Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization

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"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy, the moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days, my friends, will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves, to our fellow men.

Recognition of that falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.

Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live."

Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

Globalization and free trade are fast becoming dirty words. That’s because they are   culprits for major  shocks—like the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States alone, median household income has been practically stagnant for about three decades, the labor market continues to be anemic, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and many have experienced a significant deterioration in living standards.

Much of the post-Brexit and primary election conventional wisdom seems to be stuck in a political narrative in which the Brexit vote and the rise of Trumpism in the United States are seen as symbols of the populist revolution. These symbols are combined with a nationalist tide has been sweeping not only the United Kingdom and the United States, but also many other parts of Europe, including Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, not to mention, Russia, Turkey, India and Israel.

According to this narrative, economic insecurity and cultural anxiety that reflect sociodemographic trends have given momentum to ethnonationalism and religious separatism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Rust Belt is pitted against New York City, and the Midlands against London.

All this means that the crisis of neoliberalism, which started in 2008 now obtained political dimension, when the institutions created by neoliberalism are under attacks from the disgruntled population. The power of neoliberal propaganda, the power of brainwashing and indoctrination of population via MSM, schools and universities to push forward neoliberal globalization started to evaporate.

This is about the crisis of neoliberal ideology and especially Trotskyism part of it (neoliberalism can be viewed as Trotskyism for the rich). The following integral elements of this ideology no longer work well and are starting to cause the backlash:

  1. High level of inequality as the explicit, desirable goal (which raises the productivity). "Greed is good" or "Trickle down economics" -- redistribution of wealth up will create (via higher productivity) enough scrapes for the lower classes, lifting all boats.
  2. "Neoliberal rationality" when everything is a commodity that should be traded at specific market. Human beings also are viewed as market actors with every field of activity seen as a specialized market. Every entity (public or private, person, business, state) should be governed as a firm. "Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices." People are just " human capital" who must constantly tend to their own present and future market value.
  3. Extreme financialization or converting the economy into "casino capitalism" (under neoliberalism everything is a marketable good, that is traded on explicit or implicit exchanges.)
  4. The idea of the global, USA dominated neoliberal empire and related "Permanent war for permanent peace" -- wars for enlarging global neoliberal empire via crushing non-compliant regimes either via color revolutions or via open military intervention.
  5. Downgrading ordinary people to the role of commodity and creating three classes of citizens (moochers, or Untermensch, "creative class" and top 0.1%), with the upper class (0.1% or "Masters of the Universe") being above the law like the top level of "nomenklatura" was in the USSR.
  6. "Downsizing" sovereignty of nations via international treaties like TPP, and making transnational corporations the key political players, "the deciders" as W aptly said. Who decide about the level of immigration flows, minimal wages, tariffs, and other matters that previously were prerogative of the state.

So after 36 (or more) years of dominance (which started with triumphal march of neoliberalism in early 90th) the ideology entered "zombie state". That does not make it less dangerous but its power over minds of the population started to evaporate. Far right ideologies now are filling the vacuum, as with the discreditation of socialist ideology and decimation of "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal in the USA there is no other viable alternatives.

The same happened in late 1960th with the Communist ideology. It took 20 years for the USSR to crash after that with the resulting splash of nationalism (which was the force that blow up the USSR) and far right ideologies.

It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal US elite will fare better then Soviet nomenklatura as challenges facing the USA are now far greater then challenges which the USSR faced at the time. Among them is oil depletion which might be the final nail into the coffin of neoliberalism and, specifically, the neoliberal globalization.

Advocates of the neoliberalism constantly repeat the refrain that "there is no alternative" (TINA). Brexit is a powerful demonstration that this is not true (Back to (our) Future)

A major crack has appeared in the edifice of globalization, and the neoliberal order that has dominated the world’s economy since the end of World War II is now in danger.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by any means. But poisonous weeds are just as likely as green shoots to grow up through those cracks. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Those who make constructive evolution impossible may be making destructive devolution inevitable.

We now know that Great Britain, itself an amalgam of older nations, is divided. England and Wales voted to leave Europe, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and ethnically diverse London voted to remain.

This vote was a stunning rejection of Great Britain’s political establishment. “Leave” prevailed despite opposition from all three major political parties. Prime Minister David Cameron, who will now step down, called on voters to “Remain.” So did socialist Jeremy Corbin, the most left-wing Labor leader in a generation. Barack Obama crossed the Atlantic to stand beside Cameron and offer his support.

Voters rejected all of them.

The uprising has begun. The question now is, who will lead it going forward?

Globalism’s Shadow Self

The world’s financial and political elites must now face the fact that resistance to their economic order, which has shaped the world since the Bretton Woods conference of 1944, is a major phenomenon. These elites are apparently more out of touch with the citizens of the industrialized world than at any time in modern memory.

Make no mistake: The “Leave” vote was a rejection of globalization, at least as it’s currently structured. This was a revolt of working class Britons who have seen their postwar prosperity erode around them and their social contract eviscerated by the corporate and financial oligarchy.

But it was also the sign of a darker and more sinister worldwide phenomenon: the resurgence of global nativism and xenophobia. This worldwide turn toward fear of the Other is globalization’s shadow self.

Revolt of the Powerless

That’s not to say that there wasn’t a legitimate left-wing case to be made for leaving the European Union. The “Left Leave” movement, or #Lexit, had its own advocates. “Why cling to this reactionary institution?” asked one.

But this near-victory wasn’t won with leftist arguments about resisting the global oligarchy. The left was too divided to make that case clearly or forcefully. It was largely won by stirring up bigotry against immigrants, cloaked in flimsy arguments about excessive regulation. Legitimate economic grievances were channeled into nationalist hostility.

Many “Leave” voters felt powerless, that they no longer had much of a say in their own destinies. They weren’t wrong. The European Union was largely a creation of transnational financial forces driven by a self-serving neoliberal ideology of “free” markets, privatization, and corporate economic governance.

But ,even at its worst, the EU is a symptom and not a cause. Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests.

The British people have lost more sovereignty to trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP then they could have ever surrendered to the European Union. Their democratic rights are trampled daily, not by faceless EU bureaucrats, but by the powerful financial interests that dominate their politics and their economy.

Low Information Voters

This vote won’t help the middle class. British workers will no longer be guaranteed the worker rights that come with EU membership. British corporations will be less regulated, which means more environmental damage and more mistreatment of employees and customers. They will not, in the words of William Blake, “build Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.”

Most “Leave” voters probably don’t know that, because the media failed them too. Instead of being given a balanced understanding of EU membership’s advantages and disadvantages, the British people were fed a constant diet of terror fears and trivial anti-government anecdotes meant to reinforce the notion that EU was needlessly and absurdly bureaucratic.

As Martin Fletcher explains, Boris Johnson played a key role in degrading the performance of Britain’s corporate press back in his days as a journalist. Other outlets were all to eager to mimic his anti-government and anti-Europe stereotypes. And now? It’s as if Sean Hannity’s deceptive sensationalism had made him a top presidential prospect.

Johnson and UKIP leader Nigel Farage played the same role in the Leave campaign that Donald Trump is playing in US politics. Like Trump, they have used economic fears to stoke the anti-immigrant fear and hatred that is their real stock in trade. Their slogan might just as well have been “Make England Great Again.”

The campaign’s fearmongering and hate has already claimed a victim in Jo Cox, the Labor MP who was violently martyred by a white British racist. Tellingly, her murder was not described as an act of terrorism, which it clearly was. The decision to restrict the “terrorist” label to Muslims, in Great Britain as in the United States, feeds precisely the kind of hatred that fuels movements like these.

Great Britain’s immigrant population grew by 4.5 million under EU membership. But in a just economy, that would lead to growth for the existing middle class. Britain’s immigrants didn’t wound that country’s middle class. They’re scapegoats for rising inequality and the punishing austerity of the conservative regime.

Aftershock

What happens next? Markets are already reacting, retrenching in anticipation of new trade barriers and political uncertainty.

Before the voting, estimates of a Leave vote’s effect on Britain’s economy ranged from “negative” to outright “calamitous.” The outcome will probably fall somewhere between the two.

Will the reprehensible Mr. Johnson, who pushed aggressively for Brexit, now lead his party -perhaps even his country? How much will this boost UKIP? By rejecting the EU, will Great Britain soon experience even harsher economic austerity measures than Cameron’s?

Scotland may once again pursue independence so that it can rejoin Europe. Sinn Fein is calling again for the reunification of Ireland. Suddenly anything seems possible.

There are already calls for a similar referendum in France.

British workers are likely to be worse off without EU protections, especially if the far right prevails in future elections as the result of this vote.

Trade deals will need to be negotiated between Britain and the EU, along with the terms of separation. Judging by its behavior toward Greece, Germany prefers to punish any nation impertinent enough to try guiding its own economic destiny. These negotiations won’t be pleasant.

The New Resistance

The current order is unstable. The uprising has begun. But who will lead it?

All over the world there are Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages poised to capitalize on the chaos. The US has Trump, who was quick to tie himself to the vote. Greece has Golden Dawn. Germany has the far-right, anti-immigrant AfD party. Scandinavia has the Sweden Democrat Party and the Danish People’s Party. Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, itself nationalistic and totalitarian by nature, is in danger of being outdone by the racist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party.

Hungary is already building a Trump-like wall, in fact, a barb-wired fence meant to keep Syrian refugees out of the country and Jobbik out of political power.

There is also also a growing democratic counterforce, poised to resist both the global elites and the nationalist bigots. It includes Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and the Corbin movement in Great Britain (although Corbin’s fate is unclear in the wake of this vote). In the US it has been seen in both the Occupy movement and, more recently, in the newly resurgent left inspired by Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

The global financial order is fracturing. But will it fall? It’s powerful and well organized. Even if it does, what will replace it: a more humane global order, or a world torn by nationalism and hate? Should these new progressive parties and factions form a transnational movement?

That’s the goal of economist Yanis Varoufakis, among others. Varoufakis confronted the EU’s economic leadership directly when he negotiated with them as Greece’s first Finance Minister under Syriza. They prevailed, and Varoufakis is now a private citizen.

The Greeks chose economic autonomy when they voted for Syriza. They didn’t get it. The British aren’t likely to get what they want from this vote either. No matter what happens, British citizens will still be in thrall to corporate financial forces – forces that can rewrite the rules they go along.

Greece’s fate has been a cautionary tale for the world, a powerful illustration of the need for worldwide coordinated resistance to today’s economic and political elites. We can vote. But without economic autonomy, we aren’t truly free. In the months and years to come, the people of Great Britain are likely to learn the truth: We are all Greece now.

The question is, where do we go from here?


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 01, 2017] Neoliberal globalization will be dispaced by trade blocs, and several such blocks already exist such as the EU and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

As living standards continue to fall for the majority of their populations, tariff barriers will start to go up to protect their societies from cheap imports or from the "offshoring" of jobs. The freewheeling capitalism post 1979 is over. The crash of 2008 saw to that. Look at oil prices and global economic growth.
Notable quotes:
"... First. You assume that neo-Liberal "Free Trade" globalisation is going to continue. It will not. Trade blocs already exist e.g. the EU. As living standards continue to fall for the majority of their populations, tariff barriers will start to go up to protect their societies from cheap imports or from the "offshoring" of jobs. The freewheeling capitalism post 1979 is over. The crash of 2008 saw to that. Look at oil prices and global economic growth. ..."
"... Cheap labour costs are irrelevant if the skills are low grade and you have low productivity. Look at Germany. High quality skills, high quality manufacturing , high productivity and high wages. ..."
"... Manufacturers are already relocating closer to their markets where there is long term stability. China has already become far less attractive because of rising wages and no added value. The level of wealth inequity in China is also rising and China is heading for a demographic time bomb in the next 10 years which has already hit Japan. China will have its own serious problems in the next 10 years. ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

Peter Rabbit -> NeilBarna, 2 Jun 2017 21:08

The premise of your argument is on very shaky ground for several reasons.

First. You assume that neo-Liberal "Free Trade" globalisation is going to continue. It will not. Trade blocs already exist e.g. the EU. As living standards continue to fall for the majority of their populations, tariff barriers will start to go up to protect their societies from cheap imports or from the "offshoring" of jobs. The freewheeling capitalism post 1979 is over. The crash of 2008 saw to that. Look at oil prices and global economic growth.

The present levels of wealth inequality in European countries and even in the U.S.A. will not be tolerated for much longer. The days of Gordon Gekko are numbered. Expect to see more State intervention in the economy together with more international cooperation over tax evasion and the systematic closing down of offshore, international tax havens.

Second. Education/Skills and Technology. Cheap labour costs are irrelevant if the skills are low grade and you have low productivity. Look at Germany. High quality skills, high quality manufacturing , high productivity and high wages.

Manufacturers are already relocating closer to their markets where there is long term stability. China has already become far less attractive because of rising wages and no added value. The level of wealth inequity in China is also rising and China is heading for a demographic time bomb in the next 10 years which has already hit Japan. China will have its own serious problems in the next 10 years.

The robots are already here and the investment is not in third world countries but in Europe and the U.S.A. These robots will make most of the working populations redundant in the next 20 years especially in manufacturing. This, together with the needs of an ever ageing population are going to be the real issues for the majority of us.

Third. The real elephant in the room which everyone is trying to ignore is climate change. The tipping point has now passed. We are going to see radical and dramatic global climate change in the next 10 years, not 20 or 30 years and with ever rising temperatures humanity is facing extinction and no amount of human technology is going to save the majority of us.

[Oct 01, 2017] Neoliberal economic policies in the United States The impact of globalisation on a `Northern country by Kim Scipes

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Following Frances Fox Piven, "neoliberal economic policies" refers to the set of policies carried out, in the name of individualism and unfettered markets, for "the deregulation of corporations, and particularly of financial institutions; the rollback of public services and benefit programs; curbing labor unions; 'free trade' policies that would pry open foreign markets; and wherever possible the replacement of public programs with private markets" (Piven, 2007: 13). ..."
"... The case of the United States is particularly useful to examine because its elites have projected themselves as "first among equals" of the globalization project ( Bello , 2006), and it is the place of the Global North where the neoliberal project has been pursued most resolutely and has advanced the farthest. In other words, the experiences of American workers illuminate the affects of the neoliberal project in the Global North to the greatest extent, and suggest what will happen to working people in other northern countries should they accept their respective government's adoption of such policies. ..."
"... However, it is believed that the implementation of these neoliberal economic policies and the cultural wars to divert public attention are part of a larger, conscious political program by the elites within this country that is intended to prevent re-emergence of the collective solidarity among the American people that we saw during the late 1960s-early 1970s (see Piven, 2004, 2007) -- of which the internal breakdown of discipline within the US military, in Vietnam and around the world, was arguably the most crucial (see Moser, 1996; Zeiger, 2006) -- that ultimately challenged, however inchoately, the very structure of the established social order, both internationally and in the United States itself. ..."
Oct 01, 2017 | links.org.au

Most contemporary discussions of globalization, and especially of the impact of neoliberal economic policies, focus on the countries of the Global South (see, for example, Bond, 2005; Ellner and Hellinger, eds., 2003; a number of articles in Harris, ed., 2006; Klein, 2007; Monthly Review, 2007; and, among others, see Scipes, 1999, 2006b). Recent articles arguing that the globalization project has receded and might be taking different approaches (Bello, 2006; Thornton, 2007) have also focused on the Global South. What has been somewhat discussed (see Giroux, 2004; Piven, 2004; Aronowitz, 2005) but not systematically addressed, however, is what has been the impact of globalization and especially related neoliberal economic policies on working people in a northern country? [i]

This paper specifically addresses this question by looking at the impact of neoliberal economic policies on working people in the United States . Following Frances Fox Piven, "neoliberal economic policies" refers to the set of policies carried out, in the name of individualism and unfettered markets, for "the deregulation of corporations, and particularly of financial institutions; the rollback of public services and benefit programs; curbing labor unions; 'free trade' policies that would pry open foreign markets; and wherever possible the replacement of public programs with private markets" (Piven, 2007: 13).

The case of the United States is particularly useful to examine because its elites have projected themselves as "first among equals" of the globalization project ( Bello , 2006), and it is the place of the Global North where the neoliberal project has been pursued most resolutely and has advanced the farthest. In other words, the experiences of American workers illuminate the affects of the neoliberal project in the Global North to the greatest extent, and suggest what will happen to working people in other northern countries should they accept their respective government's adoption of such policies.

However, care must be taken as to how this is understood. While sociologically-focused textbooks (e.g., Aguirre and Baker, eds., 2008; Hurst, 2007) have joined together some of the most recent thinking on social inequality -- and have demonstrated that inequality not only exists but is increasing -- this has been generally presented in a national context; in this case, within the United States. And if they recognize that globalization is part of the reason for increasing inequality, it is generally included as one of a set of reasons.

This paper argues that we simply cannot understand what is happening unless we put developments within a global context: the United States effects, and is affected by, global processes. Thus, while some of the impacts can be understood on a national level, we cannot ask related questions as to causes -- or future consequences -- by confining our examination to a national level: we absolutely must approach this from a global perspective (see Nederveen Pieterse, 2004, 2008).

This also must be put in historical perspective as well, although the focus in this piece will be limited to the post-World War II world. Inequality within what is now the United States today did not -- obviously -- arise overnight. Unquestionably, it began at least 400 years ago in Jamestown -- with the terribly unequal and socially stratified society of England's colonial Virginia before Africans were brought to North America (see Fischer, 1989), much less after their arrival in 1619, before the Pilgrims. Yet, to understand the roots of development of contemporary social inequality in the US , we must understand the rise of " Europe " in relation to the rest of the world (see, among others, Rodney, 1972; Nederveen Pieterse, 1989). In short, again, we have to understand that the development of the United States has been and will always be a global project and, without recognizing that, we simply cannot begin to understand developments within the United States .

We also have to understand the multiple and changing forms of social stratification and resulting inequalities in this country. This paper prioritizes economic stratification, although is not limited to just the resulting inequalities. Nonetheless, it does not focus on racial, gender or any other type of social stratification. However, this paper is not written from the perspective that economic stratification is always the most important form of stratification, nor from the perspective that we can only understand other forms of stratification by understanding economic stratification: all that is being claimed herein is that economic stratification is one type of social stratification, arguably one of the most important types yet only one of several, and investigates the issue of economic stratification in the context of contemporary globalization and the neoliberal economic policies that have developed to address this phenomenon as it affects the United States.

Once this global-historical perspective is understood and after quickly suggesting in the "prologue" why the connection between neoliberal economic policies and the affects on working people in the United States has not been made usually, this paper focuses on several interrelated issues: (1) it reports the current economic situation for workers in the United States; (2) it provides a historical overview of US society since World War II; (3) it analyzes the results of US Government economic policies; and (4) it ties these issues together. From that, it comes to a conclusion about the affects of neoliberal economic policies on working people in the United States .

Prologue: Origins of neoliberal economic policies in the United States

As stated above, most of the attention directed toward understanding the impact of neoliberal economic policies on various countries has been confined to the countries of the Global South. However, these policies have been implemented in the United States as well. This arguably began in 1982, when the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, launched a vicious attack on inflation -- and caused the deepest US recession since the Great Depression of the late 1920s-1930s.

However, these neoliberal policies have been implemented in the US perhaps more subtly than in the Global South. This is said because, when trying to understand changes that continue to take place in the United States, these economic policies are hidden "under" the various and sundry "cultural wars" (around issues such as drugs, premarital sex, gun control, abortion, marriages for gays and lesbians) that have been taking place in this country and, thus, not made obvious: most Americans, and especially working people, are not aware of the changes detailed below. [ii]

However, it is believed that the implementation of these neoliberal economic policies and the cultural wars to divert public attention are part of a larger, conscious political program by the elites within this country that is intended to prevent re-emergence of the collective solidarity among the American people that we saw during the late 1960s-early 1970s (see Piven, 2004, 2007) -- of which the internal breakdown of discipline within the US military, in Vietnam and around the world, was arguably the most crucial (see Moser, 1996; Zeiger, 2006) -- that ultimately challenged, however inchoately, the very structure of the established social order, both internationally and in the United States itself. Thus, we see both Democratic and Republican Parties in agreement to maintain and expand the US Empire (in more neutral political science-ese, a "uni-polar world"), but the differences that emerge within each party and between each party are generally confined to how this can best be accomplished. While this paper focuses on the economic and social changes going on, it should be kept in mind that these changes did not "just happen": conscious political decisions have been made that produced social results (see Piven, 2004) that make the US experience -- at the center of a global social order based on an "advanced" capitalist economy -- qualitatively different from experiences in other more economically-developed countries.

So, what has been the impact of these policies on workers in the US?

1) The current situation for workers and growing economic inequality

Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times published a piece on September 4, 2006, writing about entry-level workers, young people who were just entering the job market. Mr. Greenhouse noted changes in the US economy; in fact, there have been substantial changes since early 2000, when the economy last created many jobs.

Yet, the percentage drop in wages hides the growing gap between college and high school graduates. Today, on average, college grads earn 45 per cent more than high school graduates, where the gap had "only" been 23 per cent in 1979: the gap has doubled in 26 years (Greenhouse, 2006b).

A 2004 story in Business Week found that 24 per cent of all working Americans received wages below the poverty line ( Business Week , 2004). [iii] In January 2004, 23.5 million Americans received free food from food pantries. "The surge for food demand is fueled by several forces -- job losses, expired unemployment benefits, soaring health-care and housing costs, and the inability of many people to find jobs that match the income and benefits of the jobs they had." And 43 million people were living in low-income families with children (Jones, 2004).

A 2006 story in Business Week found that US job growth between 2001-2006 was really based on one industry: health care. Over this five-year period, the health-care sector has added 1.7 million jobs, while the rest of the private sector has been stagnant. Michael Mandel, the economics editor of the magazine, writes:

information technology, the great electronic promise of the 1990s, has turned into one of the greatest job-growth disappointments of all time. Despite the splashy success of companies such as Google and Yahoo!, businesses at the core of the information economy -- software, semi-conductors, telecom, and the whole range of Web companies -- have lost more than 1.1 million jobs in the past five years. These businesses employ fewer Americans today than they did in 1998, when the Internet frenzy kicked into high gear (Mandel, 2006: 56) .

In fact, "take away health-care hiring in the US, and quicker than you can say cardiac bypass, the US unemployment rate would be 1 to 2 percentage points higher" (Mandel, 2006: 57).

There has been extensive job loss in manufacturing. Over 3.4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1998, and 2.9 million of them have been lost since 2001. Additionally, over 40,000 manufacturing firms have closed since 1999, and 90 per cent have been medium and large shops. In labor-import intensive industries, 25 per cent of laid-off workers remain unemployed after six months, two-thirds of them who do find new jobs earn less than on their old job, and one-quarter of those who find new jobs "suffer wage losses of more than 30 percent" (AFL-CIO, 2006a: 2).

The AFL-CIO details the US job loss by manufacturing sector in the 2001-05 period:

As of the end of 2005, only 10.7 per cent of all US employment was in manufacturing -- down from 21.6 per cent at its height in 1979 -- in raw numbers, manufacturing employment totaled 19.426 million in 1979, 17.263 million in 2000, and 14.232 million in 2005. [iv] The number of production workers in this country at the end of 2005 was 9.378 million. [v] This was only slightly above the 9.306 million production workers in 1983, and was considerably below the 11.463 million as recently as 2000 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006b). As one writer puts it, this is "the biggest long-term trend in the economy: the decline of manufacturing." He notes that employment in the durable goods (e.g., cars and cable TV boxes) category of manufacturing has declined from 19 per cent of all employment in 1965 to 8 per cent in 2005 (Altman, 2006). And at the end of 2006, only 11.7 per cent of all manufacturing workers were in unions (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007).

In addition, in 2004 and 2005, "the real hourly and weekly wages of US manufacturing workers have fallen 3 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively" (AFL-CIO, 2006a: 2).

The minimum wage level went unchanged for nine years: until recently when there was a small increase -- to $5.85 an hour on July 24, 2007 -- US minimum wage had remained at $5.15 an hour since September 1, 1997 . During that time, the cost of living rose 26 percent. After adjusting for inflation, this was the lowest level of the minimum wage since 1955. At the same time, the minimum wage was only 31 per cent of the average pay of non-supervisory workers in the private sector, which is the lowest share since World War II (Bernstein and Shapiro, 2006).

In addition to the drop in wages at all levels, fewer new workers get health care benefits with their jobs: [vi] in 2005, 64 per cent of all college grads got health coverage in entry-level jobs, where 71 per cent had gotten it in 2000 -- a 7 per cent drop in just five years. Over a longer term, we can see what has happened to high school grads: in 1979, two-thirds of all high school graduates got health care coverage in entry-level jobs, while only one-third do today (Greenhouse, 2006b). It must be kept in mind that only about 28 per cent of the US workforce are college graduates -- most of the work force only has a high school degree, although a growing percentage of them have some college, but not college degrees.

Because things have gotten so bad, many young adults have gotten discouraged and given up. The unemployment rate is 4.4 per cent for ages 25-34, but 8.2 per cent for workers 20-24. (Greenhouse, 2006b).

Yet things are actually worse than that. In the US , unemployment rates are artificially low. If a person gets laid off and gets unemployment benefits -- which fewer and fewer workers even get -- they get a check for six months. If they have not gotten a job by the end of six months -- and it is taking longer and longer to get a job -- and they have given up searching for work, then not only do they loose their unemployment benefits, but they are no longer counted as unemployed: one doesn't even count in the statistics!

A report from April 2004 provides details. According to the then-head of the US Federal Reserve System, Alan Greenspan, "the average duration of unemployment increased from twelve weeks in September 2000 to twenty weeks in March [2004]" (quoted in Shapiro, 2004: 4). In March 2004, 354,000 jobs workers had exhausted their unemployment benefits, and were unable to get any additional federal unemployment assistance: Shapiro (2004: 1) notes, "In no other month on record, with data available back to 1971, have there been so many 'exhaustees'."

Additionally, although it's rarely reported, unemployment rates vary by racial grouping. No matter what the unemployment rate is, it really only reflects the rate of whites who are unemployed because about 78 per cent of the workforce is white. However, since 1954, the unemployment rate of African-Americans has always been more than twice that of whites, and Latinos are about 1 1/2 times that of whites. So, for example, if the overall rate is five percent, then it's at least ten per cent for African-Americans and 7.5 per cent for Latinos.

However, most of the developments presented above -- other than the racial affects of unemployment -- have been relatively recent. What about longer term? Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning Princeton University economist who writes for The New York Times, pointed out these longer term affects: non-supervisory workers make less in real wages today (2006) than they made in 1973! So, after inflation is taken out, non-supervisory workers are making less today in real terms that their contemporaries made 33 years ago (Krugman, 2006b). Figures provided by Stephen Franklin -- obtained from the US Bureau of Statistics, and presented in 1982 dollars -- show that a production worker in January 1973 earned $9.08 an hour -- and $8.19 an hour in December 2005 (Franklin, 2006). Workers in 2005 also had less long-term job security, fewer benefits, less stable pensions (when they have them), and rising health care costs. [vii]

In short, the economic situation for "average Americans" is getting worse. A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune tells about a worker who six years ago was making $29 an hour, working at a nuclear power plant. He got laid off, and now makes $12.24 an hour, working on the bottom tier of a two-tiered unionized factory owned by Caterpillar, the multinational earth moving equipment producer, which is less than half of his old wages. The article pointed out, "Glued to a bare bones budget, he saved for weeks to buy a five-pack of $7 T-shirts" ( Franklin , 2006).

As Foster and Magdoff point out:

Except for a small rise in the late 1990s, real wages have been sluggish for decades. The typical (median-income) family has sought to compensate for this by increasing the number of jobs and working hours per household. Nevertheless, the real (inflation-adjusted) income of the typical household fell for five years in a row through 2004 (Foster and Magdoff, 2009: 28).

A report by Workers Independent News (WIN) stated that while a majority of metropolitan areas have regained the 2.6 million jobs lost during the first two years of the Bush Administration, "the new jobs on average pay $9,000 less than the jobs replaced," a 21 per cent decline from $43,629 to $34,378. However, WIN says that "99 out of the 361 metro areas will not recover jobs before 2007 and could be waiting until 2015 before they reach full recovery" (Russell, 2006).

At the same time, Americans are going deeper and deeper into debt. At the end of 2000, total US household debt was $7.008 trillion, with home mortgage debt being $4.811 trillion and non-mortgage debt $1.749 trillion; at the end of 2006, comparable numbers were a total of $12.817 trillion; $9.705 trillion (doubling since 2000); and $2.431 trillion (US Federal Reserve, 2007-rounding by author). Foster and Magdoff (2009: 29) show that this debt is not only increasing, but based on figures from the Federal Reserve, that debt as a percentage of disposable income has increased overall from 62% in 1975 to 96.8% in 2000, and to 127.2% in 2005.

Three polls from mid-2006 found "deep pessimism among American workers, with most saying that wages were not keeping pace with inflation, and that workers were worse off in many ways than a generation ago" (Greenhouse, 2006a). And, one might notice, nothing has been said about increasing gas prices, lower home values, etc. The economic situation for most working people is not looking pretty.

In fact, bankruptcy filings totaled 2.043 million in 2005, up 31.6 per cent from 2004 (Associated Press, 2006), before gas prices went through the ceiling and housing prices began falling in mid-2006. Yet in 1998, writers for the Chicago Tribune had written, " the number of personal bankruptcy filings skyrocketed 19.5 per cent last year, to an all-time high of 1,335,053, compared with 1,117,470 in 1996" (Schmeltzer and Gruber, 1998).

And at the same time, there were 37 million Americans in poverty in 2005, one of out every eight. Again, the rates vary by racial grouping: while 12.6 per cent of all Americans were in poverty, the poverty rate for whites was 8.3 percent; for African Americans, 24.9 per cent were in poverty, as were 21.8 per cent of all Latinos. (What is rarely acknowledged, however, is that 65 per cent of all people in poverty in the US are white.) And 17.6 per cent of all children were in poverty (US Census Bureau, 2005).

What about the "other half"? This time, Paul Krugman gives details from a report by two Northwestern University professors, Ian Dew-Becker and Robert Gordon, titled "Where Did the Productivity Growth Go?" Krugman writes:

Between 1973 and 2001, the wage and salary income of Americans at the 90th percentile of the income distribution rose only 34 percent, or about 1 per cent per year. But income at the 99th percentile rose 87 percent; income at the 99.9th percentile rose 181 percent; and income at the 99.99th percentile rose 497 percent. No, that's not a misprint. Just to give you a sense of who we're talking about: the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that this year, the 99th percentile will correspond to an income of $402,306, and the 99.9th percentile to an income of $1,672,726. The Center doesn't give a number for the 99.99th percentile, but it's probably well over $6 million a year (Krugman, 2006a) .

But how can we understand what is going on? We need to put take a historical approach to understand the significance of the changes reported above.

(2) A historical look at the US social order since World War II

When considering the US situation, it makes most sense to look at "recent" US developments, those since World War II. Just after the War, in 1947, the US population was about six per cent of the world's total. Nonetheless, this six per cent produced about 48 per cent of all goods and services in the world! [viii] With Europe and Japan devastated, the US was the only industrialized economy that had not been laid waste. Everybody needed what the US produced -- and this country produced the goods, and sent them around the world.

At the same time, the US economy was not only the most productive, but the rise of the industrial union movement in the 1930s and '40s -- the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) -- meant that workers had some power to demand a share of the wealth produced. In 1946, just after the war, the US had the largest strike wave in its history: 116,000,000 production days were lost in early 1946, as industry-wide strikes in auto, steel, meat packing, and the electrical industry took place across the United States and Canada , along with smaller strikes in individual firms. Not only that, but there were general strikes that year in Oakland , California and Stamford , Connecticut . Workers had been held back during the war, but they demonstrated their power immediately thereafter (Lipsitz, 1994; Murolo and Chitty, 2001). Industry knew that if it wanted the production it could sell, it had to include unionized workers in on the deal.

It was this combination -- devastated economic markets around the world and great demand for goods and services, the world's most developed industrial economy, and a militant union movement -- that combined to create what is now known as the "great American middle class." [ix]

To understand the economic impact of these factors, changes in income distribution in US society must be examined. The best way to illuminate this is to assemble family data on income or wealth [x] -- income data is more available, so that will be used; arrange it from the smallest amount to the largest; and then to divide the population into fifths, or quintiles. In other words, arrange every family's annual income from the lowest to the highest, and divide the total number of family incomes into quintiles or by 20 percents (i.e., fifths). Then compare changes in the top incomes for each quintile. By doing so, one can then observe changes in income distribution over specified time periods.

The years between 1947 and 1973 are considered the "golden years" of the US society. [xi] The values are presented in 2005 dollars, so that means that inflation has been taken out: these are real dollar values, and that means these are valid comparisons.

Figure 1: US family income, in US dollars, growth and istribution, by quintile, 1947-1973 compared to 1973-2001, in 2005 dollars

Lowest 20%

Second 20 %

Third 20%

Fourth 20%

95 th Percentile [xii]

1947

$11,758

$18,973

$25,728

$36,506

$59,916

1973

$23,144

$38,188

$53,282

$73,275

$114,234

Difference (26 years) $11,386

(97%)

$19,145

(100%)

$27,554

(107%)

$36,769

(101%)

$54,318

(91%)

1973

$23,144

$38,188

$53,282

$73,275

$114,234

2001

$26,467

$45,355

$68,925

$103,828

$180,973

Difference (28 years) $3,323

(14%)

$7,167

(19%)

$15,643

(29%)

$30,553

(42%)

$66,739

(58%)

Source: US Commerce Department, Bureau of the Census (hereafter, US Census Bureau) at www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f01ar.html . All dollar values converted to 2005 dollars by US Census Bureau, removing inflation and comparing real values. Differences and percentages calculated by author. Percentages shown in both rows labeled "Difference" show the dollar difference as a percentage of the first year of the comparison.

Data for the first period, 1947-1973 -- the data above the grey line -- shows there was considerable real economic growth for each quintile . Over the 26-year period, there was approximately 100 per cent real economic growth for the incomes at the top of each quintile, which meant incomes doubled after inflation was removed; thus, there was significant economic growth in the society.

And importantly, this real economic growth was distributed fairly evenly . The data in the fourth line (in parentheses) is the percentage relationship between the difference between 1947-1973 real income when compared to the 1947 real income, with 100 per cent representing a doubling of real income: i.e., the difference for the bottom quintile between 1947 and 1973 was an increase of $11,386, which is 97 per cent more than $11,758 that the top of the quintile had in 1947. As can be seen, other quintiles also saw increases of roughly comparable amounts: in ascending order, 100 percent, 107 percent, 101 percent, and 91 percent. In other words, the rate of growth by quintile was very similar across all five quintiles of the population.

When looking at the figures for 1973-2001, something vastly different can be observed. This is the section below the grey line. What can be seen? First, economic growth has slowed considerably: the highest rate of growth for any quintile was that of 58 per cent for those who topped the fifth quintile, and this was far below the "lagger" of 91 per cent of the earlier period.

Second, of what growth there was, it was distributed extremely unequally . And the growth rates for those in lower quintiles were generally lower than for those above them: for the bottom quintile, their real income grew only 14 per cent over the 1973-2001 period; for the second quintile, 19 percent; for the third, 29 percent; for the fourth, 42 percent; and for the 80-95 percent, 58 percent: loosely speaking, the rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer.

Why the change? I think two things in particular. First, as industrialized countries recovered from World War II, corporations based in these countries could again compete with those from the US -- first in their own home countries, and then through importing into the US , and then ultimately when they invested in the United States . Think of Toyota : they began importing into the US in the early 1970s, and with their investments here in the early '80s and forward, they now are the largest domestic US auto producer.

Second cause for the change has been the deterioration of the American labor movement: from 35.3 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce in unions in 1954, to only 12.0 per cent of all American workers in unions in 2006 -- and only 7.4 per cent of all private industry workers are unionized, which is less than in 1930!

This decline in unionization has a number of reasons. Part of this deterioration has been the result of government policies -- everything from the crushing of the air traffic controllers when they went on strike by the Reagan Administration in 1981, to reform of labor law, to reactionary appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees administration of labor law. Certainly a key government policy, signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, has been the North American Free Trade Act or NAFTA. One analyst came straight to the point:

Since [NAFTA] was signed in 1993, the rise in the US trade deficit with Canada and Mexico through 2002 has caused the displacement of production that supported 879,280 US jobs. Most of these lost jobs were high-wage positions in manufacturing industries. The loss of these jobs is just the most visible tip of NAFTA's impact on the US economy. In fact, NAFTA has also contributed to rising income inequality, suppressed real wages for production workers, weakened workers' collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reduced fringe benefits (Scott, 2003: 1).

These attacks by elected officials have been joined by the affects due to the restructuring of the economy. There has been a shift from manufacturing to services. However, within manufacturing, which has long been a union stronghold, there has been significant job loss: between July 2000 and January 2004, the US lost three million manufacturing jobs, or 17.5 percent, and 5.2 million since the historical peak in 1979, so that "Employment in manufacturing [in January 2004] was its lowest since July 1950" (CBO, 2004). This is due to both outsourcing labor-intensive production overseas and, more importantly, technological displacement as new technology has enabled greater production at higher quality with fewer workers in capital-intensive production (see Fisher, 2004). Others have blamed burgeoning trade deficits for the rise: " an increasing share of domestic demand for manufacturing output is satisfied by foreign rather than domestic producers" (Bivens, 2005). [xiii] Others have even attributed it to changes in consumer preferences (Schweitzer and Zaman, 2006). Whatever the reason, of the 50 states, only five (Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming) did not see any job loss in manufacturing between 1993-2003, yet 37 lost between 5.6 and 35.9 per cent of their manufacturing jobs during this period (Public Policy Institute, 2004).

However, part of the credit for deterioration of the labor movement must be given to the labor movement itself: the leadership has been simply unable to confront these changes and, at the same time, they have consistently worked against any independent action by rank-and-file members. [xiv]

However, it must be asked: are the changes in the economy presented herein merely statistical manipulations, or is this indicating something real?

This point can be illustrated another way: by using CAGR, the Compound Annual Growth Rate. This is a single number that is computed, based on compounded amounts, across a range of years, to come up with an average number to represent the rate of increase or decrease each year across the entire period. This looks pretty complex, but it is based on the same idea as compound interest used in our savings accounts: you put in $10 today and (this is obviously not a real example) because you get ten per cent interest, so you have $11 the next year. Well, the following year, interest is not computed off the original $10, but is computed on the $11. So, by the third year, from your $10, you now have $12.10. Etc. And this is what is meant by the Compound Annual Growth Rate: this is average compound growth by year across a designated period.

Based on the numbers presented above in Figure 1, the author calculated the Compound Annual Growth Rate by quintiles (Figure 2). The annual growth rate has been calculated for the first period, 1947-1973, the years known as the "golden years" of US society. What has happened since then? Compare results from the 1947-73 period to the annual growth rate across the second period, 1973-2001, again calculated by the author.

Figure 2: Annual percentage of family income growth, by quintile, 1947-1973 compared to 1973-2001

Population by quintiles

1947-1973

1973-2001
95th Percentile

2.51%

1.66%

Fourth quintile

2.72%

1.25%

Third quintile

2.84%

.92%

Second quintile

2.73%

.62%

Lowest quintile

2.64%

.48%

Source: Calculated by author from gather provided by the US Census Bureau at www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f01ar.html .

What we can see here is that while everyone's income was growing at about the same rate in the first period -- between 2.51 and 2.84 per cent annually -- by the second period, not only had growth slowed down across the board, but it grew by very different rates: what we see here, again, is that the rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer.

If these figures are correct, a change over time in the percentage of income received by each quintile should be observable. Ideally, if the society were egalitarian, each 20 per cent of the population would get 20 per cent of the income in any one year. In reality, it differs. To understand Figure 3, below, one must not only look at the percentage of income held by a quintile across the chart, comparing selected year by selected year, but one needs to look to see whether a quintile's share of income is moving toward or away from the ideal 20 percent.

Figure 3: Percentage of family income distribution by quintile, 1947, 1973, 2001.

Population by quintiles 1947 1973 2001

Top fifth (lower limit of top 5percent, or 95th Percentile)-- $184,500 [xv]

43.0% 41.1% 47.7%
Second fifth--$103,100 23.1% 24.0% 22.9%
Third fifth--$68,304 17.0% 17.5% 15.4%
Fourth fifth--$45,021 11.9% 11.9% 9.7%
Bottom fifth--$25,616 5.0% 5.5% 4.2%

Source: US Census Bureau at www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f02ar.html .

Unfortunately, much of the data available publicly ended in 2001. However, in the summer of 2007, after years of not releasing data any later than 2001, the Census Bureau released income data up to 2005. It allows us to examine what has taken place regarding family income inequality during the first four years of the Bush Administration.

Figure 4: US family income, in US dollars, growth and distribution, by quintile, 2001-2005, 2005 US dollars

Lowest 20%

Second 20%

Middle 20%

Fourth 20%

Lowest level of top 5%

2001

$26,467

$45,855

$68,925

$103,828

$180,973

2005

$25,616

$45,021

$68,304

$103,100

$184,500

Difference

(4 years)

-$851

(-3.2%)

-$834

(-1.8%)

-$621

(-.01%)

-$728

(-.007%)

$3,527

(1.94%)

Source: US Census Bureau at www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f01ar.html . (Over time, the Census Bureau refigures these amounts, so they have subsequently converted amounts to 2006 dollar values. These values are from their 2005 dollar values, and were calculated by the Census Bureau.) Differences and percentages calculated by author.

Thus, what we've seen under the first four years of the Bush Administration is that for at most Americans, their economic situation has worsened: not only has over all economic growth for any quintile slowed to a minuscule 1.94 per cent at the most, but that the bottom 80 per cent actually lost income; losing money (an absolute loss), rather than growing a little but falling further behind the top quintile (a relative loss). Further, the decrease across the bottom four quintiles has been suffered disproportionately by those in the lowest 40 per cent of the society.

This can perhaps be seen more clearly by examining CAGR rates by period.

We can now add the results of the 2001-2005 period share of income by quintile to our earlier chart:

Figure 5: Percentage of income growth per year by percentile, 1947-2005

Population by quintiles

1947-1973

1973-2001

2001-2005

Top 95 percentile

2.51%

1.66%

.48%

Fourth fifth

2.72%

1.25%

-.18%

Third fifth

2.84%

.92%

-.23%

Second fifth

2.73%

.62%

-.46%

Bottom fifth

2.64%

.48%

-.81%

Source: Calculated by author from data gathered from the US Department of the Census www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f01ar.html .

As can be seen, the percentage of family income at each of the four bottom quintiles is less in 2005 than in 1947; the only place there has been improvement over this 58-year period is at the 95th percentile (and above).

Figure 6: Percentage of family income distribution by quintile, 1947, 1973, 2001, 2005.

Population by quintiles 1947 1973 2001 2005

Top fifth (lower limit of top 5percent, or 95th Percentile)-- $184,500

43.0% 41.1% 47.7% 48.1%
Second fifth--$103,100 23.1% 24.0% 22.9% 22.9%
Third fifth--$68,304 17.0% 17.5% 15.4% 15.3%
Fourth fifth--$45,021 11.9% 11.9% 9.7% 9.6%
Bottom fifth--$25,616 5.0% 5.5% 4.2% 4.0%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau at www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f02ar.html .

What has been presented so far, regarding changes in income distribution, has been at the group level; in this case, quintile by quintile. It is time now to see how this has affected the society overall.

Sociologists and economists use a number called the Gini index to measure inequality. Family income data has been used so far, and we will continue using it. A Gini index is fairly simple to use. It measures inequality in a society. A Gini index is generally reported in a range between 0.000 and 1.000, and is written in thousandths, just like a winning percentage mark: three digits after the decimal. And the higher the Gini score, the greater the inequality.

Looking at the Gini index, we can see two periods since 1947, when the US Government began computing the Gini index for the country. From 1947-1968, with yearly change greater or smaller, the trend is downward, indicating reduced inequality: from .376 in 1947 to .378 in 1950, but then downward to .348 in 1968. So, again, over the first period, the trend is downward.

What has happened since then? From the low point in 1968 of .348, the trend has been upward. In 1982, the Gini index hit .380, which was higher than any single year between 1947-1968, and the US has never gone below .380 since then. By 1992, it hit .403, and we've never gone back below .400. In 2001, the US hit .435. But the score for 2005 has only recently been published: .440 (source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f04.html ). So, the trend is getting worse, and with the policies established under George W. Bush, I see them only continuing to increase in the forthcoming period. [And by the way, this increasing trend has continued under both the Republicans and the Democrats, but since the Republicans have controlled the presidency for 18 of the last 26 years (since 1981), they get most of the credit -- but let's not forget that the Democrats have controlled Congress across many of those years, so they, too, have been an equal opportunity destroyer!]

However, one more question must be asked: how does this income inequality in the US, compare to other countries around the world? Is the level of income inequality comparable to other "developed" societies, or is it comparable to "developing" countries?

We must turn to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for our data. The CIA computes Gini scores for family income on most of the countries around the world, and the last time checked in 2007 (August 1), they had data on 122 countries on their web page and these numbers had last been updated on July 19, 2007 (US Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). With each country listed, there is a Gini score provided. Now, the CIA doesn't compute Gini scores yearly, but they give the last year it was computed, so these are not exactly equivalent but they are suggestive enough to use. However, when they do assemble these Gini scores in one place, they list them alphabetically, which is not of much comparative use (US Central Intelligence Agency, 2007).

However, the World Bank categorizes countries, which means they can be compared within category and across categories. The World Bank, which does not provide Gini scores, puts 208 countries into one of four categories based on Gross National Income per capita -- that's total value of goods and services sold in the market in a year, divided by population size. This is a useful statistic, because it allows us to compare societies with economies of vastly different size: per capita income removes the size differences between countries.

The World Bank locates each country into one of four categories: lower income, lower middle income, upper middle income, and high income (World Bank, 2007a). Basically, those in the lower three categories are "developing" or what we used to call "third world" countries, while the high income countries are all of the so-called developed countries.

The countries listed by the CIA with their respective Gini scores were placed into the specific World Bank categories in which the World Bank had previously located them (World Bank, 2007b). Once grouped in their categories, median Gini scores were computed for each group. When trying to get one number to represent a group of numbers, median is considered more accurate than an average, so the median was used, which means half of the scores are higher, half are lower -- in other words, the data is at the 50th percentile for each category.

The Gini score for countries, by Gross National Income per capita, categorized by the World Bank:

Figure 7: Median Gini Scores by World Bank income categories (countries selected by US Central Intelligence Agency were placed in categories developed by the World Bank) and compared to 2004 US Gini score as calculated by US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Income category

Median Gini score

Gini score, US (2004)

Low income countries (less than $875/person/year)

.406

.450

Lower-middle income countries (between $876-3,465/person/year)

.414

.450

Upper-middle income countries (between $3,466-10,725/person/year

.370

.450

Upper-income countries (over $10,726/person/year

.316

.450

As can be seen, with the (CIA-calculated) Gini score of .450, the US family income is more unequal than the medians for each category, and is more unequal than some of the poorest countries on earth, such as Bangladesh (.318 -- calculated in 2000), Cambodia (.400, 2004 est.), Laos (.370-1997), Mozambique (.396, 1996-97), Uganda (.430-1999) and Vietnam (.361, 1998). This same finding also holds true using the more conservative Census Bureau-calculated Gini score of .440.

Thus, the US has not only become more unequal over the 35 years, as has been demonstrated above, but has attained a level of inequality that is much more comparable to those of developing countries in general and, in fact, is more unequal today than some of the poorest countries on Earth. There is nothing suggesting that this increasing inequality will lessen anytime soon. And since this increasing income inequality has taken place under the leadership of both major political parties, there is nothing on the horizon that suggests either will resolutely address this issue in the foreseeable future regardless of campaign promises made.

However, to move beyond discussion of whether President Obama is likely to address these and related issues, some consideration of governmental economic policies is required. Thus, he will be constrained by decisions made by previous administrations, as well as by the ideological blinders worn by those he has chosen to serve at the top levels of his administration.

3) Governmental economic policies

There are two key points that are especially important for our consideration: the US Budget and the US National Debt. They are similar, but different -- and consideration of each of them enhances understanding.

A) US budget. Every year, the US Government passes a budget, whereby governmental officials estimate beforehand how much money needs to be taken in to cover all expenses. If the government actually takes in more money than it spends, the budget is said to have a surplus; if it takes in less than it spends, the budget is said to be in deficit.

Since 1970, when Richard Nixon was President, the US budget has been in deficit every year except for the last four years under Clinton (1998-2001), where there was a surplus. But this surplus began declining under Clinton -- it was $236.2 billion in 2000, and only $128.2 billion in 2001, Clinton 's last budget. Under Bush, the US has gone drastically into deficit: -$157.8 billion in 2002; -$377.6 billion in 2003; -$412.7 billion in 2004; -$318.3 billion in 2005; and "only"-$248.2 billion in 2006 (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-78).

Now, that is just yearly surpluses and deficits. They get combined with all the other surpluses and deficits since the US became a country in 1789 to create to create a cumulative amount, what is called the National Debt.

B) US national debt. Between 1789 and1980 -- from Presidents Washington through Carter -- the accumulated US National Debt was $909 billion or, to put it another way, $.909 trillion. During Ronald Reagan's presidency (1981-89), the National Debt tripled, from $.9 trillion to $2.868 trillion. It has continued to rise. As of the end of 2006, 17 years later and after a four-year period of surpluses where the debt was somewhat reduced, National Debt (or Gross Federal Debt) was $8.451 trillion (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-78).

To put it into context: the US economy, the most productive in the world, had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $13.061 trillion in 2006, but the National Debt was $8.451 trillion -- 64.7 per cent of GDP -- and growing (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-1).

In April 2006, one investor reported that "the US Treasury has a hair under $8.4 trillion in outstanding debt. How much is that? He put it into this context: " if you deposited one million dollars into a bank account every day, starting 2006 years ago, that you would not even have ONE trillion dollars in that account" (Van Eeden, 2006).

Let's return to the budget deficit: like a family budget, when one spends more than one brings in, they can do basically one of three things: (a) they can cut spending; (b) they can increase taxes (or obviously a combination of the two); or (c) they can take what I call the "Wimpy" approach.

For those who might not know this, Wimpy was a cartoon character, a partner of "Popeye the Sailor," a Saturday morning cartoon that was played for over 30 years in the United States . Wimpy had a great love for hamburgers. And his approach to life was summed up in his rap: "I'll gladly give you two hamburgers on Tuesday, for a hamburger today."

What is argued is that the US Government has been taking what I call the Wimpy approach to its budgetary problems: it does not reduce spending, it does not raise taxes to pay for the increased expenditures -- in fact, President Bush has cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans [xvi] -- but instead it sells US Government securities, often known as Treasuries, to rich investors, private corporations or, increasingly, to other countries to cover the budget deficit. In a set number of years, the US Government agrees to pay off each bond -- and the difference between what the purchaser bought them for and the increased amount the US Government pays to redeem them is the cost of financing the Treasuries, a certain percentage of the total value. By buying US Treasuries, other countries have helped keep US interest rates low, helping to keep the US economy in as good of shape as it has been (thus, keeping the US market flourishing for them), while allowing the US Government not to have to confront its annual deficits. At the end of 2006, the total value of outstanding Treasuries -- to all investors, not just other countries -- was $8.507 trillion (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-87).

It turns out that at in December 2004, foreigners owned approximately 61 per cent of all outstanding US Treasuries. Of that, seven per cent was held by China ; these were valued at $223 billion (Gundzik, 2005).

The percentage of foreign and international investors' purchases of the total US public debt since 1996 has never been less than 17.7 percent, and it has reached a high of 25.08 per cent in September 2006. In September 2006, foreigners purchased $2.134 trillion of Treasuries; these were 25.08 per cent of all purchases, and 52.4 per cent of all privately-owned purchases (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-89). [xvii] Altogether, "the world now holds financial claims amounting to $3.5 trillion against the United States , or 26 per cent of our GDP" (Humpage and Shenk, 2007: 4).

Since the US Government continues to run deficits, because the Bush Administration has refused to address this problem, the United States has become dependent on other countries buying Treasuries. Like a junky on heroin, the US must get other investors (increasingly countries) to finance its budgetary deficits.

To keep the money flowing in, the US must keep interest rates high -- basically, interest rates are the price that must be paid to borrow money. Over the past year or so, the Federal Reserve has not raised interest rates, but prior to that, for 15 straight quarterly meetings, they did. And, as known, the higher the interest rate, the mostly costly it is to borrow money domestically, which means increasingly likelihood of recession -- if not worse. In other words, dependence on foreigners to finance the substantial US budget deficits means that the US must be prepared to raise interests rates which, at some point, will choke off domestic borrowing and consumption, throwing the US economy into recession. [xviii]

Yet this threat is not just to the United States -- according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it is a threat to the global economy. A story about a then-recently issued report by the IMF begins, "With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy ." The report suggested that net financial obligations of the US to the rest of the world could equal 40 per cent of its total economy if nothing was done about it in a few years, "an unprecedented level of external debt for a larger industrial country" according to the report. What was perhaps even more shocking than what the report said was which institution said it: "The IMF has often been accused of being an adjunct of the United States , its largest shareholder" (Becker and Andrews, 2004).

Other analysts go further. After discussing the increasingly risky nature of global investing, and noting that "The investor managers of private equity funds and major banks have displaced national banks and international bodies such as the IMF," Gabriel Kolko (2007) quotes Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's chief economist, on April 24, 2007: "a major financial crisis seemed imminent and that the global institutions that could forestall it, including the IMF, the World Bank and other mechanisms of the international financial architecture, were utterly inadequate." Kolko recognizes that things may not collapse immediately, and that analysts could be wrong, but still concludes, "the transformation of the global financial system will sooner or later lead to dire results" (Kolko, 2007: 5).

What might happen if investors decided to take their money out of US Treasuries and, say, invest in Euro-based bonds? The US would be in big trouble, would be forced to raise its interest rates even higher than it wants -- leading to possibly a severe recession -- and if investors really shifted their money, the US could be observably bankrupt; the curtain hiding the "little man" would be opened, and he would be observable to all.

Why would investors rather shift their investment money into Euro-bonds instead of US Treasuries? Well, obviously, one measure is the perceived strength of the US economy. To get a good idea of how solid a country's economy is, one looks at things such as budget deficits, but perhaps even more importantly balance of trade: how well is this economy doing in comparison with other countries?

The US international balance of trade is in the red and is worsening: -$717 billion in 2005. In 1991, it was -$31 billion. Since 1998, the US trade balance has set a new record for being in the hole every year, except during 2001, and then breaking the all time high the very next year! -$165 B in 1998; -$263 B in 1999; -$378 B in 2000; only -$362 B in 2001; -$421 B in 2002; -$494 B in 2003; -$617 B in 2004; and - $717 B in 2005 (Economic Report of the President, 2007: Table B-103). According to the Census Department, the balance of trade in 2006 was -$759 billion (US Census Bureau, 2007).

And the US current account balance, the broadest measure of a country's international financial situation -- which includes investment inside and outside the US in addition to balance of trade -- is even worse: it was -$805 B in 2005, or 6.4 per cent of national income. "The bottom line is that a current account deficit of this unparalleled magnitude is unsustainable and there is no hope of it being painlessly resolved through higher exports alone," according to one analyst (quoted in Swann, 2006). Scott notes that the current account deficit in 2006 was -$857 billion (Scott, 2007a: 8, fn. 1). "In effect, the United States is living beyond its means and selling off national assets to pay its bills" (Scott, 2007b: 1). [xix]

In addition, during mid-2007, there was a bursting of a domestic "housing bubble," which has threatened domestic economic well-being but that ultimately threatens the well-being of global financial markets. There had been a tremendous run-up in US housing values since 1995 -- with an increase of more than 70 per cent after adjusting for the rate of inflation -- and this had created "more than $8 trillion in housing wealth compared with a scenario in which house prices had continued to rise at the same rate of inflation," which they had done for over 100 years, between 1890 and 1995 (Baker, 2007: 8).

This led to a massive oversupply of housing, accompanied with falling house prices: according to Dean Baker, "the peak inventory of unsold new homes of 573,000 in July 2006 was more than 50 per cent higher than the previous peak of 377,000 in May of 1989" (Baker, 2007: 12-13). This caused massive problems in the sub-prime housing market -- estimates are that almost $2 trillion in sub-prime loans were made during 2005-06, and that about $325 billion of these loans will default, with more than 1 million people losing their homes (Liedtke, 2007) -- but these problems are not confined to the sub-prime loan category: because sub-prime and "Alt-A" mortgages (the category immediately above sub-prime) financed 40 per cent of the housing market in 2006, "it is almost inevitable that the problems will spill over into the rest of the market" (Baker, 2007: 15). And Business Week agrees: "Subprime woes have moved far beyond the mortgage industry." It notes that at least five hedge funds have gone out of business, corporate loans and junk bonds have been hurt, and the leveraged buyout market has been hurt (Goldstein and Henry, 2007).

David Leonhardt (2007) agrees with the continuing threat to the financial industry. Discussing "adjustable rate mortgages" -- where interest rates start out low, but reset to higher rates, resulting in higher mortgage payments to the borrower -- he points out that about $50 billion of mortgages will reset during October 2007, and that this amount of resetting will remain over $30 billion monthly through September 2008. "In all," he writes," the interest rates on about $1 trillion worth of mortgages or 12 per cent of the nation's total, will reset for the first time this year or next."

Why all of this is so important is because bankers have gotten incredibly "creative" in creating new mortgages, which they sell to home buyers. Then they bundle these obligations and sell to other financial institutions and which, in turn, create new securities (called derivatives) based on these questionable new mortgages. Yes, it is basically a legal ponzi scheme, but it requires the continuous selling and buying of these derivatives to keep working: in early August 2007, however, liquidity -- especially "financial instruments backed by home mortgages" -- dried up, as no one wanted to buy these instruments (Krugman, 2007). The US Federal Research and the European Central Bank felt it necessary to pump over $100 billion into the financial markets in mid-August 2007 to keep the international economy solvent (Norris, 2007).

So, economically, this country is in terrible shape -- with no solution in sight.

On top of this -- as if all of this is not bad enough -- the Bush Administration is asking for another $481.4 billion for the Pentagon's base budget, which it notes is "a 62 per cent increase over 2001." Further, the Administration seeks an additional $93.4 billion in supplemental funds for 2007 and another $141.7 billion for 2008 to help fund the "Global War on Terror" and US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (US Government, 2007). According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2006, the US "defense" spending was equivalent to 46 per cent of all military spending in the world, meaning that almost more money is provided for the US military in one year than is spent by the militaries of all the other countries in the world combined (SIPRI, 2007).

And SIPRI's accounting doesn't include the $500 billion spent so far, approximately, on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq .

In short, not only have things gotten worse for American working people since 1973 -- and especially after 1982, with the imposition of neoliberal economic policies by institutions of the US Government -- but on-going Federal budget deficits, the escalating National Debt, the need to attract foreign money into US Treasuries, the financial market "meltdown" as well as the massive amounts of money being channeled to continue the Empire, all suggest that not only will intensifying social problems not be addressed, but will get worse for the foreseeable future.

4) Synopsis

This analysis provides an extensive look at the impact of neoliberal economic policies enacted in the United States on American working people. These neoliberal economic policies have been enacted as a conscious strategy by US corporate leaders and their governmental allies in both major political parties as a way to address intensifying globalization while seeking to maintain US dominance over the global political economy.

While it will be a while before anyone can determine success or failure overall of this elite strategy but, because of is global-historical perspective, sufficient evidence is already available to evaluate the affects of these policies on American working people. For the non-elites of this country, these policies have had a deleterious impact and they are getting worse. Employment data in manufacturing, worsening since 1979 but especially since 2000 (see Aronowitz, 2005), has been horrific -- and since this has been the traditional path for non-college educated workers to be able to support themselves and their families, and provide for their children, this data suggests social catastrophe for many -- see Rubin (1995), Barnes (2005), and Bageant (2007), and accounts in Finnegan (1998) and Lipper (2004) that support this -- because comparable jobs available to these workers are not being created. Thus, the problem is not just that people are losing previously stable, good-paying jobs -- as bad as that is -- but that there is nothing being created to replace these lost jobs, and there is not even a social safety net in many cases that can generally cushion the blow (see Wilson, 1996; Appelbaum, Bernhardt, and Murnane, eds., 2003).

Yet the impact of these social changes has not been limited to only blue-collar workers, although the impact has been arguably greatest upon them. The overall economic growth of the society has been so limited since 1973, and the results increasingly being unequally distributed since then, that the entire society is becoming more and more unequal: each of the four bottom quintiles -- the bottom 80 per cent of families -- has seen a decrease in the amount of family income available to each quintile between 2001-05. This not only increases inequality and resulting resentments -- including criminal behaviors -- but it also produces deleterious affects on individual and social health (Kawachi, Kennedy and Wilkinson, eds., 1999; Eitzen and Eitzen Smith, 2003). And, as shown above, this level of inequality is much more comparable internationally to "developing" countries rather than "developed" ones.

When this material is joined with material on the US budget, and especially the US National Debt, it is clear that these "problems" are not the product of individual failure, but of a social order that is increasingly unsustainable. While we have no idea of what it will take before the US economy will implode, all indications are that US elites are speeding up a run-away train of debt combined with job-destroying technology and off-shoring production, creating a worsening balance of trade with the rest of the world and a worsening current account, with an unstable housing market and intensifying militarism and an increasingly antagonistic foreign policy: it is like they are building a bridge over an abyss, with a train increasingly speeding up as it travels toward the bridge, and crucial indicators suggest that the bridge cannot be completed in time.

Whether the American public will notice and demand a radical change in time is not certain -- it will not be enough to simply slow the train down, but it must turn down an alternative track (see Albert, 2003; Woodin and Lucas, 2004; Starr, 2005) -- but it is almost certain that foreign investors will. Should they not be able to get the interest rates here available elsewhere in the "developed" parts of the world, investors will shift their investments, causing more damage to working people in the United States .

And when this economic-focused analysis is joined with an environmental one -- George Monbiot (2007) reports that the best science available argues that industrialized countries have to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent by the year 2030 if we are to have a chance to stop global warming -- then it is clear that US society is facing a period of serious social instability.

5) Conclusion

This article has argued that the situation for working people in the United States, propelled by the general governmental adoption of neoliberal economic policies, is getting worse -- and there is no end in sight. The current situation and historical change have been presented and discussed. Further, an examination and analysis of directly relevant US economic policies have been presented, and there has been nothing in this analysis that suggests a radical, but necessary, change by US elected officials is in sight. In other words, working people in this country are in bad shape generally -- and it is worse for workers of color than for white workers -- and there is nothing within the established social order that suggests needed changes will be effected.

The neoliberal economic policies enacted by US corporate and government leaders has been a social disaster for increasing numbers of families in the United States .

Globalization for profit -- or what could be better claimed to be "globalization from above" -- and its resulting neoliberal economic policies have long-been recognized as being a disaster for most countries in the Global South. This study argues that this top-down globalization and the accompanying neoliberal economic policies has been a disaster for working people in northern countries as well, and most particularly in the United States .

The political implications from these findings remains to be seen. Surely, one argument is not only that another world is possible, but that it is essential.

© Kim Scipes, Ph.D.

[Kim Scipes is assistant professor of sociology , Purdue University, North Central, Westville , IN 46391. The author's web site is at http://faculty.pnc.edu/kscipes .This paper was given at the 2009 Annual Conference of the United Association for Labor Education at the National Labor College in Silver Spring , MD. It has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Kim Scipes' permission.]

* * *

Note to labor educators: This is a very different approach than you usually take. While presenting a "big picture," this does not suggest what you are doing is "wrong" or "bad." What it suggests, however, is that the traditional labor education approach is too limited: this suggests that your work is valuable but that you need to put it into a much larger context than is generally done, and that it is in the interaction between your work and this that we each can think out the ways to go forward. This is presented in the spirit of respect for the important work that each of you do on a daily basis.

[Oct 01, 2017] I think we're seeing a regionalization of global power structures within the state system -- regional hegemons like Germany in Europe, Brazil in Latin America, China in East Asia

monthlyreview.org
Oct 01, 2017 | 20think%20we're%20seeing%20a%20regionalization%20of%20global%20power%20structures%20within%20the%20state%20system%20 -- %20regional%20hegemons%20like%20Germany%20in%20Europe,%20Brazil%20in%20Latin%20America,%20China%20in%20East%20Asia.

I think we're seeing a regionalization of global power structures within the state system -- regional hegemons like Germany in Europe, Brazil in Latin America, China in East Asia.

Obviously, the United States still has a global position, but times have changed. Obama can go to the G20 and say, "We should do this," and Angela Merkel can say, "We're not doing that." That would not have happened in the 1970s.

So the geopolitical situation has become more regionalized, there's more autonomy. I think that's partly a result of the end of the Cold War. Countries like Germany no longer rely on the United States for protection.

Furthermore, what has been called the "new capitalist class" of Bill Gates , Amazon , and Silicon Valley has a different politics than traditional oil and energy.

As a result they tend to go their own particular ways, so there's a lot of sectional rivalry between, say, energy and finance, and energy and the Silicon Valley crowd, and so on. There are serious divisions that are evident on something like climate change, for example.

The other thing I think is crucial is that the neoliberal push of the 1970s didn't pass without strong resistance. There was massive resistance from labor, from communist parties in Europe, and so on.

But I would say that by the end of the 1980s the battle was lost. So to the degree that resistance has disappeared, labor doesn't have the power it once had, solidarity among the ruling class is no longer necessary for it to work. It doesn't have to get together and do something about struggle from below because there is no threat anymore. The ruling class is doing extremely well so it doesn't really have to change anything.

Yet while the capitalist class is doing very well, capitalism is doing rather badly. Profit rates have recovered but reinvestment rates are appallingly low, so a lot of money is not circulating back into production and is flowing into land-grabs and asset-procurement instead.

Jul 23

[Sep 23, 2017] The Dangerous Decline of U.S. Hegemony by Daniel Lazare

Notable quotes:
"... By Daniel Lazare September 9, 2017 ..."
"... But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi ..."
"... If the U.S. says that Moscow's activities in the eastern Ukraine are illegitimate, then, as the world's sole remaining "hyperpower," it will see to it that Russia suffers accordingly. If China demands more of a say in Central Asia or the western Pacific, then right-thinking folks the world over will shake their heads sadly and accuse it of undermining international democracy, which is always synonymous with U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... There is no one – no institution – that Russia or China can appeal to in such circumstances because the U.S. is also in charge of the appellate division. It is the "indispensable nation" in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, because "we stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future." Given such amazing brilliance, how can any other country possibly object? ..."
"... Next to go was Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, sent packing in October 2001, followed by Slobodan Milosevic, hauled before an international tribunal in 2002; Saddam Hussein, executed in 2006, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed by a mob in 2011. For a while, the world really did seem like " Gunsmoke ," and the U.S. really did seem like Sheriff Matt Dillon. ..."
"... Although The New York Times wrote that U.S. pressure to cut off North Korean oil supplies has put China "in a tight spot," this was nothing more than whistling past the graveyard. There is no reason to think that Xi is the least bit uncomfortable. To the contrary, he is no doubt enjoying himself immensely as he watches America paint itself into yet another corner. ..."
"... Unipolarity will slink off to the sidelines while multilateralism takes center stage. Given that U.S. share of global GDP has fallen by better than 20 percent since 1989, a retreat is inevitable. America has tried to compensate by making maximum use of its military and political advantages. That would be a losing proposition even if it had the most brilliant leadership in the world. Yet it doesn't. Instead, it has a President who is an international laughingstock, a dysfunctional Congress, and a foreign-policy establishment lost in a neocon dream world. As a consequence, retreat is turning into a disorderly rout. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The bigger picture behind Official Washington's hysteria over Russia, Syria and North Korea is the image of a decaying but dangerous American hegemon resisting the start of a new multipolar order, explains Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
September 9, 2017

The showdown with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a seminal event that can only end in one of two ways: a nuclear exchange or a reconfiguration of the international order.

While complacency is always unwarranted, the first seems increasingly unlikely. As no less a global strategist than Steven Bannon observed about the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. strike: "There's no military solution. Forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about. There's no military solution here. They got us."

This doesn't mean that Donald Trump, Bannon's ex-boss, couldn't still do something rash. After all, this is a man who prides himself on being unpredictable in business negotiations, as historian William R. Polk, who worked for the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, points out . So maybe Trump thinks it would be a swell idea to go a bit nuts on the DPRK.

But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi with Russia, it also means that the President is continually surrounded by generals, spooks, and other professionals who know the difference between real estate and nuclear war.

As ideologically fogbound as they may be, they can presumably be counted on to make sure that Trump does not plunge the world into Armageddon (named, by the way, for a Bronze Age city about 20 miles southeast of Haifa, Israel).

That leaves option number two: reconfiguration. The two people who know best about the subject are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both have been chafing for years under a new world order in which one nation gets to serve as judge, jury, and high executioner. This, of course, is the United States.

If the U.S. says that Moscow's activities in the eastern Ukraine are illegitimate, then, as the world's sole remaining "hyperpower," it will see to it that Russia suffers accordingly. If China demands more of a say in Central Asia or the western Pacific, then right-thinking folks the world over will shake their heads sadly and accuse it of undermining international democracy, which is always synonymous with U.S. foreign policy.

There is no one – no institution – that Russia or China can appeal to in such circumstances because the U.S. is also in charge of the appellate division. It is the "indispensable nation" in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, because "we stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future." Given such amazing brilliance, how can any other country possibly object?

Challenging the Rule-Maker

But now that a small and beleaguered state on the Korean peninsula is outmaneuvering the United States and forcing it to back off, the U.S. no longer seems so far-sighted. If North Korea really has checkmated the U.S., as Bannon says, then other states will want to do the same. The American hegemon will be revealed as an overweight 71-year-old man naked except for his bouffant hairdo.

Not that the U.S. hasn't suffered setbacks before. To the contrary, it was forced to accept the Castro regime following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and it suffered a massive defeat in Vietnam in 1975. But this time is different. Where both East and West were expected to parry and thrust during the Cold War, giving as good as they got, the U.S., as the global hegemon, must now do everything in its power to preserve its aura of invincibility.

Since 1989, this has meant knocking over a string of "bad guys" who had the bad luck to get in its way. First to go was Manuel Noriega, toppled six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall in an invasion that cost the lives of as many as 500 Panamanian soldiers and possibly thousands of civilians as well.

Next to go was Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, sent packing in October 2001, followed by Slobodan Milosevic, hauled before an international tribunal in 2002; Saddam Hussein, executed in 2006, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed by a mob in 2011. For a while, the world really did seem like " Gunsmoke ," and the U.S. really did seem like Sheriff Matt Dillon.

But then came a few bumps in the road. The Obama administration cheered on a Nazi-spearheaded coup d'état in Kiev in early 2014 only to watch helplessly as Putin, under intense popular pressure, responded by detaching Crimea, which historically had been part of Russia and was home to the strategic Russian naval base at Sevastopol, and bringing it back into Russia.

The U.S. had done something similar six years earlier when it encouraged Kosovo to break away from Serbia . But, in regards to Ukraine, neocons invoked the 1938 Munich betrayal and compared the Crimea case to Hitler's seizure of the Sudetenland .

Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dealt Washington another blow by driving U.S.-backed, pro-Al Qaeda forces out of East Aleppo in December 2016. Predictably, the Huffington Post compared the Syrian offensive to the fascist bombing of Guernica .

Fire and Fury

Finally, beginning in March, North Korea's Kim Jong Un entered into a game of one-upmanship with Trump, firing ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, test-firing an ICBM that might be capable of hitting California , and then exploding a hydrogen warhead roughly eight times as powerful as the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. When Trump vowed to respond "with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before," Kim upped the ante by firing a missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

As bizarre as Kim's behavior can be at times, there is method to his madness. As Putin explained during the BRICS summit with Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, the DPRK's "supreme leader" has seen how America destroyed Libya and Iraq and has therefore concluded that a nuclear delivery system is the only surefire guarantee against U.S. invasion.

"We all remember what happened with Iraq and Saddam Hussein," he said . "His children were killed, I think his grandson was shot, the whole country was destroyed and Saddam Hussein was hanged . We all know how this happened and people in North Korea remember well what happened in Iraq . They will eat grass but will not stop their nuclear program as long as they do not feel safe."

Since Kim's actions are ultimately defensive in nature, the logical solution would be for the U.S. to pull back and enter into negotiations. But Trump, desperate to save face, quickly ruled it out. "Talking is not the answer!" he tweeted . Yet the result of such bluster is only to make America seem more helpless than ever.

Although The New York Times wrote that U.S. pressure to cut off North Korean oil supplies has put China "in a tight spot," this was nothing more than whistling past the graveyard. There is no reason to think that Xi is the least bit uncomfortable. To the contrary, he is no doubt enjoying himself immensely as he watches America paint itself into yet another corner.

The U.S. Corner

If Trump backs down at this point, the U.S. standing in the region will suffer while China's will be correspondingly enhanced. On the other hand, if Trump does something rash, it will be a golden opportunity for Beijing, Moscow, or both to step in as peacemakers. Japan and South Korea will have no choice but to recognize that there are now three arbiters in the region instead of just one while other countries – the Philippines, Indonesia, and maybe even Australia and New Zealand – will have to follow suit.

Unipolarity will slink off to the sidelines while multilateralism takes center stage. Given that U.S. share of global GDP has fallen by better than 20 percent since 1989, a retreat is inevitable. America has tried to compensate by making maximum use of its military and political advantages. That would be a losing proposition even if it had the most brilliant leadership in the world. Yet it doesn't. Instead, it has a President who is an international laughingstock, a dysfunctional Congress, and a foreign-policy establishment lost in a neocon dream world. As a consequence, retreat is turning into a disorderly rout.

Assuming a mushroom cloud doesn't go up over Los Angeles, the world is going to be a very different place coming out of the Korean crisis than when it went in. Of course, if a mushroom cloud does go up, it will be even more so.

* Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Read also: The Brazilian Coup and Washington's "Rollback" in Latin America

[Sep 22, 2017] Flags, Symbols, and Statues Resurgent As Globalism Declines

Sep 22, 2017 | www.strategic-culture.org

As the forces of globalism retreat after numerous defeats in the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and other nations, there is a resurgent popularity in national, historical, and cultural symbols. These include flags, statues of forbearers, place names, language, and, in fact, anything that distinguishes one national or sub-national group from others. The negative reactions to cultural and religious threats brought about by the manifestations of globalism – mass movement of refugees, dictates from supranational organizations like the European Union and the United Nations, and the loss of financial independence – should have been expected by the globalists. Caught up in their own self-importance and hubris, the globalists are now debasing the forces of national, religious, and cultural identity as threats to the "world order."

The most egregious examples of globalist pushback against aspirant nationhood and the symbols of national identity are Catalonia and Kurdistan. Two plebiscites on independence, a September 25, 2017 referendum on the Kurdistan Regional Government declaring independence from Iraq and an October 1 referendum on Catalonia beginning the process of breaking away from the Kingdom of Spain, are expected to achieve "yes" votes. Neither plebiscite in binding, a fact that will result in both votes being ignored by the mother countries.

Iraq, the United States, Turkey, and Iran have warned Kurdish Iraq against holding the independence referendum. The United States is prepared to double-cross its erstwhile Kurdish allies for a fourth time. President Woodrow Wilson, who has been cited as the "first neoconservative or neocon, reneged on Kurdish independence during the post-World War I Versailles peace conference. Henry Kissinger double-crossed Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani in 1975 with the Algiers Accord between Iraq and Iran, a perfidious act that forced 100,000 of Barzani's Kurdish forces into exile in Iran. George H. W. Bush promised the Kurds help after Operation Desert Storm in 1991 if they revolted against Saddam Hussein's government. US military aid was not forthcoming and the Kurds were forced into a small sliver of northern Iraq, over which a US "no-fly zone" was imposed. Now, Donald Trump's administration has warned the Kurds not to even think about independence, even though the Kurdish peshmerga forces helped the US and its allies to drive the Islamic State out of Kirkuk and the rest of northern Iraq.

In Spain, the conservative prime minister is trying to emulate the Spanish fascist dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco in making threats against Catalonia's independence wishes.

In response to the Catalan Parliament's vote to hold an October 1 referendum on Catalonia's independence from Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his People's Party government have promised to round up the pro-independence members of the Catalan government, as well as pro-independence legislators of the parliament and mayors, and criminally charge them with sedition.

Rajoy's stance should be no surprise since his party, the Popular Party, is the political heir of Franco's Falangist party. Franco's version of the Nazi Gestapo, the Guardia Civil, brutally suppressed Catalan and Basque identity. Particular targets for suppression, according to Falangist doctrine, were "anti-Spanish activists," "Reds," "separatists," "liberals," "Jews," "Freemasons," and "judeomarxistas."

The Falange was eventually replaced by the National Movement, which continued many of Franco's policies, including repression of the Catalan and Basque culture, autonomy, and language.

The Francoist People's Alliance, founded in 1989 by Franco's Interior Minister, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, eventually morphed into the People's Party of Rajoy. The People's Party considers itself "Christian Democratic," but it receives support from Franco's fascist Roman Catholic order, the Opus Dei.

Rajoy is using a decision by Spain's Constitutional Court, suspending the independence referendum in Catalonia, as justification for his threats against the region. Apparently, the neo-fascist government of Spain has been trawling Twitter to collect the names of Catalan mayors who have posted photographs of themselves and messages of support for the "Junts pel Si" (Together for Yes) pro-independence coalition. The mayors, along with members of parliament and the government in Barcelona, are being placed on a Guardia Civil list targeting them with arrest and incarceration if the referendum is carried out.

Rajoy has also warned officials of local municipal councils that their cooperation in holding a referendum vote will be considered an act of sedition and that they, too, face arrest and detention.

Rajoy's channeling of Franco will only solidify anti-Spanish feelings in Catalonia, even among those not keen on independence. The iron boot of Rajoy and the People's Party in Catalonia will only boost support for Catalan independence from those mildly opposed to it or neutral. If Catalonia's regional and local government leaders are paraded off to prisons, the peaceful independence movement in the region could easily turn violent. There is also widespread support for Catalan independence in the separatist Basque region, where parades have been held in support of the Catalan cause. In August, 3000 pro-Catalan independence Basques marched in the Basque city of San Sebastian. If Rajoy carries through with his threat against Catalonia, the Basque region will also see it as a threat to them and join in a renewed campaign of violence against the Madrid neo-fascists. The Basque secessionist terrorist group ETA agreed to disarm in 2011 but it has not turned in all its weapons.

The Basque party EH Bildu has already submitted a bill in the regional Basque parliament that is a copy of the Catalan independence referendum bill that passed the parliament in Barcelona.

People around the world are rejecting the notion that states, harboring more than one nation, ethnic group, or tribal entity, should be recognized by globalist institutions like the EU and UN as representing all the constituent parts. Currently, the Republic of Macedonia is negotiating with Greece, the EU, and NATO on membership under a nation-state name that suits Greece. Greece does not recognize Macedonia by that name because it believes Macedonia harbors irredentist designs on Greek Macedonia. Greece insists the country use the provisional name of FYROM, which stands for the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." Macedonian nationalists scoff at such a name, likening it to being forced to use the fictional Klingon language of "Star Trek."

As a result of the United Kingdom's exit from the EU, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are demanding that London grant them the right to maintain their own economic and other links with the Eurocrats in Brussels. Scotland may hold a second independence referendum with or without the blessing of London. The Welsh Assembly in Cardiff is sounding more and more like the Scottish Parliament in demanding a separate deal with the EU for Wales. Even in the heart of the EU bureaucracy – Belgium – Flanders and Wallonia show no signs of abandoning their march toward independence, leaving Brussels as its own independent city-state hosting the headquarters of the EU, NATO, and Godiva Chocolatier. Rather than the Belgian flag, one is more likely to find Flemish flags flying from poles in Antwerp and Walloon flags adorning buildings in Liège.

Around the world, statues of historical figures are being defaced and removed by contrarian groups who bear ethnic or political grudges. They include Confederate General Robert E. Lee throughout the United States, Captain James Cook in Australia, Father Junipero Serra in California, Christopher Columbus in New York, King Kamehameha in Hawaii, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Marthinus Pretorius and Paul Kruger in South Africa. This all represents the trend toward dissolution of the nation-state. Nation-state flags, monuments of past political and religious figures, and other nation-state symbols are not only being questioned but, in some cases, ignored or cast aside completely. The world is "going tribal" and there is little the governing globalists and elites can do about it. They brought this situation upon themselves with their aloofness and ignorance. The UN General Assembly will soon welcome 193-member state leaders to its plenary session in New York. The UN may do well to plan for future sessions at which 300 or more member-state leaders, from Åland to Zanzibar and Baltistan to Mthwakazi, converge on New York.

Tags: Neocons Catalonia Kurdistan Middle East UK New World Order

[Sep 20, 2017] Sovereign Nations Is Main Theme Of Trump's UN Speech

Sovereignty is oppose of neoliberal globalization, so in a way this is an some kind of affirmation of Trump election position. How serious it is is not clear. Probably not much as Imperial faction now controls Trump, making him more of a marionette that a political leader of the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. ..."
"... The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in. ..."
"... There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told". ..."
"... "The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in" ..."
"... The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had. ..."
"... He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion. ..."
"... Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011. ..."
"... How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces. ..."
"... Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology ..."
"... I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open. ..."
"... Trump - the Republican Obama ..."
"... "The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality. ..."
"... The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?" ..."
"... it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. ..."
"... Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are ..."
"... baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking. ..."
"... In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today the President of the United States Donald Trump spoke (rush transcript) to the United Nations General Assembly. The speech's main the me was sovereignty. The word occurs 18(!) times. It emphasized Westphalian principles .

[W]e do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation

All leaders of countries should always put their countries first, he said, and "the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition ."


The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 - bigger

Sovereignty was the core message of his speech. It rhymed well with his somewhat isolationist emphasis of "America first" during his campaign. The second part of the speech the first by threatened the sovereignty of several countries the U.S. ruling class traditionally dislikes. This year's "axis of evil" included North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba:

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary."

Many people will criticize that as an outrageous and irresponsible use of words. It is. But there is nothing new to it. In fact the U.S., acting on behalf of the UN, totally destroyed Korea in the 1950s. The last U.S. president made the same threat Trump made today:

President Barack Obama delivered a stern warning to North Korea on Tuesday, reminding its "erratic" and "irresponsible" leader that America's nuclear arsenal could "destroy" his country.

The South Korean military sounds equally belligerent :

A military source told the Yonhap news agency every part of Pyongyang "will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells". ... The city, the source said, "will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map".

Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. There was essentially nothing in Trump's threats than the claptrap the last two U.S. presidents also delivered. Trump may be crazy, but the speech today is not a sign of that.

The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in.

Posted by b on September 19, 2017 at 01:05 PM | Permalink

somebody | Sep 19, 2017 1:32:33 PM | 2
There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told".
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

b | Sep 19, 2017 1:51:10 PM | 3
@1 somebody - thanks - link corrected.

@2 somebody - yes, unaimed hostile prose from the speechwriter. Such is in the speech of every U.S. president. But it is not the general theme of the Trump speech when one reads it as one piece. The weight is put in the other direction (though the media will likely point to the threats instead of reading the more extraordinary parts where Trump pushes national sovereignty.)

Luther Blissett | Sep 19, 2017 1:53:43 PM | 4

If there is more to this than the usual US double-speak, I don't see it.

james | Sep 19, 2017 1:57:07 PM | 5
thanks b... ''the criminal regime of donald trump'' is much more on target....
Perimetr | Sep 19, 2017 2:02:47 PM | 6
"The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in"

It appears that his generals are instructing him what to "believe in". At least, he certainly doesn't seem to "believe in" most of his campaign promises, not unlike his recent predecessors. The whole "democracy and freedom" thing in the US is just a charade, as far as I am concerned.

financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had.

I think this was a very good interview of Vijay Prashadby by Chris Hedges

Prashad

He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion.

Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011.

--------

The good news is that Syria is turning out much different than Libya. Would be great to see the US cooperate with the China/Russia etc economic goals rather than stirring up trouble in the Phillippines, Myanmar etc. The first test will be to see if Trump can deliver single payer health care to the US. :) ie start to back off on the anti socialism rhetoric

Jeff Kaye | Sep 19, 2017 2:24:19 PM | 8
The "nation state" brought us the millions slaughtered in World War 1. The nation states threatened by the internationalist communist ideology of the USSR (in its early days) ultimately brought us World War 2. The hypertrophied nation state that is the United States of America will bring us World War 3 in its drive to secure its total supremacy. Luckily for us, there will be no World War 4.
Christophe Douté | Sep 19, 2017 2:27:49 PM | 9
How can a country A be "forced to defend itself" by a country B so weak comparatively to country A it can actually be "totally destroyed" by country A?

How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces.

Robert Beal | Sep 19, 2017 2:34:28 PM | 10
beyond hypocrisy, refined doublespeak
OJS | Sep 19, 2017 2:40:10 PM | 11
Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 2:43:24 PM | 12
The United Nations is based upon the equal sovereignty of nations.
--from the UN Charter --
Article 2
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 2:46:18 PM | 13
Trump's speech seemed to represent an ignorant mouthy bully with a big stick who is threatening any nation he is told to hate. I have to agree with Paveway IV that Trump is just the announcer. The "national sovereignty" comments were just for internal consumption for his base of supporters.

The "Trump world: appears to be getting very crazy given the agendas of the people who handle Trump:
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_77417.shtml
http://www.unz.com/jpetras/who-rules-america-2/

To a major extent Trump's focus on the "great leader" of countries opposed to the US helps simplify the hate for the "little people" in the US. They have not noticed that the US (as in most other Western countries) has many mini "great leaders" who work toward the same goals while distracting the "little people" with political theatre.

Linda O | Sep 19, 2017 3:05:11 PM | 14
I really don't know what the purpose of this rambling threat to the rest of the world was supposed to accomplish.

Yes, it really was nothing new. The fundamental material of the speech was the very same garbage written by the same Washington establishment of previous administrations - essentially the nuclear armed US regime is 'special' and reserves the right to attack and destroy any country it chooses to.

While the Trump speech is rightly being both ridiculed around the world, what is very scary is the humiliated Trump base is seizing on it.

The Trump base is begging for their failed 'God Emperor' to attack someone to feel better about their own humiliation.

Very, very scary.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 15
Sovereignty is also an excuse for US intervention, get it? . . .Trump does....
America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity.
duplicitousdemocracy | Sep 19, 2017 3:27:35 PM | 16
His speechwriters deserve to be fired and the text size on both teleprompters should have been increased. Alternatively, he should wear glasses (along with a more suitably fitted toupee). Sarah Palin would seem like Einstein at the side of this clown.
Ort | Sep 19, 2017 3:32:27 PM | 17
Trump's speech is Orwellian! Not just generally-- it is arguably an elaboration of a close paraphase of an Orwell quote, to wit: "All nations are sovereign, but some nations are more sovereign than others."

I have a strongly ambivalent reaction to Trump's UN appearance-- although I confess that I can only stand to watch and listen to him for brief time periods. It's appalling and embarrassing to watch any of the US's seemingly inexhaustible supply of lizard-brained degenerates at the UN. But part of me thinks it's better to have the quintessential Ugly Amerikan beating his chest and engaging in rhetorical feces-flinging. At least the rest of the world won't be bamboozled, the way they might be by a smooth, silver-tongued liar.

likklemore | Sep 19, 2017 3:50:54 PM | 18
@OJS 11

Putin, Xi and other leaders did not attend this year's UN gathering. They are busy attending the affairs of their citizens.

We are being distracted from the game changer ahead – de-dollarization now on the fast track.
While the toothless dog barks,

Putin orders to end trade in US dollars at Russian seaports

https://www.rt.com/business/403804-russian-sea-ports-ruble-settlements/

This is on the heels of Trump's threatening to exclude China from use of SWIFT (the USD) and China's gold yuan oil futures contract coming mid October as opposed to USD. The petro-yuan is a game changer; hitting the petro-dollar hegemony that keeps the dollar in worldwide demand.

The toothless dog has only his bark. Are Americans prepared for hyper-inflation?

psychohistorian | Sep 19, 2017 4:08:53 PM | 19
I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open.

The abuse of the term sovereignty by Trump is part of a crafted Big Lie message. Just like Trump linking to the poster of him, with a rope over his shoulder, dragging a barge of companies back to America......the internationalism genie will never go completely back into the bottle and is counterproductive to all.

Christian Chuba | Sep 19, 2017 4:46:02 PM | 20
John Bolton and the moron, Sean Hannity, love the speech. That should be all anyone needs to know. It was Orwellian, super-villain, double-speak.
If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
Madman. How has Iran violated the U.N. charter? They were invited into Iraq and Syria by the UN recognized govts. Okay, they make veiled threats against Israel, they get a demerit for that. Even if you argue that they are 'predicting' rather can 'threatening to cause' Israel's demise, I'd take that as a veiled threat. But Israel makes equally hostile comments towards Iran albeit, in a passive / aggressive manner. Netanyahu, 'We recognize Iran's right to exist but truth be told the planet, no wait, the entire universe itself would be better off if they disappeared'.
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:02:50 PM | 21
Trump - the Republican Obama
Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:32 PM | 22
If you like your sovereignty, you can keep your sovereignty.
Andy | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:41 PM | 23
Well, it has finally arrived at the U.N. speech. Trump is showing his real colors, whether they are forced or were originally his own. It doesn't matter. He is spouting the same nonsenze as the neocons and the rest of them. He has crossed over - he maybe never knew the way through, but was only parroting other's views. He is clearly a chameleon, willing to change his stripes on a dime. The man is darkly lost in the woods, or is it the swamp?
chet380 | Sep 19, 2017 5:26:05 PM | 24
Sorry, somewhat off-topic --

While there have been hints that the Rohingya "rebels" are receiving funds from expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is there anything concrete that connects the CIA to the rebels?

Laguerre | Sep 19, 2017 5:42:58 PM | 25
Frankly Trump is a big mouth, but there's no evidence that he's more than that. If he wanted war, we'd already be there. It's different from Saddam in the old days, who went to war within a year of becoming leader, or the Saudi crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, who launched the war against Yemen.

59 Tomahawks, that's the style. I haven't seen different from then.

Taxi | Sep 19, 2017 5:46:38 PM | 26
Hypocrisy - huuuge hypocrisy, believe me it was tremendous hypocrisy!
mcohen | Sep 19, 2017 5:47:45 PM | 27
trump is mr thunder thump
Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:50:25 PM | 28
He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos."

Like the pundits who shadow him, he really has no understanding of irony.

Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:52:58 PM | 29
#4 - "Failed State" - A country too poor for us to exploit.
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:01:13 PM | 30
The advantage of having Trump around is that he seems to diffuse energy. He is not building a case against N. Korea like Bush did with Iraq, but instead he is big on bluster. There is no appeal to the emotions of people and their fears and as such he is not marketing it, something he knows a lot about. In his own way I believe he is defusing the situation by talking big but remebering Bannon's comments when he left. And as a consummate player at the table of power (unlike the novice Obama) he has his status.

What interests me is Tillerson and the State Department and its attitude to Israel. Syria is where Israel met its match and was soundly thrashed. The world will never be the same again, And the State Department is recognizing this reality. I think there is a recognition in certain powerful quarters that whole neocon-Zionist shit has got America nowhere. As Talking Heads said, "We're on the road to nowhere."

Extra | Sep 19, 2017 6:12:58 PM | 31
Andy@23
It's the swamp. Sounds like Pete Seeger's 'Waist deep in the Big Muddy' all over again.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:15:58 PM | 32
The speech (it reminds me on movie The Kings Speech https://youtu.be/PPLIw64rLJc TERRIBLE MOVIE) is for internal the US purpose, for Amerikkaans. Majority of them, according to the Gov. media outlets, support military action against DPRK and mostly likely against Iran (the most hatred nation by far) as well. Amerikkaans will support any crime anywhere and probably destruction of whole planet Earth.

In the same time his words and deeds are the most irrelevant of any US presidents. I bet he never heard of that word "sovereignty" before nor for "nation state". This morning when Trump woke up some member of National Security Council put sheet of paper with the speech on his desk and tell him "Read this!". Just as they did to Obama in many occasions, one of example is this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/may/04/obama-drinks-flint-water-video

There some people in the US who knows what is going on:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

For all the very considerable expense, however, the American military does not have a very impressive record of achieving victory. It has won no wars since 1945!especially if victory is defined as achieving an objective at acceptable cost!except against enemy forces that essentially didn't exist.
james | Sep 19, 2017 6:24:49 PM | 33
@7 financial matters.. good comment and relevant.. i agree with you.. unipolar no more.. however, not quite multipolar yet either... we are still in a transitional place.. syria is no libya fortunately.. but causing this kind of shit around the globe is what the usa is known for.. they will continue to make war projects, especially if you believe as b notes a couple of threads ago - trump is no longer calling the shots.. it is military guys full on..
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34
@ 52

I rather liked the film "The King's Speech because it was about speech. Your English is fucking awful Chancey, not good enough for this forum. Get some lessons and come back.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:28:50 PM | 35
@Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

Read this Nazi. https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

"The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality.

The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?"

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:29:56 PM | 36
Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

You like a movie. Of course, it is for morons.

Lozion | Sep 19, 2017 6:38:33 PM | 37
Comment @4 is spot on..
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:39:43 PM | 38
@Lochearn aka Nazi

I recognize you from before, but how do you like these links?

https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

Where have you raised, under rock or in cave?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:51:12 PM | 39
For a Nazi. A question, do you believe in science? Here is one. But does one need to be scientist to figure this out?"The Rise of Incivility and Bullying in America"

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201207/the-rise-incivility-and-bullying-in-america

you are lost case anyway but here is good text from fellow Amerikkaan. But "Rise" from where? I would argue not from Zero but from 60 on scale of 100.

Agree?

karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40
Violating the sovereign sanctity of nations is what the Outlaw US Empire has done without parallel since the United Nation's formation. One of those nations was Vietnam, and a somewhat respected documentary film maker looks like he's going to try--again--to pull wool over the eyes of his intended audience by trying to legitimate the Big Lie that provided the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's illegal war against Vietnam. The detailed argument regarding Ken Burns's effort to "correct" the actual historical record can be read here, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/19/getting-the-gulf-of-tonkin-wrong-are-ken-burns-and-lynn-novick-telling-stories-about-the-central-events-used-to-legitimize-the-us-attack-against-vietnam/ and it is probably the sort of history Trump would enjoy since he doesn't seem to know any better.
Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:09:16 PM | 41
@Lochearn aka Nazi

How many nick/names do you have? You may hide under this and that stupid but your associations are still here. You stay stupid. I know, I know the truth hurts. You Amerikkaans are not used to it. Go and watch a porn, before de-dollarization is in full swing. Than you are going to stave to death, no more credit cards and quantitative easing. That's is Trump's speech for.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Happened-to-All-Those-by-Jim-Hightower-Banksters_Homeownership_Housing-170819-119.html

Wall Street bought them -- and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:13:05 PM | 42
Oh my terrible English. Forgive me, would you?

Instead "stave" should be "starve".

All this has to do with shitty Europe, Germany first and foremost.

MadMax2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:14:02 PM | 43
Posted by: financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
Nice interview from a couple of years back. Prashad's worldview is worthy of reposting. Enjoyable. Cheers.

US Americans might have proved themselves very adept at destroying both nation states and the English language, though it will be Syria who restores true meaning to the word 'sovereign' - with some collective help of course.

The almost failed state will emerge from this steeled with a sense of identity, pride and purpose. The minnow that refused to buckle.

The Don putting together some performances that finally warrant the unified, rabid reaction from the press....

Oilman2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:42:50 PM | 44
"But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in."

Are you serious? Everything coming out of DC is still the same - sanctions against other sovereign countries who do not tow the line the US demands, cruise missiles for the little guys, disavowing and de-legitimizing the JCPOA, unrelenting 'freedom of navigation' patrols, threats to cut nations off from the SWIFT system, every word out of Nikki Haleys' mouth... It's really easy to go on and on, and his first year isn't even done.

The amount of disrespect for other sovereign nations by the USA is mind boggling, and that is only the official stuff. Throw in CIA ops and NGO ops and there you have an entire other level of the failure to recognize sovereignty.

Can you send me some of what you are smoking? Because it obviously makes you oblivious to the obvious, and that may help my mood...

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:48:40 PM | 45
Obviously, the UN has became an arena of the one country show and that country puppets. Zionist PM, the West most "faithful ally" on Middle East, and his speech. Mix of infantilism, rhetoric and implicit racism of "God Chosen People". And sea of self-congratulating lies.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47844.htm

In par with Trump's speech.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:56:52 PM | 46
Oilman2!

is that you?

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:05:13 PM | 47
What is Trump's speech for?

Senate backs massive increase in military spending
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-congress/senate-backs-massive-increase-in-military-spending-idUSKCN1BT2PV

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:32 PM | 48
karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40

Great comment re: Vietnam. The Ken Burns documentary is just one more fairy tale of the U.S. involvement/war in Vietnam.
Among the many myths, foremost is that Ho Chi Minh was a communist; he most assuredly was not. Yes, he was a member of the party in France, but it is irrelevent to history (Ho was a nationalist).
Did you know he tried to engage FDR?
Below is a remarkable interview with John Pilger on the real history of the U.S. and Vietnam; it ain't pretty. Even Mao tried to engage the U.S., which the U.S. duly ignored.

https://www.rt.com/shows/watching-the-hawks/403760-nuclear-standoff-crisis-china/

PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49
Why is everyone hating on Trump? Be realistic: sometimes you have to genocide 25 million people to save them. We're the God damn hero here - you bastards should be thanking the USA.

Well, I guess we're really not trying to save the North Koreans at all. But they refuse to leave the buffer zone (all of North Korea) that is protecting the world from red Chinese expansion south. Worse than that, the North Koreans insist on protecting themselves BY FORCE from the US. How evil is that?

Reminds me of those evil Syrians and Iraqis who refuse to vacate the buffer zone protecting Israel from Iran. The nerve!

Only US lapdog nations have the right to defend themselves - as long as its with US-made weapons and they're protecting themselves from anybody except the US. And we get to build US bases on their soil. Who wouldn't want that? Because the US is... what did Trump say... RIGHTEOUS. You know:

"...good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent; ethical, principled, moral, high-minded, law-abiding, honest, honorable, blameless, irreproachable, noble; saintly, angelic, pure..."

Tell me which one of those synonyms DOES NOT apply to the US? I prefer 'angelic'.

The first thing psychopaths do when they attain any measure of power and control is to redefine evil as anything that threatens their power and control. Then constantly hammer that threat into the minds of the little people so the little people don't think too hard about stringing them up from the lamp posts.

Everything the US has done in my lifetime has been about preserving and protecting the US government no matter how corrupt, evil or immoral it acts. Protecting the people is only given lip service when it can be used to justify further protections for the state. Creation of the Department of Homeland Security Stazi is probably the end stage for full-spectrum dominance over the little people - it is slowly morphing (as planned) into a federal armed force to protect the US government FROM the little people. I guess the FBI wasn't up to the task.

"The government you elect is the government you deserve" Thomas Jefferson, Founding Terrorist.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:14:56 PM | 50
PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49

Spot on...

Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 8:26:44 PM | 51
Chauncey Gardiner@ 32

Do you agree that to point of National Interest article seem to be that the US is not capable of invading and controlling non-European countries?

I did find the Cato Institute author to be very poorly informed about the US invasions of Granada and Panama, the Balkan wars, the Kosovo invasion and the Syrian war.

As for ISIS, the author does not know anything about the incubation of ISIS by the US administrations and the Libyan war (Hillary/Obama/Sarkozy) connection . He also does not discuss the billions in military hardware that the US allowed ISIS to capture in Iraq.

As for the US efforts they are more about preventing the formation of an integrated economic sphere between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanese Republic. The war efforts by the US in fighting ISIS are minimal compared to the Syrian and Russian efforts, yet he lies by omission to pump up the US efforts. At least he didn't attempt to praise Turkey (sic) for their efforts in cutting off aid to ISIS and Al Qaeda (under all its names).

Remember that the Cato Institute is another flavor of the NGO spider supporting the deep state!

Please understand that this is not a personal attack as I am here to learn and share.

John Gilberts | Sep 19, 2017 8:44:57 PM | 52
Canada's Trudeau will follow Trump at the UN on Thursday. Today he received an award from the Atlantic Council: 'Worldwide the long established international order is being tested..' And obviously the sexy northern selfie-king knows his place in it...
https://youtube.com/watch?v=Kp49TFRMR8g
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 53
@ 49
Yes, to save the 25 million North Koreans the US must destroy them!

"No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more."
. ..but there are limits. . .

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

So give me that "no more contempt" line again, Donald? (Personally, I can't imagine Hillary doing any less. So much for elections.)

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:56:49 PM | 54
"Why is everyone hating on Trump?" Preposterous. You give him too much importance. He is rather the object of ridicule.

"The word occurs 18(!) times."

While the word Sovereignty

Maybe by accident maybe not just conspicuous coincidence. But it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. With self-inflicted wounds ($20T Gov. debt) and new president who is (initially) inward looking, it is time to talk about old stuff. As if the US statehood has been in question for a moment. Old trick of capitalist class.

Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 9:04:30 PM | 55
I was looking for Putin and Sovereignty and I've found this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-uses-putins-arguments-to-undermine-the-world
nonsense factory | Sep 19, 2017 9:21:01 PM | 56
File under "propaganda for domestic consumption"

Targeting Iran was never about nuclear weapons (the U.S. let Pakistan expand its nuclear weapons program without interfering, despite knowing all about the AQ Khan network, because Pakistan was cooperating with the U.S. agenda in Afghanistan and elsewhere), it was about the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (during the GW Bush era) and the expansion of economic ties with Syria (during the Obama era).

Now, with the easing of sanctions, Iran's pipeline deals have been revived, such as Iran-Pakistan, or Iran-India (undersea) , Iran-Europe, with China and Russia and Turkey as potential partners. Meanwhile, the proposed TAPI pipeline backed by the Clinton, Bush & Obama State Departments, as well as Chevron and Exxon, from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean, is still held up due to instability in Afghanistan (i.e. the Taliban would immediately blow it up). Obama's 30,000 troop surge to 100,000 couldn't solve that, and the recent Trump troop surge (much smaller) will have little effect on that either.
TAPI pipe dreams continue, Sep 17 2017

There's no way Trump or Tillerson would ever be honest about this in an international forum, any more than Obama and Clinton would, or Bush and Condi Rice, but it's the same old "great game" for Central Asian oil and gas that's dominated U.S. regional foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 9:26:11 PM | 57
@ 54/55
Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are subject to baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking.
b4real | Sep 19, 2017 10:12:08 PM | 59
[throws meat to the lions] Orlov has a great read up
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60
It is foolish to consider the trumpet's lunatic ravings in isolation, according to that organ of empire foreign policy dot com , the amerikan airforce is ready and rearing to go and blast the bejeezuz outta North Korea.
Sure it may be bluster when they come out with seeming tosh like:
""We're ready to fight tonight," Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, told reporters at an Air Force conference in Washington on Monday. "We don't have to spin up, we're ready.""

Because everyone knows that a manned tactical airforce is on the way out, that bombing a population has only ever served to strengthen resolve within that population, but the first point that the airforce of jocks n fighters is verging on obsolescence, might just drive the generals of middle management, concerned that their career is about to hit a brick wall, to go for one last roll of the dice. Blow some shit up, create a few heroes and maybe the inevitable can be staved off for long enough for their scum to rise to the surface, jag a great gig with a contractor, then retire in luxury. I mean to say it's gotta be worth a shot right? The alternative of layoffs and all the sexy fighting stuff being done by unsexy drones, is just too awful to consider.

So what if Guam gets wasted, a good memorial at Arlington will balance that shit and when it is all said and done, most of the people who will get nuked by DPRK aren't amerikans - but here's the best bit, we can sell them to the idjits just like they were, while we build the anger and bloodlust, then backpedal on that when it comes down to lawsuits, compensation or whatever it is those whale-fuckers whine about - right?

A pre-emptive attack based on the possibility that DPRK hasn't yet developed nuke tech sufficiently, but will do so "if we continue to sit on our asses" would be an easy sell to an orange derp whose access to alternative points of view has been cut off.
The only real question is whether the rest of the military (the non-airforce parts) go for it.
The navy likely will because they are in the same boat (pun intended) as the airforce when it comes down to usefulness as a front line conflict agent and they too will likely get a role to play in the destruction of North Korea - at the very least as a weapons platform (just like with the mindless Syria aggression) and may even get to be the forward C&C base since South Korea isn't mobile and may cop a fair amount of DPRK reaction.

Only the army for whom a pre emptive attack on the people of North Korea has little upside, but lots of downside, may oppose this insane butchery. The army will be tasked with neutralising a population whose innate loathing of all things amerikan has just been raised by about ten notches. So soon after the Iraq debacle, they may see an attack as all negative in that once again they will cop the blame and even worse the old enemies - the airforce and navy - will come out smelling like roses. It is true that the bulk of the yellow monkey's 'advisors' are army types, so under normal circumstances they would obstruct any such bullshit grabs for the brass ring by the navy & airforce upstarts - but there is a high probability that the army leadership will do no such thing.
The reason for that is as old as humanity itself and I was sad to see that it copped little mention in the last thread about the 'soft' coup at the whitehouse.

Many people were cheering the takeover by the military doubtless the same people who imagine that "amerika could be great again - if only we go back to the way it was in the 1950's and 60's". What they miss is that everything is fluid; nothing is held in stasis as a proof that perfection has been reached. The 'eisenhower/johnson years were merely steps on the path, the world was never gonna stay in white bourgeois contentment no matter whether unwhites kicked up or not. There are diverse reasons for that from ambitious careerism forcing change so a lucky few can ascend one more rung on the ladder, to the reality that it is impossible for all humans to be content all the time -some groups will be disadvantaged, advertise that then be 'adopted' by careerists as an excuse for forcing change. That is inevitable - as inevitable as the reality that once the military gained power, their next move would be to consolidate it and to try ensure that they kept it for ever.

In other words the initial coup may have been largely bloodless (altho several million dead mid easterners would strongly disagree if they could) but any study of human behavior reveals that it is the need to hold on to power which is what really incites oppression violence and mass murder.
The Pennsylvania Avenue generals understand that the simplest way of retaining control is gonna be if the orange 'whipped* gains re-election. If the orange chunder is gonna win the next one he needs to hit some home runs and have a lot less ties or outright defeats.

At this stage it doesn't matter what turkey kicked up the Korea bizzo, or even it it has any moral dimension at all, what matters is that the trumpet has made it a major issue and if he doesn't 'prevail' in the short-term, the odds of him retaining support much less gaining more support, are gone - very likely for the duration of the tangerine prezdency. It's not as if the ME situation offers the slightest chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Syria is history now and that Iran thing has a good chance of dividing europe from amerika, just as climate change has. I reckon that the junta who, individually & institutionally have a big investment in Nato, will be looking to steer the orange nit away from inciting a confrontation over the nuke deal. Korea could be the alternate shiny thing the junta draws trumpet's attention to in order to distract the dingbat.

So even though it is a total cleft stick that the junta is in, I reckon it is extremely probable that the army branch of the amerikan government will allow the airforce and possibly the navy as well, their moment in the sun.

The way this fuckwittery is shaping up, people of Korea are more likely to be enduring Predators up their jacksies than not, before the end of "the summer of '18'

*anyone who doesn't see that the trumpet displays all the signs (boasting of alleged performance, number of 'conquests' size of penis etc) of a man who is unable to have his voice heard above the demands of the women around him, doesn't comprehend the nature of inter-gender relationships (doncha love 'inter-gender' it sounds exactly like the type of pallid word the identity-ists would use heheh).

Forest | Sep 19, 2017 10:45:08 PM | 61
Ah sovereignty vs. solvency.

There's the rub.

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 10:47:15 PM | 62
Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60

The main problem I have with your post is China. You do not say anything about China. The Chinese made it clear that if the U.S. pre-emptively attacks the DPRK; China will get involved; and I should think Russia will be somehow involved as well. Moon Jae-In has told the U.S. it (SK) will be the one to decide on an attack, as it should.

But, I do get your drift; I just hope the U.S. will not act...for once. That said; I do think the U.S. lost its tether decades ago...

V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 11:00:10 PM | 63
The other possiblity the U.S. won't attack DPRK is that the U.S., cowardly as it is; hasn't attacked a country of any military consequence since WWII.
Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 11:36:48 PM | 64
There's one little factor about getting it on with DPRK, besides the ones mentioned, and that is that SecDef Gates several years ago declared that Korea was safe enough to allow it to be an accompanied tour, i.e. soldiers could have their families join them in the Land of the Morning Calm. This coincided with the consolidation of US bases, with a ten billion dollar expansion of Camp Humphreys about seventy miles south of the DMZ. So now we have high-rise apartments with wives, kids, pets, etc. in this "safe" place, now 35,000 strong including all. They practice evacuation. From a recent report --

The noncombatant evacuation operations, or NEO, are aimed at making sure everybody knows their roles in the event of a noncombatant evacuation, which may be ordered in the event of war, political or civil unrest, or a natural or man-made disaster. "I liken the NEO operation to being a scaffolding. It's not a fully fleshed out plan because it's preparing for a million different worst-case scenarios," 1st Lt. Katelyn Radack, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, told Stars and Stripes. ... Brandy Madrigal, 32, was participating in her third NEO -- so she knew exactly what to pack when she got the call to report to the Assembly Point at the main gym at Camp Humphreys on June 5. She ticked off the list -- clothes, food for the kids, documents, phone, toiletries -- before driving with her two children from their first-floor apartment to the base to be processed.

Imagine that -- all those people assembling in one place for "processing." They'd get processed, all right. So the US Army won't be red-hot for the mighty US Air Force to (again) conduct its aerial murder in North Korea, with their loved ones being in rocket range of a counter-attack. That's in addition to any feelings people have for the ten million plus South Koreans in Seoul, close to the border.

Stumpy | Sep 19, 2017 11:54:05 PM | 65
Karlof @ 40

re: Ken Burns Viet Nam -- one only has to look at the sponsors. Burns will cleave to the line only more so. Darling of the aristocratic charities. Somehow reaching the glory 50 years later. Now that Agent Orange has nearly completed the harvest.

Action against Iran and NK, could it really be termed "war", anymore?

ben | Sep 20, 2017 12:16:54 AM | 66
Luther Blissett @ 4 said:"sovereign nation" = a country that obeys the US over its own interests

"rogue nation" = a country that has actual sovereignty

Succinct but true..

The fucking hypocrisy in that UN speech takes my breath away. Trump and his mannerisms sure do remind me of "il Duce".

Debsisdead | Sep 20, 2017 12:19:55 AM | 67
@ V Arnold # 62

I deliberately left China outta the equation because the conflict with DPRK will be engineered to be kicked off with a provocation allegedly committed by DRPK, amerika will 'respond' andthe war will quickly escalate. Yes PRC may become involved, but getting into a war with amerika right now is not great for the PRC either, if the most vital concern is the proximity of amerikan troops to the China border, amerika can give an agreement signed in blood that amerikan military will pull back behind the 38th parallel once the 'regime has been changed' and that only Korean men and equipment will remain.

Of course China would be smart to distrust that but sold correctly with incentives and maybe even the use of some mutually trusted referee, China might decide that is a superior option to kicking off ww3.

As for the enlisted mens families somehow I doubt that the military cares any more about them than it does the men and women they have in their forces - so not very much - smart officer class types will be considering the need to 'further their children's education back home' right now, whether or not the trump decides to go for broke. As I pointed out before, the plan will require that DRPK feels trapped into committing some type of really egregious provocation, or false flagging such a provocation.

Imagine Guam got nuked and all initial evidence pointed to DRPK, China is in a tough spot plus most amerikans will be of the opinion that protecting the families in South Korean barracks comes second to vengeance. That would be an easy sell on fox and msnbc.

Amerika seemingly being attacked is also gonna end msnbc & the rest's potshots at the orange derp, just as 911 halted just about all reference to the view shrub stole the election from Gore in the MSM.

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 12:20:32 AM | 68
Ignoring Trump.

What scares me the most about the US regime's threats to attack and destroy North Korea is I had naively assumed that all the talk was just the standard game theory back and forth. There never was any real threat beyond the occasional minor incident like there have been in the past few decades.

And I didn't understand why China would so openly and absolutely support North Korea with any sort of attack by the US regime.

But then I read some of the neocon online postings or writings about North Korea and it was a sickening shock to realize that I had been so foolish to believe the Korean crisis was not about Korea, but China.

Getting the US regime's military directly on the Chinese border is something the neocons are perfectly willing, and most likely gleefully happy, to trade millions to tens of millions of North and South Korean lives for.

I can't imagine the revulsion and horror the rest of the world must be feeling towards the United States right now.

Nuff Sed | Sep 20, 2017 12:33:07 AM | 69
Talking of Westphalia... Here is an excerpt from an article of mine which which appeared in the Vineyard of the Saker's site earlier this year:
https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/

The German philosopher and sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 – 1936) distinguished between two types of social groupings. Gemeinschaft (often translated as community or left untranslated) and Gesellschaft (often translated as society). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft describe the crucial distinction between community and "Civil Society"; community being characterized by a dispensationalist consensus or a sacred communal consensus on a dispensation sent down from on high, and the latter being characterized as a consensus to "agree to disagree" and to agree that a consensus in any meaningful form can no longer be reached, paving the way to a "conventional" polity (agreed to by secular-humanist convention). This "agreement to disagree" which crystalized between the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the Peace of Westphalia (1644 – 1648) was, in effect, the West's long and excruciating decision to throw out the baby of Community with the bathwater of the Church's malfeasance in the revolutionary fervor of the Reformation and the "Enlightenment" that followed in its wake. But whereas the integrality of church and state was lost with the Peace of Westphalia circa 1648 whereat pre-Westphalian communities gave way to the Westphalian order of "Civil Societies", the Islamic Revolution of 1979 restored community to the Moslem nation of Iran.

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 12:49:38 AM | 70
I posted this comment over in the latest Syria summary thread but then thought that it belongs here as an example of the craven duplicity of empire about Syria sovereignty.

The following is a link and article quote from China news that says Russia is accusing the US of chickenshit (my term) tactics in Syria

"He said the advancing Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Air Force managed to break the fierce resistance and liberate
more than 60 square km of territory on the left bank of the Euphrates River in the last 24 hours.

But their advance was hampered by a sudden rise of the water level in the Euphrates and a two-fold increase of the speed of its current
after the government troops started crossing the river, Konashenkov said.

In the absence of precipitation, the only source of such changes in the water level could be a man-made discharge of water at the dams
north of the Euphrates, which are held by the opposition formations controlled by the international coalition led by the United States, he said.
"

Russia accuses U.S., opposition of hampering Syrian gov't troops' advance

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:02:39 AM | 71
What's worries me the most in Trumps speech, sounds actually ominously, is the phrases "dead Poles, fighting [???!!!] French, strong[!] English" ... Is this what's planned for the near future? I'm not liking it a bit.

What about Syria's sovereignty? VoltaireNet predicts launching a big campaign to carve out AnloZio run "Kurdistan" (a la Kosovo) from her right after illegal Sep 25th referendum organized by the Barzani mob. Was the speech (written by Jewish ) hinting to POTUS support for that? Meyssan says that Trump could go both ways. I concur, confusing the enemy has been the name of his game so far.

Orwellian "two minutes of hate" against Trump in the lame-scream media does it stop either:

Situation in the US is getting worse, seems that this Fall big changes are coming, and no lies can hide the truth: LIES, LIES & OMG MORE LIES Who is the enemy? Some names can be found here (and in a recent Eric Zuesse piece):

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:08:39 AM | 72
Hitlary Killton just can't go away:

Hillary Clinton May Challenge Legitimacy of Presidential Election

The Borg, the AngloZio pedo-satanic cabal of the City of London Crown Corporation, the web of merchants of death and corporate oligarchy have been doing whatever possible to help her stay relevant and expand information war, blame Russia:

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton's New Book

Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

Hysterical US Lawmakers Breach Time and Space Limits in Fight With Radio Sputnik

james | Sep 20, 2017 1:43:12 AM | 73
@59 b4real.. thanks.. great article.. here it is again for anyone interested..

http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/09/military-defeat-as-financial-collapse.html

psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 3:10:44 AM | 74
@ james #72 with Orlov link

Nice summary but I disagree with the dedollarization part. To me, ending the US dollar as reserve Currency is just a part of the issue. If that occurs American paper money becomes worthless as the article states. While this bankrupts the US, what will it do to the global world of private finance, BIS, SWIFT, IMF, etc.? Does private finance, private property and inheritance all get dealt with in this adjustment? How long will the adjustment period take?

What is clear though now is that there are two factions that are moving in "opposite" directions and the implications will lock up global commerce at some point....fairly soon (weeks/months)......and hopefully adults from all sides will work things out peacefully.

dirka dirka | Sep 20, 2017 4:15:13 AM | 75
Pistachio imperialism -- Bring it on --
john | Sep 20, 2017 5:25:11 AM | 76
these 16 years of bin laden wars constitute the most concerted assault on sovereignty since time out of mind. conspicuously in the cradle of civilization...cultural harmonies undermined and religious sects set at each others throats, tribes ripped from their roots, their facilities and systems desecrated, their families ravaged by rack and ruin and displacement, an alien scourge unleashed on their landscape.

but as someone upstream suggested, the window on these destructive incursions might be closing, what with Russia and China being unconquerable and all.

of course there are other dark forces gnawing at sovereignty , possibly even more stealthily treacherous ones...

like the alien scourge of mass tourism.

b | Sep 20, 2017 5:35:41 AM | 77
Others pointing out the "sovereignty" contradictions: Obama lover and liberal (zionist) interventionist Peter Beinart:

A Radical Rebuke of Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Legacy - Donald Trump used his first address at the United Nations to redefine the idea of sovereignty.

On the one hand, Trump defended sovereignty as a universal ideal. On the other, he demanded that America's enemies stop mistreating their people. The result was gobbledygook.
...
to make his incoherence even more explicit, Trump declared that "our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being." That's like saying that my respect for your right to do whatever you want in your garden should be a call to action for you to stop growing weed.
...
For Trump, by contrast, sovereignty means both that no one can tell the United States what to do inside its borders and that the United States can do exactly that to the countries it doesn't like. That's not the liberal internationalism that Obama espoused. Nor is it the realism of some of Obama's most trenchant critics. It is imperialism. General Pershing, in the Philippines, would have approved.

The Saker at UNZ: Listening to the Donald at the UN

In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done.
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:57:26 AM | 78
Pressure will be intense on U S business in east coast China to refrain from converting their 'yuan' profits into gold .
What a contradictory set of pressures much
ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:59:47 AM | 79
what a contradictory set of pressures much U S business will be under . That's the nature of Capitalism , isn't it ?
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 80
Wtf? Actor Morgan Freeman featuring in cold war warmongering propaganda campaign directed against Russia and Putin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9PNoecNxU
notlurking | Sep 20, 2017 7:10:22 AM | 81
anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 79

I would think that most of Hollywood is neolib heavy on foreign policy.....

Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 8:03:48 AM | 82
My god... That Morgan Freeman video is bizarre and sickening. I see that dimwitted lowlife Rob Reiner was one of the people who funded that garbage.

[Sep 17, 2017] Who Is the Real Enemy by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
"... And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation. ..."
Notable quotes:
"... And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation. ..."
"... Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times ..."
"... Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy ..."
"... What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf. ..."
"... You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran. ..."
"... The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him. ..."
"... That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding. ..."
"... The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard. ..."
"... Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago. ..."
"... The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest. ..."
"... The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer. ..."
"... Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them. ..."
"... There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals. ..."
"... Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential. ..."
"... Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that. ..."
"... Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance. ..."
"... And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country. ..."
"... The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world's largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation.

Also, I would characterize international terrorism as a faux threat at a national level, though one that has been exaggerated through the media and fearmongering to such an extent that it appears much more dangerous than it actually is. It has been observed that more Americans are killed by falling furniture than by terrorists in a year but terrorism has a particularly potency due to its unpredictability and the fear that it creates. Due to that fear, American governments and businesses at all levels have been willing to spend a trillion dollars per annum to defeat what might rationally be regarded as a relatively minor problem.

So if the United States were serious about dealing with or deflecting the actual threats against the American people it could first of all reduce its defense expenditures to make them commensurate with the actual threat before concentrating on three things. First, would be to establish a solid modus vivendi with Russia and China to avoid conflicts of interest that could develop into actual tit-for-tat escalation. That would require an acceptance by Washington of the fact that both Moscow and Beijing have regional spheres of influence that are defined by their interests. You don't have to like the governance of either country, but their national interests have to be appreciated and respected just as the United States has legitimate interests within its own hemisphere that must be respected by Russia and China.

Second, Washington must, unfortunately, continue to spend on the Missile Defense Agency, which supports anti-missile defenses if the search for a modus vivendi for some reason fails. Mutual assured destruction is not a desirable strategic doctrine but being able to intercept incoming missiles while also having some capability to strike back if attacked is a realistic deterrent given the proliferation of nations that have both ballistic missiles and nukes.

Third and finally, there would be a coordinated program aimed at international terrorism based equally on where the terror comes from and on physically preventing the terrorist attacks from taking place. This is the element in national defense that is least clear cut. Dealing with Russia and China involves working with mature regimes that have established diplomatic and military channels. Dealing with terrorist non-state players is completely different as there are generally speaking no such channels.

It should in theory be pretty simple to match threats and interests with actions since there are only a handful that really matter, but apparently it is not so in practice. What is Washington doing? First of all, the White House is deliberately turning its back on restoring a good working relationship with Russia by insisting that Crimea be returned to Kiev, by blaming Moscow for the continued unrest in Donbas, and by attacking Syrian military targets in spite of the fact that Russia is an ally of the legitimate government in Damascus and the United States is an interloper in the conflict. Meanwhile congress and the media are poisoning the waters through their dogged pursuit of Russiagate for political reasons even though nearly a year of investigation has produced no actual evidence of malfeasance on the part of U.S. officials and precious little in terms of Moscow's alleged interference.

Playing tough to the international audience has unfortunately become part of the American Exceptionalism DNA. Upon his arrival in Warsaw last week, Donald Trump doubled down on the Russia-bashing, calling on Moscow to "cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran." He then recommended that Russia should "join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself."

The comments in Warsaw were unnecessary, even if the Poles wanted to hear them, and were both highly insulting and ignorant. It was not a good start for Donald's second overseas trip, even though the speech has otherwise been interpreted as a welcome defense of Western civilization and European values. Trump also followed up with a two hour plus discussion with President Vladimir Putin in which the two apparently agreed to differ on the alleged Russian hacking of the American election. The Trump-Putin meeting indicated that restoring some kind of working relationship with Russia is still possible, as it is in everyone's interest to do so.

Fighting terrorism is quite another matter and the United States approach is the reverse of what a rational player would be seeking to accomplish. The U.S. is rightly assisting in the bid to eradicate ISIS in Syria and Iraq but it is simultaneously attacking the most effective fighters against that group, namely the Syrian government armed forces and the Shiite militias being provided by Iran and Hezbollah. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that at least some in the Trump Administration are seeking to use the Syrian engagement as a stepping stone to war with Iran.

As was the case in the months preceding the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003, all buttons are being pushed to vilify Iran. Recent reports suggest that two individuals in the White House in particular have been pressuring the Trump administration's generals to escalate U.S. involvement in Syria to bring about a war with Tehran sooner rather than later. They are Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey, reported to be holdovers from the team brought into the White House by the virulently anti-Iranian former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times that "wants to use American spies to help oust the Iranian government," a comment that reflects complete ignorance, both regarding Iran and also concerning spy agency capabilities. His partner in crime Harvey, a former military officer who advised General David Petraeus when he was in Iraq, is the NSC advisor on the Middle East.

Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy magazine as having developed into "a pivotal moment that will determine whether Iran or the United States exerts influence over Iraq and Syria." Other neocon promoters of conflict with Iran have described their horror at a possible Shiite "bridge" or "land corridor" through the Arab heartland, running from Iran itself through Iraq and Syria and connecting on the Mediterranean with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf.

The problem with the Trump analysis is that he has his friends and enemies confused. He is actually supporting Saudi Arabia, the source of most of the terrorism that has convulsed Western Europe and the United States while also killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslims. Random terrorism to kill as many "infidels and heretics" as possible to create fear is a Sunni Muslim phenomenon, supported financially and doctrinally by the Saudis. To be sure, Iran has used terror tactics to eliminate opponents and select targets overseas, to include several multiple-victim bombings, but it has never engaged in anything like the recent series of attacks in France and Britain. So the United States is moving seemingly inexorably towards war with a country that itself constitutes no actual terrorist threat, unless it is attacked, in support of a country that very much is part of the threat and also on behalf of Israel, which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go. Saudi financing and Washington's propensity to go to war and thereby create a deep well of hatred just might be the principal causative elements in the rise of global terrorism. Do I think that Donald Trump's White House has the courage to take such a step and change direction? Unfortunately, no.

Jake > says: July 11, 2017 at 4:12 am GMT

The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic. And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud. So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites.

Priss Factor > , Website , July 11, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT
US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests. That's about it.

Priss Factor > , July 11, 2017 at 4:49 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at YouTube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

Replies: @Z-man

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.
Israel, the REAL enemy! , @K India is looking to unload hindus to U.S? Quite the opposite. India is 'losing' its best brains to the U.S so its trying to attract them back to their country. For eg: The chief- architect of IBM's Watson is a Hindu Indian and so is the head of IBM's neuro-morphic computing. These people are advancing western technology.... civilian and also defense (IBM is collaborating with the American defense organization DARPA) instead of helping India achieve technological competence. And most of other super intelligent Indians also India is losing them to the west.

(i dont hate the west for doing that. Any country in amercia's place would have done the same. It is india's job to keep its best brains working for it and not for others. And india is trying its best to do that albeit unsuccessfully.)

Wally > , July 11, 2017 at 5:02 am GMT

The US govt. does what "that shitty little country" tells them to do.

The True Cost of Parasite Israel. Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

RobinG > , July 11, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

100 Words #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda.
."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

#UNRIG – Robert David Steele Weekly Update

@Durruti Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed - with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet - both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

MEexpert > , July 11, 2017 at 5:50 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran.

The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him.

That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding.

The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard.

jilles dykstra > , July 11, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
The western world is dependent on oil, especially ME oil. Saudi Arabia was made the USA's main oil supplier at the end of 1944. The Saud dynasty depends on the USA. That the Sauds would sponsor terrorism, why would they ? And which terrorism is Muslim terrorism ?

Sept 11 not, Boston not, Madrid and London very questionably. We then are left with minor issues, the Paris shooting the biggest. That Saudi Arabia is waging war in Yemen certainly is with USA support. The Saudi army does what the USA wants them to do.

Ludwig Watzal > Website , July 11, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT
Mr. Giraldi, you forgot to mention Israel as one of America's biggest liabilities besides Saudi Arabia. But with such amateur dramatics in the White House and on the Security Council, the US is destined for war but only against the wrong enemy such as Iran. If the Saudis and the right-wing Netanyahu regime want to get after Iran they should do it alone. They surely will get a bloody nose. Americans have shed enough blood for these rascal regimes. President Trump should continue with his rapprochement towards Russia because both nation states have more in common than expected.
animalogic > , July 11, 2017 at 7:32 am GMT
I'm a little disappointed in this article. Not that it's a bad article per se: perfectly rational, reasonable, academic even. But unfortunately, it's simply naive.
"Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Realize who the real enemy is ? Come down hard on the Saud's ? No -- really ?

The titanic elephant in the room -- that US foreign policy is not governed by "rationality" but by "special interests" seems .missing. Israel, the Saudi's themselves, the MIC & so on & so forth ARE the special interests who literally "realise" US Policy.

Paul > , July 11, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

200 Words Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.)

Replies:

@Wizard of Oz

I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? ,

@Corvinus

"Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag."

Adjust tin foil hat accordingly.

Realist > , July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am GMT

"The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia"

Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago.

Chad > , July 11, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT
I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this.

I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security.

Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves.

USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw.

It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood – "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo.

Replies:

@Jake

Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud,

Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Anonymous > , July 11, 2017 at 9:33 am GMT

@Priss Factor

US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests.

That's about it. That's most of unz.com summed up in a single sentence!

Johnny Smoggins > , July 11, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

The casus belli of America's hostility towards Iran is the 3000 year old grudge that the Jews have been holding against Persia.
Z-man > , July 11, 2017 at 11:22 am GMT
@Priss Factor

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at youtube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yB69UkJGwk

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Israel, the REAL enemy!

eah > , July 11, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT
The WH should focus on the USA.
Replies: @Sowhat And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.

Greg Bacon > Website , July 11, 2017 at 11:41 am GMT

The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest.

You won't see Israeli troops in the streets, since their confederates control the economy thru their control of the FED and US Treasury and most of those TBTF banks, which we always bail out, no matter the cost.

The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer.

The WH is also Israeli territory, especially now with a Jew NYC slumlord now Trump's top adviser and his fashion model faux Jew daughter egging Daddy on to kill more Arab babies, since she can't stand the sight of dead babies

Wizard of Oz > , July 11, 2017 at 11:50 am GMT

@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report?

Replies:

@Sowhat

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/

@NoseytheDuke

A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

Sowhat > , July 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm GMT

@eah The WH should focus on the USA. And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.
anarchyst > , July 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.

The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders"–goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses

Replies:

@ThreeCranes

Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians--except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe. , @bjondo Jews/Judaism bring death, destruction, misery.

Muslims/Islam (minus Western creation of "Muslim"terrorists) brought golden ages to many areas.

Christianity and Islam elevate the human spirit. Judaism degrades.

bjondo > , July 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

SA is the tail wagged by US. US is the tail wagged by internal Jew. Israel/Jewry the enemy of all.

Terrorism is Israeli weapon to take down Sunnis and Shias.

US is Israel's go-to donkey.

Sauds gone tomorrow if wished. And they may be with Arabia broken into pieces. Yinon still active.

Agent76 > , July 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
June 7, 2017 We Have Met the Evil Empire and It Is Us

Life in America was pure injustice, the lash and the iron boot, despite the version of history we have been given by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations who "re-invented" America and its history through taking control of public education in the late 1940s. You see, the multi-generational ignorance we bask in today is not unplanned. The threat represented by advances in communications and other technology was recognized and dealt with, utterly quashed at birth.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/06/07/we-have-met-the-evil-empire-and-it-is-us/

ThreeCranes > , July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT
@anarchyst Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.
The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders"--goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran...you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses... Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians–except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe.

Sowhat > , July 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/
virgile > , July 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm GMT
Trump is torn between Israel's permanent need to weaken its powerful neighbors (Iraq, Iran) and the necessity to protect the USA from terrorists attacks.

Iran is an hypothetical threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia has proven to be a threat to the world.

SolontoCroesus > , July 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
Saudi Arabian Manal al-Sharif is the latest (((MSM))) media darling; she wrote a book about being imprisoned for driving in Saudi Arabia. She is attempting to expand a movement to strike down the Saudi ban on women driving. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-women-driving-ban.html

At the same time, (((MSM))) gleefully focuses on Iranian women who are wearing white hijab in protest of restrictions on women's attire in Iran. http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/05/24/why-women-and-some-men-in-iran-are-wearing-white-headscarves-on-wednesdays/

I think these women ought to get together.

In Iran, women drive.

In Tehran and other Iranian cities including Iran's holiest, that is, most conservative cities like Mashad. there are taxi companies owned and run by women.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/turnstyle/iranian-women-take-the-wh_b_879041.html

Tehran traffic makes NYC look like Mayberry RFD; many Iranians use small motorcycles to commute and take care of daily chores. It's not at all uncommon to see an Iranian woman in full chador driving a motorcycle with a child and parcels in tow.

Iranian women could offer to teach the women of Saudi Arabia to drive.

What could Saudi women teach Iranian women?

NoseytheDuke > , July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

siberiancat > , July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

Why is is so difficult to avoid this ugly term 'regime'? Does it really add anything to the discourse?
anonymous > , July 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT
There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals.

They live the royal life thanks to being able to use the money from their nation's resource wealth as their own personal kitty, living in palaces, buying obscene amounts of jewelry and other luxury goods, and so on. They'll never give that up and being a close ally of the US affords them protection which of course they pay for. They may be seen as an enemy by the average person but not at the elite level with whom they all consort and roll around in the money with.

LondonBob > , July 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT
http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential.

Don Bacon > , July 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that.
Corvinus > , July 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT
@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) "Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag."

Adjust tin foil hat accordingly.


Father O'Hara > , July 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT
@Jake The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic.

And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud.

So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites. SECOND worst,my friend.

Jake > , July 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Chad I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this.

I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security.

Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood - "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo. Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Durruti > , July 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT

1,000 Words @RobinG #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda.
..................."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxcnaNND4XM

#UNRIG - Robert David Steele Weekly Update Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed – with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet – both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

SolontoCroesus > , July 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT

Scholars at Mercatus Center, George Mason Univ. https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings

are studying US states and ranking them according to financial stability measures. The states with biggest problems -- Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut -- are in the mess they are in largely because of pension liability issues: some pensions are unfunded or underfunded.

I recall that ten years ago about a dozen Jewish organizations formed the "Iran Task Force," ** whose primary activity was to persuade managers of State pension funds to divest from Iran-connected companies; that is, corporations & banks, etc. that did business with Iran. I recall very clearly that Arnold Schwartznegger was the poster child for California's vanguard role in divesting from such nasty nasty companies, in accord with the wishes of Jewish Israel-firsters.

Perhaps the Mercatus scholars could prepare an exercise in alternative financial history: What shape would the US economy, and the various States's economies, be in if the US were NOT so overwhelmingly influenced by Israel firsters, and were NOT persuaded, Against Our Better Judgment, to entangle themselves in Israel's nefarious activities?

____
** The 2007 Iran Task Force is NOT the same as the group formed in 2015 or so, embedded in US House/Senate, with Joe Lieberman and Michael Hayden playing prominent roles in attempting to influence the Iran Deal.

The 2007 initiative was sponsored by groups such as ZOA, RJC, AIPAC, etc., and / or spun off groups such as Foundation for Defense of Democracy, United Against Nuclear Iran.

[Sep 17, 2017] Brexit outcome was theater in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it.

The first robin does not make spring...
Notable quotes:
"... Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience. ..."
"... What about Viktor Orbán? What about the whole Visegrad Group? What about Marine Le Pen? Do you side with them, or against them, in their struggle against the wholesale cultural transformation of Europe through mass immigration? ..."
"... The Empire "lowerarchy" only needs entertain the voter masses during the theatric event popularly known as POTUS elections. They know that the People never get a candidate choice which is not pre-approved. ..."
"... In fact, I intuit that The Empire appreciates having even major "idiot" donors to their uni-Party campaign theater. ..."
Sep 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

utu > , September 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski

Good points, Priss Factor, and I will add one for your consideration.

At Davos 2017, Anthony Scaramucci assured the congregation that "President Trump is the last hope of the globalists."

I am mindful how powerful forces of Deception can cunningly co-opt populism / nationalism to their N.W.O. advantage.

A question.

Do you believe international banksters gave the Brits an opportunity to decide whether "in or out" of the EUROPEAN UNION?

I think the Brexit outcome was theater, a globalist "invasion" & occupation of planet-scale perception.

Thanks and I trust you will reply!

===

I think the Brexit outcome was theater

Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience.

Vinteuil > , September 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Vinteuil If The Powers That Be (TPTB) in Europe constantly attacked Islam & demanded the repatriation of Muslims to their homelands, the Dinh/Revusky thesis would at least *make sense.* The hatred of Muslims by TPTB would explain why they go to such trouble to fake all these attacks.

But, in fact, said powers endlessly insist that Not All Muslims Are Like That, and do everything they can to import more of them.

Angela Merkel, anybody? Jean-Claude Juncker? The entire European MSM? I mean, hello?

And they stigmatize anybody who doubts the wisdom of this policy - like, say, Marine Le Pen or Viktor Orbán - as "far right" extremists! Serious question, VD/JR:

What about Viktor Orbán? What about the whole Visegrad Group? What about Marine Le Pen? Do you side with them, or against them, in their struggle against the wholesale cultural transformation of Europe through mass immigration?

ChuckOrloski > , September 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT

@utu I think the Brexit outcome was theater

Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience. Utu,

For me, the title of this article alone is a learning experience.

The Empire "lowerarchy" only needs entertain the voter masses during the theatric event popularly known as POTUS elections. They know that the People never get a candidate choice which is not pre-approved.

In fact, I intuit that The Empire appreciates having even major "idiot" donors to their uni-Party campaign theater.

Thanks for conveying wisdom!

[Aug 28, 2017] ECONOMIST Watch Reading The Mouthpiece Of Anti-Trump Globalism So You Don't Have To

Ecomonist is a propaganda venue not so much about globalism as about neoliberalism. This is one of the leading neoliberal publications.
Notable quotes:
"... Mr Derbyshire is wrong to say that the Antifa and their like are funded by the "Billionaire Left". They do fund them, but to call them the Billionaire Left is incorrect. These people are best described as Corporatist Oligarchs, aided and created by Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is not liberal, it is thoroughly illiberal and unconcerned about free markets or free societies. As an example, SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch are merging. They will have 45% of the US beer market, when merged. 30 years, when the US still had competition laws, this would not be permitted. Indeed, it would not even be attempted. ..."
Aug 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

Given that The Economist is a major journalistic voice for the globalist, nation-hating, open-borders, anti-Trump club of the Billionaire Left ; and given that AntiFa is the " muscle " of that club; it's not very surprising that when our President attacks AntiFa, The Economist pulls out all the stops.

The cover of the current (August 19th-25th) issue tells you all you need to know. Trump is bellowing into a megaphone drawn as a sideways-lying KKK hood.

The accompanying editorial is what you'd expect.

His unsteady response [i.e. to the riot engineered by state and city authorities in Charlottesville last week] contains a terrible message for Americans. Far from being the savior of the Republic, their President is politically inept, morally barren and temperamentally unfit for office.

It comes of course with a doctored version of history to conform to current CultMarx dogmas.

White supremacists and neo-Nazis yearn for a society based on race, which America fought a world war to prevent.

If you had asked 1,000 Americans in 1945 what they had been fighting for, then ranked their responses by common themes, I venture to suggest that "to prevent a society based on race" would not have been anywhere near the top of the rankings. I wonder if it would even have figured at all.

And what a great many white Americans today yearn for is a society not based on race: one in which their own race is not constantly belittled and insulted by talk of "white privilege," one not riddled with preferences and favoritism on behalf of other races, one in which multicultural triumphalists do not crow over whites' impending replacement, and elites do not seem hell-bent on bringing about that replacement .

The Economist tells us that defending Confederate statues!a cause which, for 150 years, was not even present in the collective American consciousness because those statues were not threatened!is a rearguard action by the evil, bitter past against the Radiant Future .

Mr Trump's seemingly heartfelt defence of those marching to defend Confederate statues spoke to the degree to which white grievance and angry, sour nostalgia is part of his world view.

Perhaps one man's "angry, sour nostalgia" is another man's natural reaction to great but unnecessary social changes undertaken to the advantage of people who hate him.

Diversity Heretic > , August 25, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

What do you have to drink to get through Economist drivel/propaganda? I'm spending some time in a hotel where we have CNN. I can't watch more than two to three minutes–nothing but Trump criticism. The Russian news channels are more informative even though my Russian is very rudimentary

Verymuchalive > , August 25, 2017 at 9:33 am GMT

Mr Derbyshire is wrong to say that the Antifa and their like are funded by the "Billionaire Left". They do fund them, but to call them the Billionaire Left is incorrect.
These people are best described as Corporatist Oligarchs, aided and created by Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is not liberal, it is thoroughly illiberal and unconcerned about free markets or free societies. As an example, SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch are merging. They will have 45% of the US beer market, when merged. 30 years, when the US still had competition laws, this would not be permitted. Indeed, it would not even be attempted.

Effective competition laws are one of the cornerstones of a Capitalist society, or even one with a more Mixed Economy. Large areas of the US economy are now dominated by oligopolies: individual companies are often largely owned or controlled by one person, sometimes a few. These oligopolists seek cheap labour, open borders, free trade and exemption from the laws of the state. Indeed, as the TPTA made explicit, they wanted to be subject to rules made by themselves, not any state.
Their aims cannot be said to be left wing. These policies benefit a small number of oligarchs and their associates, whose income has risen enormously. Most of the rest of us suffer as a result.

These oligarchs not only fund dim-witted left wing groups to do their bidding, they control most of the media and the political parties. They constitute a very serious threat to the State, Society and ordinary people.

These oligopolies must be broken up and sold in parts to a wide range of new owners. Effective Competition Laws must be reinstated and anti-completion laws ( e.g. Telecommunications Act 1996 ) rescinded. The holdings of individual oligarchs should be confiscated without compensation and the worst offenders (Soros, Bezos, Zuckerberg et al ) sent to Work Camps in Northern Alaska, along with all the staff of $PLC. The money so confiscated should be donated to charitable funds, e.g. VDARE, The John Derbyshire Retirement Fund.

Joe Levantine > , August 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm GMT

As a previous 20 year subscriber to the Economist magazine, this article touches a raw nerve in me. There was a time when I had a fascination with the world of globalism and the Economist was a source of great wisdom to be cherished on a Sunday morning. But as the real world of globalism started showing its ugly head, I started getting tired of this mouthpiece of the Illuminati and their mega sophisticated propaganda news of which I will expose some of the important myths they have acclaimed during the 90′s and in the first decade of the 21st century. Unfortunately, I don't have the references for these articles as I am drawing from my long memory:
-In one of their articles about the falling crime rate in America, they credited Roe vs Wade for legalizing abortion " which led to a marked decline in undesired children and therefore a reduced crime rate". Indicting innocent unborn children as potential criminals is the Economist way. It escaped them, that had abortion been legal when Steven Jobs saw the light of day, chances are the man would have not lived as a child born out of wedlock.
-The Economist called for Arab oil producers to reduce the price of a barrel of oil to USD 5.00 to drive all potential non OPEC competitors out of the market in order to survive the coming drop in the price of oil. What happened after this article is that oil prices kept creeping up until it reached the price of USD 147.
-The Economist was a supporter of the abrogation of the Glass Steegal Act that separated commercial banking from investment banking calling it an outdated law. Needless to remind the reader that the cancellation of the law by the Clinton Administration at the behest of Robert Rubin who had been appointed as Citi Chair while still working for the U S government was a case of conflict of interest and the reason for the 2008 financial crisis and the phony legacy of " too big to fail" and " too big to jail".
- The Economist was as big of a supporter of the war on Iraq just as its ilk The New York Slimes, a war that has killed millions and cost the American tax payer trillions of Dollars.
I will limit my critique of the Economist to the above points while hoping that other new doubters in the authenticity of this propaganda machine will contribute theirs.

peterike > , August 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm GMT

The New Yorker used a similar Trump/KKK cover. These people have such original minds. My guess is there's a new Journolist site somewhere that hasn't been smoked out yet, because the coordination is clear as day.

Forbes > , August 25, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT

@Diversity Heretic What do you have to drink to get through Economist drivel/propaganda? I'm spending some time in a hotel where we have CNN. I can't watch more than two to three minutes--nothing but Trump criticism. The Russian news channels are more informative even though my Russian is very rudimentary A life-long friend visiting from Italy this past December, while staying in a Manhattan hotel, noted that the CNN programming was all anti-Trump, all the time. He wondered if they reported any news.

He found it bizarre.

[Aug 26, 2017] Attempt to present anti-globalism forces in the USA as alt-right and racists

Yes some percentage are probably racist. But majority of people who are voted again globalism in the USA in the recent election, sending Hillary packing, are not.
The death of Heather Heyer allow media to paint alt-right as 'domestic terrorists.' Hysteria wipe out by the media, the political establishment, and the technocracy in Silicon Valley moved into over-drive and rached the proportion of an entirely artificial moral panic.
M edia attention to the non-event in Charlottesville lasted an astonishing three full days. It completely displaced coverage devoted to instances of Islamic terror and eclipses Western coverage devoted to serious terrorist incidents in the Middle East. Charlottesville has been packaged for mass consumption as even that proved that anti-globalization forces are illegitimate and need to be procecuted.
Media has been attempting to spin this incident as some kind of defining historical moment -- a litmus test for the tolerance of contemporary society.
Notable quotes:
"... The anti-globalization movement is a loose coalition of many, very diverse groups that are fighting the government/corporate alliance and their corporate globalization agenda. They have different end goals and different tactics, but all have the purpose to stop the course of corporate globalization. The diverse nature of the anti-globalization movement has resulted in some unique strengths and weaknesses of the movement. An understanding of the nature of these groups is necessary to try to understand the movement and to understand what the movement is doing. ..."
"... Breaking the Spell ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | web.uvic.ca

Original title: The Protests of the Anti-Globalization Movement

A new social movement is gaining strength. This movement is commonly referred to as the anti-globalization movement, although it might more correctly be referred to as the anti-corporate globalization movement. This movement gained notoriety at the WTO protests in Seattle on November 30 th , 1999. On this day approximately 60,000 people took to the streets of Seattle and used peaceful protest and civil disobedience to shut down the WTO negotiations. Since then similar protests have occurred across North America and Europe. With each protest the movement gains support from the public and solidarity among its members. And with each protest the police state oppression grows as well.

The anti-globalization movement is a loose coalition of many, very diverse groups that are fighting the government/corporate alliance and their corporate globalization agenda. They have different end goals and different tactics, but all have the purpose to stop the course of corporate globalization. The diverse nature of the anti-globalization movement has resulted in some unique strengths and weaknesses of the movement. An understanding of the nature of these groups is necessary to try to understand the movement and to understand what the movement is doing.

The groups that make up the anti-globalization movement can be split into six categories. There are the environmental and social justice movements, the third world groups, the organized labour groups, the indigenous rights movement, the nationalist groups, and the moral majority movement. These categories are not strict divisions. Some groups may have ideologies common to two different categories, and individuals may be sympathetic to the ideologies of one category while actively working with a group from another. But these simple divisions serve to help understand this diverse group.

The visible groups in the anti-globalization movement that get identified by the public as the trouble causing protestors are the environmental and social justice groups. These groups can be grouped together as they have a common complaint about corporate globalization -- it destroys the environment and social justice. Concerns that these groups are fighting against include species and habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable resource use, loss of democracy, loss of human rights, gender and race inequality, and restriction of sexuality. Individual groups may be more specific in their concerns and deal with only one aspect of the environment or social justice or more general and include the entire gambit. But these groups would agree on all of the issues presented above, they merely have different focuses.

These groups are predominantly white middle-class activists that have the resource base to mobilize against the system. A common criticism of these groups is the lack of participation of people from other ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds in a movement that claims to represent the people. However, this is a strong and well organized part of the anti-globalization movement that has had some success in bringing about change. The environmental and social justice groups can be divided into two broad sub-categories based on their proposed solution: there are the anarchist groups and the neo-liberal reform groups.

The anarchist segment is different from other activist segments because they are not striving for reform. The anarchists, more than any other group, includes a very diverse number of autonomous groups but some generalizations can be made. These groups think that the hierarchical consumerist driven system is the problem. The solution is not to get some political change, but rather to change the entire framework that the system works in. This philosophy incorporates Thoreau and his anti-growth, small is beautiful ideas, Gandhi's ideas of Swadeshi, and ecofeminist antipatriarchical and antihierarchical ideas.

... ... ...

The anarchist groups are fundamentally against hierarchy.

... ... ...

All of these anarchist groups are non-violent, but there is some disagreement in what that means. Some groups say that property damage is not violence, while others say that violence is violence whether directed against people or property. Proponents of property damage say that the only way to stop corporations is to hurt them financially and property damage hurts them financially. The most well publicized of these groups are the militant anarchists of Eugene, but there are many such groups across North America and Europe. These groups are usually referred to as the Black Bloc. The Black Bloc refers to a commonality in ideology, not a formal organization. Any one group within the Black Bloc may consist of 10 to 20 individuals and there is no formal organization between groups (Warcry (4) , on Breaking the Spell ).

... ... ...

The anarchist subcategory of the environmental and social justice movement is visible and intriguing, but at least as powerful are the neo-liberal reformist environmental and social justice movements. These groups want to reform of the capitalist system to include protections for the environment and to ensure social justice. These groups are traditional, hierarchical, top-down organizations. They are the publically known activist groups with the majority of the public finding, but not the strength behind the anti-globalization protests.

Some neo-liberal reform groups can be very radical. They can propose radical political change (such as the cessation of all logging). What differentiates neo-liberal reform groups is that they propose to achieve their goals through regulations imposed within the existing system. They are in support of the neo-liberal economic agenda, they just want to be able to add in certain regulations to protect those things that they value. It is important to note that these groups may not consider themselves to be in favor of neo-liberalism. But they are in support of it in that they wish to use its existing framework and build on it to make it more palatable. Also, many individuals within some of the more radical neo-liberal reform groups (i.e. Greenpeace, Sierra Club) may actually have personal anarchist philosophies but are working within a neo-liberal reform organization.

Neo-liberal reform groups do use traditional political channels to try to effect traditional political change. They will attempt to influence elections and they will use lobbying. Some neo-liberal reform groups will also support civil disobedience or diversity of tactics (Loretta Gerlach (9) , personal communication). Those that do use them hope to cause political change through the same three mechanisms that the anarchist groups were using to create cultural change.

Another broad category of anti-globalization movements are the third world groups. Groups of people who are directly and immediately harmed by globalization organize against imperialism in other countries. They have much less strength on the international level. They have dedicated people but not the resources to mobilize. Other groups (especially the neo-liberal reform groups mentioned above) may sponsor individuals from these third world groups to come to Canada to speak. Both Berta Caceras of the Lenca people in Honduras (sponsored by Rights Action) and Alberto Achito of the Embera Katio of Colombia (sponsored by the Inter Church Committee on Human Rights) have came to the U of L this semester. Some first world activist groups send aid to these third world groups as well. And some groups have worked to sponsor third world representatives to the protests at Seattle and Quebec City.

The third world groups are involved in a very different scale of protest against globalization. People in these groups are manufacturing discontent at a considerable risk to their own life. These groups are striving for very immediate practical solutions to specific problems (i.e. getting killed by US funded paramilitary forces). There has been some work to try to use these dedicated third world groups to create lasting political change. There has been student activist education of FARC (Force of Armed Revolutionaries of Colombia) in political theory (Oscar Guzman (10) , personal communication).

A third category of anti-globalization movements are the labour movements. The labour movement is a very strong movement with a large vested interest in the process of globalization. These groups range from groups with Marxist end goals (conventional organized unions) to anarcho-syndicate end goals (Industrial Workers of the World). The tactics employed by labour movements range from very conventional to civil disobedience. The Steelworkers Union was a civil disobedience force in the November 30 th protests in Seattle, and CUPE National is organizing for the Summit of the Americas protests in Quebec City.

Many of the groups within the environmental and social justice movements are attempting to forge alliances with groups within the labour movement. This has been actively hindered by both government and corporate forces, especially in the labour industry. Both government and corporate forces work hard to manufacture hatred towards environmentalists within the logging community and encourage and aid vigilante behaviour amoung the loggers (Bryce Gilroy-Scott (11) , personal communication).

The indigenous rights movement is another category of activists groups within the anti-globalization movement. The goal of this movement is indigenous sovereignty. The indigenous rights movement is also against the corporate/government alliance and shares many common values with anarchist groups (such as community empowerment and social justice). Indigenous rights groups have yet to become very active in the anti-globalization movement but they have made some notable contributions and interest in the movement is growing.

... ... ...

A very different category of anti-globalization groups are the nationalist groups. These are movements to protect the sovereignty of nations that is eroded by international trade agreements. This is a strong movement that generally comes from the right end of the political spectrum. It generally has very little in common with the internationalist focused movements of the other groups. Many of the nationalist groups are strong supporters of democracy and do connect with the other anti-globalization movements in this respect. The main unifying force between the nationalist groups and the previously mentioned groups is that they have the common goal of fighting corporate power. The tactics of this group can include property damage in some of the more militant groups.

The moral majority is another category of anti-globalization groups that has even less in common with the above mentioned groups than the nationalist groups. These are ultra-right wing groups that are generally Christian. These groups had a presence in Seattle (Stu Crawford, personal experience). These groups may feel that the corporatization of the planet results in an erosion of their strong family values. Generally the only commonality that they have with the other anti-globalization groups is that they have a common enemy.

This wide diversity of groups reviewed above creates a very unique movement.

... ... ...

[Aug 21, 2017] Steve Bannon Plots Fox News Competitor As He Goes To War With Globalists, Report

Notable quotes:
"... Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power. ..."
"... "That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying." ..."
"... The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons ..."
Aug 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Axios: that part of that war effort might include a brand new cable news network to the right of Fox News.

Axios' Jonathan Swan hears Bannon has told friends he sees a massive opening to the right of Fox News , raising the possibility that he's going to start a network. Bannon's friends are speculating about whether it will be a standalone TV network, or online streaming only.

Before his death in May, Roger Ailes had sent word to Bannon that he wanted to start a channel together. Bannon loved the idea: He believes Fox is heading in a squishy, globalist direction as the Murdoch sons assume more power.

Now he has the means, motive and opportunity: His chief financial backer, Long Island hedge fund billionaire Bob Mercer, is ready to invest big in what's coming next, including a huge overseas expansion of Breitbart News. Of course, this new speculation comes after Bannon declared last Friday that he was " going to war" for Trump ...

" If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up. I'm leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents... on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,

Meanwhile, with regard his internal adversaries , at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing's aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don't want to mess with the trading system, Bannon was ever harsher...

"Oh, they're wetting themselves," he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

"That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."

Finally, perhaps no one can summarize what Bannon has planned for the future than Bannon himself:

"The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over I feel jacked up Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons.

I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There's no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now we're about to rev that machine up."

[Aug 21, 2017] Top Institutions and Economists Now Say Globalization Increases Inequality

Aug 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
George Washington Aug 21, 2017 6:31 PM 0 SHARES

But mainstream economists and organizations are now starting to say that globalization increases inequality.

The National Bureau of Economic Research – the largest economics research organization in the United States, with many Nobel economists and Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers as members – published , a report in May finding:

Recent globalization trends have increased U.S. inequality by disproportionately raising top incomes.

***

Rising import competition has adversely affected manufacturing employment, led firms to upgrade their production and caused labor earnings to fall.

NBER explains that globalization allows executives to gain the system to their advantage:

This paper examines the role of globalization in the rapid increase in top incomes. Using a comprehensive data set of thousands of executives at U.S. firms from 1993-2013, we find that exports, along with technology and firm size, have contributed to rising executive compensation. Isolating changes in exports that are unrelated to the executive's talent and actions, we show that globalization has affected executive pay not only through market channels but also through non-market channels. Furthermore, exogenous export shocks raise executive compensation mostly through bonus payments in poor-governance settings, in line with the hypothesis that globalization has enhanced the executive's rent capture opportunities. Overall, these results indicate that globalization has played a more central role in the rapid growth of executive compensation and U.S. inequality than previously thought, and that rent capture is an important part of this story.

A World Bank document says globalization "may have led to rising wage inequality". It notes:

Recent evidence for the US suggests that adjustment costs for those employed in sectors exposed to import competition from China are much higher than previously thought.

***

Trade may have contributed to rising inequality in high income economies .

The World Bank also cites Nobel prize-winning economist Eric Maskin's view that globalization increases inequality because it increases the mismatch between the skills of different workers.

A report by the International Monetary Fund notes :

High trade and financial flows between countries, partly enabled by technological advances, are commonly cited as driving income inequality . In advanced economies, the ability of firms to adopt laborsaving technologies and offshoring has been cited as an important driver of the decline in manufacturing and rising skill premium (Feenstra and Hanson 1996, 1999, 2003) .

***

Increased financial flows, particularly foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio flows have been shown to increase income inequality in both advanced and emerging market economies (Freeman 2010). One potential explanation is the concentration of foreign assets and liabilities in relatively higher skill- and technology-intensive sectors, which pushes up the demand for and wages of higher skilled workers. In addition, FDI could induce skill-specific technological change, be associated with skill-specific wage bargaining, and result in more training for skilled than unskilled workers (Willem te Velde 2003). Moreover, low-skill, outward FDI from advanced economies may in effect be relatively high-skilled, inward FDI in developing economies (Figini and Görg 2011), thus exacerbating the demand for high-skilled workers in recipient countries. Financial deregulation and globalization have also been cited as factors underlying the increase in financial wealth, relative skill intensity, and wages in the finance industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in advanced economies (Phillipon and Reshef 2012; Furceri and Loungani 2013).

The Bank of International Settlements – the "Central Banks' Central Bank" – also notes that globalization isn't all peaches and cream . The Financial Times explains :

A trio of recent papers by top officials from the Bank for International Settlements goes further, however, arguing that financial globalisation itself makes booms and busts far more frequent and destabilising than they otherwise would be.

McKinsey & Company notes :

Even as globalization has narrowed inequality among countries, it has aggravated income inequality within them

The Economist points out :

Most economists have been blindsided by the backlash [against globalization]. A few saw it coming. It is worth studying their reasoning .

***

Branko Milanovic of the City University of New York believes such costs perpetuate a cycle of globalisation. He argues that periods of global integration and technological progress generate rising inequality .

Supporters of economic integration underestimated the risks that big slices of society would feel left behind .

The New York Times reported :

Were the experts wrong about the benefits of trade for the American economy?

***

Voters' anger and frustration, driven in part by relentless globalization and technological change [has made Trump and Sanders popular, and] is already having a big impact on America's future, shaking a once-solid consensus that freer trade is, necessarily, a good thing.

"The economic populism of the presidential campaign has forced the recognition that expanded trade is a double-edged sword," wrote Jared Bernstein , former economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

What seems most striking is that the angry working class -- dismissed so often as myopic, unable to understand the economic trade-offs presented by trade -- appears to have understood what the experts are only belatedly finding to be true: The benefits from trade to the American economy may not always justify its costs.

I

n a recent study , three economists -- David Autor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Dorn at the University of Zurich and Gordon Hanson at the University of California, San Diego -- raised a profound challenge to all of us brought up to believe that economies quickly recover from trade shocks. In theory, a developed industrial country like the United States adjusts to import competition by moving workers into more advanced industries that can successfully compete in global markets.

They examined the experience of American workers after China erupted onto world markets some two decades ago. The presumed adjustment, they concluded, never happened. Or at least hasn't happened yet. Wages remain low and unemployment high in the most affected local job markets. Nationally, there is no sign of offsetting job gains elsewhere in the economy. What's more, they found that sagging wages in local labor markets exposed to Chinese competition reduced earnings by $213 per adult per year.

In another study they wrote with Daron Acemoglu and Brendan Price from M.I.T., they estimated that rising Chinese imports from 1999 to 2011 cost up to 2.4 million American jobs.

"These results should cause us to rethink the short- and medium-run gains from trade," they argued. "Having failed to anticipate how significant the dislocations from trade might be, it is incumbent on the literature to more convincingly estimate the gains from trade, such that the case for free trade is not based on the sway of theory alone, but on a foundation of evidence that illuminates who gains, who loses, by how much, and under what conditions."

***

The case for globalization based on the fact that it helps expand the economic pie by 3 percent becomes much weaker when it also changes the distribution of the slices by 50 percent, Mr. Autor argued.

And Steve Keen – economics professor and Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London – notes :

Plenty of people will try to convince you that globalization and free trade could benefit everyone, if only the gains were more fairly shared. The only problem with the party, they'll say, is that the neighbours weren't invited. We'll share the benefits more equally now, we promise.

Let's keep the party going. Globalization and Free Trade are good.

This belief is shared by almost all politicians in both parties, and it's an article of faith for the economics profession.

***

It's a fallacy based on a fantasy, and it has been ever since David Ricardo dreamed up the idea of "Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade" two centuries ago.

***

[Globalization's] little shell and pea trick is therefore like most conventional economic theory: it's neat, plausible, and wrong. It's the product of armchair thinking by people who never put foot in the factories that their economic theories turned into rust buckets.

So the gains from trade for everyone and for every country that could supposedly be shared more fairly simply aren't there in the first place. Specialization is a con job!but one that the Washington elite fell for (to its benefit, of course). Rather than making a country better off, specialization makes it worse off, with scrapped machinery that's no longer useful for anything, and with less ways to invent new industries from which growth actually comes.

Excellent real-world research by Harvard University's " Atlas of Economic Complexity " has found diversity, not specialization, is the "magic ingredient" that actually generates growth. Successful countries have a diversified set of industries, and they grow more rapidly than more specialized economies because they can invent new industries by melding existing ones.

***

Of course, specialization, and the trade it necessitates, generates plenty of financial services and insurance fees, and plenty of international junkets to negotiate trade deals. The wealthy elite that hangs out in the Washington party benefits, but the country as a whole loses, especially its working class.

Some Big Companies Losing Interest In Globalization

Ironically, the Washington Post noted in 2015 that the giant multinational corporations themselves are losing interest in globalization and many are starting to bring the factories back home:

Yet despite all this activity and enthusiasm, hardly any of the promised returns from globalization have materialized, and what was until recently a taboo topic inside multinationals -- to wit, should we reconsider, even rein in, our global growth strategy? -- has become an urgent, if still hushed, discussion.

***

Given the failures of globalization, virtually every major company is struggling to find the most productive international business model.

***

Reshoring -- or relocating manufacturing operations back to Western factories from emerging nations -- is one option. As labor costs escalate in places such as China, Thailand, Brazil and South Africa, companies are finding that making products in, say, the United States that are destined for North American markets is much more cost-efficient. The gains are even more significant when productivity of emerging countries is taken into account.

***

Moreover, new disruptive manufacturing technologies -- such as 3-D printing, which allows on-site production of components and parts at assembly plants -- make the idea of locating factories where the assembled products will be sold more practicable.

***

GE, Whirlpool, Stanley Black & Decker, Peerless and many others have reopened shuttered factories or built new ones in the United States.

[Aug 19, 2017] Vassal Aristocracies Increasingly Resist Control by US Aristocracy by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world. ..."
"... The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich. ..."
"... So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events. ..."
"... This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens. ..."
"... The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President . ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which connects them together, into a broader narrative -- the actual history of our time . History makes sense, even if news-reports about these events don't. Propagandistic motivations cause such essential facts to be reported little (if at all) in the news, so that the most important matters for the public to know, get left out of news-accounts about those international events.

The purpose here will be to provide that context, for our time.

First, this essential background will be summarized; then, it will be documented (via the links that will be provided here), up till the present moment -- the current news: America's aristocracy controls both the U.S. federal government and press , but (as will be documented later here) is facing increasing resistance from its many vassal (subordinate) aristocracies around the world (popularly called "America's allied nations"); and this growing international resistance presents a new challenge to the U.S. military-industrial complex (MIC), which is controlled by that same aristocracy and enforces their will worldwide. The MIC is responding to the demands of its aristocratic master. This response largely drives international events today (which countries get invaded, which ones get overthrown by coups, etc.), but the ultimate driving force behind today's international news is the aristocracy that the MIC represents, the billionaires behind the MIC, because theirs is the collective will that drives the MIC. The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world.

The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich.

Furthermore, the MIC is crucial to them in other ways, serving not only directly as their "policeman to the world," but also indirectly (by that means) as a global protection-racket that keeps their many subordinate aristocracies in line, under their control -- and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will. (International law is never enforced against the U.S., not even after it invaded Iraq in 2003.) So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events.

For the first time ever, a global trend is emerging toward declining control of the world by America's billionaire-class -- into the direction of ultimately replacing the U.S. Empire, by increasingly independent trading-blocs: alliances between aristocracies, replacing this hierarchical control of one aristocracy over another. Ours is becoming a multi-polar world, and America's aristocracy is struggling mightily against this trend, desperate to continue remaining the one global imperial power -- or, as U.S. President Barack Obama often referred to the U.S. government, "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come." To America's aristocrats, all other nations than the U.S. are "dispensable." All American allies have to accept it. This is the imperial mindset, both for the master, and for the vassal. The uni-polar world can't function otherwise. Vassals must pay (extract from their nation's public, and then transfer) protection-money, to the master, in order to be safe -- to retain their existing power, to exploit their given nation's public.

The recently growing role of economic sanctions (more accurately called "Weaponization of finance" ) by the United States and its vassals, has been central to the operation of this hierarchical imperial system, but is now being increasingly challenged from below, by some of the vassals. Alliances are breaking up over America's mounting use of sanctions, and new alliances are being formed and cemented to replace the imperial system -- replace it by a system without any clear center of global power, in the world that we're moving into. Economic sanctions have been the U.S. empire's chief weapon to impose its will against any challengers to U.S. global control, and are thus becoming the chief locus of the old order's fractures .

This global order cannot be maintained by the MIC alone; the more that the MIC fails (such as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, ), the more that economic sanctions rise to become the essential tool of the imperial masters. We are increasingly in the era of economic sanctions. And, now, we're entering the backlash-phase of it.

A turning-point in escalating the weaponization of finance was reached in February 2014 when a Ukrainian coup that the Obama Administration had started planning by no later than 2011, culminated successfully in installing a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia's border, and precipitated the breakaway from Ukraine of two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that had voted overwhelmingly for the man the U.S. regime had just overthrown . This coup in Ukraine was the most direct aggressive act against Russia since the Cold War had 'ended' (it had actually ended on the Russian side, but not on the American side, where it continues ) in 1991. During this coup in Kiev, on February 20th of 2014, hundreds of Crimeans, who had been peacefully demonstrating there with placards against this coup (which coup itself was very violent -- against the police, not by them -- the exact opposite of the way that "the Maidan demonstrations" had been portrayed in the Western press at the time), were attacked by the U.S.-paid thugs and scrambled back into their buses to return home to Crimea but were stopped en-route in central Ukraine and an uncounted number of them were massacred in the Ukrainian town of Korsun by the same group of thugs who had chased them out of Kiev .

This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens.

On 6 March 2014, U.S. President Obama issued "Executive Order -- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine" , and ignored the internationally recognized-in-law right of self-determination of peoples (though he recognized that right in Catalonia and in Scotland), and he instead simply declared that Ukraine's "sovereignty" over Crimea was sacrosanct (even though it had been imposed upon Crimeans by the Soviet dictator -- America's enemy -- in 1954, during the Soviet era, when America opposed, instead of favored and imposed, dictatorship around the world, except in Iran and Guatemala, where America imposed dictatorships even that early). Obama's Executive Order was against unnamed "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine." He insisted that the people who had just grabbed control of Ukraine and massacred Crimeans (his own Administration's paid far-right Ukrainian thugs, who were racist anti-Russians ), must be allowed to rule Crimea, regardless of what Crimeans (traditionally a part of Russia) might -- and did -- want. America's vassal aristocracies then imposed their own sanctions against Russia when on 16 March 2014 Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Russian Federation . Thus started the successive rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, by the U.S. government and its vassal-nations . (As is shown by that link, they knew that this had been a coup and no authentic 'democratic revolution' such as the Western press was portraying it to have been, and yet they kept quiet about it -- a secret their public would not be allowed to know.)

The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President .

It's basic knowledge about the U.S. government, and they know it, though the public don't.) The great independent columnist Paul Craig Roberts headlined on August 1st, "Trump's Choices" and argued that President Donald Trump should veto the bill despite its overwhelming support in Washington, but instead Trump signed it into law on August 2nd and thus joined participation in the overt stage -- the Obama stage -- of the U.S. government's continuation of the Cold War that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush had secretly instituted against Russia on 24 February 1990 , and that, under Obama, finally escalated into a hot war against Russia. The first phase of this hot war against Russia is via the "Weaponization of finance" (those sanctions). However, as usual, it's also backed up by major increases in physical weaponry , and by the cooperation of America's vassals in order to surround Russia with nuclear weapons near and on Russia's borders , in preparation for a possible blitz first-strike nuclear attack upon Russia -- preparations that the Russian people know about and greatly fear, but which are largely hidden by the Western press, and therefore only very few Westerners are aware that their own governments have become lying aggressors.

Some excellent news-commentaries have been published about this matter, online, by a few 'alternative news' sites (and that 'alt-news' group includes all of the reliably honest news-sites, but also includes unfortunately many sites that are as dishonest as the mainstream ones are -- and that latter type aren't being referred to here), such as (and only the best sites and articles will be linked-to on this):

All three of those articles discuss how these new sanctions are driving other nations to separate themselves, more and more, away from the economic grip of the U.S. aristocracy, and to form instead their own alliances with one-another, so as to defend themselves, collectively, from U.S. economic (if not also military) aggression. Major recent news-developments on this, have included (all here from rt dot com):

"'US, EU meddle in other countries & kill people under guise of human rights concerns' – Duterte", and presented Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte explaining why he rejects the U.S. aristocracy's hypocritical pronouncements and condemnations regarding its vassals among the world's poorer and struggling nations, such as his. Of course, none of this information is publishable in the West -- in the Western 'democracies'. It's 'fake news', as far as The Empire is concerned. So, if you're in The (now declining) Empire, you're not supposed to be reading this. That's why the mainstream 'news'media (to all of which this article is being submitted for publication, without fee, for any of them that want to break their existing corrupt mold) don't publish this sort of news -- 'fake news' (that's of the solidly documented type, such as this). You'll see such news reported only in the few honest newsmedia. The rule for the aristocracy's 'news'media is: report what happened, only on the basis of the government's lies as to why it happened -- never expose such lies (the official lies). What's official is 'true' . That, too, is an essential part of the imperial system.

The front cover of the American aristocracy's TIME magazine's Asian edition, dated September 25, 2016, had been headlined "Night Falls on the Philippines: The tragic cost of President Duterte's war on drugs" . The 'news'-story, which was featured inside not just the Asian but all editions, was "Inside Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's War On Drugs" , and it portrayed Duterte as a far-right demagogue who was giving his nation's police free reign to murder anyone they wished to, especially the poor. On 17 July 2017, China's Xinhua News Agency bannered "Philippines' Duterte enjoys high approval rating at 82 percent: poll" , and reported: "A survey by Pulse Asia Inc. conducted from June 24 to June 29 showed that 82 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed nationwide approved the way Duterte runs the country. Out of all the respondents, the poll said 13 percent were undecided about Duterte's performance, while 5 percent disapproved Duterte's performance. Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June last year, ends his single, six-year term in 2022." Obviously, it's not likely that the TIME cover story had actually been honest. But, of course, America's billionaires are even more eager to overthrow Russia's President, Putin.

Western polling firms can freely poll Russians, and do poll them on lots but not on approval or disapproval of President Putin , because he always scores above 80%, and America's aristocrats also don't like finding that confirmed, and certainly don't want to report it. Polling is routinely done in Russia, by Russian pollsters, on voters' ratings of approval/disapproval of Putin's performance. Because America's aristocrats don't like the findings, they say that Russians are in such fear of Putin they don't tell the truth about this, or else that Russia's newsmedia constantly lie about him to cover up the ugly reality about him.

However, the Western academic journal Post-Soviet Affairs (which is a mainstream Western publication) included in their January/February 2017 issue a study, "Is Putin's Popularity Real?" and the investigators reported the results of their own poll of Russians, which was designed to tap into whether such fear exists and serves as a distorting factor in those Russian polls, but concluded that the findings in Russia's polls could not be explained by any such factor; and that, yes, Putin's popularity among Russians is real. The article's closing words were: "Our results suggest that the main obstacle at present to the emergence of a widespread opposition movement to Putin is not that Russians are afraid to voice their disapproval of Putin, but that Putin is in fact quite popular."

The U.S. aristocracy's efforts to get resistant heads-of-state overthrown by 'democratic revolutions' (which usually is done by the U.S. government to overthrow democratically elected Presidents -- such as Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Zelaya, Yanukovych, and attempted against Assad, and wished against Putin, and against Duterte -- not overthrowing dictators such as the U.S. government always claims) have almost consistently failed, and therefore coups and invasions have been used instead, but those techniques demand that certain realities be suppressed by their 'news'media in order to get the U.S. public to support what the government has done -- the U.S. government's international crime, which is never prosecuted. Lying 'news' media in order to 'earn' the American public's support, does not produce enthusiastic support, but, at best, over the long term, it produces only tepid support (support that's usually below the level of that of the governments the U.S. overthrows). U.S. Presidents never score above 80% except when they order an invasion in response to a violent attack by foreigners, such as happened when George W. Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11, but those 80%+ approval ratings fade quickly; and, after the 1960s, U.S. Presidential job-approvals have generally been below 60% .

President Trump's ratings are currently around 40%. Although Trump is not as conservative -- not as far-right -- as the U.S. aristocracy wants him to be, he is fascist ; just not enough to satisfy them (and their oppostion isn't because he's unpopular among the public; it's more the case that he's unpopular largely because their 'news'media concentrate on his bads, and distort his goods to appear bad -- e.g., suggesting that he's not sufficiently aggressive against Russia). His fascism on domestic affairs is honestly reported in the aristocracy's 'news'media, which appear to be doing all they can to get him replaced by his Vice President, Mike Pence. What's not reported by their media is the fascism of the U.S. aristocracy itself, and of their international agenda (global conquest). That's their secret, of which their public must be (and is) constantly kept ignorant. America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble contolling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

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Fidelios Automata > , August 19, 2017 at 2:22 am GMT

Fascism is defined as a system that combines private monopolies and despotic government power. It is sometimes racist but not necessarily so. By the correct definition, every President since at least Herbert Hoover has been fascist to some degree.

exiled off mainstreet > , August 19, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

One bit of silver lining in the deep-state propaganda effort to destabilise the Trump regime is the damage to the legitimacy of the yankee imperium it confers, making it easier for vassal states to begin to jump ship. The claims of extraterritorial power used for economic warfare might confer a similar benefit, since the erstwhile allies will want to escape the dominance of the yankee dollar to be able to escape the economic extortion practised by the yankee regime to achieve its control abroad.

WorkingClass > , August 19, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

Good news – The beast is dying. Bad news – We Americans are in its belly.

Wally > , August 19, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT

"America's aristocracy" = lying Israel First Zionists. Why doesn't Eric Zuesse just say the truth? What is he afraid of?

Must read:

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:31 am GMT

" America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble controlling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. "

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence as long as the USA made it clear it wanted to control the world. Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot made this quite clear whan the Netherlands did not have a USA ambassador for three months or so, Ben Bot complained to the USA that there should be a USA ambassador.
He was not used to take decisions all by himself.

Right now Europe's queen Merkel has the same problem, unlike Obama Trump does not hold her hand.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 19, 2017 at 6:38 am GMT

Fidelios,

Yes, of course. I don't know about before Herbert Hoover, but certainly during the 50s, business -- monopolistic or oligopolistic (like the old Detroit auto industry) -- and government (including the MIC) were closely integrated. Such was, indeed, as aspect of progressivism. It was considered by most to be a good thing, or at least to be the natural and normal state of affairs. Certainly, the system back then included what amounted to price-fixing as a normal business practice.

On the other hand, the "despotic" thing is less clear. Some assert that since FDR was effectively a dictator during World War II, that therefore the Democratic Party represented despotism ever since FDR (or maybe ever since Wilson).

Having lived through that period of time, I have to say that I am not so sure about that: if it was despotism, it was a heavily democratic and beneficent despotism. However, it is evident that there was a fascist skein running through the entirety of USA's political history throughout the 20th Century.

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:40 am GMT

@Fidelios Automata

Fascism originates from Mussolini's Italy. It was anti socialist and anti communist, it of course was pro Italian, Italy's great deeds in antiquity, the Roman empire, were celebrated.

One can see this as racist, but as Italy consisted of mostly Italians, it was not racist in the present meaning of the word at all. Italy was very hesitant in persecuting jews, for example. Hitler depised Mussolini, Mussolini was an ally that weakened Germany. Hitler and Mussolini agreed in their hatred of communism.

Calling Hitler a fascist just creates confusion. All discussions of what nowadays fascism is, our could mean, end like rivers in the desert.

Priss Factor > , August 19, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

Come on

'Aristocracy' and 'fascist' are all weasel words. (I'm the only true fascist btw, and it's National Humanism, National Left, or Left-Right.)

US is an ethnogarchy, and that really matters. The Power rules, but the nature of the Power is shaped by the biases of the ruling ethnic group.

It is essentially ruled by Jewish Supremacists.

Now, if not for Jews, another group might have supreme power, and it might be problematic in its own way. BUT, the agenda would be different.

Suppose Chinese-Americans controlled much of media, finance, academia, deep state, and etc. They might be just as corrupt or more so than Jews, BUT their agenda would be different. They would not be hateful to Iran, Russia, Syria, or to Palestinians. And they won't care about Israel.

They would have their own biases and agendas, but they would still be different from Jewish obsessions.

Or suppose the top elites of the US were Poles. Now, US policy may be very anti-Russian BUT for reasons different from those of Jews.

So, we won't learn much by just throwing words like 'fascist' or 'aristocrat' around.

We have to be more specific. Hitler was 'fascist' and so was Rohm. But Hitler had Rohm wiped out.

Surely, a Zionist 'fascist' had different goals than an Iranian 'fascist'.

One might say the Old South African regime was 'fascist'. Well, today's piggish ANC is also 'fascist', if by 'fascist' we mean power-hungry tyrants. But black 'fascists' want something different from what white 'fascists' wanted.

It's like all football players are in football. But to understand what is going on, we have to know WHICH team they play for.

Jewish Elites don't just play for power. They play for Jewish power.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 11:42 am GMT

Good summary of where we're at, but please don't call the ruling goons aristocrats. The word, "aristocrat," is derived from the Ancient Greek ἄριστος (áristos, "best"), and the ruling thugs in this country have never been the best at anything except lies, murder and theft.

I realize that calling them violent bloodthirsty sociopathic parasites is a mouthful, and that "plutacrats" doesn't have quite the appropriate sting, but perhaps it's more accurate.

Or maybe we should get into the habit of calling them the "ruling mafiosi." I'm open to suggestions.

"Goonocrats"?

Anon > , Disclaimer August 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm GMT

and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will.

They also -- through the joint action of Rating Agencies, the Anglosaxon media, the vassal vassal states' media, make national debt's yield spreads skyrocket. It's been the way to make entire governments tumble in Europe, as well as force ministers for economics to resign. After obeisance has been restored -- and an "ex Goldman Sachs man" put on the presidential/ministerial chair, usually -- investors magically find back their trust in the nation's economic stability, and yield spreads return to their usual level.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence

No doubt about it. That's how thugs rule; there are plenty of quivering sell outs to do the rulers' bidding. Look at the sickening standing ovations given to Netanyahoo by supposed "US" congresscreeps.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm GMT

@Fidelios Automata Abraham Lincoln's economic policy was to combine private monopolies with the Federal Government under a President like him: one who ordered the arrests of newspaper editors/publishers who opposed his policies and more 'despotic' goodies.

Joe Hide > , August 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm GMT

While the article favorably informs, and was written so as to engage the reader, it lacks reasonable solutions to its problems presented. One solution which I never read or hear about, is mandated MRI's, advanced technology, and evidence supported psychological testing of sitting and potential political candidates. The goal would be to publicly reveal traits of psychopathy, narcissism, insanity, etc. Of course, the most vocal opposition would come from those who intend to hide these traits. The greatest evidence for the likelyhood of this process working, is the immense effort those who would be revealed have historically put into hiding what they are.

SolontoCroesus > , August 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

"ruling mafiosi."

No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm GMT

Eric Zuesse is a nasty, hardcore leftist in the senses that matter most. Often, he reveals his Leftism to be based on his hatred of Christianity and his utter contempt for white Christians. But there is that dead clock being correct twice per day matter. In this article, Zuesse gets a good deal right.

First, he delineates the American Elites well. The USA forged by Abe Lincoln is not a real democracy, not a real republic. It is the worst kind of oligarchy: one based on love of money almost exclusively (because if a man does not love money well enough to be bribed, then he cannot be trusted by plutocrats) while proclaiming itself focused on helping all the little guys of the world overcome the power of the rich oppressors.

It is the Devil's game nearly perfected by the grand alliance of WASPs and Jews, with their Saudi hangers-on.

Second, it is fair to label America's Deep State fascist , Elite Fascist. And we should never forget that while Jews are no more than 3% of the American population, they now are at least 30% (my guess would be closer to 59%) of the most powerful Deep Staters. That means that per capita Jews easily are the fascist-inclined people in America.

The most guilty often bray the loudest at others in hope of getting them blamed and escaping punishment. And this most guilty group – Deep State Elites evolved from the original WASP-Jewish alliance against Catholics – is dead-set on making the majority of whites in the world serfs.

Third, the US 'weaponization of finance' seems to have been used against the Vatican to force Benedict XVI to resign so that Liberal Jesuit (sorry for the redundancy) Jorge Bergolgio could be made Pope. The Jesuits are far and away the most Leftist and gay part of the Catholic Church, and the American Deep State wanted a gay-loving, strongly pro-Jewish, strongly pro-Moslem 'immigrant' as Pope.

Fourth, that America's Leftists of every stripe, America's Neocons, and America's 'compassionate conservatives' all hate Putin is all you should need to know that Putin is far, far better for Russia's working class, Russia's non-Elites, than our Elites are for us.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Brabantian Good comments.They apply to a few others around here as well, particularly this.

who mixes some truth with big lies

Priss Factor > , Website August 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

Charlottesville, Occupy Wall St And The Neoliberal Police State. Charlottesville was a Neoliberal ambush designed to crush the Alt Right once and for all. This story must be told.

https://altright.com/2017/08/19/charlottesville-occupy-wall-st-and-the-neoliberal-police-state/

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

@SolontoCroesus

"ruling mafiosi."
No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy."

Another common misconception is to associate the mafia with Italians mostly. The Italian mafiosi are pikers compared to the American ones of Eastern European descent. The real bosses are not the Italians.

Bugsy Siegel, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz, Meyer Lansky and many many others.

Even the Jewish Virtual Library admits to some of it.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-gangsters-in-america

New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, Miami, and many others all dominated by non-Italian mobsters, not to mention the US government.

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual. ..."
"... n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills. ..."
"... The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland. ..."
"... I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it. ..."
"... As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration. ..."
"... The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise. ..."
"... The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | theduran.com

The announcement of the 'resignation' of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced 'resignation' of President Trump's first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President's new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon's removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

I n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President's two travel ban Executive Orders. I am sure this wrong. The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself. If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President's own. I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon's ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration's policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump's success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation's government and deciding the nation's policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

[Aug 18, 2017] What Bannon's exit might mean the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism

To a certain extent Bannon symbolized backlash against neoliberal globalization, that is mounting in the USA. With him gone Trump is a really emasculated and become a puppet of generals, who are the only allies left capable to run the show. Some of them are real neocons. What a betrayal of voters who are sick and tired of wars for expansion and protection of global neoliberal empire.
Notable quotes:
"... So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt. ..."
"... with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , August 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/whither-trumpism/

Whither Trumpism?

by Paul Krugman

AUGUST 18, 2017 1:48 PM

Everyone seems to be reporting that Steve Bannon is out. I have no insights about the palace intrigue; and anyone who thinks Trump will become "presidential" now is an idiot. In particular, I very much doubt that the influence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis will wane.

What Bannon's exit might mean, however, is the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism -- and I think giving up the pretense matters, at least a bit.

The basics of the U.S. economic debate are really very simple. The federal government, as often noted, is an insurance company with an army: aside from defense, its spending is dominated by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (plus some ACA subsidies).

Conservatives always claim that they want to make government smaller. But that means cutting these programs -- and what we know now, after the repeal debacle, is that people like all these programs, even the means-tested programs like Medicaid. Obama paid a large temporary price for making Medicaid/ACA bigger, paid for with taxes on the wealthy, but now that it's in place, voters hate the idea of taking it away.

So what's a tax-cutter to do? His agenda is fundamentally unpopular; how can it be sold?

One long-standing answer is to muddy the waters, and make elections about white resentment. That's been the strategy since Nixon, and Trump turned the dial up to 11. And they've won a lot of elections -- but never had the political capital to reverse the welfare state.

Another strategy is to invoke voodoo: to claim that taxes can be cut without spending cuts, because miracles will happen. That has sometimes worked as a political strategy, but overall it seems to have lost its punch. Kansas is a cautionary tale; and under Obama federal taxes on the top 1 percent basically went back up to pre-Reagan levels.

So what did Trump seem to offer that was new? First, during the campaign he combined racist appeals with claims that he wouldn't cut the safety net. This sounded as if he was offering a kind of herrenvolk welfare state: all the benefits you expect, but only for your kind of people.

Second, he offered economic nationalism: we were going to beat up on the Chinese, the Mexicans, somebody, make the Europeans pay tribute for defense, and that would provide the money for so much winning, you'd get tired of winning. Economic nonsense, but some voters believed it.

Where are we now? The herrenvolk welfare state never materialized, in part because Trump is too lazy to understand policy at all, and outsourced health care to the usual suspects. So Trumpcare turned out to be the same old Republican thing: slash benefits for the vulnerable to cut taxes for the rich. And it was desperately unpopular.

Meanwhile, things have moved very slowly on the economic nationalism front -- partly because a bit of reality struck, as export industries realized what was at stake and retailers and others balked at the notion of new import taxes. But also, there were very few actual voices for that policy with Trump's ear -- mainly Bannon, as far as I can tell.

So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt.

But he does have the racism thing. And my prediction is that with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars.


[Jul 22, 2017] Trumps Warsaw Speech and the Real Clash of Civilizations by Steven Yates

Notable quotes:
"... The recently-deceased Mr. Rockefeller, whose elders turned to banking seeing in it a source of lucre far greater than what had been available in oil, who resided at the helm of Chase Bank, and chaired the Council on Foreign Relations for many years, had the wealth and contacts necessary to pursue a purposeful agenda beyond the needs of mere international trade. It is said he had a rolodex containing over 10,000 names. ..."
"... But globalism as an ideology long predates today's advanced technology. It has been around for close to 250 years -- at least since the five scions of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 – 1812) were directed to found banks in four of the biggest cities in Europe (the fifth remaining in Frankfurt-am-Main ), all remaining in communication with Dad and with each other. ..."
"... "Give me control of a nation's currency," Mayer Amschel is alleged to have said, "and I care not who makes the laws." Kings and other political figures who in one way or another crossed a Rothschild found themselves in one of many (fomented) regional wars of nineteenth century Europe. ..."
"... Globalism piggybacked on the relative success of the mixed economy that grew out of the New Deal, post-war Keynesianism, and the understandable desire to avoid another world war. The idea of a mixed economy (private and public, profit-driven enterprises encircled by and sometimes assisted by politically-created regulations, are what is "mixed," after all) returns us to political economy , which is what Adam Smith and other classical writers considered their subject to be. There was no such thing, in other words, as nontrivial "economic law," comparable to physics, abstracted from political and related considerations particular to time and place. ..."
"... Globalist machinations have empowered a superelite -- whose members move capital across borders and cut deals that affect the lives of millions of people as easily as we cross the room. Their nemeses include the distrustful national footdraggers who loused up the Doha Round and "populists" like Trump who roused the rabble against, e.g., NAFTA and the (now dead) TPP, and who question the wisdom of open borders policies which, arguably, have caused chaos all across Europe -- outside the protected enclaves of EU banking titans and globalists such as Angela Merkel. ..."
"... Globalist political economy has left people behind, because in the globalist worldview, people are as disposable as cheaply made Chinese products. ..."
"... Mishra's key observation (my way of putting it): globalization created expectations around the world that have been thwarted by globalist reality : impoverishment of former middle classes; chronic instability; incompatible cultures thrown into involuntary contact, some of them refugees of wars of choice; and a loss of autonomy for all involved, amidst a massive and growing consolidation of wealth at the top. ..."
"... The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists . What I have in mind here incorporates nationalists and those who want still smaller forms of governance, because for them the nation-state is too large. ..."
"... Globalists want to dominate the world by dominating its financial systems and, through those, its political economy -- visible politicians being vetted and controlled, and a "mainstream" media owned by their corporations. They want a mass consumption monoculture, cultural differences being cosmetic rather than substantive. Education must be tailored to this, and not toward graduating students with thinking skills apart from the mass. ..."
"... Globalists sing the praises of "democratic capitalism," but there is no reason to believe their vision has anything to do with either democracy, conceived as a political system answering to its people, or free markets. For under the mixed economy it became a given that markets needed regulating if only to improve the health and safety of an often-uninformed public (unless you really believe, e.g., that cigarette manufacturers would put warning labels on their products voluntarily, this being just one example). It was then just one step to global markets needing regulators with global reach, and other global problems (e.g., alleged man-made climate change) requiring coordinated global solutions. "Free trade" has evolved considerably since Ricardo schooled us about comparative advantage. It is now freedom for billionaires to do as they please, often at the expense of the livelihoods of millions! ..."
"... Opposing globalism openly is risky in any event. An academic who defended economic nationalism would likely be forced from his job in the present environment. Independent commentators may have the Internet but can forget about being published in well-paying markets. ..."
"... Trump's campaign was self-funded, and this was one source of his appeal. His present travails are proof of how hard it is to oppose globalism even in one of the world's most powerful offices. ..."
"... The "swamp" is proving deeper, wider, and more venomous than I think he imagined in his worst nightmares! ..."
"... By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America. The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general. ..."
"... As Socrates observed, many people who claimed to know about some particular thing erred–committed "original sin" in the Greek, not Old Testament sense–when they generalized, on the basis of their limited knowledge, and thinking that they knew a lot about a lot, talked authoritatively about that with which they were not familiar. ..."
Jul 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

The attacks came at once, as if on cue. Consider Eugene Robinson's op-ed in the ever-reliably Trump-hating Washington Post . Robinson asked snarkily, "Triumph over whom?"

Let's treat this as a fair question. Over ISIS? North Korea? Russia? Those being the villains of the moment, they are easy to single out. Trump did not name the real enemy in this speech: globalism (he did say, in his acceptance speech , "Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo!"). Despite struggling with allegations (still with the flimsiest of evidential support) that Russia interfered with the 2016 election and that his campaign staff now including his son Don Jr. colluded with them, Trump is still seen as a major threat to globalist interests.

As I use the term, globalism is not the same thing as globalization . In many respects, globalization goes back millennia. It emerged with explorers of ancient times wanting to know what was over the horizon, and who lived there. In modern times it involves advances in technology, especially communications, that facilitate cross-border trade. None of these need erase national borders or a people's cultural identity; through consciousness of differences it might even enhance them. Globalism is a more specific ideology holding that economies should integrate, that borders should be dissolved, culture is irrelevant, and that peoples can be moved around like chess pieces "reinventing themselves," merged into a monoculture of mass consumption and disposability. The process needs transnational regulation and so must culminate in a world state, de facto or de jure , with a single global currency -- digital rather than physical, so that all transactions can be recorded and monitored (even those involving cryptos!)

The global system would be ruled by an elite superclass (in my book Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic I call this entity the superelite to distinguish it from more visible national elites) overseeing a hierarchy of administrators and technocrats. This superclass already controls most of the world's wealth. The "developed" world is easily four fifths of the way to this kind of system, referred to as the "liberal order" or the "international order" or with some similar euphemism. The Brexiteers, Donald Trumps, Geert Wilders, and Marine Le Pens of the world are dragging their feet. The first two of these succeeded -- at least for the moment. The latter lost major elections, placing their causes on hold.

Does globalism actually exist as I describe it, or is it a " conspiracy theory "? Let's consult two architects of globalist thought. Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in his 1970 book Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era (p. 56-62 of 1970 ed.):

The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state .

A global human conscience is for the first time beginning to manifest itself . Today we are witnessing the emergence of transnational elites composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national. These global communities are gaining in strength and it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook

The new global consciousness, however, is only beginning to become an influential force. It still lacks identity, cohesion, and focus. Much of humanity -- indeed, the majority of humanity -- still neither shares nor is prepared to support it. Science and technology are still used to buttress ideological claims, to fortify national aspirations, and to reward narrowly national interests . The new global unity has yet to find its own structure, consensus, and harmony.

David Rockefeller Sr. read the above, contacted the author, and with Henry Kissinger they organized the Trilateral Commission to address the problem identified in the final paragraph. Rockefeller was quoted two decades later telling a Bilderberg assembly (June 1991):

"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

This is probably the most famous David Rockefeller quote. There's no hard proof he actually said it, though. He might have said it. We don't know. What it says is not foreign to his thinking. He did assert the following, in his Memoirs (2002, pp. 404-05), in the context of a riposte against "populists," and this time there is no doubt:

For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

The recently-deceased Mr. Rockefeller, whose elders turned to banking seeing in it a source of lucre far greater than what had been available in oil, who resided at the helm of Chase Bank, and chaired the Council on Foreign Relations for many years, had the wealth and contacts necessary to pursue a purposeful agenda beyond the needs of mere international trade. It is said he had a rolodex containing over 10,000 names.

We can thus rest our case that globalism is a real phenomenon. Is it a conspiracy? Conspiracies, by definition, are hidden from you. As two of the above statements indicate, its leaders have hardly been hiding. Perhaps the reading public can be faulted for preferring glitzy bestsellers to books about reality.

The question before us: what is the alternative to it? One can almost hear the chorus: There Is No Alternative . Writers such as Robinson above are very good at invoking "economic theory" against "populism." He had previously said: "The speech Trump delivered had nothing useful to say about today's interconnected world in which goods, people and ideas have contempt for borders." He elaborated: "Industrial supply chains cross borders and span oceans. Words and images flash around the globe at the speed of light. Global issues, such as nuclear proliferation and climate change, demand global solutions. Like it or not, we are all in this together."

In this case, who laid down those supply chains, and why must they invite "contempt for borders"? Are these aspects of a natural, deterministic dynamic that a technologically advancing, creative-destruction driven civilization is bound to follow? It is easy to argue that there is such a dynamic, in which case globalists are being carried along with the rest of us and are identifiable only because they are smarter than we mere mortals and therefore more conscious of the process than we are -- not to mention better situated to profit from it.

But globalism as an ideology long predates today's advanced technology. It has been around for close to 250 years -- at least since the five scions of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 – 1812) were directed to found banks in four of the biggest cities in Europe (the fifth remaining in Frankfurt-am-Main ), all remaining in communication with Dad and with each other. The coldly talented Nathan established himself as a dominant player in the City of London and succeeded his father as family patriarch as he built up N.M. Rothschild & Sons; his eldest son Lionel would succeed him. What ensued was not merely amassing wealth but accruing power, the power of private banking, international moneylending, and investment. "Give me control of a nation's currency," Mayer Amschel is alleged to have said, "and I care not who makes the laws." Kings and other political figures who in one way or another crossed a Rothschild found themselves in one of many (fomented) regional wars of nineteenth century Europe.

There is a longstanding debate over what drives history: material forces (economic ones, blood ties, etc.) or ideas and worldviews (e.g., Christianity -- or Judaism -- or materialism). I hold out for the latter, because most material forces of modern times would not exist without men of power putting them in place guided by an idea or worldview (and materialism is a worldview, not a fact established by any science).

Globalism piggybacked on the relative success of the mixed economy that grew out of the New Deal, post-war Keynesianism, and the understandable desire to avoid another world war. The idea of a mixed economy (private and public, profit-driven enterprises encircled by and sometimes assisted by politically-created regulations, are what is "mixed," after all) returns us to political economy , which is what Adam Smith and other classical writers considered their subject to be. There was no such thing, in other words, as nontrivial "economic law," comparable to physics, abstracted from political and related considerations particular to time and place.

But the mixed economy has been a mixed blessing. It created prosperity and the largest middle class the world had ever seen, but had numerous costs. One was that individuals, including those in that middle class, became increasingly dependent on its systems. This is a separate article; for now we will just observe that these systems, which over a period lasting more than a century intertwined the political economy of the changing workplace with advancing technology, mass media culture, and family dynamics, diminished real individual freedoms as people were encircled by its effects and its products -- their lives made less and less convenient if they did not cooperate and consume. Brzezinski foresaw the culmination of these changes:

Another threat confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under surveillance and control (pp. 252-53).

There can be no doubt this has happened. Globalist machinations have empowered a superelite -- whose members move capital across borders and cut deals that affect the lives of millions of people as easily as we cross the room. Their nemeses include the distrustful national footdraggers who loused up the Doha Round and "populists" like Trump who roused the rabble against, e.g., NAFTA and the (now dead) TPP, and who question the wisdom of open borders policies which, arguably, have caused chaos all across Europe -- outside the protected enclaves of EU banking titans and globalists such as Angela Merkel.

Globalist political economy has left people behind, because in the globalist worldview, people are as disposable as cheaply made Chinese products. Those left behind now have voices of various stripes across the ideological spectrum -- people like Trump and Le Pen on the right, Bernie Sanders on the left, and writers such as Pankaj Mishra who aren't easily classifiable but whose Age of Anger: A History of the Present is, in my humble opinion, a must read. Mishra's key observation (my way of putting it): globalization created expectations around the world that have been thwarted by globalist reality : impoverishment of former middle classes; chronic instability; incompatible cultures thrown into involuntary contact, some of them refugees of wars of choice; and a loss of autonomy for all involved, amidst a massive and growing consolidation of wealth at the top.

The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists . What I have in mind here incorporates nationalists and those who want still smaller forms of governance, because for them the nation-state is too large.

Globalists want to dominate the world by dominating its financial systems and, through those, its political economy -- visible politicians being vetted and controlled, and a "mainstream" media owned by their corporations. They want a mass consumption monoculture, cultural differences being cosmetic rather than substantive. Education must be tailored to this, and not toward graduating students with thinking skills apart from the mass.

Localists want autonomy: freedom from encircling forces they had no say in and no control over, whether created by "free trade" deals or open borders policies they did not sign off on. They want control over their lives, families, communities, economies, and nations.

Globalists sing the praises of "democratic capitalism," but there is no reason to believe their vision has anything to do with either democracy, conceived as a political system answering to its people, or free markets. For under the mixed economy it became a given that markets needed regulating if only to improve the health and safety of an often-uninformed public (unless you really believe, e.g., that cigarette manufacturers would put warning labels on their products voluntarily, this being just one example). It was then just one step to global markets needing regulators with global reach, and other global problems (e.g., alleged man-made climate change) requiring coordinated global solutions. "Free trade" has evolved considerably since Ricardo schooled us about comparative advantage. It is now freedom for billionaires to do as they please, often at the expense of the livelihoods of millions!

The globalists world state would answer primarily to their corporations because the latter have the money, having profited from those global supply lines and from having moved operations to where labor is cheapest -- before, that is, labor is replaced altogether by technology and thrown to the wolves.

The problem is again, many of these groups want nothing to do with one another. Readers of this essay may be antiglobalists but want nothing to do with most of them. Some are not even aware of others. This lack of any semblance of unity does not bode well for any strategy of opposition.

Opposing globalism openly is risky in any event. An academic who defended economic nationalism would likely be forced from his job in the present environment. Independent commentators may have the Internet but can forget about being published in well-paying markets. Candidates for public office who speak openly of globalism being an enemy of freedom in America can forget about being able to raise the money and gain the visibility necessary to run credible campaigns. Funding sources tend to be wired into globalist interests. They would not be where they are otherwise. As for visible figures who don't need the money, e.g., Trump, if his enemies should succeed in taking him down, whether via substanceless Russia allegations or by some other ploy, we might see how risky! We might see whether Trump's election was more than a speed bump on the road towards a global state. Things are getting late, after all! Were this a baseball game, we'd be starting the ninth inning!

Trump's campaign was self-funded, and this was one source of his appeal. His present travails are proof of how hard it is to oppose globalism even in one of the world's most powerful offices.

The "swamp" is proving deeper, wider, and more venomous than I think he imagined in his worst nightmares!

... ... ... ...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Yates is a writer with a Ph.D. in philosophy. He is the author of the books Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (1994), Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011), approximately two dozen articles and reviews in academic journals and anthologies, and over a hundred articles of online commentary, especially on NewsWithViews.com . Dr. Yates taught philosophy at several colleges and universities in the Southeast. In 2012 he moved from South Carolina to Santiago, Chile, where he has taught periodically at two universities there, as well as having involved himself in teaching English and operating a small editing business, Final Draft Editing Service . He is married to a Chilean, and at present writes almost full time. He blogs about philosophy and the foibles of academia at Lost Generation Philosopher .

Priss Factor > , Website July 22, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

Molyneux gets really passionate.

He(Yates) blogs about philosophy and the foibles of academia at Lost Generation Philosopher.

His Patreon donation page is here. Is Patreon reliable? Not to Lauren Southern. Speaking of endangering lives, it is globalist wars and the open borders policy that are leading to killings, rapes, violence, but never mind. Patreon is just a globalist corporation.

jilles dykstra > , July 22, 2017 at 6:20 am GMT

" The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists. "

This clash now is quite visible over new Polish legislation.
A new law creates democratic control over the nomination of judges, something the USA has for high court judges since the USA exists.
But Brussels opposes this, threatens with taking away Poland's voting right in EU decisions, stopping EU subsidies to Poland.

A similar clash is over Hungary, the country has enough of Soros' propaganda university.
But Soros visited Juncker and Tusk, Hungary was put under pressure, and now I'm not sure if Soros' institutions will be expelled or not.

Then there is the clash over immigration, the orthodox catholic E European countries refuse Muslim migrants.

And of course we see this clash over Brexit, the EU is of the opinion that the European High Court after Brexit still has jurisdiction in GB.
Brussels does not see that the Anglican Church was created to stop the pope interfering in British affairs.

utu > , July 22, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Rockefeller was quoted two decades later

Who quoted him and where? Or should I ask who made up this quote?

Wizard of Oz > , July 22, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT

Excuse me not having taken time to finish reading your article before responding to the stimulus of your (apprpriately) distinguishing globalisation and globalism. As one who generally supports the standard argùments for free trade despite also wanting to do a quality check on immigrants to my proserous and fairly law abiding country I would be pleased to see a study of the problems of small countries and what ordering of the world could and should mitigate them.

Establlished small countries seem to be OK. But what about the Greeces? Especially, what about an African small country possibly with only one major mineral deposit as a source of wealth and inevitable volatity in its commodity's price?

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

The super-elite are rapidly losing their grip on the hearts & minds of the populace. This will accelerate as they move to implement more coercive measures (already happening) so it's only a matter of time before some mass-depopulation program becomes desirable.

Hopefully, we'll stop them before that happens.

Charles Vok > , July 22, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

(((Globalists))

Jason Liu > , July 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America. The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general.

cliff arroyo > , Website July 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

I live in Poland and the story with the legislation is different and a bit more complex.The problem is that it's basically putting judges under direct political control of the ruling party with no checks and balances in their choice or dismissal. Lots of people would be in favor of some reform of the judiciary which is fairly terrible but this is an obvious power grab (the government would also appoint those in charge of verifying elections).

Scuttlebut is that the purpose is to trump up legal charges against opposition candidates to keep them out of future elections.

ThreeCranes > , July 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

Wandering Jews have long been labeled "rootless cosmopolitans". Their culture is an adaption to their lifestyle, is this lifestyle. (Largely Jewish) Globalists take a model that works in the particular case of the Jewish people and try to generalize it to apply to the whole world. But what works as an exception is made possible by the existence of the base upon which it rests. The rule that governs the exception cannot in and of itself build or sustain the foundation upon which the exception rests.

Humans are personal animals who need an intimate connection with their environs and other people. A mathematic model based on the economic principles of banking cannot be the base upon which human societies are created.

As Socrates observed, many people who claimed to know about some particular thing erred–committed "original sin" in the Greek, not Old Testament sense–when they generalized, on the basis of their limited knowledge, and thinking that they knew a lot about a lot, talked authoritatively about that with which they were not familiar.

Bankers are ill equipped to construct the Ideal Society.

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny You're wrong. The US (and the EU) is fully controlled by the supranational globalists. At least it was until Trump but that battle is still to be decided. The EU was not created to make the member nations stronger – it was designed to remove the sovereignty from the populace while they're being genocided. Open your eyes.

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

The idea of globalism is much older. The ottoman empire was an example of globalism. The mongol empire before that, was globalism. Heck even the roman empire was globalistic in a way. Globalistic forces have always existed alongside localistic forces. And it was a form of globalism (colonialisation) that also helped make the west wealthy. It is also globalism that helped make the united states a super-power by helping its dollar become the global reserve currency.

Thats globalism right there.

But localism is also important because sometimes leaders of countries know whats best for their people better than some foreign person. Even if the foreign-persons have good intentions, they may not 'get it right' as native born leaders do. A lot of people in the world might not have achieved the living standards they have now ..if it was not for the development of 'nation-states' in the first place.

So i think a 'balance' of globalism and localism is better over one or the other.

Ace > , July 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm GMT

@Jason Liu By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America.

The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general. Every minority pressure group out there is a reliable source of virulent anti-white hatred.

Diversity did not have to be but those who brought it about were unwise. The idea that America should be anything other than a white majority nation is absurd. Hosannas issue when hostile minorities and unassimilable foreigners talk about ethnic and racial interests but whites are just supposed to fade gracefully to khaki. And shut up about it. Reassert ourselves? The horror.

Economic collapse will flush a lot of stupidity from the system. It will be a giant game of 52 Pick Up but better chaos soon than certain degradation later.

[Jul 04, 2017] Economics of the Populist Backlash naked capitalism

Populism is a weasel word that is use by neoliberal MSM to delitimize the resistance. This is a typical neoliberal thinking.
Financial globalization is different from trade. It is more of neocolonialism that racket, as is the case with trade.
Notable quotes:
"... Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour. ..."
"... I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence. ..."
"... Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought. ..."
"... "Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision. ..."
"... In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under. ..."
"... they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives ..."
"... This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism ..."
"... But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations. ..."
"... The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy. ..."
"... Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. ..."
"... As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology. ..."
"... Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War. ..."
"... The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'Populism' is a loose label that encompasses a diverse set of movements. The term originates from the late 19th century, when a coalition of farmers, workers, and miners in the US rallied against the Gold Standard and the Northeastern banking and finance establishment. Latin America has a long tradition of populism going back to the 1930s, and exemplified by Peronism. Today populism spans a wide gamut of political movements, including anti-euro and anti-immigrant parties in Europe, Syriza and Podemos in Greece and Spain, Trump's anti-trade nativism in the US, the economic populism of Chavez in Latin America, and many others in between. What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance.

The populist backlash may have been a surprise to many, but it really should not have been in light of economic history and economic theory.

Take history first. The first era of globalisation under the Gold Standard produced the first self-conscious populist movement in history, as noted above. In trade, finance, and immigration, political backlash was not late in coming. The decline in world agricultural prices in 1870s and 1880s produced pressure for resumption in import protection. With the exception of Britain, nearly all European countries raised agricultural tariffs towards the end of the 19th century. Immigration limits also began to appear in the late 19th century. The United States Congress passed in 1882 the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act that restricted Chinese immigration specifically. Japanese immigration was restricted in 1907. And the Gold Standard aroused farmers' ire because it was seen to produce tight credit conditions and a deflationary effect on agricultural prices. In a speech at the Democratic national convention of 1896, the populist firebrand William Jennings Bryan uttered the famous words: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

To anyone familiar with the basic economics of trade and financial integration, the politically contentious nature of globalisation should not be a surprise. The workhorse models with which international economists work tend to have strong redistributive implications. One of the most remarkable theorems in economics is the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which generates very sharp distributional implications from opening up to trade. Specifically, in a model with two goods and two factors of production, with full inter-sectoral mobility of the factors, owners of one of the two factors are made necessarily worse off with the opening to trade. The factor which is used intensively in the importable good must experience a decline in its real earnings.

The Stolper-Samuelson theorem assumes very specific conditions. But there is one Stolper-Samuelson-like result that is extremely general, and which can be stated as follows. Under competitive conditions, as long as the importable good(s) continue to be produced at home – that is, ruling out complete specialisation – there is always at least one factor of production that is rendered worse off by the liberalisation of trade. In other words, trade generically produces losers. Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain.

Economic theory has an additional implication, which is less well recognised. In relative terms, the redistributive effects of liberalisation get larger and tend to swamp the net gains as the trade barriers in question become smaller. The ratio of redistribution to net gains rises as trade liberalisation tackles progressively lower barriers.

The logic is simple. Consider the denominator of this ratio first. It is a standard result in public finance that the efficiency cost of a tax increases with the square of the tax rate. Since an import tariff is a tax on imports, the same convexity applies to tariffs as well. Small tariffs have very small distorting effects; large tariffs have very large negative effects. Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower. The redistributive effects, on the other hand, are roughly linear with respect to price changes and are invariant, at the margin, to the magnitude of the barriers. Putting these two facts together, we have the result just stated, namely that the losses incurred by adversely affected groups per dollar of efficiency gain are higher the lower the barrier that is removed.

Evidence is in line with these theoretical expectations. For example, in the case of NAFTA, Hakobyan and McLaren (2016) have found very large adverse effects for an "important minority" of US workers, while Caliendo and Parro (2015) estimate that the overall gains to the US economy from the agreement were minute (a "welfare" gain of 0.08%).

In principle, the gains from trade can be redistributed to compensate the losers and ensure no identifiable group is left behind. Trade openness has been greatly facilitated in Europe by the creation of welfare states. But the US, which became a truly open economy relatively late, did not move in the same direction. This may account for why imports from specific trade partners such as China or Mexico are so much more contentious in the US.

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups. But they have a harder time making sense of why trade gets picked on so much by populists both on the right and the left. After all, imports are only one source of churn in labour markets, and typically not even the most important source. What is it that renders trade so much more salient politically? Perhaps trade is a convenient scapegoat. But there is another, deeper issue that renders redistribution caused by trade more contentious than other forms of competition or technological change. Sometimes international trade involves types of competition that are ruled out at home because they violate widely held domestic norms or social understandings. When such "blocked exchanges" (Walzer 1983) are enabled through trade they raise difficult questions of distributive justice. What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Financial globalisation is in principle similar to trade insofar as it generates overall economic benefits. Nevertheless, the economics profession's current views on financial globalisation can be best described as ambivalent. Most of the scepticism is directed at short-term financial flows, which are associated with financial crises and other excesses. Long-term flows and direct foreign investment in particular are generally still viewed favourably. Direct foreign investment tends to be more stable and growth-promoting. But there is evidence that it has produced shifts in taxation and bargaining power that are adverse to labour.

The boom-and-bust cycle associated with capital inflows has long been familiar to developing nations. Prior to the Global Crisis, there was a presumption that such problems were largely the province of poorer countries. Advanced economies, with their better institutions and regulation, would be insulated from financial crises induced by financial globalisation. It did not quite turn out that way. In the US, the housing bubble, excessive risk-taking, and over-leveraging during the years leading up to the crisis were amplified by capital inflows from the rest of the world. In the Eurozone, financial integration, on a regional scale, played an even larger role. Credit booms fostered by interest-rate convergence would eventually turn into bust and sustained economic collapses in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland once credit dried up in the immediate aftermath of the crisis in the US.

Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour.

The populist backlash may have been predictable, but the specific form it took was less so. Populism comes in different versions. It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism, which differ with respect to the societal cleavages that populist politicians highlight and render salient. The US progressive movement and most Latin American populism took a left-wing form. Donald Trump and European populism today represent, with some instructive exceptions, the right-wing variant (Figure 2). What accounts for the emergence of right-wing versus left-wing variants of opposition to globalization?

Figure 2 Contrasting patterns of populism in Europe and Latin America

Notes : See Rodrik (2017) for sources and methods.

I suggest that these different reactions are related to the forms in which globalisation shocks make themselves felt in society (Rodrik 2017). It is easier for populist politicians to mobilise along ethno-national/cultural cleavages when the globalisation shock becomes salient in the form of immigration and refugees. That is largely the story of advanced countries in Europe. On the other hand, it is easier to mobilise along income/social class lines when the globalisation shock takes the form mainly of trade, finance, and foreign investment. That in turn is the case with southern Europe and Latin America. The US, where arguably both types of shocks have become highly salient recently, has produced populists of both stripes (Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump).

It is important to distinguish between the demand and supply sides of the rise in populism. The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalisation generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. Overlooking this distinction can obscure the respective roles of economic and cultural factors in driving populist politics.

Finally, it is important to emphasise that globalization has not been the only force at play - nor necessarily even the most important one. Changes in technology, rise of winner-take-all markets, erosion of labour market protections, and decline of norms restricting pay differentials all have played their part. These developments are not entirely independent from globalisation, insofar as they both fostered globalization and were reinforced by it. But neither can they be reduced to it. Nevertheless, economic history and economic theory both give us strong reasons to believe that advanced stages of globalisation are prone to populist backlash.

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

An interesting post.

One question he does not address is why the opposition to globalization has had its most obvious consequences in two countries:- the US and the UK with Trump and Brexit respectively.

I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence.

For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier.

John Wright , July 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

re: "ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected"

Note that for the recent TPP, industry executives and senior government officials were well represented for the drafting of the agreement, labor and environmental groups were not.

There simply may be no mechanism to "ensure the benefits are distributed among all affected" in the USA political climate as those benefits are grabbed by favored groups, who don't want to re-distribute them later.

Some USA politicians argue for passing flawed legislation while suggesting they will fix it later, as I remember California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein stating when she voted for Bush Jr's Medicare Part D ("buy elderly votes for Republicans").

It has been about 15 years, and I don't remember any reform efforts on Medicare Part D from Di-Fi.

Legislation should be approached with the anticipated inequality problems solved FIRST when wealthy and powerful interests are only anticipating increased wealth via "free trade". Instead, the political process gifts first to the wealthy and powerful first and adopts a "we'll fix it later" attitude for those harmed. And the same process occurs, the wealthy/powerful subsequently strongly resist sharing their newly acquired "free trade" wealth increment with the free trade losers..

If the USA adopted a "fix inequality first" requirement, one wonders if these free trade bills would get much purchase with the elite.

different clue , July 4, 2017 at 4:14 am

Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought.

NAFTA Bill Clinton lit the fuse to the bomb which finally exploded under his lovely wife Hillary in 2016.

Ignacio , July 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

The big problem I find in this analysis is that it completely forgets how different countries use fiscal/financial policies to play merchantilistic games under globalization.

Doug , July 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

Yves, thanks for posting this from Dani Rodrik - whose clear thinking is always worthwhile. It's an excellent, succinct post. Still, one 'ouch': "Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain."

This is dehumanizing glibness that we cannot afford. The pain spreads like wildfire. It burns down houses, savings, jobs, communities, bridges, roads, health and health care, education, food systems, air, water, the 'real' economy, civility, shared values - in short everything for billions of human beings - all while sickening, isolating and killing.

The gain? Yes, as you so often point out, cui bono? But, really it goes beyond even that question. It requires asking, "Is this gain so obscene to arguably be no gain at all because its price for those who cannot have too many homes and yachts and so forth is the loss of humanity?

Consider, for example, Mitch McConnell. He cannot reasonably be considered human. At all. And, before the trolls create any gifs for the Teenager-In-Chief, one could say the same - or almost the same - for any number of flexians who denominate themselves D or R (e.g. Jamie Gorelick).

No pain, no gain? Fine for getting into better shape or choosing to get better at some discipline.

It's an abominable abstraction, though, for describing phenomena now so far along toward planet-o-cide.

Thuto , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision.

Another categorization that I find less than apt, outmoded and a misnomer is the phrase "advanced economies", especially given that level of industrialization and gdp per capita are the key metrics used to arrive at these classifications. Globalization has shifted most industrial activity away from countries that invested in rapid industrialization post WW2 to countries with large pools of readily exploitable labour while gdp per capita numbers include sections of the population with no direct participation in creating economic output (and the growth of these marginalized sections is trending ever upward).

Meanwhile the financial benefits of growing GDP numbers gush ever upwards to the financial-political elites instead of "trickling downwards" as we are told they should, inequality grows unabated, stress related diseases eat away at the bodies of otherwise young men and women etc. I'm not sure any of these dynamics, which describe perfectly what is happening in many so called advanced economies, are the mark of societies that should describe themselves as "advanced"

Yves Smith Post author , July 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Sorry, but the original populist movement in the US called themselves the Populists or the Populist Party. Being popular is good. You are the one who is assigning a pejorative tone to it.

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

Populism is widely used in the mainstream media, and even in the so called alternative media, as a really pejorative term. That is what he means (I would say).

witters , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

On the other hand:

"What all these share is an establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the elites against the people, support for liberal economics and globalisation, and always a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm

You nailed it. Let me know when we get our Constitution back!

Eclair , July 3, 2017 at 8:09 am

"Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour."

So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints, results in all the riches flowing to the fat cats and all the taxes, famines, wars, droughts, floods and other natural disasters being dumped upon the peasants.

The Lakota, roaming the grassy plains of the North American mid-continent, glorified their 'fat cats,' the hunters who brought back the bison which provided food, shelter and clothing to the people. And the rule was that the spoils of the hunt were shared unequally; the old, women and children got the choice high calorie fatty parts. The more that a hunter gave away, the more he was revered.

The Lakota, after some decades of interaction with the European invaders, bestowed on them a disparaging soubriquet: wasi'chu. It means 'fat-taker;' someone who is greedy, taking all the best parts for himself and leaving nothing for the people.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:04 am

"So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints .."

Nailed it!! That's something that has always bothered me it's great for the propagandists to acclaim globalization but they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives .there should be a murderous outrage against this kind of globalized exploitation and the consequent sufferings. Oh, but I forgot! It's all about the money that is supposed to give incentive to those who are left behind to "recoup", "regroup" and in today's age develop some kind of "app" to make up for all those losses .

In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives

That's a feature, not a bug. Notice that big corporations are all in favor of globalization except when it comes to things like labor law. Then, somehow, local is better.

edr , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

"The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalization generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. "

Excellent and interesting point. Which political party presents itself as a believable tool for redress affects the direction populism will take, making itself available as supply to the existing populist demand. That should provide for 100 years of political science research.

Anonymous2 : "For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier."

Seems so simply, right ?

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

It ought to be but sadly I fear our politicians are bought. I am unsure I have the solution . In the past when things got really bad I suspect people ended up with a major war before these sorts of problems could be addressed. I doubt that is going to be a solution this time.

Kuhio Kane , July 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 2:27 am

Well said.

washunate , July 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

Yep, Rodrik has been writing about these things for decades and has a remarkable talent for never actually getting anywhere. He's particularly enamored by the neoliberal shiny toy of "skills", as if predation, looting, and fraud simply don't exist.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

And yet, in the profession, he is one of the least objectionable.

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

This is a prime example of what is wrong with professional economic thinking. First, note that Rodrik is nominally on our side: socially progressive, conscious of the increasingly frightful cost of enviro externalities, etc.

But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations.

Only nation states provide the mass of people any form and extent of political participation in determining their own destiny. The failure of corporations to provide political participation can probably be recited my almost all readers of NC. Indeed, a key problem of the past few decades is that corp.s have increasingly marginalized the role of nation states and mass political participation. The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy.

Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. Another is the aftereffects of the economic dislocations Rodrik alludes to.

One is the increasing constriction of government budgets. These in turn have caused a scaling back of science R&D which I believe will have huge but incalculable negative effects in coming years. How do you measure the cost of failing to find a cure for a disease? Or failing to develop technologies to reverse climate change? Or just to double the charge duration of electric batteries under load? As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology.

FluffytheObeseCat , July 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Intellectually poisoned by his social environment perhaps. The biggest problems with this piece were its sweeping generalizations about unquantified socio-political trends. The things that academic economists are least trained in; the things they speak about in passing without much thought.

I.e. Descriptions of political 'populism' that lumps Peronists, 19th century U.S. prairie populists, Trump, and Sanders all into one neat category. Because, social movements driven by immiseration of the common man are interchangeable like paper cups at a fast food restaurant.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:15 am

Agree with much of what you comment .I believe that the conditions you describe are conveniently dismissed by the pro economists as: "Externalities" LOL!! They seem to dump everything that doesn't correlate to their dream of "Free Markets", "Globalization", etc .into that category .you gotta love 'em!!

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War.

In fact, the best historian of USA agrarian populism, Lawrence Goodwyn, argued that it was exactly the populists' reluctant alliance with Byran in the 1896 election that destroyed the populist movement. It was not so much an issue of the gold standard, as it was "hard money" vs "soft money" : gold AND silver vs the populists' preference for greenbacks, and currency and credit issued by US Treasury instead of the eastern banks.

A rough analogy is that Byran was the Hillary Clinton of his day, with the voters not given any way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or the House of Morgan.

Massinissa , July 3, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Honestly I would say Bryan is more an unwitting Bernie Sanders than a Hillary Clinton. But the effect was essentially the same.

flora , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm

"the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances "

That power was expressed in total control of the Congress and Presidential office. Then, as now, the 80-90% of the voters had neither R or D party that represented their economic, property, and safety interests. Given the same economic circumstances, if one party truly pushed for ameliorating regulations or programs the populist movement would be unnecessary. Yes, Bryan was allowed to run (and he had a large following) and to speak at the Dem convention, much like Bernie today. The "Bourbon Democrats" kept firm control of the party and downed Jennings' programs just as the neolib Dem estab today keep control of the party out of the hands of progressives.

an aside: among many things, the progressives pushed for good government (ending cronyism), trust busting, and honest trade, i.e not selling unfit tinned and bottled food as wholesome food. Today, we could use an "honest contracts and dealings" act to regulate the theft committed by what the banks call "honest contract enforcement", complete with forges documents. (Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle (1906) about the meatpacking industry. What would he make of today's mortgage industry, or insurance industry, for example.)

washunate , July 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

For an author and article so interested in international trade, I'm fascinated by the lack of evidence or argumentation that trade is the problem. The real issue being described here is excessive inequality delivered through authoritarianism, not international trade. The intra-city divergence between a hospital administrator and a home health aid is a much bigger problem in the US than trade across national borders. The empire abroad and the police state at home is a much bigger problem than competition from China or Mexico. Etc. Blaming international trade for domestic policies (and opposition to them) is just simple misdirection and xenophobia, nothing more.

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I take exception to most of Prof. Rodrik's post, which is filled with factual and/or logical inaccuracies.

"Populism appears to be a recent phenomenon, but it has been on the rise for quite some time (Figure 1)."

Wrong. Pretending that a historical generic is somehow new Populism has been around since at least the time of Jesus or William Wallace or the American Revolution or FDR.

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wrong. Creating a straw man through overgeneralization. Just because one country's "populism" appears to have taken on a certain color, does not mean the current populist movement in another part of the world will be the same. The only essential characteristics of populism are the anti-establishment orientation and seeking policies that will redress an imbalance in which some elites have aggrandized themselves unjustly at the expense of the rest of the people. The rest of the items in the list above are straw men in a generalization. Rise of authoritarian (non-democratic) governance after a populist uprising implies the rise of a new elite and would be a failure, a derailing of the populist movement – not a characteristic of it.

"Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower."

If, in fact, we were seeing lower trade barriers, and this was driving populism, this whole line of reasoning might have some value. But as it is, well over half the US economy is either loaded with barriers, subject to monopolistic pricing, or has not seen any "trade liberalization". Pharmaceuticals, despite being commodities, have no common global price the way, say, oil does. Oil hasn't had lowered barriers, though, and thus doesn't count in favor of the argument either. When China, Japan and Europe drop their import barriers, and all of them plus the U.S. get serious about antitrust enforcement, there might be a case to be made

"It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism"

Actually it isn't. The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so.

About the only thing the author gets right is the admission that certain economic policies unjustly create pain among many groups of people, leading to popular retribution. But that's not insightful, especially since he fails to address the issue quantitatively and identify WHICH policies have created the bulk of the pain. For instance, was more damage done by globalization, or by the multi-trillion-$ fleecing of the U.S. middle class by the bankers and federal reserve during the recent housing bubble and aftermath? What about the more recent ongoing fleecing of the government and the people by the healthcare cartels, at about $1.5-2 trillion/year in the U.S.?

This is only the top of a long list

PKMKII , July 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Which is the primary worldview setting for the neo-reactionary right in America. Everything is a question of whether or not ones income was "fairly earned."

So you get government employees and union members voting for politicians who've practically declared war against those voters' class, but vote for them anyway because they set their arguments in a mode of fairness morality: You can vote for the party of hard workers, or the party of handouts to the lazy. Which is why China keeps getting depicted as a currency manipulator and exploiter of free trade agreements.

Economic rivals can only succeed via "cheating," not being industrious like the US.

Livius Drusus , July 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm

That describes a number of my relatives and their friends. They are union members and government employees yet hold hard right-wing views and are always complaining about lazy moochers living on welfare. I ask them why they love the Republicans so much when this same party demonizes union members and public employees as overpaid and lazy and the usual answer is that Republicans are talking about some other unions or other government employees, usually teachers.

I suspect that the people in my anecdote hate public school teachers and their unions because they are often female and non-white or teach in areas with a lot of minority children. I see this a lot with white guys in traditional masculine industrial unions. They sometimes look down on unions in fields that have many female and non-white members, teachers being the best example I can think of.

tongorad , July 3, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups.

No, no they don't.

[Jun 01, 2017] Macron France's Thatcher by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Notable quotes:
"... Nobody should have any doubts about the determination of this former Rothschild banker to carry out his mission, which is none other than to be the Margaret Thatcher of France. In any case, if he was chosen for this role, it is precisely because he has been trained for decades in the most absolute discipline and because he does not seem to have any particular emotional ties with his own country. It is not a professional politician but a man of "the markets" and of Finance who has come to govern France. If there is anyone who is determined to display as much harshness as is necessary and to take as many risks as are necessary, that person is Macron. ..."
"... Macron's appearance, the day that he won the election, was flawless. Even his arrogance evidently served as a reminder to the French that he came from the class that is destined to govern. His speech was a series of generalities, which could have been delivered a century in the past or a century in the future. Except at one point: where he skewered via the terms "extremisms" the Left and the far Right, serving notice that his aim was war against them. ..."
"... The banker-President has come to disencumber the country of all of this type of thing. His amazing success: entering politics and becoming President of France within three years, is a reflection of the massive power, influence and potential of finance capital, the Empire of Davos, in our era. ..."
"... This is probably Finance Capital's "Plan B". But after the election of Trump and the Brexit there came the Dutch, and now the French, elections, to curb (temporarily?) its impetus. ..."
"... Macron's victory gives the EU a reprieve, staving off the likelihood of a sudden death, even though it would be a mistake for anyone to assume that its crisis has been overcome. ..."
"... In the final analysis Macron probably won because France did not trust (this time) a lady of the far right, which seemed dangerous to it, but also because it felt the Left is not yet ready. This delay in the manifestation of the crisis will most probably contribute to its revealing itself more powerfully at a certain point. ..."
"... This is ensured in any case by today's European elites, who are more than ever dependent on, and guided by Finance and so persist in precisely the policies that caused the crisis, the discontent and the rebellion. ..."
May 31, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Macron "scooped the pool and decamped" in the second round of the French presidential elections, scoring an easy victory over Marine Le Pen. Her performance was in any case so bad in the last week of the pre-election campaign that it led some commentators to the conclusion that the National Front did not want to be required to govern.

We have to wait and see if Macron consolidates his victory in the parliamentary elections also. But already both the Socialist Party and the Right, the two traditional parties of power in the country, project a picture of total disintegration and decay, with their cadres leaping into the water like rodents from a sinking ship and heading for the safety of Macron.

Consummating the humiliation of France's political class, former "socialist" Prime Minister Manuel Valls pronounced the Socialist Party dead and affirmed his transposition to the party of Macron, for which he said he intended to be a parliamentary candidate. Only to receive the public answer from the party of his former Minister that he must submit his application through the Internet, following the procedures applicable for everyone. Finally they told him that his services are not required.

But even if in the parliamentary elections he achieves the institutional omnipotence that is his dream, Macron and his ideas remain isolated and espoused by a minority in French society, as indicated by analysis of the results of the first and second round of the presidential elections. The capture of the GS & M factory by its workers, who threaten to blow it up as these lines are being written, is a reminder that the tasks the new President has been set, or has set himself, will not be in any way easy.

A man of the "Markets" and of "Finance"

Nobody should have any doubts about the determination of this former Rothschild banker to carry out his mission, which is none other than to be the Margaret Thatcher of France. In any case, if he was chosen for this role, it is precisely because he has been trained for decades in the most absolute discipline and because he does not seem to have any particular emotional ties with his own country. It is not a professional politician but a man of "the markets" and of Finance who has come to govern France. If there is anyone who is determined to display as much harshness as is necessary and to take as many risks as are necessary, that person is Macron.

His hagiographers are now proliferating in the French press at the speed of mushrooms in the forest after rain. Many would like to liken him to Napoleon. Aware, though, that they would run the risk of being ridiculed, they confine themselves to reminders that since the Emperor the country has never had such a young ruler.

But this Napoleon does not plan to start any war with the monarchs of Europe, who linked themselves together, funded – it is said – by Rothschild, to strangle revolutionary France. His campaigns will be on the domestic front, like those of Thiers. Recall also that the Paris Commune emerged from the refusal of the people of France to accept their country's capitulation to Germany.

Macron's appearance, the day that he won the election, was flawless. Even his arrogance evidently served as a reminder to the French that he came from the class that is destined to govern. His speech was a series of generalities, which could have been delivered a century in the past or a century in the future. Except at one point: where he skewered via the terms "extremisms" the Left and the far Right, serving notice that his aim was war against them.

The only half-way human spontaneous element of M. Macron on his day of victory was at the end of celebrations, his embarrassed laugh when he was the only one in the group not to sing the Marseillaise. Either he did not know the words or he could not sing them.

If there is one song that the ruling class of France hates it is the country's national anthem, summoning the citizenry "to arms". And the same applies for the national rallying emblem "Liberté, égalité, fraternité."

The banker-President has come to disencumber the country of all of this type of thing. His amazing success: entering politics and becoming President of France within three years, is a reflection of the massive power, influence and potential of finance capital, the Empire of Davos, in our era.

At the international level, Macron's victory discontinues, at least temporarily, the string of successes of the most radical wing of the Western establishment which, persuaded that Fukuyama-type "benign globalization" is not making much progress, decided to place its bets on the "Huntington model" of the war of civilizations.

This is probably Finance Capital's "Plan B". But after the election of Trump and the Brexit there came the Dutch, and now the French, elections, to curb (temporarily?) its impetus.

Macron's victory gives the EU a reprieve, staving off the likelihood of a sudden death, even though it would be a mistake for anyone to assume that its crisis has been overcome.

And how could it overcome it when the predominant political forces on the continent, Berlin and the Commission, persist with insouciance of a Marie Antoinette, in the same policies of administering to the patient the medicine that is killing him.

A minority president

The new president was elected by a minority of French voters in absolute terms and many who voted for him did not endorse his program but wanted to block Le Pen.

* In contrast to Chirac, who won 82% of the vote against Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002, Macron obtained only 65%.

* For the first time since 1969 participation in the second round smaller (by 3%) than in the first.

* Τhe 12% figure for spoiled or blank ballots was an absolute record for the Fifth Republic (in 2012 it was 5.8%)

* 42% of those with the right to vote supported Macron and of those, according to public opinion polls, only 55% agreed with his ideas.

The results of the first round are genuinely representative of the political preferences of the French, half of whom voted for political forces opposed to the European Union in its present form.

If we factor in the votes for "La France Insoumise", Mélenchon, the left-wing Socialist Hamon and the two Trotskyist candidates, we see that they account for 27% of the votes in the first round, slightly more than the proportion of votes that went to the far right and the anti-systemic Right Gaullists of Dupon-Aignan. Even if we do not count Hamon, we are still speaking of more than 50% "anti-systemic" votes, in a European country of central importance.

Hamon, remember, supported policies which, if implemented, would have led to clashes with Brussels. The reason that we include him in an intermediate category is that he was clearly unwilling to proceed to a break with the EU for the sake of imposing them.

In other words 50-55% of voters favor "antisystemic" parties, whether of the Left, the Right or the extreme Right.

55% was also the percentage of the French who voted against the draft European Constitutional Treaty (in essence the Maastricht structure) in the 2005 referendum. But at that time there were no political subjects in France to articulate this "No". And the deep structural economic crisis of 2008 had not yet broken.

France became the second country in the EU, after Greece, where the majority of citizens voted for parties declaring themselves to be "antisystemic". Confirming that we are in a situation of profound and intensifying structural, not cyclical, crisis of Western capitalism and its political system, of a depth, though not of an intensity, comparable to that of the 1929 crisis.

As occurred in the 1930s, the crisis tends to generate radical political subjects on the left and the far right, particularly in relatively stronger countries such as France, Britain and the United States, which can more easily imagine relying on their own forces. In weaker countries radicalization has manifested itself mainly on the Left, as with SYRIZA and PODEMOS.

A geopolitical Weimar

Not only are there significant structural similarities between the socio-political crisis of today's Europe and that of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) in interwar Germany. Geopolitically today Europe is also reminiscent of the 1930s and early 1940s . By all indications it is under German hegemony, with only two countries at the opposite extremes challenging the desiderata of Berlin: Putin's Russia to the east, obliged almost against its will to resist the West. And to the west Britain, whose ruling class dreams of a more powerful role for London, for the benefit always of the rising "Empire of Finance" and the USA.

Italy comes over as the perennial opportunist and vacillator, as in the time of Mussolini, prior to his final decision to side with Hitler. Poland reminds us in some ways of Pilsudski's heyday. Spain seems to have withdrawn into its own peninsula, as it did then. A special case on the European periphery is Turkey, which is bargaining for its international position, not to mention another non-European country, which did not exist in the interwar period, Israel, but exerts massive influence over European, and even more so Mediterranean, developments.

Of course "German hegemony" over Europe always remains under the supervision of Finance, of the IMF, of the USA and NATO, which take care from time to time to remind Berlin of the limits of the permissible, and to impose them.

France has for some time positioned itself in a stance of submission and subordination to Germany, somewhat reminiscent – naturally with all due allowances for the very different conditions – of the Vichy regime of General Petain.

France is now , mutandis mutandis , in the position Germany was towards the victors of the First World War. This is why there is a potential for developing both a leftist radical and a far right answer, as happened with Germany in the intrawar period, when it vacillated between the Left and Hitler, ending with the Nazis, given the incompetence and betrayal of both German Social Democrats and Communists.

France, Germany and the EU

In Berlin signs of relief greeted the election of Macron in preference to Le Pen. They were soon followed, however, by warnings both from Germany and from the Brussels Commission to the newly elected President not to expect relaxation of "fiscal discipline".

Macron has the support of the "International of Finance", of which he is any case a representative. But despite the fact that Berlin allied itself with this "International" to impose its priorities on Europe, the German Right has no desire to expend the German surpluses on assisting its allies or the revival of the European and international economy, despite the fact that Mr. Gabriel (but not Mr. Schulz) and certain Green politicians are beginning to flirt with the idea, judging that the maintenance of German hegemony requires somewhat greater flexibility.

It remains to be seen what Macron is going to do, given that he must on the one hand confront a very real, albeit dissimulated, "civilized" German nationalism and on the other prepare to proceed with the demolition of labour law in his own country.

The resurrection of the Left

France is a country that has made ten revolutions in two centuries. From the Popular Front to the post-war predominance of the Communist Party, from the Trotskyists' struggle for the Algerian Revolution up to May 1968 and the Socialist Party's electoral victory in 1981, the Left has set its seal on the country's history.

Many believed that this tradition has died, along with the distinction between Left and Right, with the total capitulation of the Socialist Party to neoliberalism, in conditions of progressive cultural decline and "Americanization". The traditional socialist culture of the popular classes survived, but in a state of perennial defensiveness, without ideological-political representatives or a presence in the media. What remained of social revolt began to emigrate to the far right, the National Front of Marine Le Pen.

Until the underlying social demand for a true, authentic left met up with the political drive of Mélenchon and a miracle, a resurrection, occurred, a Left was born that has some connection with its name.

Mélenchon's result in the first round must be seen as historic. It brings to a close the era of Socialist Party hegemony that opened with the Epinay congress in 1971, a development analogous to SYRIZA's eclipse of PASOK.

There is nothing accidental about this result for Mélenchon. It reflects the enormous demand in all of the Western world for an authentic Left wing. A recent poll showed that 45% of American youth would vote socialist and 21% communist, although socialists and communists are almost non-existent in the US (or perhaps also because they are non-existent!). A few days ago a majority of British people opted in opinion polls for the Leftist electoral program of the Labour Party, which provides for renationalization of the railways, the Post Office and water, with corresponding measures to that effect.

It appears to have been pre-planned from the outset that the electoral game in France would go the way it went, with a match between Macron and Le Pen. Only against Le Pen was Macron assured of victory. Only against the Macron-Rothschild and deploying every dissident element in her arsenal could Le Pen have any hope of attaining credibility.

Mélenchon's performance, challenging Le Pen's monopoly over expression of social dissent and revolt, changed the situational data. And we cannot know what would have happened if the terrorist attack had not taken place on the eve of the first round, strengthening Macron, stabilizing Fillon and assisting with exclusion of Mélenchon.

"La France Insoumise" won more than three times as many votes as the Socialist candidate. Its rise has been as spectacular as that of SYRIZA, Corbyn and Sanders. Of course getting off to a very good start by no means ensures that the sequel will be as propitious. Problems frequently arise in the next stage as the tragic experience of the Greek betrayal and disaster has already amply proven.

In the case of France the problems emerged immediately with the sectarianism and the inability of the French Left as a whole to coalesce for the parliamentary elections. Given France's super-majoritarian, two-round, profoundly undemocratic electoral system, this failure may have adverse consequences when it comes to the final number of left-wing members in parliament.

In the final analysis Macron probably won because France did not trust (this time) a lady of the far right, which seemed dangerous to it, but also because it felt the Left is not yet ready. This delay in the manifestation of the crisis will most probably contribute to its revealing itself more powerfully at a certain point.

This is ensured in any case by today's European elites, who are more than ever dependent on, and guided by Finance and so persist in precisely the policies that caused the crisis, the discontent and the rebellion.

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos is a journalist and writer, former Secretary of the Independent Citizens Movement, former member SYRIZA's Central Committee, current editorial board member of the international magazine Utopia Review, ex-chief of the Greek Press Agency office in Moscow, formerly served as Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's adviser in East-West relations and arms control.

_

[May 07, 2017] Elections In France

Le Pen was similar to Trump in her desire to improve the relations with Russia and generally more realistic view of recent events. she is not a USA stooge. That probably a partial reason why she lost. Macron is somewhat like French Obama a shadow figure who is a marionette of forces behind him, not a actual politician.
Notable quotes:
"... the 'abstain in disgust' demographic has been over-hyped from the day after results were announced. ..."
"... the abstain thing was overhyped for one and only reason, put the "shame" on the the left so that'll cut their chances for the June Legsilatives election (the one that counts contrary to the sunday joke). ..."
"... It's the only reason all major tv/radio/newspapers spent the last 2 weeks vociferating against Melenchon & his voters as "irresponsible" while 90% of those insulted will NOT vote for Le Pen. That would be total nonsense if the thing those media were fighting was Le Pen... ..."
"... Problem is with the media and the establishment EU globalists, all dissenting and opposite views will be quashed even further under the 'fighting terrorism' guise. People will be smeared, fined, arrested, jailed, whatever it takes for them to maintain a grip on power. ..."
"... Yes the russian-hating-blaming-millionare Macron will win no doubt, the election is more or less fixed after the propaganda campaing for him everywhere in the west. The same Macron and MSM are already cooking up disinformation about russian hackers, theese people are insane, and its also a sign of what policy he will carry out. ..."
"... Long term though? Next election Le Pen or whoever rule her party will win. It will also cause more extremism because the elite under Macron wont deal with regular people and their problems but with the elite. ..."
"... to be fair though, those emails leaks seem totally dull. I browsed what I could, it's just generic staff chat, campaign bills to pay, bills to make, yadda yadda Whoever got the mail passwords few months ago must have waited for something juicy to land and since nothing really interesting came up, they're just posting the whole stock as is. Won't make the slightest difference on sunday. ..."
"... Exactly. I wouldnt be surprised if its Macron team itself that leaked this dull, uninportant stuff to show that "russians have interfered". ..."
"... Macron won 1st step with the intense fear campaign spammed on our heads during 6 months. I know plenty reasonable people who voted Macron while they hardly can stand his program, because they were told hundreds times he was the "best choice" to beat Le Pen. ..."
"... That's so absurd Macron got the most votes last sunday AND at the same time got the LOWEST "adhesion" (adherence ? not sure in english) rate of all 11 candidates, basically nearly half of "his" voters put the bulletin with his name for reasons that have nothing to do with him. ..."
"... they're both pro-Zionist. Just another shell game of an election whilst the media does its assigned job of shouting loudly about some supposed vast gulf existing between the 2 candidates. Having said that, if I was French there's just no way I could vote for a slimy Rothschild banking reptile like Macron. At least Le Pen appears to be an actual human. ..."
"... Without Trump's 100 first days, le Pen would probably have done better, possibly even taken it. The French have been given full flood propaganda that Marine le Pen is the equivalent of Donald Trump. She is not. There are some similarities, but le Pen is more nuanced than Trump, far more experienced in politics, and would be at least somewhat more consistent with her campaign promises. ..."
"... That said, she is not the economic "populist" many imagine and many more hope for. Her actual platform would be remarkably like that of Obama or Hillary; neoliberal. ..."
"... she might make improvements in, and the emphasis should be on "might", one of them is avoiding participation in every war that the US starts up in the Middle East as well as all the Putin bashing that is de rigeur for US allies ..."
"... long term outcome of globalists verses nationalists? the globalists are going to win, and full on slavery will continue to ensue.. the younger generations will not see the comforts and lifestyle their parents enjoyed - far from it in fact.. freedoms will be clamped down, alternative views will be made illegal and stuff like that.. after that, there is a small chance people will possibly wake up, but i wouldn't count on it.. ..."
"... " the epic fight of globalists versus nationalists" No. It is the epic fight of corporatists versus nationalists. ..."
"... Corporations are trying to assert themselves as bigger, better and more powerful than states. Time to remind corporatists that they exist only at the will and control of a state. By allowing a corporation to establish themselves, the state should be their front, Potemkin village or not. ..."
"... A strand in F politics / commentators etc. brands him as a candidat fabriqué , a candidat du système a sort of cut-out ersatz pol, created and boosted by the financial elites, Mega Corps., banking - as he worked for Rotschild, etc. The MSM, particularly magazines... ensuring his win with 24/24 favorable coverage. Sure, he is young, good-looking, etc. ..."
"... Some gays support Macron as rumors about him being gay with his older wife as a 'mommy type cover' indulging in an affair with some sultry media guy. ..."
"... Macron is an opportunist taking advantage of the break-down of trad. F politics - death of the Socialist party, divisions on the right, oppos parties no clout, Sarkozy despised, Hollande then more so.. to present a quasi 'evangelical' solution as a last ditch effort against decline, sinking GDP per capita, > as 'collaborationist' with the US-EU-NATO - etc. He is most likely quite, or semi-sincere, in his desire to fix it all. A 'maverick' who is yet 'hyper conventional' - a very conventional profile! ..."
"... You're right about Trump I think. Even if the 100 day benchmark is arbitrary it's something that's paid a lot of attention. It's been very unsettling for a lot of Americans. Other countries have been watching closely. They watched as Trump front loaded his cabinet with bankers and generals. They wondered whatever happened to nonintervention and draining the swamp. They wondered if the demonization of certain religious and ethnic groups was the harbinger of a brave new world that wasn't all that brave or all that new. His attack on all things environmental, while weather events become worse year by year, strictly to accommodate big business is another problem. So is the new health bill that gives the coup de grâce to any idea that he's the champion of the common man. ..."
"... In any case the French election will go a long way to determining if the new philosophy of undoing all the constructs since WW11 is what the people want. it's starting to look like it isn't. The losers are sure to cry that big finance and the press skewered the vote but it might just be that the French are happy the way things are. ..."
"... Macron will be to France what Obama has been to the US. Just like Obama's presidency made possible Trump's victory four years later, Macron's presidency will make possible a Front National victory in five years. ..."
"... The Chancellors of the French universities have asked their students to vote Macron. (Link in French) Not a single Chancellor has asked students to vote Le Pen. The same can be said of the French press. The media barrage in favor of Macron has been so one-sided, some Frenchmen call their country jokingly "East Corea" ..."
"... I find it difficult to hear people praising Le Pen who won't have to live under her presidency. Let me remind you that Europe had more than its share of nationalist wars, and the last thing the continent needs are governments adding fuel to the fire of existing tensions. Macron is a puppet, but in the end he'll do what's necessary to stabilize things. Le Pen might well blow things up and lead to civil war. ..."
"... I am not a supporter of Le Pen and hell no, not supporter of a "French Trump" Macron, Yes, it is Macron in my opinion that is French Trump, a Flaccid Clown of Global Oligarchy while Le Pen is slightly reversed Sanders as far as elements of political platform that matter for ordinary people in France and the US. ..."
"... Brilliant move by Marine Le Pen was to campaign on her own more centrist platform and not be obliged to follow strictly FN platform as a FN leader would have to follow. ..."
"... In fact as Macron was first who shed his discrediting Socialist label as hated Hollande minister, now Le Pen shed her FN right-wing and neo-fascist label to commence entirely new campaign as true French populist and nationalist. ..."
"... She already told French that they have a clear choice between neoliberal oligarchic rule of globalists under a thieving investment banker or French people rule under populist leader liken to de Gaulle. ..."
"... Does she have a chance against unified block of French MSM media and Globalist media worldwide, against slander, lies and fake news, against 95% of largest French press being against her? Not likely, especial that as it was documented CIA has capabilities and used them to manipulate french elections already in the past. But it is more complicated than that and Marine Le Pen is not Trump. ..."
"... The Macron campaign identified the first tweet referring to the documents as coming from the Twitter account of Nathan Damigo , a far-right activist and convicted felon based in northern California. Damigo is known on social media for punching a female anti-fascist in the face at a Berkeley protest. ..."
"... Originated online in California, just before the 2.5 hour debate between Le Pen and Macron. ..."
"... Melenchon is the one to listen to to understand the situation in France. While he didn't make it into round two, he has a good chance of a large parliamentary victory in the round of elections after the presidential one. He's been locked out of the English-language press in the U.S. and Britain (he falls outside their narrow spectrum of acceptable political views) so you have to read the French press (I use Google Translate) or watch his youtube (with subcaptions) channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsGkA4TXqyw ..."
"... In order to combat mass immigration, which is mainly internal to developing countries, the causes of migration must be tackled: the impossibility of any development in the countries of departure, due to debts and Structural adjustment policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank, the plundering of resources by multinationals and free trade. ..."
"... Outside the fact most media pre-prepare their headlines for such occasions when time does not allow for late information to be disseminated by normal publishing procedures, the Dewey / Truman was marked by the media believing their own propaganda to the extent they became divorced from reality. This recently has shown its tracks in the Clinton / Trump campaign with 'interesting result' - the Russians did it! ..."
"... Macron has no effective political party in the French parliament, the fictional party he was supported by has no parliamentary standing and is unlikely to obtain standing. ..."
"... she has said that she won't allow French citizens to have Israeli passports ..."
"... Those Francophone African countries that are part of the West African and Central African Franc currency zones were among the most enthusiastic backers of Colonel Muammar Gaddhafi's pan-African "gold dinar" economic market. No wonder Nicolas Sarkozy signed onto the US no-fly zone over Libya idiocy tout de suite in 2011. ..."
"... The relative lack of power of France made me wonder the real reason why they led the NATO attack on Libya. Was it the financial dealings between Sarkozy and Gaddhafi like some sites say or were they really prodded by the US to lead the way of the overall game plan? ..."
"... Macron's dirty secrets according to The Duran: http://theduran.com/breaking-macron-emails-lead-to-allegations-of-drug-use-homosexual-adventurism-and-rothschild-money/ ..."
"... Le Pen voters, who decry globalisation, foreignors, terrorists, muslims, etc. / the remnants of the left (socialist - Trotskyist - add anarchist - ..), who voted Mélenchon or not at all / those who are 'foreign' - outcasts in any case - and thus can't rally to Le Pen or to anyone.. and just keep their heads down. ..."
"... The divide-to-rule strategy has worked perfectly on these workers. In two factories I know of, the 3 different groups don't speak to each other, except as routine politeness / ugly jokes small skirmish etc., as they are all in the same boat, subject to the same oppressive rules, etc. though some contacts/friendships cross these lines. ..."
"... Listening to NPR spreading their propaganda about French elections made me want to vomit. Are the majority of western folks really as stupid as they seem to be? Judging by the crap people post on Facebook I'd say yes. The more "educated" a person is the more likely they are to believe the lies. ..."
"... As for the farce in France... I think Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.com has a good grasp of what the elite are trying to do. He has a series of articles postulating what he believes is the long game of the bankers and other wealthy feces, mostly using Trump as the example of how nationalist/conservatives are being set-up for a big fall. Interesting point of view that I find rather rational considering all the craziness taking place. ..."
"... Good short summmary: The Truth About Macron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6H0cjIN4gw ..."
"... n America, American Voters in the USA elections, are allowed to elect by majority vote, either of two persons(for each position); but the between candidate platforms, boil down to the same side of two identical coins. Those elected are paid a salary to operate the USA for the benefit of, and "according to" the "allowed policy" established by, those in control of the national policy. ..."
"... The French election is not about choice of platforms, but instead, the French election is about choice of persons to be paid to execute the allowed platforms. The range of choices in the French election.. and in republics throughout the world, has been and is, limited to candidates who subscribe to "allowed platforms". It is clear to me, the policies the candidates will be paid, if elected, to execute are, all the same in every Republic, around the globe. ..."
"... That all the evils in western society are the fault of the external bogeyman. Putin, ISIS Refugees, Asian footwear makers, whatever. ..."
"... Is that your services & politicians Would never pull a false leak or a controlled leak or a limited hangout. That they are angels that sit on their hands. ..."
"... These two underpin the absolute lunacy we have seen unfold before our eyes. An extraordinarily dangerous situation to be in which is getting worse fast. ..."
"... Everyone backed the wrong horse. Instead of pushing for JL Melenchon who's also a non-interventionist on foreign policy from the very beginning as opposed to the unpopular candidate of Sarkozy's party, F. Fillon, and then the Islamophobe Le Pen, you'all had to back Le Pen who had no chance in hell of winning because she scared not only Muslims but many on the Left. ..."
"... Obomo praises Emmanuel Macron well run campaign and like Emmanuel Macron's "Liberal value" . Good ridden! ..."
"... Last year, when Joe visited the US, we were discussing the US presidential campaign and Bernie Sanders. Joe and I agreed that the West is experiencing a general political meltdown. Joe then went on to describe the default pattern that EU elections follow: ..."
"... The prospective candidates are inevitably the "Usual Suspects", i.e. centrist/moderate careerist technocrats, the odd "maverick" or two with limited, cultlike support-- and The Extremist ..."
"... The Establishment power elite, institutions, and complicit mass-media begin an orchestrated howling: "Anybody But [insert Extremist du jour here]!" ..."
"... The "Anybody But!" coalition throws massive resources into a public relations campaign to generate mass hysterical fear at the prospect that The Extremist may win and lead the nation straight to Hell. ..."
"... The terrified, confused, hysterical, panic-stricken public accordingly falls in line and elects the favorite centrist/moderate careerist technocrat who will perpetuate the neoliberal status quo. ..."
"... The Establishment power elite and its mass-media megaphone will effusively praise the inconquerable wisdom and good sense of The People in once again Saving the Republic by rejecting a dangerous Extremist. ..."
"... Macron is a shark (report from the family), not a victim of the banksters. He followed May's strategy in UK of staying quiet till elected. Future policy: not merely a bankster, but also the son of a conservative family of doctors from Amiens. So not a pure neo-liberal, as has been suggested, but someone who is forced by his family background to take their point of view into account. ..."
"... The prospect is not too bad. Other than in foreign policy, where he has declared himself against the Asad regime in Syria. I don't take that too seriously. Once in power, he may discover what is implied in attacking Asad, that is war against Russia, and he may hesitate. ..."
"... I am French. Macron won because of an unprecedented media onslaught that led 25% of voters who don't know their heads for their a... to vote for him in the first round, while the media had blocked anyone but Macron and Le Pen from getting to the second round. That's because they know that people would elect a head of lettuce if that head of lettuce was running against Le Pen. ..."
"... You see, the US only stopped major civil war kind of s... because Trump won, which disarmed the anger of the disenfranchised masses. Unfortunately, in France, Emmanuel Clinton won. And the French extreme left wing, who hates Macron's guts, can be dangerous. I mean, physically dangerous. Other clear-headed observers than Gave are already mumbling words like "barricades" and "civil war". ..."
"... What does that say about any French thinking their vote matters? Look at the choices they were "offered". ..."
"... the parallels between obama and micro seem very strong ... someone linked elsewhere - on the open thread - to a biography of obama that had him making decisions with an eye to future "political showbiz" career at an early age. ..."
"... the 'destiny' of the 'political' showbiz - class seems now to be to surf the waves of financial power, all pretense to politics long gone. probably always thus, to a great extent. but with the need for real politics so striking now - the disaster to be had for relying on autopilot more apparent than ever - so too is the self-centeredness of the showbiz personalities. ..."
"... If Macron manages to trick the French fools again and his non-existing party actually gets a majority in parliament, I expect things to go South before his first mandate is over. ..."
"... A total of 4.2 million of French voters cast empty ballots in the presidential run-off on Synday, a survey conducted by Ispos and Sopra Steria said ....8.9 percent of the total of 47.6 million voters cast empty ballots, refusing to give their support to either of the candidates." ..."
May 07, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Formerly T-Bear | May 6, 2017 4:19:35 AM | 1
The French 2017 election has become the battle of the status quo; one a historical myth (La Pen) providing some comfort from a perceived tradition, the other of hidden political power looking to perpetuate itself by stealth and deception (Macron). Should the French electorate decide that silence can be an effective form of a lie, they can support the candidate which best meets the voter's best interests. La Pen is a candidate of a legitimate but small political party; Macron has, like any good magician, produced a facsimile political group, a crypto-political party. Taking a page from U.S. political history, lies never produce the results they promise. Good luck France, reach into your conscious and vote your best interests Sunday. The world awaits your collective decision if politics still operates in France.
MadMax2 | May 6, 2017 4:40:12 AM | 2
But what will be the long-term outcome in the epic fight of globalists versus nationalists - in France, in Europe and elsewhere?

It will prove, yet again on the global stage, that a completely manufactured centrist formula can defeat a long term right or left political movement.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 6, 2017 5:41:47 AM | 3
"It seems clear so far the the synthetic Rothschild candidate will win this round."

That's the way it's shaping up, despite the weirdness of Obama adding his name to the Kiss Of Death list of pro-Micron Swamp Dwellers headed by such unpopular has-beens as Hollande, Sarkozy et al.

There's too much contrived 'flexibility' in this charade. In Round 1 the voter-participation rate settled at 77.1% after early cites that it was a fraction under 70%. That's a huge jump in a factor which normally reveals reliable trends. Also the 'abstain in disgust' demographic has been over-hyped from the day after results were announced.

The final outcome will hinge on how gullible/docile French voters are, historically-speaking.

roflmaousse | May 6, 2017 6:50:30 AM | 4
the abstain thing was overhyped for one and only reason, put the "shame" on the the left so that'll cut their chances for the June Legsilatives election (the one that counts contrary to the sunday joke).

It's the only reason all major tv/radio/newspapers spent the last 2 weeks vociferating against Melenchon & his voters as "irresponsible" while 90% of those insulted will NOT vote for Le Pen. That would be total nonsense if the thing those media were fighting was Le Pen...

franck-y | May 6, 2017 7:55:01 AM | 5
You can read that on Counterpunch : http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/21/macron-of-france-chauncey-gardiner-for-president/
or that in French : https://audelancelin.com/2017/04/20/emmanuel-macron-un-putsch-du-cac-40/
Gravatomic | May 6, 2017 8:03:53 AM | 6
France will be rudderless, adrift, enduring a exponential increase in violence and internal political and cultural strife. Then, next election Le Pen will nab it. They aren't there yet.

Problem is with the media and the establishment EU globalists, all dissenting and opposite views will be quashed even further under the 'fighting terrorism' guise. People will be smeared, fined, arrested, jailed, whatever it takes for them to maintain a grip on power.

I see the UK is now wanting to introduce more investigatory powers on the web essentially eliminating end to end encryption. The EU countries are going to go full Big Brother before they let the populist right movement gain any more traction. Again, they may only be delaying the inevitable.

Anon | May 6, 2017 8:27:13 AM | 9
Yes the russian-hating-blaming-millionare Macron will win no doubt, the election is more or less fixed after the propaganda campaing for him everywhere in the west.
The same Macron and MSM are already cooking up disinformation about russian hackers, theese people are insane, and its also a sign of what policy he will carry out.

Long term though? Next election Le Pen or whoever rule her party will win. It will also cause more extremism because the elite under Macron wont deal with regular people and their problems but with the elite.

I cant see why anyone would vote for Macron, even his eyes/looks are slimy.

Jean | May 6, 2017 8:32:33 AM | 10
Another Leaks about emails, this time about Macron. The difference is that nobody is allowed to publish any part of it by the electoral commission (15,000 euros fine). No doubt there will be a huge crackdown on alt media once he gets elected.

France is an occupied country, much more than the US

http://theduran.com/breaking-macron-email-hacking-shows-that-free-speech-is-dead-in-france/

roflmaousse | May 6, 2017 8:43:48 AM | 12
to be fair though, those emails leaks seem totally dull. I browsed what I could, it's just generic staff chat, campaign bills to pay, bills to make, yadda yadda Whoever got the mail passwords few months ago must have waited for something juicy to land and since nothing really interesting came up, they're just posting the whole stock as is. Won't make the slightest difference on sunday.
Anon | May 6, 2017 8:52:27 AM | 13
roflmaousse

Exactly. I wouldnt be surprised if its Macron team itself that leaked this dull, uninportant stuff to show that "russians have interfered".

roflmaousse | May 6, 2017 9:04:11 AM | 14
@jen : what possibility ? none
Macron won 1st step with the intense fear campaign spammed on our heads during 6 months. I know plenty reasonable people who voted Macron while they hardly can stand his program, because they were told hundreds times he was the "best choice" to beat Le Pen. And that's it. They probably don't fully believe it, but the doubt was hammered deep in their mind, and they won't take the (imaginary) risk to appear the on "wrong" side of history and be shamed for years... And the same thing will obviously happen tomorrow.

That's so absurd Macron got the most votes last sunday AND at the same time got the LOWEST "adhesion" (adherence ? not sure in english) rate of all 11 candidates, basically nearly half of "his" voters put the bulletin with his name for reasons that have nothing to do with him.

Nick | May 6, 2017 9:37:22 AM | 15
they're both pro-Zionist. Just another shell game of an election whilst the media does its assigned job of shouting loudly about some supposed vast gulf existing between the 2 candidates. Having said that, if I was French there's just no way I could vote for a slimy Rothschild banking reptile like Macron. At least Le Pen appears to be an actual human.
Brooklin Bridge | May 6, 2017 10:12:06 AM | 16
Without Trump's 100 first days, le Pen would probably have done better, possibly even taken it. The French have been given full flood propaganda that Marine le Pen is the equivalent of Donald Trump. She is not. There are some similarities, but le Pen is more nuanced than Trump, far more experienced in politics, and would be at least somewhat more consistent with her campaign promises.

That said, she is not the economic "populist" many imagine and many more hope for. Her actual platform would be remarkably like that of Obama or Hillary; neoliberal. Of the two areas she might make improvements in, and the emphasis should be on "might", one of them is avoiding participation in every war that the US starts up in the Middle East as well as all the Putin bashing that is de rigeur for US allies . The other is possibly succeeding in upending the European Union and the Eurozone - which as it stands, does everything for rapacious banks and an export at any cost dependent Germany, and nothing for anyone else other than a small group of plutocrats.

james | May 6, 2017 10:14:24 AM | 17
long term outcome of globalists verses nationalists? the globalists are going to win, and full on slavery will continue to ensue.. the younger generations will not see the comforts and lifestyle their parents enjoyed - far from it in fact.. freedoms will be clamped down, alternative views will be made illegal and stuff like that.. after that, there is a small chance people will possibly wake up, but i wouldn't count on it..

in france, terrorism will continue.. in europe a greater malaise will prevail.. in the world, things look to be falling apart.. maybe more war for all the wrong reasons, if nothing else.. macron will be onside with global dominance thru the west of syria.. the usual lame excuses will be trotted out..

Bardi | May 6, 2017 10:43:56 AM | 18
" the epic fight of globalists versus nationalists" No. It is the epic fight of corporatists versus nationalists.

Corporations are trying to assert themselves as bigger, better and more powerful than states. Time to remind corporatists that they exist only at the will and control of a state. By allowing a corporation to establish themselves, the state should be their front, Potemkin village or not.

This US has ceded much of their power to corporations. Past time to take it back.

Noir22 | May 6, 2017 10:54:49 AM | 19
Macron, next Pres. of France, an exceptional person. (I am not a fan.)

A strand in F politics / commentators etc. brands him as a candidat fabriqué , a candidat du système a sort of cut-out ersatz pol, created and boosted by the financial elites, Mega Corps., banking - as he worked for Rotschild, etc. The MSM, particularly magazines... ensuring his win with 24/24 favorable coverage. Sure, he is young, good-looking, etc.

This pov is conveniently conspiratorial, and the media support is real; yet, the MSM merely follow and go for the winner, in kind of positive feed-back loop, pretty mindless.

"Manu" - pour les intimes - is very clever, tough, and determined to rise / become powerful since he was a precocious child, attracted to and competing within the world of adults, since the age of 5? Yes, a psych profile approach is superficial, junky, or only one aspect. The 'parental' love of his life was his grand-mother. Manu took decisions about his life very young. At 12 he was baptised Catholic, by his decision. Pic in church first from coll. of pix young Macron, Gala gossip mag.

http://photo.gala.fr/emmanuel-macron-et-brigitte-trogneux-retour-sur-leur-rencontre-lorsqu-il-etait-lyceen-22835

At 15 -17 he decided he would marry the teacher B. Trogneux (24 years older than him, with one child older than him, another the same age and in his class at school), and he managed that. The 'unconventional' marriage is now 100% accepted, and even a I'd say a 'plus' point, in the sense that 'different love-lives' tinged with trangression attract support from certain quarters. Some gays support Macron as rumors about him being gay with his older wife as a 'mommy type cover' indulging in an affair with some sultry media guy.

Macron is an opportunist taking advantage of the break-down of trad. F politics - death of the Socialist party, divisions on the right, oppos parties no clout, Sarkozy despised, Hollande then more so.. to present a quasi 'evangelical' solution as a last ditch effort against decline, sinking GDP per capita, > as 'collaborationist' with the US-EU-NATO - etc. He is most likely quite, or semi-sincere, in his desire to fix it all. A 'maverick' who is yet 'hyper conventional' - a very conventional profile!

@ Gravatomic at 6. Le Pen will never win, the FN will never have a 'prez.' About the social unrest, yes.

peter | May 6, 2017 11:12:00 AM | 20
@16Brooklin Bridge

You're right about Trump I think. Even if the 100 day benchmark is arbitrary it's something that's paid a lot of attention. It's been very unsettling for a lot of Americans. Other countries have been watching closely. They watched as Trump front loaded his cabinet with bankers and generals. They wondered whatever happened to nonintervention and draining the swamp. They wondered if the demonization of certain religious and ethnic groups was the harbinger of a brave new world that wasn't all that brave or all that new. His attack on all things environmental, while weather events become worse year by year, strictly to accommodate big business is another problem. So is the new health bill that gives the coup de grâce to any idea that he's the champion of the common man.

This whole idea of turning everything upside down to spark some kind of political renewal has taken a few hits of late. After Trump's election and Brexit the there was a school of thought that had it that upcoming elections in Europe would fall in line with the new political philosophy. First would be The Netherlands, that didn't happen. Then it would be France, unless something very drastic and unexpected happens then that's another bad bet. Nobody's yet surmising that Merkel is toast. In spite of the unpopularity of her immigration policy at its outset it may be that Germans are ready to forgive her that and stick with the status quo. I don't know enough about English politics to guess if any party can unseat May but it's evident that a lot of Brits are wishing that Brexit had failed.

In any case the French election will go a long way to determining if the new philosophy of undoing all the constructs since WW11 is what the people want. it's starting to look like it isn't. The losers are sure to cry that big finance and the press skewered the vote but it might just be that the French are happy the way things are.

nmb | May 6, 2017 12:06:55 PM | 22
Macron has just used the same propaganda of terror as the neoliberal establishment does in Greece

okie farmer | May 6, 2017 12:36:20 PM | 25
https://www.ft.com/content/c9fe390a-2c02-11e7-bc4b-5528796fe35c?segmentId=d68e6f03-56d6-8069-51f7-cf031e26e547

Emmanuel Macron will have to make a decisive move on Europe
The most exciting promise of his candidacy is the agenda for eurozone reform --Wolfgang Münchau
Emmanuel Macron has a convincing lead in the polls, but a low turnout among his more reluctant supporters could still produce a result too close for comfort.

The final round of the French presidential election on May 7 should not really be a contest. Mr Macron has the backing of more or less the entire political establishment - from the left to the centre-right. But events can intrude even in such a situation and already have. His decision to celebrate his first-round victory in a smart brasserie in Paris's sixth arrondissement was politically illiterate. During a visit to a Whirlpool factory in Amiens, northern France, Mr

Macron was upstaged by his opponent, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front. As a political campaigner she is in a different league. If she crushes him in Wednesday's television debate, she might have a chance.

The problem with Mr Macron's agenda is that nobody really knows how he can make it work. The role of the French president is powerful, but the fate of François Hollande should serve as a cautionary tale of the limits of what a president can do. Mr Hollande's Socialists at least had a majority in the National Assembly, the French parliament. It is not clear whether Mr Macron will have a single MP after the legislative elections in June. Will he end up as a mere figurehead - like the German president - whose job is to shake hands and give grand speeches? Or can he find a way to force change?

Passerby | May 6, 2017 12:51:56 PM | 27
Macron will be to France what Obama has been to the US. Just like Obama's presidency made possible Trump's victory four years later, Macron's presidency will make possible a Front National victory in five years.

Here's my prediction: five years from now, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen will win the presidential elections.

jean | May 6, 2017 1:11:49 PM | 29
Once in power, he's fool enough (pushed by his backers) to declare war to Russia.
jfl | May 6, 2017 1:11:51 PM | 30
@19 noirette

sounds like the french will find in micro endless, magnificent diversion from the collapse of their republic at the hands of his puppet masters the financiers. had he a religion at all before choosing to become a catholic at 12? or just ambition?

jfl | May 6, 2017 1:13:48 PM | 31
@30 i see now ... the americans have hacked the french election!
Passerby | May 6, 2017 1:26:44 PM | 32
The Chancellors of the French universities have asked their students to vote Macron. (Link in French) Not a single Chancellor has asked students to vote Le Pen. The same can be said of the French press. The media barrage in favor of Macron has been so one-sided, some Frenchmen call their country jokingly "East Corea"
smuks | May 6, 2017 1:30:39 PM | 33
I find it difficult to hear people praising Le Pen who won't have to live under her presidency. Let me remind you that Europe had more than its share of nationalist wars, and the last thing the continent needs are governments adding fuel to the fire of existing tensions. Macron is a puppet, but in the end he'll do what's necessary to stabilize things. Le Pen might well blow things up and lead to civil war.

CluelessJoe | May 6, 2017 1:40:30 PM | 35
Truth be told, even if she hadn't much chance of winning, Le Pen could've hoped to go close to 45% if she had played it right and campaigned well. She totally blew it with an awful performance in the debate, though, while Macron was probably a bit better than expected.

The most worrying bit is that voters who sided with Macron might feel compelled to give him a majority in parliament, which is the key. Considering how human psychoology tends to work too often, there will be a follower/commitment effect with some voters, who have crossed a line by voting for him and will find it less abhorrent to back him again in the legislative elections.

If that happens, imho, it would mean France had just gone through a coup, and democracy is dead there. The good news is that it means that sooner or later, bloody revolution will sweep the country - but it might take time and, as most if not all revolutions, will probably not be thorough enough in wiping out the ruling elites.

james | May 6, 2017 1:50:01 PM | 36
@33 smuks quote "Macron is a puppet, but in the end he'll do what's necessary to stabilize things." there is stability and then there is stability.. if a house of cards needs to be held up - macron is the man, lol..
Kalen | May 6, 2017 1:58:21 PM | 37
Will people of France show that they are worthy their great sons like Voltaire and vote their conscience or will they vote out of fear and intimidation?

That is the question.

I admit that French people or EU citizen may have totally different view of the French political process from perspective of the details and particularities they are acutely aware of, than my view from The US, by may be this very distance and emotionally cold judgment of outsider is needed as well to have truly a big picture of what is going on.

I am not a supporter of Le Pen and hell no, not supporter of a "French Trump" Macron, Yes, it is Macron in my opinion that is French Trump, a Flaccid Clown of Global Oligarchy while Le Pen is slightly reversed Sanders as far as elements of political platform that matter for ordinary people in France and the US.

None of them are politically radical in any shape or form, and definitely not Marine Le Pen who just want to ask French people what to do since they never had really a chance to do so. Either to support continuing pauperization of society and allowing for further collapse of French sovereignty and cultural autonomy which is one of the pillars of European culture and western tradition and hence retain status quo or reject it by demanding EU to return to its EEC roots and give up on a superstate projects like Euro or banking unity/ECB. And that is the highest crime in Brussels and hence she was set for at least metaphorical assassination of her character and her populist appeal.

Brilliant move by Marine Le Pen was to campaign on her own more centrist platform and not be obliged to follow strictly FN platform as a FN leader would have to follow.

In fact as Macron was first who shed his discrediting Socialist label as hated Hollande minister, now Le Pen shed her FN right-wing and neo-fascist label to commence entirely new campaign as true French populist and nationalist.

She already told French that they have a clear choice between neoliberal oligarchic rule of globalists under a thieving investment banker or French people rule under populist leader liken to de Gaulle.

Does she have a chance against unified block of French MSM media and Globalist media worldwide, against slander, lies and fake news, against 95% of largest French press being against her? Not likely, especial that as it was documented CIA has capabilities and used them to manipulate french elections already in the past. But it is more complicated than that and Marine Le Pen is not Trump.

The real issue in these elections though will be how strong roots of sociopolitical/economic dependency on EU imperial clique are in France and believe me they are strong.

Millions of French know or feel there are dependent of Brussels and will vote status-quo regardless even of their suffering, threatened with supposedly worse alternative under Le Pen.

How strong such a calcifying paralysis may be was shown in Roman empire collapsing over two centuries only because people supported status-quo in fear of change into unknown, even when the world around them was collapsing.

But if Le Pen thinks she can do without a sort of "revolution" metaphorically breaking legs and heads, she is not gonna get anywhere since the autocratic EU system is designed to prevent popular upheavals and drastic changes to the EU imperial order of bureaucratic rule.

EU has all the money, power, courts and propaganda machine to derail Le Pen presidency without another French revolution to defend it.

Even case of Brexit showed that EU turned from happy family of loving EU nations to a pool of viscous brats, little puny weasels, exhibiting embarrassing insecure teenage hysteria, wanting revenge and nursing their personal hurt feelings, pretending to be conducting supposedly rational and serious international negotiations among formally at least, sovereign countries.

This Sunday we will know if in France once again fear prevailed over courage.

Oui | May 6, 2017 2:28:11 PM | 39
Le Pen and Fake News Attack in Debate
The Macron campaign identified the first tweet referring to the documents as coming from the Twitter account of a far-right activist and convicted felon based in northern California.
    The Macron campaign identified the first tweet referring to the documents as coming from the Twitter account of Nathan Damigo , a far-right activist and convicted felon based in northern California. Damigo is known on social media for punching a female anti-fascist in the face at a Berkeley protest.

Berkeley Gets Trolled By The Alt-Right - Again

France Election: Fake News As It Happened
    Originated online in California, just before the 2.5 hour debate between Le Pen and Macron.

nonsense factory | May 6, 2017 3:12:22 PM | 43
Melenchon is the one to listen to to understand the situation in France. While he didn't make it into round two, he has a good chance of a large parliamentary victory in the round of elections after the presidential one. He's been locked out of the English-language press in the U.S. and Britain (he falls outside their narrow spectrum of acceptable political views) so you have to read the French press (I use Google Translate) or watch his youtube (with subcaptions) channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsGkA4TXqyw

Melenchon is the only one who points out the realities (translate from Lemonde):

In order to combat mass immigration, which is mainly internal to developing countries, the causes of migration must be tackled: the impossibility of any development in the countries of departure, due to debts and Structural adjustment policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank, the plundering of resources by multinationals and free trade.

Here's Melenchon on Africa, LeMonde Feb 17:

"We are part of the political camp that was against colonialism and for the self-determination of peoples. We know the misfortunes endured, but we consider that it is up to historians to write history and not to politicians to instrumentalize it. It seems to us more urgent to fight the scourge of ultraliberal predation that is falling on Africa."

"The best advantage that France can derive from it is the harmonious and successful development of African societies. If we consider only the climatic risk, it is 250 million migrants whose humanity will have to deal with by 2050. It is time to ensure a balanced development that does not aggravate the state of the planet. But the condition for achieving this is to return Africa to the Africans, to ensure national and popular sovereignty on the bases advocated by Thomas Sankara or Patrice Lumumba." [Notably Lumumba was overthrown and killed in a CIA-supported coup in 1961]

"The defense agreements, and in particular their secret clauses – which have the real objective of controlling popular movements for the benefit of dictators – must be denounced by democratic scrutiny by Parliament. In the event that some of these bases are maintained, military cooperation can only be envisaged with democracies, with priority being given to the formation of an independent national republican army."

Can you imagine any U.S. politician pledging to end military cooperation with Saudi Arabia unless it converts to a democratic form of government? Maybe Tulsi Gabbard, I don't know.

Formerly T-Bear | May 6, 2017 3:52:23 PM | 44
@ 41-2 Hoarsewhisperer | May 6, 2017 3:03:29

Outside the fact most media pre-prepare their headlines for such occasions when time does not allow for late information to be disseminated by normal publishing procedures, the Dewey / Truman was marked by the media believing their own propaganda to the extent they became divorced from reality. This recently has shown its tracks in the Clinton / Trump campaign with 'interesting result' - the Russians did it! It also had effect in Brexit as well and may be at work in France, though time will tell the better story there. Propaganda may be omnipotent in many ways, it certainly isn't omniscient and predicting the future of things that haven't happened is notoriously difficult.

Formerly T-Bear | May 6, 2017 4:06:17 PM | 45
Whoever wins the French presidency can be helped or hobbled by other factors. Macron has no effective political party in the French parliament, the fictional party he was supported by has no parliamentary standing and is unlikely to obtain standing. M. Le Pen's party has been on the margins of the French political spectrum but does have an identifiable political history that is evolving from its origins. Of the two, the least likely to effect disastrous policy on the French public is the FN of Le Pen, it is a known and does have knowledgable opposition to waywardness; not so Macron who hasn't revealed who supports or funds his candidacy for the office. That would be the greatest danger to the French Republic. About this time tomorrow, the electorate will have spoken.
Anon | May 6, 2017 4:10:36 PM | 46
Lol the french regime now warn people not to spread the leak... apparently that is a "criminal offense"!

https://tinyurl.com/m7a37ew

You cant make this stuff up! Censorship is here and accepted, scary.

mischi | May 6, 2017 4:55:06 PM | 48
The French still collect billions of whatever currency you want to use from their ex-African colonies. An agreement for paying the French for leaving and for the "benefits of colonialism". It's a big % of the French government budget - straight from the poorest countries on the planet. This is why I hate France with all my heart.
MadMax2 | May 6, 2017 5:01:22 PM | 49
Posted by: Noir22 | May 6, 2017 10:54:49 AM | 19

Great post. Especially:

Macron is an opportunist taking advantage of the break-down of trad. F politics.

With regards to FN's steady rise over decades, this really is well forecasted opportunism at work here. Spot climate trending too far in one direction, find slogan like 'never le pen', install manufactured centre left/right cardboard cutout.

And (as far as the west goes with it's super concentrated media power nearly running off one script) it could nearly be cut and pasted into any race where one side strays too far from centre. I'm sure there is a couple of seminars at Davos about it.

Yul | May 6, 2017 5:04:41 PM | 50
And these poseurs believe that they are the "facilitators" :(

http://www.france24.com/en/20170425-marine-le-pen-american-inner-circle-lombardi-usa-far-right-support?ref=tw

When far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen Marine made it through to the run-off of the French presidential election on Sunday, some powerful people in the United States were celebrating.

One is hoping to be celebrating in Paris tomorrow.
BTW: The dual nationals : French -Israeli may have to rethink in which country they would want to live should Marine become Mme La Présidente ( she has said that she won't allow French citizens to have Israeli passports )

Just Sayin' | May 6, 2017 5:26:12 PM | 51
Here's my prediction: five years from now, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen will win the presidential elections.

Posted by: Passerby | May 6, 2017 12:51:56 PM | 27
===============================

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is [allegedly] the daughter of Roger Auque:

Roger Auque died from brain cancer on September 8, 2014, at the age of 58. He revealed in a book that was published posthumously in 2015 that he had been a Mossad agent.

. . . . .

In 1989, he is said to have fathered a child with Yann, the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen.

This daughter, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, elected deputy in 2012, was born out of wedlock and subsequently recognized by Yann's husband, Samuel Maréchal, a fact only revealed publicly in 2013 in a book by Christine Clerc titled "Les Conquérantes."[6]

Dan Berg | May 6, 2017 5:38:32 PM | 52
This is the best thing I have seen:

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/05/06/election-eve/

dr klaus wunderlick | May 6, 2017 5:58:05 PM | 53
macron is a rothschild blackmailed gaydar alas lepen is a transgendered tavistock london project like super zionist chabad ask a nazi transman trump

not forgeting may man of london a sick a twisted talmud world.

nttyahoo wants oded yinon growth, growth via country instability; he demands his so called people must return to israhell

but what about the real world

this is how it is one final solution for all the goy

Former Israeli Ambassador: "North Korea Needs To Be Wiped Off the Map" !!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5BioO03VtI

Jen | May 6, 2017 6:25:58 PM | 54
Mischi @ 48: Those Francophone African countries that are part of the West African and Central African Franc currency zones were among the most enthusiastic backers of Colonel Muammar Gaddhafi's pan-African "gold dinar" economic market. No wonder Nicolas Sarkozy signed onto the US no-fly zone over Libya idiocy tout de suite in 2011.
Anon | May 6, 2017 6:34:25 PM | 55
In these times, it really shows how small influence people have, it is media and their millionaire candidate that have already fixed the election with their huge power. Quite sad.
Mina | May 6, 2017 6:52:10 PM | 56
Its a fight between a woman who wanted to kill the father and a man who wanted to marry his mother, as someone put it.
Mina | May 6, 2017 6:55:59 PM | 57
Californian leak? Who cares, the msm have already blamed the ruskies all day
james | May 6, 2017 7:02:12 PM | 58
@46 anon.. that macron leak story has legs! i like what some guy on twitter said - "Amazing that the French government and media now stand as enemies of freedom of speech." who whudda thunk it? lol... remind anyone of any other countries?
Mina | May 6, 2017 7:06:12 PM | 59
So cute from the bbc that he doesnt want to reveal the contents of the leak although nothing obliges it to

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39830379

Curtis | May 6, 2017 9:54:21 PM | 60
AKSA 8
The relative lack of power of France made me wonder the real reason why they led the NATO attack on Libya. Was it the financial dealings between Sarkozy and Gaddhafi like some sites say or were they really prodded by the US to lead the way of the overall game plan?
Curtis | May 6, 2017 9:57:00 PM | 61
"initiated" not led. The real lead was the US.
franck-y | May 6, 2017 10:38:04 PM | 62
USA will win anyway. Macron and Dupont-Aignan (prime minister of Le Pen) was both member of the program of "The Young Leaders : French-American Foundation France": http://french-american.org/en/initiatives/young-leaders/
Its means neoliberalism, NATO and free finance.
Anon | May 7, 2017 3:09:11 AM | 63
Indeed, Macron is basically married to his mother already in a way: Macron married to a 24 year older wife
https://www.thestar.com/life/2017/04/27/french-presidential-candidates-older-wife-only-scandalous-to-the-rest-of-the-world-timson.html
Shakesvshav | May 7, 2017 4:02:44 AM | 64
Macron's dirty secrets according to The Duran: http://theduran.com/breaking-macron-emails-lead-to-allegations-of-drug-use-homosexual-adventurism-and-rothschild-money/
Mina | May 7, 2017 4:16:59 AM | 65
Well well well... you know... its France... le pen's mother made nacked pictures for french playboy when she divorced the father... another one is on x... just pawns.
Mina | May 7, 2017 5:07:56 AM | 66
The MSM are going to be embarassed with the leaks. On one side they keep referring to the Ruskies and Trump, and on the other no one among the Western politicians has a B plan in case Trump continues to wreck havoc (and he will).

Next week, he goes to KSA before Israel and since the Saudi prince said it would be 'historical' we can bet KSA will announce the recognizance of Israel
Then step 2 will be to say Syria and Iran: you recognize or we turn you to Somalia.
And where will Junker, Hollande, Macron and co go then?

(as for Le Pen she's not a suggestion; she's been changing her views almost every week except on the fate she reserves to gypsies, latest she went to explain the Zionist lobby that she supports the colonies)
http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/politique/fn/comment-marine-le-pen-cherche-a-seduire-la-communaute-juive_1777887.html
http://www.alterinfo.net/LE-PEN-DRAGUE-LES-ELECTEURS-JUIFS-JUSQU-EN-ISRAEL_a129982.html

Mina | May 7, 2017 5:29:38 AM | 67
even Wikileaks says the metadata is full of cyrillic. clumsiness or the will to point towards the usual culprits?
not sure if Hollande has really turned into a Machiavel but that sounds like him

Jules | May 7, 2017 7:35:24 AM | 71
Re: Posted by: peter | May 6, 2017 11:12:00 AM | 20

The French Legislative Elections (June 11 & 18) are now incredibly unpredictable.

With five competing political forces (Socialists, Republicans, National Front, En Marche, Melenchon's voters?) what will happen?

It seems completely unpredictable.

somebody | May 7, 2017 8:18:57 AM | 73
plus 70

Anthony Sutton : Wall Street financed Communism and Nazism

"The best monopoly there is, is the corporate state"

All wars are bankers wars

US policy recommendations regarding Europe - Heritage foundation

More broadly, the U.S. should reconsider whether blindly supporting the EU is in America's best interests. The EU is a supranational organization that infringes on national sovereignty. It prevents the creation of genuine transatlantic free trade areas, harms transatlantic security, distorts European immigration policies, and wastes taxpayer money.
Noir22 | May 7, 2017 9:13:49 AM | 74
jfl @ 30. Something like that yes! - no religion afaik before 12 yrs. (Macron.)

jen wrote: "What's the possibility that le Pen will receive a large proportion of her votes from people who would vote for anyone who looks like a winner, regardless of political and ideological affiliations, simply to stop Macron from winning?"

MLP will not attract votes as 'the winner' as it is known that she is, and probably always will be - a loser. Yet, some Mélenchon - Fillon, 'other' voters, who are rabidly against Macron, will vote Le Pen. The anti-Macron crowd was discussing voting MLP/abstention/nul vote to death on boards, and some said, heh go for MLP.

My prediction was that the outcome would be closer to 70-30 than 60-40, in favor of Macron; for sure MLP will pick up some anti-M voters, not enough though imho to change that prediction, but who knows, trivial details, no matter.

More seriously.. It is generally assumed, or put forward, that Le Pen voters are the poor, the unemployed, the ugly racists, etc. - see Trump and Brexit. While the correlation with region/unemployment is high (as in GB and rust-belt US), for the rest it doesn't hold.

The poor - those under the poverty line or severely disadvantaged, vote exactly the same as the national average, that is, not more for the FN, Le Pen, or FN candidates. (no link..)

Le Pen's *presumed electorate* in the worker category, i.e. low-paid private-sector employees (factories, supermarkets, services, small biz, agri, etc.; *State* personnel votes socialist) is imho made up of roughly 3 equal parts.

Le Pen voters, who decry globalisation, foreignors, terrorists, muslims, etc. / the remnants of the left (socialist - Trotskyist - add anarchist - ..), who voted Mélenchon or not at all / those who are 'foreign' - outcasts in any case - and thus can't rally to Le Pen or to anyone.. and just keep their heads down.

The divide-to-rule strategy has worked perfectly on these workers. In two factories I know of, the 3 different groups don't speak to each other, except as routine politeness / ugly jokes small skirmish etc., as they are all in the same boat, subject to the same oppressive rules, etc. though some contacts/friendships cross these lines.

Marine is not pro-worker, and 2/3 ppl working one or two jobs of that type or those wanting to actually GET a job like that are aware. The last third grabs an opportunity to make noise, be heard, posture, play some kind of role, etc.

David Shinn | May 7, 2017 9:36:32 AM | 75
Listening to NPR spreading their propaganda about French elections made me want to vomit. Are the majority of western folks really as stupid as they seem to be? Judging by the crap people post on Facebook I'd say yes. The more "educated" a person is the more likely they are to believe the lies.

Started watching 500 Nations about Europeans 'discovering' the Americas and all the brutality that came from it... had to turn it off because it isn't the sort of program a person wants to watch right before bed (unless one likes horror tales before sleep)

All Spanish, English, French, South American, Central American and North American people should be required to watch it and contemplate our future based on this terrible past. Brutal thugs is what most of our supposed 'hero/discoverers' were, just like now.

We continue to repeat the past, doing the same stupid crap that brought us to this moment in time when we have the ability to wipe our species off the face of the planet (as well as most other too). Will we continue on the road to mutually assured destruction, or will we try something new?

As for the farce in France... I think Brandon Smith at Alt-Market.com has a good grasp of what the elite are trying to do. He has a series of articles postulating what he believes is the long game of the bankers and other wealthy feces, mostly using Trump as the example of how nationalist/conservatives are being set-up for a big fall. Interesting point of view that I find rather rational considering all the craziness taking place.

His latest posting Why Trump is flipped on campaign promises

And the post I have bookmarked Economic end game explained

As always I appreciate everyone's contributions to MoA, Thanks

Dave

ralphieboy | May 7, 2017 9:53:15 AM | 76
Every nation in Europe and the USA have at least 25-30% nativist, nationalist, (name of country here)-first voters. Trump managed to take advantage of a nearly dysfunctional electoral system, a fawning, celebrity-obsessed media and a highly disliked opposition candidate to gain enough popular votes to win. Other systems are not as dysfunctional, nor are their media as useless, but they will remain a presence on the political landscape, ready to exploit any weaknesses they can use to their advantage.

Mina | May 7, 2017 10:10:15 AM | 78

Everybody expected Le Pen to be much stronger than Macron for the debate on Wednesday. Instead, she made a fool of herself and certainly lost a number of her own voters. check "Macron Le Pen débat" on google you will probably find videos. the image and sounds should be enough without need of subtitles.

Posted by: Mina | May 7, 2017 10:10:15 AM | 78

BRF | May 7, 2017 10:40:21 AM | 80
Really? Asking the question of what will be the long term result of elections within the bailiwick of the western plutocracy? I believe it is long past the time of crystal ball gazing and time to grow up and face the reality of the situation. Any political entity that is not issuing from a grassroots spontaneous popular grievance is completely suspect. When any of these candidates can have a million or more people accompany them as they march on the plutocracy's seat of power at the site of government and more importantly the site of their central banks then I will believe their message that they mean to clean house and usher in the necessary changes needed. Otherwise we must assume that an illusion is being presented as a deception to bestow legitimacy, via false democratic institutions, on an illegitimate system of plutocratic rule conducted with a carrot and stick structure that permeates all levels of civil society.
somebody | May 7, 2017 10:47:59 AM | 81
Posted by: jfl | May 7, 2017 7:52:02 AM | 72

From the point of view of tax havens - yes .

The EU is drawing up a tax haven blacklist, due to be finalized by the end of 2017, with the intention of preventing money from being diverted to avoid taxation. It is also compiling a list sanctions it will take against any country or jurisdiction that ends up on the EU tax haven blacklist.
ruralito | May 7, 2017 10:17:30 AM | 79
Posted by: Noir22 | May 7, 2017 9:13:49 AM | 74

Are you sure about French GDP? Economic data don't seem to agree .

Mina | May 7, 2017 11:40:13 AM | 83
The point is, there is no real economic data
https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/le-billet-economique/deficit-0-une-promesse-non-tenue
Anon | May 7, 2017 11:45:10 AM | 84
Good short summmary: The Truth About Macron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6H0cjIN4gw
fudmier | May 7, 2017 12:04:19 PM | 86
I think the between nation comparison of platforms shows, except for the individuals named to play the role of candidate, in each of the respective countries, the role of the candidates is the same, to carry out "allowed policy". Further, the "allowed policy" seems nearly always the same in all of the Republic nations. Some-how the "allowed policies" are being established globally and mandated locally?

I n America, American Voters in the USA elections, are allowed to elect by majority vote, either of two persons(for each position); but the between candidate platforms, boil down to the same side of two identical coins. Those elected are paid a salary to operate the USA for the benefit of, and "according to" the "allowed policy" established by, those in control of the national policy.

The French election is not about choice of platforms, but instead, the French election is about choice of persons to be paid to execute the allowed platforms. The range of choices in the French election.. and in republics throughout the world, has been and is, limited to candidates who subscribe to "allowed platforms". It is clear to me, the policies the candidates will be paid, if elected, to execute are, all the same in every Republic, around the globe.

Candidate A or Candidate B may seem to be a choice: but either, if elected, will be obligated to execute only the "allowed platforms" established by those in control of these Republics. Candidates seeking to present non-allowed platforms, are nearly always silenced and defeated. Example: the policy allowed by the hidden powers is that the target nation, is slated to go to war. That "go to war" policy may or may not be articulated by the viable person candidates, but the election is not about whether or not "perpetual war should be the policy of the nation" instead the election is about which candidate should be paid to operate the war time government in accord to "globally determined, locally allowed policy".

On election day citizens may choose; but if they don't, make a choice on election day, the choice of elected persons will be made for them; either way the winning candidate is obligated to execute only the "allowed policy".

Maybe it would be useful to concentrate discussions, not to the person of the candidates, but to "allowed policy", such person candidates, if elected, will be obligated to accord with, when talking about national elections.

smuks | May 7, 2017 12:18:23 PM | 90
@james 36

Politics is always a 'house of cards'. A political/ societal system exists as long as most everyone believes in its legitimacy; once this is no longer the case, it can rapidly disintegrate. And don't say 'things can't get worse', they definitely can - would you prefer living in a delicate 'house of cards' or in a civil war?

@somebody 70

Exactly. There is no more profits/ capital yield under stable conditions ('new normal'), so let's create a huge crisis to reap the benefits. It's strange how many people hate the 'deep state' in their own country, yet wilfully support its agenda in other parts of the world.

@jfl 72

It's not a question of belief, but of analysing what's actually going on. Don't let prejudice get in the way of a rational view. It's still a long way to go, but there are important first and second steps. What do you think why the right-wing (=pro-capital) media is so anti-EU?

Mina | May 7, 2017 12:59:21 PM | 92
The title is misleading (typical with France Culture) what the journalist says is that no actual figures exist for the expenses of each ministries. She had been trying to find the figures dealing with the decrease of subsidies for culture in the last 5 years and could not get a single document from the gov. When you start the famous ENA school, the first thing you are told is that all the number are fakes. The journalist of this piece i linked to ends up her paper saying that in the end, discussing the few figures mentioned here and there without any support by the officials is equivalent to spreading fake news.

b | May 7, 2017 1:07:26 PM | 93

Sài Gòn Séamus @SaiGonSeamus on the Macron "leaks":

None of it makes sense, yet everyone laps it up like mother's milk. This is the 1st of these leaks to have obvious forgeries in it.

The release date makes no sense, there appears to be nothing damaging in it, the speed at which the trusties found the Cyrillic metadata says they were looking for it / told where to look / not looking for damaging material.

The sheer scale of the breach from what must be the closely monitored mail server in political history.

None of it adds up if you look at it with an open mind. This is dangerous slavish behavior from infosec, the media and public. If you will swallow this hook, line & sinker then your parliaments need more fire extinguishers

Everything is based on two enormous falacies.

1. That all the evils in western society are the fault of the external bogeyman. Putin, ISIS Refugees, Asian footwear makers, whatever. That the Trumps, Le Pens, Farages are not a native virus.

2. Is that your services & politicians Would never pull a false leak or a controlled leak or a limited hangout. That they are angels that sit on their hands.

These two underpin the absolute lunacy we have seen unfold before our eyes. An extraordinarily dangerous situation to be in which is getting worse fast.

Mina | May 7, 2017 1:13:27 PM | 94
mediapart commenting the macronleaks: no ref to the contents or to wikileaks has having decided to host the files.
b | May 7, 2017 1:17:29 PM | 95
Did Macron Outsmart Campaign Hackers? - While it's still too early to tell, so far the big document dump by hackers of the Macron campaign has not been damaging.
"You can flood these [phishing] addresses with multiple passwords and log-ins, true ones, false ones, so the people behind them use up a lot of time trying to figure them out," Mounir Mahjoubi, the head of Macron's digital team, told The Daily Beast for its earlier article on this subject.

In the end, whoever made the dump may not have known what is real and what is false, which would explain in part the odd timing. After the disruptive revelations of the Democratic National Committee hacks in the United States, the public is conditioned to think that if there's a document dump like this, it has to be incriminating. By putting it out just before the news blackout, when Macron cannot respond in detail, the dump becomes both the medium and the message.
...

dumbass | May 7, 2017 1:34:45 PM | 98
>> The relative lack of power of France
>> wonder the real reason why they
>> led the NATO attack on Libya.

Because they were the only unit Oceania could field safely at the time without potentially undermining its political regime.

"War weary" populations oppose overt war. (When populations oppose more overt war, regimes start or continue wars un-overtly.) Sizable percentages of the populations in the rest of NATO realized they'd been conned. What would be the domestic reaction if those NATO countries "led" another effort against an "enemy" generally considered even less dangerous than the prior one (whom the populations learned wasn't a threat)?

In contrast, because France didn't join in on the most recent invasion of Iraq, their population was not as "war weary" and thus did not protest/oppose overt war.

>> Was it the financial dealings between
>> Sarkozy and Gaddhafi like some sites say

What do they say? Heard that G gave money to S's campaign. I didn't read anything into that other than "another example of why never again to trust or give money to a politician".

>> or were they really prodded by the US to
>> lead the way of the overall game plan?

Think about "the dogs that did not bark".

What do EU leaders do in response to allegations of being bugged? They blame Eurasia for interfering with elections! That tells me Oceania is their master.

OSJ | May 7, 2017 2:37:32 PM | 102
No change same Establishment Presidents. Endless wars and Regime changes continue.

Clinton->Bush->Obomo->Trump
Nicolas Sarkozy->François Hollande->Emmanuel Macron

Anon | May 7, 2017 2:43:27 PM | 103
Hopefully though, the parliamentary election in France next month cause some chaos for the globalists parties..
Circe | May 7, 2017 2:48:34 PM | 104
Everyone backed the wrong horse. Instead of pushing for JL Melenchon who's also a non-interventionist on foreign policy from the very beginning as opposed to the unpopular candidate of Sarkozy's party, F. Fillon, and then the Islamophobe Le Pen, you'all had to back Le Pen who had no chance in hell of winning because she scared not only Muslims but many on the Left.

So now the result is this - more of the same shit. Ugh.

OJS | May 7, 2017 3:13:54 PM | 105
Emmanuel Macron victory speech praising 5-years François Hollande's regime. Good luck good ridden!
exiled off mainstreet | May 7, 2017 3:21:46 PM | 106
It is unfortunate that the propaganda globalist state now appears unassailable. How anyone of intelligence could support such a fascist empty suit carrying his baggage is beyond me, unless propaganda received wisdom has reached such a level. I agree that it would have been better if Melenchon or Fillon had been the opponent, since Le Pen carries the baggage of her family inheritance.

It seems to me that an undoubted status of being part of a present day fascist structure is more relevant than having an inheritance of collaboration with a prior regime a lifetime ago. It is also obvious that Le Pen's positions were in the interest of the French people rather than the unelected international power structure. I see little future for anything after this result.

Formerly T-Bear | May 7, 2017 3:22:11 PM | 107
I see 66% is the new 98.7% common to autocratic elections. France lost another Republic.

OJS | May 7, 2017 3:22:43 PM | 108
Obomo praises Emmanuel Macron well run campaign and like Emmanuel Macron's "Liberal value" . Good ridden!

ThatDamnGood | May 7, 2017 3:37:52 PM | 109
I wonder when Israel will start sweating. The idea is to make the use of lethal force against Muslims acceptable in the NATO countries with mass influx of them that will not assimilate but go to war on their host one way or another. Good plan but...

Plans could go awry as there is a real danger of a Sharia Europe if they forgotten how to be a barbarian.

Nick | May 7, 2017 4:05:44 PM | 110
the media in unison crowing over the result of course. Was at a lunch today and all the obedient little Europhiles there watching the media talking heads were delighted.

I'm not even a Le Pen supporter in particular but merely by questioning Macron's agenda, where he came from, etc, I was met with mock Nazi salutes and snide remarks. The ideologues amongst the middle classes who back the EU/Globalist project are genuine fanatics, I can see it with my own eyes with every passing week. They won't accept any counter arguments or dissenting voices. They refuse to think critically but merely rehash whatever the Guardian, New York Times or BBC say. The level of pro-Brussels tribalism is astonishing, even as someone who has grown up with and befriended many of these people down the years. One day their bubble will burst though but unlike them I'll have the good grace to smile inside and whisper "I told you so" under my breath.

Anon | May 7, 2017 4:31:25 PM | 111
Nick:

Indeed, these people are brainwashed, they have no idea whats going on in the world, just watching msm and like you say you cant debate with people like these. The worst is that the left is the most brainwashed by this liberal right-wing propaganda. Thats why leftists parties are so weak today.

passerby | May 7, 2017 4:41:07 PM | 112
A third of the French voted Marie Le Pen. How would the French press look like, if one out of every three journalists was extreme right?

Ort | May 7, 2017 5:08:10 PM | 113
I know that France attempts to rigorously regulate "their" French language, so I presume that the Académie française prohibits the importation of the US colloquial term "sheeple".

So we won't see any French newspapers or websites proudly proclaiming " La Sheeple Ont Parlé! "

This is an utterly predictable, even routine tragicomedy. But I must post this to give credit to an expatriate relative I'll call "Joe"; Joe lives in France, and has proved to be a prophet.

Last year, when Joe visited the US, we were discussing the US presidential campaign and Bernie Sanders. Joe and I agreed that the West is experiencing a general political meltdown. Joe then went on to describe the default pattern that EU elections follow:

1) The prospective candidates are inevitably the "Usual Suspects", i.e. centrist/moderate careerist technocrats, the odd "maverick" or two with limited, cultlike support-- and The Extremist (s).

2) The Establishment power elite, institutions, and complicit mass-media begin an orchestrated howling: "Anybody But [insert Extremist du jour here]!"

3) The "Anybody But!" coalition throws massive resources into a public relations campaign to generate mass hysterical fear at the prospect that The Extremist may win and lead the nation straight to Hell.

4) The terrified, confused, hysterical, panic-stricken public accordingly falls in line and elects the favorite centrist/moderate careerist technocrat who will perpetuate the neoliberal status quo.

5) The Establishment power elite and its mass-media megaphone will effusively praise the inconquerable wisdom and good sense of The People in once again Saving the Republic by rejecting a dangerous Extremist.
________________________________________________

At the time, Joe offered this scenario to explain why Bernie Sanders wouldn't be allowed to succeed. As it turned out, there are many reasons why the US debacle didn't precisely conform to this pattern.

But Joe's description perfectly fits what's happened in France.

Passerby | May 7, 2017 5:56:39 PM | 114
The French elections are also the end of the post-world war 2 world order. Until now, the elections were left against right, socialists against conservatives.

In these elections both socialists and conservatives lost out. Now it's nationalism against globalisation.

Laguerre | May 7, 2017 5:59:46 PM | 115
So Macron 65%, and Le Pen has already conceded. Campaign well run. Macron is a shark (report from the family), not a victim of the banksters. He followed May's strategy in UK of staying quiet till elected. Future policy: not merely a bankster, but also the son of a conservative family of doctors from Amiens. So not a pure neo-liberal, as has been suggested, but someone who is forced by his family background to take their point of view into account.

The prospect is not too bad. Other than in foreign policy, where he has declared himself against the Asad regime in Syria. I don't take that too seriously. Once in power, he may discover what is implied in attacking Asad, that is war against Russia, and he may hesitate.

Nick | May 7, 2017 6:12:36 PM | 116
@111

"The worst is that the left is the most brainwashed by this liberal right-wing propaganda. Thats why leftists parties are so weak today."

couldn't have put it better. As many have commented on, the notion of left vs right is dying. In Europe it has morphed into something akin to pro-EU vs pro-nation state. The levels of cognitive dissonance from people of the traditional left is truly astonishing.

Lea | May 7, 2017 8:33:24 PM | 117
I am French. Macron won because of an unprecedented media onslaught that led 25% of voters who don't know their heads for their a... to vote for him in the first round, while the media had blocked anyone but Macron and Le Pen from getting to the second round. That's because they know that people would elect a head of lettuce if that head of lettuce was running against Le Pen.

There is a very good interview of a French liberal (as in "proponent of free-market rather than big State". Americans would call him "a libertarian"), Charles Gave, who gives a clear vision of the whole shebang, and of why this could be getting out of control in the near future.

You see, the US only stopped major civil war kind of s... because Trump won, which disarmed the anger of the disenfranchised masses. Unfortunately, in France, Emmanuel Clinton won. And the French extreme left wing, who hates Macron's guts, can be dangerous. I mean, physically dangerous. Other clear-headed observers than Gave are already mumbling words like "barricades" and "civil war".

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-06/why-charles-gave-expects-total-mayhem-france-even-if-macron-elected

jfl | May 7, 2017 8:47:14 PM | 118
@90, smuks, 'It's not a question of belief, but of analysing what's actually going on. ...'

righto ... you offer an assertion with zero analysis. meanwhile the rothschilds guy is president of france. superficial analysis, sure, but hard to walk around. or is big finance our friend? seems to be yours.

psychohistorian | May 7, 2017 8:53:13 PM | 119
I haven't seen anyone mention that only 28-29% of the voters participated in this election.

What does that say about any French thinking their vote matters? Look at the choices they were "offered".

jfl | May 7, 2017 9:39:16 PM | 120
@74 noirette

the parallels between obama and micro seem very strong ... someone linked elsewhere - on the open thread - to a biography of obama that had him making decisions with an eye to future "political showbiz" career at an early age.

the 'destiny' of the 'political' showbiz - class seems now to be to surf the waves of financial power, all pretense to politics long gone. probably always thus, to a great extent. but with the need for real politics so striking now - the disaster to be had for relying on autopilot more apparent than ever - so too is the self-centeredness of the showbiz personalities.

greed is good, right? the invisible hand of the market will bring about the best of all possible worlds .

CluelessJoe | May 7, 2017 10:14:15 PM | 121
@119 Psychohistorian: the other way around. High turnout compared to your average election in Western democracies, moderate turnout for France. Macron still got more than 40% of all possible voters' approval.

Which leads me to:

@117 Lea:
If Macron manages to trick the French fools again and his non-existing party actually gets a majority in parliament, I expect things to go South before his first mandate is over. As in major demonstrations. And unlike Nick, I'll make my best to remind to all my acquaintances who voted Macron by default / because their friends/significant others were brainwashed idiots who would've killed them otherwise that they did vote for the guy and are to be blamed for that shit. I want all those who voted for him without considering him worthy of the office and despite considering his opinions as utter shit to actually hate themselves for what they've just done, and then to hate him for what they did. And I mean *hate*, not dislike.

I'm also not sure it's hardcore leftists who would go the farthest in violence; antifas and similar groups mostly seem to focus on soft targets and heavily outnumbered cops. FN guys are just as tough and desiring violence, they just don't dare to risk it now considering how everyone else suspects them of being closer fascists; and the longer they're kept out of any significant power, the closer they'll come to giving in to violence.

OJS | May 7, 2017 11:04:58 PM | 122
" ...PARIS (Sputnik) - A total of 4.2 million of French voters cast empty ballots in the presidential run-off on Synday, a survey conducted by Ispos and Sopra Steria said ....8.9 percent of the total of 47.6 million voters cast empty ballots, refusing to give their support to either of the candidates."

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201705071053368008-french-voters-cast-empty-ballots/

!--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/Collapse_of_neoliberalism/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Financial_skeptic/Casino_capitalism/Systemic_instability_of_financial_sector/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Two_party_system_as_poliarchy/index.shtml--> !--file:///f:/Public_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neocolonialism/War_is_racket/media_military_industrial_complex.shtml-->

[May 07, 2017] Why Macron Won Luck, Skill and France's Dark History

Kind of a new French Trump with Goldman Sachs flavor -- the person who never hold a political office. this is a configuration the neoliberalism is still strong and can counterattack and win. In this sense French election are somewhat similar to Argentinean elections.
Notable quotes:
"... It was globalization against nationalism. ..."
"... Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who has never held elected office, won because he was the beneficiary of a uniquely French historic and cultural legacy ..."
www.unz.com

The French presidential runoff transcended national politics. It was globalization against nationalism. It was the future versus the past. Open versus closed.

But in his resounding victory on Sunday night, Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who has never held elected office, won because he was the beneficiary of a uniquely French historic and cultural legacy, where many voters wanted change but were appalled at the type of populist anger that had upturned politics in Britain and the United States. He trounced the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, keeping her well under 40 percent, even as her aides said before the vote that anything below that figure would be considered a failure.

His victory quickly brought joy from Europe's political establishment, especially since a Le Pen victory would have plunged the European Union into crisis. But in the end, Mr. Macron, only 39, a former investment banker and an uninspired campaigner, won because of luck, an unexpected demonstration of political skill, and the ingrained fears and contempt that a majority of French still feel toward Ms. Le Pen and her party, the National Front.

... ... ...

But he also played his limited hand with great skill from the beginning, outmaneuvering his elders. First, he wisely renounced the man who had given him his break, the deeply unpopular Socialist president François Hollande, quitting his post as economy minister in Mr. Hollande's government before it was too late. Then, he refused to take part in the Socialist Party primary in January, rightly judging that party activists would dominate and choose a far-left candidate on the fringes, who would then be devoured by Mr. Mélenchon - exactly what happened.

Mr. Macron's final correct bet was that French voters, like those elsewhere, were disgusted by the mainstream parties, having judged the policy prescriptions of both the establishment right and left as failures in dealing with France's multiple ills. He positioned himself in the center, drawing on left and right, balancing protection of the French welfare state with mild encouragement for business, in an attempt to break through France's employment and productivity stagnation.

But Mr. Macron's pro-market views stirred much opposition. Mr. Mélenchon not only refused to endorse him, but also encouraged the idea that Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen were equivalent menaces - a calculation endorsed by many far-left voters. Nearly half the first-round electorate voted for candidates hostile to the free market and to capitalism. Even if they voted for Mr. Macron on Sunday to save the country from Ms. Le Pen, they did so without enthusiasm.

Some of the antipathy sprang from his hermetic persona, as a caricature of the elite-educated, know-it-all technocrats, perpetually encased in a dark suit, who have guided France for much its postwar history, usually from behind the scenes, and whose record is mixed.

"He's not someone I feel a lot of conviction for," said Thomas Goldschmidt, a 26-year-old architectural firm employee in Paris who voted for Mr. Macron after supporting the Socialist Benoît Hamon in the first round. "He's someone who raises a lot of questions. It's a vision of society that is too business-friendly," Mr. Goldschmidt said. "It's this whole idea of making working life more uncertain. We just can't bet on it, that everyone out there can be an entrepreneur. Society isn't built like that."

... ... ...

The National Front could win as many as 100 seats in the new Parliament, according to some analyses, making it a formidable opposition party. Indeed, even as Ms. Le Pen was soundly defeated on Sunday, she still managed a showing that not too long ago would have been unthinkable. And in her concession, she made it clear that she was already looking toward the parliamentary elections, and the future.

Then there is the potential opposition represented by Mr. Mélenchon, who won in some of France's biggest cities - Marseilles, Toulouse and Lille - and is already claiming the mantle of Mr. Macron's principal opponent on the left. His voters, as much as Ms. Le Pen's, do not trust Mr. Macron.


[May 07, 2017] Twenty Truths about Marine Le Pen by James Petras

Notable quotes:
"... This is why all the economic populists will inevitably be labelled right-wing. The 'left' is incapable of dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism, because the most effective tool of neoliberalism, mass immgration, is now held as utterly sacrosanct by them. ..."
"... The modern 'left' is totally anti-working class in every dimension. Only they do adore welfare as a form of charity to dull the effects of mass migration (Though it is likely now more an accelerant of it) and corporatists are fine with it because they pay less from tax increases than they make in outsourcing and insourcing. ..."
"... And the modern left is like this because it is so thoroughly middle class, there are so many reasons for this, but the reality is what it is. So they get confused and ponder why the working class is 'voting against it's own interests'. ..."
"... The part that irks me the most is their disdain for native working class for various, often exaggerated, PC defects and then praise newcomers who have even worse pathologies. Maybe they don't recognise it, but they hate the native working class because they are of their society and thus a threat whereas outsiders can be safely brought in like strike breakers. (They think) ..."
May 01, 2017 | www.unz.com
87 Comments

Introduction: Every day in unimaginable ways, prominent leaders from the left and the right, from bankers to Parisian intellectuals, are fabricating stories and pushing slogans that denigrate presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

They obfuscate her program, substituting the label 'extremist' for her pro-working class and anti-imperialist commitment. Fear and envy over the fact that a new leader heads a popular movement has seeped into Emmanuel "Manny" Macron's champagne-soaked dinner parties. He has good reason to be afraid: Le Pen addresses the fundamental interests of the vast- majority of French workers, farmers, public employees, unemployed and underemployed youth and older workers approaching retirement.

The mass media, political class and judicial as well as street provocateurs savagely assault Le Pen, distorting her domestic and foreign policies. They are incensed that Le Pen pledges to remove France from NATO's integrated command – effectively ending its commitment to US directed global wars. Le Pen rejects the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations. Le Pen promises to convoke a national referendum over the EU – to decide French submission. Le Pen promises to end sanctions against Russia and, instead, increase trade. She will end France's intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine.

Le Pen is committed to Keynesian demand-driven industrial revitalization as opposed to Emmanuel Macron's ultra-neoliberal supply-side agenda.

Le Pen's program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France's retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.

Marine Le Pen will reduce migration to ten thousand people and crack down on immigrants with links to terrorists.

Emmanuel Macron: Macro Billionaire and Micro Worker Programs

Macron has been an investment banker serving the Rothschild and Cie Banque oligarchy, which profited from speculation and the pillage of the public treasury. Macron served in President Hollande's Economy Ministry, in charge of 'Industry and Digital Affairs' from 2014 through 2016. This was when the 'Socialist' Hollande imposed a pro-business agenda, which included a 40 billion-euro tax cut for the rich.

Macron is tied to the Republican Party and its allied banking and business Confederations, whose demands include: raising the retirement age, reducing social spending, firing tens of thousands of public employees and facilitating the outflow of capital and the inflow of cheap imports.

Macron is an unconditional supporter of NATO and the Pentagon. He fully supports the European Union. For their part, the EU oligarchs are thrilled with Macron's embrace of greater austerity for French workers, while the generals can expect total material support for the ongoing and future US-NATO wars on three continents.

Propaganda, Labels and Lies

Macron's pro-war, anti-working class and 'supply-side' economic policies leave us with only one conclusion: Marine Le Pen is the only candidate of the left. Her program and commitments are pro-labor, not 'hard' or 'far' right – and certainly not 'fascist'.

Macron, on the other hand is a committed rightwing extremist, certainly no 'centrist', as the media and the political elite claim! One has only to look at his background in banking, his current supporters among the oligarchs and his ministerial policies when he served Francois Holland.

The 'Macronistas' have accused Marine Le Pen of extreme 'nationalism', 'fascism', 'anti-Semitism' and 'anti-immigrant racism'. 'The French Left', or what remains of it, has blindly swallowed the oligarchs' campaign against Le Pen despite the malodorous source of these libels.

Le Pen is above all a 'sovereigntist': 'France First'. Her fight is against the Brussels oligarchs and for the restoration of sovereignty to the French people. There is an infinite irony in labeling the fight against imperial political power as 'hard right'. It is insulting to debase popular demands for domestic democratic power over basic economic policies, fiscal spending, incomes and prices policies, budgets and deficits as 'extremist and far right'.

Marine Le Pen has systematically transformed the leadership, social, economic program and direction of the National Front Party.

She expelled its anti-Semites, including her own father! She transformed its policy on women's rights, abortion, gays and race. She won the support of young unemployed and employed factory workers, public employees and farmers. Young workers are three times more likely to support her national industrial revitalization program over Macron's 'free market dogma'. Le Pen has drawn support from French farmers as well as the downwardly mobile provincial middle-class, shopkeepers, clerks and tourism-based workers and business owners.

Despite the trends among the French masses against the oligarchs, academics, intellectuals and political journalists have aped the elite's slander against Le Pen because they will not antagonize the prestigious media and their administrators in the universities. They will not acknowledge the profound changes that have occurred within the National Front under Marine Le Pen. They are masters of the 'double discourse' – speaking from the left while working with the right. They confuse the lesser evil with the greater evil.

If Macron wins this election (and nothing is guaranteed!), he will certainly implement his 'hard' and 'extreme' neo-liberal agenda. When the French workers go on strike and demonstrators erect barricades in the streets in response to Macron's austerity, the fake-left will bleat out their inconsequential 'critique' of 'impure reason'. They will claim that they were right all along.

If Le Pen loses this election, Macron will impose his program and ignite popular fury. Marine will make an even stronger candidate in the next election if the French oligarchs' judiciary does not imprison her for the crime of defending sovereignty and social justice.

Altai , May 1, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

This is why all the economic populists will inevitably be labelled right-wing. The 'left' is incapable of dealing with the crisis of neoliberalism, because the most effective tool of neoliberalism, mass immgration, is now held as utterly sacrosanct by them. Thus any salves by the 'left' or 'far-left' (Hi Syriza and your blanket amnesty of illegal immigrants at a time of 40% unemployment in Greece!) will be temporary at best. No amount of welfare will make up for increased unemployment, lowered wages, a lack of housing, a lack of affordable family foundation and ethnic displacement. It makes me sick when I see so-called socialists making energetic campaigns to stop failed asylum seekers being deported.

The modern 'left' is totally anti-working class in every dimension. Only they do adore welfare as a form of charity to dull the effects of mass migration (Though it is likely now more an accelerant of it) and corporatists are fine with it because they pay less from tax increases than they make in outsourcing and insourcing.

And the modern left is like this because it is so thoroughly middle class, there are so many reasons for this, but the reality is what it is. So they get confused and ponder why the working class is 'voting against it's own interests'. It's painful to watch. One's ethnic group having a majority and centrality in it's homeland is the most valuable thing imaginable. The wealthy whites who sneer pay an exorbitant tax to insulate their children and raise them among their own kind, but don't ever seem to realise.

The part that irks me the most is their disdain for native working class for various, often exaggerated, PC defects and then praise newcomers who have even worse pathologies. Maybe they don't recognise it, but they hate the native working class because they are of their society and thus a threat whereas outsiders can be safely brought in like strike breakers. (They think)

Carlton Meyer , May 2, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

watch-v=p_XeQs5n5js

wayfarer , May 2, 2017 at 5:31 am GMT

Brother Nathanael, has Marine Le Pen's back!

jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 6:07 am GMT

The antisemitism of old Le Pen was just two statements:

Both statements are objectively true.
Le Pen's crime is denying the unique holocaust.
He's not the only one, a USA Indian has the same view
Ward Churchill, 'A Little Matter of Genocide, Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present', San Francisco 1997
Ward Churchill, a professor of Boulder university, also fell into disgrace.
Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 6:11 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=150&v=p_XeQs5n5js

edNels , May 2, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer Like most Americans, I knew little about Le Pen, but became an admirer after seeing this short video clip of her crushing CNN's famous neocon Christiane Amanpour promoting World War III with Russia. Note Amanpour's propaganda technique of proclaiming falsehoods and then asking for a comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=150&v=p_XeQs5n5js

unpc downunder , May 2, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

The big issue is why Le Pen's popularity seems to have tanked, even though opinion polls suggest most French people support immigration restrictionism.

The usual explanation is MSM brainwashing, which no doubt plays a part, but if people are so easily influenced by the media, why haven't they been brainwashed into supporting more immigration?

In my personal experience, people say they won't vote for nationalist candidates like Le Pen for two reasons:

1. they're dejected working class people who distrust all politicians (including nationalists) and can't be persuaded to turn up and vote

2. they're cautious middle-class people who want less immigration but are afraid politically inexperienced outsiders will mess up the economy and social services.

Anonymous , May 2, 2017 at 10:31 am GMT

"Le Pen rejects the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations. Le Pen promises to convoke a national referendum over the EU – to decide French submission. Le Pen promises to end sanctions against Russia and, instead, increase trade. She will end France's intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine."

Do you remember anybody from recent history who also made similar lofty promises, but found himself neutered by invisible rulers?

France (that hypocrite nation) is a proud part of the western civilisation, which thrives on hegemony. So, LePen-the-cursed will not do anything to change that fundamental world order. Therein lies the rub.

anonymous , May 2, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

True but misleading. Most of those deaths were due to accidentally introduced diseases. North America, in particular, was largely emptied out by waves of new diseases that struck down tribes that had never seen or heard of the white man.

Yes, there was some fighting, though much of it was factional rather than racial - eg, the abused slaves of the Aztecs sided with the Spaniards for good reason . the Spaniards, at least, weren't cannibals (except in the transubstantiational sense.) Yes, there were a few cases where - after the vast accidental wipeout - whites noticed the disease vulnerability of the natives and intentionally exploited it (smallpox tainted blankets).

But even if none of the deliberate massacres had been done, the demographics wouldn't look much different - a Europe teeming with starving peasants simply wasn't going to stay put while the recently-emptied North America sat mostly idle. Nature abhors a vacuum and adverse-possession laws exist for a reason.

Today, of course, whites in Europe and America contracept themselves to extinction and then bitch and moan about Moslem and Mexican invasion . silly people. At least the American Indians didn't do it to themselves.

Avery , May 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm GMT

@Z-man Amanpour isn't a Neocon, per say, as she isn't genetically a Jew. However since she married and had an offspring with a Jew and from this interview's tone she now qualifies. lol She is also a beast to look at or listen to. (Grin)

jacques sheete , May 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra The antisemitism of old Le Pen was just two statements:
- the gas chambers are just a footnote in history
- the German occupation was relatively benign.
Both statements are objectively true.
Le Pen's crime is denying the unique holocaust.
He's not the only one, a USA Indian has the same view
Ward Churchill, 'A Little Matter of Genocide, Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present', San Francisco 1997
Ward Churchill, a professor of Boulder university, also fell into disgrace.
Estimates of how many Indians died as a result of the coming of white man go to 100 million.

jilles dykstra , May 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm GMT

@unpc downunder The big issue is why Le Pen's popularity seems to have tanked, even though opinion polls suggest most French people support immigration restrictionism.

The usual explanation is MSM brainwashing, which no doubt plays a part, but if people are so easily influenced by the media, why haven't they been brainwashed into supporting more immigration?

In my personal experience, people say they won't vote for nationalist candidates like Le Pen for two reasons:

1. they're dejected working class people who distrust all politicians (including nationalists) and can't be persuaded to turn up and vote

2. they're cautious middle-class people who want less immigration but are afraid politically inexperienced outsiders will mess up the economy and social services.

[May 01, 2017] Trump: A Resisters Guide by Wesley Yang

Recommended !
Jan 21, 2017 | harpers.org
[Neo]liberalism that needs monsters to destroy can never politically engage with its enemies. It can never understand those enemies as political actors, making calculations, taking advantage of opportunities, and responding to constraints. It can never see in those enemies anything other than a black hole of motivation, a cesspool where reason goes to die.

Hence the refusal of empathy for Trump's supporters. Insofar as it marks a demand that we not abandon antiracist principle and practice for the sake of winning over a mythicized white working class, the refusal is unimpeachable. But like the know-nothing disavowal of knowledge after 9/11, when explanations of terrorism were construed as exonerations of terrorism, the refusal of empathy since 11/9 is a will to ignorance. Far simpler to imagine Trump voters as possessed by a kind of demonic intelligence, or anti-intelligence, transcending all the rules of the established order. Rather than treat Trump as the outgrowth of normal politics and traditional institutions - it is the Electoral College, after all, not some beating heart of darkness, that sent Trump to the White House - there is a disabling insistence that he and his forces are like no political formation we've seen. By encouraging us to see only novelty in his monstrosity, analyses of this kind may prove as crippling as the neocons' assessment of Saddam's regime. That, too, was held to be like no tyranny we'd seen, a despotism where the ordinary rules of politics didn't apply and knowledge of the subject was therefore useless.

Such a [neo]liberalism becomes dependent on the very thing it opposes, with a tepid mix of neoliberal markets and multicultural morals getting much-needed spice from a terrifying right. Hillary Clinton ran hard on the threat of Trump, as if his presence were enough to authorize her presidency.

Where Sanders promised to change the conversation, to make the battlefield a contest between a multicultural neoliberalism and a multiracial social democracy, Clinton sought to keep the battlefield as it has been for the past quarter-century. In this single respect, she can claim a substantial victory. It's no accident that one of the most spectacular confrontations since the election pitted the actors of Hamilton against the tweets of Trump. These fixed, frozen positions - high on rhetoric, low on action - offer an almost perfect tableau of our ongoing gridlock of recrimination.

Clinton waged this campaign on the belief that her neoliberalism of fear could defeat the ethnonationalism of the right. Let us not make the same mistake twice. Let us not be addicted to "the drug of danger," as Athena says in the Oresteia, to "the dream of the enemy that has to be crushed, like a herb, before [we] can smell freedom."

The term "meritocracy" became shorthand for a desirable societal ideal soon after it was coined by the British socialist Sir Michael Young. But Young had originally used it to describe a dystopian future. His 1958 satirical novel, The Rise of the Meritocracy, imagines the creation and growth of a national system of intelligence testing, which identifies talented young people from every stratum of society in order to install them in special schools, where they are groomed to make the best use possible of their innate advantages.

In the novel, what begins as a struggle against inherited privilege results in the consolidation of a new ruling class that derives its legitimacy from superior merit. This class becomes, within a few generations, a hereditary aristocracy in its own right. Sequestered within elite institutions, people of high intelligence marry among themselves, passing along their high social position and superior genes to their progeny. Terminal inequality is the result. The gradual shift from inheritance to merit, Young writes, made "nonsense of all their loose talk of the equality of man":

Men, after all, are notable not for the equality, but for the inequality, of their endowment. Once all the geniuses are amongst the elite, and all the morons are amongst the workers, what meaning can equality have? What ideal can be upheld except the principle of equal status for equal intelligence? What is the purpose of abolishing inequalities in nurture except to reveal and make more pronounced the inescapable inequalities of Nature?

I thought about this book often in the years before the crack-up of November 2016. In early 2015, the Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam published a book that seemed to tell as history the same story that Young had written as prophecy. Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis opens with an evocation of the small town of Port Clinton, Ohio, where Putnam grew up in the 1950s - a "passable embodiment of the American Dream, a place that offered decent opportunity for all the kids in town, whatever their background." Port Clinton was, as Putnam is quick to concede, a nearly all-white town in a pre-feminist and pre-civil-rights America, and it was marked by the unequal distribution of power that spurred those movements into being. Yet it was also a place of high employment, strong unions, widespread homeownership, relative class equality, and generally intact two-parent families. Everyone knew one another by their first names and almost everyone was headed toward a better future; nearly three quarters of all the classmates Putnam surveyed fifty years later had surpassed their parents in both educational attainment and wealth.

When he revisited it in 2013, the town had become a kind of American nightmare. In the 1970s, the industrial base entered a terminal decline, and the town's economy declined with it. Downtown shops closed. Crime, delinquency, and drug use skyrocketed. In 1993, the factory that had offered high-wage blue-collar employment finally shuttered for good. By 2010, the rate of births to unwed mothers had risen to 40 percent. Two years later, the average worker in the county "was paid roughly 16 percent less in inflation-adjusted dollars than his or her grandfather in the early 1970s."

Young's novel ends with an editorial note informing readers that the fictional author of the text had been killed in a riot that was part of a violent populist insurrection against the meritocracy, an insurrection that the author had been insisting would pose no lasting threat to the social order. Losing every young person of promise to the meritocracy had deprived the working class of its prospective leaders, rendering it unable to coordinate a movement to manifest its political will. "Without intelligence in their heads," he wrote, "the lower classes are never more menacing than a rabble."

We are in the midst of a global insurrection against ruling elites. In the wake of the most destructive of the blows recently delivered, a furious debate arose over whether those who supported Donald Trump deserve empathy or scorn. The answer, of course, is that they deserve scorn for resorting to so depraved and false a solution to their predicament - and empathy for the predicament itself. (And not just because advances in technology are likely to make their predicament far more widely shared.) What is owed to them is not the lachrymose pity reserved for victims (though they have suffered greatly) but rather a practical appreciation of how their antagonism to the policies that determined the course of this campaign - mass immigration and free trade - was a fully political antagonism that was disregarded for decades, to our collective detriment.

A policy of benign neglect of immigration laws invites into our country a casualized workforce without any leverage, one that competes with the native-born and destroys whatever leverage the latter have to negotiate better terms for themselves. The policy is a subsidy to American agribusiness, meatpacking plants, restaurants, bars, and construction companies, and to American families who would not otherwise be able to afford the outsourcing of childcare and domestic labor that the postfeminist, dual-income family requires. At the same time, a policy of free trade pits native-born workers against foreign ones content to earn pennies on the dollar of their American counterparts.

In lieu of the social-democratic provision of childcare and other services of domestic support, we have built a privatized, ad hoc system of subsidies based on loose border enforcement - in effect, the nation cutting a deal with itself at the expense of the life chances of its native-born working class. In lieu of an industrial policy that would preserve intact the economic foundation of their lives, we rapidly dismantled our industrial base in pursuit of maximal aggregate economic growth, with no concern for the uneven distribution of the harms and the benefits. Some were enriched hugely by these policies: the college-educated bankers, accountants, consultants, technologists, lawyers, economists, and corporate executives who built a supply chain that reached to the countries where we shipped the jobs. Eventually, of course, many of these workers learned that both political parties regarded them as fungible factors of production, readily discarded in favor of a machine or a migrant willing to bunk eight to a room.

Four decades of neoliberal globalization have cleaved our country into two hostile classes, and the line cuts across the race divide. On one side, college students credential themselves for meritocratic success. On the other, the white working class increasingly comes to resemble the black underclass in indices of social disorganization. On one side of the divide, much energy is expended on the eradication of subtler inequalities; on the other side, an equality of immiseration increasingly obtains.

Even before the ruling elite sent the proletariat off to fight a misbegotten war, even before it wrecked the world economy through heedless lending, even before its politicians rescued those responsible for the crisis while allowing working-class victims of all colors to sink, the working class knew that it had been sacrificed to the interests of those sitting atop the meritocratic ladder. The hostility was never just about differing patterns in taste and consumption. It was also about one class prospering off the suffering of another. We learned this year that political interests that go neglected for decades invariably summon up demagogues who exploit them for their own gain. The demagogues will go on to betray their supporters and do enormous harm to others.

If we are to arrest the global descent into barbarism, we will have to understand the political antagonism at the heart of the meritocratic project and seek a new kind of politics. If we choose to neglect the valid interests of the working class, Trump will prove in retrospect to have been a pale harbinger of even darker nightmares to come.

[Apr 12, 2017] Millions of manufacturing workers in the Midwest lost their jobs and saw their communities decimated because the Bush administration wanted to press China to enforce Pfizers

Apr 12, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K.

, April 12, 2017 at 08:42 AM
Dean Baker:

"Okay, step back and absorb this one. Mr. Prasad is saying that millions of manufacturing workers in the Midwest lost their jobs and saw their communities decimated because the Bush administration wanted to press China to enforce Pfizer's patents on drugs, Microsoft's copyrights on Windows, and to secure better access to China's financial markets for Goldman Sachs.

This is not a new story, in fact I say it all the time. But it's nice to have the story confirmed by the person who occupied the International Monetary Fund's China desk at the time.

Porter then jumps in and gets his story completely 100 percent wrong:

"At the end of the day, economists argued at the time, Chinese exchange rate policies didn't cost the United States much. After all, in 2007 the United States was operating at full employment. The trade deficit was because of Americans' dismal savings rate and supercharged consumption, not a cheap renminbi. After all, if Americans wanted to consume more than they created, they had to get it somewhere."

Sorry, this was the time when even very calm sensible people like Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke were talking about a "savings glut." The U.S. and the world had too much savings, which lead to a serious problem of unemployment. Oh, we did eventually find a way to deal with excess savings.

Anyone remember the housing bubble?"

I don't remember Krugman or PGL saying China or trade policy was a problem at the time. They'd just argue the Fed needs to lower rates to compensate.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , April 12, 2017 at 08:44 AM
Baker is discussing this column by Eduardo Porter. PGL the Facile.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/business/economy/trump-china-currency-manipulation-trade.html?_r=0

Trump Isn't Wrong on China Currency Manipulation, Just Late

by Eduardo Porter

ECONOMIC SCENE APRIL 11, 2017

Has the United States mismanaged the ascent of China?

By April 15, the Treasury Department is required to present to Congress a report on the exchange rate policies of the country's major trading partners, intended to identify manipulators that cheapen their currency to make their exports more attractive and gain market share in the United States, a designation that could eventually lead to retaliation.

It would be hard, these days, to find an economist who feels China fits the bill. Under a trade law passed in 2015, a country must meet three criteria: It would have to have a "material" trade surplus with the rest of the world, have a "significant" surplus with the United States, and intervene persistently in foreign exchange markets to push its currency in one direction.

While China's surplus with the United States is pretty big - almost $350 billion - its global surplus is modest, at 2.4 percent of its gross domestic product last year. Most significant, it has been pushing its currency up, not down. Since the middle of 2014 it has sold over $1 trillion from its reserves to prop up the renminbi, under pressure from capital flight by Chinese companies and savers.

Even President Trump - who as a candidate promised to label China a currency manipulator on Day 1 and put a 45 percent tariff on imports of Chinese goods - seems to be backing away from broad, immediate retaliation.

And yet the temptation remains. "When you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations," the Chinese "are world champions," Mr. Trump told The Financial Times, ahead of the state visit of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to the United States last week.

For all Mr. Trump's random impulsiveness and bluster - and despite his lack of a coherent strategy to engage with what is likely soon to become the world's biggest economy - he is not entirely alone with his views.

Many learned economists and policy experts ruefully acknowledge that the president's intuition is broadly right: While labeling China a currency manipulator now would look ridiculous, the United States should have done it a long time ago.

"With the benefit of hindsight, China should have been named," said Brad Setser, an expert on international economics and finance who worked in the Obama administration and is now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

There were reasonable arguments against putting China on the spot and starting a process that could eventually lead to American retaliation.

Yet by not pushing back against China's currency manipulation, and allowing China to deploy an arsenal of trade tactics of dubious legality to increase exports to the United States, successive administrations - Republican and Democratic - arguably contributed to the economic dislocations that pummeled so many American workers over more than a decade. Those dislocations helped propel Mr. Trump to power.

From 2000 to 2014 China definitely suppressed the rise of the renminbi to maintain a competitive advantage for its exports, buying dollars hand over fist and adding $4 trillion to its foreign reserves over the period. Until 2005, the Chinese government kept the renminbi pegged to the dollar, following it down as the greenback slid against other major currencies starting in 2003.

American multinationals were flocking into China, taking advantage of its entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, which guaranteed access to the American and other world markets for its exports. By 2007, China's broad trade surplus hit 10 percent of its gross domestic product - an unheard-of imbalance for an economy this large. And its surplus with the United States amounted to a full third of the American deficit with the world.

Though the requirement that the Treasury identify currency manipulators "gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade" dates back to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, China was never called out.

There were good reasons. Or at least they seemed so at the time. For one, China hands in the administration of George W. Bush argued that putting China on the spot would make negotiations more difficult, because even Chinese leaders who understood the need to allow their currency to rise could not be seen to bow to American pressure.

Labeling China a manipulator could have severely hindered progress in other areas of a complex bilateral economic relationship. And the United States had bigger fish to fry.

"There were other dimensions of China's economic policies that were seen as more important to U.S. economic and business interests," Eswar Prasad, who headed the China desk at the International Monetary Fund and is now a professor at Cornell, told me. These included "greater market access, better intellectual property rights protection, easier access to investment opportunities, etc."

At the end of the day, economists argued at the time, Chinese exchange rate policies didn't cost the United States much. After all, in 2007 the United States was operating at full employment. The trade deficit was because of Americans' dismal savings rate and supercharged consumption, not a cheap renminbi. After all, if Americans wanted to consume more than they created, they had to get it somewhere.

And the United States had a stake in China's rise. A crucial strategic goal of American foreign policy since Mao's death had been how to peacefully incorporate China into the existing order of free-market economies, bound by international law into the fabric of the postwar multilateral institutions.

And the strategy even worked - a little bit. China did allow its currency to rise a little from 2005 to 2008. And when the financial crisis hit, it took the foot off the export pedal and deployed a giant fiscal stimulus, which bolstered internal demand.

Yet though these arguments may all be true, they omitted an important consideration: The overhaul of the world economy imposed by China's global rise also created losers.

In a set of influential papers that have come to inform the thinking about the United States' relations with China, David Autor, Daron Acemoglu and Brendan Price from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gordon Hanson from the University of California, San Diego; and David Dorn from the University of Zurich concluded that lots of American workers, in many communities, suffered a blow from which they never recovered.

Rising Chinese imports from 1999 to 2011 cost up to 2.4 million American jobs, one paper estimated. Another found that sagging wages in local labor markets exposed to Chinese competition reduced earnings by $213 per adult per year.

Economic theory posited that a developed country like the United States would adjust to import competition by moving workers into more advanced industries that competed successfully in global markets. In the real world of American workers exposed to the rush of imports after China erupted onto world markets, the adjustment didn't happen.

If mediocre job prospects and low wages didn't stop American families from consuming, it was because the American financial system was flush with Chinese cash and willing to lend, financing their homes and refinancing them to buy the furniture. But that equilibrium didn't end well either, did it?

What it left was a lot of betrayed anger floating around among many Americans on the wrong end of these dynamics. "By not following the law, the administration sent a political signal that the U.S. wouldn't stand up to Chinese cheating," said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "As we can see now, that hurt in terms of maintaining political support for open trade."

If there was a winner from this dynamic, it was Mr. Trump.

Will Mr. Trump really go after China? In addition to an expected executive order to retaliate against the dumping of Chinese steel, he has promised more. He could tinker with the definitions of "material" and "significant" trade surpluses to justify a manipulation charge.

And yet a charge of manipulation would add irony upon irony. "It would be incredibly ironic not to have named China a manipulator when it was manipulating, and name it when it is not," Mr. Setser told me. And Mr. Trump would be retaliating against the economic dynamic that handed him the presidency.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , April 12, 2017 at 08:46 AM
"What it left was a lot of betrayed anger floating around among many Americans on the wrong end of these dynamics. "By not following the law, the administration sent a political signal that the U.S. wouldn't stand up to Chinese cheating," said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "As we can see now, that hurt in terms of maintaining political support for open trade."

If there was a winner from this dynamic, it was Mr. Trump."

So PGL the Facile and Krugman - the New Democrats - helped elect with their corporate free trade.

[Apr 04, 2017] Mexico is preparing to play the corn card

Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne April 03, 2017 at 03:02 PM
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/international-trade-lessons-for-the-new-york-times?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29

April 3, 2017

International Trade Lessons for the New York Times

The New York Times told readers * that Mexico is preparing to "play the corn card" in its negotiations with Donald Trump. The piece warns:

"Now corn has taken on a new role - as a powerful lever for Mexican officials in the run-up to talks over Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"The reason: Much of the corn that Mexico consumes comes from the United States, making it America's top agricultural export to its southern neighbor. And even though President Trump appears to be pulling back from his vows to completely overhaul Nafta, Mexico has taken his threats to heart and has begun flexing its own muscle.

"The Mexican government is exploring buying its corn elsewhere - including Argentina or Brazil - as well as increasing domestic production. In a fit of political pique, a Mexican senator even submitted a bill to eliminate corn purchases from the United States within three years."

It then warns of the potential devastation from this threat:

"The prospect that the United States could lose its largest foreign market for corn and other key products has shaken farming communities throughout the American Midwest, where corn production is a vital part of the economy. The threat is particularly unsettling for many residents of the Corn Belt because much of the region voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump in the presidential election.

" 'If we lose Mexico as a customer, it will be absolutely devastating to the ag economy,' said Philip Gordon, 68, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on a farm in Saline, Mich., that has been in his family for 140 years."

Okay, I hate to spoil a good scare story with a dose of reality, but let's think this one through for a moment. According to the piece, instead of buying corn from the United States, Mexico might buy it from Argentina or Brazil. So, we'll lose our Mexican market to these two countries.

But who is buying corn from Argentina and Brazil now? If this corn had previously been going to other countries, then presumably these other countries will be looking to buy corn from someone else, like perhaps U.S. farmers?

It is of course possible that Argentina and Brazil will switch production away from other crops to corn to meet Mexico's demand, but that would likely leave openings in these other crops for U.S. farmers. The transition to new markets for corn crops or a switch from corn to the crops vacated by Brazil and Argentina would not be costless, but it also may not imply the sort of devastation promised by the New York Times.

See, market economies are flexible. This is something that economists know, as should reporters who write on economic issues. This may undermine scare stories that are being told to push an agenda, but life is tough.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/02/world/americas/mexico-corn-nafta-trade.html

-- Dean Baker

point -> anne... , April 03, 2017 at 03:02 PM
Not mentioned is that Mexico is the home of corn, that thousands of farmers who used to make their livings raising native corns lost their farms to market rate competition from the USA under NAFTA.

[Apr 03, 2017] Dr. Nick Begich About What We Can Expect From The Globalists In Future - YouTube

Apr 03, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Nick Begich - Wikipedia Dr. Nick Begich is the eldest son of the late United States Congressman from Alaska, Nick Begich Sr., and political activist Pegge Begich. He is well known in Alaska for his own political activities. He was twice elected President of both the Alaska Federation of Teachers and the Anchorage Council of Education. He has been pursuing independent research in the sciences and politics for most of his adult life. Begich received Doctor of Medicine (Medicina Alternitiva), honoris causa, for independent work in health and political science, from The Open International University for Complementary Medicines, Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November 1994.

Published on Mar 24, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy0e0VoqYVg

[Apr 02, 2017] imports account for a large percentage of the cost of many of the goods we produce here. This means that if we raise the price of imports, we also make it more expensive to produce goods in the United States

Apr 02, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne

, April 01, 2017 at 08:44 AM
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/yes-there-really-are-things-we-can-do-to-reduce-the-trade-deficit

April 1, 2017

Yes, There Really Are Things We Can Do to Reduce the Trade Deficit

Donald Trump's bluster about imposing large tariffs and force companies to make things in America has led to backlash where we have people saying things to the effect that we are in a global economy and we just can't do anything about shifting from foreign produced items to domestically produced items. Paul Krugman's blogpost * on trade can be seen in this light, although it is not exactly what he say and he surely knows better.

The post points out that imports account for a large percentage of the cost of many of the goods we produce here. This means that if we raise the price of imports, we also make it more expensive to produce goods in the United States.

This is of course true, but that doesn't mean that higher import prices would not lead to a shift towards domestic production. For example, if we take the case of transport equipment he highlights, if all the parts that we imported cost 20 percent more, then over time we would expect car producers in the United States to produce with a larger share of domestically produced parts than would otherwise be the case. This doesn't mean that imported parts go to zero, or even that they necessarily fall, but just that they would be less than would be the case if import prices were 20 percent lower. This is pretty much basic economics -- at a higher price we buy less.

While arbitrary tariffs are not a good way to raise the relative price of imports, we do have an obvious tool that is designed for exactly this purpose. We can reduce the value of the dollar against the currencies of our trading partners. This is probably best done through negotiations, ** which would inevitably involve trade-offs (e.g. less pressure to enforce U.S. patents and copyrights and less concern about access for the U.S. financial industry). Loud threats against our trading partners are likely to prove counter-productive. (We should also remove the protectionist barriers that keep our doctors and dentists from enjoying the full benefits of international competition.)

Anyhow, we can do something about our trade deficits if had a president who thought seriously about the issue. As it is, the current occupant of the White House seems to not know which way is up when it comes to trade.

* https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/of-tweets-and-trade/

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_Accord

-- Dean Baker

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 09:12 AM
There are a few minor grammar mistakes in this original that I corrected but then mistakenly posted the original.
libezkova -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 07:54 PM
Thank you Anne -- That's a good finding.

== quote ==

The post points out that imports account for a large percentage of the cost of many of the goods we produce here. This means that if we raise the price of imports, we also make it more expensive to produce goods in the United States.

== end of quote ==

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones ...

The problems is that many strategically important, high technology components production is offshored.

For example:

http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/22nm/pdfs/Global-Intel-Manufacturing_FactSheet.pdf

Fab 68 Dalian, China Chipsets 65nm 300mm 2010

[Apr 01, 2017] Paul Krugman and Paul Ryan are part of the same priesthood of the only acceptable theology the Church of Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... " This looks more like what you'd see in a banana republic, " says Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, a liberal watchdog group. " You've got a strongman who surrounds himself with billionaires or wealthy advisers who conduct the business of government to benefit their business. " ..."
"... In the first paragraph, we're told that jobs are moving to Mexico -- as usual. It's taken for granted (and without much concern here from Krugman) that US employers are going to keep exporting manufacturing jobs. This is followed by a defense of NAFTA, an attack on protectionism, and the suggestion that there is no alternative better than the status quo. And Democrats wonder why they're losing the Rust Belt states? ..."
"... The governmental action that was probably most important in creating the rust belt was the Reagan tax cuts. Those came as the Volcker effort to end inflation was still happening. That had to be continued, so the Reagan deficit could not be paid by inflating the money supply, and the necessary US bond sales kept our interest rate up, making the US the best place in the world to park money. Foreign exchange poured in, and the dollar's value soared by 70%. That rise made foreign production cheaper to Americans, and made US production uncompetitive elsewhere. ..."
"... Isn't this the same question that the British asked in 1845. The only thing we really know is that there are millions who no longer have a role in our economy. ..."
"... Liberals and Conservatives will not emerge until after the purge. Paul Krugman and Paul Ryan are part of the same priesthood of the only acceptable theology the Church of Neoliberalism. The belong to the same Tory Party of Robert Peel the only debate is about how best to grow the economy. ..."
"... The world's financial elite all fly the same flag called the Jolly Roger and finally we have a US government not ashamed to unfurl it. ..."
"... globalization has clearly not produced the promised big boost in overall growth in this country - economists would not be talking about "secular stagnation" if it had. ..."
"... Instead of denying the obvious facts and trying to divert the discussion with false claims about robots, why don't US economist try to work through the complications of trade and aim at policies which really would benefit US workers and might reduce the ever-growing inequality? Do they need to devote all their attention to defending the Democratic political establishment and their own failed theories and assumptions? ..."
"... It is obvious to most that the huge trade surge with China disrupted many commodity industries, steel, solar cells, electronics. ..."
"... If you do not see nothing obviously wrong, when a US company , bailed out by the US taxpayer, thanks the tax payer by importing cars made at Chinese wages to the US, putting out of work US workers, you must be a macro economist. ..."
"... Nowhere on the GM website is mentioned that those cars are made in China. Check ..."
"... the effective ban on big Western internet services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as local data storage rules for those who are allowed to operate. It's all done in the name of security ..."
Apr 01, 2017 | blogs.nytimes.com
Ezra K Arlington, MA 1 day ago

Amazing how so many conservatives dismiss what Krugman as to say since he's so clearly a 'commie.' Then they support Trump the capitalist businessman who will get things done.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Krugman is writing capitalist essays on his blog about the benefits of Trade, and trump is running a kleptocracy that seeks to bring back a disproven form of protectionism that would be much more at home among early 20th century socialists than with Milton Freedman or Adam Smith.

It goes to show that the Republicans are a party without a purpose. They have given up on their capitalist roots and instead just cater to the whims of the highest bidding campaign contributors and the worst instincts of their bigoted base.

Paul Mathis is a trusted commenter Fairfax, Virginia 1 day ago

Nobody Knew Trade Could Be So Complicated!

Actually everybody knows that negotiating trade deals takes years of intensive efforts because there are many moving parts that all affect each other.

Since Trump has the attention span of the average 3 year old, he has no time for anything more complicated than banning Muslims from traveling to America. That simple "solution" did not work out either.

So Trump is not going to do anything on trade simply because it is way too complicated and time consuming. After all, he couldn't even spend 3 weeks on replacing Obamacare with his "fantastic" plan. One month ago:
"We have a plan that I think is going to be fantastic. . . . I think it's going to be something special ... I think you're going to like what you hear." --CNN

George H. Blackford Michigan 1 day ago

Re: "Oh, and China currency manipulation was an issue 5 years ago - but isn't now." I find this interesting. Five years ago China was building up their reserves by purchasing US government and agency bonds to keep their exchange rate low. Today those reserves of government and agency bonds are falling as they are converted into US real estate and corporate assets while the trade deficit remains at some $500 billion. This is supposed to make everything OK. What am I missing here? http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/WDCh_2.htm

Sanjai Tripathi Corvallis, OR 1 day ago

China has more than 1.3 billion people, and wages in China have risen faster for a longer period of time than anywhere ever.

It's not a mystery why wages in China are what they are. It started as a poor country with an enormous, mostly rural population. If anything, the surprise is that they have managed to increase wages so strongly for so long.

Sanjai Tripathi Corvallis, OR 1 day ago

There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about trade and immigration, of course, but understanding Trump requires one to abandon the notion that he is appealing to legitimate concerns.

He is appealing to spite. Anything resembling a legitimate concern is pretense, to give cover to what would otherwise be recognized as ugly and deplorable. He says the spiteful parts loudly and doesn't even feign competence or coherence on policy.

Once this is fully recognized, all that he says and does makes sense. It also suggests that people interested in real substantive policy discussions should disregard Trump entirely.

R. Law is a trusted commenter Texas 23 hours ago

Dr. K. is correct we should watch what DJT actually does, instead of what he says, though what DJT says is designed to whip up his partisans by pointing to real issues, but instead of blaming the ' lost factories ' and ' stripped wealth ' on the portion of economic strata DJT inhabits - which is where the wealth stripping/lost factory hedgies and sacrosanct banker pay contract holders also exist - DJT always points somewhere else.

Somewhere else is a moving target that can shift each time a new sun rises on the Twitter-verse.

And it's hard to see how everyone will continue to admire the Emperor's new clothes when the stock markets reverse course, or if there is a 2011 re-dux next month over House GOP'ers raising the debt ceiling.

Anyhoooo, the best indicator of how things are going regarding economic policies at the White House is to see how DJT adviser Carl Icahn has benefited from specific policy carve-outs:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-16/trump-adviser-carl-ic...

wherein DJT's policy is accurately depicted:

" This looks more like what you'd see in a banana republic, " says Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, a liberal watchdog group. " You've got a strongman who surrounds himself with billionaires or wealthy advisers who conduct the business of government to benefit their business. "

Though DJT may be correct there are issues with NAFTA and at WTO, those issues are preferable to bald-faced kleptocracy.

Tom Allen Minneapolis, MN 18 hours ago

In the first paragraph, we're told that jobs are moving to Mexico -- as usual. It's taken for granted (and without much concern here from Krugman) that US employers are going to keep exporting manufacturing jobs. This is followed by a defense of NAFTA, an attack on protectionism, and the suggestion that there is no alternative better than the status quo. And Democrats wonder why they're losing the Rust Belt states?

Doug Rife Sarasota, FL 1 day ago

Trump's record low approval rating is likely to take a further hit in the near future from deteriorating economic conditions. Measures of consumer and business confidence soared since the election yet hard economic data continues to weaken with the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow estimate of first quarter GDP growth falling to just 0.9%, after this morning's weak personal income and spending report. Indeed, growth in real personal consumption expenditures peaked way back in January 2015. While there was a mild rebound that started in March 2016 the trend has since turned negative since the start of the 2017. See chart:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/fredgraph.png?g=dcOI

Interesting fact is the recent polarization of consumer confidence readings. Democrats are generally pessimists while Republicans are optimistic about the economy. That suggests consumer confidence readings will fall when Republicans get over their infatuation with Trump. And will most likely be driven by disappointing economic growth -- actual growth and not empty promises. Trump promised 4% growth which is impossible over the long term due to slow population growth. Yet, that growth rate now looks far out of reach even for a single quarter and fiscal stimulus looks less and less likely to happen even if some tax cuts for the wealthy do manage to pass Congress. Tax cuts are not stimulative if they heavily favor the wealthy. Probably the opposite is true considering the Bush tax cuts were so ineffective.

Chas Simmons Jamaica Plain, MA 11 hours ago

Krugman is an economist; he's not merely trying to sway voters. And he knows that the decline in industrial jobs is more due to productivity gains than factories' moving abroad. In any case, measures like Trump's scolding businessmen is not and will not be important in keeping jobs from leaving. More important is the exchange rate.

The governmental action that was probably most important in creating the rust belt was the Reagan tax cuts. Those came as the Volcker effort to end inflation was still happening. That had to be continued, so the Reagan deficit could not be paid by inflating the money supply, and the necessary US bond sales kept our interest rate up, making the US the best place in the world to park money. Foreign exchange poured in, and the dollar's value soared by 70%. That rise made foreign production cheaper to Americans, and made US production uncompetitive elsewhere.

But the decline in manufacturing would be happening regardless. It is the same process that did in most US family farms throughout the 20th century. US farming is now so efficient that farmers, once 3/4 of us, are now as small a fraction of Americans as "gardeners, groundskeepers, and growers of ornamental plants." The same thing is now happening to factories; we're just too efficient at making things to require the number of manufacturing workers we once did.

For more on this, read this:

http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/1/24/14363148/trade-deals-nafta-wto...

Ron Cohen is a trusted commenter Waltham, MA 20 hours ago

Prof. Krugman, in your column today about Coal Country, you rightfully identify it as a state of mind. But that state of mind is not nostaglia as you argue. Rather, it is a profound cultural resentment that motivates the voters of West Virginia.

For perspective on this subject, I urge you to read Arlie Hochschild's, widely praised, "Strangers in Their Own Land." http://thenewpress.com/node/10362 .

All but one of the columns, below, are from The New York Times. Taken together, they form a coda to Hochschild's book. I suggest you start with the last one, Sabrina Tavernise's piece.

Montreal Moe WestPark, Quebec 23 hours ago

Professor Blackford,

Thank you or the opportunity of answering your question with my question.

Isn't this the same question that the British asked in 1845. The only thing we really know is that there are millions who no longer have a role in our economy.

Liberals and Conservatives will not emerge until after the purge. Paul Krugman and Paul Ryan are part of the same priesthood of the only acceptable theology the Church of Neoliberalism. The belong to the same Tory Party of Robert Peel the only debate is about how best to grow the economy.

The question that comes to my mind is why do we want to grow an economy where production exceeds demand every day and our ideological Dogma says we must work even harder than ever to increase the inequality between supply and demand?

We have ceded control to the Whigs and I fear it isn't only 3 million Irish peasants who will disappear. The conversion of dollars into real estate really struck a high note as those worthless hovels that housed 3 million economically worthless peasants provided room for what was most important in the Irish economy pigs and cattle. Again I feel I must repeat there was no famine in Ireland it was a failure of potato crops and each year Ireland exported enough food to feed all of Ireland's hungry for seven potatoless years. Then as now the bible was The Economist.

The world's financial elite all fly the same flag called the Jolly Roger and finally we have a US government not ashamed to unfurl it.

StephenKoffler New York 1 day ago

A good start would be to insist on living wages in mexico and Asia along with humane working conditions. That's a starting position a trump or Clinton administration would never consider, but Sanders would have. Bringing those changes about would create more of a level playing field for US workers. Also if China isn't controlling currency anymore why is labor still so cheap.? It can't be fully explained by excess labor supply. Something must be going on, and we should be trying to figure it out.

skeptonomist is a trusted commenter Tennessee 1 day ago

lt's true that modern trade is very complicated but certain things are obvious. One is that the US runs huge trade deficits, amounting to nearly $750 billion in goods. Yes, this is obviously bigly unfair to the United States, that is considering the majority of its citizens and especially wage earners, who have been put into competition with those in developing countries, rather than the capitalists whose profits have been increased by the lower wage costs. Those goods represent a very large number of jobs that are now in other countries. Another is that globalization has clearly not produced the promised big boost in overall growth in this country - economists would not be talking about "secular stagnation" if it had.

Instead of denying the obvious facts and trying to divert the discussion with false claims about robots, why don't US economist try to work through the complications of trade and aim at policies which really would benefit US workers and might reduce the ever-growing inequality? Do they need to devote all their attention to defending the Democratic political establishment and their own failed theories and assumptions?

Don Richland, WA 1 day ago

Trade is a tough policy to debate with people and come to consensus. It is obvious to most that the huge trade surge with China disrupted many commodity industries, steel, solar cells, electronics. More should have been done to minimize the disruption. That said we are where we are.

Our manufacturing now is higher up the value chain. Our commodity mills now need to innovate to take advantage of niche higher value low volume markets that big producers can't supply effectively.

Innovate to develop new materials and specialized processes that displace current materials. Innovation, flexibility and agility is our competitive advantage. Time to make the jobs of the future, commodity production is in the past.

Woof is a trusted commenter NY 5 hours ago

Re China

"But even there it's not obvious what you would demand from a new agreement."

Let me help out the professor with an article from the NY Times 3/30/17 and provide an obvious example

"China's Taxes on Imported Cars Feed Trade Tensions With U.S."

reporting that a Jeep retailing for $ $40,530 in the US cost in China , quote " $ $71,000, mostly because of taxes that Beijing charges on every car, minivan and sport utility vehicle that is made in another country"

Meanwhile , quote "General Motors started shipping the Buick Envision model from a factory in eastern China's Shandong Province to the United States last year. That decision irritated the United Automobile Workers union"

But that is not all. The NY Times reported on 1/29/16 that GM's Cadillac devision started to import its " plug-in hybrid version of its new CT6 flagship sedan from China " and "A PEEK under the hood of three new cars from Buick and Cadillac will not reveal a Made in China label"

If you do not see nothing obviously wrong, when a US company , bailed out by the US taxpayer, thanks the tax payer by importing cars made at Chinese wages to the US, putting out of work US workers, you must be a macro economist.

Either US consumer win (cheaper cars) or US companies (more profit for the stock holders).

Final Note

Nowhere on the GM website is mentioned that those cars are made in China. Check

http://www.buick.us/envision-crossover-suv.html

Montreal Moe WestPark, Quebec 15 hours ago

Ron,
Europe's parliamentary democracies have always given the 20% an outsized role in elections and governance because coalitions are the rule not the exception and 20% is a lot of seats.
From here on a less than 4 hour drive to Waltham it looks like your 20% has the house, the senate, the executive and soon the courts and the Supreme Court.
Donald Trump was a wake-up call for the world's 80% as Europe like North America is over 80% urban.

Glen Tomkins Reston, VA 1 day ago

If Trump had the attention span and work ethic needed to become a dictator, he would seek the confrontation over expelling the undocumented, not over trade. Trade isn't visceral enough, not existential enough, to sustain the fear of the Other a dictator needs.

Woof is a trusted commenter NY 4 hours ago

What am I missing here?

Foreign investment in the US is considered an asset by macro economist. Including investment in real estate and corporations.

Eric 15 hours ago

On China, there actually are a few obvious imbalances that affect the tech industry, though it's doubtful the US has the leverage to change them.

The first comes from the Chinese government's drive to build their domestic tech industry by coercing technology transfer from Western firms outsourcing manufacturing in China.

The second is the effective ban on big Western internet services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as local data storage rules for those who are allowed to operate. It's all done in the name of security (and censorship), of course, but it's also an obvious form of protectionism. Baidu and Weibo might not exist otherwise.

The government is also investing in a Chinese variant of Linux, no doubt with the ultimate goal of gaining complete control over all software running inside the country.

[Mar 31, 2017] We Must Rethink Globalization, or Trumpism will Prevail

Notable quotes:
"... The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges of our times are the rise in inequality ..."
"... We must therefore implement international treaties enabling us to respond to these challenges and to promote a model for fair and sustainable development. ... ..."
"... It is time to change the political discourse on globalization: trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable development also demands public services, infrastructure, health and education systems. In turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems. If we fail to deliver these, Trumpism will prevail. ..."
"... we deregulated and failed to tax capital flows, so that most of the gains went to capital and labor got screwed. Seems like no one cared enough and all the money went to the top, so we couldn't even fund paltry remedial measures. ..."
"... I totally agree with Piketty, but if we don't come up with some new economics to handle the nightmare that has been wrought, Trump will only be the beginning (or maybe just a continuation) of the great unraveling. ..."
"... Oh, and the conclusion of my thesis - international trade was not causing the downturn of the machine tool industry. And I still admire Rudi Dornbusch and Dani Rodrik. But it is now clear we need not just a new model, but a whole new economics. ..."
"... Dani Rodrik's argument is an updated and better-written version of an argument made by Karl Polanyi--in a book called The Great Transformation--long ago, back at the end of World War II. Polanyi argued that the developing market economy tended to destroy the web of social relationships that held human society together. The market for labor pressured people to move around the globe to where they could earn the most--at the potentially substantial sociological price of creating strangers in strange lands. The market for consumer goods rewarded people for being fortunate or for responding to the incentives provided by factor markets--and in so doing made human status rankings the product of responsiveness to market forces rather than the result of social norms and views about distributive justice. And, Polanyi argued, in the long run this undermining of sociological order by the market economy threatened to destroy the social and institutional bases on which the market economy rested. ..."
"... The distribution of economic welfare produced by the market economy--roughly that one's weight in the social welfare function maximized by the market is approximately proportional to the market value of your endowment -- does not fit anyone's conception of the just or the best. ..."
"... So there is a powerful place for government to manage the market -- in the interest of avoiding large depressions, in the interest of providing social insurance to transform the market distribution of income into one that produces higher social welfare, in the interest of avoiding pointless churning of the structure of industry produced by the fads and fashions that sweep the minds of financiers. ..."
"... Post-World War II social democracy in the advanced industrial economies has produced the wealthiest, best, and most just societies the world has ever seen. ..."
"... Dani Rodrik is concerned that economic integration is undermining the ability of countries to shape their own versions of social democracy, or indeed to shape any version of social democracy. Rodrik fears that--unless a way is found to strengthen social democracy in the face of international economic integration--that either sociology and politics will bring a halt to increasing economic integration, or increasing economic integration will erode the market economy's social foundations and lead to increasing political instability.... ..."
"... But job retraining and temporary assistance? Clearly insufficient. A whole new safety net was/is needed, just when we're about to lose what we do have. ..."
"... If you are still interested in the machine tool industry I would recommend investigating the role played by the LBOs ( now called private equity) like KKR. They swooped in on declining companies and used the tax provisions to milk cash flow and pensions and hastened the demise of that industry. ..."
"... Factors in the US machine tools industry demice: Complacency. New competition from foreigners rising from the ashes of WW2. A focus on returns, neglecting product development. "financial" management. Lack of political clout. The "strong dollar" policy of the US ..."
"... There are many similarities between the machine tool industry and the automotive industry in this regard. The big difference is the relative size and political constituency of the automotive industry, which allowed them to survive. ..."
"... The problem is even worse than the way you perceive. The process by which these gains in trade are accumulated is unsustainable in the long run and leads to financial crises followed by economic, political, and social catastrophes... ..."
"... "Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. ..."
"... Hillary (and Democrats) haven't had an appealing economic message for decades. How do you attract lower income voters when you offer them nothing for their pocket books? ..."
"... The GOP is a machine that harnesses ethno-nationalistic fear - of communists, criminals, matrimonial gays, terrorists, snooty cultural elites - to win elections and then, once in office, caters to its wealthy donor base. (This is why even a social firebrand like Ted Cruz would privately assure the billionaire investor Paul Singer that he wasn't particularly concerned about gay-marriage laws.) As its voting base has lost college-­educated voters and gained blue-collar whites, the fissure between the means by which Republicans attain power and the ends they pursue once they have it has widened. ..."
"... I sometimes think Ryan's solution to the poverty problem is to simply let poor people die. But hey - look who funds his campaigns: health insurance oligopolists and very rich people. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Thomas Piketty:
We must rethink globalization, or Trumpism will prevail : Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this. ...

The tragedy is that Trump's program will only strengthen the trend towards inequality. ..

The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges of our times are the rise in inequality and global warming. We must therefore implement international treaties enabling us to respond to these challenges and to promote a model for fair and sustainable development. ...

There should be no more signing of international agreements that reduce customs duties and other commercial barriers without including quantified and binding measures to combat fiscal and climate dumping in those same treaties. For example, there could be common minimum rates of corporation tax and targets for carbon emissions which can be verified and sanctioned. It is no longer possible to negotiate trade treaties for free trade with nothing in exchange. ...

It is time to change the political discourse on globalization: trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable development also demands public services, infrastructure, health and education systems. In turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems. If we fail to deliver these, Trumpism will prevail.

I recently made a similar argument :

...Those of us in the economics profession have a choice to make.

We can hold onto old ideas, inflated promises about the benefits of globalization and international trade for example, while charlatans such as Donald Trump take advantage of the fears people have to divide us through racism and xenophobia that miscasts the blame for our economic woes. Or we can recognize that change and new ways of thinking are needed and lead the way to policies that move us toward a more equitable economic system.

TAHartman : November 16, 2016 at 11:04 AM

In 1986-87, I was in my second year of the MPP program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. I took international trade with Dani Rodrik (probably his first teaching gig). I wrote my thesis that year on the impact of international trade on the Michigan machine tool industry, using a model from Rudi Dornbusch.

What did I learn? Dani went through the basic benefits of international trade, how the majority win but a few who are dislocated lose. I recall all the students growing large-eyed and asking what was to be done for the losers. Job retraining and temporary assistance were the only answers.

That was clearly unsettling and even then seemed insufficient. And then we let it happen, largely without even those remedial measures. And we deregulated and failed to tax capital flows, so that most of the gains went to capital and labor got screwed. Seems like no one cared enough and all the money went to the top, so we couldn't even fund paltry remedial measures.

I totally agree with Piketty, but if we don't come up with some new economics to handle the nightmare that has been wrought, Trump will only be the beginning (or maybe just a continuation) of the great unraveling.

Frequently moved to tears these days, so please excuse. But I feel that so many failures have brought us to this point.

Oh, and the conclusion of my thesis - international trade was not causing the downturn of the machine tool industry. And I still admire Rudi Dornbusch and Dani Rodrik. But it is now clear we need not just a new model, but a whole new economics.

anne -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 11:16 AM
http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Econ_Articles/Reviews/Globalization_too_Far.html

December 16, 1998

Globalization Has Not Yet Gone Far Enough
By J. Bradford DeLong

Dani Rodrik (1997), Has Globalization Gone too Far?

________________________________

Dani Rodrik is trying to create space in the debate over globalization for a rational middle--for positions that neither lead the cheers for the onrushing economic integration of the world, nor mindlessly condemn international economic integration in a fit of reactionary nostalgia for a past that never was.

Dani Rodrik's argument is an updated and better-written version of an argument made by Karl Polanyi--in a book called The Great Transformation--long ago, back at the end of World War II. Polanyi argued that the developing market economy tended to destroy the web of social relationships that held human society together. The market for labor pressured people to move around the globe to where they could earn the most--at the potentially substantial sociological price of creating strangers in strange lands. The market for consumer goods rewarded people for being fortunate or for responding to the incentives provided by factor markets--and in so doing made human status rankings the product of responsiveness to market forces rather than the result of social norms and views about distributive justice. And, Polanyi argued, in the long run this undermining of sociological order by the market economy threatened to destroy the social and institutional bases on which the market economy rested.

You can disagree with virtually all of Polanyi's argument. You can say that the market for labor offers people opportunities, not constraints. You can point out that the "social norms" and "views about distributive justice" that underlie non-market distributions of income give the most to those with the biggest spears or those who can most effectively perform the confidence trick of convincing their lessers that obedience to the powerful is obedience to God. Market distributions of income at least have a meritocratic component, as well as a positive entrepreneurial component that makes it possible to do well by doing good.

Yet there remains a sense in which Polanyi's argument cannot be dismissed. The distribution of economic welfare produced by the market economy--roughly that one's weight in the social welfare function maximized by the market is approximately proportional to the market value of your endowment -- does not fit anyone's conception of the just or the best. We have considerably more confidence in the correctness and appropriateness of political decisions made by democratically-elected representatives than we do of decisions made by those with large spears or large temples. So there is a powerful place for government to manage the market -- in the interest of avoiding large depressions, in the interest of providing social insurance to transform the market distribution of income into one that produces higher social welfare, in the interest of avoiding pointless churning of the structure of industry produced by the fads and fashions that sweep the minds of financiers.

Post-World War II social democracy in the advanced industrial economies has produced the wealthiest, best, and most just societies the world has ever seen. You can complain that the redistributional and industrial policies of social democracy have been economically inefficient, but they have been--politically--very popular. It seems a good bet that the stable politics of the post-World War II era in the advanced industrial economies owe a good deal to the coexistence of rapidly-growing, dynamic market economies and social democratic polities.

And this is where Dani Rodrik comes in. For Dani Rodrik is concerned that economic integration is undermining the ability of countries to shape their own versions of social democracy, or indeed to shape any version of social democracy. Rodrik fears that--unless a way is found to strengthen social democracy in the face of international economic integration--that either sociology and politics will bring a halt to increasing economic integration, or increasing economic integration will erode the market economy's social foundations and lead to increasing political instability....

TAHartman -> anne... , November 16, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Dani's book was written a decade after he was my teacher. And even that early, at least he pointed out the consequences. I don't have anything but fondness and respect for Dani.

But job retraining and temporary assistance? Clearly insufficient. A whole new safety net was/is needed, just when we're about to lose what we do have.

anne -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 02:21 PM
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2LUd

Trade Weighted Price of an American Dollar, 1980-1992

1980 ( 95.4) *
1981 ( 104.8) Reagan
1982 ( 115.8)
1983 ( 120.5)
1984 ( 128.9)

1985 ( 133.6) Plaza Accord (High)
1986 ( 109.8)
1987 ( 97.2)
1988 ( 90.4)
1989 ( 94.3) Bush

1990 ( 89.9)
1991 ( 88.6)
1992 ( 87.0)

* 1973 = 100

George H. Blackford -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 12:19 PM
I think you are mistaken about the efficacy about a return to Keynesian economics:

http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm
http://www.rwEconomics.com/htm/WDCh_2.htm
http://www.rwEconomics.com/htm/WDCh3e.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm
http://rwEconomics.com/htm/LPLFLPPS.htm

RGC -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 12:03 PM
If you are still interested in the machine tool industry I would recommend investigating the role played by the LBOs ( now called private equity) like KKR. They swooped in on declining companies and used the tax provisions to milk cash flow and pensions and hastened the demise of that industry.
TAHartman -> RGC... , November 16, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Yup. The question is (or was for my thesis) why were the companies declining in the first place?
RGC -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 12:40 PM
Factors in the US machine tools industry demice: Complacency. New competition from foreigners rising from the ashes of WW2. A focus on returns, neglecting product development. "financial" management. Lack of political clout. The "strong dollar" policy of the US

There are many similarities between the machine tool industry and the automotive industry in this regard. The big difference is the relative size and political constituency of the automotive industry, which allowed them to survive.

George H. Blackford -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 12:12 PM
The problem is even worse than the way you perceive. The process by which these gains in trade are accumulated is unsustainable in the long run and leads to financial crises followed by economic, political, and social catastrophes...
ken melvin -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 03:30 PM
Excellent.
Peter K. : November 16, 2016 at 11:12 AM
Piketty:

"Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote.

Hillary won the popular vote by a whisker (60.1 million votes as against 59.8 million for Trump, out of a total adult population of 240 million), but the participation of the youngest and the lowest income groups was much too low to enable key states to be won."

We have to increase participation in politics by those who have much to gain. We have to appeal to those who Obama won and Romney lost, those who Clinton lost and Trump won. It doesn't mean compromising one's views on human rights, civil rights, racism and sexism or religion. Or country music.

The way to combat intolerance, fear and anxiety, scapegoating and demagoguery is by having rising incomes and living standards for everyone. That encourages an open society which listens to science and democratic norms.

Telling people that their children will have lower living standards than they did because "the jobs went away" because of technology, trade and demographics isn't going to cut it.

Economists were resigned to the fact that secular stagnation would return after World War II ended, when that turned out not to be the case.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 11:17 AM
After WWII, instead of exporting the secstags, we turned both of our enemies, the Third Reich and Imperial Japan - both suffering from forms of Trumpism - into cutting-edge advanced economies that we see today.

(Granted part of it was b/c of the Cold War.)

George H. Blackford -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 12:05 PM
"The way to combat intolerance, fear and anxiety, scapegoating and demagoguery is by having rising incomes and living standards for everyone."

The question is, how do you do that?

JohnH -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 01:40 PM

I agree: "Telling people that their children will have lower living standards than they did because "the jobs went away" because of technology, trade and demographics isn't going to cut it."

Hillary (and Democrats) haven't had an appealing economic message for decades. How do you attract lower income voters when you offer them nothing for their pocket books?

Hillary [interview with George Packer]: "Voters needed a narrative for their lives, she said, including someone to blame for what had gone wrong. 'Donald Trump came up with a fairly simple, easily understood, and to some extent satisfying story. And I think we Democrats have not provided as clear a message about how we see the economy as we need to.' She continued, 'We need to get back to claiming the economic mantle-that we are the ones who create the jobs, who provide the support that is needed to get more fairness into the economy.'"

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/hillary-clinton-and-the-populist-revolt

Hillary's vague notions never translated into effective campaign rhetoric appealing to workers. Whose fault is that?

TAHartman : November 16, 2016 at 11:13 AM
And, just in time, Dani has a good post: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-win-economists-responsible-by-dani-rodrik-2016-11#comments
anne -> TAHartman... , November 16, 2016 at 11:51 AM
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-win-economists-responsible-by-dani-rodrik-2016-11

November 15, 2016

Straight Talk on Trade
By DANI RODRIK

CAMBRIDGE – Are economists partly responsible for Donald Trump's shocking victory in the US presidential election? Even if they may not have stopped Trump, economists would have had a greater impact on the public debate had they stuck closer to their discipline's teaching, instead of siding with globalization's cheerleaders.

As my book "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?" went to press nearly two decades ago, I approached a well-known economist to ask him if he would provide an endorsement for the back cover. I claimed in the book that, in the absence of a more concerted government response, too much globalization would deepen societal cleavages, exacerbate distributional problems, and undermine domestic social bargains – arguments that have become conventional wisdom since.

The economist demurred. He said he didn't really disagree with any of the analysis, but worried that my book would provide "ammunition for the barbarians." Protectionists would latch on to the book's arguments about the downsides of globalization to provide cover for their narrow, selfish agenda.

It's a reaction I still get from my fellow economists. One of them will hesitantly raise his hand following a talk and ask: Don't you worry that your arguments will be abused and serve the demagogues and populists you are decrying?

There is always a risk that our arguments will be hijacked in the public debate by those with whom we disagree. But I have never understood why many economists believe this implies we should skew our argument about trade in one particular direction. The implicit premise seems to be that there are barbarians on only one side of the trade debate. Apparently, those who complain about World Trade Organization rules or trade agreements are awful protectionists, while those who support them are always on the side of the angels.

In truth, many trade enthusiasts are no less motivated by their own narrow, selfish agendas. The pharmaceutical firms pursuing tougher patent rules, the banks pushing for unfettered access to foreign markets, or the multinationals seeking special arbitration tribunals have no greater regard for the public interest than the protectionists do. So when economists shade their arguments, they effectively favor one set of barbarians over another.

It has long been an unspoken rule of public engagement for economists that they should champion trade and not dwell too much on the fine print. This has produced a curious situation. The standard models of trade with which economists work typically yield sharp distributional effects: income losses by certain groups of producers or worker categories are the flip side of the "gains from trade." And economists have long known that market failures – including poorly functioning labor markets, credit market imperfections, knowledge or environmental externalities, and monopolies – can interfere with reaping those gains.

They have also known that the economic benefits of trade agreements that reach beyond borders to shape domestic regulations – as with the tightening of patent rules or the harmonization of health and safety requirements – are fundamentally ambiguous....

Birdy : November 16, 2016 at 11:14 AM
I'm skeptical about this. Is there really a viable map from the navel gazing set to the set of effective public policies? To me, the most salient line in this post is: "The tragedy is that Trump's program will only strengthen the trend towards inequality..." I fear that the most practical option is simply to tell better lies and let demography work its magic.
DrDick : November 16, 2016 at 11:20 AM
There are times I hate being proven right, but there it is.
Tom aka Rusty -> DrDick... , November 16, 2016 at 11:47 AM
Dick has been consistently right on this problem since he arrived here, despite all the noise to the contrary.
Lee A. Arnold : November 16, 2016 at 11:21 AM
Investment finance may start slowly to flee from the United States, and the US become less able to finance itself. Why? Because the Chinese are starting their own global free-trade organization; they announced it a day or two after the US election. The perfect moment, and clearly they have long been preparing, by getting out of Treasuries, sending trade reps to every country in the world, and building their own islands for forward naval bases in the Pacific.

International investors will -- slowly, then quickly -- begin to find it easier to make profits in developing global trade, from OTHER locales that agree to the Chinese trade pact. And it can be done. The Chinese no longer need the US for advanced development. Trump convinced his supporters that he would snooker the Chinese, but the reality may be the other way around.

Americans, thinking they are the indispensable consumer market, are going to be left out, unless they accept the Chinese terms, quite publicly. President Xi, two days ago: "President Trump is going to have to compromise." Front page of the Wall St. Journal! The Chinese have obviously done the same psychological profiling that Hillary did to bait Trump in the debates.

Thus almost every area in the world including Mexico, South America, Africa, the Middle East will find it possible to greatly embarrass the United States with a supreme narcissist in charge -- without firing a shot -- and, after a century of indignities and deprivations, they will enjoy it immensely. (Unless Trump starts a shooting war in the Pacific, and don't count that out. He's looking at Iraq War neocon John Bolton for Secretary of State -- how's that for you, you "Hillary-is-bloodthirsty" leftwingers?)

Inside the US, the decline in the standard of living vis-a-vis the most advanced countries will accelerate greatly. Maybe the US can join the Brexiters in a big flea market, and swap their old vinyl Beatles albums. The only way to stanch it temporarily is a "hyuge" infrastructure package, but: who will finance it, how will it get paid back, and at what rates of interest?

I won't bother you with the likeliest macro-dynamics of that, but international investors may think that they themselves will eventually get stuck with the tax bill. Bye bye!

So in the wake of the Chinese announcement, the tenor of some commentaries from financial journalists in other capitals is, "Why did the U.S. just cut its own throat?" -- "Cut its own throat" as in, "permanently".

Really it may be the final end of the empire here. And the ones least prepared to deal with it are the Trump voters. That gets us back to the emotions. After an short spurt of deficit-financed GDP growth, there will be a return to the growing frustrations in the US, and so the US will be increasingly susceptible to the blind thrashings of its domestic fascists. In your head, zombie, zombie.

As an exchange student said yesterday: "Get out, NOW."

Meanwhile the Trump voters have chosen someone who is unbelievably, totally, amazingly out-to-lunch. This also came two days ago, from the Wall St. Journal:

"During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama's term."

Trump only trusts his friends. Problem there is, anybody with a world-class brain removed themselves from his orbit years ago. He's already put Myron Ebell at the EPA and asked for security clearance for his kids. Yet even if the kids realize what's going on (a really big "if") -- what are they going to do? It's going to be amateur hour in the West Wing. Last report, the lobbyists are falling over each other to get through the White House door.

Peter K. -> Lee A. Arnold ... , November 16, 2016 at 11:38 AM
You may be right, but I think it could also turn out you are completely wrong.

The Chinese still need our consumer market. How will the Chinese Communists handle increasing calls for democracy?

"The only way to stanch it temporarily is a "hyuge" infrastructure package, but: who will finance it, how will it get paid back, and at what rates of interest?"

Progressives could do it via helicopter money and have a perpetual motion machine towards increased prosperity even while economies like China and Germany continue to hoard their current account surpluses.

Trump will squander it on tax cuts for the rich and deregualtion which will just give us another epic bubble.

Time it right and get rich just like Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling in The Big Short.

George H. Blackford -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM
"The Chinese still need our consumer market."
Our consumer market cannot support the Chinese without huge trade deficits and those deficits are nor only destroying our country they are simply unsustainable...
Lee A. Arnold -> George H. Blackford ... , November 16, 2016 at 12:24 PM
Peter K. "The Chinese still need our consumer market. How will the Chinese Communists handle increasing calls for democracy?... Progressives could do it via helicopter money"

The Chinese moves indicate that they have calculated that they can do without our consumer market, real soon! Their ideas of "individualism" and "democracy" are not the West's. This is linked to an institutional tradition which goes back to Confucius. (Ronald Coase went there and began to study it, just before he died.)

As for helicopter money, I'm all for it! But not in this new environment. It will put downward pressure on the dollar, and financial investors won't want to stay in the dollar. This would precipitate social panic amongst the hard-money folks, and at the very moment that the real fascists would love it.

The Repubs may instead settle on Reagan-style deficits, but then, Trump's got to contend with his more honestly frustrated voters who wanted real change, not more bankster plunder. (Which is one place where Bernie and the new Dems can come in and start to pick them off.) Example: Ryan wants to nix Medicare to help "reduce the deficits." And the more sophisticated Wall Streeters (although there aren't that many of them) will see the writing on the wall that they are going to get stuck with the bill, do the math, and realize there's a better trade-off if the Chinese go globalist. Because neither Wall Street nor the Chinese gov't care about democracy in their trade partners!

George H. Blackford -> Lee A. Arnold ... , November 16, 2016 at 01:20 PM
"Meanwhile the Trump voters have chosen someone who is unbelievably, totally, amazingly out-to-lunch."

It's not just the Trump voters who are "out-to-lunch" though I would prefer the expression, out of touch with reality. I would include the Democratic establishment along with those Democrats who voted for Hillary instead of Sanders as well as the vast majority of economists...

Lee A. Arnold -> George H. Blackford ... , November 16, 2016 at 01:51 PM
Sure but say it here pithily, I got a list of things to read already.
George H. Blackford -> Lee A. Arnold ... , November 16, 2016 at 04:35 PM
Fair enough. Actually, it's more than that. It's a very good ideal. Thank you for the suggestion:
dan : November 16, 2016 at 11:27 AM
There is nothing wrong with globalism. The problem is that capital became more mobile than labor. So naturally with that advantage capital captured better returns.

What economists leave out in their lovely trade models showing that trade always improves welfare is just that the underlying assumption that regulatory and labor issues will either adjust or are as flexible as capital.

We haven't seen "true" globalism. We've seen a sort of unbalanced globalism of capital that has earned excess returns arbitraging labor and regulatory differences between jurisdictions.

pgl -> dan... , November 16, 2016 at 11:43 AM
"The problem is that capital became more mobile than labor."

Yep. This has been a theme of progressive economists like Dean Baker for a very long time. Yet the politicians seem not to be listening. Building that stupid wall is basically telling workers they are not allowed to seek a better job. Even Reagan got that with respect to the Berlin Wall.

TAHartman -> pgl... , November 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM
Excellent point.
Peter K. : November 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/why-liberals-should-support-a-trump-nomination.html

Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination

By Jonathan Chait

February 5, 2016
8:54 a.m.

The initial stupefaction and dismay with which liberals greeted Donald Trump's candidacy have slowly given way to feelings of Schadenfreude- reveling in the suffering of others, in this case the apoplectic members of the Republican Establishment. Are such feelings morally wrong? Or can liberals enjoy the spectacle unleavened by guilt? As Republican voters start actually voting, is it okay to be sad - alarmed, even - by the prospect that the Trump hostile takeover of the GOP may fail?

There are three reasons, in descending order of obviousness, for a liberal to earnestly and patriotically support a Trump Republican nomination. The first, of course, is that he would almost certainly lose. Trump's ability to stay atop the polls for months, even as critics predicted his demise, has given him an aura of voodoo magic that frightens some Democrats. But whatever wizardry Trump has used to defy the laws of political gravity has worked only within his party. Among the electorate as a whole, he is massively - indeed, historically - unpopular, with unfavorable ratings now hovering around 60 percent and a public persona almost perfectly designed to repel the Obama coalition: racial minorities, single women, and college-educated whites. It would take a landscape-altering event like a recession for him to win; even that might not be enough.

Second, a Trump nomination might upend his party. The GOP is a machine that harnesses ethno-nationalistic fear - of communists, criminals, matrimonial gays, terrorists, snooty cultural elites - to win elections and then, once in office, caters to its wealthy donor base. (This is why even a social firebrand like Ted Cruz would privately assure the billionaire investor Paul Singer that he wasn't particularly concerned about gay-marriage laws.) As its voting base has lost college-­educated voters and gained blue-collar whites, the fissure between the means by which Republicans attain power and the ends they pursue once they have it has widened.

What has most horrified conservative activists about Trump's rise is how little he or his supporters seem to care about their anti-government ideology. When presented with the candidate's previous support for higher taxes on the rich or single-payer insurance, heresies of the highest order, Trump fans merely shrug. During this campaign, Trump has mostly conformed to party doctrine, but without much conviction. Trump does not mouth the rote conservative formulation that government is failing because it can't work and that the solution is to cut it down to size. Instead, he says it is failing because it is run by idiots and that the solution is for it to instead be run by Trump. About half of Republicans favor higher taxes on the rich, a position that has zero representation among their party's leaders. And those Republicans are the most likely to support Trump.

Trump's candidacy represents, among other things, a revolt by the Republican proletariat against its master class. That is why National Review devoted a cover editorial and 22 columns to denouncing Trump as a heretic to the conservative movement. A Trump nomination might not actually cleave the GOP in two, but it could wreak havoc. If, like me, you think the Republican Party in its current incarnation needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt anew, Trump is the only one holding a match.

The third reason to prefer a Trump nomination: If he does win, a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency. It might even, possibly, do some good.

The Trump campaign may feel like an off-the-grid surrealistic nightmare, The Man in the High Castle meets Idiocracy. But something like it has happened before. Specifically, it happened in California, a place where things often happen before they happen to the rest of us, in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger won the governorship. At the time, the prospect of Schwarzenegger governing America's largest state struck many of us as just as ghastly as the idea of a Trump presidency seems now. Like Trump, Schwarzenegger came directly to politics from the celebrity world without bothering to inform himself about public policy. He campaigned as a vacuous Man of Action in opposition to the Politicians, breezing by all the specifics as the petty obsessions of his inferiors.

...

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Amazon.com has a show based on Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle about an alternate timeline where the Axis powers won World War II.
George H. Blackford -> Peter K.... , November 16, 2016 at 11:52 AM
This is one of the most naïve views of Trump I can imagine. Trump viciously attacks-without scruples-anyone who gets in his way. He ultimately destroyed all of the Republican candidates who ran against him and is attempting to intimidate all who refused to support him now.

There is every reason to believe that when Trump assumes the Presidency a petty, vicious, vindictive, unprincipled egomaniac will appoint the head of the IRS, CIA, the Secretary of State, all our Ambassadors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General Officers in the Military, all vacancies on the federal bench including the deciding vote on the Supreme Court, the US Attorney General and all of the US Attorneys in the country. The only check on his power will be a right-wing, T-Party Congress whose members are either delusional or will be intimidated by him by virtue of the way in which he viciously attacked those who opposed him leading up to the election. The result promises to be a reign of terror in this country far beyond anything we experienced during the McCarthy Era or Palmer Raids.

This is what we face today, and yet the pundits talk about Trump's assuming power as if it is a spectator sport. It's time for the chattering class to stop trying to be balanced or whatever it is they are trying to be and start talking about what is really at stake in Trump becoming president. The very soul of our country.

kthomas -> George H. Blackford ... , November 16, 2016 at 12:11 PM
The tree of Liberty...
pgl -> George H. Blackford ... , November 16, 2016 at 12:26 PM
I had thought Romney 2012 was the most dishonest campaign ever. Trump 2016 outdid Romney's con artistry big time.
Vince : November 16, 2016 at 11:35 AM
Liberals such as Piketty like to prove they are right. But usually that's where their efforts stop: the proof.

Most people don't understand proofs. They don't have the inclination or the time.

To succeed, liberals need to develop better methods of persuasion.

George H. Blackford -> Vince... , November 16, 2016 at 11:41 AM
http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm
kthomas -> Vince... , November 16, 2016 at 12:13 PM
No.

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-triump-of-less-educated.html?m=1

These damn people don't believe in intelligence. They only respond to force.

Ben Groves -> Vince... , November 16, 2016 at 01:49 PM
To succeed, liberals should use fear tactics. All they had in the last cycle was telling how much a pervert Trump is. How about showing the damage he can do, you know, on the Supreme Court.
George H. Blackford : November 16, 2016 at 11:38 AM
I would humbly suggest that the problem goes much deeper than just trade deals. At the core of the problem is the increase in the concentration of income. A high, let alone rising concentration of income is unsustainable in the long run. It inevitably leads to financial crises and economic, political, and social catastrophe...
pgl : November 16, 2016 at 11:39 AM
"The tragedy is that Trump's program will only strengthen the trend towards inequality. He intends to abolish the health insurance laboriously granted to low-paid workers under Obama and to set the country on a headlong course into fiscal dumping, with a reduction from 35% to 15% in the rate of federal tax on corporation profits".

Exactly. It gets worse. Speaker Ryan's "A Better Way" talks the talk about caring about the poor but is a standard right wing recipe for tax cuts for the rich as the public support for the poor and working class would be gutted.

TAHartman -> pgl... , November 16, 2016 at 12:11 PM
Yup. Hence all the tears.

Never could warm up to the Clintons after Bill signed welfare "reform".

That was one of the first pieces to go.

kthomas -> pgl... , November 16, 2016 at 12:15 PM
And people like Ryan turn around, and at the local level, make laws limiting how many people you can feed, or whether you can give medicine to the poor.
pgl -> kthomas... , November 16, 2016 at 12:24 PM
I sometimes think Ryan's solution to the poverty problem is to simply let poor people die. But hey - look who funds his campaigns: health insurance oligopolists and very rich people.
kthomas -> pgl... , November 16, 2016 at 01:01 PM
Money is free speech. Corporations are both sovereign and at the same magical time, entitled to Constitutional rights.

If our founding fathers were here, even the slave owning ones, they would not recognize this. Even in their time, the rights of sovereign corporations ran roughshod over the people. Mix that in with record inequality and an overt culture of misogyny and racial animus, you get what we have now.

Ozeconomics : November 16, 2016 at 12:27 PM
None of this is new theory. First year, first lesson economics tells us about absolute and comparative advantage, that there are winners and losers with free trade. Part of that lesson includes: "the losers must be compensated". That's the bit that has been forgotten (or ignored).
Ben Groves : November 16, 2016 at 12:43 PM
Picketty needs to pull his head out of his ass. Trump "won" because of several issues, with the Supreme Court his number 1 mandate from his voters and his opponent sucked, couldn't even match 2012's modest numbers by Barry with 4 more years of inflation. The media still doesn't want to tell the truth.
The US was rich under protectionism, and become much poorer under free trade : -1
a little glimmer of reality shines into the economics profession

it was no coincidence that the US was very wealthy under protectionism

Ha Joon Chang would advocate 300-400% tariffs to promote new industries today

[Mar 28, 2017] Staying Rich Without Manufacturing Will Be Hard

Notable quotes:
"... What's more, the overall numbers hide serious declines in most areas of manufacturing. A 2013 paper by Susan Houseman, Timothy Bartik and Timothy Sturgeon found that strong growth in computer-related manufacturing obscured a decline in almost all other areas. "In most of manufacturing," they write, "real GDP growth has been weak or negative and productivity growth modest." ..."
"... And, more troubling, the U.S. is now losing computer manufacturing. Houseman et al. show that U.S. computer production began to fall during the Great Recession. In semiconductors, output has grown slightly, but has been far outpaced by most East Asian countries. Meanwhile, trade deficits in these areas have been climbing. ..."
"... He cites Sematech, a government-led consortium that tried to help the U.S. retain its lead in semiconductor manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s, as a successful example of high-tech industrial policy. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. , March 28, 2017 at 10:23 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-28/staying-rich-without-manufacturing-will-be-hard

ECONOMICS

Staying Rich Without Manufacturing Will Be Hard
MARCH 28, 2017 8:00 AM EDT

Discussions about manufacturing tend to get very contentious. Many economists and commentators believe that there's nothing inherently special about making things and that efforts to restore U.S. manufacturing to its former glory reek of industrial policy, protectionism, mercantilism and antiquated thinking.

But in their eagerness to guard against the return of these ideas, manufacturing's detractors often overstate their case. Manufacturing is in bigger trouble than the conventional wisdom would have you believe.

One common assertion is that while manufacturing jobs have declined, output has actually risen. But this piece of conventional wisdom is now outdated. U.S. manufacturing output is almost exactly the same as it was just before the financial crisis of 2008:

[chart]

In the 1990s, it really was true that manufacturing production was booming even though employment in the sector was falling. During that decade, output rose by almost half. That's almost a 4 percent annualized growth rate. The expansion of the early 2000s, in contrast, saw manufacturing increase by only about 15 percent peak-to-peak over eight years -- less than a 2 percent annual growth rate. And in the eight years between 2008 and 2016, the growth rate has averaged zero.

But even this may overstate U.S. manufacturing's performance. An alternative measure, called industrial production, shows an outright decrease from a decade ago:

[chart]

So it isn't just manufacturing employment and the sector's share of gross domestic product that are hurting in the U.S. It's total output. The U.S. doesn't really make more stuff than it used to.

What's more, the overall numbers hide serious declines in most areas of manufacturing. A 2013 paper by Susan Houseman, Timothy Bartik and Timothy Sturgeon found that strong growth in computer-related manufacturing obscured a decline in almost all other areas. "In most of manufacturing," they write, "real GDP growth has been weak or negative and productivity growth modest."

And, more troubling, the U.S. is now losing computer manufacturing. Houseman et al. show that U.S. computer production began to fall during the Great Recession. In semiconductors, output has grown slightly, but has been far outpaced by most East Asian countries. Meanwhile, trade deficits in these areas have been climbing.

In other words, Asia is still solidifying its place as the workshop of the world, while the U.S. de-industrializes. The 1990s provided a brief respite from this trend, as new industries arose to replace the ones that had been lost. But the years since the turn of the century have reversed this short renaissance, and manufacturing is once more migrating overseas.

Manufacturing skeptics often draw parallels to what happened to agriculture in the Industrial Revolution. But the two situations aren't analogous. In the 20th century, U.S. agricultural output soared even as it shed jobs and shrank as a percent of GDP. Machines replaced most human farmers, but the total value of U.S. crops kept climbing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. to this day runs a trade surplus in agriculture even as it runs a huge deficit in manufactured products. America pays for computers and cars and phones with soybeans and corn and beef.

So U.S. manufacturing is hurting in ways that U.S. agriculture never did. The common refrain that the modern shift to services parallels the earlier shift to industry might turn out to be true, but the parallels are not encouraging.

Faced with this evidence, many skeptics will question why the sector is important at all. Why should a country specialize in making things, when it can instead specialize in designing, marketing and financing the making of things?

This is a legitimate question, but there are reasons to think a successful developed nation still needs a healthy manufacturing sector. Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government economist Ricardo Hausmann believes that a country's economic development depends crucially on where it lies in the so-called product space. If a country makes complex products that are linked to many other industries -- such as computers, cars and chemicals -- it will be rich. But if it makes simple products that don't have much of a supply chain -- soybeans or oil -- it will stay poor. In the past, the U.S. was very successful at positioning itself at the top of the global value chain. But with manufacturing's decline, the rise of finance, real estate and other orphaned service industries may not be enough to keep the country rich in the long run.

More top economists are starting to come around to the view that manufacturing is important. Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor, in a recent phone conversation, told me he now believes that the U.S. should focus more on industrial policy designed to keep cutting-edge manufacturing industries in the country. He cites Sematech, a government-led consortium that tried to help the U.S. retain its lead in semiconductor manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s, as a successful example of high-tech industrial policy.

The stellar performance of semiconductor manufacturing in the 1990s and 2000s relative to other industries in the sector, as reported by Houseman et al., seems like something the U.S. should aim to emulate with next-generation industries.

So U.S. leaders should listen to manufacturing skeptics a little bit less, and pay more attention to those who say the sector is crucial. It's worth noting that President Donald Trump, who was elected on a promise to restore American manufacturing, has shown more interest in cutting government programs designed to give industry a helping hand. If there's going to be a U.S. industrial policy renaissance, it might not be his administration that leads it.

Paine -> Peter K.... , March 28, 2017 at 01:17 PM
The Larry summers fantasy

Large creative and scientific communities located here in the global hub. Can provide vast IP income

And there's lays good old fashion capital

Not to mention direct Yankee expropriating gainful investment in comparatively cheap foreign resources and labor


Not to mention direct Yankee expropriatingly gainful investment
in comparatively cheap
foreign resources and labor

[Mar 17, 2017] Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne -> anne... March 17, 2017 at 06:41 AM , 2017 at 06:41 AM
http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

October, 2016

Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer
By Dean Baker

The Old Technology and Inequality Scam: The Story of Patents and Copyrights

One of the amazing lines often repeated by people in policy debates is that, as a result of technology, we are seeing income redistributed from people who work for a living to the people who own the technology. While the redistribution part of the story may be mostly true, the problem is that the technology does not determine who "o