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Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy

There is no economics, only political economy, stupid

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links Bookshelf Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Number racket Neoliberalism 101: 12 best articles on neoliberalism Economism and abuse of economic theory in American politics
Supply Side or Trickle down economics Invisible Hand Hypothesys Efficient Market Hypothesis Monetarism fiasco Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Hyman Minsky Samuelson's bastard Keynesianism Greenspan as the Chairman of Financial Politburo
In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Mathiness Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Think Tanks Enablers Twelve apostles of deregulation Bill Clinton, the founder of "Vichy left"
Free Market Fundamentalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Lawrence Summers Corruption of Regulators Glass-Steagall repeal Small government smoke screen Rational expectations scam Free Markets Newspeak
The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Introduction to Lysenkoism Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy    
John Kenneth Galbraith     History of Casino Capitalism Casino Capitalism Dictionary :-) Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Humor Etc
Is it really necessary for every economist to be brain-dead apologist for the rich and powerful and predatory, in every damn breath?

Bruce Wilder in comments to Clash of Autonomy and Interdependence

Smith briskly takes a sledgehammer to any number of plaster saints cluttering up the edifice of modern economics:

"assumptions that are patently ridiculous: that individuals are rational and utility-maximizing (which has become such a slippery notion as to be meaningless), that buyers and sellers have perfect information, that there are no transaction costs, that capital flows freely"

And then...papers with cooked figures, economists oblivious to speculative factors driving oil prices, travesty versions of Keynes's ideas that airbrush out its most characteristic features in the name of mathematical tractability.

And then...any number of grand-sounding theoretical constructs: the Arrow-Debreu theorem, the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model, the Black-Scholes option model, Value at Risk, CAPM, the Gaussian copula, that only work under blatantly unrealistic assumptions that go by high falutin' names - equilibrium, ergodicity, and so on.

The outcome of this pseudo-scientific botching is an imposing corpus of pretentious quackery that somehow elevates unregulated "free markets" into the sole mechanism for distribution of the spoils of economic activity. We are supposed to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum indulgence of human greed results in maximum prosperity for all. That's unfair to alchemy: compared with the threadbare scientific underpinnings of this economic dogma, alchemy is a model of rigor.

How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

How many others are being paid for punditry? Or has the culture of corruption spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?

PAUL KRUGMAN, NYT, December 19, 2005

"MIT and Wharton and University of Chicago created the financial engineering instruments which, like Samson and Delilah, blinded every CEO. They didn't realize the kind of leverage they were doing and they didn't understand when they were really creating a real profit or a fictitious one."

Paul Samuelson


Introduction

When you see this "neoclassical" gallery of expensive intellectual prostitutes (sorry, respectable priests of a dominant religion) that pretend to be professors of economics in various prominent universities, it is difficult not to say "It's political economy stupid". Those lackeys of ruling elite are just handing microphone bought by financial oligarchy.  Here is am Amazon.com review of  ECONned How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism eBook Yves Smith that  states this position well:

kievite:
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Shiller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolshevics rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, abeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

The cult which served as a Trojan horse for bankers to grab power and wealth by robbing fellow Americans. In a way this is a classic story of a parasite killing the host. The powers that be in academia put their imprimatur on economic ‘theory,’ select and indoctrinate its high priests to teach it, and with a host of media players grinding out arguments pro and con this and that, provide legitimacy sufficient for cover of bankers objectives. Which control the disposition and annuity streams of pension fund assets and related financial services. In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson provides strong evidence of a systematic mass corruption of economic profession (Yahoo! Finance):

Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.

The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”

... ... ...

Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”

The dismantling of economic schools that favor financial oligarchy interests over real research (and prosecuting academic criminals -- many prominent professors in Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and other prominent members of neo-classical economic church) require a new funding model. As neoliberalism itself, the neoclassical economy is very sticky. Chances for success of any reform in the current environment are slim to non existent.

Here is one apt quote from Zero Hedge discussion of Gonzalo Lira article On The Identity Of The False Religion Behind The Mask Of Economic Science zero hedge

"They analyze data for Christ sakes"

Just like Mishkin analyzed Iceland for $120k? a huge proportion in US [are] on Fed payroll, or beneficiaries of corporate thinktank cash; they are coverup lipstick and makeup; hacks for hire.

Like truth-trashing mortgage pushers, credit raters, CDO CDS market manipulators and bribe-fueled fraud enablers of all stripes -- they do it for the dough -- and because everybody else is doing it.

It's now a common understanding that "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, professors  of neoclassical economics from Chicago, Harvard and some other places are warmed by flow of money from financial services industries for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping financial oligarchy to destroy the country. This role of neo-classical economists as the fifth column of financial oligarchy is an interesting research topic. Just don't expect any grants for it ;-).

As Reinhold Niebuhr aptly noted in his classic Moral Man and Immoral Society
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which they hold.

I would like to stress it again: they are not and never have been scientists: they are just high priests of dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the sect (and that means their own) benefits. Fifth column of financial oligarchy. All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: at some point state support became obvious as financial oligarchy gained significant share of government power (as Glass-Steagall repeal signified). It is just more subtle working via ostracism and flow of funding, without open repressions. See also Politicization of science and The Republican War on Science

Like Russia with Bolsheviks, the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the Chicago economic school that has dominated the field for approximately 50 years ( as minimum over 30 years). Actually the situation not unlike the situation with Lysenkoism is the USSR. It's pretty notable that the USA suffered 30 years of this farce, actually approximately the same amount of time the USSR scientific community suffered from Lysenkoism (1934-1965)

Rules of disclosure of sources of financing for economic research are non-existent


"Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business, public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits depend heavily on government policy.

The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about straightforward, old-fashioned money."

Peter Dormat noticed amazing similarity between medical researchers taking money from drug companies and economists. In case of medical researchers widespread corruption can at least be partially kept in check by rules of disclosure. Universities are being called out for their failure to disclose to public agencies the other, private grants researchers are pulling in. This is not perfect policing as the universities themselves get a cut of the proceeds, so that the conflict of interest exists but at least this is theirs too.

But there is no corresponding policy for economics. So for them there are not even rules to be broken. And this is not a bug, this is  feature.  In a sense corruption is officially institualized and expected in economics. Being a paid shill is the typical career of many professional economists. Some foundations require an acknowledgment in the published research they support, but that's all about “thank you”, not disclaimer about the level of influence of those who pay for the music exert on the selection of the tune. Any disclosure of other, privately-interested funding sources by economists is strictly voluntary, and in practice seldom occurs. Trade researchers can be funded by foreign governments or business associations and so on and so forth.

In this atmosphere pseudo-theories have currency and are attractive to economists who want to enrich themselves. That situation is rarely reflected in mainstream press. For example, there some superficial critiques of neo-classical economics as a new form of Lysenkoism (it enjoyed the support of the state) but MSM usually frame the meltdown of neo-classical economic theory something like "To all you corrupt jerks out there: shake off the old camouflage as it became too visible and find a new way misleading the masses...". At the same time it's a real shocker, what a bunch of toxic theories and ideologies starting from Reagan have done to the US economy.

That suggests that neo-economics such as Milton Friedman (and lower level patsies like Eugene Fama ) were just paid propagandists of a superficial, uninformed, and simplistic view of the world that was convenient to the ruling elite. While this is somewhat simplistic explanation, it's by-and-large true and that was one of the factors led the USA very close to the cliff... Most of their theories is not only just nonsense for any trained Ph.D level mathematician or computer scientist, they look like nonsense to any person with a college degree, who looks at them with a fresh, unprejudiced mind. There are several economic myths, popularized by well paid propagandists over the last thirty years, that are falling hard in the recent series of financial crises: the efficient market hypothesis, the inherent benefits of globalization from the natural equilibrium of national competitive advantages, and the infallibility of unfettered greed as a ideal method of managing and organizing human social behavior and maximizing national production.

I would suggest that and economic theory has a strong political-economic dimension. The cult of markets, ideological subservience and manipulation, etc. certainly are part of neo-classical economics that was influenced by underling political agenda this pseudo-theory promotes. As pdavidsonutk wrote: July 16, 2009 16:14

Keynes noted that "classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight --as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions. Yet in truth there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. SOMETHING SIMILAR IS REQUIRED IN ECONOMICS TODAY. " [Emphasis added]

As I pointed out in my 2007 book JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (Mentioned in this ECONOMIST article as a biography "of the master") Keynes threw over three classical axioms: (1) the neutral money axiom (2) the gross substitution axiom, and (3) the ergodic axiom.

The latter is most important for understanding why modern macroeconomics is dwelling in an Euclidean economics world rather than the non-Euclidean economics Keynes set forth.

The Ergodic axiom asserts that the future is merely the statistical shadow of the past so that if one develops a probability distribution using historical data, the same probability distribution will govern all future events till the end of time!! Thus in this Euclidean economics there is no uncertainty about the future only probabilistic risk that can reduce the future to actuarial certainty! In such a world rational people and firms know (with actuarial certainty) their intertemporal budget constrains and optimize -- so that there can never be an loan defaults, insolvencies, or bankruptcies.

Keynes argued that important economic decisions involved nonergodic processes, so that the future could NOT be forecasted on the basis of past statistical probability results -- and therefore certain human institutions had to be develop0ed as part of the law of contracts to permit people to make crucial decisions regarding a future that they "knew" they could not know and still sleep at night. When the future seems very uncertain, then rational people in a nonergodic world would decide not to make any decisions to commit their real resources -- but instead save via liquid assets so they could make decisions another day when the future seemed to them less uncertain.

All this is developed and the policy implications derived in my JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (2007) book. Furthermore this nonergodic model is applied to the current financial and economic crisis and its solution in my 2009 book THE KEYNES SOLUTION: THE PATH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY (Palgrave/Macmillan) where I tell the reader what Keynes would have written regarding today's domestic crisis in each nation and its international aspects.

Paul Davidson ghaliban wrote:

July 16, 2009 15:34

I think you could have written a shorter article to make your point about the dismal state of economics theory and practice, and saved space to think more imaginatively about ways to reform.

A bit like biology, economics must become econology - a study of real economic systems. It must give up its physics-envy. This on its own will lead its practitioners closer to the truth.

Like biological systems, economic systems are complex, and often exhibit emergent properties that cannot be predicted from the analysis of component parts. The best way to deal with this is (as in biology) to start with the basic organizational unit of analysis - the individual, and then study how the individual makes economic decisions in larger and larger groups (family/community), and how groups take economic decisions within larger and larger forms of economic organization. From this, econologists should determine whether there are any enduring patterns in how aggregate economic decisions are taken. If there are no easily discernable patterns, and aggregate decisions cannot be predicted from a knowledge of individual decision-making preferences, then the theory must rely (as it does in biology) on computer simulations with the economy replicated in as much detail as possible to limit the scope for modeling error. This path will illuminate the "physiology" of different economies.

A second area of development must look into "anatomy" - the connections between actors within the financial system, the connections between economic actors within the real economy, and the connections between the real and financial economies. What are the precise links demand and supply links between these groups, and how does money really flow through the economic system? A finer knowledge of economic anatomy will make it easier to produce better computer simulations of the economy, which will make it a bit easier to study economic physiology.

"Markets uber alles" or more correctly "Financial oligarchy uber alles"

In her interview What Exactly Is Neoliberalism  Wendy Brown advanced some Professor Wolin ideas to a new level and provide explanation why "neoclassical crooks" like Professor  Frederic Mishkin (of Financial Stability in Iceland fame) still rule the economics departments of the USA. They are instrumental in giving legitimacy to the neoliberal rule favoured by the financial oligarchy:

"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized" and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices. Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future value. ..."

"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."

"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule, not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility. ..."

"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities, especially labor. ..."

"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks, objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill it with "best practices." ..."

"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."

"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."

 


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I find an attempt to elevate academic finance and economics to sciences by using the word "scientism" to be bizarre. Finance models like CAPM, Black-Scholes and VAR all rest on assumptions that are demonstrably false, such as rational investors and continuous markets.

May 11, 2012 at 1-40 pm

[Jun 14, 2021] World War II Was Transitory- - Putting Inflation In Context

Jun 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Let us preface our inflation note with one of our favorite quotes:

"World War II was transitory"

– GMM

Inflation has eroded my purchasing power in my transitory life. Bring back the $.35 Big Mac, which was only about 20% of the minimum wage. Now? About 40-50%... Enough to spark a revolution?

[Jun 13, 2021] Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert. He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew

There are also Bagdad Bobs from IEA " "World oil supply is expected to grow at a faster rate in 2022, with the US driving gains of 1.6 million bpd from producers outside the OPEC alliance. "
Jun 13, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
SHALLOW SAND IGNORED 06/11/2021 at 3:58 pm

Dennis Gartman is still considered a commodities expert.

He infamously said in 2016 that WTI would never be above $44 again in his lifetime. He is still alive last I knew.

[Jun 12, 2021] There s a new LGBTQ-focused ETF

Notable quotes:
"... Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. ..."
"... LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data. ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. Two previous efforts failed to attract enough assets.

The fund, LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF LGBT, , launched in late May, is a passively managed, large-cap index fund that holds the top 100 U.S. companies that most align with the LGBTQ community.

In 2019, two LGBTQ-focused ETFs were delisted: ALPS Workplace Equality Portfolio ETF and InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETFs. Like this new fund, both were mostly U.S. large-cap, passive index ETFs comprising companies that received high or perfect marks for workplace equality in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index , a benchmark for corporate LGBTQ policies.

The first ETF stuck around for five years, but the second barely made it two years, even though it was launched with much fanfare by UBS. Neither gained many assets.

Bobby Blair, CEO and founder of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, which launched the fund with issuer ProcureAM, says community input on holdings makes this fund different.

LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data.

... the LGBTQ + ESG100 has an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.

[Jun 12, 2021] Watchdog criticised over plans to combat dominance of big banks

Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Nicholas Megaw in London Sun, June 6, 2021, 8:00 PM

The UK's competition regulator has been accused of "putting foxes in charge of the henhouse" after asking the banking industry's own lobby group to design a supervisory body to combat the dominance of big banks. Dozens of organisations including fintech start-ups, established tech groups like Experian and Equifax, consumer representatives and a cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns over the Competition and Markets Authority's plan to use proposals drawn up by UK Finance as the basis for a consultation on the future of so-called open banking rules. Open banking forces banks to share valuable customer data with other financial services providers, allowing smaller firms to make faster lending decisions or offer new services such as budgeting tools.

[Jun 12, 2021] Putin warns US may regret using dollar as sanctions weapon - Nation - postguam.com

Jun 10, 2021 | www.postguam.com

President Vladimir Putin said Russia doesn't want to stop using the dollar as he accused the U.S. of exploiting the currency's dominance for sanctions and warned the policy may rebound on Washington.

Russia has to adopt other payment methods because the U.S. "uses its national currency for various kinds of sanctions," Putin said late Friday in St. Petersburg at a videoconference with representatives of international media organizations. "We don't do this deliberately, we are forced to do it."

Settlements in national currencies with other countries in areas such as defense sales and reductions in foreign-exchange reserves held in dollars eventually will damage the U.S. as the greenback's dominance declines, Putin said. "Why do U.S. political authorities do this? They're sawing the branch on which they sit," he said.

me title=

Putin spoke a day after Russia announced it will eliminate the dollar from its oil fund to reduce vulnerability to sanctions, a largely symbolic move as the switch in holdings will take place within the central bank's reserves. Russia has tried with limited success to shift away from the dollar for years amid international sanctions over Putin's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, as well as for alleged cyber attacks, election meddling and espionage operations.

The Russian leader's comments came ahead of his first summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Geneva on June 16. While he praised Biden as one of the world's most experienced leaders, Putin said he expects no breakthrough in relations with the U.S. at the talks.

And he offered a warning at Friday's meeting for the U.S., based on what he said was his own experiences "as a former citizen of the former Soviet Union."

"The problem with empires is that they think they can afford small errors and mistakes," which gradually accumulate, Putin said. "There comes a time when they can no longer be dealt with. And the U.S., with a confident step, a confident gait, a firm step, is walking straight along the path of the Soviet Union."

[Jun 12, 2021] America's Covid Groupthink Functioned Like China's Repression by Gerard Baker

Jun 07, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Marching in ideological lockstep is less forgivable in a society where one has a choice in the matter.

...In this country, scientists, bureaucrats, journalists and executives of Big Tech companies suppressed the story not out of fear of imprisonment or death, but of their own volition, out of ideological or even venal motives. You may well ask: Whose culpability is greater?

It's not simply that the lab-leak theory was "debunked," as news organizations repeatedly told us when anyone tried to raise it a year ago. It wasn't even permitted to be considered. Discussion of the topic was deliberately extinguished on tech platforms, in the respectable scientific journals and in newsrooms.

...Thanks to a recent release of emails under the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that some of the scientists dismissing the idea had themselves expressed concerns that the zoonotic explanation they were publicly championing might not be right. We also know that in the case of the Lancet letter , some of the correspondents were involved in similar research and had a strong professional interest in denying the possibility of an engineered virus.

...Last year, many scientists beclowned themselves by bowing to the prevailing political pieties with their absurd assertion that taking part in protests on behalf of Black Lives Matter was literally salubrious, whereas taking part in protests against lockdowns was lethally reckless.

If too many American scientists failed to help us get a proper understanding of the origins of Covid, they seem to have been abetted by like-minded people in the permanent bureaucracy. Emails to and from Anthony Fauci uncovered last week show that while there were some genuinely diligent officials determined to get to the truth, too many in positions of power seemed keen to stamp out a proper investigation.

As Katherine Eban reported in Vanity Fair last week, officials from two separate bureaus in the State Department warned against a proper investigation for fear of opening a "can of worms."

Again we have good grounds to suspect that officials in a bureaucracy that had already undermined Donald Trump's presidency with baseless allegations about Russian collusion seemed intent on suppressing any suggestion, however well-supported it might be, that Trump officials might be right about a critical issue of state.

Yet the largest responsibility for the failure to consider in a timely fashion the lab-leak theory lies with the media.

Journalists were once marked by their curiosity. Now the only thing that's curious about many of them is their lack of curiosity when a story doesn't fit their priors.

...It seems increasingly likely that Chinese officials mishandled research and misrepresented and misinformed the public. But they did so under pain of punishment, even death, in a system designed to suppress that kind of information.

In this country, constitutionally protected, free and independent scientists, bureaucrats, journalists and others did the same. What's their excuse?

[Jun 08, 2021] List of Misleading and Fake Metrics

Notable quotes:
"... Google Scholar does not screen for quality and indexes predatory journals ..."
May 26, 2021 | predatoryjournals.com

Stop Predatory Journals About Contribute Hijacked Journals Metrics Publishers List of Misleading and Fake Metrics

This is a list of possibly misleading metrics.

Metrics are judged to be misleading if they meet the following criteria:

  1. The website for the metric is nontransparent and provides little information about itself such as location, management team and its experience, other company information, and the like
  2. The company charges journals for inclusion in the list.
  3. The values (scores) for most or all of the journals on the list increase each year.
  4. The company uses Google Scholar as its database for calculating metrics (Google Scholar does not screen for quality and indexes predatory journals)
  5. The metric uses the term " impact factor " in its name.
  6. The methodology for calculating the value is contrived, unscientific, or unoriginal.
  7. The company exists solely for the purpose of earning money from questionable journals that use the gold open-access model. The company charges the journals and assigns them a value, and then the journals use the number to help increase article submissions and therefore revenue. Alternatively, the company exists as a front for an existing publisher and assigns values to that publisher's journals.

[Jun 07, 2021] There s a new LGBTQ-focused ETF

Jun 06, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. Two previous efforts failed to attract enough assets.

The fund, LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF LGBT, +0.91% , launched in late May, is a passively managed, large-cap index fund that holds the top 100 U.S. companies that most align with the LGBTQ community.

In 2019, two LGBTQ-focused ETFs were delisted: ALPS Workplace Equality Portfolio ETF and InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETFs. Like this new fund, both were mostly U.S. large-cap, passive index ETFs comprising companies that received high or perfect marks for workplace equality in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index , a benchmark for corporate LGBTQ policies.

The first ETF stuck around for five years, but the second barely made it two years, even though it was launched with much fanfare by UBS. Neither gained many assets.

Bobby Blair, CEO and founder of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, which launched the fund with issuer ProcureAM, says community input on holdings makes this fund different.

LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data.

... the LGBTQ + ESG100 has an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.

[Jun 07, 2021] Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal by David Milliken and Kate Holton

Jun 05, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

LONDON (Reuters) -The United States, Britain and other large, rich nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday to squeeze more money out of multinational companies such as Amazon and Google and reduce their incentive to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens.

Hundreds of billions of dollars could flow into the coffers of governments left cash-strapped by the COVID-19 pandemic after the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%.

Facebook said it expected it would have to pay more tax, in more countries, as a result of the deal, which comes after eight years of talks that gained fresh impetus in recent months after proposals from U.S. President Joe Biden's new administration.

"G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age," British finance minister Rishi Sunak said after chairing a two-day meeting in London.

The meeting, hosted at an ornate 19th-century mansion near Buckingham Palace in central London, was the first time finance ministers have met face-to-face since the start of the pandemic.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the "significant, unprecedented commitment" would end what she called a race to the bottom on global taxation.

German finance minister Olaf Scholz said the deal was "bad news for tax havens around the world".

Yellen also saw the G7 meeting as marking a return to multilateralism under Biden and a contrast to the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who alienated many U.S. allies.

"What I've seen during my time at this G7 is deep collaboration and a desire to coordinate and address a much broader range of global problems," she said.

Ministers also agreed to move towards making companies declare their environmental impact in a more standard way so investors can decided more easily whether to fund them, a key goal for Britain.

... ... ...

Key details remain to be negotiated over the coming months. Saturday's agreement says only "the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises" would be affected.

European countries had been concerned that this could exclude Amazon - which has lower profit margins than most tech companies - but Yellen said she expected it would be included.

How tax revenues will be split is not finalised either, and any deal will also need to pass the U.S. Congress.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would push for a higher minimum tax, calling 15% "a starting point".

Some campaign groups also condemned what they saw as a lack of ambition. "They are setting the bar so low that companies can just step over it," Oxfam's head of inequality policy, Max Lawson, said.

But Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe, whose country is potentially affected because of its 12.5% tax rate, said any global deal also needed to take account of smaller nations.

The G7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.


[May 31, 2021] Yes inflation is transitionary. Thos only question is transitionary to what level?

Highly recommended!
As for whether this is "transitory," we may paraphrase J.M. Keynes: In the long run, everything is transitory.
May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com
D

David Weisz

I accept the reality except that FED said this inflation is "transitory."

The Fed description is accurate... it's just whether the transition is to lower inflation or to runaway inflation.

Jim McCreary
The biggest single factor that will drive long-term inflation is the absence of downward price pressure from new Chinese market entrants. Cutthroat pricing from China is the ONLY reason the West has been able to get away with Money-Printing Gone Wild for the past 20 years without triggering runaway inflation.

There are no new Chinese entrants because the Chinese are now all in in the world economy. The existing Chinese competitors are seeing their costs go UP, not down, because they have fully employed the Chinese population, and have to pay up in order to get and keep workers.

So, without any more downward price pressure from China, this latest round of Money-Printing Gone Wild is showing up as price inflation, and will continue to do so.

Batten down the hatches! Stagflation and then runaway inflation are coming!

[May 30, 2021] Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

The author is a very fuzzy way comes to the idea that neoliberalism is in essence a Trotskyism for the rich and that neoliberals want to use strong state to enforce the type of markets they want from above. That included free movement of capital goods and people across national borders. All this talk about "small government" is just a smoke screen for naive fools.
Similar to 1930th contemporary right-wing populism in Germany and Austria emerged from within neoliberalism, not in opposition to it. They essentially convert neoliberalism in "national liberalism": Yes to free trade by only on bilateral basis with a strict control of trade deficits. No to free migration, multilateralism
Notable quotes:
"... The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state. ..."
"... Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market. ..."
"... Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy. ..."
"... One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such. ..."
"... I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople. ..."
"... They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world. ..."
"... The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place. ..."
"... The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 16, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674979524
ISBN-13: 978-0674979529

From introduction

...The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state.

There is truth to both of these explanations. Both presuppose a kind of materialist explanation of history with which I have no problem. In my book, though, I take another approach. What I found is that we could not understand the inner logic of something like the WTO without considering the whole history of the twentieth century. What I also discovered is that some of the members of the neoliberal movement from the 1930s onward, including Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, did not use either of the explanations I just mentioned. They actually didn't say that economic growth excuses everything. One of the peculiar things about Hayek, in particular, is that he didn't believe in using aggregates like GDP -- the very measurements that we need to even say what growth is.

What I found is that neoliberalism as a philosophy is less a doctrine of economics than a doctrine of ordering -- of creating the institutions that provide for the reproduction of the totality [of financial elite control of the state]. At the core of the strain I describe is not the idea that we can quantify, count, price, buy and sell every last aspect of human existence. Actually, here it gets quite mystical. The Austrian and German School of neoliberals in particular believe in a kind of invisible world economy that cannot be captured in numbers and figures but always escapes human comprehension.

After all, if you can see something, you can plan it. Because of the very limits to our knowledge, we have to default to ironclad rules and not try to pursue something as radical as social justice, redistribution, or collective transformation. In a globalized world, we must give ourselves over to the forces of the market, or the whole thing will stop working.

So this is quite a different version of neoliberal thought than the one we usually have, premised on the abstract of individual liberty or the freedom to choose. Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market.

One of the core arguments of my book is that we can only understand the internal coherence of neoliberalism if we see it as a doctrine as concerned with the whole as the individual. Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy.

To me, the metaphor of encasement makes much more sense than the usual idea of markets set free, liberated or unfettered. How can it be that in an era of proliferating third party arbitration courts, international investment law, trade treaties and regulation that we talk about "unfettered markets"? One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such.

What I explore in Globalists is how we can think of the WTO as the latest in a long series of institutional fixes proposed for the problem of emergent nationalism and what neoliberals see as the confusion between sovereignty -- ruling a country -- and ownership -- owning the property within it.

I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople.

They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world.

Perhaps the lasting image of globalization that the book leaves is that world capitalism has produced a doubled world -- a world of imperium (the world of states) and a world of dominium (the world of property). The best way to understand neoliberal globalism as a project is that it sees its task as the never-ending maintenance of this division. The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place.

The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. The book acts as a kind of field guide to these institutions and, in the process, hopefully recasts the 20th century that produced them.


Mark bennett 3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a decent book May 14, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is a rather interesting look at the political and economic ideas of a circle of important economists, including Hayek and von Mises, over the course of the last century. He shows rather convincingly that conventional narratives concerning their idea are wrong. That they didn't believe in a weak state, didn't believe in the laissez-faire capitalism or believe in the power of the market. That they saw mass democracy as a threat to vested economic interests.

The core beliefs of these people was in a world where money, labor and products could flow across borders without any limit. Their vision was to remove these subjects (tariffs, immigration and controls on the movement of money) from the control of the democracy-based nation-state and instead vesting them in international organizations. International organizations which were by their nature undemocratic and beyond the influence of democracy. That rather than rejecting government power, what they rejected was national government power. They wanted weak national governments but at the same time strong undemocratic international organizations which would gain the powers taken from the state.

The other thing that characterized many of these people was a rather general rejection of economics. While some of them are (at least in theory) economists, they rejected the basic ideas of economic analysis and economic policy. The economy, to them, was a mystical thing beyond any human understanding or ability to influence in a positive way. Their only real belief was in "bigness". The larger the market for labor and goods, the more economically prosperous everyone would become. A unregulated "global" market with specialization across borders and free migration of labor being the ultimate system.

The author shows how, over a period extending from the 1920s to the 1990s, these ideas evolved from marginal academic ideas to being dominant ideas internationally. Ideas that are reflected today in the structure of the European Union, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the policies of most national governments. These ideas, which the author calls "neoliberalism", have today become almost assumptions beyond challenge. And even more strangely, the dominating ideas of the political left in most of the west.

The author makes the point, though in a weak way, that the "fathers" of neoliberalism saw themselves as "restoring" a lost golden age. That golden age being (roughly) the age of the original industrial revolution (the second half of the 1800s). And to the extent that they have been successful they have done that. But at the same time, they have brought back all the political and economic questions of that era as well.

In reading it, I started to wonder about the differences between modern neoliberalism and the liberal political movement during the industrial revolution. I really began to wonder about the actual motives of "reform" liberals in that era. Were they genuinely interested in reforms during that era or were all the reforms just cynical politics designed to enhance business power at the expense of other vested interests. Was, in particular, the liberal interest in political reform and franchise expansion a genuine move toward political democracy or simply a temporary ploy to increase their political power. If one assumes that the true principles of classic liberalism were always free trade, free migration of labor and removing the power to governments to impact business, perhaps its collapse around the time of the first world war is easier to understand.

He also makes a good point about the EEC and the organizations that came before the EU. Those organizations were as much about protecting trade between Europe and former European colonial possessions as they were anything to do with trade within Europe.

To me at least, the analysis of the author was rather original. In particular, he did an excellent job of showing how the ideas of Hayek and von Mises have been distorted and misunderstood in the mainstream. He was able to show what their ideas were and how they relate to contemporary problems of government and democracy.

But there are some strong negatives in the book. The author offers up a complete virtue signaling chapter to prove how the neoliberals are racists. He brings up things, like the John Birch Society, that have nothing to do with the book. He unleashes a whole lot of venom directed at American conservatives and republicans mostly set against a 1960s backdrop. He does all this in a bad purpose: to claim that the Kennedy Administration was somehow a continuation of the new deal rather than a step toward neoliberalism. His blindness and modern political partisanship extended backward into history does substantial damage to his argument in the book. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the political issues of South Africa which also adds nothing to the argument of the book. His whole chapter on racism is an elaborate strawman all held together by Ropke. He also spends a large amount of time grinding some sort of Ax with regard to the National Review and William F. Buckley.

He keeps resorting to the simple formula of finding something racist said or written by Ropke....and then inferring that anyone who quoted or had anything to do with Ropke shared his ideas and was also a racist. The whole point of the exercise seems to be to avoid any analysis of how the democratic party (and the political left) drifted over the decades from the politics of the New Deal to neoliberal Clintonism.

Then after that, he diverts further off the path by spending many pages on the greatness of the "global south", the G77 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO) promoted by the UN in the 1970s. And whatever many faults of neoliberalism, Quinn Slobodian ends up standing for a worse set of ideas: International Price controls, economic "reparations", nationalization, international trade subsidies and a five-year plan for the world (socialist style economic planning at a global level). In attaching himself to these particular ideas, he kills his own book. The premise of the book and his argument was very strong at first. But by around p. 220, its become a throwback political tract in favor of the garbage economic and political ideas of the so-called third world circa 1974 complete with 70's style extensive quotations from "Senegalese jurists"

Once the political agenda comes out, he just can't help himself. He opens the conclusion to the book taking another cheap shot for no clear reason at William F. Buckley. He spends alot of time on the Seattle anti-WTO protests from the 1990s. But he has NOTHING to say about BIll Clinton or Tony Blair or EU expansion or Obama or even the 2008 economic crisis for that matter. Inexplicably for a book written in 2018, the content of the book seems to end in the year 2000.

I'm giving it three stars for the first 150 pages which was decent work. The second half rates zero stars. Though it could have been far better if he had written his history of neoliberalism in the context of the counter-narrative of Keynesian economics and its decline. It would have been better yet if the author had the courage to talk about the transformation of the parties of the left and their complicity in the rise of neoliberalism. The author also tends to waste lots of pages repeating himself or worse telling you what he is going to say next. One would have expected a better standard of editing by the Harvard Press. Read less 69 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

Jesper Doepping 5.0 out of 5 stars A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence November 14, 2018

Anybody interested in global trade, business, human rights or democracy today should read this book.

The book follow the Austrians from the beginning in the Habsburgischer empire to the beginning rebellion against the WTO. However, most importantly it follows the thinking and the thoughts behind the building of a global empire of capitalism with free trade, capital and rights. All the way to the new "human right" to trade. It narrows down what neoliberal thought really consist of and indirectly make a differentiation to the neoclassical economic tradition.

What I found most interesting is the turn from economics to law - and the conceptual distinctions between the genes, tradition, reason, which are translated into a quest for a rational and reason based protection of dominium (the rule of property) against the overreach of imperium (the rule of states/people). This distinction speaks directly to the issues that EU is currently facing.

[May 30, 2021] Mean Girl Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan

Highly recommended!
See also her book: The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan
Notable quotes:
"... From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated-the reign of brutal capitalism-intensified. Though Ayn Rand's popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and '70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.) ..."
"... During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. ..."
"... We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition - but we don't yet know which way we're headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand. ..."
"... The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand's influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture - including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.'' ..."
"... Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is "the gateway drug" to right-wing politics in the United States - although her influence extends well beyond the right wing ..."
"... The resulting Randian sense of life might be called "optimistic cruelty." Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed. ..."
"... The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue. ..."
"... It is not an accident that the novels' fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes." ..."
"... Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you. ..."
"... As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read! ..."
"... Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs. ..."
"... In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

From the Introduction

... ... ...

Mean Girls, which was based on interviews with high school girls conducted by Rosalind Wiseman for her 2002 book Queen Bees and War/tubes, reflects the emotional atmosphere of the age of the Plastics (as the most popular girls at Actional North Shore High are called), as well as the era of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko, whose motto is "Greed is Good."1 The culture of greed is the hallmark of the neoliberal era, the period beginning in the 1970s when the protections of the U.S. and European welfare states, and the autonomy of postcolonial states around the world, came under attack. Advocates of neoliberalism worked to reshape global capitalism by freeing transnational corporations from restrictive forms of state regulation, stripping away government efforts to redistribute wealth and provide public services, and emphasizing individual responsibility over social concern.

From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated-the reign of brutal capitalism-intensified. Though Ayn Rand's popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and '70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.)

During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. But neoliberal capitalism has always been contested, and competing and conflicting political ideas and organizations proliferated and intensified after 2008 as well.

Protest politics blossomed on the left with Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in the United States, and with the Arab Spring, and other mobilizations around the world. Anti-neoliberal electoral efforts, like the Bernie Sanders campaign for the U.S. presidency, generated excitement as well.

But protest and organizing also expanded on the political right, with reactionary populist, racial nationalist, and protofascist gains in such countries as India, the Philippines, Russia, Hungary, and the United States rapidly proliferating. Between these far-right formations on the one side and persistent zombie neoliberalism on the other, operating sometimes at odds and sometimes in cahoots, the Season of Mean is truly upon us.

We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition - but we don't yet know which way we're headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand.

Rand's ideas are not the key to her influence. Her writing does support the corrosive capitalism at the heart of neoliberalism, though few movers and shakers actually read any of her nonfiction. Her two blockbuster novels, 'The Fountainpen and Atlas Shrugged, are at the heart of her incalculable impact. Many politicians and government officials going back decades have cited Rand as a formative influence-particularly finance guru and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who was a member of Rand's inner circle, and Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president most identified with the national embrace of neoliberal policies.

Major figures in business and finance are or have been Rand fans: Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Peter Thiel (Paypal), Steve Jobs (Apple), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Mark Cuban (NBA), John Allison (BB&T Banking Corporation), Travis Kalanik (Uber), Jelf Bezos (Amazon), ad infinitum.

There are also large clusters of enthusiasts for Rand's novels in the entertainment industry, from the 1940s to the present-from Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, and Raquel Welch to Jerry Lewis, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Rob Lowe, Jim Carrey, Sandra Bullock, Sharon Stone, Ashley Judd, Eva Mendes, and many more.

The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand's influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture - including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.''

But beyond the famous or powerful fans, the novels have had a wide popular impact as bestsellers since publication. Along with Rand's nonfiction, they form the core texts for a political/ philosophical movement: Objectivism. There are several U.S.- based Objectivist organizations and innumerable clubs, reading groups, and social circles. A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that only the Bible had influenced readers more than Atlas Shrugged, while a 1998 Modern Library poll listed The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as the two most revered novels in English.

Atlas Shrugged in particular skyrocketed in popularity in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. The U.S. Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, featured numerous Ayn Rand-based signs and slogans, especially the opening line of Atlas Shrugged: "Who is John Galt?" Republican pundit David Frum claimed that the Tea Party was reinventing the GOP as "the party of Ayn Rand." During 2009 as well, sales of Atlas Shrugged tripled, and GQ_magazine called Rand the year's most influential author. A 2010 Zogby poll found that 29 percent of respondents had read Atlas Shrugged, and half of those readers said it had affected their political and ethical thinking.

In 2018, a business school teacher writing in Forbes magazine recommended repeat readings: "Recent events - the bizarro circus that is the 2016 election, the disintegration of Venezuela, and so on make me wonder if a lot of this could have been avoided bad we taken Atlas Shrugged's message to heart. It is a book that is worth re-reading every few years."3

Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is "the gateway drug" to right-wing politics in the United States - although her influence extends well beyond the right wing.4

But how can the work of this one novelist (also an essayist, playwright, and philosopher), however influential, be a significant source of insight into the rise of a culture of greed? In a word: sex. Ayn Rand made acquisitive capitalists sexy. She launched thousands of teenage libidos into the world of reactionary politics on a wave of quivering excitement. This sexiness extends beyond romance to infuse the creative aspirations, inventiveness, and determination of her heroes with erotic energy, embedded in what Rand called her "sense of life." Analogous to what Raymond Williams has called a "structure of feeling," Rand's sense of life combines the libido-infused desire for heroic individual achievement with contempt for social inferiors and indifference to their plight.5

Lauren Berlant has called the structure of feeling, or emotional situation, of those who struggle for a good life under neoliberal conditions "cruel optimism"-the complex of feelings necessary to keep plugging away hopefully despite setbacks and losses.'' Rand's contrasting sense of life applies to those whose fantasies of success and domination include no doubt or guilt. The feelings of aspiration and glee that enliven Rand's novels combine with contempt for and indifference to others. The resulting Randian sense of life might be called "optimistic cruelty." Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed.

Ayn Rand's optimistic cruelty appeals broadly and deeply through its circulation of familiar narratives: the story of "civilizational" progress, die belief in American exceptionalism, and a commitment to capitalist freedom.

Her novels engage fantasies of European imperial domination conceived as technological and cultural advancement, rather than as violent conquest. America is imagined as a clean slate for pure capitalist freedom, with no indigenous people, no slaves, no exploited immigrants or workers in sight. The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue.

Their logic also depends on a hierarchy of value based on radicalized beauty and physical capacity - perceived ugliness or disability' are equated with pronounced worthlessness and incompetence.

Through the forms of romance and melodrama, Rand novels extrapolate the story of racial capitalism as a story of righteous passion and noble virtue. They retell The Birth of a Ntation through the lens of industrial capitalism (see chapter 2). They solicit positive identification with winners, with dominant historical forces. It is not an accident that the novels' fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes."


aslan , June 1, 2019

devastating account of the ethos that shapes contemporary America

Ayn Rand is a singular influence on American political thought, and this book brilliantly unfolds how Rand gave voice to the ethos that shapes contemporary conservatism. Duggan -- whose equally insightful earlier book Twilight of Equality offered an analysis of neoliberalism and showed how it is both a distortion and continuation of classical liberalism -- here extends the analysis of American market mania by showing how an anti-welfare state ethos took root as a "structure of feeling" in American culture, elevating the individual over the collective and promoting a culture of inequality as itself a moral virtue.

Although reviled by the right-wing press (she should wear this as a badge of honor), Duggan is the most astute guide one could hope for through this devastating history of our recent past, and the book helps explain how we ended up where we are, where far-right, racist nationalism colludes (paradoxically) with libertarianism, an ideology of extreme individualism and (unlikely bed fellows, one might have thought) Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.

This short, accessible book is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the contemporary United States.

Wreck2 , June 1, 2019
contemporary cruelty

Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you.

Writing with wit, rigor, and vigor, Lisa Duggan explains how Ayn Rand, the "mean girl," has captured the minds and snatched the bodies of so very many, and has rendered them immune to feelings of shared humanity with those whose fortunes are not as rosy as their own. An indispensable work, a short read that leaves a long memory.

kerwynk , June 2, 2019
Valuable and insightful commentary on Rand and Rand's influence on today's world

Mean Girl offers not only a biographical account of Rand (including the fact that she modeled one of her key heroes on a serial killer), but describes Rand's influence on neoliberal thinking more generally.

As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read!

Sister, June 3, 2019

Superb poitical and cultural exploration of Rand's influence

Lisa Duggan's concise but substantive look at the political and cultural influence of Ayn Rand is stunning. I feel like I've been waiting most of a lifetime for a book that is as wonderfully readable as it is insightful. Many who write about Rand reduce her to a caricature hero or demon without taking her, and the history and choices that produced her seriously as a subject of cultural inquiry. I am one of those people who first encountered Rand's books - novels, but also some nonfiction and her play, "The Night of January 16th," in which audience members were selected as jurors – as a teenager.

Under the thrall of some right-wing locals, I was so drawn to Rand's larger-than-life themes, the crude polarization of "individualism" and "conformity," the admonition to selfishness as a moral virtue, her reductive dismissal of the public good as "collectivism."

Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs.

But over those many years, the coterie of Rand true believers has kept the faith and expanded. One of the things I value about Duggan's compelling account is her willingness to take seriously the far reach of Rand's indifference to human suffering even as she strips away the veneer that suggests Rand's beliefs were deep.

In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies.

I learned that the hard way, but I learned it. Now I am recommending Duggan's wise book to others who seek to understand today's cultural and political moment in the United States and the rise of an ethic of indifference to anybody but the already affluent. Duggan is comfortable with complexity; most Randian champions or detractors are not.

[May 28, 2021] Obama's follow-up to "Dreams from My Father" will be "Sins of My Mother"

May 19, 2021 | www.unz.com

Wokeness is just a detail, not the biggest one by any means, of a vast socio-economic collapse of neoliberalism.

chris , says: May 14, 2021 at 7:13 am GMT • 5.8 days ago

What wokeness does mandate for my son (who is studying biology) to be told in his class that he is the carrier of "white guilt" even though his ancestors never interacted with blacks, let alone blacks in the USA.

Obama's follow-up to "Dreams from My Father" will be "Sins of My Mother"

Stephen Paul Foster , says: Website May 14, 2021 at 10:58 am GMT • 5.7 days ago

" [C]orporate "America" which is now flooding all its advertisements with the "correct" races in total disregard to that race's real percentage of the population "

Yes, for corporate America, the U.S. demographic is composed mainly of young, beautiful, smart looking "black folks" with a few flabby, pasty white dullards to heighten the contrast.

[May 28, 2021] Dedollarization is a serious threat to the US neoliberal empire

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 23 2021 15:45 utc | 7

How can one ignore all the noise in the media to focus on the crux of the situation, implications, and the future outcomes?

One can only understand the impact of events better and envision the future by exploring plausible scenarios and identifying signals which over time will enable one to size up the probabilities of outcomes.

INTERNATIONAL -- MONETARY IMPERIALISM

Geopolitical relationships are frosty & flammable. All the narratives can be summed up into a few SCENARIOS:

The probabilities of these scenarios will be defined by the following SIGNALS:

Any new scenarios & signals? What probabilities would one assign to various scenarios? What will be the construct of scenarios and signals at the national level?

The Dollar Empire likes to initiate a conflict during Olympics when they are held in its adversaries:

  1. 2008, Georgia conflict
  2. 2014, Ukraine conflict
  3. 2022, ?

[May 26, 2021] U.S. stocks are demonstrating most of the characteristics of a bubble, but don't sell yet, says strategist

Of course, you need to wait until all banks and hedge managers sell ;-)
May 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Steve Goldstein

U.S. stocks are looking bubbly but it isn't time to sell, argues this fund manager's strategist.

[May 24, 2021] Taibbi- Con Of The Week - Greensill Capital

May 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

pndr4495 2 days ago (Edited)

Doyle Lonnegan to Johnny "Hooker" Kelly in the movie The Sting: "Your boss is quite the card player Mr. Kelly. How does he do it?"

Kelly to Lonnegan: "He cheats."

philipat 2 days ago

It's appropriate that the entirely useless ex-PM Cameron got taken by this guy and tried to use his influence to access free money for him from The Treasury as an "advisor"..He didn't get any.

Cameron couldn't even do corruption properly!!

[May 24, 2021] -The Fed Has Lost Control- - John Williams Warns Of Hyperinflation In 2022

May 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

messystateofaffairs 48 minutes ago

The Fed never had control, just s bunch of shysters running a long term hybrid ponzi scheme.

Lordflin 54 minutes ago (Edited)

The Fed is losing control...

I suppose that is true... as the function has been to drain the people's wealth into the coffers of the few...

The Real Satoshi 29 minutes ago remove link

Sad that Greg Hunter got kicked off youtube.

gregga777 12 minutes ago (Edited)

He is in great company, though. Anyone who offends the Marxist narratives (Politically Correct, Multicultural, Affirmative Action, Diversity, Feminist, LGBTQQ, etc.) gets kicked off YouTube.

pmc 36 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

...As Kissinger said "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."

https://thenewamerican.com/kissinger-the-illegal-we-do-immediately-the-unconstitutional-takes-a-little-longer/

[May 12, 2021] Crumbling infrastracture

This is what happing in empires in decay...
May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , May 12 2021 22:23 utc | 66

Bridge in the USA was literally falling:

Bridge over Mississippi river closed for repairs after inspectors discover MAJOR CRACK, river transport grinds to a halt

I thought the "crumbling infrastructure" was just an internet joke or a lobby thing (American Society of Civil Engineers sounds like a the name of a DC lobby firm). Never thought it was de facto happening in USA.

[May 11, 2021] 11 Plunging Stocks Are Badly Burning Cathie Wood's ARK Invest

May 11, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Cathie Wood's ARK Invest is still red-hot, but now in the opposite way: It's getting burned by many collapsing stocks including some in the S&P 500.

[May 11, 2021] Neoliberalism taken to the limit

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow

Make_Mine_A_Double 6 hours ago (Edited)

But China can do our bio-chemical warfare research cheaper than we can - it only makes sense to use the theory of 'comparative advantage'.

I think outsourcing our bio-chemical weapons program to our existential enemy is really brilliant and saves the taxpayers money...

replaceme 6 hours ago

Did the NIH give that work special oversight, eg no oversight? Yes, yes they did...

[May 10, 2021] How many times can a declared "expert" be wrong before they are not an expert anymore!

Notable quotes:
"... Ask an economist. Wrong more than 50% of the time and still fully employed. When was the last time an economist got fired for being wrong? ..."
Apr 15, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
lwilland1012 1 hour ago

How many times can a declared "expert" be wrong before they are not an expert anymore!

INTJ Economist 1 hour ago

Ask an economist. Wrong more than 50% of the time and still fully employed. When was the last time an economist got fired for being wrong?

[May 09, 2021] I think neoliberalism is on its last legs, admin of it is currently under going a near psychotic episode of various degrees depending on how factions roll and the desire to come out on top when the dust settles

May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

skippy , May 8, 2021 at 3:00 am

Actually I think neoliberalism is on its last legs, admin of it is currently under going a near psychotic episode of various degrees depending on how factions roll and the desire to come out on top when the dust settles.

Covid really presented a situation which has removed so much ideological PR fog, for so many people, that the GFC was just a bad patch or some nefarious plot by outside forces which would snatch their dreams away.

[May 09, 2021] CPI Is A Lie! We can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation by Peter Schiff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CPI is calculated by analyzing the price of a "basket of goods." The makeup of that basket has a big impact on the final CPI number. According to WolfStreet , 10.9% of the CPI is based on durable goods (computers, automobiles, appliances, etc.). Nondurable goods (primarily food and energy) make up 26.6% of CPI. Services account for the remaining 62.5% of the basket. This includes rent, healthcare, cellphone service etc.) ..."
"... The things the government includes and excludes from the basket can make a profound difference in that final CPI number. Back in 1998, the government significantly revised the CPI metrics. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admitted the changes were "sweeping." ..."
"... In 1998, the BLS followed the recommendations of the Boskin Commission. It was appointed by the Senate in 1995. Initially called the "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index," its job was to study possible bias in the computation of the CPI. Unsurprisingly, it determined that the index overstated inflation " by about 1.1% per year in 1996 and about 1.3% prior to 1996. The 1998 changes to CPI were meant to address this "issue." ..."
"... As Peter pointed out, there is a lot of geometric weighting, substitution and hedonics built into the calculation. The government can basically create an index that outputs whatever it wants. ..."
"... Peter said there is a bit of irony in government officials and central bankers constantly complaining about "not enough inflation." ..."
"... They're the ones that are cooking the books to pretend that inflation is lower than it really is. Because what they're really trying to do is get the go-ahead to produce more inflation, which is printing money." ..."
"... And there are other things that hide inflation. For instance, shrinking packaging so there is less product sold at the same price, or substituting lower quality ingredients, or requiring consumers to assemble items themselves. ..."
"... They find different ways to lower the quality and not increase the price, and I'm sure that the government is not picking up on any of that. If the quality improves, yeah, yeah, they calculate that. But they probably ignore all the circumstances where the quality is diminished." ..."
"... The bottom line is we can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation. ..."
May 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Via SchiffGold.com,

We've been talking a lot about the specter of inflation. Despite the Fed's assurances not to worry because any price increases we're seeing are transitory, some people are indeed worried. A former JP Morgan managing director warned about inflation and echoed Peter Schiff's view that the central bank is powerless to fight it.

And we're seeing rising prices all over the place, from the grocery store to the gas station. Even the government numbers flash warning signs . But as Peter Schiff explains in this clip from an interview with Jay Martin, it's probably even worse than we realize because the government cooks the numbers when it calculates CPI.

The monthly rises in CPI through the first quarter show an upward trend. The CPI in January was up 0.3%. It was up 0.4% in February. And now it's up 0.6% in March. That totals a 1.013% increase in Q1 alone. The question is does this really reflect the truth about inflation? Peter doesn't think it does.

The government always makes changes to their methods of measuring things, whether it's GDP, or inflation, or unemployment. And they always tweak the numbers to produce a better result as a report card. "

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

Imagine if students in a school had the ability to change the metrics by which they were graded or the methodology the teacher used to calculate their grades.

Would it surprise anybody that all of a sudden they started getting more As and Bs and fewer Cs and Ds? The government always wants to make the good stuff better, like economic growth, and the bad stuff better, like unemployment or inflation. So, they want to find ways to make those numbers little and the good numbers big."

The CPI is calculated by analyzing the price of a "basket of goods." The makeup of that basket has a big impact on the final CPI number. According to WolfStreet , 10.9% of the CPI is based on durable goods (computers, automobiles, appliances, etc.). Nondurable goods (primarily food and energy) make up 26.6% of CPI. Services account for the remaining 62.5% of the basket. This includes rent, healthcare, cellphone service etc.)

The things the government includes and excludes from the basket can make a profound difference in that final CPI number. Back in 1998, the government significantly revised the CPI metrics. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admitted the changes were "sweeping."

According to the BLS, periodic changes to the CPI calculation are necessary because "consumers change their preferences or new products and services emerge. During these occasions, the Bureau reexamines the CPI item structure, which is the classification scheme of the CPI market basket. The item structure is a central feature of the CPI program and many CPI processes depend on it."

In 1998, the BLS followed the recommendations of the Boskin Commission. It was appointed by the Senate in 1995. Initially called the "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index," its job was to study possible bias in the computation of the CPI. Unsurprisingly, it determined that the index overstated inflation " by about 1.1% per year in 1996 and about 1.3% prior to 1996. The 1998 changes to CPI were meant to address this "issue."

As Peter pointed out, there is a lot of geometric weighting, substitution and hedonics built into the calculation. The government can basically create an index that outputs whatever it wants.

I think this period of "˜Oh wow! We have low inflation!' It's not a coincidence that it followed this major revision into how we calculate it."

Peter said there is a bit of irony in government officials and central bankers constantly complaining about "not enough inflation."

They're the ones that are cooking the books to pretend that inflation is lower than it really is. Because what they're really trying to do is get the go-ahead to produce more inflation, which is printing money."

Peter said the CPI will never reveal the true extent of rising prices.

And there are other things that hide inflation. For instance, shrinking packaging so there is less product sold at the same price, or substituting lower quality ingredients, or requiring consumers to assemble items themselves.

They find different ways to lower the quality and not increase the price, and I'm sure that the government is not picking up on any of that. If the quality improves, yeah, yeah, they calculate that. But they probably ignore all the circumstances where the quality is diminished."

The bottom line is we can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation.

[May 08, 2021] In 1999, the Wall Street Journal had 286 articles on bubbles. Here are a few of the titles

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

J John Smith

Not only is this not true, the evidence shows that bubbles are called in advance. In 1999, the Wall Street Journal had 286 articles on bubbles. Here are a few of the titles,

And on, and on, etc., etc.

[May 08, 2021] Dogecoin is now valued at more than Ford

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

R Robert A

Dogecoin is now valued at more than Ford.
Economics?
Lunacy is more like it.
This is just more proof that the dollars are becoming more worthless.
Whistling past the graveyard.

[May 07, 2021] Neoliberal empire and FRD four freedoms

May 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 7 2021 19:00 utc | 26

Global Times seems to have declared an Open Season today on the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals/lackeys with a Broadside of articles that build on yestaerday's outstanding editorial . First is this Infographic that asks six pertinent questions based on FDR's Four Freedoms that are now at the core of Western Values despite their being completely disregarded. Next we have Blinken making a fool of himself again at the China-hosted virtual session of the UNSC for claiming to uphold the UN Charter that the Outlaw US Empire's violated daily since 1945 and by attempting to smear others for violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when the Empire isn't even a party to that treaty, never having ratified it. But the stunner comes from an odd source, The Guardian , which cited a new poll:

"Reported by the Guardian on Wednesday, another poll in Western countries shows that the US is seen as more of a threat to democracy than Russia and China , with 44 percent of respondents in the 53 countries concerned that the US threatens democracy in their country.

"'They show neither the US, nor the G7, can simply assume the mantle of defenders of democracy,' the Guardian said." [My Emphasis]

It can't be said the Chinese don't have a sense of humor since this article and the graphic it's based on certainly prove otherwise--it's a big dig at how far the mighty have fallen comparing the current G-7 and additional lackeys with those nations that invaded China 120 years ago.

Meanwhile, Outlaw US Empire dependence on China increased :

"China's exports to the US rose 49.3 percent while imports gained 53.3 percent, and the trade surplus with the US was 653.89 billion yuan, an increase of 47 percent . [My Emphasis]

It seems all the Anti-China rhetoric and Congressional hearings only serve to increase that dependence. The reason why is simple: the Neoliberal System is designed to do just that, and Biden along with Congress is doing nothing to reverse that basic problem.

[May 07, 2021] Crooks are selling to fools

finance.yahoo.com

...retail investors have been net buyers of stocks for 10 straight weeks, hedge funds have been sellers, client data from BofA Global Research showed, with the four-week average of net sales of equities by hedge funds hitting their highest levels since the firm began tracking the data in 2008.

[May 05, 2021] FED Powell on tough question: Not sure what the exact nature of that question is

May 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ReadyForHillary 1 hour ago

When will the economy be able to stand on its own feet?

He immediately followed with:

I'm not sure what the exact nature of that question is.

HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

[May 05, 2021] a "cult" is characterised by slavish reverence and obedience to the personal doctrines of an individual or collective of human beings having no particular, and certainly no substantive, claim to deity. That's especially so when the gurus have an identifiable ulterior motive (Scientology comes to mind an independently intelligent thinker might be compelled to ask how can people be so dumb?).

May 05, 2021 | www.unz.com

Ultrafart the Brave , says: Website May 5, 2021 at 7:07 am GMT • 11.4 hours ago

@Rev. Spooner

Please define the difference between a religion and cult in plain English if you feel offended.

Actually, I'm not offended, just intrigued by the question.

At a first cut, I'd suppose

Ultrafart the Brave , says: Website May 5, 2021 at 7:07 am GMT • 11.4 hours ago
@Rev. Spooner ion and just start making shit up, then that probably qualifies as a "cult".

Bottom line, it's probably all in the eye of the beholder. If you're a true believer, then it's a "religion". If you have neither belief in a religious species nor respect for its adherents, then it's a "cult".

An alternative view might be that "religions" are based around life philosophies that recognise a larger reality than we can perceive here in the material realm, whereas "cults" probably not so much. The more enduring religions seem to have quite a legacy of spooky stuff that so-called "modern science" might have difficulty in resolving (perhaps not so much nowadays, seeing how "science" has become such an arbitrary discipline subject to social and political whim).

All in the eye of the beholder.

[May 03, 2021] Free markets are only free for parasites and usurers to run their schemes.

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: May 2, 2021 at 8:14 pm GMT • 5.9 hours ago

@HallParvey st absolutely destroy them.

I said: Okay, I get it, if you lend them the money, then they can pay. This is like a Ponzi scheme: you lend the investors enough to pay the interest and keep current. That was my introduction to how the balance of payments worked between the United States and the third world and how political the whole credit problem was.

Free markets are only free for parasites and usurers to run their schemes. Lolbertarianism is an ideology of our (((friends))), and I think its adherents are dupes. I no longer think they are well meaning dupes either, they have a personality defect, where they lack empathy.

[May 03, 2021] For several centuries, Europe served as the Ancient Greece to the American Rome

May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sollipsist , says: April 30, 2021 at 6:33 pm GMT • 2.3 days ago

For several centuries, Europe served as the Ancient Greece to the American Rome -- the source of most of the most important cultural inspirations, despite a certain underlying criticism of 'effeminacy' and 'dissolution.'

The 20th Century's Modernism and Postmodernism was similar to Rome's sometimes successful but more usually inferior attempts to incorporate and ultimately replace the influence of Greek culture. Despite proclaiming a concrete Roman character, Rome was often just a hodgepodge of various assimilated Mediterranean influences (a bland but somehow also nationalistic multiculturalism) until Christianity gave its thinkers and artists a more or less focused and unified point of departure.

Which would indicate some of what the future holds for the European triumphs of the Renaissance to the 20th Century -- a weak acknowledgment of its importance, with a handful of individuals remembered and very little in the way of context or continuity. At best, there could be another Renaissance after the Dark Age that looms. But it doesn't look likely from here, as the Empire is taking so much down with it as it falls.

[May 03, 2021] Republicans and the end of hard neoliberalism by JOHN QUIGGIN

Apr 26, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

As I argued recently , the decline of soft neoliberalism in the US Democratic Party can be explained largely in terms of generational replacement. What about hard neoliberalism and the Republican Party?

After four years of the Trump Administration, and a few months of post-election madness, the Republican Party has completed a transition that has been going on for decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Republicans were a hard neoliberal party, spending most of their policy effort on tax cuts and deregulation, and using white grievance politics to attract votes. Now the situation is reversed. The Republicans are a white grievance party, whose targets include 'woke corporations', However, they still attempt to attract support from corporations by advocating tax cuts. While any pretence of principled aversion to regulation has been abandoned, crony capitalist exemptions from regulation are still on offer if the price is right

The core claim of hard neoliberalism was that a free market economy with a modest 'safety net' could do a better job of delivering broad prosperity than the welfare state built on the New Deal and Keynesian economics. The optimism of this message, reflected in Reagan's 'Morning in America' turned into triumphalism with the end of the Cold War.

Hard neoliberals supported globalisation, and cheered on the idea that borderless capital would bring governments under control, and put an end to budget deficits. In particular, Republicans supported trade deals like NAFTA https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/05/09/history-lesson-more-republicans-than-democrats-supported-nafta/

The high point of hard neoliberalism was the 1994 Contract with America, the slogan under which the Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time since 1952. The Contract called for balanced budgets and reduced welfare spending for single-parent families, but also proposed positive measures including an expanded child tax credit.

The commitment to balanced budgets was the first element of hard neoliberalism to be ditched. Responding to the collapse of the dotcom boom, the Bush Administration introduced large, and effectively permanent (fn: the most regressive elements were allowed to expire under Obama) tax cuts. These cuts, along with massive expenditure on the 'forever wars' that began after the 2001 terror attacks, pushed the government budget from the surplus that had been achieved under the Clinton Administration into permanent deficit.

For a brief period, the 'Tea Party' revolt against the Obama Administration appeared as a reversion to hard neoliberalism, with a non-partisan focus on sound finance. In reality, the Tea Party was a mixture of Republican activists and grifters who used its appeal to solicit donations, largely used to fund well-paid jobs for themselves. Both groups have been prominent among the support base for Donald Trump .

By the time the Republicans turned to Trump, grievance politics were already dominant. Trump discarded long held beliefs about free trade and the need for government to stay out of business. But even during Trump's Presidency, Congressional Republicans held on to a few elements of the old mixture, such as corporate tax cuts and pro-corporate changes to regulation. It is only in the aftermath of Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election that the alliance between Republicans and big business has been broken.

On the one hand, corporations regularly run afoul of grievance politics, by taking initiatives seen as 'woke'. On the other hand, the threat posed to constitutional government by the Republican party is now so obvious as to arouse corporate resistance. Corporations with a long-term view of their prospects correctly prefer to risk higher tax rates than to operate in a Trumpist banana republic.

A puzzle remains. On the one hand, as we have seen, Trumpism is the culmination of trends going back many decades. On the other hand, today's far right Republican party is clearly different in kind from the party that nominated moderate globalist Mitt Romney for the presidency in 2012

One useful metaphor for this process is that of a phase transition, such as from liquid to gas, or dissolved solid to crystal) in physics and chemistry.

To develop the metaphor, think of the Eisenhower-era Republican party as a complicated mixture of many dissolved ingredients, in which the dominant element was the business establishment, and the Trump era party as a crystallised mass of plutocratic economics, racism and all-round craziness. The development over the 60 years between the two has consisted of keeping the mixture simmering, while adding more and more appeals to racial animus and magical thinking (supply-side economics, climate denial, the Iraq war and so on). In this process various elements of the original mix have boiled off or precipitated out and discarded as dregs.

Boiling off is the process by which various groups (Blacks and Northeastern liberal Republicans in C20, liberaltarians more recently) have left the Republican coalition in response to its racism and know-nothingism. The dregs that have precipitated out are ideas that were supposed to be important to Republicans (free trade, scientific truth, classical liberalism, moral character and so on) that turned out not to matter at all.

Trump's arrival is the catalyst seed crystal that produces the phase change. The final product of the reaction emerges in its crystallised form.

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Sashas 04.26.21 at 4:14 am ( 1 )

Eisenhower was president from 1953-1961. The Great Realignment Republican'">Democrat happened in the 1930s under Roosevelt, and the Southern Strategy that eventually switched the South from Democrat'">Republican and laid out the current US political alignment happened either in 1964 with Goldwater or 1968 with Nixon, in either case after Eisenhower. I'm not sure how reliable the date I have for the first half of this political realignment is (I admit I got it from Wikipedia), but I'm pretty confident of the second half being post-Eisenhower. As a result, I raise my eyebrows quite a bit when I hear about a transition directly from an Eisenhower-era Republican Party to a Trump-era Republican Party. What about the intervening Republican presidents?

In short, I actually agree with this being a direct transition, but I'd argue that the 'œTrump-era' Republican Party starts with Nixon and hasn't stopped since. They made a conscious decision, whose evidence we can see in macro voting patterns and in their correspondence, to incorporate White Grievance into their coalition. I'm unable to find a position on which the Republican Party has changed on a coalition-building level since.

The OP is making the case for Free Markets being such a thing, and I think it's the topic for which the strongest case can be made, but I don't buy it. Republican administrations since Nixon have supported cronyism, military adventures in support of their favored companies, suppression of specific industries (e.g. solar), subsidizing others (e.g. fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals). I'm not an economist, but I suspect that if we zoom in we'd find more cases of Republican administrations intervening against Free Markets than to protect them on the level of individual companies too.

When Republicans say Free Markets, they mean Deregulation and Low Taxes on the Rich, both of which notably continued under Trump.

Romney, for comparison, would probably also have supported Deregulation and Low Taxes on the Rich, but Eisenhower didn't.

Brian 04.26.21 at 6:47 am ( 4 )

Working in the Midwest and Idaho I think there is a large group of jumping voters. I called the 2016 election for Trump after staying in multiple AirBnBs with people who voted Obama twice and were voting for Trump. Same reason '" hope for change.

The past few years I was surrounded by Trump voters, some still good friends. They aren't conspiracy dingbats. They also liked Yang. They radically dislike the democrats corruption and warmongering. It's the religious who sign up to fight those wars and their children coming home in body bags.

The real issue is no choice, nobody except liars, and politicians on the take.

Don't kid yourself, John. The current white house occupants are a senile old warmonger whose drug addict son has him wrapped around his finger, and the one primary candidate who resoundingly lost.

Those two, foisted on the nation by DNC oligarchs, nearly lost! They came within a hair of losing to an uncouth, marginally literate clown. Ignore the electoral college. Look at the margins in states that won.. this is no victory, no mandate, nor is it stable. This pack of Same old drivelers in both parties is busy shoving the same garbage that created Trump's victory.

If you think that the Republicans media machine is unhinged, read Matt Taibbi on Russiagate's lies. How much more unhinged is it for the Democrats media (Rachel Maddow and co) to attack and provoke a nuclear super power into creating new weapons and reinstating MAD.

ArtSrc 04.26.21 at 7:09 am ( 5 )

Here is my evidence that Right Wing science denial is older than Trump:

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1986-01-10-me-911-story.html

Phil 04.26.21 at 8:29 am ( 6 )

I think I'd want to go back further than Sashas. Researching an article on Helen Keller a while back, I discovered to my surprise not only that Ms Keller was a Wob (in the Debs/Wobbly intersect to be precise) but that she was funded by Andrew Carnegie '" and that the GOP of her day was, as well as a party of bankers and strikebreakers, a party of East Coast pencil-necked liberals with fingers in every progressive cause going (excepting the cause of labour, for obvious reasons).

All this was in the period prior to the US joining the Great War '" which is what we historians refer to as a hell of a long time ago '" and the Dems have also gone through a change or two in the same period. (Well, one big one.) Still, I wonder if the story of the GOP could be told as a series of these transitions '" from plutocrat/business/liberal to plutocrat/business/conservative to plutocrat/business/conservative/racist to today's hard core plutocrat/racist '" with the only constant being the presence of people with the kind of money that can endow libraries around the world, or do less useful things .

MFB 04.26.21 at 10:06 am ( 7 )

Wouldn't it be nice to wait and see if there has actually been an end to hard neoliberalism (or, indeed, a leftward shift in the Democratic Party) before making confident and information-free declarations about such matters? As far as I can make out there is essentially no current plan to make any substantive changes in the U.S. economic system arising out of the Democratic Party, and no sign of any substantive shift in the Republican Party's positions.

It is always comforting to believe that such things are true. Liberals, however, have been fooled before, over and over, by the Democratic Party. Naturally politicians attempt to say some nice things, which are then fed back to the appropriate demographics by compliant media houses which have their own agendas and which know that their audience know no alternatives.

As Mr. Fenton put it:

Listen to what they did.
Don't listen to what they said.
What was written in blood
Has been set up in lead.

Lead tears the heart.
Lead tears the brain.
What was written in blood
Has been set up again.

The heart is a drum.
The drum has a snare.
The snare is in the blood.
The blood is in the air.

Listen to what they did.
Listen to what's to come.
Listen to the blood.
Listen to the drum.

MisterMr 04.26.21 at 1:04 pm ( 8 )

I think that the real backbone of conservative parties is small business, more than big corporations. It certainly is so here in Italy (where however we have a much larger share of small business to big business relative to the USA), but I wonder if this is a common phenomenon.

I think that the clash between big business and small business is a big part of the apparent change in right wing parties.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.26.21 at 3:43 pm ( 10 )

@1 'œ'¦and Low Taxes on the Rich, both of which notably continued under Trump.'

Ever heard about the infamous SALT cap? Check out the above-mentioned Matt Taibbi @substack.com.

Tm 04.26.21 at 4:44 pm ( 11 )

JQ: 'œAfter four years of the Trump Administration, and a few months of post-election madness, the Republican Party has completed a transition that has been going on for decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Republicans were a hard neoliberal party, spending most of their policy effort on tax cuts and deregulation. Now the situation is reversed.'

I suggest you read that snippet again (in isolation), and try to make sense of it. I can't. What has been reversed? Is there a missing step in your argument? 'œTax cuts and deregulation' is a concise description of Trump administration policies, and there is no indication whatsoever that the post-Trump GOP will be any different. And the Culture War has been a staple of right wing politics in the US for decades. So what do you mean by reversal?

rogergathmann 04.26.21 at 4:45 pm ( 12 )

#4, This is beautiful. 'œThe current white house occupants are a senile old warmonger whose drug addict son has him wrapped around his finger'¦' ...

Tom 04.26.21 at 7:13 pm ( 13 )

John, have you read Before the Storm (2001) by Rick Perlstein? You may find it useful for the Goldwater years.

I have also similar issues with the claim of Republicans being free marketeers. Yes, obviously, they (used to) say that they are pro-market but they rarely walk the talk. E.g.: Reagan increased the budget deficit; Trump-like concerns for the trade deficit (with Japan at the time) and currency manipulation spurred the 1985 Plaza Accord; even when they are in favor of lower taxes, they rarely care about how this may distort incentives (e.g. no sales tax on goods purchased on Internet are a subsidy to Bezos), they just (claim that they) want to starve the beast; Casey Mulligan advised Trump and according to him Trump is the greatest deregulator ever; and 'œfreedom' is always a loaded term, e.g. they are against immigration which is just the freedom of one factor of production (labor) to freely move across countries. So, yeah, the libertarians who have (mainly in the past but some also now) supported Republicans are hard neoliberals free marketeers but most Republican rarely fit that description.

More general question (no need to answer, obviously, just for your thoughts): what is the role of this intellectual history section in your book? It seems you are forced to make some generalizations that some may object to, even though it is not clear to me how essential they are to your main thesis.

Barry 04.26.21 at 7:47 pm ( 15 )

Brian: 'œThe past few years I was surrounded by Trump voters, some still good friends. They aren't conspiracy dingbats. They also liked Yang. They radically dislike the democrats corruption and warmongering. It's the religious who sign up to fight those wars and their children coming home in body bags.'

It's the religious right who loved them some o' dat war. It's the religious right who loves corruption, especially in their leaders.

LFC 04.27.21 at 1:16 am ( 20 )

Perhaps relevant to a couple of the above comments is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote in 2016, when I was reading Perlstein's Before the Storm (which I didn't finish):

One thing (among others) that comes through clearly in the first 50 pp. or so of the book is the extent to which the emergent or reconstituting U.S. Right in the '50s and early '60s found a key constituency in family-owned and/or privately-held manufacturing and other businesses'¦ Indeed Perlstein opens the first chapter with a sketch of the political views and trajectory of one such (hypothetical) businessman.

Here's one actual example of many: In '59, on the eve of Khrushchev's visit to the U.S., we're told that 'œMilwaukee's Allen-Bradley Company bought a full page in the Wall Street Journal: 'To Khrushchev, 'œPeace and Friendship' means the total enslavement of all nations, of all peoples, of all things, under the God-denying Communist conspiracy of which he is the current Czar'¦. Don't let it happen here!'' (p.52)

Pretty clearly only a family-run or closely-held business would have felt able to spring for this kind of full-page ad in the WSJ '" a big publicly-traded company presumably would not have done this sort of thing, even if some of its executives might have shared the same views. (I use the word 'œpresumably' because I'm not sure that this speculation is correct, but it seems fairly logical.)

Barry 04.27.21 at 11:56 am ( 26 )

John: 'œFor a brief period, the 'Tea Party' revolt against the Obama Administration appeared as a reversion to hard neoliberalism, with a non-partisan focus on sound finance. '

No, they never did, except for people willing to believe. They didn't have a single problem with abuses under Dubya.

Tm 04.27.21 at 1:51 pm ( 27 )

JQ 25, I think I get your point but I wouldn't call this much of a reversal. An interesting question is at what point Culture War became a (not yet 'the') defining feature of the GOP, and how that point is related to the hard neoliberal turn.

Phil 6 describes the transition 'œfrom plutocrat/business/liberal to plutocrat/business/conservative to plutocrat/business/conservative/racist to today's hard core plutocrat/racist' (i. e. fascist I would say).

Fwiw there also is an account that paints the pre-Reaganite GOP as more complex than that, e. g. they weren't always strictly anti-labor ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/opinion/labor-unions-republicans.html ). It seems to me that one characteristic of the GOP of our time is the strict and in the US context extremely unusual ideological homogeneity, which imho strengthens the case for classifying that party as fascist.

nastywoman 04.29.21 at 8:16 am ( 46 )

AND if I may add:

perhaps the decline of soft neoliberalism in the US Democratic Party can be explained largely in terms of 'comical' replacement.

... ... ...

Tm 04.29.21 at 8:48 am ( 47 )

35: 'œThe right wing of earlier times did worship at the altar of engineering and technology for its ability to deliver shiny toys and things that go boom but that did not require either an understanding or respect for science as a methodology.'

You have to look no further than the Nazis. Their general outlook was anti-modernity, anti-enlightenment, they condemned relativity as 'œJewish science' and had quite some affinity with certain esoteric movements (and vice versa), but they also had the engineering/technologiy-worshipping side. See also Italian Futurism.

[May 03, 2021] Global capital, crony capital and the centre-left

Notable quotes:
"... '˜An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can'. ..."
May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 29, 2021

Writing in the New York Times, Elizabeth Bruenig makes the case against an alliance of convenience between liberals and 'woke' corporations against the threat posed to democracy by Trumpism . After acknowledging how desperate the situation has become, she presents the argument, to which I'll respond bit by bit

Capital is unfaithful. It can, and does, play all sides. Many of the courageous businesses that protested North Carolina's 2016 'bathroom bill,' for instance, also donated to political groups that helped fund the candidacies of the very politicians who passed the bill.

This is the nature of alliances of convenience. When the Western Allies joined Stalin to fight against Hitler they had no (or at least few) illusions about him, and didn't rely on him to keep his word any longer than necessary, or to refrain from undermining them in other quarters

It isn't possible to cooperate with capital on social matters while fighting them in other theaters; capital can fight you in all theaters at once, all while enjoying public adulation for helping you, as well.

This simply isn't correct as the Biden Administration is showing. Despite co-operating with capital on social matters,. Biden has proposed substantial increases in corporate tax rates and global action against corporate tax avoidance. In this context, it is the position of capital that has been weakened by the toxicity of its usual allies, the Republicans.

Setting aside the fact that capital can in a single moment be both heroic and diabolical '" Amazon wants you to be able to vote , but it would prefer if you didn't unionize '" it is, incredibly, even less democratic, accountable and responsive than our ramshackle democracy. Capital rallies to the defense of democracy while aggressively quashing that very thing in the workplaces where its workers labor.

Again, this is what happens in an alliance of this kind. Fights over unionization go on, in parallel with an alliance over the right to vote. Once again, it's the corporations who face the bigger problem here, with opportunistic Republicans pretending to back the rights of the workers.

I have no idea what to do about this other than know it for what it is. If it were ever the case that knowledge was power, it certainly isn't so anymore: Knowledge is more widely dispersed than ever; power remains notably concentrated. But knowledge confers a certain dignity. It's worse to be powerless and unaware than to be powerless and perfectly clear on where you stand.

This is a counsel of despair, without any real basis. Bruenig gives no reason to suppose that the fight for democracy can't be won, even if it requires alliances between groups with interests that are otherwise opposed. But if the Republicans can be held at bay long enough to allow the passage of strong voting rights law, they will have to reform themselves or face permanent minority status. Getting to that point (for example, by winning bigger majorities in both Houses of Congress in 2022, then scrapping the filibuster) will be difficult, but not impossible

An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can.

Someone with more expertise than me could interpret all this in terms of the 'fractions of capital' idea put forward by Poulantzas and others in C20. A search on those terms produced this piece in The Guardian , which covers some of those points.


nastywoman 04.29.21 at 7:34 am ( 1 )

'˜An important limitation of Bruenig's analysis is that she treats 'capital' as a unitary force. There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can'.

I couldn't agree more as:

'˜An important limitation of any current analysis about the US Chaos is that outdated political labels are treated as a unitary forces. There is a sharp division between so called '˜Elites' who are considered to be '˜Elites' because they have a lot of dough, and '˜Elites' who are able to understand jokes about rich Idiots '"
(just joking!)
with a long-run interest in NOT preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government.

Mike Huben 04.29.21 at 11:14 am ( 2 )

I think that Bruenig's basic problem is not so much despair, as the expectations of friendship and loyalty that we want to give and receive. That may work fine in small groups, but fails utterly in larger political and economic situations. Corporations exploit that as much as they can for the benefits of employee and customer loyalty, and hardly ever reciprocate, leading to a lot of disappointment, resentment, and cynicism. I agree with John that there is a different strategy of alliances that's needed for the latter, and it's a shame we don't educate students directly about it.

steven t johnson 04.29.21 at 12:55 pm ( 3 )

Major point: Crony capitalism and crony capitalists are hissable villains. Any clique can nominate whomever they wish as Snidely Whiplash, but as an identifiable group, I believe the crony capitalists are even harder to identify than the aristocracy of labor. They are in economic terms, unproductive capitalists. It's not clear how anyone who rejects the usefulness, or claims the impossibility, of distinguishing unproductive labor from productive labor could accept this as a real category.

Minor point: The supposed alliance of convenience of the 'Allies' with 'Stalin' is not quite the point believed. The supposed allies of Stalin delayed meaningful entry into the war, the second front. And the supposed allies of Stalin turned against the war-ravaged USSR as quickly as possible, launching decades of hostility, including military actions, attempted subversion and economic warfare. This example of 'alliance of convenience' means the corporations will rely on the small-d democrats to fight the bulk of the war, then attack their convenient allies as soon as possible.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.29.21 at 2:51 pm ( 4 )

'There is a sharp division between global corporations, with a long-run interest in the preservation of the rule of law under a democratic government, and the crony capitalists, epitomized by Trump himself, for whom the object is to extract as much as possible from the US economy, as quickly as they can. '

Whoa. I happen to feel (and it seems fairly obvious to me) that it's exactly the opposite: domestic capital is interested in long-term prosperity and stability, while global capital operates by invading, squeezing all juice, and moving on.

Could you elaborate on this, please.

BruceJ 04.29.21 at 4:12 pm ( 5 )

Bruenig would have liberals fight a war on all fronts, apparently, without any allies.

[Amazon] is, incredibly, even less democratic, accountable and responsive than our ramshackle democracy.

Well, that may be because it is not in any sense a '˜democracy' . It is a corporation operating within the state framework of a representative democracy.

Corporations are quite responsive to societal concerns the moment their bottom line is threatened . This is the power that consumers have in a consumer-driven economy.

Certainly 'Capital' has deep and abiding shared interests with the Republican party; the GOP has long been their reliable partner delivering the things they want, less taxes, regulation and free reign in international markets; trumpism threatens that, because the essence of Trumpism is it's chaotic arbitrariness.

Witness the whole arc of the '˜banning' of TikTok because people using that platform humiliated Dear Leader. In the end it amounted to'¦well, we still don't know what, exactly it has amounted to.

This kind of chaos isn't even beneficial to crony capitalists, because as we've seen time and time again in Russia'¦your status as a '˜crony' is always precarious, subject to the whims and paranoia of the autocrat.

marcel proust 04.29.21 at 6:23 pm ( 6 )

The linked Guardian piece has the added appeal for you (I imagine) of using chemistry metaphors similar to the phase transition ones you used here .

On the broader topic of instrumental alliances, you are of course correct, at least if the desired end is achieved goals rather than individual purity. Tom Lehrer's Folksong Army may be a useful counter to Breunig's argument.

Stephen 04.29.21 at 6:58 pm ( 7 )

OP; 'When the Western Allies joined Stalin to fight against Hitler they had no (or at least few) illusions about him.`'

Umm. It seems fairly clear that Roosevelt said, at Yalta 'Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he wouldn't try to annex anything and will work with for a world of democracy and peace.'

Now with Roosevelt, perhaps even more than with other politicians, there may be a gap between what he really thought and what he wanted his listeners to believe he thought. All the same '¦

As for steven t Johnson @3:
'The supposed allies of Stalin delayed meaningful entry into the war, the second front.'
I would be interested to get an explanation as to why stj thinks that

a) the allied actions before the invasion of France (which is what all good Communists in Britain meant when they painted 'SECOND FRONT NOW' on walls in 1942 or 1943) were not meaningful; and

b) how an invasion of France in 1942 or 1943 would have in fact have shortened the war, other than to Germany's advantage.

Over to you, comrade.

nastywoman 04.29.21 at 7:09 pm ( 8 )

@4
'˜Could you elaborate on this, please'.

Oh? '"
I just would love to '" as aren't you the '˜Petrovna' who once wrote that Greedy Outsourcers are NOT '˜Greedy Outsourcers'? '"
so how does square with your idea of:
'˜domestic capital is interested in long-term prosperity and stability, while outsourcers operate by invading, squeezing all juice, and moving on'.

Trader Joe 04.29.21 at 7:39 pm ( 9 )

I'd say Ms. Bruenig is primarily just someone who needs to grow up and understand that the entire world isn't arrayed around whatever she imagines democracy might be about. She appears as someone who thinks democracy is about waiting your turn in the Starbucks line and tipping the minority barista because they've had to face struggles in life.

Score this as the latest in a line of '˜woke' media who sit and vilify Amazon by posting their views on Facebook, ignoring that every few days a fresh box shows up with a swoosh on their doorstep.

This one uses the NEW YORK F-ing Times as her soapbox '" ironic, no? Last I looked they weren't exactly a not for profit, indeed manufacturing fake concern, real concern, any concern for money is why they exist '" not exclusively, but if not for the $$$ their impact would be equal to the same article in the East Overshoe Nebraska, Gazette.

Many might rail against Exxon and pals but when the tank is on E and its the only station on the highway I know of none that pull over and walk instead of fill up.

Companies exist to fill particular needs '" their political, environmental and social impacts (all of which are important) are by products of their primary mission and are managed as needed in proportion to the degree it impacts their objectives (which heavily involve profit making but only rarely are exclusively focused on profit making).

As JQ notes, they will be an ally when it suits them or (or when it suits you) but they are tools to their own end, not a tool to be wielded by others.

Lobsterman 04.29.21 at 7:41 pm ( 10 )

Bruenig has the right of it, of course '" Biden will help drive our civilization into the climate apocalypse as eagerly as Trump did, and the end result will be the exact same levels of brutality and misery. Biden and Trump are two sides of the same coin; salvation does not come from the 'Senator from MBNA.'

Sooner or later, Biden will get tired of pretending to be benevolent papa. He's already there on weed, police brutality, and imperialism. It's just a matter of time.

Starry Gordon 04.29.21 at 11:53 pm ( 11 )

I find it difficult to believe in the naiveté exhibited in Bruening's article, as if she had never read or heard any serious analysis of power and class. It's as if presenting thumb-sucking as a stance. In the alleged real world, those liberals (whatever that now means) tempted to pick a side in the current ruling-class struggles should remember what Mr. Carlin said: '˜They got a club, and you ain't in it.'

steven t johnson 04.30.21 at 12:53 am ( 12 )

Stephen@7 is preaching to the choir, thus briefly as possible: The USSR joining the UN; restraining the Italian and French CPs; surrendering the Greek CP (well, to be fair, Tito was even more important to this, but still); withdrawal from Austria and Iran; neutralization of Finland; the recognition of Israel; the offer of neutralization of Germany; limited aid (to put it mildly) to the Chinese CP, etc. There are an estimated 20 million reasons why 'Stalin' played it that way. Nonetheless, Stephen's Cold War triumphalism is still wrong.

And as to the alleged mysteries Stephen doesn't understand? The number of German divisions tied down in Italy was about, if I remember correctly, was eight. Churchill may have coined a vivid phrase in 'the soft underbelly of Europe' but it was BS meant to divert troops away from fighting Germans save to protect Egypt etc. The Soviet Union defeated the Nazis, not the Allies. It's true that if the Allies had managed to join the Nazis in alliance with the Finns that the Soviet Union would almost certainly have been defeated. No doubt Stephen regrets the lost opportunity. Or, along with David Brin, wishes the atomic bomb could have been used in Europe to stop'¦Stalin?

The other question, as phrased suggests that a second front in France in 1942 or 1943 would have been advantageous to Germany. I suggest this is simply nuts. Unless there's some assumption that a second front would have promoted the chances of a negotiated peace between the Allies and the Nazis? But this I think is just wishful thinking.

J-D 04.30.21 at 2:15 am ( 13 )

I think that Bruenig's basic problem is not so much despair, as the expectations of friendship and loyalty that we want to give and receive.

As Obsle said to Estraven in The Left Hand Of Darkness (by Ursula Le Guin), '˜We can pull a sledge together without being kemmerings.'

J-D 04.30.21 at 2:16 am ( 14 )

Bruenig has the right of it, of course '" Biden will help drive our civilization into the climate apocalypse as eagerly as Trump did, and the end result will be the exact same levels of brutality and misery. Biden and Trump are two sides of the same coin; salvation does not come from the 'Senator from MBNA.'

Sooner or later, Biden will get tired of pretending to be benevolent papa. He's already there on weed, police brutality, and imperialism. It's just a matter of time.

Elizabeth Bruenig says nothing whatever about Joe Biden (good or bad), so why are you trying to change the subject in this way?

J-D 04.30.21 at 4:51 am ( 15 )

I find it difficult to believe in the naiveté exhibited in Bruening's article '¦

Naïveté (like the misspelling of people's names) is extremely common. Being unable to credit other people's naïveté is itself often a sign of naïveté.

In the alleged real world, those liberals (whatever that now means) tempted to pick a side in the current ruling-class struggles should remember what Mr. Carlin said: '˜They got a club, and you ain't in it.'

You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?

Tm 04.30.21 at 7:38 am ( 16 )

It seems to me that certain fractions of the left are just awful when it comes to tactical politics. Tactical alliances are part of almost all successful politics. One doesn't have to always be friends to have common political goals under selective circumstances.

MisterMr 04.30.21 at 8:48 am ( 17 )

@Stephen 7
Umm. It seems fairly clear that Roosevelt said, at Yalta 'Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he wouldn't try to annex anything and will work with for a world of democracy and peace.'

Stalin did, for example, call the communist italian partigiani and told them NOT to attempt a communist takeover in Italy, but instead to collaborate with other democratic forces.
This is because Stalin agreed at Yalta that Italy was to be under the western sphere of influence, and he didn't want stir too much the situation.
What are the acions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosvelt wrong?

That Stalin was a terrible tyrant inside the eastern block is obviously true but this is not what Rooselt was speaking about, I think.

It seems to me that you (Stephen) are underplayng the poular support Stalin (and on the other side, various fascist movements) had in many parts of Europe at the time, and therefore you don't see how Stalin's actions were, in fact, not all that aggressive on the international scene.

Saurs 04.30.21 at 9:28 am ( 18 )

I don't see any meaningful and substantive distinction between the phenomenon Bruenig purports to describe and as a consequence what she is counseling (despite saying she isn't) and the We Should Improve Society Somewhat toon. It's a more or less perfect distillation of nominally pro-labor anti-Democratic thinkythoughters who for the sake of purity preach no collective action or cooperation beyond the right kind of trade unionism. Yet another entry in the prevailing Atomized Style.

Ebenezer Scrooge 04.30.21 at 11:45 am ( 19 )

Breunig is religious left. Religious types tend to be very deontological'"they care much more about right v. wrong than good v. bad. Many readers of this blog might agree that capital is 'wrong.' (Not, you, Tim W.!) But since we are good consequentialists here, we would also agree that this particular alliance with capital is 'good.'

Bruce Baugh 04.30.21 at 1:55 pm ( 20 )

Bruenig has a problem most of us don't: she wants abortion banned, and she wants to continue thinking this position is both liberal and popular out in the public at large. It's pretty clear that corporate America at large isn't going to help get her any closer to that.

J, not that one 04.30.21 at 2:32 pm ( 21 )

'This is the nature of alliances of convenience.'

Bruenig is typical of a school of thought that would like everyone to act on principal 100% of the time. Is it possible to persuade someone to do the right thing even if they didn't already want to? Apparently that's even worse than if they can't be persuaded by any means. Is it possible to persuade imperfect people to improve the world? That's not good enough. We should live with the world's problems while continuing our search for perfect people.

When this goes along with treating 'capitalism' as both a totalizing force and something that can never be worked with, it doesn't leave a lot of room for anything short of a kind of leftist Benedict Option, unless it's total war against even quite mild manifestations.

Stephen 04.30.21 at 6:46 pm ( 22 )

MisterMr @17: thank you for a rational, though I think in several ways mistaken, reply.
I quoted Roosevelt's belief at Yalta that Stalin would 'not try to annex anything' and 'work for a world of democracy and peace.' Even before Yalta, Stalin's behaviour in foreign policy (Nazi-Soviet pact, annexation of the Baltic states and eastern Poland, Katyn) and domestic policy (Holodmor, the Great Terror) should have been enough to show that he had no interest refraining from annexation, nor in democracy or peace.

You ask ' What are the actions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosevelt wrong?' Well, apart from those above, there were his postwar annexations of as much of Europe as he could manage, and his behaving there as (in your own words) ' a terrible tyrant'.

You say I am 'underplaying the popular support Stalin '¦ had in many parts of Europe at the time'. I can't quite see how that is relevant: I don't think he had much support in the parts of Europe he annexed. Among the French and Italian Communist parties, yes, but I think those countries were much better off for not being annexed.

Stephen 04.30.21 at 6:51 pm ( 23 )

As for steven t johnson @12: I am entirely unable to understand how your intemperant rant relates to anything I wrote, or have previously written. In other circumstances I would have concluded 'the man's clearly delusionary, ignore him' but you accuse me of regretting an opportunity for the UK to ally with the Nazis and defeat the Soviet Union. or even of wishing for atomic warfare in Europe. These are completely unjustifiable and seriously defamatory conclusions, such as I had not expected to find on CT. What train of thought '" I can hardly say, of logic '" led you to them, I cannot say.

As far as I can follow your argument, it is that
1) Regarding the Allied contribution to defeating Germany before the Normandy invasion, 'The number of German divisions tied down in Italy was about, if I remember correctly, was eight.' I don't have a history of the Italian campaign to hand, but the Wikipedia article states that in May 1944 the German forces in italy numbered 439,224. Eight bloody big divisions, surely.
It also gives Axis losses in Italy, before the final surrender, as being about 530,000. And I don't know why, apart from sheer ignorance, you regard the Allied contribution, pre-Normandy, as being restricted to the Italian campaign. Which, incidentally, made the rather important Allied invasion of southern France possible.

2) Arguing that there were cases where Stalin did not invade and tyrannise his neighbours does not refute the obvious case that there were many times when he did.

3) ' The Soviet Union defeated the Nazis.' In terms of the land battle in eastern Europe, of course that's true, apart from the rather embarrassing period when they were trying to help the Nazis to defeat the Western democracies. Whether they could have succeeded without help from the West is not at all obvious.

4) I await, without much hope, svj's explanation of why a cross-Channel invasion in 1942 or 1943 would have been other than an extensive and complete catastrophe: Dieppe writ very large, Kasserine-sur-mer? If that had happened, I suspect that a negotiated peace might have resulted. but I would regard that as fearful, not wishful thinking.

5) I wrote that Roosevelt was naive in believing that the concept of 'noblesse oblige' applied to Stalin, and that therefore I am guilty of 'Cold War triumphalism'. Well, I lived through most of the Cold War, and could foresee four possible developments:
a) War in Europe becomes hot. I hope stj would agree that would have been a global catastrophe, even if the Soviet Union had in some sense 'won'.
b) Cold war continues indefinitely, so that in 2021 we would still have the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact and NATO confronting each other, with (a) on the cards, and eastern Europe under unwelcome Soviet domination.
c) Cold War in Europe ends with collapse of Western alliance under the influence of Communist-Neutralist-Defeatist elements, followed by the installation of Soviet-type domination in Europe.
d) Cold War ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its domination under the weight of its own internal contradictions.
Personally, I am very glad that (d) happened. I suspect '" though I would be happy to have stj's own opinion '" that he would much have preferred (c) or failing that (b).
Pre-emptive comment: no, of course I don't think that the effects of the collapse of Actually Existing Socialism have been always desirable. A basic lesson from history is that solving one problem always leaves many other problems unsolved, and often gives rise to new ones.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 04.30.21 at 7:22 pm ( 24 )

@nastywoman, 8
'aren't you the '˜Petrovna' who once wrote that Greedy Outsourcers are NOT '˜Greedy Outsourcers'?'

I wouldn't anthropomorphize economic phenomena. It tends to obscure rather than illuminate, imo.

Tm 04.30.21 at 8:22 pm ( 25 )

MisterMr: 'žWhat are the acions that Stalin did outside of the USSR that prove Roosvelt wrong?'

Umm, what definition of USSR are you applying here? This thread is a distraction and we should better not feed it but I can't help being curious'¦

Starry Gordon 04.30.21 at 8:38 pm ( 26 )

J-D 04.30.21 at 4:51 am @ 15 '"
I misspelled '˜naïveté' too, didn't I? Actually I thought putting in the diaeresis might be a bit much.

You ask: '˜You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?' I think that would depend on the context and the nature of the opportunities. He that sups with the Devil should take a long spoon and all that, no? Maybe if Bruenig had read more commie literature she could have located her disquiet more precisely. But then, could she work for the Times ?

Tm 04.30.21 at 9:19 pm ( 27 )

The posturing of Republican corporate stooges complaining about corporations is quite amusing:
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/04/ted-cruz-has-been-a-corporate-stooge-his-as-long-as-hes-been-a-senator-says-ted-cruz

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:32 am ( 28 )

Unless someone wants to make the case that the US and UK governments should not have allied themselves with Stalin, I request that we draw a halt to the discussion on that point.

J-D 05.01.21 at 1:49 am ( 29 )

It seems to me that certain fractions of the left are just awful when it comes to tactical politics.

In my experience, many people have trouble with thinking tactically much of the time.

I misspelled '˜naïveté' too, didn't I? Actually I thought putting in the diaeresis might be a bit much.

The dictionary offers more than one spelling. You chose the one you preferred, I chose the one I preferred. I am more sensitive on the subject of misspelling of names. For all I know, Bruening is in fact a correct spelling, it's just not the correct spelling of Elizabeth Bruenig's surname.

You ask: '˜You don't think that refusing to take your opportunities where you find them is a kind of naïveté?' I think that would depend on the context and the nature of the opportunities. He that sups with the Devil should take a long spoon and all that, no?

There is an important difference between the advice '˜If you sup with the devil, you should have a long spoon' and the advice '˜Never sup with the devil, no matter how long your spoon, even if the alternative is starvation'.

Robespierre 05.01.21 at 4:33 am ( 30 )

Since Bruenig is 'naive', don't be naive in turn.

1) To the extent that corporations do this to ally themselves with the Democratic party's power, as opposed to conforming to consumers' woke orthodox culture, what do they want in return?

2) Corporations in America are uniquely (in the rich world) able enforce correct speech and thought because of the unusually big power they have over their employees. The answers I usually hear from democratic party supporters is a mix between rejoicing in woke mccarthyism and 'lol, the first amendment doesn't apply to corporations, you dummy!'.
The point is: is this healthy and what are we going to do about it?

3) Related to (2), woke monopolies have crippled the right-wing social media infrastructure (after cultivating the fash-curious information bubble for years) and are big enough to bully states into changing their election laws -for the better, this time.
Again, the point is 'is this healthy and what are we going to do about it'.
If the 'left''˜s reaction is 'be happy that Daddy beat up my enemy today', cool, but maybe it's not the best way to go about it.

[May 03, 2021] New kind of leadership

Apr 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Archegos is a Greek word denoting leadership. The place where the eponymous family office led UBS, and a growing roll call of investment banks, was into a morass.

[May 02, 2021] Cutting neoliberal oligarchy foothold on political power is essential for reversing neoliberalism in Western countries

May 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 2 2021 20:49 utc | 19

I see Michael Hudson has posted three new items at his website since I last appeared here. I'd like to think some barfly posted the links to them, in particular this one, "America's Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China's Industrial Socialism" . Mike opens by citing Machiavelli:

"Nearly half a millennium ago Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince described three options for how a conquering power might treat states that it defeated in war but that 'have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom: the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you....'

"U.S. strategists have preferred Machiavelli's third option: To leave the defeated adversary nominally independent but to rule via client oligarchies."

Michael then succinctly spells out the current crisis and its roots:

"The U.S.-China confrontation is not simply a national rivalry, but a conflict of economic and social systems. The reason why today's world is being plunged into an economic and near-military Cold War 2.0 is to be found in the prospect of socialist control of what Western economies since classical antiquity have treated as privately owned rent-yielding assets: money and banking (along with the rules governing debt and foreclosure), land and natural resources, and infrastructure monopolies .

"This contrast in whether money and credit, land and natural monopolies will be privatized and duly concentrated in the hands of a rentier oligarchy or used to promote general prosperity and growth has basically become one of finance capitalism and socialism. Yet in its broadest terms this conflict existed already 2500 years ago in the contrast between Near Eastern kingship and the Greek and Roman oligarchies. These oligarchies, ostensibly democratic in superficial political form and sanctimonious ideology, fought against the concept of kingship. The source of that opposition was that royal power – or that of domestic 'tyrants' – might sponsor what Greek and Roman democratic reformers were advocating: cancellation of debts to save populations from being reduced to debt bondage and dependency (and ultimately to serfdom), and redistribution of lands to prevent its ownership from becoming polarized and concentrated in the hands of creditors and-landlords .

"From today's U.S. vantage point, that polarization is the basic dynamic of today's U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism. China and Russia are existential threats to the global expansion of financialized rentier wealth. Today's Cold War 2.0 aims to deter China and potentially other counties from socializing their financial systems, land and natural resources, and keeping infrastructure utilities public to prevent their being monopolized in private hands to siphon off economic rents at the expense of productive investment in economic growth ." [My Emphasis]

This is Hudson's best, tersest, explanation of the current crisis, that in reality has existed for a great many centuries. He then narrows to a few crucial specifics:

"Financialized industrial capital wants a strong state to serve itself, but not to serve labor, consumers, the environment or long-term social progress at the cost of eroding profits and rents.

"U.S. attempts to globalize this neoliberal policy are driving China to resist Western financialization. Its success provides other countries with an object lesson of why to avoid financialization and rent-seeking that adds to the economy's overhead and hence its cost of living and doing business.

"China also is providing an object lesson in how to protect its economy and that of its allies from foreign sanctions and related destabilization. Its most basic response has been to prevent an independent domestic or foreign-backed oligarchy from emerging . That has been one first and foremost by maintaining government control of finance and credit, property and land tenure policy in government hands with a long-term plan in mind." [My Emphasis]

That is precisely why China's governing political method is so heavily distorted and demonized, and why all attempts to emulate it are viciously attacked--Iran, Cuba and Venezuela being prominent examples. The ongoing situation's very fluid, but the upper hand is clearly held by China and the emerging Eurasian Bloc. An example of China's lead is its successful initiation of its space station project to be completed and fully operational next year while Biden has given the reigns of the Outlaw US Empire's space project to Kamala Harris who is completely unqualified to lead such an endeavor.

I'd be remiss not to provide this link to Hudson's recent Macau lectures on Super Imperialism , which are in the form of you tube type videos. I've yet to fully explore them, but the course synopsis is here .

[May 02, 2021] If I'm going to lose the house gambling, it's more respectable to do so in the stock market.

May 02, 2021 | www.wsj.com
SUBSCRIBER 2 hours ago Borrowing money to gamble on the stock market is not a very smart thing to do in my opinion. Like thumb_up 7 Reply Share link Report R

If I'm going to lose the house gambling, it's more respectable to do so in the stock market. SUBSCRIBER 2 hours ago

Borrowing money to gamble on the stock market is not a very smart thing to do in my opinion.

[Apr 27, 2021] The atomisation of US society by Identity Politics, Selective Censorship and Political Correctness (aka self-censorship).

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 25 2021 14:58 utc | 17

Interesting essay over at Turcopolier.com about the atomisation of US society by Identity Politics, Selective Censorship and Political Correctness (aka self-censorship).

The United States of 2 Americas
Posted on April 25, 2021 by Steven J. Willett

The following article by Ret. Col. John Mills from The Epoch Times should be of interest to readers of this site.

Commentary

If you haven't noticed, the United States is reorganizing itself into two Americas -- blue and red. Although there is a president of the United States, state governors are in many ways now driving the national narrative in this new America.
etc, etc.

div>


/div

[Apr 24, 2021] When The Market Unravels There Will Be -No Place To Hide- - David Stockman - YouTube

Apr 24, 2021 | www.youtube.com

peter plouf , 4 hours ago

The current financial world has been reduced to a one-legged bar-stool in a bar where drinks are on the house. There is no scenario where this does not end well no matter how euphoric we are in the moment.

[Apr 22, 2021] Rabobank -- Does This Portend The End Of Neoliberal Idiocy

Apr 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Anyway, somewhere that powerful leaders are not being seen and powerful --dare I say revolutionary?-- forces are sweeping in, is football. The European Super League, so derided in this Daily for the past two days, has crumbled . All six English clubs have pulled out, with one or two even apologizing to "legacy" fans, and the vice-chair of Manchester United resigning. Victory for the people's game! Victory for localism over globalism! Well, yes, except it's far from certain the British government will now act as promised to deliver real power back into fans' hands via partial ownership of the clubs they worship to stop this happening again. Moreover, the pre-existing football structure we revert to includes an expanded gilt-edged Champions League format, and a game that is still more about money than it is about anything else.

So does this portend the end of Build Back Better globalism? Or the end of neoliberal idiocy? Or the entrenchment of nasty neoliberalism as the savior from an even stupider version of neoliberalism? Well, in markets, every time our system fails we swear we are changing it in response – and then the same old faces do the same old things, but worse, under a new badge.

The primary way this now happens of course is that central banks pretend that not only do they not see the asset inflation they are deliberately stoking, they also don't see the supply-side cost-push inflation . Instead, they talk about the wage inflation they can never stoke alone – and which even fiscal policy in tandem can't either without people power 'football' policy. As we have just seen, this will also have to involve decoupling and (peaceful) redrawing of economic borders around a local, national, or limited international perimeter. On which note, the US push for a new liberal world fiscal order is reportedly already in trouble ( no! ) because Amazon doesn't want to join the party: ' Taxation Dies in Darkness ', it seems.

So to conclude my own epic here, which way are the powerful forces of history leading us? And what are powerful leaders going to do to either resist or accelerate this momentum? It seems odd for a global financial market with the attention span of a bowl of borscht to have to consider, but that kind of Tolstoyan question is still one for the ages . Today particularly so.


Lordflin 3 hours ago remove link

This is not idiocy...

It is desperation on the part of a group of ruthless, heartless psychopaths who are currently gazing over the balconies in watchful fear... on the lookout for that far off glow of midnight torches...

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

I was going to say the same thing, only less tactfully.

The mass media depends on terrorist stories and the acts that make people want to read or watch them. That's what they want to Build Back Better. Inciting riots and worse is good for business.

Globalists only want control and power so they can make profit. They want low costs for goods, labor, and open borders to facilitate both. Globalists only care about BLM and the like if they affect customer traffic. Their logical end result of Globalism is feudalism for the 99%.

Democrats crave endless power. Racial politics is their stock in trade. Playing groups against each other while doling out benefits is what being a Democrat means. Establishment Republicans are parasites, for the most part.

People of good conscience are terrified of ending on the wrong side of the mob or as a means to sell newspapers or attract eyeballs by the media. This creates useless law enforcement at the local and federal levels, a milquetoast Supreme Court, and general apathy all around. Simply saying 'No' could be a career ending or even a life threatening act.

To make my point, there's no reason for any of this to end. Over 1/2 of the 99% are proven dimwits. Life is undoubtedly too complicated for them so the above groups appear to be leaders and / or saviors. Perhaps 30% of the population is smart enough to cope with everyday life. They are the minority.

Hence, I suspect we are only at the start of the decline and it will not end. There simply aren't enough people to want it to end. The vast majority are either controlled by self interest or too stupid to cope otherwise.

To Hell In A Handbasket 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

So does this portend the end of Build Back Better globalism? Or the end of neoliberal idiocy? Or the entrenchment of nasty neoliberalism as the savior from an even stupider version of neoliberalism? Well, in markets, every time our system fails we swear we are changing it in response – and then the same old faces do the same old things, but worse, under a new badge.

Only 2 nations are the driving forces behind this ideology (UK & USSA) the rest merely follow, and toe the line. The European Super League, was a stark reminder to most of these American owners, that not only are they outted as greedy b@st@rds, but their version of franchise sports, where no relegation, or promotion can be achieved, is not a model we'd ever swallow.

As for the future? It's all about deluding the average IQ western dunce, that we are blessed with resources, and wealth, when in reality we don't have any resources of note, nor a pot to pl$$ in, and somehow manipulate an outcome where we control finance, and the value of money for another 270+ years, like we have in the last epoch.

The dunces have no f##king idea of the predicament we'll be in, when we lose the scam of deciding the fake value of each respective countries currency. If they did, as we say in England "They'd top themselves" Alas, 75% of ZH, are economic retards, so the reality hit will be even greater when they realise our entire economic model, and illusion of wealth is one of the greatest lies ever perpetrated. Just as bad a lie as the Holocaust death numbers.

Sound of the Suburbs 1 hour ago (Edited)

Neoclassical economics.

It's a crock of ****, but we've rigged it in our favour so we like it.

The rentiers at the top of society had been identified by classical economists.

This wouldn't do at all; they needed a new economics to hide this, neoclassical economics.

The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".

They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.

It confuses making money and creating wealth so all rich people look good.

If you know what real wealth creation is, you will realise many at the top don't create any wealth.

It was a complete disaster last time we used it, but it is rigged in our favour.

How do we get this crock of **** back into the mainstream again?

If you wrap it in a fluffy new ideology, no one will notice.

OK, we'll call it neoliberalism.

What about the economists?

Surely they will notice.

You'll be fine, they won't notice.

Stuck on Zero 3 hours ago

Well, in markets, every time our system fails we swear we are changing it in response – and then the same old faces do the same old things, but worse, under a new badge.

Could be stated more generally:

Well, in markets, every time our system fails we swear we are changing it in response – and then the same old faces do the same old things, but worse, under a new badge.

eatthebanksters 38 minutes ago

Right now the most dangerous thing in our country is the Cancel Culture, being driven by Big Media. Big Media needs to be brought to its knees, faced with two choices: 1. Provide fair and unbiased true journalism, or 2. Elimination. The number of people driving cancel culture are actually few in number. The real number of activist Antifa/BLM is relatively small, however their violent actions reverberate far and wide. They too must be shut down. Until this happens, our country will continue to divide. I am of the opinion that Democrats WANT Maga people to revolt so Dems can call in the military and crush the rebellion once and for all. As a country we are not in a good place right now.

Sound of the Suburbs 2 hours ago

Neoliberalism – Little more than ideological nonsense held together by pseudo economics.

It wouldn't fool anyone with an IQ over 70.

[Apr 22, 2021] Pastors as black Bolsheviks: some black churches try to hold Home Depot hostage

"History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes" -- Mark Twain (attributed). This is a naked fight for political power using very questionable means.
Apr 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Corporations, especially those headquartered in Georgia, have come out against the legislation signed by Governor Kemp. Republicans describe the bill as one that addresses election integrity while Democrats call it a voter suppression law – "Jim Crow 2.0". Coca-Cola and Delta were among the first to make a point to virtue-signal after the governor signed the bill, only to be exposed as taking part in the process and giving input into the legislation. Both were fine with the law until the governor signed it and grievance activists did their thing. Coke soon discovered that not all of its consumers think that companies should be making policy – that 's the job of lawmakers- and now it is trying to clean up the mess it made for itself.

Churches have increasingly played a part in American politics and this is an escalation of that trend. Evangelical churches have shown support for conservative and Republican candidates while black churches get out the vote for Democrats. This threat of bringing a large-scale boycott over state legislation is a hostile action against the corporation. It's political theatre. Groups like Black Voters Matter, the New Georgia Project Action Fund (Stacey Abrams), and the Georgia NAACP are pressuring companies to publicly voice their opposition and the religious leaders are doing the bidding of these politically active groups.

When SB 241 and HB 531 were working through the legislative process, the groups put pressure on Republican lawmakers and the governor to abandon the voting reform legislation. They also demanded that donations to any lawmakers supporting the legislation be stopped. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce tried to remain bipartisan while still voicing support for voting rights but then caved and expressed "concern and opposition" to some provisions . At the time, several large Georgia companies were targeted by activists, including Aflac, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Southern Company and UPS.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce previously reiterated the importance of voting rights without voicing opposition against any specific legislation. In a new statement to CNBC, the Georgia Chamber said it has "expressed concern and opposition to provisions found in both HB 531 and SB 241 that restrict or diminish voter access" and "continues to engage in a bipartisan manner with leaders of the General Assembly on bills that would impact voting rights in our state."

Office Depot came out at the time and supported the Chamber's statement. The Election Integrity Act of 2021, originally known as Georgia Senate Bill 202, is a Georgia law overhauling elections in the state that was signed into effect by the governor and we know what happened. Office Depot has not delivered for the activists as they demand so now the company faces boycott drama. The religious leaders are taking up where the activist groups left off.

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reginald Jackson said the company has remained "silent and indifferent" to his efforts to rally opposition to the new state law pushed by Republicans, as well as to similar efforts elsewhere.

" We just don't think we ought to let their indifference stand ," Jackson said.

The leader of all his denomination's churches in Georgia, Jackson had a meeting last week with other Georgia-based executives to urge them to oppose the voting law, but said he's had no contact with Home Depot, despite repeated efforts to reach the company.

Faith leaders at first were hesitant to jump into the boycott game. Now the political atmosphere has changed and they are being vocal. Jackson focused on pressuring Coca-Cola first. After that company went along to get along, before it realized its error, Jackson moved his focus onto other companies.

"We believe that corporations have a corporate responsibility to their customers, who are Black, white and brown, on the issue of voting ," Jackson said. "It doesn't make any sense at all to keep giving dollars and buying products from people that do not support you."

He said faith leaders may call for boycotts of other companies in the future.

So, here we are with Home Depot in the spotlight. There are four specific demands leveled at Home Depot in order to avoid further action from the activists.

Rev. Lee May, the lead pastor of Transforming Faith Church, said the coalition is "fluid in this boycott" but has four specifics requests of Home Depot: To speak out publicly and specifically against SB 202; to speak out against any other restrictive voting provisions under consideration in other states; to support federal legislation that expands voter access and "also restricts the ability to suppress the vote;" and to support any efforts, including investing in litigation, to stop SB 202 and other bills like it.

" Home Depot, we're calling on you. I'm speaking to you right now. We're ready to have a conversation with you. You haven't been ready up to now, but our arms are wide open. We are people of faith. People of grace, and we're ready to have this conversation, but we're very clear those four things that we want to see accomplished ," May said.

The Rev. Timothy McDonald III, senior pastor of the First Iconium Baptist Church, warned this was just the beginning.

"It's up to you whether or not, Home Depot, this boycott escalates to phase two, phase three, phase four," McDonald said. "We're not on your property -- today. We're not blocking your driveways -- today. We're not inside your store protesting -- today. This is just phase one."

That sounds a lot like incitement, doesn't it? Governor Kemp is speaking out, he has had enough. He held a press conference to deliver his comments.

"First, the left came for baseball, and now they are coming for Georgia jobs," Kemp said, referring to MLB's decision to move this year's All-Star Game from Atlanta over the new laws. "This boycott of Home Depot – one of Georgia's largest employers – puts partisan politics ahead of people's paychecks."

"The Georgians hardest hit by this destructive decision are the hourly workers just trying to make ends meet during a global pandemic. I stand with Home Depot, and I stand with nearly 30,000 Georgians who work at the 90 Home Depot stores and 15 distribution centers across the Peach State. I will not apologize for supporting both Georgia jobs and election integrity," he added.

"This insanity needs to stop. The people that are pushing this, that are profiting off of it, like Stacey Abrams and others, are now trying to have it both ways," Kemp said. "There is a political agenda here, and it all leads back to Washington, D.C."

The governor is right. The activists are in it to federalize elections, not to look out for Georgians, who will lose jobs over these partisan actions. The law signed by Kemp increases voting rights, it doesn't limit them .

[Apr 22, 2021] Market Cap Of Money-Losing Companies Surpasses Dot Com Bubble Record

Apr 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

DHS Fusion Center 6 hours ago

Is Paul Krugman available to talk about how great everything is now or is he still being investigated for distribution of child ****?

archipusz 5 hours ago

I needed a cross dressing analyst to explain this mkt to me. Thanks.

YesWeKahn 6 hours ago

This is Powell speaking:

There is no bubble, this is just a optimism of "not happening" reopening and "not working" vaccine.

[Apr 19, 2021] The USA neoliberalism certainly seems to be in some sort of self-destructive spiral. The MSM has been the key to holding things together through all the deceptions and false flags trying to preserve the public illusion that the neoliberal establishment are somehow the good guys

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ike , Apr 18 2021 0:30 utc | 59

The USA certainly seems to be in some sort of self-destructive spiral. The MSM has been the key to holding things together through all the deceptions and false flags maintaining the public belief that the establishment are somehow the good guys. This must be approaching an end point soon as thousands of conservative Americans know they were cheated on in the elections and with each new false flag another portion of the population become more skeptical of the official line and less gullible regarding the lies disseminated by CNN BBC etc.


As the Covid19 situation unfolds into an endless train-wreak, with the Vaccines not providing a solution and non promotion of the real solutions by TPTB more and more people will become skeptical that their governments are acting in their interests. (The real solution to Covid19 is the use of Ivermectin, protectively and at all stages of infection and a focus on increasing Vitamin D levels throughout the population)
The attempts by the West to destabilise Russia and China in Ukraine and Xinjiang will hopefully eventually add to the public disbelief of the official narrative.

The world should be extremely grateful for Vladimir Putin and his team for their unflappable restraint. I know I am.


The confronting of Biden by Putin, with the US attempt to assassinate the President of Belarus, a few days after Biden called Putin a killer, must go down in history as one of the greatest ironies of all time. Will the greater public ever get to hear about it from our overhyped news services. No!


This could be described as the "Banality of Evil". The MSM reporters just reporting the official line with no real debate, while the world teeters at a few minutes in midnight on the Nuclear Clock.
Russia and China need to up their game regarding the news media. Provide western audiences with genuinely truth seeking interviewers of politicians and public figures and hold them to account. Public debates between the opposing viewpoints so we are not just subject to the official propaganda that is all the MSM gives us now. Maybe they would say, why should we bother we have more important things to spend money on, and I would understand that.


Finally, MOA has my undying gratitude for providing what should be provided by the News Media. Intelligent commentary and debate about world events as the old empire disintegrates and other powers arise with a more truly humanitarian outlook...

[Apr 09, 2021] A modest suggestion for semi-vacant malls

Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Cock Strong 38 minutes ago

Bezos notches another $100 billion.

Mando Ramos 7 minutes ago (Edited)

My simple solution is to turn the vacant malls into giant marijuana growing operations,and huge meth labs,and use the revenue from the meth and weed sales to balance the Federal budget..As an additional plus,you put the Mexican drug cartels out of business,which can't be a bad thing,either

FurnitureFireSale 26 minutes ago

The smile on the side of the Prime trucks looks like a big wang (Bezos's?) saying "F-U, take THIS!" to all the small businesses. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it.

Puppyteethofdeath 14 minutes ago

Turn them into homeless shelters.

744,000 Americans filed for 1st time unemployment last week.

Every week the numbers are the same.

no cents at all 5 minutes ago

Yet mall property owners and their ilk have equity prices in the stratosphere. Same with cruise lines. A mystery. (Although doesn't take scooby doo to understand why)

is scooby canceled yet?

aarockstar 7 minutes ago

A 60 year retail experiment goes bust...

[Apr 08, 2021] There is no inflation, it is just that everything costs more.

Apr 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com


B
BA Byron SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago @ Anthony

Economists: " There is no inflation, it is just that everything costs more. "

[Apr 07, 2021] Jamie Dimon in the eyes of ZH crowd

Such comments were definitely impossible before 2007. The level of vitriol is simply incredible. That spells trouble...
Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

10 hours ago

Jamie has Jerome's phone number.

That makes Jamie brilliant. play_arrow 5 play_arrow 1


zorrosgato 10 hours ago

"flush with savings"

HA!

Yen Cross 10 hours ago

Jack, ****, Dimon? Which one was it Z/H Google moderator?

I donate at Christmas.

Basil 20 minutes ago

whats gone wrong is the cancer of progressiveism. wokeism, social justice nonsense.

Gadbous 29 minutes ago

Don't you want to just slap these people?

MuleRider 18 minutes ago

You misspelled decapitate.

GrandTheftOtto 2 hours ago

"It was a year in which each of usfaced difficult personal challenges"

boundless hypocrisy...

Mr. Rude Dog 2 hours ago remove link

" Americans know that something has gone terribly wrong, and they blame this country's leadership: the elite, the powerful, the decision makers - in government, in business and in civic society," he wrote.

"This is completely appropriate, for who else should take the blame?"

Lets see if he projects the problem back on the citizens...Let's see what happens.

"But populism is not policy, and we cannot let it drive another round of poor planning and bad leadership that will simply make our country's situation worse."

I knew the so called elites could not take the blame... You know populism always makes bad decisions with the economy, our monetary system, our infrastructure and just managing our tax money in general...Yes I knew Jamie could not take the blame..LOL.!!!!

QE4MeASAP 2 hours ago

So Dimon is giving the state of the union instead of Biden?

Budnacho 2 hours ago

Jamie Dimon....Friend of the Little Guy....

Tomsawyer2112 PREMIUM 11 hours ago

He doesn't believe a word of what he just said. But he knows that if he wants his bank to continue to be an extension of the government and curry favor then he needs to tow the line. I am sure he also has his eye on a future role as Fed Lead or US Treasurer but might be tough since he's not a diversity candidate.

oknow 2 hours ago

Someone turn off his mike, dont need your sorry *** confession

Just confiscate his wealth and make him do 9 to 5 jobs for the rest of his life.

ChromeRobot 9 hours ago remove link

This guy is a rarity in the banking industry. He's a billionaire. Running a bank I was often told in my early years in finance was foolproof. Everybody needs money and they have it. Hard to fk up. Somehow this "titan" has gamed it to do really well doing something incredibly easy. Positioning yourself to be a SIFI helps too! Too big to fail has it's perks.

a drink before the war 10 hours ago

What Jamie is really saying without saying it is " I get paid in stock options however since the pandemic JPM and other banks haven't been allowed to do stock buy back but come June we get back to the NORMAL and with the FED printing money and giving it to us we going to talk this stock WAY up no matter what because I got almost two years of stock options I gotta get paid for!"

lay_arrow 2
archipusz 10 hours ago

If you want to get to the top, you must speak the party line narrative.

The truth is something different altogether.

Eddie Haskell 10 hours ago

If you want to be a state-approved oligarch you've gotta suck the right dickie. Good job.

Detective Miller 38 minutes ago

"Jaimie Tells Bagholders To 'Buy Buy Buy!!!'"

Onthebeach6 38 minutes ago

The US is addicted to helicoptor money.

The world looks fine to an addict until the supply is cut off.

sbin 41 minutes ago

Jimmy going to lock himself in jail and forfeit his assets?

34k of jerkoff.

Nuk Soo Kow 2 hours ago

How magnanimous of Jamie to blame elitists and civic "leaders" for the structural problems in America. It was the banksters that pushed NAFTA and helped China engineer it's currency against the dollar, which led to massive outflows of productive capital. It was the banksters via the use of financial legerdemain who engineered the collapse in 2008 (not to mention every other banking panic and collapse prior to). It's high time to throw out this den of vipers once and for all.

Nature_Boy_Wooooo 2 hours ago

He lost me at.....

We need more cheap immigrant labor...... housing is unaffordable for many.

No **** moron!......you suppressed our wages and increased demand for housing.

PT 10 hours ago remove link

I always consult the fox when I want to know about the state of the hen house.

QuiteShocking 10 hours ago

Economic boom?? Is really just trying to get back to where we were previously before the pandemic hit with things opening back up etc... More people have been working from home so different spending patterns are developing.. but could change... Supply chain chaos makes it seem like shortages and inflation etc... It may only last through 2023?? but with Dems in charge this is not a given with their anti business slant??

same2u 11 hours ago

UBI for the rich= stock market...

Hope Copy 3 hours ago (Edited)

Jamie knows that the core of Crypto is at the CIA and that the pseudo Republic has far to much Fascist politics at the core .. There has been a competitive failure at most all levels of the government in recent times with a 'winner take all' at the cost of keeping competitive practices alive (not to mention kickbacks).. Of course China is laughing even though they have a history of cutting corners (and outright fraud) in every economic sector.

Mario Landavoz 20 minutes ago

Banker. That's all ya need to know.

Just a Little Froth in the Market 40 minutes ago

But the CEO was very candid about China...

"China's leaders believe America is in decline... The Chinese see an America that is losing ground in technology, infrastructure and education – a nation torn and crippled . . . and a country unable to coordinate government policies (fiscal, monetary, industrial, regulatory) in any coherent way to accomplish national goals

This is correct.

Joe A 55 minutes ago

He is just mocking and taking a piss at everybody. That America is such a mess is because of people like him with his scorched earth robber baron rogue capitalism. But there is a way to redeem yourselves. Just make all your assets available to the American people. And oh, blow your own brain out.

Abi Normal 3 hours ago remove link

What else is he supposed to say? As long as things don't go bad for Jamie it's cool.

OrazioGentile 3 hours ago

The Banksters, after years of mismanagement, borderline fraud, and endless bailouts now see that investments in unicorn startups, selling mindless BS to each other, and the quick buck lead to a burned out husk called America?!? Now?!? Let all of them live in the great paradise called the Cayman Islands that they helped build and see how far they get selling "capital instruments" to each other. The last 20 years have taught most Americans that hard work is meaningless to get ahead IMHO.

[Apr 07, 2021] Jamie Dimon: "This boom could easily run into 2023 because all the spending could extend well into 2023."

When did market cheerleading became the key responsibility of all key executives in major banks?
Apr 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Bay of Pigs 9 hours ago

Legs Dimon has always been a serial liar.

He's incapable of being honest.

One Moment Please 9 hours ago

My neighbors and I are not experiencing any of this 'economic boom' he speaks of.

Maybe we abide in some mysterious economic dead zone?

Mr..Lucky 10 hours ago

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau," Yale economist Irving Fisher.

[Apr 06, 2021] Et tu, Brute: IMF 'very much in support' of global minimum corporate tax by Brian Cheung

It has been argued that the phrase Et tu, Brute can be interpreted as a curse or warning. It is possible that Caesar adapted the words of a Greek sentence "You too, my son, will have a taste of power", which to the Romans had long since become proverbial. It foreshadows Brutus ' own violent death, after Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the outnumbered armies of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi in October 42. After the battle, Brutus committed suicide.
This is not only about IMF being a puppet of the USA. this is also clear reputation of neoliberal ideology.
After this move any defender of neoliberal deregulation looks like joke.
Apr 06, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it backs a U.S. proposal for a global minimum corporate tax.

IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said that the fund has been calling for international cooperation on tax policy "for a long time," adding that different corporate tax rates around the world have fueled tax shifting and avoidance.

"That reduces the revenues that governments collect to do the needed social and economic spending," Gopinath told Yahoo Finance Tuesday. "We're very much in support of having this kind of global minimum corporate tax."

Gopinath's remarks are likely to add momentum to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's efforts to start an international dialogue on a new framework. The European Commission on Tuesday also said it supported discussions , but said the ultimate rate should be deliberated through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Yellen recently called on the 20 largest economies to work together to "stop the race to the bottom" by setting a new minimum that would allow governments more stability in collecting tax revenue. The Biden administration is targeting a 21% global minimum tax for U.S. multinational corporations.

"It is important to work with other countries to end the pressures of tax competition and corporate tax base erosion," Yellen said in a speech Monday.

[Apr 06, 2021] Yellen pledges U.S. international cooperation, calls for global minimum tax

This is anathema to neoliberal ideology with it sfree movement of capital mantra, but the USA is hard pressed, so ideology does not matter anymore.
Apr 06, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that she is working with G20 countries to agree on a global corporate minimum tax rate and pledged that restoring U.S. multilateral leadership would strengthen the global economy and advance U.S. interests.

In a speech ahead of her first International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings as Treasury chief, Yellen signaled stronger U.S. engagement on issues from climate change to human rights to tax base erosion.

A global minimum tax proposed by the Biden administration could help to end a "thirty-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates," Yellen told an online event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The proposal is a key pillar of President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan, which calls for an increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% while eliminating some deductions associated with overseas profits.

Without a global minimum, the United States would again have higher rates than a number of other major economies, tax experts say, while the U.S. proposal could help jump-start negotiations for a tax deal among major economies.

World Bank President David Malpass said finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies on Wednesday would discuss global tax issues, including for digital services, adding that international attitudes were shifting away from continual tax reductions.

"Taxes matter to development, and it's important that the world get it right," Malpass told CNBC television.

Separately, a group of Democratic senators unveiled a legislative proposal to roll back parts of former President Donald Trump's 2017 U.S. tax cuts.


[Apr 06, 2021] Mexico Seeks to Ban Outsourcing After Agreement With Business

Prohibiting outsourcing is anathema to neoliberal ideology.
Apr 06, 2021 | www.bloomberg.com
Mexico's government said it reached a deal with union and business leaders on a controversial bill to ban outsourcing in a move that seeks to close tax loopholes.

The group agreed during a meeting at the National Palace in Mexico City on Monday to forbid the outsourcing of personnel to third-party firms, except for specialized work outside a company's main economic activity, and to implement a new profit sharing model, the labor ministry said in a statement .

[Apr 06, 2021] UBS Predicts 80,000 More Retail Stores Will Close In Five Years

Apr 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

archipusz 1 hour ago

Market surges on 80,000 retail outlet closings optimism.

[Apr 02, 2021] But let's be reasonable - how is it possible to have 700K - 800K initial jobless claims every week and create nearly a million new jobs?

Highly recommended!
If we are to believe authorities the USA. added 916K jobs in March, and the official unemployment rate is at 6% (note the word official; the current official U6 unemployment rate as of March 2021 is 10.70%; so the real number is probably much higher than 10%)
Fudging data became as prominent as it was in the USSR. The neoliberal empire can't afford objective stats.
Notable quotes:
"... monthly data is collected over a brief timeframe - just a few days - and that the calculations are seasonally adjusted. ..."
"... Yes, at least half the sheep population think they are real. It's insane how dumb people are today. ..."
Apr 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

variousmarkets

I spent the last 2 weeks digging into the numbers - especially timing of the surveys and data collection. I get the fact that weekly claims don't reflect new hires. I also realize that monthly data is collected over a brief timeframe - just a few days - and that the calculations are seasonally adjusted.

But let's be reasonable - how is it possible to have 700K - 800K initial jobless claims every week and create nearly a million new jobs? Does anyone really believe any of these numbers?

Globalistsaretrash

Yes, at least half the sheep population think they are real. It's insane how dumb people are today.

[Mar 31, 2021] If pride comes before the fall, the US is peaking in its arrogance and there's few likely outcomes that don't lead to worse conditions

Mar 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

brainiac3397 , Mar 31 2021 17:28 utc | 4

There will be probably a long period of gradual decline of the USA empire and dismateling of various aspects of neoliberalim in countires all over the globe.

It's evident that the "new world order" China wants is nothing more than respect for a multipolar world and the international institutions in place meant to service this world.

The US has become accustomed to the notion that it is the "world" and that American interests are everybody's interests even when America's interests harm their interests, whether economic(Germany's Nordstream 2 or Japan's trade with China) or security(the DPRK-ROK situation can never be resolved as long as the US interferes as a biased 3rd party) or even humanitarian(see: Palestine, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc).

The pawns of the US empire will go on diatribes to basically outline a framework where America is the end-all, be-all. Human rights, according to racist America. International peace, according to militarist America. Fighting poverty, according to capitalist America.

The only question for me has always been whether the blob of experts, advisors, and government officials are maliciously pursuing this kind of global trolling or whether they're actual believers of the delusion of American Exceptionalism. And the reason would be because the latter are far more likely to cause exceptional suffering and destruction on their moral crusade due to their arrogance in their fundamental "superiority".

If pride comes before the fall, the US is peaking in its arrogance and there's few likely outcomes that don't lead to worse conditions.

[Mar 28, 2021] As a fervent anti-imperialist, I think we should celebrate the incipient loss of Washington's power.

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

LowellHighlander , March 27, 2021 at 8:42 am

So many USians (as in "people who use far too many resources") really believe, as President Obama intimated on so many occasions, that this country is exceptional. My readings of ancient Greece remind me of Athens: as Edith Hamilton pointed out in The Greek Way, that city-state's decline began when its rulers treated "client states" as conquered territories to be plundered. Athens' decline in power thus began when its rulers, having become so arrogant, became unconcerned with the rights of others. In our own time, we see that our "leaders" not only couldn't care less about the rights of others in terms of foreign countries, but also with regard to Americans not of their class, race, and social/academic pedigrees.

Nevertheless, as a fervent anti-imperialist, I think we should celebrate the incipient loss of Washington's power.

km , March 27, 2021 at 9:56 am

Funny that the neocons claim to be admirers of ancient Athens but seem blissfully unaware of the Thucydides Trap.

Eustachedesaintpierre , March 27, 2021 at 10:46 am

According to Mary Beard & others Thucydides is incredibly difficult to translate resulting in variations depended on the translator.

Perhaps not surprisingly Donald Kagan, Victoria's husband Robert's Father produced his own hawkish assessment of what Thucydides should teach us today.

https://www.bookforum.com/print/1604/thucydides-the-reinvention-of-history-by-donald-kagan-4693

km , March 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I suspect that is not the result of a translation problem, but because in this case, Thucidides doesn't say what Kagan and Nuland want them to say.

Even if Thucidides never mentioned it, the problem is real and accurately describes observable reality.

ObjectiveFunction , March 28, 2021 at 12:08 am

"Every generation gets the ancient Greeks and Romans it deserves." – Anon.

Socal Rhino , March 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

Just going by the number of articles in mainstream channels about avoiding the Thucydides Trap, I doubt that.

Roger , March 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

The Thucydides Trap is a clownish misreading of history by simplistic International Relations scholars who should spend more time talking to real historians of the relevant period. Graham Allison is on record as having done no research on China, he just assumed the parallel with the Peloponnesian war. From my PhD dissertation, which included addressing such simplistic and historically-ignorant theories in International Relations:

The ahistorical, Eurocentric and universalist shortcomings of neorealism with respect to a rising power such as China are evident in analyses such as Allison's (2017), that rely upon the assumption that the small-scale Peloponnesian wars of more than two millennia ago are applicable to the modern world of superpowers and weapons of mass destruction, with the internal dynamics of each nation deemed to relative irrelevance. Furthermore, both classical realist and neorealist scholars may utilize simplistic readings of Thucydides, an author that may in fact be a highly unreliable narrator (Podoksik 2005). There is a great deal of disagreement among historians about who actually started the Peloponnesian wars; it could have been Athens, Sparta, Corinth or even a combination (Dickins 1911; Tannenbaum 1975; Kagan 2013), and therefore the main lesson to be learnt is the complexity of the real world, even the ancient one. In addition, as Bagby notes (1994, p. 133), "Thucydides thinks that an understanding of the political and cultural differences among city-states before and during the Peloponnesian War is crucial for understanding their behavior"; Sparta and Athens could easily be seen as greater ideological competitors than the Cold War US and Soviet Union.

occasional anonymous , March 27, 2021 at 6:55 pm

Actually it's pretty common knowledge among classisists that there was no Thucydides Trap. Whatever his many merits one thing Thucydides didn't even begin to do was to prove his central claim about jealously between a rising and an established power making conflict inevitable.

Yves Smith , March 27, 2021 at 10:14 pm

The book The Thucydides Trap is a 100% misreading of Thucydides. But that never stopped ideologues.

[Mar 28, 2021] It would follow, probably at the behest of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, that the aims stated in Xi's and Putin's Davos speeches would produce aggressive rhetoric from Biden and Blinken toward Russia and China

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Nels Nelson , March 27, 2021 at 2:59 pm

Take an article back in February NC linked to in the Asia Times wherein Pepe Escobar reported that "the two really crucial events at Davos" were speeches given by Putin and Xi at the WEF that "received minimal or non-existent coverage across the wobbly West."
Here is a link to an analysis of Putin's speech by Rostislav Ishchenko provided in Escobar's article
https://www.stalkerzone.org/munich-esque-davos/?fbclid=IwAR39jqR8vWHHAAUP0KXazwBAqTqsg7PXkIrlB2Yvmuu0sXZP0WqB3fJgUjw

Add the above to the discussion between Pepe Escobar and Michael Hudson provided in the links today.

It would follow, probably at the behest of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, that the aims stated in Xi's and Putin's speeches and the material discussed by Escobar and Hudson would produce aggressive rhetoric from Biden and Blinken toward Russia and China.

Chauncey Gardiner , March 27, 2021 at 3:16 pm

Interesting that Putin mentioned "financial hegemony" as one of the two tools used "to carry out long-arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries." I assume he means the eurodollar system of offshore US dollars which remains the dominant currency of global finance and capital markets, and control of the global payments system. If so, what are the workarounds, and who controls them? or, are we talking Texas hold'em here?

Susan the other , March 27, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Just an observation here. China is making China a better place; Russia is making Russia a better place; India is India. And the United States looks to be headed in that direction. It is a big job and it will keep our "leaders" busy for a long time. One thing I'd like to see is a cooperating, cohesive and sustainable North America. Canada, the US, Mexico and Central America. That would be a good project for our foreign policy wizards. World War 2 is over. Way long gone. We should let the EU, and especially our long and loyal ally Germany, make their own peace with Russia and China.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 27, 2021 at 3:44 pm

China was all onboard for Western neoliberal ideas.
They started to have their doubts when the US, UK and Euro-zone wrecked their economies in a ridiculous financial fiasco in 2008.
When they realised they had made exactly the same mistakes, and nearly driven the Chinese economy into a financial crisis, they realised neoclassical economics was the problem.
They really needed some decent economics and fast.

We never did work out what happened in 2008, the Chinese did.
The Chinese now know the US, UK and Euro-zone went on a joint economic suicide mission before 2008.
After 2008, they went on an economic suicide mission.
Policymakers are rendered completely clueless with neoclassical economics and try and crash their economies.
If the West is sticking with this load of old rubbish, that's their problem, the Chinese have learned from their mistakes.

Davos 2018 – The Chinese know financial crises come from the private debt-to-GDP ratio and inflated asset prices
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WOs6S0VrlA
The black swan flies in under our policymakers' radar.
They are looking at public debt and consumer price inflation, while the problems are developing in private debt and asset price inflation.
The PBoC knew how to spot a Minsky Moment coming, unlike the FED, BoE, ECB and BoJ.

A year later, and they had made further progress.
Davos 2019 – The Chinese know bank lending needs to be directed into areas that grow the economy and that their earlier stimulus went into the wrong places.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBcIFu-_V0
They had pumped bank credit into areas that don't grow GDP, and the private debt-to-GDP had risen to a level they were on the verge of a financial crisis.
Everyone does that with neoclassical economics, but they don't usually see the financial crisis coming, like the US in 1929, Japan 1991 and US, UK and Euro-zone in 2008.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 27, 2021 at 3:45 pm

The one good thing about bringing back neoclassical economics.
We know what led to Wall Street Crash in 1929. The same mistakes have been repeated globally.

At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

No one realises the problems that are building up in the economy as they use an economics that doesn't look at debt, neoclassical economics.
As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of unproductive bank lending, as it did in the 1920s in the US.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics, as it did in 1929.
1929 – US
1991 – Japan
2008 – US, UK and Euro-zone
The PBoC saw the Chinese Minsky Moment coming and you can too by looking at the chart above.
The Chinese were lucky; it was very late in the day.

Everyone has made the same mistake; only the Chinese worked out what the problem was.

Phil in KC , March 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm

Our current status is in some respects comparable to Britain in the decades preceding WW I: balancing rival powers off of each other. In Britain's case, the rivals were Russia, first and foremost, and Germany. But as Germany was perceived to be threatening to both Britain and Russia, Britain made an alliance with Russia (and France) against Germany.

We tried to make a similar alliance with Russia against the growing power of the PRC, but Yeltsin was too weak, and Putin was not eager to become the junior partner of the US in the game of containing Chinese power. Then came the pivot to China (after the failure of Clinton's "reset" with Russia). That failed too. Trump tried to re-engage Putin and levied tariffs on China. Both moves were ineffective.

We still have something to learn from Britain, though: mainly, how to have a long and gentle glide path into decline and yet still manage to punch above our weight. This is something Lawrence Wilkerson has talked about for the last 15 years or so. We either do this or go bankrupt trying to hold onto . . . what?

c_heale , March 27, 2021 at 9:57 pm

Not sure the UK's decline was long and gentle. The USA will be one of the three major powers in the world for a long time yet. What has gone wrong for the USA imo is that it tried to be a hyperpower, to rule the world, when that possiblity really disappeared when first Russia and then other countries obtained nuclear weapons. The neoconseratives need to stop drinking the koolaid.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Why should we care about punching above our weight?

RMO , March 28, 2021 at 1:34 am

"We tried to make a similar alliance with Russia against the growing power of the PRC, but Yeltsin was too weak, and Putin was not eager to become the junior partner of the US in the game of containing Chinese power."

I don't see any historical evidence supporting that assertion. The US tried to do a complete sack and burn of the remains of the USSR and walk off with everything worth anything. They didn't quite succeed at that but did a lot of harm along the way. Russia tried (with Putin no less) to become part of the EU or at least associate with it and tried to become part of NATO (or at least associate with the rest of Europe in military and security matters) and was told to get lost. Then, violating promises, the expansion of NATO began. I think the record shows that the US wants Russia to be an enemy – regardless of what the Russians want. With the history of the past twenty years to go by I would think that both Russia and China (and likely several other nations) now believe that the US simply can't be negotiated with due to it's penchant for throwing away treaties and ignoring the rule of law whenever it feels like it. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the holier-than-thou moralizing that goes along with it.

The Rev Kev , March 28, 2021 at 1:59 am

About a decade or so ago there was serious talk in Washington of a US-China pact as an extension of Chimerica. China would supply the money and the manpower while Washington would supply the brains. The rest of the world could go fly a kite as these two would then run the world but the Chinese for some mysterious reason had zero interest in being the junior partner in this proposal.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 28, 2021 at 3:02 pm

That's because China had already decided to turn America into one of its many Overseas Tibets. ( I have read that the Chinese word for Tibet translates to Western Treasure House. And they also refer to Tibet as Water Tower Number One).

[Mar 28, 2021] " how to bring the now-former hegemon down off its high perch " is a bit ambitious. It may be instead be to minimize the inevitable global damage caused by an empire in decline

Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thuto , March 27, 2021 at 8:18 am

Putin has perhaps realised that unflappability and civility, long his calling cards in diplomatic relations with the West, even when coming under the most vicious attacks, will never win him or Russia any favour with the western mainstream press and their political class overlords. You can't reason with a bully so might as well do a more polished version of Duterte telling Obama to "go to hell" as Putin and China are doing here. The pillars of American foreign policy are increasingly being shown up to be relics of a bygone era, anachronistic and maladaptive in the extreme.

The world has moved on and people are no longer buying the "America is a force for good" story. They see the worst of American cultural values e.g. excessive consumption, being exported by Hollywood to their societies and American companies swooping in to harvest the demand for useless stuff that comes as a result of this. Dismounting the high horse will be difficult for America to do but I don't see that she has any choice here, the world is starting to signal strongly that we've all had enough of the exceptionalism and belligerence borne of entitlement with which the US engages with other nations.

Weimer , March 27, 2021 at 8:53 am

Yes, and perhaps the most important task before R/C is how to bring the now-former hegemon down off its high perch, quietly and gracefully, or at least without triggering an all out war. I do hope they can pull it off, otherwise it's curtains for us all.
But it is not the first time p. Putin told the West Russia will go its own way. The 2007 Munich security conference put all on notice; some just refused to listen.
But if we take those 5 min 25 sec, and the Chinese statement in Anchorage that USA has no qualifications (!) to speak to China from the position of strength, we should see that the world's distribution of power has changed. In spite of more tricks and subterfuge that the West will no doubt deploy, what matters more now is the self-confidence these two nations have finally owned. For us, the little folk, however, it will get worse before it gets better.

pebird , March 27, 2021 at 10:44 am

" how to bring the now-former hegemon down off its high perch " is a bit ambitious.

It may be instead be to minimize the inevitable global damage caused by an empire in decline.

[Mar 28, 2021] No empire, or system, lasts forever: neoliberalism as a system requires infinite growth, quite impossible on a finite planet

Everything of human creation has a lifespan and everything of human creation can be changed or removed by human hand. Slavery, feudalism and other systems of the past
March 18, 2021
Mar 28, 2021 | systemicdisorder.wordpress.com

The bottom line question from all of the above is this: Will this U.S. dominance come to an end? Stepping back and looking at this question in a historical way tells us that the answer can only be yes, given that there has been a sequence of cities that have been the financial center.

Centuries ago, the seat of a small republic such as Venice could be the leading financial center on the strength of its trading networks. Once capitalism took hold, however, the financial center was successively located within a larger federation that possessed both a strong navy and a significant fleet of merchant ships (Amsterdam); then within a sizeable and unified country with a large enough population to maintain a powerful navy and a physical presence throughout an empire (London); and finally within a continent-spanning country that can project its economic and multi-dimensional military power around the world (New York).

No empire, whatever its form, lasts forever. But knowledge of the sequence of capitalist centers tells us nothing of timing. Each successive new financial locus was embedded in successively larger powers able to operate militarily over larger areas and with more force. What then could replace the U.S.? The European Union has its effectiveness diluted by the many nationalisms within its sphere (and thus nationalism acts as a weakening agent for the EU whereas it is a strengthening agent for the U.S. and China). China's economy is yet too small and retains capital controls, and its currency, the renminbi, isn't fully convertible.

U.S. Treasury bills remain the ultimate safe haven, as shown when investors poured into U.S. debt during crises such as the 2008 collapse, even when events in the U.S. are the trigger.

There are no other possible other contenders, and both the EU and China, as already discussed, are in no position to seriously challenge U.S. hegemony.

Here we have a collision of possibilities: The transcending of capitalism and transition to a new economic system or the decreasing functionality of the world capitalist system should it persist for several more decades. Given the resiliency of capitalism, and the many tools available to it (not least military power), the latter scenario can't be ruled out although it might be unlikely. Making any prediction on the lifespan of capitalism is fraught with difficulty, not least because of the many predictions of its collapse for well over a century. But capitalism as a system requires infinite growth , quite impossible on a finite planet and all the more dire given there is almost no place on Earth remaining into which it can expand .

Although we can't know what the expiration date of capitalism will be, it will almost certainly be sometime in the current century . But it won't be followed by something better without a global movement of movements working across borders with a conscious aim of bringing a better world into being. In the absence of such movements, capitalism is likely to hang on for decades to come. In that scenario, what country or bloc could replace the U.S. as the center?

And would we want a new center to dictate to the rest of the world? In a world of economic democracy (what we can call socialism) where all nations and societies can develop in their own way, in harmony with the environment and without the need to expand, and with production done for human need rather than corporate profit, there would no global center or hegemon and no need for one.

Capitalism, however, can't function without a center that uses financial, military and all other means to keep itself in the saddle and the rest of the world in line.

Yes, the day of U.S. dethronement will come, as will the end of capitalism . But the former is not going to happen any time soon, however much millions around the world wish that to be so, and the latter is what we should be working toward. A better world is possible; a gentler and kinder capitalism with a different center is not.

Jef Jelten says: March 18, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Excellent analysis! I would just point out that those who decide how the world operates, and I am not talking about the US Gov, hold the vast majority of their wealth in dollar$. Most of their power and influence would disappear if the dollar as world reserve currency system were to end. Their power to manipulate from behind the scenes is nearly unlimited and this is not conspiracy theory.

Their ace in the hole is of course World WAR.

It seems to me that all wars and all Empire collapses are about resources and we are at or near peak everything so that is IMO what will determine how things play out sooner than we all think too.

Cheers and keep up the good work!
jef

Systemic Disorder says: at 6:03 pm

Greetings, Jef.

" Most of their power and influence would disappear if the dollar as world reserve currency system were to end. " That is very much true, and is true not only for the U.S. bourgeoisie but also for the bourgeoisie and compradors of countries around the world. When the U.S. unraveling comes, it will be on a steeping curve, but that day is a long way off yet. Nonetheless, resource depletion may well intervene sooner than we believe . Better to organize now rather than later.

[Mar 28, 2021] Real unemployment is double the 'official' unemployment rate

Notable quotes:
"... The Globe and Mail ..."
"... The Globe and Mail ..."
"... The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China ..."
Mar 28, 2021 | systemicdisorder.wordpress.com

How many people are really out of work? The answer is surprisingly difficult to ascertain. For reasons that are likely ideological at least in part, official unemployment figures greatly under-report the true number of people lacking necessary full-time work.

That the "reserve army of labor" is quite large goes a long way toward explaining the persistence of stagnant wages in an era of increasing productivity.

How large? Across North America, Europe and Australia, the real unemployment rate is approximately double the "official" unemployment rate.

The "official" unemployment rate in the United States, for example, was 5.5 percent for February 2015. That is the figure that is widely reported. But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of various other unemployment rates, the most pertinent being its "U-6" figure. The U-6 unemployment rate includes all who are counted as unemployed in the "official" rate, plus discouraged workers, the total of those employed part time but not able to secure full-time work and all persons marginally attached to the labor force (those who wish to work but have given up). The actual U.S. unemployment rate for February 2015, therefore, is 11 percent .

Share of wages, 1950-2014 Canada makes it much more difficult to know its real unemployment rate. The official Canadian unemployment rate for February was 6.8 percent, a slight increase from January that Statistics Canada attributes to "more people search[ing] for work." The official measurement in Canada, as in the U.S., European Union and Australia, mirrors the official standard for measuring employment defined by the International Labour Organization -- those not working at all and who are "actively looking for work." (The ILO is an agency of the United Nations.)

Statistics Canada's closest measure toward counting full unemployment is its R8 statistic, but the R8 counts people in part-time work, including those wanting full-time work, as "full-time equivalents," thus underestimating the number of under-employed by hundreds of thousands, according to an analysis by The Globe and Mail . There are further hundreds of thousands not counted because they do not meet the criteria for "looking for work." Thus The Globe and Mail analysis estimates Canada's real unemployment rate for 2012 was 14.2 percent rather than the official 7.2 percent. Thus Canada's true current unemployment rate today is likely about 14 percent.

Everywhere you look, more are out of work

The gap is nearly as large in Europe as in North America. The official European Union unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in January 2015 . The European Union's Eurostat service requires some digging to find out the actual unemployment rate, requiring adding up different parameters. Under-employed workers and discouraged workers comprise four percent of the E.U. workforce each, and if we add the one percent of those seeking work but not immediately available, that pushes the actual unemployment rate to about 19 percent.

The same pattern holds for Australia. The Australia Bureau of Statistics revealed that its measure of "extended labour force under-utilisation" -- this includes "discouraged" jobseekers, the "underemployed" and those who want to start work within a month, but cannot begin immediately -- was 13.1 percent in August 2012 (the latest for which I can find), in contrast to the "official," and far more widely reported, unemployment rate of five percent at the time.

Concomitant with these sobering statistics is the length of time people are out of work. In the European Union, for example, the long-term unemployment rate -- defined as the number of people out of work for at least 12 months -- doubled from 2008 to 2013 . The number of U.S. workers unemployed for six months or longer more than tripled from 2007 to 2013.

Thanks to the specter of chronic high unemployment, and capitalists' ability to transfer jobs overseas as "free trade" rules become more draconian, it comes as little surprise that the share of gross domestic income going to wages has declined steadily. In the U.S., the share has declined from 51.5 percent in 1970 to about 42 percent. But even that decline likely understates the amount of compensation going to working people because almost all gains in recent decades has gone to the top one percent.

Around the world, worker productivity has risen over the past four decades while wages have been nearly flat. Simply put, we'd all be making much more money if wages had merely kept pace with increased productivity.

Insecure work is the global norm

The increased ability of capital to move at will around the world has done much to exacerbate these trends. The desire of capitalists to depress wages to buoy profitability is a driving force behind their push for governments to adopt "free trade" deals that accelerate the movement of production to low-wage, regulation-free countries. On a global basis, those with steady employment are actually a minority of the world's workers.

Using International Labour Organization figures as a starting point, professors John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney calculate that the "global reserve army of labor" -- workers who are underemployed, unemployed or "vulnerably employed" (including informal workers) -- totals 2.4 billion. In contrast, the world's wage workers total 1.4 billion -- far less! Writing in their book The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China , they write:

"It is the existence of a reserve army that in its maximum extent is more than 70 percent larger than the active labor army that serves to restrain wages globally, and particularly in poorer countries. Indeed, most of this reserve army is located in the underdeveloped countries of the world, though its growth can be seen today in the rich countries as well." [page 145]

The earliest countries that adopted capitalism could "export" their "excess" population though mass emigration. From 1820 to 1915, Professors Foster and McChesney write, more than 50 million people left Europe for the "new world." But there are no longer such places for developing countries to send the people for whom capitalism at home can not supply employment. Not even a seven percent growth rate for 50 years across the entire global South could absorb more than a third of the peasantry leaving the countryside for cities, they write. Such a sustained growth rate is extremely unlikely.

As with the growing environmental crisis, these mounting economic problems are functions of the need for ceaseless growth. Once again, infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet, especially one that is approaching its limits. Worse, to keep the system functioning at all, the planned obsolescence of consumer products necessary to continually stimulate household spending accelerates the exploitation of natural resources at unsustainable rates and all this unnecessary consumption produces pollution increasingly stressing the environment.

Humanity is currently consuming the equivalent of one and a half earths , according to the non-profit group Global Footprint Network. A separate report by WWF–World Wide Fund For Nature in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and Global Footprint Network, calculates that the Middle East/Central Asia, Asia-Pacific, North America and European Union regions are each consuming about double their regional biocapacity.

We have only one Earth. And that one Earth is in the grips of a system that takes at a pace that, unless reversed, will leave it a wrecked hulk while throwing ever more people into poverty and immiseration. That this can go on indefinitely is the biggest fantasy.

[Mar 26, 2021] Those Fortune 500 companies most of which incorporated in Delaware did not do so for patriotic reasons, but to avoid tax and government regulation.

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Sean , says: March 26, 2021 at 12:55 am GMT • 19.8 hours ago

@Commentator Mike eo-play">

Reagan made jokes about burning the midday oil, but he was faced with stagnant collapsing Russia, not dynamic China. Biden has actually said that China is doomed to collapse and already in decline because–get this– the Chinese are not young enough. Those Fortune 500 companies most of which incorporated in Delaware did not do so for patriotic reasons, but to avoid tax and government regulation. The elites (38 to 58 year olds) running America or at least largely determining who wins the elections are more interested in making money on their Chinese investments than US primacy; Trump was a merely a blip and the future of America is pretty much set on relative decline now.

[Mar 24, 2021] On Jerome Powell pronouncements

Mar 24, 2021 | www.wsj.com

P Paul Avila SUBSCRIBER 8 hours ago U.S. stocks edged higher Wednesday as investors awaited more testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Good grief. Is there any way his subordinates could prevent that? Perhaps lock him in a supply closet until the market closes? Every time he opens his pie hole, I lose money. W Will Bee SUBSCRIBER 8 hours ago Actually I suspect we are waiting for all the FED and Treasury "people" to stop jawboning us so Markets can assimilate their irrelevance

[Mar 19, 2021] U.S. Aggressiveness Will Accelerate Its Demise

Notable quotes:
"... Western headlines are for western internal consumption. And what's happening behind the scene, what incentives are offered and what threats are made in exchange for what specific actions, we simply don't know. ..."
"... The Biden admin's behavior is purposeful and, frankly, entirely logical if you view it from the American perspective of global production: the US, its ruling class, and its population greatly benefits from the neocolonial expropriation of value from exploited nations, granted largely through unequal exchange. ..."
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Mar 18 2021 19:03 utc | 3

Then, after days of badmouthing China, it finally daunted to Blinken that he needs China's help.

Why, after so many bad words towards it, would China help the U.S. with solving the North Korea problem? It has zero incentive to do so.

The same aggressive behavior can be seen with regards to Russia. Baseless accusations of Russian election interferences are followed with more sanctions and threats topped off with Biden calling Russia's President Putin a 'killer' . As the Canadian Russia expert Paul Robinson writes :

As for Biden's comments, well what can one say? Didn't he just order the bombing of Syria. Doesn't that make him a 'killer' too? Politicians should avoid this sort of language. I suspect, though, that what this and the intelligence report mentioned above indicate is that Russiagate , with its allegations of Trump-Putin collusion to undermine American democracy, has done irreparable damage to US-Russia relations. One gets the impression that there is now a deep, deep hatred of Russia within the US government, a hatred that prevents any sane analysis of Russian intentions and actions, as well as of US national interests . I fear that this will last for quite a long time.

Andrei Martyanov adds :

[The] degradation of the American political institutions, top-bottom, and its speed are mind-boggling. As for the class and culture--US political elite and US media machine don't have any. Biden merely confirmed it today.
...
One Russian saying posits that one can still negotiate with scoundrels, one cannot negotiate with idiots. When the opposite side is both, boy, talk about the United States turning into the third world country.

The hostility the U.S., by its behavior and words, creates against itself is not restricted to Russia and China.

Last week the French "Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle" CRI, an independent think tank of former generals and high officers of the French forces, issued an open letter to NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in which it accused him of having acting solely in the interest of the U.S. during the development of his NATO 2030 plan .

The letter details how Stoltenberg, NATO and the U.S. have caused the bad relations with Russia. It says that the U.S. is trying use a fictional 'Russian threat' to pressure NATO countries into morphing into a global force, under U.S. command and independent of the United Nations, to then use it against China. This while the real threat to Europe is Islamic terrorism caused by the U.S. interferences in the Middle East and north Africa. The U.S. led NATO is thereby becoming a danger for Europe.

The accusations the French generals are launching against the U.S. go beyond anything one might hear from Moscow or Beijing.

The next 'allied' nation that will have sound reason to turn hostile towards the U.S. might well be Germany :

The Biden administration Thursday stepped up its rhetoric against a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, calling on all those involved in the project to "immediately abandon" their work.

"The Department reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him. A more general 'anti-Americanism' would then arise.

The uncompromising and ever aggressive behavior the U.S. shows towards competitors as well as friends will not lead to a stronger U.S. position in the world. People and nations will learn to work around it.

These rushed attempts to prevent the ending of its unipolar moment will only accelerate the move towards a new multilateral global system.

Posted by b on March 18, 2021 at 18:48 UTC | Permalink

AFP Breaking News (from Twitter)

US warns entities involved in Nord Stream 2 to "immediately abandon work"

White House says does not regret Biden calling Putin "killer"

!!


Seej , Mar 18 2021 19:05 utc | 4

Pepe Escobar also has noted in his Telegram channel the craziness of Dem Dementia admin's work till now aptly:

"DIPLOMACY'S DEAD, BABY. DIPLOMACY'S DEAD.

The Empire of Chaos is in utter desperation, and on a Kill Bill rampage. Without a samurai sword.

Some of us, including Alastair Crooke, Paul Craig Roberts, The Saker, and if we he was still alive, Prof. Stephen Cohen, have been warning everyone for a long time.

It doesn't matter that Russiagate was completely debunked. The Dem Dementia administration is now on Russiagate 2.0 on steroids.

This "intel" report on Russian interference in the - rigged - US elections does not even qualify as a bad joke.

What Crash Test Dummy's handlers told him to say in that interview about Putin being "a killer", "without a soul" who will "pay a price", goes way beyond ANYTHING that happened during the Cold War.

At least there was a measure of diplomatic decency in the superpowers relationship.

What's happening now is totally reckless, totally irrational - not to mention terminally stupid: there is NO American foreign policy left.

The Kremlin - as well as the Ministy of Foreign Affairs - already got the picture: they are dealing with a bunch of lowly gangsters which also happens to be criminally insane.

For the record: Stupidistan is now at war ON THREE FRONTS. Against Russia, against China and against Iran.

Declining empires are ALWAYS strategically stupid."

Piotr Berman , Mar 18 2021 19:06 utc | 5
Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him. <-- b

However "hostile", Germany contributed to uni-lateral Trumpian sanctions, and so far, North Stream 2 is the only beacon of independence. Take Ukraine: Germany and France form half of Normandy Four, and provided name for Steinmeier formula. Ukraine resolutely resists proceeding with any obligations under that formula. Germany is silent on that and support annual extensions of sanctions, not to mention sanctions on Syria, Venezuela and whatever EU sanctions. Syria is an interesting example. It could be actually popular among German voters to facilitate reconstruction in that country and return of the refugees to their homeland. Iran and Russia are potentially good customers for German industry. Independence of German banks and other companies from whimsical sanctions from USA would help too.

Seemingly, ingrained masochism is hard to overcome.

Piotr Berman , Mar 18 2021 19:12 utc | 6
Ukrainian government quite recently decided to insult China. Not only Chinese investors who got the majority stake in a major Ukrainian company (major in Ukraine, that is) were prevented from getting their hard paid ownership, but the buyers became targets of sanctions, practically, confiscation of property.

The reaction, other than verbal, was a bit slow.

But last week a large business/tourism delegation from China visited Crimea, officially sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and concluded a number of deals, with promise of more. What happened to Ukrainian purchase of Chinese vaccine is hard to tell.

Piotr Berman , Mar 18 2021 19:20 utc | 7

For the record: Stupidistan is now at war ON THREE FRONTS. Against Russia, against China and against Iran.

Declining empires are ALWAYS strategically stupid."

Posted by: Seej | Mar 18 2021 19:05 utc | 4

Alas, more than 30 years ago it was observed in USA that it benefits a politician to seem stupid, and being genuinely stupid is even better. Why do you think power to be within Democratic Party decided to maneuver the least intellectually able contender to win in the primaries? That in itself is not necessarily bad, but on the lower levels of government, you must prove stupidity (or at least utter lack of original thinking) to advance. Now we have new generations of opportunists hiding any sign of thinking, apart from passing all the required exams in elite schools etc. Let me think of the greatness and extinction of Irish elk.

karlof1 , Mar 18 2021 19:22 utc | 8

Seej @4--

Thanks for posting Pepe's comments, some of which are in his current article I linked to on the open thread. In my comment related to Pepe's article I noted his excerpt of Chinese academic Jisi and this specific part:

"the Americans are eager to deal with problems before they are ready to improve the relationship."

That observation is consistent with that of an entity that only wants its orders obeyed and seeks no relationship or friendship with any other entity since it sees itself as Top Dog, and #1 in every way. As with the Nord Stream project, we see the Gangster mentality--Do as I say or else!

Not only does the Emperor have no clothes or much of a working memory, he's got erectile disfunction too that's well beyond the ability of Viagra to fix.

psychohistorian , Mar 18 2021 19:38 utc | 9

So here we have Blinken, Winken and Nod providing direction for failing empire

Blinken is obvious
Winken is that behind the scenes, wink, wink, nod, nod (there ain't no class structure here) type VP and
Nod is the new normal as US President.

I am sure they will try to take America to new places, yet to be dreamt of....will the brainwashed of the West follow?

About Germany and Nord Stream II.....To a degree that I am not sure of, Germany is like Japan, a fully owned colony of empire....this may be the time that the Germany nut gets cracked wide open....interesting times indeed.

Where are the details of Blinken telling China how to behave? I can hardly wait for the next act of Blinken, Winken and Nod

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 18 2021 19:50 utc | 11

"Why, after so many bad words towards it, would China help the U.S. with solving the North Korea problem? It has zero incentive to do so."

This (as well as the Germany/NS2 thing) sounds like a rather naive view. Western headlines are for western internal consumption. And what's happening behind the scene, what incentives are offered and what threats are made in exchange for what specific actions, we simply don't know.

Norwegian , Mar 18 2021 20:00 utc | 13
Last week the French "Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle" CRI, an independent think tank of former generals and high officers of the French forces, issued an open letter to NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in which it accused him of having acting solely in the interest of the U.S. during the development of his NATO 2030 plan.

Well, I'd like to thank the French generals, because Stoltenberg is nothing but a Quisling, who betrays his country and is "acting solely in the interest of the U.S.". Indeed.
Kapusta , Mar 18 2021 20:19 utc | 16

The Biden admin's behavior is purposeful and, frankly, entirely logical if you view it from the American perspective of global production: the US, its ruling class, and its population greatly benefits from the neocolonial expropriation of value from exploited nations, granted largely through unequal exchange.

Trump's ascendancy in the run-up to and aftermath of 2016 can be viewed as a reaction to the collapse of neoliberalism in 08-09, culminating in a policy that looked to partially revert to old-school colonialism of forcing raw material trade to the US rather than exporting the purchase of labor power beginning in the 80s. Of course, that is folly, as it was never possible for Trump to truly return productive jobs back to the US, at least not at the rates expected for global north standards of living or profit expectations. Even the 25% of productive labor in the US averages wages above global wages (i.e. even productive workers in the US are net exploiters of global south labor power). Nevertheless, in the wake of neoliberalism's collapse, standards of living now ebb and flow in the US, which means that Trump and future continuous descent into fascist policy is all but inevitable.

Biden is a reaction to Trump in that his admin represents a desperate attempt to salvage the neoliberal policies of the past 50 years since the 80s. Unfortunately for Biden, and the rest of America, there's only so many populations you can exploit before exploited productive forces become so advanced that they begin to demand higher wages, and thus profits dry up. Global wage differences even out, then import prices go up, and our American standard of living continues to drop until the sweatshops come home to roost. That won't stand and ideology shifts again and again (Biden's response to these shifts is, ironically, censorship and control).

So what does the Biden admin do? They know it will eventually come down to opening up new labor power markets (those sweet, sweet populations and natural resources of Russia are so tempting to Biden's vampiric brood) and taking down competing countries (China's rise as a consumer market is a big problem for the US). This is why Biden's behavior makes sense. If they don't put maximum pressure now, not just on Russia and China, but all potential neocolonial interests, then they won't get the chance in the future. We'll see the internal contradictions in the US give rise to even more blatant fascism (doesn't matter from whom, Trump or Biden).

[Mar 14, 2021] Something about modern day academics

Mar 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

_arrow


Ohiolad 1 day ago

In the present political climate, the words "government" and "ethics" could NEVER go together in the same sentence. It's an oxymoron. Leftist politicians lie all the time as easily as they breathe.

CRM114 1 day ago (Edited)

... I was once asked to review a book on Engineering Ethics for a University course. I did some background research and discovered that the first four examples of ethical behavior resulted in all those engineers being secretly blacklisted and never being able to work in the profession again. They didn't use the book. However, the fact still remains that it still happens, in case you were wondering how all those bridges and dams that fall down passed inspection the year before.

CaMuPaSh 17 hours ago remove link

The first thing to remember is that most "professors" are frauds.

The second thing to remember is that most places that "professors" work at are frauds.

The third thing to remember is the first thing and the second thing.

We're talking here about a gender of parasite that usually Retires In Place as soon as s/he gets tenure.

Just keep taking out those student loans to support these, predominantly, left wing loonies.

Learn plumbing move to TX.

New_Meat 1 day ago remove link

"Military Intelligence"

"Jumbo Shrimp"

and now

"Government Ethics"

Back when, Jack Welch required all GE people to take "GE Ethics". Naturally, one would think that this is a good thing. But after constant interactions with GE people, we concluded that the purpose of the training was:

Faeriedust 1 day ago

That's the usual purpose of "ethics training" in both medicine and the legal profession. Been there, arranged the coursework, mailed the certificates.

AI Agent 9 hours ago remove link

Corporate ethics works the same way. President of the Company gets caught bribing the government. Office of ethics is created. Everyone down to the janitor is trained in ethics: don't steal stationary and don't stop working, even for a minute.

Meanwhile, new president is designing killer airplanes and hiding stuff from the FAA. However, saying that's wrong is an ethics violation.

It's just atheist ethics.

[Mar 14, 2021] How Partisan Politics Rots Your Brain

Mar 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by David D'Amato via Libertarian Institute & Libertarianism.org,

Recent research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques is allowing us to peer into the connections, yet shrouded in mystery, between local brain activity, cognitive processes, and partisan attachment. This developing body of knowledge has revealed the profound importance of evolution in shaping the ways in which our brains process all kinds of information, in particular political information. At the center of this evolutionary journey is the importance of groups -- of being initiated and accepted into them, of aligning ourselves with them, of being loyal to them regardless of philosophical considerations. The social dynamics of group membership and participation are programmed more deeply into our brains than is abstract philosophizing. "In other words, people will go along with the group, even if the ideas oppose their own ideologies -- belonging may have more value than facts. " Because we once moved from place to place as nomads, such groups are our homes even more than any physical locations are.

We now have decades of research suggesting -- if not proving -- " the ubiquity of emotion‐​biased motivated reasoning ," reasoning that is qualitatively different from the kind operating when subjects are engaged in "cold reasoning," where the subjects lack a "strong emotional stake" in the subjects at issue. Coupled with a growing literature on the startling character and extent of political ignorance , the current state has dire implications for human freedom. The stakes are high: in their 2018 study of why and how partisanship impairs the brain's ability to process information objectively, NYU researchers Jay J. Van Bavel and Andrea Pereira note that "partisanship can alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgments."

One recent study, published last fall by a team from Berkeley, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins, set out to better understand how partisan biases develop in the brain. The researchers had subjects watch a series of videos, using fMRI to explore the "neural mechanisms that underlie the biased processing of real‐​world political content." The results showed that partisan team members process identical information in highly biased and motivated ways. The researchers locate this neural polarization in the part of the brain known as the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with understanding and formulating narratives. The study also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that to the extent a given participant's brain activity during the videos aligned with that of the "average liberal" or "average conservative," the participant was more likely to take up that group's position .

The study accords with years of previous research showing that partisans' opinions on important social, political, and economic issues are affected by subconscious brain processes -- processes of which they're neither aware nor in control . This ought to be deeply concerning to everyone who belongs to a political team: processes are taking place in your brain, underneath or beyond the level of direct awareness, that are informing your conclusions about important social and political issues. To reflect on this for even a moment should fill anyone who aspires to critical thinking or rationality with a kind of dread, for loyalty to the team seems to be overriding the higher faculties of the mind .

But, the authors are careful to note, it's important not to interpret these results as pointing to some kind of determinism, whereby we can't choose how to think or what we believe. As one of of the study's authors, Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki, says, "Critically, these differences do not imply that people are hardwired to disagree." Rather, these neural pathways seem to be carved largely by the kinds and sources of the media we consume . From the data yielded by such research, among many other similar studies, a picture begins to emerge of partisanship as a kind of mind poisoning , an infection that leads to serious and, importantly, measurable cognitive impairment . Evidence suggests that, under the influence of partisanship, we can't even understand our own thoughts and opinions.

In another important, recent experiment, researchers wanted to understand the relative accuracy of participants' introspective constructs. The researchers set out to gauge people's ability to understand their own choices, to see clearly "the elements of internal argumentation that lead to [their] choices." In particular, the researchers wanted to know how subjects would deal with choices that had been manipulated -- that is, whether subjects would "notice mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome they are presented with." Would subjects recognize that something was off? If they failed to notice the manipulation, would they offer justifications for choices they had not even made? The assumption is that subjects who fail to notice the mismatches must not really understand the reasons for their choices or "the internal processes leading to a moral or political judgment."

The results revealed a conspicuous "introspective blindness to the internal processes leading to a moral or political judgment." People didn't seem to understand why they had made the decisions they'd made (or had not made), though some exhibited what the researchers call " unconscious detection of self‐​deception " -- these subjects were unable to detect the manipulations of their answers, but they did register lower confidence in the manipulated choices, which the authors suggest points to "the existence of a neural mechanism unconsciously monitoring our own thoughts."

Once one has chosen and joined a team, she has very little control over her own thoughts. When they are introduced, new data are distorted, misinterpreted, or discarded based on their consistency with what we may describe as a program running in the background: partisanship leads the team member into a cognitive position of unconscious self‐​deception . Few of us, if fully understanding this phenomenon, would choose it for themselves -- at least that's the hope of many who study this area. As the authors observe, "reflecting on our beliefs may help to develop free societies." They suggest that if citizens better understood the brain mechanics of the cognitive impairment and self‐​deception brought on by partisanship, they'd be positioned to make better decisions. Research has shown that " reflecting on how we make decisions leads to better decisions ."

Similar research on self‐​deception in politics has also confirmed the presence of the Dunning‐​Kruger effect (to summarize, people think they know a lot more than they actually do). Further, the effect is exaggerated within the context of politics, with low‐​knowledge participants describing themselves as even more knowledgeable than usual once partisanship is made a conspicuous factor . Vitor Geraldi Haase and Isabella Starling‐​Alves posit that the kind of self‐​deception that is such "a major characteristic of political partisanship probably evolved as an evolutionary adaptive strategy to deal with the intragroup‐​extragroup dynamics of human evolution." Objective truth, meaning roughly an accurate model of reality, is not important, at least not anywhere near as important, as conformity and indeed submission, which we may associate with social reality .

Whatever its flaws , evolutionary psychology offers us several promising leads on the question of just why the brain isn't able to perform on partisanship. This notion of social reality is an important clue. At this juncture, it is important to underline the fact that when we speak of partisanship, we are not speaking of ideology; the relationship between partisan identification and political ideology is complicated, the connection between the two not particularly strong. Ideologues tend to think systematically, and the philosophical contents of their beliefs are deeply important to them. What is important to the partisan is not what she believes, but that she aligns her beliefs with those of her team or in-group -- or else, as may be the case, that she is loyal to and supportive of the party group despite any real or perceived ideological nonconcurrences.

Americans tend to vastly overestimate the differences in political ideology and policy preferences between Democrats and Republicans. In fact, most Americans are not at all ideological , can't describe ideologies accurately ( as their proponents would describe them ), and have almost no information on either the history of ideas or the empirical evidence that bears on particular political or policy questions. Interestingly, partisanship doesn't necessarily seem to be about politics in the normative or philosophical sense, as "people place party loyalty over policy, and even over truth ." There are actually relatively weak correlations between partisan identity and concrete policy preferences. "[P]artisan affect is inconsistently (and perhaps artifactually) founded in policy attitudes."

Indeed, strong partisanship is necessarily an impediment to ideological thinking insofar as ideology is predicated on an integrated and consistent approach to policy questions, as against the blind, team‐​rooting approach associated in the literature with partisanship. Ideological people, whatever their flaws, hold political actors and government bodies to account. Partisans change positions readily and shamelessly, depending on anything from who is living in the White House, to the vagaries of party leaders, to what is perceived as popular at the moment. Further, individual Americans' political opinions are remarkably unstable over time, vacillating between glaring contradictions, relying on a confused amalgam of elite opinions. Partisanship as we know it rather seems to be a holdover from humankind's history of tribal loyalty , with " selective pressures hav[ing] sculpted human minds to be tribal ." That is, evolution selected for just the kinds of cognitive biases we find in partisans on both sides today (importantly, neither "team" is immune).

A recent paper published by the American Psychological Association suggests that from a cognitive and psychoneurological standpoint, partisans of the left and right are much more like each other than they are like nonpartisans. As study co‐​author Leor Zmigrod writes , "Regardless of the direction and content of their political beliefs, extreme partisans had a similar cognitive profile." Specifically, partisans of all stripes show lower levels of cognitive flexibility; importantly, even when processing information that has no political character, they are more dogmatic, less adaptable , and less able to complete tasks that require an " ability to adapt to novel or changing environments and a capacity to switch between modes of thinking ."

Partisanship quite literally makes one dumb -- or is it that dumb people are just more likely to be committed partisans? Zmigrod is careful to point out that the study can't give us the answer to that question, that we would need longitudinal studies in order to better understand the causal direction and causal phenomena at play. As soon as partisanship is introduced, as soon as a question mentions a politician or political party, subjects are unable to accurately assess basic facts . Indeed, remarkably, tinging a question with a political shade renders many subjects unable to answer a simple question even when they are given the answer . Relatedly, studies have shown that one's political affiliations even affect her ability to perform basic math : given an operation that yields a statistic contradicting a subject's partisan view, the subject will tend to question the result rather than updating based on the evidence or attempting to reconcile the new information with her politics.

In a groundbreaking study published last summer , a team of researchers led by the University of Exeter's Darren Schreiber attempted to address the lack of brain imaging research specifically aimed at better understanding nonpartisans , a group that has been neglected as almost all such research has focused on the differences between the brains of partisans of the left and right. The study found that nonpartisans' brains are different from those of their brainwashed brethren, particularly in " regions that are typically involved in social cognition. "

It may be that the next stage in human evolution will involve rewiring our brains to accept the fact that current groups are artificially and arbitrarily defined -- that all human beings are one people. For just as there is harmful, toxic tribalism, there is also socially beneficial, cooperative, cosmopolitanism. As social policy expert Elizabeth A. Segal writes , "Ultimately our goal should be to build the tribe we all belong to: that of humanity." Libertarians take this lesson quite seriously, for we tend to see ourselves as part of a common global community of connected individuals who are perfectly capable of dealing with one another through peaceful and mutually‐​beneficial interactions. We celebrate social, cultural, religious, and linguistic differences as the spice of life rather than see them as dividing lines or impediments to willing collaboration. If we can understand and think clearly through partisanship, we can begin to build a freer world based not on arbitrary divisions and compromised reasoning, but on mutual respect and renewed emphasis on rigorous critical thinking.

[Mar 14, 2021] Disposable People by Sandwichman

Mar 04, 2021 | angrybearblog.com

Disposable people are indispensable. Who else would fight the wars? Who would preach? Who would short derivatives? Who would go to court and argue both sides? Who would legislate? Who would sell red hots at the old ball game?

For too long disposable people have been misrepresented as destitute, homeless, unemployed, or at best precariously employed. True, the destitute, the homeless, the unemployed and the precarious are indeed treated as disposable but most disposable people pursue respectable professions, wear fashionable clothes, reside in nice houses, and keep up with the Jones.

Disposable people are defined by what they do not produce. They do not grow food. They do not build shelters. They do not make clothes. They also do not make the tractors used to grow food, the tools to build shelters or the equipment to make clothes.

Although disposable people do not produce necessities what they do is not unnecessary. It is simply that the services they provide are not spontaneously demanded as soon as one acquires a bit of additional income. One is unlikely, however, to engage the services or purchase the goods produced by disposable people unless one is in possession of disposable income. Disposable income is the basis of disposable people. Conversely, disposable people are the foundation of disposable income.

[Mar 08, 2021] Change we can believe in

Mar 08, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Shoe shop chain Shoe Zone replaces Peter Foot with Terry Boot as finance director. It's not a joke.

[Mar 08, 2021] Tesla down 31%? Not a problem I will use the dividends to offset my losses. Oh wait!

Mar 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


2 play_arrow


bentaxle 54 minutes ago

Tesla down 31%? Not a problem I will use the dividends to offset my losses. Oh wait!

BigJJ 13 minutes ago

I've never understood how Tesla could possibly make money given all the infrastructure they had to install just to sell shoddily thrown together rusty cars that are useless when the grid crashes.

Sound of the Suburbs 41 minutes ago (Edited)

...What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008?

El Hosel 1 hour ago (Edited)

Clearly "It's different this time", now that everybody knows "stocks only go up"...

[Mar 06, 2021] The USA will first wither, then maybe collapse. Either way, it will be chaotic

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 5 2021 1:05 utc | 58

I've already expressed my opinion on the eventual fall of the American Empire, so I'll be more succinct here:

I'm certain the USA won't collapse like the USSR. In fact, the USSR's fall is kinda unique in History, considering its relative importance and size. Very unlikely such a gracious and peaceful collapse of such a military superpower ever repeats in Human History.

But there's a reason the USSR fell as easily and graciously as it did: its centralized system. The USSR was the CPSU; once Gorbachev humiliated the Party and destroyed it, he automatically destroyed the USSR. What followed was a neoliberal genocide by Boris Yeltsin, but that's not on the Soviet socialist system (it could have reformed successfully and become a China with more natural resources and a better military).

The USA's system is capitalism. Capitalism is not a centralized system; instead, it is governed by a confederation of capitalists, who partition between themselves the different sectors of the economy. This system has a necessarily diffused administrative and command architecture. It's also highly cannibalistic: those capitalist hate each other and try to devour each other constantly, and they constantly do so successfully - hence the rarity of capitalist very long dynasties. The technological evolution/revolutions of capitalism also expand this confederation of capitalists because they create new sectors of the economy while destroying others, which makes the system even more decentralized and chaotic.

That's why I think the USA will first wither, then maybe collapse. Either way, it will be chaotic, possibly with high levels of destruction and civil wars - what we call the "Mad Max Scenario"/Roman Empire scenario. The chances of the USA going down with a world war are also great, as capitalism is a very virulent system: the British Empire went out with a bang (the two WWs it caused).

A few factors are given in my opinion:

1) the USA cannot be seriously considered a true world empire without a solid Eurasian foothold. That means if it loses NATO (i.e. the European Peninsula), it loses its status as a world empire (it would technically have Israel and the Arabian Peninsula, but they don't have the military architecture on NATO's degree) as Japan is an island too near China, Australia is a distant continent, India is in an existential crisis (neutrality or become an American puppet?) and SE Asia is a true zone in dispute;

2) the USA cannot be considered a world empire without the Dollar Standard. Without the Dollar Standard, you can still retain the status by being the industrial superpower, but that post seems to be in China's hands now. Of all the factors that one could mention as being single-handedly capable of bringing the American Empire down in a collapse-style process, the end of the Dollar Standard is the only one I can think of in the social sphere (i.e. not taking into account natural catastrophes such as a giant meteor);

3) the USA cannot be considered a world empire if it doesn't dominate the Seven Seas. Luckily, it still does (and that's an important base for the Dollar Standard), but it's important to highlight the fact that at least China is building up its naval capabilities, to a point of being able at least to be the sovereign over the South China Sea (which opens up a bridge to the junction between the Pacific and the Indian). Russia also seems to be decided to fight to the death for its Tartus base in Syria (its only warm waters port) and has turned back the Black Sea into its particular lake, and is on a comfortable pace to do the same with the Arctic (while it was frozen, it belonged to whoever dominated the North Atlantic; unfrozen, it belongs to whoever has the largest and best fleet of icebreakers);

4) The USA cannot be considered an empire if it doesn't dominate the entire American Continent. That means that, at the moment the USA loses Brazil (which commands Latin America sans Mexico and the Caribbean), it will no longer be an empire. Yes, it would still have Japan and Australia (and the rest of Oceania), but that would be like the Byzantine Empire without Syria and Egypt: just a glorified Greek kingdom that still calls itself an empire.

Note that none of these must be the cause: they may be the consequence of internal strife and civil war, followed by an economic collapse from within. Remember: 2008 happened in the US territory, at the heart of the Empire (Wall Street), not in some random Arab banana republic or some corrupt artificial Latin America narco-state.

And 2008 definitely wasn't the last big crisis of the capitalist world. Any long term prediction of any capitalist country that doesn't take into account crises is an invalid one.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Mar 5 2021 1:57 utc | 60

Who says there will be a collapse...????

I DO !!

If you take those blinders off... it's all around you!

It's gone to the point the country cannot properly feed the National Guard Troops guarding the Capitol!

Any time... I expect to hear Trump offering to use the kitchen(s) at his hotel(s) to feed them... at his expense...

Look again at those Iranian missiles hitting that US base in Iraq.... Where were the interceptors???

There weren't any!!

Then there is the Littoral Combat Ship, Zumwalt Destroyer, F-35, Abrams Tank, Humvee, AR-15 (notable for it's jams).

Exactly how old are US frontline aircraft??? B-52, B-1, B-2, F-16, F-15, F-18... all designed in 50s or 60s....

Arleigh Burke Destroyer... 70s...

Ditto with the subs...

Wake up!

INDY

[Mar 06, 2021] I argue the biggest challenge to US power in coming few years will not come from outside powers but rather will come from inside. US has become wildly divided between two ideologic poles that has a created a lasting effect on her interior security. As has become more and more visible, this newly felt internal insecurity is due to inequality, poverty, and government's incompetence to provide security and social services at a minimum level.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

kooshy , Mar 5 2021 0:23 utc | 54

I argue the biggest challenge to US power in coming few years will not come from outside powers but rather will come from inside. US has become wildly divided between two ideologic poles that has a created a lasting effect on her interior security. As has become more and more visible, this newly felt internal insecurity is due to inequality, poverty, and government's incompetence to provide security and social services at a minimum level. This internal insecurity is a collective mass insecurity by the American citizenry knowing that their government is incompetent to handle the next crises, this feeling now resides deep in every American's bone, including the ruling elites.

This internal insecurity, incompetence crises, has made US regime more concerned and insecure from her own internal affairs and less capable to address her major external policy challenges. Obviously failing governments that can not provide security, economic, justice and health services to their citizenry they blame their opposition and foreign powers. This is exactly what is happening in US now and that is exactly what one would constantly hear from government propaganda echo chambers of US media. US is in deep slippery slope internal crises that she cannot avoid even if Jesus Christ get elected and becomes president. This is a major reason that she has become incompetent to implement her external policies in likes of Belarus, Iran, Venezuela, etc.

[Mar 06, 2021] Who says that there will be a collapse? There will be slow decline, because the US is the most resourceful country in the world with the best geopolitical position in the world, best strategic depth, and the largest alliance network. The US dollar still remains 62 % of world currency reserves

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Mar 4 2021 20:49 utc | 21

>>We can not yet know what, at what point will cause the collapse of U.S. hegemony. But we are coming more near to it.

Who says that there will be a collapse? There will be slow decline imo, because the US is the most resourceful country in the world with the best geopolitical position in the world, best strategic depth, and the largest alliance network. The US dollar still remains 62 % of world currency reserves, although it declined in payments.

The US was able to print trillions of dollars, and thus register better economic growth rates than many others. This year, it expects growth of 6 - 7 %, one percent less than China. It registered far better economic performance during the Covid Pandemic than many other countries.

The US is the most influential Empire the world has seen since 19th century Britain.

It has lots of power - see where the UN and the IMF are located.

This thing can not "collapse", unless there is internal separatist conflict, which i see as unlikely, much more likely is a One Party Democratic Party State consolidating power. Just as it happened in California.

And collapse can not happen via the dollar either, rather a slow decline too. There is too much inertion behind the dollar. This money does not have somewhere else to go. No capital markets exist to replace US treasuries either.

It may take 20 years before the US becomes more like "one big power among many". But it will still be influential power.

But i can certainly say that: US influecne will be declining. And the US dollar will be declining in the long run too. Countries that rapidly gain in per capita GDP see their currencies rise. So i would invest in CNY, Indian rupee and ASEAN currencies. Stay away from the US dollar, as all of that debt and stimulus means that there will be long term inflation and a long term drop in the dollar value.

Another point that should be mentioned is the military decline of the US. The long wars during the last 20 years had very negative effect on its equipment. And the rest of the world is catching up, and even becoming better (in missiles especially), making carrier groups more and more obsolete, and making overseas US bases big fat targets. Modern weapons guarantee a blood bath for the aggressor in peer to peer conflict.

Both Trump and Blinken acknowledged the military weakness of the US, claiming no more wars.

So there is some weakening but the US will remain a factor just like Britain was a factor, using divide and rule tactics and offshore balancing. The US role will be like the one of Britain in Europe. In this sense, only a United Eurasia (like the EU of Europe, but for the whole of Eurasia) can bring down the US for good.


psychohistorian , Mar 4 2021 21:05 utc | 23

@ Passer by | Mar 4 2021 20:49 utc | 21 who wrote
"
And collapse can not happen via the dollar either, rather a slow decline too. There is too much inertion behind the dollar. This money does not have somewhere else to go. No capital markets exist to replace US treasuries either.
"
I disagree with your arguments.

I think the decline will be slow then fast and we are approaching the fast portion
The capital market you write of has a large fictitious part that represents the inflation in dollars into private pockets since 2008. The capital market will shrink significantly with financial collapse but unfortunately the elite have their "capital" in secure positions.

In support of my arguments is the link below that describes the ongoing build up of public banking world wide.

Public Banks and Covid 19 - Combatting the Pandemic with Public Finance

It is not a matter of if but when. The when is defined as foreign countries stopping buying US Treasuries (which is occurring) along with a world wide financial crash which exists in all but the reporting of such.

Passer by , Mar 4 2021 21:25 utc | 26

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 4 2021 21:05 utc | 23

>>It is not a matter of if but when. The when is defined as foreign countries stopping buying US Treasuries (which is occurring) along with a world wide financial crash which exists in all but the reporting of such.

Yes, it occuring for treasuries, but slowly, see chinese reserves, still staying above 1 billion. Now foreign investors are a minority. The US dollar though still remains nearly two thirds of world currency reserves.

After seeing the Covid crisis, i became more sceptical of collapse theories. They can print all the money they want to fix problems in the system. The only potential problem is inflation. And the bigger the currency, the less the inflation.

When the US prints, it gains from it, as it steals billions from the rest of the world via low inflation. So via this method it can get itself out from a deep whole, as you saw during the pandemic.

Trillions of dollars were printed, but US long term debt by 2030 increased only by 9 %. How is this possible? Because interest rates are low.

You need to replace the dollar in order to stop the US from saving itself on the back of the rest of the planet.

After 2030, you may have a world with basket of currencies augmented by crypto and gold. And US debts will become too high. Then it will get hard for the US to print without big inflation.

William Gruff , Mar 4 2021 21:31 utc | 28

I am in agreement with psychohistorian @23 here. When the US dollar starts losing its golden glow as a secure investment and reserve currency then trillions of dollars will flood home. It will become a race to unload dollars so as to not be left holding the hot potato.

Well, the US$ is already losing its attraction, but there will be a tipping point beyond which the race starts. That tipping point is probably closer than many people expect.

The US will still be a somewhat powerful country, but only a regional power. The days of global hegemony will end rather quickly. There will be no more super carriers or nuke subs and the F-35 will be the last super plane that the US ever fields. Allies like South Korea and Japan will flip to neutrality without hesitation.

[Mar 06, 2021] While both China and the USA are neoliberal there is some notable difference in policies

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 4 2021 20:08 utc | 16

"But that China did and does much better than the U.S. to meet its people's needs and hope is not a lie."

The difference is, it seems to me, that the Chinese establishment pursue national interests (as they perceive them), while the US liberals pursue interests of global financial capital (a-la Soros Fund Management and suchlike). Obviously people's needs and hopes are better aligned with the former M.O.

karlof1 , Mar 4 2021 20:22 utc | 19

Mao Cheng Ji @16--

Aside from the differences I've written about; when it comes to China's "establishment," the key difference is they arose from the great mass of Chinese and weren't born into what in the West is clearly seen as the Ruling Class--The Monetary Nobility if you will. China's government when compared to the USA's is absolutely Of the People, By the People, and For the People--a reality the Outlaw US Empire cannot change unless it morphs into what it proclaims itself to be.

[Mar 06, 2021] Nothing can depose neoliberalism short of obliterating the financial centers of America and the City in London, in simultaneous strikes

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

CarlD , Mar 6 2021 0:57 utc | 64

Short of obliterating the financial centers of America and the City in London, in simultaneous strikes,
I cannot foresee any change in the direction our financiers are taking the world.

Short of taking out the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers and the Soroses of this world, nothing will change.

The German financiers can be taken out in a less dramatic fashion. Individually, collectively but they must be annihilated also.

The financial prison of Humanity must be blown up.

If not my sons and yours will revert to the serfdom of yore.

[Mar 06, 2021] There seems to be an ongoing trend for countries around the globe to take greater control of their own natural resources.

Mar 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

farm ecologist , Mar 5 2021 16:33 utc | 9

Some good news. There seems to be an ongoing trend for countries around the globe to take greater control of their own natural resources.

A report published Thursday by risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft indicated that over the course of 2020, 34 countries had seen a "significant increase" in resource nationalism, with the pandemic exacerbating an existing trend toward government intervention. . Analysts indicated that "Issues around income distribution, poverty, access to education and healthcare -- to name but a few -- can trigger socio-political processes that demand more from the state" . Imagine that, countries like Bolivia using their natural resources to improve the lot of the average citizen.

This trend towards nationalizing resources, however, could spell danger for commodities and decrease profits of the resource extraction industry.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks,
if you ask me.

[Mar 06, 2021] The age of decadence can be described as "bread and circuses," or for these times "drugs and internet porn/reality TV". It is characterised by exploding wealth disparity, excessive materialism and status signalling, overextended militaries

Mar 06, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

Off Topic Finish: Rise and Fall

There is a much-cited essay from 1976 by General Sir John Glubb, a British diplomat called The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival in which he describes repeated cycles that empires throughout history appear to share. He described how most last about 250 years, or ten generations, and follow six stages: the age of the pioneers (also called the outburst), the age of commerce, the age of conquests, the age of affluence, the age of intellect, and the age of decadence.

From my perspective, admittedly with a statistically meaningless sample size of one, we are in the latter stages of some kind of near global empire. I'm not sure what to call it, possibly the western empire or the industrial empire but the corporation empire might be most fitting (and not because we're collectively getting paunchier). It is rather nebulous because presently there isn't direct control by one country over many other states but there is no denying that the business world, and I'd include crime and corruption enterprises as a significant part of that, has an inordinate influence over global politics. If so then I have lived through the last part of the age of affluence, most of the age of intellect and am currently experiencing a transition to the age of decadence. From Glubb's descriptions the age I'd choose to live would be that of intellect, so I should consider myself lucky. It is characterised by: excess wealth that allows concentration on knowledge acquisition and acquiring degrees and certificates for there own sake, rapid expansion of universities often with endowments from the elites, increased travel and spreading multiculturism.

He has a quote concerning the age of intellect that particularly encapsulates the delusions of the BAU, growth-at-all-costs, techno-copian crowd:

Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world. Even on the low level of practical affairs this is patently untrue. Any small human activity, the local bowls club or the ladies' luncheon club, requires for its survival a measure of self-sacrifice and service on the part of the members.

This is not as disparaging as some opinions of John Gray, who is often thought of as the philosopher for a fading civilisation, such as:

Like Christianity in the past, the modern cult of science lives on the hope of miracles. But to think that science can transform the human lot is to believe in magic

When a more balanced world emerges, it will be after many crises, and after our present utopian faith in technology has been consigned to the rubbish heap of history .

Actually using "when" rather than "if" makes this one of his more upbeat statements'.

The age of decadence holds much less appeal, it can be described as "bread and circuses," or for these times "drugs and internet porn/reality TV" might be more apt. It is characterised by exploding wealth disparity, excessive materialism and status signalling, overextended militaries (and these days I'd include militarised police forces in that), decline of religion (does American neo-evangelism a religion or a political movement), increased reliance on state intervention at all levels, currency debasement and overt sexual prurience.

There are other approaches to studying how societies, civilisations and empires rise, evolve and fall. Aspects of these studies have names: cliodynamics, environmental determinism, ecological overshoot analysis, etc. with proponents including Diamond, Costanza, Bardi, Lewis, Middleton, Turchin, Tainter, Homer-Dixon, Acemoglu / Robinson, etc. The various theories of collapse all seem biased, to some extent, by the political and moral standpoints or specialist fields of the proponents, not least Glubb. Recently analysis has been converging on a non-linear, dynamic system approach that, in theory, would encapsulate all the features proposed by those authors, e.g. marginal energy gains, marginal complexity costs, property rights and trustworthiness of institutions, population limits, resource depletion, environmental degradation, natural disasters, invasion, novel parasites etc.

As I understand it the system dynamics explanation goes something like as follows. The similar cyclic nature of societies might imply some common fundamental features in their systems. That they have been able to endure despite unpredictable and erratic exogenous, until suddenly they can't, implies that it is those features that determine the life time of the society and once the resilience is lost any sufficiently large knock will cause the collapse. A key indicator that the end is nigh is excessive wealth disparity and a rising centralised hegemony, though I think these are consequences rather than causes, so artificially reversing them would not necessarily prevent a decline to collapse. I haven't seen much on how population growth versus key resource depletion affects cycles (I'd say energy supply has been central for all civilisations and capacity for waste disposal as important for all societies, and waste disposal capacity needs to be included as a possible limiting resource). The best that I can suggest is that these limit the maximum size of a civilisation and, a little like peak oil but more asymmetric, the growth and decay rates then adjust to give a typical life span.

All empires are civilisations but the reverse need not be true (and not all societies are civilisations). Large societies rarely completely collapse – they tend to devolve and simplify, whereas empires can disappear completely. In either case, however, the contraction phases might be rather unpleasant for those experiencing them. A recent study by Centre for the Study of Existential (CSER) at the University of Cambridge concluded that average duration for civilisations has been just over 300 years, but with a wide distribution and fat tail. As a subset empires will have more common features than civilisations in general, and therefore more similar life cycles, which may explain the differences from Glubb's work, but equally his study was rather sparse on quantifiable data.

Most proposed solutions to our ills strike me as treating the symptoms and not the disease; if the ultimate cause is an intrinsic property of large societies then I'm at a loss as to what can be done. The best that may be hoped for is to embrace a collapse as an opportunity for rebirth and regeneration. I've seen reports that this is Bardi's approach, though I have not yet read much from him directly. That is easy to say in my newly vaccinated state, in a centrally heated home and looking forward to a pleasant meal; probably less easy to say and still less to put into practice whilst shivering with cold and in fear, and wondering where your families' next meal is coming from.

It's always dodgy to say, "this time it's different", but there are some notable features now. Firstly the earth is full, there's nowhere with sparse population and under-exploited resources left to move to in order to leave the wreckage behind after a crash. Only in the last ten generations has there been significant, net overall growth in population, consumption, energy and waste production, GDP etc.; at the same time we are now actively reducing the land and resource available to us. Previous collapses and any subsequent recovery happened in the Holocene, a period of unusually stable climate that we may now have disrupted irreversibly in the anthropocene. Some previous collapses have been associated with over exploitation of one or two key resources; at the moment it is difficult to find one without some supply threat from depletion, geopolitical disruption, or excess costs. We do not live in harmony with nature and rely on industrial society functioning at fairly high levels to maintain the balance, for example: vaccines, insulin and antibiotics; fertilizer production; infrastructure maintenance; intensive farming and food distribution; civil and national conflict control; cross border humanitarian agencies etc.

As a footnote the CSER website has many interesting open source papers and videos that I haven't found elsewhere, although it is heavy on AI "Terminator" or GE "Planet of the Apes" type threats, highly academic (lots of attempted points scoring in the Q&As) and often oriented towards the establishment with clear faith in progress, assumed continuation of capitalism, government structures, institutions etc., so just the types Gray and Glubb were commenting about.

[Mar 06, 2021] Value investor John Rogers sees an end to Big Tech's stock market dominance

Mar 06, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Michael Mackenzie and James Fontanella-Khan in New York Fri, March 5, 2021, 7:00 PM

The veteran value investor John Rogers predicted the US is headed for a repeat of the "roaring twenties" a century ago that will finally encourage investors to dump tech stocks in favour of companies more sensitive to the economy. The founder of Ariel Investments told the Financial Times in an interview that value investing "dinosaurs" like him stood to win as higher economic growth and rising interest rates took the air out of some of the hottest stocks of recent years. The US central bank is "overly optimistic that they can keep inflation under control", he said, and higher bond market interest rates would reduce the value of future earnings for highly popular growth stocks such as tech companies and for the kinds of speculative companies coming to market in initial public offerings or via deals with Spacs.

[Mar 05, 2021] America ranks among most "problem-ridden" countries in the World: The USA has far and away the highest rates of poverty in the developed world.

"The average American family has a net worth of $102,700, according to the most recent data from Federal Reserve's 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances."
Mar 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Chief Joesph 10 hours ago

There are 18.4 million millionaires in the U.S. and 48.6 million people in poverty. The U.S. has far and away the highest rates of poverty in the developed world. In addition, the extent of U.S. income and wealth inequality also tends to be extreme when compared to other industrialized countries. It's glaring proof that Capitalism doesn't work, and never has. And there is no such thing as equality in Capitalism, because, in capitalistic philosophy, there is only predators and prey. If Capitalism actually worked, we wouldn't be fighting over the same old problems today, as we were in the 1870's to 1890's,during the age of "Robber Barons", (that Mark Twain once coined "the Gilded Age Elites"), when we had lots of riots, strikes, and mini civil wars then, about being compensated properly from the wealthy elites, The countries that are proactive in terms of social policies that ensure few people will fall below a minimum floor level, generally have much lower rates of poverty than those countries that take a more laissez-faire approach, (i.e. like the U.S.).

Chief Joesph 7 hours ago remove link

There are plenty of links and books on this subject, but try this one for starters: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11205-019-02244-3 .

What it basically says: America ranks among most "problem-ridden" countries in the World. The study compared countries based on social problems ranked the U.S. 38th of 40 countries, between Latvia and Uruguay, just above Trinidad and Tobago.

Researchers also took into consideration the social problems of short life expectancy, infant mortality, obesity health issues, homicides, teen pregnancy, and prison rates, and found that big income gaps between rich and poor correlates with those problems too.

A book worth reading would be this too: https://confrontingpoverty.org/research/confronting-poverty-economic-hardship-in-the-united-states/

curiousweb 11 hours ago

So rich and 'untouchable' they don't even seem to care to pretend to follow any of their own rules any more.

[Mar 01, 2021] Neoliberalism- A Critical Reader by Saad-Filho, Alfredo, Johnston, Deborah, Saad-Filho

Mar 01, 2021 | www.amazon.com

It is impossible to define neoliberalism purely theoretically, for several reasons. First, methodologically, although neoliberal experiences share important commonalities (explained in what follows), neoliberalism is not a mode of production. Consequently, these experiences do not necessarily include a clearly defined set of invariant features, as may be expected in studies of 'feudalism" or 'capitalism", for example. Neoliberalism straddles a wide range of social, political and economic phenomena at different levels of complexity. Some of these are highly abstract, for example the growing power of finance or the debasement of democracy, while others are relatively concrete, such as privatisation or the relationship between foreign states and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Nevertheless, it is not difficult to recognise the beast when it trespasses into new territories, tramples upon the poor, undermines rights and entitlements, and defeats resistance, through a combination of domestic political, economic, legal, ideological and media pressures, backed up by international blackmail and military force if necessary.

Second, as is argued in Chapters 7 and 9., neoliberalism is inseparable from imperialism and globalisation. In the conventional (or mainstream) discourse, imperialism is either absent or, more recently, proudly presented as the 'American Burden': to civilise the world and bring to all the benediction of the Holy Trinity, the green-faced Lord Dollar and its deputies and occasional rivals, Holy Euro and Saint Yen. New' converts win a refurbished international airport, one brand-new branch of McDonald's, two luxury hotels, 3,000 NGOs and one US military base. This offer cannot be refused - or else.- In turn, globalisation is generally presented as an inescapable, inexorable and benevolent process leading to greater competition, welfare improvements and the spread of democracy around the world. In reality, however, the so-called process of globalisation - to the extent that it actually exists (see Saad-Filho 2003) - is merely the international face of neoliberalism: a worldwide strategy of accumulation and social discipline that doubles up as an imperialist project, spearheaded by the alliance between the US ruling class and locally dominant capitalist coalitions. This ambitious power project centred on neoliberalism at home and imperial globalism abroad is implemented by diverse social and economic political alliances in each country, but the interests of local finance and the US ruling class, itself dominated by finance, are normally hegemonic.

Third, historical analysis of neoliberalism requires a multi-level approach. The roots of neoliberalism are long and varied, and its emergence cannot be dated precisely. As Chapters я to 6 show, neoliberalism amalgamates insights from a range of sources, including Adam Smith, neoclassical economics, the Austrian critique of Keynesianism and Soviet-style socialism, monetarism and its new classical and 'supply-side' offspring. Their influence increased by leaps and bounds with the breakdown of the postwar order: the end of the 'golden age' of rapid worldwide growth in the late 1960s, the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s, the erosion of the so-called 'Keynesian compromise' in the rich countries in the mid 1970s, the meltdown of the Soviet bloc in the 1980s and the implosion of developmental alternatives in the poor countries, especially after balance of payments crises in the 1980s and 1990s. Chapters 1 and 2 show that the collapse of the alternatives provided space for the synthesis between conservative view's and the interests of the US elite and their minions. The cauldron was provided by the aggressive populist conservatism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and the broth was tendered by finance - that had become hegemonic worldwide after the 'coup- led by the chairman of the US Federal Reserve System, Paul Volcker, in 1979.3 By persuasion and by force, neoliberalism spread everywhere.

It is, however, important to avoid excessively linear accounts of the rise of neoliberalism. For example, in the United Kingdom, key elements of Thatcher's monetarist economic platform had been imposed by the previous Labour government; she only expanded them and gave them a compelling rationale. There was also an irresolvable tension between the puritanical claims made by milk-snatching Thatcher, Reagan's ventriloquists, and the intellectual harlots peddling their wares around the US Imperial Court, and the political practice of these neoliberal administrations. For example, Reagan's 'voodoo economics' (in the words of his deputy, George Bush pere) would have been unacceptable to the guardians of the scriptures. History shows that it is easier to impose pristine economic and political models in the dominions, because at home the strength of conflicting interests and the messy realities of limited power do not allow history to start anew on demand. This is best illustrated in Chapter 14's discussion of the asymmetric application of agrarian liberalism. It is relatively easy to parachute well-paid advisers into distant and unimportant countries, where Lord Dollar can easily bend the natives' will. This purifying ritual will make them almost civilised. However, should the ignorant masses and their brutal leaders reject dollar diplomacy and be reluctant to play by the (new) rules, weapons of mass destruction are available and they can be deployed increasingly effectively from great distances.

Although every country is different, and historical analysis can reveal remarkably rich details, the overall picture is clear. Tire most basic feature of neoliberalism is the systematic use of state power to impose (financial) market imperatives, in a domestic process that is replicated internationally by 'globalisation'. As Chapters 22. 23 and 30 argue in the cases of the United States, the United Kingdom and east and south-east Asia respectively, neoliberalism is a particular organisation of capitalism, which has evolved to protect capital(ism) and to reduce the power of labour. This is achieved by means of social, economic and political transformations imposed by internal forces as well as external pressure. The internal forces include the coalition between financial interests, leading industrialists, traders and exporters, media barons, big landowners, local political chieftains, the top echelons of the civil service and the military, and their intellectual and political proxies. These groups are closely connected with 'global' ideologies emanating from the centre, and they tend to adapt swiftly to the demands beamed from the metropolis.

Their efforts have led to a significant worldwide shift in power relations away from the majority. Corporate power has increased, wiiile finance has acquired unrivalled influence, and the political spectrum has shifted towards the right. Left parties and mass organisations have imploded, while trade unions have been muzzled or disabled by unemployment. Forms of external pressure have included the diffusion of Western culture and ideology, foreign support for state and civil society institutions peddling neoliberal values, the shameless use of foreign aid, debt relief and balance of payments support to promote the neoliberal programme, and diplomatic pressure, political unrest and military intervention when necessary. For example, Chapter 24 shows how' the ruling economic and political forces in the European Union have instrumentalised the process of integration to ensure the hegemony of neoliberalism. This account is complemented by Chapter 2n's analysis of the segmentation of Eastern Europe into countries that are being drawn into a Western European-stvle neoliberalism and others that are following Russia's business oligarchy model. In sum, neoliberalism is everywhere both the outcome and the arena of social conflicts. It sets the political and economic agenda, limits the possible outcomes, biases expectations, and imposes urgent tasks on those challenging its assumptions, methods and consequences.

In the meantime, neoliberal theory has not remained static. In order to deal with the most powerful criticisms levelled against neoliberalism, that it has increased poverty and social dislocation around the world, neoliberal theory has attempted to present the ogre in a more favourable light. I11 spite of the substantial resources invested in this ideologically inspired make-over, these amendments have remained unconvincing, not least because the heart of the neoliberal project has remained unchanged. This is discussed in Chapter 15 for poverty and distribution, while Chapter 21 unpicks the agenda of the 'Third Way', viewed by many as 'neoliberalism with a human face'.

A MULTI-PRONGED POWER PROJECT

Neoliberalism offered a finance-friendly solution to the problems of capital accumulation at the end of a relatively long cycle of prosperity. Chapters 1. 22 and 30 show that neoliberalism imposed discipline upon a restless working class through contractionary fiscal and monetary policies and wide-ranging initiatives to curtail social rights, under the guise of anti-inflation and productivity-enhancing measures. Neoliberalism also rationalised the transfer of state capacity to allocate resources inter-temporally (the balance between investment and consumption) and inter-sectorally (the distribution of investment, employment and output) towards an increasingly internationally integrated (and US-led) financial sector. In doing so, neoliberalism facilitated a gigantic transfer of resources to the local rich and the United States, as is shown by Chanters 11 and 15. Neoliberal globalism is not at all a model of 'economic deregulation', and it does not promote 'private initiative' in general. Under the ideological veil of non-intervention, neoliberalism involves extensive and invasive interventions in every area of social life. It imposes a specific form of social and economic regulation based on the prominence of finance, international elite integration, subordination of the poor in every country and universal compliance with US interests. Finally, neoliberalism does not foster rapid accumulation. Although it enhances the power and the living standards of the global elite and its appendages, it is destructive for the vast majority. Domestically, the expansion of 'market relations' tramples upon rights of access to food, water, education, work, land, housing, medical care, transportation and public amenities as well as 011 gender relations, as is shown by Chanters 16 to 18. Lawrs are changed to discipline the majority, restrict their rights of association and make it difficult to protest against the consequences of neoliberalism and to develop alternatives. The police, the courts and the armed forces are available to quash protests in the 'new democracies' such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea and Zambia, as well as in 'old democracies' such as France, India, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Chanter 20 shows that democracy is everywhere limited by the rights of global capital to seize the land and exploit its people, while Chanter 8 reviews the systematic seizure of assets which has gone hand in hand with neoliberalism in many countries. Finally, an increasing share of global profits is being pumped into the rich countries, especially the United States. These transfers increase the pressure 011 the periphery, where rates of exploitation must increase sharply in order to support extraordinary levels of elite consumption domestically as well as in the United States. In other words, neoliberalism is a hegemonic system of enhanced exploitation of the majority. Chanter 12 shows that the neoliberal promise of rising living standards for poor countries has not been fulfilled, and Chanter ip, discusses the manner in which foreign aid has served this process of exploitation. These and other chapters in this volume argue that neoliberalism prevents the implementation of those very policies that would most likely contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction: as Chapter 28 argues for South Asia, neoliberalism has fatally narrowed the policy discourse. This exploitative agenda is primarily but not exclusively the outcome of a shift in the power relations within (and between) countries. It is also the outcome of technological changes, especially cheaper international transportation, communications and computing power, the internet, the emergence of 'flexible' production, greater international integration between production chains and in the financial markets, and so 011. These material changes responded to existing social changes at least as much as they induced them.

TRANSCENDING NEOLIBERALISM

In spite of its power, the transformations that it has wrought 011 the world economy, and the achievement of ever rising living standards for the minority, neoliberalism does not offer an efficient platform for capital accumulation. Under neoliberalism, economic growth rates have declined, unemployment and underemployment have become widespread, inequalities within and between countries have become sharper, the living and working conditions of the majority have deteriorated almost everywhere, and the periphery has suffered greatly from economic instability. In other words, neoliberalism is a global system of minority power, plunder of nations and despoilment of the environment. This system breeds economic, political and social changes, creating the material basis for its own perpetuation and crushing the resistances against its reproduction. Chanters 26 to 30 discuss the continuing crisis in Latin America, sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, Japan and East and South-East Asia. They argue that neoliberal policies have enhanced instability everywhere, while Chanter 10 shows that the theoretical and empirical evidence cannot support neoliberalism's central hypothesis that trade openness is good for growth.

However, neoliberalism also destroys its own conditions of existence. Its persistent failure to deliver sustained economic growth and rising living standards exhausts the tolerance of the majority and lays bare the web of spin in which neoliberalism clouds the debate and legitimates its destructive outcomes. Tire endless mantra of 'reforms' which systematically fail to deliver their promised 'efficiency gains' delegitimises the neoliberal states, their discourse and their mouthpieces. The explosion of consumer credit that has supported the improvement of living standards in the centre, given the growing fiscal constrains upon the state, limits the scope for interest-rate manipulation - the most important neoliberal economic policy tool. Most importantly, popular movements have emerged and successfully challenged the neoliberal hegemony. Whatever their limitations, as Chapter ?? argues, the recent social explosions in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, as well as more limited social movements elsewhere, show that neoliberalism is not invulnerable. This book details and substantiates these claims, and points toward an agenda of reflection, critique and struggle.

[Feb 25, 2021] Regarding terms "liberal" and "neoliberal"

Feb 25, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

MFB , Feb 25 2021 7:26 utc | 74

Regarding "liberal" and "neoliberal"...

"Liberal" appeared in Europe in a socio-economic context in the late 1600s to describe an system where business would be free, unhindered by royal/government control. For the most part, to start up a business, one needed a royal license or patent. The liberals wanted unregulated business, and their motto was "laissez faire" (let it be done/happen). Laissez-faire capitalism is generally considered the first (entrepreneurial) phase of capitalism, starting in the early 1700s.

Outside the English-speaking world, the word still relates to free trade and unregulated business practices.

"Neoliberal" is more recent, coming into common usage since the arrival of the Thatcher/Reagan regime of globalization. Neoliberals go one further than the original liberals. While the latter just wanted governments to let businesses do their thing, the neoliberals believe that it is government's duty to promote and support business, in other words to play a major role in making it possible for corporations to make money. Hence, Boeing and the other corporations and the big banks must NEVER be allowed to fail, for that would represent a failure of government as it is understood in neoliberal ideology.

Posted by: RJPJR | Feb 25 2021 1:02 utc | 5 4

Apropos neoliberalism.

The liberalism which is referred to here is the economic liberalism which was adopted in the United Kingdom in the 1840s after the "reform" of the Corn Laws, which permitted free trade in grain and therefore brought down both the price of wheat and the small farming community in the UK, as it was intended to do. Later these liberal policies (largely modelled on the "comparative advantage" economic theory, which had already been refuted by the time it was developed by David Ricardo) were used to justify the Irish genocide of 1847-9.

This policy was eventually abandoned later in the nineteenth century, except for places like India, of course. It was restored in the West in the 1970s, under the name of "free trade", and therefore is called neoliberalism, or new liberalism in the economic sense.

The term is not a compliment.

I suspect that the term "liberal-fascist" derives partly from the term Islamofascist, meaning a Muslim who does not bow to Washington six times a day, and partly from the term "social-fascist", a Stalinist term for a socialist who did not bow to Moscow six times a day.


vk , Feb 25 2021 12:04 utc | 84

@ Posted by: MFB | Feb 25 2021 7:26 utc | 74

Liberalism is the ideology of capitalism. According to Losurdo, the term "liberal" (as an adjective) is first found in 16th Century Spain, and essentially was a defense of slave labor to serf labor.

The first theoretician of Liberalism that I can think of is John Locke. If he wasn't the first, he certainly was the most influential, as he was the philosopher of the Founding Fathers of the USA.

Liberalism was never an organized "school" or ideology. The term itself as we know today (an ism) was only consolidated sometime around the French Revolution (1789), hence why many people today (mainly Western First Worlders) still associate the term is progressivism and even leftism. In reality, they are confounding the term with radicalism, which was the faction of the abolitionist liberals who extrapolated liberalism to all human beings.

Neoliberalism is literally the New Liberalism. The neoliberals believe that everything that happened between the Russian Revolution (1917) and the post-war welfare state social-democracy was an abortion of History that should've never have happened. They then propose the return to the classical liberal era (until 1914) with updates to the new technological realities of their time, as if the period of 1917-1975 never existed. They then seek to "link up" 1980-present to 1500-1914.

... ... ...

Mao Cheng Ji , Feb 25 2021 12:28 utc | 87

@vk "The neoliberals believe that everything that happened between the Russian Revolution (1917) and the post-war welfare state social-democracy was an abortion of History that should've never have happened."

Personally, I tend to define 'neoliberalism' as global financial capitalism. 'Global' being the key. Something similar to what's described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-imperialism . Technological advances in global communications and transportation (containerization) being its most important precursors.

But I agree that the collapse of the Soviet Union, a competing alternative model, has to be an important component also.

vk , Feb 25 2021 12:34 utc | 88

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 25 2021 12:28 utc | 87

You're thinking about Monetarism - the economics school founded by Milton Friedman that served as the economic theory of neoliberalism after the 1980s.

Neoliberalism was founded in 1947 (Mont Pelerin Society). One interesting thing about the original neoliberals was that they didn't distinguish between European social-democracy and communism: in their view, the welfare state was the realization of the Communist Manifesto's program (it really does propose for what we nowadays call the welfare state in some of its pages as some kind of transition program).

The Mont Pelerin Society still exists.

Dogon Priest , Feb 25 2021 13:15 utc | 91

Some animals are more equal than others

vk , Feb 25 2021 13:36 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 25 2021 12:49 utc | 89

Monetarism is the economic theory. Neoliberalism is the political-ideological doctrine. Neoliberalism found in Monetarism the missing piece for them to govern the Western world, sometime in the mid-1970s.

It is common for a political-ideological doctrine to absorb theories outside of its "field" in order to strengthen itself and gain power. Change of clothes (i.e. change of the theories it adopts) is also common.

The impression Westerners have nowadays that one political-ideological doctrine must always have exactly one economic theory or even that they are the same thing comes from the fact that we live in the Era of Marxism, i.e. a historical period where Marxism is dominant. But Marxism is the exception to the rule, based on the scientific theory of the greatest philosopher of all time.

In practice, the bourgeois ideologues will have to make do with much inferior theoreticians (John Locke, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Paul Samuelson, Mises, Hayek, Böhm-Bawerk, Walras, Keynes, Friedman etc. etc. etc.) and so it is expected for them to change their thinkers from time to time.

Mao Cheng Ji , Feb 25 2021 14:18 utc | 97

@vk "Neoliberalism found in Monetarism the missing piece..."

The way I see it, economics is the base. Like I said, technological advances in global communications and transportation shifted the paradigm. What we have now is international division of labor, controlled by west-owned global finance. Global financial capital is rising above national boundaries; the role of national governments is to provide resources, infrastructure, and disciplined low-cost labor, thus attracting a portion of global capital, competing for it.

That's what I call 'neoliberalism', but I don't insist on it. What's in the name? 'Hyperimperialism', 'super-imperialism', 'inter-imperialism' or even 'state cartel' would do.

It's just that 'neoliberalism' is a popular word these days, that seems to be used to describe the current form of "relations of production". And why not.

Now, about ideologies. My feeling is, there are always hundreds of various ideologies flying around. The establishment will pick a suitable one, shine it up in think-tanks, and go with it. It'll become the dominant ideology. Until it doesn't suffice anymore, and then they'll replace it with another. But that's all bullshit. Pwogwessivism, liberalism, social democracy, the third way, whatever. No need to pay attention.

vk , Feb 25 2021 14:53 utc | 99

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 25 2021 14:18 utc | 97

Now, about ideologies. My feeling is, there are always hundreds of various ideologies flying around. The establishment will pick a suitable one, shine it up in think-tanks, and go with it. It'll become the dominant ideology. Until it doesn't suffice anymore, and then they'll replace it with another. But that's all bullshit. Pwogwessivism, liberalism, social democracy, the third way, whatever. No need to pay attention.

That's the definition of democracy in the post-war, as defined by the likes of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Hannah Arendt.

Schlesinger defined democracy or Western democracy as the system with a "vital center". A vital center is a political system dominated by a political spectrum (left-right). The ideologies within this political spectrum freely compete against each other in the public arena for political power (getting into the White House; forming a majority within a Parliament). Schlesinger is the father of what we nowadays call "pluralism". In opposition, a totalitarian system is one of a single party, in which he put Nazi Germany and the USSR - they don't have a "vital center".

Hannah Arendt defined totalitarianism as any system that vertebrates itself on one single meta-narrative (History). She put as the totalitarian holotypes both Nazi Germany and the USSR - the first built itself over the narrative of the master race; the second over class struggle. By exclusion, she defines a democratic system as those without a single narrative or any meta-narrative. By a different route, she comes to a similar endgame as Schlesinger, with the exception that, in her model, democracies don't necessarily need to be multi-party or even plural. You could be a single-party system and not plural - as long as the party doesn't adopt any "meta-narrative", it suffices as free and democratic. Needless to say, Arendt is one of the precursors to Postmodernism (absolute relativity).

That's why the West, until the present days, still consider itself as fully democratic and China and Russia fully totalitarian: as long as the West doesn't adopt a meta-narrative and keeps more than one party, they are democratic by post-war standards. It's not and never was about eradicating poverty, turning the world a better place, fomenting progress for the people etc. etc.

karlof1 , Feb 25 2021 18:41 utc | 121

Lots of stabs being made at a definition for Neoliberalism. The following is from Hudson's J is for Junk Economics , pgs 167-8:

" Neoliberalism: An ideology to absolve banks, landlords and monopolists from accusations of predatory behavior. Just as European fascism in teh 1930s reflected the failure of socialist parties to put forth a viable alternative, today's U.S.-centered neoliberalism reflects the failure of industrial capitalism or socialism to free society from rentier interests that are a legacy of feudalism.

"Turning the tables on classical political economy, rentier interests act as plaintiffs against public regulation and taxation of their economic rents in contrast to Adam Smith and other classical liberals, today's neoliberals want to deregulate monopoly income and free markets for rent seeking, as well as replacing progressive income taxation and taxes on land and banking with a value-added tax (VAT) on consumers.

"Endorsing an oligarchic role of government to protect property and financial fortunes (see Chicago School and Moral Hazard ), neoliberalism loads the economy with an exponential growth of debt while depicting it in a way that avoids recognizing the rising rentier overhead (rent, interest and insurance) paid to the FIRE sector. (See Junk Economics and Social Market .) Neoliberals want to privatize public infrastructure. They defend this grabitization by depicting public ownership and regulation as less efficient than congtrol by financial managers, despite their notorious short-termism. The pretense is that private operators will provide goods and services at lower cost even while extracting monopoly rent, building interest, dividends and high management salaries into prices. (See Pentagon Capitalism .)"

A related definition follows:

" Neoliberal Disease: A term coined by Jan Hellevig to describe the free hand that leaders of the demoralized post-Soviet bureaucracies gave neoliberals to redesign and de-industrialize their economies by creating client kleptocracies . 'They freed the markets, but only for the criminals. They totally neglected investments to modernize the industry, and let the assets and cash streams be openly or covertly stolen by insiders and the mob. The result was total chaos and the breakup of the Soviet Union.'" (Jon Hellevig, "Russian Economy--The disease is not Dutch but Liberal," Awara March 2 2016, reprinted in Johnson's Russia List , March 3, 2016, #12.)" [All Emphasis Original]

It should be noted the strategy Hellevig describes is the same as that used by those termed "Corporate Raiders" that first prominently surfaced during Reagan/Bush and were responsible for the so-called Savings & Loan Crisis.

If you don't have Hudson's book, I highly suggest getting it as it's filled with excellent information and beats taking both micro- and macroeconomics. It's the companion book to Killing the Host , which is essential for understanding Neoliberalism. The only part of the Saga missing is a definitive history telling how the Neoliberal doctrine arose in the UK and was exported to the USA @1880. Hudson has provided key portions but the overall story still remains to be told.

v> Notsofast says: February 22, 2021 at 7:15 pm GMT • 3.1 days ago • 100 Words

Notsofast says: February 22, 2021 at 7:15 pm GMT • 3.1 days ago • 100 Words

the worst mistake jimmy carter ever made was to hire brzezinski, father of the mujahideen and grandfather of al-qaeda. we used to brag about arming terrorists with weapons to shoot down russian helicopters, hell they even made a "comedy" about it called charlie wilsons war. now we accuse the russians of placing bounties on americans in afganistan and demand more sanctions be placed on russia.

utter hypocrisy.

as for the maidan cookie monster and her neocon half wit husband, further proof of failing upward, nothing succeeds like failure in washington. /div

[Feb 24, 2021] The tendency of liberalism to deny the consequences of society stems from its myth of the 'individual '

Feb 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Patroklos , Feb 21 2021 22:13 utc | 63

b@8 (and vk passim)

The tendency of liberalism to deny the consequences of society stems from its myth of the 'individual'. Liberalism imagines a world of rational subjects each making decisions in a sovereign way (Thatcher's 'there is no such thing as society'). This allows capitalism to erect a moral framework that represents the consequences of an economy as the consequences of personal decisions. In this way, success (wealth) is 'reward' and failure (poverty) is punishment. It's what Max Weber called 'secular Protestantism'. The working classes participate in this evaluative ideology (Gramsci); it is the source of their self-loathing and the reason they always vote against their own best interests. They all believe their lack of means is a consequence of their lack of intelligence, work ethic, failure of entrepreneurial spirit, etc etc. Here is Marx's own critique of the way liberalism washes its hands of the effects of capitalism:

"The... theory... which is also expressed as a law of nature, that population grows faster than the means of subsistence, is the more welcome to the bourgeois as it silences his conscience, makes hard-heartedness into a moral duty and the consequences of society into the consequences of nature, and finally gives him the opportunity to watch the destruction of the proletariat by starvation as calmly as any other natural event without bestirring himself, and, on the other hand, to regard the misery of the proletariat as its own fault and to punish it. To be sure, the proletarian can restrain his natural instinct by reason, and so, by moral supervision, halt the law of nature in its injurious course of development." - Karl Marx, Wages, December 1847

While it may be superficially true that our poor Texan could have cunningly evaded copping the wholesale price the fact remains that he is -- as all Texans are -- a victim of a system structurally designed to extract exorbitant rents from his need for power. A socialist system would not see him as a battery hen to be skimmed or as an atomized individual who should 'sink or swim' (in the words of that local mayor) but would seek to prevent power, food, water, air, housing, education, health, etc etc from being hijacked and sequestered by vested interests accessible only by outrageous fees. Socialism would outlaw rent-seeking, which is the theft of meaningful life by carpetbaggers and their corrupt partners in government.

[Feb 21, 2021] 'Freedom' under neo-liberal capitalism is all of the negative type.

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mulga Mumblebrain , says: February 16, 2021 at 1:13 am GMT • 4.2 days ago

@Flying Dutchman

'Freedom' under neo-liberal capitalism is all of the negative type. You are free to be as greedy and arrogant as you like, as rich, ie as big a thief, as you like, and as poor as you like. You are to ignore the liberal injunction that your freedom must not interfere with that of others, and screw as many patsies as you desire. You are 'free' to vote for two or so near identical parties, then have no 'freedom' but that which your money buys you. 'Freedom' is the biggest lie of all Big Lies.

[Feb 05, 2021] The Great Reset, Part IV- -Stakeholder Capitalism- Vs. -Neoliberalism- - ZeroHedge

Feb 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Stakeholders consist of "customers, suppliers, employees, and local communities" in addition to shareholders. But for Klaus Schwab and the WEF, the framework of stakeholder capitalism must be globalized. A stakeholder is anyone or any group that stands to benefit or lose from any corporate behavior -- other than competitors, we may presume. Since the primary pretext for the Great Reset is global climate change, anyone in the world can be considered a stakeholder in the corporate governance of any major corporation. And federal partnerships with corporations that do not "serve" their stakeholders, like the Keystone Pipeline project, for example, must be abandoned.

...T ake one David Campbell, a British socialist (although non-Marxist) and author of The Failure of Marxism (1996). After declaring that Marxism had failed, Campbell began advocating stakeholder capitalism as a means to the same ends. His argument with the British orthodox Marxist Paddy Ireland represents an internecine squabble over the best means of achieving socialism, while also providing a looking glass into the minds of socialists determined to try other, presumably nonviolent tacks.

Campbell castigated Ireland for his rejection of stakeholder capitalism. ... Ireland's more-radical-than-thou Marxism left Campbell flummoxed. Didn't Ireland realize that his market determinism was exactly what the defenders of "neoliberalism" asserted as the inevitable and only sure means for the distribution of social welfare? "Marxism," Campbell rightly noted, "can be identified with the deriding of 'social reform' as not representing, or even as obstructing, 'the revolution.'" Like so many antireformist Marxists, Ireland failed to recognize that "the social reforms that [he] derided are the revolution."

Ireland and Campbell agreed that the very idea of stakeholder capitalism derived from companies having become relatively autonomous from their shareholders. The idea of managerial independence and thus company or corporate autonomy was first treated by Adolf A. Berle and Gardiner C. Means in The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932) and after them in James Burnham's The Managerial Revolution (1962). In "Corporate Governance, Stakeholding, and the Company: Towards a Less Degenerate Capitalism?," Ireland writes of this putative autonomy: "[T]he idea of the stakeholding company is rooted in the autonomy of 'the company' from its shareholders; its claim being that this autonomy can be exploited to ensure that companies do not operate exclusively with the interests of their shareholders in mind."

This apparent autonomy of the company, Ireland argues, came about not with incorporation or legal changes to the structure of the corporation, but with the growth of large-scale industrial capitalism. The growth in the sheer number of shares and with it the advent of the stock market made for the ready salability of the of the share. Shares became "money capital," readily exchangeable titles to a percentage of profit, and not claims on the company's assets. It was at this point that shares gained apparent autonomy from the company and the company from its shareholders.

Moreover, with the emergence of this market, shares developed an autonomous value of their own quite independent of, and often different from, the value of the company's assets. Emerging as what Marx called fictitious capital, they were redefined in law as an autonomous form of property independent of the assets of the company. They were no longer conceptualized as equitable interests in the property of the company but as rights to profit with a value of their own, rights which could be freely and easily bought and sold in the marketplace .

On gaining their independence from the assets of companies, shares emerged as legal objects in their own right, seemingly doubling the capital of joint stock companies. The assets were now owned by the company and by the company alone, either through a corporation or, in the case of unincorporated companies, through trustees. The intangible share capital of the company, on the other hand, had become the sole property of the shareholder. They were now two quite separate forms of property. Moreover, with the legal constitution of the share as an entirely autonomous form of property, the externalization of the shareholder from the company had been completed in a way not previously possible.

Thus, according to Ireland, a difference in interests emerged between the holders of the industrial capital and the holders of the money capital, or between the company and the shareholder.

Nevertheless, Ireland maintains, the autonomy of the company is limited by the necessity for industrial capital to produce profit. The value of shares is ultimately determined by the profitability of the company's assets in use. "The company is, and will always be, the personification of industrial capital and, as such, subject to the imperatives of profitability and accumulation. These are not imposed from the outside on an otherwise neutral and directionless entity, but are, rather, intrinsic to it, lying at the very heart of its existence." This necessity, Paddy argues, defines the limits of stakeholder capitalism and its inability to sustain itself. "The nature of the company is such, therefore, as to suggest that [there] are strict limits to the extent to which its autonomy from shareholders can be exploited for the benefit of workers or, indeed, other stakeholders."

Here is a point on which the "neoliberal" Milton Friedman and the Marxist Paddy Ireland would have agreed, despite Ireland's insistence that the extraction of "surplus value" at the point of production is the cause. And this agreement between Friedman and Ireland is exactly why Campbell rejected Ireland's argument. Such market determinism is only necessary under capitalism, Campbell asserted. Predictions about how companies will behave in the context of markets are only valid under current market conditions...

Despite this insurmountable "neoliberal"/Marxist impasse, the notion of stakeholder capitalism is at least fifty years old. Debates about the efficacy of stakeholder capitalism date to the 1980s. They were stirred up by Friedman's rejection of the "soulful corporation," which reached its peak with Carl Kaysen's "The Social Significance of the Modern Corporation" in 1957. Kaysen viewed the corporation as a social institution that must weigh profitability against a broad and growing array of social responsibilities: "there is no display of greed or graspingness; there is no attempt to push off onto the workers or the community at large part of the social costs of the enterprise. The modern corporation is a soulful corporation." Thus, in Kaysen, we see hints of the later notion of stakeholder capitalism.

Likely, stakeholder capitalism can be traced, although not in an unbroken line of succession, to the "commercial idealism" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Edward Bellamy and King Camp Gillette, among others, envisioned corporate socialist utopias via incorporation. For such corporate socialists, the main means for establishing socialism was through the continuous incorporation of all the factors of production. With incorporation, a series of mergers and acquisitions would occur until the formation of a singular global monopoly, in which all "the People" had equal shares, was complete. In his "World Corporation , " Gillette declared that "the trained mind of business and finance sees no stopping-place to corporate absorption and growth, except final absorption of all the World's material assets into one corporate body, under the directing control of one corporate mind." Such a singular world monopoly would become socialist upon the equal distribution of shares among the population. Stakeholder capitalism falls short of this equal distribution of shares but gets around it by distributing value on the basis of social and political pressure.

Interestingly, Campbell ends his argument, rather undogmatically, by stating unequivocally that if Friedman was right and "if these comparisons [between shareholder and stakeholder capitalism] tend to show exclusive maximization of shareholder value to be the optimal way of maximizing welfare," then "one should give up being a socialist." If, after all, the maximization of human welfare is really the object, and "shareholder capitalism" (or "neoliberalism") proves to be the best way to achieve it, then socialism itself, including stakeholder capitalism, must necessarily be abandoned.

[Feb 03, 2021] Those who have the most to say about the burdens of government regulation tend to be silent about the enormous infrastructure supporting a very specific conception of corporate personhood, limited liability, and intellectual property.

Feb 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

kinnikinick 01.29.21 at 4:47 pm

Those who have the most to say about the burdens of government regulation tend to be silent about the enormous infrastructure supporting a very specific conception of corporate personhood, limited liability, and intellectual property.
It's like an industrialist looking out upon a vast landscape of canals, dams, and levees, and complaining at the "unnatural" construction of a bridge putting a ferryman out of a job.

[Feb 03, 2021] Amid -Shortage-, Ecuador Police Bust Clinic Giving 1000s Of Fake COVID Vaccines - ZeroHedge

Feb 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

rock-ribbed 17 hours ago remove link

It's still not clear exactly what the clinic's customers were being injected with...

My guess is that it's something less hazardous to your health than the real vaccine, but still not what the greatest scientist of all time, Dr. Fauci, and our greatest president of all time, His Excellency Joe Biden, have mandated that you take.

[Feb 03, 2021] Freedom from the Market

Feb 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

Freedom from the Market

by HENRY on JANUARY 26, 2021

Mike Konczal has a new book, Freedom from the Market ( Bookshop.org locator , Amazon ). I've been wanting to write about this book for a while, but first had to wait for it to come out, and then had my working life banjaxed by the madness of the last few weeks. But it is a great book that looks to remake the American debate about freedom and largely succeeds. Full disclosure: Mike is a friend of the 'see very occasionally but like very strongly' variety; I also read an early version of the mss and commented on it.

When I say that this book is about the American debate, I mean it. Non-Americans will learn from the book, but they aren't the target audience. The examples that Konczal draws on to inform modern Americans are drawn from their own, largely forgotten history. This could be seen as a reflection of the American parochialism that Konczal mentions in passing, but it is, I think, a deliberate political move. It also is in some ways refreshing – rather than weaving fairytales about the wonders of Fantasy Sweden or Fantasy Germany, it tells stories where the ambiguities are necessarily more visible to its readers.

Still, it provides measured hope. By drawing on what has happened in American history, Konczal makes it easier for Americans to understand that things they might not believe are possible in America must be, because they have been. He rescues moments such as the WWII government run daycare centers that allowed women to work, or the use of the power of the federal state to force through the integration of Southern hospitals, from the enormous condescension of posterity. Notably, although he doesn't dwell on this point, many of these changes began at moments that seem shittier and more despairing than our own.

Konczal neither provides a standard linear history, nor a policy textbook. Instead, he is claiming an alternative American tradition, which has not looked to the market as its apotheosis, but instead has sought to free Americans from its random vagaries. His history explains how America has responded collectively to the real and expressed needs of publics, who have organized to fight for them. And it does so in the plain language that he mentions in passing was necessary to allow ordinary people to organize and understand who was trying to stop them.

Konczal's fundamental claim is that people who attribute freedom to markets miss out on much of the story. Equally important is a notion of freedom from markets, "rooted in public programs that genuinely serve people and checking market dependency." This notion goes back much further in time than the New Deal. The nineteenth century is sometimes depicted as a reign of laissez-faire, both by those who admired it and deplored it. Konczal argues instead that there was an emerging sense of public needs – and imperfect ways in which the government provided for them. This helps us understand, for example, the provision of public land through the Homestead Act and the land grant universities.

The nineteenth century notion of the public was clearly horribly flawed and contradictory – it did not include slaves or Native Americans. Some, like Horace Greeley ended up fleeing these contradictions into the welcoming arms of free market absolutism. But within these contradictions lay possibilities that opened up in the twentieth century. Konczal builds, for example on Eric Schickler's work to argue that as the New Deal began to provide concrete benefits to African Americans, it created a new relationship between them and the Democratic Party, breaking up the old coalition that had held Jim Crow together.

The organizing ideas in this book are Polanyian – the stresses of the market lead to social rupture, which may in turn create the conditions for political mobilization. But Konczal doesn't depict this as necessary or inevitable – people's choices have consequences. He is also more precise than Polanyi in his understanding of how change happens – through social movements and the state:

While the Supreme Court can be effective at holding back change and enforcing already existing power structures, it is actually very weak at creating new reform itself. It controls no funding and is dependent on elite power structures to carry out its decisions. What really creates change is popular mobilization and legislative changes.

Finally, Konczal not only employs Polanyi's ideas, but the ideas of Polanyi's friendly critics like Quinn Slobodian, to describe how modern Hayekians have sought to "encase" the market order in institutions and practices that are hard to overturn. Property rights aren't the foundation of liberty, as both nineteenth century jurists and twentieth century economists would have it. They are a product of the choices of the state, and as such intensely political.

This allows Konczal to turn pragmatism against the Hayekians. Hayek's notion of spontaneous order is supposed to be evolutionary, to provide a more supple response to what people (thought of as individuals want). But if there is a need to provide collective goods for people that cannot be fulfilled through voluntarism, the Hayekian logic becomes a brutal constraint on adaptation.

The efforts of Hayekians to enforce binding legal constraints, to cripple the gathering of the collective knowledge that can guide collective action, to wink at legal doctrines intended to subvert social protections against the market; all these prevent the kinds of evolutionary change that are necessary to respond to changing circumstances. Konczal makes it clear that Oliver Wendell Holmes was no left-winger – but his pragmatist criticisms of the rigid and doctrinaire laissez-faire precepts of his colleagues rings true. Their "willingness to use a very specific understanding of economics to override law writes a preferential understanding of economics into the constitution itself." Although Konczal wrote this book before the current crisis, he describes Holmes as mentioning compulsory vaccination laws as one of the ways in which government interference in private decisions can have general social benefits. The wretched contortions of libertarians and market conservatives over anti-pandemic measures during the last several months, and the consequences of their intellectual rigidity for human welfare in states such as North Dakota illustrate the point, quite brutally.

What Konczal presses for is a very different notion of freedom. This doesn't deny the benefits of markets, but it qualifies them. In Konczal's words, "markets are great at distributing things based on people's willingness to pay. But there are some goods that should be distributed by need." Accepting this point entails the necessity of keeping some important areas of life outside the determining scope of markets. Furthermore, people's needs change over time, as societies and markets change. Konczal's framework suggests the need for collective choice to figure out the best responses to these changes, and a vibrant democratic politics, in which the state responds to the expressed needs of mobilized publics as the best way to carry out these choices.

All this makes the book sound more like an exercise in political theory than it is. That's because of my own professional deformities, and because I want you to read the book itself, if you really to get the good stuff – the stories, the examples, and the overall narrative that Konczal weaves together. Freedom from the Market has the potential to be a very important book, focusing attention on the contested, messy but crucially important intersection between social movements and the state. It provides a set of ideas that people on both sides of that divide can learn from, and a lively alternative foundation to the deracinated technocratic notions of politics, in which good policy would somehow, magically, be politically self supporting, that has prevailed up until quite recently. Strongly recommended.

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Brett 01.26.21 at 3:47 pm ( 1 )

I'll second this recommendation – it was a great read. I would especially recommend reading it for the section on Medicare integration, since that's a story that rarely gets told but is genuinely quite fascinating. It gives me greater respect for LBJ, given that he was giving them full-support despite a difficult, treacherous political battle to integrate hospitals in the South despite immense resistance.

He also made a very interesting point after the Homestead section when he got to the section on work-hour labor movements, about how they needed to specifically make it so that certain rights couldn't be contracted away, because otherwise even laws establishing such-and-such rules would get end-runned by businesses requiring their employees to give them up in contracts.

Kurt Schuler 01.27.21 at 4:10 am (
3
)

Henry, you write, "if there is a need to provide collective goods for people that cannot be fulfilled through voluntarism, the Hayekian logic becomes a brutal constraint on adaptation." That seems like a big "if." Other than the classic examples of national defense and perhaps police and courts, what goods cannot be provided through voluntarism?

Chris Bertram 01.27.21 at 8:29 am (no link)

There's a nice line in Slobodian's book about Americans not knowing much about the rest of the world but imagining that the US is a scale-model of it. Isn't the worry about the general claim here that it is more plausible to see property rights as merely the creature of the state when you have a vast internal market with many needs catered for by domestic production than it is when you have small states with relatively specialized domestic production that need to trade across borders to satisfy their needs. In such a case, where the real economy transcends borders and where trade barriers at those borders just make everyone poorer, you need transnational guarantees (or at least a very strong degree of confidence) for property rights and investment against the potential interference of local governments. So even if Konczal is right for the US, the question of how to do social democracy transnationally remains for the rest of us. The EU is one possible answer to that, but the continuation of national political narratives, blaming other nations within the structure for their own problems (Germany > Greece, Italy) etc remains a big obstacle to anti-market pushback at that level.

reason 01.27.21 at 11:20 am (no link)

Just a short aside, this sentence struck me:

" Property rights aren't the foundation of liberty, as both nineteenth century jurists and twentieth century economists would have it."

Property rights are inherently a restriction of liberty. They restrict the rights of everybody but the designated owner. It may be that in some circumstances they are net a positive, that this is clearly not something one can expect from the nature of the thing. That this point isn't made more often and more strongly puzzles me.

Jake Gibson 01.27.21 at 1:22 pm (no link)

I think it can be illuminating to think of "property rights" in the context that at some point all property was taken (stolen) from The Commons.
And that property laws are enshrinement of common law on possession (nine tenths).

MPAVictoria 01.27.21 at 1:22 pm ( 8 )

"what goods cannot be provided through voluntarism?"

Apparently insulin .
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/another-person-has-died-from-rationing-insulin.html

Henry 01.27.21 at 2:16 pm (no link)

The "twentieth century economists" like the "nineteenth century jurists" refer just to those discussed in the book (basically Friedman, Chicago School, market for corporate control people etc etc). So they're not claims about the general class of economists in the twentieth century, where there is tons of disagreement on lots of stuff obviously, but a particular strain of economic thought that Konczal writes about.

Rapier 01.27.21 at 3:27 pm ( 10 )

There is no "the" market. All markets are not the same.
The Hayekians first insistence is that in fact all markets are the same. They then have designed the 'markets' they want, and if you design a market you win.

Mike Huben 01.27.21 at 4:11 pm (no link)

Kurt Schuler @ 3 asks: "what goods cannot be provided through voluntarism?"

The glib answer is "none" because you can always find an exceptional case of private production.

But the problem is "provided" is underspecified: it could mean provision to only one person, or (better) provision of ENOUGH. And even enough is underspecified.

Look at something like water. Public provision of vast volumes of clean, safe, cheap drinking water is an alternative to voluntarism's answer: expensive bottled water which must be used frugally by the poor, consumes much energy in transportation and waste in plastic: which is enough? Which is proper provision? Should there be only one type of provision?

And of course that question implies another; what goods should not be provided through voluntarism? Maybe pollution, addiction, crime, and a host of others.

"Voluntarism" is an example of framing, trying to focus the world through an ideological lens. If you accidentally accept this narrow peephole on the world, your thinking is greatly constrained because of the things is has misdirected you from. The same kind of framing as "markets are freedom", which Konczal is apparently decrying. (I have not yet read the book.)

steven t johnson 01.27.21 at 4:59 pm ( 12 )

Given the tenor of most responses, it doesn't seem likely Konczal's book is going to change the narrative in any significant way.

Bob@2 seems a good example of the pro-market reasoning. For one thing, "economics" says that if a person with a scarce talent can earn more money than is necessary to induce them to exercise that talent, the income can be taxed away without affecting the market outcome. Considering the real life examples of professional athletes, movie stars and artists, the sage advice to tax the athletes, stars and artists, precisely because it won't endanger the market outcomes of professional athletics, Hollywood and the art world presupposes the market outcomes of pro sports, Hollywood and the museum/art gallery circuit are just and wise.

Bob@2 wrote "Economics is wisely silent on people's preferences and needs. The point surely is not that there is something inherent in certain goods that means they should be distributed by need–who decides what those "good" goods are that everyone (ought to?) need?; the point is that income should be redistributed so that everyone can buy whatever they see fit to buy based on their own understanding of their needs."

Yes, I recall reading a short article by von Hayek explaining there was no scientific way to distinguish between wants and needs, thus there was no way ever, even in principle, to deny there was such a thing as scarcity. Like von Hayek, the assumption that, given the impossibility of pronouncing a difference between needs and wants (nor apparently even a way of merely satisficing any such distinction,) the only valid way of deciding what must be produced is by consumer sovereignty. The "votes" by rational consumers are the only possible means of justice. Like distinguishing between productive and unproductive labor, anything less than the market is tyranny.

I have no idea why Bob says Konczal's book as presented doesn't pose a problem, given two market refutations of it are endorsed in the comment. It may be something like compatibilism, the philosophical position that people have free will in the religious sense despite the myriad of facts and millennia of experience showing that the religious notion of moral responsibility is, to say the least, flawed. In words, compatibilists will say they accept things like mental illness leave old notions of moral responsibility -- which is to say, old notions about retribution and punishment -- then in practice, they will do things like try adolescents as adult or arbitrarily limit the definition of mental illness or simply ignore such fiddling objections to honor time-honored customs. Similarly, market proponents will give lip service to the notion of market failure, then inexplicably (?) fail to see it.

Chris Bertram@5 writes " the continuation of national political narratives, blaming other nations within the structure for their own problems (Germany > Greece, Italy) etc remains a big obstacle " to social democracy. Is the illustrative example meant to condemn Germany blaming Greece and Italy for creating their own problems and leeching (or trying to) off of Germany? Or, is it Greece and Italy blaming of Germany for not curing their own failures for them? Is it somehow both? Also, the definition of the EU as a consortium of states premised on fiscal integrity may be more of an obstacle to social democracy than political narratives, however construed?

Francis Spufford 01.27.21 at 7:50 pm ( 13 )

Kurt Schuler @ 3 --

Well, insulin clearly (see above). But also: schools that make everybody literate and promote basic social solidarity. Colleges that are cheap enough to educate all of the talents. Hospitals that treat illnesses irrespective of ability to pay. Universal vaccinations. Flood defences. Disaster relief. Food inspectors. Drug safety testers. Buildings inspectors. Fire inspectors. Transport safety inspectors. Highways. Mending potholes in highways. Keeping bridges safe. Last-mile rural electrification. Universal mail coverage at a single price. Legal advice to even access to justice by rich and poor. Excellent daycare at prices poor people can afford. Basic research in particle physics and astronomy. R & D in far-from-market areas society needs. Drug discovery for diseases poor people get. Training of specialists in non-profitable yet essential professions. Landscape conservation. Pollution control. Tech regulation. Setting a carbon price/tax. Railways that move people fast enough and cheaply enough to take custom away from ecocidal airlines. Mass transit in cities. Space programmes. A welfare safety net permitting risky careers in the arts. A welfare safety net to equalise the chances of children. A welfare safety net allowing every member of a society to go to sleep every night in a state of delicious moral luxury, knowing that no-one is hungry. Lighthouses. Earthquake detection. Censuses. Diplomacy. Peacemaking. Peacekeeping. Public broadcasters with editorial independence. Et cetera et cetera et cetera, in every flavour from civilisational basic to utopian flight of fancy. Collective action! Getting the job done everywhere on the planet where libertarians aren't.

John Quiggin 01.28.21 at 6:52 am ( 14 )

" In such a case, where the real economy transcends borders and where trade barriers at those borders just make everyone poorer, you need transnational guarantees (or at least a very strong degree of confidence) for property rights and investment against the potential interference of local governments."

Much of the world did social democracy pretty well last century, without transnational guarantees. Conversely, the creation of investor guarantees like ISDS has been a gift to predatory corporations like Philip Morris.

[Feb 03, 2021] US insulin prices as market failure

Feb 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

mw 01.28.21 at 6:04 pm (
19
)

"Apparently insulin ."

Insulin (and Epi pens) become unaffordable in the U.S. because the government massively screwed up the regulations. These are off-patent drugs, so in theory anybody can make them. BUT, getting production facilities FDA-approved is a long, expensive process. So when there's an effective monopoly on a drug, no other company will enter the market to compete -- even after huge price hikes. Why not? Because after the new company had invested the time and money to get its production line built and approved, the original monopolist would drop its prices back down, and the new entrant would make no money. And everybody knows this, so potential new entrants don't bother. An obvious solution is reciprocity to allow importation of drugs already approved in the EU. But there's no way the FDA is going to allow that to happen and lose its regulatory monopoly.

The bottom line is that these are not failures of unregulated markets, they are cases of government failure in the most heavily regulated market in the U.S. (and where, in fact, the strict regulation is the key enabler of the bad outcome and where the obvious fix is blocked by the regulatory agency defending its turf).

MPAVictoria 01.29.21 at 1:39 am (no link)

"Insulin (and Epi pens) become unaffordable in the U.S. because the government massively screwed up the regulations."

Just need to point out that this is completely false. Insulin prices are high in the US because of a lack of price controls. Canada has very similar patent rules and our insulin is made by the same companies but guess what? We set a maximum price for pharmaceuticals. The US should do the same.

mw 01.29.21 at 1:23 pm (no link)

MPAVictoria @ 23 Just need to point out that this is completely false. Insulin prices are high in the US because of a lack of price controls. Canada has very similar patent rules and our insulin is made by the same companies but guess what? We set a maximum price for pharmaceuticals. The US should do the same.

Yes, you could layer on additional price-control regulations to fix the problems caused by the existing regulations. Of course it's one thing for Canada to adopt such rules where the U.S. has not (and remains a source of profits and R&D incentives) and another when the U.S. is also controlling prices. Incidentally, if price controls were to be adopted in the U.S., my suggested approach is that the U.S. should require all pharma companies within, say, two years to sell drugs here for the lowest price they have negotiated in any industrialized country with a comparable per-Capita GDP. Then we can all be in it together.

But that's all a discussion for another thread -- the point remains that insulin and epi pens are not examples of a free, unregulated market failing, they're an example of a very heavily (but badly) regulated market failing. Yes bad U.S. regulations are responsible -- they create barriers to entry (specifically high costs of setting up a production facility combined with an FDA regulatory monopoly and a ban on imports) that enable monopoly pricing.

notGoodenough 01.29.21 at 8:01 am (no link)

mw @ 19, MPAVictoria @ 23

Not to side-track the thread, but I think there was an attempt to explore this on a previous thread (particularly with respect to Daraprim, though I believe many of the points are applicable in a general sense) [1]. While I´ll freely admit I am not an economist, I didn´t find the responses to my queries and concerns from those advocating "regulations are the issue" sufficiently satisfactory [2, 3] to warrant changing my position – in short, I see little evidence to support the notion that it is US regulations responsible for the high price of pharmaceuticals (particularly as it appears that R&D spending is frequently less than that of marketing and administration). I hope the discussion at the links provided is of interest.

Apologies to everyone for the interjection, but Pharma is a topic of keen interest and concern to me.

[1] https://crookedtimber.org/2019/10/09/the-third-lesson/
[2] https://crookedtimber.org/2019/10/09/the-third-lesson/#comment-766046
[3] https://crookedtimber.org/2019/10/09/the-third-lesson/#comment-766434

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.29.21 at 8:32 pm (no link)

mw @ 30: I forgot to respond to your by-the-by argument that the pharmas' US profits fund their R&D. This is, as with the rest of your arguments, untrue.

(1) the US taxpayer funds most pharma research
(2) Last I checked, pharmas spend more on advertising and lobbying than they do on R&D.

'nuff said.

MPAVictoria 01.30.21 at 1:29 am (no link)

@ NotGoodenough – Interesting links thank you! And I completely agree that I am unconvinced that over regulation in it the reason the US has uniquely high drug prices.

@ me – Drug approval and manufacturing requirements in the US are not that different from any other developed country. Neither is it's Drug IP regime. So the argument that these features are what cause these outrageous pharmaceutical prices doesn't make much sense. In fact the US had a bit of a reputation of being too ready to approve drugs with limited effectiveness. The reason that Americans pay more than anyone else in the world is simple – no price controls.

[Feb 02, 2021] Watching stock market moves is like watching Pulp Fiction: halfway through, the violence doesn t even bother you anymore

Notable quotes:
"... "It's like watching 'Pulp Fiction.' Halfway through, the violence doesn't even bother you anymore." ..."
Jan 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Investors are becoming desensitized,"

Bryce Doty, SVP at Sit Investment Associates, told Bloomberg, then continued the verbal poetry:

"It's like watching 'Pulp Fiction.' Halfway through, the violence doesn't even bother you anymore."

[Jan 29, 2021] The Coming Revolt Of The Middle Class - ZeroHedge

Jan 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

he Great American Middle Class has stood meekly by while the New Nobility stripmined $50 trillion from the middle and working classes. As this RAND report documents, $50 trillion has been siphoned from labor and the lower 90% of the workforce to the New Nobility and their technocrat lackeys who own the vast majority of the capital: Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 .

Why has the Great American Middle Class meekly accepted their new role as debt-serfs and powerless peasants in a Neofeudal Economy ruled by the New Nobility of Big Tech / monopolies / cartels / financiers? The basic answer is the New Nobility's PR has been so persuasive and ubiquitous: soaring inequality and Neofeudalism has nothing to do with us, it's just the natural result of technology and globalization--forces nobody can resist. Sorry about your debt-serfdom, but hey, your student loan payment is overdue, so it's the rack for you.

The recent Foreign Affairs article referenced here last week Monopoly Versus Democracy (paywalled) describes the net result of the economic propaganda that the stripmining of the working and middle classes was ordained and irresistible: Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. That's how far we've fallen:

"As the journalist Barry Lynn points out in his book Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People , the robber barons shared with today's high-tech monopolists a strategy of encouraging people to see immense inequality as a tragic but unavoidable consequence of capitalism and technological change. But as Lynn shows, one of the main differences between then and now is that, compared to today, fewer Americans accepted such rationalizations during the Gilded Age. Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. Back then, a critical mass of Americans refused to do so, and they waged a decades-long fight for a fair and democratic society." (emphasis added)

The bottom 90% of the U.S. economy has been decapitalized : debt has been substituted for capital . Capital only flows into the increasingly centralized top tier, which owns and profits from the rising tide of debt that's been keeping the bottom 90% afloat for the past 20 years.

As I've often observed here, globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the New Nobility's interests. Everyone else has been been reduced to debt-serfs and peasants who now rely on lotteries and luck to get ahead: playing the stock market casino or hoping their mortgaged house in an urban sprawl on the Left or Right coasts doubles in value, even as the entire value proposition for living in a congested urban sprawl vanishes.

America has no plan to reverse this destructive tide of Neofeudal Pillage. Our leadership's "plan" is benign neglect : just send a monthly stipend of bread and circuses (the technocrat term is Universal Basic Income UBI) to all the disempowered, decapitalized households, urban and rural, so they can stay out of trouble and not bother the New Nobility's pillaging of America and the planet.

There's a lot of bright and shiny PR about rebuilding infrastructure and the Green New Deal, but our first question must always be: cui bono , to whose benefit? How much of the spending will actually be devoted to changing the rising imbalances between the haves and the have-nots, the ever-richer who profit from rising debt and the ever more decapitalized debt-serfs who are further impoverished by rising debt?

As I explain in my book A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet , people don't want to just get by on UBI , they want an opportunity to acquire capital in all its forms, an opportunity to contribute to their communities, to make a difference, to earn respect and pride.

That our "leadership" reckons bread and circuses is what the stripmined bottom 90% want is beyond pathetic. The middle class has meekly accepted the self-serving claim of the New Nobility that the $50 trillion transfer of wealth was inevitable and beyond human intervention. But once the stock market and housing casinos collapse, the last bridge to getting ahead--high-risk gambling-- will fall into the abyss, and the middle class will have to face their servitude and powerlessness.

That's how Neofeudal systems collapse: the tax donkeys and debt-serfs finally revolt and start demanding the $50 trillion river of capital take a new course.

* * *

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[Jan 28, 2021] 'Where is the line between global business attempts to control society-' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech

Jan 28, 2021 | www.rt.com

'Where is the line between global business & attempts to control society?' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech 27 Jan, 2021 12:10 / Updated 3 hours ago Get short URL 'Where is the line between global business & attempts to control society?' Putin asks Davos as he calls out power of Big Tech © Pixabay / Gerd Altmann 354 18 Follow RT on RT Technology giants have become powerful rivals to governments, but there are doubts over the benefits for society of their monopoly positions, Russia's President Vladimir Putin told the annual World Economic Forum, on Wednesday .

"Where is the line between a successful global business, in-demand services and consolidation of big data – and attempts to harshly and unilaterally govern society, replace legitimate democratic institutions, restrict one's natural right to decide for themselves how to live, what to choose, what stance to express freely?" Putin wondered.

"We've all seen this just now in the US. And everybody understands what I'm talking about," he added.

The Russian leader was apparently referring to the crackdown by Big Tech corporations like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, mostly on Donald Trump and his supporters, during the recent presidential election in the US. The companies, which, according to some critics, sided with Democratic candidate Joe Biden, blocked President Trump's social media accounts over accusations of inciting violence, with the same being done to many pages of groups and individuals who'd backed him.

ALSO ON RT.COM YouTube prolongs Trump suspension citing 'ongoing potential for violence' as Big Tech doubles down on deplatforming policies

However, one-sided bias claim voiced by some might be an overestimation – the accounts of Democrats supporters were also subject to restrictions, but on a much smaller scale.

Conservative Twitter-like platform Parler was also forced offline, and now there are calls to block the Telegram app as well.

These events have shown that Big Tech companies "in some areas have de facto become rivals to the government," Putin said.

Billions of users spend large parts of their lives on the platforms and, from the point of view of those companies, their monopolistic position is favorable for organizing economic and technological processes, the Russian president explained. "But there's a question of how such monopolism fits the interest of society," he stressed.

ALSO ON RT.COM Putin tells Davos that divided modern world facing 'real breakdown', with demographic struggles & echoes of 1930s pre-WW2 tensions

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shadow1369 8 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 07:51 AM

This is a great opportunity for Russia to create some Big Tech operators which actually allow free speech. Russia certainly has the expertise and the means, and cannot be bullied by western regimes.
Proton1963 shadow1369 1 hour ago 27 Jan, 2021 02:54 PM
Sure.. But only after the Russians can build a drivable car or a decent smart phone or a laptop.
Election_Fraud Biden shadow1369 1 hour ago 27 Jan, 2021 02:12 PM
The West is surely giving Russia a lot of opportunities, through its own arrogance and stupidity, does not it ? It keeps going backwards in its effort to diminish Russia. And the same goes for China too.
JOHNCHUCKMAN 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 08:45 AM
Putin is a remarkable statesman, and he sets a very high standard for political discourse. I can't think of any of our Western leaders who speak in these truthful and philosophic terms. What we hear in the West are slogans or whining or complaining.
Tenakakhan JOHNCHUCKMAN 3 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 01:03 PM
The patriarch of the west has become extremely weak. It seems like our leaders lack any moral authority to speak truth and common sense for fear of being cancelled. What we see now is the virtue signaling dregs sponsored by extreme groups leading our nations down the toilet. If a real war was to break out now we would be cannon fodder.
Hilarous 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 09:04 AM
I think there's a simple explanation. Big tech is afraid to lose section 230 of the communications act, which stipulates that online platforms are not legally responsible for user content. Trump and some Republicans have accused social media sites of muzzling conservative voices. They said undoing Section 230 would let people who claim they have been slighted sue the companies. So Big Tech has a strong interest to remove Trump and run down a few bad examples to convince people and politics that Section 230 must remain.
Count_Cash 8 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 07:40 AM
In many cases they aren't rivals, but owners of government. Money controls everything in the west and big tech have it. They have taken control of, or are blackmailing governments. The Western Liberal Regime straddles both Big Tech and government!
RTaccount Count_Cash 7 hours ago 27 Jan, 2021 08:57 AM
Correct. Let us never forget that in America we are ruled by oligarchs just like the rest of the world, and that our oligarchs are largely hidden. They are our true government, and so it is meaningless to make this type of distinction.

[Jan 27, 2021] Why financial oligarchy loves neoclassical economics

Jan 27, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sound of the Suburbs , January 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

The globalists found just the economics they were looking for.
The USP of neoclassical economics – It concentrates wealth.
Let's use it for globalisation.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

This is what it's supposed to be like.
A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt.

[Jan 25, 2021] Neoliberal world order is morping into neo-feudalism

The process started with Patriot Act which actually was written by Biden around much earlier then 9/11
Jan 25, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mr. Anon , says: January 25, 2021 at 7:42 am GMT • 19.2 hours ago

@Levtraro to travel. It will be a perk for them – a reward for being good servants. I can even forsee that airlines will refit their fleets, stripping out coach class altogether, as the people who buy the cheap seats won't be flying anymore anyway. A lot of industries will down-size so as to only serve the quality customers.

And rich people are buying up land – lots of it. They are becoming what they already deem themselves to be: an aristocracy, and a hereditary one at that.

Neo-liberal GloboCap is morping into neo-feudalism. They'll own everthing, and they'll be happy. You'll own nothing and you'll be happy (or else).

cronkitsche , says: January 25, 2021 at 3:17 pm GMT • 11.6 hours ago
@Mr. Anon

Cheap drugs? Free sterilization? No jobs? That's halfway to Marcusian utopia. What's not to love?

Levtraro , says: January 25, 2021 at 6:10 pm GMT • 8.7 hours ago
@Mr. Anon

I disagree. Current GloboCap elites and elites thoughout history have needed large populations to look down to and to harvest for all they can yield. It is not good enough to have all that you want when all others also have all that they want.

It is not nice enough to travel in your own or rented Gulf Stream or First Class or Business Class when economy seats are non-existent. It is not good enough that a machine calls you Sir instead of a real lowly human.

Real respect, admiration and adulation, could never be replaced by programmed respect, admiration and adulation.

[Jan 25, 2021] An American neoliberal ideological project

Jan 25, 2021 | www.rt.com

McFaul cautions against what he refers to as "Putin's ideological project" as a threat to the neoliberal international order. Yet he is reluctant to recognize that the neoliberal international order is an American ideological project for the post-Cold War era.

With no sign of US returning to fold, Russia is preparing to withdraw from 'Open Skies' treaty - Foreign Ministry READ MORE: With no sign of US returning to fold, Russia is preparing to withdraw from 'Open Skies' treaty - Foreign Ministry

After the Cold War, neoliberal ideologues advanced what was seemingly a benign proposition – suggesting that neoliberal democracy should be at the center of security strategies. However, by linking neoliberal norms to US leadership, neoliberalism became both a constitutional principle and an international hegemonic norm.

NATO is presented as a community of neoliberal values – without mentioning that its second largest member, Turkey, is more conservative and authoritarian than Russia – and Moscow does not, therefore, have any legitimate reasons to oppose expansionism unless it fears democracy. If Russia reacts negatively to military encirclement, it is condemned as an enemy of democracy, and NATO has a moral responsibility to revert to its original mission as a military bloc containing Russia.

Case in point: there was nobody in Moscow advocating for the reunification with Crimea until the West supported the coup in Ukraine. Yet, as Western "fact checkers" and McFaul inform us, there was a "democratic revolution" and not a coup. Committed to his ideological prism, McFaul suggests that Russia acted out of a fear of having a democracy on its borders, as it would give hope to Russians and thus threaten the Kremlin. McFaul's ideological lens masks conflicting national security interests, and it fails to explain why Russia does not mind democratic neighbors in the east, such as South Korea and Japan, with whom it enjoys good relations.

Defending the peoples

States aspiring for global hegemony have systemic incentives to embrace ideologies that endow them with the right to defend other peoples. The French National Convention declared in 1792 that France would "come to the aid of all peoples who are seeking to recover their liberty," and the Bolsheviks proclaimed in 1917 "the duty to render assistance, armed, if necessary, to the fighting proletariat of the other countries."

The American neoliberal international order similarly aims to liberate the people of the world with "democracy promotion" and "humanitarian interventionism" when it conveniently advances US primacy. The American ideological project infers that democracy is advanced by US interference in the domestic affairs of Russia, while democracy is under attack if Russia interferes in the domestic affairs of US. The neoliberal international system is one of sovereign inequality to advance global primacy.

READ MORE Putin says American presence in Afghanistan is beneficial to Moscow's interests, rubbishes claims of 'Russian bounties to Taliban' Putin says American presence in Afghanistan is beneficial to Moscow's interests, rubbishes claims of 'Russian bounties to Taliban'

McFaul does not consider himself a Russophobe, as believes his attacks against Russia are merely motivated by the objective of liberating Russians from their government, which is why he advocates that Biden "distinguish between Russia and Russians – between Putin and the Russian people." This has been the modus operandi for regime change since the end of the Cold War – the US supposedly does not attack countries to advance its interests, it only altruistically assists foreign peoples in rival states against their leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin etc.

McFaul and other neoliberal ideologues still refer to NATO as a "defensive alliance," which does not make much sense after the attacks on Yugoslavia in 1999 or Libya in 2011. However, under the auspices of neoliberal internationalism, NATO is defensive, as it defends the people of the world. Russia, therefore, doesn't have rational reasons for opposing the neoliberal international order.

McFaul condemns alleged efforts by Russia to interfere in the domestic affairs of the US, before outlining his strategies for interfering in the domestic affairs of Russia. McFaul blames Russian paranoia for shutting down American "non-governmental organizations" that are funded by the US government and staffed by people linked to the US security apparatus. He goes on to explain that the US government must counter this by establishing new "non-government organizations" to educate the Russian public about the evils of their government.

The dangerous appeal of ideologues

Ideologues have always been dangerous to international security. Ideologies of human freedom tend to promise perpetual peace. Yet, instead of transcending power politics, the ideals of human freedom are linked directly to hegemonic power by the self-proclaimed defender of the ideology. When ideologues firmly believe that the difference between the current volatile world and utopia can be bridged by defeating its opponents, it legitimizes radical power politics.

Consequently, there is no sense of irony among the McFauls of the world as US security strategy is committed to global dominance, while berating Russia for "revisionism." Raymond Aaron once wrote: "Idealistic diplomacy slips too often into fanaticism; it divides states into good and evil, into peace-loving and bellicose. It envisions a permanent peace by the punishment of the latter and the triumph of the former. The idealist, believing he has broken with power politics, exaggerates its crimes."

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Ghanima223 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:36 AM

In short, the tables have turned since the end of the Cold War. It is no longer communist ideologues that try to export revolution and chaos while the western world would promote stability and free markets. Now it's western ideologues that are trying to export revolutions and chaos while clamping down on free markets with Russia, as ironically as it sounds, being a force for stability and a strong proponent for the free exchange of goods and services around the world. The west will lose just as the USSR has lost.
US_did_911 Ghanima223 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:01 AM
The Dollar is the only fake reason that still keeps US afloat. The moment that goes, it loss will be a lot worse then of USSR.
US_did_911 Ghanima223 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 12:58 AM
That happened not exactly after the end of the cold war. It was about even for a decade after that. The real u-turn happened after the 9/11 false flag disaster.
Amvet 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 10:00 AM
Foreign dangers are necessary to keep the attention of the American people away from the 20 ton elephant in the room--the fact that 9/11 was not a foreign attack. Should any of the main stream media suddenly turn honest and report this in detail, things will get interesting.
King_Penda 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:11 AM
I wouldn't worry too much. At the same time Biden will be purging the US military of any men of capability and replacing them trans and political appointments. The traditional areas where the military recruited it's grunts are falling as they are waking up to the hostility of the state to their culture and way of life. The US military will end up a rump of queerss, off work due to stress or perceived persecution and fat doughballs sat in warehouses performing drone strikes on goats.
Fjack1415 King_Penda 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:20 PM
Yes, you point to a paradox. While the globalists are using the US as their military arm for global domination, they are at the same time destroying the country that supports that military. Perhaps the US military will be maintained by dint of its being the only employer for millions of unemployed young men in the American heartland, doughballs or not.
Ghanima223 King_Penda 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:39 AM
Ideologues will always be more concerned with having political reliable military leadership as opposed to actually qualified leaders. It took the Russians 2 decades to purge their own military of this filth of incompetent 'yes' men within their military.
UKCitizen 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:09 AM
'The Liberal International Order' - yes, that seems a fair description. Led by what might be termed 'liberal fundamentalists'.
far_cough 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 07:01 AM
the military industrial complex and the various deep state agencies along with the major corporations need russia as an adversary so that they can milk the american people and the people of the western world of their money, rights, freedoms, etc etc...
roby007 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:54 AM
I'm sure Biden will pursue "peaceful, productive coexistence" just as his friend Obama did, with drones and bombs.
Paul Citro 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:16 AM
I hope that Russian leaders fully realize that they are dealing with a country that is the equivalent of psychotic.
Fjack1415 Paul Citro 1 day ago 23 Jan, 2021 01:26 PM
True, the ruling party and MSM mouthpieces and their readers and followers are now truly INSANE. Beyond redemption. Staggering in the depth and power of the subversion of so many people, including many with high IQs (like my ex girlfriend and housemate in the US).
Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 10:57 AM
US security strategy is committed to global dominance
Absolutely. Biden has filled up his admin with "progressive realists," which when it comes to foreign policy, is just a euphuism for neocons and their lust for world empire. So expect an unleashing of forces in the coming two years that will finally humble America's war machine.
tyke2939 Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 01:07 PM
They are desperate for a war with someone but it must be someone they can beat convincingly. It certainly will not be Russia or China and I suspect Iran will be a huge battle even with Israel s backing. More than likely they will invade some country like Venezuela as Syria has Russia covering its back. What a dilemma who to fight.
9/11 Truther Anastasia Deko 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
The "American war machine" has been humbled from Saigon, Vietnam 1975 to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Salmigoni 2 days ago 22 Jan, 2021 09:25 AM
They are not really liberals. They are blood thirsty parasitic neoconservative fascist war mongers working for the Pentagon contractors. General Eisenhower warned us about these evil people. A lot of Americans still do not get it.

[Jan 22, 2021] I wouldn't say that not accepting things at face value is a quot;bad habit quot; though this has caused me problems in the past and still does. Being sceptical and open-minded should be healthy attitudes. does. Being sceptical and open-minded should be healthy attitudes.

Jan 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Jan 21 2021 23:08 utc | 174

James @ 168: I still like going to seminars and talks but in the current pandemic environment this has been difficult. I don't really like having to use Zoom to attend online talks but so many places use it now, it is unavoidable in spite of its security issues.

I wouldn't say that not accepting things at face value is a "bad habit" though this has caused me problems in the past and still does. Being sceptical and open-minded should be healthy attitudes. Of course having such attitudes does come with its own pitfalls, but this is how we have evolved as humans so they have some survival value.

[Jan 20, 2021] :ole Trotskyites and Bolsheviks neoliberals care only about one thing: disempowering and crushing anyone who dissents from and threatens their hegemony

Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

James Cook , Jan 20 2021 1:21 utc | 71

"Neoliberalism and imperialism do not care about the pseudo-fights between the two parties or the cable TV bickering of the day. They do not like the far left or the far right. They do not like extremism of any kind. They do not support Communism and they do not support neo-Nazism or some fascist revolution. They care only about one thing: disempowering and crushing anyone who dissents from and threatens their hegemony. They care about stopping dissidents. All the weapons they build and institutions they assemble -- the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, oligarchical power -- exist for that sole and exclusive purpose, to fortify their power by rewarding those who accede to their pieties and crushing those who do not."

YUP Glenn Greenwald explains and sums up the future - it is really pretty simple.
https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56212.htm

michaelj72 , Jan 20 2021 0:42 utc | 60

the democrats are led by a bunch of international sociopaths, pariahs, billionaire psychopaths, paranoid schizos, think tank imbeciles, and endless-war mongers - all of this fully enabled by a sycophantic a**-kissing and biased press which also has lost its common sense and collective mind. very sad!!!

I particularly like glenn Greenwald's take on some of this insanity...


https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1351337763463958536

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
Remember when Mueller spent 18 months and millions of dollars armed with a team of prosecutors and subpoena power, then closed his investigation after arresting *zero* Americans for conspiring with Russia?

Let's do it again! Anything to distract from how rotted neoliberalism is:


LOL. In that above clip, Hillary Clinton explicitly suggests that Trump was plotting with Putin on the day of the Capitol Riots, as if Putin directed it.

These people are the *last* ones with any moral standing to rant about conspiracy theories & disinformation.

[Jan 20, 2021] As Joe Biden takes over, the Democrats are still running scared as resurgent Russophobia reaches peak insanity by Robert Bridge

Jan 20, 2021 | www.rt.com

'The Russians did it' has become the mantra of the Democrats for every perceived indiscretion, even as they take control of the White House again. This baseless nonsense is only likely to gain in momentum over the next four years.

Once again, and despite major victories at the polls, the Democrats just can't stop hyperventilating over Russia. Indeed, the Russian people must feel as if they're trapped for all eternity in a remake of Groundhog Day , where one dominant theme continually repeats itself: Russia is to blame for absolutely everything that befalls the Democratic Party. In a radical departure from the original 1993 hit comedy, however, nobody ever learns any valuable lessons from the previous day so as to secure a better future. To quote a popular wit, ' same shit, different day .'

Even before Joe Biden has been able to escape from his basement and into the Oval Office, the hysterical wails and lamentations against Moscow are already being heard. The first ' blame Russia ' barb came from none other than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama's former Secretary of State, who can't shake the conspiracy theory that she was denied the presidency because Donald Trump was apparently Vladimir Putin's secret ' Manchurian Candidate ,' or some such nonsense.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'Stolen election' hysteria is the new 'Russian interference' – and both are the result of US institutional erosion

In her podcast, called ' You and Me Both ,' Clinton interviewed equally unhinged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about the 'invasion' of the Capitol building by Trump supporters on January 6. Without mentioning, of course, that the majority of Republican voters believe that the presidential election was stolen, Clinton tossed out yet more conspiracy-theory nonsense instead.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1351354962392055811&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F513096-biden-democrats-scared-russophobia%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

" I would love to see his phone records to see if he was talking to Putin the day the insurgents invaded our Capitol ," Clinton said, before asking Pelosi if she thought there needed to be a " 9/11-type commission " to investigate what happened on January 6.

Without pausing to consider the possible ramifications of dragging a nuclear-powered third party into a discussion over an 'insurrection' in Washington, DC, Pelosi happily ran with the insanity.

" These people, unbeknownst to them, they are Putin puppets, " the Speaker crowed. " They were doing Putin's business when they did that [stormed the Capitol] , at the incitement of an insurrection by the president of the United States. So, yes, we should have a 9/11 commission, and there is strong support in the Congress to do that ."

It is almost impossible to wrap one's brain around such psycho-babble. More difficult to comprehend is how so many Americans actually believe it. Somehow the thought never penetrates their soft skulls that, just maybe, after four years of being completely mocked and ridiculed by the mainstream media, and brazenly censored by Big Tech, Trump's 75 million supporters finally reached the end of their patience.

That's not an apology or justification for what transpired on January 6, of course, but rather a much more plausible explanation than the ridiculous ' Putin did it ' narrative.

In any case, there appears to be a good reason why Clinton and Pelosi are so desperate to rekindle the legend of the Russian bogeyman. That's because these two women share a common trait, which is their tendency to do very stupid things with their personal computers.

To briefly rehash ancient history, back in early 2015, it was discovered that then Secretary of State Clinton had been using her private home computer to transmit sensitive government documents, a federal offense. This marked the beginning of the anti-Russiagate juggernaut that has wrecked bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow.

ALSO ON RT.COM Snow job! SolarWinds 'Russian hack' story proves the media writes US foreign policy, not the White House

As the question of Clinton's emails – specifically the 31,000 that were said to have been deleted – took center stage in the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump quipped during a rally: " Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing ." As Trump went on to learn the hard way, never make a Democrat the butt end of a joke when they're cornered.

Not only did the Democrats use that offhand remark to say that Russia had hacked Clinton's email server, but they took the absurdity one step further, spreading the dangerous conspiracy theory that Russia had colluded with Trump to defeat Clinton in the quest for the White House. As a result, Trump spent the bulk of his four years in office defending himself from the fanatic Russiagate inquisition.

Ironically, Nancy Pelosi, whose laptop went missing from her office during the Boomer Selfie Tour 2021, which the Democrats are at pains to label an ' insurrection ,' finds herself in a similarly uncomfortable situation. According to retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, Pelosi, and her fellow Democrats were " terrified " about what might be discovered on the missing laptop. So frantic, in fact, that, according to McInerney in the aftermath of the Capitol incident, " Pelosi called the Chairman of the Chiefs General Mark Milley and they're trying to get him [Donald Trump] out on the 25th Amendment or to impeach him ."

Whatever the real reason for the Democrats pushing for yet another impeachment, it does seem very strange that they would waste the time and energy to punish Trump yet again unless they were motivated by pure fear.

In any case, as fate would have it, it has been reported that Pelosi's laptop has been found. The suspect has been identified as Riley June Williams, 22, a native of Pennsylvania, who has since been arrested. For those who may be thinking, 'Wow! No sign of Russian intrigue,' you would be advised to control your premature ejaculations. According to the FBI affidavit , a ' former romantic partner ' of Williams said the woman devised a plan to ship the laptop to a friend in Russia, who then planned to turn it over to the SVR – Russian intelligence.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1351328291844722689&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F513096-biden-democrats-scared-russophobia%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Does that story sound even remotely plausible? If the woman was truly a Trump supporter, wouldn't the obvious course of action be to simply turn over the device to the nearest Republican representative office? Why this incessant need to drag Russia into yet another American political scandal?

The reason, by now, is obvious. In the event that something truly disturbing from Pelosi's laptop is revealed, the Democrats will pounce on the ' Russia did it ' narrative. Then, instead of the media focusing on the real story – whatever may or may not be found on the laptop – the media will provide cover fire for the opening of yet another anti-Russia witch hunt.

Any future ' Russiagate 2.0 ' scenario, however, may have one major difference from the original. Following the 'insurrection' at the Capitol building, Democrats are itching to introduce ' domestic terrorism prevention' legislation, which will, if passed, have a chilling effect on the most basic freedoms, including the ability to gather in protest without being labeled ' domestic terrorists .'

ALSO ON RT.COM Do you realize now what you have done? US gets the kind of 'democracy' it championed overseas

The already drafted Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act opens with the following statement, which shows clearly who will be mostly targeted by such legislation (hint: not left-wing agitators, such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter): " Recent reports have demonstrated that White supremacists and other far-right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States "

Although Russia, surprisingly, is not mentioned in the legislation, it does not take much imagination to foresee a day when some right-wing supporter, much like Riley June Williams, will find himself or herself embroiled in a high-profile criminal case involving the Democrats that has extremely dubious connections to Russia. Suddenly, an act of 'domestic terrorism' will magically morph into a 'state-sponsored' – i.e. Russia – act of terrorism.

Tragically, what started off as an innocent joke by Donald Trump about Russia and Clinton's emails has snowballed into the most dangerous scenario for average Americans: being pulled into a grand conspiracy theory that sees a Russian hand behind everything the Democrats see as a ' crime '.

In a rapidly approaching future, average Americans, portrayed as ' extremist ,' as well as distant Russia will become the new ' usual suspects ,' albeit with a possible 'terrorist' charge to boot. This descent into sheer madness must end before it reaches peak insanity.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge

[Jan 19, 2021] The US seems to have gone completely crazy these day.

Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 19 2021 18:40 utc | 2

The U.S. seems to have gone completely crazy these day.

Mutazione dello Stato.

We were born and raised in the 20th Century or the 21st Century, so we're accustomed with the idea that deep changes in society can only happen through revolutions. That's not true: Marx delineated in which conditions change happens through revolution, but he never stated all societal changes are revolutions.

A society can change positively or negatively. Positively when it is in an ascendant phase of its mode of production. Negatively when it is in a declining phase of its mode of production (every mode of production has an entropy, so this is always the case).

When it is changing negatively, it can do so mainly in two ways: sectarianism (decay through division and fragmentation) and/or withering (decay through shrinking of economic base and the rise of better systems).

In my opinion the USA is decaying through sectarianism.

We can observe today collapsed by sectarianism in the Middle East (Shia vs. Sunni; destruction of Iraq; destruction of Libya etc. etc.).

A famous example of collapse by withering is Ancient Sparta, which refused to reform and successfully crushed all the revolution attempts that rose against it. But in the end its own system reached its logical conclusion and, by the time the Roman Legions arrived to conquer it, it already was an insignificant village.

So, yes: even societies that successfully crush the revolution attempts against it are condemned to change and eventually disappear. Conservatives from all around the globe should not feed themselves the illusion they can live in their little worlds forever.


William Gruff , Jan 19 2021 20:57 utc | 24

vk @2

The American empire is massive and cannot really be compared with Sparta. It is entirely reasonable to assume that its demise involves both withering and fragmentation. That said I had previously assumed that the empire's vassal states would fragment away while the core withered, but given how unhinged America and its leadership have become we could see the cracks in the USA become chasms surprisingly soon. The empire's vassal states could be left orbiting around a debris field.

Mario , Jan 19 2021 21:09 utc | 28

After the USSR, the USA collapses

by Thierry Meyssan:

"Everything has an end, so do empires, both the United States and the Soviet Union. Washington has outrageously favoured a small camarilla of ultra-billionaires. Now it has to face its old demons, prepare for secession and civil war..."

"...Part of the power has already tipped democratic institutions into the hands of a few ultra-billionaires. The United States that we knew no longer exists. Their agony has begun."
https://www.voltairenet.org/article211982.html

[Jan 17, 2021] "79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward

Highly recommended!
In the reality the USA is not falling apart. It is neoliberalism that is falling apart and this is just how common people feel during the collapse of neliberalism.
Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com

OneHorseGuy 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:17 PM

"79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward.
RTaccount 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:22 PM
There will be no peace, no unity, and no prosperity. And there shouldn't be.
TheFishh RTaccount 1 day ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:38 PM
The US regimes past and present have worn out their bag of tricks. A magician is a con-man. And the only way they can entertain and spellbind the crowd with their routines is if everyone just ignores the sleight of hand. But people are starting to call the US out for the tricks it is pulling, and that's where the magician's career ends.
SJMan333 23 hours ago 16 Jan, 2021 01:02 AM
America as a whole is now reaping the fruits of its decades of exceptionalism complex. Through its propaganda machine, Americans as individuals and collectively as a society, have been brainwashed into believing that laws, rules and basic human decency do not apply to themselves. These are only sweetened poisons for them to shove down the throats of other lesser countries, especially those in Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia ((bluntly put, non-white countries)) when it suited America's global resource thievery and daylight wealth grabbing. Habitualized into bullying every other countries with no resistance, Americans are now showing their ugly faces on each other. The same exceptionalism delusion "the laws apply to you, not me'' is driving every American (except the colored Americans probably) to blame all the ills of the country on everyone else except himself. Nancy Pelosi advocated total lock-down but treated herself to a total grooming in a hair saloon is just one example. For the sins it has committed over the decades, I guess the time is right for USA to have a dose of its own medicine. Except in this case, America never thought it necessary to develop an antidote.

[Jan 15, 2021] Trump supporters are pushed into underground

I am strongly against balkanization of the country. The example of the USSR shows where it leads -- misery of common pople and dramatic drop of the standard of living, while new gand of ruthless oligarchs emerge from the ruins.
Jan 15, 2021 | www.rt.com

Pushing the Trump-inspired populist movement underground may only cause it to resort to more drastic measures. As the leftist libertarian reporter Glenn Greenwald observes ,

"these people know they are scorned and looked down upon... and the more you humiliate and make them feel powerless, the more you take away their ability to organize and express that rage, it's gonna find an outlet in more destructive ways."

As a former professor at a top-ranking university, I favored a Trump re-election, not because I support Trump so much as abhor what the opposition represents and is proving itself to be. In response to the social media threat to expression, I have inaugurated a new group on Telegram called 'Thought Criminals'. There, fellow 'thought deviationists' like me are able to express views that are effectively proscribed on mainstream social media platforms. No one among us advocates violence or the overthrow of the government. None of us is 'racist'. We advocate only the rights enshrined in the US Constitution.

But some groups, no doubt, are intent on violence. Yet the violent extremists consist mostly of Antifa and related 'activists', who will unfortunately trick Trump supporters into another error during the inauguration, like some appeared to do when involved in the Capitol siege. It's not as if violent extremists among the Trump base were always there, ready to pounce on any opportunity to express their "racist," "white nationalist" views.

Rather, as the rising party has already demonstrated, these people stand to lose the most under a Biden-Harris regime, whose Big Tech and mainstream media allies act as governmental enforcement apparatuses.

Trump supporters have been hated and demonized simply for wanting to live without being reprimanded and punished for their whiteness, their middle-Americanness, or their values. They face an anti-white, anti-native, anti-middle-America extremism that is set to silence and crush them into submission.

These and others will form a new underground under the prevailing ideological and political hegemony. This banishment of millions, and not Trump, is why the nation will fall apart, if indeed it does.


JJ_Rousseau 5 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:58 PM

The best thing that could happen is for USA to "balkanize". For the rest of the world, and for Americans too. The founding fathers intentionally put restraints on the federal government's power to prevent the situation we now face. Both parties (actually the duopoly) are guilty of breaching the constitution, on so many levels we have lost count
Ronj14848 JJ_Rousseau 1 hour ago 15 Jan, 2021 07:23 PM
The USA have more American in uniform outside America than civilian Americans inside America. You bleed yourself dry trying to be the boss of the world.
chert JJ_Rousseau 3 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 04:52 PM
Right, states should have more power than the federal government. Case in point: North Dakota is trying to pass a law to sue Facebook and Twitter for those who have been censored on those platforms. But federal law under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act will supersede because federal law wins.
apothqowejh 4 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 04:17 PM
As an American, I can't say a reckoning hasn't been overdue. The myopia in this country, and the tolerance for evil, was bound to rebound. From a refusal to honestly look at 9/11, a refusal to accept responsibility for Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and a host of other insanely brutal blunders, to an acceptance of such horrors as the USAPatriot Act and the COVID scam, everyday Americans have obliviously sleepwalked into a totalitarian dystopia. Tyranny abroad inevitably leads to tyranny at home, and we have well-earned it by refusing to vote for peace and non-interventionism; for limited government, for responsible spending. Now our votes no longer matter, and we are caught helpless in the whirlwind of our own destruction.
newagerage apothqowejh 4 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 04:33 PM
The CIA, NSA, Pentagon... all these corporations lead to disaster as the employees have to keep causing trouble to justify their jobs and spend, spend like crazy, the Army and intelligence agencies spending the hard worked money from Silicon Valley and other sectors. The country just doesn't make sense, first outsource jobs to China and then when they see that Chinese people are smarter than them outsource those to India? are Indians idiots? I don't think so... both countries will rule the World by the end of the century. And the most important of all... where is your public education system? you can live without a proper health system, China does, but without a decent public education system? most Americans don't know where Portugal or Belgium is placed, no matter black or white...
ceshawn 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:31 PM
Trump didn't do this. The irrational reaction to Trump did this. It started with the now-fully mythological Russia-gate nonsense (that started with an almost ridiculously made up FISA warrant application). Continued through constant over-the-top challenges by Democrats of Trump following Obama-era laws (separation of children and adults for illegal border crossings) and the clear obstruction used by opponents during his entire Presidency. Trump was a disaster, Biden will be a nightmare (or a complete liar), but the left shouldn't be complaining when the reaction to their candidate is equally as disturbing as their reaction to the right (and yes, the circus that was the "raid" at the Capitol is just as bad as the intel community doing shady things against a sitting President).
Ronj14848 ceshawn 1 hour ago 15 Jan, 2021 07:27 PM
Trump didnt start new wars......but he has created a situation that foriegn wars will spring from his actions. He has created hate for a country that during the second world war was a much loved country.
billy brown ceshawn 4 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:36 PM
What could the 'rioters' do? We aren't going to let them poison us anymore. This election will not be stolen and the new patriot act isn't going to get passed quietly. They are going to have to crush us or allow a partition of the country
ceshawn 5 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:36 PM
If I were Russia or China, I would be watching carefully. Biden almost HAS to go after Russia over the Crimean disaster of Obama and China will be his easy-out enemy if things are complicated otherwise. North Korea will somehow become a big deal again as well. Let those missiles fly, because the incoming administration has a proven track record of blowing up innocent women and children for "funsies" (drone strikes on "suspected" terrorists...oh and their families) without any form of due process or care for the safety of collateral damage.
Ronj14848 ceshawn 58 minutes ago 15 Jan, 2021 07:36 PM
True...the media support the military industrial complex. Their friends own the miltary industrial complex . See who they support politically and avoid them like the plague.
Ronnie Spelbos ceshawn 2 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 06:04 PM
if I was Russia or an Eastern European nation I would offer asylum to white heterosexual men and their families who want to leave the US. Take advantage of the brain capital and work ethic of this group. The US is no country for white men.
Ohhho 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 01:41 PM
The Evil empire felt vulnerable so it lashed out with vengeance! None if it helps to fix the issues behind the problem so I expect to see more of it in the near future!
TheFishh Ohhho 5 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:32 PM
There are literally just a few things the US can do to rebound as a decent country, but the establishment doesn't want to make those moves. They rather see everything collapse than see their wealth and power decreased by any amount.
OneHorseGuy 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:17 PM
"79% of Americans think the US is falling apart" those not accounted for are possibly homeless or illiterate and don't have the opportunity of putting their view forward.
Ronnie Spelbos OneHorseGuy 2 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 06:02 PM
102% think the US is falling apart - cites Dominion.
newswithoutbord OneHorseGuy 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:31 PM
Spot on, mate!
RTaccount 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:22 PM
There will be no peace, no unity, and no prosperity. And there shouldn't be.
TheFishh RTaccount 4 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:38 PM
The US regimes past and present have worn out their bag of tricks. A magician is a con-man. And the only way they can entertain and spellbind the crowd with their routines is if everyone just ignores the sleight of hand. But people are starting to call the US out for the tricks it is pulling, and that's where the magician's career ends.
omyomy RTaccount 5 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:54 PM
We the sane people know who is picking a fight. No matter what the propaganda outlets decree.
Tor Gjesdal 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:18 PM
79%,sure? OK. Very soon 85% of Westerners will understand their Countries are heading for failures. They have been deceived for way too long.
Twenty Tor Gjesdal 5 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:23 PM
The alternative to western governments is dictators, one party rule. Yes, most western governmental concepts are idealistic, but we wouldn't trade for anything else because we know better.
JIMI JAMES Tor Gjesdal 6 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 02:31 PM
0 covid cases,i dont think so.
soumalinna1 4 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 03:36 PM
Correct. America will never be the same again. Democrats and CNN destroyed a once great nation.
Ronnie Spelbos soumalinna1 2 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 06:06 PM
The 1965 Immigration Act destroyed the US. A country too diverse with little in common was always bound the fall apart.
Drayk soumalinna1 3 hours ago 15 Jan, 2021 04:42 PM
How did they do that?

[Jan 15, 2021] Replacement of the Bill of Rights, with the Bill of Don'ts

Jan 15, 2021 | www.rt.com

In their efforts to expunge the Trump movement from memory let alone existence, these neo-Stalinists are hellbent on nullifying constitutionally guaranteed rights – freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to bear arms are under assault.

In place of the Bill of Rights, they would impose a Bill of Don'ts:

Don't say what we don't want to hear.

Don't gather where we don't allow, especially if you are a 'deplorable'.

Don't bother petitioning for grievances, because we don't care. Don't own weapons and don't defend yourself when you or your property are attacked, even as the police are defunded.

Don't tell us about your right to privacy because our right to surveil you supersedes it.

Don't tell us you have the right to confront the witnesses aligned against you, or see the evidence alleged against you, or to present evidence and witnesses in your own defense. That's your white privilege speaking, and we will not tolerate hate speech.

Don't expect us to be bound by due process or the rule of law. Feelings and desired outcomes trump facts and rules, both of which are tools of oppression, relics of the fascist patriarchy.

Don't object, or we will cancel you entirely from these Disunited States of Woketopia.

And first and foremost, don't dare have the temerity to question election results that have handed us uncontested power.

Only authoritarians sanction this state of affairs. The harm they will do, as they neglect and inflict further pain on the Republic, will be immeasurable. The nation is failing, not merely because it is divided, but because a contingent has rejected its foundational principles. That contingent is now in control.

[Jan 15, 2021] Blaming all its problems on foreign actors is the scapegoating and smoke screen over endemic US problems. Especially the vast social and economic inequality caused by neoliberalism and the destruction of the New Deal capitalism. Both parties seem unwilling or incapable of understanding what needs to be fixed in a fundamentally broken system.

Jan 15, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 15 2021 19:31 utc | 115

Strategic-Culture 's Editorial is the best journalistic reporting on the political split within the Outlaw US Empire I've come across. One short telling excerpt:

"This [blaming all its problems on foreign actors] is the ultimate scapegoating and destructive denial over endemic U.S. problems. Those problems are topped by the vast social and economic inequality that has been presaged by decades of neoliberal capitalism overseen by both Republicans and Democrats. Both parties seem unwilling or incapable of understanding what needs to be fixed in a fundamentally broken system . The rise of Trump was something of a diversion from addressing the root problem. And blaming Russia for ongoing problems is also another futile diversion. This systemic denial of reality by the American political class is why the U.S. crisis will continue to deteriorate because blaming everyone else but itself avoids the necessary ways and means to fix it ." [My Emphasis]

At least we're informed as to why there're no attempts to fix the problems as the Neoliberal Parasites don't want them fixed as they profit greatly as the turmoil shrouds their activities. The Editors agree with most of us at MoA in their prescription for a solution:

"The solution will require mass popular mobilization for democratic rights."

But that's just the sort of action that will be resisted by the Neoliberal Parasites. Will it take a reenactment of the Kent State shootings to galvanize the public? Unfortunately, I think that's very much the case, and there'll be more than one massacre.

Johannes Vermeer , Jan 15 2021 19:51 utc | 116

In the old ages in Greece Sparta oppressed the Helots with brute force during more than 400 years. This historical exmaple proves that rule through violent oppression can be quite stable. I doubt the elites in the USA have enough 'Spartan qualities' to organize the same violent oppression that long, my point is however that it is a proven possibillity

[Jan 14, 2021] After the illegitimate elections, the task is to consolidate power and suppress all those who reject what happened. This is what happened in Ukraine after the Maidan 2014

Highly recommended!
And that's what false flag with Capitol ransacking accomplished. It fives Clinton/Obama/Biden clique card blank for suppressing the dissent
This false flag operation like shooting protesters by snipers during Ukrainian Maydan is a logical end of American Maidan and pursued the same goals -- deposing the current president, hijacking political power and consolidating it via repressions.
Notable quotes:
"... That is why we are witnessing the fussy, aggressive actions of the Democrats - a ridiculous re-impeachment of the president, who will leave the White House in a week, the most severe censorship and suppression of dissent. There is no need for the real winners of fair elections to behave like that, as they are aware of their legitimacy and are confident in themselves (relying on the real, not imaginary, support of the majority of the population). ..."
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
alaff , Jan 13 2021 20:31 utc | 7

From the "Biden Exploits His Capitol Gains" article:


Joe Biden's own language certainly sounded less like a magnanimous winner uniting his people than like that used by autocrats and dictators to hold onto power, argues Diana Johnstone.

Diana Johnstone's opinion is quite reasonable. In fact, a "creeping"/"bureaucratic" coup d'etat took place in the United States. And it wasn't Trump at all, but Biden & Co. The fact that "Joe Biden's own language sounded like that used by autocrats and dictators to hold onto power" is further confirmation of this.

If you are in the majority and you win the election honestly, then there is no need to act the way the Democrats did. The current aggressive rhetoric of Biden (and other Democrats) is evidence that the elections were stolen/falsified. Biden knows this very well, and therefore his language is as cruel, irreconcilable and repressive as possible. After the illegitimate elections, the task is to consolidate own's power and suppress all those who reject what happened. In fact, this is what happened in Ukraine after the Maidan 2014.

That is why we are witnessing the fussy, aggressive actions of the Democrats - a ridiculous re-impeachment of the president, who will leave the White House in a week, the most severe censorship and suppression of dissent. There is no need for the real winners of fair elections to behave like that, as they are aware of their legitimacy and are confident in themselves (relying on the real, not imaginary, support of the majority of the population).

Wrote some thoughts on this issue.

Leftraru , Jan 13 2021 20:33 utc | 8

Globalization has made the United States a hollow giant. It has produced an enormous wealth gap, and this inequality is producing a breakdown in social cohesion. They have faced crisis before in the form of political polarization, economic hardship and racial tensions, but the situation now is a combination of every one of the mentioned before amplified by orders of magnitude by the pandemic.
The power of the MIC, Wall Street and Big Tech along with their MSM minions acting in a concerted way is the only thing preventing an implosion of the country. Either that or the notion of "American Exceptionalism" is truly implanted in the hearts and minds of the people, whether they realize it or not.

[Jan 11, 2021] Is America's Future a Civil War, by Paul Craig Roberts -

Notable quotes:
"... The military would support whomever pays their salary and their pensions, i.e. the Establishment. However, as Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, the U.S. military, while possessing remarkable firepower when taken on directly and openly, is quite vulnerable. The U.S. military is essentially mercenaries. Mercenaries work for pay. Mercenaries are not willing to die for a cause. You can't spend money if you're dead. ..."
Jan 11, 2021 | www.unz.com

As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state. In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.

There is abundant evidence of a police state. One feature of a police state is controlled explanations and the suppression of dissent. We certainly have that in abundance.

Experts are not permitted forums in which to challenge the official position on Covid.

Teachers are suspended for giving offense by using gender pronouns.

Recording stars are dropped by their recording studios for attending the Trump rally. Parents ratted on by their own children are fired from their jobs for attending the Trump rally. https://www.rt.com/usa/512048-capitol-riot-employees-fired/ Antifa is free to riot, loot, intimidate and hassle, but Trump supporters are insurrectionists.

White people are racists who use hateful words and concepts, but those who demonize whites are righting wrongs.

Suppression of dissent and controlling behavior are police state characteristics. It might be less clear to some why dictating permissible use of language is police state control. Think about it this way. If your use of pronouns can be controlled, so can your use of all other words. As concepts involve words, they also can be controlled. In this way inconvenient thoughts and expressions along with accurate descriptions find their way into the Memory Hole.

With the First Amendment gone, or restricted to the demonization of targeted persons, such as "the Trump Deplorables," "white supremacists," "Southern racists," the Second Amendment can't have much life left. As guns are associated with red states, that is, with Trump supporters, outlawing guns is a way to criminalize the red half of the American population that the Establishment considers "deplorable." Those who stand on their Constitutional right will be imprisoned and become cheap prison labor for America's global corporations.

Could all this lead to a civil war or are Americans too beat down to effectively resist? That we won't know until it is put to the test.

Are there clear frontlines? Identity Politics has divided the people across the entire country. The red states are only majority red. It is tempting to see the frontiers as the red center against the blue Northeast and West coasts, but that is misleading. Georgia is a red state with a red governor and legislature, but there were enough Democrats in power locally to steal the presidential and US senate elections.

Another problem for reds is that large cities -- the distribution centers -- such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles -- are in blue hands as are ports and international airports. Effectively, this cuts reds off from outside resources.

What would the US military do? Clearly, the Joint Chiefs and the military/security complex are establishment and not anti-establishment Trumpers. With the soldiers themselves now a racial and gender mix, the soldiers would be as divided as the country. Those not with the Establishment would lack upper level support.

Where are the youth and younger adults? They are in both camps depending on their education. Many of the whites who went to university have been brainwashed against themselves, and regard white Americans as "systemic racists" or "white supremacists" and feel guilt. Those who did not go to university for the most part have experienced to their disadvantage the favoritism given to people of color and have resentment.

What about weapons? How can the reds lose when guns are a household item and blues would never dirty themselves by owning one? The answer is that unlike the War of Northern Aggression in the 1860s, today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public. Unlike in the past, it is impossible for a citizens' militia to stand against the weapons and body armor that the military has. So, unless the military splits, the reds are outgunned. Never believe that the Establishment would not release chemical and biological agents against red forces. Or for that matter nuclear weapons.

What about communications? We know for an absolute fact that the tech monopolies are aligned with the Establishment against the people. So much so that President Trump, in the process of being set-up for prosecution, has been cut off from communicating with his supporters both in social media and email.

The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington's orchestrated "Maidan Revolution," called "the Revolution of Dignity" by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.

Suppose an American civil war occurs. How is it likely to play out? Before investigating this, first consider how the Establishment could prevent it by bringing the red states to its defense. The Trump supporters are the only patriots in the American population. They tend to wear the flag on their sleeve. In contrast, blue state denizens define patriotism as acknowledging America's evils and taking retribution on those white racists/imperialists who committed the evils. In blue states, riots against the "racist system" result in defunding the police. If the Antifa and Black Lives Matter militias were sicced on the Biden regime, red state patriots might see "their country" under attack. It is possible that the "Proud Boys" would come to Biden's defense, not because they believe in Biden but because America is under attack and he is "our president." Alternatively, an Antifa attack on the Biden regime could be portrayed as an unpatriotic attack on America and be used to discourage red state opposition to the police state, just as "Insurrection" has resulted in many Trump supporters declaring their opposition to violence. In other words, it is entirely possible that the patriotism of the "Trump Deplorables" would split the red state opposition and lead to defeat.

Assuming that the Establishment is too arrogant and sure of itself or too stupid to think of this ploy, how would a civil war play out? The Establishment would do everything possible to discredit the case of the "rebels." The true rebels, of course, would be the Establishment which has overthrown the Constitutional order, but no media would make that point. Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the "rebels" as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy.

The "foreign threat" always captures the patriot's attention. We see it right now with Trump supporters falling for the disinformation that Switzerland and Italy are behind the stolen election. Previously, it was Dominion servers in Germany and Serbia that did the deed.

On whose head will the Establishment place the blame for "the War Against America"? There are three candidates: Iran, China, and Russia. Which will the Establishment choose?

To give Iran credit conveys too much power to a relatively small country over America. To blame Iran for our civil war would be belittling.

To blame China won't work, because Trump blamed China for economically undermining America and Trump supporters are generally anti-China. So accusing the red opposition with being China agents would not work.

The blame will be placed on Russia.

This is the easy one. Russia has been the black hat ever since Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in 1946. Americans are accustomed to this enemy. The Cold War reigned from the end of World War II until the Soviet Collapse in 1991. Many, including retired American generals, maintain that the Soviet collapse was faked to put us off guard for conquest.

When the Establishment decided to frame President Trump, the Establishment chose Russia as Trump's co-conspirator against American Democracy. Russiagate, orchestrated by the CIA and FBI, ensured for three years that Trump was accused in the Western media of being in cahoots with Russia. Despite the lack of any evidence, a large percentage of the American and world population was convinced that Trump was put into office by Putin somehow manipulating the vote.

The brainwashing was so successful that three years of Trump sanctions against Russia could not shake the Western peoples back into factual reality.

With Russia as the historic and orchestrated enemy, whatever happens in the United States that can be blamed elsewhere will be blamed on Russia. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have already associated "Trump's insurrection" with Russia. https://www.rt.com/russia/512071-capitol-violence-consequences-fear/

Suppose that an American civil war becomes intense. Suppose that the Establishment's propaganda against Russia becomes the reigning belief as propaganda almost always becomes, how can the Establishment not finish the insurrection threat by attacking the country responsible? The Establishment would be trapped in its own propaganda. Emotions would run away. Russia would hear threats that would have to be taken seriously.

You can bet that Biden's neocon government will be egging this on. American exceptionalism. American hegemony. Russia's fifth column, the Atlanticist Integrationists, who wish absorption into the degenerate and failing Western World, will echo the charges against Russia. This would make the situation a serious international incident with Russia as the threatened villain.

What would the Kremlin do? Would Russia's leaders accept yet another humiliation and false accusation? Or will the anger of the Russian people forever accused and never stood up for by their own government force the Kremlin into awareness that Russia could be attacked at any moment.

Even if the Kremlin is reluctant to acknowledge the threat of war, what if another of the numerous false warnings of incoming ICBMs is received. Unlike the past, is it believed this time?

The stolen election in America, the emerging American Police State, more vicious and better armed than any in the past, could result in American chaos that could be a dire threat to the Russian Federation.

What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts . The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas. Consider how easy it was for the Capitol Police to remove barriers and allow some Antifa mixed in with Trump supporters into the Capitol. This was all that was required to create a "Trump led insurrection" that terminated the presentation of evidence of electoral fraud and turned the massive rally of support for Trump into a liability. Trump now leaves the presidency as an "insurrectionist" and is set up for continued harassment and prosecution.

As I previously wrote, the stolen election and its acceptance abroad signifies the failure of Western democracy. The collapse of the Western world and its values will affect the entire world.


Joe Stalin , says: January 10, 2021 at 5:16 pm GMT • 23.4 hours ago

How long did it take for the mighty USA military to restore electric utilities in the face of insurgency in Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gg-Zd193j60?feature=oembed

No member of the State wants to be picked off one by one, be it military, cops, leadership or functionaries.

What has been overlooked in the debate over the combat potential of violent extremists is the diffusion of something much more rudimentary and potentially more lethal: basic infantry skills. These include coordinated small-team tactical maneuvers supported by elementary marksmanship. The diffusion of such tactics seems to be underway, and it may generate serious concerns for U.S. security policy in the future if ignored.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/shock-of-the-mundane-the-dangerous-diffusion-of-basic-infantry-tactics/

Imagine if fuel pipe lines to urban areas were hit, railroad tracks hit, water processing facilities hit; the vision of an easy victory over Red America would quickly come home to the city dwellers.

Harry Huntington , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:02 pm GMT • 22.6 hours ago
@Joe Stalin /p>

Elections in the US are not about picking winners. They are about making voters complicit in governance by their having voted. The most recent election failed to make the Red voters "complict" because there was no transparency and everyone believes there was fraud. No election with mail in voting in the US will every work because everyone will assume fraud.

In a nation as large as the US with as much concentrated city living, logistics are a nightmare. The next time the lights go out, you may wonder. When your grocery chain runs out of meat, you may wonder. When sewers in your city keep breaking, you may wonder. Thus truly scares me.

Vidi , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:13 pm GMT • 22.4 hours ago

today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public

True enough. However, the weapons and the ammunition don't magically appear; they need to be manufactured somewhere, and those places (and/or their suppliers) can be destroyed.

TG , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm GMT • 22.3 hours ago

I must disagree. There will be no "civil war" in the United States. The establishment controls the levers of power and all communications and all organized structures. There may be a bunch of disaffected citizens, but they will remain a disorganized mob. Any apparent emergent rival for power will be ruthlessly suppressed, deplatformed, villified, or co-opted. The working class has been effectively divided and will waste its energy fighting itself over crumbs ('diversity').

Disorganized mobs do not fight civil wars.

No, the fate of the United States will be the sort of chaotic autocracy we see in places like Mexico and Brazil. Verging on being a failed state, the rich will nonetheless live lives of great luxury secure in their walled estates. Meanwhile the average person will be crushed into poverty, criminal gangs will flourish, and there will be a tension between the central police and local gangs, but gangs are rarely organized enough to truly challenge centralized states, and life will muddle on. There will be little social cohesion and no real trust of central authorities, but that only matters if you want a strong and unified society. The rich will do fine.

On the other hand, the overall national power will decline, and other powers like China (which for all its flaws has not declared war on the working class, nor does it routinely excuse or celebrate incompetence in leadership) will rise and take its place both on the world stage and as the cutting edge of science and culture.

Wyatt , says: January 10, 2021 at 6:48 pm GMT • 21.8 hours ago
@Vidi

And the people making them don't tend to want those weapons used against their friends and neighbors.

Notsofast , says: January 10, 2021 at 8:03 pm GMT • 20.6 hours ago

to me the biggest outcome of this faux coup/insurrection is the splintering of the republican party. with this schism the trump "populists" have been cleanly pared off of the party and thrown overboard and the remaining party will meekly do the bidding of the neocon deep state that now totally controls both of these sock puppet parties. we will now see both parties calling for a unification of our "indispensable nation". more than likely some false flag will provide the necessary impetus to bury the hatchet and focus us all on our new/old enemy. the only hope i see is an outside chance that so many republicans have been redpilled that the party becomes the new whigs and fades into obscurity, leaving room for new parties to rise from the ash. the dems are ripe for a schism themselves with aoc champing at the bit to kick the boomers to the curb and the bernie bros finally realizing that three card monty is a rigged game. i would love to see the destruction of both of these hopelessly corrupt parties but the deep state cthulhu has its tentacles thoroughly wrapped around our poor planet and anything emerging out of this toxic mess would most likely be even worse. the situation reminds me of voltaire's candide and his sage advice to cultivate your garden.

Anon [912] Disclaimer , says: January 10, 2021 at 8:26 pm GMT • 20.2 hours ago

I'd advise the young to develop a "plan B". Pick another country you find bearable amd study it. Find out what jobs are in demand there. Develop those skills in your spare time (computers, electricians, mechanics, etc.). Practice their language an hour or two per week with online resources/dvd's/books. Research their immigration laws and perhaps contact their embassy.

If it gets really awful for whites here, you may be able to take your family some place more hospitable. Hopefully none of this will be neccessary and the rhetoric will tone down. Trump personally really got under the left's skin. Don't umderestimate Hillary's supporters influence here. They were ticked off. The Obama's too. Perhaps they will calm down a notch now. Have a plan B though young whites.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: January 10, 2021 at 11:17 pm GMT • 17.4 hours ago

Another insightful article by PCR. However, I must somewhat disagree on some points.

What would the US military do?

The military would support whomever pays their salary and their pensions, i.e. the Establishment. However, as Iraq and Afghanistan has shown, the U.S. military, while possessing remarkable firepower when taken on directly and openly, is quite vulnerable. The U.S. military is essentially mercenaries. Mercenaries work for pay. Mercenaries are not willing to die for a cause. You can't spend money if you're dead.

Think of the Troubles in Ireland.

The Establishment absolutely can deliver a punch to an identifiable opponent, but it can't take a punch. Low level violence directed at officers and politicians would bring them to their knees.

Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the "rebels" as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy.

I agree that they will try. However, I suspect that PCR is underestimating how little faith many whites have in the media.

The Establishment will never be more powerful than it is today. They have inherited institutions, the people to man those institutions and a generally functioning economy. Basically, they stole the keys to car that they didn't create. But the Establishment run those institutions and economy into ground. They will slowly start to show cracks.

Whites need to stay low, start forming small groups and begin preparing for the openings that will come.

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: January 11, 2021 at 1:34 am GMT • 15.1 hours ago

The racial right has been fantasizing about a civil war since forever, but I can't see it. Too many people have too much to lose, there's no real desire for blood, and the people are anyway too soft to initiate or withstand the violence real war would unleash upon them. Further, and in stark contrast to the SJWs and antifa, the few racially conscious whites who fantasize about this are mostly too old to make good soldiers. Also, just like the "God emperor" himself, Trumpers are some of the stupidest people on the face of the earth, largely down with their own enslavement, nauseatingly fond of "law and order", sporting "Blue Lives Matter" badges, etc. Despite being preyed upon by blacks and browns for decades now, they still refuse to become racist. Most of them are Bible thumpers who really believe that race is just skin color, that all are equal before their imaginary friend called God, and that Israel is America's greatest ally. Then too, vast numbers of whites work for the government or its many offshoots such as education, law enforcement, the military, and the defense industry. Civil war would mean they'd be revolting against themselves.

Will America become a police state? In case you haven't noticed, Americans already live in a police state, and have for decades. PCR should know this as well as anyone, as he was part of it during the Reagan years. America is an open-air prison Americans built themselves, and they rat each other out and betray each other to keep themselves ideologically in line. When someone white is doxxed and fired for having bad thoughts, who do you think does the enforcing? For the most part, it's other white people. Fake president and China asset Biden is just the new warden.

Harold Smith , says: January 11, 2021 at 3:45 am GMT • 12.9 hours ago

As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state. In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.

In a very meaningful sense we already have a "police state." Why do we have a police state? Because our masters realize that they can't run the whole world from anything resembling a constitutional republic (as the Founders and Framers envisioned it). It's the agenda for complete world domination and control that's driving the domestic oppression. As they continue to squander everything of value on the agenda and take more risks, etc., while the corruption and rot continue to take a toll and the country crumbles, the boot will need to come down ever harder on the neck.

And please stop kidding yourself about Trump. It wasn't for the benefit of Joe and Jill Sixpack that he seized Syrian oilfields, tried to start a war with Iran, tried to overthrow the Maduro government in Venezuela, tried to stop Nord Stream 2, started a trade war with China, pulled out of all the nuclear treaties, etc. Trump wasn't just fully onboard with the agenda, he pursued it enthusiastically.

If Trump's nuclear brinkmanship and aggressive foreign policies aren't promptly reversed, the U.S. may end as a pile of nuclear ash. Comments coming out of Moscow recently seem to suggest that Russia is finally losing its patience with interminable U.S. hostility and may soon start responding more forcefully to U.S./NATO provocations (and Biden's tough talk on Russia isn't helping matters any).

Neither Russia, China nor Iran are going to surrender to the USraeli empire and start taking orders, so either the U.S. "government" must back off and accept a multipolar world or WW3 is still on the table, even by accident.

tanabear , says: January 11, 2021 at 5:45 am GMT • 10.9 hours ago

From Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War.

The Civil War in Corcyra

"So savage was the progress of this revolution, and it seemed all the more so because it was one of the first which had broken out. Later, of course, practically the whole of the Hellenic world was convulsed, with rival parties in every state – democratic leaders trying to bring in the Athenians, and oligarchs trying to bring in the Spartans. In peacetime there would have been no excuse and no desire for calling them in, but in time of war, when each party could always count upon an alliance which would do harm to its opponents and at the same time strengthen its own position, it became a natural thing for anyone who wanted a change of government to call in help from outside.

So revolutions broke out in city after city, and in places where the revolutions occurred late the knowledge of what had happened previously in other places caused still new extravagances of revolutionary zeal, expressed by an elaboration in the methods of seizing power and by unheard-of atrocities in revenge. To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings . What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one's unmanly character ; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defence. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect. To plot successfully was a sign of intelligence, but it was still cleverer to see that a plot was hatching. If one attempted to provide against having to do either, one was disrupting the unity of the party and acting out of fear of the opposition. In short, it was equally praiseworthy to get one's blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong, and to denounce someone who had no intention of doing any wrong at all. Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership , since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever. These parties were not formed to enjoy the benefits of the established laws, but to acquire power by overthrowing the existing regime ; and the members of these parties felt confidence in each other not because of any fellowship in a religious communion, but because they were partners in crime. If an opponent made a reasonable speech, the party in power, so far from giving it a generous reception, took every precaution to see that it had no practical effect.

As the result of these revolutions, there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world . The simple way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society had become divided into two ideologically hostile camps , and each side viewed the other with suspicion. As for ending this state of affairs, no guarantee could be given that would be trusted, no oath sworn that people would fear to break; everyone had come to the conclusion that it was hopeless to expect a permanent settlement and so, instead of being able to feel confident in others, they devoted their energies to providing against being injured themselves."

Just another serf , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:04 am GMT • 10.6 hours ago

Whether civil war as we may imagine it, or something equally unappealing to our every day lives, something bad is about to happen.

I'm curious though, regarding what I do believe was unprecedented election fraud. How is it possible, after watching the Georgia State Farm arena video, that the President of the United States, with all the power that office should hold, could not force the woman identified in that video, one Ruby Freeman, to answer questions about what we saw? Ruby Freeman was never questioned as far as I can find. How is this possible? Nothing makes sense. Before we begin killing one another, can we do two things; 1. Interrogate Ruby Freeman and 2. Interrogate the killer of Ashli Babbit?

Zarathustra , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:24 am GMT • 10.2 hours ago

Little bit feverish article. And I do have to say no.
Civil war can happen only after hyperinflation accompanied with lawlessness.
And that will happen only if US looses its international position.
Everything depend now on Germany.
If Germany joins China Russia camp than US as a world leader will not mean anything anymore.
China now is courting Europe intensively. Particularly is courting Germany.
Nothing is set yet.
So everybody can relax.
.
Biden is out of his mind. In his speech he said that he wants to increase minimum wage and reestablish unions. That could be a little help also.

shylockcracy , says: January 11, 2021 at 6:58 am GMT • 9.7 hours ago

People living in the core areas of Ziocorporate globalism, like the US/EU, remain mostly oblivious about the nature of their ruling regime than those living in the direct periphery of globalist power. Take Colombia for an example, like Mexico's, all its presidents are subservient to US Ziocorporate power. Last one, a Nobel peace prize winner under whose pre-presidential stint as "Defense" minister oversaw the US-serving Colombian military's systematic massacre of tens of thousands of lower class Colombian youths who were then disguised as guerrillas to cash in rewards paid US Plan Colombia dollars, proceeded, now as president, to negotiate the disarmament of the actual guerrillas under the Obama/Biden regime's orders. Massmurder and massacres maintained an average level.

Then, in 2018, right after the Trumpet, a shamelessly pro-US regime, even for Colombian standards, took over and massacres and massmurder picked right up again, to an average of 2 or 3 per week, with exploding cocaine production even for Colombia standards as well, and extreme political polarisation, and all the while the Ziocorporate mother ship in Washington, with its Qtard and MAGA bullshit, looked the other way except to accuse Venezuela of being undemocratic and of human rights violations.

If Americans weren't so stupid and daydreaming like fucktards that they live in "muh democracy/republic" instead of the Ziocorporate conglomerate regime that rules over them, they could take a clue or two from their own regime's foreign policy, not only did Trumpet do things like transferring $400 billion in weapons to ISIS/al-Qaeda royal Salafi patrons in Ziodi Wahhabia, he doubled-down on the Obama/Biden policy of Venezuela "is a national security threat to muh democracy and freedom"; to start pondering about the kind of manipulation and radicalisation Ziocorporate agents Trump/Republicans and Biden/Democrats have in store for them. Cointelpro certainly mutates far faster than Covid-1984.

Happy New World Order and Great Reset.

shylockcracy , says: January 11, 2021 at 7:17 am GMT • 9.4 hours ago
@catdog i-deep state" character is actually the opposite of:

"White House teams up with Google to build coronavirus screening site"
https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/13/white-house-teams-up-with-google-to-build-coronavirus-screening-site/

What do Qtarts and the like need to realise this simple, evident facts? That the Trumpet himself comes on national TV telling you all "I and the Democrats have been playing divide and conquer with you dumbfucks for 4 years"?

Feeling that anti-deep state MAGA magick yet?

Miro23 , says: January 11, 2021 at 7:25 am GMT • 9.2 hours ago

The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington's orchestrated "Maidan Revolution," called "the Revolution of Dignity" by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.

What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts . The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas.

Their playbook "Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals" by Saul D. Alinsky, makes it clear that it's necessary to play dirty. This covers all aspects of their Regime Change projects and the current US project surely isn't any different.

It's a cocktail of lies, fabrications, subversion, threats, blackmail, false friendships – in fact any means to advance themselves.

For example: From Alinsky – "Means and Ends" His take on morality:

Rule 10) You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.

Rule 11) Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", "Of the Common Welfare, "Pursuit of Happiness" or "Bread and Peace".

So yes, this is why the most unpatriotic Patriot Act is called the Patriot Act and they operate from patriotic sounding places like the American Enterprise Institute.

If traditional America is going to get anywhere in the upcoming conflict they have to get used to playing by the same rules – difficult for them – but they have to do it. It's inevitably going to be a dirty war.

Abdul Alhazred , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:01 am GMT • 8.6 hours ago

Point of order- Russia is not the historic enemy, but the orchestrated one, rather it was the Soviet Union which is the historic enemy, as the sponsors of the destruction of Russia are behind the destruction of America.

Carlos22 , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:09 am GMT • 8.5 hours ago

We are already in a police state and you can kiss goodbye to the 1st and 2nd amendment soon as free speech becomes hate speech just like they did in Europe.

So this site and many others in the alt news universe will soon be gone.

There's not going to be a civil war as the current generation of young people are too weak and distracted and have been brainwashed into hating themselves.

There's a big elephant in the room and wild card that's been missed too and that's the new covid vaccines who's long term effects on health are unknown.

Vaccines need to be studied for about 10 years before their safety can be guaranteed.

If tens / hundreds of millions are willing to be injected with a new untested genetic engineered substance that could make them disabled or kill them in 5 years to save them against something with a 99% survival rate what does that tell you about the mental state of the Population?

The US as you once knew it is finished it's just that many are still in denial or haven't realized it yet.

noname27 , says: Website January 11, 2021 at 8:34 am GMT • 8.1 hours ago

I see no civil war in the USA. I see no organisation amongst the people in order to carry it out. They have no leader, they have no Hannibal, Boadicea or Adolf to rally them together for a major insurrection against The Beast Empire. Unless of course something is brewing secretly.

A French style form of resistance, as previously mentioned in these comments, also takes a lot of planning and organisational skills, and I see no inkling of that taking place amongst American patriots.

I also believe many do not realise how serious the matter is, they still, being bogged down in irrelevant party politics.

If however a large swathe of the police and US Military including officers were to desert their corrupt masters, things would look very different and a civil war could happen.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: January 11, 2021 at 8:39 am GMT • 8.0 hours ago

The civil was has been on since Crossfire Hurricane, the usurpers of the constitution simply kept it cold because they thought they could enforce their tyranny silently.

And if Trump surrenders then they would have been proven right, at least for the leadership fight.

Biden will likely launch a war because he already has his bay of pigs with his graft, and will need a moonshot for the misdirection.

I don't think they can fight half the nation (and the military will split), and Russia at the same time, so the only question is on whom the war will be launched. I still think the odds are higher that it will be a civil war, but the Russia option looms strong for sure.

TKK , says: January 11, 2021 at 9:39 am GMT • 7.0 hours ago

The US military is the most "woke" diverse incompetent organization in America.

Remember- contractors do all the heavy lifting "in theater"- from cooking to plumbing to firefighting to IT to combat.

This knowledge is hidden from view- kept on the down low.I only know because my brother has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan for KBR for the past 15 years. I have seen him accumulate well over Half a million in cash. What does he do? He makes sure the troops have water and food. He is in logistics. For the past decade I have heard hundreds if not thousands of stories of the jaw dropping incompetence, insouciance and laziness of the American military.

Rank-and-file Americans, indeed no one, talks about this very real infrastructure that props up every dumb, overweight enlisted. About 4 contractors to every enlisted.

Most of the contractors in theater are from Eastern Europe and sub Sahara Africa. If they were given orders to release biological or chemical weapons on the American populace, as long as the huge checks were hitting their account they would do it in a heartbeat

More than the military- fear the shadow military that knows the systems, does the work .. And will do whatever it is asked as long as they are paid.

Their mother doesn't live here.

Everywhere we turn, diversity and hiring people from the "other" never works out.

*** Side note: My brother revealed that when blacks came back from their R&R after the George Floyd insanity, most of them became more aggressive and entitled. Unable to do their work because they could not stop going to report others for incidence of racism.

This includes the American black contractors and enlisted.

These are dumb young black men and women who are making $92,000 a year to move pallets around. If they were asked to stop calling in sick every day, they would run to report their supervisor for-

Racism.

Many whites have lost their lucrative positions or been subject to discipline for having the audacity to ask blacks to come to work.

It's over. It's too far gone.

[Jan 10, 2021] Trump's Last Stand, by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Trump run his election complain of 2016 as champion of common Americans. After he won the office the betrayed them all and governed like Bush III with his own cabal of neocons and neoliberals. \
He betrayed his followed again on Dec 6, when he first incited them for the action but did not provide organization, security and the plan needed to press Congress to appoint the commission for investigation of election "irregularities" for then days before Biden inauguration. He is now completely spent politically and his enemies and first of all, Ms Pelosi, are after him. Moreover he gave a shot in the arm for the gang of Russiagaters who were pursuing him since his inauguration.
The fact that Trump leaves the political scene is good. While useful as a wrecking ball for the neoliberal empire and neoliberal establishment he proved to be completely inept as a politician and lack courage necessary for the national leader. Which he proved again on Dec 6. Famous quote from Friedrich Schiller's play Fiesco "The Moor has done his duty. The Moor can go." is probably applicable. What is interesting is that Zionists betrayed Trump.
But the fact hat he will be replaced by neocon warmonger and staunch neoliberal Biden means that there is no light at the and of tunnel for the common people.
Like Trump, Biden was never Presidential material. He a a mediocre politician, by all accounts. And extremely corrupt in addition to that.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump denounced the people whom he personally called to protest. His close political allies withdrew their support. ..."
"... The deck was stacked against President Trump from Day One. His orders were ignored. The US courts, judges, police, the whole system of law enforcement was against him; his orders were blocked or overturned, while the media made fun of him and the opposition relentlessly delegitimised him. ..."
"... On January 6, a massive demonstration in his support gathered in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands Americans came to the capital to demand justice after the election fraud became obvious. They hoped that the Republican representatives would refuse to certify the fraud and appoint a commission to check and recount the votes. ..."
"... The horror and outrage of the Dem politicians and media were as faked as their news. During last year, many government buildings were taken over by Dem-sponsored BLM activists, and in not one case did the police use lethal weapons or even rush the protesters out of buildings. ..."
"... For them, it was an honest and funny way to express their indignation. But the real gambit plotters intended to frame them. They even murdered four protesters hoping they would respond with violence, but in vain. ..."
"... White American protesters are exceptionally non-violent lot; as with Occupy Wall Street a few years back the January 6 Capitol protesters were timid and obedient as lambs. For this reason, BLM was invented, for Blacks are able to riot violently, as opposed to well-trained whites. It is not a race thing: lily-white French Yellow Vests and Ukrainian nationalists have fought the police all right. But US whites are not prone to riot, not since the Civil War. ..."
"... Anyway, their non-violence didn't help them. The president-elect Biden begrudged them even the name of protesters: "Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists." Indeed, the name should be preserved for Deep State-authorised looters and their brethren all over the world, whether in Hong Kong or Minsk, in Seattle or Portland. ..."
"... researchers will argue whether duplicitous Biden's minions organised it or just capitalised on the Trumpers' sincere protest. ..."
"... There is no doubt that to an objective observer the 2020 elections were profoundly unfair. I won't trouble you with too many published details about the statistically impossible results, but here is one example of fraud. The city of Detroit gave 95 per cent of its vote to Biden/Kamala, a number that Mr Kim Jong-un would view with slight envy, while Mr Lukashenko would murmur, "How can it be done?" It is highly likely this mind-boggling result was achieved in the following way. ..."
"... The problem is, Trump was a poor organiser. He could win elections, if he could prevent Cynthia Stephens's kind of legislation, outlaw postal ballots, enforce obligatory IDs for voting, mobilise his people for election control. A formidable task, but not impossible, while dealing with a prone-to-cheat adversary. He could even do a revolution on January 6, tasking the right people to act, forming a revolutionary HQ, planning a strategy of takeover, but he didn't do anything of the sort. He probably thought Congress would see the vast crowds and allow for the checking of election results. ..."
"... Alternatively, he was so naïve that he believed revolutions just happen by themselves, as in the movies. They do not. Behind every successful revolution, there is a lot of planning, armed force, weapons ready for use, supply lines, logistics, media support, and communications. Trump had none of that. It was enough to turn off Twitter to make him deaf and dumb. ..."
"... There was no coup attempt, as correctly stated by Tyler Durden : "Trump has never had the concentration, organizational acumen, or ideological coherence to mount a bona fide "coup," and a mob intrusion which was swiftly dispersed by armed agents of the state doesn't change that. ..."
"... Many Trumpists believed in the QAnon and Kayfabe conspiracies; they posted reports of bad guys being arrested, of servers snatched by the FBI, of Clinton and Biden waiting for rough justice behind bars. This belief disarmed people who would otherwise have fought to achieve this very result. That is the problem with conspiracies: imaginary conspiracies prevent real action. ..."
"... He succeeded against enormous odds in improving the lot of American workers: for the first time since the 1970s, their incomes rose in relation to the other classes. He stopped mass migration to the US: legal immigration went down to a trickle. He avoided new wars; he tried to make peace with Russia. He refused to bomb Iran even in the last days of his presidency, though some pro-Israel supporters promised him a second term if he would. ..."
"... His fight against the corona madness was his great achievement. He was against the lockdowns that are about to destroy our world so completely that few things will survive. The last great US ruler who didn't wear the cowardly mask will be remembered. He could not defeat the mighty medical complex, or FAGMA, or the Masters of Discourse, but he tried. ..."
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at ..."
"... The Unz Review ..."
Jan 10, 2021 | www.unz.com

President Trump was decisively beaten, if not fair and square. The hopes of millions of American voters were squashed and extinguished. The saga of the Orange Man is over. The victors used a gambit: they sacrificed the sanctity and security of the Capitol, allowed intruders in, permitted them to take selfies in the Speaker's office, and then faked horror and outrage. The attempted calls for electoral transparency were deflated in real time as huge crowds were dispersed, electors were confirmed, and the ascendancy of Biden was assured, while Trump followers were branded 'domestic terrorists'.

Donald Trump denounced the people whom he personally called to protest. His close political allies withdrew their support. Within hours, or even minutes, this ruler of the world admired by millions became a non-person. Like a boy who posted an obscenity, he was banned by Twitter and Facebook. Time will tell whether he will go to prison, as so many Dems pray for, but his political life seems to have ended, even if his cause may live.

The deck was stacked against President Trump from Day One. His orders were ignored. The US courts, judges, police, the whole system of law enforcement was against him; his orders were blocked or overturned, while the media made fun of him and the opposition relentlessly delegitimised him. He was blocked even by Fox News. Dem-run states adjusted their laws to assure the elections' result. Trump was a lame duck from the very beginning of his presidency to its bitter end. He was kept on a short leash by the almighty Deep State, and when he tried to free himself, they pulled the leash.

On January 6, a massive demonstration in his support gathered in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands Americans came to the capital to demand justice after the election fraud became obvious. They hoped that the Republican representatives would refuse to certify the fraud and appoint a commission to check and recount the votes. Some of the protesters managed to break into the Capitol, or were let in by the police. This peaceful Occupy Capitol action, the exercise of a natural right to protest, was met with lethal fire, and a young female protester from San Diego, Ashli Babbitt, was murdered by the plainclothes police. The Republican representatives were cowed and surrendered; Biden was confirmed to take office.

The horror and outrage of the Dem politicians and media were as faked as their news. During last year, many government buildings were taken over by Dem-sponsored BLM activists, and in not one case did the police use lethal weapons or even rush the protesters out of buildings.

"Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the locked King Street entrance to the Capitol, chanting "Break down the door!" and "General strike!" Moments later, police ceded control of the State Street doors and allowed the crowd to surge inside, joining thousands who had already gathered in the Capitol to protest the votes. The area outside the Assembly, which is scheduled to take the bill up at 11 a.m. today, was crowded with protesters who chanted, "We're not leaving. Not this time."

Department of Administration spokesman Tim Donovan said although protesters were being encouraged to leave, no one would be forcibly removed. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said he had instructed Police Chief Noble Wray not to allow his officers to participate in removing demonstrators from the building."

This was what happened in Madison, Wisconsin in March 2011, as Steve Sailer reminded us. Indeed, this is what the protesters expected; some were dressed in flamboyant carnival attire; they behaved well and peacefully, within acceptable limits. It was not an insurrection; they didn't try to take over the Congress in any meaningful sense. For them, it was an honest and funny way to express their indignation. But the real gambit plotters intended to frame them. They even murdered four protesters hoping they would respond with violence, but in vain.

White American protesters are exceptionally non-violent lot; as with Occupy Wall Street a few years back the January 6 Capitol protesters were timid and obedient as lambs. For this reason, BLM was invented, for Blacks are able to riot violently, as opposed to well-trained whites. It is not a race thing: lily-white French Yellow Vests and Ukrainian nationalists have fought the police all right. But US whites are not prone to riot, not since the Civil War. Being a foreigner, I do not understand why the Americans want to keep their guns if they never use them, but that's the way they are.

Anyway, their non-violence didn't help them. The president-elect Biden begrudged them even the name of protesters: "Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists." Indeed, the name should be preserved for Deep State-authorised looters and their brethren all over the world, whether in Hong Kong or Minsk, in Seattle or Portland.

Russian social networks were comparing the Washington DC events with those nearer to home and complained of 'double standards'. The US media expressed no indignation when their appointee Boris Yeltsin shelled the Russian Parliament in 1993. The New York Times and the State Department had encouraged the nationalist mob to storm Ukrainian government offices in 2014. They cheered on the opposition in Minsk in taking over their parliament after failing to win elections. The Belarus protesters claimed their country's election results were rigged, just like Trump supporters did for the US elections, but Biden didn't call them "domestic terrorists". (Actually, neither did President Lukashenko: he called them 'protesters', and their violent demos were dispersed without a single shot fired.) In such cases, Jews respond with "How can you compare?!"

The Russians compared the Capitol 'coup attempt' with their own semi-staged 'coup' of 1991, a partly pre-planned provocation. In 1991, the feeble coup organisers could not detain Yeltsin and surrendered as if on cue; the wave of indignation removed Gorbachev and the Communist party from power. In the Capitol, too, police waved the 'invaders' in, as you can see on this video forwarded by the BBC. More videos suggesting Capitol police involvement in the ostensible provocation are presented here . The orchestrated indignation allowed the victors to censor and purge the defeated Trump and his followers. Just as the USSR went down in August 1991, Trump's America went down in January 2021, and the liberal elites representing the big corporations came to power. It was achieved by a provocation, but ordinary Trump followers were really angry with the Election Steal. Likewise, 1991 was a provocation, but ordinary Russian citizens were angry at Gorbachev's perestroika, while the liberal elites used it to dismantle the Soviet state and transfer all assets to their oligarchs.

People with a good knowledge of history refer to the Reichstag Fire of February 1933, the arson contrived by the newly formed Nazi government itself to turn public opinion against its opponents and to assume emergency powers. Alternatively, other researchers have contended that there was no proof of Nazi complicity in the crime, but that Hitler merely capitalised on the Dutch Communist van der Lubbe's independent act. The fire is the subject of continued debate and research, says the Encycopaedia Britannica . Probably the same will be said about the Capitol "invasion", and researchers will argue whether duplicitous Biden's minions organised it or just capitalised on the Trumpers' sincere protest.

There is no doubt that to an objective observer the 2020 elections were profoundly unfair. I won't trouble you with too many published details about the statistically impossible results, but here is one example of fraud. The city of Detroit gave 95 per cent of its vote to Biden/Kamala, a number that Mr Kim Jong-un would view with slight envy, while Mr Lukashenko would murmur, "How can it be done?" It is highly likely this mind-boggling result was achieved in the following way.

Detroit Dems outsourced ballot harvesting to local drug lords, offering them as a prize – recreational marijuana business licenses. These licences are the best thing since a licence to print money . Having such licenses is like having your own ATM. Here you can read about their profitability and the lengths criminals will go to obtain them. Detroit Dems had changed local laws allowing the sale of marijuana in their fine city (it was forbidden until November 2020). They changed local laws prescribing the issuing of marijuana licences to drug dealers with previous convictions for drug dealing. They let drug lords out of jail . They changed local laws to allow ballot harvesting; that is, collecting postal votes and assisting with the filling in of ballots. After that, the drug dealers went around collecting postal ballots and filling them in immediately, if they were conscientious, or just filling them in at their leisure, if feeling lazy. They had a judge at their disposal, Cynthia Stephens , who single-handedly changed Michigan election laws, and then rejected Trump's claims of fraud.

Yes, Virginia, there was election fraud in many American states. They are used to gambling; they aren't surprised by a beautiful hand of four aces, as Mark Twain suggested. Usually the two parties deal in turns, and cheat in turns. Only this time, Trump convinced many people that it is different; that this is their last chance.

The problem is, Trump was a poor organiser. He could win elections, if he could prevent Cynthia Stephens's kind of legislation, outlaw postal ballots, enforce obligatory IDs for voting, mobilise his people for election control. A formidable task, but not impossible, while dealing with a prone-to-cheat adversary. He could even do a revolution on January 6, tasking the right people to act, forming a revolutionary HQ, planning a strategy of takeover, but he didn't do anything of the sort. He probably thought Congress would see the vast crowds and allow for the checking of election results.

Alternatively, he was so naïve that he believed revolutions just happen by themselves, as in the movies. They do not. Behind every successful revolution, there is a lot of planning, armed force, weapons ready for use, supply lines, logistics, media support, and communications. Trump had none of that. It was enough to turn off Twitter to make him deaf and dumb.

There was no coup attempt, as correctly stated by Tyler Durden : "Trump has never had the concentration, organizational acumen, or ideological coherence to mount a bona fide "coup," and a mob intrusion which was swiftly dispersed by armed agents of the state doesn't change that. Shortly after the breach, he released a video instructing his followers not to take Senators hostage or imprison Mike Pence, but to "go home." No factions of the federal government joined the mob on Trump's orders, because he didn't bother issuing any. The whole episode never stood the remotest chance of preventing the certification of Joe Biden, much less overthrowing the government. It was just another goofball charade, and in that sense, a fitting end to the Trump presidency."

Conspiracy theories played their disappointing part in the debacle. Many Trumpists believed in the QAnon and Kayfabe conspiracies; they posted reports of bad guys being arrested, of servers snatched by the FBI, of Clinton and Biden waiting for rough justice behind bars. This belief disarmed people who would otherwise have fought to achieve this very result. That is the problem with conspiracies: imaginary conspiracies prevent real action.

Still, I do not want to finish this piece on such a sad and disappointing note. President Trump was a great leader. He succeeded against enormous odds in improving the lot of American workers: for the first time since the 1970s, their incomes rose in relation to the other classes. He stopped mass migration to the US: legal immigration went down to a trickle. He avoided new wars; he tried to make peace with Russia. He refused to bomb Iran even in the last days of his presidency, though some pro-Israel supporters promised him a second term if he would.

His fight against the corona madness was his great achievement. He was against the lockdowns that are about to destroy our world so completely that few things will survive. The last great US ruler who didn't wear the cowardly mask will be remembered. He could not defeat the mighty medical complex, or FAGMA, or the Masters of Discourse, but he tried.

The day of his defeat, January 6, was the Epiphany, or Adoration of the Magi, of the Three Wise Men who came to worship Jesus in his cave. It was also Christmas Eve for the Eastern Church. It is the darkest time of the year; from now on, the day will increase and so will our hopes.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .

[Jan 09, 2021] What we are seeing in the US is an ongoing coup. This is a coup against the US people by the US corporate and financial oligarchs.

Jan 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

killwallstreet , Jan 9 2021 18:50 utc | 3

The DNC mafia is about to complete the process of assimilation of the progressives, exactly as predicted

Blue Dotterel , Jan 9 2021 19:08 utc | 12

I have tried to explain over the past while, that what we are seeing in the US is an ongoing coup, This is a coup against the US people by the US corporate and financial oligarchs. Clearly, they are benefiting by not simply enriching themselves at taxpayers expense, but securing their own criminal amoral behaviour through the supression of human rights and what is left of the freedom of speech in the US. This is accelaerating exponentially and has been going on long before Trump came on the scene.

Avoid paying attention to the distractions, and keep your eye on the ball.

[Jan 09, 2021] The line of investigation initiated by Upton Sinclair into the shared Board memberships at key elite universities within the USA that erased the traditional teaching of political-economy and replaced it with the mathematical economics which lie at the root of Neoliberalism's Junk Economics

Jan 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 9 2021 0:37 utc | 124

Digital Spartacus @105--

I've been following her work for several months now and think her premises much sounder than Matthew Ehret's, who are actually on the same Canadian team. Generally, the three of us are working on exposing the rise and spread of what's now known as Neoliberalism. And of course, there's Dr. Hudson who's ahead of us all.

The line of investigation initiated by Upton Sinclair into the shared Board memberships at key elite universities within the USA that erased the traditional teaching of political-economy and replaced it with the mathematical economics which lie at the root of Neoliberalism's Junk Economics

I see as very promising as they're also prominent bankers and Old Money with social connections to England's Royalty and Nobility--the primary members of Europe's Rentier Class . When I look over the comments, many have forgotten just what Class owns the Duopoly and controls the federal government. Trump was never allowed into their circle but was used by some of its members in the pursuit of interests that are still shrouded in fog. My working hypothesis there is they were quite worried that too much industrial capacity had been foreclosed and moved such that it caused a real threat to national security; thus the need for MAGA.

With the rise of the Eurasian Bloc, the "threat" isn't military; it's economic. As I wrote earlier today, an economy based on consumerism will collapse when the consumers can no longer consume. Hudson's 100% correct that debt's that can't be repaid won't. The current degree of economic polarization is miniscule compared to what might ensue if the Bidenites don't forestall it--200 Million people bankrupt while 100 Million have good paying jobs and can afford their debts--the remaining 40-50 Million are mostly impoverished children. This time the part of the public that gets shafted as in 2009 under Obama isn't going to sit still, and what happened in DC will be repeated elsewhere with meaning this time. A genuine MAGA Fascist wanting control will need to disarm the Rentier Class and the Swamp thus ousting the current "Friendly Fascist" regime--and that would require a paramilitary since that's basically what composes the Swamp--Civil War between two Factions of Reaction that would also split the military. Wonder what barflies think of all that?

karlof1 , Jan 9 2021 1:11 utc | 135

Earlier in the week I linked to the latest Renegade Inc program which had Dr. Hudson as one of the guests. That show's transcript is now available. Here's an excerpt with Ross Ashcroft asking a question:

"Ross: What do you think are the megatrends that we should be looking at in 2021? What do you think is the direction of travel, if you like, for so-called developed economies?

"Michael Hudson: Well, the big trend in any economy is the growth of debt, because the debt grows exponentially. The economy has painted itself into a debt corner. We can see that in real estate. We can see that for small business. There's also almost no way to recover. The Federal Reserve has been printing quantitative easing to keep stock and bonds high. But for the real economy, the trend is polarization and lower employment.

"The trend also is that state and local finances are broke, especially in the biggest cities, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They're not getting income tax revenue from the unemployed or closed businesses. They're not getting the real estate tax with so many defaults and mortgage arrears. In New York City there's talk of cutting back the subways by 70 percent. People will be afraid to take the subways when they're overcrowded with people with the virus. So you're having a breakdown not only in state and local finances, but of public services that are state run – public transportation services, health services, education is being downsized. Everything that is funded out of state and local budgets is going to suffer.

"And living standards are going to be very sharply downward as people realize how many services they got are dependent on public infrastructure."

And this one I must also include:

"Ross: What is the one thing that has really surprised you in 2020? What have you laughed at? What has given you a chuckle?

"Michael Hudson: The surprise – that I really shouldn't have been surprised at – is how naive Bernie Sanders supporters were in thinking that they were going to get a fair deal and that the elections were going to be fair. The illusion is that people were actually going to have a fair election when the last thing the vested interests wanted was Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or any kind of reformer. So what happened to Sanders is what happened to Corbyn in Britain and the Labour Party's neoliberal leadership.

"So what's for laughs? I guess, Tulsi Gabbard's takedown of Kamala Harris was absolutely wonderful. Everybody just broke out laughing, cheering for her. And of course, that's why she was marginalized, and now we have Kamala Harris as the senior vice president."

Of course, none of the dire economic news is being reported with the focus instead on Wall Street's markets, with much of the public just as brainwashed about it as Trump. The last third focuses on politics, which is what most barflies want to read about. So, click the link and read what Dr. Hudson sees in the tea leaves.

[Jan 03, 2021] George Monbiot got it half-right- There is a capitalist civil war, but not exactly the kind of war he describes

Jan 03, 2021 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

As Monbiot points out:

The only way really to understand Brexit is as the outcome of a civil war within capitalism. There are two dominant forms of capitalism. One you could describe as house trained capitalism. This is corporations and rich people who are prepared to more or less go along with democracy, as long as democracy doesn't get out of hand and actually represent the interests of the people, but as long as it's a sort of thin and narrow form of democracy, they'll go with it. What they want is stability. They want regulations which protect their market position from rougher and dirtier companies who would otherwise wipe them out. They're happy with the administrative state.
And then there's another faction who could be described as capitalism's warlords. These are people who don't want any constraints in their way at all. They see taxation as illegitimate, they see regulation as illegitimate. In their unguarded moments, they reveal that they see democracy as illegitimate. People such as Peter Thiel, the guy who founded PayPal says actually democracy and market freedom are incompatible. The conflict should be resolved in favor of this thing he calls the market. Τhe market is an euphemism for the power of money. And they believe that that power should be unmediated, that it should be able to do whatever it wants without anyone standing in its way. And they see as their enemy house trained capitalism. And this is really where the power lies within.

The whole Brexit debate, is on the one side, the august institutions of capitalism, like the Confederation of British Industry, saying this is terrible, we don't want this to happen at all. And on the other side, the oligarchs from the City, very powerful people who are funding dark money think tanks and other lobby groups, saying we want to clear it all out of the way. In Steve Bannon's words, " we want the deconstruction of the administrative state ". And it's a second group, the warlords of money who have won.

First of all, both capitalist factions in this civil war seek the " deconstruction of the administrative state. " And actually, the administrative state could be deconstructed much more efficiently through super-national formations like the European Union. The European Union institutions have been taken over by powerful banking and corporate lobbies. And these are taking advantage of the legislative power of those institutions in order to promote more deregulation and destroy the administrative power of nation-states. As the Corporate Europe Observatory reported in 2016:
Since Jean-Claude Juncker took office as President of the European Commission in November 2014, there has been an even greater deregulation push, not just on specific rules and laws which should be scrapped, but on how decisions are made about future laws. Under Juncker, fundamental changes in policy-making are being introduced which will put major obstacles in the way of new regulations aimed at protecting the environment or improving social conditions. When David Cameron was renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the EU with European Council President Donald Tusk, a greater European emphasis on deregulation was one of the four priority areas. To pile on the pressure, Cameron and the UK government spearheaded an appeal from 18 other member states, demanding quantitative targets, meaning that for every new regulation put in place, a certain number of other regulations should be removed. [...] As presented here, Cameron and the European Commission – together with big business - share a common approach on the deregulation agenda.

That's why the "house trained capitalism", as Monbiot describes it, wants the UK to remain member of the EU. And, in fact, it's rather contradictory to say that this capitalist faction is "happy with the administrative state" when at the same time supports a super-national organization whose ultimate goal is to eliminate the administrative power of the nation-states.
Monbiot describes the pro-Brexit capitalist faction as " capitalism's warlords ... people who don't want any constraints in their way at all. They see taxation as illegitimate, they see regulation as illegitimate. In their unguarded moments, they reveal that they see democracy as illegitimate. " Yet, these are common characteristics with the "house trained capitalism" faction. That's because both capitalist factions in previous decades were functioning as a united force through the complete domination of neoliberalism. A domination which was evident not only in an economic and a political level, but also in a cultural level, especially in the Western world. And that's why, as we wrote recently, both the liberal elites and the far right (as representatives of the capitalist factions), are seeing the real Left as the primary threat which must be dealt at all costs, after all.
We need to understand that this civil war between the capitalist factions does not come out of any substantially different ideological or political approach. Essentially, it's only a tough bargain. Capitalists just pick sides to negotiate terms and secure their position in the post-capitalist era, which already looks like a kind of 21st century corporate feudalism. Yet, we would completely agree with Monbiot's remark that " What happens to us, to the citizens of the UK, is of very little interest. We're just the grass that gets trampled in this civil war. "
As we already pointed out , the level of ruthlessness of this capitalist war can also be identified in the behavior of the US political class against the American people. It's astonishing that, inside this terrible situation, where thousands die from the pandemic, millions lose their jobs and live under extreme insecurity, no one is willing to offer anything. Both Democrats and Republicans have turned the oncoming election into a political bargain and they don't even try to hide it.
Inside this ruthless capitalist war, people have become almost irrelevant. What only matters for the political puppets is to secure the interests of the capitalist faction they represent. The rampageous bulls of capitalism are fighting each other in an arena in which democracy has now turned into dust under their violent clatters. Therefore, we would also certainly agree with Monbiot's conclusion: We need a political economy which is good for the people, the people who live today, the people of future generations, good for the rest of the living world and is actually governed by the people themselves. Not by this kind of capitalism or that kind of capitalism. These corporations or those oligarchs. A democracy which responds to people not just once every four or five years, but every day, when we have participation as well as representation. We need a system that transcends both of these warring factions, and puts the people in charge.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/s5VgkCb8lYI Related: Brexit: let there be blood among capitalists and may the real Left finally

[Jan 03, 2021] The USA is on the path to techno-feudalism

Jan 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

LetThemEatRand 10 hours ago (Edited)

Most people don't know what feudalism is/was. It is a form of slavery. The serf works for the Lord. He is technically free, but he cannot own land and if he ventures out from the area where he works (owned by the Lord), he will starve. China is a neo-feudal society. There is a technical middle class, who are the people who work for the lords.

El Vaquero 10 hours ago

You get it. Global neo-feudalism is the goal. The commies and socialists are just useful idiots.

sun tzu 10 hours ago

Capitalism for the elites and slavery for masses

El Vaquero 10 hours ago (Edited)

Slavery for the masses. You will be their property if you allow it. A possession. Chattel. Livestock.

philipat 10 hours ago (Edited)

If people don't stand up against this Reset and say NO now, it's over. ("You will own nothing and you will be happy", f**k that thanks, I'm still a great believer in free market capitalism and private property rights) The problem is, the sheep are distracted and terrified by "Covid", part of the plan of course. These people are evil but not stupid.

And I think everyone should keep in mind those Deagel population projections for the US of 100 Million in 2025. That's a BIG drop which isn't going to came about "naturally"!!

El Vaquero 10 hours ago

They're going to fail at the end of the day, but the damage they're going to do on the way out is staggering. They're like crack dealers who sample their product a little too often. They're ignoring things like the laws of physics, which unlike criminal laws, no matter how hard you try, you cannot break. They're also ignoring some biological principles.

Ofelas 6 hours ago (Edited)

2015 interview with a top manager from the Bank of England "the reset will happen 2020" At the time we did not understand the full extent, but expected a stock market reset.

https://youtu.be/BShR0pExJq8

I recommend you see this contribution, he speaks for the outcome of being connected to the cloud (ai), essentially they control your thoughts thus "No children, population drops to the level of 500mn in decades" Who those chosen 500mn will be, have a guess.

Scorpion Shooter MBA PREMIUM 2 hours ago

The program is well underway already; I see it everyday simply by the numbers of masked zombies. Much damage has already been done, but there is more to come.

Many people are still comfortable, however, and won't resist until they begin to lose things.

LetThemEatRand 10 hours ago

Which is what Marx predicted. He was right about the problem, but not the solution. The solution was 1776. Took a few years to revert back.

El Vaquero 10 hours ago

1776 was somewhat of an anomaly. A lot of revolutions are "meet the new boss, same or worse than the old boss." IMO, if we 1776 again, there needs to be a lot of militia guerrilla action as a deterrence against that.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

1776 was a coup d'etat as was 1917 and almost 100% killed the wrong people. The Schwabs and Gates always get away.

Ofelas 5 hours ago

Since 1776 only 200 families rule France, nothing changed

philipat 10 hours ago

Actually, it's the other way round. Communism (And bailouts) for the Elites and Capitalism (You lost it all? Tough) for the masses..

philipat 7 hours ago

Maybe. There's a lot of sheep who have been programed and propogandized to obey who are literally fat, lazy and clueless.. As demonstrated by "Covid". America isn't what it used to be.

carpman 7 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Thought I'd throw this into the mix since a lot of terms are getting thrown around, this is regarding the WEF's Great Reset:

" This is more the dystopian wet dream of a neo-feudal, corporate plantation owner; a kind of technocratic serfdom. At its root however, is global, centralised state-capitalism (i.e. global fascism). " ( source )

I'll just quote some concerns of US workers in the 1840's:

"When you sell your product, you retain your person. But when you sell your labour, you sell yourself, losing the rights of free men and becoming vassals of mammoth establishments of a monied aristocracy that threatens annihilation to anyone who questions their right to enslave and oppress. Those who work in the mills ought to own them, not have the status of machines ruled by private despots who are entrenching monarchic principles on democratic soil as they drive downwards freedom and rights, civilization, health, morals and intellectuality in the new commercial feudalism."

Here's Richard Werner in 2018 (The Monetary Institute Conference) talking about Central Bank plans. Eerily similar to the Great Reset Agenda and pre-Covid-19 (the whole thing is worth a watch, but jump to 12:50): https://youtu.be/IzE038REw2k?t=769

C.

Falcon49 3 hours ago

Actually....just about everybody has been conned into being useful idiots. Even those that are not commies or socialist. They have unlimited resources, control the narrative, and have a near monopoly on the use of force. (Divide, distract, deceive, and delude)

hegger 10 hours ago (Edited)

The lord was paid a tithe so you could live on his land, but for that tithe, he also protected you.

Today, you effectively and overall pay more than a tithe and are protected less. You also pay multiple lords (you pay the bank cartel for using a private currency pretending to be federal, you pay a bank or a landlord to live in a building, you pay local, state and federal taxes, you indefinitely pay property taxes and inflation indirectly taxes you more and more by the second). Those preying upon you lobby (bribe) those "in charge" so that they do nothing.

Seems to me like somewhere along the line, one lord was simply exchanged for many.

We're lucky humans have come further along in terms of expanding consciousness and reducing violence, because in strictly contractual terms, the relationship between subject and ruler hasn't improved as much as I wish it had.

Much of the "perks" people see in modern forms of government are faked. Behind the facade, the attempt to enslave body and mind continues.

The White Rabbit 9 hours ago

MUST WATCH NOW & SHARE! Catherine Austin Fitts exposes their "Agenda". There's still time to stop this insanity, but not much.

https://youtu.be/C1-0XKYAZII

philipat 7 hours ago (Edited)

Yes, I watched that a few days ago. She is very smart, on the right side (the Government came after her when she saw the light and left HUD and she spent 5 years and $7 Million defending herself against all sorts of crap in the usual attempt by Government to destroy her) and very well connected. And she's VERY good at connecting dots. The revelations here about the association between the location of Fed Offices and the location/type of properties that got destroyed in the pre-election "BLM/Antifa" are staggering.

Svendblaaskaeg 5 hours ago

Thank You!, very informative, this Lady is gold!

Razor_Edge 4 hours ago

Look up her online book: "The Aristocracy of Stock Profits". The roots of what is unfolding today are there on full display. This lady is amazing, truly one of the good guys, but with deep insight from having seen the beast from the inside. It's past time for us all to wake up, come together and act powerfully to throw off the yoke of evil throttling our world. We can do this through prayer and righteous living. Do not give their schemes oxygen by participating in them. Let us reimagine our societies with the beasts left outside.

`And these words shall then become Like Oppression's thundered doom Ringing through each heart and brain, Heard again -- again -- again--

91 `Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number-- Shake your chains to earth like dew

370 Which in sleep had fallen on you-- Ye are many -- they are few.'

Oliver Jones 3 hours ago

Thanks for the suggestion. I have some reading to do.

Alan Cruiser 5 hours ago

Absolutely a must see!

Oliver Jones 3 hours ago

Yes, I must agree with The White Rabbit: I would even go so far to say that watching that Catherine Austin Fitts video will be the best 49 minutes you ever invest in 2021, and we're not even a week into the New Year.

I just subscribed to her Solari Report - she talks a lot of sense , and we need to support more people like her.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

China is better off in its form of feudalism. The USA will be much worse off. It is a meaningful difference.

Grandad Grumps 38 minutes ago

Feudalism worked on the farms in Europe until the plague killed 100 million people. The serfs migrated to better paying jobs in cities and the "lords" were left to tend their own fields.

The White Rabbit 9 hours ago

MUST WATCH NOW & SHARE! Catherine Austin Fitts exposes their "Agenda". There's still time to stop this evil & insanity, but not much.

https://youtu.be/C1-0XKYAZII

mtndds 9 hours ago

Great Video

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago (Edited)

C A F is a great lady. She is one of the chief fighters against the real plague, the plague of Talmudo-Satanists which are the enemy in WW3. But this video is a CIA production to discredit her I think.

The graphic behind her is insanely creepy, as is the interviewer and the camera-work.

Oliver Jones 3 hours ago (Edited)

I am forced to agree. The video is a bombshell, and it neatly ties together all those little strands linking currencies, the economy, international banking, the COVID scamdemic, vaccines, biotechnology and space weaponry. Her delivery is also very calm, matter-of-fact reasoning - and not at all Alex Jones.

Moreover, she exposes what these bastards have in store for us: George Orwell, boot, stamping, face, the rest of your life. Oh yes, and your DNA will be permanently modified so you can't resist them.

xious 10 hours ago (Edited)

They are banning all gender words for congress. Covid checkpoints are coming soon.

mtndds 10 hours ago

If true then this is some really sick satanic sh!t they have planned.

El Vaquero 10 hours ago

You can go read the WEF's articles and watch their youtube videos. They'll tell you exactly what they're about.

Mike Rotsch 10 hours ago

If history is any indicator of what's about to happen, the toughest thing to figure out from here is, in which order all of these assholes are going to inevitably end up with their heads on pikes.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

Nowhere in their plan is the word 'human', except with the word 'trans' in front of it.

convid21 10 hours ago (Edited)

What happens if they can't fulfill their Great Pandemic dream and Bankrupt the Economy ?

It looks like now the Great Pushback against Lockdowns is gathering momentum to combat the Governments Pushback for more Lockdowns. It's Pushback vs Pushback.

rsnoble 8 hours ago

Bankrupt the economy? Lol. Only a million job losses per week since last March or the better part of a million.

BURNtheMSM 8 hours ago

I wonder what their plan is for all these evictions waiting to happen. They gonna f'ing "hero up" somehow? There's gonna be some real pain in the near future, on a grand scale.

Boondocker 8 hours ago

Look at what it is doing to middle-class rental owners...draining their wealth...all part of the plan

convid21 6 hours ago

We're in Act 2 of a 4 part play.

If you want to know what's going to happen next in the USA,

it's already started in the UK and Australia, it's reached total nonsense.

Alan Cruiser 5 hours ago

But something has to give at some point. People are reaching their limits, and that is by design. But if the masses start moving, they better start hiding.

convid21 4 hours ago

At the moment there is just peaceful protests, so the NWO is just laughing their asses off.

4Celts 10 hours ago

If enacted, such plans would fail, but their adoption would nevertheless exact a price.

Yes. I don't think the majority will submit to this Collectivist Utopia being sold/ forced . But in the meantime , the financial , emotional, and societal damage, will be almost impossible to repair.But just as with their brutal wars, they....don't...GAF.

hugin-o-munin 9 hours ago

The time for these holier-than-thou elites to steer and control the world is coming to a close. People are born to be free and express their ideas, wishes and dreams. That is a concept completely alien to these lost souls and their constant push to create conflict, despair and suffering only proves how morally bankrupt they are.

Being able to freely create and affect other people in a positive way and be rewarded for it is what all people want. It is an innate and natural force to be life promoting, creative and constructive. I feel sorry for people like Bill Gates, George Soros and Klaus Schwab because they are clearly lost souls whose existence must be very cold and lifeless.

Pardalis 9 hours ago

Dead souls lost in utter darkness.

hugin-o-munin 9 hours ago

They're not dead they're just encrusted. In a weird way and on some level they serve a purpose to help the rest of us.

JZ123 9 hours ago

Sadly I dont think so. 2020 was the final kill blow for the elites. Most people probably dont even want to be free at this point..

Mad Muppet PREMIUM 9 hours ago

The next time you go to the market, look at all the maskholes and rethink whether they really want to be free. Most of them do not.

hugin-o-munin 8 hours ago

Eventually their state of fear and obedience to this death cult will subside and they too will wake up. Nobody can make them or even speed the process up, they have to discover this on their own.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

It took the Bolshevik **** who raped and pillaged Russia after the 1917 Coup d'Etat (known as the first Color Revolution- Red) 80 years to destroy and steal everything. Then they moved to the West and the USA. I hope that you stop them. Eighty years is a long time to wait for them to tired of abusing you and your children and wives.

hugin-o-munin 8 hours ago

I hope you've read Antony Sutton's book :

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution: The Remarkable True Story of the American Capitalists Who Financed the Russian Communists

https://www.amazon.com/Wall-Street-Bolshevik-Revolution-Capitalists/dp/190557035X

If not I highly recommend it.

dont stare at the beam 8 hours ago (Edited)

they have to discover this on their own.

They never will, they have no free will, the people that started the pandemic scam know it.

BURNtheMSM 8 hours ago

Yup. They'll just don their mask and go about their ********, hoping things will soon "get better." The writing is clearly on the wall at this point mfers. How are so many almost unfazed by how this is all unfolding? We can't just roll over. Rolling with the punches will not work out much longer.

hugin-o-munin 8 hours ago

Getting over cognitive dissonance takes courage and time. We've all been there. Don't judge the ones who are being silent but punch those who are attacking you with their gestapo demands.

Wayne 2 hours ago

Any wonder why Bitcoin is going to the moon?

Every time I look at the chart, it's higher. Bitcoin, gold, silver, land, garden, water is freedom.

https://www.coinbase.com/price/bitcoin

gonediving 10 hours ago

REWATCH V for VENDETTA if you can....viruses let loose by their own govt...prophetic!!

You wear a mask for so long you forget who you were beneath it.

JAN 6 you are invited.

Nessa 9 hours ago

https://www.bitchute.com/video/z7B6mLIjxVpf/

This video was removed from the World Economic Forum website.

"YOU'LL OWN NOTHING, AND YOU'LL BE HAPPY"

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

They are afraid. When a few of them are found floating in the river, they will be even more afraid.

But it will have to be done without planning or discussion as everything is overheard and surveiled.

Mad, rash acts of poetry is what will work.

BURNtheMSM 8 hours ago

Wtf do they think we're going to be renting???

LetThemEatRand 10 hours ago

2021 Jeopardy:

"I'll take silly questions for $400 million Alex."

Here's the answer.

"I don't think the virus is that dangerous, and I'm worried about the vaccine. Can I travel?"

Al Jolson 3 hours ago (Edited)

The Great Reset means reduced incomes and carbon use

And there it is in a nutshell- the hyper privileged elites know full well what time it is. Oil, or should i say CHEAP and EASY oil, is running scarce as 2019 saw the year that fracking, with its woefully upside down energy spent to return ratio, finally puked (list of major fracking companies that went bust here ). The hyper privileged have been grooming the public for years in preparation for this with the fake climate change narrative. Whatever oil happens to remain that is accessible at a reasonable cost belongs to the hyper-privileged elites. It doesn't matter what side of the political paradigm you're on, if you're not one of the few elites, YOU ARE a deplorable and you will certainly be subjected to "reduced carbon use" while they themselves make no carbon use reductions whatsoever.

peterZ 2 hours ago

these same people could bring in new and viable energy tech but they won't

Cloud9.5 2 hours ago

Hopium is not a plan.

5onIt 2 hours ago

Such garbage. They been talking about peak oil for DECADES and here is the dirty secret or just you burying your head in the sand: oil is a renewable resource.

Oil is being found in wells that were capped 50 years ago, that were presumed dry. Franking, while presumed to be bad for the earth, has led to major leaps forward in the drilling industry.

Al Jolson 2 hours ago

you couldn't be more wrong if you tried a little harder.

Cloud9.5 2 hours ago

Sorry but production numbers do not support your hypothesis. When oil companies start drilling in the artic and steam cleaning tar sand, that should give you a clue. We have an abundance of gasoline right now because of demand destruction and shale oil. Shale oil was only possible because of cheap credit. Shale oil has not made a profit.

smacker 2 hours ago

Get real.

Peak Oil was always said to be known by looking in the rear view mirror.

If you do that, you will see Peak Oil occurred around 2005-6 (recall $150 oil?). The current price of oil only remains low because the global economy is on its knees and demand is low. If the global economy ever recovers, the price of oil will soon rise and will continue rising and then it's another global recession.

Rinse & Repeat.

Luce 1 hour ago

The price of oil adjusts to supply and demand.

The supply is there, the geinie is out of the bottle (fracking) and as soon as the price is there, production can quickly ramp up to profit on it.

Yes, credit used to support the ramp up in fracking caused a glut because companies could not afford to stop production until the prices returned. Instead, had to ramp up to pay the notes driving the price to nothing.

smacker 7 minutes ago

Fracking will not bridge the gap between conventional fossil fuel and demand.

Fluff The Cat 2 hours ago

There's no shortage of oil, which is the second most abundant liquid on earth besides water. The Rockefellers met with world leaders early in the 20th century and decided to create the illusion of artificial scarcity by redefining oil as "fossil fuel" so that they could jack up the market price.

CatInTheHat 54 minutes ago

Climate change= the excuse the elite need to tax the air you breathe.

It was always a joke.

The US MIC is the biggest polluter on the planet

Canoe Driver 3 hours ago

Obviously, a fair amount of the steadily regurgitated descriptions of the so-called Great Reset amounts to ********, but the real objectives of the plan, already made clear, are Chinese hegemony and a world communist State, which will simply be called by another name. This is why a glorified flu is being exaggerated so severely that even taxi drivers, some of them with virtually no formal education, are openly saying there must be something, apart from public health measures, going on.

taglady 3 hours ago

Those with "formal" education are often the stupid ones taught to ignore common sense and their own conscience in deference to indoctrination.

Faeriedust 19 minutes ago

The public education system is dedicated to finding those among the peasants with enough brains to cause trouble for the elites, and indoctrinate them with lies before they are old enough to know better. The best and least scrupulous are selected out to become trusted servants; the rest are turned into schoolteachers to indoctrinate the next generation.

Hero Zedge 9 hours ago

Let me guess, they confiscate everyone's wealth and we get $600 per quarter?

Mad Muppet PREMIUM 8 hours ago

Well they did say you won't own anything. I think that's exactly what they want.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

At first. There is a sliding scale and it points downwards.

IridiumRebel 10 hours ago

FAH-Q and your Faukin communism.

Oh-Globits 10 hours ago

declare martial law and exterminate all of the communist/bolshevik filth that has infested America

The White Rabbit 9 hours ago

MUST WATCH NOW & SHARE! Catherine Austin Fitts exposes their "Agenda". There's still time to stop their evil & insanity, but not much.

https://youtu.be/C1-0XKYAZII

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

A fish rots from the head down. The head is what you need to 'fix'.

GoldHermit PREMIUM 10 hours ago

I envision many telling these people to stick it and going back to a simpler way of life. I think they are willing to fight for this freedom.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

I await the sweet sound of gunfire from all 325 million American firearms.

DurdenRae 4 hours ago

With the onset of their own personal flavor of neo-feudalism, the wef does nothing else than killing the golden goose and genocide the white race. Looks like after having been expunged from Russia, Bolshevism made a fantastic comeback in what were once believed to be the freeest countries of the world.

Faeriedust 1 minute ago

One more time. FEUDALISM is a system built on PERSONAL, one-on-one relationships between the ruler and the governed. Each person knows the person he/she is responsible to, and commits to a personal relationship of trust and reciprocal obligations . Feudalism is like the Godfather: the Lord may be a crook, but he's a crook you know personally, you can talk to, and you can ask for favors or try to persuade, and because you know him, you even know what kind of persuasion might work.

What Schwab and his cronies are pushing is centralized, automated, bureaucratic TOTALITARIANISM . It has NOTHING in common with genuine feudalism. In totalitarianism, there are NO personal relationships. There are no mutual obligations. There is Ruler/Nation/Leadership, and there are proles. Proles don't know the Leader, never speak to the Leader, only see images of the Leader everywhere. They are addressed by Leadership as a mass, by media. The Leadership never sees them and never hears a single thing they say . He/She/It merely gives orders, which are to be obeyed.

Feudalism has been given a bad rap by Enlightenment-era writers who as members of the Renaissance mercantile class never had a personal, feudal relationship with a lord in their lives . It's been the subject of centuries of negative propaganda, with the result that it's now used to refer to any social system that isn't a modern democracy. Modern democracy has its own flaws. To describe them as feudalism, however, is to ascribe outmoded negative criticism of a long-ago era to something that has no factual similarity to it. It's part and parcel of the mindset that sees Catholicism as paganism or demon-worship because it doesn't subscribe to radical Puritan sensibilities.

Target Practice 4 hours ago (Edited)

I took a different road to you.

Do you believe in "Fake News" now? I guess "a global conspiracy" don't seem so far-fetched anymore?

This 3 minute short comedy film will introduce the channel. The other 56 videos lay it out for you, and No, I don't have all the answers. But it is really big .

"Bigger than anyone can imagine" ..

VACCINATE: Mommy. The TV Turned Daddy into a Robot Nazi.

HDRCFX Full Channel.

I don't sell T-Shirts, Hats, Coffee-Cups or Key-rings. There are no adverts, I don't want your money, I am trying to wake people the fuc up, including my own family. Most won't believe it, until the TV tells them to believe it, but a good number of you will be able to think for yourselves.

taglady 3 hours ago

It's not that people do not see what is happening. They do, but if they acknowledge the truth they will then have to do something about it. They are cowards. No problem, that is the way it has always been. It's only ever a very small percentage of people who change the world. Forget the cowards you don't want them at your back in battle anyway. It's time for those willing to do what it takes to unite and fight the parasites.

Cloud9.5 2 hours ago (Edited)

People are stockpiling food, fuel, and weapons on a scale we have never seen before. A third of the population is awake. They sense the collapse, and they are quietly getting ready for it.

Onthebeach6 6 hours ago

Klaus and his coven of economic vampires want to suck the rest of humanity dry whilst living forever as "Great Elders".

Sharpened stakes will work fine - just like in the movies.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

Nothing wrong with Dr [sic] Schwab that a mineral supplement of nine grams of lead would not fix.

JZ123 9 hours ago

If you are into the conspiracy theorist subculture all of this "reset" bio-techno-feudalism deep state stuff isnt news. The enigmatic Alex Jones has been talking about it for years. As looney as Jones is, he gets a lot of things right eventually.

hugin-o-munin 8 hours ago

There are many books on these subjects. You can choose to go down that rabbit hole but I think there are bigger rewards looking forward instead and work on new ideas and solutions.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago

Jones' style is irritating to some, his substance is solid.

pparalegal 10 hours ago

Generation Z are you listening.

sun tzu 10 hours ago

They're too brainwashed by schools and social media

taglady 3 hours ago

Interesting that those calling for a great reset are the very ones who profited massively from the old system and were instrumental in the destruction of the natural world for their obscene profits.

10LBS_SHIT_5LB_BAG 1 hour ago

The great reset is their way of keeping their ill gotten gains while shutting us out of upward social mobility.

Money-Liberty 5 hours ago

The key to defeating these nutcases and their cohort elites is the collapse of this rotten fiat monetary system; without debt creation they cannot increase their control. A return to gold, silver, decentralized crypto for smaller P2P transactions , barter and localization will help redress the balance of power. I firmly believe there will be a 'Great Awakening' as the covid pandemic passes and the bill has to be paid. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/greensqueeze.pdf

Propaganda Ripper 4 hours ago (Edited)

That's precisely because they know the current fiat system is going to collapse that they want this Great Reset with the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Cloud9.5 2 hours ago

The problem lies with cascading collapse. There is a lag time between the death of the old system and the birth of the new. We are 9 meals away from total chaos. Digital currency is a long way from being able to buy a cabbage at a farmers market, especially with a shaky grid.

shadow541 5 hours ago

What this globalist elite envisions as a great future is nothing more than a bad science fiction movie.

A dystopia where their greed and megalomania is endlessly rewarded via the slavery of nearly everyone else.

It is sad that most of our world leaders in many areas can't conceive of a balanced and inclusive future for humankind.

People like Bill Gates think they can do world changing things like block out the sun based on a climate hoax.

They are psychopaths that cannot grasp that humanity, nature itself have a right to exist outside of their control.

CatInTheHat 44 minutes ago

And that lack of EMPATHY AND CONSCIENCE will be their down fall

dark pools of soros 5 hours ago

the great reset should be removing jooos from controlling money

Maghreb2 5 hours ago

Replace them with totalitarians AI designed to maintain a caste system. I ******* guarantee you the AI will end up anti-semitic at some point when the whole system goes into a tailspin because of Dominque Strauss Khan and some prostitutes.

Waiting for the day some rabbi shouts "shut it down the golem know!"

SomethingClever 8 hours ago

You will own nothing and have zero privacy but you will be happy.

Which means the billionaires will own everything and spy on you and make sure you don't interfere with their plans for what you used to own.

Horace Walpole 9 hours ago

Rarely do I find myself aligned with Austrians, but this article keenly identifies many of the more odious objectives of the shady cabal behind this shift.

Having said that, it's safe to say that the people attempting to initiate this "Great Reset" are mentally retarded, and thus incapable of implementing their absurd agenda. In my estimation, their stupidity and senility will lead to a state of chaos on an international scale as they inevitably overplay their hand.

PrideOfMammon 8 hours ago (Edited)

They are not so much mentally retarded as otherwise-minded. They are Talmudo-Satanists and want a world in the image of their master, Satan.

Propaganda Ripper 7 hours ago (Edited)

In my estimation, their stupidity and senility will lead to a state of chaos on an international scale as they inevitably overplay their hand.

Let's hope they are not able to implement their real agenda.

Wayne 2 hours ago

They are indeed retarded on many levels. The in-breeding among the aristocracy is mind-boggling. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these billionaires bang their own daughters and have kids.

peterZ 2 hours ago

exact a price.

Yes, the price will depend on how long they are able to carry this out. With people being dragged from their homes by police what is next?

Yamaoka Tesshu 2 hours ago

The "people " I've seen "dragged from their homes" are most likely crisis actors. By letting it play out on TV, real people and real courts are avoided. Think of all the dodgy "shootings". They don't stand up to even cursory scrutiny. As long as the general population maintains a degree of credulity they can continue to spin tales out of whole cloth. And they will have the same effect as "real" events. They have been at this forever.

CatInTheHat 56 minutes ago

True.

Well said.

[Dec 30, 2020] Fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt by Brian Gallagher

Notable quotes:
"... "Some people's own incompetence somehow gives them a stupid sense that anything they do is first rate. They think it's great." ..."
"... Extreme views often stem from people feeling they understand complex topics better than they do. ..."
"... David Krakauer, the President of the Santa Fe Institute, told interviewer Steve Paulson, for Nautilus , stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence. "Stupidity is ... where adding more data doesn't improve your chances of getting [a problem] right," Krakauer said. "In fact, it makes it more likely you'll get it wrong." ..."
Dec 30, 2020 | getpocket.com

Why aren't there more people studying the science behind stupidity? Nautilus

On this past International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I reread a bit of Bertrand Russell. In 1933, dismayed at the Nazification of Germany, the philosopher wrote "The Triumph of Stupidity," attributing the rise of Adolf Hitler to the organized fervor of stupid and brutal people -- two qualities, he noted, that "usually go together."

He went on to make one of his most famous observations, that the "fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." Russell's quip prefigured the scientific discovery of a cognitive bias -- the Dunning -- Kruger effect -- that has been so resonant that it has penetrated popular culture, inspiring, for example, Russell's quip

"Some people's own incompetence somehow gives them a stupid sense that anything they do is first rate. They think it's great."

No surprise, then, that psychologist Joyce Ehrlinger prefaced a 2008 paper she wrote with David Dunning and Justin Kruger, among others, with Russell's comment -- the one he later made in his 1951 book, New Hopes for a Changing World :

"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." "By now," Ehrlinger noted in that paper, "this phenomenon has been demonstrated even for everyday tasks, about which individuals have likely received substantial feedback regarding their level of knowledge and skill." Humans have shown a tendency, in other words, to be a bit thick about even the most mundane things, like how well they drive.

Stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence.

Russell, who died in 1970 at 97 years of age, probably would not be surprised to hear news of this new study , published in Nature Human Behaviour : "Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most." The researchers, led by Philip Fernbach, cognitive scientist and co-author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone , analyzed survey responses from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.

They obtained similar results, they write, "in a parallel study with representative samples from the United States, France and Germany, and in a study testing attitudes about a medical application of genetic engineering technology (gene therapy)."

It was nevertheless consistent with prior work exploring the Dunning -- Kruger effect and the psychology of extremism, he Fernbach called their result "perverse." It was nevertheless consistent with prior work exploring the Dunning -- Kruger effect and the psychology of extremism, he said . " Extreme views often stem from people feeling they understand complex topics better than they do. " Now as ever, societies need to know how to combat this. But what exactly is stupidity?

David Krakauer, the President of the Santa Fe Institute, told interviewer Steve Paulson, for Nautilus , stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence. "Stupidity is ... where adding more data doesn't improve your chances of getting [a problem] right," Krakauer said. "In fact, it makes it more likely you'll get it wrong."

Intelligence, on the other hand ... allows you to solve complex problems with simple, elegant solutions. "Stupidity is a very interesting class of phenomena in human history, and it has to do with rule systems that have made it harder for us to arrive at the truth," he said.

... ... ...

Brian Gallagher is the editor of Facts So Romantic, the Nautilus blog.

[Dec 28, 2020] The biggest shakeup to my world view came with Russiagate.

Dec 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 27 2020 14:58 utc | 2

I will elaborate.


The biggest shakeup to my world view came with Russiagate.

I had previously believed that intelligence sat at the top of the hierarchy for how people process information and get their belief systems.

Now I know that intelligence is a sub-layer in the hierarchy, and not even second.

Levels:

1) People identify with groups and get their beliefs from that group - herds.
2) People mimic their herd.
3) People apply intelligence to rationalize the beliefs that they already hold.


Trying to deprogram a headline-reader or ingestor of the MSM (aka MIC-mouthpiece)
by interacting with them at level #3 is like "spooning against the tide". You are not even getting close to level #1.
This is actually reinforcing people's delusion that they are operating primarily from an intelligence level - a catch-22.
You are telling them that their beliefs originate from intelligently gathered information. That isn't helping them.

Start paying attention to how often you trigger a mimic's cliche function.
It can be amusing. Then notice that you yourself were under the delusion that their beliefs originated intelligently.
That is why you are interacting with them in intelligent conversation, isn't it?
You believe that something that was birthed from intelligence can be untangled with your intelligent argument. Think again.

They have their beliefs that they mimic and then "confirmation bias" cements it,
and cementing it is the function of the endlessly repeated lies of the MIC-mouthpieces.
The repeated lies are kept fresh by putting them into new forms - Russiagate became Ukrainegate became Bountygate became Vaccinegate
(with occasional side trips into such places as MH17-gate, Skripal-gate and Assange-gate, etc).
You can spend your time showing them, for example, that the Skripal false-flag was a clown performance at best - the facts are out there for all to read.
But then, even if successful with that one, "what about this-gate and that-gate" - you haven't even scratched the surface of their
collective McCarthyism and thus by informing them about Skripal-gate "you are defending Russia". Good luck with that.

People are mimics that let their herd do their thinking for them. They have various skill levels at rationalizing to themselves the beliefs that they already hold.

p.s.

Put the three-level hierarchy to the test by considering people's religious beliefs.

People are typically born into those religious groups - level 1. They will consistently mimic the same cliches, for example, "G-d will curse those that do not support the Jews", "Jesus will throw you into a Lake of Fire", "Have a Blessed Day".

Do you think they all independently discovered these identical "Truths" on their own, and so, so many more, by their own personal study of the Bible?

They are mimicking - level 2. Now go and approach them at level 3 - the intelligence level - but don't neglect to carry a barf bag with you. Maybe you can succeed in reinforcing their delusion that their religious beliefs are intelligence based, but you will not even nudge them from their identity group - level 1. And you will only get for your trouble an ear full of mimicry.

---
I wrote the above last summer. Since then there have been more "-gates" such as the latest Multiple-US-agencies-Solarwinds-hack-gate. I mentioned Vaccinegate above and I had to stop and think about what that had been about as the public is being hosed with so much crap these days. Vaccinegate - supposedly the Russians had hacked our vaccine research.
---
recommended reading:
https://woodybelangia.com/what-is-mimetic-theory/


c1ue , Dec 27 2020 18:53 utc | 22

@librul #2
I think you overegg your view.
A significant part of the "me too" views these days is "rice bowl religion" - that is, belief maintained because the holder think they have to, in order to continue the economic prosperity.
Another significant part comes from the pervasiveness of mainstream media - both traditional and social media.

migueljose , Dec 27 2020 21:04 utc | 33

librul @ 2
Thanks Librul. Very insightful and accurate framing and description. Caitlin Johnstone also lays out the same perspective but yours stands alone as impressive.
Hope we're in the same herd! LOL!

[Dec 27, 2020] The comical and impotent figures of Comey, Mueller, Clapper, Rosenstein, Barr, Schiff, Nader, and such filled the stage during a production of the Russiagate farce.

Dec 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: December 26, 2020 at 8:41 pm GMT • 4.2 hours ago

@Supply and Demand 'progressive' MeToo had disappeared. The MeToo activists love Bill Clinton and his various acquaintances, such as the badly aged idiots of Russian Pussy Riot and the Maxwells family. This is so progressive! See also the "progressive" Google/FaceBook/YouTube blanket censorship over anything that can be qualified as 'antisemitic' by the ADL (created in memory of a rapist and murderer Leo Frank). The 'progressives' have been taken for a ride by zionists.

The 'deplorables,' unlike Clintons, have a sense of dignity. As for the half-wit 'progressives,' they will undoubtedly have their chance to learn more about their most important tutors, the Trotskyists.

[Dec 20, 2020] Escobar- When Deplorables Become Ungovernables - ZeroHedge

Dec 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential "threats" to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century's most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.

What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan?

They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict:

  1. the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts;

  2. the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland;

  3. and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.

The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the "America rules the waves" ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.

The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.

Superstructure, though, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules.

It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South.

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Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big "if" – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues.

  1. Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home.

  2. He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East.

  3. And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.

Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of "pacifying" the Midwest are less than zero.

Whose ground control?

Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points.

  1. A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.

  2. Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.

  3. Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.

In any Global South latitude where the empire did "interfere" in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.

On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, "the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt."

Dangers abound.

On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you'd have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.

Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that:

"the U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders.

Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns. "

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden's dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He's under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It's been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations

that he forced Ukraine's chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma's founder.

Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial "fact checkers" to hammer the same message:

"This is Trump's version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless."

District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery.

And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he "worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign".

A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.

Then there's Barr not even daring to say there was enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all "baseless" conspiracy theories.

Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden.

Once again an omniscient army of oh so impartial "fact checkers" will say everything is baseless.

A perverse blowback

A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.

Both options are dire.

  1. The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there's no rug tying the room together anymore.

  2. Was the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.

In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.

It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.

For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal "democracy" has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or "threats". 111,246 644

[Dec 20, 2020] America outsourced because of the decline in profitability of domestic manufacturing. Capitalism did exactly what it was supposed to do and investors sought out better returns on their investments, which meant moving production elsewhere.

Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Dec 18 2020 16:43 utc | 97

NemesisCalling @92: "...we would be much better without trading so much in SE Asia..."

And the morbidly obese couch potato with severe heart disease and diabetes and a number of other lifestyle-related ailments would do much better to get up and get some exercise. Unfortunately a point exists beyond which efforts to reverse the atrophy of the body's systems become deadly and restoring health a near impossible task. America passed that point many years ago.

...has our trading relationship with China brought anything good to the people of the U.S.? (Beyond the obvious cheap consumer products which we all know only benefit the elite in this arrangement)

Many, if not most, Americans would not even be able to afford clothes if they were not cheap stuff made in China or Bangladesh. I would say those products being cheap certainly benefited those people who want to remain clothed.

"America is showing decline due in large part to our outsourcing"

You have that backwards. America outsourced because of the decline in profitability of domestic manufacturing. Capitalism did exactly what it was supposed to do and investors sought out better returns on their investments, which meant moving production elsewhere.

From a strictly pragmatic perspective, how would you propose to prevent market forces from directing investment to parts of the world where manufacturing is more profitable? Would you un-free the market and dictate to investors what they are to invest in?

If you look at all of the decisions between the late 1960s and the present that impacted outsourcing you will find that they are all quite understandable and very pro-capitalist. Particularly far-sighted people might have noted that the day of reckoning was just being delayed and the can kicked down the road, but kicking that can almost half a century down the road made a lot of sense back then. After all, that gave America decades to come up with a Plan B. It only became a problem after we had gotten down the road to where the can ended up only to discover that someone else had taken the can.


uncle tungsten , Dec 18 2020 21:36 utc | 113

William Gruff # 97

If you look at all of the decisions between the late 1960s and the present that impacted outsourcing you will find that they are all quite understandable and very pro-capitalist. Particularly far-sighted people might have noted that the day of reckoning was just being delayed and the can kicked down the road, but kicking that can almost half a century down the road made a lot of sense back then. After all, that gave America decades to come up with a Plan B. It only became a problem after we had gotten down the road to where the can ended up only to discover that someone else had taken the can.

Thank you brother Gruff, that is a perfect analogy. It always pays to have a Plan B that is immediately able to be implemented. My guess is that the USA Plan B was - invade some poor nation and plunder both the homeside taxpayers and the victims resources. In the case of the Saudis and Sunni occupied Gulf States all they had to do was bribe them with dazzling wealth and power (both economic and religious) and profit from the refined oil barrels.

The past two presidents have been looking for the can, the next one might have to create a better plan B fast or repeat the past Plan B just to be seen to be doing something. They sure don't look subtle/inventive enough yet to come up with a sophisticated, peaceful plan. Hint look at FDR / Henry Wallace as a start toward a socialist alternative.

Bemildred , Dec 18 2020 22:22 utc | 115

William Gruff # 97
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 18 2020 21:36 utc | 113

The 70s was when they started selling the good redwood saw logs to Japan instead of cutting them up here because they could get more profit that way. At the time I do not think it was considered that the Japanese would be able to compete with us as well as they did, and I think the same applies to the other sellouts of our working class to foreign cheap manufacturing centers. You have to remember these people really do think they are better. They do think in class terms even if they avoid that rhetoric in public. The problem is they thought they could control China like they did Japan. That was dumb then and it looks even dumber now. You can see similar dumbness in their lack of grip on any realisitic view of Russia. Provincials really. Rich peasants.

[Dec 20, 2020] The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades

Neoliberals as an occupying force for the country
Notable quotes:
"... The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America. ..."
"... This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade." ..."
Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bemildred , Dec 19 2020 2:00 utc | 124

This is awesome, he nails the dilemma which our owners are confronted with;

I'll put it this way: It is not as though the American ruling class is intelligent, competent, and patriotic on most important matters and happens to have a glaring blind spot when it comes to appreciating the threat of China. If this were the case, it would make sense to emphasize the threat of China above all else.

But this is not the case. The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades. If China were to disappear, they would simply be selling out the country to India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, or some other country (in fact they are doing this just to a lesser extent).

Our ruling class has failed us on China because they have failed us on everything. For this reason I believe that there will be no serious, sound policy on China that benefits Americans until there is a legitimate ruling class in the United States. For this reason pointing fingers at the wickedness and danger of China is less useful than emphasizing the failure of the American ruling class. The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America.

This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade."

The Zürich Interviews - Darren J. Beattie: If Only You Knew How Bad Things Really Are


Grieved , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

@102 karlof1 - "By deliberately setting policy to inflate asset prices, the Fed has priced US labor out of a job, while as you report employers sought labor costs that allowed them to remain competitive."

I never heard it said so succinctly and truly as this before. That is what happened isn't it? The worker can't afford life anymore, in this country.

And if the worker can't afford the cost of living - who bears the cause of this, how follows the remedy of this, and what then comes next?

I really appreciate your point of view, which is the only point of view, which is that the designers of the economy, the governors of the economy, have placed the workers of the economy in a position that is simply just not tenable.

No wonder they strive to divide in order to rule - because they have over-reached through greed and killed the worker, who holds up the society.

How long can the worker flounder around blaming others before the spotlight must turn on the employer?

uncle tungsten , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 130

Bemildred #115

You have to remember these people really do think they are better. They do think in class terms even if they avoid that rhetoric in public. The problem is they thought they could control China like they did Japan. That was dumb then and it looks even dumber now. You can see similar dumbness in their lack of grip on any realisitic view of Russia. Provincials really. Rich peasants.

Thank you, they certainly DO think in class terms ALWAYS. + Rich peasants is perfect :))

Thankfully they are blinded by hubris at the same time. The USA destroyed the Allende government in Chile in 1973. After the Nixon Kissinger visit to China in 1979 they assumed they could just pull a color revolution stunt when they deemed it to be the right time. Perhaps in their hubris they thought every Chinese worker would be infatuated with capitalism and growth.

They tested that out in the People Power colour (yellow) revolt in the Filipines in 1986 following a rigged election by Marcos. In 1989 only 16 years after China had been buoyed up with growth and development following the opening to USA capitalism, they tried out the same trick in Tienanmen square in China but those students were up against the ruling party of the entire nation - not the ruling class. BIG MISTAKE. The ruling party of China was solidly backed by the peasant and working class that was finally enjoying some meager prosperity and reward a mere 40 years after the Chinese Communist Party and their parents and grandparents had liberated China from 100 years of occupation, plunder, human and cultural rapine and colonial insult. Then in 2020 it was tried on again in Hong Kong. FAIL.

The hubris of the ruling class and its running dogs is pathetic.

We see the same with Pelosi and the ruling class in the Dimoratss today. They push Biden Harris to the fore, piss on the left and refuse to even hold a vote on Medicare for All in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile the USAi ruling class has its running dogs and hangers on bleating that "its wrong tactic, its premature, its whatever craven excuse to avoid exposing the ruling class for what they are - thieves, bereft of compassion, absent any sense of social justice, fakes lurking behind their class supposition.

They come here to the bar with their arrogant hubris, brimming with pointless information some even with emoji glitter stuck on their noses. Not a marxist or even a leftie among them. Still its class that matters and its the ruling class that we must break.

chu teh , Dec 19 2020 4:00 utc | 131

@102 karlof1 and Grieved | Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

I did not understand inflate-assets/suppress-workers and forgot to return to it to clear it up. Grieved sent me back to Karlof1. I just got it.

That viewpoint indeed explains method of operation to accomplish the results I observed. When Nixon was forced to default on Bretton Woods use of Gold Exchange Standard* [the USD is as good as gold], then printing fiat solved the problem [threat to US inventory of gold]....but printing fiat [no longer redeemable as a promise convert to gold] became the new problem [no way to extinguish the promises to redeem/pay].

So how to proceed? Aha! Steal from the workers; squeeze 'em, entertain and dazzle 'em!.. Such an elegant solution...slow, certain and hardly noticeable...like slow-boiling frogs...an on-going project as we blog.

Now I'll read Karlof1's link.

[Dec 10, 2020] The Transnational Financiers as aliens hell-bent of conquering the Earth population

Dec 10, 2020 | zerohedge.com

Dec 4, 2020 10:14 PM Reply to Le Chat Noir

The wonderful world you talk about was not experienced by the peoples of Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentinia, Haiti, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and many of the homeless and destitute in the US, UK, Japan etc. The wonderful world you describe is an illusion.

There is a line from the 1960s Science Fiction series called the Invaders from another galaxy who wish take over the world. At the beginning of each episode the narrator says " they wish to take over the world and make it their world".

The Transnational Financiers have been working towards that goal for centuries!!!!

[Dec 05, 2020] WATCH- Trump's Censored Speech OffGuardian

Notable quotes:
"... The billionaire owners of the media are deciding what you can and cannot see. Granting themselves a monopoly on "truth" and usurping the power of the ord