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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).
As an ideology, consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy. And consumption is the only operable form of citizenship. With the related religious belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations.
As the mode of governance, it produces the ways 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 morality of the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).
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. From above. Although is formally only 37 years old (if we could the edge of neoliberalism from the election of Reagan, which means from 1981) neoliberalism as ideology was born in 1947. And 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 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 solders 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". They also realized that The Iron Law of Oligarchy in applicable to the USSR no less that to any Western country. If we 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. Any illusions of global Communist hegemony had evaporated with the collapse of Sino-Soviet relations in 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 U.S. 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 of even half a century (The USSR lasted another 28-46 years depending on the point at which you assume the ideology was completely discredited). But 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 too (with substantial lag).
Neoliberal society probably has at least the same staying power after 2008 -- when the ideology was discredited and neoliberalism entered zombie stage. If not more, as 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. And that, paradoxically, includes the KGB brass, which was instrumental in transition of the xUSSR space from Brezhnev socialism to neoliberalism (with the first stage of gangster capitalism).
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 two most notable events after 2008, that undermines "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.
We can envision the same process of the growing gap between ideology postulates and 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 nomenklarura in the USSR). Do let's make an unscientific estimate that another 40-50 years of neoliberalism from 2008 are probable. That gives are the estimate of probably disintegration as somewhere in 2050-2060. "Plato oil" might speed this process up, as neoliberal globalization depends on cheap oil.
Like all analogies it far from being perfect. Here are major objections:
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.
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. Actually analogies with Marxism are to numerous to list. "Dictatorship of "free markets"" instead of dictatorship of proletariat. With the same idea that 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.
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.
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.
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 -- 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 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".
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 niether self-regulating, not really 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.
While indoctrination now reached almost all adult population, there are some instances of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism isa 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 probem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achivement, 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.
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 facede. Like in 20th failure the globalization and unrestrained financial markets (which produced the Great Depression) the financial crisi of 2008 led to the dramic rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hundary, 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 Franko 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.
Neoliberalism failed to fulfill its promises for the bottom 80% of population. They became more poorer, job security deteriorated, good jobs dissaper, 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 int he 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 concensus 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.
When ideology collapses the elite often reports 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 "bastard neoliberalism (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies lookmore and more more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a an economic platform. Nonetheless, that "neoliberalism in name only" is still a powerful global "brand" which the U.S. seeks to maintain at all costs for macro geopolitical reasons (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 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, Lybia 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 thier final day.
As Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". having first class military weakns is not everything when you face gurilla resisance 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.
Analogy of current crisis of neoliberalism int he USA and the USSR collapse is demonstrably far from perfect. The USSR was always in far less favorable conditions then 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.
Still it allows to point out some alarming similarities. 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 sign indeed. .
There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible 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. Some of them too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable. 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.
Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Northern Star August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pmhttp://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/16/pers-a16.html
"But to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare. This global trade war is spearheaded by the Trump White House, which sees trade sanctions and tariffs, such as the onslaught it launched against Turkey, as an integral component of its drive to secure the United States' geopolitical and economic interests at the expense of friend and foe alike.
The character of world economy has undergone a major transformation in the past decade in which economic growth, to the extent it that it occurs, is not driven by the development of production and new investments but by the flow of money from one source of speculative and parasitic activity to the next."
"But while they are deeply divided as to their economic and geo-political objectives, the capitalist ruling classes are united on one essential question. However the next stage of the ongoing breakdown of world capitalism proceeds, they will all strive by whatever means considered necessary to make the working class the world over pay for it.
This is the lesson from the past decade which, in every country, has seen a deepening attack on wages, social conditions and living standards as wealth is redistributed up the income scale, raising social inequality to unprecedented heights.
In 2008, capitalist governments around the world, above all in the US, derived enormous benefit from the decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade unions and the parties of the political establishment. The rescue operation they carried out on behalf of parasitic and criminal finance capital would not have been possible without it."
Aug 17, 2018 | russia-insider.com"As America weakens, Russia, Turkey, Iran and all the other countries that have been steamrolled by Washington will likely seek revenge." 145 There has been a dramatic shift in how the United States government carries out its business internationally. Admittedly, Washington has had a tendency to employ force to get what it has wanted ever since 9/11, but it also sometimes recognized that other countries had legitimate interests and accepted there was a place for diplomacy to resolve issues short of armed conflict.
The Bush Administration reluctance to broaden its engagement in the Middle East after it recognized that it had blundered with Iraq followed by Obama's relaxation of tensions with Cuba and his negotiation of a nuclear agreement with Iran demonstrated that sanity sometimes prevailed in the West Wing.
That willingness to be occasionally accommodating has changed dramatically , with the State Department under Mike Pompeo currently more prone to deliver threats than any suggestions that we all might try to get along.
It would be reasonable enough to criticize such behavior because it is intrinsically wrong, but the truly frightening aspect of it would appear to be that it is based on the essentially neoconservative a ssumption that other countries will always back down when confronted with force majeure and that the use of violence as a tool in international relations is, ultimately, consequence free.
I am particularly disturbed with the consequence free part as it in turn is rooted in the belief that countries that have been threatened or even invaded have no collective memory of what occurred and will not respond vengefully when the situation changes.
There have been a number of stunningly mindless acts of aggression over the past several weeks that are particularly troubling as they suggest that they will produce many more problems down the road than solutions.
The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th.
The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia , leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.
Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner.
Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.
Turkey is also feeling America's wrath over the continued detention of an American Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson by Ankara over charges that he was connected to the coup plotters of 2016, which were allegedly directed by Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim religious leader, who now resides in Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump has made the detention the centerpiece of his Turkish policy, introducing sanctions and tariffs that have led in part to a collapse of the Turkish lira and a run on the banking system which could easily lead to default and grave damage to European banks that hold a large party of the country's debt.
And then there is perennial favorite Iran, which was hit with reinstated sanctions last week and is confronting a ban on oil sales scheduled to go into effect on November 4th. The US has said it will sanction any country that buys Iranian oil after that date, though a number of governments including Turkey, India and China appear to be prepared to defy that demand. Several European countries are reportedly preparing mechanisms that will allow them to trade around US restrictions.
What do Russia, Turkey and Iran have in common? All are on the receiving end of punitive action by the United States over allegations of misbehavior that have not been demonstrated. Nobody has shown that Russia poisoned the Skripals, Turkey just might have a case that the Reverend Brunson was in contact with coup plotters, and Iran is in full compliance with the nuclear arms agreement signed in 2015.
One has to conclude that the United States has now become the ultimate angry imperial power, lashing out with the only thing that seems to work – its ability to interfere in and control financial markets – to punish nations that do not play by its rules.
Given Washington's diminishing clout worldwide, it is a situation that is unsustainable and which will ultimately only really punish the American people as the United States becomes more isolated and its imperial overreach bankrupts the nation.
As America weakens, Russia, Turkey, Iran and all the other countries that have been steamrolled by Washington will likely seek revenge. To avoid that, a dramatic course correction by the US is needed, but, unfortunately, is unlikely to take place.
Aug 18, 2018 | www.unz.com
Virgile , August 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMTThat is the true face of America that has emerged after having been hidden behind good manners success and glamour.
Trump is only a catalyst to that revelation. The illness have been there for long time disguised in a motto "We are a great democratic nation'. It is now showing its real and ugly face.
The USA's illness cannot be cured other than by a 'regime change'.
Maybe that is what is brewing..
Aug 12, 2018 | pravdoiskatel77.livejournal.com
The US is preparing a new package of sanctions aimed not only against Russian banks, corporations, businessmen, but also against those who do business with them. The full list of Russian companies is in print, and I do not want to retell for the hundredth time what everyone already knows almost by heart: the names of companies and people's names. The main thing is that all of them are cut off from dollar payments, including financing of new Russian government bonds.
For senior managers of these companies, sitting between two chairs now ended in disaster. Poor Gref (Sberbank chairman) in vain so many years showed loyalty to the USA by not recognizing the Crimea. It did not help. He is in the list. The USA cut Gref with his Bank from the American financial market and does not care one bit that they hurt a deeply pro-American neoliberal comprador.
The Russian financial system, the core of which was that it is a part of world neoliberal financial system run from New York and London, the severing of its connection to the dollar market is a knockdown, if not knockout. And the question is not whether the sanctions will be approved "as is" or somewhat soften, it is clear what size of the suspended axe. Which can sooner or later fall on the heads of our neoliberals, because they are not neoliberal enough and did not depose President Putin. The neoliberal establishment of the USA can press, twist and simultaneously emasculate Trump even more. Trump is very weak, in spite of all the bravado and somewhat improved popularity ratings.
The neoliberal establishment of the USA proved that it can eats even popular presidents. If Trump survives the November midterm Congressional elections, he is highly likely will face even more fierce opposition at the next Presidential election. The "deep state" does not make the same mistake twice.
And then the successor will finish all that Trump failed to finish as for Russian suctions. Russia is facing the complete financial isolation with a ban on the import of modern equipment and export of oil and gas. Ahead drugs and consumer electronics, computers and other products. Those who do not believe in it, do not understand what is happening. Neoliberalism is wounded and like wounded animal attack on its enemies or even detractors with fierce force and determination.
How strong is the shock in the Russian elites from what is happening, shows the performance of Peskov. His reaction reminds us the beginning of the Patriotic war: everyone was waiting for it, but preparations are actually blocked "not to provoke Germans" and no one want to believe when it is started. Remember our pre-war military doctrines? "Fight in a foreign land and with little blood! " In life it turned out a little differently. And only thanks to the fact that sobering up happened quickly, the enemy was stopped near Moscow six months later.
Peskov looks like Molotov of our time. He spoke cautiously in the sense that we do not yet see the react to premature actions. Somebody in the USA really spoke in favor of severe sanctions. When (on August 22) there will be an official decision of our "American partners", then we will talk. And he added that should reassure everyone: "Russia's Financial system is quite stable, it is well known. It has proved its stability in quite difficult times. Against the background of the continuing unpredictability of our overseas partners, of course, we must and we keep our financial system in good condition. It's obvious". It would be better if he said another, very simple idea -- that Russia will adequately respond on all the attacks on its financial system.
Because the tense optimism does not bring calm. What is financial stability, when the rubble dropped more then 10% on the news. Just waiting for the sanctions? Essentially threat to impose those from the State Department on August 22. The ruble as a part of international financial system considerably dropped on the news. Speculators, dominant on the stock exchange and holding this market, began to massively withdraw from ruble assets.
Of course Peskov is still not Putin, he just is the spokesman for the President. Everyone understands that Russian financial system was stable until it was seriously hit. The" tough times" in the past about which Peskov talked were in comparison not that thought. Now we are facing a complete blockade similar to imposed on Japan before Pearl harbor. the design is to provoke us while Russia is still weak after the economic rape of 1990th. The same type of ideas that were behind operation Barbarossa. With the color revolution instead of armed invasion. So why there are people who do not understand this?
Sanctions are just one piece of the puzzle. Background of other action by CIA and NGO. The goal was voiced by some members of the US political elite. Rabid ex-head of the CIA Michael Morell of course behaves much like Zhirinovsky in Russia. With far less originality. But those reservations aside, he probably voiced real intentions of the USA ruling class when he called for "orange revolution" Russia in a manner of EuroMaydan in Ukraine. Which supposedly can be provoked by anti-Russian economic sanctions and economic blockade, which the Congress is in a hurry to adopt.
Everything is very open: sanctions will affect standard of living including decline of real value of pensions (and increase of pension age, already planned), increase is some taxes and prices of staples and communal services. Kind of Ukraine "after-Maydan" scenario without Maydan. At some point this really might take people to the streets. Unpopular reforms are often a desperate reaction of the government to sanctions. All sanctions since Obama's time are aimed at raising the middle class to revolt, and Morell is sure that this is what "Putin is afraid of most." He writes about it in the newspaper the Washington Post in the article "Putin is afraid of one single thing. Let's make him think it can happen." The uprising in Russia might also followed by establishing of another Yeltsin-style puppet regime. Round two of what happened after the dissolution of the USSR. One real problem here is that Putin will last just another six years. Then what? There is no clear mechanism of succession in Russian elite and it can step on the same rake.
That is, the US openly uses the attack on the Russian financial system to organize a coup, a yet another color revolution and bring to power Yeltsin-style puppets. The assurance that our financial system is reliable is an attempt to hide for us the fact how unreliable it is if hit by the USA hard. But if Putin spokesman Peskov does not say it right now, it does not mean that Putin does not see and does not take some actions.
The first step in right direction, forced by the previous round of sanctions was creation of a payment system MIR and an analogue of the SWIFT system. The second is a sharp drop of holding of US treasures. I think that the third necessary step will be the transition step-by-step manner to the nationalization of the top level banks of the Russian financial system -- a measure completely forced by the USA behavior and quite obvious. this can be hidden operation about which nobody should speak too loudly.
I recently wrote that the main feature of the Soviet budget was that it was formed as a result of the confiscation of the free retained earnings balance that arose after the distribution of the planned profit of enterprises, according to the established standards. Thanks to this system, the Soviet budget pulled not only the USSR and its republics, but also half of the world including a dozens of vassals and semi or temporary allies. And the collapse of the USSR happen due to betrayal of the elite, not because of financial problems, although they did existed and at the end of Brezhnev rule became acute. Still it happened mainly because the Soviet nomenklatura wanted privatization, wanted to change sides. It they did not became turncoats, despite all weakness and warts of the Soviet system we probably would still be living in the USSR.
The Soviet financial system was really very stable, because it was protected from the influence of sabotage of the West. Inflation did exist and ruble gradually lost it value during Brezhnev's reign, but that was it. Of course, famous Soviet "deficit" was also a form of inflation, but it was mainly visible in the area of "conspicuous consumption" -- luxury good, electronics and such. With the exception of meat (but not fish) staples were "mostly" available, although "real" prices on "black market" for them often did no correspond to the official prices. The Soviet Union has always, throughout its history lived under the sanctions, if not blockade by the West, but since 1960th population felt the effects only indirectly with severely limited access to Western consumer electronics, low quality and availability of domestic electronics, and such. I am not defending the Soviet system here, I just try to understand the situation.
Unlike the current situation with the ruble in the USSR, the current sanctions are instantly felt, as the exchange rate of the ruble changed and people see that: they feel that they became more poor even if consumer prices did not react. Also the fluctuations of the ruble cause price hikes on imported goods and the risk of bankruptcy of banks. The country's budget to a considerable extent depends on revenues from exports of raw materials such as oil and gas as well (to much lesser extent) as sales of Russian bonds to finance large infrastructure projects. It is wrong to believe that the new US sanctions will hit only the pockets of bankers and top managers. Real economy will also be hit. We are too dependent on imports and the dollar.
I write this to stress that the fact that the nationalization of financial system can take various forms, including the return to the Soviet style limitations on profit of financial institutions and some branches of economics. One step in this direction would be taking 500 billion rubles from the metallurgical and chemical businesses to the state budget. Just like that, no taxes. Advisor to the President Andrei Belousov wrote a letter to President Vladimir Putin, in which he pointed out that in metallurgy and chemistry for 2017, super-profits have accumulated due to the price situation, and not as a result of the actions of the management of companies. The market excess over the average price was 20.8%. Since similar excessive profits in oil industry are withdrawn to the budget in the form of super-income rents, why not do the same with metallurgists and chemists? Putin agreed in writing with Belousov by put a resolution "I Agree" on his memo. This is a socialist redistribution of the state profits of private capitalist enterprises. The NEP in its purest form.
Neoliberals are sad -- not good, they say, not the way "market economy" should work. F*ck them. Shareholders will receive less dividends. But what dividends consideration should be when the country is at war? During the war it should be war economics and it might make sense to return to some USSR practices, as the USSR economics was close to war economics all the time (and it was one on the major drawbacks of "socialist economy").
It is possible, as in the USSR, to take money from business in the form of confiscation by the state of the all of the profits, as many countries do during the war. Of course, this can be only temporary solution, but for several years it will definitely work.
In war, the country, one way or another, puts its economic wagon on the rails of the socialism. First of all, it is the principle of priority of national goals over personal ones. Neoliberals and financial oligarchy during the war are removed from power and, if they resist, of property. So far, they have been removed from part of the profits in two industries. The financial oligarchy is still intact. That needs to change.
But back to neoliberal financial system and banks. Those who are cut off from the dollar-or threaten to cut off with a high degree of probability of this event are now screaming. Let then scream. Sooner or later, but this should happen anyway, and that was clear to anybody expect to comprador financial oligarchy themselves, who enjoyed buying castles, football teams at the West and move their families. Now west will confiscate all those goodies without hesitation as assets created by stealing property in Russia and they can do nothing about it. In the famous film " Liberation " at the end there is a question: "What did fascism bring to the world?". We should also ask ourselves, "What has neoliberalism brought to Russia?".
Neoliberalism impoverished the majority of the Russian population and created a tiny strata of loyal to the USA Russian elite and professionals -- Russian compradors, which preferred to store money in the Western banks. Which currently should be bribed by Putin regime with some possibilities of continued unfair enrichment to keep them quite, so that they do not ally with the USA in case of color revolution, like some Ukrainian oligarchs such as Poroshenko and Kolomoysky did. But this bribery has not turned compradors from fifth column of the West in Russia, into Russian nationalists. They did refrain from revolt in 2011-2012, the USA attempt to stage "white color revolution" in Russia, but they do hate Russia. The problem is that they reproduce themselves, taking control in the field of education, training and placement of personnel in the economy. They also control media.
Neoliberalism has brought Russia's dependence on the export of oil and gas and import of sophisticated production technologies. The raw material elite despises mechanical engineering. Controlling raw materials and finances, she buys equipment in the West, sharing with him part of national resources for the technologies they need. And they take out loans in the West. And move their families to the West. And try to transfer the companies outside Russian jurisdiction. They believe that the elite of the West will be so closely tied to themselves -- here, they say, we will not only share in oil and gas, but we will use your money, your technologies, and we will support your engineering we will not try to replicate them domestically.
Neoliberalism has made Russia dependent on the supply of equipment even for space industry. The dependence is decreasing, but it has become so great that it is not yet possible to get rid of it. Nevertheless, our corporations and key banks for some reason are stuck to the ears in the schemes of pumping money through the United States. What are our military-industrial enterprises doing in the USA? Why they have offshore accounts? What part of this is played by our major banks? As we have recently learned, RosCosmos was stealing money from the state on a truly cosmic scale, and not only money. A lot of components were also bought from Western corporations and sometimes from shady dealers with low quality. And this situation lasts two decades during which it would be possible to create import substitution productions for major components, if desired.
Our civil airliner Superjet, includes a lot of Western components including engines. They can cut supply of them anytime. And no matter how the Ministry of industry and trade is trying to avoid this trap, the neoliberal financial model of Russia does not allow to quickly maneuver resources. It was easy to cut whole plants for scrap metal during economic rape of Russia in the 1990s. But to built a new factory, especially for producing high technology components is much more difficult, especially operating on the destroyed technical and personnel base and brain drain to the West. In the budget formed within the neoliberal paradigm, money for new technologies that is imported from the Wast are never allocated, as this situation is considered "normal". And its normal until the USA decided to put sanctions. After that it nothing close to normal. Also different industries are treated by the state differently. There is huge preference for extractive industries as they bring currency to the budget. When our oil and gas companies suffered financially in 2014-2017, the state came to their aid. Machine builders are not so lucky.
this technological dependence on the west is the most humiliating thing that neoliberals do with the country, that managed to put a man in space just 12 years after the end of the most terrible war. And the USSR did produce some "high-tech" components that now we are buying from the West such as large turbines. Add to this the the US defense specialists freely grazed on our military industrial complex, the crown jewels of Soviet technology, like sheep on a grass common for more then a decade (from 1991 till 2001)
Conversion to Neoliberalism now can turn be very expensive for Russia. How now to buy spare parts for imported aircraft ? How we can lease new aircraft? We have a country in six time zones. All that Putin can now-it is administrative measures to support the remnants of the industry, giving them orders from the Ministry of defense and helping with loans to produce narrow body passenger jets.
But small volumes of narrow body midrange passenger planes are not very profitable and always lose to foreigners who dominate the international market and control most of its volume. Add to this the possibility of kickbacks, corruption, unwillingness to use our own components such as engine. Although we do have aircraft engines are as reasonably quiet and as economical as those we buy in the West.
for example, the newspaper "Argumenty Nedeli" for years writes about the bitter fate of our aircraft engine NK-93, which is competitive with best Western engines and which at all exhibitions are always carefully hidden from Putin somewhere in the distant hangars. The reason is simple -- it is cheap. When you put on a Superjet imported engine you not only simply maintenance of those place in foreign airports, you can launder large sums of budget money. The scheme is simple: the money from the budget -- a contract with a foreign partner via some offshore company and some amounts are rolled back. Minimum of persons involved, maximum benefit. This way from budget to offshore is the shortest. What will happen now with Superjet is unknown. The lion's share of the components are French. It is logical to think about the fate of the Mistral. Or at least supply disruptions.
It is clear that no matter how heavy the costs of us sanctions are for the country, Russian financiers will not give up power they got due to neoliberalization. They will go out of their way to prove that their fate is the fate of Russia, and their death is the death of Russia. And it is necessary to first save them and then Russia. We have seen it many times and we will see it this scenario again and again.
Our largest sectors -- oil, gas, aviation and rocket industry -- also will suffer from the imposition of sanctions. Certainly shipbuilding will suffer. One thing is good that equipment to produce them still can bought in china. But some western technologies are out of reach. China itself buys technologies in America. So we are facing difficult times.
... ... ...
America with its sanctions directly pushes Russia even out of colonial peripheral capitalism. Let's hope that the new unique mixture of capitalism and socialism that will arise in Russia as a result of American sanctions will be a completely different system with completely different elites, whose hatred and distrust of everything Anglo-Saxon will be inherited through genes. And any attempt to bring unnnesary western technologies or products into Russia will be despised. It is reasonable to expect that the new generation of Russian elite is acutely anti-American. Every action generates a reaction. Hopefully sanctions will destroy the "neoliberal intelligentsia" and "neoliberal business elite" in Russia. First of all, the neoliberal financial system will be reformed.
As China under socialist slogans builds capitalism with the Chinese specifics, so Russia under neoliberal slogans will begin to build state capitalism with some socialist component -- with the Russian specifics. And it's not a matter of taste, it's a conscious necessity. Otherwise we simply might not survive. The foundations of the new system will be laid by Vladimir Putin in the struggle for the implementation of the May decrees in conditions for acute geopolitical tension.
I hope that from now on we should not pay any attention to the neoliberal rhetoric of the authorities -- it is the rhetoric of the smoke screen. The usual smoke screen to calm those who will be gradually removed from power and property. Whether they want it or not, Russia has already embarked on this path and hopefully will not be able to get off the neoliberal track. The collapse of neoliberalism in the form of the collapse of its financial system is probably inevitable, and ithe repretition of 2008 is coming. this might help gradually dismantled and change the financial system in the coming years. The global crisis will only help us in this task. The trend is clearly indicated and it can only change speed, but not the direction. Until this moment we need to accept the reality which the USA created with new round of sanctions and do our best to defeat them. They are no longer our partners. They are something else.
Aug 17, 2018 | www.rt.comGet short URL Anti-capitalist protesters in Washington DC © David S. Holloway / AFP Support for capitalism among younger voters has dropped drastically, a new Gallup poll reveals. The US establishment's refusal to see this shift has resulted in Trump's election, philosopher Slavoj Zizek tells RT. According to the poll , 57 percent of Democrats view socialism positively. Only 47 percent view capitalism positively, down from 56 percent in 2010.
Across political lines, young Americans (aged 18-29) in general are split on capitalism and socialism. 51 percent of Americans aged 18-29 view socialism positively, while 45 percent view capitalism positively, down 12 points in just two years.
Slavoj Zizek sees the shift as a realization that for some, the American Dream just isn't real.
"The roots of this disappointment can be easily identified" he told RT. "The working class, but also the middle class feels betrayed. Generally, there's widespread awareness that the American system doesn't function the way people expected it to function."
Curiously, the drop in satisfaction comes at a time when the US economy is booming. Unemployment is at its lowest point in half a century at just over three percent, wages are increasing, and if President Trump is to be believed, all manner of companies are clamoring to bring their manufacturing operations back to the USA from overseas.
In 2010, when more Democrats still trusted capitalism, things were objectively worse. Unemployment stood at a dismal nine percent, wages had stagnated since the great recession, and recovery was still a distant glimmer.
"The message is very hopeful," Zizek said about the poll, which he said shows that quite a large part of the US population "no longer identifies with the American dream." He described the drop in support for Capitalism as the "beginning of the end of what in learned terms we call ideological hegemony."
TV Anchor: It is inexplicable that so many voters have a problem with capitalism considering that for so many Americans
[pauses to check stats]
housing is unaffordable, student debt is skyrocketing & you need a GoFundMe page to afford medical care https://t.co/JxIIZYZ2Du-- David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 13, 2018
With more Americans feeling left behind, the only candidate who capitalized on this dissatisfaction in 2016 was Donald Trump. However, Zizek doesn't see Trump as the solution to America's problems. Even as the economic good times roll, recovery has not touched everyone equally. 40 million US citizens still live in poverty, and five million of these live in "third world conditions," according to a UN report released this June.
"The only thing that can save the US is a stronger, more radical left," Zizek claims.
Where is the left?
The radical left Zizek talks about exists, but has been muscled out by the Democratic party's more centrist establishment. The establishment, he argues, "should look at their own Democratic Party, how they totally ignored a clear, more leftist, anti-capitalist signal from Bernie Sanders and his movement."
Sanders was a popular figure, particularly with young voters. By running Hillary Clinton instead, the centrist establishment "failed the expectations of the American people"
However, since Clinton's miserable performance in 2016, the 'progressive' movement championed by Sanders has slowly seeped into the mainstream. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Bronx this June, when self-professed 'democratic socialist' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez snatched a stunning primary victory, ousting ten-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, a more centrist, suit-and-tie Democrat.
Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform that includes Medicare for all, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement – some of these points the Clinton camp of the Democrat party would have considered anathema.
Ocasio-Cortez' victory appeared to lay out a clear roadmap for Democrats in the Trump age: embrace the public's demand for a more radical left and win elections, or continue to blame Russia and continue to lose. The Democratic establishment didn't listen however, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California) playing down her victory, reminding voters that it happened in "one district" and warning people not to get "carried away" with progressive ideas.
Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (South Carolina) embodied the establishment mentality when he said in an interview that Ocasio-Cortez needs to wait her turn before joining the Democratic party's leadership.
"I would ask her to remember how long I had to wait to get here," the 78-year-old Congressman said.
After her victory, Ocasio-Cortez jetted around the country to drum up support for like-minded progressive candidates ahead of primary elections. Her stumping fell short however, as four out of the six candidates endorsed by the socialist upstart lost their elections.
Some critics put this failure down to an inbuilt 'fear of socialism' among Americans. Zizek disagrees emphatically.
"I don't think that even those who spread this fear, that they take it seriously," he said, adding that the US is unlikely to turn into Venezuela any time soon. "That's pure fear-mongering" and "panicky reaction" at the newfound popularity of socialism, he said.
If the trend revealed by the latest Gallup poll is correct, embracing a socialist message could soon be the Democratic party's only means of survival.
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Aug 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Meanwhile going back to the ongoing escalation in political tensions between the US and Turkey, one day after Erdogan vowed to boycott US electronics products, including the iPhone, Ankara slapped an additional tax on imports of a broad range of American goods. Turkey announced it would impose an additional 50% tax on U.S. rice, 140% on spirits and 120% on cars.
There are also additional charges on U.S. cosmetics, tobacco and some food products. The was Erdogan's latest retaliation for the Trump administration's punitive actions over the past few weeks to pressure Turkey into releasing an American pastor.
Bloomberg calculated that the items listed in the decree accounted for $1 billion of imports last year, similar to the amount of Turkish steel and aluminum exports that were subjected to higher tariffs by President Donald Trump last week.
The decision shows Turkey giving a proportionate response to American "attacks" on the Turkish economy, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in tweets this morning.
Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,
No matter how globalism is repackaged, it always smells the same way in the end.
For decades, the globalists have subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) been moving us toward a world in which national borders have essentially been made meaningless . The ultimate goal, of course, is to merge all the nations of the world into a "one world socialist utopia" with a global government, a global economic system and even a global religion.
The European Union is a model for what the elite hope to achieve eventually on a global scale . The individual nations still exist, but once inside the European Union you can travel wherever you want, economic rules have been standardized across the Union, and European institutions now have far more power than the national governments.
Liberty and freedom have been greatly restricted for the "common good", and a giant horde of nameless, faceless bureaucrats constantly micromanages the details of daily life down to the finest details.
With each passing day the EU becomes more Orwellian in nature, and that is why so many in Europe are completely fed up with it.
Rich Monk Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalinktaketheredpill Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalink
The (((Money Changers))) have always been Humanity's greatest threat!
I would support TERM LIMITS on Congress and Senate...
Aug 14, 2018 | www.independent.org
Societies marked by oligarchy, that is, rigged to help the privileged elites at the expense of everyone else, require more than merely the removal of anti-competitive rules and regulations. The reason, according to Martinez, is that not all forms of economic liberalization are equally good: some reforms can be so inadequately designed as to harm the interests of the poor, especially in the short term.
This raises the questions: Are the poor better off under a market economy? Is the invisible hand conducive to giving people a hand? Pope Francis's assessment is often negative. "[U]nbridled capitalism," he has claimed, "has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to receive, of exploitation without looking at the person."
...Although the pope is on target in his admonition against worshipping the false god of a "deified market," according to Waterman, his encyclical Laudato si' is flawed, due in no small measure to its failure to acknowledge the good that markets do by channeling self-interest to serve the common good.
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com
PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.
The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.
Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.
MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.
PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.
So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.
MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.
Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.
And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.
Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.
PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.
There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.
MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.
PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?
MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.
And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.
PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.
MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.
And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.
And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.
PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.
MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.
PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.
MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.
PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?
MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.
PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?
MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.
PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?
MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.
PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.
MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.
PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.
MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.
PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
Aug 14, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
World acclaimed Marxist thinker Samir Amin dies
In an interview with Ahram Online in 2012 Samir Amin said that he believes that "this neo-liberal phase is in state of collapse. It doesn't mean that capitalism is collapsing; but that its current form is collapsing and we're entering a new phase. It has to adapt, and whether the new system will be biased to the ruling class or the masses, is still be revealed."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com
Tharoor quotes from New York Times columnist David Brooks who concluded that Trump's behavior was that "of a man who wants the alliance to fail." He quotes extensively from Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the Liberal political fraction in the European Parliament fighting for a much more integrated EU, who sees Trump as the enemy of liberal internationalism and ally of his own alt right enemies in Europe.
Tharoor also brings into play Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , who delivered a scathing attack on Trump for his rejection of the West: " today the U.S. president appears hostile to core American values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law; he feels no loyalty to allies; he rejects open markets; and he despises international institutions."
In the 23 July issue of "Today's World View," Tharoor takes advantage of the time gone by since Helsinki to refine the conclusions. He offers a pithy commentary from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker : "We are witnessing nothing less than the breakdown of American foreign policy."
In the same issue, Tharoor notes that public reaction to Trump in Helsinki is less pronounced than one might suppose from reading the pundits. He offers the following remarks of colleagues on the results of a recent poll: "Most Americans do not feel Trump went 'too far' in supporting Puitn, and while more Americans say U.S. leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall."
If we go back in time to the days following Trump's visit to the NATO gathering in Brussels, we find in the headlines of the 11 July issue another take on what Trump is doing:
"Trump's NATO trip shows 'America First' is 'America Alone.'"
Here we read about Trump's insistence that America "stop footing Europe's bill" for its defense, namely his demand that all NATO allies pay up 2% of GDP at once, not in the remote future; and that they prepare to double that to 4% very quickly. By intentional abrasiveness, these moves by Trump are, Tharoor tells us, "undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins."
All of these comments address the question of what Trump opposes. However, Tharoor is unable to say what, if anything, Trump stands for. There are only hints: continued US hegemony but without the ideological cover; might makes right; nationalism and the disputes that lead to war.
Does this make sense? Or is it just another way of saying that Trump's foreign policy stance is an inconsistent patchwork, illogical and doomed to fail while causing much pain and destruction along the way?
I fully agree with the proposition that Donald Trump is ripping up the post-Cold War international order and is seeking to end NATO and the rest of the alliance system by which the United States has maintained its global hegemony for decades. But I believe this destructive side is guided by a creative vision of where he wants to take US foreign policy.
This new foreign policy of Donald Trump is based on an uncompromising reading of the teachings of the Realist School of international affairs, such as we have not seen since the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was its greatest practitioner in US history.
This is not isolationism, because Trump is acting to defend what he sees as US national interests in foreign trade everywhere and in geopolitics in one or another part of the world. However, it is a world in which the US is cut free from the obligations of its alliances which entail maintenance of overseas bases everywhere at the cost of more than half its defense budget. He wants to end the risks of being embroiled in regional wars that serve our proxies, not core US national interests. And he is persuaded that by a further build-up of military might at home, by adding new hi-tech materiel the US can secure its interests abroad best of all.
I reach these conclusions from the snippets of Trump remarks which appear in the newspapers of daily record but are intentionally left as unrelated and anecdotal, whereas when slotted together they establish the rudiments of an integrated worldview and policy.
For example, I take his isolated remark that the United States should not be prepared to go to war to defend Montenegro, which recently passed NATO accession, because Montenegro had been a trouble-maker in the past. That remark underwent virtually no analysis in the media, though it could be made only by someone who understood, remarkably, the role of Montenegro at the Russian imperial court of Nicholas II precisely as "troublemaker," whose dynastic family aided in their own small way the onset of WWI.
Donald Trump is not a public speaker. He is not an intellectual. We cannot expect him to issue some "Trump Doctrine" setting out his Realist conception of the geopolitical landscape. All we get is Tweets. This inarticulate side of Trump has been used by his enemies to argue he has no policy.
In fact, Trump is the only Realist on the landscape.
Going back to 2016, I thought he was being guided by Henry Kissinger during the campaign and then in the first months of his presidency, I misjudged entirely. Trump is true to the underlying principles of Realism without compromise, whereas Henry K. made his peace with the prevailing Wilsonian Idealism of the American Establishment a couple of decades ago in order to remain welcome in the Oval Office and not to be entirely marginalized.
Trump's vision of Realism draws from the source in the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648 with its guiding concept of sovereign nation-states that do not intervene in others' domestic affairs. It further draws on the notions of raison d'état or national interest developed by the French court of Louis XIV and then taken further by "perfidious Albion" in the eighteenth century, with temporary and ever changing combinations of states in balance of power realignments of competitors. The history of the Realist School was set out magnificently by Kissinger in his 1994 work Diplomacy . It is a pity that the master himself strayed from true and narrow.
In all of this, you have the formula for Trump's respect, even admiration for Putin, since that also is now Vladimir Vladimirovich's concept of Russia's way forward: as a strong sovereign state that sets its own course without the constraints of alliances and based on its own military might.
The incredible thing is how a man with such poor communication skills, a man who does not read much came to such an integrated vision that outstrips the conceptual abilities of his enemies, his friends and everyone in between.
We are tempted to look for a mentor, and one who comes to mind is Steve Bannon, who is very articulate, razor-sharp in his intellect and who provided Trump with much of the domestic content of his 2016 campaign from the alt right playbook. And though Bannon publicly broke with Trump in their falling out over his ever diminishing role in the Administration, Bannon's ongoing project, in particular his Movement to influence European politics and shift it to the Right by coordinating activities across the Continent during the parliamentary elections of May 2019, very closely parallel what Trump's ambassador in Berlin seems to be doing in Trump's name.
It may well be that the President and his confidantes find it prudent for him to play the hapless fool, the clueless disrupter of the global political landscape until he has the support in Congress to roll out the new foreign policy that is now in gestation.
The logical consequence of such a Realist approach to foreign policy will be to reach an understanding with the world's other two principal military powers, Russia and China, regarding respective spheres of influence in their geographic proximity. But I do not believe we will see a G-3 succeeding America's unipolar moment. Given the predispositions of both Russia and China, we are more likely to see a broader board of governors of global policy in the form of the G-20, ushering in the multipolar age. In such a formulation, regional conflicts will be settled locally by the interested parties and with the major powers involved only as facilitators, not parties to conflict. That promises a much more stable and peaceful future, something which none of Donald Trump's detractors can begin to imagine as his legacy.
Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg
Aug 12, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca
The Russian and Chinese governments are puzzling. They hold all the cards in the sanction wars and sit there with no wits whatsoever as to how to play them.
The Russians won't get any help from the Western media which obscures the issue by stressing that the Russian government doesn't want to deprive its citizens of consumer goods from the West, which is precisely what Washington's sanctions intend to do.
The Russian and Chinese governments are in Washington's hands because Russia and China, thinking that capitalism had won, quickly adopted American neoliberal economics, which is a propaganda device that serves only American interests. For years NASA has been unable to function without Russian rocket engines. Despite all the sanctions, insults, military provocations, the Russian government still sends NASA the engines. Why? Because the Russian economists tell the government that foreign exchange is essential to Russia's development.
Europe is dependent on Russian energy to run its factories and to keep warm in winter. But Russia does not turn off the energy in response to Europe's participation in Washington's sanctions, because the Russian economists tell the government that foreign exchange is essential to Russia's development.
As Michael Hudson and I explained on a number of occasions, this is nonsense. Russia's development is dependent in no way on the acquisition of foreign currencies.
The Russians are also convinced that they need foreign investment, which serves only to drain profits out of their economy.
The Russians are also convinced that they should freely trade their currency, thereby subjecting the ruble to manipulation on foreign exchange markets. If Washington wants to bring a currency crisis to Russia, all the Federal Reserve, its vassal Japanese, EU, and UK central banks have to do is to short the ruble. Hedge funds and speculators join in for the profits.
Neoliberal economics is a hoax, and the Russians have fallen for it.
So have the Chinese.
Suppose that when all these accusations against Russia began -- take the alleged attack on the Skirpals for example -- Putin had stood up and said:
"The British government is lying through its teeth and so is every government including that of Washington that echoes this lie. Russia regards this lie as highly provocative and as a part of a propaganda campaign to prepare Western peoples for military attack on Russia. The constant stream of gratuitous lies and military exercises on our border have convinced Russia that the West intends war. The consequence will be the total destruction of the United States and its puppets."
That would have been the end of the gratuitous provocations, military exercises, and sanctions.
Instead, we heard about "misunderstandings" with out "American partners," which encouraged more lies and more provocations.
Or, for a more mild response, Putin could have announced:
"As Washington and its servile European puppets have sanctioned us, we are turning off the rocket engines, all energy to Europe, titanium to US aircraft companies, banning overflights of US cargo and passenger aircraft, and putting in place punitive measures against all US firms operating in Russia."
One reason, perhaps, that Russia does not do this in addition to Russia's mistaken belief that it needs Western money and good will is that Russia mistakenly thinks that Washington will steal their European energy market and ship natural gas to Europe. No such infrastructure exists. It would take several years to develop the infrastructure. By then Europe would have mass unemployment and would have frozen in several winters.
What about China? China hosts a large number of major US corporations, including Apple, the largest capitalized corporation in the world. China can simply nationalize without compensation, as South Africa is doing to white South African farmers without any Western protest, all global corporations operating in China. Washington would be overwhelmed with global corporations demanding removal of every sanction on China and complete subservience of Washington to the Chinese government.
Or, or in addition, China could dump all $1.2 trillion of its US Treasuries. The Federal Reserve would quickly print the money to buy the bonds so that the price did not collapse. China could then dump the dollars that the Fed printed in order to redeem the bonds. The Fed cannot print the foreign currencies with which to purchase the dollars. The dollar would plummet and not be worth a Venezuelan bolivar unless Washington could order its pupper foreign central banks in Japan, UK, and EU to print their currencies in order to purchase the dollars. This, even if complied with, would cause a great deal of stress in what is called "the Western alliance," but what is really Washington's Empire.
Why don't the Russian and Chinese play their winning hands? The reason is that neither government has any advisers who are not brainwashed by neoliberalism. The brainwashing that Americans gave Russia during the Yeltsin years has been institutionalized in Russian institutions. Trapped in this box, Russia is a sitting duck for Washington.
Turkey is a perfect opportunity for Russia and China to step forward and remove Turkey from NATO. The two countries could offer Turkey membership in BRICS, trade deals, and mutual security treaties. China could easily buy up the Turkish currency off foreign exchange markets. The same could be done for Iran. Yet neither Russia nor China appear capable of decisive action. The two countries, both under attack as Turkey is from Washington, sit there sucking their thumbs. (See this )
This article was originally published on the author's blog site: Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy.Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Aug 12, 2018 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 08.11.18 at 7:52 pm 11
Still, to the extent that Trumpism has any economic policy content it's the idea that a package of immigration restrictions and corporate tax cuts will make workers better off by reducing competition from migrants and increasing labor demand from corporations.
The emergence of Trumpism signifies deepening of the ideological crisis for the neoliberalism. Neoclassical economics fell like a house of cards.
IMHO Trumpism can be viewed as a kind of "national neoliberalism" which presuppose rejection of three dogmas of "classic neoliberalism":
1. Rejection of neoliberal globalization including, but not limited to, free movement of labor. Attempt to protect domestic industries via tariff barriers.
2. Rejection of excessive financialization and primacy of financial oligarchy Restoration of the status of manufacturing, and "traditional capitalists" status in comparison with financial oligarchy.
3. Rejection of austerity. An attempt to fight "secular stagnation" via Military Keysianism.
Trumpism sent "Chicago school" line of thinking to the dustbin of history. It exposed neoliberal economists as agents of financial oligarchy and "Enemy of the American People" (famous Trump phase about neoliberal MSM).
See, for example, a good summary by Sanjay Reddy ( Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research) at https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/trumpism-has-dealt-a-mortal-blow-to-orthodox-economics-and-social-science.html
It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.
First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements.
Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.
Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.
All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.
Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.
The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]
Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.
Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.
nastywoman 08.12.18 at 4:11 am 16and about@11
"for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities".
How true – how true –
(and didn't I write that when Von Clownstick won? – and hardly anybody in economics believed it?)
and then there is this:
– "financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class".
So we might have to talk one day about if it truly is "obvious enough by now that support for Trumpism in the US and elsewhere is motivated primarily by racial and cultural animus, and not (or at least not in any direct way) by economic concerns"??
Aug 12, 2018 | caucus99percent.com
Not Henry Kissinger on Thu, 08/09/2018 - 1:35pmJekyllnHyde on Thu, 08/09/2018 - 2:00pmOne of FDR's Best Speeches
@Not Henry Kissinger
Franklin Roosevelt's Address Announcing the Second New Deal - October 31, 1936
Aug 08, 2018 | eand.co
[Umair Haque, Medium ].
"Liberalism, once a great and noble philosophy, split into three factions -- neoliberalism, libertarianism, and "classical liberalism" (I'll come back to that one). These factions, like stone age tribesmen gleefully performing a lobotomy, hacked and chopped away at liberalism, blow by crushing blow, until all that was left was a drooling, snarling, spitting, twitching zombie: predatory capitalism [P]redatory capitalism created a class of oligarchs richer than the kings of yore -- and in many ways, more powerful, too. Untouchable, above the law, beyond reproach. The wealthier this class of ultra-rich got, the more that the middle and working class collapsed. Inequality spiraled out of control. People lost faith in all the great liberal institutions -- law, rights, constitutions, knowledge, democracy itself -- because it seemed that the only real purpose of those institutions was to allow the ultra-rich to prey on the poor, exacting crippling tribute for the most basic of things. Not paid in wheat or silver, but cold, hard, cash. Insulin that costs $1000? Childbirth that costs $30K? These three factions made liberalism self-destruct -- by turning it into a mechanism for the one exact thing, a millennium or so ago, it was created to destroy: feudal, dynastic, untouchable, predatory elites skimming off an economy's surplus, amassing all a society's wealth for themselves." • Not the sort of thing one expects from the one-time most popular author at the Harvard Business Review . The waters must have risen higher than I thought.
Aug 08, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
DancehallStyle -> AgainstDarkness , 6 Aug 2018 20:02US corps have bought out UK and EU corps and then outsource the work to India and China. US Corps = Globalisation.DancehallStyle -> AnthonyFlack , 6 Aug 2018 19:57IT tech and even intricate clothing are too fiddly for automata.ID4355982 , 6 Aug 2018 19:52
Americans view is if other countries like China make too much money and will overtake them then they will take it all back.
They did that with Japan. They also destroyed Soviet's economy.trump has wrecked environmental policy, trade policy and domestic social policy....the upshots will be: 1- a much more toxic environment & much higher level of respiratory disease and cancerous related ailments; overall poorer health & health care for the average citizen 2- higher prices for imported goods, lower level of trade exports, fewer US based jobs and more off-shoring of US jobs 3- a substantial increase in the homeless population in the urban areas of this country; increased rates of poverty for the poor, lower economic prosperity for the lower and lower middle class income brackets; wage stagnation for the middle & upper middle income brackets; less advanced education & lower worker productivity and innovation to name just a few of the impacts created by this idiot....in simple in English, Trump and his so-called initiatives are shafting this country in almost every way possibleIlya Grushevskiy -> RepaTea , 6 Aug 2018 19:17What part of international law is not just pissed on toiler paper strewn over the floors of a urinal? Which post WWII president respected this law?Brian Black -> bobthebuilder2017 , 6 Aug 2018 19:13
International law, since WWII failed. It failed in '47 when no referendum was held in Palestine - against Chapter 1, Article 1 paragraph 2 of the UN Charter. It failed in Crimea, when the results of such a referendum was spat on by the previous war criminal to sit in the Oval Office. It fails now as sanctions are used unilaterally - being equivalent to the use of force in result, they should be
But then let's not stop at after the war. The US is the only country to nuke civilians. 6/7 US four star generals at the time said the action had no strategic or tactical purpose whatsoever.
The US is what ISIS dreams to be, the sooner it falls into obscurity the better.Pure nonsense. The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929. FDR was inaugurated on March 4, 1933 nearly 4 years after it began. Hoover had actually only been in office for just over 6 months before Black Tuesday. GDP began growing and unemployment began falling in 1933 shortly after FDR took office. The Depression officially came to an end in 1939 when GDP returned to pre-Depression levels.Ilya Grushevskiy , 6 Aug 2018 19:09There is no long term US growth. There is a debt default after people realize the fact that the top of the whole US government is incompetent. That it has chained itself to such astronomic liabilities for useless wars (as the Empire has not succeeded in world hegemony), is even sadder. It coould have spent the $5tn of Iraq and Afghanistan on building shit, but instead it bombed shit.gmiklashek950 , 6 Aug 2018 17:59
Trump doesn't matter for US long run - in 5-10 years time the country will be only found in history books.Remember Kruschev's (sp?) last words on leaving office, and I'm paraphrasing: "Don't worry about America, they'll spend themselves to death (just like we have)". Continued economic growth is a wet dream of Wall Street origin. We are massively overpopulated and rapidly using up earth's natural resources at an increasingly unsustainable rate. We must begin to reduce our growth, not keep increasing it. Population density stress is killing us now and only increasing every day along with the 220,000 new mouths to feed that we are turning out into a world that has no room for 28,000,000 homeless migrants already. Just how crazy are we really. If this article is to be believed, we are nuts. E.F. Schumacher is rolling in his grave! Stress R UsAgainstDarkness , 6 Aug 2018 16:56Trump/the US is attempting to renegotiate globalisation.Levente Tanka -> plakias , 6 Aug 2018 16:34
It is time for the rest of the western world to follow suit.The contribution of a president to the national debt depends a bit on how you calculate it. You could simply look at rhe dates of inauguration or go a step further and look at the fiscal years. For the latter see :
In absolute terms Obama is indeed at the top of the list, percentagewise his predecessor played a larger part. No matter how you look at it or what the causes were, under Bush and Obama the U.S. debt seems to have spiralled out of of control and Trump is doing bugger all to stop that trend.
Aug 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
For consider the fruits of free trade policy during the last 25 years : the frozen wages of U.S. workers, $12 trillion in U.S. trade deficits, 55,000 factories lost, 6 million manufacturing jobs gone, China surpassing the U.S in manufacturing, all causing a backlash that pushed a political novice to the Republican nomination and into the presidency.
To maintain a belief in the superiority of free trade to economic patriotism, in the face of such results, is to recognize that this belief system is impervious to contradictory proof.
Brazen Heist II -> brushhog Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:51 Permalinksarcrilege -> Brazen Heist II Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:12 Permalink
The sad reality that I see all around is that Western civilization has been hijacked by degenerate hyenas like Rome was sacked from within first before being sacked externally. The institutions that once made the West a leader and a model, have been corrupted, tainted and filled with anti-humanists and crony corporatists. Greed is out of control and "popular culture" is spreading decay. The hollowing out will continue until these parasites find another host to leech off. Will it be China? Will it be a global government? Will it be another planet? Who knows.
Once upon a time figures like Rosenstein, Mueller, Brennan, Browder, Clapper, Clinton etc would be just fucking taken out or punished. Instead of that, they get to wander their toxic asses around like protected peacocks, all on tax payers dime, with their shitty agendas, and their shitty handlers cheering on the degeneracy and assault on the truth and the people.
If this is what "civilization" has boiled down to, count me the fuck out of it. The 5000 year old human farming experiment is merely switching straight jackets. Its the same old story that ever was, ever since we gave up the nomadic lifestyle. In a way, its probably an inevitability, given our flawed human nature, and the size of the population....and average intellect. The desire to be 'lead' by some ruling class, no matter what flavour of 'ism' it is, eventually all turns to the same end result....shit. Unless this global awakening can muster into a force to be reckoned with, and not be swayed by divide and conquer tactics, nothing will change. So far with the toxic Left vs Right divide, and countless other divides, the only beneficiaries of this are the ones at the top of the pyramid.HopefulCynical -> sarcrilege Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:28 Permalink
nature will take care of all this in due time...we just may not like the outcomeEndgame Napoleon -> Big Creek Rising Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:14 Permalink
Pat Buchanan: Are Globalists Plotting A Counter-Revolution?
HopefulCynical : Is the sky blue? Is water wet? Is fire hot?
FFS, look at the goddamn purge on (((Social media))). Of COURSE the (((globalists))) are attempting a counter-revolution.
We all need to move to alt-tech: Minds , Gab , Bitchute . Even if you don't have a (((social media))) presence, consider getting an alt-media presence. We've been wondering when the next phase would begin, whewn it would be time to take further action. Well, it's here.
First step in this next phase is to set up multiple lines of communication not under (((establishment))) control. Even if you seldom use them, set up accounts; advise those you know to do likewise. Wanna see the establishment panic? If they see the subscriber count for the alt-tech sites suddenly quadruple (or more) in response to their purge, they'll shit themselves. They'll probably attempt to pull domain registrars and financial processing services from those sites.
Then - the motherfucking games begin, bitchez.
[EDIT:] According to Styx, the alt-tech sites are already seeing a surge in membership. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZP1fwkdupg Let the (((establishment))) diaper-filling begin!Chupacabra-322 -> Brazen Heist II Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:36 Permalink
But will "negotiations" and regulatory loosening on issues like the environment and worker safety, which have gotten out of hand in the US to the disadvantage of underemployed citizens, offset the extremely low wages offered to Asian and Latin American workers in the countries where American-owned companies shipped over 6 million jobs, canceling out the SS-retirement fund contributions that would have been made by American workers [and] employers if the jobs had been kept here?
Cheap labor seems to TRUMP everything with US employers.
Running from the SS trust fund might be another reason for their abandonment of America.
Cheap labor Trumps everything here in the USA, too, and the cheap-labor pool is aided and abetted by the welfare system. That is why US employers prefer an often extremely absentee welfare and progressive-tax-code-subsidized labor market, receiving .gov-financed monthly bills and up to $6,431 in refundable child-tax-credit cash for US-born instant-citizen kids.
Contrary to myth, hard work, daily and all-day attendance and even work productivity, like every-month quota meeting, is NOT preferred by American employers for most of the jobs left here in the USA.
The welfare-eligible 42 million are (on the books) not hard workers, but part-time workers, staying under the income limits for welfare programs. I KNOW that from working at the Department of Human Services, where single moms and the womb-productive girlfriends of illegal and legal immigrants MUST submit proof of a single-breadwinner's part-time, traceable earnings to get the free stuff.
The earnings must fall below the income limits for welfare programs that ALWAYS reward part-time work in womb-productive single-breadwinner households of citizens and noncitizens. You cannot work full time in a minimum-wage job while meeting the income limits. When I worked at DHS, both the EBT and monthly cash assistance income limits were BELOW $900 per month......
Even if Trump eventually lures US corporations back here with looser regulations and tax cuts, rather than just unleashing a stock buy-back spree, it will not matter to the 101 million American citizens of working age who are out of the labor force and the 78 million gig pieceworkers, not if this welfare-rigged labor market of citizens and noncitizens continues to be the norm.
You cannot compete with a bigly labor market full of welfare-fetching citizens & noncitizens who do not need pay sufficient to cover rent due to their womb production.
Only a Deplorables First immigration reform would address that issue, including a big reduction in the number of welfare-eligible legal immigrants let in each year. The number 1.5 million is too many. This -- no more and no less than illegal immigration -- keeps wages down, but the illegal immigration has the added bonus of making America more dangerous.
The impasse on the immigration issue is the reason why I am skeptical of the value of current trade-war maneuvering, even though I am glad that Trump is addressing that general issue.
The other thing that complicates this trade war is the way that globalist elites have sold America out over the years, not just destroying the middle class with all of this offshoring and welfare-supported illegal labor, but also getting the US economy 1) waist-deep in debt, 2) dependent on foreign investment and 3) subject to getting jerked around by Machiavellian currency manipulation that non-math people, like me, really don't understand.
It sounds kind of dangerous, though, even just the argument that Stockman makes about China being a house of cards that, if it came down, could have unintended consequences for the US.
I have no idea. But I do know that many of the people who voted for Trump are pretty adamant about the immigration issue, first and foremost, regarding it as an easier and less risky thing to get done as well.
Maybe, the children-at-the-border Movie of the Week has convinced most Trump voters to stay on the train, thinking something permanent has been done to contain the flow of welfare-rewarded illegal immigration.
I think many of the teenagers, released into the country to live with extended family or in foster care, will, in a few years, be entering the labor force as part-time workers, producing instant-citizen kids and getting free monthly bills and refundable child-tax-credit cash from .gov, while citizens like me will still face rent that eats up over half of our monthly, earned-only income from low-wage churn jobs.
As much of an enthusiastic Trump voter as I have been, going back a long way, I am not sure that I am going to vote in the mid-term general election. I am not going to vote for this Tammany Hall II Democratic Party, but I may just stay home.
There are many populists out there, not just on the right either, who are disgruntled for very real reasons, like this interesting article explains, so there will likely be wave after wave of non-centrist populism until globalism's shoreline has been redefined.
Hmmm, weird, when I loaded the other link, it conformed to the format of this text box, but then when I loaded the link above this last paragraph, it reverted to cutting off the text on the side. Until I post it, I cannot see the full text after links are added.Batman11 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:08 Permalink
"The few who understand the system, will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on it favors that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantages...will bear its burden without complaint and perhaps without suspecting that the system is inimical to their best interests."
-Rothschild Brothers of London communique' to associates in New York June 25th, 1863.
June 16, 2010.
New-Cons. Love War & torture, increased regulations, tyranny and taxes; with our taxes going to the plutocrats of the private banking community. They support governmental destruction of our environment, under the pretender of protecting it. They, also, overtly support corporatism (Fascism for Oligarchs) and any measures supported by the Republican Party that enrich the private International Monetary / Banking Cartel at the expensive of the. American People.
New- Libs. Love War & torture, increased regulations, tyranny and taxes; with our taxes going to the plutocrats of the private banking community. They support governmental destruction of our environment, under the pretender of protecting it. They, also, overtly support corporatism (Socialism for Oligarchs) and any measures supported by the Democratic Party that enrich the private International Monetary / Banking Cartel at the expensive of the. American People.TeethVillage88s -> Batman11 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:55 Permalink
Neoliberalism was just one huge debt fuelled boom, which was replicated across the UK, the US, the Euro-zone, Japan and China.
At 25.30 mins we can see the super imposed the debt-to-GDP ratios.
The damage is done.
The economics of the neoliberal era had a fundamental flaw.
The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.
Same economics, same problem, globally.Batman11 -> TeethVillage88s Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:04 Permalink
I think Pat also gets this sentence wrong and if so I say he misses details we would like to see
This is truly economics uber alles, economy before country.
The University Economist programs/studies were more oriented toward people in the old days. Economics today is used to justify Wall Street type finance and ideology. Economic study was hijacked to serve only those looking to get rich any way they can. CFR agenda comes to mind. Globalism comes to mind also and is an attack on all nations constitutions.Felix da Kat Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:12 Permalink
The Americans have been discovering the problems of running an economy with bad economics.
Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith, observed the world of small state, unregulated capitalism around him.
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."
How does this tie in with the trickledown view we have today?
Somehow everything has been turned upside down.
The workers that did the work to produce the surplus lived a bare subsistence existence.
Those with land and money used it to live a life of luxury and leisure.
The bankers (usurers) created money out of nothing and charged interest on it. The bankers got rich, and everyone else got into debt and over time lost what they had through defaults on loans, and repossession of assets.
Capitalism had two sides, the productive side where people earned their income and the parasitic side where the rentiers lived off unearned income. The Classical Economists had shown that most at the top of society were just parasites feeding off the productive activity of everyone else.
Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.
How can we protect those powerful vested interests at the top of society?
The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital". They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists to hide the effects of rentier activity in the economy.
The landowners, landlords and usurers were now just productive members of society again.
It they left banks and debt out of economics no one would know the bankers created the money supply out of nothing. Otherwise, everyone would see how dangerous it was to let bankers do what they wanted if they knew the bankers created the money supply through their loans.
The powerful vested interests held sway and economics was corrupted.
Now we know what's wrong with neoclassical economics we can put the cost of living back in.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Employees want more disposable income (discretionary spending)
Employers want to pay lower wages for higher profits
The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living
The neoliberals obsessed about reducing taxes, but let the cost of living soar.
The economists also ignore the debt that is papering over the cracks and maintaining demand in the economy. This can never work in the longer term as you max. out on debt.Winston Smith 2009 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:22 Permalink
The problem is the US has lost citizenry-control. A shadow-government along with media operatives work unseen to manipulate sentiment and events in-line with an overall globalist, world-government objective (Neo-Marxism). The so-called elites behind the curtain are after total control which is why we will continue toward totalitarian dictatorship. It will not be a one-man show nor will it be readily recognizable as such, rather there will be a secretive Cabal of select ultra-wealthy liberals who will negotiate with each other as to which levers to pull and valves to turn in order to "guide" culture and civilization. But the tightknit Cabal has more work to do to infiltrate deeper into US (and world) government. The EU's Parliament is a proto-type test to tweak how they must proceed. As the Cabal coalesces their power, more draconian rulership will become apparent. The noose will tighten slowly so as to be un-noticeable and unstoppable. Certain events are planned that will cause citizenry to demand totalitarianism (for safety reasons). For the Cabal, it'll be like taking candy from a baby. This, in a nutshell, is the outline of how the US (and Western civilization) loses its democracy.SJ158 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:34 Permalink
"...consider the fruits of free trade policy during the last 25 years..."
The point is that THAT is not "free trade," you idiot. Globalists just incorrectly call it that intentionally. HERE is what it is:
The Myth of Modern "Global Markets"
Understanding how trillions of trade dollars influence geopolitical policy we begin to understand the three-decade global financial construct they seek to protect.
That is, global financial exploitation of national markets. FOUR BASIC ELEMENTS :
♦Multinational corporations purchase controlling interests in various national outputs and industries of developed industrial western nations.
♦The Multinational Corporations making the purchases are underwritten by massive global financial institutions, multinational banks.
♦The Multinational Banks and the Multinational Corporations then utilize lobbying interests to manipulate the internal political policy of the targeted nation state(s).
♦With control over the targeted national industry or interest, the multinationals then leverage export of the national asset (exfiltration) through trade agreements structured to the benefit of lesser developed nation states – where they have previously established a proactive financial footprint.
Pat must suffer from some kind of cognitive dissonance. There is no free trade, nor there was before Trump. In a world of flexible exchange rates and central banking backed-inflationary credit trade wars are the status quo. He willfully ignores all the effects of credit inflation, unsound money, tax structures, subsidies, regulatory burdens created internally and by those "trade deals" and last but not least the reserve status of the fiat dollar which basically turned the US in a huge nothing-for-something economy relative to its imports.
Aug 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Completing the latest round of tariffs pledged against China, the US Trade Representative announced on Tuesday (after the close of course) it will impose 25% tariffs on $16 billion-worth of Chinese imports starting August 23. The new round of tariffs completes Trump's previously disclosed threat to impose $50 billion of import taxes on Chinese goods. The first $34 billion-worth went into effect on July 6th.
According to the USTR statement, customs will collect duties on 279 product lines, down from 284 items on the initial list; as Bloomberg notes, this will be the second time the U.S. slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, overruling complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs, tax US consumers and raise prices.
On July 6, the U.S. levied 25% duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing.
Of course, China will immediately retaliate, having vowed before to strike back again, dollar-for-dollar, on the $16 billion tranche.
The biggest question is whether there will be a far bigger tariff in the near future: as a reminder, the USTR is currently also reviewing 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports, and may even raise the rate to 25%. Those tariffs could be implemented after a comment period ends on Sept. 5. President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion last year.
Over the weekend, Trump boasted that he has the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout. Judging by the US stock market, which has risen by $1.3 trillion since Trump launched his trade war with China, which has crushed the Shanghai Composite, whose recent drop into a bear market has been duly noted by Trump, the US president is certainly ahead now, even if the market's inability, or unwillingness, to push US stocks lower has led many traders and analysts to scratch their heads.
Aug 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Exposing the growing backlash against Trump's trade policies, the WSJ writes that "ticked-off Canadians", angered by U.S. metals tariffs and Trump's harsh words for their prime minister, are boycotting American products and buying Canadian.
Take Garland Coulson, a 58-year-old Alberta entrepreneur, who admits that while usually he doesn't pay much attention to where the goods he buys are coming from, saying that "you tend to buy the products that taste good or you buy the products that are low in price where taste isn't an issue", he believes the tariffs from Canada's neighbor are a "slap in the face," and added that in recent he has put more Canadian products into his shopping cart.
Or take Calgary resident Tracy Martell, who "replaced her Betty Crocker brownie mix with a homemade recipe and hasn't visited the U.S. since shortly after President Trump's inauguration."
Or take Ontario resident Beth Mouratidis is trying out Strub's pickles as a replacement for her longtime favorite, Bick's.
The push to " boycott America" and buy more Canadian products gained strength after the U.S. levied 25% tariffs on Canadian steel and 10% on aluminum starting June 1 and President Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "Very dishonest & weak" on Twitter following a Group of Seven meeting the following week. Canada in turn imposed retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. products, including foodstuffs such as ketchup, orange juice and yogurt.
"People sort of feel that we're getting a raw deal from the U.S. and we have to stick up for ourselves," said Tom Legere, marketing manager for Ontario-based Kawartha Dairy Ltd., which has seen more interest in its ice cream recently. "And this is their way at the supermarket of trying to do so."
However, in their attempt to exclude US produce, Canadians have run into a problem: what is American, and what is really Canadian ?
The logistical spiderweb of global supply chains has made even something as simple as a boycott surprisingly complex. It shouldn't be: after all, Canada is the U.S.'s top export market, taking a little more than 18% of all U.S. exports. According to some estimates, roughly 40% to 60% of food on Canada's grocery shelves is from the US, while closely linked production chains make it tough to determine how much of any given item was produced domestically.
That has left would-be boycotters scratching their heads as they untangle how much of a given product was made or grown outside the country.
The confusion has led to a mini cottage industry: tracing the origins of Canadian products. "I'll swear up and down something is 100% Canadian," said Mouratidis, who curates a Facebook list of Canadian household goods, food products and other items. Occasionally, she runs into surprises: she was convinced Old Dutch chips were all-Canadian until she found out Old Dutch Foods Ltd. is a subsidiary. The parent company, Old Dutch Foods Inc., is based in Minnesota.
This leads to occasional exclusions on the boycott list: the Old Dutch snack food remains on Ms. Mouratidis's list because the Canadian company makes its chips in Canada.
It has also led to a sales boost for companies whose products are not "diluted" with traces of American influence. A social-media post promoting Kawartha Dairy over "American" Haagen-Dazs ice cream was criticized by a Facebook user who pointed out that Haagen-Dazs products sold in Canada are made at a Canadian plant. The plant also uses Canadian dairy, Nestlé Canada Inc. confirmed.
Kawartha Dairy, which wasn't involved in the original post, received more than a hundred emails and Facebook messages in recent weeks from Canadians asking where they could find the company's ice cream.
Another product getting a boost from the "Buy Canadian" push: Hawkins Cheezies, a corn snack that looks like a denser and crunchier version of Cheetos that is made with Canadian cheddar. W.T. Hawkins Ltd., which makes the snack, said two large grocery-store chains recently increased their orders.
The growing animosity to "Made in America" has made some traditional staples non-grata: Kraft Heinz has been a frequent target for Canadians since Heinz stopped producing ketchup in Ontario in 2014.
A list circulating online recently that ranked consumers' best options for Canadian products puts French's ketchup ahead of Heinz because it is manufactured in Canada.
Then again, unlike the Chinese where a boycott really means a boycott , one wonder if for all the clamor, Canada's revulsion to US products is merely just another example of virtue signaling. After all, one sector where the boycott efforts are failing miserably, is travel. Although some people are deliberately staying away from the U.S., the WSJ notes that according to official Canadian data, overall cross-border car trips by Canadians were up 12.7% in June from the same month last year .
snblitz -> skbull44 Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:59 PermalinkBrazen Heist II -> Yukon Cornholius Sat, 08/04/2018 - 15:18 Permalink
Trade is sadly not a simple concept when it comes to national security.
I am a big proponent of buy local:
It is the best solution out there.
Foreign trade can be mutually beneficial. For the most part it has not been beneficial for the US for the last 40 years.
Much of the problem centers around US politicians simply selling out to foreign interests through family, friends, and foundations. The US worker has been left to dry up and die.
Nassim Taleb explains this in Skin in the game.
A Kosher (or halal) eater will never eat nonkosher (or nonhalal) food , but a nonkosher eater isn't banned from eating kosher.
Full chapter here, or you can guess by the title:
The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority
Jun 12, 2016 | www.youtube.com
What we have is state funded capitalism
The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. ANTONIO GRAMSCI (1891-1937). ITALIAN MARXIST THEORIST & POLITICIAN
In the first episode of 'On Contact', host Chris Hedges discusses the global revolt against corporate capitalism with radical intellectual and author Tariq Ali. Ali talks about how the world banking system got Greece and other European countries in trouble, and how big capital may be behind the impeachment of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil joins the show with a report on global inequality.
minivanjack , 2 years agoNATURAL LAW , 2 years ago
So, Chris, "open markets" which USA has not seen a trace of for over 100 years are a "failure" and we are "doomed" unless we have a politburo of corruptible socialist elites determining "policy" for industries and enterprises they know nothing about? I believe that any great thinker or genius can become fixated on a false prize and all of the genius is diverted, perverted to a futile cyclical cry for "justice" based on an unsupported ideological dream, not any pragmatic vision.mastertheillusion , 2 years ago
"Corporate Capitalism" ? Why do people refuse to see that this is a Natural progression of Capitalism. Whether it's Corporations, Governments, Banks or Elites, the inner workings & outline of this type of System creates Inevitable Stratification of Power & Wealth. The Incentives have Always been there for this to eventually to take place. NLRBE!Michael David , 2 years ago
Capitalism in and of itself fosters overwhelming greed. We need a new model for the whole planet that evens the playing field for every human being in existence. We need a fusion of the best for what is next.conservativeautocrat , 2 years ago
Chris, the system we now have is a Corporatist State which is a fascist system. The radical left can't distinguish between Nationalist and Fascist. The radical Left are not nationalists they are globalist and peddle cultural Marxism!Semantics Simple , 2 years ago
I very much understand the need to fight against the international banking system that has been making a mess of things,but I don't understand the continuing blaming of the philosophical worldviews of fascism and national socialism which have not been put into political practice since the middle of the 20th century. Both the political practices of capitalism and communism are the ideas that have had a major influence on the whole entire world since the end of World War II that have been making a mess of the world on so many levels. It's so completely ridiculous for these people to think that communism will work out so great for them and can't realize that it works against them. As Jewish philosopher Karl Marx had said "What is the real basis of the Jewish religion ? Practice need,egoism. The God of practice need and egoism is money. Money is the jealous God of Israel before whom no other God may endure. Money debases all gods of men and transforms them into commodities. The God of the Jews has become the God of the universe. The real God of the Jews is money. Their God is only an illusory bill of exchange". This is what the founder of communism himself had said and these people have admireration for the worldview of communism and they have major attitudes and problems with the ideas of fascism,national socialism and other true nationalist worldviews who's main concerns is to be in the service of the nation and people and by fighting against the power of the international banking system.Fred Dietz , 2 years ago (edited)
There is no capitalism in this world. There is no such thing as too big to fail in a capitalist system. There is no such thing as bank bailouts. There is no such thing as bailing out auto companies or any big corporation. In a capitalist system the market determines interest rates not a privately owned central bank. In a capitalist system all those bank's that took on unrealistic risk would have failed, instead they got to keep all their profit and we the taxpayer got to cover their losses. In a capitalist system the bank's that only took on manageable risk would have greatly benefited from the greed and failure of the others. Our system is fascist pure and simple, the merger of state and corporate powers.Jean-Pierre Delorraine , 2 years ago
With the American left, I don't know what's going on with Bernie Sanders anymore. I don't think he knows. I think he's getting pulled in separate directions -- one, by his campaign insiders who have their own careers in the Democratic Party to consider, and the other by his supporters in the general public who don't care about "Democratic Party" or necessarily any other party. There's now a Huffington Post story of Bernie Sanders scheduled to meet with Hillary next week -- meet with the war-hungry corporate interventionist, the war goddess herself. And if Bernie lets himself get assimilated into Hillary's campaign, that's it -- his credibility is shot. Meanwhile, the corporate press is having a field-day with all of this. You know, if you were some bigwig of ABC or CBS, this would have to be your "day in the sun" -- you couldn't hope for a better chain of events than those of the past 2 months. And throughout the American public there's complacency and acquiescence -- even though now were left with 2 Wall Street representatives to choose from for our nation's highest office. And what's our avg household debt, mortgages included -- something like $140,000 per household? You have an American public that cannot even think without Wall Street telling them what to think about, care about and believe in. I don't see this ending well for us.Parfour80 #pro , 3 months ago
Capitalism IS fascism and indeed diametrically opposed to any form of democracy. Additionally, calling current nationalist movements in Europe fascist, especially those in Germany, France and Spain, is completely off base. There are brown skinned Europeans who proudly support the Front National in France for example. It is not a racist platform.MrFraterManifesto , 2 years ago
85% of the profits are going to the top 1%. 50% of the workforce are paycheck to paycheck or Worse. Then The payday Lenders finish off the working Class.Ruby Honey , 9 months ago
I find Tariq Ali a great thinker and eloquent speaker and author. However, as an example of just how 'tight a grip' corrupt capitalism has 'on all the global institutions' - in this case, education - I find it interesting how a man, who simply offers us contemporary examples of the never - ending struggle between the 'Haves' and the 'Have Nots,' is now referred to as a, "Radical Intellectual." This struggle has only been going on since the Bronze Age. It would seem humankind would've found a solution to it by now.
Liberalism is the ideology of western suicide`` James Burnham 1964
Aug 03, 2018 | www.unz.com
Extracted from: Appeasement as Global Policy, by James Petras - The Unz Review
In recent decades throughout Latin America, rulers have spoken and demanded 'reforms' as essential to stimulate and sustain growth and foster equity and sustainability. The 'reforms' involve implementing 'structural changes' which require large scale privatization to encourage entrepreneurship and end state corruption; deregulation of the economy to stimulate foreign and domestic investment; labor flexibility to 'free' labor markets and increase employment; and lower business taxes. According to the reformers all this will lead to free markets and promote democratic values.
Over the past thirty years, ruling elites in Latin America have carried out IMF and World Bank structural reforms in two cyclical periods: between 1989-1999 and more recently between 2015-2018. In both cases the reforms have led to a series of major economic, political and social deformations .
During the first cycle of 'reforms', privatization concentrated wealth by transferring public means of production to oligarchs, and increased private monopolies, which deepened inequalities and sharpened class divisions.
Deregulation led to financial speculation, tax evasion, capital flight and public- private corruption.
'Reforms' deformed the existing class structure provoking social upheavals, which precipitated the collapse of the elite led 'reforms' and the advent of a decade of nationalist populist governments.
The populists restored and expanded social reforms but did not change the political and economic 'deformations', embedded in the state.
A decade later (2015) the 'reformers' returned to power and restored the regressive free market policies of the previous neo-liberal ruling elite. By 2018 a new cycle of class conflicts flared throughout Brazil and Argentina, threatening to overturn the existing US center free market order.
Aug 03, 2018 | m.nasdaq.com
China is willing to resolve differences with the United States on an equal footing, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Friday after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday instructed his trade officials to look at increasing tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese imports into the United States.
Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on Sept. 5.
China, however, shows no sign of bending to Washington's pressure.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Pompeo on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said Pompeo told him he was "was willing to maintain constructive contact".
"As two members of the U.N. Security Council and the world's largest two economies, we should of course maintain talks at all times," Wang said.
"Cooperation is the only correct choice for the United States and China. It's the universal expectation of the international community. Opposition can only bring dual loss and will hurt the peaceful and stable development of the world," he added.
"We are willing to resolve the concerns of both sides via talks on the basis of an equal footing and mutual respect. He (Pompeo) was accommodating on this as a direction, and said that he does not want current frictions to continue," Wang said.
Answering a question about what was specifically said on trade, Wang said: "We did not speak in such details. But actually, as journalists have noted, how can talks take place under this pressure?"
Wang, who is also China's foreign minister, urged the United States on Thursday to calm down and "carefully listen to the voices of U.S. consumers".
So far, the United States has imposed duties on $34 billion of imports from China as part of a first tranche of sanctions on $50 billion of goods.
It wants China to stop stealing U.S. corporate secrets, abandon plans to boost its high-tech industries at America's expense and stop subsidising Chinese companies with cheap loans that enable them to compete unfairly.
China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on U.S. goods. The rising tensions have weighed on stock and currency markets, with the Chinese yuan falling against the dollar.
The two countries have not had formal talks on their trade dispute since early June.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.
Jul 07, 2018 | www.youtube.com
Economist Richard Wolff discusses the coming economic collapse of the United States of America with journalist Chris Hedges.
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Gina Chu Cheong , 3 weeks agoRichard Mays , 3 weeks ago
American citizens were asleep and did nothing and took it, and took it and took it. You guys did not understand that The President and Congress work for you, you treat them like Gods and they behave the way you treat them. So take some of the blame, Evil thrives where Good men do nothing, and you did nothing.408Magenta , 3 weeks ago (edited)
Capitalism was allowed to become unfettered via the corruption of government. So called, Democracy has an enabling role here. We the People are the only ones who can stop this.PoppONaya Shelly , 3 weeks ago
(((Wolff))) is telling something we don't ALL see?? Don't forget to buy the book.workwillfreeyou , 3 weeks ago
time to jail the CEOs and seize ALL of their propertyAl Demir , 3 weeks ago
Except now the U.S. Government/Big Pharma has 2/3 of the population on antidepressants and antipsychotic dope. I hope all of the Big Pharma executives children end up on their parents dope.Asibi .S , 3 weeks ago (edited)
nothing will grow without soil of the earth, capitalism will not survive without the main stream and the working class of people.Aarc Vault , 3 weeks ago (edited)
Empires rise and decline like everything in life !?
What Mr. Wolff characterizes as "Capitalism" is in fact Fascism (merger of Private and State interests; PRIVATE companies/corporations subsisting SOLELY upon GOVERNMENT contracts. The Federal Reserve, for instance.). Why Wolff continues to stop just short of this correct designation in his otherwise competent Economic critique remains a mystery. He certainly KNOWS the difference, so I can only assume that he wishes to remain employed......................... -Cheers!
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:
Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.
So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.
When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.
Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.
The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.
In France, it was said 'Après moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.
Aug 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
jnewman , 3 hours agoPutin needs to get himself a good monetary economist not affiliated or influenced by the Chicago School. The "pension reforms" are an Atlanticist trojan horse to erode the legitimacy of the government and not a necessary "reform".
Putin has made his reputation "allocating real resources to the common people of Russia, he should continue to do that.
Feb 04, 2013 | www.amazon.com
Hans G. Despain 5.0 out of 5 starsUnique and Stimulating Account of the Great Financial Recession of 2008
This book can be highly recommended as a book on the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, and a book of politics, political economy, class analysis, sociology, and history. Very impressive accomplishment.
The strength of this book on the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 is that Dumenil and Levy place the crisis in a larger historical perspective. They maintain it is a mistake to isolate it merely in the context of the financial innovation and deregulation occurring from the late 1990s. Instead, capitalism has particular historical tendencies and specific class relations.
This is a very impressive volume published by Harvard University Press. It offers a play by play of the Great Financial Recession of 2008, beginning from 2000 in chapters 12 - 17, the political response and the continued stagnation in domestic economies and instability within the international economic order in chapters 18 - 20, along with very interesting historical policy observations and recommendations for this current crisis in chapters 21 - 25. Nonetheless the real power of this book occurs in its historical analysis of capitalist development since 1970s described in great detail in chapters 1 - 11.
According to Dumenil and Levy the historical tendencies of capitalism are radically mediated by politics and social class configurations (i.e. alliances). They argue capitalistic development, since 1880s, has gone through four primary stages and corresponding crises. They emphasize these developments are not historically necessary, but contingent on politics and social class configurations. Moreover, their analysis is particular to the capitalistic development in the United States and Western Europe, they are able to generalize or internationalize their analysis because of the U.S. global hegemony (although they certainly accept there are modes of resisting this hegemony (e.g. Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China, etc.)).
Dumenil and Levy have demonstrated in previous work the tendency of the rate of profit to fall in capitalistic economies. However, because politics and social class alliances can change, so can the profitability. The current crisis was not caused by falling rates of profits, but by financial innovation, credit overextension, and the particular social class alliances facilitating these activities. There is no single cause of the crisis, but broader social political mechanisms at work and in the process of transformation.
The basic story goes like this: following the Great Depression of 1930 a strong social political alliance emerged between the management class and "popular classes" (this popular class includes blue and white collar workers, including quasi-management, clerical, and professional, which cannot be reduced to the traditional "working-class"). In the 1970s there was a severe profitability crisis, the legislative and institutional response to this crisis caused a fracture between management and popular classes, and a re-alliance between management and capitalist classes (which includes ownership and financial classes).
Once the alliance between capitalist classes and management had been forged in late 1970s and 1980s, profitability returned and financial incentives and financial innovation reconfigured personal incentives and corporate motivations. Most important according to Dumenil and Levy is that these historical transformations manifested a "divorce" between ownership/finance and the domestic economy and its actual production process. The political system did nothing to reconcile this disconnect, indeed expedited the divorce via deregulation and financial innovation, what the economic literature calls "financialization" (although, to repeat in several countries the response was radically different and in specific opposition to U.S. hegemony and the neo-liberalism which the U.S. Treasury, IMF, World Bank, and WTO exported to the rest of the world).
This is a very tightly and elegantly argued book. It has a huge advantage over other books on the Great Financial Crisis of neoliberalism in that it places the crisis in both an historical and socio-political perspective. Further they provide the political implications, or what is to be done.
Dumenil and Levy maintain the current system, especially the "divorce" between the ownership/financial and the domestic economy, is not economically sustainable. Hence is also not political sustainable. Thus, they suggest several political possibilities that could manifest. However, they advocate an alliance between the "popular classes" and management (reminiscent of the New Deal/Fair Deal alliances). Nonetheless, it does not yet appear management has the political incentives to agree to forge such an alliance.
This book will have a hard time finding its audience. Mainstream audiences will charge Dumenil and Levy with being overly Marxist, while Marxists will complain they deviate too far from classical Marxism. Nonetheless this is political economy at its best. This book deserves a wide audience and Dumenil and Levy deserve credit for the construction of a unique and stimulating account of the Great Financial Recession of 2008.
Jul 31, 2018 | akacatholic.com
John Paul the Great Ecumenist who first issued that call back in 2001.
In context, the Polish pope said:
Unfortunately, if we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God's expectations. Man, especially in our time, has without hesitation devastated wooded plains and valleys, polluted waters, disfigured the earth's habitat, made the air unbreathable, disturbed the hydrogeological and atmospheric systems, turned luxuriant areas into deserts and undertaken forms of unrestrained industrialization, degrading that "flowerbed" – to use an image from Dante Alighieri (Paradiso, XXII, 151) – which is the earth, our dwelling-place.
Jul 31, 2018 | akacatholic.com
March 7, 2016 Super Tuesday and Super Saturday came and went. As expected, Donald Trump dominated the competition.
While Trump did exceptionally well in states like New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere in the South, The Donald has stumbled as of late, coming in second to Ted Cruz in a number of recent contests.
Trump will likely expand his delegate lead in the coming weeks. However, he won't arrive at the Republican convention with enough of them to secure the nomination outright.
If that happens, the oligarchs in the Republican Party will do everything they can at the convention to deny Trump that which would rightfully be his.
It's been rumored that Mitt Romney will be called upon by the establishment to save the Party of Lincoln from being "torn asunder." Some Republicans say they simply won't vote for Mr. Trump. Others suggest running a third party "conservative" candidate.
However it shakes out, if reaction to Romney's anti-Trump press conference held earlier this month indicates anything, it's that refusing the billionaire from New York the nomination if he has the majority of delegates would literally break the GOP in two.
Before discussing what a Trump victory would mean for the Republican Party, let's backtrack a bit and try to put this man's candidacy into context. If possible, a Catholic context.
Since the Second World War but most especially since the early 1990s, a cabal of intellectuals desirous of global empire have hubristically argued that it is America's duty to advance "freedom" and "democracy" to "the people" of the world, all in the name of bringing about a lasting "peace."
Of course, when these men speak of "freedom" what they really mean is massive economic inequality and social hedonism. And when these men speak of "democracy" what they truly mean is rigged elections with candidates that they and not "the people" get to pick. (See the U.S.-backed coup that took place in Ukraine in February 2014 for evidence of this.)
Despite the lofty language used to trick Americans into supporting this political pyramid scheme, the reality is that bringing about this so-called "peace" is a dirty business.
For one, the U.S. essentially bribes countries into joining NATO. Economically sanctioning those who refuse to do so.
Two, when leaders from sovereign Middle Eastern nations are no longer viewed as politically useful, they're assassinated. Of course, the more diplomatic way to put it is "so and so has to go! "
And three, sustaining American imperialism oversees requires the funneling of billions of taxpayer dollars to Islamic states like Saudi Arabia and providing firearms to "moderate rebels" in countries most people can't locate on a map.
As Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently opined in an interview , "the powerful of our world, the Western states" support groups like ISIS "indirectly."
As a result, civilians get killed, and a prolonged bloodbath between warring religious factions ensues, thus ruining thousands, if not millions, of lives.
The end game, of course, is to pick off Eastern European countries one by one in order to expand NATO (something the U.S. promised decades ago they wouldn't do) so that "liberal democracy" can be established not only there but also in North Africa and, most importantly, in Russia.
Persons who espouse this warped ideology are what political scientists refer to as neoconservatives.
To put it in Catholic terms, neoconservatives seek to once and for all obliterate the Social Kingship of Christ by constructing a world order rooted in the Freemasonic Social Kingship of Man.
For decades neocons have preyed on the patriotism of ordinary Americans to get them to fight unjust wars on behalf of Arab theocrats and Jewish Zionists, the real behind-the-scenes power brokers.
While paying lip service to social conservatism, limited government, constitutionalism and state's rights these war hawks hijacked the Republican Party and surgically transformed it into a weak-kneed, open borders, bloodthirsty Frankenstein in the service of international elites.
Though insurgent candidates like Pat Buchanan in the 1990s reminded folks about the direction this clandestine group of war criminals was leading the country, the monied class acted quickly and decisively. Buchanan's warnings about 1) the looming culture wars 2) the harm cheap labor abroad would have on the American middle class 3) the problems associated with not securing the border and 4) the debt and death required with being the policeman of the world were easily tamped down, thanks in no small part to the help of the corporate media.
Since that time Americans have had to choose between presidential candidates who, at the end of the day, were nothing more than cogs in the globalist's wheel.
Donald J. Trump has the temperament of an eight year old child. He mocks. He condescends. He can't give specifics to half the things he talks about. And I don't trust him on social issues. Put another way, I have the same concerns about Mr. Trump as American Conservative contributor Rod Dreher does .
For good reason, these facts and many others, have a large number of folks, including many Catholics, deeply disturbed.
At the same time, much of his public image is an act, and he has turned out be a shrewder political operator than I expected. No one, and I mean no one, predicted he would have this much success.
People support Trump not necessarily because of his policies but because of what he represents. And what he represents is the frustration ordinary, mostly white, Americans have towards politics in general. More specifically, the antipathy they have towards the feckless politicians the Republican Party has nominated over the past thirty years who have largely failed to halt the social and economic decay of the United States.
Against the neocons
Despite his inconsistency, immaturity and, at times, imbecility, Trump has been clear on several important policies. Policies that can be appreciated from a Catholic viewpoint.
In an article for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel Mcadams outlines where Trump differentiates himself from the war hawks in his party.
First, according to Mcadams Trump states "the obvious" when he says "the Iraq war was brought to us by the liars of the neoconservative movement" and that it was a "total disaster" for the rest of us who "are forced to pay for their fantasies of world domination."
Second, Trump wants to "actually speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin to see if US/Russia differences can be worked out without a potentially world-ending nuclear war."
Third, although Trump is "arguing that he is hugely pro-Israel" he is "nevertheless suggesting that if the US is to play a role in the Israel/Palestine issue the US side should take a neutral role in the process."
Fourth, Trump is also calling out the "idiotic neocon advice" that resulted in the overthrowing of Gaddafi in Libya that has led to "the red carpet" being "laid down for ISIS" in that failed state.
And lastly, Trump is "suggesting that it may be a good thing that Russia be bombing ISIS into oblivion and that we might want to just sit back and let that happen for once."
The ruling class disdains each and every one of these positions. And for good reason.
By talking about the Iraq War and claiming Bush lied about it, Trump reminds us about the back room dealings and costs, both human and monetary, spreading "freedom" and "democracy" necessarily entails. And by drawing attention to the disastrous situation in Libya, Trump shines light on the foolishness of nation building abroad and the need to nation build at home. Obviously, all of this causes voters to have a less favorable view of foreign intervention in the future.
By painting Putin as a potential ally instead of a "thug," Trump de-programs Americans from thinking of the Russian President as Josef Stalin re-incarnated. It also disabuses ordinary citizens from seeing everything through an us-versus-them prism. Having a villain to point at evokes patriotism at home and affirms Americans in the moral right-ness of the pursuit of spreading "liberty." Neocons have long understood this. And Trump could potentially reverse that paradigm.
Furthermore, by taking a "neutral" stance towards Israel, Trump is indicating that he may put American interests ahead of Zionist interests. In other words, Trump would likely approach the Middle East in a way that holds Israel to the same moral standards as others. Realizing that this may result in an American president who refuses to be silent about the terrorist attacks Israelis commit against Palestinians on an almost daily basis, the globalists and their cronies in the media have been quick to compare Trump with, you guessed it, Adolf Hitler.
Neoconservatives, in short, are apoplectic over a possible Trump presidency. His success could mean their demise, if only for a short while.
To be sure, it is difficult to know who Trump would surround himself with if he were to win the presidency. Would he call up Henry Kissinger? Would he seek the advice of the Council on Foreign Relations? I don't know.
But what I do know is that as of right now Trump appears to have all the right enemies. Enemies that include the neo-Catholic neocon community. Read here .
Now, don't expect the elites to go silently into the night. The attacks in the coming days and weeks will only get more vicious. We've already seen how quickly they brought up "the 1930s." Additionally, more than 100 self-identified "members of the Republican national security community" have signed an open letter excoriating Trump for his foreign policy views, adding that they are "united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency."
Unsurprisingly, some of them have said they would support Hillary Clinton, a Democratic neocon, instead of Trump in the general election.
So much for party loyalty.
In brief, a Trump nomination means the internationalists would no longer dictate the terms of America's economic and foreign policy. Moreover, if Trump arrives at the Republican convention with the majority of delegates and is denied the nomination, it will be clear to all that we live in country that is anything but a democracy.
Indeed, far from being a "breaking" of the GOP in two, wouldn't a Trump victory be nothing more than a re-calibration of the party to what it stood for historically? A party that serves the will of the American people instead of global elites?
Stephen Kokx is the host of " Church & State with Stephen Kokx " on Magnificat Media.com , which airs Fridays at 11am, 2pm, 6pm and 9pm and Saturdays at 10am EST. Follow him on twitter @StephenKokx and like him on Facebook
aroamingcatholicny March 7, 2016
I utterly despise Neocons, whether in Politics & Government or as Catholic Church Commentators.
This is why I come to akacatholic.com, The Remnant Newspaper & Catholic Family News.
In Politics, Conservatives would use The Bomb, while Neocons would engage in "Protective Reaction", whatever that means.
In The Case of Louie, Mike Matt, Chris Ferrara, John Vennari, Dr John Rao & Ann Barnhardt, one is told the truth as it occurred. There are no "Sweeps Week Specials" by People who are financed by Fat Cats & sound like Shills for said Fat Cats, while broadcasting from a Miniaturized Version of The CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street, from a Suburb of The Motor City, who tells everyone that what The Pope Said was a Mistranslation, while making Hay of Cardinal Dolan, passing wind on the Uptown Platform of the IND 6th Avenue Subway, all while the Polemicist is telling the World that The SSPX is in Schism. No, THAT Guy, despite the Bells & Whistles, is a Neo Catholic, who in many cases, cannot get his facts straight.
The NeoCatholics are the ones telling people that Girl Altar Servers are OK because the Pope says so. Ditto, Sancte Communion A Mano & Altar Tables facing the Congregation.You know WHO They Are.
But something I have noticed is that when it comes to Intelligent Conversation on the message boards, the Neo Catholics will not tolerate dissent vis a vis their position. The one with his broadcast centre is a classic example, with commenters practically forced to pay homage to The Fearless Leader's Position, even when not well researched.
Those who hold the Traditional Catholic Position, allow True Discussion on matters Catholic.
Traditional Catholic is true Freedom, without being patronizing. I cannot say that for a certain site, which charges $10 per month for Premium Membership.
AlphonsusJr March 7, 2016You've reminded me of how the totally neocon and cuckservative National Review now rigorously–with all the fanaticism of the Stasi–polices its comments section. It's unreal.
Jul 28, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
In the long run, the US has two distinct advantages that offset some of the vulnerabilities in the US economy, brought about by 40 years of outsourcing. The US is energy independent to a very large extent, where China is greatly dependent on energy imports, largely priced in dollars. The US has a global military advantage that will persist for the next decade or more.
Hard to say where this will lead. Best option is for the US and China to resume the trade talks that broke off months ago. Economic mutually assured destruction is not a pleasant outcome, particularly at a moment when even the IMF is worrying about emerging market debt, corporate debt defaults and other signs of another global financial crisis.
kao_hsien_chih , 10 hours ago
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Recommending means this is a discussion worth sharing. It gets shared to your followers' Disqus feeds, and gives the creator kudos!My sense is that the whole issue of trade disputes is not so much about trade and economics as much as politics and sovereignty. Not a whole lot will have changed in economic terms when the dust clears, but the underlying politics will have been altered unrecognizably. The whole idea of creating international bureaucratic bodies to oversee and regulate international trade (e.g. WTO) was to bypass the "normal" politics in the states involved. Long ago, the weaker countries cried "modern day imperialism" over these because they felt (not entirely without justification) that these arrangements took trade policy out of the hands of their domestic politics and unresponsive to their needs, interests, and demands--and, in a sense, this was exactly the point, since protectionism, even economically undesirable varieties, are product of "good" domestic politics. But since 1980s and 90s, the pendulum seems to have swung in the opposite direction where reclaiming a share of sovereignty over trade policy is preferred by many over trusting international bureaucracy. While not exactly "trade" policy (but it is economic), the experiences of the less well off countries in EU (as well as segments of the publics even in better off countries) has to be a fairly widespread worldview in many countries these days--certainly enough that it should make good politics to try to address them in some fashion, not try to override them by fiat (the latter seeming to be the preferred approach of the cosmopolitan elite)English Outsider -> kao_hsien_chih , 9 hours ago"My sense is that the whole issue of trade disputes is not so much about trade and economics as much as politics and sovereignty."kao_hsien_chih -> English Outsider , an hour ago
That has to be right, and it certainly applies to small countries. Small countries must always be aware that there is a loss of sovereignty implicit in the very act of trading with larger ones. The greater weight of the large country can enable it to impose trading terms that are sometimes disadvantageous to the smaller.
Tough. That's how it is. But the smaller country must always be on its guard against the very real danger of allowing that to extend to loss of political sovereignty.
What I don't see is how this applies to the US. The US is not a small country and need not fear any loss of political sovereignty attendant upon any lack of size or power. Therefore one could perhaps see the current US trade negotiations in a different light.
That is, that Trump is not defending his country against any such threat. He is merely attempting to level the playing field. For far too long that playing field has been tilted against the US worker and, ultimately, the US economy. He was elected to rectify that and will, I believe, be judged by his success in doing so.
If, in attempting that, he ruffles a few feathers - well, if he went the asking nicely route they'd walk all over him.
That quibble aside, I couldn't agree more with your note.I don't think the size of the country is the decisive factor.Jack , 13 hours ago
International trade always produces winners and losers. Depending on the particulars, the gains might be more widely spread than losses, or vice versa. Both sides want to play the political game to shape the terms of the trade in their favor. Generally, those who are in favor of more protection tend to do well in domestic politics, while those who tend to gain more by opening up trade don't. This is why international bureaucracy regulating trade winds up being set up, to bypass the domestic political process in favor of the free traders.
I don't think there is a fundamental relationship between the size of the country and the political conflict over free trade. It may be that smaller countries tend to be predisposed more towards protectionist policies, but counterexamples are found easily (e.g. Singapore). The real issue is that creation of and deference to international bureaucracy is a mechanism through which the winners from free trade shift the venue of politics from the domestic to the international and, in a sense, unfairly disadvantage their political enemies by depriving them of the means to affect trade policy easily. Or, in other words, international trade bureaucracy is NOT just a solution for trade conflict between nations, but a political weapon directed at the skeptics at home. If the winners of free trade were willing to share their gains with the losers, the conflict would not need to be so sharp. This has not been the case in US: more than in most other developed countries, the winners of free trade kept the gains only to themselves, claiming moral absolute of the free trade and their Mammon-given right to hold on to everything. Those who lose from the free trade are not only aggrieved, but find themselves at the wrong end of the political game specifically rigged to deprive them of influence. They don't want to play by its rules if they can--and Trump is providing them this option.
In this sense, Trump's actions are re-domesticalizing the politics of free trade, making trade policy responsive to domestic interests that were shunted side formerly. The internationalists have only their own short-sightedness to blame: if they were willing to build up a broader coalition, or at least, appease their domestic opponents better, the opposition to free trade detached from domestic politics would not have become so acrimonious.
Personally, I think it's not a good development: walking back from free trade is not easy, if at all possible--too many linkages have been built, too many sectors are dependent on access to foreign inputs or markets, that actual protectionism will be near impossible to bring back without major costs. Still, if you are creating international bureaucracy to bypass domestic politics, you'd better not piss off folks back home enough that they'd start with pitchforks, and this is among the many mistakes internationalists have made.This interview of Sir James Goldsmith by Charlie Rose frames his debate with Laura Tyson, Clinton's trade representative. Well worth watching to understand the trade debate. Play HideSurfaceBook , 6 hours agoThe analyst in the link below explained the myth US energy independence. Although it is not as severe as china's need for foreign energy supply , but she got russian energy export via landline as opposed as sealane gulf imports.N.M> Salamon , 10 hours ago
There also this constant propaganda of better unemployment statistic , because of the way the data was processed to make it looks better (cooked)
-- -- -- -- --
From Srsroccoreport :
While the Mainstream media and the Whitehouse continue with the energy independent mantra, the U.S. is still highly reliant upon a great deal of foreign oil. Ahttps://d3hxt1wz4sk0za.clo... , why would the U.S. import 8 million barrels of oil per day if its shale oil production has surged over the past decade?
Well, it's quite simple. The U.S. Shale Oil Industry is producing way too much light tight oil, with a high API Gravity, for our refineries that are designed for a lower grade. So, as U.S. shale oil production exploded , the industry was forced to export a great deal more of this light oil overseas.
https://srsroccoreport.com/...Thanks for your exposition.Fred -> N.M> Salamon , 9 hours ago
China's import of oil in US funds is about equal to USA's net import in US$ - the rest is in ruble/yuan.
The armed force imbalance is of no value, as attack on China is certain to get A-bombs into play [aside form danger to US ships both naval and other due to Chinese/Russian made anti ship missiles]
The USA can not maintain 25% duties on consumer goods for the simple reason that 75% of population can not afford to be consumer -debt levels are too high.
The USA can not maintain high tariffs as such would greatly increase the inflation rate applicable to the "deplorables" who are already on ropes [homelessness, welfare, food subsidies etc.] Notably the Fed would have to raise rates if inflation increases with dire result for the bond market and the federal deficit due to increased interest costs.
That the European satraps have bowed under US pressure is nothing new... there will be more changes in governments in the next cycle - the present bunch is too ripe [or rotten].
I do not imply by the above that China will not suffer, however they have a trillion dollar kitty to balance the external trade problems."75% of population can not afford to be consumer..."
They are in debt because they are consuming beyond thier income. "the Fed would have to raise rates if inflation increases" The Fed has already raised rates twice this year. It was less than ten days ago that Trump based the Fed for raising rates. The losers in that have always been Americans at the bottom.
Jul 23, 2018 | crookedtimber.org
WLGR 07.23.18 at 7:13 pm 14 (no link)I hope it's clear to any thoughtful reader that the scenario Robert Zannelli lays out above -- from high US political officials like Donald Trump as tightly controlled assets of the Russian state, to squishy soft-left social democratic commentators like Chris Hedges as secret committed Marxist-Leninists, to respected intellectuals like Cornel West as hapless dupes of this aforementioned Russian/Marxist conspiracy -- might as well come straight out of a badly photocopied John Birch Society pamphlet of the 1950s or 1960s.
If it wasn't so disturbing to witness mainstream American liberalism's recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia, it'd be pretty satisfying to see such clear corroborating evidence right here in this thread of the deep ideological kinship to which I was just alluding, between mainstream anti-leftist liberalism and the far-right reactionary fringe. As is, I can only hope that enough people searching for ways to understand the rise of the far right in the US and elsewhere are able to weigh the frenzied ideological fever dreams of Russiagate-obsessed US liberals (citing the influence of shadowy foreign conspiracies against an otherwise pristine liberal political order) against the sober analysis of leftists like Losurdo (citing the influence of the liberal political order's own immanent tensions and contradictions) and have the presence of mind to opt for the latter.
@WLGR 07.23.18 at 7:13 pm
If it wasn't so disturbing to witness mainstream American [neo]liberalism's recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia, it'd be pretty satisfying to see such clear corroborating evidence right here in this thread of the deep ideological kinship to which I was just alluding, between mainstream anti-leftist liberalism and the far-right reactionary fringe.
Somebody joked that Obama married the neocons to the humanitarian bombers and to the SJWs. It s a powerful alliance...
Reaction to the crisis of neoliberalism and loss of confidence in ruling elite generate many different attempts to restore the status quo, some of them grotesque.
BTW Trump's "National neoliberalism" is one of them. See Sasha Breger Bush in https://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/24/trump-and-national-neoliberalism
In this sense, we can view Anti-Russian paranoia as a desperate attempt to the ruling neoliberal elite to restore the control of the narrative and cement the cracks in the neoliberal society on the basis of uniting the society via neo-McCarthyism hysteria. Because regular propaganda and neoliberal myths lost their persuading power and no longer work they resort to classic forms of war propaganda in the center of which is the demonization of the "enemy of the people."
Moreover, the carpet bombing of Trump in neoliberal MSM is really a sign of paranoid reaction of neoliberals (both hard and soft) on the possibility of losing grip on the US electorate and the beginning of the process of dismantling/downsizing the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.
Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind.
"Enrightenment" probably should be understood as the dramatic rise of nationalism including some forms of far right nationalism as a reaction on the crisis on the neoliberal society.
Jul 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
President's Trump successful summit with President Putin was used by the 'resistance' and the deep state to launch a coup-attempt against Trump. Their minimum aim is to put Trump into a (virtual) political cage where he can no longer pursue his foreign policy agenda.
One does not have to be a fan of Trump's policies and still see the potential danger. A situation where he can no longer act freely will likely be worse. What Trump has done so far still does not add up to the disastrous policies and crimes his predecessor committed.
The borg, financed and sworn to the agenda of globalists and the military-industrial-media complex, has its orders and is acting on them. The globalists want more free trade agreements, no tariffs and more immigration to prevent higher wages. Capital does not have a national attachment. It does not care about the 'deplorables' who support Trump and his policies:[P]olls show that Trump appears to still have the support of the bulk of Republican voters when it comes to tariffs. Nearly three-fourths, or 73 percent, of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who responded to a Pew Research survey out this week said they felt increased tariffs would benefit the country.
His 'isolationist' economic policies make Trump an enemy of the globalists :Donald Trump is, indeed, a kind of traitor to the Washington Consensus, a hyper-militarized capitalist utopia of corporate dominated global supply chains that doubled the international wage-slave workforce in the last two decades of the 20th century and herded these desperate billions into a race to the bottom. The leadership of both corporate parties conspired to force U.S. workers into the global meat-grinder.
The weapon industry and the military recognize that the 'war of terror' is nearing its end. To sell more they need to create an new 'enemy' that looks big enough to justify large and long-term spending. Russia, the most capable opponent the U.S. could have, is the designated target. A new Cold War will give justification for all kinds of fantastic and useless weapons.
Trump does not buy the nonsense claims of 'Russian meddling' in the U.S. elections and openly says so. He does not believe that Russia wants to attack anyone. To him Russia is not an enemy.
Trump grand foreign policy is following a realist assessment . He sees that previous administrations pushed Russia into the Chinese camp by aggressive anti-Russian policies in Europe and the Middle East. He wants to pull Russia out of the alliance with China, neutralize it in a political sense, to then be able to better tackle China which is the real thread to the American (economic) supremacy.
This week was a prelude to the coup against Trump :Former CIA chief John Brennan denounced Trump as a "traitor" who had "committed high crimes" in holding a friendly summit with Putin.
It can't get more seditious than that. Trump is being denigrated by almost the entire political and media establishment in the US as a "treasonous" enemy of the state.
Following this logic, there is only one thing for it: the US establishment is calling for a coup to depose the 45th president. One Washington Post oped out of a total of five assailing the president gave the following stark ultimatum: "If you work for Trump, quit now".
Some high ranking people working for Trump followed that advice. His chief of staff John Kelly rallied others against him:According to three sources familiar with the situation, Kelly called around to Republicans on Capitol Hill and gave them the go-ahead to speak out against Trump. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan held televised press conferences to assert that Russia did meddle in the election.
Others who attacked Trump over his diplomatic efforts with Russia included the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats who used an widely distributed interview for that:The White House had little visibility into what Coats might say. The intelligence director's team had turned down at least one offer from a senior White House official to help prepare him for the long-scheduled interview, pointing out that he had known Mitchell for years and was comfortable talking with her.
Coats was extraordinarily candid in the interview, at times questioning Trump's judgment -- such as the president's decision to meet with Putin for two hours without any aides present beyond interpreters -- and revealing the rift between the president and the intelligence community.
FBI Director Wray also undermined his boss' position:FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday defended Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a "straight shooter," and said the Russia investigation is no "witch hunt."
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Wray said he stood by his view that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in some capacity and that the threat remained active.
A day latter Secretary of Defense Mattis also issued a statement that contradicted his president's policy:Secretary of Defense James Mattis took his turn doing the implicit disavowing in a statement about new military aid to Ukraine:
"Russia should suffer consequences for its aggressive, destabilizing behavior and its illegal occupation of Ukraine. The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is do we wish to strengthen our partners in key regions or leave them with no other options than to turn to Russia, thereby undermining a once in a generation opportunity to more closely align nations with the U.S. vision for global security and stability."
Pat Lang thinks that Trump should fire Coats, Wary and Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General who is overseeing the Mueller investigation.
My advice is to spare Rosenstein, for now, as firing him would lead to a great uproar in Congress. The Mueller investigation has not brought up anything which is dangerous to Trump and is unlikely to do so in the immediate future. He and Rosenstein can be fired at a latter stage.
But Wray and Coats do deserve a pink slip and so do Kelly and Mattis. They are political appointees who work 'at the pleasure of the President'.
The U.S. has the legislative and the judicative as a counterweight to the president who leads the executive. The 'deep state' and its moles within the executive should have no role in that balance. The elected president can and must demand loyalty from those who work for him.
Those who sabotage him should be fired, not in a Saturday night massacre but publicly, with a given reason and all at the same time. They do not deserve any warning. Their rolling heads will get the attention of others who are tempted by the borg to act against the lawful policy directives of their higher up.
All this is not a defense of Trump. I for one despise his antics and most of his policies. But having a bad president of the United States implementing the policies he campaigned on, and doing so within the proper process, is way better than having unaccountable forces dictating their policies to him.
It will be impossible for Trump to get anything done if his direct subordinates, who work 'at his pleasure', publicly sabotage the implementation of his policies. Either he fires these people or the borg will have won.
Jul 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Enrico Verga, a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur based in Milan. As a consultant, he concentrates on firms interested in opportunities in international and digital markets. His articles have appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore, Capo Horn, Longitude, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and many other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @enricoverga .
International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit.
In recent times, the Western middle class (by which I mean in particular industrial workers and office employees) has lost a large number of jobs and has seen its buying power fall. It isn't true that migrants are the source of all evil in the world. However, under current conditions, they become a locus for the exasperation of the population at twenty years of pro-globalization politics. They are tragically placed in the role of the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Western businesses have slipped jobs overseas to countries with low labor costs, while the middle class has been pushed into debt in order to try to keep up. The Glass-Steagall law and other brakes on American banks were abolished by a cheerleader for globalization, Bill Clinton, and these banks subsequently lost all restraints in their enthusiasm to lend. The cherry on top of the sundae was the real estate bubble and ensuing crash of 2008.
A damning picture of the results of 20 years of globalization is provided by Forbes , capitalism's magazine par excellence. Already in 2016, the surprise victory of Trump led to questions about whether the blond candidate's win was due in part to the straits of the American middle class, impoverished as a result of the pro-globalization politics of figures like Clinton and Obama.
Further support for this thesis is furnished by the New York Times , describing the collapse of the stars-and-stripes middle class. Its analysis is buttressed by lengthy research from the very mainstream Pew Center , which agrees that the American middle class is vanishing.
And Europe? Although the European middle class has been squeezed less than its American counterpart, for us as well the picture doesn't look good. See for example the analysis of the Brookings Institute , which discusses not only the flagging economic fortunes of the European middle class, but also the fear of prosperity collapsing that currently grips Europe.
Migrants and the Shock Doctrine
What do economic migrants have to do with any of this?
Far be it from me to criticize large corporations, but clearly they – and their managers and stockholders – benefit from higher margins. Profits (revenue minus costs and expenses) can be maximized by reducing expenses. To this end, the costs of acquiring goods (metals, agricultural products, energy, etc.) and services (labor) need to fall steadily.
In the quest to lower the cost of labor, the most desirable scenario is a sort of blank slate: to erase ongoing arrangements with workers and start over from zero, building a new "happy and productive" economy. This operation can be understood as a sort of "shock doctrine."
The term "economic shock therapy" is based on an analogy with electroshock therapy for mental patients. One important analysis of it comes from Naomi Klein , who became famous explaining in 2000 the system of fashion production through subsidiaries that don't adhere to the safety rules taken so seriously in Western countries (some of you may recall the scandal of Benetton and Rana Plaza , where more than a thousand workers at a Bangladesh factory producing Benetton (and other) clothes were crushed under a collapsing building).
Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force. Sometimes relocating from one nation to another is not possible, but if you can bring the job market of other countries here in the form of a low-cost mass of people competing for employment, then why bother?
The Doctrine in Practice
Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports .
The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower ( by 60-70% on average ) than in Western European countries.
We see further evidence of damage to the European middle class daily, from France where the (at least verbally) pro-globalization Macron is cutting social welfare to attract foreign investment , to Germany where many ordinary workers are seriously exploited . And so on through the UK and Italy.
The migrant phenomenon is a perfect counterpoint to a threadbare middle class, given its role as a success story within the narrative of globalization.
Economic migrants are eager to obtain wealth on the level of the Western middle class – and this is of course a legitimate desire. However, to climb the social ladder, they are willing to do anything: from accepting low albeit legal salaries to picking tomatoes illegally ( as Alessandro Gassman, son of the famous actor, reminded us ).
The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians," explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues:
This mirage has fallen under the blows it has received from the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War. Foreign trade, easy credit (with the American real estate bubble of 2008 as a direct consequence), peace missions in Libya (carried out by pro-globalization French and English actors, with one motive being in my opinion the diversion of energy resources away from [the Italian] ENI) were supposed to have created a miracle; they have in reality created a climate of global instability.
Italy is of course not untouched by this phenomenon. It's easy enough to give an explanation for the Five Stars getting votes from part of the southern electorate that is financially in trouble and might hope for some sort of subsidy, but the North? The choice of voting center right (with a majority leaning toward Lega) can be explained in only one way – the herd (the middle class) has tried to rise up.
I asked him, "So in your opinion, is globalization in stasis? Or is it radically changing?" He replied:
I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants.
This is an important element in the success of Lega: it is a force that has managed to understand clearly the exhaustion of the impoverished middle class, and that has proposed a way out, or has at least elaborated a vision opposing the rose-colored glasses of globalization.
In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus.
What Conflicts Are Most Relevant Today?
At the same time, if we observe, for example in Italy, the positions taken by the (pro-globalization?) Left, it becomes easier to understand why the middle class and also many blue collar workers are abandoning it. Examples range from the unfortunate declarations of deputy Lia Quartapelle on the need to support the Muslim Brotherhood to the explanations of the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, on how the status of economic migrant should be seen as a model for the lifestyle of all Italians . These remarks were perhaps uttered lightly (Quartapelle subsequently took her post down and explained that she had made a mistake), but they are symptomatic of a certain sort of pro-globalization cultural "Left" that finds talking to potential voters less interesting than other matters.
From Italy to America (where Hillary Clinton was rejected after promoting major international trade arrangements that she claimed would benefit middle-class American workers) to the UK (where Brexit has been taken as a sort of exhaust valve), the middle class no longer seems to be snoring.
We are currently seeing a political conflict between globalist and nationalist forces. Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.
If for the last twenty years, with only occasional oscillation, the pro-globalization side has been dominant in the West, elections are starting to swing the balance in a new direction.
Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization.
If the distinction between globalism and nationalism is in practice trumping other differences, then we should not let ourselves be distracted by bright and shiny objects, and keep our focus on what really matters.
fresno dan , July 20, 2018 at 7:06 amEnrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:30 am
From the Forbes link:
"The first downside of international trade that even proponents of freer trade must acknowledge is that while the country as a whole gains some people do lose."
More accurate to say a tiny, tiny, TINY percentage gain.
Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP. Yes, GDP goes up – but that word that can never be uttered by American corporate media – DISTRIBUTION – that essentially ALL gains in GDP have gone to the very top. AND THAT THIS IS A POLITICAL DECISION, not like the waves of the ocean or natural selection. There is plenty that could be done about it – BUT it STARTS with WANTING to do something effective about it .
And of course, the bizarre idea that inflation helps. Well, like trade, it helps .the very, very rich
https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/real-hourly-earnings-decline-yoy-for-production-workers-flat-for-all-employees-W4eRI5nksU2lsrOR9Z01WQ/Off The Street , July 20, 2018 at 9:43 am
im used to use reliable link ( on forbes it's not Pew but i quoted also Pew) :)Heraclitus , July 20, 2018 at 11:38 am
Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP.
You have identified one of my pet peeves about economists and their fellow traveler politicians. They hide behind platitudes, and the former are more obnoxious about that. Economists will tell people that they just don't understand all that complexity, and that in the name of efficiency, etc, free trade and the long slide toward neo-liberal hell must continue.Jean , July 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm
I think the assertion that all economic gains have gone to the very top is not accurate. According to 'Unintended Consequences' by Ed Conard, the 'composition of the work force has shifted to demographics with lower incomes' between 1980 and 2005. If you held the workforce of 1980 steady through 2005, wages would be up 30% in real terms, not including benefits.
It's amazing that critics miss this.makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 7:12 am
But you are ignoring immigrant based population increases which dilutes your frozen population number. How convenient for argument's sake.
Not mentioned in the article are rent increases caused by more competition for scarcer housing.PlutoniumKun , July 20, 2018 at 8:30 am
I think the author has highlighted some home truths in the article. I once remember several years ago just trying to raise the issue of immigration* and its impact on workers on an Irish so-called socialist forum. Either I met silence or received a reply along the lines: 'that when socialists rule the EU we'll establish continental wide standards that will ensure fairness for everyone'. Fairy dust stuff. I'm not anti immigrant in any degree but it seems unwise not to understand and mitigate the negative aspects of policies on all workers. Those chickens are coming home to roost by creating the type of political parties (new or established) that now control the EU and many world economies.
During the same period many younger middle and upper middle class Irish extolled the virtues, quite openly, of immigration as way of lowering the power and wages of existing Irish workers so that the costs of building homes, labour intensive services and the like would be concretely reduced; and that was supposed to be a good thing for the material well being of these middle and upper middle classes. Sod manual labour.
One part of the working class was quite happy to thrown another part of the working class under the bus and the Left**, such as it was and is, was content to let it happen. Then established Leftist parties often facilitated the rightward economic process via a host of policies, often against their own stated policies in election manifestos. The Left appeared deceitful. The Irish Labour party is barely alive and subsisting on die-hard traditionalists for their support by those who can somehow ignore the deceit of their party. Surreaslist stuff from so-called working class parties,
And now the middle-middle classes are ailing and we're supposed to take notice. Hmmm. Yet, as a Leftist, myself, it is incumbent upon us to address the situation and assist all workers, whatever their own perceived status.
*I'm an immigrant in the UK currently, though that is about to change next year.
** Whether the "Left", such as the Irish Labour Party, was just confused or bamboozled matters not a jot. After the financial crises that became an economic crisis, they zealously implemented austerity policies that predominantly cleared the way for a right wing political landscape to dominate throughout Europe. One could be forgiven for thinking that those who called themselves Leftists secretly believed that only right wing, neo-liberal economic policies were correct. And I suppose, being a bit cynical, that a few politicos were paid handsomely for their services.makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:17 am
I think its easy to see why the more middle class elements of the left wing parties never saw immigration as a problem – but harder to see why the Trade Unions also bought into this. Partly I think it was a laudable and genuine attempt to ensure they didn't buy into racism – when you look at much trade union history, its not always pleasant reading when you see how nakedly racist some early trade union activists were, especially in the US. But I think there was also a process whereby Unions increasingly represented relatively protected trades and professions, while they lost ground in more vulnerable sectors, such as in construction.
I think there was also an underestimation of the 'balancing' effect within Europe. I think a lot of activists understimated the poverty in parts of Europe, and so didn't see the expansion of the EU into eastern Europe as resulting in the same sort of labour arbitrage thats occurred between the west and Asia. I remember the discussions over the enlargement of the EU to cover eastern Europe and I recall that there seemed to be an inbuilt assumption (certainly in the left), that rising general prosperity would ensure there would be no real migration impact on local jobs. This proved to be entirely untrue.
Incidentally, in my constituency (Dublin Central) in past elections the local Labour party was as guilty as any of pandering to the frequent racism encountered on the doorsteps in working class areas. But it didn't do them much good. Interestingly, SF was the only party who would consistently refuse to pander (At least in Dublin), making the distinction between nationalist and internationalist minded left wingers even more confusing.Glen , July 20, 2018 at 8:56 am
Yes, one has to praise the fact that the Unions didn't pander to racism – but that's about all the (insert expletive of choice) did correctly.
Your other points, as ever, are relevant and valid but (and I must but) I tend to think that parties like Labour were too far "breezy" about the repercussions about labour arbitrage. But that's water under the bridge now.
Speaking about SF and the North West in general, they have aggressively canvassed recent immigrants and have not tolerated racism among their ranks. Their simple reasoning was that is unthinkable that SF could tolerate such behaviour amongst themselves when they has waged a campaign against such attitudes and practices in the six counties. (SF are no saints, often fumble the ball badly, and are certainly not the end-all-be-all, but this is something they get right).Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:18 am
It has to be understood that much of immigration is occurring because of war, famine, collapsing societies (mostly due to massive wealth inequality and corrupt governments). Immigration is not the cause of the economic issues in the EU, it's a symptom (or a feature if you're on top). If you don't correct the causes – neo-liberalism, kleptocracy, rigged game – what ever you want to call it, then you too will become an immigrant in your own country (and it will be a third world country by the time the crooks on top are done).
Don't get caught up in the blame the other poor people game. It's a means to get the powerless to fight among themselves. They are not in charge, they are victims just like you.Louis Fyne , July 20, 2018 at 11:45 am
Having spent a lot of time in the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan and Iraq I have to say that rampant overpopulation plays a big part. Anyone who can get out is getting out. It makes sense. And with modern communications they all know how life is in Europe or the US in contrast to the grinding horror that surrounds them.redleg , July 20, 2018 at 7:32 pm
But Conan tells me that Haiti is a tropical paradise! (my brother too spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq working with the locals during his deployments)
"Twitter liberalism" is doing itself by not recognizing that much of the developing world IS a corrupt cesspool.
Instead of railing against Trump, the Twitter-sphere needs to rail against the bipartisan policies that drive corruption, and economic dislocations and political dislocations. and rail against religious fundamentalism that hinders family planning.
But that can't fit onto a bumper sticker.
Calling Trump names is easier.Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm
But if you actually do that, rail against bipartisan neoliberal policies on social media and IRL, the conservatives are far less hostile than the die-hard Dems. This is especially true now, with all the frothing at the mouth and bloodlust about Russia. Its raised their "it's ALL *YOUR* FAULT"-ism by at least an order of magnitude.makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:04 am
Actually, that's been true since the 18th C., at least for the US. TV may make it more vivid, and Europe has changed places, but most Americans have immigrant ancestors, most often from Europe.nervos belli , July 20, 2018 at 10:20 am
Very good points, and I agree with all of them.
However, it does seem that the policy of the EU, especially under the influence of Mutti Merkel, signalled a free-for-all immigration stance over the last several years, completely ignoring the plight of existing workers (many of whom would be recent immigrants themselves and the children of immigrants). That the so-called Left either sat idly by or jumped on Mutti's band wagon didn't do them any favours with working people. Every country or customs union has and needs to regulate its borders. It also makes some sense to monitor labour markets when unfavourable conditions appear.
It appears that only the wealthy are largely reaping the rewards of the globalist direction trade has taken. These issues need to be addressed by the emerging Left political parties in the West. Failure to address these issues must, I would contend, play into the hands of the more right wing parties whose job is to often enrich the local rich.
But, bottom line, your are correct workers do not come out well when blaming other workers for economies that have been intentionally created to produce favourable conditions for the few over the many.Ben Wolf , July 20, 2018 at 7:36 am
It's a blade with two sides.
There are push factors like the wars and poor countries. However neither of these causes can be fixed. Not possible. Europe can gnash their teeth all they want, not even when they did the unthinkable and put the US under sanctions for their warcrimes would the US ever stop. First there would be color revolutions in western europe.
As important as the push factors are the pull ones. 90% or so of all refugees 2015 went to Germany. Some were sent to other countries by the EU, these too immediately moved to Germany and didn't stay where they were assigned. So the EU has to clean up their act and would need to put the last 10 or so US presidents and administrations before a judge in Den Haag for continued war crimes and crimes against humanity (please let me my dreams). The EU would also need to clean up their one sided trade treaties with Africa and generally reign in their own corporations. All that is however not enough by far and at most only half the battle. Even when the EU itself all did these things, the poverty would remain and therefore the biggest push factor. Humans always migrate to the place where the economy is better.
The pull factors is however at least as big. The first thing to do is for Germany to fix their laws to be in sync with the other EU countries. At this point, Germany is utterly alone, at most some countries simply don't speak out against german policy since they want concessions in other areas. Main one here is France with their proposed EU and Euro reforms but not alone by far.Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:31 am
Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.
Socialism in one country is a Stalinist theory, and falling back upon it in fear of international capital is not only regressive but (assuming we aren't intentionally ignoring history) relective of a defensive mentality.
In other words, this kind of thinking is the thinking of the whipped dog cringing before the next blow.Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:28 am
Am i a dog? :)Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Or perhaps they want to regulate and control the power of capital in their country. Which is an entirely impossible proposition considering that capital can flee any jurisdiction and cross any border. After all, transnational capital flows which were leveraged to the hilt in speculative assets played an oversized role in generating the financial crisis and subsequent crash.
It wouldn't be the first time I've been called a Stalinist though.JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm
And why would we care whether it's a "Stalinist" theory? For that matter, although worker ownership would solve some of these problems, we needn't be talking about socialism, but rather about more functional capitalism.
Quite a leap in that last sentence; you haven't actually established anything of the sort.disc_writes , July 20, 2018 at 8:10 am
but rather about a more functional capitalism.
Personally, I believe capitalism needs to go away, but for it, or any other economic system, to work, we would need a fair, equal, just, enforced rule of law that everyone would be under, wouldn't we?
Right now the blessed of our various nations do not want this, so they make so that one set is unfair, unequal, unjust, harshly enforced on most of their country's population while they get the gentle rules.
For a society to function long term, it needs to have a fair and just set of rules that everyone understands and follow, although the rules don't have to equal; people will tolerate different levels of punishments and strictness of the rules. The less that is the case the more dysfunctional, and usually the more repressive it is. See the Western Roman Empire, the fall of just about every Chinese dynasty, the Russian Empire, heck even the American War of Independence, and the American Civil War. In example, people either actively worked to destroy the system or did not care to support it.Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Thank you for the article, a pretty lucid analysis of the recent electoral results in Italy and trends elsewhere. Although I would have liked to read something about people voting the way they do because they are xenophobe fascist baby-eating pedophile racist Putin friends. Just for fun.
Funny how the author's company promotes "Daily international job vacancies in UNDP, FAO, UN, UNCTAD, UNIDO and the other Governative Organization, Non Governative Organization, Multinationals Corporations. Public Relations, Marketing, Business Development."
Precisely the sort of jobs that infuriates the impoverishing middle classes.Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:16 am
Class traitors are important and to be encouraged (though a phrase with a more positive tone would be helpful).Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:34 am
As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders defended not only border security, but also national sovereignty. Asked about expanded immigration, Sanders flipped the question into a critique of open-borders libertarianism: "That's a Koch brothers proposal which says essentially there is no United States."
Unfortunately the ethnic division of the campaign and Hillary's attack seems to have led him to change his mind.Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:36 am
That's probably due to the fact that just about everybody can't seem to differentiate between immigration and mass migration. The latter issue is a matter of distributing the pain of a collapsing order. state failure, and climate change while the former is simply engaging in the comfortable rhetoric of politics dominated by the American middle class.MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 20, 2018 at 9:40 am
Oki lemme see.
1 people vote they like. im not updated if the voters eat babies but i'll check and let u know.
2 My company is not dream job. It is a for free ( and not making a penny) daily bulleting that using a fre soft (paper.li) collect international qualified job offers for whoever is willing to work in these sector.
i'm not pro or contro migrants. i actually only reported simple fact collating differents point :)JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:42 pm
Economic migrants seek prosperity and are justified in doing so, yet they can also be seen as pawns in an international strategy that destroys the negotiating leverage of workers. The resulting contradictions potentially render conventional political classifications obsolete.
This appears on the homepage, but not here.
In any case, the 10% also seek prosperity. They are said to be the enablers of the 1%.
Perhaps pawns too.
Are economic migrants both pawns and enablers?Newton Finn , July 20, 2018 at 10:02 am
Yes. The economic migrants are both pawns and enablers as well as victims.ROB , July 20, 2018 at 10:11 am
Until the left alters its thinking to reflect the crucial information presented in this video, information more clearly and comprehensively spelled out in "Reclaiming the State" by Mitchell and Fazi, resurgent rightwing nationalism will be the only outlet for those who reject global neoliberalism's race to the bottom. It's that simple and sad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IynNfA1OhaoJohn Wright , July 20, 2018 at 11:16 am
To paint this as two pro-globalisation (within which you place the left) and pro-nationalism is simplistic and repositions the false dichotomy of left vs right with something just as useless. We should instead seek to speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum. This is an example of poor journalism and analysis and shouldn't have been posted here, sorry Yves.JTMcPhee , July 20, 2018 at 11:17 am
By "false dichotomy of left vs right" are you implying there is little difference between left and right?
Is that not one of the themes of the article?
Please speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum and give some examples of better and more useful journalism and analysis.John , July 20, 2018 at 11:44 am
Thanks for your opinion. Check the format of this place: articles selected for information or provoking thoughts, in support of a general position of driving toward betterment of the general welfare, writ large.
The political economy is at least as complex as the Krebs or citric acid cycle that biology students and scientists try to master. There are so many moving parts and intersecting and competing interests that in the few words that the format can accommodate, regarding each link, it's a little unkind to expect some master work of explication and rhetorical closure every time.
The Krebs cycle is basically driven by the homeostatic thrust, bred of billions of years of refinement, to maintain the healthy functioning and prolong life of the organism. There's a perceivable axis to all the many parts of respiration, digestion, energy flows and such, all inter-related with a clear organizing principle at the level of the organism. On the record, it's hardly clear that at the level of the political economy, and all the many parts that make it up, there is sufficient cohesion around a set of organizing principles that parallel the drive, at the society and species level, to regulate and promote the energy flows and interactions that would keep things healthy and prolong the life of the larger entity. Or that their is not maybe a death wish built into the "cultural DNA" of most of the human population.
Looks a lot to me that we actually have been invested (in both the financial and military senses of the word) by a bunch of different cancer processes, wild and unregulated proliferation of ecnomic and political tumor tissues that have invaded and undermined the healthy organs of the body politic. Not so clear what the treatments might be, or the prognosis. It is a little hopeful, continuing the biological analogy, that the equivalents of inflammation and immune system processes appear to be overcoming the sneaky tricks that cancer genes and cells employ to evade being identified and rendered innocuous.jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:40 pm
Yes, "invested in a bunch of cancer processes" is a good description of allowing excessive levels of predatory wealth. Thus you end up with a bunch of Jay Gould hyper capitalists whose guiding principle is: I can always pay one half of the working class to kill the other half. Divide and conquer rules.JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm
It's mostly simply wrong. This doesn't describe the political views of almost anyone near power anywhere as far as I can tell:
"Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, "
Most of the nationalist forces are on the right and give @#$# all for workers rights. Really they may be anti-immigrant but they are absolutely anti-worker.Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 1:02 pm
The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists to distract the workers from their essential unity as fellow wage slaves. Some make more wages, some make less wages but they all have their surplus value, the money left over after they have enough to take care of themselves, taken by the capitalist and used for his ends even though he may not have worked in the value creation process at all.
Economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system. While the article does mention capitalist shock doctrine methods for establishing imperialism and correctly notes that economic migrants are victims, it then goes on to try to lay a weak and insidious argument against them. The author goes on citing multiple different cases of worker wages being driven lower or stagnating, many of these cases have differing and sometimes complex reasons for why this happened. But migrants and globalization are to blame he says and that our struggle is nationalism vs globalism. He refuses to see what is staring him in the face, workers produce surplus value for society, more workers produce more surplus value. If society finds itself wealthier with more workers then why do workers wage fall or stagnate? He does note correctly that this is due to the workers now having a weaker bargaining position with the capitalist, but he seems to conclude from this without stating outrightly that we should then reject the economic migrants because of this.
However, we could instead conclude that if more workers produce more surplus value but yet their wages fall because the capitalist takes a larger share of the overall pot, that the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere. Plus the workers bargaining position only weakens with a greater number of them if they are all just bargaining for themselves, but if they were to bargain togather collectively then there bargaining position has actually only grown even stronger.
Also he falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists, instead of correctly noting that the democratic party represents capitalist interests from a centrist position and not the left. The strength of global capitalism can only be fought by a global coalition of the working class. The struggle of Mexican and American workers are interrelated to each other and the same goes for that of European and Middle Eastern workers. The time has come for the left to raise the rallying cry of its great and glorious past.
That workers of the world must unite!Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm
You claim, as if it were obvious, that "economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system."
Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?
If the borders of the US were abruptly left completely open, a huge number of people would enter the country tomorrow, for economic reasons. Would they all have been "driven" here, or would they have some choice in the matter?
When you say, "he refuses to say what is staring him in the face, that [ ] more workers produce more surplus value," you are not only taking a gratuitously pedantic tone, you are actually not making a coherent critique. If economic migrants move from one country to another, the total pool of workers in the world has not increased; while according to your logic, if all the workers in the world were to move to Rhode Island, Rhode Island would suddenly be swimming in the richness of surplus value.
When you say, "we could instead conclude that [..] the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere," you are straw-manning the author but also making a purely rhetorical argument. If you think the capitalist system can be replaced with a better one within the near future, then you can work toward that; but in the meanwhile, nations, assuming that they will continue to exist, will either have open borders or something short of that, and these decisions do affect the lives of workers.
When you say he "falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists," the false equivalence is coming from you. The article barely touches on the Democratic Party, and instead draws most of its examples from Europe, especially Italy. In Italy, the public figures he mentions call themselves part of the sinistra and are generally referred to that way. You might perhaps feel that they are not entitled to that name (and in fact, the article sometimes places "left" in quotation marks), but you should at least read the article and look them up before discussing the matter.Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm
From the article: "Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization."
To Be Fair, Verga clearly is skeptical about those claims to be "on the Left," as he should be. Nonetheless, his initial mention of Democratic exemplars of globalization triggers American reflexes.Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm
Something before this failed to post; was rejected as a double post.
In brief: corporate globalization is a conservative, Republican policy that Bill Clinton imposed on the Dems, where it has since become doctrine, since it pays. It's ultimately the reason I'm a Green, not a Democrat, and in a sense the reason there IS a Green Party in the US.Eduardo Pinha , July 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm
> The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists
Let's not be simplistic. They have people for that.JBird , July 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm
The author points to stagnant middle class income in USA and Western Europe but fail to look the big picture. Middle class income has increased sharply in the past decades in Asia and Eastern Europe. Overall the gain huge, even though life is tougher in richer countries.jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Overall the gain huge, even thought life is tougher in richer countries.
Please accept my apologies for saying this. I don't mean to offend. I just have to point out something.
Many in the Democratic Party, as well as the left, are pointing to other countries and peoples as well as the American 9.9% and saying things are great, why are you complaining? With the not so hidden implications, sometimes openly stated that those who do are losers and deplorables.
Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth. As an American, I do not really care about the middle classes in Asia and Eastern Europe. Bleep the big picture. The huge gains comes with a commensurate increase in homeless in the United States, and a falling standard of living for most the of the population, especially in the "wealthy" states, like my state of California. Most of us are using fingernails to stay alive and homed. If those gains had not been caused by the losses, I would be very please to see them. As it is, I have to live under President Trump and worry about surviving. Heck, worry about the rest of my family doing so.David in Santa Cruz , July 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth."
I mean I actually do care somewhat about the people of the world, but we here in "rich countries" are being driven to homelessness at this point and told the goddamn lie that we live in a rich country, rather than the truth that we live in a plutocracy with levels of inequality approaching truly 3rd world. We are literally killing ourselves because we have to live in this plutocracy and our one existence itself is not even worth it anymore in this economic system (and we are lacking even a few of the positives of many other 3rd world countries). And those that aren't killing ourselves still can't find work, and even if we do, it doesn't pay enough to meet the most basic necessities.redleg , July 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm
1. It is unfortunate that Verga raises the rising cost of material inputs but fails to meaningfully address the issue. One of the drivers of migration, as mentioned in Comments above, is the population volcano currently erupting. Labor is cheap and globalization possible in large part because the world population has grown from 2 Billion to over 7 Billion in the past 60-odd years. This slow-growing mountain of human beings has created stresses on material inputs which are having a negative impact on the benefits derived from declining labor costs. This becomes a death-spiral as capital seeks to balance the rising cost of raw materials and agricultural products by driving down the cost of labor ever further.
2. Verga touches on the interplay of Nationalism and Racism in the responses of political parties and institutions in Italy and elsewhere. Voters appear to be abandoning Left and left-ish parties because the Left have been unable to come up with a definintion of national sovereignty that protects worker rights largely due to the importance of anti-racism in current Left-wing thought. Working people were briefly bought-off with cheap consumer goods and easy credit, but they now realize that low-wage migrant and off-shore workers mean that even these goodies are now out of reach. The only political alternative currently on offer is a brand of Nationalism defined by Racism -- which becomes acceptable to voters when the alternative is Third-World levels of poverty for those outside the 1% and their 9% enablers.
I don't see any simple solutions. Things may get very ugly.PKMKII , July 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm
The "left" abandoned the working class. Denied a political champion, the right offered the working class scapegoats.Tomonthebeach , July 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm
I certainly see that policies tampering down free trade, both of capital and labor, can benefit workers within a particular country. However, especially in the context of said policies in "Western" countries, this can tend towards a, protect the working class within the borders, leave those outside of it in impoverished squalor. Which doesn't mesh well with the leftist goal of global class consciousness. Much like the racially segregated labor policies of yesteryear, it's playing a zero-sum game with the working class while the ownership class gets the "rising tide lifts all boats" treatment.
So how do we protect workers within the sovereign, while not doing so at the cost of the workers outside of it? Schwieckart has an interesting idea, that tariffs on imports are used to fund non-profits/higher education/cooperatives in the country of export. However, I think we'd need something a bit more fine-tuned than that.whine country , July 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm
It has always baffled me that governments enable this global musical chairs game with the labor market. Nearly all Western governments allow tax dodging by those who benefit the most from their Navies, Armies, Patents, and Customs enforcement systems. However, it is the working class that carries the brunt of that cost while corporations off-shore their profits.
A simple-minded fix might be to start taxing foreign profits commensurate with the cost of enabling those overseas profits.ChrisAtRU , July 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Interesting that a corporation is a person just like us mortals when it is to their advantage, but unlike us humans, they can legally escape taxation on much of their income whereas a human being who is a US citizen cannot. A human citizen is generally taxed by the US on all income regardless of its source. OTOH, corporations (among other means) routinely transfer intellectual property to a non tax jurisdiction and then pay artificial payments to that entity for the rights to use such property. It is a scam akin to a human creating a tax deduction by transferring money from one pocket to another. Yes, proper taxation of corporations is a simple-minded fix which is absolutely not simple to legislate. Nice try though. Something else to ponder: Taxation without representation was said to be a major factor in our war of independence from Britain. Today no one seems to be concerned that we have evolved into representation without taxation. Doesn't see right to me.Anonymous2 , July 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm
"Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force."
Our Industry Follows Poverty
FWIW I don't think it's productive to talk about things like immigration in (or to) the US in terms of just the here – as in what should/could we be doing here to fix the problem. It's just as much if not more about the there . If we view the global economic order as an enriched center feeding off a developing periphery, then fixing the periphery should be first aim. #Wall or #NoBorders are largely incendiary extremes. Ending Original Sin and creating some sort of supranational IOU/credit system (not controlled by World Bank or IMF!) will end the economic imbalance and allow countries who will never export their way out of poverty and misery a way to become equal first world nation states. With this equality, there will be less economic migration, less peripheral poverty and potentially less political unrest. It's a gargantuan task to be sure, but with rising Socialist sentiment here and abroad, I'd like to think we are at least moving in the right direction.JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm
No mention of tax policy?
If the rich were properly taxed then social tensions would be greatly reduced and if the revenue raised were used to help the poorest in society much distress could be alleviated.
I worry that debate on migration/globalisation is being encouraged to distract attention from this issue.Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm
I may indeed have taken a gratuitously pedantic tone and could have chosen a better one, for that i apologise. I do however believe that much of my critique still stands, I will try to go through your points one by one.
"Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?"
Not all but many are, especially the ones that most people are complaining about. Many of them are being driven from their home countries not simply for a better life but so they can have something approaching a life at all. While to fully prove this point would require an analysis of all the different migrants and their home country conditions, I do feel that if we are talking about Syrian refugees, migrants from Africa risking their lives crossing the Mediteranian sea, or CentralAmerican refugees than yes i do think these people to an extent have had their agency taken from them by global events. For Syrians, by being caught in an imperialist power struggle which while the civil war may not have been caused by it, it certainly has been prolonged because of it. Not too mention America played a very significant role in creating the conditions for ISIS, and western European powers don't have completely clean hands either due to their long history of brutal imperialism in the mideast. Africa of course also has an extensive past of colonization and suffers from a present of colonization and exploitation as well. For Central Americans there is of course the voracious american drug market as well as our politicians consistent appetite for its criminalisation to blame. There is also of course global climate change. Many of these contributing conditions are not being dealt with and so i believe that the migrations we have witnessed these last few years are only the first ining of perhaps even greater migrations to come. How we deal with it now, could determine whether our era is defined by mass deaths or something better. So to the extent that i believe many of these migrants have agency is similiar to how a person climbing onto the roof of there house to escape a flood does.
If the borders of the US were left completely open then, yes, there would most likely be a rush of people at first but over time they would migrate back and forth according to their needs, through the opening of the border they would gain agency. People often think that a country not permitting its citizens to leave is wrong and immoral, but if most countries close their borders to the people of a country going through great suffering, then it seems to me that is essentially the same even if the rhetoric may be different. The likeliness of this is high if the rich countries close there borders, since if the rich countries like the US and Italy feel they can not take them in, then its doubtful countries on the way that are much poorer will be able to either.
At the begining of your article you stated that "International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit." This is the capitalist system, which is a system built upon the accumulation of capital, which are profits invested in instruments of labor, aka machines and various labor enhancements. Now Rhode island is quite small so there are geographical limitations of course, but if that was not an issue then yes. Wage workers in the capitalist system produce more value than they consume, if this was not the case they would not be hired or be hired for long. So if Rhode Island did not have the geographical limitations that it does, then with more workers the overall pot of valuable products and services would increase per capita in relation to the population. If the workers are divided and not unified into cohesive and responsive institutions to fight for there right share of the overall pie, which I believe should be all of it, then most of the gain to society will go to the capitalist as increased profits. So it is not the migrant workers who take from the native but instead actually the capitalist who exploits and trys to magnify there difference. So if the capitalist system through imperialism helped to contribute to the underlying conditions driving mass migration, and then it exploits there gratitude and willingness to work for less than native workers, than I believe it follows that they will wish to drive native anger towards the migrants with the ultimate goal of allowing them to exploit the migrant workers at an even more severe level. This could be true within the country, such as the US right now where the overarching result of anti-immigrant policies has been to not get rid of them but to drive there exploitation more into the shadows, or through mass deportations back to their home country followed by investments to exploit their desperation at super low wages that will then compete with the rich country workers, it is also possible they will all just die and everyone will look away. Either way the result will still be lower wages for rich country workers, it seems to me the only way out of the impass is for the native workers to realize their unity with migrant workers as exploited workers and instead of directing that energy of hostility at each other instead focus it upon the real root which is the capitalists themselves. Without the capitalists, more workers, held withing certain geographic limitations of course, would in fact only enrich each other.
So while nations may indeed continue to exist for awhile, the long term benefit of native workers is better served by making common cause with migrants against their mutual oppressors then allowing themselves to be stirred up against them. Making this argument to workers is much harder, but its the most beneficial if it can be made successfully.
This last point i do agree i may have been unfair to you, historically I believe the left generally referred to anarchists, socialists and communists. So I often dislike the way modern commentators use the left to refer to anything from a center right democrat like Hillary Clinton all the way to the most hard core communist, it can make understanding political subtleties difficult since anarchists, socialists and communists have radically different politics than liberals, much more so than can be expressed along a linear line. But as you point out you used quotes which i admit i did not notice, and of course one must generally use the jargon of the times in order to be understood.
Overall i think my main critique was that it seemed that throughout your article you were referencing different negative symptoms of capitalism but was instead taking that evidence for the negatives of globalism. I may come from a more radical tradition than you may be used to, but i would consider globalism to be an inherent aspect of capitalism. Capitalism in its algorithmic quest for ever increasing profits generally will not allow its self to be bound for long by people, nations, or even the physical and environmental limitations of the earth. While one country may be able to restrict it for a time unless it is overcome completely it will eventually reach out globally again. The only way to stop it is a prolonged struggle of the international working class cooperating with each other against capitalism in all its exploitive forms. I would also say that what we are seeing is not so much globalism vs nationalism but instead a rearrangement of the competing imperial powers, Russia, China, US, Germany and perhaps the evolution of multiple competing imperialisms similiar in nature to pre- world war times but that may have to wait for later.
A great deal of your article did indeed deal with Italy which I did not address but I felt that your arguments surrounding migrants was essentially of a subtle right wing nature and it needed to be balanced by a socialist counter narrative. I am very glad that you took the time to respond to my critique I know that putting analysis out there can be very difficult and i am thankful for your response which has allowed me to better express and understand my viewpoint. Once again I apoligise if I used some overly aggressive language and i hope your able to get something out of my response as well.Raulb , July 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm
I appreciate the more reflective tone of this reply. I believe there are still some misreadings of the article, which I will try to clarify.
For one thing, I am not the author of the article! Enrico Verga is the author. I merely translated the article. Enrico is Italian, however, and so for time zone reasons will be unable to respond to your comments for a while. I am happy to write a bit on this in the meantime.
You make two arguments.
The first is that many or most migrants are fleeing desperate circumstances. The article speaks however consistently of "economic migrants" – there are some overlapping issues with refugees, but also significant differences. Clearly there are many people who are economically comfortable in their home countries and who would still jump at a chance to get US citizenship if they could (look up EB-5 fraud for one example). Saying this does not imply some sort of subtle critique of such people, but they are not a myth.
I actually found your second argument more thought-provoking. As I understand you, you are suggesting something like the following. You support completely open borders. You acknowledge that this would lead at first to massive shifts in population, but in the long run you say things would stabilize. You acknowledge that this will lead to "lower wages for rich country workers," but say that we should focus on the fact that it is only within the capitalist system that this causality holds. You also suggest that it would probably lead, under current conditions, to workers having their anger misdirected at migrants and therefore supporting more reactionary policies.
Given that the shift to immediate open borders would, by this analysis, be highly detrimental to causes you support, why do you favor it? Your reasons appear to be (1) it's the right thing to do and we should just do it, (2) yes, workers might react in the way described, but they should not feel that way, and maybe we can convince them not to feel that way, (3) things will work themselves out in the long run.
I am a bit surprised at the straightforwardly idealistic tone of (1) and (2). As for (3), as Keynes said, in the long run we are all dead. He meant by this that phenomena that might in theory equilibrate over a very long time can lead to significant chaos in the short run; this chaos can meanwhile disrupt calculations about the "long term" and spawn other significant negative consequences.
Anyone who is open to the idea of radically new economic arrangements faces the question of how best to get there. You are perhaps suggesting that letting global capital reign supreme, unhindered by the rules and restrictions of nation-states, will in the long run allow workers to understand their oppression more clearly and so increase their openness to uniting against it. If so, I am skeptical.
I will finally point out that a part of the tone of your response seems directed at the impression that Enrico dislikes migrants, or wants other people to resent them. I see nothing in the article that would suggest this, and there are on the other hand several passages in which Enrico encourages the reader to empathize with migrants. When you suggest that his arguments are "essentially of a subtle right wing nature," you are maybe reacting to this misreading; in any case, I'm not really sure what you are getting at, since this phrase is so analytically imprecise that it could mean all sorts of things. Please try to engage with the article with arguments, not with vague epithets.
There is a bit of a dissonance here. Human rights has been persistently used by neoliberals to destabilize other regions for their own ends for decades now with little protest. And when the standard playbook of coups and stirring up trouble does not work its war and total destruction as we have seen recently in Iraq, Libya and Syria for completely fabricated reasons.
Since increased migration is the obvious first consequence when entire countries are decimated and in disarray one would expect the countries doing the destruction to accept the consequences of their actions but instead we have the same political forces who advocate intervention on 'human rights grounds' now demonizing migrants and advocating openly racist policies.
One can understand one mistake but 3 mistakes in a row! And apparently we are not capable of learning. The bloodlust continues unabated for Iran. This will destabilize an already destabilized region and cause even more migration to Europe. There seems to be a fundamental contradiction here, that the citizens of countries that execute these actions and who who protest about migrants must confront.
Maybe they should pay trillions of dollars of reparations for these intervention so these countries can be rebuilt and made secure again so migrants can return to their homes. Maybe the UN can introduce a new fund with any country considering destabilizing another country, for instance Iran, to first deposit a trillion dollars upfront to deal with the human fallout. Or maybe casually destabilizing and devastating entire countries, killing millions of people and putting millions more in disarray should be considered crimes against humanity and prosecuted so they are not repeated.
Jul 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
likbez , July 19, 2018 at 4:44 amGlobalization is not a one-dimensional phenomenon, and some of its aspects are still intact. Hollywood dominance, Internet, English language dominance, West technological dominance, will not reverse any time soon.
What is under attack by Trump, Brexit, etc. is neoliberal globalization, and, especially financial globalization, free movement of labor and outsourcing of manufacturing and services (offshoring).
Neoliberal globalization was also based on the dollar as world reserve currency (and oil trading in dollars exclusively). But this role of dollar recently is under attack due to the rise of China. Several "anti-dollar" blocks emerged.
Trump tariffs are also anathema for "classic neoliberalism" and essentially convert "classic neoliberalism" into "national neoliberalism" on the state level. BTW it looks like Russia switched to "national neoliberalism" earlier than the USA. No surprise that Trump feels some affinity to Putin ;-)
Attacks against free labor movement also on the rise and this is another nail in the coffin of classic neoliberalism. In several countries, including the USA the neoliberal elite (especially financial elite after 2008, despite that no banksters were killed by crowds) does not feel safe given animosity caused by the promotion of immigration and resorts of conversion of the state into national security state and neo-McCarthyism to suppress dissent.
I think those attacks will continue, immigration will be curtailed, and "classic neoliberalism" will be transformed into something different. Not necessarily better.
Several trends are also connected with the gradual slipping of the power of the USA as the chief enforcer of the neoliberal globalization. Which is partially happened due to the stupidity and arrogance of the USA neoliberal elite and neocons.
Another factor in play is the total, catastrophic loss of power of neoliberal propaganda -- people started asking questions, and neoliberal myths no longer hold any spell on population (or at least much less spell). The success of Bernie Sanders during the last election (DNC was forced to resort to dirty tricks to derail him) is one indication of this trend. This "collapse of ideology" spells great troubles for the USA, as previously it spells great troubles for the USSR.
"Trumpism" as I understand it tried to patch the situation by two major strategies:
(1) splitting Russia from China
(2) Attempt to acquire dominant position in regions rick in hydrocarbons (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, etc)
But so far the decline of neoliberalism looks like Irreversible. It never fully recovered from the deep crisis of 2008 and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Another powerful factor that works against neoliberal globalization is the end of cheap oil. How it will play out is unclear, Much depends whether we will have a Seneca cliff in oil production or not. And if yes, how soon.
This is the end of classic neoliberalism, no question about it, and the collapse of neoliberal globalization is just one aspect of it
Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jul 17, 2018 6:32:31 PM | 138stonebird @126--
There's a longstanding joke in the USA regarding military intelligence in that it's always lacking in said intelligence. What happens is raw intel gets politicized and thus what was once neutral becomes dumb or false as one prefers.
What dooms the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals is its Zerosumism and related neoliberal/neocon policies that are driven by same philosophy. Zerosumism precludes any sort of equal dealing with others, even one's own citizenry--all is to go to the .01% as in Feudalism. To jump ship to the If you can't beat 'em join 'em path, a wholesale rejection of Zerosumism must occur and WinWinism must be embraced wholeheartedly in its place. Indeed, if Trump really wants to accomplish his MAGA project, he only has one choice: He must dump Zerosumism, which is destroying the USA and its allies, and embrace WinWinism. But to accomplish that, Trump would need far more support from US citizenry and institutions than he has at present. And unfortunately, his actions to date show he's still an acolyte of Zerosumism as it benefits him and his class.
As with the supposedly ideologically driven Cold War1 (the Anti-Communist Crusade was used as cover for neocolonialism), there is certainly an ideological divide driving Cold War2: The West's Zerosumism versus Eurasia's WinWinism. The former is anti-people and planet while the latter seeks to boost people while tackling a multiplicity of problems of which Climate Change and its Ocean Acidification is but one. Corruption thrives in the former while its anathema in the latter and subject to the death penalty in China--I'd also call that an ideological divide as the latter embraces the Rule of Law while the former ignores or tramples it (democracy versus totalitarianism).
What's really crazy is Zerosumism works against the tenets the West spelled out for itself and the world in 1945's UN Charter--the West is actually engaged in killing its own ideals! The Twitter link I posted @72 illustrates quite well the delusion of Zerosumism and the ideological divide that's quickly becoming a chasm. What the Twitteridioti don't realize is just how far their minds have been warped by Big Lie Media along with their lack of initiative to determine the facts--particularly in 2016 when this all began. Even if Assange or Murray were to name those who generated the DNC leak , I don't think that would stop the massive recrimination and ongoing Big Lies--as Murray tells us, the FBI has yet to ask him anything despite his very public admission that he knows the leakers!!!!! Launching Cold War2 is more important than discovering the truth of the matter can be the only logical conclusion.
Jun 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
G-7 summits are supposed to symbolize "the west", its unity and its power. The summits pretended to set policy directions for the world. We are happy to see that they are dead.
Trump was obviously not inclined to compromise.
Before attending the summit Trump trolled his colleagues by inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7/G-8 format without conditions. Russia had been kicked out after Crimea voted to join its motherland. Merkel, who had negotiated the Minsk agreement with Russia, was furious. She wants to use such an invitation as an element of future negotiations. (It is stupid talk. Russia is not interested in rejoining the G-7/G-8 format.)
There are now many fields where the U.S. and its allies disagree: climate change, the Iran deal, trade are only the major ones.
Before leaving the summit Trump again used Mafia language against everyone else:As he prepared to depart early from the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, to head to Singapore ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump delivered an ultimatum to foreign leaders, demanding that their countries reduce trade barriers for the U.S. or risk losing market access to the world's largest economy.
"They have no choice. I'll be honest with you, they have no choice," Trump told reporters at a news conference, adding that companies and jobs had left the U.S. to escape trade barriers abroad. "We're going to fix that situation. And if it's not fixed, then we're not going to deal with these countries. "
The row at the G-7 meeting was in stark contrast to the more important other meeting that happened today, the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China:Dazzling against the city skyline of Qingdao, fireworks lit up the faces of guests who traveled across the vast Eurasian continent to the coast of the Yellow Sea for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, on Saturday night.
It is the first such summit since the organization's expansion in June 2017 when India and Pakistan joined as full members.
The Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development , was stated in the Charter of the SCO, a comprehensive regional organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and later expanded to eight member states.
This weekend Xi will chair the summit for the first time as Chinese president, which is attended by leaders of other SCO member states and four observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations.
The SCO has grown to be an organization covering over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.
Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that.
Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles.
Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'.
The 'west' has lost in Eurasia.
The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big. Trump is off to Singapore to meet Kim Yong-un. Unlike Trump North Korea's supreme leader will be well prepared. It is likely that he will run rings around Trump during the negotiations. If Trump tries to bully him like he bullies his 'allies', Kim will pack up and leave. Unlike the U.S. 'allies' he has no need to bow to Trump. China and Russia have his back. They are now the powers that can lead the world.
The 'west' is past. The future is in the east.
Posted by b on June 9, 2018 at 03:14 PM | Permalink
Kelli , Jun 9, 2018 3:37:22 PM | 1Agreed! But what will the US psychopaths do to maintain their grip when they realize they are really losing it? Nuclear war?Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 3:44:17 PM | 2Yeah, I was just thinking that. Trump is running full-speed into isolation. It's an ancient policy, which recalls the 1920s. What does America need of the outside world? Good question.Babyl-on , Jun 9, 2018 3:53:27 PM | 5
I would think we will hear in the not too distant future of a European replacement of the US exchange systems, such as VISA. The Americans have become too unreliable. Obviously the Russians and Chinese do have their own systems, but that won't do for the EU.
Independence is going to be forced, and the consequences will be permanent.Harry Law , Jun 9, 2018 3:59:37 PM | 6
Watching the two meetings play out has really been interesting, that the West is dead is not in question. And once it started it seems to be gaining momentum. I don't know how many readers here watch CGTN but it is amazing. My IQ goes up every time I watch. Astonishing how much more valuable information you get from a "heavily censored" Chinese news compared to MSM. The website is a little slow at times but it is well worth the wait.
Last year during the border standoff with India they had on strident Indian voices arguing the Indian position every day. Imagine if CNN had on Mexican reps regarding the wall - never happen.Because Iran was under sanctions levied by the United Nations earlier, it was blocked from admission as a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Council [SCO]. The SCO stated that any country under UN sanctions could not be admitted. After the UN sanctions were lifted, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced its support for Iran's full membership in SCO during a state visit to Iran in January 2016.Iran must join the SCO ASAP it is also a military alliance and should prepare itself for a big effort at regime change by the US and lackeys. The moral of the story unless they hang together, the US will hang them separately.ashley albanese , Jun 9, 2018 4:01:15 PM | 7Well, China as the text books say was always ' half the human story' - only eclipsed by Western connivance in the 1860's .I remember my father argueing with high ranking Australian government and commercial figures in 1970.Scotch Bingeington , Jun 9, 2018 4:05:14 PM | 8
My father argued Australia needed to find its own voice with China and Chinese policy . They replied sneeringly '' Ralph , their just red communists and will never amount to anything ' . Shortly thereafter Nixon flew to Beijing and my father sat back in his living room with a sardonic look on his face !Interesting picture! Judging by his posture, Japan's Prime Minister Abe seems to back Trump's position.Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:13:18 PM | 9
By the way, Mr. Abe doesn't look Japanese to me, he rather has a striking resemblance to a certain Bavarian actor - one Max Griesser .You may like Freedland's article yesterday, which unusually I agreed with, that in fact Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem? Why give away the honour to NK of a one-to-one with the US president? I'd be surprised if NK surrenders, when they know what will happen if they do.Madderhatter67 , Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/trump-master-negotiator-meeting-kim-jong-un-art-of-dealThey did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 4:25:57 PM | 11"President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world," Xi said. "He is my best, most intimate friend." Xi promised Russia and China would increase their coordination in the international arena.Peter AU 1 , Jun 9, 2018 4:34:45 PM | 12
Putin expressed his thanks for the honor and said he saw it as an "evaluation" of his nation's efforts to strengthen its relationship with its southern neighbor.
"This is an indication of the special attention and respect on which our mutual national interests are based, the interests of our peoples and, of course, our personal friendship," Putin said.
This is not going missed by the West.
But it is unstoppable. The range of integrating projects the Chinese and Russians are working on is more than strategic.
They are forcing a massive shift in economics that is impossible for the US and EU to maintain as competitors.
The Double Helix is ascending.Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time. In cold war 1.0, Soviet Union was the main enemy of the US and China was split away from the Soviet Union. In this war, Trump sees China's economy as the main threat to the US and is trying but failing to pull Russia away from China.Lea , Jun 9, 2018 4:45:07 PM | 13Posted by: Madderhatter67 | Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10les7 , Jun 9, 2018 4:49:57 PM | 14They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.
If winning the Cold War is about vanquishing communism, they flat out lost. Because, while they were concentrating on the end of the USSR and celebrating, China was going up and up and up. They never saw her coming, yet to this day and for the foreseeable future, China is a socialist, Marxist country.
So the new, desperate Western spin is to try to argue that China has "succumbed" to capitalism. Yeah, right, a country where all the private companies have to have members of the CPC on their board and hand over enough shares to the state to grant it veto powers, not to mention the Central bank and all its major companies are state-owned... Lol."The 'west' is past. The future is in the east."Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:55:53 PM | 15
Wow... such grandiose conclusions...
After the collapse of the USSR the consensus - even of the alt-media (what little of it existed) was that a new American century was on the way and the whole world would be better off for it. A decade later in 2003 the consensus (post 'shock & awe' Gulf War 2) was that America had the ability to re-structure the Asian /African world and that it would all be for good.
15 years later we are all sick of the fruit of that delusion. So we look to another power to save us... Do we understand nothing?
Without the accountability of multi-polarity, Western supreme power all became security-obsessed privilege, self-aggrandizement, blatant plunder and total disregard for moral value and life. Power corrupts - it knows no exceptions.
If the West is truly dead, the East will be no different.re 12Quentin , Jun 9, 2018 4:57:21 PM | 16Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time.Thought of a moment to annoy the Europeans. It is obvious that Trump was pissed off about having to attend, and left at the earliest opportunity. The Europeans heard that, and will draw the inevitable conclusions.Lea @ 13 Socialist, Marxist, Capitalist, what does it matter: it seems to work for China, at least for the time being. It's success makes me think that a bit more government control of corporations might not be such a bad thing.Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:00:44 PM | 17The summit with Kim will be fascinating to observe. In my view, NK has finessed the US and the Trump administration to a degree I would not have thought possible, even from native US insiders. To do it long range from the other side of the world speaks to me a lot about the power of Asia, and the clarity of view from there.psychohistorian , Jun 9, 2018 5:05:30 PM | 18
I agree with Laguerre @9 that Trump is a terrible negotiator (forgive that I didn't read the Guardian piece). I would take this much further and say that all the US institutions themselves are culturally crippled in terms of understanding what's happening in the ascendancy of Asia. All of their negotiation is feeble, because their grasp on their own true position is based on yesterday's view of their power. You cannot go into negotiation without knowing what you hold.
Every day, I become more confident in the ability of the elder nations to put the young western empires to rest without their being triggered into death spasms.
Red Ryder @11 - I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked. Russia as the other half of the Double Helix mesmerizes the west with weaponry while China undercuts the ground. Both countries are fully at war, and winning, while unseeing commenters complain that it's time for them to "do something." How superb the silk rope drawn so softly around the throat.
It's a beautiful play. I very much hope - and truly expect - that we can all survive to be able to sit back and admire it as the years unfold.I have a small quibble with b's wording but thank him for following and reporting on our evolving world.Jen , Jun 9, 2018 5:09:16 PM | 19
The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.
The global elite have their US puppet acting like a schoolyard bully who beat up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.
The West is trying to consolidate power and control while they still have some ghost of a chance. How they hold countries after this global divorce will be interesting.
At his time the West has little to offer humanistically except its vice grip on most economic interaction and the tools including banking underpinning the "system". The elite have deluded the public in the West for centuries about private finance behind the scenes of all/most conflict......pointing to other religions but never their own.
It sure is getting interesting. IMO, the two Koreas are going to announce a reconciliation that requires the removal of America military forces/bases et al, which fits in with the fake nationalism efforts of Trump.That the US and the EU and their respective camps are at loggerheads over trade and perhaps other economic issues should not (I hope) lead readers to assume that one side has the interests of the public it represents uppermost in mind. As the US and the Anglosphere is dominated by one set of neoliberals, so Germany and the lackey EU nations following Berlin are dominated by another set of neoliberals in thrall to an export-led mercantilist ideology. Just as the elites in charge of US power structures are only interested in enriching themselves, the same can be said for those in charge of power structures in Europe. Whether under the US or the EU, the public suffers.Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:12:25 PM | 20
Notice that Germany benefits from being the major economic power in the EU while its fellow EU nations around the Atlantic and Mediterranean rim flail under a huge debt (and Greece is being punished back into the impoverished colonial status it held under Nazi German occupation) and eastern European EU members are following suit running their economies into the ground and having to beg NATO into setting up bases in their territories to attract money. At the same time German workers are becoming poorer, they are not benefiting from Berlin's economic policies, they are not reproducing fast enough so Berlin needs to bring in more foreign workers in the guise of "refugees" to prop up factories and keep wages low.
@ Madderhatter67: The US did not win the Cold War because the Cold War was only ever a propaganda front for the secret war waged by US / UK elites against Russia and China to dominate and rob these nations and their neighbours of their natural resources.@5 Babyl-onjames , Jun 9, 2018 5:20:12 PM | 21
Thanks for the nod to CGTN. For any who care, I searched out its YouTube channel and it produces a huge daily output in English:
I've recently added Vesti News to my news for the same reason, a large daily feed of short clips of the Russian view, in English:
I've never been a TV watcher, especially not for news, but I'm enjoying these tastes and flavors of this burgeoning century.thanks b - and for the laugh with the marjorie and homer pic for comparison!Wess County , Jun 9, 2018 5:23:01 PM | 22
i think this parallel you draw is a good one.. the west is certainly floundering... i am not sure how global finance responds here... i can't imagine the 1% being on the wrong side of a bet on the direction of things here either..
@6 harry law.. did iran make it into the sco? it sounds like it did.. good!
@14 les7.. regarding your last line - i tend to agree with that viewpoint..
@19 jen... do you think it will be somehow different if the power shifts to russia/china? i guess i am not so sanguine over power, regardless of who holds it.Very well put, only issue that as to be dealt with is all those Stan Countries, they are a hibernating and breeding ground for Terrorists and Arms dealers , who don't care who they sell arms to and how they get them to rogue regimes.Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:28:02 PM | 23Its quite funny how Trump wrecked that meeting.Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:29:13 PM | 24
Trump could talk about Russia but who cares, he cant be trusted, hes totally unreliable and hopefully Russia sees that.at the same time Trump is a king, just look at how the pathetic western states STAND AROUND HIM begging him basically on all kinds of things!Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 5:57:10 PM | 25re Grieved 17bjd , Jun 9, 2018 5:58:01 PM | 26I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked.I do think you're exaggerating there.
China's past history has been one of a country very contented with itself, much like the US, because defended geographically by vast deserts. A longer history, so some foreigners did traverse the deserts.
The Chinese exported their products by foreign ships (Arabo-Persian) arriving at Canton, and buying cargoes, or camel caravans arriving in the north and buying silk. The Chinese themselves did not travel abroad very much, and so didn't know very much about surrounding countries, or the rest of the world. There was a fleet of Chinese junks which arrived in the Gulf in the 14th century, but it was the only one.
Today's situation is not so different. There are Chinese interventions in Africa, but their diplomacy is pretty ham-fisted. The Belt-and-Road initiative is in fact intended to bring up to speed Central Asian countries like Tajikistan. Fine, Tajikistan needs it, but it's not world-changing.
The rail freight from Beijing to Frankfurt works better as an intermediate between sea and air freight, but essentially it is what has always happened - foreigners export Chinese products. The Chinese don't know how to run a foreign policy.I am surprised nobody here remarked on the pontifically present John Bolton.bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27
This was about Iran, I am pretty sure.I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page .bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:07:30 PM | 28
Talk about symbolism.Have a closer look and you'll see that in the first photo, John Bolton is talking (Trump is silent and sitting there like 'Il Duce').michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:40 PM | 29
Bolton is talking to Macron, who is looking straight at Bolton.
In the second photo, Merkel is looking at Bolton, who is probably speaking at that moment.
Tell me this is not about Iran.hopehely at @4Villainesse , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:46 PM | 30
"OK, so, is Japan 'east' or 'west'?"
from their body language, I would say that Japan is surely 'with' Trump and the US, but that's only because that arch-reactionary Abe is in power.....and when he goes, and go he will, there will be a big period of adjustment...some day.The scambastic Trump could be inclined to make a slightly more fair deal in Singapore just to make a deal, but he is going extra early (no jet lag) and will be controlled by Pompeo with his 'Grim Reaper' CIA-dog/warhawk/translator/born & raised S. Korean with multiple relations in their South KCIA (NIS) and cabinet leadership, Andrew Kim (born Kim Sung-hyun). Kim's purpose will be to control Trump's spontaneaous decision making, inform him on what he reads as N. Korea's intent, and give baseline hawkish color to the translations for his own hawkish viewpoint.annie , Jun 9, 2018 6:29:13 PM | 31bjd, bolton is trump's overseer, making sure he doesn't step out of line.Jen , Jun 9, 2018 6:36:52 PM | 32
Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem?
Laguerre, you have it backwards. the embassy move, the iran deal, and the appointment of bolton are all concessions trump made, as payback for adelson's millions to both the gop and his campaign. possibly also has a little something to do cambridge analytica, honey traps or whatever.
Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump's Middle East policyThe imprint of the 84-year-old's political passions is seen in an array of Donald Trump's more controversial decisions, including violating the Iran nuclear deal, moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and appointing the ultra-hawkish John Bolton as national security adviser.
......The New York Times reported that Adelson is a member of a "shadow National Security Council" advising BoltonJames @ 21: I think one should always be a bit suspicious of those who hold power, especially those who find themselves holding the uppermost hand in power as a result of victory in war (whether in the form of actual military combat, trade war or other wars in soft power).hopehely , Jun 9, 2018 6:38:17 PM | 33
Russia under Vladimir Putin and China under Xi Jinping may be fine but will their successors know not to abuse the power they may gain from the New Silk Road projects encompassing Eurasia and Africa?Posted by: bjd | Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 6:42:03 PM | 34I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page.
Talk about symbolism.
In that pic, is that Miller lurking from behind?@29, bjd,John Gilberts , Jun 9, 2018 7:01:17 PM | 35
Of course, it is about Iran. It's the Iranian deal that the EU needs to continue. They benefit as the biggest vendors to Iran. They want to get inside that developing 70 million person market, also.
Bolton wants regime change. The EU knows that will be worse than Iraq. And economically, the EU will be in the dumps for 2 decades if there's another war they are forced to join. And they will be forced to join. They cannot say No to the Hegemon.
The EU 2, Germany and France, are at a historic moment of truth.
They could have a great future with Russia, China, Iran, the BRICS, SCO, OBOR and EAEU or they could be crippled by the Empire.Excellent analysis as always. Here's the muck CBC is reporting on the summit.michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 7:15:43 PM | 36
Canada Rejects Trump's Call to Let Russia Back Into G-7
"...But Canada, which pushed for Russia to get the boot in 2014, is not onside. 'Russia was invited to be part of this club and I think that was a very wise initiation, and an invitation full of goodwill,'[FM Chrystia Freeland] she told reporters at the summit. 'Russia, however, made clear that it had no interest in behaving according to the rules of Western democracies..."
Glad to hear it...it's kind of wonderful to see all these imperialist and former neo-colonial powers fighting among themselves.WorldBLee , Jun 9, 2018 7:17:31 PM | 37
unfortunately, like the old African proverb goes, when the elephants fight it's the grass and small animals that suffer.
I see no reason for optimism for the peoples of europe at this point, as the stranglehold of the Trioka is perhaps as strong as ever, and hundreds of millions of people are suffering; the people simply have to get organized at all levels and take back their sovereignty at least as a startThe US still has the power of the dollar in its arsenal. The UK and EU, and any nation that deals with Wall Street, are addicted to US investment in dollars. Since the EU is run by the banks, and western banks can't function with the dollar, any statements by the EU that they're going to avoid US sanctions over Iran are meaningless.Ghost Ship , Jun 9, 2018 7:20:38 PM | 38
The equation is essentially this: you can have your sovereignty or you can have the benefits of the dollar that make your 1% very rich. You can't have both. Since the EU is ruled by the 1% banker/investor class they will forestall any attempts to regain sovereignty by the people. In a sense, Europe is like Russia 10-15 years ago, thinking that the US is the key to the golden calf. Russia learned the hard way they needed to establish some independence (although to this day Russia doesn't have nearly the financial independence one might hope), and China saw from Russia's example they needed to do so as well. This led them to team up on many economic initiatives while seeking to reduce the dominance of the dollar.
Perhaps someday Europe will learn this lesson. But as long as the EU exists, I kind of doubt it. The EU-crats will cry and criticize Trump but the bankers love US money too much to let them actually do anything serious.Paul Krugman is tweeting that this is all happening because Trump doesn't understand Value-Added Tax !rexl , Jun 9, 2018 7:56:05 PM | 39
This is not an endorsement of Krugman who is trying to blame it on Putin.If the West is dead and the East is the future, then why are so many Chinese buying houses and living part time in Canada, Australia, and the USA? Why is there so much emphasis put on Western education facilities by Asians?Winston , Jun 9, 2018 8:02:05 PM | 40I'm sure Trump doesn't understand VAT.Sabine , Jun 9, 2018 8:11:53 PM | 41
Most Americans don't no matter how much explanation I go into.
They insist its a tariff or duty,which its not.
I've given up trying to explain its a sales tax on all,paying at customs is merely a cash flow issue for the importer.A reclaimable input on his VAT return,did it many times myself.there is no west nor east.NemesisCalling , Jun 9, 2018 8:24:56 PM | 42
there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them.
Trumps quid pro quo is deals that benefit his family. I don't thinks he cares one bit about the GOP and how the party fundraises. He cares about advancing his family and keeping the loot.
maybe we should realize that the concepts of east and west, as much as neo liberalism or neo conservatism or any other moniker that we could apply to loot and steal - legally and without shame under the guise of trade - are concepts of the past.
the future is for the strongest, irrespective of their origins or philosophy. we are burning this planet down with a vengeance and we - the people - are to numerous and too expensive to keep.
while we debate and some even chuckle with delight as to how the west is treated by trump, or how much the west deserves to be made redundant and all hail the Russians and the Chinese - the king is dead, long live the king - it is us who dies in the wars, it is our children that are being kidnapped and locked up in prison when arriving on the border seeking asylum, it is us who will watch the women in our live die in childbirth because of lack of medical care, it is us who will die of black lung, hunger, thirst and general malice.
and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank.b, we have no doubt that the North Korean leadership is ready for the Americans and know the score with a rising Eurasia and a sinking NATO. However, your last assumption of Kim being more than ready to go toe-to-toe with DJT smacks of some of the worst tendencies of many posters here who are ready to venerate Kim without him ever even making formal address of more than a few words to a) his people, 2) his allies, or D) even the world. This is a laughable assumption from you and it would be like having the most beautifully-made garment handy for a long while, desperate for anyone to come along so you could fling it on them to prove they were the most amazing supreme leader in all the world!CE , Jun 9, 2018 8:26:35 PM | 43
This is not to say I do not want the NoKos to succeed in their endeavors of getting a fair deal...hardly: I think they will succeed eventually because they are shrewd. But this is an attempt to squash the unbelievably propagandistic (or naive) attempts to place the mantle of imperviousness, all-knowingness, utterly-innocentness, and insurmountably-cleverousness onto the boy that would be king. DJT could eat a boy like Kim for breakfast if left alone from their advisors.Interesting that this happens in June. Because it reminds me of this classic little fun ditty:ben , Jun 9, 2018 8:33:09 PM | 44
Death in June - Death of the WestSabine @ 41 said:"there is no west nor east.dh , Jun 9, 2018 8:45:10 PM | 45
"there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them"
And this"and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank."
I would tend to agree, but I'm hoping b's right in his assessment, the empire and her minions very badly need a comeuppance..Trump is very dependent on his base. He knows them well. At risk of hitting a discordant note I suspect a lot of his fans are happy seeing him sock it to the goddamn ch*nks and euro faggots.Daniel , Jun 9, 2018 8:46:57 PM | 46It's a big weekend. G7, SCO, Bilderberg, NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels and the huge NATO "Drills" including the Baltic States and for the first time, Israel.karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 8:47:27 PM | 47
Oh, and the US called on NATO to add 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons, and 30 naval ships to "counter Russian aggression."
The AZW Empire is not giving up its plans.I predicted it would become the G6+1 and so it has. Trump told his staffers NOT to sign the Joint Communique, which I believe is a first.bevin , Jun 9, 2018 10:26:24 PM | 48
On the issue of power and the BRI , the linked item is a trove of info as it focuses on perhaps the most problematic region of the SCO/BRI.
If Europe is to break free from the Outlaw US Empire, Merkel must be jettisoned and independent-minded leaders must take control of Germany and EU. I'm not at all surprised with how events went in Canada. However, I see the Policy as the Bully, not Trump, the policy still being the attempt to gain Full Spectrum Domination. What's most important, IMO, is this spectacle will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The Outlaw US Empire cannot make it any plainer that it's the primary enemy state of all except the Zionist Abomination. I think Abe wonders why he's there and not in Qingdao.
Although this item focuses on Kashmir , it should be read after the longer article linked above. There's little news as of yet coming from Qingdao other than who's cooking what and sideline meets. I expect more coming out beginning Monday. Of course, Kim-Trump begins now, it being the 10th in Singapore already.The difference between the two projects- the western Empire and the Eurasian schemes exemplified by OBOR- is that the former, as 500 years of experience teaches us, relies on ethnic divisions, wars and competition while the latter requires peace and co-operation.karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 11:57:39 PM | 49
In a sense that answers Jen @ 32. It really doesn't matter who runs the governments of China and Russia, provided that they can prevent the imperialists from distracting them into rivalry. It was that which, thanks to plenty of stupidity on both sides, gave rise to the tensions of which Nixon and Kissinger took advantage.
Had the USSR and China ironed out their small differences on the sixties- and Vietnam gave them a perfect excuse to do so, history would have been very different and probably much less bloody.
The truth is that, as b asserts, the SCO is already much more important than the G7- America and the Six Dwarfs. How much more important is shown by the role of Freeland (the neo-Nazi Ukrainian apologist) in insisting on holding the line against Russia's re-admission to a club that it almost certainly does not want to rejoin.
Trump may not be a 'good negotiator' but he has a position of relative strength vis a vis the rest of the G7 who cannot negotiate because they do as they are told. If they won't do what Trump tells them to do they will be on the lookout for someone else to give them orders-they have no idea of independence or sovereignty. Just watch most of them scuttle back to Brussels for ideas, or set up back channels to Moscow- once a puppet always a puppet.The Sino-Soviet Split occurred while Stalin was still alive--he refused to allow the Chinese to develop "Communism with Chinese Characteristics" just like any other European Orientalist. And as the Monthly Review article I linked, the Chinese must beware of becoming/being seen as Imperialistic in their zeal to push BRI--Imperialist behavior will kill the Win-Win concept as it will revert to just another Zero-sum Game.Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 10, 2018 12:20:55 AM | 50One of the factors which has been killing the 'Democratic' West is that its bribed & blackmailed leaders have alienated themselves from The People whose views they were elected to represent.ben , Jun 10, 2018 12:40:15 AM | 51
No-one living in a so-called democracy is prepared to tolerate a leader who spends too much time praising, and making excuses for, the crimes of the racist-supremacist Zionist Abomination (h/t karlof1) and its Piece Process in Palestine. It can be persuasively argued that embrace of and fealty to the Z.A. is the only factor which Western Leaders have in common. And it's neither a coincidence nor happenstance.Hoarsewhisperer @ 50 said:" Piece Process in Palestine."Debsisdead , Jun 10, 2018 12:51:14 AM | 52
Nice word play. I'm assuming the "piece" word is referring to the Israelis taking the Palestinian's lands one piece at a time..Grrr! I still don't get why so many humans believe anything good comes from chucking aside one greedy oppressive arsehole then replacing it with another. Sure the SCO has a founding document laden with flowery words and seemingly wonderful concepts but I say "So what" check out the UN charter or the amerikan constitution and you'll find the same.karlof1 , Jun 10, 2018 12:55:44 AM | 53
These issues of justice & equity cannot be fixed by swapping bosses because every society has its share of pathologically fucked up greedies who have the means and lack of empathy to destroy anything and everyone in their lust for whatever it is they imagine they need.
We have to accept that will never change and that trying to purge the planet of those types just creates more of them from within the structure most successful in effecting the swap.
I know I sound like a scratched disc but the only fix that could hope to work is one that smashes the conglomerations into tiny shards, reducing the world to thousands of small self governing entities; sure some places will still end up being taken over by low self esteem motivated arseholes, but not only will they not be able to do as much damage, arseholes stand out in a small society where more 'normal' humans interact with them - currently all the pr1cks coagulate in spots such as the G7 and few non-pr1cks ever get close enough to see them for what they are. A low count on the old degrees of seperation register makes it much more difficult for the scum to rise. Making sure that no chunk is sufficiently big to force its will on another would also be vital.
That won't fix everything, but who outside some totally screwed up anal regressive would want that anyway? I just want to live in a world where no one cops it like the entire Yemeni population currently is. I see no benefit in moving the horror from Yemen to Uigar-land or whatever place the new bosses decide should be their fun palace of hate, murder and misery.
The Congo and/or Nigeria another coupla sites of misery for money. Timor Leste aka East Timor, now that the Portuguese expats in the form of the man with the Nobel stamp of obeisance to the monied Jose Ramos Horta have done over the locals, something Xanana Gusmão always said could happen. Horta's arseholeness made the wealthiest nation in the world (divide resources by population) riven by poverty, lack of health and education services plus of course old favourite, racist oppression. Check out these kids here untroubled by issues like getting a decent phone signal or their ranking on Twitch - wondering where their next decent feed is coming from is prolly their most pressing issue.
Swapping SCO for G7 will do SFA for them or anyone else unlucky enough to be living on top of whatever the current 'must have' is deemed to be.
Anyone who imagines that it could is delusional.Official SCO Conference site .
Humanity either learns how to live with itself on an equal basis or it will perish; it's really that simple. The likes of the Outlaw US Empire, its NATO vassals and the Zionist Abomination are shining examples of what MUST be exorcised for ever more.
Jun 22, 2018 | thenation.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com .
Leaders are routinely confronted with philosophical dilemmas. Here's a classic one for our Trumptopian times: If you make enemies out of your friends and friends out of your enemies, where does that leave you? What does winning (or losing) really look like? Is a world in which walls of every sort encircle America's borders a goal worth seeking? And what would be left in a future fragmented international economic system marked by tit-for-tat tariffs, travel restrictions, and hyper-nationalism? Ultimately, how will such a world affect regular people? Let's cut through all of this for the moment and ask one crucial question about our present cult-of-personality era in American politics: Other than accumulating more wealth and influence for himself, his children , and the Trump family empire , what's Donald J. Trump's end game as president? If his goal is to keep this country from being, as he likes to complain, " the world's piggy bank ," then his words, threats, and actions are concerning. However bombastic and disdainful of a history he appears to know little about, he is already making the world a less stable, less affordable, and more fear-driven place. In the end, it's even possible that, despite the upbeat economic news of the moment, he could almost single-handedly smash that piggy bank himself, as he has many of his own business ventures . Still, give him credit for one thing: Donald Trump has lent remarkable new meaning to the old phrase "the imperial presidency." The members of his administration, largely a set of aging white men, either conform to his erratic wishes or get fired. In other words, he's running domestic politics in much the same fashion as he oversaw the boardroom on his reality-TV show The Apprentice . Now, he's begun running the country's foreign policy in the same personalized, take-no-prisoners, you're-fired style. From the moment he hit the Oval Office, he's made it clear at home and abroad that it's his way or the highway. If only, of course, it really was that simple. What he will learn, if "learning process" and "President Trump" can even occupy the same sentence, is that "firing" Canada, the European Union (EU), or for that matter China has a cost. What the American working and the middle classes will see (sooner than anyone imagines) is that actions of his sort have unexpected global consequences. They could cost the United States and the rest of the world big-time. If he were indeed emperor and his subjects (that would be us) grasped where his policies might be leading, they would be preparing a revolt. In the end, they -- again, that's us -- will be the ones paying the price in this global chess match.
The Art of Trump's Deals
So far, President Trump has only taken America out of trade deals or threatened to do so if other countries don't behave in a way that satisfies him. On his third day in the White House, he honored his campaign promise to remove the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a decision that opened space for our allies and competitors, China in particular, to negotiate deals without us. Since that grand exit, there has, in fact, been a boom in side deals involving China and other Pacific Rim countries that has weakened, not strengthened, Washington's global bargaining position. Meanwhile, closer to home, the Trump administration has engaged in a barrage of NAFTA-baiting that is isolating us from our regional partners, Canada and Mexico.
Conversely, the art-of-the-deal aficionado has yet to sign a single new bilateral trade deal. Despite steadfast claims that he would serve up the best deals ever, we have been left with little so far but various tariffs and an onslaught against American trading partners. His one claim to bilateral-trade-deal fame was the renegotiation of a six-year-old deal with South Korea in March that doubled the number of cars each US manufacturer could export to South Korea (without having to pass as many safety standards).
As White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put it , when speaking of Kim Jong-un's North Korea, "The President is, I think, the ultimate negotiator and dealmaker when it comes to any type of conversation." She left out the obvious footnote, however: any type that doesn't involve international trade.
In the past four months, Trump has imposed tariffs, exempting certain countries, only to reimpose them at his whim. If trust were a coveted commodity, when it came to the present White House, it would now be trading at zero. His supporters undoubtedly see this approach as the fulfillment of his many campaign promises and part of his classic method of keeping both friends and enemies guessing until he's ready to go in for the kill. At the heart of this approach, however, lies a certain global madness, for he now is sparking a set of trade wars that could, in the end, cost millions of American jobs.The Allies
On May 31st, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed that Canada, Mexico, and the EU would all be hit with 10 percent aluminum and 25 percent steel tariffs that had first made headlines in March. When it came to those two products, at least, the new tariffs bore no relation to the previous average 3 percent tariff on US-EU traded goods.
In that way, Trump's tariffs, initially supposed to be aimed at China (a country whose president he's praised to the skies and whose trade policies he's lashed out at endlessly), went global. And not surprisingly, America's closest allies weren't taking his maneuver lightly. As the verbal-abuse level rose and what looked like a possible race to the bottom of international etiquette intensified, they threatened to strike back.
In June, President Trump ordered that a promised 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of imported goods from China also be imposed. In response, the Chinese, like the Europeans, the Canadians, and the Mexicans, immediately promised a massive response in kind. Trump countered by threatening another $200 billion in tariffs against China. In the meantime, the White House is targeting its initial moves largely against products related to that country's " Made in China 2025 " initiative, the Chinese government's strategic plan aimed at making the country a major competitor in advanced industries and manufacturing.
Meanwhile, Mexico began adopting retaliatory tariffs on American imports. Although it has a far smaller economy than the United States, it's still the second-largest importer of US products, buying a whopping $277 billion of them last year. Only Canada buys more. In a mood of defiance stoked by the president's hostility to its people, Mexico executed its own trade gambit, imposing $3 billion in 15 percent–25 percent tariffs against US exports, including pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon, and cheese.
While those Mexican revenge tariffs still remain limited, covering just 1 percent of all exports from north of the border, they do target particular industries hard, especially ones that seem connected to President Trump's voting "base." Mexico, for instance, is by far the largest buyer of US pork exports, 25 percent of which were sold there last year. What its 20 percent tariff on pork means, then, is that many US producers will now find themselves unable to compete in the Mexican market. Other countries may follow suit. The result: a possible loss of up to 110,000 jobs in the pork industry.
Our second North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partner (for whose prime minister, Justin Trudeau, there is " a special place in hell ," according to a key Trumpian trade negotiator) plans to invoke tariffs of up to 25 percent on about $13 billion in US products beginning on July 1st. Items impacted range "from ballpoint pens and dishwasher detergent to toilet paper and playing cards sailboats, washing machines, dish washers, and lawn mowers." Across the Atlantic, the EU has similarly announced retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on 200 US products, including such American-made classics as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, blue jeans, and bourbon.Trump Disses the Former G7
As the explosive Group of Seven, or G7, summit in Quebec showed, the Trump administration is increasingly isolating itself from its allies in palpable ways and, in the process, significantly impairing the country's negotiating power. If you combine the economies of what might now be thought of as the G6 and add in the rest of the EU, its economic power is collectively larger than that of the United States. Under the circumstances, even a small diversion of trade thanks to Trump-induced tariff wars could have costly consequences.
President Trump did try one "all-in" poker move at that summit. With his game face on, he first suggested the possibility of wiping out all tariffs and trade restrictions between the United States and the rest of the G7, a bluff met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Before he left for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, he even suggested that the G7 leaders "consider removing every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods." In return, he claimed he would do the same "for products from their countries." As it turned out, however, that wasn't actually a venture into economic diplomacy, just the carrot before the stick, and even it was tied to lingering threats of severe penalties.
The current incipient trade war was actually launched by the Trump administration in March in the name of American " national security ." What should have been highlighted, however, was the possible "national insecurity" in which it placed the country's (and the world's) future. After all, a similar isolationist stance in the 1920s and the subsequent market crash of 1929 sparked the global Great Depression, opening the way for the utter devastation of World War II.
European Union countries were incredulous when Trump insisted, as he had many times before, that the "U.S. is a victim of unfair trade practices," citing the country's trade deficits, especially with Germany and China. At the G7 summit, European leaders did their best to explain to him that his country isn't actually being treated unfairly. As French President Emmanuel Macron explained , "France runs trade deficits with Germany and the United Kingdom on manufactured goods, even though all three countries are part of the EU single market and have zero tariffs between them."
Jul 06, 2018 | thenation.comMassive global inequality underlies our era of economic and political unrest. The rise of nationalist, populist movements, and the faltering influence of the Davos class of free-trade advocates, have rendered neoliberalism an ideology without committed ideologues. So what will bring about the end of neoliberalism -- the left? the right? the incompetence of the professional political class? -- and, when it's gone, what will replace it? We asked five of our favorite minds for their views on the direction we urgently need to go next.;
The dramatic effects of deindustrialization, automation, globalization, and the growing disparities of wealth and income -- including by race and region -- are undermining political norms in much of the West. 4
Activists and academics alike have linked these trends to the neoliberal ideology that has guided policy-making over the past several decades. This ideology has resulted in pushing the widespread deregulation of key industries, attempting to solve most social and economic problems through market competition, and privatizing public functions like the operation of prisons and institutions of higher education. Neoliberal ideas were considered such common sense during the 1980s and '90s that they were simply never acknowledged as an ideology. Now, even economists at the International Monetary Fund are willing to poke holes in the ideology of neoliberalism. Jonathan Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri wrote in 2016: "The costs in terms of increased inequality are prominent. Such costs epitomize the trade-off between the growth and equity effects of some aspects of the neoliberal agenda." 5
We know that neoliberalism has now provoked populist responses on the left and the right. But are either of them sufficient to end its rule? 6The left needs to stop playing defense. This means enacting policies like universal health care, free college, and ending the private-prison industry.
Left populism, if organized, could end the neoliberal order: As espoused by leaders like Pramila Jayapal and Keith Ellison, left populism demands public control as well as redistribution; it is pro-regulation, pro-state, and anti-privatization. These values are inherently at odds with the small-government, anti-regulatory tenets of neoliberalism. If an aggressive left-populist agenda is successfully implemented, neoliberalism would be defeated. The barrier to implementation is the left's inability to be consistent and organized. 7
Populism on both the left and right has proved difficult to organize and suffers from a lack of leadership. On the left, the struggle for organization has been playing out in the Democratic Party's leadership fights. Politicians and activists are attempting to close the ideological gap between the party's base and its leaders. Without enough trust to allow leaders to set and execute a well-resourced strategy -- to say nothing of the resources themselves -- the left faces huge obstacles to actually implementing an agenda that spells the end of neoliberal dominance, despite having an ideology that could usher in a post-neoliberal world. 8
Jimmy TobiasPaul Mason
Left populism can technically end neoliberalism. But can right-wing populism? 9
One should hope that right-wing populism doesn't become organized enough to end the neoliberal order. Public control is not a cogent ideology on the right. That leaves room for privatization -- a main pillar of neoliberalism -- to continue to grow. Only if right-wing nationalism turns into radical authoritarian nationalism (read: fascism) will its relationship with corporate power turn into an end to the neoliberal order. In the United States, this would mean: 1) the delegitimization of Congress and the judicial branch, 2) the increased criminalization of activists and political opponents, and 3) the nationalization of major industries. 10
Right-wing nationalism seems to be crafted to win electoral victories at the intersection of protectionist and xenophobic sentiments. Its current manifestation, designed to win over rural nativist voters, appears to be at odds with the pro-free-trade policies of neoliberalism. However, the lines between far-right nationalism and the mainstream right are blurring, especially when it comes to privatization and the role of government. In the United States, Trump's agenda looks more like crony capitalism than a consistent turn from neoliberal norms. His administration seems either unwilling or incapable of taking a heavy-handed approach to industry. 11
As with many of his business ventures, we've already seen Trump-style nationalism fail in his nascent administration. The White House caved to elite Republican interests with the attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and with Trump's decision to stack high-level economic-policy roles with members of the financial elite. Trump's proclaimed nationalist ideology seems to be a rhetorical device rather than a consistent governing principle. It's possible that the same might be true for other right-wing nationalists. France's Marine Le Pen has cozied up, though admittedly inconsistently, to business interests; she has also toned down her rhetoric, especially on immigration, over the years in order to win centrist voters. Meanwhile, Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders notably lost to a more mainstream candidate in March's general elections. Yet the radical right is more organized in Europe than in the United States. We may not see the same level of compromise and incompetence as in the Trump administration. Moves toward moderation may only be anomalous and strategic rather than a sign of a failing movement. 12
So what does all of this mean for the future of neoliberalism, particularly in the American context? I believe there are two futures in which neoliberalism's end is possible. In the first, the left decides to stop playing defense and organizes with the resources needed to build sustained power, breaking down the policies that perpetuate American neoliberalism. This means enacting policies like universal health care and free college, and ousting the private-prison industry from the justice system. In the second future, a set of political leaders who have been emboldened by Trump's campaign strategy gain office through mostly republican means. They could concentrate power in the executive in an organized manner, nationalize industries, and criminalize communities who don't support their jingoistic vision. We should hope for the first future, as unlikely as it seems in this political moment. We've already seen the second in 20th-century Europe and Latin America. We cannot live that context again. 13Bryce Covert
Take the State 14
I wrote in Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future that if we didn't ditch neoliberalism, globalization would fall apart -- but I had no idea that it would happen so quickly. In hindsight, the problem is that you can put an economy on life support, but not an ideology. 15
After the 2008 financial crisis, quantitative easing and state support for banks kept the patient alive. As the Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last year at the G20 summit in Shanghai, central banks have even more ammunition to draw on should they need it -- for example, the extreme option of "helicopter money," in which they credit every bank account with, say, $20,000. So they can stave off complete stagnation for a long time. But patchwork measures cannot kick-start a new era of dynamism for capitalism, much less faith in its goodness. 16
The human brain demands coherence -- and a certain amount of optimism. The neoliberal story became incoherent the moment the state had to take dramatic steps to support a failing financial market. The form of recovery stimulated by quantitative easing boosted the asset wealth of the rich but not the income of the average worker -- and rising costs for health care, education, and pension provision across the developed world meant that many people experienced the "recovery" as a household recession. 17The one big cause that needs to animate us in the future is a systemic project of transition beyond capitalism.
So they began looking for answers, and the right had an easy one: Ditch globalization, free trade, and relatively free migration rules, as well as acceptance of the undocumented migrants who keep the economy working. That's how we get to Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Viktor Orbán, the Law and Justice party in Poland, and UKIP in Britain. Each of them has promised to make their country "great again" -- by diverting growth toward it and migrants and refugees away. 18
For 30 years, neoliberalism taught national elites that they were better off collaborating in the creation of a positive-sum game: Everybody wins, ultimately, even if your factory moves to China. That was the rationale. 19
Economic nationalism is logical if you believe that stagnation will last a long time, creating a zero-sum or even a negative-sum game. But the projects of economic nationalism will fail. This is not because economic nationalism has always been a losing strategy: Adolf Hitler practically abolished German unemployment within five years, and Franklin Roosevelt triggered a spectacular recovery and reindustrialization with the New Deal. But these were programs of another era, in which business models were primarily national and monopolies operated in the sphere of one big nation and its colonies; where the state was heavily enmeshed in the national economy; and where global trade was puny and economic migration low compared to now. 20
To try a repeat of autarky in the 21st century will trigger dislocation on a large scale. Some countries will win: It's even feasible that, although led by an imbecile, the United States could win. However, "winning" in this context means bankrupting other countries. Given the complexity and fragility of the globalized system, the cities of the losing nations would resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 21
In the long term, for the left, the transition to a system beyond capitalism must be based on the possibility of a low-work, high-abundance society. This is the essence of the postcapitalism project that I proposed: automate work, replace wages with a basic income and heavy state provision of services, and enforce competition among the rent-seeking monopolies in order to force the price of their goods so low that people can survive scarce and precarious work. 22
As Manuel Castells's research group in Barcelona has found, as the market staggers, more and more people actually begin to adopt nonmarket survival tactics, mechanisms, and institutions like informal lending, co-ops, time banks, and alternative currencies. And that's the basis for an economic counterpower to big capital and high finance. 23
But in the short term, a whole generation of the left that reveled in aimlessness and horizontality needs to split the difference between that and effective, organized politics. Call it "diagonality," if you want: Without ceasing to care about the 100 small causes that have animated us in the past, the one big cause that needs to animate us in the future is a systemic project of transition beyond capitalism. For now, that project has to be pursued at the level of big cities, regions, states, and alliances of states -- that is, at scale. 24
The hardest thing for the old left to accept will be that this means using the existing, oppressive, imperfect state while simultaneously trying to democratize it. Street protests, mass resistance, strikes, and the occupation of squares are great ways to assemble the forces. But the arc of the story from 2011 to 2015 -- Occupy, the Indignados, and the Arab Spring -- shows that we have to do more than simply create a counterpower: We need to take power and diffuse it at the same time. 25William Darity Jr.
The Crisis of Care 26
American parents are being crushed between trying to care for their families and working enough hours to survive financially. This problem plagues parents of both genders, up and down the income scale, and it is upending the way Americans view the capitalist system. This crisis of care is fostering solidarity among the millions of Americans who share this challenge, as well as support for solutions that will end the reign of neoliberalism. 27
Among low-income Americans, especially people of color, both parents have often worked outside the home to make ends meet. Nonetheless, the ideal has been, until very recently, a stay-at-home mother and a father working for pay outside the home. World War II undermined this idyll, pushing women into factories as men went to fight abroad. The gauzy 1950s dream of single-earner families masked the reality that women continued to pour into the workforce. 28
Today, women make up about half of the paid labor force in the United States, including more than 70 percent of women with children. This means that in about half of married heterosexual couples, both the husband and wife work. This has given women far more access to the public sphere and, with it, greater status and equality both inside and outside the home. 29
But it's also meant a crunch for families. There is no longer a designated parent to stay home with the kids or care for aging relatives, and the workplace isn't designed to help with that predicament. Instead, work is devouring people's lives. 30
You can see this problem in the rising number of Americans who worry about their work/life balance. About half of parents of both genders say they struggle to reconcile these competing demands. Fathers are particularly freaked out: More than 45 percent feel they don't spend enough time with their children, compared with less than a quarter of mothers (probably because more women reduce their paid work to care for children). As the baby-boomer generation ages, a growing elderly population threatens to trap even more working people in the predicament of caring for aging parents, raising young kids, and trying to make a living. 31
The result has been that more and more people are being forced to reckon with the fact that capitalism's unquenchable thirst for labor makes a balanced life impossible. This, in turn, is fostering a greater sense of solidarity among them as workers struggling against the demands of corporate bosses. This growing crisis has already led to some policy-making. The expansion of overtime coverage by the Obama administration means that workers will either be better compensated for putting in long hours or have their schedules pared back to a more humane 40-hour work week (though it remains to be seen what will happen to the overtime expansion under President Trump). Legislation guaranteeing paid time off has swept city and state governments. These are policies that challenge the idea that we should give everything of ourselves to our jobs. 32
The crisis of care has also revived the notion that the public should deal with these shared problems collectively. While other developed countries have spent money to create government-funded solutions for child care over the past half-century, Americans have insisted child care remain a private crisis that each family has to solve alone. The United States provides all children age 6 to 18 with a public education, but for children under the age of 6, it offers basically nothing. Head Start is available to some low-income parents, and a smattering of places have started experimenting with universal preschool for children ages 3 and 4. Outside of that, parents are left to a pitiful private system that often doesn't even offer them enough slots, let alone quality affordable care. 33
Americans have increasingly come to recognize that this situation is ridiculous and are throwing their support behind a government solution. Huge majorities support spending more money on early-childhood programs. American parents haven't yet gone on strike against capitalism's endless demands on their time or the government's failure to provide public support. But the crisis is reaching a boiling point, and it's transforming our relationship to America's neoliberal system. 34Peter Barnes
A Revolution of Managers 35
Marx's classic law of motion for bourgeois society -- the tendency of the rate of profit to fall -- was the foundation for his prediction that capitalism would die under the stress of its own contradictions. But even Marx's left-wing sympathizers, who see the dominant presence of corporate capital in all aspects of their lives, have argued that Marx's prediction was wrong. It has become virtually a reflex to assert that modern societies all fall under the sway of "global capitalism," and that a binary operates with two great social classes standing in fundamental opposition to each other: capital and labor. 36
Suppose, however, that Marx was correct in his expectation that capitalism, like other social modes of production before it, will wind down gradually, but wrong in his expectation that it would be succeeded by a "dictatorship of the proletariat," a civilization without class stratification. Suppose, indeed, that the age of capitalism is actually reaching its conclusion -- but one that doesn't involve the ascension of the working class. Suppose, instead, that we consider the existence of a third great social class vying with the other two for social dominance: what was seen in the work of such disparate thinkers as James Burnham, Alvin Gouldner, Barbara Ehrenreich, and John Ehrenreich as the managerial class. 37Suppose, indeed, that the age of capitalism is reaching its conclusion -- but one that doesn't involve the ascension of the working class.
The managerial class comprises the intelligentsia and intellectuals, artists and artisans, as well as state bureaucrats -- a credentialed or portfolio-rich cultural aristocracy. While the human agents of global capital are the corporate magnates, and the working class is the productive labor -- labor that is directly utilized to generate profit -- the managerial class engages comprehensively in a social-management function. The rise of the managerial class is the rise to dominance of unproductive labor -- labor that can be socially valuable but is not a direct source of profit. 38
A surplus population under capitalism has a purpose: It exists as a reserve army of the unemployed, which can be mobilized rapidly in periods of economic expansion and as a source of downward pressure on the demands for compensation and safe work conditions made by the employed. Therefore, capital has little incentive to eliminate this surplus population. In contrast, the managerial class will view those identified as surplus people as truly superfluous. The social managers consider population generally as an object of control, reduction, and demographic administration, and whoever is assigned to the "surplus" category bears the weight of the arbitrary. 39
To the extent that identification of the surplus population is racialized, particular groups will be targets for social warehousing and extermination. The disproportionate overincarceration of black people in the United States -- a form of social warehousing -- is a direct expression of the managerial class's preferences regarding who should be deemed of low necessity. The exterminative impulse is evident in the comparative devaluation of black lives that prompted resistance efforts like the Black Lives Matter movement. The potential for black superfluity in the managerial age is evident in prescient works like Sidney Willhelm's Who Needs the Negro? (1970) and Samuel Yette's The Choice (1971), both published almost 50 years ago. 40
The assault on "big" and invasive government constitutes an attack on the managerial class by both capital and the working class. Despite endorsing military spending, receiving lucrative government contracts, and enjoying the benefits of publicly provided infrastructure like roads, highways, and railways, corporate capital calls for small government. This is a strategic route to slashing social-welfare expenditures, with the goal of reducing the wage standard and eliminating all regulations on corporate predations. Despite benefiting from social-welfare expenditures, the working class gravitates to a new brand of populism that blends anticorporatism with anti-elitism (and anti-intellectualism), xenophobia, and a demand for a smaller and less intrusive state. Since "big" government constitutes the avenue for independent action on the part of the managerial class, an offensive of this type directly undermines the "new" class's base of power. 41Calls for smaller government are a strategic route to slashing social-welfare expenditures, wage standards, and regulations on corporate predation.
But the managerial class also possesses another attribute that is both a strength and a weakness. Unlike capital and labor, whose agendas are driven to a large degree by the struggle over the character of a society structured for the pursuit of profit, the managerial class has no anchor for its ideological stance. In fact, it's a social class that is wholly fluid ideologically. Some of its members align fully with the corporate establishment; indeed, the corporate magnates -- especially investment bankers -- look much the same as members of the managerial class in terms of educational credentials, cultural interests, and style. Other social managers take a more centrist posture harking back to their origins in the "middle class," while still others position themselves as allies of the working class. And there are many variations on these themes. 42
Depending on where the ideological weight centers most heavily, the managerial class can take many directions. During the wars in southern Africa against Portuguese rule, Amílcar Cabral once observed that for the anticolonial revolution to succeed, "the petty bourgeoisie" would need to commit suicide as a social class, ceasing their efforts to pursue their particular interests and positioning themselves fully at the service of the working class. One might anticipate that the global managerial class will one day be confronted with the choice of committing suicide, in Cabral's sense, as a class. But the question is: If such a step is taken, will they place themselves fully at the service of labor or capital? 43
Universal Base Income 44
There is no single solution to economic inequality and insecurity in America, but there's one that could go further than any other. It's a universal base income, as distinct from a universal basic income. 45
A universal base income of a few hundred dollars a month is not the same as a universal basic income of, say, $1,000 a month. The latter, at least in some places, is enough to survive on; the former decidedly is not. And while the latter is the dream of many, it is far too expensive -- and threatening to America's work ethic -- to be enacted anytime soon. If a universal basic income ever happens here, it will be because it was preceded for many years by a universal base income, gradually nudged upward like Social Security and the minimum wage. So let's take a look at that. 46
A universal base income is both a springboard and a cushion for every participant in our fast-changing market economy -- like giving everyone $200 for passing "Go" in a game of Monopoly. It supplements, but does not replace, labor income (which for the last 30 years has stagnated or declined), and it does so without judgment or stigma. It is grounded on the principle that, in a prosperous albeit volatile and increasingly unequal economy, everyone has a right to some cash flow they can count on. 47
In practical terms, a universal base income would be simple to administer. Eligible recipients (anyone with a valid Social Security number, which can include legal immigrants) would receive an equal amount of money every month, wired to their bank accounts or debit cards. The system would look and feel like Social Security, or a monthly version of the dividends that all Alaskans receive. People who don't need the extra income would be enabled by a check-off option to donate it to any IRS-approved charity. 48
A universal base income, I should note, has nothing to do with automation, robots, or artificial intelligence. It has a lot to do with enhancing every American's security, reducing their stress, and giving our poor and middle classes a leg to stand on -- the very opposite of what our economy does now. 49
A universal base income would have other benefits as well. It is an answer -- perhaps the answer -- to long-term economic stagnation, a trickle-up form of Keynesianism that would stimulate our economy through increased household spending. Moreover, if funded by fees on unproductive activities like pollution and speculation, it would help solve two other deep problems of 21st-century capitalism: climate change and financial instability. And it wouldn't need to replace or reduce spending on current programs that benefit the poor, a regressive trade-off that conservatives favor but most progressives oppose. 50
There are six large demographic groups (with some overlap) that could form the core of a movement for a universal base income: millennials (the first generation of Americans destined to earn less than their parents), low-wage and on-demand workers (the so-called precariat), women (who still earn less than men and aren't paid at all for much of the work they do), African Americans (who suffer from past and present injustices), retired and near-retired workers (who can't live on Social Security alone), and poor people of all colors. Environmentalists might also link arms with the cause if one of the revenue sources is a tax on pollution. It will, of course, be no simple feat to persuade these diverse groups that what they can't achieve separately they may be able to achieve together. But it has happened before, and, in the post-Sanders era, it could happen again. 51
In the political realm, a universal base income would bring our nation together by affirming that we are all in the same economic boat. It would unite our desperate poor and our anxious middle class, young and old, women and men, white people and people of color. It would make millions of Americans less stressed, healthier, and perhaps even happier. And it could make many of us proud to be American. 52
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Fourscore and two years ago, Franklin Roosevelt's Committee on Economic Security produced the classic report that led to passage of the first Social Security Act. The report itself went beyond security for the aged. It proclaimed: "The one almost all-embracing measure of security is an assured income. A program of economic security, as we vision it, must have as its primary aim the assurance of an adequate income to each human being in childhood, youth, middle age, or old age -- in sickness or in health." 53
The committee added that, for reasons of political expediency, it was proposing only an assured income for the elderly, but it hoped that the rest of its vision would be implemented in the not-too-distant future. Much of it has been, but not all. A lifelong base income, along with health insurance for all, are the next pieces. 54
- Joelle Gamble Joelle Gamble is a graduate student in public affairs at Princeton University.
- Paul Mason Twitter Paul Mason is a columnist at The Guardian .
- Bryce Covert Twitter Bryce Covert is a contributor at The Nation and a contributing op-ed writer at The New York Times .
- William Darity Jr. William Darity Jr. is Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at Duke University.
- Peter Barnes Peter Barnes is the author of With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough .
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Steven Gurlen says: May 11, 2017 at 9:15 amWalter Pewen says: May 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm
All good articles. Darity in particular on "managerial class" who I would say are oligarch wannabees not recognizing their true allegiance. Credit and leases allow this group to live the lifestyle, sold and pushed upon them 401Ks, and stock ownership completes the charade.Wesley Decker says: May 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm
I appreciate Bryce Cover's analysis. What is happening, in the United States, is life at home is ceasing to exist. In large part due to the dual income requirement. Also a BIG issue on the coasts at least, is people building families (and everyone) simply cannot afford housing. How long can this go on? Here in California capitalism is working people to death on all levels. We used to have enviable lifestyles for the middle and working class both. Not now. It's truly evil.Doug Barr says: May 4, 2017 at 9:57 pm
Neoliberalism is Weber's Protestant Work Ethic dressed up by Milton Friedman to do battle with seventies Limits to Growth science. It argues that we inhabit a moral universe where rich and poor deserve what they have and don't have. The challenge posed by Limits to Growth, which has it that outcomes exhibit sensitive dependence to initial conditions, is a seen as a direct affront to such moral ordering.
All economic problems, in the neoliberal view, are attributable to sluggish growth, which is in turn the result of insufficient competition. The neoliberal agenda seeks to stimulate competition, suggesting that if countries are allowed to run deficits, the people's work ethic will suffer as a result.
The science instead considers what's necessary for populations of living organisms to survive and grow. It recognizes that shortages of necessary resources the result of excessive competition. In this view unconstrained competition is naturally at odds with a finite supply of resources, resulting in the economic problems we see.
Given the neoliberal experiment we've been engaged in since the seventies, we see economic growth is still sluggish and further, global economic inequality continues to increase. Yet if I consider what's likely to prove to be the undoing of moral universe theory, it's the reality that it's very sloppy theology.Robert Andrews says: May 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm
Razing our vertical economy will kill all the isms that are killing us. https://thelastwhy.ca/poems/2012/12/13/economy.html
I can see Joelle Gamble's assessment with either the left or the right taking over Neoliberalism. But he doesn't recognize that it is the Oligarchy that is in control and has a stranglehold on both the RNC and DNC to maintain its power.
The Right is desperate for change but has really no place to go. Our society has been pulled so far right that there is little to nothing for them to grasp on to display possibilities of improvement for the populous.
The Left are the ones who are poised to "Kill Neoliberalism." Joelle Gamble hides the fact that the establishment DNC is almost totally controlled by the Oligarchy and that there are already multiple organizations that are aggressively challenging them.
He also doesn't say a word about the most popular leader in country by far, Senator Sanders. Bernie Sanders' presidential primary election has provided a laser for the populous to see who the DNC really serves, by forcing them to reveal its ugly face behind their mask to maintain their power. Sanders has also provided the platform for issues that the populous has been rallying behind and has shown how the establishment squelches their needs with platitudes and deflection.
The Progressive Left will be the ones to take down Neoliberalism, what comes next is the real question. Will the Oligarchy be able to implement a fascist regime to maintain its control or will they be cut off at the knees by a socialist government?
Jul 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trump today added to turmoil he caused in Europe:In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor in Scotland on Saturday, President Trump named the European Union -- comprising some of America's oldest allies -- when asked to identify his "biggest foe globally right now.""Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. ..."
Bashing allies is an essential component of the Trump doctrine :The second-best self-description of the Trump Doctrine I heard was this, from a senior national-security official: "Permanent destabilization creates American advantage." The official who described this to me said Trump believes that keeping allies and adversaries alike perpetually off-balance necessarily benefits the United States, which is still the most powerful country on Earth.
The best distillation of the Trump Doctrine I heard, though, came from a senior White House official with direct access to the president and his thinking. I was talking to this person several weeks ago, and I said, by way of introduction, that I thought it might perhaps be too early to discern a definitive Trump Doctrine. "No," the official said. "There's definitely a Trump Doctrine." "What is it?" I asked. Here is the answer I received: "The Trump Doctrine is 'We're America, Bitch.' That's the Trump Doctrine."
vk , Jul 15, 2018 1:23:01 PM | 6I think Trump simply has a very prosaic, very sincere even, view about the world: he treats his equals equally (e.g. Putin, Xi, Kim) and his unequals unequally (NATO countries' leaders, Abe etc.).Bart Hansen , Jul 15, 2018 1:26:12 PM | 7
That is, he simply views his allies for what they really are: clients. And when you go visit clients, you expect them to stop, lower their heads, listen and obey you: that's why he probably found strange the fact that the Europeans were insulted by his behavior during the NATO summit and the individual countries official visits. He must have been particularly thunderstruck over the popular protests in Scotland: from his point of view, Scotland owes everything they have now to the USA (NATO), so he, as chief of State of the USA, has every right to go there and play golf whenever he pleases to do so. And the fact is he's right to think so: the European peninsula is an American protectorate, a "subState", inhabited by second-class citizens (like the peoples of Latin status of the Roman Republic).
As for the destabilization doctrine (Trump Doctrine), it's absolutely correct: peace, right now, is nocive to the USA. That's why Russia and China are trying to descalate: peace (and time) is on their side. If the USA doesn't manage to trigger WWIII soon, it will start to eat itself up, because the world didn't recover from the 2008 meltdown. The clock is ticking for the Americans (and, by extension, for the Europeans and the Japanese).
Last, I agree completely with the theory that May is a remainer who's trying to implode brexit without appearing to do so. She was a remainer during the camapaign, that's the reason she was elected as Cameron's successor (it was she or Leadsom or Johnson, both hardcore brexiters). The British elite is holding her while it can, and she is only in office right now because she has the elite's full weight behind her: if it was a Labour MP, he/she would've already fallen.Re: Haass - It says a lot that a member of the Deep State can through out such a statement without embarrassment.Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 15, 2018 1:48:15 PM | 11
His Twitter feed is getting some sass, but he knows none of that will be included when the stenos quote him.There is one significant weakness to Putin's patient, restrained and reasonable response to US/NATO aggression and intimidation...Zanon , Jul 15, 2018 1:53:20 PM | 12
Posted by: les7 | Jul 15, 2018 12:17:17 PM | 2
If you watch the last 8 minutes of Episode 3 of Oliver Stone's Putin Interviews it'll cure you of the habit of confusing Putin's "Our Partners" diplo-speak with the hair-raising reality experienced by the crew of the Donald Cook in the Black Sea a couple of years ago. It'll also dissuade you from imagining that Putin/Russia has a 'weak' or 'reasonable' attitude toward NATO military provocations.
Imo Trump would have either watched them himself or been briefed on their contents by someone who has.
There are many links to the series on the www. Here's one to Ep 3...
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/965043267630/the-putin-interviewsEven if I get Moscow as 'retribution,' critics will say it's not good enough - Trumpdltravers , Jul 15, 2018 2:51:52 PM | 14
https://www.rt.com/usa/433263-trump-putin-summit-expectations/Trump is acting out the good cop bad cop role all in one. He comes in with slashing attacks and praise. The media only prints the slashing attacks. By placing his adversaries off balance he seeks to gain something. I would say that he is operating like a corporate raider. The weak kneed euro leaders just do not know how to handle this stuff.
He will not try that with Putin because he respects him. Putin is operating with a weak hand and he cannot and will not take on the Europe on his borders conventionally when he can possibly get what he wants in time with no bloodshed. Libya is his next target.
Putin and his family are from Stalingrad and Putin will cut off the head of the Snake (US) before he lets that happen again. How? Think bright glowing mushroom clouds. It is that serious.
Trump wants to bring Russia back into Europe. The Anglo Europeans want more control over Russia's vast resources and companies that control them. Offering then a role in NATO would be genius.
Putin is being conflated into an enemy of the world by a mass propaganda campaign. Crimea and Ukraine was NATO pushing to hard to make Putin act with aggression. Crimea fell without a shot being fired. As an independent republic full of Russians it can choose who it wants to affiliate with.
All in all this can be solved diplomatically but not by the current crop of deep state diplomats.
Jul 15, 2018 | www.unz.com
Miro23 , Next New CommentJuly 14, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
If history is any precedent, empires without economic foundations, sooner or later crumble, especially when rising regional powers are capable of replacing them.
This is worth repeating. Empire and wars are expensive. For example the British world trade network was doing fine until the "Imperial" idea came along with wars and economic failure. The US is doing even worse in trying to fight its Imperial wars on credit.
The result is that Trump faces the real prospects of a decline in exports and popular electoral support – especially from those adversely affected by declining markets and deep cuts in health, education and the environment.
He may well be blindsided by a candidate who actually implements Trump's own election platform 1) no more wars 2) domestic infrastructure spending 3) stopping mass immigration 4) draining the swamp. Trumps electoral weakness is that didn't follow through on his promises.
The electoral oligarchy and the mass media will force him to retreat from the trade wars and surrender to the globalizing elites.
No doubt that the globalized elite want Friedman's "World is Flat" concept – profit maximizing world markets, world production, stateless corporations, free movement of labour and capital (without troublesome national identities) represented by an exclusive and vastly wealthy rootless elite ruling over a global worker hive. The "Empire" is only the military/enforcement side of this, with sanctions/wars against dissidents.
Trump is in the strange situation of having been elected to fight the Empire while needing elite Imperial support to stay in his job.
Jul 15, 2018 | thesun.co.uk
THERESA May's new soft Brexit blueprint would "kill" any future trade deal with the United States, Donald Trump warns today.
Mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM's exit negotiation, the President also reveals she has ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks.
Instead he believes Mrs May has gone "the opposite way", and he thinks the results have been "very unfortunate".
His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM's new Brexit plan -- which was unveiled in full yesterday.
It would stick to a common rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.
But Mr Trump told The Sun: "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.
Jul 13, 2018 | www.nytimes.com
Trump's declaration that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" is an instant classic, right up there with Herbert Hoover's "prosperity is just around the corner."
Trump obviously believes that trade is a game in which he who runs the biggest surplus wins, and that America, which imports more than it exports, therefore has the upper hand in any conflict. That's also why Peter Navarro predicted that nobody would retaliate against Trump's tariffs. Since that's actually not how trade works, we're already facing plenty of retaliation and the strong prospect of escalation.
But here's the thing: Trump's tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view of trade. In fact, the structure of his tariffs so far is designed to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy, for minimal gain. Foreign retaliation, by contrast, is far more sophisticated: unlike Trump, the Chinese and other targets of his trade wrath seem to have a clear idea of what they're trying to accomplish.
The key point is that the Navarro/Trump view, aside from its fixation on trade balances, also seems to imagine that the world still looks the way it did in the 1960s, when trade was overwhelmingly in final goods like wheat and cars. In that world, putting a tariff on imported cars would cause consumers to switch to domestic cars, adding auto industry jobs, end of story (except for the foreign retaliation.)
In the modern world economy, however, a large part of trade is in intermediate goods – not cars but car parts. Put a tariff on car parts, and even the first-round effect on jobs is uncertain: maybe domestic parts producers will add workers, but you've raised costs and reduced competitiveness for downstream producers, who will shrink their operations.
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So in today's world, smart trade warriors – if such people exist – would focus their tariffs on final goods, so as to avoid raising costs for downstream producers of domestic goods. True, this would amount to a more or less direct tax on consumers; but if you're afraid to impose any burden on consumers, you really shouldn't be getting into a trade war in the first place.
But almost none of the Trump tariffs are on consumer goods. Chad Bown and colleagues have a remarkable chart showing the distribution of the Trump China tariffs: an amazing 95 percent are either on intermediate goods or on capital goods like machinery that are also used in domestic production: KS
Is there a strategy here? It's hard to see one. There's certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place.
China's retaliation looks very different. It doesn't completely eschew tariffs on intermediate goods, but it's mostly on final goods. And it's also driven by a clear political strategy of hurting Trump voters; the Chinese, unlike the Trumpies, know what they're trying to accomplish:
What about others? Canada's picture is complicated by its direct response to aluminum and steel tariffs, but those industries aside it, too, is following a far more sophisticated strategy than the U.S.:
Except for steel and aluminum, Canada's retaliation seemingly attempts to avoid messing up its engagement in North American supply chains. In broad terms, Canada is not targeting imports of American capital equipment or intermediate inputs, focusing instead on final goods.
And like China, Canada is clearly trying to inflict maximum political damage.
Trade wars aren't good or easy to win even if you know what you're trying to accomplish and have a clear strategy for getting there. What's notable about the Trump tariffs, however, is that they're so self-destructive.
And we can already see hints of the economic fallout. From the Fed's most recent minutes :
[M]any District contacts expressed concern about the possible adverse effects of tariffs and other proposed trade restrictions, both domestically and abroad, on future investment activity; contacts in some Districts indicated that plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy. Contacts in the steel and aluminum industries expected higher prices as a result of the tariffs on these products but had not planned any new investments to increase capacity.
So Trump and company don't actually have a plan to win this trade war. They may, however, have stumbled onto a strategy that will lose it even more decisively than one might have expected.
Jul 13, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca
Trump Regime 10% Tariffs on $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods By Stephen Lendman Global Research, July 13, 2018 Region: Asia , USA Theme: Global Economy , Law and Justice
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On Tuesday, his trade representative Robert Lighthizer released a list of $10% tariffs to be imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
A senior Trump regime official falsely said it's "roughly equal to their exports to" the US. It's around 40% of the 2017 total.
Newly announced tariffs won't take effect before completion of a two-month review process, concluding at end of August. Trump warned he may order tariffs on $500 billion worth of Chinese goods.
In 2017, imports from China were $506 billion, US exports to the country $130 billion. The trade deficit was $375 billion last year.
It's because so much of industrial America was offshored to China and other low-wage countries, millions of US jobs lost, Washington under Republicans and undemocratic Dems permitting what demands opposition.
The Investment-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system incorporated into US trade deals like NAFTA and others, letting a corporate controlled extrajudicial tribunal resolve disputes, promotes offshoring of US jobs.
China called the latest announced tariffs "totally unacceptable" bullying, urging other countries to unite against Trump's trade policy, promising to retaliate in kind.
Along with earlier duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, newly announced ones raise the total to half of Chinese imports – maybe all of them to be targeted ahead if China retaliates in kind as expected.
China Association of International Trade senior fellow Li Yong believes one Beijing retaliatory measure may be a greater push to attract foreign investment other than from the US, adding:
Trump "closed the door for negotiations. It's up to (him) to open the door again."
Trade policy expert Eswar Prasad believes
"(t)he internal political dynamics in both countries make it unlikely that either side will stand down and offer conciliatory measures that could deescalate tensions and lead to a resumption of negotiations."
Economist Stephen Roach called trade wars "not easy to win easy to lose, and the US is on track to lose (its) trade war" with China, adding:
"This is live ammunition. This is not just rhetorical discussion anymore. We're in the early stages of fighting skirmishes in a real, live trade war."
"The question is, how far does it go? And how significant will the ammunition be in the future?"
Roach believe China has lots of ammunition to hold firm and fight back with.
"The US is hugely dependent on China as a source for low-cost goods to make ends meet for American consumers. We're hugely dependent on China to buy our Treasuries to fund our budget deficits," he explained.
Beijing has lots of ways to retaliate against Washington besides imposing duties on US goods.
On Thursday, China's People's Daily slammed the Trump regime, saying
Beijing "will never back down when faced with threats and blackmail, neither will it waver its resolution in safeguarding the global free trade and multilateral trade system," adding:
"The US is undermining global trade rules and causing problems for the global economy. (Its) mentality not only brings negative impacts to both parties directly involved, but also to every country on the global industrial chain."
China's Global Times called Trump's trade policy "extortion," stressing "countermeasures" will be taken.
Markets believe both sides eventually will show restraint. There's no sign of it so far – just the opposite.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.
Jul 13, 2018 | www.project-syndicate.org
America the Loser Jul 4, 2018 J. Bradford DeLong Donald Trump's unhinged recent attacks on the iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson distill his larger assault on American democracy. Even if Democrats do manage to retake one or both houses of Congress this November, the damage that Trump and Republican leaders have done to the country's global standing cannot be repaired.
BERKELEY – The Washington Post's Catherine Rampell recently recalled that when US President Donald Trump held a session for Harley-Davidson executives and union representatives at the White House in February 2017, he thanked them "for building things in America." Trump went on to predict that the iconic American motorcycle company would expand under his watch. "I know your business is now doing very well," he observed, "and there's a lot of spirit right now in the country that you weren't having so much in the last number of months that you have right now."
What a difference a year makes. Harley-Davidson recently announced that it would move some of its operations to jurisdictions not subject to the European Union's retaliatory measures adopted in response to Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Trump then took to Twitter to say that he was, "Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag." He then made a promise that he cannot keep: " ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the EU."
Then, in a later tweet, Trump falsely stated that, "Early this year Harley-Davidson said they would move much of their plant operations in Kansas City to Thailand," and that "they were just using Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse." In fact, when the company announced the closure of its plant in Kansas City, Missouri, it said that it would move those operations to York, Pennsylvania. At any rate, Trump's point is nonsensical. If companies are acting in anticipation of his own announcement that he is launching a trade war, then his trade war is not just an excuse.
In yet another tweet, Trump turned to threats, warning that, "Harley must know that they won't be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax!" But, again, this is nonsensical: the entire point of Harley-Davidson shifting some of its production to countries not subject to EU tariffs is to sell tariff-free motorcycles to Europeans.
In a final tweet, Trump decreed that, "A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country – never!" He then went on to promise the destruction of the company, and thus the jobs of its workers: "If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!" 1
Needless to say, none of this is normal. Trump's statements are dripping with contempt for the rule of law. And none of them rises to the level of anything that could be called trade policy, let alone governance. It is as if we have returned to the days of Henry VIII, an impulsive, deranged monarch who was surrounded by a gaggle of plutocrats, lickspittles, and flatterers, all trying to advance their careers while keeping the ship of state afloat.
Trump is clearly incapable of executing the duties of his office in good faith. The US House of Representatives and Senate should have impeached him and removed him from office already – for violations of the US Constitution's emoluments clause , if nothing else. Barring that, Vice President Mike Pence should have long ago invoked the 25th Amendment, which provides for the removal of a president whom a majority of the cabinet has deemed "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."
And yet, neither Speaker of the House Paul Ryan nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor Pence has dared to do anything about Trump's assault on American democracy. Republicans are paralyzed by the fear that if they turn on Trump, who is now supported by roughly 90% of their party's base, they will all suffer at the polls in the midterm congressional election this November.
It is nice to think that the election will fix everything. But, at a minimum, the Democratic Party needs a six-percentage-point edge to retake the House of Representatives, owing to Republican gerrymandering of congressional districts. Democrats also have to overcome a gerrymandering effect in the Senate. Right now, the 49 senators who caucus with the Democrats represent 181 million people, whereas the 51 who caucus with the Republicans represent just 142 million people. 3
Moreover, the US is notorious for its low voter turnout during midterm elections, which tends to hurt Democratic candidates' prospects. And Trump and congressional Republicans have been presiding over a relatively strong economy, which they inherited from former President Barack Obama, but are happy to claim as their own.
Finally, one must not discount the fear factor. Countless Americans routinely fall victim to social- and cable-media advertising campaigns that play to their worst instincts. You can rest assured that in this election cycle, as in the past, elderly white voters will be fed a steady diet of bombast about the threat posed by immigrants, people of color, Muslims, and other Trump-voter bugaboos (that is, when they aren't being sold fake diabetes cures and overpriced gold funds).
Regardless of what happens this November, it is already clear that the American century ended on November 8, 2016. On that day, the United States ceased to be the world's leading superpower – the flawed but ultimately well-meaning guarantor of peace, prosperity, and human rights around the world. America's days of Kindlebergian hegemony are now behind it. The credibility that has been lost to the Trumpists – abetted by Russia and the US Electoral College – can never be regained. See also
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America's transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.
- American Democracy on the Brink Jun 29, 2018 Joseph E. Stiglitz says the US Supreme Court no longer provides a check on legislative, executive, and corporate abuses of power.
- Trump's Psychopathology Is Getting Worse Jul 3, 2018 Jeffrey D. Sachs & Bandy X. Lee believe that the US president's paranoia and sadism are intensifying – portending severe damage to the world.
- Reading the Signs of the Times Jul 9, 2018 Ian Buruma
- The Global Economy's Uncertain Future Jul 9, 2018 Jim O'Neill
- The European Union's Dublin Conundrum Jul 10, 2018 Daniel Gros
- A "Reagan Moment" for International Trade? Jul 9, 2018 Mohamed A. El-Erian
- Benign Brodwicz Jul 9, 2018
Obama was a Manchurian Candidate for the globalist banks and corporations and their war-mongering Deep State that would like to rule the world in perpetuity. Brad, the Democratic Party committed suicide with the Clintons. Obama was a rerun of Bush Jr. Trump is actually trying to put the Deep State down, and you should be supporting that. How many Stupid Wars till you see the light? How many more countries do you want to bomb in the name of Democracy? Syria has been stabilized, Brad. Hillary would not have done that.
- Michael Parsons Jul 9, 2018
" It is as if we have returned to the days of Henry VIII, an impulsive, deranged monarch who was surrounded by a gaggle of plutocrats, lickspittles, etc."
Henry V111th - very popular - in fact achieved a revolutionary transformation of England into a nation state, strengthened its navy and political existence - a process continued by the Queen Elizabeh 1. In this process foreign-dominated institutions of the Church were destroyed; and indeed many people were executed as necessary to achieve great social transformation, for such change cannot be made without the use of terror, as Robespierre rightly argued.
So for Trump let's wait and see, eh? Perhaps he is up to it.
- Robert Merrifield Jul 9, 2018
Rather that praise Obama and GDP growth surely the current President is simply an outcome of failures previously unrecognised by the author?
Perhaps the date should mark the end of neo-classical economics. You have widespread poverty and a populace who want change. Hardly the result of success.
Jul 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com
Trump's declaration that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" is an instant classic, right up there with Herbert Hoover's "prosperity is just around the corner."
Trump obviously believes that trade is a game in which he who runs the biggest surplus wins, and that America, which imports more than it exports, therefore has the upper hand in any conflict. That's also why Peter Navarro predicted that nobody would retaliate against Trump's tariffs. Since that's actually not how trade works, we're already facing plenty of retaliation and the strong prospect of escalation.
But here's the thing: Trump's tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view of trade. In fact, the structure of his tariffs so far is designed to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy, for minimal gain. Foreign retaliation, by contrast, is far more sophisticated: unlike Trump, the Chinese and other targets of his trade wrath seem to have a clear idea of what they're trying to accomplish.
The key point is that the Navarro/Trump view, aside from its fixation on trade balances, also seems to imagine that the world still looks the way it did in the 1960s, when trade was overwhelmingly in final goods like wheat and cars. In that world, putting a tariff on imported cars would cause consumers to switch to domestic cars, adding auto industry jobs, end of story (except for the foreign retaliation.)
In the modern world economy, however, a large part of trade is in intermediate goods – not cars but car parts. Put a tariff on car parts, and even the first-round effect on jobs is uncertain: maybe domestic parts producers will add workers, but you've raised costs and reduced competitiveness for downstream producers, who will shrink their operations.
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So in today's world, smart trade warriors – if such people exist – would focus their tariffs on final goods, so as to avoid raising costs for downstream producers of domestic goods. True, this would amount to a more or less direct tax on consumers; but if you're afraid to impose any burden on consumers, you really shouldn't be getting into a trade war in the first place.
But almost none of the Trump tariffs are on consumer goods. Chad Bown and colleagues have a remarkable chart showing the distribution of the Trump China tariffs: an amazing 95 percent are either on intermediate goods or on capital goods like machinery that are also used in domestic production:
Is there a strategy here? It's hard to see one. There's certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place. Advertisement
China's retaliation looks very different. It doesn't completely eschew tariffs on intermediate goods, but it's mostly on final goods. And it's also driven by a clear political strategy of hurting Trump voters; the Chinese, unlike the Trumpies, know what they're trying to accomplish:
What about others? Canada's picture is complicated by its direct response to aluminum and steel tariffs, but those industries aside it, too, is following a far more sophisticated strategy than the U.S.:
Except for steel and aluminum, Canada's retaliation seemingly attempts to avoid messing up its engagement in North American supply chains. In broad terms, Canada is not targeting imports of American capital equipment or intermediate inputs, focusing instead on final goods.
And like China, Canada is clearly trying to inflict maximum political damage.
Trade wars aren't good or easy to win even if you know what you're trying to accomplish and have a clear strategy for getting there. What's notable about the Trump tariffs, however, is that they're so self-destructive.
And we can already see hints of the economic fallout. From the Fed's most recent minutes :
[M]any District contacts expressed concern about the possible adverse effects of tariffs and other proposed trade restrictions, both domestically and abroad, on future investment activity; contacts in some Districts indicated that plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy. Contacts in the steel and aluminum industries expected higher prices as a result of the tariffs on these products but had not planned any new investments to increase capacity.
So Trump and company don't actually have a plan to win this trade war. They may, however, have stumbled onto a strategy that will lose it even more decisively than one might have expected.
Jul 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org...Hours before Boris Johnson quit his position, Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from Prime Minister May's cabinet.
On July 6 the British government held a cabinet meeting at Chequers, the private seat of the prime minister. Following the meeting it published a paper (pdf) that took a weird position towards exiting the European Union. If it would be followed, Britain would practically end up with staying in the EU, accepting nearly all its regulations and court decisions, but without any say over what the EU decides. The paper was clearly written by the 'Remain' side. The two top Brexiters in May's cabinet felt cheated and resigned. More are likely to follow.
The majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU must feel duped.
My hunch is that Prime Minister Theresa May was tasked with 'running out the clock' in negotiations with the EU. Then, shortly before the March 2019 date of a 'hard Brexit' would arrive without any agreement with the EU, the powers that be would launch a panic campaign to push the population into a new vote. That vote would end with a victory for the 'Remain' side. The UK would continue to be a member of the European Union.
Shortly before the original Brexit vote in June 2016 MoA headlined: BREXIT - Not Gonna HappenNo matter how the Brexit vote will go, the powers that are will not allow Britain to exit the European Union.Is that claim still justified?
Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go.
Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU.
Then again - Boris may do the unexpected.
How do the British people feel about this?
Posted by b on July 9, 2018 at 11:43 AM | Permalink
Mark2 , Jul 9, 2018 12:07:09 PM | 2Did you notice how quickly th E U sided with the U K over Salisbury ? That was the deal.bevin , Jul 9, 2018 12:21:17 PM | 3
Remain in EU and we're back you!
Then again could have been we'l create a false flag you back us and we'll stay , a suttle nuonce.The likelihood is that the blairite faction in the Parliamentary Labour Party-which has no real political differences with the Tories and is fanatically pro EU, as all neo-liberals are- will prop up the May government. Or a Tory government headed by another Remainer, with Blairites in the Cabinet.John Zelnicker , Jul 9, 2018 12:23:35 PM | 4
This will prevent the General Election which Tories of all parties fear.
There is an excellent piece in the Boston Review on the EU- https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/j-w-mason-market-police
Iy makes the point that "The European Union offers the fullest realization of the neoliberal political vision. Its incomplete integration -- with its confusing mix of powers -- is precisely the goal."
It traces the neo-liberal project, designed to prevent democracy from controlling economic policy, back to von Mises and Hayek. Nothing is more mistaken for critics of imperialism than to buy the line that the EU represents internationalism in any sense. The fact that some racists oppose the EU-just as others support it as a 'white" bastion -- is no reason to give an institution which is profoundly and purposefully undemocratic the benefit of the doubt.@Jeff - #1 - You are correct. There will not be another referendum.Babyl-on , Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5
I would add that there is some chance, however small, that on March 29th the British government will tell the EU that they just have no way to meet the requirements of Article 50 and would the EU please allow them to continue as a member of the EU and forget about all the shenanigans of the past 2 years. The EU has said previously that they will accept such a result and allow the UK to continue as a member. The Brexiteers will have a total meltdown, and May will most likely be thrown out of office, but most businesses and many individuals will be quite happy for this whole thing to just go away.
For those interested see https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/category/brexit which has been following the Brexit chaos since the beginning.Britain - PATHETICerik , Jul 9, 2018 12:58:47 PM | 13
It is a wondrous sight to see Western [neo]Liberal Democracy crumbling before our eyes. Have a look at the very founders and protectors of "freedom" corrupt to the very marrow of their bones.
In the US Trump, in the UK the Torys the democracies are now openly imperial and openly corrupt. Rule of law - ask the Skripals. Brexit, Russia, Skripals, Russia, junkies and poisons Russians - minority government - ministers resigning right and left deadlines looming no solutions in sight.
Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas of "democracy" are failing. Democracy is not a religion, it is not the end of history, it is not sacred and immutable - checks and balances have failed utterly. This sweetly written little essay says it all.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/14/the-end-of-the-enlightenment-a-fable-for-our-times-2/Look for countries to unilaterally bail from the EU with little or no advance notice. They will simply abrogate and that will trigger an avalanche of others joining in. There are various good economic reasons why they would do that, but I think the groundswell of populism fueled by anger over the open borders cataclysm will be the prime driver.Red Ryder , Jul 9, 2018 1:12:35 PM | 14Anything bad that can happen to the UK is well-deserved. The home, the womb of Russophobia, lies and illegal wars, as well as the hub of spying against American citizens, is exposed as thoroughly bankrupt politically.Al-Pol , Jul 9, 2018 1:19:11 PM | 15
The current path to chaos is well-trod. Now, we can expect national attention is on the team in Russia in the semi-finals, while the government crumbles and tumbles. But afterward, especially if Kane fails to bring the Cup home? Oh, the chaos. Of course, it will all be Putin and Russia's fault.
UK. Despicable. How long it has taken for folks to realize Theresa May always has been a stalking horse. Highly Likely the UK will stew in its own piss. Put that in their White Hall dossiers, and stamp it "Kremlin Plot".Britain won't be staying in the EU and nor will the EU be accepting May's fantasy ideas for a future relationship giving the UK free trade on everything it needs. There's a remote possibility that a new UK government could begin working on re-joining the EU (Article 49), but there are plenty in Europe who would not let the UK re-join, at least not in the near future.Charles Michael , Jul 9, 2018 1:41:25 PM | 16
Friday the 13th is coming soon, scary stuff ?
The "Don't take No for an answer" is rather misleading. Made to vote again ..only after changes to the Treaty. France's vote against the EU Constitution was accepted and when the Dutch also rejected it, it didn't happen.EU is bound to collapse but Britain might be tempted to wait it out, and maybe it is the game in London: not to be the first. The most dynamic destructive work in progress is the Euro that benefit to none of its 18 members (the euro-zones) but Geramny and Nederland. Italy has understood it but is using the refugees crisis to enlarge the contestation to non-euro zone countries (Visegrad group and more).Daniel Good , Jul 9, 2018 1:45:23 PM | 18
Now we have this Nato meeting coming and the abomination of Donald meeting Vlad that scares the whole neo-lberals, borgists, russian haters, warmongers.
As Nato is the real and only cement in this enlarged un-united Europe, in an epoch of accelerating change (collapse maybe) the famous Wait and see of the Brits has just muted in a slow fox-trot.Brits, especially the Leave voters, have no real idea what the consequences of leaving the EU are, nor do they care that much. What is uppermost in their minds is they do not want is to be in a union with "losers". Every single country on the Continent is a loser and thus the object of contempt. The only country in Europe that is not a loser (meaning they have never lost a war) is the United Kingdom of Roast Beef and God Save The Queen.b , Jul 9, 2018 2:08:45 PM | 19
This British loser-phobia also explains the island nation's guttural hatred of Russia, which has bailed out Europe, and so by definition the Brits as well, twice, thereby taking away some of the British luster. (OK the last time around they got a bit of help from their old colonies, the Yanks, but its all the same. Yanks and Brits are the same stock.) As far as EU goes the Brits can leave, no problem. Except that what the Continent would then be faced with was an American armed camp a few miles off shore, not an appealing prospect to say the least. But the puffed up Brits do not even see this danger and would blithely fall into the arms of the mafiosi from across the pond.Boris Johnson's resignation letter. Well written. Makes the same argument over the Checkers paper that I made above. If Johnson gets 48 back benchers on his side he could launch a vote on no-confidence against May and possibly become PM. The Conservatives in Parliament seem quite upset over all of this.Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 2:10:07 PM | 20@18dh , Jul 9, 2018 2:44:44 PM | 22
Brexit is rebellion against the US imposed world order. London money has gone along and profited from the US imposed order, but the ordinary Brits may not have. They may not know where they are going, but they do know where they do not want to be.@20 Not sure who qualifies as an 'ordinary Brit' these days. They come in all shapes and colours. I think the ones who moved to Spain are fairly happy with the EU status quo.psychohistorian , Jul 9, 2018 2:48:42 PM | 23Thanks for the posting bninel , Jul 9, 2018 3:11:03 PM | 29
I liked the "We are headed for the status of a colony" comment in the Johnson resignation letter
Getting the puppets to talk about the machinations of empire is a good thing for us but probably not good long term for empire.
No one ever said that evolving to a multi-polar world would be easy. All the ugly that kept the unipolar world together must be exposed as it dies.Allow me to enlighten.james , Jul 9, 2018 3:12:22 PM | 30
Dominic Raab is the new UK Brexit point-man. The previous guy, Davies, just resigned. But Raab's appointment, I think, points to what Brexit has been about all along -- namely, labour market reform beyond the rest of Europe, and to do this the UK must be free of the European Human Rights council and other protections it provides for workers in the member states.
Here is Raab's 2011 paper on employment standards and Brexit. https://leftfootforward.org/2011/11/dominic-raab-attack-on-workers-rights-based-on-no-evidence/ Have a look.@23 psychohistorian... ditto... status of colony... isn't that what the globalists, corporations, neo liberals and etc want? get rid of any national identity as it gets in the way of corporations having the freedom to rape and pillage as needed..NotBob , Jul 9, 2018 3:42:22 PM | 35
it was interesting reading near the end of bjs comments "Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals." Guilty first - we will prove it later... maybe he really ought to consider rule from Brussels or where ever, if he can't fathom the concept of innocent until proven guilty...Al-Pol @ 15Pft , Jul 9, 2018 5:48:32 PM | 51
The French populace rejected the EU Constitution in 2005 during the Chirac years, and you are correct that after some changes it was accepted under the Sarkozy government.But that happened because it was the Assembly (the parliament, i.e., the political class) that voted on it, not the people. Can't have those deplorable citizens deciding important matters like that, now can we?According to this the EU was a US/CIA creation. Lol? https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-03/european-union-was-american-ideajames , Jul 9, 2018 5:59:35 PM | 52@51 pft... in so far as the cia work for the financial complex - yeah, probably.. how to create a currency - the eu - that no one has any real control over, to compete with the us$ and yen... makes sense on that level..Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53@Babyl-on | Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53 somebody , Jul 9, 2018 6:38:22 PM | 54
Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas ...
When we discuss ALL ideas of the Enlightenment, we must remember this:
Wikipedia: "Enlightened absolutism is the theme of an essay by Frederick the Great, who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786, defending this system of government.
When the prominent French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire fell out of favor in France, he eagerly accepted Frederick's invitation to live at his palace. He believed that an enlightened monarchy was the only real way for society to advance.
Frederick the Great was an enthusiast of French ideas. Frederick explained: "My principal occupation is to combat ignorance and prejudice ..."
In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe.
51 Much better summary on the CIA and the EU here .Ninel , Jul 9, 2018 6:47:54 PM | 55
From 2016The awful truth for the Leave campaign is that the governing establishment of the entire Western world views Brexit as strategic vandalism. Whether fair or not, Brexiteers must answer this reproach. A few such as Lord Owen grasp the scale of the problem. Most seemed blithely unaware until Mr Obama blew into town last week.
And then came Trump - pro BrexitDonald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has come out in support of Brexit, saying the UK would be "better off" outside of the European Union and lamenting the consequences of migration in the continent.
The billionaire, who secured the backing of Republican voters on a staunchly anti-immigration platform, said that his support for the UK leaving the EU was a personal belief and not a "recommendation".
"I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe," Trump told Fox News late on Thursday. "A lot of that was pushed by the EU. I would say that they're better off without it, personally, but I'm not making that as a recommendation. Just my feeling."
And very anti-MerkelDonald Trump accuses Angela Merkel of making 'catastrophic mistake' on refugees. President-elect tells The Times and Bild that EU has become 'a vehicle for Germany'.
US President-elect Donald Trump said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" with a policy that let a wave of more than one million migrants into her country.
In a joint interview with The Times and the German newspaper Bild, Trump also said the European Union had become "a vehicle for Germany" and predicted that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc as Britain did last June.
"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals," Trump said of Merkel, who in August 2015 decided to keep Germany's borders open for refugees, mostly Muslims, fleeing war zones in the Middle East.
Trump has reversed some 70 years of US strategy to gain nothing. It is quite remarkable. Strategic vandalism is a good description.Even when the 'light' (read truth about Brexit) is revealed, many here choose to ignore it out of sheer ignorance. For a good description of the MOA comment section, one should consult Plato's Allegory of the Cave. And the 'left' blames external elements for its inaptitude and demise when many it has only itself to blame.Pft , Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56Somebody@54uncle tungsten , Jul 9, 2018 7:48:18 PM | 57
Good link, thanks
The thing about UK and the EU is the UK is basically the US 51st state and the US is a defacto commonwealth nation. The colonization of Europe by the US was never meant to encompass the UK and the City. As they are basically one and the same. Its presence in the EU was never really a problem though and was useful in terms of providing a guiding hand, so long as it remained free of the Eurozone. So I am not really sure its a change in strategy. Just another fork in the road.
It remains to be seen how it all works out. Perhaps the UK Brexit is meant to send a message to the other EU states as to the consequences of leaving. One benefit to the US neoliberals might be that UK scraps or at least scales back its NHS due to the economic consequences of a hard Brexit. The 0.1% will be fine at the end of the day and they are the only group that matters . The rest are just pawns on the board.
As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs. All part of the neoliberal blueprint. Divide and rule is an age old tactic perfected by the British to rule the colonies. The EU and Germany being controlled by the Anglo-American ruling elite , and basically occipied by US controlled NATO opened the doors. Reversing this immigration can provide a plausible reason for more terrorism in Europe to empower the EU to become more of a security-police state like US and UK.
On a side note its interesting the head of the ECB and BOE are both former Goldman Sachs employees.
Another related link suggesting the EU also serves a purpose of isolating Russia economically.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-the-european-union-part-of-americas-imperial-project/5536396@Pft 51Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 7:57:17 PM | 59
EU could not possibly have been a US/CIA idea as it actually works. Yes it is undemocratic, usurps national aspirations, perverts local economies, coddles oligarchs, and all that. But that does not mean it is a US idea.
Zero Hedge is polishing turds now it seems.
Single union political aspirations have been around for centuries and in many countries. Dare I suggest that it is actually based on the Soviet Union of peoples and most likely a Leninist or Trotskyist plot!! :))))The Marshal Plan Copy and past from the linked page.bevin , Jul 9, 2018 9:25:30 PM | 61
"The Marshall Plan also established the creation of the Organization for European economic cooperation. It did this in a number of ways:
- promote co-operation between participating countries and their national production programmes for the reconstruction of Europe,
- develop intra-European trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to the expansion of trade,
- study the feasibility of creating a customs union or free trade area,
- study multi-lateralisation of payments, and
- Achieve conditions for better utilisation of labour.
It was arguably through this persistent interlinking of many European countries economic affairs that to not cooperate would simply be too risky.
This provided the basis for European cooperation and this was favoured by many people because cooperation was seen as a fundamental building block in the establishment of long term European Peace."Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:33:58 PM | 62
@Piotr Berman@53"In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe."
You are right, and that included Catherine the Great for whom Samuel Bentham worked for some years. His brother Jeremy spent some time with him there and was a great admirer of Catherine and Potemkin. He was a key figure in the development of liberal ideology and political economy.
'The Enlightenment' is an historical concept which obscures more than it explains. To suggest that representative democracy's origins lie in this nebulous thing is completely misleading -- the truth is that democracy is as old as community. If anything 'The Enlightenment' movements are the beginning of the current system whereby the trappings of popular government are hung on the reality of a kleptocrats' oligarchy.Re. Australia: Have you read JOHN PILGER ON A HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO ROSE UP "?" I love that guy even more now.Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:37:25 PM | 63Just in time for Emperor Trump's arrival in Britain! I do not understand Great Britain's "democracy," (the very concept of an aristocratic House of Lords Peerage makes my head explode... and what's this about the Monarch having the authority to appoint a Prime Minister if he/she doesn't like the one selected?). But doesn't the party with the majority get to anoint the Prime Minister? Wouldn't that be Labour right now if Missy May is shown the door?Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:45:25 PM | 64Furthermore, the assertion that the UK will stay in the EU is entirely plausible. I heard, early in the days after the vote, that the govt had not expected it to go the way it did. Plans were made for a show of Brexit but that 'the idea is that everything stays the same' , i.e., no change. Sadly for the UK, the EU will not allow that to happen. In all probability, another vote will indeed be called. Otherwise, it's going to be a disaster for an already divided UK for many, many years to come!Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:48:27 PM | 65
The main problem with Brexit is that it is so complex that neither the officials who were set the task of drafting it knew little more than the Ministers themselves! NOBODY knew what the fuck to do! And they still don't!
There is every chance a Vote of No Confidence is going to be called on May's government and she will finally fall, as she must as she is the most inept PM there has probably ever been!@63 DanielDaniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:54:28 PM | 66
No, the Tories will still stay in power. A General Election would have to be called and I cannot see May's successor being that brave. Or stupid!What do the City of London, the Vatican and Washington DC have in common? Actually, Jerusalem shares many of the same traits. Bonus points for the most creative euphemism for "usurious bank."Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 10:20:56 PM | 67
Are terms such as "The Five Eyes" and "The AZ Empire" 'trumped' by all this nationalistic furor?
From my perspective, Nation-States have not been the loci of power for some time (if they ever really were). The US, with its awesome military might and (former) industrial capabilities has served as the enforcement arm of that usurious supra-national cabal throughout "the American Century."
But really, does anyone here really believe that a New York City conman or the latest British "mophead" is more powerful than the dynastic power of the Rothschilds, Warburgs or Morgans... or even the nouveau riche like the Rockefellers or Carnegies?
These are dynasties so wealthy and powerful that they don't even appear on Forbes lists of "The Richest" and no one dare mention their names when plotting the next global conflagration.Since David Cameron used Jimmy Cliff's " You Can Get It If You Really Want " for his campaign, Afshin Rattansi's interview with that truly revolutionary artist is not so off topic. And it's well worth 12 minutes to enter a worldview we Westerners rarely live.imo , Jul 9, 2018 10:28:10 PM | 68
I and I say "Ja Mon!"
OK. I can't post Jimmy without " The Harder They Come, " especially as that seems to be the root of most of the comments here.@33 -- "...and Western Australia were separate British colonies that all began as penal settlement."Kalen , Jul 9, 2018 11:49:40 PM | 69
Not entirely correct. Western Australia started as a capitalist investment venture (c. 1828) but suffered chronic labor shortages as slavery was closed down (c. 1833). The colony then resorted to convict imports for a time. Much of the myth about 'criminal' can be re-framed as political prisoners such as the Welsh Chartists (see Chartism in Wales).One can only be confused if one ignores public and secret reasons while Cameron threatened Brexit vote already in 2015 and went through it in 2016. Officially it was about antiterrorism, security and hence controlling immigration flagship of Tory political campaign that brought them overwhelming electoral win as well as some noises that EU rules and laws stifle economic development and the British lose more in EU payments than they gain.Penelope , Jul 10, 2018 12:35:31 AM | 70
Obtainimg strong mandate Cameron went to Brussels to supposedly negotiate better deal with EU ESPECIALLY for security while in fact he went there trying to bully the shape future EU integration especially in political realm and even more in realm of banking Union and integration and coordination of banking rules, laws and unified controlling authorities, via threatening Brexit which would be a deadly blow to EU propaganda glue that holds together this melting pot of divided as never before nations and never since medieval times united national elites integrated in EU ruling bureaucracy.
What Cameron was scared of as far as direction of future of EU?
First it was devastating impact of further EU integration on UK banking as London has become legal under U.K. law illegal in EU, money laundering capital of the world and criminal income is huge part of the revenue of the City , US is second.
And second point is future of British monarchy which further integration of EU into superstate would require to be abandoned in UK as elsewhere as states were to loose all even symbolic sovereignty and turn into regions and provinces as in Roman Empire . Needles to say that UK still powerful landed aristocracy want nothing of that sort.
Hence Cameron went to Brussels make special deal for UK and was essentially, with some meaningless cosmetic changes, rebuked into binary decision in EU or out of it no special deal and hence he escalated with calling Brexit vote as a negotiating tool only to increase political pressure to rig elections toward remain if deal reached . In fact as latest scandal revealed results of exit polls were released to stock market betting hedge funds just minutes before polls were closed concluding guess what, that remain campaign won while electoral data in hours showed Brexiters wining simply because to the last moment before closing polls they expected EU to cave in, they did not so they continued pressure by closing openly pro Brexit win.
The pressure continues now while Cameron had to pay political price as he openly advocated staying in EU under phony deal even Tory did not buy, and hence this seeming chaos now fooling people that there is other way but hard Brexit to keep monarchy sovereignty and profits from global money laundering or surrender and humiliation degradation U.K. into EU colony as BJ just said.
Of course which way it goes ordinary Brits will pay but also big crack will widen in EU as national movements will have impact of shattering dreams of quit ascending to EU superstate.At the passage of Brexit I believed the purpose to be to allow the City of London (the bankers) unlimited financial freedom, perhaps especially in their entering into agreements with the Chinese. This could not be the case under the original EU rules. It will be interesting to see how this works out.ben , Jul 10, 2018 1:02:19 AM | 71
The Chinese, as they are intended to be the regional governor of Asia under the evolving global governance are key to the entire tyrannical plan. The AGW hoax, paid for by Western oligarchs, is the public relations for the UN's Agenda 21, currently being enforced at the local level in many parts of the US.
The Chinese oligarchs are so delighted with its tyrannical land-use provisions that they are actually calling their projects "China's Agenda 21". You may search for it.
http://osnetdaily.com/2014/03/agenda-21-rockefeller-builds-human-settlement-zones-in-connecticut/ Exc introductory summary.
Corbett Report interview of Rosa Koire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7T7ulzNG7o@ 62: Thanks for the Pilger article, a good read. There are many today, who would return us all to those days.Herman J Kweeblefezer , Jul 10, 2018 1:05:09 AM | 72The reality of the brexit which the Tory government is determined to raiload through has been designed by elites to better oppress the hoi polloi and to sell it to the masses it has been marketed as a means of restoring 'white power'. Bevin & co can whine on about the injustices of the eu for as long as their theoretical view of the world sustains them, but the brexit which will be delivered is based on 'pragmatic realism' developed by a really nasty gang of avaricious lying c**tfaces and will create a society far more unjust, divided and impoverished than the one that currently exists.Al-Pol , Jul 10, 2018 1:54:09 AM | 73
That is really saying something because the current version of the UK is one of the sickest, greed is good and devil take the hindmost societies I have ever experienced -- up there with contemporary israel and the US, 1980's South Africa and by the sound of it (didn't experience it firsthand like the other examples, all down to not existing at the time) 1940's Germany.
Jezza was great in the house last night but he didn't call for an immediate general election which would be pretty much SOP for any opposition facing as tattered a government (Seven cabinet 'resignations') as bereft of ideas as the Maybot machine.
The reason he didn't - couldn't in fact, is that the UK left is as divided and dug into their positions as that tory bunch of bastards. Far too many opposition politicians insist that a 'deal' on brexit comes first ahead of sorting out poverty and homelessness, woeful education outcomes (unless you believe wildly juked stats) and the horror show that has been created by three decades of relentless attacks on the health service.
We see it here from the brexiters so convinced of the rightness of their cause they ignore the institutionalised racism that will certainly follow a tory brexit. Or the remoaners who also ignore the unsavory aspects of eu policy to try and render the labour left impotent. Those latter types simply don't give a damn about anything which flows from this debate and division other than killing momentum, they consider even losing the next 5 elections to tories an agreeable sacrifice for ridding the party of Corbyn and co.
Corbyn has recognized the destructive divisiveness of Brexit and tries to ignore it because he holds with fixing the mess so many people are in as being much more important than theoretical arguments which will change nothing for the better regardless of impassioned exhortations by ninnies on both sides of the argument.
The thing which really pisses me off about the lefty brexiters, is that they behave as if it is a now or never situation, when it is anything but. There is nothing to prevent a more united Labour Party who have got their mandate by actually delivering a better life for people rather than irrelevant concepts, returning to sorting out the UK's position in the EU at a later date, ideally at a time when the EU's intransigent support for corporate welfare has run bang smack into a leftist UK Labour government's determination to restore public ownership of natural monopolies (rail, water, power, mail delivery etc).
The lefty brexiters claim the lefty remainers won't allow it, while the lefty remainers claim it is the lefty brexiters clogging the works. In fact it is both gangs of selfish egotistical assholes.NotBob @ 35.Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 3:31:38 AM | 75
The EU Constitution never happened. The Lisbon Treaty came along a couple of years later and this time round the Irish people voted against it. It got amended and the Irish people accepted it. The French and Dutch (and every other EU) country chose not to "ask the people" and left the decision to the peoples' chosen represtentatives.
The Irish Constitution has a bit in it making it necessary to ask the people before any changes can be made to that Constitution, so every time the EU adds some bits to the EU Treaty that require the Irish to change their own Constitution there's trouble, as those 3 million or so Irish people have the power to scupper anything and everything for the other 500 million EU citizens. Holding a national referendum to make decisions affecting the entire Union doesn't seem to be either fair or democratic. A single EU-wide referendum could be held when there's a major change to the Treaties.imo 68Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:24:50 AM | 76
Political correctness is a social disease very similar to syphilis - it fucks with the brain. You really should take precautions if socializing in those circles. Precautionary measures are available at all chemists and most public toilets.Correction to my post @75Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:50:46 AM | 77
Should have read - Political/ideological correctness is....I click on MoA now and see a pic of Boris the clown hanging from a rope. If the Brits were smart, they would connect that rope to a weather balloon and allow Boris to ascend to the stratosphere and cruise the jet stream.paul , Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79The EU is first and foremost a massive attack on democracy. At the same time it attempts to establish technocracy as the mode of government of the future. But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU...somebody , Jul 10, 2018 5:24:13 AM | 80Posted by: paul | Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 5:32:30 AM | 81
"Democracy" only being possible locally? Numbers I posted on another thread:
Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - population of 3 Billion+
- EU Members - population of 500 million.
- United States - population of 326 million
- GDP of United States - 18.57 trillion USD
- GDP of European Union - 17.1 trillion USD
- GDP China, India, Russia combined (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) -
- close to 15 trillion
You think EU countries have got a competitive chance if on their own? Or - democracy in Switzerland enables them to decide on their relations with the outside world? Like not being part of the "single market" - they are -including free movement of people - yes you can live and work in Switzerland if you are a EU citizen.
But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU
Maybe because it is a stupid idea?Brexit is nether the problem or the solution, it was just another distraction to keep the mass occupied, whilst they assist stripped the uk and a large part of the world! The people we are scared to mention are the true people killing and oppressing us. I thank Daniel@66 for naming them ! Rothchild family ect ect I would add the Rothermere family and Murdoch ! Politics are debated, but history is made on the streets. We need to regain our sense of moral outrage (where did that go ?) there are 70 million displaced people in the world ! It could be. You or I next !ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:33:44 AM | 82Peter AU 1 @75Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 5:37:18 AM | 83
I don't read imo@68 as politically/ideologically correct but as a statement of fact. As far as I can see, imo didn't deserve your response.ADKCADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:46:23 AM | 84
Well that's tough shit isn't it.Peter AU 1 @83Jen , Jul 10, 2018 5:56:25 AM | 85
Ignoring imo's 'feelings' what is wrong/objectionable about his posting @68?Peter AU 1 @ 83: I agree with ADKC and IMO. There were convicts transported to the Australian colonies whose crimes can be considered political crimes. The Tolpuddle Martyrs who came to the Sydney colony in the 1830s are one example: they were transported for the crime of demanding an extension of voting rights to all men, among other demands. Such convicts were a small minority though.Alan , Jul 10, 2018 6:37:23 AM | 88@bsomebody , Jul 10, 2018 6:41:49 AM | 89
Boris Johnson is no clown. You should look beyond the (carefully crafted) popular image and see the dangerous fascist lurking in plain sight.Posted by: Pft | Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:23:05 AM | 90
As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs.
"The demonization of Muslim immigration to the EU ...." - fixed it for you.
The stuff about leaving fewer euros for social programmes is propaganda. Social programmes are designed to force people to work - they are pegged below the minimum wage.
In the case of Germany costs for refugees were accounted to the 0.7 percent of GDP Germany is supposed to spend for development aid by the UN, thereby effectively developing Germany instead.Alan @ 88Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:49:20 AM | 92
I am in total agreement with you on your comment regarding Boris Johnson ! His childish buffoonery, is a commen system / tactic of a psychopath . It hides a callous disregard for human life , wins gullible friends which the psychopath manipulates to exploit there power and influence! They are very good at scheming there own self interested plan. But (and here's the crunch ) are totally useless at for seeing the consequences of there actions . And no regard for the victim of there actions!!! Do we want that in charge of the nuclear button ?Google ---Boris Johnson grenfail towerADKC , Jul 10, 2018 8:19:01 AM | 97Somebody @65Stubbs , Jul 10, 2018 8:22:30 AM | 98
There is nothing wrong/inconsistent with the idea of an interconnected world of sovereign (independent) states. The idea that a treaty or a trade agreement means that a state is no-longer independent is ridiculous. As ridiculous as believing that an individual who purchases a pack of polo mints is no longer free because of the need of a local shop and a manufacturer.
You are basically pushing the idea that there should be no nation states, no borders and all trade free and therefore no need for treaties. From this comes no regulation, a poisoned environment, uncontrolled and rapacious capitalism, no rights for people, no benefits, no protection, just work til' you die and polished off sharpish if you are no longer productive.
I don't object to an EU as a grouping of independent states acting collectively. I do object to an EU that erodes and undermines the nation state, that seeks to remove state leaders and interfere in state elections/policies. The EU that we have is the latter and there is no practical way to reform it to the former.@ B. You have too high an opinion of the competence of the main political figures in the UK Governing Party.Willy2 , Jul 10, 2018 8:28:30 AM | 99
Boris Johnson has never been a serious contender for PM. He's good at giving a rousing speech to the Party faithful but that's it. The blue rinses enjoy the titillation of his infidelities but they don't want someone so amoral coming anywhere near their daughters, or representing their principles.
You knew Theresa May had no judgment the first day of her premiership, when she made BoJo her Foreign Secretary. A selection that could kindly be described as risible. He indicated no suitability for the role before his appointment nor has since. Quite the opposite. It was at that decision you knew all was hopeless. Brexit was going to be hopeless. Everything she was going to be involved in was hopeless.
And so it has proved.
The vox pop that I encounter ..... the Remainers are reconciled to Brexit and just want to get on with it. The Brexiteers are sick to death with hearing about it but not seeing anything done. Everyone had made their minds up before the election in 2015. The Referendum campaign was a few weeks of premium entertainment watching the most reviled political figures in the land trying to tear each others' throats out.
Every brexiteer I've asked why they voted for out, begins by saying "For once they had to listen to us" and that's usually followed by "there's too many people here" or "it's the E.Europeans". (My response to the europhiles is that you knew the EU was finished a dozen years ago, when all the Big Issue sellers turned into Romanian women.) UK cities are thick with destitute E.Europeans.
There's a huge disconnect between Parliament (+ media) and the people. A further example of this is the official narrative on the Salisbury poisonings. Ask people in the street and they say "yeah, it was Vlad with the doorknob" and then they crease up laughing. The Govt has no credibility with its "only plausible explanation".
My prediction, since the day BoJo was appointed minister for the exterior, is that the situation is so catastrophic the EU will have to lead us by the hand through the process of brexit. The EU's priority will be the stability of the Euro. They won't want us beggared on their doorstep and as they export 15% of their stuff to us they'll want to keep on doing that. We'll have to have what we're given and be grateful.
The political situation in the UK is so far beyond surreal that a man dragging a piano with a dead horse on it would appear mundane.- It doesn't matter who the prime minister is. The UK has already adopted A LOT OF EU regulations/laws and that will make it nearly impossible to perform a "Hard Brexit". The UK still exports A LOT OF stuff to the Eurozone and then it simply has to follow EU regulations, no matter what the opinion of the government is. In that regard, the current EU regulation simply provides a good framework, even for the UK. No matter what one Mrs. May or Mr. Johnson.
- As time goes by the UK can change parts of the EU regulations to what the UK thinks those regulations should be.
- And do I think that Mrs. May and her ministers have drawn that same conclusion.
Jul 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
"We Are Headed For The Status Of A Colony": Boris Johnson's Full Resignation Letter
by Tyler Durden Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:01 89 SHARES
The much anticipated resignation letter penned by the former UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has been released, and in as expected, he does not mince his words in unleashing a brutal attack on Thersa May, warning that "we have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system ."
He then adds that while "Brexit should be about opportunity and hope" and "a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy", he warns that the " dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt. "
He then compares May's proposal to a submission even before it has been received by the EU, noting that "what is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer . It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them."
And his punchline: the UK is headed for the status of a colony:
In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement
Explaining his decision to resing, he then says that "we must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go."
It remains to be seen if his passionate defense of Brexit will stir enough MPs to indicate they are willing to back a vote of no confidence, and overthrow Theresa May in what would be effectively a coup, resulting in new elections and chaos for the Brexit process going forward.
Meanwhile, as Bloomberg adds, the fact that Boris Johnson, or those around him, made sure his resignation statement came out in time for the evening news - before it was formally issued in the traditional way by May's office, hints at his continued interest in leading the Conservative Party.
His full letter is below (highlights ours):
It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.
They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.
Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.
That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.
We have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.
It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws. Indeed we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts. We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.
So at the previous Chequers session we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from EU rules. But even that now seems to have been taken off the table, and there is in fact no easy UK right of initiative. Yet if Brexit is to mean anything, it must surely give Ministers and Parliament the chance to do things differently to protect the public. If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists -- when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government -- then I don't see how that country can truly be called independent.
Conversely, the British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health -- and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.
In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement.
It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.
What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday's document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.
On Friday I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail, and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward. As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.
We must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.
I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary in your Government. As I step down, I would like first to thank the patient officers of the Metropolitan Police who have looked after me and my family, at times in demanding circumstances.
I am proud too of the extraordinary men and women of our diplomatic service. Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals. They have organised a highly successful Commonwealth summit and secured record international support for this Government's campaign for 12 years of quality education for every girl, and much more besides. As I leave office, the FCO now has the largest and by far the most effective diplomatic network of any country in Europe -- a continent which we will never leave.
Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com
The fact that the US is facing a profound crisis, possibly the worst one in its history, is accepted by most observers, except maybe the most delusional ones. Most Americans definitely know that. In fact, if there is one thing upon which both those who supported Trump and those who hate him with a passion can agree on, it would be that his election is a clear proof of a profound crisis (I would argue that the election of Obama before also had, as one of its main causes, the very same systemic crisis). When speaking of this crisis, most people will mention the deindustrialization, the drop in real income, the lack of well-paid jobs, healthcare, crime, immigration, pollution, education, and a myriad of other contributing factors. But of all the aspects of the "American dream", the single most resilient one has been the myth of the US military as "the finest fighting force in history".
anonymous  Disclaimer , July 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm GMT
For Americans warfare is killing the other guy in his own country, preferably from afar or above, while making a ton of money in the process.
This is why I don't think there'll be any head-on clash between the US and Russia. It would violate the above principle. American wars are ones of predation, attacking weaker countries when the opportunity presents itself. It's a form of banditry, roving the world in search of the next victim. Parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America are all weak and subject to US whims. That there's a huge mythology attached to US military prowess is just part of the brainwashing that goes on. It's been a winning formula for the US which has avoided the massive casualty rates suffered by other countries. There's always the risk of miscalculation of course but US politics is mostly show biz so it's hard to assess what part of it's warhawk talk is real and what's showboating.
Jul 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Europe Isolates China Trade Cheat Posted on July 7, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. I'm faithfully replicating the MacroBusiness headline as an indicator of unhappiness in some circles in Australia about the degree to which the government has opened the floodgates since I was there to investment from China, particularly in real estate. When I lived in Sydney in 2002 to 2004, property struck me as awfully fully priced by global standards, and it's been on a moon shot trajectory since then, in part due to Australia also liberalizing immigration. When I was there, the intent of policy was to have immigration in certain skilled categories, and then with an eye to maintaining population levels, not goosing them. Since then, the population in Australia has grown from 20 million to over 24 million.
But in addition, even though imposing tariffs on cars and car parts would hurt quite a few US employers, it would also hurt European multinationals (many of whom happen to be US employers), to the degree that they've pushed the European officialdom to see if they can cut a deal with Trump. If that happens, Trump gets a win he can brandish for the midterms and the tariff brinksmanship presumably eases off a bit, potentially a lot.
By David Llewellyn-Smith, founding publisher and former editor-in-chief of The Diplomat magazine, now the Asia Pacific's leading geo-politics website. Cross posted from MacroBusiness
Recall that China has tried to play Europe for the chump, via Reuters :
China is putting pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against President Donald Trump's trade policies at a summit later this month but is facing resistance, European officials said.
In meetings in Brussels, Berlin and Beijing, senior Chinese officials, including Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, have proposed an alliance between the two economic powers and offered to open more of the Chinese market in a gesture of goodwill.
One proposal has been for China and the European Union to launch joint action against the United States at the World Trade Organization.
But the European Union, the world's largest trading bloc, has rejected the idea of allying with Beijing against Washington, five EU officials and diplomats told Reuters, ahead of a Sino-European summit in Beijing on July 16-17.
Instead, the summit is expected to produce a modest communique, which affirms the commitment of both sides to the multilateral trading system and promises to set up a working group on modernizing the WTO, EU officials said.
"China wants the European Union to stand with Beijing against Washington, to take sides," said one European diplomat. "We won't do it and we have told them that."
Despite Trump's tariffs on European metals exports and threats to hit the EU's automobile industry, Brussels shares Washington's concern about China's closed markets and what Western governments say is Beijing's manipulation of trade to dominate global markets.
"We agree with almost all the complaints the U.S. has against China, it's just we don't agree with how the United States is handling it," another diplomat said.
But it's China that looking more isolated today, via Quartz :
The US may have been accused by China of "opening fire on the world" with its punitive trade tariffs, but it looks like officials may be making more progress in Europe's largest economy Germany.
Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, has caused quite a stir since he arrived in Berlin in May, lecturing German companies to stop trading with Iran, and saying he planned to "empower" anti-establishment conservatives in Europe. However, with the threat of punitive US tariffs on its cars looming, Grenell certainly has the attention of Germany's powerful car bosses.
German business daily Handelsblatt reports (link in German) that Grenell met Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, BMW CEO Harald Krüger, and VW CEO Herbert Diess on Wednesday evening to discuss both sides abolishing all tariffs on each others car imports. Right now, the European Union adds a 10% tax on imported US cars, and the US puts 2.5% on EU car imports, and is threatening to ramp that up to 25%. As part of the deal, president Donald Trump would reportedly want German carmakers to invest more in the US.
Last night's meeting was not the first time the carmakers and Grenell have talked about abolishing two-way tariffs. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported on June 20 that the ambassador had been meeting with all Germany's most important car companies, and that they were already behind the idea.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is worried about the damage a car trade war could do to one of Germany's core industries. "We now have tariffs on aluminum and steel and we have a discussion that is far more serious," she told parliament, referring to auto tariffs. "It's worth every effort to try to defuse this conflict so it doesn't turn into a war."
More from Yahoo :
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday she would back opening talks with trading partners on lowering automobile tariffs, in what appeared to be an olive branch to US President Donald Trump as the EU battles to dissuade him from imposing hefty levies on European cars.
But Merkel said that any negotiations on lowering tariffs in one area could only be conducted with "all the countries with which we have trade in cars," rather than just with the United States.
A deal with the US alone "would not conform with WTO" rules, she said.
"We can either have negotiations about a wide range of tariffs, for 90 percent of goods," Merkel said in a reference to the stalled talks for a transatlantic free-trade deal known as TTIP.
"Or we can talk about one type of goods, but then we must accord the same treatment to all trading partners of the world. That's an option I could imagine," she added.
Interestingly, Nomura sees it all as deflationary:
US pursuit of beggar thy neighbor policies: is it leading to a whole new world for global automakers?
Automakers have set up an intricate web of suppliers and assembly plants globally to leverage the benefits of trade agreements, while keeping FX risks at acceptable levels. The pursuit of beggar thy neighbour policies by a large, connected, and heretofore open Now 3 mths 12 mths US Europe Japan Korea Brazil Russia India China Thailand Indonesia Nomura | Global Autos Outlook 4 June 2018 4 economy such as the US threatens to upend this structure.
In this edition of the Global Autos Outlook, we therefore look at trade-related challenges (and opportunities) facing global automakers, possible strategies they could adopt to cope, and potential winners and losers over the near-to-medium term. Risk of "No NAFTA" has risen, although our base case remains NAFTA 2.0 Trump's openly protectionist policies have increased the risk of a "No NAFTA" outcome, although our base case still remains that NAFTA will be renegotiated.
Nearly 25 years of NAFTA have integrated the North American auto industry very tightly. If NAFTA is dissolved, it will impact all automakers operating in North America. In particular, we think GM and FCA could be hit the hardest (higher import tariffs cut 40% of GM's FY2018E EBIT, 23% of that for FCA). In our opinion, it increasingly appears that the US President's decision-making is centered on autoworkers, even if that is to the detriment of the automakers. Thus, US automakers getting hurt might not hold back Trump from making such a move.
Auto industry staring at global excess capacity, no matter what the outcome of the Section 232 drama
The US Department of Commerce has started a Section 232 investigation into US imports of autos and auto parts. Under the worst case scenario, this may result in broadbased import tariffs slapped on US automotive imports after the investigation concludes and reports back to the President in several months. US imports of new passenger vehicles and auto parts totaled $333bn in 2017. Import duties on such a large volume of goods would be highly disruptive and impact all the major car exporting countries/regions such as Mexico, Canada, Japan, the EU, and South Korea.
While we think that the threat of tariffs is largely Trump's negotiation tactic to get a better NAFTA deal, we caution investors to pay attention, as the tail risk (of import tariffs materializing) is not negligible. Furthermore, no matter whether new auto tariffs are imposed or not, global carmakers, irrespective of nationality, are feeling pressured to build plants and increase employment in the US. This is likely to lead to increased capacity in the US, where car demand is no longer growing.
On the other hand, non-US carmakers are unlikely to cut capacity at home or elsewhere, leading to excess capacity globally. This will impact most markets except for relatively closed ones such as China, India, and Southeast Asia, due to their existing high import tariffs. For global automakers, we therefore see a binary outcome from a growing list of protectionist measures being deployed by the US. Neither outcome is good news, with automakers staring at excess global capacity in either case:
If Section 232 tariffs are imposed, it (largely) cuts off imports into the domestic US market. However, that would mean that there is excess capacity outside the US, as existing foreign plants supplying to the US (7.88mn/$192bn new PVs, 8.2% of global volume, and $141bn auto parts in 2017) have to find markets elsewhere.
If new tariffs are not imposed, we still have additional capacity coming up in the US as automakers are goaded into doing so to avoid political pressure. This also leads to a global supply-demand imbalance in the auto industry.
Silver linings: China's import tariff cut, forthcoming JEEPA
Although US protectionism is a real threat, we see a couple of silver linings. China announced an import tariff cut for autos, from 25% currently to 15% beginning 1st July 2018. The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) was agreed upon last December and is likely to become effective in spring 2019, benefiting Japanese car exporters. One of the biggest beneficiaries from both China and the EU's tariff cuts would be Toyota Motor.
Full report here .
EMHO , July 7, 2018 at 2:35 amJim Haygood , July 7, 2018 at 3:02 am
"US lure carmakers with tariff offer – but the proposal is illegal"
That's the title in WirtschaftsWoche. A premier german language trade and economics magazine. It had an interview(in German) with Ewald Pum attorney at internal law firm Wirtschaftskanzlei Rödl & Partner.
He states that what Ambassador Grenell proposed is illegal under international WTO law, and the EU could therefore not support it. Also, the EU had historically supported rules based free trade, and this could only be accomplished via an bilateral trade deal in goods, what he called TTIP on a diet.
Here is the article(in German):
https://www.wiwo.de/politik/ausland/wirtschaftsanwalt-erklaert-usa-locken-autobauer-mit-zollangebot-doch-der-vorschlag-ist-rechtswidrig/22771780.htmlThe Rev Kev , July 7, 2018 at 4:19 am
' Nomura sees it all as deflationary: the pursuit of beggar thy neighbour policies by a large, connected, and heretofore open economy such as the US threatens to upend this structure. '
So does UK-based Russell Napier, who sees the US obsession with shrinking its trade deficit provoking a seismic shift in China:
Investors need to prepare for a formal widening of the trading bands for the RMB relative to its basket and the problems such a move will create for all emerging markets. That first move in the RMB is inherently deflationary. This is no counter-punch in a trade war; it is the beginning of the creation of a new global monetary system.
The ability of China to extend the cycle has come to an end as its current account surplus has all but evaporated. It has also come to an end because Jay Powell has warned China, and other emerging markets, that he will not alter the course of US monetary policy to assist with any credit disturbances outside his own jurisdiction.
Who can run the current account deficits necessary to make their currency an attractive anchor for smaller countries seeking to run current account surpluses?
It seems well nigh impossible to believe, following almost 40 years of mercantilism, that China would opt to become a country running large current account deficits. Such a change in mindset may seem revolutionary, but it is just another necessary shift in the long game in the attempt to make China the pre-eminent global economy.
The initial shift to a more flexible Chinese exchange rate is deflationary and dangerous. The USD selling price of Chinese exports will likely fall, putting pressure on all those who compete with China – EMs [Emerging Markets] but also Japan. The USD will rise, putting pressure on all those, particularly EMs, who have borrowed USD without having USD cash flows to service those debts. With world debt-to-GDP at a record high, such a major deflationary dislocation can easily trigger another credit crisis.
Following the great dislocation, China will be free to reflate the world.
' Free to reflate the world ' much as the US did post-WW II with its Great Inflation that flooded the world with dollars.
But getting from here to there is the tricky bit. As Napier insists, a deflationary ditch lies between. Combine Llewellyn-Smith's comments on the auto industry's overcapacity and supply-chain disruption with a deflationary break in the global economy, and you've got the recipe for a nasty little crisis and perhaps a second bankruptcy in GM, whose long-term debt is rising rapidly.
Flake-o-nomics may be creative destruction, but folks are not going to like the interim results. The purblind Hoover-Trump will be blamed, rightly.Damson , July 7, 2018 at 5:52 am
This whole tariff fight really seems to be about derailing China's plans to be a world leader with its 'Made in China 2025' plan. Maybe Trump and his advisers reckon that if this fight is not carried to the Chinese soon, then it will be too late. Europe, though under attack by Trump, is also seeing the dangers where the EU will be eclipsed by a single country.
It may be that Europe is giving Trump a message that if he plays nice with Europe's tariffs, then the EU will cooperate with the US against China. I hope that the calculation is not to push China into financial chaos as serving Europe's and Trump's interests. Supply chains are far too meshed to make that a good option and I can easily see a recession in the making which will hit the world hard.
China may have a long term advantage in that it has invested in infrastructure, transport, education and training whereas the west has been devaluing these things due to neoliberal policies for decades now. They may start pulling their money back which will hit places like Australia, Canada and the US hard as to my eye Chinese money keeps things like property values high in those places. We'll find out soon enough.Thuto , July 7, 2018 at 8:51 am
I've been following CGTN on the tariff war, and it looks like China is going to go the 'proportional reciprocity' route, just as Russia has with sanctions.
The latter has benefited from sanctions, while Europe has lost billions in trade.
As for the 'five EU officials' – all anonymous – cited in Reuters' report, I would take their statements with a large dose of salt.
EU is in ferment, and Merkel is not doing well in the polls.
There is strong anti-US sentiment in Germany, albeit not reported in the media. A combination of Trump's policies and the perpetual wars – now implicated in the greatest mass migrantion crisis since WWII – has led to a disenchantment with US.
Then there is OBOR, with various interest groups – particularly in European industry – beginning to look East rather than West.
Thus there is no real unified resolve at EU level to warrant such claims.
Dedollarization is continuing apace too, and new alliances are emerging like the SCO and the reported deals between the major oil producing countries like Russia and Saudi.
China plays a much longer game than the US, so it is hard to estimate what the consequence will be within the short – tern assessment models used by the Western powers.Jim Haygood , July 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm
I've gotten into the habit of rolling my eyes whenever an establishment media outlet quotes "anonymous sources". Looking at the prospects in the global automotive sector, surely the smart money is on the east (and other emerging markets) being where the long term growth is going to emerge, so why the EU would bet on a jockey riding a horse that's falling behind the pace would be rather difficult to fathom. One assumes that CEOs of the big three German automakers play as long a game as anyone, so being brow beaten into an anti-china stance by a US ambassador would be incredibly shortsighted, to say nothing of raising investor ireSusan the other , July 7, 2018 at 10:28 am
Captains of the German auto industry kowtowing to US ambassador Grenell make a remarkable scene, not unlike the Chinese capitulating to the British and handing over Hong Kong in the opium wars.
But Germany is an occupied and humbled nation, with tens of thousands of US troops garrisoned on its soil for three generations now. And Grenell, a product of the John F Kennedy School of Gubmint at Hahhhhhvid, was born to rule.
It's good to be
*summons his liveried steward to fetch oysters and mimosas for brunch*Ignacio , July 7, 2018 at 11:01 am
I agree that this is looking like creative destruction -- but more like intentional creative destruction. Bringing down the dinosaur auto industry – now that's definitely a step in the right direction, imo. So it's curious that Trump has such a strategic focus, no? And he just started Space Force.
So clearly that is where the technology is. I do not agree that this is hyper-nationalism (that's just the cover) and it seems absurd for anyone to suggest that Trump is actually doing anything to benefit domestic auto workers he's just not that dumb. And of course Merkel is in a tizzy. She's going to do everything she can to soften the impact of the inevitable.ChrisAtRU , July 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm
So, is the EU, particularly Germany, accusing China for market manipulation? The hypocritie game is in gaining track.
Ha! As discussed and promised 'round the table at D4 last night ;-) #ChicagoNCMeetup
Thanks again Yves!
Part of me wants to believe that the capitalist nations were always destined to circle the wagons against communist China, despite all the hand wringing about Trump. The political aspect of this is more interesting to me at the moment. Given all we know about the loyalty Trump still enjoys from those who put him in office, a yuge trade "win" this year will play to the theme of tempered expectations of a "Blue Wave".
Jul 04, 2018 | www.henryckliu.com
The Coming Trade War and Global Depression
Henry C.K. Liu
First appeared in Asia Times on Line on June 18 2005
Many historians have suggested that the 1929 stock market crash was not the cause of the Great Depression. If anything, the 1929 crash was the technical reflection of the inevitable fate of an overblown bubble economy. Yet, stock market crashes can recover within a relatively short time with the help of effective government monetary measures, as demonstrated by the crashes of 1987 (23% drop, recovered in 9 months), 1998 (36% drop, recovered in 3 months) and 2000-2 (37% drop, recovered in 2 months). Structurally, the real cause of the Great Depression, which lasted more than a decade, from 1929 till the beginning of the Second World War in 1941, was the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariffs that put world trade into a tailspin from which it did not recover until World War II began. While the US economy finally recovered from war mobilization after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1940, most of the world's market economies sunk deeper into war-torn distress and never fully recovered until the Korea War boom in 1951.Barely five years into the 21st century, with a globlaized neo-liberal trade regime firmly in place in a world where market economy has become the norm, trade protectionism appears to be fast re-emerging and developing into a new global trade war of complex dimensions. The irony is that this new trade war is being launched not by the poor economies that have been receiving the short end of the trade stick, but by the US which has been winning more than it has been losing on all counts from globalized neo-liberal trade, with the EU following suit in locked steps. Japan of course has never let up on protectionism and never taken competition policy seriously. The rich nations needs to recognize that in their effort to squeeze every last drop of advantage out of already unfair trade will only plunge the world into deep depression. History has shown that while the poor suffer more in economic depressions, the rich, even as they are fianancially cushioned by their wealth, are hurt by political repercussions in the form of either war or revolution or both.
During the Cold War, there was no international free trade. The economies of the two contending ideology blocks were completely disconnected. Within each block, economies interact through foreign aid and memorandum trade from their respective superpowers. The competition was not for profit but for the hearts and minds of the people in the two opposing blocks as well as those in the non-aligned nations in the Third World. The competition between the two superpowers was to give rather than to take from their separate fraternal economies.
The population of the superpowers worked hard to help the poorer people within their separate blocks and convergence toward equality was the policy aim even if not always the practice. The Cold War era of foreign aid and memorandum trade had a better record of poverty reduction in either camps than post-Cold War globalized neo-liberal trade dominated by one single superpower. The aim was not only to raise income and increase wealth, but also to close income and wealth disparity between and within economies. Today, income and wealth disparity is rationalized as a necessity for capital formation. The New York Time reports that from 1980 to 2002, the total income earned by the top 0.1% of earners in the US more than doubled, while the share earned by everyone else in the top 10% rose far less and the share of the bottom 90% declined.
For all its ill effects, the Cold War achieved two formidable ends: it prevented nuclear war and it introduced development as a moral imperative into superpower geo-political competition with rising economic equality within each block. In the years since the end of the Cold War, nuclear terrorism has emerged as a serious threat and domestic development is pre-empted by global trade even in the rich economies while income and wealth disparity has widened everywhere.
Since the end of the Cold War some fifteen years ago, world economic growth has shifted to rely exclusively on globalized neo-liberal trade engineered and led by the US as the sole remaining superpower, financed with the US dollar as the main reserve currency for trade and anchored by the huge US consumer market made possible by the high wages of US workers. This growth has been sustained by knocking down national tariffs everywhere around the world through supranational institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and financed by a deregulated foreign exchange market working in concert with a global central banking regime independent of local political pressure, lorded over by the supranational Bank of International Settlement (BIS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Redefining humanist morality, the US asserts that world trade is a moral imperative and as such trade promotes democracy, political freedom and respect for human rights in trade participating nations. Unfortunately, income and wealth equality are not among the benefits promoted by trade. Even if the validity of this twisted ideological assertion is not questioned, it clearly contradicts US practice of trade embargo against countries the US deems undemocratic, lacking in political freedom and deficient in respect for human rights. If trade promotes such desirable conditions, such practice of linking trade to freedom is tantamount to denying medicine to the sick.
President George W Bush defended his free trade agenda in moralistic terms. "Open trade is not just an economic opportunity, it is a moral imperative," he declared in a May 7, 2001 speech. "Trade creates jobs for the unemployed. When we negotiate for open markets, we're providing new hope for the world's poor. And when we promote open trade, we are promoting political freedom." Such claims remain highly controversial when tested by actual data.
Phyllis Schlafly, syndicated conservative columnist, responded three weeks later in an article: Free Trade is an Economic Issue, Not a Moral One . In it, she notes while conservatives should be happy to finally have a president who adds a moral dimension to his actions, "the Bible does not instruct us on free trade and it's not one of the Ten Commandments. Jesus did not tell us to follow Him along the road to free trade. Nor is there anything in the U.S. Constitution that requires us to support free trade and to abhor protectionism. In fact, protectionism was the economic system believed in and practiced by the framers of our Constitution. Protective tariffs were the principal source of revenue for our federal government from its beginning in 1789 until the passage of the 16th Amendment, which created the federal income tax, in 1913. Were all those public officials during those hundred-plus years remiss in not adhering to a "moral obligation" of free trade?" Hardly, argues Schlafly whose views are noteworthy because US politics is currently enmeshed in a struggle between strict-constructionist paleo-conservatives and moral-imperialist neo-conservatives. Despite the ascendance of neo-imperialism in US foreign policy, protectionism remains strong in US political culture, particularly among conservatives and in the labor movement.
Bush also said China, which reached a trade agreement with the US at the close of the Clinton administration, and became a member of the WTO in late 2001, would benefit from political changes as a result of liberalized trade policies. This pronouncement gives clear evidence to those in China who see foreign trade as part of an anti-China "peaceful evolution" strategy first envisioned by John Forster Dulles, US Secretary of State under Eisenhower in the 1950s. It is a strategy of inducing through peaceful trade the Communist Party of China (CPC) to reform itself out of power and to eliminate the dictatorship of the proletariat in favor of bourgeois liberalization. Almost four decades later, Deng Xiaoping criticized CPC Chairman Hu Yaobang and Premier Zhao Ziyang for having failed to contain bourgeois liberalization in their implementation of China's modernization policy. Deng warned in November 1989, five months after the Tiananmen incident: "The Western imperialist countries are staging a third world war without guns. They want to bring about the peaceful evolution of socialist countries towards capitalism." Deng's handling of the Tiananmen incident prevented China from going the catastrophic route of the USSR which dissolved in 1991.
Yet it is clear that political freedom is often the first casualty of a garrison state mentality and such mentality inevitably results from hostile US economic and security policy toward any country the US deems as not free. Whenever the US pronounces a nation to be not free, that nation will become less free as a result of US policy. This has been repeatedly evident in China and elsewhere in the Third World. Whenever US policy toward China turns hostile, as it currently appears to be heading, political and press freedom inevitably face stricter curbs. For trade to mutually and truly benefit the trading economies, three conditions are necessary: 1) the de-linking of trade from ideological/political objectives, 2) equality must be maintained in the terms of trade and 3) recognition that global full employment at rising, living wages is the prerequisite for true comparative advantage in global trade.
The developing rupture between the sole superpower and its traditionally deferential allies lies in mounting trade conflicts. The US has benefited from an international financial architecture that gives the US economy a structural monetary advantage over those of the EU and Japan, not to mention the rest of the world. Trade issues range from government subsidies disputes between Airbus and Boeing, banana, sugar, beef, oranges, steel, as well as disputes over fair competition associated with mergers and acquisition and financial services. If either government is found to be in breach of WTO rules when these disputes wind through long processes of judgment, the other will be authorized to retaliate. The US could put tariffs on other European goods if the WTO rules against Airbus and vice versa. So if both governments are found in breach, both could retaliate, leading to a cycle of offensive protectionism. When the US was ruled to have unfairly supported its steel industry, tariffs were slapped by the EU on Florida oranges to make a political point in a politically important state in US politics.
Trade competition between the EU and the US is spilling over into security areas, allowing economic interests to conflict with ideological sympathy. Both of these production engines, saddled with serious overcapacity, are desperately seeking new markets, which inevitably leads them to Asia in general and China in particular, with its phenomenal growth rate and its 1.2 billion eager consumers bulging with rapidly rising disposable income. The growth of the Chinese economy will lift all other economies in Asia, including Australia which has only recently begun to understand that its future cannot be separated from its geographic location and that its prosperity is interdependent with those of other Asian economies. Australian iron ores, beef and dairy products are destined for China, not the British Isles. The EU is eager to lift its 15-year-old arms embargo on China, much to the displeasure of the US. Israel faces similar dilemma in its close relations with the US on military sales to China. Even the US defense establishment has largely come around to the view that US arms industry must export, even to China, to remain on top. The Bangkok Post reported on June 7 that Rumsfeld tried to sell to Thailand F-16 warplanes capable of firing advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs) two days after he lashed out in Singapore at China for upgrading its own military when no neighboring nations are threatening it. The sales pitch was in competition with Russian-made Sukhoi SU-30s and Swedish JAS-39s. The open competition in arms export had been spelled out for Congress years earlier by Donald Hicks, a leading Pentagon technologist in the Reagan administration. "Globalization is not a policy option, but a fact to which policymakers must adapt," he said. "The emerging reality is that all nations' militaries are sharing essentially the same global commercial-defense industrial base." The boots and uniforms worn by US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq were made in China.
The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between its 148 member nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, known as the multilateral trading system, negotiated and signed by the majority of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The stated goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, with the dubious assumption that trade automatically brings equal benefits to all participants. The welfare of the people is viewed only as a collateral aim based on the doctrinal fantasy that "balanced" trade inevitably brings prosperity equally to all, a claim that has been contradicted by facts produced by the very terms of trade promoted by the WTO itself.
Two decades of neo-liberal globalized trade have widened income and wealth disparity within and between nations. Free trade has turned out not to be the win-win game promised by neo-liberals. It is very much a win-lose game, with heads, the rich economies win, and tails, the poor economies lose. Domestic development has been marginalized as a hapless victim of foreign trade, dependent on trade surplus for capital. Foreign trade and foreign investment have become the prerequisite engines for domestic development. This trade model condemns those economies with trade deficits to perpetual underdevelopment. Because of dollar hegemony, all foreign investment goes only to the export sector where dollars can be earned. Even the economies with trade surpluses cannot use their dollar trade earnings for domestic development, as they are forced to hold huge dollar reserves to support the exchange rate of their currencies.
In the fifth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Cancun in September 2003, the richer countries rejected the demands of poorer nations for radical reform of agricultural subsidies that have decimated Third World agriculture. Failure to get the Doha round back on track after the collapse of Cancun runs the danger of a global resurgence of protectionism, with the US leading the way. Larry Elliott reported on October 13, 2003 in The Guardian on the failed 2003 Cancun Ministerial meeting: "The language of globalization is all about democracy, free trade and sharing the benefits of technological advance. The reality is about rule by elites, mercantilism and selfishness." Elliot noted that the process is full of paradoxes: why is it that in a world where human capital is supposed to be the new wealth of nations, labor is treated with such contempt?
Sam Mpasu, Malawi's commerce and industry minister, asked at Cancun for his comments about the benefits of trade liberalization, replied dryly: "We have opened our economy. That's why we are flat on our back." Mpasu's comments summarize the wide chasm that divides the perspectives of those who write the rules of globalization and those who are powerless to resist them.
Exports of manufactures by low-wage developing countries have increased rapidly over the last 3 decades due in part to falling tariffs and declining transport costs that enable outsourcing based on wage arbitrage. It grew from 25% in 1965 to nearly 75% over three decades, while agriculture's share of developing country exports has fallen from 50% to under 10%. Many developing countries have gained relatively little from increased manufactures trade, with most of the profit going to foreign capital. Market access for their most competitive manufactured export, such as textile and apparel, remains highly restricted and recent trade disputes threaten further restrictions. Still, the key cause of unemployment in all developing economies is the trade-related collapse of agriculture, exacerbated by the massive government subsidies provided to farmers in rich economies. Many poor economies are predominantly agriculturally based and a collapse of agriculture means a general collapse of the whole economy.
The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations, sponsored by the WTO, collapsed in Cancun, Mexico over the question of government support for agriculture in rich economies and its potential impacts on causing more poverty in developing countries. The Doha negotiations since Cancun are focused on the need to better understand the linkages between trade policies, particularly those of the rich economies, and poverty in the developing world. While poverty reduction is now more widely accepted by establishment economists as a necessary central focus for development efforts and has become the main mission of the World Bank and other development institutions, very little effective measures have been forthcoming. The UN Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG) commits the international community to halve world poverty by 2015, a decade from now. With current trends, that goal is likely to be achievable only through death of half of the poor by starvation, disease and local conflicts. The UN Development Program warns that 3 million children will die in sub-Saharan Africa alone by 2015 if the world continues on its current path of failing to meet the UNMDG agreed to in 2000 . Several key venues to this goal are located in international trade where the record of poverty reduction has been exceedingly poor, if not outright negative. The fundamental question whether trade can replace or even augment socio-economic development remains unasked, let alone answered. Until such issues are earnestly addressed, protectionism will re-emerge in the poor countries. Under such conditions, if democracy expresses the will of the people, democracy will demand protectionism more than government by elite.
While tariffs in the past decade have been coming down like leaves in autumn, flexible exchange rates have become a form of virtual countervailing tariff. In the current globalized neo-liberal trade regime operating in a deregulated global foreign exchange market, the exchanged value of a currency is regularly used to balance trade through government intervention in currency market fluctuations against the world's main reserve currency – the dollar, as the head of the international monetary snake.
Purchasing power parity (PPP) measures the disconnection between exchange rates and local prices. PPP contrasts with the interest rate parity (IRP) theory which assumes that the actions of investors, whose transactions are recorded on the capital account, induces changes in the exchange rate. For a dollar investor to earn the same interest rate in a foreign economy with a PPP of four times, such as the purchasing power parity between the US dollar and the Chinese yuan, local wages would have to be at least 4 time lower than US wages.<>PPP theory is based on an extension and variation of the "law of one price" as applied to the aggregate economy. The law of one price says that identical goods should sell for the same price in two separate markets when there are no transportation costs and no differential taxes applied in the two markets. But the law of one price does not apply to the price of labor. Price arbitrage is the opposite of wage arbitrage in that producers seek to make their goods in the lowest wage locations and to sell their goods in the highest price markets. This is the incentive for outsourcing which never seeks to sell products locally at prices that reflect PPP differentials.
What is not generally noticed is that price deflation in an economy increases its PPP, in that the same local currency buys more. But the cross-border one price phenomenon applies only to certain products, such as oil, thus for a PPP of 4 times, a rise in oil prices will cost the Chinese economy 4 times the equivalent in other goods, or wages than in the US. The larger the purchasing power parity between a local currency and the dollar, the more severe is the tyranny of dollar hegemony on forcing down wage differentials.
Ever since 1971, when US president Richard Nixon, under pressure from persistent fiscal and trade deficits that drained US gold reserves, took the dollar off the gold standard (at $35 per ounce), the dollar has been a fiat currency of a country of little fiscal or monetary discipline. The Bretton Woods Conference at the end of World War II established the dollar, a solid currency backed by gold, as a benchmark currency for financing international trade, with all other currencies pegged to it at fixed rates that changed only infrequently. The fixed exchange rate regime was designed to keep trading nations honest and prevent them from running perpetual trade deficits. It was not expected to dictate the living standards of trading economies, which were measured by many other factors besides exchange rates.
Bretton Woods was conceived when conventional wisdom in international economics did not consider cross-border flow of funds necessary or desirable for financing world trade precise for this reason. Since 1971, the dollar has changed from a gold-back currency to a global reserve monetary instrument that the US, and only the US, can produce by fiat. At the same time, the US continued to incur both current account and fiscal deficits. That was the beginning of dollar hegemony.
With deregulation of foreign exchange and financial markets, many currencies began to free float against the dollar not in response to market forces but to maintain export competitiveness. Government interventions in foreign exchange markets became a regular last resort option for many trading economies for their preserving export competitiveness and for resisting the effect of dollar hegemony on domestic living standards.
World trade under dollar hegemony is a game in which the US produces paper dollars and the rest of the world produce real things that paper dollars can buy. The world's interlinked economies no longer trade to capture comparative advantage; they compete in exports to capture needed dollars to service dollar-denominated foreign debts and to accumulate dollar reserves to sustain the exchange value of their domestic currencies in foreign exchange markets. To prevent speculative and manipulative attacks on their currencies in deregulated markets, the world's central banks must acquire and hold dollar reserves in corresponding amounts to market pressure on their currencies in circulation. The higher the market pressure to devalue a particular currency, the more dollar reserves its central bank must hold. This creates a built-in support for a strong dollar that in turn forces all central banks to acquire and hold more dollar reserves, making it stronger. This anomalous phenomenon is known as dollar hegemony, which is created by the geopolitically constructed peculiarity that critical commodities, most notably oil, are denominated in dollars. Everyone accepts dollars because dollars can buy oil. The denomination of oil in dollars and the recycling of petro-dollars is the price the US has extracted from oil-producing countries for US tolerance of the oil-exporting cartel since 1973.
By definition, dollar reserves must be invested in dollar-denominated assets, creating a capital-accounts surplus for the US economy. A strong-dollar policy is in the US national interest because it keeps US inflation low through low-cost imports and it makes US assets denominated in dollars expensive for foreign investors. This arrangement, which Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan proudly calls US financial hegemony in congressional testimony, has kept the US economy booming in the face of recurrent financial crises in the rest of the world. It has distorted globalization into a "race to the bottom" process of exploiting the lowest labor costs and the highest environmental abuse worldwide to produce items and produce for export to US markets in a quest for the almighty dollar, which has not been backed by gold since 1971, nor by economic fundamentals for more than a decade. The adverse effects of this type of globalization on the developing economies are obvious. It robs them of the meager fruits of their exports and keeps their domestic economies starved for capital, as all surplus dollars must be reinvested in US treasuries to prevent the collapse of their own domestic currencies.
The adverse effect of this type of globalization on the US economy is also becoming clear. In order to act as consumer of last resort for the whole world, the US economy has been pushed into a debt bubble that thrives on conspicuous consumption and fraudulent accounting. The unsustainable and irrational rise of US equity and real estate prices, unsupported by revenue or profit, had merely been a de facto devaluation of the dollar. Ironically, the recent fall in US equity prices from its 2004 peak and the anticipated fall in real estate prices reflect a trend to an even stronger dollar, as it can buy more deflated shares and properties for the same amount of dollars. The rise in the purchasing power of the dollar inside the US impacts its purchasing power disparity with other currencies unevenly, causing sharp price instability in the economies with freely exchangeable currencies and fixed exchange rates, such as Hong Kong and until recently Argentina. For the US, falling exchange rate of the dollar actually causes asset prices to rise. Thus with a debt bubble in the US economy, a strong dollar is not in the US national interest. Debt has turned US policy on the dollar on its head.
The setting of exchange values of currencies is practiced not only by sovereign governments on their own currencies as a sovereign right. The US, exploiting dollar hegemony, usurps the privilege of dictating the exchange value of all foreign currencies to support its own economic nationalism in the name of global free trade. And US position on exchange rates has not been consistent. When the dollar was rising, as it did in the 1980s, the US, to protect its export trade, hailed the stabilizing wisdom of fixed exchange rates. When the dollar falls as it has been in recent years, the US, to deflect the blame of its trade deficit, attacks fixed exchange rates as currency manipulation, as it targets China's currency now which has been pegged to the dollar for over a decade, since the dollar was lower. How can a nation manipulate the exchange value of its currency when it is pegged to the dollar at the same rate over long periods? Any manipulation came from the dollar, not the yuan.
The recent rise of the euro against the dollar, the first appreciation wave since its introduction on January 1, 2002, is the result of an EU version of the 1985 Plaza Accord on the Japanese yen, albeit without a formal accord. The strategic purpose is more than merely moderating the US trade deficit. The record shows that even with the 30% drop of the dollar against the euro, the US trade deficit has continued to climb. The strategic purpose of driving up the euro is to reduce the euro to the status of the yen, as a subordinated currency to dollar hegemony. The real effect of the Plaza Accord was to shift the cost of support for the dollar-denominated US trade deficit, and the socio-economic pain associated with that support, from the US to Japan.
What is happening to the euro now is far from being the beginning of the demise of the dollar. Rather, it is the beginning of the reduction of the euro into a subservient currency to the dollar to support the US debt bubble. Six and a half years since the launch of European Monetary Union, the eurozone is trapped in an environment in which monetary policy of sound money has in effect become destructive and supply-side fiscal policy unsustainable. National economies are beginning to refuse to bear the pain needed for adjustment to globalization or the EU's ambitious enlargement. The European nations are beginning to resist the US strategy to make the euro economy a captive supporter of a rising or falling dollar as such movements fit the shifting needs of US economic nationalism.
It is the modern-day monetary equivalent of the brilliant Roman strategy of making a dissident Jew a Christian god, to pre-empt Judaism's rising cultural domination over Roman civilization. Roman law, the foundation of the Roman Empire, gained in sophistication from being influenced by if not directly derived from Jewish Talmudic law, particularly on the concept of equity - an eye for an eye. The Jews had devised a legal system based on the dignity of the individual and equality before the law four century before Christ. There was no written Roman law until two centuries B.C. The Roman law of obligatio was not conducive to finance as it held that all indebtedness was personal, without institutional status. A creditor could not sell a note of indebtedness to another party and a debtor did not have to pay anyone except the original creditor. Talmudic law, on the other hand, recognized impersonal credit and a debt had to be paid to whoever presented the demand note. This was a key development of modern finance. With the Talmud, the Jews under the Diaspora had an international law that spans three continents and many cultures.<>
The Romans were faced with a dilemma. Secular Jewish ideas and values were permeating Roman society, but Judaism was an exclusive religion that the Romans were not permitted to join. The Romans could not assimilate the Jews as they did the more civilized Greeks. Early Christianity also kept its exclusionary trait until Paul who opened Christianity to all. Historian Edward Gibbon (1737-94) noted that the Rome recognized the Jews as a nation and as such were entitled to religious peculiarities. The Christians on the other hand were a sect, and being without a nation, subverted other nations. The Roman Jews were active in government and when not resisting Rome against social injustice, fought side by side with Roman legionnaires to preserve the empire. Roman Jews were good Roman citizens. By contrast, the early Christians were social dropouts, refused responsibility in government and civic affairs and were conscientious objectors and pacifists in a militant culture. Gibbon noted that Rome felt that the crime of a Christian was not in what he did, but in being who he was. Christianity gained control of Roman culture and society long before Constantine who in 324 A.D. sanctioned it with political legitimacy and power after recognizing its power in helping to win wars against pagans, the way Pope Urban II in 1095 used the crusade to keep Papal temporal power longer. When early Christianity, a secular Jewish dissident sect, began to move up from the lower strata of Roman society and began to find converts in the upper echelons, the Roman polity adopted Christianity, the least objectionable of all Jewish sects, as a state religion. Gibbons estimated that Christians killed more of their own members over religious disputes in the three centuries after coming to secular power than did the Romans in three previous centuries. Persecution of the Jews began in Christianized Rome. The disdain held by early Christianity on centralized government gave rise to monasticism and contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.
By allowing a trade surplus denominated in dollars to be accumulated by non-dollar economies, such as yen, euro, or now the Chinese yuan, the cost of supporting the appropriate value of the dollar to sustain perpetual economic growth in the dollar economy is then shifted to these non-dollar economies, which manifests themselves in perpetual relative low wages and weak domestic consumption. For already high-wage EU and Japan, the penalty is the reduction of social welfare benefits and job security traditional to these economies. For China, now the world's second largest creditor nation, it is reduced to having to ask the US, the world's largest debtor nation, for capital denominated in dollars the US can print at will to finance its export trade to a US running recurring trade deficits.<>
The IMF, which has been ferocious in imposing draconian fiscal and monetary "conditionalities" on all debtor nations everywhere in the decade after the Cold War, is nowhere to be seen on the scene in the world's most fragrantly irresponsible debtor nation. This is because the US can print dollars at will and with immunity. The dollar is a fiat currency not backed by gold, not backed by US productivity, not back by US export prowess, but by US military power. The US military budget request for Fiscal Year 2005 is $420.7 billion. For Fiscal Year 2004, it was $399.1 billion; for 2003, $396.1 billion; for 2002, $343.2 billion and for 2001, $310 billion. In the first term of the Bush presidency, the US spent $1.5 trillion on its military. That is bigger than the entire GDP of China in 2004. The US trade deficit is around 6% of its GDP while it military budget is around 4%. In other words, the trading partners of the US are paying for one and a half times of the cost of a military that can someday be used against any one of them for any number of reasons, including trade disputes. The anti-dollar crowd has nothing to celebrate about the recurring US trade deficit.
It is pathetic that US Secretary of Defense Donald H Rumsfeld tries to persuade the world that China's military budget, which is less that one tenth of that of the US, is a threat to Asia, even when he is forced to acknowledge that Chinese military modernization is mostly focused on defending its coastal territories, not on force projection for distant conflicts, as is US military doctrine. While Rumsfeld urges more political freedom in China, his militant posture toward China is directly counterproductive towards that goal. Ironically, Rumsfeld chose to make his case about political freedom in Singapore, the bastion of Confucian authoritarianism.
Normally, according to free trade theory, trade can only stay unbalanced temporarily before equilibrium is re-established or free trade would simply stop. When bilateral trade is temporarily unbalanced, it is generally because one trade partner has become temporarily uncompetitive, inefficient or unproductive. The partner with the trade deficit receives more goods and services from the partner with the trade surplus than it can offer in return and thus pays the difference with its currency that someday can buy foods produced by the deficit trade partner to re-established balance of payments. This temporary trade imbalance is due to a number of socio-economic factors, such as terms of trade, wage levels, return on investment, regulatory regimes, shortages in labor or material or energy, trade-supporting infrastructure adequacy, purchasing power disparity, etc. A trading partner that runs a recurring trade deficit earns the reputation of being what banks call a habitual borrower, i.e. a bad credit risk, one who habitually lives beyond his/her means. If the trade deficit is paid with its currency, a downward pressure results in the exchange rate. A flexible exchange rate seeks to remove or moderate a temporary trade imbalance while the productivity disparities between trading partners are being addressed fundamentally.
Dollar hegemony prevents US trade imbalance from returning to equilibrium through market forces. It allows a US trade deficit to persist based on monetary prowess. This translates over time into a falling exchange rate for the dollar even as dollar hegemony keeps the fall at a slow pace. But a below-par exchange rate over a long period can run the risk of turning the temporary imbalance in productivity into a permanent one. A continuously weakening currency condemns the issuing economy into a downward economic spiral. This has happened to the US in the last decade. To make matters worse, with globalization of deregulated markets, the recurring US trade deficit is accompanied by an escalating loss of jobs in sectors sensitive to cross-border wage arbitrage, with the job-loss escalation climbing up the skill ladder. Discriminatory US immigration policies also prevent the retention of low-paying jobs within the US and exacerbate the illegal immigration problem.
Regional wage arbitrage within the US in past decades kept the US economy lean and productive internationally. Labor-intensive US industries relocated to the low-wage South through regional wage arbitrage and despite temporary adjustment pains from the loss of textile mills, the Northern economies managed to upgrade their productivity, technology level, financial sophistication and output quality. The Southern economies in the US also managed to upgrade these factors of production and in time managed to narrow the wage disparity within the national economy. This happened because the jobs stay within the nation. With globalization, it is another story. Jobs are leaving the nation mercilessly. According to free trade theory, the US trade deficit is supposed to cause the dollar to fall temporarily against the currencies of its trading partners, causing export competitiveness to rebalance to remove or reduce the US trade deficit or face the collapse of its currency. Either case, jobs that have been lost temporarily are then supposed to return to the US.
But the persistent US trade deficit defies trade theory because of dollar hegemony. The current international finance architecture is based on dollar hegemony which is the peculiar arrangement in which the US dollar, a fiat currency, remains as the dominant reserve currency for international trade. The broad trade-weighted dollar index stays in an upward trend, despite selective appreciation of some strong currencies, as highly-indebted emerging market economies attempt to extricate themselves from dollar-denominated debt through the devaluation of their currencies. While the aim is to subsidize exports, it ironically makes dollar debts more expensive in local currency terms. The moderating impact on US price inflation also amplifies the upward trend of the trade-weighted dollar index despite persistent US expansion of monetary aggregates, also known as monetary easing or money printing.
Adjusting for this debt-driven increase in the exchange value of dollars, the import volume into the US can be estimated in relationship to expanding monetary aggregates. The annual growth of the volume of goods shipped to the US has remained around 15% for most of the 1990s, more than 5 times the average annual GDP growth. The US enjoyed a booming economy when the dollar was gaining ground, and this occurred at a time when interest rates in the US were higher than those in its creditor nations. This led to the odd effect that raising US interest rates actually prolonged the boom in the US rather than threatened it, because it caused massive inflows of liquidity into the US financial system, lowered import price inflation, increased apparent productivity and prompted further spending by US consumers enriched by the wealth effect despite a slowing of wage increases. Returns on dollar assets stayed high in foreign currency terms.
This was precisely what Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan did in the 1990s in the name of pre-emptive measures against inflation. Dollar hegemony enabled the US to print money to fight inflation, causing a debt bubble of asset appreciation. This data substantiated the view of the US as Rome in a New Roman Empire with an unending stream of imports as the free tribune from conquered lands. This was what Greenspan meant by US "financial hegemony."
The Fed Funds rate (ffr) target has been lifted eight times in steps of 25 basis points from 1% in mid 2004 to 3% on May 3, 2005. If the same pattern of "measured pace" continues, the ffr target would be at 4.25% by the end of 2005. Despite Fed rhetoric, the lifting of dollar interest rate has more to do with preventing foreign central banks from selling dollar-denominated assets, such as US Treasuries, than with fighting inflation. In a debt-driven economy, high interest rates are themselves inflationary. Rising interest rate to fight inflation could become the monetary dog chasing its own interest rate tail, with rising rate adding to rising inflation which then requires more interest rate hikes. Still, interest rate policy is a double edged sword: it keeps funds from leaving the debt bubble, but it can also puncture the debt bubble by making the servicing of debt prohibitively expensive.
To prevent this last adverse effect, the Fed adds to the money supply, creating an unnatural condition of abundant liquidity with rising short-term interest rate, resulting in a narrowing of interest spread between short-term and long-term debts, a leading indication for inevitable recession down the road. The problem of adding to the money supply is what Keynes called the liquidity trap, that is, an absolute preference for liquidity even at near zero interest-rate levels. Keynes argued that either a liquidity trap or interest-insensitive investment draught could render monetary expansion ineffective in a recession. It is what is popularly called pushing on a credit string, where ample money cannot find credit-worthy willing borrowers. Much of the new low cost money tends to go to refinancing of existing debt take out at previously higher interest rates. Rising short-term interest rates, particularly at a measured pace, would not remove the liquidity trap when long term rates stay flat because of excess liguidity.
The debt bubble in the US is clearly having problems, as evident in the bond market. With just 14 deals worth $2.9 billion, May 2005 was the slowest month for high-yield bond issuance since October 2002. The late-April downgrades of the debt of General Motors and Ford Motor to junk status roiled the bond markets. The number of high-yield, or junk bond deals fell 55% in the March-to-May 2005 period, compared with the same three months in 2004. They were also down 45% from the December-through-February period. In dollar value, junk bond deals totaled $17.6 billion in the March-to-May 2005 period, compared with $39.5 billion during the same three months in 2004 and $36 billion from December through February 2005. There were 407 deals of investment-grade bond underwriting during the March-to-May 2005 period, compared with 522 in the same period 2004 - a decline of 22%. In dollar volume, some $153.9 billion of high-grade bonds were underwritten from March to May 2005, compared with $165.5 billion in the same period in 2004 - a 7% decline. Oil at $50, along with astronomical asset price appreciation, particularly in real estate, is giving the debt bubble additional borrowed time. But this game cannot go on forever and the end will likely be triggered by a new trade war's effect on reduced trade volume. The price of a reduced US trade deficit is the bursting of the US debt bubble which can plunge the world economy into a new depression. Given such options, the US has no choice except to ride the trade deficit train for as long as the traffic will bear, which may not be too long, particularly if protectionism begins to gather force.
The transition to offshore outsourced production has been the source of the productivity boom of the "New Economy" in the US in the last decade. The productivity increase not attributable to the importing of other nations' productivity is much less impressive. While published government figures of the productivity index show a rise of nearly 70% since 1974, the actual rise is between zero and 10% in many sectors if the effect of imports is removed from the equation. The lower productivity values are consistent with the real-life experience of members of the blue-collar working class and the white collar middle class who have been spending the equity cash-outs from the appreciated market value of their homes. World trade has become a network of cross-border arbitrage on differentials in labor availability, wages, interest rates, exchange rates, prices, saving rates, productive capacities, liquidity conditions and debt levels. In some of these areas, the US is becoming an underdeveloped economy.
The Bush Administration continues to assure the public that the state of the economy is sound while in reality the US has been losing entire sectors of its economy, such as manufacturing and information technology, to foreign producers, while at the same time selling off the part of the nation to finance its rising and unending trade deficit. Usually, when unjustified confidence crosses over to fantasized hubris on the part of policymakers, disaster is not far ahead.
To be fair, the problems of the US economy started before the second Bush Administration. The Clinton Administration's annual economic report for 2000 claimed that the longest economic expansion in US history could continue "indefinitely" as long as "we stick to sound policy", according to Chairman Martin Baily of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) as reported in the Wall Street Journal . The New York Times report differed somewhat by quoting Baily as saying: "stick to fiscal policy." Putting the two newspaper reports together, one got the sense that the Clinton Administration thought that its fiscal policy was the sound policy needed to put an end to the business cycle. Economics high priests in government, unlike the rest of us mortals who are unfortunate enough to have to float in the daily turbulence of the market, can afford to aloofly focus on long-term trends and their structural congruence to macro-economic theories. Yet, outside of macro-economics, long-term is increasingly being re-defined in the real world. In the technology and communication sectors, long-term evokes periods lasting less than 5 years. For hedge funds and quant shops, long-term can mean a matter of weeks.
Two factors were identified by the Clinton CEA Year 2000 economic report as contributing to the "good" news: technology-driven productivity and neo-liberal trade globalization. Even with somewhat slower productivity and spending growth, the CEA believed the economy could continue to expand perpetually. As for the huge and growing trade deficit, the CEA expected global recovery to boost demand for US exports, not withstanding the fact that most US exports are increasingly composed of imported parts. Yet the US has long officially pursued a strong dollar policy which weakens world demand for US exports. The high expectation on e-commerce was a big part of optimism, which had yet to be substantiated by data. In 2000, the CEA expected the business to business (B2B) portion of e-commerce to rise to $1.3 trillion by 2003 from $43 billion in 1998. Goldman Sachs claimed in 1999 that B2B e-commerce would reach $1.5 trillion by 2004, twice the size of the combined 1998 revenues of the US auto industry and the US telecom sector. Others were more cautious. Jupiter Research projected that companies around the globe would increase their spending on B2B e-marketplaces from US$2.6 billion in 2000 to only $137.2 billion by 2005 and spending in North America alone would grow from $2.1 billion to only $80.9 billion. North American companies accounted for 81% of the total spending in 1998, but by 2005, that figure was expected to drop to 60% of the total. The fact of the matter is that Asia and Europe are now faster growth market for communication and technology.
Reality proved disappointing. A 2004 UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report said: In the United States, e-commerce between enterprises (B2B), which in 2002 represented almost 93% of all e-commerce, accounted for 16.28% of all commercial transactions between enterprises. While overall transactions between enterprises (e-commerce and non e-commerce) fell in 2002, e-commerce B2B grew at an annual rate of 6.1%. As for business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, UNCTAD reported that sales in the first quarter of 2004 amounted to 1.9 per cent of total retail sales, a proportion that is nearly twice as large as that recorded in 2001. The annual rate of growth of retail e-commerce in the US in the year to the end of the first quarter of 2004 was 28.1%, while the growth of total retail in the same period was only 8.8%. Dow Jones reported on May 20, 2005 that first-quarter retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. rose 23.8% compared with the year-ago period to $19.8 billion from $16 billion, according to preliminary numbers released by the Department of Commerce. E-commerce sales during the first quarter rose 6.4% from the fourth quarter, when they were $18.6 billion. Sales for all periods are on an adjusted basis, meaning the Commerce Department adjusts them for seasonal variations and holiday and trading-day differences but not for price changes.
E-commerce sales accounted for 2.2% of total retail sales in the first quarter of 2005, when those sales were an estimated $916.9 billion, according to the Commerce Department. Walmart, the low-priced retailer that imports outsourced goods from overseas, grew only 2%, indicating spending fatigue on the part of low-income US consumers, while Target Stores, the upscale retailer that also imports outsourced goods, continues to grow at 7%, indicating the effects of rising income disparity.
The CEA 2000 report did not address the question whether e-commerce was merely a shift of commerce or a real growth. The possibility exists for the new technology to generate negative growth. It happened to IBM – the increased efficiency (lower unit cost of calculation power) of IBM big frames actually reduced overall IBM sales, and most of the profit and growth in personal computers went to Microsoft, the software company that grew on business that IBM, a self-professed hardware manufacturer, did not consider worthy of keeping for itself. The same thing happened to Intel where Moore's Law declared in 1965 an exponential growth in the number of transistors per integrated circuit and predicted that this trend would continue the doubling of transistors every couple of years. But what Moore's Law did not predict was that this growth of computing power per dollar would cut into company profitability. As the market price of computer power continues to fall, the cost to producers to achieve Moore's Law has followed the opposite trend: R&D, manufacturing, and test costs have increased steadily with each new generation of chips. As the fixed cost of semiconductor production continues to increase, manufacturers must sell larger and larger quantities of chips to remain profitable. In recent years, analysts have observed a decline in the number of "design starts" at advanced process nodes. While these observations were made in the period after the year 2000 economic downturn, the decline may be evidence that the long-term global market cannot economically sustain Moore's Law. Is the Google Bubble a replay of the AOL fiasco?
Schumpeter's creative destruction theory, while revitalizing the macro-economy with technological obsolescence in the long run, leaves real corporate bodies in its path, not just obsolete theoretical concepts. Financial intermediaries and stock exchanges face challenges from Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs) which may well turn the likes of NYSE into sunset industries. ECNs are electronic marketplaces which bring buy/sell orders together and match them in virtual space. Today, ECNs handle roughly 25% of the volume in NASDAQ stocks. The NYSE and the Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) announced on April 20, 2005 that they have entered a definitive merger agreement that will lead to a combined entity, NYSE Group, Inc., becoming a publicly-held company. If approved by regulators, NYSE members and Archipelago shareholders, the merger will represent the largest-ever among securities exchanges and combine the world's leading equities market with the most successful totally open, fully electronic exchange. Through Archipelago, the NYSE will compete for the first time in the trading of NASDAQ-listed stocks; it will be able to indirectly capture listings business that otherwise would not qualify to list on the NYSE. Archipelago lists stocks of companies that do not meet the NYSE's listing standards.
On fiscal policy, US government spending, including social programs and defense, declined as a share of the economy during the eight years of the Clinton watch. This in no small way contributed to a polarization of both income and wealth, with visible distortions in both the demand and supply sides of the economy. This was the opposite of the FDR record of increasing income and wealth equality by policy. The wealth effect tied to bloated equity and real estate markets could reverse suddenly and did in 2000, bailed out only by the Bush tax cut and the deficit spending on the War on Terrorism after 2001. Private debt kept making all time highs throughout the 1990s and was celebrated by neo-liberal economists as a positive factor. Household spending was heavily based on expected rising future earnings or paper profits, both of which might and did vanished on short notice. By election time in November 1999, the Clinton economic miracle was fizzling. The business cycle had not ended after all, and certainly not by self-aggrandizing government policies. It merely got postponed for a more severe crash later. The idea of ending the business cycle in a market economy was as much a fantasy as Vice President Cheney's assertion in a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 26, 2002 that "the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy ."
In their 1991 populist campaign for the White House, Bill Clinton and Al Gore repeatedly pointed out the obscenity of the top 1% of Americans owning 40% of the country's wealth. They also said that if you eliminated home ownership and only counted businesses, factories and offices, then the top 1% owned 90% of all commercial wealth. And the top 10%, they said, owned 99%. It was a situation they pledged to change if elected. But once in office, Clinton and Gore did nothing to redistribute wealth more equally - despite the fact that their two terms in office spanned the economic joyride of the 1990s that would eventually hurt the poor much more severely than the rich. On the contrary, economic inequality only continued to grow under the Democrats. Reagan spread the national debt equally among the people while Clinton gave all the wealth to the rich.
Geopolitically, trade globalization was beginning to face complex resistance worldwide by the second term of the Clinton presidency. The momentum of resistance after Clinton would either slow further globalization or force the terms of trade to be revised. The Asian financial crises of 1997 revived economic nationalism around the world against US-led neo-liberal globalization, while the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 revived militarism in the EU. Market fundamentalism as espoused by the US, far from being a valid science universally, was increasingly viewed by the rest of the world as merely US national ideology, unsupported even by US historical conditions. Just as anti-Napoleonic internationalism was essentially anti-French, anti-globalization and anti-moral-imperialism are essentially anti-US. US unilateralism and exceptionism became the midwife for a new revival of political and economic nationalism everywhere. The Bush Doctrine of monopolistic nuclear posture, pre-emptive wars, "either with us or against us" extremism, and no compromise with states that allegedly support terrorism, pours gasoline on the smoldering fire of defensive nationalism everywhere.
Alan Greenspan in his October 29, 1997 Congressional testimony on Turbulence in World Financial Markets before the Joint Economic Committee said that "it is quite conceivable that a few years hence we will look back at this episode [Asian financial crisis of 1997] . as a salutary event in terms of its implications for the macro-economy." When one is focused only on the big picture, details do not make much of a difference: the earth always appears more or less round from space, despite that some people on it spend their whole lives starving and cities get destroyed by war or natural disasters. That is the problem with macroeconomics. As Greenspan spoke, many around the world were waking up to the realization that the turbulence in their own financial markets was viewed by the US central banker as having a "salutary effect" on the US macro-economy. Greenspan gave anti-US sentiments and monetary trade protectionism held by participants in these financial markets a solid basis and they were no longer accused of being mere paranoia.
Ironically, after the end of the Cold War, market capitalism has emerged as the most fervent force for revolutionary change. Finance capitalism became inherently democratic once the bulk of capital began to come from the pension assets of workers, despite widening income and wealth disparity. The monetary value of US pension funds is over $15 trillion, the bulk of which belong to average workers. A new form of social capitalism has emerged which would gladly eliminate the worker's job in order to give him/her a higher return on his/her pension account. The capitalist in the individual is exploiting the worker in same individual. A conflict of interest arises between a worker's savings and his/her earnings. As Pogo used to say: "The enemy: they are us." This social capitalism, by favoring return on capital over compensation for labor, produces overinvestment, resulting in overcapacity. But the problem of overcapacity can only be solved by high income consumers. Unemployment and underemployment in an economy of overcapacity decrease demand, leading to financial collapse. The world economy needs low wages the way the cattle business need foot and mouth disease.
The nomenclature of neo-classical economics reflects, and in turn dictates, the warped logic of the economic system it produces. Terms such as money, capital, labor, debt, interest, profits, employment, market, etc, have been conceptualized to describe synthetic components of an artificial material system created by the power politics of greed. It is the capitalist greed in the worker that causes the loss of his/her job to lower wage earners overseas. The concept of the economic man who presumably always acts in his self-interest is a gross abstraction based on the flawed assumption of market participants acting with perfect and equal information and clear understanding of the implication of his actions. The pervasive use of these terms over time disguises the artificial system as the logical product of natural laws, rather than the conceptual components of the power politics of greed.
Just as monarchism first emerged as a progressive force against feudalism by rationalizing itself as a natural law of politics and eventually brought about its own demise by betraying its progressive mandate, social capitalism today places return on capital above not only the worker but also the welfare of the owner of capital. The class struggle has been internalized within each worker. As people facing the hard choice of survival in the present versus wellbeing in the future, they will always choose survival, social capitalism will inevitably go the way of absolute monarchism, and make way for humanist socialism.
The Coming Trade War By
Henry C.K. Liu
Part II: Dollar Hegemony Against Sovereign Credit
This article appeared in AToL on June 24, 2005
Global trade has forced all countries to adopt market economy. Yet the market is not the economy. It is only one aspect of the economy. A market economy can be viewed as an aberration of human civilization, as economist Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) pointed out. The principal theme of Polanyi's Origins of Our Time: The Great Tra