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Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Libertarian Philosophy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
National Security State Key Myths of Neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You The Iron Law of Oligarchy Color revolutions Cold War II Two Party System as Polyarchy
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Predator state Corporatism Elite Theory Neo-conservatism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Demonization of Putin Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie
Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Fuck the EU Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Neoliberalism and Christianity
Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Neoliberal corruption DNC emails leak Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Disaster capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism American Exceptionalism The Deep State Obama: a yet another Neocon
Neoliberal war on reality In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers War and Peace Quotes
Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

 

This site is very skeptical as for the viability of Neoliberalism as a social system and had distinct pro "New Deal" capitalism bias. You are warned.

And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who he was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it., you are living under neoliberal regime without knowing it.  And this regime is not the same as democracy. See Two Party System as Polyarchy

What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism"  has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-).

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Who Rules America


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[Jul 20, 2017] Fracking Around with the Russians - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Giraldi, you're missing the salient point. The rulers of the USA aren't delusional lunatics. Russia is the single largest threat to America's dream of Global Hegemony. It's refusal to kowtow to Washington, and more critically, its lending of its military power to underpin China's Silk Road Dreams guarantees their GH dream will die. ..."
"... For the rulers of the USA, that's anathema. As good as death itself. They bet Americans' well being, Brand America, its industrial and civilian infrastructure, and almost its farms, for Global Hegemony and came up craps. They'll lose the farms soon enough. ..."
"... That is why they're panicking, and why they're going to do everything they can to break their fall. Above all, they have to convince their allies to stay loyal, particularly Europe long enough to allow them to "think of something". ..."
Jul 20, 2017 | www.unz.com
Fracking Around with the Russians What will those rascals in Moscow do next? Philip Giraldi July 18, 2017 1,400 Words 112 Comments Reply 🔊 Listen RSS

It has been another week full of news about Russia. Americans might be surprised to learn that nearly every aspect of their lives has been somehow impacted by the insidious covert activity of a former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy. One of the latest claims is that Moscow has been covertly funding some environmental groups, most particularly those opposed to the use of fracking technologies. The allegations, which have recently surfaced in Congress , conceded that the Russians allegedly moved forward with their strategy to damage America's energy independence without leaving behind "a paper trail," thus there appears to actually be little or no supporting evidence for what is little more than a series of claims, which have been denied by the groups in question, including the highly respectable Sierra Club. Moscow has not commented.

To be sure, there is a certain logic inherent in assertions that Russia might be behind such a development as Moscow's economy runs on energy exports and high prices are good for it. Consequently, it ought not surprise anyone that Russia would seek to discredit competitive technologies that work to increase the supply of energy and thereby cause prices to fall. It's simple math, but is it true given the fact that environmental groups are widely popular due to the appeal of the product they are promoting and have their own reliable sources of income?

Now the irony in all this is that a major producer of relatively dirty oil is being accused of targeting an even dirtier and environmentally destructive energy resource, which is fracking, in collusion with organizations that are seeking to encourage the production of much cleaner power. And, of course, cleaner energy is a global interest whether one believes in climate change or not, which underlines the essential hypocrisy of the U.S. media in denouncing something that just might be good for the planet purely because Russia is allegedly involved.

And, of course, the congressmen involved in the revelation come from fracking states. If Moscow is for something then surely Washington must be against it, ignoring the fact that many genuinely patriotic Americans who care about such matters support more strict environmental regulations, no matter what the Wall Street Journal, the White House and the loony tunes in congress are saying.

There was a lot more anti-Russian agitprop in the U.S. media during the week, part of an endless stream of titillation provided free of charge to the American public in an effort to remind everyone that Russia is the enemy and will always be the enemy. Even Donald Trump's milquetoast initiative to mend fences with Vladimir Putin cobbled together during their meeting in Hamburg has been assailed from all sides, most particularly by the usual parties who seem to be locked into an anti-Trump non-détente mindset come what may.

I was particularly bemused by the comment by former CIA Chief John Brennan who denounced Trump's performance during the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg over the lack of a hard line against Putin and his failure to support the "word of the U.S. intelligence community" about Russian interference in the recent election. In an interview Brennan complained "He said it's an honor to meet President Putin. An honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault against our election? To me, it was a dishonorable thing to say."

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter has demonstrated how the "word" of U.S. intel is not exactly what it might seem to be. And Brennan is not exactly a tabula rasa. As he observed in his comment, his ire derives from the claims over Russian alleged interference in the U.S. election, a narrative that Brennan himself has helped to create, to include his shady and possibly illegal contacting of foreign intelligence services to dig up dirt on the GOP presidential candidate and his associates. The dirt was dutifully provided by several European intelligence services which produced a report claiming, inter alia, that Donald Trump had urinated on a Russian prostitute in a bed previously slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.

And along the way I have been assiduously trying to figure out the meaning of last week's reports regarding the contacts of Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with two alleged Russian agents while reportedly seeking the dirt on Hillary. As it turns out, there may not have been any discussion of Hillary, though possibly something having to do with irregularities in DNC fundraising surfaced, and there may have been a bit more about the Magnitsky Act and adopting Russian babies.

Barring any new revelations backed up by actual facts revealing that something substantive like a quid pro quo actually took place, the whole affair appears to be yet another example of a politically inspired fishing expedition. This observation is not necessarily naivete on my part nor a denial that it all might have been an intelligence operation, but it is an acceptance of the fact that probing and maneuvering is all part and parcel of what intelligence agencies do when they are dealing with adversaries and very often even with friends. It does not necessarily imply that Moscow was seeking to overthrow American democracy even if it was trying to advance its own interests.

Assuming even the worst case scenario that the media has been promoting, the Trump Tower meeting appears to have involved three political aspirants who were a bit on the novice side and a Russian lawyer and lobbyist who might have been intelligence cut-outs. What did happen anyway? Apart from not reporting the encounter by the three apparent victims of the planned corruption of America's democratic process, nothing apparently happened except that the event itself has now given the esteemed Senator Charles Schumer and the Honorable Adam Schiff something new to mouth off about. Oh, and it keeps Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert, who is celebrating Russia Week on his program, employed.

Politics is a dirty business, based on power and money in these United States. Presumably back in mid-June there was enough salacious information floating around emanating from both parties to provide employment for plenty of individuals who were prepared to do whatever it would take to dig up something damaging up from any source available, including foreigners. That game was played by both sides and anyone who does not think that is so is avoiding the hard edge of the pervasive political corruption that greases the wheels in the United States.

So maybe Russia is funding some environmental groups or maybe not. And if it is, so what? I would welcome anyone who challenges fracking. And so what if a cluster of political tyros met with a couple of Russians who may or may not have been sent by Putin. Clearly, nothing came of it and meeting with a Russian and talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country.

Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence. All of which leads one to question why the U.S. media insist on holding the Russian government and its intelligence services to a higher standard than they do other countries like Israel, which persistently spy on the U.S. and regularly interfere in our political process? And what about our own government and its multitude of spy agencies? Are we always the guys in the white hats? Let's look at the actual record. CIA has done far worse far more consistently in collecting information through misdirection, influencing overseas elections and even changing regimes than have the Russians. And let's not forget the U.S. military's record on Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and currently Syria. We are very good at that "regime change" sort of thing even though the results frequently turn out badly because no one in Washington seems to know what to do on day 2 after the invasion has ended with yet another "victory" and another foreign government has been consigned to the garbage heap. ← Who Is the Real Enemy? Category: Economics , Foreign Policy Tags: American Media , CIA , Environmentalism , Fracking , John Brennan , Russia , Scott Ritter

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Recently from Author Related Pieces by Author Of Related Interest What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say? Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous Philip Giraldi May 30, 2017 1,300 Words 101 Comments Reply The Spooks and the Hacks: Why Do They Hate Russia? John Derbyshire February 18, 2017 1,100 Words 83 Comments Reply The Fraud of the White Helmets Hollywood buys into yet another lie Philip Giraldi July 4, 2017 1,100 Words 125 Comments Reply ← Who Is the Real Enemy? Hide 112 Comments Leave a Comment 112 Comments to "Fracking Around with the Russians" Commenters to Ignore Commenters to ignore (one per line)

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RobinG > , July 18, 2017 at 4:22 am GMT

Speaking of regime change, wasn't it Victoria Nuland and George Soros' enabling of Kiev coup that obliged the US installed puppet gov't. of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election at the behest to DNC to assist Hillary?

The MUST SEE guide to DNC/Ukraine Collusion and Election Interference

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 4:46 am GMT

Yeah, it might be illustrative to consider what the entire environmental movement would look like today if it was the Israelis and not the Arabs who owned the oil in the ME.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

Also in this whole Russia-fracking gate, will no one in the media mention the vanglorious and incompetent sleuth, John Podesta's Machiavellian (for dummies) support for groups putting pressure on the Catholic Church ?

LauraMR > , July 18, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT

"Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence."

The arrogance of it.

It is at times like this that I can only wonder what kind of death-rattling trauma we must endure as a nation to regain a measure of rationality.

Verymuchalive > , July 18, 2017 at 8:45 am GMT

" A former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy."
Recent studies indicate that the Russian Economy is now larger than that of Germany. Current Western sanctions, far from harming the Russian economy, have been beneficial in supporting import substitution and diversification.
It is clear Giraldi doesn't read the work of his fellow columnist, Anatoly Karlin. Giraldi is still stuck in 1995. Time you caught up on your homework, Philip.

Sergey Krieger > , July 18, 2017 at 8:54 am GMT

Mr. giraldi should ask can Italy or Spain afford or make what Russia can ,can France or Germany? Hence Mr. Giraldi views of what Russian economy is, are not correct.

The Alarmist > , July 18, 2017 at 9:16 am GMT

" talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country."

The Alarmist > , July 18, 2017 at 9:18 am GMT

" talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country."

There are secret laws, so one can no longer say even that with certainty. These are the same laws that make it illegal to know or merely meet a Russian.

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

West needs evil white people. No civilization can function without some agreed on enemy. Russia has played this role on and off for centuries. Today there is simply no other viable candidate – with the multi-cultural and religous taboos, and the need for the enemy to be credible and a bit remote. So Russia it is and probably will be for a long time, any consequences be damned.

Russia dislike also feeds well into the surviving atavistic hatreds among key groups in the West: grandkids of pogroms, endless emigres with their bitter family memories and a need to fit in, the deep seated thirst for revenge among Germans now that they are again allowed to sit at the Western table, the French and Anglo-Saxon egomania and a need to distract from their own history. And of course the Poles, they would line up to attack Russia if Al Queda would lead it. One cannot fight emotions.

The question is whether it is wise. It is close to impossible to maintain permanent hostility with Russia, so something has to give. A climb-down is very unlikely – too many powerful people are freshly invested in the struggle against 'evil Russkies'. The two other alternatives are worse: if Russia gets destroyed, West won't last long – the Russia's hinterland will get overrun by southern and eastern masses and West will be basically done for. And destroying both Russia and West in a war needs no analysis.

Could we possibly perish because Western elites were emotionally invested in Clintons getting back in the White House and the jobs-perks that would come with it? Or because some nerd named Podesta messed up his email passwords? Well, why not, after all Franz Ferdinand's driver made a bad turn and

Philip Giraldi > , July 18, 2017 at 10:45 am GMT

@Verymuchalive This analysis comes from the World Economic Forum. Russia's economy is slightly bigger than Spain's and smaller than that of Italy. It is far smaller than that of Germany and is dwarfed by the US.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/worlds-biggest-economies-in-2017/

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Mr. Giraldi, that's nominal GDP. Meaningless. Might as well cite the number of bubble gum chewers as an indicator.
On a list of countries by projected 2017 GDP (PPP), Russia places 6th, in a virtual dead heat with Germany.

On that basis, China is ahead of even the EU, with the US 2nd on a national basis, and a distant 3rd on an economic "block" basis. It is some $4T behind China, which sounds about right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi The best way to compare economies is by using PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). It is not perfect, but it adjusts for currency fluctuation. By that measure, using CIA Worldbook for 2016, Russia is #6 economy in the world, slightly smaller than Germany. Spain is #16 and about half the size of Russia's economy in real terms.

The reason it is absolutely essential to adjust for currecy conversion is that otherwise you get crazy variations when e.g. dollar goes up by 30% against the euro. Or in Russia's case ruble is down almost 50% against the dollar. Those are artificial numbers – showing size in 'dollars' that are nor used in those economies is like showing US economy's performance in pesos. PPP adjusts for purchasing power.

Russia's economy is about the size of Germany, with almost twice the population. It is also one of 4-5 economies that can manufacture everything from jet planes and space rockets, to nuclear power plants and weapons. It has about 1/5 of world's total physical resources and is self-sufficient in food. It is the largest lightly populated space in the world. There are different ways we can be wrong about the realities around us, trying to have it both ways and to stay within some allowed boundaries is one of them.

Z-man > , July 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT

@The Alarmist As I've said many times before, one day it will be a crime, like it is in much of Europe already, to even question the numbers of the Holocaust, with SEVERE punishments maybe even death!

Z-man > , July 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

The Western Elites, you know who I mean, hate Putin for reestablishing and/or fostering the Christian Orthodox church in the country. 'They' just hate that!

Tom Welsh > , July 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

"Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence".

Well, there almost certainly isn't any evidence. But that doesn't really matter. Regardless, the USA DOES NOT GET to "punish" Russia. There is a little legal concept called "sovereignty" that seems to have slipped the mind of Americans. Nations do not – cannot "punish" one another these days. Until, perhaps, 1939, one nation could invade another and conquer it – but today that is illegal under international law, the Nuremberg Principles, and the UN Charter. Slighter acts of war, such as sanctions, are also strictly forbidden.

Now, as we all know, the US government – like its li'l bitty buddy the Israeli government – is in the habit of completely ignoring all laws, and doing whatever it likes. But trampling the law underfoot is not a wise thing to do – one day, you yourself might need it.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT

Russia's economy is slightly bigger than Spain's and smaller than that of Italy

Phil, this is dubious at best. The same as 18 trillion dollars US economy, 70% of which is FIRE, that is involved mostly in financial transactions. Even CIA's World Fact Book gives it (for 2015) as 3.8 trillion. At 2017 it is stated at 3.9 trillion which is about the size of Germany's. Using data of some supposedly "independent" (and globalist in nature) Swiss outlet on Russia is a dubious task. Big Mac Dollar was introduced for a reason.

Here is dynamics of Russia's GDP from International Monetary Fund (also globalist, but at least consistent).

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2015&ey=2022&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=94&pr1.y=12&c=922&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP&grp=0&a=

I omit here the usage of "absolute" dollars in measuring GDP–it really comes down to introducing not just Big Mac but F-35 dollars. When Spain will be able to produce what Russia produces, then maybe.

Rich > , July 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT

I stubbed my toe the other night because Russia moved my kitchen table.

Gg Mo > , July 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

2+ million Bolsheviks have immigrated to Israel from Russia since the Gravy-train collapsed in 1991, absconding with not a few billion dollars and a deep resentment . Various careerist took their policies and plans with them as well.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Erebus Western economic views were "monetarised" to the point of a complete absurd at the expense of real, that is manufacturing (productive) economy. This is the view which "equates" manufacturing of jet aircraft or space station with the balance sheet of some insurance company or some bank, both of which produce only services, much of them of a virtual and dubious nature. Sadly, "making money" long ago substituted "making things" and then making money based on that. The United States in particular paid a gruesome price for this delusion by de-industrializing almost to the point of no return. In the end, nothing short of a miraculous victory of Donald Trump is a greatest testimony to a complete bankruptcy of dominant monetarist economic views. He emphasized high paying manufacturing jobs–he won.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

@Beckow As the ultimate arbiter, we can refer to the Economist's "Big Mac Index":

THE Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their "correct" level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries. For example, the average price of a Big Mac in America in July 2017 was $5.30; in China it was only $2.92 at market exchange rates. So the "raw" Big Mac index says that the yuan was undervalued by 45% at that time.

For July 2017 the Big Mac index shows the Russian ruble to be undervalued by 57%:

Actual $ exchange rate ! 60.14

Implied $ exchange rate ! 25.85

http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov For an in depth look at the Russian economy, have a look at: https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/

Amongst the conclusions:
"In fact, (the Russian economy) is the most self-sufficient and diversified economy in the world." Thank God for sanctions. Before that it was just "a gas station with nukes".

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

@for-the-record

As the ultimate arbiter, we can refer to the Economist's

Economist (the magazine) and real economy in the same sentence is a bad joke. Economist as "the ultimate arbiter" is altogether–beyond redemption.

For July 2017 the Big Mac index shows the Russian ruble to be undervalued by 57%:

Russian economy in general is undervalued several times–that is why for the last 20+ years virtually nobody in Western "analytical" organizations can explain what just hit them.

Pandos > , July 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Gg Mo OH thank you Jesus!

Greg Bacon > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm GMT

@chris

Yeah, it might be illustrative to consider what the entire environmental movement would look like today if it was the Israelis and not the Arabs who owned the oil in the ME.

The USA gets most of its oil from Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela, not the ME.

BTW, in a way, the Israelis do own most of the ME oil, thru their Wall Street confederates in control of the commodity market where the oil is sold. Sold back and forth around 15 times before it reaches the refinery, meaning the US customer is getting screwed BIG TIME by our Israeli ally.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov I think you failed to appreciate the "tongue in cheek" quality of my remark. In your rather blind haste to defend Russia, which I can well understand, you seem to miss the fact that I am essentially on your side.

As to being "several times" times undervalued, this is not at all inconsistent with the 57% undervaluation shown by the Big Mac index, which means that the ruble's "true" value is nearly 2.5 times its quoted value.

Wizard of Oz > , July 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Come again! Secret laws? You mean the ones Senator Caligula arranges to have carved in Esperanto on stone blocks exhibited once a week on the top of a 50 foot scaffold? You are talking about laws in the everyday dictionary or constitutionsl sense and not just some note from tbe White House?

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

The United States in particular paid a gruesome price for this delusion by de-industrializing almost to the point of no return.

Well, it had to if it was going to go for Dollar-based Hegemony. It apparently felt that it had to, and so it did.

Triffin's Dilemma states that if a single nation is the issuer of the world's reserve currency, then that nation had to run increasingly massive trade deficits to fund the world's liquidity. What better way to do that than to encourage their industry (via tax incentives) to move their industry off-shore? The captains of American industry jumped at the gift and made a LOT of money feeding China's development.

What China got way back in 2001 was the equivalent of being lent the US' credit card. They promptly traded piles of plastic toys and toasters for a modern 21st century infrastructure, a massive industrial base, and a sizeable military, raising some 1 billion of their population out of abject poverty along the way. They promised to open up their financial sector to foreign players, but shucks, that somehow never happened. Instead, the top 4 largest banks in the world are now Chinese. All state owned.
When they hand that card back in, it'll be at, or just over its limit, and overseas USM personnel will be hitch-hiking rides back to the US.

Shouldn't be long now.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@for-the-record My point was not in "defending Russia"–my reasons are much deeper than any mere "defense". I may have missed your sarcasm on Economist, but using Ruble (or any currency in general) as an economic indicator is a tricky business. Structure of GDP and a number of enclosed technological cycles are among most important, in fact–defining, factors.

Wizard of Oz > , July 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm GMT

It is quite certain that rich American environmentalists have funded speciously connected Aboriginal litigants to conduct lawfate against the potentially gigantic Galilee Basin ptoject in Queensland to export coal to India.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

@Erebus

What China got way back in 2001 was the equivalent of being lent the US' credit card. They promptly traded piles of plastic toys and toasters for a modern 21st century infrastructure, a massive industrial base, and a sizeable military, raising some 1 billion of their population out of abject poverty along the way. They promised to open up their financial sector to foreign players, but shucks, that somehow never happened. Instead, the top 4 largest banks in the world are now Chinese. All state owned.

Very true. But using term "massive industrial base" may give an aneurysm to some Wall Street economic "analysts" or create a cognitive dissonance of such a scale that will require psychiatric intervention.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Using rubles at the "official" exchange rate is of course meaningless; however, using a purchasing-power-parity adjusted exchange rate (which is what the Big Mac index is, in a certain sense) provides a very useful means for comparing levels of outputs in different countries, do you not agree?

Sergey Krieger > , July 18, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov This is not the first time Phil compared Russia to Spain or Italy. It is widespread dillusion and meme I read often. I find it in line general American policy to repeat lies and insinuations non stop be it WW2 history, Ukraine, Russian GDP,elections and so forth until it is accepted as sort of truth. Even Phil being non mainstream still repeats this nonsense comparing Russia to Spain.

Flavius > , July 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm GMT

Both as a veteran and as a former cold warrior, I must say that I feel betrayed by the myopia, historical ignorance, incompetence, hubris, recklessness, sheer nuttiness of the Washington establishment's conduct towards Russia over the past 20 years – bipartisan insanity. When one thinks it can't get worse, it gets worse; or as the circa 70s Soviet saying went, things are worse today than yesterday, but better than tomorrow.
Economic numbers are relevant but ultimately beside the point when calculating one's national interest in the context of the world's major political and nuclear powers and history's most blood soaked century.
Kudos to people like Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, and Patrick Buchanan who demonstrate regularly that at least some who were there as witnesses of what was retain the good judgment to recognize the road the damn DC fools ever more insistently are taking us down; and I would add for no good reason at all, but purely out of habit and for having something to do.

Verymuchalive > , July 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov This was part of the argument I was trying to expose. The Russian economy is grossly undervalued and many people who should know better like Philip Giraldi tend to grossly underestimate its size, range and capabilities.
By contrast, the American economy is grossly overvalued and its capabilities grossly overestimated. You yourself gave the most absurd example: Facebook is now valued on a parity with Boeing. Purely as an advertising vehicle, which is all it is, Facebook might be worth a couple of hundred million dollars. But no more.
And the there's Twitter. Never made a profit in its 11 years. $2 billion accumulative deficits. Book worth $11 billion. You couldn't make it up.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm GMT

@for-the-record

do you not agree?

As one of the tools of economic analysis–agree.

Mr. Hack > , July 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT

@RobinG For a guy that claims to 'only be interested in the facts' this 'great' investigative reporter sure likes to serve up a crock of BS for his main course. While trying to make a case that the DNC was solely responsible for installing Yanukovych's replacement, the video clip shows Nuland making a phone call to somebody (?) announcing that her choice was Vitali Klitschko oops, how did Victor Poroshenko end up running the show, and not Klitschko? Looks like this sinister Soros plot unraveled here a wee bit. Also, while trying to besmearch the good name of John McCain, he's shown on a stage with a supposed notorious 'anti-Semite'. But look, who's that third person on the stage with both McCain and Tyahnibok? Why it's Arseni Yatseniuk, a Ukrainian-Jew, of all people! What's this Ukrainian Jew doing on stage with this great anti-Semite? Maybe he's an anti-Semite too??

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov With any luck, it'll spoil their whole afternoon.

Philip Giraldi > , July 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Andrei and others we are really on the same side on this – no matter how one values the Russian economy it is still tiny compared to the US and Western Europe. My point is that it is ludicrous to keep calling it a threat to everyone else – it doesn't have the economic mojo to take on the world. So let's stop picking on
Russia and calling it a threat. Likewise my comment about punishing Russia – if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order. But we should be demanding evidence relating to all the allegations and even then when I am referring to punishment I am thinking in terms of sanctions and other actions, not any expansion of NATO or anything that actually threatens Russian security.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Those are mantras. In one sense I understand that, even among people who, otherwise, would be considered "realists". It is akin to John Mearsheimer repeating non-stop his favorite mantra of Russian Armed Forces being "a mediocre army". It will take some time for a reality to sink in.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order.

Agree, as strange it may sound from the man of my background. The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal. Having said all that–I doubt strongly that Russia interfered in US elections. I make this conclusion purely on assessing the overall (much improved since mid-2000s) intellectual level of people who run Russian institutions which potentially may have interfered. I don't think those people are that stupid as to endanger US-Russian relations which are crucial for global stability, or whatever is left of it anyway.

Michael Kenny > , July 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

Back to "no evidence" again! "Let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong". OK. How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there. Putin doesn't deny it! By the way, from what I gather, talking with representatives of a foreign power with a view to obtaining an advantage is a federal crime and it matters not one whit whether any advantage was actually obtained or even that the "representatives" were faking. In the particular case, DNC "dirt" actually did pop up on the internet. Moreover, one of the lawyer's clients was being prosecuted for money laundering. Trump removed the federal prosecutor and the company was suddenly offered a sweet settlement deal without a guilty plea. That's a long way from "ipso facto"!

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive

You yourself gave the most absurd example: Facebook is now valued on a parity with Boeing.

Atrocious, isn't it? Boeing–a crown jewel of American (and global aerospace) industry and engineering genius and a FB. One produces technological marvels with global demand, another produces absolutely nothing, sadly, also with a global demand.

BTW, as I type this–Russia held today opening of 2017 MAKS aerospace exhibition–a real economy on display. There is only other nation in the world which can on her own produce anything comparable–and that is the US.

Longfisher > , July 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Moral Equivalence? Heck no. America is the indispensable and exceptional nation.

We can commit the same sins in even greater number and magnitude than other nations yet no one can hold us accountable while we hold others accountable for identical actions.

I recently wrote a very intelligent and cogent comment on a right-wing website which suggested that viewing America as if we were indispensable and exceptional, despite the plain fact that Trump was elected precisely because we aren't either of those things and his job was to find flaws and fix them, would tend to placate Americans such that we don't get to work fixing those flaws.

Guess what, that post was deleted by moderators within seconds.

Swell-headedness and self importance seems very deeply ingrained in Americans.

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

it is ludicrous to keep calling it a threat

Mr. Giraldi, you're missing the salient point. The rulers of the USA aren't delusional lunatics. Russia is the single largest threat to America's dream of Global Hegemony. It's refusal to kowtow to Washington, and more critically, its lending of its military power to underpin China's Silk Road Dreams guarantees their GH dream will die.

For the rulers of the USA, that's anathema. As good as death itself. They bet Americans' well being, Brand America, its industrial and civilian infrastructure, and almost its farms, for Global Hegemony and came up craps. They'll lose the farms soon enough.

That is why they're panicking, and why they're going to do everything they can to break their fall. Above all, they have to convince their allies to stay loyal, particularly Europe long enough to allow them to "think of something".

They have to stop the Silk Road from coming somehow, or American power will recede to the continent, leaving them to boss Canada and Mexico around. With Russia out of the way, China's a pushover. The two together can't be overcome. It really is as simple as that.

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

Care to cite any of it? I have yet to see the Kremlin take a single step off the black letter law. I'd be interested if you did.

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order.

Agree

when you compare how the ZUSA has intervened in other nations sovereign affairs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJVcdKxs3XA

and compare that to a Russian lawyer meeting with Trump surrogates with potential dirt on Clinton, the sheer hypocrisy is enough to benumb the mind and soul, it's so beyond egregious.

what's going on is the unipolar world of Zio-NATO demanding fealty from every last bastion of the dying multilateral international community, until it's zio-interests reign the entire length and breath of the planet, without a shred of resistance or dissent.

Sort of like the way they demanded that no one give Edward Snowden safe haven. And almost all nations kowtowed. They will not rest until their unipolar domination extends to every last bastion of human freedom from their $atanic power.

The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal

that's laughable.

the institutions of the US were murdered on 9/11, along with all those people in the planes and towers. We are no longer a people or a nation with a legal constitution, but rather are an occupied people with a quisling government serving Israel's interests, day and night. We're about as sovereign as Palestine, but at least they have the dignity of seeing their occupation for what it is, whereas we play pretend, and act like we're still sovereign, even as our citizens are assassinated if they become inconvenient to the regime in Tel Aviv that runs things here.

http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/netanyahu-congress-600×449.jpg

if we're going to be occupied by a hostile regime that hates us and wants to use us as cannon fodder to enslave Russia and everyone else, then we ought at least be allowed the dignity of knowing it and saying it.

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

you must be from the Kagan family of war pigs

Victoria Nuland (Nudelman), and her corpulent husband Robert Kagan

the waddling blob of lard Frederick Kagan and his war sow wife Kimberly Kagan

which one are you?

http://il6.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/11730821/thumb/1.jpg

alternatereality > , July 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT

@Pandos

OH thank you Jesus!

The lord gives and the lord takes !

Russian immigrants leaving Israel, discouraged by conversion woes

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/.premium-1.623745

Apr 14, 2017 Putin's Aliyah: Russian Jews leave Israel – Middle East Monitor

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170414-russian-jews-leave-israel/

(This may be one of the primary reasons for the ongoing demonization of Russia: One of zionism's foremost goals was the in-gathering of the diaspora. In the past zionists have destabilised states where Jews dwelt ! peacefully and securely ! in order to frighten Jews into leaving. If the Jews who left Russia in the 1980s are now returning, or are not integrating successfully in Israel, then similar tactics will likely be deployed.)
Putin's Aliyah: Russian Jews leave Israel According to Rozovsky, the post- 2000 immigrants, especially those who arrived following the failed

May 10, 2017 Some 17 per cent of the Jewish immigrants who came to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s have since left, official data by

25 years later, Russian speakers still the 'other' in Israel,
http://www.timesofisrael.com/25-years-later-russian-speakers-still- ;

Sep 1, 2016 "The majority of native-born Israelis think Russian Israelis are not Jews," said Svetlova. . were forced to give up their citizenship and pension upon leaving.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm GMT

@Rurik I may agree with you on some points but those agreements are not bases for denouncing national sovereignty as a crucial guiding principle of international relations. Yes, including USA.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

@Greg Bacon Yeah, I know we don't get our oil in the ME, but we justify our meddling there and everywhere by trying to keep it out of the hands of our 'enemies' and flowing to our friends. even if we have to create those friends and enemies in order to create a role for ourselves.

Regarding the second point you made, I didn't know that, but somehow I'm not exactly surprised!

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi How do you "wreck an election"? I can imagine a number of ways from using violence, intimidation, media pressure, buying votes, blackmail of candidates, electoral fraud, and a few others. But none of those happened in a significant way in the 2016 elections – and the esteemed Mr. Obama went out of his way right before the elections to say that all was in order.

Now, one can argue that some of the above always happens, and that it also happened in 2016 in US (there was some violence and media manipulation, there is always some fraud ). But how can any sane person claim that it "wrecked the election"?

If one looks at any event long enough and is motivated to find 'irregularities', one can always find them. But how was 2016 different from 2012,or 2000, or 1968, or any other election year?

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

national sovereignty as a crucial guiding principle of international relations. Yes, including USA.

OK, but in order to expect anyone else to respect international law and the sovereignty of nations, isn't it rather incumbent upon us that we (the ZUSA) do so as well?

IOW, wouldn't it be rather silly for Israel to punish a Palestinian for failing to recognize Israel's sovereignty, when Israel doesn't even respect his right to breath, let alone have a spot on the earth that he can call his own?

Isn't it sort of a folly for the ZUSA to demand that Russia respect our sovereignty, when we relentlessly subvert her election processes and the stability of the nations on her borders, in a direct and obvious attempt to destabilize their government and society? And try to do them all manor of harm to benefit some dark and devious scheme of the (by now notorious) villains that run our government and institutions?

It seems like Jerry Sandusky demanding that Mother Theresa be more considerate to children.

or at least, that's sort of how it seems to me.

But then I'll gladly pretend that Trump is going to return to us our sovereignty, and behave within the norms of International Law, (respecting all other nation's sovereignty) and then when that happens, then I'll agree with you vis-a-vis the importance of protecting the institutions of our national sovereignty. Something I hope Trump will be able to wrest back from Tel Aviv, and we can all live happily ever after.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal. Having said all that–I doubt strongly that Russia interfered in US elections.

The American electorate has, for 50 years, consistently elected "representatives" who, without fail, proceeded to take actions to devastate the American economy while enriching themselves and their grotesquely-corrupt monetary "supporters". With that in mind, why on earth would Russia seek to interfere in a US election? America is rapidly destroying itself ! no interference is necessary.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

I see you are a well-paid 2nd-tier hasbara. A slicker, smoother, more practiced line of patter. But, bullshit, per the usual.

Russia has long-standing agreements with Ukraine that establish rights-of-way to its bases in Crimea. Nothing illegal was done with respect to international law. It's very typical of Israelis to squawk nastily about "international law" that does not exist.

Good to have you aboard, Moshe! We need a good token around to shill for Israel. Keep that bullshit coming!!

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:22 pm GMT

Nothing at all respectable about the modern day Sierra Club.

They sold out for a big donation from a Jewish donor committed to open borders.

The environment in the United States be dammed.

It is all about the money with the modern day Sierra Club.

Nothing more disrespectful, or predictable with liberals, than that.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm GMT

@Anonymous

The American electorate has, for 50 years, consistently elected "representatives" who, without fail, proceeded to take actions to devastate the American economy while enriching themselves and their grotesquely-corrupt monetary "supporters".

True to a large degree. Yet:

With that in mind, why on earth would Russia seek to interfere in a US election? America is rapidly destroying itself ! no interference is necessary.

You could be really stunned if you think that Russia seeks destruction of the US and once real Russia's intentions are understood. This is not to speak of consequences of the US imploding–they will be global and could be simply catastrophic for all. US is a nuclear superpower and is still a crucial player in global economy. Russia sure as hell is interested in saner and, in a good geopolitical sense, national interests' defending US–but those interests certainly can not be "global" in neocon "interpretation". In the end, during campaigning Trump was saying very many right words and those words have been prepared for him by very powerful people, which testifies to the fact of some powerful forces inside US who do understand the new game. We all are currently at the point of no return, we are still balancing on it, whether we will cross into the "pass the point of NR" is yet to be seen. But US power is declining both in relative and absolute terms and this process is objective.

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

@Z-man Counterproductive for sure.

Criminalization of thought gives the thought more credibility.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Why am I beginning to get the feeling that Russia is now being catapulted by the most complex algorithms to the forefront of the world economic ranking in order to make them look like the ominous opponent we've already 'agreed' to make them into?

Isn't this a bit transparent ?

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@Erebus If your analysis is correct, and it may well be, then our decline as a superpower will be the result of Jewish hegemony and the traitorous behavior of the cuckservatives.

A nation hollowed out at its core will die.

yeah > , July 18, 2017 at 6:58 pm GMT

Philip Giraldi, pretending to be so fair and reasonable, writes, ""Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence."

Punish exactly how? By making the Russians wear dunce caps? By expelling even more Russian diplomats? Or perhaps by launching a few good ones?

The stupidity, hypocrisy, and hubris of Neocons and their bedmates, the progressives, makes me gasp. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that the sanest and safest way in troubled times is for all parties to observe international law and not to renounce it.

Now what great human ideal, what dazzling symptom of moral and political greatness has been achieved by bombing silly but miserably weak countries? Is Iraq a better place for anyone now?Is Libya more democratic now? Should N. Korea be similarly treated? And of course the mother of all questions: how should Russia be punished? Will more Nato exercises in the Baltic teach the Russians better manners? What if they took it into their heads to conduct military exercises off the Gulf of Mexico? Of course, that will only prove how fiendish they are, how they "interfered" with US democracy. Interfered how? Perhaps they lifted American skirts a little too high. The US never, ever interferes with any country's political processes. The CIA exists to ensure that every US agency follows international law fully. But damn these Russians, they don't understand such noble things.

Dangerous times when hypocrisy and arrogance gets mixed up with tons of stupidity and ignorance.

Cortes > , July 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm GMT

An excellent article. Thank you.

One minor quibble. The "golden shower" allegation was designed to be more embarrassing than your version of it, since the story was that the prostitutes urinated on Trump and not the other way round.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT

@Rurik

OK, but in order to expect anyone else to respect international law and the sovereignty of nations, isn't it rather incumbent upon us that we (the ZUSA) do so as well?

Yes, absolutely so.

It seems like Jerry Sandusky demanding that Mother Theresa be more considerate to children. or at least, that's sort of how it seems to me.

A good point you make but once you observe with the naked eye most of what is going on currently in terms of global power re-balancing–it is precisely about a bottom line of several guiding principles applied to everyone which should be followed–respect for sovereignty is the most important of them. It will require (and it is happening as I type is) a significant re-defining of US "exceptionalism" before new balance is achieved but it is this new balance into whose sails the winds of history are blowing. Having said all that, espionage and operations of influence will certainly not go anywhere, but the level of violence will be reduced greatly.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm GMT

@Cortes I knew right away that that whole golden shower story was fake because on the margins this charge had been made about Hitler also over the years.

Seems to be the standard smear against nazis, #7 in the ol' lexicon.

Priss Factor > , Website July 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm GMT

former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy.

But keep in mind that it's wrong to assess Russian economy this way.

Much of Spanish or Italian economy is just tourism, wine, foods, and such stuff. Italy and Spain don't have Power Economies.

In contrast, Russia has tons of resources, big machinery, military ware, and energy.
So, it is a Power Economy. And if Russia were to enter into war-footing, these sectors could be expanded vastly, like during WWII.

anon > , July 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT

Wow. Just wow.

In fact:

1. Russia has been involved in financing 'green' anti EU and Ukrainian fracking for years. This is, in fact, interesting. Liquid crude oil is fungible but natural gas is very expensive to move around except in direct, physically connected pipelines. Ukraine could develop an unconventional gas and oil industry ! in theory. It has resources but not the political or economic cohesion to do anything for its economy.

2. Same with Europe. except there isn't much to develop. Romania gave it a try and could have done something at $100 oil but its project has been abandon at current prices.

3. US sanctions on Russia resulted in 'import substitution' economic development. The Ruble haircut (roughly half) has turned Russia into an agriculture export powerhouse. It's now the largest exporter of grain in the world.

4. What did we do? We 'manipulated' Russia's currency downward and luck reduced (temporarily) the value of oil exports. We pushed other countries *not* to trade with Russia. This resulted in Russia boycotting food imports, among other things. Effectively a tariff. The only negative was a real, significant, but transitory cost to Russian standard of living. I suppose the rationale was to punish Putin and cause political unrest. That worked well, no?

5. Meanwhile ! Fracking. Lets call it unconventional US Oil and Gas. The US is effectively self sufficient regarding net total trade balance of oil and gas, including refined products and basic chemicals. Not quite as obvious as it would be if every component was in exact balance. US refineries can get more out of heavy crude and well continue to import it and refine it. The US produces multi millions of bbl per day of 'liquids' ! a large quantity of which are exported. Propane, among others. Look it up if you are curious. Meanwhile, the US is the world's largest producer of natural gas.

The entire unconventional oil industry is the only large area of expansion in the US economy since 2008. It's why the US has done better than the rest of the developed world's economies since 2008. What replaced the housing bubble? I suppose nothing, but unconventional oil has come close. A problem is that the benefits are more concentrated than single family housing ! which had the advantage of being spread around fairly uniformly, with a lot going to the deplorable engaged in a segment of the skilled labor needed to pull it off.

A policy of global hegemony focused on oil is more than backwards looking. I suppose it is impossible not to fight the last war. WW 2 wasn't primarily about oil, but the popular narrative tends to seriously underestimate the extent to which it was catastrophic for Germany. Russia had it and Germany didn't. And of course ! it was fought on the Eastern Front and paid for in Russian blood. But oil was so 20th century. Would the US design a foreign policy around the 'strategic' asset of coal?

The point is that a commodity based view of global hegemony is old and wrong. US has been an 'agricultural' superpower for a century. And now we have made Russia the grain basket of the world. And now oil is effectively just another commodity. Time to get with it.

Zenarchy > , July 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Yats is not a Jew and even Ukraine's chief rabbi has said so.
Have you even looked at him? There may be blonde and blue-eyed Jews etc, but this guy has zero Jewish features.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

You could be really stunned if you think that Russia seeks destruction of the US and once real Russia's intentions are understood. This is not to speak of consequences of the US imploding–they will be global and could be simply catastrophic for all.

In my opinion, it follows that both Russia and China need the USA for economic reasons ! markets, currency standard, stabilizing effect of military, etc. More correctly, they need something like the USA, so the USA serves the purpose for the meanwhile. The US is collapsing from decay, where China is on a growth spurt of yet undetermined duration, Russia on a rebirth cycle following collapse that did not destroy it.

All interesting factors. I will say I do not believe the US can engender rebirth, and its collapse will be properly calamitous. We shall see.

Patrick Armstrong > , Website July 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT

RUSSIA INC. Summarising three recent authorities, Wikipedia says Canada's GDP is greater than Russia's and Germany's is about two and a half times greater. There's something deeply misleading and, in fact, quite worthless about these GDP comparisons. Russia has a full-service space industry including the only other operating global satellite navigation system.

Neither Canada nor Germany does. It has an across the board sophisticated military industry which may be the world leader in electronic warfare, air defence systems, silent submarines and armoured vehicles. Neither Canada nor Germany does. It has a developed nuclear power industry with a wide range of products. Ditto.

It builds and maintains a fleet of SSBNs – some of the most complicated machinery that exists. Ditto. Its aviation industry makes everything from competitive fighter planes through innovative helicopters to passenger aircraft. Ditto.

It has a full automotive industry ranging from some of the world's most powerful heavy trucks to ordinary passenger cars. It has all the engineering and technical capacity necessary to build complex bridges, dams, roads, railways, subway stations, power stations, hospitals and everything else.

It is a major and growing food producer and is probably self-sufficient in food today. Its food export capacity is growing and it has for several years been the leading wheat exporter. It has enormous energy reserves and is a leading exporter of oil and gas. Its pharmaceutical industry is growing rapidly. It is intellectually highly competitive in STEM disciplines – a world leader in some cases.

Its computer programmers are widely respected. (Yes, there is a Russian cell phone.) It's true that many projects involve Western partners – the Sukhoy Superjet for example – but it's nonetheless the case that the manufacturing and know-how is now in Russia. Germany or Canada has some of these capabilities but few – very few – countries have all of them. In fact, counting the EU as one, Russia is one of only four.

Therefore in Russia's case, GDP rankings are not only meaningless, but laughably so. While Russians individually are not as wealthy as Canadians or Germans, the foundations of wealth are being laid and deepened every day in Russia. What of the future? Well there's a simple answer to that question – compare Russia in 2000 with Russia in 2017: all curves are up. Of course Russians support their government – why wouldn't they? It's doing what they hired it to do; we others can only dream of such governments. For what it's worth, PwC predicts Russia will be first in Europe in 2050, but, even so, I think it misses the real point: Indonesia and Brazil ahead of Russia? No way: it's not GDP/PPP that matters, it's full service. Russia is a full-service power and it won't become any less so in the next 30 years. Autarky. Very few aren't there? And in that little group of four autarkies on the planet, who's going up and who's going down? A big – fatal even – mistake to count Russia out.

https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/02/09/russian-federation-sitrep-9-february-2017/

Astuteobservor II > , July 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive he is using gdp numbers.

anon > , July 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT

@chris It would have few dollars more per gallon and would have been like that since 1950

geokat62 > , July 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm GMT

As it turns out, there may not have been any discussion of Hillary, though possibly something having to do with irregularities in DNC fundraising surfaced, and there may have been a bit more about the Magnitsky Act and adopting Russian babies.

Speaking of the Magnitsky Act, here is some late-breaking news that, if substantiated, will put a completely different spin on the bogus Russia-gate scandal:

Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya says Magnitsky act lobbyist Browder behind Trump Jr. scandal

The scandal concerning the meeting between US President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was orchestrated by Magnitsky act lobbyist William Browder, the lawyer told RT in an exclusive interview.

"I´m ready to clarify the situation behind this mass hysteria – but only through lawyers or testifying in the Senate," Veselnitskaya told RT.

"I can only assume that the current situation that has been heated up for ten days or so by now is a a very well-orchestrated story concocted by one particular manipulator – Mr. Browder. He is one of the greatest experts in the field of manipulating mass media,"Veselnitskaya said.

She went on to say that Browder, who is the founder and CEO of the Hermitage Capital investment company, orchestrated this whole disinformation campaign as revenge for the defeat he suffered in a US court in 2013 from a team of lawyers that included Veselnitskaya.

"I have absolutely no doubt that this whole information [campaign] is being spun, encouraged and organized by that very man as revenge for the defeat he suffered in court of the Southern State of New York in the 'Perezvon' company case," she said.

"He wasn't able to convince the court with his lousy human tragedy that actually never happened, about the fate of a dead man – who he only learnt about after his death."

In 2013, Veselnitskaya was one of the lawyers who represented a Cyprus-based holding company Prevezon, owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, in its defense against allegations of money laundering in a court of the Southern State of New York.

The case was settled with no admission of guilt by Prevezon.

Veselnitskaya also said she is now concerned for the safety of her family as it's been revealed that Browder's team spied on her family's activities even before her meeting with Trump Jr.

"It's been revealed that Mr. Browder and his team have been gathering information about my family," she told RT, adding, that Browder's team "found photos of my house and sent them to Kyle Parker a famous man in the House of Representatives, who worked for Mr Browder for many years – and not for any congressmen or congress as a whole."

People working for Browder also shared all her personal details with representatives of the State Department, Veselnitskaya said.

Browder has a long history of hostility against Russia. In 2013, he was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for tax evasion. He was also the boss of the late Russian auditor Sergey Magnitsky.

According to the 2013 court verdict, Browder together with Magnitsky failed to pay over 552 million rubles in taxes (about US$16 million). The businessman was also found guilty of illegally buying shares in the country's natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, costing Russia at least 3 billion rubles (US$100 million).

Magnitsky died in pre-trial custody in 2009. His death led to a strain in Russian-American relations. US authorities eventually imposed sanctions against Russian officials they deemed responsible for the auditor's death by issuing the so-called Magnitsky list in 2012. Browder also lobbied European states to follow Washington's lead.

The Magnitsky Act is a 2012 law that allows the United States to seize assets from a number of alleged Russian human rights abusers, as well as barring them from entering the country. Russia retaliated by prohibiting American families from adopting Russian children.

https://www.rt.com/news/396728-russian-lawyer-scandal-america/

For those who may not recall, Phil previously wrote an excellent article on the sordid Magnitsky Act affair here on Unz. IIRC, Browder managed to get Sen. McCain to stand on the floor of the senate and make a sales pitch (with fancy presentation materials) to convince the rest of the senate to vote in favour of passing the Magnitsky Act, which they did. Hopefully, this story will now begin to unravel like a ball of yarn.

Client 9 > , July 18, 2017 at 11:11 pm GMT

"Now the irony in all this is that a major producer of relatively dirty oil is being accused of targeting an even dirtier and environmentally destructive energy resource, which is fracking"

We've been Fracking since the early 20th century, there are always risks but overall it is a safe alternative. Time to stop getting our oil from countries who use their wealth to spread terror/sharia, whose only aim is to build a global calipahte.

Erebus > , July 19, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT

@lavoisier Well, it's not really an "analysis" as such. If one goes back to the literature of the time, one sees that Triffen's Dilemma was known to the policy makers, and was hovering overhead in the deliberations leading up to Nixon's "closing the gold window" in 1971.

Dollar Hegemony was very attractive because it offered the West the opportunity to do an end run around its military stalemate in its Great Game with the USSR. Though closing the gold window was a policy decision, the attraction was not lost on the captain's of American industry. They could count on a generation or so of extraordinary profit and scrambled on board.

It was Dollar Hegemony that underpinned the West's takedown of the USSR. By loaning the USSR "hard currency" (remember that term?), and then collapsing the prices of the stuff the USSR exported to pay back the loans, the USSR was forced into austerity, and ultimately default.
That plan is a matter of historical record, so didn't require any "analysis" on my part either. They tried the same thing again in 2014, but I suspect the Russians were ready for them this time.

As for the Jewish part, the elite in most countries are "international" in their lifestyle and outlook. Yes, Jews are over-represented there, and are possibly more "international" in outlook than goy elites, but real "Jewish hegemony" comes later with the rise of the Financial State. Having laid out the ground work in the '90s with the repeal of Glass-Steagal etc, it really takes off at the time of 9/11, which coincided with the 2nd shoe dropping on the American economy. Namely, China's ascendance to the WTO and gaining Most Favoured Nation status.

To make Dollar Hegemony work, you need a powerful, and effective military. They got the "powerful" part, in the sense that the USM is really good at blowing stuff up, but they muffed the "effective", and so here we are.

Cortes > , July 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

@chris Chris, if memory serves, Norman Davies (in his selection of key moments and people "Europe" – a door stopper of a book) went much further in describing the sexual pathology of Hitler. I may be mistaken (won't be the first or only time) so don't sue me. Check out the relevant section of the book.
Here, dealing with President Trump, the effort appears to me to be defamatory and consistent with the seeming ongoing campaign to destabilise his presidency by actors known and unknown.

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

@Flavius "DC fools ever more insistently are taking us down; and I would add for no good reason at all, but purely out of habit and for having something to do."

I can't agree with that. I would say that total global control is the ultimate motivation.

America's role is to be the persuader and enforcer until such time as relative parity is achieved and then America can be reduced to little more than a struggling entity that can be slotted in amongst the other competing economic zones (all controlled by the same interests) in a competitive race to the bottom scenario.

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 12:44 am GMT

@alternatereality I would think that most are emigrating to the US, no?

ChuckOrloski > , July 19, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT

Brilliant revelation, NoseyTheDuke!

Gg Mo > , July 19, 2017 at 1:05 am GMT

@alternatereality Alternative Reality Indeed.

yeah > , July 19, 2017 at 2:26 am GMT

@Patrick Armstrong A very potent and astute piece of analysis – kudos to you, sir.

Now why don't the great economists in their ivory towers get these common sense things right? An economy making everything from A to Z is way different from an economy based on wines, cheese, and chocolates. A wild thought: Perhaps common sense should be made a compulsory part of many curriculums. Yes, no?

RobinG > , July 19, 2017 at 3:05 am GMT

@geokat62 Thanks, Geo.

Here's the weekly update on #UNRIG which, due to being attacked last week by Zionist entities in US, has added a second demand – AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL.

Robert Steele Weekly Integrity Update on #UNRIG

MarkinPNW > , July 19, 2017 at 3:06 am GMT

@Rurik Rurik, shame on you for insulting pigs!

Mokiki > , July 19, 2017 at 3:09 am GMT

Why do you embrace the watermelon position that fracking is "dirty"??

RobinG > , July 19, 2017 at 4:22 am GMT

@Mr. Hack Where to begin? How about the notion that John McCain has a good name to besmirch. ("Besmearch" sounds a bit like something a James Bond villain would do, no?)

Next, why the pretense? Everyone knows that Fuktoria was speaking with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Ross Pyatt. From Wikipedia,

"In their phone conversation, Nuland and Pyatt discussed who should be in the government after Viktor Yanukovych's ouster and in what ways they might achieve that transition, with the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk (whom Nuland refers to as "Yats") coming up several times. Specifically, the two spoke about which opposition leaders they would like to see in government, what pitches they would give each opposition leader in subsequent calls to achieve this, and strategies on how they would try to manage the 'personality problems' and conflicts between the different opposition leaders with ambitions to become president.[15][16] Yatsenyuk became prime minister of Ukraine on February 27, 2014″

So, as you see, their man Yats did become prime minister. Porky, the chocolate king, subsequently became president. Maybe your hearing is bad: they ruled out Klitch from the top positions.

Ya, that's the irony, that the Nudelwoman took power by unleashing a bunch of Banderites and neo-nazis. Pretty funny, huh? BTW, are you sure Mr. Hack isn't really Mr. Hasbara?

Sergey Krieger > , July 19, 2017 at 8:50 am GMT

@Anonymous In case of USA collapse the most important question is what happens with nukes and everything related.

Mr. Hack > , July 19, 2017 at 10:40 am GMT

@RobinG

So, as you see, their man Yats did become prime minister.

Yes, and millions of US citizens who voted in the last elections had their choice for president validated too. Were they all involved in some nefarious, covert act too? I replayed the video clip, and while the 'great reporter' talks about Nuland's favorite for the top Ukrainian post, photos of Klitschko were being transferred over the viewing screen. Still, it was Poroshenko and not Yatseniuk that filled the top post. In fact, Poroshenko's name was never mentioned in the nefarious phone call?? BTW, Poroshenko was elected president by way of a monitored and free election several months after the events on the Maidan had settled down.

For the record then, since you so cavalierly throw around the terms 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis', just who exactly do both Yatseniuk and Porosheno represent in your sophisticated view of contemporary Ukrainian political persuasions? Or are both of them both 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis?

Avery > , July 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack {For the record then, since you so cavalierly throw around the terms 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis', just who exactly do both Yatseniuk and Porosheno represent in your sophisticated view of contemporary Ukrainian political persuasions? Or are both of them both 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis?}

Don't know about Porkyshenko, but The Yats is a neo-Nazi*: scroll down and take a gander of The Yats giving the traditional greeting to his Nazi Master, Adolf. (right after Oleh Tyahnybok).

Heil Hitler!
Sieg Heil!

______________
*

https://off-guardian.org/2016/11/05/ukraine-fascisms-toe-hold-in-europe/

Rurik > , Website July 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

@MarkinPNW mea culpa

those pigs are actually very beautiful, and they have my apology for comparing them to the Kagans

Sarah Toga > , July 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

Phil,
What's your beef with hydraulic fracturing?

Anonymous > , July 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT

"One of the latest claims is that Moscow has been covertly funding some environmental groups, most particularly those opposed to the use of fracking technologies."

And Russian environmental critics of Putin, such as Evgueniya Chirikova and Nadezdha Kutepova, are notoriously sponsored by organizations linked to the US government. The moral outrage of the American establishment is totally hypocritical. Anything is right or wrong just when it serves the interests of the American establishment.

In fact, much of the Russian opposition is financed by Washington, but this has never generated any tearing of the Yankee mainstream media.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/russian-opposition-caught-filing-into-us-embassy-in-moscow/30717

Anatoly Karlin > , Website July 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

As a rule of thumb, nominal GDP is a superior proxy of financial strength, while PPP-adjusted GDP is better as a proxy of industrial, inc. military-industrial potential (and of real living standards in its per capita format).

In the former domain, Russia is indeed a minor; in the latter domain, it is indeed comparable to Germany.

Philip Giraldi > , July 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

@Sarah Toga http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/011915/what-are-effects-fracking-environment.asp?lgl=rira-baseline-vertical

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_hydraulic_fracturing_in_the_United_States

Mr. Hack > , July 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

@Avery

Arseniy Yatsenyuk [center], former PM of Ukraine, also NOT performing a Nazi slaute.

I take this quote directly from underneath the photo in the article that you cite. Not an expert on correct 'Nazi salutes' I'll defer to the author of this photo for his knowledge on this matter. Yatseniuk, may have showed some solidarity with rightists like Tyahnybok during the Maidan period, but he's never been known for any far right viewpoints or belonging to any far right political parties, and indeed has been referred to as a Jew on many occasions. I don't know for a fact whether or not he's Jewish, not having taken a part in either his Christian baptism, nor his Jewish Bar Mitzvah.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/fearful-of-anti-semitism-22-of-european-jews-hide-identity/

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As a rule of thumb, nominal GDP is a superior proxy of financial strength, while PPP-adjusted GDP is better as a proxy of industrial, inc. military-industrial potential (and of real living standards in its per capita format).

Somewhat true. But while PPP is, indeed, "better" it is still highly inaccurate, and I mean highly. Reason being the "adjustment" itself, which changes dramatically across the whole spectrum of real (that is productive) economy plus calculation of costs in general–e.g. US healthcare system. While highly developed and world-class (most of the time), its "cost calculations" (through "charge masters") is ridiculous but it is this number (horrendously inflated) which goes in as part of US GDP. But here is an example which anyone will understand, since unlike financial transactions, it is an essential and extremely important service, that is healthcare. My mother just recently, in Moscow nonetheless, literally built all her teeth anew–she has now literally a new mouth. She paid 130 000 Rubles. World class dentist, excellent equipment, great service, implants etc–whole 9 yards. Now, if converted directly to US Dollar it comes up to 2167 USD. What can I do for that here, in US? I know for sure, my good acquaintance dentist offered me a single implant (and I really need it badly) of an upper tooth for a good price of 2 500 USD. Should I do to my teeth (desirable for me) what my mother did–I would end up with 20 000 + bill in the best case scenario. How do we convert that? I looked once at the cost (covered by my insurance, thankfully) of one of my CT scans–2 000 + USD. This is without "reading" it. As you may have guessed it already, the same procedure in Russia will cost much-much less, this is without counting free ones, but you have to wait there for weeks or even months. Here are simple examples of those gigantic discrepancies. Once one gets into real hi-tech manufacturing field, most (not all) Western "economists" will have their brains exploding.

Philip Giraldi > , July 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Andrei and Anatoly – Thanks for explaining this. I last studied economics in an introductory course taught by Milton Friedman. I came away with a "C" and forgot everything I had learned almost immediately.

Apolonius > , July 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny Lets punish Russia? Are you sure that you have big enough punisher?

How you people get to think and say such a things? Are you not aware that Russia can obliterate USA and western Europe in 30 mins? No anti-rocket system will help, russian missiles can change their trajectory in flight (american don´t ) ! Not adding that to defend against thousands of missiles is virtually impossible. You still writing like you have power over Russia,this is the most stupid thing you can do – but of course , you are an exceptional representative of the exceptional people You have a donkey for the president, and you blame it on Russia? Whole world is having fun watching this opera..

As to international law, USA and NATO countries are in the gravest breach of the international law, they have executed illegal war and occupation in Serbia, since 1999.(That is just first of many) Let us first punish that, together with reparations to the attacked nation, and then you can start speaking about "International law".

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

I came away with a "C" and forgot everything I had learned almost immediately

Very similar, albeit I scored A ("5″) IIRC on my Political Economy Of Capitalism (did less well on the same but of Socialism) in naval academy. But life forced me, eventually, especially against the collapse of the USSR and our lives being thrown in complete disarray (politely speaking), to start review and, eventually, study the subject anew.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT

@Anonymous

In my opinion, it follows that both Russia and China need the USA for economic reasons ! markets, currency standard, stabilizing effect of military, etc.

Secret to China's economic miracle are precisely these very American markets, which were opened to Chinese-made goods. Russia is far-far less, on several orders of magnitude, less dependent on US markets than China, hence Russia has much bigger room for maneuver. But in the rest, you are correct–US is too important to global economic balance, even despite being so damaging to it, to think that possible collapse could be contained. It could not be contained completely. Some sort of accommodation has to be found. What sort? I am not competent enough to be very specific, plus we will have to go into military-political aspect of that issue.

Apolonius > , July 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@Patrick Armstrong Just to add one personal observation. I know Russia very well, lived there for 12 years, last time in 1991. Then I visited Russia several times until 2006 – improvement was visible, but nothing prepared me to the Russsia 2017! Even people on the street changed – to the positive. As to buildings, stores, it is incredible, I couldn´t recognize old Russia, everything was new, shining, smart and much better than before.

Russians are optimistic , which was impossible in nineties! It was really a shock for me, very nice shock I don´t know how to express to you this enormous surprise I never thought such transformation possible .

So speaking about Russia like about some sick giant is a very stupid thing to do. Today, Russia from the point of view of her citizens is good, and working hard for excellence. I think Western leaders still think about Russia in categories of 90´s, and that is a big mistake. They should understand once for all, that Russia has to be treated as equal, and not messed with, like in Ukraine. If they will not, I think that the Russia will pass from partner, to the Master.

anon > , July 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm GMT

Here's material for Phil Giraldi's next week's piece:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-overheard-comments-netanyahu-lashes-eus-crazy-policy-on-israel/

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 7:26 pm GMT

@Apolonius

Today, Russia from the point of view of her citizens is good, and working hard for excellence

Without any jokes, however lighthearted this my statement may appear to you, one of the fields in which Russia's greatness is unsurpassed by the US is the field of 100% cotton socks. No, I don't mean those white (and warm) cotton socks any COSTCO or department stores sell. No, I am talking about 100% cotton socks of thin and different colors (including of dressy kind) you can by in any Russian department store or Auchan. This is not the case with US anymore.

For years now I was either bringing back with me or whenever any of our friends flew to Russia and back–the request is always the same: bring 10-12 pairs of not-white thin 100% cotton socks. I gave up trying to find these socks in US long time ago now, probably circa 2008-09. Including by means of internet. This is really ridiculous in the nation which was known around the world for its superb cotton products from jeans to socks for decades. I am almost forced now to go back to Russia next year to buy socks–jokes aside, a very serious consideration among few others.

krollchem > , July 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Coming from a natural resource science background I would argue that GDP is not relevant to a sustainable society. The concept of GDP is based on the mythology of ever increasing growth. This has been debunked by the late Dr. Bartlett many years ago:

What is relevant is a sustainable society that maintains soil quality/fertility, water quality, and does not exceed the human carrying capacity of the land. More recently, the concept of doughnut economics encapsulates this:

Doughnut Economics – Grab a pencil, draw a doughnut!

https://theminskys.org/doughnut-economics/

https://www.kateraworth.com/animations/

Perhaps Russia can delay civilizational collapse by not following the the Western economic growth trap with the fracking, GMOs, water pollution, etc that is destroying what was once the resource rich land of America.

ps. Another quibble with GDP or PPP measurements is that it does not adequately measure WEALTH generated from the internal economy. See the automatic earth website for a different economic model.

Anonymous > , July 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm GMT

@Apolonius

No anti-rocket system will help

Even a 100% accurate system can be made useless if someone sets the warhead to detonate upon hitting the ground. Hitting a rocket (which is the goal) would only result in a nearby mushroom cloud. That's quite a predicament for the operators and for the host country.

HallParvey > , July 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive "You couldn't make it up."

Actually, you could. In fact, somebody did.

Bonjour

annamaria > , July 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Why are you going on a childish offensive by defending the US-installed junta in Kiev and demanding others to provide you with evidence that the neo-nazis and Banderites have nothing to do with Yatz and Poroshenko and Nuland-Kagan?

Google "neo-Nazi parades in Ukraine" and enjoy the show. If you still have doubts about the direct responsibility of Poroschenko for the neo-Nazi presence in the government of Ukraine, read about Pravyj sector and its role in the Maidan revolution. Also, Proschenko had been in contact with the State Dept for years before the Maidan revolution. Your take on this?

The main point is the US-orchestrated regime change in Kiev. Or you want to convince the UNZ reader that Nuland was a virtual reality and nothing has changed in Ukraine since Mrs. Nuland-Kagan' and Mr. Brennan's visit to Kiev? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7

Do you realize that the US has brought a range of US officials to Kiev – including the Director of the CIA – to "improve" a democratic process there by removing a lawfully elected and acting president?

Yes, the US intervention has brought neo-Nazis and Banderites to the positions of influence in Ukraine. What could be more natural than a combination of the name "Kagan" and the word "neo-Nazis?" https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/20/a-family-business-of-perpetual-war/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31887-the-ukraine-mess-that-nuland-made

Rurik > , Website July 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

some good news vis-à-vis Russia, Syria and the US

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.620196799e59

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 11:10 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi I found this small article to be wonderfully instructive on economics.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1993/12/how-the-world-works/305854/

I disagree with a lot of my American friends because they cannot conceive the notion that projects designed to benefit all of society are not necessarily evil socialism.

I believe in affordable healthcare for all and think Trump could achieve this by infusing the VA Hospital system with some extra funds and by using the Cuban healthcare methodology and then offering the service to those in need and charging according to what people can afford to pay. Medical students would be selected purely on merit and would work in the hospital as orderlies, cooks, cleaners whatever while undergoing studies. Post-graduation they would work within the system at a low income for about 10 years to repay their education. Medicines would be produced within the system and any profits from R & D would be ploughed back into the system. Preventative care would also be a feature.

Private healthcare would remain untouched for those who want it and can afford it. I have it myself.

It could be done, would cost far less than thought and ALL would benefit except perhaps the greedy and immoral. America would be a better nation for it.

Mr. Hack > , July 20, 2017 at 12:00 am GMT

@annamaria I'm curious why those of your persuasion aren't at all rattled by Russia's blatant attempts to unduly influence events in Ukraine during the Maidan period:

According to government documents released by former Deputy Interior Minister Hennadiy Moskal, Russian officials served as advisers to the operations against protesters. Codenamed "Wave" and "Boomerang", the operations involved the use of snipers to disperse crowds and capture the protesters' headquarters in the House of Trade Unions. Before some police officers defected, the plans included the deployment of 22,000 combined security troops in Kiev.[84] According to the documents, the former first deputy of the Russian GRU stayed at the Kiev Hotel, played a major role in the preparations, and was paid by the Security Services of Ukraine.. agents had been stationed in Kiev throughout the Euromaidan protests, had been provided with "state telecommunications" while residing at an SBU compound, and had kept in regular contact with Ukrainian security officials. "We have substantiated grounds to consider that these very groups which were located at an SBU training ground took part in the planning and execution of activities of this so-called antiterrorist operation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT

@Mr. Hack There is a wonderful episode from a famous novel by Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol, where an official tells a story of an officer's widow who allegedly whipped herself with a lash.
According to your fiction (since you have completely omitted the well-established facts of Nuland-Kagan' and Brennan' presence at the key moments of the regime change in Kiev), Russians have arranged the regime change in Kiev themselves – "cut off your nose to spite your face," in short. You have also modestly omitted the fact of the rise of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, courtesy the US State Dept and its ziocon handlers.
Here is a report from much more reliable source of information than the ziocon-controlled MSM: "Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance, " by Thierry Meyssan http://www.voltairenet.org/article183373.html
Repost: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7 https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

Mr. Hack > , July 20, 2017 at 1:30 am GMT

since you have completely omitted the well-established facts of Nuland-Kagan' and Brennan' presence at the key moments of the regime change in Kiev

Just where have I ommitted reference to Nuland and Brennan. You must be mixing up my comments with somebody else? I've noted that both were in Kyiv, but question their ability to direct a movement that was homegrown from the very beginning and till the bitter end.

You have also modestly omitted the fact of the rise of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, courtesy the US State Dept and its ziocon handlers.

You're right, I have for the most part omitted reference to any far right parties. Svoboda, the largest of these, barely can muster 3% support in national elections. I'd rather concentrate my purview on the other 97% of the voter base, than on a 3% minority party.

But since you've brought up what I've conveniently omitted, HOW ABOUT YOU? No comment regarding the obtrusive and deadly amalgamation of FSB personnel in Ukraine during these events? From what I've read, they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies or courses in how to create a civil society?

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 2:46 am GMT

" they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies"

It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine. And you want to convince the UNZ readers that the Maidan was organized by Russians? What is the name of your new Prime Minister? – Mr. Groysman? "Groysman was born in Vinnytsia into a Jewish family " How come that the predominantly anti-semitic Ukraine has elected this nonety with the proper ethnic background? – Sure you know how to explain that this is also the Russians' fault. How about the US-enforced appointment of Misha Saakashvilli to the governorship of Ukraine's Odessa? – Kremlin's affair? Ukraine has lost its independence with the regime change in 2014.

"From what I've read " – You mean the presstituting MSM? None of the respectable sources, from consortium.com to Sic Semper Tyrannus ( http://turcopolier.typepad.com ) have ever suggested that the coup d'etat involved – in any capacity – Russian government. Keep in mind that the above-mentioned sources present the analyses of the principled and patriotic Americans who dedicated their lives to the US nationals security. For obvious reasons, they are hated by ziocons.

RobinG > , July 20, 2017 at 3:17 am GMT

@Rurik some good news vis-à-vis Russia, Syria and the US

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.620196799e59 Yes, indeed. You beat me to it.

" President Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials."

Now that they've "decided," let's hope they get on with it, (and don't compensate with some other lunacy).

[Jul 20, 2017] It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine.

Jul 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria > , July 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Why are you going on a childish offensive by defending the US-installed junta in Kiev and demanding others to provide you with evidence that the neo-nazis and Banderites have nothing to do with Yatz and Poroshenko and Nuland-Kagan?
Google "neo-Nazi parades in Ukraine" and enjoy the show. If you still have doubts about the direct responsibility of Poroschenko for the neo-Nazi presence in the government of Ukraine, read about Pravyj sector and its role in the Maidan revolution. Also, Proschenko had been in contact with the State Dept for years before the Maidan revolution. Your take on this?
The main point is the US-orchestrated regime change in Kiev. Or you want to convince the UNZ reader that Nuland was a virtual reality and nothing has changed in Ukraine since Mrs. Nuland-Kagan' and Mr. Brennan's visit to Kiev? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7
Do you realize that the US has brought a range of US officials to Kiev – including the Director of the CIA – to "improve" a democratic process there by removing a lawfully elected and acting president?
Yes, the US intervention has brought neo-Nazis and Banderites to the positions of influence in Ukraine. What could be more natural than a combination of the name "Kagan" and the word "neo-Nazis?" https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/20/a-family-business-of-perpetual-war/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31887-the-ukraine-mess-that-nuland-made

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 2:46 am GMT

" they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies"
It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine. And you want to convince the UNZ readers that the Maidan was organized by Russians? What is the name of your new Prime Minister? – Mr. Groysman? "Groysman was born in Vinnytsia into a Jewish family " How come that the predominantly anti-semitic Ukraine has elected this nonety with the proper ethnic background? – Sure you know how to explain that this is also the Russians' fault. How about the US-enforced appointment of Misha Saakashvilli to the governorship of Ukraine's Odessa? – Kremlin's affair? Ukraine has lost its independence with the regime change in 2014.

"From what I've read " – You mean the presstituting MSM? None of the respectable sources, from consortium.com to Sic Semper Tyrannus ( http://turcopolier.typepad.com ) have ever suggested that the coup d'etat involved – in any capacity – Russian government. Keep in mind that the above-mentioned sources present the analyses of the principled and patriotic Americans who dedicated their lives to the US nationals security. For obvious reasons, they are hated by ziocons.

[Jul 20, 2017] Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

Jul 20, 2017 | moonofalabama.org

Liam | Jul 19, 2017 9:22:07 PM | 34

Just released and there is nothing else like it - Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/07/19/truth-of-ukraine-war-revealed-watchdog-media-institute-releases-definitive-chronological-timeline-video-of-ukrainian-war-from-euromaidan-to-mh-17/

[Jul 20, 2017] "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016

Jul 20, 2017 | "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: July 19, 2017 at 3:35 am The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016 (report of U.S. Department of Energy). In January-March 2017 Kiev bought coal at $206 per tonne, and a year earlier the price was $71 dollars. The volume of supply has increased from 355 thousand to 865 thousand tons over the same period this year the value of American coal for some countries has declined. In particular, Norway has purchased the fuel at $125 per ton, a year, and earlier for $140.

Who can answer the question why the Junta pays nearly twice the price for the same coal pay.

See: ,a href="http://mikle1.livejournal.com/7700305.html">Межгосударственная угольная коррупция

Interstate coal corruption

Тлеющая дружба: США почти в три раза увеличили цены на уголь для Украины в 2017 году

Smouldering friendship: up to 2017 the United States has almost threefold increased the price of coal for the Ukraine

[Jul 19, 2017] Regarding the newest row between Russia and US about US seizing Russian diplomatic compounds, why does Russia again only complain but doesn't really do anything?

Notable quotes:
"... "DAS WAR EN BEFEHL! DER ANGRIFF STEINER WAR EIN BEFEHL!" ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

karl1haushofer , July 19, 2017 at 1:42 am

Regarding the newest row between Russia and US about US seizing Russian diplomatic compounds, why does Russia again only complain but doesn't really do anything?

If the US seizes Russian property on American soil the correct countermeasure would be to seize American property on Russian soil.

The same goes for those diplomats that the Obama administration deported. Russia has still not extradited any US diplomats in return.

Usually countries answer to provocations like these with similar actions, but Russia chooses not to.

Moscow Exile , July 19, 2017 at 2:30 am
I don't know.

Do you?

If you do know, please tell us all, because I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is losing a lot of sleep over this pressing question.

Lyttenburgh , July 19, 2017 at 3:33 am
Wow, karl! So much activity in just one day! One has to imagine you, sitting tight in the badly lit poorly airconditioned bunker beneath Helsinki, reading one newspice about Russia after another, then, with you shaly hand, taking off the glasses from your red with rage sweaty face and exploding in:

"DAS WAR EN BEFEHL! DER ANGRIFF STEINER WAR EIN BEFEHL!"

Jen , July 19, 2017 at 4:23 am
Well, Karl, it would be a dull world if everyone behaved like robots engaging in tit-4-tat behaviours that by their very nature increase the chances of all-out war and annihilation. If Russia has a choice between two actions or a choice of several actions against US provocation, why should Moscow behave the way you (and the Americans) expect?
Patient Observer , July 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm
With Matt's departure, there is apparently an opening for another resident troll.
Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt , July 19, 2017 at 11:46 am
Prof. Stephen Cohen discusses this in this week's interview on the John Batchelor show. However, he says Putin is under a great deal of pressure from the Russian public to get this sorted out. True or not, I don't know. Listen for yourself: https://audioboom.com/posts/6120078-tales-of-the-new-cold-war-will-moscow-retaliate-for-washington-property-confiscations-stephen-f-cohen-nyu-princeton-part-2-of-2
cartman , July 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm
As soon as Mike McFaul was appointed Spaso House was hosting one kreakl after another. Confiscating that property would make it a lot more difficult to do that. Taking the Anglo-American school might cause the United States to cut back the number of embassy employees. With relations as they are, I would say that it is bloated and unnecessary.
marknesop , July 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm
They could build the American Ambassador a new residence which reflected the current state of the countries' relations; perhaps something like this . It should be on the outskirts of the city, far away from everything to minimize his meddling, and be in the center of about an acre of asphalt so that he could not leave without being spotted. Better still, just break off diplomatic relations and send him off to be the Russian Ambassador in Prague, like RFE/RL is.

The Russian government actually owns Pullman House, which serves as the residence of the Russian Ambassador to the United States, having paid $350,000.00 for it in 1913 . Spaso House, though, does not belong to the USA – the first US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, William C Bullit, 'selected' it as his official residence , and leased it for three years. I suppose the US government still pays something for using it, but the USA doesn't own it.

[Jul 19, 2017] F. William Engdahl looks at the claims that the economy of the RF is foundering

Jul 19, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Cortes , July 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

F. William Engdahl looks at the claims that the economy of the RF is foundering:

https://journal-neo.org/2017/07/19/a-tale-of-two-nations-russia-vs-usa-economic-prospects/

His essay includes remarks about how US ratings agencies appear to be adjuvant parts of the Treasury economic warfare unit; the application of lessons learned in production of military assets to ensuring that civilian enterprises benefit from leading edge technologies to gain significant product improvement and cost reductions; and further detail on the high speed rail system being developed.

Patient Observer , July 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm
Yes well worth reading.
kirill , July 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm
Debt is not the main parameter of Uncle Scumbag's decline. It is the de-diversification and offshoring of most manufacturing. Aside from the military sector, the US civilian economy has transformed into a mercantile trickle down of cheap imports sold at high prices. Nobody has demonstrated how the downsized, right-sized, and offshored economy is supposed to be sustainable. All I see is a catabolic process where enough money keeps circulating in the system as the middle class disappears. The trickle down injection of money creates retail low wage jobs and props up consumer demand. But ultimately the consumers in the USA will become a minority. There is a clear shift of the job spectrum from well paying ones (related to manufacturing) to low wage ones (retail sector and "services"). Consumption is lubricated by debt increases both private and public (the local and federal governments in the USA are propping up consumption).

US multinationals do not care since they gain consumers abroad faster than they lose consumers at home. A globalist mega-corporation wins from the expansion of the middle class in China, India and elsewhere. These corporations are literally walking over the dead body of the USA to reach their goals.

By contrast, Russia is diversifying and de-offshoring and import substituting. As the cherry on top of this GDP growth cake, Russia has a very low debt (both public and private). Russia's growth and development is basically natural and not artificial stimulus through debt generation.

The trash talk about "Russia does not make anything" (Obama) and "Russia is a gas station posing as an economy" (McShitStain) reflects deep insecurity by US leaders.

They know that post-globalism America will be a 3rd world husk. Trump is going to have to really act like a dictator to unseat the globalist corporate interests that steer the US. I don't see this happening.

[Jul 19, 2017] The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics

Notable quotes:
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... Capital in the Twenty-First Century ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics#comments

Martin Jacques

In the early 1980s the author was one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberalism in the west. Here he argues that this doctrine is now faltering. But what happens next?

Trump seeks a return to 1950s America, well before the age of neoliberalism

The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world.

The first inkling of the wider political consequences was evident in the turn in public opinion against the banks, bankers and business leaders. For decades, they could do no wrong: they were feted as the role models of our age, the default troubleshooters of choice in education, health and seemingly everything else. Now, though, their star was in steep descent, along with that of the political class. The effect of the financial crisis was to undermine faith and trust in the competence of the governing elites. It marked the beginnings of a wider political crisis.

But the causes of this political crisis, glaringly evident on both sides of the Atlantic, are much deeper than simply the financial crisis and the virtually stillborn recovery of the last decade. They go to the heart of the neoliberal project that dates from the late 70s and the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and embraced at its core the idea of a global free market in goods, services and capital. The depression-era system of bank regulation was dismantled, in the US in the 1990s and in Britain in 1986, thereby creating the conditions for the 2008 crisis. Equality was scorned, the idea of trickle-down economics lauded, government condemned as a fetter on the market and duly downsized, immigration encouraged, regulation cut to a minimum, taxes reduced and a blind eye turned to corporate evasion.

It should be noted that, by historical standards, the neoliberal era has not had a particularly good track record. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, pictured in 1984, ushered in the era of neoliberalism. Photograph: Bettmann Archive

But by far the most disastrous feature of the neoliberal period has been the huge growth in inequality. Until very recently, this had been virtually ignored. With extraordinary speed, however, it has emerged as one of, if not the most important political issue on both sides of the Atlantic, most dramatically in the US. It is, bar none, the issue that is driving the political discontent that is now engulfing the west. Given the statistical evidence, it is puzzling, shocking even, that it has been disregarded for so long; the explanation can only lie in the sheer extent of the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values.

But now reality has upset the doctrinal apple cart. In the period 1948-1972, every section of the American population experienced very similar and sizable increases in their standard of living; between 1972-2013, the bottom 10% experienced falling real income while the top 10% did far better than everyone else. In the US, the median real income for full-time male workers is now lower than it was four decades ago: the income of the bottom 90% of the population has stagnated for over 30 years .

A not so dissimilar picture is true of the UK. And the problem has grown more serious since the financial crisis. On average, between 65-70% of households in 25 high-income economies experienced stagnant or falling real incomes between 2005 and 2014.

The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.

As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK. This popular revolt is often described, in a somewhat denigratory and dismissive fashion, as populism. Or, as Francis Fukuyama writes in a recent excellent essay in Foreign Affairs : "'Populism' is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don't like." Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both.

Brexit is a classic example of such populism. It has overturned a fundamental cornerstone of UK policy since the early 1970s. Though ostensibly about Europe, it was in fact about much more: a cri de coeur from those who feel they have lost out and been left behind, whose living standards have stagnated or worse since the 1980s, who feel dislocated by large-scale immigration over which they have no control and who face an increasingly insecure and casualised labour market. Their revolt has paralysed the governing elite, already claimed one prime minister, and left the latest one fumbling around in the dark looking for divine inspiration.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Brexit was the marker of a working-class revolt. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Alamy

The wave of populism marks the return of class as a central agency in politics, both in the UK and the US. This is particularly remarkable in the US. For many decades, the idea of the "working class" was marginal to American political discourse. Most Americans described themselves as middle class, a reflection of the aspirational pulse at the heart of American society. According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population.

Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt. Hitherto, on both sides of the Atlantic, the agency of class has been in retreat in the face of the emergence of a new range of identities and issues from gender and race to sexual orientation and the environment. The return of class, because of its sheer reach, has the potential, like no other issue, to redefine the political landscape.

The re-emergence of class should not be confused with the labour movement. They are not synonymous: this is obvious in the US and increasingly the case in the UK. Indeed, over the last half-century, there has been a growing separation between the two in Britain. The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement.

Indeed, Ukip has been as important – in the form of immigration and Europe – in shaping its current attitudes as the Labour party. In the United States, both Trump and Sanders have given expression to the working-class revolt, the latter almost as much as the former. The working class belongs to no one: its orientation, far from predetermined, as the left liked to think, is a function of politics.

The neoliberal era is being undermined from two directions. First, if its record of economic growth has never been particularly strong, it is now dismal. Europe is barely larger than it was on the eve of the financial crisis in 2007; the United States has done better but even its growth has been anaemic. Economists such as Larry Summers believe that the prospect for the future is most likely one of secular stagnation .

Worse, because the recovery has been so weak and fragile, there is a widespread belief that another financial crisis may well beckon. In other words, the neoliberal era has delivered the west back into the kind of crisis-ridden world that we last experienced in the 1930s. With this background, it is hardly surprising that a majority in the west now believe their children will be worse off than they were. Second, those who have lost out in the neoliberal era are no longer prepared to acquiesce in their fate – they are increasingly in open revolt. We are witnessing the end of the neoliberal era. It is not dead, but it is in its early death throes, just as the social-democratic era was during the 1970s.

A sure sign of the declining influence of neoliberalism is the rising chorus of intellectual voices raised against it. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the economic debate was increasingly dominated by monetarists and free marketeers. But since the western financial crisis, the centre of gravity of the intellectual debate has shifted profoundly. This is most obvious in the United States, with economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs becoming increasingly influential. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been a massive seller. His work and that of Tony Atkinson and Angus Deaton have pushed the question of the inequality to the top of the political agenda. In the UK, Ha-Joon Chang , for long isolated within the economics profession, has gained a following far greater than those who think economics is a branch of mathematics.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Virtually no one foresaw the triumph of Jeremy Corbyn', pictured at rally in north London last week. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, some of those who were previously strong advocates of a neoliberal approach, such as Larry Summers and the Financial Times 's Martin Wolf, have become extremely critical. The wind is in the sails of the critics of neoliberalism; the neoliberals and monetarists are in retreat. In the UK, the media and political worlds are well behind the curve. Few recognise that we are at the end of an era. Old attitudes and assumptions still predominate, whether on the BBC's Today programme, in the rightwing press or the parliamentary Labour party.

Following Ed Miliband's resignation as Labour leader, virtually no one foresaw the triumph of Jeremy Corbyn in the subsequent leadership election. The assumption had been more of the same, a Blairite or a halfway house like Miliband, certainly not anyone like Corbyn. But the zeitgeist had changed. The membership, especially the young who had joined the party on an unprecedented scale, wanted a complete break with New Labour. One of the reasons why the left has failed to emerge as the leader of the new mood of working-class disillusionment is that most social democratic parties became, in varying degrees, disciples of neoliberalism and uber-globalisation. The most extreme forms of this phenomenon were New Labour and the Democrats, who in the late 90s and 00s became its advance guard, personified by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, triangulation and the third way.

But as David Marquand observed in a review for the New Statesman , what is the point of a social democratic party if it doesn't represent the less fortunate, the underprivileged and the losers? New Labour deserted those who needed them, who historically they were supposed to represent. Is it surprising that large sections have now deserted the party who deserted them? Blair, in his reincarnation as a money-obsessed consultant to a shady bunch of presidents and dictators, is a fitting testament to the demise of New Labour.

The rival contenders – Burnham, Cooper and Kendall – represented continuity. They were swept away by Corbyn, who won nearly 60% of the votes. New Labour was over, as dead as Monty Python's parrot. Few grasped the meaning of what had happened. A Guardian leader welcomed the surge in membership and then, lo and behold, urged support for Yvette Cooper, the very antithesis of the reason for the enthusiasm. The PLP refused to accept the result and ever since has tried with might and main to remove Corbyn.

Just as the Labour party took far too long to come to terms with the rise of Thatcherism and the birth of a new era at the end of the 70s, now it could not grasp that the Thatcherite paradigm, which they eventually came to embrace in the form of New Labour, had finally run its course. Labour, like everyone else, is obliged to think anew. The membership in their antipathy to New Labour turned to someone who had never accepted the latter, who was the polar opposite in almost every respect of Blair, and embodying an authenticity and decency which Blair patently did not.

Corbyn is not a product of the new times, he is a throwback to the late 70s and early 80s. That is both his strength and also his weakness. He is uncontaminated by the New Labour legacy because he has never accepted it. But nor, it would seem, does he understand the nature of the new era. The danger is that he is possessed of feet of clay in what is a highly fluid and unpredictable political environment, devoid of any certainties of almost any kind, in which Labour finds itself dangerously divided and weakened.

Labour may be in intensive care, but the condition of the Conservatives is not a great deal better. David Cameron was guilty of a huge and irresponsible miscalculation over Brexit. He was forced to resign in the most ignominious of circumstances. The party is hopelessly divided. It has no idea in which direction to move after Brexit. The Brexiters painted an optimistic picture of turning away from the declining European market and embracing the expanding markets of the world, albeit barely mentioning by name which countries it had in mind. It looks as if the new prime minister may have an anachronistic hostility towards China and a willingness to undo the good work of George Osborne. If the government turns its back on China, by far the fastest growing market in the world, where are they going to turn?

Brexit has left the country fragmented and deeply divided, with the very real prospect that Scotland might choose independence. Meanwhile, the Conservatives seem to have little understanding that the neoliberal era is in its death throes.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Put America first': Donald Trump in Cleveland last month. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Dramatic as events have been in the UK, they cannot compare with those in the United States. Almost from nowhere, -> Donald Trump rose to capture the Republican nomination and confound virtually all the pundits and not least his own party. His message was straightforwardly anti-globalisation. He believes that the interests of the working class have been sacrificed in favour of the big corporations that have been encouraged to invest around the world and thereby deprive American workers of their jobs. Further, he argues that large-scale immigration has weakened the bargaining power of American workers and served to lower their wages.

He proposes that US corporations should be required to invest their cash reserves in the US. He believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) has had the effect of exporting American jobs to Mexico. On similar grounds, he is opposed to the TPP and the TTIP. And he also accuses China of stealing American jobs, threatening to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.

To globalisation Trump counterposes economic nationalism: "Put America first". His appeal, above all, is to the white working class who, until Trump's (and Bernie Sander's) arrival on the political scene, had been ignored and largely unrepresented since the 1980s. Given that their wages have been falling for most of the last 40 years, it is extraordinary how their interests have been neglected by the political class. Increasingly, they have voted Republican, but the Republicans have long been captured by the super-rich and Wall Street, whose interests, as hyper-globalisers, have run directly counter to those of the white working class. With the arrival of Trump they finally found a representative: they won Trump the Republican nomination.

The economic nationalist argument has also been vigorously pursued by -> Bernie Sanders , who ran Hillary Clinton extremely close for the Democratic nomination and would probably have won but for more than 700 so-called super-delegates, who were effectively chosen by the Democratic machine and overwhelmingly supported Clinton. As in the case of the Republicans, the Democrats have long supported a neoliberal, pro-globalisation strategy, notwithstanding the concerns of its trade union base. Both the Republicans and the Democrats now find themselves deeply polarised between the pro- and anti-globalisers, an entirely new development not witnessed since the shift towards neoliberalism under Reagan almost 40 years ago.

Another plank of Trump's nationalist appeal – "Make America great again" – is his position on foreign policy. He believes that America's pursuit of great power status has squandered the nation's resources. He argues that the country's alliance system is unfair, with America bearing most of the cost and its allies contributing far too little. He points to Japan and South Korea, and Nato's European members as prime examples.He seeks to rebalance these relationships and, failing that, to exit from them.

As a country in decline, he argues that America can no longer afford to carry this kind of financial burden. Rather than putting the world to rights, he believes the money should be invested at home, pointing to the dilapidated state of America's infrastructure. Trump's position represents a major critique of America as the world's hegemon. His arguments mark a radical break with the neoliberal, hyper-globalisation ideology that has reigned since the early 1980s and with the foreign policy orthodoxy of most of the postwar period. These arguments must be taken seriously. They should not be lightly dismissed just because of their authorship. But Trump is no man of the left. He is a populist of the right. He has launched a racist and xenophobic attack on Muslims and on Mexicans. Trump's appeal is to a white working class that feels it has been cheated by the big corporations, undermined by Hispanic immigration, and often resentful towards African-Americans who for long too many have viewed as their inferior.

A Trump America would mark a descent into authoritarianism characterised by abuse, scapegoating, discrimination, racism, arbitrariness and violence; America would become a deeply polarised and divided society. His threat to impose 45% tariffs on China , if implemented, would certainly provoke retaliation by the Chinese and herald the beginnings of a new era of protectionism.

Trump may well lose the presidential election just as Sanders failed in his bid for the Democrat nomination. But this does not mean that the forces opposed to hyper-globalisation – unrestricted immigration, TPP and TTIP, the free movement of capital and much else – will have lost the argument and are set to decline. In little more than 12 months, Trump and Sanders have transformed the nature and terms of the argument. Far from being on the wane, the arguments of the critics of hyper-globalisation are steadily gaining ground. Roughly two-thirds of Americans agree that "we should not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems". And, above all else, what will continue to drive opposition to the hyper-globalisers is inequality.

, Falanx , 21 Aug 2016 00:40

" As in the case of the Republicans, the Democrats have long supported a neoliberal, pro-globalisation strategy, notwithstanding the concerns of its trade union base " --- and on what conceivable rational basis does the author believe that Hillary Clinton will change direction? You know... the Hillary Clinton form whom the Guardian has been running interference?
, greatapedescendant , 21 Aug 2016 00:40

"A Guardian leader welcomed the surge in membership and then, lo and behold, urged support for Yvette Cooper, the very antithesis of the reason for the enthusiasm."

I wonder if this could anything to do with that sudden change of heart

"The attempted putsch against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is being mounted by a right-wing cabal, working in intimate collusion with the security services in Britain and the United States. Its main propaganda organ is the Guardian newspaper. The aim is to overturn the result of the June 23 referendum and ensure British membership of the European Union (EU) through the election of a suitably refashioned Labour Party, or its incorporation into a coalition government." – World Socialist Website


See also in this light Sadiq Khan's withering attack on Jeremy Corbyn.
, maxfisher janonifus , 21 Aug 2016 01:59
Hardly conspiracy theories, the weight of historical evidence suggests that it would be surprising were the security services not working with the media and politicians of the right to unseat Corbyn. See the plot against Wilson, the Zinoviev Letter, the miners' strike etc. See also, A Very British Coup.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2015/oct/02/police-facing-hard-questions-over-covert-monitoring-of-jeremy-corbyn-and-other-mps

, thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 00:51
In the 1970s attacks on social democracy, at least in the UK, were treated with the same disdain by the political and media establishments as attacks on monetarism are today. Thatcher, as it happens, was widely pilloried within her own party for articulating a departure from contemporary economic orthodoxy, and the Tory establishment used their lackeys in the press to continue their assault on her after she became Party Leader.

The lesson, dare I say it, is twofold. Firstly, whether they are wedded to one economic system or another, the ruling classes are inherently conservative, reluctant to sanction change and fearful of anything that chips away at their privilege. Secondly, the press, far from playing a watchdog role on the state and its corporate masters, actually helps to sustain them. This should be clear to anyone who has witnessed the Guardian's reporting of Jeremy Corbyn, but it goes far beyond this newspaper to every title in the country. The same process can be witnessed in the US, and throughout the Eurozone.

You might think this settles the matter, but there is a limit to media propaganda that journalists simply cannot see, which is why so many have scratched their heads at the ascendance of Sanders and Corbyn. I don't think either of these men will ever lead their respective countries, but as you say at the end of this piece the overridding reasons that put them there - an inefficient, corrupt and backwards economic system - are not going away any time soon. They are actually going to get worse, because the establishments in Europe, the UK and the US have cornered their respective electoral 'markets', sponsoring obedient politicians who will gladly do their bidding. These people have no courage and no foresight, and will drag the West further into decline precisely as they claim to advance it.

, maxfisher thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 01:40
Precisely. Jonathan Cook's uses Kuhn's paradigm shift thesis to describe exactly that which you adumbrate:

Importantly, a shift, or revolution, was not related to the moment when the previous scientific theory was discredited by the mounting evidence against it. There was a lag, usually a long delay, between the evidence showing the new theory was a better "fit" and the old theory being discarded.
The reason, Kuhn concluded, was because of an emotional and intellectual inertia in the scientific community. Too many people – academics, research institutions, funding bodies, pundits – were invested in the established theory. As students, it was what they had grown up "knowing". Leading professors in the field had made their reputations advancing and "proving" the theory. Vast sums had been expended in trying to confirm the theory. University departments were set up on the basis that the theory was correct. Too many people had too much to lose to admit they were wrong.
A paradigm shift typically ocurred, Kuhn argued, when a new generation of scholars and researchers exposed to the rival theory felt sufficiently frustrated by this inertia and had reached sufficiently senior posts that they could launch an assault on the old theory. At that point, the proponents of the traditional theory faced a crisis. The scientific establishment would resist, often aggressively, but at some point the fortifications protecting the old theory would crumble and collapse. Then suddenly almost everyone would switch to the new theory, treating the old theory as if it were some relic of the dark ages.


http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2016-07-22/why-corbyn-so-terrifies-the-guardian /
, Djinn666 , 21 Aug 2016 00:53
"A Trump America would mark a descent into authoritarianism characterised by abuse, scapegoating, discrimination, racism, arbitrariness and violence; America would become a deeply polarised and divided society."

We're already there and we didn't need a Trump to achieve it. The culture wars between the Democrats and Republicans that pitted Americans against one another; added to the failure of both parties to pass meaningful legislation that addressed issues and problems common to all Americans led the way.

To understand how low we've sunk. One merely has to look at the major parties top choices to occupy the White House, two of the most despised humans in the nation. Neither of which are worthy of CPR if the occasion should arise.

, Commentator6 , 21 Aug 2016 00:57

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK.

Well, if you export all the jobs to maximise profits ... isn't this revolt exactly what you would expect?

, blueterrace Menger , 21 Aug 2016 01:24
Can't argue with that.

But the author makes a powerful point, Corbyn and Trump aren't the end game here, they're the beginning; differing manifestations of the same underlying cause.

We need to widen the lens a little, and look at the wider picture outside the U.S., UK and developed world. For decades Europe and America locked the rest of the world out of the prosperity they enjoyed. Their corporations and multinationals made fortunes by dominating trade and manufacturing, stripping the wealth out of poorer countries even as walls of tariffs and subsidies prevented them from selling products in the areas they could compete in.

Now those same corporations have shipped the jobs, but not the profits, to cheaper places While millions of others have decided to cross the seas and get a slice of what is still, comparatively, the good life.

This crisis can't be solved by going back to neoliberal economics with its so clearly failed trickle down approach of the rich pissing on the poor.

Everyone needs a pinch of prosperity, including those in the developing world. And we need to ensure they get it. Not out of some bleeding-hearted sense of fairness, but because if they don't get it the problems, our problems, remain.

For working people all over the globe, in this ever more connected world, all our boats rise together, or we all sink the same.

, otw0wecfkvu9 blueterrace , 21 Aug 2016 03:16
"And we need to ensure they get it."

Well we can start by ceasing stealing the skilled staff they paid to train. That is little more than colonial exploitation by the back door.

Moving to that strategy means that we have to develop and retain the skills we have in the country, and importantly limit the size of the country to a level that can be serviced by the skills we have and the technology we can develop.

Relationships with other countries have to be based upon exchange, not exploitation - in both directions.

, DaveMerkin , 21 Aug 2016 01:01
Great article. I haven't read anything that good on here for a while. I'm genuinely surprised as it undermines much of the identity politics and free market Leftism that is promoted by many and suggests that Globalisation may not be so wonderful.
, Ricardo111 Tiranoaguirre , 21 Aug 2016 05:43
Corruption is the natural outcome of neoliberal-capitalism.

Think about it this way: in a system were "greed is good" and maximisation of personal outcomes is the ultimate objective, how likely is it that lawmakers and lawenforcers - who are people too and exposed to the same societal pressures for being greedy - will remain impartial and incorruptible overseers of the Free Market?

Now look at it from the point of view of a company: is there any better way of tilting the playing field in your favour than buying the referee? Having successfully bought one and made better returns because of it, will you not use the extra capital to buy even bigger and more important rules s

, bourdieu , 21 Aug 2016 01:03
I often like Jacques's writing but its Anglocentrism needs to be challenged. Neo-liberalism has earlier origins than Reagan and Thatcher - East Asia in the late 1950s and Latin America in the late-60s and 70s. This matters because it is in Asia especially that the new ideas for a post-neo-liberal era will be found.

And the Sanders-Trump-Brexit trinity of insurgency against neo-liberalism needs to had Xi Jinping added to it. For what it Xi other than China's Donald Trump? A different political persona - avuncular Xi Dada etc. - but his China Dream, making China great again, his Maoist revival, and more all speak of someone overturning China's own post-Mao translation of global neo-liberalism (Socialism with Chinese characteristics).

, thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 01:08
As for the economics, the problem with the current economic model is really very simple. Too much money is going to the top 10% in Western societies, and most of this money is not being invested back into the economies in which it is generated or redistributed to the populace through taxation. Great chunks, indeed, get siphoned out of the West and end up in tax havens, where its owners languish like the bloated feudal overlords they are.

This system cannot sustain itself, and is ripe for another global meltdown. Every major recession in capitalist history has come about in the wake of an accumulation of wealth at the top end of society and a corollary decline in earnings and disposable income at the bottom and middle rungs. If you give a minority of people too much money, or at least access to too much money (as was the case in the banks in 2007-8), expect to count the cost soon enough. The system of social democracy allows policymakers to mitigate this problem by redistributing wealth through taxation, and that is precisely what governments should be doing now. However, to expect them to do so when they are in hock to corporations is roughly equivalent to expecting the Pope to talk authoritatively on evolutionary biology. It won't happen, not with the cowards and shysters who dominate our political systems, and it will probably take another major world war to bring about the change we need.

, Nayrbite thetowncrier , 21 Aug 2016 05:17
Bingo! well said

Neoliberal economics is a cancerous system. There is growth, but only increasingly unequal distribution of wealth and it will kill both itself and the host.

The Blairites and sadly the neos on this once great newspaper have nowhere to go.

, Lancasterwitch , 21 Aug 2016 01:19
The problem is TPTB aka the 1% are in charge and they think that Reagan/Thatcher/Friedman economics has been a huge success. So it doesn't matter who or what the 99% vote for - they can even vote for no more austerity (as in Greece) or even no more EU - the 1% are not going to give up, because most of them don't appear on any ballot paper.
So, as Tony Benn famously asked, "How do we get rid of you?"
, maxfisher , 21 Aug 2016 01:23
Thank you Martin, for this timely piece in which you manage to articulate what seems like every other post I've made here since 2008. Neoliberalism is in it's zombie phase, we are now living through the morbid symptoms whilst the new struggles to be born, and 2008 is, marked the beginning of the end of the era of peak globalisation. Very astute re The Guardian and the PLP too, who, bereft of new ideas, have engaged in what appears to be an interminable tantrum.

Cue hundreds of posts aping the New Statesman's Helen Lewis by asking 'what's neoliberalism?'. It's market fundamentalism + monetarism + politics, boys and girls, it's not so difficult, and no-one denies it anymore:

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2016/06/ostry.htm

, Ernekid , 21 Aug 2016 01:27
For the sake of the future of planetary biosphere, the livelihoods of our children and future generations yet to come and our place in the legacy of human history our society needs a fundamental socioeconomic paradigm shift away from the deeply destructive and short termist creed that is neoliberalism.

The only actor within the UK political system who clearly attempting to articulate an ideological alternative to neoliberalism as far as I can see is Jeremy Corbyn. That's why I support him.

Mediocrities like Heidi Alexander and Sadiq Khan can carp at him all day. What Corbyn is trying to do is bigger than them.

, GutsandGlory , 21 Aug 2016 01:30

Brexit is a classic example of such populism. It has overturned a fundamental cornerstone of UK policy since the early 1970s. Though ostensibly about Europe, it was in fact about much more: a cri de coeur from those who feel they have lost out and been left behind

Quit with the patronising assumption that we voted Brexit because we felt 'left behind', and didn't have the brain power to understand what we were voting for. Everyone in my work, neighbourhood, flat share and extended family were discussing nothing but the EU, it's pros and cons, and arguing their positions right up until the referendum.

, abugaafar , 21 Aug 2016 01:33
I found this a very well written and interesting article, but curiously parochial given that it's about globalisation. If you just consider Europe and the United States it seems irrefutable that globalisation has grossly enriched a fortunate few and left many more to struggle with stagnating and insecure incomes. The problem, in that context, is clearly inequality. But was inequality, on a global scale, not the problem before globalisation was conceived, and has globalisation not done much to reduce global inequality? It is not surprising if the reduction has been at the expense of the world's relatively rich, the middle and working classes of the western world. But the winners are not just the rich western elite, but also the millions who have benefitted from free migration and the transfer of capital and jobs to what used to be the third world. If the remedy for western economic ills is, effectively, deglobalisation, there will be losers there too as well as, we hope, winners at home.
, maxfisher abugaafar , 21 Aug 2016 02:11
There's some truth to this, Terry Eagleton has written well on the subject. A united left needs to come to terms with globalisation in terms of internationalisation and imperialism: the forward march of labour may have halted in the West towards the end of the 1970s but it carried on in the East and the global South.
Any serious socialist analysis needs to take the international/global working class seriously*. Sadly I don't see that happening anytime soon, it's too complex, too abstract.

* In simple terms, we may not have miners slaving underground anymore, but we still buy coal. Share

, Steffen Gliese maxfisher , 21 Aug 2016 02:36
But the point here is: the countries need to care more about their home-markets to supply them with things necessary for a sustainable living. What goes on is much like the old banana republic economy of the United Fruit company, where few in the developing countries get rich, but most still has to work very hard for pennies, and where their farming is undermined by Western industrialised mass-production of food. There is nothing wrong with globalisation, if it stops being a new colonisation, and rather becomes an exchange between equal partners. That is not unlikely to happen, except that some industries get in the way, these are weapons and fossil fuels.
, Steffen Gliese maxfisher , 21 Aug 2016 02:38
Oh yes, socialism did, and when we are asked to point to a country in which Socialism has been a success, the answer is Vietnam.
, Gareth Steed , 21 Aug 2016 01:43
The death of neoliberalism has been inevitable since the 1980s. What is interesting is that it is taking the political landscape with it. The current political structure, both in the UK and the US, is no longer for for purpose, nor are the political elite who run them. No longer do the working classes support the left and the middle and upper classes support the right. The emergence of those 'further' right, such as Trump, Farage and Johnson; and those 'further' left such as Corbyn and Saunders, have split the classes down the middle. As long as the political elite try to cling on we will see the continuance of neoliberalism. However it's steady decline cannot be prevented so , as always, the end will come through a form of revolution - not violent, but through the election of more 'politically extreme' candidates and, for the short term at least, a return to a much more isolationist and protectionist agendas.
, MajorMalaise , 21 Aug 2016 01:56
It may be that neo-liberalism, as we have come to see it in hindsight (for most people really only see it in that context and had no objection to it as it was unfolding), has faltered, but it has done its vile work. For example, Governments now have little to sell off, so sales of publicly-owned assets are few. But the legacy of the post-Reagan/Thatcher/Blair/Bush/Clinton/Hawke era is an embedded and pervasive individual selfishness that has completely neutered
...any real compassion for the plight of the disadvantaged. Society is now gripped by a level of personal selfishness that is unprecedented. This manifests itself in growing support for the vile notions spread by conservatives that the disadvantaged only have themselves to blame and how dare the government redistribute "my hard earned taxes" to the undeserving bludgers. The wealthy, many of whom have more wealth than they can spend, scream about any measure that might have the effect of redistributing even small amounts of wealth to those less well off - many of whom are less well off because of measures that have advantaged the wealthy and the owners of capital. We scream about fuel prices, but SUV's now outsell sedans. We scream about energy prices, but happily purchase ever more power-hungry contraptions. We scream about house prices, but continue to let developers build bigger houses than most of us need on smaller blocks. We scream about our "right to free speech", when in truth we think our views are just more important than anybody else's and resort quickly to "techno-violence" via social media and actual violence when the intellectual vacuity of our mindless and bigoted views are challenged. We pretend that we are compassionate, but society as a whole really doesn't care about the impoverished - those of us who are the "haves" convince ourselves that we are the deserving. These are all products of the "neo-liberal model" and it is something that has been slowly absorbed into our human fabric. Those obsessed with the purity of "free-markets" have triumphed.
, ThomasPaine2 MajorMalaise , 21 Aug 2016 07:14
Ironically, not only do the rich scream when there is any talk of taking some more of their earnings in taxes - they actually spend billions on lobbying Parliaments across the globe on their behalf. They are happy to spend their millions on lobbyists, political campaign donations, newspaper campaigns, media outlets to promote their own agendas etc.. all in order to save themselves a few hundred thousand in extra taxes. I'm not sure they are such great 'wealth creators' after all. It's obviously not about saving their money - it's about maintaining an ever growing inequality that matters. It's not sufficient to be wealthy - others must be destitute
, Spanglemequick , 21 Aug 2016 01:58
It has been clear since that day in May 1979 when Thatcher stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street and lied about bringing peace and harmony to replace strife, that everything went wrong and it's all been her fault. We've been right all along: she destroyed our social democracy and sold off (cheaply) the best bits of the state to her rich friends. However, as usual, it's ordinary people who have to pick up the pieces and pay the price. And looking at the present total and complete shambles the Tories have led us into, it looks as if things will only get worse while nobody has the slightest idea of what to do next.
, ThomasPaine2 Spanglemequick , 21 Aug 2016 07:16
I'm afraid Thatcher just picked up the ball from Healey and ran with it. Healey first gave us monetarism in 1975 with cuts to public spending that Thatcher could only dream of.
, CheeseHeads , 21 Aug 2016 02:00
The liberal elite have nothing but disdain for the white working class. They were patronised in the 70,80's but then the glare of patronage moved to shine on black people and the third world. Currently it shines on Muslims.
Well the white working class has had enough of being despised as ignorant, racist dregs by this liberal elite. BREXIT was a magnificent, angry display of 'fuck you' to this elite. Share Facebook Twitter
, climbertrev1 CheeseHeads , 21 Aug 2016 02:42
I don't know what your definition of 'elite' is. If it includes all the people with power and resources and they listen to you they may well think it is time to invest elsewhere.
Don't be surprised when Nissan decides to shift from Sunderland to somewhere within the EU.

At the end of the day the elite are a lot like you and me they will seek to protect their interests. BREXIT has done a lot of damage to me a 63 ex-teacher living on a small pension in Thailand. The 14% devaluation of the pound caused by BREXIT has had an immediate impact on me. The impacts will be coming your way soon as more expensive imports.

The UK imports 60% of its food, the poor spend a larger proportion of their income on food, they will suffer the most in the coming months and years.

I will try and protect my wealth as best I can. That probably means selling pounds as fast as possible. I have no confidence in sterling and expect others to take a similar view.

, Geeprow , 21 Aug 2016 02:00
What a joke. In Australia people are too stupid to notice the LNP are fucking them from behind while smiling from the front... and then voted them in again.

If neoliberalism does die in will ramp up big time and won't stop until ever single public asset has been shifted to the elites and their private portfolios. Then it will be more stalling of actual progress while an insipid authoritarianism and dictatorship takes hold.

You are dreaming if you think it will end well. Life as we know it will cease.... life as someone from Africa or the Middle East knows it will begin.

, MadBloris , 21 Aug 2016 02:00
Greed, it's pure greed.

That's what kills this.

More money to the top, may also leave less money for government.

Give me money I spend it, because I need or want things. That money goes back into the system.

Give it to the top, and it joins the rest in the pile.

The system could work, it has one major flaw, human greed Share Facebook Twitter

, HenryTheLibertarian MadBloris , 21 Aug 2016 04:52
The main flaw is that multinationals tear up the tax code and get favourable treatment by hmrc (see google)
, Chicofingerflappr , 21 Aug 2016 02:02
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to why supporters of Corbyn continue to support him. There appears to be a subtext of many of the following: naivety, blind messianic faith, backward looking, entryist, no need to appeal to "Middle England", ideologically Socialist, feeling good about a movement more important than winning power etc. etc.
I would like to post why I am supporting Corbyn and it comes down to 2 very simple points:
1. The belief in a largely unrestrained market economy solving the problems for the majority of the population (neo-liberal economics) has had its day, particularly since the 2008 crash. Inequality and poverty are at an all-time high in recent years, as is the declining position of the middle classes as their sons and daughters leave university with huge debts and poor house-owning prospects, Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters understand this. They don't have the solutions but are working towards developing some. Hopefully, the solution will not only address the weaker members of our society but also the concerns of "Middle England". Much of the PLP does not seem to understand this – witness the austerity light election campaign under Miliband that was hardly challenged by the Party.
2. Corbyn represents a chance for the Labour Party to be a democratic party. Since the Blair years, supporters have been supposed to agree with policies handed down from on high, often developed with the assistance of multinational corporation interests. Members are now being offered a chance to participate in the development of policies, and to express their concerns with our society. Corbyn and his team are unlikely to allow multinationals to continue the same level of lobbying that has characterised the Labour Party over the past few decades. The attempts to derail this democratic movement by the PLP and NEC are nothing short of shocking.
I am under no illusion that these 2 points may well fall by the wayside in the topsy-turvy situation we find ourselves. It is up to the members to further these aims, and that includes those on the right and centre of the party, though I would suggest those that still believe in the primacy of the market to solve the UK's problems might want to find another party! But I doubt if there would be many of those types within the Labour Party. I might add that this "Wind of Change" is not unique to the UK. It is replicated all over "The West", including the USA.
, Tom Jones Chicofingerflappr , 21 Aug 2016 02:23
Please post a reference from a recognised, independent source such as the ONS that states that "poverty are at an all-time high".
, Chicofingerflappr Tom Jones , 21 Aug 2016 03:17
From IFS Report, Living Standards, Poverty and Inequality in the UK: 2015
"The absolute poverty rate measured AHC has been broadly flat overall since
2004–05. This is not true of absolute poverty measured before housing costs
(BHC), which fell by 3.2 percentage points (ppt) between 2004–05 and 2013"
, climbertrev1 shovelbeard , 21 Aug 2016 02:30
An interesting article but I could find no suggestions of how to move forward. I could not see any practical alternatives to so called neoliberalism.

An overarching theme of the article was to suggest that economic growth has been anemic under neoliberalism and that we need more economic growth. Many thinkers would reject the idea of simply believe that all economic growth is good.
The article has ignored what should be on the front page and headlining all Media these days is the imminent threat that is looming large over us all: catastrophic climate change.
Tinkering around with the capitalist/or alternative socialist system and ignoring the threat of a collapsing environment is going to do us no good at all.
Although Paris was a big step forward it was not big enough and is yet to be implemented and as yet is doing nothing to decrease predicted average global temperatures. Even if the governments of the world do commit and implement the required measures agreed in Paris tomorrow the increase in average global temperature is going to exceed the stated nominal target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

, GalahadThreepwood , 21 Aug 2016 02:16
This is a good analysis. Given the author's not insignificant role in the surreptitious imposition of the cultural Marxism under which we all live today in which the expression of any ideas by those in public life which run counter to the cultural and economic consensus are greeted with loud indignation, feigned offence and derision, frequently leading to social ostracism, one wonders how the new ideas are to be even debated, let alone taken up.

Pikkety (?) is a good example of original thinking, with whom I don't personally agree, but the way in which he has been derided in most MSM or, worse, completely ignored shows up shallowness of modern political and philosophical discourse.

, panchozecat GalahadThreepwood , 21 Aug 2016 03:07
I have no idea what you mean by 'cultural Marxism', it seems you're way off beam. We have lived through a period of hegemony dominated by neo liberal capitalism - as Martin describes so well. Share Facebook Twitter
, zibibbo panchozecat , 21 Aug 2016 10:38
'Cultural Marxism' is usually a euphemism for political correctness and identity politics which the right-wing commentariat see rooted in 1960s counter culture supposedly influenced by French and Frankfurt School marxian philosophy.

Piketty's parents were involved with a Trotskyist group and the May 1968 protests in Paris, and although they and he no longer subscribe in any way to those political affiliations, the idea that 'cultural marxism' is ostracising or somehow gagging him seems particularly far fetched!

, wviolincello , 21 Aug 2016 03:21
Neo-liberalism took off under Thatcher and Reagan because the bulk of the population bought into a "me" society. To hell with the "we" thing.
The individual greedily bought shares in de-nationalised key sectors of the economy, then quickly sold them for a quick buck to the rapacious investment houses and insurance moguls. The same individuals now moan like hell because those key industries have been screwed by international greed.
As individuals, there is a constant "want" for the latest gizmo-let's throw away something that's in perfect working order. Millions of tons of perfectly good food is wasted, because we try to eat too much. (Have a look at the waste food caddy at the end of the week).
Second-hand shops are awash with perfectly good clothes because of the individual obsession to have the latest designer clothes, creating greedy monsters like Philip Green. WE created him and his ilk.
The problems of our societies, and the solution to those problems, lays within us as individuals.
Go back to living according to need, not wants. The world will be a much better place.
, Lindisfarn wviolincello , 21 Aug 2016 03:26
You hit the nail on the head.
There was a strong move to collective thought after the second world war due to it's trauma and everyone pulling together. Thus the NHS and the education act.
But as the society became more stable and memories faded the selfishness crept in, managerial salaries relative to the shop floor rocketed and me first became the first commandment.
It will take a financial crash or a plague to reverse the trend. Share
, Streatham wviolincello , 21 Aug 2016 03:36

Neo-liberalism took off under Thatcher and Reagan because the bulk of the population bought into a "me" society.

The 'bulk of the population' whose wages have stagnated over 40 years, do you mean? The 'bulk of the population' don't really have any choice about the direction capitalism moves in, particularly when the political objective is to reduce their relative pay but to persuade them to keep consuming through credit. Hence 2008. Share

, Fred Bloggs Lindisfarn , 21 Aug 2016 04:56
Another financial crash will be seen as an opportunity.
, Keith Macdonald , 21 Aug 2016 03:23
A pretty good if not new analysis of what's going wrong. Not much about what to do about it - economically or politically.

I absolutely agree that the era when governments largely gave up their economic role or confined it to looking after big business or the wealthy in the hope of a "trickle down" effect has ended badly. These policies cannot now produce even the modest growth that they seemed to in the past , and have proven major drivers of a level of inequality that is threatening to destroy societies , particularly in Britain and the USA.

So governments have to be willing to take a much bigger economic role. What should that be ? In no particular order - 1. make sure the economic elites make their fair contribution to society - i.e. pay a fair amount of tax , 2. Invest in the productive infrastructure - particularly transport , education and housing. This should increase the long run growth potential of economies if the investment is wisely made as well as boosting demand in the short run. The investment should be financed from borrowing or creating money. 3. Make sure that those who have little or no capital are able to get a fair chance in life compared to those who have access to large amounts of capital - e.g. rebalance the power relationship between workers and employers.

The political problem with this is that these are much more likely to be successful if tackled on an international basis whereas the current political mood revolves largely around economic nationalism - on both left and right. Indeed you could argue that one of the major policy splits in the Labour Party is between the much more nationalistic supporters of Corbyn and his generally much more internationally minded critics.

If my analysis is right it is going to be hard to work out a practical programme to achieve it - at any level national , EU , G20 etc. It is going to be even harder to sell it to voters when the easy option seems to be nationalism of the "look after yourself " variety.

However the longest journey begins with singe step - in the right direction. Pandering to nationalism will only feed it and there is a surprising amount of international feeling out there if currently in a rather disorganised form compared to the rich symbolism and traditions of nationalism. We need political leaders with the courage to keep the international perspective alive. It seems to me that the implications for those who have to decide the future of the Labour Party over the next few weeks are pretty clear.

, Taebok , 21 Aug 2016 03:24
Make no mistake.
This wasn't incompetence or unintended consequences.
Reagan and Thatcher started a planned and deliberate transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich.
It worked EXACTLY as it was meant to.
What's pathetic is that there are still so many who refuse to see that.
Just seeing that picture off the two of them makes me want t
, Shotcricket , 21 Aug 2016 03:25
Or it could just be electorate finally woke up & noticed the manifesto's were quite literally of their day & never intended for any other reason than to write a short note of total deceit to the electorate & win the biggest prize through those words, while failure on a 5 year basis is well hidden as it seems a prerequisite of any incumbent government.

The facts are hidden deep in the detail, the masses are never educated to a level that allows them to see past their next problem, usually beset by a government of whatever hue.....with no one seeming to notice the fact that UK government claim the need for immigration is the lack of well educated young indigenous UK citizens...

Perhaps those young citizens & quite probably their parents afore them should point out just who controls the 'dogma' & funding of UK education thus its failings....that would of course be the politicians who almost without exception blame their own ineptness on the population....although they may well have a point as the population does through its electorate continue to elect these abject failures.

, Scipio1 , 21 Aug 2016 03:28
Oh, the Guardian has caught up with reality at long last. The global neo-liberal, neo-conservative project is running into the ground. That much should have been obvious for some time. The most strident critics have come from the hard left marxists the the libertarian followers of Von Mises and the Austrian school on the right. Their prescriptions may not be palatable (to some) but their analysis seems spot on, if of course you bother to read it.
, Graham Shepherd , 21 Aug 2016 03:32
The end of neoliberalism? Wonderful, but I doubt it. Power is now in the hands of corporations, not governments. The TTP and TTIP were negotiated under the heavy influence of corporations. The most objectionable clauses of these agreements such as the investor-state dispute settlement and intellectual property provisions are gross intrusions of corporations on national sovereignty, democratic government, voters and consumers. The real test will be that these agreements are not ratified as they stand and that they are recrafted in the full light of day and in the interests of ordinary people.

Neoliberals call for less government but this is the price we pay: the submission of our democratic institutions to corporate interests. One might also say criminal interests because corporate and company executive crime is not pursued nor prosecuted by governments nor is it treated seriously by our courts. Neoliberalism is nothing more than the philosophical justification for corporate criminality. It should die, but it won't.

, Bestoftheworld , 21 Aug 2016 03:33
Martin Jaques (the former editor of "Marxism Today") should be reminded that

It should be noted that, by historical standards, the neoliberal era has not had a particularly good track record. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

is only half-true for a white males living in developed western societies with a long history of domestic capitalism. It is wrong for the (PRoC)-Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, the Indonesians, the Malayans - in short for the majority of mankind.
Furthermore he should be reminded that many people from countries ruled by socialists and communist parties try to flee to countries where "neo-liberalism" is said to have caused a crisis. If the people of Africa and Asia would be free to choose where to live - they would settle in the neo-liberal west and would leave countries that were praised to the skies by "Marxism today".
, ThomasCarlyle Bestoftheworld , 21 Aug 2016 03:56
Well obviously, his is a critique of the West's decline; what's your point? That there's winners and losers in any economic equation? That isn't really saying much; but certainly policies pursued within the west have exacerbated that decline unnecessarily. Share Facebook Twitter
, Bestoftheworld ThomasCarlyle , 21 Aug 2016 04:27

Well obviously, his is a critique of the West's decline


He is not selling it as such but as a critique of neo-liberalism in general. But even if we read it as a critique of the the West's decline he is wrong. The reasons for the decline of some western countries (mind you not all of them) can be studied in PISA rankings, innovations and productivity per capita rather than in a critique of "uber-globalisation" - however that is defined.

That there's winners and losers in any economic equation? That isn't really saying much


Well, it is saying more than his article.

but certainly policies pursued within the west have exacerbated that decline unnecessarily.


Maybe, but the economic policies pursued in lets say the UK during the 60s and 70s were not neo-liberal and have exacerbated that decline even more unnecessarily.
, ThomasCarlyle Bestoftheworld , 21 Aug 2016 08:14
West's decline, as in lower living standards = strangulation of income.
, actionagogo , 21 Aug 2016 03:34
All opposition to neo-liberal globalist plans will be neutered. It is the intention of elites to continue re-calibrating the economy to serve only the 1% and keep the 99% in fear and insecurity. It's no coincidence that mass surveillance has been normalised. It has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do keeping tabs on unpredictable populations that terrify powers that be. They know what's coming around the corner. Watch it all burn.
, joshsargent , 21 Aug 2016 03:35
This paragraph says it all:

The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.

And pro-immigration liberals are the capitalists' most useful idiots.

, cgonville , 21 Aug 2016 03:35
Well written and a sorely needed debate.
However I'm not really buying that neoliberalism and globalisation can be equated. "Globalisation" as in free movement of capital yes, but not as in movement of industrialisation and consequently a larger global spread of manufacturing, education and income. That latter would have came anyway - there's no magic guaranteeing a never-ending industrial advantage to the US and Europe. Share
, _garrilla cgonville , 21 Aug 2016 05:13
I think you're right. I was surprised the Jacques misses the critical factor, that neo liberal approach was the an attempt to resolve a crisis in capitalism, which emerged as the consolidation of market globalism with a technological revolution.

That crisis hasn't been solved. It was temporarily ameliorated by two shortlived, in epochal terms, neoliberal projects: firstly in lassaiz faire conservatism; then secondly as social managerialism. Although both we're Atlanticist in nature, the former was conceived as a neo national solution to the decline of high cost manufacturing by forcing restructuring on compliant populations plying them with credit to benefit from the new global markets while the latter was conceived as an internationalist solution to resolving the myriad of fissures that continued to emerge as a result of the crisis . It's worth noting that the latter also had added to the mix the fallout from the end of the cold war.

What remains missing from the analysis is what remains of that crisis to be resolved and how are the forces aligned to struggle for a remedy. Briefly, it seems that the main discourses are : trying are to plough on, accepting some teleological momentum to the underlying process assuming that crisis remains essentially transitional, offering better/fairer management; or to fight for some form of social realignment, again accepting the teleological imperative, and attempting to accelerate the end of capitalism; or to wind back the process, assuming it is terminally flawed, a new neo national settlement can be delivered to fix the effects but still participate in global markets but with a regulated national framework.

If you look at individuals such as Trump or Corbyn or at wider agglomeration of power in America, Europe and elsewhere, the main trends in crisis resolution tend to be a pick and mix of two of of the three.

This seems to be where the critical analysis is failing.

, TheBackbencher , 21 Aug 2016 03:37
The sort of economic theories espoused by Friedman and Hayek and put into practice by Thatcher, Reagan, Blair, Clinton and most western democracies are, indeed, failing and under increasingly intense scrutiny.

The theory of trickle down economics has been usurped in reality by bubble up economics.

It's imperative that western economic policies change back towards a more Keynesian/genuinely social democratic model, sooner rather than later before the seething mob arrive with pitch forks. More and more people are beginning to wake up to the failings of extreme free market ideology and the extraordinary imbalances it creates between the wealthiest and the poorest. Top directors pay has grown out of all proportion to that of the average worker. It cannot continue as it is.

In an age where social networks have the potential to very quickly allow very large groups of people to come together, the consequences if genuinely social democratic economic policies (for example a return of market intervention, controls on top directors pay, a rise in average workers pay and conditions, closure of tax loopholes etc) don't once again become mainstream are deeply worrying.

There is fertile ground for both the extreme left and right to prosper. The political class need to see what's on the horizon.

, iruka , 21 Aug 2016 03:37
It's also worth remembering the role that liberal democracy plays in protecting neeoliberalism - as it's protected every successive stage of capitalism.

On the one hand we see the way that sections of the Labour Party in the UK and the Democratic Party in the US have defended the economic and political status quo against potential challenges (i.e. Corbyn and Sanders). And done so eagerly and tirelessly, with repeated, cheerful recourse to inherently anti-democratic tactics.

On the other hand, we see Corbyn - and Labour under Corbyn - polling badly, even as the bedrock policies of the economic and administrative alternative he represents are hugely popular. People seem compelled to embrace the narrative of the political soap opera, at the expense of the (seemingly irrefutable) logic of: "Want a policy? Vote for politicians who'll implement it!"

On the third hand, we have the interesting hypothetical exercise carried out here , in which voting patterns across the US were used to construct the hypothetical results of a three-way race between Clinton, Trump and Sanders.

The hypothetical result: the candidate who will probably win in November came in third - while the semi-formal electoral duopoly has denied the candidate who (hypothetically) came in first any meaningful route to a run at the presidency.

These are all aspects of liberal democracy doing its job - i.e. severing the links between 1) consensus about the sort of nation people want to live in and 2) the nation they end up living in. And doing this by means of the mechanisms central to liberal democracy - mass democracy - itself.

It isn't a hermetic epistemic hegemony; it's a rough and ready defence strategy based on winning, and on the losers repeatedly giving up, slouching into the passive spectatorship that is the essence of liberal democratic citizenship, and having to start again, coalescing into a new challenge.

, yoghurt2 , 21 Aug 2016 03:39
The problem with neoliberalism is taking things to extremes. Just because Communism failed, it doesn't mean that the opposite of Communism - the free market - is absolutely right, only relatively right.

But it's just basic common sense that a government needs to intervene in the market, in the right way, in order to ensure balance, and in order to ensure that the parameters within which the market operates are healthy and sustainable.

The problem with the market is it's amoral. It's blind. It operates under its own vagaries, and if the value of Krupp ovens goes up in 1944, then so be it. That's what the market wants.

To think that you can make a god out of the market is the page 1 mistake. The market can indicate certain things, but it's not the final word.

, strangeworld7 , 21 Aug 2016 03:41
In the UK and the USA, neo liberalism has largely achieved its purposes of concentrating most of the wealth in the hands of a small elite, downsizing the middle classes, creating a large impoverished underclass and hollowing out our public services almost to the point of extinction. Why not just let the Tories finish the job that Thatcher started and and be done with it.

It's going to happen anyway now that the Labour Party has decided to fight amongst itself rather than get elected.

We voted for poverty, when we elected the Tories, so we shouldn't complain when we get it.

, lochaber , 21 Aug 2016 03:47
QE is the glaring problem - it is public money,shamelessly channelled through the financial market to the accounts,portfolios and property empires of the 1%. It's obvious that the stock exchanges now have no interest whatsoever in the fortunes of industry,only second-guessing when the next tranche of QE will be dished-out.
, Petronious , 21 Aug 2016 03:49
An excellent summary of the world today. The problem now is that the Neoliberals are still firmly in control and will hang on for grim death to protect their wealth power and greed. Seems only a disasterous fiscal event can move them or open revolt. The present theme seems to be "Don't rock the boat".

esent theme seems to be "Don't rock the boat".


This is obviously the theme of people who flee their countries to reach the crisis stricken neo-liberal western states.
, Clotsworth , 21 Aug 2016 03:52
If there is a crisis in Western politics, it is caused, quite deliberately by corporate fascism, the neoliberal subversion of democracy and the sovereignty of the people in their own lands.
Every neoliberal end, without exception, has served to :

1/ dilute and emasculate national accountable democratic power and the rule of law.
Most obviously tax and employment law but also just the rule of any law that might hold the elites to account.

2/ To set up faux democratic, actually dictatorial bodies over the heads of national parliaments and quite beyond any democratic control, such as the EU with the power to further increase their dictatorial strength on any ad hoc basis that takes their fancy in order to subvert the rule of law through what amounts to Imperial Treaty.
Such treaties* are of course negotiated behind closed doors by unaccountable bureaucrats acting without any warrant colluding with corrupt politicians to establish their ends.

Which ends are always to place unaccountable corporate courts over sovereign courts of justice and to place supernational bureaucracies with power to control all money beyond democratic control and to seize control of the monetary system for themselves, as far as may be possible put in the hands of a tiny, self serving elite cartel of gangsters.
Gangsters known as bankers, but in reality a ruthless cabal of wealth worshipers with little more to justify their positions and power than criminal instincts and ruthless greed.

The fact is that we have had a very narrow escape, largely because of the presumptuously arrogant stupidity of the Cameron regime and the overweening arrogance of the EU dictatorship.
But also due to the democratic instincts that yet abide in Blighty, in spite of the best endeavours of corporate fascists such as the Guardian and Observer who even now continually try to overturn the will of the people and cut off our escape through more lies and character assassination.

There is in fact no crisis in our democracy, now that we shall regain control over our lives and lands, other than that put there by anti-democratic forces such as the Guardian, the true enemies of the people, democracy, the right to self determination, the rule of the common law and our own, sovereign courts of justice as the ultimate and only effective weapon for the defence of liberty against the rising forces of corporate fascism and Guardian approved tosspots of tyranny and every fashionable new form of pointless fascism.


*called with cynical contempt for truthful language and the gullibility of honest people everywhere' free trade agreements '

, nishville , 21 Aug 2016 03:55
I have to politely disagree with the author. The opposition to neoliberals is irrelevant because they are, as we plainly can see, blocked in their efforts with disturbing ease and do not pose any realistic threat to people with trillions of dollars out of the reach of the taxman, armies, political parties and media at their disposal.

What happens next is that all the money they stole from us (we got off lightly, the folks abroad were bombed while robbed) is going to be invested in more power until we reach the holy grail - neofeudalism. Those people want nothing less than royal powers and I suspect that the powers of a deity would be next on the list - I also suspect science is going to provide them with that too, good obedient boys and girls that they always were.

And then, when they are at the top of their might, the whole thing will crumble down as it always does and the god-kings and queens will hopefully see themselves for what they always were: disgusting, mad swine.

And then the whole insane cycle will start again...unless, of course, this one does not wipe out the life on earth.

, Karahashianders , 21 Aug 2016 03:58
Cutting taxes and increasing government spending is a temporary move to stimulate the economy which looks good in the short-term but creates economic decay in the long-term. The problem is that working people don't have as much disposable income as they once did and all Western societies have adapted to high levels of government spending. So when this correction happens, don't say you weren't warned.

More taxes, less services here we come.

, BeanstalkJack , 21 Aug 2016 03:59
Neoliberalism will not be dislodged easily. Political party funding by big business keeps it firmly in place. Powerful media corporations reinforce neoliberal values. Policies that would actually help people like making university education free, as it used to be in England, continue to be ignored. Such is the power of neoliberalism.
, LordMorganofGlossop , 21 Aug 2016 03:59

China, by far the fastest growing market in the world

Interesting article, but the global institutional context of the undemocratic, supranational IMF, WTO, World Bank are key actors in spreading neoliberalism through a stick and carrot approach, and the the neoliberalism of social democratic sacred cows like Sweden. Plus, given the author's expertise on China (see his book When China Rules the World), China was an early adopter of neoliberalism:

Future historians may well look upon the years 1978–80 as a revolutionary turning-point in the world's social and economic history. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping took the first momentous steps towards the liberalization of a communist-ruled economy in a country that accounted for a fifth of the world's population. The path that Deng defined was to transform China in two decades from a closed backwater to an open centre of capitalist dynamism with sustained growth rates unparalleled in human history.
A Brief History of Neoliberalism, David Harvey

While 'neoliberal' is an often lazy, misapplied term of abuse, here's a great interview with David Harvey on defining it. He's led work on the political, economic and geographical roots of neoliberalism and postmodern culture:
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2006/lilley190606.html

Neoliberalism is in the first instance a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade.

The role of the state is to create and preserve an institutional framework appropriate to such practices. The state has to guarantee, for example, the quality and integrity of money. It must also set up those military, defence, police, and legal structures and functions required to secure private property rights and to guarantee, by force if need be, the proper functioning of markets.

Furthermore, if markets do not exist (in areas such as land, water, education, health care, social security, or environmental pollution) then they must be created, by state action if necessary. But beyond these tasks the state should not venture.

State interventions in markets (once created) must be kept to a bare minimum because, according to the theory, the state cannot possibly possess enough information to second-guess market signals (prices) and because powerful interest groups will inevitably distort and bias state interventions (particularly in democracies) for their own benefit.

, williewasp18 , 21 Aug 2016 04:00

The assumption had been more of the same, a Blairite or a halfway house like Miliband, certainly not anyone like Corbyn. But the zeitgeist had changed. The membership, especially the young who had joined the party on an unprecedented scale, wanted a complete break with New Labour.

Take the Hint Owen Blairite polices only worked as they where sucking on the teat of Thatcherism the family silver has almost all been sold.The monies generated went to keep the system going in the process encouraging the haves to move their monies off shore out of Tax harm and as they have reduced costs to the level were jobs are a fluid commodity they are doing quite nicely Why risk any of that cash pile when the next crash is around the corner.
As big business devours all in its path feel sorry for the old guy in the corner shop when Tesco move into the old pub they helped to close 20m away the good news 5 new jobs in the village as his pension asset evaporates and the vacuum up continues.
The Labour Party needs to lead away out of this the PLP needs to accept this as Corbyn gets re elected.

, VSLVSL , 21 Aug 2016 04:02
The real problem with neoliberalism is that it's economically and environmentally unsustainable. A "system" which ruthlessly hoovers-up wealth from the poor to the very richest is destructive of communities and creates the personal isolation in which violent extremists flourish.
, ErasmusDownUnder , 21 Aug 2016 04:10
Neo- liberalism, monetarism, whatever you want to call it represented a structural and paradigm change on the relationship between economy and society. I'm not seeing anyone in politics or elsewhere proposing a break with that. The best we're getting is a softening from one side and a harkenimg back to the policies that were failing before Neo-liberalism came along.

Our situation today is pretty simple. After screwing over working people through wrecking unions and globalisation the owners and beneficiaries of big business have run out if ways to increase profit. They have chosen to reduce wages and benefits thus creating a working poor. The government pays benefits to the working poor - in effect subsidising companies by making up the difference. Capital is basically sucking that money out of the system.

The Neo-liberals on both sides have always recommended carrot and stick for workers - but only carrots for companies and shareholders. Until someone is willing to accept that the corporate tax regime ought to be a vehicle for encouraging actions that are both ethical and I'm the national interest we aren't going to change a thing.

, JamesValencia , 21 Aug 2016 04:10
There's lots to think about here, that's great. Especially "what should we do next?
The foundation is debatable, however, and seems to me to have a conservative bias. Most obviously in phrases such as "public opinion against the banks, bankers and business leaders. For decades, they could do no wrong" . This is debatable. I know lots of people who would disagree, and that from the very early days.

The second is the notion that this is a working class revolt against the leaders. Working class such as Rupert Murdoch, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, and Mr. Ukip there?

So two problems:

This seems an interpretation of history with a conservative slant.
The "revolution of the people against the elite" doesn't fit the facts.

Given that, I think this is an interesting spark to think about "what's wrong" and "what next", but I disagree with this "popular revolution against the elite" thing.

, JamesValencia JamesValencia , 21 Aug 2016 04:18
So what's going on if it's not that, well, two more things:

Increasing scale of democracy makes elections increasingly difficult to judge. The way we vote has never been exact: it's always a complicated mixture of personal prejudice, the media invluence directing an approximate appreciation of what is at stake and how the different choices on offer will deal with it.
What's at stake and what's on offer is increasingly complex, and our vote therefore increasingly removed from it and influenced by bias.

Decreasing impact of the vote on our lives: For the moment at least, the lifestyle of most UK voters is not strongly impacted by the vote. The average not very well off lifestyle is not changed fundamentally because all parties maintain a minimum. Another way of seeing this is UK society is overall wealthy enough that few people need to go hungry and homeless, that is, not in number sufficient to cause more than a twinge of conscience among the rest.
Furthermore, the effects of party policy apply mostly to a minority of the population.

In short, 'cos that's too wordy:

1) Democracy is on too big a scale. And even though democracy is always a random walk, the "random" element is increasing, and democracy working less well. We all feel this.

2) This is amplified by the fact that the vote does not affect our lives very immediately. Most citizens don't starve, yet aren't living in luxury, and notions of "Tomorrow will be better than today!" have given way to "we muddle along as best we can".

So "What happens next" I fear is at risk of a loss of hope. The clearest symptom of this: Where is there a politician saying "Tomorrow will be great, this is what we have to do" ? Well there's Trump, but he's nuts, and dangerous.

And finally, what I think would do the trick: Local scale government. Wind back, and devolve power to cities, towns, and villages.

How: I have no idea - I can see lots of problems.

, 3q2h2b75gTosaRA5 Ozponerised , 21 Aug 2016 05:08
I worked in Ireland in the immigration 'system' during the early 2000s and the flood of tens of thousands coming into the country served one purpose - undermine the unions, destroy wage agreements and reduce labour costs - of course this was all unspoken and somehow it was loud and clear - and precisely effective.

The unions are a waste of space and their own worst enemy - they had no answer to the need to improve national competitiveness and didn't feel the need to respond to these issues until it was too late. And do you know what? They are such a waste of space that they still don't feel the need to respond - they live in a subsidized bubble paid for by their members and answer, in truth, to no-one. The biggest disgrace of the success of neo-liberalism and the undermining of working class people is the abject failure of the people who are supposed to represent them - incompetents, one and all.

, adamki , 21 Aug 2016 04:21
Pretty accurate analysis. However no mention from the author that he and his followers in the late 70s/80s (the so-called 'euro-communists') encouraged the left to abandon class-based politics. Some of us strongly argued against this and predicted that neo-liberalism would prove to be a debt-fuelled last-gasp effort to sustain a system that is life-expired.

The task now is to make the case for a socialist economic system that plans the use of resources for need rather than profit, based on democratic workers ownership and control of the major banks and corporations. As fought for by Trotsky, and his followers who are alive and well in the British labour movement. #Socialistparty

, yshani adamki , 21 Aug 2016 05:01
"plans the use of resources for need". Tried by Communist Russia, the infamous five year plans, failed dismally.
Trotsky was an exceptional person, a man of very high intellect, according to his compatriots who knew and worked with him "he stood head and shoulders above anyone else in the Party". His ideology, and that of his associates, was the product of the grossly unfair and dehumanizing society into which they were born and in which they were raised and educated. The peasants of that time and place simply accepted their fate because that was "the order of things". People such as Trotsky knew it was wrong and knew that he and others had a duty to change things, and they did. Having said all that they got it wrong, over regulation, breathing down the neck of each individual, controlling the daily lives of people, regulating production and consumerism, deciding who will reside where and when leads, in the end, to the regulators deciding who will live and who will die.
As I have said before, greedy unregulated Capitalism is evil, equally over regulated hard left Socialism is stupid. It has been proven beyond any doubt, all throughout history, that Man is at his best when he is free. Freedom from the shackles of regulation, freedom from the thought police, freedom from the stupidity of religion. Man's greatest achievements have always been those of freethinkers, unfettered people who observe a bird, free and soaring on the wing, and say to themselves that is what I want to do, I shall be free and I shall soar to the heights and I shall achieve. Regulation and planning stifle the natural instincts of Man. I do not propose total freedom, that would be Anarchy, laws must be in place to protect society, regulation, to a certain extent, must be in place, what I object to is over regulation and an elite few, elected or not, planning for the many.
, JMColwill , 21 Aug 2016 04:23

+The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

If it were simply the Western economy that was stagnating then there would be an obvious solution, however it isn't. The global economy is in a downward spiral with the same or similar decline being experienced in every nation connected to it.

This reflects the fact that 2008 was not just a financial crisis, it was complete and total systemic failure of the global financial and economic system.

One of the major problem is that it is a system that requires trust in order to function, but is powered by greed and stupidity - eventually the one overcomes the other and the system fails.

Perhaps then the conversation would be more productive if we turn the conversation to what we might replace that financial economic system with, because until we take money out of the equation then no flavour of political system is going to break us free from this distructive cycle.

, PaulJayone , 21 Aug 2016 04:24
The central trade union body in Canada did some polling and discovered that 3% of the Canadian population knew what the "neoliberalism" meant. So basically the term is one which the 3% (graduate students?) use to attack the 1%, leaving the rest of the population out in the cold. Great plan.
, Cransley , 21 Aug 2016 04:28
In the absence of oppressed workers to represent, the left has latched onto the word "inequality" , to try to get us to feel some indignation that some people have more than the rest of us.

Problem is that it's pretty meaningless.

I strongly recommend the film "Suffragette" to anyone who wants to see how far this country has come since Labour, as a party, was in its youth.

Or read George Orwell's essay "The Spike" about his experience in a workhouse - institutions, let's not forget, which only ceased to exist in the 1930s.

http://orwell.ru/library/articles/spike/english/e_spike

Inequality then meant working for virtually nothing, frequently in considerable danger.

For decades, the governments in this country, of all colours, have presided over an improvement in living standards that would be astonishing to our great-grandparents. That improvement in living standards has been delivered across all the demographics - rich and poor. Those improvements have been for the many, and not for the few.

We all of us live longer as a result. We all of us get a free education and no-one stands in our way when we say "I am going to university". If I want to study law, for example, all I need to do is study and get the grades. No-one cares about my background.

Today we have working rights that are extremely generous in terms of maternity and paternity leave, annual holidays, minimum wage (which incidentally, is the ONLY pay-scale to have seen incomes more-than-double since being introduced), Health & Safety and so on. Which begs the question "just who are these oppressed workers that Labour are trying to represent?". To a large part, they don't exist.

And so they have latched onto this word "inequality" with great vigour. I am supposed to feel incensed, it appears, that some people have more than I do.

The problem is, I don't. Most people couldn't give a toss about such things. I don't begrudge anyone else what they have, however much those on the left tell me I should be bothered.

What matters to most people is that there is opportunity for all. I live near Corby - recognised a few years ago as one of the most deprived communities in the UK - and all four of the comprehensive schools there have kids who have gone on to Oxford and Cambridge, with many others going on to other top universities.

People can be successful irrespective of their background. JK Rowling was a single mum, on benefits. She is now a multi-millionaire. Duncan Bannatyne left school when he was 14. The same. Lorraine Pascale was shunted around many foster-parents as a child, but became a successful TV chef and publisher of excellent cookery books. Levi Roots made some sauce.

The list goes on.

In all honesty, If I am a kid today of 13, about to commence year-9 at school, who - other than me - is stopping me from becoming whatever I want to be in life?

Throughout the hundred-plus years that Labour has existed as a party the poverty it sought to reduce has reduced. Significantly. The current leader (that might be too strong a word) harks back to a bygone era of dockers, ship-builders, miners etc, where workers rightly felt oppressed. But today a boy from social-housing is more likely to become an IT service engineer than work in any of those trades. They don't exist. The world has moved on. The "lot" of the worker has improved considerably.

Labour needs to find a new narrative. I get that. But "inequality" doesn't work for this reader. Jealousy is not a part of my make-up, or that of most people I know.

Uncontrolled immigration matters to most people, Hospitals, housing, schools. These are the vote winners. This is what Labour should focus on. But sadly, with its drift to the left, it has got out its comfort-blanket of being sneery about people who have stuff.

The world has moved on. Labour needs to too - otherwise it will cease to exist.

, sebastianparsons , 21 Aug 2016 04:29
The problem with capitalism today is the commodification of the corporation - companies being traded rather companies trading has become the main purpose of companies. That's the wrong priorities for everyone. Globalisation in the sense of trade makes sense but globalisation in the sense of global supra-national corporations is against the interests of almost everyone.
, Lindsey H , 21 Aug 2016 04:29
Quality article.

New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic.

To really grasp how delusional New Labour is, I recommend people a reading of Gordon Brown's recent article in the Financial Times. His lusty defense of TPP and TTIP is a real triumph of detachment

, Ozponerised , 21 Aug 2016 04:30
People need to be informed about this repeatedly to undo the brainwashing from neoliberalism spanning these last few decades in order to pressure politicians to start undoing the damage pronto.
, Jayika , 21 Aug 2016 04:31
I actually see no signs that Neoliberalism is faltering. If anything it is digging in. True liberals are failing to combat Neoliberal propaganda at every level. Those who might be seen to be liberals - Democrats in the USA; Labour Party in the UK are still espousing Neoliberal economic policies.
, Felipe1st , 21 Aug 2016 04:31
Most people underestimate the absolute hatred the establishments of western states have for socialism, communism and other 'people-powered' politics.

A hatred which drives most of what we see happening today around the world.

When it looks like 'the people' want to turn some hope into reality and take back control of their lives, they get pressured from all sides .

Things are going to get a lot worse and as usual it will be the many ordinary innocent ones who will suffer most.

Unless we 'really' take back control of our country and our lives and think for ourselves instead of how some bought politician says we should.

, FreddySteadyGO , 21 Aug 2016 04:32

But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy

It survived so long due to the successful denial of its existence and its purpose. It survived because it was generally accepted and promoted by both political right/left polarisations and is the reason why there is no essential difference between LibLabCon.

Its the only show in town....and its run out of money.

As it goes it (neoliberalism) doesn't have to be a bad thing but due to human nature its made bad by avarice and corruption.

Williamson (see Washington Consensus/neoliberalism) was asked by The Washington Post in April 2009 whether he agreed with Gordon Brown that the Washington Consensus was dead. He responded:

It depends on what one means by the Washington Consensus. If one means the ten points that I tried to outline, then clearly it's not right. If one uses the interpretation that a number of people!including Joe Stiglitz, most prominently!have foisted on it, that it is a neoliberal tract, then I think it is right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus
The consensus as originally stated by Williamson included ten broad sets of relatively specific policy recommendations:

Fiscal policy discipline, with avoidance of large fiscal deficits relative to GDP;
Redirection of public spending from subsidies ("especially indiscriminate subsidies") toward broad-based provision of key pro-growth, pro-poor services like primary education, primary health care and infrastructure investment;
Tax reform, broadening the tax base and adopting moderate marginal tax rates;
Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;
Competitive exchange rates;
Trade liberalization: liberalization of imports, with particular emphasis on elimination of quantitative restrictions (licensing, etc.); any trade protection to be provided by low and relatively uniform tariffs;
Liberalization of inward foreign direct investment;
Privatization of state enterprises;
Deregulation: abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudential oversight of financial institutions;
Legal security for property rights.

As can be deduced, the usual suspects took the usual opportunities to co-opt things to thier own benefit at the expense of everything and everyone else.

We now have an asset bubble that needs direct and sustained intervention by .govs globally and as such is not exactly either 'free-market' or capitalism.

, pinniped , 21 Aug 2016 04:32
The doctrine of neoliberalism was always a failure but it claimed credit for any growth. Unfortunately the damned thing won't die either. Share Facebook Twitter
, Friarbird pinniped , 21 Aug 2016 04:49
"Unfortunately the damned thing won't die either."
It won't die because it is kept alive by socio-political elites with the most to benefit from its continuing to live.
And importantly, it bears no comparison to economic systems preceding it. Yet people puzzle why their uni-educated kids fail to progress beyond low-paid, coffee-serving level. They never grasp that in the last 30 or so years, capitalism has changed beyond recognition. And that the major reality of that change is a rigged system in which all money now flows upwards to those who already have an abundance. Share
, CliftonSantiago pinniped , 21 Aug 2016 05:36
Its like that from the right - they can never own up to the results of their actions. They blame others for their failures, and only claim responsibility when the news is good. Just like all the Brexiters are doing now with recent news that the economy is not quite as sh*t as everyone thought. Lets see if that continues when article 50 is triggered. If we go into recession they will blame the remainers (for causing it out of spite).
, picardy , 21 Aug 2016 04:34
me thinks neo liberals are seeking life raft, th esight of guillotine on capitalhill and westminister bridge, has sent their cash into hiding all we can see is their heads, its a very posh article, say it as it neo liberalism ="back to slavery" trump and clinton are slave traders in any language
, wheresrobinhood macsporan , 21 Aug 2016 04:51
Neoliberaiism is a political and economic philosophy that says give the money to the rich who will know how to invest it for the common good. This is a lie. But it convinces many by saying that the government does not know how to invest so reduce government spending and let corporations decide. Then you have people like GW Bush who destroy government and then when the govt cannot respond to Hurricane Katrina, for example, say see the government is incompetent.
, CliftonSantiago macsporan , 21 Aug 2016 05:29
The working class has been voting against their own interests since at least Thatcher/Reagan. Unfortunately, they vote for a candidate who is socially conservative, and when he wins, they get f*cked by his economic conservatism, i.e. neo-liberal policies, that are designed to only benefit the wealthy.
, kentspur , 21 Aug 2016 04:40
This sort of reminds me of Sociology essays in the early 80s I used to grind out. If in doubt, do Marxism - there's a cover all world view that the examiner can't really mark you down for.

I am unclear what the paradigmatic shift IS here. Interventionist Keynesian economics flourished in the Post War period because of a huge need for infrastructure 're-building' following the war. Monetarism flourished following the unaffordability of basic energy following the Opec price surges of the early seventies. The need for 'living within our means' and the 'streamlining' of public finances was in tune with the obvious increased financial challenges. Both situational responses to political/military events.

Yet Marxists want determinism; structure; 'progress' - which rather takes me back to A levels in the Eighties. You have a theory; it'll stand scrutiny, so you bash the anomalies into shape. Where would Marxism be without that handy catch all 'false class consciousness' which Marx himself never articulated?

So I don't buy former Marxism Today's editor Jacques' dismissal of the 'opponents' of Corbyn failing because they weren't up with the zeitgeist. There were situational factors; the crappy election system bequeathed by Miliband, the proud entryism of Tories and Trots alike and, most critically, the explosion of social media - a technological advance that has clearly changed attitudes and thinking in a way that we have yet to take on board. Why do comfortable, middle class grannies take to Twitter to pour vitriol on Israel? How does that fit in with neo-liberalism?

I prefer facts to grand theory; especially when the grand theory fails to look at WHY change is happening, nor predicts where economic development may be heading. The Eighties Militancy of Corbyn? That's not a system, it is a series of irrational slogans. Socialism in one country? Impossible. International socialism? A pipe dream.

This whole piece kind of misses the point

, ThirdBifurcation kentspur , 21 Aug 2016 05:12
you really think corbyn was elected originally by entryists and tories when a majority of labour party members voted for him?

you do realise the criticism of neo-liberal system doesn't automatically demand the establishment of a marxist one?

, EndaFlannel BeeBee100 , 21 Aug 2016 05:01
Pre Thatcher, My own town was a world centre for machine tool engineering. It boasted the largest carpet manufacturers in the world, employing several thousand people. It was a major centre for confectionary, again employing several thousand people. Thousands worked in the textile industry. Instead of investment in new technology Thatcherism allowed the easy option of selling off our industries to any willing bidder. It was not inevitable. It did not happen in Germany. The championing of neoliberalism and short term casino capitalism is the reason for our national decline.
, SalfordLass , 21 Aug 2016 04:49
Neo -liberalism can be summed up as a Corporate take over of the State and its resources, Consigning the people to the role of serfs. This is the end product.
They have corrupted politics with their money and revolving door to cushioned sinecures.
The end result will be revolution,unless a change of course to real social democracy takes place.
We ,the people, deserve a fair share in the wealth of our Nation and a future free of inequality for our children.
, colddebtmountain , 21 Aug 2016 04:50

The re-emergence of the working class as a political voice in Britain, most notably in the Brexit vote, can best be described as an inchoate expression of resentment and protest, with only a very weak sense of belonging to the labour movement.

The labour movement, aka trade unionism, was one of the first obstacles to neoliberalism recognised by Friedman in the 1950s ('When unions get higher wages for their members, those higher wages are at the expense of others"). Hence the disturbing witch hunts in US from the sixties onwards, and the defeat of the miners in the UK coupled with a whole host of other industries and occupations. Only the corporations were not shackled by legislation, but the unions became toothless cult figures, especially in the eyes of the media. All of that was a part of a plan for the suckers to fall for the most immoral politics since Hitler.

We fought fascism in two world wars and yet it returned by becoming huge corporate empires who enslave labour and treat it like dirt, to be washed off whenever stains appear. Just another facet of the neoliberalism when the washing powder is a paint job to mask the stench of fraud, corruption and mass lying. The young do not understand trade unions because they cannot become a part of their everyday lives when the law is as corrupt as it was when it first dealt with the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Neoliberalism comes at a huge cost to anyone other than the privileged classes and their mercenaries. It operates like a drug cartel. It needs to removed like a scum and those who deal in it removed likewise

, Jayika , 21 Aug 2016 04:54
If we are to understand the impact of Neoliberalism on our economy we have to talk about private sector debt and the massive increase in it since 1971 when Neoliberal deregulation began. The problems we have now began then - we began to mine our own future wealth in order to raise our standard of living. Only now the future is mined out. Households owe 150% of our annual income on average and the interest payments are soaking up disposable income that we usually spend. The only reason we are still spending at all is deflation driving down prices and the fact that credit is still freely available.

This cannot go on. But Neoliberalism - the ideology which seeks to unbridle merchantilism and enslave workers through debt, is still the dominant political ideology. The flaws in the system are not yet apparent to those who champion it - i.e. all of the mainstream political parties.

, DuBois Jayika , 21 Aug 2016 05:06
Neoliberalism might still be dominant in the West but it has finally registered on the consciousness of many and is being challenged. The worry is that new markets for the ideology have been found in other democracies like, most significantly, India. Manmohan Singh, the dolt, was an acolyte and the new rulers are even more radical adherents
, macsporan bingostan , 21 Aug 2016 05:20
The Global Ruling Class has gone to the dogs in my opinion.

Of course, once you start paying lightweights like Friedman and Mises to tell you how great you are, you know you're on the way down.

Someone needs to do a good rewrite of that Keynes fellow, he had it right; put something about the Internet in it so the kid'll have a look.

If we all band together the upper class will fold like they always do.

All we need is a couple of honest politicians.

Anyone know one?

, happyness2 , 21 Aug 2016 04:59
I rarely notice the Guardian these days because i go elsewhere for my news,but this article caught my eye and it is exceptional. The Guardian has become regressive in its own pursuit of globalisation,share holder interests and defence of status quo arguments.....but this article actually thinks round its subject.

I wish Trump and Corbyn all the best in their fight to restore the place of the ordinary citizen.

, ordinaryukdweller , 21 Aug 2016 05:01
It is a fantasy as it is based on free markets, whilst in reality, they are rigged by monopoly capital and of course the banks. It has been an absolute disaster and the likes of Hayek, Minford and all the other quack economists who still espouse this dangerous crap should be consigned to the cesspit of history.
, SenseCir , 21 Aug 2016 05:02
Decent article, but no more novel than a coroner approaching a rotten corpse and declaring it dead.

. The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.


That's misleading. The post-war growth had little to do with Keynesianism and welfare capitalism, and what caused the demise of Keynsianism was when the growth stopped but the inflation stayed, the stagflation period. Suddenly, the cherished Philips curve of the
Keynians was shown to be a bunch of rank nonsense and new theories emerged.

Theories that now look as bad as Keynsianism.

, Katrin3 SenseCir , 21 Aug 2016 06:01
The Nordic countries have practiced different versions of Keynesianism for decades, even when being governed by Liberal or Conservative parties/coalitions.

These countries are still welfare states, with the highest levels of equality in the world. Denmark is the most equal and prosperous in the EU. Norway is the most prosperous in the world. They have very low unemployment, and like most EU countries, increasing real wages. Unlike the UK and the US.

The article shows the practice of neo-liberalism in the Anglo-Saxon world. The form of capitalism practiced in most EU countries is social-liberalism i.e. capitalism with built in protection for the unemployed, sick and vulnerable. It's not about survival of the fittest.

Finally, I'd suggest that a lot of the growth after WW2 was due to the war itself. Both Germany and Japan needed massive reconstruction due to war damage. This also meant rebuilding their manufacturing industries. These modern new factories with the latest machinery gave the two countries a considerable advantage over a country like the UK, which irresponsibly let it's manufacturing capacity decline, not least during Thatcher's reign.

, flamengista , 21 Aug 2016 05:05
Interesting analysis, but what next? If the logic is correct there would be an ensuing descent into insular marketplaces and ever more disgruntled populations looking for scapegoats. Anyone care tto guess the next phase?
, Tim Eslip , 21 Aug 2016 05:05
Infinite growth on a finite resource is the logic of the cancer cell.

Neoliberalism is simply the application of extreme, deregulated capitalism. Its dynamic is the systematic transfer of the world's wealth into fewer and fewer hands while at the same time destroying our life sustaining environment. It is grand theft on a scale unsurpassed in human history. The inevitable outcome of its methodology is entropy and collapse.

The process needs to be reversed, beginning with restoration of regulatory systems and the re-establishment of the resdistributive institutions. Only then can a model of future sustainability be sought.

The solution is to recognise it as terminal if left unchecked and to

, The Grand Inquisitor Returns , 21 Aug 2016 05:06
A very good article.
Another reader commented that Neo-liberalism will not be easy to dislodge given many liberal-democracies have veered towards a kind of plutocracy in recent decades. While this is a genuine stumbling block, ultimately what we are seeing in the Trump/Sanders/Corbyn/Hanson(here in Australia) phenomenon is the re-awakening of revolutionary potential within the populations of Western Liberal Democracies. As the experience in Europe during the inter-war years tells us, this can only be resisted for so long. If those who control the levers of power fail to bring about reform through existing institutions, eventually, the people will act to remove them.

However, democratic polities are inherently well suited to responding to the demands of the people and therefore, as the impetus for change grows, it is likely that reform will take place.
What this will look like is surely the most interesting question thrown up by this debate. The most obvious reform is to recalibrate tax and transfer systems to bring about a much greater re-distribution of income and wealth than what currently occurs. Prior to the embrace of neo-liberal orthodoxy by Anglo-American states, citizens in these countries paid far higher rates than they do now. Neo-liberals argued that this acted as a disincentive to engage in economically productive activities and that by reducing tax, particularly the tax paid by high income earners, this would spur growth, benefitting the entire population as it 'trickled down'. As it turned out, while the neo-liberal model might deliver a faster rate of growth at times, this comes with significantly greater economic instability, the potential for serious market failure and ever increasing inequality. Rather than trickling down, it seems that if markets are left alone to distribute income and wealth, it steadily trickles up.

Picketty identified the major cause of increasing inequality to be the fact that over time return on capital exceeds increases in economic output. So while the extremely high rates of growth during the post war period saw inequality reduced, the global economy has since returned to its historical trajectory and capital is inevitably becoming concentrated among a minority of super rich individuals. What his research showed was it was not so much the top percentile that benefited, but the top 1% of people, who accrued wealth in dramatically greater amounts than all the rest of us. To counteract the effects of this inevitable outcome of free markets, he suggested taxes that attached to capital rather than income - death taxes and the like.

A more recent contribution, by Rutger Bregman, argues the case for what he refers to as "utopian" ideas of a universal basic income, a fifteen hour working week and the opening of national borders. As he acknowledges, these are ideas that today's policy makers may not initially take seriously, but he puts a compelling case as to why they are ideas whose time has come. His book, Utopia for Realists, is well worth a look for anyone interested in these issues.

, Doooot The Grand Inquisitor Returns , 21 Aug 2016 05:21
I have an issue with the way neoliberalism is described as - 'embraced' by western cultures. Rational decision making in a democracy is very heavily dependent on being informed, i would argue that for the last 4 decades, this neoliberal take over needed a lot of social conditioning to maintain its dominance, people have consistently voted against their own interests (here and in the states) as a result and neoliberal doctrine has reigned supreme. I think if not for the rise of independent social media it would have another 40yrs. The mainstreeam media machine is also part if the neoliberal machinebemphasizing some narratives, deminishing others, and many ideas completely taboo. It has all fed into neoliberal dominance.
, FishDog Doooot , 21 Aug 2016 05:24
"Decision making" implies having a say in the way the world is run. The vast majority of mankind doesn't.
, padav , 21 Aug 2016 05:12
Execellent piece, eloquenty articulating the inevitable failure of neo-liberal economic doctrine - my principal criticism would be the lack of any definite pointers to what might be an effective successor, although Martin Jacques does hint at some kind of return to Social Democractic values?

One telling paragraph

Given the statistical evidence, it is puzzling, shocking even, that it has been disregarded for so long; the explanation can only lie in the sheer extent of the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values.

illustrates the sheer power and influence exerted by the media in this digital, interconnected global environment - the evidence is all around us, staring us in the face every day, yet the incumbent orthodoxy prevails - it would seem (for the present at least) sufficient numbers have been persuaded to maintain their faith in the myth of "markets always knows best" but what happens when the numbers in the "have nots" camp become so overwhelming that the tide of resentment and anger boils over - things could turn nasty, very quickly indeed?

Surely, a more orderly return to more equitable distribution of wealth is the best way forward - the challenge is how to manage this very complex process?

, JohnC8853 , 21 Aug 2016 05:22
The author writes that the most 'disastrous feature of the neoliberal era has been the growth in inequality'. Yes for sure, but this was the main features of this ideology in the first place. As far as Reagan and Thatcher were concerned the general well being of their nations overall always played second fiddle to the rich getting richer. In that sense the neoliberal project has been a massive success for those who set it up.
, userdj12 , 21 Aug 2016 05:30
It is remarkable - the cultural wasteland that neoliberalism created throughout the Western world. It's ironic that the Guardian puts up an article like this one up on the same day as an article about the banning of the Burqa, in which it describes how Muslims yearn for identity through religion and how their host Western "nations" (let's be truthful and call them "economies") provided no culture in which to assimilate or any sense of belonging, populated as they were by consumers, not citizens.

Culture and history - the very things that defined peoples (and yes, they were VERY distinct peoples just a century ago) throughout Europe - had no worth for the neoliberals, and that mindset dovetailed perfectly with the catastrophic Western self-loathing that roared into prominence on the backs of the far left in the same early 1970's to now time period.

Culture and history were tossed in a ditch and a cross (actually, that was dying too) hammered above them. Churches became Apple stores and villages became malls - with everyone, regardless of culture, wanting the exact same car and house.

Goodbye Neoliberalism - you stood on the shoulders of the hardest working generations the world had ever seen, and betrayed them all, spawning both neo-poverty and a taste for lattes. Maybe your ditch be unmarked.

, thedisclaimer , 21 Aug 2016 02:26
"The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour" - yes, but that is because capital has power and influence and labour doesn't. Fishing is stacked in favour of fishermen because fishermen have opposable thumbs and abstract reasoning and fish don't. And how exaclry is that is going to change? Because people are going to march about holding up pieces of cardboard demanding that it changes?
, Gizzit , 21 Aug 2016 02:29
Indeed - the world we live in has become grubby and greedy, sordid and selfish.

There are those who would seek to justify it as a correction to the "temporary aberration" of 1945 to 1979 - a restoration of the "natural order".

But those 34 years held the promise of progress towards a utopian global society - one where it would not be possible for one man to amass more wealth than could be spent in a hundred lifetimes, while a hundred men starved and lacked shelter.

It is difficult to categorise the years since 1979 as anything but a venal exploitation of the many by the privileged few. A true downward spiral.

Time for a radical rethink.

, Nicoise Gizzit , 21 Aug 2016 02:55
The threat of communism and the need to re-build drove the post-war settlement and that was a 'temporary aberration' from the 'natural order'. Unfortunately, as that project came to an end capitalism (as the default option) came back to the fore the Left and its institutions capitulated and played to the new rules of the game, ones that seemed to lift all ships in a globalising economy. You are right, it is time for a radical rethink but it appears that Labour is not yet up for that.
, pantokrator , 21 Aug 2016 02:48
" But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long?"

Mass Delusion.

Mass ignorance of simple mathematics.

, CharlesofLondon pantokrator , 21 Aug 2016 02:56
Or the popularity of naked selfishness encouraged by the reactionary mass media? Share Facebook Twitter
, martyc73 pantokrator , 21 Aug 2016 03:08
Throw in "Bread and Circuses" as well there. Share Facebook Twitter
, FishDog pantokrator , 21 Aug 2016 03:17
For 30 years there was so much wealth floating around that the majority of people got a little. Now that we are down to the last few pieces of pie, things don't look so good.
, uncertaintimes , 21 Aug 2016 02:51
Neoliberalism main legacy has been to siphon the wealth to the 1%.Homes are now primarily commodities,the stock market at record levels,not because business is doing well,but rich people are looking for quick profit,gold and art at record prices etc.
The state which acts to trickle down the money to the poorest is severely hampered by globalisation-Tax loopholes,offshore residences.Countries are now begging for investment,from plutocrats and the Chinese politburo.The state tries to act to reduce uncertainty and avoid swings in the economy,but that is counter to the wishes of speculators who want big changes to maximise profit.
The wealth of the 99% declines.Corporations exploit workers both in the 3rd world and the western world.Money that could be invested is being put aside by the wealthy because of uncertainty they themselves created.For every one Elon Musk,investing in the future,there are 100 Gordon Geckos trying to break it.
, Wiltsbloke , 21 Aug 2016 02:54
Good article. We can now see that the 'free market' has not provided any real growth and has relied upon the appropriation of public assets through privatisation to produce a veneer of growth.
I hope that our political parties now realise that privatisation of the NHS will produce the same chaos that selling off social housing has done.
, ID8739871 , 21 Aug 2016 02:55
I heard Ha-Joon Chang speak at Cambridge. He was absolutely excellent. I would strongly recommend his books to everyone - they're very informative but very interesting and accessible at the same time. My teenage son reads them. Share Facebook Twitter
, panchozecat ID8739871 , 21 Aug 2016 03:14
I agree - start with '23 things they don't tell you about capitalism' Share Facebook Twitter
, Harpagus , 21 Aug 2016 02:55

hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes

The ones that committed actual crimes have. Being a "banker" is only a crime in the minds of certain folk.

Anyway, this article is pretty pointless as you didn't define what you mean by "neoliberal" at the start and then went on to apply that label to those arch neo-cons, Thatcher and Reagan, at which point I have to admit I only scanned the rest.

It's clearly just a label that means "people and things I don't like" with a peppering of anti-globalisation, anti-immigration and anti-free marketism.

I can't see an actual alternative economic system proposed which is not surprising as it would necessarily look much like protectionist isolationism, which is even less good for equality and raising living standards than the system you want to abandon.

, Toeparty , 21 Aug 2016 03:00
Excellent piece. Capitalism has come up against the law of diminishing returns or specifically the tendency of the rate of profit to decline. The American Century came to an abrupt end in 2008. The political-economic arrangements of the post-War era had become an absolute fetter on further growth. Stagnation and monopolisation were joined by complete and utter and irreversible bankruptcy. US-hegemony and capitalist globalization began their increasingly rapid decay. Unlike the 1930s however there are no possible alternative political economic arrangements that could replace the current ones and give capitalism a new lease of life. Creative destruction is now replaced by pure destruction. This is the end game for capitalism, a historically contingent mode of production, that has reached the absolute limits of its potential and which is already beginning to stink the place up. It is a case of socialism or barbarism. Socialism or a New Dark Ages from which our species would be unlikely to emerge alive.
, StrangerInParadise , 21 Aug 2016 03:01
Neo-liberalism as personified by the Guardian and New Labour Blairites seems to combine a extreme right-wing agenda on militarism and Imperialist interventionism, a Mugabe-esque economic policy (the printing press), but a 'safe space' wooly hangover attitude to the aftermath of the Permissive Society. This admixture makes no sense historically.
Indeed the inherent contradictions of it's last plank above, a craven attitude to fundamentalist religion in the name of diversity, while promoting alternative lifestyles simultaneously is grotesque casuistry.
, fortyniner , 21 Aug 2016 03:07
Well, yes, please tell us something many of us had not already worked out. Neoliberalism is coming towards its sell by date.

But there's a gaping hole in the article - what will or should come next? Surely not a return to socialism, which itself collapsed in 1989-90? Protectionism? That can often be self-defeating as the history of the 1930s attests. The result of beggar my neighbour protectionism made the rise of fascism and Nazism easier than it should have been.

The opponents of neoliberalism need a convincing alternative narrative. So far they have analysed the problems, but now they need solutions. Unless they do, they will remain what they currently are - a protest movement only.

, uncertaintimes fortyniner , 21 Aug 2016 03:21
For a start we can see that the privatisation of much of the UKs infrastructure was a mistake-It increased costs and reduced competitiveness-I saw that working in there. Anything that reverses the trend of wealth going from customers to shareholders would be a good idea.Even if this added some inefficiency(in my company I saw no change),this would be inefficiency inside the UK economy instead of wealth going outside to foreign investors.
, HenneyAndPizza , 21 Aug 2016 03:09
It's simpler than that.

The four pillars of modern Western society are: fear, debt, insufficiency (the temptation to keep consuming more), and the divide-and-conquer mind-set.

This is tethered to the foreign policy idea that anything and everything is justified ! coups and assassinations, drone strikes, NSA eavesdropping ! as long as it props up those four pillars that have shackled the plebs to a feudal and corrupt system.

This was never sustainable and now here we are.

The Guardian has it's designated role in all of this. As we see with the censorship of its own readers who question the 'official' narrative, a role it appears to enjoy.

The rest is just noise.

, FredMandrake1 , 21 Aug 2016 03:12
I read with great enthusiasm as the author was expressing my own views so well. And then I began to think, where is this article leading? And the answer was, nowhere!
"Hope you enjoyed reading my intellectual analysis of the situation AND NOW just expect more of the same..." Share Facebook Twitter
, Salthepal FredMandrake1 , 21 Aug 2016 03:56
He analyses the problem but does not offer a solution as you say. There may not be a solution to the problem of stagnation. Success is generally equated with economic growth and it may be that the era of continuous economic growth is now over in Japan and the West and drawing to a close in the East. We may all have to manage decline in the future and, perhaps, that is exactly what we should be doing. Pollution and scarcity of raw materials may contribute to a permanent brake on expansion.
If Neoliberalism and Capitalism are responsible for increasing inequalities between rich and poor as is suggested, perhaps a new model of redistribution is needed. Trickle down obviously doesn't work. Communism doesn't enable efficient industry and agriculture. Perhaps Capitalism with high taxation and socialist policies is an answer. They have something a bit more like that in Sweden but we would all have to go much further. Unfortunately, globalisation allows the rich to escape to other places unless we all do it or the movement of capital and people is restricted. If that occurred it would impact upon the poor seeking to move and improve their lot before it ever impacted upon the rich. It is a conundrum.
, Panda Bear , 21 Aug 2016 03:12
"Corporatism was what Mussolini stood for"

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=14952

No one should be under any illusion what Globalism and Capitalist Neoliberal ideology has brought us and what todays 'fight' in the Labour party is all about.

, DavidPavett , 21 Aug 2016 03:21
There is a lot to agree with in this overview of the evolution of politics over the last 30 years or so. None of it is original and many of the key points have been made with a closer focus on economic and political developments on the ground by commentators like Paul Mason . Still, it is worth repeating the story of the rise and fall of neo-liberalism and the almost parallel rise and fall of New Labour. I liked the characterisation of Blair's reincarnaton as a "... money-obsessed consultant to a shady bunch of presidents and dictators ..." as a "fitting testament to the demise of New Labour".

The trouble with grand overviews like this is that they can give readers (and no doubt the author) the feeling of a superior grasp of the political currents of the time but without actually getting 'down and dirty' with anything like engagement with current pressing problems. They lead in other words to a self-satisfied political quietism.

Thus for example the Corbyn usurge in the Labour Party is described both as a revolt against the loss of purpose of social democracy AND as a throwback to the 1980s. There are good reasons for saying both of these things but this massively misses engagement with the current choice facing Labour Party members. It's a binary choice Smith or Corbyn. What should Labour Party members do? After reading this article readers could be inclined to say "a plague on both your houses".

And it is here that the grand overview, full of rather excessive generalisations, most clearly fails to engage with real politics. For our media and our personalising, celebrity obsessed culture Labour's travails are all about one man and whether he is a dark angel about to destroy the Labour Party or a messiah who has come to save it. But on closer inspection there area rather more substantial issues at stake. Can politics be reduced to what goes on in Westminster? Does the Labour Party exist to serve the Parliamentary Labour Party or the other way round? Can Labour policy making be made genuinely democratic and taken out of the hands of apparatchicks and professional politicians (i.e. can members be trusted with political decisions)? These and other questions raise a whole set of other questions in turn about such things as organisational forms, the organisation of informed. So far there are no clear answers to such questions and it is impossible to say if any will emerge. It is possible to say, however, that if they are not addressed the hopes raised by Corbyn's election will ultimately be dashed. If Corbynism is left to Corbyn then it's all over bar the shouting, even if he is re-elected. The only chance of ensuring that this does not become yet another opportunity to miss an opportunity is that the promise to put the members in charge of the party is realised and is accomanied by an unprecedented level of critical engagement. It's a very tall order but not impossible.

As Paul Mason has argued so well, the election of Smith would be a return to the long decline of social democracy. The election of Corbyn offers a slender promise of a vibrant politics of wider engagement i.e. of democratic politics to break the political log jam described by Martin Jaques. In his first year Corbyn has massively failed to deliver on this promise. Instead of far-ranging (draft) policy initiatives being debated throughout the party we have had an intense personalisation of politics. Instead of the end of control freakery we have warfare between the control freakery of the party apparatus and that of the small group around Jeremy Corbyn. The only hope of a resolution is that matters are genuinely taken to the members and therefore out of the control of either group. Debate focussed on personalities must be replaced by debate about policies. There is no other basis for reassembling the PLP. The election of Smith will ensure that none of this happens. The election of Corbyn will leave open the possibility that it could happen if enough people engage to make it so.

Martin Jaques' overview is just too grand to deal with such issues and therefore too grand for actual political engagement. That is, I guess, why the Observer (which, along with the Guardian, has a track record of highly biased reporting and comment re Corbyn) has carried it rather than the more politically engaged analyses currently being developed by contributors to websites like Medium and Left Futures .

, Drewlove DavidPavett , 21 Aug 2016 03:38
Excellent post. For me, however, I have to say the obvious conclusion is that the Labour Party is simply not capable of being the vehicle for even the debate much less the profound social and political restructuring that needs to take place.

To take just one example: the UK is in desperate need of fundamental democratic reform. Neither side even mentions it. Share Facebook Twitter

, TheNewHaggai DavidPavett , 21 Aug 2016 03:57
The problem is that at the moment much of what passes for political thinking within the Momentum camp is at the level of student union politics. Lots of idealism and passion but little on how to make it work in the real world.

If you don't let the 'thinkers' / 'experts' make informed decisions but leave it to the equivalent of 'the will of the members' you risk some very uninformed knee jerk policies that do not resonate with the wider voting public. The difficult part is the selection and competence of those decision makers!

, Forthestate , 21 Aug 2016 05:34

Given the statistical evidence, it is puzzling, shocking even, that it has been disregarded for so long; the explanation can only lie in the sheer extent of the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values.

That hegemony owes itself in part to the media, who never questioned it. 'Neoliberalism' was not a word you would have found in many mainstream newspapers much before the early noughties, despite its advent on the scene with Thatcher in 1979. Not many would have been aware from them that capitalism was being redefined and intensified to a level never seen before, largely through deregulation. There was little debate. The 'normalisation' of neoliberalism in peoples' minds - the notion that There Is No Alternative - was largely effected by a press which ignored those who opposed it, and those overlooked by it, taking notice only to demonise them as misfits in the system through their own fecklessness. That is why it's so surprised by and so vicious towards the sudden emergence of a left they thought they had successfully marginalised, to the point whereby it was no longer an effective voice. The attack by this newspaper against Corbyn unmasks its true colours; it is, taken out of its ludicrously personal context, an attack upon socialising forces on behalf of the corporate elite that has benefitted so dramatically by their repression - by a supposedly liberal newspaper.

Old attitudes and assumptions still predominate, whether on the BBC's Today programme, in the rightwing press or the parliamentary Labour party.

And that includes the 'liberal' Guardian, surely now part of the right wing press - all of them on the wrong side of history.

But as David Marquand observed in a review for the New Statesman, what is the point of a social democratic party if it doesn't represent the less fortunate, the underprivileged and the losers?

This has been observed and commented upon, not least on this site, again and again, for years, so many times, by ordinary readers. David Marquand comes after a long line.

We have long been told that in order to stand a chance of implementing one's principles as policies it is necessary to trade them for power. Such an argument, inane as it is, would be enough on its own to convince most people that democratic choice, under such terms, can only die, had we not been afforded the spectacle of its passing during the terms of the NewLabour government, which out-Thatchered Thatcher. Telling us that Blair won three elections rather loses its shine when we consider what he did with them, and how many left his party and haven't voted since as a result. Inequality increased under Blair.The fact that people continued to vote for the filthy-rich loving architect of an illegal war says much about them, as does the fact that so many did not speaks for them too. The first are natural Blairites, and without principles, which, as observed, need to be handed over in return for power, not fought for by debate and persuasion. They continue to make that argument. An illegal war or two, ongoing neoliberalisation and growing inequality appear to be no obstacle to it.

Finally:

But nor, it would seem, does he understand the nature of the new era. The danger is that he is possessed of feet of clay in what is a highly fluid and unpredictable political environment, devoid of any certainties of almost any kind, in which Labour finds itself dangerously divided and weakened.

Good article up until now. There has been so much unsubstantiated criticism of Corbyn - more, perhaps, than any other British political figure. So at this stage, it isn't enough to make statements like this. How does he not understand the nature of the new era? If you can't tell me, don't make the criticism. "Being possessed of feet of clay" doesn't actually mean anything, unless you explain it. Rhetoric is not an argument, and all we've ever had from the anti-Corbyn faction is empty rhetoric. It's a charge made against him and his policies, despite them being more detailed than the policies of any party in opposition, four years from an election, that I can recall. Presumably it's made in the interests of balance.
, idontreadtheguardian , 21 Aug 2016 05:35
The most dynamic period of postwar western growth was that between the end of the war and the early 70s, the era of welfare capitalism and Keynesianism, when the growth rate was double that of the neoliberal period from 1980 to the present.

This is a furphy. The growth rate postwar was spectacular because they were picking up the pieces of that war with the continuing momentum of a wartime economy. Arguably the turn to neoliberalism was the result of the reaction to the slowdown.

But by far the most disastrous feature of the neoliberal period has been the huge growth in inequality.

This isn't a bad thing in itself. Humans are not all equal in ability, so the notion that they should all enjoy equal circumstances or even opportunity is illogical.

Still, populism all good. Brexit down, Tru

, Cervant3s idontreadtheguardian , 21 Aug 2016 05:56

Humans are not all equal in ability, so the notion that they should all enjoy equal circumstances or even opportunity is illogical.

No it isn't. Unless you start off with the advantage of privilege in the first place.

What is privilege? An advantage that only one person or group of people has, usually because of their position or because they are rich. Share Facebook Twitter

, Roodan idontreadtheguardian , 21 Aug 2016 05:57
That's correct; some human beings are more violent than others and the eugenic scum always rises to the top Share Facebook Twitter
, thisisafact idontreadtheguardian , 21 Aug 2016 08:46

with the continuing momentum of a wartime economy

This is not true. The war economy was completely abandoned by 1950. From then on it was consumerism...... built on a relatively even distribution of wealth. It worked a treat. It was anything but war economy.... it was in fact the deliberate undoing of fortunes earned during the war (through high capital taxes and inflation)

This isn't a bad thing in itself

Yes it is, it's an extremely bad thing destroying the fabric of society. Social science has documented that even the better off are more happy, satisfied with life and feel safer in societies (i.e. the Scandinavian) where there is a relatively high degree of economic equality. Yes, economic inequality is a BAD thing in itself.


Humans are not all equal in ability

You assume we live in a meritocracy.... where effort and talent is generally rewarded. This is very, very far from the case. Your wealth is largely determined by why you are born to. And once you have succeeded joining the economic elite you will in 99% of the cases stay there even if you are a useless, lazy bastard. Society does not reward as you think (or claim); hence economic inequality can not be defended from any ethical or moral POV.

, Frances56 , 21 Aug 2016 05:36
Before the EU it was clear; globalism was a capitalist machination to drive working class people to poverty by sending their jobs away and importing people who work for peanuts.

And that's exactly what we got.
The left actively argued that this is a good thing. A decade ago they would have pointed out it's an exploitation of the poor that we use to do the jobs as well as a stab in the back of the existing working class.
See, the mystery here isn't just that the left has gone awol, but that it's not even the left anymore. The arguments are literally the neoconservative "open borders, cheap labour, deregulation" speech they've been railing against for a century.

So wtf happened?

, anewdawn , 21 Aug 2016 05:39
The reason why the neoliberal politicians want to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn is because he wants to get rid of neoliberalism, and return the economy to the Keynesian period, which regulated banks, and improved the lives of the majority with incomes that would increase aggregate demand and build the economy, and increase fairness and equality.

This is what Sadiq Kahn is asking you to do, to keep the status quo by replacing a good man with an ex big Pharma lobbyist. My sister lives in London, with her family. They were going to vote UKIP. Then Corbyn came on the scene with his promises of housing and jobs for the young. So they started to help with Sadiqs campaign. They are bitterly disappointed with his rant against the man they joined the Labour Party to support. They feel badly let down, because they feel that it was Corbyns goodness and policies that put Sadiq where he is. After all, Milibands lite austerity got Boris Johnson in last time.

, houseoftheangels , 21 Aug 2016 05:48
More like the death of neo liberalism because neo liberalism realised how out of touch with reality, the masses, their needs and attitudes it really was so adopted means to attempt to silence those masses and dissappear up its own jacksy as a hypocrite to its own liberal agenda. Their rules you fools. They make it up as they go along. They will tell you how it is your duty to tolerate whatever they decide is to be tolerated no matter what the effect upon your own lives.

This is how my neo liberalism died. It was a horrible and violent death. Now all that is left is a cold Clint Eastwood ghost stranger in town from the past stare into the oppressor's eyes as we face each other off on a lonely dusty high noon where all scores must be settled. Cue the spaghetti western soundtrack. https://youtu.be/LQGGQ-FCe_w

"Draw, punk..."

, Writeangle , 21 Aug 2016 05:49
I find much of this correct but neo-liberalism is not dying. The squeeze on the ordinary public in the west is still on as the richest 1% or so are always in power but never voted for as they work behind the scenes (lobbying etc) to create the work that benefits them the most at any expense. Inequality with be far worse by 2030 and the price will be ever rising political dissension - but does that matter to the international richest few percent?

The EU is a eulogy to the world's richest 1% with many tens of thousands of lobbyists working with the Commission to set the rules and regulations to be pro big business and anti-small business and against the individual. The EU - driving up inequality.

What's ignored is that today virtually all western politicians and top bureaucrats are from the richest few percent so it is no surprise whose interests they really care for.

Virtually all government schemes are new ways to take more more from the ordinary public, deliver a worse and more inefficient service, and trickle as much money as possible to the richest few percent. This ensures widening inequality as the few are guaranteed an ever larger take from the real economy, much of which is squirrelled away in offshore tax havens. Since the money does not recirculate in the real economy it does not generate growth.

Thatcher's government transferred £36bn from the public to the rich unnoticed as part of the perennial inequality drive by the elite http://uk.businessinsider.com/defined-benefit-pension-transfer-wealth-from-workers-to-companies-2016-8?r=US&IR=T . The Conservatives - driving up inequality.

Hospital PFIs are designed to offer worsening and fewer services at a much higher cost to the public so that the rich benefit maximally.

See How PFI is crippling the NHS https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/29/pfi-crippling-nhs
...Since the policy was launched in 1992, report after report over almost two decades has shown how each wave of PFI has been associated with trust mergers, leading to 30% reductions in beds; staff lay-offs; and closures of hospitals, accident and emergency departments and an untold number of community services – all because of lack of affordability... the high costs of PFI debt charges means that the NHS can only operate anything from a third to half as many services and staff as it would have done had the scheme been funded through conventional procurement. In other words, for every PFI hospital up and running, equity investors and bankers are charging as if for two....
Many were under new labour: New Labour. New Labour driving up inequality.

Rail privatisation is another scam by the elite to benefit the rich. It's a way of getting the public to pay more for worsening services but the only winners are the richest 1% who operate it with subsides to ensure a profit.

Never listen to the crocodile tears from the political elite in the problems of rising inequality. They have been doing their level best to boost inequality as much as possible for decades.

There is no political party that represents the interests of the ordinary public because the elite are far too close to the richest 1% to do other than make the rich ever richer.
Corbyn's blast for the past party will not solve today's problems. Returning to 1980 is not the answer with unions trying to run the country as their interests are these are far too narrow.
The public will gain nothing as example if train drivers pay increases to £100K+ per year.

We need a government that places the interests of the ordinary public first rather than last. There is zero possibility of this happening so inequality will continue to rise and with it political dissension.

, Dominique2 , 21 Aug 2016 05:57
Good article, timely article.

It is strange that you never mention the EU, even though one of the "decent" reasons invoked for leaving it was its neoliberal stance.

Contrary to other "political" reasons such as democracy or sovereignty, which were distorted by disinformation, that one had a factual basis.

And the EU is still around for quite some time - for some, the neoliberal behemoth next door.

It can be argued that the UK was a vocal voice for neoliberalism during its stay, making such words as "industrial policy" four-letter words, but it was not alone. The neoliberal church certainly was weakened by its departure, but it is still kicking.

What I call Dumbonomics (Thatcher-Reagan and its sister austerianism) had the huge political advantage of sounding like common sense. To conservative voters, the idea that a national or regional economy is no different from a household's or a retail shop's is very appealing: debt the mark of profligacy, regulations a damnable hobble, the State a costly, useless burden, such "self-evident" notions resonate deep in the average conservative's mind.

With most European nations, especially the prosperous ones, electing committed conservatives, it is little wonder that the mandate they gave to the EU Commission was a firmy neoliberal one. Ham-fisted apparatchiks such as Olli Rehn, under submissive apparatchiks such as Barroso, had a free rein.

It can be, and has been, said that the EU Commission is the last preserve of neoliberal living fossils.

However there are signs that they're on the wane there too. Despite an unchanged mandate, the EU Commission under Juncker - a center-right social-democrat - is no longer the fire-breathing dragon it used to be. It goes on making threatening noises about countries which break the neoliberal compacts - but real sanctions (fines) are not, and IMHO will not be, applied.

Meanwhile quite a few countries are mulling a change of path, which they see as being more possible now the rigidly Thatcherian UK has departed (and how ironical that May is now making similar noises, although I suspect egregious dissembling there).

In view of the staunch conservative views of the German electorate, no open move is advisable before the German elections. The evil we know, Merkel, is better (and more open-minded) than the evil we do not know.

But in the end, the burying of the neoliberal dinosaur will not come from its exposure as a daft and nefarious "flat-earther common sense" fantasy by serious economists, which has been going on for some time (see the Alesina-Ardagna-Reingart-Rogoff debunking, which had little or no effect on the economically illiterate Barroso Commission) but from growing political awareness, in the EU as in the US/UK.

[Jul 19, 2017] A 21st-Century Form of Indentured Servitude Has Already Penetrated Deep into the American Heartland

Notable quotes:
"... By Thom Hartmann. a talk-show host and author of over 25 books in print.. Originally published at AlterNet . ..."
"... Yes. I thank Hartmann for pointing out the latest power grabs by our corporate masters. Still, his ignoring Clinton, Obama and the rest just puts him in with all the other political tribalists, who by their tribalism distract from the main problems – and their ultimate solutions. It's a class war, Thom, The Only War That Matters. ..."
"... I can disagree with you that this here republic is a democracy. ..."
"... Fair enough. The United States is no longer a representative democracy (and it was only that way occasionally in the past); it's currently an oligarchic plutocracy. But if we hope to regain any semblance of a representative democracy, we need to actively participate. There are many reasons why we've degenerated into a plutocracy, and one of those reasons is that people don't participate enough. ..."
"... "And anything that would make somebody not want to move here or start a company here is going to slow down our progress." ..."
"... The vast majority of the labor market is shifting gears to function as the servant class to the very rich. It is a painful transition as recent gains in labor rights are lost. ..."
"... The last 70 years was an aberration. It will not return, short of a major uprising. Given the state's security apparatus that prospect is extremely unlikely. ..."
"... And I do not agree with Thom's Indentured servitude meme; he gives no real examples, just generalities. I would submit that a neo-feudal system is the fact on the ground. The difference; a serf has land (and yes, he's attached to it), a house, and a modicum of freedom; as long as he takes care of his lord. ..."
"... All information is managed; and this includes the unemployment figures; pure fiction by the way. An indentured servant has work; 20 million(?) or more Usians have no work, and little hope of finding meaningful employment. ..."
"... The importance of this can not be underestimated; human dignity is at stake; we're a society brought up on the importance of being "gainfully" employed. Our society is being intentionally crushed to make us serfs in a neo-feudal society. ..."
"... 20+ years ago in Athens, GA, there was a local chicken place. Good food if you like that kind of thing. Come to find the employees who fried the chicken and worked the service counter were forbidden by the language of their "contracts" to quit for a dollar an hour more at another local restaurant. The first company didn't actually have the means to take its former employees to court, but they had the "right" to do so. Bill Clinton, neoliberal to his rotten core, was happily the president, feeling our pain. ..."
"... These days, even janitors are being required to sign non-compete clauses. When Krishna Regmi started work as a personal care aide for a Pittsburgh home health agency in 2015, he was given a stack of paperwork to sign. "They just told us, 'It's just a formality, sign here, here, here,' " he said. Regmi didn't think much of it. That is, until he quit his job nine months later and announced his decision to move to a rival agency ! and his ex-employer sued him for violating a noncompete clause Regmi says he didn't know he had signed. The agreement barred Regmi from working as a personal care aide at another home health agency for two years. ..."
"... In California, North Dakota and Oklahoma, the law says the agreements are unenforceable; judges will just throw them out. In other states, statutes and case law create a set of tests that the agreements must pass. In Oregon, for instance, they can only be enforced if workers have two weeks to consider them before taking a job, or if the worker gets a "bona fide advancement" in return, such as a raise. ..."
"... The author fails to point out that H1-B is also indentured servitude. ..."
"... The merging of corporate power with the state is called "fascism." This was described by both Benito Mussolini and FDR's vice-president Henry Wallace. But the term "fascism" isn't mentioned in the article. Importantly, fascists are sworn enemies of communism and socialism, and this is how they can be identified. ..."
"... The US is definitely getting more feudal. ..."
"... It's about bullying and intimidation. Like most bullies, the companies are cowards who would back down if challenged, because it would make little economic sense to sue minimum-wage ex-employees. They're relying on the employees being too cowed to call their bluff, so they choose to stay even if unhappy. ..."
"... Non-compete clauses sound like something that will create a hostile work force; that may not be so good for these companies. Articles like this make me think of "Space Merchants", an amusing science fiction satire on capitalism by Pohl and Kornbluth. ..."
"... Perhaps there are other options in responding to the types of abuse detailed in this post, in addition to the political action Thom Hartmann called for. One such action might be characterized as "Passive NonParticipation" with your brains, craftsmanship and know-how to the extent possible, yet still retain your job. ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
July 19, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Thom Hartmann. a talk-show host and author of over 25 books in print.. Originally published at AlterNet .

Indentured servitude is back in a big way in the United States, and conservative corporatists want to make sure that labor never, ever again has the power to tell big business how to treat them.

Idaho , for example, recently passed a law that recognizes and rigorously enforces non-compete agreements in employment contracts, which means that if you want to move to a different, more highly paid, or better job, you can instead get wiped out financially by lawsuits and legal costs.

In a way, conservative/corporatists are just completing the circle back to the founding of this country.

Indentured servitude began in a big way in the early 1600s, when the British East India Company was establishing a beachhead in the (newly stolen from the Indians) state of Virginia (named after the "virgin queen" Elizabeth I, who signed the charter of the BEIC creating the first modern corporation in 1601). Jamestown (named after King James, who followed Elizabeth I to the crown) wanted free labor, and the African slave trade wouldn't start to crank up for another decade.

So the company made a deal with impoverished Europeans: Come to work for typically 4-7 years (some were lifetime indentures, although those were less common), legally as the property of the person or company holding your indenture, and we'll pay for your transport across the Atlantic.

It was, at least philosophically, the logical extension of the feudal economic and political system that had ruled Europe for over 1,000 years. The rich have all the rights and own all the property; the serfs are purely exploitable free labor who could be disposed of ( indentured servants , like slaves, were commonly whipped, hanged, imprisoned, or killed when they rebelled or were not sufficiently obedient).

This type of labor system has been the dream of conservative/corporatists, particularly since the "Reagan Revolution" kicked off a major federal war on the right of workers to organize for their own protection from corporate abuse.

Unions represented almost a third of American workers when Reagan came into office (and, since union jobs set local labor standards, for every union job there was typically an identically-compensated non-union job, meaning about two-thirds of America had the benefits and pay associated with union jobs pre-Reagan).

Thanks to Reagan's war on labor, today unions represent about 6 percent of the non-government workforce.

But that wasn't enough for the acolytes of Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman. They didn't just want workers to lose their right to collectively bargain; they wanted employers to functionally own their employees.

Prior to the current Reaganomics era, non-compete agreements were pretty much limited to senior executives and scientists/engineers.

If you were a CEO or an engineer for a giant company, knowing all their processes, secrets and future plans, that knowledge had significant and consequential value!company value worth protecting with a contract that said you couldn't just take that stuff to a competitor without either a massive payment to the left-behind company or a flat-out lawsuit.

But should a guy who digs holes with a shovel or works on a drilling rig be forced to sign a non-compete? What about a person who flips burgers or waits tables in a restaurant? Or the few factory workers we have left, since neoliberal trade policies have moved the jobs of tens of thousands of companies overseas?

Turns out corporations are using non-competes to prevent even these types of employees from moving to newer or better jobs.

America today has the lowest minimum wage in nearly 50 years , adjusted for inflation. As a result, people are often looking for better jobs. But according to the New York Times , about 1 in 5 American workers is now locked in with a non-compete clause in an employment contract.

Before Reaganomics, employers didn't keep their employees by threatening them with lawsuits; instead, they offered them benefits like insurance, paid vacations and decent wages. Large swaths of American workers could raise a family and have a decent retirement with a basic job ranging from manufacturing to construction to service industry work.

My dad was one of them; he worked 40 years in a tool-and-die shop, and the machinist's union made sure he could raise and put through school four boys, could take 2-3 weeks of paid vacation every year, and had full health insurance and a solid retirement until the day he died, which continued with my mom until she died years later. Most boomers (particularly white boomers) can tell you the same story.

That America has been largely destroyed by Reaganomics, and Americans know it. It's why when Donald Trump told voters that the big corporations and banksters were screwing them, they voted for him and his party (not realizing that neither Trump nor the GOP had any intention of doing anything to help working people).

And now the conservatives/corporatists are going in for the kill, for their top goal: the final destruction of any remnant of labor rights in America.

Why would they do this? Two reasons: An impoverished citizenry is a politically impotent citizenry, and in the process of destroying the former middle class, the 1 percent make themselves trillions of dollars richer.

The New York Times has done some great reporting on this problem, with an article last May and a more recent piece about how the state of Idaho has made it nearly impossible for many workers to escape their servitude.

Historically, indentured servants had their food, health care, housing, and clothing provided to them by their "employers." Today's new serfs can hardly afford these basics of life, and when you add in modern necessities like transportation, education and child-care, the American labor landscape is looking more and more like old-fashioned servitude.

Nonetheless, conservatives/corporatists in Congress and state-houses across the nation are working hard to hold down minimum wages. Missouri's Republican legislature just made it illegal for St. Louis to raise their minimum wage to $10/hour, throwing workers back down to $7.70. More preemption laws like this are on the books or on their way.

At the same time, these conservatives/corporatists are working to roll back health care protections for Americans, roll back environmental protections that keep us and our children from being poisoned, and even roll back simple workplace, food and toy safety standards.

The only way these predators will be stopped is by massive political action leading to the rollback of Reaganism/neoliberalism.

And the conservatives/corporatists who largely own the Republican Party know it, which is why they're purging voting lists , fighting to keep in place easily hacked voting machines , and throwing billions of dollars into think tanks, right-wing radio, TV, and online media.

If they succeed, America will revert to a very old form of economy and politics: the one described so well in Charles Dickens' books when Britain had " maximum wage laws " and "Poor Laws" to prevent a strong and politically active middle class from emerging.

Conservatives/corporatists know well that this type of neo-feudalism is actually a very stable political and economic system, and one that's hard to challenge. China has put it into place in large part, and other countries from Turkey to the Philippines to Brazil and Venezuela are falling under the thrall of the merger of corporate and state power.

So many of our individual rights have been stripped from us, so much of America's middle-class progress in the last century has been torn from us , while conservatives wage a brutal and oppressive war on dissenters and people of color under the rubrics of "security," "tough on crime," and the "war on drugs."

As a result, America has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners , more than any other nation on earth, all while opiate epidemics are ravaging our nation. And what to do about it?

Scientists have proven that the likelihood the desires of the bottom 90 percent of Americans get enacted into law are now equal to statistical " random noise ." Functionally, most of us no longer have any real representation in state or federal legislative bodies: they now exist almost exclusively to serve the very wealthy.

The neo-feudal corporate/conservative elite are both politically and financially committed to replacing the last traces of worker power in America with a modern system of indentured servitude.

Only serious and committed political action can reverse this; we're long past the point where complaining or sitting on the sidelines is an option.

As both Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama regularly said (and I've closed my radio show for 14 years with), "Democracy is not a spectator sport."

griffen , July 19, 2017 at 5:43 am

Wait, no mention of the Clinton administration and those Rubin acolytes? I find that hard to believe, those 8 years in the 90s were significant for today's outsized CEO pay and incentives.

WheresOurTeddy , July 19, 2017 at 5:48 am

First-Term Reagan Baby approves this post. New Deal was under attack before FDR's body got cold. Truman instead of Wallace in the VP slot in '44 was a dark day for humanity.

Remember the Four Freedoms.

Arizona Slim , July 19, 2017 at 8:37 am

The New Deal was under attack from day one.

Disturbed Voter , July 19, 2017 at 6:24 am

To keep doing what doesn't work, is insane. So keep voting for your incumbents! Not!

r.turner , July 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Massive political action? Not gonna happen.

BoycottAmazon , July 19, 2017 at 6:40 am

Then there is probation board / court bonds slavery. The slave is captured by the police, then chained to debt and papers first by a bond and then later upon "early" release to a probation officer. The slave has restrictions on his freedom by the probation orders, and must make good the money owed the bondsman and the court ordered fines. The slaves work for the benefit of the political and monied class who don't need to pay much if any tax burden for all their government delivered goods thanks to this system of slavery.

DanB , July 19, 2017 at 6:45 am

Hartmann closes with, "As both Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama regularly 'Democracy is not a spectator sport'." Hello Thom: Sanders has twisted himself with pretzel logic regarding neoliberalism and Obama is a full-blown neoliberal (who you seem to forget admired Ronald Reagan).

Colonel Smithers , July 19, 2017 at 7:17 am

Thank you, Dan.

That sentence also caught my attention and reminded me of John Kennedy junior's George magazine, marketing "politics as a lifestyle choice" and featuring Cindy Crawford on the inaugural cover. Allied to the MSM's obsession with identity politics, as a neo-liberal and neo-con driver of news, one is soon distracted from, if not disgusted with, what's going on. Thank God for (the) Naked Capitalism (community).

Livius Drusus , July 19, 2017 at 7:28 am

Yeah like Obama cared about unions and workers' rights. What happened to EFCA? What happened to the comfy shoes Obama said he would wear to walk with public sector workers in Wisconsin? Obama never fought for workers but he fought like hell for the TPP even going on Jimmy Fallon's show and slow jamming for it.

Obama is like the rest of the neoliberal Democrats. They think that unions and workers' rights are anti-meritocratic. Unions are only good for money and foot soldiers during the election. After the election they are basically told to get bent.

lyman alpha blob , July 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

Yes thanks for mentioning the EFCA. I'm so old I remember when the Democrat party campaigned hard on that – "If you give us back the majority in Congress blah blah blah .". And as soon as they won said majority they never mentioned it again.

Dirk77 , July 19, 2017 at 9:38 am

Yes. I thank Hartmann for pointing out the latest power grabs by our corporate masters. Still, his ignoring Clinton, Obama and the rest just puts him in with all the other political tribalists, who by their tribalism distract from the main problems – and their ultimate solutions. It's a class war, Thom, The Only War That Matters.

Vatch , July 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

One can disagree with Obama or Sanders about various issues, but democracy is definitely not a spectator sport. People need to vote in both primary and general elections, and not just in the big Presidential years. People need to vote in midterm primary and general elections, as well as the elections in odd numbered years, if their states have such elections.

They also need to actively support good candidates, and communicate their opinions to the politicians who hold office. Periodically, people post comments about the futility of voting, or they say that not voting is a way to send a message. Nonsense! Failure to participate is not a form of participation, it's just a way of tacitly approving of the status quo.

Eureka Springs , July 19, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Well I hope I can disagree with you that this here republic is a democracy. There isn't even a party I can think of which operates democratically.

Supporting a good candidate is asking people to participate in spectator sport-like activity. The people, party members, should determine a platform and the candidate/office holder should be obligated to sell/enact/administrate it.

The rich tell their politicians/parties what to do so should the rest of us.

Vatch , July 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm

"I can disagree with you that this here republic is a democracy."

Fair enough. The United States is no longer a representative democracy (and it was only that way occasionally in the past); it's currently an oligarchic plutocracy. But if we hope to regain any semblance of a representative democracy, we need to actively participate. There are many reasons why we've degenerated into a plutocracy, and one of those reasons is that people don't participate enough.

"Supporting a good candidate is asking people to participate in spectator sport-like activity"

Sure, if people don't participate in the primary process, all they have to choose from in the general election is a couple of tools of the oligarchs. They also need to do many of the things in the quote from Howard Zinn that Alejandro provided.

Alejandro , July 19, 2017 at 3:11 pm

"If democracy were to be given any meaning, if it were to go beyond the limits of capitalism and nationalism, this would not come, if history were any guide, from the top. It would come through citizen's movements, educating, organizing, agitating, striking, boycotting, demonstrating, threatening those in power with disruption of the stability they needed."–Howard Zinn

AND this:

" Democracy is not a spectator sport."– Lotte Scharfman
http://www.capecodtimes.com/article/20081004/opinion/810040340

David, by the lake , July 19, 2017 at 7:04 am

As others have pointed out already, it is important to note that corporatism is not a uniquely Republican characteristic.

Roger Smith , July 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

Great post, although I think it goes a little out of its way to ignore referencing Democrats as an equal part of the problem, as they too are "conservative/corporatists". Party politics is theater for the plebes, nothing more. These "people" have the same values and desires.

Colonel Smithers , July 19, 2017 at 7:40 am

Thank you to Lambert. Indentured labourers were also used by the French colonial ventures, including Mauritius / Ile Maurice, known as Isle de France when under French rule from 1715 – 1810.

Many of the labourers lived alongside slaves and, later, free men and women. They also intermarried, beginning what are now called Creoles in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Louisiana. I am one of their descendants.

In 1936, my great grandfather and others, mainly Creoles, founded the Labour Party in Mauritius. A year later, they organised the first strike, a general, which resulted in four sugar factory workers being shot and killed at Union-Flacq sugar estate. From what my grandmother and her aunt and sister, all of whom used to knit banners and prepare food and drink for the 1 May, and my father report, it's amazing and depressing to see the progress of the mid-1930s to 1970s being rolled back. It's also depressing to hear from so many, let's call them the 10%, criticise trade unions and think that progress was achieved by magic. Plutonium Kun wrote about that recently.

19battlehill , July 19, 2017 at 8:12 am

Thom – I agree with your outrage; however, the truth is that economically the US has been broke since the 1970's and it doesn't matter. Nothing will change until our we have an honest monetary system, and until unearned income is tax properly – the rich have gotten richer and corporations have hijacked our government, whining about it does nothing, this will go on until something breaks and then we will see what happens.

cnchal , July 19, 2017 at 8:14 am

What is going on in Idaho? Why would the state politicians do such a thing? From the Idaho link which is the NY Times, reveals the real reason. Believe it or not.

"We're trying to build the tech ecosystem in Boise," said George Mulhern, chief executive of Cradlepoint, a company here that makes routers and other networking equipment. "And anything that would make somebody not want to move here or start a company here is going to slow down our progress."

Alex LaBeau, president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry , a trade group that represents many of the state's biggest employers, countered: "This is about companies protecting their assets in a competitive marketplace ."

Alex doesn't get irony. What price discovery? Where are economists on this? Why are they radio silent? To paraphrase Franklin, a market, if you can keep it.

Again and again and again, we see narcissist lawyer/politicians doing stuff that is completely demented, from a normal person's point of view. They will be gone in a few years, but the idiotic laws remain.

Arizona Slim , July 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

Note the use of the word "ecosystem." A bullshhhh tell if there ever was one.

jrs , July 19, 2017 at 10:28 am

Tech is neither here nor there in it, I mean they say being able to leave jobs easily was a tech advantage in California where people could leave to start new businesses etc.. So I'm not sure how tech actually lines up on it, and it's almost not the point, even when it does good it's no substitute for an organization that really represents labor. It might be better in California due to tech pressure, but probably mostly because it's a deep blue state, which tends to make places slightly more tolerable places to live. Well as much as we're going to get when what we really need is socialists in the legislature but nonetheless.

Yes these practices are slavery. Indentured servitude is almost too polite, but I get it's more P.C..

Vatch , July 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm

It's not exactly the same as employee non-competition contracts, but remember the scandal about the Silicon Valley companies that privately agreed not to hire each others' employees? Here's one of the many articles about this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/emails-eric-schmidt-sergey-brin-hiring-apple-2014-3

Tom G. , July 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

I imagine that a few companies will move to Idaho to take advantage of the favorable legal climate, and will leave even more quickly when they can't recruit the talent they need. Speaking as a Software Engineer, the only impact this new law has is to put Idaho at the top of my list of "places I won't consider for relocation."

MG , July 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Mulhern is an idiot then because there is a fair amount of evidence that CA's lax enforcement and very skeptical enforcement of non competes is an important factor on why Silicon Valley has thrived. My sense is that this is purely to protect the status quo among large local employers and nothing to do with growing the local ecosystem or smaller firms. Good luck trying to recruit top-flight talent especially engineers/programmers to Boise with most companies have a vigorous year or 2-year non-competes in place.

cnchal , July 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm

> Mulhern is an idiot . . .

Ultimately, Idahoans will shoot themselves in the asses, never mind assets. I know "ecosystem" is a bullshit tell but it's another word for network effects and the network is short circuited by these laws.

Laws preventing an employee from leaving means there is less mixing of talent, making everyone worse off. That's how we learn, getting in there and doing it, whatever it is, and by moving to another employer you transfer and pick up knowledge and experience.

What makes it farcical, is that Big Co Management never envisions itself in their employees shoes.

Mike G , July 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm

"And anything that would make somebody not want to move here or start a company here is going to slow down our progress."

He's right, but in the wrong way. Idaho's new feudal employment laws ensure I will never move there for a tech job.

RenoDino , July 19, 2017 at 8:29 am

The vast majority of the labor market is shifting gears to function as the servant class to the very rich. It is a painful transition as recent gains in labor rights are lost. Becoming a willing supplicant and attaching oneself to a rich and powerful family is the best way to better one's prospects. The last 70 years was an aberration. It will not return, short of a major uprising. Given the state's security apparatus that prospect is extremely unlikely.

Anti Schmoo , July 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

Not a Thom Hartmann fanboy; he deals in glittering generalities and treats serious subject matter in a deeply superficial manner. Having been a Teamster in warehousing and metal trades; they were corrupt and in management's pocket in those places I worked. I'm a huge proponent for labor and the ideal of labor unions (as imagined by the wobblies); not the reality on the ground today.

And I do not agree with Thom's Indentured servitude meme; he gives no real examples, just generalities. I would submit that a neo-feudal system is the fact on the ground. The difference; a serf has land (and yes, he's attached to it), a house, and a modicum of freedom; as long as he takes care of his lord.

Usian's are now, in fact, prisoners of war. Living in a broken system where voting no longer counts; the very back bone of a democratic society. The "two" parties have merged into one entity looking very much like the ouroboros (a snake eating its tail).

All information is managed; and this includes the unemployment figures; pure fiction by the way. An indentured servant has work; 20 million(?) or more Usians have no work, and little hope of finding meaningful employment.

The importance of this can not be underestimated; human dignity is at stake; we're a society brought up on the importance of being "gainfully" employed. Our society is being intentionally crushed to make us serfs in a neo-feudal society.

RickM , July 19, 2017 at 8:56 am

20+ years ago in Athens, GA, there was a local chicken place. Good food if you like that kind of thing. Come to find the employees who fried the chicken and worked the service counter were forbidden by the language of their "contracts" to quit for a dollar an hour more at another local restaurant. The first company didn't actually have the means to take its former employees to court, but they had the "right" to do so. Bill Clinton, neoliberal to his rotten core, was happily the president, feeling our pain. And his own, courtesy of Newt Gingrich et al.

Colonel Smithers , July 19, 2017 at 9:05 am

Thank you, Rick. It was not just our pain that Clinton and Nootie were feeling. Speaking of Mr Bill, his family's role in Haiti, amongst other places reduced to penury, should earn them a place in infamy.

oaf , July 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

"we're long past the point where complaining or sitting on the sidelines is an option."

but marches and *Occupy*s (sp?) FEEL SO GOOD!!! like we are ACTUALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

jrs , July 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

he didn't suggest that, maybe that's what he meant, maybe somewhere else in his communications he says that, but it's not in the article.

Yes a problem is people don't know where or even how to apply any sort of pressure to change things

But one plus of these things being somewhat decided on the state level, is it is more obvious how to go about change there than with the Fed gov where things seem almost hopeless, try to elect people who stand against these policies for instance, easier done some places than others of course, but

jawbon , July 19, 2017 at 11:30 am

Occupy did make a difference, at least in how the public paying attention mostly to broadcast news and the "important" newspapers were concerned. Young people, especially, began to realize what they were up against in this corporatized economy where all the power went to the wealthy.

I'll bet a lot of Occupiers actually began to understand just what Neoliberalism meant!

And the amount of planning and effort the Obama WH spent organizing the Federal agencies and state/local governments to shut down the Occupy encampments indicated to me just how much they feared the effects of Occupy.

different clue , July 19, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Well . . . Occupy was clearly making enough of a difference that the Obama Administration worked with the 18 Democratic Party Mayors of 18 different cities to stamp it out with heavy police stompout presence. The Zucotti clearout in NYC, for example, was just exactly the way Obama liked it done.

Enquiring Mind , July 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

People subject to politicians should begin a coordinated effort to use a common approach to get the truth. Demand transparency, with all campaign contributions, lobbyist contacts, voting records, committee memberships and such all in one place. Use that information to provide a score to show the degree of voter representation. Not sure how that would work, just brainstorming to try some new approach as current ones have failed.

Vatch , July 19, 2017 at 10:05 am

A couple of months ago, this article was published:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/27/noncompete-clauses-jobs-workplace/348384001/

These days, even janitors are being required to sign non-compete clauses. When Krishna Regmi started work as a personal care aide for a Pittsburgh home health agency in 2015, he was given a stack of paperwork to sign. "They just told us, 'It's just a formality, sign here, here, here,' " he said. Regmi didn't think much of it. That is, until he quit his job nine months later and announced his decision to move to a rival agency ! and his ex-employer sued him for violating a noncompete clause Regmi says he didn't know he had signed. The agreement barred Regmi from working as a personal care aide at another home health agency for two years.

. . . . .

Bills in Maine, Maryland and Massachusetts would restrict noncompete agreements that involve low-wage employees; New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, is pushing for the same change in his state. Proposals in Massachusetts and Washington would also restrict the agreements for other types of workers, such as temporary employees and independent contractors.

Such bills face an uphill struggle, however, often because of stiff opposition from business. "Non-compete agreements are essential to the growth and viability of businesses by protecting trade secrets and promoting business development," the Maryland Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony opposing a bill Carr introduced that would have voided agreements signed by workers who earn less than $15 an hour. The bill passed the House in February but died in the Senate.
. . . . . .

Some good news:

In California, North Dakota and Oklahoma, the law says the agreements are unenforceable; judges will just throw them out. In other states, statutes and case law create a set of tests that the agreements must pass. In Oregon, for instance, they can only be enforced if workers have two weeks to consider them before taking a job, or if the worker gets a "bona fide advancement" in return, such as a raise.

States have tightened up enforcement criteria in recent years, propelled by news reports, Starr's research and encouragement from the Obama White House. In addition to Illinois' law banning noncompete agreements for low-wage workers, last year Utah passed a law that voided agreements that restricted workers for more than a year; Rhode Island invalidated them for physicians; and Connecticut limited how long and in what geographic area physicians can be bound.

Yet Starr's survey research suggests that tweaking the criteria may have a limited effect on how often the agreements are signed. In California, where noncompete agreements can't be enforced, 19 percent of workers have signed one, he said. In Florida, where the agreements are easily enforced, the share is the same: 19 percent.

Softie , July 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

The author fails to point out that H1-B is also indentured servitude.

Jacob , July 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

The merging of corporate power with the state is called "fascism." This was described by both Benito Mussolini and FDR's vice-president Henry Wallace. But the term "fascism" isn't mentioned in the article. Importantly, fascists are sworn enemies of communism and socialism, and this is how they can be identified.

gepay , July 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

NC is one of the few blogs where I read the comments.- this was a good article until the wtf comment at the end. Great Britain in an 1833 Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company" (how is that not surprising), Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and Saint Helena; the exceptions were eliminated in 1843). "Who ya gonna get to do the dirty work when all the slaves are free?" Indentured servants from India – the biggest ethnic group in British Guiana (now Guyana) are from India Indians. The US is definitely getting more feudal.

d , July 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm

while i dont disagree thats it not happening, it just seems extremely short sighted, as without a large growing middle class, corporations are dooming them selves to lower income (profits) in the long term. but then no one can really accuse corporations of having a long term view

different clue , July 19, 2017 at 8:09 pm

But perhaps the rich people hiding behind the corporate veil are motivated by class sadism, not class greed. Perhaps they are ready to lose half what they have in order to destroy both halves of what we have.

Benedict@Large , July 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I don't see the problem. You're getting somewhere around minimum wage, and so a lawyer wouldn't take you even if you knew how to find one suitable, which you don't.

So you look at your boss and say, "Sue me." What's the gut to do? Hire a lawyer? Use one on staff? This is a civil case, so what damages is he claiming?

Then how's the judge going to look on this. Any judge I've known would be pissed livid to get stuck with a bullcrap case like this. Imagine when every judge is looking at his docket filled with this nonsense. How long before he starts slapping your boss with contempt?

We're sitting around complaining how bad our bosses are, bet we have another, must worse problem. Employees have turned to wimps over their boss's every utterance. Here's a tip. Probably a half and more of whatever is in you employment "contract" (it probably doesn't even qualify legally as one) is either illegal or unenforceable. Pretend it isn't there.

And above all, STOP rolling over to these jerks. If your biggest problem is a non-compete on a minimum wage contract, your world has already fallen apart. If your bosses problem is that he thinks he needs them, his world is about to.

Mike G , July 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

It's about bullying and intimidation. Like most bullies, the companies are cowards who would back down if challenged, because it would make little economic sense to sue minimum-wage ex-employees. They're relying on the employees being too cowed to call their bluff, so they choose to stay even if unhappy.

Edward , July 19, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Non-compete clauses sound like something that will create a hostile work force; that may not be so good for these companies. Articles like this make me think of "Space Merchants", an amusing science fiction satire on capitalism by Pohl and Kornbluth.

Swamp Yankee , July 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm

The East India Company did not establish a foothold in Virginia! That was the Virginia Company! This basic factual error mars an article that otherwise makes a very good point.

Swamp Yankee , July 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Nor was Virginia a State at the time ! a colony until the Revolution. These are critical distinctions.

This is the kind of thing that drives history teachers crazy.

Chauncey Gardiner , July 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Perhaps there are other options in responding to the types of abuse detailed in this post, in addition to the political action Thom Hartmann called for. One such action might be characterized as "Passive NonParticipation" with your brains, craftsmanship and know-how to the extent possible, yet still retain your job.

In the waning years of the Soviet Union, the mantra was "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work." I suspect many American workers have already figured out the minimum amount of work necessary to retain their jobs and incomes, hence the recent decline in one of the "elite's" most cherished metrics, "productivity" (besides wealth concentration, of course).

[Jul 19, 2017] The First Neoliberals: How free-market disciples and union busters became the prophets of American liberalism by Corey Robin

Notable quotes:
"... New Republic ..."
"... Returning to that first paragraph of Peters's piece, we find the basic positions of the neoliberal persuasion: opposition to unions and big government, support for the military and big business. ..."
"... Above all, neoliberals loathed unions, especially teachers unions. They still do , except insofar as they're useful funding devices for the contemporary Democratic Party. ..."
"... But reading Peters, it's clear that unions were, from the very beginning, the main target. The problems with unions were many: they protected their members' interests (no mention of how important unions were to getting and protecting Social Security and Medicare); they drove up costs, both in the private and the public sector; they defended lazy, incompetent workers ("we want a government that can fire people who can't or won't do the job"). ..."
"... The Other America ..."
04, 2016 | www.jacobinmag.com

On Tuesday, New York magazine's Jonathan Chait tweeted , "What if every use of 'neoliberal' was replaced with, simply, 'liberal'? Would any non-propagandistic meaning be lost?"

It was an odd tweet.

On the one hand, Chait was probably just voicing his disgruntlement with an epithet that leftists and Sanders liberals often hurl against Clinton liberals like Chait.

On the other hand, there was a time, not so long ago, when journalists like Chait would have proudly owned the term neoliberal as an apt description of their beliefs. It was the New Republic , after all, the magazine where Chait made his name, that, along with the Washington Monthly , first provided neoliberalism with a home and a face.

Now, neoliberalism, of course, can mean a great many things , many of them associated with the Right. But one of its meanings ! arguably, in the United States, the most historically accurate ! is the name that a small group of journalists, intellectuals, and politicians on the Left gave to themselves in the late 1970s in order to register their distance from the traditional liberalism of the New Deal and the Great Society.

The original neoliberals included, among others, Michael Kinsley, Charles Peters, James Fallows, Nicholas Lemann, Bill Bradley, Bruce Babbitt, Gary Hart, and Paul Tsongas. Sometimes called " Atari Democrats ," these were the men ! and they were almost all men ! who helped to remake American liberalism into neoliberalism, culminating in the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.

These were the men who made Jonathan Chait what he is today. Chait, after all, would recoil in horror at the policies and programs of mid-century liberals like Walter Reuther or John Kenneth Galbraith or even Arthur Schlesinger, who claimed that "class conflict is essential if freedom is to be preserved, because it is the only barrier against class domination." We know this because he so resolutely opposes the more tepid versions of that liberalism that we see in the Sanders campaign.

It's precisely the distance between that lost world of twentieth century American labor-liberalism and contemporary liberals like Chait that the phrase "neoliberalism" is meant, in part , to register.

We can see that distance first declared, and declared most clearly, in Charles Peters's famous " A Neoliberal's Manifesto ," which Tim Barker reminded me of last night. Peters was the founder and editor of the Washington Monthly , and in many ways the éminence grise of the neoliberal movement.

In re-reading Peters's manifesto ! I remember reading it in high school; that was the kind of thing a certain kind of nerdy liberal-ish sophomore might do ! I'm struck by how much it sets out the lineaments of Chait-style thinking today.

The basic orientation is announced in the opening paragraph:

We still believe in liberty and justice for all, in mercy for the afflicted and help for the down and out. But we no longer automatically favor unions and big government or oppose the military and big business. Indeed, in our search for solutions that work, we have to distrust all automatic responses, liberal or conservative.

Note the disavowal of all conventional ideologies and beliefs, the affirmation of an open-minded pragmatism guided solely by a bracing commitment to what works. It's a leitmotif of the entire manifesto: everyone else is blinded by their emotional attachments to the ideas of the past.

We, the heroic few, are willing to look upon reality as it is, to take up solutions from any side of the political spectrum, to disavow anything that smacks of ideological rigidity or partisan tribalism.

That Peters wound up embracing solutions in the piece that put him comfortably within the camp of GOP conservatism (he even makes a sop to school prayer) never seemed to disturb his serenity as a self-identified iconoclast. That was part of the neoliberal esprit de corps: a self-styled philosophical promiscuity married to a fairly conventional ideological fidelity.

Listen to how former New Republic owner Marty Peretz described that ethos in his look-back on the New Republic of the 1970s and 1980s:

My then-wife and I bought the New Republic in 1974. I was at the time a junior faculty member at Harvard, and I installed a former student, Michael Kinsley, as its editor. We put out a magazine that was intellectually daring, I like to think, and politically controversial.

We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action; for military intervention in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur; alarmed about the decline of the family. The New Republic was also an early proponent of gay rights. We were neoliberals. We were also Zionists, and it was our defense of the Jewish state that put us outside the comfort zone of modern progressive politics.

Except for gay rights and one or two items in that grab bag of foreign interventions, what is Peretz saying here beyond the fact that his politics consisted mainly of supporting various planks from the Republican Party platform? That was the intellectual daring, apparently.

Returning to that first paragraph of Peters's piece, we find the basic positions of the neoliberal persuasion: opposition to unions and big government, support for the military and big business.

Above all, neoliberals loathed unions, especially teachers unions. They still do , except insofar as they're useful funding devices for the contemporary Democratic Party.

But reading Peters, it's clear that unions were, from the very beginning, the main target. The problems with unions were many: they protected their members' interests (no mention of how important unions were to getting and protecting Social Security and Medicare); they drove up costs, both in the private and the public sector; they defended lazy, incompetent workers ("we want a government that can fire people who can't or won't do the job").

Against unions, or conventional unions, Peters held out the promise of employee stock-ownership plans ( ESOPs ), where workers would forgo higher wages and benefits in return for stock options and ownership. He happily pointed to the example of Weirton Steel :

. . . where the workers accepted a 32 percent wage cut to keep their company alive. They will not be suckers because they will own the plant and share in the future profits their sacrifice makes possible. It's better for a worker to keep a job by accepting $12 an hour than to lose it by insisting on $19.

(Sadly, within two decades, Weirton Steel was dead, and with it, those future profits and wages for which those workers had sacrificed in the early 1980s.)

But above all, Peters and other neoliberals saw unions as the instruments of the most vile subjugation of the most downtrodden members of society:

A poor black child might have a better chance of escaping the ghetto if we fired his incompetent middle-class teacher . . .

The urban public schools have in fact become the principal instrument of class oppression in America, keeping the lower orders in their place while the upper class sends its children to private schools.

And here we see how in utero how the neoliberal argument works its magic on the Left.

On the one hand, Peters showed how much the neoliberal was indebted to the Great Society ethos of the 1960s. That ethos was a departure from the New Deal insofar as it proclaimed its solidarity with the most desperate and the most needy.

Michael Harrington's The Other America , for example, treated the poor not as a central part of the political economy, as the New Deal did. The poor were superfluous to that economy: there was America, which was middle-class and mainstream; there was the "other," which was poor and marginal. The Great Society declared a War on Poverty, which was thought to be a project different from managing and regulating the economy.

On the other hand, Peters showed how potent, and potently disabling, that kind of thinking could be. In the hands of neoliberalism, it became fashionable to pit the interests of the poor not against the power of the wealthy but against the unionized working class.

(We still see that kind of talk among today's Democrats, particularly in debates around free trade, where it is always the unionized worker ! never the well-paid journalist or economist or corporate CEO ! who is expected to make sacrifices on behalf of the global poor. Or among Hillary Clinton supporters, who leverage the interests of African American voters against the interests of white working-class voters, but never against the interests of capital.)

Teachers unions in the inner cities were ground zero of the neoliberal obsession. But it wasn't just teachers unions. It was all unions:

In both the public and private sector, unions were seeking and getting wage increases that had the effect of reducing or eliminating employment opportunities for people who were trying to get a foot on the first run of the ladder.

And it wasn't just unions that were a problem. It was big-government liberalism as a whole:

Too many liberals . . . refused to criticize their friends in the industrial unions and the civil service who were pulling up the ladder. Thus liberalism was becoming a movement of those who had arrived, who cared more about preserving and expanding their own gains than about helping those in need.

That government jobs are critical for women and African Americans ! as Annie Lowrey shows in an excellent recent piece ! has long been known in traditional liberal and labor circles.

That it is only recently registered among journalists ! who, even when they take the long view, focus almost exclusively, as Lowrey does, on the role of GOP governors in the aughts rather than on these long-term shifts in Democratic Party thinking ! tells us something about the break between liberalism and neoliberalism that Chait believes is so fanciful.

Oddly, as soon as Peters was done attacking unions and civil-service jobs for doling out benefits to the few ! ignoring all the women and people of color who were increasingly reliant on these instruments for their own advance ! he turned around and attacked programs like Social Security and Medicare for doing precisely the opposite: protecting everyone.

Take Social Security. The original purpose was to protect the elderly from need. But, in order to secure and maintain the widest possible support, benefits were paid to rich and poor alike. The catch, of course, is that a lot of money is wasted on people who don't need it . . .

Another way the practical and the idealistic merge in neoliberal thinking in is our attitude toward income maintenance programs like Social Security, welfare, veterans' pensions, and unemployment compensation. We want to eliminate duplication and apply a means test to these programs. They would all become one insurance program against need.

As a practical matter, the country can't afford to spend money on people who don't need it ! my aunt who uses her Social Security check to go to Europe or your brother-in-law who uses his unemployment compensation to finance a trip to Florida. And as liberal idealists, we don't think the well-off should be getting money from these programs anyway ! every cent we can afford should go to helping those really in need.

Kind of like Hillary Clinton criticizing Bernie Sanders for supporting free college education for all on the grounds that Donald Trump's kids shouldn't get their education paid for? (And let's not forget that as recently as the last presidential campaign, the Democratic candidate was more than willing to trumpet his credentials as a cutter of Social Security and Medicare , though thankfully he never entertained the idea of turning them into means-tested programs.)

It's difficult to make sense of what truly drives this contradiction, whereby one liberalism is criticized for supporting only one segment of the population while another liberalism is criticized for supporting all segments, including the poor.

It could be as simple as the belief that government should work on behalf of only the truly disadvantaged, leaving everyone el