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In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office, MI6 and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak US and British media are servants of security apparatus Do the foreign state influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier
NeoMcCartyism Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Hypocrisy of British elite Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Media as a weapon of mass deception Putin-did-it fiasco Edward Lucas as agent provocateur American Exceptionalism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Lewis Powell Memo Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


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[Jun 23, 2019] One of the things about psychopaths, is that because they have no real values, they are very good at using charm and disingenuous specious arguments to justify their agenda.

Notable quotes:
"... This is the whole thing about this psychopathic worldview, it aims to achieve its objectives by hook or crook. ..."
"... This is how psycopaths operate, they are all things to all people, even though the agenda they follow is the same. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

SteB1 -> MickGJ , 6 Mar 2012 07:37

Really? Cameron is too far to the left to even get on the Democratic ticket in America: if he proposed his healthcare reforms in the States he'd probably be assassinated.

I think you are mistaking what Cameron says, with what he does. Cameron has obviously realised that in the UK the frothing at the mouth bonkers ideology of the new right in the US wouldn't go down too well with the public, and would make the Tories toxic and unelectable. So he has chosen the strategy of speaking as though he were a woolly "wet" Conservative, whilst actually following the agenda of the new right.

One of the things about psychopaths, is that because they have no real values, they are very good at using charm and disingenuous specious arguments to justify their agenda. You appear to fail to take into account how the healthcare issue is seen very differently in the UK than the US. If Cameron had a US style healthcare policy, our current PM would probably be Gordon Brown, facing a minority Conservative opposition.

This is the whole thing about this psychopathic worldview, it aims to achieve its objectives by hook or crook. So with a more receptive public it will be more open about its objectives, whereas in a culturally different environment, it will use stealth to achieve its aims.

This is how psycopaths operate, they are all things to all people, even though the agenda they follow is the same.

[Jun 23, 2019] Neoliberal schools teach to the test, depriving children of a rounded and useful education

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

FionaMcW , 11 Apr 2019 06:36

Schools are teaching to the test. As someone who recently retrained as a secondary science teacher - after nearly 30 years as a journalist - I know this to be true.
Olympia1881 -> Centrecourt , 11 Apr 2019 05:46
Education is a prime example of where neoliberalism has had a negative effect. It worked well when labour was pumping billions into it and they invested in early intervention schemes such as sure start and nursery expansion. Unfortunately under the tories we have had those progressive policies scaled right back. Children with SEND and/or in care are commodities bought and sold by local authorities. I've been working in a PRU which is a private company and it does good things, but I can't help but think if that was in the public sector that it would be in a purpose built building rather than some scruffy office with no playground.

The facilities aren't what you would expect in this day in age. If we had a proper functioning government with a plan then what happens with vulnerable children would be properly organised rather than a reactive shit show.

DrMidnite , 10 Apr 2019 17:04
"Schools teach to the test, depriving children of a rounded and useful education."
Boy do they. I work in Business/IT training and as the years have rolled on I and every colleague I can think of have noticed more and more people coming to courses that they are unfit for. Not because they are stupid, but because they have been taught to be stupid. So used to being taught to the test that they are afraid to ask questions. Increasingly I get asked "what's the right way to do...", usually referring to situation in which there is no right way, just a right way for your business, at a specific point in time.
I had the great pleasure of watching our new MD describe his first customer-facing project, which was a disaster, but they "learned" from it. I had to point out to him that I teach the two disciplines involved - businesss analysis and project management - and if he or his team had attended any of the courses - all of which are free to them - they would have learned about the issues they would face, because (astonishingly) they are well-known.
I fear that these incurious adult children are at the bottom of Brexit, Trump and many of the other ills that afflict us. Learning how to do things is difficult and sometimes boring. Much better to wander in with zero idea of what has already been done and repeat the mistakes of the past. I see the future as a treadmill where the same mistakes are made repetitively and greeted with as much surprise as if they had never happened before. We have always been at war with Eastasia...

[Jun 23, 2019] I have no idea how Rand became the poster child for the libertarian movement

Notable quotes:
"... I can only assume that, as with so many of their other ideas, the internet / radio hosts promoting her ideas as the solution to the worlds problems have never actually read anything she said, or did, or possibly if they had, they have not understood it. ..."
"... Usually, with philosophers, you can see how it is not their words, but that someone has interpreted them for their own ends (Nietzsche etc), but in the case of Rand, no mis-interpretation is required, unless you are trying to portray her views as anything other than deeply misanthropic. ..."
Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Rhiaden , 6 Mar 2012 09:24

I always view Ayn Rand as someone who most right wing dictators would place themselves somewhere to the left of.

I have no idea how she became the poster child for the libertarian movement, I can only assume that, as with so many of their other ideas, the internet / radio hosts promoting her ideas as the solution to the worlds problems have never actually read anything she said, or did, or possibly if they had, they have not understood it.

Usually, with philosophers, you can see how it is not their words, but that someone has interpreted them for their own ends (Nietzsche etc), but in the case of Rand, no mis-interpretation is required, unless you are trying to portray her views as anything other than deeply misanthropic.

[Jun 23, 2019] It's erroneous to think state capitalism = soviet russia style dictatorships.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

UnknownGunman -> johncj , 6 Mar 2012 05:42

The degree of statism in a country's political system, is the degree to which it breaks up the country into rival gangs and sets men against one another. When individual rights are abrogated, there is no way to determine who is entitled to what; there is no way to determine the justice of anyone's claims, desires, or interests. The criterion, therefore, reverts to the tribal concept of: one's wishes are limited only by the power of one's gang.

Such a black and white view of reality. This is the entire problem with Rand's worldview, reality is far too complex. Here, you talk about the level of "statism" - there are many different methods of using the state to achieve goals which help improve your life and those in the society around you.

For example, in Scandanavian countries, and other northern European ones, the state is used to make up for distribution deficiencies in the market system - that is, to reign in those at either end of the socio-economic scale to make the distribution more equal, which has been scientifically shown to reduce all manner of social ills caused by a large amount of economic inequality.

They do this whilst minimising the impact on economic freedom.

So it's erroneous to think statism = soviet russia style dictatorships.

As for individual rights - well, these are clearly important, but certainly not as a blanket ideology behind society. Negative sides to individual rights are things like:

• Educational freedom - 2 + 2 can equal 5!
• Parenting - society has to deal with bad parenting as the child reaches adulthood, so society deserves an equal say: I don't have to vaccinate my kids! (recent MMR jab a prime example)
• I'm free to pollute the environment, make excessive noise because the government has no place stopping me.

As a society, a balance needs to be maintained. A balance between a person's individual liberty and the impact on the society around them. This is the main area where Rand's philosophy fails - she simply does not acknowledge the very complex relationship humans have with each other, with society as a whole, and the world around them.

[Jun 23, 2019] The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self-owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body and property. But without the means to protect, defend and preserve these things that one "owns", provided by the state, it amounts to very little.

Notable quotes:
"... This is the reduction ad absurdum that libertarianism is always reduced to. A subscription police force is an an idiocy, a bit like a subscription fire service. ..."
"... Even by the 18th Century, people had figured out that made no sense. How on earth could it work? A private police force would be beholden to its paymasters and no one else. ..."
"... As I have said many times, a pure libertarian society would be a warlord society, with the feeble or non-existent state unable to restrain the richest and most powerful people in that society. Truly a hell on earth. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

HarryTheHorse , 6 Mar 2012 10:41

The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self-owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another's person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or 'mixes his labor with'. From these twin axioms -- self-ownership and 'homesteading' -- stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free market society."

That's all very well, but without the means to protect, defend and preserve these things that one "owns", it amounts to very little. And that is where collectivisation comes in. For what is the law but a series of codes that we collectively as a society agree to abide by. Without the rule of law to protect me, whatever I own will soon be taken by someone stronger and more aggressive that me. Individuals cannot assert their rights as individuals, for they are not strong enough to do so. The irony, which is lost on libertarians, is that for individual rights to be preserved we must sacrifice a little of our individualism to collectively band together to defend those rights.

HarryTheHorse -> johncj , 6 Mar 2012 10:33

Then don't pay if you don't want to, that's my point. If you want police pay a subscription. I suppose this is floating away from objectivism and more into libertarianism. The principle is the same how ever.

This is the reduction ad absurdum that libertarianism is always reduced to. A subscription police force is an an idiocy, a bit like a subscription fire service.

Even by the 18th Century, people had figured out that made no sense. How on earth could it work? A private police force would be beholden to its paymasters and no one else.

Presumably there would be multiple such police forces - for free-market competition, of course. These police forces would become de facto private armies. And from where would they derive their authority? From he who pays them the most?

As I have said many times, a pure libertarian society would be a warlord society, with the feeble or non-existent state unable to restrain the richest and most powerful people in that society. Truly a hell on earth.

[Jun 23, 2019] Many Anarchists have a libertarian mindset, and seek cooperation (rather than a competition in who can break the most windows), but reject the dominance and structures of the elite, which are usually completely undemocratic.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

totemic , 6 Mar 2012 14:16

While there is certainly an element of Paul supporters, in my experience here in the Bay/Central Coast is that it is predominantly Dems, liberals, progressives, socialists and a surprising number of anarchists (many of which are not the typical window-breaking stereotype).

I would guess its all of us who are suspicious of hierarchical state capitalism - whether of the left or the right. Many Anarchists have a libertarian mindset, and seek cooperation (rather than a competition in who can break the most windows), but reject the dominance and structures of the elite, which are usually completely undemocratic.

[Jun 23, 2019] No, that is not anarchy. That is a load of selfish bastards claiming to be anarchists and using this as a justification for their being selfish bastards.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BeenThereDunThat -> apacheman , 11 Apr 2019 05:16

People think of anarchy as equating with lawless selfishness because that's how it works in real life.

No, that is not anarchy. That is a load of selfish bastards claiming to be anarchists and using this as a justification for their being selfish bastards. I remember only too well the cry of no small number of the trendy fashion-punk-anarchists of the 1980's to justify their hedonism and lack of responsibility " I'm an Anarchist, me: I can do anything! ".And my response to them? " Are you fuck!!! ".

Sadly, however, many like yourself choose to take the definition of anarchy which is a total misrepresentation of it equating to chaos and disorder, and which as I noted in my earlier comment, has been deliberately promulgated and used by the State and its supportive media. And in doing so, you do the philosophy a disservice, as you only help spread this representation, which eventually becomes the accepted understanding. And this is what the State and the oligarchs desire most, as it keeps people away from those most dangerous of thoughts, about actually trying to control their own lives.

[Jun 23, 2019] A modern example is the oligarchs who carved up the commons in a collapsing and disintegrating Soviet Union

Notable quotes:
"... It's not entrepreneurial; it's base rent-seeking and it was a violent act of forced approbriation by denying natural rights to others. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 06:27

@johncj

So easy to say when you so blithely ignore the historical injustices, the inequality of opportunity and the theft - the first person to claim a parcel of land as their own exclusive property was committing an act of theft.

It's not entrepreneurial; it's base rent-seeking and it was a violent act of forced approbriation by denying natural rights to others.

The subsequent claims to title are enforced by the threat of violence through the emergence of a pervasive state.

A modern example is the oligarchs who carved up the commons in a collapsing and disintegrating Soviet Union. Their's was an act of theft committed against society and the common good. Your definition of freedom is predicated on theft and is a denial of natural freedoms,

[Jun 23, 2019] Relative performance of Democratic vs Republican presidents

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

consumerx, 10 Apr 2019 18:10

Listen, in the computer age, I can find FACTS in seconds.
Here are some FACTS !
------------------------------------------
Trump says he will create 25 million jobs,--REALLY ???
-5 GOP presidents have NOT created 25 million jobs in 57 YEARS !
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clinton created almost as many jobs as 5 GOP presidents.
Let's cut to the chase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the net increases in private-sector employment under each president, chronologically by party since 1961--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Republicans---

Richard Nixon: Increase of 7.1 million jobs
Gerald Ford: Increase of 1.3 million jobs
Ronald Reagan: Increase of 14.7 million jobs
George H.W. Bush: Increase of 1.5 million jobs
George W. Bush: Decline of 646,000 jobs
---Total:-------------- Increase of 23.9 million jobs under Republican presidents

-Democrats---

John F. Kennedy: Increase of 2.7 million jobs
Lyndon B. Johnson: Increase of 9.5 million jobs
Jimmy Carter: Increase of 9.0 million jobs
Bill Clinton: Increase of 20.8 million jobs
Barack Obama: Increase of 14,332,000 jobs

---
Total: Increase of 56.3 million jobs.
--

------------------------------------------------------
It is a fact of history that nine of the ten economic recessions since 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became President, have come under Republican Presidents as follows:

----

The longest recessions were under W Bush and Obama; Reagan; and Nixon/Ford, with the unemployment rate reaching 10 percent, 10.8 percent, and 9 percent respectively in those recessions. The shortest recession was under Jimmy Carter, six months in 1980, but the only Democrat to have a recession begin while in office, and suffered at the polls partially on that fact, that it was in an election year!

Eisenhower had three recession periods, while Nixon had two, and W. Bush had two.
-----------
http://www.theprogressiveprofessor.com/?p=26206
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When conservatives/neoliberals/GOP are in charge the economy and jobs GO TO SHIT -- !!!

[Jun 23, 2019] Debt: The first 5000 years

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 06:18

@Sonofrex
For starters, try reading David Graeber's 'Debt: The first 5000 years' for a comprehensive account on concepts of money, property, debt and obligation from an anthropological perspective which soundly buries your cherished assumptions and beliefs about the primacy of private property and it's conflation with freedom. Perhaps one of the most compelling book I've read in recent times.

For a review:

http://thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzungu/david-graebers-debt-my-first-5000-words/

[Jun 23, 2019] Is Democratic system theoretically sustainable?

Notable quotes:
"... "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy" - Alexis de Toqueville ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

bonefisher -> Livemike , 6 Mar 2012 06:52

Great post

The problem is that as De Toqueville realises (his quote below) most of the people commenting here are simply living a parasitic existence benefiting from state largesse - sucking the teat of a bloated and overburdened state caring not whether their sustenance is remotely sustainable and just voting for ever more

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy" - Alexis de Toqueville

[Jun 23, 2019] Rands followers are selfish greedy, most likely insane, jackles who have destroyed and plundered the American and world economy for thier own ends.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

sct2112 , 5 Mar 2012 23:22

Imagine being stuck in a fall out shelter or an underground bunker during some apocalypse with a devoted Ayn Rand follower or followers. Gurantee they would be killed and eaten with in the first few hours.

Rand followers remind me of my little neices and nephews when they fight over candy and toys. You tell them they have to share and they say no mine mine it's all mine. Now imagine a grown man or woman doing the same exact thing except they run a major corporation or worse are an elected official. They have tried to make money off of every crisis in the past thirty years.

Rands followers are selfish greedy, most likely insane, jackles who have destroyed and plundered the American and world economy for thier own ends. Usually so they can have the most toys like cars, houses, hot tubs, private jets, viagra and wild sex parties Mind you they most likely have to pay people to have sex with them. I have nothing against capitalism but they need to reeled in at some point. Sadly goverment does not do it's job by looking after the public but after their own wallets. The people who view her has a sage and goddess are seriously out of touch with reality.

Honestly her idea's are failures, the west is in debt up to it's eyeballs, Asia is rising and Latin America is telling America and Europe to collectively go and screw ourselves. I am not happy about this but apart of me is a bit amused by it.

[Jun 23, 2019] The intellectual antecedents of the new right go back to Leo Strauss and the University of Chicago

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Rozina -> tom1832 , 5 Mar 2012 22:15

The intellectual antecedents of the new right go back to Leo Strauss and the University of Chicago among others. Canadian academic Shadia Drury wrote two books critical of Straussian philosophy: "Leo Strauss and the American Right" (1999) and "The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss" (first published 1988, revised 2005). Counterpunch.org carries a number of articles by Gary Leupp, Francis Boyle and others also castigating the influence of Leo Strauss and his followers on US foreign policy. Seymour Hersch also took a blowtorch to Strauss in an article for The New Yorker many years ago when George W Bush was US President (link: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/05/12/030512fa_fact?currentPage=4#ixzz1437Z8MNs).
truebluetah -> Callaig , 5 Mar 2012 17:57
SEP provides a decent summary of Rand's reasoning.

[Jun 23, 2019] Tea Party as billionaires doormats

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

saagua , 6 Mar 2012 01:25

"But such is the degree of misinformation which saturates this movement and so prevalent in the US is Willy Loman syndrome (the gulf between reality and expectations) that millions blithely volunteer themselves as billionaires' doormats. I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security. She had railed furiously against both programmes, as they represented everything she despised about the intrusive state. Her belief system was no match for the realities of age and ill health."

Marvelous. Most Tea Party members are not super rich, but they mouth and support policies that benefit the super rich at their expense. That is precisely how very ignorant, indeed stupid, they are. Polls have been done in the USA showing that a large number of people who depend on Social Security and Medicare and other government programs think they do not use any government program. Other people whom they despise are the ones who depend on the government, not they.

[Jun 23, 2019] Tea Party Placards, reading: (paraphrase) 'government get your hands off my Medicare'!

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

PSmd , 6 Mar 2012 09:43

NotWithoutMyMonkey

Indeed! I attended a public lecture by Thomas Frank (former young conservative-now left wing) at the LSE, and he was even describing Tea Party Placards, reading: (paraphrase) 'government get your hands off my Medicare'!

[Jun 23, 2019] Koch brothers are successfully getting Tea Party turkeys to vote for Xmas!

Notable quotes:
"... After all, the Kochs owe their family wealth to the Stalinist USSR... ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

murielbelcher , 6 Mar 2012 09:41

Over the years, the Koch brothers have spent millions of dollars trying to undo both social security and medicare!

AKA the founders of the egregious getting turkeys to vote for Xmas Tea Party!

PSmd , 6 Mar 2012 09:27
It's not just Rand, seemingly, who was a hypocrite. After all, the Kochs owe their family wealth to the Stalinist USSR...

[Jun 23, 2019] Libertarian ideology and the threat of unemployment

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 09:34

@Fissile
I've seen that before. Although hardly an anarcho-capitalist, my uncle in Australia; a music teacher in a private school would alway rail against unions and so-called union-power at every opportunity. The moment his job came under threat, he'd signed up for membership forthwith.

[Jun 23, 2019] Theory and practice of neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Friedrich von Hayek, one of the creed's most revered economic gurus, spent his productive years railing against government old age pension and medical insurance schemes. When he became old and infirm, he signed on for both social security and medicare. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

murielbelcher , 6 Mar 2012 09:40

Friedrich von Hayek, one of the creed's most revered economic gurus, spent his productive years railing against government old age pension and medical insurance schemes. When he became old and infirm, he signed on for both social security and medicare.

Love it. When push comes to shove all those ideologies and beliefs crumble into the dust of practical needs. Another individual who cloaked the self-interest of the rich and powerful into some kind of spurious ideology.

George wrote a rather good article about Von Hayek a few years ago I seem to remember.

[Jun 23, 2019] As former right-wing operative Allen Raymond famously said: "this is not about morality, this is about winning"

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

1Byron , 5 Mar 2012 17:44

It's no wonder the US is so screwed up these days. Somehow the NeoCons, before and after stealing the 2,000 election for Bush, with the help of abundance of Liars 4 Hire think tanks like CATO, CEI, AEI, Heritage Foundation blah, blah, blah, bankrolled by the likes of the Koch Bros, The Scaifes, Exxon, Monsanto, Dow, Dupont the Nuke Industry etc. were, and are still able to convince low intelligence people that wrong is right, bad is good, meanness is "compassion" and abuse is "tough love".

But it only works if those being duped are already predisposed to hateful philosophy, and that they got in spades with careful conditioning (brainwashing) from bastards like Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch, people with no moral scruples whatsoever.

Thus the right today (actually for a long while now) is no more than a collection of racists and bigots, pathological liars and scammers, charlatans and greedmeisters.

It's why they care nothing for the poor, nothing for protection the environment, nothing for anyone or anything but themselves. They are the cult of mean.

As former right-wing operative Allen Raymond famously said: "this is not about morality, this is about winning"

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/8/how_to_rig_an_election_convicted

[Jun 23, 2019] Marx excessive belief about revolutionary role of proletariat

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

earweego -> GeorgeMonbiot , 6 Mar 2012 13:23

"Marx/dialectical materialism...reduces humanity's complex social and political relations to a simple conflict between the "bourgeoisie" and the "proletariat"; ie the owners of property and the workers, by which Marx and Engels meant, basically, factory workers. Any class which didn't tick one of these boxes was either, like the peasants, shopkeepers, artisans and aristocrats, destined to "decay and finally disappear...

I don't read Marx quite like that:

"The lower strata of the middle class -- the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants -- all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production.

Thus, the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population." (Communist Manifesto)

"Marx... entirely trusted to the intellectual development of the working class, which was sure to result from combined action and mutual discussion." (Engel footnote)

[Jun 23, 2019] Capital can be read as despairing dissection of an economic juggernaut indifferent to everything other than satisfying its own accumulative drive, one that leads inevitably to the polarity of vast wealth on the one hand and unemployment and immiseration on the other.

Notable quotes:
"... Classic Marxist dualism of proletariat-bourgeois broke down once the ownership and control of capital started to diverge with the employment of a vast managerial class. It s quite possible today even for 'proletariat' to own more of their company though stock than the middle manager above them. On top of that we now produce consumerism in the west and ideas over what you might call industry. Lots of stuff we produce is just aesthetic, surface, ephemeral, and useless. :) ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

pbrennan -> GeorgeMonbiot , 6 Mar 2012 07:21

"Any class which didn't tick one of these boxes was either, like the peasants, shopkeepers, artisans and aristocrats, destined to "decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry", or, like the unemployed, was "social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society", with no legitimate existence in a post-revolutionary world."


You are describing here Marx's predictions about the consequences of the processes of capital, not necessarily what he would have wanted to happen. As Fredric Jameson suggests in his recent Representing Capital, Capital can be read as despairing dissection of an economic juggernaut indifferent to everything other than satisfying its own accumulative drive, one that leads inevitably to the polarity of vast wealth on the one hand and unemployment and immiseration on the other. If anything has ever been prescient, that was.

It's also abundantly clear from Capital that Marx believed just as much that capitalism deprived life and work of satisfaction, meaning and pleasure as he welcomed the progress of modern industrial technological civilisation.

Also, if you think Marx lacked humanity you should take a look at the 'Working Day' chapter of Capital, Volume One and the final Book, 'On So-Called Primitive Accumulation.'

It's a mistake to believe that Marx thought that socialism would inevitably follow capitalism and that history was working to a neat plan.

Marx entertained many (sometimes contradictory) possibilities about alternatives to capitalism, including ones involving other classes that the proletariat. See his letter to Vera Zasulich of 1881:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/03/zasulich1.htm

Bobbydazzler123 -> Kyza06 , 6 Mar 2012 07:18

Some might do, but the main Marxist critique of social democracy is that, by providing a safety net for the poorest in society and potentially creating limited meritocracy it creates the conditions for continued false consciousness and doesn't allow for class consciousness to form, which is one of the main pre-conditions (along with a fully developed capitalist industrial economy) for revolution to begin. The most successful examples of this can be seen in countries like Germany where many will angrily insist that their countries exist in a state of post-class politics thanks to their social-democrat systems.

Classic Marxist dualism of proletariat-bourgeois broke down once the ownership and control of capital started to diverge with the employment of a vast managerial class. It s quite possible today even for 'proletariat' to own more of their company though stock than the middle manager above them. On top of that we now produce consumerism in the west and ideas over what you might call industry. Lots of stuff we produce is just aesthetic, surface, ephemeral, and useless. :)

But I do agree the social democratic model is essentially conservative and protects an elite though, but anyway that system is changing now as we have identity politics, activism, globalisation etc, the nation state is withering and has been for years, it's attacked from without and within.

Underflow -> GeorgeMonbiot , 6 Mar 2012 07:00

... the Manifesto contains in theoretical form many of the horrors later visited upon the people of the Soviet Union and some other communist nations. Dialectical materialism reduces humanity's complex social and political relations to a simple conflict between the "bourgeoisie" and the "proletariat"; ie the owners of property and the workers, by which Marx and Engels meant, basically, factory workers.

I think the first thing Marx would have said, in fact almost by definition, the first thing he wanted to say, was that every consciousness is a product of its surroundings. And likewise, Marx's criticism of capitalism was in every way a product of his understanding of the economic realities in the middle of the nineteenth century. In other words, if your going to talk about 'dialectical materialism' you shouldn't neglect the second word.

Given that Das Capital was always a critcism of capitalism, and given also that since the end of the Cold War, capitalism has been claimed the victor, (and has led to another economic recession as a result)isn't Marx as relevent to day as he ever was?

[Jun 23, 2019] Marxism is a humane and noble system in theory, which turns out to be savage barbarism when put into practice.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

colacho -> AllyF , 6 Mar 2012 02:50

Marxism is a humane and noble system in theory, which turns out to be savage barbarism when put into practice.

Read some Marx, or a least some serious analysis of Marx. Getting past chapter one is the challenge - try following David Harvey's online course. Marx's work constitutes a brilliant critique of capitalism rather than a blueprint for a socialist society (there is some of this but it's pretty sketchy). He had some marvellous insights, though being human he got stuff wrong, too.

It was people like the Bolsheviks who turned Marx and then Lenin into unassailable authorities justifying just about anything.

But Marx's work continues to provide an important perspective on how capitalist societies work and why they stagger from crisis to crisis.

The difference between Marx and Rand is that the former was a profound thinker and deeply humane man. He could be turgid but also had moments of coruscating literary brilliance.

Rand was a fifth-rate apologist for plutocracy, followed by cryptofascists all over America, from republican politicians to a whole gaggle of Hollywood hacks.

Google suggests the weak-minded include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughan, Charlize Theron, Rob Lowe and Eva Mendes. Who knows? If they really are Rand fans they should be held up to public ridicule. It's a nice irony, though, all of those ordinary people rushing off to spend their dollars watching celebrities who secretly despise them.

[Jun 23, 2019] Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next? by Joseph Stiglitz

Stiglitz does not explain us what forces can bring this so called "progressive capitalism". So far I not see social forces that can enact it.
Why financial oligarchy that is the ruling class under the neoliberalism relinquish the power voluntarily, without a fight? After all they control the state and counterattack any changes: look at color revolution (aka Russiagate) launched against Trump, who represent adherents of a different flavor of neoliberalism.
Neoliberalism entered zombie stage as ideology was discredited in 2008, but there is not still a viable alternative to it. Trump is promoting "national neoliberalism" -- neoliberalism without globalization and with trade wars between rival economic blocks. It might be worse then classic neoliberalism for common people.
Notable quotes:
"... By contrast, the third camp advocates what I call progressive capitalism , which prescribes a radically different economic agenda, based on four priorities. The first is to restore the balance between markets, the state and civil society. Slow economic growth, rising inequality, financial instability and environmental degradation are problems born of the market, and thus cannot and will not be overcome by the market on its own. Governments have a duty to limit and shape markets through environmental, health, occupational safety and other types of regulation. It is also the government's job to do what the market cannot or will not do, such as actively investing in basic research, technology, education and the health of its constituents. ..."
"... The rise in corporate market power, combined with the decline in workers' bargaining power, goes a long way toward explaining why inequality is so high and growth so tepid. Unless government takes a more active role than neoliberalism prescribes, these problems will likely become much worse, owing to advances in robotisation and artificial intelligence. ..."
"... There is no magic bullet that can reverse the damage done by decades of neoliberalism. But a comprehensive agenda along the lines sketched above absolutely can. Much will depend on whether reformers are as resolute in combating problems like excessive market power and inequality as the private sector is in creating them. ..."
"... This agenda is eminently affordable; in fact, we cannot afford not to enact it. The alternatives offered by nationalists and neoliberals would guarantee more stagnation, inequality, environmental degradation and political acrimony, potentially leading to outcomes we do not even want to imagine. ..."
"... Progressive capitalism is not an oxymoron. Rather, it is the most viable and vibrant alternative to an ideology that has clearly failed. As such, it represents the best chance we have of escaping our current economic and political malaise. ..."
May 30, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair represented neoliberalism with a human face but remained beholden to an expired ideology. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP W hat kind of economic system is most conducive to human wellbeing? That question has come to define the current era, because, after 40 years of neoliberalism in the United States and other advanced economies, we know what doesn't work.

The neoliberal experiment – lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of labour and product markets, financialisation, and globalisation – has been a spectacular failure. Growth is lower than it was in the quarter-century after the second world war, and most of it has accrued to the very top of the income scale. After decades of stagnant or even falling incomes for those below them, neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried.

Vying to succeed it are at least three major political alternatives: far-right nationalism, centre-left reformism and the progressive left (with the centre-right representing the neoliberal failure). And yet, with the exception of the progressive left, these alternatives remain beholden to some form of the ideology that has (or should have) expired.

The centre-left, for example, represents neoliberalism with a human face. Its goal is to bring the policies of former US president Bill Clinton and former British prime minister Tony Blair into the 21st century, making only slight revisions to the prevailing modes of financialisation and globalisation.

Meanwhile, the nationalist right disowns globalisation, blaming migrants and foreigners for all of today's problems. Yet as Donald Trump's presidency has shown, it is no less committed – at least in its American variant – to tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and shrinking or eliminating social programmes.

By contrast, the third camp advocates what I call progressive capitalism , which prescribes a radically different economic agenda, based on four priorities. The first is to restore the balance between markets, the state and civil society. Slow economic growth, rising inequality, financial instability and environmental degradation are problems born of the market, and thus cannot and will not be overcome by the market on its own. Governments have a duty to limit and shape markets through environmental, health, occupational safety and other types of regulation. It is also the government's job to do what the market cannot or will not do, such as actively investing in basic research, technology, education and the health of its constituents.

The second priority is to recognise that the "wealth of nations" is the result of scientific inquiry – learning about the world around us – and social organisation that allows large groups of people to work together for the common good. Markets still have a crucial role to play in facilitating social cooperation, but they serve this purpose only if they are governed by the rule of law and subject to democratic checks. Otherwise, individuals can get rich by exploiting others, extracting wealth through rent-seeking rather than creating wealth through genuine ingenuity. Many of today's wealthy took the exploitation route to get where they are. They have been well served by Trump's policies, which have encouraged rent-seeking while destroying the underlying sources of wealth creation. Progressive capitalism seeks to do precisely the opposite.

There is no magic bullet that can reverse the damage done by decades of neoliberalism

This brings us to the third priority: addressing the growing problem of concentrated market power . By exploiting information advantages, buying up potential competitors and creating entry barriers, dominant firms are able to engage in large-scale rent-seeking to the detriment of everyone else. The rise in corporate market power, combined with the decline in workers' bargaining power, goes a long way toward explaining why inequality is so high and growth so tepid. Unless government takes a more active role than neoliberalism prescribes, these problems will likely become much worse, owing to advances in robotisation and artificial intelligence.

The fourth key item on the progressive agenda is to sever the link between economic power and political influence. Economic power and political influence are mutually reinforcing and self-perpetuating, especially where, as in the US, wealthy individuals and corporations may spend without limit in elections. As the US moves ever closer to a fundamentally undemocratic system of "one dollar, one vote", the system of checks and balances so necessary for democracy likely cannot hold: nothing will be able to constrain the power of the wealthy. This is not just a moral and political problem: economies with less inequality actually perform better . Progressive-capitalist reforms thus have to begin by curtailing the influence of money in politics and reducing wealth inequality.

There is no magic bullet that can reverse the damage done by decades of neoliberalism. But a comprehensive agenda along the lines sketched above absolutely can. Much will depend on whether reformers are as resolute in combating problems like excessive market power and inequality as the private sector is in creating them.

A comprehensive agenda must focus on education, research and the other true sources of wealth. It must protect the environment and fight climate change with the same vigilance as the Green New Dealers in the US and Extinction Rebellion in the United Kingdom. And it must provide public programmes to ensure that no citizen is denied the basic requisites of a decent life. These include economic security, access to work and a living wage, health care and adequate housing, a secure retirement, and a quality education for one's children.

This agenda is eminently affordable; in fact, we cannot afford not to enact it. The alternatives offered by nationalists and neoliberals would guarantee more stagnation, inequality, environmental degradation and political acrimony, potentially leading to outcomes we do not even want to imagine.

Progressive capitalism is not an oxymoron. Rather, it is the most viable and vibrant alternative to an ideology that has clearly failed. As such, it represents the best chance we have of escaping our current economic and political malaise.

Joseph E Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate in economics, university professor at Columbia University and chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute. Project Syndicate

[Jun 23, 2019] It never stops to amaze me how the US neoliberals especially of Republican variety claims to be Christian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Republicanism and true Christianity are mutually exclusive. There is nothing for them to quote. Sharing your wealth? Giving to the poor? Egalitarianism? Loving your neighbour? The Good Samaritan? ..."
"... Best to pretend that Christianity is about extreme right wing economic policy (and fascist social mores), even though it is the opposite. ..."
"... And Tea Partiers like Ayn Rand? The most anti-Christian and anti-American lunatic you can find? The corporate agenda and Wall Street interests trump everything else. No news there. ..."
"... A lot of these people describe themselves as Christian, makes you wonder which part of Jesus' message they loved more, the part that said the poor should rot without help, or the part where he said violence was justified and the chasing of wealth is to be lauded. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

JohannesL , Mar 6, 2012

It never stops to amaze me how the American Republican Right claims to be Christian. Have you noticed that they NEVER quote the words of Jesus Christ? I don't blame them, Republicanism and true Christianity are mutually exclusive. There is nothing for them to quote. Sharing your wealth? Giving to the poor? Egalitarianism? Loving your neighbour? The Good Samaritan?

Dirty words all. Best to pretend that Christianity is about extreme right wing economic policy (and fascist social mores), even though it is the opposite.

If Jesus came to the US today, he would not like Republicans and they would not like him. Santorum, Palin, Limbaugh etc. would strap him to the electric chair and pull the lever if they could, no doubt.

And Tea Partiers like Ayn Rand? The most anti-Christian and anti-American lunatic you can find? The corporate agenda and Wall Street interests trump everything else. No news there.

acorn7817 -> PeaceGrenade , 6 Mar 2012 06:21

The most bizarre aspect of the rights infatuation with Ayn Rand is that she was an ardent Atheist who's beliefs are diametrically opposite to those of Jesus & the Bible.

A lot of these people describe themselves as Christian, makes you wonder which part of Jesus' message they loved more, the part that said the poor should rot without help, or the part where he said violence was justified and the chasing of wealth is to be lauded.

richmanchester -> anindefinitearticle , 6 Mar 2012 05:40

"the only way you're gonna be able to sleep at night (and go to heaven in the afterlife) is to believe that the system has some moral justification based on the laws of nature"

I think this is one of the drivers in the shift from Catholicism to Protestanism, especially in Northern Europe.

For Medieval Catholics everyone was where God had put them, so the rich were rich and the poor poor as part of Gods plan, and anyone trying to change it was going against God.

Which is handy if you are a Baron or Bishop living the high life surrounded my thousands of starving peasants (having armed retainers also helped).

Come the industrial revolution and the rise of the business and trade classes that's not so appealing, so now God rewards the virtuous and hard working, who naturally rise to the top.

[Jun 23, 2019] I've always said that brexit is the shock doctrine in the UK.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Olympia1881 -> GeorgeMonbiot , 11 Apr 2019 05:37

I've always said that brexit is the shock doctrine in the UK. They tried it in unstable societies and now they are doing it to us.

[Jun 23, 2019] Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek, both worshipped by their Libertarian and conservative followers, and both massive hypocrites.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Asquith , 6 Mar 2012 01:05

Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek, both worshipped by their Libertarian and conservative followers, and both massive hypocrites.

http://www.thenation.com/article/163672/charles-koch-friedrich-hayek-use-social-security

Rand used Medicare under her husband's name (to evade being found out), while Hayek took hypocrisy to a whole new level; he not only had state provided healthcare in his native Austria, but also used it in the USA, too, after Charles Koch (who paid Hayek to advocate the abolition of such welfare) urged him to. So, Hayek is a far bigger welfare sponger than the people the Right so loves to deionize. Again, like Rand he did this secretly, never acknowledging that he used the system which he wished to deny to others. That is obscene dishonesty and conceitedness.

Then there's Milton Friedman, who, in the documentary The 1% , declared, with a straight face, that the wealthy could not bribe politicians and thus that there was no corruption in politics!

In the face of such hypocrisy and stupidity one can only assume their followers are egotists who only hear what they want to hear.

KarenInSonoma , 6 Mar 2012 00:49
I can hardly write, I'm so angry! This disgusting, and digustingly influential, woman signed on for Medicare and Social Security? I wish my husband could! He has suffered two massive strokes and is so severely cognitively impaired that I am dreading his return home from the hospital (where he's entitled to be right now because I pay nearly $2,000 a month in "Cobra" healthcare insurance). At 59, he's too young for Medicare, and because we were saving out of modest incomes for our pension-less retirement, we have more than the pitiful $3,000 in the bank that Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) allows. He needs to be watched 24 hours ALL the time. I won't go on; I feel guilty taking time out to read & comment.
HolyInsurgent -> Lollywillowes , 5 Mar 2012 23:27
Fascinating analysis. The fascist/dominatrix, messianic, and stereotype
(of people and the public and private sectors) in the writing dovetail into
a seemless motif. Quite a new perspective on niche-marketing. One can
see the market that the writing is being directed to and ultimately respected
by: people who demand simple solutions for complex problems.

There is the sense of her own triumphalist infallibility in the writing. Positively
creepy and eventually off-putting. Even Nietzsche had a sense of humour.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand Objectivism become the solid framework around which an entire US conservative culture, from media to religion to education policy, has crystallised.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

iruka , 5 Mar 2012 22:26

The popularity of Ayn Rand?

When less than half the eligible population votes, the most easily-led, easily-frightened, easily-lied-to segment of the population is an intrinsically much more valuable political asset.

The whole of North American right-wing thought is organised around this concrete, inescapable fact. It's become the solid framework around which an entire conservative culture, from media to religion to education policy, has crystallised.

This is why it really isn't always possible to make a great deal of sense of North American conservative culture -- a lot of it is simply redundant and empty, as inherently meaningless as a flag or national anthem shorn of all their ignoble associations.

The division of labour between leaders hungry to lead and followers desperate to be led is simply that well-entrenched. The meaning of texts and symbols -- arbitrarily and randomly seized upon and misrepresented by third rate intellects with enough of the psychopath in them to seem charismatic to suburban dullards and bigots -- is simply assumed ('x said it, so...'). Then meaning and context are left behind, while the tropes and images survive in the hearts of those for whom they're simply reassuring -- points of reference in a world they've been raised not to understand.

[Jun 23, 2019] Ann Rand book, her philosophy, and the followers are all frauds. In the current USA society the talent is only one and probably not the most important factor in social mobility

And joking aside, was her mind and her thinking not befuddled by the high manic state that results from amphetamine addiction. Puts her theories seriously into question doesn't it.
Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Pangolinx , 6 Mar 2012 13:07

Millions of copies of Atlas Shrugged are purchased but very few are read and virtually all of them become landfill after a single college semester. Like every other college student I purchased the book because it was required reading and like 98% of U.S. college students I ignored the book and cribbed my assignments out of Cliff Notes.

It's drivel. It's beyond moronic because even the most cursory examination provides examples of inherited wealth and advantage that are almost impossible to overcome by labor and talent alone.

Even the "great" Bill Gates had the almost unique position of access to computers in his teens that most graduate students of the time would have envied and two parents working for IBM that fed him the critical contract that made him rich.

The book, the philosophy, the author, and the followers are all frauds.

Yevgeny , 6 Mar 2012 12:52
She's not even original. Her novella anthem is a complete rip off of a much better book "We" by Zamyatin

[Jun 23, 2019] Could it be that Langley and Jina Haspey are admirers of Ayn Rand?

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Mendocino , 6 Mar 2012 13:01

Could it be that Langley and Jina Haspey are admirers of Ayn Rand?
tlsmith63 , 6 Mar 2012 12:19
Ayn Rand's philosophy is sick. I would say that it is just as sick as fascism. We on the left must do everything we can to stop the spread of this vile philosophy.

[Jun 23, 2019] People please realize that Randism is the philosophy of the ruling neoliberal elite. Wonder why the world is so fucked up? Psychopaths are in charge.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

legalhigh , 6 Mar 2012 12:51

People please realize that these are the views of the real ruling elite. Wonder why the world is so fucked up? Psychopaths are in charge.
FarEasterner , 6 Mar 2012 12:31
One has to admire Rand for stating what Western government and large corporations are mafia par excellence but never admit this in public - their philosophy, their creed.

This mafia rules Western world through sham elections, putting copycat parties against each other on the ring while rooting out any viable alternatives. This mafia also wants to dominate the whole world via interventions, sanctions, threats. They diligently check voting track record of third world countries in UN and cruelly punish those who voted independently.

This plutocratic clique has monopolized media, controls largest social networks, through intelligence agencies organize bogus propaganda campaigns against dissidents

JoeStarlin , 6 Mar 2012 12:43
jessthecrip
6 March 2012 4:36PM
If Rand's ideas continue to spread I have little hope for the survival of the human race. Without co-operation our species will die out, probably taking many others with it.

Crap, Rand never proposed that people should not co-operate with each other. Only an absolute fool would say such a thing. Ayn Rand was many things, some of them very nasty indeed, but foolish was most certainly not one of them.

She claimed that people should do what they liked free from force as much as is practical, if that meant freely choosing to co-operate with others for mutual benefit, then so be it. I hope you can see that this is a completely different kettle of fish. Co-operation is indeed what actually happens far more then it does not, even more so when the government is not forcing people to do things by the use of the criminal law.

This must be the case otherwise mankind would have always lived in isolated chaos, the evidence for which has never been found.

Have you ever tried to have sex without co-operating with someone else?

Oh yes, I am sorry, of course you have. Well, try not to do it anywhere near as often, you may go blind, or gain more hairy palms.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand and Kant

Notable quotes:
"... Kant believed in the absolute wrongness of coercion and deception. Kant believed in never treating people as a means to your end. Kant believed reason and rationality to be the foundation of morality, and morality to apply to all people as rational agents. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jaiysun44 , 6 Mar 2012 12:15

Rand thought Kant to be "the most evil man in history".

Kant believed in the absolute wrongness of coercion and deception. Kant believed in never treating people as a means to your end. Kant believed reason and rationality to be the foundation of morality, and morality to apply to all people as rational agents.

What's so wrong with that?

Hellzapoppin , 6 Mar 2012 12:12

Kant's idea of obligation is important. Humans have an evolutionary tendency for selfishness; to compete. But that is not to say what is natural is moral.

There is also evidence for an evolutionary tendency to alturism. I'm not sure you need even get as far as Kant, much of what Rand's arguing seems fundamentally unscientific, let alone immoral.

ChristianBenson , 6 Mar 2012 12:07
Should Rand have devoted any time/effort to the study of morality, she may have found the writings of Kant most useful; if not alternative .

Kant's idea of obligation is important. Humans have an evolutionary tendency for selfishness; to compete. But that is not to say what is natural is moral .
Kant argued that a moral act is one where the subject is obliged to do so - not where one does it for personal gain or enjoyment. This is not to say that morality should not be enjoyed per se but one should not solely act on the premise of enjoyment.

The prolific socialist and thinker, George Bernard Shaw, said An Englishman is only moral when he is uncomfortable'

There is some truth in this; Rand's idea that morality is selfishness, virtue is self interest and good is personal accumulation denies the collective nature of humanity.

Man is not an island.

Humanity has an obligation to others. The capitalist crowd purport that one is solely responsible for one's won gain. Not so. We live in a country that provides opportunity, those who succeed by that opportunity have not done so merely off their own back. They have done so in a particular society. You need look no further than the African continent to see that personal/material gain is not subject solely to the individual. The repressive and tyrannous society much of Africa plays down the effort of the individual, regardless of their admirable effort and determination.

I hope Kant may agree with me that Rand, the republicans and the ideological conservatives has an obligation to be quiet and sit down.

[Jun 23, 2019] Ayn Rand was a bitter, unhappy and twisted individual. That so many follow her is testament only to the power of the propaganda machine controlled by the elite.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

sirmoonface , 6 Mar 2012 09:29

...Ayn Rand was a bitter, unhappy and twisted individual. That so many follow her is testament only to the power of the propaganda machine controlled by the elite.

This says it all:-
"I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security. She had railed furiously against both programmes, as they represented everything she despised about the intrusive state. Her belief system was no match for the realities of age and ill health."

It would be hard to find a better metaphor for our banking system.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand as George Monbiot points out lacked subtely, irony and doubt that is essential for philosophical, political and social and economic analysis. Just like the Neo-Cons stilt by GeorgeMonbiot

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion Ryan had no true understanding of the point of philosophical debate or that a system is meant to have a practical effect on all Society I mean that is the entire point of Plato in his Republic is to build a Just Society. ..."
"... I agree with Epicurus that a philosophy is truly worthless unless it heals your mind and your soul from misconceptions and false beliefs. ..."
Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GeorgeMonbiot, 6 Mar 2012 09:19

One reason why Ayn Rand may be popular is that unfortunately to an increasing extent in Western philosophy today individualism is necessarily equated with selfishness. This is not axiomatic. Individualism would literally not exist and would be ineffectual in practice without the support of others, whether family and/or friends, education, technology, work and society and the state in general. Rand did not see the contadictions in her own life and not just at the end of it.

Although being Jewish and brought up in anti-Semitic Tsarist Russia (a prejudice not unknown in Bolshevik Russia to) she was allowed on the principle of all individuals have rights and was well off enough to go to university in what was then Petrograd.

Rand supported what was probably the most popular party in Russia, the Social Revolutionaries led by Alexander Kerensky.

If only he had been successful rather than Lenin the hard pressed Russian peoples may have been saved from all sorts of evils and the West too?

On emigrating to America she worked in Hollywood so benefiting from the new technology of film making, the climatic conditions that California provided so necessary for the industry's success, and capitalism that funded it. Capitalism cannot exist without myriad social interactions between individuals; even the self-employed need customers.

Rand as George Monbiot points out lacked subtely, irony and doubt that is essential for philosophical, political and social and economic analysis. Just like the Neo-Cons and their knee jerk opponents today.

epicurean27 , 6 Mar 2012 09:07
Her theories are based in her social class she never truly had to suffer it appears even in Russia. I do not call her a philosopher she is no true philosopher simply a rich person trying to work her views for the betterment of her social class.

I have read many of the Greek thinkers from Plato to Epicetius and no Greek thinker ever removed Ethics entirly from their systems. The Stoics for example taught Phyisics, Logic, and Ethics. Ethics is in fact a major part of Plato, Airstotle and the two other schools of Hellenstic times though the Skepics are an ouliner.

In my opinion Ryan had no true understanding of the point of philosophical debate or that a system is meant to have a practical effect on all Society I mean that is the entire point of Plato in his Republic is to build a Just Society.

I am a life long philosopher in training and I agree with Epicurus that a philosophy is truly worthless unless it heals your mind and your soul from misconceptions and false beliefs.

There was a essay I read at University that Rand makes me think about. It was titled Life Boat Ethics. It was an argument for the rich nations not supporting the poorer nations. The Argument was like this.

1st Principle Our world is limited in Resources.

Prismse A

Imagine all the world is made up of life boats. The rich have the best life boats in the seas of fate. They made them they protect them and improve them and attempt to keep them afloat through stopping infighting on board and keeping steady crew without over crowding.

Primse B

While the poor nations have basic life rafts that are made of the lowest quality and are sinking and leaving their crews and the mercy of nature.
Because of their lack of strict work ethic and willingness to trade long term goas for short term enjoyments and constant infighting for anamialistic lusts they are unwilling to create better life boats like the rich nations and control their populations on broad.

Primse C

Helping the poorer nations might seem face of it to be good but it is really fighting nature and that is truly wrong.

Primse D

The wise course is to allow the poorer nations to sink in th ocean and give the richer and indeed superior peoples more room to sail these harsh seas. To found new boats and new lives for they are the people that matter anyways.

Concluision

Rich nations out to have self interest as their drive for all things and ought to not care about those problems that do no directly effect their personal lives.

This essay I believe has become reality we here in Europe and accross the Sea in America are seeing this logic working out in real life and I believe the Left s no way to stop it at present but we better not stop or we will be the kids on a raft just wanting in a boat for simply a better life.

Philosophy as true power people ought to learn to resepect its force in our world I do.

[Jun 23, 2019] This precisely is where Ayn Rand kicks in.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

murielbelcher , 6 Mar 2012 08:36

This is where Rand kicks in, I have no interest in your health and nor do I have a responsibility for it no matter what your chosen group of penny loafer-ed box checkers say

I have no interest in purchasing your latest nuclear weapons, defending your country, subsidising your royal family, bailing out your bankers, constructing and maintaining the pavements outside your house, lighting your street, subsidising your MPs, paying for your police call out when you've been burgled, sweeping your streets, subsidising the collection of your rubbish, oh and paying for that fire in your house to be extinguished no matter what your box checkers say. No interest whatsoever. This precisely is where Ayn Rand kicks in.

[Jun 23, 2019] According to Ayn Rand, we are supposed to consider the rich and successful as supreme individualists who are simply the fittest to lead in a dog eat dog world.

Notable quotes:
"... Curious that the Ayn Rand's of this world are always very keen on a socialized police force and armed services. Presumably, they consider these services the first line of defense against the starving mob. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

brackley1 , 6 Mar 2012 05:36

Curious that the Ayn Rand's of this world are always very keen on a socialized police force and armed services. Presumably, they consider these services the first line of defense against the starving mob.

According to Ayn Rand, we are supposed to consider the rich and successful as supreme individualists who are simply the fittest to lead in a dog eat dog world.

However, looking at powerful individuals with their soft pudgy faces, their paunchy bodies and carefully groomed hair it is obvious that these people are not born to rule. Curiously, when they are threatened by an outside force, it is never them who serve but the useless poor who are expected to develop a sense of community, quaintly called patriotism, and defend them. Does anyone really imagine that in a true meritocracy these same people would survive and prosper.

[Jun 23, 2019] People who are drawn to Rand are drawn to her because they want to excuse their own selfishness as some sort of ideal.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

ArchibaldLeach , 6 Mar 2012 02:39

Rand is the Republican God...well, her and Jesus. They just love her love of selfishness. It's what the GOP thinks makes America great. They talk about individualism, freedom, and so on but it's really all about the rich getting to keep all their money. People who are drawn to Rand are drawn to her because they want to excuse their own selfishness as some sort of ideal.
redshrink , 6 Mar 2012 02:35
To describe Ayn Rand's ideas as philosophy really is gilding a turd. She may have called it "objectivism", but the -ism suggests an intellectual stringency, which it simply lacks. "Atlas Shrugged" is a work of badly written fiction, or propaganda rather, not a philosophical text, but that distinction is easily lost on a gullible American public. While it may now play the role of guiding text of the American right as opposed to Marx' writings for the left, Rand's preposterous ideology is more the intellectual and moral equivalent to "Mein Kampf" than to "Das Kapital". That such a nasty and amoral doctrine should find favour with a nation, which sees itself as "Christian", underlines how hollow that particular brand of Christianity has become.

[Jun 23, 2019] What are the chances that almost one third of Americans have read a book?

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ohcomeoffit , 6 Mar 2012 08:36

"Almost one third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged"

Subs: surely that should be "... have read about Atlas Shrugged". What are the chances that almost one third of Americans have read a book?

[Jun 23, 2019] Unrestrained selfishness is like allowing people in a room to slash each other's throats-eventually the room ends up full of dead people-forgive the sarcam but is this a fantastic outcome that we should all aspire to!

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

Aeschyluss48 , 6 Mar 2012 04:32

Policies like this will produce 1 rich person and approximately 999,999,999 poor people-if put into effect, yet remarkably are popular! I can understand millionaires and billionaires liking this philosophy but what about the normal people, the middle-classes who flock to this?

Either they think they are richer than they are-in which case a wake-up call is coming! Or they think they themselves will never need society's safety-net-in which case for many a wake-up call is again coming! Or they think that if they pull with the system one day they too will be rich-sadly becoming rich in Western society (US/UK) is like winning the lottery-"it could be you!"-yes it COULD be you, it probably won't be you, in fact it will almost certainly not be you-but yes we can't rule out the statement "it COULD be you!"-hoping for a 1 in a million, million chance in effect.

Unrestrained selfishness is like allowing people in a room to slash each other's throats-eventually the room ends up full of dead people-forgive the sarcam but is this a fantastic outcome that we should all aspire to! Condemning the majority of society to misery so a very few can live the high-life is no way to run a world-yes it is true that we in the west do this all the time-today countless unseen millions live on less than 2 dollars per day-human life and pecious (literally once in a lifetime) human potential wasted-utterly wasted!

As for the quote that Rand went onto Medicare etc towards the end of her life-if true this is yet another example of something I've often considered to be true-that those of extreme political views (be it right-wing or left-wing) are invariably selfish, egocentric hypocrites-and when you come to see this it is an ugly world! The bank-bail-outs are a prime example-we are preached about "taking responsibility" by our leaders but this only applies to unemployed people and the poor (or "feckless" to use the common parlance)-when very rich bankers mess up as a result of their own poor decisions they are bailed out by the very same government they previously professed to despise-yes that it taking responsibility in action isn't it?, that is being morally virtuous?-pure and utter distilled hypocrisy in action! As for Rand coming from a rich family-is thre anybody of a right ing viewpoin that wasn't born into money-have any of them knon the poverty (at first hand) that they are so quick to describe in unflattering terms!

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand provides the unifying ideology which has "distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose".

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

pretzelberg , 6 Mar 2012 07:49

Rand, Weiss argues, provides the unifying ideology which has "distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose".

And don't forget: resentment.

Nietzsche would have had a field day with the superficial likes of Rand.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand praises her creative geniuses as men who always pay their workers well in order to attract into their employment the best workers in the industry. This idea seems reasonable so why don't the current Randian devotees within capitalist corporations do it?

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

NIViking , 6 Mar 2012 12:05

Although I find the basic Objectivist philosophy objectionable there is one part of Atlas Shrugged that has always puzzled me.

Rand praises her creative geniuses as men who always pay their workers well in order to attract into their employment the best workers in the industry. This idea seems reasonable so why don't the current Randian devotees within capitalist corporations do it?

Anyway, the difference between Rand's capitalism and what we have today is that all her genius's own their own companies whereas that can't be said for most of the CEO s in the modern world. Arguably the working class now includes the highest levels of the boardroom and the directors are as much in thrall to their bosses as are the company cleaners.

Modern capitalism's fatal flaw is the shareholder who, in many cases, doesn't even know which company their investment/pension fund has invested in. We, the public, are the owners of these companies and it is up to us whether we ask our investments to behave as ethical organisations or whether we continue to let them pressure the boards of directors of the world into producing greater and greater returns.

Unless you own no products based on shares then YOU are the new boss and arguably you are worse than the old boss.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand ideas

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

wesg , 6 Mar 2012 07:19

Ayn's ideas - imo - were just elitist sentiment that leaned toward fascism, clearly she was watching to many movies (even way back then).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dictator_charlie5.jpg

Thats Chaplin in 'The Great dictator'.

"Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! " -Chaplin. (entire quote can be found here - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032553/quotes )

[Jun 23, 2019] The central flaw of objectivism - a kind of wishful-thinking moral alchemy where base selfishness somehow turns into something better

Notable quotes:
"... isn't unique to the 'right' by any means. identity politics is riddled with it, although they call it 'empowerment'. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

inappropriate , 6 Mar 2012 07:32

The central flaw of objectivism - a kind of wishful-thinking moral alchemy where base selfishness somehow turns into something better - isn't unique to the 'right' by any means. identity politics is riddled with it, although they call it 'empowerment'.

[Jun 23, 2019] The obvious reason why Ann Rand took Social Security under an assumed name is that she knew perfectly well it wouldn't sit with the bollocks about 'rugged individualism' and it will be viewed as ranky hypocrisy.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Hellzapoppin , 6 Mar 2012 12:08

have no problem with Rand accepting social security payments, if she was legally entitled to them. That's what they are there for. But I wonder why she chose to do so under an assumed name, if that is correct. If she had wanted to make the point that she was taking back some of her own money, surely that point would have been better made by being open about it.

The obvious reason why she did it under an assumed name is that she knew perfectly well it wouldn't sit with the bollocks about 'rugged individualism', and wouldn't be seen as 'taking back her own money' (what if her medical care amounted to more than the portion of her taxes assigned to medicare?), but as ranky hypocrisy.

Not to mention it would be an intellectualy circle she could never square.

Hellzapoppin , 6 Mar 2012 12:01

Rand was a woman who, on her death bed, praised wealth and independence, while simultaneously begging charity and succor from the state.

That would be a flaw in the woman, not the ideology, lets stick to that eh?

No, absolutely a flaw in in the ideology. If it's creator wasn't prepared to see it through to the then, why think anyone would?

Any ideology that so fundamentally fails to understand human nature, our needs and desires, our flaws, our alturism, and that we're fundamentally social animals, shouldn't even be begun to be taken seriously.

The rank hypocrisy aside, what she did on her death bed was far more rational than the nonsense she'd been preaching her whole life.

Bourdillon , 6 Mar 2012 09:25

I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security. She had railed furiously against both programmes, as they represented everything she despised about the intrusive state. Her belief system was no match for the realities of age and ill health.

Probably wouldn't change anything. Cameron claimed the same Disability Living Allowance for his son that he is now taking away from disabled and terminally ill people in this country.

Greed is slowing evolution. We are deliberately cultivating a generation whose only purpose is to pay off the debts of the last one. Progress has stopped, so why are we continuing on the same course?

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand's philosophy is the philosophy of the psychopath, but you can see its appeal: it absolves her acolytes of the need to care.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

iwouldprefernotto , 6 Mar 2012 11:33

Brilliant piece. Rand's philosophy is the philosophy of the psychopath, but you can see its appeal: it absolves her acolytes of the need to care. It must feel tremendously liberating, if you're that way inclined (i.e. a self-proclaimed ubermensch with a serious empathy deficit.)

I remember reading an interview with Harry Stein, author of 'How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: And Found Inner Peace'. He said that becoming right-wing made him realise that he didn't have to worry about everything constantly. I'm fairly sure that you can be a liberal without perpetually flagellating yourself for the sins of the world.

OldHob -> postcolonial , 6 Mar 2012 11:32
Her writing may as well be used to legitimise the business methods of Montana in Scarface, and a loveley example of the Rand thought processes, here now, in the present day - The Russian version of capitalism......Gangsterism is about right. The morals of the shark tank.
tomcmc , 6 Mar 2012 11:22
"Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed."

In a nutshell, Mr Monbiot.

Her definitions and descriptions are certainly consistent with a clinical diagnosis of psychopathy.

Chilling to think that some policymakers treat this poison as a bible to inform their world view.

butchluva -> EnglishroG , 6 Mar 2012 11:13
I think she just hated herself and never grew up and projected that onto everyone else. (The teenage boys analogy is apposite.) It is central to right-wing (and ultra-religious) mindsets that everything that happens in the world is somebody else's fault, never theirs, they relinquish any responsibility for or role in any social problems or dynamics, especially and ironically those things to do with the way they are. They are the ultimate victims and this is a kind of psychosocial infantilism. They talk a lot about the need for 'personal responsibility' (in theory) because they don't have any, and act the opposite. They need a spurious 'objectivism' to hide behind, a 'reality' separate from human consciousness (as another contributor correctly identified) because of a crushing insecurity. Their superiority complexes are an ultra transparent and futile warding off of crippling feelings of inferiority. It is an abject, and dangerous state of mind. Fortunately many people who go through this phase grow out of it, they have a dark night of the soul, flashes of insight into themselves, are forced to face their shit and become better people or whatever. People like Ayn Rand, err, don't. Sad.
gixxerman006 -> Kairolocus , 6 Mar 2012 10:56
Opps, I'll try that again....


6 March 2012 1:55PM


Rand was a creep. Her personal life was a train wreck. Described in biographies as cruel, megalomaniacal, ungrateful and tasteless, she surrounded herself with a cult of loyal followers. She made a cuckold of her husband and humiliated him in public when he began suffering from dementia. She was addicted to amphetamines. By all accounts, she was not a very nice person. After William Edward Hickman kidnapped and dismembered a 12-year-old girl, she wrote admiringly of the state of mind that could engage in such an atrocity:

"Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should". Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people."

This echoes almost word for word Rand's later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: ' He was born without the ability to consider others .'"

It's amazing that this drug-addled, adulterous, cruel & utterly graceless individual is held in such regard by a significant chunk of right-wing America.
Her athiesism alone would bar anyone else from a moments consideration nevermind such veneration.

Her appeal it seems to me is in offering superficial answers in an utterly certain way that allows for no question or time spent (in Objectivist terms 'wasted') considering alternates (ie the pure demigogue).
Sadly that sort of rubbish has an appeal to a certain (usually male) adolescent mindset......and in a nation where the media is devoted to treating its populace as if they were late teen/early 20-somethings all their lifes it doesn't surprise me she has a small but noteable following.

Given the way the UK is being pushed to discard our own & embrace American 'pop' culture I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar begin here either.
Sadly.

weathereye -> Kairolocus , 6 Mar 2012 10:49

she wrote admiringly of the state of mind that could engage in such an atrocity:


it is striking that the human population appears to maintain a level of psychopathy, rather as some deleterious genes are persistent despite their selective unfitness for the group and their prtogressive removal and disappearance being advantageous. I guess that rather like e.g. haemophilia, psychopathy needs to be recognised for what it is, and its maladaptiveness treated and contained as well as possible. There is a lot of rather florid social-behavioural/economic-political disorder around at present in a very chaotic human environment. There are plenty more Rands waving their GOP flags right now.

Kairolocus , 6 Mar 2012 08:55
Rand was a creep. Her personal life was a train wreck. Described in biographies as cruel, megalomaniacal, ungrateful and tasteless, she surrounded herself with a cult of loyal followers. She made a cuckold of her husband and humiliated him in public when he began suffering from dementia. She was addicted to amphetamines. By all accounts, she was not a very nice person. After William Edward Hickman kidnapped and dismembered a 12-year-old girl, she wrote admiringly of the state of mind that could engage in such an atrocity:

"Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should". Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people."

This echoes almost word for word Rand's later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: 'He was born without the ability to consider others.'"

Nice!

[Jun 23, 2019] For all you Randians replying on this thread, here is your 'philosophy' at it's ultimate conclusion

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

Kyza06 , 6 Mar 2012 05:27

For all you Randians replying on this thread, here is your 'philosophy' at it's ultimate conclusion:

http://dloosely.tumblr.com/post/90113480/bob-the-angry-flower-atlas-shrugged-2

Good luck with the digging

[Jun 23, 2019] Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

PhilTr , 6 Mar 2012 12:42

There's a good review of Atlas Shrugged by Whittaker Chambers in the National Review in 1957, available here . Extract:

Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

osekar, 6 Mar 2012 08:49

I read Ayn Rand over fifty years ago "Atlas shrugged" I found her
writing criminal and still think the same
happyworker , 6 Mar 2012 08:41
The problem with Atlas Shrugged is that no government is as bad as she portrayed and no billionaire as good.
weathereye , 6 Mar 2012 08:47

This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families.


The persistence of such wrong-headed and dangerous stupidity in humankind, despite all the objective evidence underpinned by the clearest understanding of how and why reciprocal altruism works so well, is one of the most threatening characteristics of our species. Rand has much to answer for as we now struggle to shake off such a malign and damaging doctrinal idiocy as hers and all that has followed from it..

acorn7817 , 6 Mar 2012 08:39
The ideology of greed and selfishness always devours itself in the end, sadly though, not before it's devoured everything else.
peterNW1 , 6 Mar 2012 08:47
This cartoon cat was a sweet tabby before he started reading Ayn Rand. Now look what it's done to him ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_s8-OIkhOc

[Jun 23, 2019] Reading Atlas Shrugged produces the distinct feeling I was seeing the world through the eyes of a sociopath, where "other people" are despicable alien others, and only other sociopaths exist, admire and recognize each other.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

RicardoFloresMagon, 6 Mar 2012 01:25

I once tried reading Atlas Shrugged, I really really tried... But only got 300 pages in, then had to give up.

It wasn't the brutal politics/economics, I knew that in advance.

It wasn't the inability to write a flowing sentence, I knew it was more political fiction, rather than literature.

It wasn't even the ridiculous plot, which requires a suspension of disbelief as if it is situated in a bizarro world.

It was the distinct feeling I was seeing the world through the eyes of a sociopath, where "other people" are despicable alien others, and only other sociopaths exist, admire and recognize each other. Very unsettling. The inability of the protagonists to connect with people or understand their motivations was so unbearable I had to put it aside.

Bitter lady, Ayn.

[Jun 23, 2019] Wikipedia note on the film of Atlas Shrugged

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

Finite187 , 6 Mar 2012 04:10

Amusingly, Wikipedia notes on the film of Atlas Shrugged:

More than 100,000 DVD inserts were recalled within days due to the jacket's philosophically incorrect description of "Ayn Rand's timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice.

[Jun 23, 2019] N>ovels as transcendentally awful as 'Atlas Shrugs' and 'The Fountainhead'

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

peterNW1 , 6 Mar 2012 09:43

Christopher Hitchens on Ayn Rand ...

"I care very much about literature as the place where real ethical dilemmas are met and dealt with, so to have novels as transcendentally awful as 'Atlas Shrugs' and 'The Fountainhead' sort of undermines my project."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wYR6e9Z6es&feature=related

[Jun 23, 2019] Ironically, the novel was a wonderful reductio ad absurdum of her entire philosophy

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Spoonface , 6 Mar 2012 12:00

She is a hilarious read, and quite disturbing.

I read The Fountainhead a few years ago. I agree the dialogue was hilarious(ly bad).

Other than that, it was less hilarious than just embarrassingly dreadful. Ironically, the novel was a wonderful reductio ad absurdum of her entire philosophy.

Presumably unintentionally.

[Jun 23, 2019] The central themes of her philosophy appear to be her idea of selfishness

Notable quotes:
"... The central themes of her philosophy appear to be her idea of selfishness which people all too often transfer into their own concepts. ..."
"... She also has many valid points in the individual's ideas of 'selflessness' which are all too often born of misguided adoption of someone else's values, not of deep and stable understanding of the human condition. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

munich , 6 Mar 2012 05:20

Have just finished The Fountainhead and was, like a lot of people, almost shocked by what 'appear' to be the tenets.

However, and as usual, people have read it with their own political agenda and especially the Republicans who are bereft of anything remotely resembling a coherent intellectual agenda, grab on to it and manipulate it for their nasty little purposes.

The central themes of her philosophy appear to be her idea of selfishness which people all too often transfer into their own concepts. If we look deeper we can see quite another message which rings true for all people and this is that we should be true to ourselves and not take on other people's values, philosophies, idea and tastes etc. In other words her 'second handers'. I agree with her. A closer read also sees her describing the sterile poverty of acting for power and money. Where does that fit in to the Republican philosophy?

She also has many valid points in the individual's ideas of 'selflessness' which are all too often born of misguided adoption of someone else's values, not of deep and stable understanding of the human condition.

I don't want to appear to be defending someone who I am sure would vote Republican but the gushing of ridiculous judgmental reactions based on probably a quick read is just silly. She deserves to be read properly, by everyone!

Sean Hodges

[Jun 23, 2019] As for Rand the BBC need to repeat Adam Curtis' All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. Brilliant and shocking.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

miked453 , 6 Mar 2012 08:58

Excellent piece as ever George. The BBC need to repeat Adam Curtis' All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace . Brilliant and shocking.

Irishscouser , 6 Mar 2012 06:10

If you watch Curtis' excellent 'All watched over by Robots of loving grace' you can see how utterly fraudulent Rand comes across, she seemed a bitter, lonely and pathetic creature whose petty and vindictive asides at society was one built on a complete insecurity complex, she was just acting out her own debauched fantasies and she found the right home (the US) to fulfill them.

It says something of a society, and inparticularly the utterly nutty 'Tea Party' to see Rand as champion of 'free will' and ' deregulation' in fact only in the US could her views be actually takens seriously, so much so they named a corporation after her.

Now that's scary!!!

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 05:59

@romantotale17

Frighteningly I suspect that the autocrats-in-planning are reading Kurzweil lately, who combines the New Right with the Randian Silicon Valley cyber-utopianism of which Curtis describes in his doco.

Kurzewil is Rand's John Galt as cyborg.

[Jun 23, 2019] Maybe Rand did have NPD. NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder - it is close to psychopathy in many ways. Extremely predatory, master spinners.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

oneworldlemon , 5 Mar 2012 20:11

Great article, George. Some superb posts here, very intelligent. Beautiful demolition of Rand - always worth repeating ( I remember an Adam Curtis BBC2 documentary being particularly good too). And good to see Erich Fromm mentioned, an important thinker who grappled with the origins of fascism.

Maybe Rand did have NPD. NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder - it is close to psychopathy in many ways. Extremely predatory, master spinners. There are plenty of them in Canary Wharf and the City, and apparently it takes on average two years to find them and remove them, as they can destroy companies. Unfortunately over the years I have had to cope with several, and they scar you for life. They are quite infantile in many ways. There is a very weak signal between certain parts of their brain (hippocampus ?) and they are as cold and callous as the Waffen SS. Psychologically, one must avoid any criticism of them, never play their games or argue with them and placate them while you gather evidence. Forget about any normal human values like empathy, it's just not there. You have to lie in wait until they expose a weakness, then suddenly go for the jugular with terminal velocity using hard evidence of their savagery - anything less will result in your destruction.

Now back to Cameron, Osborne and the rest of the Tory fascists. We have to use similar techniques.

[Jun 23, 2019] There's an interesting film about Ayn Rand starring Helen Mirren

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

johnwhoever , 6 Mar 2012 04:35

If you can't be bothered with the books, there's an interesting film about Ayn Rand starring Helen Mirren, who does the accent brilliantly. I don't know how accurately the events are portrayed, but the film does play up the idea of Rand as a cultish figure who manipulates her adoring followers, throws hissy fits, causes schisms, etc.

There's a brilliant scene where she persuades her (happily married and much younger) second-in-command into having an affair with her because it is 'objectively' the right thing to do. Both the young wife and Rand's own husband are utterly humiliated.

[Jun 23, 2019] Rand and sexual selection

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

justaname -> EnglishroG , 6 Mar 2012 13:12

Rant's work has a special appeal to obnoxious teenage boys; friendless and unappreciated, toxic to girls, they take a special comfort in identifying with Rant's socially crippled isolated misunderstood geniuses and enjoy the rape scenes in the novels where the heroine enjoys the whole experience.

Interesting, and I'd say important comments... I think sexual selection is basically the issue. As much as I didn't like the film Happy Go Lucky I thought the Scott character was interesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40Dw1Q2jvsY
how many 'creeps' are marginalised by crude sexual selection, blatant cruel discrimination, the willful flaunting of what is essentially genetic luck; what better to engender a zero sum sense of a world based on unfairness?

There have been experiments with depressed subordinate monkeys (Alpha males removed), one of which is given a serotonin boosting drug... (like MDMA I think) that monkey quickly rises to alpha male status.

If people, as they're so inclined to do, identify with their sexuality to the exclusion of virtue (after all what better than virtue, a conscience, to pour cold water on casual sex? hence the problem of binge drinking) they will in many cases derive enough narcissistic confidence to be 'successful' - in exactly the way that unscrupulous bankers would wish.

Many of the losers will turn to Rand... and far worse, I fear.

[Jun 23, 2019] The Tea Party loonies are modern ' Randies', and idolize John Galt [hero of Atlas Shrugged ]. Like malaria, this disease is highly resistant to eradication and still kills millions

Notable quotes:
"... In short, according to Mettler, the rich complain about the state while taking most of the benefits that the state provides. ..."
"... The Tea Party loonies are modern ' Randies', and idolize John Galt [hero of Atlas Shrugged ]. Like malaria, this disease is highly resistant to eradication and still kills millions. ..."
"... It proceeds in a more subtle way, showing that the rich and the affluent benefit from the state and benefit even more than the poorer. It's the rich that use the state for their benefit, not the poorer. ..."
"... Ayn Rand's objectivized nonsense, sought to treat humans as objects - see the experience of the farmed animal (similarly prosocial animals). ..."
"... it is a joke to take fools in much as Hubbard did when he created the Scientology cult. ..."
"... Democratic socialism has long been practiced and until the ascent of destructive neo-liberalism, was the pre-eminent political philosophy from 1945. ..."
"... "Capitalists believe economically that people should be free to choose how to use their capital, free movement of money, for both worker and owner." A position as idealistic and impractical as Rand's. It presupposes that both worker and owner as individuals have equal strength in any negotiation. It presupposes that ownership in itself is moral irrespective of how it was obtained. ..."
"... ...if she we're alive she wouldn't last five seconds on CiF. By modern standards, ironically, she's a light weight. ..."
"... Funny how those supporting this sort of 'philosophy' always see a role for a state to have an army and police force to protect their wealth - surely the true believer in Objectivism would not need such things and any person of money who was unable to protect themselves with their own resources would deserve whatever was coming to them? ..."
Mar 08, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
JohannesL -> murielbelcher , 6 Mar 2012 14:27
"Free society" is for these righty-wingers a society with unregulated corporate rule where democratic rule by the people for the people ("government") does not exist.

The slave owners' freedom, in other words.

Kikinaskald , 6 Mar 2012 14:23
In short, according to Mettler, the rich complain about the state while taking most of the benefits that the state provides.
murielbelcher , 6 Mar 2012 14:23
Watching her 1959 interview, I am convinced that her extreme ideology is tangled up with her personal experiences and other psychological factors. She came across as cold and seemingly detached from the humanity around her.

She also appeared entirely untroubled by the fact that others might hold different views, so convinced was she of her rightness.

weathereye , 6 Mar 2012 14:22
The Tea Party loonies are modern ' Randies', and idolize John Galt [hero of Atlas Shrugged ]. Like malaria, this disease is highly resistant to eradication and still kills millions.
Kikinaskald , 6 Mar 2012 14:21
I didn't read the read I mentioned above. According to the book description and an article I read earlier about the book (as far as I remember), the book doesn't show simply that the state is good while the lack of state is bad and so contradict Rand directly.

It proceeds in a more subtle way, showing that the rich and the affluent benefit from the state and benefit even more than the poorer. It's the rich that use the state for their benefit, not the poorer.

This doesn't mean that the absence of a state would be the ideal situation. The rich want a state that works only for their benefit, what is necessary is a state that works for everybody, that diminishes inequality.

gixxerman006 -> EconomicDeterminist , 6 Mar 2012 14:13

EconomicDeterminist 6 March 2012 6:57PM Response to tom1832, 5 March 2012 8:35PM

The left is obsessed with trying to find the intellectual antecedents of the new right. Intellectual?

Indeed. I'm reminded of the outrageously behaved (& therefore isolated by the other kids) sociopathic brat continually being told by its doting mother "there there there, nevermind, don't listen to a word of it, they're only jealous"

Quite how the right-wing imagines anyone on the left does anything but point & laugh at their 'philosophical heroine' (!!?) beggars belief. Rand is simply a damaged intellectual pygmy offering a deeply unoriginal juvenile nonsense so obviously born out of her own refugee experiences.

Mankini -> Spoonface , 6 Mar 2012 14:10
"Rand grew up to be a selfish individualist who claimed both that altruism is harmful, and that human beings are fully rational, with infant and childhood experience exerting no influence on adult behaviour."
Spoonface -> Jaiysun44 , 6 Mar 2012 14:06

I think Rand's addiction to amphetamines over decades is a partial explanation for her sociopathic nature, or perhaps a symptom of it.

Another good explanation is the childhood trauma she experienced when her mother took away her toys for a year (to toughen her up or somesuch). At the end of the year, Rand, still a young child, expected her toys back, only for her mother to tell her that she'd given the toys to the local orphanage. Rand grew up to be a selfish individualist who claimed both that altruism is harmful, and that human beings are fully rational, with infant and childhood experience exerting no influence on adult behaviour.

Not that there's any connection, of course.

TempleCloud -> noiraddict , 6 Mar 2012 14:03

The lies she told came around and bit her in the arse.

A wonderful image. Do you think that's how she met her doom? Cause of death: Bitten to death on the arse by lies.

totemic , 6 Mar 2012 14:02

"The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labor produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally."

Marx's, Labour Theory of Value. An outstanding contribution to how social relations are corrupted within the social economy, through capitalist exploitation. But, communism meant elite prescription - social tyranny.

Ayn Rand's objectivized nonsense, sought to treat humans as objects - see the experience of the farmed animal (similarly prosocial animals).

All I wish to say is, thanks for the universal principle of human rights. And down with Financialization. Another thought provoking article from Mr Monbiot.

Pragmatism , 6 Mar 2012 14:00
I have not read Rand's work but the impression I get from your account of it is that it is a joke to take fools in much as Hubbard did when he created the Scientology cult.
tsubaki , 6 Mar 2012 13:59
and yet even Ayn Rand didnt think the police should be privatized. Well done, Dave!
paulc156 , 6 Mar 2012 13:57

Almost one third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged

...According to a Gallup poll done at the end of the twentieth century, about one third of Americans believe aliens have visited us. Hmm.

HarryTheHorse -> DaveG333 , 6 Mar 2012 13:57

Fine, I'll call it "Randism" and now she is all fine and Dandy too.

What are you talking about?

Democratic socialism has long been practiced and until the ascent of destructive neo-liberalism, was the pre-eminent political philosophy from 1945.

Randism is atavistic gobbledegook, that has never been implemented. In the degree to which it has influenced far right politicians in the US and UK, it has proved to be wholly negative.

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 13:56
@DaveG333

"Capitalists believe economically that people should be free to choose how to use their capital, free movement of money, for both worker and owner." A position as idealistic and impractical as Rand's. It presupposes that both worker and owner as individuals have equal strength in any negotiation. It presupposes that ownership in itself is moral irrespective of how it was obtained.

TempleCloud -> NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 13:55

...if she we're alive she wouldn't last five seconds on CiF. By modern standards, ironically, she's a light weight.

Suraklin , 6 Mar 2012 13:55
Funny how those supporting this sort of 'philosophy' always see a role for a state to have an army and police force to protect their wealth - surely the true believer in Objectivism would not need such things and any person of money who was unable to protect themselves with their own resources would deserve whatever was coming to them?
RobspierreRules -> softMick , 6 Mar 2012 13:46
"Many of us it seems can no longer differentiate between 'right' and 'wrong' or see the importance of defending a sense of common humanity, with those who seek to protect the poor and vulnerable in society scorned and berated,..."

Well said, well written - but in order to turn this around we have to remember we are faced with the dictum "There is no society." The absolute belief in that nihilistic proposition leaves no ground for negotiation. Once again we ask, "What is to be done?"

[Jun 23, 2019] No daring escape - Rand was granted an exit visa in 1925. A staggering act of negligence for which I can never forgive the Soviets.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

Gingecat , 6 Mar 2012 13:19

And Ayn didn't dig her way out from underneath the Iron curtain. No daring escape - she was granted an exit visa in 1925.

A staggering act of negligence for which I can never forgive the Soviets.

[Jun 23, 2019] How Ayn Rand became the new right's version of Marx by George Monbiot

Highly recommended!
George Monbiot is right: Rand was probably a female sociopath...
Notable quotes:
"... Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them. Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government: no social security, no public health or education, no public infrastructure or transport, no fire service, no regulations, no income tax. ..."
"... Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. Yet, as Gary Weiss shows in his new book, Ayn Rand Nation, she has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was to the left: a demigod at the head of a chiliastic cult. Almost one third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged, and it now sells hundreds of thousands of copies every year. ..."
"... the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards reading "Who is John Galt?" and "Rand was right". Rand, Weiss argues, provides the unifying ideology which has "distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose". She is energetically promoted by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress. ..."
"... It is not hard to see why Rand appeals to billionaires. She offers them something that is crucial to every successful political movement: a sense of victimhood. She tells them that they are parasitised by the ungrateful poor and oppressed by intrusive, controlling governments. ..."
"... the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan , former head of the US Federal Reserve. ..."
"... As for bankers, their need to win the trust of their clients guarantees that they will act with honour and integrity. Unregulated capitalism, he maintains, is a "superlatively moral system". ..."
"... Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru's philosophy to the letter, cutting taxes for the rich, repealing the laws constraining banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down. Much of this is already documented, but Weiss shows that in the US, Greenspan has successfully airbrushed history. ..."
Mar 05, 2012 | www.theguardian.com
Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats Comments 1,227 Illustration by Daniel Pudles I t has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand , who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.

Rand was a Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States. Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them. Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government: no social security, no public health or education, no public infrastructure or transport, no fire service, no regulations, no income tax.

Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, depicts a United States crippled by government intervention in which heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers. The millionaires, whom she portrays as Atlas holding the world aloft, withdraw their labour, with the result that the nation collapses. It is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats, John Galt .

The poor die like flies as a result of government programmes and their own sloth and fecklessness. Those who try to help them are gassed. In a notorious passage, she argues that all the passengers in a train filled with poisoned fumes deserved their fate. One, for instance, was a teacher who taught children to be team players; one was a mother married to a civil servant, who cared for her children; one was a housewife "who believed that she had the right to elect politicians, of whom she knew nothing".

Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. Yet, as Gary Weiss shows in his new book, Ayn Rand Nation, she has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was to the left: a demigod at the head of a chiliastic cult. Almost one third of Americans, according to a recent poll, have read Atlas Shrugged, and it now sells hundreds of thousands of copies every year.

Ignoring Rand's evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart. No rally of theirs is complete without placards reading "Who is John Galt?" and "Rand was right". Rand, Weiss argues, provides the unifying ideology which has "distilled vague anger and unhappiness into a sense of purpose". She is energetically promoted by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress.

Like all philosophies, Objectivism is absorbed, secondhand, by people who have never read it. I believe it is making itself felt on this side of the Atlantic: in the clamorous new demands to remove the 50p tax band for the very rich, for instance; or among the sneering, jeering bloggers who write for the Telegraph and the Spectator, mocking compassion and empathy, attacking efforts to make the word a kinder place.

It is not hard to see why Rand appeals to billionaires. She offers them something that is crucial to every successful political movement: a sense of victimhood. She tells them that they are parasitised by the ungrateful poor and oppressed by intrusive, controlling governments.

It is harder to see what it gives the ordinary teabaggers, who would suffer grievously from a withdrawal of government. But such is the degree of misinformation which saturates this movement and so prevalent in the US is Willy Loman syndrome (the gulf between reality and expectations) that millions blithely volunteer themselves as billionaires' doormats. I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security. She had railed furiously against both programmes, as they represented everything she despised about the intrusive state. Her belief system was no match for the realities of age and ill health.

But they have a still more powerful reason to reject her philosophy: as Adam Curtis's BBC documentary showed last year, the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan , former head of the US Federal Reserve. Among the essays he wrote for Rand were those published in a book he co-edited with her called Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal . Here, starkly explained, you'll find the philosophy he brought into government. There is no need for the regulation of business – even builders or Big Pharma – he argued, as "the 'greed' of the businessman or, more appropriately, his profit-seeking is the unexcelled protector of the consumer". As for bankers, their need to win the trust of their clients guarantees that they will act with honour and integrity. Unregulated capitalism, he maintains, is a "superlatively moral system".

Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru's philosophy to the letter, cutting taxes for the rich, repealing the laws constraining banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down. Much of this is already documented, but Weiss shows that in the US, Greenspan has successfully airbrushed history.

Despite the many years he spent at her side, despite his previous admission that it was Rand who persuaded him that "capitalism is not only efficient and practical but also moral", he mentioned her in his memoirs only to suggest that it was a youthful indiscretion – and this, it seems, is now the official version. Weiss presents powerful evidence that even today Greenspan remains her loyal disciple, having renounced his partial admission of failure to Congress.

Saturated in her philosophy, the new right on both sides of the Atlantic continues to demand the rollback of the state, even as the wreckage of that policy lies all around. The poor go down, the ultra-rich survive and prosper. Ayn Rand would have approved.

Twitter: @georgemonbiot. A fully referenced version of this article can be found at www.monbiot.com

[Jun 23, 2019] Communism and neoliberalism were never as far apart as people imagined. Two sides of a coin. A theological dispute.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

twiglette , 11 Apr 2019 05:13

Communism and neoliberalism were never as far apart as people imagined. Two sides of a coin. A theological dispute.

[Jun 23, 2019] The Right have been absolutely brilliant at media control and obfuscation.

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

macfeegal , 6 Mar 2012 03:56

Another very informative article from one of the few writers with any sense of having a 'finger on the pulse.'

It's sad that it's taken over 30 years for the real shaping influences behind the current system to be identified and discussed outside the boundaries of a few university conferences.

The Right have been absolutely brilliant at media control and obfuscation. Their gurus have been camouflaged and the whole process of influencing Reagan and Thatcher's governments from the late 1970's has escaped exactly the kind of scrutiny that George gives Rand.

We might also investigate the influence of John Nash's (A Beautiful Mind) 'Gameplay' experiments in a similar fashion along with the economic gurus who followed Hayek so slavishly.

It has been known for years that the neo liberal project was designed not just to under mine democracy and convert people into passive cloned market junkies, but to put an end to the whole of the Enlightenment Project, which perhaps naively saw human development,. growth and other human qualities totally savaged and defeated by this poisonous evil, which emulates all the worst aspects of Fascism without the flags and theatre.

Sadly, this is not a 'this is happening' phenomenon; it's a 'this has happened phenomenon.' The taint and viral effect of its impact on uk and usa political structures has already caused major damage. All three major political parties in the uk have for 30 years subscribed to its tenets though they were no doubt not presented in such a flagrant form as Rand's writing.

How problematic is it to now look at the polity and rescue it from such a major ideological shift? Certainly, the major parties cannot shuck off the cape of their key beliefs after promoting Right wing ideologies for so long, and the traditional Left is no more.

However, it is good to see some pithy journalism that goes to the heart of the matter - those of us who have been pleading for less x factor celebrity worshipping of politicians can at least feel as though this shifts the spectrum to real and significant issues that have affected the lives of everyone for so long.

Spot on George; one of your best.

[Jun 23, 2019] These submerged policies obscure the role of government and exaggerate that of the market. As a result, citizens are unaware not only of the benefits they receive, but of the massive advantages given to powerful interests, such as insurance companies and the financial industry.

Highly recommended!
Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Kikinaskald , 6 Mar 2012 14:14

I wonder how many would continue to worship at the shrine of Ayn Rand if they knew that towards the end of her life she signed on for both Medicare and social security.

In case nobody mentioned this book before, which is relevant to the theme:

The Submerged State by Suzanne Mettler

From the Amazon book description:

These submerged policies, Mettler shows, obscure the role of government and exaggerate that of the market. As a result, citizens are unaware not only of the benefits they receive, but of the massive advantages given to powerful interests, such as insurance companies and the financial industry. Neither do they realize that the policies of the submerged state shower their largest benefits on the most affluent Americans, exacerbating inequality.

[Jun 23, 2019] What has been very noticeable about the development of bureaucracy in the public and private spheres over the last 40 years (since Thatcher govt of 79) has been the way systems are designed now to place responsibility and culpability on the workers delivering the services - Teachers, Nurses, social workers, etc.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Galluses , 11 Apr 2019 07:26

What has been very noticeable about the development of bureaucracy in the public and private spheres over the last 40 years (since Thatcher govt of 79) has been the way systems are designed now to place responsibility and culpability on the workers delivering the services - Teachers, Nurses, social workers, etc. While those making the policies, passing the laws, overseeing the regulations- viz. the people 'at the top', now no longer take the rap when something goes wrong- they may be the Captain of their particular ship, but the responsibility now rests with the man sweeping the decks. Instead they are covered by tying up in knots those teachers etc. having to fill in endless check lists and reports, which have as much use as clicking 'yes' one has understood those long legal terms provided by software companies.... yet are legally binding. So how the hell do we get out of this mess? By us as individuals uniting through unions or whatever and saying NO. No to your dumb educational directives, No to your cruel welfare policies, No to your stupid NHS mismanagement.... there would be a lot of No's but eventually we could say collectively 'Yes I did the right thing'.
promisingproper -> Dianeandguy , 11 Apr 2019 08:00
Staff distress? Cleaning ( in another county) was privatised to make profit in Thatcher times.The work of two cleaners became the task of one person. Extra duties were loaded on -serving meals and drinks, fetching blankets and equipment. Wages dropped by a small degree -but important when we ere earning, say, £65 a week. Indemnity/insurance against catching infections was withdrawn. Firstly owned by Jeyes and then sold on to Rentokill ,obviously good for shareholders. A new 'manager' appeared with their own office.
fairshares -> rjb04tony , 11 Apr 2019 07:17
'The left wing dialogue about neoliberalism used to be that it was the Wild West and that anything goes. Now apparently it's a machine of mass control.'

It is the Wild West and anything goes for the corporate entities, and a machine of control of the masses. Hence the wish of neoliberals to remove legislation that protects workers and consumers.

[Jun 23, 2019] The assessment and monitoring are for the little people - teachers and children, as they can't be trusted.

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

mirotto -> ID7696310

, 10 Apr 2019 17:26
No-one.

They're businesses, therefore by definition efficient and responsible. Haha.

The assessment and monitoring are for the little people - teachers and children, as they can't be trusted.

[Jun 23, 2019] Quantomania -- this is the word I have been needing for some time now!

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

penelo , 10 Apr 2019 20:43

Quantomania -- this is the word I have been needing for some time now! So much better than having to say "obsession with quantity" all the time.

Would it be useful to add quantism and quantist too? Maybe even quantistic and quantistical ?

[Jun 23, 2019] Public-service workers are now subjected to a panoptical regime of monitoring and assessment, using the benchmarks von Mises rightly warned were inapplicable and absurd

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

izaakwalton , 11 Apr 2019 00:55

As someone who thinks von Mises and Hayek made invaluable contributions to economics I was surprised to see such a ringing endorsement for Mises's ideas in the Guardian:

"Public-service workers are now subjected to a panoptical regime of monitoring and assessment, using the benchmarks von Mises rightly warned were inapplicable and absurd."

That is spot on. Yes, Mises thought that workers should no more be allowed to corner a market in labour than companies should be allowed to create monopolies in products, and this is certainly a point where he can be criticized. Using the name "neoliberal" to cover
such very different ideas as Milton's and Hayek's though is absurd - they had completely opposite ideas about vast government spending to recover from recession. Try looking up John James Cowperthwaite, who oversaw post-war development in Hong Kong by getting government out of the way.

He forbade the use of any performance targets of the type Blair brought in, and refused to compile GDP statistics, thinking the government would game them.

Both von Mises and Hayek would be horrified at the money printing of modern central banks, especially since 2008. To ascribe modern policy to their ideas is simply nonsense - they did not (as far as I know) ever suggest central control of interest rates , stock buying by central banks or saving a bank that has failed through fraud and greed.

If "neoliberalism" is our present dominant ideology, then please do not use the word to describe their work.

[Jun 23, 2019] As a matter of semantics, neo-liberalism delivered on the promise of freedom...for capitalists

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

marshwren , 10 Apr 2019 22:29

As a matter of semantics, neo-liberalism delivered on the promise of freedom...for capitalists to be free of ethical accountability, social responsibility, and government regulation and taxes...

[Jun 23, 2019] Only entrepreneurs - those close to the market - can know 'the truth' about anything.

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

economicalternative , 11 Apr 2019 20:42

Finally. A writer who can talk about neoliberalism as NOT being a retro version of classical laissez faire liberalism. It is about imposing "The Market" as the sole arbiter of Truth on us all.

Only the 'Market' knows what is true in life - no need for 'democracy' or 'education'.

Neoliberals believe - unlike classical liberals with their view of people as rational individuals acting in their own self-interest - people are inherently 'unreliable', stupid.

Only entrepreneurs - those close to the market - can know 'the truth' about anything.

To succeed we all need to take our cues in life from what the market tells us. Neoliberalism is not about a 'small state'. The state is repurposed to impose the 'all knowing' market on everyone and everything. That is neoliberalism's political project. It is ultimately not about 'economics'.

[Jun 23, 2019] This is a remarkably similar summation of Rand's worldview of entire classes of people: if you are poor, you deserve it

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

HolyInsurgent -> GeorgeMonbiot , 5 Mar 2012 22:44

But the world didn't work like that, and the people who didn't fit had to be shoved under the wheel of history.

This is a remarkably similar summation of Rand's worldview of entire classes of people: if you are poor, you deserve it. Expect nothing from the State to raise you from the cycle of poverty. The State is evil and should be eliminated. No evil can come from the Business Culture (or more accurately the Business Cult). The U.S. Republican worldview summed up right there.

The only sane response to Ayn Rand is the creation of the Human Values Project , where creating a better world for all is its manifesto and mandate.

Many thanks for the article. The Right keep erecting her on a pedestal and saying her ideas are infallible like the Pope. She can't be pulled down off that pedestal enough times.

[Jun 23, 2019] If Jeff Bezos could hire 1st graders he obviously would

Notable quotes:
"... Your claim is not that people decide rights via participation in political process (social contract), it is that there are universal natural individual rights that cannot be violated based in... something; there is no negotiability like there is with the social contract. Your apparantly foundationless rights cannot be changed by political process - so where do they come from? ..."
"... Your claim is that some quality of people grants immutable rights, not that rights are decided by people. Are you of the strain that thinks we should be allowed to starve our kids (Rothbard)? Or that non-capitalist societies are fair game to be killed and enslaved, to have thier land put to 'better' use (Locke)? Perhaps that latter one underlies the feeling that it would be easy to up sticks and move to some undefined piece of land. ..."
"... You have changed the nice things you listed now, you said maternity leave/pay, weekends, etc. Those were granted by collective potitical action, not the generosity of the capitalists. If Jeff Bezos could hire 1st graders he obviously would. ..."
"... The State is the gun. Always has been, always will be. And yes, there is a place for the gun in society - defence - but not in extorting money from peaceful people. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

wariquari -> Pushers11 , 12 Apr 2019 16:56

Your claim is not that people decide rights via participation in political process (social contract), it is that there are universal natural individual rights that cannot be violated based in... something; there is no negotiability like there is with the social contract. Your apparantly foundationless rights cannot be changed by political process - so where do they come from?

Your claim is that some quality of people grants immutable rights, not that rights are decided by people. Are you of the strain that thinks we should be allowed to starve our kids (Rothbard)? Or that non-capitalist societies are fair game to be killed and enslaved, to have thier land put to 'better' use (Locke)? Perhaps that latter one underlies the feeling that it would be easy to up sticks and move to some undefined piece of land.

You have changed the nice things you listed now, you said maternity leave/pay, weekends, etc. Those were granted by collective potitical action, not the generosity of the capitalists. If Jeff Bezos could hire 1st graders he obviously would.

So you having to leave because you don't wamt to participate in tax paying is coercion, but people having to leave because they don't want to live under Libertarianism isn't?

Incidentally, which countries at the top of the PISA or OECD rankings do not have massive state education?

As for Hong Kong, its entire existence is predicated on extreme acts of aggression by the British. The opium trade and its profits started the ball rolling after an aggressive war. The Hong Kong authority also owns most of the land, leasing it; they therefore have massive influence on who gets what and what they do with it - more so than most other nations.

Pushers11 -> wariquari , 12 Apr 2019 10:44

"As you are free to leave, no individual state institution is is forcing you to participate under pain of violence. If the fact you have no place to go that does not take tax means that you are coerced, then someone who cannot live but by participation in free-market capitalism would also be coerced into participation"

I think we won't agree on this because we have a fundamentally different understanding of coercion. The way I see it, I should not have a leave the place I live in to not have coercive action taking away my money. I should be able to say, no thanks. It is the difference between my willingly purchasing something and a mugger taking my money at gunpoint. The State is the gun. Always has been, always will be. And yes, there is a place for the gun in society - defence - but not in extorting money from peaceful people.

And people can and do live without being part of the capitalist system. They can live off the land. They can set up communes. They can use a barter system if they want. Capitalism just gives people more opportunities, but they can opt out if they want. Or move to a place that doesn't have capitalism, like many places in Africa or South America or Cuba. Funny who must people try to leave those places though. Millions do not flock there. They do the other way round.

"In your opinion."

Yes, true. In my opinion. But I have backed that opinion up with a well reasoned argument for my position. It didn't just come out of thin air. It comes from recognising the nature of government is force, violence and coercion. Again, it is the gun in society. And in my opinion, I think it is wrong, immoral and will always lead to bad outcomes to use the gun to solve societies more tricky problems. And we can clearly see the bad results of public / State education, socialised healthcare, welfare, government involvement in the economy, etc, etc, etc. All do badly.

"Did I? I didn't sign up before birth to participate, and I have no other options but to participate or die."

You have other options, as previously mentioned. Live off the land, move to a non-capitalist country, set up a commune, etc.

"Still unsure upon what these rights are based. The mere fact that people can reason does not necessarily instill or ground right."

Where else can they come from? If you say "government". Well when does government get its power and decide on your rights? From the people that make up government. So we are back to people again.

"You tell us elsewhere that we don't really have capitalism, the state and other actors dominate and fiddle etc. Now you clam capitalism has provided all these nice things* - pick one."

No. It is not a case of picking one. It is not an "either / or" situation. Economic freedom and economic oppression exist on a sliding scale. You have more free economies, like the US (especially prior to 1913) and you have less free economies, like the USSR or Cuba. The parts of freedom we have, give us the good stuff, gives us innovation and allows society to grow richer and lift more people out of poverty. The more bad stuff that gets involved, the less we have, the more society stagnates. The USSR was a lot poorer and dirtier (environmentally) and had a lot more famine and waste because it was highly centrally controlled.

"So it had nothing to do with quasi-British authorities selling narcotics to mainland China then?"

Not much. There may have been some of that but nowhere near enough to explain the explosion of wealth in HK.

[Jun 23, 2019] T>here has never been free-market capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... And there has never been free-market capitalism. A misnomer if ever there was one. ..."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

PSmd , 6 Mar 2012 09:35

@silverwhistle

We ARE social animals. Which is why I laugh when I hear right-wing opinions compared to the laws of the jungle. As far as I can gather, in the jungle, there are no such things as property laws, inheritance, land enclosure, or indeed money! Humanity's development is as socialised societies, with surpluses, consent, and so on.

And there has never been free-market capitalism. A misnomer if ever there was one.

[Jun 23, 2019] Brexit is the spawn of national neoliberalism....

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

shedexile , 10 Apr 2019 17:28

Brexit is the spawn of neoliberalism....

Holding up the EU as the root of all woes, while at the same time dominating political discourse and deflecting the blame from the real culprits.

All at a time when public spending cuts in the name of austerity (itself a direct reaction to the failings of the neoliberal economic system) are spreading untold misery. At a time when we finally have an opposition ready to challenge the policies of austerity, the issue has been conveniently brushed under the brexit rug.

[Jun 23, 2019] Right-wing ideology is often presented as a natural state and not ideological at all. This denial is a central feature, acting as a way of abdicating responsibility for harmful and selfish actions

Jan 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Apomorph -> GeorgeMonbiot , 10 Apr 2019 18:19

Right-wing ideology is often presented as a natural state and not ideological at all. This denial is a central feature, acting as a way of abdicating responsibility for harmful and selfish actions and providing means of fostering intellectual suspicion to prevent challenges or structured and coherent critiques like your own.

The right engenders coalitions of people disinterested in politics and distrustful of politicians with those who feel intellectually superior but see politics as an amoral game in the pursuit of "enlightened" self-interest.

As a result, everything about it is disingenous.

There is no alternative (that we want you to choose). It's not racist to (constantly, always negatively and to the expense of everything else) talk about immigration. Cutting taxes for the rich reduces inequality (because we change the criteria to exclude the richest from the calculations). This is also because there are dualities at play. Neoliberalism relies on immigration to increase worker competition and suppress wage demand but courts the xenophobic vote (which is why even with reduced EU migration Brexit has so far increased overall immigration and would continue to do so in the event of no deal or May's deal). Both Remainers and Leavers have accused the other of being a neoliberal project, and in certain aspects -because of these dualities - both sides are correct.

I also believe the disdain for "political correctness" is somewhat a result of neoliberalism, since marketisation is so fundamental to the project and the wedge of the market is advertising, the language of bullshit and manipulation. People railing against political correctness feel judged for their automatic thoughts that they identify as natural instead of culturally determined. Behavioural advertising encourages these thoughts and suppresses consideration. It is a recipe for resentment.

[Jun 23, 2019] The return of fundamentalist nationalism is arguably a radicalized form of neoliberalism

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If 'free markets' of enterprising individuals have been tested to destruction, then capitalism is unable to articulate an ideology with which to legitimise itself. ..."
"... Therefore, neoliberal hegemony can only be perpetuated with authoritarian, nationalist ideologies and an order of market feudalism. ..."
"... The market is no longer an enabler of private enterprise, but something more like a medieval religion, conferring ultimate authority on a demagogue. ..."
"... Only in theory is neoliberalism a form of laissez-faire. Neoliberalism is not a case of the state saying, as it were: 'OK everyone, we'll impose some very broad legal parameters, so we'll make sure the police will turn up if someone breaks into your house; but otherwise we'll hang back and let you do what you want'. ..."
"... Hayek is perfectly clear that a strong state is required to force people to act according to market logic. If left to their own devices, they might collectivise, think up dangerous utopian ideologies, and the next thing you know there would be socialism. ..."
"... This the paradox of neoliberalism as an intellectual critique of government: a socialist state can only be prohibited with an equally strong state. That is, neoliberals are not opposed to a state as such, but to a specifically centrally-planned state based on principles of social justice - a state which, to Hayek's mind, could only end in t totalitarianism. ..."
"... It should be understood (and I speak above all as a critic of neoliberalism) that neoliberal ideology is not merely a system of class power, but an entire metaphysic, a way of understanding the world that has an emotional hold over people. For any ideology to universalize itself, it must be based on some very powerful ideas. Hayek and Von Mises were Jewish fugitives of Nazism, living through the worst horrors of twentieth-century totalitarianism. There are passages of Hayek's that describe a world operating according to the rules of a benign abstract system that make it sound rather lovely. To understand neoliberalism, we must see that it has an appeal. ..."
"... However, there is no perfect order of price signals. People do not simply act according to economic self-interest. Therefore, neoliberalism is a utopian political project like any other, requiring the brute power of the state to enforce ideological tenets. With tragic irony, the neoliberal order eventually becomes not dissimilar to the totalitarian regimes that Hayek railed against. ..."
Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Pinkie123 , 12 Apr 2019 03:23

The other point to be made is that the return of fundamentalist nationalism is arguably a radicalized form of neoliberalism. If 'free markets' of enterprising individuals have been tested to destruction, then capitalism is unable to articulate an ideology with which to legitimise itself.

Therefore, neoliberal hegemony can only be perpetuated with authoritarian, nationalist ideologies and an order of market feudalism.

In other words, neoliberalism's authoritarian orientations, previously effaced beneath discourses of egalitarian free-enterprise, become overt.

The market is no longer an enabler of private enterprise, but something more like a medieval religion, conferring ultimate authority on a demagogue.

Individual entrepreneurs collectivise into a 'people' serving a market which has become synonymous with nationhood. A corporate state emerges, free of the regulatory fetters of democracy.

The final restriction on the market - democracy itself - is removed. There then is no separate market and state, just a totalitarian market state.

Pinkie123 -> economicalternative , 12 Apr 2019 02:57

Yes, the EU is an ordoliberal institution - the state imposing rules on the market from without. Thus, it is not the chief danger. The takeover of 5G, and therefore our entire economy and industry, by Huawei - now that would be a loss of state sovereignty. But because Huawei is nominally a corporation, people do not think about is a form of governmental bureaucracy, but if powerful enough that is exactly what it is.
economicalternative -> Pinkie123 , 11 Apr 2019 21:33
Pinkie123: So good to read your understandings of neoliberalism. The political project is the imposition of the all seeing all knowing 'market' on all aspects of human life. This version of the market is an 'information processor'. Speaking of the different idea of the laissez-faire version of market/non market areas and the function of the night watchman state are you aware there are different neoliberalisms? The EU for example runs on the version called 'ordoliberalism'. I understand that this still sees some areas of society as separate from 'the market'?
economicalternative -> ADamnSmith2016 , 11 Apr 2019 21:01
ADamnSmith: Philip Mirowski has discussed this 'under the radar' aspect of neoliberalism. How to impose 'the market' on human affairs - best not to be to explicit about what you are doing. Only recently has some knowledge about the actual neoliberal project been appearing. Most people think of neoliberalism as 'making the rich richer' - just a ramped up version of capitalism. That's how the left has thought of it and they have been ineffective in stopping its implementation.
subtropics , 11 Apr 2019 13:51
Neoliberalism allows with impunity pesticide businesses to apply high risk toxic pesticides everywhere seriously affecting the health of children, everyone as well as poisoning the biosphere and all its biodiversity. This freedom has gone far too far and is totally unacceptable and these chemicals should be banished immediately.
Pinkie123 , 11 Apr 2019 13:27
The left have been entirely wrong to believe that neoliberalism is a mobilisation of anarchic, 'free' markets. It never was so. Only a few more acute thinkers on the left (Jacques Ranciere, Foucault, Deleuze and, more recently, Mark Fisher, Wendy Brown, Will Davies and David Graeber) have understood neoliberalism to be a techno-economic order of control, requiring a state apparatus to enforce wholly artificial directives.

Also, the work of recent critics of data markets such as Shoshana Zuboff has shown capitalism to be evolving into a totalitarian system of control through cybernetic data aggregation.

Only in theory is neoliberalism a form of laissez-faire. Neoliberalism is not a case of the state saying, as it were: 'OK everyone, we'll impose some very broad legal parameters, so we'll make sure the police will turn up if someone breaks into your house; but otherwise we'll hang back and let you do what you want'.

Hayek is perfectly clear that a strong state is required to force people to act according to market logic. If left to their own devices, they might collectivise, think up dangerous utopian ideologies, and the next thing you know there would be socialism.

This the paradox of neoliberalism as an intellectual critique of government: a socialist state can only be prohibited with an equally strong state. That is, neoliberals are not opposed to a state as such, but to a specifically centrally-planned state based on principles of social justice - a state which, to Hayek's mind, could only end in t totalitarianism.

Because concepts of social justice are expressed in language, neoliberals are suspicious of linguistic concepts, regarding them as politically dangerous. Their preference has always been for numbers. Hence, market bureaucracy aims for the quantification of all values - translating the entirety of social reality into metrics, data, objectively measurable price signals. Numbers are safe. The laws of numbers never change. Numbers do not lead to revolutions. Hence, all the audit, performance review and tick-boxing that has been enforced into public institutions serves to render them forever subservient to numerical (market) logic. However, because social institutions are not measurable, attempts to make them so become increasingly mystical and absurd. Administrators manage data that has no relation to reality. Quantitatively unmeasurable things - like happiness or success - are measured, with absurd results.

It should be understood (and I speak above all as a critic of neoliberalism) that neoliberal ideology is not merely a system of class power, but an entire metaphysic, a way of understanding the world that has an emotional hold over people. For any ideology to universalize itself, it must be based on some very powerful ideas. Hayek and Von Mises were Jewish fugitives of Nazism, living through the worst horrors of twentieth-century totalitarianism. There are passages of Hayek's that describe a world operating according to the rules of a benign abstract system that make it sound rather lovely. To understand neoliberalism, we must see that it has an appeal.

However, there is no perfect order of price signals. People do not simply act according to economic self-interest. Therefore, neoliberalism is a utopian political project like any other, requiring the brute power of the state to enforce ideological tenets. With tragic irony, the neoliberal order eventually becomes not dissimilar to the totalitarian regimes that Hayek railed against.

[Jun 23, 2019] with Trump the ideological patina of faith in free markets has gone and he's more or less just engaged in an asset stripping exercise

Notable quotes:
"... In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised to deliver on his populist campaign pledges to protect Americans from globalization. "For too long," he bemoaned, "we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries." But now, he asserted, the time has come to "restart the engine of the American economy" and "bring back millions of jobs." ..."
"... To achieve his goals, Trump proposed mixing massive tax-cuts and sweeping regulatory rollbacks with increased spending on the military, infrastructure and border control. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

hartebeest -> consumerx, 10 Apr 2019 19:24

...with Trump the ideological patina of faith in free markets has gone and he's more or less just engaged in an asset stripping exercise. Thing is, though, you can't get away with that without some kind of distraction, and in Trump's case it's his country club racist's understanding of geopolitics converted into campaign rhetoric and immigration policy.

I don't think this is some masterplan -- he just happened to stumble into the stage at a point where there was an opening for his kind of rhetoric. I'm just amazed someone smarter didn't see it earlier and capitalise.

consumerx -> hartebeest , 10 Apr 2019 18:57
Disagree,

Under Trumps tax plan, a single mother with 2 kids working fulltime at minumum wage gets 75 dollars a YEAR in childcare, about $-1.50 per week.
----------
While the rich, those making up to 400,000 per year get 2000.00 per year child credit off their taxes.
---------------
Name a benefit for the poor, that the recent tax bill passed by Trump and GREEDY GOP.


-----------------------------------------------------

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised to deliver on his populist campaign pledges to protect Americans from globalization. "For too long," he bemoaned, "we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries." But now, he asserted, the time has come to "restart the engine of the American economy" and "bring back millions of jobs."

To achieve his goals, Trump proposed mixing massive tax-cuts and sweeping regulatory rollbacks with increased spending on the military, infrastructure and border control.

This same messy mix of free market fundamentalism and hyper-nationalistic populism is presently taking shape in Trump's proposed budget. But the apparent contradiction there isn't likely to slow down Trump's pro-market, pro-Wall Street, pro-wealth agenda.

His supporters may soon discover that his professions of care for those left behind by globalization are -- aside from some mostly symbolic moves on trade -- empty.

Just look at what has already happened with the GOP's proposed replacement for Obamacare, which if enacted would bring increased pain and suffering to the anxious voters who put their trust in Trump's populism in the first place.

While these Americans might have thought their votes would win them protection from the instabilities and austerities of market-led globalization, what they are getting is a neoliberal president in populist clothing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/22/dont-let-his-trade-policy-fool-you-trump-is-a-neoliberal/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.94fa9481fd2a

[Jun 23, 2019] Ironic isn't it, America may end up becoming the Western world's first failed state? A kind of Somalia with hamburgers,obesity and better drainage; ruled by Christian fundamentalist neo liberal warlords and Ayn Rand inspired gangsters

Jun 23, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

OceaneBorgia , 6 Mar 2012 08:06

I adore the ill educated, unintentional, satirical nature of some of the Rand supporters comments here - unsurprisingly predominantly American. Who appear to have a tenuous grasp on the nature and meaning of philosophy. Who replace rational thought with cod philosophy and hysterical rants, - that would embarrass your average cargo cult worshiper - as a justification for their own sociopathy and intellectual inadequacy. Take a bow... MoreThanExists and the even more comic BruceMajors

Ironic isn't it, America may end up becoming the Western world's first failed state? A kind of Somalia with hamburgers,obesity and better drainage; ruled by Christian fundamentalist neo liberal warlords and Ayn Rand inspired gangsters, funded by Wall Street parasites, with the Tea Party as the Sturm Abteilung (SA), and "Atlas Shrugged" as their most sacred holy text written by a third rate Sadeian dominatrix.

Remember the fascist war cry as they went into battle against Republican troops during the Spanish Civil War, "Death to the intellect! Long live death!". How appropriate?!! Maybe Rand's disciples could work that into a revised version of "The Star-Spangled Banner.?"

[Jun 23, 2019] "Liberal" originally meant the freedom to trade and do business. Before liberalism trade was controlled by cartels, guilds and gifted by prerogative.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

twiglette -> apacheman , 11 Apr 2019 05:19

"Liberal" originally meant the freedom to trade and do business. Before liberalism trade was controlled by cartels, guilds and gifted by prerogative. The freedom to trade is not the root cause of our problems. The drift to monopoly and the legal enforcement of it is new and should be resisted. But the freedom to do business is a freedom for us all.

[Jun 23, 2019] Two things characterize neo-liberalism. Deception and repression of labor.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

mi Griffin , 11 Apr 2019 01:15

2 simple points that epitomize neo liberalism.

1. Hayek's book 'The Road to Serfdom' uses an erroneous metaphor. He argues that if we allow gov regulation, services and spending to continue then we will end up serfs. However, serfs are basically the indentured or slave labourers of private citizens and landowners not of the state. Only in a system of private capital can there be serfs. Neo liberalism creates serfs not a public system.

2. According to Hayek all regulation on business should be eliminated and only labour should be regulated to make it cheap and contain it so that private investors can have their returns guaranteed. Hence the purpose of the state is to pass laws to suppress workers.

These two things illustrate neo-liberalism. Deception and repression of labour.

[Jun 23, 2019] Neoliberalism/'free enterprise' is techno-feudalism.

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

1000100101 -> sejong , 10 Apr 2019 17:53

Neoliberalism/'free enterprise' is techno-feudalism.

[Jun 23, 2019] Neoliberalism is not an ideology in its practical application. It is a business model for structuring the economy for rent seeking or wealth extraction

Notable quotes:
"... First, neoliberalism, to those who understand how finance works (no mainstream economist, then) was never an economic theory, but rather a business model: essentially it describes how to structure an economy for rent seeking. ..."
"... Michael Hudson describes it as "pro-finance". His definition of austerity, which is part and parcel of the neoliberal business model, is also worth quoting: "austerity is what a good economic policy looks like to a creditor [rentier]"; in other words, it has nothing to do with the economically meaningless notion of good housekeeping (state finances are radically different from household finances). ..."
"... The term "neoliberal" is misleading. Neoliberals put capital above people. Neoliberals are the next-worst thing to neoconservatives. That said, why would anybody trust a pols promise? ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Brightdayler -> fakeamoonlanding, 11 Apr 2019 03:15

Neoliberalism is not an ideology in its practical application. It is a business model for structuring the economy for rent seeking or wealth extraction: turning everything into a cash cow to be milked until it's dry and then move on to the next one.
Brightdayler, 11 Apr 2019 03:13
I agree, although a few points need to be added.

First, neoliberalism, to those who understand how finance works (no mainstream economist, then) was never an economic theory, but rather a business model: essentially it describes how to structure an economy for rent seeking.

Michael Hudson describes it as "pro-finance". His definition of austerity, which is part and parcel of the neoliberal business model, is also worth quoting: "austerity is what a good economic policy looks like to a creditor [rentier]"; in other words, it has nothing to do with the economically meaningless notion of good housekeeping (state finances are radically different from household finances).

Second, the freedom that Adam Smith talked about was freedom for the real economy from rent seeking, from wealth extraction - freedom, in modern parlance, from the neoliberal business model.

fakeamoonlanding -> rjb04tony , 11 Apr 2019 03:04

I think you are confusing the state with the ideology. Neoliberalism is an ideology that has become embedded in the state. Of course it is the state that privatises public services to private firms. But the ideology behind that policy is what George Monbiot is writing about.

I work for the NHS myself. Take for example, the policy of foundation trusts bidding to run services hundreds of miles from their bases, etc. It may be state policy, but it is a neoliberal nonsense. You would find the NHS littered with bureaucracy that would not be there if the neoliberal ideology of trying to foster "competition" had not become a state policy.

zootsuitbeatnick , 11 Apr 2019 01:58

"Neoliberalism promised freedom – instead it delivers stifling control"

The term "neoliberal" is misleading. Neoliberals put capital above people. Neoliberals are the next-worst thing to neoconservatives. That said, why would anybody trust a pols promise?
imo

[Jun 23, 2019] Only the greedy, selfish, well off, egotistical and share holders believe that Public Services should, could and would benefit from privatisation and deregulation.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JohnS58 , 11 Apr 2019 06:15

Only the greedy, selfish, well off, egotistical and share holders believe that Public Services should, could and would benefit from privatisation and deregulation.

Education and Health for example are (in theory) a universal right in the UK. As numbers in the population rise and demographics change so do costs ie delivery of the service becomes more expensive.As market force logic is introduced it also becomes less responsive - hence people not able to get the right drugs and treatment and challenging and challenged young people being denied an education that is vital for them in increasing numbers.

Meanwhile - as Public Services are devalued and denuded in this system the private sector becomes increasingly wealthy at the top while its workers become poorer and less powerful at the bottom.

With the introduction of Tory austerity which punishes the latter to the benefit of the former there is no surprise that this system does not work and has provided a platform for the unscrupulous greedy and corrupt to exploit Brexit and produce conditions which will take 'Neoliberalism' to where logic suggests it would always go - with the powerful rich protected minority exerting their power over an increasingly poor and powerless majority.

[Jun 23, 2019] The competitive tender approach ensures the cheapest bids get the contracts and the cheapest bids are those most likely to employ exploited labour and cheap materials as well as cutting corners

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Monkeybiz -> dd34342 , 10 Apr 2019 20:27

The competitive tender approach ensures the cheapest bids get the contracts and the cheapest bids are those most likely to employ exploited labour and cheap materials as well as cutting corners. Result? a job of sorts gets done, but the quality is rubbish, with no investment or pride in the product. Look at Hong Kong where this is longstanding practice: new tunnel, half the extractor fans do not work correctly because they were poorly installed. I once spoke to the Chief Engineer of the Tsing Ma bridge, he was stressed out of his socks for the whole construction period trying to monitor all the subcontractors who had bid so low they had to cheat to make a profit with the result that they would try to cut corners and avoid doing things if they thought they could get away with it. Good job that engineer was diligent. Others may be less able or willing.
Monkeybiz -> dd34342 , 10 Apr 2019 20:20

BTW: I seldom find comparisons in UK-media to other countries when those countries are better.

I think that's because most of the UK media is propaganda for the established system, which they rely on for advertising revenue and access to information. If an outlet's journalists start seriously questioning the existing system, a few things happen: 1. the journo doesn't get promoted within the system; 2. their access to information is curtailed (they are not invited to briefings etc., and; 3. advertising revenue drops. As the business model of most mainstream media is to present consumer audiences to advertisers, this is not going to sit well with the owners, see 1 and 2 above leading to poor evaluations. Any journo with half a brain quickly learns this and fits in. Only so far and no further.

[Jun 23, 2019] I have to agree that whilst some things have flourished once privatised, certain services must remain in public ownership and control to enable governments to improve or reduce, depending on national taxation and expenditure

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Richard Burston , 10 Apr 2019 17:11

As a Tory for most of my longish life, I have to agree that whilst some things have flourished once privatised, certain services must remain in public ownership and control to enable governments to improve or reduce, depending on national taxation and expenditure - if people want better services then they must be prepared to pay for them, and of course the long-term pensions of the workforce. Managers should be subject matter experts before running departments, not just accountants or management consultants, so they can improve delivery not just constantly re-structure or carp on about 'efficiency savings'.

Having worked in shipping, that industry has oscillated several times but rail is an interesting example - a disaster in the dying days of national ownership, the private world started well improving safety, reliability and capacity but has gone downhill in recent years, not helped by the track management system. Again, the airlines started well but now several have gone into administration and BA has 'down-qualitied' itself to become one of the worst.

Some parts of the NHS can be provided by private industry but limited to service provision and collective buying only - certainly NOT cancer screening.
Then, when you look at private providers who go bust and completely fail to provide any acceptable capability - jails, probation, social care etc. one wonders when, if ever, politicians will realise that it costs them, the civil service and commercial management an incredible amount of time, effort and cost just to fail!

[Jun 23, 2019] Outsourcing government work is the most inefficient way of getting it done for the benefit of taxpayers.

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

MichaelAnthony , 10 Apr 2019 17:31

Outsourcing government work is the most inefficient way of getting it done for the benefit of taxpayers. When the profits private companies make from it are added to what economies must invest to pay the taxes for it it's astonishing how popular it has become throughout the world, something only explicable if those authorising it are amongst the most stupid of financial administrators or the most corrupt.
Outsourcing for example £1m worth of work requires that amount to be paid in taxes, which needs about £5m to be earned in wages and profits to pay £1m in taxes, which in turn needs an investment of perhaps ten times that amount, when the £1m is borrowed by debt laden governments to be repaid by over-borrowed and overtaxed economies.
If the outsourced company is not profit-making it will borrow the capital to be able to deliver what's required and that in turn will raise the amount it will want for future work, which is what I think accounts for Carillion and the other outsource giants going to the wall.
The process is generally the fault of governments failing to adhere strictly to the necessity of only paying its workforce on average the same as the private sector pays its workers, which in democracies is not an unfair requirement demanded by equality legislation. Many would claim that such was why Margaret Thatcher decided on privatising so many public utilities especially after the miners' strike in Ted Heath's government and why it gained so much support and popularity when wages and benefits for similar skill levels seemed so much better and jobs more secure for many public sector workers involved than they were in the private sector. Now of course, the high costs of private necessary public services are making life unbearable for the majority of workers and welfare recipients while profits are going abroad to those who own them and the EU in getting the flak – courtesy of the media - for the resultant poverty and austerity, allowed the false £350m a week to win the referendum. The £4 billion a week worth of exports to the EU paid most of that and the way companies are relocating to hedge against Brexit means a lot of lost jobs will go with them – some earlier estimates but it at more than 100,000 - which doesn't seem to deter those determinedly wanting out of the EU one little bit.
This is a blessing for the low labour cost Member States, who being in the populous markets the multinationals need, can attract the UK industries looking to further cut costs and freight charges so those that go will never come back because higher costs in the Brexit UK will not be compensated for easily with uncompetitive price hikes for EU customers, unlike CAP payments that have been promised to farmers by the government proBrexit Minister.
The doom and gloom felt by many I think is well justified when sovereign debt and bank credit is considered relative to taxes. While sovereign debt is regarded as an asset and future taxes are acceptable for bank credit and both can be securitized by banking systems to borrow even more capital that will be acceptable to central banks as QE, it's not surprising that sovereigns don't need to worry about economies being unable to provide the taxes their governments unlawfully spend even when leaving it for future generations is also unlawful i.e. is a crime, since if they don't, their central banks and bond holders covered by them will. When the cost in trillions since 2016 already spent by government in preparing for Brexit is included one can't help but think that the financial economy has made a proverbial killing from UK incorporated and now owns most if not all of it. If most of the finance for Brexit came from its financiers and investors is it possible that after Brexit they'll pour trillions back into the economy to make it capable of not only surviving but also competing favourably with the EU, Japan, China, and the US?

[Jun 23, 2019] Hardly anything has flourished after privatisation.

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

makingalist -> Richard Burston , 10 Apr 2019 18:06

I have to disagree. Hardly anything has flourished after privatisation. The big failures, which get all the publicity, were generally basket case private businesses which had to be nationalised to save them from collapse.

Sometimes they are stuffed with public money and sold at a loss to the public, like the Tory nationalisation of Rolls Royce, or deprived of funds like British Rail to provide an excuse to liberate thousands of square miles of real estate

This latter is the scheme for the NHS with hospitals and other property provided at great public expense sold off to any shark who says he has the money, and once it's private load the enterprise with debt and walk away.

[Jun 23, 2019] So neoliberalism stumbles on almost as a reflex action. Ben Fine calls it a 'zombie' but I think the better analogy is cannibalism.

Unlike the privatisations of the 80s and 90s there's barely any pretence these days that new sell-offs are anything more than simply part of a quest to find new avenues for profit-making in an economy with tons of liquid capital but not enough places to profitability put it.
Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

hartebeest , 10 Apr 2019 18:42

Back in the Thatcher/Reagan years there were at people around who genuinely believed in the superiority of the market, or at least, made the effort to set out an intellectual case for it.

Now we're in a different era. After 2008, hardly anyone really believes in neoliberal ideas anymore, not to the point that they'd openly make the case for them anyway. But while different visions have appeared to some extent on both left and right, most of those in positions of power and influence have so internalised Thatcher's 'there is no alternative' that it's beyond their political horizons to treat any alternatives which do emerge as serious propositions, let alone come up with their own.

So neoliberalism stumbles on almost as a reflex action. Ben Fine calls it a 'zombie' but I think the better analogy is cannibalism. Unlike the privatisations of the 80s and 90s there's barely any pretence these days that new sell-offs are anything more than simply part of a quest to find new avenues for profit-making in an economy with tons of liquid capital but not enough places to profitability put it. Because structurally speaking most of the economy is tapped out.

Privatising public services at this point is just a way to asset strip and/or funnel public revenue streams to a private sector which has been stuck in neoliberal short-term, low skill, low productivity, low wage, high debt mode for so long that it has lost the ability to grow. So now it is eating itself, or at least eating the structures which hold it up and allow it to survive.

[Jun 23, 2019] The central premise used by Governments for privatising public servcies seems to have been that publicly run services are inefficient compared to private companies

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

lollipops42 , 10 Apr 2019 18:49

The central premise used by Governments for privatising public servcies seems to have been that publicly run services are inefficient compared to private companies; that the need to turn a profit means wasteful systems and behaviours are minimised. Therefore, money can be saved by outsourcing as private companies can provide the same or better service more cheaply.

I think this is very disrespectful to all those who work in public service, many of whom are dedicated to their jobs to provide care or a good service to members of the public. The idea that making money is the only motivating force that can make someone do their job well seems flawed. Further, if efficiency gains alone are not enough to make a profit, then the only recourse for companies is to provide a poorer service or be more exploitative of their employees, which is regularly played out.

This central premise is not widely challenged by politicians. It seems accepted as fact. I wonder if there have been any studies to either support or challenge this idea.

[Jun 23, 2019] How neoliberalism managed to displace the New Deal capitalism

Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com

NotWithoutMyMonkey , 6 Mar 2012 04:22

The likes of BruceMajors here don't get it.

'Big-gubment' exists to enforce property-rights. Libertarians bleat on about how freedom is founded in the right own to property and yet fail to realise that these so-called 'rights', which are a negation of natural rights (the world and it's resources belongs to all equally, and that lands to land, water and seed are in essence premised on theft) requires a large, powerful and authoritarian apparatus capable of effectively projecting violence to enforce property rights. claims to property are premised on violence.

Your so-called philosophy fails on first premises.

And in case you don't get it, the threat of a worker revolution saw the welfare state arise as a carrot to complement the stick. With the stick becoming increasingly ineffective in the earlier part of the 20th century, the disquiet needed to be quelled through other means. That method was the social democratic welfare state. The collapse of Communism as an existential threat, followed by the emergence of economic globalisation (shopping around for the cheapest labour), consumerism and automation have all effectively eroded class solidarity amongst those most disenfranchised by a state enforced inequality and eroded the value of labour. The beneficiaries of the state as a mechanism for enforcing their claims to property no longer need the working classes.

Hence we find that around the world, western democracies are withdrawing the carrot and reasserting the stick.

[Jun 23, 2019] Interesting opinion about Warren 'the wonk' in the Washington Examiner

Notable quotes:
"... Actually Warren has come out strong in favor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in every public speech I've seen. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

LinusL , 3d ago

Interesting opinion about Warren 'the wonk' in the Washington Examiner:

"She's got a (borrowed) plan for that: The media myth of Elizabeth Warren the wonk"

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/shes-got-a-borrowed-plan-for-that-the-media-myth-of-elizabeth-warren-the-wonk

LinusL -> LinusL , 3d ago
Also, where are her positions on military budgets, Empire and foreign policy?

And why hasn't she come out strong for Medicare for All?

Vassili555 -> LinusL , 3d ago
Actually Warren has come out strong in favor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in every public speech I've seen.
LinusL -> Vassili555 , 3d ago
https://jacobinmag.com/2019/06/elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-health-care-policy

[Jun 23, 2019] Warren backing of Hillary in 2016 is remembered by some voters

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders supported Clinton too in the general election. He also actively campaigned for her. ..."
"... apples and oranges, Thomas and Herr, Would you care to defend her "posture" on NATO? Ditto, for her contributing to the "Evil Vlad" narrative? Israel?? Wiki: Warren states she supports a two state solution, but she believes Palestinian application for membership in the UN isn't helpful.[63] ..."
"... "Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say?" You are going to be told this a million times before 11/20 but that's bullshit. It's been well established that she didn't get any job because of that. ..."
"... "In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren's professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman." ..."
"... With Warren and Sanders talking complete sense about our oligarchy, the electorate's expectations are going to improve. Nothing could be better. We've been asked to settle for Republican-lite servants of mammon for too long in the Democratic Party and that's going to change. ..."
"... Hell, if we're going to fine them for data breaches, do we start with the DNC? ..."
"... In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%. ..."
"... I keep hearing from the mainstream media that Biden is leading in the polls. But we ought to note that Biden's up against a group including Warren, Sanders, Harris etc who are pushing a progressive policies, and if you take their percentages together, Biden cannot compete. Once one of these progressive takes the lead in the group, and hires all the others as running mate, cabinet members etc, he or she will be unbeatable against both Biden and Trump. ..."
"... The latest of that polling features Sanders and Biden nearly neck and neck as far as approval goes. Funny you don't hear about that on CNN or MSNBC. ..."
"... American voters have spent so long being treated like idiots by politicians and to an even greater extent the press that Warren comes across as something new and interesting by comparison. ..."
"... This election won't be decided by defecting Trump voters. ..."
"... Those who would be swayed by Trump using "Pocahontas" as a slur or would even pay attention to it wouldn't vote for Warren anyway. He's not going to change any minds with it, just rile up his existing sheep. ..."
"... That's a very narrow view of her position on Israel. She also supported the Iran treaty, boycotting Netanyahu's speech to the Senate, called on Israel to stop colonizing the West Bank and to recognize the right of Palestinians in Gaza to peaceful protest – her comments about aggression toward Gaza were about Israeli response to missiles fired by Hamas. I don't mind her having a nuanced response to what is in fact a very complex situation. ..."
"... Nerd used to be just an insult, aimed at anyone more intelligent, thoughtful or better-informed than the speaker. But I think now, like 'queer' and other words, it has been reclaimed and repurposed in a much more positive light. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

aussiecharlie , 2d ago

Clinton said vote for me because I am a woman, Warren says vote for me because I am a potential leader who happens to be a woman. Good luck to her and the US
Dargyva -> aussiecharlie , 2d ago
She's not saying anything like that, at all! She's all about economic justice policy. You noticed she's female without her even telling you.
TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
Don't get me wrong. I would certainly vote for her, if needed. I believe she's quite green behind the ears on foreign policy and how inequality is a global issue. Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me.

Sanders gets the bigger picture on poverty, race, and war/ neocolonialism:
if you wish: MLK Jr's take on "The Three Evils".

Thomas1178 -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
And yet Warren was the one censured for reading Coretta Scott King's condemnation of Jeff Sessions in the Senate while Bernie sat on his ass.
Herr_Settembrini -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
"Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me."

Sanders supported Clinton too in the general election. He also actively campaigned for her.

TempsdesRoses -> Herr_Settembrini , 2d ago
apples and oranges, Thomas and Herr, Would you care to defend her "posture" on NATO? Ditto, for her contributing to the "Evil Vlad" narrative? Israel?? Wiki: Warren states she supports a two state solution, but she believes Palestinian application for membership in the UN isn't helpful.[63]

In a town hall meeting in August 2014, Warren defended Israel's shelling of schools and hospitals during that summer's Israel–Gaza conflict, stating that "when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself". She also questioned whether future US aid to Israel should be contingent on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[64] In addition she defended her vote in favor of granting Israel $225 million to fund the Iron Dome air defence system.[65]

zuftawov943 , 2d ago
Nobody ever got elected by over-estimating the good sense of the American public.
MeRaffey , 2d ago
While the 2020 election feels critical, the 2024 election will decide the future. Like Trump himself, his base is filled with old people who are still loyal to Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. Old people watch FoxNews, old people vote, old people love Trump and in 2016, old people decided the election.

Younger people do NOT vote. The younger someone is, the less likely they are to vote. However, young people voted for Obama, twice, but when Hillary came along, they stayed home and let the old people choose the president.

And then, in 2018 the young voted again and we learned the next generation plans to take this country into the future. If the young vote in 2020, Trump is toast. If the young stay home, Trump will see a second term.

However, by 2024 the young will assume their rightful place in history and the age of old white men running the country, and the world will come to an end.

kapsiolaaaaa -> MeRaffey , 2d ago
You are making assumptions that old people are idiots. Making assumptions that middle aged people do not exist or are small in numbers. Trump gets 200 or so electoral votes. He loses. I don't see any case he wins. He is past his 'used by date' even for Republicans. You loose Tx to the Ds its game over, add PA and OH to the list. It doesn't even matter what crazy FL man thinks.
zuftawov943 -> MeRaffey , 2d ago
Don't forget modern geriatric medicine, by which the dinosaurs in the senate and elsewhere in the hardening arteries of the US body politic will live - and hold ofice - for even longer than Strom Thurmond. They can afford the private medical insurance to pay for it.

By the way, MeRaffey , I hope you meant to omit to punctuate in your last phrase so that it would read: ... the age of old white men running the country and the world will come to an end . Your comma has me worried.

Mujokan , 2d ago
Warren/Harris, said it before but it makes sense. I would've preferred Biden to Clinton but I can't see him getting the same turnout as Warren. Opinions on Trump are now fixed, it's a red herring to worry about "firing up" Trump supporters, they are already as fired up as they can get. Swing voters are probably going to vote by where the economy is which is out of our control. Ideally Democrats will be just as fired up as Trumpists, the investigations will suppress their enthusiasm somewhat (though they wouldn't care if he killed someone so...) and the coming Trump recession will be brought on by his trade wars and the blame will therefore fall where it should.
lightchaser , 2d ago
Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say? Furthermore, What exactly is she promising that is any different then any of the other radical leftists running right now? It's all "Free Stuff" that she's going to make the rich pay for. Um..yeah, that always works out doesn't it? Who needs real math when fuzzy math makes us believe the combined wealth of the richest Americans will finance all this "free" stuff to say nothing about why so many Americans feel entitled to the earnings of others. Remember folks, if a politician says 2+2=6 then it must be true.
Mujokan -> lightchaser , 2d ago
"Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say?" You are going to be told this a million times before 11/20 but that's bullshit. It's been well established that she didn't get any job because of that.
lightchaser -> Mujokan , 2d ago
She claimed Native American ancestry on her application to Harvard, a job she got and it wasn't the first time she played this card either. But hey, in a political party that loves to change races and genders and expects everyone else to go along with the charade by all means go ahead and believe what you want to believe.
Thomas1178 -> lightchaser , 2d ago
A lie, see Snopes, see any link you've been given each time you post this lie. She got it on merit.

"In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren's professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman."

Full story: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/09/01/did-claiming-native-american-heritage-actually-help-elizabeth-warren-get-ahead-but-complicated/wUZZcrKKEOUv5Spnb7IO0K/story.html%3foutputType=amp

BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
With Warren and Sanders talking complete sense about our oligarchy, the electorate's expectations are going to improve. Nothing could be better. We've been asked to settle for Republican-lite servants of mammon for too long in the Democratic Party and that's going to change.

The danger, of course, is that in this transition period Biden gets nominated. However much centrists will clamor for voters to hold their nose and vote for him, that's not an electoral strategy. Trump's best chance of winning is that Biden gets nominated and the progressive base of the Democratic Party is totally demoralized and lacking energy by late 2020.

tigerfisch , 2d ago
After the US public allowed themselves to be hypnotized by Trump's campaign of fatuous lies, empty promises and racist dog whistles, I doubted the electorate possessed the wit to understand actual policies. Maybe they've finally woken up - time will tell.
Jdivney -> tigerfisch , 2d ago
Do you understand how elections work? The US public were hypnotized? He lost the popular vote. The fault lies with the Republican establishment for letting him put the R after his name. Perot ran on essentially the same ticket back in 92 as a third party candidate. He got 18% of the vote. Had he run as a Republican he could well have won.
tigerfisch -> Jdivney , 2d ago
Oh dear. The question is, do you know how US elections work? The popular vote is irrelevant. He's the 5th POTUS who lost the popular vote. Almost 63 million hypnotized dolts voted for him, and he won - that's why he currently resides in the WH
Thomas1178 -> tigerfisch , 2d ago
Or neither "hypnotized" nor "dolts." The people I knew who voted for him in North Carolina thought he was an asshole. But they wanted a conservative Supreme Court for the next two decades and he has delivered that for them. Why do you assume that people on the right are idiots who don't know what they want? That essential presumption by the left is one of the reasons the left lost last time.
Thomas1178 , 2d ago
As one who used to be a Warren supporter, I think she is both patronizing voters and pandering to them. These policies have some detail, sure, but they don't deal with the consequences that Warren knows very well lurk in the wings and as a result they don't necessarily make sense.

Her proposal for free college is one example – sounds great, while in reality it would benefit the better-off middle class at the expense of the most vulnerable students and create a cascade of problems that she has no plans to fix.

Again, fining companies for data breaches? Surely we should fine them *if* they don't immediately report data breaches to their customers– or maybe if they haven't maintained appropriate data security, although I'd love to see proving that one to a court. Hell, if we're going to fine them for data breaches, do we start with the DNC?

Thomas1178 -> Thomas1178 , 2d ago
PS To be clear, I'd still take her in a second over Fat Nixon, I just wish she would pander less and keep her plans to the sensible and achievable, like her consumer protection bureau, which was a fantastic idea.
cheryl kimble -> Thomas1178 , 2d ago
corps get fined for data breaches today. ever heard of a hippa violation?
Thomas1178 -> cheryl kimble , 2d ago
Yes, (politely) do you? The fines for HIPAA violation have to do with noncompliance with the act, not with an uncontrollable data breach. The fines increase on a sliding scale if "willful neglect" has been found (the data were not properly secured) or if the company delays in reporting a data breach/violation.

Which is pretty much exactly what I said above.

PaulOram , 2d ago
Yep - No more old white guys - just being disgusted by Trump is not enough - people want new ideas. EW all the way - with AOC by her side as well hopefully.

There is nothing Trump fears more than the stigma of being a one term pres - his ego would implode.

Thomas1178 -> PaulOram , 2d ago
Oh, I think he fears going to prison more. Michael Cohen was right – the minute Trump is no longer protected by the presidency he is going to be facing charges, on tax evasion if nothing else. He will do anything to keep his protection for more years. He's probably hoping to die in office. (I'd add something to that, but I don't want the Secret Service visiting me!)
MeRaffey -> outkast1213 , 2d ago
what did she do in 2016?
HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
The DNC is again placing it's foot on the scale in favor of Biden. I believe that they know Bernie is less likely to win because of America's irrational fear of the word, "socialism." That's why they put Biden and Sanders on the stage together and pushed out Elizabeth Warren to the other debate with lesser known and less popular candidates. They do not what her, with her solid plans, to confront Biden, which would give her a greater boost in the polls and more recognition across the nation.
Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
It was a random drawing. No one has disputed that.
HobbesianWorlds -> Jdivney , 2d ago
And who was watching the drawing? Who set up the drawing? Are you saying that there was independent oversight on its setup? Or do you just take the DNC's word for it?
Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
An inability to believe in coincidence will take you to some strange places. If Sanders and Warren drawn the same night you could make an argument that Biden was getting set up to look good against the lightweight opponents. Or had Sanders drawn the undercard that he was being marginalized. Warren will do fine either way. She's a great candidate. Biden isn't.
HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
Biden rides high on President Obama's very long coat tails and Wall Street money even without detailed plans that actually help the working class and the poor. Bernie is riding high on his honest fight for the working class and the poor.

Elizabeth Warren is rising fast because she not only agrees with Bernie on fighting for the working class and the poor, but she has detailed plans that are holding up to independent economic scrutiny.

Both Warren and Sanders are honest in their fight for economic justice for all and recognize that the root cause of poverty and lower middle class' struggle is corporate and wealthy-individual money in politics. They aim to stop it.

Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden. For the Republicans and Trumpians, it's all about making Democrats fail no matter how much it hurts the working class and the poor. Their propaganda network will always assist and sustain them by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of millions of Americans.

malapropriety -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago

Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden.

The same will be true of any Democrat though. There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.

Any Democrat coming up against a Republican Senate will have the same thing happen to them, although I can imagine the Republicans will hate Biden marginally less than Obama given that he's not black.

HobbesianWorlds -> malapropriety , 2d ago

There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.

Not the first year of his presidency. His Republican Party controlled Congress and they mostly hated Obama as well. As long as there was full control of congress, it was easy. It was not easy to remove the ACA because so many Americans liked it.

Now remember that the reasons Trump was appointed to office by the EC, was that enough far-right people voted, together with the "conservative" media adding to Russia's concentration of propaganda in the key states (stats provided to the Russians by the Trump campaign) and lifted him just enough to overcome the votes of ~3 million voters. Far more voters are now counting on voting against him and for the best Democratic candidate.

Progressives do not want to expand the powers of the Oval Office. That is the wrong thing to do. True change for the better can only come through the ballet box and by educating the voters to exactly why our government is dysfunctional and is replete with corruption.

I think the most popular message to all voters (from farmers to all others in the working class) is that corporate and private money in politics is the root cause of government corruption and dysfunction and why the collective wealth of the working class is steadily redistributing to the uber-wealthy.

The only candidates who what to change the economy to a DEMAND-side economy is are those who actually and loudly advocate it.

But just voting for a progressive president while putting the "conservative" obstructionists (those who maintain the high capacity money pipeline that runs from Wall Street to their pockets) back into Congress will mean the corruption and dysfunction will continue. Voters must be replaced by a super-majority liberal/progressive Congress, and with that, Elizabeth Warren will make that change.

Haigin88 , 2d ago
I think she also knows that she should've and easily could've been president right now. That strange piece yesterday, talking about Biden and Sanders standing in front of good female candidates of today: leaving aside a keen Biden getting bullied out of 2016 by Clinton already having things sewn up, Sanders was notoriously late jumping into 2016 because he was waiting on Warren. If Warren was going to run against the wretched Clinton, he wouldn't. Warren choked so Sanders had to do it himself. Warren must know that she would have dismantled Crooked H and, seeing as Clinton was the only person who could've lost to el diablo naranja, Warren would've hammered Trump too. Hence, Warren's got some making up to do and seems very determined.

She's always been my tip. If I was an American, I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard in a second but Warren is a strong candidate and I always thought that her announcing on the last day of last year was going to give her licence to say to other candidates: "I've been running since 2018!". Warren is the candidate that liars for Clinton tried to pretend that Clinton was. A note of caution, though: someone posted a Republican survey of exactly four years ago yesterday. Bush was on 22%, Trump was polling 1%. Long time to go yet.

Johnnybi , 2d ago

In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.

I keep hearing from the mainstream media that Biden is leading in the polls. But we ought to note that Biden's up against a group including Warren, Sanders, Harris etc who are pushing a progressive policies, and if you take their percentages together, Biden cannot compete. Once one of these progressive takes the lead in the group, and hires all the others as running mate, cabinet members etc, he or she will be unbeatable against both Biden and Trump.

JudeUSA -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
There is no sure way of knowing how that would play out. You may be interested in looking at the Morning Consult Poll, which comes out weekly. If you scroll down to Second Choices... it gives possible outcomes for where votes may fall. According to MC poll the 2nd choice for Sanders voters is Biden, 2nd for Biden is Sanders, 2nd for Warren is Harris, 2nd for Buttigieg is Biden, and 2nd for Harris is Biden. The poll also shows results for early primary states, if you click on "Early Primary States".
https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary /
Thomas1178 -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
Only one question: are these the same polls that were running in ninth 2016? And if they are why do we give a crap what any of them say since we know they are all horribly wrong?
Johnnybi -> JudeUSA , 2d ago
The latest of that polling features Sanders and Biden nearly neck and neck as far as approval goes. Funny you don't hear about that on CNN or MSNBC.

It's clear to me that the US public want action, and that means progressive policies. They were conned last time into thinking Trump represented change. But a Hillary Mark II candidate such as Biden will lead to another Trump victory.

decisivemoment -> kejovi , 2d ago
American voters have spent so long being treated like idiots by politicians and to an even greater extent the press that Warren comes across as something new and interesting by comparison.
AdamCMelb , 2d ago
There is no doubt that Warren is the best policy brain in the Democratic Party. She also has some good ideas, and some not so good ones.

Were I American, I would be tempted to vote for her. But her candidacy is hopeless. It may be unfair, but the Pocahontas issue will kill her bid stone dead in the general election. Trump would be licking his chops over a Warren run.

Jdivney -> AdamCMelb , 2d ago
This election won't be decided by defecting Trump voters.
uraniaargus -> AdamCMelb , 2d ago
Those who would be swayed by Trump using "Pocahontas" as a slur or would even pay attention to it wouldn't vote for Warren anyway. He's not going to change any minds with it, just rile up his existing sheep.
BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
When it comes to economic regulation, Warren is second to none.

Her defense of Israeli strikes on Gaza and general support for an internationalist militaristic status quo is morally blind, at best.

I think she would be an excellent Secretary of Treasury or Commerce, but needs evolution elsewhere before I'd want to see her as president.

(Of course, I'll vote for her in the general if she gets the nomination.)

Thomas1178 -> BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
That's a very narrow view of her position on Israel. She also supported the Iran treaty, boycotting Netanyahu's speech to the Senate, called on Israel to stop colonizing the West Bank and to recognize the right of Palestinians in Gaza to peaceful protest – her comments about aggression toward Gaza were about Israeli response to missiles fired by Hamas. I don't mind her having a nuanced response to what is in fact a very complex situation.
petersview , 2d ago

Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.

If talking sense and enunciating real policies is regarded as "wonky"and "nerdy"in the USA then Warren doesn't have a hope and Trump is a shoe-in.
pascald -> petersview , 2d ago
Nerd used to be just an insult, aimed at anyone more intelligent, thoughtful or better-informed than the speaker. But I think now, like 'queer' and other words, it has been reclaimed and repurposed in a much more positive light.

[Jun 22, 2019] That's why we are safe :-)

Aug 01, 2014 | discussion.theguardian.com

The1eyedman , 1 Aug 2014 10:11

...The CIA and security services have every right to know who is who on all and every politician and their staff. That's why we are safe. :-)
freeandfair -> Woodby69 , 1 Aug 2014 10:04

...They are so brave, they are pathologically afraid of everyone. And want to be "protected".

[Jun 22, 2019] The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas by Jill Priluck

Notable quotes:
"... There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls : the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren's campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it. ..."
"... Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn't a policy area Warren won't touch and she isn't worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals. ..."
"... Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina. ..."
"... Rule of thumb that is true for all politicians regardless of party. Most of what they promise they will do will never happen and much of does happen does not occur in the way they promised when they campaigned. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
n Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches. It was the kind of consumer welfare legislation that in the past would have been unremarkable. But in an era when Congress has consistently shirked its duty to shield consumers, the bill stood out.

The legislation capped a week in which Warren surged in the polls. Less than eight months before the Iowa caucus, Warren is making strides in 2020 primary polls. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults, 64% of Democratic primary voters in June were enthusiastic or comfortable with Warren, compared with 57% in March. Fewer of these voters were enthusiastic or comfortable with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have lost 11 and six points, respectively, since March.

There's more. In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.

There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls: the public has an appetite for policy

There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls : the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren's campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it.

Rather than condescend to voters, like most politicians, Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.

Indeed, since Warren declared her candidacy for president, she has been offering policy prescriptions for our country's most pressing ailments – and she hasn't been brainstorming in a bubble.

Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn't a policy area Warren won't touch and she isn't worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals.

Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

That sense of reciprocity has turned Warren into a populist rock star. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator among the voting public, she's listening to and learning from voters in an ideas-driven campaign that doesn't take voters for granted.

The strategy is paying off – and proving wrong the outdated political wisdom that Americans don't care about the intricacies of government.

In May, Warren traveled to Kermit, West Virginia, the heart of Trump country, to pitch a $2.7bn-a-year plan to combat opioid addiction.

"Her stance is decisive and bold," Nathan Casian-Lakes told CBS News . "She has research and resources to back her ideas."

Jill Priluck's reporting and analysis has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, Reuters and elsewhere

Elizabeth Warren's economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way Robert Reich


azucenas , 18h ago

I've decided that I want to see Warren as President. She is honest and has many good ideas about the economy and offering a leg up to minorities and the poor. Her integrity is unimpeachable. I have donated small sums to her campaign. Bernie has not spoken in detail the way Warren has although his democratic socialism goes in a positive direction. There are many voters who feel that he is too old. I hope that he will approve Warren as the best candidate in the running. Biden's moment is long gone. For now I believe that another recession lurks in the near future and Warren, as a wonk, is the best person to deal with it.
GWreader , 20h ago
She also does not take a dime of PAC money, which helps keep her mind cleared of hidden agendas. Because of that, she is the first candidate who campaign I've donated to.
shooter gavin , 1d ago
Rule of thumb that is true for all politicians regardless of party. Most of what they promise they will do will never happen and much of does happen does not occur in the way they promised when they campaigned.

In the case of Sen Warren she talks a lot of wonderful stuff, paid by rich people. Expect the same results. The courts will probably shoot down the wealth tax as described by Warren anyway which means everything she promises just dies.

JayThomas -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
Then she'll pull an Obama and blame the Republicans.

[Jun 21, 2019] Technocratic, neoliberal, Clinton Democrat ideas which have already proven to fail

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

shaunhensley , 2d ago

Technocratic, neoliberal, Clinton Democrat ideas which have already proven to fail. She's for the working class, so long as that working class wears a white collar.
Thomas1178 -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
The $14.5 million in emergency relief she obtained for Massachusetts fishermen says different.
PhilosophicalSquid -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
Youve left something out, that should be 'Neo Liberal Elite' shouldnt it?
Janet Re Johnson -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
She's no neolib. They hate her, and with good reason.

[Jun 21, 2019] Warren declared that she will take the money in the general election if she wins the nomination. Do you expect that money to come with no strings attached

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

curiouswes -> JohnLG , 2d ago

but she declared that she will take "the money" in the general election if she wins the nomination. Do you expect that money to come with no strings attached. Clearly this video implied that she knows differently.

This video shows that as a member of Congress she is cognizant of the "as Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different"

Warren knows EXACTLY what she is doing when she says she will take the money in the general if nominated.

[Jun 21, 2019] Warren made a mistake in claiming Native American heritage, which enabled her to advance professionally as a diversity candidate.

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Blackorpheus , 2d ago

Okay, Warren made a mistake in claiming Native American heritage, which enabled her to advance professionally as a "diversity" candidate. But that would have to count as a venial not mortal sin. She is doing considerable good on the campaign trail, and I believe that she means to try to follow through on her detailed promises.
PepperoniPizza -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
Can't wait to see her debate Trump.
Thomas1178 -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
She didn't, as multiple links below will show she never used that claim for any kind of professional gain. Same troll, different clothes.
PhilosophicalSquid -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
Now you know its a lie, please will you stop spreading it and correct it when you see it.
Thanks

[Jun 21, 2019] Working people who are struggling in Iowa and South Carolina say: She's just like us!

Notable quotes:
"... 780 billion per year on defense without a enemy in sight, and no nation spending a tenth that, seems to be a place one could get a dollar or two. ..."
"... As Chomsky notes in 'manufacturing consent', the mass media that is not 'Right' is 'Centrist' and will support a centrist candidate over one advocating more radical change. ..."
"... Here's an idea. If Warren was a true progressive she wouldn't have been a registered Republican for 5 years, and she would have endorsed Bernie over Hillary in the 2016 primaries. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JayThomas , 1d ago

Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Working people who are struggling in Iowa and South Carolina say: "She's just like us!"

Jdivney -> JayThomas , 1d ago
Good thing US politics isn't the bucket of crabs and feudal resentments that is the UK.
ildfluer -> JayThomas , 23h ago
Funnily enough, Iowans like her more every day.

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/9/18658583/2020-iowa-democrats-poll-joe-biden-elizabeth-warren-pete-buttigieg

She's popular in South Carolina too:

https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/warren-buttigieg-surge-in-sc-democratic-presidential-poll-as-biden/article_0a351cee-8f77-11e9-a29c-9fe60d10303b.html

Biden still leads in both Iowa and SC. But he was a very visible VP.

Jdivney -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".

Looks pretty clear to me.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

SolentBound -> Jdivney , 23h ago
"Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".

"Looks pretty clear to me."

The point is that the question would go to a Republican Supreme Court which could indeed find a wealth tax unconstitutional. If you want to know why, do a search. There's lots written on it.

Waynem Rogers , 2d ago
Her problem is the American media who's only interested in sound bites. Policy, plans we don't have time for that. Call someone a nasty name
ronnewmexico -> Waynem Rogers , 2d ago
I don't know. Seems a lot more substance this go round than the last, near as I can tell. Last go round climate change got one question and 45 seconds in response, by both candidates in the general. The media certainly wants and will allow that to happen, but any dem who does would be a idiot.

Seems last go round gender preference was a main thing. Warren will I think not fall into that trap. White male midwestern industrial voters are at large, what lost HRC key states, she took for granted. White male voters and usually their spouses, will not have a part of a program that seems to leave them out of things.

Substance is the name of the game for warren, but to counter Trump one needs to throw out the barbs as well, as she did in her twitter post on not being on his propaganda outlet Fox.

"I won't do a town hall with Fox News because I won't invite millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in, inflate ratings, and help sell ads for an outlet that profits from racism and hate. If you agree, sign our petition.

ronnewmexico -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
Yes that is Elizabeth Warren calling them racists and haters. A guy like Trump calls names and it is par for the course. A woman who conducts herself as your local librarian or grade school teacher, and you have to take pause and listen, is there substance to this? Seems there is.

This new Elizabeth Warren, name calling and all, I find must more to my liking than that before. Which is the why to her newfound popularity. Substance and calling a pig a pig not a dog or some other thing.

curiouswes -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
I think you made a good case. she isn't my favorite but still acceptable. In no particular order, for me it is Gabbard, Sanders, Williamson, Warren or Yang. the other 18 would be like voting for the GOP with some protection against the conservative slant on social issues.

The right wingers that post here won't debate me because I'll expose them. They know how the system works and they use it to their advantage. Socialism is about getting free stuff but the issue here is who gets the free stuff. Supply side econ says that the rich are entitled to the free stuff and the less fortunate aren't entitled to it. this is killing upward mobility.

the masses want answers

LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago
Iceland, Denmark and Sweden repealed their wealth taxes because they don't work. The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model? Or does Warren's base simply all of the benefits of that system without paying for it?
ildfluer -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago
They're not similar countries to the USA, at all. US citizens are taxed no matter where they choose to live on earth. This is not the case in most countries.
MikeSw -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago

The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model?

It would be a hell of a lot better than the government acting as the paymaster for large corporations - paying their workers with food stamps because the corporations don't pay them sufficiently to live on.

You do know that is how the US works, right? Corporations don't pay their workers enough, so the government (i.e. taxpayers) pick up the tab.

ronnewmexico -> MikeSw , 2d ago
To add the average family of four, assuming one stays with the kids so they do not pay day care costs, at Walmart earning a average salary , is eligible for federal food assistance and in most states, Medicaid.

California for several decades paid for most of kids college education and even today, New Mexico does the same. New Mexico is indeed one of the poorest states, and if they figured out how to do that(under a republican governor years ago), most places could. The tax rate here is about on average, no higher than most.

780 billion per year on defense without a enemy in sight, and no nation spending a tenth that, seems to be a place one could get a dollar or two.

HollowayHaines , 2d ago
To quote one of the Guardian's post picks:

Smart and lucid. All the right ideas, without using the " S " word that people in the USA do not really understand, and have a big fear of

I'd extent that from "The USA" to "The USA & the editorial staff of most papers in England", and include some writers for this paper in that catchall.

'Socialist' Sanders and 'Left Wing' Labour as personified by Corbyn are all very well as useful poles to beat the Right with in polemics, but when it looks like they might actually gain access to the corridors of power, suddenly they become villains that have to be defeated so that sensible 'moderates' can retain power....

Warren was receiving more support from this particular paper even before she announced her candidacy than Sanders has or I suspect will even if he gains the nomination.

As Chomsky notes in 'manufacturing consent', the mass media that is not 'Right' is 'Centrist' and will support a centrist candidate over one advocating more radical change.

ildfluer -> HollowayHaines , 2d ago
Those labels are totally irrelevant in the USA. Calling someone 'right' or 'left' or 'socialist' in the USA has nothing to do with dictionary definitions. They all mean to say one thing: I disagree with them because they're wrong.
StephenO , 2d ago

On Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches.

Warren is the politician who operates like a blind-folded person desperately trying to hit a pinata. In her political realm, such companies simply twist in the wind and make easy targets. Her policy is equivalent to any store or home being burglarized and then being fined by government for being a victim of crime. Complete mindlessness describes the policy.

ildfluer -> StephenO , 2d ago
Yes. Of course every politician should simply lie down and let the corporations get away with every damn thing. I mean, that's worked really well for most Americans since Reagan.
Ginen -> StephenO , 2d ago
Agreed that is a stupid policy. If the company suffers a data breach owing to poor security or conceals or unduly delays disclosure of the data breach, then it would make sense to fine the company or to hold the company civilly liable to those injured by the data breach. But a blanket fine for any company that suffers a data breach is dumb.
MatchYou , 2d ago
If you want ideas, check out Andrew Yang's website. He has over 100+ intricate ideas laid out in the "policy" tab.
ildfluer -> MatchYou , 2d ago
Which means nothing if he's only polling at <1%.
Ginen -> ildfluer , 2d ago
What's Warren polling nationally against the other Democratic candidates? The article doesn't say, instead cherry-picking selected polling.
ildfluer -> Ginen , 2d ago
Around 16% now in some polls. And polling against Trump - 47% v Trump's 42%. Economist/YouGov poll, she came second behind Biden: https://twitter.com/gelliottmorris/status/1138799359930318848
Guy Littleford , 2d ago
The Labor party in Australia surprised me with the boldness and coherency of their plans and it was a great thing to see a party running a campaign on ideas and principles. They lost the election.
irenka_irina -> JayThomas , 2d ago
....the electorate was conned by spin...outright lies and the Murdoch press.
NeverForever , 2d ago
Here's an idea. If Warren was a true progressive she wouldn't have been a registered Republican for 5 years, and she would have endorsed Bernie over Hillary in the 2016 primaries.
MVOregon -> NeverForever , 2d ago
What a really stupid thing to write and think. Do you have any inkling of the history of the Republican and Democratic parties? I was born in a Republican household (progressive) and it took me living overseas for 20 years to realize what a nasty little insurgency had taken the Republicans from what Teddy Roosevelt championed to what he described as swine; the Dixiecrats. Ignorance is not bliss no matter how hard you try to pretend.
Machiavelli20 , 2d ago
One thing that needs to be done involves an honest discussion about the costs of Warren's proposals and the fact that the US already has a $22 TRILLION national debt with more than $1 TRILLION being added each year at a minimum. A former US Comptroller General stated in 2015 that even the official National Debt figure is a misrepresentation and that taking into account an honest understanding of the nation's actual legal obligations the figure was actually $65 TRILLION.

If anyone wants to see it even worse just look at economist Lawrence Kotlikoff's infinite horizon estimates that placed future already promised commitments at $220 TRILLION. My point is that Warren and everyone else in the DC political establishment, is "blowing smoke" and that the US is bankrupt and needs a serious strategy to mitigate that fact rather than reckless proposals aimed to attract votes.

That is not going to happen and the country is in a fundamental financial crisis.

Guy Littleford -> Machiavelli20 , 2d ago
Its repinlicans who increase your deficits. Reagan believed deficits don't matter. The bush tax cuts...and now Trumps tax cuts and QE. He's expanding credit, which looks like real growth, but is it? Only the US can do this, because it runs the global dollar. We should have had the Bankor. But the yanks ensured that did not happen.
EdChamp -> JayThomas , 1d ago

Nobody expects Congress to deliver on a president's campaign promises. That's not how the system works.

True. We use to call it "obstructionist" when the other party in congress unreasonably opposed a president's proposals. We no longer use that term, though. Now we call it "resistance". I'm sure there are at least a few republicans who see being part of the "resistance" exciting if Warren wins the White House.
Janet Re Johnson , 2d ago
At first I thought she must be mad, running for president. Then I started listening to her ideas and looking at how they were being received.
There are millions of young people, youngish people, and parents whose lives would actually be changed by her college loan plan. Even conservatives admit that "her math is correct" and "it's doable."

Then I started watching her in town halls and found her to be VERY different from that awkward lady in the kitchen having a beer. She's warm, direct, funny, casually self-deprecating, and easily able to translate complex ideas into readily understood ones.

EdChamp -> JayThomas , 2d ago

Free college and health care, and the rich pay. Who wouldn't get on board with that?

Well, since you asked. I don't have any student debt and I don't need any more health care. If we are buying votes with "free" stuff, what do I get for free?

I do like a good brisket. Can we carve out some of that tax on those nasty millionaires for my grocery fund?

EdChamp -> Jdivney , 2d ago

Well, as a rock ribbed Republican, you only one choice.

Not applicable since I'm not a republican. I did vote for Trump, after voting for Obama twice. I'm an independent, and we outnumber either republicans or democrats.
WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d ago
For me it's a toss-up between Warren and Sanders. When it comes to who will actually get to run against Trump, if a dining room set and 4 chairs gets the Democratic nomination, they get my vote in the general election.
PepperoniPizza -> WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d ago
The fix is already in I think. Your table and chairs name is Sleepy Joe Biden. Of course, it's still a long time to the election and mortality rates may kick in.
MsEvenstar , 2d ago
Warren is rising fast because A) she stands for something and B) she does an excellent job of explaining how America can make the journey from where it is (including rampant inequality) to where it needs to be to offer a future to all its people, not just to those who are white, rich and privileged! Plus, she is super smart & sassy!

[Jun 18, 2019] The Iran crisis was created in Washington. The US must be talked down by Simon Tisdall

Notable quotes:
"... Monochromatic simplifications of this type suit multiple purposes. In the present US-Iran crisis, they supposedly provide official "proof" of nefarious intent. They can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative. They place pressure on reluctant allies to fall in behind the advancing American columns. Most of all, since democratic consent apparently still counts for something, they are intended to rally public support. ..."
"... We have seen this badly made movie before. And today, as in 2003, it presents a shadowy, unconvincing picture that no amount of White House manipulation and rhetoric can clarify. The fact is, the current crisis was conceived, manufactured and magnified in Washington. It has been whipped up by a group of hawkish policymakers around Donald Trump whose loathing for the Tehran regime is exceeded only by their recklessness. ..."
"... Yet the problem for Pompeo, and fellow Iranophobe, national security adviser John Bolton, is that while most western governments probably believe that hardline elements within Iran, or Iranian-backed proxy forces, initiated last week's tanker attacks and similar incidents last month, they also believe gratuitous US provocations may have forced Iran's hand. They don't believe Trump when he says he merely wants Iran to act "normal" . But they do suspect the ultimate Bolton-Pompeo aim is a putsch. ..."
"... Iran is highlighting the unintended consequences of any conflagration, and the precedent-setting illegitimacy, both legal and moral, of threatened US actions. And then, more dangerously, there is its apparent, increasing willingness to employ a measure of physical resistance, be it through military proxies or, for example, hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards Corps. This is potentially explosive. ..."
"... Iran's is a society under extreme duress. Sanctions are undoubtedly biting deep and patience with the west is waning. ..."
"... Unnecessarily aggressive, ill-considered – and deceptively presented – US policies have once again brought the Middle East to the brink of an accidental war very few want. America's European friends, including Britain, have an urgent responsibility to talk it down – and drag it back from the abyss. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

President Trump claims he doesn't want conflict, but his actions could accidentally trigger another Middle East war

Grainy video images can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative.'

Washington, at times of stress, international crises play out in black and white. As in a flickering newsreel from a former age, complex events are reduced to symbolic emblems of right and wrong. Grainy video images of "evil-doers", George W Bush's favoured term, purport to show faceless Iranians acting suspiciously around a burning oil tanker in the Gulf last week. As new Middle East troop deployments are announced, US battleships are pictured bravely patrolling freedom's frontline.

Monochromatic simplifications of this type suit multiple purposes. In the present US-Iran crisis, they supposedly provide official "proof" of nefarious intent. They can be seen to justify escalatory US actions that might previously have appeared unreasonable and provocative. They place pressure on reluctant allies to fall in behind the advancing American columns. Most of all, since democratic consent apparently still counts for something, they are intended to rally public support.

We have seen this badly made movie before. And today, as in 2003, it presents a shadowy, unconvincing picture that no amount of White House manipulation and rhetoric can clarify. The fact is, the current crisis was conceived, manufactured and magnified in Washington. It has been whipped up by a group of hawkish policymakers around Donald Trump whose loathing for the Tehran regime is exceeded only by their recklessness.

The crisis has been building inexorably since President Trump's foolish renunciation last year of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, his imposition of swingeing sanctions , and a campaign of "maximum pressure" to isolate and weaken Iran's leadership. It looks and smells like a crude bid for regime change. And although Trump insists he does not want it, his actions could soon trigger another calamitous Middle East war .

That's not a risk most people or states are ready to countenance. And so far, at least, Washington's parallel, virtual battle for consent and support is not going the way American hawks hoped. Mike Pompeo , the bully-boy evangelist who doubles as US secretary of state, rarely loses an opportunity to demonise Iran. Aware of post-Iraq scepticism over US intelligence claims, he noisily insists, with a creeping tinge of panic, on the accuracy and veracity of his "evidence".

Yet the problem for Pompeo, and fellow Iranophobe, national security adviser John Bolton, is that while most western governments probably believe that hardline elements within Iran, or Iranian-backed proxy forces, initiated last week's tanker attacks and similar incidents last month, they also believe gratuitous US provocations may have forced Iran's hand. They don't believe Trump when he says he merely wants Iran to act "normal" . But they do suspect the ultimate Bolton-Pompeo aim is a putsch.

The foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, to Britain's shame , has tamely applauded Washington's dodgy video dossier. But the Europeans, rightly, don't buy it. The EU backs diplomacy , not sabre-rattling, and is still pursuing alternative barter arrangements to circumvent US sanctions. Russia, naturally, opposes the US. But China, in an unusually outspoken rebuff, said Washington's destabilising, unilateral behaviour "has no basis in international law".

Iran's neighbours have serious misgivings too. The impulsive and autocratic crown princes who run Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Salman and Mohamed bin Zayed, are the local equivalent of Bolton and Pompeo. Like them, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is egging the Americans on. But next-door Iraq has zero interest in a renewed conflict, likewise Turkey and weaker Gulf states.

Nor is the US public, despite years of White House fearmongering, fully aboard the "Get Iran" bandwagon. A Reuters/Ipsos survey last month found that nearly half of Americans – 49% – disapprove of Trump's handling of Iran. Just over half – 53% – saw Iran as a "serious" or "imminent" threat. But 60% said they wouldn't support a pre-emptive US military strike on the Iranian military.

Resistance to the US hawks' pell-mell rush to confrontation is coming most strongly from within Iran itself. Its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, cuts a cool and thoughtful figure in contrast to Pompeo. He stresses how unilateral US sanctions, especially on oil exports, do unjustifiable harm to Iran's people and the international economy. His is an effective pitch to global opinion.

Iran also points out that, unlike the US, it is in full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. This week's warning from Tehran that it may soon breach enrichment limits is a calibrated response. It's unfortunate. But it does not amount to "nuclear blackmail", as the US claims, since Iran has no bomb and, according to the UN, is not seeking one . What it does amount to is diplomatic leverage with third-party states fearful of more Middle East chaos.

Iran is highlighting the unintended consequences of any conflagration, and the precedent-setting illegitimacy, both legal and moral, of threatened US actions. And then, more dangerously, there is its apparent, increasing willingness to employ a measure of physical resistance, be it through military proxies or, for example, hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards Corps. This is potentially explosive.

It would be a mistake to think Iran is totally in control of its responses to this unfolding crisis any more than the US. There are bellicose hawks in Iran's national security council, clerical establishment and the supreme leader's office, just as there are in the White House. Hassan Rouhani's pragmatic presidency, the majlis (parliament), the merchant class and state-controlled media all represent rival power centres with differing views on what to do next.

Iran's is a society under extreme duress. Sanctions are undoubtedly biting deep and patience with the west is waning. The risk is growing that, in extremis, some regime elements will hit out forcefully – and there is no doubt they have the ability to do so, in the Gulf, in Lebanon, in Gaza, and on the Israel-Syria and Saudi-Yemen borders. US hawks would say that's exactly why Iran must be contained, and very possibly it should. But do they really believe, after serial past failures, they have the power, the will, the backing and the mandate to do so?

Reducing conflict to black and white images of good and evil is not only misleading. It is also delusional. Some now recall the Gulf " tanker war " during the Iran-Iraq conflict that culminated, in 1988, with brief US "surgical strikes" on Iranian oil rigs and ships. In US lore, those strikes taught Iran a swift lesson, obliging it to back off. In truth, Iran was already on its knees after eight years of war with Saddam Hussein. That is absolutely not the situation now.

Unnecessarily aggressive, ill-considered – and deceptively presented – US policies have once again brought the Middle East to the brink of an accidental war very few want. America's European friends, including Britain, have an urgent responsibility to talk it down – and drag it back from the abyss.

• Simon Tisdall is a foreign affairs commentator

[Jun 18, 2019] Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The actual Deep State are always the aristocrats, themselves, the people who run the revolving door between 'the private sector' (the aristocracy's corporations) and the government. ..."
"... All of the well-financed candidates for the top offices are actually the Deep State's representatives, and virtually none are the representatives of the public, because the voters have been deceived, and were given choices between two or more candidates, none of whom will represent the public if and when elected. ..."
"... Is that Democratic Party initiative anything else than insincere political theater, lying to their own gullible voters, just being phonies who manipulate voters to vote for them instead of who are actually serving them? ..."
"... Is that what democracy is, now: insincere political theater? Is that "democracy"? America's voters are trapped, by liars, so it's instead mere 'democracy'. It's just the new form of dictatorship. But it's actually as ancient as is any empire. ..."
"... Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, was just as evil, and just as insincere, as Trump, but only a far more skillful liar, who deceived his voters to think that he would fight corruption , work to improve relations with Russia , provide a public option in his health-insurance plan , and otherwise work to reduce economic inequality , to improve the economic situation for disadvantaged Americans , and to prosecute banksters . ..."
"... If the UK elect Jeremy Corbyn all bets are off, he will expose ALL corrupt politicians media and foreign powers. Why do you think there is such a concerted effort to prevent him gaining office, even Pompeo has said "the US will prevent him becoming PM" ..."
"... But they won't LET you decentralize, Annie. It doesn't suit them. Millions of others do indeed share your concern, but merely imagining a better system doesn't make it happen. It doesn't get through the layers and layers of entrenched investment in the current system, or through the layers and layers of ruthless militarism protecting it. Our enemy will never step aside and voluntarily make way for something worthy of the name, "society". ..."
"... By all measures: capitalism is due another crisis Taleb's Black Swan is in clear view we can expect the unexpected. No one can predict the timing or severity: but the debt hangover from GFC 1 makes GFC 2 look potentially worse. ..."
"... Trumps promises before the election about the trillions wasted in futile wars, and promising to redirect those trillions into US infrastructure etc, turned out to be outrageous lies. Here are some quotes from HL Mencken which in my opinion sum up the passengers in the out of control US clown car, Trump, Bolton, Pence and Pompeo. ..."
"... The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that's either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony.

By contrast, 'enemy' nations are ones that the imperial power has placed onto its priority-list of nations that are yet to become conquered. There are two main reasons to conquer a nation. One is in order to be enabled to extract, from the colony, oil, or gold, or some other valuable commodity. The other is in order to control it so as to be enabled to use that land as a passageway for exporting, from a vassal-nation, to other nations, that vassal-nation's products.

International trade is the basis for any empire, and the billionaires who own controlling blocs of stock in a nation's international corporations are the actual rulers of it, the beneficiaries of empire, the recipients of the wealth that is being extracted from the colonies and from the domestic subjects. The idea of an empire is that the imperial nation's rulers, its aristocracy, extract from the colonies their products, and they impose upon their domestic subjects the financial and military burdens of imposing their international dictatorship upon the foreign subjects.

Some authors say that there is a "Deep State" and that it consists of (some undefined elements within) the intelligence services, and of the military, and of the diplomatic corps, of any given dictatorship; but, actually, those employees of the State are merely employees, not the actual governing authority, over that dictatorship.

The actual Deep State are always the aristocrats, themselves, the people who run the revolving door between 'the private sector' (the aristocracy's corporations) and the government. In former times, many of the aristocrats were themselves governing officials (the titled 'nobility'), but this is no longer common. Nowadays, the aristocracy are the individuals who own controlling blocs of stock in international corporations (especially weapons-making firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE, because the only markets for those corporations are the corporation's own government and its vassal states or 'allies'); and such individuals are usually the nation's billionaires, and, perhaps, a few of the mere centi-millionaires.

A small number, typically less than 100, of these extremely wealthy individuals, are the biggest donors to politicians, and to think tanks, and to other non-profits (these latter being also tax-write-offs to their donors, and so are tax-drains to the general public) that are involved in the formation of the national government's policies.

Of course, they also are owners of and/or advertisers in the propaganda-media, which sell the aristocracy's core or most-essential viewpoints to the nation's subjects in order to persuade those voters to vote only for the aristocracy's selected candidates and not for any who oppose the aristocracy. These few, mainly billionaires, are the actual Deep State -- the bosses over the dictatorship, the ultimate beneficiaries in any empire. In order to maintain this system, of international dictatorship or empire, the most essential tool is deceit, of the electorate, by the aristocracy. The method of control is: the bought agents of the Deep State lie to the public about what their polices will be if they win, in order to be able to win power; and, then, once they have won power, they do the opposite, which is what they have always been paid by the Deep State (the aristocracy) to help them to do. Thereby, elections aren't "democratic" but 'democratic': they are mere formalities of democracy, without the substance of democracy.

All of the well-financed candidates for the top offices are actually the Deep State's representatives, and virtually none are the representatives of the public, because the voters have been deceived, and were given choices between two or more candidates, none of whom will represent the public if and when elected. Here are some recent examples of this system -- the imperial system, international dictatorship, in action: During Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, he said :

The approach of fighting Assad and ISIS simultaneously was madness, and idiocy. They're fighting each other and yet we're fighting both of them. You know, we were fighting both of them. I think that our far bigger problem than Assad is ISIS, I've always felt that. Assad is, you know I'm not saying Assad is a good man, 'cause he's not, but our far greater problem is not Assad, it's ISIS. I think, you can't be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other."
Assad is allied with Russia against the Saudis (who are the chief ally of the U.S. aristocracy), so the U.S. (in accord with a policy that George Herbert Walker Bush had initiated on 24 February 1990 and which has been carried out by all subsequent U.S. Presidents) was determined to overthrow Assad, but Trump said that he was strongly opposed to that policy. Months before that, Trump had said :
I think Assad is a bad guy, a very bad guy, all right? Lots of people killed. I think we are backing people we have no idea who they are. The rebels, we call them the rebels, the patriotic rebels. We have no idea. A lot of people think, Hugh, that they are ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can't be fighting ISIS and fighting Assad. Assad is fighting ISIS. He is fighting ISIS. Russia is fighting now ISIS. And Iran is fighting ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can't go -- and I watched Lindsey Graham, he said, I have been here for 10 years fighting. Well, he will be there with that thinking for another 50 years. He won't be able to solve the problem. We have to get rid of ISIS first. After we get rid of ISIS, we'll start thinking about it. But we can't be fighting Assad. And when you're fighting Assad, you are fighting Russia, you're fighting -- you're fighting a lot of different groups. But we can't be fighting everybody at one time."
In that same debate (15 December 2015) he also said:
In my opinion, we've spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could've spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we've had, we would've been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we've done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have wiped away, and for what? It's not like we had victory. It's a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart."
Did he do that? No. Did he instead intensify what Obama had been trying to do in Syria -- overthrow Assad -- yes.

As the U.S. President, after having won the 2016 Presidential campaign, has Trump followed through on his criticism there, against the super-hawk, neoconservative, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham? No. Did he instead encircle himself with precisely such super-hawks, such neoconservatives? Yes.

Did he intensify the overthrow-Assad effort as Graham and those others had advocated? Yes.

Did America's war against Syria succeed? No.

Did he constantly lie to the voters? Yes, without a doubt.

Should that be grounds for impeaching him? A prior question to that one is actually: Would a President Mike Pence be any different or maybe even worse than Trump? Yes.

So: what, then, would be achieved by removing Trump from office? Maybe it would actually make things a lot worse. But how likely would the U.S. Senate be to remove Trump from office if the House did impeach Trump?

Two-thirds of the U.S. Senate would need to vote to remove the President in order for a President to be removed after being impeached by the House. A majority of U.S. Senators, 53, are Republicans. If just 33 of them vote not to convict the President, then Trump won't be removed. In order to remove him, not only would all 47 of the Democrats and Independents have to vote to convict, but 20 of the 53 Republicans would need to join them. That's nearly 40% of the Republican Senators.

How likely is that? Almost impossible.

What would their voters who had elected them back home think of their doing such a thing? How likely would such Senators face successful re-election challenges that would remove those Senators from office? Would 20 of the 53 be likely to take that personal risk?

Why, then, are so many Democrats in the House pressing for Trump's impeachment, since Trump's being forced out of the White House this way is practically impossible and would only install a President Pence, even if it could succeed? Is that Democratic Party initiative anything else than insincere political theater, lying to their own gullible voters, just being phonies who manipulate voters to vote for them instead of who are actually serving them?

Is that what democracy is, now: insincere political theater? Is that "democracy"? America's voters are trapped, by liars, so it's instead mere 'democracy'. It's just the new form of dictatorship. But it's actually as ancient as is any empire.

There's nothing new about this -- except one thing: the U.S. regime is aiming to be the ultimate, the last, the final, empire, the ruler over the entire world; so, it is trying especially hard, 'to defend freedom, democracy and human rights throughout the world', as Big Brother might say.

Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, was just as evil, and just as insincere, as Trump, but only a far more skillful liar, who deceived his voters to think that he would fight corruption , work to improve relations with Russia , provide a public option in his health-insurance plan , and otherwise work to reduce economic inequality , to improve the economic situation for disadvantaged Americans , and to prosecute banksters .

He abandoned each one of those stated objectives as soon as he won against John McCain, on 4 November 2008, and then yet more when he defeated Mitt Romney in 2012.

And aren't some of those promises the same ones that candidate Trump had also advocated and then abandoned as soon as he too was (s)elected ? THE THREAT TO THE EMPIRE The heroic fighters for the freedom of everyone in the world are the whistleblowers, who report to the public the corruption and evil that they see perpetrated by their superiors, their bosses, and perpetrated by people who are on the public payroll or otherwise obtaining increased income by virtue of being selected by the government to become government contractors to serve an allegedly public function.

All liars with power hate whistleblowers and want to make special examples of any part of the press that publishes their truths, their facts, their stolen documents. These documents are stolen because that's the only way for them to become public and thereby known to the voters so that the voters can vote on the basis of truths as in a democracy, instead of be deceived as in a dictatorship.

Even if the truth is stolen from the liars, instead of being kept private ("Confidential") for them, are the whistleblowers doing wrong to steal the truth from the liars? Or, instead, are the whistleblowers heroes: are they the authentic guardians of democracy and the precariously thin wall that separates democracy from dictatorship?

They are the latter: they are the heroes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of such heroes are also martyrs -- martyrs for truth, against lies. Every dictatorship seeks to destroy its whistleblowers. That's because any whistleblower constitutes a threat to The System -- the system of control. In all of U.S. history, the two Presidents who pursued whistleblowers and their publishers the most relentlessly have been Trump and Obama.

The public are fooled to think that this is being done for 'national security' reasons instead of to hide the government's crimes and criminality. However, not a single one of the Democratic Party's many U.S. Presidential candidates is bringing this issue, of the U.S. government's many crimes and constant lying, forward as being the central thing that must be criminalized above all else, as constituting "treason."

None of them is proposing legislation saying that it is treason, against the public -- against the nation. Every aristocracy tries to deceive its public in order to control its public; and every aristocracy uses divide-and-rule in order to do this. But it's not only to divide the public against each other (such as between Republicans versus Democrats, both of which are actually controlled by the aristocracy), but also to divide between nations, such as between 'allies' versus 'enemies' -- even when a given 'enemy' (such as Iraq in 2003) has never threatened, nor invaded, the United States (or whatever the given imperial 'us' may happen to be), and thus clearly this was aggressive war and an international war-crime, though unpunished as such.

The public need to fear and hate some 'enemy' which is the 'other' or 'alien', in order not to fear and loathe the aristocracy itself -- the actual source of (and winner from) the systemic exploitation, of the public, by the aristocracy.

The pinnacle of the U.S. regime's totalitarianism is its ceaseless assault against Julian Assange, who is the uber-whistleblower, the strongest protector for whistleblowers, the safest publisher for the evidence that they steal from their employers and from their employers' government. He hides the identity of the whistleblowers even at the risk of his own continued existence.

... ... ...

On 20 May 2019, former British Ambassador Craig Murray (who had quit so that he could blow the whistle) headlined "The Missing Step" and argued that the only chance that Assange now has is if Sweden refuses to extradite Assange to the US in the event that Britain honors the Swedish request to extradite him to Sweden instead of to the US (The decision on that will now probably be made by the US agent Boris Johnson instead of by the regular Tory Theresa May.)

How can it reasonably be denied that the US is, in fact (though not nominally) a dictatorship ?

All of its allies are thus vassal-nations in its empire. This means acquiescence (if not joining) in some of the US regime's frequent foreign coups and invasions; and this means their assisting in the spread of the US regime's control beyond themselves, to include additional other countries.

It reduces the freedom, and the democracy, throughout the world; it spreads the US dictatorship internationally. That is what is evil about what in America is called "neoconservatism" and in other countries is called simply "imperialism." Under American reign, it is now a spreading curse, a political plague, to peoples throughout the world. Even an American whistleblower about Ukraine who lives in the former Ukraine is being targeted by the US regime .

This is how the freedom of everyone is severely threatened, by the US empire -- the most deceitful empire that the world has ever experienced. The martyrs to its lies are the canaries in its coal mine. They are the first to be eliminated.

Looking again at that rank-ordered list of 23 countries, one sees the US and eight of its main allies (or vassal-nations), in order: US, UK, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Japan, France, Indonesia. These are countries where the subjects are already well-controlled by the empire. They already are vassals, and so are ordained as being 'allies'.

At the opposite end, starting with the most anti-US-regime, are: S. Africa, India, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, S. Korea, Turkey. These are countries where the subjects are not yet well-controlled by the empire, even though the current government in some of them is trying to change its subjects' minds so that the country will accept US rule.

Wherever the subjects reject US rule, there exists a strong possibility that the nation will become placed on the US regime's list of 'enemies'. Consequently, wherever the residents are the most opposed to US rule, the likelihood of an American coup or invasion is real. The first step toward a coup or invasion is the imposition of sanctions against the nation. Any such nation that is already subject to them is therefore already in danger.

Any such nation that refuses to cooperate with the US regime's existing sanctions -- such as against trading with Russia, China, Iran, or Venezuela -- is in danger of becoming itself a US-sanctioned nation, and therefore officially an 'enemy'. And this is why freedom and democracy are ending. Unless and until the US regime itself becomes conquered -- either domestically by a second successful American Revolution (this one to eliminate the domestic aristocracy instead of to eliminate a foreign one), or else by a World War III in which the US regime becomes destroyed even worse than the opposing alliance will -- the existing insatiable empire will continue to be on the war-path to impose its dictatorship to everyone on this planet.


ANDREW CLEMENTS

This should be taught in schools'
I will get my coat
Ramdan
"Our only hope is to organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump. Our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, are hostage to corporate power. They are no longer democratic. We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse. We expose the absurdity of blaming our demise on demonized groups such as undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, liberals, feminists, gays and others. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny." Chris Hedges
Andrew Paul
Surely, as well as some billionaires and centi-millionaires, there are other perhaps more institutionalised individuals with power to dispose of much even more clandestine wealth hidden in black budgets operated by and for the interests of unaccountable military and intelligence services in the putative empire, and there is also 'organised crime' and there are wealthy religious organisations, and these too can strongly influence politicians and the public opinion-forming 'narrative' shaping this false 'democracy' in the name of an elitist, highly hierarchical, socially as well as environmentally destructive global empire under full spectrum dominance.

At the global level the most viable alternative to this, I suggest, and barring destructive world war (but perhaps following a US and even a UK civil war, unfortunately), will be a world federation or confederation with a high council at which all cultures and social interest-groups, great and small, of this world are properly, and preferably directly democratically, represented.

Many thanks for the food for thought here.

Yarkob
"So: what, then, would be achieved by removing Trump from office? Maybe it would actually make things a lot worse."

See: Saddam Hussein

mark
We could get President Pocahontas or President Buttplug instead.
ANDREW CLEMENTS
President silence of the pestilent
Wilmers31
We see a merger today between Raytheon and United Technologies. Here one para from 0hedge:

"Of course, there is a simpler way to boost profit margins that avoids cutting costs – just boost revenue, which of course would require war. Luckily, the Trump admin's neocon hawks are doing everything in their power to make sure that that's precisely what happens as the stock of the combined company will continue its relentless levitation."

Don't let them use you – don't enlist. Freedom might still be ended, but less profitable for them.

mark
As another man at another time asked, "What is to be done?"

The power of the billionaires, their bought and paid for politicians, and their servile media need to be broken.

In living memory, tax rates in the UK and US reached 98% and 91% respectively. There's no need to go back anywhere near those confiscatory levels, just ensure those people do actually pay SOME taxes. Last year, Amazon and Netflix should have paid over $16 billion in taxes. They paid nothing – they were actually given rebates of over $4 billion. Boeing hasn't paid a cent in taxes for 15 years. The same applies to a rogues' gallery of all the big boys, Google, Starbucks, General Electric, Boots, to name but a few. Profits are made to disappear and turned into losses by financial sleight of hand. An inflated level of debt is incurred to finance share buy backs instead of R&D, reinvestment and training. Trillions are salted away illegally in tax havens. The working and middle classes, 99.9% of the population, endure decades of austerity, declining wages, salaries and benefits, disappearing pensions, endemic insecurity. Rocketing house prices, £500,000 for a crappy one bed London flat. Children unable to leave home. Education and health privatised or becoming so. All public services or formerly public services declining to third world standards. A level of inequality not seen since Dickensian times. A financialised, spiv and shyster economy. A parasitic financial elite bleeding productive businesses dry, committing crime with impunity, and looting the public Treasury of untold trillions. Criminal wars of aggression abroad, taking the lives and destroying the future of tens of millions.

All this and much more needs to be changed.
But how?
Easier said than done. But is it?

We have seen what happens when anger and outrage are mobilised into an irresistible force.
This can happen surprisingly easily.
Things like the MPs expenses scandal, the Gilets Jaunes in France, Brexit in the UK, Trump in the US, political chaos in the EU. whatever you think of those developments, one way or another. The elites have a very tenuous grip on power, which can be broken quite easily.
All of the above characteristics of our present system can be changed by public pressure. It can be done.
Tax avoidance and tax havens can be closed down. If the big boys can't see which way the wind is blowing, they will do after a few of them are jailed. Anything that works against the public interest targeted for radical change. Public utilities and rail companies that fail to clean up their act properly regulated and if necessary nationalised. Housing and health treated as human needs and human rights. The NHS and a massive post war social housing programme went ahead though the country was completely bankrupt. It is a question of will and priorities. All this can be done. It is doable. All it needs is the mobilisation of sufficient outrage. And there are many recent examples of this.

Frank Poster
"The elites have a very tenuous grip on power, which can be broken quite easily.
All of the above characteristics of our present system can be changed by public pressure. It can be done."

Easily? Sorry Mark, I agree with your sentiments but there's nothing easy about it whatsoever, and you must be living on a different planet to me, sorry to say – let's examine each of your examples –

MPs expenses scandal : minimal effect, the buggers carry on, and with a self-appointed overseer.

Gilets Jaunes : smashed, sadly.

Brexit : this is not democracy, it's a US / neocon hijack of Britain.

Trump : Enriching the rich even more.

Political chaos in the EU : it's a US tactic to "shake the tree" and knock the confidence in the EU, it became too strong a competitor for the US. Divide and conquer is their game with the EU. Tariffs will follow, and they are doing exactly the same to China, and indeed Russia.

It's sad that the most common social purpose in European modern history is being attacked not only by the right wing nutters, but also the blinkered Trotskyists on the left.

mark
You're right about some of the outcomes. The point I was trying to make is that it's not possible to paper over the cracks any more. People realise that they have been lied to and the system does not work for them, if it ever did. This may sound nebulous, but it has an effect. The credibility and influence of the MSM has been shredded by its own mendacity and lack of integrity. This has far reaching consequences which may not be readily apparent on a day to day basis. But it is important. The same applies to all the institutions and organs of the state. The world is becoming increasingly turbulent and unstable, and support for elites and the systems they represent is dwindling rapidly. The whole economic and financial system is like a house of cards. At such times, change that had previously been inconceivable becomes inevitable. Of course, there is no guarantee that these changes will be positive, like Russia in 1917 or Germany in 1933.
Frank Poster
Pfff, what happened to the new OffG function to be able to edit one's posts, it's disappeared!
OffG
It vanished during our DoS attack – we haven't managed to get it back yet. Infuriating, I know.
Gezzah Potts
Clearly explained analysis of the deep shit we're all in. Unfortunately tho I don't see a second American revolution breaking out anytime soon. I think the large majority have been too crushed by the system; many working 2 or 3 jobs just to survive, many a couple paychecks away from being homeless, many living in cars or under bridges, and sadly, the large large majority lap up the propaganda spewed out by the stenographers. And believe it. Which leaves us with the next option for stopping this evil blood drenched Empire. And that is probably where we're heading. Scary times Eric.
mark
You may be right, GP. When I lived in America I was quite shocked by the low standard of living of very many people. Working 2 or 3 jobs, unable to run a car, health care completely out of their reach, living in houses like wooden shacks. Even buying food a problem. Completely ignorant of the outside world.

Half a million are now homeless, with third world shanty towns next to the gated developments of the rich, the streets covered with human faeces, TB, typhoid and tapeworm becoming major problems.

What I see is this becoming worse and forming a critical mass, when it can no longer be ignored. As such, there are grounds for optimism. Things becoming so bad that they can no longer be tolerated. Perhaps that is unrealistic, I don't know.

George
"Working 2 or 3 jobs, unable to run a car, health care completely out of their reach, living in houses like wooden shacks. Even buying food a problem. Completely ignorant of the outside world."

Hey – but haven't you heard? That's FREEDOM!

Gezzah Potts
Appreciate both your comments Mark, and yes, the Gilets Jaunes are probably the best current example of people fighting back against the system and saying Enough. I've never been to the UK so can't really judge from first hand experience, know the situation in United States by a fair bit of reading on the levels of poverty and precariousness state many live in, tho here in Australia the levels of cognitive dissonance, apathy and groupthink (derived from mainstream media) seem very high, and I speak to lots of people while out selling The Big Issue mag. About the angriest people get here is griping about Aussie politicians. I don't get any sense of anger or disgust at the Actual economic system.
wardropper
"Things becoming so bad that they can no longer be tolerated" ?
Nothing a couple more wars couldn't fix, Mark
mark
You may be right, but the outcome of any wars that are currently being threatened, Iran, Venezuela, DPRK, Russia, China, would be the final nail in the coffin of the AngloZionist Empire.
wardropper
My greatest worry is that this AngloZionist Empire doesn't care about anything at all – not even the nails in their own coffin.
They fondly imagine some kind of capitalistic "rapture" is going to whisk them off to "Money Heaven" and we will be left with their crap and their puke all over our planet.
I no longer think it's exaggerated to talk of demonic beings here, and if they are not demonic, then why are they acting as if they were?
nwwoods
FWIW, Tulsi Gabbard uttered a full-throated defense of both Assange and Manning.
Steve
It has to be remembered that Assange is an Australian and Manning was born in West Wales to a UK mother. These countries must stand up for their citizens.
nwwoods
Given the recent federal police raids on Australian journalists, it seems unlikely that Australia will be coming to the aid of Julian Assange any time soon.
Tutisicecream
Yes this is true. Tulsi Gabbard is the real deal and a bellwether of the current corrupt system and its stupefying echo chambers. She has no chance at the moment, but that's not the point. She exposes the corruption of the aristocracies and their corrupt system and shills.

As we are here. Take the Fruadian Tulsi ticks all their supposed PC boxes and yet their is no mention of her anywhere. But "Creepy Joe" Biden who epitomises the corrupt entitlement the system offers is reported on add nauseum.

As the Fraud, can't attack her it appears they can't report on her either. So her good campaign work is reported on the alt media, you know where the fake stuff is!

So there you have it, a perfect example of a faux feedback loop

Oh, and excellent article by Eric as well.

Frank Poster
She won't last long then, unfortunately.
nwwoods
No, I am hoping that the DNC doesn't change the rules in order to block her from at least the first round of televised debate. But I'm not holding my breath.

BTW, I read somewhere that DNC intends to split the first (D) debate into two groups, ostensibly because of the ridiculous number of candidates, which stands at 24, last I looked.
DNC is going to make certain that only centrist liberals are on the same debate stage with Joe Biden, "the only real progressive in the race" (in his own words).
Bernie and Tulsi will probably be dining at the kids table, if at all.

Ramdan

Frank Poster

Good point, I agree with you.
der einzige
If these sentences of Mr. Eric are true

Of course, they also are owners of and/or advertisers in the propaganda-media, which sell the aristocracy's core or most-essential viewpoints to the nation's subjects in order to persuade those voters to vote only for the aristocracy's selected candidates and not for any who oppose the aristocracy.

These few, mainly billionaires, are the actual Deep State -- the bosses over the dictatorship, the ultimate beneficiaries in any empire.

the rest of Assange is a lie

What Mr. Mossange did in these media which promoted him? Who he worked for? for Arab Springs? for Rothschilds? What he did on tea in The Economics, Guardian, NYT, The Bild etc.? What?

Einstein
Excellent piece.
DunGroanin
JA is a thorn in their side.
JC is a stake through their heart.

The v'empires fear is palpable.

Neither the throwing of the book or the kitchen sinks full of shit at their nemesises is working, as these polls demonstrate.

Hillarious. Bring on the much delayed GE.

wardropper
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but, frankly, it's been a long time since a GE fixed anything
Elections, as I think George Carlin said, are only there to make us think we have a voice.
Steve
If the UK elect Jeremy Corbyn all bets are off, he will expose ALL corrupt politicians media and foreign powers. Why do you think there is such a concerted effort to prevent him gaining office, even Pompeo has said "the US will prevent him becoming PM"
wardropper
I think there is a misunderstanding here, Steve. I couldn't agree with you more, especially about the concerted efforts (which I noticed a long time ago) to prevent Corbyn from gaining office.

My "wet-blanket" point is really only connected with your last quote from Pompeo, "The US will prevent him becoming PM". Surely no one today is under any illusions as to whether Pompeo means what he says, much as I would love to throw a spanner in his works.

Nothing would please me more, either, than to learn that I had been overly pessimistic. But I still have no doubts that Pompeo could and would fix any election that suited him. He has already admitted, in another context, to lying, cheating, stealing and killing.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Pompous Hippo, TIGW – The Insane Geriatric Walrus, Donny Les Tweets, Elliott Demon, Veryfew Pence and the rest of the delusional criminal inadequates of the DCSwamp may be against JC and wish to stop him, but – judging by their steadily-increasing ineffectualness on the world stage (how're those regime changes in Syria and Venezuela going? how's the bankrupting-Russia-with-sanctions going?) – they may not be too effective at preventing his entry to Downing Street.
wardropper
I pray you're right. Those dull-witted thugs may indeed be increasingly ineffectual, but the fact that they are still committed to their insane agenda continues to cost the world a great deal of suffering.
different frank
People will be the good sheeple that the establishment want them to be.
They will vote who they are told to vote for.
Hate who they are told to hate.
Fear who they are told to fear.

Devoid of all independent thought. Forever sleeping. Always conforming. Always consuming. The sheeple serve their establishment masters well. maybe a crumb will fall from the big table. They can fight each other for that. good sheep. baaa

kevin morris
We're all sheeple!
wardropper
Assange isn't.
Annie Besant
I will first quote the final passage from your tract which reads "Unless and until the US regime itself becomes conquered -- either domestically by a second successful American Revolution (this one to eliminate the domestic aristocracy instead of to eliminate a foreign one), or else by a World War III in which the US regime becomes destroyed even worse than the opposing alliance will -- the existing insatiable empire will continue to be on the war-path to impose its dictatorship to everyone on this planet." Whist it has not yet sunk in to the heads of the faceless perpetrators within the Hegemon, it is true to say that a much greater proportion, the greater percentage of humanity are now enlightened to the truth that should a global nuclear conflict break out, either by accident or design, there would be no living person remaining to gloat over the spoils.

This is where "American Exceptionalism" meets its nemesis, for at that moment all their power, influence, wealth, and vanity would evanesce as the towers of Mammon are reduced to rubble. Even their nuclear bunkers would provide no safe haven and there would be even less time for them to come to their senses, for we are contemplating the total extinction of the human species here.

Even in the face of an almost overwhelming resignation to fate, I am well aware that I am not alone in the belief that our planet will survive until that time when our sun ceases to exist. Perhaps we can share Mr Zuess's suggestion that the key to our survival here is by "domestic revolution" whereby within national limits, any country can create a groundswell of solidarity working to find a humane fix for the broken socio-economic system which thrives on the incompetence of dysfunctional leaders. This can be brought about by de-centralisation in matters of how our citizens are governed, rather than the current situation where our citizens are controlled and monitored, both in public and in private.

Localised government, informed by local people, can address all the issues in respect of which there are many who currently feel disempowered and thereby render themselves vulnerable to the general apathy and malaise that is fertile ground for the mischief of authority. This is a matter of systemic transformation and it is taking place right now with innumerable (largely unreported) peace, education, economic and apolitical bodies. Working together on a global basis, realising the interconnectedness of our lives, we will replicate the chain reaction of an atomic device. However, in our case it will be the gradual acceleration of our energies, all directed towards the betterment of all our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters on this planet who ask for one thing, and one thing only – that being an end to all this narcissism, cowardice, arrogance and greed, that are the dramatic personae for this litany of misery which has been inflicted by devilish forces upon the masses of humanity over centuries. No matter how small or insignificant my personal effort is here, I am now convinced that there are millions of others who feel the same. This is why the movement is growing at such a pace. When all our creative, and positively directed energies eventually coalesce we will approach the point of critical mass. At that time we will see the brainwashed troops of the military hegemon suddenly attain enlightenment and throw down their weapons – and the cowards who have previously been in control will flee to exile on some nice sunny beach. This is going to happen because I have already seen it.

wardropper

But they won't LET you decentralize, Annie. It doesn't suit them. Millions of others do indeed share your concern, but merely imagining a better system doesn't make it happen. It doesn't get through the layers and layers of entrenched investment in the current system, or through the layers and layers of ruthless militarism protecting it. Our enemy will never step aside and voluntarily make way for something worthy of the name, "society".

Somebody, somewhere, sometime, is going to have to insist.

BigB
Annie is absolutely right: I think we need to start looking ahead. Neoliberal capitalism is dead: it cannot be revived because there are neither the mineral or energy primary resource assets left for permanent expansionism. Monetizing debt is short term firefighting – fighting fire with fire, debt with debt. We need to stop thinking like capitalists: assessing consciousness and wellbeing against fake GDP and monetized debt prosperity and start thinking as humanists. Like Annie.

By all measures: capitalism is due another crisis Taleb's Black Swan is in clear view we can expect the unexpected. No one can predict the timing or severity: but the debt hangover from GFC 1 makes GFC 2 look potentially worse.

Then capitalism has one more shot of adrenaline (more easing; ZIRPS; savings 'haircuts'; going cashless; potentially a change in reserve) then what? Fascism or socialism. Angry people make for fascism. Peaceful people make for socialism. Materialism won't be that much of an option: apart from the grotesque levels of conspicuous ersatz wealth that will build up in the meantime.

Capitalism is time-limited and finite: humanism is time-independent and limitless. We chose to measure our wealth and happiness in terms of finite resources that were bound to run short. Perhaps now we can turn to the one non-finite resource we have overlooked – ourselves?

wardropper
Philosophically, I'm with you 100%, BigB.

But it's also the crux of your own matter as to where the mechanisms for choosing either fascism or socialism really are in our current system.
Many of us here want to know what to DO, rather than merely pass judgment on what is wrong.

For example, by nature, I am very inclined to follow Annie's path, but we have to know exactly what is the nature of the colossal resistance we will definitely encounter. Will we be stuck in jail, or even "permanently disappeared", because we can think for ourselves?

Or will the media simply keep up their current assault on our intelligence and education until, after a decade or two, nobody is left who could rub two coherent sentences together?

harry law
Trumps promises before the election about the trillions wasted in futile wars, and promising to redirect those trillions into US infrastructure etc, turned out to be outrageous lies. Here are some quotes from HL Mencken which in my opinion sum up the passengers in the out of control US clown car, Trump, Bolton, Pence and Pompeo.

[Jun 17, 2019] The debt trap how the student loan industry betrays young Americans Money by Daniel Rivero

Sep 06, 2017 | www.theguardian.com The Guardian

Navient, spun off from Sallie Mae, has thrived as student loan debt spirals across the US. Its story reveals how, instead of fighting inequality, the education industry is reinforcing it

Nathan Hornes: 'Navient hasn't done a thing to help me. They just want their money. And they want it now.' Photograph: Fusion

A mong the 44 million Americans who have amassed our nation's whopping $1.4tn in student loan debt, a call from Navient can produce shivers of dread.

Navient is the primary point of contact, or the "servicer", for more student loans in the United States than any other company, handling 12 million borrowers and $300bn in debt. The company flourished as student loan debt exploded under the Obama administration, and its stock rose sharply after the election of Donald Trump.

But Navient also has more complaints per borrower than any other servicer, according to a Fusion analysis of data. And these mounting complaints repeatedly allege that the company has failed to live up to the terms of its federal contracts, and that it illegally harasses consumers . Navient says most of the ire stems from structural issues surrounding college finance – like the terms of the loans, which the federal government and private banks are responsible for – not about Navient customer service.

Navient has positioned itself to dominate the lucrative student loan industry in the midst of this crisis, flexing its muscles in Washington and increasingly across the states. The story of Navient's emerging power is also the story of how an industry built around the idea that education can break down inequities is reinforcing them.The tension at the center of the current controversy around student loans is simple: should borrowers be treated like any other consumers, or do they merit special service because education is considered a public good?

Often, the most vulnerable borrowers are not those with the largest debt, but low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color – especially those who may attend less prestigious schools and are less likely to quickly earn enough to repay their loans, if they graduate at all.

Last year, Navient received 23 complaints per 100,000 borrowers, more than twice that of the nearest competitor, according to Fusion's analysis. And from January 2014 to December 2016, Navient was named as a defendant in 530 federal lawsuits. The vast majority were aimed at the company's student loans servicing operations. (Nelnet and Great Lakes, the two other biggest companies in the student loans market, were sued 32 and 14 times over the same period, respectively.)

Many of the complaints and lawsuits aimed at the company relate to its standard practice of auto-dialing borrowers to solicit payments.

Shelby Hubbard says she has long been on the receiving end of these calls as she has struggled to pay down her debt. Hubbard racked up over $60,000 in public and private student loans by the time she graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a basic healthcare-related degree.

"It consumes my every day," Hubbard said of the constant calls. "Every day, every hour, starting at 8 o'clock in the morning." Unlike mortgages, and most other debt, student loans can't be wiped away with bankruptcy.

These days, Hubbard, 26, works in Ohio as a logistics coordinator for traveling nurses. She's made some loan payments, but her take-home pay is about $850 every two weeks. With her monthly student loan bill at about $700, roughly half her income would go to paying the loans back, forcing her to lean more heavily on her fiancé. "He pays for all of our utilities, all of our bills. Because at the end of the day, I don't have anything else to give him," she said. The shadow of her debt hangs over every discussion about their wedding, mortgage payments, and becoming parents.

The power and reach of the student loan industry stacks the odds against borrowers. Navient doesn't just service federal loans, it has a hand in nearly every aspect of the student loan system. It has bought up private student loans, both servicing them and earning interest off of them. And it has purchased billions of dollars worth of the older taxpayer-backed loans, again earning interest, as well as servicing that debt. The company also owns controversial subsidiary companies such as Pioneer Credit Recovery that stand to profit from collecting the debt of loans that go into default.

label="How the Trump administration is undermining students of color | Mark Huelsman and Vijay Das" href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/15/trump-administration-students-color-debt">

And just as banks have done with mortgages, Navient packages many of the private and pre-2010 federal loans and sells them on Wall Street as asset-backed securities. Meanwhile, it's in the running to oversee the Department of Education's entire student debt web portal, which would open even more avenues for the company to profit from – and expand its influence over – Americans' access to higher education.

The federal government is the biggest lender of American student loans, meaning that taxpayers are currently on the hook for more than $1tn . For years, much of this money was managed by private banks and loan companies like Sallie Mae. Then in 2010, Congress cut out the middlemen and their lending fees, and Sallie Mae spun off its servicing arm into the publicly traded company Navient.

Led by former Sallie Mae executives, Navient describes itself as "a leading provider of asset management and business processing solutions for education, healthcare, and government clients." But it is best known for being among a handful of companies that have won coveted federal contracts to make sure students repay their loans. And critics say that in pursuit of getting that money back, the Department of Education has allowed these companies to all but run free at the expense of borrowers.

"The problem is that these servicers are too big to fail," said Persis Yu, director of the National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. "We have no place to put the millions of borrowers whom they are servicing, even if they are not doing the servicing job that we want them to do."

In its last years, the Obama administration tried to rein in the student loan industry and promoted more options for reduced repayment plans for federal loans. Since then, Donald Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos , has reversed or put on hold changes the former education secretary John B King's office proposed and appears bent on further loosening the reins on the student loan industry , leaving individual students little recourse amid bad service.

In late August, DeVos's office announced that it would stop sharing information about student loan servicer oversight with the federal consumer watchdog agency known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB.

Earlier this year, as complaints grew, the CFPB sued Navient for allegedly misleading borrowers about the repayment options it is legally obligated to provide.

A central allegation is that Navient, rather than offering income-based repayment plans, pushed some people into a temporary payment freeze called forbearance. Getting placed into forbearance is a good Band-Aid but can be a terrible longer-term plan. When an account gets placed in forbearance, its interest keeps accumulating, and that interest can be added to the principal, meaning the loans only grow.

Lynn Sabulski, who worked in Navient's Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, call center for five months starting in 2012, said she experienced first-hand the pressure to drive borrowers into forbearance.

"Performing well meant keeping calls to seven minutes or under," said Sabulski. "If you only have seven minutes, the easiest option to put a borrower in, first and foremost, is a forbearance." Sabulski said if she didn't keep the call times short, she could be written up or lose her job.

Navient denies the allegations, and a spokeswoman told Fusion via email seven and a half minutes was the average call time, not a target. The company maintains "caller satisfaction and customer experience" are a significant part of call center representatives' ratings.

But in a 24 March motion it filed in federal court for the CFPB's lawsuit, the company also said: "There is no expectation that the servicer will act in the interest of the consumer." Rather, it argued, Navient's job was to look out for the interest of the federal government and taxpayers.

Navient does get more per account when the servicer is up to date on payments, but getting borrowers into a repayment plan also has a cost because of the time required to go over the complex options.

The same day the CFPB filed its lawsuit, Illinois and Washington filed suits in state courts. The offices of attorneys general in nine other states confirmed to Fusion that they are investigating the company.

At a recent hearing in the Washington state case, the company defended its service: "The State's claim is not, you didn't help at all, which is what you said you would do. It's that, you could've helped them more." Navient insists it has forcefully advocated in Washington to streamline the federal loan system and make the repayment process easier to navigate for borrowers.

And it's true, Navient, and the broader industry, have stepped up efforts in recent years to influence decision makers. Since 2014, Navient executives have given nearly $75,000 to the company's political action committee, which has pumped money mostly into Republican campaigns, but also some Democratic ones. Over the same timespan, the company has spent more than $10.1m lobbying Congress, with $4.2m of that spending coming since 2016. About $400,000 of it targeted the CFPB, which many Republican lawmakers want to do away with.

Among the 22 former federal officials who lobby for Navient is the former US representative Denny Rehberg, a Republican, who once criticized federal aid for students as the welfare of the 21st century. His fellow lobbyist and former GOP representative Vin Weber sits on a board that has aired attack ads against the CFPB, as well as on the board of the for-profit college ITT Tech , which shuttered its campuses in 2016 after Barack Obama's Department of Education accused it of predatory recruitment and lending.

In response to what they see as a lack of federal oversight, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia recently required student loan servicers to get licenses in their states. Not surprisingly, Fusion found a sharp increase in Navient's spending in states considering such regulations, with the majority of the $300,000 in Navient state lobbying allocated since 2016.

In Maine and Illinois, the legislatures were flooded with Navient and other industry lobbyists earlier this year, after lawmakers proposed their own versions of the license bills. The Maine proposal failed after Navient argued the issue should be left to the federal government. The Illinois bill passed the legislature, but the Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, vetoed it in August following lobbying from an industry trade group . Rauner said the bill encroached on the federal government's authority.

Researchers argue more data would help them understand how to improve the student loan process and prevent more people from being overwhelmed by debt. In 2008, Congress made it illegal for the Department of Education to make the data public, arguing that it was a risk for student privacy. Private colleges and universities lobbied to restrict the data. So, too, did Navient's predecessor, Sallie Mae, and other student loan servicing companies.

Today, companies like Navient have compiled mountains of data about graduations, debt and financial outcomes – which they consider proprietary information. The lack of school-specific data about student outcomes can be life-altering, leading students to pick schools they never would have picked. Nathan Hornes, a 27-year-old Missouri native, racked up $70,000 in student loans going to Everest College, an unaccredited school, before he graduated.

"Navient hasn't done a thing to help me," Hornes told Fusion. "They just want their money. And they want it now."

label="The US cities luring millennials with promises to pay off their student debts" href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/10/the-us-cities-luring-millennials-with-promises-to-pay-off-their-student-debts">

Hornes' loans were recently forgiven following state investigations into Everest's parent company Corinthian. But many other borrowers still await relief.

Better educating teens about financial literacy before they apply to college will help reduce their dependence on student loans, but that doesn't change how the deck is stacked for those who need them. A few states have made community colleges free , reducing the need for student loan servicers.

But until the Department of Education holds industry leaders like Navient more accountable, individual states can fix only so much, insists Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the industry's most outspoken critics on Capitol Hill.

"Navient's view is, hey, I'm just going to take this money from the Department of Education and maximize Navient's profits, rather than serving the students," Warren said. "I hold Navient responsible for that. But I also hold the Department of Education responsible for that. They act as our agent, the agent of the US taxpayers, the agent of the people of the United States. And they should demand that Navient does better."

Laura Juncadella, a production assistant for The Naked Truth also contributed to this article

The Naked Truth: Debt Trap airs on Fusion TV 10 September at 9pm ET. Find out where to watch here

[Jun 15, 2019] False flags here, false flags there, false flags everywhere. All too further the aims of the masters of the universe

Jun 15, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Milton

Interesting that this Israeli-First traitor Clawson mentions Lincoln and Ft. Sumter. He finally admits what genuine historians of the Civil War long knew: Lincoln was a warmonger and tyrant, not an emancipator. The Civil war was fought to eliminate true freedom and equality in this country and it has been downhill ever since. The working class and soldier-class in America today are slaves in every sense of the word. Slaves to Zion. No wonder the certified warmonger and racist Lincoln is worshiped equally by Left and Right today, whilst genuine American patriots like Robert E. Lee have their legacy torn down. Lincoln was the proto-Neocon. Tom Dilorenzo summed up the real Lincoln when he wrote in Lincoln Unmasked:

"Imagine that California seceded from the union and an American president responded with the carpet bombing of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco that destroyed 90 percent of those cities. Such was the case with General Sherman's bombardment of Atlanta; a naval blockade; a blocking off of virtually all trade; the eviction of thousands of residents from their homes (as occurred in Atlanta in 1864); the destruction of most industries and farms; massive looting of private property by a marauding army; and the killing of one out of four males of military age while maiming for life more than double that number. Would such an American president be considered a 'great statesman' or a war criminal? The answer is obvious.

A statesman would have recognized the state's right to secede, as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, among other places, and then worked diligently to persuade the seceded state that a reunion was in its best interest. Agreat statesman, or even a modest one, would not have impulsively plunged the entire nation into a bloody war.

Lincoln's warmongering belligerence and his invasion of all the Southern states in response to Fort Sumter (where no one was harmed or killed) caused the upper South -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to secede after originally voting to remain in the Union. He refused to meet with Confederate commissioners to discuss peace and even declined a meeting with Napoleon III of France, who offered to broker a peace agreement. No genuine statesman would have behaved in such a way.

After Fort Sumter, Lincoln thanked naval commander Gustavus Fox for assisting him in manipulating the South Carolinians into firing at Fort Sumter. A great statesman does not manipulate his own people into starting one of the bloodiest wars in human history."

mathias alexand
Here's a man who holds a press conference to announce a secret plan. Only in America.
Gezzah Potts
False flags here, false flags there, false flags everywhere. All too further the aims of the 'masters of the universe'. We know who was responsible for the tanker attacks. Who are the 3 countries absolutely desperate to take Iran down and install a completely pliant puppet regime answerable to Washington, Tel Aviv and to a lesser extent Riyadh. And creatures like Clawson, and all the other vermin can only see $$$$. Thats all they care about. Opening up more markets to further enrich themselves. I echo the other commenters also. The evil men stoop to for greed, power and control. Psychopaths.
harry law
The Foreign Office issued a statement saying: "It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible."
Unbelievable, The UK vassal will use this to as one more reason to evade their responsibilities in implementing the JCPOA.
Gezzah Potts
Well they would say that, wouldn't they. The UK vassal state will spout any peice of crap in their assigned role as vassal state. Australia is just as gushingly sycophantic and cravenly jellified.
mark
Maybe it's "highly likely."
Gezzah Potts
Like an apple is green? They must think we're complete amoeba's to believe this. Sigh.
William HBonney
A Riyadh/Tel Aviv conspiracy. Genius!
Gezzah Potts
Er . just a rough guess Bill going on the belligerent foaming at the mouth by people in those places along with the likes of Bolton and Pompeo. In fact, you can probably go all the way back to about 1980 or so.
mark
I think the real giveaway was when all three rogue states openly stated their intention of doing this 1,000 times over the past 10 years. That was the crucial clue Sherlock Holmes was looking for.
Wilmers31
And who funds the Washington Institute? Last time I looked the International Crisis Group existed thanks to Soros and is usually treated like a serious organisation.

Many Europeans are not in love with the idea of war with Iran, just to achieve obedience to the US. 90 million people is bigger than Germany.

wardropper
These are the shysters, the spivs and the con men of bygone times. They are the ones who lurked at street corners, waiting for someone to come along who was gullible enough to buy the Moon from them.
But, for some reason, they are all in politics today.
Now how could that be?

Only because there are people whom it currently suits to use shysters, spivs and con men in order to create enough chaos for us to want to give up and just let those people have their way.

I agree with Rhys below. There is no more disgusting example of sub-humanity to be found on earth than these warmongers.
To deal with them, however, we will have to realize that their "philosophy", if you can call it that, runs very deep. It didn't just enter their heads last week.
They are reared and trained in it.

It will be a tough battle.

wardropper
I should add that, in bygone times, the police and the law were usually able to deal with the shysters, spivs and con men, since their lack of conscience often gave them away.
The modern version, however, which has moved into politics, was shrewd enough to use a few decades of bribery and threats in order to build around itself a nice little shell, through which the law simply cannot penetrate, except on special occasions, mainly for show.
Rhys Jaggar
There is a big cabal of warmongers who stoke the fuel but never see action. I find those people more disgusting than anyone on earth.

Draft dodgers, academics, 'historians' etc etc.

Ball-less pricks is what I call them .

mark
All fully paid up members of the Bill Clinton Light Infantry.
William HBonney
Yeah, well I'm not a great fan of those who would appease Assad, Putin, Hussein, Gaddafi

You must be so proud.

andyoldlabour
The appeasers would include the US who fully supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, who provided him with chemical weapons and logistical help in using those weapons, which killed around 50,000 Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians.
The same appeasers armed and funded the Taliban (Mujahideen) against the Soviets.
The US are the single largest force for terrorism the World has ever seen.
William HBonney
The easiest, and perhaps best metric by which to judge a country, is 'do people aspire to live there? '.

I see you admire the Soviet Union, but at its dissolution, people were queuing to leave. And yet the US, and the UK, according to you, iniquitous places of tyranny, are oversubscribed. Could it be, that for all your implied erudition, you are merely a bellend?

axisofoil
You must be a big fan of CNN and the NYT. Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?
BigB
Well, even as a pacifist: if that is his sentiment – I hope he has sons or daughters in the military stationed in CENTCOM in Qatar. I bet he hasn't, though.
Rhisiart Gwilym
He should be right there on the frontline himself. That would straighten the disgusting creep's ideas out about the 'usefulness' of deliberately provoking war

[Jun 15, 2019] WATCH US economist urges covert violence to provoke war with Iran

Notable quotes:
"... The appeasers would include the US who fully supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, who provided him with chemical weapons and logistical help in using those weapons, which killed around 50,000 Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians. The same appeasers armed and funded the Taliban (Mujahideen) against the Soviets. The US are the single largest force for terrorism the World has ever seen. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: US economist urges covert violence to provoke war with Iran "I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down – someday one of them might not come up." Admin

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

Many believe war with the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the dream of some hardcore neocons in Washington since at least 2001. Back in 2012 former employee of the IMF and current economist for the World Bank, Patrick Clawson , provided fuel for this belief when he was videoed obliquely advocating using covert violence so that the US president "can get to war with Iran."

In a startlingly frank speech, Clawson makes it clear he believes (and apparently approves) that the US has a history of seeking war for profit, and of using provocations to goad its perceived enemies into starting such wars. Clawson highlights in particular the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 , which, he says, was deliberately engineered by president Lincoln in pursuit of an excuse to launch a war on the Southern secessionist states.

In light of the recent alleged attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, timed to coincide with the visit of the Japanese prime minister to Iran, and in light of Secretary of State Capone Pompeo's precipitate and predictable claim the attacks were likely perpetrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, this is an apposite time to recall this telling little incident.

Below see the transcript of Mr Clawson's remarks

Transcript

"I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough and it's very hard for me to see how the United States president can get us to war with Iran which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way of America gets to war is what would be best for US interests

Some people might think that mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us in to the World War two as David mentioned. You may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor.

Some people might think mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War One. You may recall he had to wait for the Lusitania episode

Some people might think that mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam. You may recall they had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode.

We didn't go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded, and may I point out that mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call off the federal army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander at Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolinians had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren't going to compromise it would be best if somebody else started the war

But I would just like to suggest that one can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down – someday one of them
might not come up.

Who would know why?

We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. I'm not advocating that but I'm just suggesting that a it's this is not a either-or proposition of, you know, it's just sanctions has to be has to succeed or other things.


DunGroanin

Always follow the money they made lots instantly from the firework display, it aint rocket science!

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-14/senators-switched-key-votes-bill-gulf-arms-ban-hours-after-tanker-attacks

mark
What do you expect from a Zionist Front like WINEP? They've been inciting wars for Israel for decades. "Getting the stupid goys to fight Israel's wars for decades."
Jen
If Patrick Clawson is typical of the kind of economist employed at the IMF and then promoted to a leading position at the World Bank, I dread to think of the calibre of people who also applied for his job in the past and were rejected. His speech is so garbled and full of unconscious slip-ups.
andyoldlabour
The US has convinced itself of its own so called "exceptionalism", where they can say anything out in the open, reveal their greatest desires, their unholy plans. There must be some "good" Americans who can stop this madness, or have they all become inflicted/infected with some hate virus?
Milton
Interesting that this Israeli-First traitor Clawson mentions Lincoln and Ft. Sumter. He finally admits what genuine historians of the Civil War long knew: Lincoln was a warmonger and tyrant, not an emancipator. The Civil war was fought to eliminate true freedom and equality in this country and it has been downhill ever since. The working class and soldier-class in America today are slaves in every sense of the word. Slaves to Zion. No wonder the certified warmonger and racist Lincoln is worshiped equally by Left and Right today, whilst genuine American patriots like Robert E. Lee have their legacy torn down. Lincoln was the proto-Neocon. Tom Dilorenzo summed up the real Lincoln when he wrote in Lincoln Unmasked:

"Imagine that California seceded from the union and an American president responded with the carpet bombing of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco that destroyed 90 percent of those cities. Such was the case with General Sherman's bombardment of Atlanta; a naval blockade; a blocking off of virtually all trade; the eviction of thousands of residents from their homes (as occurred in Atlanta in 1864); the destruction of most industries and farms; massive looting of private property by a marauding army; and the killing of one out of four males of military age while maiming for life more than double that number. Would such an American president be considered a 'great statesman' or a war criminal? The answer is obvious.

A statesman would have recognized the state's right to secede, as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, among other places, and then worked diligently to persuade the seceded state that a reunion was in its best interest. Agreat statesman, or even a modest one, would not have impulsively plunged the entire nation into a bloody war.

Lincoln's warmongering belligerence and his invasion of all the Southern states in response to Fort Sumter (where no one was harmed or killed) caused the upper South -- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas -- to secede after originally voting to remain in the Union. He refused to meet with Confederate commissioners to discuss peace and even declined a meeting with Napoleon III of France, who offered to broker a peace agreement. No genuine statesman would have behaved in such a way.

After Fort Sumter, Lincoln thanked naval commander Gustavus Fox for assisting him in manipulating the South Carolinians into firing at Fort Sumter. A great statesman does not manipulate his own people into starting one of the bloodiest wars in human history."

mathias alexand
Here's a man who holds a press conference to announce a secret plan. Only in America.
Gezzah Potts
False flags here, false flags there, false flags everywhere. All too further the aims of the 'masters of the universe'. We know who was responsible for the tanker attacks. Who are the 3 countries absolutely desperate to take Iran down and install a completely pliant puppet regime answerable to Washington, Tel Aviv and to a lesser extent Riyadh. And creatures like Clawson, and all the other vermin can only see $$$$. Thats all they care about. Opening up more markets to further enrich themselves. I echo the other commenters also. The evil men stoop to for greed, power and control. Psychopaths.
harry law
The Foreign Office issued a statement saying: "It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible."
Unbelievable, The UK vassal will use this to as one more reason to evade their responsibilities in implementing the JCPOA.
William HBonney
A Riyadh/Tel Aviv conspiracy. Genius!
Gezzah Potts
Er . just a rough guess Bill going on the belligerent foaming at the mouth by people in those places along with the likes of Bolton and Pompeo. In fact, you can probably go all the way back to about 1980 or so.
mark
I think the real giveaway was when all three rogue states openly stated their intention of doing this 1,000 times over the past 10 years. That was the crucial clue Sherlock Holmes was looking for.
Wilmers31
And who funds the Washington Institute? Last time I looked the International Crisis Group existed thanks to Soros and is usually treated like a serious organisation.

Many Europeans are not in love with the idea of war with Iran, just to achieve obedience to the US. 90 million people is bigger than Germany.

wardropper
These are the shysters, the spivs and the con men of bygone times. They are the ones who lurked at street corners, waiting for someone to come along who was gullible enough to buy the Moon from them.
But, for some reason, they are all in politics today.
Now how could that be?

Only because there are people whom it currently suits to use shysters, spivs and con men in order to create enough chaos for us to want to give up and just let those people have their way.

I agree with Rhys below. There is no more disgusting example of sub-humanity to be found on earth than these warmongers.
To deal with them, however, we will have to realize that their "philosophy", if you can call it that, runs very deep. It didn't just enter their heads last week.
They are reared and trained in it.

It will be a tough battle.

wardropper
I should add that, in bygone times, the police and the law were usually able to deal with the shysters, spivs and con men, since their lack of conscience often gave them away.
The modern version, however, which has moved into politics, was shrewd enough to use a few decades of bribery and threats in order to build around itself a nice little shell, through which the law simply cannot penetrate, except on special occasions, mainly for show.
Rhys Jaggar
There is a big cabal of warmongers who stoke the fuel but never see action. I find those people more disgusting than anyone on earth.

Draft dodgers, academics, 'historians' etc etc.

Ball-less pricks is what I call them .

mark
All fully paid up members of the Bill Clinton Light Infantry.
andyoldlabour
The appeasers would include the US who fully supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, who provided him with chemical weapons and logistical help in using those weapons, which killed around 50,000 Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians.
The same appeasers armed and funded the Taliban (Mujahideen) against the Soviets.
The US are the single largest force for terrorism the World has ever seen.
William HBonney
The easiest, and perhaps best metric by which to judge a country, is 'do people aspire to live there? '.

I see you admire the Soviet Union, but at its dissolution, people were queuing to leave. And yet the US, and the UK, according to you, iniquitous places of tyranny, are oversubscribed. Could it be, that for all your implied erudition, you are merely a bellend?

BigB
Well, even as a pacifist: if that is his sentiment – I hope he has sons or daughters in the military stationed in CENTCOM in Qatar. I bet he hasn't, though.
Rhisiart Gwilym
He should be right there on the frontline himself. That would straighten the disgusting creep's ideas out about the 'usefulness' of deliberately provoking war

[Jun 13, 2019] How Israel abuses generic testing

Jun 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Looks like firms like 23andMe opened the can of worms... Use of genetics to substantiate racist stereotypes

For almost two decades, Farber and his colleagues have advocated for this immigrant community in the face of what they see as targeted discrimination. In cases of marriage, Farber acts as a type of rabbinical lawyer, pulling together documentation and making a case for his clients in front of a board of rabbinical judges. He fears that DNA testing will place even more power in the hands of the Rabbinate and further marginalize the Russian speaking community. "It's as if the rabbis have become technocrats," he told me. "They are using genetics to give validity to their discriminatory practices."

Despite public outrage and protests in central Tel Aviv, the Rabbinate have not indicated any intention of ending DNA testing, and reports continue to circulate in the Israeli media of how the test is being used. One woman allegedly had to ask her mother and aunt for genetic material to prove that she was not adopted. Another man was asked to have his grandmother, sick with dementia, take a test.

Boris Shindler, a political activist and active member of the Russian speaking community, told me that he believes that the full extent of the practice remains unknown, because many of those who have been tested are unwilling to share their stories publicly out of a sense of shame. "I was approached by someone who was married in a Jewish ceremony maybe 15, 20 years ago, who recently received an official demand saying if you want to continue to be Jewish, we'd like you to do a DNA test," Shindler said. "They said if she doesn't do it then she has to sign papers saying she is not Jewish. But she is too humiliated to go to the press with this."

What offends Shindler most is that the technique is being used to single out his community, which he sees as part of a broader stigmatization of Russian speaking immigrants in Israeli society as unassimilated outsiders and second-class citizens. "It is sad because in the Soviet Union we were persecuted for being Jewish and now in Israel we're being discriminated against for not being Jewish enough," he said.

As well as being deeply humiliating, Shindler told me that there is confusion around what being genetically Jewish means. "How do they decide when someone becomes Jewish," he asked. "If I have 51% Jewish DNA does that mean I'm Jewish, but if I'm 49% I'm not?"

[Jun 11, 2019] Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian.

This is "Integrity Initiative" at work...
Jun 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ghost Ship , Jun 11, 2019 11:01:51 AM | 134
That arsehole Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian .
Leaked documents reveal Russian effort to exert influence in Africa
Exclusive: Kremlin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin leading push to turn continent into strategic hub, documents show
by Luke Harding and Jason Burke
The only thing you really need to know about the exposé:
The leaked documents were obtained by the Dossier Center, an investigative unit based in London. The centre is funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian businessman and exiled Kremlin critic.
The Guardian obviously has no shame for publishing such an article but then it has never explained the claims of Manafort meeting with Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. As for the article, my reaction was "so fucking what?".

The British French and Americans have fucked up large parts of Africa while the Soviet Union/Russia was indirectly responsible for eradicating that cancerous growth, the apartheid state of South Africa, a single act that was better than all the good things that the United Kingdom, France and the United States have ever done in Africa

[Jun 10, 2019] Elizabeth Warren gains momentum in the 2020 race plan by plan by Lauren Gambino

Notable quotes:
"... "I feel duped," said the voter, Renee Elliott, who was laid off from her job at the Indianapolis Carrier plant. "I don't have a lot of faith in political candidates much anymore. They make promises. They make them and break them." ..."
"... Warren rose to her feet. "The thing is, you can't just wave your arms," the she said, gesturing energetically. "You've really got to have a plan – and I do have a plan." ..."
"... But despite the burst of momentum, Warren's path to the nomination has two major roadblocks: Sanders and Biden. Her success will depend on whether she can deliver a one-two punch: replacing Sanders as the progressive standard bearer while building a coalition broad enough to rival Biden. ..."
"... "She sounds like Donald Trump at his best," conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson told his largely Republican audience as he read from Warren's proposal during the opening monologue of his show this week. The plan calls for "aggressive intervention on behalf of American workers" to boost the economy and create new jobs, including a $2tn investment in federal funding in clean energy programs. ..."
"... His praise was all the more surprising because Warren has vowed not to participate in town halls on Fox News, calling the network a "hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists" ..."
Jun 09, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The senator's 'I have a plan' mantra has become a rallying cry as she edges her way to the top – but is it enough to get past the roadblocks of Biden and Sanders?

Elizabeth Warren at a campaign rally in Fairfax, Virginia, on 16 May. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP Plan by plan, Elizabeth Warren is making inroads and gaining on her rivals in the 2020 Democratic race to take on Donald Trump.

The former Harvard law professor's policy heavy approach made an impression among activists at the She the People forum in Texas last month and was well-received at the California state party convention earlier this month.

Elizabeth Warren's economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way Robert Reich

This week a Morning Consult poll saw Warren break into the double digits at 10%, putting her in third place behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. A recent Economist/YouGov poll found Warren was making gains among liberal voters, with Democrats considering the Massachusetts senator for the Democratic presidential nomination in nearly equal measure with Sanders.

Her intense campaigning on a vast swathe of specific issues has achieved viral moments on the internet – even including one woman whom Warren advised on her love life – as well as playing well during recent television events.

At a televised town hall in Indiana this week, Warren listened intently as a woman who voted for Trump in 2016 described her disillusionment – not only with a president who failed to bring back manufacturing jobs as he said he promised but with an entire political system stymied by dysfunction.

"I feel duped," said the voter, Renee Elliott, who was laid off from her job at the Indianapolis Carrier plant. "I don't have a lot of faith in political candidates much anymore. They make promises. They make them and break them."

Warren rose to her feet. "The thing is, you can't just wave your arms," the she said, gesturing energetically. "You've really got to have a plan – and I do have a plan."

That mantra – a nod to the steady churn of policy blueprints Warren's campaign has released – has become a rallying cry for Warren as she edges her way to the top of the crowded Democratic presidential primary field.

But despite the burst of momentum, Warren's path to the nomination has two major roadblocks: Sanders and Biden. Her success will depend on whether she can deliver a one-two punch: replacing Sanders as the progressive standard bearer while building a coalition broad enough to rival Biden.

Warren began that work this week with a multi-stop tour of the midwest designed to show her strength among working class voters who supported Trump. Ahead of the visit, Warren unveiled a plan she described as "economic patriotism", which earned startling praise from one of Trump's most loyal supporters.

"She sounds like Donald Trump at his best," conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson told his largely Republican audience as he read from Warren's proposal during the opening monologue of his show this week. The plan calls for "aggressive intervention on behalf of American workers" to boost the economy and create new jobs, including a $2tn investment in federal funding in clean energy programs.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson praises Elizabeth Warren's economic policies

His praise was all the more surprising because Warren has vowed not to participate in town halls on Fox News, calling the network a "hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists".

The debate over whether Democrats should appear on Fox News for a town hall has divided the field. Sanders, whose televised Fox News town hall generated the highest viewership of any such event, argued that it is important to speak to the network's massive and heavily Republican audience.

As Warren courts working-class voters in the midwest, she continues to focus heavily on the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. After jumping into the race on New Year's Eve 2018, Warren immediately set to work , scooping up talent and building a massive operation in Iowa. Her campaign is betting a strong showing in the first in the nation caucuses will propel her in New Hampshire, which neighbors Massachusetts, and then boost her in Nevada and South Carolina.

But as Warren gains momentum, moderate candidates are becoming more vocal about their concern that choosing a nominee from the party's populist wing will hand Trump the election.

"If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer," former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper told Democrats in California last weekend. Though his comments were met with boos and jeers among the convention's liberal crowd, his warning is at the heart of the debate over who should be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Warren has pointedly distinguished herself as a capitalist as opposed to a socialist or a democratic socialist, but she has not backed away from a populist platform that embraces sweeping economic reforms.

In her address to the California Democratic party, Warren rejected appeals for moderation.

"Some say if we all calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses," she said. "But our country is in a time of crisis. The time for small ideas is over."

[Jun 10, 2019] This Outlaw Power by Christopher Black

Notable quotes:
"... America has shown itself to be so implacably hostile to both countries that Divide And Rule will never work. It is clearly intent on the destruction of both. ..."
"... BigB . Am certainly no fan of China or Russia (or pretty much anyone actually) but for now; I don't see them rampaging round the world overthrowing Govts, endlessly threatening countries with war, throwing sanctions against any country that dosn't get on its knees, maintaining over 800 military bases around the planet and behaving like demented psychopaths. ..."
"... Russia and China are not deranged and arrogant enough to want to rule the world, or spend trillions on a series of crazy wars for the Zionist Apartheid Regime. Unlike certain other people. ..."
"... To argue that both Russia and China are capitalist economies is true enough, but to say that they are imperialist stretches credulity to breaking point. It was I think Condoleeza Rice who opined that "Russia's interests end at Russia's borders"- pretty much a flat fact, no value-judgement implied. If Russia was ever an empire it has long been stripped of its dominions and economies. Same goes for China whose invasions against neighbouring countries – India 1962, and Vietnam in 1978 – followed by quick withdrawal was about the limits of its imperial ambitions. ..."
"... Russia was forced into a semi-peripheral economic status relying on the extractive commodities of oil and case; some recovery has taken place but this is a slow process given the outflow of capital resulting from the actions of the oligarchic cliques still in evidence despite Putin's efforts at reform. ..."
"... Russia may be a capitalist country, it may not fully democratic in the full sense of the word (who in this benighted age is?) but it must have the right to be sovereign, self-governing and free to follow its own economic and political policies, and not to be surrounded and threatened by real imperialist powers who seem determined not to let it. ..."
"... the main purpose of US imperial might is in the 'global policeman' role: keeping the neoliberal capitalist core, semi-periphery, periphery, and excluded/exploited hierarchical tiers exactly as they are. ..."
"... But Russia is the exception that breaks the rule. I'm sure you are aware Russia is owned offshore – estimated usually at 80% – much of it in Londongrad. Shaxson even uses this as a creation myth for the genesis of the euro$ markets. Russia is still bleeding from capital flight, even though it slowed recently. Michael Hudson puts the figure at $25bn a year since the early 90s – over $1tn total funding Chelsea FC instead of Russian recovery. ..."
"... The world is a rich man's paradise: unionised labour and democracies have been smashed; the world totally re-ordered by class racism and financial imperialism; we have been de-politicised and de-sovereigntised – our rights and freedoms 'offshored'; what labour is left is about to be lost to AI; wages have been stagnabt for decades; the poor are getting poorer, the underdeveoloped more underdeveloped; the extractivism, expansionism, and hyper-exploitation of today and tomorrow is perhaps at its zenith: and the globalist model is killing the host. ..."
"... Modernity is murder by debt money East and West. ..."
"... you can not be manipulated or make to buy "humanitarian interventions", defense of human rights through bombings and coupe de etat. Nor with being free because you can wear Prada or have access to so call "advance" gadgets . ..."
"... 'International rules based order' Such quaint language to disguise the real meaning: blood drenched Imperialism, blatant thuggery, the theft of other countries resources, invading and bombing and overthrowing Govts, the ever increasing use of sanctions against those countries that refuse to be puppets; like Iran and Syria, the portrayal of resistance movements as 'terrorists' such as Hezbollah for example. ..."
"... It isn't "fake news" to report on geopolitical realities, or the undeniable fact that since WW2, the US has been effecting coups, regime change, wars all around the globe and has been responsible for millions of deaths, not to mention its use of chemical weapons – Iran Iraq War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq 2003. ..."
off-guardian.org

On June 4th the Chinese government issued a travel alert for Chinese tourists thinking of visiting the United States, a day after it issued a similar advisory to Chinese students thinking of studying in the US over concerns for their safety and security.

Chinese in the US are reporting harassment and interrogations by US immigration authorities and many now have the impression they are not welcome in the US.

The Global Times , speaking on behalf of the government stated:

The Chinese people find it difficult to accept the fact that they are being taken as thieves. The US boasts too much superiority and has been indulged by the world. Due to its short history, it lacks understanding of and respect for the rules of countries and laws of the market. The Americans of the early generations accumulated prosperity and prestige for the US, while the current US administration behaves like a wastrel generation by ruining the world's respect for the US."

It seems to me they are being generous to the US since the "early prosperity" of the US was built on the backs of slave labour, extermination of the indigenous peoples and theft of their lands, colonization and exploitation of other countries, including China, and two hundred years of continual warfare to secure the resources and markets of first the western hemisphere, then the world.

Their "prestige" comes out of the barrel of a gun. The US economic and military aggression against those nations that refuse to obey American demands to serve their interests ever increases and never abates.

A few days ago Mike Pompeo stated, with feigned innocence, that the US was willing to talk to Iran "without preconditions" when the real conditions Iran faces include an almost total embargo of its trade and threats of immediate attack by US forces, including nuclear attack. The Iranians quickly rejected this hypocrisy.

In the Balkans the US and its NATO war machine have again stirred up problems in Serbia where, in the NATO occupied province of Kosovo-Metohija, Serbs and Russians were detained and beaten up by Albanian security forces designed to put further pressure on Serbia to fall into the NATO camp so that the NATO machine will have complete control of the Balkans to complete the encirclement of Russia.

The war goes on in Syria, goes on in Ukraine, goes on in Afghanistan. The terrible situation of the Palestinians becomes even worse as the US plans the final solution for them-their disappearance as a people to be absorbed as citizens of other states, while Israel continues its aggressive expansion and acts as agent of the US bully in the region; the threats against Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea continue.

But the principle preoccupation of the US is still China and Russia.

On May 30th the US Department of Defense released its strategy paper for the Indo-Pacific region in which, after several pages of lies about its role in the world as savior and benefactor, set out America's intentions to dominate China and Russia.

It is another item of evidence that the United States government and its allies are conspiring to commit crimes against peace by planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression against those nations.

These designs by the American leadership reflect not only the desire of the owners of capital in the US to dominate the world. They also reflect the Americans' preoccupation with themselves as "exceptional" people, as the "exceptional" nation, above all others, answerable to none, which has been a characteristic of their culture since its foundation.

The aggressive objectives of the successive American governments were and are not accidents or mistakes arising out of immediate political circumstances but are a deliberate and necessary part of American foreign policy.

From its inception the American political leadership has claimed to unite the American people with a consciousness of their mission and destiny to dominate the world. War is seen as inevitable or highly probable to accomplish these objectives where intimidation and bribery fail.

To accomplish its objectives the United States has done all it can to disrupt the world order established after World War Two when world nations joined together for world peace in the United Nations Charter in 1946.

Within 3 years the US set up the NATO military alliance to threaten the Soviet Union, soon waged wars across south east Asia and overthrew governments the world over.

The rise to power of President Trump has resulted in the United States withdrawing from a series of treaties designed to reduce the threat of war and of nuclear armaments, or promote free trade, in order to free the United States from its obligations under the treaties involved to allow it to pursue its objectives using any means necessary. They have rejected international law and diplomacy in interstate relationships and now rely on threats and violence.

The Indo-Pacific Strategy Report , of June 1, 2019 begins with the claim that:

Inter-state strategic competition, defined by geopolitical rivalry between free and repressive world order visions, is the primary concern for U.S. national security. In particular, the People's Republic of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, seeks to reorder the region to its advantage by leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce other nations."

Time and again the Report ascribes to China the actual behavior of the United States for is it not the United States that has sought to reorder the world since it became a world power; has it not used all these methods and more to coerce other nations? The world knows it. Yet once again their sense of being exceptional makes them blind to their stupefying arrogance and hypocrisy.

The Report then warns that,

We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order – an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values".

What they mean by "rules based international order" is not the order of international law as accepted by the world governments in the United Nations Charter and other international agreements but a US imposed international order, – an order that does not yet exist except in the fantasies of these gangsters-but which they never stop trying to impose on the world, an order of militarism, fear, and tyranny for the rest of the world.

The balance of the Report sets out their strategy of building up a "networked region" that is, a US controlled system of vassal states to prepare for war with China by prepositioning ammunition, equipment, logistics supplies, transportation networks, intelligence sharing and rapid deployment of forces to threaten China.

The vassal states; Japan, South Korea, Australia New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, are all patted on the head for assisting the United States and promised they will be rewarded with peace and prosperity so long as they accept their subservient role to the saintly United States.

Other southeast Asia nations are referred to as potential "partners" for the future as they try to brag that they have Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Laos and Cambodia on their side when all they have are courtesy arrangements and cooperation on a low level that all nations have with each other. Their vision of their influence is greater than the reality.

But the three targets remain the same for according to the Report, China is a "Revisionist Power" , Russia is a "Revitalized Malign Actor," while the DPRK, keeps its status as a "Rogue State," all of which the Americans clai