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Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

News Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Who Rules America Recommended Links Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism American biblical nationalism and religious far right Economic nationalism
American Exceptionalism Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization TTP, NAFTA and other supranational trade treaties Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism  Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  
Debt slavery The Grand Chessboard American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Merchants of Debt Greece debt enslavement Eroding Western living standards Ukraine debt enslavement Russian nationalists
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And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

-- Howard Zinn

Neoliberalism creates powerful nationalistic impulses die to its failure of fulfill its promises. Disappointed, impoverished, and, especially, unemployed people are easy recruits for far right movements.  In this sense the situation is similar to Bolshevism, which after being discredited as ideology (which was based on the promise of rising standard of living and eventual overtaking the capitalist West in prosperity) failed to keep the country together because of  growing (and lavishly supported both in propaganda and financially by the West) wave of nationalism which swept the USSR into oblivion. Disintegration of the USSR was based on two major factors -- betrayal of the "nomenklatura" which switched to neoliberalism, and abandoning Comminist ideology (in which actually nobody believed after 1970th)  and the tide of nationalistic sentiments.

Now nationalism is on the rise in all major Western countries. Such events as Brexit and election of Trump are links of the same chain of events.

Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an neoliberal economic order and ideology. Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich is generally hostile to nationalism. It often purposely destabilize  the nation-states to open them to transnational corporations ("creative destruction" of sort), the dominant political players under neoliberalism. For example, when the federal government of Canada adopted neoliberal policies one immediate consequence was the termination of the funding programs  for the francophone community cultural programs (along with the termination of the welfare programs). Indeed, the Official Languages Act itself was overhauled.

The United States' pursuit of global primacy is based upon a complex melding of neoliberal economics and hegemonic politics which produce strong anti-American sentiments in various part of the globe, fueling nationalism.  US imperialism is inherently predatory  and profoundly different from the productive capitalism that had been the basis of American economic success. It is essentially a War and color revolutions based racket. It has important difference with classic colonialism: what traditional colonialism tried to achieve with standing armies now is achieved using financial instruments and tiny strata of  "comprador elite" within the given country.  Putting the nation into debt-bondage proved to be even more effective in extracting resources from the countries then the old colonial rule. 

Ethno-nationalism is not the only form of nationalism in existence. Moreover, Ethno-nationalism is in decline, as it is now discomforting intellectually and morally for many people. But two other, more modern and no less powerful forms of nationalism emerged: "cultural nationalism" and "economic nationalism".

As social scientists demonstrated nationalistic sentiments are often a product of culture, often deliberately constructed by the local elite to achieve pretty nefarious and selfish goals.  Still the culture can as solid core of nationalism as ethnicity. this new form of nationalism became an important player on the world scene.

Ukrainian color revolution of February 2014 (EuroMaydan), despite surface slogans about Eurointergation, was fought and won by Western Ukrainian nationalists, which later tried to impose their will on the rest of the country provoking the civil war in Donbass (with substantial help from Russia, which decided to support Russian speaking population against Ukrainian nationalists cultural assault).  While they were ethnic nationalists in the past, now they by-and-large converted in cultural nationalists, which oppose not Russians as a national by Russian culture and language and try to instill Ukrainian culture and language in the country were the majority of population speaks Russian.

So far the net result was a destruction of the Ukrainian economy due to break-up of Soviet era ties with Russian industries and abandonment of Russian market (while Ukrainian goods are no values as much in Western markets and face various often artificial barriers in EU). In 216 the impoverishment of the population reached the Central African states level (less then $2 dollar a day for the majority of population).

Americans generally are strongly negative to the idea of ethnic nationalism and that's is one of the best features of Americans as a nation. After all, in the United States people of varying ethnic origins live in peace. For example within two or three generations of immigration,  ethnic identities of Western and Eastern European immigrants are attenuated by cultural assimilation and intermarriage. In general, immigrants to the United States usually arrive with a willingness to fit into their new country and reshape their identities accordingly. But for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities still sometimes take more ancient ethnic or religious form, producing powerful claims to political power. In the past, the creation of nation-states in Europe has often the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. 

While the apogee of ethno-nationalism was probably in 1930th and during post war decolonization,  ethno-nationalism while in decline still remain a powerful social force in some countries. In many way ethno-nationalism is still linked with national socialism.  But traditional national socialism version of ethno-nationalism  was slowly but surely replaced by what the form that is based on colon culture and language --  "cultural nationalism". I think that  American Exceptionalism is one of the most interesting examples of this type of nationalism. And the fact that US flags in the USA are everywhere definitely signify its strength in mind of the people. Unlike many European state were driving a car with the national flag would be considered bad manners, in the USA it is OK behaviour.

The US elite as the leading imperial elite that overtook British elite on the world stage achieved great mastery in using divide and conquer strategy by inciting nationalistic feelings all over the world. This mastery (despite Bush "Chicken Kiev" speech)  was especially demonstrated in facilitation the break-up of the USSR. It was nationalism that had blown up the USSR when it started experiencing economic difficulties and crisis of the political doctrine under which it was created as well as suffering from the losing Afghan war.

It is interesting to note that the crisis in the USSR was amplified due to supply of modern technology. Personal computers inside the country which broke traditional hold on distribution of literature by Communist Party (which rules the country as a religious sect, crushing even minor deviations form holy doctrine), were very similar to Stringers hand held missiles in Afghan war, which deteriorated Russian air superiority, and limited the use of helicopters (with a pretty nasty effect 30 years later).  This along the  money with which the USA and Saudi financed radical Islamic fundamentalism  converted Islamist revels it into a powerful political force. Political Islam was if nor born then strengthens in Afghan war.  Which paradoxically is another example of "cultural nationalism", were the religion serves as the cementing force and identification of us vs. them. .

People often forget that Osama bin Laden was essentially a recruiting agent on Saudi Intelligence payroll during the USSR Afghan war.  In this sense tragedy of 9/11 was simply a blowback of previous efforts to defeat the USSR in Afghan war by whatever means possible. And one of those means was spreading of Wahhabism and what can be called "Islamic cultural nationalism". 

As author of the note Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11? observed:

I would indeed go further and say that Islamic schools infuse a dangerous and un-Islamic Islam-supremacist, and indeed now sectarian Wahhabi-supremacist view vis-à-vis all other religions and cultures and this is at least partly responsible for many of the problems Muslims face around the world today.

In other words with  the ascendance of neoliberalism nationalism re-emerged as a powerful countervailing force.  Brexit was just the first powerful manifestation of this effect.

likbez : , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 02:47 PM
Neoliberalism creates an impulse for nationalism in several ways:

1. It destroys human solidarity. And resorting to nationalism in a compensational mechanism to restore it in human societies. that's why the elite often resorts to foreign wars if it feels that it losing the control over peons.

2. Neoliberalism impoverishes the majority of population enriching top 1% and provokes the search for scapegoats. Which in the past traditionally were Jews. Now look like MSM are trying to substitute them for Russians

3. Usually the rise of nationalism is correlated with the crisis in the society. There is a crisis of neoliberalism that we experience in the USA now: after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, when the ideology is discredited, but forces behind it are way too strong for any social change to be implemented. Much like was the case during "Brezhnev socialism" in the USSR.

So those who claim that we are experiencing replay of late 1920th on a new level might be partially right. With the important difference that it does not make sense to establish fascist dictatorship in the USA. Combination of "Inverted totalitarism" and "national security state" already achieved the same major objectives with much less blood and violence.

Secessionist movements

In the post-Second World War period until 1989, superpowers were committed to upholding existing state boundaries. While decolonization was permitted, the borders of states were treated, in international law and practice, as permanent—non-negotiable—features of the international state system.

Secessionist movements are based on groups that have a strong national identification, and are fuelled by nationalism. Minority nations, in multination states, often criticize state policies on the grounds that they implicitly privilege the majority national group on the territory. They have resisted majority control over certain aspects of state policy, and have made claims for state protection of their culture or for recognition of their distinct identity. This usually means that they want their language to be used in official capacities and their children to be educated in their language and about their culture. They typically demand their own political institutions, to enable them to control their own affairs.

As a political principle nationalism postulates that the political and national unit should be congruent. That naturally leads to secessionist movements. It has many variations and in weaker form presuppose  the moral significance of the national community, its existence in the past and into the future, and typically seeks some form of political protection to safeguard its future existence.

One advantage of viewing nationalism as a normative theory about the value of national membership and national communities is that it can account for the key policies or demands of nationalists. On this conception, the demand for national self-determination is an important plank in many nationalist movements although not, contra Gellner, a fundamental principle of nationalism. Nationalists may, and often do, seek complete independence or state sovereignty. However, in some cases, where the costs of independence are too high, or the benefits of independence too precarious, nationalists may seek other forms of institutional recognition.

,,, ,,, ,,,

the category 'nation', like 'friends' and 'lovers', falls into the second group. It is contingent on its members' sustaining a certain image of it based on their perceptions and feelings—although of course there are a number of conditions which lead to the construction of an image of a nation, such as shared religion, language, law, geographical isolation, colonial policies, bureaucratic decisions, and the like.

... ... ...

David Miller lists five elements that together constitute a nation: it is, he writes 'a community (1) constituted by shared beliefs and mutual commitments, (2) extended in history, (3) active in character, (4) connected to a particular territory, and (5) marked off from other communities by its distinct public culture'. 12 This definition also suggests that the subjective identification is crucial.

... ... ...

One common line of argument, associated with the work of Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, and others, is that national identity is linked with broad historical forces. National forms of identity become prominent in the modern period as a result of industrialization, and the social and bureaucratic changes that accompany industrialization—or precede it, in the case of states aspiring to be industrialized. In Gellner's formulation of the argument, the modern economy is crucially dependent on standardized modes of communication and cultural practices, and people's life chances are shaped by the language in which they communicate, as well as other cultural forms of interaction. This is in contrast to the premodern period when cultural or linguistic differences were politically irrelevant.

That means that the language and culture  became the most important components which defines the boundaries of national identity, while all other characteristics that define nationality, such as specific for given ethnos DNA, receded. That consideration gave rise of élite-manipulation models of nationalism. They view national identity as the product of actions by political or economic élites, who foster national identities for their own (self-interested) ends. More sophisticated élite-manipulation theories describe élites as encoding violence or antagonism as ethnic or national which could be described in other ways—as criminal or class violence, say—for their own ends. Nationalism  is merely a means for élites to preserve or enhance their own power and status in the society. This is a variation of the old Plato's argument that the masses are easily duped and so cannot steer the ship of state. The fact that nations are socially constructed does not suggest that they are less real or are to be regarded with suspicion. Some people focus on the fact that they are 'imagined' communities to suggest that they may have no basis in 'reality'.

The social image is important because it is impossible for all its members to engage in face-to-face contact with each other at all times. Therefore members must refer to their perception of the image of the nation. Of course, on this definition, many, if not most, communities, except the very smallest, are imagined in the same way. Religious communities are imagined; my university is imagined; even my extended family is imagined. 26 But they may all be important, and legitimate, bases of identification.

That means that it is more accurate to describe national identities as existing along a continuum, with the language, the habits or customs or character of the group on one end and the institutional structure of state on the another. For example, in immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, where groups of people left their various 'homelands' to become part of a different political project, immigrant groups do not have the "national territory" as a basis to reproduce their own culture en masse and the political identities in question—the Canadian, Australian, and American identities — are genuinely available to them, in the sense that the host society did not exclude them from the political project and the political project propose to then a new, "born again"  cultural and political identity. In case the have like, for example in Quebec -- their nationalism assumes the forms that are typical for Old World.

Similarly in the case of France, ethnic groups were incorporated or integrated into France prior to the Age of Nationalism, and assimilation was largely effective. There has been some attempt to revive these minority nationalisms, but minority nations typically lack much shared (institutionally separate) history—since Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Languedoc and Burgundy were all incorporated into France prior to 1500.  They lack an institutional basis, as well as social differentiation. The nationalisms are accordingly very weak. The French formula cannot be applied to other areas, where separate institutional or bureaucratic structures were in place by the time of mass democratic participation and the politicization of national and cultural differences by the bureaucratic modern state.  But the reaction against immigrant communities, especially Muslim community was very strong.

At the same time, as little as forty years ago, Britain was thought to be a homogeneous society, with strong class politics, but little in the way of national politics. Now, however, the conglomerate 'British' national identity seems to be eroding and is challenged by Scottish, Welsh, and to a lesser extent—and mainly in reaction to the other two nationalisms—English national identities.

The issue of rights to territory is also important because one basis of the distinction between immigrant groups and national groups is that the latter have territory and the former do not. Whether a group has territory is therefore crucially important, not only to this conceptual distinction, but it also affects, on at least one influential argument, the kind of rights and entitlements that attach to the groups.

Given the chronic availability of nationalist and ethnic idioms in modern polities, one might expect economic crises to foster heightened nation-statist or ethnic exclusion.  Intensified efforts to blame national and ethnic outsiders for economic distress, to protect domestic producers and workers against foreign (or ethnically “alien”) competition, or to treat politically vulnerable minorities as scapegoats. And earlier crises furnish ample precedent for such efforts. This review has suggested, however, that economic crises do not automatically or uniformly generate such responses and that nationalist and ethno-political responses to the present crisis have so far been relatively muted.

The credit crisis on 2008 was mainly interpreted in nation-statist terms and was blamed (outside the United States) on the American profligacy, American-style casino capitalism, the global financial system, or an externally imposed neoliberalism.

Until Brexit nationalist reaction of the crisis of neoliberalism  — or reactions with a more or less pronounced nationalist components were not successful outside a few countries such as Hungary and Russia. Legal and institutional constraints, complex forms of economic interdependence, and prevailing cultural idioms have all worked to inhibit radical measures designed to protect domestic producers or labor markets (although more limited forms of protection were widely implemented).  Even in the USA, the citadel of neoliberalism, the disenchantment with neoliberalism led to the rise of such politicians as Sanders and Trump.

It is   too soon to assess consequences of Brexit on neoliberal globalization, but it is clear that the growing wave of nationalism is able at least to slow if not revert that recent neoliberal "advances" in this direction. If you add coming oil crisis the future of neoliberal globalization now looks more and more uncertain.

As Indonesian Chinese massacre of 1998 proves modern societies are sill not above finding ethnic scapegoats in case of severe economic crisis:


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[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 21, 2020] Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

@anonymous

The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation and I don't believe this is why Russia survives as a nation today. Russia itself is a country with a great many nationalities, and there are almost as many Asian as European faces in the country. Furthermore, the Ukraine was part of the USSR, has what you term a core ethnicity, and yet has descended into chaos without end since the collapse of the USSR. Clearly, a nation consists of something other than ethnic identity, language or even religion.

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life .

"Man is a slave neither of his race nor his language, nor of his religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains. A large aggregate of men, healthy in mind and warm of heart, creates the kind of moral conscience which we call a nation."

A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography. Whether or not a nation or nations survive the collapse of the American Empire will depend on the willingness of the people to live together with a shared collective memory of the past. Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs. The chaos that will surely follow the Empire's collapse will become part of the shared trauma, out of which a new nation or nations will arise, if the people so will.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110827065548/http://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
"I see you have successfully internalized The Cuck's Credo."

I won;t speak to the explication of what nationhood is as described. But clearly skin color is not a cohesive enough glue. The white colonists comprised of varying ethnic cultures went to war against whites in great britain. And by all indications of history the whites in Europe spent more than 1800 years killing each other in country and out --

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Weston Waroda

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle

Why was the lecture famous? Was it because Renan decided to redefine nation?
https://www.etymonline.com/word/nation

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 12:32 am GMT
@Daniel.I Oh, are you ever missing the point. What Renan wrote elsewhere, "that which makes a nation is the willingness of its members to live together," (ce qui fait une nation c'est la volunté de ses membres de vivre ensemble) cuts both ways. It not only expains why Russia successfully transitioned the fall of the USSR, while the Ukraine has not yet: the Russians chose to live together. It also explains why nationalists like you continue to choose by your own volition to identify as American despite your pissing and moaning. You and the Russians and the Ukrainians are making your own volitional choices about the nation you choose to be a member of. Those choices multiplied by the millions of inhabitants demonstrate how this is an organic process. Furthermore, Renan wrote well before the current idea of globalism had developed any traction, and he is writing from observation of history as a historian. He had no globalist agenda to promote. I have read quite a lot of what the hard right nationalists have had to say in their comments on the Unz Review, and frankly, the arguments are unconvincing. I would suggest reading the Renan lecture I posted the link to, it clears up the mess and shows a third way between you and the globalists, the way of how things really come down. It shows reality.
Oscar Peterson , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 1:55 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

No matter what the core identity of a society, there will be at least episodic internal violence. But that doesn't mean that people don't need identity.

What identity, in your view, should the people focusing on whiteness as symbolic of their sense of belonging, be adopting?

It's obvious that being "an American" is becoming less and less psychologically satisfying. So what is the answer?

Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 9:56 am GMT
@Weston Waroda I am Eastern European living in my homeland.
So I can see right through your ZOG-manufactured bullshit.
Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT
@EliteCommInc. You have no idea how satisfying it is to watch the Anglo – after having forced liberalism down the throat of everyone else – finding himself on the receiving end of it.

Keep celebrating your own dissolution, cuck.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
@Polemos The nation in Renan's thinking transcends consideration of the one and the many through a kind of political metaphysic: the nation is spiritual, the nation is a mystery. The national myth of shared trauma creates a past while organic human volition results in a spiritual recognition of both the individual and others as participants in this mystery, this nation, this Gestalt . Charles de Gaulle touched this in his benediction "vive la France eternelle," as did Ronald Reagan with the metaphor from the Gospels, "a city on a hill."
Wizard of Oz , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Daniel.I I get the general use by Americans to use "liberal" for what the rest of the Anglophone countries would probably call "left wing" (although I think Americans also say "neo liberalism" mraning something quite different). But I struggle to understand what you mean by "liberalism". Derived from which lot of Anglos? Thrust down throats by which lot of Anglos? I would like to learn more from you about the ideology or philosophy or political movement you are referring to.

As a prompt to leap out of a narrowly based view I note that the main conservative right of centre party which often forms Australian governments is the Liberal Party.

Vojkan , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
@Weston Waroda "A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography."

Is it to say that the German, the English, the Swede, the Polish, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Czech, the Slovak, the Italian, the Greek, the Hungarian, the Romanian, the Bulgarian, the Portuguese, the Irish, the various nations that emerged from the former Yugoslavia or the USSR are not organic entities but only the Belgian are? Is it to say that African states with borders drawn across ethnicities by colonial powers are nations? Today's France is proof of the contrary to your statement and Renan's theory. You are the one disconnected from reality as your idea of what constitutes a nation is a pure abstract disproven by empirical evidence.

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 9:02 am GMT
@Weston Waroda

Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs.

It's interesting that the places that the Empire has been unable to control are often ex-Communist (Russia, China, Eastern Europe) which experienced national trauma, but were also outside of the Zio-Glob Empire in its critical post 1945 growth period (the map of US overseas bases).

Also, Imperial institutions like NATO are looking irrelevant. European leaders may well wonder why they're necessary. In 1945, the US was the world's leading industrial economy/ international creditor with a legitimate reserve currency – now not so much – with the US clinging onto power using violence, threats and sanctions and generally alienating everyone.

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 2:14 pm GMT
Israel is a very successful example of a strongly ethnocentric state that has its endless internal squabbles between the various groups within that identity, but yet remain fairly united against potential threats from outsiders (i.e., the"others"). This most definitely applies to the critical matter of immigration.

Wisely, they do not easily accept immigrants, except those who are proven to be of their own ilk, and they are currently exploring, via internal public dialog, whether their already relatively stringent standards are not restrictive enough. (See here: https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/6-out-of-7-immigrants-to-Israel-not-Jewish-611842 )

They know they will be internally weakened, displaced, and ultimately, replaced if they do otherwise. They 'see the writing on the wall'.

Jews are not stupid people. It would seem equally wise for the US, Canada, and the European states to emulate their example, preserving their shared heritages and commonalities, which provide strength and unity in the face of adversities and against foreign enemies, both abroad and domestically.

What is sauce for the (jewish) goose is sauce for the (goyim) ganders .

[Jan 19, 2020] The once oppressed have become oppressors.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 19 2020 3:31 utc | 72

@71 said in part; "The once oppressed have become oppressors."

A succinct description of the Israelis..

[Jan 12, 2020] Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Canada Chrystia Freeland Print this article Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 | History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. © 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Also by this author Michael Jabara Carley Professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He has published widely on Soviet relations with the West What Poland Has to Hide About the Origins of World War II The Canadian Prime Minister Needs a History Lesson The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West) The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far? Lament for Canada Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


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© 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Jan 01, 2020] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger The

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Jan 01, 2020] Will 2020 See the Emergence of a Nationalist Left? by Andrew Joyce

Notable quotes:
"... On the Suffering of the World ..."
"... Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? ..."
"... Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.unz.com

"The life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely a metaphorical one, against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand."
Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World

Although Nietzsche seems to be the philosopher of choice for many on the Dissident Right, I've always had a soft spot for Arthur Schopenhauer. His cantankerous philosophical pessimism has always struck a chord with my own temperament, and for many years I've found his quasi-Buddhist and highly compassionate conceptualisation of suffering to be strangely comforting. That life is a struggle involving endless adversaries and competitors also forms an aspect of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and this continues to be significant in shaping my political and philosophical outlook. Certainly, it goes without saying that adversaries have never been in short supply for members of the Dissident Right. They are arrayed before us now, emerging from all points of the political spectrum, and often even from within our own ranks. Dissident right political philosophies, more than any other, appear destined to be mired in continual conflict, and I often find it difficult to shake the dark impression that one day I will die, metaphorical sword in hand, with every battle raging but far from won. For this reason, I sometimes permit myself the relief of optimism (a form of cowardice to both Schopenhauer and Spengler), and part of this is the attempt to find allies where formerly one may have seen only foes. This brings me to the subject matter of this essay -- recent developments on the Left which appear to suggest the emergence of an anti-globalist, anti-immigration, and anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic politics.

Swedish Communists Wake Up

Just days ago, Sputnik reported on the fact that almost half of the members of the Communist Party in Malmö, Sweden, are resigning. They plan to establish a new workers' party that no longer features multiculturalism, LGBT interests, and climate change as key policy goals. Nils Littorin, one of the defectors, told a local newspaper that today's Left has become part of the elite and has come to "dismiss the views of the working class as alien and problematic." Littorin suggested that the Left "is going through a prolonged identity crisis" and that his group, instead, intends to stick to the original values, such as class politics. Littorin adds "[The Left] don't understand why so many workers don't think that multiculturalism, the LGBT movement and Greta Thunberg are something fantastic, but instead believe we are in the 1930s' Germany and that workers who vote [right-wing] Sweden Democrats have been infected by some Nazi sickness." In a piece of simple insight previously rare on the Left, he argues that the rise in right-wing votes for people like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are in fact due to "widespread dissatisfaction with liberal economic migration that leads to low-wage competition and the ghettoisation of communities, a development that only benefits major companies." Rather than being beneficial to working class Whites, Littorin condemns a "chaotic" immigration policy that has led to "cultural clashes, segregation and exclusion due to an uncontrolled influx from parts of the world characterised by honour culture and clan mentalities."

Littorin continues to talk sense when it comes to the LGBT agenda. He explains that LGBT issues and the climate movement are merely "state ideologies" that are "rammed down people's throats". Littorin adds that phenomena like these happen at the expense of real issues, such as poverty, homelessness, and income equality: "Pride, for instance, has been reduced to dealing with sexual orientation. We believe that human dignity is primarily about having a job and having pension insurance that means that you are not forced to live on crumbs when you are old."

As well as prioritising jobs and pensions over the flamboyant celebration of buggery, Littorin and his colleagues have pledged to abandon the name and ethos of Communism, describing it as a

word drawn to the dirt, a nasty word today, and not entirely undeservedly. In communist parties, there is this risk of elitism, self-indulgence, and a belief that a certain avant-garde should lead a working class that does not know its own best interests, instead of asking people what they want. 20th-century Communism died with the Soviet Union, it has never been successfully updated for the 21st century but has been stuck in 100-year-old books.

Curiously, events in Malmö have been mirrored somewhat in broader Swedish Left politics, with Markus Allard, the leader of the left-wing Örebro Party, expressing similar thoughts in an op-ed titled "Socialists don't belong to the left," accusing the mainstream left of completely abandoning its base , switching from the working class to "parasitic grant-grabbing layers within the middle class."

British Socialists Reinvent Themselves

Almost simultaneously, an identical process is occurring in Britain with George Galloway 's announcement of a new Workers Party of Britain . At the time of its launch Galloway described the party as "hard Brexit and hard labour," and added: "If you're a liberal who thinks it's Left if you're still pining for the EU, if you think shouting "racist," "homophobic," "transphobic" at everybody who doesn't agree with you is the way forward, we're probably not for you." Galloway's pro-Brexit stance is rooted in his belief that the modern British Left "have no vision for an alternative to rampant neoliberalism and a deindustrialised, finance-led, low wage economy, they calculate the best way to make this work is within the EU." He argues that the cosmopolitan leadership of the Labour Party in particular "think we are some kind of uncivilised tribe, painting our faces blue, and only able to vote in a right-wing government," a view he finds "not only deeply insulting, but also self-defeating and overly optimistic about the EU." On immigration, Galloway argues that there is "nothing left-wing about unlimited mass immigration. It decapitates the countries from which the immigrants leave, and drives down wages in those where they arrive. The wealthy benefit from it, as they can afford cheap labor for their companies, or cheap au-pairs, cheap baristas, cheap plumbers. But the working class suffers."

Galloway has also stressed that his new party will strongly pursue anti-Israel politics, and is fully committed to opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Galloway and the Workers Party of Britain have also taken a stand against the more extreme forms of LGBT indoctrination, particularly the mass promotion of transgenderism. Galloway, who has previously been attacked by a self-styled "trans anarchist" while giving a speech, is here following the lead of the pro-Brexit Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) which recently published Identity Politics and the Transgender Trend: Where is LGBT ideology taking us and Why does it matter? In this text, and other articles on the party's website, including this very interesting speech denouncing transgender ideology as anti-materialist and anti-scientific, the argument is made that

Biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing . It doesn't just exist in humanity, it exists in many species throughout the natural world. Sexual reproduction is a natural biological process that has persisted in nature due to the diversity it engenders; it is a phenomenon encountered in the natural world. And let's not forget how this debate impinged upon us. We've been following this ideological trend, and encountering identity politics (idpol) among supporters and candidates for membership of our party, and amongst people we've been working with for at least four or five years. Because idpol has become a fashion in that period. And it is a fashion; it is a trend. And it suddenly -- from being very marginal to certain academic institutions in the 1970s -- became mainstream globally worldwide; it was actively promoted. Not promoted by communists, not by socialists, but picked up on and accepted by many of them, because they are led by, and they blindly followed, bourgeoise society down this dead-end. There is a group of self-proclaimed 'socialists' who are not actually any longer fighting against our oppression, they're fighting against reality!

The Left in Crisis?

None of these developments are entirely surprising and, in fact, the argument could be made that they are the inevitable side effect of what Nils Littorin termed the Left's prolonged "identity crisis." The endorsement and promotion of multiculturalism and its sex-politics corollaries never did make much sense within the framework of rational critiques of capitalism, and the tension between the nominal desire for working class solidarity and divisive pseudo-Marxian doctrines (e.g. Whiteness Studies) designed to mobilise imported ethnic factions against the largest section of the working class (blue-collar Whites) was always destined to bring about significant stress fractures when Leftist fortunes began to decline.

And decline they have. Of course, we have to set aside rampant ideological and cultural success. Figures and cliques operating under the banner of social equality and eternal progress continue to hold the reins of power in government, academia, and the mass media. But the Left is without question currently subject to a period of political decline. It's losing votes, and more important, it's fast losing hearts and minds. I should also add that they aren't losing them to right-wing ideas, but to the hollow shells of right-wing ideas (Free Enterprise! Build the Wall!) and to the charismatic globalist play-actors who promote-these ideas like salesmen selling used cars or aftershave. White working-class people are voting for free enterprise without hesitation while Jewish vulture capitalism operates with impunity under that very banner, destroying their towns, exporting their jobs, and repossessing their homes. The same people vote for a wall they'll never get -- and would never really solve the problems resulting from capitalism or ensure a majority White future. And they do it not because of concern about identity or racial destiny, but in the same way one might decide to install CCTV in a grocery store -- the ever-elusive Wall will never be built so long as it represents nothing more than the aspiration to protect mere inventory. The hollow men of the pseudo-Right-wing offer flimsy placebos, and yet the political Left, supposedly the historical repository of hard materialism, can't seem to compete.

There's been a scramble to blame the situation on a lack of charismatic leaders , disunity, a lack of attractive policies, and even the idea that the European Left made the fatal mistake of trying to meet the Right on its own turf by "flirting with closed-border nationalism or neoliberalism." But the real reason is surely the fact the Left has consistently alienated and browbeat working class Whites, while slowly revealing itself to be an elite-run clique of cosmopolitans, who are living the high life while waxing lyrical about oppressions that are rarely real and often imaginary, and in any case never affect them personally. Added to this is the fact Leftist ideology has become so convoluted and contorted, with the square-peg doctrine of Marx endlessly forced into new and increasingly abstract circular and triangular holes, resulting in Marxist interpretations of such ephemera as graffiti, pop music, and drag queens, all of which strike the average blue-collar worker as a steaming pile of effeminate middle-class navel-gazing. All this plays out as young yet dithering social justice warriors, jobless and senseless, search for oppression like an old lady with dementia searches for a purse she hasn't owned in 20 years. As the pundits split hairs, I look on, and it occurs to me rather simply that right now the pseudo-Left-wing liars aren't quite as good as the pseudo-Right-wing liars.

Are These Rebels Potential Allies?

When I was around 11 years old, my mother made a new friend, a Scottish woman in her 30s, who always struck me as very strange. It was her eyes. I didn't know at first what schizophrenia was, though I would soon find out. One day she arrived at our house and, recognising her, I opened the door and welcomed her in. I called to my mother, who was upstairs, and made small talk with the Scottish woman, who, standing still and staring right at me, seemed perfectly cheerful and articulate. She asked about how I was doing at school, and we talked a little bit about science, which she seemed to know a lot about. It was only after a few minutes that I noticed the smell and deduced that the woman had fouled herself. By the time my mother arrived, the Scottish woman had descended into a stream-of-consciousness gibberish that culminated in her attempting unsuccessfully to retrieve a knife from the kitchen before running from the property. She'd simply stopped taking her medication. We later discovered she was found by police that night, dancing and weeping with bare, bloody feet in a nearby graveyard, wearing nothing but a nightgown and proclaiming to the dead that she was God, distraught at the death of the crucified son.

The episode has remained with me now for over two decades, shaping my perceptions of reality, relationships, and trust. Here it suffices only to remark that the insane talk sense at times, even as their psyche shatters. And if we dig deeply enough into the statements of these moderately "awakened" Leftists, do we yet see signs of madness? A look again at the statement from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), along with some reading between the lines, suggests something decidedly off . Yes, "biological differentiation between male and female is a real thing." Of course it is. But so is biological differentiation between races, and yet here our erstwhile British hardcore materialists, currently led by a full-blooded ethnic Indian named Harpal Brar , decide to fight against reality. On that note, we should add that Brar's daughter, Joti Brar, has been announced as George Galloway's deputy leader at the "hard Brexit and hard labour" Worker's Party of Britain. Galloway, it's worth adding, has been married four times, with three marriages to non-Whites (Palestinian Amineh Abu-Zayyad in 1994, Lebanese Rima Husseini in 2007, and ethnic Indonesian Putri Gayatri Pertiwi in 2012). So for all his protestations of being against mass migration, one gets the distinct impression that Galloway is a committed multiculturalist and that his party will be internationalist in every meaningful sense of the term.

If there is any hope for some sanity in this camp of frustrated Leftists it is for the simple reason that these small new pockets of reason are for the most part free of Jewish influence and all the intellectual distortions such influence entails. In a 2018 essay titled " On "Leftist Anti-Semitism": Past and Present ," I considered the gradual shift of Jews away from the hard Left due to growing anti-Zionism, and their growing confinement in centrist neoliberalism:

Jewish blindness to their privileges, genuine or feigned, is of course one major cause for the undeniable friction between Jews and the modern Left. It was perhaps inevitable that foolish but earnest egalitarians on the Left would come to the slow realization that their 'comrades of the Jewish faith' were in fact not only elitists, but an elite of a very special sort. The simultaneous preaching of open borders/common property and 'the land of the Jewish people' was always going to strike a discordant note among the wearers of sweaty Che Guevara t-shirts, especially when accompanied so very often by the cacophony of Israeli gunfire and the screams of bloodied Palestinian children. Mass migration, that well-crafted toxin coursing through the highways and rail lines of Europe, has proven just as difficult to manage. Great waves of human detritus wash upon Western shores, bringing raw and passionate grievances even from the frontiers of Israel. These are people whose eyes have seen behind the veil, and who sit only with great discomfort alongside the kin of the IDF in league with the Western political Left -- the only common ground being a shared desire to dispossess the hated White man. For these reasons, the Left could well become a cold house for Jews without becoming authentically, systematically, or traditionally anti-Semitic. One might therefore expect Jews to regroup away from the radical left, occupying a political space best described as staunchly centrist -- a centrism that leans left only to pursue multiculturalism and other destructive 'egalitarian' social policies, and leans right only in order to obtain elite protections and privileges [domestically for the Jewish community, internationally for Israel]. A centrism based, in that old familiar formula, on 'what is best for Jews.'

As seen in the recent clash between Jews and the UK's Labour Party, the political relocation of Jews to a kind of amorphous and opportunistic centrism will bring them into direct conflict with those on the hard Left who not only pursue anti-Zionist politics but also object to manifestations of raw Jewish power like the mass adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and the economic abuses of politically ambiguous (neither Left nor Right, but Jewish) oligarchs like Paul Singer. As such, and together with their natural aversion to being part of the Right, Jews will increasingly find it difficult to define themselves politically as anything other than Jews, leading to the increased visibility of their activities and interests -- something witnessed in the unprecedented step of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis openly calling for British Jews to move against Jeremy Corbyn. This increased visibility can only be a good thing for those concerned with Jewish influence, and who have been frustrated in previous periods by Jewish influence masquerading in various political guises.

A potential opportunity, imperfect but perhaps feasible, may therefore be arising whereby White interests could be subliminally or even publicly defended through savvy, nominally hard-Left activism against mass migration (on economic rather than racial grounds), against Israel and international Zionist influence, against some aspects of PC culture, and against the capitalist excesses of the Jewish vulture funds. It goes without saying that Leftist activists don't receive anywhere near the same level of social, professional, or legal punishment for their activism as those on the Right, especially the dissident Right. I don't think I'm too wide of the mark in suggesting that an anti-immigration agitator with "Workers Party of Britain" plastered over his social media is less likely to lose his job than someone with public National Front affiliations. It may therefore be worth serious consideration by young activists as to whether they might want to cultivate a kind of "Leftist" mask to defend White interests in much the same way as Jews in the past have adopted various convenient political masks while concealing deeper ethnic interests. I am suggesting a combination of infiltration and masquerade. What matters most is the private motivation and the potential benefits of the ultimate goal -- White interests and objectives serving them.

There are, of course, also dangers in supporting such movements. I am not suggesting the investment of serious time and money in these groups, since the risk is great that the majority of their members are committed to a politics that is ultimately antagonistic and destructive to our own ultimate goals. There is also huge potential for betrayal on many of the issues where we might have common ground -- immigration, LGBT madness, PC culture -- and I find it difficult to shake off the impression that these developments bear the mark of a temporary despair and are designed to dupe blue-collar Whites into voting Left once more.

Still, 2020 may open up a new front in the war, and as the New Year approaches, I'll silence my inner Schopenhauer and toast to that.


G. Poulin , says: Show Comment December 29, 2019 at 9:57 pm GMT

Gee, they're starting to sound like Mussolini.
Anonymous [341] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
Boris Johnson seems to be a step in this direction, many of the policies he has openly stated would have been almost unthinkable for a Conservative PM previously, things like amnesty for illegal immigrants, vast amounts of public spending, he has even stated an intention to nationalise things like train operators.

Boris is seen as very much right wing by most people in the UK, but if you look at his policies he could easily be described as a sort of left wing nationalist, especially in terms of his social policies. In terms of actual policy there is increasingly little difference between the Conservatives and Labour, the differentiation has become about abstract things like self-proclaimed patriotism and the level of pandering to Zionism.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
WN-types such as the author of this article tend to focus so heavily on immigration as an issue. So here's a link to a long piece I published a couple of years ago proposing a solution to the American version of the problem, though I'm not sure how applicable it would be to Britain:

https://www.unz.com/runz/a-grand-bargain-on-immigration-reform-2/

Bolteric , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:29 am GMT
@Ron Unz I think, Mr. Unz, you highlight peaceful coexistence, at the same time many still pine for a separate nation of exclusively white Christians. While it's a lost cause at this point, it doesn't stop the WN types – a set that is difficult to exclude myself from – from imagining a different reality and the National policies that would accompany that. Is a grand bargain possible? It gives me pause.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:42 am GMT
We need the Left-Right, which is fascism.
Frankie P , says: Show Comment December 30, 2019 at 5:45 am GMT
It's extremely surprising to me that Andrew Joyce, in his analysis of left/right potential cooperation for the benefit of the nation and its legacy population, would fail to mention or bring up the French Equality and Reconciliation movement of Alain Soral. Here is a movement with meaty ideas, and more importantly, results. For what ideas drive the Yellow Vest protests if not the very concepts that Joyce points out in this article, expressed so well by Soral and so many of the white French protesters? Soral, originally a Marxist who subsequently joined the National Front (now the National Rally), has a number of useful and accurate slogans. He is a brilliant analyst and an articulate commentator; unfortunately, his videos and activism is limited to the French language. "The Left for the worker, The Right for morality." Isn't this similar to Joyce's argument that the Left is losing members who are rejecting the identity politics, gender bender, climate change distraction issue driven narrative that is driving the Left today? Of course in France Soral is labeled a Rightist Antisemite, as he is not shy about calling out the stranglehold that CRIF holds over French politics and how this has warped foreign policy in the interests of apartheid Israel. When I watch some of his videos and commentary, I wonder why we don't have a similar figure and movement in the US.

[Jan 01, 2020] After Exceptionalism by Lawrence, Patrick

Jan 01, 2020 | raritanquarterly.rutgers.edu

At four-thirty in the afternoon of Saturday, 4 April 2009, Barack Obama stood before a throng of correspondents in the Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, a high-Modernist convention center on the place de Bordeaux in Strasbourg. It was his seventy-fourth day as president. He had earlier attended his first Group of 20 meeting, in London, and had just emerged from his first NATO summit, a two-day affair that featured sessions on both sides of the Franco–German border. The world was still intently curious as to who America's first black president was and what, exactly, he stood for.

Confident, easeful, entirely in command, Obama spoke extemporaneously for several minutes. He spoke of "careful cooperation and collective action" within the Atlantic alliance. He noted "a sense of common purpose" among its leaders. He was there "to listen, to learn, and to lead," Obama said, "because all of us have a responsibility to do our parts."

Then came the questions.

There was one about the global financial crisis Obama had walked into as soon as he walked into the White House. ("All of us have to take important steps to deal with economic growth.") There was one about NATO troops in Afghanistan, and another about whether any would be deployed in Pakistan. There was an awkward question about a new law passed in Kabul that restricted women's rights in public places and effectively condoned child marriages. "What, about the character of this law," an American television correspondent wanted to know, "ought to motivate US forces to fight and possibly die in Afghanistan?" Obama parried the question with impressively presidential aplomb: the law is abhorrent, he said, but American troops are highly motivated to protect the United States.

Another question came from the Washington correspondent of the Financial Times. It was a little long-winded and is reproduced in the transcript thus: "In the context of all the multilateral activity this week -- the G-20, here at NATO -- and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?"

This is known in the trade as a softball, the kind of gently lobbed query that sets up a public figure to dilate safely and at length on a favored theme. And so did Obama field it. From the transcript, one half wonders whether the president and the correspondent had rehearsed the moment beforehand -- as if Obama were keen to take on the matter in a cosmopolitan setting.

"I believe in American exceptionalism," the new president said spryly, "just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Obama waxed on in this vein for a moment or two before praising, yet again, alliances and many-sided modes of cooperation. "We create partnerships," he concluded, "because we can't solve these problems alone."

Like an incoming tide flowing over rocks, the questions from the press returned to troop counts, NATO contributions, and Albania's accession as the alliance's newest member. No one seemed to take much note of either the FT man's inquiry or Obama's reply to it. And no one, not even America's new president, seemed to grasp what had just happened to exceptionalism, that peculiarly awkward term with its peculiarly ideological load. Something broke at that moment. It was as if Obama had dropped a precious relic, some centuries-old crystal chalice, and no one present heard the noise when it shattered.

The noise came soon enough and echoed for the remainder of Obama's eight years in office. The stars of right-wing media were among the first to start in. Sean Hannity pounced within a couple of days of the Strasbourg remark. Obama, the Fox News presenter declared, "marginalized his own country by saying our sense of exceptionalism is no different than that of the British and the Greeks." An upstart assistant editor at the New Republic took a swing a few days later. "If all countries are 'exceptional,' then none are," James Kirchick wrote, "and to claim otherwise robs the word, and the idea of American exceptionalism, of any meaning."

It went on from there, an ever-available suggestion that Obama's patriotism must be held in doubt, that he was not truly "one of us." It was not difficult to hear the worst of these recurring remarks as racism at a single remove.

"Our president," Mitt Romney asserted as he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, "doesn't have the same feeling about American exceptionalism that we do." Three years later, another conservative presidential aspirant, the mercifully forgettable Bobby Jindal, swung his mallet to make the bell ring: "This is a president who won't proudly proclaim American exceptionalism," the Louisiana governor charged, "maybe the first president ever who truly doesn't believe in that."

Obama seemed haunted after that afternoon in Strasbourg. It was as if he had strayed beyond the fence posts defining what an American leader can and cannot say -- and then hastened to return to the fold. Thenceforth, he missed few chances to counter his critics. "My entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism," he said in direct reply to Romney. On another occasion: "I'm a firm believer in American exceptionalism." And another -- this time in a commencement address at West Point: "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being." He pursued the theme until the very end of his presidency, a point to which I will return.

None of this -- the president's critics, the president's ripostes -- did much good, if any, for the abiding notion of American exceptionalism, whichever of its numerous meanings one may subscribe to. These past years have been peculiar in this way. Others may read the matter differently, but to me that afternoon in Strasbourg was a point of departure long in coming. Since then it has made no difference, none at all, whether one faults Obama or anyone else for failing to believe in our exceptional standing or whether one professes belief to the bottom of one's soul.

All that is said now comes to the same thing, making for a devastating dialectic. However the question is addressed, it reiterates the same lapse, the same telling self-consciousness, the same self-doubt, the same collective anxiety long evident to anyone able to discern with detachment the sentiments common to many Americans. Obama had it right, of course, that day in Strasbourg. Having lived among the Chinese, the Japanese, and others given to pronounced variants of chosen-people consciousness, I conclude he had settled on the only logical way at the matter. All nations are exceptional, but none, not even America, is exceptionally exceptional. The irate young editor at the New Republic had it right, too, though he seemed not to have known it: whatever Obama's intent (a question I will also take up later), he had indeed stripped bare America's customary claim to exceptionalist standing, exposing it at last as empty of all but the most mythical meanings.

This was an immensely constructive thing to do. Is it too much to suggest that shattering the glass chalice might in the long run rank among our forty-fourth president's most consequential accomplishments? I do not think so. History, the kind Obama made in Strasbourg, sometimes resembles what Auden wrote of suffering in "Musée des Beaux Arts": it occurs in the most ordinary circumstances such that very few of us even take note.

To risk a generality, Americans had been an uncertain people -- nervous, defensive, given to overcompensation for never-to-bementioned failures and weaknesses -- for a long time before Obama spoke in Alsace in the spring of 2009. I trace this shared-by-many attribute to another April, this one thirty-four years earlier, that wrenchingly poignant season when Americans sat in frozen silence as news footage showed them helicopters hovering above the embassy in Saigon -- the frenzy of a final retreat. For now, it is enough to note that Obama's observation -- a touch offhand and as simple as it was obvious -- marked the moment Americans would have to begin rotating their gaze, in a gesture not short of historic for its import, if they were to do at all well in the new century. They would have to turn from a past decorated with many enchanting ornaments toward a future that has no ribbons or laurels for those who claim them by virtue of some providentially conferred right.

Obama left Americans with questions on the day I describe. They require us -- and I think by design -- to begin talking of what I will call postexceptionalism. A set of questions we must pose to ourselves for the first time: this was Obama's true legacy, in my view. In the best of outcomes, we will learn to answer them in a new language, as the best answers will require. What will be the nature of a postexceptionalist America? Who will these postexceptionalist Americans be? How will they understand themselves and themselves among others? It may be that the questions Obama so fleetingly raised will turn out to run deeper still. What will remain of Americans once the belief that they are chosen is subtracted -- as inevitably it will be. What will be left with which they can describe themselves to themselves? Can a postexceptionalist America come to be? Given the chasm in their consciousness that must be crossed, is such a thing even conceivable? Will Americans accept another idea of themselves and of others? Or will they continue to pretend against all evidence that the chalice remains intact, unshattered, still to be held high above the heads of others atop our city on a hill, even as the rest of the world has somewhere to get to and proceeds on, calmly or otherwise, as best it can?

It is common enough to locate the origins of America's self-image in the thoughts of the earliest settlers coming across the Atlantic from England. It was John Winthrop, in his famous 1630 sermon, who gave us our hilltop city, he who proclaimed "the eies of all people are uppon us." Even in this seminal occasion we detect a claim -- maybe the earliest -- to exceptional status. But it is to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as America made itself a nation, that we have to look for the grist of the exceptionalist notion. And instantly we find a confusion of meanings. To some it referred to the new nation's revolutionary history, its institutions, and its democratic ideals: it had ideational connotations.

This line of thinking has since been stenciled onto history such that other readings can be somewhat obscured. In his Letters from an American Farmer, Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur cast the American as a "new man," exceptional for his stoic self-reliance and autonomy. In its early years, the nation was also counted exceptional for its abundant land and resources. And we should not forget the influence on the founding generation of the French physiocrats, who considered farming the fundament of all wealth, as we consider the case for this interpretation. New and evolving meanings attaching to the term have tumbled down the decades and centuries ever since, often with claims to providential dispensation, often (as the FT correspondent suggested) asserting a divinely assigned mission to lead all others.

Alexis de Tocqueville is commonly credited as the first to describe Americans as exceptional. This is fine, but let us not miss what he meant:

The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes. . .have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the Americans upon purely practical objects.

It is a rather less elevated description of our exceptionalism than is customarily assumed. Long has been the journey, then, from Tocqueville's time to ours, exceptionalism having gone from observation to thought to article of faith, ideological imperative, a presumption of eternal success, and a claim to stand above the law that governs all other nations. Historians note the odd irony that it was Stalin who brought the term "American exceptionalism" into common use. This was in the late 1920s, when a faction of American Communists advised Moscow that the nation's abundance and the absence of clearly drawn class distinctions rendered it immune to the contradictions Marx saw in capitalism.

Stalin was incensed: how dare those Americans stray from orthodoxy by declaring their nation an exception to it? While the Soviet leader flung the term back indignantly, many American intellectuals considered it "an inspired encapsulation of 160 years of impeccable national history." This phrase belongs to David Levering Lewis, the biographer of W. E. B. Du Bois, who was among the first prominent critics of the notion that America and its people were in any way singular or in any way not subject to the turning of history's wheel. Du Bois found the source of our modern idea of exceptionalism in the postbellum decades leading up to the Spanish-American War.

Two visions of the American future emerged after the Civil War, he observed in Black Reconstruction in America: 1860–1880, his 1935 history of African American contributions to the postwar period -- and a purposeful challenge to white-supremacist orthodoxies. In one of these renderings, America would at last achieve the democracy expressed in its founding ideals. The other pictured an advanced industrial nation whose distinctions were its wealth and potency. Democracy at home, empire abroad: when combined, these two versions of America's destiny were to be something new under the sun, and this amalgam would make America history's truly great exception.

This was never more than an impossible dream. Du Bois considered it "the cant of exceptionalism," in his biographer's phrase, intended primarily to deflect the realities of the Great Depression.

It was a mere six years after Du Bois brought out his book when Henry Luce declared the twentieth "the American century" in a noted Life magazine editorial. America was "the most powerful and vital nation in the world," the celebrated publisher announced. It is "our duty and our opportunity to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." Maybe only the offspring of missionaries could write with such righteous confidence of dominance and purity of intent in combination. But Luce, without using the phrase, had neatly defined American exceptionalism in its twentieth-century rendering. And from his day to ours, that aspect of it we can consider religious has grown only more evident among its apostles.

Jimmy Carter caught the post-Vietnam mood perfectly (perfectly to a fault, as it turned out) when he delivered his noted "malaise" speech in mid-July 1979. Carter never used the wounding word. His actual title was "A Crisis of Confidence," and he made his point in vivid terms. "It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will," Carter explained on America's television screens. He spoke of "the growing doubt about the meaning of our lives." He spoke of "years filled with shock and tragedy," and of "paralysis, stagnation, and drift."

This was a presentation of remarkable candor by any measure. Carter told Americans, in so many words, that they could not count on any preordained destiny or that they were always assured of success simply because of who they were. "First of all, we must face the truth," Carter said, "and then we can change our course." To change our course: this phrase alone warrants considerable thought. Among the fundamental conceits of the exceptionalist creed is that America has always had it right and has no need to change anything. The national task is simply to carry on as it has from its beginning. Carter's challenge to such assumptions could hardly have been bolder, although he seems to have been careful to avoid explicit reference to exceptionalism. This would have to wait for Obama.

If the courage of Carter's honesty lies beyond question, so does the mistake he made when we judge the malaise speech in purely political terms. The public initially received it positively. But four years after America's humiliating defeat in Vietnam, Americans could not but suspect that there was nothing exceptional about them or their nation. It was as if the floorboards were trembling beneath their feet. And as it turned out, Americans did not much want to hear their president confirm these suspicions and sensations so plainly.

Ronald Reagan understood this. If the project was the rehabilitation of America's exceptionalist status, his first task after taking office in 1981 was to transform the Vietnam War into "an American tragedy." So did Reagan proceed. In a matter of a few years, he recast Americans as Vietnam's victims, its aggressors no longer. His "Vietnam," quotation marks required, was a place where valorous Americans fought and sacrificed on freedom's front lines. This inversion must be counted an extraordinary feat, one requiring a manipulation of past events not short of astonishing for its wholesale distortions. Christian Appy, the historian of Vietnam as it evolved in the American consciousness, put it this way in a note sent some years ago: "Reagan gave Americans psychological permission to forget or mangle history to feel better about the country."

If American exceptionalism had not previously been a faith, Reagan set about making it one. As president he breathed extraordinary new life into the old credenda -- notably in his famous references to Winthrop's "city on a hill," each one a misuse of the phrase. He quoted it coming and going -- on the eve of his 1980 victory over Carter, in his farewell address nine years later, and on near-countless occasions in between.

I recall those years vividly, oddly enough because I was abroad during almost all of them. On each visit back there seemed to be more American flags in evidence -- above front doors, on people's lapels, in the rear windows of cars, in television advertisements. By the mid- 1980s the nation seemed enraptured in a spell of hyperpatriotism Reagan had conjured with the skill of the performer he never ceased to be. The stunningly rude conduct of American spectators at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles made plain to me that Reagan had set the nation on a path that was bound to deliver it into isolation and decline. "Patriotism" has ever since been a polite synonym for nationalism of a pernicious kind.

To me this turn in national sentiment reiterated precisely what it was intended to refute: America was still the nervous nation Carter had described. It is difficult nonetheless to overstate the import of what Reagan did by way of all his images and poses. He did not restore America's confidence in itself after Vietnam; in my estimation no American leader from Reagan's day to ours has accomplished this. Reagan's feat was to persuade an entire nation, or at least most of the electorate, that it was all right to pretend: all was affect and imagery.

As if to counter Carter's very words, he licensed Americans to avoid facing the truth of defeat and failure and professed principle betrayed. He demonstrated in his words and demeanor that greatness could be acted out even after it was lost as spectacularly as it had been in Indochina. Beyond his face-off with "the evil empire," "Star Wars," "the magic of the marketplace," and so on, Reagan's importance as our fortieth president lay in his intuitive grasp of social psychology. He understood: many Americans, enough to elect a president, prefer to feel and believe more than they like to think. It was "morning in America," and all one had to do was have faith in the man who said so. "One of the most important casualties of the Vietnam tragedy," Henry Kissinger reflected on the twenty-fifth anniversary of our defeat, "was the tradition of American exceptionalism." Kissinger erred in his estimation: the tradition had many years of life left after 1975, as should now be plain. He did not understand either what exceptionalism is or its purpose. Du Bois did, by contrast: he saw in the 1930s that American exceptionalism was sheer artifice, invoked most vigorously when contradicting realities threatened to intrude upon the national mythology. Reagan made use of it in precisely this fashion.

We still live, roughly speaking, with the version of exceptionalism Reagan crafted to evade the verities of our Vietnam debacle. This is an immense pity, the consequences of which are hardly calculable. Defeat is the mulch of renewal -- provided one has the strength of character to acknowledge it. Was this not Carter's implicit point? Defeat gives the vanquished an occasion to reflect, to draw lessons, to reimagine themselves, to pursue a new way forward. There are numerous examples of this in history. The twentieth-century fates of Germany and Japan are of an order all their own, but they serve well enough to illustrate the point: after downfall comes regeneration. Fail to "face the truth" -- Carter's well-chosen phrase -- and one must count defeat evaded a lost opportunity of fateful magnitude.

In the American case one must look backward and forward from the defeat in Vietnam to grasp the full measure of Reagan's destructive happy talk. April 1975 was a moment Americans could have begun to look squarely at their many betrayals in history -- of others and of themselves -- in the name of exceptionalism. Illusions nursed for three centuries could have been abandoned in favor of a new past more fully and honestly understood. Looking forward, there would have been no more coups and interventions -- no Angola, no Nicaragua, no Iraq, no Libya, no Syria, no Ukraine, no Venezuela -- the list is as long as it is shameful. Americans could have "changed course." The defeat in Vietnam, to make this point another way, could have launched us into our postexceptionalist era -- which, I am convinced, was Carter's intent in 1979 as much as it was Obama's thirty years later.

Jimmy Carter, fair to say, was voted out of office in part for his never-quite-stated suggestion that Americans reconsider their claim to exceptional status among nations. He left the White House with a reputation as a muddle-headed weakling (and now awaits his revisionist historian, in my view). Obama had better luck managing his predicament after his remark in Strasbourg. He simply retreated into incessant professions of belief. This, too, marks an opportunity foregone. When he endorsed Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention in 2016, Obama went straight back to Reagan, believe it or not, invoking Winthrop by way of the Great Communicator's "shining city on a hill."

Plus ça change, one might conclude. But this would not be quite right. If Carter and Obama discovered the hard way that exceptionalism remains a precious relic in American politics, they also left a mark on it. We can now speak of hard exceptionalism and a soft alternative. Carter did the spadework, but prior to Obama's presidency, any such distinction was incipient at best. After Strasbourg, Obama proceeded as if Humpty Dumpty could be put back together again. We all know how the old nursery rhyme turns out.

The hard variety derives from Reagan, who drew on Henry Luce's do-what-we-want, where-we-want, how-we-want notion of American preeminence and power. It is subject neither to international law nor, when all the varnish is scraped away, ordinary standards of morality. This is the version of the creed advanced in Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, the 2015 book by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, the former vice-president's daughter. The historical record is unblemished, in their telling. Vietnam was wise, Iraq in 2003 was wise, the use of torture after 2001 was just.

Against this we find counterposed the more humane (if finally more cynical) version of exceptionalism put forward by Obama and many others on what passes, remarkably enough, for "the Left" in American politics. Gone is the Reaganesque jingoism and the whiff of Old Testament righteousness characteristic of conservative renderings. In their place we find "plain and humble people. . .coming together to shape their country's course," as Obama put it at the Philadelphia convention. On the foreign policy side, this is a nation that admits its mistakes while leading the world in pursuit of "shared interests and values" -- a key phrase in the lexicon -- by way of those partnerships Obama mentioned in Strasbourg. America's conduct abroad must be rooted in the same humility characteristic of its people -- the people ever busy shaping the nation's course.

Taken together, these two versions of America as it looks in the mirror are nothing if not reiterations of the post–Civil War binary Du Bois astutely identified -- empire and democracy. In the middle of them sits Donald Trump. Having no use at all for exceptionalism, he is the first president in our modern history simply to shrug it off and survive the judgment. "I don't like the term," Trump said at a fundraising event in 2015. "I don't think it's a very nice term. 'We're exceptional, you're not.'" Whatever else one may think of him, Trump is to be credited on this point. Implicit in his position is the reality that Americans are as subject to history as any other people.

Jake Sullivan, a prominent adviser in the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff at State, voiced a view on the soft side in the January 2019 edition of the Atlantic. "This calls for rescuing the idea of American exceptionalism," Sullivan wrote two years into the Trump presidency, "from both its chest-thumping proponents and its cynical critics, and renewing it for the present time." He then unfurled "a case for a new American exceptionalism as the answer to Donald Trump's 'America First' -- and as the basis for American leadership in the twenty-first century."

Like Kissinger, Sullivan does not seem to understand. Exceptionalism as it has evolved is no longer an idea: it is a belief, and as such it cannot be resuscitated by way of rational thought, no matter how deep its roots in history and how acute the rational thinking. I question, indeed, the efficacy of any foundational creed in need of a salvage job of the sort Sullivan proposes. This is not how religions -- civil, in this case -- work. Nonetheless, soft exceptionalism is now the frontline defense of the notion among Washington's thinking elites. And we can count Sullivan's carefully reasoned essay its most thorough treatise to date.

Sullivan's case is multiply flawed. Soft exceptionalism is finally little different from the hard kind, given the two meet at the horizon. They both rest on the old belief that, uniquely in human history, America manages to combine virtue and power without the former's corruption by the latter. Hegemon or "benevolent hegemon" -- a phrase from the triumphalist 1990s I have always found risibly preposterous -- both versions place America at the pinnacle of the global order, sequestered from others by dint of its "goodness" and "greatness." (Even the Cheneys, père et fille, had the nerve to use these terms.) Hard or soft, they both treat scores of coups, interventions, subterfuge operations, and countless other breaches of international law as deviations from the golden mean, the norm -- even as more than a century's evidence indicates these supposed irregularities have been the norm.

There is a point to be made here that I count more significant than any just listed. Whatever variety of exceptionalism someone may endorse, it will not open us to the rich benefits to be derived from defeat or retreat; as we all know, exceptional America never lost anything and never will. This is one of the creed's two essential purposes. On one hand it is a declaration of permanent victory. On the other it is an amulet marshaled to ward away the doubt and uncertainty that lie at the core of the American character. The contradiction one might find here is merely apparent. Exceptionalism in any form, then, comes to a confinement. It encloses those who profess it within the fantasy of eternal triumph, the hubris attaching to the presumption of never-ending invincibility.

Most of all, exceptionalism traps us in the logic of victors: it renders us certain that we need only to continue as we have, altering nothing. It thus prevents the emancipation of our minds such that we know at last our past as it truly was and can think altogether anew of another kind of future.

In The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery, Wolfgang Schivelbusch is eloquent in describing the fertility of loss against the barrenness of victory. It is an exceptional (truly so) work. In it he quotes Reinhart Koselleck, the late German historian, to this effect: There is something to the hypothesis that being forced to draw new and difficult lessons from history yields insights of longer validity and thus greater explanatory power. History may in the short term be written by the victors, but historical wisdom is in the long run enriched more by the vanquished.

America's leaders are rarely long on historical wisdom. Among Dick Cheney and Barack Obama and Jake Sullivan and many other noted names, at issue today is one or another form of restoration, nothing more. This arises from the doctrine of exceptionalism itself. It amounts to a cage within which we choose to confine ourselves and wherein we learn nothing -- the conceit being we have nothing to learn. We are the jailer and the jailed, then. And if the twenty-first century has one thing to tell us above any other, it is that we must turn the key, escape our narrow cell, and begin to think and live in ways our claim to exceptionalism has too long rendered inaccessible to us.

In the spring of 1932, Henri Bergson published his final book. He called it The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, "morality" to be taken here to mean (approximately) a society's ethos, how it lives. A quarter century had passed since the French thinker brought out his celebrated Creative Evolution. This last work amounts to an elaboration on the earlier volume's themes.

Once again, Bergson takes up the binaries running through much of his work: "repose" and movement, the closed society and the open, the stable and the dynamic -- the latter in each case driven by his famous élan vital, the natural impulse within us to create and evolve. As in the earlier work, Bergson posits the what could or will be against the what-is.

The distinguishing mark of The Two Sources is its exploration of the "how" of change -- how a society advances from an established state to one newly realized. His answer is surprising, at least to me. Progress is achieved not systematically but creatively. It does not occur as a result of careful bureaucratic planning, one measured step succeeding another. It entails, rather, "a forward thrust, a demand for movement." This requires "at a certain epoch a sudden leap," and there is nothing gingerly about it. Bergson calls this a saltus, an abrupt breach resulting in transformation.

Here is an essential passage in the argument Bergson constructs in The Two Sources:

It is a leap forward, which can take place only if a society has decided to try the experiment; and the experiment will not be tried unless a society has allowed itself to be won over, or at least stirred. . . .It is no use maintaining that this leap forward does not imply a creative effort behind it, and that we do not have to do here with an invention comparable with that of the artist. That would be to forget that most great reforms appeared at first sight impracticable, as in fact they were.

There are a couple of things to note in these lines as we consider the prospect of a postexceptionalist America. One, ordinary Americans -- a critical mass, let us say -- must be open to making the required leap and to the measure of flux -- an interim of instability, even -- this implies. So must our political thinkers, scholars, and policy planners -- altogether our intellectual class. Two, creative advances require creative individuals -- in a phrase, imaginative leaders who can see beyond the closed circle of assumptions that any given society forms. So it is with dynamic leadership. What at first throws us because it appears to be wholly impractical is later on accepted as a new norm. The Declaration's drafters in the summer of 1776 -- Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and others -- serve perfectly well as a case in point. American history gives us numerous other examples. Bergson's thinking is of great use, it seems to me, in any effort to change course -- to redirect American power, in simple terms. But he immediately faces us with questions, two more atop those posed at the start of this essay.

How given are Americans to the "forward movement" Bergson writes of? A good many appear eager, if not desperate, for holistic change, a saltus of our own. For these many, it is a question not of repudiating national aspirations but of abandoning the mistaken course poor interpretations have set us upon. To return to Du Bois's thesis, this constituency now comes to understand that the exceptionalist notion of a virtuous empire and a thriving polity has proven disastrous. Dominance abroad, in other words, must give way to democracy at home (and all the work this implies, some of it restorative, some taken up for the first time). Such a transformation would constitute a truly forward movement.

But America is now a house divided, to note the self-evident. Many of us appear to have lost touch with all that might pass for creative drives. There is much to suggest that seven decades of preeminence have left too many of our leaders incapable of cultivating a reconstituted vision of the nation's future. They persist, instead, in the long-bankrupted pursuit of democracy and empire -- the old, impossible dream. They tend to cling to illusions of moral clarity consolidated during the Reagan years and now proffered by such figures as Dick Cheney and, closer to our moment, John Bolton, until mid-September Trump's astonishingly dangerous national security adviser. Their prominence is not to be overlooked. Their influence continues to keep us from changing anything about our ways of seeing and thinking -- our "morality," the ethos by which we live. Ours seems a closed society, in Bergson's terminology. It is costly indeed to stray beyond the fence posts.

Whether America is any longer capable of authentic change depends in large measure on how we answer the other question a reading of Bergson imposes upon us. Do we Americans have the leaders to inspire us forward, to cut our moorings, to "win us over" to the condition of postexceptionalism? Bergson's thought as to the necessity of gifted leadership (a term he does not actually use) is especially pertinent in the American case, it seems to me. It is perfectly sensible to suggest, as many do, that a fundamental transformation in Americans' understanding of themselves is beyond reach, or that a tremendous shock -- a catastrophic defeat, a deep and sustained depression -- will be required to bring it about. But these are the replies one will always hear within the confines of a static political culture. They admit of no prospect of transcending the what-is. They leave no ground for imagining what a committed leader might accomplish by way of showing America new paths forward. Anyone who doubts this potential should consider the tragic turn the nation took after the three assassinations of the 1960s -- the two Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were leaders of the kind Bergson compares with artists. It would be difficult to overstate the impact their deaths have had on the nation's direction.

For the moment we do not seem to have such leaders. But it is worthwhile considering figures such as Obama (or Carter, for that matter) with this question at one's elbow. I do not wish to overfreight Obama's appearance in Strasbourg very early in his first term, but in that fateful sentence concerning Americans, "Brits," and Greeks lies a hint, surely, of a leader's alternative vision of America's way into the twenty-first century. An attempt was made, suggesting imminence. We are now face-to-face with the pity of Obama's retreat. With it he deprived himself of all chance of greatness -- and Americans of a chance to move beyond their state of "repose." But we also find among us an incipient generation of leaders who stand squarely against our condition of inertia. Tulsi Gabbard, the vigorously anti-imperialist congresswoman from Hawaii, is but one example of this emergent cohort.

The common theme is plain: to remake American democracy and to abandon imperial aspirations are two halves of the same project. This is where we are now with regard to our exceptionalism, in my reading of our time. We arrive at a crucial moment, and there is no place in it for pieties as to the "can do" of the American character. It is difficult to argue that we as a society are prepared for this. But it is nonetheless time -- if, indeed, we are not already late -- to make our leap into a postexceptionalist awareness of ourselves and ourselves among others. It is time to leave something large and defining behind, to put the point another way. We can think of this as shattering the crystal chalice or as simply finding a place for it in museums and in our history texts. It does not matter so long as we determine, by way of a leadership class awakened from its slumber, to live without it. The only plausible alternative is failure -- once again, among ourselves as well as among others.

There are sound reasons to assign our time this magnitude of importance. Abroad, the world tells us nearly in unison that the place the old American faith found in the twentieth century is not open to it in the twenty-first. The near chaos we are responsible for since the events of 11 September 2001 -- notably, but not only, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria -- is of an order the community of nations has come to find unacceptable. While this is increasingly evident -- as is a rising contempt for our gaudy displays of righteousness -- let us avoid a certain mistake here: the message is not "Go home," but its opposite, "Join us -- be among us truly, authentically, entirely." In my experience abroad, most others still detect the good that resides in Americans despite all that is at this point plainly otherwise when judged by the nation's conduct toward others.

At home the intellectual confinements exceptionalist beliefs impose have debilitated us for decades. We are now greatly in need of genuinely new thinking in any number of political and social spheres, even as we deny ourselves permission to do any. Clever restorations, as already noted, will not do. To honor tradition one must add to it. This is done by breaking with it, just as Bergson implied with his artist. Merely to carry tradition forward in imitation is to entomb it, while trivializing ourselves and our agency.

What does "postexceptionalism" mean? How would it manifest? Who would postexceptionalist Americans be? How would Americans understand themselves and account for themselves among others? Would anything be left of us were the mythologies to be scraped away? I began with these questions. They are no simpler than the two just considered. If one has breathed fetid air the whole of one's life, it is not so easy to describe a spring breeze. But there is a long tradition of dissent and dissenters in America -- "exceptionalism's exceptions," as Levering Lewis once termed them. Much of what is pushed to the margins in American history is by no means marginal -- a point our best historians have made many times. In the supposedly far corners of our past we find paths to a future beyond exceptionalism. The lively anti-imperialist movement that arose in the nineteenth century's last years is a relevant case in point. There is also the experience of other nations that have passed through that cycle of trauma and recovery Wolfgang Schivelbusch explored so insightfully. These things are available to us. Fresh air is not so inaccessible as we may be inclined to assume. One draws encouragement, indeed, from the discourses of the Cheneys and, on the other side of the ledger, the Obamas and Sullivans: any question so self-consciously considered is by definition in play.

Among my starting points when considering the idea of postexceptionalism is an imperative that came to me after living and working many years abroad, primarily in Asia. It is simply stated: parity between the West and non-West will be an inevitable feature of our new century. This is already evident providing one knows where to look. To take but one example, one reads little in the American press about the network of alliances now forming among non-Western nations in the middle-income category: between Russia and China, Russia and Iran, China and Iran, India and all of these. Beijing's audaciously ambitious Belt and Road Initiative will multiply such relations many times; they are already a considerable source of influence. American exceptionalism, let us not forget, was born and raised during half a millennium of Western preeminence (taking my date from da Gama's arrival at Calicut in 1498). This era now draws to a close before our eyes. No one's antiquated claim to exceptionalism can survive its passing.

As a corollary, the same point holds within the Atlantic world itself. Europe now struggles for a healthy distance from America after the suffocating embrace of the Cold War decades. If success has so far proven limited, the direction is clear. One of the truths I learned when reporting in Indonesia during the first post-Suharto years, a time when various provinces were demanding autonomy, was that to stay together the Indonesian republic would have to come partially apart. The same will prove so of the West and all who identify as belonging to it. As in Indonesia, there is difference amid similarity, and both must be served.

It will be a postexceptionalist American leadership that accepts these immense dramas with the thought and imagination needed to find opportunities -- as against an almost fantastic variety of "threats" -- in the soil of new landscapes. In the best of outcomes, nostalgia for lost preeminence, our postwar pursuit of totalized security -- these will no longer interest postexceptionalist American leaders. Theirs will be a nation braced to advance into a new time because it is confident of its competence to do so. It will be cognizant of the perspectives of others, a capacity Americans have heretofore found of little use. It will be game, in a word -- aware of its past but never its prisoner. The language of dominance will give way to the necessary language of parity. International law will be our law as it is everyone else's.

And here we come to the essential motivation for us to make our leap -- the sine qua non of it: it must first dawn on us that it is greatly, immeasurably to our advantage to attempt it. This truth has not yet come to us; no leader has led us to it. How little do most of us understand, in consequence, that to abandon our claims to exceptional status will first of all come as an immense unburdening and a relief from our long aloneness in the world?

"The American of the future will bear but little resemblance to the American of the past." I have long admired this observation, even as I wonder whether it is anything more than a wishful thought. It dates to 1902 and belongs to Edwin Seligman, a prominent Progressive Era thinker. Seligman's time was very different from ours, of course, but we can draw connections. He wrote at the first flowering of America's imperial ambition; today we watch as the sun sets. His concern was an evolution in consciousness among Americans. So should we concern ourselves as the future rushes toward us. This is where the path to postexceptionalism must begin -- in our minds.

All of what I have just noted in pencil sketch lies within our reach. None of it is a matter of law or mere policy. It comes to a question of will and of vision, of who we wish to be, of our capacity to reimagine ourselves. But let us not make one of the very errors we would do best to leave behind: what Americans can do and what they will do are two different things. There is no certainty Americans will reach for any of what is available to them. To abandon our claims to exceptionalism is to give up our customary assumption of assured American success. It requires us to accept the difference between destiny and possibility. One does not find abundant signs Americans are yet ready to do this -- not among our leaders, in any case. There seems to be little awareness that the only alternative to the change of course Jimmy Carter favored forty years ago this past summer is decline -- decline not as a fate but as a choice, one made even as we do not know we are making it. "Can America save itself?" Bernd Ulrich, a noted German commentator, wondered in Die Zeit not long ago. It is precisely our question as we look toward a postexceptionalist idea of ourselves. This idea, indeed, was Ulrich's unstated topic. "In principal, absolutely," he replied to his own question. "But certainly not with gradual changes. In terms of global politics and history, it must get off the high horse it has so long ridden. It needs a moderate self-esteem, beyond superlatives and supremacy."

[Dec 30, 2019] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Dec 29, 2019] And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

Dec 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 28 2019 18:51 utc | 18

One more to the "First World problems" topic:

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

Japan's December manufacturing sector PMI, as it is called, fell to 48.8 from 48.9 in November. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction. The services sector, however, picked up slightly to 50.6 from 50.3. So the overall 'composite' PMI was unchanged at 49.8. That means Japan is in recession (just).

The Eurozone manufacturing PMI slipped to 45.9, the lowest since October 2012 and employment also fell at the fastest pace for more than seven years. New orders declined for a fifteenth successive month, while input prices continued to fall sharply. The sector was driven down mainly by Germany, where the manufacturing PMI hit 43.4, falling for the 12th straight month.

However, as in Japan, there was a slight pick-up in the services sector, where Eurozone PMI reached 52.4 from 51.9 in November. So the overall 'composite' PMI stood unchanged at 50.6. In effect, the Eurozone economy is standing still.

In the UK, the manufacturing sector took another dive to 47.4 (a sharp contraction). Output fell the most since July 2012. The services sector was also down to 49.0, making the overall composite PMI in negative territory at 48.5 - the deepest contraction since July 2016. The UK is in recession - but maybe the Conservative government election victory and the ending of uncertainty over Brexit (the UK will now definitely leave the EU in 2020) may encourage a recovery.

In sum, as we end 2019, Japan, the Eurozone and the UK are in recession or stagnation.

Long story short: the EU is only not in outright recession because the "services sector" (gig economy) is compensating for the collapse of its manufacturing sector - for now.

And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

[Dec 24, 2019] It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems aka our Blairites

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , December 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

Re Bill Mitchell–his theme is that the Labour disaster is all due to the failure of the party to follow their working class base–if that is their base–and support Brexit. I believe that was Clive's theme as well. This is definitely not my topic but any Remainers care to rebut?

It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems–aka our Blairites. People like Hillary denounce the deplorables and Obama calls them bitter clingers but these verbal targets were once the backbone of a party that stood in opposition to the party of the bankers and finance.

The problen for the DemoRats is that their new, hoped for diversity base isn't large enough to replace the former great unwashed base. Perhaps that's Labour's problem too. We have a party of the people whose leaders are (in secret when not in public) batting for the other team.

PlutoniumKun , December 23, 2019 at 10:41 am

All polls indicated that around 40% of Labour supporters were Brexiters, 60% Remainers (of course the intensity of support might be different). Those were mostly the older working class 'old Labour' types along with some ideological left wingers. Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

In the months after the referndum, people like Owen Jones tried to convince the Remainer Labourites that they had to accept the result of the referendum and fight for the "softest" Brexit possible (I remember because he was bringing that up in his post-mortems after the election). And of course, most Remainers were having none of it. They came up with "The People's Vote" and eventually Jones and the rest of the Labour bigwigs got on board.

But objectively, Brexit will be, and can only be, a disaster for Britain and most pro-Brexit voters are badly misinformed, so what were Labour leaders supposed to do? It looks undemocratic to stop people from shooting themselves (and you too!) in the foot, but are you supposed to just let them pull the trigger?

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 11:11 am

The constituency where I canvassed, the divide was very clearly generational – the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark. I have not seen any national data on this – has anyone else?

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm

>>I canvassed

Thank you for your service.

>>the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark.

That would seem to match up with survey data.

>>I have not seen any national data on this

Here you go .

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Thank you. A very interesting read.

Foy , December 23, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Yep, chechout the 3rd chart on this post. Very generational split moving from Labour to Tories with age. 18-24 yos voted 19% Tory, 67% Labour, and it virtually reversed when looking at 65yo+ which voted 62% Tory, 18% Labour, with an almost linear movement inbetween. I think someone linked to this a few days ago

https://www.ianwelsh.net/why-labour-lost-in-britain/

Lambert Strether Post author , December 23, 2019 at 1:36 pm

> Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

I would say that what Labour ended up doing was suicidal, quite evidently. Labour (and Corybn's) problem was existential, the fractured base (not merely by age, but geographically and by class) bequeathed to them by Blair. I would say that Mitchell's proposal is not like suicide, but like an animal caught in a trap chewing off a leg to escape -- the leg, in this case, being PLP. Of course, if Labour wants to be the party of London professionals, that's fine, but rebranding from "Labour" might be in order.

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Rebranding from Labour –

Richard North has been running some interesting material recently, including today, raising the question to what extent the traditional working class still exists in England in the sense it was once understood. I have no real insights into what is clearly a very large topic but I found todays piece especially interesting.

I am doubtful Labour wants to be the party only of London professionals – there are far too few of them to win elections. At present it is clearly the party of the young. Any strategy for its future needs to take this into account. Although I am old myself I know a fair number of the young in the UK through my children and their friends. They are having a very hard time of it as their jobs are very insecure and their prospects of owning their own homes/better quality housing are far poorer than those enjoyed by the boomers. They also face a high risk of being made redundant at 40.

Rather than a class-based analysis of UK politics I wonder if a generational analysis – boomers v the rest – would not be more fruitful at present. Though of course you can see this as a rich/old versus young/poor struggle.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 4:32 pm

>>rebranding from "Labour" might be in order

Labour lost biggest among the pensioners, who by definition, are not labouring. The reason they lost all those Northern towns was that they had so many pensioners.

Doing deliveries on a bicycle, teaching children, and keeping the elderly alive, meanwhile, are all labour, even if they don't take place in a factory or a mine. Certainly not "professional" in the traditional sense.

Labour's error was failing to build a legacy media operation (print, TV, radio) to reach the pensioners, and not turning out the younger vote.

[Dec 23, 2019] The Afghanistan Papers - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The President of the USofA has no power to turn this ship around. The seat of power is no longer residing in the hands of civilian/political actors prime ministers or presidents though they may be.

Candidate Trump indicated very early on that he intended to withdraw from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he soon succumbed to his advisors and generals advice of increasing troop strength in 2017 as part of a surge strategy. This makes him no better or worse than his two predecessors who succumbed to the same kind of advice.

However Trump has recently restarted negotiations with the Taliban and has renewed his pledged to remove several thousand troops. "We're going down to 8,600 [from the 12,000 and 13,000 US troops now there] and then we make a determination from there as to what happens," Trump told Fox last August. "We're bringing it down." Of course the drawdown will be seen by the neocons as a unilateral concession to the Taliban. That shouldn't phase Trump. I think he plans to reannounce this withdrawal next month. DoD officials have said that the smaller US military presence will be largely focused on counterterrorism operations against groups like al Qaeda and IS, and that the military's ability to train and advise local Afghan forces will be reduced considerably. Sounds like they're still looking for a reason to stay.

Trump can break the cycle. He holds no ideological conviction for staying in Afghanistan. If he could get over his BDS (Bezos derangement syndrome), he could seize this Washington Post series, or at least the SIGAR lessons learned reports, and trumpet them through his twitter feed and helicopter talks. I believe he alone can generate a public cry for getting the hell out of Afghanistan and carry through with that action no matter how much his generals scream about it. But without a loud public outcry, especially from his base, Trump has no incentive to break the cycle. So all you deplorables better start hootin' and hollerin'. Hopefully enough SJWs will join you to pump up the volume.

TTG

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/


Mathias Alexander , 23 December 2019 at 04:37 AM

If someone wanted to destabilize China,Russia and Central Asia the parts of Afghanistan America controls might be usefull for that.
JMH , 23 December 2019 at 07:11 AM
Excellent, right up to the last sentence. SJWs are mere tools of people like George Soros and have zero anti-war agenda nor do they care about America's manufacturing base ect.. In fact, many are chomping at the bit to join, what was once termed in the SST comments, the LGBTQ-C4ISR sect. I refer you to mayor Pete's exchange with Tulsi on the matter; he even invoked our sacred honor as a reason to stay the course in Afghanistan.
Eric Newhill -> The Twisted Genius ... , 23 December 2019 at 03:38 PM
TTG,
It's a shrinking cohort. For some of these types, their TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is actually causing them to side with the CIA and military. Enemy of my enemy.....and since there's no draft, they have no skin in that game.
Serge , 23 December 2019 at 07:35 AM
For the past 2-3 years many generals and politicians have been using the threat of ISKP as the new bogeyman for staying in Afghanistan. This threat is not wholly unfounded, a disproportionately large number of US airstrikes since 2015-2016 have been against ISKP in Nangarhar(remember the MOAB?) rather than against the Taliban. If my memory serves me correctly ISKP was responsible for every single US casualty in 2016-2017. In the past two months however ISKP has been collapsing in its erstwhile stronghold of Nangarhar, surrendering to the ANA rather than fall into the hands of the Taliba,à la Jowzjan in summer 2018. I was very surprised by the number of foreign fighters and their families to come out of there. We have the Taliban to thank for these two collapses.
turcopolier , 23 December 2019 at 11:59 AM
TTG

IMO American "exceptionalism" doomed our effort in Afghanistan Very few of us are set up mentally to accept the notion that other peoples are legitimately different from us and that they don't want to be like us and do things our way. I attribute this deformation on our part to the puritan heritage that you much admire. In your case your recent immigrant past seems to have immunized you from this deformation. As SF men we rightly fear and dread the attitudes of The Big Army, but, truth be told, it is we who are the outlier freaks in the context of American culture with its steamroller approach to just about everything.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 23 December 2019 at 01:40 PM
Ah yes, all that shining city on the hill stuff biting us in the ass once again. Like the Puritans, we seem to believe we alone are His chosen people and are utterly shocked that all others don't see this. In truth, Jesus probably sees our self righteous selves and our pilgrim forefathers much as he saw the Pharisees... a bunch of douche nozzles.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy.

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Capricornia Man ,

lundiel (and Seamus) have it right.

The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy. The election loss was exactly what they wanted: Corbyn out of the way and Britain 'safe' for neo-liberalism.

BigB ,

31 mn people voted to extend the consensual mandate of the neoliberal capitalist state to globally expand, extract and expropriate planetary wealth for themselves. Unconsciously: without any consideration of the consequences. Now, nearly 11 mn of them want to pretend they were duped into this because two films did not get released? Can there be a more deluded abdication of self-responsibility? Without any inherent maturity at all: it's hard to see where UK politic goes from here? What is the deepest spot a mile below the nadir? The 'People's Government' of Boris Johnson we co-constituted the reality of last week?

The election was for a successor capitalist imperialist state: the capitalist imperialist state was duly elected. No one – no one – can then abdicate responsibility to say it was the "wrong capitalist state". If people do not like this process – and it is the most debilitating, dehumanising, and destructive of all processes – then it is their social responsibility to at least explore the possibility of finding another process. In the co-creation of superior/inferior status and co-determination of the master/slave dialectic – we volunteer to choose position of the inferior and the enslaved. Then spend the consensual contract term complaining about the subordinant class politics we voted for. Projecting blame scattergun everywhere but where the blame is due: with the voters and endorsers of globalised neoliberal capitalism.

Is no one else getting bored of this? Not just the embarassment of excuses we can find for our own self-inferiorisation and voluntary infantalisation: but the fact that no one will make a positive assessment of how to break this vortex cycle of self-defeatism and performative powerlessness so we never have to go through the same charade again? Which, no doubt we will in five years time. Unless we take it on the chin: and fess up to what we have created as a social reality the Trump/Johnson axis of world power.

If this below and beyond the low point cannot act as a bifurcation point – whereby we totally reject the state electoral inferiorisation process – I do not know what can. It is unlikely there will be much left to reclaim in five years: much less so in ten. If we cannot claim humanity and ecology back from neoliberal globalisation in the next few years well, it ain't going to be pretty.

A good starting point would be to admit the corruption of the entire state electoral process of inferiorisation: and take co-responsibility for our part in the election of Johnson. Then the avowal never to do it again and take the legislative and judicial power we abdicated back. Which is the socially responsible alternative to the drawnout emetic debrief that seems to be favoured.

GEOFF ,

Great point BigB I think you're wasting your time they don't care what happens here so long as they're out of the EU that is all that matters to them. I'm so happy I don't have any grandchildren, although I fear for those that have, so sad all done in the name of getting our country back, I wonder how they will feel if farage gets some kind of peerage, you know the one that has been fighting the elites, and celebrating his birthday at the Ritz owned by those two socially aware brothers barclay , ha ha ha ha .

smelly ,

We have the very few, the few, and the serfs. The politics of the world is driven by the Economics of the very few. The very few have created for themselves a feudal system, its informal, its hidden, but its highly functional and it accounts in large measure for the global atrocities.

The chiefs (a very few) distribute to the feudal lords(the few) in a variety of ways.
1. direct government contracts
2. privatize the assets and government services that remain after regime change or infra structure destruction of economic value from regime sex corrupted, blackmailed, regime changed or defeated nation states and or from sweetheart deals in corporate takeovers.
3. appointment to and assignment to intelligence, or high level diplomatic positions in defeated entities.
4. promotion to USA congress or the USA presidency or to a high level corporate job.
5. control of access of the goy to education, entry level jobs leading to the knowledge to be promoted, to bank loans, to houses in neighborhoods, to medical care, and to a massive variety of other things. They are all in on it together.
6. many others

The tools of the trade are coercion by any means available to include sex, blackmail, spy technology, war machinery, military, intelligence, private armies, dark money and money laundering operations to name but a few.

Dependency : it is
This is no longer a problem bounded by one nation, it has become a problem important to the liberties and freedoms and the station of status of person in the society, membership in clubs, obtaining credentials to be eligible for licenses (law, medicine, home building, contracting, service provider, and everything else). License is a huge gate used to keep the Goya

What Bexit has shown is that there is not a bit of difference between those governed by any of the nation governments of any kind(they are controlled by the same few), we are just the Goy or as Hilary Clinton puts it: the deplorables. No longer should we look at ourselves as citizens of Britain, or Citizens of the United States, or citizens of France, or citizens of Saudi Arabia, or citizens of Israel, or citizens of Libya, or whatever, we must recognize that it is the many vs the few . from here on out. We must not identify and expose all of the ways nation state leaders use or allows others to use information to control our behaviors and to dictate our rights.

We must help each other no matter or sex, language, religion or nationality because they have made us all one, but trying to control our lives from birth to death and by trying to use us, at our expense, for their purposes.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Professor Emeritus Vilfredo Pareto outlined the empirical skew of wealth transfer for 'the few' as a function of culture whereby all have the same or similar wealth distribution. Post-Lehman evidenced the wholesale destruction that empirical skew manifested on the Western Banking System & concomitant ruling oiligopoly.

Empirically, the Western Fractional Reserve Banking System has crashed outright to reveal
even greater skew after all the M&A post-Lehman debacle. In terms of wealth distribution we are now in what Professor Emeritus Minsky characterized as Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism. Amazon & Bezos are transnational, leveraged like a Hedge Fund, and a monopoly that was legislated against during the 30s in the USA.

Today, in contemporary totalitarian society we are fed a daily diet of pseudoscience & half-baked so-called 'truths' that serve to mask the lies & falsehood.

What is evidently true today is that the empirical skew of wealth has become a matter of superstructural fault where the tectonic plates of sovereign nations are bound to give us all degrees of continental shift in contradistinction to the empirical skew of wealth transfer which is by no means immoveable.

Like gravity, what goes up must come down. Wealth hoarding sub-groups of elite will have nowhere to hide when the avalanche cascades on top of them without notice before hand.

Six Sigma extinction level events exist for all empirical distributions given the right conditions.

MOU

BigB ,

The other problem with 'the Few' analysis I have been trying to highlight is that we are in it the Few that is. In terms of per capita mass aggregate consumption/pollution rates – 93% of us in the UK are in 'the Few'. Which holds for a rough Pareto Principle (80/20): we are among the top 20% of consumers responsible for 70% of the lifestyle consumption emissions [Anderson; LabourGND; Oxfam]. Which amounts to 28,000 tonnes per capita of aggregate material flows: against a global average of 7,000 tonnes [Hickel]. In global consumption/pollution terms: we are among the "wealth hoarding sub-groups of [the] elite" of the mass material consumption bourgeoisie.

There are unfair distributions: and inequitable distributions between the haute bourgeoisie and we in the bourgeoisie. But the greatest inequitable maldistribution is North to South: where the poorest 50% of the global population are limited – by being resource cursed and having to subsidise us – to 10% of lifestyle consumption emissions. If you can call it a lifestyle; a consumer lifestyle; or a profligate pollution problem which is doubtful? And it current rates of wealth redistribution: it will be 200-900 years before they are out of poverty.

As for 'wealth hoarding sub-groups': we in the UK voted to extend the amount of mass material material aggregate demand. Which is complex: because UK rates have been falling but only because of the service economy. Rates of industrialisation and resource extractivism are effectively exported. Global demand rises: and so must global supply. Our consumption fetishism is driving global capitalism. Not solely: the whole of the developed world is.

It is this material economy that acts as a baseline – of sorts – for the overfinancialised derivative, arbitrage, and highly leveraged stocks, bonds, and equities and any other exotic financial instruments that can be gambled on. A market that is roughly 75 times the size of the material 'real' productive economy. The market that is likely being subsidised by the repo- and other 'not QE' hypertrophic liquidity supplements. The market that is going to collapse when the anabolic steroid effect fails to maintain exponential growth. Professor Minsky will have his moment!

Whereupon the UK will quickly realise that it is a pissling little island in a sea of globalisation. With an 80% tertiarised service economy. Servicing an extinct financial market economy. With failing services and no food coming in from abroad. Or medicines. Or water purification products. And possibly no energy. But we will have 60,000 military and paramilitary police to uphold the private property rights of the haute bourgeoisie.

Maybe then we will see and feel what it is like for the rest of the world? Who we have only ever viewed as subsidisers of our wealth? Just as we subsidise the wealth of those we choose to be subordinate to. It's a shitty, shitty, system which the UK has done not too badly out of. Well, enough for us to never look from the outside in through the eyes of a Frantz Fannon: and try to change the system for a globally more equitable system free from our white privileged ethnosupremacist racism.

We got the government we deserved – and voted for. And we await the fate of collapse we deserve – and voted for. As John Michael Greer said: the UK is rushing to collapse early to avoid the disappointment in the rush. We live in a complete fantasy bubble of a post-Empire state of mind. As if other – dehumanised foreign – people and the holistic integrity of the biosphere did not exist. Well, thanks to our lifestyle choices, they may not for much longer. But the only thing that has perturbed our reserved compassion and indifferent inhumanity is our election of a Johnson government. Well, that is an indignity! But not even a fraction of an indignity that we are quite happy to violently impose on the rest of the world. But let us pretend and console ourselves it would have been a utopia if they had not held back those films.

Dungroanin ,

"We don't have to join too many dots to see why a discussion about Wikileaks, war crimes in Iraq, and OPCW crimes in Syria was something the Tories didn't need,"

They also didn't need the Intelligence report of 'Russian' influence in their party and government; the direct threat made by Pompeo to stop Labour, the deal which they have been negotiating with the US which confirms the NHS is part of it amongst many other things – as was confirmed by their Ambassador Woody (Of Johnson&Johnson fame who stand to benefit hughy) ;the dangerous levels of capacity in the NHS; etc etc etc.

Anyway the Graun is claiming to run a ask us a question about the election now on their blog – I've asked mine but am not holding my breath for an answer.

tonyopmoc ,

David Macilwain usually writes far better than this. In fact 90% of this, is the same sort of nonsense, he has apparently been brainwashed with, by reading the Guardian et al.

He displays his own ignorance and arrogance, by yet again telling over 50% of The British voting public that we didn't know what we were voting for re Brexit.

"not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices."

He analysed Skripal very well. This is total crap.

Tony

JudyJ ,

As soon as UK based Russian oligarchs are mentioned the presumption of many – encouraged by Western media – is that they must be 'friends' of Putin or have 'close connections' to him. In fact, in respect of most of them, it is exactly the opposite. They are based in London precisely because the UK establishment doesn't clamp down on tax dodging and corrupt business dealings as Putin has done since the beginning of his Presidential tenures. Corrupt business owners donations to parties in power? Hmm, I wonder why it is that they are given every encouragement and incentive to settle in London undisturbed?

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/06/understanding-russia-un-demonizing-putin/

Tallis Marsh ,

This article is wrong to imply/assume that Brexiters/Lexiters didn't know what they were voting for. Wrong to suggest/assume we did/do not have a strategy to try to help leave the EU. Wrong to assume we are racist and/or stupid. Of course there are a few exceptions but on the whole people know the score and we love the individual, distinct European countries; we just despise the imperial, uber-technocratic, ultimately anti-democratic superstate that is the EU.

See UK Column & similar websites, and the archive of Tony Benn/Barbara Castle/Peter Shore/Bob Crow (on the reasons for disliking the EEC/EU/Maastrict & Lisbon Treaties etc) for why so many people voted to leave the EU. I reckon when the options on who to vote for were purposely limited by the LP (in the last few months after JC was forced to go along with the PLP) and TBP (after Farage made a deal with Trump/Boris) many Brexiters (and a few Lexiters?) were forced to vote for the Tories to give a message to the establishment? I am guessing they thought the election would result in a hung parliament with the tories having to ally with the DUP again.

Imo – I have a strong suspicion that the real result was a very close result (hung parliament) and that the establishment using the secret services helped in some way to engineer this landslide result (probably through postal ballot rigging). On the day of the election many people observed and commented on the huge queues in the poll stations and seeing so many young people voting like never before (including many photos on social media). The result does not seem plausible and the status quo has/had so much to lose.

Incidentally, and this is obviously anecdotal but in my household (and as far as I know) all my friends voted Labour or stayed at home (we are mostly Lexiters, don't-knows, and a couple Brexiters) and only know quite well of two openlyTory voters (at my partners' workplace). On the other hand, I do know my local area (which has been impoverished since the Thatcher years) is a heavy leave-voting area and I reckon most people here lend their vote to Tories for strategic reasons (I know a neighbour who wants the Tories to 'own' Brexit knowing full well they will renege on all their promises and not just the Brexit promise – they think Boris is a fake and wants to BRINO or, ultimately, even to remain).

I can only state what I observe and hear around me, and what I saw on social media during the election, but I do know people are so much more informed than the establishment/media would like to admit.

Francis Lee ,

I was shocked, yes shocked, to see the type sentiments espoused below.

"No-one could seriously believe that Brexit is something the ruling elite has pursued because it respects the so-called democratic will of the British public – not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices.

That could have come from the mouth Jo Swinson, the Economist, the Guardian or any other ultra-remainer rag.

It gets better, or worse depending on your point of view.

"Had the Government not had an interest in restructuring its relationship with the US and NATO, and seen political and economic gains – well illustrated by the jump in the value of Sterling following the result – then the idea of Brexit would just have quietly died away."

Yep, it's those damn proles who voted for Brexit again and "did so in complete ignorance of what that might mean and because of their own long-standing predudices." But of course! Time to rethink the idea of universal suffrage perhaps. Actually those sort of sentiments (see above) are precisely why Labour lost the election so heavily.

The point seems to be missed that euroland is an occupied zone and has been zone since 1945 – it is a neoliberal juggernaut and junior partner in the geopolitical global order. In addition it is the civilian wing of NATO, another American construction. It is based upon a core-periphery economic structure and upon a currency which locks its members into a neoliberal straight-jacket, and since they cannot devalue the core runs up trade surpluses whilst to periphery runs up permanent trade deficits. The euro currency is designed to do precisely this. Moreover the Stability and growth pact robs states of their ability to have an independent foreign and economic policy. The eastern and southern peripheries are little more than colonies. Printing their own currencies – God forbid – is strictly verboten, so that they cannot and will not recover. Taking Italy 137% of debt-to-gdp ratio and Greece with a staggering 181% of debt-to-gdp you will get a pretty good picture of what is happening in Euroland.

It really don't know why I have to explain all of this, particularly in light of the fact that Corbyn himself has always been a eurosceptic, along with other notables such as Benn (Sr.) Bryan Gould, Peter Shore and Barbara Castle, that was a unlike the present time when Labour was Labour.

I think the Labour party has now gone to far to reverse course; it has become an anachronism, and a neo-Blairite – ultra-remainer – is party now taking shape.

GEOFF ,

I've no idea why you keep going on about the EU , you got your way, we're leaving forget it, lets see how good it's going to be in this shithole without some protection from the EU , why do none of you address that, the slob has already started with his refusal to include workers rights, the fat slob says we can have better employment protection once we leave ha ha ha ha ha ha whats been stopping him from doing it for the last 40 years ? nothing. everyone is entitled to their view obviously and I respect it, but you just shut us out as if your opinion is all that matters, I would suggest 80% of those that voted leave know absolutely nothing about the EU, I arrive at that by talking incessantly to people, who think they're clued up and when you start pointing faults with their argument, you get the usual ' hey mate I've only come in for a pint'

Francis Lee ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=But+we+haven%26%238217%3Bt+left+it.+And+there+is+g...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F20%2Fofficial-secrets-lies-and-the-five-eyes%2F%23comment-107077">

But we haven't left it. And there is good reason to suppose that we never will. A BRINO is being cooked up by a coalition of the usual suspects whose object is to end the existence of the UK as an independent nation state and turn it into a province of a European super-state. We will be voting – if at all – in the equivalent of local government or council elections with decisions, with economic and geopolitical issues being decided by non-elected technicians and bureaucrats.

Democracy is only meaningful at the national level. Democracy and Empire (the EU) or should I say the EUSA, do not mix. Even Thucydides knew this.

GEOFF ,

But that happens here without the EU there are two pricks zac goldsmith and morgan, both been rejected by the electorate , both been given a place in the H.O.L £305 a day , totally unelcted but there to make our laws and you still won't see i twill you

Cassandra2 ,

Very much agree, I don't trust Boris to effect a clean break.

I generally trust my instincts like most normal plebs, but since the Lisbon Treaty Europe has consolidate Federalisation, far removed from the original concept and principles of a Common Market and my instincts prompted a closer look.

Delving deeper, an easy process given internet access, one discovers a cesspit of deception. European Union is in reality the successor to the (totalitarian) Third Reich. Refer to Christopher Story's YouTube 3 part lecture on the subject. EU was planned in 1942 by a German social elite hierarchy in the likely event of Hitlers defeat. Key members of this hierarchy were transferred (operation paperclip) to USA at the end of the war and were integrated into a form of 5th column governing elite (power behind Deep State) who have since 1946 systematically hollowed the out the USA by undermining it's production base (excluding military hardware production) and displacing economic investment through reckless speculation/manipulation and perpetual global warfare.

Other than filling the Elites multi-trillion banking chest USA's resources and manpower (Military & Intelligence) have been utilised to construct a global platform for imposing a 'New World Order'. Europe's homogenization simply forms an essential part of this ambition.

Given a cursory (pleb) assessment of Europe's widespread corruption, undemocratic structure and it's true strategic purpose I cannot help but feel that those who voted 'remain' have had their critical faculties effectively lobotomized by Elite owned State MASS INDOCTRINATION i.e. BBC et al.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Goldman Sachs engineered the entire EU finance by first fudging the books on Greece. The whole edifice was built upon a shifting substrate of sand.

Castles made of sand float into the sea, eventually. Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold as Love

MOU

Francis Lee ,

"NOBODY voted for a HARD brexit onto WTO rules and the country should have been asked very specifically if that is what the mythical 17 Million wanted."

'Nobody voted for a hard -Brexit.' Really!

How come you are privy to this "information?" It would be amusing to see you trying to substantiate this statement.

And as for the 'mythical 17 million' (17.2 million actually) 'well, yes that must have been a mirage; it didn't happen.

Strange times in which we live when conjecture is treated as if it were fact. Yep, that is one of the hallmarks of the totalitarian mindset. In his marvellous essay, 'Notes on Nationalism' Orwell captures this frame of mind perfectly. He writes:

"By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people' (Leave voters by any chance?) "can be labelled 'good' or 'bad' But secondly (and this is much more important) I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a particular nation, political party, religious group or even football team, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests" (Remainers perhaps?)

Moreover, "although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat or revenge, the nationalist is somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether or not they support his views Arguments with his adversaries are always inconclusive since each of the contestants believe themselves always right and always winning the victory (in the sight of God anyway).

Some of the true believers are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world."

Sadly true.

Dungroanin ,

WE will NOT let YOU forget the VoteLEAVE bs. Paul & co.
Here is Vote Leave NOT saying we are going onto WTO rules:

'The day after nothing changes legally. There is no legal obligation on the British Government to take Britain out of the EU immediately. There will be three stages of creating a new UK-EU deal – informal negotiations, formal negotiations, and implementation including both a new Treaty and domestic legal changes. There is no need to rush. We must take our time and get it right.

WHAT'S THE OVERALL FRAMEWORK WE NEED?

Overall, the negotiations will create a new European institutional architecture that enables all countries, whether in or out of the EU or euro, to trade freely and cooperate in a friendly way. In particular, we will negotiate a UK-EU Treaty that enables us 1) to continue cooperating in many areas just as now (e.g. maritime surveillance), 2) to deepen cooperation in some areas (e.g. scientific collaborations and counter-terrorism), and 3) to continue free trade with minimal bureaucracy. The details will have to await a serious negotiation but there are many agreements between the EU and other countries that already solve these problems so we will be able to take a lot 'off the shelf'.'
Etc.
http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/briefing_newdeal.html

AND HERE IS FACT CHECK

'As far as we've seen, Leave campaigners hardly mentioned the customs union in explicit terms at all, so there was generally little clarity about what leaving might mean in that regard.'

&
'There are also examples of leave campaigners claiming the UK could adopt a position similar to Norway -- which is still part of the single market while not being an EU member.

Arron Banks, a founder of the Leave.EU campaign tweeted in November 2015 "Increasingly the Norway option looks the best for the UK".'

And so on – NO FULL HARD BREXIT
https://fullfact.org/europe/what-was-promised-about-customs-union-referendum/

Now Paul& co show us where the HARD brexit was part of the Leave campaign.

austrian peter ,

Well observed David, thank you. I have already lobbied my new Tory MP with relevant articles and have a meeting scheduled with him early in the New Year to push for Julian's release and freedom. I am appalled at how our supposed freedom-loving society has been corrupted beyond measure by manipulative 'deep state' actors. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/december/12/edward-snowden-speaks-out-for-julian-assange-and-chelsea-manning/

Furthermore, I remain confused about what the globalists actually want apart from their final goal of New World Order global government, global currency (probably now being crypto) and removing the use of cash entirely.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/who-are-globalists-and-what-do-they-want

This article has clarified the main targets for the globalists but where do you think Brexit stands in their agenda, do they want out of the EU or not? I am confused which side is in favour of freedom and liberty and which one wants global centralised command and control.

Long ago John Perkins exposed the elites' nefarious agendas with 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman': https://johnperkins.org/ and the book is well worth reading:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1785033859/ref=sr_1_1?adgrpid=57307986950&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI34Dt8tzD5gIVC7DtCh3pXgnREAAYASAAEgJ7cvD_BwE&hvadid=259102724630&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007152&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=9838918690422858993&hvtargid=kwd-295426377502&hydadcr=24461_1816157&keywords=confessions+of+an+economic+hitman&qid=1576827695&sr=8-1

And my own book: 'The Financial Jigsaw' (due to publish in Q1 2020) exposes the globalists' financial agenda extant today.

A free PDF of my manuscript is available on request to: peter@underco.co.uk

[Dec 21, 2019] What holds a multiethnic country together?

Dec 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Really?? , Dec 20 2019 13:45 utc | 88

vk #80

Your basic question seems to be: What holds a country together? Especially, a large country--- such as France/Germany/the UK/the USA/the USSR/China---that comprises many disparate regions and ethnicities? What differentiates such a country from an empire?

So in the USSR seems like a case can be or is being made that the Party is what held the union together, as an overarching organization that incorporated leaders into its structure. Perhaps I am wrong in that inference as to what you or someone else is saying.

Seems like the queen's speech shows her effort to point out why it might be better for the UK to stick together: ability to deliver better outcomes to all members of the country/society.

The queen does seem to draw a certain line in her speech as to newcomers to the society who wish to become part of it. Only those with specific skills to contribute to those already here will be welcome. She doesn't specify that others are not welcome, but she certainly seems to imply it. And, quite rightly, IMO.

[Dec 15, 2019] Boris Johnson's Trumpism without Trump is about moving the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. Boris Johnson outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy

Money quote: "Johnson will have to work superhard on this if he is to re-create not the Thatcher coalition but the Disraeli nation. That's what he means when he talks about "One Nation Conservatism." That was Disraeli's reformist conservatism of the 19th century, a somewhat protectionist, supremely patriotic alliance between the conservative elites and the ordinary man and woman. It will take a huge amount of charm and policy persistence to cement that coalition if it is to last more than one election. But if Boris pulls that off, he will have found a new formula designed to kill off far-right populism, while forcing the left to regroup."
Notable quotes:
"... But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.15.19 at 1:33 am 9

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Brexit is an eruption of English nationalism, and the Tories are now, under that shambling parody of a drunk racist English aristo, Johnson, an English nationalist party.

IMHO this is highly questionable statement. Brexit is a form of protest against neoliberal globalization. The fact that is colored with nationalism is the secondary effect/factor: rejection of neoliberalism is almost always colored in either nationalist rhetoric, or Marxist rhetoric.

Here are some quotes from paleoconservative analysis of the elections taken from two recent articles:

While I do not share their enthusiasm about "Red Tories" rule in the UK, and the bright future for "Trumpism without Trump" movement in the USA, they IMHO provide some interesting insights into paleoconservatives view on the British elections results and elements of social protest that led to them:

[AS] It is clearer and clearer to me that the wholesale adoption of critical race, gender, and queer theory on the left makes normal people wonder what on earth they're talking about and which dictionary they are using. The white working classes are privileged? A woman can have a penis? In the end, the dogma is so crazy, and the language so bizarre, these natural left voters decided to listen to someone who does actually speak their language , even if in an absurdly plummy accent.

[AS] But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy . ... This is Trumpism without Trump. A conservative future without an ineffective and polarizing nutjob at the heart of it. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. It's very much the same movement of left-behind people expressing their views on the same issues, who, tragically, put their trust in Trump. What we've seen is how tenacious a voting bloc that now is, which is why Trumpism is here to stay. If we could only get rid of the human cancer at the heart of it.

[AS] Trump has bollixed it up, of course. He ran on Johnson's platform but gave almost all his tax cuts to the extremely wealthy, while Johnson will cut taxes on the poor. Trump talks a big game on immigration but has been unable to get any real change in the system out of Congress. Johnson now has a big majority to pass a new immigration bill, with Parliament in his control, which makes the task much easier. Trump is flamingly incompetent and unable to understand his constitutional role. Boris will assemble a competent team, with Michael Gove as his CEO, and Dom Cummings as strategist.

[AS] If Johnson succeeds, he'll have unveiled a new formula for the Western right: Make no apologies for your own country and culture; toughen immigration laws; increase public spending on the poor and on those who are "just about managing"; increase taxes on the very rich and redistribute to the poor; focus on manufacturing and new housing; ignore the woke; and fight climate change as the Tories are (or risk losing a generation of support).

[RD] I have no idea why the Republicans are so damned silent on wokeness, including the transgender madness. No doubt about it, the American people have accepted gay marriage and gay rights, broadly. But the Left will not accept this victory in the culture war. They cannot help bouncing the rubble, and driving people farther than they are willing to go, or that they should have to go. It's the elites -- and not just academic elites. Every week I get at least two e-mails from readers sending me examples of transgender wokeness taking over their professions -- especially big business. People hate this pronoun crap, but nobody dares to speak out against it, because they are afraid of being doxxed, cancelled, or at least marginalized in the workplace.

[RD] My friend said (I paraphrase):

"Can you blame people for not answering pollsters' questions? Everybody is told all the time that the things they believe, and the things they worry about, are backwards and bigoted. They have learned to keep it to themselves. It's the same thing here. I hate Donald Trump, but I'm probably going to end up voting for him, because at least he doesn't hate my sons. I want a good future for every child -- black, Latino, white, all of them -- but the Left thinks my sons are what's wrong with the world

[RD] Boris (and Sully) style Toryism is better than nothing, isn't it? As a general rule, in this emerging post-Christian social and political order, we conservative Christians had better not let the unachievable perfect be the enemy of the common-sense good enough.

[Dec 14, 2019] Labor Lost for Good Reason

When Liberal governments fail to provide answers for economic despair the road is paved for strong-armed, bloviating fascists. And the more desperate things become fascism will only get stronger if history is any indication.
Dec 14, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

ban nock on Fri, 12/13/2019 - 6:18am and the analogies with Sanders and the US only go so far.

Politics in the US, Britain, and Europe in general are being upended, I'd caution against pigeon holing things into the old left/right, Dem/Repub, Tory/Labor, scenario.

Britain's Labor similar to America's Democratic Party has lost lots of it's legitimacy with working people. Globalisation has decimated cities like Liverpool and Manchester. Labor didn't support Brexit, the biggest issue in politics in Britain. Being a part of the EU allowed workers from Eastern Europe to enter England and directly compete for low skilled jobs.

Labor in England also included upper middle class woke culture, which is very pro EU and anti Brexit. It's impossible to imagine a pro Brexit leader in Labor just as much as it is impossible to imagine working class people in England supporting the loss of their jobs via Remain. People voted for their economic self interests, can you blame them? As in the US there are more working class voters than there are upper middle class intellectuals.

Boris Johnson promised increased funding for the National Health Service, not tearing it down as many seem to suggest. Whether he does so is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't read his win as a rejection of the social safety net. Socialism is for many some kind of intellectual game, the working class is much less interested in ideas, and much more interested in health care, higher wages, and better conditions overall.

Ever since I watched Bernie Sanders' rise in the primaries in 16 I've felt he would be a much stronger general election candidate than he is in the primaries. As contrary as Trump might seem to hard core political junkies, Trump did steal many of Sander's memes and use them in the general election. Most wage earners actually do feel powerless in the face of the corporate overclass, they feel things getting worse not better.

To have even a snowball's chance in the pre primaries, the endless positioning and twitter wars that have occurred for months prior to even our first primary, Sanders is now committed to many of the same positions as the woke side of the Democratic Party. There might well be a big enough drop off of Hispanics, African Americans, and Working Class Dems of all hues to lose this thing again, even if Sanders wins the primary. The Democratic Party has lost working people even as it has gained Country Club Republicans from the suburbs.

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence. It's as if they didn't realize 2016 happened and were surprised all over again.

[Dec 14, 2019] The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33

A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people.

Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.


MFB , Dec 13 2019 8:19 utc | 36

Thing is, this destroys the left in Britain. The right in Labour had been in control since the early 1980s, and Corbyn's leadership victory was an accident which will not be given a second chance. Now what will replace Corbyn will not be Blairism, it will be something well to the right of Blairism, something much more like the DNC in the United States.

In other words, this is not a defeat of a party, it is a catastrophe for anyone seeking to struggle against the triumph of neoliberal barbarism. Oh, and it makes the probability of the end of the world through environmental catastrophe or nuclear war much higher. So apart from the ideological catastrophe it's also a human calamity.

Tsar Nicholas , Dec 13 2019 8:29 utc | 37
Corbyn destroyed hismelf. He performed quite well, unexpectedly so, in 2017 because he said that he would honour the result of the 2016 referendum. Yesterday the electors punished him for reneging on that and telling 17.4 million voters that they were wrong.

It was the less well off who voted to Leave, and it was the less well off who yesterday deserted Labour in droves. They have had enough of being told that they are in the wrong by a middle class elite who would be repelled if they ever actually met someone from the working class.

Bemildred , Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I find it interesting that so much effort was expended to defeat Corbyn, over such a long period, when apparently it was so little needed.

I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

Norwegian , Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40
Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

I am no expert on UK politics either, but from my point of view in Norway the main issue to be resolved is dismantling the EU, and it looks like the Brexit vote and this election confirms that many in the UK see it the same way. Whether it will happen is another question.

I voted NO in the 1994 Norwegian referendum on the question of becoming member of "European Community". One of the arguments in the debate at that time was that the "European Community" was aiming to become a union and a superstate. Those who argued that way were called lots of things, including conspiracy theorists. Today we are not members of the EU, but all the "regulations" are forced upon us anyway. The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished.

I don't expect much good from the Tories, I don't exclude another betrayal of the Brexit cause, but we shall see. Corbyn lost on his betrayal of Brexit, that is for sure. I sympathize with Corbyn, but betraying the Brexit referendum is a no-no.

What the UK needs is real progressives that see the EU as the globalist project it is. It also means that the "climate crisis" must be recognised as a political tool created by the same forces. Corbyn failed on both accounts and therefore he lost.

vk , Dec 13 2019 11:38 utc | 46
Now that the official results are out, I'll comment on the British elections.
If Corbyn had won and taken us out of the EU we would have gone all Venezuela. If he'd won and kept us in the EU we'd have gone all Greece. The result is the best of the bad options available.
- Valiant_Thor, 26m ago

This comment on The Guardian encapsulates the average Conservative voter for these 2019 elections.

The UK is really at a crossroads: it is too tiny and poor in natural resources to implement socialism, but it is declining as a capitalist power.

I don't think the average British really thinks Venezuela is socialist or that Corbyn's policies would make them very poor, but I think they are afraid of the sanctions and embargoes they would suffer from the USA if they dared to try to go back to social-democracy.

This defeat may also be historic: this could go to History as the end of social-democracy. Social-democracy was already dead as an effective political force after the oil crisis of 1974-5, but at least it was able to polarize with neoliberalism in the ideological field and had some prestige that far outlived itself (to the point it was the main propaganda weapon that ultimately convinced Gorbachev to destroy the USSR, and to the point it was able to convince historians like Hobsbawn that it had actually "won the war" after 2008). Now it isn't considered even credible by half of the population of one of the few countries it was able to govern and fully influence in the post-war period.

In Rosa Luxemburg's last article (a few days before she was executed), she finally admitted defeat to the Bolsheviks. "We must separate the essential from the non-essential", she wrote. And the essential, she completed, was the fact that the Bolsheviks were right and the German Social-Democrats were wrong. It happened again, almost 100 years later.

[Dec 14, 2019] Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. In 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Dec 12 2019 22:30 utc | 13

@ Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:57 utc | 5

(Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US. If the media wrote about basic economics everyone would know this. Instead the bottom 75% have plain unfocussed anger with Trump/Brexit being lightening rods to direct it).

It might be wise to be careful here about assumptions used. First off, cognisance of population changes will not automatically translate into employed working sector changes, many factors intervene preventing a direct relationship. Secondly, having a accurate GDP measure from beginning to end of the period observed is crucial (to avoid apples vs. oranges comparisons) so that changes in productive sources (and their employed numbers) are accounted for (law offices rarely employ as many as heavy industrial firms). The history of price/wage inflation or loss of exchange value of currency will affect reported GDP statistics as well. Thirdly is measuring the general education and skill level of those employed, as those decrease so do earnings/salaries/wages. Fourthly, look at the change in social protections provided to the population in question, these protections have a cost that must be met, their absence has an even greater cost to income obtained but rarely appearing on the economic balance sheets. Regulatory capture by monopoly, sovereign & trust-fund management removes business restrictions and passes those costs to those employed. Try putting this on a bumper-sticker for your car.

In the U.S. the population had increased in double digits from the census of 1950 (150.9 millions) to 2010 (308.7 millions). Working income had not significantly increased from 1970's, Purchasing Power Parity of 1970 dollar and 2019 dollar is unobtainable information. GDP statistics are of the nature of apples vs. oranges, measuring unrelated economic production; it can be done but isn't (for reasons political) [an income of US$400,000 in 1915 would translate into a 1980's income of about US$ 8.5 millions; the economies were still roughly speaking nearly the same still and comparable, as wealth distributions were becoming again].

[Dec 09, 2019] As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 8 2019 19:17 utc | 25

"A botched assassination attempt against Ukrainian politician and businessman Vyacheslav Sobolev has resulted in the death of his three-year-old son, Alexander.

"While Sobolev and his wife were leaving his high-end restaurant "Mario" in Kiev this past Sunday, right-wing thugs opened fire on Sobolev's Range Rover, missing him but hitting his son who was seated in the back of the vehicle. The three-year-old died on the way to the hospital.

"Police later apprehended two men who had fled the scene in a black Lexus sedan, Oleksiy Semenov, 19, and Andrei Lavrega, 20. Both are veterans of the war in Donbass in eastern Ukraine where they served as members of the fascist Right Sector's paramilitary formation until June of this year.
"The Right Sector was instrumental in the US- and EU-backed, fascist-led coup in February 2014 that toppled the Yanukovitch government and replaced it with a pro-Western and anti-Russian regime. Since then, the Right Sector has been among the far-right forces that have been heavily involved in the war against Russian-backed separatists in East Ukraine.

"As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

"Lavrega, who has been identified as the principal shooter in the killing, has been a member of the Right Sector for at least half a decade. He had participated in the Maidan movement of 2014 as a member of the Right Sector and perfected his shooting skills as a sniper killing separatist soldiers in eastern Ukraine. According to his Right Sector battalion commander, Andrei Herhert, Lavrega -- also known as "Quiet" -- was "one of the best snipers in the war" and "very ideological."

"As a thanks for his service to the right-wing Kiev government, Lavrega received a military decoration from former President Petro Poroshenko for "courage" just last year, in October of 2018." ..........

"Whoever is ultimately responsible for ordering this political assassination and the murder of the three-year-old boy, it is clear that the same far-right forces that were instrumental in the coup in February 2014 and the civil war are now being employed to carry out political assassinations by the Ukrainian oligarchy.

"Since the 2014 coup, the number of targeted political assassinations by right-wing neo-Nazi groups like C14 and the Right Sector has skyrocketed. At least 15 people have been murdered in such hit jobs by the far right since 2014. Among them was the well-known Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet and the politician Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed in a horrific acid attack by right-wing thugs last year.

"In virtually all these cases, the perpetrators have been protected from serious legal prosecution. One of the murderers of Handziuk received a barely three-year prison sentence. A critical role in shielding the neo-Nazis is played by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs' Arsen Avakov, who controls the country's police force and possesses well-known ties to Ukraine's most notorious fascist militia, the Azov Battalion.

"Avakov is one of the few members of the previous Poroshenko government that have remained in the current Cabinet of Ministers under President Volodmyr Zelensky. He was recently praised by former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while testifying before the House of Representatives regarding the Trump impeachment investigation (see also: "The impeachment crisis and American imperialism").

"President Zelensky, who was elected in April this year on the basis of promises that he would bring an end to the widely despised civil war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people, has maintained a conspicuous silence on this latest political assassination attempt by the far right. Instead, the day after the murder, he posted a message on Facebook to honor two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine this past weekend."
The rest of the story can be found at the WSWS
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/07/ukra-d06.html

The Right Sector links with the former US Ambassador-Democratic heroine- are topical.


cirsium , Dec 9 2019 0:03 utc | 53

@bevin, 25. - this article from The Stalkerzone provides information on the killers and suggests that they intended to kill the child as a message to the father
https://www.stalkerzone.org/ato-monsters-in-ukraine-a-market-of-hired-serial-killers-appeared/
uncle tungsten , Dec 9 2019 8:19 utc | 75
psychohistorian #68

Thank you for that insight. I cannot see how Zelensky will manage the Nazi Ukrainians short of a virtual civil war against one western district. The USA will foment a major insurrection to destroy him if he does a deal with Gazprom. Your suggestion as to where those issues are discussed would be welcome.

A User #72

Thank you and well said. The eurocentric kabuki does mesmerise the information providers. I too seek escape from that dominance and spent a good time today researching the Power of Siberia implications and issues of South America. The global assault on all things African is a matter of deep despair for me and I feel totally powerless to reverse the relentless assault on their world.

[Dec 06, 2019] The 11 nations of the United States and their cultures - Business Insider

Dec 06, 2019 | www.businessinsider.com

This map shows how the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures Andy Kiersz and Allana Akhtar Dec 4, 2019, 7:56 PM Facebook Icon The letter F. Email icon An envelope. It indicates the ability to send an email. Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url. Twitter icon A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting. LinkedIn icon The word "in". Fliboard icon A stylized letter F. More icon Three evenly spaced dots forming an ellipsis: "...". Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

11 Nations 11 Nations <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/55b273a2371d2211008b9793?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
The 11 nations of North America
Colin Woodward and Tufts/Brian Stauffer

America may be divided into 50 states, but many areas are culturally similar.

In his fourth book, " American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America ," award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US.

"The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty," Woodard, a Maine native who won the 2012 George Polk Award for investigative reporting, told Business Insider. "[But] in order to have any productive conversation on these issues," he added, "you need to know where you come from."

Woodard also believes the nation is likely to become more polarized, even though America is becoming a more diverse place every day. He says this is because people are "self-sorting."

"People choose to move to places where they identify with the values," Woodard says. "Red minorities go south and blue minorities go north to be in the majority. This is why blue states are getting bluer and red states are getting redder and the middle is getting smaller."

Here's how Woodard describes each nation:

Matthew Speiser contributed to a previous version of this article. Yankeedom values education, and members are comfortable with government regulation. <

Syracuse New York <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/59b2be5c45e2381d008b5876?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> debra millet/Shutterstock
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Encompassing the entire Northeast north of New York City and spreading through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Yankeedom values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny. Yankees are comfortable with government regulation. Woodard notes that Yankees have a "Utopian streak." The area was settled by radical Calvinists. New Netherland in the New York area has a "materialistic" culture. <

soho New York city <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de800e9fd9db247a976a267?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock
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A highly commercial culture, New Netherland is "materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience," according to Woodard. It is a natural ally with Yankeedom and encompasses New York City and northern New Jersey. The area was settled by the Dutch. The Midlands, largely located in the Midwest, opposes government regulation. <

The Liberty Bell. <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80a7ffd9db23e5a1dd0f7?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Matt Rourke / AP
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Settled by English Quakers, The Midlands are a welcoming middle-class society that spawned the culture of the "American Heartland." Political opinion is moderate, and government regulation is frowned upon. Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands "America's great swing region." Within the Midlands are parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Tidewater started as a feudal society that embraced slavery. <

Harrisburg, North Carolina <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5d60177b00ef2b6aa56bf1e1?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Shutterstock
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Tidewater was built by the young English gentry in the area around the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina. Starting as a feudal society that embraced slavery, the region places a high value on respect for authority and tradition. Woodard notes that Tidewater is in decline, partly because "it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk." Greater Appalachia encompasses parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Texas. <

kentucky derby <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80db9fd9db252bf4b2083?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Michael Hickey/Getty Images
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Colonized by settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Greater Appalachia is stereotyped as the land of hillbillies and rednecks. Woodard says Appalachia values personal sovereignty and individual liberty and is "intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike." It sides with the Deep South to counter the influence of federal government. Within Greater Appalachia are parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas. Deep South adopts a rigid social structure and opposition to government regulation. <

university of alabama football fans <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80dfcfd9db2413c3a5eea?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Dave Martin/Getty Images
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The Deep South was established by English slave lords from Barbados and was styled as a West Indies-style slave society, Woodard notes. It has a very rigid social structure and fights against government regulation that threatens individual liberty. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina are all part of the Deep South. El Norte has a dominant Hispanic culture. <

mexican american flag <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80748fd9db24dc40f4fe2?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> David McNew/Reuters
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Composed of the borderlands of the Spanish-American empire, El Norte is "a place apart" from the rest of America, according to Woodard. Hispanic culture dominates in the area, and the region values independence, self-sufficiency, and hard work above all else. Parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California are in El Norte. The Left Coast, located in coastal California, is a lot like Yankeedom and Greater Appalachia. <

San Francisco <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de8079efd9db239ec1a8f34?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
California has permanently moved up its presidential primary from June to March.
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
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Colonized by New Englanders and Appalachian Midwesterners, the Left Coast is a hybrid of "Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration," Woodard says, adding that it is the staunchest ally of Yankeedom. Coastal California, Oregon, and Washington are in the Left Coast. The Far West spans states in the central US including Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. <

South Dakota <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de80e54fd9db2417a02be09?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Scott Olson/Getty Images
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The conservative west. Developed through large investment in industry, yet where inhabitants continue to "resent" the Eastern interests that initially controlled that investment. The Far West spans several states, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, and California. New France inhabitants are comfortable with government involvement in the economy. <

louisiana music new orleans <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de8086cfd9db24eb80e8128?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" /> Max Becherer/AP
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A pocket of liberalism nestled in the Deep South, its people are consensus driven, tolerant, and comfortable with government involvement in the economy. Woodard says New France is among the most liberal places in North America. New France is focused around New Orleans in Louisiana as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. First Nation, most of whose people live in the northern part of the country, is made up of Native Americans. <

PIPELINE NATIVE AMERICANS <img src="https://image.businessinsider.com/5de808bdfd9db23afd1df6e8?width=600&format=jpeg&auto=webp" />
Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 9, 2016.
REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
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Made up of Native Americans, the First Nation's members enjoy tribal sovereignty in the US. Woodard says the territory of the First Nations is huge, but its population is under 300,000, most of whose people live in the northern reaches of Canada. SEE ALSO: 50 maps that explain how America lives, spends, and believes DON'T MISS: The best books of 2019 on how we can rethink today's capitalism and improve the economy

[Dec 04, 2019] America's War Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet by William Astore

Highly recommended!
Our leaders like to say we value human rights around the world, but what they really manifest is greed. It all makes sense in a Gekko- or Machiavellian kind of way.
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is? ..."
"... A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right. ..."
"... If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life. ..."
"... I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too. ..."
"... Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it. ..."
"... they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism. ..."
"... Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower. ..."
"... The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources. ..."
"... Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.) ..."
"... The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep! ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views . Originally published at TomDispatch

Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch , I've been arguing against America's forever wars, whether in Afghanistan , Iraq , or elsewhere . Unfortunately, it's no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined . And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

Sadly, there isn't just one obvious reason for this generational debacle. If there were, we could focus on it, tackle it, and perhaps even fix it. But no such luck.

So why do America's disastrous wars persist ? I can think of many reasons , some obvious and easy to understand, like the endless pursuit of profit through weapons sales for those very wars, and some more subtle but no less significant, like a deep-seated conviction in Washington that a willingness to wage war is a sign of national toughness and seriousness. Before I go on, though, here's another distinctive aspect of our forever-war moment: Have you noticed that peace is no longer even a topic in America today? The very word, once at least part of the rhetoric of Washington politicians, has essentially dropped out of use entirely. Consider the current crop of Democratic candidates for president. One, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, wants to end regime-change wars, but is otherwise a self-professed hawk on the subject of the war on terror. Another, Senator Bernie Sanders, vows to end " endless wars " but is careful to express strong support for Israel and the ultra-expensive F-35 fighter jet.

The other dozen or so tend to make vague sounds about cutting defense spending or gradually withdrawing U.S. troops from various wars, but none of them even consider openly speaking of peace . And the Republicans? While President Trump may talk of ending wars, since his inauguration he's sent more troops to Afghanistan and into the Middle East, while greatly expanding drone and other air strikes , something about which he openly boasts .

War, in other words, is our new normal, America's default position on global affairs, and peace, some ancient, long-faded dream. And when your default position is war, whether against the Taliban, ISIS, "terror" more generally, or possibly even Iran or Russia or China , is it any surprise that war is what you get? When you garrison the world with an unprecedented 800 or so military bases , when you configure your armed forces for what's called power projection, when you divide the globe -- the total planet -- into areas of dominance (with acronyms like CENTCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM) commanded by four-star generals and admirals, when you spend more on your military than the next seven countries combined, when you insist on modernizing a nuclear arsenal (to the tune of perhaps $1.7 trillion ) already quite capable of ending all life on this and several other planets, what can you expect but a reality of endless war?

Think of this as the new American exceptionalism. In Washington, war is now the predictable (and even desirable) way of life, while peace is the unpredictable (and unwise) path to follow. In this context, the U.S. must continue to be the most powerful nation in the world by a country mile in all death-dealing realms and its wars must be fought, generation after generation, even when victory is never in sight. And if that isn't an "exceptional" belief system, what is?

If we're ever to put an end to our country's endless twenty-first-century wars, that mindset will have to be changed. But to do that, we would first have to recognize and confront war's many uses in American life and culture.

War, Its Uses (and Abuses)

A partial list of war's many uses might go something like this: war is profitable , most notably for America's vast military-industrial complex ; war is sold as being necessary for America's safety, especially to prevent terrorist attacks; and for many Americans, war is seen as a measure of national fitness and worthiness, a reminder that "freedom isn't free." In our politics today, it's far better to be seen as strong and wrong than meek and right.

As the title of a book by former war reporter Chris Hedges so aptly put it , war is a force that gives us meaning. And let's face it, a significant part of America's meaning in this century has involved pride in having the toughest military on the planet, even as trillions of tax dollars went into a misguided attempt to maintain bragging rights to being the world's sole superpower.

And keep in mind as well that, among other things, never-ending war weakens democracy while strengthening authoritarian tendencies in politics and society. In an age of gaping inequality , using up the country's resources in such profligate and destructive ways offers a striking exercise in consumption that profits the few at the expense of the many.

In other words, for a select few, war pays dividends in ways that peace doesn't. In a nutshell, or perhaps an artillery shell, war is anti-democratic, anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, and anti-human. Yet, as we know, history makes heroes out of its participants and celebrates mass murderers like Napoleon as "great captains."

What the United States needs today is a new strategy of containment -- not against communist expansion, as in the Cold War, but against war itself. What's stopping us from containing war? You might say that, in some sense, we've grown addicted to it , which is true enough, but here are five additional reasons for war's enduring presence in American life:

The delusional idea that Americans are, by nature, winners and that our wars are therefore winnable: No American leader wants to be labeled a "loser." Meanwhile, such dubious conflicts -- see: the Afghan War, now in its 18th year, with several more years, or even generations , to go -- continue to be treated by the military as if they were indeed winnable, even though they visibly aren't. No president, Republican or Democrat, not even Donald J. Trump, despite his promises that American soldiers will be coming home from such fiascos, has successfully resisted the Pentagon's siren call for patience (and for yet more trillions of dollars) in the cause of ultimate victory, however poorly defined, farfetched, or far-off. American society's almost complete isolation from war's deadly effects: We're not being droned (yet). Our cities are not yet lying in ruins (though they're certainly suffering from a lack of funding, as is our most essential infrastructure , thanks in part to the cost of those overseas wars). It's nonetheless remarkable how little attention, either in the media or elsewhere, this country's never-ending war-making gets here. Unnecessary and sweeping secrecy: How can you resist what you essentially don't know about? Learning its lesson from the Vietnam War, the Pentagon now classifies (in plain speak: covers up) the worst aspects of its disastrous wars. This isn't because the enemy could exploit such details -- the enemy already knows! -- but because the American people might be roused to something like anger and action by it. Principled whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning have been imprisoned or otherwise dismissed or, in the case of Edward Snowden, pursued and indicted for sharing honest details about the calamitous Iraq War and America's invasive and intrusive surveillance state. In the process, a clear message of intimidation has been sent to other would-be truth-tellers. An unrepresentative government: Long ago, of course, Congress ceded to the presidency most of its constitutional powers when it comes to making war. Still, despite recent attempts to end America's arms-dealing role in the genocidal Saudi war in Yemen (overridden by Donald Trump's veto power), America's duly elected representatives generally don't represent the people when it comes to this country's disastrous wars. They are, to put it bluntly, largely captives of (and sometimes on leaving politics quite literally go to work for) the military-industrial complex. As long as money is speech ( thank you , Supreme Court!), the weapons makers are always likely to be able to shout louder in Congress than you and I ever will. \ America's persistent empathy gap. Despite our size, we are a remarkably insular nation and suffer from a serious empathy gap when it comes to understanding foreign cultures and peoples or what we're actually doing to them. Even our globetrotting troops, when not fighting and killing foreigners in battle, often stay on vast bases, referred to in the military as "Little Americas," complete with familiar stores, fast food, you name it. Wherever we go, there we are, eating our big burgers, driving our big trucks, wielding our big guns, and dropping our very big bombs. But what those bombs do, whom they hurt or kill, whom they displace from their homes and lives, these are things that Americans turn out to care remarkably little about.

All this puts me sadly in mind of a song popular in my youth, a time when Cat Stevens sang of a " peace train " that was "soundin' louder" in America. Today, that peace train's been derailed and replaced by an armed and armored one eternally prepared for perpetual war -- and that train is indeed soundin' louder to the great peril of us all.

War on Spaceship Earth

Here's the rub, though: even the Pentagon knows that our most serious enemy is climate change , not China or Russia or terror, though in the age of Donald Trump and his administration of arsonists its officials can't express themselves on the subject as openly as they otherwise might. Assuming we don't annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons first, that means our real enemy is the endless war we're waging against Planet Earth.

The U.S. military is also a major consumer of fossil fuels and therefore a significant driver of climate change. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, like any enormously powerful system, only wants to grow more so, but what's welfare for the military brass isn't wellness for the planet.

There is, unfortunately, only one Planet Earth, or Spaceship Earth, if you prefer, since we're all traveling through our galaxy on it. Thought about a certain way, we're its crewmembers, yet instead of cooperating effectively as its stewards, we seem determined to fight one another. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out so long ago, surely a spaceship with a disputatious and self-destructive crew is not likely to survive, no less thrive.

In other words, in waging endless war, Americans are also, in effect, mutinying against the planet. In the process, we are spoiling the last, best hope of earth: a concerted and pacific effort to meet the shared challenges of a rapidly warming and changing planet.

Spaceship Earth should not be allowed to remain Warship Earth as well, not when the existence of significant parts of humanity is already becoming ever more precarious. Think of us as suffering from a coolant leak, causing cabin temperatures to rise even as food and other resources dwindle . Under the circumstances, what's the best strategy for survival: killing each other while ignoring the leak or banding together to fix an increasingly compromised ship?

Unfortunately, for America's leaders, the real "fixes" remain global military and resource domination, even as those resources continue to shrink on an ever-more fragile globe. And as we've seen recently, the resource part of that fix breeds its own madness, as in President Trump's recently stated desire to keep U.S. troops in Syria to steal that country's oil resources, though its wells are largely wrecked (thanks in significant part to American bombing) and even when repaired would produce only a miniscule percentage of the world's petroleum.

If America's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen prove anything, it's that every war scars our planet -- and hardens our hearts. Every war makes us less human as well as less humane. Every war wastes resources when these are increasingly at a premium. Every war is a distraction from higher needs and a better life.

Despite all of war's uses and abuses, its allures and temptations, it's time that we Americans showed some self-mastery (as well as decency) by putting a stop to the mayhem. Few enough of us experience "our" wars firsthand and that's precisely why some idealize their purpose and idolize their practitioners. But war is a bloody, murderous mess and those practitioners, when not killed or wounded, are marred for life because war functionally makes everyone involved into a murderer.

We need to stop idealizing war and idolizing its so-called warriors. At stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and the viability of life, as we know it, on Spaceship Earth.

likbez December 2, 2019 at 3:17 AM

I think that the main reason of the current level of militarism in the USA foreign policy is that after dissolution of the USSR neo-conservatives were allowed to capture the State Department and foreign policy establishment. This process actually started under Reagan. During Bush II administration those “crazies from the basement” fully controlled the US foreign policy and paradoxically they continued to dominate in Obama administration too.

They preach “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Wolfowitz doctrine) and are not shy to unleash the wars to enhance the USA strategic position in particular region (color revolution can be used instead of war, like they in 2014 did in Ukraine). Of course, being chichenhawks, neither they nor members of their families fight in those wars.

For some reason despite his election platform Trump also populated his administration with neoconservatives. So it might be that maintaining the USA centered global neoliberal empire is the real reason and the leitmotiv of the USA foreign policy. that’s why it does not change with the change of Administration: any government that does not play well with the neoliberal empire gets in the hairlines.

Which also means that the USA foreign policy is not controlled by the elected officials but by the “Deep State” (look at Vindman and Fiona Hill testimonies for the proof). So this is kind of Catch 22 in which the USA have found itself. We will be bankrupted by our neoconservative foreign establishment (which self-reproduce in each and every administration). And we can do nothing to avoid it.

wjastore says: December 2, 2019 at 8:09 AM
Good point. But why the rise of the neocons? Why did they prosper? I'd say because of the military-industrial complex. Or you might say they feed each other, but the Complex came first. And of course the Complex is a dominant part of the Deep State. How could it not be? Add in 17 intelligence agencies, Homeland Security, the Energy Dept's nukes, and you have a dominant DoD that swallows up more than half of federal discretionary spending each year.
likbez December 2, 2019 at 12:09 PM
I agree, but it is a little bit more complex. You need an ideology to promote the interests of MIC. You can't just say -- let's spend more than a half of federal discretionary spending each year..

That's where neo-conservatism comes into play. So they are not only lobbyists for MIC, but they also serve as "ideological support", trying to manipulate public opinion in favor of militarism.

wjastore December 2, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Yes. Ideology is vital. During the Cold War it was all about containing/resisting/defeating the godless Communists. Once they were defeated, what then? We heard brief talk about a "peace dividend," but then the neocons came along, selling full-spectrum dominance and America as the sole superpower.

The neocons were truly unleashed by the 9/11 attacks, which they exploited to put their vision in motion. The Complex was only too happy to oblige, fed as it was by massive resources.

Think about how no one was punished for the colossal intelligence failure of 9/11. Instead, all the intel agencies were rewarded with more money and authority via the PATRIOT Act.

The Afghan war is an ongoing disaster, the Iraq war a huge misstep, Libya a total failure, yet the Complex has even more Teflon than Ronald Reagan. All failures slide off of it.

greglaxer , December 2, 2019 at 4:12 PM

There is a still bigger picture to consider in all this. I don't want to open the door to conspiracy theory–personally, I find the claim that explosives were placed inside the World Trade Center prior to the strikes by aircraft on 9/11 risible–but it certainly was convenient for the Regime Change Gang that the Saudi operatives were able to get away with what they did on that day, and in preparations leading up to it.

Leaving that specific incident aside, the bigger picture is that the brains behind the Deep State understand that global capitalism is running out of new resources (which includes human labor) to exploit. Why is the US so concerned with Africa right now, with spies and Special Forces operatives all over that continent? Africa is the final frontier for development/exploitation. (The US is also deeply concerned about China's setting down business roots there, and wants to counterbalance their activities.)

Once the great majority of folks in Africa have cellphones and subscriptions to Netflix whither capitalism? Trump denies the severity of the climate crisis because that is part of the ideology/theology of the GOP.

The brains in the US Ruling Class know full well that natural resources will become ever more valuable moving forward, as weather disasters make it harder to access them. Thus, the Neo-Cons (you thought I'd never get around to them, right?) came to the fore because they advocate the unbridled use of brute military force to obtain what they want from the world. Or, to use their own terminology, the US "must have the capability to project force anywhere on the planet" at a moment's notice. President Obama was fully in agreement with that concept. Beware the wolf masquerading as a peaceable sheep!

[Nov 30, 2019] Henry Kissinger Gets It US 'Exceptionalism' Is Over

Looks like exceptions in US political jargon means "no rivals"... Trump is still dreaming about "Full Spectrum Dominance" Otherwise he would not populate his administration with rabid neocons, leftover from Bush II administration. As well as people who were responsible for Obama color revolutions and wars. Instead of gratitude from neocons viper nest in the State Department he got Ukrainegate as a Thanksgiving present.
Notable quotes:
"... If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished. ..."
"... A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival." ..."
"... In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos. ..."
"... While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction." ..."
"... Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia. ..."
"... This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made prudent remarks recently when he said the United States is no longer a uni-power and that it must recognize the reality of China as an equal rival. The furor over a new law passed by the US this week regarding Hong Kong and undermining Beijing's authority underlines Kissinger's warning.

If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished.

Speaking publicly in New York on November 14, the veteran diplomat urged the US and China to resolve their ongoing economic tensions cooperatively and mutually, adding: "It is no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other."

A key remark made by Kissinger was the following: "So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival."

In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow "exceptional", a "uni-power" and the "indispensable nation". This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of "full-spectrum dominance". Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos.

Kissinger's frank assessment is a breath of fresh air amid the stale and impossibly arrogant self-regard held by too many American politicians who view their nation as an unparalleled power which brooks no other.

The seasoned statesman, who is 96-years-old and retains an admirable acumen for international politics, ended his remarks on an optimistic note by saying: "I am confident the leaders on both sides [US and China] will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties."

Aptly, Kissinger's caution about danger of conflict was reiterated separately by veteran journalist John Pilger, who warned in an exclusive interview for Strategic Culture Foundation this week that, presumed "American exceptionalism is driving the world to war."

Henry Kissinger is indeed a controversial figure. Many US scholars regard him as one of the most outstanding Secretaries of State during the post-Second World War period. He served in the Nixon and Ford administrations during the 1970s and went on to write tomes about geopolitics and international relations. Against that, his reputation was badly tarnished by the US war in Vietnam and the horrendous civilian death toll from relentless aerial bombing across Indochina, believed to have been countenanced by Kissinger.

Kissinger has also been accused of supporting the military coup in Chile in 1973 against elected President Allende, and for backing the dirty war by Argentina's fascist generals during the 1970s against workers and leftists.

... ... ...

At times, President Donald Trump appears to subscribe to realpolitik pragmatism. At other times, he swings to the hyper-ideological mentality as expressed by his Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper. The latter has labeled China as the US's "greatest long-term threat".

This week President Trump signed into law "The Human Rights and Democracy Bill", which will impose sanctions on China over alleged repression in its Hong Kong territory. Beijing has reacted furiously to the legislation, condemning it as a violation of its sovereignty.

This is exactly the kind of baleful move that Kissinger warned against in order to avoid a further poisoning in bilateral relations already tense from the past 16 months of US-China trade war.

One discerns the difference between Kissinger and more recent US politicians: the former has copious historical knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. His shrewd, wily, maybe even Machiavellian streak, informs Kissinger to acknowledge and respect other powers in a complex world. That is contrasted with the puritanical banality and ignorance manifest in Trump's administration and in the Congress.

Greeting Kissinger last Friday, November 22, during a visit to Beijing, President Xi Jinping thanked him for his historic contribution in normalizing US-China relations during 1970s.

"At present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges," said Xi, calling on the two countries to deepen communication on strategic issues. It was an echo of the realpolitik views Kissinger had enunciated the week before.

While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added: "The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction."

Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington's relentless demonization of Russia.

This "exceptional" ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss. Henry Kissinger gets it. It's a pity America's present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect.

[Nov 29, 2019] The Origins of White Supremacy by Chelli Stanley

Nov 27, 2019 | blackagendareport.com

White supremacy is an incredibly insincere distraction that tries to erase the histories of White, Black, and Red peoples.

"Many White people seem to have forgotten what happened to them."

Some say the white supremacy ideology comes from pride. Some say it comes from a belief that one's culture is superior. Some say it comes from hatred. I never believed these things are the primary reason because I always sensed a deep loss in the heart of countless white people, some deep emptiness and fear. Though, admitting to this emptiness is another matter.

James Baldwin wrote about American racism beyond the lines designed to separate us, saying of white supremacy: "The root of the white man's hatred is terror. A bottomless and nameless terror..."

It's said that anger is a secondary emotion. Hatred is anger. Racism is hatred. Hatred is anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, beneath it lies something else.

After talking with many White American friends about the real origins of white supremacy, I found there was always a certain limit beyond which they refused to go. This had nothing to do with any hatred toward "the other" and everything to do with a chasm of pain they could not bear to speak of -- not even for a few minutes could they speak of what has been seeping out of the wound for so long. It is hard to speak of buried trauma. One wonders what might get stirred up in that uncovering. Beyond wondering, there is healing, and the certainty that the truth will set you free. We can be free in this life, you in your body, me in mine, together. To heal the history we carry, let's allow the past and future to benefit from the courage of the present.

There were Massacres, But No One Ever Says Their Names

The massacres in Europe lasted at least 500 years. Public tortures. Inquisitions. Generation after generation of entire communities forced to watch their family, friends, and neighbors terrorized and killed in front of them.

The ideology of white supremacy as we know it came at the end of this specific period of history during which immense traumas occurred simultaneously: the mass killing and public torture of women, the brutal assault against common people, the 'thought-police' Inquisition committees, the terror from which one could almost not escape, and the enslavement of White people throughout the region. This all happened in the centuries before the transatlantic slave trade.

When you get to that part of the origin of white supremacy, and the deal that was subsequently made with one's oppressor -- that deal being the ridiculous 'white supremacy' idea and the target of the terror shifting to others -- the conversation often drops dead. Silence, a few words here and there. Change the topic. Avoid that pain. This is the point beyond which few have been willing to go.

The Details of the Time

Many have wondered how White people came up with the brutal tortures they imposed on Native and African people in 'the Americas.' A look into history shows that many of the same tactics were used on White people during the genocide against them.

The Inquistioners also targeted hair in Europe, especially towards women, which was used against Native and African people in the Americas. The crimes they committed in this regard are barely utterable.

The amount of whipping in Europe begs to be mentioned because of its relevance to American history.

White people were intimately familiar with being enchained themselves, necks in iron, shackled in rows together, taken on ships here and there, sold in markets -- for centuries. They were also enslaved throughout the region during the same period as African people, likely side by side, during the Arabic and Viking slave trades that preceded the transatlantic one.

In Europe those days, the people who escaped slavery were certainly not free. They were lynched, burned in public executions, tortured at length in public, and hunted down – by the millions.

Many White people seem to have no memory of this history.

"Whites were enslaved during the Arabic and Viking slave trades that preceded the transatlantic one."

The kind of torture documented in a book in 1860 by Pressel of a woman in Prossneck, Germany is a small glimpse into the genocide. Anyone is advised to skip the following quoted list describing the torture. It is reprinted simply to acknowledge what was going on and to whom, by whom, and the lies upholding it, etc.

"Verbatim report of the first days of torture of a woman accused of witchcraft at Prossneck, Germany, in 1629.
1. The hangman bound the hands, cut her hair, and placed her on the ladder. He threw alcohol over her head and set fire to it so as to burn her hair to the roots.
2. He placed strips of sulphur under her arms and around her back and set fire to them.
3. He tied her hands behind her back and pulled her up to the ceiling.
4. He left her hanging there from three to four hours, while the torturer went to breakfast.
5. On his return, he threw alcohol on her back and set fire to it.
6. He attached very heavy weights on her body and drew her up again to the ceiling. After that he put her back on the ladder and placed a very rough plank full of sharp points against her body.
7. Then he squeezed her thumbs and big toe in the vise, and he trussed her arms with a stick, and in this position kept her hanging about a quarter of an hour, until she would faint away several times.
8. Then he squeezed the calves and the legs in the vise, always alternating the torture with questioning.
9. Then he whipped her with a rawhide whip to cause blood to flow out over her shift.
10. Once again, he placed her thumbs and big toes in the vise, and left her in this agony on the torture stool from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., while the hangman and the court officials went out to get a bite to eat. In the afternoon a functionary came who disapproved this pitiless procedure. But then they whipped her again in a frightful manner. This concluded the first day of torture. The next day they start all over again, but without pushing things quite as far as the day before.
-Wilhelm Pressel, Hexen and Hexenmeister (1860)"

Historian and scholar, Silvia Federici, says of the historical amnesia regarding this period:

"That the victims, in Europe, were mostly peasant women may account for the historians' past indifference towards this genocide, an indifference that has bordered on complicity, since the elimination of the witches from the pages of history has contributed to trivializing their physical elimination at the stake, suggesting that it was a phenomenon of minor significance, if not a matter of folklore."

She also explores the emergence of Capitalism during the genocide against these women.

Supremacy Was Never The Question. It's Just a Mask

The lie that Black people are somehow inferior was a distraction that masked -- and nearly erased -- the reality that 'white supremacy' ideology as we know it came at the end of this brutal period in Europe. But it wasn't "about color" in Europe. There they were given a different reason. In Europe they were killed for heresy, "any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs." The Inquisition of that age has been described as a court and the tormenters focused on getting 'confessions.' Their barbarity is astounding.

The lie that Black people are somehow inferior was also another layer of the brutality that grew as it moved on from Europe to Africa and the Americas. Psychological warfare, aimed at distraction and destruction.

If it wasn't "about color" in Europe, then it was never about color at all. 'White supremacy' is an incredibly insincere distraction that tries to erase the histories of White, Black, and Red peoples. As a result, many White people seem to have forgotten what happened to them, while many African and Native people have had to fight within their hearts regarding their own inherent value. Who benefits from this?

Who was it that concocted this very strange 'white supremacist' idea: the White people who had been brutalized for so long, or the powers-that-be(making the terror)? Who was it calling People of Color savages, too natural, strangely spiritual and they should all be studying Christianity? Who wrote that script to be repeated? It's obvious who wrote it. And it's obvious who accepted this new ideology under duress.

Some White people tout white supremacy, and the clear truth is – they are more than encouraged to. But to speak of these massacres and the deal one subsequently made with one's oppressor? Well, there's a deep-seated fear there, few people will speak of it. That's not healing. That's an imposed silence.

Who imposed that silence? When did it start?

What Kind of Deal, What Kind of Battle?

If the people living in the ghettos and reservations of America, who have been so long mistreated, were today offered a deal that some "less than" people had just arrived and would be put on the lowest rung, and they were offered a deal – free land and houses, a bunch of free money, honey flattery, a much easier life, a few steps up the rung, a permanent raise, and silence as to any mistreatment of these new "less thans" – who among the people would take that deal? And who would not?

This, to me, is pointing to the heart of the battle. It's not skin tone, it's the battle of the heart.

Race Conversations

James Baldwin spoke passionately about race in America, searing images unto a nation trying to plaster itself in tv imagery that avoided the questions almost altogether. Baldwin never tried currying favors from the class oppressing the people. He spoke searing words to the heart of corrupted authority out of the desire for profound change.

Profound change. Not – you stay in your corner and gripe, and I'll stay in my corner and gripe, and we'll yell at each other from our abysses when our own people ain't even doing that well, and Those are not positive racial relations. They are not positive human relations.

There are so many different people acting within a People. Those who hate, those who blame, those ashamed, those who raise children to be healthy adults, those striving trying to find a way, those who hold fast to the medicine they are here to protect. There are many people acting within a People.

We are not really so different as we seem, our different cultures like different clothing on the body of our lives. Do you judge me for mine? Right or wrong, good or evil, from a glance even? We are not really so different, but America draws lines so dense between our communities that we often conjecture about each other from afar. Why do we accept these terms of engagement?

In many pockets of America, race conversations have moved into a state of mutual enrichment, merging worlds even if only for a moment. The possibilities are endless for what could happen in the healing of race in America.

No Disrespect

This is not written as any kind of acceptance of the idea of white supremacy, which is blatantly ridiculous and untrue. It is not written as any excuse about the violence and degradation that flows from this philosophy. It is written to look more closely at the ideology's true origins and authors.

We now understand how trauma affects communities, and how it can manifest in future generations if it isn't addressed. How do we work together to heal the pain we've all been forced to endure by these powers-that-be-making(the terror)? How do we heal when some of us turned into perpetrators in our own communities and beyond? How do we change our circumstances when a brutal system tries to erase all our histories and replaces them with lies?

The cycles of pain unleashed on each other within our communities and between them "is enough to make prophets and angels weep," as Baldwin said. Where does the pain end and the beauty begin?

We can heal through changing and challenging ourselves one by one and then giving to each other. We can heal through respect. We can heal through understanding each other's worth and striving to lessen each other's pain. We can battle to unify beyond all arbitrary borders and change the reality of this nation ourselves. We can heal through becoming clear about the future we want with each other and letting nothing dissuade us from attaining it, no matter what happens on the journey to get there.

Who will write the future story of race on this planet? Who will educate us about who we are and our potential? The-powers-that-be(making the terror)? Or will we ourselves write a different story?

Chelli Stanley is an independent journalist, environmentalist, Buddhist, common person, of African, Japanese, and European descent born in Mexico. Has traveled widely, doesn't watch tv, wants freedom. Can be contacted at chelli.stanley8@gmail.com

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[Oct 13, 2019] Will American Exceptionalism Rise Again

The Collapse of American exceptionalism is actually the collapse of neoliberalism and the US neoliberal empire.
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

At its core, exceptionalism places America outside of normal history into a category of its own. Our initial "escape" from history followed two interrelated tracks: one was the religious radicalism of the Puritans, the other was the frontier experience. Both paths were the warpath.

The early settlers believed that they were "chosen" -- blessed by a special relationship to their God. They viewed their " errand in the wilderness " as a holy mission destined to bring a new and better way of life to the world. God's judgment on their progress was revealed in the bounty of a harvest or the outcome of a war.

Exceptionalism was not a free-floating idea but was forged into a lasting culture by the frontier wars aimed at the elimination or assimilation of native people and the conquest of land. America's frontier history produced a lasting mythology that popularized empire and white settler culture while cloaking their many contradictions.

I know it is hard to believe that the Puritans are still camped out in our minds. The old religious radicalism has taken modern form in the liberal-sounding belief that the US military is a "force for good (read God) in the world." The double-edged sword of exceptionalism traps us into repeating history: our high moral standards and special role in the world gives us license for wars and aggressions. It is the liberal elements of exceptionalism that are most seductive, most difficult to wrap our heads around, and the most effective at winning our consent to war.

Exceptionalism Wins Our Consent to War With A One-Two Punch

On the one hand, we have the "hard" exceptionalism like that of the Cold War (New and Old) and the War on Terrorism. These war stories revolve around a rigid binary of good and evil. After 9/11, in scores of speeches, George W. Bush repeated the mantra that there were "no gray areas" in the struggle between good and evil.

On the other hand, "soft" exceptionalism takes a slightly different tack by appealing to the liberal in us. Stories of rescue, protection, democracy and humanitarian efforts assure us of our goodness. Obama mastered this narrative by claiming the US had a "duty to protect" the weak and vulnerable in places like Libya.

These two strains of war stories are the narrative one-two punch, winning our consent to war and empire.

Here is how war propaganda works: if authority figures in government and media denounce foreign leaders or countries or immigrants as an evil threat and repeat it thousands of times, they do not even have to say, "We are the chosen people destined to bring light to the world." They know that millions of Americans will unconsciously refer to the exceptionalist code by default because it's so deeply embedded in our culture. Once made brave by our exceptional character and sense of superiority, the next moves are war, violence and white supremacy.

Myth Meets the American War in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, and the resistance to it, profoundly challenged all existing war stories. At the heart of this disruption was the soldier's revolt. Thousands of US soldiers and veterans came to oppose the very war they fought in . An anti-war movement inside the military was totally unprecedented in US history. The war-makers have been scrambling to repair the damage ever since.

Following the defeat of US forces in Vietnam, the elites shifted gears. The idea that the US could create a new democratic nation -- South Vietnam -- was an utter illusion that no amount of fire-power could overcome. In truth, the US selected a series of petty tyrants to rule that could never win the allegiance of the Vietnamese people because they were the transparent puppets of American interests. The ruling class learned a lesson that forced them to abandon the liberal veneer of "nation-building."

The Next Generation of War Stories: From "Noble Cause" to "Humanitarian War."

Ronald Regan tried to repair the damaged narratives by recasting the Vietnam War as a "Noble Cause." The Noble Cause appealed to people hurt and confused by the US defeat, as well as the unrepentant war-makers, because it attempted to restore the old good vs. evil narrative of exceptionalism. For Regan, America needed to rediscover its original mission as a "city on a hill" -- a shining example to the world. Every single President since has repeated that faith.

The Noble Cause narrative was reproduced in numerous bad movies and dubious academic studies that tried to refight the war (and win this time!). Its primary function was to restore exceptionalism in the minds of the American people. While Regan succeeded to a considerable degree -- as we can see in the pro-war policy of both corporate parties -- "nation-building" never recovered its power as a military strategy or war story.

The next facade was Clinton's "humanitarian war." Humanitarian war attempted to relight the liberal beacon by replacing the problems of nation-building with the paternalistic do-gooding of a superior culture and country. In effect, the imperialists recycled the 19th Century war story of "Manifest Destiny" or "White Man's Burden." That "burden" was the supposed duty of white people to lift lesser people up to the standards of western civilization -- even if that required a lot of killing.

This kind of racist thinking legitimized the US overseas empire at its birth. Maybe it would work again in empires' old age?

From the "War on Terrorism" to the "Responsibility to Protect."

After the shock of 9/11 the narrative shifted again. Bush's "global war on terrorism" reactivated the good vs. evil framing of the Cold War. The "war on terror" was an incoherent military or political strategy except for its promise of forever wars.

Just as the Cold War was a "long twilight struggle" against an elusive but ruthless communist enemy, terrorists might be anywhere and everywhere and do anything. And, like the fight against communism, the war on terrorism would require the US to wage aggressive wars, launch preemptive strikes, use covert activities and dodge both international law and the US Constitution.

9/11 also tapped into deeply-rooted nationalistic and patriotic desires among everyday people to protect and serve their country. The first attack on US soil in modern memory powerfully restored the old binary: when faced with unspeakable evil, the US military became a "force for good in the world." It's easy to forget just how potent the combination is and how it led us into the War in Iraq. According to The Washington Post :

Nearing the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of this.

The mythology is so deep that at first the people, soldiers especially, just had to believe there was a good reason to attack Iraq. So we fell back on exceptionalism despite the total absence of evidence. Of course Bush made no attempt to correct this misinformation. The myth served him too well -- as did the official propaganda campaign claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

But in due course, some of the faithful became doubters. A peace movement of global proportions took shape. But in the US far too much of what appeared as resistance was driven by narrow partisan opposition to Republicans rather than principled opposition to war and empire.

But fear not war-makers -- Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton came to the rescue! As they continued Bush's wars in the Middle East and expanded the war zone to include Libya, Syria and then all of Africa, they sweetened "humanitarian war" with a heaping dose of cool-coated "Responsibility to Protect." Once again, American goodness and innocence made the medicine go down and our wars raged on.

Obama restored legitimacy to the empire so effectively that it took years for the illegal, immoral, racist and "unwinnable" wars to reveal themselves to the public. I was told by one of the leaders of About Face: Veterans Against War that they almost had to close shop after Obama was elected because their donor base dried up. Obama's hope was our dope. Just as the daze was finally lifting, Trump started to take the mask off.

Is The Mask Off?

Today's we face an empire with the mask half off. Trump's doctrine -- "We are not nation-building again, we are killing terrorists." -- is a revealing take on military trends that began with the first US – Afghan War (1978-1992). US leaders gave up nation-building and opted for failed states and political chaos instead of the strong states that nation-building, or its illusion, required. The US military began to rely on mercenaries and terrorists to replace the American citizen-soldier. The soldier revolt of the Vietnam Era already proved that everyday Americans were an unreliable force to achieve imperial ambitions.

Nothing rips the mask off of the humanitarian justifications better than the actual experience of combat in a war for oil and power -- so the war managers tried to reduce combat exposure to a few. And they succeeded. The number of official US troops abroad reached a 60-year low by 2017 . Even still a new resistance movement of veterans is gathering steam .

Can the mask be put back on? It's hard to say, because as The Nation reports, Americans from a wide spectrum of political positions are tired of perpetual war.

Can the "Green New Military" Put The Mask Back On?

The recycled imperial justifications of the past are losing their power: Manifest Destiny, White Mans' Burden, leader of the free world, nation-building, humanitarian war, war against terrorism, responsibility to protect -- what's next? If only the military could be seen as saviors once again.

A last-ditch effort to postpone the collapse of the liberal versions of war stories might just be the " Green New Military ." Elizabeth Warren's policy claims, "Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change. " It's a wild claim that contradicts all evidence unless she is also calling for an end to regime-change wars, the New Cold War and the scaling down of our foreign bases. Instead, Warren is all about combat readiness. She did not invent this -- the Pentagon had already embraced the new rhetoric . Given that the Working Families Party and some influential progressives have already signaled their willingness to accept Warren as a candidate, she might just silence dissent as effectively as Obama once did.

But, the lie is paper-thin: "There is no such thing as a Green War." You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but you cannot fool mother nature one little bit. War and climate change are deeply connected and ultimately there is no way to hide that.

The New Cold War and More of The Same Old Wars

So far the New Cold War against Russia and China has recycled the anti-communist conspiracy of the old Cold War into the xenophobic conspiracy theory of Russia-gate. Even a trusted tool like Mueller could not make it work as a coherent narrative but no matter -- the US did not skip a beat in building up military bases on Russia's borders .

The media and political attacks on Russia or China or immigrants, or Iran or Syria are likely to continue because propagandists cannot activate the exceptionalist code without an evil enemy. Still, it takes more than evil. An effective war story for the US ruling class must project the liberal ideas of helping, protection, saving and the spread of democracy in order to engineer mass consent to war. Hence the need for "Humanitarian War," "Duty to Protect" or maybe the"Green New Military."

Let anyone propose a retreat from any battlefield and the "humanitarian" war cry will rally the empire's pawns and savior-types. If we practice our exceptionalism religiously -- and religion it is -- then the US empire will never ever pull back from any war at any time. There is always someone for the empire to "protect and save:" from the "Noble Savages" and innocent white settlers of the frontier, to the Vietnamese Catholics, to the women of Afghanistan, to the Kurds of Syria.

We so want to see our wars as a morality play, just as the Puritans did, but the empire is all about power and profit.

"War is the Continuation of Politics by Other Means." -- Carl von Clausewitz

All the Big Brass study Clausewitz because he is the founder of western military science -- but they are so blinded by the dilemmas of empire that they make a mess of his central teaching: War is politics.

None of the war narratives and none of the wars can solve the most important question of politics: governance . Who will govern the colonies? The overwhelming verdict of history is this: colonies cannot be democratically or humanely governed as long as they are colonies. Until the empire retreats its heavy hand will rule in places like Afghanistan.

The empire is reaching the limits of exceptionalism as both war narrative and national mythology. This is why our rulers are forced to desperate measures: perpetual war, occupation, intense propaganda campaigns like Russia-gate, the reliance on mercenaries and terrorists, and the abuse and betrayal of their own soldiers.

Just as damning to the war machine is the collapse of conventional ideas about victory and defeat. The US military can no longer "win." The question of victory is important on a deep cultural level. According to the original mythology, the outcome of wars waged by "the chosen people" are an indication of God's favor or disfavor. In modern terms, defeat delegitimizes the state. Endless war is no substitute for "victory."

But it's not military victory we want. Our victory will be in ending war, dismantling the empire, abolishing the vast militarized penal system and stopping irreparable climate chaos. Our resistance will create a new narrative but it can only be written when millions of people become the authors of their own history.

The empire is slipping into decline and chaos – one way or another. Will we be actors deciding the fate of the American Empire or will it's collapse dictate our fate? But these wars will, sooner or later, become the graveyard of empire -- or else America is truly exceptional and we really are God's chosen people.

[Oct 05, 2019] The Department of Homeland Security extends the definition of terrorist to political opponents of neoliberalism (nationalists are often maligned as white supremasists)

Notable quotes:
"... The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, ..."
Oct 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 01, 2019 at 12:24 PM

"In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," said Kevin McAleenan, the acting director of homeland security.

Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat of White Supremacy
After Years of Prodding https://nyti.ms/2oTNJmQ
NYT - Zolan Kanno-Youngs - October 1

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months.

In a little-noticed strategy document (*) published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue.

"I would like to take this opportunity to be direct and unambiguous in addressing a major issue of our time. In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation," Mr. McAleenan said during an address last month, describing white nationalism as one of the most dangerous threats to the United States.

The department's new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement. But beyond words and documents, many officials trying to combat the threat throughout the country remain skeptical that the full weight of federal law enforcement is finally being used to give bigoted domestic terrorism the attention it deserves. ...

* (Could be this.)

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
FOR COUNTERING TERRORISM AND TARGETED VIOLENCE

September 2019

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/19_0920_plcy_strategic-framework-countering-terrorism-targeted-violence.pdf

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 01, 2019 at 01:42 PM
Pull out the racist cards!

[Sep 26, 2019] Israel Worship Is White Nationalism For Boomers Too Cowardly To Demand Their Own Ethnostate by Amalric de Droevig

Notable quotes:
"... The conservative movement's unwholesome obsession with Israel is not an entirely organic obsession to be sure. There is a whole lot of dark kosher oligarch money lurking behind the neoconservative cause, Christian Zionism, and the Reagan/Zioboomer battalion ..."
"... there is something awfully peculiar, almost disturbing about the old guard's infatuation with Israel. I mean, why are American boomers so concerned about the Jewish state and its survival? How exactly does a tiny apartheidesque ethnostate half-way around the world affect their everyday lives? Are they simply mind-slaves to a mainstream media dominated by powerful Jews and powerful Jewish interest groups? Is this all really about scripture as Christian radio likes to contend? Or is there something else afoot here? Well, in short, there is. ..."
"... White Westerners, white Americans in particular, are a thoroughly vassalized, deracinated people. We aren't allowed to celebrate our own race's host of historic accomplishments anymore. That would be racist. We aren't allowed to put our own people first either, as all other peoples do. That would likewise be racist. White Western peoples aren't even allowed to have nations of our own any longer, nations which exist to advance our interests, and which are populated by and overseen by people like us, who share our interests and our attitudes. That also would be, you guessed it, racist. Our very existence is increasingly little more than an unfortunate, racist obstacle to a brighter, more diverse future, in the eyes of the Cultural Marxist sociopaths who rule the Western World. Needless to say, most white Americans would rather be dead than racist, and so we are naturally, quite literally dying as a result. ..."
"... The white American psyche has been tamed, broken as it were. Ziocucking is a symptom of that psychic injury. ..."
"... White Americans can not, they must not, stake claim to an identity or a future of their own, so they have essentially committed themselves to another people's identity and future instead of their own. ..."
"... Actually, Donald Trump's electoral victory is at least partially attributable to a very similar psychological phenomenon. White Americans, who have largely lost the self-confidence to stand behind their traditions and convictions, still had the gumption to vote for a man who possesses in oodles and cringy oodles, the self-same self-confidence they lack. White Americans are thus engaged in an almost unstated, indirect, vicarious defiance of Cultural Marxism via Trump/Trumpism, a tangible, albeit somewhat incoherent, symbol of open revolt against Western elites. The repressed group will of whites is longing for an authentic medium of civilizational expression, but can only find two-bit demagoguery and Israel worship. The weather is not fair in the white, Western mind. ..."
"... After all, the birthrates of Jews in Israel are at well above replacement level . Israelis are optimistic about the future. As whites in the West fall on their proverbial sword to atone for their racist past, Jews in Israel are thriving. ..."
"... that unwholesome obsession will not dissipate until whites reclaim their own history, rediscover their roots, learn to take their own side, and demand a place in the planet's future (yes, I said demand , ..."
"... Until whites have a story and a spirit of their own, they will only, and can only, live through the identities and triumphs of other races. And perhaps most critically, they will continue to be a ghost people on the march to extinction. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

The conservative movement's unwholesome obsession with Israel is not an entirely organic obsession to be sure. There is a whole lot of dark kosher oligarch money lurking behind the neoconservative cause, Christian Zionism, and the Reagan/Zioboomer battalion. Nevertheless, whether organic or not, the boomer generation's excessive regard for Israel is today authentic and undeniable. A strong fealty to Israel is deeply entrenched amongst boomer-generation conservatives. Indeed, when it comes to defending Israel and its conduct, many of these types are like samurais on meth. They don't seem to care at all if their entire state or city should devolve into a semi-anarchic New Somalia, but god forbid some Somali congresswoman should lambaste the sacred Jewish state. That simply can't be countenanced here in the land of the free!

Mind you, this article is not meant to constitute a polemic against Israel, or Jewish ethnopolitics for that matter. The BDS movement is just as wrongheaded as Ziocuckoldry, in my humble opinion. Although there is much wrong with Israel, there is plenty right with it as well. Despite what the modern left may believe, there is nothing inherently illegitimate about a state like Israel, one rooted in history, in genes, in religion, and in race. States built around a shared ethnicity or a shared religion (or, as in Israel's case, an ample helping of both) are generally more stable and successful than diverse societies erected upon propositions most people and peoples don't really accept, or leftist values that have ideological quicksand for their foundations.

With that said, there is something awfully peculiar, almost disturbing about the old guard's infatuation with Israel. I mean, why are American boomers so concerned about the Jewish state and its survival? How exactly does a tiny apartheidesque ethnostate half-way around the world affect their everyday lives? Are they simply mind-slaves to a mainstream media dominated by powerful Jews and powerful Jewish interest groups? Is this all really about scripture as Christian radio likes to contend? Or is there something else afoot here? Well, in short, there is.

White Westerners, white Americans in particular, are a thoroughly vassalized, deracinated people. We aren't allowed to celebrate our own race's host of historic accomplishments anymore. That would be racist. We aren't allowed to put our own people first either, as all other peoples do. That would likewise be racist. White Western peoples aren't even allowed to have nations of our own any longer, nations which exist to advance our interests, and which are populated by and overseen by people like us, who share our interests and our attitudes. That also would be, you guessed it, racist. Our very existence is increasingly little more than an unfortunate, racist obstacle to a brighter, more diverse future, in the eyes of the Cultural Marxist sociopaths who rule the Western World. Needless to say, most white Americans would rather be dead than racist, and so we are naturally, quite literally dying as a result.

The white American psyche has been tamed, broken as it were. Ziocucking is a symptom of that psychic injury. Because white boomers possess no group/tribal identity any longer, or collective will, or sense of race pride, or civilizational prospects, because they have been enserfed by a viciously anti-white Cultural Marxist overclass, they have opted to live vicariously through another race. White Americans can not, they must not, stake claim to an identity or a future of their own, so they have essentially committed themselves to another people's identity and future instead of their own. Indeed, just as the cuckold doesn't merely permit another man to penetrate his wife, but actually takes a kind of perverse pleasure in the pleasure of that other man, in large measure by fetishizing his dominance and sexual prowess, the Ziocuck likewise doesn't merely allow his civilization to be debased, he takes an equally perverse pleasure in the triumphs of other peoples and nations, and by so doing imagines, mistakenly of course, that America itself is still as free and proud a nation as those foreign nations he fetishizes.

Actually, Donald Trump's electoral victory is at least partially attributable to a very similar psychological phenomenon. White Americans, who have largely lost the self-confidence to stand behind their traditions and convictions, still had the gumption to vote for a man who possesses in oodles and cringy oodles, the self-same self-confidence they lack. White Americans are thus engaged in an almost unstated, indirect, vicarious defiance of Cultural Marxism via Trump/Trumpism, a tangible, albeit somewhat incoherent, symbol of open revolt against Western elites. The repressed group will of whites is longing for an authentic medium of civilizational expression, but can only find two-bit demagoguery and Israel worship. The weather is not fair in the white, Western mind.

Through this sordid, vicarious identitarianism, threats to Jewish lives become threats to their own white lives. Jewish interests become tantamount to their own interests. It is a sad sight to behold anyhow, a people with no sense of dignity or shame, too cowed by political correctness to stand up for their own group interests, too brainwashed to love themselves, too reprogrammed to be themselves, idolizing alien peoples. Nevertheless, the need for belonging in place, time, and history, and for collective purpose, doesn't just go away because Western elites say being white signifies nothing but "hate". As white civilization aborts and hedonizes itself into extinction, as whites practice suicidal altruism and absolute racial denialism, atomized white individuals seek out other histories, other stories, other peoples to attach themselves to and project themselves onto.

White Americans have thus foolishly come to see their own destiny as inseparable from the destiny of a people whose destiny they don't really share. After all, the birthrates of Jews in Israel are at well above replacement level . Israelis are optimistic about the future. As whites in the West fall on their proverbial sword to atone for their racist past, Jews in Israel are thriving. As whites in America suffer from various epidemics of despair , their fellow white Americans seem more interested in the imaginary plight of Israelis who can't stop winning military skirmishes, embarrassing their Arab enemies, and unlawfully acquiring land and resources in the Levant. The actual, visceral plight of their own people seems almost an afterthought to most white Americans. The whole affair is frankly bizarre and shameful.

This peculiar psychological phenomenon of vicarious identitarianism is at least partially responsible for the Zioboomer's undying devotion to Israel. Furthermore, that unwholesome obsession will not dissipate until whites reclaim their own history, rediscover their roots, learn to take their own side, and demand a place in the planet's future (yes, I said demand , since the white race's many enemies have no intention of saving a place for them or willingly handing them a say in that future). Until whites have a story and a spirit of their own, they will only, and can only, live through the identities and triumphs of other races. And perhaps most critically, they will continue to be a ghost people on the march to extinction.

nymom , says: September 26, 2019 at 4:24 am GMT

Well you are almost right.

We can say Israel is the canary in the coal mine for the US. Might be closer to the truth

silviosilver , says: September 26, 2019 at 4:59 am GMT
A related phenomenon is Russia-cucking. White American conservatives who have seen through Jewish bullshit often seem to conclude that the racial predicament in America is hopeless, so they switch to Russia-cucking. Being pro-Russia is obviously more sensible than being pro-Israel, but it's nationalism by proxy all the same.

[Sep 23, 2019] Birds of a feather flock together?

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Stooges

Any thoughts on this?

https://www.checkpointasia.net/canadian-ambassador-and-military-honour-nazi-collaborators-in-ukraine/

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Jen September 18, 2019 at 4:48 pm
Seeing that both the Canadian ambassador to Banderastan and his boss the Canadian Foreign Minister having family histories rooted in western Ukraine / Banderastan Ground Zero – Waschuk's father and Freeland's maternal grandmother both from Ivano-Frankivsk – what thoughts are we expected to have on Waschuk's participation and Freeland's approval for him to attend other than that cliche: "Birds of a feather flock together?"
Moscow Exile September 18, 2019 at 8:48 pm
Ivano-Frankivsk; formerly Stanyslaviv, Stanislau, or Stanisławów. Became part of the UkSSR within the USSR as per the shifting of the pre-WWII Eastern Polish frontier (set by the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, but ignored by Poland) westwards and the transference of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire's Kronland of Galitsia, capital Krakow and administrative language Polish and not German as in other Kronländer , with the exception of Hungarian in the Hungarian part of the dual Hapsburg Empire.

Religion: Roman Catholic or Greek Uniate, depending whether you are a Polish Pan or a Ruthenian peasant shitkicker.

Built in the mid-17th century as a fortress of the Polish Potocki family, Stanisławów was annexed to the Habsburg Empire during the First Partition of Poland in 1772, after which it became the property of the State within the Austrian Empire.

The fortress was slowly transformed into one of the most prominent cities at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. After World War I, for several months, it served as a temporary capital of the West Ukrainian People's Republic.

Galitsia, as Porky Poroshenko said, is the essence of Banderastan the Ukraine.

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Mark Chapman September 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm
What a disgrace.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 1:47 am
The descent into a regime of terror:

Ukrainian Nazis Celebrate the Murder of a DPR Militiaman, Western "Human Rights Defenders" Silent
September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

"Higher Justice is always done Once again, using humanistic principles, I address the enemies of the Ukraine: 'Surrender to Ukrainian law enforcement! Voluntarily go to Ukrainian prisons and don't leave them! Because God's punishment will inevitably come! Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!'" -- Dmitry Yarosh, commenting on his Facebook page on the murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol.

What can be said about this? A day has already passed since this extremist statement was made, but no human rights organisation or international observer has reacted. The murder of a DPR militiaman in Mariupol is obviously on the hands of nationalist battalions, but this case, like many others, will be registered as unsolved or fabricated. The fact of the exemplary punishment of people who supported the creation of the People's Republics testifies to the true attitude of Kiev towards the residents of Donbass. That is why Zelensky is against amnesty and wants elections after the People's Militia lays down their arms. As soon as the UAF come here, objectionable persons will be simply slashed and killed, and Yarosh only confirms this

The Mother of the DPR Militiaman Killed in Mariupol Named the Organiser of Her Son's Execution
September 17, 2019 Stalker Zone

About the Exaltation of Banderist Murderers
September 18, 2019 Stalker Zone

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et Al September 19, 2019 at 8:56 am
I'll say it again, the world's great democracies don't have a problem with little nazis and extremists. After all, they can be put back in their boxes when time is due, just as they did with Adolf Hitler and just as they did with ISIS in Syria.

You wonder how many times these countries go around this bush of backing 'small groups' that they then 'lose control of' leading to a much larger conflagration.

Accidental? Unintended? Repetitive? You won't have the great and good democratic institutions or the representatives of the great free press publicizing cause and effect much at all. What a bunch of Britneys!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CduA0TULnow?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Well it seems to me that the solution to a particular individual problem rests upon removing the problem permanently.

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm
As I understand it if a scope equipped assault automatic weapon can be targeted at point A to point B, its versatility enables it to operate the other way 'round..from B to A.

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Northern Star September 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wMvTR012Dmg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 6:53 am

Typical Times twat!

Pay, if you wish, to gain access to the shite that he has written!

Funny, though, how a state that he and his ilk consider to be weak, failed and "isolated" from the "World Community" always seems to win.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 6:56 am
And as regards the "crimes" in the Ukraine that he mentions, I should not imagine that amongst those he includes the very recent and public murder of a Mariupol "Vatnik" and the praise for which crime the murderer/s has/have very publicly received in Banderastan.

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 7:13 am
The clipped paragraph in Boyes' Times article above reads:

Now we're at it again. Thirty-five Ukrainians, including a film director and two dozen hapless sailors, were this month traded for some hardnut separatists including Vladimir Tsemakh, the commander of a Russian-backed unit in Donetsk which shot down the civilian MH17 airliner in 2014.

Plenty of Dutch and Australian relatives of the victims of that Malaysian Airlines flight are unhappy that Tsemakh is

WALL

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Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 7:39 am
If anyone should wish to do so, Boyes' article can be back translated from its Russian translation that is at, inosmi.ru

The Times (Великобритания): Путин нужен Трампу, чтобы побеждать за рубежом

which ends with:

Perhaps it seems to Trump that Putin is the lever that will raise his moral weight and authority. Perhaps he seems to him to be a useful partner in times of extreme global confusion and volatility. It is possible that, in the opinion of the American president, a rapprochement with Putin will strengthen his reputation in the world, and will by no means will look like a fatal retreat. However, the principle should be that relations with Russia cannot return to normal, as long as it keeps the Crimea, cynically taken away from the Ukraine five years ago.

The Kremlin will try to fool the new and inexperienced president of the Ukraine, hoping that Western leaders will put pressure on him and forget a lot. However, the country where Sergey Skripal and his daughter were poisoned right before everyone's eyes should not silently watch this rehabilitation.

[back translation from the Russian]

Hear him, hear him, I say!

Let's hear it again for Great Britain!!!!

Those British are no fools and know full well what those damned Russkies are up to!

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Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm
Or the ubiquitous "Agent 404" and his well-earned down-time for killing journalists in Ukraine.

https://www.rt.com/news/250529-ukraine-journalists-killed-database/

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Mark Chapman September 19, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Well, there must be some truth to what he says – western food actually does plump you up.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/552768/Britons-too-fat-to-work-are-costing-taxpayers-10m-a-year

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[Sep 22, 2019] The complete and total incompetence of the Tories

It is unclear why he calls this "incompetence". Tories clearly want to sabotage the deal and at the same time save face. That's a very tricky task and mistakes were made.
Notable quotes:
"... Politically the Tories have no plan at all, and when the clock stops on Brexit they will completely implode. The Tories are so deadlocked on Brexit that they can't even talk to themselves. ..."
"... You know the conservative party is full of incompetent wankers when the business community prefers a radical socialist over them. ..."
"... Christian Schulz at Citi says "perhaps" Corbyn is no longer as bad an option as no deal, while Deutsche's Oliver Harvey says fears about the Labour leader "may be overstated". ..."
"... "It is not that the financiers favour the opposition leader's plans for 'higher taxes, tighter labour laws, spending increases and the nationalisation of network industries', but that this may cause less harm than leaving the EU without a deal" says the Telegraph. ..."
Sep 07, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 12:07pm A little over a year ago I wrote this .

Politically the Tories have no plan at all, and when the clock stops on Brexit they will completely implode. The Tories are so deadlocked on Brexit that they can't even talk to themselves.

...This is a political and economic disaster, not just waiting to happen, but firmly scheduled...unless Labour's neoliberal Blairites save them, the Tory government is headed for an epic collapse.

It's rare that my predictions are 100% accurate, but this time I totally nailed it. To give you an idea of how badly the Tories have bungled things, look at these two headlines.

You know the conservative party is full of incompetent wankers when the business community prefers a radical socialist over them.

But while Corbyn may be less popular than no deal among the public, The Daily Telegraph says "the scourge of bankers and avowed opponent of capitalism, is winning support from unexpected new quarters" with two of the biggest global banks operating in the City of London "warming to the Labour leader".

According to the paper, he is now seen as the lesser of two evils by analysts at Citibank and Deutsche Bank, two titans of the financial system.

Christian Schulz at Citi says "perhaps" Corbyn is no longer as bad an option as no deal, while Deutsche's Oliver Harvey says fears about the Labour leader "may be overstated".

"It is not that the financiers favour the opposition leader's plans for 'higher taxes, tighter labour laws, spending increases and the nationalisation of network industries', but that this may cause less harm than leaving the EU without a deal" says the Telegraph.

To put this sentiment in hard numbers , a coalition led by his party would spur the pound more than 5%.

As for those overstated fears about the Labour leader, that's because of a highly coordinated three year smear campaign by the very same business community.

Just a few days ago the headline was: U.K.'s Super-Rich Prepare to Flee From Corbyn Rule, Not Brexit Now they want Corbyn to save them. Without the business community undermining him at every turn, Corbyn has easily managed to hold the opposition together. At the same time Corbyn has outmaneuvered the Tories and left them helpless.

Then, his efforts to secure a snap general election -- with the goal of replacing the sacked lawmakers with a new slate of candidates more aligned with his hard-Brexit views -- were scuppered when opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to play along.

Now, he is effectively trapped in Downing Street, with Corbyn holding the keys. The government plans to propose new elections again on Monday, but the opposition leader says his party will only support the move when its efforts to prevent a no-deal Brexit are locked down.

"Certainly his biggest tactical mistake so far was not to realize that it was Corbyn, as leader of the opposition, who effectively had veto power over when a general election could be held," said Professor Tony Travers, director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics.

This allows time for Corbyn to appear like a professional leader, so that when he finally allows a general election the memory of his steady hand will be fresh in the public's mind.

thanatokephaloides on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 6:20pm

catch-a-Tory

Like all other Tories worldwide, Boris "Tiny" Johnson is a charlatan. Hopefully, the British People will wake up and end their decades-long nightmare by placing him [Corbyn] in power.

As we need to do, ourselves.

edit: Added Corbyn's name to clarify that last sentence. And we, too, need to remove all Tories from power.

edg on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 3:58pm
Enemies

The value of an idea is often assessible by the number and strength of the enemies arrayed against it. Since so many entrenched interests and Powers-That-Be and elitists/globalists are against Brexit, I'm beginning to think that deal or no deal, Brexit must in the best interests of the 99%. Otherwise, the 1% wouldn't fight against it so hard.

gjohnsit on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:19pm
I think you are partly correct

@edg
I think Brexit is like tariffs. Tariffs are a good idea for the working class because it puts a cost on off-shoring jobs. BUT the way Trump is doing it is stupid and doesn't help anyone. Same thing with Brexit. It probably helps the 99%, but not the way the Tories are going about it.

The value of an idea is often assessible by the number and strength of the enemies arrayed against it. Since so many entrenched interests and Powers-That-Be and elitists/globalists are against Brexit, I'm beginning to think that deal or no deal, Brexit must in the best interests of the 99%. Otherwise, the 1% wouldn't fight against it so hard.

ludwig ii on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:06pm
What's the problem with no-deal?

The fact that Blair, the City of London, and neoliberals the world over hate Brexit and especially no-deal Brexit makes me think it's probably a good thing. Anything that chips away at the hegemony of global finance seems positive.

UntimelyRippd on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 8:41pm
for starters, it really screws up the Irish situation.

@ludwig ii

The fact that Blair, the City of London, and neoliberals the world over hate Brexit and especially no-deal Brexit makes me think it's probably a good thing. Anything that chips away at the hegemony of global finance seems positive.

[Sep 15, 2019] Trump's new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted by

The key to understanding the c
The collapse of neoliberalism naturally lead to the collapse of the US influence over the globe. and to the treats to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That's why the US foreign policy became so aggressive and violent. Neocons want to fight for the world hegemony to the last American.
Notable quotes:
"... US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational ..."
"... Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel. ..."
"... Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. ..."
"... The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched. ..."
"... driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university. ..."
"... "The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy." ..."
"... This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible. ..."
"... The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along. ..."
"... With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely. ..."
"... "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

With John Bolton dismissed, Taliban peace talks a fiasco and a trade war with China, US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational

It was by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month's UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump's ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.

...Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president's erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

Trump wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. "Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos," the New York Times noted last week .

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

"The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy."

This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.

As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.

Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America's longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties .

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The US and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May, marking the anniversary of the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty

The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.

All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month's presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump's self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi , provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.

The current crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump's making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent "maximum pressure" campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.

Trump's unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region .

With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.

The bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived

Stephen Wertheim, historian

Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine "deal of the century" after Tuesday's Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don't realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.

... ... ...

...he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control. This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.

Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", Wertheim wrote earlier this year . "But agreement ends there " he continued: "One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies."

This debate among grownups over America's future place in the world will form part of next year's election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president's poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.

Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.

Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe

United Nations

Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America's sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council's authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump's attitude fits with his "America First" isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America's essential global leadership role.

Germany

Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe's most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him . Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland .

Israel

Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu's policies of "disloyalty" to Israel.

... ... ...

[Sep 09, 2019] The Four Horsemen Cometh by Frank Lee

Notable quotes:
"... Rickards had previously worked for the CIA (possibly still does – who knows?) but now seems to be a free-wheeling business executive, writer and strategic analyst. He tends to circulate outside of the usual middle-ranking semi-elite circles preferring to consort with the less observable, higher-ranking coteries of the inner-party. Moreover, he has nothing but disdain for the run-of-the-mill talking heads to be found (in abundance) in the media and academia – the outer-party. ..."
"... History is the first casualty of media micro-second attention span. An army of pseudo-savants saturate the airways to explain that tariffs are bad, trade wars hurt growth and mercantilism are a throwback to the 17th century. These sentiments come from mainstream liberals and conservatives and tag-along journalists trained in the orthodoxy of so-called free-trade and the false if comforting belief that trade deficits are the flipside of capital surpluses. So, what is the problem? The problem is that perpetual trade deficits have put the United States on a path to a crisis of the US$."[ 1 ] ..."
"... Obama, both Bushes, and Bill Clinton were globalists, defined as those willing to trade-off or compromise US interests for the sake of a stronger global community even conservative hawks like Reagan and JFK were firmly in the globalist camp, as they relied on NATO, the UN and the IMF to pursue their cold war goals. ..."
"... LBJ's administration contrived to conduct the Vietnam War as well as an expensive social programme, simultaneously. A guns plus butter economy. (The original version of the Guns versus butter argument was given in a speech on January 17, 1936, in Nazi Germany. The then Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels stated: "We can do without butter, but, despite all our love of peace, not without arms." ) ..."
"... Globally, the leading manufacturer of auto-vehicles is Volkswagen followed by Toyota. GM are 4th and Ford are 8th of ten. Hardly market leaders anymore, but Rickards apportions the blame to 'unfair practices' by foreign manufacturers and argues instead for tariffs. The same goes for other trade partners. Fact that the United States has to a large extent been deindustrialised was a political choice of its own making. ..."
"... There were a number of advantages which accrued to the dollar contingent on the ending of gold convertibility which Eichengreen listed these in his book. But the principle one was making the surplus nations of the world pay for America's wars with an unconvertible currency. Instead of being paid for in gold, or at least a gold-backed currency the world produced goods and services for a piece of green paper backed by nothing. ..."
"... This was to be expected quite simply because at bottom Rickards is a sophist much in the tradition of Protagoras, Gorgias and Thrasymachus "I say that justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger" [ 12 ] ..."
"... A view which Rickards would certainly endorse. Beneath the Upper Manhattan, polished chic, there resides a ruthless Cold Warrior. The further one digs into the book, the more this becomes apparent. ..."
"... Many of us are aware of the problems of the USD but few are able to so succinctly explain why and connect the dots to expose the true picture. The bottom line is that the lifespan of the USD as king is almost over ..."
"... The US has been exposed, and so well said, as a predator nation .There must be a reason why China and Russia are buying up as much gold as their economy will permit .The exchange medium used for trade since time immemorial . ..."
"... The Wall Street ethos has always been 'kill or be killed' where bears eat, and bulls eat, but pigs get slaughtered! The problem with today's market & stock valuations is that they are as hyperinflated as Real Estate Commercial & Residential sectors are which leaves no wiggle room for price discovery until there is a system wide crash that mean reverts the valuations back to a realistic price. ..."
"... All that is happening now is that Trump is trying to solve his country's intractable economic and financial problems by looting the rest of the planet. This is not a new development, but Trump is at least refreshingly honest in his public pronouncements. ..."
"... The Nazi Empire imposed tribute on its conquests in identical fashion. Send us your industrial output, agricultural produce and raw materials. In return we'll give you a big credit balance at the Reichsbank. ..."
"... The current (real) military budget is $1,134 billion, around 60% higher than the fictitious figure that is normally touted. ..."
"... Gold could form some kind of basis for exchange in a collapse setting. Other desirable barter items would be alcohol, cigarettes, basic drugs like aspirin and paracetamol, electrical batteries, fuel and similar goods. Maybe ammunition as well. Goods were priced in cigarettes in postwar Germany. ..."
"... Bismarck is normally credited with the choice between Guns and Butter. Goebbels was suggesting that Guns will bring Butter. ..."
"... The crime in all this is in the pursuit of money -- ultimately a wholly artificial concept -- we're wasting immense amounts of resources and human potential, spreading misery and despoliation all over the planet and generally behaving like really awful global citizens. We can and must do better. ..."
"... American exceptionalism, for example, takes it for granted that we in the West are good, and therefore the East must become more like us. But we are logically, and morally, obliged to look at this from the opposite perspective too: What if the Chinese take it for granted that they are good, and therefore the West must become more like them? ..."
"... American parasitism writ large over the last half century has amply signified to the entire world that 'manifest destiny' was merely a ruse to foist American hegemony onto all sovereign nations at the behest of an out-of-control American Oligopoly that was power-tripping post WW2 & drunk on the souls of the poor sots all over the entire world with their power hungry warmongering Military Industrial Complex. ..."
"... Its not "American". We just happen to be the chosen host for this part of history. Before us it was the British Empire that was top dog. ..."
"... You have made the common mistake of asserting that it is America, instead of those who govern (the USA and its pundits) that have engineered the problems you point out. ..."
"... To condense this lengthy essay: This ship is sinking. ..."
Sep 07, 2019 | off-guardian.org/

"Aftermath" is the latest addition to three previous publications by Rickards, Currency Wars (2011), The Death of Money (2014), The Road to Ruin (2016). Together, with the present offering (Aftermath, 2019), the author uses the analogy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to illustrate the themes of his four books. The latest book is thematic in its approach to the events which have taken place in the world in general and the United States in particular during this period.

HIGH SOCIETY

Rickards had previously worked for the CIA (possibly still does – who knows?) but now seems to be a free-wheeling business executive, writer and strategic analyst. He tends to circulate outside of the usual middle-ranking semi-elite circles preferring to consort with the less observable, higher-ranking coteries of the inner-party. Moreover, he has nothing but disdain for the run-of-the-mill talking heads to be found (in abundance) in the media and academia – the outer-party.

His observations of this social stratum are unapologetic and caustic:

History is the first casualty of media micro-second attention span. An army of pseudo-savants saturate the airways to explain that tariffs are bad, trade wars hurt growth and mercantilism are a throwback to the 17th century. These sentiments come from mainstream liberals and conservatives and tag-along journalists trained in the orthodoxy of so-called free-trade and the false if comforting belief that trade deficits are the flipside of capital surpluses. So, what is the problem? The problem is that perpetual trade deficits have put the United States on a path to a crisis of the US$."[ 1 ]

As is apparent, his contempt is palpable.

It should be said that much of his writing and theorising is at times occasioned by a high level of sophistication, alas sadly lacking in most of his contemporaries. But for all his refinement and eloquence that doesn't stop him being, from Off Guardian's perspective (and mine), on the other side – the side of the Anglo-Zionist empire.

THE GREAT BETRAYAL

Throughout this book and previous books there runs a familiar leitmotif; a sense of betrayal by the present dominant section of the US elite. This is not by any means an unusual political phenomenon and bears comparison with the stab-in-the-back myth – a notion doing the rounds in Germany circa 1918.

It held that the German Army did not lose World War I on the battlefield but it was 'traitors' on the home front, especially the traitorous republicans who overthrew the Hohenzollern monarchy in the German Revolution of 1918–19.

This precedent loosely corresponds to Rickards' belief in the perfidy of the current leadership of the US and his vitriol is directed against this globalist faction who are firmly ensconced in both Democrat and Republican parties and whom, he argues, have sold the pass in terms of America's strategic interests. He writes:

Obama, both Bushes, and Bill Clinton were globalists, defined as those willing to trade-off or compromise US interests for the sake of a stronger global community even conservative hawks like Reagan and JFK were firmly in the globalist camp, as they relied on NATO, the UN and the IMF to pursue their cold war goals.

However, all was not lost. As a result of

the Presidential election of 2016 when Donald Trump was sworn in on 17 January 2017 as the strongest nationalist since Theodore Roosevelt. For the first time in 100 years a committed nationalist was sitting in the Oval Office." [ 2 ]

The event was obviously political grist to Rickards' mill.

However, precisely how this liberation of the US from the domestic globalists' stranglehold was to be brought about wasn't made clear, and in fact is barely touched upon by Rickards.

Trump, for all his bombast and promises to Make America Great Again (MAGA), and pursue a radical foreign policy of withdrawal from globalist wars of choice and military adventurism, has been conspicuous by its absence.

Moreover, from the outset he has been beset by the ancien regime of neo-conservatives and neo-liberals – Bolton, Pompeo and Pence – entrenched in key US institutions, as well as various think-tanks and media who are still doggedly set upon the realization of neo-con foreign policy goals.

It seems odd that Rickards doesn't see fit to comment on this important development given that Trumps' campaign promises have disappeared almost without trace since he entered the Oval Office.

IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID

Rickards is on firmer ground, however, when dissecting the 8th wonder of the world – US economic policy. The US sovereign debt (i.e., the debt of the Federal Government) to GDP is now at a record, this is unprecedented for a peacetime administration.

In addition, it is also worth noting the magnitude of US private debt and unfunded future liabilities, pensions, Medicaid, social security and so forth.

This would include household debt, student debt, financial debt, corporate debt, and municipal debt. Add this to sovereign debt and you get a figure roughly 5 times US sovereign debt, and even this is regarded as being a conservative figure according to many – see David Stockman, John Mauldin et al).

According to Rickards, the present situation has been largely the result of excess spending by both Democratic and Republican administrations. The spending has either been on 'Defence' – a Republican favourite – or social like L.B. Johnson's 'Great Society' programme – a Democratic favourite.

LBJ's administration contrived to conduct the Vietnam War as well as an expensive social programme, simultaneously. A guns plus butter economy. (The original version of the Guns versus butter argument was given in a speech on January 17, 1936, in Nazi Germany. The then Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels stated: "We can do without butter, but, despite all our love of peace, not without arms." )

LBJ's guns-and-butter policies were enacted in the late sixties at the height of the Vietnam war and the Tet Offensive. The utopian attempt to have the best of both worlds brought LBJ's administration to an end; more importantly, perhaps it was also the beginning of the process which brought down the curtain on the post WW2 economic world order established at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944.

Because the costs of the Vietnam war were superimposed on the economy not far effectively from full employment, the US domestic sector was severely destabilised.

Instead of taxing the nation to pay for the war, the government engaged in the more acceptable practice of deficit financing

Vietnam showed that neither the United States nor any other democratic nation can ever again afford the foreign exchange costs of conventional warfare, although the periphery was still kept in line by American military initiatives most recently in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

The lesson in the long term is that peace will be maintained only by governments refusing to finance the military and other excesses of the increasingly indebted imperial power." [ 3 ]

The figure for the US sovereign debt – began to rise relentlessly from the 1980s onwards approaching wartime levels by the time of the 2008 blowout.

It has been estimated by some economic theorists that any sovereign Debt-to-GDP figure greater than 60% represents a tripwire whereby governments should act to rein in government expenditures.

The EU Maastricht criteria, for example, stipulated that EU Debt-to-GDP should not go over 60% except in certain circumstances and an annual budgetary deficit should not be more than 3%.

That is a pretty tight monetary and fiscal policy EU style, but not to be outdone the spendthrift US was to go on a wild binge in both fiscal and monetary terms the result of which is a now an unpayable mountain of debt. This gives an indication of how far US economic policymaking has drifted away from any viable economic strategy.

Rickards fulminates:

To see how America came to this pretty pass we, one needs to review almost 40 years of fiscal policy under Presidents Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama and Trump from the period 1981-2019." [ 4 ]

Under Reagan in 1981 US Debt-to-GDP ratio was 32.5%. The President was gung-ho for tax cuts and big spending increases, particularly 'defence' spending. This trend was continued under the tutelage of the Bushes and Clinton, and Debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 56.4% when Bush Jr, took office and had risen to 82% by the time he left.

The Obama years saw the Debt-to-GDP rise to 100%. The diagram below 2009 debt-to-GDP was 82.3% This figure has risen inexorably to over 100% in 2018. Yep, here we have the dreaded law of Diminishing returns. Every new dollar of input gives you 90 cents of output.

The above diagram illustrates the growth of debt vis-à-vis National Income (GDP) since the 2008 blowout. Debt has been growing progressively faster than National Income.

The US economy, like the US shale oil industry, has become a Ponzi scheme in all but name. The Fed's issuance of new debt to pay off existing debt signals the key moment of the Minsky crisis.[ 5 ]

There doesn't appear to be any viable way out this predicament short of a straight default. But Rickards argues that 'the United States will never default on its debt because the Fed can simply print the money and to pay it off.' This will involve an engineered inflation to wipe out the debt. But in fact, inflation is the default, a default by the back door. Getting paid in worthless currency is in essence no different than not getting paid at all.

NO EXIT

As for solutions to a crisis which has seemingly reached the point of no return, all that Rickards can offer is a Japanese scenario of low or zero growth punctuated by recession for the United States and by implication for the rest of the world. The United States had its first long decade from 2007 to 2017 and is now into its second decade.

This growth pattern will persist absent of inflationary breakout which the Fed seems powerless to ignite in the short run; a war; or severe depression perhaps caused by a new financial crisis.[ 6 ]

Not much of a prospect for the average family then. But Rickards does give some useful advice to his more opulent readers on how they should diversify their assets.

There are apparently "luxury bombproof bunkers built in former missile silos and expansive estates in New Zealand loaded with rations and good wines."

Really? At this point one wonders if Mr Rickards is being serious or just smug.

SOCIAL IMMOBILITY AND THE RISE OF OLIGARCHY

The social and economic impact on levels of inequality in both the US and globally have been extremely deleterious and seem set to continue. Inequality in income and wealth – a phenomenon identified and outlined by Thomas Piketty – is resulting in societies which more and more resemble feudal economic and social structures rather than textbook capitalism. Social class is hardening into social caste and rates of social mobility are decelerating at an alarming rate.

The liberal notion that the individual is the author of his/her own destiny has become a very dubious proposition when the drawbridges of advantage, birth and preferment are drawn up. Moreover, high levels of income/wealth are not conducive to growth since the new aristocracy owns most of the wealth/income which is hoarded rather than spent on investment and/or consumption. Stagnation, idled capital and rent extraction becomes the economic norm.

Inequality is common in college admissions where the wealthy and connected continue to send their sons and daughters to elite schools while the middle-class are restrained by sky-high tuitions and the burden of student loans.

It's true in the housing market where the rich picked up mansions on the cheap in foreclosure sales whilst the middle-class were frozen in mortgage negative equity.

It's true in health care, where the rich could afford all the insurance they needed while the middle class were handicapped by unemployment and the loss of job-related benefits. These disparities also affected the adult children of the middle-class. There are no gold-plated benefits packages in the gig society

Research shows that fewer than 50% of all children aged 30 today earn more than their parents did at the same age. This 50% figure compares with 60% who earned more in 1971, and 80% who earned more in 1950.

The American dream of each generation earning more than the prior generation is collapsing before our eyes The middle class is getting poorer on a relative basis and lagging further behind the rich whose incomes absorb an increasing share of total GDP The manner in which the rich become rich is variable.

It could be due to a number of unrelated factors Problems arise in the way that the rich stay rich become richer and pass on wealth to their children and grandchildren." [ 7 ]

It is a matter of common knowledge that the traditional techniques of preserving and creating wealth have been long established in law, customs, education and socialization; these traditional methods being practised over decades, if not centuries, have produced a system of elite self-recruitment, one moreover which endures through time.

Many of the richest US citizens – e.g., Buffet, Bezos, Zuckerberg – pay minimal tax demands. Much of the wealth of the richest Americans is never taxed because they hold onto real estate and stocks and pass them onto their beneficiaries tax-free. This is one of a perfectly legal method of avoiding tax; there are many more too numerous to cite which include various other examples of tax avoidance/evasion.

Levels of income and wealth inequality within states are usually measured by what is called the Gini Co-efficient. This measure is a commonly used measure of income inequality that condenses the entire income distribution for a country into a single number between 0 and 1 or 0% to 100%: the higher the number, the greater the degree of inequality. A rough estimate of inequality is a figure above 40%.

The United States and China are in the low forties, surrounded by underdeveloped and developing states such as The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Burundi and El Salvador. At the other end of the spectrum are Sweden, Norway and Iceland.

In this connection the by now well-known study carried out by two American academics at Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and North western University Prof Benjamin Page argue that the US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In plain English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.

The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted.

Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to be a democratic society are seriously threatened."

In summation, both gentlemen concluded that in essence the US was an oligarchy not a properly functioning democracy. All very true but somewhat self-evident.

Rickards regards the present situation as being irreversible. He does not present any alternative to this trend other than some vague hopes that the 'nationalist' President in the Oval Office will turn things around – MAGA in fact.

The golden age of post WW2 capitalism ended when Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard in August 1971, which was in effect a default by the US. Holders of surplus dollars in Europe who were no longer able to swap these dollars for gold but were merely presented with other US$s with which they had to purchase US Treasurys (Bonds) debts which were never going to be repaid. In the age of fiat currencies Europe and various other holders of US Treasuries were in fact subsidizing the United States.

POOR LITTLE AMERICA

At this point the book becomes one long whinge about how hard done-by America has been and how the rest of the world has taken advantage of this benign gentle giant. This rather bizarre belief calls for further analysis. The US pays some of the bill for NATO whilst European nations pay insufficient amounts for the 'defence' of their countries.

It should be pointed out, however, that in terms of military hardware the NATO alliance is standardized to American specifications. This means large-scale purchasing of US war materiel which is a gift bonus to the US armaments industry.

Then Germany has the nerve to buy Russian gas transported to Europe via Nordstream 2 which is cheaper and more reliable than US Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), when in fact they should be buying more expensive and less reliable US LNG. Apparently, Germany ought really to be subsidising the US shale oil Ponzi racket. Bad, ungrateful Germany.

Then comes the incessant carping regarding trade policy and trade deals. The US in its speed to become a cool, post-modern, financialised economy apparently forgot about the importance of production. In the automobile industry the once dominant US triad of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are no longer in the vanguard and Japan, with South Korea catching up, is now the leading country in the export of auto vehicles, a position which the US once held. It was the Japanese auto industry which pioneered production methods including just-in-time deliveries and lean production (Toyota). Was anyone stopping the Americans from innovating?

In rank order. Figures quoted in Global Shift – Peter Dicken.

Volkswagen, Germany: Annual Output 8,576,94 Toyota, Japan: Annual Output 8,381.968 Hyundai, South Korea: Annual Output 6,761,074 General Motor, USA: Annual Output 6,608,567 Honda, Japan: Annual Output 4,078,376 Nissan, Japan: Annual Output 3,830,954 Ford, USA: Annual Output 3,123,340 PSA, France: Annual Output 2,554,059 Suzuki, Japan: Annual Output 2,483,721 Renault, France: Annual Output 2,302,769

Globally, the leading manufacturer of auto-vehicles is Volkswagen followed by Toyota. GM are 4th and Ford are 8th of ten. Hardly market leaders anymore, but Rickards apportions the blame to 'unfair practices' by foreign manufacturers and argues instead for tariffs. The same goes for other trade partners. Fact that the United States has to a large extent been deindustrialised was a political choice of its own making.

If the US has lost ground in the competition for trade on world markets that is because of its own insular provincialism and hubris, not foreign competitive malpractice. Moreover, much of its productive industry which remains has been outsourced to low cost venues such as China. The US more than anyone should know that its competitors are simply using the same policies that it itself used during the 19th century to break British trade hegemony.

It has been the same story with agriculture. Trade liberalization (this must rank as the greatest misnomer of trade theory) and trade treaties have been an example of the blatant unfairness of such agreements. During the Uruguay round of 'talks' (1982-2000):

the United States pushed other countries to open up their markets to areas of 'our' (i.e. the US's) strength, but resisted, successfully so, to efforts to make us reciprocate.

Construction and maritime services, the areas of advantage of many developing countries were not included in the new agreement. Worse still, financial services liberalization was arguably even harmful to some developing countries: as large international (read American) banks squelched local competitors denying them the funds they garnered would be channelled to the international firms with which they felt comfortable, not the small and medium-sized local firms

As foreign banks took over the banking systems of like Argentina and Mexico worries about small and medium sized firms within these countries being starved of funds have been repeatedly voiced.

Whether these concerns are valid or not, whether they are exaggerated or not, is not the issue: the issue is that countries should have the right to make these decisions themselves, as the United States did in its own country during its formative years; but under the new international rules that America had pushed, countries were being deprived of that right.

Suffice it to say that agriculture has always been a flagrant example of the double standards inherent in the US trade liberalization agenda. Although we insisted that other countries reduce their barriers to our products and eliminate the subsidies for which those products competed against ours, the United States kept barriers for the goods produced by the developing countries, and the US continued massive subsidies to its own produce. [ 8 ] EXORBITANT PRIVILEGE

Oh, I almost forgot: the imperial tribute that the world pays to the hegemon; aka the reserve status of the dollar. The role of the US dollar in the world's political economy gives it advantages which the rest of the dollar surplus-states are dragooned into accepting. In the late sixties early seventies, the US was on the verge of technical bankruptcy due to its spending profligacy at home and military adventurism in Indochina. It had three choices of how to deal with this acute problem.

[The] 3 courses open to the US government on the collapse of the Gold Pool in London in 1968 were: immediately pull out of the war in South-East Asia and cut back overseas and domestic military expenditure to allow the dollar to firm again on world markets; to continue the war paying for its foreign exchange costs with further outflows of Fort Knox gold; or to induce the Europeans and other payments surplus areas to continue to accumulate surplus dollars and dollar equivalents (US Treasuries) not convertible into gold." [ 9 ]

Of course, it was option three that appealed and Nixon in his television broadcast was to announce a 'temporary' suspension of gold sales by the US to its overseas 'partners'.

The date in question, 15 August 1971, marked the end of one epoch and the beginning of another. The temporary suspension soon morphed into a permanent one and a global fiat currency regime based on the dollar came into being. This represented a culmination of a situation in which the US manipulation of the dollar was termed the 'Exorbitant Privilege' by the senior French politician Valery Giscard d'Estaing. And privilege it was.

The central political fact is that the dollar standard places the direction of the world monetary policy in the hands of a single country which thereby acquires great influence over the economic destiny of others. It is one thing to sacrifice sovereignty in the interests of interdependence; it is quite another when the relationship is one-way.

The difference is that between the EEC(EU) and a colonial empire. The brute fact is that the acceptance of a dollar standard necessarily implies a degree of asymmetry in power which, although it actually existed in the early post-war years, had vanished by the time that the world sliding into a reluctant dollar standard." [ 10 ]

There were a number of advantages which accrued to the dollar contingent on the ending of gold convertibility which Eichengreen listed these in his book. But the principle one was making the surplus nations of the world pay for America's wars with an unconvertible currency. Instead of being paid for in gold, or at least a gold-backed currency the world produced goods and services for a piece of green paper backed by nothing.

Quite a clever little racket when you think about it.

Better still is the way that the two biggest surplus nations, Japan and China, have been the US's main creditors, bankrolling the US by buying its Treasuries. This had another intended, or perhaps unintended effect: long term interest rates on US bonds came down (since bond prices and bond interest rates move in opposite directions) and enabled the property bubble to expand until the inevitable blow-out in 2008.

In mafia terms the US dollar has been a 'made' currency enjoying a set of privileges and protection which it did not earn but foisted upon others. This is a unique dispensation which is enjoyed by the US to which the rest of the world is excluded.

However, it is in the nature of things that privileges will ultimately get abused. In pushing its luck to the point of abuse the US should be aware that initial signs are that the world is sloughing off the US dollar. As it proceeds in that direction, the US currency will lose its position as the global reserve asset. Holders of trillions of dollar-denominated assets will become sellers eventuating in a collapse of the currency.

The US economy lives like a parasite off its partners in the global system, with virtually no savings of its own. The World produces whilst North America consumes. The advantage of the US is that of a predator whose advantage is covered, by what others agree, or are forced, to contribute.

Washington uses various means to make up for its deficiencies: for example, repeated violations of the principles of liberalism, arms exports, and the hunting-down of oil super-profits (which involves the periodic felling of producers; one of the real motives behind the wars in Iraq and Central Asia).

But the fact is that the bulk of the American deficit is covered by capital inputs from Europe and Japan, China and the South, rich oil-producing countries and comprador classes from all regions, including the poorest, in the third world, to which should be added the debt-service levy that is imposed on nearly every country in the periphery of the global system. The US superpower depends from day to day on the flow of capital which sustains its economy and society. The vulnerability of the United States represents a serious danger to Washington's project." [ 11 ]

In light of the above we may conclude that – in spite of the irritating name-dropping – Rickards' books are interesting well written and well-argued; per contra they are very light on facts which have been left deliberately unexamined as well as counter-narratives which have also been ignored.

This was to be expected quite simply because at bottom Rickards is a sophist much in the tradition of Protagoras, Gorgias and Thrasymachus "I say that justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger" [ 12 ]

A view which Rickards would certainly endorse. Beneath the Upper Manhattan, polished chic, there resides a ruthless Cold Warrior. The further one digs into the book, the more this becomes apparent.

NOTES:-

Frank Lee left school at age 15 without any qualifications, but gained degrees from both New College Oxford and the London School of Economics (it's a long story). He spent many years as a lecturer in politics and economics, and in the Civil Service, before retirement. He lives in Sutton with his wife and little dog.



Guy

Excellent article by Frank Lee. Many of us are aware of the problems of the USD but few are able to so succinctly explain why and connect the dots to expose the true picture. The bottom line is that the lifespan of the USD as king is almost over .There will not be any rabbit pulled out of the hat to make America great again.That is a feel good cliché used to further induce the population to go back to sleep.

The US has been exposed, and so well said, as a predator nation .There must be a reason why China and Russia are buying up as much gold as their economy will permit .The exchange medium used for trade since time immemorial .

FoodBowl
Measuring 'National Debt as a Portion of the US Economy' is for economics classes and for newspapers to publish. The Criminal Elites look at things differently. They measure the National Debt as a Portion of the 'FEROCIOUS BOMBING POWER the US Possess'. Also, 'Spreading Chaos Capabilities' is added to the Bombing Power.

From this point of view, they see enormous assets, and the debts becomes less worrying as they see less urgency to deal with this ever growing liabilities.

Fair dinkum
No analysis required because it's always been the same. The few exploit the many. This has fed the cancers of psychopathy, messiah complexes and endless wars.
We are rushing towards the midnight sun.
MASTER OF UNIVE
The Wall Street ethos has always been 'kill or be killed' where bears eat, and bulls eat, but pigs get slaughtered! The problem with today's market & stock valuations is that they are as hyperinflated as Real Estate Commercial & Residential sectors are which leaves no wiggle room for price discovery until there is a system wide crash that mean reverts the valuations back to a realistic price.

Warren Buffett is currently sitting on $55 billion in cash so that he does not get destroyed on the upcoming systemic wide crash. Buffett has never pulled this kind of bread from the table in his lifetime whilst waiting for a systemic crash & the inevitable fat tail blowout that is poised to rip the face off of the USA & EU as their eyeballs get ripped out too.

Ripping a face off & ripping eyeballs out is day trader speak for kicking counterparties in the groin for the deal. The French Revolution was all about teaching the financial elite predator class of monetary control freaks who the boss really is when the gravy train slows during Financial Winter.

And if they can't take the heat they should get out of the kitchen!

RW

mark
All that is happening now is that Trump is trying to solve his country's intractable economic and financial problems by looting the rest of the planet. This is not a new development, but Trump is at least refreshingly honest in his public pronouncements.

It has always been thus.

The current (real) military budget is $1,134 billion, around 60% higher than the fictitious figure that is normally touted.

The trade deficit is $900 billion. The budget deficit $1,175 billion, over 20% of the overall budget.

America is borrowing around $4 billion a day from the rest of the world. Uncle Sam is the biggest scrounger, parasite, leech, bludger, and panhandler in the history of the planet.

The official national debt of $22.5 trillion understates the true position by a factor of over ten. Every US man, woman, child, and babe in arms is in hock to the tune of over $700,000.

Antonym
Trump != the Swamp. They hate him.
RobG
The global economy is about to crash, yet again (because it's never really recovered from the 2008 crash)'. Answers on a postcard, please (and one that doesn't involve giving the banksters eye-watering amounts of money).
Frank Lodge
Without reading the book in question, this seems like an thoroughly sound and incisive review. Just one thing, "cometh" takes a singular subject.
BigB
Rickards attitude is famously: "Buy gold" to which he creates a fear porn scenario around the coming recession. His solution: "Buy gold". Not, lets look at the conditions that are causing the underlying boom and bust business cycles and find a solution that works for humanity. His solution: "Buy gold" which the likes of he and the others who are driving the business cyclical waves of mutilation have already done to hedge their portfolios. Fuck Ricards. I have no time for those who wish to profit from the overfinancial immiseration of humanity. And you know where you can stick your gold.

Good luck to anyone who produces gold in an actual collapse scenario. So you need to buy guns and bodyguards for self-protection if you buy gold...

mark
Gold could form some kind of basis for exchange in a collapse setting. Other desirable barter items would be alcohol, cigarettes, basic drugs like aspirin and paracetamol, electrical batteries, fuel and similar goods. Maybe ammunition as well. Goods were priced in cigarettes in postwar Germany.

Gold would probably be of use. Gemstones, jewellery, would not. 99.9% of people are unable to distinguish a real diamond from a piece of glass.

bevin
"he original version of the Guns versus butter argument was given in a speech on January 17, 1936, in Nazi Germany." Not for the first time Wikipedia is wrong here. Bismarck is normally credited with the choice between Guns and Butter. Goebbels was suggesting that Guns will bring Butter.
Martin Usher
Its nice to see this in a book but its really common knowledge. The only thing I'd dispute is this notion of an 'elite', there is no such thing, its just greed holding the reins -- its like a mass FOMO, nobody's willing to take the long view because it might mean they'll miss out on what they can grab right now.

The danger we face from this is that if a large enough economic bloc runs by more rational rules then its going to eventually cream us economically. This forces us to destroy it. This is what's at the bottom of our problems with China. The USSR wasn't strong or well organized enough to pose a real threat to us so it could be taken down primarily by economic means. The Chinese learned their lesson from the Russian experience and 'played nice' which they built their country up -- we all heard the commentariat from a few years ago about them 'not really being communists any more'. Now they're in a position to look us in the eye so we've got to confront them, to take them down. (You'll notice that one of the conditions that will end the trade war is the 'liberalizing of capital markets' -- that is, we need to take over their banking system and currency.) If -- when -- this fails then the only recourse would be actual war.

The crime in all this is in the pursuit of money -- ultimately a wholly artificial concept -- we're wasting immense amounts of resources and human potential, spreading misery and despoliation all over the planet and generally behaving like really awful global citizens. We can and must do better.

wardropper
And we certainly must stop talking about "taking down" the Chinese, and instead actually try to understand where they come from, with their roots in a far more ancient civilized society than ours.

American exceptionalism, for example, takes it for granted that we in the West are good, and therefore the East must become more like us. But we are logically, and morally, obliged to look at this from the opposite perspective too: What if the Chinese take it for granted that they are good, and therefore the West must become more like them?

I have been to China, and found the people there to consist of the same mixtures of honest, good, nondescript, sinister and deplorable as we have here at home.

They also share exactly the same fundamental problem as we do: Their politicians and their people, like ours, are two entirely separate things. Of course the origins of Chinese, or Russian, society are different from ours, but that is no reason to despise them. Our origins are often pretty despicable too.

Antonym
The Chinese people are as materialistic or spiritual as any; it is the local deep state (CPC) totalitarian culture that needs to change.
Robbobbobin
"The crime in all this is in the pursuit of money -- [w]e can and must do better."

Three thousand years?

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. –Ecclesiastes 5:10

Two thousand years?

For the love of money is the root of all evil –1 Timothy 6:10

Surely the Anti Deceased Equine Distress Society has lobbied some sort of statute of limitations onto the books by now?

MASTER OF UNIVE
American parasitism writ large over the last half century has amply signified to the entire world that 'manifest destiny' was merely a ruse to foist American hegemony onto all sovereign nations at the behest of an out-of-control American Oligopoly that was power-tripping post WW2 & drunk on the souls of the poor sots all over the entire world with their power hungry warmongering Military Industrial Complex.

Proof of their combined ignorance with respect to Cybernetics & Systems Theory was their willingness to follow the likes of the Vietnam War architects that assumed incorrectly that they could impose a closed-looped cybernetic control system over world finance & mercantilism throughout the entire world at the behest of academic failures like Macnamera who would not know a 'closed-looped cybernetic' from an open-looped cybernetic if his life & legacy depended on it.

Simply put, American printing presses at the privately owned Federal Reserve cannot even remotely help or assist in anymore financial profligacy for the Neoconservative or Neoliberal camps of the cerebrally sclerotic & Early Onset Dementia riddled, & uneducated, financial buffoons that emanated out of the now defunct Chicago School headed up by Strauss et al. in the 60s & 70s.

All the macroeconomic indicators over the last two decades have clearly indicated that the Greenspan era of asset inflation was nothing more than the undoing of Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker's hard won success during his tenure pre-Greenspan 'Maestro' halcyon days of animal spirits run amok.

In brief, the United States of America can eat my shorts as it is solely responsible for manufacturing a finance control system & requisite money pump fraud that is nothing more than a worldwide Ponzi scheme to defraud the entire world of disposable income & discretionary income gain so that all gains accrue to the rentier class of speculative investors like Warren Buffett & Bob Paulson.

Bottom line is that Warren Buffett will have to purchase all the new automobiles, trucks, houses, mansions, cottages, farms, cites, towns, railroads, roads, & precious metals as the emerging markets & first world markets all decouple just as Professor Emeritus Benoit Mandelbrot hypothesized they would just before he died.

Go ahead, America, print the fake fiat greenbacks to infinity in vain hope of extricating yourselves from the intractable financial muck & mire you are most assuredly going to find yourselves in this approaching October 2019.

Go ahead, Punk, make my day!

Are you feeling lucky, Punk?

RW

Martin Usher
Its not "American". We just happen to be the chosen host for this part of history. Before us it was the British Empire that was top dog.

Money has no particular loyalty to a country. In pre-WW1 Europe the bourgeois were all intermarried, connected primarily by wealth and power regardless of their nominal nationality, our present equivalent are similarly connected. Just like WW1 when the chips are down we -- the ordinary people -- will be sacrificed on the alter of patriotism while they'll survive and prosper.

MASTER OF UNIVE
March 10th 2008 around 11:00am Bear Stearns time New York shitty was the virtual end of American hegemony worldwide forever more into the obvious future of Macroeconomics & Macroprudential Policy as an ongoing concern. Debt-to-GDP of all sovereign Western imperialist nations is intractably North of any semblance of sustainability vis-a-vis Finance worldwide or within Emerging Economies or First World Developed Economies.

Intractable debt limits were broached when Nixon declared the bankruptcy of the Bretton Woods infrastructure of gold backed USA Reserve Currency Status and then opted in ignorance for the petro-dollar bait & switch fiat USD Finance capture worldwide which has now come home to roost across the rust belt of the heartland USA, and in places that were once bastions of manufacturing for the middle class USA blue collar worker such as Detroit or Chicago. Today the business model of the USA is transnationalist whereby places across the USA are not even remotely financed into that transnationalist Wall Street model of Finance that is wholly parasitic to the point of crashing mainstreet USA across all sectors of the Service Sector Industries that were supposed to be replacing the long lost USA Manufacturing Base that was offshored to the Third World sovereigns that would temporarly increase profit margins for the transnationalist class of corporate parasites run amok to collectively destroy all life on Planet Earth for centuries to come if we are lucky.

RW

martin

You have made the common mistake of asserting that it is America, instead of those who govern (the USA and its pundits) that have engineered the problems you point out.

Why would the two parties in congress (Article II followers) and the two fellows with the Article II power, continue to [expand the debt in fake, made up and useless expenses], unless they were controlled by external forces?

Maybe bankers and their high powered corporations are finding they can no longer easily dupe Americans into delivering their resources into the pockets of the wealthy. Maybe the American people have drawn the line, no more, will they produce for the IMF, world bank?

Maybe Americans have decided to refuse the tax burdens imposed to retire the fed debt? Maybe foreign nations have denied the banks and their corporations access to their resources as a means to pay the USA debt? Maybe script has been recognized as a false capital in-capable of ruling the world? Maybe organized criminals have taken up positions in the western governments and used those positions to force on the governed many things? Maybe burdening the USA with debt is part of the plan to bankrupt America? <==but why should the banks bankrupt America, why has access to education been limited, why has the USA spied on Americans? Why have the governed Americans been denied access to the USA? Has the USA retired Americans from productive jobs, in order to accelerate the demise of America? The USA has made Americans into debtors obligated to pay bankers in the form of taxes to be collected by the USA and remitted to the bankers. <= just as is now occurring in Britain, Greece, France, and other places. Privatization, monopolization and conversion from public to private franchising and ownership have served as the transforming agents that have made the elite so wealthy.

Economic Zionism. as opposed to government regulated capitalism, condones no competition, allows no prisoners and either takes or destroys all likely competitive elements (persons, corporations, or nations) Economic Zionism demands the government that governs (as in USA governance over Americans) assist in rendering Americans broke. Is it because until Americans are broke, the EZ bandits are hampered? Is scooping resources into private, monopoly powered, already wealthy hands, the goodies to be had the goal? Maybe the USA is a privatizing agent instead of a benefactor serving Americans?

In USA governed America, there is much very-productive farm land, millions of tons of minerals, many productive seaports, and tons and tons of money making monopolies (patents, copyrights, royalties, government franchised goodies, lucrative government contracts, and plenty of government services and resources) to be privatized for profit. The goodies are located in thousands of acres of rich farmland, the major ports and services attached thereto, and embedded within little domestic American companies which the USA debt will eventually burden into bankruptcy. After all "scalping a bankruptcy" is historically a speciality of economic zionism.

MASTER OF UNIVE
In 1994 JPMorgan management & traders went on a little holiday in Miami to concoct the Global Ponzi of debt & risk associated with loans into what is known today as the Financialization Process whereby bank risk would be shuffled off of investment bank balance sheets and onto those speculators that wanted to purchase all that risk involved in the bank portfolios en masse because they knew how to offload that risk to unsuspecting greater fools that were always certain to come knocking in a climate of upward growth and yield curve convexity. But the chink in their financial alchemy was obviously debt limits and the ability to track the risk to the system as a whole given that all transactions in the derivatives world are dark & unregulated due to the helmsmen like the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who previous to being nominated as Treasury Secretary was in fact the top man at Goldman Sachs where he raked in approximately a smooth billion before traversing the revolving door between the Whore House & Goldman Sachs New York shitty offices.

Casino Banking morphed into Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism when Bob Paulson wanted more Residential Mortgage Backed Security issuance and pressured Goldman Sachs into providing more issuance via NINJA loans & Liar Loans after 05 when the Wall Street speculators had to go bottom feeding for loan issuance in order to meet investor demand & apatite for their unhinged Gordon Gecko greed.

'Maestro' Greenspan emphasized his 'flaw' in his macroeconomic model of the world when the investor greed broached fat tails on the order of a 10% crash of the power laws of distributions of loan issuance. Greenspan never assumed that the Financialization Process would exceed a default scenario greater than 5-7% of no-performing loans in the subprime issuance tranche.

American exceptionalism via Henry Paulson USA Treasury Secretary 08 is what rendered American Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism wholly defunct going forward into 2020 & beyond with a permanent lower bound CB Interest Rate Regime & specter of WW3 hot conflagration.

My money is on the pinko Commie bastards this time round the sovereign insolvency loop of domestic misery USA.

WELCOME to the New World Disorder!

RW

nottheonly1
To condense this lengthy essay: This ship is sinking.

This would include household debt, student debt, financial debt, corporate debt, and municipal debt. Add this to sovereign debt and you get a figure roughly 5 times US sovereign debt, and even this is regarded as being a conservative figure according to many

One – at least on this side of the screen – cannot but think that all this is by design. The cart is driven intentionally off the cliff. To start off with a clean slate? Where the wealthy still have their wealth, but the suckers are depending on hand-outs?

An old proverb alledges that: To borrow brings sorrow.

To which only those who make loads of money from lending will disagree. Where are the solutions? No solutions, just listicles as to how bad it all is? Sure, the West is reminiscent of the HMS Titanic – with the slight difference of the hole made by the iceberg (debt) extending over the whole length of the ship. It is listing beyond dancing.

Well, I am willing to tell a secret (that isn't one anymore for quite some time):

Make them punishable with prison time of no less than half of the age at which they were perpetrated. You're 30? You're going in for 15. You're 65? Easy math.

Fact is, that there are solutions galore to save our souls. Problem is, those whose lives are depending on them, don't demand them to be implemented. And why would the wealthy tax non-payers like Bezos et al want to change their 'winning team'? That is a well known no-no. The only solution the masses of the little people can hope for is 'Force Majeur' that works to their benefit. Shall we wait for that to happen?

[Sep 09, 2019] American exceptionalism, for example, takes it for granted that we in the West are good, and therefore the East must become more like us

Sep 09, 2019 | off-guardian.org

wardropper

And we certainly must stop talking about "taking down" the Chinese, and instead actually try to understand where they come from, with their roots in a far more ancient civilized society than ours.

. But we are logically, and morally, obliged to look at this from the opposite perspective too: What if the Chinese take it for granted that they are good, and therefore the West must become more like them?

I have been to China, and found the people there to consist of the same mixtures of honest, good, nondescript, sinister and deplorable as we have here at home.

They also share exactly the same fundamental problem as we do: Their politicians and their people, like ours, are two entirely separate things. Of course the origins of Chinese, or Russian, society are different from ours, but that is no reason to despise them. Our origins are often pretty despicable too.

[Aug 28, 2019] Are we being manipulated to eventually discard objective reality or at least the concept of it?

Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

O , Aug 27 2019 17:09 utc | 178

Interesting James Corbett video.
https://www.corbettreport.com/deep-fakes-the-cias-mission-accomplished/

Are we being manipulated to eventually discard objective reality or at least the concept of it?

[Aug 26, 2019] Brexit and the USA UK trade deal

Notable quotes:
"... Brute facts tell us this. As part of the European Union, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany's exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK's. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK's were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK's. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK's $27.7bn. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 23, 2019 at 04:50 PM

https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2019/08/the-trade-deal-fetish.html

August 13, 2019

The trade deal fetish

John Bolton says the UK can strike a quick trade deal with the US. This reminds me of an under-appreciated fact – that it is not trade rules that are significantly holding back UK exports.

Brute facts tell us this. As part of the European Union, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany's exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK's. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK's were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK's. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK's $27.7bn.

Now, these numbers refer only to goods where Germany has a comparative advantage over the UK. But they tell us something important. Whatever else is holding back UK exports, it is not trade rules. Germany exports far more than the UK under the same rules.

As for what it is that is holding back exports, there are countless candidates – the same ones that help explain the UK's relative industrial weakness: poor management; a lack of vocational training; lack of finance or entrepreneurship; the diversion of talent from manufacturing to a bloated financial sector; the legacy of an overvalued exchange rate. And so on.

If we were serious about wanting to revive UK exports, we would be discussing what to do about issues such as these. Which poses the question: why, then, does the possibility of trade deals get so much more media attention?

One reason is that the right has for decades made a consistent error– a form of elasticity optimism whereby they over-estimate economic flexibility and dynamism. Back in the 80s, Patrick Minford thought, mostly wrongly, that unemployed coal miners and manufacturers would swiftly find jobs elsewhere as, I dunno, astronauts or lap-dancers. The Britannia Unchained crew think, again wrongly, that deregulation will create lots of jobs. And some Brexiters in 2016 thought sterling's fall would give a big boost to net exports.

In the same spirit, they think free trade deals will raise exports a lot. But they won't - and certainly not enough to offset the increased red tape of post-Brexit trade with the EU. Jobs and exports just aren't as responsive to stimuli as they think. The economy is more sclerotic, more path dependent, than that.

Secondly, the BBC has a bias against emergence. It overstates the extent to which outcomes such as real wages, share prices or government borrowing are the result of deliberate policy actions and understates the extent to which they are the emergent and largely unintended result of countless less obvious choices. In this spirit, it gets too excited about trade deals and neglects the real obstacles to higher exports.

But there's something else. Perhaps the purpose of free trade deals is not to boost exports at all. It is instead largely totemic. Such deals are one of the few things we'll be able to do after Brexit that we couldn't do before. They are therefore a symbol of our new-found sovereignty. They are, alas, largely just that – a symbol.

-- Chris Dillow

Joe -> anne... , August 23, 2019 at 09:35 PM
"John Bolton says the UK can strike a quick trade deal with the US. "
---
Clueless. The US and the UK do not need a trade deal, Brexit is happening because the UK decided it didn't need any trade deals, open market trading on whatever restrictions foreign government makes is fine with brexiters.

Way back when we were a smarter people, we assumed that trade deals are a restriction on trade. They exist to overcome protectionism which was there prior.

[Aug 24, 2019] Talmudistan racist problem

Notable quotes:
"... Palestinians are:- "beasts walking on two legs" (Begin), "drugged cockroaches in a bottle" (Eitan), "hungry crocodiles" (Barak), who "must be crushed like grasshoppers" (Shamir). ..."
"... We have fringe racist groups in the UK and US and elsewhere. But the KKK in the US just get drunk and burn a few crosses now and again. They are totally irrelevant. If they supplied ALL the heads of state, Begin, Shamir, Sharon, Barak, Netanyahu, ALL the heads of the armed forces, ALL the religious leaders, and the media in the country, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would have to acknowledge there is a difference. ..."
"... You can't criticise ANY of these people because it "offends" AIPAC, the Board of Deputies, the Friends of Israel, and "hurts their feelings." You are not allowed to call them out without incurring unprecedented draconian penalties unless you have first solved world hunger, global warming, criticised every other nation on the planet, and obtained a written permit from the Board of Deputies specifying exactly what terms and language you are authorised to use. ..."
"... Why obsess about Talmudistan? Because it is the tail that wags the dog. It exercises a complete stranglehold over the politics and foreign policy of the US and its satellites like the UK. It incites endless wars which those countries are expected to prosecute on its behalf. ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark I'll give you some "truly horrible expressions of bigotry." Palestinians are:- "beasts walking on two legs" (Begin), "drugged cockroaches in a bottle" (Eitan), "hungry crocodiles" (Barak), who "must be crushed like grasshoppers" (Shamir).

Truly horrible racist stuff. 8 -4 Reply Aug 22, 2019 1:39 AM Reader


Mandy Miller

What is it with you Mark, that you keep just bringing up the same four or six quotes from the most bigoted Jews you can find who are mostly dead? I am curious what you think it proves about anything?

Sure there are lunatics and there are racists and some of both are Jews, just as some are not Jews. Taking the words of the racist Jews and using that to fire up your own racist hate of all Jews, even those like me who think Begin was a one-eyed lunatic, is a waste of your life and breeds nothing but more hate. I hope God grants you peace in your heart, Mark.

mark
These are not four random annoying saloon bar bores blowing off steam after one too many. They are three successive prime ministers and the head of the armed forces. Four typical political and military leaders. You could say the same about any other political and military figures. Or religious figures like the Chief Rabbi. This is normal and routine. There is a great deal that is far worse, like "Justice" Minister Shaked, who called for all Palestinian mothers to be murdered so that no Palestinian children could be born. Or a national newspaper called The Times of Israel openly advocating the extermination of the Palestinian people at concentration camps in the desert, "When Genocide Is Justified." Or two leading rabbis calling for the murder of all Palestinian children.

Imagine that Cameron, or May, or Johnson, called Jews cockroaches or grasshoppers, let alone calling for Jews to be murdered. And every leading UK politician and military figure had done the same as a matter of routine for decades. Imagine the outrage. Rightly so.

I would never call Jews cockroaches. But ALL these Zionist figures ROUTINELY speak of Palestinians in these terms. This is completely normal. And nobody so much as raises an eyebrow. It is perfectly okay for the Chosen Folk to do this.

That is the point. It would be of benefit to the world if there was a little peace in the hearts of these people as well.

Mandy Miller
I didn't say they were insignificant I said they were regarded by most sensible Jews that I know as lunatics.

Begin did not speak for most Jews while he was alive and certainly doesn't now he's dead. I'm sure he liked to think he did, but why believe that racist schmuck? Ditto for Binyamin, who is as stupid and racist as he is crazy.

Like I said you might as well quote Hitler or Goebbels as being representative of today's Germany or claim they speak for all gentiles everywhere unless individuals specifically state otherwise. I was born a Jew, my kids were born Jews, we didn't volunteer to join! We should not need to officially repudiate Zionism or the crazy ravings of our leaders past or present in order to be assumed good people, any more than you, Mark, should have to repudiate Nazism or Mr Churchill's racism or mr Johnson's anti-Russian schtick to be considered a good person.

I would like to see a good study of Zionism here, I support the Palestinians in their struggle as again do many many Jews of my acquaintance (though, sadly not all I will admit). But do you not see how alienating and hurtful it is to see comments such as "the chosen people did 9/11", or (as was talked about a short while back) "Hebrews have a tendency toward pedophilia"? Please! Have a little respect is all. Talk about the evils of Zionism but don't conflate that with Judaism or with everyone lucky or unlucky enough to be born a Jew!

And all that oy vey goy stuff you do feels quite hurtful also, I am just curious what you think it brings to the conversation by way of enlightenment, communication and brotherly love, Mark? It just looks like you are hating on Jewishness in the same way those Nazi images of guys with hook noses etcetera did. It feels nasty. What does it achieve? Would it be a nice and helpful gesture to at least drop all that?

mark
We have fringe racist groups in the UK and US and elsewhere. But the KKK in the US just get drunk and burn a few crosses now and again. They are totally irrelevant. If they supplied ALL the heads of state, Begin, Shamir, Sharon, Barak, Netanyahu, ALL the heads of the armed forces, ALL the religious leaders, and the media in the country, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would have to acknowledge there is a difference.

You can't criticise ANY of these people because it "offends" AIPAC, the Board of Deputies, the Friends of Israel, and "hurts their feelings." You are not allowed to call them out without incurring unprecedented draconian penalties unless you have first solved world hunger, global warming, criticised every other nation on the planet, and obtained a written permit from the Board of Deputies specifying exactly what terms and language you are authorised to use.

Why obsess about Talmudistan? Because it is the tail that wags the dog. It exercises a complete stranglehold over the politics and foreign policy of the US and its satellites like the UK. It incites endless wars which those countries are expected to prosecute on its behalf. It destabilises the entire planet causing indescribable suffering and human misery. It expects and receives a free pass to commit genocide and possess a huge illegal arsenal of WMD it constantly threatens to use. It extorts unimaginable amounts of tribute from other countries. It commits terrorist atrocities like 9/11 with complete impunity. Its endless intrigues and subversion poison the whole public space in entire countries. The smear campaign against Corbyn and the Epstein organisation are just two fairly trivial recent examples. Politicians and ordinary people are not required to swear loyalty oaths to Botswana or Bolivia on pain of instant dismissal. That is the difference.

A bit of kvetching about all the above seems a little bit justified under the circumstances.

Mandy Miller
Ok, Mark, I understand that you think Israel is a bigger racist problem than the UK and all the NATO non-democracies, and I can agree with you about that. Israel is for me and many (not all) of my family and friends a place of terrible evil and shame. I hate that the suffering of so many Jews under the Nazis has been turned into an excuse to impose more suffering on other innocent people simply because of their race. So, let's agree Israel is indefensible in its treatment of the Palestinians and in its appalling foreign policy. Just awful.

My question is, how helpful is it to express those facts in racial terms? Why do you use these words that only have the effect of turning people away from you and closing down there receptiveness?

Ok, what I'm saying is, if you try to tell the average non-political nice well meaning Jewish person or liberal, of which my sister is a good example (both) that Israel is the aggressor nation in so many instances and if you tell them about the terrible plight of the Palestinian people it will be hard for you to get them to listen even if you don't use words that make you sound like a racist. But as soon as you start throwing around words such as Talmudistan and "chosen folk" and mockery of Yiddish with your "oy vey goy" routine, you are giving them a route to the exit door., which is what they want. You are giving them permission to ignore you! They can say "oh what a racist", and just leave the building.

So, my question is, why use that language? What good is it doing you that makes it worthwhile to lose so much credibility among people you could perhaps convert if you approached it differently?

I guess my question is, what does this aggressive use of offensive terms do for you that you hold on to it to the point of undoing any good you could do? Why not just say "Israel"? Why terms such as goy and chosen folk and language that can sound soooo racist and threatening?

I believe you Mark that you don't entertain real racist thoughts, but can you communicate with me why you use that language that makes it sound as if you do? Maybe you don't realize it but to a Jew it feels like a slap across the face. It triggers centuries of dormant fears of persecution. I have to try hard to put that aside and approach you without fear or anger. So I'm asking you, as a gesture toward understanding, to please not use those terms in our conversation? And maybe you might find you don't need that armour, or comfort blanket or whatever it is to you. Maybe you will find your message, which as put above is something I can get on board with, gets across more clearly.

Can we take that step, Mark? I am asking with peace and love in my heart.

[Aug 19, 2019] In defence of Ukrainian far right nationalism

This guy definitely does not know the tem neoliberalism. and just scapegoating neoliberalism caused problems to Jews...
Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Adûnâi , says: August 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT

"The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs."

Where are death camps for the Jews? Where are racial laws that expel non-Ukrainians? Where is the propaganda of eugenics and healthy lifestyle? Where are construction projects bringing in jobs, and state-subsidized recreation tours?

Ukraine is a Jew-driven shithole that has nothing to do with National Socialism. They don't even honour the sacrifice of the SS Galizien.

"but what they are genuinely fantasizing about is the territory, and only the territory. As for the 2 million-plus virulently anti-Nazi people currently living on these lands, they simply want them either dead or expelled)."

A lie. Currently, more than a half of those "expelled" have migrated inside Ukraine. A stark contrast to Croatia where the Serbs were driven out of the country, and their land given to Croats.

Again, Ukraine is suicidal and full of civic nationalism, nothing about it is blood-based.

"They and their Polish supporters want Russia to break apart in numerous small state-lets which they (or, in their delusional dreams, the Chinese) could dominate."

Why do you consider this as a negative for the Russian people? The current Russian state is in its death throes as much as the US and France – the ethnic Russians are dying out, fleeing and being replaced. Any alternative might prove out more hopeful.

"In contrast, the LDNR forces seem to be doing pretty well, and their morale appears to be as strong as ever (which is unsurprising since their military ethos is based in 1000 years of Russian military history)."

I have to remind you that the Donbass was colonized far more recently than Ukraine – in the 18-19th centuries. What "ancient" traditions?

"but Novorussia also is a never healing wound in the side of Nazi-occupied Ukraine"

The Donbass has never been part of Novorussia which is to the west, from Dniepropetrovsk to Odessa. Admittedly, Novorussia's colonists were mostly from Ukraine – it is clearly seen on the language maps.

"The problem with this slogan is that there is simply no way the (relatively small) Galician population can ever succeed in permanently defeating their much bigger (and, frankly, much smarter) Jewish, Polish or Russian neighbors."

Khmelnitsky managed to do just that – 100k dead Jews. And he's on the Ukrainian currency. Too bad modern "Nazi" Ukrainians have elected a Jew President. This is not the Khmelnitsky uprising, this is Kiev under the Khazar Khaganate before Oleg came from the North.

[Aug 13, 2019] The United States is openly encouraging a hard or radical split between the United Kingdom and the European Union

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , August 13, 2019 at 01:38 PM

The United States is openly encouraging a hard or radical split between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This by way of John Bolton. Why the administration would take such a position is a puzzle to me, and the openness is shocking.
anne -> anne... , August 13, 2019 at 01:41 PM
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-13/U-S-supports-no-deal-Brexit-with-trade-deals-ahead-says-Bolton-J7cM4HEMLK/index.html

August 13, 2019

U.S. supports no-deal Brexit with trade deals ahead, says Bolton

The United States would enthusiastically support a no-deal Brexit if that is what the British government decided to do, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday during a visit to London aimed at reassuring Britain over UK-U.S. ties.

"If that's the decision of the British government we will support it enthusiastically, and that's what I'm trying to convey. We're with you, we're with you," Bolton told reporters after his first day of meetings.

"They will have to figure out how to do what they can by October 31 or soon thereafter. From our point of view, we would have been happy to do it before that," the official said. "The previous government didn't want to do it, this government does. We're very happy about it," he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to see a successful British exit from the European Union on October 31 and Washington will be ready to work fast on a U.S.-UK free trade agreement, Bolton told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

BBC quoted Bolton as saying that a bilateral agreement or "series of agreements" could be carved out "very quickly, very straight-forwardly."

He said British officials had given him an unmistakable sense that they were determined to honor the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

"The fashion in the European Union: When the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, it's to make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right," Bolton said.

The central message Bolton was delivering is that the United States would help cushion Britain's exit from the EU with a free trade deal that is being negotiated by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his British counterpart, Liz Truss.

Bolton said Britain and the United States could agree trade deals on a sector-by-sector basis, leaving more difficult areas in the trading relationship until later.

He said the ultimate aim was a comprehensive trade deal, but highlighted that financial services could be one of the more difficult industries to reach an agreement on.

Bolton had been expected to urge officials from Johnson's government to align its policy on Iran more along the lines of the United States, which has pushed a much tougher line against Tehran since withdrawing from world powers' 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.

But, after his meetings Bolton said talks on some of these thornier diplomatic issues could wait.

Johnson has told the European Union there is no point in new talks on a withdrawal agreement unless negotiators are willing to drop the Northern Irish backstop agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.

The EU has said it is not prepared to reopen the divorce deal it agreed with May, which includes the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

[Aug 13, 2019] From an economic perspective, when and if UK exists the EU is shrinking from 27 member-states to 9."

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Aug 12 2019 5:29 utc | 69

@66 psychohistorian

Good to catch you around these economic matters. The WWIII is actually just being waged by one side, I think. China is the caravan moving on. The fading bark of the dogs is the western end of the deal, I think. But no time to enlarge on this right now, what with Europe having the vapors...

Everybody got economics going on, it seems like, and Europe is no exception. Check out below.

~~

Brexit and the EU

Alastair Crooke has a new piece out, riffing largely on a Pritchard Evans article in the Telegraph, and including a very hot video clip from the heart of German concerns as the UK executes Brexit.

I didn't realize how important the UK is to the EU and how its exit changes everything for Germany. But the EU realpolitik illustrated in this Crooke article and in the 6-minute video clip of the German speech is an entire facet of Brexit I had never seen until now. Check this quote:

Speaking in the German parliament, Alice Weidel, the AfD leader, tore into Chancellor Merkel for her and the Brussels botched handling of Brexit (for which "she, Merkel bears some responsibility"). Weidel pointed out that "the UK is the second biggest economy in Europe – as big as the 19 smallest EU members combined". "From an economic perspective, the EU is shrinking from 27 member-states to 9." [My emphasis]

Crooke and co are saying that the UK departure from the EU changes the entire regime of monetary controls within this economic union. Crucially, the lead is now shifting away from Germany and to the failed economic model of France.

To make the chronic acute, now Trump cares, and the US has a stake in this - who knew? The EU didn't know. It always thought the US was a partner, but maybe not.

If you want to dive straight into the German angst, here's the six-minute video of Alice Weidel ripping German complacency apart with a call to attention from her constituency in marginalized eastern Germany:
German view of Brexit

And for the containing article from Crooke - be warned that he quotes Paul Krugman but I have to say it sounds pretty good to me - here's his article:
Germany Stalls and Europe Craters

[Aug 12, 2019] Bretton Wood is the American version and as usual it was all screwed up, but Keynes original proposals contain policies needed for the EAEU's ability to function

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Aug 12 2019 21:30 utc | 137

@ karlof1 | Aug 12 2019 20:08 utc | 129

J.M.Keynes addressed 'foreign exchange' between sovereign states in his original version of World Bank and International Money Fund, both addressing the fundamental causes of the Great Depression. These presentations to U.S. government authorities also included the British application for war debt forgiveness at the termination of hostilities to avoid repeating post WWI scenarios. These presentations were then made to the Bretton Woods Conference as the American version of the proposals, reversing institution and purpose as contrived by Washington's design. Makes interesting reading the cables between Keynes and London. What exists since Bretton Wood is the American version and as usual it was all screwed up, but Keynes original proposals contain policies needed for the EAEU's ability to function (and to avoid the economic causes of the Great Depression).

I recalled it was tax collection that became the failure of the colonial confederation, the failure of the Continental Congress to meet its obligations, but then interpretations can vary.

[Aug 12, 2019] The generation that wrote the Treaty of Rome were mostly replaced by the 1980's with a generation not sharing common experiences that the war generation had

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 18:23 utc | 115

Grieved @69--

Finally got around to reading Crooke's latest. Yes, the EU's surely in a fix; but IMO, he's correct about the ultimate source of the problem and the inability of solving it without a total reformation. However, I would argue that reforming the EU would be a massive error. IMO, it makes far greater sense to learn from the mistakes and negotiate with Russia and China to consummate Putin's proposal for an EAEU sans the strangulating aspects of an EAEU Central Bank and currency--the Euro and EUCB being two of the EU's mistakes. Such a creation would also see the demise of NATO and the freeing of monies for war to be used on debt relief, infrastructure, and building public/human capital. Russo- and Sinophobia would immediately cease. The issues of South Asia would become easier to handle. And to be included in the club Occupied Palestine would need to become Palestine--one state--thus defusing the last colonial imposition impeding Eurasian integration/unity.

Yes, the five anglophone entities would be left out in the cold, although I can't see The City allowing its politicos to blow its opportunity to cash in by having a piece of the action (but then the British are unpredictable) while Scotland, Ireland and Wales prosper. Africa would see its future lies in joining with Eurasia.

I don't think either Merkel or Macron have the vision required to even imagine the above possibility, although I'd be happy to get surprised. But would such a suggestion need to come from either France or Germany; why not Central and Southern Europe as such a change would really benefit those nations?


Formerly T-Bear , Aug 12 2019 18:59 utc | 122

@ karlof1 | Aug 12 2019 18:23 utc | 115

Don't forget the generation that formed the Treaty of Rome and conducted subsequent negotiations were mostly replaced by the 1980's with a generation not sharing common experiences that the war generation had. Also, by the 1980's the economic theories being taught had substantially changed from the economic understandings and experiences of the war generation.
The war generation had each sovereign country having sufficient and adequate laws governing banking and finance that prevented most aberrations within that country. Each country had developed from differing circumstances and had drafted their laws to those specific circumstances. Finding a common legal denominator proved to be, as they say 'a bridge too far' but as long as each country's laws were effective, no problems presented.
The subsequent generation under the neoliberal economic theories found the central EU government devoid of economic governance or regulatory structures; an open field easily commanded by removing the abilities of each country to provide such governance for their state. Centralisation of economic power became the problem and the cause of problems that remain unaddressed and unless address is done, the economic house of cards will not last for long.

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 20:08 utc | 129
Formerly T-Bear @122--

Agreed! That's why I made it a point to list the EUCB and Euro as the two main mistakes that must be learned from if an EAEU is to be formulated. Both Russia and China are determined that each nation must remain sovereign, which means each must have control over its monetary and political systems. Instead of a Union implying a federal structure, the proposed political entity would be better termed as a Confederation with each nation retaining its homogeneity. The major difference being the proposed Confederation would have no trade barriers and visa-free movement for its citizens. (Recall the main failing of the initial Confederation of United States were the trade barriers erected between states that prompted the businessmen's revolt that led to the 1787 Constitution and the formation of the federal United States of America.) If a regional grouping of nations--say the former Yugoslavian entities--wanted to reform into a larger political-economic unit to better provide for their collective citizenry, there would be no objection; and the reverse would be possible as sovereignty of people would remain a foundation of human rights.

Given future challenges, IMO the above makes the best sense for Eurasia and Africa. The implosion of the Outlaw US Empire and its affect on its hemispheric neighbors remains unknown. It's possible the once formidable economic magnet of the Empire's economy will reverse its polarity and drive people out as it did during the Great Depression. The vast amount and depth of corruption within the Empire will take several generations to be extinguished, and only then will political reformation become possible.

[Aug 03, 2019] The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 03:27 PM

how those like kurt who mock economic anxiety are wrong

https://theweek.com/articles/853784/overwhelming-correlation-between-austerity-brexit

The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit
Jeff Spross

July 22, 2019

Across the pond, the Brexit disaster continues to unfold in newly disastrous ways. Theresa May has resigned as prime minister, and the Trump-esque Boris Johnson looks like a lock to replace her. Parliament members -- up to and including Johnson's own fellow Conservatives -- are panicking that the new prime minister may try hardline tactics to force Brexit through, plan or no plan.

At this point, predicting how this mess will end is a fool's errand. But there are still lessons to be learned from how it began.

In particular, the Conservatives might want to look in the mirror -- and not just because it was their government that called the Brexit vote in the first place. It turns out the brutal austerity they imposed on Britain after the global 2008 financial crisis probably goes a long way towards explaining why Brexit is happening at all.

In the run-up to the Brexit referendum in 2016, much of the campaigning in favor of "Leave" was unabashedly racist. Hard-right political groups like the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) painted a picture of native Britons overrun by hordes of foreign immigrants that were straining the country's health care, housing, public services, jobs and wages to the breaking point. The thing is, the racism was a particular poisonous way of framing a very real underlying economic fear: all those necessities really had become harder to come by.

Yet, as it is in America, actual evidence linking influxes of immigrants to rising scarcity in jobs and wages and other services is scarce. But something else had also recently happened that could explain why hospitals and schools were closing and why public aid was drying up: massive cuts to government spending.

A decade ago, the aftershocks of the global financial crisis had shrunk Britain's economy by almost 3 percent, kicking unemployment up from 5 percent to 8 percent by 2010. Under then-Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservatives in power concluded that "confidence" among investors was necessary to restore economic growth -- and that meant cuts to government spending to balance the budget.

Thus the Conservatives pushed through a ferocious austerity package: Overall government spending fell 16 percent per person. Schools, libraries, and hospitals closed; public services like garbage collection ground to a halt; poverty shot up; and homelessness doubled. Despite unemployment staying stubbornly high and GDP growth staying stubbornly low -- in defiance of their own economic theory -- the Conservatives crammed through even more reductions in 2012. "It is hard to overestimate how devastating Cameron's austerity plan was, or how fast it happened," the British journalist Laurie Penny observed. A United Nations report from last year called the cuts "punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous."

But the damage was not evenly distributed across the country. At the district level -- Britain's units of local governance -- the reductions in spending ranged from 6.2 percent to an astonishing 46.3 percent from 2010 to 2015. The districts that were already the poorest were generally the hardest hit.

These differences across districts allowed Thiemo Fetzer, an associate professor of economics at the University of Warwick, to gauge the correlation between the government cuts and whether a district voted Leave or Remain. "Austerity had sizable and timely effects, increasing support for UKIP across local, national, and European elections," Fetzer wrote in a recent paper. He found that UKIP's share of a district's vote jumped anywhere from 3.5 to 11.9 percentage points in correlation with austerity's local impact. "Given the tight link between UKIP vote shares and an area's support for Leave, simple back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that Leave support in 2016 could have been easily at least 6 percentage points lower," Fetzer continued. As tight as the Brexit referendum was, that alone could have been enough to swing it.

Other studies have shown links between how a local British community's economic fortunes fared and how it voted for Brexit as well. Economists Italo Colantone and Piero Stanig found that support for Leave was "systematically higher" in the regions of the country hit hardest by trade with China over the last three decades. Another analysis by Torsten Bell showed a strong correlation between British income inequality as of 2015 and Brexit support, with higher local vote shares for Leave the lower the local incomes were. (It's worth noting the Bell didn't find a correlation with Brexit when he looked at how local incomes changed from 2002 to 2015, but that's also a weird time frame to choose, as it mashes together a period of wage growth before 2008 with a major drop afterwards.)

Inequality in Britain had been worsening for decades, as the upper class in the City of London pulled further and further ahead of the largely rural working class, setting the stage for Brexit. And then austerity fell hardest on the shoulders of the latter group, compounding the effect.

"Individuals tend to react to the general economic situation of their region, regardless of their specific condition," Colantone and Stanig wrote. But Fetzer was able to break out some individual data in his analysis of austerity, and he found a correlation with Brexit votes there as well. Individual Britons who were more exposed to welfare state cuts -- in particular a reduction in supports for housing costs -- were again more likely to vote for UKIP. "Further, they increasingly perceive that their vote does not make a difference, that they do 'not have a say in government policy' or that 'public officials do not care,'" Fetzer observed.

It isn't that the economic dislocation of the 2008 crisis and the ensuing austerity crunch made Britons more racist. By all accounts, half or more of the country has consistently looked askance on immigration going back decades. (Indeed, international polling suggests a certain baseline dislike for immigration is a near-universal human condition.) What changed in the last few years was the willingness of certain parts of British society to act politically on those attitudes. And that, arguably, is where the economics come in.

Work from the Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman is instructive here. He found that periods of economic growth, where people feel the future is bright, make national populations more open, generous, and liberal. Times of economic contraction and stagnation have the opposite effect.

The British people, like everyone everywhere, are a mix of good and evil impulses. But by decimating public investment in a self-destructive quest for investor-led growth, the British government created a monster from those impulses. And the reckoning for that terrible error is still unfolding.

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:28 PM
if - what should I call them? centerists? - like Krugman, Kurt and EMike really cared about racism they'd be in favor of ambitious programs so that voters' living standards rise.

Instead they push incrementalism and make excuses about Dems never having any power.

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:33 PM
Tut! Tut! Tut! It's not politically correct for Democrats to talk about the economy, inequality, and dislocation, is it? If people keep raising the issue, Democrats might be forced into acknowledging problems they helped to create. Worse, they might have to craft a coherent economic message that their Big Money puppeteers might not like! OMG!!! Armageddon!!!
Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 04:08 PM
He presented no evidence, just pundicizing based on priors.

Well I looked and could find no change in growth, it has been declining steadily since 1990, and the ten years has been correspondingly dropping since 1980.

So, I I am supposed to see evidence, then cite the chart I am supposed to look at. We are tired of useless pundicizers.

Christopher H. said in reply to Joe... , July 23, 2019 at 06:10 PM
no he is presenting the agreed-upon evidence. Austerity hurt the UK.

Cranks like you have no place in the discussion. Go entertain yourself somewhere else.

Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 24, 2019 at 03:15 AM
No, he would have cited evidence.
If he had any brains he would have recognized that we got the secstags going around, meaning the one cannot just look at the eight year recession cycle, one has to look at the full monetary cycle.
It is easy to tell the dufas among economists, they never look at nor cite any data.

For example, Krugman ignored the fact that Obamacare raised monthly taxes about $500 per household, lost four elections, proved himself a dolt and now want to write off Obamacare. Never once did Krugman make any attempt to correlate the Obamacare taxes with election losses, not once. He preferred the delusion, same as most of our favorite economists, I can count the one who actually look.

As Kurt said, being delusional hysterical freaks who send hundreds of billions to wealthy people then complain? Stupid,stupid stupid.

kurt -> Joe... , July 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM
You are exactly right here - Obamacare subsidies should have tapered off or been taxed away around the top 20% of income rather than the top 60. Big mistake - but it was a compromise to get several republicans to vote yes, but they (the Rs) negotiated in bad faith and then didn't do what they promised. But hey - when have the H brothers let facts get in the way of what they know, know, know about me.
Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , July 25, 2019 at 07:03 PM
Joe said nothing of the kind.

The Rs didn't do what they promised? What did you expect?

you're a naive sucker

[Aug 01, 2019] Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

Aug 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 31, 2019 at 11:06 AM

https://mainly macro.blogspot.com/2019/07/there-is-no-mandate-for-no-deal.html

July 31, 2019

There is no mandate for No Deal

We are told constantly that the 2016 referendum gives our government a mandate for a No Deal Brexit, and that we would not respect democracy if we failed to leave. Both arguments are obviously false, yet they so often go unchallenged in the media.

... ... ...

-- Simon Wren-Lewis

likbez -> anne... , August 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

In essence, a "no confidence" vote for the neoliberal elite in both countries.

Of course, Simon Wren-Lewis is afraid to acknowledged this and is engaged in sophistry.

[Jul 30, 2019] EU bureaucracy is not compatible with UK identity.

Jul 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Jul 30 2019 15:42 utc | 94

EU bureaucracy is not compatible with UK identity.

I agree re. a sort of fundamental 'spirit'. So far, since 1973 (EEC, idk if this was properly done, you say not: fraudulent ) EU-UK relations have not been riven by disruptive strife or even temp. explosive argument (in part due to EU rules etc.) Accomodations were made.. An apogee of hand-holding-harmony was reached when Mitterand and Thatcher convinced the Germans to give up the D-mark in return for blessing the re-unification of Germany. The UK did not join the Euro zone (1992). So the UK was overall a big 'winner' on several levels (imho.)

Brexit is the first step in bringing politics back to local accountability

I hope so but dangers lurk and i am pessimistic. Crash-out on 31 Oct. will happen, and will have a horrific impact. In any case the political accountability of the Gvmt. in the UK is at present abysmally low.

[Jul 20, 2019] Loyalty to the Nation All the Time, Loyalty to the Government When it Deserves It.

Jul 20, 2019 | conversableeconomist.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 4, 2019 "Loyalty to the Nation All the Time, Loyalty to the Government When it Deserves It." Mark Twain wrote an essay back in 1905 called "The Czar's Soliloquy" ( North American Review , Vol. 180.No. DLXXX). The essay was triggered by a sentence in the London Times , reporting: "After the Czar's morning bath it is his habit to meditate an hour before dressing himself." Twain imagined that the Czar, standing naked in front of a mirror, was for a few moments honest with himself about the injustices and cruelties that he had allowed and perpetrated, and hoped for a better future. Imagining the Czar's words to himself, Twain wrote:

There are twenty-five million families in Russia. There is a man-child at every mother's knee. If these were twenty-five million patriotic mothers, they would teach these man-children daily, saying : "Remember this, take it to heart, live by it, die for it if necessary: that our patriotism is medieval, outworn, obsolete; that the modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
On the Fourth of July in particular, it makes me sad to run into people whose patriotism ebbs and flows according to what political party occupies the White House. There ought to be a large and real line between support of whoever who is in government at a particular time, and a broader patriotism. A country is a mixture of people, ideals, geography, history, cultures, and more. It should be possible to love your country, whether your feelings about the government are positive, negative, neutral, ambivalent, or don't-give-a-damn.

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberalism start collapsing as soon as considerable part of the electorate has lost hope that thier standard of living will improve

Pretty superficial article, but some points are interesting. Especially the fact that the collapse of neoliberalism like collapse of Bolshevism is connected with its inability to raise the standard of living of population in major Western countries, despite looting of the USSR and Middle eastern countries since 1991. Spoils of victory in the Cold War never got to common people. All was appropriated by greedy "New Class" of neoliberal oligarchs.
The same was true with Bolshevism in the USSR. The communist ideology was dead after WWII when it became clear that "proletariat" is not a new class destined to take over and the "iron law of oligarchy" was discovered. Collapse happened in 45 years since the end of WWII. Neoliberal ideology was dead in 2008. It would be interesting to see if neoliberalism as a social system survives past 2050.
The level of degeneration of the USA elite probably exceeds the level of degeneration of Nomenklatura even now.
Notable quotes:
"... A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level. ..."
"... As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation ..."
"... Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. ..."
"... The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP." ..."
"... "British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration " ..."
"... As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts. ..."
"... The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die. ..."
"... "negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services" ..."
"... he ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people. ..."
"... One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future. ..."
"... "If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson ..."
"... I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The more a local economy has been negatively affected by the two shocks, the more its electors have shifted towards the radical right and its policy packages. These packages typically combine the retrenchment against international openness and the liberalisation of the internal market and more convincingly address the demand for protection by an electorate that, after the austerity following the Crisis, no longer trusts alternatives based on more liberal stances on foreign relations and the parallel promise of a stronger welfare state.

A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level.

On the one hand, despite some progress in curtailing 'tax havens' in recent years, there has never been as much wealth in tax havens as there is today (Zucman 2015). This is seen as unfair because, if public goods and services (including those required to help the transition to a 'green economy') have to be provided in the regions where such hidden wealth comes from, lost tax revenues have to be compensated for by higher taxes on law-abiding households.

On the other hand, fairness is also undermined by dwindling social mobility. In the last decades, social mobility has slowed down across large parts of the industrialised world (OECD 2018), both within and between generations. Social mobility varies greatly across regions within countries, correlates positively with economic activity, education, and social capital, and negatively with inequality (Güell at al. 2018). Renewed migration from the South to the North of Europe after the Crisis (Van Mol and de Valk 2016) is a testimony of the widening relative lack of opportunities in the places that have suffered the most from competition from low-wage countries.

Concluding Remarks

Globalisation has come accompanied by the Great Convergence between countries around the world but also the Great Divergence between regions within several industrialised countries. The same holds within the EU. In recent years, redistributive policies have had only a very limited impact in terms of reversing growing regional inequality.

As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation.

This is both inefficient and unlikely to lead to more regional convergence. What the political and policy debate in Europe is arguably missing is a clearer focus on two of the main underlying causes of peoples' growing distrust in national and international institutions: fiscal fairness and social mobility.

See original post for references


Jesper , July 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

When did this traditional liberal package mentioned in the concluding remarks ever happen?

the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate

Maybe if it was clear who got it, what it was, when it was done, how it happened then people might find this liberal package appealing.

flora , July 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm

Right. It would be better to say "the traditional New Deal liberal package " has not lost its appeal, it was killed off bit by bit starting with NAFTA. From a 2016 Thomas Frank essay in Salon:

That appeal to [educated credentialed] class unity gives a hint of what Clintonism was all about. To owners and shareholders, who would see labor costs go down as they took advantage of unorganized Mexican labor and lax Mexican environmental enforcement, NAFTA held fantastic promise. To American workers, it threatened to send their power, and hence their wages, straight down the chute. To the mass of the professional-managerial class, people who weren't directly threatened by the treaty, holding an opinion on NAFTA was a matter of deferring to the correct experts -- economists in this case, 283 of whom had signed a statement declaring the treaty "will be a net positive for the United States, both in terms of employment creation and overall economic growth."

The predictions of people who opposed the agreement turned out to be far closer to what eventually came to pass than did the rosy scenarios of those 283 economists and the victorious President Clinton. NAFTA was supposed to encourage U.S. exports to Mexico; the opposite is what happened, and in a huge way. NAFTA was supposed to increase employment in the U.S.; a study from 2010 counts almost 700,000 jobs lost in America thanks to the treaty. And, as feared, the agreement gave one class in America enormous leverage over the other: employers now routinely threaten to move their operations to Mexico if their workers organize. A surprisingly large number of them -- far more than in the pre-NAFTA days -- have actually made good on the threat.

Twenty years later, the broader class divide over the subject persists as well. According to a 2014 survey of attitudes toward NAFTA after two decades, public opinion remains split. But among people with professional degrees -- which is to say, the liberal class -- the positive view remains the default. Knowing that free-trade treaties are always for the best -- even when they empirically are not -- seems to have become for the well-graduated a badge of belonging.

https://www.salon.com/2016/03/14/bill_clintons_odious_presidency_thomas_frank_on_the_real_history_of_the_90s/

The only internal redistribution that's happened in the past 25 – 30 yearsis from the bottom 80% to the top 10% and especially to the top 1/10th of 1 %.

Not hard to imagine why the current internal redistribution model has lost its appeal with the electorate.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 1:50 pm

UK policymakers had a great plan for globalisation.

Everyone needs to specialise in something and we will specialise in finance based in London.

That was it.

rd , , July 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

I think there are two different globalizations that people are responding to.

1. Their jobs go away to somewhere in the globe that has lower wages, lower labor protections, and lower environmental protections. So their community largely stays the same but with dwindling job prospects and people slowly moving away.

2. The world comes to their community where they see immigrants (legal, illegal, refugees) coming in and are willing to work harder for less, as well as having different appearance, languages, religion, and customs. North America has always had this as we are built on immigration. Europe is much more focused on terroire. If somebody or something has only been there for a century, they are new.

If you combine both in a community, you have lit a stick of dynamite as the locals feel trapped with no way out. Then you get Brexit and Trump. In the US, many jobs were sent overseas and so new people coming in are viewed as competitors and agents of change instead of just new hired help. The same happened in Britain. In mainland Europe with less inequality and more job protection, it is more of just being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of newcomers in a society that does not prize that at all.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm

I saw the warning signs when Golden Dawn appeared in Greece

The liberals said it was just a one off, as they always do, until it isn't.

How did successful Germany turn into a country where extremism would flourish?
The Hartz IV reforms created the economic hardship that causes extremism to flourish.

"Germany is turning to soft nationalism. People on low incomes are voting against authority because the consensus on equality and justice has broken down. It is the same pattern across Europe," said Ashoka Mody, a former bail-out chief for the International Monetary Fund in Europe.

Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. The Hartz IV reforms in 2003 and 2004 made it easier to fire workers, leading to wage compression as companies threatened to move plants to Eastern Europe.

The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP."

This is a successful European country, imagine what the others look like.

Adam1 , July 3, 2019 at 2:20 pm

"British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration "

As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers. More "I can't believe people are sick to death of experts of dubious skills but networking "

What it is just admitted that a system that can only work great for 20% of any given population if they are born in the right region with the right last name just simply not work except as an exercise in extraction?

And about the EU as if it could never be taken over by bigger authoritatians than the ones already populating it. Then see how much those who think it is some forever bastion of liberalism over sovereignity likes it .

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , July 4, 2019 at 7:21 am

"Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers."

Usually it involves replacing the establishment or creating an internal threat to reinstate compliance in the establish (Strauss and Howe).

Strategies for initiate the former may be impossible in this era where the deep state can read your thoughts through digital media so you would like it would trend to the latter.

stan6565 , July 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Mmmmm, yes, migration, globalisation and such like.

But, unregulated migration into an established environment, say a country, say, UK, on one hand furthers profits to those benefiting from low labour wages (mainly, friends of people working for governments), but on the other leads to creation of parallel societies, where the incoming population brings along the society they strived to escape from. The Don calls these sh***hole societies. Why bring the f***ing thing here, why not leave it where you escaped from.

But the real betrayal of the native population happens when all those unregulated migrants are afforded immediate right to social security, full access to NHS and other aspects of state support, services that they have not paid one penny in support before accessing that particular government funded trough. And then the parasitic growth of their "family and extended family" comes along under the banner of "human rights".

This is the damnation of the whole of Western Civilisation which had been hollowed out from within by the most devious layer of parasitic growth, the government apparatus. The people we pay for under the auspices that they are doing some work for us, are enforcing things that treat the income generators, the tax paying society as serfs whose primary function in life is to support the parasites (immigrants) and parasite enablers (government).

The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die.

Understanding of this concept is most certainly within mental capabilities of all those employed as the "governing classes " that we are paying for through our taxes.

Until such time when legislation is enacted that each and every individual member of "government classes " is made to pay, on an indemnity basis, through financial damages, forced labour, organs stripping or custodial penalties, for every penny (or cent, sorry, yanks), of damage they inflict on us taxpayers, we are all just barking.

Skip Intro , July 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

This piece does an admirable job conflating globalisation and the ills caused by the neoliberal capture of social democratic parties/leaders. Did people just happen to lose hope, or were they actively betrayed? We are left to guess.

"negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services"

Note that these ills could also be laid at the feet of the austerity movement, and the elimination/privatisation of National Industrial Policy, both cornerstones of the neoliberal infestation.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Not only is globalization not new, all of the issues that come with it are old news.
All of it.

Part of the problem is that the global economic order is still in service to the same old same old. They have to rebrand every so often to keep the comfortable even more comfortable.

Those tasked with keeping the comfortable more comfortable have to present this crap as "new ideas" for their own careerism or actually do not realize they haven't espoused a new idea in 500 years.

K Lee , July 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

Putin's recent interview with Financial Times editor offers a clear-eyed perspective on our changing global structure:

"What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the US? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people.

Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

You know, it seems to me that purely liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point. Please." ~ Vladmir Putin

https://www.ft.com/content/878d2344-98f0-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36

He's talking about the end of neoliberalism, the economic fascism that has gripped the world for over 40 years:

"If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson

Let's get back to using fiscal policy for public purpose again, to granting nations their right to self-determination and stopping the latest desperate neoliberal attempt to change international norms by installing fascist dictators (while pretending they are different) in order to move the world backwards to a time when "efforts to institutionalize standards of human and civil rights were seen as impingements on sovereignty, back to the days when no one gave a second thought to oppressed peoples."

http://tothepointanalyses.com/making-progressives-the-enemy/?fbclid=IwAR0ebXAngJpSZY0-WdB-zOgfqWnGsmYzqkYMP4A69kqbHrTI6WqjSpWM4Ow

kristiina , July 4, 2019 at 2:47 am

Very interesting article, and even more interesting conversation! There is a type of argument that very accurately points out some ills that need addressing, and then goes on to spout venom on the only system that might be able to address those ills.

It may be that the governing classes are making life easy for themselves. How to address that is the hard and difficult issue. Most of the protection of the small people comes from government. Healthcare, schools, roads, water etc.(I'm in scandinavia).

If the government crumbles, the small people have to leave. The most dreadful tyranny is better than a failed state with warring factions.

The only viable way forward is to somehow improve the system while it is (still) running. But this discussion I do not see anywhere.

If the discussion does not happen, there will not be any suggestions for improvement, so everything stays the same. Change is inevitable – it what state it will catch us is the important thing. A cashier at a Catalonian family vineyard told me the future is local and global: the next level from Catalonia will be EU. What are the steps needed to go there?

SteveB , July 4, 2019 at 5:54 am

Same old, Same old. Government is self-corrupting and is loath to change. People had enough July fourth 1776.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

FWIW: The fireworks we watch every Fourth of July holiday are symbolic!!!!

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:43 pm

The cashier seems to be envisioning a neoliberal paradise where the nation-state no longer exists. But who, then, collects the taxes that will pay for infrastructure, healthcare, education, public housing, and unemployment insurance? The European Parliament?

Will Germans and Finns be willing to pay high taxes in order to pay for those services for Greeks and Spaniards?

Look at the unemployment rate in Greece the Germans would simply say that the Greeks are lazy parasites and don't want to work (rather than understand that the economic conditions don't allow for job creation), and they would vote for MEPs that vote to cut taxes and welfare programs.

But maybe this was the plan all along you create this neoliberal paradise, and slowly but surely, people will dismantle all but the bare bones of the welfare state.

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm

I believe that one of the fundamental flaws in the logic behind the EU is this assumption of mobility. Proponents of the EU imagine society to be how it is described in economics textbooks: a bunch of individual actors seeking to maximize their incomes that don't seem to exist in any geographic context. The reality is that people are born into families and communities that speak a language. Most of them probably don't want to just pack up all of their things, relocate, and leave their family and home behind every time they get a new job. People throughout history have always had a very strong connection to the land on which they were raised and the society into which they were brought up; more accurately, for most of human history, this formed the entire existence, the entire universe, of most people (excluding certain oppressed groups, such as slaves or the conquered).

Human beings are not able to move as freely as capital. While euros in Greece can be sent to and used instantly in Germany, it is not so easy for a Greek person to leave the society that their ancestors have lived in for thousands of years and move to a new country with a new culture and language. For privileged people that get to travel, this doesn't sound so bad, but for someone whose family has lived in the same place for centuries and never learned to speak another language, this experience would be extremely difficult. For many people over the age of 25, it might not even be a life worth living.

In the past, economic difficulties would lead to a depreciation of a nation's currency and inflation. But within the current structure of the Eurozone, it results in deflation as euros escape to the core countries (mainly Germany) and unemployment. Southern Europeans are expected to leave everything they have ever known behind and move to the countries where there is work, like Germany or Holland. Maybe for a well-educated worldly 18 year old, that's not so bad, but what about a newly laid-off working class 35 year-old with a wife and kids and no college degree? He's supposed to just pick up his family and leave his parents and relatives behind, learn German, and spend the rest of his life and Germany? His kids now have to be German? Would he even be able to get a job there, anyway? Doing what? And how is he supposed to stop this from happening, how is he supposed to organize politically to keep jobs at home? The Greek government can hardly do anything because the IMF, ECB, and European Commission (all unelected officials) call the shots and don't give them any fiscal breathing room (and we saw what happened the last time voters tried to assert their autonomy in the bailout deal referendum), and the European Parliament doesn't have a serious budget to actually do anything.

I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them.

[Jul 05, 2019] The UK public finally realized that the Globalist/Open Frontiers/ Neoliberal crowd are not their friends

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The key point, is that this happened in the 1980's – 90's. Vast profit possibilities were opening up through digitalization, corporate outsourcing, globalization and the internet. The globalists urgently wanted that money, and had to have political compliance. They found it in Neoliberalism and hijacked both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, creating "New Labour" (leader Tony Blair) through classless "modernization" following Margaret Thatcher's lead. ..."
"... Great blast by Jonathan Cook – I feel as if he has read my thoughts about the political system keeping the proles in an Orwellian state of serfdom for plunder and abuse under the guise of “democracy” and “freedom”. ..."
"... But the ideas of the Chicago School in cohorts with the Frankfurters and Tavistockers were already undermining our hopeful vision of the world while the think tanks at the foundations, councils and institutes were flooding the academies with the doctrines of hardhead uncompromising Capitalism to suck the blood off the proles into anaemic immiseration and apathetic insouciance. ..."
"... With the working class defeated and gone, where is the spirit of resistance to spring from? Not from the selfishness of the new generation of smartphone addicts whose world has shrunk to the atomic MEism and who refuse to open their eyes to what is staring in their face: debt slavery, for life. Maybe the French can do it again. Allez Gilets Jaunes! ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Miro23 says: July 5, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT 400 Words

This is a very good article on UK politics, but I would have put more emphasis on the background. Where we are today has everything to do with how we got here.

The UK has this basic left/right split (Labour/Conservative) reaching far back into its class based history. Sad to say, but within 5 seconds a British person can determine the class of the person they are dealing with (working/ middle/ upper) and act accordingly – referencing their own social background.

Margaret Thatcher was a lower middle class grocer's daughter who gained a rare place at Oxford University (on her own high intellectual merits), and took on the industrial wreckers of the radical left (Arthur Scargill etc.). She consolidated her power with the failure of the 1984-85 Miner's Strike. She introduced a new kind of Conservatism that was more classless and open to the talents, adopting free market Neoliberalism along with Ronald Reagan. A large section of the aspirational working class went for this (many already had middle class salaries) and wanted that at least their children could join the middle class through the university system.

The key point, is that this happened in the 1980's – 90's. Vast profit possibilities were opening up through digitalization, corporate outsourcing, globalization and the internet. The globalists urgently wanted that money, and had to have political compliance. They found it in Neoliberalism and hijacked both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, creating "New Labour" (leader Tony Blair) through classless "modernization" following Margaret Thatcher's lead.

The story now, is that the UK public realize that the Globalist/Zionist/SJW/Open Frontiers/ Neoliberal crowd are not their friends . So they (the public) are backtracking fast to find solid ground. In practice this means 1) Leave the Neoliberal/Globalist EU (which has also been hijacked) using Brexit 2) Recover the traditional Socialist Labour Party of working people through Jeremy Corbyn 3) Recover the traditional Conservative Party ( Britain First) through Nigel Farage and his Brexit movement.

Hence the current and growing gulf that is separating the British public from its Zio-Globalist elite + their media propagandists (BBC, Guardian etc.).


Digital Samizdat , says: July 5, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT

@Miro23

She introduced a new kind of Conservatism that was more classless …

Or just plain anti-working class.

It was actually Thatcher who started the neo-liberal revolution in Britain. To the extent that she refused to finish it, the elites had Tony Blair in the wings waiting to go.

Parfois1 , says: July 5, 2019 at 1:18 pm GMT

Great blast by Jonathan Cook – I feel as if he has read my thoughts about the political system keeping the proles in an Orwellian state of serfdom for plunder and abuse under the guise of “democracy” and “freedom”. Under this system if anyone steps out of line is indeed sidelined for the “anti-semitic” treatment, demonized, vilified and, virtually hanged and quartered on the public square of the mendacious media.

In the good old days, when there was a militant working class and revolting (!) unionism, we would get together at meetings, organize protests and strikes and confront bosses and officialdom. There was camaraderie, solidarity, loyalty and confident defiance that we were fighting for a better world for ourselves and our children – and also for people less fortunate than us in other countries.

But the ideas of the Chicago School in cohorts with the Frankfurters and Tavistockers were already undermining our hopeful vision of the world while the think tanks at the foundations, councils and institutes were flooding the academies with the doctrines of hardhead uncompromising Capitalism to suck the blood off the proles into anaemic immiseration and apathetic insouciance.

... ... ... .

With the working class defeated and gone, where is the spirit of resistance to spring from? Not from the selfishness of the new generation of smartphone addicts whose world has shrunk to the atomic MEism and who refuse to open their eyes to what is staring in their face: debt slavery, for life. Maybe the French can do it again. Allez Gilets Jaunes!

Harbinger , says: July 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT
@Miro23 ic get pissed off and vote in the conservatives who then privatise everything. And this game continues on and on. The British public are literally headless chickens running around not knowing what on earth is going on. They’re not interested in getting to the bottom of why society is the way it is. They’re all too comfortable with their mortgages, cars, holidays twice a year, mobile phones, TV shows and football.

When all of this disappears, then certainly, they will start asking questions, but when that time comes they will be utterly powerless to do anything, as a minority in their own land. Greater Israel will be built when that time comes.

Miro23 , says: July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat itants and win – which she did.

No one at the time had much idea about Neoliberalism and none at all about Globalization. This was all in the future.

And it was the British working class who were really cutting their own throats, by wrecking British industry (their future employment), with constant political radicalism and strikes.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Great-Britain-1976-Crisis/dp/0300057288

[Jun 29, 2019] Nationalism vs multi-culturalism vs economic zionism

Notable quotes:
"... The term multi-cultural is propaganda, the shift from "nation" to "culture" is used to atomise the perception of belonging that nation implies, into becoming one amongst many under the authority of state, which at this point has usually become an impersonal law and structure from which a bureaucratic elite govern and thrive off of private enterprise, where before a feudal lordship profited by taking a share of personal endeavour. The extremes might be Frankfurt school vs serfdom, with various combinations of philosophy in-between. ..."
"... The economic zionism you describe is via knowledge of finance, monetary theory, trade, weaknesses in society, political reality and more. It uses international realities as a tool. Where before international banking was a measure of trust in the clearing of accounts, this left room for manipulation, and the ability to pressure by holding control of that accounting. ..."
"... And although immigrants should feel free to speak their language at home and even in society, they will have to accept that the language of the law, commerce, education and civil authority is that of the host nation and it is up to them to learn it or at least learn how to work with or around it. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

gzon , Jun 29, 2019 8:49:43 AM | 129

@ snake 90

"Nationality, is a named object, programmed by propaganda."

Nationality in the formal sense, derives from two or more feudal monopolies defining their differences and according a separate recognition to the other, usually including geographical markers. The extension of personal identity to national identity is product of the recognition of belonging to one specific feudal hierarchy. This might be natural or imposed, the theme of nation literally implies the environment or peoples one is born into.

The term multi-cultural is propaganda, the shift from "nation" to "culture" is used to atomise the perception of belonging that nation implies, into becoming one amongst many under the authority of state, which at this point has usually become an impersonal law and structure from which a bureaucratic elite govern and thrive off of private enterprise, where before a feudal lordship profited by taking a share of personal endeavour. The extremes might be Frankfurt school vs serfdom, with various combinations of philosophy in-between.

The evolution of the above has been observed to occur by financial means, but is itself also an ideology. The capitalist side to this ranges from the granting of favours (as per permission to reside) through to fractional lending backed only by national debt (spending). The taxation that must still occur to provide a sense of connectedness to real economy, and hence to provide a sense of value to the currency, punishes the established and functional society. The sum when mispent goes towards recruiting new nationals, and on paying the elite bureaucracy for their pet projects. The old hierarchy tends to maintain much control the private financial sphere, and works with the state by granting it a certain legitimacy, as well as receiving positions, contracts and favours.

The economic zionism you describe is via knowledge of finance, monetary theory, trade, weaknesses in society, political reality and more. It uses international realities as a tool. Where before international banking was a measure of trust in the clearing of accounts, this left room for manipulation, and the ability to pressure by holding control of that accounting. The reality though is that nations (leaders) became weak or corrupted, decided on grand enterprise they could not repay, and so broke trust in the old order by resorting to or accepting manipulation of accounts (for example ending the original European Monetary Union of the 19th century), and eventually resorting to war amongst themselves where outward conquest was no longer profitable enough.

Were, or are they, clients of monopolies though ? Well no, because it is an illusion that anyone holds monopoly of finance or money. However they did commit themselves to a system without which they would then be left weak, where they would lose public honour and respect if they did not produce a result of some kind. The resulting corruption between various sides became a feature of national policy, a kind of symbiosis at elite levels. "Multiculturalism" helps hide that reality, as well as serving in terms of having population with weakened identity at their disposal.

The only monopoly states are truly client to is that of the use of force.

On a more social side, there are corners of the world where various cultures exist well side by side, and where interaction is positive. This even within the boundaries of one country. However it is not that country that makes that work, the different cultures tend to hold a deeper respect and understanding for one another, but if you look you will find that they do keep to themselves voluntarily, and simply reside next to each other peacefully. They don't call themselves multiculti or anything. I expect multiculturalism theoretically could exist, but because it is so artificial a concept, it seems more like an ersatz for loss of own culture, so being sad cheap and empty once trying to celebrate it returns to common day to day reality.

You are right about the correct form being a society that knows itself, that naturally governs and watches over itself. This is often criticised as simplistic or idealised, and the reason for that is that those who seek more centralised control only have the view of putting down vast law as scripture and then forcefully imposing it, they love complexity so as to be those that clarify it. If we live outside of that the rules, and life, are much simpler, and fortunately most people have an innate understanding of right and wrong somewhere. The local culture explains or represents the true form of interaction, so if that becomes confused, so does society, and strife and unhappiness results.

Here is an interesting and very readable explanation on monetary theory, it gives a quite clear explanation of how finance actually works in social and political terms

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-does-fiat-money-seemingly-work.html

ralphieboy , Jun 29, 2019 9:08:22 AM | 130

"Multiculturalism" is a loaded term: if it is used to mean different styles of food, music and dress, then I am all for it. But it does not mean that the host nation should accept misogyny, homophobia, honor killings or other "traditional values" that immigrants bring along.

And although immigrants should feel free to speak their language at home and even in society, they will have to accept that the language of the law, commerce, education and civil authority is that of the host nation and it is up to them to learn it or at least learn how to work with or around it.

[Jun 27, 2019] 'Christian Zionism' is the direct fruit of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism broadly understood

Jun 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake says: June 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm GMT 300 Words @Cleburne

'Christian Zionism' is the direct fruit of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism broadly understood. Over its life, it has manifested itself in many ways. The beliefs were so powerful even before the Puritan revolution that groups of English Dissenter/Low Church Protestants existed that taught that the original natives of Britain, barbarians in every sense, had been uplifted by the arrival of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel – this was taught to prove that the English had Hebrew blood and so were the Chosen Race, which meant that Anglophone Protestantism (Low Church) was the true faith.

By the dawn of the Victorian age, standard Brit WASP Judaizing had become secular and had discovered that Arabs are also Semites linguistically and culturally. That allowed many of the Brit WASP Elites to adopt Arabs and/or Mohammedanism as their pet Semite to elevate over the vast majority of British Isles natives that they despised.

The religiously pro-Jewish original focus of the culture produced by the Judaizing heresy that was Anglo-Saxon Puritanism was still alive and very powerful at the dawn of the 20th century. That is how the Oxford UP came to publish the Scofield Study Bible.

Churches across the South were remarkably free of any taint of overt Judaizing in the WASP vein until well after WW2. The growth was slow but steady until after the Reagan years, when it exploded. I have seen no signs of a regression in the 21st century.

You also are way off about the economic notions held by rural Evangelicals in the South.

[Jun 27, 2019] The Hijacking of American Nationalism

Notable quotes:
"... Just recently, John Judis, undisguisedly a political commentator of the Left, made an important argument in favor of nationalism. "Nationalist sentiment," he writes in his book The Nationalist Revival , "is an essential ingredient of a democracy, which is based on the assumptions of a common identity, and of a welfare state, which is based on the acceptance by citizens of their financial responsibility for people whom they may not know at all, and who may have widely different backgrounds from theirs." ..."
"... Of course, nationalism can be "the basis of social generosity or of bigoted exclusion." It is therefore important, according to Judis, that enlightened state leaders push nationalism in the proper direction. ..."
"... The presence of Daniel Pipes and other neoconservatives at this gathering also suggests that at least some of the panelists will be offering two approved concepts of nationalism: propositional nationhood for the United States and solidarity with Israeli nationalism. In both cases, however, the nationalism being advocated ends up tied to an aggressive foreign policy. ..."
"... The nationalist label has now fallen into the hands of the neocon establishment, which has managed to identify it with international meddling and a creedal nation. In other words, it's been appropriated by those who already wielded power. ..."
"... But what makes American nationalism even more unpalatable now than when Robert Nisbet famously denounced it in The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America is its rhetorical availability. It serves different agendas, depending on which power bloc appeals to it. ..."
"... Until recently, nationalism had portentous associations for much of the political class. It signified, rightly or wrongly, ethnocentricity and dislike for outsiders. Now that's all changing. Those in power have tamed the concept and are recycling it for their own purposes. Stay tuned. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Just recently, John Judis, undisguisedly a political commentator of the Left, made an important argument in favor of nationalism. "Nationalist sentiment," he writes in his book The Nationalist Revival , "is an essential ingredient of a democracy, which is based on the assumptions of a common identity, and of a welfare state, which is based on the acceptance by citizens of their financial responsibility for people whom they may not know at all, and who may have widely different backgrounds from theirs."

Of course, nationalism can be "the basis of social generosity or of bigoted exclusion." It is therefore important, according to Judis, that enlightened state leaders push nationalism in the proper direction.

Judis points out that while "globalism" is a force that nationalists understandably oppose, "internationalism" need not clash with nationalist sentiment. In a op-ed in The New York Times last October, Judis praised his kind of nationalism as being beneficial to a successful and growing welfare state and a happier world. It can also be, he said, a stepping stone that leads beyond itself to international cooperation .

For those who study European socialism, it is clear that Judis is reprising the position of French sociologist Pierre Bordieu , who argued for decades that a socialist regime must create some kind of social glue to hold its subjects together. Judis is now transferring Bordieu's view to the American political scene.

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Now, a conference on "conservative nationalism," which will take place in Washington in July , may be pushing a "nationalism" that is at least as adaptable as Judis's. One featured speaker , Claire Lehmann, the founder of Quillette, will be talking about how nationalism "is the antidote to racism." Presumably the more inclusive the operative term, the less likely will be the Left's attack on those wielding it.

The presence of Daniel Pipes and other neoconservatives at this gathering also suggests that at least some of the panelists will be offering two approved concepts of nationalism: propositional nationhood for the United States and solidarity with Israeli nationalism. In both cases, however, the nationalism being advocated ends up tied to an aggressive foreign policy.

Nationalism, in any case, means different things for different peoples. It doesn't hold the same meaning for Estonians or Hungarians, who belong to ethnic, historic communities, as it does for a pluralistic country with hundreds of millions of people and a constantly expanding immigrant population.

In the latest issue of the Rassemblement National monthly L'Incorrect , Steve Bannon speaks of the natural fit between European nationalism and the nationalist movement that he has been promoting in the United States. Both these ideologies, Bannon says, derive from the same national principle. In an interview with me in the same publication, I treated Bannon's contention as wishful thinking. The United States has become too diverse and too culturally disunited to fit a traditional national model. Our use of nationalism will likely lead to something less quaint and less organic but more explosive than what comes from the Baltic nationalists or Viktor Orbán.

The Nationalist Delusion The New Nationalism Won't Save the Right

The nationalist label has now fallen into the hands of the neocon establishment, which has managed to identify it with international meddling and a creedal nation. In other words, it's been appropriated by those who already wielded power.

The same protean label is also likely to wander onto the Left, given the nontraditional and very pliable nature of our "nationalism." John Judis may in fact be the harbinger of a new American Left that celebrates nationalism, provided that Left is allowed to define that term for the rest of us. Indeed, it may be possible to frame LGBT rights and reparations for blacks as "nationalist" issues. Nationalism also need not hinder us from letting in lots of undocumented immigrants who are only trying to join our team and learn our values.

Men and women of the interwar Right, down to such later figures as Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet, were understandably critical of American nationalism. They identified it with social engineering and centralized government and preferred localism and regionalism to any justification for an expansionist administrative state.

But what makes American nationalism even more unpalatable now than when Robert Nisbet famously denounced it in The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America is its rhetorical availability. It serves different agendas, depending on which power bloc appeals to it. The hope once entertained by Pat Buchanan that a nationalist cause would help slow down immigration and preserve America's traditional moral and cultural identity has not worked out as planned. Those who control our politics and culture determine the meaning of terms, which is as true of nationalism as it is of other political labels like "freedom" and "equality."

Until recently, nationalism had portentous associations for much of the political class. It signified, rightly or wrongly, ethnocentricity and dislike for outsiders. Now that's all changing. Those in power have tamed the concept and are recycling it for their own purposes. Stay tuned.

Paul Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years. He is a Guggenheim recipient and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents .

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

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Olympia1881 -> GeorgeMonbiot , 11 Apr 2019 05:37

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

[Jun 13, 2019] How Israel abuses generic testing

Jun 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Looks like firms like 23andMe opened the can of worms... Use of genetics to substantiate racist stereotypes

For almost two decades, Farber and his colleagues have advocated for this immigrant community in the face of what they see as targeted discrimination. In cases of marriage, Farber acts as a type of rabbinical lawyer, pulling together documentation and making a case for his clients in front of a board of rabbinical judges. He fears that DNA testing will place even more power in the hands of the Rabbinate and further marginalize the Russian speaking community. "It's as if the rabbis have become technocrats," he told me. "They are using genetics to give validity to their discriminatory practices."

Despite public outrage and protests in central Tel Aviv, the Rabbinate have not indicated any intention of ending DNA testing, and reports continue to circulate in the Israeli media of how the test is being used. One woman allegedly had to ask her mother and aunt for genetic material to prove that she was not adopted. Another man was asked to have his grandmother, sick with dementia, take a test.

Boris Shindler, a political activist and active member of the Russian speaking community, told me that he believes that the full extent of the practice remains unknown, because many of those who have been tested are unwilling to share their stories publicly out of a sense of shame. "I was approached by someone who was married in a Jewish ceremony maybe 15, 20 years ago, who recently received an official demand saying if you want to continue to be Jewish, we'd like you to do a DNA test," Shindler said. "They said if she doesn't do it then she has to sign papers saying she is not Jewish. But she is too humiliated to go to the press with this."

What offends Shindler most is that the technique is being used to single out his community, which he sees as part of a broader stigmatization of Russian speaking immigrants in Israeli society as unassimilated outsiders and second-class citizens. "It is sad because in the Soviet Union we were persecuted for being Jewish and now in Israel we're being discriminated against for not being Jewish enough," he said.

As well as being deeply humiliating, Shindler told me that there is confusion around what being genetically Jewish means. "How do they decide when someone becomes Jewish," he asked. "If I have 51% Jewish DNA does that mean I'm Jewish, but if I'm 49% I'm not?"

[Jun 11, 2019] In reality localists, sovereignists etc. don't really want de-globalisation for the sake of it, they mostly want to increase exports and decrease imports, and in fact these localists desires are stronger in countries (USA, UK) that are big net importers, and therefore think they are losing in the globalisation race.

Jun 11, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

MisterMr 06.11.19 at 11:16 am

@nastywoman 26

" -- seems to me a very complicated explanation for: If a country doesn't produce what it consumes Such a country is entirely F ed!"

This is totally NOT what I said, so I'll restate my point differently.

IF people (localists, sovereignists etc.) really wanted less globalisation, without global supply chains, etc., then it would be possible, at a price (in terms of productivity).

BUT in reality localists, sovereignists etc. don't really want de-globalisation for the sake of it, they mostly want to increase exports and decrease imports, and in fact these localists desires are stronger in countries (USA, UK) that are big net importers, and therefore think they are losing in the globalisation race.

The reason localists want to increase exports and decrease imports is that it is a form of mercantilism: if exports increase and imports decrease, there are more jobs and contemporaneously there are also more profits for businesses, so it's natural that countries want to import less and export more.

BUT exports are a zero sum game, so while this or that country can have some advantages by being a net exporter, this automatically means that some other country becomes a net importer, so onne can't solve the problem of unemployment by having everyone being net exporters (as Krugman once joked by having everyone export to Mars).

So the big plan of localists cannot work in aggregate, if it works for one country it creates a problem for another country. This is a really big problem that will cause increasing international tensions.

We are seeing this dinamic, IMHO, in the Brexit negotiations, where in my opinion many brexiters had mercantilist hopes, but of course the EU will not accept an accord that makes it easy for the UK to play mercantilist.

I'll add that I think that Brexiters don't really realise that they are mercantilists, but if you look at the demands and hopes of many Brexiters this is their "revealed preference".

This is also a problem because apparently many people (not only the Brexiters, see also EU's policies towards Greece) don't really realise what's the endgame for the policies they are rooting for, it seems more like a socially unconscious tendency, so it is difficult to have a rational argument with someone that doesn't really understand what he wants and what he is in practice trying to do.

The reason that every country is trying to play mercantilist is that in most countries inequality rose in the last decades, which creates a tendency towards underconsumption, that must be countered through one of these 3 channels: (1) Government deficits; (2) Easy money finance and increased levels of financial leverage; (3) net exports.

The first two channels lead to higher debt levels, the third apparently doesn't but, as on the other side of net exports there has to be a net importer, in reality it still relies on an increase in debt levels, only it is an increase in debt levels by someone else (sometimes known as the net exporter -- "vendor-financing" the net importer)

The increase in leverage goes hand in hand with an increase of the value of capital assets VS GDP, that is an increase of the wealth to income ratio.

So ultimately the increased level of inequality inside countries (as opposed to economic inequality between countries, that is falling) leads to a world where both debt levels and asset prices grow more than proportionally to GDP, hence speculative behaviour, and an economy that is addicted to the increase of debt levels, either at home or abroad (in the case of net exporting countries).

The countries that seriously want to become net exporters have to depress internal consumption, which makes the problem worse at a world level. The countries like the USA, where internal consumption is too much a big share of the pie relative to what the USA could gain by exports, are forced to the internal debt route, and so are more likely to become net importers.

However, in this situation where everyone acts mercantilist, by necessity someone will end up a net importer because import/export is a zero sum game, so it doesn't really make sense to blame this or that attitude of, for example, Americans for they being net importers: they are forced into it because otherwise they would be in perma-depression.

nastywoman 06.11.19 at 11:31 am ( 30 )

“But it is unquestionably and unarguably true that American conflict (which may or may not be of a military nature) with a rising China is literally inevitable”

As long as the US Casino -(”the stock market”) will react unfavourable to a (real) American-Chinese conflict – there will be no (real) American-Chinese conflict –
(just the games which are going on currently) – and just never forget – all of my Chinese friends are really ”tough gamblers”.

Mike Furlan 06.11.19 at 2:30 pm ( 31 )
@30

“As long as the US Casino -(”the stock market”) will react unfavourable to a (real) American-Chinese conflict – there will be no (real) American-Chinese conflict “

Crash, then conflict?

One possibility is a US market crash entirely due to domestic shenanigans, followed by demagogue blaming it all on “Chiner.”

[Jun 11, 2019] American Exceptionalism and American Innocence A People's History of Fake News_From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror

Jun 11, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Like a thunderbolt that penetrates the dark fog of ideological confusion, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News -- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror , illuminates the hidden spaces of the official story of the territory that came to be known as the United States of America.

Meticulously researched, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence utilizes a de-colonial lens that debunks the distorted, mythological liberal framework that rationalized the U.S. settler-colonial project. The de-colonized frame allows them to critically root their analysis in the psychosocial history, culture, political economy, and evolving institutions of the United States of America without falling prey to the unrecognized and unacknowledged liberalism and national chauvinism that seeps through so much of what is advanced as radical analysis today.

That is what makes this work so "exceptional" and so valuable at this moment of institutional and ideological crisis in the U.S. This crisis is indeed more severe and potentially more transformative than at any other moment in this nation's history.

With unflinching clarity, Sirvent and Haiphong go right to the heart of the current social, political, economic, and ideological crisis. They strip away the obscurantist nonsense pushed by liberal and state propagandists that the Trump phenomenon represents a fundamental departure from traditional "American values" by demonstrating that "Trumpism" is no departure at all, but only the unfiltered contemporary and particular expression of the core values that the nation was "founded" on.

What Sirvent and Haiphong expose in their work is that American exceptionalism and its corollary American innocence are the interconnected frames that not only explain why the crude white nationalism of a Donald Trump is consistent with the violence and white supremacy of the American experience, but also why that violence has been largely supported by large sections of the U.S. population repeatedly.

As the exceptional nation, the indispensable nation, the term President Obama liked to evoke to give humanitarian cover to the multiple interventions,

destabilization campaigns, and unilateral global policing operations on behalf of U.S. and international capital, it is expected and largely accepted by the citizens of the U.S. that their nation-state has a right and, actually, a moral duty to do whatever it deems appropriate to uphold the international order. It can do that because this cause is noble and righteous. Lest we forget the words of Theodore Roosevelt, considered a great architect of American progressiveness, "If given the choice between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness."

In a succinct and penetrating observation, Sirvent and Haiphong point out:

American exceptionalism has always presumed national innocence despite imposing centuries of war and plunder. The American nation-state has been at war for over ninety percent of its existence. These wars have all been justified as necessary ventures meant to defend or expand America's so-called founding values and beliefs. A consequence of centuries of endless war has been the historical tendency of the U.S. to erase from consciousness the realities that surround American domestic and international policy, not to mention the system of imperialism that governs both.

But the acceptance of state violence in the form of economic sanctions and direct and indirect military interventions is not the only consequence of the cultural conditioning process informed by the arrogance of white privilege, white rights, and the protection of white Western civilization. The racist xenophobia, impunity for killer-cops, mass incarceration, ICE raids and checkpoints, left-right ideological convergence to erase "blackness," are all part of the racial management process that still enjoys majoritarian support in the U.S.

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence 's focus on the insidious and corrosive impact of white supremacy throughout the book is a necessary and valuable corrective to the growing tendency toward marginalizing the issue of race, even among left forces under the guise of being opposed to so-called identity politics.

Centering the role of white supremacist ideologies and its connection to American exceptionalism and innocence, Sirvent and Haiphong argue that "communities and activists will be better positioned to dismantle them." American exceptionalism and notions of U.S. innocence not only provide

ideological rationalizations for colonialism, capitalism, empire, and white supremacy, but also a normalized theoretical framework for how the world is and should be structured that inevitably makes criminals out of the people opposing U.S. dominance, within the nation and abroad.

Paul Krugman, a leading liberal within the context of the U.S. articulates this normalized framework that is shared across the ideological spectrum from liberal to conservative and even among some left forces. I have previously referred to this view of the world as representative of the psychopathology of white supremacy:

"We emerged from World War II with a level of both economic and military dominance not seen since the heyday of ancient Rome. But our role in the world was always about more than money and guns. It was also about ideals: America stood for something larger than itself -- for freedom, human rights and the rule of law as universal principles . . . By the end of World War II, we and our British allies had in effect conquered a large part of the world. We could have become permanent occupiers, and/or installed subservient puppet governments, the way the Soviet Union did in Eastern Europe. And yes, we did do that in some developing countries; our history with, say, Iran is not at all pretty. But what we mainly did instead was help defeated enemies get back on their feet, establishing democratic regimes that shared our core values and became allies in protecting those values. The Pax Americana was a sort of empire; certainly America was for a long time very much first among equals. But it was by historical standards a remarkably benign empire, held together by soft power and respect rather than force." 1

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence refutes this pathological view of the U.S. and demonstrates that this view is a luxury that the colonized peoples of the world cannot afford.

The bullet and the bomb -- the American military occupation and the police occupation -- are the bonds that link the condition of Black Americans to oppressed nations around the world. This is the urgency in which the authors approached their task. The physical and ideological war being waged against the victims of the colonial/capitalist white supremacist patriarchy is resulting in real suffering. Authentic solidarity with the oppressed requires a

rejection of obfuscation. The state intends to secure itself and the ruling elite by legal or illegal means, by manipulating or completely jettisoning human freedom and democratic rights. Sirvent and Haiphong know that time is running out. They demonstrate the intricate collaboration between the state and the corporate and financial elite to create the conditions in which ideological and political opposition would be rendered criminal as the state grapples with the legitimacy crisis it finds itself in. They know that Trump's "make America great again" is the Republican version of Obama's heralding of U.S. exceptionalism, and that both are laying the ideological foundation for a cross-class white neofascist solution to the crisis of neoliberal capitalism.

The U.S. is well on its way toward a new form of totalitarianism that is more widespread than the forms of neofascist rule that was the norm in the Southern states of the U.S. from 1878 to 1965. Chris Hedges refers to it as "corporate totalitarianism." And unlike the sheer social terror experienced by the African American population as a result of the corporatist alignment of the new Democratic party and national and regional capital in the South, this "new" form of totalitarianism is more benign but perhaps even more insidious because the control rests on the ability to control thought. And here lies the challenge. Marxist thinker Fredrick Jamison shares a very simple lesson, "The lesson is this, and it is a lesson about system: one cannot change anything without changing everything." This simple theory of system change argues that when you change one part of a system you by necessity must change all parts of the system, because all parts are interrelated.

The failure of the Western left in general and the U.S. left in particular to understand the inextricable, structural connection between empire, colonization, capitalism, and white supremacy -- and that all elements of that oppressive structure must be confronted, dismantled, and defeated -- continues to give lifeblood to a system that is ready to sweep into the dustbins of history. This is why American Exceptionalism and American Innocence is nothing more than an abject subversion. It destabilizes the hegemonic assumptions and imposed conceptual frameworks of bourgeois liberalism and points the reader toward the inevitable conclusion that U.S. society in its present form poses an existential threat to global humanity.

Challenging the reader to rethink the history of the U.S. and to imagine a future, decolonial nation in whatever form it might take, Sirvent and Haiphong include a quote from Indigenous rights supporter Andrea Smith

that captures both the subversive and optimistic character of their book. Smith is quoted saying:

Rather than a pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness that depends on the deaths of others . . . we can imagine new forms of governance based on the principles of mutuality, interdependence, and equality. When we do not presume that the United States should or will continue to exist, we can begin to imagine more than a kinder, gentler settler state founded on genocide and slavery.

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence gives us a weapon to reimagine a transformed U.S. nation, but it also surfaces the ideological minefields that we must avoid if we are to realize a new possibility and a new people.

[Jun 02, 2019] May's resignation will do nothing to arrest Britain's decline by Patrick Cockburn

Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Crash in 1929 exposed the fragility and rottenness of much in the United States. Brexit may do the same in Britain. In New York 90 years ago, my father only truly appreciated how bad the situation really was when his boss said to him in a low voice: "Remember, when we are writing this story, the word 'panic' is not to be used." ..."
May 25, 2019 | www.unz.com
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There is a story about an enthusiastic American who took a phlegmatic English friend to see the Niagara Falls.

"Isn't that amazing?" exclaimed the American. "Look at that vast mass of water dashing over that enormous cliff!"

"But what," asked the Englishman, "is to stop it?"

My father, Claud Cockburn, used to tell this fable to illustrate what, as a reporter in New York on the first day of the Wall Street Crash on 24 October 1929, it was like to watch a great and unstoppable disaster taking place.

I thought about my father's account of the mood on that day in New York as Theresa May announced her departure as prime minister, the latest milestone – but an important one – in the implosion of British politics in the age of Brexit . Everybody with their feet on the ground has a sense of unavoidable disaster up ahead but no idea of how to avert it; least of all May's likely successors with their buckets of snake oil about defying the EU and uniting the nation.

It is a mistake to put all the blame on the politicians. I have spent the last six months travelling around Britain, visiting places from Dover to Belfast, where it is clear that parliament is only reflecting real fault lines in British society. Brexit may have envenomed and widened these divisions, but it did not create them and it is tens of millions of people who differ radically in their opinions, not just an incompetent and malign elite.

Even so, May was precisely the wrong political personality to try to cope with the Brexit crisis: not stupid herself, she has a single-minded determination amounting to tunnel vision that is akin to stupidity. Her lauding of consensus in her valedictory speech announcing her resignation was a bit rich after three years of rejecting compromise until faced with imminent defeat.

Charging ahead regardless only works for those who are stronger than all obstacles, which was certainly not the case in Westminster and Brussels. Only those holding all the trump cards can ignore the other players at the table. This should have been blindingly clear from the day May moved into Downing Street after a referendum that showed British voters to be split down the middle, something made even more obvious when she lost her parliamentary majority in 2017. But, for all her tributes to the virtues of compromise today, she relied on the votes of MPs from the sectarian Protestant DUP in Northern Ireland, a place which had strongly voted to remain in the EU.

Her miscalculations in negotiating with the EU were equally gross. The belief that Britain could cherry pick what it wanted from its relationship with Europe was always wishful thinking unless the other 27 EU states were disunited. It is always in the interests of the members of a club to make sure that those who leave have a worse time outside than in.

The balance of power was against Britain and this is not going to change, though Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab might pretend that what has been lacking is sufficient willpower or belief in Brexit as a sort of religious faith. These are dangerous delusions, enabling Nigel Farage to sell the idea of "betrayal" and being "stabbed in the back" just like German right-wing politicians after 1918.

Accusations of treachery might be an easy sell in Britain because it is so steeped in myths of self-sufficiency, fostered by self-congratulatory films and books about British prowess in the Second World War. More recent British military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan either never made it on to the national news agenda or are treated as irrelevant bits of ancient history. The devastating Chilcot report on Britain in the Iraq War received insufficient notice because its publication coincided with the referendum in 2016.

Brexiters who claim to be leading Britain on to a global stage are extraordinarily parochial in their views of the outside world. The only realistic role for Britain in a post-Brexit world will be, as ever, a more humble spear carrier for Trump's America. In this sense, it is appropriate that the Trump state visit should so neatly coincide with May's departure and the triumphant emergence of Trump's favourite British politicians, Johnson and Farage.

Just how decisive is the current success of the Brexiters likely to be? Their opponents say encouragingly that they have promised what they cannot deliver in terms of greater prosperity so they are bound to come unstuck. But belief in such a comforting scenario is the height of naivety because the world is full of politicians who have failed to deliver the promises that got them elected, but find some other unsavoury gambit to keep power by exacerbating foreign threats, as in India, or locking up critics, as in Turkey.

Britain is entering a period of permanent crisis not seen since the 17 th century. Brexit was a symptom as well as a cause of divisions. The gap between the rich and the poor, the householder and the tenant, the educated and the uneducated, the old and the young, has grown wider and wider. Brexit became the great vent through which grievances that had nothing to with Brussels bubbled. The EU is blamed for all the sins of de-industrialisation, privatisation and globalisation and, if it did not create them, then it did not do enough to alleviate their impact.

The proponents of Leave show no sign of having learned anything over the last three years, but they do not have to because they can say that the rewards of Brexit lie in a sun-lit future. Remainers have done worse because they are claiming that the rewards of the membership of the EU are plenteous and already with us. "If you wish to see its monument, look around you," they seem to say. This is a dangerous argument: why should anybody from ex-miners in the Welsh Valleys to former car workers in Birmingham or men who once worked on Dover docks endorse what has happened to them while Britain has been in the EU? Why should they worry about a rise or fall in the GDP when they never felt it was their GDP in the first place?

May is getting a sympathy vote for her final lachrymose performance, but it is undeserved. Right up to the end there was a startling gap between her words and deeds. The most obvious contradiction was her proclaimed belief that "life depends on compromise". But it also turns out that "proper funding for mental health" was at the heart of her NHS long term plan, though hospital wards for the mentally ill continue to close and patients deep in psychosis are dispatched to the other end of the country.

The Wall Street Crash in 1929 exposed the fragility and rottenness of much in the United States. Brexit may do the same in Britain. In New York 90 years ago, my father only truly appreciated how bad the situation really was when his boss said to him in a low voice: "Remember, when we are writing this story, the word 'panic' is not to be used."

[May 31, 2019] White Nationalism and the Neoliberal Order by ROB URIE

Notable quotes:
"... By putting Mr. Biden forward as the establishment presidential candidate, the Democrats affirm that they see themselves well-served by reactionary illiberalism. Otherwise, their rhetorical rejections of white nationalism and xenophobia could be supported by robust critiques of their own policies of the last four decades and a well-considered political program to counter their consequences could be put forward. But Mr. Biden is the antithesis of both. ..."
May 31, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Two related tendencies have sown confusion over the crisis of liberalism that continues to unfold across the U.S. and Europe. On the one hand, the forces of the political right are ascendant. Right-wing leaders are being elected as an apparent rebuke of the serial failures of neoliberalism. On the other, the will of the polity is increasingly irrelevant to the formulation and concerns of nominally public policies.

In the U.S., the political establishment continues to put forward candidates which its functionaries appear to believe can best perpetuate this illusion of democracy. Befuddlement at the rise of reactionary forces is met with an increasingly strident insistence that there is nothing to react against, that all is well if people would only shut up and follow the directions of their betters.

Despite the conspicuous failures of the existing order here and abroad -- a series of murderous vanity wars intermingled with economic crises of increasing scale and scope, the seemingly unstoppable trajectory toward full-blown environmental crisis, nuclear weapons that serve as background psychic violence and political economy that is organized to milk the polity dry at every opportunity, the political powers-that-be seek to perpetuate this radically dysfunctional status quo.

In this environment, the rise of illiberal, reactionary forces seems not only predictable, but to be the ugly cousin of the neoliberal resolve that all is well. Adding insult to injury is the insistence that the neoliberal order, the bi-partisan governance that fronts for the oligarchs, bears no responsibility for the consequences of four decades of neoliberal rule. It is the polity's unwillingness to comport with the dictates of rule by and for the oligarchs that is the point of contestation, goes the chide.

An entire functionary class that smiled and nodded approvingly when Bill Clinton launched his 1992 presidential bid at Stone Mountain, Georgia, birthplace of the twentieth century KKK, while standing in front of neatly ordered black prisoners, is mystified by the re-emergence of white nationalism. And while the Clinton / Biden 1994 Crime Bill wasn't exactly a white nationalist manifesto, it inflicted more racially targeted human misery than the late twentieth century Klan ever could have hoped for.

If enacting punitive measures against the poor is separable from the full throated and bi-partisan endorsement of the quasi-market -- heads, the rich win, tails, everyone else loses, economics of neoliberalism, where is the evidence? And how, precisely, does this con recover from the panicked giveaways of 2009 when the ' runway was foamed ' with the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of working people and poor to prevent oligarchs from losing their fifth yacht or their seventh vacation home?

The alternative to the vile misdirection of xenophobia would be for the oligarchs and their servants in the political class to confess that their faux-market economics -- trade agreements that created the asymmetry of mobile capital and immobilized labor, was a tragic mistake that displaced millions of workers for the benefit of the oligarchs. With honest accounting of what happened and who is responsible 'off the table,' xenophobia appears to be the preferred tactic of the oligarchs.

The farce of Democratic Party functionaries shouting 'racist' at the thoroughly predictable fruit of their labors has subsided with the political ascendance of Joe Biden to complicate the line between white nationalism and liberal loathing of the audience it helped create. The neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville were / are white nationalists. But what does this make professional-class liberals who supported the Clinton / Biden 1994 'Crime' Bill under feigned ignorance of its racial subtext?

The sub-textual connotation of the term 'dog whistle' behind the Crime Bill doesn't do justice to the social violence of its facts. The subject-object relation of the political panderer to his / her audience carries with it the moral formulation 1) we agree that overt racism is objectionable because 2) if it weren't, we wouldn't be opaque expressing it. But how is this not to assert that race represents a real, as opposed to manufactured, line of division, something akin to the white nationalist's premise of its essential character?

The dog-whistle is, to the extent that there is an audience for it in the terms given, politically motivated misdirection. The speaker won't be explicit if the audience is clear as to the true meaning of what is being said. But isn't this even more insidious than the straightforward (if ontologically implausible) claim of essential difference by race? The rhetorical layer of 'crime' gives a social logic to a host of punitive consequences. With the Crime Bill, the Clintons and Joe Biden grievously harmed the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of human beings.

There is, of course, a long history behind this relation of law and racial repression. Law, the legislative, judicial, policing and penal functions, was used to maintain the institution of slavery and later, following the Civil War, to recreate its broad contours for purposes of economic taking. Convict leasing, Black Codes, Jim Crow and mass incarceration are part of an historical trajectory. However, to the point made by Adolph Reed, degree matters -- current conditions aren't analogous to those of the Jim Crow South or slavery.

But with this history behind it, what legitimate basis is there for the sub-textual use of a relation of race to criminality? As the patriarch of modern political marketing, did Bill Clinton really believe that there was no racial subtext to his vile stunt at Stone Mountain? More pointedly, through promoting the compound storyline of race and crime, how is Mr. Clinton not promoting a slightly more complex, and insidious, version of white nationalist 'difference?' Alternatively, if crime has a social basis, why would proposed solutions be punitive rather than restorative?

All of this could be ancient history if it didn't exist at the center of current travails. Without an accounting of the failures of liberalism, these compound storylines from history provide the rhetorical core of contemporary politics. It is hardly coincidental that Joe Biden is 1) a dedicated corporatist, 2) a long-time purveyor of racist tropes, 3) the Democrats latest, if improbable, hope for restoration of the neoliberal order.

Joe Biden opposed the racial integration of public schools. He wrote most of the Clinton's 1994 Crime Bill. He was an enthusiastic proponent of NAFTA. He joined the Clintons to support George W. Bush's catastrophic war against Iraq. And he supported the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) until the very end. He authored many, if not most, of the policies of modern liberalism / neoliberalism that are being contested.

By putting Mr. Biden forward as the establishment presidential candidate, the Democrats affirm that they see themselves well-served by reactionary illiberalism. Otherwise, their rhetorical rejections of white nationalism and xenophobia could be supported by robust critiques of their own policies of the last four decades and a well-considered political program to counter their consequences could be put forward. But Mr. Biden is the antithesis of both.

The Democrats co-invented identity politics to defer blame for the consequences of their policies. If they cared about combatting racism and xenophobia, none of the Democratic Party establishment would be considered for public office. The rhetorical distinction between dog whistles and white nationalism begs the question of what objective dog whistles are intended to convey. These aren't precisely the same. Dog whistles are more insidious in that they include compound storylines (e.g. race and criminality) that are more onerous to disentangle.

White nationalism is frightening for its direct ties to the history of racialized violence. However, the scientific racism that served as the 'natural' basis for alleged racial difference used by the Nazis was an American invention. Its proponents were the professional class of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. And the intersection of these two tendencies, the brutal, barely reflexive racial loathing of the Stone Mountain KKK and the educated, liberal use of racist subtexts to facilitate 'respectable' racism amongst the modern professional class, is the apparent point of Bill Clinton's 1992 photo op.

At what point is politics about leading rather than manipulating people via a shared vocabulary? Phrased differently, how is this shared vocabulary not tied to consensus around the logic it represents? So-and-so understands the logic of racism well enough to convey it through coded language and still chooses to perpetuate it for political gain. Why not give his audience the benefit of the doubt and use this understanding to challenge the logic?

The broader backdrop of an ascendant political right in Europe emerges from a similar unwillingness / inability of European liberals / neoliberals to atone for the consequences of their policies and develop alternative political programs. Xenophobia is portrayed as arising from the shadows of twentieth-century European history as a moral failing of the polity rather than the manufactured, and predictable, political crisis that it is.

As with the American refugee 'crisis' arising from U.S. military interventions in Central America, the refugee crisis across Europe is the product of American / NATO led military incursions in the region as well as economic dislocations emerging from the structure of the EU (European Union). One reason why George H.W. Bush decided against occupying Iraq after the first Gulf War was for fear of destabilizing the region. This fear was realized when George W. Bush, with widespread support from the Democratic Party establishment, launched the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq.

Furthermore, as has been addressed ad infinitum over the last decade, through the creation of the EU, member nations exchanged fiscal sovereignty for membership in a trading bloc. When crisis struck, the inability of member nations to respond with fiscal stimulus meant that 'externally' imposed austerity was the only alternative. This flawed structure supported the interests of some member nations (Germany) against those of the European periphery. This institutionalized class warfare, carried out under the cover of fiscal probity, has led to widespread questioning of the nature and purpose of the liberal institutions the EU represents.

Across the U.S. and Europe cottage industries have arisen proclaiming critiques of the EU, globalism and liberalism / neoliberalism to be the work of nascent fascists and neo-fascists. While historical parallels exist, missing is analysis of the parallel failures (then and now) of neoliberal policies as well as a social accounting for the consequences of these failures.

More pointedly, such claims require historical parsing that lacks a cohesive logic outside of political posturing. American slavery and genocide against the indigenous population constituted the initial conditions of American industrial success going into the early twentieth century. Considered in combination with the scientific racism of eugenics, contemporaneous American imperial endeavors and oligarchic control over the U.S. economy going into the Great Depression, the Nazi political program looked remarkably similar to the American program .

Additionally, the genesis of racialized violence in economic relations has been materially misrepresented in current accounts of the rise of European fascism. This history is given substance in Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States . Mr. Zinn provides evidence of race being knowingly used by capitalists to divert attention away inconvenient class interests. This history places the modern Democrat's use of identity politics in a different light. Dog whistles and identity politics are premised in pre-existing and concrete racial divisions.

In contrast to white nationalism, these divisions can have a social basis, rather than in 'nature.' This would seem to make racial identity more malleable, and therefore more amenable to being resolved. But as establishment Democrats demonstrated through their use of dog whistles and racialized policies, rhetorical compounding can put a superficially respectable face on racialized violence. The professional class can respond to 'crime' without considering its history as a strategy of racialized economic taking, its genesis in capitalist class relations, or the violence inherent in policing and incarceration.

The Democrat's apparent strategic confusion in putting Joe Biden forward as the establishment candidate should put an end to identity politics as more than cover for the class interests that the Democrats represent. The studied ignorance embedded in the question: 'If we broke up the big banks tomorrow would that end racism' is oblivious to the relationship between Bill Clinton's neoliberal programs and his racially targeted public policies. Given the historical use of racial division as a tool of class control, the correct answer is yes, breaking up the big banks would be a step toward ending racism.

None of this is to pick on the Democrats per se. Republicans have long fostered / aligned with white nationalism. But again, given the historical genesis of the idea of race, what this suggests is that both political parties serve the interests of capital. Moral distinctions between pandering to white nationalists and the use of dog whistles and racially targeted public policies depend on parsing history in ways that the political elevation of Joe Biden calls into question.

The bitter rhetorical battle over the use, or even the theoretical coherence, of identity politics, has had no apparent impact on the Western political establishment's march into the abyss. A quick bet is that part of the political calculus behind the elevation of Mr. Biden is that he wouldn't hesitate to use dog whistles, racially divisive language and xenophobia if he thought it would help him win the election. The conceit that such would only be a tactic was belied when Bill Clinton used it to craft punitive policies like ending welfare and the Crime Bill.

The West, led by liberal / neoliberal establishments, is in a terrible way. As recent European elections demonstrate, the rise of hard-right governments has followed serial public disappointment with their liberal / neoliberal predecessors. Far from being irrational rejection of functioning liberalism, it is the inability of liberals to accept and address the consequences of their own mal-governance that is leading the move rightward.

Bill Clinton's answer to Reaganism was to triangulate Reaganite policies from the right. Joe Biden is a product of this same time, place and ethos. Whomever the Democrat's choice for president ends up being, without a fundamental redistribution of political power, the outcome will be the same -- a long march into the political abyss.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: ROB URIE

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[May 28, 2019] Any time you read an article (or a comment) on Russia, substitute the word Jew for Russian and International Jewry for Russia and re-read.

Highly recommended!
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid Finster says: May 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

Any time you read an article (or a comment) on Russia, substitute the word "Jew" for "Russian" and "International Jewry" for "Russia" and re-read.

If the revised article would not look out of place in Der Stuermer, that should tell you something.

[May 27, 2019] Race Differences in Ethnocentrism

May 27, 2019 | arktos.com


Edward Dutton
Arktos, 2019.

"Those who advocate Multiculturalism seem to have lost an important instinct towards group -- and thus genetic -- preservation. Once a society, as a whole, espouses Multiculturalism as a dominant ideology then the society is acting against its own genetic interests and will ultimately destroy itself."
Ed Dutton

Watching his incredibly entertaining Jolly Heretic You Tube channel, it's easy to forget that Ed Dutton is also an extremely serious, and increasingly prolific, researcher, author, and scientist. The recent publication by Arktos of Dutton's Race Differences in Ethnocentrism follows closely in the wake of Dutton's At Our Wits' End: Why We're Becoming Less Intelligent and What it Means for the Future (2018), How to Judge People by What They Look Like (2018), J. Phillipe Rushton: A Life History Perspective (2018), and The Silent Rape Epidemic: How The Finns Were Groomed to Love Their Abusers (2019). In Race Differences in Ethnocentrism, Dutton, who has collaborated with Richard Lynn on a number of occasions, builds impressively on the work of the latter and has offered, in this text, one of the most informative, formidable, pressing, intriguing, and poignant monographs I've read in years.

ORDER IT NOW

Dutton's book is a work of science underscored by an inescapable sense of social and political urgency, and has been explicitly prompted into being by the need to address two questions "particularly salient during a period of mass migration": 'Why are some races more ethnocentric than others?' and, most urgently of all, 'Why are Europeans currently so low in ethnocentrism?' In attempting to answer these questions, Dutton has designed a book that is accessible to readers possessing even the most modest scientific knowledge, without compromising on academic rigor or the use of necessary scientific language. The text is helpfully replete with explanatory commentary and useful rhetorical illustrations, and its opening four chapters are dedicated exclusively to placing the study in context and exploring the nature of the research itself. This is a book that can, and should, be read by everyone.

In the brief first chapter, Dutton explains ethnocentrism or group pride as taking two main forms. The first, positive ethnocentrism, involves "taking pride in your ethnic group or nation and being prepared to make sacrifices for the good of it." Negative ethnocentrism, on the other hand, "refers to being prejudiced against and hostile to members of other ethnic groups." Typically, a highly ethnocentric person or group will demonstrate both positive and negative ethnocentrism, although it is very common for people and groups to be high in one aspect of ethnocentrism but not in the other. It is also apparent that some countries and ethnic groups are very high in both forms of ethnocentrism while others are extremely low in the same. The author sets out to explore how and why such variations and differences have occurred, and are still fluctuating. This is clearly a piece of very novel research. Dutton remarks that "there exists no systematic attempt to understand why different ethnic groups may vary in the extent to which they are ethnocentric." Dutton's foundation is built on a deep reading of existing literature on the origins and nature of ethnocentrism, pioneered to some extent by R. A. LeVine and D. T. Campbell in the 1970s, and built upon most recently by Australia's Boris Bizumic. These scholars advanced the argument that ethnocentrism was primarily the result of conflict. Another highly relevant theory in the study of ethnocentrism has been the concept of 'inclusive fitness,' which argues that ethnocentrism provides a method for indirectly passing on one's genes.

Dutton closes his introductory chapter by providing an interesting overview of historical observations of differences in ethnocentrism. During the so-called 'Age of Discovery,' Europeans encountered large numbers of different and distant tribes, and many remarked on the reception they received from these groups. Some, such as the natives of Hawaii and the Inuit were noted as being extremely friendly, while the negrito tribes of the Andaman Islands, near India, remain notoriously hostile to outsiders, shoot arrows at passing aircraft, and kill intruding foreigners, including an American missionary in November 2018 . The Japanese appear throughout history to have combined a moderate level of negative ethnocentrism with very high levels of positive ethnocentrism, resulting in a society typified by high levels of social harmony and in-group co-operation, and willing sacrifice for the nation in times of war. By contrast, the Yąnomamö tribe of Venezuela are very high in negative ethnocentrism but very low in positive ethnocentrism, resulting in a society riddled with lawlessness, extreme violence, poor social harmony, and an inability to form stable social structures of any kind. Differences in general levels of ethnocentrism are important because, as Dutton points out, those societies most welcoming of outsiders were subsequently colonized and fundamentally and permanently changed by migration. Meanwhile, those societies that displayed extreme hostility to outsiders have remained almost intact, and remain unchanged even centuries after the European 'Age of Discovery.'

In the second chapter, Dutton answers the question 'What is 'Race'?' Although many of our readers will be familiar with most of the material presented in this chapter, it is nevertheless a very well-presented defense of the concept of race and its unabashed employment as a scientific system for categorizing and studying humans. In Dutton's presentation, 'race' is employed to refer to what in the animal kingdom would be a subspecies: a breeding population separated from another of the same species long enough to be noticeably evolved to a different environment but not long enough to be unable to have fertile offspring with the other group. After discussing the processes through which different races or subspecies evolve, Dutton offers a summary of historical taxonomies of race, before finally answering a number of criticisms of the concept of race. In the third chapter, and following much the same framework, Dutton sets out to answer the question, 'What is Intelligence?' Here Dutton answers a number of criticisms of the concept of intelligence, particularly as they relate to Blacks, before moving to a discussion of race differences in intelligence. The debt to Richard Lynn's research is quite clear in this chapter, but Dutton presents past findings with style, conviction, and novel context, meaning that familiar elements such as Cold Winters Theory are worth getting to grips with once more.

The fascinating fourth chapter is where the study begins in earnest, and answers the question 'What Are 'Ethnocentrism' and 'Ethnicity'?' It goes without saying that both terms have entered, if not dominated, the lexicon of White advocacy, and I found it very refreshing to become more familiar with the scientific basis for them. Dutton, referring to the work of Bizumic, notes that the term 'ethnocentrism' was coined by the Polish sociologist Ludwig Gumplowicz (1838–1909) before entering English with the work of the American economist William Sumner (1840–1910). In order to better explain the nature of ethnocentrism, Dutton lays out various lexical definitions of ethnicity and discusses competing schools of thought in relation to the origins of ethnicity. The division between scholars of ethnicity can be broadly discussed in terms of two camps: 'Primordialists,' and 'Constructivists' or 'Subjectivists.' Primordialists, representing an older school of thought, assert that ethnic groups are extremely ancient and are ultimately based around common ancestry. Supporting this position, Dutton, borrowing from Frank Salter, points out that genetic data shows that ethnic groups really are distinct genetic clusters. Constructivists, on the other hand, assert that ethnic identities are merely a product of culture and environment, and are therefore arbitrary and subject to change. The author spends a great deal of time dissecting the arguments of the Constructivists and, for me personally, one of the great pleasures of Race Differences in Ethnocentrism is reading as Dutton prods and teases and the manifold weaknesses in the Constructivist position.

The author closes the chapter with an extended discussion of the sociobiological origins of ethnic identity, before providing a summary of proffered causes for ethnocentrism. These include threat and conflict, psychodynamic theory as advanced by Freud, terror management (a variation on the theme of threat and conflict), self-aggrandizement theories (ethnocentrism boosts in-group self-esteem), Marxist theory (ethnocentrism is a tactic employed by one group in order to gain power over, and exploit, another group), social dominance theory (ethnocentrism as a side-effect of certain types of personality), socialization explanations (children learn to be ethnocentric), and the sociobiological model (ethnocentrism is a product of evolution and adaptation). Dutton argues convincingly that only the sociobiological model offers answers which explain group behavior in both animals and humans, arguing that "ethnocentrism is most parsimoniously understood via a partly biological theory wherein the ethnic group is a kind of extended family."

In the fifth chapter, Dutton surveys recent evidence for the sociobiological model of ethnocentrism and ethnicity. At the core of the chapter is J. Philippe Rushton's ' Genetic Similarity Theory ,' which is treated with respect but also caution by the author, who insists that "it does not fully explain all manifestations of ethnocentrism and, accordingly, it needs to be nuanced and carefully developed." Put simply, ' Genetic Similarity Theory ' is the idea that animals will instinctively behave more pro-socially to those who share more of their genes, and that ethnic groups, which are essentially extended families, will demonstrate the same inclination towards the genetically similar in the form of ethnic nepotism. It is this inclination to support the genetically similar that paves the way for 'inclusive fitness' -- indirectly passing on at least some of one's genes by supporting kin -- and thus provides some explanation for the origins of altruism. Rushton provided a great deal of research strongly indicating that humans very much tend to marry, befriend, and otherwise associate with those who are genetically similar to them, and this is succinctly explored. Some controversy surrounds the issue of whether or not ' Genetic Similarity Theory ' is applicable to circles beyond genealogical kin, and Dutton explores the work of Frank Salter in support of the idea that it is indeed applicable. The only criticism of the concept that Dutton concedes is that 'Genetic Similarity Theory' does not fully explain variations in ethnocentrism and therefore does not appear to attribute sufficient weight to environmental factors, especially external threats to the interests of the ethny -- a factor that has demonstrably inflamed ethnocentrism throughout human history. Dutton also suggests that fluctuations in ethnocentrism may also be rooted in the dynamics of human personality, both as humans age, and as far as personality is influenced by 'Life History Strategy.'

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The sixth chapter, 'Ethnocentrism, Personality Traits and Computer Modelling,' focuses in detail on the issue of personality. Dutton explains that "we have to examine the concept of an 'ethnocentric personality' because there are race differences in modal personality. So, if there is an 'ethnocentric personality,' then this would neatly explain why race differences in ethnocentrism exist." Dutton ultimately dismisses the idea of an 'ethnocentric personality,' particularly the work of Adorno on prejudice, as having very little relevance to meaningful research on ethnocentrism. He concludes rather that it seems very likely that "ethnocentrism is not the by-product of a series of partly heritable personality traits." Instead, "ethnocentrism is a human universal and is significantly genetic, in the sense that propensity to genetic similarity is partly genetic." The chapter then moves to the concept of 'group selection,' during which is it explained and demonstrated that ethnocentric groups are more likely to win the battle of group selection. "The more ethnocentric group should always triumph in battles of group selection. This would mean that, all else being equal, races that were compelled, by the nature of their environment, to combat other groups (by being internally cooperative by externally hostile) would be more ethnocentric." Computer modelling of such battles has demonstrated conclusively that ethnocentric strategies will always triumph, leading Dutton to conclude that universalist humanitarianism is ultimately a losing strategy, "unable to sustain high levels of in-group cooperation." Humanitarian groups invariably "waste their precious reproductive potential helping out free riders who give them nothing in return."

In Chapter 7, one of the best and most provocative in the book, Dutton explores the genetics of ethnocentrism. Dutton takes as his starting point the high level of positive and negative ethnocentrism among Northeast Asians, and attempts to find candidate genes that may play a role in producing this situation. Building on research suggesting that oxytocin may contribute to in-group bias by motivating in-group favouritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group hostility, Dutton points to scholarly findings that Northeast Asians disproportionately possess ("much higher than Europeans") genes identified with fear of social exclusion and higher oxytocin levels (A118G – OPRM1). Further research has indicated that the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) combines with environmental factors to shape in-group bias. Dutton cites studies showing that "70–80 percent of an East Asian sample carried the short form of this gene, that is to say the form that makes you more ethnocentric. Only 40–45 percent of Europeans in the sample carried the short form of the gene. Indeed, it was found that across twenty-nine nations, the more collectivist a culture was the more likely it was to have the short form as the prevalent allele in the population." Dutton adds that his own work found such correlations to be weak, and he is reluctant to attribute ethnocentrism to small numbers of specific genes. He instead finishes the chapter with the suggestion that specific genes such as these may play a small role, but only in conjunction with Life History Theory -- for example, he provides data suggesting that populations with Slow Life History strategies (typified by higher intelligence, delayed gratification, and higher investment in children) are likely to be higher in positive ethnocentrism.

In Chapter 8, Dutton presents data on race differences in ethnocentrism, and he then explores the impact of cousin marriage and religion on ethnocentrism. The chapter opens with a very interesting discussion of racial dating preferences derived from the OKCupid dating site. The data suggest that, at least in sexual terms, White women were the most ethnocentric group, overwhelmingly preferring to date men from their own ethnic group. By contrast, most non-White groups seemed to have a preference for dating Whites. Dutton explains that this data cannot be meaningfully employed in the study of ethnocentrism because the fact non-Whites want to have sex with Whites merely means that "Whites have value." He continues: "this does not, of course, mean that black people would be necessarily more inclined to lay dow