you know reality when reality is constantly reinterpreted to fit the needs of a run-away ego ?
The general point, that intelligence is linked to long term thinking seems sound to me. Dishonestly is often about immediate gratification: a question of gaining or avoiding immediate pleasure/displeasure. Honesty is a strategy that "pays off" over the long term.
Honesty, or truth telling (in so far as one can) is also a factor in an Honour culture. The liar is a "base" person, a person who has no sense (or no care about) their own social (self conscious) standing. Honesty also has a close correlation with such things as "loyalty", "promising" etc.
animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:02 am GMT
@Jonathan Mason

Oh yes !
That's the joy of the corporate structure: no one is responsible. EVERYONE acts because they "owe" obligations to another. (Executives to higher executives; Higher executives to the Board; the Board to Shareholders) Personal, moral responsibility becomes entirely lost in this deliberately confected ethical melange. The Large organisation is the perfect environment for crafting crimes safe from individual consequence.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:06 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

It says you are damn lucky. If I had $ 915 in my wallet I'd super-glue the damn thing to my chest. Rather lose a couple layers of skin than that kind of dosh.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres

Self honesty is a long tortuous process.
Ideology is a relief: it removes the constant anxiety of needing to "question".
Science is -- should be -- the strictest form of public honesty.
Its frightening how many reports we so often get now about the systemic "dishonesty" in the scientific realm. (Dishonesty driven usually (not exclusively) by the demands of corporate profits)

m___ , March 25, 2018 at 10:46 am GMT
Sublime opportunism, entwined inside collective incentives, converges into supreme ethics, moral behaviour.
Sadly, the convergence is beyond the gradients of our elites.
The why of hard-wired human elites as are, cannot transcend to long term survival strategies, and society resembles a chicken coop.

To add another factor randomly, embedded into the above, it does not matter, how intelligence plays out between individuals, because individual opportunity feeds back into a pool of extended family, group, tribe, waves of culture and ad-hocs, lastingly and durably not encased in cognitive ambition, itself a consequence of cognitive genetic effort. Colleges and universities worldwide are a better example of petty games.

The "truth" and other concepts of "honesty" are a psychological, relative variant, depending on context. The agnostic concept of real and it's pursuit is unknown to our archaic, analogue brain without the preposition of a limited context, opportune in the now.

EliteCommInc. , March 25, 2018 at 1:35 pm GMT
I would be interested in how honesty was explicated. And the valuation of cross cultural rules that note the value of said rule equally across cultures. Now perhaps, these are fully layed out in the study, but I was unable to access the sight provided.

I would also be interested how the study rated honesty as a national value. Thus far the model looks to be applied by survey data. As I was reading I kept thinking of the multiple national scandals in which dishonesty played a central role. Once one figures out the definition and meaning of what constitutes honesty among individuals and or societal groups as agreed upon by those groups, then a model of measuring said honesty is built. This is essential because the article indicates that the difference in variable is largely cultural. So I have to conclude that a standard was established that recognizes what honesty is across cultures.

Because even withing culture, honesty varies. If intelligence is the key demarcation than one would expect those groupings with supposedly higher intelligence to have a higher degree of honesty. But again, even withing culture an agreed upon understanding of honesty is required.
Assuming intelligence matters to some set post of morality, in this case honesty -- could the model replicate supposed intelligence to honesty withing a given system in which the rules are more readily identifiable and agreed upon. Assuming that the students at the US military academies rank higher in intelligence than say the students at any comparable sized university would the students among the military academies rank higher or lower as to the being or practicing honesty. Considering the value placed on meritocratic institutions such as Harvard when measuring that intelligence grouping demonstrate a higher degree of honesty than a comparable public university.

Assuming we agree what the rules are,

"The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others"

it could be interesting whether said tested data is measuring awareness verses adherence.

Here are a bare list of some developed nation's honesty issues regarding rule adherence.

http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Scientific-misconduct

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheating (rare use of Wikipedia)

https://phys.org/news/2014-11-business-culture-banking-industry-favors.html

Again assuming that the players agree on what the rules are across countries or cultures a comparison of honesty across varying fields as to scandals and or practices might tell us something regarding the impact of intelligence to honesty across said cultures.

Found the article interesting and just expressed to thoughts on the read.

James Thompson , Website March 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@szopen

No, someone else.

ThreeCranes , March 26, 2018 at 1:25 am GMT
Well, I'll speak (honestly) from the other perspective.

I used to ride my bike of a Sunday morning on a scenic route that boasted a few first class restaurants. Twice I found wallets lying on the pavement just downstream from these establishments. Apparently, the owners, a little tipsy, had set their wallets on top of their cars while they fumbled for their keys and then drove off.

The first I took to the local police station. The second I took home and called the owner (who lived in Canada) using their credit card number to pay for the call and left a message reassuring her that her wallet (and money) was safe and sound, not to worry (because I knew she would, having lost it outside her home country). I didn't want to take it to the police because I figured they'd begin to suspect me of stealing the wallets if I kept showing up with them.

She and her husband drove down to a prearranged place to meet me for the return. She was very grateful.

The owner of the first lost wallet called me and asked if they could donate $100 in my name to my favorite charity.

Another time I found a perfectly nice fleece-lined, leather aviation jacket lying in the road just outside a golf course. Luckily there was a receipt from his fee for 18 holes in the pocket. I called him and arranged to return the coat. We met. He treated me as though I had stolen the jacket from his car. Not so much as a thank you.

I don't know if I'm inclined to honesty because I'm bright, it's just that I've lost my wallet in the past and it's such a pain in the butt that I feel sorry for anyone who shares that fate. Credit cards, ID etc. the money is the least of it.

Mishra , March 26, 2018 at 7:14 am GMT
Honesty and trust are just two more archaic notions to be discarded along the way toward our new third-world future.
The Alarmist , March 26, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT

"Good institutions that limit cheating and rule violations, such as corruption, tax evasion and political fraud are crucial for prosperity and development."

I'd argue that these institutions derive from a well-functioning, high-trust society and are rarely a catalyst for more honesty in other societies.

As for the connection to intelligence, look at India and China to test your hypothesis.

JackOH , March 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

"Another time I found a perfectly nice fleece-lined, leather aviation jacket lying in the road just outside a golf course. Luckily there was a receipt from his fee for 18 holes in the pocket. I called him and arranged to return the coat. We met. He treated me as though I had stolen the jacket from his car. Not so much as a thank you."

TC, yep. I found a wallet stuffed with cash and credit cards on the campus of our local state university. A campus policeman was nearby so I turned the wallet over to him. He cautioned me that people who recover lost or abandoned property are sometimes blamed by the owners of that property for any real or imagined loss, damage, or inconvenience to the owners.

My rough rule of thumb is that if the property can be readily linked to an owner, I return it. If not, and the property has trivial value, say under USD $100, it's a judgment call. Found a few bottles of liquor, seals unbroken, in a trash can. Kept them. Found an untagged but well-kept dog once, which I judged to have strong sentimental value to its owner, so I placed an ad in a local newspaper, got a response, and returned the dog. His children were very grateful.

Santoculto , March 26, 2018 at 10:53 pm GMT
@Mishra

Most of corruption in third world countries came back from the top of social hierarchy, i mean, higher IQ.

dux.ie , March 27, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
The Gachter experiment on rule violation is based on die throwing in sterile experimental conditions where the financial incentives are trivial and more seriously there are no competition between the participants and there are no mechanism to identify specific individual cheating and no resulting blemish to ones' reputation. So how much of that are relevant to real life situations?

Real life cheating data where there are great advantage to be gained and also with consequences that might affect ones future are more appropriate to be studied. One aspect of the OECD TALIS project dealt with real life cheating in 8645 schools and over 100K? teachers globally,

"TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning – © OECD 2014″

http://www.oecd.org/education/talis/

Table 2.20.Web. School climate – Frequency of student-related factors (cheating)
Percentage of lower secondary education teachers whose school principal reports that the following student behaviours occurred 1 Never, 2 Rarely, 3 Monthly, 4 Weekly, 5 Daily in their schools.

Answers 3, 4 and 5 are considered to be serious indicator of cheating in schools. With the intention to mash the TALIS data with the PISA 2012 data, the primary school data were excluded.

Many popular pre-conceived ideas about cheating in schools were not proven by the data. In fact considerable efforts were needed to find any significant statistical trend. For example at the national levels cheating were not correlated to the average PISA scores, fraction of top or bottom PISA scores, teachers' practice of spliting the class to teach and to test part of the class differently, etc.

The factor that show statistical significance is the proxy factor for competition or meritocracy. Countries have adopted various shades of "no child left behind" policy and that is reflected in the age profile of the class. In country that practice strict "no child left behind", the students are automatically promoted to the next grade in the next academic year regardless of the ability of the students with the results that the student will be exclusive of the same 'academic age'. When meritocracy is practiced, poorly performing students might have to repeat the same grade one or more times resulting in 'academic age' distribution in class. Since the PISA project has data of percentage of 15 yo for that grade, the idea can be tested. To be polite, the marked datapoints are not labelled. Two countries separated by a narrow channel can have drastically different cheating levels.

Q32CheatRpt = -0.404*PctGrade +56.76; #n=32; Rsq=0.1891; p=0.01287 *

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=axb52h&s=9

The school cheating levels is statistically significant to be linearly dependent on the percent of the 15 yo in class. The levels of cheating is dependent on the level of meritocracy practiced. With automatic promotion to the next academic grade there is little need for the students to cheat. The governments are doing the cheating instead. The out-criers of cheating in other countries do not realized that they are in countries with lesser meritocracy.

Peter Frost , Website March 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT
The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others.

This is what Jean Piaget concluded from his studies of Swiss children. He believed that empathy was an integral part of a child's intellectual development. It doesn't follow, however, that there is some kind of genetic linkage between intellectual capacity and the capacity for empathy. These are two different mental traits. It's more likely that the same selection pressure that favored an increase in intellectual capacity also favored an increase in the capacity for empathy.

It's impossible to build an advanced society unless most of its members have a high capacity for both intelligence and empathy. On an individual level, however, high intelligence can co-exist with low empathy. There have been many cases of ruthless sociopaths who are very intelligent and yet totally self-centered. Such people can be very successful as long as they aren't too numerous. Otherwise, they'll destroy the very society that makes their existence possible.

An advanced society requires a combination of high intelligence and high empathy, although this may come about in different ways. In northwest Europeans, a high intellectual capacity co-exists with high capacities for guilt proneness and affective empathy. In East Asians, a high intellectual capacity co-exists with high capacities for cognitive empathy and pro-social behavior. In other words, there is more emphasis in East Asian societies on learning correct moral rules.

J.Ross , Website March 27, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
@Peter Frost

I am not following the credit gift of empathy to East Asians, or the connection of morality and intelligence to the obeying of complex rules, because of the stolen oranges in the Book of Rites and the counterfeit antiques that impressed the Emperor. The Chinese literally explain how to lie in their moral teachings. "Lying" is right there among the morality-guaranteeing complex rules. There are examples in the Talmud I will not specify, or regard as unreasonable, but I will note that nobody saw the Talmud as less than a downright complex system of rules. Some African tribes have rules so stringent (eg, no wet dreams) that nobody could possibly obey them. If anything I would expect that systems of compelled obedience to complex rules guarantee dishonesty. The only alternative is Billy Budd getting the captain to take his side.
What I would start with is power. In China, even in periods of decay or civil war, power is always centralized to a degree only approached in Europe by a few temporarily competent monarchs, and with an effectiveness that has never been accomplished in Europe. I think this and not math scores or cheap shoes is the basis of the elite adoration of the Han. The man who observes that a cow is not a nightingale, or that two and two are four, when the opposite is being claimed by an officer of the government (be it communist, imperial, or partisan) is an idiot. He, and probably his family, maybe his hamlet, will be exterminated with efficiency the European Enlightened Despots could only dream of. Truth, insofar as it is objective, is the hair of Liberty. It cannot exist at all except in the empty space left by the rolling back of power. The trick here is embracing negativism instead of falling into the positivistic trap. We in the West accidentally stumbled across Liberty and Truth and Science, not because we are good, objectively not because we are smarter, but because we just couldn't get that mandate of heaven thing together, despite the unambiguous desires of numerous monarchs. I predict that this will be an unpopular answer but it will not go away.
(but the Japanese are massively more ethical than the Chinese. Yeah. And they are also all but European, especially in a lot of their political history. They dreamed of imitating Chinese centralization but never came close.)
Also, how soon can we expect an update to that graph, now plotting IQ (or PISA, or tetris scores, etc) against something like the Transparency Index? Apologies if this has already been done and I missed it.

James Thompson , Website March 28, 2018 at 9:27 am GMT
@dux.ie

thanks for this interesting additional measure of cheating.

Steve Sailer , Website March 30, 2018 at 6:27 am GMT
Personally, I have a hard time understanding scams. I would make a terrible white collar criminal.
Wally , March 30, 2018 at 7:03 am GMT
@Jonathan Mason

Got examples?

Biff , March 30, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT
Those studies are bunk because everybody lies:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/09/everybody-lies-how-google-reveals-darkest-secrets-seth-stephens-davidowitz

What can we learn about ourselves from the things we ask online? US data scientist Seth Stephens‑Davidowitz analysed anonymous Google search results, uncovering disturbing truths about our desires, beliefs and prejudices

Tbbh , March 30, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@Santoculto

I almost thought I had found a thread on unz where somebody didn't mention joos. Thanks for not disappointing me.

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT
Have no idea where the data come from, but scandals with Dutch politicians seem to increase all the time, most with Rutte's VVD.

Condemned politicians for fraud etc., a novelty.
But until now just one behind bars.

But about honesty, our prime minister Rutte is nicknamed Pinocchio for his lies.
The VVD quickly rid itself of the chairman Keiser, who manipulated himself into possession of the crematoria of the organisation he advised.
The Dutch tax authority presented him with a claim of € 12 million, our FIOD, the authority for fiscal crimes is investigating him.

Condemned business men for fraud, more than we like.
Even the former Philips CEO Boonstra was condemned for trade with foreknowledge.
Solicitors also are not above suspicion any more.

At the recent municipality elections measures were applied to prevent criminals being elected.

Unreliable policemen, also a novelty, the first serious conviction was a short time ago, he sold information from police data bases to criminals.
How he was not discovered earlier, unbelievable, police salaries are insufficient for driving Porsches.

Wizard of Oz , March 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
Your last paragraph is ill timed and at best insensitive in the opinion of this Australian who once got some pleasure from the game of cricket
anarchyst , March 30, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT
Catholic bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it best: "It is much easier for an educated person to rationalize evil".
All one has to do is look at abortion supporters who insist that abortion merely removes "a clump of cells", when they damn well know better, that it is HUMAN LIFE that they are destroying.
The old "ends justifies the means" excuse also comes into play, which is used by communist societies to purge millions of those who oppose them, not unlike the purges in the old Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other communist "paradises".
I would state that it is easier for an educated person to rationalize evil–this including dishonesty
ANON [436] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Do I detect a matter of class? The golfer seems not to have been a gentleman belonging to a golf club where proper behaviour was de rigeur, very likely passed from father, uncle and club pro to son. The sort of chap who pays green fees could be a wannabe upwardly mobile agent for subdivided swamp land

ANON [436] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

PS I gave up golf after my father died 20+ years ago. Not so much that I couldn't match his ethical standards but that after two heart attacks and hip replacements he was still a scratch golfer and all I could do was occasionally outdrive him if my slice or pull allowed.

TG , March 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm GMT
Interesting post. Some additional thoughts.

1. Perhaps smart people are just better at not getting caught?

2. Overall, there is one major factor in the honesty of a society, and that is poverty. When an overpopulated third-world society is crushed into misery, when people cannot earn a half-way decent living – or indeed, any living – through honest effort, eventually they come to cheat. This has been demonstrated in all cultures and all races.

Does integrity promote prosperity? Surely. But the reverse is if anything more powerful: poverty promotes corruption and nepotism. For people to behave honorably, yes there must be a culture of this, but it must also be the case that behaving honorably is not cutting your own throat. Because few people are saints.

Cindy , March 30, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
@JackOH

"Found a few bottles of liquor, seals unbroken, in a trash can. "

Dumpster-diving is a different thing than keeping lost goods. I think you're *morally* in the clear, there, even if sorely lacking in judgement. This doesn't seem very wise. Did it not occur to you that they were probably in the TRASH for a reason? Probably not poisonous or anything, since the seals were on. Probably some alcoholic decided to quit drinking. But do you want to take the chance that this wasn't a bootleg batch full of lead? Obviously the answer was yes. Your butt, I reckon

Anonymous [739] Disclaimer , March 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
We have been flooded here at the University of Chicago by Mainland/Communist Chinese students. There are lots of accusations that the Chinese Communist government assists these students by cheating, getting other English language proficient students to take the English part of the SAT tests.

There appear to be lots and lots of Mainland Chinese/Communist China students here who supposedly aced the English SAT test but can't seem to speak English.

Twodees Partain , March 30, 2018 at 3:23 pm GMT
@Miro23

"like The Economist did with their wallet test – quite a good experiment."

But, The Economist is hardly a bastion of truth. I would tend to dismiss their entire story of the wallet experiment as a fabrication, having caught their writers in so many lies.

Willem , March 30, 2018 at 4:06 pm GMT
I interpreted the Simon Gächter graph as follows: the more money a country has, the more honest the citizens are.

Perhaps one should do an experiment and make countries like Tanzania as rich as e.g. The Netherlands, and then do the comparisons.

Same applies to IQ.

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT

Do Brighter Minds Incline to Honesty?

Possibly.

But certainly that accounts for the fact that politicians are dull, ignorant, dissemblers at best.

In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they can attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. They often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and vulgar arts of intrigue and cabal; but sometimes by the perpetration of the most enormous crimes, by murder and assassination, by rebellion and civil war, to supplant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness.

Adam Smith, Essays Pt I, Sec III, Chap III. ed. Joseph Black and James Hutton (London: Alex. Murray & Son, 1869). 3/30/2018. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2721#Smith_Essays1649_206

denk , March 30, 2018 at 5:36 pm GMT
Uk, the perpetrator of Iraq WMD and the current Russiagate, a more 'ethical' country than China ?

What a joke !

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Willem

Honesty to me seems a cultural phenomenon.
Once people get away with dishonesty, others think 'why not me ?'.

The Dutch erosion, in my recollection, already began in the seventies, with leftist people, at the time social democrats.
It was said then 'thinking left, filling pockets at the right'.
People as my father, life long socialists, left the party in great numbers.
It took a long time for THE socialist party, PvdA, to disappear, until the last parliamentary elections.
The self destruction had much to do with EU support, socialism is at odds with globalisation, even within the EU.

Few in the USA will have followed all the French scandals before the last presidential elections.
Even Macron was accused of not declaring all his possessions.
And indeed, I also cannot understand how he spent or lost the millions he got while working for the Rothschild bank.

Another well known politician, presidential candidate, cannot now remember the name, disappeared after gifts for suits for some € 50.000 were published, there was also a very expensive watch, the job his wife had, what she in fact did, nobody understands, and the temporary jobs for his children.
When one sees the small castle where the family lives one understands that he could not buy his suits himself.

Now at last there seems to be sufficient proof against Sarkozy.

Now many French presidents were persecuted after their immunity ended, when they no longer were president.
But the frauds etc. they seem to have perpetrated seem worse and worse, in the Sarko case, intimidating a judge, among other things.
When Hollande will be persecuted, I wonder.
He had a reputation for sacking editors in chief.

jilles dykstra , March 30, 2018 at 5:53 pm GMT
@denk

Ask Ghandi, alas he does not live, when Britain was an ethical country.
Just a few years ago, in BBCW Hard Talk, I saw an Indian minister getting quite angry 'the British did not have to teach the Indians anything'.

JackOH , March 30, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Cindy

Cindy, both gut and butt survived my "rescue" hooch. I did some due diligence: examined the bottles, carefully tasted the contents, etc. My guess was a domestic quarrel in the parking garage over the high-end vodka and liqueurs, perhaps over someone's drinking problem, and the quarrel was settled by chucking the booze.

" . . . [S]orely lacking in judgment." Not really. My judgment turned out to be okay, because I was informed by the totality of the circumstances and then made my call. Had the booze been low-end stuff found in an unfamiliar location, etc., I might have judged differently.

BTW-I didn't dumpster-dive. The booze was clearly visible at the top of the trash can.

denk , March 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

How did they measure such 'honesty index' ?
Placing 100 wallets in a park and observe how many are returned to the owners ?

But when the anglos lie, they always lie big time !

Goebel famously oberved .

The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous

Waging wars by false pretexts surely is the highest form of duplicity ?
They dont call them perfidious albions for nuthin you know !

Another Realist , March 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
How does the author explain the link between the supposed highest IQ group – the Jews, and their reputation for utmost dishonesty, greed and lust throughout history? Same goes for the Chinese.

Propensity for Honesty is the biggest reason why we need to restrict immigration from low trust cultures, i.e. all 3rd world countries. It's why they're 3rd world, because they are low trust, everyone is dishonest from the top down, the few honest ones are called "stupid" and get ripped off left and right. The more we import from these cultures, the more dishonest our society will become, this includes all of Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Southern & Eastern Europe esp. Russia. The only truly honest people in the world are Northwestern Protestant Europeans, and maybe the Japanese. All other groups are dishonest.

Joe Wong , March 30, 2018 at 8:18 pm GMT
@res

Interesting work? This article is a pure misuse of statistics, a fabrication and a classic work of evil minded Eurocentrist attempting to give a new lease of life to their declining rotten Eurocentrism in facing of the rising progressive, peaceful, and pragmatic East.

Look at the graph, its racist Eurocentrism is glaring, all the Western nations are on the good side while rest of the world on the bad side. History has shown all those on the good side are liars, cheaters, murderers, bandits, and pirates, while those on the bad side are the victims of those perpetrators on the good side. The missing of the USA in the chart makes this article an unapologetic white supremacy lie.

To study the link between brightness and honesty, it should pull data from the same pool of population who are in the same environment, i.e. within a nation, then we even can study whether cognitive ability, intellectual development, moral awareness, culture factor, and institutions have any effect on honesty and their relationships.

Besides in spite of being bright, and having cognitive ability, intellectual development, moral awareness, culture factor and strong institutions, the West still bombs, kills and waterboards others on the fabricated phantom allegations as humanitarian intervention without showing remorse; and recently the West lied about the poisoning episode in UK, and brought the world to the edge of anther world war crisis, those evidences prove the Western societies are not honest despite the qualities they processed as prerequisite for honesty, it seems it proves the West is either hypocritical or innate psychopathic.

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 9:18 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Ask Ghandi, alas he does not live, when Britain was an ethical country.

Exactly. What a pack of criminals. They were much worse and for a longer period of time, than what they accused the Nazis of doing.

Churchill refused to divert supplies away from already well-supplied British troops at the same time he allegedly blocked American and Canadian ships from delivering aid to India either. Nor would he allow the Indians to help themselves: the colonial government forbade the country from using its own ships or currency reserves to help the starving masses. Meanwhile, London pushed up the price of grain with hugely inflated purchases, making it unaffordable for the dying and destitute. Most-chillingly of all, when the government of Delhi telegrammed to tell him people were dying, Churchill allegedly only replied to ask why Gandhi hadn't died yet.

If all this is true -- and documents support it -- then Winston Churchill may well have starved to death as many innocent people as Stalin did in the Ukrainian genocide. Could the man who held out against Hitler really be capable of such an atrocity? Judging by the rest of this list, it wouldn't be surprising.

https://listverse.com/2014/02/04/10-evil-crimes-of-the-british-empire/

jacques sheete , March 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm GMT
The honest and bright Brits are responsible for starvation in prison camps decades before the Nazis were supposed to have done their thing.:

Picture of Brit camp victim (Boer War) according to the article linked above.:

lavoisier , Website March 30, 2018 at 9:56 pm GMT
@ANON

I cannot play golf without committing a certain amount of larceny. In my mind a mulligan is a reasonable option to excuse a particularly poorly played shot. And I have been known to sweeten my lie on the not rare occasion, which, of course, is a form of lying.

I have often wondered if my ease at dishonesty on the links might suggest a propensity towards darker deeds?

And don't even ask me about gimme putts. That for sure must reflect a lower intelligence!

Joe Wong , March 30, 2018 at 10:33 pm GMT
@James Thompson

Who decides who cheats or being dishonesty? Is misleading advertising cheating? Is empty campaign promises cheating? Is abusing legal loopholes cheating? Is putting one's self-interest ahead of the ones they supposed to serve cheating? Is price fixing cheating? Are cartels of all kind cheating? Are selective reporting, wrongful labelling, and spreading ideology cheating? . . .

Mind you, the people involved in the above activities are all bright, well educated, intelligent, having strong institutions, within well-functioning societies, and a sense of moral responsibilities too, would they be more than 16% in the western societes?

Sollipsist , March 30, 2018 at 11:08 pm GMT
The assumptions behind this are so fragile and unsupportable.

Honesty, as with most of the Judeo-Christian values, largely serves to keep the compliant majority self-correcting while the predatory and parasitic top and bottom of society maintain a more productive relativistic approach – long term dishonesty for the elites, short term dishonesty for the undesirables. In-group honesty is always far more valued than universal honesty – whether you're talking about stockbrokers or Romani.

The most intelligent in any class or group are far more likely to utilize dishonesty when it best serves their needs. To do otherwise would be a clear sign of lack of intelligence.

The idea that intelligent people are more likely to see the purpose of honesty in the long term is not only an unsupportable assumption, it's also ignoring the countless undeniable historical instances of intelligent leaders deploying adaptive fictions to achieve positive social goals (anything from religion to the concept of inalienable rights).

Anyone who uses the phrase "speaking truth to power" can absolutely be counted upon to be utterly dishonest when that power comes knocking.

Art , March 30, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
As a boy I had the privilege to attend a Catholic grade school. Part of the education was to go to confession. Admitting to a third party your wrongs, is very powerful. Forgiving the past frees one. Being truthful builds character, and getting over the past is a blessing. It was a struggle to be totally truthful all the time. As a mid to late teen, I fell away from Catholicism.

In my early twenties I came back to believing that truthfulness is the best policy. I attribute that to the Catholic culture and the confessional. I would not say that it was my intelligence that led me.

Think Peace -- Art

Joe Wong , March 31, 2018 at 1:17 am GMT
@Art

Confession has nothing to do with honesty; it breeds psychopath, unrepentance, irresponsibility and repeat offending. The churches use confession to cleanse perpetrators' sins, so the perpetrators can repeat their crimes without moral burden; this is not hypothesis, history bear witness of such fact. This is the trait of the Western culture, it reflects in all aspects of the westerners' behaviour. Most common expression of such morally defunct mentality is that the western governments and officials have no trouble to apologize the wrongs they have done, but they keep on doing the same wrong over and over again after apologizing. The Native Americans are the most abused victim of such morally defunct practice.

The churches use confession to recruit and dominate its members (mentally colonized serfs), expand their domains. Confession is one of the most effective mechanisms that corrupt the basic decency of humanity.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@jacques sheete

Here's another ROFLLMAO,

China much more aggressive than UK ,
WTF !

How did they deduce that ,
Comparing how many people jump queue in UK and China ?

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Coming from those who hog the top 100 hoax of the century chart.

hehehhehe

utu , March 31, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Perhaps going to confession or a dose of Christianity would be good for Chinese.

Twodees Partain , March 31, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@jacques sheete

Adam Smith apparently had their number when he was alive. It seems that little has changed in the quality of politicians between the 19th and 21st centuries. If anything, today's politicians are even more dimwitted and venal. The average Congress member is a moron, and nearly inarticulate in unscripted speaking.

I really enjoyed reading Henry Mencken's observations on political campaigns of the early 20th century. He also seemed to enjoy making those observations as well. It comes through in the way he describes the candidates.

Twodees Partain , March 31, 2018 at 2:26 am GMT
@denk

The government of the UK seems completely unconcerned with ethics, in the same way the US government is. Most members of both governments seem, to me, to be morally retarded.

Malcolm Y , March 31, 2018 at 2:54 am GMT
Since this is statistics there are no counterexamples. But there is one giant "counterexample"
denk , March 31, 2018 at 3:27 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

which begs the question .

How did these two 'ethical' countries keep churning out world class psychopaths as leaders .since 1600 ?

dux.ie , March 31, 2018 at 5:45 am GMT
Flash! Flash! Flash! Stop the press. This is not yet 1st April.

Currently there are a lot of news about cheating in sports, e.g. cricket. Out of a whim the relationship of sports with academic cheating is tested. The OECD PISA project has data on the percentage of students who exercise before or after school PctExercise, and

PctCheatRpt=+1.044*PctExercise-46.25; #n=29; Rsq=0.234; p=0.007889 ** (V Sig)

It is very statistically significant that PctExercise is positively highly correlated to academic cheating. The effect is more than double that for the other percentage variables whether they are statistically significant or not. If students spend too much time on tracks and fields and little time at home studying the results can easily be inferred. Now you know those loud mouths screaming about cheating in another countries and that the students there spend too much time studying, they are on average themselves doing most of the academic cheatings and they might be trying to divert attention away from them.

To be fair, the situation for the nerds should also be checked. The OECD PISA has data on the percentage of students who have more than 4 hours per week of off-school maths tuition PctMathTuitGt4hr,

PctCheatRpt=-0.835*PctMathTuitGt4hr+31.81; #n=28; Rsq=0.0552; p=0.2287 (NotSig)

It is statisticaly not significant. What about those academically very competitive, the percentage who wanted to be the best PctWantBest,

PctCheatRpt=-0.445*PctWantBest+54.07; #n=29; Rsq=0.222; p=0.009944 ** (V Sig)

It is statistically very significant that PctWantBest negatively correlated with cheating, i.e, on average the more academically competitive they are the lesser they will cheat.

It is intuitively that most self-confident students will not cheat. The OECD data can be transformed and normalized into confident quotient CQ similar to the IQ scale where CQ ≥ 115 is considered to be over-confident. However,

PctCheatRpt = -0.362*ConfidantQuotient +61.62; #n=29; Rsq=0.1289; p=0.05581 (NotSig)

Two datapoints are far from the rest and are on opposite sides of the regression line, by excluding them,

PctCheatRpt = -0.473*ConfidentQuotient2 +73.25; #n=27; Rsq=0.1653; p=0.03535 * (SIg)

CQ is negatively correlated to cheating rate as expected.

The summary of the results,

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=10pvbyt&s=9

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 10:42 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Most common expression of such morally defunct mentality is that the western governments and officials have no trouble to apologize the wrongs they have done, but they keep on doing the same wrong over and over again after apologizing.

Amen!

What's even worse is the goofy idea that one is automatically "forgiven" if s/he's a "believer." It's the works vs faith idea. Some of those people feel free to break every rule in the book (even the 10 supposedly written in stone) with complete impunity.

Those people routinely engage in behavior that's as disgusting as those from the the tribe who think they're "chosen."

G-wd's special ones, goy and non-goy, are forgiven in advance I guess.

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 11:05 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

If anything, today's politicians are even more dimwitted and venal. The average Congress member is a moron, and nearly inarticulate in unscripted speaking.

True.

I think much the same could be said for all hierarchical systems and that includes religious as well as academic ones. I've always been as much amused as amazed at how dimwitted and venal priests and professors usually are.

Frauds-R-Us.

jilles dykstra , March 31, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Rereading this reaction comes to mind
Edward W. Said & Christopher Hitchens, ed., Blaming the Victims, Spurious scholarship and the Palestinian question', 1988, London

Anonymous [184] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
@JackOH

"[S]orely lacking in judgment." Not really. My judgment turned out to be okay"

No, it was a bad call regardless of how it turned out. The risk-reward ratio was off the chart.

jacques sheete , March 31, 2018 at 11:30 am GMT
@denk

which begs the question .

How did these two 'ethical' countries keep churning out world class psychopaths as leaders .since 1600 ?

Beg no longer, fine sir! This dude may have an answer.

Henceforth, Britain will do the bidding of her real masters ; she has
become the tool of the schemers against all she holds dear, namely, her
faith, her patriotism, traditions, civilisation. She grants the " returned "
aliens equality of civil rights ; they may and do become mayors over
Christian population, and within a short time Britain is ruled by a
Jewish Prime Minister, Disraeli, first and foremost a Jew and the
flunkey of the powerful Rothschild financiers.

One of the consequences of this disastrous political mistake is the
transformation of the national attitude of Great Britain and her
colonies into that of the British Empire. Disraeli who inspired it
knew what he was scheming for, the British people did not. But with
him, Zionism is carried up to the very heights of the British Throne, a
Zionist World Empire is on the high road to realisation.

-Leslie Fry, "the Jews and the British Empire," 1935

https://archive.org/stream/FryLeslieTheJewsAndTheBritishEmpire/Fry_Leslie_-_The_jews_and_the_British_Empire_djvu.txt

He musta been a kunspirasee theerist er an antee-Semite er sumpin. Prolly lo IQ and jellis too.

Dieter Kief , March 31, 2018 at 11:37 am GMT
@Dieter Kief

In the light of what Jonathan Haidt in the above linked video says with regards to David Perkin's findings, I tend to say this question of yours

Do Brighter Minds Incline to Honesty?

has to be answered: "Yes. But ."

The But has to do with the the history of the term "honesty".

People might say wrong things, while being (and feeling!) honest, because honesty is not necessarily rooted in speaking the truth.

Honesty is a social category alltogether (with close ties to knighthood, chivalry and the like). It therefor is a category, which in it's very core hints at obedience and fellowship, and that's at times what keeps people away from speaking the truth – cf. David Perkins and Jonathan Haidt above (ok – full circle).

Joe Wong , March 31, 2018 at 12:42 pm GMT
@utu

Hit-and-run is common all over the world not just in China, it is a sign of moral decay, confusion, and irresponsibility. Those perpetrators must be denounced.

But if one follows the West or the unrepentant war criminal Japanese, it is easy to white wash those hit-and-run crimes by saying the percentage of such crime in China is way lower than in the US though the absolute number might be higher, so Chinese is more honest than average in the world.

On the other hand killing people with car faces less consequences in the West, most perpetrators in the West get slap on the wrist for such crime, such as suspension of driving license, insurance company paid compensation, short term imprisonment, or get way free by claiming medical conditions, but in China the perpetrators may have to pay their lives for their crimes. It seems the West does not have a balanced morality, harsh on the victims and lenient on the criminals.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

In the honesty index graph,
Germany is higher than China, OK, thats fair.

As for the five eyes lies , their rightful place is right at the bottom.

UK [half of fukus] the ethical country ?
hehehehhe

Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Foreign Policy
by Mark Curtis

In his explosive new book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain's role in the world since 1945 and in the 'war against terrorism' by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government's foreign policy. Curtis argues that Britain is an 'outlaw state', often a violator of international law and ally of many repressive regimes. He reasons not only that Britain's foreign policies are generally unethical but that they are also making the world more dangerous and unequal.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1128541.Web_Of_Deceit

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:21 pm GMT
@utu

kid,

You believe in gawd ?
I pray to the all mighty every day to stop the great satan,
a fat lot of good it does tho !

so how ?

denk , March 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

that utu kid oughtta go out more .

He spend all day in the basement and he thought he knows the world by watching some dubious youtube videos, forchrissake !

hehehhe

Anonymous [184] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 2:59 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

Interesting. Reverse Midas Touch can be a very real phenomenon, apparently.

So who chose them and what were they chosen for?

Anon [436] Disclaimer , March 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm GMT
@anarchyst

Why do you condemn over 100,000 years of homo sapiens behaviour. Destroying human lives has been continuously the most effective natural way to achieve important utilitarian ends tight up to today. And given the ancient Hebrew enthusiasm for genocide is it surprising that God's Ten Commandments not only said nothing about abortion but assumed that limiting killing was about the best that could be hoped for.

utu , March 31, 2018 at 6:16 pm GMT
@denk

Quality is also an aspect of honesty: both individual and institutional.

denk , March 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm GMT
Did I mention the top 100 hoaxes of the century chart, kid ?

Here's a partial list,

Iraq WMD
IRAQ babies incubators
Racak 'massacre'
RUSSIAGATE,
Chinagate,
Indo./China war 1962
Indon genocide 1965
GCHQ fake foto
Tibet fake foto,
Tibet genocide,
Libya
Syria
Sinking of the Maine,
Gulf of Tonkin,
911
War OF terror,
R2p[lunder]
TAM 'massacre'
Tibet 2008
Xinjiang 2009

100 reasons why fukus should be at the bottom of the 'honesty' chart !

utu , March 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm GMT
Chinese the most dishonest, Japanese and British the least, study finds

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1879850/chinese-most-dishonest-japanese-and-british-least-study-finds

Why do Chinese students think it's OK to cheat?

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1974986/why-do-chinese-students-think-its-ok-cheat

99% OF PUBG'S BANNED CHEATERS ARE FROM CHINA

http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/02/16/99-of-pubgs-banned-cheaters-are-from-china

utu , March 31, 2018 at 8:19 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

those hit-and-run crimes

These are not just hit and run. In China you do not run until you make sure the victim is dead. And if the victim is not dead you hit them second time to make sure he/she is dead and then you run. This is very pragmatic and congruent with all Chinese philosophical systems. That's why I suggested to your compatriot (denk) here that a bit of Christian mercy and compassion would do Chinese some good.

Philip Owen , March 31, 2018 at 8:22 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

As Amryata Sen has pointed out. The problem in Bengal was not a lack of food but the lack of purchasing power by the poorest peasants. Hoarding by merchants is a traditional driver of famine in India. The Punjab actually had a good harvest but Bengal ate rice. Churchill's nvolvement was ncidental. India was governed com India, often by Indians. Churchill was an outrageous racist but by no means representative of the British of the time. He lost the post war election.

Philip Owen , March 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

WYes. Grotesque incompetence rather than the intended result but morally wrong just the same.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@utu

I am surprised that you posted that first link. Its 1500 tested people (selected how?) from 15 countries simply reminded me that the "Climategate" emails also belonged to the University of East Anglia.

I didn't take the time to understand WTF PUBG was all about (third link).

As to the second link it is indeed interesting to learn of what appears to be a formal recognition by the Chinese Communist Party that part of what contributed to the earlier economic success of the West was trust and comparative honesty (as Amy Wax might point out).

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 1:58 am GMT
@utu

First of all Christians have no mercy, and they only have crusade and conversion. Christians are cult. The Christians have been committing crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes using evil and sadist inquisition methods for a very very long time. Their forte is racial and culture genocide. Before Columbus time they only did their carnage between themselves and Muslims within the European continent and ME. After Columbus they spread their plague all over the world.

The most unfortunate victims are the Americans (from North to South). Christian not only took the American's land, and killed them into nearly extinct, they also burnt all books of South Americans, so that there is no indigenous South American civilization left to tell their history and to refute what the Christian casted them as savages.

In China during the late Qing time, the Christians treated Chinese culture and traditions as witchcraft, backed by their governments' guns they used extraterritorial right to expand their control of people and land with organized violence and insidious crimes. Their unscrupulous activities forced Chinese to resist thru Boxer movement because Qing Court was incompetent. The West labelled Boxer as terrorists and crashed them with Eight Nations Alliance armed intervention, Christian was a major force that caused China Century Humiliation.

Since WWII all wars were led by the Christians, their false Christian mercy calls paved the way for the Western governments and war mongers to bomb, kill and waterboard on moral high ground just like their barbaric Christian forebears who have done to the native South Americans and rest of the world.

That kind of morally defunct drivers are not unique to China, they appeare in the West too. In some incidences the driver in the West made sure nobody survives in the other car by pushing the car over the road side, so they have better chance not to be convicted due to no witness.

While guys using assault rifles mowing down tens of school kids for no reasons and claim it is their constitution rights to do so, and tens of millions of killed, tortured and maimed by the NATO false flag wars, why don't you suggest your compatriots in the USA and other NATO nations that a bit of Christian mercy and compassion would do their souls some good? Is it because Christian mercy is myth, fantasy and snakeoil?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 2:37 am GMT
@utu

You are being racist, propagating the pink skin pigs' trashes in HK irresponsibly. You should know those noxious racist trolls in the SCMP are posted by the pink skin pigs and their mentally colonized wannabes in HK out of resentment and frustration, because they lost their colonial privileges in HK and they are being rejected as uneducated unscrupulous colonials back home. They fell from master caste to the bottom of the society and become worthless trash.

Japanese are unrepentant war criminals, their whole society are liars and they have been lying since WWII about their war crimes, their past, their present and their future, they even are lying about the massive toxic nuclear leaking in the Fukushima cripple nuclear power plants that are causing millions of people died of cancer and extinction of marine creatures. While the British is the mentor of the Japanese.

Britain was a ruthless global tyrant and liar, but you seem to believe that all the crimes against humanity and peace and war crimes British committed around the world can be forgiven and glossed over by claiming Britain a democracy; what a lie and morally defunct double think evil psychopathic expression. People said British imitates the Romans and the American is born out of the British, no wonder the American is adopting the same double think logic to white wash and gloss over the war crimes, crimes against humanity and peace they have been committing around the world.

Winston Churchill was a classic imperialist with no moral bearing, he believed for the empire everything goes. WWII is nothing but a dog-eat-dog play rough over the monopoly to plunder the rest of the world; they squandered all the wealth they obtained thru stealing, looting and murdering hundreds of millions of people all over the world in that scrabbling.

About cheating in the exams you must have never seen what the Greeks and Indian are capable of. PUBG is sour grape, they cannot beat the Chinese so they banned Chinese on the fabricated allegation, just like the Opium Wars, the British could not beat Chinese manufactured goods, so they used Opium and wars to steal and cheat Chinese wealth.

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 2:44 am GMT
@denk

Death should be knocking on Iran's door and wearing a Star of David effacing the American flag.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:50 am GMT
@denk

Why do you waste time displaying your prejudices without even acknowledging what question was asked? Your English is up to it – just – so you have no excuse.

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Your diatribe is a bit on the simplistic side.

All Utu was pointing out is that deliberately killing someone with a car to escape prosecution is pretty heinous behavior and does suggest something really wrong with the Chinese culture at a fundamental level.

And the treatment of animals in China is generally deplorable compared with Western standards with little concern for their well being. How does this obvious cruelty fit on the ethical plane?

Ethical behavior among human beings is probably more unusual than we would like to believe and we can all be better people. The Chinese are no exception to that rule. If Christian ethics or Buddhist ethics can advance that cause, I support this.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@jacques sheete

I was intrigued to find on the listverse.com site some readable and/or intriguing stuff, e.g. on Charles Darwin, but your particular, well debunked, choice of anachronistic and inaccurate story to believe and post suggests to me that anyone whose intellectual standards allow them to rely on one of those list (usually of 10) sites should not pollute UR. Are you aware that people are paid $100 (with possibility of bonuses) for those lists?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 2:57 am GMT
@utu

You are wrong, not everybody demands the same quality, and Chinese provides different quality for different needs in the market. Besides you get what you paid for, it is fundamental principle of capitalism if you don't count the first principle of capitalism which is monopoly which is charge as much as you can bear and cost is irrelevant, that is not only cheating and it is also blackmailing and looting.

The video just claims but shows no proof what the guy claims. Chinese machinery and parts are taking more markets around the world, this simply fact proves the video is made out of bad faith, and pure propaganda.

Coins can stand up on Chinese High Speed Rail running more than 300km/hr, no German, Japanese or any other nation can do that, it proves the bearing quality in China HSR is unprecedented, it further proves the guys in the video is a troll out of jealous, resentful and fear Chinese achievements.

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:33 am GMT
@utu

hey kiddie,

Spare me all those China videos' [1]

In case you still havent noticed,
Im not here to defend China.
I allow its position below Germany is quite fair.

But,
Can you give me one good reason why UK , that agent provocateur extraordinaire , is so high up that honesty chart ?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:41 am GMT
@utu

In China you do not run until you make sure the victim is dead.

cuz you watch some videos from youtube,
forchrissake !

Can you give me some credible statistics , the percentage of such alleged crimes in China ?

How does such alleged crimes stack up against fukus state terrorism like double tapping , sniping at women and chidlren, obliterating the whole neighborhood of a suspect hideout just to make sure, ?

And .
How does this elevate fukus from its rightful position at the bottom of that honesty chart,
thats all I wanna know ?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 3:44 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

To think that I recently commended you for some improvement on your comprehension !
, now you go back to my bozo file,

Anonymous [216] Disclaimer , April 1, 2018 at 8:03 am GMT
@Joe Wong

It is propaganda. People tell me that the same stories were circulated when Japan was becoming a tech powerhouse. It will probably take another 5-10 years before it dissipates.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@denk

Don't avoid the issue. How do you justify your use of the word "aggressive"?

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 11:42 am GMT
@lavoisier

I merely point out the misconception about Christians supported by historical facts. Indian treats animals even worse while China has humane protection laws, it seems you are as impartial as utu.

Joe Wong , April 1, 2018 at 11:58 am GMT
@Anonymous

Chinese is not Japanese. Japanese only steals, their forte is made refinement on the stolen.

A lot of the American and British have been saying China will collapse 30 years already, you are one of them.

Wizard of Oz , April 1, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
Your first paragraph comes over as so silly that perhaps it shouldn't surprise that your second paragraph is, to say the least, extremely puzzling. Where did Anonymous [216] say or suggest that China eould collapse? The post you are replying to implies no such thing.
utu , April 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

After every of your visit by you at unz.com I keep wondering to what degree your primitive chauvinism is representative of China. How many millions primitive and hateful Joe Wongs are there? Then I wonder that perhaps you are not Chinese. That you are employed by enemies of China. That Chinese are too smart to show their cards that early in the game. If they really hate they would not show it because only fools show hate.

You, see I carry a positive stereotype of Chinese which is supported by my personal experience with them but you and your sidekick deng do everything possible to undermine it and change it into: Yes, Chinese can be really stupid and thus more dangerous than we thought. Watch, out for stupid and dangerous Chinese. Go to the Plan B: Poke NK and the Rocket Man more to the point that Japan get so paranoid that it starts arming itself with nukes. If there is to be a war let it start with the yellow races killing each other. They hate each other anyway. Ask Joe Wong if you have any doubts.

So what is it? Are you Chinese or an agent of revanchist militarist unreformed Chinese hating interests of Japanese imperialism? And then, if you are Chinese, how many more stupid ones like you are there?

denk , April 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
@utu

I carry a positive stereotype of Chinese which is supported by my personal experience

sic !

your sidekick deng

Ad hominem is the last resort of the scoundrel.

Why dont you try answering my questions kid ?

*How do you propose to get rid of that plague of the 21C ?

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/do-brighter-minds-incline-to-honesty/#comment-2267831

Why are you evading the issue but indulge in China bashing ?
Are you a diversion agent ?

*Do you agree that UK should be right at the bottom of that honesty chart ?

lavoisier , Website April 1, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

No. I am unimpressed with the morality of most humans and suspicious of attempts to paint ourselves as more virtuous than we are.

But there are certainly aspects of Christian morality that can serve as a framework to guide human behavior–wherever one lives or whoever you are.

Your diatribe blaming Christians for all the evil of the world is incredibly dishonest and naive.

Anonymous [442] Disclaimer , Website April 1, 2018 at 6:14 pm GMT
What is the difference in per capita income between southern europeans and scandinavians? I think this also plays a role.
Joe Wong , April 2, 2018 at 1:25 am GMT
@lavoisier

It seems your only defense for the Christians is denying historical facts, and stating something that Christians are not.

Naïve? Are you saying the crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes committed by the Christians were carefully planned, deeply thought through, determined and maturely decided like holocaust?

Bible is zero-sum based narrative, the fundamental dogma of Christianity is "you are either with us or you are with the devil" therefore all Christians have a mission to convert everyone else into "one of us" on the moral high ground with whatever means necessary, Christians believe whatever the Christians do it is necessary with good intention, even bombing, killing and waterboarding on the fabricated allegations is humanitarian intervention.

Christianity assumes humans are primitive and born evil, they need divine force to threaten (go to hell) them not to do harm, and it is tribal. While some other civilizations believe humans are sane, rational, intelligent and compassionate, humans do not need divine force to tell them how to behave properly in order to achieve peace, harmony, cooperation, development and mutual benefits, just logical explanation and some directions will be suffice.

If the past can be any reference, the crimes have been committed against humanity in the name of Christianity, it is doubtful that Christians have any morality, mind you it does not mean the Bible does not have good points in it, there are other way better ways and means to serve as a framework to guide human behaviour for the good.

Joe Wong , April 2, 2018 at 2:25 am GMT
@utu

Chauvinism is someone claims what he is not and based that false claim to demonize others what they are not on the moral high ground, this is what the West has been doing since 1492.

Stating facts does not involve emotion, so please refrain yourself from sensationalize any topic unnecessary that makes dialog on difficult issues impossible, Theresa May and Nikki Haley are not your role model to follow.

For over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources.

Before WWII, the American is just one of the Western imperialists ravaged and wreaked havoc of Asia with barbaric wars, illicit drugs like Opium, slavery, stealing, robbing, looting, plundering, murdering, torturing, exploiting, polluting, culture genocide, 'pious' fanaticism, unmatchable greed and extreme brutality. In fact it is hard to tell the difference between the American and the unrepentant war criminal Japanese who is more lethal and barbaric to Asians until the Pearl Harbour incident.

James Thompson , Website April 2, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
@utu

instructive comparison

lavoisier , Website April 2, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

If the past can be any reference, the crimes have been committed against humanity in the name of Christianity, it is doubtful that Christians have any morality

Do you really believe this???? No morality in any Christians?

You are even more locked into hate and racism than I thought possible.

Have you attended any of the lectures by the anti-racist Tim Wise??

You might get some talking points from him that can help you in your future postings.

And keep up the good work, you have a bright future in any number of our MSM outlets.

Daniel Chieh , April 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
@utu

And you have not even met the hardcore commies, who would like to explain that the only thing that Mao did wrong, terribly wrong was that he did not kill nearly enough people.

And the answer to your question is that there are idiots in every country and race, though in China they are mostly excluded from political positions(because insanity is not welcome), so they troll online message boards within and without China.

Like various other fanatics and crazies, they can be entertaining in the appropriate context. If you've been to Finland, he's the equivalent of the old drunk men yelling propositions at girls in some train stations of the small towns. Entertaining in small doses.

utu , April 2, 2018 at 7:57 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Entertaining in small doses.

I think I reached my limit dose of Joe Wong and deng already.

denk , April 3, 2018 at 4:46 am GMT
@utu

So you couldnt even give one good reason why UK should be on top of that 'honesty chart' eh ?

well I can give you 100 why UK should be right at the bottom,

Perfidious albions
exhibit one

How to ethnic cleanse an entire island ?
Declare the residents as tresspassers !

'What the files also reveal is an imperious attitude of brutality. In August 1966, Sir Paul Gore-Booth, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, wrote: "We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise was to get some rocks that will remain ours.

There will be no indigenous population except seagulls." At the end of this is a handwritten note by DH Greenhill, later Baron Greenhill:

"Along with the Birds go some Tarzans or Men Fridays " Under the heading, "Maintaining the fiction", another official urges his colleagues to reclassify the islanders as "a floating population" and to "make up the rules as we go along".

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2004/oct/02/foreignpolicy.comment

Perfidious albions at its best !

heheheheheh

I think I reached my limit dose of Joe Wong and deng already.

yEAH,
Scurry away with tail between your legs and declare victory,

that'd be
perfidious albions exhibit 2

hehehhehe

Chris2345 , April 3, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
@joe Wong You are a foolish, ignorant person. At least in regard to Christianity. The perpetrators of the holocaust and genocide are Christians? You absolutely have no clue about Christianity. Yes, they came from a Christian based culture but Nazis (and American war criminals) have nothing in common with Christianity. The best countries in the world are ones based on Protestant Christianity, meaning Christianity that is the closest to the Biblical teachings. I admire Chinese culture and history (especially the technology which benefited the West) but you need the ability to admit the faults of your culture which has some serious problems.
JackOH , April 4, 2018 at 9:53 am GMT
@Anonymous

Thanks for the concern, but the risk of harm to me was near zero. Numeracy and all that.

Vojkan , April 5, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
Though I am convinced that honesty is more rational in the long term than lying, I definitely don't believe that people with high IQ are more honest than those more modestly gifted with intellectual talent. Smart people just know better to juggle with fallacies so they are more likely to get away with it than dummies, that's all.
Logic does say that truth is lower maintenance, as it exists per se and is always consistent, and lies so they are not exposed need to be cared of constantly, as they are always intrinsically inconsistent with reality, but people are people, driven by the seven sins, of which greed and vanity are possibly the worst, with the former being more evenly distributed while the latter tends to affect the bright rather than the dim.
Logic and ethics are different categories. Equating them is a sign of, well, vanity.
TT , April 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm GMT
@utu

Only a moron equate honesty = quality using ball bearing as example. There are countries may be very honest like Bhutan, yet they don't produce high quality product.

The US top elites are very intelligent, are producing lots of quality products like Boeing plane & precision weapons for murdering everywhere, yet their politicians & bankers are known habitual liars, with British & French close behind, and Germans reluctantly.

Japanese is producing high quality products, look how frequently their politicians are caught outright lying, corrupted & nepotism, and researchers are now caught recently in their published papers using fake data, with big corporates like Toshiba, Nissan, Steel factories caught cheating systematically for long period.

Its true Germany make top notch quality, undisputed, better than Japan imo.

But look at the chart, beside Germany, who else is producing better ball bearings than China, or precision tools that run aerospace, manned space craft, rockets, 5th gen J20, satellites, nuclear plants(light water pebble), nuclear sub, FSR, a long list to go yet they are rated more honest than China.

Fyi, only 2 countries are able to produce precision steel ball bearings for tiny ball point pen tip, Germany & Japan. So China is importing billion of them for its ball point pen production annually.

Why can't China factory produce it? There was some uproar in China media over this last year. Guess what? Within a mth, some factory is churning out perfect ball bearings, but in better material – ceramic that is cheaper & longer lasting. And the producer explained, its not economical worth the effort & machining to produce those bearings as they cost only $200K p. a. to import. But for national pride, they do it.

And i highly suspect you are either from HK or Taiwan with some bad memory of old China that you simply like to smear China without taking a fairer stand that, out of 1.4B Chinese how many % is doing those crimes, vs 400M murkans more serious crimes.

The new generation Chinese should not be continuously viewed through old communist color lens & West propaganda, they are not responsible for the history but the future. Pres Xi is a good example, he is leading China to their peaceful rise now. He suffered in culture revolution, do you want to blame him for those history?

TT , April 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm GMT
This chart simply look so questionable. Why not include US, France, Oz, Canada, Bhutan, India, Brazil, Agentina, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, HK, Japan, Korea, HK, Taiwan, to give a wider comparison. And how the author do his samplings to derive this graph is very much questionable.

And to say brighter mind = honesty, just look at how honest are most world politicians that are generally top intellectuals of their cohort. I would say more wise = more honesty.

To use wallets returning as a test of honesty is also overly simplified. When a country is poor, these are godsend present unless they are true perfect communist.

As a country get wealthier, their people generally get better education & well off, become indoctrine with social norm of what is so called good behavior(persuaded by praise & blame). They are more inclined to return a wallet found with money that aren't so attractive to them compare to poor. But that can never be equate to genuine honest, im sure most US Pres & UK PM will return wallets.

Take UK as the most glaring example, with its brightest in parliament are consistently been outright shameless liars, such as Blairs lies for Iraq WMD war, and now May's lies of Skripal case, which all getting near unanimous support from their parliament members speak great volumes.

There is a Unz article written on how UK has been the mecca of paedophiles, global capital in grooming children for sexual exploitation, with systematic covered up over decades by their politicians because they & those powerful elites were all involved.

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-telford-child-sex-scandal-and-the-end-of-england/

Their police chief even suggested not to criminalize Britons watching/owned child porno as so high a proportion of their nation are doing will overwhelm their prisons & judicial system.

So what honesty are we talking about here, UK as over 60% honest? Even their moral value is highly questionable if you ask most UK white people.

And Malaysia getting 3rd highest honesty of near 80% is a great joke just shy from UK. Its one of well known highest crimes & corruption that the West themselves criticized much, even Spore ex-PM LKY openly condemn as violent crime infested. I never know violent criminal is honest, may be yes for the author country when compared to their politicians.

[Apr 08, 2018] Chris Hedges U.S. Citizens Are Living In An Inverted Totalitarian Country

Apr 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The mainstream media deflects attention from where power resides: corporations, not with the leaders of the free world. The arguments posed by Chris Hedges, that the U.S. is neither a democracy nor a republic but a totalitarian state that can now assassinate its citizens at will, are pertinent ones. Scary ones. Especially as consecutive governments seem equally as impotent to invoke any real change for the States. If the media won't stand up to the marionettes who pull the strings of the conglomerates causing deep, indelible polarisation in the world abound; then so we must act. Together.

Listen to the full interview in our weekly Newsvoice Think podcast.

We were delighted to have Chris Hedges on an episode of the Newsvoice Think podcast as we seek to broadcast perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. Right, left, red, blue and purple.

In our interview with Chris, we discussed a range of topics facing the U.S. today as the Trump administration looks back at a year in power, and forward to the November '18 midterms where Democrats will be looking to make gains. Chris was scathing of that party describing them as a "creature of Wall Street, which is choreographed and ceased to be a proper party a long time ago." As a columnist with Truthdig, and a big advocate of independent media. Chris Hedges was the perfect interviewee for us to draw on the benefits of crowdsourced journalism and the challenges facing sites at the mercy of Facebook, Google and Twitter algorithms.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/I0Lzmq8alBw

Chris's ire against the corporate interest of Facebook et al didn't let up saying dissident voices were being shut down and that corporate oligarchs were only too happy to let them. The neutralisation of the media platforms that seek to provide independent opinion on U.S. current affairs is in full pelt.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Im5zi2lcX8Y

North Korea was the hot topic in 2017. Commentators said it was like a return to the days of the Cold War. But Hedges pointed that we need to remember what happened during the Korean War  --  how the North was flattened by U.S. bombs  --  and that as a result they, as a nation, suffer from an almost psychosis as a result. Trump, he said, is an imbecile and only deals in bombast, threats and rhetoric.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iD2YGy56VAs

Not surprisingly, Trump got it hard from Hedges. Describing his administration as a "kleptocracy" who will seek to attack immigrants and up the xenophobia stakes as it distracts and covers for the unadulterated theft of U.S. natural resources.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0Ajr6WFf_SM

As young people look to estimable journalists, activists and politicians in the States to help give them a voice, Hedges sees the democratic system as utterly futile. Encouraging mass civil disobedience instead, the ex-NY Times foreign correspondent states that railroads should be blocked and shutting down corporate buildings, for example, is the only way forward.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hailNKOv2mw

The perennial argument between Republicans and Democrats is just that; is the U.S. a Republic or a Democracy? Hedges thinks neither. He told Newsvoice that the States is an inverted totalitarian country where the government regards the public as "irrelevant".

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uexNoNK2Xok

Unlike Ben Wizner from the ACLU who sees hope in delaying Net Neutrality, at least until a new administration is in power, Chris feels it is hopeless  --  that it is a dead duck, and as Net Neutrality slows down independent media platforms, the public will be at the behest of corporate social media sites such as Facebook who'll increasingly deem what you do and don't read or see.

You can read more of Chris' work at Truthdig where he has a weekly column every Monday.

[Mar 29, 2018] High Ranking CIA Agent Blows Whistle On The Deep State And Shadow Government

I have fuzzy feeling is that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4). Looks like Brennan machinations as a part of a larger trend.
So while those fears might look exaggerated, in no way they represent outlier in the spectrum of the opinion of the commentarial. There are also people like Kevin Shipp who might agree with me more then you do.
Moreover, the gradual shift toward some kind of "MIC leadership" was really noticeable in Trump administration just my the number of retired generals inhis administration. It might be just a beginning of the process of shifting the power, as military now are respected more then elected representatives. And CIA will be the key player is any such shift.
Existence of almost five million people with security clearance creates kind of "state within the state" situation. This is the point when quantity turns into quality.
Mar 29, 2018 | www.lewrockwell.com

Shipp expressed that the CIA was created through the Council on Foreign relations with no congressional approval, and historically the CFR is also tied into the mainstream media (MSM.) He elaborated that the CIA was the "central node" of the shadow government and controlled all of other 16 intelligence agencies despite the existence of the DNI. The agency also controls defense and intelligence contractors, can manipulate the president and political decisions, has the power to start wars, torture, initiate coups, and commit false flag attacks he said.

As Shipp stated, the CIA was created through executive order by then President Harry Truman by the signing of the National Security Act of 1947.

According to Shipp, the deep state is comprised of the military industrial complex, intelligence contractors, defense contractors, MIC lobbyist, Wall St (offshore accounts), Federal Reserve, IMF/World Bank, Treasury, Foreign lobbyists, and Central Banks.

In the shocking, explosive presentation, Shipp went on to express that there are "over 10,000 secret sites in the U.S." that formed after 9/11. There are "1,291 secret government agencies, 1,931 large private corporations and over 4,800,000 Americans that he knows of who have a secrecy clearance, and 854,000 who have Top Secret clearance, explaining they signed their lives away bound by an agreement.

[Mar 29, 2018] It's Not a Conspiracy Anymore; Public Belief in 'Deep State' Soars by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... The problem is CIA impunity. CIA uses it to make money -- and to make plutocrats and keep them in line. You don't like plutocrats? Good for you. Lock up some CIA scumbags, storm Langley and take the files, problem solved. ..."
Mar 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

CIA Imfrickinpunity , March 22, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT

This article is a tour de force of beating around the bush. It relates a campaign initiated and led by CIA DCI John Brennan, prosecuted with illegal secret government surveillance, coerced confessions, and suppressed investigation of the murder of Seth Rich. And it blames the Plutocrat Class.

How many divisions does the Plutocrat Class have? Does the Plutocrat Class have impunity for murder, torture, and denial of the rights of trial? Does the Plutocrat Class have anything like these get-out-jail-free cards?

The Central Intelligence Agency Act, which put CIA covert crime beyond the reach of any court. The Rogers-Houston MOU permitting the DCI to abort DoJ investigations with the magic words 'national security.'

The Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes the identity of CIA criminals a state secret. The operational files exemption to FOIA, which prohibits public scrutiny of evidence of CIA crime.

The 'political questions' judicial doctrine which stops judicial review of CIA crimes condoned, however vaguely or unwittingly, by Congress.

The article outlines criminal coup de main by domestic enemies, and sics us on cartoon Rich Uncle Pennybags.

Don't get wrapped around the axle overthinking some rock-paper-scissors transitivity relations of abstract political and economic power -- that's CIA-infiltrated Paris Review bullshit. Impunity beats money every time. To understand this, just watch what happens when a plutocrat gets in CIA's way. You see right away who's in charge. Plutocrat Ralph Nacchio learned his lesson, didn't he?

Plutocrat Elliot Spitzer learned his lesson. Dynastic plutocrats John and Bobby Kennedy didn't learn their lesson fast enough, but everybody else got the message.

The problem is CIA impunity. CIA uses it to make money -- and to make plutocrats and keep them in line. You don't like plutocrats? Good for you. Lock up some CIA scumbags, storm Langley and take the files, problem solved.

[Mar 28, 2018] Deep State and False Flag Attacks

Highly recommended!
Pretty interesting presentation; almost two hours long.
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

wayfarer , March 24, 2018 at 4:05 am GMT

"Deep State – False Flag Attacks"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNA4f45F5II

[Mar 28, 2018] You are quite right, Power Elite is more accurate description, but now that the term Deep State has reached common parlance, is it useful to try to rebrand them?

Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

RobinG , March 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm GMT

@Bardon Kaldian

You are quite right, Power Elite is more accurate description, but now that the term Deep State has reached common parlance, is it useful to try to rebrand them?

Well, perhaps, because what we have now is a general misidentification (misdirection!) of defining the Deep State. Some single out the Intel agencies, others blame think-tanks, some even blame career civil servants (the 'bureaucrat' smear). Are these accusers really gatekeepers for the deep money interests?

All the same, how would you do it, and is it worthwhile? We've had the same chatter about the Fake News, i.e. MSM vs. Legacy News vs. Corporate News vs. Big News, etc. Some good work is coming out under Deep State -

Misunderstanding the Deep State

CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All To Expose The Shadow Government

deschutes , March 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm GMT
The 'deep state' is not a 'conspiracy theory', it is a basic fact beyond debating. The deep state by definition means the USA's military industrial complex, i.e. all of the massive security agencies (Dept of Defense; CIA; State Dept; Pentagon; US Army; CentComm; Navy; Marines; NSA; NSC; etc) combined with their partners in the corporate sector who sell them the equipment: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, General Electric, SAIC, Huntington Ingalls, etc. The 'revolving door' between these two sectors is a key aspect of the deep state: top ranking brass leave public service to take top positions at these defense corporations, or become lobbyists for them to continue their multi-billion dollar contracts at the government trough. The top officials at the security agencies often have careers spanning decades: these people are 'the deep state' personified. Presidents come and go, they are window dressing. The deep state calls the shots.
jilles dykstra , March 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@deschutes

Maybe better to say 'Deep State shoots, and wants far more shooting'. Just this day a former member of the EU Commission, he did Foreign Affairs, retired, appeared on the leading German tv channel, with deep doubts about May's assertions, and deep concern where the anti Russia propaganda will lead to.

He had negotiated with Putin, who he described a very rational man. He still was quite emotional about the western lies that lead to the attack on Iraq.

BBC, or BBCW, did not watch it myself, broadcast the same interview, also, today. One cannot fool all people for all times.

ValmMond , March 28, 2018 at 5:57 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

BS. The "power elite" in the US is associated with a clearly identifiable group, which doesn't even hide its own tribal interest and allegiances. A parasite lodged in a host. Its messianic DNA slowly unfolds and takes over the host's vital functions. Loss of identity and cognitive ability are only phases preceding total destruction. The complicit host is apparently fully and gleefully embracing its fate.

AnonFromTN , March 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm GMT
It takes a lot of effort to make the public believe the obvious. Deep state succeeded after so many years.
utu , March 28, 2018 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian

Yeah. Distract them with the race issue. Kill extra couple of blacks. Provoke riots. Seen some money to BLM. And have the right and alt-right and all Sailers write about race , IQ until they dissipate all energy they got.

bluedog , March 28, 2018 at 7:08 pm GMT
@El Dato

If you don't you didn't live while he was president or don't read enough, probably both for you won't find it in the comic books

Art , March 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT

It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people.

How far-off it it to naming the Jews as the powerbrokers?

How far-off is the JQ – one year – two, three, four?

Think Peace -- - Do No Harm -- Art

bluedog , March 28, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Lol yep here we go again it must be Russia and Putin,I sure hope nothing happens to either, for if it did you would have nothing to live for,that grand place you live in would be awful lonesome with out either to whine about ,.

Herald , March 28, 2018 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Bobsyer

It seems you may have missed the main thrust of the article. It is that the Deep State is directing what Trump does or doesn't do. Trump may not like what he is doing but he has little choice but to eat crap and comfort himself with vacuous bluster on Twitter.

jacques sheete , March 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm GMT
Deep state? Sounds like what they called "corporate state" a century ago, especially since there's little hidden and nothing profound about it. Should be called "mafia state."
Jake , March 28, 2018 at 8:41 pm GMT
@ValmMond

The Deep State wielded preponderant power over this nation at least by the time Lincoln was buried, and its main actors then were virtually all pure WASPs (the non-Wasps were all Protestants of Continental Germanic ancestry, some of them Saxons, as was Martin Luther).

Jews didn't become the major power in the US Deep State until well after WW2. Probably after the assassination of JFK. Of course, you also need to face the many implications of the facts that Anglo-Saxon Puritanism was a Judaizing heresy and that archetypal Mr. WASP himself Oliver Cromwell made the alliance with Jews concrete.

WASP culture is doing what it always was meant to do.

jacques sheete , March 28, 2018 at 8:58 pm GMT
Deep state my tusch. Trump appointed Bolton because Republicans desperately need Adelson's money

http://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/appointed-republicans-desperately/

How "deep" izzat?

Realist , March 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

Yes, I agree, and the biggest sham of all is that somehow the US is SUPPOSED to be a democracy.

The US is neither a Democracy or a Republic .it is an oligarchy.

renfro , March 28, 2018 at 11:14 pm GMT
The Deep State was called The Shadow Government in the 9o's.

And its the same thing it always was people and groups with ideologies or money interest or power interest or foreign interest ..all trying to direct the government to serve their interest.

And for the most part they have been successful in doing that.

[Mar 28, 2018] Power elite is, in most modern countries, comprised of big money (different sources in different lands), dominant media controllers of intellectual discourse through academia, military infrastructure plus professional politicians, various intelligence agencies etc.

Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

Bardon Kaldian , March 28, 2018 at 10:49 am GMT

I don't think that "deep state" is a correct term or that "unelected officials" are so crucial.

What you got here is typical of any country: power elite . This elite is, in most modern countries, comprised of big money (different sources in different lands), dominant media & controllers of intellectual discourse through academia, military infrastructure plus professional politicians, various intelligence agencies etc.

Only, the power elite is not eternally homogeneous & can be engaged in internal warfare, and sometimes collapse.

That's how world functions. What's new?

[Mar 28, 2018] It's Not a Conspiracy Anymore; Public Belief in 'Deep State' Soars by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Monmouth University Poll ..."
"... It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is. ..."
"... So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. ..."
"... There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats ..."
"... Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office. ..."
"... Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement. ..."
"... And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about ..."
Mar 28, 2018 | www.unz.com

On Monday, the Monmouth University Polling Institute released the results of a survey that found that "a large bipartisan majority feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a 'Deep State' of unelected government officials .. [1] Public Troubled By Deep State, Monmouth University Polling Institute

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 2 to 5, 2018 with 803 adults in the United States. The results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/m...31918/

According to the survey:" 6-in-10 Americans (60%) feel that unelected or appointed government officials have too much influence in determining federal policy. Just 26% say the right balance of power exists between elected and unelected officials in determining policy. Democrats (59%), Republicans (59%) and independents (62%) agree that appointed officials hold too much sway in the federal government. ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

The survey appears to confirm that democracy in the United States is largely a sham. Our elected representatives are not the agents of political change, but cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine that operates mainly in the interests of the behemoth corporations and banks. Surprisingly, most Americans have not been taken in by the media's promotional hoopla about elections and democracy. They have a fairly-decent grasp of how the system works and who ultimately benefits from it. Check it out:

" Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term "Deep State ;" another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term. However, when the term is described as a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy, nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist." Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group "

So while the cable news channels dismiss anyone who believes in the "Deep State" as a conspiracy theorist, it's clear that the majority of people think that's how the system really works, that is, "a group of unelected government and military officials secretly manipulate or direct national policy."

It's impossible to overstate the significance of the survey. The data suggest that representative democracy is a largely a fraud, that congressmen and senators are mostly sock-puppets who do the bidding of wealthy powerbrokers, and that the entire system is impervious to the will of the people. These are pretty damning results and a clear indication of how corrupt the system really is.

The Monmouth survey also found that "A majority of the American public believe that the U.S. government engages in widespread monitoring of its own citizens and worry that the U.S. government could be invading their own privacy." .

"Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%)who say this activity is widespread Few Americans (18%) say government monitoring or spying on U.S. citizens is usually justified, with most (53%) saying it is only sometimes justified. Another 28% say this activity is rarely or never justified ." ("Public Troubled by 'Deep State", Monmouth.edu)

So, along with the fact, that most Americans think democracy is a pipe-dream, a clear majority also believe that the country has changed into a frightening, lock-down police state in which government agents gather all-manner of electronic communications on everyone without the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing. Once again, the data suggests that the American people know what is going on, know that the US has gone from a reasonably free country where civil liberties were protected under the law, to a state-of-the-art surveillance state ruled by invisible elites who see the American people as an obstacle to their global ambitions–but their awareness has not evolved into an organized movement for change. In any event, the public seems to understand that the USG is not as committed to human rights and civil liberties as the media would have one believe. That's a start.

There's no doubt in my mind that the relentless attacks on Donald Trump have reinforced the public's belief that the country is controlled by an invisible group of elites whose agents in the bureaucracy follow their diktats. From the time Trump became the GOP presidential nominee more than 18 months ago, a powerful faction of the Intelligence Community, law enforcement (FBI) and even elements form the Obama DOJ, have vigorously tried to sabotage his presidency, his credibility and his agenda. Without a scintilla of hard evidence to make their case, this same group and their dissembling allies in the media, have cast Trump as a disloyal collaborator who conspired to win the election by colluding with a foreign government. The magnitude of this fabrication is beyond anything we've seen before in American political history, and the absence of any verifiable proof makes it all the more alarming. As it happens, the Deep State is so powerful it can wage a full-blown assault on the highest elected office in the country without even showing probable cause. In other words, the president of the United States is not even accorded the same rights as a common crook. How does that happen?

Over the weekend, former CIA Director and "Russia-gate" ringleader John Brennan fired off an angry salvo at Trump on his Twitter account. Here's what he said:

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America America will triumph over you."

Doesn't Brennan's statement help to reinforce the public's belief in the Deep State? How does a career bureaucrat who has never been elected to public office decide that it is appropriate to use the credibility of his former office to conduct a pitch-battle with the President of the United States?

Brennan says "America will triumph over you." But whose America is he talking about? The American people elected Trump, he is the legitimate president of the United States. Many people may not like his policies, but they respect the system that put him in office.

Not so, Brennan. Brennan and his cadres of rogue agents have been at war with Trump since Day 1. Brennan does not accept the results of the election because it did not produce the outcome that he and his powerful constituents wanted. Brennan wants to destroy Trump. He even admits as much in his statement.

And Brennan has been given a platform on the cable news channels so he can continue his assault on the presidency, not because he can prove that Trump is guilty of collusion or obstruction or whatever, but because the people who own the media have mobilized their deep state agents to carry out their vendetta to remove Trump from office by any means possible.

This is the "America" of which Brennan speaks. Not my America, but deep state America.

And why do Brennan and his fatcat allies hate Trump so much? They don't. Because it's not really about Trump. It's about the presidency, the highest office in the land. The US Plutocrat Class honestly believe that they are entitled to govern the country that they physically own. It's theirs, they own it and they are taking it back. That's what this is all about

... ... ...

[Mar 27, 2018] Integrity Has Vanished From The West by Paul Craig Roberts,

Mar 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored Among Western political leaders there is not an ounce of integrity or morality . The Western print and TV media is dishonest and corrupt beyond repair. Yet the Russian government persists in its fantasy of "working with Russia's Western partners." The only way Russia can work with crooks is to become a crook. Is that what the Russian government wants?

Finian Cunningham notes the absurdity in the political and media uproar over Trump (belatedly) telephoning Putin to congratulate him on his reelection with 77 percent of the vote, a show of public approval that no Western political leader could possibly attain. The crazed US senator from Arizona called the person with the largest majority vote of our time "a dictator." Yet a real blood-soaked dictator from Saudi Arabia is feted at the White House and fawned over by the president of the United States.

The Western politicians and presstitutes are morally outraged over an alleged poisoning, unsupported by any evidence, of a former spy of no consequence on orders by the president of Russia himself. These kind of insane insults thrown at the leader of the world's most powerful military nation -- and Russia is a nation, unlike the mongrel Western countries -- raise the chances of nuclear Armageddon beyond the risks during the 20th century's Cold War. The insane fools making these unsupported accusations show total disregard for all life on earth. Yet they regard themselves as the salt of the earth and as "exceptional, indispensable" people.

Think about the alleged poisoning of Skirpal by Russia. What can this be other than an orchestrated effort to demonize the president of Russia? How can the West be so outraged over the death of a former double-agent, that is, a deceptive person, and completely indifferent to the millions of peoples destroyed by the West in the 21st century alone. Where is the outrage among Western peoples over the massive deaths for which the West, acting through its Saudi agent, is responsible in Yemen? Where is the Western outrage among Western peoples over the deaths in Syria? The deaths in Libya, in Somalia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan? Where is the outrage in the West over the constant Western interference in the internal affairs of other countries? How many times has Washington overthrown a democratically-elected government in Honduras and reinstalled a Washington puppet?

The corruption in the West extends beyond politicians, presstitutes, and an insouciant public to experts. When the ridiculous Condi Rice, national security adviser to president George W. Bush, spoke of Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction sending up a nuclear cloud over an American city, experts did not laugh her out of court. The chance of any such event was precisely zero and every expert knew it, but the corrupt experts held their tongues. If they spoke the truth, they knew that they would not get on TV, would not get a government grant, would be out of the running for a government appointment. So they accepted the absurd lie designed to justify an American invasion that destroyed a country.

This is the West. There is nothing but lies and indifference to the deaths of others. The only outrage is orchestrated and directed against a target: the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Iran, Assad, Russia and Putin, and against reformist leaders in Latin America. The targets for Western outrage are always those who act independently of Washington or who are no longer useful to Washington's purposes.

The quality of people in Western governments has collapsed to the very bottom of the barrel. The British actually have a person, Boris Johnson, as Foreign Secretary, who is so low-down that a former British ambassador has no compunction in calling him a categorical liar. The British lab Porton Down, contrary to Johnson's claim, has not identified the agent associated with the attack on Skirpal as a Russian novichok agent. Note also that if the British lab is able to identify a novichok agent, it also has the capability of producing it, a capability that many countries have as the formulas were published years ago in a book.

That the novichok poisoning of Skirpal is an orchestration is obvious. The minute the event occurred the story was ready. With no evidence in hand, the British government and presstitute media were screaming "the Russians did it." Not content with that, Boris Johnson screamed "Putin did it." In order to institutionalize fear and hatred of Russia into British consciousness, British school children are being taught that Putin is like Hitler.

Orchestrations this blatant demonstrate that Western governments have no respect for the intelligence of their peoples. That Western governments get away with these fantastic lies indicates that the governments are immune to accountability. Even if accountability were possible, there is no sign that Western peoples are capable of holding their governments accountable. As Washington drives the world to nuclear war, where are the protests? The only protest is brainwashed school children protesting the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment.

Western democracy is a hoax. Consider Catalonia. The people voted for independence and were denounced for doing so by European politicians. The Spanish government invaded Catalonia alleging that the popular referendum, in which people expressed their opinion about their own future, was illegal. Catalonian leaders are in prison awaiting trial, except for Carles Puigdemont who escaped to Belgium. Now Germany has captured him on his return to Belgium from Finland where he lectured at the University of Hesinki and is holding him in jail for a Spanish government that bears more resemblance to Francisco Franco than to democracy. The European Union itself is a conspiracy against democracy.

The success of Western propaganda in creating non-existent virtues for itself is the greatest public relations success in history. Tags Politics

[Mar 23, 2018] http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2018/4512_poisoning_brit_desperate.html

Notable quotes:
"... [ Print version of this article ] ..."
"... A short statement of the reasons why the British are now staging the Skripal provocation can be found in a March 14 London Daily Telegraph call to arms by Allister Heath, who rants: "We need a new world order to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China. Such an alliance would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China. Britain needs a new role in the world; building such a network would be our perfect mission." Across the pond, as they say, a similar foundational statement was made by 68 former Obama Administration officials who have formed a group called National Security Action, aimed at securing Trump's impeachment and attacking Russia and China. ..."
"... China's "Belt and Road Initiative" now encompasses more than 140 nations in the largest infrastructure-building project ever undertaken in human history. This project is a true economic engine for the future. At the same time, the neo-liberal economies of the trans-Atlantic region continue to see their productive potentials sucked dry by the massive piles of debt they have created since the 2008 financial collapse. ..."
"... Just look at the events of February and March from this standpoint. It is no accident that Christopher Steele turns up, smack dab in the middle of the Skripal poisoning hoax. ..."
"... None of the true facts about the actual motive for, and sponsors of, the DOJ applications involving Carter Page were revealed to the FISA Court in the filings made by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Director James Comey, or current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. ..."
"... Since Steele has been discredited in the United States, a huge fawning publicity campaign has been undertaken on his behalf. The campaign involves journalists who have collaborated directly with Steele in his smear job against Trump. Books by Luke Harding and Michael Isikoff seek to rebuild Steele's reputation. ..."
"... A fawning piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, as implausible as it is long, has been foisted on the public for the same reason. ..."
"... Steele described his business to Luke Harding as primarily providing research and reports to competing and feuding Russian oligarchs, many of whom use London as a base of operations. This is obviously a perfect cover for intelligence operations. It is also a very violent theater of operations. The oligarchs intersect both Western intelligence operations and Russian organized crime. They engage in deadly gang warfare. ..."
"... Steele and his partners are mentored by Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 and a critical player in the infamous "sexing up" and fabrication of the claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, ..."
"... Steele had been tasked to claim that Russia was interfering in Western elections during the entire post-Ukraine coup time-frame, when this black propaganda line began to be circulated widely. ..."
"... The background to Porton Down's reluctance, is of course former Prime Minister Blair's phony dossier on Iraqi WMD, which Lyndon LaRouche fought, alongside the late British arms expert David Kelly, who exposed the "dodgy dossier," at the time. ..."
"... Thus, after being disclosed by a dissident Russian chemist living in the United States, novichoks have been widely copied by other countries, according to the press accounts. ..."
"... The insane McCarthyite reactions to Corbyn's simple statements of fact show that he hit the nail on the head. If you want to find Skripal's poisoners, then, like Edgar Allen Poe, you must take in the whole picture first. The field of play involves the British intelligence services and the anti-Putin Russian oligarchs, each of which services the other, acting on behalf of British strategic objectives. It is no accident that the coup against Donald Trump and the latest British intelligence fraud, putting the entire world in peril, absolutely intersect one another. ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.larouchepub.com

Skripal Poisoning a Desperate British Attempt To Resurrect Their American Coup

by Barbara Boyd

[ Print version of this article ]

March 18 -- In this report, we will explore the strategic significance of major events in the world starting in February 2018. Our goal is to precisely situate British Prime Minister Theresa May's March 12-14 mad effort to manufacture a new "weapons of mass destruction" hoax based on the alleged Skripal poisoning, using the same people (the MI6 intelligence grouping around Sir Richard Dearlove) and script (an intelligence fraud concerning weapons of mass destruction) which were used to draw the United States into the disastrous Iraq War.

The Skripal poisoning fraud also directly involves British agent Christopher Steele, the central figure in the ongoing coup against Donald Trump. This time the British information warfare operation is aimed at directly provoking Russia, while maintaining the targeting of the U.S. population and President Trump.

As the fevered, war-like media coverage and hysteria surrounding the case make clear, a certain section of the British elite seems prepared to risk everything on behalf of its dying imperial system. Despite the hype, economic warfare and sanctions appear to be the British weapons of choice -- Vladimir Putin, as we shall see, recently called the West's nuclear bluff. With the British "Russiagate" coup against Donald Trump fizzling, exposing British agent Christopher Steele and a slew of his American friends to criminal prosecution, a new tool was desperately needed to back the President of the United States into the British geopolitical corner shared by most of the American establishment. The tool they are using to do this is an intelligence hoax, a tried-and-true British product.

According to the British spy tale, a former Russian military intelligence colonel, Sergei Skripal, who spied for Great Britain in Russia from the early 1990s until 2004, was poisoned, along with his daughter, on March 4 in Salisbury, England, using a nerve agent "of a type developed by Russia." In 2010, Skripal had been exchanged in a spy swap between the United States and Russia. He had served six years in a Russian prison for spying for Britain. He had been living in the open in Britain for the last eight years. Skripal's MI6 recruiter and handler, Pablo Miller, listed himself as a consultant to Orbis Business Intelligence, Christopher Steele's British company, on his LinkedIn profile. When the London Daily Telegraph called attention to the Orbis reference, it was removed from the profile. Steele, who worked on the Trump dossier through his company Orbis, has denied that Miller worked directly on that dossier.

Theresa May and her foreign minister, Boris Johnson, insist there is only one person who could be responsible for the poisoning -- described as an act of war -- and that person is Vladimir Putin. No evidence has been offered to support this claim. No plausible motive has been provided as to why Putin would order such a provocative murder now, ahead of the World Cup, when the Russiagate coup in the United States has lost all momentum. Rather than following the protocols of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which require that evidence of the alleged agent be presented to Russia, the eccentric and unpopular May instead delivered an ultimatum to Russia, and whipped up war fever throughout the UK. She now seeks to pull Donald Trump and NATO into ever more aggressive moves against Russia.

Thus, as with Christopher Steele's dirty dossier against Donald Trump, the British claims against Putin are an evidence-free exercise of raw power. The Anglo-American establishment instructs us: "trust this, ignore the stinky factless content presented in this dossier -- just note that it is backed by very important intelligence agencies which could cook your goose if you object."

A short statement of the reasons why the British are now staging the Skripal provocation can be found in a March 14 London Daily Telegraph call to arms by Allister Heath, who rants: "We need a new world order to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China. Such an alliance would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China. Britain needs a new role in the world; building such a network would be our perfect mission." Across the pond, as they say, a similar foundational statement was made by 68 former Obama Administration officials who have formed a group called National Security Action, aimed at securing Trump's impeachment and attacking Russia and China.

Russia and China have embarked on a massive infrastructure building project in Eurasia, the center of all British geopolitical fantasies since the time of Halford Mackinder. China's "Belt and Road Initiative" now encompasses more than 140 nations in the largest infrastructure-building project ever undertaken in human history. This project is a true economic engine for the future. At the same time, the neo-liberal economies of the trans-Atlantic region continue to see their productive potentials sucked dry by the massive piles of debt they have created since the 2008 financial collapse. This debt is now on a hair trigger for implosion. It is estimated by banking insiders that the City of London is sitting on a derivatives powderkeg of $700 trillion, with over-the-counter derivatives accounting for another $570 trillion. The City of London will bear the major impact of the coming derivatives collapse.

In this strategic geometry, President Trump's support for peaceful collaboration with Russia during the campaign, and his personal friendship with China's President Xi Jinping, have marked him for the relentless coup-drive waged by the British and their U.S. friends.

On top of that, President Putin delivered a mammoth strategic shock on March 1, showing new Russian weapons systems based on new physical principles, which render present U.S. ABM systems and much of current U.S. war-fighting doctrine obsolete, together with the vaunted first strike capacity with which NATO has surrounded Russia. Not only is the West sitting on a new financial collapse, its vaunted military superiority has just been flanked.

It is very clear that a strategic choice now confronts the human race. In 1984, Lyndon LaRouche wrote a very profound document, " Draft Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. " In it, he developed the concrete basis for peace between the two superpowers at the moment when the United States had adopted the LaRouche/Reagan doctrine of strategic defense. Both Reagan and LaRouche had proposed that the Russians and the United States cooperate in building and developing strategic defense against offensive nuclear weapons, based on new physical principles, thereby eliminating the threat of nuclear annihilation.

According to the LaRouche Doctrine, "The political foundation for durable peace must be: a) the unconditional sovereignty of each and all nation states, and b) cooperation among sovereign states to the effect of promoting unlimited opportunities to participate in the benefits of technological progress, to the mutual benefit of each and all."

Both China, in President Xi's October Address to the Party Congress, and Russia, in Putin's March 1 address to the Federal Assembly, have set a course to produce technological progress capable of being shared in by all. They both outline major infrastructure projects and dedicating massive funding to exploring the frontiers of science, technology, and space exploration. Donald Trump, in both his campaign and his presidency, has embraced similar views. The British and their American friends, however, are devotees of a completely different and failing economic system, a system soundly rejected in Brexit, in the election of Donald Trump, and most recently in the Italian elections.

Just look at the events of February and March from this standpoint. It is no accident that Christopher Steele turns up, smack dab in the middle of the Skripal poisoning hoax.

Exposure of British as U.S. Election Meddlers Weakens Anti-Trump Coup

On Feb. 2, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a memo demonstrating that the Obama Justice Department and FBI committed an outright fraud on the FISA court in obtaining surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a volunteer for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The bogus warrant applications relied heavily on the dirty British dossier authored by MI6's "former" Russian intelligence chief, Christopher Steele, who had been paid by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee to paint Donald Trump as a Manchurian candidate -- as a pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to the House Intelligence memo and other aspects of its investigation, Steele confided to Bruce Ohr, a high official in the DOJ, that he, Steele, hated Trump with a passion and would do "anything" to prevent Trump's election. Steele was using the fact of an FBI investigation of his allegations as part of a "full spectrum" British information warfare campaign conducted against candidate Trump with the full complicity of Obama's intelligence chiefs. (See Peter Van Buren, " Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 U.S. Election? " The American Conservative, February 15, 2018.) None of the true facts about the actual motive for, and sponsors of, the DOJ applications involving Carter Page were revealed to the FISA Court in the filings made by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Director James Comey, or current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The House Intelligence Committee memo was quickly followed by a declassified letter on Feb. 5, in which Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsay Graham referred Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution, based on false statements he made to the FBI about his contacts with the news media. No doubt the criminal referral sent chills down the spines not only of Christopher Steele and his British colleagues, but also of those former Obama officials conspiring against Trump.

In the same week, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes announced that he would be conducting investigations into the role of the Obama State Department and intelligence chiefs in the circulation and use of Christopher Steele's dirty dossier. These investigations have been widely reported to focus on John Brennan and James Clapper -- Brennan for widely promoting the dirty British work product, and Clapper for leaks associated with BuzzFeed's publication and legitimization of the dirty British work product. Remind yourself every time you hear media explosions against Trump by either Clapper (congressional perjurer and proponent of the theory that the Russians are genetically predisposed to screw the United States) or Brennan (gopher for George Tenet's perpetual war and torture regime and Grand Inquisitor for Barack Obama's serial
assassinations by baseball card). They are next in the barrel, so to speak.

The January 11, 2017 BuzzFeed publication of the Steele dossier was meant to permanently poison Trump's incoming administration, and is the subject of libel suits both in Florida and London. In the London case, the British are ready to invoke the Official Secrets Act to protect Christopher Steele. In the Florida case, Steele has been ordered to sit for deposition despite numerous delays and stalling tactics.

The Congressional investigation of the State Department is focused on John Kerry, Kerry's aide Jonathan Winer, Victoria Nuland, and Clinton operative Cody Shearer. Nuland utilized Christopher Steele as a primary intelligence source while running the U.S. regime change operations in Ukraine in alliance with neo-Nazis. She greenlighted Steele's initial meetings with the FBI about Donald Trump. Winer deployed himself to vouch for Steele to various news publications collaborating with British agent Steele and his U.S. employer, Fusion GPS, in Steele's media warfare operations against Trump.

Horowitz's report on the Clinton investigations -- which have already unearthed the texts between former Russiagate lead case agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, proclaiming their hatred of Donald Trump and the need for an "insurance policy" against his election -- is expected to be released very soon. According to the House Intelligence Committee, the Strzok/Page texts also reveal that Strzok was a close friend of U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras. Contreras sits on the FISA court, took Michael Flynn's guilty plea, and then promptly recused himself from Michael Flynn's case for reasons which remain undisclosed.

Despite its exoneration of the President and thorough discrediting of the British Steele operation, the House Intelligence Committee dangerously accepts the myth that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, and then provided the hacked information to WikiLeaks for publication. Its final report states, however, that Putin's intervention was not in support of Donald Trump, as previously claimed by Obama's intelligence chiefs. The Senators seeking a new Special Counsel also salute this dangerous fraud.

As we have previously reported, the myth that Putin hacked the Democrats and provided the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, has been substantively refuted by the investigations of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). In summary, the evidence points to a leak rather than a hack in the case of the DNC. Further, the NSA would have the evidence of any such hack or hacks, according to former NSA technical director Bill Binney, and would have provided it, even if in a classified setting. It is clear that the NSA has no such evidence. It is also clear that the United States and the British have cyber warfare capabilities fully capable of creating "false flag" cyber war incidents.

North Korea Talks Planned, While Russia and China Continue to Create the Conditions for a New Human Renaissance

In addition to the fizzling of the coup, the Western elites suffered through February and March for additional reasons. To the shock of the entire, smug Davos crowd, Donald Trump, working with Russia, China, and South Korea, appears to have gotten Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table concerning denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Substantive talks have been scheduled for May. The breakthrough was announced by President Trump and South Korea on March 8.

On March 1, President Putin gave his historic two-hour address to the Russian Federal Assembly and the Russian people. Like President Xi's address to the Chinese Party Congress in October 2017, Putin focused on the goal of deeply reducing poverty in Russian society. Xi vowed in October to eliminate poverty from Chinese society altogether by 2020. In addition, Putin emphasized that Russia would undertake a huge city-building project across its vast rural frontiers and dramatically expand its modern infrastructure, including Russia's digital infrastructure. He put major emphasis on directing funds to basic scientific and technological progress. He emphasized that harnessing and stimulating the creative powers of individual human beings is the true driver of all economic progress.

China's Belt and Road Initiative also continued to advance. Great infrastructure projects are popping up throughout the world, including most specifically in Africa, which had been consigned to be a permanent, primitive looting-ground for Western interests. Among the recent breakthroughs is the great project to refill Lake Chad, a project known as "Transaqua," involving the Italian engineering firm Bonifica, the Chinese engineering and construction firm PowerChina, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which represents the African countries directly benefiting from the project. But the biggest strategic news of the last six weeks was contained in the last part of President Putin's speech. He showed various weapons, developed by Russian scientists in the wake of the U.S. abrogation of the ABM treaty and the Anglo-American campaign of color revolutions and NATO base-building in the former Soviet bloc. These weapons, based on new physical principles, render U.S. ABM defenses obsolete, together with many U.S. utopian war-fighting doctrines developed under the reigns of Obama and Bush. Putin emphasized that the economic and "defense" aspects of his speech were not separate. Rather, the scientific breakthroughs were based on an in-depth economic mobilization of the physical economy. He stressed that Russia's survival was dependent upon marshalling continuous creative breakthroughs in basic science and the high-technology spinoffs which result, and their propagation through the entire population. He stressed that such breakthroughs are the product of providing an actually human existence to the entire society.

Compare what Russia and China have set out to accomplish with respect to the physical economy of the Earth, with the second and third paragraphs of Lyndon LaRouche's prescription for a durable peace in the LaRouche Doctrine:

The most crucial feature of present implementation of such a policy of durable peace is a profound change in the monetary, economic, and political relations between dominant powers and those relatively subordinated nations often classed as "developing nations." Unless the inequities lingering in the aftermath of modern colonialism are progressively remedied, there can be no durable peace on this planet.

Insofar as the United States and the Soviet Union acknowledge the progress of the productive powers of labor throughout the planet to be in the vital strategic interests of each and both, the two powers are bound to that degree and in that way by a common interest. This is the kernel of the political and economic policies of practice indispensable to the fostering of a durable peace between those two powers.

This is the perspective which has the British terrified and acting-out, insanely. Were Trump, Putin, and Xi to enter into negotiations based on the LaRouche Doctrine, a breakthrough will have occurred for all of mankind, a breakthrough to a permanent and durable peace. No neo-liberal, post-industrial, unipolar order can match this, no matter how much Allister Heath, Ms. May, or Boris Johnson rant and rave about it.

Christopher Steele's British Playground

As is well known by now, Christopher Steele was a long-time MI6 agent before "retiring" to form his own extremely lucrative private intelligence firm. The firm is said to have earned $200 million since its formation. Steele was an MI6 agent in Moscow around the time Skripal was recruited. He also later ran the MI6 Russia desk and would have known everything there was to know about Skripal. Pablo Miller, who recruited Skripal, worked for Steele's firm according to Miller's LinkedIn profile, and lived in the same town as Skripal.

Since Steele has been discredited in the United States, a huge fawning publicity campaign has been undertaken on his behalf. The campaign involves journalists who have collaborated directly with Steele in his smear job against Trump. Books by Luke Harding and Michael Isikoff seek to rebuild Steele's reputation.

A fawning piece by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker, as implausible as it is long, has been foisted on the public for the same reason.

There are some fascinating facts, however, in all this fawning prose:

Leaving aside Sergei Skripal's relationship with the central figure in the British-led coup against Donald Trump, it is clear that the May government's claim that he and his daughter were poisoned by a "novichok" nerve-agent, even if it is true, by no means makes a case that Putin's government was responsible. (It is of interest that as we were going to press on March 19, the foreign ministers of the European Union, after a briefing by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that indicted Putin as responsible, issued a statement which condemned the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, but pointedly failed to blame Putin or Russia.)

Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who maintains contacts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote March 16 that Britain's chemical-warfare scientists at Porton Down, "are not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation of a type developed by Russia, after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the novichok program, a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilizers. This substance is a novichok in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China."

The background to Porton Down's reluctance, is of course former Prime Minister Blair's phony dossier on Iraqi WMD, which Lyndon LaRouche fought, alongside the late British arms expert David Kelly, who exposed the "dodgy dossier," at the time.

"To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days," Murray continues. "The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation of a type developed by Russia was used by Theresa May in Parliament, used by the U.K. at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, 'of a type developed by Russia,' is the precise phrase used in the joint communique‚ issued by the U.K., U.S.A., France, and Germany yesterday."

The main account of the chemical weapons cited by Theresa May was written by a Soviet dissident chemist named Vil Mirzayanov who now lives in the United States and published a book about his work at the Soviets' Uzbekistan chemical-warfare laboratory. In his much-publicized book, Mirzayanov sets out the formulas for the claimed substances. According to the March 16 Wall Street Journal, that publicity led to the novichoks' chemical structure being leaked, making them readily available for reproduction elsewhere. Ralf Trapp, a France-based consultant and expert on the control of chemical and biological weapons, told the Journal, "The chemical formula has been publicized and we know from publications from then-Czechoslovakia that they had worked on similar agents for defense in the 1980s. I'm sure other countries with developed programs would have as well."

But it does not seem that those "other countries" include Russia. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the independent agency charged by treaty with investigating claims like those just made by the British government, certified in September 2017 that the Russian government had destroyed its entire chemical weapons program, inclusive of its nerve agent production capabilities. In addition to Trapp's account, Seamus Martin, writing in the March 14 Irish Times, posits, based on personal knowledge, that novichoks were widely expropriated by East Bloc oligarchs and criminal elements in the Russian economic chaos of the 1990s.

Thus, after being disclosed by a dissident Russian chemist living in the United States, novichoks have been widely copied by other countries, according to the press accounts.

Further trouble for May's attempted hoax is found in the condition of the Skripals and of a police officer who went to their home. All were made critically ill, although they are still alive. Yet the emergency personnel who treated the Skripals, allegedly the victims of a deadly and absolutely lethal nerve poison, suffered no ill effects whatsoever.

The Skripal poisoning is being compared in the British press to the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. The former KGB and FSB officer was granted asylum in London and worked for the infamous anti-Putin British-intelligence-directed oligarch Boris Berezovsky in information warfare and other attacks on the Russian state, inclusive of McCarthyite accusations against any European politician seeking sane relations with Putin.

Litvinenko's case officer was none other than Christopher Steele, and Christopher Steele conducted MI6's investigation of the case, which, of course, found Putin himself culpable. Berezovsky's use of the disgraced British PR firm Bell, Pottinger is also credited with a significant role in public acceptance of this result. Berezovsky was a prime suspect in organizing the murder of American journalist Paul Klebnikov. Many believe that Berezovsky arranged Litvinenko's demise. Berezovsky himself died in Britain in mysterious circumstances following the loss of a major court case to another Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich.

In the parliamentary debate in which Theresa May issued her provocation, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn cautioned against a rush to judgment and pointed to the bloody playing field of Russian oligarchs and Russian organized crime as alternative areas for investigation. Had Corbyn added to that mix, "Western intelligence agencies," he would have been entirely on the right track. Corbyn also pointed out that these oligarchs had contributed millions to May's Conservative Party. The reaction by the British media, May's Conservatives, and Tony Blair's faction of the Labour Party was to paint Corbyn as a Putin dupe, including photoshopped images of the Labour leader in a Russian winter hat in front of the Kremlin.

The insane McCarthyite reactions to Corbyn's simple statements of fact show that he hit the nail on the head. If you want to find Skripal's poisoners, then, like Edgar Allen Poe, you must take in the whole picture first. The field of play involves the British intelligence services and the anti-Putin Russian oligarchs, each of which services the other, acting on behalf of British strategic objectives. It is no accident that the coup against Donald Trump and the latest British intelligence fraud, putting the entire world in peril, absolutely intersect one another.

[Mar 22, 2018] Washington Breaks Out the "Just Following Orders" Nazi Defense for CIA Director-Designate Gina Haspel

Notable quotes:
"... "the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him." ..."
Mar 22, 2018 | theintercept.com

The Nuremberg judges rejected the Nuremberg defense, and both Jodl and Keitel were hanged. The United Nations International Law Commission later codified the underlying principle from Nuremberg as "the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

This is likely the most famous declaration in the history of international law and is as settled as anything possibly can be.

However, many members of the Washington, D.C. elite are now stating that it, in fact, is a legitimate defense for American officials who violate international law to claim they were just following orders.

Specifically, they say Gina Haspel, a top CIA officer whom President Donald Trump has designated to be the agency's next director, bears no responsibility for the torture she supervised during George W. Bush's administration.

Haspel oversaw a secret "black site" in Thailand, at which prisoners were waterboarded and subjected to other severe forms of abuse. Haspel later participated in the destruction of the CIA's videotapes of some of its torture sessions. There is informed speculation that part of the CIA's motivation for destroying these records may have been that they showed operatives employing torture to generate false "intelligence" used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA operative who helped capture many Al Qaeda prisoners, recently said that Haspel was known to some at the agency as "Bloody Gina" and that "Gina and people like Gina did it, I think, because they enjoyed doing it. They tortured just for the sake of torture, not for the sake of gathering information." (In 2012, in a convoluted case , Kiriakou pleaded guilty to leaking the identity of a covert CIA officer to the press and spent a year in prison.)

Stephen J, , March 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Article of interest at link below.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
"WASHINGTON BREAKS OUT THE "JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS" NAZI DEFENSE FOR CIA DIRECTOR-DESIGNATE GINA HASPEL"
Jon Schwarz

Mar. 15
https://theintercept.com/2018/03/15/washington-breaks-out-the-just-following-orders-nazi-defense-for-cia-director-designate-gina-haspel/

Mild- ly - Facetious , March 19, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Many thanks, Stephen J.
-- but how will it direct us away from the "backward evolutionism" of brainwashed americans ?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 11:57 pm

That defense didn't work for Japanese waterboarders: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/16/cheneys-claim-that-the-u-s-did-not-prosecute-japanese-soldiers-for-waterboarding/

will , March 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

yet Mr. McGovern chooses to worry about Brennan's toothless defense of the Deputy Director of the FBI

[Mar 20, 2018] We read that Vladimir Putin's passport was found three days later at the Scripaal's poisoning scene.

Notable quotes:
"... Just like MH17, or the alleged (but fake) poison gas attacks in Syria, the policy has been to launch an initial barrage of accusations completely unsupported by the slightest shred of evidence – and then drop the matter abruptly, leaving the public with a strong impression of "Russian wickedness" although nothing has actually been proved. ..."
"... Skripal and daughter cheap, convenient, collateral damage for the warmongers. A person trained to handle organic nerve material introduces it into Skripal's car, they go for a morning drive and stop to have a pizza. After pizza, they begin to feel a little queasy. Go sit on a park bench. A passing citizen sees them, calls for medical assistance. Doctor says probably poisoned by toxic agent. Doctor knows it was not highly refined military grade. ..."
"... Car is lifted by straps so as not poison others and hauled to Potent Downs or whatever the Nerve Agent Factory is called. Now it can be doctored to fit the crime and I don't mean the Russians. How am I doing? Got a better tale? ..."
"... Now, I do understand that you – and most Brits – think that you are special. That there is one set of rules for you, and another for the ' others '. You have been conditioned by propaganda to assert this without any shame and to demonise Russia based on decades of half-witted stories (most taken out of context and exaggerated). Why would anyone take you seriously? ..."
"... People who walk around saying that they are exceptional, meaning they are 'Gods', or that they talk 'to God', are generally ignored or kept in an institution. Claiming that you are 'exceptional and special' is the same as claiming that you are divine – that's what it has meant historically. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

remo , Website Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 8:36 am GMT

"Sir, Further to your report ("Poison exposure leaves almost 40 needing treatment", TIMES Mar 14)' may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved."
Stephen Davies. Consultant in emergency medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people at the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal..She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying "there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripals face or body."

The woman, who asked not to be named, told the NNC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

she said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, hut added that she "feels fine".

Some nerve agent. We read that Vladimir Putin's passport was found three days later at the scene.

Tom Welsh , Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 8:53 am GMT
One wonders how the Skripals are right now. Have they recovered completely, or partially? Are they still deathly ill? Has one or both of them died?

In any case, why have there been no public announcements of these important facts? It is useless to cite privacy, when the government hastened to trumpet the case – and its own dubious conclusions – as publicly as possible.

Just like MH17, or the alleged (but fake) poison gas attacks in Syria, the policy has been to launch an initial barrage of accusations completely unsupported by the slightest shred of evidence – and then drop the matter abruptly, leaving the public with a strong impression of "Russian wickedness" although nothing has actually been proved.

Incidentally, I wonder where the Skripals are and why. Apparently the Russian government applied for consular access to Yulia (who is a Russian citizen) but this was bluntly refused – against all norms of international law and civilized behaviour.

Ger , Next New Comment March 20, 2018 at 6:17 pm GMT
Skripal and daughter cheap, convenient, collateral damage for the warmongers. A person trained to handle organic nerve material introduces it into Skripal's car, they go for a morning drive and stop to have a pizza. After pizza, they begin to feel a little queasy. Go sit on a park bench. A passing citizen sees them, calls for medical assistance. Doctor says probably poisoned by toxic agent. Doctor knows it was not highly refined military grade.

How does the doctor know this: He is just down the street from the British Nerve Agent Factory and has been trained to recognize and treat real exposures to potent nerve agents. A policeman ends up in same hospital as Skripal because he sees car parked overtime or illegally, opens door to check for ownership gets zapped by toxic agent. Car is lifted by straps so as not poison others and hauled to Potent Downs or whatever the Nerve Agent Factory is called. Now it can be doctored to fit the crime and I don't mean the Russians. How am I doing? Got a better tale?

Beckow , March 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm GMT

We understand we are not being taken seriously

Good, understanding that you are a joke is the first step on the road to possible recovery.

Try for once to imagine a reverse scenario: an Englishman dies under suspicious circumstances in a provincial town in Russia. (Or 3-4 of them over 15-20 years.) He was considered a 'traitor' by UK for whatever reason. Immediately Russia declares that it was an ' unacceptable attack on Russia's sovereignty, that Britain did it, and that it is 'highly likely' that Teresa May ordered it herself' . Russian government also says that they will not disclose any details, show no evidence and will not even allow basis diplomatic protocol for UK embassy. Why? For reasons of ' state security '. Wouldn't any rational outsider consider that a joke?

Now, I do understand that you – and most Brits – think that you are special. That there is one set of rules for you, and another for the ' others '. You have been conditioned by propaganda to assert this without any shame and to demonise Russia based on decades of half-witted stories (most taken out of context and exaggerated). Why would anyone take you seriously?

People who walk around saying that they are exceptional, meaning they are 'Gods', or that they talk 'to God', are generally ignored or kept in an institution. Claiming that you are 'exceptional and special' is the same as claiming that you are divine – that's what it has meant historically.

This 'joke' is not that funny any more. Grow up.

[Mar 20, 2018] Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand.

Notable quotes:
"... Not to mention that we are currently on version #5 (poisoned in the car, where apparently a British cop and more than 30 other people rode with him, if we are to believe previous statements). Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand. He did it, right in the middle of Britain in Salisbury, next to the British chemical weapons facility. Credo quia absurdum. ..."
"... Actually, having no definite story, and constantly updating the narrative with ridiculous red herrings, is probably the best way to go with a fake terror attack. With a different herring to pursue each day, the truth seeking citizen soon becomes exhausted and relapses back into the normal pattern of going to work and feeding a family, but with a reinforced sense of their own lack of power to either control, or even understand the world in which they live. ..."
"... This is the end time of democracy. We are now entering an age of psycho-totalitarianism. People do what the elite require because their brainwashed friends, neighbors, and children otherwise turn against them. They are demonized and humiliated as racists, anti-Semites, dog whistlers and all the rest of the bullshit lexicon of political correctness not for their actions but merely for their thoughts. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

CanSpeccy , Website March 20, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT

@Anon

Anon from TN
Yes, this is the British version of Russiagate, no doubt: no evidence, numerous versions that contradict each other, lots of hot air and finger pointing. At the moment we do not know what Skripal was poisoned with or by whom, we can't even be sure that anyone was poisoned with anything. All we have is hot air, just like with Iraq WMD. From the same very "reliable" sources: British intelligence services and British PM. Neither ever lies, just ask Tony Blair. Not to mention that we are currently on version #5 (poisoned in the car, where apparently a British cop and more than 30 other people rode with him, if we are to believe previous statements). Only a hopeless moron can stage a provocation without inventing a coherent set of plausible lies beforehand. He did it, right in the middle of Britain in Salisbury, next to the British chemical weapons facility. Credo quia absurdum.

Actually, having no definite story, and constantly updating the narrative with ridiculous red herrings, is probably the best way to go with a fake terror attack. With a different herring to pursue each day, the truth seeking citizen soon becomes exhausted and relapses back into the normal pattern of going to work and feeding a family, but with a reinforced sense of their own lack of power to either control, or even understand the world in which they live.

This is the end time of democracy. We are now entering an age of psycho-totalitarianism. People do what the elite require because their brainwashed friends, neighbors, and children otherwise turn against them. They are demonized and humiliated as racists, anti-Semites, dog whistlers and all the rest of the bullshit lexicon of political correctness not for their actions but merely for their thoughts.

[Mar 18, 2018] Powerful intelligence agencies are incompatible with any forms of democracy including the democracy for top one precent. The only possible form of government in this situation is inverted totalitarism

Highly recommended!
Jun 28, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden are upset about something, they just can't say what. In a letter sent to the National Security Agency this week about a fact sheet on its surveillance programs, the senators complained about what they refer to only as "the inaccuracy". The inaccuracy is "significant". The inaccuracy could "decrease public confidence in the NSA's openness and its commitment to protecting Americans' constitutional rights". But, because the information underlying it is classified, the inaccuracy can't be described.

This is either a frustrating illustration of the absurdities of America's secrecy regime, or the start of a pretty solid vaudeville act.

The frenzied public debate over the NSA leaks has focused on the correctness of the government surveillance programs themselves. But America cannot properly debate these and future surveillance efforts until it decides what can be debated.

As an official in the first Obama administration, I worked in jobs requiring top secret clearance. I know firsthand how essential secrecy can be to effecting policy goals and how devastating leaks can be. I navigated diplomatic relationships threatened by the indiscriminate release of WikiLeaks documents, and volunteered on the taskforce that sifted through them, piecing together the damage done. But it is also true that a culture of over-classification has shielded too much from public debate and that more could be disclosed without damaging the efficacy of intelligence programs.

Trillions of new pages of text are classified each year. More than 4.8 million people now have a security clearance, including low level contractors like Edward Snowden . A committee established by Congress, the Public Interest Declassification Board, warned in December that rampant over-classification is "imped[ing] informed government decisions and an informed public" and, worse, "enabl[ing] corruption and malfeasance". In one instance it documented, a government agency was found to be classifying one petabyte of new data every 18 months, the equivalent of 20m filing cabinets filled with text.

It is difficult to argue that all or even most of that information should be classified. By keeping too many secrets, America has created fertile ground for their escape. Already, the Obama administration has been forced to initiate six espionage prosecutions for leaks – twice as many as every previous administration combined.

It has also left the American people disillusioned and mistrustful. This is especially true of a new generation raised in a networked world that has made them expect far greater transparency from the institutions around them. According to a recent Pew Research Center/ USA Today poll , a clear majority of young people (60%) feels that the NSA leaks served the public interest.

The leaks illustrate how bad the lack of trust has become - and present an opportunity for greater disclosure.

There is no doubt that some secrecy is essential to the efficacy of surveillance programs like those revealed by the NSA leaks. The specific sources and methods of such programs should be protected. However, it is entirely possible to protect those specifics while also broadly disclosing to the public the scope of information subject to collection, and the rationale behind doing so.

That level of disclosure should be the norm for future programs, and can still be instated in the case of the current NSA surveillance programs. Two Congressmen – Democrat Adam Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, and Republican Todd Rokita – introduced a bill last week that would call on the Department of Justice to declassify the legal justifications for NSA surveillance efforts. Universal public disclosure of individual decisions could impede the efficacy of the program, but there is no reason the Department of Justice can't disclose its generalized legal reasoning. That's a drawer in the stadium of filing cabinets that America can safely open.

"You can't have 100% security and then have 100% privacy," President Obama said in the days immediately following the leaks. "We're going to have to make some choices as a society." But the government can and should let Americans know what choices it is that they're making. The intelligence community might find Americans, particularly young Americans most suspicious of government institutions, more sympathetic to their delicate balancing act as informed participants.

[Mar 17, 2018] "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life: In November 2017 British TV 6th session episode 5 of 'Strike Back" Novichok was used

Mar 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , March 16, 2018 at 6:51 am GMT

George Orwell sure can write beautiful words.

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it ( ) To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality"

Think Peace -- Art

Seraphim , March 16, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
In an essay "The Decay of Lying" (1889), Oscar Wilde launched that famous sentence: "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life".

In November 2017 British TV presented the 6th session episode 5 of 'Strike Back", a British/American action-adventure/spy-drama television series based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Chris Ryan. In it the Section 20 ("a secretive unit of British military intelligence, a team of special operations personnel conducting several high risk missions across the globe") foiled a terrorist attack with the gas Novichok made by Karim Markov, a Russian scientist who allegedly killed his colleagues who invented the gas. The team duly trace the labs where Markov continues to produce more Novichok, in Ukraine and Belarus. The cast is full with the assorted jihadis, Russian Mafia bosses with their cruel henchmen, Hungarian white supremacists and nasty Serbians.
You find summaries of the episodes @https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back:_Retribution

Melotte22 , March 16, 2018 at 8:40 am GMT
Anyone heard of 'Strike Back', TV Drama:

"It is strange that a British-American intelligence TV drama Strike Back had several episodes featuring Novichok nerve agent and Evil Russkies last year. Someone orchestrating political theater in the UK watches a lot of TV, or is advised by its producers."

Check episodes 50&51

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_Back:_Retribution

Seraphim , March 16, 2018 at 8:49 am GMT
Nobody will miss the fact that the countries which emitted the 'Joint statement' blaming Russia's aggression are the countries which repeatedly aggressed and invaded Russia or allied themselves with Russia's enemies. None of them were ever invaded by Russia but in pursuit of the repelled invaders. None of them were ever threatened by a Russian invasion.

[Mar 16, 2018] NATO to display common front in Skripal case

Highly recommended!
France previously stated that they do not react to British "Fantasy politics". French president Emmanuel Macron wants more evidence Vladimir Putin was involved and his spokesman accused Britain of "fantasy politics" -- Theresa May accused of punishing Russia too SOON by France who demand more evidence .
Later Macron was forced to change the tune
Notable quotes:
"... Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Curious fact. Although Russia stopped all its CW programmes in 1992, the UK & the US received specialists/defectors & documentation on these projects incl. so-called Novichok in mid-1990s, continued researching CW as evidenced by open sources ..."
"... .@RussiaUN: in 1992 Russia closed all Soviet chemical weapons programmes. Some of the scientists were flown to the West (incl UK) where they continued research. To identify a substance, formula and samples are needed – means UK has capacity to produce suspected nerve agent. ..."
"... Craig Murray's excellent essay's been heavily attacked, and he's written a stimulating and educational response that further bolsters the initial essay. Quite interesting the so-called journalists supporting May's propaganda. ..."
"... Oh dear, in sacred Europe!! How about the West using nerve agents on a grand scale against its enemy Iran in the Middle East (since the Second World War)? Twenty thousand Iranians were killed on the spot by nerve gas, according to reports, with thousands of people hospitalized. According to Iraqi documents, assistance in the development of chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. A report stated that Dutch, Australian, Italian, French and both West and East German companies were involved in the export of raw materials to Iraqi chemical weapons factories. ..."
"... This is the same sort of "highly likely" language that has worked so well with the false-flag attacks in Syria. It's obviously "highly likely" that there is no actual evidence. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:17:24 AM | 90

In joint statement, world leaders agree Russia behind nerve agent attack on former spy
This is the joint statement of the whirled leaders:
We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK, on 4 March 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the UK police and emergency services for their courageous response.

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.

The United Kingdom briefed thoroughly its allies that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack. We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia´s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility. We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury. Russia should in particular provide full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour. We call on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security. . . here

b , Mar 15, 2018 11:35:19 AM | 92
Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy
Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Russia destroyed all of its chemical weapons arsenals by 2017, a fact attested by @OPCW. No research, development or manufacturing of projects codenamed Novichok has ever been carried out in Russia, all CW programmes were stopped back in 1991-92

-

Russian Envoy to the UN #Nebenzya: Curious fact. Although Russia stopped all its CW programmes in 1992, the UK & the US received specialists/defectors & documentation on these projects incl. so-called Novichok in mid-1990s, continued researching CW as evidenced by open sources

-

later:

-

.@RussiaUN: in 1992 Russia closed all Soviet chemical weapons programmes. Some of the scientists were flown to the West (incl UK) where they continued research. To identify a substance, formula and samples are needed – means UK has capacity to produce suspected nerve agent.

source:
karlof1 , Mar 15, 2018 11:44:05 AM | 94
Craig Murray's excellent essay's been heavily attacked, and he's written a stimulating and educational response that further bolsters the initial essay. Quite interesting the so-called journalists supporting May's propaganda.
Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:51:02 AM | 96
from the Joint Statement:
. . . the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War
Oh dear, in sacred Europe!! How about the West using nerve agents on a grand scale against its enemy Iran in the Middle East (since the Second World War)? Twenty thousand Iranians were killed on the spot by nerve gas, according to reports, with thousands of people hospitalized. According to Iraqi documents, assistance in the development of chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. A report stated that Dutch, Australian, Italian, French and both West and East German companies were involved in the export of raw materials to Iraqi chemical weapons factories.
Don Bacon , Mar 15, 2018 11:55:15 AM | 97
from the Joint Statement:
. . . it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack
This is the same sort of "highly likely" language that has worked so well with the false-flag attacks in Syria. It's obviously "highly likely" that there is no actual evidence.

[Mar 16, 2018] Does Western civilization now reject real, objective truth emulating the USSR

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Liza , March 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT

With "principles" such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all "for the greater glory of God" the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth

Excuse me? What about western civilization before the ten commandments? Was it better or worse in your eyes? What's so damn special about your ten commandments that their (forced) acceptance by westerners should mark some sort of magical beginning of the true western civilization? So we had no morality of any kind before this?

I can think of other civilizations that have nothing – and I mean nothing – to be proud of. They make us look like amateurs in the rejection of real, objective truth.

[Mar 16, 2018] The method attributed to poisoning of Skripal is the best indication of the false flag operation. Looks more and more like a recycled WMD hoax to justify attack on Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Ask this, "who is pathologically obsessed with execution by gas?" Who is spearheading the "Russia is Evil" propaganda campaign? ..."
"... If Russian leadership wanted KGB/FSB/GRU/SVR to kill him, they'd done it while the man was in Russia in their custody. He would have never left the Russian prison alive, and nobody would be wiser. ..."
"... He is just not that important, that is why he was let out in a swap after spending only a few years in jail. The orchestrated hysterics and the oversize overreaction by the NATO gang is clear tell that they are the one who did it. ..."
"... Do you remember the Wikileaks about CIA having hacking tools whereby they could spoof cyber attacks form their computers yet have the signature they came from Russia (or some other country)? ..."
"... There is nothing uniquely Russian about the poison. There are no unique poisons or nerve agents. Everybody has the same things. All is being said is that the nerve agent is military grade. And England is refusing to give samples to Russia for analysis, so we don't know what it is. ..."
"... why wouldn't FSB off him by simply clubbing him to death and making it look like a mugging gone wrong: why use a military grade nerve agent of all things. Ridiculous that _anyone_ believes Russians did it. ..."
"... Boris Johnson confirmed widespread suspicions that the attack on Skripal was part of a recycled WMD hoax to justify another U.S. war of aggression, this time in Syria instead of Iraq. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Stan d Mute , March 16, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT

@Mark James

Because of the poison involved, they (Rus/Putin) almost certainly did it. Just because something like this is stupid doesn't mean it should be written off. Stupid things happen.

As I constantly iterate, never attribute to complex conspiracy what can be easily explained by gross stupidity. Look at the Billion plus followers of the lunatic ramblings of a desert cave dwelling freak, or the State of Utah and Planet Kolob. But your Occam's Razor analysis also fails the smell test.

If I want to assassinate someone, using a gas, in public, is about the dumbest way to go about it. Russia may well have wanted to send a message "for the encouragement of others" not to betray mother Russia, but why a gas rather than oral or injected poison? Why not the old favorite of defenestration? Or a simple GSW using Russian manufactured firearm/ammo?

Ask this, "who is pathologically obsessed with execution by gas?" Who is spearheading the "Russia is Evil" propaganda campaign?

Avery , March 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Answer: none of the above.

If Russian leadership wanted KGB/FSB/GRU/SVR to kill him, they'd done it while the man was in Russia in their custody. He would have never left the Russian prison alive, and nobody would be wiser.

He is just not that important, that is why he was let out in a swap after spending only a few years in jail. The orchestrated hysterics and the oversize overreaction by the NATO gang is clear tell that they are the one who did it.

Avery , March 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm GMT
@Mark James

{Do I think Russia is involved with the Skripal hit? Of course.}

Based on what?

{Because of the poison involved, they (Rus/Putin) almost certainly did it.}

Really?

Do you remember the Wikileaks about CIA having hacking tools whereby they could spoof cyber attacks form their computers yet have the signature they came from Russia (or some other country)?

There is nothing uniquely Russian about the poison. There are no unique poisons or nerve agents. Everybody has the same things. All is being said is that the nerve agent is military grade. And England is refusing to give samples to Russia for analysis, so we don't know what it is.

{Just because something like this is stupid doesn't mean it should be written off. Stupid things happen}

Well, yeah: stupid things happen, and smart individuals sometimes do stupid things – but almost always for a reason, even if their actions are stupid. This should be written off, for a very simple reason: what is the Russian motivation? This guy was released in 2010. He was arrested in 2004: whatever damage he caused was very long ago. Why would Russian leadership risk almost certain exposure? for what?

And as poster [Meyer] posits above in #23, why wouldn't FSB off him by simply clubbing him to death and making it look like a mugging gone wrong: why use a military grade nerve agent of all things. Ridiculous that _anyone_ believes Russians did it.

alley cat , March 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm GMT
Speaking of "great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies," in an article in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Boris Johnson confirmed widespread suspicions that the attack on Skripal was part of a recycled WMD hoax to justify another U.S. war of aggression, this time in Syria instead of Iraq.

The fact that Prime Minister May has produced no evidence that Russia was behind the attack on Skripal, and that Secretary of Defense Mattis admits he has no evidence the Syrian government used sarin against its own people, doesn't deter Boris Johnson from blaming Russia for chemical attacks in both England and Syria.

From Johnson's article:

How much easier does it become for a state [Russia] to deploy chemical weapons when its government has already tolerated and sought to hide their use by others? I would draw a connection between Putin's indulgence of Assad's atrocities in Syria and the Russian state's evident willingness to employ a chemical weapon on British soil.

So a neocon-orchestrated Russiagate hoax merges with a neocon-orchestrated WMD hoax in Syria. It's all coming together.

The neocon strategy of "regime change by jihadi" in Syria has failed, and they're now forced to dust off the bogus WMD script that wreaked so much havoc on Iraq. Unfortunately for the neocons, Vladimir Putin has decided that Russia has nothing to lose, and probably much to gain, by taking a stand against imperialism now, in Syria, instead of later in Iran.

Now the world is both hostage and spectator to a game of nuclear chicken. If neither player swerves in time, planet Earth dies.

If Trump orders a climb down, the neocons will impeach him for losing Syria. But more appeasement by Putin would only embolden the neocons to further acts of aggression.

So Putin asks: "why do we need a world if Russia ceases to exist?" He is right to frame the showdown in Syria as a fight for Russia's existence, and Trump knows it.

Trump will have to take his chances with Mueller and the neocon crazies. Maybe the neocons will overplay their hand and bring about their own downfall, a happy outcome for all of humanity.

[Mar 16, 2018] George Orwell sure can write this quote

Notable quotes:
"... the fact that freedom of speech is under threat shows that the rise of mere emotive speech is still a long way from dominant. Facts and logic can still be heard and make a difference. This is why the political media elite cannot tolerate reasoned evidenced argument and is so concerned to censor dissenting voices. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , March 16, 2018 at 6:51 am GMT

George Orwell sure can write beautiful words.

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it ( )

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality"

Think Peace -- Art

Steve Hayes , March 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm GMT
Whilst there is much to be said in favour of the argument, the fact that freedom of speech is under threat shows that the rise of mere emotive speech is still a long way from dominant. Facts and logic can still be heard and make a difference. This is why the political media elite cannot tolerate reasoned evidenced argument and is so concerned to censor dissenting voices.

http://viewsandstories.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/knowing-without-finding-out.html

[Mar 16, 2018] Up until now, I was in favor of Putin trying to keep cool demeanor and be reasonable. Time works in favor of Russia, so simply trying to wait the Western collapse out is not unreasonable strategy. But with the West starting to resort to something as extreme as poisoning its own lapdogs and blaming Russia for it without presenting a single shred of evidence, it might be a good time to reconsider and join the escalation train in earnest.

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

alec bell , March 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm GMT

Up until now, I was in favor of Putin trying to keep cool demeanor and be reasonable. Time works in favor of Russia, so simply trying to wait the Western collapse out is not unreasonable strategy. But with the West starting to resort to something as extreme as poisoning its own lapdogs and blaming Russia for it without presenting a single shred of evidence, it might be a good time to reconsider and join the escalation train in earnest.

If we are in the age of ultimatums, then Moscow may want to start issuing a few of its own. One would be to warn the West about its intention to abandon START framework within a year and ultimately rearm to Soviet levels – 20000 strategic warheads at a minimum. Another would be to ask Syrian government to outsource its air-defense to Russia, then issue blanket no-flight order to all aircraft not authorized by Damascus.

Third, start arming insurgencies around the world that struggle against NATO/US presence. Fourth, eliminate USD and GBP from its trade completely. Fifth, consider formalizing military alliance with Iran.

There are many more steps that Russia can undertake. But whatever it chooses to do, the somnolent posture it maintained until yesterday is no more feasible.

[Mar 16, 2018] Truth vs half-truth vs lie

Mar 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

VICB3 , March 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT

@yurivku

Respectfully, I think what he means is something that I've learned to do in the last few years in a rather automatic fashion. Namely, it's to realise that, in the immediate aftermath of any event, it's best to just sit back and wait a bit before you come to any sort of conclusion about blame. In the very short term, the water, the stream is very muddy and clouded as anybody and everybody who has – or think that they have – an interest in the event du jour tries to spin it to their own advantage.

The truth will reveal itself inasmuch as the Internet is the World's best fact checker. The initial story will *always* be shown to have a good deal of exaggerations, contradictions, anomalies and omissions. But those revelations take a (usually relatively short) bit of time. So better to look at whatever the immediate story might be with a good deal of patient skepticism and not immediately fly off the rails in a fit of hand-waving, eye-rolling and pearl-clutching hysterics.

Do this consistently, and I think you'll discover that:

-The truth of the matter is usually gray, with plenty of blame to go around.

-And/or you're being fed a line of pandering BS by people who think that you're a naive and trusting idiot.

In short, act like an adult and not a dimwitted child. Use your brain and not your emotions.

Hope this helps.

Just a thought.

VicB3

P.S. A pithy thought from Mike Rivero:

If it doesn't affect you directly, then it's either advertising or propaganda.

Anders , March 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm GMT
Re: "Almost from day one, the early western civilization began by, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth, which it could bend, adapt, massage and repackage to serve the ideological agenda of the day. It was not quite the full-blown and unapologetic relativism of the 19th century yet, but it was an important first step. With "principles" such as the end justifies the means and the wholesale violation of the Ten Commandants all "for the greater glory of God" the western civilization got cozy with the idea that there was no real, objective truth, only the subjective perception or even representation each person might have thereof."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
Saker is a good military analyst, but as a historian he is a laughable dilettante. He is a very self-righteous, touchy Orthodox Christian ideologue and moralist.

[Mar 16, 2018] Are We Living Under a Military Coup ?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I'd define coup in this case as a potentially "illegal seizure of power" in the form of a slowly unfolding, unresolved constitutional crisis that sticks over time. ..."
"... The 1933 coup plot was funded by Wall Street money in hopes of subverting the power of Franklin Roosevelt, a leader deemed by many wealthy men of the time to be a traitor to his blue-blood class. ..."
"... The Plot to Seize the White House ..."
"... "War is a racket. It always has been," is how Butler's booklet War Is a Racket opens. "A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many." The little book ends this way: "Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. But victory will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists. If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building a greater prosperity for all peoples." ..."
"... The Wall Street cabal's coup plot was based on the idea of insinuating a disciplined military man into a White House operation deemed irresponsible and out of control. The plan was to install Butler into a newly created cabinet-level position called the Secretary for General Affairs. Negative press would be arranged to inform the American people that the President of the United States was a cripple. The "man on a white horse" was there to save a problematic administration from itself -- all for the good of the country. ..."
"... Today's politics are very different; the similarity is in the troublesome situation of a sitting president deemed a national security problem. In FDR's case, it was weakness due to sympathy for the downtrodden; while in Trump's case, it's unprecedented governmental inexperience linked with a volatile narcissism contributing to chaos in the highest reaches of the government. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I'd define coup in this case as a potentially "illegal seizure of power" in the form of a slowly unfolding, unresolved constitutional crisis that sticks over time. Like the oft-cited frog being boiled to death in a pot of water rising in temperature very slowly. Center right Times columnist David Brooks had a column recently in which he compared Trump USA to Berlusconi Italy and how, once democracy has been sullied by a right-wing populist like Berlusconi (or Trump), getting democracy back within its previous (constitutional) lines is difficult to impossible.

Some like to call the 2000 election of George W. Bush a "coup" legitimized by a conservative Supreme Court. Whatever one calls the 2000 election, it did put a permanent stain on US democracy. I have no doubt in this age of "fake news" and sophisticated PR that an unresolved constitutional crisis cum coup in Washington D.C. would be spun by info wizards as a pro-American, patriotic event. All this, of course, has helped ratchet up political polarization to new heights.

Instead of seeing a military coup as restricted to melodramatic fiction like the film Seven Days In May, it might be instructive, beneficial and even patriotic to think of it as possible with at least one very real historical antecedent to consider.

The 1933 White House Plot

We don't hear much about the 1933 American "coup" -- here, put in quotes because it was always ambiguous and it was thwarted. The plot has effectively been deep-sixed into historical oblivion. Why might that be? Might it be because it amounted to just another example of the dirty little secret that hovers over everything in America: the power of money married to the power of violence? Just another day in the history of America. Maybe one has to be a left-leaning antiwar activist born under the sign of the National Security State to understand this. But, to me, the antiwar left is perennially at a loss in this equation: Not only is it oriented on peace versus war, but it's also unarmed in the sense of an NRA obsession with guns. Furthermore, the left tends to be crippled thanks to the Cold War that established left-leaning ideas as association with subversion and the enemy.

The 1933 coup plot was funded by Wall Street money in hopes of subverting the power of Franklin Roosevelt, a leader deemed by many wealthy men of the time to be a traitor to his blue-blood class. Had the whistle not been blown on the plot by a Marine general named Smedley Butler, it could have succeeded in politically crippling FDR and his New Deal government. Had it gone differently, it could have changed history. (The 1933 coup attempt is described by Jules Archer in a 1973 book titled The Plot to Seize the White House . Also, The History Channel produced a 41-minute documentary on the plot .)

As the depression set in, the nation watched the rise of fascism in Europe. FDR was opposed on the right by people like the popular hero Charles Lindbergh who cozied up with the Nazis. Much of this ugly, polarized political struggle has slipped from our popular history, in large part due to the unifying power of World War Two that helped end the depression and ended up consuming both sides of the right/left battle. The internal political struggles of the thirties shifted into a focus on military dominance. The US ended up top of the heap at the end of World War Two. It also ended up at odds with the other victor in the war, the Soviet Union. It was at this juncture that US leaders formulated The National Security Act of 1947, thus creating the National Security State we live under today.

MacArthur busting Bonus Marchers, Butler speaking to them and the Mussolini incident

Smedley Butler was raised a Hicksite Quaker in West Chester, Pennsylvania. One side of a major 19th century split, the Hicksites saw "the inner light" contained within each of us as the primary source of truth, while Orthodox Quakers were more like fundamentalist who saw The Bible as the primary source of truth. The young, idealistic Butler learned the US Marines was expanding and recruiting new officers. He lobbied his parents (his father was a US congressman) to let him join, and in 1898 at age sixteen, a fresh Second Lieutenant Butler was dropped off at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was first exposed to hostile fire. He went on to the Philippines. He fought in counter-insurgency wars in places like Nicaragua and Haiti. He undertook spy missions in Mexico. His career was unique. At one point, he took leave of the Marines and became police commissioner of Philadelphia, only to quit when he grasped the level of corruption in the city. He was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor, and at the end of his career he was court martialed by Secretary of War Stimson for calling Benito Mussolini a bum in a speech. He, then, began speaking out in public, effectively undermining the charges. Today, amongst leftist, antiwar activists he's considered a hero thanks to a small book he wrote in 1935 called War Is a Racket. On the other hand, I mentioned him once to General Stanley McChrystal at a book signing and the respected Iraq "surge" leader cited him back at me as, in his mind, one of the great US military heroes. Both views paradoxically prevail. In 1939, he expressed opposition to war in Europe. But, then, he conveniently died in 1940. How he would have responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor remains an intriguing question.

Butler got involved in the 1933 coup when he was asked by the Wall Street cabal to be their "man on a white horse" to lead the plot. Due to his humility and his bravery, Butler was beloved by the common soldier -- even when he pushed them. In one story, a soldier has fallen out of a long march and General Butler, wearing no insignia of rank, gets the man back up and walking by carrying his pack. The plotters' modeled their efforts on the rising fascist states in Europe and the various colored-shirt thug organizations significantly made up of WWI veterans. Fatefully, Butler was a terrible choice; he supported FDR. Smelling a rat, he played along with the plotters' front-man, Gerald MacGuire, a fat, cigar-chomping stock broker paid to go to Europe and study the various colored-shirt groups. The idea was to install Butler as the commander of the American Legion, whose 500,000 members -- many disgruntled WWI vets -- had been used to smash union strikers with baseball bats. The Legion outnumbered the US military at the time. With the help of a reporter from the Philadelphia Record, Butler got the goods and went to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which held hearings and exposed the right-wing plot. (It's the very same HUAC that went on to notoriety as a prosecutor of the left.) Those named in the coup all denied they were plotting anything, and the story disappeared into obscurity. No charges were made.

Had the cabal, instead, set up General Douglas MacArthur as the "man on a white horse" -- who they had considered -- it might have turned out differently. MacArthur had an arrogant "fascist" character, but he was not loved by the common soldier. Butler and MacArthur had crossed paths in July 1932 during the Bonus March encampment in Washington DC. Butler was sympathetic and spoke to the encamped veterans seeking their promised bonus for WWI service. "They may be calling you tramps now, but in 1917 they didn't call you bums!" the cragey, diminutive general hollered at them. "You are the best-behaved group of men in the country today. I consider it an honor to be asked to speak to you." MacArthur, of course, led the troops who burned the Bonus Marchers out, killing one veteran and wounding 50.

"War is a racket. It always has been," is how Butler's booklet War Is a Racket opens. "A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many." The little book ends this way: "Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. But victory will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists. If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building a greater prosperity for all peoples."

The Wall Street cabal's coup plot was based on the idea of insinuating a disciplined military man into a White House operation deemed irresponsible and out of control. The plan was to install Butler into a newly created cabinet-level position called the Secretary for General Affairs. Negative press would be arranged to inform the American people that the President of the United States was a cripple. The "man on a white horse" was there to save a problematic administration from itself -- all for the good of the country.

Today's politics are very different; the similarity is in the troublesome situation of a sitting president deemed a national security problem. In FDR's case, it was weakness due to sympathy for the downtrodden; while in Trump's case, it's unprecedented governmental inexperience linked with a volatile narcissism contributing to chaos in the highest reaches of the government. In both cases, the overarching issue is a very dangerous world and the need for experience and discipline. Is General Kelly today's "man on a white horse" insinuated into the White House to represent the interests of the National Security State?

There are no neat or absolute answers to these questions. We tend to associate the idea of a "coup" with coup d'etat in Third World nations. Our CIA and military have notoriously been up to their eyeballs in foreign coups; there's classics like Iran 1953 and Guatemala 1954. Venezuela 2002 and Honduras 2009 had the stink of US complicity, but they are more current and, thus, there was lots of plausible deniability and lots of fog. And fog and doubt only get worse in this internet age.

[Mar 16, 2018] The National Security Act of 1947 created the deep state. What we see now if just the result of intelligence agencies and Pentagon becoming more visible as the major political players who among other things influence Presidential election and co-determine (with Wall Street) the US foreign policy

Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Act of 1947 ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The National Security Act of 1947 codified the reality of the imperial American military for the baby-boom generation and beyond. The War Department became the Defense Department; the CIA we know today was formed from the Office of Strategic Services. The 1947 NSA document amounted to a formal re-arrangement of the country's priorities coming out of WWII -- when the victorious United States of America became the "leader of the free world." We forget that before World War Two changed everything, the US military was a shadow of what it was to become.

Over these 70 years, the executive in the White House has ping-ponged back-and-forth between the moderate left and the moderate right, between the Democratic and Republican Parties. (Trump may be the exception in being far right.) Every four years there's a national "conversation" of sorts about who's going to live in the White House and make executive decisions and who's going to legislate in Congress. You couldn't come up with a better example to illustrate the idea of a civilian political see-saw than January 20, 2016, the day Barack Obama handed the civilian reins over to Donald Trump. Meanwhile, over those same 70 years, the National Security State (as an institution led by the Pentagon) has existed as a steadily ascending through-line leading to today's post-9/11 world. Our imperial military has been, and remains, virtually untouchable through the electoral process that chooses civilian leadership. Just like assault weapons on a small scale, the National Security State thrives beyond the reach of American politics. In my mind, White House Chief of Staff and former four-star Marine General John Kelly resides in this protected zone as a power behind the civilian throne.

[Mar 15, 2018] The timing is once again highly suspicious with the fifa world cup around the corner

Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

DisappointeDinTRUMP

The timing is once again highly suspicious with the fifa world cup around the corner. The Empire does not want Russia on center stage with the whole world watching. Trust me, we can expect much more to come regarding this world cup. Boycotting, sanctions and more underhanded tactics happening are what the next month has in store for us.

I wonder just how much more Russia is able to take before it decides not to turn the other cheek. Eventually Russia will start saying that "hold on a second, we are being judged and punished continuously so why dont we start doing some things to at least warrant all this punishment?"

[Mar 15, 2018] This is just another entry in a long list of false flag events carefully crafted to turn Russia, and Putin in particular, into an international pariah

Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Bob In Portland

Also, the poison, Novichok, was stored by the Soviets in states on its borders, like Georgia and Ukraine, and Baltic states, so after those republics broke off from the USSR during its collapse the poison fell into the hands of anti-Russian countries. It is inconceivable that western intelligence at the collapse of the USSR would not have swooped in and grabbed what it could in those stockpiles. In fact, in 1999 American agents spent six million dollars in decommissioning a plant that produced Novichok in the Uzbek city of Nukus. If you don't think that they took a little for a false flag in the future you don't know our intelligence services.

Finally, the chemical formula is available here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/1432725661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520920301&sr=8-1&keywords=vil+mirzayanov

Holmes , March 14, 2018 at 7:04 pm

100% False Flag.

andrew , March 14, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I believe the culprits are ukraine SBU.

This week poroshenko has been trying to convince the EU to designate Russia as the Aggressor nation and to attempt to end Minsk obligations.

Chumpsky , March 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm

The Russian presidential election is coming up on Sunday. A great opportunity now for the CIA / MI6 / Mossad backed candidate to make some noise over Putin's near-guaranteed, shoe-in victory by planting an illegitimate narrative.

The gassing, using Novichok (an open-source formula), is just another in a long list of false flag events carefully crafted to turn Russia, and Putin in particular, into an international pariah and bogeyman in particular. Such an event is an attempt to throw cold water on Trump's thawing of relations by discrediting him now that Steele has been exposed as a fraud.

Who's meddling in whose election now?

[Mar 15, 2018] All those elaborate deception schemes and false flags that we now know of are just another set of deceptive methods of Socializing The Costs, while Privatizing The Profits.

Notable quotes:
"... nd, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels." ..."
Mar 15, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

cmp , March 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

Venal Visors. And the all too easy convenience of Socializing The Costs, while Privatizing The Profits.

Oliver North, while under oath during the IranContra Hearings: "..We didn't lose the Vietnam war over there, we lost that war, in this city."

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

On April 8, 2005, CIA Director Porter Goss ordered an internal review of the CIA in order to determine why doubts about Curveball's reliability were not forwarded to policy makers. Former CIA Director George Tenet and his former deputy, John E. McLaughlin, announced that they were not aware of doubts about Curveball's veracity before the war. However, Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA's European division, told the Los Angeles Times that "everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening." .. A nd, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels."

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

While Mueller Was Head Of The FBI -- Hillary's email firm was run from a loft apartment in Denver with its servers in the bathroom, which of course, should raise some questions over security of sensitive messages (the public's property) that she held.

(..take your pick..) .. Too BIG to jail?

And, is there a softer side -- to actively engaging in war?? .. James Le Mesurier, the creator of the White Helmets, who just happens to be a British private security specialist and a former British military intelligence officer, he has said very recently, "who would you trust more than the fire brigade or a first response NGO?" And, as reported by Vanessa Beeley in a recent Corbett Report interview: "James Le Mesurier, he is now recruiting in Brazil. We know that the White Helmets have appeared in Malaysia and in Venezuela, and in the Philippines."

.. Too BIG to jail?

Venal Visors -- gone viral.. ..Socialize. ..Privatize. .. Feed the beast..

~ Rep. Luther Johnson (D.-Texas), in the debate that preceded the Radio Act of 1927
"American thought and American politics will be largely at the mercy of those who operate these stations, for publicity is the most powerful weapon that can be wielded in a republic. And when such a weapon is placed in the hands of one person, or a single selfish group is permitted to either tacitly or otherwise acquire ownership or dominate these broadcasting stations throughout the country, then woe be to those who dare to differ with them. It will be impossible to compete with them in reaching the ears of the American people."

[Mar 14, 2018] Washington policies as the result of a monumental unconscious group-think based on individual self interest

Individual are highly rewarded i f they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests".
Rebels, individual thinkers tend to get fired, not promoted, snubbed
Notable quotes:
"... The individuals who work in our State Dept., CIA, DOD, corporate defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, media......these individuals appear to benefit on an indivdual level (promotions, high paying jobs, social acceptance, nice neighborhoods and schools for their kids) when they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests". ..."
Mar 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

walter, March 2018 at 03:03 PM

Jack, in my opinion, there is no "US". The "US" doesn't have an interest.

There are individuals who behave in their own individual self interest.

The individuals who work in our State Dept., CIA, DOD, corporate defense contractors, lobbyists, politicians, media......these individuals appear to benefit on an indivdual level (promotions, high paying jobs, social acceptance, nice neighborhoods and schools for their kids) when they "accept the party-line" that masquerades as US interests".

Its a monumental unconscious group-think based on individual self interest.

This is my understanding of "the Borg" and "US interests", "US foreign policy goals"....they are actually individual interests shaped by what individuals who work in this realm believe they should believe and espouse to achieve their own goals. Rebels, individual thinkers tend to get fired, not promoted, snubbed

[Mar 14, 2018] Jefferson Morley on the CIA and Mossad Tradeoffs in the Formation of the US-Israel Strategic Relationship

Highly recommended!
Angleton was a founding father of the deep state.
Notable quotes:
"... Angleton embodied and shaped the CIA's operational ethos and its internal procedures, especially in the realm of counterintelligence. His theories of Soviet penetration dominated the thinking of Western intelligence agencies, and their legacy can even be seen in the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of collusion with Russia. I want to emphasize that I only use the term deep state as a colloquial shorthand term for the array of US national security agencies that operate under the shroud of official secrecy. ..."
"... Angleton, I'm going to put to you, was a founding father of what we call the deep state. ..."
"... With the passage of the National Security Act in July 1947, Angleton went to work at the CIA. The CIA came into existence and Angleton became the chief of the foreign intelligence staff with responsibility for intelligence collection operations worldwide. ..."
"... Angleton became the CIA's exclusive liaison with the Mossad in 1951. ..."
"... He was introduced to Amos Manor, chief of counterespionage for Israel's domestic security service known as Shabak or Shin Bet. ..."
"... "I didn't know exactly what to do, but I had the idea of giving them material we had gathered a year earlier about the efforts of the Eastern Bloc to use Israel to bypass an American trade embargo. We edited the material and informed them that they should never ask us to identify our sources." From such arrangements, the CIA-Mossad relationship began to grow. Manor would be friends with Angleton for the rest of his life. ..."
"... Asher Ben-Natan, Angleton's source dating back to the OSS days, was playing a key procurement role in the secret Israeli program to obtain nuclear weapons. Teddy Kollek, one of Angleton's closest contacts and friends in Washington, later became the mayor of Jerusalem. Angleton's Israeli friends in short were really the architects, some of the architects of the Zionist state. ..."
"... As I came to learn his story from talking to CIA veterans and Israelis and reading a lot, a couple of things stood out to me. First of all, the Israeli recruitment of Angleton was extremely astute. In the early 1950s, Angleton was a rising star at this new agency, the CIA, but he was not a senior figure and not even particularly powerful. The Israelis recognized the latent qualities that would make him powerful. ..."
"... In 1954 Angleton became the chief of the CIA's counterintelligence staff, the first one. In 1956 Amos Manor passed him a copy of Nikita Khrushchev's secret speech to the Soviet Communist Party in which he criticized the cult of personality around the deceased dictator, Joseph Stalin. This intelligence coup made Angleton a legend within the CIA and the power within the agency as well, and it was very much made possible by the Israelis. ..."
"... Angleton's formative and sometimes decisive influence on US policy towards Israel can be seen in many areas – from the impotence of US nuclear nonproliferation policy in the region, to Israel's triumph in the 1967 Six-Day War, to the feeble US response to the attack on the Liberty, to the intelligence failure represented by the Yom Kippur War of 1973. ..."
"... The question, which was put to me by Grant but is right on point, was why didn't the CIA help the FBI investigate the diversion of US weapons-grade material from the United States to Israel in the 1960s and 1970s? The short answer is because Jim Angleton didn't want to. Angleton played a key role in enabling Israel to obtain nuclear weapons, and he did so in a subtle way that characteristically left few fingerprints. He was not a man to investigate himself. Many of these details are now known thanks to Grant Smith, Roger Mattson, John Hadden, Jr. and others. ..."
"... the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, otherwise known as NUMEC, started processing highly-enriched uranium in the United States in 1959. NUMEC had been created by David Lowenthal, a Zionist financier who financed the postwar boatlift from Europe to Palestine that was romanticized in the book and movie Exodus. He hired Zalman Shapiro, a brilliant young metallurgist to run the company. ..."
"... By October 1965, the AEC estimated that 178 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium had gone missing from the NUMEC facility, by March 1968, that figure was 267 kilograms. ..."
"... John Hadden was the CIA station chief in Israel from 1964 to 1967. He worked very closely with Angleton throughout this period. He would later concur with the near unanimous assessment of CIA's nuclear scientist that Israel had indeed stolen fissile material from NUMEC and used it to build their nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... With the fissile material diverted from NUMEC, Israel was able to construct its first nuclear weapon by 1967 and become a full-blown nuclear power by 1970 – the first and still the only nuclear power in the Middle East. Angleton, it is fair to say, thought collaboration with Israel was more important than US nonproliferation policy. ..."
"... When Angleton left government service 20 years later, Israel held twice as much territory as it had in 1948. The CIA and Mossad collaborated on a daily basis and the governments of the United States and Israel were strategic allies knit together by expansive intelligence sharing, multibillion-dollar arms contracts and coordinated diplomacy. ..."
"... Angleton's influence on U.S.-Israeli relations between 1951 and 1974 exceeded that of any Secretary of State with the possible exception of Henry Kissinger. His influence was largely unseen by Congress, the press, other democratic institutions, and much of the CIA itself. He was empowered by his own ingenuity and the clandestine arrangements rationalized by doctrines of national security and counterintelligence. The arc of his career breathes life into the concept of the deep state. ..."
"... Angleton, more than any other American, enabled the Americans to gain and hold this strategic high ground in the Middle East. He was, as his friend Meir Amit said, the biggest Zionist of the lot ..."
Mar 14, 2018 | www.antiwar.com
Angleton embodied and shaped the CIA's operational ethos and its internal procedures, especially in the realm of counterintelligence. His theories of Soviet penetration dominated the thinking of Western intelligence agencies, and their legacy can even be seen in the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of collusion with Russia. I want to emphasize that I only use the term deep state as a colloquial shorthand term for the array of US national security agencies that operate under the shroud of official secrecy.

Let's not forget there are a dozen, at least a dozen such agencies based here in Washington. The CIA with its $15 billion a year budget is the largest. The NSA with a budget of about $10 billion is the second largest. The Defense Intelligence Agency is about $4 billion. Then along with some other obscure but still very large agencies like the NGIA. Never heard of the NGIA? I didn't think so. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is a $4.9 billion a year agency. Collectively, these agencies spend probably $50 billion to $60 billion a year, which make them a very small but powerful potent sector in the American scheme of power.

Want to know how the NGIA spent your $4.9 billion? Good luck. Want to see a line item budget of CIA activities in Africa last year? Move along. It's true that Congress nominally has oversight powers over these agencies. Our elected officials do have their security clearances that we don't have, so they can go in and look at selected operations. But the intelligence oversight system is very weak as even its defenders will admit. The intelligence committees polarized and politicized can't even agree on what kind of secret activities they're supposed to monitor. The FISA court system is supposed to protect Americans from surveillance by their government, but it largely functions as a rubberstamp of the secret agencies. A secret government is the norm in America in 2018 which is why the discourse of the deep state has such currency today.

Angleton, I'm going to put to you, was a founding father of what we call the deep state. So who was he? Born in December 1917, James Angleton grew up as the oldest son of James Hugh Angleton, a brash self-made American businessman who moved to Milan, Italy during the Depression and made a fortune during the time Benito Mussolini selling cash registers. Angleton attended private school in England. He went to Yale College, and then to Harvard Law school. He was a precocious good-looking young man with sophisticated manners and a literary frame of mind.

As an undergraduate, he befriended his fellow expatriate – Ezra Pound – in Italy. Pound was the modernist poet in the mad tribune of Mussolini's fascism. In their correspondence, which I found at Yale, Angleton sometimes ape the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Ezra Pound. For example, criticizing the Jewish book merchants who he thought overcharged for Pound's books.

In 1943, Angleton was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services, America's first foreign intelligence service stationed in Rome during and after World War II. He excelled at secret intelligence work. I tell a story in The Ghost of how he rescued a leading Nazi and a leading Italian fascist from postwar justice. Among other tasks, he reported on the flow of Jews escaping from Germany and heading for Palestine. The revelations of the Holocaust transformed his disdain for Jews into something of sympathy. He began to develop sources among the leaders of the Jewish and Zionist organizations – including Teddy Kollek who was a British intelligence agent, and a German operative named Arthur Pier who later became known as Asher Ben-Natan.

With the passage of the National Security Act in July 1947, Angleton went to work at the CIA. The CIA came into existence and Angleton became the chief of the foreign intelligence staff with responsibility for intelligence collection operations worldwide. In those days, the CIA was right here in the heart of Washington. It's hard for people to believe now, but the CIA was located in a series of temporary buildings located along the reflecting pool next to the Lincoln Memorial. The tempos, as they were called by CIA people, were drafty in the winter, hot in the summer, and devoid of charm year-round. But this is where Angleton worked, at what was known as the Office of Special Operations.

Angleton, while sympathetic to Jewish suffering, was still very wary of Israel when he started his career at the CIA. Before the 1948 war, the Jewish army had been largely armed by Czech arms manufacturers and communist Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union was the first country to recognize the state of Israel in 1948. Angleton initially feared that the Soviets would use Israel as a platform for injecting spies into the West. The Israelis, for their part, were looking to cultivate American friends. Stalin's anti-Semitic purges in 1948 showed that his allegiance to the Jewish state was superficial at best.

In 1950 a man named Reuven Shiloah, the founder of Israel's first intelligence organization, came to Washington. He visited the CIA and he came away very impressed with how it was organized. He went back to Israel and in April 1951, he created out of a very fractious collection of security forces what was known as the Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks – inevitably known as Mossad, Hebrew for institute.

In 1951 Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion came to the United States and brought Shiloah with him. Ben-Gurion met privately with President Truman, and Angleton arrange for Ben-Gurion to also have lunch with his friend Allen Dulles who would shortly become the director of the CIA. The purpose of this meeting, Efrain Halevy, a retired director of the Mossad and a longtime friend of Angleton's told me in an interview in Tel Aviv, the purpose was in Halevy's words to clarify in no uncertain terms that notwithstanding what had happened between Israel and United States 1948 and notwithstanding that Russia had been a key factor in Israel's survival, Israel considered itself part of the Western world and would maintain the relationship with the United States in this spirit.

Shiloah stayed on in Washington to work out the arrangements with Angleton. Shiloah, according to his biographer, soon developed a special relationship – quote/unquote – and Angleton became the CIA's exclusive liaison with the Mossad in 1951. Angleton return the favor by traveling to Israel often. He was introduced to Amos Manor, chief of counterespionage for Israel's domestic security service known as Shabak or Shin Bet.

Manor headed up Operation Balsam which was the Israeli's conduit to the Americans. "They told me I had to collect information about the Soviet bloc and transmit it to them," Manor recalled about the Americans. "I didn't know exactly what to do, but I had the idea of giving them material we had gathered a year earlier about the efforts of the Eastern Bloc to use Israel to bypass an American trade embargo. We edited the material and informed them that they should never ask us to identify our sources." From such arrangements, the CIA-Mossad relationship began to grow. Manor would be friends with Angleton for the rest of his life.

In 1963 a man named Isser Harel was succeeded as the chief of Mossad by a military intelligence officer named Meir Amit. Amit found Angleton to be a little eccentric, but he noted that his – quote – identification with Israel was a great asset for Israel. Asher Ben-Natan, Angleton's source dating back to the OSS days, was playing a key procurement role in the secret Israeli program to obtain nuclear weapons. Teddy Kollek, one of Angleton's closest contacts and friends in Washington, later became the mayor of Jerusalem. Angleton's Israeli friends in short were really the architects, some of the architects of the Zionist state.

As I came to learn his story from talking to CIA veterans and Israelis and reading a lot, a couple of things stood out to me. First of all, the Israeli recruitment of Angleton was extremely astute. In the early 1950s, Angleton was a rising star at this new agency, the CIA, but he was not a senior figure and not even particularly powerful. The Israelis recognized the latent qualities that would make him powerful.

Second, Angleton's creative intellect and his operational audacity inspired deep feelings of loyalty among the Israelis. While Angleton's counterintelligence vision would become very controversial within and bitterly divisive within the CIA, he was widely admired in Israel as a stalwart friend. He still is to this day.

In 1954 Angleton became the chief of the CIA's counterintelligence staff, the first one. In 1956 Amos Manor passed him a copy of Nikita Khrushchev's secret speech to the Soviet Communist Party in which he criticized the cult of personality around the deceased dictator, Joseph Stalin. This intelligence coup made Angleton a legend within the CIA and the power within the agency as well, and it was very much made possible by the Israelis.

Angleton's formative and sometimes decisive influence on US policy towards Israel can be seen in many areas – from the impotence of US nuclear nonproliferation policy in the region, to Israel's triumph in the 1967 Six-Day War, to the feeble US response to the attack on the Liberty, to the intelligence failure represented by the Yom Kippur War of 1973. I tell a lot of the story in The Ghost, but the story of Angleton in Israel is really so large and so profound that it probably deserves its own book. I could certainly not do justice to it in the 18 minutes that I have, so I'm going to confine myself to one narrow question about the tradeoffs that became implicit in this arrangement between the CIA and the Mossad and its implications for us.

The question, which was put to me by Grant but is right on point, was why didn't the CIA help the FBI investigate the diversion of US weapons-grade material from the United States to Israel in the 1960s and 1970s? The short answer is because Jim Angleton didn't want to. Angleton played a key role in enabling Israel to obtain nuclear weapons, and he did so in a subtle way that characteristically left few fingerprints. He was not a man to investigate himself. Many of these details are now known thanks to Grant Smith, Roger Mattson, John Hadden, Jr. and others.

I want to just give you a sense of how this transpired. So the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, otherwise known as NUMEC, started processing highly-enriched uranium in the United States in 1959. NUMEC had been created by David Lowenthal, a Zionist financier who financed the postwar boatlift from Europe to Palestine that was romanticized in the book and movie Exodus. He hired Zalman Shapiro, a brilliant young metallurgist to run the company.

At that time, the US government owned all of supplies of nuclear fuel which private companies, like NUMEC, were allowed to use but ultimately had to return to the government. Within a few years the Atomic Energy Commission noticed worrisome signs that the Apollo Plant – NUMEC had a plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania – that the plant's security and accounting were very deficient. Unexplained losses of nuclear material did happen at other companies, but NUMEC's losses were proportionately much larger. By October 1965, the AEC estimated that 178 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium had gone missing from the NUMEC facility, by March 1968, that figure was 267 kilograms.

John Hadden was the CIA station chief in Israel from 1964 to 1967. He worked very closely with Angleton throughout this period. He would later concur with the near unanimous assessment of CIA's nuclear scientist that Israel had indeed stolen fissile material from NUMEC and used it to build their nuclear arsenal. This story is now very well documented. In the spring of 1965, a technician working at the night shift at NUMEC went out on a loading dock for a breath of fresh air and saw an unusual sight. Zalman Shapiro was pacing on the dock while a foreman and truck driver loaded cylindrical storage containers, known as stovepipes, onto a flatbed truck.

The technician saw a clipboard saying that the material was destined for Israel. It was highly unusual to see Dr. Shapiro in the manufacturing section of the Apollo nuclear facility, the technician said. It was unusual to see Dr. Shapiro there at night, and it was very unusual to see Dr. Shapiro so nervous. The next day NUMEC's personnel manager visited the technician and threatened to fire him if he did not keep his mouth shut, that's a quote, concerning what he had seen. It would be 15 years before the employee told the story to the FBI.

What did Angleton know about NUMEC? Well, he knew that the AEC and the FBI were investigating starting in 1965. As the Israel desk officer of the CIA, he talked about the NUMEC case with liaison agent Sam Papich who was monitoring the investigation for the FBI. He also spoke about it with his colleague John Hadden.

On the crime scene particulars, Hadden defended his former boss. "Any suggestion that Angleton had help the Israelis with the NUMEC operation was totally without foundation," he told journalists Andrew and Leslie Cockburn. But Hadden didn't deny that Angleton had helped the Israeli nuclear program. Why would somebody whose whole life was dedicated to fighting communism have any interest in preventing a very anti-Communist nation for getting the means to defend itself, Hadden asked. The fact they stole it from us didn't worry him in the least, he went on. I suspect that in his inmost heart he would have given it to them if they had asked. Hadden knew better than to investigate any further. I never sent anything to Angleton on this – the nuclear program – because I knew he wasn't interested, Hadden later told his son, and I knew he'd try to stop it if I did.

With the fissile material diverted from NUMEC, Israel was able to construct its first nuclear weapon by 1967 and become a full-blown nuclear power by 1970 – the first and still the only nuclear power in the Middle East. Angleton, it is fair to say, thought collaboration with Israel was more important than US nonproliferation policy. He believed that the results proved his point. When he started as chief of the counterintelligence staff in 1954, the state of Israel and its leaders were regarded warily in Washington – especially at the State Department. When Angleton left government service 20 years later, Israel held twice as much territory as it had in 1948. The CIA and Mossad collaborated on a daily basis and the governments of the United States and Israel were strategic allies knit together by expansive intelligence sharing, multibillion-dollar arms contracts and coordinated diplomacy.

Angleton's influence on U.S.-Israeli relations between 1951 and 1974 exceeded that of any Secretary of State with the possible exception of Henry Kissinger. His influence was largely unseen by Congress, the press, other democratic institutions, and much of the CIA itself. He was empowered by his own ingenuity and the clandestine arrangements rationalized by doctrines of national security and counterintelligence. The arc of his career breathes life into the concept of the deep state.

I thought of this story when I visited one of the memorials to Angleton in Israel in 2016. The memorial is located on a winding road outside the city of Mevaseret Zion, which is now really a suburb of Jerusalem. Historically, control of this high ground has been seen as key to the control of Jerusalem and of Palestine itself. A nearby ruins of a castle built by 12th-century Christian crusaders for exactly that purpose stands in mute testimony to the importance of its strategic location.

The Angleton memorial consists of a pedestal of stones topped with a black plaque. To James Angleton, a friend it says. This plaque was dedicated in 1987, a few months after Angleton died, and it has been maintained by his Israeli friends ever since. It's still in perfect condition. The location is no accident. In the course of his extraordinary career, Angleton, more than any other American, enabled the Americans to gain and hold this strategic high ground in the Middle East. He was, as his friend Meir Amit said, the biggest Zionist of the lot . Thank you.

[Mar 11, 2018] Inverted Totalitarianism by Sheldon Wolin

Notable quotes:
"... ...Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media. Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media's reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment. ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | www.thenation.com

The Nation

"Empire" and "superpower" accurately symbolize the projection of American power abroad, but for that reason they obscure the internal consequences. Consider how odd it would sound if we were to refer to "the Constitution of the American Empire" or "superpower democracy." The reason they ring false is that "constitution" signifies limitations on power, while "democracy" commonly refers to the active involvement of citizens with their government and the responsiveness of government to its citizens.

For their part, "empire" and "superpower" stand for the surpassing of limits and the dwarfing of the citizenry. The increasing power of the state and the declining power of institutions intended to control it has been in the making for some time. The party system is a notorious example.

...Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media. Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media's reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment.

What is crucially important here is not only the expansion of governmental power but the inevitable discrediting of constitutional limitations and institutional processes that discourages the citizenry and leaves them politically apathetic. In the United States, however, it has been apparent for decades that corporate power has become so predominant in the political establishment, particularly in the Republican Party

...At the same time, it is corporate power, as the representative of the dynamic of capitalism and of the ever-expanding power made available by the integration of science and technology with the structure of capitalism, that produces the totalizing drive

.. a pervasive atmosphere of fear abetted by a corporate economy of ruthless downsizing, withdrawal or reduction of pension and health benefits; a corporate political system that relentlessly threatens to privatize Social Security and the modest health benefits available, especially to the poor. With such instrumentalities for promoting uncertainty and dependence, it is almost overkill for inverted totalitarianism to employ a system of criminal justice that is punitive in the extreme, relishes the death penalty and is consistently biased against the powerless.

Thus the elements are in place: a weak legislative body, a legal system that is both compliant and repressive, a party system in which one party, whether in opposition or in the majority, is bent upon reconstituting the existing system so as to permanently favor a ruling class of the wealthy, the well-connected and the corporate, while leaving the poorer citizens with a sense of helplessness and political despair, and, at the same time, keeping the middle classes dangling between fear of unemployment and expectations of fantastic rewards once the new economy recovers.

That scheme is abetted by a sycophantic and increasingly concentrated media; by the integration of universities with their corporate benefactors; by a propaganda machine institutionalized in well-funded think tanks and conservative foundations; by the increasingly closer cooperation between local police and national law enforcement agencies aimed at identifying terrorists, suspicious aliens and domestic dissidents.

What is at stake, then, is nothing less than the attempted transformation of a tolerably free society into a variant of the extreme regimes of the past century. In that context, the national elections of 2004 represent a crisis in its original meaning, a turning point. The question for citizens is: Which way?

Sheldon Wolin Sheldon Wolin is the author, most recently, of Alexis de Tocqueville: Man Between Two Worlds (Princeton). A new edition of his book Politics and Vision is forthcoming. He is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University.

[Mar 08, 2018] The Iron Law of Oligarchy and the Iron Law of Institutions.

Mar 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sid Finster 02 March 2018 at 10:37 AM

The Iron Law of Oligarchy and the Iron Law of Institutions.

All institutions are corruptible and all institutions eventually will be corrupted, because institutions = power and power is to sociopaths what catnip is to cats.

Some corollaries of this are:

  1. The people who want power the most are the most inclined to abuse that power.
  2. The principal function of any institution is to keep sociopaths out of power as much as possible for as long as possible.
  3. There are no political or economic systems that work everywhere or at all times. Rather, a system works in a given time and place, to the extent that they further the above principles.

[Mar 08, 2018] One of their aims is to prevent countries of Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East and Southern Asia from choosing their trade partners freely and from making use of their resources and industrialize

Notable quotes:
"... The US Power Elite ... would be rightfully called the „Deep State" of the USA ( http://tinyurl.com/ho2nz87 ). And this Deep State has become more and more ruthless over the time. ..."
"... In fact the US lead Western policy has established a „Ring of Fire" around Europe ( http://tinyurl.com/gp48dhw ) and European governments have been so stupid for a long time to lend a helping hand to „Big Brother" in doing so. In fact this ring of fire stretches from Libya throughout Africa ( http://tinyurl.com/le2hlpx ) over Near and Middle East, the Balkans up to the Ukraine. Actually one gets the impression that the fire burns into Europe with Terror ( http://tinyurl.com/zrwrk3k ) adding also together with the refugee crisis to the financial problems threatening to blow even the EU up. Is the US having a hand also in this dramatic development? Absurd? Weakening their allies/vassals? We have to have a look at further geo-political challenges the US Power Elite is facing. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | wipokuli.wordpress.com

The US Power Elite ... would be rightfully called the „Deep State" of the USA ( http://tinyurl.com/ho2nz87 ). And this Deep State has become more and more ruthless over the time.

They have brought nightmares over the Southern Hemisphere by installing brutal dictatorships ( http://tinyurl.com/kkpvcf7 ) in their interest and waging bloody colonial wars, in the last one and a half decades especially with their „War on Terror" ( http://tinyurl.com/nrxxej5 ).

One of their aims is to prevent countries of Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East and Southern Asia from choosing their trade partners freely and from making use of their resources and industrialize, since that would mean a division of resources and allowing them their part of „consuming ecologic Earth capacity".

... ... ...

In fact the US lead Western policy has established a „Ring of Fire" around Europe ( http://tinyurl.com/gp48dhw) and European governments have been so stupid for a long time to lend a helping hand to „Big Brother" in doing so. In fact this ring of fire stretches from Libya throughout Africa (http://tinyurl.com/le2hlpx) over Near and Middle East, the Balkans up to the Ukraine. Actually one gets the impression that the fire burns into Europe with Terror (http://tinyurl.com/zrwrk3k) adding also together with the refugee crisis to the financial problems threatening to blow even the EU up. Is the US having a hand also in this dramatic development? Absurd? Weakening their allies/vassals? We have to have a look at further geo-political challenges the US Power Elite is facing.

... ... ...

After all the „Deep State" within the USA ( http://tinyurl.com/ho2nz87) is famous for „False Flag attacks", often perpetrated by Operation Gladio. A famous blueprint is Operation Northwoods, a project from the early 60ties for terror attacks on US targets outside and inside the US to be blamed on Cuba as a pretext for a full scale invasion of the hated country. It was stopped by Kennedy, which he didn't survive long (http://tinyurl.com/ndzt8ho). After all the most famous False Flag is the event which the Genius James Corbett presented in five Minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgrunnLcG9Q

Maybe US politics takes a last measure to frighten especially France and Germany by Terror „to order". That´s why one should think into „all directions" when it comes to the tragic terror attacks and otherwise tragic or painful events hitting the two countries:

„Staged „prevented" Terror Attacks – Staged Terror?!" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/staged-prevented-terror-attacks-staged-terror/

Truly Europe has to be on alert!

Andreas Schlüter

[Mar 01, 2018] T>his is why economic policy cannot not be decided by popular opinion. A typical US voter is ignorant about economics and government finance. A typical US voter doesn t want responsibility for these decisions anyway. He would rather let someone else (some authority figure) make these choices for him, no matter how disastrous and against his interest that can be

Notable quotes:
"... In fact not only do most Americans shy away from finding out about the truth in a country that has pushed division of labour to the maximum, they are trigger happy to be totally controlled by corporate media in a repetition of 'Iraq's weapons of mass destruction' to 'Russia and Putin the source of all evil'. ..."
Mar 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Joe Levantine , February 28, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT

@Felix Keverich

"And this is why economic policy cannot not be decided by popular opinion. A typical Russian is ignorant about economics and government finance. A typical Russian doesn't want responsibility for these decisions anyway. He would rather let someone else (some authority figure) make these choices for him. This is why real democracy cannot work in Russia."

If you had not specified the word 'Russian', I could have guessed you were talking about the USA.

In fact not only do most Americans shy away from finding out about the truth in a country that has pushed division of labour to the maximum, they are trigger happy to be totally controlled by corporate media in a repetition of 'Iraq's weapons of mass destruction' to 'Russia and Putin the source of all evil'.

Beyond some truly enlightened Americans whose opinions I am honoured and glad to read on this site, the black majority of the American public still go about their struggle for survival trusting the American politicians and American military are doing the right thing.

[Feb 26, 2018] State Department Troll Farm Receives Huge Cash Infusion

Notable quotes:
"... "This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. ..."
"... Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns. ..."
"... With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states). ..."
"... If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck. ..."
"... The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes." ..."
"... money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that... ..."
Feb 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. State Department will increase its online trolling capabilities and up its support for meddling in other countries. The Hill reports :

The State Department is launching a $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation amid widespread concerns about future Russian efforts to interfere in elections.

The department announced Monday that it signed a deal with the Pentagon to transfer $40 million from the Defense Department's coffers to bolster the Global Engagement Center, an office set up at State during the Obama years to expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.

The professed reason for the new funding is the alleged but unproven "Russian meddling" in the U.S. election campaign. U.S. Special Counsel Mueller indicted 13 Russians for what is claimed to be interference but which is likely mere commercial activity.

The announcement by the State Department explains that this new money will not only be used for measures against foreign trolling but to actively meddle in countries abroad:

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein said the transfer of funds announced today reiterates the United States' commitment to the fight.

"This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. "

The mentioning of Silicon Valley is of interest. The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:

While the companies call it standard practice to work hand-in-hand with high-spending advertisers like political campaigns, the new research details how the staffers assigned to the 2016 candidates frequently acted more like political operatives, doing things like suggesting methods to target difficult-to-reach voters online, helping to tee up responses to likely lines of attack during debates, and scanning candidate calendars to recommend ad pushes around upcoming speeches.

In May 2016 the Hillary Clinton campaign even set up her own troll farm :

Hillary Clinton's well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet's worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton's campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

Clinton is quite experienced in such issues. In 2009, during protests in Iran, then Secretary of State Clinton pushed Twitter to defer maintenance of its system to "help" the protesters. In 2010 USAid, under the State Department set up a Twitter-like service to meddle in Cuba.

The foreign policy advisor of Hillery Clinton's campaign, Laura Rosenberger, initiated and runs the Hamilton68 project which falsely explains any mentioning of issues disliked by its neo-conservative backers as the result of nefarious "Russian meddling".

The State Department can build on that and other experience.

Since at least 2011 the U.S. military is manipulating social media via sock puppets and trolls:

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.
...
The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

It was then wisely predicted that other countries would follow up:

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns.

With the new money the State Department will expand its Global Engagement Center (GEC) which is running "public diplomacy", aka propaganda, abroad:

The Fund will be a key part of the GEC's partnerships with local civil society organizations, NGOs, media providers, and content creators to counter propaganda and disinformation. The Fund will also drive the use of innovative messaging and data science techniques.

Separately, the GEC will initiate a series of pilot projects developed with the Department of Defense that are designed to counter propaganda and disinformation. Those projects will be supported by Department of Defense funding.

This money will be in addition to the large funds the CIA traditionally spends on manipulating foreign media:

"We've been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947," said Mr. Johnson, now at the University of Georgia. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners -- you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George's cavalry': suitcases of cash."
...
C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day.

Part of the new State Department money will be used to provide grants. If online trolling or sock puppetry is your thing, you may want to apply now.

Posted by b on February 26, 2018 at 02:02 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 26, 2018 2:34:39 PM | 1

The US propaganda machine has just confirmed what establishment's worst nightmare would be
Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 2:40:29 PM | 2
"to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner"

I call these social media watchers rather than trolls. Rather than simply trying to disrupt any and all social media threads they don't like, social media watchers look for comments or comment threads that are disparaging or damaging to their employer.

WorldBLee , Feb 26, 2018 2:49:32 PM | 3
#2 @Peter AU 1 - I would say the language "to find and CONFRONT" sounds pretty much like troll behavior.

With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states).

Don Bacon , Feb 26, 2018 2:51:50 PM | 4
That $40 million will probably be pissed away on a couple sweetheart contracts to Tillerson friends and nobody will see a difference. US State Department propaganda programs, labeled as "public diplomacy" and other monikers, have been around for a long time but haven't been executed very well.

From the State Dept. historian office, 2013: . .(excerpt):

Public Diplomacy Is Still in Its Adolescent Stage in the State Department , etc.

. . . The process of convergence has been evolutionary. Secretary Powell grasped the power of the information revolution, reallocated positions and resources from traditional diplomatic posting to new areas and recognized the power of satellite television to move publics and constrain governments even in authoritarian regimes. Secretary Rice forwarded this reconceptualization under the rubric of "Transformational Diplomacy," which sought to help people transform their own lives and the relationship between state and society. Secretary Clinton continued the theme under the concept of "Smart Power." "Person-to-person diplomacy in today's work is as important as what we do in official meetings in national capitals across the globe," Clinton said in 2010.The work done by PD officials in Arab Spring countries beginning in 2011 was as much about capacity-building as advocating U.S. policies or directly trying to explain American culture. . . here

notlurking , Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....
nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:18:15 PM | 6
Prior efforts were targeted more at traditional news outlets, this is just an expansion into social media along the lines of previous work, example A being the Rendon Group in Iraq, etc. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Rendon_Group

If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck.

Tediousness, defined.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:19:30 PM | 7
WorldBLee 2

Media watchers target specific comments or comment threads, in the case stated by b, those disparaging or damaging to Clinton.

What I term trolls target blogs or social media accounts that are considered targets, no matter the content of a particular article or comment thread. Social media media watchers are a little more specialized than trolls and look for specific content.

nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:23:52 PM | 8
P.S. it's funny that you can find out what these clowns are up to by looking for job listings and salary reports:

The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist Salary | Glassdoor

Average [monthly] salaries for The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist: $2,520. The Rendon Group salary trends based on salaries posted anonymously by The Rendon Group employees.

Talk about a soul-destroying job. Right up there with Wikipedia page editor.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:27:48 PM | 9
nonsense factory 8. Money looks good. Plenty of people that dont give a shit about their soul will take it up.
la Cariatide , Feb 26, 2018 3:40:19 PM | 11
http://www.voltairenet.org/article194715.html
NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:08:38 PM | 12
@7 peter

I see what you are alluding to, but the only problem with it is that, irrespective of the differing definitions, at heart, these infiltrators are a disrupting force on the message boards, whether paid to be or not. Their medium is disruption and obfuscation. I tried to wade into the neoliberal viper's den at slate.com un the past to post "alt-right" stuff and was quickly attacked by multiple avatars.

In essence, one troll disrupts because he has a need for recognition, and the latter disrupts for money. Both are netgain for the troll and loss for the rest of us.

ben , Feb 26, 2018 4:09:30 PM | 13
The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes."

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

james , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:32 PM | 14
thanks b... troll farms looks like a good name for it... farming for the empire.. they could call it that too.. russia as trend setter, lol.. i don't think so!

speaking of troll farms, i see max Blumenthal came out with some 'about time' comments on the sad kettle of fish called 'democracy now'... here is his tweet - "If @democracynow is going to push the neocon project of regime change in Syria so relentlessly and without debate, it should drop the high minded literary NPR aesthetic and just host Nikki Haley for a friendly one-on-one #EstablishmentNow https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/967123918237655041
7:07 AM - Feb 25, 2018 "

money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that...

NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:33 PM | 15
The silver lining here is that the state dept. is in a sense admitting that there is nothing "in the pipe" relating to outright censorship whether through nefarious agreements between ISP providers and the IC via the repeal of net neutrality.

$40 mil is a lot for liberal college graduates however.

Jen , Feb 26, 2018 4:20:59 PM | 16
Nonsense Factory @ 8, Peter AU 1 @ 9: There are plenty of communities in rural Australia who'd be glad to have troll farms paying that sort of money (even as Australian dollars - 1 Australian dollar being worth about US$0.76 at this time of posting) a month. Real farmers could do trolling on the side during slow seasons of the year and make some money.
karlof1 , Feb 26, 2018 4:26:45 PM | 17
What we need are some Mole Trolls, or maybe that's Troll Moles--double agents if you will that work for 6-12 months recording 100% of all they do then reveal it all in an expose.
Ian , Feb 26, 2018 5:21:58 PM | 18
Getting ready for mid-terms. It's going to be interesting to see if the Democrats get wiped off the map. They should be able to hire quite a few people for $40 million. Don't be surprised if they deploy AI in the first wave, then follow up with a real person.

ben @13:

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

ROFL After wandering aimlessly in the mall with Her Majesty over the weekend, I'm not sure if that's even possible now.

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:23:20 PM | 19
Hillary Clinton sat on a wall,
Hillary Clinton had a great fall;
All the DNC stooges and all her trolls
Couldn't put her campaign again on the roll.

[department of lame rhymes]

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:29:18 PM | 20
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....

Posted by: notlurking | Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5

Foolish human, who needs the likes of you! Regards, Chief Bot

pantaraxia , Feb 26, 2018 6:42:36 PM | 21
"The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:"

It went much further than that . Google actually tweaked its algorithms to alter search recommendations in favor of the Clinton campaign. A comparative analysis of search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo showed that Google differed significantly from the other two in producing search recommendations relevant to Clinton.

Google Manipulates Search Results To Favor Hillary Clinton - Jimmy Dore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MICXf6viakc

But , but, but...Russia!!!

Nothing to see her folks. Carry on.

che , Feb 26, 2018 6:47:53 PM | 22
The entire U.S. MSM is a F'ing troll farm, disinformation, Orwellian world on steroids. The U.S. public is fed a constant never ending stream of complete Bull sh**, self serving crap. How to stop it is the only question, to stop the impunity with which these criminals like Bush and Trump and Obama and Mattis et.al. lie with their pants on fire and .....they all suck .01% dick.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23
@8 Nonsense Factory

Ahmed Nafeez exposed The Rendon Group and the Pentagon's Highlands Forum a few years ago.

And then there's today's nonsense.

Are You a Russian Troll?

Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:44:21 PM | 24
It's surprising to see the NYT admit the US does it, too. The alt media has been all over this including Corbett's recent video with the Woolsey interview with Fox News where he laughs it off and then says it was for a good cause.
Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:47:09 PM | 25
Hillary's Troll Farm = Lipstick on a pig.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:51:55 PM | 26
From Nafeez Ahmed :
Two days before 9/11, Condoleeza Rice received the draft of a formal National Security Presidential Directive that Bush was expected to sign immediately. The directive contained a comprehensive plan to launch a global war on al-Qaeda , including an "imminent" invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban. The directive was approved by the highest levels of the White House and officials of the National Security Council, including of course Rice and Rumsfeld. The same NSC officials were simultaneously running the Dhabol Working Group to secure the Indian power plant deal for Enron's Trans-Afghan pipeline project. The next day, one day before 9/11, the Bush administration formally agreed on the plan to attack the Taliban.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:10 PM | 27
From Nafeez Ahmed :

The Highlands Forum has thus played a leading role in defining the Pentagon's entire conceptualization of the 'war on terror.' Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a retired IMB vice president who co-chaired the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2001, described his experience of one 2007 Forum meeting in telling terms:

"Then there is the War on Terror, which DoD has started to refer to as the Long War, a term that I first heard at the Forum. It seems very appropriate to describe the overall conflict in which we now find ourselves. This is a truly global conflict the conflicts we are now in have much more of the feel of a battle of civilizations or cultures trying to destroy our very way of life and impose their own."
Debsisdead , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:42 PM | 28
Posted by: Fec | Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23

Yeah well since the writer of the 'quiz' exposes themself as bein a troll of the worst sort there is nothing to be said. I'm currently attempting to ingest only those newstories where the publisher provides space for feedback from readers since if a story is truthful it should be able to withstand challenge. yeah riight cos that means there's bugger all out there anymore. The biggest 'win' populism has had this far is in driving all feedback off all sites with a readership of more than a few hundred. Many of those that do allow feedback only permit humans with credentialed facebook or google accounts to indulge and the comments are only visible to similarly logged in types. That tells us a lot about the lack of faith the corporate media actually have in the nonsense they publish.

Of course 'trolls' are the ones held to be the guilty for causing this but if you actually watch what happens in a feedback column such as the rare occasions when the graun still permits CIF comments it isn't the deliberately offensive arseholes spouting the usual cliches who get deleted, it is those who put forward a considered argument which details why the original writer has reached a faulty conclusion.

We all know this yet it seems as though none of us are prepared to confront it properly as the censorship it is.
IMO media outlets which continually lie or at least distort the truth to advance a particular agenda need to be called to account.
Massed pickets outside newsrooms would be a good way cos as much as media hate us loudmouths who won't swallow their bromides, they like their competition even less. A decently organised picket of NYT, WaPo or the Graun would be news in every other spineless, propagandising & slug-featured media entity.

Lozion , Feb 26, 2018 9:09:10 PM | 29
Cant wait to see the big new shiny gold GEC logo, AMC & GMC anyone? ;)
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:17:57 PM | 30
@ 28 Debsisdead

Said troll was published in Richmond and God only knows who else picked it up. I refuted it in the comments as best I could, also excerpting MOA. Regardless:

From Ahmed Nafeez :

Among Rendon's activities was the creation of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) on behalf of the CIA, a group of Iraqi exiles tasked with disseminating propaganda, including much of the false intelligence about WMD . That process had begun concertedly under the administration of George H W. Bush, then rumbled along under Clinton with little fanfare, before escalating after 9/11 under George W. Bush. Rendon thus played a large role in the manufacture of inaccurate and false news stories relating to Iraq under lucrative CIA and Pentagon contracts  --  and he did so in the period running up to the 2003 invasion as an advisor to Bush's National Security Council: the same NSC, of course, that planned the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, achieved with input from Enron executives who were simultaneously engaging the Pentagon Highlands Forum.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/why-google-made-the-nsa-2a80584c9c1
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:26:22 PM | 31
From Ahmed Nafeez :
Mass surveillance and data-mining also now has a distinctive operational purpose in assisting with the lethal execution of special operations, selecting targets for the CIA's drone strike kill lists via dubious algorithms, for instance, along with providing geospatial and other information for combatant commanders on land, air and sea, among many other functions. A single social media post on Twitter or Facebook is enough to trigger being placed on secret terrorism watch-lists solely due to a vaguely defined hunch or suspicion; and can potentially even land a suspect on a kill list.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:40:37 PM | 32
From Ahmed Nafeez :
In 2011, the Forum hosted two DARPA-funded scientists, Antonio and Hanna Damasio, who are principal investigators in the 'Neurobiology of Narrative Framing' project at the University of Southern California. Evoking Zalman's emphasis on the need for Pentagon psychological operations to deploy "empathetic influence," the new DARPA-backed project aims to investigate how narratives often appeal "to strong, sacred values in order to evoke an emotional response," but in different ways across different cultures

This goes a long way toward explaining what is occurring in Hollywood and Nashville.

[Feb 25, 2018] Democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power

Highly recommended!
Feb 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

chris , Next New Comment February 25, 2018 at 10:57 pm GMT

So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power.

Your point brought this infamous picture to mind!

Jake , Next New Comment February 26, 2018 at 12:50 am GMT
"what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent."

ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

[Feb 23, 2018] Deep State and the FBI Federal Blackmail Investigation

Intelligence agencies, once created, has their own development dynamics and tend to escape from the control of civilians and in turn control them. Such an interesting dynamics. In any case, the intelligence agencies and first of all top brass of those agencies constitute the the core of the "deep state". Unlike civiliant emplorres they are protected by the veil of secrecy and has access to large funds. Bush the elder was probably the first deep state creature who became the president of the USA, but "special relationship" of Obama and Brennan is also not a secret.
Another problem is that secrecy and access to surveillance, Which gives intelligence agencies the ability to blackmail politicians.
Availability of unaccounted financial resources make them real kingmakers. In a sense, as soon as such agencies were created the tail started waging the dog.
Notable quotes:
"... Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer? ..."
"... One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb. ..."
"... JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House. ..."
"... However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day. ..."
"... But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career. ..."
"... Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.

Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer?

J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.

And Hoover's interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.

Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.

It was Hoover's secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.

One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.

Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was "no such thing as the Mafia" in public statements.

Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).

As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book , 'JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State', Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn't be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, "Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career". Enough said.

JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.

However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.

As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that "Tricky Dicky" engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.

Nixon's scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.

But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.

These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of "Deep State" intrusion as "conspiracy theory", is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media's own compromised complicity.

Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.

Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.

Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.

The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.

Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.

So too are claims that American democracy is being "influenced" by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!

The real "influence campaigns" corrupting American democracy are those of the "All-American" agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.

US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.

We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.

[Feb 19, 2018] The Free Market Threat to Democracy by John Weeks

Notable quotes:
"... In addition, financial capital leads to inequality, and that inequality, as you've seen in the United States and in Europe and many other places, it increases. And suddenly, not suddenly, but bit by bit, people begin to realize that they aren't getting their share and that means that the government, to protect capitalism, must use force to maintain the order of financial capital. And I think Trump is the fulfillment of that, and I think there are other examples too which I can go into. So, basically, my argument is that with the rise of finance and its unproductive activities, you've got the decline in living standards of the vast majority, and in order to maintain order in such a system where people no longer think that they're sort of getting their share, and so justice doesn't become, a just distribution doesn't become the reason why people support this system, increasingly it has to be done through force. ..."
"... I think that as The Real News has pointed out, that many of Trump's policies appear just to be more extreme versions of things that George Bush did, and in some cases not that much different from what Barack Obama did. ..."
"... The difference with Trump is, he has complete contempt for all of those constraints. That is, he is an authoritarian. I don't think he's a fascist, not yet, but he is an authoritarian. He does not accept that there are constraints which he should respect. There are constraints which bother him, and he wants to get rid of them, and he actually takes steps to do so. ..."
"... Erdoğan so infamously said? "Democracy is like a train. You take it to where you want to go and then you get off." No. Progressive view is that democracy is what it's all about. Democracy is the way that we build the present and we build a future. ..."
"... I think that the struggle in the United States is extremely difficult because of the role of the big money and the media, which you know more about than I do. But it is a struggle which we have to keep at, and we have to be optimistic about it. It's a good bit easier over here, but as we saw, and you reported, during the last presidential election, a progressive came very close to being President of the United States. That, I don't think was a one-off event, not to be repeated. I think it lays the basis for hope in the future. ..."
"... The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools. ..."
"... Any hierarchic system will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths. Systems will not save us. ..."
"... What I gleaned from my quick Wikiread was the apparent pattern of economic inequality causing the masses to huddle in fear & loathing to one corner – desperation, and then some clever autocrat subverts the energy from their F&L into political power by demonizing various minorities and other non-causal perps. ..."
"... Like nearly every past fascism emergence in history, US Trumpismo is capitalizing on inequality, and fear & loathing (his capital if you will) to seize power. That brings us to Today – to Trump, and an era (brief I hope) of US flirtation with fascism. Thank God Trump is crippled by a narcissism that fuels F&L within his own regime. Otherwise, I might be joining a survivalist group or something. :-) ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. This Real News Network interview with professor emeritus John Weeks discussed how economic ideology has weakened or eliminated public accountability of institutions like the Fed and promote neo[neo]liberal policies that undermine democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o9bXo1f5r0I

SHARMINI PERIES: It's The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The concept of the [neo]liberal democracy is generally based on capitalistic markets along with respect for individual freedoms and human rights and equality in the face of the law. The rise of financial capital and its efforts to deregulate financial markets, however, raises the question whether [neo]liberal democracy is a sustainable form of government. Sooner or later, democratic institutions make way for the interests of large capital to supersede.

Political economist John Weeks recently gave this year's David Gordon Memorial Lecture at the meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia where he addressed these issues with a talk titled, Free Markets and the Decline of Democracy. Joining us now is John Weeks. He joins us from London to discuss the issues raised in his lecture. You can find a link to this lecture just below the player, and John is, as you know, Professor Emeritus of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and author of Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. John, good to have you back on The Real News.

JOHN WEEKS: Thank you very much for having me.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, let me start with your talk. Your talk describes a struggle between efforts to create a democratic control over the economy and the interest of capital, which seeks to subjugate government to the interest, its own interest. In your assessment, it looks like this is a losing battle for democracy. Explain this further.

JOHN WEEKS: Yeah, so I think that Marx in Capital, in the first volume of Capital, refers to a concept called bourgeois right, by which he meant that, you said it in the introduction, that in a capitalist society there is a form of equality that mimics the relationship of exchange. Every commodity looks equal in exchange and there is a system of ownership that you might say is the shadow of that. I think more important, in the early stages of development of capitalism, of development of factories, that those institutions or those factories prompted the growth of trade unions and workers' struggles in general. Those workers' struggles were key to the development, or further development of democracy, freedom of speech, a whole range of rights, the right to vote.

However, with the development of finance capital, you've got quite a different dynamic within the capitalist system. Let me say, I don't want to romanticize the early period of capitalism, but you did have struggles, mass struggles for rights. Finance capital produces nothing productive, it doesn't do anything productive. So, what finance capital does basically is it redistributes the income, the wealth, the, what Marx would call the surplus value, from other sectors of society to itself. And it employs relatively few people, so that dynamic of the capital, industrial capital, generating its antithesis So, that a labor movement doesn't occur under financial capital.

In addition, financial capital leads to inequality, and that inequality, as you've seen in the United States and in Europe and many other places, it increases. And suddenly, not suddenly, but bit by bit, people begin to realize that they aren't getting their share and that means that the government, to protect capitalism, must use force to maintain the order of financial capital. And I think Trump is the fulfillment of that, and I think there are other examples too which I can go into. So, basically, my argument is that with the rise of finance and its unproductive activities, you've got the decline in living standards of the vast majority, and in order to maintain order in such a system where people no longer think that they're sort of getting their share, and so justice doesn't become, a just distribution doesn't become the reason why people support this system, increasingly it has to be done through force.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, John. Before we get further into the relationship between neo[neo]liberalism and democracy, give us a brief summary of what you mean by neo[neo]liberalism. You say that it's not really about deregulation, as most people usually conceive of it. If that's not what it's about, what is it, then?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that if you think about the movements in the United States, and as much as I can, I will take examples from the United States because most of your listeners will be familiar with those, beginning in the early part of the twentieth century, in the United States you have reform movements, the breaking up of the large monopolies, tobacco monopoly, a whole range of Standard Oil, all of that. And then of course under Roosevelt you began to get the regulation of capital in the interests of the majority, much of that driven by Roosevelt's trade union support. So, that was moving from a system where capital was relatively unregulated to where it was being regulated in the interests of the vast majority. I also would say, though, I won't go into detail, to a certain extent it was regulated in the interest of capital itself to moderate competition and therefore, I'd say, ensure a relatively tranquil market environment.

Neo[neo]liberalism involves not the deregulation of the capitalist system, but the reregulation of it in the interest of capital. So, it involves moving from a system in which capital is regulated in the interests of stability and the many to regulation in a way that enhances capital. These regulations, to get specific about them, restrictions on trade unions, as you, on Real News, a number of people have talked about this. The United States now have many restrictions on the organizing of trade unions which were not present 50 or 60 years ago, making it harder to have a mass movement of labor against capital, restrictions on the right to demonstrate, a whole range of things. Then within capital itself, the regulations on the movement of capital that facilitate speculation in international markets. We have a capitalism in which the form of regulation is shifted from the regulation of capital in the interest of labor to regulation of capital in the interest of capital.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, give us a brief summary of the ways in which neo[neo]liberalism undermines democracy.

JOHN WEEKS: Well, I think that there are many examples, but I'm going to focus on economic policy. For an obvious case is the role of the Central Bank, in the case of the United States' Federal Reserve System, in which reducing its accountability to the public, one way you can do that is by assigning goals to it, such as fighting inflation, which then override other goals. Originally, the Federal Reserve System, its charter, or I'll say its terms of reference, if you want me to use that phrase, included full employment and a stable economy. Those have been overridden in more recent legislation, which puts a great emphasis on the control of inflation. Control of inflation basically means maintaining an economy at a relatively high level of unemployment or part-time employment, or flexible employment, where people have relatively few rights at work. And that the Central Bank becomes a vehicle for enforcing a neo[neo]liberal economic policy.

Second of all, probably most of your viewers will not remember the days when we had fixed exchange rates. We had a world of fixed exchange rates in those days that represented the policy, which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. There have been deregulation of that. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool, an instrument of economic policy. And in fiscal policy, there the, here it's more ideology than laws, though there are also laws. There's a law requiring that the government balance its budget, but more important than that, the introduction into the public consciousness, I'd say grinding into the public consciousness, the idea that deficits are a bad thing, government debt is a bad thing, and that's a completely neo[neo]liberal ideology.

In summary, one way that the democracy has been undermined is to take away economic policy from the public realm and move it to the realm of experts. So, we have certain allegedly expert guidelines that we have to follow. Inflation should be low. We should not run deficits. The national debt should be small. These are things that are just made up ideologically. There is no technical basis to them. And so, in doing that, you might say, the term I like to use is, you decommission the democratic process and economic policy.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, speaking of ideology, in your talk you refer to the challenge that fascism posed or poses to neo[neo]liberal democracies. Now, it is interesting when you take Europe into consideration and National Socialist in Germany, for example, appeal mostly to the working class, as does contemporary far-right leaders in Poland and Hungary, that they support more explicit neo[neo]liberal agendas. Why would people support a neo[neo]liberal agenda that exasperate inequalities and harm public services that they depend on, including jobs?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that to a great extent it is country-specific, but I can make generalizations. First of all, I'm talking about Europe, because you raised a case in some European countries, and then I'll make some comments about the United States and Trump, if you want me to. I think in Europe, a combination of three things resulted in the rise of fascism and authoritarian movements which are verging on fascism. One is that the European integration project, which let me say that I have supported, and I would still prefer Britain not to leave the European Union, but nevertheless, the European Union integration project has been a project run by elites.

It has not been a bottom-up process. It has been a process very much run by elite politicians, in which they get together in closed door, and they make policies which they subsequently announce, and many of the decisions they come to being extremely, the meaning of them being extremely opaque. So, therefore, you have the development in Europe of the European Union which, not from the bottom up, but very much from the top down. You might suggest from the top, but I'm not sure how much goes down. That's one.
The second key factor, I would say, for about 20 years in European integration, it was relatively benign elitism because it was social democratic, it had the support of the working class, or the trade unions, at any rate. Then, increasingly, it began to become neo[neo]liberal. So, you have an elite project which was turning into a neo[neo]liberal project. Specifically, what I mean by neo[neo]liberal is where they're generating flexibility rules for the labor market, austerity policies, bank, balanced budgets, low inflation, the things I was talking about before.

Then the third element, toxic, the most toxic of them, but the other, they're volatile, is the legacy of fascism in Europe. Every European country, with the exception of Britain, had a substantial fascist movement in the 1920s and 1930s. I can go into why Britain didn't sometime. It had to do with the particular class struggle of the, I mean, class structure of Britain. Poland, ironically enough, though, is one of them. It was overrun by the Nazis, and occupied, and incorporated into the German Reich. Ironically, it had a very right-wing government with a lot of sympathies towards fascism when it was invaded in the late summer of 1939.

France had a strong fascist movement. Of course, Italy had a fascist government, and Hungary, where now you have a right-wing government, a very strong fascist movement. The incorporation of these countries into the Soviet sphere of influence, or the empire, as it were, did not destroy that fascism. It certainly suppressed it, but it didn't destroy it. So, as soon as the European project began to transform into a neo[neo]liberal project, and that gathered strength in the early 1990s, I mean, the neo[neo]liberal aspect of the European Union gathered strength in the early 1990s, exactly when you were getting the "liberation" of many countries from Soviet rule. And so, when you put those together, it led to, It was a rise of fascism waiting to happen and now it is happening.

SHARMINI PERIES: John, earlier, you said you'll factor in Trump. How does Trump fit into this phenomena?

JOHN WEEKS: I think that as The Real News has pointed out, that many of Trump's policies appear just to be more extreme versions of things that George Bush did, and in some cases not that much different from what Barack Obama did. Now, though I wouldn't go too deeply into that, I think that that is the most serious offenses by Obama that have been carried on by Trump have to do with the use of drones and the military. But at any rate, but there's a big difference from Trump. For the most part, the previous Republican presidents, and Democratic presidents, accepted the framework of, the formal framework of [neo]liberal democracy in the United States. That is, formally accepted the constraints imposed by the Constitution.

Now, of course, they probably didn't do it out of the goodness of their heart. They did it because they saw that the things that they wanted to achieve, the neo[neo]liberal goals that they wanted to achieve were perfectly consistent with the Constitution's framework and guarantees of rights and so on, that most of those rights are guaranteed in a way that's so weak that you didn't have to repeal the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution in order to have repressive policies.

The difference with Trump is, he has complete contempt for all of those constraints. That is, he is an authoritarian. I don't think he's a fascist, not yet, but he is an authoritarian. He does not accept that there are constraints which he should respect. There are constraints which bother him, and he wants to get rid of them, and he actually takes steps to do so. What you have in Trump, I think, is a sea change. You have a, we've had right-wing presidents before, certainly. What the difference with Trump is, he is a right-wing president that sees no reason to respect the institutions of democratic government, or even, you might say, the institution of representative government. I won't even use a term as strong as "democratic." That lays the basis for an explicitly authoritarian United States, and I'd say that we're beginning to see the vehicle by which this will occur, the restriction on voting rights. Of course, that was going on before Trump, it does in a more aggressive way. I think the, soon, we will have a Supreme Court that will be quite lenient with his tendency towards authoritarian rule.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, John. Let's end this segment with what can be done. I mean, what must be done to prevent neo[neo]liberal interests from undermining democracy? And who do you believe is leading the struggle for democracy now, and what is the right strategy that people should be fighting for?

JOHN WEEKS: Well, one thing, I think, where I'd begin is that I think progressives, as The Real News represents, and Bernie Sanders, and all the people that support him, and Jeremy Corbyn over here, I'll come back to talk about a bit about Jeremy. We must be explicit that we view democracy, by which we mean the participation of people at the grassroots, their participation in the government, we view that as a goal. It's not merely a technique, or a tool which, what was it that Erdoğan so infamously said? "Democracy is like a train. You take it to where you want to go and then you get off." No. Progressive view is that democracy is what it's all about. Democracy is the way that we build the present and we build a future.

I'm quite fortunate in that I live in perhaps the only large country in the world where there's imminent possibility of a progressive, left-wing, anti-authoritarian government. I think that is the monumental importance of Jeremy Corbyn and his second-in-command, John McDonnell, and others like Emily Thornberry, who is the Foreign Secretary. These people are committed to democracy. In the United States, Bernie Sanders is committed to a democracy, and a lot of other people are too, Elizabeth Warren. So, I think that the struggle in the United States is extremely difficult because of the role of the big money and the media, which you know more about than I do. But it is a struggle which we have to keep at, and we have to be optimistic about it. It's a good bit easier over here, but as we saw, and you reported, during the last presidential election, a progressive came very close to being President of the United States. That, I don't think was a one-off event, not to be repeated. I think it lays the basis for hope in the future.

... ... ...


JTMcPhee , February 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

"Informed speculation" with lots of footnotes and offshoots in this Reddit skein: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1llyf7/about_how_much_in_todays_money_was_30_pieces_of/

"A lot of money" in those days- Some say JI "bought land" with the shekels. An early form of asset swap? A precursor to current financialist activities?

WobblyTelomeres , February 17, 2018 at 10:44 am

Good article. If it were any bleaker, I'd suspect Chris Hedges having a hand in writing it.

The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools.

There it is, the Gorgon Thiel, surrounded by terror and rout.

James T. Cricket , February 18, 2018 at 3:46 am

I suppose you've read this.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/sam-altmans-manifest-destiny

Here's a quote:

"Altman felt that OpenAI's mission was to babysit its wunderkind until it was ready to be adopted by the world. He'd been reading James Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention for guidance in managing the transition. 'We're planning a way to allow wide swaths of the world to elect representatives to a new governance board,' he said."

I was having trouble choosing which of the passages in this article to provide a mad quote from. Some other choices were
Altman's going to work with the Department of Defense, then help defend the world from them.
Or:
OpenAI's going to take over from humans, but don't worry because they're going to make it (somehow) so OpenAI can only terminate bad people. Before releasing it to the world.
Or:
Altman says 'add a 0 to whatever you're doing but never more than that.'

But if this sort of wisdom (somehow) doesn't work out well for everybody and the world collapses, he's flying with Peter Thiel in the private jet to the New Zealand's south island to wait out the Zombie Apocalypse on a converted sheep farm. (Before returning to the Valley work with more startups?)

These are your new leaders, people

David , February 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

I think it's revealing that the only type of democracy discussed, in spite of the title, is "[neo]liberal democracy", which the host describes as "based on capitalistic markets along with respect for individual freedoms and human rights and equality in the face of the law."

I've always argued that [neo]liberal democracy is a contradiction in terms, and you can see why from that quotation. [neo]liberalism (leaving aside special uses of the term in the US) is about individuals exercising their personal economic freedom and personal autonomy as much as they can, with as little control by government as possible.

But given massive imbalances in economic power, the influence of media-backed single issue campaigns and the growth of professional political parties, policy is decided by the interventions of powerful and well-organised groups, without ordinary people being consulted. At the end, Weeks does start to talk of grassroots participation, but seems to have no more in mind than a campaign to get people to vote for Sanders in 2020, which hardly addresses the problem. The answer, if there is one, is a system of direct democracy, involving referendums and popular assemblies chosen at random.

This has been much talked about, but since you would have the entire political class against you, it's not going to happen. In the meantime, we are stuck with [neo]liberal democracy, whose contradictions, I'm afraid are becoming ever more obvious.

JTMcPhee , February 17, 2018 at 8:45 am

"Contradictions?" One question for me at least would be whether the features and motions of the current regime are best characterized as "contradictions." If so, to what? And implicit in the use of the word is some kind of resolution, via actual class conflict or something, leading to "better" or at least "different." All I see from my front porch is more of the same, and worse. "The Matrix" in that myth gave some comforting illusions to the mopery. I think the political economy/collapsed planet portrayed in "Soylent Green" is a lot closer to the likely endpoints.

At least in the movie fable, the C-Suite-er of the Soylent Corp. as the lede in the film, was sickened of what he was helping to maintain, and bethought himself to blow his tiny little personal whistle that nobody would really hear, and got axed for his disloyalty to the ruling collective. I doubt the ranks of corporatists of MonsantoDuPont and LockheedMartin and the rest include any significant numbers of folks sickened by "the contradictions" that get them their perks and bennies and power (as long as they color inside the lines.)

Eustache De Saint Pierre , February 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

I hope I am way off the mark, but within that genre & in terms of where we could be heading, the film " Snowpiercer " sums it up best for me- a dystopian world society illustrated through the passengers on one long train.

Michael C , February 17, 2018 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the Real News Network for covering issues that never see the light of day on the corporate media and never mentioned by the Rachel Maddow's of the "news" shows.

torff , February 17, 2018 at 10:02 am

Can we please put a moratorium on the term "free market"? It's a nonsense term.

Yves Smith Post author , February 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Yes, I wrote about that at length in ECONNED. I kept the RNN headline, which used it, but should have put "free market" in quotes.

Katz , February 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

I actually like the term and find it useful, insofar as it describes an ideology -- as oposed a real political-economic arrangement. The presence of "free markets" may not be a characteristic of the neo[neo]liberal phase, but the belief in them sure is.

(Which is not to say there aren't people who don't believe in free markets but do invoke them rhetorically for other ends. That's a feature of many if not most successful ideologies.)

Jim Haygood , February 17, 2018 at 10:59 am

' Originally, the Federal Reserve charter included full employment and a stable economy. Those have been overridden in more recent legislation, which puts a great emphasis on the control of inflation.

Eh, this is fractured history. The Fed was set up in 1913 as a lender of last resort -- a discounter of government and private bills.

In late 1978 Jimmy Carter signed the Humphrey Hawkins Act instructing the Fed to pursue three goals: stable prices, maximum employment, and moderate long-term interest rates, though the latter is rarely mentioned now and the Fed is widely viewed as having a dual mandate.

The Fed's two percent inflation target it simply adopted at its own initiative -- it's not enshrined in no Perpetual Inflation Act.

' We had a world of fixed exchange rates which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool. '

LOL! This is totally inverted and flat wrong. The Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system prevented radical monetary experiments such as QE which would have broken the peg. Nixon unilaterally suspended fixed exchange rates in 1971 because he was unwilling to take the political hit of formally devaluing the dollar (or even more unlikely, sweating out Vietnam War inflation with falling prices to maintain the peg).

Floating rates are a new and potentially lethal monetary tool which have produced a number of sad examples of "governments gone wild" with radical monetary experiments and currency swings. Bad boys Japan & Switzerland come readily to mind.

To render history accurately requires getting hands dirty with dusty old books. Icky, I know. :-(

RBHoughton , February 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Yes but globalisation meant that all central banks and finance ministers had to act concertedly as in G-20 and similar meetings. While we may talk of floating exchange rates, each country fixes its interest rate to maintain parity with the others. Isn't that so?

Yves Smith Post author , February 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Ahem, you skip over that the full employment goal was added to the Fed mandate in 1946, long before the inflation goal was added.

The Rev Kev , February 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

I think that the key piece of info is that the Federal Reserve was created on December 23rd, 1913. That sounds like that it was slipped in the legislative back door when everybody was going away for the Christmas holidays.

Steven Greenberg , February 17, 2018 at 11:26 am

===== quote =====
Second of all, probably most of your viewers will not remember the days when we had fixed exchange rates. We had a world of fixed exchange rates in those days that represented the policy, which government could use to affect its trade and also affect its domestic policy. There have been deregulation of that. We now have floating exchange rates. That takes away a tool, an instrument of economic policy. And in fiscal policy, there the, here it's more ideology than laws, though there are also laws. There's a law requiring that the government balance its budget, but more important than that, the introduction into the public consciousness, I'd say grinding into the public consciousness, the idea that deficits are a bad thing, government debt is a bad thing, and that's a completely neo[neo]liberal ideology.
===== /quote =====

This makes absolutely no sense and seems to have the case exactly backward. Our federal government has no rule that the budget must be balanced. Fixed exchange rates were not a tool that could be used to affect trade and domestic policy in a good way.

Lee Robertson , February 17, 2018 at 11:42 am

Any hierarchic system will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths. Systems will not save us.

Susan the other , February 17, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I enjoyed John Weeks' point of view. He's the first person I've read who refers to the usefulness of a fixed exchange rate. Useful for a sovereign government with a social spending agenda. We have always been a sovereign government with a military agenda which is at odds with a social agenda.

Guns and butter are a dangerous combination if you are dedicated to at least maintaining the illusion of a "strong dollar." That's basically what Nixon finessed. John Conally told him not to worry, we could go off the gold standard and it wasn't our problem since we were the reserve currency – it was everybody else's problem and we promptly exported our inflation all around the world. And now it has come home to roost because it was fudging and it couldn't last forever.

Much better to concede to some fix for the currency and maintain the sovereign power to devalue the dollar as necessary to maintain proper social spending. I don't understand why sovereign governments cannot see that a deficit is just the mirror image of a healthy social economy (Stephanie Kelton).

And to that end "fix" an exchange rate that maintains a reasonable purchasing power of the currency by pegging it to the long term health of the economy. What we do now is peg the dollar to a "basket of goods and services"- Ben Bernanke. That "basket" is effectively "the market" and has very little to do with good social policy.

There's no reason we can't dispense with the market and simply fiat the value of our currency based on the social return estimated for our social investments. Etc. Keeping the dollar stubbornly strong is just tyranny favoring those few who benefit from extreme inequality.

ebbflows , February 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Bancor. Then some got delusions of grandeur.

albert , February 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

" Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ."

I request a lessatorium* on the term 'democracy', because there aren't any democracies. Rather than redefine the term, why not use a more accurate one, like 'plutocracy', or 'corporatocracy'.
-- -- -- -
* It's like a moratorium, you just do less of it.

Paul Cardan , February 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

What is this democracy of which you speak?

Tomonthebeach , February 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm

I had not given much thought to "Fascist" until the term was challenged as a synonym for "bully." So, I started reading Wikipedia's take on Fascismo. What I discovered was the foremost, my USA education did not teach jack s -- about Fascism – and I went to elite high school in libr'l Chicago.

Is Fascism right or left? Does it matter? What goes around comes around.

What I gleaned from my quick Wikiread was the apparent pattern of economic inequality causing the masses to huddle in fear & loathing to one corner – desperation, and then some clever autocrat subverts the energy from their F&L into political power by demonizing various minorities and other non-causal perps.

Like nearly every past fascism emergence in history, US Trumpismo is capitalizing on inequality, and fear & loathing (his capital if you will) to seize power. That brings us to Today – to Trump, and an era (brief I hope) of US flirtation with fascism. Thank God Trump is crippled by a narcissism that fuels F&L within his own regime. Otherwise, I might be joining a survivalist group or something. :-)

Synoia , February 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Left and right are more line circle that a line.

I view the extreme left and extreme right, meeting somewhere, hidden, at the back of a circle.

c_heale , February 17, 2018 at 7:29 pm

I always believed this too!

+1

flora , February 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Neoliberalism involves not the deregulation of the capitalist system, but the reregulation of it in the interest of capital. So, it involves moving from a system in which capital is regulated in the interests of stability and the many to regulation in a way that enhances capital.

Prominent politicians in the US and UK have spent their entire political careers representing neoliberalism's agenda at the expense of representing the voters' issues. The voters are tired of the conservative and [neo]liberal political establishments' focus on neoliberal policy. This is also true in Germany as well France and Italy. The West's current political establishments see the way forward as "staying the neoliberal course." Voters are saying "change course." See:

'German Politics Enters an Era of Instability' – Der Speigel

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-political-landscape-crumbling-as-merkel-coalition-forms-a-1193947.html

[Feb 17, 2018] The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power by George Beebe

Notable quotes:
"... From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role. ..."
"... Note: this article is part of a ..."
"... included in the March/April 2018 issue of the ..."
"... George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest's intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union. ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role. Tweet Share Share March-April 2018 Note: this article is part of a symposium included in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Interest .

FEW QUESTIONS have greater import for the health and integrity of any republic than the question of whether important parts of its government's national-security apparatus are abusing their power for political purposes. This is particularly true in the United States, where the departments and agencies known collectively as the Intelligence Community (IC) have grown so large and capable, where faith in the integrity of our democratic institutions is so vital to the effective functioning of our system, and where suspicions about secret police and intelligence organizations are baked so deeply into our country's political culture.

The United States has faced this question several times in its recent history. The Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations all used -- or attempted to use -- the FBI and CIA to gather intelligence on U.S. citizens they suspected of collaboration with communist agents, with too little regard for statutory regulations and prohibitions of such practices, and too great a tendency to view their political enemies as national-security threats. Lyndon B. Johnson believed, without much justification, that the CIA had conspired against him at the 1960 Democratic convention to ensure that John F. Kennedy won the presidential nomination. Richard Nixon was equally convinced that the CIA had helped to swing the subsequent presidential election to Kennedy. These misperceptions barely surfaced in public at the time and did little to shake voters' faith in the outcome of the election, but they had significant implications for the working relationships of both Johnson and Nixon with the CIA once in office. Johnson's suspicions probably increased his inclination to side with the Defense Department's optimistic assessments of the Vietnam War over the CIA's more pessimistic -- and, in retrospect, more accurate -- analyses. Nixon's suspicions fueled his determination to build a small intelligence-gathering and covert-action group within the White House, which ultimately led to the Watergate break-in and cover-up that destroyed his presidency.

Investigations in the 1970s into various IC abuses, including efforts to collect intelligence on the political activities of U.S. citizens, led to the creation of specially designated congressional oversight committees -- the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- with the power and authorization to ensure that the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other IC bodies conduct their activities strictly within the bounds of law. The investigations also resulted in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which imposed strict limits on the government's ability to surveil the communications and activities of U.S. persons, requiring warrants issued by a special FISA court based on probable cause to believe that the target is a foreign power or its agent. The act established "minimization" requirements for disclosing the identities of U.S. persons being surveilled, allowing for "unmasking" -- that is, revealing their names to authorized government officials -- only when there is strong reason to believe they have committed a crime or when their identities are necessary to understand the intelligence information.

The now-infamous Iraq WMD estimate of 2002 raised questions of the political misuse of intelligence in a different form. Seldom had intelligence figured more prominently in the public justifications for a decision to go to war, and seldom had it been proven more spectacularly wrong in retrospect. Years of efforts by the CIA to increase its relevance had paid off in an unprecedentedly close relationship to the White House, but its unique ability to provide policymakers with the skepticism of a disinterested party suffered. The reorganization and reform of the IC mandated by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2005 were designed less to prevent political abuses of intelligence than to make the IC less prone to such consequential errors. This required something new of intelligence overseers: not only to ensure that IC activities remained within the bounds of law, but also to encourage qualitative improvements to its analytic rigor, information sharing and collaboration.

In principle, no one disputes that intelligence operations should be conducted strictly within the bounds of law, and that intelligence and law-enforcement professionals should be guided solely by evidence and analytic rigor in producing their assessments. Human nature being what it is, however, two temptations will be a never-ending challenge: for the IC, to please its White House masters, and for the presidency, to conflate its political enemies with those of the country as a whole. Aspects of both these temptations are evident in the controversies over the 2016 presidential election.

The use of the IC's vast capabilities to gather intelligence on opposition political campaigns should occur only in the rarest of circumstances, justified by solid evidence of treasonous activities warranted by the FISA court. The so-called Steele dossier, a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research gathered from London through unsecure communications with unnamed contacts in Russia, does not meet that standard of evidence. If, as is alleged but not proven, the FBI relied on this unverified document to justify a FISA warrant for collecting intelligence on Trump campaign officials, then the Obama administration crossed an important ethical, though probably not legal, line. Is there a deep state in the United States? Yes, if that means that important parts of our national-security apparatus have the capability, albeit not the legal authority, to abuse intelligence to alter the outcomes of national elections or distort public-policy debates. But we have processes in place to minimize this danger if the oversight provisions established by our laws are properly implemented and our independent media play their informal oversight role effectively. The IC, Congress, judiciary and media all appear to have fallen short of the standards our country should expect.

George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest's intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union.


Alistar , February 14, 2018 9:00 AM

Mr. Beebe, crossed an ethical but probably not legal line??? Really, appalling. FBI/DOJ operatives using the national level intel services to spy against a political opponent? Corruption, deception, lying to judges? Then there's this little aspect of a "cover up." Remember Nixon and Watergate, the break in was small potatoes, it was the lying and cover up that cost Nixon the Presidency. These two questions MUST be asked: What did they know and when did they know it??? Lynch, Holder, Brennan, Comey, Panetta, Biden and especially Obama. The truth will come out, eventually.

Irakli Bokuchava , February 15, 2018 9:12 AM

CIA and Intelligence community in common are parts of the American political system;their successful functioning is basis of success and victory of the USA as civil country;its alpha and omega of practical politics!

enoch arden , February 14, 2018 9:33 AM

The American so-called "Intel community" is a very peculiar phenomenon. Including this very term. Any intelligence agency is a military organisation with a very strict discipline directly subordinated to the commander in chief. Its activity is strictly secret and the commander in chief is the only recipient of the intelligence they acquire.

The Chinese book of military strategy "Sun Tzu" says that if the information of an agent became known to anyone before it was reported to the superior commander, both the agent and the recipient must be executed: the former for his loose tongue, the latter for his inappropriate curiocity. This implies that a particular branch of the intelligence service cannot distribute the information even to the adjacent branches, leaving alone the media.

In the US these rules seems to be entirely foreign. The intelligence officers actively discuss everything both with each other and with the media so that the commander in chief is often the last receiving the information. In a normal country this behaviour would have been stopped by executing the first 100 caught in leaking. The rest would learn the lesson.

TrumpUup💪🏻 enoch arden , February 14, 2018 6:04 PM

I agree but i would say these people are obviously Obama lovers... We both know the realities of today wouldn't allow for executions but it would stop ot and i do agree... The only answer is smaller government but it's to late for that..

sr37212 , February 14, 2018 9:26 AM

I guess we should just ignore the Dulles boys and their using the government to advance their own worth by overthrowing governments.

Schlesinger's Zenith ElPrimero , February 14, 2018 6:02 AM

Another worthless article - how can you mention the Deep State and Nixon and not mention the mighty James Schlesinger and the Family Jewels? I think the Master Old Boy talked about peak oil in his later years too - nah, no such thing as the Limits to Growth eh boys?

Arkansas Traveler Schlesinger's Zenith ElPrimero , February 14, 2018 10:30 AM

The difference is that at one time, the deep state was on the side of the United States

[Feb 17, 2018] The Deep State Is No Supervillain by Michael Lind

Notable quotes:
"... Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author, with Robert D. Atkinson, of ..."
"... (MIT Press, March 2018). ..."
"... The rise of the power elite has long been a serious problem in many Western societies, but trying to forcibly overthrow it will only create a new and potentially more dangerous elite in turn. ..."
"... Information is the key to winning any war between the people and the elite ..."
"... Would have been nice to mention that all this was possible post-1991 because there was no longer a peer competitor to the US, and thus Western business elite no longer was constrained to be allied with Western workers. Since 2014, that has all changed. There are now two near-peer competitors to the US. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

Political scientists often divide explanations of democratic politics in the United States and similar nations among theories of pluralism, state autonomy and elitism. The pluralist theory holds that the American elite, like the population, is divided among competing centers of power and authority with different values and interests. The state-autonomy theory holds that government agencies and military and intelligence organizations are independent actors in politics. The elitist theory holds that in most democracies most of the time, no matter how many political parties there may be, there is a dominant elite, which includes most of the leaders of politics, the economy and civil society and shares a broad consensus.

... ... ...

In my view, the elitist approach best explains the Trump phenomenon, along with contemporary populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the end of the Cold War, highly homogeneous social elites in North America and Europe have liberated themselves from the constraints of the institutions that restrained them between 1945 and 1989 -- institutions including strong labor unions, grassroots political parties and, in the United States, a distinct Southern oligarchy that by now has largely lost its identity and power and has been absorbed into the national ruling class.

Elites in the United States, Britain, Germany and other Western nations under post–Cold War leadership have deliberately weakened the bargaining power of workers in their nations by a combination of austerity-induced unemployment, offshoring, permitting Western-controlled corporations to play nation-states against one another and mass low-skilled immigration, creating a low-wage "reserve army of labor" in Western countries.

While restructuring the global economy to crush organized labor, transatlantic elites have simultaneously restructured government to minimize democratic accountability, by shifting decisionmaking from legislatures to executive and judicial agencies within the nation-state, and by enabling treaties and transnational agencies like the European Union, which are more insulated from voters, to replace or modify national statutory law. In both of the cases of anti-worker economic restructuring and de-democratization, American and European oligarchs have claimed that a mysterious, unstoppable force called "globalization" compelled them to do what they wanted to do anyway. This post–Cold War oligarchic revolution from above might be described as a conspiracy, but it is not a secret conspiracy perpetrated by the deep state. It was a program carried out in broad daylight by Bill Clinton and George Bush, Tony Blair and centrist European leaders. And it succeeded in its two goals of weakening the economic leverage and political power of the working-class majorities in the United States, the UK and other Western nations.

The populist rebellions of the second decade of the twenty-first century, which have been led by right-wing tribunes like Trump or left-wing demagogues like Sanders and Corbyn, can only be understood as a long-delayed reaction by populations to the replacement of the cross-class compromises of the post–World War II period by untrammeled oligarchy. America's newly empowered ruling class has closed ranks against Trump, but it would also close ranks against any other outsider president who challenged its post–Cold War dominance of American society, including Bernie Sanders. Deep divide? Yes. Deep state? No.

Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author, with Robert D. Atkinson, of Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business (MIT Press, March 2018).


Uniters.org Centrist EIC , February 13, 2018 7:36 AM

A bizarre misreading of history, though good points are made as well.

This is a classic example of a dishonest person analyzing something they disagree with, and instead of sticking to reality, they build a straw man bugaboo to assign blame to, and make their side into a victim:

"deliberately weakened the bargaining power of workers in their nations by a combination of austerity-induced unemployment, offshoring, permitting Western-controlled corporations to play nation-states against one another and mass low-skilled immigration, creating a low-wage "reserve army of labor" in Western countries"

He pretends that he isn't calling it a conspiracy, but that is exactly what he's doing, and some have done what he describes, but where he willfully jumps off the cliff of dishonesty is in claiming to know why ("deliberately") these actions were taken by so many people, over such a long period of time.

That's an obvious lie. Unless Mr. Lind is Professor X, using science fiction psychic magnifying machines to read thousands of minds, both past and present, there is no way anyone could honestly make that claim.

His use of conspiracy theory makes it doubly interesting in how he deconstructs the conspiracy theory many on the right are pushing about the 'deep state'.

Turn that skeptic's lens back on yourself, Mr. Lind.

R. Arandas , February 13, 2018 3:57 PM

The rise of the power elite has long been a serious problem in many Western societies, but trying to forcibly overthrow it will only create a new and potentially more dangerous elite in turn.

Information is the key to winning any war between the people and the elite.

Curt , February 13, 2018 1:59 PM

Would have been nice to mention that all this was possible post-1991 because there was no longer a peer competitor to the US, and thus Western business elite no longer was constrained to be allied with Western workers. Since 2014, that has all changed. There are now two near-peer competitors to the US.

[Feb 16, 2018] The Deep Staters care first and foremost about themselves.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putin is evil, Putin kills, Putin steals, bla bla bla!!! Putin is only guilty for not being America's vassal. The Russia bashing in MSM will cease by miracle if it becomes America's client state. Putin and Russia are presumed guilty of everything bad that happens in the world. ..."
"... No evidence is needed, high confidence is enough!! It is almost funny that a country like USA which has a long records of meedling and intervention in others countries internal affairs worlwide, now is losing reason about alleged russia meedling. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

andrewp111 Guest , February 13, 2018 7:21 AM

For a very simple reason. The Deep Staters care first and foremost about themselves. They wanted Hillary to win, badly, but were not willing to risk too much for her. James Comey in particular cares about James Comey. Remember, this is a guy who views himself as a historical Religious Figure. He wanted to be able to serve out a full 10 year term. He wanted to please his Democratic masters enough to avoid being fired by either Obama or Clinton, but not too much to gain excessive ire from Congress. He was afraid that a Republican Congress under a future Clinton Administration would go after him tooth and nail if he "concealed" new evidence against Clinton prior to the election - especially since he promised the Congress that he would inform them of new developments. And Comey probably feared the worst as to what was in Wiener's email archive. When they finally went through that archive, and failed to find much that was new, he must have breathed a sigh of relief - only to see the wrong person win the election.

Tracy Crawford , February 13, 2018 8:21 PM

The political system in the US is a near complete failure. On one hand the massive levels of corruption legalized in Citizen's United give influence over political decisions to wealthy elites previously unseen outside of the deeply corrupted and criminal Russian oligarchy. On the other hand and synergistic with the previous point, the least informed and most easily influenced of people have votes equal in weight to highly informed, well-educated, expert and professional practitioners.

Rights guaranteed by a difficult-to-alter constitution combined with easily managed and easily created social media content based on opaque sources of emotionally charged, unverified and unverifiable information have gained control over public opinion (making alteration of our constitution even more difficult.)

And look at the fourth (Reagan, Bush, Bush, Trump) wave of Republican explosion of national debt under the banner of "fiscal responsibility."

It is astounding how "A" can be so successfully marketed as "B."

I am afraid that once control of public opinion has been so successfully attained in our form of democracy/legalized-corruption that there is no way to recover.

It is a sad state of affairs. I'd love to hear solutions.

Kurt Gayle , February 13, 2018 2:03 PM

An excellent description of the recent activities of the Deep State, Mr. Merry.

Thank you.

The trolls will now come after you full-bore.

WillDippel , February 12, 2018 9:08 PM

As shown in this article, Washington is completely ignoring the one issue of its own making that could create global chaos:

https://viableopposition.bl...

Washington's anti-Russia program is simply a distraction from its real problems.

Anti-Empire , February 14, 2018 12:48 PM

Great piece by Merry. Not new, but worthy of repetition when presented clearly like this.
It does not matter what you call it, Deep State or something else. What Merry says about the threat it poses to what remnants of democracy we have is true.
I prefer to call it the Imperial State since its highest priority is the US Empire, with domestic well-being simply an afterthought or of no cosequence at all.

Jamie , February 14, 2018 12:12 PM

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,"

- Cryin' Chuck Schumer

Steve JimmyD , February 14, 2018 1:29 PM

There is only ONE country that consistently "messes" in the politics of nearly every other country on the planet and that is not Russia.

It is the USA Deep State. I challenge you to research the evidence, "hidden in plain sight", of these examples:

1) US money that flowed into France and Italy elections after WW2;

2) overthrow of Greece elected pres in 1974 by US-friendly generals;

3) overthrow of Salvadore Allende in Chile 1973;

4) overthrow of Iran Mossadegh in 1953;

5) overthrow of neutral govt in Indonesia in early '60s;

6) the massive money that flowed into Russia in 1996 to get Yeltsin re-elected;

7) the money and attention US put into overthrowing legally elected govt in Ukraine in 2014.

That is just a VERY short list.

NO OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH HAS MAINTAINED THIS FRANTIC PACE OF MASSIVE INTERVENTIONS/MEDDLING/BRIBING/OVERTHROWING/BOMBING/INVADING/DEATH-SQUADing FOREIGN POLITICAL SYSTEMS FOR 70 YEARS LIKE YOUR "GOOD OLE USA", powered by it's un-elected Deep State.

kelly bako JimmyD , February 13, 2018 7:27 PM

Putin is evil, Putin kills, Putin steals, bla bla bla!!! Putin is only guilty for not being America's vassal. The Russia bashing in MSM will cease by miracle if it becomes America's client state. Putin and Russia are presumed guilty of everything bad that happens in the world.

No evidence is needed, high confidence is enough!! It is almost funny that a country like USA which has a long records of meedling and intervention in others countries internal affairs worlwide, now is losing reason about alleged russia meedling.

A troll, from Saint Petersburg.

Tracy Crawford kelly bako , February 13, 2018 10:50 PM

You're right, Kelly, about some of your points. Evil: check. Kill: check. Steal: check. Co-opting the largest per capita criminal network in the world: check.

kelly bako Tracy Crawford , February 14, 2018 2:01 AM

He forced Americans to vote trump to undermine your democracy : check

[Feb 16, 2018] The Deep State Is Very Real by Robert W. Merry

Notable quotes:
"... Note: this article is part of a ..."
"... included in the March/April 2018 issue of the ..."
"... Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is editor of ..."
"... . He is the author most recently of ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

February 12, 2018

Note: this article is part of a symposium included in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Interest .

OF COURSE there's a Deep State. Why wouldn't there be? Even a cursory understanding of human nature tells us that power corrupts, as Lord Acton put it; that, when power is concentrated and entrenched, it will be abused; that, when it is concentrated and entrenched in secrecy, it will be abused in secret. That's the Deep State. James Burnham saw it coming. The American philosopher and political theorist (1905–87), first a Trotskyist, then a leading conservative intellectual, wrote in 1941 that the great political development of the age was not the battle between communism and capitalism. Rather, it was the rise of a new "managerial" class gaining dominance in business, finance, organized labor and government. This gathering managerial revolution, as he called it, would be resisted, but it would be impervious to adversarial counteractions. As the managerial elites gained more and more power, exercised often in subtle and stealthy ways, they would exercise that power to embed themselves further into the folds of American society and to protect themselves from those who might want to bust them up.

Nowhere is this managerial elite more entrenched, more powerful and more shrouded in secrecy than in what Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex, augmented by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. That's where America's relentless drive for global hegemony meshes with defense manufacturers only too willing to provide the tools of dominance.

Now we have not only a standing army, with hundreds of thousands of troops at the ready, as in Cold War days. We have also permanent wars, nine of them in progress at the moment and not one with what could even remotely be called proper congressional approval. That's how power gets entrenched, how the managerial revolution gains ever greater force and how the Deep State endures.

Few in the general public know what really happened with regard to the allegations of Trump campaign "collusion" with Russia, or how the investigation into those troubling allegations emerged. But we know enough to know we have seen the Deep State in action.

We know that U.S. agencies released an "Intelligence Community Assessment" saying that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of embarrassing Democratic emails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency. But we also know that it wasn't really a National Intelligence Assessment (a term of art denoting a particular process of expansive intelligence analysis) but rather the work of a controlled task force. As Scott Ritter, the former Marine intelligence officer and arms-control official, put it , "This deliberate misrepresentation of the organizational bona fides of the Russia NIA casts a shadow over the viability of the analysis used to underpin the assessments and judgments contained within." Besides, the document was long on assertion and short on evidence. Even the New York Times initially derided the report as lacking any "hard evidence" and amounting "essentially . . . to 'trust us.'"

We have substantial reason to believe that an unconfirmed salacious report on Trump, paid for by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign (with the FBI eventually getting hold of it), was used in an effort to get a secret national-security warrant so the government could spy on the Trump campaign. We know that the FBI went easy on Clinton in its investigation of her irresponsible email practices, and then we find out that a top FBI official involved in both the Clinton and Trump/Russia investigations despised Trump, liked Hillary and expressed an interest in doing what he could to thwart Trump's emergence. We know he privately told his lover that, while he didn't think Trump could win, he nevertheless felt a need for an "insurance policy" because "I'm afraid we can't take that risk." We know these matters were discussed in the office of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

We know further that former FBI director James Comey used a cutout to leak to the press a rendition of an Oval Office conversation with the president that could be interpreted adversely to Trump. We know he did this to set in motion the appointment of an independent investigator, a potentially mortal threat to any president -- and perhaps particularly to this freewheeling billionaire developer.

Perhaps most significant, we know that all this had the effect of wrenching from the president the flexibility to pursue a policy agenda on which he had campaigned -- and which presumably contributed to his election. That was his promise to work toward improved relations between the United States and Russia. Prospects for such a diplomatic initiative now are as dead as the dodo bird. Trump lost that one. The Deep State won.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . He is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 8:07 AM

I don't believe there is a secret 'deep state' controlling the USA from the shadows like some Bond villian.

What people call the deep state is in fact the interests of the business elite who have been granted nearly unprecedented political influence by the American people in the form or nearly unlimited campaign contributions to politicians who promote their interests, unregulated lobbying, control of the MSM and the funding of think tanks and other institutions that promote their interests.

When historians look back at this time it will be Madison Avenue and the revolution in persuasion that they study.

Paul Cressman grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 6:20 PM

1934 Major General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corp, was asked by US Industrialists to help them overthrow the government. Roosevelt was to remain as the figurehead of the US but the industrialists would be in charge. The industrialist would supply Butler with a 500,000 man army that he would be in charge of. Butler's father was a congressman in the 1920's and Butler told congress of the possible Coup. Read of The Committee of Foreign Affairs, CFA.

R. Arandas grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 4:02 PM

Yes, it is quite disturbing that 2% of the world's population control about 50% of its total wealth though:
https://www.theguardian.com...

JimmyD grumpy_carpenter , February 13, 2018 9:24 AM

Teddy Roosevelt and the Presidents that followed him understood the dangers of the Robber-Barons buying the government. That's why they launched anti-trust, income tax and estate taxes to protect democracy.

[Feb 16, 2018] The March-April 2018 Issue The National Interest

Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

The Deep State Isn't What You Think

The problem is not that the "deep state" is thwarting Trump's policy agenda. It is his reliance on advisers who agree with the post–Cold War foreign-policy consensus.

Emma M. Ashford The Deep State Is a Distraction

When you hear the term "dark government," change the channel or turn off the radio; if you see an article, turn the page.

John Deutch Is There a Deep State?

A symposium on the "deep state" in today's Washington.

Jacob Heilbrunn The 'Deep State' Is No Supervillain

The encroaching "deep state" was a program carried out in broad daylight by Bill Clinton and George Bush, Tony Blair and centrist European leaders.

Michael Lind The Deep State Is Very Real

How the Deep State stopped better relations with Russia.

Robert W. Merry The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power

From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role.

George Beebe The 'Deep State' Conspiracy Is a Joke

From the Masons to UFOs, Americans have loved mysteries.

Gary Hart We've Seen This Deep-State Story Before

As a boy in the early 1950s, I learned about a widely feared attempt to take over America by communists. A few years later, it was just a myth.

John Despres Trump's War on the Deep State

This is why Donald Trump went to war against the entire political class.

Conrad Black America Has No Deep State

The fictitious idea of a deep state is doing more to politicize the bureaucracy than any real deep state ever did.

Paul R. Pillar How We Got Trump's Clash with the Deep State

Had the deep state gotten its way, Donald J. Trump would never have come close to the Oval Office, let alone be sitting in it.

Christopher A. Preble

[Feb 16, 2018] How We Got Trump's Clash with the Deep State by Christopher A. Preble

Notable quotes:
"... History informed his judgement. "The means of defense against foreign danger," he said, "have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." ..."
"... National Security and Double Government ..."
"... Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute and the author of ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

AMERICA'S FOUNDERS anticipated how a sprawling national-security state could subvert the popular will, and even endanger the nation's interests. James Madison told his fellow delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty."

History informed his judgement. "The means of defense against foreign danger," he said, "have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."

George Washington agreed. In his Farewell Address, the general turned president advised his countrymen to "avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

Another general-president, Dwight Eisenhower, echoed these concerns. He worried that the evolving "military-industrial complex" would acquire "unwarranted influence" and "endanger our liberties or democratic processes." "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry," he continued, "can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Alas, the citizenry is neither alert nor knowledgeable.

Which means that the actual conduct of foreign policy falls to what Michael Glennon dubbed the Trumanites: "the network of several hundred high-level military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement officials within the executive branch who are responsible for making national security policymaking." And within that executive branch, Glennon concludes in his book National Security and Double Government , "The President . . . exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy."

Even if you don't buy Glennon's argument, it seems likely that the men and women responsible for executing U.S. foreign policy are uninterested in the views of the many Americans who actually pay for the nation's wars, and the few Americans who fight them.

Defenders of the status quo like to argue that it survives because it works. The public is wrong to doubt the wisdom of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the foreign-policy elite sees it, the American people can't be expected to understand why we defend wealthy allies, deploy hundreds of thousands of military personnel in numerous foreign countries and align ourselves with some of the world's most reprehensible autocrats.

Dean Acheson, Truman's secretary of state, presumably spoke for many elites (though perhaps too candidly) when he explained, "If you truly had a democracy and did what the people wanted, you'd go wrong every time."

In this sense, it isn't merely inertia that explains why U.S. foreign policy remains on autopilot, despite widespread public dissatisfaction with the status quo. Rather, it's the deep state, doing what the deep state does.

Donald Trump tapped into the resentment engendered by the establishment's contempt for the great unwashed. He has failed, so far at least, to dislodge the deep state and its policies. Then again, maybe he never intended to roll back American primacy. After all, he promised massive military spending increases, and expressed regret that we didn't take the Iraqis' oil. Even his claim to have always opposed the Iraq War was a taradiddle. So there were ample grounds for doubting that Trump would give the American people the foreign policy they wanted. Maybe the deep state didn't thwart him?

The deep state obviously isn't all-powerful. After all, had the deep state gotten its way, Donald J. Trump would never have come close to the Oval Office, let alone be sitting in it.

Now, given the power that we have erroneously invested in the office of the presidency, critics of the deep state should rethink their opposition to it, and members of the deep state should rethink their enthusiasm for a chief executive generally unencumbered by the Congress or the people. The deep state doesn't control the @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed. It cannot stop him from engaging in behavior that increases the risk of a catastrophic conflict. Perhaps we should wish that it could?

But we should never welcome a situation in which unelected officials distort or ignore public sentiments, or undertake policies that are demonstrably harmful to vital national interests.

Christopher A. Preble is vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute and the author of The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free .

[Feb 16, 2018] Stephanie Savell The Hidden Costs of America's Wars by Tom Engelhardt

Feb 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

If anything, recent weeks have offered remarkable evidence of just how victorious this country's losingest commanders and their colleagues really are in our nation's capital. In the bipartisan style that these days usually applies only to the U.S. military, Congress has just settled on giving an extra $165 billion to the Pentagon over the next two years as part of a formula for keeping the government open. As it happens, the 2017 Pentagon budget was already as large as the defense spending of the next seven nations combined. And that was before all those extra tens of billions of dollars ensured that the two-year military budget (for 2018 and 2019) would crest at a total of more than $1.4 trillion .

That's the sort of money that only goes to winners, not losers. And if this still seems a little strange to you, given that military's dismal record in actual war-fighting since 9/11, all I can say is: don't bring it up. It's no longer considered polite or proper to complain about our wars and those who fight them or how we fund them, not in an age when every American soldier is a " hero ," which means that what they're doing from Afghanistan to Yemen , Syria to Somalia , must be heroic indeed.

In a draft-less country, those of us not in or connected to our military are expected to say " thank you " to the warriors and otherwise go about our lives as if their wars (and the mayhem they continue to generate abroad) were not a fact of global life. This is the definition of a demobilized public. If you happen to be that rarest of all creatures in our country these days -- someone in active opposition to those wars -- you have a problem. That means Stephanie Savell, who co-runs the Costs of War Project , which regularly provides well-researched and devastating information on the spread of those wars and the money continually being squandered on them, does indeed have a problem. It's one she understands all too well and describes vividly today.

[Feb 15, 2018] Trump's War on the Deep State by Conrad Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee ..."
"... The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

...Donald Trump went to war against the entire political class: all factions of both parties, the bureaucracy, the national media, the lobbyists, Hollywood and Wall Street. He said the whole system was rotten and had failed the nation: hopeless wars that accomplished nothing except the wastage of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, the extension of Iranian influence and an immense humanitarian crisis, a flatlined economy, a shrinking workforce, increasing poverty and crime, oceans of debt, large trade deficits from trade agreements that exported unemployment to the United States and the unmonitored influx of millions of illiterate peasants from Latin America.

... ... ...

For the first nine months of the new administration, there was the constant confected threat of impeachment. The phantasmagorical imbecility that Trump had somehow colluded and connived with the Russian government to rig the election was the excuse of the hapless Clinton and her Trump-hating echo chamber in the national media for the election result.

The deep state was almost the whole state, and it pitched in to sabotage the administration. For nearly that long, the Republican leaders sat on their hands waiting to see if he would be impeached or not. His nominees were a long time in being confirmed. There were leaks of White House conversations, including with foreign leaders -- outright acts of insubordination causing Trump, a decisive executive, to fire some fairly high officials, including the malign director of the FBI, who then informed Congress that he had leaked a self-addressed memo (probably illegally, as it was technically government property), in order to have a special prosecutor named to torment the president over the fatuous Russian allegations, although Comey testified that Trump himself was not a target or suspect and the Russians had not influenced the outcome of the election. (This was a sober position compared to the wholesale fabrications of the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, that a thousand Russian agents had swarmed the key battleground states and had delivered Wisconsin to Trump.)

The president has strengthened the White House staff. The FBI and Justice Department have been ripped apart in their partisanship and misuse of the dossier on which the collusion argument and the surveillance of the Trump campaign were based. And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, and the whole impeachment movement has collapsed. The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed.

Conrad Black is a writer and former newspaper publisher whose most recent book is Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (PublicAffairs, 2007).

[Feb 15, 2018] How The Deep State Stopped Better Relations With Russia by Robert W. Merry

Feb 14, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Note: this article is part of a symposium included in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Interest .

OF COURSE there's a Deep State. Why wouldn't there be? Even a cursory understanding of human nature tells us that power corrupts, as Lord Acton put it; that, when power is concentrated and entrenched, it will be abused; that, when it is concentrated and entrenched in secrecy, it will be abused in secret. That's the Deep State.

James Burnham saw it coming. The American philosopher and political theorist (1905–87), first a Trotskyist, then a leading conservative intellectual, wrote in 1941 that the great political development of the age was not the battle between communism and capitalism. Rather, it was the rise of a new "managerial" class gaining dominance in business, finance, organized labor and government. This gathering managerial revolution, as he called it, would be resisted, but it would be impervious to adversarial counteractions. As the managerial elites gained more and more power, exercised often in subtle and stealthy ways, they would exercise that power to embed themselves further into the folds of American society and to protect themselves from those who might want to bust them up.

Nowhere is this managerial elite more entrenched, more powerful and more shrouded in secrecy than in what Dwight Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex, augmented by intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. That's where America's relentless drive for global hegemony meshes with defense manufacturers only too willing to provide the tools of dominance.

Now we have not only a standing army, with hundreds of thousands of troops at the ready, as in Cold War days. We have also permanent wars, nine of them in progress at the moment and not one with what could even remotely be called proper congressional approval. That's how power gets entrenched, how the managerial revolution gains ever greater force and how the Deep State endures.

Few in the general public know what really happened with regard to the allegations of Trump campaign "collusion" with Russia, or how the investigation into those troubling allegations emerged. But we know enough to know we have seen the Deep State in action.

We know that U.S. agencies released an "Intelligence Community Assessment" saying that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of embarrassing Democratic emails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency. But we also know that it wasn't really a National Intelligence Assessment (a term of art denoting a particular process of expansive intelligence analysis) but rather the work of a controlled task force. As Scott Ritter, the former Marine intelligence officer and arms-control official, put it , "This deliberate misrepresentation of the organizational bona fides of the Russia NIA casts a shadow over the viability of the analysis used to underpin the assessments and judgments contained within." Besides, the document was long on assertion and short on evidence. Even the New York Times initially derided the report as lacking any "hard evidence" and amounting "essentially . . . to 'trust us.'"

[Feb 11, 2018] How Russiagate fiasco destroys Kremlin moderates, accelerating danger for a hot war

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The pro-Hillary warmongering media, the ones that pushed for war in Iraq and elsewhere, through big lies and false evidence, are the vanguard of this ugly machine that supports the most terrible Trump administration bills, yet, this machine can't stop accusing him for 'colluding' with Russia that 'interfered' in the 2016 US election. Of course, no evidence presented for such an accusation and no one really can explain what that 'interference' means. ..."
"... They're accusing the President of the United States of being a Russian agent, this has never happened in American history. However much you may loathe Trump, this is a whole new realm of defamation. For a number of years, there's been a steady degradation of American political culture and discourse, generally. There was a time when I hoped or thought that it would be the Democratic Party that would push against that degradation ..."
"... Now, however, though I'm kind of only nominally, a Democrat, it's the Democratic Party that's degrading our political culture and our discourse. So, this is MSNBC, which purports to be not only the network of the Democratic Party, but the network of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, is now actually because this guy was a semi-anchor was asking the question to an American senator, " Do you think that Representative Nunes, because he wants the memo released, has been compromised by the Kremlin? " ..."
"... And by the way, if people will say, " Well, it's a weak capitulation of McCarthyism, " I say no, it's much more than that because McCarthy was obsessed with Communist. That was a much narrower concept than being obsessed with anybody who might be under Russian influence of any kind. The so-called affinity for Russia. Well, I have a profound affinity for Russian culture and for Russian history. I study it all the time. This is something new. And so, when you accuse a Republican or any Congressman of being a Kremlin agent, this has become a commonplace. We are degraded. ..."
"... We are building up our military presence there, so the Russians are counter-building up, though within their territory. That means the chances of hot war are now much greater than they were before. ..."
"... Every time Trump has tried with Putin to reach a cooperative arrangement, for example, on fighting terrorism in Syria, which is a necessary purpose, literally, the New York Times and the others call him treasonous. Whereas, in the old days, the old Cold War, we had a robust discussion. There is none here. We have no alert system that's warning the American people and its representatives how dangerous this is. And as we mentioned before, it's not only Nunes, it's a lot of people who are being called Kremlin agents because they want to digress from the basic narrative. ..."
"... Meanwhile, people in Moscow who formed their political establishment, who surround Putin and the Kremlin, I mean, the big brains who are formed policy tankers, and who have always tended to be kind of pro-American, and very moderate, have simply come to the conclusion that war is coming. ..."
"... The Democrats couldn't had downgrade their party further. This disgusting spectacle would make FDR totally ashamed of what this party has become. Not only they are voting for every pro-plutocracy GOP bill under Trump administration, but they have become champions in bringing back a much worse and unpredictable Cold War that is dangerously escalating tension with Russia. ..."
Feb 06, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

How Russiagate fiasco destroys Kremlin moderates, accelerating danger for a hot war with Russia globinfo freexchange

Corporate Democrats can't stop pushing for war through the Russiagate fiasco.

The party has been completely taken over by the neocon/neoliberal establishment and has nothing to do with the Left. The pro-Hillary warmongering media, the ones that pushed for war in Iraq and elsewhere, through big lies and false evidence, are the vanguard of this ugly machine that supports the most terrible Trump administration bills, yet, this machine can't stop accusing him for 'colluding' with Russia that 'interfered' in the 2016 US election. Of course, no evidence presented for such an accusation and no one really can explain what that 'interference' means.

But things are probably much worse, because this completely absurd persistence on Russiagate fiasco that feeds an evident anti-Russian hysteria, destroys all the influence of the Kremlin moderates who struggle to keep open channels between Russia and the United States.

Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at NY University and Princeton University, explained to Aaron Maté and the Real News the terrible consequences:

They're accusing the President of the United States of being a Russian agent, this has never happened in American history. However much you may loathe Trump, this is a whole new realm of defamation. For a number of years, there's been a steady degradation of American political culture and discourse, generally. There was a time when I hoped or thought that it would be the Democratic Party that would push against that degradation.

Now, however, though I'm kind of only nominally, a Democrat, it's the Democratic Party that's degrading our political culture and our discourse. So, this is MSNBC, which purports to be not only the network of the Democratic Party, but the network of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, is now actually because this guy was a semi-anchor was asking the question to an American senator, " Do you think that Representative Nunes, because he wants the memo released, has been compromised by the Kremlin? "

I think all of us need to focus on what's happened in this country when in the very mainstream, at the highest, most influential levels of the political establishment, this kind of discourse is no longer considered an exception. It is the norm. We hear it daily from MSNBC and CNN, from the New York Times and the Washington Post, that people who doubt the narrative of what's loosely called Russiagate are somehow acting on behalf of or under the spell of the Kremlin, that we aren't Americans any longer. And by the way, if people will say, " Well, it's a weak capitulation of McCarthyism, " I say no, it's much more than that because McCarthy was obsessed with Communist. That was a much narrower concept than being obsessed with anybody who might be under Russian influence of any kind. The so-called affinity for Russia. Well, I have a profound affinity for Russian culture and for Russian history. I study it all the time. This is something new. And so, when you accuse a Republican or any Congressman of being a Kremlin agent, this has become a commonplace. We are degraded.

The new Cold War is unfolding not far away from Russia, like the last in Berlin, but on Russia's borders in the Baltic and in Ukraine. We are building up our military presence there, so the Russians are counter-building up, though within their territory. That means the chances of hot war are now much greater than they were before. Meanwhile, not only do we not have a discussion of these real dangers in the United States but anyone who wants to incite a discussion, including the President of the United States, is called treasonous. Every time Trump has tried with Putin to reach a cooperative arrangement, for example, on fighting terrorism in Syria, which is a necessary purpose, literally, the New York Times and the others call him treasonous. Whereas, in the old days, the old Cold War, we had a robust discussion. There is none here. We have no alert system that's warning the American people and its representatives how dangerous this is. And as we mentioned before, it's not only Nunes, it's a lot of people who are being called Kremlin agents because they want to digress from the basic narrative.

Meanwhile, people in Moscow who formed their political establishment, who surround Putin and the Kremlin, I mean, the big brains who are formed policy tankers, and who have always tended to be kind of pro-American, and very moderate, have simply come to the conclusion that war is coming. They can't think of a single thing to tell the Kremlin to offset hawkish views in the Kremlin. Every day, there's something new. And these were the people in Moscow who are daytime peacekeeping interlockers. They have been destroyed by Russiagate. Their influence as Russia is zilch. And the McCarthyites in Russia, they have various terms, now called the pro-American lobby in Russia 'fifth columnists'. This is the damage that's been done. There's never been anything like this in my lifetime.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CpVBA4OIfb8

The Democrats couldn't had downgrade their party further. This disgusting spectacle would make FDR totally ashamed of what this party has become. Not only they are voting for every pro-plutocracy GOP bill under Trump administration, but they have become champions in bringing back a much worse and unpredictable Cold War that is dangerously escalating tension with Russia.

And, unfortunately, even the most progressives of the Democrats are adopting the Russiagate bogus, like Bernie Sanders, because they know that if they don't obey to the narratives, the DNC establishment will crush them politically in no time.

[Feb 10, 2018] >The generals are not Borgists. They are something worse ...

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The post WW2 promotion process in the armed forces has produced a group at the top with a mentality that typically thinks rigorously but not imaginatively or creatively. ..."
"... These men got to their present ranks and positions by being conformist group thinkers who do not stray outside the "box" of their guidance from on high. They actually have scheduled conference calls among themselves to make sure everyone is "on board." ..."
"... If asked at the top, where military command and political interaction intersect, what policy should be they always ask for more money and to be allowed to pursue outcomes that they can understand as victory and self fulfilling with regard to their collective self image as warrior chieftains. ..."
"... In Trump's time his essential disinterest in foreign policy has led to a massive delegation of authority to Mattis and the leadership of the empire's forces. Their reaction to that is to look at their dimwitted guidance from on high (defeat IS, depose Assad and the SAG, triumph in Afghanistan) and to seek to impose their considerable available force to seek accomplishment as they see fit of this guidance in the absence of the kind of restrictions that Obama placed on them. ..."
"... Like the brass, I, too, am a graduate of all those service schools that attend success from the Basic Course to the Army War College. I will tell you again that the people at the top are not good at "the vision thing." They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers ..."
"... Academia reinforces the groupthink. The mavericks are shunned or ostracized. The only ones I have seen with some degree of going against the grain are technology entrepreneurs. ..."
"... "They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers." I have found this to be the case with 80 to 90% of most professions. A good memory and able to perform meticulously what they have been taught, but little thinking outside that narrow box. Often annoying, but very dangerous in this case. ..."
"... Since Afghanistan and the brass were mentioned in the editorial statement, here is an immodest question -- Where the brass have been while the opium production has been risen dramatically in Afghanistan under the US occupation? "Heroin Addiction in America Spearheaded by the US-led War on Afghanistan" by Paul Craig Roberts: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/06/heroin-addiction-america-spearheaded-us-led-war-afghanistan/ ..."
"... A simple Q: What has been the role of the CENTCOM re the racket? Who has arranged the protection for the opium production and for drug dealers? Roberts suggests that the production of opium in Afghanistan "finances the black operations of the CIA and Western intelligence agencies." -- All while Awan brothers, Alperovitch and such tinker with the US national security? ..."
"... God help the poor people of Syria. ..."
"... thanks pat... it seems like the usa has had a steady group of leaders that have no interest in the world outside of the usa, or only in so far as they can exploit it for their own interest... maybe that sums up the foreign policy of the usa at this point... you say trump is disinterested.. so all the blather from trump about 'why are we even in syria?', or 'why can't we be friends with the russia?' is just smoke up everyone's ass... ..."
"... Predictably there is always someone who says that this group is not different from all others. Unfortunately the military function demands more than the level of mediocrity found in most groups ..."
"... A lot of technology entrepreneurs--especially those active today--are stuck in their own groupthink, inflated by their sense that they are born for greatness and can do no wrong. ..."
"... The kind of grand schemes that the top people at Google, Uber, and Facebook think up to remake the universe in their own idea of "good society" are frightening. That they are cleverer (but not necessarily wiser) than the academics, borgists, or generals, I think, makes them even more dangerous. ..."
"... They [the generals] seem to have deliberately completely ignored the issues and policy positions Trump ran on as President. It isn't a case of ignorance but of wilful disregard. ..."
"... So true and as others commented this is a sad feature of the human race and all human organizations. Herd mentality ties into social learning ..."
"... Our massive cultural heritages are learned by observing and taken in as a whole. This process works within organizations as well. ..."
"... I suspect a small percentage of the human race functions differently than the majority and retains creative thinking and openness along with more emphasis on cognitive thinking than social learning but generally they always face a battle when working to change the group "consensus", i.e. Fulton's folly, scepticism on whether man would ever fly, etc. ..."
"... This is an interesting discussion. The top in organisations (civil and military) are increasingly technocrats and thinking like systems managers. They are unable to innovate because they lack the ability to think out of the box. Usually there is a leader who depends on specialists. Others (including laymen) are often excluding from the decision-making-proces. John Ralston Saul's Voltaires Bastards describes this very well. ..."
"... Because of natural selection (conformist people tend to choose similar people who resemble their own values and ways-of-thinking) organizations have a tendency to become homogeneous (especially the higher management/ranks). ..."
"... In combination with the "dumbing" of people (also of people who have a so-called good education (as described in Richard Sale's Sterile Chit-Chat ) this is a disastrous mix. ..."
"... That's true not only of the US military but of US elites in general across all of the spectra. And because that reality is at odds with the group-think of those within the various elements that make up the spectra it doesn't a hearing. Anyone who tries to bring it up risks being ejected from the group. ..."
"... "The United States spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, according to the former U.S. ambassador to the country. This $12 billion is in addition to the billions more spent to pursue regime change in Syria in the previous three years, after war broke out in 2011." https://goo.gl/8pj5cD ..."
"... "They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers." I've often pondered that concept. Notice how many of radical extremist leaders were doctors, engineers and such? Narrow and deep. ..."
"... Long ago when I was a professor, I advised my students that "the law is like a pencil sharpener, it sharpens the mind by narrowing it." I tried to encourage them to "think backwards". ..."
"... Col, I think it might help people to think of "the Borg" - as you have defined & applied it - in a broader context. It struck me particularly as you ID'd the launching of our modern military group-think / careerism behavior coming from the watershed of industrialized scale & processes that came out of WWII. ..."
"... We note parallel themes in all significant sectors of our civilization. The ever-expanding security state, the many men in Gray Flannel Suits that inhabit corporate culture, Finance & Banking & Big Health scaling ever larger - all processes aimed to slice the salami thinner & quicker, to the point where meat is moot ... and so it goes. ..."
"... I just finished reading Command & Control (about nuclear weapons policy, systems design & accidents). I am amazed we've made it this far. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

(Editorial Statement)

The Borgist foreign policy of the administration has little to do with the generals.

To comprehend the generals one must understand their collective mentality and the process that raised them on high as a collective of their own. The post WW2 promotion process in the armed forces has produced a group at the top with a mentality that typically thinks rigorously but not imaginatively or creatively.

These men got to their present ranks and positions by being conformist group thinkers who do not stray outside the "box" of their guidance from on high. They actually have scheduled conference calls among themselves to make sure everyone is "on board."

If asked at the top, where military command and political interaction intersect, what policy should be they always ask for more money and to be allowed to pursue outcomes that they can understand as victory and self fulfilling with regard to their collective self image as warrior chieftains.

In Obama's time they were asked what policy should be in Afghanistan and persuaded him to reinforce their dreams in Afghanistan no matter how unlikely it always was that a unified Western oriented nation could be made out of a collection of disparate mutually alien peoples.

In Trump's time his essential disinterest in foreign policy has led to a massive delegation of authority to Mattis and the leadership of the empire's forces. Their reaction to that is to look at their dimwitted guidance from on high (defeat IS, depose Assad and the SAG, triumph in Afghanistan) and to seek to impose their considerable available force to seek accomplishment as they see fit of this guidance in the absence of the kind of restrictions that Obama placed on them.

Like the brass, I, too, am a graduate of all those service schools that attend success from the Basic Course to the Army War College. I will tell you again that the people at the top are not good at "the vision thing." They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers. pl


Jack , 09 February 2018 at 05:42 PM

Sir

IMO, this conformism pervades all institutions. I saw when I worked in banking and finance many moons ago how moving up the ranks in any large organization meant you didn't rock the boat and you conformed to the prevailing groupthink. Even nutty ideas became respectable because they were expedient.

Academia reinforces the groupthink. The mavericks are shunned or ostracized. The only ones I have seen with some degree of going against the grain are technology entrepreneurs.

Fredw , 09 February 2018 at 06:26 PM
You remind me of an old rumination by Thomas Ricks:

Take the example of General George Casey. According to David Cloud and Greg Jaffe's book Four Stars, General Casey, upon learning of his assignment to command U.S. forces in Iraq, received a book from the Army Chief of Staff. The book Counterinsurgency Lessons Learned from Malaya and Vietnam was the first book he ever read about guerilla warfare." This is a damning indictment of the degree of mental preparation for combat by a general. The Army's reward for such lack of preparation: two more four star assignments.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/02/07/cmon-man-meathead-generals-and-some-other-things-that-are-driving-me-crazy-about-life-in-this-mans-post-911-army/

Peter AU , 09 February 2018 at 06:37 PM
"They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers." I have found this to be the case with 80 to 90% of most professions. A good memory and able to perform meticulously what they have been taught, but little thinking outside that narrow box. Often annoying, but very dangerous in this case.
Anna , 09 February 2018 at 06:48 PM
Since Afghanistan and the brass were mentioned in the editorial statement, here is an immodest question -- Where the brass have been while the opium production has been risen dramatically in Afghanistan under the US occupation? "Heroin Addiction in America Spearheaded by the US-led War on Afghanistan" by Paul Craig Roberts: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/06/heroin-addiction-america-spearheaded-us-led-war-afghanistan/

" in 2000-2001 the Taliban government –with the support of the United Nations (UNODC) – implemented a successful ban on poppy cultivation. Opium production which is used to produce grade 4 heroin and its derivatives declined by more than 90 per cent in 2001. The production of opium in 2001 was of the order of a meager 185 tons. It is worth noting that the UNODC congratulated the Taliban Government for its successful opium eradication program. The Taliban government had contributed to literally destabilizing the multibillion dollar Worldwide trade in heroin.

In 2017, the production of opium in Afghanistan under US military occupation reached 9000 metric tons. The production of opium in Afghanistan registered a 49 fold increase since Washington's invasion. Afghanistan under US military occupation produces approximately 90% of the World's illegal supply of opium which is used to produce heroin. Who owns the airplanes and ships that transport heroin from Afghanistan to the US? Who gets the profits?"

---A simple Q: What has been the role of the CENTCOM re the racket? Who has arranged the protection for the opium production and for drug dealers? Roberts suggests that the production of opium in Afghanistan "finances the black operations of the CIA and Western intelligence agencies." -- All while Awan brothers, Alperovitch and such tinker with the US national security?

J , 09 February 2018 at 07:05 PM
Colonel,

There needs to be a 're-education' of the top, all of them need to be required to attend Green Beret think-school, in other words they need to be forced to think outside the box, and to to think on their feet. They need to understand fluid situations where things change at the drop of a hat, be able to dance the two-step and waltz at the same time. In other words they need to be able to walk and chew gum and not trip over their shoe-laces.

By no means are they stupid, but you hit the nail on the head when you said 'narrow thinkers'. Their collective hive mentality that has developed is not a good thing.

divadab , 09 February 2018 at 07:16 PM
God help the poor people of Syria.
james , 09 February 2018 at 07:30 PM
thanks pat... it seems like the usa has had a steady group of leaders that have no interest in the world outside of the usa, or only in so far as they can exploit it for their own interest... maybe that sums up the foreign policy of the usa at this point... you say trump is disinterested.. so all the blather from trump about 'why are we even in syria?', or 'why can't we be friends with the russia?' is just smoke up everyone's ass...

i like what you said here "conformist group thinkers who do not stray outside the "box" of their guidance from on high. They actually have scheduled conference calls among themselves to make sure everyone is "on board." - that strikes me as very true - conformist group thinkers... the world needs less of these types and more actual leaders who have a vision for something out of the box and not always on board... i thought for a while trump might fill this bill, but no such luck by the looks of it now..

David E. Solomon , 09 February 2018 at 07:50 PM
Colonel Lang,

Your description of these guys sounds like what we have heard about Soviet era planners. Am I correct in my understanding, or am I missing something?

Regards,

David

DianaLC , 09 February 2018 at 07:56 PM
As a young person in eighth grade, I learned about the "domino theory" in regard to attempts to slow the spread of communism. Then my generation was, in a sense, fractured around the raging battles for and against our involvement in Vietnam.

I won't express my own opinion on that. But I mention it because it seems to be a type of "vision thing."

So, now I ask, what would be your vision for the Syrian situation?

Bill Herschel , 09 February 2018 at 09:11 PM
This has been going on for a long time has it not? Westmoreland? MacArthur?

How did this happen?

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 09:40 PM
Bill Herschel

Westmoreland certainly, Macarthur certainly not. This all started with the "industrialization" of the armed forces in WW2. we never recovered the sense of profession as opposed to occupation after the massive expansion and retention of so many placeholders. a whole new race of Walmart manager arose and persists. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 09:48 PM
DianaC

The idea of the Domino Theory came from academia, not the generals of that time. They resisted the idea of a war in east Asia until simply ordered into it by LBJ. After that their instinct for acting according to guidance kicked in and they became committed to the task. Syria? Do you think I should write you an essay on that? SST has a large archive and a search machine. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 09:55 PM
David E. Solomon

I am talking about flag officers at present, not those beneath them from the mass of whom they emerge. There are exceptions. Martin Dempsey may have been one such. The system creates such people at the top. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:08 PM
elaine,

Your usual animosity for non-left wing authority is showing. A commander like the CENTCOM theater commander (look it up) operates within guidance from Washington, broad guidance. Normally this is the president's guidance as developed in the NSC process. Some presidents like Obama and LBJ intervene selectively and directly in the execution of that guidance. Obama had a "kill list" of jihadis suggested by the IC and condemned by him to die in the GWOT. He approved individual missions against them. LBJ picked individual air targets in NVN. Commanders in the field do not like that . They think that freedom of action within their guidance should be accorded them. This CinC has not been interested thus far in the details and have given the whole military chain of command wide discretion to carry out their guidance. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:12 PM
J

Thank you, but it is real GBs that you like, not the Delta and SEAL door kickers. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:24 PM
Gaikomainaku

"I am not sure that I understand what makes a Borgist different from a military conformist." The Borg and the military leaders are not of the same tribe. they are two different collectives who in the main dislike and distrust each other. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:27 PM
Anna. Their guidance does not include a high priority for eradicating the opium trade. Their guidance has to do with defeating the jihadis and building up the central government. pl
turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:30 PM
Peter AU

Predictably there is always someone who says that this group is not different from all others. Unfortunately the military function demands more than the level of mediocrity found in most groups. pl

turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 10:44 PM
james

Trump would like to better relations with Russia but that is pretty much the limit of his attention to foreign affairs at any level more sophisticated than expecting deference. He is firmly focused on the economy and base solidifying issues like immigration. pl

Peter AU , 09 February 2018 at 11:01 PM
The medical profession comes to mind. GP's and specialists. Many of those working at the leading edge of research seem much wider thinking and are not locked into the small box of what they have been taught.
turcopolier , 09 February 2018 at 11:16 PM
Peter AU

The GPs do not rule over a hierarchy of doctors. pl

J -> turcopolier ... , 09 February 2018 at 11:22 PM
Combat Applications Group and SEALS don't even begin to compare, they're not in the same league as 'real deal' GBs. The GBs are thinkers as well as doers, whereas Combat Applications Group and SEALs all they know is breach and clear, breach and clear.

There is more to life than breach and clear. Having worked with all in one manner or another, I'll take GBs any day hands down. It makes a difference when the brain is engaged instead of just the heel.

kao_hsien_chih -> Jack... , 09 February 2018 at 11:22 PM
A lot of technology entrepreneurs--especially those active today--are stuck in their own groupthink, inflated by their sense that they are born for greatness and can do no wrong.

The kind of grand schemes that the top people at Google, Uber, and Facebook think up to remake the universe in their own idea of "good society" are frightening. That they are cleverer (but not necessarily wiser) than the academics, borgists, or generals, I think, makes them even more dangerous.

FB Ali , 09 February 2018 at 11:23 PM
Col Lang,

They are indeed "narrow thinkers", but I think the problem runs deeper. They seem to be stuck in the rut of a past era. When the US was indeed the paramount military power on the globe, and the US military reigned supreme. They can't seem to accept the reality of the world as it is now.

Of course, these policies ensure that they continue to be well-funded, even if the US is bankrupting itself in the process.

turcopolier , 10 February 2018 at 01:03 AM
dogear

He is still the Saudi Mukhtar for the US and most of the generals are still narrow minded. pl

LondonBob , 10 February 2018 at 06:59 AM
They [the generals] seem to have deliberately completely ignored the issues and policy positions Trump ran on as President. It isn't a case of ignorance but of wilful disregard.
turcopolier , 10 February 2018 at 07:55 AM
LondonBob

I think that is true but, they were able to talk him into that, thus far. pl

DianaLC said in reply to turcopolier ... , 10 February 2018 at 09:23 AM
I've been reading this blog for some time. My question was facetious and written with the understanding of your statement about the generals not having a good grasp of "the vision thing" on their own.
Terry , 10 February 2018 at 09:25 AM
So true and as others commented this is a sad feature of the human race and all human organizations. Herd mentality ties into social learning. Chimps are on average more creative and have better short term memory than humans. We gave up some short term memory in order to be able to learn quickly by mimicking. If shown how to open a puzzle box but also shown unnecessary extra steps a chimp will ignore the empty steps and open the box with only the required steps. A human will copy what they saw exactly performing the extra steps as if they have some unknown value to the process. Our massive cultural heritages are learned by observing and taken in as a whole. This process works within organizations as well.

I suspect a small percentage of the human race functions differently than the majority and retains creative thinking and openness along with more emphasis on cognitive thinking than social learning but generally they always face a battle when working to change the group "consensus", i.e. Fulton's folly, scepticism on whether man would ever fly, etc.

One nice feature of the internet allows creative thinkers to connect and watch the idiocy of the world unfold around us.

"A natural desire to be part of the 'in crowd' could damage our ability to make the right decisions, a new study has shown."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141216212049.htm

TV , 10 February 2018 at 10:18 AM
The military by definition is a rigid hierarchical structure. It could not function as a collection of individuals. This society can only breed conforming narrow leaders as an "individual" would leave or be forced out.
Barbara Ann , 10 February 2018 at 10:22 AM
That part of our brain responsible for the desire to be part of the 'in crowd' may affect our decision-making process, but it is also the reason we keep chimps in zoos and not the other way around. Or, to put it another way; if chimps had invented Facebook, I might consider them more creative than us.
Babak Makkinejad -> Terry... , 10 February 2018 at 10:30 AM
Do you think chimps are, per the Christian Docrine, in a State of Fall or in a State of Grace?
Adrestia , 10 February 2018 at 10:32 AM
This is an interesting discussion. The top in organisations (civil and military) are increasingly technocrats and thinking like systems managers. They are unable to innovate because they lack the ability to think out of the box. Usually there is a leader who depends on specialists. Others (including laymen) are often excluding from the decision-making-proces. John Ralston Saul's Voltaires Bastards describes this very well.

Because of natural selection (conformist people tend to choose similar people who resemble their own values and ways-of-thinking) organizations have a tendency to become homogeneous (especially the higher management/ranks).

In combination with the "dumbing" of people (also of people who have a so-called good education (as described in Richard Sale's Sterile Chit-Chat ) this is a disastrous mix.

Homogeneity is the main culprit. A specialists tends to try to solve problems with the same knowledge-set that created these.

Not all (parts of) organizations and people suffer this fate. Innovations are usually done by laymen and not by specialists. The organizations are often heterogeneous and the people a-typical and/or eccentric.

(mainly the analytical parts of ) intelligence organizations and investment banks are like that if they are worth anything. Very heterogeneous with a lot of a-typical people. I think Green Berets are also like that. An open mind and genuine interest in others (cultures, way of thinking, religion etc) is essential to understand and to perform and also to prevent costly mistakes (in silver and/or blood).

It is possible to create firewalls against tunnel-vision. The Jester performed such a role. Also think of the Emperors New Clothes . The current trend of people with limited vision and creativity prevents this. Criticism is punished with a lack of promotion, job-loss or even jail (whistle-blowers)

IMO this is why up to a certain rank (colonel or middle management) a certain amount of creativity or alternative thinking is allowed, but conformity is essential to rise higher.

I was very interested in the Colonel's remark on the foreign background of the GB in Vietnam. If you would like to expand on this I would be much obliged? IMO GB are an example of a smart, learning, organization (in deed and not only in word as so many say of themselves, but who usually are at best mediocre)

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg -> gaikokumaniakku... , 10 February 2018 at 11:58 AM
Isn't the "Borg" really The Atlantic Council?
ISL , 10 February 2018 at 12:58 PM
Dear Colonel,

Would you then say that a rising military officer who does have the vision thing faces career impediments? If so, would you say that the vision thing is lost (if it ever was there) at the highest ranks? In any case, the existence of even a few at the top, like Matthis or Shinseki is a blessing.

ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to FB Ali ... , 10 February 2018 at 01:08 PM
FB Ali:
"When the US was indeed the paramount military power on the globe, and the US military reigned supreme. They can't seem to accept the reality of the world as it is now."
That's true not only of the US military but of US elites in general across all of the spectra. And because that reality is at odds with the group-think of those within the various elements that make up the spectra it doesn't a hearing. Anyone who tries to bring it up risks being ejected from the group.
Adrestia , 10 February 2018 at 02:03 PM
I forget an important part. I really miss an edit-button. Comment-boxes are like looking at something through a straw. Its easy to miss the overview.

Innovations and significant new developments are usually made by laymen. IMO mainly because they have a fresh perspective without being bothered by the (mainstream) knowledge that dominates an area of expertise.

By excluding the laymen errors will continue to be repeated. This can be avoided by using development/decision-making frameworks, but these tend to become dogma (and thus become part of the problem)

Much better is allowing laymen and allowing a-typical people. Then listen to them carefully. Less rigid flexible and very valuable.

kooshy , 10 February 2018 at 02:19 PM
Apparently, according to the last US ambassador to Syria Mr. Ford, from 2014-17 US has spent 12 Billion on Regime change in Syria. IMO, combinedly Iran and Russia so far, have spent far less in Syria than 12 billion by US alone, not considering the rest of her so called coalition. This is a war of attrition, and US operations in wars, are usually far more expensive and longer than anybody else's.

"The United States spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, according to the former U.S. ambassador to the country. This $12 billion is in addition to the billions more spent to pursue regime change in Syria in the previous three years, after war broke out in 2011." https://goo.gl/8pj5cD

J , 10 February 2018 at 02:49 PM
Colonel, TTG, PT,

FYI regarding Syria

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/sen-tim-kaine-demands-release-secret-trump-war-powers-memo-n846176

Richardstevenhack -> turcopolier ... , 10 February 2018 at 02:56 PM
It may "demand" it - but does it get it? Soldiers are just as human as everyone else.

I'm reminded of the staff sergeant with the sagging beer belly who informed me, "Stand up straight and look like a soldier..." Or the First Sergeant who was so hung over one morning at inspection that he couldn't remember which direction he was going down the hall to the next room to be inspected. I'm sure you have your own stories of less than competence.

It's a question of intelligence and imagination. And frankly, I don't see the military in any country receiving the "best and brightest" of that country's population, by definition. The fact that someone is patriotic enough to enter the military over a civilian occupation doesn't make them more intelligent or imaginative than the people who decided on the civilian occupation.

Granted, if you fail at accounting, you don't usually die. Death tends to focus the mind, as they say. Nonetheless, we're not talking about the grunts at the level who actually die, still less the relatively limited number of Special Forces. We're talking about the officers and staff at the levels who don't usually die in war - except maybe at their defeat - i.e., most officers over the level of captain.

One can hardly look at this officer crowd in the Pentagon and CENTCOM and say that their personal death concentrates their mind. They are in virtually no danger of that. Only career death faces them - with a nice transition to the board of General Dynamics at ten times the salary.

All in all, I'd have to agree that the military isn't much better at being competent - at many levels above the obvious group of hyper-trained Special Forces - any more than any other profession.

dogear said in reply to Terry... , 10 February 2018 at 02:59 PM
That is well put.most important is the grading system that is designed to fix a person to a particular slot thereby limiting his ability to think "outside the box" and consider the many variables that exist in one particular instant.

Creative thinking allows you to see beyond the storm clouds ahead and realize that the connectedness of different realities both the visible and invisible. For instance the picture of the 2 pairs of korean skaters in the news tells an interesting story on many levels. Some will judge them on their grade of proffiency, while others will see a dance of strategy between 2 foes and a few will know the results in advance and plan accordingly

https://www.google.com.au/amp/www.nbcolympics.com/news/north-south-korean-figure-skating-teams-practice-side-side%3famp?espv=1

Mark Logan said in reply to Peter AU... , 10 February 2018 at 03:30 PM
Peter AU

"They are not stupid at all but they are a collective of narrow thinkers." I've often pondered that concept. Notice how many of radical extremist leaders were doctors, engineers and such? Narrow and deep. STEM is enormously useful to us but seems to be a risky when implanted in shallow earth.

turcopolier , 10 February 2018 at 05:03 PM
Mark Logan

These narrow "but deep" thinkers were unable to grasp the nature of the Iraq War for the first couple of years. They thought of it as a rear area security problem, a combat in cities problem, anything but a popular rebellion based on xenophobia and anti-colonialism The IED problem? They spent several billion dollars on trying to find a technology fix and never succeeded. I know because they kept asking me to explain the war to them and then could not understand the answers which were outside their narrow thought. pl

turcopolier , 10 February 2018 at 05:13 PM
ISL

War College selectees, the national board selected creme de la creme test out as 50% SJs (conformists lacking vision) in Myers-Briggs terms and about 15% NTs (intellectuals). To survive and move upward in a system dominated by SJs, the NTs must pretend to be what they are not. A few succeed. I do not think Mattis is an intellectual merely because he has read a lot. pl

outthere , 10 February 2018 at 05:19 PM