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Collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 will in 40-50 years
probably lead to the collapse of USA-led global neoliberal empire

The deep analogy exists between collapse of neoliberalism and dissolution of the USSR. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. Such a state can't last forever and eventually collapses. Neoliberalism which entered zombie state in 2008 now is more cruel and bloodthirsty then before

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  Recommended Links Brexit Casino Capitalism Secular Stagnation Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism Gangster Capitalism Anti-globalization movement Psychological Warfare and the New World Order Key Myths of Neoliberalism Globalization of Corporatism Greenwald US
Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions The Great Transformation Right to protect If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths
Super Capitalism as Imperialism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism America’s Financial Oligarchy Inverted Totalitarism Disaster capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Republican Economic Policy Monetarism fiasco Small government smoke screen The Decline of the Middle Class
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberalism Bookshelf John Kenneth Galbraith Globalization of Financial Flows Humor Etc

Introduction

The term “Neoliberalism” is not simply a catch-all term for pro-market policies, deregulation, globalization and the rule of financial oligarchy. Important part of the term in Thatcher's TINA -- the idea if inevitability of adoption of neoliberal ideology by failing social democratic parties, which now are almost everywhere are detached from trade unions and are controlled by financial oligarchy. In the USA this transition was accomplished by Clinton, in GB by Blair. At this point neoliberalism quietly hijected the state and started to dismantle the New Deal Capitalism and introduce markets where they are were never used and never was successful, for example in education, healthcare, railroads, etc.  Which logically led to the global financial crisis of 2008 -- the crisis that completely discredited the neoliberal ideology (as well as the idea of financial markets self-regulation), but after which neoliberalism as social system continued to exist and prosper in "zombie", more bloodthirsty state (somewhat similar to the fact that Bolshevism existed in zombie state from 1945 to 1991, counterattacking in Hungary, Chechoslovakia, and Poland). For neoliberal politicians competition is the only legitimate organizing principle for human activity. As Dani Rodrik explained The Guardian

The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash.

...The use of the term “neoliberal” exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters’s article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle. The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today’s world.

That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus, the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest.

But the looseness of the term neoliberalism also means that criticism of it often misses the mark. There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship or incentives – when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism’s useful ideas.

The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions. A proper understanding of the economics that lie behind neoliberalism would allow us to identify – and to reject – ideology when it masquerades as economic science. Most importantly, it would help us to develop the institutional imagination we badly need to redesign capitalism for the 21st century.

...Economics is not just about efficiency and growth, he adds. Economic principles also carry over to equity and social policy. Economics has little to say about how much redistribution a society should seek. But it does tell us that the tax base should be as broad as possible, and that social programmes should be designed in a way that does not encourage workers to drop out of the labour market.

As Professor  Ganesh Sitaraman noted (The Collapse of Neoliberalism The New Republic, Dec 23, 2019):

With the 2008 financial crash and the Great Recession, the ideology of neoliberalism lost its force. The approach to politics, global trade, and social philosophy that defined an era led not to never-ending prosperity but utter disaster. “Laissez-faire is finished,” declared French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted in testimony before Congress that his ideology was flawed. In an extraordinary statement, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declared that the crash “called into question the prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy of the past 30 years—the orthodoxy that has underpinned the national and global regulatory frameworks that have so spectacularly failed to prevent the economic mayhem which has been visited upon us.”

For some, and especially for those in the millennial generation, the Great Recession and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started a process of reflection on what the neoliberal era had delivered. Disappointment would be an understatement: the complete wreckage of economic, social, and political life would be more accurate. In each of these arenas, looking at the outcomes that neoliberalism delivered increasingly called into question the worldview itself.

Start with the economy. Over the course of the neoliberal era, economies around the world have become more and more unequal. In the United States, the wealthiest 1 percent took home about 8.5 percent of the national income in 1976. After a generation of neoliberal policies, in 2014 they captured more than 20 percent of national income. In Britain, the top 1 percent captured more than 14 percent of national income—more than double the amount they took home in the late 1970s. The story is the same in Australia: The top 1 percent took about 5 percent of national income in the 1970s and doubled that to 10 percent by the late 2000s. As the rich get richer, wages have been stagnant for workers since the late 1970s. Between 1979 and 2008, 100 percent of income growth in the U.S. went to the top 10 percent of Americans. The bottom 90 percent actually saw a decline in their income.

Derivatives speculation alone under the deregulated “too big to fail” banking system has resulted in over $1.5 quadrillion in nominal values which have ZERO connection to the real world (GDP globally barely accounts for $80 trillion). Over the past 5 months $415 billion of QE bailouts have been released into the bankrupt banks to prevent a collapse. So, economically it’s foundation of sand.

Militarily, the West in general and the USA specifically has followed the path of Roman empire by overextending itself beyond capacity, relying too much  of (expensive) mercenaries and brute military force which created situations of global turmoil, death and unbounded resentment at the dominant Anglo American powers (including NATO) and the USA Military-industrial complex. 

As the most recent transformation of capitalism, neoliberalism is a broad economic and political project of restoring class power of financial oligarchy it enjoyed in 20th of XX century (financial revanchism). It involved  consolidation, globalization and rapid concentration of financial capital (Giroux 2008; 2014). Both neoliberal  governments and authoritarian societies share one important self-destructive trait: They care only about consolidating power in the hands of the financial elite, common people be damned.  As such it  is not a sustainable social system, although this does not mean that the replacement will be better. It well can be worse.

In any case financial oligarchy proved to be the most criminal and vile part of capitalism class. Probably more vile then limitary industrial complex. The most close to the organized crime. So the fact that they will drive the societies which allowed them to rule of the cliff is govern. Neoliberalism was a toxic ideology designed specifically to restore the power of financial oligarchy and as such it has no staying power.  It is unable to improve the standard of living of the majority of the population as it is oriented on looting of this majority by the financial oligarchy without any interference from the state.  The peak power of neoliberal ideology was the decade of  1990-2000. during this decade the standard of living of working and middle class of the USA was sustained by looting the xUSSR area as well as computer and telecommunication revolution, which partially compensated the deindustrialization trend.

After that neoliberalism experienced series of shocks:

  1. Dot com bubble
  2. Bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble, devaluation of CDOs and the collapse of financial industry. Government bailout at a huge cost instead of deep reforms of financial sector (Obama was really a traitor of his class and his race) . That was a knockdown, but not a knockout. This crisis buried the neoliberal ideology, much like WWII buried Bolsheviks ideology.  At this point neoliberalism entered zombie stage, much like Bolshevism in late forties.
  3. Election of Trump and rejection of candidate of neoliberal elite -- Hillary Clinton by the majority of the US electorate.
  4. Color revolution against Trump by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party which further delegitimized neoliberal elite. Epstein scandal.
  5. Unleashing by Trump administration of the trade war with China and end of "classic neoliberalism" globalization period.
  6. Defeat of the USA in Afghanistan  and realization that the dominance of Atlantic nations (G7) is coming to the end (Macron  remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz  is a nice illustration here)

As an ideology, neoliberalism consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy ("market fundamentalism"). Like Fascism and Bolshevism neoliberalism relies on the power of the state for pushing neoliberal "reforms" and the relentless brainwashing of the population by neoliberal propaganda (including indoctrination of the university students via neoclassical economy courses).   So democracy under neoliberalism is just a fig leaf covering dictatorship of financial oligarchy ("inverted totalitarism'). Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence. But this is covered by thick smoke screen  of propaganda, which in its intensity, penetration and the level of deception outdo Bolsheviks propaganda by an order of magnitude approaching the level described in Brave New World dystopia. In other words neoliberal population is a thoroughly brainwashed population.

There no surprise that the majority of the USA population hate it which in this USA resulted in the election of Trump and is GB in Brexit. Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar, yet the neoliberal ideology and perverted neoliberal rationality entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources. To the extent that one of propagandists of neoliberalism once declared its triumph "the end of history".

From the late 1980s to 2016, neoliberal ideas held hegemonic sway among both the Democratic elite and the Republican elite in the USA. But election of Trump was a sign of the  legitimization of the neoliberal elite and a really serious crack in the neoliberal facade. Which neoliberal elite tried to patch with the campaign of virulent Russophobia (aka RussiaGate.)  Moreover intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party tried to reverse the results of the elections by unleashing the color revolution against Trump.

Unlike fascism and bolshevism which both relied on population mobilization, neoliberalism tried to emasculate citizens suppressing political activity by treating them as just a consumers. In other words it promote political passivity and replacement of real political struggle by colorful spectacle like wrestling in WWE. Consumption is the only legitimate form of activity of citizens under neoliberalism and exercising of their choice during this consumption is the only desirable political activity.  With the related religious belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations (the  idea of "self-regulating market," to use Karl Polanyi's phrase.) The resulting grinding mass unemployment — with only tiny remnants of New Deal protection mechanisms to soften the blow — created political instability that destroyed any chances of Clinton Wing of Dems for reelection in 2016.

As the mode of governance, neoliberalism produces the way of life driven by a survival-of-the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, predatory individual in economic jungles. And it declared the moral the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).  Epstein scandal (or more correctly the fact that Epstein was not ostracized after his initial conviction and prison term)  is just extreme demonstration of this mentality. 

In the area of economic policies such mentality tend to produce an economy with highly unequal incomes, prevalence of monopolies and high business concentration, unstable booms, and long, painful busts.

As the political project, it involves the privatization of public services, the dismantling of the connection of private issues and public problems, the selling off of state functions, liberalization of trade in goods and capital investment, the eradication of government regulation of financial institutions and corporations, the destruction of the welfare state and unions, and the complete "marketization" and "commodification" of social relations.

Neoliberalism has put an enormous effort into creating a commanding cultural apparatus and public pedagogy in which individuals can only view themselves as consumers, embrace freedom as the right to participate in the market, and supplant issues of social responsibility for an unchecked embrace of individualism and the belief that all social relation be judged according to how they further one’s individual needs and self-interests.

Matters of mutual caring, respect, and compassion for the other have given way to the limiting orbits of privatization and unrestrained self-interest, just as it has become increasingly difficult to translate private troubles into larger social, economic, and political considerations. As the democratic public spheres of civil society have atrophied under the onslaught of neoliberal regimes of austerity, the social contract has been either greatly weakened or replaced by savage forms of casino capitalism, a culture of fear, and the increasing use of state violence.

One consequence is that it has become more difficult for people to debate and question neoliberal hegemony and the widespread misery it produces for young people, the poor, middle class, workers, and other segments of society — now considered disposable under neoliberal regimes which are governed by a survival-of-the fittest ethos, largely imposed by the ruling economic and political elite.

That they are unable to make their voices heard and lack any viable representation in the process makes clear the degree to which young people and others are suffering under a democratic deficit, producing what Chantal Mouffe calls “a profound dissatisfaction with a number of existing societies” under the reign of neoliberal capitalism (Mouffe 2013:119). This is one reason why so many youth, along with workers, the unemployed, and students, have been taking to the streets in Greece, Mexico, Egypt, the United States, and England.

Neoliberalism is the second after Marxism social system that was "invented" by a group of intellectuals (although there was not a single dominant individual among them) and implemented via coup d'état. ( Installed from above by a "quite coup") Although is  formally only around 40 years old (if we count the age of neoliberalism from the election of Reagan, which means from 1981) neoliberalism as ideology was born much earlier, around in 1947.  And the first neoliberal US president was not Reagan, but  Jimmy Carter.

In any case in 2008 it already reached the stage of discreditation of its ideology. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. That happened with Bolshevism after its victory on the WWII when it became evident that the working class does not represent the new dominant class and communist party is unable to secure neither higher productivity of economics, nor higher standard of living for people then the advanced capitalist societies. Soviet soldiers in 1944-1945 saw the standard of living in Poland (which was Russian province before the revolution, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria and started to suspect the dream of building communist society was just another "opium for the people", the secular religion which hides the rule of "nomenklatura". 

Later the Soviet intelligencia realized that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  in applicable to the USSR no less that to any Western country. We probably can  assume that Soviet ideology entered zombies state in 1945, or may be later in 1963 (with  Khrushchev Thaw) when it became clear that the USSR will never match the standard of living of the USA population and most of Western European countries (which paradoxically was the result of the existence of the USSR and which entered the decline after the USSR dissolution) .  Illusions of the possibility of global Communist hegemony had evaporated with the collapse of Sino-Soviet relations (also the 1960s.) Around 1975, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic stagnation from which it  never emerged.  Due to this the USSR looked to Europe, primarily West Germany, to provide hard currency financing through massive loans, while the US became a major supplier of grain.

All in all the story of the USSR collapse suggests that after the ideology was discredited the society, which was based on it,  can last  several decades, or even half a century (The USSR lasted another 28-46 years (depending on the point at which you assume the ideology was completely discredited).  The sad story of the USSR after 1963 does suggests that if the ideology is "man made" like is both the case with Marxism and neoliberalism, the collapse of ideology is the prolog to the subsequent collapse of the society (even if with a substantial lag). The collapse  of such a society is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

Neoliberal society probably has at least the same staying power as Bolshevism. Probably more. So we can expect that  after 2008 -- when the ideology was discredited and neoliberalism entered zombie stage it will last around 50 years. If not more. The key fact that might speed up the collapse of neoliberalism is the end of cheap oil. As soon as the price of one barrel of oil exceeds some magic number (different researchers cite figures from $70 to $120; let's assume $100 per barrel) the USA like the USSR will enter the period of stagnation from which it might never emerge without dismantling neoliberalism first.

So the crisis of neoliberalism as ideology doers not signify the death of neoliberal as a social system. It will continue to exist in zombie state for some time. A development that some will indeed see as a curse, others as a blessing. Many people after 2008 declared that neoliberalism is dead or seen to be in its death throes. Many obituaries of finance capitalism and global free trade were written in 2008-2012. Nevertheless, neoliberalism has shown itself to be resilient and remains the dominant social system around the world( this resilience was called by Colin Crouch "the strange non-death of neoliberalism".)

The USSR managed to survive in a very hostile international environment more then 40 years (1945-1991) after Bolshevism was dead as an ideology. Absence of hostile environment, as well as the lack of alternative social system might prolong the life of neoliberalism. Also one advantage neoliberalism enjoyed is that collapse of the USSR was prompted by the ascendance of neoliberalism and betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura (which correctly decided that they will be better off under neoliberalism, then under Brezhnev socialism) is that socialism was discredited.   Also unlike KGB brass, which was instrumental in transition of the xUSSR space from Brezhnev socialism to neoliberalism (with the first stage of gangster capitalism) the USA and GB intelligence agencies (actually all five eyes intelligence agencies) still is ready to defend neoliberalism, as color revolution against Trump had shown.  

However, Brexit (and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as head of Labor) and the movements surrounding Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the United States are each in their own way symptomatic of a turning of the political tide against neoliberalism, especially such features as hyper-globalization and deregulation of financial markets. The benefits of free trade – of goods, services and capital – and outsourcing of labor to low-cost destinations are now being challenged across the political spectrum.

That means that the crisis of neoliberalism turned from the stage of purely intellectual  problems (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to the stage of rising political challenges. Under Trump the effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda declined and start approaching the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda under Brezhnev. Neoliberal MSM are viewed by the majority of population of "fake news" -- the label in popularization of which Trump played an important role. Even "leading neoliberal economists" like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Piketty started voicing concerns.  Rising inequality lessen the cohesion of neoliberal societies and  created social tensions within them as we see in Marcon France. Even top economist from the IMF have recently acknowledged that neoliberalism has been “oversold”.

But we still do not see social system that will replace neoliberalism yet.  And that might prolog the life neoliberalism to the upper limit of the suggested range Meantime the crisis of neoliberalism created preconditions for the rise of far right movements and switch to "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without globalization). Much like Stalinism was socialism within one given country with Trotsky idea of permanent world revolution till final victory of socialism sent to the dustbin). It is an interesting theoretical question if "national neoliberalism" promoted by Trump can be viewed as a flavor of neoliberalism or a flavor of neofascism. If the latter then neoliberalism already died around 2016 and existed in its classic form just 30 years or so.   I doubt  that we can do such equivalence.

At the current stage collapse of neoliberalism, if we can use this word, is still very slow and almost invisible.  Brexit and election of Trump in the USA are probably the first two most notable events after 2008 that can be interpreted as such. Both undermined "neoliberal globalization" -- one of the key components of neoliberalism, because like Communism before it is about building a global neoliberal empire (led by the USA financial oligarchy in close cooperation of other western oligarchies), without state borders.

Still "Great recession" which  started in 2008 is the fact of life. Nations took various roads out of the Great Depression and that's probably will be true for the Great Recession.  Some used deficit spending and the abandonment of the gold standard, which had to overcome resistance from business. In Germany, fascism removed "capitalist objections to full employment," wrote economist Michal Kalecki, by routing all deficit spending into rearmament and by keeping labor quiescent with political repression and permanent dictatorship.

We can envision  the same process of  the growing level of repression in the USA due to the growing gap between ideology postulates and the real life conditions, especially falling standard of living for most of the people (let's say, lower 80% in the USA. Top 20% including large part of "professional" class are doing just fine, much like nomenklatura in the USSR).

In the United States, the replacement ideology for unregulated capitalism on the early 20th was the New Deal. After some initial failed experimentation with planning, New Dealers settled on a framework of stimulus, regulation, unionization, progressive taxation, and anti-trust, heavily influenced by Louis Brandeis. To get people back to work and prime the economic pump, vast new public works were built, and millions were directly employed by the state. Business — especially finance — was regulated, above all to prevent concentration. Unions were protected under a new legal regime created by the National Labor Relations Act. Taxes on the rich were sharply increased, both to raise revenue and to deliberately prevent the accumulation of vast fortunes. Finally, world trade was managed under the Bretton-Woods system. New Deal ideology did not win at once and in 1937, FDR reversed the course and went back to austerity, instantly throwing millions out of work, and forcing him to return to deficit spending. It took the WWII war spending in 1941-1945 to entrench the New Deal and to eliminate mass unemployment. War also created the political space for Roosevelt to raise the top tax bracket to 94%. Think about it. Less then a century ago the top tax bracket in the USA was 94%. The erosion of the New Deal started almost immediately. For example, in 1847 trade union power was undercut by Taft–Hartley Act.

The New Deal framework held for about three decades after the end of the war — during which time the country also had the greatest economic boom in American history. Critically, this time the fruits of growth were also broadly shared. For all the many faults in the New Deal, in this period America was reformed from a country which functioned mostly on behalf of a tiny elite into one which functioned on behalf of a sizable chunk of population.

In this sense ascendance of neoliberalism was a counter-revolution against New Deal staged by financial elite:  fundamental economic bedrock is quite similar: deregulation, tax and spending cuts, union busting, and free trade. Its adherents resurrected the idea of the self-regulating market, creating an elaborate mathematic model in which depressions were always the result of structural problems, the economy is always at full employment, and nothing could be changed without making someone else worse off. Once again, the political message was that regulations and taxation should be kept as low as possible.

A generation of economists centered around the Chicago School, including Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, provided the intellectual backbone, gaining strength in the 1950s and '60s. They argued that New Deal structures were a drag on economic growth, and that taxes, regulation, and social insurance needed to be cut. America simply couldn't afford the strangling red tape and high taxes of the New Deal. And this time, they assured everyone, things would be different — no 1929-style crash would be in the cards. That was all a very clever deception,  propaganda design at restoring the power of financial oligarchy undermined by the New Deal capitalism and increasing the rate of profits via financialization of everything. Plus a dream of world neoliberal revolution  taken directly from Trotskyite books (Neoliberalism can be viewed as a Trotskyism for the rich)

Neoliberals' opportunity came in the 1970s, when the world economy ran into difficulties and at the center of those difficulties was the rising price of oil. War spending, the baby boom coming of age, and the oil shocks created serious inflation and pushed the USA into a trade deficit, which broke the Bretton-Woods system. Profits declined and big business mobilized against labor and trade unions. The first wave of de-industrialization in the USA and offshoring of factories to Asia hit manufacturing.

I wonder if oil can serve as the grave digger of neoliberalism this time.

The limits of analogy between the collapse of neoliberalism and the collapse of the USSR

Like all analogies it far from being perfect.  Here are major objections:

  1. When the USSR collapsed neoliberal ideology was a clear alternative and the collapse of the USSR coincided with "triumphal march" of neoliberalism around the globe.  In a sense the USSR simply fall on the rails of the neoliberal train.
  2. Right now we do not see such a prominent alternative to the dominant neoliberal ideology, although it is clear that it is wrong and that neoliberal promise that high inequality speeds up economic development and "rising tide lifts all bots" proved to be a fake. But right now  neoliberalism  is still social system that is dominant globally (BTW this is true not only for the USA and Western Europe, but also for Russia and China).  Even after 2008 it managed to counterattack in Argentina and Brazil.
  3. Neoliberalism exists without  major geopolitical threat, unlike Soviet Union which existed in the hostile surrounding of major Western powers with their three letter agencies directly targeting this society. The "collective West" used huge money resources of Western financial system against the USSR, limit access to technology and scientific exchange, and created constant threat of the mere survival which justified huge military expenses (which in turn entrenched Soviet military-industrial complex which starved the civil society) and the burning desire (especially by the US neoliberal elite, which came to power in 1980 ) to get rid of competition by any means possible. 
  4. While Trump administration reminds in its incompetence Brezhnev administration, the gap is still tremendous. While Trump is definitely a third  rate politician, Gorbachov as a politician was simply a naive (and probably bought) idiot. In comparison with him Trump looks like a shrewd statesman (or, at least, a staunch nationalist.) Unless we assume that "Gorby" (cultivated by his handler Margaret Thatcher) was a traitor (the version that became increasingly popular in post Soviet space after 1991). But the complete absence of political talent (Gorbachov came to power as a protégé of Andropov)  is still the primary suspect, because you should not assume sinister motives when incompetence is enough for the explanation of the events (  The Soviet collapse Contradictions and neo-modernization ):

    The main charge that may be laid against Gorbachev as leader is that he lacked an effective strategy of statecraft: the mobilization of resources to make a country more self-confident, more powerful, more respected and more prosperous. Instead, Gorbachev frittered away the governmental capital accumulated by the Soviet regime, and in the end was unable to save the country which he had attempted to reform.

  5. Despite all difficulties the USA remains the owner of world reserve currency and the center of technological innovation (although in the later role it somewhat slipped). It military spending (which stimulate fundamental research) remains the largest in the world. The country still remains the magnet for immigration from other countries.
  6. Geographic location of the USA is such that it has no rivals that share common border.

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

There one, especially deep analogy between any neoliberal society and the USSR. Neoliberalism borrowed large part of its strategy and tactic of acquiring and maintaining power directly from  Marxism, specifically from the  flavor of Marxism, which partially originated (and remained popular until late 1940th) in the USA, and called Trotskyism (which Trotsky was a Russia émigré, he spend  his formative years in the USA).  Actually analogies with Marxism are to numerous to list.

The first notable analogy is the slogan "Dictatorship of "free markets"" instead of "dictatorship of proletariat."  With the same idea that the driving force of this social transformation is the intellectual "vanguard" recruited mainly from "Intelligentsia" (mainly right wing economists and philosophers of the  Mont Pelerin Society  created in `947 with the explicit goal to oppose socialism and Bolshevism) will drive steeple to the "bright future of all mankind" -- global neoliberal empire led by the USA. And that the end justifies the means.

In short, neoliberalism is a kind of "Trotskyism for rich." And it uses the same subversive tactics to get and stay in power, which were invented by Bolsheviks/Trotskyites. Including full scale use of intelligence agencies (during WWII Soviet intelligence agency -- NKDV -- rivaled the primary intelligence agencies of Nazi Germany -- Abwehr; CIA was by-and-large modeled on Abwehr  with Abwerh specialists directly participating in its creation ).  It also process the ideal of World Revolution -- with the goal of creating the global neoliberal empire. The neoliberal USA elite is hell-bent on this vision.

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism generally needs a scapegoat. Currently this role is served by Islamic fundamentalist movements. But recently Russia emerged like more convenient scapegoat, at least for "CIA democrats" like Obama and  Hillary Clinton.

Also like Bolshevism before, neoliberalism created its own "nomenklatura" -- the privileged class which exists outside the domain of capital owners. Which along with high level management and professionals include neoclassical academic economists. Who guarantee the level of brainwashing at the universities necessary for maintaining the neoliberal system.  This "creator class" fight for its self-preservation and against any challenges. Often quite effectively.

 Deification of markets (free market fundamentalism) like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold"

Yet another strong analogy is that the deification of markets much like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold". This fact was clearly established after the Great Recession, and one of the most succinct explanation of the stupidity of the idea of self-regulating market remains Karl Polanyi's famous book The Great Transformation.  Polanyi argued that the development of the modern state went hand in hand with the development of modern market economies and that these two changes were inextricably linked in history. And all talk about small state, state as "night watchman" are pure hypocrisy.  Like Marxism, neoliberalism really provides "the great transformation" because it both changes the human institutions and human morality. The latter in a very destructive way.  The book postulated that and "free market society" (where the function of social regulation is outsourced to the market forces)  is unsustainable because it is fatally destructive to human nature and the natural social contexts humans need to survive and prosper. 

Polanyi attempted to turn the tables on the orthodox liberal account of the rise of capitalism by arguing that “laissez-faire was planned”, whereas social protectionism was a spontaneous reaction to the social dislocation imposed by an unrestrained free market. He argues that the construction of a "self-regulating" market necessitates the separation of society into economic and political realms. Polanyi does not deny that the self-regulating market has brought "unheard of material wealth", but he suggests that this is too narrow a focus. The market, once it considers land, labor and money as "fictitious commodities" (fictitious because each possesses qualities that are not expressed in the formal rationality of the market), and including them "means to subordinate the substance of society itself to the laws of the market. This, he argues, results in massive social dislocation, and spontaneous moves by society to protect itself. In effect, Polanyi argues that once the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism is society's natural response, which he calls the "double movement." Polanyi did not see economics as a subject closed off from other fields of enquiry, indeed he saw economic and social problems as inherently linked. He ended his work with a prediction of a socialist society, noting, "after a century of blind 'improvement', man is restoring his 'habitation.

But when 50 years passed and generation changed they manage to shove it down throat. Because the generation which experienced horrors of the Great Depression at this point was gone (and that include cadre of higher level management which still have some level of solidarity with workers against capital owners).

They were replaced with HBS and WBS graduates -- ready made neoliberals. Quit coup (in Simon Johnson terms) naturally  followed ( https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ ) and we have hat we have.  In a sense neoliberalism and Managerialism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managerialism ) are closely related.  Here is how  he "reinvents" the concept  of "Minsky moment" in the new conditions of neoliberal globalization"

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

Neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack

Unlike Bolshevism after 1945, neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack -- the US sponsored efforts of replacement of left regimes in LA with right wing neoliberal regimes were by-and-large successful. I two key LA countries neoliberalism successfully counterattacked and won political power deposing more left regimes (Brazil and Argentina ). That happened despite that this phase of neoliberal era has been marked by slower growth, greater trade imbalances, and deteriorating social conditions. In Latin America the average growth rate was lower by 3 percent per annum in the 1990s than in the 1970s, while trade deficits as a proportion of GDP are much the same. Contrary to neoliberal propaganda the past 25 years (1980–2005) have also characterized by slower progress on social indicators for the vast majority of low- and middle-income countries [compared with the prior two decades ( https://monthlyreview.org/2006/04/01/neoliberalism-myths-and-reality/ ) :

In an effort to keep growing trade and current account deficits manageable, third world states, often pressured by the IMF and World Bank, used austerity measures (especially draconian cuts in social programs) to slow economic growth (and imports). They also deregulated capital markets, privatized economic activity, and relaxed foreign investment regulatory regimes in an effort to attract the financing needed to offset the existing deficits. While devastating to working people and national development possibilities, these policies were, as intended, responsive to the interests of transnational capital in general and a small but influential sector of third world capital. This is the reality of neoliberalism.

The danger of the end of "cheap oil" for neoliberalism

The Soviet Union collapsed partially due to the fact that collapse of oil prices (which might be engineered event) deprived it of the ability to buy the necessary goods from the West (which at this point included grain, due to inefficiency of Soviet model of  large centralized state owned agricultural complexes).

In case of the USA an opposite situation might also serve as a trigger: as soon as oil cross, say, $80 dollar per barrel mark most Western economies slide in "secular stagnation" and that means growing discontent of lower 80% of population. Also as  globalization is inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons and disappearance of cheap oil will male the current international patterns of flow of goods across countries with China as world manufacture  open to review.  

This is the situation when the irresistible force of globalization hits the brick wall of high oil prices. Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth" (aka permanent stagnation), and neoliberalism financial schemes based on cheap credit automatically implode in the environment of slow of zero growth. So expect that the next financial crisis will shake neoliberalism stronger then the crisis of 2008.

A lot of debt becomes unplayable, if growth stagnates. That makes manipulation of GDP numbers the issue of political and economic survival because this is the method of "inspiring confidence".  And the temptation to inspire confidence is too great to resists. Exactly like it was in the USSR. 

It might well be that the consistent price of oil, say, over $120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  tend to enter the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is a large consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and virtually doubles the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion.

Election of Trump is just testament that some part of the US elite is ready for "Hail Mary" pass just to survive.  The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require a lot of cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

 More on "zombie stage" of neoliberalism: the consequences of the situation when neoliberal ideology is already discredited

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades. It signified the end of Washington Consensus.

At this point ideology of neoliberalism was completely discredited in a sense that promise prosperity for all via "free market" mechanisms. The whole concept of "free markets" is from now on is viewed as fake. Much like happened with bolshevism in the USSR.

It actually was viewed as fake after the Great Depression too, but the generation that remembered that died out and neoliberalism managed to perform its major coup d'état  in the USA in 1981. After trail balls in Chile and GB. 

Also its fake nature became evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is even more dangerous, a large part of upper middle class in many developing countries, the social strata from which "fifth column of neoliberal globalization" is typically recruited. 

Global neoliberal empire still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its Western (and some Asian, such as Japan) allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So right now mainly ideological postulates of neoliberalism, especially as its "free market absolutism", started to be questioned.  And partially revised (the trend which is visible in increase financial regulation in most Western countries). So "self-regulation free market model proved to be neither self-regulating, not really free -- it just transferred the cost of its blunders on the society at large.  This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but with modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism or zombie neoliberalism. 

Rule of financial oligarchy like the rule of "nomenklatura" in the USSR is under increasing scrutiny

While indoctrination now reached almost all adult population,  there are some instances of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism is an act of violence against them and destruction of their future. And if it does not come to an end, what we might experience a mass destruction of human life if not  the planet itself. 

Both Obama and Trump proved to be masters of the "bait and switch" maneuver, but the anger of population did not dissipated and at some point still can explode.

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. the problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact. It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

Rise of nationalism as the reaction on neoliberal globalization
much like it was a reaction on Brezhnev's stagnation in the USSR

While no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, and G7 block with the USA as the head is still the dominant world power, the crash are now visible in the global neoliberalism façade.  Like in 20th failure the globalization and unrestrained financial markets (which produced the Great Depression)  the financial crisis of 2008 led to the dramatic rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing  far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franco regime in Spain.  The global neoliberal dominance as a social system still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating market that was completely discredited by the crisis (it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation the remembered the lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

This rise of nationalism was also a feature of the USSR political space in 80th. Formally it was nationalist sentiments that buried the USSR.

Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

Neoliberal propaganda gradually lost effectiveness,
 and now  invokes internal protest and rejection much like Marxist propaganda in the USSR

Neoliberalism failed to fulfill its promises for the bottom 80% of population. They became more poorer, job security deteriorated, good jobs disappear, and even McJobs are scare judging from the fact that Wall Mart and McDonalds are able to fully staff their outlets.  McJobs are jobs that does not provide a living wages.  Opiod epidemics reminds me epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR during Brezhnev period.  Cannabis legalization belong to the same trend.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is able to enforce Washington consensus rules. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

When ideology collapses the elite often resorts to corporatism (and in extreme case to neo-fascism) That happened briefly in the USSR under Andropov, but he did not last long enough to establish a trend.

Trumps "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies look more and more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a neoliberal economic policy (which presuppose treating financial oligarchy of other countries as equals). Looks like Trump's "national neoliberalism" became "Hail Mary pass" with which the US financial oligarchy seeks to maintain at all costs it global dominance (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

The USSR war in Afghanistan and the rampant militarism of the US neoliberal empire:
you can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them

The USSR occupation of Afghanistan was actually a trap created by Carter administration in order to weaken and possibly destroy  the USSR. They wanted that the USSR experienced its own Vietnam-style defeat.  As a side effect they created political Islam and Islam fundamentalist movement (exemplified by former CIA asset Osama bin Laden) that later bite them in the back.

The US elite got into this trap voluntarily after 9/11: first via occupations of  Afghanistan (the war continues to this day), then occupation of Iraq, Libya and initiating "color revolution" (and train and supply Sunni Islam fundamentalists, along with KSA and Turkey) to depose Assad government in Syria.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still can dictate it will military for small countries in a classic sense --  in a sense that "might makes right". It still can afford to behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring the UN and other International organization, unless it is convenient to them.

But there are costs attacked and in case of Iraq war they are already substantial (to the tune of several trillion dollars). While effects on the USA economy of those set of wars of managing and expanding its neoliberal empire (and repartitioning ME, securing oil access and repartitioning the region in favor of Israel regional interests)  are still in the future, military adventurism was a gravestone on many previous empires, which tend to overstretch themselves and this fasten their final day. 

As Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". having first class military weakens is not everything when you face guerilla resistance in occupied country. Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda and false flag operations is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas.

Ukraine is one recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country. Syria is another case of unanticipated effects, as Russia did not want to repeat experience of Libya and intervened, interfering with the USA goal of establishing Sunni-based Islamist regime, subservant to KSA and Turkey, and/or dismembering the country and creating   several weak Sunny dominated statelets with jihadists in power, the situation which greatly  benefit Turkey and Israel.  Israel correctly consider secular Assad régime as a greater threat and major obstacle in annexation of Golan Heights and eliminating Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It would prefer weak islamist regimes, hopefully engaged in protracted civil war to Assad regime any time.

Unfortunately, the recent troika of "neoliberalized" countries -- Libya, Syria  and Ukraine --  were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka "white revolution") failed, events in Libya and, especially,  Ukraine prove the neoliberalism still can launch and win offensives at relatively low, acceptable cost (via color revolutions mechanism ). The main cost carry the population of the target country which is plunged  into economic and political chaos, in most cases including the civil war.  

But in the USA those wars also somewhat backfire with broken domestic infrastructure, decaying bridges and angered, restless, and partially drugged by opioids  population.  As well as thousands of crippled young men healthcare for whom till end of their lives will cost large amount of money.

In such circumstances chances of raising to power of an openly nationalistic leader substantially increase. Which was already demonstrated quite convincingly by the election of Trump.

Conclusions

Analogy of current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and the USSR collapse is demonstrably far from perfect. The USSR was always in far less favorable conditions  than the USA, operating is a hostile environment encircled by Western powers interested in its demise; also the collapse of the USSR happened during "triumphal march of neoliberalism" which provided ready-made alternative to Brezhnev's socialism and stimulated the betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura of their old ideology and "switching ideological camps").  But the key to collapse of the USSR was the collapse of Bolshevik's ideology, which has happened some time from 1945 to 1963. And this is a common element with the situation of the USA now.

Which does not bode well for the USA future, if the hypothesis that the same fundamental forces are in play in both cases. In this sense the collapse of neoliberal ideology ("free market fundamentalism"), which happened in  2008 is a bad omen indeed.

There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible again  and manage to escape this "ideological mousetrap" by switching to some new ideology, but they are pretty weak, if we look at the quality of Trump administration and the personalities in the USA Congress. The latter clearly resembles the level of degeneration of Soviet Politburo.

Some members of Congress and key figured in Trump administration way  too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable.  Some are perverts. The same was true about certain parts of Soviet "nomenklatura", especially leaders of Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League ), from which such questionable post-communist figures such a Khodorkovsky, in Russia (of "pipes and corpses" film fame), and Turchinov in Ukraine  later emerged.

The recent humiliation of the US representative in the UN Nikki Haley by Bolivian representative also suggest that neoliberal propaganda lost large part of its effectiveness and unilateral military actions by the USA are now questioned more effectively: Bolivian UN Rep Sacha Llorenti Blasts U.S. for Attacking Syria, Educates Nikki Haley on Iraq, UN & U.S. History

Llorenti’s fourteen minute address to the UNSC was a tour de force – a critique of unilateral military action by the U.S. (it violates the UN charter), an analysis of previous emotional appeals for urgent action (think Colin Powell in 2003), as well as a reminder of the United States’ long history of interventionism in Latin America. Llorenti also called the UNSC to task for its internal structure, which grants considerably more power upon its five permanent members than it does its ten non-permanent members.

It was a remarkable anti-imperialist display. Read a partial transcript and/or watch the full video below.

That closely corresponds to what had happened with Bolshevism ideology around 1980 -- when it became the source of jokes both inside the USSR and abroad.  Or a little bit later, if we remember "Tear down this wall!" -- a line from a speech made by US President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. When  Paul Craig Roberts  claims that It Has Become Embarrassing To Be An American  that is a symptom of a problem, yet another symptom of the demise of neoliberal propaganda,  despite obvious exaggeration.

It would be  too much stretch to state that neoliberal and especially globalist propaganda is now rejected both by population within the USA (which resulted in defeat of Hillary Clinton -- an establishment candidates and election of the  "wild card" candidate  -- Donald Trump -- with clearly nationalistic impulses) and outside the USA. 


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[Jul 03, 2020] Tucker on the incredible popularity of Black Lives Matter

You can be fired for criticizing BLM, because in essence this is apolitical movement run by regular Dem NGOs careerists. Immunity from criticism is a sign of totalitarism.
Jul 03, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Fox News 5.55M subscribers SUBSCRIBE

Black Lives Matter may be the single most powerful political party in the United States. #FoxNews

[Jul 03, 2020] My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jul 3 2020 5:43 utc | 96

My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Tucker does not duplicate Hannity which lets them serve different (if overlapping) segments of the audience. Showing Paralimpil and Gabbard to the viewers did not lead to any major perturbation in American politics, but it lets his viewer feel that they are better informed than the fools who watch Maddow. And it helps that to a degree they are.

uncle tungsten , Jul 3 2020 6:53 utc | 103

JC #72

I get that Tucker invites good a reasonable people on his show and gives voice space where they would not otherwise get it. That is deliberate.

I bet you that the stats show that the demented monotone oozing out of MSNBC and CNN etc has been a serious turn off for a sector of audience that is well informed and exercise critical faculties. That is exactly what Tucker needs to pay for his program as I would be fairly sure these people are Consumers of a desirable degree and advertisers like Tucker's formula and Fox Bosses like Tuckers income generator.

I don't think it is more complex than that and his bosses will entertain most heresies as long as the program generates advertiser demand for that time slot.

So Tucker is OK and he is reasonable and he will interview a broad spectrum. Good for him. But he smooths the pillow and caresses the establishment arse.

[Jul 03, 2020] The push against Tucker is because of two reasons: his growing popularity and his speaking truth to power

Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

NemesisCalling , Jul 2 2020 18:53 utc | 28

@22 fnord

Wrong. Tucker has admitted that he is not in favor of populist government. He does not advocate any kind of socialism or class unity. He wants a tentative balance between the classes which can only be brought back via curbing neoliberalism and government regulation. He has admitted that the problem then is both in the private and public spheres of life.

Tucker is merely pointing this out and I say kudos to him.

There is a recent push in the internet sphere being leveled against Tucker. It is the same kind of preemptive strike that was leveled at the "alt-right" back when terms like neoliberalism and globalism and duopoly were reemerging in the public lexicon. In short, amy type of nationalist sentiment being floated anywhere is to be crushed and obfuscated on sight.

Similarily, the poster vk seems to pipe in every time I mention America must bring back its manufacturing sector. This line is always greeted by vk as, "it will never happen."

Market and economic fundamentals says that it MUST happen and it will as neoliberalism's reign is curbed in the coming decades.

The push against Tucker is because of two reasons: 1) his growing popularity and his 2) speaking truth to power.

...

I remember back in the day during the height of John Stewart's tenure as maestro of liberal infotainment, he went on Tucker's show saying he was "hurting America."

Since then, Tucker has come a long way and I would say has come further in spirit towards truth. Stewart has sunken into making appearances on The View. Kudos to Tucker. The globalists in our country should be worried about him.

[Jul 03, 2020] Neoliberalism and Christianity

Notable quotes:
"... The interesting point of the Christianization of the USA here is not in Christianity itself, but in the socioeconomic process it represents (on the right; on the left, we already have the "wokeist" phenomenon). The USA is degenerating as a world empire and, if the USG chooses an escape route through the right end of the political spectrum, it could potentially result in a Fascist USA - an extremely virulent, fundamentalist and nihilist (and thus very dangerous) empire. ..."
"... That said, the influence of religious organizations in politics is overweight, because few other institutions that can turn out large blocs of voters. Unions used to, once. ..."
"... Nationalists claiming to represent "Judeo-Christian values" (a euphemism if ever) have been disproportionately visible in media for years. This is hardly new. Certainly as of the Bush administration. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

450.org , Jul 2 2020 16:59 utc | 16

Christianity has transformed into a business, an industry even. Since the Cold War, everything has become an opportunity to exploit for maximum gain and religion is not an exception.

vk , Jul 2 2020 20:04 utc | 34

@ Posted by: CitizenX | Jul 2 2020 19:48 utc | 33

Christianism can surive in a political form. Indeed, that was when it was at its best: using the Roman State machinery to force conversion from paganism and exterminating pagans. That's its greatest strength in comparison to, e.g. its Jewish fathers: the Jews were (still are) outright imperialists - the Chosen People - who wanted to destroy the Roman Empire from the outside; the Christians were Jews who wanted to take control of Rome from within.

For Christianism to survive, you don't need every of its followers to be an expert of Christian faith: it only needs a strong Church with direct access and control of the State.

The rehabilitation of Christianity from the High Cold War in the USA as a weapon against communism is a known fact. What I hypothesize here is that this process didn't stop: either it continues today with full-fledged support from the USG (as seen in George W. Bush's reign) and/or it got out of control (i.e. the new rapturist churches gained a life of their own, as seen by the ones funded by billionaires with the aim of aligning American Christianity with the geopolitical interests of Israel).

What I'm speculating here is that this process will suffer another metamorphosis, thanks to the rise of the so-called "woke leftism" which are allegedly commanding the Floyd revolts. This metamorphosis - I'm betting - will result in the far-rightification of the US Army and police forces (or accelerate it). Since the far-right in the USA is blatantly Christian (as we can read by their manifestos), this would result in the Christianization of the USG - even if, ultimately, it serves the more immediate interests of the Zionists (in the case of the rapturists).

The interesting point of the Christianization of the USA here is not in Christianity itself, but in the socioeconomic process it represents (on the right; on the left, we already have the "wokeist" phenomenon). The USA is degenerating as a world empire and, if the USG chooses an escape route through the right end of the political spectrum, it could potentially result in a Fascist USA - an extremely virulent, fundamentalist and nihilist (and thus very dangerous) empire.

ptb , Jul 2 2020 21:28 utc | 47
re: religion in the US...

Down 10% in past 10 years [Pew] .

That said, the influence of religious organizations in politics is overweight, because few other institutions that can turn out large blocs of voters. Unions used to, once.

Nationalists claiming to represent "Judeo-Christian values" (a euphemism if ever) have been disproportionately visible in media for years. This is hardly new. Certainly as of the Bush administration.

[Jul 03, 2020] A secularised 'illusion' is metamorphosing back into woke religion by Alastair Crooke

Jul 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Many commentators have noted the wokes' absence of vision for the future . Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

"Today, America's tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, "These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school".

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to 'topple the statues'; to burn down everything. 'You really believed that Washington would allow you in', they taunted and tortured their leaders: "No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch".

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted "that in The God that failed, Gide says: 'My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind'' . "Here Gide acknowledged", Gray continues, "that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom ".

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised 'illusion' is metamorphosing back into 'religion'. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying 'fire' to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently:

"This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself We're too literal and good-hearted to understand what's happening We have no idea what we are up against These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement" .

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill's 'ghost' is arrived at the table. And with its return, America's exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind's dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

'Virtue', however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The "toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks" – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No 'toy radicals'. Soft became hard totalitarianism.


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N2M , 22 minutes ago

Vision? What vision that might be?

"'Freedom' is being torn down from within"

What freedom? Could be "Freedom" they decide how, when and where you can express your thoughts? There is only one true freedom that exists and that is human free will to tell the truth.

Today vision of Freedom is a joke, this game was never about freedom for in a world of ideology, there is always lurking a deceits of lies and control.

There are 3 types of Americans.

  1. A sharp ones and well tune to what has been going on and those I had a chance to talk to and become friends when I was in U.S.A
  2. The imbeciles of totally clueless generation of people who will listen to any wave of information in propaganda as true and must be and their government is so beloved, no others can even compete and they only have good intentions /s /c
  3. And there is this group, shrewd, conniving, self-moral, warmongering, evil to a core psychopaths who only follow different orders to impose their will on other nations to makes sure they follow what? USD.

So when author speaks about vision it must separate few things!

Washington is running around imposing sanctions, destroying relationship/interest with nations, trying all this regime changes at a cost of death of millions of people and then dropping "Freedom bombs' almost every 8 to 9 minutes somewhere in this world, because these freaks vision is way different, then some regular people either be in South America or other continents that these regular people have.

Real vision is based on corporation, and U.S.A had that before, however after being hijack, now they trying to start a war of unimaginable proportions so few fat bosses in one Chamber can feel as super masters of the world and everyone as slaves.

I would like to remind some people about vision – Marx had a vision to, and rest is history.

Becklon , 1 hour ago

It's a lack of shared purpose, I think. Without a common focus, such as an external threat (as once provided by the USSR) groups tend to fracture and turn on themselves and each other.

It's got nothing to do with any one religious or political group having more power than others. It's to do with homo sapiens - and maybe entropy.


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David Wooten , 1 hour ago

Well, if all this is true, there is far, far more at stake than the US being unable to "Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview" (which I would be fine with).

This is about the destruction of the US itself.

[Jul 03, 2020] Tucker: Woke movement ignores the fact that Christover Columbus was not involved in detaining of Floyd

Pandemic of hysteria and other interesting thing happening in the USA
Jul 03, 2020 | www.youtube.com


Streak 264
, 17 hours ago (edited)

The world has gone batshit crazy.


Lucky Sniper
, 4 hours ago

"At any moment millions of human beings may become smitten with a new madness" - Carl Jung. Psychoanalyst


Zulu Zulu
, 5 hours ago

Cancel every holiday in America. Everyone needs to be working 24 hours a day to fix this country.

[Jul 03, 2020] The God That Failed -- Why The US Cannot Now Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview by Alastair Crooke

He should talk about neoliberal ideology not some "universal civilization"
Notable quotes:
"... So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination ('End of Times') is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill's was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human 'destination' does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal. ..."
"... But today, with America's soft power collapsed – not even the illusion of universalism can be sustained. Other states are coming forward, offering themselves as separate, equally compelling 'civilisational' states. It is clear that even were the classic liberal Establishment to win in the November U.S. elections, America no longer has claim to path-find a New World Order. ..."
"... 'Freedom' is being torn down from within. Dissidents from the woke ideology , are being 'called out', made to repent on the knee, or face reputational or economic ruin. It is 'soft totalitarianism'. It recalls one of Dostoevsky's characters – at a time when Russian progressives were discrediting traditional institutions – who, in a celebrated line, says: "I got entangled in my data Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism". ..."
"... "This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself We're too literal and good-hearted to understand what's happening We have no idea what we are up against These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement" ..."
"... The "toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks" – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty , never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an 'Exact Science of Human Nature', which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences.

Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today's world, such social 'laws' are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination ('End of Times') is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill's was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human 'destination' does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe's 30-years' civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power . In Mill's day, the civilisational claim served Europe's need for colonial validation . Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

However, with America's Cold War triumph – that had by then become a cynical framework for U.S. 'soft power' – acquired a new potency. The merits of America's culture, and way of life, seemed to acquire practical validation through the implosion of the USSR.

But today, with America's soft power collapsed – not even the illusion of universalism can be sustained. Other states are coming forward, offering themselves as separate, equally compelling 'civilisational' states. It is clear that even were the classic liberal Establishment to win in the November U.S. elections, America no longer has claim to path-find a New World Order.

Yet, should this secularised Protestant current be over – beware! Because its subterranean, unconscious religiosity is the 'ghost at the table' today. It is returning in a new guise.

The 'old illusion' cannot continue, because its core values are being radicalised, stood on their head, and turned into the swords with which to impale classic American and European liberals (and U.S. Christian Conservatives). It is now the younger generation of American woke liberals who are asserting vociferously not merely that the old liberal paradigm is illusory, but that it was never more than 'a cover' hiding oppression – whether domestic, or colonial, racist or imperial; a moral stain that only redemption can cleanse.

It is an attack – which coming from within – forecloses on any U.S. moral, soft power, global leadership aspirations. For with the illusion exploded, and nothing in its place, a New World Order cannot coherently be formulated.

Not content with exposing the illusion, the woke generation are also tearing down, and shredding, the flags at the masthead: Freedom and prosperity achieved via the liberal market.

'Freedom' is being torn down from within. Dissidents from the woke ideology , are being 'called out', made to repent on the knee, or face reputational or economic ruin. It is 'soft totalitarianism'. It recalls one of Dostoevsky's characters – at a time when Russian progressives were discrediting traditional institutions – who, in a celebrated line, says: "I got entangled in my data Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism".

Even 'science' has become a 'God that failed'; instead of being the path to liberty, it has become a dark soulless path toward unfreedom . From algorithms that 'cost' the value of human lives, versus the 'costing' of lockdown; from secret 'Black Box' algos that limit distribution of news and thinking, to Bill Gates' vaccination ID project, science now portends despotic social control , rather than a fluttering standard, hoist as the symbol of freedom.

But the most prominent of these flags, torn down, cannot be blamed on the woke generation . There has been no 'prosperity for all' – only distortions and warped structures. There are not even free markets. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury simply print new money, and hand it out to select recipients. There is no means now to attribute 'worth' to financial assets. Their value simply is that which Central Government is willing to pay for bonds, or grant in bail-outs.

Wow. 'The God who failed' (André Gide's book title) – a crash of idols. One wonders now, what is the point to that huge financial eco-system known as Wall Street. Why not winnow it down to a couple of entities, say, Blackrock and KKR (hedge funds), and leave it to them to distribute the Fed's freshly-printed 'boodle' amongst friends? Liberal markets no more – and many fewer jobs.

Many commentators have noted the wokes' absence of vision for the future . Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

"Today, America's tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, "These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school".

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to 'topple the statues'; to burn down everything. 'You really believed that Washington would allow you in', they taunted and tortured their leaders: "No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch".

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted "that in The God that failed, Gide says: 'My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind'' . "Here Gide acknowledged", Gray continues, "that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom".

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised 'illusion' is metamorphosing back into 'religion'. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying 'fire' to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently:

"This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself We're too literal and good-hearted to understand what's happening We have no idea what we are up against These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement" .

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill's 'ghost' is arrived at the table. And with its return, America's exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind's dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

'Virtue', however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The "toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks" – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No 'toy radicals'. Soft became hard totalitarianism.

[Jul 03, 2020] The world s economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something productive, it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back. ..."
"... What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. ..."
"... There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. ..."
"... More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$). ..."
"... the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US. ..."
"... I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading! ..."
"... All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back. ..."
"... Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle ..."
"... We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Seer , Jul 3 2020 10:34 utc | 125

NemesisCalling @ 28

I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back.

The world's economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something "productive," it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction. During times of contraction it's a game of acquisition rather than expanding capacity: the sum total is STILL contraction; and the contraction WILL be a reduction in excess, excess manufacturing and labor.

What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. China is self-sufficient (enough) other than energy (which can be acquired outside of US markets). Most every other country is in a position of declining wealth (per capita income levels peaked and in decline). And manufacturing continues to increase its automation (less workers means less consumers).

There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. One has to look at this in The Big Picture of what it means, and that's that the US population is aging (and in poor health).

More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$).

Lastly, and it's the reason why global trade is being knocked down, is that the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US.

And here too is the fact that other countries' populations are also aging. Years ago I dove into the demographics angle/assessment to find out that ALL countries ramp and age and that you can see countries' energy consumption rise and their their net trade balance swing negative- there's a direct correlation: go to the CIA's Factbook and look at demographics and energy and the graphs tell the story.

I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading!

All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back.

MANY years ago I stated that we will one day face "economies of scale in reverse." We NEVER considered that growth couldn't continue forever. There was never a though about what would happen with the reverse "of economies of scale."

Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle.

We will never be able to replicate the state of things as they are. We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going.

[Jul 01, 2020] Putin s economic and social policies have a neoliberal bent but Putin is far from a classic neoliberal

Highly recommended!
Putin has to stay within neoliberal framework because this is a the dominant social framework in existence. But he is determine to "tame the markets" when necessary which is definitely anathema to neoliberals. So he is kind of mixture of neoliberal and traditional New Deal style statist. At the same time he definitely deviates from neoliberalism in some major areas, such as labor market and monopolies.
Jul 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
likbez , July 02, 2020 at 03:51
@Prof K | Jul 1 2020 20:50 utc | 18
In fact, much of his economic and social policies have a decidedly neoliberal bent. As Tony Wood argues, Putin has reformed and consolidated the Yeltsin system. There is not as much of a break with Yeltsin as liberals -- or apparently leftists looking for any hope -- want to believe.
You have no clue. This is a typical left-wing "Infantile Disorder" point of view based on zero understanding of Russia and neoliberalism as a social system. Not that I am a big specialist, but your level of ignorance and arrogance is really stunning.

Neoliberalism as a social system means internal colonization of population by financial oligarchy and resulting decline of the standard of living for lower 80% due to the redistribution of wealth up. It also means subservience to international financial capital and debt slavery for vassal countries (the group to which Russia in views of Washington belongs) .

The classic example is Ukraine where 80% of population are now live on the edge of abject poverty. Russia, although with great difficulties, follows a different path. This is indisputable.

The neoliberal resolution which happened under alcoholic Yeltsin was stopped or at least drastically slowed down by Putin. Some issues were even reversed. For example, the USA interference via NGO ended. Direct interference of the USA into internal affairs of Russia ( Russia was a USA colony under Yeltsin ) also diminished, although was not completely eliminated (and this is impossible in view of the USA position in the the hegemon of the neoliberal "International" and owner of the world reserve currency.)

Those attempts to restore the sovereignty of Russia were clearly anti-neoliberal acts of Putin. After all the slogan of neoliberalism is "financial oligarchy of all countries unite" -- kind of perversion of Trotskyism (or. more correctly, "Trotskyism for the rich.")

In general, Yeltsin's model of neoliberalism in Russia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semibankirschina ) experienced serious setbacks under Putin's rule, although some of his measures were distinctly neoliberal.

Recent "Medvedev's" pension reform is one (which was partially a necessity due to the state of Russian finances at the time; although the form that was chosen -- in your face, without some type of carrot -- was really mediocre, like almost anything coming from Medvedev ); some botched attempt in privatization of electrical networks with Chubais at the helm is another -- later stopped, etc.

But in reality, considerable if not dominant political power now belongs to corporations, whether you want it or not. And that creates strong neoliberal fifth column within the country. That's a huge problem for Putin. The alternative is dictatorship which usually does not end well. So there is not much space for maneuvering anyway. You need to play the anti-neoliberal game very skillfully as you always have weak cards in hands, the point which people like VK never understand.

BTW, unlike classic neoliberals, Putin is a consistent proponent of indexation of income of lower strata of the population to inflation, which he even put in the constitution. Unlike Putin, classic neoliberals preach false narrative that "the rising tide lifts all boats."

All-in-all whenever possible, Putin often behaves more like a New Deal Capitalism adherent, than like a neoliberal. He sincerely is trying to provide a decent standard of living for lower 80% of the population. He preserves a large share of state capital in strategically important companies. Some of them are still state-owned (anathema for any neoliberal.)

But he operates in conditions where neoliberalism is the dominant system and when Russia is under constant, unrelenting pressure, and he needs to play by the rules.

Like any talented politician, he found some issues were he can safely deviate from neoliberal consensus without too hard sanctions. In other matters, he needs to give up to survive.

[Jul 01, 2020] Watch Live- Dr. Fauci Testifies About US COVID-19 Response During Senate Hearing

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

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Fred box , 40 minutes ago

Deaths from just *Pneumonia* from Feb1st to June20/20 =*119,174* Deaths from just Covid by its self for same time period = 109,188 And for this time period 1,232,269 Deaths from all causes. The numbers Fear game,obviously is being played up large by the DemoTards and we know why! Funny how the Fake News,never speaks of this. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1113051/number-reported-deaths-from-covid-pneumonia-and-flu-us/

Arch_Stanton , 47 minutes ago

Fauci should have had his microphone taken away months ago. A testament to the power of big pharma.

razorthin , 59 minutes ago

Little Fascist Koxucker.

"Please understand the people who have built this international order reject natural law, so they do not like sovereign citizens. They do not believe people have inherent rights or sacred liberties. Most frankly find God anathema and believe in no higher authority than themselves and the heartless arithmetic they serve. So, while they have happily plundered America of blood and treasure which we were foolish enough to provide in copious quantities, they have no love or need of our nation or antiquated concepts such as those enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In their calculation, America needed to be taken down in order to realize the global project, and as you see the first glimmers of a national effort in opposition to that, a positive limited effort struggling to overcome the bureaucrats who betray us all at every opportunity, it becomes clear the Left would rather collapse America than see us oppose the new world without borders where everyone intermingles under a controlling network of agencies. No guns, no resistance, no free speech, and no problems is what they want. Only we stand in the way of the fulfillment of this Orwellian vision, and as each day's hysteria on the news reveals, the powers that be are working overtime to push the Left into revolt to topple America into a conflict that will remove us from prominence on the world scene. Should they win, our rights are gone. Should they fail, the rest of the world will have consolidated against us, save those few brave nations trying to fight themselves free of the same entanglements that brought us low. This is where we are today, and it is one hell of a dilemma for a person who cares about this country and our historic values. No matter what we choose, any path but submission and surrender only leads to greater conflict, so this makes us consider the first important question: What are we willing to fight to preserve? Individuals and families will have to answer this question in the coming months and years in a much more meaningful way than has been required in generations. The easy days are coming to an end, and while the economy is booming and we're enjoying an Indian Summer for our embattled nation, these questions will only become more pressing in the days ahead."

-- The Coming Civil War by Tom Kawczynski

nsurf9 , 1 hour ago

The nasolacrimal duct (also called the tear duct) carries tears from the lacrimal sac of the eye into the nasal cavity. This virus seems to be able aerosol its particles more readily than other viruses so as to spread its RNA/DNA in the air - as well as being normally contracted through fluid droplets.

The eyes are large wet areas, perfect for collecting dust and viruses. If you're a part of an at-risk demographic or just worried, make sure you cover you eyes. And, upon returning home, I rinse the eyes out with water along with washing my hands.

Right now, I'm using some tight-fitting fishing glasses with my n99 mask, when I go into stores or hi-density areas - but, looking for something better.

IvannaHumpalot , 1 hour ago

Rinsing your eyes wont help

yes you can get it through your eyes but that is very difficult via aerosol and unlikely

far more likely is you touch a contaminated surface after some dirty person without a facemask has been talking and breathing out their infected droplets earlier

those droplets fall to the surface and you touch it then touch your eyes, nose or mouth

or you breathe in an infective dose by not wearing a mask to reduce viral load exposure

or you walk it home on your shoes

IvannaHumpalot , 1 hour ago

Herd immunity at 80%

america has 328 million

That means 262 million must get infected for fantasy herd immunity

US infected is now at 2.7 million infected

let us be generous and say 10x havent been diagnosed but have it

so the US is at 27 million infected

27 out of 262 million

there goes the stupid herd immunity sham

Wear a facemask, avoid catching or spreading it

tranium , 1 hour ago

Dr. HOAX is spreading plandemic.

ZKnight , 1 hour ago

Does anyone even believe this sleazy little man who's corona predictions were 20x off?

He single handedly destroyed the economy and people's jobs over a false alarm all to try and get his vaccine's in.

WhiteHose , 1 hour ago

Hes been wrong on everything since Jan!

hugin-o-munin , 1 hour ago

We applaud the approval of chemical sweeteners, fluoride, GMOs, antibiotic saturated meat products and poultry, not to mention the continued use of Glyphosate on just about all food products. Eat and drink your industrial sugar and chemicals. Now we need a global vaccine schedule and license linked to passports to make sure everyone on the planet is inoculated all the time before we can allow them to buy and sell. This is all done out of pure love and care for all people.

/s

JamcaicanMeAfraid , 1 hour ago

Fauci's ego may start to encroach on the king of all egos, Barry Soreto

Peak Finance , 1 hour ago

This:

"tremendous burden" that the US health care system might face this fall if COVID-19 and the flu are circulating at the same time.

This man is truly a fool and should be arrested.

Death rates and statistics do not work that way

This coming flu season is going to be the MILDEST EVER because of Covid, as, the people that WOULD HAVE DIED this season have ALREADY PASSED

Similar to the "Demand-pull" concept in economics

Random ZH posters smarter than people in the upper reaches of government

******* Clown World

Argentumentum , 1 hour ago

They are not stupid. They are criminals.

LA_Goldbug , 1 hour ago

A waist of time listening to these jokers.

You are better off reading this article,

https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/

Counting,

https://banned.video/watch?id=5efab695672706002f367a0a

Crash Overide , 2 hours ago

Fauci and Redfield are complete pieces of s h i t. So much misdirection and lies.

RTP , 2 hours ago

Gallo + Fauci = AIDS swindle

Fauci + Gates = COVID-19 swindle

How much longer will this poisonous dwarf ruin the future of mankind?

k3g , 2 hours ago

Question in March: Doc, you've been a Director at NIH infectious disease unit for 36 years. You're our top virologist. You're in the spotlight, your moment to shine, to show why we've paid your salary and bene's all these years, we're counting on you. First question: should we wear masks, would that help?

A: Dunno. Have to study it.

Q: Well, if we want to wear masks, how to we get them? When will the gubmint release masks from the billions it has in storage?

A: Dunno. Not sure if we have any masks. Have you tried Home Depot?

kort6776 , 2 hours ago

the government is cooking the books

https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/local-coronavirus-news/are-antibody-tests-included-in-the-states-reporting-yes-and-no

Cobra Commander , 2 hours ago

"Just flatten the Curve."

"2 weeks to flatten the Curve."

"Don't wear masks; unless they are N95 they are ineffective."

"Stop buying masks -- we need them for the (furloughed) hospital workers."

"Mask are now super effective against SARS-CoV-2."

"Just wear anything; homemade, cotton, surgical, wool blend, anything is now effective."

Cobra!

USAllDay , 2 hours ago

"Dr. Fauci I am curious about your income before the virus vs today"?

"How many mortgage payments have you missed"

"How many employees have you fired?

Lord Raglan , 2 hours ago

"which pharmaceutical companies do you own stock in directly or indirectly through family members?"

shankster , 2 hours ago

What about your financial ties to Bill Gates?

Son of Loki , 1 hour ago

"BJ" is what he's known outside CDC by.

Big Jackass = Fauci

Many of these people are in government --- life long -- because they could never make it in the private sector.

Geocen Trist , 2 hours ago

" Fauci attended Regis High School in Manhattan's Upper East Side " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Fauci

" Regis High School is a private Jesuit secondary school for Roman Catholic boys located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regis_High_School_(New_York_City)

" He then went to the College of the Holy Cross "

" The College of the Holy Cross, or better known simply as Holy Cross, is a private Jesuit liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts. " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_the_Holy_Cross

I wonder if Fauci is a Jesuit Freemason ? :-D

shankster , 1 hour ago

Masks are only for the plebs

enlightened01 , 2 hours ago

The government and the FED dumping TRILLIONS of dollars to all these corporations, meanwhile they can't even provide FREE MASKS for everyone. If they really wanted to help, they could have given everyone masks. That's how you could have helped prevent it. And MASKS are expensive why not subsidized it, and maybe we would have this in control and are re-opening sooner.

Macho Latte , 2 hours ago


Dr Atlas on Tucker Carlson
https://video.foxnews.com/v/6168220031001?playlist_id=5528578293001#sp=show-clips

Son of Loki , 1 hour ago

Here it is on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9AQEHOZYB4

[Jul 01, 2020] The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.

Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Jeff Stryker , says: June 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm GMT

@Rev. Spooner bout the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or community. Those are a joke to people whose money is made transnational.

The lumpens who have never traveled out of their state have no concept of geographic dimensions. They have never even left home. They think everyone is as patriotic as them and will fight and die for their country and their community.

I assure none of the elite care a whit. Penthouses look the same from Manhattan to Tokyo.

Ask the Boers in South Africa or Polish in Detroit who did not "sniff the wind" in time.

The guy who has a gun loaded in his pocket as an insurance policy has a plan and it does not end well for the person who hit him.

The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.

[Jul 01, 2020] Yes, it all narrows down to complexity now. Complex truth, complex lies, complex plots

Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

AB_Anonymous , says: June 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm GMT

@Vojkan

Yes, it all narrows down to complexity now. Complex truth, complex lies, complex plots,
complex relations between major groups of crooks themselves, and, in addition to
the MSM, an army of alternative media feeding people with filtered visions of reality,
convenient to the group(s) they represent. And even all that is far from complete or
precise model of reality.
Not saying that humanity is doomed, though. Because no matter how evil-smart,
rich, well-organized and self-confident the crooks are, the last word will not be theirs.
And something tells me that in the end it'll be simplicity that will finish them off.

[Jun 29, 2020] Gilead Will Charge More Than $3,000 For A Course Of COVID-19 Drug Remdesivir

Highly recommended!
Corrupt Fauci, stupid customers. IT the same neoliberal story of profiteering as a virtue all over again.
The government bought by Big Pharma, and Big Pharma out or control with questionable drugs and methods are two side of the same coin
Jun 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

On Monday, Gilead disclosed its pricing plan for Gilead as it prepares to begin charging for the drug at the beginning of next month (several international governments have already placed orders). Given the high demand, thanks in part due to the breathless media coverage despite the drug's still-questionable study data, Gilead apparently feels justified in charging $3,120 for a patient getting the shorter, more common, treatment course, and $5,720 for the longer course for more seriously ill patients. These are the prices for patients with commercial insurance in the US, according to Gilead's official pricing plan.

As per usual, the price charged to those on government plans will be lower, and hospitals will also receive a slight discount. Additionally, the US is the only developed country where Gilead will charge two prices, according to Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day. In much of Europe and Canada, governments negotiate drug prices directly with drugmakers (in the US, laws dictate that drug makers must "discount" their drugs for Medicare and Medicaid plans).

But according to O'Day, the drug is priced "far below the value it brings" to the health-care system.

However, we'd argue that this actually isn't true. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead to treat Ebola, but the drug was never approved by the FDA for this use, which caused Gilead to shelve the drug until COVID-19 presented another opportunity. Even before the first study had finished, the company was already pushing propaganda about the promising nature of the drug. Meanwhile, the CDC, WHO and other organizations were raising doubts about the effectiveness of steroid medications.

Months later, the only study on the steroid dexomethasone, a cheap steroid that costs less than $50 for a 100-dose regimen, has shown that dexomethasone is the only drug so far that has proven effective at lowering COVID-19 related mortality. Remdesivir, despite the fact that it has been tested in several high quality trials, has not.

So, why is the American government in partnership with Gilead still pushing this questionable, and staggeringly expensive, medication on the public?

[Jun 29, 2020] Trump Is Losing The White Vote With Jared Kushner s Agenda by Washington Watcher II

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's problems among college-educated whites have drawn much attention during his presidency. What's new is declining support among non-college educated whites, where he holds only a 19-point lead. He won that demographic by 37 points in 2016. And his declining support among this key constituency is pronounced in six battleground states, with only 16 percent of non-college educated whites backing him. In October, his lead among them was 24 points. In 2016, Trump won these battleground voters by 26 points. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

White voters are turning away from President Trump. That assessment includes his invaluable working-class white base . But Trump has only himself and his campaign to blame for the bad news contained in the latest polls. While America burns, his campaign's only plan seems to be wooing black voters by tweeting that Joe Biden is the "real" racist. Trump seems unable to do anything about the riots or the devastation wrought by coronavirus . The latest poll numbers should knock some sense into the president. He seems to be responding a little lately, but he's going to lose the election if he sticks to Jared Kushner 's agenda and doesn't fight like the candidate we elected in 2016.

The latest polls from The New York Times poll lay bare the ugly truth.

Biden leads Trump among college-educated whites by 28 points [ Biden Takes Dominant Lead as Voters Reject Trump on Virus and Race , by Alexander Burns, Jonathan Martin and Matt Stevens, June 24, 2020]. The former vice president leads Trump by double digits among all white voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, three states crucial to Trump's 2016 victory, yet he is down by double digits[ In Poll, Trump Falls Far Behind Biden in Six Key Battleground States , by Nate Cohn, June 25, 2020].The same poll puts Biden 14 points ahead of Trump nationwide: 50 percent to 36 percent. That figure is no outlier either. The latest polls from Fox News and Harvard-Harris put Biden 12 points ahead nationally. The Real Clear Politics average has Biden ahead by 9.4 points.

Trump's problems among college-educated whites have drawn much attention during his presidency. What's new is declining support among non-college educated whites, where he holds only a 19-point lead. He won that demographic by 37 points in 2016. And his declining support among this key constituency is pronounced in six battleground states, with only 16 percent of non-college educated whites backing him. In October, his lead among them was 24 points. In 2016, Trump won these battleground voters by 26 points.

Funny thing is, those voters aren't defecting to Biden's camp, either; their support for him has increased by just 1 since October. The Times describes them as " white voters with more conservative attitudes on racial issues," which likely means they think Trump has not delivered the promised nationalist agenda. One voter told the Times's Cohn he's disappointed with Trump 's not cracking down on the rioters and shutting down the economy because of the Chinese Virus pandemic. He'll still vote for Trump, but without much enthusiasm.

Older whites are also jumping ship. In six battleground states, Trump and Biden are about even among whites 65 or older. Trump won them by nearly 20 points in 2016. The Times attributes that decline to the president's coronavirus response and his "tone" [ Trump Faces Mounting Defections From a Once-Loyal Group: Older White Voters , by Alexander Burns and Katie Glueck, June 28, 2020].

The likely cause? The literal chaos they see on television. People are frightened by coronavirus , the riots, the Left's cultural revolution , and the crippled economy . They don't see Trump leading. Rioters tear down statues and attack our history with neither police action nor pushback. Crime is rising significantly . The media are hyping a second wave of coronavirus as Trump pushes for reopening the country. More than 47 million Americans have applied for unemployment since March 1 [ Another 1.48 million Americans file for unemployment benefits , by Heidi Chung, Yahoo Finance, June 25, 2020].

That picture of Trump's America hardly inspires confidence.

The only positive for Trump is that Biden has roughly the same non-white support that Hillary Clinton had in 2016 . But that's not exactly great news, either, given the campaign's focus on painting Biden as the "real" racist. The message is having zero effect on non-whites. The Times : Biden leads by 74 points among blacks and by 39 points among Hispanics [ Biden Takes Dominant Lead as Voters Reject Trump on Virus and Race , by Alexander Burns, Jonathan Martin and Matt Stevens, June 24, 2020].

The black figure is particularly humiliating. Trump and his campaign flunkies can't stop talking about the great things Trump does for blacks. Record-low black unemployment ! Criminal justice reform ! Permanent funding for historically black colleges! And that non-stop message has only worsened since the Floyd hoax. "I think I've done more for the Black community than any other president," he told Fox News [ Trump suggests Lincoln's legacy is 'questionable,' brags about his own work for Black Americans , by Dan Mangan, CNBC, June 12, 2020].

A tweet from Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale last week illustrates the idiocy. Parscale attacked Biden for working with Strom Thurmond to impose harsh sentences on crack dealers. He claimed this legislation targeted blacks and Trump is fixing the "problem"

Brad Parscale @parscale

Biden once thanked segregationist Strom Thurmond for helping him pass crack cocaine laws targeting Black Americans.

Biden created the problem. @ RealDonaldTrump is fixing it.

The beginning of racial justice will be RETIRING Joe Biden from public life.

6,809 4:56 PM - Jun 22, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy
5,639 people are talking about this

Seriously, Brad?!

The problem is the crack dealers , not sending them to jail. It makes no sense for Trump to continue tweeting out LAW AND ORDER while his campaign manager calls law and order proposals racist.

Unhappily, Parscale is not alone. Official Republican and Trump campaign accounts regularly tweet cringeworthy statements about Confederate monuments and criminal justice reform.

Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 @TrumpWarRoom

Joe Biden once called a Confederate heritage group 'fine people'

1,015 12:24 PM - Jun 19, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy
773 people are talking about this
GOP @GOP

Democrats seem to have forgotten that Pres. Trump has led the way on innovative criminal justice reform.

He signed the FIRST STEP Act & established the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement & the Admin. of Justice -- which aims to improve relations between the public & police.

2,958 4:30 PM - Jun 20, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy
1,782 people are talking about this

Who, exactly, are these messages for? If they're intended to win the black vote, they're failing. If they're meant to soothe white suburbanite concerns about Trump's alleged "racism," they're failing. If they're meant to excite Trump's working class white base, again, they're failing.

Parscale set out the agenda for the Trump campaign in a January interview with Lou Dobbs: the economy and healthcare. When Dobbs asked about immigration, the campaign manager replied that they didn't need to worry about it because "we already have [immigration patriots as] voters." Other issues, he claimed, will bring in new voters.

Jared Kushner, Tucker Carlson has observed , has made the similar point that "our voters aren't going anywhere. The trailer parks are rock solid. What choice do they have? They've got to vote for us." [ Tucker Carlson: "No One Has More Contempt For Donald Trump's Voters Than Jared Kushner," by Ian Schwartz, Real Clear Politics , June 1, 2020]

The Son-in-Law in Chief might wish to consult the polling data to verify that claim.

Parscale is taking a lot of heat lately for the poor messaging and the Tulsa rally's underwhelming attendance . Reports suggest Parscale is on his way out as part of a major campaign shake-up. Maybe, but he's not the ultimate problem.

Jared Kushner and the Republican establishment are setting Trump's agenda and message, Parscale merely carries it out. And frighteningly, as Politico reported, Kushner "who effectively oversees the campaign from the White House, is expected to play an even more active role" [ Trump admits it: He's losing , by Alex Isenstadt, June 27, 2020].

We can only hope that isn't true, apropos of other reports say that Trump might sideline Kushner in response to the poor polling and [ After Tulsa Catastrophe, Parscale -- And Kushner -- Is At The Top Of Trump's Hit List , by Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair, June 22, 2020].

Given last week's extended and expanded his immigration moratorium to include most guest-worker visas, which Kushner strongly opposed, that seems quite possible. Trump also wants to crack down on the rioters and statue destroyers, while Kushner wants the president to focus more on police reforms and appeasing the rioters [ A serious divide exists among Trump advisers over how to address nights of protests and riots in US after Floyd's death , by Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak, CNN, May 31, 2020].

Trump recently tweeted an ad that suggests he might ditch the awful messaging. It pins the current chaos on Democrats and the Left and states they want to burn America to the ground.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 99.6K 5:47 PM - Jun 27, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy
82.4K people are talking about this

It's a powerful, take-no-prisoners video with the same message that helped Trump win in 2016 and might just re-energize his base in time for Election Day.

Yet tough talk alone won't win back Trump's base. He must act . Signs are improving there, too..

Over the weekend, he tweeted several wanted pictures of statue vandals. Four leftists were hit with federal charges for attacking the Andrew Jackson statue in DC [ Justice Department Charges 4 Over Attempt to Topple Andrew Jackson Statue In D.C. , by Jason Slotkin, NPR , June 28, 2020]. Putting left-wing criminals behind bars sends the right message and might stifle the unrest. And again, he's helping unemployed Americans with the immigration ban for the rest of the year. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support it, according to the latest polling.

Trump must show Americans that the Chinese Virus threat is decreasing, the economy is recovering, and law and order is being restored. Tweets about money for black colleges, Biden's tough-on-crime bills, and or his long-ago cooperation with "segregationists" won't do.

Trump must make this election about order versus chaos and put Democrats on the side of the rioters and the radicals in Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

That, and only that, will win the white vote.

Washington Watcher II [ Email him ] is an anonymous DC insider.


Achmed E. Newman , says: Website June 29, 2020 at 4:15 am GMT

You guys at VDare are always very hopeful, and I like that. I've read of some of the moves that the President has made, such as the ones you state here (on immigration and some justice for Cult-Revolutionalists). However, these things never seem to be part of any coherent, consistent strategy of any sort.

Perhaps President Trump is not a strategist and can't think in that manner. He definitely has no specific principles or moral compass, or any kind of damn compass. This is why he listens to his son-in-law Kushner, who is out to destroy the country like the rest of them.

I agree with the one guy you mentioned (who replied to Mr. Cohn). There's no choice on who to vote for anyway, not matter how much Trump screws up. But then, all this happening is not going to be settled at the voting booth anyway

Trevor Blanc , says: June 29, 2020 at 4:26 am GMT

The White House is Israeli occupied territory. Get rid of Jar-Jar and the job of minding the goy-in-chief will just go to someone new.

jsinton , says: June 29, 2020 at 4:36 am GMT

Yeah, Trump comes off like a used car salesman with high pressure tactics. But who can vote for dugout Joe who hides in his basement avoiding complex questions? Apples Oranges ?

niteranger , says: June 29, 2020 at 4:48 am GMT

Trump is done. Kushner is nothing more than an Israeli plant. They know that Biden is just like Pelosi and she and Joe would kill every white person in America if Israel wanted. The entire Congress is owned by Israel. Trump is done. Obama's "Third Term" more accurately described as Coup d'etat setup with the Deep State and Obama's Jewish friends left from his administration destroyed Trump on the first day of his tenure.

Trump can't stop putting his foot in his mouth. He abandoned White America and no matter what he did for the Blacks including money for their universities made no difference. No matter how many jobs he created it didn't count because these mongrels don't want jobs they want free stuff. Obama did nothing for blacks except destroying many middle class blacks but it doesn't matter. Blacks are tribalistic gang bangers and as Obama their Lord taught them only see color.

Trump is done and so is America. The Jews always win no matter who is president. You better start arming yourself because you are not going to believe what is going to happen when Biden wins. In Washington D.C. today Blacks were rioting against Target because they call the police when blacks steal stuff. You can't make this up and the Jewish controlled media just laughs at us.

RichardTaylor , says: June 29, 2020 at 4:49 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

Ok, but what if Trump were to say Dems are the real racists ? Wouldn't that win the Black vote? Forgive me, gallows humor.

It's truly pathetic the people Trump surrounds himself with. His instincts always seemed good, but apparently he can't implement a damn thing. At least all this is showing conservatives how rotten the leadership of all their hallowed institutions are (FBI, military, police, etc).

Robert Dolan , says: June 29, 2020 at 4:57 am GMT

The kushner blame is bullshit.

Not that kushner isn't an asshole.

But that DT is the President.

Buck stops there.

[Jun 29, 2020] Krystal Ball- Anatomy of a Tucker Carlson monologue

A person that believe is Russiagate is iether an idiot or a shill
Notable quotes:
"... The bipartisan elite will allow the destruction of the statues as an attempt to ameliorate the frustration of the protestors by giving them a target for their anger. The elite understand while the statues are the release of frustration and the target of the anger, they remain safe. But what happens next week when all the symbols of empire have been eradicated? ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Hello Lemons , 3 days ago

Should've included the fact that Tucker himself said that the Republican party won't save us cause they're busy sucking up to corporate interests instead of stealing it.

Patrick Connor , 3 days ago

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion model is the wrong approach to equality. You'll end up with Evergreen State College on a massive scale.

Rasheed Barnes , 4 days ago

Kamala is a critical race theorist? Well, I'll be damned. Here I thought she was a corporate shill.

Animal Farm , 3 days ago

The bipartisan elite will allow the destruction of the statues as an attempt to ameliorate the frustration of the protestors by giving them a target for their anger. The elite understand while the statues are the release of frustration and the target of the anger, they remain safe. But what happens next week when all the symbols of empire have been eradicated?

ProfessorBeautiful , 2 days ago

A People's History of the American People -- Howard Zinn

Gluemonkey , 3 days ago

Tucker is probably easily the best commentator on the right

Tracy Posoukh , 2 days ago

Actual Russian hacking and interference - I would like see proof, any proof

Big Mama Sammy , 3 days ago

The difference Russia was fake and statues coming down is real.

George Rockwell , 2 days ago

Russian hacking? Sad, Krystal.

[Jun 26, 2020] Do not defund police, debund the Pentagon by Andrew Bacevich and Tom Engelhardt

Jun 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
Originally posted at TomDispatch .

Today, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests, TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich considers the all-American version of "extreme materialism" that Martin Luther King called out more than half a century ago. And when it comes to the overwhelming urge to get one's hands on the goods, among the looters of this moment two groups are almost never mentioned: the Pentagon and the police.

Yet, in 1997, the Department of Defense set up the 1033 program as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to provide thousands of domestic police forces with "surplus" equipment of almost every imaginable militarized kind. Since then, thanks to your tax dollars, it has given away $7.4 billion of such equipment, some of it directly off the battlefields of this country's forlorn "forever wars." For items like grenade launchers, mine-resistant armored vehicles, military rifles, bayonets, body armor, night-vision goggles, and helicopters , all that police departments have to fork over is the price of delivery. The Pentagon has, in fact, been so eager to become the Macy's of militarized hardware that, in 2017, it was even willing to "give $1.2 million worth of rifles, pipe bombs, and night vision goggles to a fake police department," no questions asked. That "department" proved to be part of a sting operation run by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). "It was like getting stuff off of eBay," a GAO official would say . Only, of course, for free.

The militarization (or, thought of another way, the commercialization) of the police has been remarkably on pace these last 23 years, while the Pentagon's ever-soaring budgets for its ever-sinking wars could be thought of as the great American commercial success story of this century. With more and more taxpayer dollars in its wallet, it's been on a remarkable looting spree. Ask yourself: has there been a weapons system it couldn't have, a military base it couldn't establish, a war expense Congress wouldn't fund even while cutting back on crucial aspects of the domestic budget like infrastructure programs or disease-prevention spending ? No wonder the Pentagon could supply all those police departments with a cornucopia of goods with which to turn themselves into over-armed occupying forces in this country.

It's never thought of that way, but the Pentagon and the police have essentially been looting the coffers of the American taxpayer for a long time now and, in the Trump era, the process has only intensified . Nonetheless, as Bacevich points out, even with protests over racism filling the streets of America, protests over defunding the Pentagon have yet to surface in any significant way. Perhaps it's finally time. ~ Tom


Martin Luther King's Giant Triplets

By Andrew Bacevich

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are finally – or is it once again? – confronting the racism that afflicts this country and extends into just about every corner of our national life. Something fundamental just might be happening.

Yet to state the obvious, we've been here before. Mass protests in response to racial inequality and discrimination, including police brutality, have been anything but unknown in the United States. Much the same can be said of riots targeting black Americans, fomented and exploited by white racists, often actively or passively abetted by local law enforcement officials. If Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was correct in calling violence "as American as cherry pie," then race-related urban unrest is the apple-filled equivalent.

The optimists among us believe that "this time is different." I hope events will prove them right. Yet recalling expectations that Barack Obama's election in 2008 signaled the dawn of a " post-racial America ," I see no reason to expect it to be so. A yawning gap, I fear, separates hope from reality.

Let me suggest, however, that the nation's current preoccupation with race, as honorable and necessary as it may be, falls well short of adequately responding to the situation confronting Americans as they enter the third decade of the twenty-first century. Racism is a massive problem, but hardly our only one. Indeed, as Martin Luther King sought to remind us many years ago, there are at least two others of comparable magnitude.

MLK Defines the Problem

In April 1967, at New York City's Riverside Church, Dr. King delivered a sermon that offered a profound diagnosis of the illnesses afflicting the nation. His analysis remains as timely today as it was then, perhaps more so.

Americans remember King primarily as a great civil rights leader and indeed he was that. In his Riverside Church address, however, he turned to matters that went far beyond race. In an immediate sense, his focus was the ongoing Vietnam War, which he denounced as "madness" that "must cease." Yet King also used the occasion to summon the nation to "undergo a radical revolution of values" that would transform the United States "from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society." Only through such a revolution, he declared, would we be able to overcome "the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism."

The challenge confronting Americans was to dismantle what King referred to as the "edifice" that produced and sustained each of those giant triplets. Today's protesters, crusading journalists, and engaged intellectuals make no bones about their determination to eliminate the first of those giant triplets. Yet they generally treat the other two as, at best, mere afterthoughts, while the edifice itself, resting on a perverse understanding of freedom, goes almost entirely ignored.

I'm not suggesting that members of the grand coalition of Americans today fervently campaigning against racism favor extreme materialism. Many of them merely accept its reality and move on. Nor am I suggesting that they consciously endorse militarism, although in confusing "support" for the troops with genuine patriotism some of them do so implicitly. What I am suggesting is that those calling for fundamental change will go badly astray if they ignore Dr. King's insistence that each of the giant triplets is intimately tied to the other two.

Defund the Pentagon?

The protests triggered by the recent murders of George Floyd and other black Americans have produced widespread demands to "defund the police." Those demands don't come out of nowhere. While "reform" programs undertaken in innumerable American cities over the course of many years have demonstrably enhanced police firepower , they have done little, if anything, to repair relations between police departments and communities of color.

As an aging middle-class white male, I don't fear cops. I respect the fact that theirs is a tough job, which I would not want. Yet I realize that my attitude is one more expression of white privilege, which black men, regardless of their age and economic status, can ill afford to indulge. So I fully accept the need for radical changes in policing – that's what "defund" appears to imply – if American cities are ever to have law enforcement agencies that are effective, humane, and themselves law-abiding.

What I can't fathom is why a similar logic doesn't apply to the armed forces that we employ to police huge chunks of the world beyond our borders. If Americans have reason to question the nation's increasingly militarized approach to law enforcement, then shouldn't they have equal reason to question this country's thoroughly militarized approach to statecraft?

Consider this: on an annual basis, police officers in the United States kill approximately 1,000 Americans , with blacks two-and-a-half times more likely than whites to be victimized. Those are appalling figures, indicative of basic policy gone fundamentally awry. So the outpouring of protest over the police and demands for change are understandable and justified.

Still, the question must be asked: Why have the nation's post-9/11 wars not prompted similar expressions of outrage? The unjustified killing of black Americans rightly finds thousands upon thousands of protesters flooding the streets of major cities. Yet the loss of thousands of American soldiers and the physical and psychological wounds sustained by tens of thousands more in foolhardy wars elicits, at best, shrugs. Throw in the hundreds of thousands of non-American lives taken in those military campaigns and the trillions of taxpayer dollars they have consumed and you have a catastrophe that easily exceeds in scale the myriad race-related protests and riots that have roiled American cities in the recent past.

With their eyes fixed on elections that are now just months away, politicians of all stripes spare no effort to show that they "get it" on the issue of race and policing. Race may well play a large role in determining who wins the White House this November and which party controls Congress. It should. Yet while the election's final outcome may be uncertain, this much is not: neither the American propensity for war, nor the bloated size of the Pentagon budget, nor the dubious habit of maintaining a sprawling network of military bases across much of the planet will receive serious scrutiny during the political season now underway. Militarism will escape unscathed.

At Riverside Church, King described the U.S. government as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." So it unquestionably remains, perpetrating immeasurably more violence than any other great power and with remarkably little to show in return. Why, then, except on the easily ignored fringes of American politics, are there no demands to "defund" the Pentagon?

King considered the Vietnam War an abomination. At that time, more than a few Americans agreed with him and vigorously demonstrated against the conflict's continuation. That today's demonstrators have seemingly chosen to file away our post-9/11 military misadventures under the heading of regrettable but forgettable is itself an abomination. While their sensitivity to racism is admirable, their indifference to war is nothing short of disheartening.

In 1967, Dr. King warned that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." During the intervening decades, his charge has lost none of its sting or aptness.

America's National Signature

Given their size and duration, the protests occurring in the wake of the murder of George Floyd have been remarkably peaceful. That said, some of them did, early on, include rioters who resorted to looting. Smashing windows and ransacking stores, they walked off not with milk and bread for the hungry, but with shopping bags filled with high-end swag – designer shoes and sneakers, purses, clothing, and jewelry lifted from stores like Prada and Alexander McQueen. Also stolen were smart phones, handguns , even automobiles . In-store surveillance systems recorded scenes reminiscent of Black Friday doorbuster sales, though without anyone bothering to pass through a checkout counter. Some looters quickly attempted to monetize their hauls by offering to sell purloined items online.

Certain right-wing commentators wasted no time in using the looting to tar the protest movement as little more than an expression of nihilism. Tucker Carlson of Fox News was particularly emphatic on this point. Americans taking to the streets in response to George Floyd's murder, he said, "reject society itself."

"Reason and process and precedent mean nothing to them. They use violence to get what they want immediately. People like this don't bother to work. They don't volunteer or pay taxes to help other people. They live for themselves. They do exactly what they feel like doing On television, hour by hour, we watch these people – criminal mobs – destroy what the rest of us have built "

To explain such selfish and destructive misconduct, Carlson had an answer readily at hand:

"The ideologues will tell you that the problem is race relations, or capitalism, or police brutality, or global warming. But only on the surface. The real cause is deeper than that and it's far darker. What you're watching is the ancient battle between those who have a stake in society, and would like to preserve it, and those who don't, and seek to destroy it.

This is vile, hateful stuff, and entirely wrong – except perhaps on one point. In attributing the looting to a deeper cause, Carlson was onto something, even if his effort to pinpoint that cause was wildly off the mark.

I won't try to unravel the specific motives of those who saw an opportunity in the protests against racism to help themselves to goods that were not theirs. How much was righteous anger turned to rage and how much cynical opportunism is beyond my ability to know.

This much, however, can be said for certain: the grab-all-you-can-get impulse so vividly on display was as all-American as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Those looters, after all, merely wanted more stuff. What could be more American than that? In this country, after all, stuff carries with it the possibility of personal fulfillment, of achieving some version of happiness or status.

The looters that Tucker Carlson targeted with his ire were doing anything but "rejecting society itself." They were merely helping themselves to what this society today has on offer for those with sufficient cash and credit cards in their wallets. In a sense, they were treating themselves to a tiny sip of what passes these days for the American Dream.

With the exception of cloistered nuns, hippies, and other vanishing breeds, virtually all Americans have been conditioned to buy into the proposition that stuff correlates with the good life. Unconvinced? Check out the videos from last year's Black Friday and then consider the intense, if unsurprising, interest of economists and journalists in tracking the latest consumer spending trends . At least until Covid-19 came along, consumer spending served as the authoritative measure of the nation's overall health.

The primary civic obligation of US citizens today is not to vote or pay taxes. And it's certainly not to defend the country, a task offloaded onto those who can be enticed to enlist (with minorities vastly overrepresented ) in the so-called All-Volunteer Military. No, the primary obligation of citizenship is to spend.

Ours is not a nation of mystics, philosophers, poets, artisans, or Thomas Jefferson's yeomen farmers. We are now a nation of citizen-consumers, held in thrall to the extreme materialism that Dr. King decried. This, not a commitment to liberty or democracy, has become our true national signature and our chief contribution to late modernity.

Tearing Down the Edifice

At Riverside Church, King reminded his listeners that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he had helped to found a decade earlier, had chosen this as its motto: "To save the soul of America." The soul of a nation corrupted by racism, militarism, and extreme materialism represented King's ultimate concern. Vietnam, he said, was "but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit."

In a tone-deaf editorial criticizing his Riverside Church sermon, the New York Times chastised King for "fusing two public problems" – racism and the Vietnam War – "that are distinct and separate." Yet part of King's genius lay in his ability to recognize the interconnectedness of matters that Times editors, as oblivious to deeper maladies then as they are today, wish to keep separate. King sought to tear down the edifice that sustained all three of those giant triplets. Indeed, it is all but certain that, were he alive now, he would call similar attention to a fourth related factor: climate change denial. The refusal to treat seriously the threat posed by climate change underwrites the persistence of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism.

During the course of his sermon, King quoted this sentence from the statement of a group that called itself the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." Regarding race, it appears that the great majority of Americans have now rejected such silence. This is good. It remains an open question, however, when their silent acceptance of militarism, materialism, and the abuse of Planet Earth will end.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book is The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory .

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook . Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer's new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlands series) Frostlands , Beverly Gologorsky's novel Every Body Has a Story , and Tom Engelhardt's A Nation Unmade by War , as well as Alfred McCoy's In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower's The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II .

Copyright 2020 Andrew Bacevich

[Jun 26, 2020] The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions - A Documentary

Notable quotes:
"... You can fool someone for a long time, you can fool a lot of people for a short time - but you can't fool a lot of people for a long time. That is, unless those people are willing to live the lie. ..."
"... I think the reason the MSM's propaganda is so effective nowadays (and I'm thinking specifically about the world since the Iraq invasion in 2003) is that, deep down, maybe in the collective inconsciousness level, the working classes from the First World countries know their superior living standards depend on imperial brutality over the rest of the world. ..."
"... The current increased smear campaigns against the so called Russian Bots, Assad Apologists etc., is surely just the first part of of a an attempt to implement very serious censorship and control over the internet to attempt to completely block out any alternative voices. ..."
"... Obivously western intelligence servies, NATO leak stuff to western msm to intimidate and censor political oppostion in every western country. ..."
"... Orwell's great fear was totalitarianism. Either from the left or the right. What we have now is much more subtle. The MSM retains the illusion of freedom and most people go along with it. We may even realize we are being manipulated but the only alternative is posting on sites like MOA. ..."
"... The Skirpal charade was a front for several things but mainly, I think, to turn the focus away from Brexit and to opening the Cold War front again. ..."
"... George Orwell has been a presence throughout this thread. It was unfortunate he was hurried by MI6 to finish the last pages of 'Animal Farm' so it could be translated into Arabic and be used to discredit Communist parties in Western Asia. This always raised the ire of Communist organisations through following decades .This being said he wrote some great text especially for me the revealing 1939 novel - Coming up for A ..."
"... I don't know if wars are really an extension of diplomacy by other means, but they certainly seem to be... an extension of ideology and propaganda. Ideas are very important in preparing and fighting wars; especially today, though, in reality the way we think about our western imperial war-fighting, goes back well over a century, back to the Whiteman's Burden and other imperialist myths. ..."
"... For the last thirty years we've essentially been fighting 'liberal crusades for freedom and democracy.' That, at least, was the 'cover story' the pretext presented to the people. There's an irony here. Just like Islamic State, we've been engaging in 'holy warfare' too! ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines'.
George Orwell, Looking back on the Spanish War , Chapter 4

Last week saw an extreme intensifying of the warmongers' campaign against individuals who publicly hold and defend a different view than the powers-that-be want to promote. The campaign has a longer history but recently turned personal. It now endangers the life and livelihood of real people.

In fall 2016 a smear campaign was launched against 200 websites which did not confirm to NATO propaganda. Prominent sites like Naked Capitalism were among them as well as this site:

This website, MoonofAlabama.org , is now listed as "Russian propaganda outlet" by some neoconned, NATO aligned, anonymous " Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service " prominently promoted by today's Washington Post . The minions running that censorship list also watch over our "Russian propaganda" Twitter account @MoonofA .

While the ProPornOT campaign was against websites the next and larger attack was a general defaming of specific content.

The neoconservative Alliance For Securing Democracy declared that any doubt of the veracity of U.S. propaganda stories discussed on Twitter was part of a "Russian influence campaign". Their ' dashboard ' shows the most prominent hashtags and themes tweeted and retweeted by some 600 hand-selected but undisclosed accounts. (I have reason to believe that @MoonofA is among them.) The dashboard gave rise to an endless line of main-stream stories faking concern over alleged "Russian influence". The New York Times published several such stories including this recent one :


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Russia did not respond militarily to the Friday strike, but American officials noted a sharp spike in Russian online activity around the time it was launched.

A snapshot on Friday night recorded a 2,000 percent increase in Russian troll activity overall, according to Tyler Q. Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. One known Russian bot, #SyriaStrikes, had a 4,443 percent increase in activity while another, #Damsucs, saw a 2,800 percent jump, Mr. Houlton said.

A person on Twitter, or a bot, is tagged by a chosen name led with an @-sign. Anything led with a #-sign is a 'hashtag', a categorizing attribute of a place, text or tweet. Hashtags have nothing to do with any "troll activity". The use of the attribute or hashtag #syriastrike increased dramatically when a U.S. strike on Syria happened. Duh. A lot of people remarked on the strikes and used the hashtag #syriastrike to categorize their remarks. It made it easier for others to find information about the incident.

The hashtag #Damsucs does not exit. How could it have a 2,800% increase? It is obviously a mistyping of #Damascus or someone may have used as a joke. In June 2013 an Associated Press story famously carried the dateline "Damsucs". The city was then under artillery attack from various Takfiri groups. The author likely felt that the situation sucked.


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The spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security Tyler Q. Holton, to which the Times attributes the "bot" nonsense, has a Twitter account under his name and also tweets as @SpoxDHS. Peter Baker, the NYT author, has some 150,000 followers on Twitter and tweets several times per day. Holton and Tyler surely know what @accounts and #hashtags are.

One suspects that Holton used the bizzare statistic of the infamous ' Dashboard ' created by the neoconservative, anti-Russian lobby . The dashboard creators asserted that the use of certain hashtags is a sign of 'Russian bots'. On December 25 the dashboard showed that Russian trolls and bots made extensive use of the hashtag #MerryChristmas to undermine America's moral.


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One of the creators of the dashboard, Clint Watts, has since confessed that it is mere bullshit :

"I'm not convinced on this bot thing," said Watts, the cofounder of a project that is widely cited as the main, if not only, source of information on Russian bots. He also called the narrative "overdone."

As government spokesperson Holton is supposed to spout propaganda that supports the government's policies. But propaganda is ineffective when it does not adhere to basic realities. Holton is bad at his job. Baker, the NYT author, did even worse. He repeated the government's propaganda bullshit without pointing out and explaining that it obviously did not make any sense. He used it to further his own opinionated, false narrative. It took a day for the Times to issue a paritial correction of the fact free tale.

With the situation in Syria developing in favor of the Syrian people, with dubious government claims around the Skripal affair in Salisbury and the recent faked 'chemical attack' in Douma the campaign against dissenting reports and opinions became more and more personal.

Last December the Guardian commissioned a hatchet job against Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett . Beeley and Bartlett extensively reported (vid) from the ground in Syria on the British propaganda racket "White Helmets". The Guardian piece defended the 'heros' of the White Helmets and insinuated that both journalists were Russian paid stooges.

In March the self proclaimed whistle-blower and blowhard Sibel Edmonds of Newsbud launched a lunatic broadside smear attack (vid) against Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett. The Corbett Report debunked (vid) the nonsense. (The debunking received 59,000 views. Edmonds public wanking was seen by less than 23,000 people.)

Some time ago the CIA propaganda outlets Voice of America and Radio Free Europe started a 'fact-checking' website and named it Polygraph.info . (Some satirist or a clueless intern must have come up with that name. No country but the U.S. believes that the unscientific results of polygraph tests have any relation to truthfulness. To any educated non-U.S. citizen the first association with the term 'polygraph' is the term 'fake'.)

On April 4 the Polygraph wrote a smear piece about the Twitter account Ian56 (@Ian56789). Its headline: Disinfo News: Doing the Kremlin's Work: A Fake Twitter Troll Pushes Many Opinions :

Ben Nimmo, the Senior Fellow for Information Defense at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, studies the exploits of "Ian56" and similar accounts on Twitter. His recent article in the online publication Medium profiles such fake pro-Kremlin accounts and demonstrates how they operate.
...

Nimmo, and several other dimwits quoted in the piece, came to the conclusion that Ian56 is a Kremlin paid troll, not a real person. Next to Ian56 Nimmo 'identified' other 'Russian troll' accounts:

Ben Nimmo @benimmo - 10:50 UTC - 24 Mar 2018

One particularly influential retweeter (judging by the number of accounts which then retweeted it) was @ValLisitsa, which posts in English and Russian. Last year, this account joined the troll-factory #StopMorganLie campaign.

Nimmo's employer, the Atlantic Council, is a lobby of companies who profit from war .

Had Nimmo, a former NATO spokesperson, had some decent education he would have know that @ValLisitsa, aka Valentina Lisitsa , is a famous American-Ukrainian pianist. Yes, she sometimes tweets in Russian language to her many fans in Russia and the Ukraine. Is that now a crime? The videos of her world wide performances on Youtube have more than 170 million views. It is absurd to claim that she is a 'Russian troll' and to insinuate that she is taking Kremlin money to push 'Russian troll' opinions.

Earlier this month Newsweek also targeted the journalists Beeley and Bartlett and smeared a group of people who had traveled to Syria as 'Assad's pawns'.

On April 14 Murdoch's London Times took personal aim at the members of a group of British academics who assembled to scientificly investigate dubious claims against Syria. Their first investigation report though, was about the Skripal incident in Salisbury. The London Times also targeted Bartlett and Beeley. The piece was leading on page one with the headline: "Apologists for Assad working in universities". A page two splash and an editorial complemented the full fledged attack on the livelihood of the scientists.


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Tim Hayward, who initiated the academic group, published a (too) mild response.

On April 18 the NPR station Wabenews smeared the black activists Anoa Changa and Eugene Puryear for appearing on a Russian TV station. It was the begin of an ongoing, well concerted campaign launched with at least seven prominent smear pieces issued on a single day against the opposition to a wider war on Syria.

On April 19 the BBC took aim at Sarah Abdallah , a Twitter account with over 130,000 followers that takes a generally pro Syrian government stand. The piece also attacked Vanessa Beeley and defended the 'White Helmets':

In addition to pictures of herself, Sarah Abdallah tweets constant pro-Russia and pro-Assad messages, with a dollop of retweeting mostly aimed at attacking Barack Obama, other US Democrats and Saudi Arabia.
...
The Sarah Abdallah account is, according to a recent study by the online research firm Graphika, one of the most influential social media accounts in the online conversation about Syria, and specifically in pushing misinformation about a 2017 chemical weapons attack and the Syria Civil Defence, whose rescue workers are widely known as the "White Helmets".
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Graphika was commissioned to prepare a report on online chatter by The Syria Campaign , a UK-based advocacy group organisation which campaigns for a democratic future for Syria and supports the White Helmets.

The Syria Campaign Ltd. is a for profit 'regime change' lobby which, like the White Helmets it promotes, is sponsored with millions of British and U.S. taxpayer money.

Brian Whitaker, a former Middle East editor for the Guardian , alleged that Sarah Abdullah has a 'Hizbullah connection'. He assumes that from two terms she used which point to a southern Lebanese heritage. But south Lebanon is by far not solely Hizbullah and Sarah Abdallah certainly does not dress herself like a pious Shia. She is more likely a Maronite or secular whatever. Exposing here as 'Hizbullah' can easily endanger her life. Replying to Whitaker the British politician George Galloway asked:

George Galloway @georgegalloway - 14:50 UTC - Replying to @Brian_Whit

Will you be content when she's dead Brian?
...
Will you be content Brian when ISIS cut off her head and eat her heart? You are beneath contempt. Even for a former Guardian man

Whitaker's smear piece was not even researched by himself. He plagiarized it, without naming his source, from Joumana Gebara, a CentCom approved Social Media Advisor to parts of the Syrian 'opposition'. Whitaker is prone to fall for scams like the 'White Helmets'. Back in mid 2011 he promoted the "Gay Girl in Damascus", a scam by a 40 year old U.S. man with dubious financial sources who pretended to be a progressive Syrian woman.

Also on April 19 the Guardian stenographed a British government smear against two other prominent Twitter accounts:

Russia used trolls and bots to unleash disinformation on to social media in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, according to fresh Whitehall analysis. Government sources said experts had uncovered an increase of up to 4,000% in the spread of propaganda from Russia-based accounts since the attack, – many of which were identifiable as automated bots.

Notice that this idiotic % increase claim, without giving a base number, is similar to the one made in the New York Times piece quoted above. It is likely also based on the lunatic 'dashboard'.

[C]ivil servants identified a sharp increase in the flow of fake news after the Salisbury poisoning, which continued in the runup to the airstrikes on Syria.

One bot, @Ian56789, was sending 100 posts a day during a 12-day period from 7 April, and reached 23 million users, before the account was suspended. It focused on claims that the chemical weapons attack on Douma had been falsified, using the hashtag #falseflag. Another, @Partisangirl, reached 61 million users with 2,300 posts over the same 12-day period.

The prime minister discussed the matter at a security briefing with fellow Commonwealth leaders Malcolm Turnbull, Jacinda Ardern and Justin Trudeau earlier this week. They were briefed by experts from GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre about the security situation in the aftermath of the Syrian airstrikes.

The political editor of the Guardian , Heather Steward, admitted that her 'reporting' was a mere copy of government claims:

Heather Stewart @GuardianHeather - 10:38 UTC - 20 Apr 2018

It's not my analysis - as the piece makes quite clear - it's the government's.

The government claim was also picked up by other British outlets like Sky News (vid).


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A day earlier Ian56/@Ian56789 account with 35,000 followers had suddenly been blocked by Twitter. Ben Nimmo was extremely happy about this success. But after many users protested to the Twitter censors the account was revived.

Neither Ian, nor Partisangirl, are 'bots' or have anything to do with Russia. Partisangirl, aka Syria Girl, is the twitter moniker of Maram Susli, a Syrian-Australian scientist specialized in quantum chemistry. She was already interviewed on Australian TV (vid) four years ago and has been back since. She has published videos of herself talking about Syria on Youtube and on Twitter and held presentations on Syria at several international conferences. Her account is marked as 'verified' by Twitter. Any cursory search would have shown that she is a real person.

The claim of bots and the numbers of their tweets the government gave to the Guardian and Sky News are evidently false . With just a few clicks the Guardian and Sky News 'journalists' could have debunked the British government claims. But these stenograhers do not even try and just run with whatever nonsense the government claims. Sky News even manipulated the picture of Partisangirl's Twitter homepage in the video and screenshot above. The original shows Maram Susli speaking about Syrian refugees at a conference in Germany. The picture provides that she is evidently a living person and not a 'bot'. But Sky News did not dare to show that. It would have debunked the government's claim.


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After some negative feed back on social media Sky News contacted the 'Russian bot' Ian and invited him to a live interview (vid). Ian Shilling, a wakeful British pensioner, managed to deliver a few zingers against the government and Sky News . He also published a written response:

I have been campaigning against the Neocons and the Neocon Wars since January 2002, when I first realised Dick Cheney and the PNAC crowd were going to use 9/11 as the pretext to launch a disastrous invasion of Iraq. This has nothing to do with Russia. It has EVERYTHING to do with the massive lies constantly told by the UK & US governments about their illegal Wars of Aggression.
...

Brian Whitaker could not hold back. Within the 156,000 tweets Ian wrote over seven years Whitaker found one(!) with a murky theory (not a denial) about the Holocaust. He alleged that Ian believes in 'conspiracy theories'. Whitaker then linked to and discussed one Conspirador Norteño who peddles 'Russian bots' conspiracy theories. Presumably Whitaker did not get the consp-irony of doing such.

On the same day as the other reports the British version of the Huffington Post joined the Times in its earlier smear against British academics, accusing Professor Hayward and Professor Piers Robinson of "whitewashing war crimes". They have done no such thing. Vanessa Beeley was additionally attacked.

Also on the 19th the London Times aimed at another target. Citizen Halo , a well known Finnish grandma, was declared to be a 'Russian troll' based on Ben Nimmo's pseudo-scientific trash, for not believing in the Skripal tale and the faked 'chemical attack' in Syria. The Times doubted her nationality and existence by using quotes around her as a "Finnish activist".

Meanwhile the defense editor of the Times , Deborah Haynes, is stalking Valentina Lisitsa on Twitter. A fresh smear-piece against the pianist is surely in the works.

The obviously organized campaign against critical thinking in Britain extended beyond the Atlantic. While the BBC , Guardian, HuffPo, Times and Sky News published smear pieces depicting dissenting people as 'Russian bots', the Intercept pushed a piece by Mehdi Hasan bashing an amorphous 'left' for rejecting a U.S. war on Syria: Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn't Gas Syrians .

Mehdi Hasan is of course eminently qualified to write such a piece. Until recently he worked for Al Jazeerah , the media outlet of the Wahhabi dictatorship of Qatar which supports the Qatari sponsored al-Qaeda in its war against Syria. The Mehdi Hasan's piece repeats every false and debunked claim that has been raised against the Syrian government as evidence for the Syrian president's viciousness. Naturally many of the links he provides point back to Al Jazeerah's propaganda. A few years ago Mehdi Hasan tried to get a job with the conservative British tabloid Daily Mail . The Mail did not want him. During a later TV discussion Hasan slammed the Daily Mail for its reporting and conservative editorial position. The paper responded by publishing his old job application. In it Mehdi Hasan emphasized his own conservative believes:

I am also attracted by the Mail's social conservatism on issues like marriage, the family, abortion and teenage pregnancies.

A conservative war-on-Syria promoter is bashing an anonymous 'left' which he falsely accuses of supporting Assad when it takes a stand against imperial wars. Is that a 'progressive' Muslim Brotherhood position? (Added: Stephen Gowans and Kurt Nimmo respond to Hasan's screed.)

On the same day Sonali Kolhatkar at Truthdig , as pseudo-progressive as the Intercept , published a quite similar piece: Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria? . She bashes the 'left' - without citing any example - for not falling for the recent scam of the 'chemical attack' in Douma and for distrusting the U.S./UK government paid White Helmets. The comments against the piece are lively.

Those working in the media are up in arms over alleged fake news and they lament the loss of paying readership. But they have only themselves to blame. They are the biggest creators of fake news and provider of government falsehood. Their attacks on critical readers and commentators are despicable.

Until two years ago Hala Jabar was foreign correspondent in the Middle East for the Sunday Times . After fourteen years with the paper and winning six awards for her work she was 'made redundant' for her objective reporting on Syria. She remarks on the recent media push against truth about Syria and the very personal attacks against non-conformist opinions:

Hala Jaber @HalaJaber - 18:36 UTC - 19 Apr 2018

In my entire career, spanning more than three decades of professional journalism, I have never seen MSM resolve to such ugly smear campaigns & hit pieces against those questioning mainstream narratives, with a different view point, as I have seen on Syria, recently.

.2/ This is a dangerous manoeuvre , a witch hunt in fact, aimed not only at character assassination, but at attempting to silence those who think differently or even sway from mainstream & state narrative.

.3/ It would have been more productive, to actually question the reason why more & more people are indeed turning to alternative voices for information & news, than to dish out ad hominem smears aimed at intimidating by labelling alternative voices as conspirators or apologists.

.4/ The journalists, activists, professors & citizens under attack are presenting an alternative view point. Surely, people are entitled to hear those and are intelligent enough to make their own judgments.

.5/ Or is there an assumption, (patronizing, if so), that the tens of thousands of people collectively following these alternative voices are too dumb & unintelligent to reach their own conclusions by sifting through the mass information being dished at them daily from all sides?

.6/ Like it or hate it, agree or disagree with them, the bottom line is that the people under attack do present an alternative view point. Least we forget, no one has a monopoly on truth. Are all those currently launching this witch hunt suggesting they do?

The governments and media would like to handle the war on Syria like they handled the war in Spain. They want reports without "any relation to the facts". The media want to "retail the lies" and eager propagandists want to "build emotional superstructures over events that never happened."

The new communication networks allow everyone to follow the war on Syria as diligently as George Orwell followed the war in Spain in which he took part. We no longer have to travel to see the differences of what really happens and what gets reported in the main stream press. We can debunk false government claims with freely available knowledge.

The governments, media and their stenographers would love to go back to the old times when they were not plagued by reports and tweets from Eva, Vanessa, Ian, Maram and Sarah or by blogposts like this one. The vicious campaign against any dissenting report or opinion is a sorry attempt to go back in time and to again gain the monopoly on 'truth'.

It is on us to not let them succeed.

Posted by b on April 21, 2018 at 23:02 UTC | Permalink


bevin , Apr 21 2018 23:23 utc | 1

next page " Excellent.
The good news about both The Intercept and Truthdig pieces is that the comments quickly showed that readers knew what the publishers were up to. The Intercept seemed to have removed Hasan's obscene act of prostitution within a day.

The reality is that we simply have to expect the imperialists, now reduced to propaganda and domestic repression, to act in this way: there is no point in attempting to shame them and they never did believe in journalistic principles or standards or ethics. They are the scum who serve a cannibalistic system for good wages and a comfortable life style- that is what the 'middle class' always did do and always will.

Kaiama , Apr 21 2018 23:56 utc | 2
No longer is it possible to control TV, Radio and printed newspapers and use them to set the message. There are now an almost infinite set of channels including youtube, twitter, blogs, podcasts,streamed radio... It's like there is a public bitcoin/bitnewsledger where new information only gets written into the ledger if it is authenicated by sufficient endorsements.

In the past, a lie could travel around the world before the truth got its shoes on (Mark Twain I believe) but the truth is catching up. We are in the midst of the great changeover where older people still rely on traditional information channels yet younger internet enabled peoplecan leverage the new channels more effectively to educate themselves.

Cycloben , Apr 22 2018 0:01 utc | 3
Western propagandists are freaking out because nobody believes their lies anymore. The more they freak out, the more we know they have lost the narrative.

I just fear for the safety of these independent journalists. It is not beneath the deep state to assassinate their enemies. These people need to be very careful.

Michael Murry , Apr 22 2018 0:47 utc | 11
Orwell would have understood and loved this:
The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner in National Reporting – Staffs of The New York Times and The Washington Post

For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation's understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect's transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)

The hysterical, side-splitting laughter over this chicken-choking, circle-jerking drivel will echo in eternity. Galactic stupidity simply doesn't get any more cosmic, except perhaps awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama.

C I eh? , Apr 22 2018 1:04 utc | 12
This is a fight between Deep States of the Rothschild-UK 'Octopus,' US-centric Rockefeller-Kochs, Russian (itself split between competing and intertwined Anglo-American clans/Eurasianists vs Altanticists) and China (also divided between sovereignty oriented Shanghai and Rothschild affiliated Hong Kong which was founded upon the opium trade in cooperation with the UK-Octopus).

The main point of contention is whether we have a hard or soft landing as the New World Order is born, with the UK-Octopus needing to instigate an epic crisis so as to bury countless trillions of worthless derivatives it sits upon, specifically seeking to collapse the USD as a global fiat and use the ensiung chaos to assist the Chinese as they establish an unasailable Yuan fiat. A war with Russia will bring the US-centric Deep State to it's knees and so this forms the basis of the not-so secret alliance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, while China attempts to remain neutral since Xi prefers a smooth transition since the US-centric group may well launch a nuclear false flag attack on the Korean peninsula, thus irradiating the region and dooming the potential for a Chinese dominated century, should the interests of yhis group be ignored.

All gloves are off and the dispostions of various players are suddenly crystal clear after the firing of Octopus agent Tillerson by Trump via twitter led immediately to the launching of operation 'Novichok,' and was followed up with an attempted series of false flags in East Ghouta which were planned so as to bring the US and Russia to war.

Other important players include the US military (itself divided between Octopus NATO and US-centric Pentagon), the CIA, which is always on all sides of any conflict but was until recently headed by Koch protege Mike Pompeo, as well as smaller Arab, Persian and Turkish Deep States all jockeying for advantage and position. Even the Vatican is included and said to be divided between Polish Cardinals on one side, with German, Italian and many Spanish speaking Cardinals as opponents. There are other Deep States as well and in every instance they are divided between one of the two main parties and themselves to one or another degree.

Media and social control is mainly the preserve of the UK Octopus, so as all of us have understood for some time, anything included within it, from the NYTimes to most of Hollywood, is completely worthless. Alternative media was created as an alternative to Octopus media, while Trump takes to twitter so as to bypass their control.

I feel like a US voter forced to choose between Republicans and Democrats, but with the promised 'Blue Wave' coming in November when Congressional elections are due, certain to be impeached Donald Trump and his US-centric backers have a very short time frame in which to change the score.

S , Apr 22 2018 1:08 utc | 13
CNN also published a long smear piece against YouTubers, basically advocating for depriving them of ad income: http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/19/technology/youtube-ads-extreme-content-investigation/index.html . Among other things, it had this to say about a U.S. comedian and political commentator Jimmy Dore:
Ads also appeared on The Jimmy Dore Show channel, a far-left YouTube channel that peddles conspiracy theories, such as the idea that Syrian chemical weapons attacks are hoaxes.

Syria is really the unifying theme in all these attacks.

Diana , Apr 22 2018 1:21 utc | 15
I congratulate Bernhard on yet another excellent piece of investigative journalism. My comment is not intended to criticise or take away from it, but only to point out that Orwell's quote was taken out of context, in the sense that although he remarks on partisan propaganda, he says that it is unimportant, since "the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were." On the other hand, the lies of the pro-NATO press are important because unlike the partisan lies told by leftist parties during the Spanish Civil War, today's NATO lies are the equivalent of the official fascist propaganda of that time: they distort and hide the main issues. Here is the full quote from the link that B has diligently provided:

I remember saying once to Arthur Koestler, 'History stopped in 1936', at which he nodded in immediate understanding. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish civil war. Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines'. Yet in a way, horrible as all this was, it was unimportant. It concerned secondary issues -- namely, the struggle for power between the Comintern and the Spanish left-wing parties, and the efforts of the Russian Government to prevent revolution in Spain. But the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were. But as for the Fascists and their backers, how could they come even as near to the truth as that? How could they possibly mention their real aims? Their version of the war was pure fantasy, and in the circumstances it could not have been otherwise.

Tyronius , Apr 22 2018 1:48 utc | 16
As a given group loses its grip on power, it tends to employ ever more extreme tactics. This explains the recent behavior of players like the US government, the UK government, the American mainstream media and various think tanks. What other extreme behavior should we expect from such a cabal? After all, they've already shown contempt for conditionally protected freedoms- all of them- and a willingness to manufacture any narrative they want in order to further their aims of conquest and profiteering. This whole mess could spiral out of control in countless ways with terrifying consequences.
dh , Apr 22 2018 1:49 utc | 17
@15 Yes but I'm not sure how relevant Orwell's quote is to today. Do we even have a 'left-wing' anymore? Or a Comintern for that matter? Even fascism wears a smiley face. Seems to me that what we have is a tightly controlled MSM. That control may be slipping but we have yet to see a replacement.
psychohistorian , Apr 22 2018 2:01 utc | 18
Those of us at MoA who are regulars may feel a certain level of complacency based on the level of discourse here but I assure you that most Americans are still very much zombie followers of whatever the TV and other media tell them. I believe that there is a strong possibility that MoA and like sites will become the focus of paid narrative pushers and if that is not successful there are other ways to make b and our lives difficult.

If b is ever knocked offline for some reason and needs help I encourage him to email his readers with potential strategies to show/provide support. Thanks again and again for your web site b.

Jackrabbit , Apr 22 2018 2:05 utc | 19
The first casualty of war is the truth. Many Westerners would recognize this phrase but many of them don't understand that there -IS- a war (the new Cold War). The longstanding law that prevented government propaganda in the US was revoked several years ago. U.S Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans
Ken , Apr 22 2018 2:07 utc | 20
This type of tyranny has been going on forever in the US. Take A. Lincoln. More than 14,000 civilians were arrested under martial law during the war throughout the Union. Abraham Lincoln did so because they expressed views critical of Lincoln or his war. It's the same-o. Different faces same crap.
frances , Apr 22 2018 2:14 utc | 22
b- I am sorry to see their attacks on you, if things do go sideways please contact me if I can be of help in any way.
Do you know what has happened to Tucker Carlson, he has been such a strong voice for truth that I am concerned for him.
Stay strong and thank you for all you do in support of the truth.
Clueless Joe , Apr 22 2018 2:23 utc | 23
Sure, there are more people that see the lies and bullshit for what they are. Still, seeing it is not enough. What really matters now is to fully wipe out the mainstream media, to make it completely extinct, and therefore seeing they're full of shit is only the prerequisite to pondering how to actually bankrupt and destroy them. That's what everyone who's not fully on board with the Western regimes' and bankers' propaganda should be thinking about. How to convince people not only to stop buying their lies, but to stop buying them at all, how to cut down the vast majority of their readership/viewers to the point they don't matter anymore.
Tom , Apr 22 2018 2:26 utc | 24
Thank you b. This a very important subject. It wouldn't surprise me if a false flag happened that would be aimed at censuring all alternative news. This might be centered around a decoupling of east from west, perhaps when the current financial crisis explodes. Oh, has anyone heard from Tucker Carlson lately?
VK , Apr 22 2018 3:06 utc | 25
You can fool someone for a long time, you can fool a lot of people for a short time - but you can't fool a lot of people for a long time. That is, unless those people are willing to live the lie.

I think the reason the MSM's propaganda is so effective nowadays (and I'm thinking specifically about the world since the Iraq invasion in 2003) is that, deep down, maybe in the collective inconsciousness level, the working classes from the First World countries know their superior living standards depend on imperial brutality over the rest of the world. That's why, for example, the USG and Downing Street haven't lost significant credibility domestically after Iraq and after Libya. This is a dark social pact: people live the lies only to sleep well at night and claim plausible deniability after; they only wish it to be over quickly and at the least human cost from their side (every coffin that comes back to their community from the Middle East is a crack in the illusion). They believe in Russiagate because, deep down, they don't want to believe they were capable of electing someone like Trump and, mainly, because they know their economies are failing, and the only solution is to invade other countries/prop up the war industry.

Brian , Apr 22 2018 3:16 utc | 26
Smearing people for appearing on RT! Americans who prattle on about freedom and democracy are pressuring other not to do this or that which is to inhibit their freedom. Don't they know it makes them look like dictators without portfolio?
Fernando Arauxo , Apr 22 2018 3:34 utc | 27
The greatest martyr IMHO is Lisa Howard. If she were alive today she would have thrived on the Alt-media circuit. She is our patron saint.
Rob , Apr 22 2018 4:35 utc | 28
Great article, b. I am a relative newcomer to MoA, having found it through Caitlin Johnstone (Rogue Journalist), but in a short time, I have come to rely heavily on it for "hidden" news and incisive analysis. Yes, independent news outlets are vital sources of truth, but their reach is still tiny compared to that of the Empire and its toads in the media. The well organized smear campaign against those who refuse to bow down is a frightening development indeed.
karlof1 , Apr 22 2018 4:45 utc | 29
Thanks b for your outstanding dissecting! The Information War is complex yet still remains simple--all that's required is a critically thinking approach for any personally unconfirmed sources and the data presented followed by the willingness to ask questions, no matter how uncomfortable. Such a disciplined mind was once the paramount goal for those seeking wisdom, but such pursuits are deemed passé, unrequired in the Digital Age. But Big Lie Media's been working its evil for decades despite many calling out the lies. Funny how the two big former communist nations are now more credible than the West and expressly seek honest and open--Win-Win--relationships based on trust and equality. The Moral Table at play during Cold War 1 is flipped with the Outlaw US Empire being the Evil Empire. And the Evil Empire can't stand its own nakedness and its oozing social sores.

The liar is often agitated and nervous whereas one with the facts rests easy and remains calm. In the run up to their summit, note how Trump is already agitated and nervous, already prefacing his lies to come, whereas Kim is easy and calm, setting the table. Shrillness and hysteria are the similar signs provided by media liars and is almost always fact-free, supposed "sources" anonymous.

Grieved , Apr 22 2018 5:02 utc | 30
A magisterial piece of journalism, b. Congratulations, and thank you.

~~

Spain. Orwell. Fascism.

I was born decades after the Spanish Civil War, and to be very honest I never knew much about it, nor have ever learned since. But Guernica I knew about, even as a young teenager in school. The culture was shocked into remembering forever that there was a lie involved with Guernica. That's all I ever really knew, was that Spain was a lie, underneath which a massacre lay.

They say it was the humanitarian and artistic type of people who kept the truth of Spain alive against the propaganda of the fascists. I don't know. I believe as I said the other day that propaganda only works to crowd out the truth, so that people are not exposed to the truth. But propaganda doesn't work in a battle against the truth, when people are exposed to both sides of the story.

If you were running a scam based on fake news, and one day you had to make allegations using this very term, and play your "fake news" card on the table in a round of betting that was merely one round in a long game - if you did this, you'd be a bad card player, or one driven to the corner and getting extremely close to leaving the table.

If your playing partner suddenly had to show the "false flag" card on the surface of the table for the whole game to see - yet another secret hole card exposed and now worthless forever - you could well think your game was finished. And it is - barring a few nasty tricks...which will be recorded and placed into the game as IOU's.

Don't anybody be part of that collateral damage - be well. And instead, let's collect on those IOU's. The game is almost over. Many people will appear to say that the players cannot be beat. But they are with the losers. We are the players.

Merlin2 , Apr 22 2018 5:32 utc | 32
psychohistorian @17

I wholeheartedly second your suggestion. I think the battle against the truth by the deep States everywhere has only begun. They will not stop at smearing individual posters or sites.

I do think we all need to start becoming more aware of alternatives, to YouTube (how's DTube?), Twitter (gab?), Facebook, Google (several alternatives) etc. But that will not be enough because I fear that in time the IP providers will come under pressure too - in all the western countries, especially. And the domain providers 9we all know them), followed by blog platforms such as WorldPress. I am not saying it's easy to curtail all of those, but they will try, as sure as the sun sets in the West.

Of course, the biggest attacks will be mounted against anonymous commenters and posters. That's already in the works at several outlets. The idea is of course that by stripping off anonimity people will self-censor for fear of repercussions to their real life selves.

There are people working on alternative platforms of all sorts. I am somewhat hopeful about user owned sites though these efforts are nascent. I hope commenters here will share what they know of alternatives, even knowing this won't be an easy battle. After all, Twitter owes its popularity to well, its popularity. Same with Facebook or Instagram or youTube. Therein lies the rub - it won't be easy to wean users from these platforms as many start-ups found out. That however should not mean that we shouldn't try. More and more Twitter users for example are cross-posting on gab, and several youTubers started uploading also to Dtube. neither site is ideal, I know. But neither was Twitter when it started.

Antares , Apr 22 2018 5:50 utc | 33
The real aim of propaganda is to persuade the politicians and not the public. One man in their middle wants to start a war and the media make sure that his or her fellow politicians will hear no other story and make support the only possibility. That's why people like us have to be vilified, so that all these politicians can invent an excuse for themselves and turn their head away. What we think really doesn't matter because we are not the ones in control. They only have to convince the Colin Powells and Frank Timmermans's.
Al-Pol , Apr 22 2018 5:52 utc | 34
The current increased smear campaigns against the so called Russian Bots, Assad Apologists etc., is surely just the first part of of a an attempt to implement very serious censorship and control over the internet to attempt to completely block out any alternative voices.

Amber Rudd the UK Home Secretary has been banging on about Russian cyber attcks for the past couple of months. Whilst based on the history of UK Government IT projects I couldn't expect the UK alone to be capable of implementing any meaningful censorship scheme (they have a track record of producing so many multi-billion pound national IT project disasters) but with the coordinated help of the US and others they might just be able to put up enough censorship barriers to be able to get back to their original plans (removing Assad and whatever else they have in mind). False-flag chemical attacks haven't quite worked out to plan, but add in a false-flag cyber attack that apparently disables some of the UK (and/or US/EU) vital services and that should be enough for them to convince the plebs and sufficient MP's that it has become absolutely necessary to block Russain and other media and internet sites and force the owners of many social media channels to disable long lists of people with alternative views.

Dave , Apr 22 2018 6:32 utc | 36
Prop or Not is NOT a 'friendly neighbourhood' anything. It was exposed a while ago as being a joint state propaganda project between the CIA and West Ukraine, with the goal of spreading anti-Russia disinformation, and employing the collusion of some no-integrity US propaganda rags like The Daily Beast.

http://yournewswire.com/propornot-cia-ukrainian-operation/
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/unpacking-the-shadowy-outfit-behind-2017s-biggest-fake-news-story/

bobzibub , Apr 22 2018 7:14 utc | 37
Many thanks b for the hard work. This is what we wish our traditional media would invest the time and publish.

Instead, what we get is something like: Terry Glavin: Here's why some people choose not to believe in Assad's atrocities which seems to be a great example of the Dunning Kruger effect. Note the vitriol!

My question is their motivation and timing. Why does the rhetoric seem to increase after the latest attack? Why care if 10% of the population doesn't follow their narrative now? Are they preparing for a new round of kinetic action? Or do they simply believe their management of the narrative needs more investment?

ralphieboy , Apr 22 2018 9:38 utc | 41
If people are going to rely on social media feeds for anything other than information on what their friends and family are up to, then they are opening themselves up to being manipulated easily and with a minimum of actual effort.

You no longer need to own a newspaper or a broadcast network to do so.

JohnnyRVF , Apr 22 2018 11:23 utc | 49
Ultimately people with a concience and some integrity will realize that something is awry. I'm no spring chicken and have been on the net for nearly 20 years. There are more ' old ' people surfing the net than initially may be apparent. As life passes by people become much more attuned to bullsh*t. T. May's husband is on the board of a large British Armaments company. No doubt her ministers are all in on many scams. She is a very mediocre character, a fool as her time as home secretary demonstrated and was only voted in place so as to do the bidding of others. And in my opinion, when I say others I mean she is the western harlot who jumps when anyone pulls her string. They say that if you tell a lie often enough people believe it to be the truth. Not necessarily. There are so many holes in the Skripal and Syrian stories that only someone who doesn't want to have their view challenged will believe them. The stories are falling apart and as they do, so does the credibility and trust of the western MSM and Politik. The reason the Germans and others refused to join in, is I suspect, they realize that in part, because once that is lost, it takes a great deal more to recover it. The Skripal case and the latest Syrian faked gas attack is the start of the end for T. May and her govt.
fairleft , Apr 22 2018 11:25 utc | 50
Good comments, especially psychohistorian about being prepared to jump to alternative platforms ... Perhaps Russian ones?

What I was referencing in comment 5 is this relatively new desire by the 'powers that be' for purity, for absolutely no one from 'our side' dissenting against the mainstream (and completely bonkers in its anti-Russian extremism) narrative. This is not like the pre-digital age, when small-circulation real leftist publications were not subject to mainstream and official government extermination campaigns. And I don't think this is simply because of digital age reach, because the readership for the real alternative media's left/anti-imperial perspective doesn't engage enough people to be meaningful in terms of power and elections. At least in the US; less certain about elsewhere.

There's something angry, extreme, and extremely insecure about the psychology of the Western ruling class right now. My bet is that because of that insecurity they won't be so dangerous to Russia/China in the years to come, but instead the anger will be directed at internal left/anti-militarist dissenters. For some reason our reality bugs the sh!t out of them despite our small numbers.

deschutes , Apr 22 2018 11:33 utc | 51
Until recently I used to read articles at both The Intercept and at Truthdig, but have since realized both of these 'news' outlets actively censor posts that are too accurate, too insightful of what the US government and MSM are doing in Syria and how they are manipulating public opinion with the White Helmets, staged false gas attacks, etc. I don't trust Pierre Omidyar, the philanthropist behind The Intercept, he has questionable political alliances. I have had many of my posts at both Truthdig and The Intercept censored even though they were entirely within comment rules. The Intercept has a lot of really BAD journalists posting crap there, like this ass clown Mehdi Hasan. Even Glenn Greenwald, a multi millionaire, is suspect. Both of these websites are psuedo-left and should not be trusted!
From the resistance trench with love , Apr 22 2018 11:40 utc | 52
....attacks on critical readers and commentators are despicable..

Indeed, but "the one free of sin to throw the first stone" ....

From my experience at several supposed "alternative media", most of them somehow pro-Russian in the sense that they do not promote the sick warmongerism coming from the US and UK stablishments against Russia and its allies in Syria and against Syria herself, every site has its biases and slandering attacks by the owners of the blogs or by the "community" os sycophants residing there are everyday bread for any newcomer who could express a bit of dissent against the general editorial view.
I mayself have been obliged to change my nickname several times already to avoid attacks or banning/censorship, when my position about Syrai and Russia does not differ almost in the least with that of the people mentioned above who are being object of smearing campaign by the MSM....and this has happened to me in the supposed pro-Russian "alt-media"....

Thus, I would recommend to apply a bit of self-criticism and reflect about how anyone of us are probably contributing to the same effort of the bullies mentioned above against mainly common citizens who only try to commit themselves to spread some of the truth they are finding online through research and intensive reading, and try to offer an alternative point of view or simply debunk the usual nonsense especially against certain ideologies, mostly spreaded by US commenters.....

timbers , Apr 22 2018 11:50 utc | 53
I noticed the part about Ian Shillilng being accused of denying the Holocaust or implying it was a govt conspiracy.

I find that interesting, because a co-worker asked me out to the blue "Do you even believe the Holocaust happened?" It's a strange question with no relation to Russiagate, yet pops up a lot so it clearly has an agenda. The question made no sense but I did recognized it as a familiar attack by the warmongers. My response was to to respond to such a ridiculous, dishonest question and I ignored it.

He went to ask if I was "stupid" for not seeing that Mueller's indictments over lying to the FBI and tax evasion/money laundering in Ukraine are NOT are not same thing as proving Russia meddled to deny Hillary her Presidency.

Don Wiscacho , Apr 22 2018 12:07 utc | 54
Thanks for the article b.
As painful as it is to watch the increasing attempts at censoring non-msm voices, we can take solace in the fact that, like a cornered rat, the establishment has no other option left but an all-out, full-retard attack on anyone not toeing the line. While the damage they are doing is real, this should be balanced with the fact that this attack comes out of weakness and not strength: they are the ones "losing", and knowledge of that reality makes them increasingly unhinged.
partisan , Apr 22 2018 12:13 utc | 55
https://twitter.com/RealAlexRubi/status/966178001858826241

LOL

At first I thought this is some kind of joke. Than I watched few times, I still believe CNN guy is in some kind of mission here, let's say to distract its viewers from existential matters that grips ordinary people in the US. His insistence on the "Russians" is illogical at first...this woman appear to be serious but when it comes to CNN everything is set-up, not just everyone can come to CNN, period. No facts involved the conversation is about NOTHING, that is the US national narrative being imposed by the ruling class trough various media. Just like "attack" on Syria and Syria's gas attack. There were none, there were no cruise missile fired, there were no downed ones! CNN's role is also to entertain its audience as well, everything but not talk about social and economic issues. In other words to indoctrinate - shift attention, not to ask unpleasant questions.

fast freddy , Apr 22 2018 13:50 utc | 61
The NYT and NPR are warmonger institutions. It is sad that ppl who consider themselves to be liberals, democrats, blue team (anti-war?- that's a stretch!) embrace these institutions as purveyors of truth or even real news.

Has the NYT ever seen a war it didn't support?

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:00 utc | 62
Great job b,

Obivously western intelligence servies, NATO leak stuff to western msm to intimidate and censor political oppostion in every western country.

Ben Nimmo is one of the most maniac propaganda dogs Nato/Neocons out there, he is a propaganda agent for NATO.

Levcek , Apr 22 2018 14:06 utc | 63
@ Diana 15

I don't feel that the quote is out of context. Yes, you show that Orwell clearly didn't consider it a big deal at that time, but what is happening now is that what he describes is omnipresent, the main stream of information we get, there is nothing else if you don't search for alternatives. It is beyond doubt that Orwell, in the present context, would never have added what he added in that book.
So in that light I feel the quote is extremely relevant and a good start of the article.

I want to express my thanks for this site and am really glad I was pointed towards MoA by other sources of real information.

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:14 utc | 64
Meanwhile, the same western media give free pass to liberal warcriminals like Macron's France that just today call for permanent illegal occupation of Syria - after illegally bombing it.

France's Macron Urges US, Allies to Stay in Syria Even After Daesh Defeat
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804221063800226-macron-daesh-us-france-syria/

But no, it is people like us who call out this BS that gets silenced and harassed by the same ignorant western media/"journalists" along with the western deep state spy networks!

Eric , Apr 22 2018 14:28 utc | 66
What an excellent source of information the MoA site offers those of us who are seeking the truth and living in an Empire full of lies.Over the past few months, I have perused this site regularly and always find it very helpful in gaining a better and more concise understanding of
what is really going on in our world.

I am also astounded at how helpful it is for me to read the comments of so many who are regulars here.
The courtesy and level of intellectual dialog that goes on here in the comments section is a rare thing indeed! We all must fight for truth for the sake of our families and loved ones.

Levcek , Apr 22 2018 14:45 utc | 68
@ somebody | Apr 22, 2018 7:01:49 AM | 46

"Fake" and "Genuine" are used to describe the video with the water being poured over people. Fisk calls them genuine because the video was taped in the place where it pretends to be, not in a film set or a location where nothing was going on. It was filmed in the real hospital with real doctors, nurses and victims.
The video therefore is real (not staged), but the claim that people are suffering from gas wounds is false.

You can thus also say that the video is fake: it is said to show victims of a gas attack, while the doctor says they were suffering from suffocation, and only when someone shouted "gas", did people start hosing each other down (which as someone posted in another article, would have only made things worse if they had chlorine on them). As evidence of a gas attack, the video is fake.

As long as a person is not claiming that the video shows victims of a real gas attack aftermath, we're all on the same side I guess.

Anonymous2 , Apr 22 2018 14:51 utc | 70
The response is of course to more eagerly call out the neocons propangada, western media propaganda and so forth, get a twitter account, get a blog, lets multiply this movement, because these people will of course not stop at destroying peoples lives in the newspapers, they will call for censorship, registrations and sooner or later jail for these views.
dh , Apr 22 2018 14:54 utc | 71
Orwell's great fear was totalitarianism. Either from the left or the right. What we have now is much more subtle. The MSM retains the illusion of freedom and most people go along with it. We may even realize we are being manipulated but the only alternative is posting on sites like MOA.
Bevin Kacon , Apr 22 2018 15:49 utc | 76
@ 75

The UK has no credibility left now. May's farcical handling of the Brexit negs has exposed her as little more than a Tory mouthpiece, parroting party bon mots whilst having no clue where she is heading. And I suspect her civil servants haven't, either!

The Skirpal charade was a front for several things but mainly, I think, to turn the focus away from Brexit and to opening the Cold War front again. But what is alarming was her open support for attacks on Syria. It's been known for some time that the UK has special forces operating in Syria covertly; May's tub-thumping pretty much clarified that the Uk is as determined as Washington and that Rothschild puppet Macron to force a regime change in Syria.

You said she must go. I said the same thing last September after the fall-out from the June election and other foot-in-mouth incidents: she'd be gone before year end. How wrong I was. She has figures in the background protecting her.

majobrs , Apr 22 2018 19:10 utc | 78
Crushing dissent goes completely against 'liberal values' which is about the only high ground left for the humanitarian regime changers a.k.a the Franquistas. So that is not going to happen. On the other hand, social media is the easiest place to use covert operatives, even MSM has other sponsors and actors, social media can be directly controlled by governments , and the 'intelligence community'. So they are just using the net for what they set it up for.
Propaganda for domestic consumption in the USA, isn't really meant to convince as much as to scare people into submission. People don't obey Big Brother because they like him or believe him, but because they cannot talk back to him and are scared of him. Media Scare tactics work less if people can talk back, hear their own voice, not just Big Brother from every loudspeaker.

Martin Luther (not King) said that "A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it the bigger it becomes." The snowball is melting because there is shift in the narrative given what is happening on the ground in Syria. I find it fascinating that as it melts down layer by layer, the first trojan horse outfits to implode are left humanitarian ones like the Intercept, Newsbud, Democracy Now. The right wing ones like Fox, Young Turks, just concentrate on dumbing down the conversation to reduce reality to bombastic and misleading 'political' points. This is a another way to control the conversation, to scare people into thinking that facts or not facts but partisan political 'opinions'. Look at how Jimmy Dore's in the interview mentioned by B with Carla Ortiz, is trying to dumb down the conversation and keeps feigning ignorance. Thankfully she blows him out of the water. Good job Carla!
The snowball is big and melting slowly. Who's next?

Grieved , Apr 23 2018 1:47 utc | 84
@b

Vesti has a great 10-minute clip dated yesterday from a Russian talk show with Margarita Simonyan of RT doing much of the talking. What she says is really encouraging about how she's trying to talk, not to power (which already knows the real truth that it's obscuring) but to common people, because there are those among the common people who do speak up and who really do shape public opinion - not governments.

She cited Roger Waters as an example, who was speaking at a concert and telling the truth about the White Helmets. She said, someone has to read in order to speak. And someone has to write so someone can read. And that's what RT is doing, and that's how it works. And it is working.

The panel agreed that the truth from Tony Blair finally came out 15 years later. So we have only to persist and stay safe for 15 years and we win:
The Tony Blair Rule: The Truth Takes 15 Years to Come Out, Skripal Countdown Starts Now - Simonyan

David Park , Apr 23 2018 2:16 utc | 87
Thanks for introducing us to Valentina Lisitsa! Her playing is magnificent with exquisite dynamics and timing.
ashley albanese , Apr 23 2018 3:52 utc | 89
George Orwell has been a presence throughout this thread. It was unfortunate he was hurried by MI6 to finish the last pages of 'Animal Farm' so it could be translated into Arabic and be used to discredit Communist parties in Western Asia. This always raised the ire of Communist organisations through following decades .This being said he wrote some great text especially for me the revealing 1939 novel - Coming up for A
Steve , Apr 23 2018 8:54 utc | 91
What many people don't realize is that fascism is a greedy habit, it expands to finally swallow up those who think they are protected by silence or looking the other way. The individuals and organizations villified today are the real heroes, and even if they suffer today, they will be vindicated in the end. But unfortunately the gullible masses would by then be in the open prison of fascism.
MichaelK , Apr 23 2018 15:00 utc | 94
I don't know if wars are really an extension of diplomacy by other means, but they certainly seem to be... an extension of ideology and propaganda. Ideas are very important in preparing and fighting wars; especially today, though, in reality the way we think about our western imperial war-fighting, goes back well over a century, back to the Whiteman's Burden and other imperialist myths.

For the last thirty years we've essentially been fighting 'liberal crusades for freedom and democracy.' That, at least, was the 'cover story' the pretext presented to the people. There's an irony here. Just like Islamic State, we've been engaging in 'holy warfare' too!

The reason our media is so full of lies and distortions and propaganda is because the harsh realities of our New Imperialism wars are so out of synch with the reality of what's happening and crucially the attitudes of the general public who don't want to fight more overseas wars, and especially if they are 'crusades' for democracy and freedom. But what's happened recently is that dissent is being targeted as tantamount to treason. This is rather new and disturbing.

It's because the ruling elite are... losing it and way too many people are questioning their ideas about the wars we are fighting and their legitimacy and 'right to rule.'

In many ways the Internet is bringing about a kind of revolution in relation to the people's access to 'texts' and images that reminds one of the great intellectual upheavals that the translation of the Bible had on European thought four hundred years ago. Suddenly Bibles were being printed all over the place and people could read the sacred texts without having to ask the educated priests to 'filter' and translate and explain what it all meant. In a way Wikileaks was doing the same thing... allowing people access to secret material, masses of it, bypassing the traditional newsmedia and the journalistic 'preists.'

[Jun 24, 2020] Behind the veil of the protest movement, the war on the American people is gaining pace by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... It's because the Democrats think that kowtowing to BLM will give them the winning edge in the November balloting. That's what it's all about. That's why they draped themselves in Kente cloth and knelt for the cameras. They think their black constituents are too stupid to see through their groveling fakery. They think that blacks will forget that Joe Biden pushed through legislation "which eliminated parole for federal prisoners and limited the amount of time sentences could be reduced for good behavior." ..."
"... The stupidity of the Dems was shown this week when they agreed to three Biden/Trump debates. They should leave him in his basement and hope for the best. They feature political ads where Biden slurs his speech! These are professionals, so it tells me they spent all day and did 40 takes and this was the best he could do. The election will be great comedy, or perhaps ..."
"... Clinton is the best evidence that certain people agree to be blackmailed in exchange for power, as Andrew Anglin wrote this week. ..."
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

"This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. It's goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself. This is an ideological movement Even now, many of us pretend this is about police brutality. We think we can fix it by regulating chokeholds or spending more on de-escalation training. We're too literal and good-hearted to understand what's happening. But we have no idea what we are up against. ..These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement and someone needs to save the country from it." Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson is right, the protests and riots are not a momentary civil disturbance. They are an attack the Constitutional Republic itself, the heart and soul of American democracy. The Black Lives Matter protests are just the tip of the spear, they are an expression of public outrage that is guaranteed under the first amendment. But don't be deceived, there's more here than meets the eye. BLM is funded by foundations that seek to overthrow our present form of government and install an authoritarian regime guided by technocrats, oligarchs and corporatists all of who believe that Chinese-type despotism is far-more compatible with capitalism than "inefficient" democracy. The chaos in the streets is merely the beginning of an excruciating transition from one system to another. This is an excerpt from an article by F. William Engdahl at Global Research:

"By 2016, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network .. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), "a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition" in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement .. ..

The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations." ( "America's Own Color Revolution ", Global Research)

$100 million is alot of money. How has that funding helped BLM expand its presence in politics and social media? How many activists and paid employees operate within the network disseminating information, building new chapters, hosting community outreach programs, and fine-tuning an emergency notification system that allows them to put tens of thousands of activists on the streets in cities across the country at a moment's notice? Isn't that what we've seen for the last three weeks, throngs of angry protestors swarming in more than 400 cities across America all at the beck-and-call of a shadowy group whose political intentions are still not clear?

And what about the rioting, looting and arson that broke out in numerous cities following the protests? Was that part of the script too? Why haven't BLM leaders condemned the destruction of private property or offered a public apology for the downtown areas that have been turned into wastelands? In my own hometown of Seattle, the downtown corridor– which once featured Nordstrom, Pottery Barn and other upscale retail shops– is now a checkerboard of broken glass, plywood covers and empty streets all covered in a thick layer of garish spray-paint. The protest leaders said they wanted to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality. Okay, but how does looting Nordstrom help to achieve that goal?

And what role have the Democrats played in protest movement?

They've been overwhelmingly supportive, that's for sure. In fact, I can't think of even one Democrat who's mentioned the violence, the looting or the toppling of statues. Why is that?

It's because the Democrats think that kowtowing to BLM will give them the winning edge in the November balloting. That's what it's all about. That's why they draped themselves in Kente cloth and knelt for the cameras. They think their black constituents are too stupid to see through their groveling fakery. They think that blacks will forget that Joe Biden pushed through legislation "which eliminated parole for federal prisoners and limited the amount of time sentences could be reduced for good behavior."

According to the Black Agenda Repor t: "Biden and (South Carolina's Strom) Thurmond joined hands to push 1986 and 1988 drug enforcement legislation that created the nefarious sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine as well as other draconian measures that implicate him as one of the initiators of what became mass incarceration. " Biden also spearheaded "the attacks on Anita Hill when she came forward to testify against the supreme court nominee Clarence Thomas". All told, Biden's record on race is much worse than Trump's despite the media's pathetic attempts to portray Trump as Adolph Hitler. It's just more bunkum from the dissembling media.

Bottom line: The Democrats think they can ride racial division and social unrest all the way to the White House. That's what they are betting on.

So, yes, the Dems are exploiting the protests for political advantage, but it goes much deeper than that. After all, we know from evidence that was uncovered during the Russiagate investigation, that DNC leaders are intimately linked to the Intel agencies, law enforcement (FBI), and the elite media. So it's not too much of a stretch to assume that these deep state agents and assets work together to shape the narrative that they think gives them the best chance of regaining power. Because, that's what this is really all about, power. Just as Russiagate was about power (removing the president using disinformation, spies, surveillance and other skulduggery.), and just as the Covid-19 fiasco was essentially about power (collapsing the economy while imposing medical martial law on the population.), so too, the BLM protest movement is also about power, the power to inflict massive damage on the country's main urban centers with the intention of destabilizing the government, restructuring the economy and paving the way for a Democratic victory in November. It's all about power, real, unalloyed political muscle.

Surprisingly, one of the best critiques of what is currently transpiring was written by Niles Niemuth at the World Socialist Web Site. Here's what he said about the widespread toppling of statues:

"The attacks on the monuments were pioneered by the increasingly frenzied attempt by the Democratic Party and the New York Times to racialize American history, to create a narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. This campaign has produced a pollution of democratic consciousness, which meshes entirely with the reactionary political interests driving it.

It is worth noting that the one institution seemingly immune from this purge is the Democratic Party, which served as the political wing of the Confederacy and, subsequently, the KKK.

This filthy historical legacy is matched only by the Democratic Party's contemporary record in supporting wars that, as a matter of fact, primarily targeted nonwhites. Democrats supported the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and under Obama destroyed Libya and Syria. The New York Times was a leading champion and propagandist for all of these war." ( "Hands off the monuments to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Grant!, WSWS)

What the author is referring to is The 1619 Project, which is a racialized version of American history that was published by the Times on August 19, 2019. The deliberately-distorted version of history was cobbled together in anticipation of increasing social unrest and racial antagonism. The rioting, looting and vast destruction of America's urban core can all be traced back to a document that postulates that the country was founded on racial hatred and exploitation. In other words, The 1619 Project provides the perfect ideological justification for the chaos and violence that has torn the country apart for the last three weeks. This is an excerpt from an article at the World Socialist Web Site:

"The essays featured in the magazine are organized around the central premise that all of American history is rooted in race hatred -- specifically, the uncontrollable hatred of "black people" by "white people." Hannah-Jones writes in the series' introduction: "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country. "

This is a false and dangerous conception. DNA is a chemical molecule that contains the genetic code of living organisms and determines their physical characteristics and development . Hannah-Jones's reference to DNA is part of a growing tendency to derive racial antagonisms from innate biological processes .where does this racism come from? It is embedded, claims Hannah-Jones, in the historical DNA of American "white people." Thus, it must persist independently of any change in political or economic conditions .

. No doubt, the authors of The Project 1619 essays would deny that they are predicting race war, let alone justifying fascism. But ideas have a logic; and authors bear responsibility for the political conclusions and consequences of their false and misguided arguments." ("The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history", World Socialist Web Site)

Keep in mind, this essay in the WSWS was written a full year before BLM protests broke out across the country. Was Hannah-Jones enlisted to create a document that would provide the dry tinder for the massive and coordinated demonstrations that have left the country stunned and divided?

Probably, after all, (as noted above) the author's theory is that one race is genetically programed to exploit the other. ( "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country. ") Well, if we assume that whites are genetically and irreversibly "racist", then we must also assume that the country that these whites founded is racist and evil. Thus, the only logical remedy for this situation, is to crush the white segment of the population, destroy their symbols, icons, and history, and replace the system of government with one that better reflects the values of the emerging non-Caucasian majority. Simply put, The Project 1619 creates the rationale for sustained civil unrest, deepening political polarization and violent revolution.

The 1619 Project is a calculated provocation meant to exacerbate racial animosities and pave the way to open conflagration. And it has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination. The nation is split into warring camps while Washington has devolved into fratricidal warfare. Was that the objective, to destabilize the country in preparation for the dissolution of the current system followed by a fundamental restructuring of the government consistent with the identity politics lauded by the Democrats?

The Democrats, the Intel agencies and the media are all in bed together fomenting unrest with the intention of decimating the economy, crushing the emerging opposition and imposing their despotic one-party system on all of us. Here's a clip from a piece by Paul Craig Roberts that sums up the role of the New York Times in inciting race-based violence:

"The New York Times editorial board covers up the known indisputable truth with their anti-white "1619 project," an indoctrination program to inculcate hatred of white people in blacks and guilt in white people.

Why does the New York Times lie, brainwash blacks into hatred of whites, and attempt to brainwash whites into guilt for the creation of a New World labor force four centuries ago? Why do Americans tolerate the New York Times fomenting of racial hatred in a multicultural society?

The New York Times is a vile organization. The New York Times attempts to discredit the President of the United States and did all it could to frame him on false charges. The New York Times painted General Flynn, who honorably served the US, as a Russian agent and enabled General Flynn's frame-up on false and now dropped charges. The New York Times spews hatred of white people. And now the New York Times accuses the American military of celebrating white supremacism.

Does America have a worse enemy than the New York Times? The New York Times is clearly and intentionally making a multicultural America impossible . By threatening white people with the prospect of hate-driven racial violence, the New York Times editorial board is fomenting the rise of white supremacy." ( "The New York Times Editorial Board Is a Threat to Multicultural America ", The Unz Review)

The editors of the Times don't hate whites, they are merely attacking the growing number of disillusioned white working people who have left the Democratic party in frustration due to their globalist policies regarding trade, immigration, offshoring, outsourcing and the relentless hollowing out of the nation's industrial core . The Dems have abandoned these people altogether and –now that they realize they will never be able to lure them back into their camp– they've decided to wage a full-blown, scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners war on them. They've decided to crush them mercilessly and fill their ranks with multi-ethnic, bi-racial groups that will work for pennies on the dollar. (which will keep the Dems corporate supporters happy.) So, no, the Times does not hate white people. What they hate is the growing populist movement that derailed Hillary Clinton and put anti-globalist Trump in the White House. That's the real target of this operation, the disillusioned throng of working people who have washed their hands of the Democrats for good. Here's more background from Paul Craig Roberts:

"On August 12 Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, met with the Times' employees to refocus the Times' attack on Trump . The Times, Baquet said, is shifting from Trump-Russia to Trump's racism. The Times will spend the run-up to the 2020 presidential election building the Trump-is-a-racist narrative. Of course, if Trump is a racist it means that the people who elected him are also racists. Indeed, in Baquet's view, Americans have always been racist. To establish this narrative, the New York Times has launched the "1619 Project," the purpose of which is "to reframe the country's history."

According to the Washington Examiner, "The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine. It begins with an overview of race in America -- 'Our democracy's founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.'

The premise that America originated as a racist slave state is to be woven into all sections of the Times -- news, business, sports, travel, the entire newspaper. The project intends to take the "reframing" of the United States into the schools where white Americans are to be taught that they are racist descendants of slave holders. A participant in this brainwashing of whites, which will make whites guilty and defenseless, says "this project takes wing when young people are able to read this and understand the way that slavery has shaped their country's history." In other words, the New York Times intends to make slavery the ONLY explanation of America.

At the meeting of the executive editor of the New York Times with the Times' employees to refocus the Times' attack on President Trump, Baquet said: "Race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story." ( "Is White Genocide Possible? ", The Unz Review)

Repeat: "Race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story." Either Baquet has a crystal ball or he had a pretty good idea of the way in which the 1619 Project was going to be used . I suspect it was the latter.

For the last 3 and a half years, Democrats and the media have ridiculed anyone who opposes their globalist policies as racist, fascist, misogynist, homophobic, Bible-thumping, gun-toting, flag-waving, Nascar boosting, white nationalist "deplorables". Now they have decided to intensify the assault on mainly white working people by preemptively destroying the economy, destabilizing the country, and spreading terror far and wide. It's another vicious psy-ops campaign designed to thoroughly demoralize and humiliate the enemy who just happen to be the American people. Here's more form the WSWS:

" It is no coincidence that the promotion of this racial narrative of American history by the Times, the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party and the privileged upper-middle-class layers it represents, comes amid the growth of class struggle in the US and around the world.

The 1619 Project is one component of a deliberate effort to inject racial politics into the heart of the 2020 elections and foment divisions among the working class. The Democrats think it will be beneficial to shift their focus for the time being from the reactionary, militarist anti-Russia campaign to equally reactionary racial politics." (" The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history " WSWS)

Can you see how the protests are being used to promote the political objectives of elites operating behind the mask of "impartial" reporting? The scheming NY Times has replaced the enlightenment principles articulated in our founding documents with a sordid tale of racial hatred and oppression. The editors seek to eliminate everything we believe as Americans so they can brainwash us into believing that we are evil people deserving of humiliation, repudiation and punishment. Here's more from the same article:

"In the months preceding these events, the New York Times, speaking for dominant sections of the Democratic political establishment, launched an effort to discredit both the American Revolution and the Civil War. In the New York Times' 1619 Project, the American Revolution was presented as a war to defend slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was cast as a garden variety racist

The attacks on the monuments to these men were pioneered by the increasingly frenzied attempt by the Democratic Party and the New York Times to racialize American history, to create a narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle . This campaign has produced a pollution of democratic consciousness, which meshes entirely with the reactionary political interests driving it." (" The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history" , WSWS)

Ideas have consequences, and the incendiary version of events disseminated by the Times has added fuel to a fire that's spread from one coast to the other. Given the damage that has been done to cities across the country, it would be nice to know how Dean Baquet knew that "race was going to play a huge part" in upcoming events? It's all very suspicious. Here's more:

" Given the 1619 Project's black nationalist narrative, it may appear surprising that nowhere in the issue do the names Malcolm X or Black Panthers appear. Unlike the black nationalists of the 1960s, Hannah-Jones does not condemn American imperialism. She boasts that "we [i.e. African-Americans] are the most likely of all racial groups to serve in the United States military," and celebrates the fact that "we" have fought "in every war this nation has waged." Hannah-Jones does not note this fact in a manner that is at all critical. She does not condemn the creation of a "volunteer" army whose recruiters prey on poverty-stricken minority youth. There is no indication that Hannah-Jones opposes the "War on Terror" and the brutal interventions in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria -- all supported by the Times -- that have killed and made homeless upwards of 20 million people. On this issue, Hannah-Jones is remarkably "color-blind." She is unaware of, or simply indifferent to, the millions of "people of color" butchered and made refugees by the American war machine in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa." (" The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world histor y", WSWS)

So, black nationalists like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers are excluded from the The 1619 Project's narrative, but the author boasts that blacks "are the most likely of all racial groups to serve in the US military"?? How does that happen unless Hannah-Jones was coached by Democrat leaders about who should and shouldn't be included in the text? None of this passes the smell test. It all suggests that the storyline was shaped by people who had a specific goal in mind. That isn't history, it's fiction written by people who have an ax to grind. The Times even admitted as much in response to the blistering criticism by five of "the most widely read and respected authorities on US history." The New York Times Magazine editor in chief Jake Silverstein rejected the historians' objections saying:

"The project was intended to address the marginalization of African-American history in the telling of our national story and examine the legacy of slavery in contemporary American life. We are not ourselves historians, it is true. We are journalists, trained to look at current events and situations and ask the question: Why is this the way it is?"

WTF! "We are not ourselves historians"? That's the excuse?? Give me a break!

The truth is that there was never any attempt to provide an accurate account of events. From the very onset, the goal was to create a storyline that fit the politics, the politics of provocation, incitement, racial hatred, social unrest and violence. That's what the Times and their allies wanted, and that's what they got.

The Deep State Axis: CIA, DNC, NYT

The three-way alliance between the CIA, the Elite Media, and the Democratic leadership has clearly strengthened and grown since the failed Russiagate fiasco. All three parties were likely involved in the maniacal hyping of the faux-Covid pandemic which paved the way for Depression era unemployment, tens of thousands of bankrupt businesses and a sizable portion of the US population thrust into destitution. Now, these deep state loyalists are promoting a "falsified" race-based version of history that pits one group against the other while diverting attention from the deliberate destruction of the economy and the further consolidation of wealth in the hands of the 1 percent.

Behind the veil of the protest movement, the war on the American people is gaining pace.


SteveK9 , says: Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 2:02 am GMT

Stopped reading the Times after the buildup to the Iraq War, when it was clear they were lying. Everyone please stop reading the Times, and in particular stop referring to what they are writing. Act like they don't exist. If enough do, they won't.
FB , says: Website Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:22 am GMT
Stopped reading when I got to 'Chinese despotism'

Whitney used to have something to say, but his scribblings now go straight to the bottom of the bird cage

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:22 am GMT
The stupidity of the Dems was shown this week when they agreed to three Biden/Trump debates. They should leave him in his basement and hope for the best. They feature political ads where Biden slurs his speech! These are professionals, so it tells me they spent all day and did 40 takes and this was the best he could do. The election will be great comedy, or perhaps

This is all planned. Biden will be forced to drop out and Bloomberg or even Clinton will arise.

vot tak , says: Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:30 am GMT
"Tucker Carlson is right, the protests and riots are not a momentary civil disturbance. They are an attack the Constitutional Republic itself, the heart and soul of American democracy."

I am reminded of david horowitz and chrissy hitchens

And how they promoted Israeli interests after first pretending to be independent thinkers to gain creed for the switch. Standard zionazi-gay psywar tactic.

schnellandine , says: Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:42 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

The stupidity of the Dems was shown this week when they agreed to three Biden/Trump debates.

This is all planned. Biden will be forced to drop out and Bloomberg or even Clinton will arise.

Stupid and planned?

Clinton is the best evidence that certain people agree to be blackmailed in exchange for power, as Andrew Anglin wrote this week. Why should DNC care if Trump is 're-elected'? And if they don't care, who not take a stab at installing an intersectional DNC pinnacle fraudster via the griftiest, most insulting, infuriating way possible? They can't lose.

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 23, 2020] On Choosing a Belief System by Ken Melvin

Belief system is not chosen. The individual is indoctrinated into it via socialization process. Only few can break this bond.
Notable quotes:
"... Social or Cultural Norms are standards for behavior engendered from infancy by parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, and others in one's life. Social Norms are the shared expectations and rules that guide the behavior of people within social groups; Social Norms can go a long way toward maintaining social order. Engendered, Social or Cultural Norms can be enforced by something as subtle as a gesture, a look, or even the absence of any response at all. At the extremes, aberrant social behavior becomes a crime. One could adopt Social Norms as a part or all of their Belief System. ..."
"... Religions were an early form of Social Norms. Yet and still, all Religious Beliefs address Social Behavior, Social Norms. As with Social Norms, most, if not all, Religions have slowly evolved over time. As with Social Norms, Religious Beliefs are often engendered from infancy by parents; handed down from generation to generation. Most Religions require one's Believing; Believing that the precepts of the Religion come down to us from a supreme being or deity via a prophet or inspired teacher. Whereas science asks questions in the quest for knowledge, Abrahamic religions hold that any questioning of their particular beliefs is blasphemous, a great sin. Rather than welcome questions in re validity, religions insist that, first and foremost, adherents believe. Religions might be a part of the whole of one's Belief System. ..."
"... Can we even have stable societies without Belief Systems? Is it possible to build a Society around Science, Philosophy, and/or Reason? Can we, benefitting from Science and Philosophy: Improve the quality of our Belief Systems? Of our Religions? Can Beliefs become Informed Opinions? Will future societies' Belief Systems be based more on Science and Philosophy, and less on opinion and belief? Do they have a choice? It seems that the more successful societies have long since chosen to give the thinking of Science and Philosophy precedence over Believing. Darwin tells us that survival goes to those that adapt. ..."
Jun 22, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

Belief Systems, these prisms through which we view the world, have been around from our earliest days. Not so long ago, the Ancient Greeks separated the concept of what we might call belief into two concepts: pistis and doxa with pistis referring to trust and confidence (notably akin the regard accorded science) and doxa referring to opinion and acceptance (more akin the regard accorded cultural norms).

In quest of a personal Belief System, should one: Go with the flow and adapt to the Social or Cultural Norm? Follow the Abrahamic admonishment to first believe? Follow their own Reasoning? Or, should one look to Science?

Social or Cultural Norms are standards for behavior engendered from infancy by parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, and others in one's life. Social Norms are the shared expectations and rules that guide the behavior of people within social groups; Social Norms can go a long way toward maintaining social order. Engendered, Social or Cultural Norms can be enforced by something as subtle as a gesture, a look, or even the absence of any response at all. At the extremes, aberrant social behavior becomes a crime. One could adopt Social Norms as a part or all of their Belief System.

Most modern Religions are handed down from times long past, times before much was known about anything. Most, if not all, early Religions were based on mythology. Later on, some Religions found more of their basis in whatever evidence and reasoning skills were available to a people. From the earliest times, human cultures have developed some form or another of a Belief System premised on Religion.

Humans are, uniquely it seems, given the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking in an orderly rational way; they are given the faculty of Reason. To Reason is to use the faculty of Reason so as to arrive at conclusions; to discover, formulate, or conclude by way of a carefully Reasoned Analysis. One might base a part or all of their Belief System on Reason.

Science can be seen as an endeavor to increase knowledge, to understand; to reduce ignorance and misunderstanding. Science encourages active skepticism. Science, the word comes from the Latin word for knowledge, is premised on verifiable empirical evidence and best thinking. Science employs our faculty to Reason. Belief is not a scientific criterion but is rather a bias to be filtered out of any scientific experiment. We have confidence in the knowledge afforded us by Science to the extent that we have confidence in the validity of the evidence and the rigor of the Reasoning, and in Scientific Methodology. Science can form the basis of one's Belief System to the extent that they have confidence in Science.

Religions were an early form of Social Norms. Yet and still, all Religious Beliefs address Social Behavior, Social Norms. As with Social Norms, most, if not all, Religions have slowly evolved over time. As with Social Norms, Religious Beliefs are often engendered from infancy by parents; handed down from generation to generation. Most Religions require one's Believing; Believing that the precepts of the Religion come down to us from a supreme being or deity via a prophet or inspired teacher. Whereas science asks questions in the quest for knowledge, Abrahamic religions hold that any questioning of their particular beliefs is blasphemous, a great sin. Rather than welcome questions in re validity, religions insist that, first and foremost, adherents believe. Religions might be a part of the whole of one's Belief System.

As is to be expected, Science is often in conflict with religious beliefs. This dichotomy between the Reasoning of Science and the Believing of Religion goes back at least to early Egypt, Greece, and India; has played, and still plays, a huge role for philosophers, scientists, and others given to thought.

While most modern societies have moved away from a Religious dominance of their culture; at the extremes, we still have theocracies where Religious Belief is given reign over culture and politics, and, to some extent or another, thought itself.

Preceding statute law, Religious associated Belief Systems played an important role in mankind's development. Down through the centuries, religious behavioral standards have provided societies personal security, social stability. Religious Beliefs have long been, are still being, codified into law.

Codified laws can also be based on 'Social Norms', on philosophy and reason ( love of learning, the pursuit of wisdom, a search for understanding, ); or on yet other Belief Systems.

Can we even have stable societies without Belief Systems? Is it possible to build a Society around Science, Philosophy, and/or Reason? Can we, benefitting from Science and Philosophy: Improve the quality of our Belief Systems? Of our Religions? Can Beliefs become Informed Opinions? Will future societies' Belief Systems be based more on Science and Philosophy, and less on opinion and belief? Do they have a choice? It seems that the more successful societies have long since chosen to give the thinking of Science and Philosophy precedence over Believing. Darwin tells us that survival goes to those that adapt.

He didn't say it quite that way, but that is what he meant.

This seeming need of humans to Believe can be abused. The atrocities of Colonial Spain and Portugal and the Era of Slavery were ostensibly committed under the aegis of Christian Belief. Nazi Germany, Jonestown, ISIS, and a Trump Presidency are examples of some of the more negative consequences of aberrant Belief Systems.

Demagogues prey on this need to Believe by telling the people what to Believe; by giving them something to Believe. Fox News, by telling its viewers what to Believe, gives them this thing they need; something to Believe. All those arbiters of opinion we see and read on the media are trying to sell Beliefs to their audience; an audience that needs something to Believe. Fox News has become a Belief System for millions. So too, the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and Shawn Hannity.

Adolph Hitler and Jim Jones gave their needy followers something to Believe. Osama bin Laden/Al-Qaeda and ISIS gave their needy followers something to Believe. Donald J. Trump is giving his needy followers something to Believe.

Thinking's too hard.

Obviously, existing well-meaning Belief Systems can be co-opted by unsavory persons, societies. Equally obvious, Belief Systems can be instilled into a population. From the days of slavery and for these 150 yrs hence, whites in the Southern States have engendered racism into their progeny. For 150 yrs now they propagated a false version of history in their schools. They created and propagated a Belief System premised on mendacity.

Though many Belief Systems are based on Religious Tenets; we also see them based on economic models, personality cults, , even in science. Economic dogma can be instilled in a society as a Belief System to the extent that any challenge thereto is considered to be heretical, blasphemous. One can be born a Republican, a Baptist, or both, as were their parents and their parents' parents. People have been being born Catholic for 2,000 yrs. Joseph Smith, a come lately, instilled.

Some positive consequences of Belief Systems include: higher moral standards, the great art and science flowing from the Renaissance; the science, philosophy, and art from The Age of Reason/The Enlightenment. More recently: the ending of slavery, the ending of Colonialism, the ending of apartheid, the codification of LGBT rights, and the struggle to end racism correlate with changes in Belief Systems. Pending challenges for Belief Systems include such as freedom from hunger, access to housing, and alleviating economic disparity. Belief Systems can carry us forward. Belief Systems can hold us back.

Is tweeting believing?

To what Belief System, if any, is this our Age of Technology attributable? Has Technology itself become a Belief System?

A very famous frog once said, "It is not easy being green."

Closely held, long-held, Beliefs are hard to give up; especially if they have been engendered via emulation, imprinting, repetition, , since infancy. In America, the most technologically advanced economy ever known; our technology, our scientific achievements, are all based on science. Yet today we have upwards of half of our politicians pandering to one or another Religious group that, for the most part, denies Science. Quid pro quo: the pols get the Religious groups' vote, the Religious group gets the laws, and the judges and justices, they want. Perhaps in part as a consequence of this support, most of this same group of politicians would govern all the while making little effort to acquaint themselves with Science, with technology, in this day and age of Science and Technology. Many, maybe most, of these same politicians hold fast to theories of economics and law that are, themselves, based on Belief.

John Prine, recently departed, not a frog, wrote the tune "In Spite of Ourselves".

In spite of ourselves, we humans mumble and fumble our way as is our wont.

Ron (RC) Weakley (a.k.a., Darryl for a while at EV) , June 22, 2020 8:35 am

" Darwin tells us that survival goes to those that adapt.

He didn't say it quite that way, but that is what he meant "

[No he did not say it that way because that is not what he meant. Human beings just like to misrepresent Darwin that way because it follows along with their own narrative of innovative superiority and control of their own fate. To transpose biological mutation from the natural selection process of biological evolution over to social evolution is a bit of a stretch, but clearly it would favor diversity and freedom over rigid authoritarian orthodoxy. It comes with no guaranty of course, but it also more accidental or incidental than contrived.]

Ron (RC) Weakley (a.k.a., Darryl for a while at EV) , June 22, 2020 9:18 am

Reason is not the same as logic, not pure logic at least. Impure logic is mostly sophistry. Reason is not necessarily sophistry, but still depends upon assumptions which in life may be less reliable than in math.

Nietzsche and Machiavelli were notable philosophers of celebrated capacity for reason. By my own anti-intellectual biases I have found them both intolerable as human beings and deceptive as arbiters of truth. Science, when correctly applied, has evolved far beyond its roots in philosophy. I am skeptical of both incorrect science and any philosophy that I am not taking an active roll in. Any valid philosophy should be about the present rather than the past. Kant and William James are tolerable, but still insufficient despite their well meaning morality.

[Jun 15, 2020] Do Deep State Elements Operate within the Protest Movement? by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The extraordinary destruction of white and Asian businesses in many instances wiping out a family's lifetime work, the looting of national businesses whose dumbshit CEOs support the looters, the merciless gang beatings of whites and Asians who attempted to defend their persons and their property, the egging on of the violence by politicians in both parties and by the entirely of the media including many alternative media websites, shows a country undergoing collapse. ..."
"... This is why it is not shown in national media . Some local media show an indication of the violent destruction in their community, but it is not accumulated and presented to a national audience. Consequently, Americans think the looting and destruction is only a local occurrence I just checked CNN and the BBC and there is nothing about the extraordinary economic destruction and massive thefts." ..."
"... Why has the media failed to show the vast destruction of businesses and private property? Why have they minimized the effects of vandalism, looting and arson? Why have they fanned the flames of social unrest from the very beginning, shrugging off the ruin and devastation while cheerleading the demonstrations as a heroic struggle for racial justice? Is this is the same media that supported every bloody war, every foreign intervention, and every color-revolution for the last 5 decades? Are we really expected to believe that they've changed their stripes and become an energized proponent of social justice? ..."
"... The scale and coordination alone suggests that elements in the deep state are probably involved. We know from evidence uncovered during the Russiagate probe, that the media works hand-in-glove with the Intel agencies and FBI while–at the same time– serving as a mouthpiece for elites. ..."
"... That hasn't changed, in fact, it's gotten even worse. The uniformity of the coverage suggests that that same perception management strategy is being employed here as well. Even at this late date, the determination to remove Trump from office is as strong as ever even though, in the present case, it has been combined with the broader political strategy of inciting fratricidal violence, obliterating urban areas, and spreading anarchy across the count ..."
"... This isn't about racial justice or police brutality, it's about regime change, internal destabilization, and martial law. ..."
"... What the Black Lives Matter movement does not understand is that they are being used by the billionaire white capitalists who are fighting to push the working class even lower ..."
"... The rightful grievance over racism against blacks is now used to get Trump since Russia Gate, Impeachment, the corona scandal ..."
"... The protests are merely a fig leaf for a "color revolution" that bears a striking resemblance to the more than 50 CIA-backed coups launched on foreign governments in the last 70 years ..."
"... "Use a grievance that the local population has against the system, identify and support those who oppose the current government, infiltrate and strengthen opposition movements, fund them with millions of dollars, organize protests that seem legitimate and have paid political instigators dress up in regular clothes to blend in." ..."
"... "The logistical capabilities of antifa+ are also impressive. They can move people around the country with ease, position pallet loads of new brick, 55 gallon new trash cans of frozen water bottles and other debris suitable for throwing on gridded patterns around cities in a well thought out distribution pattern. Who pays for this? Who plans this? Who coordinates these plans and gives "execute orders?" ..."
"... Antifa+ can create massive propaganda campaigns that fit their agenda. These campaigns are fully supported by the MSM and by many in the Congressional Democratic Party. The present meme of "Defund the Police" is an example. This appeared miraculously, and simultaneously across the country. I am impressed. Yesterday the frat boy type who is mayor of Minneapolis was booed out of a mass meeting of radicals in that fair city because he refused to endorse abolishing the police force. ..."
"... Colonel Lang is not the only one to marvel at Antifa's "logistical capabilities". The United States has never experienced two weeks of sustained protests in hundreds of its cities at the same time. ..."
"... it points to extensive coordination with groups across the country, a comprehensive media strategy (that probably preceded the killing of George Floyd), a sizable presence on social media (to put people on the street), and agents provocateur whose task is to incite violence, loot and create mayhem. ..."
"... This a destabilization campaign similar to the CIA's color revolutions designed to topple the regime (Trump), install a puppet government (Biden), impose "shock therapy" on the economy ..."
"... "The BLM represents the forefront of an effort to divide Americans along racial and political lines, thus keeping race and identity-based barbarians safely away from more critical issues of importance to the elite, most crucially a free hand to plunder and ransack natural resources, minerals, crude oil, and impoverish billions of people whom the ruling elite consider unproductive useless eaters and a hindrance to the drive to dominate, steal, and murder . ..."
"... The protest movement is the mask that conceals the maneuvering of elites. The real target of this operation is the Constitutional Republic itself ..."
"... that explains why anti-fa attack Yellow Vests in Germany. The Yellow Vests are the true people's movement and as shown in the video below it is not about the left and the right for the yellow vest but common people fed up with the system ..."
"... Watch every frame of this. It shows the government-media complex and their little thugs, ANTIFA, in perfect collusion to interfere with the regular Germans trying to stop the Satanic communist-Globo homo project. ..."
"... My bro is one of the few people flying, for work. He says the only people on the airlines are antifa thugs moving all around the country. ..."
"... Won't these riots create a wave of revulsion among the silent majority and consolidate Trump's support base? ..."
"... Is Antifa a group of deep state agitators? That's the question. In the Sunday edition of the New York Times– the official propaganda organ of US elites– an article is entirely devoted to creating "plausible deniability" that Antifa is behind the violence in the protests that have swept the country. ..."
Jun 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

"Revolutions are often seen as spontaneous. It looks like people just went into the street. But it's the result of months or years of preparation. It is very boring until you reach a certain point, where you can organize mass demonstrations or strikes. If it is carefully planned, by the time they start, everything is over in a matter of weeks." Foreign Policy Journal

Does anyone believe the nationwide riots and looting are a spontaneous reaction to the killing of George Floyd?

It's all too coordinated, too widespread, and too much in-sync with the media narrative that applauds the "mainly peaceful protests" while ignoring the vast destruction to cities across the country. What's that all about? Do the instigators of these demonstrations want to see our cities reduced to urban wastelands where street gangs and Antifa thugs impose their own harsh justice? That's where this is headed, isn't it?

Of course there are millions of protesters who honestly believe they're fighting racial injustice and police brutality. And more power to them. But that certainly doesn't mean there aren't hidden agendas driving these outbursts. Quite the contrary. It seems to me that the protest movement is actually the perfect vehicle for affecting dramatic social changes that only serve the interests of elites. For example, who benefits from defunding the police? Not African Americans, that's for sure. Black neighborhoods need more security not less. And yet, the New York Times lead editorial on Saturday proudly announces, " Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police–Because reform won't happen." Check it out:

"We can't reform the police. The only way to diminish police violence is to reduce contact between the public and the police .There is not a single era in United States history in which the police were not a force of violence against black people. Policing in the South emerged from the slave patrols in the 1700 and 1800s that caught and returned runaway slaves. In the North, the first municipal police departments in the mid-1800s helped quash labor strikes and riots against the rich. Everywhere, they have suppressed marginalized populations to protect the status quo.

So when you see a police officer pressing his knee into a black man's neck until he dies, that's the logical result of policing in America. When a police officer brutalizes a black person, he is doing what he sees as his job " (" Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police–Because reform won't happen" , New York Times)

So, according to the Times, the problem isn't single parent families, or underfunded education or limited job opportunities or fractured neighborhoods, it's the cops who have nothing to do with any of these problems. Are we supposed to take this seriously, because the editors of the Times certainly do. They'd like us to believe that there is groundswell support for this loony idea, but there isn't. In a recent poll, more than 60% of those surveyed, oppose the idea of defunding the police. So why would such an unpopular, wacko idea wind up as the headline op-ed in the Saturday edition? Well, because the Times is doing what it always does, advancing the political agenda of the elites who hold the purse-strings and dictate which ideas are promoted and which end up on the cutting room floor. That's how the system works. Check out this excerpt from an article by Paul Craig Roberts:

"The extraordinary destruction of white and Asian businesses in many instances wiping out a family's lifetime work, the looting of national businesses whose dumbshit CEOs support the looters, the merciless gang beatings of whites and Asians who attempted to defend their persons and their property, the egging on of the violence by politicians in both parties and by the entirely of the media including many alternative media websites, shows a country undergoing collapse.

This is why it is not shown in national media . Some local media show an indication of the violent destruction in their community, but it is not accumulated and presented to a national audience. Consequently, Americans think the looting and destruction is only a local occurrence I just checked CNN and the BBC and there is nothing about the extraordinary economic destruction and massive thefts." (" The Real Racists", Paul Craig Roberts, Unz Review)

Roberts makes a good point, and one that's worth mulling over. Why has the media failed to show the vast destruction of businesses and private property? Why have they minimized the effects of vandalism, looting and arson? Why have they fanned the flames of social unrest from the very beginning, shrugging off the ruin and devastation while cheerleading the demonstrations as a heroic struggle for racial justice? Is this is the same media that supported every bloody war, every foreign intervention, and every color-revolution for the last 5 decades? Are we really expected to believe that they've changed their stripes and become an energized proponent of social justice?

Nonsense. The media's role in concealing the damage should only convince skeptics that the protests are just one part of a much larger operation. What we're seeing play out in over 400 cities across the US, has more to do with toppling Trump and sowing racial division than it does with the killing of George Floyd. The scale and coordination alone suggests that elements in the deep state are probably involved. We know from evidence uncovered during the Russiagate probe, that the media works hand-in-glove with the Intel agencies and FBI while–at the same time– serving as a mouthpiece for elites.

That hasn't changed, in fact, it's gotten even worse. The uniformity of the coverage suggests that that same perception management strategy is being employed here as well. Even at this late date, the determination to remove Trump from office is as strong as ever even though, in the present case, it has been combined with the broader political strategy of inciting fratricidal violence, obliterating urban areas, and spreading anarchy across the country.

This isn't about racial justice or police brutality, it's about regime change, internal destabilization, and martial law. Take a look at this article at The Herland Report:

"What the Black Lives Matter movement does not understand is that they are being used by the billionaire white capitalists who are fighting to push the working class even lower and end the national sovereignty principles that president Trump stands for in America .

The rightful grievance over racism against blacks is now used to get Trump since Russia Gate, Impeachment, the corona scandal and nothing else has worked. The aim is to end democracy in the United States, control Congress and politics and assemble the power into the hands of the very few

It is all about who will own the United States and have free access to its revenues: Either the American people under democracy or globalist billionaire individuals." (" Politicized USA Gene Sharp riots is another attempted coup d'etat – New Left Tyranny" The Herland Report

That sounds about right to me. The protests are merely a fig leaf for a "color revolution" that bears a striking resemblance to the more than 50 CIA-backed coups launched on foreign governments in the last 70 years. Have the chickens have come home to roost? It certainly looks like it. Here's more from the same article:

"Use a grievance that the local population has against the system, identify and support those who oppose the current government, infiltrate and strengthen opposition movements, fund them with millions of dollars, organize protests that seem legitimate and have paid political instigators dress up in regular clothes to blend in."

So, yes, the grievances are real, but that doesn't mean that someone else is not steering the action. And just as the media is shaping the narrative for its own purposes, so too, there are agents within the movement that are inciting the violence. All of this suggests the existence of some form of command-control that provides logistical support and assists in communications. Check out this excerpt from a post at Colonel Pat Lang's website Sic Semper Tyrannis:

"The logistical capabilities of antifa+ are also impressive. They can move people around the country with ease, position pallet loads of new brick, 55 gallon new trash cans of frozen water bottles and other debris suitable for throwing on gridded patterns around cities in a well thought out distribution pattern. Who pays for this? Who plans this? Who coordinates these plans and gives "execute orders?"

Antifa+ can create massive propaganda campaigns that fit their agenda. These campaigns are fully supported by the MSM and by many in the Congressional Democratic Party. The present meme of "Defund the Police" is an example. This appeared miraculously, and simultaneously across the country. I am impressed. Yesterday the frat boy type who is mayor of Minneapolis was booed out of a mass meeting of radicals in that fair city because he refused to endorse abolishing the police force.

Gutting the civil police forces has long been a major goal of the far left, but now, they have the ability to create mass hysteria over it when they have an excuse ." ("My take on the present situation", Sic Semper Tyrannis)

Colonel Lang is not the only one to marvel at Antifa's "logistical capabilities". The United States has never experienced two weeks of sustained protests in hundreds of its cities at the same time. It's beyond suspicious, it points to extensive coordination with groups across the country, a comprehensive media strategy (that probably preceded the killing of George Floyd), a sizable presence on social media (to put people on the street), and agents provocateur whose task is to incite violence, loot and create mayhem.

None of this has anything to do with racial justice or police brutality. America is being destabilized and sacked for other purposes altogether. This a destabilization campaign similar to the CIA's color revolutions designed to topple the regime (Trump), install a puppet government (Biden), impose "shock therapy" on the economy pushing tens of millions of Americans into homelessness and destitution, and leave behind a broken, smoldering shell of a country easily controlled by Federal shock troops and wealthy globalist mandarins. Here's a short excerpt from an article by Kurt Nimmo at his excellent blog "Another Day in the Empire":

"The BLM represents the forefront of an effort to divide Americans along racial and political lines, thus keeping race and identity-based barbarians safely away from more critical issues of importance to the elite, most crucially a free hand to plunder and ransack natural resources, minerals, crude oil, and impoverish billions of people whom the ruling elite consider unproductive useless eaters and a hindrance to the drive to dominate, steal, and murder .

It is sad to say BLM serves the elite by ignoring or remaining ignorant of the main problem -- boundless predation by a neoliberal criminal project that considers all -- black, white, yellow, brown -- as expliotable and dispensable serfs. " (" 2 Million Arab Lives Don't Matter ", Kurt Nimmo, Another Day in the Empire)

The protest movement is the mask that conceals the maneuvering of elites. The real target of this operation is the Constitutional Republic itself. Having succeeded in using the Lockdown to push the economy into severe recession, the globalists are now inciting a fratricidal war that will weaken the opposition and prepare the country for a new authoritarian order.


Godfree Roberts , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

the media narrative that applauds the "mainly peaceful protests" while ignoring the vast destruction to Hong Kong where there was neither police violence nor racial discrimination. Look like the same organizing principles were used in both places.
Malla , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 6:33 am GMT
Of course that explains why anti-fa attack Yellow Vests in Germany. The Yellow Vests are the true people's movement and as shown in the video below it is not about the left and the right for the yellow vest but common people fed up with the system, a true grass roots movement of the people. And Anti-fa, the Whores of the Satanic elites attack them. Why would anti-fascists attack the common man?

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/raZCHzKjrjA/

Watch every frame of this. It shows the government-media complex and their little thugs, ANTIFA, in perfect collusion to interfere with the regular Germans trying to stop the Satanic communist-Globo homo project.

PetrOldSack , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT
Few arguments in contra of the article. Can any-one conceive of there being a competition between BLM rioting organizing and covertly supporting, and Corona-19, where the elites were very cohesive internationally in the face.

The target, Trump, the man with no policies, the implement nothing, is it such a worthy target to a fraction of the power elites? That would speak for shallowness on their behalf. Creating back-ground noise to fade out the re-organizing of society, regardless of actors as Trump could be an acceptable explanation. "Keep the surplus population busy. Keep the attention on the streets".

There is a trade-off. The international elites see the exposure of the US internal policies, the expenditure of energy, do they regard the situation as something to copy-paste, an interesting experiment, or as weakness to be taken advantage of? Probably the first, then BLM covert support chains perfectly with Corona-19, and scales things up.

nickels , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 1:36 pm GMT
My bro is one of the few people flying, for work. He says the only people on the airlines are antifa thugs moving all around the country.
ICD , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
"Black neighborhoods need more security not less."

Police are not security, they're repression. Anybody of any color who thinks they're safer with heavily armed bureaucrats blundering around is a moron.

And since when does reductions in guard labor equal austerity? There are several economic rights that should not be derogated, but assholes with guns impounding cars is not one of them. If the residents of a community are asking for more cops, that's one thing. They are not. Law enforcement budgets are stuffed up the ass of residents and often municipalities. Look into e.g. the MA "strong chief" enabling acts. States have massive unfunded pension liabilities in large part because of police featherbedding. That's what's being pushed by the "deep state" (you mean CIA.) The evident CIA use of provocateurs is aimed at justifying further increases in repressive capacity.

anonymous [299] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 2:34 pm GMT
Now this is the ideal solution:

https://www.lawofficer.com/america-we-are-leaving/

OK bye! Don't let the door hit your fat ass on the way out! Stupid and delusional though pigs are, it's dimly dawning on them that America considers them crooked loudmouthed violent assholes. Here's a typical one exercising what Gore Vidal called the core competence of police, whining.

Boo hoo hoo, asshole, go home and beat your wife or eat a gun or whatever it is you dream of doing in retirement, cause the states can't afford your crooked unions' pensions in this induced depression. Cut these white man's welfare jobs.

Escher , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 3:48 pm GMT
Won't these riots create a wave of revulsion among the silent majority and consolidate Trump's support base?
Mike Whitney , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 3:51 pm GMT
Is Antifa a group of deep state agitators? That's the question. In the Sunday edition of the New York Times– the official propaganda organ of US elites– an article is entirely devoted to creating "plausible deniability" that Antifa is behind the violence in the protests that have swept the country.

Why is the Times so concerned that its readers might have a different opinion on this matter? Why do they want to convince people that the protests-riots are merely spontaneous outbursts of anti-racist sentiment? Could it be because the Times job is to create a version of events that suits the interests of the elites it serves? Here's a few excerpts from today's piece titled "Federal Arrests Show No Sign That Antifa Plotted Protests":

While anarchists and anti-fascists openly acknowledged being part of the immense crowds, they call the scale, intensity and durability of the protests far beyond anything they might dream of organizing. Some tactics used at the protests, like the wearing of all black and the shattering of store windows, are reminiscent of those used by anarchist groups, say those who study such movements. (plausible deniability)

Anarchists and others accuse officials of trying to assign blame to extremists rather than accept the idea that millions of Americans from a variety of political backgrounds have been on the streets demanding change. Numerous experts also called the participation of extremist organizations overstated. (plausible deniability)

"A significant number of people in positions of authority are pushing a false narrative about antifa being behind a lot of this activity," said J.M. Berger, the author of the book "Extremism" and an authority on militant movements. "These are just unbelievably large protests at a time of great turmoil in this country, and there is surprisingly little violence given the size of this movement.".. (plausible deniability)

In New York, the police briefed reporters on May 31, claiming that radical anarchists from outside the state had plotted ahead of protests by setting up encrypted communications systems, arranging for street medics and collecting bail funds.

Within five days, however, Dermot F. Shea, the city's police commissioner, acknowledged that most of the hundreds of people arrested at the protests in New York were actually New Yorkers who took advantage of the chaos to commit crimes and were not motivated by political ideology . John Miller, the police official who had briefed reporters, told CNN that most looting in New York had been committed by "regular criminal groups." (plausible deniability)

Kit O'Connell, a longtime radical leftist activist and community organizer in Austin, said that shortly after Mr. Trump's election, the group took part in anti-fascist protests in the city against a local white supremacist group and scuffled separately with Act for America, an anti-Muslim organization.

"They've been an influence at the protests but they're not in charge -- no one's really in charge," Mr. O'Connell said. (plausible deniability)
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/11/us/antifa-protests-george-floyd.html

Why is the Times acting like Antifa's attorney? Why are the trying to minimize the role of professional agitators? Why is the Times so determined to shape the public's thinking on this matter?

Doesn't this suggest that Antifa and other groups operating within the protest movement are actually linked to agencies in the deep state that are conducting another operation against the American people?

Brian Reilly , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm GMT
@anonymous anonymous, I have been encouraging cops to quit for a long time. They are protecting the wrong people, being used to protect people in the ruling class that hate and despise cops just a little less than they hate and despise the rest of us civilians.

To the issue at hand, black people should only be policed, arrested, charged, prosecuted, defended, judged, and (if found guilty) punished by other blacks. No white person should have anything to do with it. Any white person policing negros in America is making a huge mistake, and should immediately quit.

The pensions are not going to be paid, and the crazy, Soros paid for black people are going to make it impossible for a white cop pretty soon anyway. Might as well walk before they make you run.

anonymous [263] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm GMT
Don't worry about BLM, which is corporate phoney bullshit protest, easter parades and internet posturing. The blacks in the street don't fall for that shit. Look what happens when coopted oreos try to herd everybody back to tame marching:

https://www.blackagendareport.com/ooh-la-la-atlantas-mayor-keisha-and-civil-rights-myths-black-mecca

Fuck Killer Mike
Fuck TI
Fuck KKKeisha

The provocateurs are not influencing them. The sellout house negroes are not influencing them. They know what they want. The regime is shitting its pants. If they scapegoat Trump and purge him, Biden will inherit the same problem only worse.

botazefa , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 4:53 pm GMT
@Escher

Won't these riots create a wave of revulsion among the silent majority and consolidate Trump's support base?

That's what I am wondering too. It makes more sense to me that the elites driving these BLM riots are those who support Trump. Terrify people and threaten the existence of police is a good way to get elderly white voters out of their covid lockdowns on election day.

botazefa , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm GMT
@Mike Whitney

Doesn't this suggest that Antifa and other groups operating within the protest movement are actually linked to agencies in the deep state that are conducting another operation against the American people?

Do we really want to suggest the CIA is committing treason against the American people? Isn't it more likely that the Times is agitating against the CIA for other reasons? Reasons Carlos Slim could explain?

Mike Whitney , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
For those who haven't read Pepe Escobar's latsest on BLM, here's a couple clips:

Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013 by a trio of middle class, queer black women very vocal against "hetero-patriarchy", is a product of what University of British Columbia's Peter Dauvergne defines as "corporatization of activism".

Over the years, Black Lives Matter evolved as a marketing brand, like Nike (which fully supports it). The widespread George Floyd protests elevated it to the status of a new religion. Yet Black Lives Matter carries arguably zero, true revolutionary appeal. This is not James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud". And it does not get even close to Black Power and the Black Panthers' "Power to the People".

Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation.

The Ford Foundation is very close to the U.S. Deep State. The board of directors is crammed with corporate CEOs and Wall Street honchos. In a nutshell; Black Lives Matter, the organization, today is fully sanitized; largely integrated into the Democratic Party machine; adored by mainstream media; and certainly does not represent a threat to the 0.001%.

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/syria-in-seattle-commune-defies-the-u-s-regime/

I rest my case.

Brás Cubas , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 5:16 pm GMT
Mike is one of the more interesting writers in Unz. He occasionally writes some irreflected lines, though:

Of course there are millions of protesters who honestly believe they're fighting racial injustice and police brutality. And more power to them.

Those "honest" people are actually useful idiots, and the last thing I want is to give them more power.

anonymous [306] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMT
IMO the best evidence for state provocation is this traditional strange-fruit lynching,

https://www.rt.com/usa/491698-robert-fuller-hanging-tree-california/

an evident ham-handed attempt to make this all about race. The real threat to this police state is racial and international solidarity against state predation – the stuff that got Fred Hampton killed,

"when I talk about the masses, I'm talking about the white masses, I'm talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don't fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism."

or Angela Davis and the Che-Lumumba club. BAP is right back on this and the resonating international demonstrations show that that's the right track. The whole world sees what this is about, except for a few fucked-over US whites.

anbonymous , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 5:31 pm GMT
botazefa, of course the CIA is committing treason against the American people. Where were you when they whacked JFK, then RFK? Where were you when they blew up OKC? Where were you when they released anthrax on the Senate, infiltrated and protected 9/11 terrorists, assigned more terrorists to MITRE to blind NORAD, blew up the WTC for the second time, and exfiltrated the Saudi logisticians?

Anybody unaware that CIA has been pure treason from inception is (1) retarded XOR (2) a CIA traitor.

Do you really want to tell us trust the CIA?

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 6:05 pm GMT
Sorry. The assholes on this asshole site will not let you say that what is important is how the super-billionaires control us. They are going to insist that it's niggerniggernigger all the way home and that's all there is to it. You would think they were paid. Or really, really stupid.
Realist , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 6:19 pm GMT
@botazefa

Do we really want to suggest the CIA is committing treason against the American people?

Oh, hell yes the FBI and a significant portion of the federal government.

Juliette Kayyem , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm GMT
When Gina, she-wolf of Udon Thani, got busted for trying to overthrow the United States government with Russiagate, she hung onto her job by rigging the succession with all the Brennan traitors who ran the Russiagate coup.

https://gosint.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/one-year-ago-cia-new-order-of-succession-june-14-2019/#more-21679

So we should expect that Gina will now stage a couple massacres like Kent State and Jackson State, because that's how CIA ratfucked Nixon when he didn't knuckle under.

Gina's extra motivated to stay on top because she's criminally culpable for systematic and widespread torture:

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/intelligence-torture-archive/2018-04-26/gina-haspels-cia-torture-file

CIA wanted a DCI who would kill another president (even after JFK and Reagan) to preserve CIA's impunity.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm GMT
@Mike Whitney Excellent article and I believe excellent analysis of the situation.

Where we may differ is with Trump's complicity in Deep State efforts. I believe Trump is a minion of the Deep State. His actions and inactions can not be explained any other way.

Mike Whitney , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 7:28 pm GMT
Let's assume for a minute, that Pepe Escobar is correct when he says this:

"Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation .

The Ford Foundation is very close to the U.S. Deep State. The board of directors is crammed with corporate CEOs and Wall Street honchos. In a nutshell; Black Lives Matter, the organization, today is fully sanitized; largely integrated into the Democratic Party machine; adored by mainstream media; and certainly does not represent a threat to the 0.001%.

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/syria-in-seattle-commune-defies-the-u-s-regime/

If this is true–and I believe it is– then Black Lives Matter is no different than USAID or any of the other NGOs that are used to incite revolution around the world. If this is true, then there is likely a CIA link to these protests, the main purpose of which is to remove Trump from office.

So Black Lives Matter= activist NGO linked to US Intel agencies= Regime Change Operation

But there is something else going on here too, (that many readers might have noticed) that is, the way social media has been manipulated to put millions of young people on the street in order to promote the agenda of elites.

How did they manage that?

How did they get millions of young people to come out day after day (14 days so far) in over 400 cities to protest an issue about which they know very little aside from the media's irritating reiteration of "systemic racism", (a claim that is not supported by the data.)

IMO, we are seeing the first successful social media saturation campaign launched probably by the Pentagon's Office Strategic Communications or a similar outfit within the CIA. Having already taken control over the entire mainstream media complex, the intel agencies and their friends at the Pentagon are now wrapping their tentacles around internet communications in order to achieve their goal of complete tyrannical social control.

As always, the target of these massive covert operations is the American people who had better pull their heads out of the sand pronto and come up with a plan for countering this madness.

Anon [184] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm GMT
@anonymous The elephant in the room, that seems to be ignored by all is the simple fact that Hispanics are working class heroes. And they outnumber the blacks, and hate their guts for the most part. Not the scrawny punks withe Che t-shirts, but the actual working types that are less than thrilled to deal with the weak. Notice how no Hispanic barrios have EVER been f ** ked with, no matter when the race riot? There is an open fatwa from La Eme regarding blacks that has never been rescinded. Has a lot to do with the kneegro exodus from the LA area, which correlates with the lack of looting in the formerly black areas. Which the MSM prefers to ignore. The happy idiots are mugging for the cameras on a daily basis in Hollywood, but the Hispanic run Sheriff's office has no problem with popping gas and defending businesses. Also note that the MSM only reports on areas when a local government craters to the mob. LA County was under curfew for 7 days due to a mob of looters that numbered perhaps 2000. If that Jew mayor (with the Italian surname) had not allowed the looting, then we would have seen the kind of 36 hour turnaround like we had with Rodney King. The ethnic group that ignores the MSM and stands up for its own people will win in the end. Right now we are looking more toward the kind of Celtic/Meso-American alliance that is well known in the penal system. These groups can exist side by side, with each ignoring the other. Blacks, on the other paw seem to be unable to keep to themselves, at least on the ghetto level, and will always be an issue for civilization. It's time we stop calling for a generic and all-inclusive White establishment. The race traitors and weaklings forfeit that right. When Celts, Italians, Germans, etc. were proud and independent, there was strength. It's time to return to that ideal. Only the negroid actually lumps all whites together, which the Jews use as a divisive tool. Strength should be idolized, rather than weakness exploited.

Hail Victory

botazefa , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
@anbonymous

Do you really want to tell us trust the CIA?

I'm saying that the NYT is not necessarily mouthpiece *only* for the Deep State. As for your JFK assassination – Senate Anthrax – 9/11 etc, those are considered conspiracy theories and I've never been persuaded otherwise. I've read up on the theories and they are not strong.

I don't know what a retarded XOR is except as it relates to logic diagrams and I don't work for the CIA.

botazefa , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 7:32 pm GMT
@Realist

Oh, hell yes the FBI and a significant portion of the federal government

Fair enough.

Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 8:02 pm GMT

Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?

It's called Jewish lawfare for Antifa, Jewish control of media, and Jewish cult of Magic Negro.

Even though Jews led the Gentric Cleansing campaigns against blacks by using mass immigration, globo-homo celebration, and white middle class return to cities, the Jews are now pretending be with the blacks and throwing the immigrants, white middle class, and homos to the black mobs.

Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 8:05 pm GMT
@obwandiyag Super billionaires control nations, but an average person is more likely to get mugged, raped, or murdered by a Negro.
schnellandine , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Anon

simple fact that Hispanics are working class heroes

Some are. Most aren't. And the 'not'% grows with selective Americanization (not assimilation). Still, I'll take them over the blacks, even with their generally inferior (to White) culture.

Whites are better with separation from them along with blacks. Whatever the prime driver, both groups have poisoned America, likely beyond repair. Conquistador gonnna conquistador.

Stepinfetchit has a dream , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 10:07 pm GMT
M. Whitney in comment 21 clarifies his view of BLM as the impetus for this rebellion. That does not square with the reports of people on the street.

BLM is exactly analogous to BDS: a controlled opposition of feckless halfassed gestures designed to distract from the real movement. You hear BLM apparatchiks whining about getting their movement hijacked because people in the streets show solidarity with oppressed groups worldwide – and youe hear BLM getting booed by the people they're trying to corral. BLM's mission is putting words in the protestors' mouths. You hear Democrat BLM spokesmodels trying to distort calls for police abolition and no more impunity. And real protestors call bullshit.

BLM works on dumb white guys: hating on BLM makes them feel very edgy and defiant. Black Lives Matter! Blue Lives Matter! Black! Blue! Black! Blue! Catnip for dumbshits, courtesy of CIA. Keeps them away from the really subversive stuff, which makes perfect sense for whites too.

https://blackagendareport.com/

Cause CIA's fucking us all. They're hostis humani generis.

R.C. , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 10:47 pm GMT
Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?
Does a one legged duck swim in circles?
Ann Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment June 14, 2020 at 11:42 pm GMT
@ICD Look into whether the training of cops has been outsourced and privatized. Or simply shortened to save money.

And ask why the police are even armed when in Communist China they are not, and traditionally in the non-American West they were not, now are in imitation of America.

ICD , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:18 am GMT
Ann Nonny Mouse, truer words were never spoken. Chinese cops have these cute little nightsticks, and sometimes they will bop a guy and the guy just stands there and says Ow and the cops continue to reason with him, no restraint, incapacitation, any of that shit. British cops used to be that way, they used to reason with you. Now they're all American style Assholes, if not Israeli concentration camp guards. Just nuke FOP HQ in Memphis.

Koch sees privatization as a future profit center and a chance to control the cops himself. They're not trainable, they're too fucking stupid. We all did fine without pigs up through most of the 19th century. Hue and cry works fine. Fire all the cops and replace them with unarmed women social workers. That's all they are, prodigiously incompetent social workers.

ThreeCranes , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:46 am GMT
Too, those many businesses with all that unsold inventory sitting around gathering dust due to Covid isolation will benefit from insurance payments covering their losses due to looting. The cherry on top.
niteranger , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:18 am GMT
@Mike Whitney Whitney:

Are you just clueless or what? Did you notice the names of the Antifa leaders that have been exposed? They are Amish Right? They are Jews and they will always be Jews! Soros and other Jews have been running this game for a long time. Where have you been? SDS in Chicago no Jews there right!

The CIA and the FBI overwhelmed with Jews can you count? All the professors who have been destroying whites with their fake studies blaming everything wrong in the world on Whites and Western Civilization. The entire Media owned by who?

Either you were dropped out of a spaceship a few days ago or you are a total idiot and can't see the forest before trees.

Try this: The Percentage of all Ivy League Presidents, top adminstrators, deans etc take a guess then go count them and see which group they belong to.

Loup-Bouc , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:38 am GMT

Does anyone believe the nationwide riots and looting are a spontaneous reaction to the killing of George Floyd?

It's all too coordinated, too widespread, and too much in-sync with the media narrative .

* * *

This a destabilization campaign similar to the CIA's color revolutions designed to topple the regime (Trump), install a puppet government (Biden), impose "shock therapy" on the economy pushing tens of millions of Americans into homelessness and destitution, and leave behind a broken, smoldering shell of a country easily controlled by Federal shock troops and wealthy globalist mandarins.

One must wonder: How could the CIA and the U.S. Democrat establishment foment and coordinate all of the Black Lives Matter protests occurring in Canada, several nations of South and Central America, the U.K., Ireland, throughout the European Union, and in Switzerland, the Middle East (Turkey, Iran ), and in Asia (Korea, Japan .) and New Zealand, Australia, and Africa?

Mr. Whitney: Neither magic nor bigotry-induced hallucinations can forge a tenable conspiracy theory.

Biff , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:43 am GMT
@botazefa

and I don't work for the CIA.

Plausible deniability

MrFoSquare , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:12 am GMT
I think the primary reason the mainstream media doesn't want the general public, especially those living outside the major cities, to understand the extent of the destruction and violence that spread in a highly-coordinated fashion across America, is that this would be cause for alarm among a majority of Americans who would demand more Law & Order, which would redound to Trump's benefit.

Notice Trump is countering by tweeting "LAW & ORDER!"

Here is Trump tweeting "Does anyone notice how little the Radical Left takeover of Seattle is being discussed in the Fake News Media[?] That is very much on purpose "

Does anyone notice how little the Radical Left takeover of Seattle is being discussed in the Fake News Media. That is very much on purpose because they know how badly this weakness & ineptitude play politically. The Mayor & Governor should be ashamed of themselves. Easily fixed!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2020

The outcome of the election in November could hinge on the urgency the public places on the issue of Law & Order. Hence the media's all out effort to minimize the extent of the Anarchy and Violence and the financial sponsorship, planning, and coordination behind it.

Loup-Bouc , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:18 am GMT
@Mike Whitney Mr. Whitney:

Please see my comment of June 15, 2020 at 1:38 am GMT (comment # 34). I must apologize for that comment's insufficiency (owed to my posting that comment before I happened upon your comment to which this comment replies). Had I encountered your comment earlier, my June 15, 2020 at 1:38 am GMT comment (comment # 34) would have observed that you are triumphantly illogical as you are a world class crackpot.

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:42 am GMT
@ICD You said it. Police Departments country-wide are stuffed up the wazoo with more cash than they can spend. But what do they cry? Poor us. Poor us. We ain't got no money.

This is what they, and by they, I mean all our owners and their overseers, always do. They cry poverty when they are rolling in loot.

That way you get more loot!

Duh.

Biff , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 3:08 am GMT

Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?

Yes, and the left(unwittingly) will help them with their cause, and the right will cowardly hide right behind the deep state as protection from the violent left.

Revolutions made easy!

Brought to you by the blob incorporated.

JohnPlywood , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:01 am GMT
@Priss Factor You are extremely unlikely to receive any of those things from a "Negro". 90% of Americans are unlikely to even see more than ten black people in their entire lives.

I wish you psychotic fucking female idiots on this website who are constantly blathering about black people could realize how annoying you are to the 90% of white people who are not living in or next to black ghettos. Please STFU and allow discourse to trend in more pertinent directions, and move away from black people if you're so paranoid about them.

Robert Dolan , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:57 am GMT
Of course Antifa works for the deep state jews.

It was obvious after C 'ville.

Antifa has the full support of all of the 3 letter agencies;
ADL
FBI
CIA
DNC
DOJ

This is the very same Bolshevik scum the poor Germans had to deal with.

Al Liguori , says: Website Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 6:01 am GMT
@Mike Whitney The (((media))) have an uphill battle in convincing us to deny the evidence of our eyes -- black-hooded white punks throwing bricks through storefronts then inviting joggers to loot.

That is why so many platforms, even "free speech" GAB, are wildly censoring counter-narratives.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 6:37 am GMT
@Brian Reilly Stephen Molyneux said that police forces were originally geared to operate under white Christian societies where there was a high level of trust and people were law-abiding. I remember when I was a kid, we didn't even lock our doors. Our bikes were left out on the front lawn, sometimes for days, weeks, and nobody took them. Nobody locked their car doors. People just didn't steal other people's stuff. When a cop tried to pull you over, you didn't hit the gas pedal and take off. You didn't run from the cops; you were polite to them and they were polite to you.

Tucker Carlson said that Blacks are now asking for their own hospitals (I forget what city this was) and their own doctors and nurses. Blacks schools, Black police forces.

Tribes don't mix. Their culture is different than our culture. Why should they change for us, and why should we change for them?

It is a marriage that does not work. Either send them back to Africa (best solution) or give them Mississippi and put up a big wall. Then let them pay for their own upkeep – all of it. Good luck with that.

Sean , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 6:47 am GMT

Yesterday the frat boy type who is mayor of Minneapolis was booed out of a mass meeting of radicals in that fair city because he refused to endorse abolishing the police force.

Mayor Jacob Frey got elected at his extremely young age by flanking on the Left with anti police rhetoric, He is the the originator of this crisis; as soon as the video of Floyd's death was public Frey publicly and literally called the four cops murderers and said he was powerless to have them arrested. That was a false accusation of police impunity, because the supposedly powerless Frey was able to order the police to vacate their own station thus letting the demonstrators take over and burn it. Yet to draw back a bit the Deep State if worried about other states.

That event Frey largely created was the key moment of this whole thing. Trump could have nipped it in the bud by had sending in troops immediately the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct was burnt down. Crushing the riots in that city and preventing the example infecting the demonstrations in other cities. and turning them into cover for riots. Trump did not want to be seen as Draconian although it would not have been at all violent, because no one is going to challenge the army's awesome presence once it arrived on the streets,as worked in the Rodney King riots.

The real target of this operation is the Constitutional Republic itself. Having succeeded in using the Lockdown to push the economy into severe recession, the globalists are now inciting a fratricidal war that will weaken the opposition and prepare the country for a new authoritarian order.

George Floyd had foam visible at the corners of his mouth when the police arrived. Autopsy tests revealed Fentanyl and COVID-19: both from Wuhan. I Can't Breath is America gearing up to confront and settle accounts with Xi's totalitarian state.

Current events might seem to be a setback for the US, but provide the opportunity for a re-set with the black community, with a potential outcome of resolving race tensions that have been a cause of dissension and internal weakness, just as during the Cold War racial integration was thought essential by anti communists like Nixon. America is gearing up to settle accounts with China, which is a Deep State new Cold War. While it is a possibility that whites could lose control of their society, and see it fall into the hands of an explicitly anti -acist elite/ minorities alliance, the Deep State is not the same as the hyper capitalist elite whose growing wealth depends on China.

Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?

Yes, and it is a good thing.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 7:56 am GMT
@Mike Whitney The Duran did an excellent video titled "Social Media 'Unchecked Power'" where they talk about Trump and Barr going after the tech companies and their virtual monopolies with an executive order.

At 33:45 they state that Microsoft (Bill Gates) invested $1 billion and the CIA invested $16 million into Facebook when it was still operating as a university network. The CIA were one of the first investors in Facebook.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OwPVQ8N8hhk?feature=oembed

Why the hell was the CIA investing $16 million to get Facebook off the ground? Hmmm. Could it be because Facebook would be instrumental in controlling the narrative?

The young people, who have no experience and no real knowledge of history, are being taken in by these social media companies who are playing on their emotions. Any dissenting opinions are blocked or banned. Very dangerous.

Gast , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 8:12 am GMT
@Loup-Bouc Well, the "deep state" is just an euphemism for the jewish power structure, and all those places you named are run be jews. That jews cooperate in extended conspiracies without regard of borders should be common knowledge for every observer of history and current politics. I see nothing far-fetched. Honestly, my mind would boggle if I should explain, how the Antifa gets away with those things it always gets away with, if it wasn't controlled by the "deep state". And I couldn't explain the international cooperation either.
GMC , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 8:15 am GMT
As Pepe' Escobar said – Americans looting is a natural thing – just look at how the US Military has stolen the gaz and oil from Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. and is trying like hell for the Venezuelan oil fields. Not to mention where all their gold, silver and billions of dollars have gone. The list of the USG looting criminal record is unprecedented . It's a Family Tradition. Enjoyed the article !
Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 8:37 am GMT
@MrFoSquare The Capitol Hill area of Seattle that has been taken over as an "autonomous zone" by the protesters is really rather laughable.

One of the first things they did was put up what they called "light fencing". Oh, so when THEY put up walls, that's perfectly fine. When Trump tries to do it, that's evil and racist. Borders are A-okay when they're doing it.

They've colonized an area for themselves. I thought the Progressive Left was against colonialism, taking someone else's property. Isn't that what they've done? They've taken over whole neighborhoods.

And they've got armed patrol guards checking people as they enter. If you're not in agreement with their ideology, you're not allowed to enter. So apparently it's okay to have border controls when they're running the world.

They're doing everything they profess to be against. Hilarious.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
@niteranger Along with the tech and social media companies, Hollywood, State Department, Department of Justice.
Some Guy sdfsdfs , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 8:59 am GMT
@Brian Reilly "anonymous, I have been encouraging cops to quit for a long time."

Dude, why? I don't want to get jacked by some thug or some immigrant policeman from Honduras. And I can't defend myself because it would be a hate crime.

Thank God for white cops.

peter mcloughlin , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:02 am GMT
There are underlying motives, or "hidden agendas", beneath the authentic struggle for justice. The greatest motive is for power: either to retain it or gain it. The need or desire for power can be identified in every conflict in history.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:23 am GMT
@Realist So you think that everything they've done to Trump has been one big show and he's been in on it? The pussy tape, Stormy Daniels, spying on his campaign, the leaking, the Steele Dossier, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, his impeachment, lying to the FISA Courts by the FBI, CIA's involvement, Mueller Report, DNC server, Clinton and Loretta Lynch on the tarmac, fake news media, sanctuary cities, courts disobeying his executive orders, Covid-19, protests – all of it has been a ruse to fool us into thinking that Trump is a legitimate opposition?

What, it's better to have the citizens split politically 50/50? That way there's never a majority who start throwing their weight around and making trouble for the elite looters? Keep the people fighting among each other and divided?

Trump has gone through all of this, but he's just faking it? Are we Truman from the Truman Show?

I guess you could be right, but what if you're not? What if Trump is actually an outsider? He's never really ever been part of the elite, not really. If he is truly an outsider, then these people have been a party to an attempted coup against a duly-elected President.

And if so, then that's sedition and they should hang.

Just a random Polish guy , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:35 am GMT
@PetrOldSack Trump is just a puppet, well maybe a bit more, of the part of the MIC and Deep State that apparently has a different agenda. This is not to say that they are "good people" but they seem to want to keep the US as a functioning republic and a major power. Maybe they have some plans re the other group(s) in the elites that are extremely dangerous for those groups. Which would explain why those groups ("globalists") want to remove those elements of influence people behind Trump get from the fact that he is the president. This explains why fake Covid-19 was so pumped by the media and when that apparently did not work they moved on to BLM "color revolution". It is interesting how all of this plays out, as it will decide the fate of the world. Ironically, Xi, Putin and other leaders that represent groups wanting to maintain (some) sovereignty of their states have a common enemy, even as their states are in competition, namely "globalist" elements within their own power structures.
James N. Kennett , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:39 am GMT
One of the goals of the British security service, MI5, is to control the leader or deputy leader of any subversive organisation larger than a football team. The same is likely true in every country.

The typical criticism of MI5 is that it is too passive, and does not use its knowledge to close down hostile groups. In Algeria, the opposite happened: the Algerian security service infiltrated the most extreme Islamist group in the 1990s and aggravated the country's civil war by committing massacres, with the goal of creating public revulsion for the Islamists.

This range of possibilities makes it hard to figure out what the Deep State and other manipulators are doing.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:47 am GMT
@Sean Frey is a weak Leftist. The equally weak Governor (another Leftie) needed to handle the situation. He didn't. Trump told him that the feds would help if he asked; he didn't.

This is all on the state and local governments. They did nothing except to tell the cops to stand down while the city got looted and burned.

If Trump had sent in the military, they would have screamed blue murder. They probably would have called for his impeachment. Of course, that's what they wanted Trump to do. Thank goodness Trump didn't fall for their trap.

Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 9:58 am GMT
So the NYT has joined the vanguard af the American People's Revolution?! People change sides and not all organisations are uniform, even the CIA. There has to be some organisation to these protests and whoever is providing it, I doubt the protesters are complaining, but want even more of it, and for it to be more effective, widespread and to grow. And finding protesters is no problem now or in the future considering the state of the economy, business closures, rising unemployment, expensive education. What are all these young people supposed to do? Sit at home playing video games, surfing porn, watching TV? Or go on a holiday? Now in these circumstances? I guess they're bored with all that so they may as well hit the streets and stay on the streets as they'll be on the streets anyway when they get evicted because they can't pay the rent. And as they're being impoverished they may as well steal what they can. And obviously they don't fear arrest and are happy to get a criminal record since even a clean sheet won't get them a job in the failing economy, and they know that. I'm sure many want a solution that will provide for their future. But who is providing it? So it's on them to create it. Of course politicians will want to use them and manipulate them for their own ends. And the elites, and the deep state too. And sure there are Jews in it as in anything. And sure they're fat, ugly, and degenerate – they're Americans reflecting their own society. But where it goes nobody knows
Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 10:12 am GMT
@Sean So the Chinks killed George Floyd, and not the cops. LOL.
animalogic , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 10:55 am GMT
@Mike Whitney "Is Antifa a group of deep state agitators? That's the question."
99% of them wouldn't have a clue as to any larger strategic direction. Sorry,
but to repeat myself: "useful idiots".
onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:01 am GMT
"Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?"

Well, duh! It seems likely that the entire George Floyd murder on camera was a staged event, its even possible that he/it was never really killed. See:

PSYOP? George Floyd "death" was faked by crisis actors to engineer revolutionary riots, video authors say

" Numerous videos are now surfacing that directly question the authenticity of the claimed "death" of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Several trending videos appear to reveal striking inconsistencies in the official explanations behind the reported death of Floyd. These videos appear to reinforce the idea that the George Floyd incident was, if not entirely falsified, most definitely planned and rigged in advance. It is already confirmed that the Obama Foundation was tweeting about George Floyd more than a week before he is claimed to have died. "

"Obviously, since Barack Obama doesn't own a time machine, the only way the Obama Foundation could have tweeted about George Floyd a week before his death is it the entire event was planned in advanced.

Note: We do not endorse every claim in each of the videos shown below, but we believe the public has the right to hear dissenting views that challenge the official narratives, and we believe public debate that incorporates views from all sides of a particular issue offers inherent merit for public discourse.

Numerous video authors are now spotting stunning inconsistencies in the viral videos that claim to show white cops murdering George Floyd in broad daylight. Without exception, these video authors, many of whom are black, believe:

at least one of the "police officers" was actually a hired crisis actor who has appeared in other staged events in recent years.

that the black man depicted in the viral videos is not, in fact, an individual named George Floyd.
that the responding medical personnel were not EMTs but were in fact mere crisis actors wearing police costumes.

Each of the video authors shown below reveals still images and video clips that they say support their claims. Here's an overview of some of the most intriguing videos and the summary of what those videos are saying: .":

https://jamesfetzer.org/2020/06/mike-adams-psyop-george-floyd-death-was-faked-by-crisis-actors-to-engineer-revolutionary-riots-video-authors-say/

Regards, onebornfree

animalogic , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:05 am GMT
@Mike Whitney I think you are correct Mike. IF blm got $100 million from anyone it follows that they are beholden -- & the only entities capable of such "generosity" are "establishment" it therefore follows that BLM are beholden (controlled) by the establishment ( .the deep state .)
Really No Shit , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:09 am GMT
Now the New York Times thinks that the black, brown, white and yellow lives are dispensable does it mean their own GRAY lives matter more to the rest of us? No, it does not!
Christophe GJ , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:09 am GMT

The scale and coordination alone suggests that elements in the deep state are probably involved.

It seems right and logical.
But what I don't understand, is why the deep state elite don't understand that in the end the collapse of the "traditional society" will touch them too in their private life. In the long run the ruining of the US will ruin everybody in the US including them. Don't they get it ? Maybe they are intoxicated by their own lies are are begining to lose their lucidity. Like Al Pacino intoxicated by his own coke in scarface.

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:10 am GMT
@obwandiyag Meanwhile, who's paying for BLM and Antifa?
Biff , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:22 am GMT
@JohnPlywood Triggered troll
animalogic , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:33 am GMT
@MrFoSquare What we need are some solid numbers:
How many arrested? (& who are they?)
How many properties destroyed?
Dollars worth of damage?
Which cities had the worst damage?
A social media "history" of protest/riot posting ?
Where/who are responsible for brick/frozen water bottle stashes?
Travel histories of notable offenders?
Links between "protesters" & the media ?
Money? Who/what/when/how was all this funded on a day-to-day basis.
And so on.
John Thurloe , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT
Mike Whitney doesn't know the first thing. It takes a lot of organizing time and personnel to properly prepare and lead in the field any large public protest. There are people experienced in this. Getting them together and deploying their capability is required.

These protests are classic unplanned, spontaneous actions. At least the first major wave of them. Only after some time will parties try to lead, organize. Or manipulate.

First thing, it's like trying to herd cats. So, you need marshals. Lots of them. Ably led, and clearly seen. Just to try and steer a protest down one street or to some point. You need first aid available, provision for seniors and children. Water. Knowledgeable people to deal with the media.

People who know what they're doing to deal with senior police. With city transit, buses, taxis. Hospitals, road construction, fire departments. A good protest cleans itself up too so provide the means for that. Loudspeakers, music – all this an more has to be organized. By some people.

And 100% of this or even a hint of organizing is not evident at these protests. And the evidence is easy to see. Organizers advertise too for volunteers. Everything in plain sight for those with eyes to see.

If you are stupid enough to think that some handful of fruitcakes from some official agency could even find their way to a protest, actually have a clue how to conduct themselves and not get laughed at or just ignored – there's no hope for you. You know nothing about protests and are pedalling fantasy.

Gryunt Linglebrunt, 7th Level Bard , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:13 pm GMT
@obwandiyag As usual, you're completely delusional. Most police departments are in the exact same boat as the municipalities that fund them: one downturn (like, say, a public lockdown followed by public disorder and looting) from going right to the wall.

There won't be any need to "defund" police; most of America's cities and towns are soon to be on the bread line, looking for those Ctrl-P federal dollars. Quarterly deficits of twenty trillion, here we come!

Uomiem , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm GMT
@Thomasina The power elite have different factions and they fight each other to a point, but they do not try to expose each other. This is why none of Trump enemies are going to be put in prison.

This is why Trump supports don't know what Genie Engery is, not that they would care.

The scum Trump appointed should tell you what side he's on.

Dr. X , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm GMT
I don't know if Antifa is run directly by the three-letter FedGov agencies. But I do know that the university is the breeding ground for these vermin, and all universities, even "private" ones, are largely funded by the governmnent, and are tax exempt.

So yes, the government is behind Antifa.

Niebelheim , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:42 pm GMT
@schnellandine The Hispanics in America are similar to waves of Italians in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, except the numbers are far larger and never ending, which impacts assimilation. The Hispanics are the ones doing the hard physical labor for low pay, and they are the ones in American society to invest in learning the skill to perform some of those backbreaking, low paying jobs well. They are the Super Marios of today. Many of them ply their trades as small businessmen. They are thankful for their jobs and the people they serve.
Many are loving, salt-of-the-earth type people who genuinely love their blanco friends. Howard Stern thinks their music sucks but at least they sing songs about el corazon, music of the heart and of love. (No one is comparable to the Italians in that department, but what do you suppose happened to the beautiful love music produced by black male vocalists as late as a generation ago?) Except for the fact that Hispanics come from countries with long traditions of corrupt, El Patron governments which unfortunately they want to enact here as a social safety net, they are often traditional in their attitudes about religion and family. Of course, they get in drunken brawls, abuse their women, and the graft and incompetence in their institutions can be outrageous. The reason they flee here is because the world they've created themselves in the shithole places they've leaving isn't as good as the West created by Caucasian cultures. The law abiding, decent family people I'm speaking of prosper alongside of whites and many come to recognize that whites and Hispanics can build a common destiny that's far preferable to the direction black agitators are taking blacks in America.
Realist , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm GMT
@Thomasina

So you think that everything they've done to Trump has been one big show and he's been in on it? The pussy tape, Stormy Daniels, spying on his campaign, the leaking, the Steele Dossier, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, his impeachment, lying to the FISA Courts by the FBI, CIA's involvement, Mueller Report, DNC server, Clinton and Loretta Lynch on the tarmac, fake news media, sanctuary cities, courts disobeying his executive orders, Covid-19, protests – all of it has been a ruse to fool us into thinking that Trump is a legitimate opposition?

Absolutely.

Keep the people fighting among each other and divided?

Yes, but the elite do not fear the majority they are in complete control through insouciance and stupidity on the majority.

I guess you could be right, but what if you're not? What if Trump is actually an outsider?

He's not his actions and inactions are impossible to logically explain away he is a minion of the Deep State.

Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:49 pm GMT
@botazefa Does either Trump or the GOP strike you as opposition when all they do is snivel. This operation is about demoralizing the silent majority.
Desert Fox , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT
The protest movement is directed and controlled by the same zionists who control the government and their goal is the destruction of America and they are being allowed to do the wrecking and destruction that they are doing, as this helps full fill the zionist communist takeover of America.

To see where this is leading read up on the bolshevik-communist revolution in Russia and the communist revolution in China and Cuba and Cambodia, and there is the future of America.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMT
@John Thurloe You are gullibility personified or a troll.
Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:02 pm GMT
@Christophe GJ They enjoy human suffering. Who knows maybe their compensation is linked to dead bodies. The deep state types will dwell in gate communities that will never be breached. The perks of owning both segments of the "opposition." As for the CIA's owners, a sharp depopulation has been their goal for some time. Why it has to be so ghoulish and prolong is anyone's guess.
Avalanche , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:06 pm GMT
@Brian Reilly "To the issue at hand, black people should only be policed, arrested, charged, prosecuted, defended, judged, and (if found guilty) punished by other blacks."

Yeah, some city tried that. To try to satisfy the "Get White police out of our neighborhoods" they did -- they re-orged and sent only black cops into black neighborhoods, and let the White cops police the White neighborhoods. And the BLACK POLICE SUED to end that! They were, they claimed (and legitimately, too!) being treated unfairly by making THEM police the most violent, the most dangerous, the most deadly neighborhoods, and "protecting" the White cops from that duty by letting only the White cops work the nice neighborhoods. They WON too!

This commenter gets it when he wrote the following. http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2015/05/will-last-white-person-to-leave.html

(note: "IKAGO" = "I know a good one." the all-too-often excuse from the unawakened!)
=====================
I don't mourn the loss of Baltimore. Or Detroit, Chicago, Gary, Atlanta, etc etc etc.

It is ultimately a huge benefit to have Negroes concentrated in these huge teeming Petri dishes.

As always I advocate the complete White withdrawal from these horrible urban sh_tholes, and as always I advocate that since Negroes do not want to be policed, to immediately stop policing them.

And to anyone who might be naive enough to say "hey, there are good people in those neighborhoods, who try to work and raise their kids, who obey the law and who abhor the lawlessness and rioting as much as anyone" . my response is that these same IKAGO's voted for a Negro president, for Negro mayors, Negro city council members, Negro police chiefs and Negro school superintendents, and now they are getting exactly what they deserve, good and effing hard.

I have ZERO sympathy for blacks.
=====================

And the new rule:
Remember when seconds count, the police are not even obligated to respond.

jadan , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:11 pm GMT
Of course "deep state elements" operate in protests! What A STUPID question, Whitney. All kinds of political tricksters, manipulators, provocateurs, idiots, fools, people suffering from ennui, you name it Mike, they're involved. And yes, the murder of the black man in Minneapolis was the trigger.

That's not the only cause of social unrest. There are lots of reasons that drive the displeasure of the mass of people and it's not the silly "deep state". Before you use that term, if you want any sort of salute from intelligent people, you need to define your terms. Or are just just waving a red flag so you can attract a bunch of stupid Trumpsters?

There's a whole lot of deep state out there, good buddy. Just examine the federal budget and whatever money you cannot assign to a particular institution or specific purpose, that is funding your your "deep state". It's billions and billions. But there is no Wizard of Oz behind the curtain to spend it all on nefarious purposes. Sure, the deep state destroyed the WTC and killed a few thousand people. These hidden operators can do things civilians can only imagine, but they cannot create movements, Whitney. You just can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Are you having a touch of brain degeneration, Mike, like dear autocrat in the White House?

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm GMT
A great article. While Trump may have some ties to the Deep State, I doubt very much that he is their puppet. He won the nomination because he was against some of the Deep States key policies. He even tried to implement his policies but mostly failed due to traitors in his administration and all the coordinated coup attempts.

One recent development that causes me to think that this article is spot on is the blatant attacks by retired generals and even currently serving generals against a sitting president. Even Defense Sec. Esper (the Raytheon lobbyist) criticized Trump's comments on the Insurrection Act, which was totally unnecessary since Trump only said that he had the authority to use it.

The coordinated criticism of the generals just reminds me of how similar it is to the coordinated effort by the CIA, FBI, State Department and NSA to use the Russiagate hoax and impeachment hoax to remove Trump. The riots, the money funneled from BLM to Biden 2020, support of Antifa by the MSM and the generals treasonous actions are not coincidences.

the_old_one , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm GMT
I'm surprised by the generally low level of the responses.

Mr. Whitney:

There haven't been 'millions' of protestors, maybe some thousands.
Please list the "valid grievances" that negros hold concerning the cops; are the cops supposed to raise black IQ? These riots need to be suppressed pronto; don't waste your time waiting for the fat orange buffoon to do anything.

Negros have no 'communities', and never will.

I'm wondering why Mr. Unz thinks he is required to let leftists like Whitney post here.

(1)-There is a 'deep state'
(2)-(1) does NOT imply that negros are a noble race.

You may now resume sympathizing with rioters.

Justvisiting , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
@botazefa The international protests are what is called a _clue_.

Protesting white supremacy in Japan–really?

https://globalnews.ca/news/7064204/george-floyd-protesters-japan-new-zealand/

This is obviously international deep state activity–they are up to no good.

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:11 pm GMT
@Thomasina CHAZ sounds a bit like a second Israel, doesn't it!
anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:18 pm GMT
The opening statement is quite true. They've apparently been organizing under the radar for some years now. Diversity is our greatest weakness and these fissures that run through the country can be exploited. Blacks have been weaponized and used as the spearpoint along with the more purposeful real Antifa (lots of wannabes walking around clad in black). Everything has really been well coordinated and the Gene Sharp playbook followed. These 'color revolution' employees are actually all over the globe, funded by various front groups and NGOs. The money trail often leads to various billionaires like the ubiquitous Soros but people like that may just be acting as fronts themselves. Supposed leftists working against the interests of the value producing working class?
onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT
@onebornfree ATTENTION!

The George Floyd murder was a obviously a wholly staged Deep State event, complete with the usual crisis actors, as this video summary clearly illustrates :

Bitchute video "CRISIS ACTOR TRIGGERS RACE WAR":


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/OItT0WD55x0w/

Regards., onebornfree

Neoconned , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT
CHP officers & feds were noted at the Occupy protests in 2011:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/26/occupy-oakland-veteran-critical-condition

And later during the 2016 BLM protests.

Johnny Smoggins , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm GMT
@Brian Reilly "To the issue at hand, black people should only be policed, arrested, charged, prosecuted, defended, judged, and (if found guilty) punished by other blacks. No white person should have anything to do with it. "

And when these same blacks attack or steal from a White person, which they often do, do you think they'll get a just punishment from their fellow blacks or a high five?

The solution to the black problem is complete separation, there is no other way.

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm GMT
@John Thurloe The protests may well have been spontaneous and sincere, but the riots are not. The latter are definitely getting help from above.
gay troll , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Mike Whitney But why do you assume the CIA wants to get rid of Trump? Isn't that tantamount to judging a book by its cover? Americans have been on to the evil shenanigans of the intelligence community for decades. Trump is nothing more than controlled opposition and a false sense of security for "patriots". One needs look no further than the prognostications of Q to see that Trump is the beneficiary of deep state propaganda. The CIA's modus operandi, together with the rest of the IC, is to deceive. So if they appear to be doing one thing (fighting Trump) you can be sure they intend the opposite.

Americans are nose deep in false dichotomies, and Trump is a pole par excellence. Despite his flagrant history as an NYC liberal, putative fat cat, swindler, and network television superstar, he is now depicted as either a populist outsider, or a literal Nazi. The simple fact is that he is an actor and confidence artist. He is playing a role, and he is playing to both sides of the aisle, and his work is to deceive the entirety of the American public, together with the mockingbird media, which is merely the yin to his pathetic yang.

Too many Americans think they have a choice, or a chance, by simply minding their own business, consuming their media of choice, and voting. In fact, Americans are face to face with the end of their history, as the country has been systematically looted for decades, and will soon be demolished as it is no longer profitable to the oligarchs who manage the globe. Obama-Trump is a 1-2 knockout punch.

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:27 pm GMT
@Uomiem That's a good point, and it's of the main problems I do have with Trump: his cabinet picks and financial backers (Adelsen, Singer, et al.). But in fairness, what happens when he tries to pick someone who's not approved by the system? Well, if they're cabinet officers, they'll never get approved by the senate. And even if they're not, they will be driven out of the White House somehow–just like Gen. Flynn and Steve Bannon. In short, when it comes to staffing, Trump's choices are limited by the same swamp he's fighting. Sad but true
Chet Roman , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:27 pm GMT
@Thomasina Interesting comments by the Duran but I cannot find any evidence of a direct investment by the CIA in Facebook. The CIA's investment arm, In-Q-Tel, did invest in early Facebook investor Peter Theil's company Palantir and other companies. Also, Graylock Partners were also early investors in Facebook along with Peter Theil and the head of Graylock is Howard Cox who served on In-Q-Tel's board of directors. But these are indirect inferences.

Unlike the clear and direct investment of the CIA in the company that was eventually purchased by Google and is now called Google Earth, I can't find any evidence of a direct investment by the CIA in Facebook. I have no doubt it's true since it's a perfect tool for data gathering. Do you have any direct evidence of such an investment?

Beavertales , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm GMT
Is the Deep State stage-managing the "BLM" protests to further an agenda? Absolutely.

The main influence of the Deep State is felt in its complete dominance of the controlled media.

Like mantras handed down by the commissars, the mainstream media keep repeating key phrases to narrowly define what's happening: "mostly peaceful protests", "anti-black racism".

The media is an organ of the Deep State. The Deep State will decide when the protests will end, and when that day arrives, the media will suddenly pivot on cue like a school of fish or a flock of birds.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm GMT
Perhaps some non believers in the Deep State would like to explain why the multi trillion dollar corporations in America are supporting BLM, Antifa and other anarchy groups since on the face of it anarchy would be antithetical to these corporations?

Hint: The wealthy and powerful (aka Deep State) know that anarchy divides a populous thereby removing their ability to resist their true enemy and even more draconian laws. The die is being cast at this moment and the complete subjugation of the American people will, probably, be effectuate by the end of this year. A full court press is under way and life is about to change for 99% of the American people.
If you disagree with my hint correct it.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm GMT
@gay troll

Too many Americans think they have a choice, or a chance, by simply minding their own business, consuming their media of choice, and voting. In fact, Americans are face to face with the end of their history, as the country has been systematically looted for decades, and will soon be demolished as it is no longer profitable to the oligarchs who manage the globe. Obama-Trump is a 1-2 knockout punch.

Your points are excellent. All tragic, devastating events in the last, at least, 20 years have been staged or played to facilitate the total control by the Deep State.

See my comment #90 below.

DaveE , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT
The problem is power – and the nature of those who lust for it. The police are very powerful, by necessity and the nature of police work is the exercise of power – on the street.

Not to mention the fact that police forces, like every other institution, are managed from the top. Sgt. Bernstein back at the station calls the shots, gets to decide who is hired / fired and generally runs the department like a CEO runs a company. Not all cops are rotten, but if Sgt. Bernstein is a scumbag, the whole department tends to behave as a scumbag.

I'll give you two guesses, the second one doesn't count, as to which tribe of psychopaths – who call themselves "chosen" – have mastered the art of playing both sides against the middle, using the police as a very powerful tool to accomplish an ancient agenda of world-domination, straight out of The Torah.

The police are just another sad story of the destruction of America, by Shlomo.

James Scott , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm GMT
@Mike Whitney Any explanation that ignores that the catalyst for what is happening is the Federal Reserve Notes free fall is not a good explanation.

This is a failed Communist Putsch. The people pushing it have enough control of major cities to keep it alive but not enough to push it into the heartland. 400 million guns and a few billion bullets are protecting freedom in the USA just like they were intended to.

All failed communist revolutions end in fascism taking power. The Yahoo news comments sections are way to big to censor properly and they are already taking on a Fascist tone with almost half the posters. This is only just beginning and most people are beginning to understand that these lies non whites tell about the fake systemic racism are too dangerous to go unchallenged. The idea that the protests ,the protests not the riots, have no foundation in truth is starting to work its way to the forefront of white peoples minds.

Non whites are coddled by the establishment in the USA and no real racists have any power in the USA so this whole thing is and has been for 50 years based on lies.

The jew mob is going to lose all their economic power over the next year or so as the Fed Note hyper-inflates. The mob knows this and made a grab for ideological power using low IQ ungrateful non whites they have been inculcating with anti white ideals for decades as their foot soldiers.

They are screwed because the places they control are parasitic just like they are. Cities are full of people making nothing and pretty much just doing service jobs for each other. All the things needed to keep cities going come from outside the cities and the jew mob is not in charge in the places that actually produce things. Not like they are in the cities anyway.

Ignoring the currency rises makes you dishonest Mike.

Alfred , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm GMT
I think the leadership and tactics of the police are deplorable. I can only surmise that the local political leadership in many cities is on the inside of this latest scam.

The police should be able to launch attacks on the crowd to single out those who are Antifa activists. That is what the riot police in France would do. They should try to ignore the rabble behind which these activists are sheltering.

By remaining on the defensive and without using the element of surprise to capture these activists, the police are sitting ducks.

My dad told me what it was like in Cairo when the centre of the city was destroyed in 1952. I was tiny at that time and remember my mother carrying me. We watched Cairo burning in the distance. We were on the roof of the huge house of my Egyptian grandfather in Heliopolis.

The looters and arsonists were well-equipped. It was not by any means spontaneous. They smashed the locks on the draw-down shutters of the shops with sledge hammers. Next, they looted the shop. Lastly, they tossed in Molotov cocktails. The commercial heart of Cairo was largely destroyed in a few hours. Cinemas and the Casino were burnt. Cairo was a very pleasant metropolis in those days. It became prosperous during WW2 by supplying the Allies.

My family's small factory was in the very centre of Cairo – in Abbassia. My father rounded up his workers to defend the factory. Many lived on the premises. They were all tough Sa'idi from Upper Egypt. Many were Coptic Christians. They all had large staffs that they knew how to use. The arsonists and looters kept well clear.

Cairo fire 1952

SunBakedSuburb , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Priss Factor "Jewish cult of Magic Negro"

The Temple of the Sacred Black Body is really a worship of golems.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:03 pm GMT
JUNE 9, 2020 CityLab University: A Timeline of U.S. Police Protests

The latest protests against police violence toward African Americans didn't appear out of nowhere. They're rooted in generations of injustice and systemic racism.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2020/06/american-history-protest-police-brutality-black-lives-racism/612445/

Jun 2, 2020 Brick Pallets For Riots From ACME BRICK CO Own By Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett & Bill Gates

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VqhgO9Dz7Rc?feature=oembed

Wally , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:05 pm GMT
@Sean said:
"While it is a possibility that whites could lose control of their society, and see it fall into the hands of an explicitly anti -[r]acist elite/ minorities alliance,"

"Anti-racist?

The entire matter is "explicit" racism directed against Euro-whites.

SunBakedSuburb , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:16 pm GMT
@gay troll "But why do you assume the CIA wants to get rid of Trump?"

John Brennan collaborated with James Comey on the Russian collusion narrative. Brennan is indicative of the upper-echelon CIA and its orientation towards the globalist billionaire class.

Wizard of Oz , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Loup-Bouc Maybe you also noticed that the opening pages of the article suggested that the author was unhinged when he made so much of an alleged editorial in the NYT which wasn't an editorial but an opinion piece by an activist. And what about the spontaneous eruptions of protest all round the world? Masterminded by the US "Deep State"? Absurd.

Mr. Whitney may have got to an age when he can no longer understand the young and their latest fashionable fatuities and follies.

jbwilson24 , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:47 pm GMT
@obwandiyag " The assholes on this asshole site will not let you say that what is important is how the super-billionaires control us. "

Nonsense, I rant against the largely Jewish super-billionaires all the time.

Truth is that blacks and working class whites are in relatively similar positions compared to the 1%. We should be seeking alliances with people like Rev. Farrakhan, but instead, for some curious reason, big Jewish money is pouring into keeping racial grievances alive and kicking. It looks very much like a divide and conquer strategy.

Where did the antiwar and Occupy Wall Street movements go after Obama's election? My guess is that the financial elite saw the danger of having OWS ask questions about the bailouts, so they devoted a ton of time and energy into pushing racial grievance politics, gender neutral bathrooms and the like. Their co-ethnics in the media collaborated with them in making sure only one perspective made the news.

PS: if you don't like the website, simply avoid visiting it. Trust me, no one will miss your inane posts.

Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 4:52 pm GMT
@JohnPlywood

"90% of Americans are unlikely to even see more than ten black people in their entire lives."

I sure hope you're talking about IRL, because I see more than ten black people in any commercial break on any TV show on any cable or network TV station every hour of every day. In fact, it's at least 50/50 B/W and it feels more like 60/40 B/W. And it's always the blacks who are in charge, the whites spill chips all over the kitchen floor

JimDandy , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:05 pm GMT
After all the nonsensical rumors that this guy was a cop fell away, why didn't anyone look at this guy in the context that this article explores?

https://heavy.com/news/2020/05/jacob-pederson-auto-zone-cop-not-umbrella-man/

gay troll , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
@SunBakedSuburb 15 seasons of The Apprentice on NBC is indicative of Trump's orientation towards the globalist billionaire class. It sure was nice of NBC to thus rehabilitate Trump's image after it became clear he was a cheat who could not even hold down a casino. From fake wrestler to fake boardroom CEO, Trump has ALWAYS been made for TV.

As for Russiagate, it was a transparent crock of shit from the moment Clapper sent his uncorrobated assertions under the aegis of "17 intelligence agencies". You assume the point of the charade was to "get Trump", but really Russiagate was designed to deceive "liberals" just as Q was designed to deceive "conservatives". It is the appearance of conflict that serves to divide Americans into two camps who both believe the other is at fault for all of society's ills. In fact, it is the Zionists and bankers who are to blame for society's ills, and like the distraction of black vs. white, Democrat vs. Republican keeps everybody's attention away from the real chauvinists and criminals.

Brás Cubas , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:31 pm GMT
@Sean Well, I can't deny that yours is an extremely original interpretation. It sure made me think. I can't say I'm convinced, though it doesn't seem to have any conspicuous a priori inconsistency with facts. I guess time will tell.
schnellandine , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
@JimDandy

After all the nonsensical rumors that this guy was a cop

The alleged nonsensical rumors were that he was a specific cop. The sensible assumption was that he was a cop or similar state sludge.

Alden , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:40 pm GMT
@Realist Agree. Someone posted he had a friend at Minneapolis airport. Incoming planes were full of antifa types the day after Floyd died.

They are very well organized. They are notorious around universities. Well, not universities in dangerous black neighborhoods. They live like students in crowded apartments and organize all their movements. Plenty of dumb kids to recruit. Plenty of downwardly mobile White grads who can't get jobs or into grad s hook because they're White. Those Whites go into liberal rabble rousing instead of rabble rousing against affirmative action, so brainwashed are they. Portland is a college town. That's why antifa is so well organized there. Seattle's a college town too as is Chicago.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:41 pm GMT

Do Deep State Elements Operate Within the Protest Movement?

Silly question. Of course, they do. Just look at the MSM coverage, full of blatant lies.

Iva , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 5:49 pm GMT
Why ANTIFA doesn't loot banks, doesn't stand in front od Soros home, JPMorgan headquarters, big corporations, Bezos business .etc? Because rich are paying for riots ..the same way they payed to support Hitler during WWII.
anon8383892 , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 6:06 pm GMT
@Anon Thanks for highlighting the complex racial politics -- in this case between Hispanics and Africans. That was something Ron Unz got right as well -- independently of the numerology -- in the other article; basically saying that there have been a lot of various social-engineering projects going on.
Naturally I'm liable for everything else you said ;/ no comment, no contest,

I think it will be alright if we can get back to basics, natural rights, republican representative organization, pluralism, etc The corporate nightmare has everyone crammed into a vat of human resources. Undo that, see how it goes, then take it from there.

Alden , says: Show Comment June 15, 2020 at 6:11 pm GMT
@Mike Whitney The reason most of the rioters arrested were native New Yorkers is that they were the useful idiots designated fall guys.

The organizers are adept at changing clothes hats and sunglasses. Their job is to get things started by smashing windows of a Nike's store and running away letting a few looters be arrested.

I remember something written by an Indian communist, not Indian nationalist How To Start a Riot in the 1920s.

1 Start rumors about abuse of Indians by British.
2. Decide where to start the riots.
3 Best place is in the open air markets around noon. The merchants will have collected substantial money. The local lay abouts will be up and about.
4 Instigators start fights with the merchants raid cash boxes overturn tables and the riot is on.

The ancient Roman politicians started riots that way. It's standard procedure in every country in every era. All this fuss and discussion by the idiot intelligentsia is ridiculous as is everything the idiot intelligentsia thinks, writes and does.

We Americans experience a black riot every few years, just as we experience floods, droughts, blizzards , earthquakes, forest fires, tornadoes floods and hurricanes.

As long as we have blacks and liberal alleged intellectuals we'll have riots.

[Jun 15, 2020] Ending Emergency Unemployment Insurance Supplements

Jun 15, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. anne , June 14, 2020 4:47 pm

    https://cepr.net/ending-emergency-unemployment-insurance-supplements/

    June 10, 2020

    Ending Emergency Unemployment Insurance Supplements
    By DEAN BAKER

    The Republicans have been working hard to ensure that the $600 weekly supplement to unemployment insurance benefits, which was put in place as part of the pandemic rescue package, is not extended beyond the current July 31 cutoff. They argue that we need people to return to work.

    They do have a point. The supplement is equivalent to pay of $15 an hour for someone working a 40-hour week, and this is in addition to a regular benefit that is typically equal to 40 to 50 percent of workers' pay. The supplement translates into an even larger hourly pay rate for workers putting in shorter workweeks, which was the case for most laid off workers in the restaurant and retail sectors.

    It is hard for employers in traditionally low paying sectors to match these pay rates. Even those of us who are big proponents of higher minimum wages would not advocate a jump to more than $20 an hour at a point when businesses are crippled by the pandemic.

    However, there is also the point that we don't want workers to have to expose themselves to the coronavirus. That was the reason for the generous supplement. We wanted to make sure that workers, who in many cases were legally prevented from working, did not suffer as a result.

    There is an obvious solution here. Suppose we reduce or end the supplement in areas where the pandemic is under control.

    This would not be determined by some Trumpian declaration that the pandemic is over, but by solid data. The obvious metric would be positive test rates. Suppose that the supplement was reduced or eliminated in states or counties where the positive test rate is less than 5 percent. (This may not be the right rate.) This would mean that workers going back to work would face relatively little risk of contracting the virus. It would also give states incentive to conduct vigorous testing programs, as well as other control measures, in order to get their positive rates down.

    Our unemployment insurance system is badly broken and it would be desirable to have more generous benefits, and also to focus more on work sharing, as other countries have done. We can recognize this point and still agree that an arbitrary supplement to all benefits is not the right long-term fix even if it was very good policy in the pandemic.

[Jun 09, 2020] Galbraith 'Disillusion' Is America's One Big Growth Sector Right Now

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential. ..."
"... America's economic plight is structural. It is not simply the consequence of Trump's incompetence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's poor political strategy. It reflects systemic changes over 50 years that have created an economy based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts. This economy was in many ways prosperous, and it provided jobs and incomes to many millions. Yet it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down. ..."
Jun 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In the 1960s, the US had a balanced economy that produced goods for both businesses and households, at all levels of technology, with a fairly small (and tightly regulated) financial sector. It produced largely for itself, importing mainly commodities.

Today, the US produces for the world, mainly advanced investment goods and services, in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, arms, oilfield services, and finance. And it imports far more consumer goods, such as clothing, electronics, cars, and car parts, than it did a half-century ago.

And whereas cars, televisions, and household appliances drove US consumer demand in the 1960s, a much larger share of domestic spending today goes (or went) to restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, gyms, salons, coffee shops, and tattoo parlors, as well as college tuition and doctor's visits. Tens of millions of Americans work in these sectors.

Finally, American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000, and spending increases since 2010 were powered by rising personal and corporate debts. House values are now stagnant at best, and will likely fall in the months ahead.

Mainstream economics pays little attention to such structural questions. Instead, it assumes that business investment responds mostly to the consumer, whose spending is dictated equally by income and desire. The distinction between "essential" and "superfluous" does not exist. Debt burdens are largely ignored.

But demand for many US-made capital goods now depends on global conditions. Orders for new aircraft will not recover while half of all existing planes are grounded. At current prices, the global oil industry is not drilling new wells. Even at home, though existing construction projects may be completed, plans for new office towers or retail outlets won't be launched soon. And as people commute less, cars will last longer, so demand for them (and gasoline) will suffer.

Faced with radical uncertainty, US consumers will save more and spend less. Even if the government replaces their lost incomes for a time, people know that stimulus is short term. What they do not know is when the next job offer – or layoff – will come along.

Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential.

Meanwhile, US household debts – rent, mortgage, and utility arrears, as well as interest on education and car loans – have continued to mount. True, stimulus checks have helped: defaults have so far been modest, and many landlords have been accommodating. But as people face long periods with lower incomes, they will continue to hoard funds to ensure that they can repay their fixed debts. As if all this were not enough, falling sales- and income-tax revenues are prompting US state and local governments to cut spending, compounding the loss of jobs and incomes.

America's economic plight is structural. It is not simply the consequence of Trump's incompetence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's poor political strategy. It reflects systemic changes over 50 years that have created an economy based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts. This economy was in many ways prosperous, and it provided jobs and incomes to many millions. Yet it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down.

"Reopen America" is therefore an economic and political fantasy. Incumbent politicians crave a cheery growth rebound, and the depth of the collapse makes possible some attractive short-term numbers. But taking them seriously will merely set the stage for a new round of disillusion. As nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality show, disillusion is America's one big growth sector right now.

[Jun 04, 2020] Neoliberalism WTF: Neoliberal Capitalism from Ronald Reagan to the Gig Economy by Tom Nicholas

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Unregulated capitalism is the fastest way to get monopoly's and corruption. Just like big money in governments. ..."
"... The best I've heard it defined loosely is "the idea to extend market practices to more and more human spheres of life" ..."
Sep 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Neoliberalism (or neoliberal capitalism) is a term which gets thrown around a lot in cultural and political discourse. Is it often used to describe the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s and 1980s and the subsequent premierships of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair and the adjective "neoliberal" continues to be used as a derogatory phrase in the ongoing Democratic debates in the US.

Yet it is also used with reference to the "gig economy" and services such as Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb. Is neoliberalism, then, simply a synonym for capitalism or is there more to it than that? In this "neoliberalism explained" video, I aim to answer just that. In this month's episode of What the Theory, I unpack what we mean when we talk about neoliberalism.

From the early work of economists such as Milton Friedman (author of Capitalism and Freedom), Friedrich von Hayek (author of The Road to Serfdom) and the Mont Pelerin Society, through its implementation by Reagan and Thatcher to its infliction upon countries in the global south as described in The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, I undertake a brief history of free-market capitalism and consider some of its consequences.

Support me on Patreon at http://patreon.com/tomnicholas

Further Reading

[The above are affiliate links. I receive a small kickback from anything you buy which, in turn, helps to support the channel.]

If you've enjoyed this video and would like to see more including my What The Theory? series in which I provide some snappy introductions to key theories in the humanities as well as PhD vlogs in which I talk about some of the challenges of being a PhD student then do consider subscribing.

Thanks for watching! Twitter: @Tom_Nicholas Website: www.tomnicholas.com #neoliberalism #Reagan #gigeconomy


Timothy Lee , 8 months ago

Neoliberalism is human arrogance to the extreme. It speeds up globe disharmony that will ultimately cause the extinction of the species. Mans greed will be it's own end. cheers

Trudox , 8 months ago

So if the welfare state of the post war period was a means of stabilizing labour and capital relations and neoliberalism seeks to destroy that and has its ideological roots in 19th century liberalism, does that mean we're going to witness the mass poverty and precarization of that same period again?

Marco , 8 months ago

Unregulated capitalism is the fastest way to get monopoly's and corruption. Just like big money in governments.

D-Squared , 8 months ago

Your presentation style gives me a slight vibe of "guy talking to a room full of children about how cool bugs are," which I do mean as a complement Anyway yeah good stuff I like it

B. Greene , 8 months ago (edited)

Being someone who is old enough to clearly remember the pre-Reagan/ Thatcher era, I always feel badly for those who have never known life outside of this neoliberal dystopian nightmare that we find ourselves in. Back then people talked a lot about "intrinsic worth"; that a human life, a species, or a special place (natural or historic) has a value far beyond what money could buy, and should therefore be protected.

Fairness was always a consideration; if an employee did a good job and was loyal to the company for a number of years, then the company owners gave them extra paid vacation, a pension, a Christmas bonus, and a gold watch on retirement to show their appreciation.

A 10% profit for the year was considered satisfactory and sustainable, unlike today, where stockholders demand increasing returns at the expense of employees, product quality, etc. If a company sold toxic or dangerous products, or mistreated employees, an expose would be done on 60 minutes and that company would either fold, or pay damages. The well being of citizens and the environment was the first consideration (at least outside of the military industrial complex and fossil fuel companies), and anyone who put profits before all else was viewed as favorably as a KKK grand wizard is today. It's amazing what 38 years of pro-neoliberal Ayn Randian propaganda has done to the world. We'll likely drive ourselves to an early extinction because of it, and knowing this, the Oligarchy searches for new ways to profit from out impending demise. Madness!

Derek Anderson , 8 months ago (edited)

Yes, please do a video on the gig economy. I am also interested to hear your thoughts on neoliberalism's attack on education. New subscriber... love the channel! Look forward to seeing more!

Chameleon Firestorm , 8 months ago

Neoliberalism is explicitly different from Classical Liberalism, which is why they are distinguished by the prefix... Adam Smith's theories for example are completely incompatible with neoliberal theory.

B. Levin , 8 months ago (edited)

Another very interesting video. I do think there is some missing context on: Cold War, Decolonization, Decline of traditional Communism in 1980s, defeat of traditional Communism in 1990's. To be fair, I don't think your narrative would change much or at all with the other context pieces included. It would just provided the "more complete" picture on neoliberalism. Very thoughtful analysis overall. Well done.

Christie Brooks , 8 months ago

I would love videos on the Gig Economy and the implementation of neoliberal ideas across the global south

Ender Wiggin , 8 months ago

Huh, seems like Hayek's group recuperated the leftist language and sentiment of discontent for its right wing purposes in the 70's

Demiurge Shadow , 8 months ago

The best ive heard it defined loosely is "the idea to extend market practices to more and more human spheres of life" As if thats worked well with housing, prisons, and politics...

Andrea Dovizioso , 8 months ago

I was researching on Gramsci and I watched your video only because I couldn't find anything on the more popular channels and wasn't so sure if I wanted to click on it or just let go and read an article on Gramsci or something. Casually scrolled through your content and now watching your latest upload. This is what I've been looking for, for so long. You've got almost everything I'm interested in and I like your way of explaining things. Instantly subscribed. Keep up the good work man!

Moaz Abdelrahman , 8 months ago

I know that what you've drawn upon is quite similar to Heide Gerstenberger's argument on how capitalism changed and came in different guises (2007), but, and forgive me if I'm mistaken, the literary and philosophical background of neoliberalism are nothing but a misunderstanding of liberalism, specifically Adam Smith, as they forget, or neglect, that he was concerned with moral philosophy and his "the invisible hand" was a mere metaphor that he mentioned only once in The Wealth of Nation. I just wanted to add this point as it is important regarding the fallacies of the literature of neoliberalism. I love your channel. My students will have a new video to watch this semester. Good luck and I'm waiting for your gig economy episode. Keep it up bruv!

Jay McDanieL , 8 months ago

If you watched Wall St. & thought Gordon Gecko was the hero of the story. You are a NeoLiberal

[Jun 03, 2020] RussiaGate for neoliberal Dems and MSM honchos is the way to avoid the necessity to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[Jun 02, 2020] What Was Liberalism #3 Neoliberalism Philosophy Tube

Highly recommended!
The author of this video, if you looks at his other video is pretty bizarre and way outside Softpanorama preferences. But this is a very good, highly compressed analyses.
Notable quotes:
"... Liberalism for the poor: "Too bad, personal responsibility" Liberalism for the rich: "All is forgiven, society will pay the bill" ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Xadion , 10 months ago

Neoliberalism: how to be a sociopath and feel good about it.

Tambourine , 2 years ago

The great thing about neoliberalism is that it allows us to blame every single structural problem of our society on either personal failures or too much government.

Elijah Golafale , 2 years ago

To paraphrase Noam Chomsky: "Neoliberalism isn't liberal and, it isn't new"

Super Sand Gaki Super Sand , 1 year ago

>Maggie Thatcher in the thumbnail spits on the screen

Kiloku2 , 2 years ago

The oddest thing I find when arguing with ancaps and neolibs is when I talk about wage-slavery. How the bus driver who gets paid minimum wage and has to work 12h/day in harsh conditions to simply put some bread on their family's table the next morning is basically impeded to seek anything else, and how proper welfare would allow them to at least guarantee a better future for their kids.

The response is that the bus driver "is free" and "chooses" to be a wage-slave, because there is the alternative of not working and dying of hunger.

(They literally said that. Their idea of freedom is that you can choose to die if you don't want to be work terrible conditions because you weren't born into a middle-class family)

cody , 2 years ago

I got the most excited when you insulted neoliberalism immediately.

The Hunter x Hunter 2011 Dickriding Association , 2 years ago

It's all personal responsibility until you are the one that needs help XD

Grace M , 2 years ago (edited)

As a disabled person I'm really glad you talked about disability and it's relation to neoliberalism as many people often forget about how important a point it is. I am not free as a disabled person under neoliberalism/capitalism. This is just a true statement regardless of your view point. Even with the class privilege I have from having had a relatively middle class upbringing I am still trapped. I'm 19 and in university and my family mostly look after me but what will happen when I inevitably have to move out?

Will I be completely reliant on benefits (which are often not enough to live on?) Will I be working in a part time job where I'm constantly in pain and tired barely able to pay rent? Will my house be accessible? And with all these worries will I ever live a meaningful life? Or will I be living pay check to pay check in debt (after the NHS is privatised) and with pain my entire life?

I know everybody has worries but I feel like it's more intensified when you have a disability. I've been worrying about this stuff since I was just entering high school and it is crushingly real and personal. If every person with a disability has to go through this I completely understand the suicide statistics - why would I live in a world that hates me? I'm sorry to be so depressing but this is why I hate when people dismiss it as "just a political opinion" or "not personal." It absolutely is personal. Thank you for bringing this stuff to people's attention - really enjoy your videos! Keep up the good work

UnderdogRecords91 , 1 year ago

Liberalism for the poor: "Too bad, personal responsibility" Liberalism for the rich: "All is forgiven, society will pay the bill"

Josiah Finnemore , 2 years ago (edited)

Welfare reduces freedom, because it prevents you from being able to choose between having a place to live and having access to healthcare, and instead forces you to have both. /s

Brandon , 2 years ago (edited)

I think the primary problem with neoliberalism is simply that it ignores class realities. It ignores the material differences and power imbalances between employers and wage workers and the fact that liberal society contains a ruling class that will always defend its interest against the masses, and how the ruling class propagates the suffering and misery of the lower class.

onlinealiasuk , 2 years ago (edited)

0:29 ''a garbage idea for garbage Humans' is that a shout out for Sargon

Vis Inebrians , 1 year ago

"nowadays 'economic benefits' basically means rich people getting richer and everyone else working harder"

Lovs , 2 years ago

TIL Sargon is a neoliberal.

KOKO ** , 10 months ago

"Choose with your dollars" My father lives where the ONLY general store for MANY miles is a Wal-mart. Just how much freaking frakkin choice is THAT?!?🤯🤯

Michael Gutierrez , 2 years ago

I love that Prager "U" is the ad for this content.

matt & LDN , 1 year ago

Neoliberalism doesn't like the intervention of the state until the go bankrupt and ask the state to bail them with taxpayers money

Abuse of mainstream media can harm your mind! , 1 year ago

"When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will you realize that one cannot eat money." Quote of victims of a genocide nobody talks about ..

JulesSpeaksWithWords , 2 years ago

You look like a put together British version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

beauson1983 , 1 year ago

I feel that most of this video was recorded through clenched teeth with many, many breaks for screaming in frustration

[May 23, 2020] China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3

Highly recommended!
May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48).

It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

Those liberal clowns were never close.

[May 16, 2020] Putin's Call For A New System and the 1944 Battle Of Bretton Woods

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Our Job in the Pacific ..."
"... "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking." ..."
"... General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money ..."
"... "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires." ..."
May 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

On the one side, figures allied to American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's vision for an anti-Imperial world order lined up behind FDR's champion Harry Dexter White while those powerful forces committed to maintaining the structures of a bankers' dictatorship (Britain was always primarily a banker's empire) lined up behind the figure of John Maynard Keynes[ 1 ].

John Maynard Keynes was a leading Fabian Society controller and treasurer of the British Eugenics Association (which served as a model for Hitler's Eugenics protocols before and during the war). During the Bretton Woods Conference, Keynes pushed hard for the new system to be premised upon a one world currency controlled entirely by the Bank of England known as the Bancor. He proposed a global bank called the Clearing Union to be controlled by the Bank of England which would use the Bancor (exchangeable with national currencies) and serve as unit of account to measure trade surpluses or deficits under the mathematical mandate of maintaining "equilibrium" of the system.

Harry Dexter White, on the other hand, fought relentlessly to keep the City of London out of the drivers' seat of global finance and instead defended the institution of national sovereignty and sovereign currencies based on long term scientific and technological growth.

Although White and FDR demanded that US dollars become the reserve currency in the new world system of fixed exchange rates, it was not done to create a "new American Empire" as most modern analysts have assumed, but rather was designed to use America's status as the strongest productive global power to ensure an anti-speculative stability among international currencies which entirely lacked stability in the wake of WWII.

Their fight for fixed exchange rates and principles of "parity pricing" were designed by FDR and White strictly around the need to abolish the forms of chaotic flux of the un-regulated markets which made speculation rampant under British Free Trade and destroyed the capacity to think and plan for the sort of long term development needed to modernize nation states. Theirs was not a drive for "mathematical equilibrium" but rather a drive to "end poverty" through REAL physical economic growth of colonies who would thereby win real economic independence.

As figures like Henry Wallace (FDR's loyal Vice President and 1948 3rd party candidate), Representative Wendell Wilkie (FDR's republican lieutenant and New Dealer), and Dexter White all advocated repeatedly, the mechanisms of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations were meant to become drivers of an internationalization of the New Deal which transformed America from a backwater cesspool in 1932 to becoming a modern advanced manufacturing powerhouse 12 years later. All of these Interntional New Dealers were loud advocates of US-Russia –China leadership in the post war world which is a forgotten fact of paramount importance.

In his 1944 book Our Job in the Pacific , Wallace said:

It is vital to the United States, it is vital to China and it is vital to Russia that there be peaceful and friendly relations between China and Russia, China and America and Russia and America. China and Russia Complement and supplement each other on the continent of Asia and the two together complement and supplement America's position in the Pacific.

Contradicting the mythos that FDR was a Keynesian, FDR's assistant Francis Perkins recorded the 1934 interaction between the two men when Roosevelt told her:

"I saw your friend Keynes. He left a whole rigmarole of figures. He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist."

In response Keynes, who was then trying to coopt the intellectual narrative of the New Deal stated he had "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking."

In his 1936 German edition of his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money , Keynes wrote:

For I confess that much of the following book is illustrated and expounded mainly with reference to the conditions existing in the Anglo Saxon countries. Nevertheless, the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state.

While Keynes represented the "soft imperialism" for the "left" of Britain's intelligentsia, Churchill represented the hard unapologetic imperialism of the Old, less sophisticated empire that preferred the heavy fisted use of brute force to subdue the savages. Both however were unapologetic racists and fascists (Churchill even wrote admiringly of Mussolini's black shirts) and both represented the most vile practices of British Imperialism.

FDR's Forgotten Anti-Colonial Vision Revited

FDR's battle with Churchill on the matter of empire is better known than his differences with Keynes whom he only met on a few occasions. This well documented clash was best illustrated in his son/assistant Elliot Roosevelt's book As He Saw It (1946) who quoted his father:

I've tried to make it clear that while we're [Britain's] allies and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we're in it just to help them hang on to their archaic, medieval empire ideas I hope they realize they're not senior partner; that we are not going to sit by and watch their system stultify the growth of every country in Asia and half the countries in Europe to boot.

[ ]

The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements – all you're doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you're doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.

Writing from Washington in a hysteria to Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said that Roosevelt "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires."

Unfortunately for the world, FDR died on April 12, 1945. A coup within the Democratic establishment, then replete with Fabians and Rhodes Scholars, had already ensured that Henry Wallace would lose the 1944 Vice Presidency in favor of Anglophile Wall Street Stooge Harry Truman.

Truman was quick to reverse all of FDR's intentions, cleansing American intelligence of all remaining patriots with the shutdown of the OSS and creation of the CIA, the launching of un-necessary nuclear bombs on Japan and establishment of the Anglo-American special relationship.

Truman's embrace of Churchill's New World Order destroyed the positive relationship with Russia and China which FDR, White and Wallace sought and soon America had become Britain's dumb giant.

The Post 1945 Takeover of the Modern Deep State

FDR warned his son before his death of his understanding of the British takeover of American foreign policy, but still could not reverse this agenda. His son recounted his father's ominous insight:

You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren't in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston.

As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of 'em: any number of 'em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!" I was told six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It's like the British Foreign Office

Before being fired from Truman's cabinet for his advocacy of US-Russia friendship during the Cold War, Wallace stated:

American fascism" which has come to be known in recent years as the Deep State [ ] Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.

In his 1946 Soviet Asia Mission, Wallace said:

Before the blood of our boys is scarcely dry on the field of battle, these enemies of peace try to lay the foundation for World War III. These people must not succeed in their foul enterprise. We must offset their poison by following the policies of Roosevelt in cultivating the friendship of Russia in peace as well as in war.

Indeed this is exactly what occurred. Dexter White's three year run as head of the International Monetary Fund was clouded by his constant attacks as being a Soviet stooge which haunted him until the day he died in 1948 after a grueling inquisition session at the House of Un-American Activities.

White had previously been supporting the election of his friend Wallace for the presidency alongside fellow patriots Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein.

Today the world has captured a second chance to revive the FDR's dream of an anti-colonial world . In the 21st century, this great dream has taken the form of the New Silk Road, led by Russia and China (and joined by a growing chorus of nations yearning to exit the invisible cage of colonialism).

If western nations wish to survive the oncoming collapse, then they would do well to heed Putin's call for a New International system, join the BRI, and reject the Keynesian technocrats advocating a false "New Bretton Woods" and "Green New Deal" .

Originally published on The Saker

[1] You may be thinking "wait! Wasn't FDR and his New Deal premised on Keynes' theories??" How could Keynes have represented an opposing force to FDR's system if this is the case? This paradox only exists in the minds of many people today due to the success of the Fabian Society's and Round Table Movement's armada of revisionist historians who have consistently created a lying narrative of history to make it appear to future generations trying to learn from past mistakes that those figures like FDR who opposed empire were themselves following imperial principles.

Another example of this sleight of hand can be seen by the sheer number of people who sincerely think themselves informed and yet believe that America's 1776 revolution was driven by British Imperial philosophical thought stemming from Adam Smith, Bentham and John Locke.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk , regular author with Strategic Culture, the Duran and Fort Russ and has authored 3 volumes of 'Untold History of Canada' book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation and can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

[May 10, 2020] Neoliberalims with probably survive COVI-19 with minor modifications

Highly recommended!
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

likbez , May 10 2020 3:51 utc | 50

@bevin | May 9 2020 21:17 utc | 28

>The capitalists have painted themselves into a corner. There is no way out from this crisis which does not
> involve the end of fifty years of neo-liberalism (and two centuries of the liberal Political Economy).

I thought the same in 2008. Did not happen.

> Neo-liberalism, allied to warmongering in the MIC and dominating the political process through its ownership
> of both its own party and the Opposition's, has so dominated US life that the kind of reforms that Keynes saw
> as necessary to preserve the system from itself are unthinkable.

That's true but neoliberalism evolved in different direction: Trumpism ("national neoliberalism") is essentially neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization. Domestically it looks more and more like a unique "Americanized" flavor of neofascism. The latter historically proved to be a resilient social system (Spain)

> The current policy of giving money in unlimited quantities to corporations, virtually without condition,
> and invoicing the working class by pledging future tax revenues to repay the cost of financing, is unsustainable.

OK. But what is the countervailing force ? There is none. By definition creating a viable political opposition in a national security state is impossible. Note that the USSR crumbled only when KGB changed sides. And that Nazi Germany did not crumbed until Soviets took Berlin, and, despite all the misery of the last year of war, there were fierce fight for Berlin (and heavy losses for Soviets)

> Neo-liberalism, the ideology of capitalist rule, has had its chance. The crisis that we are in
> is showing how useless it is, how dangerous a society devoted to the profit of a few, rather than the welfare
> of the many is. With every new twist and turn it demonstrates its inability to govern.

Neoliberalism will most probably survive COVID-19 epidemic like it survived the crisis of 2008. You can argue whether quarantine was necessary or not and about the level of incompetence of Trump administration, but you can't deny that the measures taken by the USA government somewhat softened the blow and the social system remains intact.

Again, there is no viable countervailing force to MIC and financial oligarchy, and the two party system is very resilient and essentially guarantee that the internal political situation will stay this way. Looks like only external shocks or disintegration of the country under the pressure from far right nationalists can crumble this system.

> What this adds up to- mass unemployment and increasing immiseration with no organised voice to represent tens
> of millions of desperate workers and their families is the likelihood of a series of explosions, riots,
> strikes, boycotts and direct actions.

In the USA the family of three can survive when each of the adults earn just $10 per hour (which means income around $40K a year). Real misery is reserved mostly to single mothers and unemployed. You can't compare the situation in the USA to the situation in "neoliberalized" xUSSR countries where it is really about physical survival and large percentage of population live of ~$2 a day. Do we see riots in those countries ?

> There is nobody to press reforms on the ruling class

Now you are on something.

[May 10, 2020] Trump and decoupling from China

Highly recommended!
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
I have been watching China's gradual rise in the world's GDP– as well as GDP-per-capita– charts and a concomitant fall in the United States' position in these charts, for nearly 20 years now. The United States' decline is still relative rather than absolute. In absolute terms, its GDP is still "Number 1!" But the decline was accelerated from 2003 on, when successive US presidents decided to pour massive amounts of government revenues into large-scale and always disastrous military adventures all around the world. As of last November, Brown University's "Costs of War" project tallied the U.S. budgetary costs of these wars, FY2001-2020, to be $6.4 trillion. These were funds that could have been invested, instead, in repair and upgrading of vital infrastructure here at home– including vital health infrastructure. But no. Instead, the money was shoveled into the pockets of the large military contractors who then used a portion of it on expensive lobbying operations designed to ensure that the sow of military spending continued feeding her offspring (them.)

When Donald Trump became president, in 2017, one of his early instincts was to pull back from the foreign wars. (This was about his only sound instinct.) The military-industrial complex then proved able to slow-walk a lot of the military-retraction moves he wanted to make One of the other abiding themes of Trump's presidency has been his desire to "decouple" the U.S. economy from the tight integration it had developed at many levels with the economy of China, as part of broader push to halt or slow the rise of China's power in the global system. At the economic level, we have seen the "tariff wars" and the campaign against Huawei. At the military level, we have seen a slight escalation in the kinds of "demonstration operations" the U.S. Navy has been mounting in the South China Sea. Mobilizing against "Chinese influence" also seems to come naturally to a president who shows no hesitation in denigrating anyone– even US citizens and politicians– who happens not to be of pale-complected European-style hue.

With the eruption of Covid-19 in U.S. communities nationwide, Pres. Trump's pre-existing proclivity to demonize and denigrate anything Chinese has escalated considerably– spurred on, it seems, by his evident desire to find an external scapegoat to blame for the terrible situation Covid-19 has inflicted on Americans and to detract voters' attention from the grave responsibility he and his administration bear for their plight.

He and his economic advisors clearly realize that, with the supply chains of major US industries still inextricably tied up with companies located in China and with China still holding $1.1 trillion-worth of U.S. government debt, he can't just cut the cord and decouple from China overnight. Yesterday, his Treasury Secretary and the US Trade Representative held a phone call with China's Vice Premier Liu He, the intent of which was to reassure both sides that a trade deal concluded four months ago would still be adhered to.

But today, less than 12 hours after the reassuring joint statement released after the phone call, Trump told Fox News that he was "very torn" about the trade deal, and had "not decided" whether to maintain it. This, as he launches frequent verbal tirades against China for having "caused" the coronavirus crisis. US GDP is highly inflated by counting financial moves on Wall Street (extracting money from suckers and moving money from one hand to another) as productive activity. China's purchasing power parity already exceeds the US and I suspect its actual GDP does as well. Only US financialization is able to mask the lack of actual productivity in the US economy.

likbez , May 9 2020 17:12 utc | 10

I am somewhat skeptical about China chances in this race. That will be much tougher environment for China from now on. And other major technological powers such as Germany, Korea and Japan are still allied with the USA.

The major problem for China is two social systems in one box: state capitalism part controlled by completely corrupt Communist Party (which completely abandoned the communist doctrine and became essentially a religious cult ) + no less corrupt neoliberalism part created with the help of the West.

The level of corruption inherent in the current setup (first adopted in Soviet NEP -- New Economic Policy) is tremendous, as the party has absolute political power and controls the major economic and financial areas while the entrepreneurs try to bribe state officials to get the leverage and/or enrich themselves at the state expense or bypass the bureaucratic limitations/inefficiencies imposed by the state, or offload some costs. So mafia style relationship between party officials and entrepreneurs is not an aberration, it is a norm. And periodic "purges" of corrupt Party officials do not solve the problem. Ecological problems in China are just one side effect of this.

The fact that a Chinese scientist from a biolab got 12 years jail sentence is pretty telling. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00051-2

Add to this the certain pre-existing tendencies within Chinese society to put greed above everything else, the tendency clearly visible in some emigrants and to which Yen devoted one post recently. Riots in some Asians countries against Chinese diaspora are often at least partially caused by this diaspora behavior, not only by xenophobia. Note that several African countries with Chinese investments now intent to sue China for damages from COVID-19. This is not accidental.

Technologically the USA and its G7 satellites are still in the lead although outsourcing manufacturing to China helped Chinese tremendously to narrow the gap. For example, Intel CPUs still dominate both desktops and servers. All major operating systems (with the exception of some flavors of Linux) are all USA developed.

I do not see the possibility for China to quickly narrow this gap as the technology transfer might now be controlled in the same way it the USA controlled the trade with the USSR via COCOM ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinating_Committee_for_Multilateral_Export_Controls )

Looks how easily the USA managed to kick Huawei in the butt and essentially deprive it of the major market.

vk , May 9 2020 17:48 utc | 12
@ Posted by: likbez | May 9 2020 17:12 utc | 10

You rise important points, but I respectfully disagree with all of them.

1) I don't think China is a "State capitalism" country. The term "State capitalism" was first coined by Lenin for a very specific situation the USSR was in. Yes, the similarities are striking - and Deng Xiaoping's reforms were clearly inspired by Lenin's NEP - but it is important to state that the CCP actively avoided the term and built upon the concept both theoretically and in practice. Besides, we don't need to read Lenin's works critically, an not take him as the second coming of Jesus: when he used the term "State capitalism", he used it in a clearly desperate moment of the USSR, almost by improvisation. Lenin's last years were definitely desperate times.

Besides, the NEP didn't culminate with the capitalist restoration of the USSR. On the contrary: it collapsed in 1926 (after another bad harvest) and gave way to the rise of Stalin and the radical faction of the CPSU. The Five-year plans were born (1928), and agriculture would be fully collectivized by the end of the 1930s (a process which catapulted Molotov to the second most powerful man in the USSR during the period). By the end of WWII, the USSR had a fully collectivized economy.

2) The corruption hypothesis is an attractive one - specially for the liberal middle classes of the post-war and for the Trotskyists - but it doesn't stand the empirical test. The USA was an extremely corrupt nation from its foundation to pre-war, and it never stopped it from growing and reaching prosperity. The Roman Empire and Republic were so corrupt that it was considered normal. There's no evidence the PRC is historically exceptionally corrupt. However, I can see why the CCP is worried about corruption, as it is a flank through which the West can sabotage it from within.

3) The COCOM tactic will be much harder to apply against China than against the USSR. For starters, the USSR lost circa 35% of its GDP in WWII. This gave it a delay from which it never recovered. Second, the USSR fought against capitalism when capitalism was at its apex. Third, the USSR collectivized and closed its economy too early, not taking into account that it still lived in a capitalist world.

China doesn't have that now. It is fighting against capitalism in a phase where it is weakened. It is open and intimately integrated economically with its capitalist enemies. It closed or is about to close the technological gap in many strategic sectors during a stage where the capitalists have low retaliation capacity. It found time to close at least the GDP gap. It found time to recover fully from its civil war and the Japanese Invasion of the Northeast.

Germany, South Korea and Japan are not technologically more advanced than the USA. This is a myth. Plus, they are too small. They may serve as very useful - even essential - pawns for the USA-side, but I don't see any of the three ever achieving Pax .

[May 04, 2020] Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are the two sides of the one political coin that Americans are allowed to choose

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the nations CEO's become sort of one big club, and the top of the club is the head parasites pulling the strings on the stock market (outfits like Goldman Sachs). ..."
"... NO ONE wants to cross the head parasites, the corrupt political class turns to them as their economic brain trust, and the propaganda class (MSM) spin narratives that comport to the corrupt political class' interests and the corrupt status quo. ..."
May 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

Chris Moore says: Website Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 7:38 pm GMT 400 Words

As our guest puts it, the recently passed Trump "Bank and Landlord Relief" bill, mistakenly named the Coronavirus bill, starts by providing banks with an even larger giveaway of wealth than they received from Obama in 2008. Helping the banks, financial and real estate sectors in a so-called free market system is conflated with helping the industrial economy and general living standards for most Americans. The essence of a parasite is not only to drain the host's nourishment, but to dull the host's brain so that it does not recognize that the parasite is there.

One of the ways it does this is to entice most of the biggest companies onto the stock markets, which in turn subordinates them to the financial sector -- more specifically, the investment bankers. And then the nations CEO's become sort of one big club, and the top of the club is the head parasites pulling the strings on the stock market (outfits like Goldman Sachs).

NO ONE wants to cross the head parasites, the corrupt political class turns to them as their economic brain trust, and the propaganda class (MSM) spin narratives that comport to the corrupt political class' interests and the corrupt status quo.

This is why [neo]liberalism and neoconservatism are the two sides of the one political coin that Americans are allowed to choose. Lean left? You'll get a liberal who mostly uses identity politics to divide and rule. Lean right? You'll get a neocon who mostly uses foreign affairs to divide and rule. But increasingly, the two cross-over, hence you'll see liberals harping 24/7 about Russiagate and neocons harping 24/7 about Iran, Islam and now China.

None of this is to say that Russia, China and Iran aren't competitors, because they are. But the liberal and neocon fanatics turn them into existential, kill or be killed competitors...

... ... ...

[Apr 11, 2020] The country that glorifies profit at any cost and ruthless unethical competition will fare bad in case of any virus epidemic. That includes "Typhoid Mary" cases of selfish anti-social behaviour

Highly recommended!
Ideologically COVID-19 is another nail in the coffin of neoliberalism.
Apr 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , Apr 10 2020 23:06 utc | 92
Diane Johnstone gets it right:

"...Today, quite a number of alternative media commentators are ready to believe in the absolute power not of God but of Mammon, of the powers of Wall Street and its partners in politics, the media and the military. In this view, nothing major happens that hasn't been planned by earthly powers for their own selfish interest.

"Mammon is wrecking the economy so a few oligarchs will own everything. Or else Mammon created the hoax Coronavirus 19 in order to lock us all up and deprive us of what little is left of our freedom. Or finally Mammon is using a virus in order to have a pretext to vaccinate us all with secret substances and turn us all into zombies.

"Is this credible? In one sense, it is. We know that Mammon is unscrupulous, morally capable of all crimes. But things do happen that Mammon did not plan, such as earthquakes, floods and plagues. Dislike of our ruling class combined with dislike of being locked up leads to the equation: They are simply using this (fake) crisis in order to lock us up!

"But what for? To whom is there any advantage in locking down the population? For the pleasure of telling themselves, "Aha, we've got them where we want them, all stuck at home!" Is this intended to suppress popular revolt? What popular revolt? Why repress people who aren't doing anything that needs to be repressed?...

"What is the use of locking up a population – and I think especially of the United States – that is disunited, disorganized, profoundly confused by generations of ideological indoctrination telling them that their country is "the best" in every way, and thus unable to formulate coherent demands on a system that exploits them ruthlessly? Do you need to lock up your faithful Labrador so he won't bite you?...

"....Mammon is blinded by its own hubris, often stupid, incompetent, dumbed down by getting away with so much so easily. Take a look at Mike Pompeo or Mike Pence – are these all-powerful geniuses? No, they are semi-morons who have been able to crawl up a corrupt system contemptuous of truth, virtue or intelligence – like the rest of the gangsters in power in a system devoid of any ethical or intellectual standards.

"The power of creatures like that is merely the reflection of the abdication of social responsibility by whole populations whose disinterest in politics has allowed the scum to rise to the top.

The lockdown decreed by our Western governments reveals helplessness rather than power. They did not rush to lock us down. The lockdown is disastrous for the economy which is their prime concern. They hesitated and did so only when they had to do something and were ill-equipped to do anything else. They saw that China had done so with good results. But smart Asian governments did even more, deploying masks, tests and treatments Western governments did not possess..."

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/04/10/covid-19-coronavirus-and-civilization/

[Apr 11, 2020] 'Never in my country': COVID-19 and American exceptionalism by Jeanne Morefield

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World." ..."
"... In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. ..."
"... Since then, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow the governments of approximately 50 countries, many of which (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and Chile) had elected leaders willing to nationalize their natural resources and industries. Often these interventions took the form of covert operations. Less frequently, the United States went to war to achieve these same ends (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq). ..."
"... In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit. ..."
Apr 07, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

This March, as COVID-19's capacity to overwhelm the American healthcare system was becoming obvious, experts marveled at the scenario unfolding before their eyes. "We have Third World countries who are better equipped than we are now in Seattle," noted one healthcare professional, her words echoed just a few days later by a shocked doctor in New York who described "a third-world country type of scenario." Donald Trump could similarly only grasp what was happening through the same comparison. "I have seen things that I've never seen before," he said . "I mean I've seen them, but I've seen them on television and faraway lands, never in my country."

At the same time, regardless of the fact that "Third World" terminology is outdated and confusing, Trump's inept handling of the pandemic has itself elicited more than one "banana republic" analogy, reflecting already well-worn, bipartisan comparisons of Trump to a " third world dictator " (never mind that dictators and authoritarians have never been confined solely to lower income countries).

And yet, while such comparisons provoke predictably nativist outrage from the right, what is absent from any of these responses to the situation is a sense of reflection or humility about the "Third World" comparison itself. The doctor in New York who finds himself caught in a "third world" scenario and the political commentators outraged when Trump behaves "like a third world dictator" uniformly express themselves in terms of incredulous wonderment. One never hears the potential second half of this comparison: "I am now experiencing what it is like to live in a country that resembles the kind of nation upon whom the United States regularly imposes broken economies and corrupt leaders."

Because behind today's coronavirus-inspired astonishment at conditions in developing or lower income countries, and Trump's authoritarian-like thuggery, lies an actual military and political hegemon with an actual impact on the world; particularly on what was once called the "Third World."

In physical terms, the U.S.'s military hegemony is comprised of 800 bases in over 70 nations – more bases than any other nation or empire in history. The U.S. maintains drone bases, listening posts, "black sites," aircraft carriers, a massive nuclear stockpile, and military personnel working in approximately 160 countries. This is a globe-spanning military and security apparatus organized into regional commands that resemble the "proconsuls of the Roman empire and the governors-general of the British." In other words, this apparatus is built not for deterrence, but for primacy.

The U.S.'s global primacy emerged from the wreckage of World War II when the United States stepped into the shoes vacated by European empires. Throughout the Cold War, and in the name of supporting "free peoples," the sprawling American security apparatus helped ensure that 300 years of imperial resource extraction and wealth distribution – from what was then called the Third World to the First – remained undisturbed, despite decolonization.

Since then, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow the governments of approximately 50 countries, many of which (e.g. Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, and Chile) had elected leaders willing to nationalize their natural resources and industries. Often these interventions took the form of covert operations. Less frequently, the United States went to war to achieve these same ends (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq).

In fiscal terms, maintaining American hegemony requires spending more on "defense" than the next seven largest countries combined. Our nearly $1 trillion security budget now amounts to about 15 percent of the federal budget and over half of all discretionary spending. Moreover, the U.S. security budget continues to increase despite the Pentagon's inability to pass a fiscal audit.

Trump's claim that Obama had "hollowed out" defense spending was not only grossly untrue, it masked the consistency of the security budget's metastasizing growth since the Vietnam War, regardless of who sits in the White House. At $738 billion dollars, Trump's security budget was passed in December with the overwhelming support of House Democrats.

And yet, from the perspective of public discourse in this country, our globe-spanning, resource-draining military and security apparatus exists in an entirely parallel universe to the one most Americans experience on a daily level. Occasionally, we wake up to the idea of this parallel universe but only when the United States is involved in visible military actions. The rest of the time, Americans leave thinking about international politics – and the deaths, for instance, of 2.5 million Iraqis since 2003 – to the legions of policy analysts and Pentagon employees who largely accept American military primacy as an "article of faith," as Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham Patrick Porter has said .

Foreign policy is routinely the last issue Americans consider when they vote for presidents even though the president has more discretionary power over foreign policy than any other area of American politics. Thus, despite its size, impact, and expense, the world's military hegemon exists somewhere on the periphery of most Americans' self-understanding, as though, like the sun, it can't be looked upon directly for fear of blindness.

Why is our avoidance of the U.S.'s weighty impact on the world a problem in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic? Most obviously, the fact that our massive security budget has gone so long without being widely questioned means that one of the soundest courses of action for the U.S. during this crisis remains resolutely out of sight.

The shock of discovering that our healthcare system is so quickly overwhelmed should automatically trigger broader conversations about spending priorities that entail deep and sustained cuts in an engorged security budget whose sole purpose is the maintenance of primacy. And yet, not only has this not happened, $10.5 billion of the coronavirus aid package has been earmarked for the Pentagon, with $2.4 billion of that channeled to the "defense industrial base." Of the $500 billion aimed at corporate America, $17.5 billion is set aside "for businesses critical to maintaining national security" such as aerospace.

To make matters worse, our blindness to this bloated security complex makes it frighteningly easy for champions of American primacy to sound the alarm when they even suspect a dip in funding might be forthcoming. Indeed, before most of us had even glanced at the details of the coronavirus bill, foreign policy hawks were already issuing dark prediction s about the impact of still-imaginary cuts in the security budget on the U.S.'s "ability to strike any target on the planet in response to hostile actions by any actor" – as if that ability already did not exist many times over.

On a more existential level, a country that is collectively engaged in unseeing its own global power cannot help but fail to make connections between that power and domestic politics, particularly when a little of the outside world seeps in. For instance, because most Americans are unaware of their government's sponsorship of fundamentalist Islamic groups in the Middle East throughout the Cold War, 9/11 can only ever appear to have come from nowhere, or because Muslims hate our way of life.

This "how did we get here?" attitude replicates itself at every level of political life making it profoundly difficult for Americans to see the impact of their nation on the rest of the world, and the blowback from that impact on the United States itself. Right now, the outsized influence of American foreign policy is already encouraging the spread of coronavirus itself as U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran severely hamper that country's ability to respond to the virus at home and virtually guarantee its spread throughout the region.

Closer to home, our shock at the healthcare system's inept response to the pandemic masks the relationship between the U.S.'s imposition of free-market totalitarianism on countries throughout the Global South and the impact of free-market totalitarianism on our own welfare state .

Likewise, it is more than karmic comeuppance that the President of the United States now resembles the self-serving authoritarians the U.S. forced on so many formerly colonized nations. The modes of militarized policing American security experts exported to those authoritarian regimes also contributed , on a policy level, to both the rise of militarized policing in American cities and the rise of mass incarceration in the 1980s and 90s. Both of these phenomena played a significant role in radicalizing Trump's white nationalist base and decreasing their tolerance for democracy.

Most importantly, because the U.S. is blind to its power abroad, it cannot help but turn that blindness on itself. This means that even during a pandemic when America's exceptionalism – our lack of national healthcare – has profoundly negative consequences on the population, the idea of looking to the rest of the world for solutions remains unthinkable.

Senator Bernie Sanders' reasonable suggestion that the U.S., like Denmark, should nationalize its healthcare system is dismissed as the fanciful pipe dream of an aging socialist rather than an obvious solution to a human problem embraced by nearly every other nation in the world. The Seattle healthcare professional who expressed shock that even "Third World countries" are "better equipped" than we are to confront COVID-19 betrays a stunning ignorance of the diversity of healthcare systems within developing countries. Cuba, for instance, has responded to this crisis with an efficiency and humanity that puts the U.S. to shame.

Indeed, the U.S. is only beginning to feel the full impact of COVID-19's explosive confrontation with our exceptionalism: if the unemployment rate really does reach 32 percent, as has been predicted, millions of people will not only lose their jobs but their health insurance as well. In the middle of a pandemic.

Over 150 years apart, political commentators Edmund Burke and Aimé Césaire referred to this blindness as the byproduct of imperialism. Both used the exact same language to describe it; as a "gangrene" that "poisons" the colonizing body politic. From their different historical perspectives, Burke and Césaire observed how colonization boomerangs back on colonial society itself, causing irreversible damage to nations that consider themselves humane and enlightened, drawing them deeper into denial and self-delusion.

Perhaps right now there is a chance that COVID-19 – an actual, not metaphorical contagion – can have the opposite effect on the U.S. by opening our eyes to the things that go unseen. Perhaps the shock of recognizing the U.S. itself is less developed than our imagined "Third World" might prompt Americans to tear our eyes away from ourselves and look toward the actual world outside our borders for examples of the kinds of political, economic, and social solidarity necessary to fight the spread of Coronavirus. And perhaps moving beyond shock and incredulity to genuine recognition and empathy with people whose economies and democracies have been decimated by American hegemony might begin the process of reckoning with the costs of that hegemony, not just in "faraway lands" but at home. In our country.

[Apr 10, 2020] Tucker: In crisis, nothing is more important than staying connected to reality

Highly recommended!
Tucker comments on Fauci above face with estimating the number of deaths: first around 3 million, not less then 60K.
Hospitals are staying half empty. So much for Fauci flattening the curve efforts
Apr 10, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Mike Jordan , 14 hours ago

Being "connected" is a huge part of the cause of this mess, before internet propaganda was limited to newspapers and magazines, it was much slower and manageable.

Don Nix , 9 hours ago

I do find it funny how wealthy folks spread the "don't worry WE will all be fine" garbage. WE....no, tell that to someone who has lost their business and has dependents.

Karel Moulík , 10 hours ago

When everything can be solved by propaganda it's time for revolution.

Massive-Headwound Harry , 12 hours ago

I hate the "We're going to be ok. We're all in this together" ads. All of them celebrities, pro athletes, and actors. Not one has to worry about whether they'll be able to buy food next week. Elites telling the little people everything's ok.

Joe Shaloom , 14 hours ago

It's really sad when Tucker Carlson is the only person who ever admitted he was wrong on Fox News. Hannity still claims he never called the virus a hoax even though he did it on TV.

[Mar 29, 2020] Why Didn't We Test Our Trade's 'Antifragility' Before COVID-19 by Gene Callahan and Joe Norman

Highly recommended!
Mar 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

On April 21, 2011, the region of Amazon Web Services covering eastern North America crashed. The crash brought down the sites of large customers such as Quora, Foursquare, and Reddit. It took Amazon over a week to bring its system fully back online, and some customer data was lost permanently.

But one company whose site did not crash was Netflix. It turns out that Netflix had made themselves "antifragile" by employing software they called "Chaos Monkey," which regularly and randomly brought down Netflix servers. By continually crashing their own servers, Netflix learned how to nevertheless keep other portions of their network running. And so when Amazon US-East crashed, Netflix ran on, unfazed.

This phenomenon is discussed by Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile : a system that depends on the absence of change is fragile. The companies that focused on keeping all of their servers up and running all the time went completely offline when Amazon crashed from under them. But the company that had exposed itself to lots of little crashes could handle the big crash. That is because the minor, "undesirable" changes stress the system in a way that can make it stronger.

The idea of antifragility does not apply only to computer networks. For instance, by trying to eliminate minor downturns in the economy, central bank policy can make that economy extremely vulnerable to a major recession. Running only on treadmills or tracks makes the joints extremely vulnerable when, say, one steps in a pothole in the sidewalk.

What does this have to do with trade policy? For many reasons, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, flows of goods are subject to unexpected shocks.

Both a regime of "unfettered" free trade, and its opposite, that of complete autarchy, are fragile in the face of such shocks. A trade policy aimed not at complete free trade or protectionism, but at making an economy better at absorbing and adapting to rapid change, is more sane and salutary than either extreme. Furthermore, we suggest practicing for shocks can help make an economy antifragile.

Amongst academic economists, the pure free-trade position is more popular. The case for international trade, absent the artificial interference of government trade policy, is generally based upon the "principle of comparative advantage," first formulated by the English economist David Ricardo in the early 19th century. Ricardo pointed out, quite correctly, that even if, among two potential trading partners looking to trade a pair of goods, one of them is better at producing both of them, there still exist potential gains from trade -- so long as one of them is relatively better at producing one of the goods, and the other (as a consequence of this condition) relatively better at producing the other. For example, Lebron James may be better than his local house painter at playing basketball, and at painting houses, given his extreme athleticism and long reach. But he is so much more "better" at basketball that it can still make sense for him to concentrate on basketball and pay the painter to paint his house.

And so, per Ricardo, it is among nations: even if, say, Sweden can produce both cars and wool sweaters more efficiently than Scotland, if Scotland is relatively less bad at producing sweaters than cars, it still makes sense for Scotland to produce only wool sweaters, and trade with Sweden for the cars it needs.

When we take comparative advantage to its logical conclusion at the global scale, it suggests that each agent (say, nation) should focus on one major industry domestically and that no two agents should specialize in the same industry. To do so would be to sacrifice the supposed advantage of sourcing from the agent who is best positioned to produce a particular good, with no gain for anyone.

Good so far, but Ricardo's case contains two critical hidden assumptions: first, that the prices of the goods in question will remain more or less stable in the global marketplace, and second that the availability of imported goods from specialized producers will remain uninterrupted, such that sacrificing local capabilities for cheaper foreign alternatives.

So what happens in Scotland if the Swedes suddenly go crazy for yak hair sweaters (produced in Tibet) and are no longer interested in Scottish sweaters at all? The price of those sweaters crashes, and Scotland now finds itself with most of its productive capacity specialized in making a product that can only be sold at a loss.

Or what transpires if Scotland is no longer able, for whatever reason, to produce sweaters, but the Swedes need sweaters to keep warm? Swedes were perhaps once able to make their own sweaters, but have since funneled all their resources into making cars, and have even lost the knowledge of sweater-making. Now to keep warm, the Swedes have to rapidly build the infrastructure and workforce needed to make sweaters, and regain the knowledge of how to do so, as the Scots had not only been their sweater supplier, but the only global sweater supplier.

So we see that the case for extreme specialization, based on a first-order understanding of comparative advantage, collapses when faced with a second-order effect of a dramatic change in relative prices or conditions of supply.

That all may sound very theoretical, but collapses due to over-specialization, prompted by international agencies advising developing economies based on naive comparative-advantage analysis, have happened all too often. For instance, a number of African economies, persuaded to base their entire economy on a single good in which they had a comparative advantage (e.g, gold, cocoa, oil, or bauxite), saw their economies crash when the price of that commodity fell. People who had formerly been largely self-sufficient found themselves wage laborers for multinationals in good times, and dependents on foreign charity during bad times.

While the case for extreme specialization in production collapses merely by letting prices vary, it gets even worse for the "just specialize in the single thing you do best" folks once we add in considerations of pandemics, wars, extreme climate change, and other such shocks. We have just witnessed how relying on China for such a high percentage of our medical supplies and manufacturing has proven unwise when faced with an epidemic originating in China.

On a smaller scale, the great urban theorist Jane Jacobs stressed the need for economic diversity in a city if it is to flourish. Detroit's over-reliance on the automobile industry, and its subsequent collapse when that industry largely deserted it, is a prominent example of Jacobs' point. And while Detroit is perhaps the most famous example of a city collapsing due to over-specialization, it is far from the only one .

All of this suggests that trade policy, at any level, should have, as its primary goal, the encouragement of diversity in that level's economic activity. To embrace the extremes of "pure free trade" or "total self-sufficiency" is to become more susceptible to catastrophe from changing conditions. A region that can produce only a few goods is fragile in the face of an event, like the coronavirus, that disrupts the flow of outside goods. On the other hand, turning completely inward, and cutting the region off from the outside, leaves it without outside help when confronting a local disaster, like an extreme drought.

To be resilient as a social entity, whether a nation, region, city, or family, will have a diverse mix of internal and external resources it can draw upon for sustenance. Even for an individual, total specialization and complete autarchy are both bad bets. If your only skill is repairing Sony Walkmen, you were probably pretty busy in 2000, but by today you likely don't have much work. Complete individual autarchy isn't ever really even attempted: if you watch YouTube videos of supposedly "self-reliant" people in the wilderness, you will find them using axes, radios, saws, solar panels, pots and pans, shirts, shoes, tents, and many more goods produced by others.

In the technical literature, having such diversity at multiple scales is referred to as "multiscale variety." In a system that displays multiscale variety, no single scale accounts for all of the diversity of behavior in the system. The practical importance of this is related to the fact that shocks themselves come at different scales. Some shocks might be limited to a town or a region, for instance local weather events, while others can be much more widespread, such as the coronavirus pandemic we are currently facing.

A system with multiscale variety is able to respond to shocks at the scale at which they occur: if one region experiences a drought while a neighboring region does not, agricultural supplementation from the currently abundant region can be leveraged. At a smaller scale, if one field of potatoes becomes infested with a pest, while the adjacent cows in pasture are spared, the family who owns the farm will still be able to feed themselves and supply products to the market.

Understanding this, the question becomes how can trade policy, conceived broadly, promote the necessary variety and resiliency to mitigate and thrive in the face of the unexpected? Crucially, we should learn from the tech companies: practice disconnecting, and do it randomly. In our view there are two important components to the intentional disruption: (1) it is regular enough to generate "muscle memory" type responses; and (2) it is random enough that responses are not "overfit" to particular scenarios.

For an individual or family, implementing such a policy might create some hardships, but there are few institutional barriers to doing so. One week, simply declare, "Let's pretend all of the grocery stores are empty, and try getting by only on what we can produce in the yard or have stockpiled in our house!" On another occasion, perhaps, see if you can keep your house warm for a few days without input from utility companies.

Businesses are also largely free of institutional barriers to practicing disconnecting. A company can simply say, "We are awfully dependent on supplier X: this week, we are not going to order from them, and let's see what we can do instead!" A business can also seek out external alternatives to over-reliance on crucial internal resources: for instance, if your top tech guy can hold your business hostage, it is a good idea to find an outside consulting firm that could potentially fill his role.

When we get up to the scale of the nation, things become (at least institutionally) trickier. If Freedonia suddenly bans the import of goods from Ruritania, even for a week, Ruritania is likely to regard this as a "trade war," and may very well go to the WTO and seek relief. However, the point of this reorientation of trade policy is not to promote hostility to other countries, but to make one's own country more resilient. A possible solution to this problem is that a national government could periodically, at random times, buy all of the imports of some good from some other country, and stockpile them. Then the foreign supplier would have no cause for complaint: its goods are still being purchased! But domestic manufacturers would have to learn to adjust to a disappearance of the supply of palm oil from Indonesia, or tin from China, or oil from Norway.

Critics will complain that such government management of trade flows, even with the noble aim of rendering an economy antifragile, will inevitably be turned to less pure purposes, like protecting politically powerful industrialists. But so what? It is not as though the pursuit of free trade hasn't itself yielded perverse outcomes, such as the NAFTA trade agreement that ran to over one thousand pages. Any good aim is likely to suffer diversion as it passes through the rough-and-tumble of political reality. Thus, we might as well set our sites on an ideal policy, even though it won't be perfectly realized.

We must learn to deal with disruptions when success is not critical to survival. The better we become at responding to unexpected shocks, the lower the cost will be each time we face an event beyond our control that demands an adaptive response. To wait until adaptation is necessary makes us fragile when a real crisis appears. We should begin to develop an antifragile economy today, by causing our own disruptions and learning to overcome them. Deliberately disrupting our own economy may sound crazy. But then, so did deliberately crashing one's own servers, until Chaos Monkey proved that it works.

Gene Callahan teaches at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. Joe Norman is a data scientist and researcher at the New England Complex Systems Institute.

My Gana 20 hours ago
Most disruptive force is own demographic change of which govts have known for decades. Caronovirus challenge is nothing compared to what will happen because US ed system discriminated against the poor who will be the majority!
PierrePaul 12 hours ago
What Winston Churchill once said about the Americans is in fact true of all humans: "Americans always end up doing
the right thing once they have exhausted all other options". That's just as true of the French (I write from France) since our government stopped stocking a strategic reserve of a billion breathing-masks in 2013 because "we could buy them in Chine for a lower costs". Now we can't produce enough masks even for our hospitals.

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senator

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "better prepared than ever ..."
"... "akin to the 1918 pandemic." ..."
"... "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," ..."
"... "Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks." ..."
"... "stomach churning," ..."
"... "For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," ..."
"... "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself." ..."
"... "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," ..."
"... "calling for immediate investigations" ..."
"... "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, commenters from all sides have demanded swift punishment for US senators who dumped stock after classified Covid-19 briefings. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called for criminal prosecution. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has received daily briefings on the threat posed by Covid-19 since January. Burr insisted to the public that America was ready to handle the virus, but sold up to $1.5 million in stocks on February 13, less than a week before the stock market nosedived, according to Senate filings . Immediately before the sale, Burr wrote an op-ed assuring Americans that their government is "better prepared than ever " to handle the virus.

Also on rt.com Liberal icon Sean Penn wants a 'compassionate' army deployment to fight Covid-19

After the sale, NPR reported that he told a closed-door meeting of North Carolina business leaders that the virus actually posed a threat "akin to the 1918 pandemic." Burr does not dispute the NPR report.

In a tweet on Saturday, former 2020 presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for criminal investigations. "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," she wrote.

"Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks."

Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated & prosecuted for insider trading (the STOCK Act). It is illegal & abuse of power. Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks. https://t.co/rbVfJxrk3r

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2020

Burr was not the only lawmaker on Capitol Hill to take precautions, it was reported. Fellow Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and her husband sold off more than a million dollars of shares in a biotech company five days later, while Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe (R) made a smaller sale around the same time. Both say their sales were routine.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) attended a Senate Health Committee briefing on the outbreak on January 24. The very same day, she began offloading stock, dropping between $1.2 and $3.1 million in shares over the following weeks. The companies whose stock she sold included airlines, retail outlets, and Chinese tech firm Tencent.

She did, however, invest in cloud technology company Oracle, and Citrix, a teleworking company whose value has increased by nearly a third last week, as social distancing measures forced more and more Americans to work from home. All of Loeffler's transactions were made with her husband, Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) have joined the clamor of voices demanding punishment. Ocasio-Cortez described the sales as "stomach churning," while Omar reached across the aisle to side with Fox News' Tucker Carlson in calling for Burr's resignation.

I am 💯 with him on this 😱 https://t.co/Gbi3i2BagY

-- Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

"For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," Carlson said during a Friday night monolog. "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself."

As of Saturday, there are nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US, with the death toll heading towards 300. Now both sides of the political aisle seem united in disgust at the apparent profiteering of Burr, Loeffler, and Feinstein.

Right-wing news outlet Breitbart savaged Burr for voting against the STOCK Act in 2012, a piece of legislation that would have barred members of Congress from using non-public information to profit on the stock market. At the same time, a host of Democratic figures - including former presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Kirsten Gillibrand - weighed in with their own criticism too.

"If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," Yang tweeted on Friday.

If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest.

-- Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 20, 2020

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed complaints with the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee "calling for immediate investigations" of Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws."

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Mar 09, 2020] COVID-19 and the Working Class by Jack Rasmus

Highly recommended!
Mar 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

US politicians and media are reporting approximately 500 cases of the virus in the US as of March 8. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, however. Perhaps as much as 10-fold that number, according to some sources. Why?

There's the problem of reporting only tested cases so far, and there's still a lack of available tests even to test and to verify all those infected without symptoms.. And even those showing symptoms may have been determined initially as not infected by the tests, since reportedly many of the early test kits were defective. Meanwhile, those without symptoms or pre-symptomatic are not being tested at all.

The Fiction of Voluntary Quarantine

Then there's the policy of voluntary quarantining those who have come into contact with someone who was tested and found infected. It's not working very well. Those who have come in contact with carriers of the virus are asked simply to stay home. But do they? There's no way to know, or even enforce that. The case example why voluntary quarantining doesn't work well is Italy.

Most of the northern Lombardy region, including the financial center of Milan in that country, is in 'lock down' right now. But all that means is voluntary quarantining. People are asked not to leave their town, or the larger region. But is that stopping them traveling around their town in public places? Or within the larger region? And spreading the virus there? Apparently not. Reportedly, infection for those tested have risen in just two weeks to more than 6,000 in Northern Italy. CNBC reports that, in just one day this weekend, that number increased by 1200! So much for voluntary quarantines. There's no way, no sufficient personnel, not even accepted procedures, with which to daily check on those (in Italy that means hundreds of thousands) in voluntary quarantine.

The Real Costs to Workers

Average working class folks cannot afford to voluntary quarantine themselves. Or to stay home from work for any reason. Even if they have symptoms. They will continue going to work. They have to, in order to economically survive.

Consider the typical scenario in the US: there are literally tens of millions of workers who have no more than $400 for an emergency. As many perhaps as half of the work force of 165 million. They live paycheck to paycheck. They can't afford to miss any days of work. Millions of them have no paid sick leave. The US is the worst of all advanced economies in terms of providing paid sick leave. Even union workers with some paid sick leave in their contracts have, at best, only six days on average. If they stay home sick, they'll be asked by their employer the reason for doing so in order to collect that paid sick leave. And even when they don't have sick leave. Paid leave or not, many will be required to provide a doctor's slip indicating the nature of the illness. But doctors are refusing to hold office visits for patients who may have the virus. They can't do anything about it, so they don't want them to come in and possibly contaminate others or themselves. So a worker sick has to go to the hospital emergency room.

That raises another problem. A trip to the emergency room costs on average at least a $1,000. More if special tests are done. If the worker has no health insurance (30 million still don't), that's an out of pocket cost he/she can't afford. They know it. So they don't go to the hospital emergency room, and they can't get an appointment at the doctor's office. Result: they don't get tested, refuse to go get tested, and they continue to go to work. The virus spreads.

Even if they have health insurance coverage, the deductible today is usually $500 to $2000. Most don't have that kind of savings to spend either. Not to mention copays. So even those insured take a pass on going to the hospital to get tested, even if they have symptoms.

The media doesn't help here either. Reports are typically that those who are young, middle age, and in reasonable good health and without other complicating conditions don't die. It's the older folks, retirees with Medicare, or with serious other conditions, that typically die from the virus. Workers hear this and that supports their decision not to go to the hospital or get tested as well.

Then there's the further complication concerning employment if they do go to the hospital. The hospital will (soon) test them. If found infected, they will send them home for voluntary quarantine for 14 days! Now the financial crises really begins. The hospital will inform their employer. Staying at home for 14 days will result in financial disaster, since the employer has no obligation to continue to pay them their wages while not at work, unless they have some minimal paid sick leave which, as noted, the vast majority don't have. Nor does the employer have any obligation legally to even keep them employed for 14 days (or even less) if the employer determines they are not likely to return to work after 14 days (or even less). They therefore get fired if they go to the hospital after it reports to the employer they have the virus. Just another good reason not to go to the hospital.

In other words, here's all kind of major economic disincentives to keep an illness confidential, to go to work, not go to the hospital (and can't go to the doctor). That risks passing on the highly contagion bug to others–which has been happening and will continue to happen.

Here's another financial hit for the working class: child care. Schools are beginning to shut down. Even where no cases are yet confirmed. Stanford University just decided to discontinue all in class sessions and revert to all online education. But what about K-6 and pre-school? Or even Jr. high schools? When they shut down, kids must stay at home. But most working class parents can't afford nannys or baby-sitters. Not everyone works in an occupation or company where they can 'work from home'. Do they send the young kids to grandma's and grandpa's, who are more susceptible to the virus? With their kids required to stay home, they must miss work, and risk even losing their jobs. We're talking about millions of families with 6 to 12 year olds. And who knows how long the schools will remain shut down.

In short, wages lost due to self-quarantining, forced voluntary quarantining after hospital testing, the cost of hospital emergency room visits (whether insured or not), the unknown cost of the tests themselves (the government says it will reimburse them but they don't have the $1,000 or more cash out of pocket in the first place), the cost of paying for nannys or baby-sitters for young school age children when schools shut down–i.e. all result in a massive out of pocket expense for most workers that they don't have.

Workers figure all these possibilities of financial disaster pretty quick and know that the virus will mean a big financial hit if they miss a day's work, or even if they don't. So they keep working, hoping they'll recover on their own, refusing to get tested because of the potential loss of work, wages, and income, and crossing their fingers that their kids' school districts don't shut down.

Economic Contagion Channels: Supply Chains, Demand, Asset Deflation, Defaults & Credit Crunch

What this all means for the US economy is obvious. Household consumption was already weakening at the end of last year. Most of consumption was driven by accelerating stock valuations, which affect those in the top 10% who own stocks; or by taking on more credit–credit cards, which affects the middle class and below.

Over $1 trillion in credit card debt is what has been largely driving middle income and below consumption. Mainstream economists argue that defaults on credit card debt are only 3% or so, and thus not a problem. But that's a gross average across all 130 million households. When this data are broken down, middle income and below family credit card debt is around 9%, a very high number more like 2007 when the last economic recession began.

Then there's auto debt. As of 2018, reportedly 7 million turned in their keys on their auto loans. As in the case of credit cards, auto debt defaults will rise as well in 2020. Then there's student debt, over $1.6 Trillion now. Defaults there are much higher than reported as well, since actual defaults (defined as failure to pay either principal or interest) have been redefined to something else other than actual default.

Add to all this the likelihood is very high that job layoffs will now begin by April, as the global supply chain crisis due to virus-related cuts in production and trade. More job loss means less wage income and thus less household spending and more inability to deal with the costs of the virus for most working class families.

Let's not also forget the price gouging for certain products that is beginning now to appear, both online and in stores. That reduces working class real incomes and thus consumption too. Meanwhile, certain industries are already taking a big hit and layoffs are looming in travel companies of all kinds (airlines, cruise ships, hotels, entertainment). In places where the virus effect is already large, a big decline in restaurant, sports and concerts, movies, etc. has also begun.

The two big economic contagion channels impacting employment thus far are supply chain production and distribution reductions, and local demand for certain services (travel, retail, hospitality, etc.).

But a third major channel has just begun to emerge: that's financial asset deflation in stocks, oil & commodity futures, junk bonds & leveraged loans, and currency devaluations.

Stocks' price collapse leads to business shelving investment and even cutting back production. That means more job loss, reduced wage incomes, less spending, and economic slowdown.

Oil and commodity prices now collapsing also lead to energy industry layoffs. More importantly, in turn that will lead to energy junk bond market collapse–potentially spreading to all junk bonds, leveraged loans, and even BBB grade corporate bonds (which are really redefined junk bonds not investment grade bonds).

In other words, the collapse of supply chains, production-distribution, and industry by industry demand in the US may become even worse should the financial markets price collapse can lead to a general credit crunch. And that translates into a general economic real contraction. That's precisely what happened in 2008, in a similar chain reaction from financial crisis to real economic crisis.

Workers are aware of all this possibly leading to longer run economic stress. In the short run, they consider possible wages loss if they reveal or report they have the virus, or get tested: i.e. lost wage incomes: the cost of immediate medical care; the cost of child care, etc. Better to tough it through and continue to go to work is a typical, and rational, response.

This is already going on. Hundreds of thousands with, and without, symptoms are not being tested; nor will most of them volunteer to be. Except for those on cruise ships who are forced to be tested (and they're mostly retirees and elderly), few workers can afford to allow themselves to be. The infection rate is thus already much higher and will continue to rise. Voluntary quarantining doesn't work much (again just look at Italy, or even Germany, where in one week cases (tested) rose from 66 to more than 1000). So out of economic necessity and to avoid personal economic devastation, they continue to work. But that doesn't have to be.

US Policy Response: No Help for Working Class

US policy has been, is, and will continue to be a disaster. Trump's cuts to health and human services in the past seriously hampered the US initial response. Tests had to be sent to Atlanta and the CDC for processing. Early test kits often failed. Only now are they getting to the states–to late to have a positive initial effect on the spread. Those suspected of exposure to others confirmed infected were simply sent home for 'voluntary quarantine'. Initial legislation of $8.3 billion just passed by Congress provides for 'reimbursement' for voluntary testing, with no clarification if that covers the $1,000 hospital visit as well or just the cost of the actual test!

There could be, however, a government response that financially supports workers and allows them to be properly tested and treated.

An Alternative Policy Response

Why doesn't the government simply say 'go get tested for free' and the hospital will bill the government for the costs? Not the worker pay up front with money he/she likely doesn't have. Why isn't there emergency legislation by Congress or the states to require employers to provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave, like other countries? And law guaranteeing employers can't fire a worker sick with the virus for any reason? Or tax credits to working class families for the full cost of child care–paid to a nanny or to the worker–if they have to stay home in the event of a school district shutdown?

While business-investor tax cuts will almost certainly be the official government response, few of the above measures for working class Americans are likely. In America working class folks always get the short end of the economic stick. Congress and presidents pass trillions of dollars in tax cut legislation ($15 trillion since 2001 to investors, businesses and the 1%), but have raised taxes on the working class. Companies with billions of dollars in annual profits pay nothing in taxes–and actually get a subsidy check from the government to boot. Just ask Amazon, IBM, many big banks, pharmaceutical companies and more!

It can be expected the virus will have a large negative impact the standard of living and wages of millions of working class families. They will have to bear the burden of the cost with little help from their government. Meanwhile, businesses and investors will get bailed out, 'made whole', once again. In the process Consumption spending–the only area holding up the economy in 2019–will take a big hit. That means recession starting next quarter is more than a 50-50 likelihood.

In fact, the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, has just forecast that the effect on the US economy in the coming second quarter of this year will be a collapse of GDP to 0% growth.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jack Rasmus

Jack Rasmus is author of the recently published book, 'Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression', Clarity Press, August 2017. He blogs at jackrasmus.com and his twitter handle is @drjackrasmus. His website is http://kyklosproductions.com .

[Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
"... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

Published on Feb 24, 2020

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He is the author of several books including the most recent

Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

[Feb 25, 2020] The Economic Anxiety Hypothesis has Become Absurd(er)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment. ..."
"... The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population. ..."
"... The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016). ..."
"... That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade. ..."
"... In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses." ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

I am old enough to remember when many very serious people ascribed the rise of Donald Trump to economic anxiety. The hypthesis never fit the facts (his supporters had higher incomes on average than Clinton's) but it has become absurd. The level of self reported economic anxiety is extraordinarily low

Gallup reports "Record High optimism about Personal Finances in U.S." with 74% predicting they will be better off next year.

Yet now the Democratic party has an insurgent candidate candidate in the lead. I hasten to stress that I am not saying Sanders supporters have much in common with Trump supporters (young vs old, strong hispanic support vs they hate Trump etc etc etc). But both appeal to anger and advocate a radical break with business as usual. Both reject party establishments. Also Warren if a little bit less so.

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry. He remains unpopular in spite of an economy performing very well (and perceived to be performing very well).

Whatever is going on in 2020, it sure isn't economic anxiety.

Yet there is clearly anger and desire for radical change.

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality. I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News.

One other thing which it isn't is rejection of the guy who came before Trump. Obama has a Real Clear Politics average favorable rating of 59% and unfavorable of 36.1 % vastly vastly better than any currently active politician. (Sanders is doing relatively very well at net -2.7 compared to Obama's + 22.9) He is not rejected. He is not considered a failure. Yet only a small majority is interested in any sort of going back to the way things were.


likbez , February 25, 2020 12:37 am

Robert ,

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry.

Many Trump "angry supporters" in 2016 used to belong to "anybody but Hillary" class (and they included a noticeable percentage of Bernie supporters, who felt betrayed by DNC) .

They are lost for Trump as he now in many aspects represents the "new Hillary" and the slogan "anybody but Trump" is growing in popularity. Even among Republicans: Trump definitely already lost a large part of anti-war Republicans and independents. As well as. most probably, a part of working class as he did very little for them outside of effects of military Keynesianism.

I suspect he also lost a part of military voters, those who supported Tulsi. They will never vote for Trump.

He also lost a part of "technocratic" voters resentful of the rule of financial oligarchy (anti-swampers), as his incompetence is now an undisputable fact.

He also lost Ron Paul's libertarians, who voted for him in 2016.

How "Coronavirus recession", if any, might affect 2020 elections is difficult to say, but in any case this is an unfavorable for Trump event.

EMichael , February 25, 2020 10:39 am

"I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News."

Coming to you since 1965. It's just that immigrants are now added to blacks. Trump took 50 years of the Southern Strategy, took the dogwhistles completely out of the closet and wore his racism right on his chest. Helped that he had over 50 years of experience as a racist, it came naturally to him.

And he attracted a new rw base, those who were not satisfied with dog whistles and/or did not hear them.

likbez , February 25, 2020 12:19 pm

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality.

It is actually very easy to understand: the middle class fared very poorly since 1991. See https://www.cnbc.com/id/44962589 . Now "the chickens come home to roost," so to speak.

The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment.

The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population.

The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016).

Resentment against spending huge amounts of money for wars for sustaining and enlarging the global USA-centered neoliberal empire is another factor. In this sense, impoverishment and shrinking of the middle class in the USA is similar to the same impoverishment during the last days of the British colonial empire.

That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade.

In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses."

In 2016 that resulted in the election of Trump.

Add to this the fact that the neoliberal establishment (represented by both parties) now is clearly anti-social (the fact that a private equity shark Romney was a presidential candidate and then was elected as senator tells a lot about the level of degradation) and is unwilling to solve burning problems with medical insurance, minimal wage and other "the New Deal" elements of social infrastructure.

Democratic Party platform now is to the right of Eisenhower republicans.

That dooms the party candidates like CIA-democrat Major Pete, or "the senator from the credit card companies" Biden, and create an opening for political figures like Sanders (which are passionately hated by DNC)

[Feb 24, 2020] Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse by Van Badham

Highly recommended!
Yes, neo-McCarthyism is a sign of the collapse of neoliberal ideology and the crisis within the neoliberal ruling elite, which is trying to patch the cracks int he neoliberal facade of the US society and require the control over the population (which rejected neoliberalism at voting booth in 2016) with Russophobia
Apr 26, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

5. The reds are back under the beds

There's always a bit of judgment and vengeance inherent to the factional shenanigans of Australia's Liberal party, but its refreshed vocabulary warrants inclusion as the fifth sign. Michael Sukkar, the member for Deakin, has been recorded in a dazzling rant declaring war on a "socialist" incursion into a party whose leader is a former merchant banker who pledged to rule for "freedom, the individual and the market" the very day he was anointed.

Sukkar's insistence is wonderful complement to the performance art monologues of former Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop on Sky, where she weekly decries socialism is to blame for everything from alcoholism to energy prices.

The reds may not be under the beds quite yet, but if Sukkar's convinced some commie pinkos are already gatecrashing cocktail events with the blue-tie set, they're certainly on his mind.

[Feb 19, 2020] During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d' tat) changed sides and betrayed the working class

Highly recommended!
This was an outright declaration of "class war" against working-class voters by a "university-credentialed overclass" -- "managerial elite" which changed sides and allied with financial oligrchy. See "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind
Notable quotes:
"... By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI. ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 19, 2020 12:31 pm

Does not matter.

It looks like Bloomberg is finished. He just committed political suicide with his comments about farmers and metal workers.

BTW Bloomberg's plan is highly hypocritical -- like is Bloomberg himself.

During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d'état) changed sides and betrayed the working class.

So those neoliberal scoundrels reversed the class compromise embodied in the New Deal.

The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the neoliberal managerial class and financial oligarchy who got to power via the "Quiet Coup" was the global labor arbitrage in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations.

So all those "improving education" plans are, to a large extent, the smoke screen over the fact that the US workers now need to compete against highly qualified and lower cost immigrants and outsourced workforce.

The fact is that it is very difficult to find for US graduates in STEM disciplines a decent job, and this is by design.

Also, after the "Reagan neoliberal revolution" ( actually a coup d'état ), profits were maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of the immigrant workforce (the collapse of the USSR helped greatly ). They push down wages and compete for jobs with their domestic counterparts, including the recent graduates. So the situation since 1991 was never too bright for STEM graduates.

By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI.

See also recently published "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind.

One of his quotes:

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.

[Feb 19, 2020] On Michael Lind's "The New Class War" by Gregor Baszak

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. ..."
"... Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt. ..."
"... Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists." ..."
"... To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration. ..."
"... Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages. ..."
"... This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up. ..."
"... But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself. ..."
"... American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises. ..."
"... In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism." ..."
"... A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes. ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | lareviewofbooks.org

A FEW DAYS AFTER Donald Trump's electoral upset in 2016, Club for Growth co-founder Stephen Moore told an audience of Republican House members that the GOP was "now officially a Trump working class party." No longer the party of traditional Reaganite conservatism, the GOP had been converted instead "into a populist America First party." As he uttered these words, Moore says, "the shock was palpable" in the room.

The Club for Growth had long dominated Republican orthodoxy by promoting low tax rates and limited government. Any conservative candidate for political office wanting to reap the benefits of the Club's massive fundraising arm had to pay homage to this doctrine. For one of its formerly leading voices to pronounce the transformation of this orthodoxy toward a more populist nationalism showed just how much the ground had shifted on election night.

To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. The title of Lind's new book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite , leaves no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, though he's adamant that he's not some sort of guru for a " smarter Trumpism ," as some have labeled him.

Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt.

The New Class War is a breath of fresh air. Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists."

To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration.

The strategy has since been successfully repeated in the United Kingdom by Boris Johnson, and it looks, for now, like a foolproof way for conservative parties in the West to capture or defend their majorities against center-left parties that are too beholden to wealthy, metropolitan interests to seriously attract working-class support. Berating the latter as irredeemably racist certainly doesn't help either.

What happened in the preceding decades to produce this divide in Western democracies? Lind's narrative begins with the New Deal, which had brought to an end what he calls "the first class war" in favor of a class compromise between management and labor. This first class war is the one we are the most familiar with: originating in the Industrial Revolution, which had produced the wretchedly poor proletariat, it soon led to the rise of competing parties of organized workers on the one hand and the liberal bourgeoisie on the other, a clash that came to a head in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages.

This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up.

But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself.

Likewise, only it can contain this backlash by returning to the bargaining table and reestablishing the tripartite system it had walked away from. According to Lind, the new class peace can only come about on the level of the individual nation-state because transnational treaty organizations like the EU cannot allow the various national working classes to escape the curse of labor arbitrage. This will mean that unskilled immigration will necessarily have to be curbed to strengthen the bargaining power of domestic workers. The free-market orthodoxy of the Club for Growth will also have to take a backseat, to be replaced by government-promoted industrial strategies that invest in innovation to help modernize their national economies.

Under which circumstances would the managerial elites ever return to the bargaining table? "The answer is fear," Lind suggests -- fear of working-class resentment of hyper-woke, authoritarian elites. Ironically, this leaves all the agency with the ruling class, who first acceded to the class compromise, then canceled it, and is now called on to forge a new one lest its underlings revolt.

Lind rightly complains all throughout the book that the old mass-membership based organizations of the 20th century have collapsed. He's coy, however, about who would reconstitute them and how. At best, Lind argues for a return to the old system where party bosses and ward captains served their local constituencies through patronage, but once more this leaves the agency with entities like the Republicans and Democrats who have a combined zero members. As the third-party activist Howie Hawkins remarked cunningly elsewhere ,

American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises.

Thus, they would hardly be the first options one would think of to reinvigorate the forces of civil society toward self-rule from the bottom up.

The key to Lind's fraught logic lies hidden in plain sight -- in the book's title. Lind does not speak of "class struggle ," the heroic Marxist narrative in which an organized proletariat strove for global power; no, "class war " smacks of a gloomy, Hobbesian war of all against all in which no side truly stands to win.

In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism."

Looked at from this perspective, the break between the postwar Fordist regime and technocratic neoliberalism isn't as massive as one would suppose. The overclass antagonists of The New Class War believe that they derive their power from the same "liberal order" of the first-class peace that Lind upholds as a positive utopia. A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes.

A more honest account of capitalism would also acknowledge its natural tendencies to persistently contract and to disrupt the social fabric. There is thus no reason to believe why some future class compromise would once and for all quell these tendencies -- and why nationalistically operating capitalist states would not be inclined to confront each other again in war.

Gregor Baszak is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His Twitter handle is @gregorbas1.

Stourley Kracklite 20 days ago • edited ,

Reagan was a free-trader and a union buster. Lind's people jumped the Democratic ship to vote for Reagan in (lemming-like) droves. As Republicans consolidated power over labor with cheap goods from China and the meth of deficit spending Democrats struggled with being necklaced as the party of civil rights.
The idea that people who are well-informed ought not to govern is a sad and sick cover story that the culpable are forced to chant in their caves until their days are done, the reckoning being too great.

[Feb 07, 2020] The Consequence Of Globalism Is World Instability by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Yes, more complex systems are less stable.
Notable quotes:
"... The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism. ..."
"... Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence. ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If the coronavirus proves to be serious, as it does not appear to be at the present time, many economies could be adversely affected. China is the source of many parts supplied to producers in other countries, and China is the source of the finished products of many US firms such as Apple. If shipments cannot be made, sales and production outside of China are affected. Without revenues, employees cannot be paid. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this would be an unemployment crisis and bankruptcy of large manufacturing and marketing corporations.

This is the danger to which globalism makes us vulnerable. If US corporations produced in the US the products that they market in the US and the world, an epidemic in China would affect only their Chinese sales, not threaten the companies' revenues.

The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism.

Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence.

At this point of time, it is difficult to understand the hysteria over coronavirus and predictions of global pandemic. In China there are about 24,000 infections and 500 deaths in a population of 1.3 billion people. This is an inconsequential illness. Compared to the ordinary seasonal flu that infects millions of people worldwide and kills 600,000, the coronavirus so far amounts to nothing. Infections outside of China are miniscule and appear to be limited to Chinese people. It is difficult to know for certain, because of the reluctance to identify people by race.

Yet China has huge areas in quarantine, and travel to and from the country is restricted. Nothing like these precautions are taken against seasonal flu. So far this flu season in the US alone 19 million people have been sickened, 180,000 hospitalized, and 10,000 have died. The latest report is that 16 people in the US (possibly all Chinese) have come down with coronavirus, and none have died.

Perhaps the coronavirus is just warming up and much worse is to come. If so, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take a hit. Quarantines prevent work. Finished products and parts cannot be made and shipped. Sales cannot take place without products to sell. Without revenues companies cannot pay employees and other expenses. Incomes decline across the world. Companies go bankrupt.

You can take it from here.

If a deadly coronavirus pandemic or some other one does erupt and there is a world depression, we should be very clear in our mind that globalism was the cause. Countries whose governments are so thoughtless or corrupt as to make their populations vulnerable to disruptive events abroad are medically, economically, socially, and politically unstable.

The consequence of globalism is world instability.


yerfej , 47 minutes ago link

It makes sense for rich countries elites to leverage poor backwards shithole countries to manufacture the things they need because the elites then don't have to worry about anyone but themselves. Globalism is wonder as it bypasses all that crazy western nonsense like jobs and wages and society and hope and such.

Coram Justice , 1 hour ago link

"Bolshevism is globalism according to Lenin."
Prof. V. G. Liulevicius, Utopia & Terror in the 20th Century

Street Chief Martin , 2 hours ago link

Globalism is nothing more than the major central banks finding ways to dump off their inflation which is the deflation of an ever increasing number countries which the major cb's used to deflate their currencies. The older the cb you are the worse off yo are. From a since A.D. perspective only the Sterling is what you have to worry. From my last fiat currency perspective its the Venisthaler that is un doing everything.

To get more zero's you have to add more nine's. They can not be added as nausem like people think zero's are. The compensation pool has been shrinking for centuries on end now. Globalism is an attempt to keep the pool growing at all cost which results relentless asset appreciation. We are out of nine's. The end result of that is hyper deflation for the man and hyper reflation for the people. Easily provable at a store named Vons owned by the treasury retired.

That ladies and gents is your simplified street fed explanation. I am not trying to even remotely write out the longer technical version.

Having said that meet me at what is known as the small walmart around here, which is the home of what does MU do, what does MU do at walmart it never gets old fame for a real life walk thru of what globalism is and looks like. We will then progress to the "Big Walmart" not even a mile away and I will show you what an out of control system looks like.

So we are clear of what I just said. I live in the only place in the world where when a tourist ask you where Wal Mart is, you get your choice of size. Whats the difference you ask??? The small Wal Mart has one main entrance, the big one has three. The lady almost smacked the **** out of the guy I got that from when she asked what the difference was. The hand came up. You really had to be there.

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

Regional trade blocks with relatively balanced resource and production capabilities make more sense. Globalisation just lead to one country seeking to 'DOMINATE' in every sphere of global activity, raising the threats of economic and military conflict, as clearly demonstrated and this with the aim of global enslavement to multinational corporations, the aim of Globalism, really sick psychopathic stuff.

Regional trade blocks relatively balanced for resource and production, provide stability within each block and lesson competition for outside resource and commercial competitiveness, and represents a far more long term stable structure.

Within each trade block, as it is economic rather than socio-political the original identities of each distinct region can be preserved for the long term, so that future generations can enjoy and share in the different cultures. Race ******** is race ********, there is only one race and all of it's people are free to share in which ever culture they choose or combinations there of. Whether you get to move to those regions and enjoy those cultures will be done to your personal worth, character and ability to contribute to those societies, just the way it will be.

Some economic blocks will be far more preferable to others and will attract higher worth individuals (character and ability to contribute to society), the least and most desirable will become more so as higher worth individuals move to the most preferable away from the least preferable and make the most preferable more preferable by their active presence.

I would tip the Japan Australia one to be the most preferable for this century, the next hard to tell (there are real deep problems in the Americas caused by the USA, the EU had an bad immigrant problem as in they let in too many bad unvetted immigrants, Africa will be what Africa will be corrupt and Russia China it depends upon how quickly the modernise and socially advance, the middle of the middles south east to mid east it depends how long it takes them to come together and religion is a real problem for them).

free corn , 2 hours ago link

Competing MAD capable nations need communication/cooperation to keep the world somewat stable, that's one reason for Globalism. Author sucks.

headless blogger , 4 hours ago link

I've been wondering if this might be some kind of Globalist Drill. It doesn't make sense, although there is always the potential it could become worse than it is.

uhland62 , 3 hours ago link

I thought so, too. Strangely enough, Wuhan Chinese are now repatriated from Bali back to Wuhan?!

Instability is a necessary condition to get more conflicts and then wars going. Weapons production must be kept up; peace and stability would make make weapons production an expensive hobby.

Shifter_X , 4 hours ago link

Globalism is the shredding of nations, peoples, traditions, culture and religion.

It is failing and will continue to fail for two reasons:

1. Good fences make good neighbors

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

People are not going to stand for these destructive invasions any more. Bottom-of-the-barrel wages, crap jobs, high crime -- it's coming to a head.

I hope every nation in the EU exits.

Every idiot in Congress who supports this ridiculous bill that would make illegal immigration legal, require that the US NOT deport criminals and that we taxpayers pay to bring CRIMINALS we've deported, back to the USA, should be stripped of citizenship and kicked off the planet.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5383/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22chamberActionDateCode%3A%5C%222019-12-10%7C116%7C1000%5C%22+AND+billIsReserved%3A%5C%22N%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=10&s=4

Have you SEEN this **** pending in Congress???

surf@jm , 5 hours ago link

Globalism was outlawed forever at the Tower of Babel.....

That law has never been revoked....

[Jan 29, 2020] Campaign Promises and Ending Wars

Highly recommended!
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

lizabeth Warren wrote an article outlining in general terms how she would bring America's current foreign wars to an end. Perhaps the most significant part of the article is her commitment to respect Congress' constitutional role in matters of war:

We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily. The United States should not fight and cannot win wars without deep public support. Successive administrations and Congresses have taken the easy way out by choosing military action without proper authorizations or transparency with the American people. The failure to debate these military missions in public is one of the reasons they have been allowed to continue without real prospect of success [bold mine-DL].

On my watch, that will end. I am committed to seeking congressional authorization if the use of force is required. Seeking constrained authorizations with limited time frames will force the executive branch to be open with the American people and Congress about our objectives, how the operation is progressing, how much it is costing, and whether it should continue.

Warren's commitment on this point is welcome, and it is what Americans should expect and demand from their presidential candidates. It should be the bare minimum requirement for anyone seeking to be president, and any candidate who won't commit to respecting the Constitution should never be allowed to have the powers of that office. The president is not permitted to launch attacks and start wars alone, but Congress and the public have allowed several presidents to do just that without any consequences. It is time to put a stop to illegal presidential wars, and it is also time to put a stop to open-ended authorizations of military force. Warren's point about asking for "constrained authorizations with limited time frames" is important, and it is something that we should insist on in any future debate over the use of force. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are still on the books and have been abused and stretched beyond recognition to apply to groups that didn't exist when they were passed so that the U.S. can fight wars in countries that don't threaten our security. Those need to be repealed as soon as possible to eliminate the opening that they have provided the executive to make war at will.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is unimpressed with Warren's rhetoric:

But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She's made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn't hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama's promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.

We shouldn't discount Warren's statements so easily. When a candidate makes specific commitments about ending U.S. wars during a campaign, that is different from making vague statements about having a "humble" foreign policy. Bush ran on a conventional hawkish foreign policy platform, and there were also no ongoing wars for him to campaign against, so we can't say that he ever ran as a "dove." Obama campaigned against the Iraq war and ran on ending the U.S. military presence there, and before his first term was finished almost all U.S. troops were out of Iraq. It is important to remember that he did not campaign against the war in Afghanistan, and instead argued in support of it. His subsequent decision to commit many more troops there was a mistake, but it was entirely consistent with what he campaigned on. In other words, he withdrew from the country he promised to withdraw from, and escalated in the country where he said the U.S. should be fighting. Trump didn't actually campaign on ending any wars, but he did talk about "bombing the hell" out of ISIS, and after he was elected he escalated the war on ISIS. His anti-Iranian obsession was out in the open from the start if anyone cared to pay attention to it. In short, what candidates commit to doing during a campaign does matter and it usually gives you a good idea of what a candidate will do once elected.

If Warren and some of the other Democratic candidates are committing to ending U.S. wars, we shouldn't assume that they won't follow through on those commitments because previous presidents proved to be the hawks that they admitted to being all along. Presidential candidates often tell us exactly what they mean to do, but we have to be paying attention to everything they say and not just one catchphrase that they said a few times. If voters want a more peaceful foreign policy, they should vote for candidates that actually campaign against ongoing wars instead of rewarding the ones that promise and then deliver escalation. But just voting for the candidates that promise an end to wars is not enough if Americans want Congress to start doing its job by reining in the executive. If we don't want presidents to run amok on war powers, there have to be political consequences for the ones that have done that and there needs to be steady pressure on Congress to take back their role in matters of war. Voters should select genuinely antiwar candidates, but then they also have to hold those candidates accountable once they're in office.

[Jan 23, 2020] An incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Highly recommended!
The deep state clearly is running the show (with some people unexpected imput -- see Trump ;-)
Elections now serve mainly for the legitimizing of the deep state rule; election of a particular individual can change little, although there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch. If the individual stray too much form the elite "forign policy consensus" he ether will be JFKed or Russiagated (with the Special Prosecutor as the fist act and impeachment as the second act of the same Russiagate drama)
But a talented (or reckless) individual can speed up some process that are already under way. For example, Trump managed to speed up the process of destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by launching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44
>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...


Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.

Per
Norway

Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

[Jan 18, 2020] The US China Phase 1 Deal Interpeted: Break Thing, Claim to Fix Thing, Repeat

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | econbrowser.com

...if nothing had happened in the US-China trade war. Well, me might have gotten to where we are supposed to be with the deal

..a honest question. In terms of the environment and global climate, is it a good thing that farmers will be producing more monoculture grains, dairy, beef and pork for export?

[Jan 12, 2020] Luongo Fears "An Abyss Of Losses" As Iraq Becomes MidEast Battleground

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

The future of the U.S.'s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, following President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. and Israel are determined this border crossing remains closed and have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to prevent the free flow of goods and people across this border.

The regional allies of Iran are to be kept weak, divided and constantly under harassment.

Iraq is the battleground because the U.S. lost in Syria. Despite the presence of U.S. troops squatting on Syrian oil fields in Deir Ezzor province or the troops sitting in the desert protecting the Syrian border with Jordan, the Russians, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces continue to reclaim territory previously lost to the Syrian government.

Now with Turkey redeploying its pet Salafist head-choppers from Idlib to Libya to fight General Haftar's forces there to legitimize its claim to eastern Mediterannean gas deposits, the restoration of Syria's territorial integrity west of the Euphrates River is nearly complete.

The defenders of Syria can soon transition into the rebuilders thereof, if allowed. And they didn't do this alone, they had a silent partner in China the entire time.

And, if I look at this situation honestly, it was China stepping out from behind the shadows into the light that is your inciting incident for this chapter in Iraq's story.

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

It doubles China's investment in Iraq while denying the U.S. that money and influence.

This happened after a massive $53 billion deal between Exxon-Mobil and Petrochina was put on hold after the incident involving Iran shooting down a U.S. Global Hawk drone in June.

With the U.S balking over the Exxon/Petrochina big deal, Iraqi Prime Minster Adel Abdul Mahdi signed the new one with China in October. Mahdi brought up the circumstances surrounding that in Iraqi parliaments during the session in which it passed the resolution recommending removal of all foreign forces from Iraq.

Did Trump openly threaten Mahdi over this deal as I covered in my podcast on this? Did the U.S. gin up protests in Baghdad, amplifying unrest over growing Iranian influence in the country?

And, if not, were these threats simply implied or carried by a minion (Pompeo, Esper, a diplomat)? Because the U.S.'s history of regime change operations is well documented. Well understood color revolution tactics used successfully in places like Ukraine , where snipers were deployed to shoot protesters and police alike to foment violence between them at the opportune time were on display in Baghdad.

Mahdi openly accused Trump of threatening him, but that sounds more like Mahdi using the current impeachment script to invoke the sinister side of Trump and sell his case.

It's not that I don't think Trump capable of that kind of threat, I just don't think he's stupid enough to voice it on an open call. Donald Trump is capable of many impulsive things, openly threatening to remove an elected Prime Minister on a recorded line is not one of them.

Mahdi has been under the U.S.'s fire since he came to power in late 2018. He was the man who refused Trump during Trump's impromptu Christmas visit to Iraq in 2018 , refusing to be summoned to a clandestine meeting at the U.S. embassy rather than Trump visit him as a head of state, an equal.

He was the man who declared the Iraqi air space closed after Israeli air attacks on Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) positions in September.

And he's the person, at the same time, being asked by Trump to act as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran in peace talks for Yemen.

So, the more we look at this situation the more it is clear that Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.

It's clear that Trump doesn't want to fight a war with Iran in Iran. He wants them to acquiesce to his unreasonable demands and begin negotiating a new nuclear deal which definitively stops the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and as P atrick Henningsen at 21st Century Wire thinks ,

Trump now wants a new deal which features a prohibition on Iran's medium range missiles , and after events this week, it's obvious why. Wednesday's missile strike by Iran demonstrates that the US can no longer operate in the region so long as Iran has the ability to extend its own deterrence envelope westwards to Syria, Israel, and southwards to the Arabian Peninsula, and that includes all US military installations located within that radius.

Iraq doesn't want to be that battlefield. And Iran sent the message with those two missile strikes that the U.S. presence in Iraq is unsustainable and that any thought of retreating to the autonomous Kurdish region around the air base at Erbil is also a non-starter.

The big question, after this attack, is whether U.S. air defenses around the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi were active or not. If they were then Trump's standing down after the air strikes signals what Patrick suggests, a new Middle East in the making.

If they were not turned on then the next question is why? To allow Iran to save face after Trump screwed up murdering Soleimani?

I'm not capable of believing such Q-tard drivel at this point. It's far more likely that the spectre of Russian electronics warfare and radar evasion is lurking in the subtext of this story and the U.S. truly now finds itself after a second example of Iranian missile technology in a nascent 360 degree war in the region.

It means that Iran's threats against the cities of Haifa and Dubai were real.

In short, it means the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq now measures in months not years.

Because both China and Russia stand to gain ground with a newly-united Shi'ite Iraqi population. Mahdi is now courting Russia to sell him S-300 missile defense systems to allow him to enforce his demands about Iraqi airspace.

Moqtada al-Sadr is mobilizing his Madhi Army to oust the U.S. from Iraq. Iraq is key to the U.S. presence in the region. Without Iraq the U.S. position in Syria is unsustainable.

If the U.S. tries to retreat to Kurdish territory and push again for Masoud Barzani and his Peshmerga forces to declare independence Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go ballistic.

And you can expect him to make good on his threat to close the Incerlik airbase, another critical logistical juncture for U.S. force projection in the region.

But it all starts with Mahdi's and Iraq's moves in the coming weeks. But, with Trump rightly backing down from escalating things further and not following through on his outlandish threats against Iran, it may be we're nearing the end of this intractable standoff.

Back in June I told you that Iran had the ability to fight asymmetrically against the U.S., not through direct military confrontation but through the after-effects of a brief, yet violent period of war in which all U.S., Israeli and Arab assets in the Middle East come under fire from all directions.

It sent this same message then that by attacking oil tankers it could make the transport of oil untenable and not insurable. We got a taste of it back then and Trump, then, backed down.

And the resultant upheaval in the financial markets creating an abyss of losses, cross-asset defaults, bank failures and government collapses.

Trump has no real option now but to negotiate while Iraq puts domestic pressure on him to leave and Russia/China come in to provide critical economic and military support to assist Mahdi rally his country back towards some semblance of sovereignty

* * *

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MalteseFalcon , 3 minutes ago link

OK kids,

Play time is over.

China needs Iraqi oil to build the BRI.

Last one into Africom is a rotten egg!!!!

daveeemc2 , 14 minutes ago link

This is the most delicious of irony

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War

The american imperial style of intervention is dead.

China debt trap model of belt and road is the path forward.

They will win hearts and minds, and not a single shot fired.

USA gets debt from paying war machine and killed and maimed soldiers whose personal psychiatry will haunt them for an entire lifetime.

In the end, Americans get nothing but debt and risk their own soverignty as a population ages and infrastructure crumbles....kinda like now.

MalteseFalcon , 1 minute ago link

The last 30 years of American foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster.

yerfej , 26 minutes ago link

How about "what is the goal?" There is none of course. The assholes in the Washington/MIC just need war to keep them relevant. What if the US were to closed down all those wars and foreign bases? THEN the taxpayer could demand some accounting for the trillions that are wasted on complete CRAP. There are too many old leftovers from the cold war who seem to think there is benefit to fighting wars in shithole places just because those wars are the only ones going on right now. The stupidity of the ****** in the US military/MIC/Washington is beyond belief. JUST LEAVE you ******* idiots.

Rusticus2.0 , 22 minutes ago link

Your comment should have been directed at Trump, the commander in chief.

I guess that's still a bridge too far, but sooner than later you're going to have to cross it.

BobEore , 29 minutes ago link

Excellent Smithers, excellent:

Sometimes, in treading thru the opaque, sandstorm o ******** swept wastes of the ' desert of the really real '...

one must rely upon a marking... some kind of guidepost, however tenuous, to show you to be still... on the trail, not lost in the vast haunted reaches of post-reality. And you know, Tommy is that sort of guide; the sort of guy who you take to the fairgrounds, set him up with the 'THROW THE BALL THRU THE HOOP... GUARANTEED PRIZE TO SCOOP' kiosk...

and he misses every time. Just by watching Tom run through his paces here... zeroing in on the exact WRONG interpretation of events ... every dawg gone time... one resets their compass to tru course and relaxes into the flow agin! Thanks Tom! Let's break down ... the Schlitzy shopping list of sloppy errors:

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, f ollowing President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq. Urusalem.. and its pathetically obedient dogsbody USSA ... are busy setting up RIMFISTAN Tom.. you really need to start expanding your reading list; On both sides of that border you mention .. they will be running - and guarding - pipeline running to the mothership. Shia miitias and that project just don't mix. Nobody gives a frying fluck bout your imaginary 'land bridge to the Med'... except you and the gomers. And you and they aren't ANYWHERES near to here.

  • Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.
  • Ok... this is getting completely embarrassing. The man is a 'caretaker' Tom... that's similar to a 'janitor' - he's on the way out. If you really think thats' being pivotal... I'm gonna suggest that you've 'pivoted' on one of your goats too many times.

Look, Tom... I did sincerely undertake to hold your arm, and guide you through this to a happier place. But you... are underwater my man. And that's quite an accomplishment, since we be traveling through the deserts of the really real. You've enumerated a list of things which has helped me to understand just how completely distorted is the picture of the situation here in mudded east.. is... in the minds of the myriad victims of your alt-media madness. And I thank you for that. But its time we part company.

These whirring klaidescope glasses I put on, in order to help me see how you see things, have given me a bit of a headache. Time to return to seeing the world... as it really works!

simpson seers , 14 minutes ago link

says the yankee chicken ******......

Fireman , 32 minutes ago link

Like Ukraine, everything the anglozionazi empire of **** smear$...turns to ****.

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

https://theduran.com/ukranian-whistleblower-reveals-mh-17-tragedy-was-orchestrated-by-poroshenko-and-british-secret-service/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=wR1NFI6TBH0

BGO , 39 minutes ago link

The whole *target and destroy* Iran (and Iraq) clusterfuck has always been about creating new profit scenarios, profit theaters, for the MIC.

If the US govt was suddenly forced to stop making and selling **** designed to kill people... if the govt were forced to stopping selling **** to other people so they can kill people... if the govt were forced to stop stockpiling **** designed to kill people just so other people would stop building and stockpiling **** designed to kill people... first the US then the world would collapse... everyone would finally see... the US is a nation of people that allows itself to be propped up by the worst sort of people... an infinitesimally small group of gangsters who legally make insane amounts of money... by creating in perpetuity... forever new scenarios that allow them to kill other people.

Jesus ******* Christ ZeroHedge software ******* sucks.

Fireman , 40 minutes ago link

Understanding why Agent Orange is a meat puppet.

The following has been known to cure T.D.S.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/NJF06yjvdErM/

Wantoknow , 44 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option? What do you believe are the limits of Trump's options that assure he must negotiate? Perhaps all out war is not yet possible politically in the US, but public sentiment has been manipulated before. Why not now?

One must not yet reject the idea that the road to Moscow and Beijing does not run through Iran. Throwing the US out of the Middle East would be a grievous failure for the deep state which has demonstrated itself to be absolutely ruthless. It is hard to believe the US will leave without a much more serious war forcing the issue.

So far Trump has appeared artless and that may continue but that artlessness may well bring a day when Trump will not back down.

Fireman , 39 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option?

Ask the towel girls at Maralago and Jeffrey Pedovore.

Rusticus2.0 , 49 minutes ago link

The motivation behind Trump pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action wasn't because, after careful analytical study of the plan, he decided it was a bad deal. It was because Israel demanded it as it didn't fit into their best interests and, as with the refreezing of relationships with Cuba, it was a easier way to undo Obama policy rather than tackling Obamacare. Hardly sound judgement.

The war will continue in Iraq as the Shia majority mobilize against an occupying force that has been asked to leave, but refuse. What will quickly become apparent is that this war is about to become far more multifaceted with Iraqi and Iranian proxies targeting American interests across numerous fronts.

Trump is the head of a business empire; Downsizing is not a strategy that he's ever employed; His business history is a case study in go big or go bust.

not-me---it-was-the-dog , 32 minutes ago link

so it will work like this....

trump's zionist overlords have demanded he destroy iran.

as a simple lackey, he agreed, but he does need political cover to do so.

thus the equating of any attack or threat of attack by any group of any political persuasion as originating from iran.

any resistance by the shia in iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the currect governement of iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the sunni in iraq will be considered subversion by iran, or a false flag by iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

trump's refusal to follow the SOFA agreement, and heed the call of the democratic government we claim to have gone in to install, is specifically designed to lead to more violence, which in turn can be blamed on iran's "malign" influence, which gives the entity lackeys cover to spread more democracy.

MIGA!

Brazen Heist II , 55 minutes ago link

America is a nation of imbeciles. They have meddled in Iraq since the 1980s and still can't subdue the place to their content.

Dey hate us for our freedumbs!

Ghost who Walks , 54 minutes ago link

I'm more positive that Iraq can resolve its issues without starting a Global War.

The information shared by the Iraqi Prime Minister goes part way to awakening the population as to what is happening and why.

Once more information starts to leak out (and it will from those individuals who want to avoid extinction) the broad mass of the global population can take action to protect themselves from the psychopaths.

new game , 1 hour ago link

This is what empires in decline do. Hubris...

meanwhile China rises with Strategic economic investment.

And the econ hitmen aren't done yet...

moar war...

Arising , 1 hour ago link

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

Come on Tom, you should know better than that: the U.S will destroy any agreements between China and the people of Iraq.

The oil will continue to be stolen and sent to Occupied Palestine to administer and the people of Iraq will be in constant revolt, protest mode and subjugation- but they will never know they are being manipulated by the thieving zionists in D.C and Tel aviv.

Ms No , 1 hour ago link

Agreed. It will take nothing short of a miracle to stop this. Time isnt on their side though so they better get on it. They will do something big to get it going.

RoyalDraco , 14 minutes ago link

This isn't "humanity." Few people are psychopathic killers. It is being run by a small cliche of Satanists who are well on their way to enslaving humanity in a dystopia even George Orwell could not imagine. They control most of the levers of power and influence and have done so for centuries.

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's testimony before the Nuremberg tribunal on crimes against humanity

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Jan 04, 2011 | www.youtube.com

riccardo estavans , 4 months ago

Colin Shaw , 5 months ago Think Mackay , 5 months ago

Bill Clinton destroyed the USA economy and middle class like no president has ever done. Bush II and Obama exacerbated the destruction by the hundred folds.

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)
Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history.

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

2009starlite , 5 months ago (edited)

Those of us who seek the truth can't stop looking under every stone. The truth will set you free but you must share it with those who are ready to hear it and hide it from those who can hurt you for exposing it. MT

Aubrey De Bliquy , 2 days ago (edited)

"A Society that looses the capacity for the sacred cannibalizes itself until it dies because it exploits the natural world as well as human beings to the point of collapse."

Clark WARS News , 1 day ago

I learned something from watching this thank you powerful teacher love you ⭐

Rebel Scum , 5 months ago

I think he meant Washington State University which is in Pullman. The University of Washington is in Seattle. 16:43

phuturephunk , 6 years ago

Damn, he's grim...but he makes a whole lot of sense.

davekiernan1 , 2 weeks ago

Like Mr bon ribentrof said in monty Python. He's right you know...

Rich Keal , 5 months ago

Search YouTube for Dr. Antony Sutton the funding of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Act of 1871 as well. Take the Red Pill and go deeper.

kevin joseph , 5 days ago

loony republicans? did they open the borders, legalize late abortions and outright infanticide?

Michael Maya , 5 months ago

I've listened to this twice both twice it played on accident bcuz I had you tube on autoplay, it woke me up while I was sleeping but I'm glad it did.

Bryce Hallam , 1 week ago

Set the Playback Speed to: 1.25 . Great lecture.

Buddy Aces , 5 months ago

It makes sense and we can smell it! Those varmints must be shown no mercy.

VC YT , 5 months ago

To get in the mood, I watched this lecture from behind some Hedges. :-)

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)

15:05 The subjugation of Education 21:15 Theatrical Manipulation of Expectations 24:08 U.S. Debt and Borrowing

Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history. The Progressive movement, for example, (written into American history as being far more important that it ever really was,) unlike Socialism or Communism was primarily just a literary and a trendy intellectually movement that attempted, (unconvincingly,) to persuade poor, exploited and abused Americans that non of those other political movements, (reactive and grass-roots,) were needed here and that capitalism could and might of itself, cure itself; it conceded little, promised much and unlike either Communism or Socialism delivered fuck all. Personally I remain unconvinced also by, "climate science," (which he takes as given,) and which seems to to me to depend far too much on faith and self important repeatedly insisting that it's true backed by lurid and hysterical propaganda and not nearly enough on rational scientific argument, personally I can't make head nor tail of the science behind it ? (it may well be true, or not; I can't tell.) But above all and stripped of it his pretensions his argument is just typical theist, (of any flavor you like,) end of times claptrap all the other systems have failed, (China for example somewhat gives the lie to death of Communism by the way and so on,) the end is neigh and all that is left to do is for people to turn to character out of first century fairly story. I wish him luck with that.

penny kannon , 5 months ago

CHRIS HEDGES YOUR BOOK MUST BE HIGH SCHOOL STUDY!!! wtkjr.!!!

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

Jean Lloyd Bradberry , 5 months ago

Shared! Excellent presentation!

Mike van Wijngaarden , 4 months ago

What if, to fail is the objective? That would mean they planned everything that's happened and will happen.

Michael Hutz , 1 month ago (edited)

Loved Chris in this one. First time I've heard him talking naturally instead of reading verbatim from a text which makes him sound preachy.

Bill Mccloy , 4 months ago (edited)

Chris is our canary in a coal mine! Truly a national treasure and a champion for humanity. And he's more Christian than he thinks he is.

Herr Pooper , 4 months ago

I have always loved Chris Hedges, but ever since becoming fully awake it pains me to see how he will take gigantic detours of imagination to never mention Israel, AIPAC or Zionism, and their complete takeover of the US. What a shame.

ISIS McCain , 4 months ago

Hey Chris, please look up Dr. Wolfe and have a big debate with him!!! I believe you guys would mostly hit it off, but please look him up!

UtopiaMinor666 , 8 years ago

The reality of this is enough to make you want to cry.

Terri Pebsworth , 3 months ago

Excellent! And truer today (2019) than even in 2010.

Russell Olausen , 4 months ago

Notes From the Underground,my favourite book.

John Doe , 3 weeks ago

Gosh I thought it was being broadcasted today. Then I heard it and it was really for today.

George C. May , 2 months ago

Not once did I hear the word corruption which in this speech sums up the bureaucratic control of the country !

L N , 5 months ago

I think Chris Has saved my life! ✊🏼✌️ 👍🏼🌅

Laureano Luna , 4 months ago

43:53 Cicero did not even live the imperial period of Rome...

andrew domenitz , 4 months ago

The continued growth of unproductive debt against the low or nonexistent growth of GDP is the recipe for collapse, for the whole world economic system.

Thomas Simmons , 5 months ago

I agree with Chris about the tragedy of the Liberal Church. Making good through identity politics however, is every bit as heretical and tragic as Evangelical Republican corrupted church think, in my humble, Christian opinion.

Alexandros Aiakides , 2 weeks ago (edited)

The death of the present western hemisphere governments and "democratic" institutions must die right now for humanity to be saved from the zombies that rule it. 'Cannibalization" of oikonomia was my idea, as well as of William Engdahl. l am glad hearing Hedges to adopt the expression of truth. ( November 2019. from Phthia , Hellas ).

Heathcliff Earnshaw , 4 months ago div cl

ass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Gosh , especially that last conclusion ,was terrific so I want to paste the whole of that Auden poem here:- September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden - 1907-1973

... ... ...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

[Nov 14, 2019] Neoliberalism Paved the Way for Authoritarian Right-Wing Populism by Henry A. Giroux

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. ..."
"... This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair. ..."
"... Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ." ..."
"... As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | truthout.org

Part of the Series The Public Intellectual

Talk of a looming recession is heating up as the global economy slows and President Trump's tiff with China unsettles financial markets. As world trade contracts, stock markets drop, the manufacturing sector in the United States is in decline for the first time in a decade , and farmers and steel workers continue losing their income and jobs.

Rumors of a coming recession accentuate fears about the further deterioration of conditions faced by workers and the poor, who are already suffering from precarious employment, poverty, lack of meaningful work and dwindling pensions. A global economic slump would make living standards for the poor even worse. As Ashley Smith points out , levels of impoverishment in the United States are already shocking, with "four out of every ten families [struggling] to meet the costs of food, housing, health care, and utilities every month."

Just as the 2008 global economic crisis revealed the failures of liberal democracy and the scourge of neoliberalism, a new economic recession in 2019 could also reveal how institutions meant to serve the public interest and offer support for a progressive politics now serve authoritarian ideologies and a ruling elite that views democracy as the enemy of market-based freedoms and white nationalism.

What has not been learned from the 2008 crisis is that an economic crisis neither unites those most affected in favor of a progressive politics nor does it offer any political guarantees regarding the direction of social change. Instead, the emotions that fueled massive public anger toward elites and globalization gave rise to the celebration of populist demagogues and a right-wing tsunami of misdirected anger, hate and violence toward undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslims and people of color.

The 2008 financial crisis wreaked havoc in multiple ways. Yet there was another crisis that received little attention: a crisis of agency. This crisis centered around matters of identity, self-determination and collective resistance, which were undermined in profound ways, giving rise to and legitimating the emergence of authoritarian populist movements in many parts of the world, such as United States, Hungary, Poland and Brazil.

At the heart of this shift was the declining belief in the legitimacy of both liberal democracy and its pledges about trickle-down wealth, economic security and broadening equal opportunities preached by the apostles of neoliberalism. In many ways, public faith in the welfare state, quality employment opportunities, institutional possibilities and a secure future for each generation collapsed. In part, this was a consequence of the post-war economic boom giving way to massive degrees of inequality, the off-shoring of wealth and power, the enactment of cruel austerity measures, an expanding regime of precarity, and a cut-throat economic and social environment in which individual interests and needs prevailed over any consideration of the common good. As liberalism aligned itself with corporate and political power, both the Democratic and Republican Parties embraced financial reforms that increased the wealth of the bankers and corporate elite while doing nothing to prevent people from losing their homes, being strapped with chronic debt, seeing their pensions disappear, and facing a future of uncertainty and no long-term prospects or guarantees.

Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality.

In an age of economic anxiety, existential insecurity and a growing culture of fear, liberalism's overheated emphasis on individual liberties "made human beings subordinate to the market, replacing social bonds with market relations and sanctifying greed," as noted by Pankaj Mishra. In this instance, neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. The latter was the outcome of a growing cultural and political polarization that made "it possible for haters to come out from the margins, form larger groups and make political trouble." This toxic polarization and surge of right-wing populism produced by casino capitalism was accentuated with the growth of fascist groups that shared a skepticism of international organizations, supported a militant right-wing nationalism, and championed a surge of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-democratic values.

This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair.

At the same time, they enacted policies that dismantled civic culture and undermined a wide range of democratic institutions that extended from the media to public goods such as public and higher education. Under such circumstances, democratic narratives, values and modes of solidarity, which traded in shared responsibilities and shared hopes, were replaced by a market-based focus on a regressive notion of hyper-individualism, ego-centered values and a view of individual responsibility that eviscerated any broader notion of social, systemic, and corporate problems and accountability.

Ways of imagining society through a collective ethos became fractured, and a comprehensive understanding of politics as inclusive and participatory morphed into an anti-politics marked by an investment in the language of individual rights, individual choice and the power of rights-bearing individuals.

Under the reign of neoliberalism, language became thinner and more individualistic, detached from history and more self-oriented, all the while undermining viable democratic social spheres as spaces where politics bring people together as collective agents and critically engaged citizens. Neoliberal language is written in the discourse of economics and market values, not ethics. Under such circumstances, shallowness becomes an asset rather than a liability. Increasingly, the watered-down language of liberal democracy, with its over-emphasis on individual rights and its neoliberal coddling of the financial elite, gave way to a regressive notion of the social marked by rising authoritarian tendencies, unchecked nativism, unapologetic expressions of bigotry, misdirected anger and the language of resentment-filled revolt. Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ."

The ultimate consequence was to produce later what Wolfgang Merkel describes as "a rebellion of the disenfranchised." A series of political uprisings made it clear that neoliberalism was suffering from a crisis of legitimacy further accentuated by the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump, support for the National Rally ( formerly known as the National Front ) in France, and the emergence of powerful right-wing populist movements across the globe.

What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists.

As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. In this instance, power was removed from the social sphere and placed almost entirely in the hands of corporate and political demagogues who used it to enrich themselves for their own personal gain.

Power was now used to produce muscular authority in order "to secure order, boundaries, and to divert the growing anger of a declining middle and working-class," Wendy Brown observes . Both classes increasingly came to blame their economic and political conditions that produced their misery and ravaged ways of life on "'others': immigrants, minority races, 'external' predators and attackers ranging from terrorists to refugees." Liberal-individualistic views lost their legitimacy as they refused to indict the underlying structures of capitalism and its winner-take-all ethos.

Functioning largely as a ruthless form of social Darwinism, economic activity was removed from a concern with social costs, and replaced by a culture of cruelty and resentment that disdained any notion of compassion or ethical concern for those deemed as "other" because of their class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. This is a culture marked by gigantic hypocrisies, "the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events," widespread viciousness, "great concentrations of wealth," "surveillance overkill," and the "unceasing despoliation of biospheres for profit."

George Monbiot sums up well some of the more toxic elements of neoliberalism, which remained largely hidden since it was in the mainstream press less as an ideology than as an economic policy. He writes :

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning. Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimized, public services should be privatized. The organization of labor and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

In the neoliberal worldview, those who are unemployed, poor consumers or outside of the reach of a market in search of insatiable profits are considered disposable. Increasingly more people were viewed as anti-human, unknowable, faceless and symbols of fear and pathology. This included undocumented immigrants in the United States and refugees in Europe, as well as those who were considered of no value to a market society, and thus eligible to be deprived of the most basic rights and subject to the terror of state violence.

Marking selected groups as disposable in both symbolic and material forms, the neoliberal politics of disposability became a machinery of political and social death -- producing spaces where undesirable members are abused, put in cages , separated from their children and subject to a massive violation of their human rights. Under a neoliberal politics of disposability, people live in spaces of ever-present danger and risk where nothing is certain; human beings considered excess are denied a social function and relegated to what Étienne Balibar calls the "death zones of humanity." These are the 21st century workstations designed for the creation and process of elimination; a death-haunted mode of production rooted in the "absolute triumph of irrationality."

Economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine.

Within this new political formation, older forms of exploitation are now matched, if not exceeded, by a politics of racial and social cleansing, as entire populations are removed from ethical assessments, producing zones of social abandonment. In this new world, there is a merging of finance capital and a war culture that speaks to a moral and political collapse in which the welfare state is replaced by forms of economic nationalism and a burgeoning carceral state .

Furthermore, elements of this crisis can be seen in the ongoing militarization of everyday life as more and more institutions take on the model of the prison. Additionally, there is also the increased arming of the police, the criminalization of a wide range of behaviors related to social problems, the rise of the surveillance state, and the ongoing war on youth, undocumented immigrants, Muslims and others deemed enemies of the state.

Under the aegis of a neoliberal war culture, we have witnessed increasing immiseration for the working and middle classes, massive tax cuts for the rich, the outsourcing of public services, a full-fledged attack on unions, the defunding of public goods, and the privatization of public services extending from health and education to roads and prisons. This ongoing transfer of public resources and services to the rich, hedge fund managers, and corporate elite was matched by the corporate takeover of the commanding institutions of culture, including the digital, print and broadcast media. What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists and its flip side, which amounts to a full-fledged political attack on independent digital, online and oppositional journalists.

While it is generally acknowledged that neoliberalism was responsible for the worldwide economic crisis of 2008, what is less acknowledged is that structural crisis produced by a capitalism on steroids was not matched by subjective crisis and consequently gave rise to new reactionary political populist movements. As economic collapse became visceral, people's lives were upended and sometimes destroyed. Moreover, as the social contract was shredded along with the need for socially constructed roles, norms and public goods, the "social" no longer occupied a thick and important pedagogical space of solidarity, dialogue, political expression, dissent and politics.

As public spheres disappeared, communal bonds were weakened and social provisions withered. Under neoliberalism, the social sphere regresses into a privatized society of consumers in which individuals are atomized, alienated, and increasingly removed from the variety of social connections and communal bonds that give meaning to the degree to which societies are good and just.

Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

People became isolated, segregated and unable " to negotiate democratic dilemmas in a democratic way " as power became more abstract and removed from public participation and accountability. As the neoliberal net of privilege was cast wider without apology for the rich and exclusion of others, it became more obvious to growing elements of the public that appeals to liberal democracy had failed to keep its promise of a better life for all. It could no longer demand, without qualification, that working people should work harder for less, and that democratic participation is exclusively about elections. What could not be hidden from many disenfranchised groups was that ruling elites produced what Adam Tooze describes as "a disastrous slide from the hypocrisies and compromises of the previous status quo into something even [more dangerous]."

As the global crisis has intensified since 2008, elements of a political and moral collapse at the heart of an authoritarian society are more obvious and find their most transparent expression of ruthlessness, greed and unchecked power in the rule of Donald Trump. As Chris Hedges points out :

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military "virtues" are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch . Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages.

The slide into authoritarianism was made all the easier by the absence of a broad-based left mass movement in the United States, which failed to provide both a comprehensive vision of change and an alignment of single-issue groups and smaller movements into one mass movement. Nancy Fraser rightly observes that following Occupy, "potential links between labour and new social movements were left to languish. Split off from one another, those indispensable poles of a viable left were miles apart, waiting to be counterposed as antithetical."

Since the 1970s, there has been a profound backlash by economic, financial, political and religious fundamentalists and their allied media establishments against labor, an oppositional press, people of color and others who have attempted to extend the workings of democracy and equality.

As the narrative of class and class struggle disappeared along with the absence of a vibrant socialist movement, the call for democracy no longer provided a unifying narrative to bring different oppressed groups together. Instead, economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine. Under such circumstances, politics is imagined as a form of war, repelling immigrants and refugees who are described by President Trump as "invaders," "vermin" and "rapists." The emergence of neoliberalism as a war machine is evident in the current status of the Republican Party and the Trump administration, which wage assaults on anything that does not mimic the values of the market. Such assaults take the form of fixing whole categories of people as disposable, as enemies, and force them into conditions of extreme precarity -- and in increasingly more instances, conditions of danger. Neoliberal capitalism radiates violence, evident in its endless instances of mass shooting, such as those that took place most recently in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. This should not be surprising for a society that measures power by the speed that it removes itself from any sense of ethical and social responsibility. As Beatrix Campbell puts it ,

The richest society on the planet is armed. And it invests in one of the largest prison systems in the world. Violence circulates between state and citizen. Drilled to kill, doomed to die: mastery and martyrdom is the heartbreaking dialectic of the manufacture of militarized, violent masculinity . The making and maintaining of militarised masculinities is vital to these new modes of armed conflict that are proliferating across the flexible frontiers of globalized capitalism, between and within states.

What has become clear is that the neoliberal agenda has been a spectacular failure . Moreover, it has mobilized on a global level the violent political, social, racial and economic energies of a resurgent fascist politics. Across the globe, right-wing modes of governance are appearing in which the line collapses between "outside foreign enemies" such as refugees and undocumented immigrants, on the one hand, and on the other, inside "dangerous" or "treasonous" classes such as critical journalists, educators and dissidents.

As neoliberal economies increasingly resort to violence and repression, fear replaces any sense of shared responsibilities, as violence is not only elevated to an organizing principle of society, but also expands a network of extreme cruelty. Imagining politics as a war machine, more and more groups are treated as excess and inscribed in an order of power as disposable, enemies, and [forced] into conditions of extreme precarity. This is a particularly vicious form of state violence that undermines and constrains agency, and subjects individuals to zones of abandonment, as evident in the growth of immigrant jails and an expanding carceral complex in the United States and other countries, such as Hungary.

As neoliberalism's promise of social mobility and expanding economic progress collapsed, it gave way to an authoritarian right-wing populism looking for narratives on which to pin the hatred of governing elites who, as Paul Mason notes , "capped health and welfare spending, [imposed] punitive benefit withdraws [that] forced many families to rely on food banks [and] withdraw sickness and disability benefits from one million former workers below retirement age."

Across the globe, a series of uprisings have appeared that signal new political formations that rejected the notion that there was no alternative to neoliberal hegemony. This was evident not only with the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but also with the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and support for popular movements such as the National Rally in France. Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

In the United States, both major political parties were more than willing to turn the economy over to the bankers and hedge fund managers while producing policies that shaped radical forms of industrial and social restructuring, all of which caused massive pain, suffering and rage among large segments of the working class and other disenfranchised groups. Right-wing populist leaders across the globe recognized that national economies were in the hands of foreign investors, a mobile financial elite and transnational capital. In a masterful act of political diversion, populist leaders attacked all vestiges of liberal capitalism while refusing to name neoliberal inequities in wealth and power as a basic threat to their societies. Instead of calling for an acceleration of the democratic ideals of popular sovereignty and equality, right-wing populist leaders, such as Trump, Bolsonaro and Hungary's Viktor Orbán defined democracy as the enemy of those who wish for unaccountable power. They also diverted genuine popular anger into the abyss of cultural chauvinism, anti-immigrant hatred, a contempt of Muslims and a targeted attack on the environment, health care, education, public institutions, social provisions and other basic life resources. As Arjun Appadurai observes , such authoritarian leaders hate democracy, capture the political emotions of those treated as disposable, and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this scenario, we have the resurgence of a fascist politics that capitalizes on the immiseration, fears and anxieties produced by neoliberalism without naming the underlying conditions that create and legitimate its policies and social costs. While such populists comment on certain elements of neoliberalism such as globalization, they largely embrace those ideological and economic elements that concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a political, corporate and financial elite, thus reinforcing in the end an extreme form of capitalism. Moreover, right-wing populists may condemn globalization, but they do so by blaming those considered outside the inclusive boundaries of a white homeland even though the same forces victimize them . At the same time, such leaders mobilize passions that deny critical understanding while simultaneously creating desires and affects that produce toxic and hypermasculine forms of identification.

Authoritarian leaders hate democracy and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this instance, an oppressive form of education becomes central to politics and is used as a tool of power in the struggle over power, agency and politics. What is at stake here is not simply a struggle between authoritarian ideas and democratic ideals, but also a fierce battle on the part of demagogues to destroy the institutions and conditions that make critical thought and oppositional accounts of power possible. This is evident, for example, in Trump's constant attack on the critical media, often referring to them as "'the enemy of the people' pushing 'Radical Left Democrat views,'" even as journalists are subject to expulsion, mass jailing and assassination across the world by some of Trump's allies.

Waging war on democracy and the institutions that produce it, neoliberalism has tapped into a combination of fear and cathartic cruelty that has once again unleashed the mobilizing passions of fascism, especially the historically distinct registers of extreme nationalism, nativism, white supremacy, racial and ethnic cleansing, voter suppression, and an attack on a civic culture of critique and resistance. The result is a new political formation that I have called neoliberal fascism, in which the principles and practices of a fascist past and neoliberal present have merged, connecting the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of a fascist past.

Neoliberal fascism hollows out democracy from within, breaks down the separation of power while increasing the power of the presidency, and saturates cultural and social life with its ideology of self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos, and regressive notions of freedom and individual responsibility.

What needs to be acknowledged is that neoliberalism as an extreme form of capitalism has produced the conditions for a fascist politics that is updated to serve the interest of a concentrated class of financial elite and a rising tide of political demagogues across the globe.

The mass anger fueling neoliberal fascism is a diversion of genuine resistance into what amounts to a pathology, which empties politics of any substance. This is evident also in its support of a right-wing populism and its focus on the immigrants and refugees as "dangerous outsiders," which serves to eliminate class politics and camouflage its own authoritarian ruling class interests and relentless attacks on social welfare.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy.

In the face of a looming global recession, it is crucial to understand the connection between the rise of right-wing populism and neoliberalism, which emerged in the late 1970s as a commanding ideology fueling a punitive form of globalization. This historical moment is marked by unique ideological, economic and political formations produced by ever-increasing brutal forms of capitalism, however diverse.

Governing economic and political thinking everywhere, neoliberalism's unprecedented concentration of economic and political power has produced a toxic state modeled after the models of finance and unchecked market forces. It has also produced a profound shift in human consciousness, agency and modes of identification. The consequences have become familiar and include cruel austerity measures, adulation of self-regulating markets, the liberating of capital from any constraints, deregulation, privatization of public goods, the commodification of everyday life and the gutting of environmental, health and safety laws. It has also paved the way for a merging of extreme market principles and the sordid and mushrooming elements of white supremacy, racial cleansing and ultranationalism that have become specific to updated forms of fascist politics.

Such policies have produced massive inequities in wealth, power and income, while further accelerating mass misery, human suffering, the rise of state-sanctioned violence and ever-expanding sites of terminal exclusion in the forms of walls, detention centers and an expanding carceral state. An impending recession accentuates the antagonisms, instabilities and crisis produced by the long history and reach of neoliberal ideologies and policies.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy, Islamophobia, nativism and misogyny. In the face of such reactionary forces, it is crucial to unite various progressive forces of opposition into a powerful anti-capitalist movement that speaks not only to the range of oppressions exacerbated by neoliberalism, but also to the need for new narratives that speak to overturning a system steeped in the machineries of war, militarization, repression and death.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and is the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books include: Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education (Haymarket 2014), The Violence of Organized Forgetting (City Lights 2014), Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2015), America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016), America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017), The Public in Peril (Routledge, 2018) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism (City Lights, 2018) and The Terror of the Unforeseen (LARB Books, 2019). Giroux is also a member of Truthout 's Board of Directors.

[Nov 13, 2019] The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The credibility of neoliberalism's faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity is on life-support these days. And well it should be. The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years. ..."
"... The effects of capital-market liberalization were particularly odious: If a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favor with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis. It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country's citizens. 1 ..."
"... Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, "You can't pursue the policies you want" – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – "because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer." 1 ..."
"... How can wage restraint – to attain or maintain competitiveness – and reduced government programs possibly add up to higher standards of living? Ordinary citizens felt like they had been sold a bill of goods. They were right to feel conned. ..."
"... If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realize that unfettered markets don't work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilization. But it is also clear that demagogues who would have us turn our back on science and tolerance will only make matters worse. ..."
"... The sad truth is, human nature is selfish, and the elites will always do whatever it takes to protect their own interests. With this being the basis of all political systems, it only comes down to how the elites can best serve their own interests. In democracies, it relies on creating an illusion of people's power. ..."
Nov 04, 2019 | www.project-syndicate.org

For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?

NEW YORK – At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called " The End of History? " Communism's collapse, he argued, would clear the last obstacle separating the entire world from its destiny of liberal democracy and market economies. Many people agreed.

Today, as we face a retreat from the rules-based, liberal global order, with autocratic rulers and demagogues leading countries that contain well over half the world's population, Fukuyama's idea seems quaint and naive. But it reinforced the neoliberal economic doctrine that has prevailed for the last 40 years.

The credibility of neoliberalism's faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity is on life-support these days. And well it should be. The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years.

The form of globalization prescribed by neoliberalism left individuals and entire societies unable to control an important part of their own destiny, as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University has explained so clearly , and as I argue in my recent books Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited and People, Power, and Profits . The effects of capital-market liberalization were particularly odious: If a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favor with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis. It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country's citizens. 1

Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, "You can't pursue the policies you want" – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – "because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer." 1

In rich and poor countries alike, elites promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. To get there, though, workers would have to accept lower wages, and all citizens would have to accept cutbacks in important government programs.

The elites claimed that their promises were based on scientific economic models and "evidence-based research." Well, after 40 years, the numbers are in: growth has slowed, and the fruits of that growth went overwhelmingly to a very few at the top. As wages stagnated and the stock market soared, income and wealth flowed up, rather than trickling down.

How can wage restraint – to attain or maintain competitiveness – and reduced government programs possibly add up to higher standards of living? Ordinary citizens felt like they had been sold a bill of goods. They were right to feel conned.

We are now experiencing the political consequences of this grand deception: distrust of the elites, of the economic "science" on which neoliberalism was based, and of the money-corrupted political system that made it all possible.

The reality is that, despite its name, the era of neoliberalism was far from liberal. It imposed an intellectual orthodoxy whose guardians were utterly intolerant of dissent. Economists with heterodox views were treated as heretics to be shunned, or at best shunted off to a few isolated institutions. Neoliberalism bore little resemblance to the "open society" that Karl Popper had advocated. As George Soros has emphasized , Popper recognized that our society is a complex, ever-evolving system in which the more we learn, the more our knowledge changes the behavior of the system. 2

Nowhere was this intolerance greater than in macroeconomics, where the prevailing models ruled out the possibility of a crisis like the one we experienced in 2008. When the impossible happened, it was treated as if it were a 500-year flood – a freak occurrence that no model could have predicted. Even today, advocates of these theories refuse to accept that their belief in self-regulating markets and their dismissal of externalities as either nonexistent or unimportant led to the deregulation that was pivotal in fueling the crisis. The theory continues to survive, with Ptolemaic attempts to make it fit the facts, which attests to the reality that bad ideas, once established, often have a slow death. 3

If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realize that unfettered markets don't work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilization. But it is also clear that demagogues who would have us turn our back on science and tolerance will only make matters worse.

The only way forward, the only way to save our planet and our civilization, is a rebirth of history. We must revitalize the Enlightenment and recommit to honoring its values of freedom, respect for knowledge, and democracy.

Follow Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University, is the co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize, former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. His most recent book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent .

[Nov 06, 2019] Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one

Highly recommended!
Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.06.19 at 4:07 am 47

@Z 11.05.19 at 9:23 am @45

It seems to me an important tenet of the neoliberal ideology is the arbiter (or auctioneer) role it gives the state and other political institutions with respect to markets. Markets are the locus of justice and efficiency, but political institutions have the essential task of organizing them and the competitions that takes place within them, supposedly at least.

In practice, this translated in a central role of political power not only in privatizing and breaking state monopolies, but also in the creation, sometimes ex nihilo, of markets supervised by state or quasi-state agencies (shielded of electoral choices by regulatory or ideally constitutional provisions) whose role was to organize concurrence in domains classical liberal economic theory would consider natural monopolies or natural public properties (education, health service, energy distribution, infrastructure of transportation, telecommunication, postal and banking service etc.)

What an excellent and deep observation ! Thank you ! This is the essence of the compromises with financial oligarchy made by failing social democratic parties. Neoliberalism is kind of Trotskyism for the rich in which the political power is used to shape the society "from above". As Hayek remarked on his visit to Pinochet's Chile – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism".

George Monblot observed that "Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one." ( The Guardian, Apr 15, 2016):

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

The free (as in absence of regulation for FIRE) market produces a tiny cadre of winners and an enormous army of losers (10% vs 90%) – and the losers, looking for revenge, have turned to Trump. Now entrenched centers of "resistance" (and first of all CIA, the Justice Department, The Department of State and a part of Pentagon) are trying to reverse the situation. Failing to understand that they created Trump and each time will reproduce it in more and more dangerous variant.

Trumpism is the inevitable result of the gap between the utopian ideal of the free (for the FIRE sector only ) market and the dystopian reality for the majority of the population ("without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape" Pope Francis, "Evangelii Gaudium")

The situation in which the financial sector generates just 4% of employment, but accounts for more than 25% of corporate profits is unsustainable. It should be reversed and it will be reversed.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effe