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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
All along Trump has been the candidate of the military. The other two power centers of the power triangle , the corporate and the executive government (CIA), had gone for Clinton. Trump, as the Pentagon's proxy, defeated Hillary the CIA proxy -- Moon of Alabama, Oct 21, 2017
|News||Neoliberalism||Recommended Links||National Security State||Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization||Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump||Nation under attack meme||Trump 2020 campaign||Prison–industrial complex|
|Reversal of planned detente with Russia||Big Uncle is Watching You||Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||The Deep State||Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak||Anti Trump Hysteria||Demonization of Putin||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich|
|Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||American Exceptionalism||Impulsivity and incompetence: shoot first ask questions later foreign policy||Cold War II||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||Blowback against neoliberal globalization|
|History of American False Flag Operations||False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations||Anti-globalization movement||Doublespeak||New American Militarism||Bait and Switch|
|Trump foreign policy||Trump after his Colin Powell moment||Khan Sheikhoun gas attack||Iran saber-rattling||Korea saber-rattling||Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law|
|TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates||Trump economic platform||Predator state||Corporatism||Nation under attack meme||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism||Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers||Deception as an art form|
|Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism||Neocons||Principal-agent problem||Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism||Corporatist Corruption||Non-Interventionism||Skeptic Quotations||Humor||Etc|
|The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern
policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges.
His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be confused.
The unconscionable attack on Syria based on the usual unsubstantiated allegations has shifted the playing field dramatically, with the “new sheriff in town” apparently intent on proving he is a real man who can play hardball with the rest of them.
“The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”
...my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”
― Ian Fleming
It's not so simple, unfortunately. At the last presidential election in 2016,
the only choice citizens had was between two "insane rats".
They logically chose the one who lied better,
promising to change US policy - which he has not done.
Tom Welsh, sic_semper_tyrannis, Apr 14, 2018
After three following event there is no doubt that Thump became a neocon stooge with the only foreign policy initiatives of his own that can be attributed to his own impulsivity and lack of international experience. Those three event are as following
The initial conversion happened just three month after inauguration and full evolution into neocon took slightly more then a year.
It is true that like Obama before him Mr. Trump was somewhat nontraditional candidate. Like Obama he was a "clean slate candidate " -- a person without substantial political baggage. Which hunted Hillary Clinton all along the way. So his electorate (like Obama electorate before) was able to project their wished into him (without any justification; lured by just value election promises), which increased his chances of victory. He was also non-traditional candidate in several more minor aspects:
But his election victory was just a sign that Pentagon (which supported Trump) and CIA (which supported Hillary Clinton) clashed in the fight for top seat in government. Pentagon won, and CIA now needs to face consequences, despite vicious counterattack of remnants of Brennan troops and CIA controlled media.
They unleashed Russiagate witch hunt which rivals McCarthyism. In May 2017 managed to install the special prosecutor Mueller. Even earlier, in November, 2016, they launched a color revolution to depose Trump (The Junta Expands Its Claim To Power). The CIA owns the large swats of the US MSM, and without an effective propaganda arm, the military might face another Vietnam.
Still the level of influence of military in Trump cabinet is really unprecedented, even in comparison with Eisenhower administration:
On January 20, the first day of the Not-Hillary presidency, I warned:The military will demand its due beyond the three generals now in Trump's cabinet.
With the help of the media the generals in the White House defeated their civilian adversary. In August the Trump ship dropped its ideological pilot. Steve Bannon went from board. Bannon's militarist enemy, National Security Advisor General McMaster, had won. I stated:A military junta is now ruling the United States
and later explained:Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law.
The military took full control of White House processes and policies:Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands ... To control Trump the Junta filters his information input and eliminates any potentially alternative view ... The Junta members dictate their policies to Trump by only proposing certain alternatives to him. The one that is most preferable to them, will be presented as the only desirable one. "There are no alternatives," Trump will be told again and again.
With the power center captured the Junta starts to implement its ideology and to suppress any and all criticism against itself.
So Congress finally passed a budget. It’s a blockbuster—$1.3 trillion, or around four thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.A. Basically it is a compound made up of (a) anything Leftist Democrats could wish for, and (b) anything that the Jeb Bush wing of the Republican Party, and that wing’s Big Business donors (but I repeat myself), could wish for. But how about the things that sixty-three million of us voted for in 2016, awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump?
...This budget bill is, in short, a middle finger to President Trump. Its larger message: populism is no match for the Deep State. The contest is an unequal one. It’s almost cruel the way the congresscritters—Chuck Ryan and Paul Schumer, Nancy McConnell and Mitch Pelosi—it’s almost cruel the way they are grinning and chuckling and high-fiving among themselves over how easy it’s been to kick sand in the President’s face.
...I see Trump there on my TV screen, in my newspaper, on my Twitter feed; but I don’t see Trumpism. Where is it?
In this sense, classic neoliberalism was/is the ideology of the emergent transnational capitalist class which has planned and constructed an architecture of global governance in response to threats from national capital, from nationalists of various flavors and from the Left. In way it was similar to Trotskyism with its dream of Global revolution and creation of global socialist state (Permanent Revolution). Classic neoliberalism also strives to global dominance and used "regime change" operation often in the form of wars or color revolutions to convert the states into neoliberal domain. Since 90th the USA is waging multiple wars and "regime change" operations directed to this purpose (Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, etc)
National neoliberalism brakes with classic neoliberalism in several important categories and first of all in its treatment of global elites and globalization. It does not view the US elite as "the first among equals." It clearly stipulate the primacy of the USA elite and favorable for the USA forms of globalization as a priority and is really to wage a trade war to achieve those goals. And it is ready to engage in the trade wars to achieve the stated goals. that's why forces that support 'classic neoliberalism" launched color revolution with the goal to depose Trump. With several neoliberal countries joining domestic US forces (among them UK was probably the most important player)
National neoliberalism is the term that was probably the first introduced by Sasha Breger Bush in his December, 2016 article Trump and National Neoliberalism
Many writers and pundits are currently framing Trump’s election in terms of a dispossessed and disenfranchised white, male working class, unsatisfied with neoliberal globalization and the insecurity and hardship it has unleashed—particularly across regions of the United States that were formerly manufacturing powerhouses (like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, four states believed to have cost Hillary Clinton the election). While there is much truth to this perspective and substantial empirical evidence to support it, it would be a mistake to see Trump’s election wholly in these terms.
"What Trump’s election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state."
Trump’s election is in some ways a neoliberal apex, an event that portends the completion of the US government’s capture by wealthy corporate interests. While in my opinion Trump’s election does not signal the beginning of a rapid descent into European-style fascism, it appears to be a key stage in the ongoing process of American democratic disintegration. American democracy has been under attack from large and wealthy corporate interests for a long time, with this process accelerating and gaining strength over the period of neoliberal globalization (roughly the early 1970s to the present). This time period is associated with the rise of powerful multinational corporations with economic and political might that rivals that of many national governments.
In terms of the political consequences of these trends in the U.S., certain thinkers have argued that the U.S. political system is not democratic at all, but rather an “inverted totalitarian” system. Political commentator Chris Hedges notes: “Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state.” Citing the American political theorist Sheldon Wolin, Hedges continues, “Unlike the Nazis, who made life uncertain for the wealthy and privileged while providing social programs for the working class and poor, inverted totalitarianism exploits the poor, reducing or weakening health programs and social services, regimenting mass education for an insecure workforce threatened by the importation of low-wage workers.” Our inverted totalitarian system is one that retains the trappings of a democratic system—e.g. it retains the appearance of loyalty to “the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, [and] the independence of the judiciary”—all the while undermining the capacity of citizens to substantively participate and exert power over the system.
In my view, what Trump’s election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state. Trump gives inverted totalitarianism a persona and a face, and perhaps marks the beginning of a transformation from inverted totalitarianism to totalitarianism proper. In spite of this, it makes no sense to me to call the system toward which we are heading (that is, if we do not stand up and resist with all our might right this second) “fascism” or to make too close comparisons to the Nazis. Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American. And it will bear a striking resemblance to the corporate oriented system we’ve been living in for decades. Indeed, if the pre-Trump system of inverted totalitarianism solidified in the context of global neoliberalism, the period we are entering now seems likely to be one characterized by what I call “national neoliberalism.”
Trump’s Election Doesn’t Mean the End of Neoliberalism
Trump’s election represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values. Perhaps most importantly, we should all keep in mind the fact that Americans just elected a businessman to the presidency. In spite of his Wall Street background and billionaire status, Trump successfully cast himself as the “anti-establishment” candidate.
This configuration—in which a top-one-percenter real estate tycoon is accepted as a political “outsider”—is a hallmark of neoliberal thinking. The fundamental opposition between market and government is a central dichotomy in the neoliberal narrative.
In electing Trump, American voters are reproducing this narrative, creating an ideological cover for the closer connections between business and the state that are in store moving forward (indeed, Trump is already using the apparatus of the U.S. federal government to promote his own business interests). As states and markets further fuse in coming years, this representation of Trump and his administration—as being anti-government—will help immunize his administration from accusations of too-cozy relationships with big business. Trump’s attempts to “drain the swamp” by imposing Congressional term limits and constraints on lobbying activities by former political officials will also help to hide this relationship. (Has anyone else noticed that Trump only addresses half of the “revolving door,” i.e., he plans to limit the lobbying of former politicians, but not the political roles of businessmen?)
"Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American."
Trump’s Contract with the American Voter, his plan for the first 100 days in office, discusses policies and programs many of which are consistent with neoliberal thinking. (I understand the term “neoliberalism” to emphasize at its core the importance of private property rights, market-based social organization, and the dangers of government intervention in the economy.) Trump’s plan redirects the activities of the U.S. government along the lines touted by neoliberal “market fundamentalists” like Milton Friedman, who advocate limiting government’s role to market-supportive functions like national defense (defense stocks are doing very well since the election) and domestic law and order (Trump’s proposals have a lot to do with altering immigration policy to “restore security”). Trump also plans to use government monies to revitalize physical infrastructure and create jobs. Other government functions, for example, health care provision and education as well as protecting the environment and public lands, are open for privatization and defunding in Trump’s agenda. Under Trump, the scope of federal government activities will narrow, likely to infrastructure, national defense, and domestic policing and surveillance, even if overall government spending increases (as bond markets are predicting).
Trump also seems content to take neoliberal advice in regard to business regulation (less is best) and the role of the private sector in regulating itself (industry insiders understand regulatory needs better than public officials). Trump’s plan for the first 100 days specifies “a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.” As of the time of this writing, his selection of cabinet appointees illustrate a broad willingness to appoint businesspeople to government posts. As of mid-December 2016, a Goldman Sachs veteran, Steven Mnuchin, has been appointed Secretary of the Treasury; billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been appointed Secretary of Commerce; fossil fuel industry supporter and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been appointed as EPA administrator; and fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder has been appointed as Secretary of Labor. Trump’s business council is staffed by the CEOs of major U.S. corporations including JP Morgan Chase, IBM and General Motors. To be fair, the “revolving door” between government and industry has been perpetuated by many of Trump’s predecessors, with Trump poised to continue the tradition. But this is not to say that neoliberalism will continue going in a “business as usual” fashion. The world is about to get much more dangerous, and this has serious implications for patterns of global trade and investment.
Trump’s Election Does Mean the End of Globalism
The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen. Nor does he intend to maintain the United States’ extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network. In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world). I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.
Trump’s Contract with the American Voter outlines several policies that will make it more expensive and riskier to do business abroad. All of these need not occur; I think that even one or two of these changes will be sufficient to alter expectations in business communities about the benefits of certain cross-border economic relationships. Pulling the United States out of the TPP, along with threats to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and attempts to renegotiate NAFTA, is already signaling to other countries that we are not interested in international cooperation and collaboration. A crackdown on foreign trading abuses will prompt retaliation.
Labelling China a currency manipulator will sour relations between the two countries and prompt retaliation by China. As Trump goes forward with his anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, he will alienate the United States’ traditional allies in Europe (at least until Europe elects its own nationalist and xenophobic leaders) and communities across the Global South. The U.S. election has already undermined performance in emerging markets, and bigoted rhetoric and policy will only increase anti-American sentiment in struggling economies populated largely by people of color. Add to this the risk of conflict posed by any number of the following: his antagonizing China, allying with Russia, deploying ground troops to stop ISIS, and pulling out of the Korean DMZ, among other initiatives that seem likely to contribute to a more confrontational and violent international arena. All of this is to say that Trump will not have to intervene directly in the affairs of business in order to nationalize it. The new global landscape of conflict and risk, combined with elevated domestic spending on infrastructure and security, will bring U.S. business and investment back home nonetheless.
National Neoliberalism and State-Market Relations
Fascist states are corporatist in nature, a state of affairs marked by a fusion of state and business functions and interests, with an often significant role for labor interests as well. In the fascist states on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s—systems that fall under the umbrella of “national socialism”—the overwhelming power of the state characterized this tripartite relationship. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy, Inc. in regard to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (as well as Stalinist Russia), “The state was conceived as the main center of power, providing the leverage necessary for the mobilization and reconstruction of society”.
By contrast, in Trump’s America — where an emergent “national neoliberalism” may be gradually guiding us to a more overt and obvious totalitarian politics — we can expect a similar fusion of state and market interests, but one in which the marketplace and big business have almost total power and freedom of movement (I think that labor will do poorly in this configuration). State and market in the U.S. will fuse further together in the coming years, leading some to make close parallels with European fascism. But it will do so not because of heavy handed government dictates and interventions, but rather because domestic privatization initiatives, appointments of businessmen to government posts, fiscal stimulus and the business community’s need for protection abroad will bring them closer. Corporate interests will merge with state interests not because corporations are commanded to, but rather because the landscape of risk and reward will shift and redirect investment patterns to a similar effect. This may be where a budding U.S. totalitarianism differs most starkly from its European cousins.
Of course it helps that much of the fusion of state and market in the United States is already complete, what with decades of revolving doors and privatization initiatives spanning the military, police, prison, healthcare and educational sectors, among others. It will not take much to further cement the relationship.
National neoliberalism rejects "classic neoliberalism" variant of globalization, while not rejecting globalization as a whole. Looks like Trump is deliberately running country into some kind of isolation. And I do not know what is the plan but it looks like the policy somewhat similar the set of policies the USA adopted during the 1920s. Although the USA is now much more powerful (and interconnected) and can dictate its will to more countries, including EU. But somebody said "The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big." . https://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/24/trump-and-national-neoliberalism ):
The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen. Nor does he intend to maintain the United States’ extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network.The exit from "classic neoliberalism" highway into the set of "roads less traveled" under Trump looks impulsive, but it is not. It is part of historic transformation of neoliberalism after the crisis of 2007. That's why it generated such a fierce resistance and attempt to state a color revolution against Trump by forces supporting "classic neoliberalism" (with some foreign countries, notably GB participating on the side of the US plotters) I think neoliberal revolution (or counterrevolution, if you wish) that we experienced and which have led to the dissolution of the USSR is enough for the lifetime on one person. Now we have a color revolution against Trump here in the USA.
In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world). I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.
After the collapse of the USSR the consensus was that a new American century arrived, and the whole world would be better off for it. The USA looked like the sole superpower for at least another century. 27 years later we have a major economic crisis of neoliberalism as well as the crisis of neoliberalism as a social system in the USA (abstracting from petty war between factions of the US elite, NeoMcarthysim is the way to patch the divided society. And for awhile it works.
What Gore Vidal called "United Stated of Amnesia" might bite the USA later as the collapse of the neoliberal US empire probably will resemble the Great Depression or the collapse of the USSR on a new level. Or, worse, the European conflagration of 1914-1918. Along with lack of interest in history, the deep provincialism of the US politicians is a serious threat. Take Haley, or Pompeo.
In any case, Trump election does signified "the end of the beginning" of neoliberal globalization (as in Churchill's quote "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.").
The end of cheap oil might signify "the beginning of the end".
Nov 26, 2020 | www.wnd.com
The historic Trump presidency emasculated globalism Pat Buchanan notes how the elite Bush-type Republicans have been silenced Patrick J. Buchanan By Patrick J. Buchanan Published November 26, 2020 at 6:39pm Share on Facebook Tweet P Share Email Print In the first two decades of the century, President-elect Joe Biden's choice for secretary of state supported U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. He was an ever-reliable liberal interventionist.
This same Antony Blinken could spend the first years of a Biden presidency helping extricate our country from the misbegotten wars he championed. What establishment Democrats like Biden and Blinken helped to do in previous administrations, they will likely now have to undo.
Who effected this sea change in national thinking?
Donald Trump. Much that was said and believed before he came down the escalator in 2015 is no longer said or believed by the majority of Americans.
And no institution has been more altered than the Republican Party.
How I beat election fraud in America's most corrupt state TRENDING: Employees melt down after learning company is publishing prominent conservative Jordan Peterson's book: Report
George H.W. Bush's vision of a "New World Order," launched at the after-party of his Gulf War victory, died with his presidency.
George W. Bush's crusade for global democracy to "end tyranny in our world" has been forgotten. Bush Republicans no longer speak for the party on foreign policy, trade or immigration.
NATO will never be the same again after Trump rudely demanded that freeloading nations pay their fair share of the collective defense or the Americans would pack up and come home from Europe.
Former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis may call for the ash-canning of the phrase "America First." He will fail. For, as both national motto and national policy, the slogan has put down roots in American soil because it comports with the will of the silent majority.
Whatever the establishment believes, in the clash between nationalism and globalism, globalism has lost America.
Moreover, the world is going this way.
Does not Xi Jinping put his own country first as he claims for China all the waters and islands for hundreds of miles into the East and South China seas? Does not Vladimir Putin put his own country first as he seeks to bring back under Moscow's wing the former republics of the Russian federation?
Does not President Erdogan put Turkey first as he sends arms and troops to pursue his country's interests in Libya, Syria, Cyprus, the South Caucasus and the Eastern Mediterranean in clashes with Greece?
What does Bibi Netanyahu put first, if not his own country, Israel?
If country and nation are not first in the hearts and minds of Americans, what should replace them? Some nonexistent New World Order? The U.N.? NATO? A multilateral caucus of global institutions?
Under Trump, economic nationalism has displaced free trade globalism as the trade policy of the party and government.
The GOP elite that backed Bill Clinton on NAFTA, supported a new transnational World Trade Organization, invited China to join the club and accorded Beijing most-favored-nation trade status is now silent.
Tariffs to force open foreign markets and punish predator-traders who take advantage of American workers have replaced the free trade fundamentalism that had been dogma since Dwight Eisenhower's days.
Nor is the Republican Party likely to return to free trade, as long as "China First" is the undeclared policy pursued by the nation that has now displaced us as the world's leading manufacturing power.
The George Bush-John McCain Republican Party was for amnesty for illegals and open borders for new migrants. Today's GOP supports the deportation of illegals and the 30-foot Trump Wall on the Mexican border.
Nov 17, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
We have to carefully distinguish between two very different concepts, both based on the word "Trump". First there is "Trumpism" which is an ideology. The overarching idea behind Trumpism is to make the GOP a working-class oriented party. The key policy aims of Trumpism are worker scarcity and anti-imperialism. Worker scarcity is achieved through immigration restriction and protectionist trade policies. So together, we have the Trumpist Trinity, anti-immigration, trade restriction, and anti-imperialism. This is the ideology that Trump ran on and rode to victory in 2016. This is the idea. Unions exist to create micro-worker scarcity. Borders can be used to create macro-worker scarcity which is far more powerful. And E-verify can be far more effective than a bombastic wall.
Trumpism stands in opposition to globalization; whose goal is worker abundance which necessarily drives wages down and increases oligarchic wealth. US led imperialism, especially in the Middle East is also a necessary feature of globalization. Invade the World / Invite the World.
The US has always featured two political parties that serve ruling class interests; Huey Long described it thusly,
"They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen."
Trumpism attempts to force one group of waiters to get their grub from the working class' kitchen. This is obviously an ambitious goal.
Now comes a crucial distinction. In addition to the ideology of "Trumpism" there is "Trump", the man and his brand. At best there is an extremely tenuous relationship between Trumpism and Trump. Now to some extent this is natural as ideas never remain pure for long when poured into the cauldron of reality. With that in mind, we can see that 2016 candidate Trump was relatively Trumpist but President Trump was less so. Salaries for the bottom 25% of workers did have the highest rate in increase during his term (through 2019). But in 2020, candidate Trump almost completely rejected Trumpism and ran as an ruling class establishment stooge.
Now of course Trump is an oligarch and so he is a member of the ruling class. But within oligarchy, the only people who can challenge the existing order are oligarchs. He committed massive class treason in 2016 in order to serve his narcissistic need for recognition and power. In no way should Trump be idealized as altruistically caring about the working class. Trumpism was nothing more than a means to an end. Trump's end is and always will be Trump, not Trumpism per se. But none the less Trump exploited and brought to life Trumpism and his motives for doing so are irrelevant.
Trumpism is not a revolutionary ideology in the correct sense of the term. It is an incrementalist approach that seeks to better the material conditions of the working class but within the current capitalist power structure. It posits a class struggle ideological superstructure which is radical opposition to the globalist ruling classes insistence on an identitarian (politics of race, sex, etc) perspective. The ruling class strategy in the US is to decorate with masks of "diversity" the ugly visages of class dominance. Thus Obama's and soon Kamala's pro-ruling class policies cannot be criticized for fear of being abused as a "racist".
Trumpism's non-revolutionary aspect is similar to social democracy, as was championed by Bernie Sanders in 2016 (in 2020 Bernie unfortunately fell to the dark side of identitarian politics, which are necessarily the enemy of class politics and the most effective class warfare tool in the ruling class' tool box). The key difference is that Trumpism relies on labor markets to improve the material conditions of the working class. A tight labor market necessarily transfers wealth from the rich to the poor in the form of decreased profits for the rich through increased salaries for the poor.
In fact far from there being any contradiction between Trumpism and social democracy there is a mutual dependence between them. The public education, health, and support institutions of social democracy are can only be supported and revitalized by a prosperous working class. The key idea of Trumpism is that the state asserts its borders to create labor scarcity. The great problem of Trumpism is that the state is everywhere a tool of ruling class oppression. Borders are the battle lines of the struggle.
Trump the ruler was presented with the greatest gift a border-loving Trumpist politician could ever ask for: Covid-19. But instead of exploiting this crisis like Viktor Orbán did in Hungary, Trump stabbed Trumpism in the back by turning himself into a useless libertarian during the crisis by refusing for example to push a law that requires home manufacturing of all critical supplies and in never closing the borders properly. He acted like a narcissistic clown in the early days of the crisis and deserves to lose just for that reason.
The ruling class response to Trumpism is identitarian politics: noble ruling class lords screaming that the dirty peasants are racist. What the US ruling class must always do is project their racism onto the peasants, who white or black, both suffer economically from racial oppression. Mao Tse-Tung gave this astute analysis of US racism:
In the final analysis, national struggle is a matter of class struggle. Among the whites in the United States, it is only the reactionary ruling circles who oppress the Negro people . They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people. At present, it is the handful of imperialists headed by the United States, and their supporters, the reactionaries in different countries, who are oppressing, committing aggression against and menacing the overwhelming majority of the nations and peoples of the world. We are in the majority and they are in the minority.
So US racism is fully owned and perpetuated by the ruling class: wealthy oligarchs (including Trump), the media, Wall Street, CIA, FBI, the military industrial complex, multi-national corporations, Silicone Valley Tech, Hollywood, etc. Where there is power there is racism, where there is powerlessness there may be bigotry but not racism. The above lineup of ruling class racists, except for Trump, is the Biden coalition. The ruling class goal is to place an "enlightened person" mask over naked and rapacious ruling class greed and oppression.
Under Biden, globalization will once again increase the pace and amplitude of the immiseration of the working class, resistance to the dominant economic paradigm will only grow on both the progressive left and the popular right. Previously elections in the US were between center left and center right factions fighting for the right to serve the ruling class. Looking at 2020 from a bird's eye perspective, roughly speaking the Biden coalition is most progressives, the center left, and many elements of the center right (elements close to the Bush family). The Trump coalition is portions of the center right and the popular right. The ruling class was going to be fine whatever the result, but a Biden presidency constrained by a GOP Senate is ideal in some ways to the ruling class.
A key strategic objective of the ruling class is to keep the left and right at each other's throats. Trump helped them achieve this rigid politically binary goal despite occasionally flirting with political fluidity during the 2016 campaign where his similarities to Bernie Sanders were unmistakable. In contrast, anti-ruling class progressives and popularists have to find a way to combine their forces and energy in opposition to the ruling class and not in a pointless stalemate of playing "socialists" vs; "fascists", a battle whose only possible winner is the ruling class.
One of the most interesting outcomes of the 2020 election is the specter of Latinos embracing Trumpism. From an economic point of view this makes total sense. Immigration restriction will benefit first and foremost the material conditions of the Latino working class. Also Trump's macho populist persona works well within Latino culture. Not to mention many Latinos despise blacks and so the whole BLM phenomenon helped push Latinos onto the Trump train.
California is a now a de facto one-party state but that conditions are ripe for the rise of a popularist yet macho, Latino based, Trumpist style political faction to oppose the cosmopolitan urban Democratic hegemony. Back in the 60's, Cesar Chavez was endeavoring to increase the QUALITY of Hispanic life in the US by increasing the salaries of farm workers through a strategy of worker scarcity.
Ruling class institutions, threatened by the potential of having portions of their wealth transferred to poor peasants, created an organization called "La Raza" as an alternative to Chavez. La Raza wanted QUANTITY, they wanted more and more Latinos to build up their base of political power.
And all the better if these Latinos stayed poor: not only do their ruling class paymasters stay happy, this would also keep the Latino masses dependent on their identitarian political leaders. So one of the key outcomes of the 2020 election is that in ever larger numbers, Latinos are rejecting Quantity of Latinos and opting for Latino Quality of life.
And so in order to further Trumpism, Trump, who is acting as a fetter upon it, must go. In a sense the Biden presidency will be a reactionary movement in that they will be trying to restore the pre-Trumpism political order. This will only further cement the soundness of Trumpism as an ideology.
But Trump as a leader is a much more mixed bag. New Trumpists will arise, for example Tucker Carlson or podcaster Joe Rogan. 2024 will be a great year for Trumpism because this time Trump will not be running it; and that may allow many progressives to join the train, especially in light of how much hippy punching they are about to endure from the coming Biden synthesis of Neolibs and Neocons.
Tom Pfotzer , November 14, 2020 at 8:49 am
Nice essay. I especially liked the differentiation between Trump and Trumpism.
I'd be interested to hear what your vision of the platform (main objectives) might be for this new Trumpism party.
I still question whether top-down politics of any stripe is really going to address the underlying economic and biosphere issues we're facing. Why? Because:
- the top-down political economy is dedicated to maintaining status quo (with emphasis on status & wealth), and
- the bottom-up people who want things to change seem to want someone else to do all the changing
- most of our big problems arise from the disconnect between what we must do as a species in order to survive and what we're currently, actually doing as individuals
When a Zen-like party emerges, which encourages its adherents to understand themselves, seek "right" action (accurate situational analysis yielding a well-crafted strategy), and do right action, I'll get interested in politics again. For now, we're just treading water in a strong current that's headed to a bad place.
The Zen plan is no panacea, though. That path involves great risk (e.g. lots of failures) and hard work. Pay's not that good, either.
Kasia , November 14, 2020 at 10:02 am
Thank you for your comment!
Top-down vs. bottom-up are not necessarily contradictory and can in successive waves contribute to social change in an increasingly self-reinforcing manner. Bottom-up change influences top-down change (often through the opposition forces' malignant top-down overreaction) which intensifies bottom-down change: so on and so on.
I would describe the main objectives for Trumpist party as the development of "Green Trumpism". The moral imperatives associated with the climate crisis would be used as a catalyst for Trumpist labor scarcity through the means of a Green Reindustrialization. The process of globalization is one where production is severed from consumption. Production is moved to cheap labor countries with terrible environmental standards. Capitalists produce dirtier commodities while increasing their profits. This process must be reversed. If the first world wants to consume then they must produce.
First world population growth is a critical factor in exasperating the climate crisis. All of this growth can be linked to immigration, usually people from low consuming nations moving to high consumption nations. These migration flows must be reversed.
Globalization requires imperialist power to enforce the safe transport of commodities produced in far flung regions of the world. As globalization declines, so will necessarily US imperialism.
This article "Towards a Green Folkhem" influenced much of my thinking on Trumpism, although it is not framed that way in the article
Tom Pfotzer , November 14, 2020 at 11:56 am
yes, bottom-up and top-down would interact, if only the bottom-up was happening. It's not.
The bottom has no political or economic leverage, and isn't navigating to a position of strength. For example, the "bottom" is currently accepting placebo identity-politics as pacifier. The "bottom" is still searching for an "easy button" solution rather than taking a deeper look at oneself and the layout of the chess board at the macro level.
Using the climate crisis as driver for econ change is the Great Hope, and the top 1% is hip to the game. They have and will continue to block meaningful change. Keep in mind that just stopping the daily damage to the environment will render much (most) of our industrial and household infrastructure obsolete. Nobody's ready to take that on, and that's the implication of actually effective Green policy.
Right now, across the political spectrum, "green" consists of "what's convenient" instead of "what's necessary". This is the individual-ethic bankruptcy I've alluded to elsewhere: it's endemic from top 1% to bottom-est of the bottom.
You made a few statements I don't agree with:
"Capitalists have dirtier / more destructive production than (others)." 1st world production is cleaner than in other places, and that 2nd and 3rd world production often happens in non-capitalistic scenarios. Dirty production happens where dirty production is tolerated.
Another statement you made: "globalization has to stop / be reversed". Dunno about that one. Globalization has resulted in production moving to cheapest-input locations. Like China. Globalization will stop only when cost-of-inputs is leveled, and we're decades away from that, and a whole lot more pain for the Developed world. Slow barge, that one.
Your essay doesn't address the effect of automation on household or societal economics. Automation is not a reversible trend, and it's accelerating. The focus on the "where" of production might not yield the HH economic benefits you're hoping for.
Some fairly different strategies need to be developed at the household level in order to address the problems we face. Would you consider using the household as the pivot-point of your new econ strategy rather than using industry and government?
Kasia , November 14, 2020 at 2:50 pm
Americans can exert more power with their consumption choices than their choices at the ballot box. So certainly the household is a crucial pivot point.
Green tariffs can overnight level cost-of-inputs. Climate change provides a powerful moral incentive to co-locate US consumption and production.
Within an environment of worker scarcity, automation is a positive trend and helps lessen inflationary pressures. The problem with the US is that there is not enough automation because of cheap and docile labor. Compare a meat packing plant in Denmark which is highly automated compared to a US plant, which is packed to the brim with cheap imported labor. Much of the Covid crisis in the US and UK is brought about by sweatshop-style working conditions.
The question on automation is that somehow "the people" have to have a slice of the profits and thus benefit from the process. A Yang-style UBI would need to go hand in hand with increased automation.
I agree with the uselessness of the current Green movement. It is typically just used as a tool to attack perceived opponents. But a Green Trumpism would no doubt both address the climate crisis and help alleviate economic inequalities.
howseth , November 14, 2020 at 4:36 pm
"The ruling class was going to be fine whatever the result, but a Biden presidency constrained by a GOP Senate is ideal in some ways to the ruling class."
Yeah – there will be a lot of Biden disappointment amongst Us the majority – this Precariat. A true Green New Deal would offer lots of employment opportunities here in the USA – and would seem ideal for either party to embrace. Divided government won't achieve it – the ruling class – and both parties – with short sighted heads up their asses won't embrace it anyhow.
Regardless, Trumpism seems a fail except for a vast mob angry/scared/confused voters- and some tax break aficionados. It's not just Biden/Harris won't deliver – but Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Ted Cruz, or whichever clever one runs in 2024 , won't deliver either, and Trumps wall is a fiasco. If still effective propaganda..?
It's grotesque to learn that Kamila Harris's relatives are connected to Uber/Lyft. Prop. 22 getting approved in California is another sign of propaganda/big money effectiveness – and We the People being tricked once again. I got lot's of mail showing photos and quotes of regular working people embracing Prop 22 VOTE YES! save our jobs – it passed easily.
Overall: Still glad to see Trump himself out of the White House – the clever SOB.
Code Name D , November 14, 2020 at 7:33 pm
This is a good essay. But I still have a few issues with it.
The key policy aims of Trumpism are worker scarcity and anti-imperialism. Worker scarcity is achieved through immigration restriction and protectionist trade policies. So together, we have the Trumpist Trinity, anti-immigration, trade restriction, and anti-imperialism. This is the ideology that Trump ran on and rode to victory in 2016. This is the idea. Unions exist to create micro-worker scarcity. Borders can be used to create macro-worker scarcity which is far more powerful. And E-verify can be far more effective than a bombastic wall.
I would modify this to say "worker exclusivity", that only a narrow class of workers can be tapped for specific terms of employment. When discussing the subject with those on the rights, they are far more concerned about immigrants "taking their jobs" then they are of building a scarcity of workers to gain a market share over employers. Let's not forget that "Trumpian" is still fervently anti-union, even though this would be a good way of generating "micro scarcity" as you put it. Being anti-union would be counterproductive to worker scarcity.
Assuredly, "worker scarcity" makes a certain degree of sense. And I can easily see how you came to that conclusion. But I fear you still give "trumpisim" too much credit in that they have specific goals that they are attempting to achieve, and thus conceive of logical steps to that goal.
I would argue that the right doesn't have goals in the same perspective as we on the left may seem them. What we might think of as "goals" are better described as ideological commandments that must be obeyed at all cost, and ignoring all consequence. As you noted yourself. Trump's wall would do little to impede immigration. A better e-verify system would be far more effective. So why ignore e-verify while being completely for the wall? Because the wall is a visible simple of defiance against immigration that conservatives can march back and forth in front of brandishing their 2nd amendment right. You can't do that for a government policy.
Trumpism stands in opposition to globalization; whose goal is worker abundance which necessarily drives wages down and increases oligarchic wealth. US led imperialism, especially in the Middle East is also a necessary feature of globalization.
Here too I would make a modification. Neo-liberalism and globalization aren't about worker "abundance" but rather worker "disposability." Again, if the idea is to create an abundance of workers, driving down market share, then why make finding work so complicated? Why be against strong education systems which would create new workers. Why shut down factories here in the US only to open them in Korea? Why lock up so many Americans for petty offensive, removing them from the willing work force.
I would argue that the heart of neo-liberalism is a class structure that places "the establishment" as not just important in the grand scheme of things, but completely indispensable to an individual. And part of that self-aggrandizement is the subjection of every one else. "I am worth more than a thousand of you." Thus, why I must get 2-million-dollar bonus (even after bankrupting the company) and a post on the new re-org chart while everyone else gets a pink slip and watch their hard-earned pensions disappear in chapter 11 proceedings.
Of course, unlike much of the right, neo-liberalism does have a goal-oriented methodology. So, creating "worker abundance" to force down individual worker market share certainly makes sense. But is it true? It doesn't capture the full cynicism of typical neo-liberal thinking. For creating so much worker abundance, plenty of neo-liberal aligned employers still managed to complain about worker "allocations" (the idea that certain employment sectors face chronic worker scarcity.) Indeed, current "plug-n-play" employment patterns have made filling many positions nearly impossible because no one ever has the right qualifications for a specific job without training. I have seen engineering jobs go empty for years because they can't find "prior experience for proprietary development project." (face palm.).
But it does speak to how disposable workers are to upper management. You are hired for X, and when X is done you are automatically laid off. Why would you waste time giving such an employee training of any sort? Let alone benefits or perks.
Kasia , November 15, 2020 at 6:16 am
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will attempt to respond to your points.
Ruling class elements of the GOP attack unions in order to minimize worker micro-scarcity.
What is inexplicable is when unions attack Trumpist attempts at macro-scarcity through the use of national borders. A united Union/Trumpist front is required against ruling class interests. Struggling for worker scarcity does not mean one "hates" the workers the ruling class is importing in order to create worker abundance.
This is to accept the ruling elite's identitarian frame, which boils down to: class struggle is racist. What this basically boils down to is that the ruling class is benevolent and kind and loves purely altruistically to import little brown workers while evil workers hate them because they are taking their jobs. Oligarchs + cheap labor immigrants = good. Workers militating for their class interests = bad. The key goal for Trumpism is to flip these equations.
Worker abundance necessarily means job scarcity from the worker's point of view. This makes workers desperate and willing to accept lower wages. This has been happening for the last 40 years at least since the end of the Cold War, if not a little sooner. Worker scarcity means job abundance, from the worker's point of view. This means plenty of options because management has to bid up salaries to attract workers.
Neoliberalism is Capitalism's attempt to remove the fetters on profits that exist within the power of a nation-state. Worker abundance is just one of many Neoliberal goals. Borders are a huge fetter to capitalism's basic mission of maximizing profit by producing commodifies with the cheapest labor and selling them to the wealthiest consumers.
Nation-states can also impose regulations (environmental, worker, etc) which also limit capitalist profit. Free trade allows corporations to relocate factories to nations with the lowest salaries, environmental and worker protections. For those jobs that cannot be transferred, Prop 22 is the thin edge of the neoliberal wedge that is constraining the nation-state from protecting workers.
flora , November 14, 2020 at 8:59 pm
I understand restricting immigration and anti-globalism as a means to increase US workers leverage in raising wages in jobs and in better political representation. This addresses the physical world of work.
Left unaddressed, and equally important imo, is the fact that US business and economy is now largely financialized; much of the greatest wealth comes from unregrulated or restrained predatory financial practices, from rentierism, from tolls and fines and fees.
This financialization is every bit as important as the physical conditions you list in the rise in precarity, maybe even more so at this time. How, for instance, would only physical restrictions have changed the financial outcomes of the 2008 mortgage bank frauds and financial crisis, the outcomes of ratings agencies giving bogus ratings to junk bonds, changed the exorbitant rise in medicine prices, etc?
This is a very important aspect of precarity. Reducing work competition for jobs to increase wages is only half the job, stopping financial predators is the other half, imo
O could have stopped the bank predators in 2009-10, but chose not to. In his own words:
fwe'zy , November 14, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Without immigration or outsourcing or even automation, the predators will find still other ways to break labor. We are seeing it with identity politics.
Beware of the UBI: it simply greases the wheels for more privatization instead of public goods and infrastructure, similar to how vouchers and charters gut a public school system.
Kasia , November 15, 2020 at 7:37 am
Financialization is the necessary result of globalization's destruction of Fordism: which is the interdependent role of worker and consumer. In order to increase profits, Ford doubled his workers' salaries so that could serve him as consumers as well as workers.
Globalization seeks to increase profits even further by disassociating the worker and the consumer. Work is off-shored to low wage countries, whose leaders intentionally damp down local consumption. This paradoxically means the soon to be immiserated western worker is still called upon to play the role of global consumer of last resort.
At the same time, huge waves of profits are washing over Wall Street. And so temporary speculative bubbles are created that serve two purposes. First false wave of prosperity brought on for example by a real estate boom tamps down any worker resistance towards the new economic order. Secondly the seemingly "free money" created by speculation allow western consumption to continue.
So necessarily a Green Reindustrialization will force Wall Street to stop chasing speculative squirrels and to instead concentrate on financing the new clean plant that will help alleviate the climate crisis.
Reverb , November 14, 2020 at 9:44 pm
Rogan likes to do long form interviews across the political spectrum, but he has consistently been a fan of Bernie and Tulsi. Author is Confusing the medium with the message. Not the same.
Kasia , November 15, 2020 at 5:56 am
I would argue that Bernie and Tulsi are "Trumpism adjacent" in the larger sense of Trumpism.
If Trumpism as an ideology is going to flourish, Tulsi in particular will play a critical role in this. The simplest way to see this is that when the ruling class smears someone as a "Russian asset" what they are really doing is recognizing them as a Trumpist threat.
Trumpism in its highest form will mean a reconciliation of the non-identitarian left and right. For example, white identitarians like Richard Spencer have abandoned Trumpism.
Altandmain , November 15, 2020 at 6:03 am
I think that one of the most important considerations is that there needs to be a coalition of sorts – between the working class Trumpian base and the Left (primarily Generation Y and X). It shares one thing, they are both victims of the Establishment, neoliberals, and urgently need change.
One image has always been very important to me. Note the distribution of socially conservative, economically left wing voters.
It comes from here: https://www.voterstudygroup.org/publication/political-divisions-in-2016-and-beyond
The other important issue is this one:
The major challenge facing Democrats today is that race, gender, identity politics, and religion appear to trump economics, at least as far as politically engaged primary voters go. The old-line Democrats were an economic liberal party with socially conservative and socially liberal wings (the social liberals, in fact, were in a minority). The new Democrats are a socially liberal party with an economic conservative wing (neoliberals) and a progressive economic wing. They all agree on social issues. They are loath to compromise on open borders (which is what the existing immigration dysfunction de facto gives us), transgender bathrooms, making room for pro-life members, or gay married couples' wedding cakesbecause those are the only issues that hold their economic right and economic left together.
I don't think that the Democratic Party in its current form is viable for the left.
So the price of a new New Deal majority would be to let Democrats welcome abortion critics and opponents of mass immigration, so long as they favored a higher minimum wage, less "synthetic immigration," and a pause on globalization (which facilitates international labor arbitrage). In the words of John Judis:
I think that we would end up with the following compromise.
1. The economically left, culturally right agrees to accept global warming, end the wars, and "socialism" like universal healthcare), and to offer legal immigrants along with minorities a shot at the middle class
2. The economically left, culturally left agrees to compromise on immigration, globalization (think put a strong emphasis on re-industrialization and de-financialization), and social issues (think abortion, guns, defend the police, etc).
Interestingly, the American Conservative has an article lambasting Trump as well.
Maybe that's a good sign.
marym , November 15, 2020 at 7:39 am
"The ruling class goal is to place an "enlightened person" mask over naked and rapacious ruling class greed and oppression."
Maybe the same can be said of placing a "socially conservative" mask. We need to be cautious in positing the possiblility of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial conservative movement that somehow manages to be "nationalist, anti-cosmopolitan, anti-immigration" but still serves the interests of the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, religiously diverse, working class populace that's already here.
Kasa , November 15, 2020 at 9:51 am
Implementing worker scarcity will necessarily further the economic interests of the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, religiously diverse, working class populace that's already here.
Just as implementing worker abundance necessarily furthers the economic interests of the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, religiously diverse, RULING class populace that's already here.
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 11:26 pm
rob , November 15, 2020 at 10:08 am
Great write up.
While I generally agree with your characterizations, I will also throw out there ..in no particular order..
1) luckily , trump and his "legion of doom" aren't competent enough to draw on the "larger picture" you've outlined here to maximize his effectiveness by using these natural advantages, in their plot of self aggrandizement luckily for us americans/ the trump is his own worst enemy.
2) ejecting trump from trumpism is a path to greater success for the right and fascism/corporatism, which some "smart" people will surely weave into their future plans and models. And the corporatists,be they from the republican side of the aisle, or the democratic side will surely carry forward with this opening in american politics.
because trump does have to go the professionals of deception can mold that wisp of smoke into any shape they want but it won't stay for long and doesn't hold up to any scrutiny . it isn't real..It isn't even a chunk of clay
3] the problem of trumpism, or "conservative republican politics", or "democratic party politics" is that they all necessarliy MUST be a lie in progress. NONE of the political duopoly can go into "truthland" . it is their kryptonite. So all have agreed to never enter and call it a no go zone
And the fact that everything about our political situation is "fact free",at least in the sense that any facts used are only used out of context to keep a truer understanding from happening; hasn't stopped anyone yet and isn't likely too any time soon so too bad for everyone. .we'll call that a draw.
The 30,000 foot description of yours not withstanding, that type of over arching layers of this onion, is something for planners to incorporate in "the con" as it needs to be.. but is above the paygrade of most political actors , who work at rousing the rabble
4) I don't see actual agency of the people . what people want to do has nothing to do with what is going to happen usually, if the elites want something to happen, they provide the opinions and the votes.. "deserve" has nothing to do with it.. and "our reality" is just an illusion.
So over layering a description of bigger forces, over the chaos that has been created to keep this "hegelian dialect" in place , is again for those at a higher pay grade in the process..
Too many chefs ruin the meal but hey ,it's our gruel and we have nothing else to eat , for the moment and maybe less later, if they get their way.
Palaver , November 14, 2020 at 6:24 am
"Post-truth" is dystopian. It's a luxury to live at a distance from unpleasant realities. If a society can sustain a population/segment so far up their own **** then you've "arrived" in a sense.
However, dystopia sounds better than the crises that lay ahead. It's the unavoidable hard landing that worries me.
Maybe truth works like wealth: The first generation discovers the truth. The second generation teaches the truth. And the third generation fakes news.
Altandmain , November 14, 2020 at 6:57 am
The Democratic Party doesn't want to come to terms with the fact that they deserve as much blame as the GOP for the predicament the working class finds itself in.
They chose under Clinton to repeal Glass Steagall, sign free trade agreements, and bring China into the WTO. Under Obama, those policies largely continued. Under Biden, all signs indicate that this will still continue.
I think the brutal reality is that the upper middle class is willfully ignorant of what the precariat faces. Public health authorities, while understandably trying to contain the pandemic, are not the ones who are going to see their lives destroyed. The working class was doomed either way, either by being disproportionately hurt by the coronavirus (they can't work from home) or from long-term unemployment (they've suffered more as a percentage of total jobs lost). In other words, they don't have a stake in keeping the lockdown and may see opening up as a lesser evil.
Likewise, the Liberals who are in secure upper middle class white collar jobs tended to act disdainfully when working class people protested the lockdowns. I'm not saying the protestors were right, but many are people who put their lives into their work, such as small business owners. Evidently, subsidies were needed at the very least.
In this regard, the GOP might have more hope than the Democrats, barring a Berniecrat takeover of the Democrats, which is looking less likely. That said the GOP still has a huge right wing apparatus that would have to be overcome for a "real populist" (ex: someone who actually cared about the well being of the working class) to take over.
One advantage might be that younger people are overwhelmingly left wing economically, so as Generation Y and Z become a bigger share of the electorate, things may change.
Louis , November 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Likewise, the Liberals who are in secure upper middle class white collar jobs tended to act disdainfully when working class people protested the lockdowns. I'm not saying the protestors were right, but many are people who put their lives into their work, such as small business owners. Evidently, subsidies were needed at the very least
To this day, they still get outraged for the same reasons. If you so much as point out what you just wrote–not being anti-science but simply the hardship lockdowns cause and how it needs to be properly addressed–at best you'll be called scientifically illiterate. At worst you'll be accused of being an evil rich person who wants to kill grandma to make the stock market go up.
While some of the protests may have been astroturf, not all of them were. If you're a small-business owner facing the prospect of losing everything you've worked for and basically being told "you're on own" of course you will be angry. Likewise, if you're an employee and can't work from home, of course you will be stressed out about losing your job. This is the real "economic anxiety" and it is no laughing matter.
rob , November 15, 2020 at 7:36 am
for the real small business owners, and the individuals who can't work .
they ought to feel pissed
after all . a fraction of the trillions that are earmarked for wall street, could have "paid their bills"..at least for a year . and then the "citizens" would be getting something tangible for the debt being incurred in their name by the duopoly.
All the people realizing "someone" is getting bailed out and it isn't them
is this 2009 or 2020?
Bob Hertz , November 14, 2020 at 7:02 am
I was puzzled by the victory of Prop. 22 in California. This is a state which has huge Democratic majorities, and normally rubber-stamps all union-sponsored legislation.
Uber and Lyft threatened that if Prop. 22 did not pass, they would either stop operations or would lay off 75% of their temp workers.
(not unlike an employer threatening to move to China if their workers form a union.)
They also threatened that ride prices would at least double, and wait times would greatly increase.
The average voter may have put their own self-interest ahead of any class loyalty.
Final note: the gig workers did get a few benefits out of AB 5, things granted by Uber and Lyft to buy some goodwill.
Comments welcome! I do not live in CA so I am just guessing on this. It was an important vote.
lyman alpha blob , November 14, 2020 at 11:01 am
Prop 22 is going to be the most important result of the 2020 election, not Trump v Biden or control of either legislature.
I've been very puzzled by the result too as it passed handily and wasn't really close. I don't live near CA either, but I did read that among other misleading tactics, the Prop 22 proponents gave delivery bags to restaurants that use these gig delivery services so that the delivery drivers would be dropping off meals to people in Yes on 22 bags, which made it seem like prop 22 would be beneficial to gig workers if you didn't look into it much.
So on the one hand there was the intent to deceive. But then I think that if I heard about these dirty tricks 3,000 miles away, surely CA voters must have known about them too.
The depressing thing is that maybe a lot of people did know exactly what Prop 22 was all about and decided they liked the idea of a permanent underclass always only minutes away at the touch of a button to do the things they can't be bothered with for a pittance.
The fact that so many of the gig company execs worked first in the Obama administration and are now heading back to the Biden administration with dreams of scaling up prop 22 is a very ominous portent.
John Wright , November 14, 2020 at 2:53 pm
I voted NO on prop 22, but a mailer I received from the YES side may show why it passed.
It has text with "by 4-to-1, app-based drivers overwhelmingly prefer to work as independent contractors".
The pictures of smiling workers on the mailer are all minorities (Asian, Hispanic, Black).
I'd suggest a small percentage of CA voters actually use Uber/Lyft, so am inclined to believe voters did not vote to preserve their own self-interest.
The "YES" mailer lists 5 advantages for the drivers, "guaranteed hourly earnings for app-based drivers", "per mile compensation toward vehicle expenses", "medical and disability coverage for injuries and illnesses", "new health benefits for drivers who work 15+ hours a week", and "additional safety protections for app-based drivers"
The mailer lists groups supporting it, NAACP, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Consumer Choice Center, The Latin Business Association, Black Women Organized for Political Action, California Small Business Association, California Senior Advocates League.
I remember a prior YES on 22 mailer had support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving..
The "YES" group spent about 12x more than the No group (188 million vs 15million)
"Proposition 22 has become the most expensive measure in California history with over $204 million contributed to this single issue"
A side effect of this campaign is to show the value of political consultants/advertising to get something passed.
If Uber/Lyft eventually fail, as many dotcoms did years ago, Prop 22 may be a toxic legacy for them to pass on to other businesses.
To summarize, it is possible many of the voting public believed they were actually helping the pictured workers by voting "YES".
JBird4049 , November 14, 2020 at 8:47 pm
I saw a lot of pro Prop 22 advertising and nothing against it. The ads were all sleek, full of cheerful drivers with big smiles, and easily the best made ads of 2020. I knew that there was something bad about the proposition, but until just a few days before the election I couldn't tell you why. All my mental bandwidth was on the national elections and not on parsing the various state propositions like I normally would. This time it was all on something else.
If a poli-sci/poli-econ geek like me was having some problems with truly understanding this extremely effective, slickly made campaign of manufactured consent, what does that say about the many, often financially and/or socially overwhelmed, California voters who would be much like me? I think that the overlords had the perfect situation for getting the proposition passed.
James P. , November 14, 2020 at 7:14 am
"but the (GOP) party needs to reverse its positions on taxing the wealthiest, punishing and preventing the expansion of organized labor, reversing their position on outsourcing manufacturing, and addressing economic precarity"
And I need to become 6'4″, handsome, young and athletic.
edmondo , November 14, 2020 at 8:43 am
All they need to do is fake it. The Dems won't even bother to do that.
Who knows? AOC might be running against Chuck Schumer as a Republican in 10 years.
Carolinian , November 14, 2020 at 10:16 am
Indeed why would they reverse when the Dems agree with them on all of it. What the above article doesn't get is that the true ruling class response to precarity is simply to make sure voters have no options to address it. We are in a class war, not a battle between political parties. Any promises Biden made to the poor will blow away like smoke once in office. He is on the record saying that billionaires are swell folks.
Lambert linked an interesting article yesterday in Water Cooler that talked about cycles in history and the ingredients of high social unrest. The subject is historian Peter Turchin
He has been warning for a decade that a few key social and political trends portend an "age of discord," civil unrest and carnage worse than most Americans have experienced. In 2010, he predicted that the unrest would get serious around 2020, and that it wouldn't let up until those social and political trends reversed. Havoc at the level of the late 1960s and early '70s is the best-case scenario; all-out civil war is the worst.
The fundamental problems, he says, are a dark triad of social maladies: a bloated elite class, with too few elite jobs to go around; declining living standards among the general population; and a government that can't cover its financial positions.
Turchin is saying that social instability is not just the result of high inequality but also of a bloated ruling class that is itself insecure because there aren't enough PMC jobs for all those college graduates and their credentials. Thus in our case the political parties have come to be dominated by these middle class concerns with the poor almost entirely out of the picture and dismissed as racist deplorables who probably deserve their fate. As the article says this sociological theory of history is controversial but at least worth considering.
JBird4049 , November 14, 2020 at 9:01 pm
A good, broad, liberal arts degree, or something like it, can be useful in many kinds of jobs, if the jobs exist . Much of the high skilled, high paying jobs have all been shipped overseas, and the remaining good paying jobs increasingly are office jobs requiring not only a masters degree, but good social connections, and at least saying only goodthoughts to get and keep.
It use to be that there was plenty of diverse work. If you failed at getting tenure or that job at the bank, or the government position you wanted, there was plenty of good work requiring only some education, intelligence, and drive. Having the kind of degree and connections that someone in the modern PMC would merely be very useful, not a requirement for a good life. Bur now we have too many people having the exact education needed to get the few remaining good jobs in the few safe fields, and unlike fifty years, failure means destitution, not disappointment.
Amfortas the hippie , November 15, 2020 at 11:52 am
"We are in a class war, not a battle between political parties."
the number one confusion in american politics.
i'ma paint it on my tailgate.
JBird4049 , November 15, 2020 at 10:07 pm
And yet claiming that this class war exist, which is supposedly immiserating increasing numbers of Americans ever higher up the class chain, is all deplorably racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic I am reliable informed. /s
It is unsettling to see writers who I have been reading for years, even decades, start saying that it is racism or bigotry, and only that, which explains the Bad Man. One doesn't have to be a Marxist to make a connection with the increasing poverty and corruption under both parties over the past forty or fifty years with President Trump. Yet, many refuse to.
It does make me wonder what it is that I am blind to.
rob , November 16, 2020 at 8:30 am
the class war is a better way of seeing things.
all the symptoms and externalities the class war provides are the things the parties use as fodder issues for their respective bases but all the duopoly can provide is more of the same . "their way" their culture . their rules . their precedents their history..
this is how they seem to win they teach the children to think their" way".
Then what else will happen in the future
people continually adopting patterns that already exist.
They have created a culture . and we all know how people are treated by their neighbors who are "counter-culture"
It becomes a self reinforcing narrative, where the hive keeps the status quo because they want to .
We keep supporting systems that are there to control us rather than recreating systems that help .. like we are "supposed" to or something.
DJG , November 14, 2020 at 11:04 am
James P. Yep. That paragraph has some giant "ifs" in it that caught my eye as I was reading. The likelihood of Republicans sponsoring legislation to repeal "right to work" laws, which tend to be in Republican-dominated states, is almost nil. Further, a party that is opposed to any tax increases, no matter what need has to be addressed, isn't going to change course. Another "if" is relying on someone like the egregious Tom Cotton, as mentioned, for leadership about legislation.
I am sure, though, that you are already on your way to becoming a beefcake model and internet influencer.
zagonostra , November 14, 2020 at 7:56 am
It's going to take some time for this article to sink in. Words like precariat and precarity are fairly new concepts, at least for me and my automatic spell checker. What is the etymology of this word and what are it's conceptual dimensions. I know what precarious means and I can see how using it as an adjective works. But if it's going to be a key term I want to know more about it. Accordiing to a quick search, the etymology is:
1640s, a legal word, "held through the favor of another," from Latin precarius "depending on favor, pertaining to entreaty, obtained by asking or praying," from prex (genitive precis) "entreaty, prayer" (from PIE root *prek- "to ask, entreat").
The notion of "dependent on the will of another" led to the extended sense "risky, dangerous, hazardous, uncertain" (1680s), but this was objected to. "No word is more unskillfully used than this with its derivatives. It is used for uncertain in all its senses; but it only means uncertain, as dependent on others " [Johnson]. Related: Precariously; precariousness.
So what is striking in reading it's etymology is that it is defined as something "dependent, uncertain, risky, dangerous, hazardous." This characterizes many areas of life. With respect to contemporary life in the area of economics, I certainly see it all around me and in the news headlines, in the instability of good long-term paying jobs with benefits. In politics, I certainly see the risks, dangers, and hazards, especially in the highly militarized nature of foreign relations. But looking at the term from the perspective of a "social scientist" does it explain the antecedents that lead to this condition and is it operational in the sense of breaking it down into more rudimentary terms and relationships.
I am reading St. Thomas Aquinas' book "On Truth" and although the style of Questiones Disputatae , with its contra, sed contra, and style is archaic and hard to follow, it provides a good way of centering dialogue. In Question one of Article 1, the formal reply to the stated Article of "What is Truth?" states:
When investigating the nature of anything, one should make the same kind of analysis as he makes when he reduces a proposition to certain self-evident principles."
Since this term "precarity" is new to me, I don't think I have a good handle on how to use it outside of a descriptor. Does it explain anything? And maybe I'm just asking too much of the word. Maybe it's just meant as that, a simple characterization whose underlying causal relationships are to yet be determined and examined.
Anyhow, great article.
thoughtful person , November 15, 2020 at 1:34 pm
I've seen precariate be described as a combination of precarious proletariat.
While one could argue the position of the proletariat is always precarious, I do think the are times in history which are more precarious than others, and what we see now is certainly one (climate change impacts, opioid/alcoholism, covid19 pandemic, ever increasing inequality, globalization of manufacturing, health care for profit in the US, increasing cost of housing and education, no doubt many more)
Terry Flynn , November 14, 2020 at 8:36 am
Nice piece generally and which kinda validates a feeling I've had generally that "uncertainty is increasing" which is often bad for people in so many ways – uncertainty among the "entitled" can be highly damaging to polling (in addition to all the points raised in the article). The elephant in the room is of course interpreting polling results. For example 70% Democrat at a precinct/state/national level is consistent with an infinite number of explanations: at one end we have "strong means" (meaning these are "solid" votes) and at the other we have "very weak means but big variances" (meaning these votes are subject to all sorts of factors like news items, real or manufactured, etc). We can't "know" which universe we're in .Unless we conduct a secondary survey to give a "second line in the x-y plane" to see where it intersects the main one ..then we know whether the 70% is driven by means or variances or some combination.
The likelihood function for all "limited dependent variable models" – discrete choices like voting – has a term that is multiplicative in means and variances. Thus "70%" could mean any of a HUGE number of things. Those of us experienced in interpreting these data can rule out the "dumb" explanations .but we are still left with a number of "possible explanations". If we don't actively talk to voters, do a lot of qualitative research etc, then we can't begin to limit the number of "possible solutions" further. I have had little experience in applying the methods to polling so I rely a lot on sites like NC to give "insights from the ground". It is a pity polling institutions don't. YouGov were on the right track in 2017 but bottled it due to collecting data for their "second line" in a poor way. It's a pity – if they collected data in better way they'd be far and away the best polling organisation. Though the downright lies told by Trumpites that Lambert has highlighted remain a problem – I do have ideas how to address this but they go way beyond the scope of the site and like I've said before, I think pushing MMT etc is a better use of resources (even though it pains me personally not to have my own "hobby horse" championed, hehe).
But I personally think increased variances are a fact of life and reflect the article's point that uncertainty in life is hurting everyone.
Tom Pfotzer , November 14, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Uncertainty and fear are increasing because the kick-the-can strategies are starting to look really wobbly, and the fights for survival and hail-marys (like MMT) are being trotted out.
The velocity of change has increased, and the rate of adaptation appears to have somehow actually slowed down. Just exactly the wrong response at the wrong time.
One commenter above poked fun at the term "precarity" – said it was a $10 gimmick for the word "poor".
A while back Mark Twain said a "cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education".
Precarity is a college-educated middle class "information worker" who is "feeling poor".
The effects of automation and globalization are moving up the class ladder. The ship's sinking and the water's already flooded 3rd class berths (rust belt and flyover), and is about 1/3 of the way into the 2nd class cabins.
Scott1 , November 14, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Louis , November 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Agree or disagree with Andrew's Yang's proposal for a universal basic income, I think he is definitely on to something when he talks about the ramifications of automation and machine learning, though he isn't the first person to point it out.
Some people are simply not aware–it's not that they necessarily don't care, they simply just don't know–while others are in denial or don't care.
Regardless of where a given person falls, I do agree that with Yang and others that say dealing with this economic reshaping will be of the key challenges–if not the most important challenge–of our time.
rob , November 15, 2020 at 7:57 am
reshaping our monetary system is one of the biggest hurdles in reshaping our economic present.
Monetary reform efforts like the modern day "chicago plan" as was described in the bill proposed in congress in 2011/2012 112th congress HR 2990
open the door to creating money debt free, and permanently which could pay off the national debt, and fund policies like single payer health care and even "citizen dividends", that are really just ways to inject money into the economy, rather than starting the injection of money into the economy on wall street , like now..
Bob Hertz , November 14, 2020 at 9:19 am
This was a very perceptive observation ..
In sharp contrast, Trump may have appeared indifferent to the gravity of the coronavirus, but his persistent calls to reopen the economy addressed the precarity issue, as they appealed to many workers whose livelihoods were being destroyed by the pandemically induced government restrictions placed on economic activity.
The average worker up through October does not have Covid and may not know anyone of working age who does have Covid ..but they do have a job, and if the job must be done in-person they know they were vulnerable.
"Keeping the economy open" is more urgent to them than defeating Covid through lockdowns.
This is a big reason why Trump even kept this election close.
In America, the authorities who order lockdowns cannot simultaneously order financial relief. This created a tragic class divide on fighting the pandemic.
Carolinian , November 14, 2020 at 10:31 am
These days the members of the media tend to be dominated by the upper middle class who attended elite colleges and probably don't even understand the meaning of precarity. Therefore to them it seems perverse to object to lockdowns and elaborate precautions that the work from home set can more easily deal with. In the old days newspaper reporters rose through the ranks and came from small town newspapers and were more in touch with the general society rather than journalism schools.
Socal Rhino , November 14, 2020 at 10:18 am
I live in California and was surprised to learn here that Harris opposed prop 22. While the Pro campaign carpet bombed the airwaves with ads, I never saw any CA leaders raise a voice in opposition or attempt to explain why this would be bad for working people. Never saw any mention, other than in the state election booklet, that the prop introduced a huge supermajority needed to repeal it, making it effectively impossible to remove once passed. Didn't see any out of state money funding ads despite it being obvious that success in California would lead to adoption in other states.
lyman alpha blob , November 14, 2020 at 11:05 am
Well Harris does all support and oppose M4A depending on who shes talking to and when she's saying it, so there's that. I suspect any disagreements she may express over prop 22's passage are crocodile tears at best.
lyman alpha blob , November 14, 2020 at 11:06 am
Ugh – meant as a reply to social rhino above.
Socal Rhino , November 14, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Her and every other leader who takes positions on many issues but not on this one. Perhaps they saw polling and thought it best instead to add to the strategic underground reserves of dry powder.
Person , November 14, 2020 at 11:15 am
Great piece. One effect of spreading precarity–and I will use the term more loosely to encompass not only economic precarity, but also the increasing sense of pervasive dread and fear experienced by so many across all walks of life–is that living in this state increases one's susceptibility to both totalitarian ideologies and to drives for war against some perceived enemy. To me this explains the shadow of "law and order" hard nationalism coming from the far right, the more extreme variants of identity politics on the left, and the terrified push for censorship and "full lockdown" coming from the neoliberal center. Unfortunately the billionaire class and their pets in the media see all of this as a potential cash cow rather than a serious danger. Given their stranglehold on the national discourse and their control of the most effective means of mass organizing (social media), I'm not sure it is possible to reverse the trend early enough to prevent some kind of major conflict. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try!
Person , November 14, 2020 at 11:24 am
P.S. To avoid any confusion, when I disparagingly refer to "full lockdown" I mean an authoritarian lockdown without accompanying benefits for workers and with "papers please" checkpoints and penalties. The worst kind of lockdown, where people are both unable to support themselves and are actively prevented from doing so. In my opinion people who push for a hard lockdown before benefits/compensation can be arranged are unintentionally advocating for such a position; the compensation will never come.
Louis , November 14, 2020 at 6:17 pm
Heck, I've seen comments (generally not on this site) admiring what China did and lamenting the fact that it can't be done here in the United States.
I sure hope these are troll accounts and not real people in this country, especially not real people on the left. If these are real people, we are in more trouble than I thought.
A government with the power to literally weld people's door shut, which is what China did, can do a lot of other scary things.
witters , November 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm
Yes, like get on top of a virus (and achieve the highest level of economic growth in human history, and produce incredible poetry, and so on). And as I'm not 'in this country,' I believe I'm not 'real people.'
fwe'zy , November 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm
You mean like droning hellfire onto children?
Person , November 14, 2020 at 10:43 pm
I have seen the same thing and have had the same concerns. I do think there is more dishonest disruption/manipulation and trolling going on than we are aware of. It's at the point where I automatically assume that most social media accounts are not taking an honest position. I hope I'm right, because if I'm wrong then humanity is absolutely terrifying.
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 2:01 am
The corporate imperialism status quo isn't terrifying enough for you? Oil and gas seeping out through the land under and around "affordable housing" because CEQA doesn't count on those properties doesn't terrify you? Flint's water crisis doesn't terrify you?
The throngs of human beings thrown out onto the street by Upgrading slumlords and developers doesn't terrify you? Overlords talking with straight faces about excess and surplus humans and ramming Prop 22 through doesn't terrify you?
Person , November 15, 2020 at 10:26 am
There's a big difference between "humanity is OK, but the small slice that rules us is terrible" and "humanity is in deep shit because we're mostly terrible." The first implies a solution, the second what? Hope for a benevolent AI overlord to emerge?
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 10:31 am
Humanity is mostly terrible because people online are glad that China used authority to stop the spread of a deadly virus? Shaking my head!
Person , November 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm
Read my post again. I said that I automatically assume that most accounts posting terrible stuff are bots. There are accounts that say awful things about almost any and every topic imaginable. The number of them is so huge that if these are real people and not bots, then people may indeed be largely terrible. But I assume they are bots.
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 5:29 pm
Vista Hermosa residents like Luna are troubled by a 2019 environmental rollback by the state, AB1197, that exempts homeless housing developments in the City of Los Angeles from the mandates of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Arguably California's broadest environmental law, CEQA requires builders to assess the environmental impacts of new development and find ways to avoid or mitigate them.
The political will to rollback CEQA has continued into 2020. In January, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, who represents District 53 bordering Vista Hermosa, introduced a new piece of legislation, AB1907, to further expand CEQA exemptions to now include all affordable housing.
lobelia , November 14, 2020 at 11:41 am
I'm reminded of the excellent post by Anne Amnesia in May 2016, (yes, when Obama and Biden were still in office, and the White House was just a huge gleam in Kamala's way too sparkly eyes, given the massive poverty, incarceration and inequality in California, as she successfully ran for California Senator and will have not completed even one term) Unnecessariat https://morecrows.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/unnecessariat/
A very brief excerpt (it's long and meaty), emphasis mine:
In 2011, economist Guy Standing coined the term "precariat" to refer to workers whose jobs were insecure, underpaid, and mobile, who had to engage in substantial "work for labor" to remain employed, whose survival could, at any time, be compromised by employers (who, for instance held their visas) and who therefore could do nothing to improve their lot. The term found favor in the Occupy movement, and was colloquially expanded to include not just farmworkers, contract workers, "gig" workers, but also unpaid interns, adjunct faculty, etc. Looking back from 2016, one pertinent characteristic seems obvious: no matter how tenuous, the precariat had jobs. The new dying Americans, the ones killing themselves on purpose or with drugs, don't. Don't, won't, and know it.
Here's the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren't precarious, we're unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what's worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as "Young Gods" believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space or acquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don't worry, the recession's over and everything's better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!
The Rent-Seeking Is Too Damn High
If there's no economic plan for the Unnecessariat, there's certainly an abundance for plans to extract value from them. No-one has the option to just make their own way and be left alone at it. It used to be that people were uninsured and if they got seriously sick they'd declare bankruptcy and lose the farm, but now they have a (mandatory) $1k/month plan with a $5k deductible: they'll still declare bankruptcy and lose the farm if they get sick, but in the meantime they pay a shit-ton to the shareholders of United Healthcare, or Aetna, or whoever. This, like shifting the chronically jobless from "unemployed" to "disabled" is seen as a major improvement in status, at least on television.
fwe'zy , November 14, 2020 at 10:23 pm
They're busy transhuman-ing so of course they see these people on the street as excess meat.
View from California , November 14, 2020 at 12:24 pm
I was surprised Prop 22 passed because it was not doing well in the polls for most of the pre-election period. It seemed Californians were solidly against it. Then, perhaps 4-6 weeks before the election, I noticed a dramatic change in messaging. Suddenly the ads were touting that if Prop 22 passed, Uber and Lyft drivers would receive health care benefits. I assumed that this was deceptive messaging designed to turn the vote around. Here is what Kaiser Health News says about the benefits: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201029/App-based-companies-pushing-Prop-22-say-drivers-will-get-health-benefits-Will-they.aspx Looks like it worked. I guess there's no penalty for this sort of deception, or at least, no enforcement of a penalty.
tegnost , November 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Tell me lies .
Bobby Gladd , November 14, 2020 at 12:40 pm
So, I have CSPAN on at the moment. They're streaming the DC #MillionMAGAMarch #StopTheSteal SuperSpreader rally.
The over-the-top vitriol is rather breathtaking. The angry ignorance is depressing. They're "not gonna allow the Steal." They're gonna "be warriors." "Trump WON! Trump WON! Trump WON! Trump WON! "
The Occam's Chainsaw "logic" is on full display.
Meanwhile, yesterday's new U.S. Covid19 case count was more than 184k, 1.6m for Nov 1-13.
Carolinian , November 14, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Says here 58k which is quite a bit below US daily new cases over last couple of weeks.
Bobby Gladd , November 14, 2020 at 1:02 pm
I get my data from Hopkins.
Bobby Gladd , November 14, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Carolinian , November 14, 2020 at 1:35 pm
And what was Hopkins' number for the day previous (which may be the case with Worldometer)? One day is only a snapshot.
Bobby Gladd , November 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm
"One day is only a snapshot"
No argument there. I started an Excel sheet, w/ transcribed JHU data commencing Oct 1st (thru yesterday). The exponential upward trendline in the graph has an R-sq of 0.91. (an iterative 7-day moving avg is also illuminating.)
Of course, it'll go up until it no longer does. And, "new cases" incidence rates comprise but one facet of interest.
Stay safe and well.
Person , November 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm
If you're struggling but aren't sick (yet), economic concerns win out. No big surprise there. 70 million people are fighting a return to austerity and a technocratic "Great Reset" that was devised without their input. They see it as literally fighting for their lives and livelihoods. The new admin can ignore this at their own peril. (Too bad Trump didn't actually solve any of their problems, but at least he gave them his attention, more than anyone else has done in decades.)
Louis , November 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm
Many people have to choose between the certainty of being unable to pay their bills, if they stay home, versus the unknown risk of contracting COVID if they work.
Staying home is luxury a lot of people just don't have–even pre-COVID it was very common for people in low-wage jobs that don't provide sick-leave to show up to work sick. It wasn't because these people are evil or wanted to get anyone sick but rather because if you don't work you don't get paid.
Person , November 14, 2020 at 5:27 pm
Precisely. The rent isn't going to pay itself, and people are scared about their future. Covid isn't an obvious terror like Ebola, so people weigh the risks and decide in favor of their economic security. If we were like some of the more advanced countries in the world, they wouldn't have to make this choice, but here we are.
fwe'zy , November 14, 2020 at 10:25 pm
+ to "more advanced countries"
jonhoops , November 14, 2020 at 9:16 pm
"at least he gave them his attention, more than anyone else has done in decades."
Hmmm last time I looked Bernie Sanders was paying attention and proposing solutions since at least 2015. Nice how you just erased him and the millions who voted for him.
Person , November 14, 2020 at 10:39 pm
You're right. Trump is the only primary-winning candidate who paid attention to the working class in recent memory. Bernie was obviously a million times better than Trump because he was sincere, he had a plan, and he would have followed through. But he got screwed.
David , November 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm
I'm becoming a bit weary of reading that politicians like Trump are "exploiting anxieties" about poverty and unemployment, as though such anxieties were unreasonable and the problems didn't really exist. The trouble is that "responding to voters' concerns about their lives" doesn't have quite the same dismissive overtones. The supercilious assumption that people who are afraid of losing their jobs are being "exploited", whereas people being urged to vote on gender lines aren't, seems very strange. Is anyone really surprised that people are more worried about how much money they have than about which gender they are?
Person , November 14, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Understand people's problems, devise reasonable solutions, communicate your plan to the voters, and follow through on your promises. It sounds so easy, doesn't it but good luck trying it with the media and parties working together against you at every turn. Pull up those bootstraps!
Scott1 , November 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Thanks. We are going to find out how the velocity of the vote is slower than the velocity of hunger.
"Civilization is about 3 meals thick." John Brockman, ex-con.
We are not together and the people in power don't want to give the people without, food money. Two more and 3 more months of disease as hunger and death knock at more and more doors. Evictions pick up apace.
Cormac McCarthy dystopia. No country for anybody.
The economic theory attributed to Warren Mosler and popularized by Stephanie Kelton is the last idea. If it is a Hail Mary then so be it. If it doesn't work, isn't put to work, mankind itself is doomed.
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 2:08 am
Isn't it shocking that we're even saying these words in a time of hyperabundance?!
Louis , November 14, 2020 at 5:06 pm
Public health care authorities understandably directed their policy responses toward pandemic mitigation, and the Democrats largely embraced their recommendations. But they remained insensitive to the anxieties of tens of millions of Americans, whose jobs were being destroyed for good, whose household debts -- rent, mortgage, and utility arrears, as well as interest on education and car loans -- were rising inexorably, even allowing for the temporary expedient of stimulus checks from the government until this past August
I agree and worse this dynamic is playing itself out again–talk about whether President-elect Biden should institute a lockdown is bringing out the "lockdown now, worry about the consequences later" mentality again.
While I'm not sure Biden personally regards the millions of those who cannot work from home, but aren't considered essential, collateral damage, there are clearly a segment of Democrats who do–I've even seen it on Facebook among people I know. It provides further proof that the Democrats, as Thomas Frank and others have astutely noted, have become predominantly the party of the college-educated upper-middle class.
While I'm not denying the severity of the pandemic, the consequences of business shutdowns and subsequent layoffs are very real and not something to be laughed at or minimized, especially if Democrats want to have a future among those who are less affluent.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 15, 2020 at 4:55 am
The globalists found just the economics they were looking for.
The USP of neoclassical economics – It concentrates wealth.
Let's use it for globalisation.
Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"
This is what it's supposed to be like.
A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt.
Most of today's problems come from the 1920s.
Financial stability had been locked into the regulations of the Keynesian era.
The neoliberals removed them and the financial crises came back.
"This Time is Different" by Reinhart and Rogoff has a graph showing the same thing (Figure 13.1 – The proportion of countries with banking crises, 1900-2008).
After the 1930s, they wanted to ensure those times would never return and put things in place to ensure they didn't.
The neoliberals have been busy stripping them away.
What did the economists learn in the 1940s?
In the paper from 1943 you can see ..
They knew Government debt and deficits weren't a problem as they had seen the massive Government debt and deficits of WW2.
They knew full employment was feasible as they had seen it in WW2.
After WW2 Governments aimed to create full employment as policymakers knew it could be done and actually maximised wealth creation in the economy.
Balancing the budget was just something they used to do before WW2, but it wasn't actually necessary.
Government debt and deficits weren't a problem.
They could now solve all those problems they had seen in the 1930s, which caused politics to swing to the extremes and populist leaders to rise.
They could eliminate unemployment and create a full employment economy.
They could put welfare states in place to ensure the economic hardship of the 1930s would never be seen again.
They didn't have to use austerity; they could fight recessions with fiscal stimulus.
The neoliberals started to remove the things that had created stable Western societies after WW2.
fwe'zy , November 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm
I learn a ton from your posts, thank you.
Amateur Socialist , November 15, 2020 at 8:07 am
"If I thought voters were racists who want basic economic security and the other party was offering them racism but not economic security, I would simply try offering economic security but not racism rather than offering them neither." -Ed Burmilla https://twitter.com/edburmila/status/1324420903409692673
Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 3:49 am
We stepped onto an old path that still leads to the same place.
1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase
1929/2008 – Wall Street crash
1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism
1940s – World war.
We forgot we had been down that path before.
Right wing populist leaders are only to be expected at this stage.
Why is Western liberalism always such a disaster?
They did try and learn from past mistakes to create a new liberalism (neoliberalism), but the Mont Pelerin Society went round in a circle and got back to pretty much where they started.
It equates making money with creating wealth and people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.
You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.
It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.
Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.
What they are doing is really an illusion; they are just pulling future spending power into today.
The 1920s roared at the expense of an impoverished 1930s.
Japan roared on the money creation of real estate lending in the 1980s, they spent the next 30 years repaying the debt they had built up in the 1980s and the economy flat-lined.
Bankers use bank credit to pump up asset prices, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
The money creation of bank credit flows into the economy making it boom, but you are heading towards a financial crisis and claims on future prosperity are building up in the financial system.
Early success comes at the expense of an impoverished future.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 5:23 am
Let's get the basics sorted.
When no one knows what real wealth creation is, you are in trouble.
We want economic success
Step one – Identify where wealth creation occurs in the economy.
Houston, we have a problem.
Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.
This is the problem.
Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to.
The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.
They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith:
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."
There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.
They had to earn money to live.
Ricardo was an expert on the small state, unregulated capitalism he observed in the world around him. He was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.
"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist.
They soon identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income.
This disappeared in neoclassical economics.
GDP was invented after they used neoclassical economics last time.
In the 1920s, the economy roared, the stock market soared and nearly everyone had been making lots of money.
In the 1930s, they were wondering what the hell had just happened as everything had appeared to be going so well in the 1920s and then it all just fell apart.
They needed a better measure to see what was really going on in the economy and came up with GDP.
In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.
The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.
Real wealth creation involves real work producing new goods and services in the economy.
So all that transferring existing financial assets around doesn't create wealth?
No it doesn't, and now you are ready to start thinking about what is really going on there.
Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.
Hide what real wealth creation is, and pretend it's making money, and this problem goes away.
techpioneer , November 16, 2020 at 7:25 pm
The party of the New Deal can't muster a repeat performance.
Hoping that the party of "big business" will transform itself into the party of the working class.
Nov 13, 2020 | www.unz.com
Curmudgeon , says: Next New Comment November 10, 2020 at 7:47 pm GMT • 2.5 days ago@shylockcracy Solmeimani, he hasn't started any shooting wars. Sanctions are undeclared wars, and Trump's sanctions help US corporations, most of which are globalist anyway. Same shit different pile.
The last US Presidents who were mildly anti-Zionist were turfed out of office and assassinated. All of the branches of the USG are (((occupied territory))) and have been for decades, as was noted by George Wallace in the 1960s.
Trump's redeeming qualities are few and far between, but getting out of "free trade" deals and reduced immigration, whether legal or illegal, are a big finger in the eye of the globalists. Other than that, it appears as if he is the only one serious about cleaning up vote fraud. If the Demicans are caught out, they will shut down the Republocrats fixing in retaliation, until a new scam is figured out.
Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kooshy , Nov 1 2020 20:46 utc | 31
Like the petrodollars, WTO better known as globalization, was formed in 1995 after the fall of Eastern blocks ,to dominate and control the world trade in US fiat currency specially when China with her cheap skilled labor was to become major world manufacturers of goods. Basically like oil America agreed not to impose tariff on goods they consumed if you trade and exported on their fiat currency which costed US nothing to produce. Obviously unlike oil trade this globalization of trade in US dollar could not work, since unlike oil trade America couldn't politically dominated and control the good manufacturing countries, like it could, with small oil producing countries. The period of free trade in goods and energy is coming to an end, therefore US needs to lower her standards of living, or to go to major wars with other resources hungry powers to continue colonizing the third world resources and labor. Either way the end result will be the sam as for, not so Great Britain, ottomans, Spanish, Persian empires, the only obvious difference shorter empire.
Jul 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jul 24 2020 21:09 utc | 46
The American Revolution was a catastrophe for its economy, which had to endure decades of reconstruction. In order to neutralize the threat of the British Empire, it stroke multiple trade deals with it.
The USA is home to the father of protectionism: Alexander Hamilton. He stated that a national industry in its infancy should be protected from its more mature competition. The USA followed his advice and protected its nascent industry from the British threat.
When the British Empire begun to degenerate, the Americans used the cheap British capital in excess in the financial markets to build up their infrastructure, specially their railways. Australia did the same.
The Founding Fathers did what they had to do in order to protect their country and make it flourish. When the ideology of the time stated they shouldn't, they invented a new ideology that stated they should. And the could: when the British and French tried to destroy the USA through a sea embargo, they responded in kind (Embargo Act of 1807) and prevailed; they did not cave in to the then imperial powers.
So, I don't understand why so many Americans are offended with China. The capitalist world tried to keep China poor and as a raw material exporter, sweatshop conglomeration. China didn't accept this, and decided to fight back. The result is here for all of us to see.
Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:58 amMOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:59 am
Fat bully boy speaks for Bully Boy state:
"Today the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2. This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. It's a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia's malign influence projects and will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences".
Pompeo speaking at a press conference today.
CAATSA -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
So Russia and Turkey are "adversaries" of the USA?
In what way?
Do these states wish to wage war against the USA?
Is it adversarial to United States interest to compete economically with the hegemon?MARK CHAPMAN July 15, 2020 at 3:51 pm
Link to above:
Who cares? Really, is Pompeo still scary? If he has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products which might be withheld on a whim when America wants political concessions. 'Will not be tolerated' – what a pompous ass. Sanction away. The consequence is well-known to be seizure of assets held in the United States or an inability to do business in the United States. That will frighten some into submission – like the UK, which was threatened with the cessation of intelligence-sharing with the USA (sure you can spare it?) if it did not drop Huawei from its 5G networks. But others will take prudent steps to limit their exposure to such threats, in the certain knowledge that if they work, they will encourage the USA to use the technique again.
Jul 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Tod , Jul 13 2020 20:05 utc | 18
The good news is that the unstoppable juggernaut of globalization has fallen to it's knees. Countries and societies around the world will have to look at ways they came become independent and self sufficient,at least to some degree. It's like "War of the Worlds" really, the best effort of humanity to contain the plague fails, but a random natural occurrence saves humanity from the brink of destruction. Hopefully some real scientists will be allowed to mitigate the medical disaster, but one thing is for sure, the grand plan of turning everyone into a nomad competing for pennies on the international market, for the sole benefit of the richest among the rich, is dead. Some really hard times are coming for the international nomads/ parasites, and hopefully humanity will move to some more beneficial culture, and have a real chance to survive as a species, in the long term.
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jeff Stryker , says: June 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm GMT@Rev. Spooner bout the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or community. Those are a joke to people whose money is made transnational.
The lumpens who have never traveled out of their state have no concept of geographic dimensions. They have never even left home. They think everyone is as patriotic as them and will fight and die for their country and their community.
I assure none of the elite care a whit. Penthouses look the same from Manhattan to Tokyo.
Ask the Boers in South Africa or Polish in Detroit who did not "sniff the wind" in time.
The guy who has a gun loaded in his pocket as an insurance policy has a plan and it does not end well for the person who hit him.
The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.
Jun 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
In the 1960s, the US had a balanced economy that produced goods for both businesses and households, at all levels of technology, with a fairly small (and tightly regulated) financial sector. It produced largely for itself, importing mainly commodities.
Today, the US produces for the world, mainly advanced investment goods and services, in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, arms, oilfield services, and finance. And it imports far more consumer goods, such as clothing, electronics, cars, and car parts, than it did a half-century ago.
And whereas cars, televisions, and household appliances drove US consumer demand in the 1960s, a much larger share of domestic spending today goes (or went) to restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, gyms, salons, coffee shops, and tattoo parlors, as well as college tuition and doctor's visits. Tens of millions of Americans work in these sectors.
Finally, American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000, and spending increases since 2010 were powered by rising personal and corporate debts. House values are now stagnant at best, and will likely fall in the months ahead.
Mainstream economics pays little attention to such structural questions. Instead, it assumes that business investment responds mostly to the consumer, whose spending is dictated equally by income and desire. The distinction between "essential" and "superfluous" does not exist. Debt burdens are largely ignored.
But demand for many US-made capital goods now depends on global conditions. Orders for new aircraft will not recover while half of all existing planes are grounded. At current prices, the global oil industry is not drilling new wells. Even at home, though existing construction projects may be completed, plans for new office towers or retail outlets won't be launched soon. And as people commute less, cars will last longer, so demand for them (and gasoline) will suffer.
Faced with radical uncertainty, US consumers will save more and spend less. Even if the government replaces their lost incomes for a time, people know that stimulus is short term. What they do not know is when the next job offer – or layoff – will come along.
Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential.
Meanwhile, US household debts – rent, mortgage, and utility arrears, as well as interest on education and car loans – have continued to mount. True, stimulus checks have helped: defaults have so far been modest, and many landlords have been accommodating. But as people face long periods with lower incomes, they will continue to hoard funds to ensure that they can repay their fixed debts. As if all this were not enough, falling sales- and income-tax revenues are prompting US state and local governments to cut spending, compounding the loss of jobs and incomes.
America's economic plight is structural. It is not simply the consequence of Trump's incompetence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's poor political strategy. It reflects systemic changes over 50 years that have created an economy based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts. This economy was in many ways prosperous, and it provided jobs and incomes to many millions. Yet it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down.
"Reopen America" is therefore an economic and political fantasy. Incumbent politicians crave a cheery growth rebound, and the depth of the collapse makes possible some attractive short-term numbers. But taking them seriously will merely set the stage for a new round of disillusion. As nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality show, disillusion is America's one big growth sector right now.
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | linkHere is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT
Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won
The take away quote
" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.
Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."
As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense
May 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
H.Schmatz , May 12 2020 18:48 utc | 160Here is some theory from what I read/hear over there...No idea which side play the informants, but so as to make some sense due the last tendences at least in Europe and the moves y Trump and the "deep state"
According to Daniel Estulin ( and not sure whether I take him right, due his Spanish )there is a current fight amongst the liberal financial banking elites and the old European aristocratic elites and old ( very old )money, being the later those who lost the last WWII by betting it all on fascism ( overtly or covertly ), and who try to redesign the world by undoing current nation-states to then try to rebuilt and recover former European empires, like Austro-Hungarian one ( in fact, there have been already moves these past days, even during the pamdemic lockdown, amongst the Visegrads in this sense, on the part of Hungary and Romania...), the IV Reich, and so on...
Trump would be, what he calls "international black", not an accident rised to power y the deplorables, but a well planned move by those elites behind supporting him, who think the world has become unmanageable under liberal democracy. These, what they seek, is a middle-ageization of the world, with a hierarchical order kept tight through authoritarian rule where, after the galloping advance of the 6th technological paradygm, about 90% of known jobs will be lost, without time for the population to reconvert into something useful. To justify that and advance it without intercourse of a decade or so, plus without facing any resistance at all, the virus came, one would say, like fallen from the sky...
In the middle, are us all, the working class, the peasants, and the middle class ( upper, middle, and low ) who never left being working class, eventhough the brainsucking by loans, hollywood, hyperconsum through big malls cheap fashion clothes, a bit of travelling, and TV. All disposable people....as got demonstrated during the "live exercise"....All jobs related to services, tourism, clothing, cosmetics, will be lost if not those related to the luxury sector, feed by the elites.
What is left for us is what got well illustrated in the hunger games, some will run to aspire to get some crumbs, but at such price...
Of course, some amongst us, as always, are already positioning themselves as the new brown shirts, online... and on terrain....
What all those calls for denouncing your breaking lockdown neighbor, or even the one not clapping down at 8pm ( like authomats every day, during two months! )do you think were for?
Apr 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
which do not care about that cosmological romantic lyrical notion of America.
Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 8:38 pm GMTIt is undeniable that China has made impressive achievements since the Maosits revolution to date. BUT lets be realistic pre1973 China still a Nation with markedly 3th world living standards, even today with a soft racist inuendos , people speak about the Chinese must adopt better hygiene standards personally and privately.
Before 1973 China had mainly 3th world status, eversince Nixon (or Kissinger?) opened China US Corporate Capitalists inundated Chinas economic landscape, in other words the real, KEY bases for Chinas economic success remain USA Corporations majority perhaps more than 70% of their industrial output, although China has wisely constraint, restrain the USA/World FINANCIAL cartels..(Soros speclation against te yuan, ans Soros Opensociety inflkuence in HongKong)
Can China remain stable internally with a growing well travel educated savvy middle class, and a POOR lower working class with meager salaries, slave like labor conditions, and oppressive political controls, that's a recipe for a social cauldron..
Will the Chinese proletariat demand more "democracy" western/eastern oriented reforms??..
... ... ...
China has become GREAT because the USA decided to become poor a Spartan, byzantinne, militaristic, mercenary rogue nation at service of the Globaloists ELITES which do not care about that cosmological romantic lyrical notion of America.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Mefobills , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm GMT@anon Lets add to the bigger picture. With regards to Israel: Exceptions don't make the rule.
The forces that off-shored the jobs, to then make wage arbitrage and become masters of the universe, are the very same ones that are now demonizing China.
They are "international" in outlook, and the only national country that matters to them is Israel.
In general, it is a "class" of people -sometimes called "Davos Man" who goes by other names, such as globo-homo, ZOG (zionist world government), Ne0-Con, Neo-Liberal.
Globo-Homo couldn't resist the wage arbitrage that China represented after the Berlin Wall fell in 1990. Clinton gave China effective MFN status in 1993. Wall Street begins Green Mail Coercion Techniques against American industry to then off-shore jobs.
China also runs a simultaneous gambit against the U.S. by buying up TBills instead of goods from U.S. main-street. This then insures that U.S. dollar is propped up against the Yuan e.g. currency manipulation. The China/Wall Street Gambit is in full swing, and globo-homo is happy.
Globo-Homo doesn't care about the destruction of American Mainstreet, because only prices matter, and they are getting rich. China becomes the workshop for the world.
There are still elements within Globo-Homo that like their easy money derived from ownership of transplanted industry.
If you look at today's propaganda emission center for China psy-ops you will see that it is another mouthpiece and organ of the "international." They are festooned with neo-liberals and ne0-cons.
Why the sudden shift, where China is the golden goose, to becoming the enemy?
Summary: There are two main enemies against American Mainstreet Labor. There is the internal and international enemy of globo homo centered in Wall Street and London, and there are elements within China that used Mercantile techniques to continue imbalanced trade and theft of American patrimony and industry.
Globo homo has new marching orders, as they have belatedly realized that they got played. The jig is up, you cannot operate the usury mechanism, do speculation, and RIG THE WORLD, forever.
The U.S. military security state has communicated clearly, they don't like their "international" supply chains and loss of U.S. domestic manufacturing. Globo Homo has long used the US. military as a Golem which protected movement of ships from China's east coast.
Atlantacist Method: Raw materials come into China by Ship, and finished Goods leave by ship. Globo Homo ownership class takes the increment of production and wage arbitrage as gains. Wall Street/London is a hero, main street is a zero.
Apr 20, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org
1955 book about 1929 crash. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Crash,_1929
The tectonic shifts and the trajectory of both countries (China and the USA) after this epidemics end is unpredictable. "Chimerica" type of globalization was in decline before the epidemic (Huawai, etc) and Trump badly wants decoupling from China. Somebody needs to pay for those changes. It might well be us. So it is quite probable that those techno Nouveau riche like us might be soon royally fleeced one way or another.
It might be prudent to have at least 300K in three bank accounts (in the USA only the first 100K are ensured) at 1% or less. Buying TIPs directly from Treasury is another option. I hope your house is already fully paid.
BTW Marina can get half of your Social Security pension if her own is too small.
Apr 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Joaquin Flores via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the twin processes of globalization and planned obsolescence are deficient and moribund. Globalization was predicated on a number of assumptions including the perpetuity of consumerism, and the withering away of national boundaries as transnational corporations so required.
What we see instead is not a globalization process, but instead a process of rising multipolarity and a rethinking of consumerism itself.
Normally a total market crash and unemployment crisis would usher in a period of militant labor activity, strikes, walk-outs and community-labor campaigns. We've seen some of this already . But the 'medical state of emergency' we are in, has effectively worked like a 'lock-out' . The elites have effectively flipped-the-script. Instead of workers now demanding a restoration of wages, hours, and work-place rights, they are clamoring for any chance to work at all, under any conditions handed down. Elites can 'afford' to do this because they've been given trillions of dollars to do so. See how that works?
All our lives we've been misinformed over what a growing economy means, what it looks like, how we identify it. All our lives we've been lied to about what technical improvement literally means.
A growing economy in fact means that all goods and services become less expensive. That cuts against inflation. Rather all prices should be deflating – less money ought to buy the same (or the same money ought to buy more). Technical innovation means that goods should last longer, not be planned for obsolescence with shorter lifespans.
Unemployment is good if it parallels price deflation. If both reached a zero-point, the problems we believe we have would be solved.
In a revealing April 2nd article that featured on the BBC's website, Will coronavirus reverse globalisation? it is proposed that the pandemic exposes the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a global supply-chain and manufacturing system, and that this in combination with the over-arching US-China trade war would see a general tendency towards 're-shoring' of activities. These are fair points.
But the article misses the point of the underlying problem facing economics in general: the declining rate of profit necessitated by automation, with the increasingly irrational policies, in all spheres, being pursued to salvage the ultimately unsalvageable.The Karmic Wheel of Production-Consumption
The shut-downs – which seem unnecessary in the numerous widely esteemed experts in virology and epidemiology – appear to be aimed at stopping the production-consumption cycle. When we look at the wanton creation of new 'money', to bailout the banks, we are told that this will not cause inflation/debasement so long as the velocity of money is kept to a minimum. In other words – so long as there is not a chain reaction of transactions, and the money 'stays still' – this won't cause inflation. It's a specious claim, but one which justifies the quarantine/lock-down policy which today destroys thousands of small businesses every day. In the U.S. alone, unemployment claims will pass 30 million by mid April .
Likewise, this money appears real, it sits digitally as new liquidity on the computer screens of tran-Atlantic banks – but it cannot be spent, or it tanks the system with hyper-inflation. More to the point, the BBC piece erroneously continues to assume the necessity of the production-consumption cycle, spinning wheat into gold forever.
The elites were not wrong to shut-down the cycle per se. The problem is that they cannot offer the correct hardware in its place – for it puts an end to the very way that they make money. It is this, which in turn is a major source for the maintenance of their dopamine equilibrium and narcissist supply.
This is not an economic problem faced by 'the 1%' (the 0.03%) . It is an existential crisis facing the meaning of their lives, where satisfaction can only be found in ever greater levels of wealth and control, real or imagined – chasing that dragon, in search of that ever-elusive high.
So naturally, their solutions are population reduction and other such quasi-genocidal neo-Malthusian plans. Destruction of humanity – the number one productive-potential force – resets the hands of time, back to a period where profit levels were higher. The algorithmically favored coronavirus Instagram campaign of seeing city centers without people and declaring these 'beautiful' and 'peaceful' is an example of this misanthropic principle at play.
That the elites have chosen to shut-down the western economy is telling of an historic point we have reached. And while we are told that production and consumption will return somewhat 'after quarantine', we also hear from the newly-emerged unelected tsars – Bill Gates et al – that things will never return to normal .
What we need to end is the entire theory and practice of globalization itself, including UN Agenda 21 and the dangerous role of 'book-talking' philanthropists like Gates and his grossly unbalanced degree of power over policy formation in the Western sphere.
In place of waning globalization, we are seeing the reality of rising multipolarity and inter-nationalism. With this, the end of the production-consumption cycle, based upon off-shore production and international assembly, and at the root of it all: planned obsolescence towards long-term profitability.The Problem of Globalization Theory
Without a doubt, globalization theory satisfied aspects of descriptive power. But as time marched forward, its predictive power weakened. Alternate theories began to emerge – chief among these, multipolarity theory.
The promotion of globalization theory also raises ethical problems. Like a criminologist 'describing' a crime-wave while being invested in new prison construction, globalization theory was as much theory as it was a policy forced upon the world by the same institutions behind its popularization in academia and in policy formation. Therefore we should not be surprised with the rise of solutions like those of Gates. These involve patentable 'vaccines' by for-profit firms at the expense of buttressing natural human immunities, or using drugs which other countries are using with effectiveness.
The truth? Globalization is really just a rebrand of the Washington Consensus – neo-liberal think-tanks and the presumed eternal dominance of institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which in turn are thinly disguised conglomerates of the largest trans-Atlantic banking institutions.
So while globalization was often given a humanist veneer that promised global development, modernization, the end of 'nation-states' which presumably are the source of war; in reality globalization was premised on continuing and increasing concentration of capital towards the 19th century zones – New York, London, Berlin, and Paris.
'Internationalism' was once rooted in the existence of nations which in turn are only possible with the existence of culture and peoples, but was hi-jacked by the trans-Atlanticist project. Before long, the new-left 'internationalists' became champions of the very same process of imperialism that their forbearers had vehemently opposed. Call it 'globalization' and show how it's destroying 'toxic nationalism' and creating 'microfinance solutions for women and girls' – trot out Malala – and it was bought; hook, line and sinker.
This was not the new era of 'globalization', but rather the usual suspects going back to the 19th century; a 'feel-good' rebranding of the very same 19th century imperialism as described in J.A Hobson's seminal work from 1902, Imperialism. Its touted 'inevitability' rested not on the impossibility of alternate models, but on the authority that flows forth from gunboat diplomacy. But sea power has given way to land power.
In many ways it aligned with the era of de-colonialization and post-colonialism. New nations could wave their own flags and make their own laws, so long as the traditionally imperialist western banking institutions controlled the money supply.
But what is emerging is not Washington Consensus 'globalization', but a multipolar model based in civilizational sovereignty and difference, building products to last – for their usefulness and not their repeatable retail potential. This cuts against the claims that global homogenization in all spheres (moral, cultural, economic, political, etc.) was inevitable, as a consequence of mercantile specialization.
Therefore, inter-nationalism hyphenated as such, reminds us that nations – civilizations, sovereignty, and their differences – make us stronger as a human species. Like against viruses, some have stronger natural immunity than others. If people were identical, one virus could wipe-out all of humanity.
Likewise, an overly-integrated global economy leads to global melt-down and depression when one node collapses. Rather than independent pillars that could aid each other, the interdependence is its greatest weakness.Multipolarity is Reality
This new reality – multipolarity – involves processes which aspects of globalization theory also suggest and predict for, so there are some honest reasons why experts could misdiagnose multipolarity as globalization. Overlooked was that the concentration of capital nodes in various and globally diverse regions by continent, were not exclusively trans-Atlantic regions as in the standard globalization model of Alpha ++ or Alpha+ cities. This capital concentration along continental lines was occurring alongside regional economic development and rising living standards which tended to promote the efficiency of local transportation as opposed to ocean-travel in the production process. As regional nodes by continent had increasingly diversified their own domestic production, a general tendency for transportation costs to increase as individual per capita usage increased, worked against the viability of an over-reliance on global transit lines.
But among many problems in globalization theory was that the US would always be the primary consumer of the world's goods, and with it, the trans-Atlantic financial sector. It was also contingent on the idea that mercantilist conceptions of specialization (by nation or by region) would always trump autarkic models and ISI (income substitution industrialization). Again, if middle-class consumer bases are rising in all the world's inhabited continents as multipolarity explains and predicts, then a global production regimen rationalized towards a trans-Atlantic consumer base as globalization theory predicts isn't quite as apt.
Because the present system is premised on a production-consumption and financial model, the solutions to crises are presented as population reduction and what even appears, at least in the case of Europe, as population replacement. As cliché as this may seem, this also appeared to be the policy of the Third Reich when capitalism faced its last major crises culminating in WWII.Breaking the Wheel
The shutdown reveals the karmic wheel of production-consumption is in truth already broken. We have already passed the zenith point of what the old paradigm had to offer, and it has long since entered into a period of decay, economic and moral destruction.
Like the Christ who brings forth a new covenant or the Buddha who emerges to break the wheel of karma, the new world to be built on the ruins of modernity is a world that liberates the productive forces, realizing their full potential, and with it the liberation of man from the machine of the production-consumption cycle.
Planned obsolescence and consumerism (marketing) are the twin evils that have worked towards the simultaneous time-wasting enslavement of 'living to work' , and have built globalization based on global assembly and global mono-culture.
What is important for people and their quality of life is the time to live life, not be stuck in the grind. We hear politicians and economists talking about 'everyone having a job', as if what people want is to be away from their families, friends, passions, or hobbies. What's more – people cannot invent, innovate, or address the greater questions of life and death – if their nose is to the grindstone.
Now that we are living under an overt system of control, a 'medical state of emergency' with a frozen economy, we can see that another world is possible. The truth is that most things which are produced are intentionally made to break at a specific time, so that a re-purchase is predictable and profits are guaranteed. This compels global supply chains and justifies artificially induced crashes aimed at upward redistribution and mass expropriations.
Instead of allowing Bill Gates to tour the world to tout a police-state cum population reduction scheme right after a global virus pandemic struck, one which many believe he owns the patent for , we can instead address the issues of multipolarity, civilizational sovereignty, and ending planned obsolescence and the global supply chain, as well as the off-shoring it necessitates – which the BBC rightly notes, is in question anyhow.
Apr 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
A policy that US allies in Europe have recently slammed as 'piracy' is set to continue, as Washington unabashedly and unapologetically continues blocking shipments from US soil of personal protective equipment (PPE) -- such as gowns, gloves, and N95 face masks -- which hospitals and health workers desperately need in the fight against COVID-19.
The Hill reports that "The federal government will begin seizing exports of personal protective equipment, or PPE, until it decides if the tools should be kept in the country to fight the coronavirus."
The announcement was made Wednesday by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), formalizing an existing controversial practice under Defense Production Act (DPA) which has recently blocked millions of masks from being exported from Minnesota-based 3M to Canada. US customs will block all respirators, surgical masks and surgical gloves from going abroad.Image source: Reuters
Canadian leaders blasted the move as putting lives in danger, while Germany and France described the US policy, which has seen recent interventions against shipments from China bound for Europe, as 'piracy'.
"FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas," a joint statement indicated.
"Today's order is another step in our ongoing fight to prevent hoarding, price gouging, and profiteering by preventing the harmful export of critically needed PPE," the White House also said in a statement. "It will help ensure that needed PPE is kept in our country and gets to where it is needed to defeat the virus."
It appears Trump's 'America First' policy in action at a crucial time of crisis , as the US is the global epicenter for COVID-19, now with over 430,000 confirmed cases - most in New York state - which has witnessed hospitals running desperately low on supplies, including ventilators.
However, foreign governments have of late essentially warned 'what goes around comes around' . Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel at the start of the week stated bluntly of Washington's brazen policy that it constitutes a Wild West tactic - essentially warning Europe can play dirty too.
Apr 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comJapan has allocated $2.2 billion (US) of its $993 billion emergency stimulus package to help manufacturers relocate production out of China amid the COVID-19 pandemic which began in the communist nation. According to SCMP , $2 billion (US) will be set aside for companies shifting production back to Japan , while roughly $223.5 million will be spent on helping companies move production to other countries, according to SCMP .
Under normal circumstances, China is Japan's largest trading partner - however imports from China plummeted nearly 50% in February as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in closed factories and unfilled orders. Meanwhile, a planned visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan early this month - the first such trip in a decade - was postponed with no date rescheduled.
It remains to be seen how the policy will affect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's years-long effort to restore relations with China.
" We are doing our best to resume economic development ," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing Wednesday in Beijing, when asked about the move. " In this process, we hope other countries will act like China and take proper measures to ensure the world economy will be impacted as little as possible and to ensure that supply chains are impacted as little as possible ." - SCMP
China's production trainwreck has revived discussion among Japanese firms over reducing their reliance on China as a manufacturing base - while the government's panel on future investment recommended last month that manufacturing of high-value products should shift back to Japan - while other goods should be diversified across Southeast Asia.
"There will be something of a shift," according to Japan Research Institute economist Shinichi Seki, who noted that Japanese companies were already considering moving out of China. "Having this in the budget will definitely provide an impetus." That said, certain industries such as automotive will likely stay put.
Japan exports a far larger share of parts and partially finished goods to China than other major industrial nations, according to data compiled for the panel. A February survey by Tokyo Shoko Research found 37 per cent of the more than 2,600 companies that responded were diversifying procurement to places other than China amid the coronavirus crisis. - SCMP
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm GMT@Divine Right American conflicts with Russia are based partly on self-serving fictions of the military industrial complex that need an enemy for their continued existence, as well as some more realistic conflicts involving Eastern Europe and rival interests over oil prices. The US need for hegemony, which is highly tied to the value of the dollar as a reserve currency, further thrusts this forward and center(and indeed, into conflict with China as well). This all is intermingled with a [fake and hypocritical] generalized rejection of "authoritarian" governments.Blinky Bill , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm GMT
China, on the other hand, has no real current conflicts with Russia – most conflicts involve sales of weaponry and political influence over central Asian states, nothing of vast importance at least compared to being their the target of an enormous world-spanning sanctions order or a dedicated trade war.
Your argument has the weird self-contradiction that the CCP both is supposedly the mind-controlling alien brain of all Asians, while at the same time, not actually benefiting from any specific conflict with Russia. This also ignores the fact that Asians tend to assimilate the highest by any population(at nearly 40% intermarriage in some segments, that Chinese students in particularly no longer tend to stay in the US( only 20% by 2017 ), and that a overwhelming part of the demographic increase by immigration is Indian with long historical and cultural rivalries with China. And far more than Chinese Americans, who often engage in racial masochism(witness Gordan Chang ), Indian Americans are vastly more active and influential in American politics both due to cultural reasons as well as higher verbal IQ. This isn't even hypothetical: Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."
I do agree that the US has long since crippled its resource base. But there's no evidence that Trump, or anyone else, is demonstrating the barest inkling of trying to resolve it(or that it is even possible, given the bueaucratic overload and red tape of regulations). Gould once described evolution as a "drunkard's walk" between complexity, where organisms sometimes fall trapped inside rail tracks, unable to stumble out.
The US seems well trapped in its rail tracks.@Daniel Chiehneutral , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT
Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."
Prime example Saagar Enjeti.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/vkqq74knVXM?feature=oembed@Blinky Bill This is just further proof that there is a growing Indian problem in America.
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Felix Keverich , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT@Anatoly Karlin There is apparently a large colony (100.000) of Chinese workers in Lombardy, with direct flights between Lombardy and Wuhan, so this Italian outbreak is not a coincidence.Europe Europa , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT
Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe's hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus
-- George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) March 18, 2020
UK had a "herd immunity" strategy from the beginning. They made no real effort at containment. British government allowed their people to become infected, and only began to change course after public outrage.@Felix Keverich The large Chinese population in Italy has been completely ignored by the media, in fact China itself seems to have been let completely off the hook. The focus is now on how terrible Britain and the native British people are.
Someone even posted a Tweet above by a Vietnamese person trying to claim that BRITAIN of all countries is responsible for the outbreak in Vietnam, I mean what kind of ridiculous logic is that? Vietnam bloody BORDERS China, the origin and epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Vietnamese are trying to say Britain is the cause? It beggars belief.
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Beckow , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm GMT@APutu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
less globalization outside North America/Europe/Japan/Australia
You are missing the point of globalization: manufacturing in cheap Third World countries and rewarding the local compradors with a permission to migrate to the West. That's the deal, that's what globalization is.
With NA-Europe-Japan all you get is tourism and travel. I would be surprised if we can at this point convince Chinese and the other cheap labor countries to do the work and forgo the hope of migration. It was a Faustian deal and those as we know end in hell.@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.utu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.
What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?
So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?
So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.
We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.
In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.
One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.
Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.
On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
So I checked what Prato had on March 11:
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero
"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "
"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."
So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm GMT
Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.
What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?
So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?
So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.
We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.
In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.
One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.
Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.
On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
So I checked what Prato had on March 11:
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero
"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "
"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."
So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.@AP
If this started in the USA and spread elsewhere the world would have good cause to condemn the USA and to judge any subsequent efforts by Americans to help others as "the least they could do."
Chinese shipments of medical goods are actually to the risk of the own population, where hospitals are still recovering. While in some ways it is a blatant PR play, its quite a significant cost amd self-risk that goes beyond "the least they could do."
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
AP , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm GMT@TheTotallyAnonymous
The Chinese are showing an unprecedented amount of humanity, morality and basic decency by giving medical aid to more than half the world in genuinely useful forms despite almost everyone shitting on them by calling this a "Chinese virus" and other garbage.
... ... ...
Here is an article about them in the New York Times. Written soon before the onset of the plague. It would not be written now – there's too obvious a connection between open borders, multiculturalism, and death:
As Prato's factories went dark, people began arriving from China to exploit an opportunity.
Most were from Wenzhou, a coastal city famed for its entrepreneurial spirit. They took over failed workshops and built new factories. They imported fabric from China, sewing it into clothing. They cannily imitated the styles of Italian fashion brands, while affixing a valuable label to their creations -- "Made in Italy."
Chinese groceries and restaurants have emerged to serve the local population. On the outskirts of the city, Chinese-owned warehouses overflow with racks of clothing destined for street markets in Florence and Paris.
Among Italian textile workers who have veered to the right, the arrival of the Chinese tends to get lumped together with African migration as an indignity that has turned Prato into a city they no longer recognize.
"I don't think it's fair that they come to take jobs away from Italians," says Ms. Travaglini, the laid-off textile worker. She claims that Chinese companies don't pay taxes and violate wage laws, reducing pay for everyone.
Since losing her job at a textile factory nearly three years ago, Ms. Travaglini has survived by fixing clothes for people in her neighborhood. "There are no jobs, not even for young people," she says.
Chinese-owned factories have jobs, she acknowledges, but she will not apply. "That's all Chinese people," she says, with evident distaste. "I don't feel at ease."
Lots of Ukrainians there also. They don't bring such a virus to Italy, but they bring the virus back to Ukraine.
So nice PR move after killing lots of European old people. One of the sacrificed in Milan to this virus, Vittorio Gregotti, was an architect who helped build the city. Killed by the Chinese virus. A symbol of native Italy replaced by migration.
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Alfa158 , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT@Kim The Chinese have internal natural resources and have been vigorously working world wide to obtain rights to, develop, and extract mineral and energy resources in order to keep production going. See the documentary Empire of Dust about Chinese getting the rights to African resources and developing the infrastructure to extract them. Also following the supposed "war for oil" in Iraq the oil contracts went almost entirely to China. China has a lot of the mines for the rare earths needed in modern technological products. The largest single mine used to be in California. A Chinese company bought and re-opened it.
In effect they already own or have contracts for what they need and are much less leveraged than we are.
As to whether their customers can continue to pay for it, that is a different kettle of fish. The rest of us have been running up our credit card with them. We have been paying it off by selling off our countries piece by piece through Chinese purchases of real estate, businesses, port facilities etc. As China has grown economically they have been developing their internal market to reduce dependence on Wal-Mart so that might reduce the impact of poorer foreign markets.
In any event they own a huge infrastructure in plants tooling and human expertise for making things. Our leaders have deliberately hollowed ours out for profits and cheaper consumer goods.
Mar 05, 2020 | www.reddit.com
The term Globalism has been around from at least the 1960's but its origins come from Cecil Rhodes Round Tables which were set up around 1900 as a mechanism for Rhodes and his allies from the British and South African Oligarchs to take over the world. Globalism is another term for Neoliberalism, which is another term for Corporatism. It is principally pushed by Fake Liberals who pretend to be lefties, but are actually Corporatists or Corporate Fascists.
The aim of Globalism is to transfer all power and wealth from ordinary people to a handful of Banking Elites, Oligarchs and major Corporate CEO's. The ultimate aim is to set up an anti democratic, authoritarian one world government where ordinary people are effectively serfs and have no say, in a system of Neo-Feudalism. We are very nearly already there.
This is being constantly carried out by transferring ever increasing powers from elected local governments to massive governmental Super States, such as the EU or the Federal government in Washington DC.
A great example of a Globalist policy was Obama's Corporate Power Grab TPP and TTIP, Corporate protectionist deals, which transferred power from elected legislatures to transnational tribunals staffed by Corporate lawyers acting as Judge and Jury.
TPP, TISA and TTIP agreements are massive Corporate power grabs dressed up as trade deals http://ian56.blogspot.com/2015/11/tpp-tisa-and-ttip-agreements-are.html
"Neo-libs" are NOT Centrists. They are extremist supporters of Perpetual War, Corruption, Corporatism, Authoritarianism & the Transfer of all wealth & power from ordinary ppl to the Oligarchs & CEOs in the top 0.01%.
What is Globalism? Clue: Its NOT what the Corporate Establishment tells you it is http://ian56.blogspot.com/2017/11/what-is-globalism.html
Neoliberalism. The ideology that dare not speak its name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/index.shtml
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.orgfrom Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ
Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy
Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.
Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.
... ... ..
Authoritarianism or What?
Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .
The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.
To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.
The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.
Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.
The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.
The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.
Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.
It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.
Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.
Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.
The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy
Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.
... ... ...
... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."
The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."
Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.
... ... ...
Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .
Nov 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Neoliberalism and its usual prescriptions – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics.
As even its harshest critics concede, neoliberalism is hard to pin down. In broad terms, it denotes a preference for markets over government, economic incentives over cultural norms, and private entrepreneurship over collective action. It has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena – from Augusto Pinochet to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, from the Clinton Democrats and the UK's New Labour to the economic opening in China and the reform of the welfare state in Sweden.
The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash.
We live in the age of neoliberalism, apparently. But who are neoliberalism's adherents and disseminators – the neoliberals themselves? Oddly, you have to go back a long time to find anyone explicitly embracing neoliberalism. In 1982, Charles Peters, the longtime editor of the political magazine Washington Monthly, published an essay titled A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto . It makes for interesting reading 35 years later, since the neoliberalism it describes bears little resemblance to today's target of derision. The politicians Peters names as exemplifying the movement are not the likes of Thatcher and Reagan, but rather liberals – in the US sense of the word – who have become disillusioned with unions and big government and dropped their prejudices against markets and the military.
The use of the term "neoliberal" exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters's article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle . The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today's world.
That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus , the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest.
But the looseness of the term neoliberalism also means that criticism of it often misses the mark. There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship or incentives – when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism's useful ideas.
The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions. A proper understanding of the economics that lie behind neoliberalism would allow us to identify – and to reject – ideology when it masquerades as economic science. Most importantly, it would help us to develop the institutional imagination we badly need to redesign capitalism for the 21st century.
N eoliberalism is typically understood as being based on key tenets of mainstream economic science. To see those tenets without the ideology, consider this thought experiment. A well-known and highly regarded economist lands in a country he has never visited and knows nothing about. He is brought to a meeting with the country's leading policymakers. "Our country is in trouble," they tell him. "The economy is stagnant, investment is low, and there is no growth in sight." They turn to him expectantly: "Please tell us what we should do to make our economy grow."
The economist pleads ignorance and explains that he knows too little about the country to make any recommendations. He would need to study the history of the economy, to analyse the statistics, and to travel around the country before he could say anything.Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tony Blair and Bill Clinton: centre-left politicians who enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism. Photograph: Reuters
But his hosts are insistent. "We understand your reticence, and we wish you had the time for all that," they tell him. "But isn't economics a science, and aren't you one of its most distinguished practitioners? Even though you do not know much about our economy, surely there are some general theories and prescriptions you can share with us to guide our economic policies and reforms."
The economist is now in a bind. He does not want to emulate those economic gurus he has long criticised for peddling their favourite policy advice. But he feels challenged by the question. Are there universal truths in economics? Can he say anything valid or useful?
So he begins. The efficiency with which an economy's resources are allocated is a critical determinant of the economy's performance, he says. Efficiency, in turn, requires aligning the incentives of households and businesses with social costs and benefits. The incentives faced by entrepreneurs, investors and producers are particularly important when it comes to economic growth. Growth needs a system of property rights and contract enforcement that will ensure those who invest can retain the returns on their investments. And the economy must be open to ideas and innovations from the rest of the world.
But economies can be derailed by macroeconomic instability, he goes on. Governments must therefore pursue a sound monetary policy , which means restricting the growth of liquidity to the increase in nominal money demand at reasonable inflation. They must ensure fiscal sustainability, so that the increase in public debt does not outpace national income. And they must carry out prudential regulation of banks and other financial institutions to prevent the financial system from taking excessive risk.
Now he is warming to his task. Economics is not just about efficiency and growth, he adds. Economic principles also carry over to equity and social policy. Economics has little to say about how much redistribution a society should seek. But it does tell us that the tax base should be as broad as possible, and that social programmes should be designed in a way that does not encourage workers to drop out of the labour market.
By the time the economist stops, it appears as if he has laid out a fully fledged neoliberal agenda. A critic in the audience will have heard all the code words: efficiency, incentives, property rights, sound money, fiscal prudence. And yet the universal principles that the economist describes are in fact quite open-ended. They presume a capitalist economy – one in which investment decisions are made by private individuals and firms – but not much beyond that. They allow for – indeed, they require – a surprising variety of institutional arrangements.
So has the economist just delivered a neoliberal screed? We would be mistaken to think so, and our mistake would consist of associating each abstract term – incentives, property rights, sound money – with a particular institutional counterpart. And therein lies the central conceit, and the fatal flaw, of neoliberalism: the belief that first-order economic principles map on to a unique set of policies, approximated by a Thatcher/Reagan-style agenda.
Consider property rights. They matter insofar as they allocate returns on investments. An optimal system would distribute property rights to those who would make the best use of an asset, and afford protection against those most likely to expropriate the returns. Property rights are good when they protect innovators from free riders, but they are bad when they protect them from competition. Depending on the context, a legal regime that provides the appropriate incentives can look quite different from the standard US-style regime of private property rights.
This may seem like a semantic point with little practical import; but China's phenomenal economic success is largely due to its orthodoxy-defying institutional tinkering. China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices in property rights. Its reforms produced market-based incentives through a series of unusual institutional arrangements that were better adapted to the local context. Rather than move directly from state to private ownership, for example, which would have been stymied by the weakness of the prevailing legal structures, the country relied on mixed forms of ownership that provided more effective property rights for entrepreneurs in practice. Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), which spearheaded Chinese economic growth during the 1980s, were collectives owned and controlled by local governments. Even though TVEs were publicly owned, entrepreneurs received the protection they needed against expropriation. Local governments had a direct stake in the profits of the firms, and hence did not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
China relied on a range of such innovations, each delivering the economist's higher-order economic principles in unfamiliar institutional arrangements. For instance, it shielded its large state sector from global competition, establishing special economic zones where foreign firms could operate with different rules than in the rest of the economy. In view of such departures from orthodox blueprints, describing China's economic reforms as neoliberal – as critics are inclined to do – distorts more than it reveals. If we are to call this neoliberalism, we must surely look more kindly on the ideas behind the most dramatic poverty reduction in history.
One might protest that China's institutional innovations were purely transitional. Perhaps it will have to converge on western-style institutions to sustain its economic progress. But this common line of thinking overlooks the diversity of capitalist arrangements that still prevails among advanced economies, despite the considerable homogenisation of our policy discourse.
What, after all, are western institutions? The size of the public sector in OECD countries varies, from a third of the economy in Korea to nearly 60% in Finland. In Iceland, 86% of workers are members of a trade union; the comparable number in Switzerland is just 16%. In the US, firms can fire workers almost at will; French labour laws have historically required employers to jump through many hoops first. Stock markets have grown to a total value of nearly one-and-a-half times GDP in the US; in Germany, they are only a third as large, equivalent to just 50% of GDP.Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices ... ' Photograph: AFP/Getty
The idea that any one of these models of taxation, labour relations or financial organisation is inherently superior to the others is belied by the varying economic fortunes that each of these economies have experienced over recent decades. The US has gone through successive periods of angst in which its economic institutions were judged inferior to those in Germany, Japan, China, and now possibly Germany again. Certainly, comparable levels of wealth and productivity can be produced under very different models of capitalism. We might even go a step further: today's prevailing models probably come nowhere near exhausting the range of what might be possible, and desirable, in the future.
The visiting economist in our thought experiment knows all this, and recognises that the principles he has enunciated need to be filled in with institutional detail before they become operational. Property rights? Yes, but how? Sound money? Of course, but how? It would perhaps be easier to criticise his list of principles for being vacuous than to denounce it as a neoliberal screed.
Still, these principles are not entirely content-free. China, and indeed all countries that managed to develop rapidly, demonstrate the utility of those principles once they are properly adapted to local context. Conversely, too many economies have been driven to ruin courtesy of political leaders who chose to violate them. We need look no further than Latin American populists or eastern European communist regimes to appreciate the practical significance of sound money, fiscal sustainability and private incentives.
O f course, economics goes beyond a list of abstract, largely common-sense principles. Much of the work of economists consists of developing stylised models of how economies work and then confronting those models with evidence. Economists tend to think of what they do as progressively refining their understanding of the world: their models are supposed to get better and better as they are tested and revised over time. But progress in economics happens differently.
Economists study a social reality that is unlike the physical universe. It is completely manmade, highly malleable and operates according to different rules across time and space. Economics advances not by settling on the right model or theory to answer such questions, but by improving our understanding of the diversity of causal relationships. Neoliberalism and its customary remedies – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. Good economists know that the correct answer to any question in economics is: it depends.
Does an increase in the minimum wage depress employment? Yes, if the labour market is really competitive and employers have no control over the wage they must pay to attract workers; but not necessarily otherwise. Does trade liberalisation increase economic growth? Yes, if it increases the profitability of industries where the bulk of investment and innovation takes place; but not otherwise. Does more government spending increase employment? Yes, if there is slack in the economy and wages do not rise; but not otherwise. Does monopoly harm innovation? Yes and no, depending on a whole host of market circumstances.Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Today [neoliberalism] is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas that have produced growing economic inequality and precipitated our current populist backlash' Trump signing an order to take the US out of the TPP trade pact. Photograph: AFP/Getty
In economics, new models rarely supplant older models. The basic competitive-markets model dating back to Adam Smith has been modified over time by the inclusion, in rough historical order, of monopoly, externalities, scale economies, incomplete and asymmetric information, irrational behaviour and many other real-world features. But the older models remain as useful as ever. Understanding how real markets operate necessitates using different lenses at different times.
Perhaps maps offer the best analogy. Just like economic models, maps are highly stylised representations of reality . They are useful precisely because they abstract from many real-world details that would get in the way. But abstraction also implies that we need a different map depending on the nature of our journey. If we are travelling by bike, we need a map of bike trails. If we are to go on foot, we need a map of footpaths. If a new subway is constructed, we will need a subway map – but we wouldn't throw out the older maps.
Economists tend to be very good at making maps, but not good enough at choosing the one most suited to the task at hand. When confronted with policy questions of the type our visiting economist faces, too many of them resort to "benchmark" models that favour the laissez-faire approach. Kneejerk solutions and hubris replace the richness and humility of the discussion in the seminar room. John Maynard Keynes once defined economics as the "science of thinking in terms of models, joined to the art of choosing models which are relevant". Economists typically have trouble with the "art" part.
This, too, can be illustrated with a parable. A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good'?" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's wellbeing." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's longterm growth rate is not clear either, and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.
This professor is rather different from the one the journalist encountered previously. On the record, he exudes self-confidence, not reticence, about the appropriate policy. There is one and only one model, at least as far as the public conversation is concerned, and there is a single correct answer, regardless of context. Strangely, the professor deems the knowledge that he imparts to his advanced students to be inappropriate (or dangerous) for the general public. Why?
The roots of such behaviour lie deep in the culture of the economics profession. But one important motive is the zeal to display the profession's crown jewels – market efficiency, the invisible hand, comparative advantage – in untarnished form, and to shield them from attack by self-interested barbarians, namely the protectionists . Unfortunately, these economists typically ignore the barbarians on the other side of the issue – financiers and multinational corporations whose motives are no purer and who are all too ready to hijack these ideas for their own benefit.
As a result, economists' contributions to public debate are often biased in one direction, in favour of more trade, more finance and less government. That is why economists have developed a reputation as cheerleaders for neoliberalism, even if mainstream economics is very far from a paean to laissez-faire. The economists who let their enthusiasm for free markets run wild are in fact not being true to their own discipline.
H ow then should we think about globalisation in order to liberate it from the grip of neoliberal practices? We must begin by understanding the positive potential of global markets. Access to world markets in goods, technologies and capital has played an important role in virtually all of the economic miracles of our time. China is the most recent and powerful reminder of this historical truth, but it is not the only case. Before China, similar miracles were performed by South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and a few non-Asian countries such as Mauritius . All of these countries embraced globalisation rather than turn their backs on it, and they benefited handsomely.
Defenders of the existing economic order will quickly point to these examples when globalisation comes into question. What they will fail to say is that almost all of these countries joined the world economy by violating neoliberal strictures. South Korea and Taiwan, for instance, heavily subsidised their exporters, the former through the financial system and the latter through tax incentives. All of them eventually removed most of their import restrictions, long after economic growth had taken off.
But none, with the sole exception of Chile in the 1980s under Pinochet, followed the neoliberal recommendation of a rapid opening-up to imports. Chile's neoliberal experiment eventually produced the worst economic crisis in all of Latin America. While the details differ across countries, in all cases governments played an active role in restructuring the economy and buffering it against a volatile external environment. Industrial policies, restrictions on capital flows and currency controls – all prohibited in the neoliberal playbook – were rampant.Facebook Twitter Pinterest Protest against Nafta in Mexico City in 2008: since the reforms of the mid-90s, the country's economy has underperformed. Photograph: EPA
By contrast, countries that stuck closest to the neoliberal model of globalisation were sorely disappointed. Mexico provides a particularly sad example. Following a series of macroeconomic crises in the mid-1990s, Mexico embraced macroeconomic orthodoxy, extensively liberalised its economy, freed up the financial system, sharply reduced import restrictions and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). These policies did produce macroeconomic stability and a significant rise in foreign trade and internal investment. But where it counts – in overall productivity and economic growth – the experiment failed . Since undertaking the reforms, overall productivity in Mexico has stagnated, and the economy has underperformed even by the undemanding standards of Latin America.
These outcomes are not a surprise from the perspective of sound economics. They are yet another manifestation of the need for economic policies to be attuned to the failures to which markets are prone, and to be tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. No single blueprint fits all.
A s Peters's 1982 manifesto attests, the meaning of neoliberalism has changed considerably over time as the label has acquired harder-line connotations with respect to deregulation, financialisation and globalisation. But there is one thread that connects all versions of neoliberalism, and that is the emphasis on economic growth . Peters wrote in 1982 that the emphasis was warranted because growth is essential to all our social and political ends – community, democracy, prosperity. Entrepreneurship, private investment and removing obstacles that stand in the way (such as excessive regulation) were all instruments for achieving economic growth. If a similar neoliberal manifesto were penned today, it would no doubt make the same point.
Critics often point out that this emphasis on economics debases and sacrifices other important values such as equality, social inclusion, democratic deliberation and justice. Those political and social objectives obviously matter enormously, and in some contexts they matter the most. They cannot always, or even often, be achieved by means of technocratic economic policies; politics must play a central role.
Still, neoliberals are not wrong when they argue that our most cherished ideals are more likely to be attained when our economy is vibrant, strong and growing. Where they are wrong is in believing that there is a unique and universal recipe for improving economic performance, to which they have access. The fatal flaw of neoliberalism is that it does not even get the economics right. It must be rejected on its own terms for the simple reason that it is bad economics.
A version of this article first appeared in Boston Review
Feb 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
So here we are, with a global economy that's very cost-efficient but not resilient. It's wonderful that Walmart has worked out how to order a new tube of toothpaste from China the second one is pulled off a shelf in Topeka, KS. But that means there is no deep storage to draw upon in times of disruption to the status quo. No warehouses stocked with 12 months of future goods. Just a brilliantly-complicated supply chain thousands of miles long that has to work perfectly for things to keep running.
As an example that drives home this point: we learned during the 2011 earthquake in Japan that there was just one single factory making a necessary polymer gel for the odd-shaped lithium batteries used in smartphones and iPods. There was no backup factory.
We watched closely during that enormous crisis (which also spawned the Fukushima nuclear disaster) as electronics companies scrambled to triage their remaining supplies and attempt to find new sources. It was very touch and go. Vast portions of the battery-fueled electronic industry came within a whisker of simply shutting down production -- all for want of an esoteric polymer gel.
Yes, the most cost-effective way to make that gel was to house it all in a single plant. But it made no sense from a redundancy and resilience standpoint.
And did 'we' learn from that experience? Nope.Supply Chain Armageddon
The global economy is more interdependent than ever. Its supply chains are built on a huge network of dependencies with many 'single points of failure' strung along its many branches.
Can anybody predict what will happen next? No.
But we're already seeing early failures as Chinese plants, factories and ports sit idle from the country's massive quarantine efforts:
China set to lose out on production of 1M vehicles as coronavirus closes car plants
China exports about $70 billion worth of car parts and accessories globally, with roughly 20 percent going to the U.S.
Feb. 5, 2020, 4:32 PM EST
By Paul A. Eisenstein
China could suffer the loss of a million vehicles worth of production as factories in its crucial automotive industry remain shuttered until at least next week -- and likely longer in Wuhan, the "motor city" at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.
With more than 24,000 people infected, the impact of the highly contagious disease is also beginning to be felt by automakers in other parts of the world. Hyundai is suspending production in its South Korean plants because of a shortage of Chinese-made parts, and even European car manufacturers could be hit: Volkswagen and BMW could see a dip of 5 percent in their earnings for the first half of 2020, according to research firm Bernstein.
( Source – NBC )
We're predicting that these auto shutdowns are just beginning. All it takes is a single component to be unavailable and the entire line has to be shut down.
Is China the sole source for many critical components in the auto industry? Absolutely.
Here's an inside view:
On Monday, Steve Banker and I had the opportunity to speak with Razat Gaurav, CEO of Llamasoft. Razat had some interesting takes on the outbreak, especially as it relates to the automotive and pharmaceutical supply chains. On average it takes 30,000 parts to make a finished automobile.
Due to the virus, production facilities have already indicated that they will have lower than normal parts volumes. This has left companies scrambling to make contingency plans. During my conversation with Razat, he mentioned that inventories for most of these automotive parts are managed on a lean just-in-time basis.
This means that, on average, companies have anywhere between two and twelve weeks of buffer inventory on-hand for automotive parts. As production volumes are decreasing, this has the potential to cause quite the global shortage of parts. The buffer inventory will only last so long, and once the pre-holiday supply runs dry, the industry is going to be in serious trouble. According to Gaurav: " Most OEMs single source components for new vehicles and China is a large supplier of those."
( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )
"Single sourcing" is exactly what it implies. There's a single factory somewhere churning out a single component that is absolutely vital to make a motorized vehicle. If that factory goes away for any length of time, a new source has to be identified or – worse, from a time and cost standpoint – built from scratch.
But this vulnerability to China-dependent supply chains is by no means unique to the auto industry:
Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States' growing reliance on China's pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward's book, Fear: Trump in the White House.
In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China.
( Source – CFR )
That's as close to a 'sole source' as you can get.
And to put the cherry on top: guess the name of the region in China responsible for producing all if these antibiotics? Yep, Hubei province. With Wuhan its most important production hub.
Can we find another source for our generic drugs and antibiotics? India, possibly. But here again we run into the same global interdependency issue:
Another industry that is feeling the impact of the coronavirus is the pharmaceutical industry. The average buffer inventory for the pharmaceutical industry is between three and six months. However, this does not tell the full story. Gaurav mentioned that China is responsible for producing 40 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the pharmaceutical world.
Additionally, China supplies 80 percent of key starting materials (KSM's), which are the chemicals in APIs, to India . Put together, this represents 70 percent of all APIs across the world.
( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )
India's production is directly tied to uninterrupted supply from China:
Indian generic drugmakers may face supply shortages from China if coronavirus drags on
Feb 13 (Reuters) – Shortages and potential price increases of generic drugs from India loom if the coronavirus outbreak disrupts suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in China past April , according to industry experts.
An important supplier of generic drugs to the world, Indian companies procure almost 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for their medicines from China.
India's generic drugmakers say they currently have enough API supplies from China to cover their operations for up to about three months.
"We are comfortably placed with eight to 10 weeks of key inventory in place," said Debabrata Chakravorty, head of global sourcing and supply chain for Lupin Ltd, adding that the company does have some local suppliers for ingredients.
Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd said it has sufficient inventory of API and raw materials for the short term and has not seen any major disruption in supplies at the moment.
The Indian drugmaker, however, said supply has been impacted for a few API products and the company is closely monitoring the situation. It did not identify the products.
India supplies nearly a third of medicines sold in the United States , the world's largest and most lucrative healthcare market.
( Source )
Is this a huge concern? Of course it is.
If you're dependent in any way on prescription drugs, it would be entirely rational to chase down whether those come from China or India and, if they are, begin talks with your doctor about alternatives or what to do if supplies get pinched.A Fast-Moving Situation
Look, we entirely get why the authorities and media are downplaying the covid-19 pandemic. We really do. They feel the need to manage the crisis, which means managing the public narrative.
But c'mon. Does it make any sense for Apple's stock price to be up while its main Foxconn manufacturing facility is all but completely shuttered?
Fewer iPhones and Airpods being made should equate with lower future earnings and thus a lower stock price. But no, AAPL is up handily over the past month:
And this is even crazier. Does it make ANY sense for Boeing's stock to be up $12 over the past month? As it reported its first year (2019) of NEGATIVE orders and a completely order-free January (2020)? No, of course not.
But those are the sorts of 'signals' that the officials believe have to be sent in order to keep the masses from catching on that something really concerning is happening.
Unfortunately, such signals work on the masses. Higher stock prices send a powerful comforting message that "all is well".
But prudent critical thinkers, which defines those in the Peak Prosperity tribe, can readily see through the ruse and get busy preparing themselves for what's coming.It's Time For Action
The situation with covid-19 is fluid, and fast-moving. Staying on top of the breaking developments and making sense of them for you is our primary job.
But information without informed action is useless.
After all, knowing something concerning but then doing nothing about it is merely cause for anxiety if not alarm.
The only ways to remain calm and protect your loved ones from the threat of this pandemic are rooted in taking smart action.
Yes, we can all hope this blows over. We sincerely wish the macro-planners all the best in shaping the narrative and keeping the macro economy somehow functioning and glued together.
But we're going to prepare as best we can, here at our micro level because that's our duty to ourselves, to our families, and to our communities.Creating A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus
This is a huge moment in history. The first global pandemic at a time when the world economy is sole-sourced and completely interdependent.
Nobody can predict what will happen next. Autos, drugs who knows what the next industry to stumble will be?
Given the ridiculously high rate of infectivity of covid-19 there's really no chance of stopping its spread. The rate is now just a equation of time, luck, and official actions to aggressively isolate and quarantine infected individuals and communities.
Our position affords us many experienced contacts with experts throughout the world, and those we know with deep medical training are preparing the most aggressively right now. This outbreak has their full attention; and that informs us that it should have ours, too.
Which is why our advice is to get busy preparing yourself now.
Last week we issued the guide How We're Personally Preparing For The Coronavirus to our premium subscribers. It's a great resource providing specific recommendations for prevention and treatment.
Today, we're releasing an expanded companion guide A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus , again for our premium members.
Particularly useful for those who have recently found their way to PeakProsperity.com, it offers both a valuable framework to use in preparing for any disaster (including pandemics) and then details out specific action steps to take today across all aspects of your life (i.e., not just health & hygiene) against a coronavirus outbreak in your local area.
Click here to read this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
If the coronavirus proves to be serious, as it does not appear to be at the present time, many economies could be adversely affected. China is the source of many parts supplied to producers in other countries, and China is the source of the finished products of many US firms such as Apple. If shipments cannot be made, sales and production outside of China are affected. Without revenues, employees cannot be paid. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this would be an unemployment crisis and bankruptcy of large manufacturing and marketing corporations.
This is the danger to which globalism makes us vulnerable. If US corporations produced in the US the products that they market in the US and the world, an epidemic in China would affect only their Chinese sales, not threaten the companies' revenues.
The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism.
Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence.
At this point of time, it is difficult to understand the hysteria over coronavirus and predictions of global pandemic. In China there are about 24,000 infections and 500 deaths in a population of 1.3 billion people. This is an inconsequential illness. Compared to the ordinary seasonal flu that infects millions of people worldwide and kills 600,000, the coronavirus so far amounts to nothing. Infections outside of China are miniscule and appear to be limited to Chinese people. It is difficult to know for certain, because of the reluctance to identify people by race.
Yet China has huge areas in quarantine, and travel to and from the country is restricted. Nothing like these precautions are taken against seasonal flu. So far this flu season in the US alone 19 million people have been sickened, 180,000 hospitalized, and 10,000 have died. The latest report is that 16 people in the US (possibly all Chinese) have come down with coronavirus, and none have died.
Perhaps the coronavirus is just warming up and much worse is to come. If so, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take a hit. Quarantines prevent work. Finished products and parts cannot be made and shipped. Sales cannot take place without products to sell. Without revenues companies cannot pay employees and other expenses. Incomes decline across the world. Companies go bankrupt.
You can take it from here.
If a deadly coronavirus pandemic or some other one does erupt and there is a world depression, we should be very clear in our mind that globalism was the cause. Countries whose governments are so thoughtless or corrupt as to make their populations vulnerable to disruptive events abroad are medically, economically, socially, and politically unstable.
The consequence of globalism is world instability.
yerfej , 47 minutes ago linkCoram Justice , 1 hour ago link
It makes sense for rich countries elites to leverage poor backwards shithole countries to manufacture the things they need because the elites then don't have to worry about anyone but themselves. Globalism is wonder as it bypasses all that crazy western nonsense like jobs and wages and society and hope and such.Street Chief Martin , 2 hours ago link
"Bolshevism is globalism according to Lenin."
Prof. V. G. Liulevicius, Utopia & Terror in the 20th Centuryrtb61 , 2 hours ago link
Globalism is nothing more than the major central banks finding ways to dump off their inflation which is the deflation of an ever increasing number countries which the major cb's used to deflate their currencies. The older the cb you are the worse off yo are. From a since A.D. perspective only the Sterling is what you have to worry. From my last fiat currency perspective its the Venisthaler that is un doing everything.
To get more zero's you have to add more nine's. They can not be added as nausem like people think zero's are. The compensation pool has been shrinking for centuries on end now. Globalism is an attempt to keep the pool growing at all cost which results relentless asset appreciation. We are out of nine's. The end result of that is hyper deflation for the man and hyper reflation for the people. Easily provable at a store named Vons owned by the treasury retired.
That ladies and gents is your simplified street fed explanation. I am not trying to even remotely write out the longer technical version.
Having said that meet me at what is known as the small walmart around here, which is the home of what does MU do, what does MU do at walmart it never gets old fame for a real life walk thru of what globalism is and looks like. We will then progress to the "Big Walmart" not even a mile away and I will show you what an out of control system looks like.
So we are clear of what I just said. I live in the only place in the world where when a tourist ask you where Wal Mart is, you get your choice of size. Whats the difference you ask??? The small Wal Mart has one main entrance, the big one has three. The lady almost smacked the **** out of the guy I got that from when she asked what the difference was. The hand came up. You really had to be there.free corn , 2 hours ago link
Regional trade blocks with relatively balanced resource and production capabilities make more sense. Globalisation just lead to one country seeking to 'DOMINATE' in every sphere of global activity, raising the threats of economic and military conflict, as clearly demonstrated and this with the aim of global enslavement to multinational corporations, the aim of Globalism, really sick psychopathic stuff.
Regional trade blocks relatively balanced for resource and production, provide stability within each block and lesson competition for outside resource and commercial competitiveness, and represents a far more long term stable structure.
Within each trade block, as it is economic rather than socio-political the original identities of each distinct region can be preserved for the long term, so that future generations can enjoy and share in the different cultures. Race ******** is race ********, there is only one race and all of it's people are free to share in which ever culture they choose or combinations there of. Whether you get to move to those regions and enjoy those cultures will be done to your personal worth, character and ability to contribute to those societies, just the way it will be.
Some economic blocks will be far more preferable to others and will attract higher worth individuals (character and ability to contribute to society), the least and most desirable will become more so as higher worth individuals move to the most preferable away from the least preferable and make the most preferable more preferable by their active presence.
I would tip the Japan Australia one to be the most preferable for this century, the next hard to tell (there are real deep problems in the Americas caused by the USA, the EU had an bad immigrant problem as in they let in too many bad unvetted immigrants, Africa will be what Africa will be corrupt and Russia China it depends upon how quickly the modernise and socially advance, the middle of the middles south east to mid east it depends how long it takes them to come together and religion is a real problem for them).headless blogger , 4 hours ago link
Competing MAD capable nations need communication/cooperation to keep the world somewat stable, that's one reason for Globalism. Author sucks.uhland62 , 3 hours ago link
I've been wondering if this might be some kind of Globalist Drill. It doesn't make sense, although there is always the potential it could become worse than it is.Shifter_X , 4 hours ago link
I thought so, too. Strangely enough, Wuhan Chinese are now repatriated from Bali back to Wuhan?!
Instability is a necessary condition to get more conflicts and then wars going. Weapons production must be kept up; peace and stability would make make weapons production an expensive hobby.surf@jm , 5 hours ago link
Globalism is the shredding of nations, peoples, traditions, culture and religion.
It is failing and will continue to fail for two reasons:
1. Good fences make good neighbors
2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
People are not going to stand for these destructive invasions any more. Bottom-of-the-barrel wages, crap jobs, high crime -- it's coming to a head.
I hope every nation in the EU exits.
Every idiot in Congress who supports this ridiculous bill that would make illegal immigration legal, require that the US NOT deport criminals and that we taxpayers pay to bring CRIMINALS we've deported, back to the USA, should be stripped of citizenship and kicked off the planet.
Have you SEEN this **** pending in Congress???
Globalism was outlawed forever at the Tower of Babel.....
That law has never been revoked....
Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jerry , Jan 31 2020 19:51 utc | 24I like Moon aka Bernard or whatever but he says the EU needs slightly less regulation. This stupid giant politically correct police state has like 66,000 laws and they pass 5,000 new ones a year. Nanny police state fascism and all they do is steal money from the taxpayers of Europe. It is a Central Bank ponzi scheme that is going to implode.
Most recent joke today is the EU Army which has pretty much no working tanks, planes or ships. Who are they going to fight anyway? The Russians? God help Europe - maybe Russians and Putin might reinstate Christianity in Europe and throw off the yoke of the CIA/MIC/Operation Gladio-Mockingbird from USA.
SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94vk , Feb 1 2020 13:35 utc | 95The impression I'm getting from comments here is that there are still many Europeans (in the broad sense, both EU and British) in complete denial.Likklemore , Feb 1 2020 14:06 utc | 96
Europe is in decline, not in ascension. The numbers just came out yesterday: 0.1% for the EU (with France and Italy in recession); UK's number for Q4 are still one month away, but Q3 was also pathetic.
World trade (globalization) has grown to a halt. It's all maxed out already, there are no more free trade deals to be made.
Germany is in de facto recession. Most worryingly, its industrial output is plummeting - with only its services sector keeping the whole thing afloat. And we know that's not how the German economy should work.
The UK is still a capitalist economy - free from the EU or not. It will not invest in those fabled renewable energy sources from tide, wind etc. etc. if the profit rates are not high enough. And they are not high enough. The only way, then, for those investments to happen is if energy prices spike up - very bad news for the British people (which, fair to say, could happen in or out of the EU, so this is not a Brexit question).
Many countries in Europe tried to invest in those renewable, but apart from insignificant micro-nations such as Denmark, most failed to supplant the old sources. It was reduced to a complementary source.
The only reason to think the European Peninsula can rise from the ashes is that it rose from the ashes before (post-war miracle). But the post-war miracle was a very exceptional historical period, where a lot of improbable variables aligned. It will certainly not happen again.
The European peoples should stop with their dellusions of grandeur and accept a treaty of Eurasian integration, with a subordinate status to Russia and China. You did it before with the USA in 1945, you can do it again now with Russia/China. That is unexceptional in European History, and can certainly happen again.Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 7:35 utc | 83Bubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:09 utc | 97
The Commonwealth long since ceased to have any meaning for the UK other than as a vestige of an expropriative empire, which has been a caricature since 1942[.]
If you think that the land mass of the Commonwealth represents a kind of control comparable to the EU then you need to study the last century[.]
In that comment you have attracted Her Majesty's displeasure. Suggest a read up of the 53 Commonwealth countries' property ownership in common law - in fee simple>radical title > The Crown's underlying title in common law. Oh, add the thirteen colonies prior to the American revolution found unpalatable.Fun read from George Galloway @RT. Lot's of things independent minded folk can agree with but pay particular attention to the conclusion / ending and give it a 1 to 10 reality rating.Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 14:30 utc | 98
Eloquent words of inspiration and Hopium are so nice to read in the morning.@89 LuBaBubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:35 utc | 99
No, I don't think so.
Think of the absolutely absurd straight line that separates Canada from the U.S. West of the great lakes.
Now think of that artificially imposed boundary and ask yourself, "What a stupid line, surely that line wouldn't be able to instill any cultural differences between two artificial constructs (nations)?"
(Anecdotally, I live in the Pac NW and every time I have ever crossed the border into Canada it literally feels like you are entering a retiring, European state.)
And then ask yourself how it is possible one country has a national healthcare system while the other abhors the idea. Or why the U.S. has the worst gun violence in the First World while Canada has a 1/10th of that number.
Face it, regardless of lines on a map, a national identity still gives a people the choice to galvanize and develop independently.Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94Russianasset , Feb 1 2020 15:08 utc | 100
Apologies to Steve as I didn't see you had already posted the link to Galloway's story and should have referenced your post.I think the EU is in for more trouble in the future than the UK. By the end of this decade, several central and eastern European countries economies will have grown sufficiently that their EU yearly subsidies will now become EU payments. In other words, the EU cash cow will suddenly become a cash drain for some countries. In the meantime, France and Germany will have the pick up the financial slack caused by Brexit. Put it all together and it seems to me some trouble ahead for the EU.English Outsider , Feb 1 2020 15:17 utc | 101A User @ 58
I believe you have stated the underlying facts here -
"b is correct tho that the tendency of politicians pretending to be technocrats to centralise in order to build a trade-able power base must be halted. otherwise the national devolution movements become superseded by a Brussels top down pyramid management structure where citizens are too removed from decision makers and the decision makers are too removed from the results of their decisions."
That's the reason we have to leave the EU.
The next question is how.
The central fact here is that on a key point Brussels is absolutely in the right. Frictionless access to the Single Market - what we have now - can only go with Dynamic Alignment - continuing adherence to EU regulations. This fact was obscured during the vacillations of the May Premiership and may still be being obscured.
Me, I think the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound. It also goes well beyond the technical setting of standards (most of which are set outside the EU in any case) and affects matters far removed from the purely technical. But it's what they have and it's not for us to attempt to change it.
Much of the hostility from the EU derives from the belief that as we leave we are trying to change their system, and for our own benefit. All the fears of "Cherry picking" and the rest. But it's not that they won't change. They can't, not without an entire recasting of that regulatory ecosystem. That would cause chaos if they attempted to do it. Engrenage is their watchword, the gradual accumulation of regulation and prescription, not demolition or radical rebuilding.
In short, for the reasons you have given above, we have to leave. When we consider the "how", we see that there is no magic solution that allows us to leave while continuing trading as if we have not left. Out really does mean out.
So where's the problem?
We've built up a good many trade links with the 27, the EU countries. They are vulnerable links, particularly the JIT links. It's going to take time to run down these links and replace them with new. We have other links as well - through the agencies - that will also take time to replace.
Such changes could take several years. If Brussels insists on that process happening overnight the result is serious disruption. On the principle that the EU is so much larger the calculation is that that disruption would hurt the UK much more than the EU. That is Brussels' bargaining counter.
Whether Brussels is using that counter for punitive reasons or whether it is using it in order to retain at least some control over the UK is irrelevant. The threat is there, however you look at it.
Some think we should face the threat down. I do - I think it is bluff. Others think we should not face it down - they fear it is not bluff. We wait to see which course the Johnson administration will adopt, not forgetting that the previous UK administration, and certainly the previous Parliament, didn't much like Brexit anyway - they wanted to stay in or close - and we're not yet sure what Johnson's position is.
(Note - engrenage as it works in practice explained here)
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology
General Titus , 22 minutes ago linkRoboFascist 1st , 1 hour ago link
"The affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order."
-- Vice President Joe Biden, April 5, 2013
"Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge."
-- President George H. W. Bush, September 11, 1990
"We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement toward a new world order."
-- Mikhail Gorbachev, October 19, 2011
"I think that his [Obama's] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'new world order' can be created. It's a great opportunity."
-- Henry Kissinger, January 5, 2009
Remember it was the British that basically established political Zionism as a state back in Palestine.
It was Trump that declared Jerusalem as the 'eternal capital' of anti-Christ Judaism.
Boris Johnson is a 'passionate Zionist' by his own proclamation.
This is about a realignment of Zionist interest in the English speaking world.
The EU wasn't going to play ball on the terms of American (and British) Zionism.
The English (KJV) world of eschatology demands a pseudo-Christianity to bow down to the interests of anti-Christ Jewish nationalism. (It is why the U.S. Senate has passed legislation making it illegal to criticize 'Israel' as 'anti-Semitic')
American evangelicals are being misrepresented by heretics like John Hagee and a pseudo-Christianity that cares not for Jesus Christ at all but rather maintains a focus only on 'Israel'. A dual covenant theology mixed with heresies galore served up in a controlled media that doesn't allow for the recognition of Christianity as the real Israel against a history of the destruction of ancient Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
The New Testament Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen is Jesus foretelling and giving clear reason for the destruction of anti-Christ Judaism in 70 AD.
The heresies of John Darby and Cyrus Scofield (again nearly exclusively in English) have created everything from British Israelism to fear and anxiety hustling crapola such as Hal Lindsey and The Late Great Planet Earth end of the world heresies.
On the basis of Christian heresy has emerged anti-Christ political Zionism and its vast adherents in the English speaking world now realigning.
Dec 18, 2019 | www.wsws.org
Rich countries embraced trade multilateralism when it suited them, and now they're abandoning it. That may not be such a bad thing.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is on its last legs now that the Trump administration has blocked the appointment or reappointment of judges to the appeals court of its Dispute Settlement Mechanism -- which is the central pillar of the 24-year-old multilateral body.
Do I regret the demise of the World Trade Organization now that Trump is on a unilateral trade rampage? No. I always saw the WTO and unilateralism as two faces of U.S. power deployed against those countries seeking to remake the world trading order in a more equitable and just direction.
Multilateralism and unilateralism have, since the end of the Second World War, been alternative strategies for global hegemony preferred by competing factions of the U.S. ruling elite.
The Democrats preferred multilateralism because they felt it would both institutionalize the U.S.'s hegemonic status in the world trading order at the same time that it would make it more legitimate by obtaining the consent of its allies. Republicans, however, felt that the exercise of U.S. power should be as little constrained by global rules and institutions as possible.
These two views clashed head-on in 1948 during the debate over the ratification of the Havana Charter, which would have established the International Trade Organization (ITO). After having participated in the negotiations, the Democratic administration of President Truman did not submit it to the Senate for ratification, worried that the Republicans would successfully block it. The Republicans argued that ratifying the Havana Charter would be unconstitutional since no legal code could stand above the U.S. Constitution, and that a treaty governing trade would do precisely that.
Republicans and Democrats agreed to a compromise: the much weaker General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which had little checks on U.S. trade practices and did not bring under its ambit the global agricultural trade that U.S. corporations dominated. With trade making up only a small part of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) then, the U.S. was not worried about the absence of strong rules on global trade, and felt these would only harm the bottom line of its emerging transnational corporations.
Paradoxically, GATT allowed the rise of a number of formerly minor trading countries into major actors in global trade, which would not have been possible within an iron-clad free trade regime. These were mainly economies from East Asia like South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia that engaged in aggressive export policies while building up manufacturing industries protected by high tariffs and import quotas. At the same time, by the 1970s and 1980s, trade accounted for a greater part of U.S. GDP than in the late 1940s, and U.S. corporations wanted fewer restrictions on their penetration of foreign markets.
So Washington changed its mind in the 1980s, and both Republicans and Democrats agreed to push for a strengthened global trade regime.
The U.S. was confident that it would benefit mainly its corporations which it saw as the most competitive in the world. The European Union decided to join the bandwagon for a strengthened international trade regime mainly because, like Washington, it wanted to dump its massive agricultural surpluses on developing countries.
Leading industries in Europe, the U.S., and Japan -- like the automobile, information, and pharmaceutical industries -- also had a joint interest in preventing the emergence of new competitors from East and Southeast Asia by making the latter's liberal acquisition of complex technologies (dubbed "intellectual piracy") a violation of trade rules, or by preventing them from using trade restrictions to build up their industries.
The result was the World Trade Organization, which came into being in 1995. The WTO, from the perspective of U.S. interests, was a set of rules and institutions that would promote, consolidate, and legitimize structures of global trade ensuring the hegemony of US interests.
While free trade was the rhetoric of the WTO, the achievement of monopoly was actually the aim of the WTO's three most important agreements.
The Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) institutionalized the dumping of U.S. and European surpluses on developing countries by forcing the latter to end their import quotas and lower their tariffs. The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) sought to institutionalize U.S. corporations' monopoly of high technology by outlawing reverse engineering and other methods used by developing countries to get universal access to knowledge. The Trade Related Investment Measures Agreement (TRIMs) sought to prevent countries from imitating Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia and using trade policy, like reducing imported inputs into finished goods in favor of local inputs, to build up industries that became significant competitors both in local and global markets.
Then, in 2003, with the heft provided by India, Brazil, and China (a WTO member since 2001), the developing countries in the WTO were able to prevent the U.S. and EU's attempt to dismantle government protection of small farmers. They foiled attempts to tighten the already very restrictive TRIPs Agreement, and prevented the joint U.S.-EU attempt to bring investment, government procurement, and competition policy under the ambit of the WTO.
Following this, the U.S. abandoned the multilateral route. After the Fifth Ministerial of the WTO collapsed in Cancun in 2003, the Republican Bush administration's Special Trade Representative Robert Zoellick warned: "As the WTO members ponder the future, the U.S. will not wait: we will move towards free trade with can-do countries."
Over the next few years, the U.S. and the EU preferred to put their efforts into forging bilateral trade agreements or limited multilateral agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was the fallback position favored by the Obama administration. So Trump did not initiate the move back to unilateralism -- he merely brought to its climax, with his trade war with China, a swing back to unilateralism that had begun with the George W. Bush administration in 2003.
Indeed, Trump's blocking of judges to the WTO's appellate court is simply an extension of the policy of blocking the appointment or reappointment of judges practiced earlier by the supposedly multilateralist Obama administration. The most notorious trade act of the U.S. under Obama was its ouster in 2016 of Appellate Body Member Seung Wha Chang of South Korea on the grounds that it did not agree with the distinguished South Korean jurist's judgments in four trade disputes involving the U.S.
The result, the current global trading system, is a hodge-podge featuring a weakened WTO, failed trade agreements like the TPP, stalemated or slow-moving negotiations like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), developing country trade arrangements like Mercosur, bilateral treaties like the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, and non-institutionalized bilateral and unilateral initiatives.
This may, in fact, be the least undesirable of outcomes. For many developing countries, the era of the weak GATT regime from 1948 to 1995 was a dynamic era that left them a lot of development space owing to the lack of pressure for them to open up their agricultural and manufacturing sectors, weak trade dispute mechanisms, and the absence of anti-development pro-developed country regimes like TRIPs.
Instead of the chaos that neoliberal ideologues warn us against, current conditions might, in fact, be moving in the direction of a hybrid GATT-like system that would hold out a larger space for efforts at genuine sustainable development by the global South. Share this:One of the principal actors in the Anti-Globalization Movement, FPIF commentator Walden Bello is the author of Deglobalization: Ideas for a New World Economy (Zed, 2000) and Revisiting and Reclaiming Deglobalization (Focus on the Global South, 2019). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . This article originally appeared in German in the German periodical Welt-Sichten, Nov 7, 2019
Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Carey , December 23, 2019 at 12:15 pm
'Open Borders are a Trillion-Dollar Mistake':
Editor's Note: Last month, Foreign Policy ran an article, "Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea," which advocated for Open Borders. So for all those who say, "Oh, no one supports Open Borders," here it is in writing! Every point made by author Bryan Caplan, an economics professor, is refutable, and, while the piece is long, we believe it's important "for the record" to counter all of his points.
As I first read Bryan Caplan's "Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea" in Foreign Policy, besides disbelief, my thoughts were that this person must not get out much or must not read much. A quote from writer Upton Sinclair came to mind as well: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
And some BBC coverage of the bombings in Sweden (now apparently spreading to Denmark): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50339977
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Dec 19 2019 17:43 utc | 2Something that no one is discussing - the US sabotage of the WTO.
At the core of recent US attacks on globalisation and multilateralism lies the fact that under such conditions, the US is growing at slower pace than the world. This ultimately will nean the end of the US as a superpower.
This is a strategic move coming from the US and has nothing to do with "isolationalism" or "attempt to dismantle the Empire", as naive people here and there thought.
It is an attempt to sabotage the global economy and make sure that other countries do not grow faster than the US.
The key point of US attacks on the WTO is that they want to remove the perks for poorer countries. That means most of the world.
The aim is also, if this is not possible, to destroy the WTO, and return to law of the jungle, with open bullying and trade wars, where the stronger smash the weak in trade negotiations.
Under such conditions, the US will be able to bully most of the rest of the world into bilateral trade deals that favout its economy. This way, it will try to save itself from bankruptcy.
The US is trying everything possible to save itself. As i said in the past, they will try to destroy the global economy in order to save themselves.
Under law of the jungle, the US will benefit, as it will be the biggest bully.
This also does not look good for the EU, as the US will now prefer for it to desintegrate as it will be able to bully the different european countries one by one into better trade conditions. This is why the US is supporting Brexit.
For more on this here, article from Asia Times.
Dec 15, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 12.15.19 at 1:33 am 9Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Brexit is an eruption of English nationalism, and the Tories are now, under that shambling parody of a drunk racist English aristo, Johnson, an English nationalist party.
IMHO this is highly questionable statement. Brexit is a form of protest against neoliberal globalization. The fact that is colored with nationalism is the secondary effect/factor: rejection of neoliberalism is almost always colored in either nationalist rhetoric, or Marxist rhetoric.
Here are some quotes from paleoconservative analysis of the elections taken from two recent articles:
- Marked as [AS] Boris Johnson Is Showing Western Politicians How to Win b y Andrew Sullivan nymag.com, Dec 13, 2019
- Marked as [RD] Why Boris Won -- And How The GOP Might by Rod Dreher The American Conservative , Dec 13, 2019
While I do not share their enthusiasm about "Red Tories" rule in the UK, and the bright future for "Trumpism without Trump" movement in the USA, they IMHO provide some interesting insights into paleoconservatives view on the British elections results and elements of social protest that led to them:
[AS] It is clearer and clearer to me that the wholesale adoption of critical race, gender, and queer theory on the left makes normal people wonder what on earth they're talking about and which dictionary they are using. The white working classes are privileged? A woman can have a penis? In the end, the dogma is so crazy, and the language so bizarre, these natural left voters decided to listen to someone who does actually speak their language , even if in an absurdly plummy accent.
[AS] But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy . ... This is Trumpism without Trump. A conservative future without an ineffective and polarizing nutjob at the heart of it. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. It's very much the same movement of left-behind people expressing their views on the same issues, who, tragically, put their trust in Trump. What we've seen is how tenacious a voting bloc that now is, which is why Trumpism is here to stay. If we could only get rid of the human cancer at the heart of it.
[AS] Trump has bollixed it up, of course. He ran on Johnson's platform but gave almost all his tax cuts to the extremely wealthy, while Johnson will cut taxes on the poor. Trump talks a big game on immigration but has been unable to get any real change in the system out of Congress. Johnson now has a big majority to pass a new immigration bill, with Parliament in his control, which makes the task much easier. Trump is flamingly incompetent and unable to understand his constitutional role. Boris will assemble a competent team, with Michael Gove as his CEO, and Dom Cummings as strategist.
[AS] If Johnson succeeds, he'll have unveiled a new formula for the Western right: Make no apologies for your own country and culture; toughen immigration laws; increase public spending on the poor and on those who are "just about managing"; increase taxes on the very rich and redistribute to the poor; focus on manufacturing and new housing; ignore the woke; and fight climate change as the Tories are (or risk losing a generation of support).
[RD] I have no idea why the Republicans are so damned silent on wokeness, including the transgender madness. No doubt about it, the American people have accepted gay marriage and gay rights, broadly. But the Left will not accept this victory in the culture war. They cannot help bouncing the rubble, and driving people farther than they are willing to go, or that they should have to go. It's the elites -- and not just academic elites. Every week I get at least two e-mails from readers sending me examples of transgender wokeness taking over their professions -- especially big business. People hate this pronoun crap, but nobody dares to speak out against it, because they are afraid of being doxxed, cancelled, or at least marginalized in the workplace.
[RD] My friend said (I paraphrase):
"Can you blame people for not answering pollsters' questions? Everybody is told all the time that the things they believe, and the things they worry about, are backwards and bigoted. They have learned to keep it to themselves. It's the same thing here. I hate Donald Trump, but I'm probably going to end up voting for him, because at least he doesn't hate my sons. I want a good future for every child -- black, Latino, white, all of them -- but the Left thinks my sons are what's wrong with the world
[RD] Boris (and Sully) style Toryism is better than nothing, isn't it? As a general rule, in this emerging post-Christian social and political order, we conservative Christians had better not let the unachievable perfect be the enemy of the common-sense good enough.
Dec 14, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
by John Quiggin on December 14, 2019Now that Brexit is almost certainly going to happen, I'm reposting this piece from late 2016 , with some minor corrections, indicated by strike-outs. Feel free to have your say on any aspect of Brexit.
Since the collapse of faith in neoliberalism following the Global Financial Crisis, the political right has been increasingly dominated by
tribalismTrumpism. But in most cases, including the US, this has so far amounted to little more than Trilling's irritable mental gestures . To the extent that there is any policy program, it is little more than crony capitalism. Of all the tribalistTrumpist groups that have achieved political power the only ones that have anything amounting to a political program are the Brexiteers.
The sustainability of
tribalismTrumpism as a political force will depend, in large measure, on the perceived success or failure of Brexit. So, what will the day after Brexit (presumably, sometime in March 2019) look like, and more importantly, feel like? I'll rule out the so-called "soft Brexit" where Britain stays in the EU for all practical purposes, gaining some minor concessions on immigration restrictions. It seems unlikely and would be even more of an anti-climax than the case I want to think about.
Hidari 12.14.19 at 9:14 am (no link)Doubtless one of the attractions of Brexit at least to those who thought it up (Farrage etc.) is that it is a completely token rebellion: it appears to change very much while in reality changing very little.likbez 12.14.19 at 4:57 pm (no link)
Only one thing:
'On the contrary, it seems pretty clear that all EU citizens will get permanent residence, even those who arrived after the Brexit vote.'
Are we completely sure about this?
'One thing that this post missed completely is that Brexit is an entirely English project, imposed on the Scots and Irish. That's become more and more evident, and looks sure to dominate the days after Brexit happens.'
I kept on putting this point forward in various CT threads, getting, for some reason, massive pushback*, despite the fact that it is obviously true and always has been. Perhaps a colour coded map of the 'new' UK (which shows, essentially, the entirety of England as blue, with the exception of larger conurbations), the Welsh speaking ('outer') parts of Wales as green, essentially the entirety of Scotland as yellow, and the majority of the North of Ireland as being green, will make that point for me.
*I'm not sure why, but I think it's something to do with an unwillingness to see that in all four sections of the 'United' Kingdom we are seeing an eruption of nationalism: the SNP in Scotland, Sinn Fein in NI, Plaid in Wales and of course the Tories in England, with the Tories now functioning as, so to speak, the political wing of UKIP, or, if you want, UKIP/the Brexit Party with the 'rough edges' shaved off.
'Liberal' intellectuals have always had a blind spot for nationalism, and have always tended to reason that because nationalism is 'irrationalism' or whatever, that no one could 'really' think that way and that, therefore, nationalism doesn't 'really' exist. It obviously does, as a 1 second glance at the 'new' UK map will demonstrate.
Everything Trump does is consistent with regular conservatism
I respectfully disagree. It is not. Paleoconservatives hate Trump. Neocons for some strange reason also hate Trump, although it is not clear why -- he completely folded and conduct their foreign policy. Which is as far from classic conservatism as one can get.
I view Trumpism as specific for the USA flavor of "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization, or with globalization of a different type. The one based on bilateral treaties where stronger state can twist hands of the weaker state and dictate the conditions -- kind of neo-imperialism on steroids ( neoliberalism always was neo-imperial in foreign policy toward weaker states) .
The irony of Corbin defeat is that he was/is a critic of the EU imperialism, which by-and-large is Franco-German imperialism (EU role in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Greece) . The EU is not the dominant superpower, so it can't bully the US or China, or Russia. It can do it only when dealing with lesser powers. That's why it's difficult for anyone living inside a major EU-member to actually notice such a behavior: the desire to crush resistance of any lesser country and to force it to abide by its very own rules, whether the other countries want it or not.
The Blairites euphoria that the left was defeated, and neoliberalism still reins supreme is IMHO unwarranted. Neoliberalism as an ideology is dead and that means that Labour Party in its current form is dead as well. The same is true about the US Dems. They can achieve some tactical successes but they can't overturn their strategic defeat.
And Brexit means more close alliance with the USA (in a form of subservience) as alone GB can't conduct previous imperialist policies. It was punching above her weight within the EU (with Scripals false flag as the most recent example, see Tony Kevin take on the subject https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/08/a-determined-effort-to-undermine-russia ) , and this opportunity no longer exists.
Dec 14, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
This year's winner is Branko Milanovic's Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World . (This is the second Globie for Milanovic, who won it in 2016 for Global Inequality .) The book is based on the premise that capitalism has become the universal form of economic organization. This type of system is characterized by "production organized for profit using legally free wage labor and mostly privately owned capital, with decentralized coordination." However, there exist two different types of capitalism: the liberal meritocratic form that developed in the West, and state-led political capitalism, which exists primarily in Asia but also parts of Europe and Africa.
The two models are competitors, in part because of their adoption in different parts of the world and also because they arose in different circumstances. The liberal meritocratic system arose from the class capitalism of the late 19th century, which in turn evolved out of feudalism. Communism, Milanovic writes, took the place of bourgeoise development. Communist parties in countries such as China and Vietnam overthrew the domestic landlord class as well as foreign domination. These countries now seek to re-establish their place in the global distribution of economic power.
Milanovic highlights one characteristic that the two forms of capitalism share: inequality. Inequality in today's liberal meritocratic capitalism differs from that of classical capitalism in several features. Capital-rich individuals are also labor-rich, which reinforces the inequality. Assortative mating leads to more marriages within income classes. The upper classes use their money to control the political process to maintain their position of privilege.
Because of limited data on income distribution in many of the countries with political capitalism, Milanovic focuses on inequality in China. He attributes its rise to the gap between growth in the urban areas versus the rural, as well the difference in growth between the maritime provinces and those in the western portion of the country. There is also a rising share of income from capital , as well as a high concentration of capital income. In addition, corruption has become systemic, as it was before the communist revolution.
The mobility of labor and capital allows capitalism to operate on a global basis. Migrants from developing economies benefit when they move to advanced economies. But residents in those countries often fear migration because of its potentially disruptive effect on cultural norms, despite the positive spillover effects on the domestic economy. Milanovic proposes granting migrants limited rights, such as a finite term of stay, in order to facilitate their acceptance. He points out, however, the potential downside of the creation of an underclass.
Multinational firms have organized global supply chains that give the parent units in their home countries the ability to coordinate production in different subsidiary units and their suppliers in their host nations. Consequently, the governments of home countries seek to limit the transfer of technology to the periphery nations to avoid losing innovation rents. The host countries, on the other hand, hope to use technology to jump ahead in the development process.
The Trump administration clearly shares these concerns about the impact of globalization. President Trump has urged multinational firms to relocate production facilities within the U.S. Government officials are planning to limit the export of certain technologies while carefully scrutinizing foreign acquisitions of domestic firms in tech-related areas. New restrictions on legal immigration have been enacted that would give priority to a merit-based system. Moreover, the concerns over migration are not unique to the U.S.
Milanovic ends with some provocative thoughts about the future of capitalism. One path would be to a "people's capitalism," in which everyone has an approximately equal share of both capital and labor income. This would require tax advantages for the middle class combined with increased taxes on the rich, improvements in the quality of public education, and public funding of political campaigns. But it is also feasible that there will be a move of liberal capitalism toward a form of political capitalism based on the rise of the new elite, who wish to retain their position within society.
Milanovic's book offers a wide-ranging review of many of the features of contemporary capitalism. He is particularly insightful about the role of corruption in both liberal and political capitalism. Whether or not it is feasible to reform capitalism in order to serve a wider range of interests is one of the most important issues of our time.
2018 Adam Tooze, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
2017 Stephen D. King, Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History
2016 Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality
2015 Benjamin J. Cohen. Currency Power: Understanding Monetary Rivalry
2014 Martin Wolf, The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned–and Have Still to Learn–from the Financial Crisis
likbez , December 14, 2019 3:35 am
The Trump administration clearly shares these concerns about the impact of globalization. President Trump has urged multinational firms to relocate production facilities within the U.S. Government officials are planning to limit the export of certain technologies while carefully scrutinizing foreign acquisitions of domestic firms in tech-related areas. New restrictions on legal immigration have been enacted that would give priority to a merit-based system. Moreover, the concerns over migration are not unique to the U.S.
== end ==
In plain language that means the collapse of neoliberal globalization.
Nov 25, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am ( 46 )
Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43
And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.
This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !
May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.
Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.
Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.
Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.
IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.
Jul 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com
This lecture is part of the McMaster Department of Philosophy's Summer School in Capitalism, democratic solidarity, and Institutional design
ProLansPl , 3 months agoTurbo Skeleton , 3 months ago
At first I thought the guy makes up lack of knowledge by trying to be funny. I stand corrected though: he's smart, informative and funny as heck. Way to go!Randy Ozaeta , 3 months ago
1:23:48 "Will Trump win again?"debbiedogs1 , 3 months ago
Cant believe he missed tulsi, i actually put biden on the lower end with beto but idk thats my perspective and yes trump will most likely win but i wanna see who's the democratic nominee because i think hes underestimating the amount of people willing to come out for berniemythrail , 3 months ago
Bernie is still THE most popular candidate, despite mainstream media pretending that he is not. The skullduggery of media and the establishment is ENDLESS - including not allowing a couple of hundred Bernie supporters to come in with their signs and shirts, but allowing Warren supporters to do so and showing ONLY THOSE SUPPORTERS. Nice, huh?James Stuart , 3 months ago
Nixon decided to un-peg the dollar (from gold) in 1971, which was the last remaining constraint on price inflation. Currency supply increases, which eventually become price inflation, have been the norm since. The rest of this could be plainly foreseen with a decent understanding of Hayek's business cycle contributions.debbiedogs1 , 3 months ago
Professor Blythe, you are outstanding. I wish that you had been my tutor in graduate school. Everything you say makes sense perfect sense, but the plug for the #SNP . Some British people identify as Scottish, believe themselves to be different. The same could be said of people from Yorkshire; my grandparents hail from Bradford & Glasgow respectively. We're all British; we all rely on the South-East; to wit, London ... like it or not. Could Scotland - sure Scots. are cannier than Greeks ... or are they - survive as a vassal state of The Berlin-Brussels Axis? I may be old school but give me the Anglophone world every time ;).
I would love to know how you would advise Nicky Sturgeon should Brigadoon ever become a reality or will the next #GFC be death knell of the #EUropean experiment, putting an end - just for now - to the British constitutional issue - ?Antonio Garmsci , 3 months ago (edited)
Blyth is wrong about Warren, HER record is thinner than Bernie's by far. She talks a good game, stands for almost nothing and will do almost everything our corrupt establishment wants, including the MIC and other sociopathic profiteers. smdhPaul Allan , 3 months ago
The US stock market are so IPO's can steal money. Yeah, that sound about right. Capitalism is the crisis!!!Victor Psoras , 3 months ago
A quality 15-minute version of this video's info is needed.
He does not talk about the warfare welfare state so he is wrong about inflation.
Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com
Globalism sounds like such a nice thing for many, it even has a nice ring to it! At least to the naïve, whom actually believe that if the world could just get together and work out its problems under one big umbrella, all would be great. I think most people would agree that true free trade, coupled with safeguards to protect American jobs would be fine. The corrupted globalism that this world has become nearly immersed in is a mechanism that, in reality, is intent on creating a one world corporate owned planet operated under a top-down, locked-down, political and economic management system backed up by coercion. Whew! That is a mouthful I agree! It will be run by a partnership of the top .001% of wealthiest elites and administered by the United Nations. International rules and laws for every single decision will nearly all come under the auspices the United Nations. This plan has been laid out in various United Nations publications and official policy.
President Trump has vowed to, and succeeded in some ways, to buck these one world globalists, not to say he hasn't treated them to overly generous tax breaks since he has been in charge! Not withstanding the prior, these one world globalists include even some of the most prominent lawmakers in Washington D.C. far too often. The entrenched snake sales people over at the White House lawmaking division are far too often part of the plan to decimate America whether they believe it or not. We can only hope that a large part of them are do not realize what the end-game is of this globalist cabal. Perhaps this is of course why we so often shake our heads in disbelief when they utter ideas and beliefs that sound so foreign to ears, anti-American and even scary!
So far, Pres. Trump seems to have accomplished about as much as any one president ever could accomplish when walking into a room of entrenched den of thieves! Washington is not going to be a part of solving the problems of globalism, for they and the globalists are in bed together. Part of the problem remains that the establishment agenda is overrun by statists who walk in lock-step with their leaders and party platforms even if corrupted. It is just too profitable for them to ignore. Yet, the truth is that statism has no sense of proportion. These sometimes well-meaning politicians, once they are put into power, knowingly or unknowingly become slaves to their corporate owners. This is corporatocracy, and it is unsustainable. The one world corporate pirates, comprising a collection of the largest 100 or so family dynasties, do in fact control approximately 90 percent of the wealth of the world, hidden inside a dark web of very complex multi-structured organizations and corporate nameplates. Such makes it very difficult, but not impossible to truly figure out who the real owners are behind the maze. This is perhaps the reason why I contend that President Trump, an outsider with a new direction for America, may be our last chance. Most of these types hate Trump because he is hitting them where it hurts on most fronts and is slowing down the globalist agenda!
Corporate socialism IS globalism. It is a growing and controlled oligarchy. As such, it affords both the supranational capitalists, world's governments and non-elected quasi governmental agencies to profit together as a baseball team would. Yes, working together with one unified grand vision for the profit and powers of both. Globalism is the name. We already see how nearly everything around us is becoming part of the so-called global order. These, creating quid-pro-quo systems of control over the entire world economies, whom create wars for profit, create inflation to inadvertently benefit themselves and enact so-called "free-trade partnerships" that portend to help creates jobs here at home, only succeed occasionally of creating low wage service jobs in large part in the parts of the world that the globalists venture with their self-serving con-game. Limiting competition, being on the inside, having power over others, this is what the global government and one world monopolistic corporations are all about. The free trade agreements offer all of its members to petition, (and usually get) allowances to get around many of the safeguards and traditional legal rules that used to be sacrosanct in world trade. Especially as to food processing. The move toward monopolization is perhaps the biggest motivator these have for supporting globalist (un)free trade agreements.
What the true elite globalists (who reside in both political parties in Washington and world power centers in particular) want is unbridled control over nearly everything in order to unite us into a global world of subservient slaves unto them. So, what's the answer?
It is easy to witness that the far leftists often do not divulge they are socialists at all. In recent years, this is changing, now that millions of young voters have been convinced by their colleges and mass media outlets that socialism IS the answer. In the past, no candidate would utter the word socialism for fear of many lost votes. Today, a surprisingly large percentage of politicians in government are onboard. We can easily spot them if we compare their voting records. Then compare them to the promises made when running for election! So, before you get too comfortable with politicians who come off as infectiously kind and compassionate while often using the words 'fairness', "world community", "social equality", "open borders", "free trade", "globalism", "social justice" and other such pleasantly attractive bleeding heart politicians using such catch-phrases, be careful. Although Democrats will more often than not fall into this category of unsung globalists, many on both sides of the isle fit the bill as well. Some more than others knowingly use these kind sounding platforms in order to garner votes from the gullible young in particular. History shows over and over again how gullible citizens can be duped into voting for someone they thought was a caring politician, then come to discover they voted for a hidden socialist or communist in fact. Although we can all agree on the responsibilities of our government as spelled out in the Constitution, our founding fathers warned the new country that we must beware of politicians who promise more than that great document promises.
Government / corporate partnerships, whether formal or consensual, create insanely profitable fortunes for their owners while too often screwing over not only Americans but the worlds taxpaying citizens and their industrialized countries as well. Who do you think the prime contractors are who build and supply trillions of dollars of military weapons to the huge, high testosterone American military machine? These war factories are largely owned by billion-dollar super elites whose huge goliath corporations very often operate under a duplicity of names that largely hides the true identities of the owners behind them. These true owners often use layers of sub-corporations operating under various, differing names and locations providing legal and illegal tax havens around the world. Apple pays zero US taxes for example using such a scheme. This is just one case amongst thousands. Often the tax havens are claimed are justified by the existence of a foreign post office box. Seldom are these caught or fined by our U.S. authorities. When they do occasionally get caught, the fines are typically just a miniscule part of the total savings they have accumulated over the past years.
With a little research we can find many of the same board members appearing again and again on the rosters of the quietly interconnected mega corporations. This creates the long-time problem of immoral collusions that often allow shifting of profits to other tax havens, allowing American profits to go untaxed and shifting the responsibility fully onto the American worker. Does it not make sense that a corporation that makes ridiculous record profits such as Apple and others do, that they should pay their share? This globalist mindset of the elites creates record profits at the expense of American workers and their spending powers.
Within our public "screwling system" as I call it, students are increasingly taught that "globalism" is a new religion of sorts, a "cure-all" for world discourse perhaps! Those with enough power to create massive changes in culture are behind the politically correct culture, the green movement and most other leftist power grabs. These are often the very same supra-national corporations and political kingpins who wish to undermine the America we remember, its legal system while creating a monopolistic economic and totalitarian one world state. It is wise to remember the confirmed beliefs and admissions o f the godfathers of the one world order. Of course I am speaking of the Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan and dozens more of the wealthiest families of the world whom have for centuries verifiably acted upon and talked of such plans. Their heirs, as well as the new titans such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (Amazon fame), Elon Musk (Tesla) and other such billionaire or trillionaire types are nearly all on board vocally with a one world order system of governance. I will cover this much more further on.
For over 100 years, much of American education has been stealthily entrenched in anti-Western "cultural Marxism" propaganda and other damaging indoctrinations (as I document later). Public schools have long promoted the globalism lie, teaching such as the yellow brick road towards acceptance of a one world order that delivers utopia. It is hard indeed to find a young person today in America who still believes strongly in traditional values and ideas of self-responsibility, detest government interference in their lives, loves the Constitution, what it stands for and protects. They have been indoctrinated by our schools to the point that common sense no longer matters, for honest discourse in discussions are heavily discouraged in many a classroom. I prove further along that most of the liberal ideology being increasingly touted by the left is borne out of a long dreamt of socialist utopia carried out by a partnership between the corporate globalists, the U.N. and those elites who desire power over the world. And I can guarantee to you that these are getting impatient. These, their cohorts/devotees are those whom desire to make the choices as to everything you buy, eat, drive, live, your job destiny, how much or how little you make, etc. etc. Most of this agenda is not so hidden, contained already within the prime vehicle to bring about the one world order with the United Nations Agenda 21 policies taking place around the world.
Considering that at least 50% of the world's wealth is verifiably controlled by the top 1% consisting of only 67 of the world's wealthiest individuals (and shrinking), this is pretty good evidence that we are essentially being controlled by a very small corporate global elite club designed and run for the few. These stats are verified later. The pace of their destruction is staggering.
Today, the top 200 corporations are bigger than the combined economies of 182 countries and have twice the economic influence than 80 per cent of all humanity as I prove!
Globalism has come very far in rendering world with greatly reduced amounts of anything amounting to a capitalistic system that comes with practical safeguards against abuses that place too much harm to the hard working stiffs. Increasingly, we witness wage inequalities worse than in the Great Depression. Truly, the top 10 percent earners have left everyone else in the dust increasingly over the last 50 years. The top 1 percenters incomes during this time has gone to the moon at the expense of the masses.
Globalism is the vehicle to achieve the elite globalist goals of a one world order, separate, nationalistic and independent nations with their own borders must be eliminated, which shouldn't be too much of a problem to accomplish in much of the world, especially in the current socialist run countries in and around the European continent and America who largely embrace socialism. What is ironic is that socialist Briton's have turn their backs on Brexit, meant to centralize nearly all power to the elite globalists. Little did they realize that you can't have both, at least in the long run.
The League of Nations was the precursor of the United Nations. From their beginnings, the primary long-term reason for both of them had always been to be the primary central agency of the world, an assemblage of the top global power brokers created to steer and carry out the new world order which has been dreamt of for millennium. Its creation has not been, as it touts, "to create a harmonious and peaceful world". No, the U.N.'s overarching goal has been to create a one world government using the ploy of globalism. There are ample records dating back before its very creation, direct from the U.N.'s own publications and top officers and founders to support this statement which I document quite fully in order to prove that point. This UN has with much ambition endorsed and sanctioned one world inspired leaders, corporations, groups, agencies, NGO's and billionaires from countries all around the globe in a long term unified vision of this new world order in order to further the one world agenda. The help that the UN has supplied in the creation of most planned wars, coups and disruptions across the world is well known by those who have done their homework on that subject. It is this cabal and others that are the enemies of true freedoms, borders, sovereignty across the globe yet are completely onboard with creating a one world government. Americanism or any other type of governance besides their one world order. These are the a major part of the world's Deep State apparatus who are in fact often hidden forces behind the worlds corporate powered global power structure.
The global multinational corporatist leaders have pushed their un-free trade treaties, long creating a horrid record of killing millions of good paying jobs across America and nearly everywhere they venture. These stealing of good jobs have swelled the bank accounts and powers of these globalist multinational corporations while boosting their wealth into the top 1% largely at the expense of the masses who now work for far less. lowered wages.
The globalists new world order plan requires a complete breakdown of the required systems that have historically allowed nation to prosper on its own merits. Sold by both parties is the false belief that big government can fix everything. This long-running sales job actually promotes self-interest above all, using deceptive techniques as I cover. Such a sales job requires a break away from traditions that bind us with our neighbors and family. It requires a growth in narcissism, self above God so much so that we can now even witiness the horrid reality of pedophilia becoming more mainstream! Since President Trump's reign, thousands of pedophilia people and groups have been arrested as never before! Thousand of killer gang members have been arrested as never before, especially those inside of the MS-13 ruthless group. This is just one of many actions by this President that leads to my belief that our new President is holding up his end of the agreement. Like him or not, he at least is holding up his promises.
History is replete with all the immense damages that the globalist movement has brought upon the world. These have sold the lie that globalism is the answer to the inequalities between the haves and the have nots. While the opposite is the real truth! The truth is now evident when one looks at the condition of the world they have pushed upon all of us over the last many years.
The elite new world order operatives have infiltrated all the major nations governmental agencies, top positions of power. Led by the lure of power, connectedness, money, these are often not aware that they are actually perpetuating a plan that is deadly for much of the world if the globalist elites they serve should get their way. Unfortunately for these self serving minions only are concerned with self promotion often. Yet the fact remains that political expediency and promotions come with compliance. The heads of nearly every major country are working together with this huge one world apparatus machine that is enclosed within the UN, World Bank, IMF, European Union, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Family, the corporation called America, and hundreds of other governmental and non-governmental centers of power. Many of these hide behind nice sounding, humanitarian nameplates. Nearly all the crises we see play out are ones they actually create, (of which American hegemony around the world is a large player). For these, the ends always justify the means.
Continual non-stop conflicts around the world, of which America is often at the forefront of are exponentially increasing. I will explain why and how America's endless war policies has been implemented over the last many years, but I cannot divulge my take on who and what is behind much of the openly visible powers working behind much of the news we hear.
Explained will be real, actual reasons why America has spent over 15 years in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya with nothing to show besides disasters and deaths, while earning a bad reputation around the world as a bully. Be assured that the elites and banking system have made trillions of dollars from these three examples. And lives mean little. Psychopaths don't care about anything beyond their own desires and powers, and many of these are psychopaths indeed. They use false justifications as a passport to sell many of their warring's and destructions. This is globalism.
I predict that the CIA, (a globalist arm of the U.S. Government and deep state), armed with an unlimited budget and trillions of dollars derived from their years of secret under the radar dirty operations, are likely to be an agency to be reviewed, revamped or remodeled within the not so distant future. The truths behind this clandestine, above the law and corrupted agency may finally be surfacing as well. Ever since the Trump Russian collusion witch hunt also with an unlimited budget as well both of these conducted, likely during Pres. Trump's time as president, we should expect to witness a firestorm of controversy and change more momentous than anything in American history, hopefully.
President Donald Trump has his work cut out, but his years in office have shown he is no typical deep state establishment fixture of either political party! What we are now witnessing is perhaps the most important and fateful elections in America's entire history. The results will either allow the Republican Party to prove itself to be the party of the people, or become impotent, simply becoming water boys for the Democrat Party, thereafter having little real power for decades perhaps. The results of the coming elections leading into 2020, (general and mid-terms), will in fact be the determining factor for whether America and the world reject conservativism or falls into the clutches of a highly touted, yet untruthful liberalism that doesn't even resemble the old party of the people that dems used to own in the far past. So, we must ask ourselves, how did this all come to such a historic moment as we are living in?
Nov 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
steven t johnson 11.01.19 at 3:27 pm 64
Last, these OT comments are not truly OT. The WTO is being dismantled by Trumpian nonfeasance in pursuit of the deliberate rejection of the very idea of international institutions (of imperialism, as I see it, but others don't,) standing above the national state, immunizing the market against the mistakes of democracy, providing the essential support to make a world market.
The OP says in the title this is arrogance, presumably as violating economic science. But all these seeming side issues are about political economy in the end. Trump wants to pretend the US has been exploited by the old system, and pose as a nationalist. I think he just wants to rationalize US empire, cutting costs, increasing ROI, etc.
I think Trump is getting support, primarily from the rich; also from middle strata, the kind of people who put FOX TV on in the waiting rooms of their businesses; AKA from lower strata led by Christianity to favor any oppressive government that will provide them support for their efforts to police society; also lower strata ethnic groups who have slowly been turning inwards to each other as they see a future dog-eat-dog country where the breeds of dogs have to stick together, or perish.
In short, what the OP sees as arrogant dismissal of science I see as desperation masked with bravado.
Oct 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
Arrogance destroyed the World Trade Organisation
by John Quiggin on October 27, 2019
what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .
The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .
An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).Share this:
likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm ( 1 )That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."
Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorable) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.
That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.
All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.
That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .
The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .
An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).
likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pmJohn Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."
Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.
That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.
All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.
That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.Exactly right!Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )I agree with Matt.Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6
In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.
Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.
But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."
Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.
Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.
It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.
China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.
I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.
In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.
In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.
I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.
steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 amIf I may venture to translate @1?
Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.
Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.
I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .
If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.
The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.
Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.
I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.
I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.
likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13
fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4
> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."
It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.
And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)
> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries
I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.
politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8
> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning
You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).
Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).
Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.
"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism
Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9
> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.
This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.
Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.
And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.
Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.
The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.
Sep 22, 2017 | www.unz.com
...buried in Donald Trump's address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities.
Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but "to make the world safe for democracy."
Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies.
After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe's nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA.
Europe's nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Parliament of man, the Federation of the world."
Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for "a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals."
For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.
Today, the Gaullist vision is ascendant.
"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government," said Trump at the U.N. "Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.
"In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch."
Translation: We Americans have created something unique in history. But we do not assert that we should serve as a model for mankind. Among the 190 nations, others have evolved in different ways from diverse cultures, histories, traditions. We may reject their values but we have no God-given right to impose ours upon them.
It is difficult to reconcile Trump's belief in self-determination with a National Endowment for Democracy whose reason for being is to interfere in the politics of other nations to make them more like us.
Trump's idea of patriotism has deep roots in America's past. After the uprisings of 1848 against the royal houses of Europe failed, Lajos Kossuth came to seek support for the cause of Hungarian democracy. He was wildly welcomed and hailed by Secretary of State Daniel Webster. But Henry Clay, more true to the principles of Washington's Farewell Address, admonished Kossuth:
"Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty that, adhering to our wise, pacific system, and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on the western shore as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe."
Trump's U.N. address echoed Clay: "In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values."
Trump is saying with John Quincy Adams that our mission is not to go "abroad in search of monsters to destroy," but to "put America first." He is repudiating the New World Order of Bush I, the democracy crusades of the neocons of the Bush II era, and the globaloney of Obama.
Trump's rhetoric implies intent; and action is evident from Rex Tillerson's directive to his department to rewrite its mission statement -- and drop the bit about making the world democratic. The current statement reads: "The Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world." Tillerson should stand his ground. For America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic. If we do not cure ourselves of this interventionist addiction, it will end our republic. When did we dethrone our God and divinize democracy?
And are 21st-century American values really universal values?
Should all nations
Disclaimer , September 22, 2017 at 10:14 am GMTSo Donald Trump is now Charles de Gualle?KenH , says: September 22, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT
At least Mr. Buchanan's latest column has no Establishment horsefeathers about Russian "hacking" of our precious democracy. However, doesn't he yet realize that there's usually something for everyone in any formal address by President Trump?
The author can pluckily show how passages (apparently written by Stephen Miller?) are consistent with America's founding principles, and perhaps an essay like this will reach and enlighten others. But the President doesn't understand or hold those principles, as will once again become evident in his own words thumbed into a so called smart phone and the actions of an imperial Establishment for which he is, at best, nothing more than an embarrassing annoyance.
And Ms. Haley is at the UN every day.Rurik , says: September 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm GMT
"In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch."
Perhaps not, but we have been trying to impose (((American))) style democracy and where/when that's not possible, puppet dictators. We claim to respect national sovereignty but overthrew Saddam Hussein, helped overthrow Qadaffi, staged a color revolution in Ukraine, seem to be undermining Maduro of Venezuela, are looking for ways to break the nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran and until recently, attempting to overthrow and depose the duly elected leader of Syria which may still be in the works.
I guess the Jew(s) who wrote Trump's speech is hoping the world has amnesia. If Trump truly means what he says then he will start closing our military bases and bringing our troops home. His lofty words need to be matched by deeds.
If we ever want to overthrow any leader we just claim they are killing and torturing their own people or possess unauthorized WMD. But if you are killing and torturing your people and Israel likes you or doesn't feel threatened by you then we'll stand down.reiner Tor , says: September 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT
And are 21st-century American values really universal values?
Should all nations embrace same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and the separation of church and state if that means, as it has come to mean here, the paganization of public education and the public square?
the moral rot and spiritual sewage pumped out of ((Hollywood)) and ((Madison Ave.)) are hardly pagan.
Paganism is a spiritual celebration of a people's blood and ancient Gods of lust, fertility and heroism. The SJW of ((American)) culture today are the exact opposite of paganism, as they wallow in blood-profaning 'diversity' and spiritual septic tanks of homomania.
If freedom of speech and the press here have produced a popular culture that is an open sewer and a politics of vilification and venom, why would we seek to impose this upon other peoples?
it isn't freedom of speech or a free press that has produced the evils you speak of Pat, but rather the consolidation of our press and media by the enemies of free speech. Duh.
For the State Department to declare America's mission to be to make all nations look more like us might well be regarded as a uniquely American form of moral imperialism.
hardly moral imperialism, rather amoral imperialism.
promoting, indeed demanding moral rot and spiritual gangrene are ((America's)) exports today, along with debt and bombs.
If Trump can somehow turn this situation around, and rein in the ((purveyors)) of hatred and mass-murder, he'll be a modern day Charles [The Hammer] Martell. The Lion of the West, and savior of Christendom and Europa.
An (unlikely) Second Coming of sorts, where Satan's nefarious rule is pushed back, and humanity and Western civilization are once again free from the evils of Moloch's minion$.
Just imagine Putin in the East, and Trump in the West, and a healthy and ascendant Europe in between, free from mass migrations and serial wars of ((imposed)) hatred and theft and misery. Oy veh!utu , says: September 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm GMT
If a U.S. president calls an adversary "Rocket Man on a mission to suicide," and warns his nation may be "totally destroyed,"
then it is quite irrelevant what else he says, because what's obvious is that he's continuing his game of nuclear chicken with the North Korean regime, which is because he has a problem with the fact that a country on the other side of a huge ocean is developing nuclear weapons. Not very Gaullist, I think.
He was also threatening Iran, all the while lengthily admonishing Iran's leaders for their form of government, for leading a "dictatorship", for having allegedly mismanaged their country. This is not a Gaullist position at all, for example, quite the opposite.At this stage trying to spin Trump utterances like that he might be a Gaullist is a complete nonsense. His only redeeming value is that his enemies are who they are. Still as last several months indicate Trump always ends up doing exactly what these "enemies" want.dc.sunsets , says: September 22, 2017 at 9:17 pm GMT
"Trump has unfortunately proven to be exactly what his detractors claimed he was; immature, egotistical, unprincipled, vain, elitist. This certainly doesn't make most of his critics any less offensive than they are. Indeed, that is the lone redeeming value of Trump's administration; he continues to have all the right enemies. The threats of violence, even assassination, from every pillar of the establishment almost make one want to continue to defend him. Almost."Baloney.27 year old , says: September 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm GMT
The US Multi-National Chamber of Commerce makes most of its money by arbitrage between high price retailing to consumers in the USA and low cost manufacturing in China, et.al.. And the C of C is nakedly buying the best Congressional GOP/RNC and DNC available and they're ALL available.
This is called channel-stuffing. Stuff more people into the USA, get more arbitrage.
Then there's nakedly laundering payments to US corporations via "foreign aid." In every case, the "aid" is either money to buy American weapons or such, or Uncle buys it himself and sends it. Either way, the US Treasury borrows and spends .and US corporations collect.
In this regard, Uncle Sam is just like the typical college student or medical patient, a means by which the supplier creates a conduit to the fruits of borrowed money.
Every bit of this grew up the last 36 years (well, it got way worse, anyway, from poisonous seeds earlier) and it won't end until interest rates rise and choke off borrowing.
This will happen when the Mass Mind finally awakens from a three and a half decade stupor and realizes just what happened. Instead of empty platitudes about unpayable debts and uncollectable pensions and future cash flows, the Mass Mind will SEE it clearly for the first time.
Oh, the RAGE will be epic. I need to buy myself a cavern or old missile silo in which to sit out the actions that will be animated by it.
I hope the economists and popular pundits who kept telling us debt was "no problem" are at the head of the line when scapegoating gets REAL .@dc.sunsets >I need to buy myself a cavern or old missile silo in which to sit out the actions that will be animated by it.Talha , says: September 22, 2017 at 11:31 pm GMT
Yours for only $850k:
https://www.survivalrealty.com/united-states/north-dakota/fsbo/rare-sprint-missile-site-for-sale-12000-sqft-underground/@utuDisclaimer , September 23, 2017 at 12:37 am GMT
His only redeeming value is that his enemies are who they are.
Long live President Not-Hillary!!!
Peace.Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but "to make the world safe for democracy."Disclaimer , September 23, 2017 at 12:44 am GMT
To Wilson's credit, the logic of his argument was nationalist against imperialism. In principle(if not in practice), he was calling for self-determination and national sovereignty for all peoples of the world.
Wilson was NOT calling for wars to spread democracy. He was saying nations should self-determine their own destinies and HOPEFULLY, democracy is the path they take.
In this sense. Bush and Neocons were not Wilsonian but closer to Teddy Rooseveltism that was for empire and a World Club of Imperial Nations.
That said, Trump is a two-headed snake. Gaulle was a truly legendary leader. Trump is a showman who has now cucked out to globalist. His rhetoric means nothing.For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.polskijoe , says: September 23, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT
This makes no sense. The German Guilt in WWII was imperialism, not nationalism. They waged war on nationalism all over Europe. They forced Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, and etc to forgo their identity and dissolve into German empire as helots.
Anti-Nazi struggle in WWII meant recovery of one's nation's sovereignty and independence(though this was thwarted once again by Soviet domination of Eastern Europe).
Germans sure learned the wrong lesson. They no longer send armies to other nations, but their message is the same to Poles, Hungarians, Greeks, and others.. SURRENDER YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY AND BE RUN OVER BY FOREIGN INVADERS, this time Muslims and Africans who are even worse than Germans.polskijoe , says: September 23, 2017 at 10:00 am GMT
They no longer send armies to other nations, but their message is the same to Poles, Hungarians, Greeks, and others.. SURRENDER YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY AND BE RUN OVER BY FOREIGN INVADERS,
agreed. now its more political and economic.
but to be fair, we dont know how much power Germany elites really have. how much of their talk is really their views, vs how much is influenced from US/France/etc. do they want eu seperate, do they want atlanticist eu-us connection?
i wonder how the demographic problems will play in the future. assuming projections are right, slavic lands (especially between Germany and Russia) will have less people due to fertility rates. will that be lebensraum for the new mixed society of germany?trump is not a gaullist, at all.The Scalpel , says: Website September 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm GMT
charles de guale wanted europe. he left nato, he criticized US influence.
the cia (through dulles) tried to remove him (I recall reading this somewhere, cant confirm).
the modern sarkozy and those are fakes pretending to be guallist.Hey, if you don't like it "you're fired!" And you can't play football either! To think I once was a Trump supporter Hillary or not, this guy is dangerous.Disclaimer , September 24, 2017 at 12:50 am GMT@Rurikjacques sheete , says: September 24, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT
abortion on demand
Pagan. Mostly less the "marriage", except Nero.
separation of church and state
Not really pagan. In some cases like Mithra and to a lesser extent Isis.
the paganization of public education
I refer to Chesterton here: https://www.chesterton.org/the-song-of-the-strange-ascetic/
If freedom of speech and the press here have produced a popular culture that is an open sewer and a politics of vilification and venom, why would we seek to impose this upon other peoples?
Don't blame freedom of speech and the press for the popular culture that's an open [moral] sewer; blame the self anointed money bag "elite" who control the press and much of everything else whose "culture" has always been a sewer, albeit somewhat discreetly closed.
They say a fish rots from the head down, and evidently the rule has, and still does, apply to human social systems as well.
The "why would we seek to impose this upon other peoples?" question is spot on, however.
Aug 25, 2019 | portside.org
Originally from: Monthly Review printer friendlyThe ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop.
Harry Magdoff's The Age of Imperialism is a classic work that shows how postwar political decolonization does not negate the phenomenon of imperialism. The book has two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it follows in V. I. Lenin's footsteps in providing a comprehensive account of how capitalism at the time operated globally. On the other hand, it raises a question that is less frequently discussed in Marxist literature -- namely, the need for imperialism. Here, Magdoff not only highlighted the crucial importance, among other things, of the third world's raw materials for metropolitan capital, but also refuted the argument that the declining share of raw-material value in gross manufacturing output somehow reduced this importance, making the simple point that there can be no manufacturing at all without raw materials. 1
Magdoff's focus was on a period when imperialism was severely resisting economic decolonization in the third world, with newly independent third world countries taking control over their own resources. He highlighted the entire armory of weapons used by imperialism. But he was writing in a period that predated the onset of neoliberalism. Today, we not only have decades of neoliberalism behind us, but the neoliberal regime itself has reached a dead end. Contemporary imperialism has to be discussed within this setting.Globalization and Economic Crisis
There are two reasons why the regime of neoliberal globalization has run into a dead end. The first is an ex ante tendency toward global overproduction; the second is that the only possible counter to this tendency within the regime is the formation of asset-price bubbles, which cannot be conjured up at will and whose collapse, if they do appear, plunges the economy back into crisis. In short, to use the words of British economic historian Samuel Berrick Saul, there are no "markets on tap" for contemporary metropolitan capitalism, such as had been provided by colonialism prior to the First World War and by state expenditure in the post-Second World War period of dirigisme . 2
The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. As Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy argued in Monopoly Capital , following the lead of Michał Kalecki and Josef Steindl, such a rise in the share of economic surplus, or a shift from wages to surplus, has the effect of reducing aggregate demand since the ratio of consumption to income is higher on average for wage earners than for those living off the surplus. 3 Therefore, assuming a given level of investment associated with any period, such a shift would tend to reduce consumption demand and hence aggregate demand, output, and capacity utilization. In turn, reduced capacity utilization would lower investment over time, further aggravating the demand-reducing effect arising from the consumption side.
While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand.
Historically, while labor has not been, and is still not, free to migrate from the third world to the metropolis, capital, though juridically free to move from the latter to the former, did not actually do so , except to sectors like mines and plantations, which only strengthened, rather than broke, the colonial pattern of the international division of labor. 4 This segmentation of the world economy meant that wages in the metropolis increased with labor productivity, unrestrained by the vast labor reserves of the third world, which themselves had been caused by the displacement of manufactures through the twin processes of deindustrialization (competition from metropolitan goods) and the drain of surplus (the siphoning off of a large part of the economic surplus, through taxes on peasants that are no longer spent on local artisan products but finance gratis primary commodity exports to the metropolis instead).
The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5
At the same time, such relocation of activities, despite causing impressive growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) in many third world countries, does not lead to the exhaustion of the third world's labor reserves. This is because of another feature of contemporary globalization: the unleashing of a process of primitive accumulation of capital against petty producers, including peasant agriculturists in the third world, who had earlier been protected, to an extent, from the encroachment of big capital (both domestic and foreign) by the postcolonial dirigiste regimes in these countries. Under neoliberalism, such protection is withdrawn, causing an income squeeze on these producers and often their outright dispossession from their land, which is then used by big capital for its various so-called development projects. The increase in employment, even in countries with impressive GDP growth rates in the third world, falls way short of the natural growth of the workforce, let alone absorbing the additional job seekers coming from the ranks of displaced petty producers. The labor reserves therefore never get used up. Indeed, on the contrary, they are augmented further, because real wages continue to remain tied to a subsistence level, even as metropolitan wages too are restrained. The vector of real wages in the world economy as a whole therefore remains restrained.
Although contemporary globalization thus gives rise to an ex ante tendency toward overproduction, state expenditure that could provide a counter to this (and had provided a counter through military spending in the United States, according to Baran and Sweezy) can no longer do so under the current regime. Finance is usually opposed to direct state intervention through larger spending as a way of increasing employment. This opposition expresses itself through an opposition not just to larger taxes on capitalists, but also to a larger fiscal deficit for financing such spending. Obviously, if larger state spending is financed by taxes on workers, then it hardly adds to aggregate demand, for workers spend the bulk of their incomes anyway, so the state taking this income and spending it instead does not add any extra demand. Hence, larger state spending can increase employment only if it is financed either through a fiscal deficit or through taxes on capitalists who keep a part of their income unspent or saved. But these are precisely the two modes of financing state expenditure that finance capital opposes.
Its opposing larger taxes on capitalists is understandable, but why is it so opposed to a larger fiscal deficit? Even within a capitalist economy, there are no sound economic theoretical reasons that should preclude a fiscal deficit under all circumstances. The root of the opposition therefore lies in deeper social considerations: if the capitalist economic system becomes dependent on the state to promote employment directly , then this fact undermines the social legitimacy of capitalism. The need for the state to boost the animal spirits of the capitalists disappears and a perspective on the system that is epistemically exterior to it is provided to the people, making it possible for them to ask: If the state can do the job of providing employment, then why do we need the capitalists at all? It is an instinctive appreciation of this potential danger that underlies the opposition of capital, especially of finance, to any direct effort by the state to generate employment.
This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis.
The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6
It may be thought that this compulsion on the part of the state to accede to the demand of finance to eschew fiscal intervention for enlarging employment should not hold for the United States. Its currency being considered by the world's wealth holders to be "as good as gold" should make it immune to capital flight. But there is an additional factor operating in the case of the United States: that the demand generated by a bigger U.S. fiscal deficit would substantially leak abroad in a neoliberal setting, which would increase its external debt (since, unlike Britain in its heyday, it does not have access to any unrequited colonial transfers) for the sake of generating employment elsewhere. This fact deters any fiscal effort even in the United States to boost demand within a neoliberal setting. 7
Therefore, it follows that state spending cannot provide a counter to the ex ante tendency toward global overproduction within a regime of neoliberal globalization, which makes the world economy precariously dependent on occasional asset-price bubbles, primarily in the U.S. economy, for obtaining, at best, some temporary relief from the crisis. It is this fact that underlies the dead end that neoliberal capitalism has reached. Indeed, Donald Trump's resort to protectionism in the United States to alleviate unemployment is a clear recognition of the system having reached this cul-de-sac. The fact that the mightiest capitalist economy in the world has to move away from the rules of the neoliberal game in an attempt to alleviate its crisis of unemployment/underemployment -- while compensating capitalists adversely affected by this move through tax cuts, as well as carefully ensuring that no restraints are imposed on free cross-border financial flows -- shows that these rules are no longer viable in their pristine form.Some Implications of This Dead End
There are at least four important implications of this dead end of neoliberalism. The first is that the world economy will now be afflicted by much higher levels of unemployment than it was in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, when the dot-com and the housing bubbles in the United States had, sequentially, a pronounced impact. It is true that the U.S. unemployment rate today appears to be at a historic low, but this is misleading: the labor-force participation rate in the United States today is lower than it was in 2008, which reflects the discouraged-worker effect . Adjusting for this lower participation, the U.S. unemployment rate is considerable -- around 8 percent. Indeed, Trump would not be imposing protection in the United States if unemployment was actually as low as 4 percent, which is the official figure. Elsewhere in the world, of course, unemployment post-2008 continues to be evidently higher than before. Indeed, the severity of the current problem of below-full-employment production in the U.S. economy is best illustrated by capacity utilization figures in manufacturing. The weakness of the U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is indicated by the fact that the current extended recovery represents the first decade in the entire post-Second World War period in which capacity utilization in manufacturing has never risen as high as 80 percent in a single quarter, with the resulting stagnation of investment. 8
If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment.
There has been some discussion on how global value chains would be affected by Trump's protectionism. But the fact that global macroeconomics in the early twenty-first century will look altogether different compared to earlier has not been much discussed.
In light of the preceding discussion, one could say that if, instead of individual nation-states whose writ cannot possibly run against globalized finance capital, there was a global state or a set of major nation-states acting in unison to override the objections of globalized finance and provide a coordinated fiscal stimulus to the world economy, then perhaps there could be recovery. Such a coordinated fiscal stimulus was suggested by a group of German trade unionists, as well as by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression in the 1930s. 9 While it was turned down then, in the present context it has not even been discussed.
The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market.
Such a transition will not be easy; it will require promoting domestic peasant agriculture, defending petty production, moving toward cooperative forms of production, and ensuring greater equality in income distribution, all of which need major structural shifts. For smaller economies, it would also require their coming together with other economies to provide a minimum size to the domestic market. In short, the dead end of neoliberalism also means the need for a shift away from the so-called neoliberal development strategy that has held sway until now.
The third implication is the imminent engulfing of a whole range of third world economies in serious balance-of-payments difficulties. This is because, while their exports will be sluggish in the new situation, this very fact will also discourage financial inflows into their economies, whose easy availability had enabled them to maintain current account deficits on their balance of payments earlier. In such a situation, within the existing neoliberal paradigm, they would be forced to adopt austerity measures that would impose income deflation on their people, make the conditions of their people significantly worse, lead to a further handing over of their national assets and resources to international capital, and prevent precisely any possible transition to an alternative strategy of home market-based growth.
In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people.
The fourth implication is the worldwide upsurge of fascism. Neoliberal capitalism even before it reached a dead end, even in the period when it achieved reasonable growth and employment rates, had pushed the world into greater hunger and poverty. For instance, the world per-capita cereal output was 355 kilograms for 1980 (triennium average for 1979–81 divided by mid–triennium population) and fell to 343 in 2000, leveling at 344.9 in 2016 -- and a substantial amount of this last figure went into ethanol production. Clearly, in a period of growth of the world economy, per-capita cereal absorption should be expanding, especially since we are talking here not just of direct absorption but of direct and indirect absorption, the latter through processed foods and feed grains in animal products. The fact that there was an absolute decline in per-capita output, which no doubt caused a decline in per-capita absorption, suggests an absolute worsening in the nutritional level of a substantial segment of the world's population.
But this growing hunger and nutritional poverty did not immediately arouse any significant resistance, both because such resistance itself becomes more difficult under neoliberalism (since the very globalization of capital makes it an elusive target) and also because higher GDP growth rates provided a hope that distress might be overcome in the course of time. Peasants in distress, for instance, entertained the hope that their children would live better in the years to come if given a modicum of education and accepted their fate.
In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. This changes the discourse away from the material conditions of people's lives to the so-called threat to the nation, placing the blame for people's distress not on the failure of the system, but on ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority groups, the other that is portrayed as an enemy. It projects a so-called messiah whose sheer muscularity can somehow magically overcome all problems; it promotes a culture of unreason so that both the vilification of the other and the magical powers of the supposed leader can be placed beyond any intellectual questioning; it uses a combination of state repression and street-level vigilantism by fascist thugs to terrorize opponents; and it forges a close relationship with big business, or, in Kalecki's words, "a partnership of big business and fascist upstarts." 10
Fascist groups of one kind or another exist in all modern societies. They move center stage and even into power only on certain occasions when they get the backing of big business. And these occasions arise when three conditions are satisfied: when there is an economic crisis so the system cannot simply go on as before; when the usual liberal establishment is manifestly incapable of resolving the crisis; and when the left is not strong enough to provide an alternative to the people in order to move out of the conjuncture.
This last point may appear odd at first, since many see the big bourgeoisie's recourse to fascism as a counter to the growth of the left's strength in the context of a capitalist crisis. But when the left poses a serious threat, the response of the big bourgeoisie typically is to attempt to split it by offering concessions. It uses fascism to prop itself up only when the left is weakened. Walter Benjamin's remark that "behind every fascism there is a failed revolution" points in this direction.Fascism Then and Now
Contemporary fascism, however, differs in crucial respects from its 1930s counterpart, which is why many are reluctant to call the current phenomenon a fascist upsurge. But historical parallels, if carefully drawn, can be useful. While in some aforementioned respects contemporary fascism does resemble the phenomenon of the 1930s, there are serious differences between the two that must also be noted.
First, we must note that while the current fascist upsurge has put fascist elements in power in many countries, there are no fascist states of the 1930s kind as of yet. Even if the fascist elements in power try to push the country toward a fascist state, it is not clear that they will succeed. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that fascists in power today cannot overcome the crisis of neoliberalism, since they accept the regime of globalization of finance. This includes Trump, despite his protectionism. In the 1930s, however, this was not the case. The horrors associated with the institution of a fascist state in the 1930s had been camouflaged to an extent by the ability of the fascists in power to overcome mass unemployment and end the Depression through larger military spending, financed by government borrowing. Contemporary fascism, by contrast, lacks the ability to overcome the opposition of international finance capital to fiscal activism on the part of the government to generate larger demand, output, and employment, even via military spending.
Such activism, as discussed earlier, required larger government spending financed either through taxes on capitalists or through a fiscal deficit. Finance capital was opposed to both of these measures and it being globalized made this opposition decisive . The decisiveness of this opposition remains even if the government happens to be one composed of fascist elements. Hence, contemporary fascism, straitjacketed by "fiscal rectitude," cannot possibly alleviate even temporarily the economic crises facing people and cannot provide any cover for a transition to a fascist state akin to the ones of the 1930s, which makes such a transition that much more unlikely.
Another difference is also related to the phenomenon of the globalization of finance. The 1930s were marked by what Lenin had earlier called "interimperialist rivalry." The military expenditures incurred by fascist governments, even though they pulled countries out of the Depression and unemployment, inevitably led to wars for "repartitioning an already partitioned world." Fascism was the progenitor of war and burned itself out through war at, needless to say, great cost to humankind.
Contemporary fascism, however, operates in a world where interimperialist rivalry is far more muted. Some have seen in this muting a vindication of Karl Kautsky's vision of an "ultraimperialism" as against Lenin's emphasis on the permanence of interimperialist rivalry, but this is wrong. Both Kautsky and Lenin were talking about a world where finance capital and the financial oligarchy were essentially national -- that is, German, French, or British. And while Kautsky talked about the possibility of truces among the rival oligarchies, Lenin saw such truces only as transient phenomena punctuating the ubiquity of rivalry.
In contrast, what we have today is not nation-based finance capitals, but international finance capital into whose corpus the finance capitals drawn from particular countries are integrated. This globalized finance capital does not want the world to be partitioned into economic territories of rival powers ; on the contrary, it wants the entire globe to be open to its own unrestricted movement. The muting of rivalry between major powers, therefore, is not because they prefer truce to war, or peaceful partitioning of the world to forcible repartitioning, but because the material conditions themselves have changed so that it is no longer a matter of such choices. The world has gone beyond both Lenin and Kautsky, as well as their debates.
Not only are we not going to have wars between major powers in this era of fascist upsurge (of course, as will be discussed, we shall have other wars), but, by the same token, this fascist upsurge will not burn out through any cataclysmic war. What we are likely to see is a lingering fascism of less murderous intensity , which, when in power, does not necessarily do away with all the forms of bourgeois democracy, does not necessarily physically annihilate the opposition, and may even allow itself to get voted out of power occasionally. But since its successor government, as long as it remains within the confines of the neoliberal strategy, will also be incapable of alleviating the crisis, the fascist elements are likely to return to power as well. And whether the fascist elements are in or out of power, they will remain a potent force working toward the fascification of the society and the polity, even while promoting corporate interests within a regime of globalization of finance, and hence permanently maintaining the "partnership between big business and fascist upstarts."
Put differently, since the contemporary fascist upsurge is not likely to burn itself out as the earlier one did, it has to be overcome by transcending the very conjuncture that produced it: neoliberal capitalism at a dead end. A class mobilization of working people around an alternative set of transitional demands that do not necessarily directly target neoliberal capitalism, but which are immanently unrealizable within the regime of neoliberal capitalism, can provide an initial way out of this conjuncture and lead to its eventual transcendence.
Such a class mobilization in the third world context would not mean making no truces with liberal bourgeois elements against the fascists. On the contrary, since the liberal bourgeois elements too are getting marginalized through a discourse of jingoistic nationalism typically manufactured by the fascists, they too would like to shift the discourse toward the material conditions of people's lives, no doubt claiming that an improvement in these conditions is possible within the neoliberal economic regime itself. Such a shift in discourse is in itself a major antifascist act . Experience will teach that the agenda advanced as part of this changed discourse is unrealizable under neoliberalism, providing the scope for dialectical intervention by the left to transcend neoliberal capitalism.Imperialist Interventions
Even though fascism will have a lingering presence in this conjuncture of "neoliberalism at a dead end," with the backing of domestic corporate-financial interests that are themselves integrated into the corpus of international finance capital, the working people in the third world will increasingly demand better material conditions of life and thereby rupture the fascist discourse of jingoistic nationalism (that ironically in a third world context is not anti-imperialist).
In fact, neoliberalism reaching a dead end and having to rely on fascist elements revives meaningful political activity, which the heyday of neoliberalism had precluded, because most political formations then had been trapped within an identical neoliberal agenda that appeared promising. (Latin America had a somewhat different history because neoliberalism arrived in that continent through military dictatorships, not through its more or less tacit acceptance by most political formations.)
Such revived political activity will necessarily throw up challenges to neoliberal capitalism in particular countries. Imperialism, by which we mean the entire economic and political arrangement sustaining the hegemony of international finance capital, will deal with these challenges in at least four different ways.
The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support.
Even if capital controls are put in place, where there are current account deficits, financing such deficits would pose a problem, necessitating some trade controls. But this is where the second instrument of imperialism comes into play: the imposition of trade sanctions by the metropolitan states, which then cajole other countries to stop buying from the sanctioned country that is trying to break away from thralldom to globalized finance capital. Even if the latter would have otherwise succeeded in stabilizing its economy despite its attempt to break away, the imposition of sanctions becomes an additional blow.
The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism.
And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more.
Two aspects of such intervention are striking. One is the virtual unanimity among the metropolitan states, which only underscores the muting of interimperialist rivalry in the era of hegemony of global finance capital. The other is the extent of support that such intervention commands within metropolitan countries, from the right to even the liberal segments.
Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it.Notes
- Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969).
- Samuel Berrick Saul, Studies in British Overseas Trade, 1870–1914 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960).
- Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966).
- One of the first authors to recognize this fact and its significance was Paul Baran in The Political Economy of Growth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957).
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, " Inequality is Holding Back the Recovery ," New York Times , January 19, 2013.
- For a discussion of how even the recent euphoria about U.S. growth is vanishing, see C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh, " Vanishing Green Shoots and the Possibility of Another Crisis ," The Hindu Business Line , April 8, 2019.
- For the role of such colonial transfers in sustaining the British balance of payments and the long Victorian and Edwardian boom, see Utsa Patnaik, "Revisiting the 'Drain,' or Transfers from India to Britain in the Context of Global Diffusion of Capitalism," in Agrarian and Other Histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri , ed. Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik (Delhi: Tulika, 2017), 277-317.
- Federal Reserve Board of Saint Louis Economic Research, FRED, "Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing," February 2019 (updated March 27, 2019), http://fred.stlouisfed.org .
- This issue is discussed by Charles P. Kindleberger in The World in Depression, 1929–1939 , 40th anniversary ed. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2013).
- Michał Kalecki, " Political Aspects of Full Employment ," Political Quarterly (1943), available at mronline.org.
- Joseph Schumpeter had seen Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace as essentially advocating such state intervention in the new situation. See his essay, "John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)," in Ten Great Economists (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952).
Utsa Patnaik is Professor Emerita at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her books include Peasant Class Differentiation (1987), The Long Transition (1999), and The Republic of Hunger and Other Essays (2007). Prabhat Patnaik is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His books include Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism (1997), The Value of Money(2009), and Re-envisioning Socialism(2011).
Sep 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
UK might want to look at Ukraine for the net result of the struggle for independence althouth Ukraine supposedly was fighting againt Russia depencense not EU dependence and was already a puppet regime under Yanukovich.
It's supposed to make Britain more independent. But it might put her at the mercy of Mike Pompeo's Iran policy.By unyoking London from Europe, a no deal Brexit would unleash a titanic shift in global alliances that could strengthen Washington's hand and help it achieve its "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.
That's an ironic turn of events for populists in the United Kingdom, who support Brexit because it will allow the British people to determine their own fate.
But for some in Washington, Brexit represents a golden opportunity to negotiate with a United Kingdom unencumbered by Europe. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted as much when he was asked whether our relationship with the UK will be strengthened by Brexit.
"I think it's the case," Pompeo said Thursday on the Hugh Hewitt Show. "We'll have a clear line with [the UK]. We won't have the EU as a middleman that has put constraints on our capacity to do lots of good things across not only the economic sector but the security sector and the diplomatic sector as well. I'm confident that that very special relationship will continue to grow."
Note that Pompeo specifically mentioned "the security sector" when listing how Brexit will help the U.S. That's of particular importance now because the Trump administration has been pressuring European nations to back its withdrawal from the Iran deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran
Aug 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
VietnamVet , Aug 24 2019 22:35 utc | 39Western Oligarchs initially were unified with their program to keep prices stable, lower labor costs, cut taxes and deregulate. Credit Cards and low cost consumer goods at Walmart kept working families pacified as their jobs were outsourced.
Greed got the better of the Elite. Joe Biden's regime change crew took aim at Ukraine and ultimately Russia, once again, to seize the resources. This restarting the Cold War and forced Russia and China to ally. The world is at war. It just has not gone nuclear yet. A Multipolar World is a now a given. The question is human survival.
American farmers and consumers are in so far in debt that bankruptcy or dying owing an average of $61,000 is the only way out. Manufacturing cannot be moved without costs. The Trade Wars and Brexit will splinter the USA and the UK. Somebody thinks they will make money out of the chaos. This is a very dangerous bet.
With rising prices, food and medicine shortages, and oligarchs at each other's throat, another Civil War is most likely.
Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Aug 20 2019 17:34 utc | 103Posted by: jared | Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 87
>You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.
Yes, point is to make others lose more that what you would lose. Thus you keep your relative power vis a vis others even if everybody is poorer.
As of now, it did have effect - it slowed down the US relative decline in economic terms, as the US share of the global economy was declining faster in 2010 or 2015 than today.
> Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.
Transition away from the dollar would have happened faster if the US just sat on its hands and did nothing, as current slowing growth rates in the developing world economy suggest. Plus not controlling the EU and Saudi Arabia means game over.
Posted by: anti_republocrat | Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 88
>Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them.
>and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.
Yes, this is what happens under conditions of globalisation. A partial solution is to try to stop globalisation, but still this proccess can not be fully stopped.
Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86
>But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.
It is not the same. Globalisation for example means outsourcing, which weakens the US. Then it means China working in Africa, or the BRI. Many benefit from globalisation, and i think that China can carry out globalisation on its own even if the US refuses to play. It also means things such as economic convergence, and knowledge and technology difussion around the world. Currently, it leads to the rise of the developing world, and the weakening of relative US power, which means that it is no longer in the US interest. See the current US attacks against the WTO, etc. It was definitely US led in 1990s, but it is no longer US driven now.
>Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?
You can have various types of multipolarity, for example cooperative multipolarity, or fragmented, walled, conflict ridden multipolarity.
The US would lose most in the first case (think about the rise of the developing world), and will preserve the most of its power in the second case.
casey , Aug 20 2019 17:41 utc | 104"Slow down its decline as much as possible," yes, but to what end? The only point in slowing down the US decline, rather than transitioning away from Empire, would be if the US buys enough time to beggar other economies sufficiently through covert operations(kill the BRI, kill NS2 and TurkStream, ad nauseum) while keeping its own economy at slightly above beggaring.
That kind of process, given the fact that much of the world is now lining up in coalitions against the US, takes time. I have to agree with Orlov here, that it's taken 30 years for the Empire to drive itself right to the very edge of the cliff, where the least puff of wind can push it over.
Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Full Spectrum Domino , Aug 20 2019 17:01 utc | 100
@ 71 & @75
"So you are of the view that Trump is part of attempt to create a controlled demolition of the US Empire?"
The 'controlled demolition of the US Empire' is an elaborate euphemism for re-nationalism, I suppose. To unfold in three concentric waves.
Step 1. Trade restructuring - close the NAFTA loophole, redirect production to the NA Trade bloc (and friendlier reciprocating markets - Laos, Vietnam, India, etc). Closer to home, Mexico will be a huge beneficiary. Redirected supply lines are no arid macroeconomic development. They mean the radical bestowal of prosperity in some countries and the revocation of prosperity in others. I liken the USMCA impending wage increase in Mexico to Fordism in turn-of-the century America. The $5 a day program minted the US middle class and averted the central crisis of capitalism, overproduction. Anybody can build factories, staff them with rural peasantry and create a tsunami of global deflation. Productive capacity's a cheap trick. What bestows today's prosperity? DEMAND. Trump is asserting the previously unasserted crown jewel of the global economy: a highly developed demand market that has long-since traversed the middle income trap, no small feat.
The Eurasian Century will not arrive soon enough to displace US demand, not for the CCP anyway. Hillary was to cement the terminus of the Managed Decline Arc. Woops. Xi misread Trump. It may sound trite, but Trump's not a politician. His resume 'moves backwards'. He's not a political class grifter who's gathering chits in career one to build a global foundation in career 2. This is the career trajectory the Chinese have been normalized towards. Their 11th hour adjustments in the first agreement would have been snatched by any craven US politician and heralded as a victory. Trump defied all expectations by walking away. There's no doubt this rattled the Chinese. Let's also not forget Trump picked this fight as he did NAFTA renegotiation. These were settled modes of business in line with globalist and corporatist agendas. The Eurasian Century (and belated domestic Chinese demand, the offsetting sponge the world needed in 1999 and should have insisted upon had Clinton not been bought off to WTO entry. This treachery, in the end, served no one except the political classes of both nations.) The ferocity of the present China-US struggle is a direct result of its criminal belatedness. WW3 is a possible outcome. Neither nation was well-served by this procrastination. (Google the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy).
Step 2. A significant resurgence of US domestic productivity collapses the Triffin Paradox which mandates structural trade deficits from the reserve currency nation. Main Street retakes the streets from Wall Street money-changers who were only too happy to abet the trade deficit (and make the $ the US' preeminent export) by shipping manufacturing overseas (it wasn't 'their' jobs after all) , hollowing out the soul of the country and creating a nation of opium-eaters. The US Chamber of Commerce (multinational mouthpiece) detests Trump. This will ultimately lead to a relinquishing of USD reserve currency status. It was going to happen anyway under the globalist regime, just more wrenchingly ala the Argentine Paradox.
Step 3. What is after all the US military's paycheck? The petrodollar. A full spectrum military answerable to a nationalized currency would hyper-inflate away overnight. The Empire military footprint is unsustainable with a trade-rebalanced and re-nationalized USD and absent the infinite flow of defended oil (hence the Oil Standard usurping the Gold Standard in 1973 - the peak household income year in the US incidentally). So a receding MIC is implicit in the Trump agenda, though too controversial to trumpet at this early juncture --back end of term 2 maybe? Natural attrition will be tagged with this outcome. We see Soros and Koch already joining forces to herald a new era of peace. Strange bedfellows.
In the broadest terms, the Trump theme is a tectonic and hyper-ambitious re-seating of Main Street as the driver of the American economy. This pits him against every vested interest on the planet. It's the ultimate counter-cycle to one-worldism and neoliberal financialization. The globalists were done with America and ready to toss the population to a fentanyl fog.
I prefer skirting Trump is a moron trope. Suffice to say SOMEBODY assembled the Navarro-Lighthizer-Ross-Mnuchin trade team - the only nucleus that matters for Step 1 above. want to sell into this market? There will be a kiosk fee. You want to call that a war? Well, that sounds a bit histrionic. But maybe it also conveys your fear. Leveraging US demand for geopolitical and trade advantage after decades of post-WW2 market building in devastated nations. This policy had overstayed its efficacy from an 'America First' standpoint.
Aug 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Arioch , Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86..attempt by the most hawkish and revanchist elements in the US to destroy globalisation and create a world of the jungle, where they estimate the US will have better chances.
Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:34 utc
But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.
Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?
Arioch , Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86jared , Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 87@ Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78anti_republocrat , Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 88
You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.
Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.
It's one thing to destroy and something more complex to create.
However I don't think that the world will be better-off for Trumps creative destruction.
I don't know if it's harder to believe that such incompetence was all an accident or that this was his intention.>Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc | 78Pablo Novi , Aug 20 2019 15:15 utc | 89
Man does not live by bread (money) alone.
Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them, and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.
Much of US GDP is either the creation of these ineffective military assets, "services" that merely transfer wealth to the already rich or resource extraction (including the mining of top soil and other agricultural assets) that pollutes the homeland and must eventually be cleaned up.
Trump either understands none of this or as Arioch suggests, has no choice in which case his bosses have no clue. If he or they did, he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. Nobody wants to go down in history compared to Nero, Caligula or worse still, Honorius.This is just my 2nd post to MoA. I'm reprinting my first (made just a few minutes ago to the thread that chronologically preceded this one) as an self-introduction.
"Hi all supporters of the Syrian people and their government / SAA; and/or opponents of US Imperialism and Zionists & Sauds. I've been a long-time reader / follower of MoonOfAlabama; but I only just now found this site and thread. Great thanx to MOA and the many posters contributing to helping us better understand what is happening on the ground in Syria.
btw, born and raised in the US, I attended my first (of multiple hundreds of) demonstrations in 1965. It was Pro-Palesitnian, Anti-Zionist. I naively went there to OPPOSE them; and got 100% convinced of the justice of their cause. That afternoon, a female member of the Anti-Vietnam-War Movement educated me about the nature of that conflict - US Imperialism at its worst - and it was the combination of learning about Palestine and Vietnam that caused me to dedicate every free moment for the rest of my life to contributing to the struggle for peace and justice.
I than worked 40+ hours a week, 50+ weeks a year, 1965-1975 (20,000+ volunteer hours) to help end the US Gov slaughter of 2-3 million innocents in Vietnam. And, for the past 54 years have done all I can to support the Palestinians and oppose Zionism (and its US-billionaire sponsors).
Kudos to all the great work by so many of you here,
My overall position: THE PROBLEM: vis-a-vis the whole world: Capitalism (since 1550~); Monopoly-Capitalism (since 1900~); Deathroes-Capitalism (since 2000~). vis-a-vis the US: The US Gov was never "great"; instead, just the opposite, with 227 out of 243 years (a HUMONGOUS SAMPLE SIZE) of wars of aggression; and 243 out of 243 years of the American super-rich getting richer and more powerful (at the expense of the American working and poor; but especially, at the expense of the workers and poor of the rest of the world.
CORRELARIES: Capitalism has never been reformable. Israel is one of dozens of 100%-dominated US puppet-states (same for Saudi Arabia ...). Israel does not run the US Gov (the 585 American billionaires do!); and Israel did not do 9/11; the American billionaires did 9/11 to: As A pretext to: Try to maintain, if not expand, their world-straddling empire THRU never-ending, ever-expanding: wars, police states and world-wide poverty: AGAINST all enemies (Chinese-Russian billionaires, other non-American billionaires; competing economies and militaries; and especially against the ever-more-united non-rich peoples of the world to liberate themselves.
N.B. I've been a 9/11 Truther since the late afternoon of 9/11 - the ENDLESS REPETITION (of the "2nd plane crash" and the Twin Tower's demolitions) finally made me remember that endless repetition is SOP for (US) Imperialism. It's aim is to sell the exact reverse of the truth (so we don't believe what really was going on) thru mass brainwashing.
I am the original author of the Leaflet:
"End ALL The Wars & Police States, NOW!" (aka: "The 9/11 Truth UNITY Manifesto") -
which can be found at the above-listed URL;
Facebook site: International 9/11 Fraud Awareness Week
Aug 20, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
likbez -> anne... August 04, 2019 at 04:14 PM
It is not about the strategy. It's about the agony. The agony of the US centered global neoliberal empire.
Trump and forces behind him realized that current set of treaties does not favor the preservation of the empire and allows new powerful players to emerge despite all institutionalized looting via World Bank and IMF and the imposition of Washington Consensus. The main danger here are Germany (and EU in general) and, especially, China.
The current neoliberal order failed to suppress China development enough to block her from becoming the competitor (and the second largest economy.)
That's why a faction of the USA elite decided to adopt "might makes right" policies (essentially piracy instead of international law) in a hope that it will prolong the life of the US-centered neoliberal empire.
As much as Trump proved to be inapt politician and personally and morally despicable individual (just his known behavior toward Melania tells a lot about him; we do not need possible Epstein revelations for that) he does represent a faction of the US elite what wants this change.
All his pro working class and pro lower middle class rhetoric was a bluff -- he is representative of faction of the US elite that is hell bent on maintaining the imperial superiority achieved after the collapse of the USSR, whatever it takes. At the expense of common people as Pentagon budget can attest.
That also explains the appointment of Bolton and Pompeo. That are birds of the feather, not some maniacs (although they are ;-) accidentally brought into Trump administration via major donors pressure.
In this sense Russiagate was not only a color revolution launched to depose Trump by neoliberal wing of Democratic Party and rogue, Obama-installed elements within intelligence agencies (Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc.) , but also part of the struggle between the faction of the US elite that wants "muscular" policy of preservation of the empire (Trump supporters faction so to speak) and the faction that still wants to kick the can down the road via "classic neoliberalism" path (Clinton supporters faction so to speak.)
Aug 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Of course, since President Trump has pegged the success of his Presidency on the rise and fall of the markets, on Wednesday, as "tweets" about a "trade talks continuing" failed to lift the markets, he resorted to more direct measures to manipulate the markets: Via CNBC:
"Trump held the call with J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America's Brian Moynihan and Citigroup's Michael Corbat, according to people with knowledge of the situation."
This, of course, was reminiscent of the call made by Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary, during the market rout last December. But most importantly, this is about the upcoming election:
"Trump has been reaching out to corporate leaders this week amid his concerns that a slowing U.S. economy could impact his reelection chances, according to a Thursday piece from the Washington Post."
Hopefully, he will listen to them.
But even if the trade dispute was ended today, the damage is likely already done.
- Economic growth has weakened globally
- Corporate profit growth has turned negative.
- Tax cuts are fully absorbed into the economy
- Interest rates are signaling there is something "broken"
- Yield curves are negative as "deflationary" pressures are rising
- All of which is leading to rising recession risk.
In other words, while investors have hung their portfolios hopes of a "trade deal," it may well be too little, too late.Art Of The Deal Versus The Art Of War
This is all assuming Trump can actually succeed in a trade war with China.
Let's step back to the G-20 meeting between President Trump and President Xi Jinping. As I wrote then:
"There is a tremendous amount of 'hope' currently built into the market for a 'trade war truce' this weekend. However, as we suggested previously, the most likely outcome was a truce but no deal. That is exactly what happened.
While the markets will likely react positively next week to the news that ' talks will continue,' the impact of existing tariffs from both the U.S. and China continue to weigh on domestic firms and consumers.
More importantly, while the continued ' jawboning' may keep ' hope alive' for investors temporarily, these two countries have been ' talking' for over a year with little real progress to show for it outside of superficial agreements.
Importantly, we have noted that Trump would eventually ' cave' into the pressure from the impact of the ' trade war' he started.
I am Groot , 4 minutes ago linkAntifaschistische , 14 minutes ago link
Trump will always be better than Hillary but he always folds like a house of cards in a windstorm when he's up against the Democrats or anyone for that matter. He turned out to be a ******* giant orange *****.
I really don't know if he will win in 2020. And a lot of that is based on him screwing his own base like farmers and gun owners. He didn't lock up Hillary, or build us a wall. He hasnt stopped the illegals from coming over the border. And he hasnt cut off their benefits. So he hasn't really done any of the major things he promised.
All the Democrats have to do is cheat in Pennsylvnia, Michigan and Florida and he's finished. We end up with Pedo Joe as POTUS.Quivering Lip , 16 minutes ago link
Meanwhile in Arkansas...
Remember when Sam Walton used to be proud of his "made in America" products...literally saving companies from their demise by buying truckloads of their products.
Skip the Trade War....do I sound too much like Bernie if I suggest that we go after the family that makes $100,000,000.00 per DAY off selling Chinese goods....they ARE the storefront for China. Well, along with few dozen other retailer and etailers (like Amazon)
...and don't give me the "they pay their taxes" BS...because the billionaire boys club hire multi-millionaire Tax Attorneys to avoid paying taxes.green dragon , 22 minutes ago link
When are you people going to realize that the "trade war" isn't about bringing jobs back. It's about the global corporations getting a better deal in China. It's about Financial Services and US banks gaining market share in China.
Those corporations won't move jobs back here. They'll just make more in China. Those same corporations that offshored those American jobs already got their tax cuts. Why would they bring jobs back now. Talk about putting the cart in front of the horse.
By the way US steel had been and will continue to lay people off.
The US is running Trillion dollar plus yearly deficits with stocks up 50% since Trump took office. This with all-time low unemployment and no inflation (bwahahahahaha).
Now imagine what the deficits will look like if things turn South.June 12 1776 , 22 minutes ago link
Lance Roberts just does not get it. I wonder if he actually read the art of war. For it was the Globalist who created what is China today with the largest transfer of technology, capital, etc. in the history of the world.
We are now at the point of no return. The western system will either decline or it will pull itself out of it self destruction. Make no mistake China intends to be a military power and it is just a matter of time before China challenges USA domination. I see no way this will be avoided at this time.
As such you will see economic conflict going forward. China will likely win this one but it will set the stage for the continued decline of the western economic system. For the current system of western debt and financialization of Western economies cannot sustain itself. China still depends on this system that cannot last. So in time Globalist system will have to reset and the relationship between Western Nations and China will change into trade conflict.the6thBook , 32 minutes ago link
What has been accomplished? Stolen Democrat Marxist Redistribution is all that Trump has accomplished while getting exposed as the illiterate fraud that he is.
Corp/Fascist, CIA MOSSAD Trump was never in a "trade war". Trumps sole mission has been to steal and redistribute, at a ongoing DEFICIT , out of the property of American People, leaving the American People, fked. Same as it ever was!
Corp/Fascist, CIA MOSSAD Trump continues to line up all bonafide working and saving Americans in front of his deficit debt devaluation firing squad. All he intended to do, he has accomplished: redistributed stolen plunder and bounties and plundered all bonafide working and saving white, black, brown, red and yellow Americans.Jazzman , 11 minutes ago link
Was this written by China? Hong Kong imploding...Asoka_The_Great , 27 minutes ago link
HK is just a trivial Maidan-like side scenario to support the US position in a trade war that is meant to force the Chinese into submission. Since the trade war is collapsing, the Donald Trump has to try to escalate somewhere else - in this case it's Taiwan. That really is the only option the US culture allows him to consider. Escalation, escalation, escalation. Very predictable strategy. Problem is, in this way the Trump puts the very existence of the USA at risk when he tries to win against all odds against an adversary that absolutely doesn't want to lose.RedBaron616 , 33 minutes ago link
One of the things I will allow, however, is -- a lot of people are surprised we send and we sell to Huawei a tremendous amount of product that goes into a lot of the various things that they make -- and I said that that's OK, that we will keep selling that product." – President Trump
Before the Great Trade War , and the endless attacks on Huawei by Trumptard and the US Dark State, in order, to kill Huawei, many people, including myself, have not heard of Huawei's name before, now, it is a world famous brand, thanks for the massive free publicity, from the US War State.
Despite the total ban and blacklisting, Huawei not only survived, without a scratch, it's revenue in 2019, actually grew an astonishing 23% .
WHY IS THE US DARK STATE SO TERRIFIED OF HUAWEI'S 5G WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY?
The US Dark State/War State/Deep State, that is the NSA/CIA/Pentagon/MIC/MSM . . . etc has forced every western tech companies to install backdoors and malwares on their equipments, except Huawei. They have tried to force Huawei to install those NSA backdoors and malwares, in 2014, but the company categorically refused.
"The real issue is that nothing has changed since a 2014 report from The Register that Huawei categorically refuses to install NSA backdoors into their hardware to allow unfettered intelligence access to the data that crosses their networks.
All our emails, text messages, phone calls, internet searches, web browsing, library records, . . . etc, are recorded and stored by NSA/CIA's vast servers farms.
Now, Huawei is not only the leading 5G wireless provider, but it is the only one, so far. The other companies like Nokia and Ericsson are far behind.
5G is going to completely replace 4G and 3G. It is about 200 times faster than 4GLTE, in download speed.
What this means is that if the world adopts the Huawei equipments and standards, it will threaten to UNDO the US Dark State's vast global surveillance network.
This is what terrifies the US Dark State. Their vast Global Surveillance Network is the basis of its power, and tools to enslave mankind.
There is a very good reason, why the American Founding Fathers , enacted every measures, to protect our rights and privacy, so that we will not be controlled and enslaved by the tyranny of totalitarian government, which is already upon us, in the form of US Dark State/War State .
The US Dark State/Deep State/War State does not represent America. It is Un-American. It is not the American Republic founded by our Founding Fathers, and enshrined in the US Constitution.ohm , 31 minutes ago link
The problem is that this President has no clue has to use tariffs.
If you want the jobs to come back to the USA instead of playing Asian musical chairs, you have to slap the tariffs on every country that has low wages/benefits and no/low environmental laws (that are enforced). If you don't, they are just shuffling factories around.
I'm no fan of China, but tariffs only on China won't bring a single job back to the USA unless tariffs encompass all the "beggar-my-neighbor" countries, like Mexico, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.ElBarto , 22 minutes ago link
Absolutely correct. This shows that this has nothing to do with Trade but just trying to weaken China.ohm , 12 minutes ago link
What's wrong with making China weaker? Makes more sense than making them stronger.
Rather than invading countries or trying to make countries weaker, we should focus on fixing our crumbling infrastructure, manufacturing base collapse, declining life expectancy etc. And don't even start babbling about how Trump's China tariffs help US manufacturing. As RedBaron correctly pointed out in his post, unless you put tariffs on all the low wage countries, singling out China does nothing for US workers.
Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by | Aug 2 2019 23:39 utc | 30karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31
I will mention this again, to see what people here think, as they are intelligent people. I sent mails to Russian and Chinese authorities about this.
"I will provide you with possible reasons behind the current trade wars and rejection of globalisation by the US. In short, they think that they will save their hegemony, to a certain degree, that way.
There are long term GDP Growth and Socioeconomic Scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the OECD, and the world scientific community. They are generally used to measure the impact of Climate change on the World. In order to measure it, Socioeconomic Scenarios were developed, as the level of economic growth in the world is very important for determining the impact of Climate Change in the future. High growth levels will obviously affect Climate Change, so these GDP estimates are important. The scenarios are with time horizon 2100.
For more on this you can check these studies here, some of the many dealing with this topic. They describe the scenarios for the world.
There are 5 main scenarios, or "Shared Socioeconomic Pathways". All of them describe different worlds.
- SSP 1 - Green World, economic cooperation, reduced inequality, good education systems. High level of economic growth, fast catch up of the developing world with the developed world. High level of multipolarity.
- SSP 2 - More of the same/ Muddling through - continuation of the current trends. Relatively high level of economic growth, relatively fast catch up of the developing world with the developed world. Good level of multipolarity.
- SSP 3 - Regional Rivalry - nationalisms, trade wars, lack of global cooperation, fragmentation of the word, environmental degradation. Low levels of economic growth everywhere, the developing world remains poor and undeveloped. Low level of multipolarity, West retains many positions.
- SSP 4 Inequality - depicts a world where high-income countries use technological advances to stimulate economic growth; leading to a high capacity to mitigate. In contrast, developments in low income countries are hampered by very low education levels and international barriers to trade. Growth is medium, the catch up process between the developing world and the developed world is not fast. Medium level of multipolarity.
- SSP 5 Economic growth and fossil fuels take priority over green world - High levels of economic growth, fast catch up of the developing world with the developed world. High level of multipolarity.
See SSP 3. A world of rivalry, trade wars, trade barriers, lack of global cooperation, and fragmentation, will lead to lower level of growth in the developing world, and thus a slow catch up process. Multipolarity in such a world is weak as the developing world is hampered.
In other words, a world of cooperation between countries will lead to higher economic growth in the developing world, faster catch up process, and thus stronger multipolarity.
Low cooperation, fragmented world, high conflict scenarios consistently lead to low growth in the developing world and thus to the US and the West retaining some of its positions - a world with overall bad economy and low level of multipolarity.
Basically, globalisation is key. The developing world (ex West) was growing slowly before globalisation (before 1990). Globalisation means sharing of technology and knowledge, and companies investing in poorer countries. Outsourcing of western manufacturing. Etc. After globalisation started in 1990, the developing world is growing very well. It is globalisation that is weakening the relative power of the West and empowering the developing world. The US now needs to kill globalisation if it is to stop its relative decline.
So what do we see: exactly attempts to create the SSP 3 scenario. Trade wars, sanctions, attacks on multilateral institutions - the WTO, on international law, on the Paris Climate Change Agreement (which if accepted would put constraints on the US economy), on the UN, bullying of Europe, lack of care for european energy needs, support for Brexit (which weakens Europe), crack down on chinese students and scientists in the US, crack down on chinese access to western science data, demands to remove the perks for poor countries in the WTO, etc. This is hitting economic growth in the whole world and the global economy currently is not well. By destroying the world economy, the US benefits as it hampers the rise of the developing nations.
US President Trump does not do that in order to dismantle the dollar or US hegemony because of so called isolationism, as some may think. Trump does that in order to save US hegemony, implementing policies, in my opinion, devised by the US military/intelligence/science community. They now want to hamper globalisation and create fortress US, in order to bring back manufacturing and save as much as possible of the US Empire. Chaos and lack of cooperation in the world benefit the US. They now realise globalisation no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it."Passer by | Aug 3 2019 0:06 utc | 32
You ask, "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."
Wikileaks definition :
"In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal."
The key point for the Chinese during negotiations as I understand them via their published White Paper on the subject is development and the international rules put in place at WTO for nations placed into the Developing category, which get some preferential treatment to help their economies mature. As China often reminds the global public--and officials of the Outlaw US Empire--both the BRI and EAEU projects are about developing the economies of developing economies, that the process is designed to be a Win-Win for all the developing economies involved. This of course differs vastly from what's known as the Washington Consensus, where all developing economies kowtow to the Outlaw US Empire's diktat via the World Bank and IMF and thus become enslaved by dollar dependency/debt. Much is written about the true nature of the Washington Consensus, Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Klein's Disaster Capitalism being two of the more recent and devastating, and many nations are able to attest to the Zero-sum results. The result is very few nations are willing to subject their economies to the pillaging via Washington Consensus institutions, which Hudson just recently reviewed.
The Empire is desperate and is looking for ways to keep its Super Imperialism intact and thus continue its policy aimed at Full Spectrum Dominance. But the Empire's abuse of the dollar-centric institutions of international commerce has only served to alienate its users who are openly and actively seeking to form parallel institutions under genuine multilateral control. However as Hudson illustrates, Trump doesn't know what he's doing regarding his trade and international monetary policies. Today's AP above the fold headline in Eugene's The Register Guard screamed "Trump threatens 10% tariffs;" but unusually for such stories, it explains that the 10% is essentially a tax on US consumers, not on Chinese companies, which provides a message opposite of the one Trump wants to impart--that he's being tough on the Chinese when the opposite's true. China will continue to resist the attempts to allow the international financial sharks to swim in Chinese waters as China is well aware of what they'll attempt to accomplish--and it's far easier to keep them out than to get them out once allowed in, although China's anti-corruption laws ought to scare the hell out of the CEOs of those corps.
The Empire wants to continue its longstanding Open Door policy in the realm of target nations opening their economies to the full force of Imperial-based corps so they can use their financial might to wrestle the market from domestic players and institute their Oligopoly. China already experienced the initial Open Door (which was aimed at getting Uncle Sam's share of China during the Unequal Treaties period 115 years ago) and will not allow that to recur. China invokes its right under WTO rules for developing economies to protect their financial services sector from predation; the Empire argues China is beyond a developing economy and must drop its shields. We've read what Hudson advised the Chinese to do--resist and develop a publicly-based yuan-centered financial system that highly taxes privatized rent-seekers while keeping and enhancing state-provided insurance--health, home, auto, life, etc--while keeping restrictions on foreign land ownership since it's jot allowed to purchase similar assets within the domestic US market.
The Outlaw US Empire insists that China give so it can take. Understandably, China says no; what we allow you to do, you should allow us to do. Trump and his trade negotiators continue to insist on China agreeing to an unequal trade treaty. Obviously, the latest proposal was merely a repetition of what came before and was rejected as soon as the meeting got underway, so it ended as quickly as it started. IMO, China can continue to refuse and stand up for its principles, while the world looks on and nods its head in agreement with China as revealed by the increasing desire of nations to become a BRI partner.
It should be noted that Trump's approach while differing from the one pushed by Obama/Kerry/Clinton the goal is the same since the Empire needs the infusion of loot from China to keep its financial dollarized Ponzi Scheme functioning.
Russia's a target too, but most of its available loot was already grabbed during the 1990s. D-Party Establishment candidates have yet to let it be known they'll try to do what Trump's failing to do, which of course has nothing to do with aiding the US consumer and everything to do with bolstering Wall Street's Ponzi Scheme.karlof1 , Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34
karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31
Good comment, karlof1 , i think that the attack against China is attack against the heart of multipolarity. It will be good if b could post about the escalation of the trade war. This is important. The US clearly intends to resist multipoarity, and tries to stop it.William Gruff , Aug 3 2019 0:28 utc | 35@ karlof1 with the response...thanksPasser by @30--
If I would have had my act together last night I would have posted another link fro Xinhuanet (can't find now) about how China wants to retain developing nation status and provides as data that the (I think) per capita GDP had gone down....gotten worse in relation to the US per capita GDP.
I keep going back to believing that multilateralism is a code word for no longer allowing empire global private finance hegemony and fiat money.
The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire and its associated corporations and vassal nations checkmates what you think Trump's trying to accomplish. Hudson has explained it all very well in a series of recent papers and interviews: Neoliberalism is all about growing Financial Capitalism and using it to exert control/hegemony on all aspects of political-economy.
Thus, there's no need to sponsor the reindustrialization that would lead to MAGA. Indeed, Trump hasn't proposed any new policy to accomplish his MAGA pledge other than engaging in economic warfare with most other nations. His is a Unilateral Pirate Ship out to plunder all and sundry, including those that elected him.
In your outline, it's very easy to see why BRI is so attractive to other nations as it forwards SSP1. Awhile ago during a discussion of China's development goals, I posted links to its program that's very ambitious and doing very well with its implementation, the main introduction portal being here .psychohistorian @11 asked: "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."Passer by , Aug 3 2019 0:32 utc | 36
karlof1 @31 covered it pretty well I think, but I want to try to answer in just a couple sentences (unusual for me).
Global private finance is driven by one thing and one thing only: making maximum profits for the owners quarter by financial quarter. Global public finance is driven by the agendas of the nations with the public finance, with profits being a secondary or lesser issue.
This boils down to private finance being forever slave to the mindless whims of "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name), while public finance is, by its nature, something that is planned and deliberated. Nobody can guess where "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name) will lead society, though people with the resources like placing bets in stock markets on the direction It is taking us. On the other hand, if people have an idea which direction society should be heading in, public control over finance is a precondition to making it so.Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34
"The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire"
I'm not sure this will be the case anymore -
Former heads of DHS and NSA explain how the U.S. can keep Huawei at bay
"Perhaps more importantly, this proposal demonstrates one way the U.S. can reinforce elements of what the government calls the “national technology and industrial base” (NTIB), the collection of companies who design, build and supply the U.S. with vital national-security related technologies."
Aug 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Noel Nospamington , August 3, 2019 at 10:50 am
I think that 10 years from now the biggest impact from Trump will be from his cancellation of the Iran nuclear accord and unilateral imposition of strict sanctions which the Europeans were not able to bypass in any meaningful way due the prevalence of the US dollar in global transactions.
There is now significant motivation in Europe and even China in creating a real alternative to the US dollar for international transactions which bypasses US banks. If this happens to any significant degree, it would undercut the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, resulting in a permanent drop in its value.
Without international support, US Government deficits and trade deficits will become unsustainable, and there will be a significant drop in the American median standard of living.
Jul 30, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"Empires in decline tend to behave badly. Indeed, whether British, French or Russian, the twilight years of imperialism often brought brutal repression of subjects abroad, the suppression of civil liberties at home and general varieties of brutality toward foreigners, be they refugees or migrants.
Aggressive wars abroad pollute the domestic political discourse and breed hypernationalism, racism and xenophobia. The 18 or so years of war following the 9/11 attacks have seen this ostensible republic sink to new lows of behavior.
Aggressive wars of choice have ushered in rampant torture, atrocities in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, drone assassinations, warrantless wiretapping, mass surveillance of the citizenry...
It's all connected. The empire -- all empires -- eventually come home."
Maj. Danny Sjursen, An American Tragedy: Empire at Home and Abroad
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
US President Donald Trump's ruthless use of the centrality of his country's financial system and the dollar to force economic partners to abide by his unilateral sanctions on Iran has forced the world to recognise the political price of asymmetric economic interdependence.
In response, China (and perhaps Europe) will fight to establish their own networks and secure control of their nodes. Again, multilateralism could be the victim of this battle.
A new world is emerging, in which it will be much harder to separate economics from geopolitics. It's not the world according to Myrdal, Frank, and Perroux, and it's not Tom Friedman's flat world, either. It's the world according to Game of Thrones .
Synoia , July 5, 2019 at 11:14 am
A new world is emerging, in which it will be much harder to separate economics from geopolitics.
Really? Why was Economics was originally named “Political Economy?”
vlade , July 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm
Politics is a continuation of economy by other means (well, you can write it the other way around too, TBH).
Summer , July 5, 2019 at 9:45 pm
It made me do a face palm. Somebody thought they had separated economics from geopolitics or power…or at least they wanted people to believe that and the jig is up.
fdr-fan , July 5, 2019 at 11:40 am
This paragraph is thought-provoking:
“One reason for this is that in an increasingly digitalised economy, where a growing part of services are provided at zero marginal cost, value creation and value appropriation concentrate in the innovation centers and where intangible investments are made. This leaves less and less for the production facilities where tangible goods are made.”
It depends on what you mean by value.
If value is dollars in someone’s Cayman Islands tax-free account, then value is concentrated in NYC and SF.
But if we follow Natural Law (Marx or Mohammed) and define value as labor, then this is exactly wrong. A Natural Law economy tries to maximize paid and useful work, because people are made to be useful.
The digital world steadily eliminates useful work, and steadily crams down the wages for the little work that remains. Real value is avalanching toward zero, while Cayman value is zooming to infinity.
Carolinian , July 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm
He’s talking more about the whims of the stock market and of our intellectual property laws. For example the marginal cost for Microsoft to issue another copy of “Windows” is zero. Even their revised iterations of the OS were largely a rehash of the previous software. Selling this at high prices worked out well for a long time but now the software can practically be had for free because competitors like Linux and Android are themselves free. So digital services with their low marginal cost depend on a shaky government edifice (patent enforcement, lack of antitrust) to prop up their value. Making real stuff still requires real labor and even many proposed robot jobs–driving cars, drone deliveries, automated factories and warehouses–are looking dubious. Dean Baker has said that the actual investment in automation during the last decades has slowed–perhaps because expensive and complicated robots may have trouble competing with clever if poorly paid humans. And poorly paid is the current reality due to population increases and political trends and perhaps, yes, automation.
And even if the masters of the universe could eliminate labor they would then have nobody to buy their products. The super yacht market is rather small.
eg , July 6, 2019 at 5:39 am
pour encourager les autres …
a different chris , July 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm
>the distribution of gains from openness and participation in the global economy is increasingly skewed. …. True, protectionism remains a dangerous lunacy.
Well “openness and participation” is looking like lunacy to the Deplorables for exactly the reason given, so what is actually on offer here?
Lee , July 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm
With useful physical labor being off-shored, first world citizens should all be made shareholders in the new scheme. We shall all then become dividend collecting layabouts buying stuff made by people we do not know, see, or care about. If they object we simply have the military mount a punitive expedition until they get whipped back into shape. Sort of like now but with a somewhat larger, more inclusive shareholder base. It will be wonderful!
CenterOfGravity , July 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm
Are you sayin’ the lefty Social Wealth Fund concept is really just another way of replicating the same old bougie program of domination and suppression?
Check out Matt Bruenig’s concept below. The likelihood that endlessly pursuing wealthy tax dodgers will be a fruitless and lost effort feels like a particularly persuasive argument for a SWF: https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/projects/social-wealth-fund/
Lee , July 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm
I’m saying that it can be and historically, and that there are and have been multi-national systems of super exploitation of peripheral, primarily resource exporting populations, relative to a more broadly distributed prosperity for “higher” skilled populations of the center. This has been a common perspective within anti-imperialist movements.
The argument is not without merit. Is this a “contradiction among the people” where various sectors of a larger labor movement can renegotiate terms, or is it some more intransigent, deeply antagonistic relationship is a crucial question. The exportation of manufacturing to the periphery is disrupting the political status-quo as represented by the center’s centrism, political sentiments are breaking away to the left and right and where they’ll land nobody knows.
Ignacio , July 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm
Do not forget mentioning how the tax system has been gamed to increase rent extraction and inequality.
samhill , July 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?
I was just reading this John Helmer below, like Pepe Escobar I’m not sure who’s buttering his bread but it’s all food for thought and fresh cooked blinis are tastier than the Twinkies from the western msm, and this thought came to mind: Iran is the perfect test ground for the US to determine Russian weapons and tactical capabilities in a major war context in 2019. That alone might make it worth it to the Pentagon, why they seem so enthusiastic to take the empire of chaos to unforseen heights (depts?). Somewhat like the Spanish Civil War was a testing ground for the weapons of WW2.
Synoia , July 5, 2019 at 12:56 pm
1. Because it has a lot of non US controlled Oil.
2. Because it is Central on the eastern end of the silk road.
3. Because it does not kiss the US Ring bearers hand at every opportunity, and the US is determined to make it an example not to be followed.
John k , July 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm
But consider Saudi us relations… who is kissing who’s ring?
Or consider Israeli us relations… ditto.
We’re a thuggish whore whose favors are easily bought; bring dollars or votes. Or kiss the ring.
Susan the other` , July 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm
An environmental insight here. The world stands devastated. It has reached its carrying capacity for thoughtless humans. From here on in we have to take the consequences of our actions into account. So when it is said, as above, that the dollar exchange rate is more important than the other bilateral exchange rates, I think that is no longer the reality. There is only a small amount of global economic synergy that operates without subsidy. The vast majority is subsidized. And the dollar is just one currency. And, unfortunately, the United States does not control the sun and the wind (well we’ve got Trump), or the ice and snow. Let alone the oceans. The big question going forward is, Can the US maintain its artificial economy? Based on what?
Old Jake , July 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm
That is a factor that seems ignored by the philosophers who are the subjects of the headline posting. It is a great oversight, a shoe which has been released and is now impacting the floor. “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men”
Brian Westva , July 5, 2019 at 6:13 pm
Unfortunately our economy is based on the military industrial surveillance complex.
Sound of the Suburbs , July 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm
A multi-polar world became a uni-polar world with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Francis Fukuyama said it was the end of history.
The Americans had other ideas and set about creating another rival as fast as they possibly could, China.
China went from almost nothing to become a global super power.
The Americans have realised they have messed up big time and China will soon take over the US as the world’s largest economy.
Beijing has taken over support for the Washington consensus as they have thirty years experience telling them how well it works for them.
The Washington consensus is now known as the Beijing consensus.
Feb 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions.
This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.
The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the "Heartland" nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.
The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.
Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.
In the Devil's Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their "Elements of Style" guidelines for Doublethink, a "democratic" country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America's enemies are theirs too.
A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.
This trajectory could be seen 50 years ago (I described it in Super Imperialism  and Global Fracture .) It had to happen. But nobody thought that the end would come in quite the way that is happening. History has turned into comedy, or at least irony as its dialectical path unfolds.
For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness.
The reality is that right-wing parties want to get elected, and a populist nationalism is today's road to election victory in Europe and other countries just as it was for Donald Trump in 2016.
Trump's agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire's most vital organs. But it he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use "quo bono" to assume that he is a witting agent.
After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naïve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.
Dismantling International Law and Its Courts
Any international system of control requires the rule of law. It may be a morally lawless exercise of ruthless power imposing predatory exploitation, but it is still The Law. And it needs courts to apply it (backed by police power to enforce it and punish violators).
Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards.
At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.
Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." 
Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate "Israel or other U.S. allies."
That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court's "judges and prosecutors from entering the United States." As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: "We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."
What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: "If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted."
The original inspiration of the Court – to use the Nuremburg laws that were applied against German Nazis to bring similar prosecution against any country or officials found guilty of committing war crimes – had already fallen into disuse with the failure to indict the authors of the Chilean coup, Iran-Contra or the U.S. invasion of Iraq for war crimes.
Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT
Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.
Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar "as good as gold" at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally name as paying agents.
That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they were able.
This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.
But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on "socialism," not on U.S. political attempts to "make the economy scream" (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.
England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank."
Turkey seemed to be a likely destination, prompting Bolton and Pompeo to warn it to desist from helping Venezuela, threatening sanctions against it or any other country helping Venezuela cope with its economic crisis. As for the Bank of England and other European countries, the Bloomberg report concluded: "Central bank officials in Caracas have been ordered to no longer try contacting the Bank of England. These central bankers have been told that Bank of England staffers will not respond to them."
This led to rumors that Venezuela was selling 20 tons of gold via a Russian Boeing 777 – some $840 million. The money probably would have ended up paying Russian and Chinese bondholders as well as buying food to relieve the local famine.  Russia denied this report, but Reuters has confirmed is that Venezuela has sold 3 tons of a planned 29 tones of gold to the United Arab Emirates, with another 15 tones are to be shipped on Friday, February 1.  The U.S. Senate's Batista-Cuban hardliner Rubio accused this of being "theft," as if feeding the people to alleviate the U.S.-sponsored crisis was a crime against U.S. diplomatic leverage.
If there is any country that U.S. diplomats hate more than a recalcitrant Latin American country, it is Iran. President Trump's breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.
Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.
Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. But now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.
On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe.
I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation's industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America's New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against "dependence" on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.
The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.
The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.
It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either.
Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.
It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger. This became clear last autumn at the funeral for George H. W. Bush, when the EU's diplomat found himself downgraded to the end of the list to be called to his seat. He was told that the U.S. no longer considers the EU an entity in good standing. In December, "Mike Pompeo gave a speech on Europe in Brussels -- his first, and eagerly awaited -- in which he extolled the virtues of nationalism, criticised multilateralism and the EU, and said that "international bodies" which constrain national sovereignty "must be reformed or eliminated." 
Most of the above events have made the news in just one day, January 31, 2019. The conjunction of U.S. moves on so many fronts, against Venezuela, Iran and Europe (not to mention China and the trade threats and moves against Huawei also erupting today) looks like this will be a year of global fracture.
It is not all President Trump's doing, of course. We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Instead of applauding democracy when foreign countries do not elect a leader approved by U.S. diplomats (whether it is Allende or Maduro), they've let the mask fall and shown themselves to be the leading New Cold War imperialists. It's now out in the open. They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, "Bastards, but they're our bastards."
Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen's French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.
The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline -- something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.
 "It Can't be Fixed: Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling," January 31, 2019.
 Patricia Laya, Ethan Bronner and Tim Ross, "Maduro Stymied in Bid to Pull $1.2 Billion of Gold From U.K.," Bloomberg, January 25, 2019. Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe.
 Corina Pons, Mayela Armas, "Exclusive: Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE – source," Reuters, January 31, 2019.
 Constanze Stelzenmüller, "America's policy on Europe takes a nationalist turn," Financial Times, January 31, 2019.
By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year< Jointly posted with Hudson's website
doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am
We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Yes we do. no escape? that I see
drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 9:43 am
Well, if the StormTrumpers can tear down all the levers and institutions of international US dollar strength, perhaps they can also tear down all the institutions of Corporate Globalonial Forced Free Trade. That itself may BE our escape . . . if there are enough millions of Americans who have turned their regionalocal zones of habitation into economically and politically armor-plated Transition Towns, Power-Down Zones, etc. People and places like that may be able to crawl up out of the rubble and grow and defend little zones of semi-subsistence survival-economics.
If enough millions of Americans have created enough such zones, they might be able to link up with eachother to offer hope of a movement to make America in general a semi-autarchik, semi-secluded and isolated National Survival Economy . . . . much smaller than today, perhaps likelier to survive the various coming ecosystemic crash-cramdowns, and no longer interested in leading or dominating a world that we would no longer have the power to lead or dominate.
We could put an end to American Exceptionalism. We could lay this burden down. We could become American Okayness Ordinarians. Make America an okay place for ordinary Americans to live in.
drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm
I read somewhere that the Czarist Imperial Army had a saying . . . "Quantity has a Quality all its own".
... ... ...
Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm
If Populists, I assume that's what you mean by "Storm Troopers", offer me M4A and revitalized local economies, and deliver them, they have my support and more power to them.
That's why Trump was elected, his promises, not yet delivered, were closer to that then the Democrats' promises. If the Democrats promised those things and delivered, then they would have my support.
If the Democrats run a candidate, who has a no track record of delivering such things, we stay home on election day. Trump can have it, because it won't be any worse.
I don't give a damn about "social issues." Economics, health care and avoiding WWIII are what motivates my votes, and I think more and more people are going to vote the same way.
drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm
Good point about Populist versus StormTrumper. ( And by the way, I said StormTRUMper, not StormTROOper). I wasn't thinking of the Populists. I was thinking of the neo-etc. vandals and arsonists who want us to invade Venezuela, leave the JCPOA with Iran, etc. Those are the people who will finally drive the other-country governments into creating their own parallel payment systems, etc.
And the midpoint of those efforts will leave wreckage and rubble for us to crawl up out of. But we will have a chance to crawl up out of it.
My reason for voting for Trump was mainly to stop the Evil Clinton from getting elected and to reduce the chance of near immediate thermonuclear war with Russia and to save the Assad regime in Syria from Clintonian overthrow and replacement with an Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.
Much of what will be attempted " in Trump's name" will be de-regulationism of all kinds delivered by the sorts of basic Republicans selected for the various agencies and departments by Pence and Moore and the Koch Brothers. I doubt the Populist Voters wanted the Koch-Pence agenda. But that was a risky tradeoff in return for keeping Clinton out of office.
The only Dems who would seek what you want are Sanders or maybe Gabbard or just barely Warren. The others would all be Clinton or Obama all over again.
Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am
I couldn't really find any details about the new INSTEX system – have you got any good links to brush up on? I know they made an announcement yesterday but how long until the new payment system is operational?
The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am
Here is a bit more info on it but Trump is already threatening Europe if they use it. That should cause them to respect him more:
LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am
The NYT and other have coverage.
Louis Fyne , February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am
arguably wouldn't it be better if for USD hegemony to be dismantled? A strong USD hurts US exports, subsidizes American consumption (by making commodities cheaper in relative terms), makes international trade (aka a 8,000-mile+ supply chain) easier.
For the sake of the environment, you want less of all three. Though obviously I don't like the idea of expensive gasoline, natural gas or tube socks either.
Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am
It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence.
Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority.
integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am
Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change.
What this change would consist of, and how it would manifest, remained an open question. Would he pursue rapprochement with Russia and pull troops out of the Middle East as he claimed to want to do during his 2016 campaign, would he doggedly pursue corruption charges against Clinton and attempt to reform the FBI and CIA, or would he do both, neither, or something else entirely?
Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times.
James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am
Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. Whether or not he ever had or has a coherent plan for the havoc he has wrought, he has certainly been the agent for change many of us hoped he would be, in stark contrast to the criminal duopoly parties who continue to oppose him, where the daily no news is always bad news all the same. To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles.
drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Look on some bright sides. Here is just one bright side to look on. President Trump has delayed and denied the Clinton Plan to topple Assad just long enough that Russia has been able to help Assad preserve legitimate government in most of Syria and defeat the Clinton's-choice jihadis.
That is a positive good. Unless you are pro-jihadi.
integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm
Clinton wasn't going to "benefit the greater good" either, and a very strong argument, based on her past behavior, can be made that she represented the greater threat. Given that the choice was between her and Trump, I think voters made the right decision.
Stephen Gardner , February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am
Excellent article but I believe the expression is "cui bono": who benefits.
hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am
Hudson's done us a service in pulling these threads together. I'd missed the threats against the ICC judges. One question: is it possible for INSTEX-like arrangements to function secretly? What is to be gained by announcing them publicly and drawing the expected attacks? Does that help sharpen conflicts, and to what end?
Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm
Maybe they're done in secret already – who knows? The point of doing it publicly is to make a foreign-policy impact, in this case withdrawing power from the US. It's a Declaration of Independence.
whine country , February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am
It certainly seems as though the 90 percent (plus) are an afterthought in this journey to who knows where? Like George C.Scott said while playing Patton, "The whole world at economic war and I'm not part of it. God will not let this happen." Looks like we're on the Brexit track (without the vote). The elite argue with themselves and we just sit and watch. It appears to me that the elite just do not have the ability to contemplate things beyond their own narrow self interest. We are all deplorables now.
a different chris , February 1, 2019 at 9:30 am
The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected
Is not supported by this (or really the rest of the article). The past tense here, for example, is unwarranted:
At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy.
So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.
Doesn't show Germany as breaking free at all, and worse it is followed by the pregnant
But then came Venezuela.
Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually.
So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change.
orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 11:22 am
"So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change."
I'm surprised more people aren't recognizing this. I read the article waiting in vain for some evidence of "the end of our monetary imperialism" besides some 'grumbling and foot dragging' as you aptly put it. There was some glimmer of a buried lede with INTEX, created to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran ─ hardly a 'dam-breaking'. Washington is on record as being annoyed.
OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm
Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. World bond market flows are 10X the size of world stock market flows even though the price of the Dow and Facebook shares etc get all of the headlines.
And foreign exchange flows are 10-50X the flows of bond markets, they're currently on the order of $5 *trillion* per day. And since forex is almost completely unregulated it's quite difficult to get the data and spot reserve currency trends. Oh, and buy gold. It's the only currency that requires no counterparty and is no one's debt obligation.
orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm
That's not what Hudson claims in his swaggering final sentence:
"The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me."
Which is risible as not only did he fail to show anything of the kind, his opening sentence stated a completely different reality: "The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected" So if we hold him to his first declaration, his evidence is feeble, as I mentioned. As a scholar, his hyperbole is untrustworthy.
No, gold is pretty enough lying on the bosom of a lady-friend but that's about its only usefulness in the real world.
skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm
Always bemusing that gold bugs never talk about gold being in a bubble . yet when it goes south of its purchase price speak in tongues about ev'bal forces.
timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm
I don't agree, and do agree. The distinction is this:
- Will the USD lose reserve currency soon? Probably no. And that is where I agree with you that the elites will fight to save USD as reserve currency.
- Will USD lose it's hegemony? Probably yes, and I don't think the U.S., The Empire, or the elites can stop that.
If you fix a few of Hudson's errors, and take him as making the point that USD is losing it's hegemony, IMO he is basically correct.
Brian (another one they call) , February 1, 2019 at 9:56 am
thanks Mr. Hudson. One has to wonder what has happened when the government (for decades) has been shown to be morally and otherwise corrupt and self serving. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but the people, and precious few of them. Was it our financial and legal bankruptcy that sent us over the cliff?
Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am
Indeed! It is to say the least encouraging to see Dr. Hudson return so forcefully to the theme of 'monetary imperialism'. I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. You can find any number of articles on his web site that return periodically to the theme of monetary imperialism. I remember one in particular that described how the rest of the world was brought on board to help pay for its good old-fashioned military imperialism.
If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing.
Until the US returns to the path of genuine wealth creation, it is past time for the rest of the world to go its own way with its banking and financial institutions.
Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm
The use of the stick will only go so far. What's the USG going to do if they refuse?
Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am
In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3.
Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm
UK withholding Gold may start another Brexit? IE: funds/gold held by BOE for other countries in Africa, Asian, South America, and the "stans" with start to depart, slowly at first, perhaps for Switzerland?
Ian Perkins , February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm
Where is the left in all this? Pretty much the same place as Michael Hudson, I'd say. Where is the US Democratic Party in all this? Quite a different question, and quite a different answer. So far as I can see, the Democrats for years have bombed, invaded and plundered other countries 'for their own good'. Republicans do it 'for the good of America', by which the ignoramuses mean the USA. If you're on the receiving end, it doesn't make much difference.
Michael A Gualario , February 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm
Agreed! South America intervention and regime change, Syria ( Trump is pulling out), Iraq, Middle East meddling, all predate Trump. Bush, Clinton and Obama have nothing to do with any of this.
Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm
" So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. "
What proof is there that the gold is still there? Chances are it's notional. All Germany, Venezuela, or the others have is an IOU – and gold cannot be printed. Incidentally, this whole discussion means that gold is still money and the gold standard still exists.
Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm
Wukchumni beat me to the suspicion that the gold isn't there.
The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm
What makes you think that the gold in Fort Knox is still there? If I remember right, there was a Potemkin visit back in the 70s to assure everyone that the gold was still there but not since then. Wait, I tell a lie. There was another visit about two years ago but look who was involved in that visit-
And I should mention that it was in the 90s that between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were manufactured in the US under Clinton. Since then gold-coated tungsten bars have turned up in places like Germany, China, Ethiopia, the UK, etc so who is to say if those gold bars in Fort Knox are gold all the way through either. More on this at -- http://viewzone2.com/fakegoldx.html
Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm
A non-accountable standard. It's more obvious BS than what is going on now.
jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am
It wasn't last year that Germany brought back its Gold. It has been ongoing since 2013, after some political and popular pressure build up. They finished the transaction in 2017. According to an article in Handelblatt (but it was widely reported back then) they brought back pretty much everything they had in Paris (347t), left what they had in London (perhaps they should have done it in reverse) and took home another 300t from the NY Fed. That still leaves 1236t in NY. But half of their Gold (1710t) is now in Frankfurt. That is 50% of the Bundesbanks holdings.
They made a point in saying that every bar was checked and weighed and presented some bars in Frankfurt. I guess they didn't melt them for assaying, but I'd expect them to be smart enough to check the density.
Their reason to keep Gold in NY and London is to quickly buy USD in case of a crisis. That's pretty much a cold war plan, but that's what they do right now.
Regarding Michal Hudsons piece, I enjoyed reading through this one. He tends to write ridiculously long articles and in the last few years with less time and motivation at hand I've skipped most of his texts on NC as they just drag on.
When I'm truly fascinated I like well written, long articles but somehow he lost me at some point. But I noticed that some long original articles in US magazines, probably research for a long time by the journalist, can just drag on for ever as well I just tune out.
Susan the Other , February 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm
This is making sense. I would guess that tearing up the old system is totally deliberate. It wasn't working so well for us because we had to practice too much social austerity, which we have tried to impose on the EU as well, just to stabilize "king dollar" – otherwise spread so thin it was a pending catastrophe.
Now we can get out from under being the reserve currency – the currency that maintains its value by financial manipulation and military bullying domestic deprivation. To replace this old power trip we are now going to mainline oil. The dollar will become a true petro dollar because we are going to commandeer every oil resource not already nailed down.
When we partnered with SA in Aramco and the then petro dollar the dollar was only backed by our military. If we start monopolizing oil, the actual commodity, the dollar will be an apex competitor currency without all the foreign military obligations which will allow greater competitive advantages.
No? I'm looking at PdVSA, PEMEX and the new "Energy Hub for the Eastern Mediterranean" and other places not yet made public. It looks like a power play to me, not a hapless goofball president at all.
skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am
So sand people with sociological attachment to the OT is a compelling argument based on antiquarian preferences with authoritarian patriarchal tendencies for their non renewable resource . after I might add it was deemed a strategic concern after WWII .
Considering the broader geopolitical realities I would drain all the gold reserves to zero if it was on offer . here natives have some shiny beads for allowing us to resource extract we call this a good trade you maximize your utility as I do mine .
Hay its like not having to run C-corp compounds with western 60s – 70s esthetics and letting the locals play serf, blow back pay back, and now the installed local chiefs can own the risk and refocus the attention away from the real antagonists.
ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm
Indeed. Thanks so much for this. Maybe the RICS will get serious now – can no longer include Brazil with Bolsonaro. There needs to be an alternate system or systems in place, and to see US Imperialism so so blatantly and bluntly by Trump admin – "US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets" – should sound sirens on every continent and especially in the developing world. I too hope there will be fracture to the point of breakage. Countries of the world outside the US/EU/UK/Canada/Australia confraternity must now unite to provide a permanent framework outside the control of imperial interests. The be clear, this must not default to alternative forms of imperialism germinating by the likes of China.
mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm
" such criticism can't begin to take in the full scope of the damage the Trump White House is inflicting on the system of global power Washington built and carefully maintained over those 70 years. Indeed, American leaders have been on top of the world for so long that they no longer remember how they got there.
Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble."
Rajesh K , February 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm
I read something like this and I am like, some of these statements need to be qualified. Like: "Driving China and Russia together". Like where's the proof? Is Xi playing telephone games more often now with Putin? I look at those two and all I see are two egocentric people who might sometimes say the right things but in general do not like the share the spotlight. Let's say they get together to face America and for some reason the later gets "defeated", it's not as if they'll kumbaya together into the night.
This website often points out the difficulties in implementing new banking IT initiatives. Ok, so Europe has a new "payment system". Has it been tested thoroughly? I would expect a couple of weeks or even months of chaos if it's not been tested, and if it's thorough that probably just means that it's in use right i.e. all the kinks have been worked out. In that case the transition is already happening anyway. But then the next crisis arrives and then everyone would need their dollar swap lines again which probably needs to cleared through SWIFT or something.
Anyway, does this all mean that one day we'll wake up and a slice of bacon is 50 bucks as opposed to the usual 1 dollar?
Keith Newman , February 2, 2019 at 1:12 am
Driving Russia and China together is correct. I recall them signing a variety of economic and military agreement a few years ago. It was covered in the media. You should at least google an issue before making silly comments. You might start with the report of Russia and China signing 30 cooperation agreements three years ago. See https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/06/27/russia-china-sign-30-cooperation-agreements_606505 . There are lots and lots of others.
RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm
He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas.
skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am
The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run.
Whilst the far right factions fight over the rudder the only new game in town is AOC, Sanders, Warren, et al which Trumps supporters hate with Ideological purity.
/lasse , February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am
Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners.
On a household level it fits, but there no "loser" household that in infinity can print money that the "winners" can accumulate in exchange for their resources and fruits of labor.
One wonder what are Trumps idea of US being a winner in trade (surplus)? I.e. sending away their resources and fruits of labor overseas in exchange for what? A pile of USD? That US in the first place created out of thin air. Or Chinese Yuan, Euros, Turkish liras? Also fiat-money. Or does he think US trade surplus should be paid in gold?
When the US political and economic hegemony will unravel it will come "unexpected". Trump for sure are undermining it with his megalomaniac ignorance. But not sure it's imminent.
Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap.
On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect.
Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am
Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o
Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:29 am
When the delusion takes hold, it is the beginning of the end.
The British Empire will last forever
The thousand year Reich
As soon as the bankers thought they thought they were "Master of the Universe" you knew 2008 was coming. The delusion had taken hold.
Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:45 am
Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT.
This is the US (46.30 mins.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg
The trade deficit required a large Government deficit to cover it and the US government could just create the money to cover it.
Then ideological neoliberals came in wanting balanced budgets and not realising the Government deficit covered the trade deficit.
The US has been destabilising its own economy by reducing the Government deficit. Bill Clinton didn't realize a Government surplus is an indicator a financial crisis is about to hit. The last US Government surplus occurred in 1927 – 1930, they go hand-in-hand with financial crises.
Richard Koo shows the graph central bankers use and it's the flow of funds within the economy, which sums to zero (32-34 mins.).
The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy.
skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm
It should be remembered Bill Clinton's early meeting with Rubin, where in he was informed that wages and productivity had diverged – Rubin did not blink an eye.
Jul 27, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
The result of the recent Greek national elections will puzzle future historians for decades. The Greek voters gave a clear victory to the conservative right party, New Democracy, which will govern with 158 seats, without the need to make any coalitions.
It could be characterized a "paradoxical" result mainly for two reasons:
First, the voters gave a clear governmental order to one of the traditional powers of the old political system, which are highly responsible for the Greek crisis that erupted in 2010. Several top names of the new government, and even New Democracy leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have been accused of being involved in various corruption scandals, in the not so distant past.
Second, the fact that the voters elected perhaps the most fanatically neoliberal government ever. This means that Mitsotakis administration is expected to implement the brutal neoliberal policies imposed by Greece's creditors to the letter. Recall that those policies deepened the recession and made things worse for the economy.
It is now well-known that Greece's creditors sacrificed the country to save the banks. Yet, after nine years of brutal austerity measures, the economy is not looking good at all. Debt has reached 180% of GDP from 120% when Greece entered the bailout program. Banks have been bailed-out with billions and still are not lending money to real economy and especially the small-medium business sector.
Yet, right before the election day, a New Democracy member (Babis Papadimitriou) who got elected, suggested that the 'safety pillow' of 37 billion - which the Greek government managed to collect through the brutal implementation of insane surpluses - should be given to the banks!
Note that Babis Papadimitriou is a former journalist worked for the Skai TV station. The station openly supported New Democracy, and its owners are part of the oligarchy that was very displeased with the SYRIZA administration. That's because Tsipras was not willing to succumb to oligarchy's interests.
The current New Democracy party is a product of the Greek oligarchy establishment. The party - especially after the eruption of the Greek crisis in 2010 - has been transformed into an unprecedented and peculiar mixture of some of the most fanatic neoliberals and some of the most fanatic nationalists.
The nationalist faction of the party played a critical role. The Greek media begun a new round of propaganda against Tsipras administration. They managed to persuade many Greeks that the agreement for the name of North Macedonia was an act of treason against Greece's national interest. And that, New Democracy, the traditional right, is still patriotic and would had never sign such an agreement. This was actually the epicenter of propaganda. Of course, the truth is that the neoliberal New Democracy would had sign whatever the Western imperialists wanted. It's ideologically identical with them, after all.
The bad news for the neoliberal establishment is that SYRIZA managed to maintain a significant portion of its power (31.53%). This has brought a kind of embarrassment to the establishment because SYRIZA is still not under full control. It is not accidental that various circles close to New Democracy were implying that apart from a clear victory, another target would be the strategic defeat of SYRIZA. Meaning, the return of SYRIZA to its pre-crisis 3% level.
So, the establishment sense that there is a 'danger' that the party could slip again away from the neoliberal order imposed by the power centers inside and outside Greece. Maintaining such a power, it may become a real threat to the neoliberal order again.
However, many of these things probably won't matter because now New Democracy has four years to implement the most devastating neoliberal program, without any significant resistance. This is its sole mission. To transform the country into a neoliberal paradise for the oligarchs and the foreign investment 'predators'. And this 'brilliant' plan will be paid one more time by the Greeks, who will see the destruction of public health and education. The destruction of social state. The complete looting of public property. The destruction of whatever has left from labor rights and social security.
The Greeks have just committed suicide by electing the most fanatically neoliberal government ever.
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The 'New Right' Is Not a Reaction to Neoliberalism, but Its Offspring Posted on July 17, 2019 by Yves Smith By Lars Cornelissen, who holds a PhD in the Humanities and works as a researcher and editor for the Independent Social Research Foundation. Originally published at openDemocracy
The ongoing and increasingly intense conservative backlash currently taking place across Europe is often understood as a populist reaction to neoliberal policy. The neoliberal assault on the welfare state, as for instance Chantal Mouffe has argued , has eroded post-war social security even as it destroyed people's faith in electoral politics. Coupled with a sharp increase in inequality and rapid globalisation, the technocratic nature of neoliberal government has angered electorates across the continent. Wanting to "take back control" of their political life, these electorates have turned away from traditional centrist parties and have thrown their lot in with populist parties on the fringes of the political spectrum. Although, as Mouffe is at pains to point out , this creates a space for both left-wing and right-wing populisms, today it seems that especially its inward-looking, nationalistic variants are experiencing electoral success.
To be sure, this diagnosis is by and large correct. Decades of neoliberal hegemony have certainly served to impoverish the cultural life of many European nations. Meanwhile, neoliberal policies of privatisation and deregulation, followed after the 2008 crisis by a decade of blithe austerity measures, have gutted most of the institutions that previously carried the promise of equity and security -- even if that promise was always already a false one. The rise in jingoistic nationalism is, in this sense, without doubt a consequence of the neoliberal era.
It would be incorrect to assume, however, that these nationalisms are somehow juxtaposed to or fundamentally different from neoliberalism. It would be wrong, that is, to see the rise of the so-called "new right" as a sign of neoliberalism's demise or to see the 2008 financial crisis as marking its death rattle. Neoliberalism did not merely provide the occasion for the rise of nationalist sentiment; rather, the latter also grew out of the former. Differently put, neoliberal doctrine already carried the seeds of the kind of conservativism that is currently running rampant in Europe.
The Neoliberal Network
A good place to start is the network of neoliberal think tanks and research institutes that has served as the frontline of the neoliberal project since the 1950s. Indeed, as numerous research studies by historians and sociologists have shown, although neoliberalism first emerged as an intellectual movement spearheaded by such figures as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Walter Eucken, and Milton Friedman, crucial to the movement's success was its effort to disseminate its ideology strategically. Thus, after an initial phase in which these men prepared the philosophical grounds for the neoliberal agenda, they set out to spread their ideas, forming a Transatlantic web of intellectuals and researchers with the express objective of steadily influencing public opinion in general and policy-makers in particular.
Among the most prominent think tanks to be erected in this way are the Institute of Economic Affairs, founded by Anthony Fisher in 1955 on Hayek's explicit advice, the Cato Institute, founded in 1974, and the Adam Smith Institute, founded in 1977. They are merely the most visible core of a vast network of similar organisations, however. Whether named after neoliberalism's pioneering theorists (a small selection: the Hayek Institut; the Hayek Gesellschaft; the Ludwig von Mises Institute; the Walter Eucken Institut; the Becker Friedman Institute) or given more esoteric monikers (such as the Heritage Foundation or the Atlas Economic Research Foundation), many right-wing think tanks are of neoliberal descent. Those whose founding predates the birth of neoliberalism, such as the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, were quickly absorbed into the neoliberal project. Together these think tanks form a sprawling network of ideological entrepreneurs driven, as Anthony Fisher is reported to have said , by the desire to "litter the world with free-market think tanks."
As the primary channels through which neoliberal ideas flow to the wider public, these institutions make for a crucial weather vane for shifts unfolding within the neoliberal mindset. Any attempt to make sense of neoliberalism's many twists and turns must therefore pay attention to trends in their ideological direction and outputs. And this is where neoliberalism's recent hard turn towards conservative nationalism becomes apparent.
Neoliberalism has always had a strong conservative streak: Hayek himself was inspired by Edmund Burke at least as much as by Adam Smith, and such towering figures of German neoliberalism as Wilhem Röpke and Alexander Rüstow were deeply conservative thinkers. Conversely, Hayek in particular has exerted a considerable influence on the most recent generation of conservative philosophers, with men like Roger Scruton, Paul Cliteur, Francis Fukuyama, and Niall Ferguson routinely drawing upon his ideas about the market, law, and societal order in support of their own conservatism. (The latter, as it happens, received the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.)
However, what originally remained an intellectual attraction between neoliberals and conservatives has in recent decades morphed into something more closely resembling a synthesis. As neoliberal hegemony reached its climax in the 1990s, its intellectual custodians began focusing their attention on what they purported to be the failures of multiculturalism. Decrying 'cultural relativism,' neoliberal think tanks began publishing pamphlets that sang the praises of western culture, which their writers regarded as inherently superior to its non-liberal (read: non-western) counterparts. They proceeded to assert the need to protect national identity from its dilution by immigration and to advocate patriotism and nationalism as a means of consolidating such identity.
It is, then, wrong to assume that neoliberal parties or intellectuals embraced nationalism only after the so-called "new right" was in its ascendency, as a means to win back voters or to assuage a supposedly vitriolic and jingoistic electorate. In truth, many of neoliberalism's ideologues had swerved firmly towards conservative nationalism well before right-wing populism became a serious political contender. In doing so, they anticipated many of the latter's principal ideological markers, including its conspiratorial conception of " cultural Marxism " and its fondness for Oswald Spengler .
In short, neoliberals had no small part in setting the stage for the recent eruption of regressive nationalism. By peddling ethnocentric, nationalistic, and xenophobic ideas they helped shift public opinion to the conservative right, rendering it ever more salonfähig. A good example of this process may be found in Dutch politics, where Islamophobia entered mainstream discourse largely due to the efforts of Frits Bolkestein, then the country's leading neoliberal politician and author. Anticipating the Islamophobia of Pim Fortuyn and later Geert Wilders by about a decade, he claimed as early as 1991 that Islam is objectively speaking inferior to western culture. In so doing, he shifted the country's national debate and gave xenophobia a gloss of legitimacy, setting the stage for his country's sharp conservative turn in the new millennium.
A Neoliberal Brexit
Neoliberalism's influence on the rise of conservatism is not exhausted by its ideological appeal, however. Think tanks are, after all, meant to direct policy, not just to elaborate an ideological doctrine. By way of example, let us consider Brexit. Indeed, the neoliberals' impact on the "new right" is nowhere clearer than in the British hard right's attempt to enforce a no-deal Brexit.
To begin, it's worth noting that the Conservative Party's most prominent cadre of Brexit-backing nationalists counts many explicit devotees of Hayek amongst its numbers, including Roger Scruton , Boris Johnson , Priti Patel , and Sajid Javid (who called Hayek a "legend" in a 2014 tweet ). Jacob Rees-Mogg's late father William was similarly an outspoken Hayekian, calling himself "an Austrian economist more than anything else" in a 2010 interview and adding for good measure that he "knew Friedrich von Hayek and liked him very much."
But neoliberalism's impact on Tory hard Brexiteers goes much further. Here again, the neoliberal network of think tanks takes centre stage. As research done by openDemocracy UK has demonstrated, the Conservative Party's nationalist wing maintains very intimate ties with the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has lobbied extensively to broaden the appeal of a hard or even no-deal Brexit. Thus it maintains very close ties with the European Research Group (ERG), a group that represents the Party's most extreme Eurosceptics, and has had the ear of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Davis, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The IEA is but one of many neoliberal think tanks that are today advocating a hard Brexit. The same is true for, amongst other, the Adam Smith Institute , the Hayek Institut , the Austrian Economics Center , the Mises Institute , the Hoover Institute , the Cato Institute , and the Heritage Foundation . Whilst it's not true that all of those who work for such institutes are Brexiteers -- indeed, the Adam Smith Institute is very open about its internal dispute over Brexit -- it certainly is the case that neoliberalism's ideological vanguard is contributing significantly to the justification and rationalisation of a no-deal scenario.
All of these threads seem to converge in the figure of Steve Baker. Serving as Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union from June 2017 until he resigned a year later over his disagreement with the government's stance on Brexit, Baker was one of his party's leading Eurosceptical voices well before that. In 2015, he co-founded the Conservatives for Britain campaign, which was instrumental in lobbying for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. What's more, he served as Chairman of the ERG between 2016 and 2018 and as Deputy Chairman since then. Baker is also a prominent figure in the world of neoliberal think tanks, having co-founded The Cobden Centre (TCC) in 2010 and served as its director until 2017. A self-declared Austrian-inspired think tank, TCC is co-directed by hard Brexiteer Daniel Hannan , routinely posts defences of a hard Brexit, hosts material by hard-line Brexiteers such as Nigel Farage , Douglas Carswell , Michael Tomlinson , and Baker himself, and has close links to a glut of other neoliberal, pro-Brexit think tanks.
There is ample evidence that what is often seen as the "new right" is in fact not all that different from its predecessor. Several decades of neoliberal hegemony have not just triggered a backlash by the conservative right. Rather, the conservative right is a mutation of neoliberalism, one of its many outgrowths. The left is ill served by the continued assumption that it's fighting a new enemy, for clearly neoliberalism is still very much with us.
Colonel Smithers , July 17, 2019 at 6:33 am
Many thanks, Yves.
With regard to Brexit, I would just add that neo con think tanks, e.g. the Henry Jackson Society, also joined their more economics focussed brethren. Brexit is a means of weakening the EU to the benefit of the anglosphere, albeit a US led community with the UK playing Greece to the US's Rome. They are less prominent, or shouty, but I think that is by design. The likes of Richard Dearlove, Charles Guthrie and John Scarlett know how to play this game and are happy to let the loud mouths, especially the colonials like Kate Andrews, Divya Chakraborty and Chloe "low tax" Westley, or "low fact" to some, front up on air.
Steve Baker is a former Royal Air Force officer and MP for the neighbouring constituency. He straddles both camps.
There are differences, often tensions, between the Austrians, neo cons and the likes of the North family. Pete(r J) North's latest blog addresses that.
Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 6:35 am
Indeed all confessed VOX (populist rigth, Spain) voters I know were faithful Popular Party (conservative) voters. Anecdotic but in line with this article.
Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 7:37 am
The 'New Right' are the storm troopers of the neoliberal 'New World Order' , conjured deliberately, and painstakingly into existence as a bulwark against the rising tide of legitimate populist revolt against the strangle hold of neoliberal rule.
This is exactly what Jay Gould meant* when he said he could hire half the working class to murder the other half.
It's disturbing to note how obviously Trump is stirring the embers of reactionary sentiment that are never far from the surface of our national lack-of-character.
*It matters not if Jay Gould actually uttered these words, they describe the foundation of right-wing power in America.
Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 9:23 am
Where is this "rising tide" you refer to? In the US our supposed revolutionaries are firmly within the Democratic party which is neoliberal to the core. While the above article may be correct that the nationalist new right represents fake populism in the manner of Wall Street loving Trump, there's not a lot of evidence of an anti-capitalist revolt on the left either (Elizabeth Warren: I am a capitalist). The article linked the other day on inverted totalitarianism hit the nail squarely. Whether left or right "There Is No Alternative" holds sway until the house of cards finally collapses. In the meantime our current elites will go to any extreme to keep that from happening.
Watt4Bob , July 17, 2019 at 11:35 am
The discomfort of those at the bottom results eventually in anger, and that anger looks for an outlet.
Rather than take the chance that those angry folks might seek, and eventually find solace in solidarity with left-oriented populism a la Bernie Sanders flavor of socialism, TPTB nurture a perennial alternative, the empty, but effective promise to make things 'right' by force of will, and of course, violence if necessary.
If the "rising tide" of relatively informed and activist candidates did not exist, and were not influencing the electorate, there would be fear on the part of TPTB, and so no reason to encourage the "New Right" .
I might add, that IMHO, you are swimming in that "rising tide" by your participation here at NC.
Carolinian , July 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm
Guess I'm old enough to remember an actual popular tide. But as we found the tide comes in and then it goes out. IMO in order to have another New Deal we are probably going to need another Great Depression. The internet including this website have become a great resource for learning what is going on. But if the plutocrats begin to bothered by it they will institute censorship (it's already happening). What they really fear is losing their money and therefore their power. Another economic crisis might do the job.
Pym of Nantucket , July 17, 2019 at 10:31 am
Whenever one attributes anything to Trump, I believe it is important to imagine him not as the mastermind, but as the catalyst. There are countless pent up forces that are using him as the figurehead or scapegoat around which a torrent of change coming which was previously held back. I feel that the damage done by his presidency was coming anyway, with him now as Court Jester leading the parade. He is the perfect hybrid of Big Brother and Emmanuel Goldstein.
A.F , July 17, 2019 at 8:18 am
Neoliberalism is anti-national and anti-conservative.
Petter , July 17, 2019 at 10:22 am
Epistemology of Neoliberalism – from Phillip Mirowski video – Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.
1. People are sloppy undependable cognitive agents.
2. Not to worry – "The Market" is the greatest information processor in human history.
3. The problem is to get people to accept and subjugate themselves to the Market. This is called "Freedom".
4. The politics of 1-3 can get a little tricky. Best not be too literal about it.
Susan the other` , July 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm
Liberty and liberal are both words that are fraught with contradiction and confusion. Whose Liberty? Liberal for whom? That never gets parsed out because in the parsing both words lose their meaning. They are just bricks and bats and hand grenades. Hayek reads like a thoughtful, reasonable person. But what he believes to be effective economics always fails. We are all current witnesses. Austrians are conservative in defense of their liberty. They seek liberal policies and governments so they can have more individual economic freedom. And free trade. Socialism sees it differently; socialists are, by contrast, conservative. They believe in conserving social justice. Now we have a first hand understanding of the failures of neoliberalism. People at the local level, and the rural, want to be included in the liberal prosperity so they vote for more economic freedom (leave the EU); the elite and the rich want something entirely different; they want an even less restricted government so they can sail off and be neocolonialists. So just like the confusion over the word "liberal" nobody asks, Brexit for whom? It makes me weary.
tegnost , July 17, 2019 at 11:06 am
I'd say the neolibs are more afraid of sanders than they are of trump, so conservative (why can't those better republicans be like us) and also that they understand labor arbitrage requires borders and so are pro national.
Thuto , July 17, 2019 at 9:18 am
Interesting perspective this about neoliberalism and the new right drawing from the same ideological source. I would also add that Ukraine is a cautionary tale to all would-be right wing "leaders" that you can whip citizens into a frenzy (with help from Victoria Nuland, John McCain and a not insignificant coup warchest of $5bn) and ride the stirred up resentment of the establishment to the presidency but unless you deliver real, socially beneficial changes the next election you'll have your as# handed to you by a comedian, just ask Poroshenko.
Outside of the US where right wing politicians like Trump can take the credit for levers like easy credit bidding up asset prices and the gig economy putting lipstick on the unemployment pig to keep the deception going (the deception being that stock markets are at all time highs, employment numbers are up etc even as wealth and income inequality are at robber baron levels), right wing populism is hardly a viable political strategy. Once all the immigrants have been demonized and chased out and people notice that their lives are still stuck in an economic rut, the right wingers run out of targets to aim their vitriol at, their rhetoric falls flat and public trust in their divisive tactics erodes.
David , July 17, 2019 at 9:41 am
He gets several things confused, apparently as a result of an attempt to argue that immigration, multiculturalism and so forth are unproblematic, and only "islamophobes" would suggest otherwise. It's very much a view from inside the Panglossian bubble. There are at least three strands here.
Celebrations of western culture in comparison with Islam (a minority position but one which is still found) go back a long time, mainly on the Right Christian heritage, democracy etc) but also to some extent on the Left, where some writers fear that secularism and class-based politics are themselves in danger.
Opposition to explicitly multicultural policies by government (not the same as living in a society with different cultures) is largely a reaction to policies promoted by governments of the ostensible Left, although supported for entirely cynical reasons by neoliberals as a way of fragmenting resistance. This opposition comes from all parts of the political system.
Opposition to neoliberal policies, most obviously the encouragement of immigration by unskilled workers from poor countries, is based primarily on the lived experience of the poor and disadvantaged who are the main victims of immigration. (A non-negligible element of the opposition comes from past immigrants who have settled and made lives for themselves.)
There's a very elitist argument here that people are incapable of understanding their actual situations and require some right-wing pundit to explain things to them.
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , July 17, 2019 at 10:56 am
Also the article elides the fact that neoliberalism has within its DNA a subspecies of Fabian Socialism that seems to assuage what little conciousness market fundamentalists have about rolling back a century of bitterly won advances by the working classes (of all erthnicities & gender identies, fixations and usages) within the insustrialized regions by diluting them with waves of foreign people made desperate by contrived colonial wars and climate disasters.
Does anyone believe that an Indonesian Muslim background person in Netherlands who's made a good living suddenly wants her children to have to compete with waves of Africans for starter jobs?
Also- we've just come off of 30 plus years of identitarian pride for all non-white people. Which is just garbage that's come out of english departments in the elite universities. White people have been told for about a decade now by everyone in academia and entertainment that they're all racist trash who need to intermarry with darker people as quickly as possible to expiate the sins of north american chattel slavery and ..muh holocaust. Somehow all the depradations, human sacrifices, genocides and repressions of and by about every group throughout all time are just 'whatabouttism' now. When you start scapegoating any group they will get their back up eventually. There's nothing conservative about it. But Disaster Capitalists are more than happy to insert themselves into the scene, supporting such causes the same way they supported #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter when it was a convenience. Never let a good disaster go to waste, right?
Clive , July 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm
Yes, and nary a mention of long-standing socialist (oft referred to in the U.K. as Bennite in "honour" of the school of thought popularised by Tony Benn, but he merely expressed much older international labour movement (note the small "l" there not a big "L") notion of global worker solidarity) opposition to the EU.
You can say many things about socialism, Bennism and their kissing cousin Communism. But "neoliberal" or "neoliberal antecedences" isn't one of them.
A nice try at constricting -- and thereby, one has to assume, attempting to constrain and frame -- Brexit as being only a right wing or conservative reactionary ideal and thereby inherently neoliberal. But that might, only might, have worked a few years ago. Too much water has passed under the bridge and too much ideological complexity has emerged around it now for that to wash.
divadab , July 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm
@David – yes! Resistance to excessive immigration is non-ideological but based on very human tribalism. Too many strangers in a society results in a loss of fellow-feeling and more division. This is, IMHO, the root of much of the rot in Western societies – the destruction of trust, aided and abetted by a ruling class that uses deception habitually to manage the masses and divide them from themselves. Can't let the cattle figure out how we're exploiting them!
John Wright , July 17, 2019 at 1:17 pm
If one views the indigenous workforce of a nation as a loosely constructed "labor union", one only has to look at the disdain that labor unions have for strike breaking "scabs" to see why there is resistance to excessive immigration.
At the top of the workforce pyramid, the well-paid upper crust views their costs for domestic help and workplace staffing dropping with increased immigration..
I suspect left leaning US politicians do not allow that many voting, low wage, workers (aka HRC deplorables) view themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, with some numerical justification, as immigrants and their US born children constitute about 28% of US population.
"Immigrants and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 89.4 million people, or 28 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the 2018 Current Population Survey (CPS). Pew Research Center projects that the immigrant-origin share will rise to about 36 percent by 2065."
Trump has tapped into this, but is doing it in a Potemkin village style, as I tell people that Trump likes low wage workers for his properties and construction projects. His border wall is designed for show, not effectiveness, otherwise he would enforce employer sanctions against employing non US citizens.
Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 10:03 am
Neo-liberalism seems to me to have as a logical consequence the fostering of a Covenant-Lite approach to culture as well as markets.
The markets show that some of those Covenant-Lite Collateralized Loan Obligations are blowing up now , distressingly reminiscent of the CDOs that wrought havoc on the world financial markets last decade during the Crash.
Culture gets its turn, as it always does, this time through an anything-goes approach without any moral or ethical underpinnings, of whatever nature. It should be no surprise to anyone that there are bad actors to manipulate situations, institutions and people.
Off The Street , July 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm
See also Wolf Richter on the matter.
Hayek's Heelbiter , July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am
Glad to see my nemesis being exposed for what he truly is! :)
Amfortas the hippie , July 17, 2019 at 10:52 am
I think this is neglecting an important strand ..Neoliberalism obviously contains within itself the resistance of the Hoi Polloi even Hayek and Mises were aware of this as far back as the 40's.
People would chafe at the all against all hyperindividualist yer-on-yer-own orthodoxy and seek ways to challenge the Neoliberal Order.
The Right Wing Version of such Populist insurgency is simply one that the Neoliberal Thought Collective can more easily swallow and use towards it's own ends.
Unlike the Sanders/Veroufkas(sp-2). Melanchon(sp-2) Actual Left version of Populism, which is the antithesis of Neoliberalism.
Look to the history of things like the CIA, and the Elite neofeudalist worldview it has worked for from it's very beginnings .anything that smells of the Left must be rooted out and crushed, lest it present an alternative while Right Wing Authoritarians are supported as "Freedom Fighters" and "Liberationists" .just ignore all the corpses(or blame them on the Powerless Left)
Neoliberalism is merely the latest(and slipperiest!) version of a Capitalist World Order that itself is merely the latest iteration of the Ancient Regime.
The Elite, as a class, have been trying to undo the Enlightenment(often by coopting many of it's features) since time immemorial.
The Populist Right is a useful(if dangerous) tool in furtherance of that end, while Lefty Populism is anathema, that would undo the very foundations of their preferred Order.
Jul 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
... ... ...
Over the last two years, a different, in some ways unrecognizable Larry Summers has been appearing in newspaper editorial pages. More circumspect in tone, this humbler Summers has been arguing that economic opportunities in the developing world are slowing, and that the already rich economies are finding it hard to get out of the crisis. Barring some kind of breakthrough, Summers says, an era of slow growth is here to stay.
In Summers's recent writings, this sombre conclusion has often been paired with a surprising political goal: advocating for a "responsible nationalism". Now he argues that politicians must recognise that "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good".
One curious thing about the pro-globalisation consensus of the 1990s and 2000s, and its collapse in recent years, is how closely the cycle resembles a previous era. Pursuing free trade has always produced displacement and inequality – and political chaos, populism and retrenchment to go with it. Every time the social consequences of free trade are overlooked, political backlash follows. But free trade is only one of many forms that economic integration can take. History seems to suggest, however, that it might be the most destabilising one.
... ... ...
The international systems that chastened figures such as Keynes helped produce in the next few years – especially the Bretton Woods agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) – set the terms under which the new wave of globalisation would take place.
The key to the system's viability, in Rodrik's view, was its flexibility – something absent from contemporary globalisation, with its one-size-fits-all model of capitalism. Bretton Woods stabilised exchange rates by pegging the dollar loosely to gold, and other currencies to the dollar. Gatt consisted of rules governing free trade – negotiated by participating countries in a series of multinational "rounds" – that left many areas of the world economy, such as agriculture, untouched or unaddressed. "Gatt's purpose was never to maximise free trade," Rodrik writes. "It was to achieve the maximum amount of trade compatible with different nations doing their own thing. In that respect, the institution proved spectacularly successful."
Partly because Gatt was not always dogmatic about free trade, it allowed most countries to figure out their own economic objectives, within a somewhat international ambit. When nations contravened the agreement's terms on specific areas of national interest, they found that it "contained loopholes wide enough for an elephant to pass", in Rodrik's words. If a nation wanted to protect its steel industry, for example, it could claim "injury" under the rules of Gatt and raise tariffs to discourage steel imports: "an abomination from the standpoint of free trade". These were useful for countries that were recovering from the war and needed to build up their own industries via tariffs – duties imposed on particular imports. Meanwhile, from 1948 to 1990, world trade grew at an annual average of nearly 7% – faster than the post-communist years, which we think of as the high point of globalisation. "If there was a golden era of globalisation," Rodrik has written, "this was it."
Gatt, however, failed to cover many of the countries in the developing world. These countries eventually created their own system, the United Nations conference on trade and development (UNCTAD). Under this rubric, many countries – especially in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – adopted a policy of protecting homegrown industries by replacing imports with domestically produced goods. It worked poorly in some places – India and Argentina, for example, where the trade barriers were too high, resulting in factories that cost more to set up than the value of the goods they produced – but remarkably well in others, such as east Asia, much of Latin America and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where homegrown industries did spring up. Though many later economists and commentators would dismiss the achievements of this model, it theoretically fit Larry Summers's recent rubric on globalisation: "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good."
The critical turning point – away from this system of trade balanced against national protections – came in the 1980s. Flagging growth and high inflation in the west, along with growing competition from Japan, opened the way for a political transformation. The elections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were seminal, putting free-market radicals in charge of two of the world's five biggest economies and ushering in an era of "hyperglobalisation". In the new political climate, economies with large public sectors and strong governments within the global capitalist system were no longer seen as aids to the system's functioning, but impediments to it.
Not only did these ideologies take hold in the US and the UK; they seized international institutions as well. Gatt renamed itself as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the new rules the body negotiated began to cut more deeply into national policies. Its international trade rules sometimes undermined national legislation. The WTO's appellate court intervened relentlessly in member nations' tax, environmental and regulatory policies, including those of the United States: the US's fuel emissions standards were judged to discriminate against imported gasoline, and its ban on imported shrimp caught without turtle-excluding devices was overturned. If national health and safety regulations were stricter than WTO rules necessitated, they could only remain in place if they were shown to have "scientific justification".
The purest version of hyperglobalisation was tried out in Latin America in the 1980s. Known as the "Washington consensus", this model usually involved loans from the IMF that were contingent on those countries lowering trade barriers and privatising many of their nationally held industries. Well into the 1990s, economists were proclaiming the indisputable benefits of openness. In an influential 1995 paper, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner wrote: "We find no cases to support the frequent worry that a country might open and yet fail to grow."
But the Washington consensus was bad for business: most countries did worse than before. Growth faltered, and citizens across Latin America revolted against attempted privatisations of water and gas. In Argentina, which followed the Washington consensus to the letter, a grave crisis resulted in 2002 , precipitating an economic collapse and massive street protests that forced out the government that had pursued privatising reforms. Argentina's revolt presaged a left-populist upsurge across the continent: from 1999 to 2007, leftwing leaders and parties took power in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, all of them campaigning against the Washington consensus on globalisation. These revolts were a preview of the backlash of today.
Rodrik – perhaps the contemporary economist whose views have been most amply vindicated by recent events – was himself a beneficiary of protectionism in Turkey. His father's ballpoint pen company was sheltered under tariffs, and achieved enough success to allow Rodrik to attend Harvard in the 1970s as an undergraduate. This personal understanding of the mixed nature of economic success may be one of the reasons why his work runs against the broad consensus of mainstream economics writing on globalisation.
"I never felt that my ideas were out of the mainstream," Rodrik told me recently. Instead, it was that the mainstream had lost touch with the diversity of opinions and methods that already existed within economics. "The economics profession is strange in that the more you move away from the seminar room to the public domain, the more the nuances get lost, especially on issues of trade." He lamented the fact that while, in the classroom, the models of trade discuss losers and winners, and, as a result, the necessity of policies of redistribution, in practice, an "arrogance and hubris" had led many economists to ignore these implications. "Rather than speaking truth to power, so to speak, many economists became cheerleaders for globalisation."
In his 2011 book The Globalization Paradox , Rodrik concluded that "we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and economic globalisation." The results of the 2016 elections and referendums provide ample testimony of the justness of the thesis, with millions voting to push back, for better or for worse, against the campaigns and institutions that promised more globalisation. "I'm not at all surprised by the backlash," Rodrik told me. "Really, nobody should have been surprised."
But what, in any case, would "more globalisation" look like? For the same economists and writers who have started to rethink their commitments to greater integration, it doesn't mean quite what it did in the early 2000s. It's not only the discourse that's changed: globalisation itself has changed, developing into a more chaotic and unequal system than many economists predicted. The benefits of globalisation have been largely concentrated in a handful of Asian countries. And even in those countries, the good times may be running out.
Statistics from Global Inequality , a 2016 book by the development economist Branko Milanović, indicate that in relative terms the greatest benefits of globalisation have accrued to a rising "emerging middle class", based preponderantly in China. But the cons are there, too: in absolute terms, the largest gains have gone to what is commonly called "the 1%" – half of whom are based in the US. Economist Richard Baldwin has shown in his recent book, The Great Convergence, that nearly all of the gains from globalisation have been concentrated in six countries.
Barring some political catastrophe, in which rightwing populism continued to gain, and in which globalisation would be the least of our problems – Wolf admitted that he was "not at all sure" that this could be ruled out – globalisation was always going to slow; in fact, it already has. One reason, says Wolf, was that "a very, very large proportion of the gains from globalisation – by no means all – have been exploited. We have a more open world economy to trade than we've ever had before." Citing The Great Convergence, Wolf noted that supply chains have already expanded, and that future developments, such as automation and the use of robots, looked to undermine the promise of a growing industrial workforce. Today, the political priorities were less about trade and more about the challenge of retraining workers , as technology renders old jobs obsolete and transforms the world of work.
Rodrik, too, believes that globalisation, whether reduced or increased, is unlikely to produce the kind of economic effects it once did. For him, this slowdown has something to do with what he calls "premature deindustrialisation". In the past, the simplest model of globalisation suggested that rich countries would gradually become "service economies", while emerging economies picked up the industrial burden. Yet recent statistics show the world as a whole is deindustrialising. Countries that one would have expected to have more industrial potential are going through the stages of automation more quickly than previously developed countries did, and thereby failing to develop the broad industrial workforce seen as a key to shared prosperity.
For both Rodrik and Wolf, the political reaction to globalisation bore possibilities of deep uncertainty. "I really have found it very difficult to decide whether what we're living through is a blip, or a fundamental and profound transformation of the world – at least as significant as the one that brought about the first world war and the Russian revolution," Wolf told me. He cited his agreement with economists such as Summers that shifting away from the earlier emphasis on globalisation had now become a political priority; that to pursue still greater liberalisation was like showing "a red rag to a bull" in terms of what it might do to the already compromised political stability of the western world.
Rodrik pointed to a belated emphasis, both among political figures and economists, on the necessity of compensating those displaced by globalisation with retraining and more robust welfare states. But pro-free-traders had a history of cutting compensation: Bill Clinton passed Nafta, but failed to expand safety nets. "The issue is that the people are rightly not trusting the centrists who are now promising compensation," Rodrik said. "One reason that Hillary Clinton didn't get any traction with those people is that she didn't have any credibility."
Rodrik felt that economics commentary failed to register the gravity of the situation: that there were increasingly few avenues for global growth, and that much of the damage done by globalisation – economic and political – is irreversible. "There is a sense that we're at a turning point," he said. "There's a lot more thinking about what can be done. There's a renewed emphasis on compensation – which, you know, I think has come rather late."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.foreignaffairs.com
Globalization is in trouble. A populist backlash, personified by U.S. President Donald Trump, is in full swing. A simmering trade war between China and the United States could easily boil over. Countries across Europe are shutting their borders to immigrants. Even globalization's biggest boosters now concede that it has produced lopsided benefits and that something will have to change .
Today's woes have their roots in the 1990s, when policymakers set the world on its current, hyperglobalist path, requiring domestic economies to be put in the service of the world economy instead of the other way around. In trade, the transformation was signaled by the creation of the World Trade Organization, in 1995. The WTO not only made it harder for countries to shield themselves from international competition but also reached into policy areas that international trade rules had not previously touched: agriculture, services, intellectual property, industrial policy, and health and sanitary regulations. Even more ambitious regional trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, took off around the same time.
In finance, the change was marked by a fundamental shift in governments' attitudes away from managing capital flows and toward liberalization. Pushed by the United States and global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, countries freed up vast quantities of short-term finance to slosh across borders in search of higher returns.
At the time, these changes seemed to be based on sound economics. Openness to trade would lead economies to allocate their resources to where they would be the most productive. Capital would flow from the countries where it was plentiful to the countries where it was needed. More trade and freer finance would unleash private investment and fuel global economic growth.
But these new arrangements came with risks that the hyperglobalists did not foresee, although economic theory could have predicted the downside to globalization just as well as it did the upside.
... ... ...
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Pft , Jul 1 2019 5:38 utc | 114Globalization is simply a neoliberal economic substitute for colonialism.
Neoliberals contrary to popular opinion do not believe in self-regulating markets as autonomous entities. They do not see democracy as necessary for capitalism.
The neoliberal globalist world is not a borderless market without nations but a doubled world (economic -global and social- national) . The global economic world is kept safe from democratic national demands for social justice and equality, and in return each nation enjoys cultural freedom.
Neoliberals see democracy as a real problem. Democracy means the unwashed masses can threaten the so called market economy (in fact manipulated and protected markets) with worker demands for living wages and equality and consumer demands for competitive pricing and safe products. Controlling both parties with money prevents that.
In fact, neoliberal thinking is comparable to that of John Maynard Keynes in one respect : "the market does not and cannot take care of itself".
The neoliberal project did not liberate markets so much as protect them by protecting capitalism against the threat of democracy and to reorder the world where borders provide a captive market
Neoliberals insulate the markets by providing safe harbor for capital, free from fear of infringement by policies of progressive taxation or redistribution. They do this by redesigning government, laws, and other institutions to protect the market.
For example the stock market is propped up by the Feds purchases of futures, replacing the plunge protection teams intervention at an even more extreme level. Manipulation of economic statistics by the BLS also serve a similar purpose.
Another example is getting government to accept monopoly capitalism over competitive capitalism and have appointed judges who believe illegal collusion is nothing more than understandable and legal "conscious parallelism"
Now it seems to me the Koch-Soros think tank is an attempt to unify the neoliberal globalist forces which represent factions from international greenies to nationalist protectionists . In other words to repackage and rename neoliberal globalism while keeping its essence. Be interesting to see what they come up with.
As for China opening to private international finance. They already did that but this takes it to a new level. Like I said. Fake wrestling. This was one of the demands in the trade negotiations by Trump. Why take one of your chips off the table if the game is for real?
China was Made in USA (includes the City of London) like the EU and Putins neoliberal Russia.
One day they will get around telling us they are all buddies, or maybe not. I suspect they have a lot of laughs playing us like they do.
I could be wrong but this is more interesting than the official and semi official narratives.
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
donkeytale , Jun 30, 2019 1:38:21 PM | 15Gzon @ 10 and james @ 1dh-mtl | Jun 30, 2019 3:51:11 PM | 29
Stating "globalism" is antithetical to "multipolarity" is a non-sequitor.
Globalism is the financial structure (or "system" if you will) through which capitalist enterprises function. This is complex of course and includes capital markets, corporations, multinational corporations, currency markets, commodities markets, trading agreements. Politicians intervene in the functioning of globalism so there is seldom if ever anything like a globalism free of political influence.
OTOH, "multipolarity" has no structure that I can see. It is an empty vessel, purely a political, statist-inspired idea (whereas globalism is a "thing" which contains political and economic ideas of course but those ideas may or may not be statist in concept depending on the context) which can mean anything to anyone at any point in time.
I guess I would say the term is purely Orwellian. Thus, without reading anything other than James's comment I would guess the author's idea is either nonsensical or propagandistic in nature.
For me, the world became "multipolar" the minute the US invaded Iraq in 2003. The idea that the US wishes to maintain its "unipolar" leadership of the world may be true in the wishful sense of some neocons, however if the US ever held unipolar control in reality it was briefly during the period after the downfall of the USSR and up until the conquest of Iraq.
Today, I view the world as both multipolar and globalist. While many of the political and economic tensions we see result from the disconnects between national political and global economic conditions, I think we must admit if we are honest that many of the more recent tensions are simply the result of Trump's presidency, which has the intended affect of being "a bull in the china shop" of the globalist system.
This is not necessarily a bad thing in theory. Sadly, however, Trump is a geopolitical and foreign policy moron who doesn't know what he is doing beyond enriching himself and creating daily fake news headlines in hopes of being re-elected on behalf of the same global elites he playacts at combatting for his worshipful audience of true believers.
gzon , Jun 30, 2019 4:25:58 PM | 33james , Jun 30, 2019 4:27:54 PM | 34@ donkeytale 15
@donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 1:38:21 PM | 15 says:
'Globalism is the financial structure (or "system" if you will) through which capitalist enterprises function.'
An economic system, of which the financial system is a part of, is one of the fundamental structures of any society. Societies in today's world are defined at the sovereign state level, and the economic systems are defined by the governments of these states , which are supposed to function on behalf of the population of each state, and in democratic states, are also supposed to be under the control of the overall population through their democratic institutions. International institutions are there to coordinate commerce between the different economic systems of sovereign states.
'Globalism' as discussed in these blogs, in opposition to 'multi-polarity' is not about global commerce, but rather about an effort by a certain group of wealthy elites, primarily centered in London and New York, and commonly referred to as 'Globalists' to transfer the authority for the definition and control of economic systems from sovereign states to a set of international institutions under their control.
In doing so they strip the sovereignty from sovereign states, as as already happened with the EU, and create a global dictatorship, under the control of the 'Globalists' and completely isolated from any democratic oversight. A fascist project in the purest sense of fascism.
The 'Multi-polar' group of nations are those nations who oppose this fascist project and who are working to maintain and restore the sovereignty of nations.
I think the world has always been multipolar, the differences that give the definition coming to (being presented to) the forefront, or being dissimilated, according to choice and circumstance. The globalist direction aims to interweave or merge these differences (cultural and historic, religion, philosophy and so on), or at least bring them under a common control. So the idea that multipolarity represents anything more than increased recognition of various regional power as opposed to recognition of one regional power (say western) as more visible, is not much more than an indication of how global policy will be conducted, i.e. with an emphasis on regional responsibility.
Recent US policy is not aimed at destroying the globalist order, it is a result of the failure of one format of the globalist order, where the global financial order no longer fitted into national or regional economic sense. This was the gfc, and there is simply no way to continue the flow of trade and finance as it existed for the previous decades. The easing of rates across the globe is paliative, it is no solution, you only have to look at national debt levels to understand this, or in Eurozone try target2 differences. The world is now partly funded by negative yielding debt. All of this works contrary to capitalist (in its basic honest philosophy) understanding. In short "something" is going to happen to readjust this circumstance, planned or otherwise. I have watched how in EU the single currency has been used to takeover the traditional national hierarchies (banking, political and to a degree social), but we don't have that sort of framework accepted at global level, only various currency pegs, bilateral arrangements and so on. The IMF and sdr is not much liked. What I have noted is virtual central bank currency is being promoted in several ways, be it the bis just announcing it may become a necessity face to cryptocurrency or similar (with a caveat of harmonising monetary policy) , EU organising a parallel payment system that avoids commercial banks, even Instex is along these lines. Where the US and some others truly stand with regard to this is a different question, as for now it (et al) still enjoy a financial hegemony that is both organised and profitable. Interesting times, I just hope that a major event is not the catalyst for reform, that the various parties can agree to withdraw to more localised structure and agreement if any grand plans meet the resistance or failure that is already partly visible. I doubt that will be allowed though, by the time people really want to take part, there won't be much option left and circumstance will already be already confused and conflictive.@31 donkeytale.. well, if the usa didn't commit as much paper money as it does to the military complex it runs, i suppose the financial complex where the us$ can be printed ad nauseam might come into question.. the sooner oil isn't pegged to the us$ and etc. etc. happens, the better off the world will be... and, i don't blame the usa people for this.. they are just being used as i see it - much the same here in canada with our politicians thinking the prudent thing to do is to support the status quo.. the problem is the status quo can only go on for so long, before a change inevitably happens...dh-mtl , Jun 30, 2019 5:25:13 PM | 41
as for swift - they went along with usa sanctions back in 2011 on iran, but then it was brought to court in europe and overturned... but again - they are back in the same place bowing down to usa exceptionalism... call it what you want.. another system needs to get made if this one that exists is beholden to a special interest group - usa-uk-europe, where others are 2nd rate citizens of the world... same deal imf... these world financial institutions need to be changed to reflect the changes that are taking place... the voting rights of the developed countries are skewed to favour the ones who have been raping and pillaging africa, and etc. etc.. you may not think it matters, but i personally do.. and i don't blame the usa for it..but they are being used as a conduit to further an agenda which is very unbalanced and unfriendly to the world as i see it..donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 4:17:38 PM | 32wagelaborer , Jun 30, 2019 5:47:02 PM | 48
I am afraid that I cannot agree with much of what you said.
Dictatorship, as a governance system, has always failed, and will always fail. The 'Globalists' who grabbed power, and imposed an effective oligarchic dictatorship, in the U.S. in 1980 and the EU since 1990, have clearly demonstrated this fact through the destruction of the economies of the U.S. and much of Europe and the impoverishment of their populations. And since 2001, they have used the U.S. and British military and intelligence services and NATO as their personal bludgeon in order to force the submission of any state that did not voluntarily submit to their project of a 'Global' dictatorship.
Resistance to this 'Globalist' project is at the root of almost all conflicts in the world today. The 'Multi-Polar' nations resisting the 'Globalists', in Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. is one front in this resistance. The other front is the resistance of 'Nationalists' (such as Trump, the Brexiteers, the Yellow Vests, and populists across Europe) to the 'Globalists.
The Trump Presidency is not the cause of tensions in the world today, as you suggest, but rather the symptom. Trump understands that without an industrial base, the U.S. is condemned to becoming the 'India' of the Americas'. The central theme of his actions is to restore the U.S. industrial base and U.S. sovereignty, which have largely been destroyed by the 'Globalists' and their 'Deep State' machine over the past 40 years. The 'Globalists' need only the U.S. military and intelligence services, and care nothing for its population and less for its sovereignty, and thus are fighting Trump every step of the way.
Trump may be coarse and a buffoon, and he may be completely wrong in carrying Israel's water with respect to Iran, but he is just about the only American politician that I see that is working on behalf of the U.S. population rather than on behalf of the 'Globalists'.
Reversing the 'Globalization' that has savaged the U.S. and Europe over the past several decades will not come easily, nor without pain and tensions, and winners and losers. However failure to do so guarantees the likely rapid and long term decline and impoverishment of all populations under 'Globalist' control.dh-mtl @29 explained it well, I thought, but some still don't seem to get it.psychohistorian , Jun 30, 2019 6:04:02 PM | 49
It is the difference between the UN, which has a law-based charter which upholds the national sovereignty of each nation and forbids aggression against any sovereign country, and
the WTO, which is a rules-based agreement which forbids any national government to pass laws which interfere in the profits of corporations.
Globalism is the project in which capital has complete freedom to do as it will, while humans and national governments are forbidden such freedom.
Putin and Lavrov frequently point to the difference between international law, which they support, and the "rules-based order" which the US and its partners-in-crime support, in which the rules are used to destroy sovereign countries and enrich the multi-national corporations which strip the planet at will, and go to the cheapest labor countries, with no environmental laws, for their global production lines.
A multi-polar world is one with many sovereign countries, ruled by international law, respected by all, with peaceful relations between all countries.
Globalism is when corporations rule the world, and we continue on the path of destruction of all the natural wealth of the world in the turning of nature into commodities and then trash.
@ wagelaborer who wroteAlexander P , Jun 30, 2019 6:06:09 PM | 50
Globalism is the project in which capital has complete freedom to do as it will, while humans and national governments are forbidden such freedom.
I appreciate you, dh-mtl, bevin and others responding to donkeytale. I have not read the comment because donkeytale is on bypass for me but it is nice to read other commenters taking on donkeytale BS for others to see....thanks@41 dh-mtldonkeytale , Jun 30, 2019 6:48:21 PM | 58 dh-mtl , Jun 30, 2019 6:50:23 PM | 59
Sorry if I need to pick your resopnse to donkeytale apart but there are a lot of inconsistencies in your argument.The 'Globalists' who grabbed power, and imposed an effective oligarchic dictatorship, in the U.S. in 1980 and the EU since 1990, have clearly demonstrated this fact through the destruction of the economies of the U.S. and much of Europe and the impoverishment of their populations.
You seem to imply that the 'globalists' (illuminati, Zionist bankers etc., etc.) did not exist or had power before the 1980s, which could not be further from the truth. There are several reasons why neo-liberalism took hold in the 1980s, creating the economic narrative and agenda of today, none of which, are related to some kind of power grab by people that did not hold any power beforehand. The threat of the cold war was waning in the 1980s and elites felt less pressured by local populations potentially becoming 'too' sympathetic to communism anymore. So they began rolling back social policies implemented in the post-war years to counter communism's appeal. Computer technology going mainstream, creating all sorts of economic spillovers to be harnessed by increased open and international trade was another reason, there were many more. But the people you call 'globalists' controlled matters much, much earlier than the 1980s.The other front is the resistance of 'Nationalists' (such as Trump, the Brexiteers, the Yellow Vests, and populists across Europe) to the 'Globalists.
If there truly were such politicians as 'nationalists' who somehow only hold the best interest of their native people at heart, then why is that most European populists cosy up to Israel? None of them have tried to reclaim control over their Central Banks and in the case of i.e. Italy, do they try to break free from the Euro? Why are Polish nationalists rabidly supporting the build up of US arms on their territory? I think it is about time to see beyond this silly dichotomy of 'Globalist' vs 'Nationalist', at least while these Nationalists do nothing substantial to actually help their lot and further squeeze the lower classes of their countries in good neo-liberal fashion, same as their Globalist political 'opponents' they claim to oppose.Trump may be coarse and a buffoon, and he may be completely wrong in carrying Israel's water with respect to Iran, but he is just about the only American politician that I see that is working on behalf of the U.S. population rather than on behalf of the 'Globalists'.
So you admit that Trump is essentially a controlled zionist buffoon but at the same time he is working towards restoring US sovereignty on behalf of the people? You mean he worked for the US people when he lowered taxes for the rich even further, creating an ever larger US public debt, and throwing Americans further into debt servitude of private finance? Or do you mean his still open promise to invest large sums in the US crumbling infrastructure? Oh right, he has instead opted to increase defence spending to combat the US many imaginary enemies around the globe.
Look, I agree with you that global neo-liberalism is bad for the vast majority of people on this planet but don't go looking for help from false prophets, such as Trump or other 'nationalists', you will only find yourself completely disappointed before long.@50 Alexander Pgzon , Jun 30, 2019 7:04:55 PM | 61
Response to a few of your criticisms.
1. You say 'You seem to imply that the 'globalists' (illuminati, Zionist bankers etc., etc.) did not exist or had power before the 1980s'.
Not at all. They lost power from the mid-1930s to 1980. They regained power with Reagan, followed by Clinton, W, and Obama. You only need to look at any graph that shows when income inequality in the U.S. began to ramp up. The date is clear - 1980.
2. You say. 'If there truly were such politicians as 'nationalists' who somehow only hold the best interest of their native people at heart'.
I didn't say that these 'Nationalists' or 'Populists' hold the best interests of their native peoples at heart. Usually they are only interested in what they see as best for themselves. But there is no doubt that they are resisting the 'Globalists' push to strip their countries of their sovereignty, to transfer their wealth to the 'Globalist' elites, to transfer their industries to wherever labor is the cheapest. I said that this was a 'second front' against the 'Globalists'. And there is no doubt, from the fight that the 'Globalists' are waging against Trump, 'Brexit' and populists and nationalists across Europe, that the 'Globalists' take this 'front' seriously.
3. You say. 'don't go looking for help from false prophets, such as Trump'.
You are right. It is unlikely that Trump will be able to 'Make America Great Again'. At best he may be able to break the 'Globalists' hold on power in the U.S. However, this is a necessary first step if the U.S. is ever to recover wealth and power that it had during the middle of the last century, but which today is rapidly evaporating.I agree with Alexander P that nationalist and populist presentation is often either controlled opposition or a method of splintering and isolating influence. That is not to say there are a lot of public in many countries who are sincere in their sentiment.karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 7:11:31 PM | 65
Sorry no link, recent :
"As he arrived at the Kempinski hotel lobby last December, journalists scuffled with bodyguards as they tried to get their microphones and cameras close. Despite being jostled, Zanganeh remained calm and waited to deliver a simple message: Iran can’t participate in OPEC’s production cuts as long as it remains under U.S. sanctions and won’t allow other members to steal its rightful market share."
I.E. approval for continued reduced opec oil supply to support prices depends on Iran (?), lower prices otherwise affecting all other producers, and/or Iran is making the case that sanctions are a theft of market share by other producers. The latter has been a part of the cause of hostility in the gulf.
"The 2018 report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Germany (Bundesmat fur Verfassungsschutz, BfV), which was released on June 27, 2019 by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer and Thomas Haldenwang, head of the organization, examines the activities of the intelligence services of the Iranian regime in Germany....
The BfV annual report states: "The central task of the Iranian intelligence services is to spy against opposition movements and confront these movements. In this regard, evidences of state-sponsored terrorism in Europe, which originates in Iran, have intensified during 2018." " etc
is being used by ncr (the article source) to the effect of calling for closure of the Iranian embassy. That aside, the report does show Germany is moving towards, or is willing to, apply pressure on Iran now. France has also given indication that it is not fully behind Iran (reprimand and warning on not respecting jcpoa etc.)
dh-mtl @59--donkeytale , Jun 30, 2019 7:44:26 PM | 72
You are correct to say inequality began rising again in 1980; however, the rise must be attributed to Carter and Volker--Reagan just continued the process. It seemed odd the GHW Bush initially opposed it as "Voodoo Economics" but readily championed it all as VEEP, making it just a political posture in the nomination race.gzon @ 33
Thanks for the excellent response. One thing I failed to take into account is the difference between the EU and the US financial systems so thanks for that corrective explanation.
The Euro represents the biggest failure of the EU from where I sit. Centralised control of the currency and banking systems is a grave error in that construct and the "European Parliament" just seems too silly for me to even contemplate, although I'm sure there is some logical explanation for its existence that I'm missing.
And you bet, I'm also sure the day of reckoning for the global debt overload is fast approaching. What I don't understand is how one form of capitalism (neoliberal) versus another (state managed) makes any difference in how this debt overload developed. China, for instance, has used similar stimulus methods more frequently even than the US since 2008 to keep its economic growth chugging along and certainly way more than the EU, which under stimulated its own economy in response to the recession.
IMHO, Brexit is a forced over the top politicised reaction to this conservative German-led response in light of the fact the UK kept its own currency and banking systems separate and had the means to provide stimulus but didn't under the Tory buffoons in charge.
Grexit made much more sense to me than Brexit for many reasons. I was dismayed when the Greek people failed in their courage after voting in Syriza follow through and tell the Germans to take the Euro and their debt and put it where the sun don't shine.
What I believe people are tending to forget or overlook, such as wagelabourer @ 48 and dh-mtl elsewhere, that while these postwar international re-orderings such as NATO, the UN and the EU are nowhere near perfect, they are also not purely NWO conspiratorial constructs. Rather they were created for a very specific purpose stemming from a lesson of history which seems to have been rather easily tossed aside because of the relative success of these same institutions: that is, clashing nationalisms inevitably lead to major conflict and devastating wars, especially among the major imperialist states.
Jun 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
farflungstar , 1 minute ago linkDeep Snorkeler , 5 minutes ago link
George W. Trump seems to have the same Neocon hands up his *** Bush jr. did.
Guess it's hard to sound different when you're an israeli tool and surrounded by israeli agents pretending to be American.vienna_proxy , 6 minutes ago link
War is a Fun Game for Trump
dramatic cliff hangers, sudden chess moves, death and comedy combined.
A ruinous trade war, diplomacy in chaos and a White House full of Himmleresque creeps -
what could possibly go wrong in our collapsing empire?
he just won't stfu about iran. at first i thought maybe chess but i'm afraid it's looking like unhinged obsession
Jun 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Charles Peterson , Jun 24, 2019 6:13:09 PM | 87On the surface, it appears the dying empire must finally grab everything, no matter how historically untouchable, in last ditch claim on total power.
Of course this is bad on every level, it's immoral, unethical, illegal, doomed to fail, and doomed to hasten failure of the entire enterprise.
I'm dreaming here, but the best plan is to fade slowly into the night and put on the make up tomorrow.
But anyway, the fully doomed and immoral path has a bright side for the MIC--it's a lock on anyone who would try to shut it down. We will continue to do stupid things so we must continue to do stupid things.
Jun 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.orgdonkeytale , Jun 24, 2019 9:55:07 AM | 230... ... ...
Trump is not a perfect tool of nationalism, he is a defective tool of globalism. He represents the slide to an international fascism bound at the top of fake nationalist authoritarians who fancy the .01% worldwide above the needs of their own subjects.
Government by the multinational corporations for the multinational corporate shareholders.
Trump's only hope to remain in power is to create a constant wartime crisis atmosphere without leading to war (so he can take credit)....or else to suspend the Constitution because of a "crisis".
Jackrabbit , Jun 24, 2019 10:27:16 AM | 232donkeytale:Globalism will not be defeated by China, Russia and Iran working in concert.
I don't think they're trying to defeat "Globalism", I think they're trying to defeat fascism on a global scale.
Zionist supremacist ideology + globalism = global fascism.
The economic benefits of "Globalism" have gone most to a neoliberal oligarch interests that are in cahoots with Western governments. And, as a block, they support MIC, dollar hegemony, etc. so as to secure and extend their gains.
Jun 24, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
In a recent speech at the United Nations, President Trump railed against "the ideology of globalism" and "unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy."
For those of us who came of age in the 1990s, there was an eerie sense of déjà vu. Then, too, there were protests against global institutions insulated from democratic decision-making. In the most iconic confrontation, my college classmates helped scupper the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999.
The movement called for "alter-globalization" -- a different kind of globalization more attentive to labor and minority rights, the environment and economic equality. Two decades later, traces of that movement are hard to find. But something surprising has happened in the meantime. A new version of alter-globalization has won -- from the right.
We often hear that world politics is divided between open versus closed societies, between globalists and nationalists. But these analyses obscure the real challenge to the status quo.
President Trump and the far right preach not the end of globalization, but their own strain of it, not its abandonment but an alternative form. They want robust trade and financial flows, but they draw a hard line against certain kinds of migration. The story is not one of open versus closed, but of the right cherry-picking aspects of globalization while rejecting others. Goods and money will remain free, but people won't.
The current United States trade war is a case in point. Commentators lament that Mr. Trump is tearing up " the rules America itself created more than 80 years ago " and conjure up visions of the 1930s, when nations and empires dreamed of total self-sufficiency. Yet they overlook the fact that the actions of the president and his influential trade representative Robert Lighthizer betray no desire to withdraw from the world market.
Quite the opposite. The express effort is to use unilateral action to bully other countries, China in particular, into better market access for American products. The point of comparison is not the dreams of economic self-sufficiency of the 1930s but Ronald Reagan's assault on Japanese competition in the 1980s. "The basic philosophy that we have is that we want free trade without barriers," Mr. Lighthizer explained to Congress in August.
In Britain, the Brexit campaign was built on the demand to "take back control" and fear-mongering about refugees and immigrants. Withdrawal from the world economy was never on the program. On the contrary, the Brexiteers championed a pivot from the European economy to the global one unfettered by the regulations of Brussels and the European Court of Justice. Almost all negotiations since the vote to leave have been in pursuit of a vision in which the free flow of goods and money across the channel can be preserved while labor migration can be squelched. A recent report from British and American think tanks close to the Brexiteers proposes a new free trade agreement between the two countries that could act as an embryonic World Trade Organization 2.0 that would target more directly Chinese state subsidies for industries and the lingering state-provided social services like the National Health Service.
The pattern of right-wing alter-globalization is repeated in Germany and Austria, where the Alternative for Germany and the Austrian Freedom Party have recently recorded electoral wins. Neither party proposes national self-sufficiency or economic withdrawal. In their programs, the rejection of economic globalization is highly selective. The European Union is condemned, but the language demanding increased trade and competitiveness is entirely mainstream. The Alternative for Germany takes fiscal conservatism to an absurd degree with criminal charges demanded for policymakers who overspend. Both parties call for no inheritance tax and burdensome regulations, even as they make new promises for social spending.
Free market capitalism is not rejected but anchored more deeply in conservative family structures and in a group identity defined against an Islamic threat from the East. Several of the Alternative for Germany's leaders are also members in a society named after Friedrich Hayek, often seen as the arch-thinker of free-market globalism.
Even the alt-right, usually seen as the epitome of the fortress mentality of separatist survivalism, contains significant strains of alter-globalization. Some of the alt-right's most prominent figures, from Richard Spencer to Christopher Cantwell (better known as the " crying Nazi " from the 2017 Charlottesville, Va., protest), have expressed their sympathies for the radical form of libertarianism known as anarcho-capitalism.
Many people on the alt-right -- including the premier anarcho-capitalist thinker, the German economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe -- believe that cultural homogeneity is a precondition for socio-economic order. Mr. Hoppe envisions a dissolution of the current world map of states into thousands of tiny units the size of Hong Kong, Andorra and Monaco without representative government and ruled only by private contract.
Like Hong Kong and Singapore, these zones would not be isolated but hyper-connected, nodes for the flow of finance and trade ruled not by democracy (which would cease to exist) but market power with disputes settled through private arbitration. No human rights would exist beyond the private rights codified in contract and policed through private security forces. As Mr. Hoppe argues, the alt-right and identitarian vision of "a place for every race" need not conflict with a global division of labor. None of this need disrupt commercial exchange and the international division of labor. As Mr. Hoppe wrote, "not even the most exclusive form of segregationism has anything to do with a rejection of free trade." The maxim would be: separate but global.
The varieties of right-wing alter-globalization differ significantly in degrees of horror. What they share is a rejection not of the "postwar international order" -- as many pundits fruitlessly argue -- but of the order of the 1990s. In the cross hairs are the products of that decade, above all, the crown jewels of neoliberal globalism: the W.T.O., the European Union and Nafta (which was recently renegotiated and renamed).
The right's alter-globalizers unite in a condemnation of the structures of multilateral governance that emerged from that decade along with their implication that democracy and capitalism were twins joined at the reported "end of history."
Instead, in a forthright embrace of inegalitarianism, they question the ability of every country and every population to practice democratic capitalism and, in many cases, propose a departure from status quo democratic capitalism themselves.
The idea that openness is under attack is too vague. The formula of right-wing alter-globalization is: yes to free finance and free trade. No to free migration, democracy, multilateralism and human equality.
Quinn Slobodian, a history professor at Wellesley College, is the author of " Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism ."
wmferree deland, fl Oct. 22, 2018The nature of property is that nobody has any unless the rest of us agree to protect it. The left-right contest is about how much we should protect an individual's claim of property. The right-wing ideologues' design for "the free movement of goods and money, but not of people" is a plan to give property (money) an unfettered superior claim.arp East Lansing, MI Oct. 22, 2018
What fools we are if we agree to give up on every other claim, including a habitable place for our offspring a couple generations out. And freedom of movement?
Would you be okay if allowed to roam in a 10,000 mi radius? How about 1,000 or 100, or 100 yards?The fact that people seem to have received such differing messages from this ...essay does not mean that it is complex and sophisticated. It means tha it is one of those too clever by half pieces that serve to confuse and divide.Arturo Manassas Oct. 22, 2018
It is essentially disinformation passing for depth. It obscures rather than clarifies.When the NYT condemns Trump, it often cites Buckley's rejection of John Birch Society as an example of "sane" good old GOP. The sad reality is that they were right!magicisnotreal earth Oct. 22, 2018
The hysterical fear of the UN was overblown but the emergence of the "global consensus" that Pres. Obama so often cited was very real. At core, the John Birch Society accurately predicted a cosmopolitan, coastal finance system that directed money and people in a global interest, not national.
The appeal of the right is so strong because most people can SEE that their own citizens go to work day in and day out to move capital out of their backyards into the coffers of financiers.Globalization was always a republican ideal. This change is just the new phase of the same old thing they have been pushing on us since the 1980's.Alina Starkov Philadelphia Oct. 22, 2018This writer clearly has a longer memory than most commentators, who see opposition to the WTO as an exclusively right-wing issue. It's very, very important to remember and keep alive the heritage of the left-wing alter-globalisation movement. The right wing offers false solutions to a real problem: the "liberal world order" has indeed suppressed the rights of people, especially in the Third World, in order to boost the profitability of the transnationals. Workers are left behind by the current system. The only way to stop right-wing xenophobic "anti-globalism" is to return to an authentic left wing critique of the international system, rather than posturing as its defenders.Ghost Dansing New York Oct. 22, 2018Well the people are a commodity: Cheap Labor.sooze nyc Oct. 22, 2018Every president should have to take a oath stating "First do no harm." Trump is harming our country and the world. He's not remotely democratic or American. He rules by fear, blackmail and intimidation. These are not American. He likes to rile things up but that is not what you do with a country or the world. Welcome to World War III.DB Chapel Hill, NC Oct. 22, 2018While I agree the globalization (compliments of technological advances) has gone right wing, the politics of failure provide so much of the emotional fuel of this hard turn. A very different scenario might be playing out now if the Arab Spring had not collapsed compliments of the Saudis (what a shock) among others.Rob Campbell Western Mass. Oct. 22, 2018
Had Obama listened to John McCain about Syria; Had George W. Bush not invaded Iraq while back-burnering Afghanistan; Had Operation Ajax not toppled the legitimate government of Iran; Had Truman supported Ho-Chi Minh instead of the French.
These abject failures in the Right Thing to Do have stressed the post WWI world to dog-eat-dog status where the rhetoric of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are being held hostage to a zero sum game where seas of migrants risk everything to avoid the final failure because everything else has failed around them. Shows you how much we've learned from all of it.What the author is struggling to define, is called 'America First'. It's is akin to the warning you get when taking off in an airplane. If a problem occurs, (which very definitely has happened since China joined the WTO in 2001)... if a problem occurs, put on your own seatbelt, before helping others. You can't help someone else, if you, yourself are dead in the water. America First, consequently, is about more than simply putting America first. In the sense that the author raises the subject, America First is about reforming the WTO. Come on guys, get with the program!James Young Seattle Oct. 22, 2018@Rob Campbell Since the WTO is a United States creation, then who reforms it.Linda East Coast Oct. 22, 2018The dear leader wants to have it both ways. He wants free trade when it benefits him and tariffs when it doesn't. He doesn't care about the average shopper who has to pay more for necessities, which are all made in China now. Try to buy a cooking implement that's not made in China! A pot or a pan or a napkin, or a glass vessel.Mike Livingston Cheltenham PA Oct. 22, 2018Isn't the core of nationhood the ability to control one's borders?James Young Seattle Oct. 22, 2018@Mike Livingston No one, not even democrats are saying that we should have open borders, what they are saying is that this country needs comprehensive immigration reform. Which was the pretext Reagan used when giving amnesty to some 3 million Mexican immigrants. The republicans have had more than 6 years to fashion genuine immigration reform, that never happened. The reason is, the only thing that the GOP has is immigration, and fear to get elected. To try and get elected by saying we're going to pollute the air, water, ground, we're going to give some 1.5 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the rich, we're going to balloon the national debt, that we blamed Obama for, while ignoring the economic damage we've done. We want to defund education, take away your healthcare, and destroy Social Security Medicaid, and Medicare, to pay for the 1.5 trillion in tax breaks, and the you the people will get zero. How log would a party stay in power, because that's exactly what the GOP has done. Congress, has no right to decide what or how much future generations will pay to service debt. They are supposed to contend with the here and now, not saddle generations with debt. So what happens when the national debt comes due, they won't be able to get the money from the voter, so like the British had to do after WWI, they got it from the only people that had it to give, the aristocracy, which is why most sold off vast swaths of land. And so it will go for the billionaires.Ed Watters San Francisco Oct. 22, 2018The rise of the right in the US and Europe is a response to neoliberal globalization's anti-worker consequences. In the US, the working class was so desperate for someone to speak to their economic anxieties, that a large portion of them placed their hopes in the hands of a ridiculous, blow-hard billionaire.Robert Seattle Oct. 22, 2018
The Democrats for over two decades have worried that any pro-worker policies they might enact would threaten the flow of corporate cash that they longed for so, as Charles Schumer reasoned, "For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin." A failed strategy, but they're still going with it. That quote was from 2016 but it could as well have been from 1992 when the Democrats joined the Republicans in supporting NAFTA. For those who couldn't connect the dots, another ridiculous billionaire presidential candidate helped them out, warning of the "giant sucking sound" as jobs left the country, bound for low wage countries. All Trump had to do was walk through the door both parties had opened, promising to bring those jobs back. The centrist Dems obliged him with their self-sabotaging response that "those jobs are gone and they ain't coming back". Slobodian is wrong: the wealthy and their politicians aren't cherry-picking the parts of globalization that they want - they're cynically claiming to be on the side of workers.Why did I, after reading a paragraph or two, mistakenly conclude that I was in disagreement with Quinn? In any case, his piece here makes sense. In short: The Trump Republicans want a right wing, white nationalist cum supremacist world. Goods and money (and rich white Republicans like Ivanka and Kushner) move (sashay) around the world, but not other people. And not democracy, human rights, decency, and ethics. According to their thinking, the old racist white prerogatives and entitlements are preserved, here and around the world. Goods and money should move to the benefit of rich white Republicans, which will be accomplished by corruption a la Russia and its oligarchs. Whenever an President Obama accomplishment can be undone or even just recreated under a Trump Republican moniker, that's all for the better. Even statements, opinions and truth would move in only one direction--outward from Trump and his cult and the other right wing, white nationalist globalists. They will say whatever they want to, however untrue, vile or silly. And the rest of us would silently slavishly abide by it. The world will be a hybrid of plantation, concentration camp, gulag, and Gilead. The rich and the white and the powerful and the males will do as they will, and the rest of us will be grateful to merely survive.Rick Morris Montreal Oct. 22, 2018This beast is already here and in working order: China.Fourteen Boston Oct. 22, 2018The Republicans are riding a global wave of republicanism that's been in the works for decades. This is a well-funded and scientifically designed plan that is sequentially rolling out with military precision. There is nothing accidental about this global Republican strategy. We are experiencing a fascist Blitzkrieg. Is this not obvious? Yet we have no plan, no strategy, and no leader. Just childish wishful thinking about being saved by the vote. Where is the global antifascist strategy from our entitled 80 year-oldster Democrat leadership? Where is the global Democratic wave? Is Pelosi is "working on it"? Wake up Democrats, the current feeble Democratic leadership is leading us down the drain. "Every generation has their Fascism" (Primo Levi) -- the Republicans are just doing what they do, while the Democrats do nothing.Lilo Michigan Oct. 22, 2018It doesn't make you a right-wing blood-and-soil fascist to note that mass movement of people from one country to another is VERY different than movement of funds from one country to another. And just as a broken clock is right twice a day you don't have to agree with actual Nazis to also note that the movement of people is all one way-into the "West". No one is seriously arguing that China, South Korea, India, Vietnam, or the myriad nations of Africa must have more diversity and multiculturalism regardless of what the various citizens of those places want. If we don't want increasingly right-wing governments and politicians in North America, Europe and Australia, (and I DON'T!!) we must allow space to talk about immigration, legal and illegal, how much, when, and from where. There is nothing wrong with Kenya wanting to remain Kenyan, Germany wanting to remain German, France wanting to remain French, etc. The solution to Third World problems can't be for everyone to move to Europe, Australia or the US.Doc Oslow west coast secularist Oct. 22, 2018Quinn Slobodian: Absolutely correct, your analysis is. What many left critiques in the '90s saw in the EU, e.g., was the free movement of goods, capital AND labor, the last being the most significant insofar as the vast majority of human beings are spoken of/for in formal policy and institutional practices. On the other hand, NAFTA was only meant to be the free movement of goods and capital, written by the leaders of the 3 capitalist states to promote the concentration of capital in North America via corporate actors. It was said then by officials in the US that uniting the three economies would be a deliberate way to compete against the European Union. The left here said the specific political difference between the two blocs reflected a crueler type of capitalism at work in North America, than the softer capitalism of the social democracies of the EU [then]. Having recently returned from Stuttgart and a trip to Süd Tyrol, it's still true. NAFTA was seriously flawed initially, insofar as it never cared to directly promote the interests of the vast majority in all 3 countries, viz., working people. Only foreign investors [from MX, CAN &/or US] and their capital movements were protected and promoted by NAFTA. Yes, now the alt-right seeks global separation [really segregation, historically], via race and socio-economic status, two social constructs. Completely inane and dangerous stuff, ideologically.Richard Mclaughlin Altoona PA Oct. 22, 2018There will be unintended consequences to any multi national, multi level contract. What if they built in safety valves that allowed for renegotiation.Mister Ed Maine Oct. 22, 2018Free global markets and capital without the people part sounds like oligarch porn.jrinsc South Carolina Oct. 22, 2018With either our current versions of globalism or nationalism, the loser in both is the environment. Global trade seeks to maximize national resources for transnational profits. Nationalists, like President Trump, don't care about the environment if it means we're not "winning" against other countries in jobs, trade, etc. In either case, the environment and climate is sacrificed for monetary profit and political benefit.Mmm Nyc Oct. 22, 2018Free trade and open borders are alternative ways to achieve the same end: cheap labor. We either outsource to cheaper labor abroad through trade or bring the cheaper labor here through immigration. But there are advantages and disadvantages of both methods. And may depend on what kind of industries we are talking about. I think it would probably be better to keep low skill, labor intensive, polluting industries abroad. Like basic materials manufacturing or scrap metal processing or something like that you see in China and India. Or perhaps natural resource extraction (you can't really choose the geography of that though). Because all those things impose a lot of negative externalities on the local environment. Look at the smog in Beijing. And these low wage workers come here and can't command high enough wages to pay for the social services they and their families utilize. And low skill workers of course have lower education attainment and language skills and so you have additional barriers to assimilation for them and their children. Contrast with engineering, advanced manufacturing or knowledge industry workers--bringing those people here and the country is probably better off because the imported workers will be higher income, net payers into the tax base. Plus they'll assimilate more easily as probably already studied English or worked at multinationals. These are the kinds of immigrants we need for the 21st century.mijosc Brooklyn Oct. 22, 2018"Mr. Hoppe envisions a dissolution of the current world map of states into thousands of tiny units the size of Hong Kong, Andorra and Monaco without representative government and ruled only by private contract...." I can understand why Mr. Hoppe is popular, he is actually in the ballpark as to how future societies will develop. Think of this from the point of view of any of the various political movements enjoying popularity and power today: MeToo, Black Lives Matter on the "left" (outmoded term), and Trump-style populism, White Supremacy on the "right" (outmoded term). Are any of these democratic? If, at some future date, the entities of New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, for example, declare independence from a white, monocultural "Middle Lands of America", would those entities tolerate dissent and organize along traditional democratic lines, with multiple political parties and a balance of power? No, they'd organize just like identity groups are now organizing, with social pressure to conform or be excluded. What we NEED to hope for, is that legitimate, just, legal institutions will emerge to arbitrate disputes between the new wave of micro-societies, and have the power to back up their decisions.true patriot earth Oct. 22, 2018Globalization has enabled the rise of the far right by destroying local economies, wages, agriculture, and jobs. It made some people very wealthy for a while, and it made millions of poor people even poorer.Pat Somewhere Oct. 22, 2018The truly wealthy right-wing and its money operate without regard to nationality, borders, or governments. Money flows around the world in ways no government could control even if it wished to. Countries are valued only to the extent they can be exploited (usually third-world countries with natural resources) or used to protect your interests (powerful first-world countries such as the U.S.) What makes them "right-wing" is that their only concern is to increase the upward flow of money from us to them, while defending their own interests legally, politically and militarily. They don't care in the slightest about human rights, justice, health care, voting rights etc. because they already have those things. So when the writers observe that they "propose a departure from status quo democratic capitalism" that is absolutely accurate. They only want what is best for them and the rest of us can fend for ourselves.ubique NY Oct. 22, 2018Corporations are people. Money is speech. We won at freedom. And all we've got to show for it is the next era of feudalism, and a glorified, national Prison-State. Bravo, folks.winthrop staples newbury park california Oct. 22, 2018Perhaps the author thinks that the despicable majority, those of us that did not go to ivy league schools are too ignorant to know that the flow of goods across borders and invasions of many 10's of millions foreigners across borders are fundamentally different events and so have very different effects on societies! What the various "right" groups that the author disparages and also 80% of people polled in developed nations have realized is that "free" movement of people across borders (interesting that anything can be justified by putting "free" in front of it), that this is nothing more than an elite mechanism to invade and conquer uppity native citizens, who know and insist on their rights, using foreigners as pawns and mercenaries that the 1% has devised to create a worldwide medievalist state.trblmkr NYC Oct. 22, 2018People like Herr Hoppe and all the lesser adherents of private sector "government" are all unwitting dupes of people like Putin and Trump. If successful (and they have been so far), the oligarchs have ZERO intention of codifying any rules-based "laws" for the unwashed masses. They will make sure they, and they alone, have the power to shape decision-making to suit whatever their needs are at that given moment. When Hoppe and the rest realize "this isn't what I signed up for" it will be too late. All you people out their tempted by a strong man leader, wake up! These men are mere gangsters, nothing more!Fearless Fuzzy Templeton Oct. 22, 2018"Like Hong Kong and Singapore, these zones would not be isolated but hyper-connected, nodes for the flow of finance and trade ruled not by democracy (which would cease to exist) but market power with disputes settled through private arbitration. No human rights would exist beyond the private rights codified in contract and policed through private security forces." With all the talk of Americans sorting themselves into opposing economic and ideological groups, (Fox News on every TV in the wealthy gated community, etc.), we could try this here in the US. As noted in a Brookings article regarding the 2016 Presidential election: "The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America's economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country's output -- just a little more than one-third of the nation's economic activity." So let's have 3000 feudal county-states divided between Blue and Red. Each with it's own independent authority, if it has an authority at all. With no over-arching federal assistance, such as health care and infrastructure, Redlandia would suddenly struggle with serious social needs and the "commoners" within those states, if not actual Democrats, would suddenly start to act like Democrats, arguing for social justice and fair treatment. Back to square one.HL AZ Oct. 22, 2018I live in Arizona, I'm a citizen of the USA but I'm also a human being on the planet earth. Globalism is a given. It's not going away. We are connected through the water table, ICBM's, Telecommunications in space, Oceans, Air, trade, etc., etc., etc. We have common problems, we have had horrible World conflicts. We will always have self interest but we will also always have shared interests. Those shared interests are growing faster than our self interests which are highly connected to our shared interests. Where the right gets it wrong is by destroying all norms of international law, treaties, allies, arms control, emissions controls, human rights, etc., etc., etc. it creates a huge vacuum in the areas where mutual shared interest is concerned. Mutual interest in our every increasing connected world is becoming much more important than national self interest in the ultimate peaceful survival of our planet. We just fought a 2 trillion dollar war in Iraq over WMD's. We are on the cusp of abandoning the INF treaty. Why would we spend 2 Trillion going after WMD's and bomb Syria over chemical weapons if our intent is to embark on nuclear proliferation? War, the end result of Right-Wing Globalization is flooding, killer storms and nuclear war. It must be stopped. The truth is post WW2 liberal democracy has been the greatest wealth building machine in the history of the world. The Right can't refute that.McGloin Brooklyn Oct. 22, 2018@HL The right is attacking everything that made our prosperity happen because they are too greedy to see that the things they attack are what made their prosperity possible. The most obvious is science. They attack scientists because they don't know how science works. They think that they can separate science that messes with their worldview from science that makes the gadgets they sell. It is all one science and if you undermine the integrity of science by politicizing it, then you end up with your leading scientists locked in a tower like Galileo, or forced to commit suicide like Plato. (Philosophy used to encompass all of the subjects we now specialize in including math, science, and engineering. Most of the philosophers built fortifications and war machines for a living.) Back when the top tax rate was 70% and the corporate rate was 50% growth averaged 3.5% and peak growth was 8%, while we paid down the still record debt (as a percent of GDP), rebuilt Europe and Japan, built the Interstate Highway system, and numerous dams, brought electricity to Texas (ingrates), and most people could live a reasonable life on one salary. Now we have cut taxes by more than half, average growth is less than 2%, and peak growth 5.1% (and that was under Obama). But corporate mass media and centrist Democrats never mention this obvious historical argument against Supply Side Economics, pretending that this hypothesis without a cause and effect linkage, or data to back it may yet work?!Ryan Bingham Oct. 22, 2018You make it sound so attractive to be swamped with people that don't share our values and want to collect benefits without assimilating.trblmkr NYC Oct. 22, 2018@Ryan When hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose first or last name was Ryan came here in the mid 19th century the result turned out pretty good! Also, check the numbers, we're hardly being "swamped."Woof NY Oct. 22, 2018The essential difference between neo-liberal and right wing views of globalization this: Neo-liberals dispute that globalization of goods trade will ultimately lower the wages of US workers exposed to it to the global average (roughly that of China). Their counter argument : Let workers become coders As if. IBM has now more workers in India than in the US. The PRC is leading in A.I Fact is that the money sent to ther PRC by the US trade has permitted her to gain the knowledge and industrial bas to specializes in any product it wishes to. Right winged nationalists, too, love free trade, but to gain political power write conditions into trade agreement such by 2020. in 2020, Mexican made cars and trucks must have 30 percent of the work done by workers earning $16 an hour, in 2023 , 40% There is nothing new or unexpected about the spread of tariff protection from farm products and farmers (where it has been practiced by the US since the 1920's and ifor 50 years has been practised globally) to manufactured goods and workers. It was inevitable Peter Drucker, founder of mangement theory predicted it in 2001. Read https://www.economist.com/special-report/2001/11/01/the-next-society to learn whyAndy Salt Lake City, Utah Oct. 22, 2018Slobodian isn't talking about alternative globalism. He's not even talking about globalism. Embracing free finance and trade while rejecting migration, democracy, multilateralism and human equality is not globalization, alternative or otherwise. Slobodian is describing an odd form of global corporatism wrapped in a nationalistic shell. Taken to Hoppe's extreme, you'd end up with a series of corporate micro-states competing for profit domination while collaborating to suppress the global labor market. The problem of course is humans cannot manage behavioral identity in this fashion. Finance and trade are an expression of human production. They are the abstract form of what human beings do all day. You can't divorce transactional convenience from the human experience. Not without literally enslaving the entire working population of the world. Envisioning a global labor force organized into essentially one big gig economy is delusional.Sage Santa Cruz Oct. 22, 2018Free movement of goods, services and capital, but not of workers, is nothing new. It was, in effect, the predominate economic ideology, from the 1920s to the 1990s, of what used to be called the "free world." Restricting migration is not at all novel; what is new about the Trump administration is HOW it is being done. Trump is not replacing free migration with blocked migration, he is replacing rule of law with rule of the jungle, multilateral agreement with bullying, respect for principles with mafioso loyalty and tribalism, objectivity with deceit, respect and tolerance with crudeness and hatred, enlightenment with spontaneously exploited ignorance, consistency, reliability and transparency with never-ending Orwellian doublespeak, and the spirit of progress with crass fearmongering. In the late 1930s, America hardly had more open borders than did Germany, Italy or Japan. Unlike them, however, it supported republican institutions and democratic mechanisms, and opposed fascism, militarism and wanton cruelty. Trump is not a fascist leader, and would not have been one in the 1930s, because he lacks leadership competence generally. He would have been, and is, a water-carrier for would-be wreckers of free institutions, freedom of ideas and expression, and respect for truth.Steven East Coast Oct. 22, 2018Surprise, the wealthy want it all with none of the downsides.Ryan Bingham Oct. 22, 2018@Steven; And the downside is immigration.wilson.roger ATLANTA Oct. 22, 2018There is a misnomer called "free trade." What we really `want is free outbound, but. ContROLLED inbound.DanH North Flyover Oct. 22, 2018Certainly fits the visible facts.Bob Laughlin Denver Oct. 22, 2018Welcome to the new feudalism of the future. There will be two classes of people: Those who own all the capital and control the military and the rest of us who either soldier for the haves or tend to those who do. There will be no diplomatic corp, instead they will send the military to take what they want. There will be islands of extreme wealth and luxury, guarded by private armies; while surrounded by oceans of misery and despair. I don't see who that is going to work out very well. Maybe it's just as well that we are probably going to incinerate the planet and our species in the near future.Kai Oatey Oct. 22, 2018So, Slobodian - A Wellesley history professor - champions the end of the West as we know it, demonizing those who want to preserve their cultures as "far right-wing". Somehow, the academics decided that wanting to keep your culture is reactionary ... if you are from the West. If you are not, then you have no responsibility to adapt because this would be cultural imperialism. Academics like this are part of the problem.JDStebley Portola CA/Nyiregyhaza Oct. 22, 2018@Kai Culture is the servant of power. You're suggesting that somehow preserving and defending culture is the far right's purpose and there is truth in that - certainly they don't want to share or pollute "our" culture. Both the right and the left were co-opted by those whose hands are on the levers of power generations ago in the west. In the east, they have learned the lessons of both our successes and failures. Culture is just the bait.Robert Out West Oct. 22, 2018It IS pesky, the way them pointy-heads look at facts and figures and draw reasoned conclusions, ain't it?Barbara Snider Huntington Beach, CA Oct. 22, 2018Sounds like we don't tax the wealthy enough. They've got theirs, now they want their own country, too. That way, slave wages leading to even more wealth. And since their fiefdom will be small, no need to provide m