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Neoliberal "New Class" (aka Creative Class) as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust  Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Animal Farm
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Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Machiavellism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

In the Soviet system a group of managers, government officials and  and party bureaucrats (some 1.5 percent of the population) were engaged in political maneuvering among themselves while maintaining total control, as a privileged class, over the rest of population.  They were new aristocracy and the status was transferred to their children.

The same phenomenon can be observed under neoliberalism under the name of the New Class. the New Class (lawyers, various professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades.

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.

Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

 

Neoliberal nomenklatura ("new class") shares with Soviet nomenklatura two features:

Formation of the elite is inevitable process in any society. Human collectivities seem naturally to divide into leaders and the led, and this has been the case throughout all of human history. Indeed, it is also true of most animals that live and travel in groups. Collective action, of men or animals, requires focus if it is not to be simply random and incoherent, and so the most elemental function of leadership is to coordinate in some way the individual actions of group members so that they are directed to the same end.

But hierarchy can become unstable if  wealth disparity became the hot issue. It looks like neoliberal hierarchy that currently exists is an unstable one (The explosive mixture of middle-class shrinking and dual economy in the West )

As mentioned in previous article , the target of the middle class extinction in the West is to restrict the level of wages in developing economies and prevent current model to be expanded in those countries. The global economic elite is aiming now to create a more simple model which will be consisted basically of three main levels.

The 1% holding the biggest part of the global wealth, will lie, as always, at the top of the pyramid. In the current phase, frequent and successive economic crises, not only assist on the destruction of social state and uncontrolled massive privatizations, but also, on the elimination of the big competitors.

In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automation of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs.

The base of the pyramid will be consisted by the majority of workers in global level, with restricted wages, zero labor rights, and nearly zero opportunities for activities other than consumption.

This type of dual economy with the rapid extinction of middle class may bring dangerous instability because of the vast vacuum created between the elites and the masses. That's why the experiment is implemented in Greece, so that the new conditions to be tested. The last seven years, almost every practice was tested: psychological warfare, uninterrupted propaganda, financial coups, permanent threat for a sudden death of the economy, suppression measures, in order to keep the masses subservient, accepting the new conditions.

At this elemental level, strength and cunning are what set leaders apart from the masses of the led. Authority--the right to lead--is always gained through some type of intramural competition that tests these qualities--often in the past an actual fight. The desire to dominate, and the expectation of the rewards that accompany domination, presumably are what motivate individuals to enter this competition.

Competition for preeminence in all areas of endeavor is characteristic of human societies. The possession of some characteristic highly valued by the community, then, defines elite status. Elites are those who have the most of what there is to have. Artistic elites, thus, are those possessing the greatest artistic gifts and skills, and political elites are those having the most political power. This is essentially Gaetano Mosca's definition of the elite -- a minority set off from the masses by the possession of some prized quality

Although leadership by elites and the moral justification for it no doubt predated written human history, the philosophical origins of the Western tradition of elitism lies with the Greeks, ironically also the authors of democracy. Plato put forth an unabashed apology for political rule by intellectual elites.

Speaking still of elites in general, rather than political elites specifically, I propose that there are three characteristics of elites: exclusivity, superiority, and domination.

The larger argument that Keller is making is that there is not a ruling class, at least in industrial societies. Such societies are so differentiated, and there are so many areas of human activity, that no one particular social group can dominate every aspect. Life has become highly compartmentalized in modern societies, and as a result there are many "strategic elites" that dominate different areas of life in modern societies.

A political elite, then, is a group that dominates the political life of a society, is superior in political skills (keeping in mind that the types of skills valuable for politics vary and can include duplicity and murderousness as well as rhetorical skill and persuasiveness), and insulated from everyday contact with the larger society. A considerable literature exists around the problem of defining the boundaries of the political elite, drawing the line between the elite and the non-elite, and distinguishing among elites and leaders.5

Without gainsaying that precision is important, there must be a point beyond which the search for precision is simply carried too far, in endless and irritating rumination over defining leadership, for example. In general, political science is more parsimonious than sociology, or at least that sociological literature dealing with elites. Sociological literature chews up and analyzes and overanalyzes minute concepts--in meticulous definition of what constitutes a "role," for example. 

Nietzsche's idea of the Ubermentsch as precursor of the concept of Creative class

Nietzsche's idea of the Ubermentsch as precursor of the concept of Creative class  

Nietzsche's idea of "the Ubermentsch" (Ubermensch) is one of the most significant concept in his thinking. Even though it is mentioned very briefly only in the prologue of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, it might be sensible to conceive that Nietzsche had something in his mind about how a man should be more than just human-all-too-human, regardless if he was one or not. All these ideas had been pondered on and developed though all his works. The concept then seems to reveal much about the way Nietzsche saw life. This essay will attempt on seeing through, as much as possible, the idea of Ubermentsch by Nietzsche and life from the point of view of an Ubermentsch.

An Ubermentsch as described by Zarathustra, the main character in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is the one who is willing to risk all for the sake of enhancement of humanity. In contrary to the 'last man' whose sole desire is his own comfort and is incapable of creating anything beyond oneself in any form. This should suggest that an Ubermentsch is someone who can establish his own values as the world in which others live their lives, often unaware that they are not pregiven. This means an Ubermentsch can affect and influence the lives of others. In other words, an Ubermentsch has his own values, independent of others, which affects and dominates others' lives that may not have predetermined values but only herd instinct. An Ubermentsch is then someone who has a life which is not merely to live each day with no meanings when nothing in the past and future is more important than the present, or more precisely, the pleasure and happiness in the present, but with the purpose for humanity.

In Nietzsche's view, an Ubermentsch should be able to affect history indefinitely. He will keep reentering the world through other people's minds and affect their thoughts and values. Napolean who is highly admired by Nietzsche may be seen as an example here since he changed and created orders in Europe. What he did effects greatly in how Europe is today. This idea agrees with another of his most significant idea, the idea of the will-to-power. He asserts that life is the will-to-power. Although it is hard to say exactly what he meant by that term, it can be described as something, which underlies how human thinks, behaves and acts in all circumstances. He views that a human being is always in a constant struggle to quench his own desire. This is shown in the context of power used to exclude desires of others that is in conflict to his, power that is used to achieve what they desire. A living thing always seeks to discharge its strength, not only to survive but to power and this sometimes results in violent behaviour which is, allegedly by Nietzshce, intrinsic to the nature of men. However, the way to will can be different, constructive or destructive. My interpretation would then be that an Ubermentsch uses the will-to-power to influence and dominate the thoughts of others creatively from generation to generation. In this way, his existence and power live on even after he dies.'

Nietzsche also has the answer to life that seems suffering. His answer, which is expressed in the same book of Zarathustra, is an attitude towards life that helps one overcome the feeling of its meaninglessness. It starts with the idea that life is an eternal recurrence with no beginning and no end but a repetition of the very same life over and over again. With all sufferings, unhappiness and misdeeds in life, one may feel cursed and despaired if he inevitably were to repeat the same life with the same pain and joy. However, the most important point may not be whether life is really an eternal recurrence. Rather, although not explicitly stated, the important point is that an Ubermentsch should view it differently such that in the very same life, there has been a moment that it redeems everything else. It then makes him content with and happy to repeat that very same life again and again. He has got the feeling of unity of creation and destruction, good and bad taste of life and is able to say that life is good even it may seem terrible and questionable. He views all the past actions, silly or wise, accidental or achieving, as necessity of becoming himself. Therefore he can redeem himself and thus be willing to repeat the same life again. Some may even say that 'it was' and 'thus I willed it' even though he knows well that one cannot will backward and there are many other limitations in life. It implies that living a life of an Ubermentsch is to live with the knowledge of what has already happened and constant reinterpretation according to it.' Clearly, an Ubermentsch is then someone who can, with appreciation, face life that may seem so suffering and absurd, knowing that the basic conditions of life will not change even when he is in the ideal state of an Ubermentsch.

In a sense, Ubermentsch is about self-overcoming. It involves an attitude towards life when one may feel despaired and feel life is meaningless. It is about the way to deal with 'truth' not in direct manner with straightforward rules as in rationalism, but more like a sensitive mix of trickier indirect approaches. As he compared this with winning a woman's heart, those who approach clumsily and directly will bound to failure and hence left dispirited. When compared to Kantian view of truth, it can be seen that going straight into finding an absolute naked truth may leave one unsastisfied with questions that remain unanswered. Instead, Nietzsche suggested the way to tackle this by going along with it and take it as it is. One will then feel content and happy with the life that may be so questionable.

Another characteristic used to describe an Ubermentsch originated in his earlier work, The Birth of Tragedy. In this book, the notion of Apollonion and Dionysian principles is used with respect to his analysis of the Greek tragedy. They are used to describe two principles men use in thinking which consequently determine actions. Apollonion principle is the principle of light, rationality, order and clear boundaries whereas Dionysian is the principle of the dark, irratioanality, the collapse of order and boundaries. The Apollonion views an individual as separate from other reality and hence can be viewed dispassionately with rationality. On the other hand, the Dionysian views things as a living whole where one is a part of a larger reality. The Apollonion therefore involves no passion or emotion but pure reasons with order whereas the Dionysian is passionate, dynamic and unpredictable. Nietzsche believes that a balance of the two principles is essential in order to have some meanings in life. He seems to be very fond of art and viewed that artistic works, paintings, plays, literature or music exhibit a great deal of Dionysian principle in the form of creativity. In his later work, the importance of the Dionysian principle in living a life with values and meanings is expressed clearly. He views that the highest state attainable by a man can be achieved when life is conceived in terms of the realisation of the Dionysian ideal of the Ubermentsch. That means one must realise and accept his own Dionysian nature and use it appropriately.

From my point of view, Nietzsche must have treated art as something higher than ordinary, mass-conventional logic and rationality such as that in science for he admired creativity and beauty in art above all things. A person who will be viewed by Nietzsche as an Ubermentsch is then more likely to be an artist who uses his Dionysian principle and way of thinking and feeling to create works that carry particular individual's picture or interpretation of the world. His values may or may not be the same as any other but a good artist should be able to combine creativity with his perception of the world and life and express it well in his work. On comparison to Aristotle who views that the most desirable state of a person is a philosopher who contemplates, Nietzsche viewed traditional philosophers during his time as people who did not really affect the real world outside and usually their traditional philosophical works were merely self confession. It can then be seen that his value is highly placed upon the concept of Dionysus and therefore he praised the Greek civilisation where a lot of creativity took place even more than in present society. Nietzsche accepted that Socrates did affect the history greatly, which is the characteristic that Nietzsche valued. However, he blamed Socrates for the western society and culture that emphasised the Apollonion principle too much. Socrates was thought to have gone too far in defending rationality. He even viewed that we could use reasoning in everything so that the nature's flaws can be corrected. It is then what the western dreams of and pursues up until now through science and technology. This is the view that does not accept human limitation, that men are powerless and have no control but always places men on the top of everything. In contrast, Nietzsche views that an Ubermentsch must be able to accept these limitations and can face it in the eternal recurrence. Nietzsche must have felt that the western culture had put less and less significance on artistic creativity and passion that mental and spiritual power which create beauty in life have fewer and fewer places in the modern society.

Emotion is one of the attributes of Dionysus and is also one of the entities which Nietzsche defended. He views that emotion is natural. Its repression or suppression is psychologically disastrous. This also includes sexuality. He attacked Christianity for its traditional value that places bars on emotion and impulse and this is viewed by Nietzsche as self-denying. He disagrees on inhibiting and thwarting human own nature. Rather, an Ubermentsch must accept his own nature and divert the energy of primitive impulses into a culturally, higher or socially more acceptable, activity. This is exactly what should happen to a good artist on creating his work of art. To him, the Dionysian is not completely dark and evil as opposite to the Apollonion which is associated with light and reason. The Dionysian is rather viewed as natural, both good and bad just like any ordinary human being. It is in every human nature. With a right balance with the Apollonion and with the right use, a burst of creativity is the result. However, it is usually the case that when the Apollonion principle mixes the Dionysian, it tends to suppress the Dionysian. As a result, the Dionysian principle is expressed in a destructive way. Basically, an Ubermentsch must be able to control this and divert the Dionysian power into something creative. To Nietzsche, Dionysian is profoundly irrational rather than negatively or stubbornly irrational.

'In the present age where science and rationality are highly valued, I realise that it is hard to accept the negative side of being rational since it seems to be the most reliable tool in treating others, living together and judging. Without it, society can be chaotic and too much disordered for no control is imposed on the irrational ones who do not use the Dionysian principle in a productive way. However, I agree with Nietzsche in the beauty of the product created out of Dionysian principle and feel that the right mix of Apollonion and Dionysian will make the world much nobler, not in the luxurious sense but aesthetic one. The world with no passion and emotion will be an unnatural one and this special property, among others, of human that differs from other animals will be lost.''''''

Nietzsche might or might not consider himself an Ubermentsch but he surely determined to be a means or bridge who brings closer to reality an emergence of an Ubermentsch. In his view, men are not born equal. He always stresses on the difference of men and hence in contrast to Marx who includes everyone into his ideal society. For Nietzsche, there are only some capable and talented who qualifies to be an Ubermentsch from his point of view. Therefore, he is usually perceived superficially as an elitist which might have brought down the value of his thinking. To me, it is a fact that is hard to swallow for all of us and quite sceptical on the ability of men. However, it is the case, at least throughout the history of mankind up to the present, for men are educated differently and experience different things. Nevertheless, Nietzsche's thinking provides some space for this. He says that his ideal is not necessarily everyone's universal ideal. Each of us values things differently and therefore his Ubermentsch may not be the same as others' Ubermentsch. He consequently urges for revaluation of traditional values such as, the supression of emotion, the wholeheartedly devoted rationalism. An Ubermentsch, in his view, should not be restricted by tradition nor bounded by convention but has independent values of his own.'''''''

From all that is shown above, we may say that Nietzsche's Ubermentsch must be able to affect history indefinitely, conceives life in terms of Dionysian realisation and is able to divert Dionysian principle into something creative. With this kind of attitude and the realisation of his own limitation in life, he would then be able to face life, look back with satisfaction, realising that all pasts make him what he is today, and hence feel happy if he were to repeat that very same life eternally. An Ubermentsch should then be content with his own life and appreciate every bit of it even though some of them are painful and suffering. He spends each day of his life creating beauty, which affects the minds of others through out the time, knowing that his life has values and meanings since his existence of will-to-power will live on indefinitely.'

References

  1. The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, ed. B.Magnus and K.M.Higgins, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  2. Nietzsche, Life As Literature, Alexander Nehamas, Havard University Press,1994.
  3. Nietzsche for Beginners, M.Sautet, Writers and readers, 1990.
  4. Nietzsche:A Critical Reader.
  5. Philosophy II lecture handouts.

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[Aug 19, 2019] Does insanity of Maher reflects insanity of the US neoliberal elite as a whole

Aug 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Whoa Molly! , July 28, 2018 at 7:31 am

Maher comes across as literally unhinged. Insane.

As James Howard Kunstler said recently, " I think that the thinking class in the United States has literally lost its mind. Donald Trump's persona is so odious that it's just driven them mad and he's like a giant splinter in the eye of the thinking class ."

I don't get it. Either Maher is part of the thinking class that has lost it's mind, or he's a destructive, cynical (familyblog) who is deliberately inflaming his 'Liberal Goodthinking' audience and gaslighting Wilkerson.

The LIberal Goodthinkers have gone so crazy they are making Trump look good.

Dangerous times.

PS: Thanks for term "Liberal Goodthinkers". Pretty good.

juliania , July 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

It's the thinking class versus the deplorables. And the former is enabling the latter in no uncertain terms. This period of lunacy won't be forgotten come voting time. Whereas, had the dems gracefully accepted defeat and concentrated on real issues that concern us all, they might have had a shot at the midterm merrygoround. Instead, they chose to keep the failed slurs of the last campaign a topic of conversation all the way through, as in fact the term 'transition' on these boards does as well. Transition = transitory.

Something is making Trump a very viable stayer through these turbulent times, and the minefield that these people have turned being President into is a sad commentary on the state of our union. But like the sanctions that are unthinkingly dispersed hither and yon, the blowback can be supercharged, and I can't think of more worthy recipients.

Damson , July 29, 2018 at 10:43 am

The Chattering Class is the UK term.. 'Thinking' is rather too generous for the mind-drool exemplified by Maher and his ilk

NotTimothyGeithner , July 28, 2018 at 9:09 am

Maher was a long time libertarian, and with the rightward shift of Team Blue and medical Marijuana (after all we still need to arrest minorities), Bill became a "liberal" type. He's still the same POS he was in the 90's.

Ur-Blintz , July 28, 2018 at 10:03 am

Bingo! How he ever fooled anyone into thinking he was less than a narcissistic, libertarian. money grubbing sociopath is beyond me. First time I saw him, way back when, he was railing against Social Security and he is perhaps most responsible for making a celebrity out of Arianna Huffington, giving her a nationwide pulpit on his original show when she was repulsively right-wing.

[Aug 16, 2019] This Is How Epstein Manipulated Vulnerable Young Girls (And How You Can Protect Your Children From Predators)

Aug 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

This Is How Epstein Manipulated Vulnerable Young Girls (And How You Can Protect Your Children From Predators)

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/16/2019 - 18:25 0 SHARES

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

This article contains content that some may find distressing.

Jeffrey Epstein "was" apparently a serial molester of children. He had manipulation down to an art form, as many molesters do. He seemed to be an expert at figuring out a girl's weak point, whether it was poverty, a deceased family member, or feeling alienated from her peers.

This is a common ploy. Many molesters seek out children or teens who have lost a parent and use this as a way to build a friendship. Then, because children don't think like adults, they are manipulated, coerced, or threatened into sexual activity.

The story below could be told a hundred thousand times with only tiny changes. The names and the faces would be different. The settings might not be a mansion in Manhattan or in Palm Beach but rather a quiet part of a church, a school, or some kind of activity for teens. The setting could be in the house next door to you, where someone with evil intent befriends a vulnerable young person with the stated goal of helping them, but an end result that couldn't be further from reality.

How 14-year-old Jennifer Araoz met Jeffrey Epstein

Jennifer Araoz was 14 years old when she first met her future rapist, Jeffrey Epstein. She wrote about how she was manipulated, first by his recruiter, then by Epstein himself. There are many powerful lessons that we as parents can learn from her story.

During my freshman year, one of Epstein's recruiters, a stranger, approached me on the sidewalk outside my high school. Epstein never operated alone. He had a ring of enablers and surrounded himself with influential people. I was attending a performing arts school on the Upper East Side, studying musical theater. I wanted to be an actress and a singer. ( source )

Another report based on court documents says that the recruiter befriended Jennifer, took her out to eat after school a few times, and learned more about her, such as the fact that Jennifer's father had died from an AIDs-related illness and her family could barely scrape by financially.

The recruiter told me about a wealthy man she knew named Jeffrey Epstein. Meeting him would be beneficial, and he could introduce me to the right people for my career, she said. When I confided that I had recently lost my father and that my family was living on food stamps, she told me he was very caring and wanted to help us financially. ( source )

The recruiter finally got Jennifer to go with her to meet Epstein. Court documents say that they all three met together for the first month or so.

The visits during the first month felt benign, at least at the time. On my second visit, Epstein also gave me a digital camera as a gift. The visits were about one to two hours long and we would spend the time talking. After each visit, he or his secretary would hand me $300 in cash, supposedly to help my family. ( source )

Epstein claimed he was 'a big AIDS activist' which you can imagine would mean a lot to a 14-year-old whose father died of the disease.

Soon the visits would take a dark turn.

By the second month of Jennifer's visits to the mansion, the recruiter no longer attended the visits., the manipulation began in earnest.

But within about a month, he started asking me for massages and instructed me to take my top off. He said he would need to see my body if he was going to help me break into modeling. I felt uncomfortable and intimidated, but I did as he said. The assault escalated when, during these massages, he would flip over and sexually gratify himself and touch me inappropriately. For a little over a year, I went to Epstein's home once or twice a week.

After that day, I never went back. I also quit the performing arts school -- the one I had auditioned for and had wanted so badly to attend. It was too close to his house, the scene of so many crimes. I was too scared I would see him or his recruiter. So I transferred to another school in Queens close to my home. Since I was no longer able to pursue my dream of performing arts I eventually lost interest and dropped out. ( source )

Sure, we can say that she knew things weren't right when he asked her to take her top off. By this point, she was 15 years old. Old enough to know right from wrong. But if she was getting $300 twice a week and helping her family with it, it's pretty easy to see how she would want to continue helping her family despite her discomfort. Epstein knew exactly what he was doing.

Epstein's wealth, power, and connections would have made going against him seem like an insurmountable feat for a vulnerable 15-year-old girl who had recently lost her father. Who would have believed her word against that of this presumed philanthropist?

A few days ago, Jennifer, now 32, filed a massive lawsuit against Epstein's estate, Ghislaine Maxwell, and 3 members of Epstein's household staff. The complaint alleges that Maxwell and the staff "conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of Plaintiff."

Some of Epstein's victims recruited new girls for him.

Epstein's indictment explains how he manipulated some of the girls he sexually abused to bring other girls to him.

Prosecutors say he lured underage girls, some as young as 14, to his residences, promising them a cash payment in exchange for giving him a massage. Instead, he would sexually abuse them -- groping them, making them touch him while he masturbated, and using sex toys on the minors. Then, he would allegedly ask them to recruit other girls. ( source )

A detailed report in the Miami Herald referred to it as a "sexual pyramid scheme." One of Epstein's accusers, Courtney Wild, reiterates the theme of the story told by Jennifer Boaz.

"Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right,'' said Courtney Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein. ( source )

Courtney's time spent with Epstein nearly destroyed her.

Before she met Epstein, Courtney Wild was captain of the cheerleading squad, first trumpet in the band and an A-student at Lake Worth Middle School.

After she met Epstein, she was a stripper, a drug addict and an inmate at Gadsden Correctional Institution in Florida's Panhandle.

Wild still had braces on her teeth when she was introduced to him in 2002 at the age of 14.

She was fair, petite and slender, blonde and blue-eyed. ( source )

She began to recruit other girls for him in Palm Beach.

Wild said Epstein preferred girls who were white, appeared prepubescent and those who were easy to manipulate into going further each time

"By the time I was 16, I had probably brought him 70 to 80 girls who were all 14 and 15 years old. He was involved in my life for years," said Wild, who was released from prison in October after serving three years on drug charges.

The girls -- mostly 13 to 16 -- were lured to his pink waterfront mansion by Wild and other girls, who went to malls, house parties and other places where girls congregated, and told recruits that they could earn $200 to $300 to give a man -- Epstein -- a massage, according to an unredacted copy of the Palm Beach police investigation obtained by the Herald. ( source )

Epstein had it down to an art form.

Palm Beach police detective Joseph Recarey explains how Epstein insinuated himself into the girls' lives.

"The common interview with a girl went like this: 'I was brought there by so and so. I didn't feel comfortable with what happened, but I got paid well, so I was told if I didn't feel comfortable, I could bring someone else and still get paid,' '' Recarey said.

During the massage sessions, Recarey said Epstein would molest the girls, paying them premiums for engaging in oral sex and intercourse, and offering them a further bounty to find him more girls

Epstein could be a generous benefactor, Recarey said, buying his favored girls gifts. He might rent a car for a young girl to make it more convenient for her to stop by and cater to him. Once, he sent a bucket of roses to the local high school after one of his girls starred in a stage production. The floral-delivery instructions and a report card for one of the girls were discovered in a search of his mansion and trash. Police also obtained receipts for the rental cars and gifts, Recarey said.

Epstein counseled the girls about their schooling, and told them he would help them get into college, modeling school, fashion design or acting. At least two of Epstein's victims told police that they were in love with him, according to the police report. ( source )

You may look at these stories and scorn the victims. After all, they kept going back, didn't they? They liked the money, didn't they?

But they were children. Many of them were isolated, vulnerable, and without support systems. Many of them felt ashamed but didn't know how to extricate themselves. They were confused and scared, and Epstein was a pro at taking advantage of these emotions and doubts.

The girls are not to blame here. The adults are.

Epstein is not the only predator out there.

While this article focuses on how Epstein was able to lure so many victims, as Dagny Taggert recently wrote , there are many more people in power out there preying on children. Clergy, priests, teachers, neighbors, musicians, and random people on the internet are out there preying on and trafficking children.

Dagny wrote:

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime , the prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. Experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.

Statistics below represent some of the research done on child sexual abuse.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (page 24).

Studies by David Finkelhor , Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center , show that:

According to Darkness to Light , a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse, only about one-third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified, and even fewer are reported .

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the CyberTipline , a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation.

In 2018 the CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports, most of which related to:

Since its inception, the CyberTipline has received more than 48 million reports.

Those statistics are grim. ( source )

How do you keep your children safe?

When my children's father passed away, it wasn't too long afterward that I left my corporate job. I volunteered when the company began layoffs and took a small payment and my retirement fund to start a new life writing freelance. It wasn't long after that when I started this website.

I wanted to be home when they got back from school every day. I didn't want them to seem like prey to those looking for children with weak support systems. My own daughters could so easily have had a story like the one Jennifer has told.

I know that what I did is not possible for every family that suffers a loss. I was pretty fortunate to be able to find work from home that paid enough to allow me to be there.

What you, as a parent, must understand are the things that make your child seem vulnerable.

Some signs that your child could be getting abused or groomed.

Obviously, these lists are not comprehensive, nor are they sure signs of abuse. What teenager doesn't seem angry and withdrawn from time to time? But it's vital, no matter how hard they push you away, to stay involved, particularly after a traumatic event.

Here are some resources you may find helpful.

Teach your kids that some secrets should not be kept.

Predators manipulate children in all sorts of ways. One of the biggest ways is warning them to keep their "relationship" a secret or else.

Or else what?

Predators often put a burden on a child where they feel as though they must stay silent to protect the people they love.

Kids need to know that if anyone threatens them if they tell a secret, then they absolutely must tell that secret. Mom and Dad will be safe and will protect them. People who ask children to keep their presence in their lives a secret are never to be trusted.

And finally, make sure your children know that whatever they tell you, you will believe them and you know it's not their fault.

[Aug 15, 2019] Why the Rich Want to Bury Bernie, the Not-Really-Socialist

Notable quotes:
"... The reason the ruler's have decreed 'anybody but Bernie' is that Sanders' (and to a lesser perceived degree, Warren's) campaign proposals challenge the austerity regime that has been relentlessly erected since the 1970s precisely to set American workers and the whole capitalist world on a Race to the Bottom, in which each year brings lower living standards and more insecurity to the population at large. ..."
"... The obscene increases in wealth inequality are the desired result and true essence of austerity. ..."
"... "the top one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of the population -- households making $2.757 million a year -- now number almost 200,000 families, a cohort big enough to create and inhabit a large and coherent social world of its own. ..."
Aug 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sanders (D)(1): "Why the Rich Want to Bury Bernie, the Not-Really-Socialist" [Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report (CI)]. Really excellent.

Here's "why":

"The reason the ruler's have decreed 'anybody but Bernie' is that Sanders' (and to a lesser perceived degree, Warren's) campaign proposals challenge the austerity regime that has been relentlessly erected since the 1970s precisely to set American workers and the whole capitalist world on a Race to the Bottom, in which each year brings lower living standards and more insecurity to the population at large.

The obscene increases in wealth inequality are the desired result and true essence of austerity."

There's much more, but this on local oligarchies is important: "the top one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of the population -- households making $2.757 million a year -- now number almost 200,000 families, a cohort big enough to create and inhabit a large and coherent social world of its own.

From their rich enclaves in every state of the country, this formidable "base" of truly wealthy folks effectively dictate the politics of their regions for the benefit of themselves and the oligarchs at the top of the pyramid. "

[Aug 13, 2019] No, technology does not generate inequality. Our policy on technology generates inequality. We have rules (patent and copyright monopolies) that allow people to own technology.

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Gates is incredibly rich because the government will arrest anyone who mass produces copies of Microsoft software without his permission. If anyone could freely reproduce Windows and other software, without even sending a thank you note, Bill Gates would still be working for a living. ..."
"... The same applies to prescription drugs, medical equipment, and other tech sectors where some people are getting very rich. In all of these cases, these items would be cheap without patent, copyrights, or related monopolies, and no one would be getting hugely rich. ..."
"... Specifically, patents and copyrights give their holders monopolies on technology or creative work for their duration. If we are concerned that money is going from ordinary workers to people who hold patents and copyrights, then one policy we may want to consider is shortening and weakening these monopolies. But policy has gone sharply in the opposite direction over the last four decades, as a wide variety of measures have been put into law that make these protections longer and stronger. Thus, the redistribution from people who work to people who own the technology should not be surprising -- that was the purpose of the policy. ..."
Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 12, 2019 at 10:57 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/yet-another-new-york-times-column-gets-the-story-on-automation-and-inequality-completely-wrong

August 12, 2019

Yet Another New York Times Column Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
By Dean Baker

I am a big fan of expanding the welfare state but I am also a big fan of reality-based analysis. For this reason, it's hard not to be upset over yet another column * telling us that the robots are taking all the jobs and that this will lead to massive inequality.

The first part is more than a little annoying just because it is so completely and unambiguously at odds with reality. Productivity growth, which is the measure of the rate at which robots and other technologies are taking jobs, has been extremely slow in recent years. It has averaged just 1.3 percent annually since 2005. That compares to an annual rate of 3.0 percent from 1995 to 2005 and in the long Golden Age from 1947 to 1973.

In addition, all the official projections from places like the Congressional Budget Office and Social Security Administration assume that productivity growth will remain slow. That could prove wrong, but the people projecting a massive pick up of productivity growth are certainly against the tide here.

But the other part of the story is even more annoying. No, technology does not generate inequality. Our policy on technology generates inequality. We have rules (patent and copyright monopolies) that allow people to own technology.

Bill Gates is incredibly rich because the government will arrest anyone who mass produces copies of Microsoft software without his permission. If anyone could freely reproduce Windows and other software, without even sending a thank you note, Bill Gates would still be working for a living.

The same applies to prescription drugs, medical equipment, and other tech sectors where some people are getting very rich. In all of these cases, these items would be cheap without patent, copyrights, or related monopolies, and no one would be getting hugely rich.

At this point, there are undoubtedly people jumping up and down yelling "without patent and copyright monopolies people would have no incentive to innovate." This yelling is very helpful in making the point. If we have structured these incentives in ways that lead to great inequality and not very much innovation (as measured by productivity growth) then we should probably be looking to alter our structure of incentives. (Yes this is the topic of Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer - it's free. * )

In any case, this is the point. The inequality that results from technology is the result of our policies on technology, not the technology itself. Maybe one day the New York Times will allow a columnist to state this obvious truth in its opinion section.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/opinion/ubi-automation-ai.html

** https://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

anne , August 12, 2019 at 11:01 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 "owns" the technology. The people who write the laws determine who owns the technology.

Specifically, patents and copyrights give their holders monopolies on technology or creative work for their duration. If we are concerned that money is going from ordinary workers to people who hold patents and copyrights, then one policy we may want to consider is shortening and weakening these monopolies. But policy has gone sharply in the opposite direction over the last four decades, as a wide variety of measures have been put into law that make these protections longer and stronger. Thus, the redistribution from people who work to people who own the technology should not be surprising -- that was the purpose of the policy.

If stronger rules on patents and copyrights produced economic dividends in the form of more innovation and more creative output, then this upward redistribution might be justified. But the evidence doesn't indicate there has been any noticeable growth dividend associated with this upward redistribution. In fact, stronger patent protection seems to be associated with slower growth.

Before directly considering the case, it is worth thinking for a minute about what the world might look like if we had alternative mechanisms to patents and copyrights, so that the items now subject to these monopolies could be sold in a free market just like paper cups and shovels.

The biggest impact would be in prescription drugs. The breakthrough drugs for cancer, hepatitis C, and other diseases, which now sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, would instead sell for a few hundred dollars. No one would have to struggle to get their insurer to pay for drugs or scrape together the money from friends and family. Almost every drug would be well within an affordable price range for a middle-class family, and covering the cost for poorer families could be easily managed by governments and aid agencies.

The same would be the case with various medical tests and treatments. Doctors would not have to struggle with a decision about whether to prescribe an expensive scan, which might be the best way to detect a cancerous growth or other health issue, or to rely on cheaper but less reliable technology. In the absence of patent protection even the most cutting edge scans would be reasonably priced.

Health care is not the only area that would be transformed by a free market in technology and creative work. Imagine that all the textbooks needed by college students could be downloaded at no cost over the web and printed out for the price of the paper. Suppose that a vast amount of new books, recorded music, and movies was freely available on the web.

People or companies who create and innovate deserve to be compensated, but there is little reason to believe that the current system of patent and copyright monopolies is the best way to support their work. It's not surprising that the people who benefit from the current system are reluctant to have the efficiency of patents and copyrights become a topic for public debate, but those who are serious about inequality have no choice. These forms of property claims have been important drivers of inequality in the last four decades.

The explicit assumption behind the steps over the last four decades to increase the strength and duration of patent and copyright protection is that the higher prices resulting from increased protection will be more than offset by an increased incentive for innovation and creative work. Patent and copyright protection should be understood as being like very large tariffs. These protections can often the raise the price of protected items by several multiples of the free market price, making them comparable to tariffs of several hundred or even several thousand percent. The resulting economic distortions are comparable to what they would be if we imposed tariffs of this magnitude.

The justification for granting these monopoly protections is that the increased innovation and creative work that is produced as a result of these incentives exceeds the economic costs from patent and copyright monopolies. However, there is remarkably little evidence to support this assumption. While the cost of patent and copyright protection in higher prices is apparent, even if not well-measured, there is little evidence of a substantial payoff in the form of a more rapid pace of innovation or more and better creative work....

[Aug 04, 2019] We see that the neoliberal utopia tends imposes itself even upon the rulers.

Highly recommended!
Aug 04, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Thus we see how the neoliberal utopia tends to embody itself in the reality of a kind of infernal machine, whose necessity imposes itself even upon the rulers. Like the Marxism of an earlier time, with which, in this regard, it has much in common, this utopia evokes powerful belief - the free trade faith - not only among those who live off it, such as financiers, the owners and managers of large corporations, etc., but also among those, such as high-level government officials and politicians, who derive their justification for existing from it.

For they sanctify the power of markets in the name of economic efficiency, which requires the elimination of administrative or political barriers capable of inconveniencing the owners of capital in their individual quest for the maximisation of individual profit, which has been turned into a model of rationality. They want independent central banks.

And they preach the subordination of nation-states to the requirements of economic freedom for the masters of the economy, with the suppression of any regulation of any market, beginning with the labour market, the prohibition of deficits and inflation, the general privatisation of public services, and the reduction of public and social expenses."

Pierre Bourdieu, L'essence du néolibéralisme

[Jul 29, 2019] Pizzagate: Do We Know The Full Scope Yet?!

Jul 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

ChanceIs Pinto Currency Feb 19, 2017 4:24 PM I think that PizzaGate is for real. I will take the "safer" position that there is reason for investigation, but there is nothing which John Q Public can observe that makes a very firm case for prosecution (of John Podesta). Dave Seaman gives a "credible" update on PizzaGate evert few days. This from Sunday afternoon, Feb 19:

Pizzagate: Do We Know The Full Scope Yet?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnyh1d_2KnQ sleigher Pinto Currency Feb 19, 2017 5:22 PM "When they start arresting the pedophiles in Congress, the voting balance will change for Trump."

Looks like it is starting... Just not Congress yet

http://www.neonnettle.com/features/738-pedogate-high-profile-pedophiles-... Chris Dakota Pinto Currency Feb 19, 2017 5:55 PM FBI insider arrests coming this week.

At least 30 in congress for pedogate. Wahooo ronaldwilsonreagan Feb 19, 2017 1:04 PM No fan of Drumpf's bi-polar behavior but it pales in comparison to obama's clear insanity. We actually had a president who bragged he was good at killing people. That's as insane as it comes. DownWithYogaPants Wahooo Feb 19, 2017 1:12 PM Any usage of the name "Drumpf" will get you a downvote from me. It's a name. It has no bearing but yet it appears you think it has some sort of magical powers when you use. The fact it was popularized by a weak comedian also brings a ding. vulcanraven DownWithYogaPants Feb 19, 2017 1:54 PM Drumpf=The regressive liberal crybaby callsign

[Jul 29, 2019] American Ron Unz on Pizzagate

Highly recommended!
Jul 29, 2019 | www.unz.com

I don't use Social Media myself, but near the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, I gradually began seeing more and more Trump supporters referring to something called "Pizzagate," a burgeoning sexual scandal that they claimed would bring down Hillary Clinton and many of the top leaders of her party, with the chatter actually increasing after Trump was elected. As near as I could tell, the whole bizarre theory had grown up on the far-right fringe of the Internet, with the utterly fantastical plot having something to do with stolen secret emails, DC pizza parlors, and a ring of pedophiles situated near the top of the Democratic Party. But given all the other strange and unlikely things I'd gradually discovered about our history, it didn't seem like something I could necessarily dismiss out of hand.

At the beginning of December, a right-wing blogger produced a lengthy exposition of the Pizzagate charges, which finally gave me some understanding of what was actually under discussion, and I soon made arrangements to republish his article. It quickly attracted a great deal of interest, and some websites pointed to it as the best single introduction to the scandal for a general audience.

Pizzagate Aedon Cassiel • December 2, 2016 • 3,100 Words

A couple of weeks later, I republished an additional article by the same writer, describing a long list of previous pedophilia scandals that had occurred in elite American and European political circles. Although many of these seemed to be solidly documented, nearly all of them had received minimal coverage by our mainstream media outlets. And if such political pedophile rings had existed in the relatively recent past, was it so totally implausible that there might be another one simmering beneath the surface of today's Washington DC?

Precedents for Pizzagate Aedon Cassiel • December 23, 2016 • 6,200 Words

Those interested in the details of the Pizzagate Hypothesis are advised to read these articles, especially the first one, but I might as well provide a brief summary.

John Podesta had been a longtime fixture in DC political circles, becoming chief of staff to President Bill Clinton in 1998, and afterward remaining one of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party establishment. While serving as as chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, his apparent carelessness with the password security of his Gmail account allowed it to easily be hacked, and tens of thousands of his personal emails were soon published on WikiLeaks. A swarm of young anti-Clinton activists began scouring this treasure-trove of semi-confidential information, seeking evidence of mundane bribery and corruption, but instead they came across some quite odd exchanges, seemingly written in coded language.

Now use of coded language in a supposedly secure private email account raises all sorts of natural suspicions regarding what might have been under discussion, with the most likely possibilities being illegal drugs or sex. But most of the references didn't seem to fit the former category, and in our remarkably libertine era, in which political candidates compete for the right to be Grand Marshal at an annual Gay Pride Parade, one of the few sexual activities still discussed only in whispers would seem to be pedophilia, with some of the very strange remarks possibly hinting at this.

The researchers also soon discovered that his brother Tony Podesta, one of the wealthiest and most successful lobbyists in DC, had extremely odd taste in art. Major items of his very extensive personal collection seemed to represent tortured or murdered bodies, and one of his favorite artists was best known for paintings depicting young children being held captive, lying dead, or suffering under severe distress. Such peculiar artwork obviously isn't illegal, but it might naturally arouse some suspicions. And oddly enough, arch-Democrat Podesta had long been a close personal friend of former Republican Speaker and convicted child-molester Dennis Hastert, welcoming him back into DC society after his release from prison.

Furthermore, some of the rather suspiciously-worded Podesta emails referred to events held at a local DC pizza parlor, greatly favored by the Democratic Party elite, whose owner was the gay former boyfriend of David Brock, a leading Democratic activist. The public Instagram account of that pizza-entrepreneur apparently contained numerous images of young children, sometimes tied or bound, with those images frequently labeled by hashtags using the traditional gay slang for underage sexual targets . Some photos showed the fellow wearing a tee-shirt bearing the statement "I Love Children" in French, and by a very odd coincidence, his possibly assumed name was phonetically identical to that very same French phrase, thus proclaiming to the world that he was "a lover of children." Closely connected Instagram accounts also included pictures of young children, sometimes shown amid piles of high-value currency, with queries about how much those particular children might be worth. None of this seemed illegal, but surely any reasonable person would regard the material as extremely suspicious.

DC is sometimes described as "Powertown," being the seat of the individuals who make America's laws and govern our society, with local political journalists being closely attuned to the relative status of such individuals. And oddly enough, GQ Magazine had ranked that gay pizza parlor owner with a strange focus on young children as being one of the 50 most powerful people in our national capital, placing him far ahead of many Cabinet members, Senators, Congressional Chairmen, Supreme Court justices, and top lobbyists. Was his pizza really that delicious?

These few paragraphs provide merely a sliver of the large quantity of highly-suspicious material surrounding various powerful figures at the apex of the DC political world. A vast cloud of billowing smoke is certainly no proof of any fire, but only a fool would completely ignore it without attempting further investigation.

I usually regard videos as a poor means of imparting serious information, far less effective and meaningful than the simple printed word. But the overwhelming bulk of the evidence supporting the Pizzagate Hypothesis consists of visual images and screen shots, and these are naturally suited to a video presentation.

Some of the best summaries of the Pizzagate case were produced by a young British YouTuber named Tara McCarthy, whose work was published under the name of "Reality Calls," and her videos were viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Although her channel was eventually banned and her videos purged, copies were later reloaded to other accounts, both on YouTube and BitChute. Some of the evidence she presents seemed rather innocuous or speculative to me and other elements were probably based upon her unfamiliarity with American society and culture. But a great deal of extremely suspicious material remains, and I would suggest that people watch the videos and decide for themselves.

Around the same time that I first became familiar with the details of the Pizzagate controversy, the topic also started reaching the pages of my morning newspapers, but in an rather strange manner. Political stories began giving a sentence or two to the "Pizzagate hoax," describing it as a ridiculous right-wing "conspiracy theory" but excluding all relevant details. I had an eery feeling that some unseen hand had suddenly flipped a switch causing the entire mainstream media to begin displaying identical signs declaring "Pizzagate Is False -- Nothing To See There!" in brightly flashing neon. I couldn't recall any previous example of such a strange media reaction to some obscure Internet controversy.

Articles in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times also suddenly appeared denouncing the entirety of the alternative media -- Left, Right, and Libertarian -- as "fake news" websites promoting Russian propaganda , while urging that their content be blocked by all patriotic Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Prior to that moment, I'd never even heard the term "fake news" but suddenly it was ubiquitous across the media, once again almost as if some unseen hand had suddenly flipped a switch.

I naturally began to wonder whether the timing of these two strange developments was entirely coincidental. Perhaps Pizzagate was indeed true and struck so deeply at the core of our hugely corrupted political system that the media efforts to suppress it were approaching the point of hysteria.

Not long afterward, Tara McCarthy's detailed Pizzagate videos were purged from YouTube. This was among the very first instances of video content being banned despite fully conforming to all existing YouTube guidelines, another deeply suspicious development.

I also noticed that mere mention of Pizzagate had become politically lethal. Donald Trump had selected Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his National Security Advisor, and Flynn's son served as the latter's chief of staff. The younger Flynn happened to Tweet out a couple of links to Pizzagate stories, pointing out that the accusations hadn't yet been actually investigated let alone disproven, and very soon afterward, he was purged from the Trump transition team, foreshadowing his father's fall a few weeks later. It seemed astonishing to me that a few simple Tweets about an Internet controversy could have such huge real-life impact near the top of our government.

The media continued its uniform drumbeat of "Pizzagate Has Been Disproven!" but we were never told how or by whom, and I was not the only individual to notice the hollowness of such denunciations. An award-winning investigative journalist named Ben Swann at a CBS station in Atlanta broadcast a short television segment summarizing the Pizzagate controversy and noting that contrary to widespread media claims, Pizzagate had neither been investigated nor debunked. Swann was almost immediately purged by CBS but a copy of his television segment remains available for viewing on the Internet.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-GZFHLAcG8A?feature=oembed

There is an old wartime proverb that enemy flak is always heaviest over the most important target, and the remarkably ferocious wave of attacks and censorship against anyone broaching the subject of Pizzagate seems to raise obvious dark suspicions. Indeed, the simultaneous waves of attacks against all alternative media outlets as "Russian propaganda outlets" laid the basis for the continuing regime of Social Media censorship that has become a central aspect of today's world.

Pizzagate may or may not turn out to be true, but the ongoing Internet crackdown has similarly engulfed topics of a somewhat similar nature but with vastly stronger documentation. Although I don't use Twitter myself, I encountered the obvious implications of this new censorship policy following McCain's death last August. The senator had died on a Saturday afternoon, and readership of Sydney Schanberg's long 2008 expose quickly exploded, with numerous individuals Tweeting out the story and a large fraction of our incoming traffic therefore coming from Twitter. This continued until the following morning, at which point the huge flood of Tweets continued to grow, but all incoming Twitter traffic suddenly and permanently vanished, presumably because "shadow banning" had rendered those Tweets invisible. My own article on McCain's very doubtful war record simultaneously suffered the same fate, as did numerous other articles of a controversial nature that we published later that same week.

Perhaps that censorship decision was made by some ignorant young intern at Twitter, casually choosing to ban as "hate speech" or "fake news" a massively-documented 8,400 word expose by one of America's most distinguished journalists, a Pulitzer-prize winning former top editor at The New York Times .

Or perhaps certain political-puppeteers who had spent decades controlling that late Arizona senator sought to ensure that their political puppet-strings remained invisible even after his death.

[Jul 29, 2019] Longtime NYPD said as a father it was one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

Jul 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Chris Dakota -> Pairadimes Feb 19, 2017 5:54 PM

http://yournewswire.com/district-attorney-obama-treason/

and then kill them all, every damn one of them!

You better be tough to watch this, not for women unless you are like me who will watch it and spread it.

Warning: you can't unwatch this and will need to claim your space after and pray.

This IS John Podesta. This IS what I said was coming to him last summer/fall.

What did I say about this coming eclipse? It is in Pisces, water, water pourer, dams, leaks, secrets and film. Note the color purple which is the Pisces color.

People are saying this is John Podesta torturing a boy in a shower. I had to turn the sound off it was so horrific. This came from Weiners laptop, the cops must be leaking now Life insurance file.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud_TJe0v6IY

John Podesta's voice a match!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=qzRcPK571mI

divingengineer -> Chris Dakota Feb 19, 2017 6:04 PM

Is this what Comey showed the Senate group this week when they came out looking like they were seasick?

Chris Dakota -> divingengineer Feb 19, 2017 6:13 PM

Yes and longtime NYPD said "as a father it was one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen."

because it is evil.

I am thinking it is MKULTRA stuff, designed with strobe light to split the personality. vulcanraven Pinto Currency Feb 19, 2017 1:47 PM I fucking hope so. I just wonder what the hell they are waiting for, but the more I think about it this is the best I can come up with:

If Pedogate is finally blown wide open, it is going to rip a hole through the fabric of reality for the unawashed sheeple. It will also destroy any and all faith in the US government, and full blown chaos will erupt everywhere.

So whoever is holding the goods on PG, also knows that reality hangs in the balance upon opening that can of worms. I also believe when the dam finally does break and people are getting led away in handcuffs on national TV, a large majority of the population will still be in full blown denial... finding any and every reason to somehow blame the scandal on Trump/Russia/The Flying Spaghetti Monster

[Jul 28, 2019] Another Epstein Domino Trump's National Security Advisor tied to Epstein Maxwell Cabal

Notable quotes:
"... Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Robert Maxwell and girlfriend and "Nazi guard" for Epstein"s child sex stable also ran a fake charity closed day ago called Terra Mar. The FBI is now investigating if the charity was used to pay off Epstein/Maxwell child rape victims. ..."
"... The UK Guardian and Transparify.org list the think tank now run by General McMaster and tied to Platero, Maxwell and Epstein as invisibly funded and "deceptive." ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | www.veteranstoday.com

Following the bread crumbs from Epstein has led to a fake charity and from there to General McMaster, former National Security Advisor to Donald Trump, who now heads a reputedly fake London based think tank secretly funded by money laundered through the repressive Bahraini royal family.

But there is more.

Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Robert Maxwell and girlfriend and "Nazi guard" for Epstein"s child sex stable also ran a fake charity closed day ago called Terra Mar. The FBI is now investigating if the charity was used to pay off Epstein/Maxwell child rape victims.

The charity takes us further into Maxwell's den of Mossad partnerships. Most serious of all are those through her lifelong friend Calfo Platero, who ties Epstein and Maxwell to the highly disreputable London based Institute for Strategic Studies. The UK Guardian and Transparify.org list the think tank now run by General McMaster and tied to Platero, Maxwell and Epstein as invisibly funded and "deceptive." However, in 2016, the organization that McMaster joined when he left the Trump White House in 2018 admitted to taking secret funding from the rulers of Bahrain under an agreement that they would keep the funding secret.

Bahrain has been cited with numerous human rights abuses and an attempt to murder an American diplomat and blame it on Iran. Middle East Eye confirmed Bahrain's involvement, a major "revolving door" scandal for a high level Trump appointee.

[Jul 26, 2019] Of Two Minds - Epstein and the Explosive Crisis of the Deep State

Jul 26, 2019 | www.oftwominds.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2344&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oftwominds.com%2Fblogjuly19%2Fcrisis-deep-state7-19.html Epstein and the Explosive Crisis of the Deep State

July 15, 2019

Since the battle is for the legitimacy of the state, it must be waged at least partially in the open.

Speculations by outsiders must give Deep State insiders many opportunities to chuckle, "if only they knew." We don't know, of course, and public leaks are engineered to misdirect our attention from what's actually going on or "frame" our understanding in a positive way.

Decades later, history reveals a very ordinary mix of great successes and horrific failure in secret operations , caused by errors of judgment, faulty intelligence, poor planning and so on. In other words, life isn't tidy, either inside or outside the Deep State.

Nonetheless we can postulate a few things with some certainty. One is that the Deep State-- the unelected, permanent government which includes not just the intelligence community but a vast array of agencies and institutions as well as the top-level structures of diplomacy, finance and geopolitics--is not monolithic. There are different views and competing camps, but the disagreements and bureaucratic wars are kept out of sight.

Two, we know that at critical junctures of history one camp wins the narrative battle and establishes the over-riding direction of state policy. Put another way, one camp's understanding of the era's most pressing problems becomes the consensus, and from then on disagreements are within the broad outlines of the dominant ideology.

The end of World War II was a critical juncture. The proper role of the U.S. in the postwar era was up for grabs, and over the course of a few years, the CIA and other intelligence agencies were established and the doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union became the dominant narrative, a narrative that held with remarkable consistency for four decades until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

This collapse was another critical juncture, and debates over America's role in this "unipolar era" were finally settled in favor of the geopolitical-activist ideology of neoconservatism (Neocons).

This globalist ideology led to a variety of policy disasters and is now discredited in many circles, and has been under attack within the Deep State for some time. This is the divided Deep State I've written about for the past five years.

Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014)

Is the Deep State at War--With Itself? (December 14, 2016)

The failures of Neocon globalism have ushered in another critical juncture. What is America's proper role in a multi-polar world that is fracturing across multiple faultlines? This critical juncture is a manifestation of a broader profound political disunity in America and many other nations.

The corporate media has obligingly portrayed this profound political disunity as a contest between "good globalism" and "bad populism," a clear attempt to smear all those who see the dark side of globalism as a threat to the nation and indeed the world. This bias reflects the continued dominance of the Neocon-globalist camp.

But the cracks are now visible. The mainstream "influential" press has recently been publishing critiques admitting the failures of Neocon globalism and agonizing about how to "save" the globalist agenda despite its failures.

Globalization's Wrong Turn--And How It Hurt America (Foreign Affairs)

I have long held that there is a camp within the Deep State that grasps the end-game of Neocon globalism, and is busy assembling a competing nation-centric strategy. There is tremendous resistance to the abandonment of Neocon globalism, not just from those who see power slipping through their fingers but from all those firmly committed to the hubris of a magical faith in past success as the guarantor of future success.

Michael Grant described this complacent clinging to what's failed in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire , a short book I have been recommending since 2009:

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.

This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance.

This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all.

The faction within the Deep State that no longer accepts traditional fictions is gaining ground, and now another fracture in the Deep State is coming to the fore: the traditionalists who accept the systemic corruption of self-serving elites and those who have finally awakened to the mortal danger to the nation posed by amoral self-serving elites.

The debauchery of morals undermines the legitimacy of the state and thus of the entire power structure. As I recently noted in Following in Rome's Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality (June 29, 2019), America's current path of moral decay and soaring wealth/power inequality is tracking Rome's collapse step for step.

Enter the sordid case of Jeffrey Epstein, suddenly unearthed after a decade of corporate-media/elitist suppression. It's laughable to see the corporate media's pathetic attempts to glom onto the case now, after actively suppressing it for decades: Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway. (New York Times) Where was the NYT a decade ago, or five years ago, or even a year ago?

Of all the questions that are arising, the signal one is simply: why now? There are many questions, now that the dead-and-buried case has been dug up: where did Epstein get his fortune? Why did he return to the U.S. from abroad, knowing he'd be arrested? Why was the Miami Herald suddenly able to publish numerous articles exposing the scandalous suppression of justice after 11 years of silence? Years later, victims recount impact of Jeffrey Epstein abuse .

Here's my outsider's take: the anti-Neocon camp within the Deep State observed the test case of Harvey Weinstein and saw an opportunity to apply what it learned. If we draw circles representing the anti-Neocon camp and the moralists who grasp the state's legitimacy is hanging by a thread after decades of amoral exploitation and self-aggrandizement by the ruling elites, we would find a large overlap.

But even die-hard Neocons are starting to awaken to the danger to their power posed by the moral collapse of the ruling elites. They are finally awakening to the lesson of history, that the fatal danger to empires arises not from external foes but from inside the center of power as elite corruption erodes the legitimacy of the state.

The upstarts in the Deep State have united to declare open war on the degenerates and their enablers, who are everywhere in the Deep State: the media, the intelligence community, and on and on.

Since the battle is for the legitimacy of the state, it must be waged at least partially in the open. This is a war for the hearts and minds of the public, whose belief in the legitimacy of the state and its ruling elites underpins the power of the Deep State.

If this wasn't a war over the legitimacy of the state, the housecleaning would have been discrete. Insiders would be shuffled off to a corporate boardroom or do-nothing/fancy title office, or they'd retire, or if necessary, they'd die of a sudden heart attack or in a tragic accident ( if only they knew ).

The cockroaches are scurrying, and the challenge now is to crush as many as possible before they find cover. Bullies are at heart cowards, and once the bullies who were untouchable due to powerful friends in powerful places are exposed to an accounting of their behavior, they will spill the beans on everyone in a craven attempt to lighten the consequences of their corruption and debauchery.

Power is a funny thing: when it dissipates suddenly, it dissipates completely.

All those who were confident they were untouchable might want to heed this sign: carefully fall into the cliff .

The hidden conflicts within the Deep State are emerging, and the resulting crisis will be explosive. Remember, the housecleaning must be public or the legitimacy of the state will go over the cliff. If the Deep State wants to retain its power, it must root out the corrupt degenerates before they bring down the entire rotten structure.

[Jul 26, 2019] Of Two Minds - Our Ruling Elites Have No Idea How Much We Want to See Them All in Prison Jumpsuits

Jul 26, 2019 | www.oftwominds.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2344&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oftwominds.com%2Fblogjuly19%2Fmoral-crisis7-19.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html The Nobility of the feudal era had some reciprocal obligation to its serfs; our New Nobility has no obligation to anyone but themselves. It is painfully obvious that there are two sets of laws in America: bankers can rip off billions and never serve time, and members of the Protected Class who sexually exploit children get a wrist-slap, if that.

Here's the sad reality: everybody in the Ruling Elites looked the other way: all the self-described "patriots" in the Intelligence services, all the technocrats in the Departments of Justice, State, etc., the Pentagon, and on and on. Everybody with any power knows the whole class of Ruling Elites is completely corrupt, by definition: to secure power in the U.S., you have to sell your soul to the Devil , one way or the other.

Like all Ruling Elites, America's Elites are absolutely confident in their power: this is hubris taken to new heights.

That the citizenry could finally have enough of their corrupt, self-serving Overlords does not seem in the realm of possibility to the Protected Few. There's always a way to lawyer-up and plea-bargain for a wrist-slap, a way to bend another "patriot" (barf), a way to offer a bribe cloaked as a plum position in a philanthro-capitalist NGO (non-governmental organization), and so on.

The possibility that moral outrage could spark a revolt seems improbable in such a distracted culture, but consider the chart below: even the most distracted, fragmented tribe of the peasantry eventually notices that they're not in the top 1%, or the top 0.1%, and that the Ruling Elites have overseen an unprecedented concentration of wealth and power into the hands of the few at the expense of the many:

[Jul 24, 2019] The degradation of political elites is a universal phenomenon. Of course, first of all it is noticeable in relation to the Western elites (American, European), but this can also be found in the post-Soviet space

Jul 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

alaff , Jul 23 2019 20:00 utc | 90

The degradation of political elites is a universal phenomenon. Of course, first of all it is noticeable in relation to the Western elites (American, European), but this can also be found in the post-Soviet space (Georgia, Armenia, Moldova etc). Ukraine is generally a special case - real freaks and Nazis in power, the speaker of parliament with the mental retardation certificate, the Attorney General of the country (btw, previously convicted) without a legal education etc.

So I join and also express my condolences to the people of Great Britain.

O , Jul 23 2019 22:07 utc | 105

Posted by: Ort | Jul 23 2019 21:42 utc | 99

The entire world political class and most of the commentariat of the political class indulges in kayfabe.

"In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ (also called work or worked) is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. The term kayfabe has evolved to also become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.[1]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayfabe

[Jul 24, 2019] Like his hero Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson believes history will treat him kindly because HE intends to write it."

Jul 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 23 2019 16:50 utc | 52

So, what options do the UK citizenry have until the next general election? IMO, Corbyn encapsulated it well in his two tweets :

"Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers' friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit.

"But he hasn't won the support of our country."

And:

"Johnson's No Deal Brexit would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops, and risk our NHS being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump.

"The people of our country should decide who becomes the Prime Minister in a General Election."

George Galloway on BoJo :

"In this sense Boris Johnson is a throwback to former times – not quite to the 19th century like his aide-de-camp Jacob Rees-Mogg but at least to the middle of the 20th century. On the face of it, Harold MacMillan, the then British PM, was a straight-laced, slightly eccentric upper-class Englishman. That his wife was upstairs in bed, for years, with one of his parliamentary colleagues Sir Robert Boothby didn't seem to faze him. Or us, but then we weren't to know about it.

"In deference to the new age, Boris Johnson has skipped the straight-laced bit; he has cuckolded his colleagues, even leaving cuckoos in their nests, has left a trail of lurid love-life stories to make a thriller-writer blush, and will likely bed down in Downing Street on Wednesday night with his 31 year-old girlfriend. But the rest is just the same. Johnson is (or has fashioned himself) as an upper-class English eccentric and will be hoping the deference is not dead amongst 21st century Britons.

"To be fair it should be said that Johnson is as colourful as his predecessor Mrs May was bloodless. He is clever and quick-witted (you get what you pay for at Eton), is well read and is a good writer too (he should be, he is Britain's most expensive newspaper columnist). Like his hero Winston Churchill, he believes history will treat him kindly because HE intends to write it."

George will soon be on RT's InQuestionRT as per his tweet at 5pm BST.


O , Jul 23 2019 17:43 utc | 59

The Anglo-Zionist have elevated another buffoon to entertain the masses. Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. It will not be long before President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho will soon be leading the global masses.

Didn't I hear something about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson having presidential aspirations?

Uncle Jon , Jul 23 2019 18:22 utc | 68
b,

Boris Johnson's ascension to power in UK is just a clown act in a tragic circus. But a circus nonetheless. A none-story. A nothingburger.

I implore you to stay focused on Jeffery Epstein. That is the real story of our time. One that could bring down AIPAC/Israel and all of its' spies, the Clintons, Trump, and certain elements of the deep state once and for all, and free US from the shackles of Zionism.

Do not let this story die by way of side shows like the story above and etc.

By Phillip Giraldi from his article http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-agents-of-influence/

"It's a big job to uncover Israeli subversion, but somebody needs to start doing it."

Let it be you. We trust your reporting and I hope you don't take your eyes off the ball. Forget about BoJo, Russiagate (it is really Israelgate) and Ukraine. Epstein is the story of the ages. One that could change the realm forever.

[Jul 24, 2019] The world's "leadership class" really is bereft of any level of competence or standing: trump, boris, macon, ursula (and remaining eucom and IMF "leaders"), pompeo, bolton, pence, nitenyahoo,et al. and on and on.

Jul 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Thomas , Jul 23 2019 15:06 utc | 25

It is starting to appear to be very much a contest of buffoons, which country has the more outrageous buffoon. At this point, it is a close race between the us and the uk but who is to judge.

The world's "leadership class" really is bereft of any level of competence or standing: trump, boris, macon, ursula (and remaining eucom and IMF "leaders"), pompeo, bolton, pence, nitenyahoo,et al. and on and on.

IMHO, Putin, lavrov, shoigu stand out head and shoulders above the aforementioned "leadership class."

jared , Jul 23 2019 15:24 utc | 30

@ Thomas | Jul 23 2019 15:06 utc | 25

That's because Putin and Xi (and some others) are in fact leaders, making rational decisions for the benefit of their nations.
Those others are just figureheads - ability is not so important as reliability and entertainment value.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 23 2019 15:33 utc | 34
It'll be interesting to see if BoJo can fake solemnity and diplomacy as convincingly as Trump can when in the company of other national leaders. I'm confident that Zelenski, being an actor, will be able to make it look easy.

There's a sort of precedent for this switch to comedy-based leadership.
I half-remember that when Ronnie Raygun offered himself as a candidate for POTUS, he answered the critics of his lack of experience by asserting that he had played many leadership roles during his movie career - making him the superior candidate.
And the sheeple bought it!

It seems that this is the dawn of a new "Anything's Possible" era.

Sad Canuck , Jul 23 2019 19:28 utc | 88
@70 O

Always thought professional wrestling provided a good analogy for our current situation. Trump and BoJo (and the nations they represent) do indeed represent classic "heels". In particular the USA is clearly now a "closet champion" or the "term for a heel in possession of a title belt who consistently dodges top flight competition and attempts to back down from challenges". What a world we inhabit.

[Jul 22, 2019] Neoliberals cosmopolitans

Jul 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Jul 22 2019 7:55 utc | 113

Trumpism turns elitist .
On the final night of this past week's National Conservatism Conference, Senator Josh Hawley -- a graduate of Stanford and Yale and a former instructor at an English private school -- warned the attendees gathered in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington, D.C., about the threat of élite cosmopolitanism. "The politics of those left and right have been informed by a political consensus that reflects the interests not of the American middle but of a powerful upper class and their cosmopolitan priorities," he intoned. "This class lives in the United States, but they identify as citizens of the world. They run businesses or oversee universities here, but their primary loyalty is to the global community, and they subscribe to a set of values held by similar élites in other places." He went on to name those values: "The importance of global integration and the danger of national loyalties; the priority of social change over tradition, career over community and achievement and merit and progress. Call it the cosmopolitan consensus."
"Let us be candid," she concluded. "Europe and the first world, to which the United States belongs, remain mostly white for now, and the third world, although mixed, contains a lot of nonwhite people. Embracing cultural-distance nationalism means, in effect, taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites. Well, that is the result, anyway. So, even if our immigration philosophy is grounded firmly in cultural concerns, it doesn't rely on race at all. And, no matter how many times we repeat the mantra that correlation is not causation, these racial dimensions are enough to spook conservatives."

[Jul 10, 2019] Podesta vs Epstein

Jul 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

johnwburns , 1 hour ago

Have another look at Tony Podesta's art collection.

http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/#sthash.6jj0GpQo.dpbs

cat2005 , 21 minutes ago

I never understood why people claimed Podesta had child abuse links until I read that article. It is enough to make even a hardened Podesta supporter cringe.

I need some mind bleach after reading that.

[Jul 10, 2019] Jeffrey Epstein Is the Ultimate Symbol of Plutocratic Rot by MICHELLE GOLDBERG

Notable quotes:
"... Powerful elites enabled the financier accused of trafficking underage girls ..."
"... Over the last couple of months, Ward told me, she's started going through transcripts of the interviews about Epstein she did more than 16 years ago. "What is so amazing to me is how his entire social circle knew about this and just blithely overlooked it," she said of his penchant for adolescents. While praising his charm, brilliance and generous donations to Harvard, those she spoke to, she said, "all mentioned the girls, as an aside." ..."
"... Both sides are likely right. The Epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimization of vulnerable girls. But it is also a political scandal, if not a partisan one. It reveals a deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties, and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes. ..."
"... In the deal he never admitted having actual sex with any of the girls, and he insists he thought they were over 18, so basically all he has ever got a deal on was acts well short of sex with 16-18 years olds who were paid. ..."
"... Some of them named in the old indictment are now saying they were 2 years younger and had sex with all these VIPs. Doubt it. Still, Epstein's previous admissions mean nobody will believe him if a girl says she was 14 not 18, and he is a tempting target tor civil suits which testifying in a criminal case are a basis for. ..."
"... Cernovich and Dershowitz filed their suit on 19 JAN 2017, 10 days after Trump's inauguration. Obama's DoJ screwed up and the judge ruled in their favor 2.5 years later. Then Epstein's immediately arrested. ..."
"... This RT article reminds us the Republicans tried to use Bill's links with Epstein during the 2016 election, while providing other details. ..."
"... Perhaps Trump is the target? Time will tell. ..."
"... If Epstein was Mossad, then what is arch-zio Dershowitz doing in the trap? ..."
"... Mobster jeffrey epstein's wealth didn't come from being a "financier" ( he is a dull wit w/o market knowledge), it came from his fellow co-mobster , steven hoffenberger , swindling over $650 million from gullible goys in Towers Financial. ..."
"... Possible Mossad connection via Ghislaine Maxwell. https://www.unz.com/isteve/jeffrey-epstein-and-foreign-intelligence/ ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from THE NEW YORK TIMES • JULY 9, 2019 • 17 COMMENTS

Powerful elites enabled the financier accused of trafficking underage girls

In 2003, the journalist Vicky Ward profiled Jeffrey Epstein , the financier indicted Monday on charges of sexually abusing and trafficking underage girls, for Vanity Fair. Her piece painted him as an enigmatic Jay Gatsby type, a boy from a middle-class family in Brooklyn who had scaled the rungs of the plutocracy, though no one could quite figure out how he made his money. It detailed dubious business dealings and mentioned that Epstein often had lots of beautiful young women around. But it left out Ward's most important finding.

Twelve years later, in The Daily Beast , Ward wrote about how, in the course of her reporting, two sisters allegedly preyed upon by Epstein, as well as their mother, had spoken to her on the record. But shortly before the story went to press, Ward wrote, the Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter cut that section, saying, of Epstein, "He's sensitive about the young women." ( In a statement on Monday , Carter said Ward's reporting hadn't been solid enough.)

Over the last couple of months, Ward told me, she's started going through transcripts of the interviews about Epstein she did more than 16 years ago. "What is so amazing to me is how his entire social circle knew about this and just blithely overlooked it," she said of his penchant for adolescents. While praising his charm, brilliance and generous donations to Harvard, those she spoke to, she said, "all mentioned the girls, as an aside."

On Saturday evening, more than a decade after receiving a sweetheart plea deal in an earlier sex crime case, Epstein was arrested after getting off a private flight from Paris. He has been accused of exploiting and abusing "dozens" of minor girls, some as young as 14, and conspiring with others to traffic them. Epstein's arrest was the rare event that gratified right and left alike, both because it seemed that justice might finally be done, and because each side has reason to believe that if Epstein goes down, he could bring some of its enemies with him.

Both sides are likely right. The Epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimization of vulnerable girls. But it is also a political scandal, if not a partisan one. It reveals a deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties, and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes. If it were fiction, it would be both too sordid and too on-the-nose to be believable, like a season of "True Detective" penned by a doctrinaire Marxist.


Mungerite , says: July 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm GMT

The funny thing about the Trump quote in the original NYMag article on Epstein is that it's probably the most honest description of the guy, with a none-too-subtle nod to the man's predilections.

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/

foolisholdman , says: July 9, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT

"The Ultimate Symbol"? I beg leave to doubt it! I suspect that the plutocratic rot is very wide and very deep and "Kiddy fiddling" which is what Jeffrey Epstein seems to be accused of, is only a small (and not the worst) part of it. If he "sings" I think there is no telling how far it will go, but probably he won't and this whole evil mess will slink back into the shadows and silence, with the active help of the media.
Come to think about it, probably even if he does sing, that too will be supressed.

George , says: July 9, 2019 at 10:29 pm GMT

China feared CIA worked with Sheldon Adelson's Macau casinos to snare officials

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/22/china-cia-sheldon-adelson-macau-casinos

Sean , says: July 10, 2019 at 2:07 am GMT

Ward wrote about how, in the course of her reporting, two sisters allegedly preyed upon by Epstein, as well as their mother, had spoken to her on the record.

They said they were all over 18 in other words. He certainly had young women about but Michael Wolff said they ones he say on his plane were visibly late teens or twenty.

No way in hell would someone be trusted with billionaire's money who had ovbiously under age girls around him and was heading for a plea deal in which he might be under so much pressure he would reveal his clients' financial crimes . And it is hardly in keeping with the Gatsby image so important to him. I think he had the young but legal girls for show, no one saw the obvious children but him. He kept the criminal conduct away from visitors, especially ones he posed as a philanthropist to. Someone in his position could not afford to get a reputation for having criminal culpability in anything. He was tax scam artist, and secret sex offender.

On Saturday evening, more than a decade after receiving a sweetheart plea deal in an earlier sex crime case, Epstein was arrested after getting off a private flight from Paris. He has been accused of exploiting and abusing "dozens" of minor girls, some as young as 14, and conspiring with others to traffic them.

People with his money rarely plead guilty. He admitted guilt to get the deal. The new charges he is arrested on say he was the only customer or client , so "trafficking" is quite deceptive.

In the deal he never admitted having actual sex with any of the girls, and he insists he thought they were over 18, so basically all he has ever got a deal on was acts well short of sex with 16-18 years olds who were paid.

Some of them named in the old indictment are now saying they were 2 years younger and had sex with all these VIPs. Doubt it. Still, Epstein's previous admissions mean nobody will believe him if a girl says she was 14 not 18, and he is a tempting target tor civil suits which testifying in a criminal case are a basis for. I don't see him as being all that powerful because money makes you a continuing target of people wanting financial restitution from people down on their luck and no longer able to make money from their looks.

Getting a sweet plea deal for those things was just storing up trouble for the future for someone as rich as him.

karlof1 , Jul 11 2019 5:28 utc | 130
mrtmbrnmn @127

Cernovich and Dershowitz filed their suit on 19 JAN 2017, 10 days after Trump's inauguration. Obama's DoJ screwed up and the judge ruled in their favor 2.5 years later. Then Epstein's immediately arrested.

This RT article reminds us the Republicans tried to use Bill's links with Epstein during the 2016 election, while providing other details. Maybe the stories used in the Steele Dossier on Trump aren't from Russia at all but were collected through Epstein's operation?

Perhaps Trump is the target? Time will tell.

Shyaku , Jul 11 2019 5:38 utc | 132
Epstein, being richer, gets to act out Weiner's fantasy for approximately the same price as the fantasy. If Epstein was Mossad, then what is arch-zio Dershowitz doing in the trap?

- Shyaku

Krollchem , Jul 11 2019 5:46 utc | 133
"Jeffrey Epstein shipped a shredder from the U.S. Virgin Islands to his Palm Beach home in July 2008, shortly after reaching a non-prosecution agreement with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, maritime records show. Then, in March of this year, shortly after a Florida federal judge invalidated that agreement, Epstein shipped a tile and carpet extractor from the Virgin Islands to his Manhattan townhouse, the records show."

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/09/jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-shredder/

anon , Jul 11 2019 7:19 utc | 135

Mobster jeffrey epstein's wealth didn't come from being a "financier" ( he is a dull wit w/o market knowledge), it came from his fellow co-mobster , steven hoffenberger , swindling over $650 million from gullible goys in Towers Financial.

I believe nearly all of these ((( "financiers" and "hedge fund managers" ))) are just money laundering for the massive Israhell mob. Most are operated from offshore banks, without auditing, I.e. soros' quantum fund.

curious man , Jul 11 2019 8:52 utc | 138
Posted by: asdf | Jul 10 2019 18:13 utc | 1

Possible Mossad connection via Ghislaine Maxwell. https://www.unz.com/isteve/jeffrey-epstein-and-foreign-intelligence/

Spying for Israel Is Consequence Free
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/spying-for-israel-is-consequence-free/

[Jul 10, 2019] Neoliberal elite suicide rate might increases dramatically over the next six months.

Notable quotes:
"... US gives Israel billions each year. Israel gives some of that money to Epstein for a hedge fund front. Epstein buys island, planes, mansions, power and influence. Hires attractive under age girls for sexual acts with elites. Tapes the sexual acts. Sends tapes back to Mossad. Blackmails elites for money and favors. Sends money and favors back to Mossad. Epstein keeps the vig. Elites just **** their pants. Elites suicide rate increases dramatically over the next six months. ..."
"... Yes, the blackmailing would not just be for money but foreign policy actions too. And it isn't just the US, it's the UK too. Hence both suckers are trying to start a war with Iran. ..."
"... CCI has the goods on a third of congress and the whole msm. ..."
"... I am not holding my breath for your prediction xbkrisback. Appointing Comey's daughter as the chief prosecutor tells a sorry tale. And Comey and Mueller are best buds. ..."
"... Epstein will not give up the big names. Bubba took 26 trips to Pedo Island on the Lolita Express to refresh his tan. ..."
"... The power structure runs on pedophilia. And the horror of it is that pedophilia is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the abuse of children. Where is Carlos Danger's laptop with Huma's huge "life insurance" file on it? You know, the one that made grizzled NYPD detectives puke when they opened it. ..."
"... Epstein outdoes Berlusconi ..."
"... Have another look at Tony Podesta's art collection. http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/#sthash.6jj0GpQo.dpbs ..."
"... I never understood why people claimed Podesta had child abuse links until I read that article. It is enough to make even a hardened Podesta supporter cringe. ..."
"... Coulter's take on this sounds very plausible, because there certainly was evidence gathering by Epstein. ..."
"... By the way, that was the favorite tactic of the old pervert that ran the FBI ... J. Edgar Hoover. He would gather evidence, then have a couple of his agents pay the offender a visit, warning them to be careful, while delivering the clear message that the Director has the goods on you. ..."
"... If Epstein goes to prison (a real prison) for any length of time, that would negate the idea of state sponsorship, would it not? Conversely, if he gets another sweetheart deal, that would confirm it. ..."
Jul 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

xbkrisback , 1 hour ago

I think I figured this scam out. US gives Israel billions each year. Israel gives some of that money to Epstein for a hedge fund front. Epstein buys island, planes, mansions, power and influence. Hires attractive under age girls for sexual acts with elites. Tapes the sexual acts. Sends tapes back to Mossad. Blackmails elites for money and favors. Sends money and favors back to Mossad. Epstein keeps the vig. Elites just **** their pants. Elites suicide rate increases dramatically over the next six months.

smacker , 1 hour ago

Yes, the blackmailing would not just be for money but foreign policy actions too. And it isn't just the US, it's the UK too. Hence both suckers are trying to start a war with Iran.

cayman , 46 minutes ago

CCI has the goods on a third of congress and the whole msm. It's why elections haven't mattered in decades. It's why congress can have a 9% approval rating and yet nothing changes. CIA has so many offshore sources of revenue now, it is sovereign now.

RoyalDraco , 17 minutes ago

I am not holding my breath for your prediction xbkrisback. Appointing Comey's daughter as the chief prosecutor tells a sorry tale. And Comey and Mueller are best buds.

Epstein will not give up the big names. Bubba took 26 trips to Pedo Island on the Lolita Express to refresh his tan.

5 years at Club Fed and a list of names no one ever heard of. The power structure runs on pedophilia. And the horror of it is that pedophilia is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the abuse of children. Where is Carlos Danger's laptop with Huma's huge "life insurance" file on it? You know, the one that made grizzled NYPD detectives puke when they opened it.

HideTheWeenie , 1 hour ago

Epstein outdoes Berlusconi ... Takes bunga bunga parties to the next level - and on the road - in the air - island hopping

Coulter is right ... Nobody in financial circles ever bumped into Epstein. Nobody, nobody knows the guy outside of the teenage ***** connection.

johnwburns , 1 hour ago

Have another look at Tony Podesta's art collection. http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/#sthash.6jj0GpQo.dpbs

cat2005 , 21 minutes ago

I never understood why people claimed Podesta had child abuse links until I read that article. It is enough to make even a hardened Podesta supporter cringe.

I need some mind bleach after reading that.

RayUSA , 1 hour ago

Obviously, the more powerful people that are involved, the less chance this has of going anywhere.

Coulter's take on this sounds very plausible, because there certainly was evidence gathering by Epstein.

There would be no reason for that unless it was going to be used in the future for black mail.

By the way, that was the favorite tactic of the old pervert that ran the FBI ... J. Edgar Hoover. He would gather evidence, then have a couple of his agents pay the offender a visit, warning them to be careful, while delivering the clear message that the Director has the goods on you.

herbivore , 2 hours ago

If Epstein goes to prison (a real prison) for any length of time, that would negate the idea of state sponsorship, would it not? Conversely, if he gets another sweetheart deal, that would confirm it.

[Jun 07, 2019] The End of Anarchy and The Solidification of the Global Class

Trump essentially rejected the idea of neoliberal globalization in which local elites share power with the US elite. This period probably lasted from 1991 to 2008.
Trump started the fight for ultimate supremacy ("national neoliberalism") rejecting based on multinational treaties neoliberal globalization. He wants to deal with nations on 1:1 basis utilizing the supremacy of the USA in size and power to the fullest extent possible. This does not work well.
But both Europe, Japan and China recovered enough from WWII to put some resistance. Dictate of Trump to EU and China so far does not work as expected: neither state folded. Also Russia is a militarily very powerful country which allied with iether EU or China makes the military USA hegemony the thing of the past.
Jun 07, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

After the classical world of power politics gasped its last (1945), the United States found itself in an unprecedented world historical situation: it could mold, coerce, cajole, and most importantly penetrate an exhausted world economically, militarily, politically, and culturally. This it did with unexampled speed and skill relying in part on its aura of victory over Fascism. It built both visible and, most importantly, invisible bonds to its long term interests which both quickly and over time also became the core interests of its new client states and their local/"national" elites.

The second phase of American Hegemonic Expansion occurred throughout what was known then as the "second" and "third" worlds; the communist and non-aligned states. Through a careful policy of coercion and corruption (the use of criminal organizations often went hand in hand with the use of security forces) the United States was able to convince and ultimately co-opt much of the world's remaining elites in their lucrative and superficially attractive skein of capitalist production and consumption and cosmetic democracy. It was and is the world's most effective formula for world domination to have ever been devised. It is the very life-blood of Pax Americana.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the regions of the world that are not under firm American Hegemony such as some parts of the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are the locations of the most violent conflicts. In part, these regions are still operating under the old Hobbesian conditions of anarchy and war. They either "suffer" from not being of sufficient interest to Superpower or are locally too costly to integrate into the world system at present. This, of course, could change at any moment when and if transnational elites hit upon novel ways of making these "war-torn" countries of benefit to themselves. The historical record says they, ultimately, surely will.

Thus, unlike the nineteenth century, the world system is far more stable under a tightly knit regime of interdependent elites dedicated to the pursuit of their own personal interests which are well served by their collective organization by Superpower or Empire. Ancient anarchy has been therefore drained from the international system, and as Negri and Hardt have pointed out in their books on Empire all conflict within the system is more of a local civil war rather than an ultimate challenge to the whole system.

It should not be totally surprising that the current international system represents the ever increasing homogenization of the interests of a group of people since the world is both materially and culturally expressed in the power of a Hegemon. American hegemony reproduced itself through the expert use and production of Baconian power and knowledge (and some geographic and historical luck). It is a totality that came of age when the old elites (remnants of the feudal ages) were militarily eliminated and new elites (primarily communist and nationalist and oftentimes both) were unable to be successfully born. In a world of mass surveillance, hegemonic power, elite interdependence, sophisticated consumption, and democratic ideology; what contradictions, if any, could liberate humankind from the sweet bondage of ever growing economic prosperity and, at least for the Great Powers, international peace through the solidification of the directory of the Great Global Class of the Twenty-First Century?

Dan Corjescu teaches Political Philosophy and Globalization at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Read other articles by Dan .

This article was posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 4:28pm and is filed under Anarchism , Global Inequality , Globalization , Hegemony , Opinion , United States .

[Jun 02, 2019] Clubs, Cartels, And Bilderberg -

Those meetings look like a global neoliberal party congress.
Notable quotes:
"... After decades of neoliberalism, we are at the mercy of a cluster of cartels who are lobbying politicians hard and using monopoly power to boost profits ..."
"... Bilderberg gathering, a transatlantic annual meeting convened since 1954, fuels speculation for various reasons, not least of all because of its absence of detail and off-the-record agendas. ..."
"... Other accounts are suitably dull, suggesting that little in the way of importance actually happens. That man of media, Marshall McLuhan, was appalled after attending a meeting in 1969 by those "uniformly nineteenth century minds pretending to the twentieth." He was struck by an asphyxiating atmosphere of "banality and irrelevance". ..."
"... The briefings that come out are scripted to say little, though the Bilderberg gathering does come across as a forum to trial ideas (read anything significantly friendly to big business and finance) that may find their way into domestic circulation. ..."
"... "Those at the top have learned how to suck the money out of the rest in ways that the rest are hardly aware of. That is their true innovation. Policy shapes the market, but politics has been hijacked by a financial elite that has feathered its own nest ." ..."
"... A nice distillation of Bilderbergism, indeed. ..."
"... An overview of the group, published in August 1956 by Dr. Jósef H. Retinger, Polish co-founder and secretary of the gathering, furnishes us with a simple rationale: selling the US brand to sceptical Europeans and nullifying "anxiety". Meetings "unofficial and private" would be convened involving "influential and reliable people who carried the respect of those working in the field of national and international affairs". ..."
"... Frank discussion was limited for fear of indiscretions that might be seen as rubbing against the national interest. ..."
"... Retinger's appraisals of sovereignty, to that end, are important in understanding the modern European Union, which continues to nurse those paradoxical tensions between actual representativeness and financial oligarchy. ..."
"... "The Treaty of Rome [of 1957], which brought the Common Market into being, was nurtured at Bilderberg meetings." ..."
Jun 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Binoy Kampmark via Oriental Review,

"After decades of neoliberalism, we are at the mercy of a cluster of cartels who are lobbying politicians hard and using monopoly power to boost profits."

Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality (2012)

The emergence of think tanks was as much a symptom of liberal progress as it was a nervous reaction in opposition to it. In 1938, the American Enterprise Association was founded by businessmen concerned that free enterprise would suffer at the hands of those too caught up with notions of equality and egalitarianism. In 1943, it dug into the political establishment in Washington, renamed as the American Enterprise Institute which has boasted moments of some influence in the corridors of the presidential administrations.

Gatherings of the elite, self-promoted as chat shops of the privileged and monstrously well-heeled, have often garnered attention. That the rich and powerful chat together privately should not be a problem, provided the glitterati keep their harmful ideas down to small circulation. But the Bilderberg gathering, a transatlantic annual meeting convened since 1954, fuels speculation for various reasons, not least of all because of its absence of detail and off-the-record agendas.

C. Gordon Tether, writing for the Financial Times in May 1975, would muse that,

"If the Bilderberg Group is not a conspiracy of some sort, it is conducted in such a way as to give a remarkably good imitation of one."

Each year, there are hushed murmurings and ponderings about the guest list. Politicians, captains of industry, and the filthy rich tend to fill out the numbers. In 2018, the Telegraph claimed that delegates would chew over such matters as "Russia, 'post-truth' and the leadership in the US, with AI and quantum computing also on the schedule." This time, the Swiss town of Montreux is hosting a gathering which has, among its invitees, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The Bilderberg Summit begins at the driveway – this year in Switzerland, at the hotel "Montreux Palace".

Often, the more entertaining assumptions about what happens at the Bilderberg Conference have come from outsiders keen to fantasise. The absence of a media pack, a situation often colluded with by media outlets themselves, coupled with a general holding of attendees to secrecy, have spawned a few gems. A gathering of lizard descendants hatching plans for world domination is an old favourite.

Other accounts are suitably dull, suggesting that little in the way of importance actually happens. That man of media, Marshall McLuhan, was appalled after attending a meeting in 1969 by those "uniformly nineteenth century minds pretending to the twentieth." He was struck by an asphyxiating atmosphere of "banality and irrelevance".

The briefings that come out are scripted to say little, though the Bilderberg gathering does come across as a forum to trial ideas (read anything significantly friendly to big business and finance) that may find their way into domestic circulation. Former Alberta Premier Alison Redford did just that at the 2012 meeting at Chantilly, Virginia. In reporting on her results after a trip costing $19,000, the Canadian politician proved short on detail.

"The Premier's participation advanced the Alberta government's more aggressive effort to engage world decision makers in Alberta's strategic interests, and to talk about Alberta's place in the world. The mission sets the stage for further relationship-building with existing partners and potential partners with common interests in investment, innovation and public policy."

One is on more solid ground in being suspicious of such figures given their distinct anti-democratic credentials. Such gatherings tend to be hostile to the demos, preferring to lecture and guide it rather than heed it. Bilderberg affirmed that inexorable move against popular will in favour of the closed club and controlling cartel. "There are powerful corporate groups, above government, manipulating things," asserts the much maligned Alex Jones, whose tendency to conspiracy should not detract from a statement of the obvious. These are gatherings designed to keep the broader populace at arms-length, and more.

The ideas and policies discussed are bound to be self-serving ones friendly to the interests of finance and indifferent to the welfare of the commonwealth. A Bilderberg report, describing the Bürgenstock Conference in 1960, saw the gatherings as ones "where arguments not always used in public debate can be put forth." As Joseph Stiglitz summarises from The Price of Inequality ,

"Those at the top have learned how to suck the money out of the rest in ways that the rest are hardly aware of. That is their true innovation. Policy shapes the market, but politics has been hijacked by a financial elite that has feathered its own nest ."

A nice distillation of Bilderbergism, indeed.

Gauging the influence of the Bilderberg Group in an empirical sense is not a simple matter, though WikiLeaks has suggested that "its influence on postwar history arguable eclipses that of the G8 conference." An overview of the group, published in August 1956 by Dr. Jósef H. Retinger, Polish co-founder and secretary of the gathering, furnishes us with a simple rationale: selling the US brand to sceptical Europeans and nullifying "anxiety". Meetings "unofficial and private" would be convened involving "influential and reliable people who carried the respect of those working in the field of national and international affairs".

Retinger also laid down the rationale for keeping meetings opaque and secret. Official international meetings, he reasoned, were troubled by those retinues of "experts and civil servants". Frank discussion was limited for fear of indiscretions that might be seen as rubbing against the national interest. The core details of subjects would be avoided. And thirdly, if those attending "are not able to reach agreement on a certain point they shelve it in order to avoid giving the impression of disunity."

Retinger was already floating ideas about Europe in May 1946 when, as secretary general of the Independent League for European Co-operation (ILEC), he pondered the virtues of federalism oiled by an elite cadre before an audience at Chatham House. He feared the loss of "big powers" on the continent, whose "inhabitants after all, represent the most valuable human element in the world." (Never mind those of the dusky persuasion, long held in European bondage.) Soon after, he was wooed by US Ambassador W. Averell Harriman and invited to the United States, where his ideas found "unanimous approval among financiers, businessmen and politicians."

The list of approvers reads like a modern Bilderberg selection, an oligarchic who's who , among them the banker Russell Leffingwell, senior partner in J. P. Morgan's, Nelson and David Rockefeller, chair of General Motors Alfred Sloan, New York investment banker Kuhn Loeb and Charles Hook, President of the American Rolling Mills Company. (Unsurprisingly, Retinger would establish the Bilberberg Group with the likes of Paul Rijkens, President of the multinational giant Unilever, the unglamorous face of European capitalism.)

Retinger's appraisals of sovereignty, to that end, are important in understanding the modern European Union, which continues to nurse those paradoxical tensions between actual representativeness and financial oligarchy. Never mind the reptilian issues: the EU, to a modest extent, is Bilderbergian, its vision made machinery, enabling a world to be made safe for multinationals while keeping popular sovereignty in check. Former US ambassador to West Germany, George McGhee, put it this way: "The Treaty of Rome [of 1957], which brought the Common Market into being, was nurtured at Bilderberg meetings."

[May 31, 2019] Threats to the neoliberal world order to be discussed at Bilderberg meeting

That means implicit acknowledgement from Bilderberg group that neoliberalism is under threat... Essentially trade war with China is destroying neoliberalism as we speak because "national neoliberalism" -- neoliberalism without globalization is just a flavor of neofascism, not a new social system.
May 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Anne Jaclard , May 30, 2019 7:33:37 PM | 31

Bilderberg 2019 Meeting Information Revealed

Stacey Abrams, Eric Schmidt, Mike Pompeo, and Mattel Renzi, among others, will be attending the top-secret Bilderberh meetings from today through the weekend.

Topics to be discussed include the weaponisation of social media, the future of capitalism, Brexit, China, and threats to the neoliberal world order.

Held since 1954, Bilderberg has acted as a meeting point for high-level establishment politicians and corporate elites to promote the interests of Atlanticism and global corporations.

Many attendees of Bilderberg have gone on to play major roles in their countries' politics, including Angela Merkel and Barack Obama.

The presence of Abrams at the event is another sign that she may act as a vice-presidential candidate for Joe Biden, who himself has attended corporate-linked summits including Davos and the Munich Security Conference this year and who has seen his narratives bolstered by think tanks such as More in Common and the Trilateral Commission.

Abrams is herself a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has pursued a neoliberal agenda while in office.

https://bilderbergmeetings.org/meetings/meeting-2019/press-release-2019

[May 19, 2019] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction. ..."
"... In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). ..."
"... In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies. ..."
"... A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2). ..."
"... Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4). ..."
May 19, 2019 | russia-insider.com

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today's level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership.

Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words 'monopoly,' 'monopolies,' and 'monopolization' in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term 'monopolization' to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote 'monopoly companies' two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding . (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity .

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8). Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.

In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West. In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

The investor will eventually review the management's strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company's operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients' long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here's the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11). In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page : "At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders -- including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor." At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let's see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on www.stockzoa.com for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed

[Apr 26, 2019] For The Thinking Class, Blowback Is A Harsh Mistress

Notable quotes:
"... Working in tech and consulting to a wide range of educated people in finance and pharma, I have to agree. Getting an advanced degree does not indicate anything more than persistence. ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

In this universe of paradox, inequity, ironies, and fake-outs one strange actuality stands above the rest these days: that the much-reviled President Trump was on the right side of RussiaGate, and the enormous mob of America's Thinking Class was on the wrong side -- and by such a shocking margin of error that they remain in a horrified fugue of outrage and reprisal, apparently unaware that consequences await.

Granted, there's a lot to not like about Mr. Trump: his life of maximum privilege in a bubble of grifticious wealth; his shady career in the sub-swamp of New York real estate; his rough, garbled, and childlike manner of speech; his disdain of political decorum, his lumbering bellicosity, his apparently near-total lack of education, and, of course, the mystifying hair-doo. His unbelievable luck in winning the 2016 election can only be explained by the intervention of some malign cosmic force -- a role assigned to the Russians. At least that's how Mr. Trump's antagonists engineered The Narrative that they have now quadrupled down on.

To make matters worse, this odious President happens to be on the right side of several other political quarrels of the day, at least in terms of principle, however awkwardly he presents it.

The Resistance, which is to say the same Thinking Class groomed in the Ivy League and apprenticed in official leadership, has dug in on the idiotic policy position of a de facto open border with Mexico, and embellished that foolish idea with such accessory stupidities as sanctuary cities and free college tuition for non-citizens. Their arguments justifying these positions are wholly sentimental -- they're stuffing little children in cages ! -- masking a deep undercurrent of dishonesty and cynical opportunism -- not to mention putting themselves at odds with the rule-of-law itself.

During the 2016 election campaign, Mr. Trump often averred to forging better relations with Russia. The previous administration had meddled grotesquely in Ukrainian politics, among other things, and scuttled the chance to make common cause with Russia in areas of shared self-interest, for instance, in opposing worldwide Islamic terrorism. This was apparently too much for the US War Lobby, who needed a Russian boogeyman to keep the gravy train of weaponry and profitable interventionist operations chugging along, even if it meant arming Islamic State warriors who were blowing up US troops. Being falsely persecuted from before day one of his term for "collusion with Russia," Mr. Trump apparently found it necessary to go along with antagonizing Russia via sanctions and bluster, as if to demonstrate he never was "Putin's Puppet."

Meanwhile, by some strange process of psychological alchemy, the Thinking Class assigned Islamic radicals to their roster of sacred victims of oppression -- so that now it's verboten to mention them in news reports whenever some new slaughter of innocents is carried out around the world, or to complain about their hostility to Western Civ as a general proposition. Two decades after the obscene 9/11 attacks, the new Democratic Party controlled congress has apparently decided that it's better to make common cause with Islamic Radicalism than with a Russia that is, in actuality, no longer the Soviet Union but rather just another European nation trying to make it through the endgame of the industrial age, like everybody else.

The Thinking Class behind the bad faith Resistance is about to be beaten within an inch of its place in history with an ugly-stick of reality as The Narrative finally comes to be fairly adjudicated. The Mueller Report was much more than just disappointing; it was a comically inept performance insofar as it managed to overlook the only incidence of collusion that actually took place: namely, the disinfo operation sponsored by the Hillary Clinton campaign in concert with the highest officials of the FBI, the Department of Justice, State Department personnel, the various Intel agencies, and the Obama White house for the purpose of interfering in the 2016 election. It will turn out that the Mueller Investigation was just an extension of that felonious op, and Mr. Mueller himself may well be subject to prosecution for destroying evidence and, yes, obstruction of justice.

John F. Kennedy once observed that "life is unfair." It is unfair, perhaps, that a TV Reality Show huckster, clown, and rank outsider beat a highly credentialed veteran of the political establishment and that he flaunts his lack of decorum in the Oval Office. But it happens that he was on the side of the truth in the RussiaGate farrago and that happens to place him in a position of advantage going forward. Tags Politics

Show 98 Comments

Gobble D. Goop , 15 minutes ago link

Thinking class? You mean those folks that cheated/bribed/slept/blew/affirmatve actioned thier way to an education credential? That thinking class?

Understandable.

freedommusic , 25 minutes ago link

and the enormous mob of America's Thinking Class was on the wrong side

America's Thinking Class are NOT a bunch of narcissistic blowhards screaming in front of TV News cameras wearing makeup, espousing and pontificating their mental illness from compromised perspectives of the world. America's Thinking Class are actually - thinking - living in the REAL world outside of DC, disseminating the available information, connecting the dots with logic, reason, incredulity, critical thinking, and a great deal of skepticism viewed through a jaundiced eye. This thinking class is coming to somewhat obvious yet VERY DIFFERENT conclusions from the print and news media propagandists and are on the right side of the facts and truth.

WE ARE THE NEWS

NeverDemRino , 2 hours ago link

Jame Howard Kunstler is under the false impression that the Rule of Law will be restored in the Banana Repubic.

Jessica6 , 2 hours ago link

"Thinking class" implies that they think - as in there are analytical processes that go in inside their skulls. I'm not certain Generation ReTweet exhibit enough individual consciousness to pass a Turing Test.

prcat3vet , 2 hours ago link

"masking a deep undercurrent of dishonesty and cynical opportunism -- not to mention putting themselves at odds with the rule-of-law itself."

The Rule of Law doesn't apply to the "thinking class", or didn't you know that.

Ace006 , 3 hours ago link

Said highly-credentialed veteran of the political establishment (like I care) chortled after Gaddafi had been dispatched by our unconstitutional and illegal attack on Libya. "We came. We saw. He died." If that doesn't strike you as a serious deficiency in the decorum department I'll pass on what decorum you think it is that Trump lacks in the Oval Office. God SAVE us from the fools and grifters that the Establishment (spit) excretes who have all kinds of credentials and are masters of the graceful stilleto.

That smooth pansy of a president we just saw the end of never spent a Saturday tinkering with his ride while listening to some tunes and sucking down a brewski. And we paid a high price for that twink's efforts to fundamentally change America. Our so-called political elite are as useless as **** on a 200-lb. lesbian.

Zappalives , 3 hours ago link

"The thinking class"......................thinking what ??????????????

Thinking that everyone was going to buy into their ill-conceived, ill-executed coup of a duly elected POTUS was going to stand ?????????????????

Their hubris will be their downfall.

Dem/progs/repubs from E and W coast have brought our republic ever closer to Civil war 2.0.

Withdraw your consent to be governed is the first step.

Go from there.

DocJackson , 2 hours ago link

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I figured it out. They're not the "thinking" class as in cognitive function, but of opinion: "I think this is the way things are supposed to be." So it's not the "thinking class," but "the opinionated class, those who spout **** in the conspicuous absence of supporting factual evidence, or even in conspicuous contradiction to same." ;-)

Utopia Planitia , 3 hours ago link

Your so-called "thinking class" does nothing of the kind. In fact they do everything they can to inhibit and prevent any "thinking". TDS does not have to be fatal, but will be if sufferers do not seek and accept treatment. (they are also fun to watch, especially when it gets to the stage where they are frothing at the mouth.)

Herp and Derp , 3 hours ago link

Working in tech and consulting to a wide range of educated people in finance and pharma, I have to agree. Getting an advanced degree does not indicate anything more than persistence. Most people are sleep walking idiots no matter how 'smart' they are perceived in society.

[Apr 14, 2019] It has since been revealed that Epstein had 21 different phone numbers for contacting his friend Bill Clinton, who, court records allege, "frequently flew" on Epstein's private jet between 2002 and 2005.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Si1ver1ock says: April 13, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT

It's interesting the Media has brought back the Sweden rape charge, but they are avoiding this rape story like the pest.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1jDPzW9COsU?feature=oembed

Read More

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT

"Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books "

-- The presstituting crowd of stenographers (MSM) and the zionized X-tian war profiteers have made everything in their power (inadvertently) to ensure that Assange is and will be a towering figure of our time.

Even in distress, Assange has been fighting for truth and dignity; the ongoing show of lawlessness exposes the rot. The moral and creative midgets constituting the core of MSM and the satanic deciders are upset. Good!

The idiotic Senior District "Judge" Emma Arbuthnot (a wife and beneficiary of a mega-war profiteer Lord Arbuthnot -- Arbuthnot served as Chairman of the Defence Select Committee from 2005 to 2014) and the no less idiotic District "Judge" Michael Snow have entered the history books as well. As scoundrels: http://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/msg/1555064882.html

Snow does his best to bring the Judiciary into disrepute by playing to the gallery. He comments on the extradition in the same vein in a totally unprofessional manner. He is of course in a long line of disreputable members of the judiciary Snow's place in history is now secured – he chose to abuse the defendant rather than perform his role which was really quite straightforward. He is the narcissist and guilty of self interest not Julian Assange.

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm GMT
@Si1ver1ock For every pronouncement against Assange by the US/UK government and judiciary, there should be an immediate question about the leniency shown towards the pedophiles and rapists in the UK (see Savile and the sudden "disappearance" of files re the high-placed pedophiles) and the story of Lolita Island and Lolita Express in the US.

Theresa May as the protector of pedophiles and rapists in the UK: https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/

One of the hurdles in investigating the claims is the Official Secrets Act, which prevents the disclosure of state secrets and "sensitive" information. "It is clear there are a lot of people who could provide a lot of information to support ongoing criminal investigations But they are not doing so because of the Official Secrets Act. They are fearful of not only breaking the law but the potential effect on their pension. This is absolutely crucial if we are to get some of these ex-officers coming forward and to get prosecutions of some of the former MPs." He has asked Home Secretary Theresa May to lift the restrictions, allowing former officials to speak up about what they know about the case, but so far there is no indication that this has been done.

The protection of the high-placed pedophiles and rapists in the US:

In the Epstein case, as well, there are numerous questions surrounding the possibility of high-level cover up. In recent weeks it has emerged that Epstein struck a remarkable secret deal with the US Attorney's Office that barred more than 500 pages of documents detailing negotiations of the deal and a staggering 13,000 documents from the investigation into Epstein's activities that were shelved as a result of the bargain.

Let the scoundrels talk about Assange to see how the concocted fraud is backfired.

Mrs. Clinton in particular should have been more circumspect:

It has since been revealed that Epstein had 21 different phone numbers for contacting his friend Bill Clinton, who, court records allege, "frequently flew" on Epstein's private jet between 2002 and 2005.

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West And why are you spreading the MSM disinformation on the Unz forum? -- Just to satisfy your desire to litter the forum?

Read and learn: https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/

Also, perhaps you need to ponder why you are not treated the same way as the courageous, talented, principled, and dignified Assange is treated. Perhaps, something is missing in your character.

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm GMT
@Art Theresa May has been the main protector of the high-placed British pedophiles

"Theresa May and the 'missing' child sex abuse files" https://www.reknr.com/uk/theresa-may-and-the-missing-child-sex-abuse-files/

"British PM Blocks Elite Pedophile Enquiry On Grounds Of 'National Security'" https://newspunch.com/british-pm-blocks-pedophile-enquiry/

The documents are thought to shed light on the years of ongoing pedophilia and child abuse within Westminster and contained names of "several" high-level politicians in the UK and US who are connected to an elite pedophile ring.

The followup: "Theresa May accused of cover-up over child abuse inquiry concerns," https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-child-abuse-inquiry-cover-up-concerns-dame-lowell-goddard-stories-a7369976.html

"England: Land of Royals, Tea and Horrific Pedophilia Coverups" http://time.com/2974381/england-land-of-royals-tea-and-horrific-pedophilia-coverups/

In the case of the Westminster "pedophile ring," the mounting sentiment that Britain's establishment serves its own interests and conceals its wrongdoing may be well founded. Until recently only seven police officers were working on Operation Fernbridge; Scotland Yard announced today the figure is now 22.

By fraudulently accusing Assange, Theresa May reminds the world about her role in the protection of the wealthy and influential Westminster pedophiles (the real rapists).

[Apr 14, 2019] The social groups that support neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... These are the forms of White traditional British oriented American traitors, not racial or ethnic groups with historic envy, hatreds of our people. ..."
May 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

2) Trucklers – (LBJ) lower class White Americans who gain wealth and power by championing non White, minority causes just because it's a path to power, pleasing the elites who would otherwise dismiss them as hicks.

3) Pussyfooters (Bush Sr. Country Club Conservatives) White Americans who prefer their own safe life, don't hate their own people but rarely defend them – they don't like trouble, they're pussies. Alt Right has given them a new word "Cuckservatives".

4) Old Believers (Ron Paul, Pat Robertson) Sincere old guys who wish things could go back to the way things used to be when some systems supposedly worked for us when we were 90% White European American, before the Great Society, New Deal, feminism, etc

5) Proditors – (John Brown, Jane Fonda, SDS)

These are the forms of White traditional British oriented American traitors, not racial or ethnic groups with historic envy, hatreds of our people.

Do you have links to other Wilmot Robertson sites?

Svigor , December 2, 2016 at 3:19 am GMT
I really can't emphasize #2 strongly enough. The term "fog of war" is an apt one. People in a war generally don't know much at all about what's going on, at the time. They're lucky if they ever do. But in every single orthodox eye-witness account I've ever read, the storytellers know exactly what was going on, and why . Even when they shouldn't. They set off my skeptic alarms left and right.

Read some of the accounts critically, and see for yourself. They're mostly "everybody knows," "it is known," type stuff. Not credible at all. These are the bricks the orthodox narrative is made of.

[Apr 14, 2019] A Veblen Moment: Thorstein Veblen's Lessons from the First Gilded Age Even More Relevant Today

Apr 12, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. Karl Marx and Friedrich Englels, who documented the abuses of the early Industrial Revolution, are well remembered today, not just as activists but also as journalists. Oddly, Thorstein Veblen, who identified many of the pathologies of the rich of the Gilded Age, is vastly less well known. Was it because the robber barons of his age had amassed so much wealth and power that they were better able to create a veneer of legitimacy than Victorian era factory owners?

This post picks up some Veblen themes that are particularly germane today, such as the notion that businessmen often operate as rentiers and predators.

By Ann Jones, who is at work on a book about social democracy in Scandinavia (and its absence in the United States) and is the author of several books, including most recently They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars -- the Untold Stor y , a Dispatch Books original. Originally published at TomDispatch

Distracted daily by the bloviating POTUS? Here, then, is a small suggestion. Focus your mind for a moment on one simple (yet deeply complex) truth: we are living in a Veblen Moment.

That's Thorstein Veblen, the greatest American thinker you probably never heard of (or forgot). His working life -- from 1890 to 1923 -- coincided with America's first Gilded Age, so named by Mark Twain, whose novel of that title lampooned the greedy corruption of the country's most illustrious gentlemen. Veblen had a similarly dark, sardonic sense of humor.

Now, in America's second (bigger and better) Gilded Age, in a world of staggering inequality , believe me, it helps to read him again.

In his student days at Johns Hopkins, Yale, and finally Cornell, already a master of many languages, he studied anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and political economy (the old fashioned term for what's now called economics). That was back when economists were concerned with the real-life conditions of human beings, and wouldn't have settled for data from an illusory "free market."

Veblen got his initial job, teaching political economy at a salary of $520 a year, in 1890 when the University of Chicago first opened its doors. Back in the days before SATs and admissions scandals , that school was founded and funded by John D. Rockefeller, the classic robber baron of Standard Oil. (Think of him as the Mark Zuckerberg of his day.) Even half a century before the free-market economist Milton Friedman captured Chicago's economics department with dogma that serves the ruling class, Rockefeller called the university "the best investment" he ever made. Still, from the beginning, Thorstein Veblen was there, prepared to focus his mind on Rockefeller and his cronies, the cream of the upper class and the most ruthless profiteers behind that Gilded Age.

He was already asking questions that deserve to be raised again in the 1% world of 2019. How had such a conspicuous lordly class developed in America? What purpose did it serve? What did the members of the leisure class actually do with their time and money? And why did so many of the ruthlessly over-worked, under-paid lower classes tolerate such a peculiar, lopsided social arrangement in which they were so clearly the losers?

Veblen addressed those questions in his first and still best-known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class , published in 1899. The influential literary critic and novelist William Dean Howells, the "dean of American letters," perfectly captured the effect of Veblen's gleeful, poker-faced scientific style in an awestruck review. "In the passionless calm with which the author pursues his investigation," Howells wrote, "there is apparently no animus for or against a leisure class. It is his affair simply to find out how and why and what it is. If the result is to leave the reader with a feeling which the author never shows, that seems to be solely the effect of the facts."

The book made a big splash. It left smug, witless readers of the leisure class amused. But readers already in revolt, in what came to be known as the Progressive Era, came away with contempt for the filthy rich (a feeling that today, with a smug, witless plutocrat in the White House, should be a lot more common than it is).

What Veblen Saw

The now commonplace phrase "leisure class" was Veblen's invention and he was careful to define it: "The term 'leisure,' as here used, does not connote indolence or quiescence. What it connotes is non-productive consumption of time. Time is consumed non-productively (1) from a sense of the unworthiness of productive work, and (2) as an evidence of pecuniary ability to afford a life of idleness."

Veblen observed a world in which that leisure class, looking down its collective nose at the laboring masses, was all around him, but he saw evidence of something else as well. His anthropological studies revealed earlier cooperative, peaceable cultures that had supported no such idle class at all. In them, men and women had labored together, motivated by an instinctive pride in workmanship, a natural desire to emulate the best workers, and a deep parental concern -- a parental bent he called it -- for the welfare of future generations. As the child of Norwegian immigrants, Veblen himself had grown up on a Minnesota farm in the midst of a close-knit Norwegian-speaking community. He knew what just such a cooperative culture was like and what was possible, even in a gilded (and deeply impoverished) world.

But anthropology also recorded all too many class-ridden societies that saved upper-class men for the "honourable employments": governance, warfare, priestly office, or sports. Veblen noted that such arrangements elicited aggressive, dominant behavior that, over time, caused societies to change for the worse. Indeed, those aggressive upper-class men soon discovered the special pleasure that lay in taking whatever they wanted by "seizure," as Veblen termed it. Such an aggressive way of living and acting, in turn, became the definition of manly "prowess," admired even by the working class subjected by it. By contrast, actual work -- the laborious production of the goods needed by society -- was devalued. As Veblen put it, "The obtaining [of goods] by other methods than seizure comes to be accounted unworthy of man in his best estate." It seems that more than a century ago, the dominant men of the previous Gilded Age were, like our president, already spinning their own publicity.

A scientific Darwinian, Veblen saw that such changes developed gradually from alterations in the material circumstances of life. New technology, he understood, sped up industrialization, which in turn attracted those men of the leisure class, always on the lookout for the next thing of value to seize and make their own. When "industrial methods have been developed to such a degree of efficiency as to leave a margin worth fighting for," Veblen wrote, the watchful men struck like birds of prey.

Such constant "predation," he suggested, soon became the "habitual, conventional resource" of the parasitical class. In this way, a more peaceable, communal existence had evolved into the grim, combative industrial age in which he found himself: an age shadowed by predators seeking only profits and power, and putting down any workers who tried to stand up for themselves. To Veblen this change was not merely "mechanical." It was a spiritual transformation.

The Conspicuous Class

Classical economists from Adam Smith on typically depicted economic man as a rational creature, acting circumspectly in his own self-interest. In Veblen's work, however, the only men -- and they were all men then -- acting that way were those robber barons, admired for their "prowess" by the very working-class guys they preyed upon. (Think of President Trump and his besotted MAGA-hatted followers.) Veblen's lowly workers still seemed to be impelled by the "instinct for emulation." They didn't want to overthrow the leisure class. They wanted to climb up into it.

For their part, the leisured gents asserted their superiority by making a public show of their leisure or, as Veblen put it, their "conspicuous abstention from labour." To play golf, for example, as The Donald has spent much of his presidency doing, became at once "the conventional mark of superior pecuniary achievement" and "the conventional index of reputability." After all, he wrote, "the pervading principle and abiding test of good breeding is the requirement of a substantial and patent waste of time." In Donald Trump's version of the same, he displayed his penchant for "conspicuous consumption" by making himself the owner of a global chain of golf courses where he performs his "conspicuous leisure" by cheating up a storm and carrying what Veblen called a "conspicuous abstention from labour" to particularly enviable heights.

Veblen devoted 14 chapters of The Theory of the Leisure Class to analyzing every aspect of the life of the plutocrat living in a gilded world and the woman who accompanied him on his conspicuous outings, elaborately packaged in constricting clothing, crippling high heels, and "excessively long hair," to indicate just how unfit she was for work and how much she was "still the man's chattel." Such women, he wrote, were "servants to whom, in the differentiation of economic functions, has been delegated the office of putting in evidence their master's ability to pay." (Think POTUS again and whomever he once displayed with a certain possessive pride only to pay hush money to thereafter.)

And all of that's only from chapter seven, "Dress as an Expression of the Pecuniary Culture." Today, each of those now-century-old chapters remains a still-applicable little masterpiece of observation, insight, and audacity, though it was probably the 14th and last chapter that got him fired from Rockefeller's university: "The Higher Learning as an Expression of the Pecuniary Culture." How timely is that?

The (Re)tardiness of Conservatives

As both an evolutionary and an institutional economist (two fields he originated), Veblen contended that our habits of thought and our institutions must necessarily "change with changing circumstances." Unfortunately, they often seem anchored in place instead, bound by the social and psychological inertia of conservatism. But why should that be so?

Veblen had a simple answer. The leisure class is so sheltered from inevitable changes going on in the rest of society that it will adapt its views, if at all, "tardily." Comfortably clueless (or calculating), the wealthy leisure class drags its heels (or digs them in) to retard economic and social forces that make for change. Hence the name "conservatives." That (re)tardiness -- that time lag imposed by conservative complacency -- stalls and stifles the lives of everyone else and the timely economic development of the nation. (Think of our neglected infrastructure, education, housing, health care, public transport -- you know the lengthening list today.)

Accepting and adjusting to social or economic change, unfortunately, requires prolonged "mental effort," from which the leisured conservative mind quite automatically recoils. But so, too, Veblen said, do the minds of the "abjectly poor, and all those persons whose energies are entirely absorbed by the struggle for daily sustenance." The lower classes were -- and this seems a familiar reality in the age of Trump -- as conservative as the upper class simply because the poor "cannot afford the effort of taking thought for the day after tomorrow," while "the highly prosperous are conservative because they have small occasion to be discontented with the situation as it stands." It was, of course, a situation from which they, unlike the poor, made a bundle in an age (both Veblen's and ours) in which money flows only uphill to the 1%.

Veblen gave this analytic screw one more turn. Called a "savage" economist, in his meticulous and deceptively neutral prose, he described in the passage that follows a truly savage and deliberate process:

"It follows that the institution of a leisure class acts to make the lower classes conservative by withdrawing from them as much as it may of the means of sustenance and so reducing their consumption, and consequently their available energy, to such a point as to make them incapable of the effort required for the learning and adoption of new habits of thought. The accumulation of wealth at the upper end of the pecuniary scale implies privation at the lower end of the scale."

And privation always stands as an obstacle to innovation and change. In this way, the industrial, technological, and social progress of the whole society is retarded or perhaps even thrown into reverse. Such are the self-perpetuating effects of the unequal distribution of wealth. And reader take note: the leisure class brings about these results on purpose.

The Demolition of Democracy

But how, at the turn of the nineteenth century, had America's great experiment in democracy come to this? In his 1904 book The Theory of Business Enterprise , Veblen zoomed in for a close up of America's most influential man: "the Business Man." To classical economists, this enterprising fellow was a generator of economic progress. To Veblen, he was "the Predator" personified: the man who invests in industry, any industry, simply to extract profits from it. Veblen saw that such predators created nothing, produced nothing, and did nothing of economic significance but seize profits.

Of course, Veblen, who could build a house with his own hands, imagined a working world free of such predators. He envisioned an innovative industrial world in which the labor of producing goods would be performed by machines tended by technicians and engineers. In the advanced factories of his mind's eye, there was no role, no place at all, for the predatory Business Man. Yet Veblen also knew that the natural-born predator of Gilded Age America was already creating a kind of scaffolding of financial transactions above and beyond the factory floor -- a lattice of loans, credits, capitalizations, and the like -- so that he could then take advantage of the "disruptions" of production caused by such encumbrances to seize yet more profits. In a pinch, the predator was, as Veblen saw it, always ready to go further, to throw a wrench into the works, to move into the role of outright "Saboteur."

Here Veblen's image of the predatory characters who dominated his Gilded Age runs up against the far glossier, more gilded image of the entrepreneurial executive hailed by most economists and business boosters of his time and ours. Yet in book after book, he continued to strip the gilded cloaks from America's tycoons, leaving them naked on the factory floor, with one hand jamming the machinery of American life and the other in the till.

Today, in our Second Even-Glitzier Gilded Age, with a Veblen Moment come round again, his conclusions seem self-evident. In fact, his predators pale beside a single image that he himself might have found incredible, the image of three hallowed multi-billionaires of our own Veblen Moment who hold more wealth than the bottom 160 million Americans.

The Rise of the Predatory State

Why, then, when Veblen saw America's plutocratic bent so clearly, is he now neglected? Better to ask, who among America's moguls wouldn't want to suppress such a clear-eyed genius? Economist James K. Galbraith suggests that Veblen was eclipsed by the Cold War, which offered only two alternatives, communism or capitalism -- with America's largely unfettered capitalist system presenting itself as a "conservative" norm and not what it actually was and remains: the extreme and cruel antithesis of communism.

When the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, it left only one alternative: the triumphant fantasy of the "free market." What survived, in other words, was only the post-Veblen economics of John D. Rockefeller's university: the "free market" doctrines of Milton Friedman, founder of the brand of economics popular among conservatives and businessmen and known as the Chicago School.

Ever since, America has once again been gripped by the heavy hands of the predators and of the legislators they buy . Veblen's leisure class is now eclipsed by those even richer than rich, the top 1% of the 1%, a celestial crew even more remote from the productive labor of working men and women than were those nineteenth-century robber barons. For decades now, from the ascendancy of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to Bill Clinton's New Democrats in the 1990s to the militarized world of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to the self-proclaimed billionaire con man now in the Oval Office, the plutocrats have continued to shower their dark money on the legislative process. Their only frustration: that the left-over reforms of Veblen's own "Progressive Era" and those of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal still somehow stand (though for how long no one knows).

As Galbraith pointed out in his 2008 book The Predator State , the frustrated predators of the twenty-first century sneakily changed tactics: they aimed to capture the government themselves, to become the state. And so they have. In the Trump era, they have created a government in which current regulators are former lobbyists for the very predators they are supposed to restrain. Similarly, the members of Trump's cabinet are now the saboteurs: shrinking the State Department, starving public schools, feeding big Pharma with Medicare funds, handing over national parks and public lands to "developers," and denying science and climate change altogether, just to start down a long list. Meanwhile, our Predator President, when not golfing , leaps about the deconstruction site, waving his hands and hurling abuse, a baron of distraction, commanding attention while the backroom boys (and girls) demolish the institutions of law and democracy.

Later in life, Veblen, the evolutionary who believed that no one could foresee the future, nonetheless felt sure that the American capitalist system, as it was, could not last. He thought it would eventually fall apart. He went on teaching at Stanford, the University of Missouri, and then the New School for Social Research, and writing a raft of brilliant articles and eight more books. Among them, The Vested Interests and the Common Man (1920) may be the best summation of his once astonishing and now essential views. He died at the age of 72 in August 1929. Two months later, the financial scaffolding collapsed and the whole predatory system came crashing down.

To the end, Veblen had hoped that one day the Predators would be driven from the marketplace and the workers would find their way to socialism. Yet a century ago, it seemed to him more likely that the Predators and Saboteurs, collaborating as they did even then with politicians and government lackeys, would increasingly amass more profits, more power, more adulation from the men of the working class, until one day, when those very plutocrats actually captured the government and owned the state, a Gilded Business Man would arise to become a kind of primitive Warlord and Dictator. He would then preside over a new and more powerful regime and the triumph in America of a system we would eventually recognize and call by its modern name: fascism.


St Jacques , April 12, 2019 at 1:46 am

Thankyou for bringing up one of my all time favourite authors. Why is he neglected? Because he saw and wrote too clearly and he mocked the use of mathematical models, and the silly assumptions underlying them – oh so unscientifically unsound.

Anarcissie , April 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I think Veblen may be neglected because his observations do not comport well with what many others observe. For instance, in the quoted or paraphrased material in the article, he asserts that the upper classes are idly conservative. But if we have observed the development of cooperative agrarian societies into, first, instances of industrial capitalism, and later imperial-liberal or finance-capitalist warfare-welfare states, it is the capitalists who were the radical progressives, who shook things up, who 'moved fast and broke things', and the agrarian cooperators who were the conservatives or reactionaries. And Uncle Karl agrees with me, at least as of the Communist Manifesto : 'The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society .. All that is solid melts into air .' and so on.

Would that the rich were idle! But they are not. They labor ceaselessly to destroy the Earth, to turn it into nothing more than numbers written on a tablet. It is a mistake to underestimate and deride such people, even if their personalities are socially deficient.

Anthony Wikrent , April 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm

I think you need to look at the crucial distinction Veblen made between industry and business, which I find has much more analytical and prescriptive power than Marx.

Anarcissie , April 12, 2019 at 4:09 pm

I was thinking of the combination of business and industry, industry being the work of changing the material world to produce desired things, experiences, and circumstances, and business being the political organization of that work, which has evolved in various ways into contemporary capitalism. The large-scale practice of modern industry apparently requires a lot of political organization. In my observation and personal experience, business, so defined, is also hard work, since one is not dealing with inanimate things, but with human beings, who are often as unpredictable, crafty, greedy and treacherous as oneself. Hence not many actually want to or are able to do it. This poses an obvious problem for those who want to establish a more cooperative and egalitarian social order above the local or familial level, much less a sustainable economy. The rich are anything but idle, and they always want more.

WheresOurTeddy , April 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm

as a friend of mine likes to say, "America never had a ruling class disinterested in ruling or an intelligentsia that was truly intelligent."

Thomas P , April 12, 2019 at 3:07 am

The book is also available for free at project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/833
The leisure class hasn't been able to expand copyright to infinity yet.

johnf , April 12, 2019 at 3:42 am

They are trying. Project Gutenberg is presently blocking all German IP addresses after a publisher asserted copyright on 18 works from 1903–1920. I must content myself with reading H.L. Mencken's iconoclastic essay, "Professor Veblen".

diptherio , April 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

The Opera browser has a build-in VPN just sayin' ;-)

GramSci , April 12, 2019 at 9:58 am

Ah, yes! H.L. Mencken, social darwinist and proto-nazi, as was Veblen's first professor at Yale, William Graham Sumner, Phi Beta Kappa and Bonesman, who brought the teachings of Herbert Spencer to Yale and America as the new Science of "Sociology". Of course we no longer call such sociology "social darwinism" or "nazism". "Meritocracy" is a more polite term. Veblen would still call it "predatory".

James , April 12, 2019 at 7:20 am

Amazing post! As clear and succinct political manifesto and call to arms as any I've read. Looks like I've got some more essential reading to do now.

Eclair , April 12, 2019 at 7:58 am

Wow! I am reading this while sitting in the cafeteria of UPMC Presbyterian Hospital (where my husband's cousin, the farmer of whom I have written here before, hovers between life and death.) Pittsburgh, home of the planet's largest gothic phallus, the gargoyled tower at Carnegie Mellon U. Even the First Baptist Church is a mini-Notre Dame.

Walking the mile up to the hospital this morning, along the row of gracious mansions, now a designated Historic District, built from the blood and sweat of the Polish and Czech and Italian coal miners and steel workers, I wondered if their tenements had been declared an Historic District.

DJG , April 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

Eclair: All the best to you. Your posts here have evoked him so well–a life of hard work and care for the land.

Eclair , April 12, 2019 at 11:29 am

DJG, I wrote a think you post to you, with additional comments but it either got lost or delayed or my fat fingers consigned it to Oblivion. Typing on my phone is dangerous.

Trent , April 12, 2019 at 10:07 am

Upmc, the future of predatory healthcare. My great grandfather raised his family of eight Italians in one of those row houses in Oakland. Now it's probably rented out by a slumlord to college kids racking up debt.

Trent , April 12, 2019 at 10:54 am

Also the cathedral of learning is university of Pittsburgh

Alfred , April 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

Yes. Pittsburgh was once the real 'metropolis of tomorrow', and the Cathedral of Learning was the ultimate proof both of the city's arrival in the future and of just how conservative that future was going to look. One of the key American buildings of its time, it's a tenth 'malic mould' embodying not only the so-called 'skyward trend of thought' by which the predatory businessmen of the 1920s imagined themselves transported to 'impossible heights' but also -- inside -- a showcase of international culture that foreshadowed today's globalization. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Learning

a different chris , April 12, 2019 at 2:32 pm

My dad, and I assume most of the other Pitt graduates of at least that era, called it "The Tower Of Ignorance".

We aren't all suckers, even if we sit at desks and wear ties.

Eclair , April 12, 2019 at 11:17 am

Oops, you are correct, Trent! I don't know why I associated it with C-M. And it really is almost more beaux arts than gothic. But it is still an example of 'mine is much much bigger than yours.'

Trent , April 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

No worries, I'm a throwback that takes a bit of pride in the area my family has resided the past few hundred years. If you get bored you should read about the Mellon's. Very big players in the gilded age.

Eclair , April 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

So, not a designated 'Historic District,' I will bet. My grandparents raised their kids in brick mill housing, still standing. But not 'Historic.'. Just haunted by the ghosts of the still-born babies and tubercular adolescents.

Trent , April 12, 2019 at 11:28 am

It's only historic until someone can make a profit from it!

Mike , April 12, 2019 at 11:54 am

My condolences upon your presence in the Pittsburgh of capitalism and scalping. If you wish to see the contradictory nature of "historicism", Pittsburgh is THE place to follow.

Case in point: In the close-by tiny mill town of Millvale (aptly named, no?) sits the St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, where once a Croatian artist named Maxo Vanka was allowed to paint beautiful murals upon its walls and ceilings, all of which commemorated and encapsulated the horrific struggles of mine and mill workers of the region. They are akin to, and in some ways exceed, the murals of Diego Rivera – passionately and class-reverently done.

The contradiction? Besides the religious basis for this socialist art, the current foundation trying to preserve and defend these paintings is begging for corporate donations and having $1000+ benefits (wine, cheese, hubris) so some retouching and repainting can occur under an umbrella of the threat to the art and the church posed by those selfsame corporations who would love to topple the structure and put up office space. Oh, to be able to say "Sic semper tyrannus "

Eclair , April 12, 2019 at 1:37 pm

So, Mike, I should make a pilgrimage to visit this church soon, before it is scraped, yeah?

Mike , April 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Fear not – the church still stands, and the professional class are scurrying about, waxing poetic and oozing dollars, so it will be there for you for at least as long as the fund-raisers do their work.

I would go soon, though, just to see how years of neglect can harm mural art, because the difference between the undone and finished restoration is something to note.

P.S.- easier to drive there if you have wheels. Public transport suffers by scarcity and slowness.

Mike , April 12, 2019 at 4:07 pm

P.P.S. – my best wishes to your cousin, as well.

Arizona Slim , April 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Sotte voce: When I lived in Pittsburgh, the planet's largest gothic phallus was called the Catheter of Learning. (It's real name is the Cathedral of Learning.)

You're soaking in it! , April 12, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Ok, but geez. Shouldn't there be a meet-up in here somewhere?

Norb , April 12, 2019 at 8:08 am

If the human condition is viewed as an endless spiritual crisis seeking out resolution, then everyones collective efforts begin to make more sense. Spiritual connections must be made in order to survive and this choice sets into motion a chain of events that approximate the future. Everyone must choose what life they want to live. They must choose what spirit they will follow. A passive choice supports the status quo/conservatives, while an active choice drives change in society.

How the current spiritual crisis is handled will determine our collective future. It is no coincidence that true, honest spirituality has also been corrupted by the predator class. Spiritual subversion is the essence of TINA. Education and spiritual growth are the foundations upon which a free and productive society rest- without that, as the author notes, society evolves into fascism. Fascism becomes the spirituality of the predator class. Fascism is freedom disguised.

If this is true, then it becomes imperative for all freedom loving people to do everything in their power to subvert such exploitation and purposeful suffering. The spirit must be without freedom for all there is, in reality, freedom for none. Society must be based on reducing suffering, not creating or perpetuating it.

At root, that is what civil disobedience is all about. Civil disobedience takes on many forms, including actively building parallel social structures to negate the damaging social conditions brought about by a predator class. The saboteurs are themselves subject to sabotage. This inevitable dynamic explains why foreigners and domestic dissenters are treated as enemies and terrorists by the ruling elite. Foreign and domestic enemies must be eliminated. When this dynamic becomes an issue, it proves all by itself that the ruling elite no longer hold their citizens to any regard, regardless of the propaganda they employ to prove otherwise. The society becomes more polarized and violent.

The follow up to this essay is to explore the people and communities that took Veblen insights to heart and acted accordingly. That would provide examples upon which to build and restore.

diptherio , April 12, 2019 at 10:03 am

Society must be based on reducing suffering, not creating or perpetuating it.

and yet, in the present arrangement of things, most of us can't even get around in the place where we live without someone, somewhere, drilling oil, and transporting it, and refining it, and transporting it some more using this computer required someone, somewhere to mine metal ore, and refine and process and transport it

The great tragedy of our situation is that we often choose to do things we know to be harmful in order to protect and provide for those we love. "I'd give up my car, but I need it for my job. I'd quit the job, but I've got kids to think about and plus, what happens if my kid gets hurt and needs to get to the hospital fast? So I can't give up the car, even though I know it's contributing to larger scale problems that will effect everyone negatively, and already effect some people extremely negatively."

Sound of the Suburbs , April 12, 2019 at 8:39 am

You feel you are doing well when you are doing better than your peers.

I've only got a Boeing 747, and he's got an Airbus A380.

His one is bigger than mine.

Mummy!

Sound of the Suburbs , April 12, 2019 at 8:45 am

The biggest threat to progress in the forwards direction is those that like progress in the reverse direction.

The Magna Carta was the first step in moving forwards from when wealth and power were concentrated with one person, the Absolute Monarch.

Progress is always a battle between those below and those at the top, who want to keep wealth and power as concentrated as it is now, or to move backwards to when it was more concentrated.

Royalty spent centuries trying to regain the power they lost with the Magna Carta and get back to where they were before.

It is a constant battle and many nations slide back to the beginning with dictators, where wealth and power are concentrated with one person, and where that wealth and power is inherited.

To progress from the Magna Carta to universal suffrage took 700 years. Within another 50 years those at the top looked to move backwards to when they had more wealth and power.

They sought to regain the economic freedom they used to have and roll back the welfare state.

They set the wheels in motion.

In 1947, Albert Hunold, a senior Credit Suisse official looked for a group of right wing thinkers to form the Mont Pelerin Society and neoliberalism started to take shape.

"Why Nations Fail" is a good book on this subject.

DSB , April 12, 2019 at 8:55 am

"In the passionless calm with which the author pursues his investigation," Howells wrote, "there is apparently no animus for or against a leisure class. It is his affair simply to find out how and why and what it is. If the result is to leave the reader with a feeling which the author never shows, that seems to be solely the effect of the facts."

If only this author had such a deft hand as Veblen. Aspiration.

Sound of the Suburbs , April 12, 2019 at 8:56 am

The University of Chicago forgot what they used to know.

Henry Simons was at the University of Chicago as he was a firm believer in free markets, but he had learned the lessons of the 1920s and 1930s.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." Irving Fisher 1929.

Irving Fisher was a neoclassical economist that believed in free markets and he knew this was a stable equilibrium.

He became a laughing stock and worked out where he had gone wrong.

What goes wrong with free markets?

Henry Simons and Irving Fisher supported the Chicago Plan to take away the bankers ability to create money, so that free market valuations could have some meaning.

The real world and free market, neoclassical economics would then tie up.

https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png

1929 – Inflating the US stock market with debt (margin lending)
2008 – Inflating the US real estate market with debt (mortgage lending)

Bankers inflating asset prices with the money they create from loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Sound of the Suburbs , April 12, 2019 at 9:08 am

Real science is evolutionary and new knowledge builds on past knowledge in a way that is self-correcting and improves over time. The old knowledge remains and anything that is wrong gets changed.

Thorstein Veblen recognised economics wasn't like that and this is why they keep forgetting stuff.

We had a new, scientific economics for globalisation.

Oh dear.

JBird4049 , April 12, 2019 at 3:54 pm

This explains why Milton Friedman is better known than Thorstein Veblen

I would not necessarily call something scientific even if it builds on previous knowledge. The key is the real effort at studying and understanding a subject.

"Economics," especially its propagandistic version Neoliberalism, is not at all scientific or even an attempt to study something. It is an effort to make opaque, not an attempt to clarify.

Political economy, like philosophy, metaphysics, psychology and sociology are themselves not "hard"science, but they were created, built upon, and maintain as usually honest attempts at understanding; Neoliberal Economics is as to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in Political Economy as Social Darwinism is to Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species is in evolutionary biology.

Sound of the Suburbs , April 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm

Take 1920s neoclassical economics and stick some more complex maths on top.

Voila.

A new, scientific economics.

ewmayer , April 12, 2019 at 7:07 pm

There is an underappreciated consumer-credit-boom-and-bust aspect to the Great Crash / Great Depression era – people often point out the contradictions in blaming margin lending for eveything, IMO it is the consumer-credit aspect that helps fill in the rest. Briefly, the 1920s saw the first great boom in consumer credit, as wage-suppressed workers saw the fabulous boom in wealth of the rentier and stock-speculator class and were misled to go into hock by the overall optimism thus engendered. The boom in installment-plan buying was the 1920s analog of the the late great mortgage-finance bubble. Here is a link, much more out there for those willig to look for it:

http://econc10.bu.edu/Ec341_money/Papers/Carroll_paper.htm

DJG , April 12, 2019 at 9:13 am

An interesting question:

Why, then, when Veblen saw America's plutocratic bent so clearly, is he now neglected? Better to ask, who among America's moguls wouldn't want to suppress such a clear-eyed genius? Economist James K. Galbraith suggests that Veblen was eclipsed by the Cold War, which offered only two alternatives, communism or capitalism -- with America's largely unfettered capitalist system presenting itself as a "conservative" norm and not what it actually was and remains: the extreme and cruel antithesis of communism.

I have a feeling that the rejection was going on earlier. I am reminded that Sinclair Lewis's career started with his first important novel in 1914–fifteen years after Theory of the Leisure Class, yet still before the shattering effects of World War I. Yet Sinclair Lewis has also been in decline, and his stories are the novelist's way of dealing with Veblen's ideas–especially the novel Dodsworth.

I have a feeling that something deeper in the culture pushes aside the observations that Americans are avaricious, conformist, and not particularly happy. It is so much chirpier to repeat Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And it may be that the fear of falling in U.S. culture–dropping economically with the possible implication of turning black racially–means that the unproductivity of the upper classes is what Americans are fixated on and aspire to.

nycTerrierist , April 12, 2019 at 10:49 am

Very good to mention Sinclair Lewis here.
Highly recommended literary counterpart to Veblen, though Veblen was no slouch
as a stylist, among his many strengths.
Not only Dodsworth, but I would say all of Lewis' oeuvre exposes the predation, corruption
and injustice of various good ole 'murkan institutions: Elmer Gantry (venal ministers), Arrowsmith (careerism in medicine), Main Street (oppressive 'normality'), Gideon Parrish (the 'uplift' racket), Ann Vickers (womens prisons), The Job (women in the workplace) etc etc.
Lewis is hilarious and a truly prescient progressive.
Highly recommended!

Carolinian , April 12, 2019 at 11:13 am

Sinclair Lewis probably faded because the self satisfied American world he described took a nose dive in the great depression and satire became both superfluous and universal (any 1930s Hollywood depiction of the rich–i.e. A Night at the Opera).

In any case thanks for the good article above. It does lay on the Trump hate a little thick given that our Veblen moment has been going on at least since Reagan.

BlueMoose , April 12, 2019 at 11:42 am

Yes the trump hate was a bit thick.

Tony Wright , April 12, 2019 at 7:20 pm

Not really. Trump is the current and shameless torchbearer, even though he hypocritically purports to be the saviour of the "deplorables" callously abandoned by Hilary & Co.

nycTerrierist , April 12, 2019 at 11:32 am

Lewis was a gleeful unmasker of hypocrisy.

Makes some people uncomfortable!

jfleni , April 12, 2019 at 9:19 am

RE: Should we break up big tech?

Absolutely, start with ooindoze; years ago a Finn Linus Torwald
wrote a FREE replacement for Unix, cutting ATT off at the Internet; all he got for his trouble was the runaway monopoly of ooindoze. Now ooindoze is worth billions (ten plus at last count) .
The difference is BS and propaganda and the sleaziest possible merchandizing, YAHOO
MOUNTAIN DEW!!

diptherio , April 12, 2019 at 9:34 am

The irony of linking to a Veblen book on Amazon is well, it's a thing ironic anyway it's still early, you get what I'm saying. Here's a free version, as Thorstein would have wanted it:

http://elegant-technology.com/resource/Vested_Interests.pdf

human , April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am

Or a discount version from a small, out-of-copyright, publisher: https://doverpublications.ecomm-search.com/m?formSubmitted=true&keywords=Veblen&x=22&y=24

Gary , April 12, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Diptherio, but, and I don't know why so many people forget about this, you could just go to your nearest public library. They'd be delighted to find it for you

diptherio , April 12, 2019 at 9:38 am

I think NC should adopt a quote from Theory of Business Enterprise as it's official (or unofficial) motto:

A definition by enumeration will often sound like a fault-finding.

That's from memory, so maybe not exactly verbatim, but close. Sounds like a pretty good description of every day on NC!

johnf , April 12, 2019 at 9:40 am

Thanks for the tip. In 1919, Mencken worked through all of Veblen's published works. Following his recommendation, I found copies of the two Mencken thought most essential: "What I found myself aware of, coming to the end, was that practically the whole system of Prof. Veblen was in his first book and his last [as of 1919] – that is, in "The Theory of the Leisure Class" and "The Higher Learning in America". I pass on the news to literary archeologists. Read these two, and you won't have to read the others. And if even two daunt you, then read the first. Once through it, though you will have have missed many a pearl and many a pain, you will have an excellent grasp of the gifted metaphysician's ideas." [Prejudices, First Series (1919), pp. 59-83]

GramSci , April 12, 2019 at 10:12 am

Umm, as I noted above, Mencken was hardly a fan of Veblen. See e.g. this link , vectored through a fan of Mencken, Tyler Cowen . . .

johnf , April 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm

My very modest knowledge of Veblen is through secondary sources, one of which is Mencken, who I never thought was a Veblen adulator. It is probably now a duty to read some of the primary sources.

ChrisAtRU , April 12, 2019 at 10:03 am

What a wonderful article with which to start my day!

Today's #MustRead IMO

Thank you!

chuck roast , April 12, 2019 at 10:11 am

Back in the day I bought one of those little Penguin Classics of Theory out of the university bookstore for a buck. The fact that it was still in print was sufficient testimony that curiosity continued to exist about the long dead discipline of Political Economics. I read a portion of it, but never came close to finishing it. That always bothered me. What happened to the little Penguin over the years I cannot say.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I had the public library exhume a copy for me out of their warehouse. Immediately upon reading it I recalled with great disappointment why I never finish the Penguin the prose style was both turgid and tortured. So, I guess you could say that I have always been pleased to read about Veblen and depressed with the actual reading.

My recommendation would be that a good translator translate Theory of the Leisure Class into say French or Italian and then another translator translate it back into English. Doubtless much of the drole and tongue planted firmly in cheek would be lost in the translation, but perhaps a much more readable book would ensue.

GramSci , April 12, 2019 at 10:16 am

Once one understands how censored publications were in that day ( plus ça change . . .) and one discovers the sarcasm veiled behind all that "turgid prose", The Theory of the Leisure Class becomes a joy to read.

ChiGal in Carolina , April 14, 2019 at 12:13 am

We read it in high school and I remember it being very witty, and hence enjoyable.

RenoRich , April 12, 2019 at 10:17 am

Am I a member of the leisure class if I like to read articles & comments on this site?

I have downloaded and started reading "The Theory of the Leisure Class". Perhaps I can answer my own question after reading several chapters

Phil in KC , April 12, 2019 at 10:26 am

My thanks as well for this post, which (ahem, everyone) deserves a wider audience. Sadly, my own college edjumacation glided over Veblen. This was in the early 70's, when Friedman and Co. Economists, Inc. were taking over economics. Suddenly, he's relevant again!

Now, we just need a Teddy Roosevelt progressive to initiate some reforms and a Franklin Roosevelt to make the right kind of enemies.

Mike , April 12, 2019 at 11:02 am

The Theory of the Leisure Class was my introduction to economics, reading it right after the Kennedy assassination, thus turning me from a right-wing parrot into a critical and still learning skeptic of all cheerleading about "our" government, "our" city on the hill. My father, a union founder and organizer as well as a solid drinker, would often go off on me about my "nazi" ideas before this turn, then wondered at the abrupt wheel. Ahhhh, once an outlier, always

The sad part is I (we?) are more "outliers" than ever before, thanks to the freedom exercised by many of our co-citizens to conform and obey to any media/government/corporate message with knee-jerk speed. Expected of the professional caste and their sponsors within the banking and corporate elite, it is sad to see its reach into levels of the working class, where it displays its total dysfunction.

nycTerrierist , April 12, 2019 at 11:04 am

Small quibble with this outstanding post.

In her quick gloss of our Predator-Enablers in Chief, from Reagan to Trump,
Teflon Obama gets a pass he does not deserve:

"For decades now, from the ascendancy of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to Bill Clinton's New Democrats in the 1990s to the militarized world of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to the self-proclaimed billionaire con man now in the Oval Office, the plutocrats have continued to shower their dark money on the legislative process. Their only frustration: that the left-over reforms of Veblen's own "Progressive Era" and those of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal still somehow stand (though for how long no one knows) ..

Similarly, the members of Trump's cabinet are now the saboteurs: shrinking the State Department, starving public schools, feeding big Pharma with Medicare funds, handing over national parks and public lands to "developers," and denying science and climate change altogether, just to start down a long list. Meanwhile, our Predator President, when not golfing, leaps about the deconstruction site, waving his hands and hurling abuse, a baron of distraction, commanding attention while the backroom boys (and girls) demolish the institutions of law and democracy."

NotTimothyGeithner , April 12, 2019 at 12:13 pm

I think Obama's legacy is dismantling more lefty organizing venues and directing energy towards wasteful infighting as people who conned themselves into liking him hold onto bizarre beliefs to justify Obama's third and fourth Shrub terms such as how Obama "inherited" problems despite choosing to run for President. Ben Bernanke, Bob Gates, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner (or insert whatever monster you wish) were just the associates of the previous administrations at various levels. Though Obama may not have been from the "leisure class" but the higher level staff, he approached the Presidency as a luxury pursuit. Yes, Michelle opted for lesser known designers, but the people who mattered cut their teeth in the previous four administrations. Outsiders were not brought in. Liz Warren jumps out as an exception, and even now her Presidential run, she is almost completely separate from Obama despite her time in the administration creating her star.

Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity.[3] As a Coolidge biographer wrote: "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength".[4]

Scholars have ranked Coolidge in the lower half of those presidents that they have assessed. He is praised by advocates of smaller government and laissez-faire economics, while supporters of an active central government generally view him less favorably, though most praise his stalwart support of racial equality.[5] This is from the wiki on Calvin Coolidge. Does it sound like someone?

Except for Silent Cal stories and being an advocate of "white collies" (puppies that were often drowned because it was believed they were blind), he was a continuation of more of the same and has largely disappeared from the discourse outside of memorizing the Presidents. He was President until March 1929, and Hoover gets a lot of flak. The economic crisis came from somewhere.

Trump is particularly predatory and being current merits mention as the old leisure class not merely taking control of the government but turning it into their leisure pursuit. Obama much like his "soaring rhetoric" is almost entirely forgettable.

CarlH , April 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Thank you for mentioning this. The omission of Obama from that list jumped out at me as well. When I think of a "Banker's President" Obama is the first to come to mind.

Susan the other` , April 12, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for an introduction to Ann Jones. She is a beautiful writer and her subject is wonderful. No argument there. I enjoyed her jabs at Trump too. But in his behalf I'd just like to say it was refreshing to see him crash the gates for the sole reason that he shook up our very complacent Congress and they almost seem awake now. Trump is not an ideologue. He's a self promoter. So we can't expect him to have a vision. That's the big problem with him. He's got no compass. It isn't that he impulsively and inanely talks about things like "beautiful wonderful new health care" and other crap – it's that he doesn't have a clue about how to achieve anything. Except cooking books and money shuffling. And Jones' example of his cheating at golf – urban legend already – is his character in a nutshell. But that said, I blame malicious obstructionists like Pelosi and the very dreadful Mitch for preventing the progress we are dying for. Congress is MIA. Why do we even bother to elect it?

flora , April 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Great post. Thanks so much.

mauisurfer , April 12, 2019 at 2:42 pm

So, was Einstein a member of the "leisure class"?
At Princeton, he would take his little sailboat out on the lake when there was so little wind
that no other boats were out there with him.
He would get his boat just barely moving slowly steadily calmly.
And that is where he thought his deepest thoughts.
Personally, my deepest thoughts come in a leisurely hot bath.

Aloha , April 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm

A most enjoyable essay and it brings me full circle with what I have been researching this past week. The Counsel on Foreign Relations and what their many spinoff non profit organizations claim to do, and their membership list. Membership is by invitation only and there is enough history now to see who has been running the country since its inception in 1919. I could write a book on all of the corruption of each member on a global scale. Just pull up any 3 or 4 of the current members (no need to research all of the U.S. presidents, and yes they are all members, because we already know what they have done) and you will see how corrupt they all are. The members at the top are all white, male, .01%'s with international power. It seems really obvious to me that we lost the last of our rights on 9/11 and that we are now living in a communist country actually being run fairly quietly for now by the Chinese government. We have been taught to hate and kill anyone considered to be communist (Russia is in MSM all of the time) but where is the hatred for China in the media? Why has China been permitted to but up so much real estate here? I could to on and on but the bottom line is that I think that the international leaders of the world are all communists and that is why we have no democracy left. Before you disagree and call me crazy please do your research! That is all I ask.

berit , April 13, 2019 at 7:05 am

Thank you Excellent, comments included!! My copy of Thorstein Veblens Theory of the Leisure Class was lost somewhere along the way. I dutifully, as a fellow Norwegian, read it 50 years ago, working in New York, trying to like and acclimatize to an American way of life. This I saw first hand at the top, as part of staff of one of the richest, most famous banking families, then from the opposite level, clerk at Bell Telephone System in lower Manhattan. I've downloaded a free copy of Veblen, thanks, and shall reread it, as Norway seems to be on a trajectory not unlike the US, seemingly seeking the seat left open after UK's Tony Blair as US poodle one. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg the successor, I think – most regretfully.

Phil King , April 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

No comment needed:

"It is also a matter of common notoriety and byword that in offenses which result in a large accession of property to the offender he does not ordinarily incur the extreme penalty or the extreme obloquy with which his offenses would be visited on the ground of the naive moral code alone. The thief or swindler who has gained great wealth by his delinquency has a better chance than the small thief of escaping the rigorous penalty of the law and some good repute accrues to him from his increased wealth and from his spending the irregularly acquired possessions in a seemly manner. A well-bred expenditure of his booty especially appeals with great effect to persons of a cultivated sense of the proprieties, and goes far to mitigate the sense of moral turpitude with which his dereliction is viewed by them. It may be noted also -- and it is more immediately to the point -- that we are all inclined to condone an offense against property in the case of a man whose motive is the worthy one of providing the means of a "decent" manner of life for his wife and children. If it is added that the wife has been "nurtured in the lap of luxury," that is accepted as an additional extenuating circumstance. "

[Apr 13, 2019] Justice under neoliberalism

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Once one realizes 'justice' [under neoliberalism] is a monetized commodity, lawlessness becomes a viable [and justifiable] option. ..."
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Daniel Rich , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT

@annamaria

Once one realizes 'justice' [under neoliberalism] is a monetized commodity, lawlessness becomes a viable [and justifiable] option.

[Mar 18, 2019] College-entrance-exam cheating scandal exposes corrupt aristocracy (Video)

Mar 18, 2019 | theduran.com

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran's Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the college admissions scam revolving around William Rick Singer, who was running a for-profit college-counseling program, where according to federal prosecutors, has a goal focused on helping "the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school."

Arrest warrants for Hollywood stars, Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, were delivered on Tuesday following their alleged involvement in a college-entrance-exam cheating scandal.

According to CNN, the women were two of around 50 people who were the subject of federal indictment following an extensive FBI investigation named "Operation Varsity Blues."

Loughlin's husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was also implicated, and was arrested early on Tuesday morning.

TMZ reported that Huffman was arrested by seven armed FBI agents. Her husband, William H. Macy, has not been charged in connection to the case. Loughlin, Giannulli, and Huffman are all facing charges of felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Huffman is accused of spending $15,000 on an organization that allegedly helped her daughter cheat on her SATs. Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team for which neither of Loughlin's daughters rowed crew.

All three were recorded by the FBI on phone calls discussing their plans to alter or lie about their children's college applications.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DCX35SWyrSU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Via Zerohedge


Is there anything left in this country that has not been deeply tainted by corruption?

By now you have probably heard that dozens of people have been arrested for participating in a multi-million dollar college admissions scam. Enormous amounts of money were paid out in order to ensure that children from very wealthy families were able to get into top schools such as Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas and the University of Southern California. And as The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder writes, we should certainly be disgusted by these revelations, but we shouldn't be surprised. Such corruption happens every single day on every single level of society in America. At this point our nation is so far gone that it is shocking when you run into someone that actually still has some integrity.

The "mastermind" behind this college admissions scam was a con man named William Rick Singer. He had been successfully getting the kids of wealthy people into top colleges for years using "side doors", and he probably thought that he would never get caught.

But he did.

There were four basic methods that Singer used to get children from wealthy families into elite schools. The first two methods involved bribes

Bribing college entrance exam administrators to allow a third party to facilitate cheating on college entrance exams, in some cases by posing as actual students,' is the first.

Bribing university athletic coaches and administrators to designate applicants as purported athletic recruits – regardless of their athletic abilities, and in some cases, even though they did not play the sport,' is the second.

Because many of these kids didn't even play the sports they were being "recruited" for, in some cases Photoshop was used to paste their faces on to the bodies of real athletes

In order to get non-athletic kids admitted to college as athletes, Singer often had to create fake profiles for them. Sometimes this involved fabricating resumes that listed them having played on elite club teams, but to finish the illusion Singer and his team would also use Photoshop to combine photos of the kids with actual athletes in the sport.

A number of college coaches became exceedingly wealthy from taking bribes to "recruit" kids that would never play once they got to school, but now a lot of those same coaches are probably going to prison.

The third and fourth methods that Singer used involved more direct forms of cheating

'Having a third party take classes in place of the actual students, with the understanding that the grades earned in those classes would be submitted as part of the students' application,' is the third.

The fourth was 'submitting falsified applications for admission to universities that, among other things, included the fraudulently obtained exam scores and class grades, and often listed fake awards and athletic activities.'

Of course the main thing that the media is focusing on is the fact that some celebrities are among those being charged in this case, and that includes Lori Loughlin from "Full House"

It was important to "Full House" star Lori Loughlin that her kids have "the college experience" that she missed out on, she said back in 2016.

Loughlin, along with "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman, is among those charged in a scheme in which parents allegedly bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Despite how cynical I have become lately, I never would have guessed that Lori Loughlin was capable of such corruption.

After all, she seems like such a nice lady on television.

But apparently she was extremely determined to make sure that her daughters had "the college experience", and so Loughlin and her husband shelled out half a million dollars in bribes

Loughlin and Giannulli 'agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team – despite the fact that they did not participate in crew – thereby facilitating their admission to USC,' according to the documents.

As bad as this scandal is, can we really say that it is much worse than what is going on around the rest of the country every single day?

Of course not.

We are a very sick nation, and we are getting sicker by the day.

William Rick Singer had a good con going, and he should have stopped while he was ahead

William "Rick" Singer said he had the inside scoop on getting into college, and anyone could get in on it with his book, "Getting In: Gaining Admission To Your College of Choice."

"This book is full of secrets," he said in Chapter 1 before dispensing advice on personal branding, test-taking and college essays.

But Singer had even bigger secrets, and those would cost up to $1.2 million.

But like most con men, Singer just had to keep pushing the envelope, and in the end it is going to cost him everything.

The ironic thing is that our colleges and universities are pulling an even bigger con. They have convinced all of us that a college education is the key to a bright future, but meanwhile the quality of the "education" that they are providing has deteriorated dramatically. I spent eight years in school getting three degrees, and so I know what I am talking about. For much more on all this, please see my recent article entitled "50 Actual College Course Titles That Prove That America's Universities Are Training Our College Students To Be Socialists" .

I know that it is not fashionable to talk about "morality" and "values" these days, but the truth is that history has shown us that any nation that is deeply corrupt is not likely to survive for very long.

Our founders understood this, and former president John Adams once stated that our Constitution "was made only for a moral and religious people"

Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Today, we are neither moral or religious.


What we are is deeply corrupt, and America will not survive if we keep going down this path.

[Mar 17, 2019] Bezos Admits His Fortune Is Due to Public Infrastructure....Even as He Fought Paying a Homeless Tax in Seattle, Shakes Down Cities for Subsidies

Mar 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bezos : I've witnessed this incredible thing happen on the internet over the last two decades. I started Amazon in my garage 24 years ago -- drove packages to the post office myself. Today we have 600,000-plus people, millions and millions of customers, a very large company.

How did that happen in such a short period of time? It happened because we didn't have to do any of the heavy lifting. All of the heavy-lifting infrastructure was already in place for it. There was already a telecommunication network, which became the backbone of the internet. There was already a payment system -- it was called the credit card. There was already a transportation network called the US Postal Service, and Royal Mail, and Deutsche Post, all over the world, that could deliver our packages. We didn't have to build any of that heavy infrastructure.

An even more stark example is Facebook. Here's a guy who literally, in his dorm room, started a company -- Mark Zuckerberg started a company in his dorm room, which is now worth half a trillion dollars -- less than two decades ago.

NY Geezer , March 1, 2019 at 9:04 am

Jeff Bezos strikes me as an incredibly pompous hustler who is so much into himself that he has begun to believe that he is GOD. Before trying to hustle others into traveling to Mars, or any other space destination, he should show us that it is feasible by PERSONALLY going first, surviving 18 months of space travel (9 months each way to Mars) including a landing on and take off from Mars.

flora , March 1, 2019 at 7:27 am

Jeff reveals how he made his fortune using public infrastructure (read govt spending) and tax breaks. Now he's aiming for Pentagon riches.

In addition to Amazon's much-panned withdrawal from a "second headquarters" deal in New York City -- which had the New York Post comparing Bezos to ex-Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray for his inability to "take the kind of pressure New York can dish out" -- the Pez-headed tech giant's dreams of Pentagon riches are suddenly being thwarted.

The blow involves a surprise delay in the award of the so-called JEDI contract, a $10 billion (or more) prize for Pentagon cloud management that once seemed gift-wrapped for Amazon.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-bezos-war-799928/

Ape , March 1, 2019 at 7:48 am

Hmm, the internet already existed. In fact the WWW existed. He must know that -- so he's lying to minimize the amount of infrastructure he inherited. By 1994, everything was already there.

William Hunter Duncan , March 1, 2019 at 9:10 am

I am growing so very tired of the Cult of Bezos. That line about his garage is like an incantation to put his acolytes and sycophants into zombie mode. That argument that there can be no space Zuckerbergs sounds like subliminal messaging 'divert more public resources to ME! Only I can lead you to the stars!' He has zero intention of building his own space infrastructure. He wants us to build it for Him, our demigod, Bezos!

[Mar 17, 2019] As Hemingway replied to Scott Fitzgerald assertion The rich are different than you and me : yes, they have more money.

Highly recommended!
Human society is way to complex for alpha males to succeed unconditionally... Quite a different set of traits is often needed.
Notable quotes:
"... Superficially, Hemingway was correct. But on a deeper level, he missed the reality of the heightened sense of entitlement that the very rich possess, as well as the deference that so many people automatically show to them. ..."
"... Hemingway is saying: take away all that money and the behavior would change as well. It's the money (or the power in your example) that makes the difference. ..."
"... I feel Fitzgerald got the basic idea right ..."
"... Apparently Fitzgerald was referring specifically to the attitudes of those who are born rich, attitudes that Fitzgerald thought remained unaltered by events, including the loss of economic status. ..."
"... "They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different." ..."
"... "He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't it wrecked him as much as any other thing that wrecked him." ..."
Dec 31, 2015 | nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian December 29, 2015

As Hemingway replied to that alum: "yes, they have more money."

Vatch December 29, 2015 at 11:25 am

Superficially, Hemingway was correct. But on a deeper level, he missed the reality of the heightened sense of entitlement that the very rich possess, as well as the deference that so many people automatically show to them. The rich shouldn't be different in this way, but they are. In some other societies, such entitlement and deference would accrue to senior party members, senior clergymen, or hereditary nobility (who might not have much money at all).

MyLessThanPrimeBeef December 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

"Go with the winner." That is how it works for the alpha male (a chimp, an ape, or a gorilla) for most followers anyway. Some will challenge. If victorious, followers will line up (more go-with-the-winner). If defeated, an outcast.

Carolinian December 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Without a doubt Hemingway had a rather catty attitude toward his literary rival, but in this instance I think the debunking is merited. It's quite possible that rich people act the way we would act if we were rich, and that Fitzgerald's tiresome obsession with rich people didn't cut very deep. Hemingway is saying: take away all that money and the behavior would change as well. It's the money (or the power in your example) that makes the difference.

Massinissa December 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm

In my opinion, the fact that if they had less money would change the way they think, does not change the fact that, while they have more money, they think differently, and different rules apply to them.

Massinissa December 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Addendum: The fact that an Alpha Chimp would act differently if someone else was the Alpha Chimp does not change the fact that an Alpha Chimp has fundamentally different behavior than the rest of the group.

Carolinian December 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Sounds like you are saying the behavior of the rich is different -- not what F. Scott Fitzgerald said.

Massinissa December 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:F._Scott_Fitzgerald

"Hemingway is responsible for a famous misquotation of Fitzgerald's. According to Hemingway, a conversation between him and Fitzgerald went:

Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.
Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.

This never actually happened; it is a retelling of an actual encounter between Hemingway and Mary Colum, which went as follows:

Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.

Colum: I think you'll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money."

Just want to point out that that quote of Hemingways wasn't about Fitzgerald and wasn't even by Hemingway. Anyway I was more attacking the "rich have more money" thing than I was trying to defend Fitzgerald, but I feel Fitzgerald got the basic idea right

craazyman December 29, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I read somewhere, maybe a biography of one of them when I read books like that, that Hemingway actually said it and only said that F. Scott said it.

There are no heroes among famous men. I said that!

giantsquid December 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Here's an interesting take on this reputed exchange between Fitzgerald and Hemingway:

"The rich are different" The real story behind the famed "exchange" between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

http://www.quotecounterquote.com/2009/11/rich-are-different-famous-quote.html

Apparently Fitzgerald was referring specifically to the attitudes of those who are born rich, attitudes that Fitzgerald thought remained unaltered by events, including the loss of economic status.

"They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different."

Hemingway suggested that Fitzgerald had once been especially enamored of the rich, seeing them as a "special glamorous race" but ultimately became disillusioned.

"He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't it wrecked him as much as any other thing that wrecked him."

[Mar 09, 2019] The USA new class in full glory: rich are shopping differently from the low income families and the routine is like doing drags, but more pleasurable and less harmful. While workers are stuglling with the wages that barely allow to support the family, the pressure to cut hours and introduce two tire system

Notable quotes:
"... Buying beautiful clothes at full retail price was not a part of my childhood and it is not a part of my life now. It felt more illicit and more pleasurable than buying drugs. It was like buying drugs and doing the drugs, simultaneously."" ..."
"... "Erie Locomotive Plant Workers Strike against Two-Tier" [ Labor Notes ]. "UE proposed keeping the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement in place while negotiating a new contract, but Wabtec rejected that proposal. Instead it said it would impose a two-tier pay system that would pay new hires and recalled employees up to 38 percent less in wages, institute mandatory overtime, reorganize job classifications, and hire temporary workers for up to 20 percent of the plant's jobs. ..."
"... Workers voted on Saturday to authorize the strike." • Good. Two-tier is awful, wherever found (including Social Security). ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Guillotine Watch

"My Year of Living Like My Rich Friend" [ New York Magazine ].

"[S]hopping with T was different. When she walked into a store, the employees greeted her by name and began to pull items from the racks for her to try on. Riding her coattails, I was treated with the same consideration, which is how I wound up owning a beautiful cashmere 3.1 Philip Lim sweater that I had no use for and rarely wore, and which was eventually eaten by moths in my closet.

Buying beautiful clothes at full retail price was not a part of my childhood and it is not a part of my life now. It felt more illicit and more pleasurable than buying drugs. It was like buying drugs and doing the drugs, simultaneously.""

Indeed:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dfO0TgcDUnI

Class Warfare

"Erie Locomotive Plant Workers Strike against Two-Tier" [ Labor Notes ]. "UE proposed keeping the terms of the existing collective bargaining agreement in place while negotiating a new contract, but Wabtec rejected that proposal. Instead it said it would impose a two-tier pay system that would pay new hires and recalled employees up to 38 percent less in wages, institute mandatory overtime, reorganize job classifications, and hire temporary workers for up to 20 percent of the plant's jobs.

Workers voted on Saturday to authorize the strike." • Good. Two-tier is awful, wherever found (including Social Security).

[Mar 09, 2019] The 1% vs the 0.1%

Mar 03, 2019 | stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com

Many of you might react to the FT's story about the "squeezed 1%" by getting out the world's smallest violin. I think this is a mistake. It reminds us that the damage done by inequality extends beyond the general social and economic harm. It hurts even those who are a long way up the income ladder.

First, some statistical context. Someone at the bottom of the top percentile of incomes is on about £120,000 a year. The top 0.1%, however, gets over £500,000. A very well-paid head-teacher, professor or NHS consultant might just get into the top 1%, but the top 0.1% comprises bankers, very successful entrepreneurs or bosses of big firms. As the IFS's Paul Johnson says , "someone 'only' at the top 1% is much more like the average person than they are like someone at top 0.1%."

This gulf between the 1% and 0.1% hurts the 1% in three ways.

One is simply that they are aware of it. For the poor, the rich are out of sight, out of mind: in fact, they grossly under -estimate just how much the rich make. The 1%, however, see it more clearly. We compare ourselves to people like us. And the 1% benchmark themselves against the 0.1%. They are often university contemporaries, so one might resent why the no-mark who was no smarter than him is earning five times as much. Or they might compare social utilities. A doctor covered in blood will wonder why he is paid so much less for saving somebody's life than a banker is paid for – well, what? And of course the 1% sees the 0.1% close up. Just as no man is a hero to his valet, so nobody in the 0.1% is a hero to his underling. Middle-managers have a lively awareness of the short-comings of senior managers, as professors do of the foibles of vice-chancellors.

All this naturally breeds resentment. Experiments (pdf) by Philip Grossman and Mana Komai have confirmed this. They split subjects into rich and poor groups and gave everybody the option of destroying another's wealth. They found that predations by the poor upon the rich were only a minority of attacks. Instead they found that the rich attacked other rich. This is consistent with reference group theory: we compare ourselves to those like us:

We find strong evidence of within class envy: the rich targeting the rich and the poor targeting the poor. Within the rich community, the target of envy is usually a wealthier subject whose wealth is close to that of the attacker; the attacker may possibly be trying to improve his/her relative ranking.

A second effect of the gap between the 0.1% and 1% is the subject of the FT's article. The very rich price the reasonably rich out of houses and schools: top private school fees have soared in recent years because they market themselves to the global rich. As Rick wrote :

The painful fact for many people is that their jobs no longer pay enough for them to enjoy what they had been brought up to think of as a middle-class lifestyle. They can't afford to live in the sort of house in the sort of street where they grew up. They can't afford to send their children to the schools they went to. And those nice leafy hospitals their parents used to go to, forget it. The super-rich can still afford these things, though, so the prices keep going up, well beyond the reach of the old middle-classes.

The difference between the 1% and the 0.1% doesn't, however, lie merely in what they can afford. There is perhaps an even bigger difference. A man (it's usually a man) on £500,000 can reasonably look forward to quitting work or downshifting unless he has arranged his affairs especially badly. Somebody on a low six-figure salary, however, cannot. Instead, they often face years of stress – exacerbated by managerialism's deprofessionalization of erstwhile professional jobs and to the fact that their inability to afford homes in central London condemns them to long and stressful commutes .

You will of course object here that this is also true for millions of workers far outside the 1%. You'd be bang right. And that's the point. Class is not merely another yet another identity. It is an objective fact about your relationship to the means of production – about whether this puts you in a position (pdf) of subordination or domination. In many cases – not all but many – even those on six-figure salaries are in subordinate and stressful positions. They are objectively working class, however posh they might fancy themselves to be.

Which is why we need class politics. Whereas identity politics risks splitting us into mutually hostile ghettos, proper class politics has the potential to unite us – well most of us. One of the great marvels of capitalism is that we are so incapable of seeing this.

March 03, 2019 | Permalink

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Comments

Scratch , March 03, 2019 at 04:55 PM

"They split subjects into rich and poor groups and gave everybody the option of destroying another's wealth. They found that predations by the poor upon the rich were only a minority of attacks. Instead they found that the rich attacked other rich. This is consistent with reference group theory:"

Heh. One presumes reference group theory has not been updated for the last 40-odd years.

Laurent GUERBY , March 03, 2019 at 05:42 PM
Looks like something for this blog about managerialism:

https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1db3jy3201d38/The-MBA-Myth-and-the-Cult-of-the-CEO

e , March 03, 2019 at 06:42 PM
Great post. Why we showcase any known instance of less than genteel behaviour (thought or deed) among a rank and file while also screeching about a middle class running the shop...you know, divide and rule.

Matthew Turner , March 03, 2019 at 08:52 PM
Are we sure (upper) middle class living has got more expensive? I'm sceptical about holidays (cited in that post you link to) and probably housing (I just don't see how the rich, even inc foreigners, could have bought so many). I suspect a lot of this is people being s bit lower down the distribution that their parents..

Toby , March 03, 2019 at 09:05 PM
Another terrific post. But I'm left with two questions:

1. Is the tension you cite between 1% and 0.1% not the same as between the 0.1% and the 0.01%?

2. Could you expand on why having the 1% identified as working class would help?

The class distinction serves to divide, and is recasting the boundary at the 0.1% level an effort to unite a greater proportion of the population (really very nearly everyone) different from saying that the idea of class politics is not useful after all? Or is it to just form a tougher coalition against the top 0.1%?

KevinCarson1 , March 03, 2019 at 09:21 PM
No sympathy at all. Most of the bottom nine-tenths of the top 1% are doing bullshit jobs -- bean-counting, guard labor, gatekeeping -- for the top tenth that wouldn't exist in a rational, egalitarian society. And the managerial stratum, as a whole, is an enormous suck on production workers' wages, whether or not its total income actually equals that of rentiers; simply returning managerial/supervisory salaries to the same share of total labor compensation they received in the '70s would alone raise production workers' pay by a quarter or more. The plantation overseers may not be as rich as the planters, but they're still parasites.

Brian , March 03, 2019 at 09:31 PM
Conversations I've overheard in the last couple of years:

"We're both barristers and we can't even afford a flat in Tooting".
"I went to Heathfield and my husband went to Eton. But no chance we can afford private schools for our children".
"Rich foreigners have bought up the houses in Kensington we should have been living in."

My friend, an accountant, says there has always been social churn. But this seems different to me. And at some point the foremen for the billionaire class, I hope, will say sod this for a game of checkers.

Scratch , March 03, 2019 at 10:15 PM
The one that shocks me is the professoriate. Casualising and impoverishing one's core ideological cadre strikes me as a little hubristic.

Then again they seem to be almost without exception devoted to feral liberalism which is presumably testament to the accuracy of the 0/1%'s analysis.

Matthew Turner , March 04, 2019 at 08:09 AM
"We're both barristers and we can't even afford a flat in Tooting".

So who is living in Tooting then?

georgesdelatour , March 04, 2019 at 10:34 AM
The 0.1% hurt the rest of us mainly because they're able to get governments to enact their policy preferences, not because their individual spending decisions heavily skew markets and strain public services. Ultimately there just aren't enough of them to make that much difference, except in highly localised areas; and anyway, they probably use "the commons" (public transport, state schools, the NHS) far less than the median citizen does.

For instance, the 0.1% may cause property bubbles in certain specific locations (Malibu, Manhattan, San Jose, Chelsea etc). But their individual property purchases aren't the main driver of the broader property/housing crisis. We're currently adding around a million people to the UK population every three years. That's 20 times more people than the entire 0.1%. It's got to have more of an effect on the elevated demand for homes, the elevated congestion on London's commuter trains and tubes, and the elevated demand for school places and NHS treatments; even if some of these new Britons come to work in construction, transport, education or health.

Adrian , March 04, 2019 at 11:02 AM
Or we are deep into a structural demographic pattern where an expanded and entitled 'Elite' are in serious competition for the lifestyles they are 'entitled' to.

This situation in history has created some of the most severe political crisis in the history of the west from civil war to bloody revolution, and there is no good reason to suspect that the continuing competition between the established and seeking elites, will ferment even further political and civil strife.

Brexit, an example of a punch up between these elite factions, is already causing severe political strife as the state attempts to reconcile and buy of these competing factions, by hollowing out the classes below to pay for the exercise.

The attempt by the French government to make the non-elite classes pay for the downside of elite supporting policies is not going well, and were is not for the endlessly phlegmatic English constitution and the appeal to ingrained xenophobia, that the non elite classes would be already violently engaged on the streets.

The only way - history says - to escape the effect of this structural position, aside from civil war or revolution to winnow the elite class, the predominate cause of this situation, is through lethal pandemic. Unlikely with modern medicine.

We are at the active beginning of this process, the main crisis is yet to unfold.

georgesdelatour , March 05, 2019 at 09:24 AM
@Adrian

Are you alluding to Peter Turchin's theory of "Elite Overproduction"? I think he's on to something.

Adrian , March 05, 2019 at 10:23 AM
@georgesdelatour

Absolutely. Structural Demographics in lockstep with serious crisis. We're in the middle, or at the serious start? The question is going to have to be, will the Elites roll over and allow taxation and redistribution to winnow the wealth, or refuse to budge and see violent breakdown?

Given that it's hard to defuse the crisis through the traditional weapon of inter-state war, because of nuclear weapons, that some form of new highly redistributive social contract will be the only way to avoid serious social dislocation.

However, the unfailing position of the elites to see themselves as the answer and not the problem, mitigates against a non-violent accord?

Given that historically the only way to defuse these crisis is to reduce the overpopulation issue in fairly short order, I can't see any easy way out.

But perhaps climate collapse and the affect on food supply and production might do that anyway?

[Feb 11, 2019] I would hardly call Europe's [neoliberal] elite liberals

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

IstvanIN , says: February 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT

anarchyst says:
February 3, 2019 at 2:24 pm GMT • 300 Words
The debasement of European societies is deliberate. The elites want destruction, period they want their "New World Order"

Very true.

The intent of this article is to blame [neo]Liberals. I would hardly call Europe's [neoliberal] elite liberals. A liberal would defend freedom of expression and thought. A liberal would defend the right of an individual or group to express viewpoints that are unpopular.

Western Europe is hardly liberal. It is ... repressive when it comes to dissent, mildly totalitarian. Political leaders who advocate for the rights of indigenous Europeans in Europe are persecuted and imprisoned. Political parties are banned or bankrupted.

[Jan 11, 2019] There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect

Notable quotes:
"... The Travesty of Liberalism ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.bradford-delong.com

Possibly the finest thing I have read this year:

Frank Wilhoit : The Travesty of Liberalism :

"There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham's Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation. There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist.

What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely.

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect...

Continue reading "" "

[Nov 27, 2018] American capitalism could afford to make concessions assiciated with The New Deal because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a neoliberal counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This policy has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The original "New Deal," which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution ..."
"... Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services. ..."
"... To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new "New Deal," of a green or any other variety, is to pfile:///F:/Private_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/Historyromote an obvious political fiction." ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star November 26, 2018 at 4:23 pm

As the New deal unravels:

"The original "New Deal," which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that had occurred less than two decades before.

American capitalism could afford to make such concessions because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a social counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services.

To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new "New Deal," of a green or any other variety, is to pfile:///F:/Private_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/Historyromote an obvious political fiction."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/23/cort-n23.html

[Sep 16, 2018] Neoliberal nomenklatura

Sep 16, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Stephen 09.16.18 at 4:11 pm

Peter T: contrariwise, if it is that as you say "There's surely a reasoned case to be made that hierarchies are essential to complex societies" and "someone has to be at the top and therefore someone else at the bottom", is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?

See nomenklatura, etc.


Sebastian H 09.16.18 at 5:27 pm ( 83 )

"is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?"

Usually yes, but they will be benevolent so we don't have to worry about them. That is why there are a lot of naïve progressive rule proposals that make me want to scream "what if someone less pure than the purest person you ever met gets a hold of it"? Though I usually just say "what if Ralph Nader were in charge ?", but that is admittedly trolling. For the most current example see the EU copyright rules. The same people who complain about conservative twitter mobs think that telling facebook, twitter, and google to automatically screen out copyright violations and somehow automatically allow fair use of copyright is going to work out well.
I suck at guessing at malignant uses of technology and I can already see the Russian copyright upload experts getting prominent left wing voices tied up in interminable litigation over political speeches. Or some troll reporting the entire internet as copyrighted in one paragraph increments. Or the speech censorship discussions. Dissolving free speech norms is 1000% more likely to be used against left wing voices than right wing ones if they get mainstreamed.

likbez 09.16.18 at 9:16 pm ( 84 )
@Lee A. Arnold 09.15.18 at 12:14 pm (66)

In our present moment, the "protection of aristocracy against the agency of the subordinate classes" has transmuted to "protection of the free market as a way for any subordinate person to ascend by personal effort into the modern open aristocracy."

That is a very deep observation. Thank you!

Protection of inequality as a "natural human condition" is the key to understanding both conservatism and neoliberalism. The corresponding myth of social mobility based on person's abilities under neoliberalism (as Napoleon Bonaparte observed "Ability is of little account without opportunity" and the opportunity is lacking under neoliberal stagnation -- the current state of neoliberalism ) is just icing on the cake.

As soon as you accept Hayek sophistry that the term "freedom" means "the freedom from coercion" you are both a neoliberal and a conservative. And if you belong to Democratic Party, you are a Vichy democrat ;-)

likbez 09.16.18 at 9:50 pm ( 85 )
@Stephen 09.16.18 at 4:11 pm (82)

"is it legitimate to suspect that a fair proportion (not all, of course) of those advocating progressive change believe that after the defeat of the evil conservative forces, there will still be an essential hierarchy, only they will be on top?"

In a way yes ;-)

Neoliberalism/conservatism means that the state enforces the existing hierarchy and supports existing aristocracy ("socialism for rich"). If you deny the existence of a flavor of the Soviet nomenklatura (aristocracy in which position in social hierarchy mainly depends on their role in the top management of government or corporations, not so much personal fortune) in the USA, you deny the reality.

So the question is not about hierarchy per se, but about the acceptable level of "corporate socialism" and inequality in the society.

The progressive change means the creation of the system of government which serves as a countervailing force to the private capital owners, curbing their excesses. I would say that financial oligarchy generally should be treated as a district flavor of organized crime.

The key issue is how to allow a decent level of protection of the bottom 90% of the population from excesses of unfettered capitalism and "market forces" and at the same time not to slide into excessive bureaucracy and regulation ("state capitalism" model).

For a short period after WWII the alliance of a part of state apparatus, upper-level management, and trade unions against owners of capital did exist in the USA (New Deal Capitalism). In an imperfect form with multiple betrayals and quick deterioration, but still existed for some time due to the danger from the USSR

Around 80th the threat from USSR dissipate, and the upper-level management betrayed their former allies and switched sides which signified the victory of neoliberalism and dismantling of the New Deal Capitalism.

After the USSR collapse (when Soviet nomenklatura switched to neoliberalism) the financial oligarchy staged coup d'état in the USA (aka "Quiet Coup") and came to the top.

We need depose this semi-criminal gang. Of course, the end of "cheap oil" will probably help.

Peter T 09.16.18 at 11:40 pm ( 86 )
Stephen

Some, but a "fair proportion"? Probably not. Advocacy of progressive causes usually involves punching up – an inherently more dangerous occupation than punching down. People forget that the older nomenklatura won their positions in World War II, when being a commissar meant leading from the front, being shot out of hand by the Germans, rallying the partisans in mountain villages to another desperate defence and similar. Survivor bias – we don't see the dead.

In more genteel times, the outspoken progressive will often face social ostracism, lack of promotion, attacks in the conservative press

Human motives are complex – no doubt there were confederates who genuinely believed the fight was for states rights, and no doubt there are libertarians who genuinely believe that the poor will have it much better in a free market utopia. I doubt the proportion, either counting individuals or in the swirl inside minds, is very large, but there's always some.

Faustusnotes 09.16.18 at 11:45 pm ( 87 )
Now we're making progress Thomas. The Berkowitz definition is sleazy, and sets up anyone not conservative as an amoral lump in need of guidance, or worse still as dangerous to society. Perhaps that's why Hayek (a supposedly type b conservative) had his opponents thrown out of helicopters. Or was that Friedman?

The appeal of conservatism and it's electoral success is easily explained. Because their real ideology is just treachery, theft and rape they need to hide these ideas from normal people, who already in general support the moral ideas fundamental to civilized society regardless of their politics. So they hide their true agenda through appeals to racism, or by cloaking themselves in the type b definition (isn't this robins point?!) In doing this they benefit from the work of yeomen like you, who insist that conservatism is a real moral project rather than banditry. In most countries they also only win when the left is divided, and only when their elite friends are pouring money into corrupt media. If they didn't have these advantages, these lies, and help from people like you they would never succeed.

I focus on Trump et Al because they are the leaders of your sect,the people who sell your ideas (manafort was a campaign manager ffs), and the people who turn the ideology into action. Didn't you learn in primary school to judge people by their actions, not their words? And why would I ignore these particular conservatives because they're "vulgar clowns"? You're all dangerous, vulgar clowns.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Aug 24, 2018] The priorities of the deep state and its public face the MSM

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump is being promoted by the MSM as the leader of the deplorables – an orange straw man. I support him to the degree that he is confounding the deep state elites and social engineering. ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER August 23, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Here is my take on the priorities of the deep state and its public face – the MSM:

  1. stopping the deplorable rebellion
  2. cutting off the head of the rebellion – perceived as Trump
  3. reinstating the Cold War in an effort to derail Rusisa's recovery and international leadership role
  4. bitch slapping China

The rest involves turning unsustainable debt into establishment of a feudal world comprised of elites living on Mount Olympus, legions of vassals and a vast sea of cerebrally castrated peasants to serve as a reservoir for any imaginable exploitation.

Won't happen, not even close.

PATIENT OBSERVER August 23, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Upon further reflection, Trump is being promoted by the MSM as the leader of the deplorables – an orange straw man. I support him to the degree that he is confounding the deep state elites and social engineering.

[Oct 24, 2017] House Launches Probe Into Comeys Handling Of Clinton Email Investigation

The neoliberal "the new class" to which Clintons belong like nomenklatura in the USSR are above the law.
Notable quotes:
"... After months of inexplicable delays, the chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), announced moments ago a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. ..."
"... Oh goody, Trey Gowdy doing another investigation. Isn't he 0 for many on his investigations. 0 as in zero, nada, nill, squat, zippo. He is another political empty suit with a bad haircut. ..."
"... Well said. The Clinton network leads to the real money in this game. Any real investigation would expose many of the primary players. It would also expose the network for what it is, that being a mechanism to scam both the American people and the people of the world. ..."
"... Perhaps a real investigation will now only be done from outside the system (as the U.S. political system seems utterly incapable of investigating or policing itself). ..."
"... You're probably right, but there's a chance this whole thing could go sidewise on Hillary in a hurry, Weinstein-style. ..."
"... We already know Honest Hill'rey's other IT guy (Bryan Pagliano) ignored subpoenas from congress...twice. ..."
"... Another classic case of "the Boy that cried wolf" for the Trumpettes to believe justice is coming to the Clintons. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees, will turn up nothing, apart from some procedural mistakes. A complete waste of time and tax payer money. Only the Goldfish will be happy over another charade. Killary is immune from normal laws. ..."
"... Potemkin Justice. Not a damn thing will come of it unless they find that one of Hillary's aides parked in a handicapped spot. ..."
"... The TV showed me Trump saying, "She's been through enough" and "They're good people" when referring to Hillary and Bill Clinton. ..."
"... Stopped reading at "they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status." ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Hillary's former IT consultant Paul Combetta who admitted to deleting Hillary's emails despite the existence of a Congressional subpoena, it seems as though James Comey has just had his very own "oh shit" moment.

After months of inexplicable delays, the chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), announced moments ago a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Among other things, Goodlatte and Gowdy said that the FBI must answer for why it chose to provide public updates in the Clinton investigation but not in the Trump investigation and why the FBI decided to " appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton," a power typically left to the DOJ.

"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic and our fellow citizens must have confidence in its objectivity, independence, and evenhandedness. The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight.

"Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered. These include, but are not limited to:

???? #BREAKING : @RepGoodlatte & @TGowdySC to investigate #DOJ decisions made in 2016 to ensure transparency and accountability at the agency. pic.twitter.com/EOm4pnHbTG

-- House Judiciary ? (@HouseJudiciary) October 24, 2017

Of course, this comes just one day after Comey revealed his secret Twitter account which led the internet to wildly speculate that he may be running for a political office...which, these days, being under investigation by multiple Congressional committees might just mean he has a good shot.

Finally, we leave you with one artist's depiction of how the Comey 'investigation' of Hillary's email scandal played out...

AlaricBalth -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 1:03 PM

"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic..."

Spewed coffee after reading this quote.

Ghost of PartysOver -> AlaricBalth , Oct 24, 2017 1:10 PM

Oh goody, Trey Gowdy doing another investigation. Isn't he 0 for many on his investigations. 0 as in zero, nada, nill, squat, zippo. He is another political empty suit with a bad haircut.

nope-1004 -> Ghost of PartysOver , Oct 24, 2017 1:12 PM

LAMP POST!

Live stream for all to witness.

macholatte -> nope-1004 , Oct 24, 2017 1:17 PM

It's nice publicity to hear that the Congress is "investigating". It's NOT nice to know that the DOJ is doing nothing. Probably 50 top level people at the FBI need to be fired as well as another 50 at DOJ to get the ball rolling toward a Grand Jury. Until then, it's all eyewash and BULLSHIT!

Thought Processor -> Chupacabra-322 , Oct 24, 2017 2:11 PM

Well said. The Clinton network leads to the real money in this game. Any real investigation would expose many of the primary players. It would also expose the network for what it is, that being a mechanism to scam both the American people and the people of the world.

Perhaps a real investigation will now only be done from outside the system (as the U.S. political system seems utterly incapable of investigating or policing itself). Though in time all information will surface, as good players leak the info of the bad players into the open. Which of course is why the corrupt players go after the leakers, as it is one key way they can be taken down. Also remember that they need the good players in any organization to be used as cover (as those not in the know can be used to work on legit projects). Once the good players catch on to the ruse and corruption it is, beyond a certain tipping point, all over, as the leaked information goes from drop to flood. There will simply be no way to deny it.

Ikiru -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 2:02 PM

You're probably right, but there's a chance this whole thing could go sidewise on Hillary in a hurry, Weinstein-style. If the criminal stench surrounding her gets strong enough, the rats will begin to jump ship. People will stop taking orders and doing her dirty work. She's wounded right now, if there was ever a time to finish her, it would be now. Where the fuck is the big-talking Jeff Sessions? I think they got to him--he even LOOKS scared shitless.

jimmy c korn -> Richard Chesler , Oct 24, 2017 1:28 PM

a blind-folded woman with a hand in their pockets.

chunga -> Max Cynical , Oct 24, 2017 1:00 PM

It's just not possible to have any respect for these politician people.

We already know Honest Hill'rey's other IT guy (Bryan Pagliano) ignored subpoenas from congress...twice. Remember Chaffetz "subpoenas are not suggestions"? Yeah, well they are. Chaffetz turned around and sent a letter about this to "attorney general" jeff sessions and he's done exactly shit about about it. (Look it up, that's a true story)

Then we've got president maverick outsider simply ignoring Julian Assange and Wikileaks while he squeals daily about fake news. Wikileaks has exposed more fraud than Congress ever has.

shovelhead -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM

First we need to get a US Attorney. Our last one seems to have gone AWOL.

DirtySanchez -> shovelhead , Oct 24, 2017 1:05 PM

Sessions is the Attorney General. Give the man some credit. He recused himself from the Russia/Trump collusion, and this decision may very well save the republic.

If Sessions was actively involved, half the nation would never accept the findings, no matter the outcome. With Sessions voluntarily sidelined, the truth will eventually expose the criminal conspirators; all the way to the top.

Wikileaks and Assange have documented proof of criminal behavior from Obama, Lynch, Holder, Hillary, W. Bush, and more. This will be the biggest scandal to hit the world stage. Ever.

waterwitch -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 1:18 PM

Bigger than the Awan Spy ring in Congress?

IronForge , Oct 24, 2017 12:36 PM

About Fracking Time. Toss that Evidence Eraser into Black Sites hot during the Summer and Cold during the Winter Months.

To Hell In A Ha... , Oct 24, 2017 12:40 PM

lol Another classic case of "the Boy that cried wolf" for the Trumpettes to believe justice is coming to the Clintons. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees, will turn up nothing, apart from some procedural mistakes. A complete waste of time and tax payer money. Only the Goldfish will be happy over another charade. Killary is immune from normal laws.

E.F. Mutton , Oct 24, 2017 12:37 PM

Potemkin Justice. Not a damn thing will come of it unless they find that one of Hillary's aides parked in a handicapped spot.

ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:38 PM

The TV said Comey will be running for president in 2020.

Akzed -> ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:39 PM

Well then it must be true.

ToSoft4Truth -> Akzed , Oct 24, 2017 12:51 PM

The TV showed me Trump saying, "She's been through enough" and "They're good people" when referring to Hillary and Bill Clinton. Holograms?

E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM

The Blind Justice Lady is real, she just has a .45 at the back of her head held by Hillary. And don't even ask where Bill's finger is

mc888 -> BigWillyStyle887 , Oct 24, 2017 1:24 PM

Congress can't do shit without DOJ and FBI, which are both compromised and corrupt to the core.

That should have been Sessions' first order of business.

He can still get it rolling by firing Rosenstein and replacing him with someone that will do the job.They can strike down the Comey immunity deals and arrest people for violating Congressional subpeona.

They can also assemble a Grand Jury to indict Rosenstein and Mueller for the Russian collusion conspiracy to commit Espionage and Sabotage of our National Security resources. Half of Mueller's staff will then be indicted, along with Clinton, Obama, Lynch, Holder, and Comey.

Replacement of Rosenstein is the crucial first step.

Dead Indiana Sky , Oct 24, 2017 12:43 PM

Stopped reading at "they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status."

[Oct 24, 2017] Neoliberalism as [un]creative destruction by Andy Shi

Oct 24, 2017 | prezi.com

Transcript of Neoliberalism as creative destruction David Harvey: Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction
David Harvey argues that neo-liberalism is an ideological tool and economic formula used by the upper class to re-dominate lower class. Neo-liberalism is not a successful economic stimulant, but a destructive one. It had destroyed pre-existing organization and institution on a global scale. This is done through the usage of privatization, financialization, crisis management and state redistribution. Moreover, neo-liberalism took great effort and time to be implemented globally. It is detrimental to all aspect of life (i.e. social relation, social security, welfare, attachment to land, and way of thought).

Role of the State

State had active participation in advancing the neoliberal doctrine. From David Harvey's perspective, the nation-state is an instrument of the upper class. It was used to extend the interest of the upper class. The state have effective became the will of the transnational corporation. This is both a domestic(new york) and transnational effort. (Reagan and Thatcher's Chillean model).

His first argument is that neo-liberalism is "naturalized" by classical liberal values such as liberty and freedom. i.e. The values of freedom is under threat if government intervenes. Also opened up niche market (promotion of consumerism)

Example : Iraq

Failure of the Previous capitalistic Economy

Neo-liberalism occured as an answer to the failing capitalistic system. Capitalism is a system that survives on perpetuated growth. When growth stoped under social democracy, Capitalism began to crumble. David Harvey used statistic of wealth distribution to illustrate his point.
Pre-war, The top one percent shared 1 percent of the national income, after, they share
8 percent. After 1990 15%

Neoliberalism as Class Redomination

His is third argument is that neo-liberalism had fail to achieve what it claims to do. (Redistribution rather than generative) Instead, it is merely a scheme of destruction to restore class power. (Global Gdp steadily declining) This is done through privatization, financialization, crisis, and state policy. Media obscure facts and encourages social Darwinism. (Mexico as a success story)

Summary

Legitimization of the Neoliberal Doctrine

Discussion questions

1 Given the roles and the impact of the nation-state and TNCs, do you believe that TNCs will one day completely replace nation-states?

2 Examples of globalization and transnationalism can be seen in the increasing number of languages spoken around the world. Has acquiring language (or languages) become rationalized into the culture of capitalism? What are the potential benefits or problems with a selective processes of language acquisition?

3。Do you think Nation state have the ability to resist the globalization effect brought by the neo-liberalism regime? If so, how?

Structural Marxism

Perspective that posits the institutions of the state must function in such a way as to ensure ongoing viability of capitalism more generally. Another way that Marxists put this is that the institutions of the state must function so as to reproduce capitalist society as a whole. Neoliberal state reproduced the capitalistic society with academics.

(the chicago boys)

How did neoliberlism gain support?

In cooperation of Christian right, A insecure white middle class and the republican take over of congress in the 90's lead to a political base that supported their policies against their interest. Neoliberalism is extremely well adapted to utilizing crisis to threaten the public, forcing the public to make deal with the devil.
Chilean Model

In 1970, the democratic elected Marxist leader Allande was overthrown by military coup. The new leader Augusto Pinochet is a Neoliberalist which famously said 'to make Chile not a nation of proletarians, but a nation of proprietors' Lower wage, privatizing public property, decrease in welfare and social spending

[Oct 23, 2017] Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction David Harvey, 2007

This article is 10 year old but the analysis presented still remain by-and-large current.
You can read full article in Neoliberalism As Creative Destruction - David Harvey by Open Critique - issue
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism is a theory of political economic practices proposing that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, unencumbered markets, and free trade. ..."
"... Furthermore, if markets do not exist (in areas such as education, health care, social security, or environmental pollution), then they must be created, by state action if necessary. ..."
"... State interventions in markets (once created) must be kept to a bare minimum because the state cannot possibly possess enough information to second-guess market signals (prices) and because powerful interests will inevitably distort and bias state interventions (particularly in democracies) for their own benefit. ..."
"... State after state, from the new ones that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union to old-style social democracies and welfare states such as New Zealand and Sweden, have embraced, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes in response to coercive pressures, some version of neoliberal theory and adjusted at least some of their policies and practices accordingly. Post apartheid South Africa quickly adopted the neoliberal frame and even contemporary China appears to be headed in that direction. Furthermore, advocates of the neoliberal mindset now occupy positions of considerable influence in education (universities and many "think tanks"), in the media, in corporate board rooms and financial institutions, in key state institutions (treasury departments, central banks), and also in those international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) that regulate global finance and commerce. Neoliberalism has, in short, become hegemonic as a mode of discourse and has pervasive effects on ways of thought and political-economic practices to the point where it has become incorporated into the commonsense way we interpret, live in, and understand the world. ..."
"... Neoliberalization has in effect swept across the world like a vast tidal wave of institutional reform and discursive adjustment. While plenty of evidence shows its uneven geographical development, no place can claim total immunity (with the exception of a few states such as North Korea). Furthermore, the rules of engagement now established through the WTO (governing international trade) and by the IMF (governing international finance) instantiate neoliberalism as a global set of rules. All states that sign on to the WTO and the IMF (and who can afford not to?) agree to abide (albeit with a "grace period" to permit smooth adjustment) by these rules or face severe penalties. ..."
"... For any system of thought to become dominant, it requires the articulation of fundamental concepts that become so deeply embedded in commonsense understandings that they are taken for granted and beyond question. For this to occur, not any old concepts will do. A conceptual apparatus has to be constructed that appeals almost naturally to our intuitions and instincts, to our values and our desires, as well as to the possibilities that seem to inhere in the social world we inhabit. The founding figures of neoliberal thought took political ideals of individual liberty and freedom as sacrosanct -- as the central values of civilization. And in so doing they chose wisely and well, for these are indeed compelling and greatly appealing concepts. Such values were threatened, they argued, not only by fascism, dictatorships, and communism, but also by all forms of state intervention that substituted collective judgments for those of individuals set free to choose. They then concluded that without "the diffused power and initiative associated with (private property and the competitive market) it is difficult to imagine a society in which freedom may be effectively preserved." 1 ..."
"... The U.S. answer was spelled out on September 19, 2003, when Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, promulgated four orders that included "the full privatization of public enterprises, full ownership rights by foreign firms of Iraqi U.S. businesses, full repatriation of foreign profits . . . the opening of Iraq's banks to foreign control, national treatment for foreign companies and . . . the elimination of nearly all trade barriers." 4 The orders were to apply to all areas of the economy, including public services, the media, manufacturing, services, transportation, finance, and construction. Only oil was exempt. A regressive tax system favored by conservatives called a flat tax was also instituted. The right to strike was outlawed and unions banned in key sectors. An Iraqi member of the Coalition Provisional Authority protested the forced imposition of "free market fundamentalism," describing it as "a flawed logic that ignores history." 5 Yet the interim Iraqi government appointed at the end of June 2004 was accorded no power to change or write new laws -- it could only confirm the decrees already promulgated. ..."
"... The redistributive tactics of neoliberalism are wide-ranging, sophisticated, frequently masked by ideological gambits, but devastating for the dignity and social well-being of vulnerable populations and territories. The wave of creative destruction neoliberalization has visited across the globe is unparalleled in the history of capitalism. Understandably, it has spawned resistance and a search for viable alternatives. ..."
Oct 23, 2017 | journals.sagepub.com

Neoliberalism has become a hegemonic discourse with pervasive effects on ways of thought and political-economic practices to the point where it is now part of the commonsense way we interpret, live in, and understand the world. How did neoliberalism achieve such an exalted status, and what does it stand for? In this article, the author contends that neoliberalism is above all a project to restore class dominance to sectors that saw their fortunes threatened by the ascent of social democratic endeavors in the aftermath of the Second World War. Although neoliberalism has had limited effectiveness as an engine for economic growth, it has succeeded in channeling wealth from subordinate classes to dominant ones and from poorer to richer countries. This process has entailed the dismantling of institutions and narratives that promoted more egalitarian distributive measures in the preceding era.

Neoliberalism is a theory of political economic practices proposing that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, unencumbered markets, and free trade. The role of the state is to create and preserve an institutional framework appropriate to such practices. The state has to be concerned, for example, with the quality and integrity of money. It must also set up military, defense, police, and juridical functions required to secure private property rights and to support freely functioning markets. Furthermore, if markets do not exist (in areas such as education, health care, social security, or environmental pollution), then they must be created, by state action if necessary. But beyond these tasks the state should not venture. State interventions in markets (once created) must be kept to a bare minimum because the state cannot possibly possess enough information to second-guess market signals (prices) and because powerful interests will inevitably distort and bias state interventions (particularly in democracies) for their own benefit.

For a variety of reasons, the actual practices of neoliberalism frequently diverge from this template. Nevertheless, there has everywhere been an emphatic turn, ostensibly led by the Thatcher/Reagan revolutions in Britain and the United States, in political-economic practices and thinking since the 1970s. State after state, from the new ones that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union to old-style social democracies and welfare states such as New Zealand and Sweden, have embraced, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes in response to coercive pressures, some version of neoliberal theory and adjusted at least some of their policies and practices accordingly. Post apartheid South Africa quickly adopted the neoliberal frame and even contemporary China appears to be headed in that direction. Furthermore, advocates of the neoliberal mindset now occupy positions of considerable influence in education (universities and many "think tanks"), in the media, in corporate board rooms and financial institutions, in key state institutions (treasury departments, central banks), and also in those international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) that regulate global finance and commerce. Neoliberalism has, in short, become hegemonic as a mode of discourse and has pervasive effects on ways of thought and political-economic practices to the point where it has become incorporated into the commonsense way we interpret, live in, and understand the world.

Neoliberalization has in effect swept across the world like a vast tidal wave of institutional reform and discursive adjustment. While plenty of evidence shows its uneven geographical development, no place can claim total immunity (with the exception of a few states such as North Korea). Furthermore, the rules of engagement now established through the WTO (governing international trade) and by the IMF (governing international finance) instantiate neoliberalism as a global set of rules. All states that sign on to the WTO and the IMF (and who can afford not to?) agree to abide (albeit with a "grace period" to permit smooth adjustment) by these rules or face severe penalties.

The creation of this neoliberal system has entailed much destruction, not only of prior institutional frameworks and powers (such as the supposed prior state sovereignty over political-economic affairs) but also of divisions of labor, social relations, welfare provisions, technological mixes, ways of life, attachments to the land, habits of the heart, ways of thought, and the like. Some assessment of the positives and negatives of this neoliberal revolution is called for. In what follows, therefore, I will sketch in some preliminary arguments as to how to both understand and evaluate this transformation in the way global capitalism is working. This requires that we come to terms with the underlying forces, interests, and agents that have propelled the neoliberal revolution forward with such relentless intensity. To turn the neoliberal rhetoric against itself, we may reasonably ask, In whose particular interests is it that the state take a neoliberal stance and in what ways have those interests used neoliberalism to benefit themselves rather than, as is claimed, everyone, everywhere?

In whose particular interests is it that the state take a neoliberal stance, and in what ways have those interests used neoliberalism to benefit themselves rather than, as is claimed, everyone, everywhere?

The "Naturalization" of Neoliberalism

For any system of thought to become dominant, it requires the articulation of fundamental concepts that become so deeply embedded in commonsense understandings that they are taken for granted and beyond question. For this to occur, not any old concepts will do. A conceptual apparatus has to be constructed that appeals almost naturally to our intuitions and instincts, to our values and our desires, as well as to the possibilities that seem to inhere in the social world we inhabit. The founding figures of neoliberal thought took political ideals of individual liberty and freedom as sacrosanct -- as the central values of civilization. And in so doing they chose wisely and well, for these are indeed compelling and greatly appealing concepts. Such values were threatened, they argued, not only by fascism, dictatorships, and communism, but also by all forms of state intervention that substituted collective judgments for those of individuals set free to choose. They then concluded that without "the diffused power and initiative associated with (private property and the competitive market) it is difficult to imagine a society in which freedom may be effectively preserved." 1

Setting aside the question of whether the final part of the argument necessarily follows from the first, there can be no doubt that the concepts of individual liberty and freedom are powerful in their own right, even beyond those terrains where the liberal tradition has had a strong historical presence. Such ideals empowered the dissident movements in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union before the end of the cold war as well as the students in Tiananmen Square. The student movement that swept the world in 1968 -- from Paris and Chicago to Bangkok and Mexico City -- was in part animated by the quest for greater freedoms of speech and individual choice. These ideals have proven again and again to be a mighty historical force for change.

It is not surprising, therefore, that appeals to freedom and liberty surround the United States rhetorically at every turn and populate all manner of contemporary political manifestos. This has been particularly true of the United States in recent years. On the first anniversary of the attacks now known as 9/11, President Bush wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times that extracted ideas from a U.S. National Defense Strategy document issued shortly thereafter. "A peaceful world of growing freedom," he wrote, even as his cabinet geared up to go to war with Iraq, "serves American long-term interests, reflects enduring American ideals and unites Americas allies." "Humanity," he concluded, "holds in its hands the opportunity to offer freedom s triumph over all its age-old foes," and "the United States welcomes its responsibilities to lead in this great mission." Even more emphatically, he later proclaimed that "freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world" and "as the greatest power on earth [the United States has] an obligation to help the spread of freedom." 2

So when all of the other reasons for engaging in a preemptive war against Iraq were proven fallacious or at least wanting, the Bush administration increasingly appealed to the idea that the freedom conferred upon Iraq was in and of itself an adequate justification for the war. But what sort of freedom was envisaged here, since, as the cultural critic Matthew Arnold long ago thoughtfully observed, "Freedom is a very good horse to ride, but to ride somewhere." 3 To what destination, then, were the Iraqi people expected to ride the horse of freedom so selflessly conferred to them by force of arms?

The U.S. answer was spelled out on September 19, 2003, when Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, promulgated four orders that included "the full privatization of public enterprises, full ownership rights by foreign firms of Iraqi U.S. businesses, full repatriation of foreign profits . . . the opening of Iraq's banks to foreign control, national treatment for foreign companies and . . . the elimination of nearly all trade barriers." 4 The orders were to apply to all areas of the economy, including public services, the media, manufacturing, services, transportation, finance, and construction. Only oil was exempt. A regressive tax system favored by conservatives called a flat tax was also instituted. The right to strike was outlawed and unions banned in key sectors. An Iraqi member of the Coalition Provisional Authority protested the forced imposition of "free market fundamentalism," describing it as "a flawed logic that ignores history." 5 Yet the interim Iraqi government appointed at the end of June 2004 was accorded no power to change or write new laws -- it could only confirm the decrees already promulgated.

What the United States evidently sought to impose upon Iraq was a full-fledged neoliberal state apparatus whose fundamental mission was and is to facilitate conditions for profitable capital accumulation for all comers, Iraqis and foreigners alike. The Iraqis were, in short, expected to ride their horse of freedom straight into the corral of neoliberalism. According to neoliberal theory, Bremers decrees are both necessary and sufficient for the creation of wealth and therefore for the improved well-being of the Iraqi people. They are the proper foundation for an adequate rule of law, individual liberty, and democratic governance. The insurrection that followed can in part be interpreted as Iraqi resistance to being driven into the embrace of free market fundamentalism against their own will

It is useful to recall, however, that the first great experiment with neoliberal state formation was Chile after Augusto Pinochet s coup almost thirty years to the day before Bremers decrees were issued, on the "little September 11th" of 1973. The coup, against the democratically elected and leftist social democratic government of Salvador Allende, was strongly backed by the CIA and supported by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It violently repressed all left-of-center social movements and political organizations and dismantled all forms of popular organization, such as community health centers in poorer neighborhoods. The labor market was "freed" from regulatory or institutional restraints -- trade union power, for example. But by 1973, the policies of import substitution that had formerly dominated in Latin American attempts at economic regeneration, and that had succeeded to some degree in Brazil after the military coup of 1964, had fallen into disrepute. With the world economy in the midst of a serious recession, something new was plainly called for. A group of U.S. economists known as "the Chicago boys," because of their attachment to the neoliberal theories of Milton Friedman, then teaching at the University of Chicago, were summoned to help reconstruct the Chilean economy. They did so along free-market lines, privatizing public assets, opening up natural resources to private exploitation, and facilitating foreign direct investment and free trade. The right of foreign companies to repatriate profits from their Chilean operations was guaranteed. Export-led growth was favored over import substitution. The subsequent revival of the Chilean economy in terms of growth, capital accumulation, and high rates of return on foreign investments provided evidence upon which the subsequent turn to more open neoliberal policies in both Britain (under Thatcher) and the United States (under Reagan) could be modeled. Not for the first time, a brutal experiment in creative destruction carried out in the periphery became a model for the formulation of policies in the center. 6

The fact that two such obviously similar restructurings of the state apparatus occurred at such different times in quite different parts of the world under the coercive influence of the United States might be taken as indicative that the grim reach of U.S. imperial power might lie behind the rapid proliferation of neoliberal state forms throughout the world from the mid-1970s onward. But U.S. power and recklessness do not constitute the whole story. It was not the United States, after all, that forced Margaret Thatcher to take the neoliberal path in 1979. And during the early 1980s, Thatcher was a far more consistent advocate of neoliberalism than Reagan ever proved to be. Nor was it the United States that forced China in 1978 to follow the path that has over time brought it closer and closer to the embrace of neoliberalism. It would be hard to attribute the moves toward neoliberalism in India and Sweden in 1992 to the imperial reach of the United States. The uneven geographical development of neoliberalism on the world stage has been a very complex process entailing multiple determinations and not a little chaos and confusion. So why, then, did the neoliberal turn occur, and what were the forces compelling it onward to the point where it has now become a hegemonic system within global capitalism?

Why the Neoliberal Turn?

Toward the end of the 1960s, global capitalism was falling into disarray. A significant recession occurred in early 1973 -- the first since the great slump of the 1930s. The oil embargo and oil price hike that followed later that year in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war exacerbated critical problems. The embedded capitalism of the postwar period, with its heavy emphasis on an uneasy compact between capital and labor brokered by an interventionist state that paid great attention to the social (i.e., welfare programs) and individual wage, was no longer working. The Bretton Woods accord set up to regulate international trade and finance was finally abandoned in favor of floating exchange rates in 1973. That system had delivered high rates of growth in the advanced capitalist countries and generated some spillover benefits -- most obviously to Japan but also unevenly across South America and to some other countries of South East Asia -- during the "golden age" of capitalism in the 1950s and early 1960s. By the next decade, however, the preexisting arrangements were exhausted and a new alternative was urgently needed to restart the process of capital accumulation. 7 How and why neoliberalism emerged victorious as an answer to that quandary is a complex story. In retrospect, it may seem as if neoliberalism had been inevitable, but at the time no one really knew or understood with any certainty what kind of response would work and how.

The world stumbled toward neoliberalism through a series of gyrations and chaotic motions that eventually converged on the so-called 'Washington Consensus" in the 1990s. The uneven geographical development of neoliberalism, and its partial and lopsided application from one country to another, testifies to its tentative character and the complex ways in which political forces, historical traditions, and existing institutional arrangements all shaped why and how the process actually occurred on the ground.

There is, however, one element within this transition that deserves concerted attention. The crisis of capital accumulation of the 1970s affected everyone through the combination of rising unemployment and accelerating inflation. Discontent was widespread, and the conjoining of labor and urban social movements throughout much of the advanced capitalist world augured a socialist alternative to the social compromise between capital and labor that had grounded capital accumulation so successfully in the postwar period. Communist and socialist parties were gaining ground across much of Europe, and even in the United States popular forces were agitating for widespread reforms and state interventions in everything ranging from environmental protection to occupational safety and health and consumer protection from corporate malfeasance. There was. in this, a clear political threat to ruling classes everywhere, both in advanced capitalist countries, like Italy and France, and in many developing countries, like Mexico and Argentina.

Beyond political changes, the economic threat to the position of ruling classes was now becoming palpable. One condition of the postwar settlement in almost all countries was to restrain the economic power of the upper classes and for labor to be accorded a much larger share of the economic pie. In the United States, for example, the share of the national income taken by the top 1 percent of earners fell from a prewar high of 16 percent to less than 8 percent by the end of the Second World War and stayed close to that level for nearly three decades. While growth was strong such restraints seemed not to matter, but when growth collapsed in the 1970s, even as real interest rates went negative and dividends and profits shrunk, ruling classes felt threatened. They had to move decisively if they were to protect their power from political and economic annihilation.

The coup d'état in Chile and the military takeover in Argentina, both fomented and led internally by ruling elites with U.S. support, provided one kind of solution. But the Chilean experiment with neoliberalism demonstrated that the benefits of revived capital accumulation were highly skewed. The country and its ruling elites along with foreign investors did well enough while the people in general fared poorly. This has been such a persistent effect of neoliberal policies over time as to be regarded a structural component of the whole project. Dumenil and Levy have gone so far as to argue that neoliberalism was from the very beginning an endeavor to restore class power to the richest strata in the population. They showed how from the mid-1980s onwards, the share of the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States soared rapidly to reach 15 percent by the end of the century. Other data show that the top 0.1 percent of income earners increased their share of the national income from 2 percent in 1978 to more than 6 percent by 1999. Yet another measure shows that the ratio of the median compensation of workers to the salaries of chief executive officers increased from just over thirty to one in 1970 to more than four hundred to one by 2000. Almost certainly, with the Bush administrations tax cuts now taking effect, the concentration of income and of wealth in the upper echelons of society is continuing apace. 8

And the United States is not alone in this: the top 1 percent of income earners in Britain doubled their share of the national income from 6.5 percent to 13 percent over the past twenty years. When we look further afield, we see extraordinary concentrations of wealth and power within a small oligarchy after the application of neoliberal shock therapy in Russia and a staggering surge in income inequalities and wealth in China as it adopts neoliberal practices. While there are exceptions to this trend -- several East and Southeast Asian countries have contained income inequalities within modest bounds, as have France and the Scandinavian countries -- the evidence suggests that the neoliberal turn is in some way and to some degree associated with attempts to restore or reconstruct upper-class power.

We can, therefore, examine the history of neoliberalism either as a utopian project providing a theoretical template for the reorganization of international capitalism or as a political scheme aimed at reestablishing the conditions for capital accumulation and the restoration of class power. In what follows, I shall argue that the last of these objectives has dominated. Neoliberalism has not proven effective at revitalizing global capital accumulation, but it has succeeded in restoring class power. As a consequence, the theoretical utopianism of the neoliberal argument has worked more as a system of justification and legitimization. The principles of neoliberalism are quickly abandoned whenever they conflict with this class project.

Neoliberalism has not proven effective at revitalizing global capital accumulation, but it has succeeded in restoring class power.

Toward the Restoration of Class Power

If there were movements to restore class power within global capitalism, then how were they enacted and by whom? The answer to that question in countries such as Chile and Argentina was simple: a swift, brutal, and self-assured military coup backed by the upper classes and the subsequent fierce repression of all solidarities created within the labor and urban social movements that had so threatened their power. Elsewhere, as in Britain and Mexico in 1976, it took the gentle prodding of a not yet fiercely neoliberal International Monetary Fund to push countries toward practices -- although by no means policy commitment -- to cut back on social expenditures and welfare programs to reestablish fiscal probity. In Britain, of course, Margaret Thatcher later took up the neoliberal cudgel with a vengeance in 1979 and wielded it to great effect, even though she never fully overcame opposition within her own party and could never effectively challenge such centerpieces of the welfare state as the National Health Service. Interestingly, it was only in 2004 that the Labour Government dared to introduce a fee structure into higher education. The process of neoliberalization has been halting, geographically uneven, and heavily influenced by class structures and other social forces moving for or against its central propositions within particular state formations and even within particular sectors, for example, health or education. 9

It is informative to look more closely at how the process unfolded in the United States, since this case was pivotal as an influence on other and more recent transformations. Various threads of power intertwined to create a transition that culminated in the mid-1990s with the takeover of Congress by the Republican Party. That feat represented in fact a neoliberal "Contract with America" as a program for domestic action. Before that dramatic denouement, however, many steps were taken, each building upon and reinforcing the other.

To begin with, by 1970 or so, there was a growing sense among the U.S. upper classes that the anti-business and anti-imperialist climate that had emerged toward the end of the 1960s had gone too far. In a celebrated memo, Lewis Powell (about to be elevated to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon) urged the American Chamber of Commerce in 1971 to mount a collective campaign to demonstrate that what was good for business was good for America. Shortly thereafter, a shadowy but influential Business Round Table was formed that still exists and plays a significant strategic role in Republican Party politics. Corporate political action committees, legalized under the post-Watergate campaign finance laws of 1974, proliferated like wildfire. With their activities protected under the First Amendment as a form of free speech in a 1976 Supreme Court decision, the systematic capture of the Republican Party as a class instrument of collective (rather than particular or individual) corporate and financial power began. But the Republican Party needed a popular base, and that proved more problematic to achieve. The incorporation of leaders of the Christian right, depicted as a moral majority, together with the Business Round Table provided the solution to that problem. A large segment of a disaffected, insecure, and largely white working class was persuaded to vote consistently against its own material interests on cultural (anti-liberal, anti-Black, antifeminist and antigay), nationalist and religious grounds. By the mid-1990s, the Republican Party had lost almost all of its liberal elements and become a homogeneous right-wing machine connecting the financial resources of large corporate capital with a populist base, the Moral Majority, that was particularly strong in the U.S. South. 10

The second element in the U.S. transition concerned fiscal discipline. The recession of 1973 to 1975 diminished tax revenues at all levels at a time of rising demand for social expenditures. Deficits emerged everywhere as a key problem. Something had to be done about the fiscal crisis of the state; the restoration of monetary discipline was essential. That conviction empowered financial institutions that controlled the lines of credit to government. In 1975, they refused to roll over New York's debt and forced that city to the edge of bankruptcy. A powerful cabal of bankers joined together with the state to tighten control over the city. This meant curbing the aspirations of municipal unions, layoffs in public employment, wage freezes, cutbacks in social provision (education, public health, and transport services), and the imposition of user fees (tuition was introduced in the CUNY university system for the first time). The bailout entailed the construction of new institutions that had first rights to city tax revenues in order to pay off bond holders: whatever was left went into the city budget for essential services. The final indignity was a requirement that municipal unions invest their pension funds in city bonds. This ensured that unions moderate their demands to avoid the danger of losing their pension funds through city bankruptcy.

Such actions amounted to a coup d'état by financial institutions against the democratically elected government of New York City, and they were every bit as effective as the military overtaking that had earlier occurred in Chile. Much of the city's social infrastructure was destroyed, and the physical foundations (e.g., the transit system) deteriorated markedly for lack of investment or even maintenance. The management of New York's fiscal crisis paved the way for neoliberal practices both domestically under Ronald Reagan and internationally through the International Monetary Fund throughout the 1980s. It established a principle that, in the event of a conflict between the integrity of financial institutions and bondholders on one hand and the well-being of the citizens on the other, the former would be given preference. It hammered home the view that the role of government was to create a good business climate rather than look to the needs and well-being of the population at large. Fiscal redistributions to benefit the upper classes resulted in the midst of a general fiscal crisis.

Whether all the agents involved in producing this compromise in New York understood it at the time as a tactic for the restoration of upper-class power is an open question. The need to maintain fiscal discipline is a matter of deep concern in its own right and does not have to lead to the restitution of class dominance. It is unlikely, therefore, that Felix Rohatyn, the key merchant banker who brokered the deal between the city, the state, and the financial institutions, had the reinstatement of class power in mind. But this objective probably was very much in the thoughts of the investment bankers. It was almost certainly the aim of then-Secretary of the Treasury William Simon who, having watched the progress of events in Chile with approval, refused to give aid to New York and openly stated that he wanted that city to suffer so badly that no other city in the nation would ever dare take on similar social obligations again. 11

The third element in the U.S. transition entailed an ideological assault upon the media and upon educational institutions. Independent "think tanks" financed by wealthy individuals and corporate donors proliferated -- the Heritage Foundation in the lead -- to prepare an ideological onslaught aimed at persuading the public of the commonsense character of neoliberal propositions. A flood of policy papers and proposals and a veritable army of well-paid hired lieutenants trained to promote neoliberal ideas coupled with the corporate acquisition of media channels effectively transformed the discursive climate in the United States by the mid-1980s. The project to "get government off the backs of the people" and to shrink government to the point where it could be "drowned in a bathtub" was loudly proclaimed. With respect to this, the promoters of the new gospel found a ready audience in that wing of the 1968 movement whose goal was greater individual liberty and freedom from state power and the manipulations of monopoly capital. The libertarian argument for neoliberalism proved a powerful force for change. To the degree that capitalism reorganized to both open a space for individual entrepreneurship and switch its efforts to satisfy innumerable niche markets, particularly those defined by sexual liberation, that were spawned out of an increasingly individualized consumerism, so it could match words with deeds.

This carrot of individualized entrepreneurship and consumerism was backed by the big stick wielded by the state and financial institutions against that other wing of the 1968 movement whose members had sought social justice through collective negotiation and social solidarities. Reagan's destruction of the air traffic controllers (PATCO) in 1980 and Margaret Thatchers defeat of the British miners in 1984 were crucial moments in the global turn toward neoliberalism. The assault upon institutions, such as trade unions and welfare rights organizations, that sought to protect and further working-class interests was as broad as it was deep. The savage cutbacks in social expenditures and the welfare state, and the passing of all responsibility for their well-being to individuals and their families proceeded apace. But these practices did not and could not stop at national borders. After 1980, the United States, now firmly committed to neoliberalization and clearly backed by Britain, sought, through a mix of leadership, persuasion -- the economics departments of U.S. research universities played a major role in training many of the economists from around the world in neoliberal principles -- and coercion to export neoliberalization far and wide. The purge of Keynesian economists and their replacement by neoliberal monetarists in the International Monetary Fund in 1982 transformed the U.S.-dominated IMF into a prime agent of neoliberalization through its structural adjustment programs visited upon any state (and there were many in the 1980s and 1990s) that required its help with debt repayments. The Washington Consensus that was forged in the 1990s and the negotiating rules set up under the World Trade Organization in 1998 confirmed the global turn toward neoliberal practices. 12

The new international compact also depended upon the reanimation and reconfiguration of the U.S. imperial tradition. That tradition had been forged in Central America in the 1920s, as a form of domination without colonies. Independent republics could be kept under the thumb of the United States and effectively act, in the best of cases, as proxies for U.S. interests through the support of strongmen -- like Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah in Iran, and Pinochet in Chile -- and a coterie of followers backed by military assistance and financial aid. Covert aid was available to promote the rise to power of such leaders, but by the 1970s it became clear that something else was needed: the opening of markets, of new spaces for investment, and clear fields where financial powers could operate securely. This entailed a much closer integration of the global economy with a well-defined financial architecture. The creation of new institutional practices, such as those set out by the IMF and the WTO, provided convenient vehicles through which financial and market power could be exercised. The model required collaboration among the top capitalist powers and the Group of Seven (G7), bringing Europe and Japan into alignment with the United States to shape the global financial and trading system in ways that effectively forced all other nations to submit. "Rogue nations," defined as those that failed to conform to these global rules, could then be dealt with by sanctions or coercive and even military force if necessary. In this way, U.S. neoliberal imperialist strategies were articulated through a global network of power relations, one effect of which was to permit the U.S. upper classes to exact financial tribute and command rents from the rest of the world as a means to augment their already hegemonic control. 13

Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction

In what ways has neoliberalization resolved the problems of flagging capital accumulation? Its actual record in stimulating economic growth is dismal. Aggregate growth rates stood at 3.5 percent or so in the 1960s and even during the troubled 1970s fell to only 2.4 percent. The subsequent global growth rates of 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent for the 1980s and 1990s, and a rate that barely touches 1 percent since 2000, indicate that neoliberalism has broadly failed to

In what ways has neoliberalization resolved the problems of flagging capital accumulation? Its actual record in stimulating economic growth is dismal. Aggregate growth rates stood at 3.5 percent or so in the 1960s and even during the troubled 1970s fell to only 2.4 percent. The subsequent global growth rates of 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent for the 1980s and 1990s, and a rate that barely touches 1 percent since 2000, indicate that neoliberalism has broadly failed to stimulate worldwide growth. 14 Even if we exclude from this calculation the catastrophic effects of the collapse of the Russian and some Central European economies in the wake of the neoliberal shock therapy treatment of the 1990s, global economic performance from the standpoint of restoring the conditions of general capital accumulation has been weak.

Despite their rhetoric about curing sick economies, neither Britain nor the United States achieved high economic performance in the 1980s. That decade belonged to Japan, the East Asian "Tigers," and West Germany as powerhouses of the global economy. Such countries were very successful, but their radically different institutional arrangements make it difficult to pin their achievements on neoliberalism. The West German Bundesbank had taken a strong monetarist line (consistent with neoliberalism) for more than two decades, a fact suggesting that there is no necessary connection between monetarism per se and the quest to restore class power. In West Germany, the unions remained strong and wage levels stayed relatively high alongside the construction of a progressive welfare state. One of the effects of this combination was to stimulate a high rate of technological innovation that kept West Germany well ahead in the field of international competition. Export-led production moved the country forward as a global leader.

In Japan, independent unions were weak or nonexistent, but state investment in technological and organizational change and the tight relationship between corporations and financial institutions (an arrangement that also proved felicitous in West Germany) generated an astonishing export-led growth performance, very much at the expense of other capitalist economies such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Such growth as there was in the 1980s (and the aggregate rate of growth in the world was lower even than that of the troubled 1970s) did not depend, therefore, on neoliberalization. Many European states therefore resisted neoliberal reforms and increasingly found ways to preserve much of their social democratic heritage while moving, in some cases fairly successfully, toward the West German model. In Asia, the Japanese model implanted under authoritarian systems of governance in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore also proved viable and consistent with reasonable equality of distribution. It was only in the 1990s that neoliberalization began to pay off for both the United States and Britain. This happened in the midst of a long-drawn-out period of deflation in Japan and relative stagnation in a newly unified Germany. Up for debate is whether the Japanese recession occurred as a simple result of competitive pressures or whether it was engineered by financial agents in the United States to humble the Japanese economy.

So why, then, in the face of this patchy if not dismal record, have so many been persuaded that neoliberalization is a successful solution? Over and beyond the persistent stream of propaganda emanating from the neoliberal think tanks and suffusing the media, two material reasons stand out. First, neoliberalization has been accompanied by increasing volatility within global capitalism. That success was to materialize somewhere obscured the reality that neoliberalism was generally failing. Periodic episodes of growth interspersed with phases of creative destruction, usually registered as severe financial crises. Argentina was opened up to foreign capital and privatization in the 1990s and for several years was the darling of Wall Street, only to collapse into disaster as international capital withdrew at the end of the decade. Financial collapse and social devastation was quickly followed by a long political crisis. Financial turmoil proliferated all over the developing world, and in some instances, such as Brazil and Mexico, repeated waves of structural adjustment and austerity led to economic paralysis.

On the other hand, neoliberalism has been a huge success from the standpoint of the upper classes. It has either restored class position to ruling elites, as in the United States and Britain, or created conditions for capitalist class formation, as in China, India, Russia, and elsewhere. Even countries that have suffered extensively from neoliberalization have seen the massive reordering of class structures internally. The wave of privatization that came to Mexico with the Salinas de Gortari administration in 1992 spawned unprecedented concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few people (Carlos Slim, tor example, who took over the state telephone system and became an instant billionaire).

With the media dominated by upper-class interests, the myth could be propagated that certain sectors failed because they were not competitive enough, thereby setting the stage for even more neoliberal reforms. Increased social inequality was necessary to encourage entrepreneurial risk and innovation, and these, in turn, conferred competitive advantage and stimulated growth. If conditions among the lower classes deteriorated, it was because they failed for personal and cultural reasons to enhance their own human capital through education, the acquisition of a protestant work ethic, and submission to work discipline and flexibility. In short, problems arose because of the lack of competitive strength or because of personal, cultural, and political failings. In a Spencerian world, the argument went, only the fittest should and do survive. Systemic problems were masked under a blizzard of ideological pronouncements and a plethora of localized crises.

If the main effect of neoliberalism has been redistributive rather than generative, then ways had to be found to transfer assets and channel wealth and income either from the mass of the population toward the upper classes or from vulnerable to richer countries. I have elsewhere provided an account of these processes under the rubric of accumulation by dispossession. 15 By this, I mean the continuation and proliferation of accretion practices that Marx had designated as "primitive" or "original" during the rise of capitalism. These include

(1) the commodification and privatization of land and me forceful expulsion or peasant populations {as in Mexico and India in recent times);

(2) conversion of various forms of property rights (common, collective, state, etc.) into exclusively private property rights;

(3) suppression of rights to the commons;

(4) commodification of labor power and the suppression of alternative (indigenous) forms of production and consumption;

(5) colonial, neocolonial, and imperial processes of appropriation of assets (including natural resources); (6) monetization of exchange and taxation, particularly of land;

(7) the slave trade (which continues, particularly in the sex industry); and

(8) usury, the national debt, and, most devastating of all, the use of the credit system as radical means of primitive accumulation.

The state, with its monopoly of violence and definitions of legality, plays a crucial role in backing and promoting these processes. To this list of mechanisms, we may now add a raft of additional techniques, such as the extraction of rents from patents and intellectual property rights and the diminution or erasure of various forms of communal property rights -- such as state pensions, paid vacations, access to education, and health care -- won through a generation or more of social democratic struggles. The proposal to privatize all state pension rights (pioneered in Chile under Augusto Pinochet s dictatorship) is, for example, one of the cherished objectives of neoliberals in the United States.

In the cases of China and Russia, it might be reasonable to refer to recent events in "primitive" and "original" terms, but the practices that restored class power to capitalist elites in the United States and elsewhere are best described as an ongoing process of accumulation by dispossession that grew rapidly under neoliberalism. In what follows, I isolate four main elements.

1. Privatization

The corporatization, commodification, and privatization of hitherto public assets have been signal features of the neoliberal project. Its primary aim has been to open up new fields for capital accumulation in domains formerly regarded off-limits to the calculus of profitability. Public utilities of all lands (water, telecommunications, transportation), social welfare provision (public housing, education, health care, pensions), public institutions (such as universities, research laboratories, prisons), and even warfare (as illustrated by the "army" of private contractors operating alongside the armed forces in Iraq) have all been privatized to some degree throughout the capitalist world.

Intellectual property rights established through the so-called TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement within the WTO defines genetic materials, seed plasmas, and all manner of other products as private property. Rents for use can then be extracted from populations whose practices had played a crucial role in the development of such genetic materials. Bio-piracy is rampant, and the pillaging of the worlds stockpile of genetic resources is well under way to the benefit of a few large pharmaceutical companies. The escalating depletion of the global environmental commons (land, air, water) and proliferating habitat degradations that preclude anything but capital-intensive modes of agricultural production have likewise resulted from the wholesale commodification of nature in all its forms. The commodification (through tourism) of cultural forms, histories, and intellectual creativity entails wholesale dispossessions (the music industry is notorious for the appropriation and exploitation of grassroots culture and creativity). As in the past, the power of the state is frequently used to force such processes through even against popular will. The rolling back of regulatory frameworks designed to protect labor and the environment from degradation has entailed the loss of rights. The reversion of common property rights won through years of hard class struggle (the right to a state pension, to welfare, to national health care) into the private domain has been one of the most egregious of all policies of dispossession pursued in the name of neoliberal orthodoxy.

The corporatization, commodification, and privatization of hitherto public assets have been signal features of the neoliberal project.

All of these processes amount to the transfer of assets from the public and popular realms to the private and class-privileged domains. Privatization, Arundhati Roy argued with respect to the Indian case, entails "the transfer of productive public assets from the state to private companies. Productive assets include natural resources: earth, forest, water, air. These are the assets that the state holds in trust for the people it represents. ... To snatch these away and sell them as stock to private companies is a process of barbaric dispossession on a scale that has no parallel in history." 16

2. Financialization

The strong financial wave that set in after 1980 has been marked by its speculative and predatory style. The total daily turnover of financial transactions in international markets that stood at $2.3 billion in 1983 had risen to $130 billion by 2001. This $40 trillion annual turnover in 2001 compares to the estimated $800 billion that would be required to support international trade and productive investment flows. 17 Deregulation allowed the financial system to become one of the main centers of redistributive activity through speculation, predation, fraud, and thievery. Stock promotions; Ponzi schemes; structured asset destruction through inflation; asset stripping through mergers and acquisitions; and the promotion of debt incumbency that reduced whole populations, even in the advanced capitalist countries, to debt peonage -- to say nothing of corporate fraud and dispossession of assets, such as the raiding of pension hinds and their decimation by stock and corporate collapses through credit and stock manipulations -- are all features of the capitalist financial system.

The emphasis on stock values, which arose after bringing together the interests of owners and managers of capital through the remuneration of the latter in stock options, led, as we now know, to manipulations in the market that created immense wealth for a few at the expense of the many. The spectacular collapse of Enron was emblematic of a general process that deprived many of their livelihoods and pension rights. Beyond this, we also must look at the speculative raiding carried out by hedge funds and other major instruments of finance capital that formed the real cutting edge of accumulation by dispossession on the global stage, even as they supposedly conferred the positive benefit to the capitalist class of spreading risks.

3. The management and manipulation of crises

Beyond the speculative and often fraudulent froth that characterizes much of neoliberal financial manipulation, there lies a deeper process that entails the springing of the debt trap as a primary means of accumulation by dispossession. Crisis creation, management, and manipulation on the world stage has evolved into the fine art of deliberative redistribution of wealth from poor countries to the rich. By suddenly raising interest rates in 1979, Paul Volcker, then chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, raised the proportion of foreign earnings that borrowing countries had to put to debt-interest payments. Forced into bankruptcy, countries like Mexico had to agree to structural adjustment. While proclaiming its role as a noble leader organizing bailouts to keep global capital accumulation stable and on track, the United States could also open the way to pillage the Mexican economy through deployment of its superior financial power under conditions of local crisis. This was what the U.S. Treasury/Wall Street/IMF complex became expert at doing everywhere. Volker s successor, Alan Greenspan, resorted to similar tactics several times in the 1990s. Debt crises in individual countries, uncommon in the 1960s, became frequent during the 1980s and 1990s. Hardly any developing country remained untouched and in some cases, as in Latin America, such crises were frequent enough to be considered endemic. These

debt crises were orchestrated, managed, and controlled both to rationalize the system and to redistribute assets during the 1980s and 1990s. Wade and Veneroso captured the essence of this trend when they wrote of the Asian crisis -- provoked initially by the operation of U.S.-based hedge funds -- of 1997 and 1998:

Financial crises have always caused transfers of ownership and power to those who keep their own assets intact and who are in a position to create credit, and the Asian crisis is no exception . . . there is no doubt that Western and Japanese corporations are the big winners. . . . The combination of massive devaluations pushed financial liberalization, and IMF-facilitated recovery may even precipitate the biggest peacetime transfer of assets from domestic to foreign owners in the past fifty years anywhere in the world, dwarfing the transfers from domestic to U.S. owners in Latin America in the 1980s or in Mexico after 1994. One recalls the statement attributed to Andrew Mellon: "In a depression assets return to their rightful owners." 18

The analogy to the deliberate creation of unemployment to produce a pool of low-wage surplus labor convenient for further accumulation is precise. Valuable assets are thrown out of use and lose their value. They lie fallow and dormant until capitalists possessed of liquidity choose to seize upon them and breathe new life into them. The danger, however, is that crises can spin out of control and become generalized, or that revolts will arise against the system that creates them. One of the prime functions of state interventions and of international institutions is to orchestrate crises and devaluations in ways that permit accumulation by dispossession to occur without sparking a general collapse or popular revolt. The structural adjustment program administered by the Wall Street/Treasury/ IMF complex takes care of the first function. It is the job of the comprador neoliberal state apparatus (backed by military assistance from the imperial powers) to ensure that insurrections do not occur in whichever country has been raided. Yet signs of popular revolt have emerged, first with the Zapatista uprising in Mexico in 1994 and later in the generalized discontent that informed anti-globalization movements such as the one that culminated in Seattle in 1999.

4. State redistributions

The state, once transformed into a neoliberal set of institutions, becomes a prime agent of redistributive policies, reversing the flow from upper to lower classes that had been implemented during the preceding social democratic era. It does this in the first instance through privatization schemes and cutbacks in government expenditures meant to support the social wage. Even when privatization appears as beneficial to the lower classes, the long-term effects can be negative. At first blush, for example, Thatchers program for the privatization of social housing in Britain appeared as a gift to the lower classes whose members could now convert from rental to ownership at a relatively low cost, gain control over a valuable asset, and augment their wealth. But once the transfer was accomplished, housing speculation took over particularly in prime central locations, eventually bribing or forcing low-income populations out to the periphery in cities like London and turning erstwhile working-class housing estates into centers of intense gentrification. The loss of affordable housing in central areas produced homelessness for many and extraordinarily long commutes for those who did have low-paying service jobs. The privatization of the ejidos (indigenous common property rights in land under the Mexican constitution) in Mexico, which became a central component of the neoliberal program set up during the 1990s, has had analogous effects on the Mexican peasantry, forcing many rural dwellers into the cities in search of employment. The Chinese state has taken a whole series of draconian measures through which assets have been conferred upon a small elite to the detriment of the masses.

The neoliberal state also seeks redistributions through a variety of other means such as revisions in the tax code to benefit returns on investment rather than incomes and wages, promotion of regressive elements in the tax code (such as sales taxes), displacement of state expenditures and free access to all by user fees (e.g., on higher education), and the provision of a vast array of subsidies and tax breaks to corporations. The welfare programs that now exist in the United States at federal, state, and local levels amount to a vast redirection of public moneys for corporate benefit (directly as in the case of subsidies to agribusiness and indirectly as in the case of the military-industrial sector), in much the same way that the mortgage interest rate tax deduction operates in the United States as a massive subsidy to upper-income home owners and the construction of industry. Heightened surveillance and policing and, in the case of the United States, the incarceration of recalcitrant elements in the population indicate a more sinister role of intense social control. In developing countries, where opposition to neoliberalism and accumulation by dispossession can be stronger, the role of the neoliberal state quickly assumes that of active repression even to the point of low level warfare against oppositional movements (many of which can now conveniently be designated as terrorist to garner U.S. military assistance and support) such as the Zapatistas in Mexico or landless peasants in Brazil.

In effect, reported Roy, "India's rural economy, which supports seven hundred million people, is being garroted. Farmers who produce too much are in distress, farmers who produce too little are in distress, and landless agricultural laborers are out of work as big estates and farms lay off their workers. They're all flocking to the cities in search of employment." 19 In China, the estimate is that at least half a billion people will have to be absorbed by urbanization over the next ten years if rural mayhem and revolt is to be avoided. What those migrants will do in the cities remains unclear, though the vast physical infrastructural plans now in the works will go some way to absorbing the labor surpluses released by primitive accumulation.

The redistributive tactics of neoliberalism are wide-ranging, sophisticated, frequently masked by ideological gambits, but devastating for the dignity and social well-being of vulnerable populations and territories. The wave of creative destruction neoliberalization has visited across the globe is unparalleled in the history of capitalism. Understandably, it has spawned resistance and a search for viable alternatives.

[Oct 22, 2017] Crooked Hillary -- Clinton Cash -- Directors Cut With Commentary By Steve Bannon -- FULL MOVIE

Feb 05, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Based on Peter Schweizer's bestselling book CLINTON CASH with Director commentary by Trump's chief of staff Steven Bannon.

Hillary Clinton went from being "dead broke" after leaving the White House to amassing a net worth of over $150M, with over $2B in donations to their foundation. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton Rich. New York Times bestselling book by Peter Schweizer, in which he investigates donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities, paid speeches made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and their personal enrichment since leaving the White House in 2001. Mr. Schweizer shows foreign governments and organizations that donated to the Clinton Foundation, and to the Clinton Crime Family themselves in speaking fees, received favors in exchange from the State Department, headed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Stopping the Clintons is not about being a good conservative or a good progressive. It's about being a decent human being." Andrew Breitbart

Deplorable_Left Account Suspended by Saudi Arabia backed Twitter - Follow @SheriffJoeHero or @fuck_kaepernick on Twitter

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T , 4 weeks ago

Hillary named her book "What Happened" when it should have been named "My Lies About Clinton Cash". All her wealth came about for the Clintons when she stoled it from the people. Hard working people trying to make ends meet each and every day. Our taxes that we pay. She was around people who she could hit up for millions of $$$. She felt as though she was a Global Elitist, hit the Entertainment industry for all the cash she asks for to increase the funds for her Clinton Foundation. She hated America and was deeply involved with countries as Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and so much more. She was so good at what she did and running for President she had it down to a science with all her negative Rhetoric about us the conservatives, Republicans.
Larry Fisher , 2 weeks ago .
With information out there he is the BIG question. In 2008 Obama called Hillary out of touch and a liar. In 2016 he called Clinton the most qualified man or women to EVER run for the presidency of the US. WTF!!! We all know that they didn't have a good working relationship. Between 2008-2016 how many screw ups did she have? To many!

On January 23, 2013 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to a Senate Committee investigating the death of Four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. These murders occurred on September 11, 2012, while she was Secretary of State (WHAT DID SHE DO TO GET THAT JOB)Clinton replies -"What's the difference?" Emails regarding this and the murder, yes murder of Gadaffi were deleted off her PRIVATE system.

Some Gadaffi emails were recovered though. http://www.politico.com/video/2016/07/obama-says-clinton-is-the-most-qualified-presidential-candidate-ever-059832 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGg0VNLIgWs

Matthew Panko , 3 weeks ago
Steve Jason Chaffetz said on Judge Jeanine last night that Jeff Sessions said he is not Prosecuting her for anything. Holder, Obama, Lynch, Comey and McCabe are not being Prosecuted either. Who got to Sessions or is he a part of the Swamp?
2conscious , 1 month ago

THE OPENING TO THIS DOCUMENTARY IS BRILLIANT. I HAVEN'T SEEN THIS, SINCE LAST SUMMER (2016). But, I love the way they start off with the mythology of the "Greatness" and "Noble acts" of the Clintons. And once you're lured in.....the numbers don't match.

P.S.: BARACK OBAMA DID THE SAME THING.

He slipped $700 MILLION to Islamic countries, and hundreds of millions to others....while Black and working-class/poor white communities suffered. Furthermore, the amounts his State Dept. claimed didn't match recent audits.

[Sep 11, 2017] Around 1970 corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests with capital owners and realigned themselves, abandoning working class and a large part of lower middle class (small business owners)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests. ..."
"... This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution. ..."
"... They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. ..."
"... the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game." ..."
"... So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out. ..."
"... Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it. ..."
"... A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris. ..."
"... I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

Obviously Mr. Deerin is, on its face, utilizing a very disputable definition of "liberal."

However, I think a stronger case could be made for something like Mr. Deerin's argument, although it doesn't necessarily get to the same conclusion.

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.

Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

Neville Morley 11.14.16 at 7:11 am ( 31 )

A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/are-you-a-sinister-filthy-elite-take-this-quiz-and-find-out-now?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Chris S 11.14.16 at 7:31 am

@29,

I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest.

[Sep 11, 2017] Around 1970 corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests with capital owners and realigned themselves, abandoning working class and a large part of lower middle class (small business owners)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests. ..."
"... This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution. ..."
"... They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. ..."
"... the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game." ..."
"... So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out. ..."
"... Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it. ..."
"... A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris. ..."
"... I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

Obviously Mr. Deerin is, on its face, utilizing a very disputable definition of "liberal."

However, I think a stronger case could be made for something like Mr. Deerin's argument, although it doesn't necessarily get to the same conclusion.

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.

Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

Neville Morley 11.14.16 at 7:11 am ( 31 )

A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/are-you-a-sinister-filthy-elite-take-this-quiz-and-find-out-now?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Chris S 11.14.16 at 7:31 am

@29,

I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest.

[May 19, 2017] The Great Realignment and the New class

May 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

point , May 19, 2017 at 04:12 PM

Paul says: May 19, 2017 at 04:12 PM

"...Republicans ... went all in behind Trump..."

Well, maybe for those with selective memories. There was plenty of consternation among Repubs about lining up behind the guy.

libezkova , May 19, 2017 at 04:41 PM
Here is part of an insightful comment by William Meyer in which he made an important point about "great realignment" of the "New Class" (aka "the USA nomenklatura") with capital owners which happened in 70th.

http://crookedtimber.org/2016/11/13/on-the-alleged-failure-of-liberal-progressivism/#comment-698333

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.
Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

[May 16, 2017] America is still segregated. We need to be honest about why by Richard Rothstein

Notable quotes:
"... Growing inequality partly reflects a racial wealth gap. Middle-class white Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods with rising home values (and thus, family equity) while their middle-class black counterparts are more likely to rent, or live in neighborhoods with stagnant values. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Growing inequality partly reflects a racial wealth gap. Middle-class white Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods with rising home values (and thus, family equity) while their middle-class black counterparts are more likely to rent, or live in neighborhoods with stagnant values.

Hostile, sometimes fatal confrontations between police and African American youth might be rarer if the poorest young people were not concentrated in neighborhoods lacking well-resourced schools, good jobs and transportation to better opportunities. In integrated neighborhoods with substantial middle class populations, police perform as public servants, not as an occupying force.

We've done little to desegregate neighborhoods, believing their racial homogeneity is "de facto", tied to private prejudice, personal choices, realtor discrimination or income differences that make middle-class suburbs unaffordable to most African Americans. Under our constitutional system, if neighborhoods are segregated by private activity, we can do little about it.

Only if neighborhoods are segregated "de jure", by explicit government policy, is remedial action permitted. Indeed, the constitution requires remedies for de jure segregation.

In truth, de facto segregation is largely a myth. As my new book, The Color of Law, recounts, racially explicit government policy in the mid-twentieth century separated the races in every metropolitan area, with effects that endure today.

The New Deal created our first civilian public housing, intended to provide lodging mostly for lower-middle class white families during the Depression. The Roosevelt administration built a few projects for black families as well, but almost always segregated. At the time, many urban neighborhoods were integrated because workers of both races lived in walking distance of downtown factories. The Public Works Administration (PWA) demolished many such integrated neighborhoods – deemed slums – to build segregated housing instead, creating segregation where it had never before existed.

In his autobiography, The Big Sea, the poet and novelist Langston Hughes described going to high school in an integrated Cleveland neighborhood where his best friend was Polish and he dated a Jewish girl. The PWA cleared the area to build one project for whites and another for African Americans. Previously integrated neighborhoods in Cambridge, Atlanta, St Louis, San Francisco and elsewhere also gave way to segregated public housing, structuring patterns that persisted for generations.

During the second world war, white and black Americans flocked to jobs in defense plants, sometimes in communities that had no tradition of segregated living. Yet the government built separate projects for black and white citizens, determining future residential boundaries. Richmond, California, was the nation's largest shipbuilding center. It had few African Americans before the war; by its end, some 15,000 were housed in a federal ghetto along the railroad tracks.

By the mid-1950s, projects for white Americans had many unoccupied units while those for African Americans had long waiting lists. The contrast became so conspicuous that all public housing was opened to African Americans. As industry relocated to suburbs, jobs disappeared and public housing residents became poorer. A program that originally addressed a middle-class housing shortage became a way to warehouse the poor.

Why did white housing projects develop vacancies while black ones had long waiting lists? It largely resulted from a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that guaranteed loans to builders of suburban subdivisions, on the explicit condition that black families be excluded and that house deeds prohibit resale to them. In the late 1940s, William Levitt could never independently have amassed capital to construct 17,000 houses in what became Levittown, east of New York City. He could do so only because the FHA relieved banks of risk in making development loans, provided homes were for whites only.

Urban public housing, originally for middle-class white Americans and later for lower-income African Americans, combined with FHA subsidized suburbanization of whites, created a "white noose" around urban black families that persists to this day.

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act permitted African Americans to access previously white neighborhoods. But it prohibited only future discrimination, without undoing the previous 35 years of government-imposed segregation. In suburbs like Levittown that sprouted nationwide in the 1940s and 50s, houses sold for about $100,000 (in today's currency), twice the national median income.

FHA-amortized mortgages were affordable for working-class families of either race, although only whites were allowed. Today, these houses sell for $400,000, seven times national median income, unaffordable to working-class families. Meanwhile, whites who suburbanized with federal protection gained $300,000 in equity to use for children's college tuition, care for aging parents, or medical emergencies. Black families remaining as renters gained no such security.

Our belief in "de facto" segregation is paralyzing. If our racial separation stems from millions of individual decisions, it is hard to imagine the millions of different choices that could undo it. But if we remember that residential segregation results primarily from forceful and unconstitutional government policy, we can begin to consider equally forceful public action to reverse it. Learning this history is the first step we can take.

[May 15, 2017] The explosive mixture of middle-class shrinking and dual economy in the West

This idea of two segregated societies within one nation is pretty convincing.
Notable quotes:
"... A book released last March by MIT economist Peter Temin argues that the U.S. is increasingly becoming what economists call a dual economy; that is, where there are two economies in effect, and one of the populations lives in an economy that is prosperous and secure, and the other part of the population lives in an economy that resembles those of some third world countries. ..."
"... The middle class is shrinking in the United States and this is an effect of both the advance of technology and American policies ..."
"... In the United States, our policies have divided us into two groups. Above the median income - above the middle class - is what I call the FTE sector, Finance, Technology and Electronics sector - of people who are doing well, and whose incomes are rising as our national product is growing. The middle class and below are losing shares of income, and their incomes are shrinking as the Pew studies, both of them, show. ..."
"... The model shows that the FTE sector makes policy for itself, and really does not consider how well the low wage sector is doing. In fact, it wants to keep wages and earnings low in the low wage sector, to provide cheap labour for the industrial employment. ..."
"... As already described , the middle-class, which has not collapsed yet in France, still has the characteristics that fit to the neoliberal regime. However, it is obvious that this tank of voters has shrunk significantly, and the establishment is struggling to keep them inside the desirable 'status quo' with tricks like the supposedly 'fresh', apolitical image of Emmanuel Macron, the threat of Le Pen's 'evil' figure that comes from the Far-Right, or, the illusion that they have the right to participate equally to almost every economic activity. ..."
"... The media promotes examples of young businessmen who have succeed to survive economically through start-up companies, yet, they avoid to tell that it is totally unrealistic to expect from most of the Greek youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. So, this illusion is promoted by the media because technology is automating production and factories need less and less workers, even in the public sector, which, moreover, is violently forced towards privatization. ..."
"... In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automation of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs. ..."
May 14, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

The Pew Research Center, released a new study on the size of the middle class in the U.S. and in ten European countries. The study found that the middle class shrank significantly in the U.S. in the last two decades from 1991 to 2010. While it also shrank in several other Western European countries, it shrank far more in the U.S. than anywhere else. Meanwhile, another study also released last week, and published in the journal Science, shows that class mobility in the U.S. declined dramatically in the 1980s, relative to the generation before that.

A book released last March by MIT economist Peter Temin argues that the U.S. is increasingly becoming what economists call a dual economy; that is, where there are two economies in effect, and one of the populations lives in an economy that is prosperous and secure, and the other part of the population lives in an economy that resembles those of some third world countries.

globinfo freexchange

MIT Economist Peter Temin spoke to Gregory Wilpert and the The Real News network.

As Temin states, among other things:

The middle class is shrinking in the United States and this is an effect of both the advance of technology and American policies . That is shown dramatically in the new study, because the United States is compared with many European countries. In some of them, the middle class is expanding in the last two decades, and in others it's decreasing. And while technology crosses national borders, national policies affect things within the country.

In the United States, our policies have divided us into two groups. Above the median income - above the middle class - is what I call the FTE sector, Finance, Technology and Electronics sector - of people who are doing well, and whose incomes are rising as our national product is growing. The middle class and below are losing shares of income, and their incomes are shrinking as the Pew studies, both of them, show.

The model shows that the FTE sector makes policy for itself, and really does not consider how well the low wage sector is doing. In fact, it wants to keep wages and earnings low in the low wage sector, to provide cheap labour for the industrial employment.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BRs4VcHprqI" name="I1"

This model is similar to that pursued in eurozone through the Greek experiment. Yet, the establishment's decision centers still need the consent of the citizens to proceed. They got it in France with the election of their man to do the job, Emmanuel Macron.

As already described , the middle-class, which has not collapsed yet in France, still has the characteristics that fit to the neoliberal regime. However, it is obvious that this tank of voters has shrunk significantly, and the establishment is struggling to keep them inside the desirable 'status quo' with tricks like the supposedly 'fresh', apolitical image of Emmanuel Macron, the threat of Le Pen's 'evil' figure that comes from the Far-Right, or, the illusion that they have the right to participate equally to almost every economic activity.

For example, even in Greece, where the middle class suffered an unprecedented reduction because of Troika's (ECB, IMF, European Commission) policies, the last seven years, the propaganda of the establishment attempts to make young people believe that they can equally participate in innovative economic projects. The media promotes examples of young businessmen who have succeed to survive economically through start-up companies, yet, they avoid to tell that it is totally unrealistic to expect from most of the Greek youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. So, this illusion is promoted by the media because technology is automating production and factories need less and less workers, even in the public sector, which, moreover, is violently forced towards privatization.

As mentioned in previous article , the target of the middle class extinction in the West is to restrict the level of wages in developing economies and prevent current model to be expanded in those countries. The global economic elite is aiming now to create a more simple model which will be consisted basically of three main levels.

The 1% holding the biggest part of the global wealth, will lie, as always, at the top of the pyramid. In the current phase, frequent and successive economic crises, not only assist on the destruction of social state and uncontrolled massive privatizations, but also, on the elimination of the big competitors.

In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automation of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs.

The base of the pyramid will be consisted by the majority of workers in global level, with restricted wages, zero labor rights, and nearly zero opportunities for activities other than consumption.

This type of dual economy with the rapid extinction of middle class may bring dangerous instability because of the vast vacuum created between the elites and the masses. That's why the experiment is implemented in Greece, so that the new conditions to be tested. The last seven years, almost every practice was tested: psychological warfare, uninterrupted propaganda, financial coups, permanent threat for a sudden death of the economy, suppression measures, in order to keep the masses subservient, accepting the new conditions.

The establishment exploits the fact that the younger generations have no collective memories of big struggles. Their rights were taken for granted and now they accept that these must be taken away for the sake of the investors who will come to create jobs. These generations were built and raised according to the standards of the neoliberal regime 'Matrix'.

Yet, it is still not certain that people will accept this Dystopia so easily. The first signs can be seen already as recently, French workers seized factory and threatened to blow it up in protest over possible closure . Macron may discover soon that it will be very difficult to find the right balance in order to finish the job for the elites. And then, neither Brussels nor Berlin will be able to prevent the oncoming chaos in Europe and the West.

Read also:

[May 08, 2017] Is the Silicon Valley Dynasty Coming to an End Vanity Fair

Notable quotes:
"... In just the past month, the Valley has seemed like it's happily living in some sort of sadomasochistic bubble worthy of a bad Hollywood satire. ..."
Apr 27, 2017 | www.vanityfair.com

It has been said that Silicon Valley, or the 50 or so square-mile area extending from San Francisco to the base of the peninsula, has overseen the creation of more wealth than any place in the history of mankind. It's made people richer than the oil industry; it has created more money than the Gold Rush. Silicon chips, lines of code, and rectangular screens have even minted more wealth than religious wars.

Wealthy societies, indeed, have their own complicated incentive structures and mores. But they do often tend, as any technological entrepreneur will be quick to remind you, to distribute value across numerous income levels, in a scaled capacity. The Ford line, for instance, may have eventually minted some serious millionaires in Detroit, but it also made transportation cheaper, helped drive down prices on countless consumer goods, and facilitated new trade routes and commercial opportunities. Smartphones, or any number of inventive modern apps or other software products, are no different. Sure, they throw off a lot of money to the geniuses who came up with them, and the people who got in at the ground floor. But they also make possible innumerable other opportunities, financial and otherwise, for their millions of consumers.

Silicon Valley is, in its own right, a dynasty. Instead of warriors or military heroes, it has nerds and people in half-zip sweaters. But it is becoming increasingly likely that the Valley might go down in history not only for its wealth, but also for creating more tone deaf people than any other ecosystem in the history of the world.

In just the past month, the Valley has seemed like it's happily living in some sort of sadomasochistic bubble worthy of a bad Hollywood satire. Uber has endured a slate of scandals that would have seriously wounded a less culturally popular company (or a public one, for that matter). There was one former employee's allegation of sexual harassment (which the company reportedly investigated); a report of driver manipulation ; an unpleasant video depicting C.E.O. Travis Kalanick furiously berating an Uber driver; a story about secret software that could subvert regulators ; a report of cocaine use and groping at holiday parties (an offending manager was fired within hours of the scandal); a lawsuit for potentially buying stolen software from a competitor; more groping ; a slew of corporate exits ; and a driverless car crash . (The shit will really hit the fan if it turns out that Uber's self-driving technology was misappropriated from Alphabet's Waymo; Uber has called the lawsuit "baseless.")

Then there was Facebook, which held its developer conference while the Facebook Killer was on the loose. As Mat Honan of BuzzFeed put it so eloquently: "People used to talk about Steve Jobs and Apple's reality distortion field . But Facebook, it sometimes feels, exists in a reality hole. The company doesn't distort reality-but it often seems to lack the ability to recognize it."

And we ended the week with the ultimate tone-deaf statement from the C.E.O. of Juicero, the maker of a $700 dollar-soon-reduced-to-$400 dollar juicer that has $120 million in venture backing. After Bloomberg News discovered that you didn't even need the $700-$400 juicer to make juice (there are, apparently, these things called hands ) the company's chief executive, Jeff Dunn , offered a response on Medium insinuating that he gets up every day to make the world a better place.

Of course, not everyone who makes the pilgrimage out West is, or becomes, a jerk. Some people arrive in the Valley with a philosophy of how to act as an adult. But here's the problem with that group: most of them don't vociferously articulate how unsettled they are by the bad actors. Even when journalists manage to cover these atrocious activities, the powers of Silicon Valley try to ridicule them, often in public. Take, for example, the 2015 TechCrunch Disrupt conference, when a reporter asked billionaire investor Vinod Kholsa -who evidently believes that public beaches should belong to rich people -about some of the ethical controversy surrounding the mayonnaise-disruption startup Hampton Creek (I can't believe I just wrote the words "mayonnaise-disruption"). Khosla responded with a trite and rude retort that the company was fine. When the reporter pressed Khosla, he shut him down by saying, "I know a lot more about how they're doing, excuse me, than you do." A year later and the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into whether the company defrauded investors when employees secretly purchased the company's own mayonnaise from grocery stores . (The Justice Department has since dropped its investigation.)

When you zoom out of that 50-square-mile area of Silicon Valley, it becomes obvious that big businesses can get shamed into doing the right thing. When it was discovered that Volkswagen lied about emissions outputs, the company's C.E.O. was forced to resign . The same was true for the chief of Wells Fargo , who was embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of it's recent public scandal, United recently knocked its C.E.O. down a peg . Even Fox News, one of the most bizarrely unrepentant media outlet in America, pushed out two of the most important people at the network over allegations of sexual harassment. ( Bill O'Reilly has said that claims against him are "unfounded"; Roger Ailes has vociferously denied allegations of sexual harassment.) Even Wall Street can (sometimes) be forced to be more ethical. Yet Elizabeth Holmes is still C.E.O. of Theranos. Travis Kalanick is still going to make billions of dollars as the chief of Uber when the company eventually goes public. The list goes on and on .

In many respects, this is simply the D.N.A. of Silicon Valley. The tech bubble of the mid-90s was inflated by lies that sent the NASDAQ on a vertiginous downward spike that eviscerated the life savings of thousands of retirees and Americans who believed in the hype. This time around, it seems that some of these business may be real, but the people running them are still as tone deaf regarding how their actions affect other people. Silicon Valley has indeed created some amazing things. One can only hope these people don't erase it with their hubris.

E-commerce start-up Fab was once valued at $900 million, a near unicorn in Silicon Valley terms. But after allegedly burning through $200 million of its $336 million in venture capital, C.E.O. Jason Goldberg was forced to shutter its European arm and lay off two-thirds of its staff.

Fired in 2014 from his ad-tech firm RadiumOne following a domestic-violence conviction, Gurbaksh Chahal founded a new company to compete with the one he was kicked out of. But Gravity4, his new firm, was sued for gender discrimination in 2015, though that case is still pending, and former employees have contemplated legal action against him.

[May 08, 2017] Silicon Valley is the story of overthrowing entrenched interests through innovation. Children dream of becoming inventors, and scientists come to Silicon Valley from all over the world. But something is wrong when Juicero and Theranos are in the headlines, and bad behavior from Uber executives overshadows actual innovation by Matt Stoller

Apr. 19, 2017, | www.businessinsider.com

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets Program at New America.

Silicon Valley is the story of overthrowing entrenched interests through innovation. Children dream of becoming inventors, and scientists come to Silicon Valley from all over the world. But something is wrong when Juicero and Theranos are in the headlines, and bad behavior from Uber executives overshadows actual innovation.

$120 million in venture funding from Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, for a juicer? And the founder, Doug Evans, calling himself himself Steve Jobs "in his pursuit of juicing perfection?" And how is Theranos's Elizabeth Holmes walking around freely?

Eventually, the rhetoric of innovation turns into .... a Google-backed punchline.

These stories are embarrassing, yes. But there's something deeper going on here. Silicon Valley, an international treasure that birthed the technology of our age, is being destroyed.

Monopolies are now so powerful that they dictate the roll-out of new technology, and the only things left to invest in are the scraps that fall off the table.

Sometimes those scraps are Snapchat, which managed to keep alive, despite what Ben Thompson calls ' theft ' by Facebook.

Sometimes it's Diapers.com , which was destroyed and bought out by Amazon through predatory pricing. And sometimes it's Juicero and Theranos.

It's not that Juicero and Theranos that are the problem. Mistakes - even really big, stupid ones - happen.

[Feb 26, 2017] T>he code words like "pizza", "cheese", "hotdog", "pasta", etc. are from an FBI list of code words commonly used by pedophiles.

Feb 26, 2017 | kunstler.com
Pucker February 24, 2017 at 9:51 am # Apparently, the code words like "pizza", "cheese", "hotdog", "pasta", etc. are from an FBI list of code words commonly used by pedophiles. These words appear in the Podesta emails. They're not just found in the Podesta emails.

On page 20, it says that the strongest indicator of a pedophile is a person who collects child pornography. John Podesta's brother collected sexually bizarre and sadistic photos of young children.

ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/149252NCJRS.pdf

    • hmuller February 24, 2017 at 10:06 am # Good point, Pucker. All the pro-Podesta apologists can't explain away the code language. Especially, disturbing are remarks (I think by owner James Alefantis) about 4 sick pizzas left over from the last session on sale for $1000. Be sure and dispose of them properly."

      Then there's Laura Silsby rescued from a Haitian jail by the Clintons after being caught trafficking in children for prostitution.

      Either JHK can't believe that such blatant evil exists in the world or he's pimping for that well entrenched crowd.

      Log in to Reply
          • malthuss February 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm # I have pages of Word docs and have listened to too many facts,
            Start with

            You Tube, Titus Frost, especially hhis talk and display of sick 'art' on his PIZZA BRAIN –investigated.

            Why is Katy Perry and the other bimbo, Miley, wearing Pizza Costumes?

            and,

            WHAT IS PIZZAGATE
            CHILD SEX SLAVERY
            PEDOPHILE RING
            BILL CLINTON SEX SCANDAL
            BILL CLINTON PEDOPHILIA
            BILL CLINTON SEX SLAVE ISLAND
            BILL CLINTON ORGY ISLAND
            LAURA SILSBY HAITi CHILD TRAFFICKING
            MONICA PETERSON
            CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING
            CLINTON HAITI
            THE CLINTON FOUNDATION
            JEFFREY EPSTEIN
            LOLITA EXPRESS
            PEDOPHILE ISLAND
            ROGER CLINTON COCAINE
            ROGER CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
            DAN LASATER
            DAN LASATER PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
            PIZZAGATE EVIDENCE
            PIZZAGATE PROOF
            PIZZAGATE DOCUMENTARY
            END TIMES NEWS REPORT
            JAKE MORPHONIOS
            JAMES ALEFANTIS
            JOHN PODESTA
            TONY PODESTA
            COMET PING PONG
            etc.

        • Janos Skorenzy February 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm # Most intellectuals hate Conspiracies for two reasons: one good and one bad. On the good side, there is just too much lunacy and crackpottery once conjecture and Freud's "primary process" (fantasy) get going. On the bad side, they hate not having full information or at least a partial store of consensus information from which to analyze. But Life is Conspiracy – and sometimes we have to go with what we have. In this regards, detectives are superior to intellectuals: they do it all the time. Ditto scientists. It's the inductive process. Once you get enough you form a hypothesis. Then you test it. That's all we're asking for in regards to this case. And I think we both agree: what they would find would bring down the System.

          And there are two reasons these people can get away with it: one because of the number of the Elite who are involved. And second because people think a priori that it's not possible that such evil exists or that they could get away with it. Because people think it can't exist and they couldn't get away it enables them to get away with it.

          • Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
          • Walter B February 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm # The utilization of "Conspiracy theorist" came about after the common man on the street started waking up to the fact that he was being screwed by those in power and lied to consistently. Did you know that during World War II, President Roosevelt, was onboard the battleship USS Iowa in route to North Africa when it was "accidently torpedoed" (the fish detonated in the ship's wake and did not actually impact the ship) by the US destroyer, the William D. Porter? Well it's the first I am hearing of it so I guess that these people are pretty good at keeping things quiet when they go wrong, especially REALLY wrong

            warhistoryonline.com/featured/fdr-torpedo-us-navy-destroyer.html

            I am reading the trilogy of the war by Rick Atkinson, and in the second book in the series, The Day of Battle, the revelation was detailed much to my surprise. If our own people can accidently fire a live torpedo at one of our own battleships, especially the one that happens to be transporting the standing President of the United States on it at the time, well there is no telling what supreme act of incompetence they will pull of next.

            Those who rule lie their asses off every damned day and cover up every damned screw up they create until enough time goes by so that those that are now in the general public don't give a damn anymore. You would have to be retarded or on their payroll to believe otherwise.

[Feb 21, 2017] People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason.

Feb 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RGC -> Ron Waller ... February 20, 2017 at 01:51 PM

, 2017 at 01:51 PM
People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.

-John Kenneth Galbraith
The Age of Uncertainty (1977)
Chapter 1, p. 22

cm -> RGC... , February 20, 2017 at 03:58 PM
"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage."

I would say this is rational. Surrendering advantages will generally weaken your position and thus increase the risk of complete destruction or being stripped of further advantages. Also quite often members of the elite, individually or as a group, have likely acted in ways that enraged their opponents to the point that they will likely not stop at just stripping advantages until a "reasonable" point, but indeed seek complete destruction. History is full of things like guillotines and hunting down and murder or lifelong imprisonment of all family members (who have not been plausibly disavowed or disassociated while the old regime was still comfortably in power).

cm -> cm... , February 20, 2017 at 04:00 PM
Of course in the past, rulers and elites were often dethroned by other elites, with popular uprisings only used as a temporary tool. In any case, once it gets close to that point, it's an all or nothing fight for either side.
cm -> cm... , February 20, 2017 at 04:06 PM
There have been examples where elites have ceded advantages in a peaceful transition. But that usually happen in a context where there had already been gradual transitions to shared/broader power in the past (generally not peaceful in the initial stages). The UK and its royals/nobility are an obvious example, probably also Scandinavia which are mostly still nominally kingdoms (?), or the royal family and former or still existing nobility has influence but officially only a figurehead role. The transition to democracy happened largely peacefully in the past 1-2 centuries, prior to that not so much.
libezkova -> cm... , February 20, 2017 at 06:10 PM
"Surrendering advantages will generally weaken your position and thus increase the risk of complete destruction or being stripped of further advantages."

This is not a chess party. Sometimes people kill each other if differences are irreconcilable. In 1917 a lot of Russian bankers were simply killed.

[Feb 01, 2017] The economists safely in their ivory tower and comfortable with their tenured positions in academia were more than happy to volunteer the American working class to give up some of their wealth so that people living in extreme property in the developing world could have slightly better positions

Notable quotes:
"... I am glad to see that this is what you guys argued for with all of your "free trade" agreements that you pushed for over the last several decades. Sadly, this is exactly what led us to Trump as president. ..."
"... Their models told them precisely that some people would suffer and others gain, but also that with appropriate redistribution everybody could gain. But appropriate redistribution was never forthcoming. Time for a national dividend. ..."
"... Appropriate redistribution will NEVER be forthcoming. It is so easily demonized, and people don't want redistributed income. They want jobs! ..."
Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
river : January 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM
Much like how the biggest environmentalist is the one who already has her house built, the economists safely in their ivory tower and comfortable with their tenured positions in academia were more than happy to volunteer the American working class to give up some of their wealth so that people living in extreme property in the developing world could have slightly better positions.

I am glad to see that this is what you guys argued for with all of your "free trade" agreements that you pushed for over the last several decades. Sadly, this is exactly what led us to Trump as president.

reason -> river... , January 24, 2017 at 01:48 AM
Their models told them precisely that some people would suffer and others gain, but also that with appropriate redistribution everybody could gain. But appropriate redistribution was never forthcoming. Time for a national dividend.
river -> reason ... , January 24, 2017 at 01:20 PM
Appropriate redistribution will NEVER be forthcoming. It is so easily demonized, and people don't want redistributed income. They want jobs!

This is why the Democrats lost. And frankly, this is the whole point of democracy.

[Jan 26, 2017] Financialization is a key feature of neoliberalism. It refers to the capturing impact of financial markets, institutions, actors, instruments and logics on the real economy, households and daily life

Notable quotes:
"... "Financialization is a key feature of neoliberalism. It refers to the capturing impact of financial markets, institutions, actors, instruments and logics on the real economy, households and daily life. Essentially it has significant implications for the broader patterns and functioning of a (inter)national economy, transforming its fabrics and modificating the mutual embeddedness of state-economy-society." ..."
"... That's why neoliberalism is often called "casino capitalism" ..."
"... Johnson wishes that the wealthy would adopt a greater "spirit of stewardship," an openness to policy change that could include, for instance, a more aggressive tax on inheritance. "Twenty-five hedge-fund managers make more money than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined," he said. ..."
Jan 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
ken melvin : , January 25, 2017 at 01:27 PM
Financialization from Wiki:

Greta Krippner of the University of Michigan writes that financialization refers to a "pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production." In the introduction to the 2005 book Financialization and the World Economy, editor Gerald A. Epstein wrote that some scholars have insisted on a much narrower use of the term: the ascendancy of shareholder value as a mode of corporate governance, or the growing dominance of capital market financial systems over bank-based financial systems. Pierre-Yves Gomez and Harry Korine, in their 2008 book Entrepreneurs and Democracy: A Political Theory of Corporate Governance, have identified a long-term trend in the evolution of corporate governance of large corporations and have shown that financialization is one step in this process.

Oleg Komlik asserts that financialization is a state project, stressing that:[2]

"Financialization is a key feature of neoliberalism. It refers to the capturing impact of financial markets, institutions, actors, instruments and logics on the real economy, households and daily life. Essentially it has significant implications for the broader patterns and functioning of a (inter)national economy, transforming its fabrics and modificating the mutual embeddedness of state-economy-society."

Michael Hudson described financialization as "a lapse back into the pre-industrial usury and rent economy of European feudalism" in a 2003 interview:[3]

"only debts grew exponentially, year after year, and they do so inexorably, even when–indeed, especially when–the economy slows down and its companies and people fall below break-even levels. As their debts grow, they siphon off the economic surplus for debt service (...) The problem is that the financial sector's receipts are not turned into fixed capital formation to increase output. They build up increasingly on the opposite side of the balance sheet, as new loans, that is, debts and new claims on society's output and income.

[Companies] are not able to invest in new physical capital equipment or buildings because they are obliged to use their operating revenue to pay their bankers and bondholders, as well as junk-bond holders. This is what I mean when I say that the economy is becoming financialized. Its aim is not to provide tangible capital formation or rising living standards, but to generate interest, financial fees for underwriting mergers and acquisitions, and capital gains that accrue mainly to insiders, headed by upper management and large financial institutions. The upshot is that the traditional business cycle has been overshadowed by a secular increase in debt. Instead of labor earning more, hourly earnings have declined in real terms. There has been a drop in net disposable income after paying taxes and withholding "forced saving" for social Security and medical insurance, pension-fund contributions and–most serious of all–debt service on credit cards, bank loans, mortgage loans, student loans, auto loans, home insurance premiums, life insurance, private medical insurance and other FIRE-sector charges. ... This diverts spending away from goods and services.

....

libezkova -> ken melvin... , January 25, 2017 at 09:35 PM
"Financialization is a key feature of neoliberalism. It refers to the capturing impact of financial markets, institutions, actors, instruments and logics on the real economy, households and daily life."

That's why neoliberalism is often called "casino capitalism"

libezkova : , January 25, 2017 at 05:00 PM
Meanwhile neoliberal "masters of the universe" are buying private jets and create plans to evacuate families to NZ in case pitchforks arrive to their residencies

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

== quote ==

By January, 2015, Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world's wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Johnson told the audience, "I know hedge-fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway."

Johnson wishes that the wealthy would adopt a greater "spirit of stewardship," an openness to policy change that could include, for instance, a more aggressive tax on inheritance. "Twenty-five hedge-fund managers make more money than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined," he said.

"Being one of those twenty-five doesn't feel good. I think they've developed a heightened sensitivity." The gap is widening further. In December, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a new analysis, by the economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, which found that half of American adults have been "completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s."

Approximately a hundred and seventeen million people earn, on average, the same income that they did in 1980, while the typical income for the top one per cent has nearly tripled. That gap is comparable to the gap between average incomes in the U.S. and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authors wrote.

[Jan 26, 2017] Johnson: Elites Eying the Exits Signals America's Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... One truck parked on the runway, or a large concrete block dumped there has just shut down the entire airport for the private jets fleeing or arriving to pick up the exiters in anything other than a helicopter. ..."
"... Look at what happened to Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin (paranoid), Hussein, Gaddafi the list goes on These people are delusional and believe they are above the system ..."
Jan 26, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on January 25, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. A former private equity partner mentioned the New Yorker story on 0.1% bunkering. He noticed how they focused on the private jet pilot as a point of vulnerability, that he might fly his family out and leave them stranded. So the approach is to assure him that his relatives get seats on the plane too.

Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Interviewed as part of an extraordinary New Yorker investigation into growing anxiety among America's corporate elite over the potential for anarchic social collapse, Institute President Robert Johnson saw his peers' talk of bolt-holes in New Zealand as reflecting a deeper crisis.

Johnson told writer Evan Osnos of the mounting anxiety he had encountered among hedge-fund managers and other wealthy Americans he knew. "More and more were saying, 'You've got to have a private plane," Johnson said. "You have to assure that the pilot's family will be taken care of, too. They have to be on the plane.' "

Osnos writes: "By January, 2015, Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world's wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Johnson told the audience, 'I know hedge-fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.' "

Johnson bemoaned the lack of a "spirit of stewardship" and openness to more aggressively redistributive tax policy among the wealthy.

"Twenty-five hedge-fund managers make more money than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined," he told the New Yorker. "Being one of those twenty-five doesn't feel good. I think they've developed a heightened sensitivity."

If anything, Osnos wrote, inequality is widening, noting recent statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed that while incomes for the top 1 percent of Americans have nearly tripled, half of the population was earning at the same level they did in 1980, comparing America's wealth gap to that seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"If we had a more equal distribution of income, and much more money and energy going into public school systems, parks and recreation, the arts, and health care, it could take an awful lot of sting out of society," Johnson said. "We've largely dismantled those things."

He saw elite anxiety as an indicator America's social crisis.

"Why do people who are envied for being so powerful appear to be so afraid?" Johnson said. "What does that really tell us about our system? It's a very odd thing. You're basically seeing that the people who've been the best at reading the tea leaves-the ones with the most resources, because that's how they made their money-are now the ones most preparing to pull the rip cord and jump out of the plane."

L , January 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

Not to be too snarky this early in the morning but:

"Twenty-five hedge-fund managers make more money than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined," he told the New Yorker. "Being one of those twenty-five doesn't feel good. I think they've developed a heightened sensitivity."

If it does not feel good then stop doing it.

As presently structured the kindergarden teachers lack the power to upend the political order and to create something equal. Despite widespread support for better schools the political parties compete to crapify them for the benefit of those hedge fund managers .

If one or two those managers chose to place a damn phone call they could change that, they could make a more equal society, they could reduce the odds that they will be up against a wall.

Instead they buy planes.

Slim Boom , January 25, 2017 at 10:17 am

Amen! This issue drives a nail through the conservative ideal of personal responsibility and self manufacturing. If your poor then it's your fault. You're too stupid, lazy, etc. to succeed. But if your rich and hated, well then, you're just a victim of the system and institutions that created you.

This reminds me of a comic I recently read. Enjoy.

http://existentialcomics.com/comic/168

Paid Minion , January 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Hint to everyone. The rich guys worried about this are the 1%'s version of "preppers". 90% of the 1% have no contingency plan whatsoever.

What they do have is second homes. Or third homes. Florida/California/Arizona for the winter, and Wyoming/Colorado/Montana during the summer.

Many of these places are geographically isolated, with a local population base highly motivated to protect their stuff from the Zombie Apocalypse. And hostile to the wretched refuse from the coasts and metroplexes. Not to mention heavily armed.

Yeah, a smart leader of the wretched refuse could lay siege to these places. But I suspect they will be too busy protecting their own turf, rather than going a couple of hundred miles out in the boonies to look for trouble.

Yves Smith Post author , January 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

These aren't 1%. They are 0.1%. And Omidyar is big on this, he has multiple homes well stocked in all sorts of isolated places.

You are missing that the New Yorker and Johnson says this is pretty prevalent in the 0.1%. And these people have better access to information than the rest of us and many of them have made their money by making astute bets about the future.

cocomaan , January 25, 2017 at 11:24 am

If you ascribe to Łobaczewski's Political Ponerology , or even the Five Percenters , these super rich individuals aren't normal. They don't think like most of the population.

It doesn't take much to know that the systems we've created are designed to promote and reward an unempathetic person. And while I'm not always convinced entirely by Łobaczewski's words, or the five percenters, one gets the feeling that the twenty five hedge fund managers in question are incapable of thinking any other way.

a different chris , January 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Actually we didn't create the systems we sat on our butts and the unempathetic people took advantage. The problem with high-functioning psychopaths is, as we all know, they can fake normal for necessary stretches of time.

John k , January 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm

It's more insidious than that. Increasing wealth decreases empathy.
The poor are much more likely to care for and help their neighbors than the rich.
The ability to pull the rip cord and bail to a hopefully safer place makes you think of the need to take the pilot's family, not the neighbor's.

YankeeFrank , January 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm

And yet even guys like this Johnson fellow can't seem to drop that last line of hogwash - that these rich people are best at "reading the tea leaves" - rather than that they were just lucky in one or two decisions or friendships. Give me a break. The rich are rich because they are lucky and immoral. That's really it. Until the people fully learn this lesson to their bones this country will continue its decline. Good news is most of the millennials seem to have largely been born knowing it.

PhilM , January 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm

They are not psychopaths. They are narcissists. Geez.

Germo , January 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

One in five CEOs are psychopaths says the scientific study

rd , January 25, 2017 at 10:14 am

Why do they think the places they are going to will be immune from the upheaval? A lot of people leave places thinking they will be safe in the new place, and then the disorder spreads and hits them again. Many refugees in WW II were turned into refugees multiple times (if they survived) – many of them had started out in the elite and wealthy in their country. Similar things are happening in the Middle East now.

They also are betting that they can identify the moment in which to leave and will be able to do so safely. The odds of doing that are similar to calling the day of the big plunge in the stock market a week in advance. Airports are usually one of the first places that organized rebellions or coups seek to control, so getting there through rioting crowds will not necessarily solve their escape route issue. As many evacuation plans (e.g. New Orleans in Katrina) have shown, events have the ability to confound plans.

I assume that their concerns about inequality and anarchy is why so many are lobbying to destabilize Social Security and Medicare in order to erase all hope for the bottom 80%, so that they will believe that anarchy and rebellion is the only solution. The creation of anarchy and rebellion is generally the result of intentional acts by the elite to marginalize much of the population. It is a choice, not an inevitability. But it is probably like teen sex, where they know they aren't supposed to do it but they just can't stop themselves. Just say NO elites! You are supposed to be able to control those greed impulses. Inequality celibacy is the solution.

ChrisFromGeorgia , January 25, 2017 at 11:14 am

+1

If America goes "mad max" the rest of the civilized world isn't going to be far behind. The likely landing sites for those private jets are in Europe, Canada or other G-7 type of nations.

Unless you have enough money to buy a private island, and hire a security force to protect you, chances of staying immune are slim, IMO. Few will be able to pull this off.

nowhere , January 25, 2017 at 11:45 am

The idea of hiring other people to protect you implies that you have something of value that those with primitive power cannot take from you when they please. I'm not sure what "currency" that would be in a post apocalyptic world.

a different chris , January 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Authoritarians look for "leadership" . if you can fake that then its not hard to get people to protect your "wealth", whatever that happens to consist of, for a share of it and power over those below.

River , January 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm

That's what I was thinking with the guards at the missile silo condos. Or the other servants.

What happens when the people the guns decide not to serve? Or worse you anger the dentist.

"Is it safe?"

Praedor , January 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Read the New Yorker article! These rich geniuses are stocking up on gold and bitcoin! . HAH. As if bitcoin would be worth squat in a collapse situation.

"Let me just plug in my laptop so I can get to my digital bitcoin vault and pay you oh. Uh would you accept my daughter as payment?"

Yves Smith Post author , January 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Yes, all that bitcoin is going to be really useful when you need medical services from one of the few doctors left, or when the locals show up with guns at your compound wanting some of your grain.

JD , January 25, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Toilet Paper and Evian will be the currency of choice.

Moneta , January 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Elites are not all equal if the system implodes and consumers can't spend, the rich who got that way from non-essential consumer spending will fall faster than those who got rich on staples. My bet is that if times get tough, these elite will stab each other in the back.

Paid Minion , January 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

The 1%ers I'm acquainted with aren't going to Europe anymore. Too many "immigrants" from the Middle East hacking/shooting/blowing s##t up.

Think Japan, Austrailia, Fiji, Singapore, American Samoa

fresno dan , January 25, 2017 at 11:15 am

rd
January 25, 2017 at 10:14 am

I kinda wonder about currency exchange myself .
apparently New Zealand uses a "dollar" but there is still conversion

http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=NZD&To=USD

If America collapses, I imagine our greenbacks will be worthless

FCO , January 25, 2017 at 11:27 am

I heard someone say making money was as addictive as heroine, cocaine etc. So, "just say NO" may not be as easy as it sounds. ( One day, we may see Money Rehab Centers in New Zealand? or Davos?)

Scott , January 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Well, jail those addicted to money the way we already jail those addicted to the drugs you mention. As an added bonus, while they're locked up they can make some scratch from the increase in value of their private prison stock holdings . . . off shore, of course.

vlade , January 25, 2017 at 11:42 am

NZ is food self-sufficient (it's a net food exporter), energy self-sufficient, and far enough for anyone to invade easily – especially if you assume "stone age"/"mad max" scenario (i.e. you don't get there easily like you might to Oz from Indonesia). If you get a large farm in NZ, you can become pretty much self-sufficient reasonably easily.

NZ population is about 4.5m, on area of the size of Great Britain (the island, not the nation). Most of that is concentrated in a few cities – say more than half is in the North Island, which is the smaller one. But even in North Island there is a LOT of space.

So, NZ can be the perfect bunker for a squillionaire.

Webb Traverse , January 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm

sure, assuming these squillionaires know how to be self-sufficient. How long has it been since any of these rich and "powerful" actually cooked a meal? Or changed a light bulb? Or done routine maintenance on anything? Self sufficiency ain't easy. I'm reminded of the elite civilization in Hitchhiker's Guide that all died of infection from dirty phones after they shipped all the worthless mouths, including phone cleaners, off planet. 50 pesos says these New Zealand-bound richies starve to death when they can't figure out how to use the microwave to cook their foie gras. Good riddance.

vlade , January 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Actually, you'd be surprised.

Sure, there's a lot of them who are pampered beyond the kings of yore. But quite a few them spend their time doing stuff like wilderness trekking/survival, even running their own ranches etc. What part of the squillionaire population that is is hard to say, but the hedgies I spoke to in 2007/8 (of which most were sub-suillionaires TBH, mere centa-millionairies) were well aware of this and some of them even too to doing agri uni courses just for that. I met more people who knew about (for example) permaculture between those people than any other group.

Webb Traverse , January 25, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Ha, marvelous! I find the fact that they've been fearfully looking over their shoulder since at least 2007/2008 delightful. Make Elites Great Again indeed.

Webb , January 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm

And I think we would all be well served if they went back and re-read (i'm assuming they don't spend a lot of time practicing) their Holmgren and Mollison. Permaculture doesn't mean what they think it means

PhilM , January 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

This is true. Look at Oliver Queen! Seriously, though, the hilarious thing from the article is Steve Huffman saying he's likely to be a leader after the apocalypse, because he is a "leader" now. Sure, tell it to Trotsky when you meet him in the next world, buddy.

By the way, having myself made so many errors using SI units, some in this very locale, I will still submit that people with hundreds of millions of dollars might properly be labeled hectomillionaires.

Eowyn , January 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

It's a shame to turn NZ into a billionaire's bolt hole. Not much they can or will do about it, however.

Waking Up , January 25, 2017 at 4:11 pm

In this "mad max" scenario, who will control the thousands of nuclear bombs around the world? In addition, will the "squillionaire" be safe on the island of New Zealand after they brought about conditions leading up to chaos due to their endless greed? Wouldn't it be more likely that the conclusion would be to drop the first bombs in the locations where the wealthy congregate?

Although I understand the psychology behind wealth acquisition, it still amazes me that someone would rather see chaos in the world (and even in their local environment) before they would give up their wealth.

Dave , January 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

One truck parked on the runway, or a large concrete block dumped there has just shut down the entire airport for the private jets fleeing or arriving to pick up the exiters in anything other than a helicopter.

May I suggest a name for a new political party? "The Guillotine Party"

vlade , January 25, 2017 at 12:35 pm

In 2007-8 the trend was go get a sailing boat, full of provisions, moored in driving distance. Not so conspicious, doesn't rely on large infrastructure (it's not just take-off airport, it's also air-control, refuelling stops etc.). Of course, you must know how to sail it (which lot o hedgies do) and navigate (which fewer can do w/o GPS).

tejanojim , January 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

How about the "Collapse Party". Prepare for what can't be avoided.

Paid Minion , January 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

The 1%ers will be long gone before the zombies get the news that the S has HTF.

They won't even need to leave the USA to find "safe havens" The Chinese 1% have figured this out already, as real estate sales of the West Coast should indicate.

The Midwest/Plains state farmers are much more likely to sell food to 1%ers in isolated mountain/desert enclaves, than the coast-based wretched refuse.

Face it. The "Zombie Apocalypse" is a win-win for the 1%ers. Not that I like it. But you gotta remember that the Apocalypse will burn itself out in a relatively short time. It won't be the 1%ers who will get hammered; the 1%ers will throw the suburban 10%ers to the wolves. And even if they start at step zero on Day One, they have tons of resources to develop a plan.

Yves Smith Post author , January 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Look at the Paulson/Bloomberg/I forget who else county by county forecast of temps in 2040.

The Upper Midwest will turn into a bake oven.

And they want NZ for the self sufficiency and isolation. If outsiders are trading with you, they know where you are and can take what you have. That is what they fear over all.

Moneta , January 25, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Look at what happened to Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin (paranoid), Hussein, Gaddafi the list goes on These people are delusional and believe they are above the system

JonboinAR , January 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm

But I imagine a lot of powerful figures who were more behind the scenes did escape, their plans having succeeded.

witters , January 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm

With Saddam and Ghaddafi, the 'system' is US imperial violence?

inhibi , January 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Look at all the Industrialists behind Hitler, almost none of which were tried for their crimes and most kept their wealth (that is still around today).

Reality is a lot harsher than most realize. Most revolutions end with little change; or, change that simply invokes a new circle of elite. Look at all the coups & revolutions in Brazil. It went nowhere. One oppressive regime replaced by another.

The Elites may not yet realize how un-exceptional they are. But what they do realize is that in the Age of Information, everyone else knows how un-exceptional they are. We also know how much EXCEPTION they get from the system which is basically everything important: taxes, healthcare, and most importantly, the law.

I'm just waiting for the Black Swan moment. My prediction is simple: the Millenials will eventually near their mid thirties en-masse in the next decade. They will begin to realize, if they haven't already, that not only did the banks cause and get away with one of the largest bubbles in history, but the banks will also get all the realstate owned by the baby boomers that are already up to their eyes in debt, and that their children (Millenials) wont be able to pay off in their entire lifetime due to lower socio-economic standards, student loans, available full-time jobs, etc.

Essentially, the Elites of the Baby Boomer generation, that love to constantly illustrate how dumb the Millenials are, already sowed the destruction of their own system. They killed affordable healthcare. They killed affordable housing, and thus forced the rentier economy. They killed affordable education. They killed reasonable taxation. Thus, the current Millenial is stuck between massively rising costs of living and little to no availability of well paying jobs.

They killed the heart of consumerism and are now, some decades later, realizing it.

amousie , January 25, 2017 at 12:54 pm

For rebellions of this type, are they driven by the lowly peons or people closer to the level of the elites?

Gilford , January 25, 2017 at 10:23 am

I've had hedge fund clients who have been prepping for 15 years. They always pestered me for info because of my military and certified redneck background. I've always thought that people in small rural farm communities have a better chance than 1%ers with all their capital. You need a bit of arable land, water source, and the ability to band with friends, neighbors, and family to defend it with arms. Nothing that sophisticated.

I suspect the real deficiency for the 1%ers is not bunkers, planes, and gas masks . it's not having enough true comrades if the s really does hit the f.

cocomaan , January 25, 2017 at 11:31 am

Not to mention that the 1%'ers have no real skills. I doubt they pay attention to the passing of seasons, understand animal breeding or how plants grow, or how to talk with normal human beings without beginning with either an adversarial or a monetary relationship. They have never had calluses. They've never done backbreaking work in the rain or snow. Many of them probably haven't driven themselves anywhere in years.

New Zealand is an extremely rugged place. Farming in New Zealand has got to be tough. Hope they like mutton! NZ also imports a lot of their fossil fuels as well as their computers, machinery, cars, etc. Can you see a financial officer trying to seat a plowshare to work the side of a mountain? I can't.

petal , January 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I reckon they think they will hire/buy someone to do those things for them. They've always been able to, right? "Come work for me doing these things and I'll make sure you're fed and have a roof over your head." Or they think "how hard can it really be?" because the dumb serfs do it.

jrs , January 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

maybe you underestimate the 1% the way some supposedly underestimate Trump. They might be tougher and more skilled than you think. But what should not be underestimated is the cruelty and lack of basic morality represented in the 1% prepper mentality.

cocomaan , January 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Maybe I am. But there's interesting hobbies and then there's actual hard work. Working hard and having a personal trainer aren't the same thing.

Altandmain , January 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Some rich no doubt have decent survivability skills.

The thing is, they need allies. In a collapse situation, it's not "every man for himself", it is "every community for itself". They would have to bribe a large segment of the Kiwi population if they flee to NZ or wherever they are hiding. Typically if somewhere collapses, then the gangs take over. Without a decent community you are helpless against them.

If the US melts down, that would lead to global economic meltdown. New Zealand would not be very far behind.

Compounding that, the rich are often ruthless. They may be mentally competent, but ruthless. They will alienate locals if that happens. Without an entire community that is capable of survival skills, their odds aren't good. They need the locals on their side. They will stand out if they try to "blend in".

New Zealand, although inequality has risen, once idealized itself as an egalitarian culture. As far as the other destinations like Canada and much of Europe is also a lot more economically egalitarian in its outlook. Hint: The rest of the West is not as brainwashed as the US is by right wing economic propaganda.

One very big danger is that a collapse may worsen inequality. A good example might be Argentina and their debt crisis.

Paid Minion , January 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

The 1%ers who grew up or live in in BFE will do okay. They may not even need to leave town.

The NEC (especially NYC) and Left Coast/Silicon Valley D##kweeds are the ones who will need to head to the South Pacific. The wretched refuse knows full well who was behind selling the country/jobs to China.

JonboinAR , January 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm

They'll be fine! I wouldn't worry about them.

Dave , January 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Volunteered at my local school to build stage sets. Some hedge fund hotshot who drove an S Class Mercedes sneeringly assisted me.
I handed him a Makita drill with a Phillips bit and showed him how to put 3″ screws into the 2x4s to connect them. He dismissed me with that "I make tens of millions and I can do it" look.

After he stripped the heads on a bunch of screws and the drill buckled on him a bunch of times, I offered to give up the chop saw and do the screwing. He persevered until he put a screw through his hand.
The "I refuse to scream because I make millions" look on his face was worth the day's labor.

MtnLife , January 25, 2017 at 11:54 am

I find it amusing to think that close knit rural communities (well armed, know the land) are going to let any outsiders without local ties get to their precious redoubt. They might be getting picked up in armor plated vehicles but a well placed large oak tree felled across the road is going to deny entry. Helicopters are vulnerable to small arms fire. Will the guards be locals or will their families be inside like the pilots? Seems like a lot of operational security holes or the need for a substantial amount of extra resources for all the support staff. Unless they are doing this in their own rural hometown (and hopefully haven't burned bridges on their way to fortune), I would file this under wishful thinking.

a different chris , January 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Need about a 3 second perusal of the history of Afghanistan to see your point illustrated.

Waldenpond , January 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

The elite plan on staying on bolt holes while well armed rural communities will war with each other. Should be fun, sneak attacks to salt the land, poison the livestock, dump e-coli in the water.

witters , January 25, 2017 at 5:36 pm

If you want a rough historical instance of all this, I recommend Gregory of Tours, "History of the Franks". What tended to happen was that the "Kings" lost their power to the Mayors of the Palace (as they were the dudes who 'implemented' the Kings wishes).

jsn , January 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

"You need a bit of arable land, water source, and the ability to band with friends, neighbors, and family to defend it with arms. Nothing that sophisticated."

These are the basis of all successful social systems and what nations, at their best, used to do. The Neoliberal order has seen states reduced to platforms for wealth extraction and the NeoLib winners can't imagine a world without societies to loot because their own looting is all thats ever seemed good to them.

The idea of creating surplus value for a community and continually improving the prospects of that community over time isn't even a thinkable thought for them.

Wyoming , January 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm

My knowledge of high net worth individuals working on safe havens goes back about 10 years so a little less than Gilford.

I know of compounds being purchased/built with full sets of facilities taking into account all of the security issues that the best experts could envision and far beyond what anyone has mentioned here. We are talking hardened facilities, which are self sufficient, arsenals, housing for support staff like well trained security staff, agricultural expertise, mechanical expertise, etc And their families. And being located within support distance of other HNW individuals who are doing the same thing.

I won't go on other than to say these folks are not stupid and can think of all the issues quite well themselves or hire those with the expertise to do so. And they have the money and time to make it work.

rd , January 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm

You still need to have staff that are loyal to you for intrinsic reasons, not because you are paying them. Society goes "Lord of the Flies" very, very quickly in the absence of intrinsic social structures. These types of compounds would become tribal very quickly if they are largely cut off from the rest of the world. Some of the 1% would thrive, many would probably be taken over by their staff.

The failures in Afghanistan and Iraq were because it is difficult to impose order on tribes from the outside. It has to be organic if it is to last. The leader must be respected (or feared) by the community or it is replaced, often violently. Just having money in a world where money has lost much of its meaning isn't enough.

Waldenpond , January 25, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Staff will never stay loyal. Water systems, food systems, air systems are all vulnerable. Only 1%ers with robots, no staff? Robots are vulnerable.

What's odd is they may never be able to reproduce as a bratty teenager could have an outsize impact. If the theory would be to quarantine certain tolerated populations, it would requiring all individuals and the individuals are still vulnerable.

The currency will be shelter, food and privileges not paper contracts, paper or digital money. In any group, there will be the sociopaths who manipulate and steal more resources for themselves and others who won't will punish that behavior.

[Jan 24, 2017] Precedents for Pizzagate>

Jan 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

In 2006, the DHS's Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ran an internationally cooperative investigation into the purchase of subscriptions of child pornography online. Code-named Project Flicker, the investigation uncovered the identities of 30,000 child porn subscribers in 132 different nations. Some 250 of these identities belonged to civilian and military employees of the U.S. Defense Department, who gave their real names and purchased the porn with government .mil email addresses-some with the highest security clearances available. In response, the Pentagon's Department of Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) cross-referenced ICE's list with current employment roles and began a series of prosecutions.

A DCIS report from July 2010 shows that 30 of these individuals were investigated, despite uncovering a new total of 264 Defense employees and contractors who had purchased child pornography online. 13 had Top Secret security clearance. 8 had NATO Secret security clearance. 42 had Secret security clearance. 4 had Interim Secret security clearance. A total of 76 individuals had Secret security clearance or higher.

Yet, the investigations were halted entirely after only some 50 total names were investigated at all, and just 10 were prosecuted . A full 212 of the individuals on ICE's list were never even given the most cursory investigation at all. (Note: The number 5200 keeps popping up in sources covering this-for instance, see here -and I'm not sure what that number is for: American subscribers? Pentagon email addresses that weren't confirmed to have actually been used by Pentagon employees, but still may have been? I'll leave it to anyone interested enough to pursue these individual leads to see if they can figure that out and get back to us.)

In 2011, the story resurfaced when Anderson Cooper covered it with (again) Senator Chuck Grassley on CNN. After this, the story appears to have sunk straight back down into the memory hole yet again. Neither Anderson Cooper nor CNN appear to have given a follow–up in the five years since the story of the failed investigation first aired-why not? And why wasn't the first airing enough to lead to mass outrage and calls for action anyway? See here for another summary of the squashed investigation from 2014.

[Jan 24, 2017] Pizzagate by Aedon Cassiel

Notable quotes:
"... Mehrdad Amanpour ..."
"... The Sunday Times ..."
"... The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal first "broke" in the far-right blogosphere. The accusation they made was that these gangs were being allowed to operate undisturbed because everyone was too afraid of "appearing racist" to properly investigate them . . . and nobody listened to the far-right bloggers who were breaking this story because they were afraid of "appearing racist" if they gave any credibility to those far-right sources, too. Never mind that it seemed paranoid to rely on bloggers ..."
"... the far-right blogosphere turned out to be right. ..."
"... those people ..."
"... The Podesta Emails ..."
"... The evidence is of wildly varying levels of quality, ranging from the pareidolia of "Jesus is appearing to me in my toast" to "wait, that's actually pretty damn creepy." The mountain of claims and observations and speculations being compiled in places like Voat and Steemit are too overwhelming for any one person to hope to wade through sorting wheat from chaff, and while I don't intend to try, I will summarize some just a little bit of it here. ..."
"... While many of these claims are wild speculation over coincidences (though by no means all of them are), at some point I think a bunch of weird coincidences involving pedophilia and kids becomes sort of damning in and of itself. In one email , Podesta is among those being invited to a farm and the host says, "Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you'll have some further entertainment, and they will be in [the] pool for sure ." ..."
"... Could that have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. But inviting a group of adult men to a gathering and calling young children "further entertainment" while listing their ages is ..."
"... All the Children ..."
"... Here are just a few of the more "institutional" coincidences involved in the story: one of the men on the small list of people found "liking" photos like this one on these individuals' Instagram accounts is Arun Rao , the U.S. Attorney Chief, charged with prosecuting cases of child pornography. ..."
"... Besta Pizza, the business whose logo so closely resembled the "little boy lover" logo, is owned by Andrew Kline , who was one of four attorneys in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Department of Justice. Isn't it just a little ..."
"... The disturbing bit is that the photo uses the tag "#chickenlovers," and "chicken lover" is in fact ..."
"... Chicken Hawk ..."
"... Furthermore, Tony Podesta's favorite ..."
"... In addition to Jeffrey Epstein, the Podesta brothers are also friends with convicted sex offender Clement Freud as well as convicted serial child molester Dennis Hastert . ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... And we do know that this has happened before. ..."
"... The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal ..."
"... how we should respond to the possibility. ..."
Dec 02, 2016 | www.unz.com

Man Motivated by 'Pizzagate' Conspiracy Theory Arrested in Washington Gunfire
Eric Lipton, The New York Times, December 5th, 2016

Beginning in 1997, in an English town of more than 100,000 people, eight Pakistani men stood at the core of a group involving as many as three hundred suspects who abused, gang-raped, pimped and trafficked, by the most conservative estimate, well over a thousand of the town's young girls for years.

The police were eventually accused of not just turning a blind eye, but of participating in the abuse - even supplying the Pakistani gangs with drugs and tipping them off when they heard of colleagues searching for children they knew to be in the gangs' possession.

Others were afraid of investigating the gangs or calling attention to their behavior because it would have been politically incorrect to accuse the town's ethnic community of such a rampant and heinous crime - in the words of one English writer, " Fears of appearing racist trumped fears of more children being abused ."

But when this story first broke, guess where it appeared?

Here's how a blogger writing under the name Mehrdad Amanpour tells the story of how the story first started reaching people:

Some years ago, a friend sent me a shocking article. It said hundreds of British girls were being systematically gang-raped by Muslim gangs. It claimed this was being covered-up.

I've never had time for conspiracy theories, especially when they look as hateful as those in the article. So I checked the links and sources in the piece. I found an American racist-far-right website and from there, saw the original source was a similarly unpleasant website in the UK.

I did a brief search for corroboration from reputable mainstream sources. I found none. So I wrote a curt reply to my friend: "I'd appreciate it if you didn't send me made-up crap from neo–Nazi websites."

Some months later, I read the seminal exposé of the (mainly) ethnic-Pakistani grooming gang phenomenon by Andrew Norfolk in The Sunday Times .

I was stunned and horrified - not just that these vile crimes were indeed happening and endemic, but that they really were being ignored and "covered-up" by public authorities and the mainstream media.

The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal first "broke" in the far-right blogosphere. The accusation they made was that these gangs were being allowed to operate undisturbed because everyone was too afraid of "appearing racist" to properly investigate them . . . and nobody listened to the far-right bloggers who were breaking this story because they were afraid of "appearing racist" if they gave any credibility to those far-right sources, too. Never mind that it seemed paranoid to rely on bloggers to report truths like these when the allegations were so wide-reaching, involving a literal conspiracy within the police force.

And yet, years after no one was willing to take them seriously, the far-right blogosphere turned out to be right.

Well over a thousand (mostly) white young girls were being abused by (mostly) Pakistani gangs.

And the authorities were covering it up.

We are now, once again, in the stage of an evolving scandal that Mehrdad Amanpour described his experience with above. Just to be clear, I'm not going to commit myself to the idea that this is going to be as huge as Rotherham was. We should be careful: we don't know what would or wouldn't be confirmed with a proper investigation. The question here is not whether we've gotten to the bottom of this online. The question is whether there is enough here to justify thinking there should be a proper investigation.

And the parallel with Rotherham is that the relatively small number of people asking for that are mostly the loathsome kinds of people who run "racist far-right websites." So, since the claims are inherently conspiratorial, and the mainstream doesn't want to be associated with those people who are talking about it, it is once again all too easy to just dismiss the claims out of hand as paranoia run wild.

Again, the evolution of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal was an extremely painful lesson that the mainstream can be wrong and the "paranoid racist far-right" can be right. And that lesson was far too expensive to simply let go to waste.

The name of this scandal is Pizzagate.

It gets the name for two reasons: first, because at the center of the scandal are high-level Washington insiders who own a handful of businesses in the DC area, including a couple pizzerias (Comet Ping Pong and Besta Pizza), who have fallen under suspicion for involvement in a child sex abuse ring. Second, because the first questions arose in peoples' minds as a result of some very bizarre emails revealed by Wikileaks in The Podesta Emails that, quite simply, just sound strange (and usually involve weird references to pizza). One of the strangest emails involves Joe Podesta being asked this question: "The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related). Is it yours?"

The evidence is of wildly varying levels of quality, ranging from the pareidolia of "Jesus is appearing to me in my toast" to "wait, that's actually pretty damn creepy." The mountain of claims and observations and speculations being compiled in places like Voat and Steemit are too overwhelming for any one person to hope to wade through sorting wheat from chaff, and while I don't intend to try, I will summarize some just a little bit of it here.

While many of these claims are wild speculation over coincidences (though by no means all of them are), at some point I think a bunch of weird coincidences involving pedophilia and kids becomes sort of damning in and of itself. In one email , Podesta is among those being invited to a farm and the host says, "Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you'll have some further entertainment, and they will be in [the] pool for sure ."

Could that have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. But inviting a group of adult men to a gathering and calling young children "further entertainment" while listing their ages is weird , whether it ends up having an explanation or not.

If I was getting messages that listed the ages of young children that would be in a pool

And it turned out that the logo for my business contained a symbol strikingly close to the "little boy lover" logo used by pedophiles to signify that their interest is in young boys rather than girls . . .

And the bands that showed up at my restaurant had albums called All the Children with images on the cover of a child putting phallic-shaped objects into his mouth . . .

. . . and were found making creepy jokes about pedophilia (in reference to Jared Fogle: " we all have our preferences . . . ") . . . and there were instagram photos coming out of kids ("jokingly?") taped to the tables in my restaurant . . .

. . . frankly, I would start asking questions about myself.

Here are just a few of the more "institutional" coincidences involved in the story: one of the men on the small list of people found "liking" photos like this one on these individuals' Instagram accounts is Arun Rao , the U.S. Attorney Chief, charged with prosecuting cases of child pornography.

Besta Pizza, the business whose logo so closely resembled the "little boy lover" logo, is owned by Andrew Kline , who was one of four attorneys in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Department of Justice. Isn't it just a little unusual that someone that high up in a human trafficking division would fail to notice the symbolism?

For yet another coincidence, Lauren Silsby-Gayler is the former director of The New Life Children's Refuge in Haiti. It is a matter of public record that she was caught, prosecuted, and sent to jail while in that role for trying to abduct dozens of children, most of whom had homes and families. The main lawyer paid to represent Silsby-Gayler, "President of the Sephardic Jewish community in the Dominican Republic," was himself suspected of involvement in human trafficking.

When the Clintons gained influence in the region, one of their first acts was to work to get Silsby-Gayler off the hook . Among the Podesta Wikileaks are State Department emails discussing their case. Meanwhile, she now works on the executive board of AlertSense . . . which collaborates with IPAWS to send out nation-wide Amber Alerts.

While some of the supposed "codewords" people have claimed to have identified in Pizzagate appear to be made up, there is at least one unambiguous instance: here is an Instagrammed photo posted by James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong that appears innocent enough: a man carrying a young child with a beaded necklace draped around both of their necks.

The disturbing bit is that the photo uses the tag "#chickenlovers," and "chicken lover" is in fact an established term to refer to a pedophile - someone who loves "chicken," which is also unambiguously an established term to refer to underage children (you can see this in the gay slang dictionary subset of the Online Dictionary of Playground Slang ).

Complain all you want about the "speculative" and "paranoid" online discussions of Pizzagate, but when you have clearer-cut cases like this one where James Alefantis absolutely, unquestionably did in fact post a photo of a man holding an infant and the one and only hashtag he used for the photo involved a term that unquestionably is a reference to pedophilia, in a context where it is clear that there is nothing else here that "chicken" could possibly have been referring to, the likelihood that more speculative claims might have truth to them is increased.

There is a 1994 documentary expose on NAMBLA (the North American Man/Boy Love Association) called Chicken Hawk . Here is yet another reference from a watchdog group from 2006, proving that this one existed well before Pizzagate surfaced. Another confirmed fact dug up by the paranoid right-wing conspiracy nuts on the Internet?

So here are a few more things we do know. We know that Bill Clinton has taken dozens of international flights on a plane colloquially known as the " Lolita Express " with Jeffrey Epstein, a man who spent 13 months in jail after being convicted of soliciting a 13-year-old prostitute . We know that Hillary Clinton's staff knew that Anthony Weiner was sexting underage girls all the way back in 2011 - and covered it up. Guess whose laptop revealed evidence that Hillary Clinton went on flights on Jeffrey Epstein's " Lolita Express " along with Bill? That's right: Anthony Weiner's.

Now do you understand why the mainstream media was so eager to spin these emails as just a "distraction" during the election?

The staff that ignored Weiner's sexting of young children included John Podesta himself, whose brother Tony is one of the very men at the center of Pizzagate. Tony Podesta has rather warped tastes in art. For instance, he owns a bronze statue of a decapitated man in a contorted position identical to a well-known photograph of one of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's victims:

(See here for the disturbing photo of the real victim.)

The same news story that features the image above also mentions the fact that John Podesta's bedroom contains multiple images from a photographer "known for documentary-style pictures of naked teenagers in their parents' suburban homes.")

Furthermore, Tony Podesta's favorite artist is Biljana Djurdjevic, whose art heavily features images of children in BDSM-esque positions in large showers. Here's one with a row of young girls in a shower with their hands behind their backs in a position that suggests bondage:

Here's one with a young boy in a shower tied up in the air with his hands over his head:

In addition to Jeffrey Epstein, the Podesta brothers are also friends with convicted sex offender Clement Freud as well as convicted serial child molester Dennis Hastert .

We do know that the New York Times , which is now dismissing Pizzagate in its entirety as a hoax, is run by Mark Thompson - who was credibly accused a few years back of lying to help cover up a scandal involving another high-profile public figure involved in child sex abuse, Jimmy Savile , during his time as head of the BBC .

And we do know that this has happened before.

Lawrence King , the leader of the Black Republican Caucus, who sang the national anthem at the Republican convention in 1984, was accused by multiple claimed victims of trafficking and abusing boys out of the Boys Town charity for years. You can hear the chilling testimony from three people who claim to have been victimized by King in a documentary produced shortly after the events transpired.

You can hear the FBI, even after they received extensive testimony from victims, explain in their own words that they weren't going to prosecute King because if anything were wrong with him, he would have been prosecuted by a lower authority already. Eventually, King was found "O. J. guilty" of abusing Paul Bonacci - convicted in civil court, acquitted in criminal court.

The best written source for information about the depths of corruption and cover-up involved in this scandal is Nick Bryant's The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal (if you can't find a free copy on your own, contact me through my website, www.zombiemeditations.com and I tell you where to find it).

Could all of this turn out to be nothing?

Of course it could.

But that's not the question here. The question is how we should respond to the possibility.

Do we take the possibility seriously? History clearly indicates that we should. Even if it did turn out to be nothing at all, I would still be more proud to belong to a community willing to take the possibility seriously and call for investigation than I would to belong to a community that dismissed the possibility far too hastily and luckily turned out to be right - even as it did this and turned out to be wrong in so many cases like Rotherham before.

The real horror here would be to live in a society that responded as Reddit has - by shutting down the whole conversation entirely, banning r/pizzagate even while keeping subreddits like r/pedofriends, "a place for (non-offending) pedophiles and allies to make friends with each other!" alive.

Over on his blog, Scott Adams asks us to keep in mind cases where confirmation bias did lead to false allegations of institutional pedophilia, to caution against excessive confidence. (He hastens to add: "I want to be totally clear here that I'm not saying Pizzagate is false. I see the mountain of evidence too. And collectively it feels totally persuasive to me. It might even be true. I'm not debating the underlying truth of it. That part I don't know.")

But which is worse? If all the evidence coming out of Pizzagate is entirely false, what have we lost by spending time on it? On the other hand, if even five percent of the allegations that have been made surrounding the topic are true, what have we lost by ignoring them? Which is worse: spending too much time pursuing and thoroughly vetting false leads, or looking the other way while any amount of child abuse goes on?

According to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, nearly 470,000 children disappear in the United States alone each year. This number is dubious for a number of reasons. It looks like some number of runaways end up in the NCIC count, and to make matters worse, repeat offenders can make it into the data multiple times. So that would suggest that the real number must be lower than this tally; but on the other hand, we also know that many missing children are never reported in the first place, so it's possible that that could boost the number back up. The bottom line, however, seems to be that there is no reliable way to determine how many total children are actually missing in the U.S.

Either way, though, even if correcting for these errors took out 90% of the disappearances in the NCIC database, and there were no unreported disappearances to account for at all, I think even the resulting 50,000 per year would still be enough to call the problem systematic and justify suspicion that these disappearances could well involve organized efforts-given that we already know of so many pedophile rings in so many powerful institutions.

In 2013, Canada busted a ring involving more than 300 adults , who had teachers, doctors, and nurses heavily represented among them. A pedophile ring has just been identified in the highest levels of UK football (Americans know the sport as soccer). Norwegian police also just uncovered a ring of 50 organized pedophiles mostly working in the tech sector , once again including elected officials, teachers, and lawyers. The Vatican scandals can practically go without mention - institutional involvement in child sex exploitation is nearly an a priori given.

And the children that are being raped and murdered in the photos passed around by these child porn rings are coming from somewhere . And when figures like politicians, teachers, and lawyers are involved in the rings, it's hardly inconceivable that they could be involved in disappearances.

Have we identified one here?

Only time will tell. But we deserve to be paid attention. We deserve to have the matter taken (Reprinted from Counter-Currents Publishing by permission of author or representative)

[Jan 23, 2017] About rich bastards in Finance and Sillycon Valley going all Prepper, figuring out ways to safeguard their wealth and comfort and privilege if/when society collapses.

Jan 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Praedor , January 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm

File this under "Class Warfare" too.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich?mbid=synd_digg&utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

About rich bastards in Finance and Sillycon Valley going all Prepper, figuring out ways to safeguard their wealth and comfort and privilege if/when SHTF and our society collapses.

The good news: IF SHTF in a way such as they fear, the gloves get to come off and there'd be no law enforcement to protect them. It becomes 1%er hunting season.

River , January 23, 2017 at 4:18 pm

The selfishness is amazing. Instead of preventing this scenario from unfolding they encourage it by withdrawing. Ounce of prevention/pound of cure.

What will happen when the servants they take with them revolt, since your currency is worth zip. They serve you because .?

A bunch of green backs or gold coins that are worth as much as toilet paper won't be of much use.

jrs , January 23, 2017 at 4:25 pm

The thing is I really truly suspect that this is how the rich think. It's enough to make one sensibly and rationally hate the rich, if one didn't already that is.

"In private Facebook groups, wealthy survivalists swap tips on gas masks, bunkers, and locations safe from the effects of climate change."

never mind the absurdity of imagining there are private FB groups, native Americans are facing down the full force of the police state to protect the environment and their land out of a larger purpose and these rich people who may actually have some influence make it their priority to just personally be somewhere safe from the effects of climate change (as if that were possible haha). Like Gandhi is rumored to have said: Western civilization – it would be a good idea.

River , January 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I think you're right in how they think. "I would rather spend 1,000 dollars on myself then give 1 dollar to help someone else (and protect myself in the long run)" does seem to be the thought process.

To continue in that vein. "But you would be saving $999 if you gave $1";

"What did they do to *earn* my largesse?"

Truly baffling when looked at rationally, but as a species we're not all that rational.

RMO , January 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Awww it's touching isn't it? The naive way the billionaires think their pilots and armed guards would continue to obey their orders in a doomsday/survival scenario

River , January 23, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Ya, they really should play some Fallout. The real life "vault-builders" may have other ideas.

Plus, the Machiavellian maxim about fortresses not being all that safe, but the respect of the people being a true safeguard for a prince.

I mean if I was a multi-billionaire, I'd move to Detroit rebuild the infrastructure, and turn the city into an estate with loyal citizens. I keep them safe now, SHTF, they keep me safe. If nothing happens, then they benefit greatly, and I'll be remembered by history as a decent person.

Andrew Watts , January 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm

That's ridiculous! The fictional America in the Fallout series was run by a fascist government hellbent on winning the war with China at any cost

Uhh, so they were just a bit more competent at achieving their aims I guess?

NotTimothyGeithner , January 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I have to be "that guy," but the Vault Tec vaults were built as elaborate social experiments to determine how to best transport colonists on theorized, future spacecraft. The U.S. didn't intend to launch a mass nuclear strike, but the Chinese saw the start of the vault experiment as preparation for a first strike. The fascists didn't even under their own experiments properly.

River , January 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

That's ok. I love the Fallout Lore. Is the space colony Bethesda lore or Interplay lore?

I like that even the Vault-ride showing the colonies .they were doing experiments on ride patrons, and the scientists doing the experiments were having experiments performed on them!

Praedor , January 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Fun fact to keep in mind: those silos or other fancy bunkers with air filtration to clean out chemical, biological, or nuclear contaminants will not block carbon monoxide or any oxygen displacing gas. So, once rich Silicon Valley or Wall St piece of shit bunkers down, you pull a car or truck up to their air intakes and start pumping your exhaust in. Fill the fancy bunker with carbon monoxide, halon, etc.

Bastards deserve the had chamber of their own making.

Kokuanani , January 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Seeing how the billionaires and cent-millionaires choose to use their money for this makes a strong case for increasing taxes on them A LOT.

[For those who haven't read the article, it's about some entrepreneurial Doomsdayers creating "condos" in abandoned missile silos near Wichita. Or moving to New Zealand.]

I did love the part about how you need to take the family of the pilot who's manning your escape helicopter with you as you depart from the crashing "civilization."

Massinissa , January 23, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Wow. There is some weird stuff in there.

Some of them think they are prepping by

STOCKING UP ON BITCOINS!!!!!!

Derp, apparently they forgot that Bitcoins arnt accessible if theres no electricity or internet. God, that makes the guys who stock up on gold coins look like geniuses in comparison.

[Jan 22, 2017] Neoliberalism may have been in part so successful because it appeals to (and tries to explain many things in terms of) a narrative of competition (and assignment of reward and acknowedlgement) by merit

Neoliberals seem very concerned not to have a label. I posit this is because the founders of the malign ideology didn't want their victims be able to reliably identify them. The deliberately and misleadingly promote the view of the economy as an isolated scientific subject, like the interior of a test tube, and treat politics and policy as a sort of exterior force, that can be isolated from the world of the chemist and pushed off-to-one side. Neoclassic economists consistently and deliberately blinds itself to politics and the dynamics of power, despite the deep entanglement of politics with everything economic. "I look at politics and the economy and see one thing, not two things, and I am astonished at the extent to which economists focus on the part they like to play with intellectually, while deliberately looking away from what is probably the more important part. "
Notable quotes:
"... when left-wing people say that economists are defenders and supporters of the current order of things, they have a point: ignoring power relationships and their impact on the world supports the continued existence of those relationships. ..."
"... Neoliberalism may have been in part so successful because it appeals to (and tries to explain many things in terms of) a narrative of competition (and assignment of reward and acknowedlgement) by merit. ..."
"... Most people, esp. when young (still largely sheltered) or (still) successful, probably have an exaggerated assessment of their own merit (absolute and relative) - often actively instilled and encouraged by an "enabling" environment. ..."
"... It promises a lake Wobegon of sorts where everybody (even though not all!) are above average, and it is finally recognized. ..."
Jan 22, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

William Meyer, Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 12:49 PM

What Wren-Lewis misses, I think, is that something I've noticed in my roughly a decade of reading economic blogs on the Internet. Economists have blinkers on. They want to view the economy as an isolated scientific subject, like the interior of a test tube, and treat politics and policy as a sort of exterior force, that can be isolated from the world of the chemist and pushed off-to-one side. It seems fairly clear to me that the two elements--politics and the economy--are obviously continuously co-mingled, and have all sorts of feedback loops running between them.

The discipline really consistently and deliberately blinds itself to politics and the dynamics of power, despite the deep entanglement of politics with everything economic. Wren-Lewis admits that macroeconomists "missed" the impacts of very high financial sector leverage, but finds that now that economists have noticed it, and suggested remedies, that the power of bank lobby prevents those remedies from being enacted. But shouldn't the political power of the finance lobby been a part of economic analysis of the world along with the dangers of the financial sector's use of extreme leverage? Does he think the two phenomena are unrelated?

Shouldn't economics pay more attention to the ongoing attempts of various groups to orient government policy in their favor, just like they pay attention to the trade deficit and GDP numbers?

I look at politics and the economy and see one thing, not two things, and I am astonished at the extent to which economists focus on the part they like to play with intellectually, while deliberately looking away from what is probably the more important part. Its like economists obsessively focus on the part that can be studied via numbers (money) and don't' want to think about the part that is harder to look quantify (political policy). And there is a political issue there, which Mr. Wren-Lewis, keeps ignoring in his defense of "mainstream economics."

The neoclassical economics tendency of not looking at power relationships makes power imbalances and their great influence on economics seem like "givens" or "natural endowments", which is clearly an intellectual sin of omission.

Many people, even within the halls of mainstream economics, note economists are "uncomfortable" with distributional issues.

Whether they like the implication or not, economists need to acknowledge that this discomfort has a profoundly conservative intellectual bias, in the sense that it make the status quo arrangement of society seem "natural" and "normal", when it is obviously humanly constructed and not in any sense "natural." So when left-wing people say that economists are defenders and supporters of the current order of things, they have a point: ignoring power relationships and their impact on the world supports the continued existence of those relationships.

Mr. Wren-Lewis seems like a nice guy, but he needs to take that simple home truth in. I'm not sure why he seems to struggle so with acknowledging it.

KPl, January 21, 2017 at 11:37 PM

"...but failing to ignore their successes,..."

Oh you mean the success of being able to raise asset prices without the growth in wages, make education costly and unaffordable without student loans, not chargeable under bankruptcy, spruce up employment figures by not counting the people who have stopped look for jobs because they cannot find one, make people debt serfs, make savers miserable by keeping interest rates at zero and making them take risks that they may not want to take though it is picking pennies in front of a steamroller, keeping wages stagnant for decades and thus impoverishing people.

The list of successes is endless and you should be glad we are NOT talking about them. Because if we do, the clan called economists might well be torched.

cm -> cm... , January 22, 2017 at 08:40 AM
Neoliberalism may have been in part so successful because it appeals to (and tries to explain many things in terms of) a narrative of competition (and assignment of reward and acknowedlgement) by merit.

Most people, esp. when young (still largely sheltered) or (still) successful, probably have an exaggerated assessment of their own merit (absolute and relative) - often actively instilled and encouraged by an "enabling" environment.

A large part is probably the idea that "markets" are "objective" or at least "impartial" in bringing out and rewarding merit - also technology and "data driven" technocratic management, which are attributed "objectivity". All in the explicitly stated or implied service of impartially recognizing merit and its lack.

It promises a lake Wobegon of sorts where everybody (even though not all!) are above average, and it is finally recognized.

libezkova : , January 22, 2017 at 07:11 PM
"Neoliberalism may have been in part so successful because it appeals to (and tries to explain many things in terms of) a narrative of competition (and assignment of reward and acknowedlgement) by merit."

A very important observation. Thank you --

[Jan 21, 2017] Political sciences Theory of Everything on the 2016 US Election - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... "the high military, the corporation executives, the political directorate have tended to come together to form the power elite of America." ..."
"... He describes how the power elite can be best described as a "triangle of power," linking the corporate, executive government, and military factions: "There is a political economy numerously linked with military order and decision. This triangle of power is now a structural fact, and it is the key to any understanding of the higher circles in America today." ..."
"... During the election campaign the power elite's military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite's political faction. ..."
"... At the time this was the highest level internal US intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see the Islamic State as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The military faction began a steady stream of "one-sided" leaks to Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh who published one article after another that undermined the political (Obama administration) and corporate (CIA and intelligence) factions of the power elite, while painting the military faction in a positive light. ..."
"... The first article entitled Whose Sarin? was published on 19 December, 2013 and concerned the East Ghouta sarin gas attack of August 21, 2013. Hersh documents a clear campaign within the power elite's military faction to "foot-drag" and hopefully block the planned US retaliation for crossing President Obama's "red line": "[S]ome members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were troubled by the prospect of a ground invasion of Syria as well as by Obama's professed desire to give rebel factions non-lethal support. In July, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, provided a gloomy assessment, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony that 'thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces' would be needed to seize Syria's widely dispersed chemical warfare arsenal, along with 'hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers'." ..."
"... A cornered Obama welcomed a draft UN resolution calling on the Assad government to get rid of its chemical arsenal. The political faction's step-down pleased many senior military officers, explains Hersh: "One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been 'like providing close air support for al-Nusra'." ..."
"... General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. The military faction also had the advantage of a British intelligence report of a sample of sarin, recovered by Russian military intelligence operatives, proving it was not from the Syrian army. Further suspicions were aroused within the military faction when more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with two kilograms of sarin. Hersh quotes his internal military source: "'We knew there were some in the Turkish government,' a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, 'who believed they could get Assad's nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.'" ..."
"... Further revelations included how the Obama administration, through the CIA, had by early 2012 created a "rat line", a back channel highway into Syria, used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to jihadists, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda. ..."
"... Hersh's source explains how a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the assault by a local militia on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others in September 2012, revealed a secret agreement for the "rat line" reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations: "By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi's arsenals into Syria." ..."
"... After Washington abruptly ended the CIA's role in the transfer of arms from Libya the "rat line" continued and became more ominous: "'The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,' the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels." ..."
Jan 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

The corporate-deep-state theory

In a recent UNZ article titled: Political science's "theory of everything" a concise map of the US establishment, both the visible and invisible government was mapped. Based on this map a theory emerged that showed how the visible government has been subverted by an invisible unelected government that was described as a corporate-deep-state. The levels of the US establishment were identified as a power elite conspiratorial leadership overseeing a corporatocracy and directing a deep state that has gradually subverted the visible US government and taken over the "levers of power."

The power elite

The invisible rulers of the US establishment were revealed by Professor C. Wright Mill in his article titled, The Structure of Power in American Society (The British Journal of Sociology, March 1958), in which he explains how, "the high military, the corporation executives, the political directorate have tended to come together to form the power elite of America."

He describes how the power elite can be best described as a "triangle of power," linking the corporate, executive government, and military factions: "There is a political economy numerously linked with military order and decision. This triangle of power is now a structural fact, and it is the key to any understanding of the higher circles in America today."

The 2016 US election, like all other US elections, featured a gallery of pre-selected candidates that represented the three factions and their interests within the power elite. The 2016 US election, however, was vastly different from previous elections. As the election dragged on the power elite became bitterly divided, with the majority supporting Hilary Clinton, the candidate pre-selected by the political and corporate factions, while the military faction rallied around their choice of Donald Trump.

During the election campaign the power elite's military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite's political faction. In fact by capturing the Republican nomination and overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic establishment, Trump and the military faction not just shattered the power elites' political faction, within both the Democratic and Republican parties, but simultaneously ended both the Clinton and Bush dynasties.

During the election campaign the power elite's corporate faction realised, far too late, that Trump was a direct threat to their power base, and turned the full force of their corporate media against Trump's military faction, while Trump using social media bypassed and eviscerated the corporate media causing them to lose all remaining credibility.

As the election reached a crescendo this battle between the power elite's factions became visible within the US establishment's entities. A schism developed between the Defense Department and the highly politicized CIA This schism, which can be attributed to the corporate-deep-state's covert foreign policy, traces back to the CIA orchestrated "color revolutions" that had swept the Middle East and North Africa.

The covert invasion of Syria

A US Pentagon, DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.

Astoundingly, the declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME ".

The document shows that as early as 2012, US intelligence predicted the rise of the Salafist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.

At the time this was the highest level internal US intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see the Islamic State as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The military faction began a steady stream of "one-sided" leaks to Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh who published one article after another that undermined the political (Obama administration) and corporate (CIA and intelligence) factions of the power elite, while painting the military faction in a positive light.

Whose sarin?

The first article entitled Whose Sarin? was published on 19 December, 2013 and concerned the East Ghouta sarin gas attack of August 21, 2013. Hersh documents a clear campaign within the power elite's military faction to "foot-drag" and hopefully block the planned US retaliation for crossing President Obama's "red line": "[S]ome members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were troubled by the prospect of a ground invasion of Syria as well as by Obama's professed desire to give rebel factions non-lethal support. In July, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, provided a gloomy assessment, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in public testimony that 'thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces' would be needed to seize Syria's widely dispersed chemical warfare arsenal, along with 'hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers'."

A cornered Obama welcomed a draft UN resolution calling on the Assad government to get rid of its chemical arsenal. The political faction's step-down pleased many senior military officers, explains Hersh: "One high-level special operations adviser told me that the ill-conceived American missile attack on Syrian military airfields and missile emplacements, as initially envisaged by the White House, would have been 'like providing close air support for al-Nusra'."

The Red Line and the Rat Line

The second article titled The Red Line and the Rat Line was published on 17 April, 2014 and explains why Obama delayed and then relented on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya: "The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration (political faction) who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous."

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. The military faction also had the advantage of a British intelligence report of a sample of sarin, recovered by Russian military intelligence operatives, proving it was not from the Syrian army. Further suspicions were aroused within the military faction when more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with two kilograms of sarin. Hersh quotes his internal military source: "'We knew there were some in the Turkish government,' a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, 'who believed they could get Assad's nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.'"

Further revelations included how the Obama administration, through the CIA, had by early 2012 created a "rat line", a back channel highway into Syria, used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to jihadists, some of them affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Hersh's source explains how a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the assault by a local militia on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others in September 2012, revealed a secret agreement for the "rat line" reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations: "By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi's arsenals into Syria."

After Washington abruptly ended the CIA's role in the transfer of arms from Libya the "rat line" continued and became more ominous: "'The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,' the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels."

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

The third article titled The Killing of Osama bin Laden was published on 17 April, 2014. The Obama administration needed a public relations win on the eve of his second term election and according to Hersh's military source: "'the killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama's military credentials.'"

Hersh's article goes on to systematically debunk the Obama administration's entire clumsy cover story while implicating the Saudis and Pakistanis who financed and protected Osama bin Laden. He goes on to reveal that once he had outlived his usefulness, to the Pakistanis, he was traded to the Americans who murdered him in cold blood and tossed his mutilated body parts over the Hindu Kish mountains.

The article further reveals how the Senate Intelligence Committee's long-delayed report on CIA torture, released in December 2013 concluded that the CIA lied systematically about the effectiveness of its torture programme in gaining intelligence that would stop future terrorist attacks in the US.

Military to Military

Hersh's fourth article titled Military to Military was published on 7 January 2016, and details how an exasperated military faction continued to repeat warnings that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to Libyan style chaos and, potentially, to Syria's takeover by jihadi extremists. They were continuously ignored by both the political faction and the intelligence services: "[A]lthough many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming General Dempsey and his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept their dissent out of bureaucratic channels, and survived in office. General Michael Flynn did not. 'Flynn incurred the wrath of the White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria,' said Patrick Lang, a retired army colonel who served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the DIA. 'He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out. He wouldn't shut up.' Flynn told me his problems went beyond Syria. 'I was shaking things up at the DIA – and not just moving deckchairs on the Titanic. It was radical reform. I felt that the civilian leadership did not want to hear the truth. I suffered for it, but I'm OK with that.'"

Hersh's paper further highlights a rebellion under the leadership of Joint Chiefs of Staff that was then led by General Martin Dempsey. He began to send a flow of US intelligence through allied militaries to the Syrian Arab Army and he orchestrated a deliberate plan to downgrade the quality of the arms being supplied to the rebels by the CIA The military's indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey's retirement in September 2015. The political faction then replaced Dempsey, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, with General Joseph Dunford who advocated a "hard line" on Russia.

The power elite's military faction realised that radical reform could not begin until the military faction had full political support behind them.

Rise of the Generals

In the 2016 US election Trump with the full weight of the military faction behind him pulled off a stunning victory against the entire political faction – defeating both the Democratic and Republican Party machines – and the corporate media.

The cornerstone of the corporatocracy, the Wall Street lobby, due to the sheer amount of fiat petrodollar based money it generates, and the influence it has over the US establishment was officially dethroned. The locus of power within the power elite had suddenly and dramatically shifted from Wall St to the Pentagon.

Although the situation is very fluid on the eve of the Trump presidency a map highlighting the US establishment entities supporting either Trump or his defeated opponent Clinton can be arguably mapped below.

Trump quickly named security hardliners including past and present generals and FBI officials, to key security and intelligence positions while the corporate media accused Trump of having a starry-eyed fascination with the brass of America's losing wars.

Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was forced from his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, will be President-elect Donald Trump's national security adviser. Army retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg will be serving in a supporting capacity to Flynn as chief of staff of the National Security Council (NSC).

Trump selected retired General James Mattis to lead the Department of Defense. Mattis, a documented war criminal , had helped cover up the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians by US soldiers. His soldiers also directly committed war crimes in the US sieges of Fallujah in 2004, when his forces not only used white phosphorus but fired on and killed up to 5,000 innocent civilians. General Mattis has called for a "new security architecture for the Mideast built on sound policy Iran is a special case that must be dealt with as a threat to regional stability, nuclear and otherwise." On a positive Mattis also got Trump to reconsider his stance on torture stating, "'I've never found it to be useful."

General John Kelly, another long-serving Marine with a reputation for bluntness, has been picked to head the Department of Homeland Security. He is the most senior US officer to have lost a child in the "war on terror". His son Robert, a first lieutenant in the marines, was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010. He therefore strongly opposed efforts by the Obama administration to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, claiming that the remaining detainees were "all bad boys," both guilty and dangerous.

And in selecting career military men like Flynn, Mattis and Kelly as his senior civilian advisers on military matters, Trump is in essence strengthening defense while creating rival intelligence entities that will remain loyal to his military faction.

Meanwhile Big Oil's Rex Tillerson - the former CEO of world's largest oil company, ExxonMobil - is to be Secretary of State. He has a two-decade relationship with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship in 2013.

Mindful of others who defied the US establishment, Trump's supporters delivered an ominous warning to rival power elite factions that should Trump be assassinated then a civil war would follow. In reality an assassination in today's climate, without the support of the corporatocracy's now discredited media, would usher in martial law and further ensconce the military faction within their seat of power.

Playing chess like Putin

Trump and his military faction appear to greatly admire Putin personally, and in September 2016 during the NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum Trump stated: "I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, he's getting an 'A' and our president is not doing so well." Trump's military faction, unlike the other two factions sees Russia as more of a partner than an adversary and he is deeply committed to reorienting American foreign policy in a pro-Russian direction.

Trump knows Putin's history well and appears intent on following in his footsteps. Putin took office by striking a deal with Russia's political elite to protect former Russian President Yeltsin and his family from prosecution in exchange for Putin becoming Prime Minister and later President.

Then on July 28, 2000, after they had funded his election campaign, Vladimir Putin gathered the 18 most powerful businessmen (corporatocracy) in Russia and denounced the corporate elite as creators of a corrupt state. During the transition from Communism in the 1990s these oligarchs – the majority Jewish – had taken control of every single lever of power in Russia including the central bank, the mass media and even the Kremlin.

In a second meeting on January 24, 2001, Vladimir Putin met with 21 leading oligarchs and stressed that the Russian state had no plans to re-nationalize the economy, but added that they should have "a feeling of responsibility [to] the people and the country" and asked them to donate $2.6 million to a fund he was setting up to help families of soldiers wounded or killed in action.

True to his word the oligarchs that complied were allowed to keep the money they had looted from the Russian people. Those that didn't comply, like Berezovsky and Gusinsky, Russia's two most infamous and hated oligarchs, were gradually pushed out, and in some cases even imprisoned.

After defeating the oligarchs and gaining control of their media Putin then began to methodically cleanse the Russian government and the Kremlin of corporate influence.

Corporatocracy

Professor Jeffry Sachs calls the US corporate conspiracy The Rigged Game in which the political system has come to be controlled by powerful corporate interest groups – the "corporatocracy" – who dominate the policy agenda. Sachs explains how "[a] healthy economy is a mixed economy, in which government and the marketplace both play their role. Yet the federal government has neglected its role for three decades."

President Trump appears to have taken a page from Sach's book and, even before taking office, is signalling that his government will not neglect its role.

During an interview with Fortune on April 19, 2016, Donald Trump explicitly explained how he planned on taking back the economic "levers of power" from Wall Street's Federal Reserve by supporting: "proposals that would take power away from the Fed, and allow Congress to audit the U.S. central bank's decision making."

On December, 6, 2016 it was the military industrial complex's Boeing that felt the brunt of his attack when President-elect Donald Trump called for the scrapping of multi-billion dollar plans for Boeing to build a new Air Force One, calling the costs "ridiculous and totally out of control." He then followed this up on December 12, 2016, when he took on the Lockheed Martin by attacking the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Twitter, saying the cost of the next-generation stealth plane is "out of control," stating: "Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th."

In an early December interview with TIME ahead of his selection as TIME's Person of the Year, Trump railed against the Healthcare lobby when he stated that he doesn't "like what's happened with drug prices" and that he will "bring down" the cost of prescription medication.

Even earlier, on January 2016, at Liberty University, Trump had startled Silicon Valley when he promised to punish companies that offshore production by placing tariffs on their imports coming back to the US: "We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries."

The Big Oil lobby, initially ambivalent, now appears to have put its weight behind Trump. There are signs that the Big Oil lobby may have fallen out with the corporatocracy over the economic sanctions on Russia and access to its vast untapped oil fields, as well as Saudi Arabia's two years of flooding the global market with cheap crude in order to drive oil prices down and economically damage the Russian economy. This policy had made both US shale oil and US energy independence unsustainable.

While the corporatocracy will survive, the days of crony capitalism appear to be coming to an end.

The death of neoliberalism

The Trump election, much like Brexit before it, signals an entirely new development not witnessed since the shift towards neoliberalism under President Reagan over 40 years ago. Trump has promised to end the neoliberal, hyper-globalisation ideology in which the interests of the working class have been sacrificed in favour of the corporatocracy that has been encouraged to invest around the world depriving Americans of their jobs.

The global financial crisis of 2008, the worst since the great depression of 1931, saw Wall Street bailed out by the taxpayers while the responsible bankers were not prosecuted for their crimes. Under the Obama administration this was further compounded by rejecting bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality, militarisation, covert operations and the facilitating of overseas war crimes.

Meanwhile, nine years on, the neoliberal practice of quantitative easing has failed to revive the economic patient who remains on "life support." This after effect of the global financial crisis has served to undermine the peoples' faith and trust in the competence of the power elite's political faction and the corporate media. Trump's ascendency thus signals the beginning of the end of the neoliberal era.

Trumps promise to, "Put America first," pulls the plug on neoliberalism's economic life support and imposes a new era of economic nationalism. The military faction will abandon unfettered capitalism, free trade agreements and globalisation in favour of de-globalisation, economic nationalism, rebuilding of infrastructure, the middle class and manufacturing.

The table below is fluid but is based on current policy details, revealed by Trump, and details how the current neoliberal policies may gradually shift to policies of economic nationalism.

Government departments Masses' Policies Neo-Liberal Policies Economic nationalism Policies Corporatocracy lobbies
Dept. of State Establishment of friendly relations with other nations. Maintenance of the petrodollar through the support of compliant authoritarian nations or covert funding of unstable extremists to overthrow non-compliant nations Maintenance of the petrodollar through the support of compliant authoritarian nations. Multilateral approach of working with Russia while continuing to isolate China and Iran Wall Street-Washington complex
Dept. of the Treasury Lower and fairer tax system that incentivises workers and savers Financialisation, corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and overseas tax havens. nationalisation, cutting of corporate subsidies, closing of tax loopholes and overseas tax havens.
Dept. of Commerce Open trade and protection of key industries "Free" trade Agreements (Inc. TTP & TTIP), Economic sanctions protectionism, tariffs, economic sanctions
Dept. of Justice Universal human rights, equal justice and fair trials Non-prosecution of criminal bank leaders, with prosecution of deep state whistle blowers. Prosecution of corporate crime, Non-prosecution of military and police crimes, continued prosecution of deep state whistle blowers.
Dept. of Housing & Urban Development Affordable and easily accessible housing. Financialisation, housing speculation and homelessness. Removal of "red tape", opening up of land for building
Dept. of Defense Security and Defense of citizens against foreign enemies Maintenance of the petrodollar, full spectrum dominance, exceptionalism, war on terrorism and the militarization of foreign policy . Maintenance of the petrodollar, full spectrum dominance, multi-polarity, war on terrorism military-industrial complex
Dept. of Veterans Affairs Support and subsidies for veterans Cheap outsourced care facilities and abandoned veterans. Renationalisation of care facilities and housing, medical and mental care for war veterans.
Dept. of Transport Electric vehicles, subsidised transport and easily accessible transportation grid. Subsidised car-centric policies and urban planning. Subsidised car-centric policies and urban planning. Big Oil-transport-military complex
Dept. of Energy Environmental protection, reliable and nationalised mostly renewable energy supply. Subsidised fossil fuel energy dependence and debunking of climate change. Subsidised fossil fuel energy dependence and debunking of climate change.
Dept. of the Interior Management and conservation federal land and natural resources. Waiving of environmental protection, access for sea lanes, pipelines, mining and resource extraction. Waiving of environmental protection, access for sea lanes, pipelines, mining and resource extraction.
Dept. of Health & Human Services Subsidised and universal Healthcare. mandatory healthcare and privatisation. privatised healthcare Healthcare industry
Dept. of Homeland Security Security and Privacy. Mass Surveillance and copyright enforcement. Mass Surveillance Silicon Valley
Dept. of Agriculture Healthy, nutritious and affordable food. Food monopolisation and dependence through patented GMOs. Breaking up of monopolies, increased competition. Big Ag (Monsanto)
Dept. of Education Subsidised and universal education. Class-based privatisation and outsourcing. Increased investment in education. Organised Labor
Dept. of Labor Jobs and decent wages. Outsourcing, mass immigration to lower wages, commodification of Labor, deregulation, deindustrialisation, under employment and unemployment. Reshoring, border controls to boost wages, return of skilled labor, reregulation, reindustrialisation, full employment, lower taxes All lobbies

Monetary hegemony strategy

The power elite's monetary hegemony petrodollar strategy will remain unchanged under Trumps' military faction. However, Trump's foreign policy signals the end of America's unipolar moment, the period that was called the "new world order" by George Bush after the collapse of the former USSR and the US's 1991 Gulf War victory.

It took the actions of former rogue CIA operatives, called Al Qaeda, to give the US an excuse to invade and conquer key economic chokepoints and geopolitical pivot nations, in the heart of the world's oil reserves that would give the power elite global economic and military dominance. These power elite plans were given to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the time, and documented in a memo that a puzzled senior staff officer showed to General Wesley Clark:"[W]e're going to take out seven countries in five years , starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

The Republican-led neoconservative "war on terror" phase, that took place from 2001 to 2011, symbolised the overt US invasion, occupation and destruction of primarily Afghanistan and Iraq. When worldwide condemnation combined with Iraqi military resistance proved too great, the power elite were forced to switch to more covert means.

Under the new Obama administration, a Democratic-led, CIA-orchestrated "Arab Spring" took place from 2011-2016 and symbolised the covert invasion of Libya and Syria using reconstituted terrorist death squads. The power elite had not only used the 9/11 attack conducted by elements of their rogue terrorist death squads to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, but they were now going to reconstitute a compliant group of the same terrorists and use them to covertly invade Libya and Syria.

With the Syrian government's capture of Aleppo in late 2016, it became apparent to all observers that both the overt and covert US invasions were soundly defeated primarily by heroic resistance forces in Iraq and Syria, respectively.

With the barbaric US invasions blunted, the Trump administration now represents a rear-guard attempting to hold onto key nations in the heart of the world's global energy reserves and maintain the US's petrodollar monetary hegemony backing, while Trump transitions his economy from a financial to an industrial economy. Trump will thus continue to secure the GCC nations, especially Saudi Arabia, provided they reign in their terrorist death squads, plaguing the Middle East. Israel will also be fully supported and used to maintain the current Middle Eastern stalemate against Iran.

It is however Trump's détente with Russia that is truly significant as it signals the end of the unipolar "new world order." Russia will once again be allowed its own "sphere of influence." This will most likely see Crimean reunification accepted the return of economically plundered Ukraine to Russian influence and the Russian presence in Syria acknowledged.

In return the military faction wants to desperately break up the tripartite strategic Eurasian team of Russia-China-Iran. The military faction wants Russia to help block China's rise in the South China Sea and to contain Iran. The military faction appears to have been inspired by documented war criminal, Henry Kissinger, who at the Primakov lecture in February 2016 stated: "The long-term interests of both countries call for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multipolar and globalized ..Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States." Draining the swamp?

For the first time in memory the US establishment, consisting of the visible US Government and the invisible corporate-deep-state that has subverted it, have had a dramatic schism. Contrary to corporate media hand-wringing, the 2016 US election for the masses was never about a choice for Trump over Clinton, it was in reality a choice of, the same united power elite maintaining the same US establishment under President select Clinton, versus a divided power elite led by Trump's military faction.

This seminal moment represents a change of both US strategy and tactics that have been used to maintain the US's economic and military power.

Strategically, while the power elite have finally abandoned America's unipolar moment, they will now maintain the US as a multipolar global hegemon receiving its petrodollar tribute. Their plans are to finally grant Russia, but not China, its own "sphere of influence" and to cleave it away from its Eurasian and Middle Eastern allies.

Economically and tactically neoliberalism, as an ideology, is now officially dead. The power elite's corporatocracy (corporate faction) will be tamed and replaced by a protectionist, localised, rebuilding of America's manufacturing base.

While not exactly "draining the swamp," the new Trump administration plans on "fencing off some of the alligators" that have devoured so many innocents during 40 years of neoliberalism at home and militarism abroad.

To listen to a podcast by the author explaining how the political science's "theory of everything" may help to predict the new Trump administration select the following link:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/around-empire-5-7795251?utm_campaign=postshare&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

[Jan 21, 2017] Disillusioned in Davos

Jan 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Larry Summers:
Disillusioned in Davos : Edmund Burke famously cautioned that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I have been reminded of Burke's words as I have observed the behavior of US business leaders in Davos over the last few days. They know better but in their public rhetoric they have embraced and enabled our new President and his policies.

I understand and sympathize with the pressures they feel. ... Businesses who get on the wrong side of the new President have lost billions of dollars of value in sixty seconds because of a tweet. ...

Yet I am disturbed by (i) the spectacle of financiers who three months ago were telling anyone who would listen that they would never do business with a Trump company rushing to praise the new Administration (ii) the unwillingness of business leaders who rightly take pride in their corporate efforts to promote women and minorities to say anything about Presidentially sanctioned intolerance (iii) the failure of the leaders of global companies to say a critical word about US efforts to encourage the breakup of European unity and more generally to step away from underwriting an open global system (iv) the reluctance of business leaders who have a huge stake in the current global order to criticize provocative rhetoric with regard to China, Mexico or the Middle East (v) the willingness of too many to praise Trump nominees who advocate blatant protection merely because they have a business background.

I have my differences with the new Administration's economic policies and suspect the recent market rally and run of economic statistics is a sugar high. Reasonable people who I respect differ and time will tell. My objection is not to disagreements over economic policy. It is to enabling if not encouraging immoral and reckless policies in other spheres that ultimately bear on our prosperity. Burke was right. It is a lesson of human experience whether the issue is playground bullying, Enron or Europe in the 1930s that the worst outcomes occur when good people find reasons to accommodate themselves to what they know is wrong. That is what I think happened much too often in Davos this week.

JohnH -> Peter K.... , January 20, 2017 at 03:24 PM
Larry Summers lecturing us about bullies! Precious!

"Larry Summers Is An Unrepentant Bully"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-s-goodman/larry-summers-bully-fed_b_3653387.html

Like so much of the tit-for-tat between Democrats and Republicans, what's OK for to do is NOT OK for you to do!!!

anne : , January 20, 2017 at 12:24 PM
https://books.google.com/books?id=SFNADAAAQBAJ&pg=PT951&lpg=PT951&dq=%22No+man,+who+is+not+inflamed+by+vainglory+into+enthusiasm%22&source=bl&ots=ufx9GiMtls&sig=jJgSGfaCuCQFzBa9KiNBKCoaYgQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjE7YCOxtHRAhWjLMAKHVmSDFAQ6AEIHDAB#v=onepage&q=%22No%20man%2C%20who%20is%20not%20inflamed%20by%20vainglory%20into%20enthusiasm%22&f=false

1770

Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents

No man, who is not inflamed by vainglory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united Cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

-- Edmund Burke

anne -> anne... , -1
Edmund Burke famously cautioned that "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

-- Lawrence Summers

[ Edmund Burke never cautioned this. ]

anne -> Chris G ... , January 20, 2017 at 06:42 PM
Notice the fear of association or community of Milton Friedman:

http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

September 13, 1970

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
By Milton Friedman - New York Times

When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the "social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system," I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned "merely" with profit but also with promoting desirable "social" ends; that business has a "social conscience" and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades....

Gibbon1 -> anne... , January 20, 2017 at 07:37 PM
When I used to read Delong's blog before Delong went off on Sanders because Delong thought that Hillary Clinton would give Delongs son a job...

There was economics student that penned a response where he mentioned that the economics profession generally dislikes models with negative externalities. But truly loath models that incorporate positive externalities.

A positive externality is where some action on your part benefits you _and_ benefits some third party.

One can assume Milton Friedman and his followers find that concept revolting indeed.

anne -> anne... , January 20, 2017 at 12:52 PM
While I was not in Davos, I read about the proceedings and meeting in the Western European and Chinese press and was impressed by the community emphasis placed on social justice. Possibly there was considerable individual resistance to the public theme, and Lawrence Summers would readily sense such resistance, but the public theme from the speech by Xi Jinping on was encouraging and portrayed in Western Europe and China as encouraging.
kthomas -> anne... , January 20, 2017 at 02:19 PM
The headline of his post is somewhat misleading. He was not really talking about Davos.
Chris G -> kthomas... , January 20, 2017 at 05:53 PM
Let me rephrase: Name me some Fortune 500 companies who consider potential societal impacts of their actions and, as a result, sometimes make decisions which don't maximize their profits but are the "right" thing to do for the community/their workers/the environment/etc.? What Fortune 500 companies are motivated by things beyond maximizing profits for shareholders?

My point is that corporate leaders who are charged to act to maximize profits will always be cowards when it comes to moral and ethical issues. If their job is to maximize profits. If they don't want to lose their job then that's what they'll do - act to maximize profits. Where would Summers get the idea that they would act any differently? Do the people he's referring to have a track record of choosing the moral high ground over profits? If they do then I could understand surprise and disappointment that they're folding. But they've never had to face that choice before let alone chosen moral high ground over money, have they?

anne -> Chris G ... , January 20, 2017 at 05:55 PM
My point is that corporate leaders who are charged to act to maximize profits will always be cowards when it comes to moral and ethical issues. If their job is to maximize profits. If they don't want to lose their job then that's what they'll do - act to maximize profits. Where would Summers get the idea that they would act any differently? Do the people he's referring to have a track record of choosing the moral high ground over profits? ...

[ Properly argued, sadly. ]

Winslow R. : , January 20, 2017 at 02:02 PM
I recall Summers/Romer with both houses and Obama blowing their chances to do something for the middle/working class.

Summers/Delong said if the stimulus was too small we could always get another later, yet that chance to do something never came and he did nothing.....

I'd like Larry to ponder whether it was he who did nothing.

[Jan 19, 2017] Davos without Donald Trump is like Hamlet without the prince

From comments: "Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction." "The biggest cabal of sociopathic criminals the world has ever known."
Notable quotes:
"... This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said. ..."
"... Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos. ..."
"... It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings. ..."
"... 'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.' ..."
"... Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks. ..."
"... Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable! ..."
"... Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction. ..."
"... Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid. ..."
"... What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor? ..."
"... One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question. ..."
"... Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens. ..."
"... Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works. ..."
"... Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones. ..."
"... My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception. ..."
"... This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."! ..."
"... I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures. ..."
Jan 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Trump's influence can also be felt in other ways. The manner in which he won the US election, tapping in to deep-seated anger about the unfair distribution of the spoils of economic growth, has been noted. There is talk in Davos of the need to ensure that globalisation works for everyone.

This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said.

Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos.

It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings.

In Trump's absence, it has been left to two senior members of the outgoing Obama administration – his vice-president, Joe Biden, and secretary of state John Kerry – to fly the US flag.

Just as significantly, Xi Jinping is the first Chinese premier to attend Davos and has made it clear that, unlike Trump, he has no plans to resile from international obligations. The sense of a changing of the guard is palpable.

missuswatanabe

It's the way globalisation has been managed for the benefit of the richest in the developed world that has been bad for the masses rather than globalisation itself.

I thought this was an interesting, if US-centric, perspective on things:

'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.'

http://bostonreview.net/forum/dean-baker-globalization-blame

Sunny Reneick -> missuswatanabe

Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks.

Paul Paterson -> ConBrio

Decent, hardworking Americans facing social and economic insecurity, whether on the right or left, ought to be the focus. We need to deal with the concerns of the average citizen, however it is they vote. Fringe groups don't serve our attention given tbe very real problems the country faces.

Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable!

What we should concern ourselves with is the very real social and economic insecurity felt by many in red states and blue states alike. Those decent and hardworking Americans, regardless of party, are joined in much. Deplorables aren't the average Republican voter and didn't win Trump an election - they are too few to win much of anything.

What you keep referring to as Deplorables are decent Americans seeking change and socioeconomic justice. You are mixing up citizens who happen to vote for the GOP withbwhite nationalist scum. How dare you tar all conservatives with the hate monger brush!

Spunky325 -> Paul Paterson

Actually, before taking office, Trump strong-armed Ford and GM into putting more money in their American plants, instead of moving more production to Mexico. He's also questioned cost-overruns on Air Force One and several military projects which is causing companies to back off. I can't think of another American president who has felt it was important to keep jobs in America or who has questioned military spending. Good for him!

Paul Paterson -> Spunky325

You've made it quite clear "you can't think" as you've bought into the ruse. The question is why are you so boastful about it? Trump's policies are even seen by economists on the right as creating staggering levels of debt, creating more economic inequality and unlikely to increase jobs.

Among many flaws, they point out tax proposals that hurt the poor and middle class to such a degree it almost seems targeted. This is the same economic plot that has failed working Americans repeatedly. You folks are getting caught up in a time share pitch and embracing policy that has little chance to help the average American - however it is they vote. It isn't supposed to but y'all are asleep at the wheel.

DrBlamm0

Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction.

johhnybgood

Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid.

bilyou

What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor?

Maybe Trump just decided to trough it at his tower and avoid hanging out with a grotesque bunch of insufferable see you next Tuesdays.

Ricardo_K

One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question.

Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens.

James Patterson

Xi's statements on a trade war are completely self serving. But his assertions that he is against protectionism and unfair trading practices is laughably hypocritical. China refuses to let any Silicon Valley Internet company one inch past the Great Firewall. Under his direction the CCP has imposed draconian regulations, which change by the week, on American Companies operating in China making fair competition with local Chinese companies impossible.

The business climate in China is reprehensible. The CCP has resorted to extortion, requiring that U.S. tech companies share their most sensitive trade secrets and IP with Chinese state enterprises or get barred from conducting business there. Sadly, U.S. companies entered China with high expectations and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in factories, labs and equipment. This threat has caused many CEO's to sacrifice their company's long term viability by transferring their most closely guarded technological advances to China or face the loss their entire investment in China. Even so, multinationals are beginning the Chinese exodus led by those with less financial exposure soon to be followed by companies like Apple despite significant economic ties.

True, most people believe a 'trade war' with China means America is the defacto loser because of dishonest reporting. The truth is that America's economic exposure to China is extremely limited. U.S. exports to China represent only 7% of America's total exports worldwide; which in turn accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. GDP (Wells Fargo Economics Group 2015). Most of America's exports to China are raw materials, which can be redirected to other markets with some effort. So even if China blocked all U.S. exports tomorrow, America's economy could absorb the blow with minimal damage. This presents the U.S. government with a wide range of options to deal with China's many trade infractions and unfair practices as aggressively or punitively as it wishes.

europeangrayling

Poor Davos attendees. You feel for them at their fancy alpine Bilderberg. It's like the meeting of the mafia organizations, if the mafia became legal and respected now and ran the world economy. And I don't think those economic royalists at Davos miss Trump, Trump was a small fish compared to the Davos people. They make Trump look like a dishwasher.

They are just pissed Trump came out against the TPP and those globalist 'free trade' deals, and doesn't want more regime change maybe. They like everything else about Trump's policies, the big tax cuts, environmental and banking deregulations galore, it's like Reagan 2.0, without the 'free trade'. But they really want that 'free trade' though, those guys are used to getting everything. Imagine if Bernie won, they would really hate that guy, he is also against the TPPs and trade, and for less war, and against everything else they are used to. And that's good, if those honorable brilliant Davos gentleman don't like you, that's not a bad thing.

soundofthesuburbs -> soundofthesuburbs

With secular stagnation we should all be asking why is economics so bad?

Keynesian redistributive capitalism went out with Margaret Thatcher and inequality has been rising ever since (there is a clue there for the economists amongst us).

How did these new ideas rise to prominence?

"There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics

It's awarded by Sweden's central bank, foisted among the five real prizewinners, often to economists for the 1% -- and the surviving Nobel family is strongly against it."

"The award for economics came almost 70 years later-bootstrapped to the Nobel in 1968 as a bit of a marketing ploy to celebrate the Bank of Sweden's 300th anniversary." Yes, you read that right: "a marketing ploy."

Today's economics rose to prominence by awarding its economists Nobel Prizes that weren't Nobel Prizes.

No wonder it's so bad.

Global elites can use all sorts of trickery to put their ideas in place, but economics is economics and if doesn't reflect how the economy operates it won't work.

Secular stagnation – what more evidence do we need?

HauptmannGurski -> bcarey

Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works.

Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones.

Meanwhile, alibaba's Jack Ma said in Davos that the US had spent many trillions on wars in the last 30 years and neglected their own infrastructure. Money is for people, or some such like, he said. Just mentioning it here, because the MSM tend to dislike running this kind of remark.

Rajanvn -> HauptmannGurski

My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception.

Did it, in any way, with all the stars in the financial galaxy gathered in one place, warn against the 2008 global financial meltdown? The real reason why so many moneybags congregate at a place which would be shunned by all who have no affinity for snow sports may be, according to my own reckoning, may not be that innocent and may even be quite sinister.

This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."!

Roland33

I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures.

If everyone drives Toyota and everyone drinks Starbucks we lose the diversity of culture that people claim they find so valuable. And replaces it with a mono-culture of Levi jeans and McDonalds. Wealth inequality is really something that can be reduced if you look various countries score higher in this regard than others while still being highly successful market economies but I think money is secondary to the displacement and alienation that come with the first two aspects of globalisation. I find it strange that it is now the right that advocates reversing these neoliberal trends and the left that seems to champion it. I was conscious during the 90's and anti-globalisation was clearly a left wing issue. For whatever reason the left just leaves room for the right to harvest the grapes of wrath they warned about many years ago. Don't blame the "populist" right ask why the left left them the space.

[Jan 17, 2017] In Defense Of Populism

Notable quotes:
"... Davos elite faces evaporating trust in "post-trith" era ..."
"... "The most shocking statistic of this whole study is that half the people who are high-income, college-educated and well-informed also believe the system doesn't work." ..."
"... Even wealthy, well educated people understand things aren't working, which begs the question. Who does think the system is working? Well, the people attending Davos, of course. These are the folks who cheer on a world in which eight people own as much as the bottom 50%. ..."
"... The mere fact that billionaire-owned media is so hostile to populism tells you everything you need to know. Behind the idea of populism is the notion of self-government, and Davos-type elitists hate this. They believe in a technocracy in which they make all the important decisions. Populism is dangerous because populism is empowering. It implies that the people ultimately have the power. ..."
"... The global financial crisis of 2008/9 and the migrant crisis of 2015/16 exposed the impotence of politicians, deepening public disillusion and pushing people towards populists who offered simple explanations and solutions. ..."
"... Populism can be dangerous, and it's certainly messy, but it's a crucial pressure release valve for any functioning free society. If you don't allow populist movements to do their thing in the short-term, you'll get far worse outcomes in the long-term. ..."
"... Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ..."
Jan 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

DAVOS MAN : "A soulless man, technocratic, nationless and cultureless, severed from reality. The modern economics that undergirded Davos capitalism is equally soulless, a managerial capitalism that reduces economics to mathematics and separates it from human action and human creativity."

– From the post: "For the Sake of Capitalism, Pepper Spray Davos"

One thing I've been very careful about not doing over the years is self-identifying under any particular political ideology. I articulated my reasoning in the post, Thank You and Welcome New Readers – A Liberty Blitzkrieg Mission Statement :

I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I do not consider myself a libertarian, progressive, socialist, anarchist, conservative, neoconservative or neoliberal. I'm just a 38 year old guy trying to figure it all out. Naturally, this doesn't imply that there aren't things which I hold dear. I have a strong belief system based on key principles. It's just that I don't think it makes sense for me to self-label and become part of a tribe. The moment you self-label, is the moment you stop thinking for yourself. It's also the moment you stop listening. When you think you have all the answers, anyone who doesn't think exactly as you do on all topics is either stupid or "paid opposition." I don't subscribe to this way of thinking.

Despite my refusal to self-identify, I am comfortable stating that I'm a firm supporter of populist movements and appreciate the instrumental role they've played historically in free societies. The reason I like this term is because it carries very little baggage. It doesn't mean you adhere to a specific set of policies or solutions, but that you believe above all else that the concerns of average citizens matter and must be reflected in government policy.

Populism reaches its political potential once such concerns become so acute they translate into popular movements, which in turn influence the levers of power. Populism is not a bug, but is a key feature in any democratic society. It functions as a sort of pressure relief valve for free societies. Indeed, it allows for an adjustment and recalibration of the existing order at the exact point in the cycle when it is needed most. In our current corrupt, unethical and depraved oligarchy, populism is exactly what is needed to restore some balance to society. Irrespective of what you think of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, both political movements were undoubtably populist in nature. This doesn't mean that Trump govern as populist once he is sworn into power, but there's little doubt that the energy which propelled him to the Presidency was part of a populist wave.

Trump understands this, and despite having surrounded himself with an endless stream of slimy ex-Goldman Sachs bankers and other assorted billionaires, his campaign took the following position with regard to Davos according to Bloomberg :

Donald Trump won't send an official representative to the annual gathering of the world's economic elite in Davos, taking place next week in the days leading up to his inauguration, although one of the president-elect's advisers is slated to attend.

Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn, a regular attendee in the past, told the group he would skip 2017 after being named in December to head the National Economic Council, said people familiar with the conference. Other top Trump appointees will also pass up the forum.

A senior member of Trump's transition team said the president-elect thought it would betray his populist-fueled movement to have a presence at the high-powered annual gathering in the Swiss Alps. The gathering of millionaires, billionaires, political leaders and celebrities represents the power structure that fueled the populist anger that helped Trump win the election, said the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss the matter.

While all of this sounds great, it's not entirely true. For example:

Hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci is planning to travel to Davos, though. The founder of SkyBridge Capital and an early backer of Trump's campaign, Scaramucci was named on Thursday as an assistant to the president.

Not that Scaramucci's presence should surprise anyone, he's the consummate banker apologist, anti-populist. Recall what he said last month :

"I think the cabal against the bankers is over."

This guy shouldn't be allowed within ten feet of any populist President, but Trump unfortunately seems to have a thing for ex-Goldman Sachs bankers.

While we're on then subject, let's discuss Davos for a moment. You know, the idyllic Swiss town where the world's most dastardly politicians, oligarchs and their fawning media servants will gather in a technocratic orgy of panels and cocktail parties to discuss how best to manage the world's affairs in the year ahead. Yes, that Davos.

To get a sense of the maniacal mindset of these people, I want to turn your attention to a couple of Reuters articles published earlier today. First, from Davos Elites Struggle for Answers as Trump Era Dawns :

DAVOS, Switzerland – The global economy is in better shape than it's been in years. Stock markets are booming, oil prices are on the rise again and the risks of a rapid economic slowdown in China, a major source of concern a year ago, have eased.

First report from Davos is in. Everything's fine.

And yet, as political leaders, CEOs and top bankers make their annual trek up the Swiss Alps to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the mood is anything but celebratory.

Last year, the consensus here was that Trump had no chance of being elected. His victory, less than half a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, was a slap at the principles that elites in Davos have long held dear, from globalization and free trade to multilateralism.

Moises Naim of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was even more blunt: "There is a consensus that something huge is going on, global and in many respects unprecedented. But we don't know what the causes are, nor how to deal with it."

Thank you for your invaluable insight, Moises.

The titles of the discussion panels at the WEF, which runs from Jan. 17-20, evoke the unsettling new landscape. Among them are "Squeezed and Angry: How to Fix the Middle Class Crisis" , "Politics of Fear or Rebellion of the Forgotten?", "Tolerance at the Tipping Point?" and "The Post-EU Era".

Ah, a panel on how to fix the middle class. Sounds interesting until you find out who some of the speakers are.

You really can't make this stuff up. Now back to Reuters .

Perhaps the central question in Davos, a four-day affair of panel discussions, lunches and cocktail parties that delve into subjects as diverse as terrorism, artificial intelligence and wellness, is whether leaders can agree on the root causes of public anger and begin to articulate a response.

This has to be a joke. The public has been yelling and screaming about all sorts of issues they care about from both sides of the political spectrum for a while now. Whether people identify as on the "right" or the "left" there's general consensus (at least in U.S. populist movements) of the following: oligarchs must be reined in, rule of law must be restored, unnecessary military adventures overseas must be stopped, and lobbyist written phony "free trade" deals must be scrapped and reversed. There's no secret about how strongly the various domestic populist movements feel on those topics, but the Davos set likes to pretends that these issues don't exist. They'd rather focus on Russia or identify politics, that way they can control the narrative and then propose their own anti-populist, technocratic solutions.

A WEF report on global risks released before Davos highlighted "diminishing public trust in institutions" and noted that rebuilding faith in the political process and leaders would be a "difficult task".

It's not difficult at all, what we need are new leaders with new ideas, but the people at Davos don't want to admit that either. After all, these are the types who unanimously and enthusiastically supported the ultimate discredited insider for U.S. President, Hillary Clinton.

Moving along, let's take a look at a separate Reuters article previewing Davos, starting with the title.

Davos elite faces evaporating trust in "post-trith" era

Did you see what they did there? The evaporating trust in globalist elites has nothing to do with "post-truth," but as usual, the media insists on making excuses for the rich and powerful. The above title implies that elites lost the public truth as a result of a post-truth world, not because they are a bunch of disconnected, lying, corrupt thieves. Like Hillary and the Democrats, they are never to blame for anything that happens.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the text:

Trust in governments, companies and the media plunged last year as ballots from the United States to Britain to the Philippines rocked political establishments and scandals hit business.

The majority of people now believe the economic and political system is failing them, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, released on Monday ahead of the Jan. 17-20 World Economic Forum (WEF).

"There's a sense that the system is broken," Richard Edelman, head of the communications marketing firm that commissioned the research, told Reuters.

"The most shocking statistic of this whole study is that half the people who are high-income, college-educated and well-informed also believe the system doesn't work."

Even wealthy, well educated people understand things aren't working, which begs the question. Who does think the system is working? Well, the people attending Davos, of course. These are the folks who cheer on a world in which eight people own as much as the bottom 50%.

As can be seen fro the above excerpts, one thing that's abundantly clear to almost everyone is that the system is broken. This is exactly where populism comes in to perform its crucial function. This is not an endorsement of Trump, but rather an endorsement of mass popular movements generally, and a recognition that such movements are the only way true change is ever achieved. As Frederick Douglass noted in 1857:

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others .

The above is an eternal truth when it comes to human struggle. The idea that the most wealthy and powerful individuals on earth are going to get together in a Swiss chalet and figure out how to help the world's most vulnerable and suffering is on its face preposterous. Again, this is why popular movements are so important. They represent the only method we know of that historically yields tangible results. This is also why the elitists and their media minions hate populism and demonize it every chance they get. Which is really telling, particularly when you look at the various definitions of the word. First, here's what comes up when you type the word into Google:

pop·u·lism

/ˈpäpyəˌlizəm/

noun

support for the concerns of ordinary people.

"it is clear that your populism identifies with the folks on the bottom of the ladder"

•the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people.

"art museums did not gain bigger audiences through a new populism"

Or how about the following from Merriam-Webster:


Definition of populist

1 :
a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially, often capitalized
:
a member of a U.S. political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies


2:
a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people

-
populism
play \-ˌli-zəm\ noun

-
populistic
play \ˌpä-pyə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective

Aside from the 19th century historical reference, what's not to like about any of the above? The mere fact that billionaire-owned media is so hostile to populism tells you everything you need to know. Behind the idea of populism is the notion of self-government, and Davos-type elitists hate this. They believe in a technocracy in which they make all the important decisions. Populism is dangerous because populism is empowering. It implies that the people ultimately have the power.

I think a useful exercise for readers during this Davos circus laden week is to note whenever the word "populism" is used within mainstream media articles. From my experience, it's almost always portrayed in an overwhelmingly negative manner. Here's just one example from the first of the two Reuters articles mentioned above.

The global financial crisis of 2008/9 and the migrant crisis of 2015/16 exposed the impotence of politicians, deepening public disillusion and pushing people towards populists who offered simple explanations and solutions.

The key phrase in the above is, " populists who offered simple explanations and solutions." This betrays an incredible sense of arrogance and contempt for regular citizens. Note that it didn't offer a critique of a specific populist leader and his or her polices, but rather presented a sweeping dismissal of all popular movements as "simplistic." In other words, despite the fact that the people mingling at Davos are the exact same people who set the world on fire, they somehow remain the only ones capable enough to fix the world. How utterly ridiculous.

The good news is that most people now plainly see the absurdity of such a worldview, and understand that the people at Davos represent a roadblock to progress, as opposed to any sort of solution. While I don't endorse any particular populist movement at moment, I fully recognize the need for increased populism as a facet of American political life, particularly at this moment in time.

Populism can be dangerous, and it's certainly messy, but it's a crucial pressure release valve for any functioning free society. If you don't allow populist movements to do their thing in the short-term, you'll get far worse outcomes in the long-term.

In the timeless words of JFK:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

Nobody wants that.

[Jan 01, 2017] A larger part of new class in Silicon valley is just variant of robber barons but at least robber barons built railroads

Notable quotes:
"... Let us state the obvious: None of these men are Roman Emperors, and they haven't got the wherewithal to "blow up" anything but a stock market bubble. They are not Lex Luthors or Gandalfs or Stalins. ..."
"... Their products do not bring about revolutions. They are simply robber barons, JP Morgans and Andrew Mellons in mediocre T-shirts. ..."
"... The vast majority of Silicon Valley startups, the sort that project lofty missions and managed improbably lucrative IPOs despite never having graced the cover of The Economist or the frontal cortex of the president, work precisely like any other kind of mundane sales operation in search of a product: Underpaid cold-callers receive low wages and less job security in exchange for a foosball table and the burden of growing a company as quickly as possible so that it can reach a liquidation event. Owners and investors get rich. Managers stay comfortable. ..."
"... The employees get hosed. None of this is particularly original. At least the real robber barons built the railroads. ..."
Jan 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
fresno dan , December 31, 2016 at 3:56 pm

https://theoutline.com/post/351/valley-of-the-dolts

Let us state the obvious: None of these men are Roman Emperors, and they haven't got the wherewithal to "blow up" anything but a stock market bubble. They are not Lex Luthors or Gandalfs or Stalins.

Their products do not bring about revolutions. They are simply robber barons, JP Morgans and Andrew Mellons in mediocre T-shirts.

I have no doubt that many are preternaturally intelligent, hardworking people, and it is a shame that they have dedicated these talents to the mundane accumulation of capital. But there is nothing remarkable about these men. The Pirates of Silicon Valley do not have imperial ambitions. They have financial ones.

The vast majority of Silicon Valley startups, the sort that project lofty missions and managed improbably lucrative IPOs despite never having graced the cover of The Economist or the frontal cortex of the president, work precisely like any other kind of mundane sales operation in search of a product: Underpaid cold-callers receive low wages and less job security in exchange for a foosball table and the burden of growing a company as quickly as possible so that it can reach a liquidation event. Owners and investors get rich. Managers stay comfortable.

The employees get hosed. None of this is particularly original. At least the real robber barons built the railroads.

==============================

Why IS Facebook, a not nearly as crappy email system, worth so much money?

Thats like asking why do intestinal parasites want to eat your sh*t? No, they want to eat YOU .

[Jan 01, 2017] New class means neoliberal looters

Jan 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
JTMcPhee , December 31, 2016 at 10:58 am

Does "redneck" = "neoliberal looters"? If so, I'd agree with the craazy observation. But it's just more of the same poisons the few have been serving up to the many. The Governator, Snick Rott, with the cover of a carefully built Chamber of Commerce majority in the gerrymandered legislature, fired all the PSC members who showed even the slightest inclination to "regulate" as that term used to be understood, and put cronies and looters in their spots.

And it is not "redneckery" that produces activities like the ones so mildly described in this link: "Univita Health Losing Medicaid Contracts," http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/univita-health-losing-medicaid-contracts#stream/0 What this all meant is that people who take care of sick and disabled people, provide nursing and aide and medical equipment to them, including low paid aides and nurses, were just not paid by the scammers, who disappeared into Chapter 7 with all the loot (general revenue money given by the State and feds to Univita, to pay forward to the actual workers and the small businesses that employed them, many of whom went under as a result of NONpayment.) F@kking over many of my nursing friends who provide home health care (which is demonstrably more "efficient" than what Scott also tried to do, force all of them into cronies' "nursing homes" to be robbed, abused and early-deathed), and of course the people ("worthless eaters" mostly) who need stuff like oxygen and wheel chairs and dressings and simple attention to "activities of daily living" also got fokked.

And that "consolidating for business efficiency" of all Medicaid and Medicaid-Medicare payment management into the solitary monopoly grasping hands of the Univita C-Suite-ers was engineered by Snick Rott and the smaller scale bunch of looters (compared to the Trumpening) that Sick Snott brought in with him, all done as a favor to a crony, with a lot of sneaky sh!t to snake it past various "legal requirements" and "regulatory reviews."

Ray Phenicie , December 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Thank you for your very cognizant and well versed rant! I find the saga of Mr. Scott to be a well rehearsed meme of so many, way too many high officials in the land including the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. To put it as politely as possible: "I'll eat very well, dress very well, have several spacious homes, drive very expensive cars, clothe my family in furs and diamonds and ask the public to pay for it all. Thank you very much. I am a good person."

Beans , December 31, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Ditto much of this for Texas under Gov Good Hair. Medicaid serves to enrich the wealthy and well connected – the recipients are merely the conduits of government cash.
Excellent rant!

[Dec 05, 2016] New Class War

This is a very weak article from a prominent paleoconservative, but it is instructive what a mess he has in his head as for the nature of Trump phenomenon. We should probably consider the tern "New Class" that neocons invented as synonym for "neoliberals". If so, why the author is afraid to use the term? Does he really so poorly educated not to understand the nature of this neoliberal revolution and its implications? Looks like he never read "Quite coup"
That probably reflects the crisis of pealeoconservatism itself.
Notable quotes:
"... What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. ..."
"... the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus. ..."
"... The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country? ..."
"... The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists. ..."
"... The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined. ..."
"... Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction. ..."
"... concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." ..."
"... It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on. ..."
"... I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom? ..."
"... Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation. ..."
"... Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class. ..."
"... Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles ..."
"... The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service. ..."
"... America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites. ..."
"... Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November. ..."
"... The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. ..."
"... Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. ..."
"... [New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets. ..."
"... "mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite. ..."
"... Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide. ..."
"... Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism. ..."
"... The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense. ..."
"... The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters." ..."
"... The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA. ..."
"... . And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends. ..."
"... Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector. ..."
"... The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization. ..."
"... The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America ..."
"... . Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires ..."
"... There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain. ..."
"... State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those. ..."
"... People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards. ..."
"... People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions. ..."
"... I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period. ..."
"... A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers. ..."
"... It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya ..."
"... Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled. ..."
"... The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now," ..."
"... That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same. ..."
"... "On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests." This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived. ..."
"... The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused. ..."
Sep 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Since the Cold War ended, U.S. politics has seen a series of insurgent candidacies. Pat Buchanan prefigured Trump in the Republican contests of 1992 and 1996. Ralph Nader challenged the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party from the outside in 2000. Ron Paul vexed establishment Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. And this year, Trump was not the only candidate to confound his party's elite: Bernie Sanders harried Hillary Clinton right up to the Democratic convention.

What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. (The libertarian Paul favors unilateral free trade: by his lights, treaties like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are not free trade at all but international regulatory pacts.) And while no one would mistake Ralph Nader's or Ron Paul's views on immigration for Pat Buchanan's or Donald Trump's, Nader and Paul have registered their own dissents from the approach to immigration that prevails in Washington.

Sanders has been more in line with his party's orthodoxy on that issue. But that didn't save him from being attacked by Clinton backers for having an insufficiently nonwhite base of support. Once again, what might have appeared to be a class conflict-in this case between a democratic socialist and an elite liberal with ties to high finance-could be explained away as really about race.

Race, like religion, is a real factor in how people vote. Its relevance to elite politics, however, is less clear. Something else has to account for why the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus.

The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country?

Some critics on the right have identified it with the "managerial" class described by James Burnham in his 1941 book The Managerial Revolution . But it bears a stronger resemblance to what what others have called "the New Class." In fact, the interests of this New Class of college-educated "verbalists" are antithetical to those of the industrial managers that Burnham described. Understanding the relationship between these two often conflated concepts provides insight into politics today, which can be seen as a clash between managerial and New Class elites.

♦♦♦

The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists.

Over the next century, however, history did not follow the script. By 1992, the Soviet Union was gone, Communist China had embarked on market reforms, and Western Europe was turning away from democratic socialism. There was no need to predict the future; mankind had achieved its destiny, a universal order of [neo]liberal democracy. Marx had it backwards: capitalism was the end of history.

But was the truth as simple as that? Long before the collapse of the USSR, many former communists -- some of whom remained socialists, while others joined the right-thought not. The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined.

Among the first to advance this argument was James Burnham, a professor of philosophy at New York University who became a leading Trotskyist thinker. As he broke with Trotsky and began moving toward the right, Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction.

Burnham called this the "managerial revolution." The managers of industry and technically trained government officials did not own the means of production, like the capitalists of old. But they did control the means of production, thanks to their expertise and administrative prowess.

The rise of this managerial class would have far-reaching consequences, he predicted. Burnham wrote in his 1943 book, The Machiavellians : "that the managers may function, the economic and political structure must be modified, as it is now being modified, so as to rest no longer on private ownership and small-scale nationalist sovereignty, but primarily upon state control of the economy, and continental or vast regional world political organization." Burnham pointed to Nazi Germany, imperial Japan-which became a "continental" power by annexing Korea and Manchuria-and the Soviet Union as examples.

The defeat of the Axis powers did not halt the progress of the managerial revolution. Far from it: not only did the Soviets retain their form of managerialism, but the West increasingly adopted a managerial corporatism of its own, marked by cooperation between big business and big government: high-tech industrial crony capitalism, of the sort that characterizes the military-industrial complex to this day. (Not for nothing was Burnham a great advocate of America's developing a supersonic transport of its own to compete with the French-British Concorde.)

America's managerial class was personified by Robert S. McNamara, the former Ford Motor Company executive who was secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In a 1966 story for National Review , "Why Do They Hate Robert Strange McNamara?" Burnham answered the question in class terms: "McNamara is attacked by the Left because the Left has a blanket hatred of the system of business enterprise; he is criticized by the Right because the Right harks back, in nostalgia if not in practice, to outmoded forms of business enterprise."

McNamara the managerial technocrat was too business-oriented for a left that still dreamed of bringing the workers to power. But the modern form of industrial organization he represented was not traditionally capitalist enough for conservatives who were at heart 19th-century classical liberals.

National Review readers responded to Burnham's paean to McNamara with a mixture of incomprehension and indignation. It was a sign that even readers familiar with Burnham-he appeared in every issue of the magazine-did not always follow what he was saying. The popular right wanted concepts that were helpful in labeling enemies, and Burnham was confusing matters by talking about changes in the organization of government and industry that did not line up with anyone's value judgements.

More polemically useful was a different concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." "This 'new class' is not easily defined but may be vaguely described," Irving Kristol wrote in a 1975 essay for the Wall Street Journal :

It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on.

"Members of the new class do not 'control' the media," he continued, "they are the media-just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else."

Burnham, writing in National Review in 1978, drew a sharp contrast between this concept and his own ideas:

I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom?

Burnham suffered a stroke later that year. Although he lived until 1987, his career as a writer was over. His last years coincided with another great transformation of business and government. It began in the Carter administration, with moves to deregulate transportation and telecommunications. This partial unwinding of the managerial revolution accelerated under Ronald Reagan. Regulatory and welfare-state reforms, even privatization of formerly nationalized industries, also took off in the UK and Western Europe. All this did not, however, amount to a restoration of the old capitalism or anything resembling laissez-faire.

The "[neo]liberal democracy" that triumphed at "the end of history"-to use Francis Fukuyama's words-was not the managerial capitalism of the mid-20th century, either. It was instead the New Class's form of capitalism, one that could be embraced by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as readily as by any Republican or Thatcherite.

Irving Kristol had already noted in the 1970s that "this new class is not merely liberal but truly 'libertarian' in its approach to all areas of life-except economics. It celebrates individual liberty of speech and expression and action to an unprecedented degree, so that at times it seems almost anarchistic in its conception of the good life."

He was right about the New Class's "anything goes" mentality, but he was only partly correct about its attitude toward economics. The young elite tended to scorn the bourgeois character of the old capitalism, and to them managerial figures like McNamara were evil incarnate. But they had to get by-and they aspired to rule.

Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation.

Part of the tale can be told in a favorable light. New Left activists like Carl Oglesby fought the spiritual aridity and murderous militarism of what they called "corporate liberalism"-Burnham's managerialism-while sincere young libertarians attacked the regulatory state and seeded technological entrepreneurship. Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class.

Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles. On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests. The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service.

The alliance between finance and the New Class accounts for the disposition of power in America today. The New Class has also enlisted another invaluable ally: the managerial classes of East Asia. Trade with China-the modern managerial state par excellence-helps keep American industry weak relative to finance and the service economy's verbalist-dominated sectors. America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites.

The New Class plays a priestly role in its alliance with finance, absolving Wall Street for the sin of making money in exchange for plenty of that money to keep the New Class in power. In command of foreign policy, the New Class gets to pursue humanitarian ideological projects-to experiment on the world. It gets to evangelize by the sword. And with trade policy, it gets to suppress its class rival, the managerial elite, at home. Through trade pacts and mass immigration the financial elite, meanwhile, gets to maximize its returns without regard for borders or citizenship. The erosion of other nations' sovereignty that accompanies American hegemony helps toward that end too-though our wars are more ideological than interest-driven.

♦♦♦

So we come to an historic moment. Instead of an election pitting another Bush against another Clinton, we have a race that poses stark alternatives: a choice not only between candidates but between classes-not only between administrations but between regimes.

Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November.

The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. For the center-left establishment, minority voters supply the electoral muscle. Religion and the culture war have served the same purpose for the establishment's center-right faction. Trump showed that at least one of these sides could be beaten on its own turf-and it seems conceivable that if Bernie Sanders had been black, he might have similarly beaten Clinton, without having to make concessions to New Class tastes.

The New Class establishment of both parties may be seriously misjudging what is happening here. Far from being the last gasp of the demographically doomed-old, racially isolated white people, as Gallup's analysis says-Trump's insurgency may be the prototype of an aggressive new politics, of either left or right, that could restore the managerial elite to power.

This is not something that conservatives-or libertarians who admire the old capitalism rather than New Class's simulacrum-might welcome. But the only way that some entrenched policies may change is with a change of the class in power.

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative .