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[Dec 21, 2019] Needed Now a Peace Movement Against the Clinton Wars to Come by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. He also became a terrorist himself and a serial killer, weaponized drones and special ops assassins being his weapons of choice. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | www.counterpunch.org
Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize -- for not being George W. Bush. This seemed unseemly at the time, but not outrageous. Seven years later, it seems grotesque.

As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. He also became a terrorist himself and a serial killer, weaponized drones and special ops assassins being his weapons of choice.

More

ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Dec 21, 2019] Needed Now a Peace Movement Against the Clinton Wars to Come by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. He also became a terrorist himself and a serial killer, weaponized drones and special ops assassins being his weapons of choice. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | www.counterpunch.org
Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize -- for not being George W. Bush. This seemed unseemly at the time, but not outrageous. Seven years later, it seems grotesque.

As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. He also became a terrorist himself and a serial killer, weaponized drones and special ops assassins being his weapons of choice.

More

ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump comes clean from world s policeman to thug running a global protection racket by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
In any case withdrawal from Syria was a surprising and bold move on the Part of the Trump. You can criticizes Trump for not doing more but before that he bahvaves as a typical neocon, or a typical Republican presidents (which are the same things). And he started on this path just two month after inauguration bombing Syria under false pretences. So this is something
I think the reason of change is that Trump intuitively realized the voters are abandoning him in droves and the sizable faction of his voters who voted for him because of his promises to end foreign wars iether already defected or is ready to defect. So this is a move designed to keep them.
Notable quotes:
"... "America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price," Trump said. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | www.rt.com

President Trump's big announcement to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is now emerging less as a peace move, and more a rationalization of American military power in the Middle East. In a surprise visit to US forces in Iraq this week, Trump said he had no intention of withdrawing the troops in that country, who have been there for nearly 15 years since GW Bush invaded back in 2003.

Hinting at private discussions with commanders in Iraq, Trump boasted that US forces would in the future launch attacks from there into Syria if and when needed. Presumably that rapid force deployment would apply to other countries in the region, including Afghanistan.

In other words, in typical business-style transactional thinking, Trump sees the pullout from Syria and Afghanistan as a cost-cutting exercise for US imperialism. Regarding Syria, he has bragged about Turkey being assigned, purportedly, to "finish off" terror groups. That's Trump subcontracting out US interests.

Critics and supporters of Trump are confounded. After his Syria and Afghanistan pullout call, domestic critics and NATO allies have accused him of walking from the alleged "fight against terrorism" and of ceding strategic ground to US adversaries Russia and Iran.

'We're no longer suckers of the world!' Trump says US is respected as nation AGAIN (VIDEO)

Meanwhile, Trump's supporters have viewed his decision in more benign light, cheering the president for "sticking it to" the deep state and military establishment, assuming he's delivering on electoral promises to end overseas wars.

However, neither view gets what is going on. Trump is not scaling back US military power; he is rationalizing it like a cost-benefit analysis, as perhaps only a real-estate-wheeler-dealer-turned president would appreciate. Trump is not snubbing US militarism or NATO allies, nor is he letting loose an inner peace spirit. He is as committed to projecting American military as ruthlessly and as recklessly as any other past occupant of the White House. The difference is Trump wants to do it on the cheap.

Here's what he said to reporters on Air Force One before touching down in Iraq:

"The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. It's not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous." He added: "We're no longer the suckers, folks."

Laughably, Trump's griping about US forces "spread all over the world" unwittingly demonstrates the insatiable, monstrous nature of American militarism. But Trump paints this vice as a virtue, which, he complains, Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in.

As US troops greeted him in Iraq, the president made explicit how the new American militarism would henceforth operate.

"America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price," Trump said.

'We give them $4.5bn a year': Israel will still be 'good' after US withdrawal from Syria – Trump

This reiterates a big bugbear for this president in which he views US allies and client regimes as "not pulling their weight" in terms of military deployment. Trump has been browbeating European NATO members to cough up more on military budgets, and he has berated the Saudis and other Gulf Arab regimes to pay more for American interventions.

Notably, however, Trump has never questioned the largesse that US taxpayers fork out every year to Israel in the form of nearly $4 billion in military aid. To be sure, that money is not a gift because much of it goes back to the Pentagon from sales of fighter jets and missile systems.

The long-held notion that the US has served as the "world's policeman" is, of course, a travesty.

Since WWII, all presidents and the Washington establishment have constantly harped on, with self-righteousness, about America's mythical role as guarantor of global security.

Dozens of illegal wars on almost every continent and millions of civilian deaths attest to the real, heinous conduct of American militarism as a weapon to secure US corporate capitalism.

But with US economic power in historic decline amid a national debt now over $22 trillion, Washington can no longer afford its imperialist conduct in the traditional mode of direct US military invasions and occupations.

Perhaps, it takes a cost-cutting, raw-toothed capitalist like Trump to best understand the historic predicament, even if only superficially.

This gives away the real calculation behind his troop pullout from Syria and Afghanistan. Iraq is going to serve as a new regional hub for force projection on a demand-and-supply basis. In addition, more of the dirty work can be contracted out to Washington's clients like Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who will be buying even more US weaponry to prop the military-industrial complex.

'With almost $22 trillion of debt, the US is in no position to attack Iran'

This would explain why Trump made his hurried, unexpected visit to Iraq this week. Significantly, he said : "A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking", regarding his decision on withdrawing forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

Since his troop pullout plan announced on December 19, there has been serious pushback from senior Pentagon figures, hawkish Republicans and Democrats, and the anti-Trump media. The atmosphere is almost seditious against the president. Trump flying off to Iraq on Christmas night was reportedly his first visit to troops in an overseas combat zone since becoming president two years ago.

What Trump seemed to be doing was reassuring the Pentagon and corporate America that he is not going all soft and dovish. Not at all. He is letting them know that he is aiming for a leaner, meaner US military power, which can save money on the number of foreign bases by using rapid reaction forces out of places like Iraq, as well as by subcontracting operations out to regional clients.

Thus, Trump is not coming clean out of any supposed principle when he cuts back US forces overseas. He is merely applying his knack for screwing down costs and doing things on the cheap as a capitalist tycoon overseeing US militarism.

During past decades when American capitalism was relatively robust, US politicians and media could indulge in the fantasy of their military forces going around the world in large-scale formations to selflessly "defend freedom and democracy."

Today, US capitalism is broke. It simply can't sustain its global military empire. Enter Donald Trump with his "business solutions."

But in doing so, this president, with his cheap utilitarianism and transactional exploitative mindset, lets the cat out of the bag. As he says, the US cannot be the world's policeman. Countries are henceforth going to have to pay for "our protection."

Inadvertently, Trump is showing up US power for what it really is: a global thug running a protection racket.

It's always been the case. Except now it's in your face. Trump is no Smedley Butler, the former Marine general who in the 1930s condemned US militarism as a Mafia operation. This president is stupidly revealing the racket, while still thinking it is something virtuous.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

dnm1136

Once again, Cunningham has hit the nail on the head. Trump mistakenly conflates fear with respect. In reality, around the world, the US is feared but generally not respected.

My guess is that the same was true about Trump as a businessman, i.e., he was not respected, only feared due to his willingness to pursue his "deals" by any means that "worked" for him, legal or illegal, moral or immoral, seemingly gracious or mean-spirited.

William Smith

Complaining how the US gets no thanks for its foreign intervention. Kind of like a rapist claiming he should be thanked for "pleasuring" his victim. Precisely the same sentiment expressed by those who believe the American Indians should thank the Whites for "civilising" them.

Phoebe S,

"Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in."

That might mean they don't want you there. Just saying.

ProRussiaPole

None of these wars are working out for the US strategically. All they do is sow chaos. They seem to not be gaining anything, and are just preventing others from gaining anything as well.

Ernie For -> ProRussiaPole

i am a huge Putin fan, so is big Don. Please change your source of info Jerome, Trump is one man against Billions of people and dollars in corruption. He has achieved more in the USA in 2 years than all 5 previous parasites together.

Truthbetold69

It could be a change for a better direction. Time will tell. 'If you do what you've always been doing, you'll get what you've always been getting.'

[Dec 29, 2016] Cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity

Notable quotes:
"... I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. ..."
Dec 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
PQS , December 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

I was paranoid about the Roomba and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any connectivity, nor does it record anything.
Personal assistant connected to both the 'net and Large Corp? No. Way.

lyman alpha blob , December 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity.

Don't think learning that Echo is doing the same thing would deter most people from using it. 'Convenience' and all

cocomaan , December 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Fortunately, I can barely hear the person I'm talking to through my smartphone, so I am not optimistic that it can actually hear me from someplace else in the house, especially compared to someone's Echo I have experience with. But point taken.

hunkerdown , December 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

The microphoneS (often there is an extra mic to cancel ambient noise) in a phone are exquisitely sensitive. The losses you're hearing are those from crushing that comparatively high-fidelity signal into a few thousand bits per second for transmission to/from the base station.

I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. (Not that I'm foily )

carycat , December 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Wonder if Mr. B gave Mr. T and all the other attendees an Echo at Mr. T's tech summit. ATT and all the other big telcom players all said, scout's honor, they don't listen in on their customer's phone calls, so no worries because Fortune 500 companies are such ethical people. That may even be technically true because the 3 letter agencies and their minions (human or otherwise) are doing the actual listening. So if you are too lazy to go to Amazon.com to delete your idle chit chat, I can sell you a cloth to wipe it with (maybe I'll even list it on Amazon's marketplace).

Daryl , December 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm

It should be fairly simple to determine whether it's sending everything home by analyzing network traffic.

Of course, just because it doesn't right now, doesn't mean that Amazon or your local three letter agency cannot alter it to do so in the future

[Dec 29, 2016] Cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity

Notable quotes:
"... I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. ..."
Dec 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
PQS , December 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

I was paranoid about the Roomba and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any connectivity, nor does it record anything.
Personal assistant connected to both the 'net and Large Corp? No. Way.

lyman alpha blob , December 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity.

Don't think learning that Echo is doing the same thing would deter most people from using it. 'Convenience' and all

cocomaan , December 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Fortunately, I can barely hear the person I'm talking to through my smartphone, so I am not optimistic that it can actually hear me from someplace else in the house, especially compared to someone's Echo I have experience with. But point taken.

hunkerdown , December 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

The microphoneS (often there is an extra mic to cancel ambient noise) in a phone are exquisitely sensitive. The losses you're hearing are those from crushing that comparatively high-fidelity signal into a few thousand bits per second for transmission to/from the base station.

I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. (Not that I'm foily )

carycat , December 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Wonder if Mr. B gave Mr. T and all the other attendees an Echo at Mr. T's tech summit. ATT and all the other big telcom players all said, scout's honor, they don't listen in on their customer's phone calls, so no worries because Fortune 500 companies are such ethical people. That may even be technically true because the 3 letter agencies and their minions (human or otherwise) are doing the actual listening. So if you are too lazy to go to Amazon.com to delete your idle chit chat, I can sell you a cloth to wipe it with (maybe I'll even list it on Amazon's marketplace).

Daryl , December 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm

It should be fairly simple to determine whether it's sending everything home by analyzing network traffic.

Of course, just because it doesn't right now, doesn't mean that Amazon or your local three letter agency cannot alter it to do so in the future

[Dec 29, 2016] Cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity

Notable quotes:
"... I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. ..."
Dec 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
PQS , December 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

I was paranoid about the Roomba and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any connectivity, nor does it record anything.
Personal assistant connected to both the 'net and Large Corp? No. Way.

lyman alpha blob , December 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity.

Don't think learning that Echo is doing the same thing would deter most people from using it. 'Convenience' and all

cocomaan , December 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Fortunately, I can barely hear the person I'm talking to through my smartphone, so I am not optimistic that it can actually hear me from someplace else in the house, especially compared to someone's Echo I have experience with. But point taken.

hunkerdown , December 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

The microphoneS (often there is an extra mic to cancel ambient noise) in a phone are exquisitely sensitive. The losses you're hearing are those from crushing that comparatively high-fidelity signal into a few thousand bits per second for transmission to/from the base station.

I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. (Not that I'm foily )

carycat , December 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Wonder if Mr. B gave Mr. T and all the other attendees an Echo at Mr. T's tech summit. ATT and all the other big telcom players all said, scout's honor, they don't listen in on their customer's phone calls, so no worries because Fortune 500 companies are such ethical people. That may even be technically true because the 3 letter agencies and their minions (human or otherwise) are doing the actual listening. So if you are too lazy to go to Amazon.com to delete your idle chit chat, I can sell you a cloth to wipe it with (maybe I'll even list it on Amazon's marketplace).

Daryl , December 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm

It should be fairly simple to determine whether it's sending everything home by analyzing network traffic.

Of course, just because it doesn't right now, doesn't mean that Amazon or your local three letter agency cannot alter it to do so in the future

[Dec 29, 2016] Cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity

Notable quotes:
"... I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. ..."
Dec 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
PQS , December 28, 2016 at 11:30 am

I was paranoid about the Roomba and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any connectivity, nor does it record anything.
Personal assistant connected to both the 'net and Large Corp? No. Way.

lyman alpha blob , December 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

I'd wager that most people know that cell phones can track their location, hoover up their personal info, record their conversations, etc, etc but that doesn't stop most people from owning one anyway. The populace has been convinced that owning the device that constantly spies on them is a necessity.

Don't think learning that Echo is doing the same thing would deter most people from using it. 'Convenience' and all

cocomaan , December 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Fortunately, I can barely hear the person I'm talking to through my smartphone, so I am not optimistic that it can actually hear me from someplace else in the house, especially compared to someone's Echo I have experience with. But point taken.

hunkerdown , December 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

The microphoneS (often there is an extra mic to cancel ambient noise) in a phone are exquisitely sensitive. The losses you're hearing are those from crushing that comparatively high-fidelity signal into a few thousand bits per second for transmission to/from the base station.

I've often wondered whether the relatively high difficulty in buying a smartphone with less than two cameras has something to do with the SIGINT Enabling Project. (Not that I'm foily )

carycat , December 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Wonder if Mr. B gave Mr. T and all the other attendees an Echo at Mr. T's tech summit. ATT and all the other big telcom players all said, scout's honor, they don't listen in on their customer's phone calls, so no worries because Fortune 500 companies are such ethical people. That may even be technically true because the 3 letter agencies and their minions (human or otherwise) are doing the actual listening. So if you are too lazy to go to Amazon.com to delete your idle chit chat, I can sell you a cloth to wipe it with (maybe I'll even list it on Amazon's marketplace).

Daryl , December 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm

It should be fairly simple to determine whether it's sending everything home by analyzing network traffic.

Of course, just because it doesn't right now, doesn't mean that Amazon or your local three letter agency cannot alter it to do so in the future

[Dec 27, 2016] U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market - The New York Times

Dec 27, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases.

Although global tensions and terrorist threats have shown few signs of diminishing, the total size of the global arms trade dropped to around $80 billion in 2015 from the 2014 total of $89 billion, the study found. Developing nations bought $65 billion in weapons in 2015, substantially lower than the previous year's total of $79 billion.

The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as purchases of American weapons grew by around $4 billion and France's deals increased by well over $9 billion.

The report, " Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015 ," was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week. The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. The report adjusts for inflation, so the sales totals are comparable year to year.

[Dec 27, 2016] Neopopulism

Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs -> Peter K.... December 26, 2016 at 07:15 AM neopopulism: A cultural and political movement, mainly in Latin American countries, distinct from twentieth-century populism in radically combining classically opposed left-wing and right-wing attitudes and using electronic media as a means of dissemination. (Wiktionary)

[Dec 27, 2016] Neopopulism

Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs -> Peter K.... December 26, 2016 at 07:15 AM neopopulism: A cultural and political movement, mainly in Latin American countries, distinct from twentieth-century populism in radically combining classically opposed left-wing and right-wing attitudes and using electronic media as a means of dissemination. (Wiktionary)

[Dec 26, 2016] Neoliberals as closet Trotskyites are adamant neo-McCarthyists eager to supress any dissent, as soon as they feel it starts to influence public opinion

"You control the message, and the facts do not matter. "
Notable quotes:
"... That's funny. Neoliberals are closet Trotskyites and they will let you talk only is specially designated reservations, which are irrelevant (or, more correctly, as long as they are irrelevant) for swaying the public opinion. ..."
"... If you think they are for freedom of the press, you are simply delusional. They are for freedom of the press for those who own it. ..."
"... Try to get dissenting views to MSM or academic magazines. Yes, they will not send you to GULAG, but the problem is that ostracism works no less effectively. That the essence of "inverted totalitarism" (another nickname for neoliberalism). You can substitute physical repression used in classic totalitarism with indirect suppression of dissenting opinions with the same, or even better results. Note that even the term "neoliberalism" is effectively censored and not used by MSM. ..."
"... And the resulting level of suppressing of opposition (which is the essence of censorship) is on the level that would make the USSR censors blush. And if EconomistView gets too close to anti-neoliberal platform it will instantly find itself in the lists like PropOrNot ..."
Dec 26, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
likbez -> EMichael... December 26, 2016 at 04:20 PM
"Then of course, it is easy to attack the neoliberals, they'll actually let you talk."

That's funny. Neoliberals are closet Trotskyites and they will let you talk only is specially designated reservations, which are irrelevant (or, more correctly, as long as they are irrelevant) for swaying the public opinion.

They are all adamant neo-McCarthyists, if you wish and will label you Putin stooge in no time [, if you try to escape the reservation].

If you think they are for freedom of the press, you are simply delusional. They are for freedom of the press for those who own it.

Try to get dissenting views to MSM or academic magazines. Yes, they will not send you to GULAG, but the problem is that ostracism works no less effectively. That the essence of "inverted totalitarism" (another nickname for neoliberalism). You can substitute physical repression used in classic totalitarism with indirect suppression of dissenting opinions with the same, or even better results. Note that even the term "neoliberalism" is effectively censored and not used by MSM.

See Sheldon Wolin writings about this.

And the resulting level of suppressing of opposition (which is the essence of censorship) is on the level that would make the USSR censors blush. And if EconomistView gets too close to anti-neoliberal platform it will instantly find itself in the lists like PropOrNot

http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html

[Dec 26, 2016] A Century of Surveillance: An Interactive Timeline Of FBI Investigations

Dec 26, 2016 | yro.slashdot.org
(muckrock.com) 52 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday December 18, 2016 @09:34PM from the actually-it's-108-years dept. "Over a century of fear and filing cabinets" at the FBI has been exposed through six years of Freedom of Information Act requests. And now MuckRock founder (and long-time Slashdot reader) v3rgEz writes: MuckRock recently published its 100th look into historical FBI files, and to celebrate they've also compiled a timeline of the FBI's history . It traces the rise and fall of J. Edgar Hoover as well as some of the Bureau's more questionable investigations into famous figures ranging from Steve Jobs to Hannah Arendt . Read the timeline, or browse through all of MuckRock's FBI FOIA work.
The FBI interviewed 29 people about Steve Jobs (after he was appointed to the President's Export Council in 1991), with several citing his "past drug use," and several individuals also saying Jobs would "distort reality."

[Dec 23, 2016] Paul Krugman: Populism, Real and Phony

Dec 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
"Trump_vs_deep_state ... is anything but populist":
Populism, Real and Phony, by Paul Krugman, NY Times : Authoritarians with an animus against ethnic minorities are on the march across the Western world. ... But what should we call these groups? Many reporters are using the term "populist," which seems both inadequate and misleading..., are the other shared features of this movement - addiction to conspiracy theories, indifference to the rule of law, a penchant for punishing critics - really captured by the "populist" label?

Still, the European members of this emerging alliance - an axis of evil? - have offered some real benefits to workers. ... Trump_vs_deep_state is, however, different..., the emerging policy agenda is anything but populist.

All indications are that we're looking at huge windfalls for billionaires combined with savage cuts in programs that serve not just the poor but also the middle class. And the white working class, which provided much of the 46 percent Trump vote share, is shaping up as the biggest loser. ...

Both his pick as budget director and his choice to head Health and Human Services want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare. His choice as labor secretary is a fast-food tycoon who has been a vociferous opponent both of Obamacare and of minimum wage hikes. And House Republicans have already submitted plans for drastic cuts in Social Security, including a sharp rise in the retirement age. ...

In other words..., European populism is at least partly real, while Trumpist populism is turning out to be entirely fake, a scam sold to working-class voters who are in for a rude awakening. Will the new regime pay a political price?

Well, don't count on it..., you know that there will be huge efforts to shift the blame. These will include claims that the collapse of health care is really President Obama's fault; claims that the failure of alternatives is somehow the fault of recalcitrant Democrats; and an endless series of attempts to distract the public.

Expect more Carrier-style stunts that don't actually help workers but dominate a news cycle. Expect lots of fulmination against minorities. And it's worth remembering what authoritarian regimes traditionally do to shift attention from failing policies, namely, find some foreigners to confront. Maybe it will be a trade war with China, maybe something worse.

Opponents need to do all they can to defeat such strategies of distraction. Above all, they shouldn't let themselves be sucked into cooperation that leaves them sharing part of the blame. The perpetrators of this scam should be forced to own it.

ilsm : , December 23, 2016 at 10:45 AM
The Clinton brand of nato-neocon-neolib is way ahead of the populist nativist in tilting toward Armageddon.

Own the world for the banksters.

poor pk

DeDude -> Gibbon1... , December 23, 2016 at 02:33 PM
It really depend on how the two sides play it out. You don't need to move the diehard sexists and racists for things to change. But the Democrats need to have a Warren/Sanders attack team ready on every single GOP "favor the rich and screw the rest" proposal. It would be rather easy to get the press to pay attention to those two if they went to war with Trump/GOP. Their following is sufficiently large to be a media market - so their comments would not be ignored. We also know that at least Warren knows how to bait Trump into saying something stupid so you can get the kind of firework that commercial media cannot ignore. The Dems need to learn how to bait the media at least as effectively as Trump does.
Tim Cahill : , -1
When can we please start tuning Krugman down here? He aided and abetted the election disaster by being one of the most prominent Very Serious People leading the offensive against Sanders and promoting a fatally flawed candidate that was beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage.

He may make good points here after-the-fact, but they're all "duh!" level bits of analysis at this stage. And the last thing I want to hear from any of the VSPs who piloted the train over the cliff during this election season is b*tching about the mess at the bottom of the cliff.

Aren't there ANY other voices with some remaining shred of political credibility that can be quoted here instead of the unabashed VSPs who helped elect trump?

Tim Cahill -> pgl... , December 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM
Since I am only noting objection to one blogger who invested much of his personal credibility into promoting a horrible leader, I don't see the relevance of your comment at all. I enjoy pretty much every other blogger to which Thoma links.

My issue is with highlighting a crank whose writing has cratered over the last year. If a Trump ripping is due (and it usually is), then I'm fine with it being a feature so long as it's written by someone who isn't channeling Niall Ferguson and with the same degree of credibility as a political "wonk".

yuan -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 12:03 PM
I think a certain amount of self-criticism and introspection is warranted at this point, no? And, I think, there is little question that the long-term coziness of the democratic party with high finance and the PMIC played a major role in negative perceptions of HRC.

Although I did not vote for Clinton, if I had lived in a remotely competitive state I would have certainly voted for her. To put this in perspective, my vote for Sanders was a very reluctant vote and Clinton is the POTUS I despise the most (Trump will change this).

ilsm -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 01:04 PM
As Lincoln may have observed: you* can fool too many of the democrats all the time.

one Obama, two Clintons .........

Vapid talking points, like fast and loose with felonies.

She had no convictions bc justice was ordered to do the job of juries.

yuan -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 11:57 AM
"beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage."

Characterizing Clinton's electoral college defeat as being beaten resoundingly is exactly the kind of irrational "bro" rhetoric that Krugman rightly criticized.

And I write this as someone who voted for Sanders and then Stein.

Peter K. -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 01:08 PM
As you can tell there a few people here who agreed with Krugman during the primary and agree with him now.

I agree with you in general, but am going to try to ignore the insulters and haters and link to good thinkers.

Tim Cahill -> Peter K.... , December 23, 2016 at 01:46 PM
They're an angry lot.... and they, like the conservative "affinity fraudsters" that Krugman has lambasted over the years, refuse to accept reality. Instead, they hunker down, shut out facts, and surround themselves only with people and information that agrees with their flawed opinions.
Denis Drew : , December 23, 2016 at 11:03 AM
All I hear from Paul -- and others -- sounds like ducking and weaving and back peddling -- in a phrase: retreat-in-good-order to avoid defeat-in-detail.

How about a little aggression? Would it be too much to expect these top brains the potential to rebuild labor union density (THE ONLY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TISSUE OF THE AVERAGE PERSON) at state by progressive state level.

NEVER HEAR OF IT -- NO OTHER PATH (and it looks to be multi-multi-path once you start looking through all the angles.

So I wont be accused of hi-jacking the thread with a very long unionization entreaty you can look up my entreaty here:
Wet backs and narrow backs (Irish immigrants' native born kiddies)
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

I'm only beginning to sort all this out -- like the angle that any group disallowed of employee status by the Trump NLRB (student teaching and research assistants?) immediately become eligible for full state supported conduction of NLRB-like certification process. No preemption problem.

Preemption on closer exam may not be the barrier folks think. So, so much more federal preemption/supremacy (not the same thing!) stuff to sort through -- another reason to put off posting the full comment. Few weeks maybe.

Denis Drew -> anne... , December 23, 2016 at 01:07 PM
Where I come from, the Bronx of the 50s-70s, everybody was different, so nobody was different, so we had more fun with your differences.

We didn't have diversity; we had assimilation; everyone was the same.

Typical 60s high school chatter: How's an Italian like a crashing airplane? Guinea, Guinea, Guinea: Whop!
How's an Irishman like a submarine under attack? Down the hatch; down the hatch; down the hatch!

In the movie The Wanderers, portraying the 1979 Bronx with more people of color, the high school teasing is all: nigger, spic, kike! Too much for your non-real-melting pot ears.

:-)-
********************
Be more impressed by your (plural) interest in minority dignity if it obsessed on getting everyone one the same ECONOMIC (!) level.

Click here -- for early thoughts (still sorting) on how to actually do just that -- if you really want to really help:
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

You rebuild union density or you do nothing! You do it at the state by progressive state level or you do nothing! Are you academic progressives the slightest bit interested in doing just that? How come you are not obsessed with re-unionization?

[Dec 23, 2016] Paul Krugman: Populism, Real and Phony

Dec 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
"Trump_vs_deep_state ... is anything but populist":
Populism, Real and Phony, by Paul Krugman, NY Times : Authoritarians with an animus against ethnic minorities are on the march across the Western world. ... But what should we call these groups? Many reporters are using the term "populist," which seems both inadequate and misleading..., are the other shared features of this movement - addiction to conspiracy theories, indifference to the rule of law, a penchant for punishing critics - really captured by the "populist" label?

Still, the European members of this emerging alliance - an axis of evil? - have offered some real benefits to workers. ... Trump_vs_deep_state is, however, different..., the emerging policy agenda is anything but populist.

All indications are that we're looking at huge windfalls for billionaires combined with savage cuts in programs that serve not just the poor but also the middle class. And the white working class, which provided much of the 46 percent Trump vote share, is shaping up as the biggest loser. ...

Both his pick as budget director and his choice to head Health and Human Services want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare. His choice as labor secretary is a fast-food tycoon who has been a vociferous opponent both of Obamacare and of minimum wage hikes. And House Republicans have already submitted plans for drastic cuts in Social Security, including a sharp rise in the retirement age. ...

In other words..., European populism is at least partly real, while Trumpist populism is turning out to be entirely fake, a scam sold to working-class voters who are in for a rude awakening. Will the new regime pay a political price?

Well, don't count on it..., you know that there will be huge efforts to shift the blame. These will include claims that the collapse of health care is really President Obama's fault; claims that the failure of alternatives is somehow the fault of recalcitrant Democrats; and an endless series of attempts to distract the public.

Expect more Carrier-style stunts that don't actually help workers but dominate a news cycle. Expect lots of fulmination against minorities. And it's worth remembering what authoritarian regimes traditionally do to shift attention from failing policies, namely, find some foreigners to confront. Maybe it will be a trade war with China, maybe something worse.

Opponents need to do all they can to defeat such strategies of distraction. Above all, they shouldn't let themselves be sucked into cooperation that leaves them sharing part of the blame. The perpetrators of this scam should be forced to own it.

ilsm : , December 23, 2016 at 10:45 AM
The Clinton brand of nato-neocon-neolib is way ahead of the populist nativist in tilting toward Armageddon.

Own the world for the banksters.

poor pk

DeDude -> Gibbon1... , December 23, 2016 at 02:33 PM
It really depend on how the two sides play it out. You don't need to move the diehard sexists and racists for things to change. But the Democrats need to have a Warren/Sanders attack team ready on every single GOP "favor the rich and screw the rest" proposal. It would be rather easy to get the press to pay attention to those two if they went to war with Trump/GOP. Their following is sufficiently large to be a media market - so their comments would not be ignored. We also know that at least Warren knows how to bait Trump into saying something stupid so you can get the kind of firework that commercial media cannot ignore. The Dems need to learn how to bait the media at least as effectively as Trump does.
Tim Cahill : , -1
When can we please start tuning Krugman down here? He aided and abetted the election disaster by being one of the most prominent Very Serious People leading the offensive against Sanders and promoting a fatally flawed candidate that was beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage.

He may make good points here after-the-fact, but they're all "duh!" level bits of analysis at this stage. And the last thing I want to hear from any of the VSPs who piloted the train over the cliff during this election season is b*tching about the mess at the bottom of the cliff.

Aren't there ANY other voices with some remaining shred of political credibility that can be quoted here instead of the unabashed VSPs who helped elect trump?

Tim Cahill -> pgl... , December 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM
Since I am only noting objection to one blogger who invested much of his personal credibility into promoting a horrible leader, I don't see the relevance of your comment at all. I enjoy pretty much every other blogger to which Thoma links.

My issue is with highlighting a crank whose writing has cratered over the last year. If a Trump ripping is due (and it usually is), then I'm fine with it being a feature so long as it's written by someone who isn't channeling Niall Ferguson and with the same degree of credibility as a political "wonk".

yuan -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 12:03 PM
I think a certain amount of self-criticism and introspection is warranted at this point, no? And, I think, there is little question that the long-term coziness of the democratic party with high finance and the PMIC played a major role in negative perceptions of HRC.

Although I did not vote for Clinton, if I had lived in a remotely competitive state I would have certainly voted for her. To put this in perspective, my vote for Sanders was a very reluctant vote and Clinton is the POTUS I despise the most (Trump will change this).

ilsm -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 01:04 PM
As Lincoln may have observed: you* can fool too many of the democrats all the time.

one Obama, two Clintons .........

Vapid talking points, like fast and loose with felonies.

She had no convictions bc justice was ordered to do the job of juries.

yuan -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 11:57 AM
"beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage."

Characterizing Clinton's electoral college defeat as being beaten resoundingly is exactly the kind of irrational "bro" rhetoric that Krugman rightly criticized.

And I write this as someone who voted for Sanders and then Stein.

Peter K. -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 01:08 PM
As you can tell there a few people here who agreed with Krugman during the primary and agree with him now.

I agree with you in general, but am going to try to ignore the insulters and haters and link to good thinkers.

Tim Cahill -> Peter K.... , December 23, 2016 at 01:46 PM
They're an angry lot.... and they, like the conservative "affinity fraudsters" that Krugman has lambasted over the years, refuse to accept reality. Instead, they hunker down, shut out facts, and surround themselves only with people and information that agrees with their flawed opinions.
Denis Drew : , December 23, 2016 at 11:03 AM
All I hear from Paul -- and others -- sounds like ducking and weaving and back peddling -- in a phrase: retreat-in-good-order to avoid defeat-in-detail.

How about a little aggression? Would it be too much to expect these top brains the potential to rebuild labor union density (THE ONLY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TISSUE OF THE AVERAGE PERSON) at state by progressive state level.

NEVER HEAR OF IT -- NO OTHER PATH (and it looks to be multi-multi-path once you start looking through all the angles.

So I wont be accused of hi-jacking the thread with a very long unionization entreaty you can look up my entreaty here:
Wet backs and narrow backs (Irish immigrants' native born kiddies)
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

I'm only beginning to sort all this out -- like the angle that any group disallowed of employee status by the Trump NLRB (student teaching and research assistants?) immediately become eligible for full state supported conduction of NLRB-like certification process. No preemption problem.

Preemption on closer exam may not be the barrier folks think. So, so much more federal preemption/supremacy (not the same thing!) stuff to sort through -- another reason to put off posting the full comment. Few weeks maybe.

Denis Drew -> anne... , December 23, 2016 at 01:07 PM
Where I come from, the Bronx of the 50s-70s, everybody was different, so nobody was different, so we had more fun with your differences.

We didn't have diversity; we had assimilation; everyone was the same.

Typical 60s high school chatter: How's an Italian like a crashing airplane? Guinea, Guinea, Guinea: Whop!
How's an Irishman like a submarine under attack? Down the hatch; down the hatch; down the hatch!

In the movie The Wanderers, portraying the 1979 Bronx with more people of color, the high school teasing is all: nigger, spic, kike! Too much for your non-real-melting pot ears.

:-)-
********************
Be more impressed by your (plural) interest in minority dignity if it obsessed on getting everyone one the same ECONOMIC (!) level.

Click here -- for early thoughts (still sorting) on how to actually do just that -- if you really want to really help:
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

You rebuild union density or you do nothing! You do it at the state by progressive state level or you do nothing! Are you academic progressives the slightest bit interested in doing just that? How come you are not obsessed with re-unionization?

[Dec 22, 2016] Arming Ukraine Is a Bad Idea The American Conservative

Dec 22, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The first several months of a new administration are inevitably seen as an opening for those who hope to influence the White House over the next four years. The Senate Ukraine Caucus-a bipartisan group of senior lawmakers who have lobbied intensively for a closer U.S.-Ukraine relationship-hopes to take advantage of this sensitive period, in which the new president will order policy reviews, modifications in existing programs, or even a clean break from the past.

In a letter to President-elect Trump, the caucus writes that it is absolutely critical for the United States to enhance its support to Kiev at a time when Vladimir Putin's Russia continues to support a separatist movement on Ukrainian soil. "Quite simply," the group claims , "Russia has launched a military land-grab in Ukraine that is unprecedented in modern European history. These actions in Crimea and other areas of eastern Ukraine dangerously upend well-established diplomatic, legal, and security norms that the United States and its NATO allies painstakingly built over decades."

On this score, the senators are correct. Russia's stealth invasion, occupation, and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was for all intents and purposes a land-grab denounced not only by the United States but by the United Nations as a violation of state sovereignty and self-determination.

But let's not kid ourselves; this isn't the first time a stronger power will attempt to change the borders of a weaker neighbor, nor will it be the last. The Russians saw an opportunity to immediately exploit the confusion of Ukraine's post-Viktor Yanukovych period. Moscow's signing of the Minsk accords, an agreement that was designed to de-escalate the violence in Eastern Ukraine through mutual demobilization of heavy weapons along the conflict line and a transfer of border control from separatist forces back to the Ukrainian government, has been stalled to the point of irrelevance.

It is incontrovertible that, were it not for Russia's military support and intervention in the summer of 2014, the Ukrainian army would likely have been able to defeat the separatist units that were carving out autonomous "peoples' republics" in the east-or at the very least, degrade rebel capabilities to such an extent that Kiev would be able to win more concessions at the negotiating table.

Yet while we should acknowledge Russia's violations of international law and the U.N. Charter, U.S. and European policymakers also need to recognize that Ukraine is far more important for Moscow's geopolitical position than Washington's.

There is a reason why Vladimir Putin made the fateful decision in 2014 to plunge Russian forces into Ukraine, and it wasn't because he was itching for a war of preemption. He deployed Russian forces across the Ukrainian border-despite the whirlwind of international condemnation and the Western financial sanctions that were likely to accompany such a decision-because preserving a pro-Russia bent in the Ukraine body politic was just too important for Moscow's regional position.

Grasping this reality in no way excuses Moscow's behavior. It merely explains why the Russian government acted the way it did, and why further U.S. military assistance to the Ukrainian security forces would be ill-advised. In fact, one could make a convincing case that providing hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to the Ukrainian government wouldn't help the situation at all, and might lead Kiev to delude itself into thinking that Washington will come to its immediate military aid in order to stabilize the battlefield.

Since 2015, the United States Congress has authorized $750 million to improve the defensive capabilities of the Ukrainian military and security forces. Congress has followed up those funds with an additional $650 million earmarked for the Ukrainians over the next two years, a hefty sum that the next administration would probably use as a message to the Russians that further territorial encroachment on Ukrainian territory would produce more casualties in their ranks.

What the next administration needs to ask itself, however, is whether more money thrown at the Ukraine problem will be more or less likely to cause further violence in the country and turmoil for Ukraine's elected government. Russia has demonstrated consistently that it will simply not permit a pro-Western democratic government from emerging along its western border-and that if a pro-Western government is formed in Kiev, Moscow will do its best to preserve a pro-Russian bent in Ukraine's eastern provinces. Hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriations haven't forced Russia to change that calculation so far; it's not likely that hundreds of millions more will be any more successful. Indeed, every time Washington has escalated its rhetoric or authorized money for Ukraine's military, the Russians have responded in equal terms.

The political crisis in Ukraine is far from resolved, in large measure because of Russia's own actions on the ground and its nonexistent implementation of the Minsk peace agreement. But the situation in the east, while not fully peaceful by any means, is far less violent than it was at the war's peak in 2015. Sometimes, not weighing in can be just as smart for the U.S. national interest as getting involved-a reflex that is has been the forte of Washington's foreign policy establishment since the end of the Cold War.

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities.

[Dec 22, 2016] Kremlin Warns Of Response To Latest US Sanctions, Says Almost All Communication With US Is Frozen Zero Hedge

Dec 22, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In response to the latest imposition of US sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday that the new sanctions would further damage relations between the two countries and that Moscow would respond with its own measures. "We regret that Washington is continuing on this destructive path," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

As a reminder, on Tuesday the United States widened sanctions against Russian businessmen and companies adopted after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the conflict in Ukraine.

"We believe this damages bilateral relations ... Russia will take commensurate measures."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Then again, it is difficult to see how sanctions between the two administration could be any more "damaged": also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it did not expect the incoming U.S. administration to reject NATO enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels between Russia and the United States were frozen, the RIA news agency reported.

" Almost every level of dialogue with the United States is frozen. We don't communicate with one another, or (if we do) we do so minimally ," Peskov said.

Additionally, RIA said that according to Peskov "he did not know whether President Vladimir Putin would seek re-election in 2018."

"Everyone's heads are aching because of work and with projects and nobody is thinking or talking about elections," Peskov said.

Then again, the sanctions may soon be history. According to a Bloomberg report , the U.S. will start easing its penalties, imposed over the showdown in Ukraine in 2014, during the next 12 months, according to 55 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg survey, up from 10 percent in an October poll. Without the restrictions, Russia's economic growth would get a boost equivalent to 0.2 percentage point of gross domestic product next year and 0.5 percentage point in 2018, according to the median estimates in the poll.

"It's still a toss-up whether the U.S. will ease sanctions quickly, with the EU lagging, but the direction of travel is toward easier sanctions or less enforcement, which could reduce financing costs," said Rachel Ziemba, the New York-based head of emerging markets at 4CAST-RGE. "We think the macro impact would be greater in the medium term than short term as it facilitates a rate easing trend that is already on course. In the longer term, it gives more choice of investment."

Trump, who's called President Vladimir Putin a better leader than Barack Obama, has said he may consider recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and lifting the curbs. While dogged by concerns that Russia intervened to tip this year's elections in the Republican candidate's favor, Trump has already showed his hand by planning to stack his administration with officials supportive of closer cooperation with the Kremlin, from Michael Flynn, the president-elect's national security adviser, to Exxon Mobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson, a candidate for secretary of state.

An equally important consequence of any policy change by Trump would be its affect on the EU's own penalties on Russia, with more economists saying the bloc will follow suit. Forty percent of respondents said in the Dec. 16-19 survey that the EU will begin easing sanctions in the next 12 months, compared with 33 percent in October.

"If the U.S. eases sanctions, it won't be possible to achieve a consensus among EU member states to keep their sanctions regime in place as currently formulated," said Charles Movit, an economist at IHS Markit in Washington.

The Count , Dec 21, 2016 10:42 AM
And yet another fantastic foreign policy blunder from Obummer. He's trying real hard to start WWIII before he leaves office.

That a guy with a shady past and forged documents could be come president shows how powerful the Zionists +Deep State are.

Boris Alatovkrap The Count , Dec 21, 2016 10:43 AM
Boris is somewhat look forward to post-Obama Amerika, where Russia can negotiate with adult.
carbonmutant Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:45 AM
We all are... :)
hedgeless_horseman carbonmutant , Dec 21, 2016 10:51 AM
  • The USA invaded and occupied Afghanistan, for 14 years, which is very near Russia.
  • The USA invaded Syria, which is a long-time ally of Russia.
  • The USA staged a coup in Ukraine, which borders Russia.

And we sanction them?

Boris Alatovkrap hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 10:51 AM
Only 14 year?! Is feel like lifetime since Russia is learn painful lesson to avoid land war in Asia.
chunga Pinto Currency , Dec 21, 2016 11:38 AM
Is Obama a Russian Agent?

http://cluborlov.com/

And although it is always possible to claim that all of Obama's failures stem from mere incompetence, at some point this claim begins to ring hollow; how can he possibly be so utterly competent at being incompetent?

BarkingCat chunga , Dec 21, 2016 12:06 PM
Obama is not a Russian agent but could very well be a Soviet agent.

Being a dumb fuck whose only skill is reading a teleprompter, he has no idea how to resolve the change in the world since the Soviet Union disintegrated.

chunga BarkingCat , Dec 21, 2016 12:53 PM
Orlov was being sarcastic.
BullyBearish chunga , Dec 21, 2016 3:17 PM
It could be worse:

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on March 26, 2012, Mr. Romney said that Russia is "without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe."

Oracle 911 chunga , Dec 21, 2016 3:32 PM
The agent part is true, not so much the Russian part.

So, whose agent he is? I don't know for sure, but he ruined the US and made it unable to wage the 3rd WW with weapons or profiting from it.

hedgeless_horseman Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:58 AM

Why is the USA and Europe sanctioning Russia?

  • I hear all these politicians talking, but none ever say why Russia is being sacntioned.
  • Is it because they are stealing land from the Palestinians? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they have nuclear weapons, but do not participate in the Non Proliferation Treaties? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they had special forces filming and celebrating the 9/11 attacks on NYC? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they bribe our politicians with millions of dllars each election cycle? No. That is Israel.
7thGenMO Pinto Currency , Dec 21, 2016 1:54 PM
A Russian in Crimea told me of a recent past winter near disaster when Ukraine shut off the power (and water) - somewhat covered here on ZH. Only a truly heroic effort by Russia to bring in generators kept them from living in dangerous conditions. Crimea is more solidly pro-Russian than it was before the vote to secede.

All Ukrainians should understand that the NWO (controlled by the elite and their Western banks) will subjugate the Ukraine. Evidence for this is abundant, but the most striking example is the willingness to accept millions of non-European refugees, while few Ukrainians are allowed into Western countries.

Yes, there is genuine reason for resentment (Holodomar), but this terror was executed by the Bolshevik Lazar Kaganovich (which means son of Kagan - as in Ron Kagan - husband of Nudelman - understand the connection?). More Russians died under this same type of Bolshevik terror than any other ethnicity in the USSR.

Russia is no longer the USSR, and seeks to return to a society of Christian values. Ukrainians should seek peace with their Russian brothers. It would be to the benefit of all Western countries, which is why the NWO is trying everything to prevent it.

X_in_Sweden CuttingEdge , Dec 21, 2016 12:57 PM
"The Zionists invented terrorism in 1948. Read some fucking history."

That's right

CuttingEdge

The UN Mediator for Palestine, "The U.S. appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden" was assassinated in 1948 in Jerusalam by the likudnik-future izraeli Prime Ministers Begin & Shamir....

FACT:

"Folke Bernadotte , Count of Wisborg ( Swedish : Greve af Wisborg ; 2 January 1895 – 17 September 1948) was a Swedish diplomat and nobleman. During World War II he negotiated the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps including 450 Danish Jews from the Theresienstadt camp. They were released on 14 April 1945. [1] [2] [3] In 1945, he received a German surrender offer from Heinrich Himmler , though the offer was ultimately rejected.

After the war, Bernadotte was unanimously chosen to be the United Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab–Israeli conflict of 1947–1948. He was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1948 by the militant Zionist group Lehi while pursuing his official duties. Upon his death, Ralph Bunche took up his work at the UN, but was removed from the post around six months after Bernadotte was assassinated, at the critical period of recognition of the fledgling state. ....."

Likudniks like present-day murderer & chief Benny-Boy Nutandyahoo!!!

It's 100% bonefide fuckin' TERRORISTS that are the leaders of the rothschild colony & real estate project in the eastern Mediterranean.

SOURCES:

TheQuay X_in_Sweden , Dec 21, 2016 4:09 PM
Wow! Those are some stringent sources! Wikipedia, where you can edit the text to read however you wish before citing it, ...great source! ( Seriously? A wiki cite ends the discussion for me every single time. Dead. (Kind of like interviewing an architect who says Fisher-Price is his inspiration). Next up is the legendary duckduckgo. Move over Library of Congress! And of course WhatReallyHappened is the next up on the hit parade. Jeeze, I spent a cargoload of time and money earning a masters in history. I wish I had had wiki. It would have been so much easier, AND I would be as smart as this guy telling us all about how stupid we all are. LOL!. X_in_Sweden, go to Wiki and look up "Useful Idiot" while standing in front of a mirror.
Fractal Parasite TheQuay , Dec 21, 2016 4:32 PM
Wikipedia a.k.a. the info-police ...
HowdyDoody CuttingEdge , Dec 21, 2016 4:38 PM
Zionists are also behind the use of Saudi wahabbists. It's a twofer. It clears land that Israel covets and is part of the plan to get Christians to fight Muslims, wipping each other out.
Luc X. Ifer chumbawamba , Dec 21, 2016 1:04 PM
Well Mr Chumbawamba let me congratulate you on joining the big club of anti-jewish fascism, you share a honorable position together with Nazism and Islamic Fascism. Fuck off paranoid religitard.
Pliskin Luc X. Ifer , Dec 21, 2016 12:41 PM
I don't see you post here very often Luc X. Ifer, the shekels must be drying up?
Manthong hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 11:32 AM

I have done business with Israelis Most of them think that they are in a crunch existential mess.

The reality is that the tech and arms business is pretty cushy and they are reluctant to give it up.

If they get a decent guarantee of their space (and maybe a couple more settlements) they might scale down a tad.

They can do an up-front deal with the head choppers in Riyadh any time they want because the princes do not want to live on a sea of radioactive glass.

For me, I just want the Basilica at Sophia back.

two hoots hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 1:20 PM
Obama and the current congress already locked this in until 2026 (see below) which takes us past 2 terms of Trump. Doubt Trump could change/drain this if he wanted (?) as current congress not only did the deal but added $500M per year to the previous Bush 10 year deal which was set to expire in 2018. Dem/Rep... it is going to happen no matter.

"The United States has finalized a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years, the largest of its kind ever, and the two allies plan to sign the agreement on Wednesday, American and Israeli officials said". NY Times Sept 2016,

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/world/middleeast/israel-benjamin-netan...

Davy Crockett two hoots , Dec 21, 2016 2:06 PM
When I was a kid, we had a pump to fill the water trough for the animals. There was a coffee can near it, that you used to take some of the water that was left in the water trough and pour it into the pump. This was known as "priming the pump". You had to do this to allow the pump to pump more water into the trough from the well.

America is a money-well for Israel. They take a little bit of the money that we flood them with, and they donate to enough politicians campaign to insure that those politicians will vote to turn on the money spigot, filling up Israels trough with money. Don't worry, they'll save a coffee can or two of it to prime the pump again next time.

I really don't care if Israel lives or dies. If they live and prosper, that's just fine with me. But what pisses me off is this system that allows them to pump money from us, just by using a tiny portion of it to bribe our politicians with campaign contributions. This bribing results in not just lost treasure, but also lost blood, as we fight wars to weaken Israels neighbors, again, only because our politicians are being bribed with foreign donations.

I would prefer we find ways to jail any politician that gets money from foreign countries. I would also prefer we put an end to Super PACs, since the foreign money will simply migrate to those. It is bullshit that our system is set up so that the honest politicians that refuse to sell out are promptly voted out of office because their competitor, who is willing to sell out, is flooded with campaign money. This ends up giving us representatives who do not represent our interests at all.

general ambivalent hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 11:50 AM
My greatest fear in Trump being a plant is that he is supposed to calm relations with Russia, which will open up the opportunity for the big event. This gives them more time on the surface while the deep state continues spreading chaos along Russia's borders.

I suspect Russia would be aware of this possibility however.

Mustafa Kemal hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 12:26 PM
hh, with David Friedman as ambassador, it looks like they may move Israels capitol to Jerusalem. Lots of fun then.
Justin Case hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 3:24 PM
Trump is going to keep allowing Israelis to bribe American politicians.

Aid money goes full circle. The tax payers are the losers as usual. Trump needs to look into the dual citizanship of congress stoolies. Drain that swamp first to put that coin into merican infrastructure renewal/upgrades.=.jobs.

dizzyfingers Manthong , Dec 21, 2016 4:19 PM
DEVELOPING -- Federal Judge Orders Release of Search Warrant from Clinton Email Case http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines-2016/developing-federal-judge-orders-release-of-search-warrant-from-clinton-email-case?mc_cid=a6207925cf&mc_eid=18ffccb24c

EXPOSED: Michelle SCREWED Taxpayers, Illegally Giving Our Cash To Daughters http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines-2016/exposed-michelle-screwed-taxpayers-illegally-giving-our-cash-to-daughters?mc_cid=a6207925cf&mc_eid=18ffccb24c

ParkAveFlasher Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:53 AM
Biden's son in Ukraine couldn't help things much. How cool was the "invasion" of Crimea? I thought it was cool. I was kind of wishing Texas would pull something like that, maybe with NJ.
Manthong ParkAveFlasher , Dec 21, 2016 11:20 AM
I think that the coke-head Navy reject's gig is going to be gone pretty soon.
reload ParkAveFlasher , Dec 21, 2016 12:23 PM
I know you have "invasion" written in a way that shows you know it was NOT an invasion. The speed a decisiveness was certainly impressive, shame the Donbass has been relegated to the roll of dead buffer zone though. I understand the strategic benefit of letting the Ukrainian `Army` bog down there and bleed resources, but a lot of Ethnic Russians are dying and suffering as a result.
HowdyDoody reload , Dec 21, 2016 5:28 PM
The Ukro-Nazis have just tried to re-run the attack on Debaltsevo, where there were put through the meat grinder last winter. Guess what, they ended up in the grinder again, even though the Novorossians are following Minsk rules on sending heavy armor away from the front. The Ukrops lost up to 100 dead, a large number just left on the ground as the survivors fled. The wounded were airlifted to Kharkov military hospital.

One Ukrop unit reported 25 dead in 3 hours of fighting.

http://novorossia.today/154366-2/

Airlift landing in Kharkov

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-efMU3Cl1o

Meanwhile in west Ukraine, far away from the fighting, there have been around 400 desertions from the Ukraine military.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/31...

The Ukrops are still shelling civilian areas of Novorssia for sport.

Luc X. Ifer hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 10:52 AM
Obama's main task now is to damage to the max possible the relations with Russia to make it impossible to be amended later by Trump.

[Dec 22, 2016] Arming Ukraine Is a Bad Idea The American Conservative

Dec 22, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The first several months of a new administration are inevitably seen as an opening for those who hope to influence the White House over the next four years. The Senate Ukraine Caucus-a bipartisan group of senior lawmakers who have lobbied intensively for a closer U.S.-Ukraine relationship-hopes to take advantage of this sensitive period, in which the new president will order policy reviews, modifications in existing programs, or even a clean break from the past.

In a letter to President-elect Trump, the caucus writes that it is absolutely critical for the United States to enhance its support to Kiev at a time when Vladimir Putin's Russia continues to support a separatist movement on Ukrainian soil. "Quite simply," the group claims , "Russia has launched a military land-grab in Ukraine that is unprecedented in modern European history. These actions in Crimea and other areas of eastern Ukraine dangerously upend well-established diplomatic, legal, and security norms that the United States and its NATO allies painstakingly built over decades."

On this score, the senators are correct. Russia's stealth invasion, occupation, and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was for all intents and purposes a land-grab denounced not only by the United States but by the United Nations as a violation of state sovereignty and self-determination.

But let's not kid ourselves; this isn't the first time a stronger power will attempt to change the borders of a weaker neighbor, nor will it be the last. The Russians saw an opportunity to immediately exploit the confusion of Ukraine's post-Viktor Yanukovych period. Moscow's signing of the Minsk accords, an agreement that was designed to de-escalate the violence in Eastern Ukraine through mutual demobilization of heavy weapons along the conflict line and a transfer of border control from separatist forces back to the Ukrainian government, has been stalled to the point of irrelevance.

It is incontrovertible that, were it not for Russia's military support and intervention in the summer of 2014, the Ukrainian army would likely have been able to defeat the separatist units that were carving out autonomous "peoples' republics" in the east-or at the very least, degrade rebel capabilities to such an extent that Kiev would be able to win more concessions at the negotiating table.

Yet while we should acknowledge Russia's violations of international law and the U.N. Charter, U.S. and European policymakers also need to recognize that Ukraine is far more important for Moscow's geopolitical position than Washington's.

There is a reason why Vladimir Putin made the fateful decision in 2014 to plunge Russian forces into Ukraine, and it wasn't because he was itching for a war of preemption. He deployed Russian forces across the Ukrainian border-despite the whirlwind of international condemnation and the Western financial sanctions that were likely to accompany such a decision-because preserving a pro-Russia bent in the Ukraine body politic was just too important for Moscow's regional position.

Grasping this reality in no way excuses Moscow's behavior. It merely explains why the Russian government acted the way it did, and why further U.S. military assistance to the Ukrainian security forces would be ill-advised. In fact, one could make a convincing case that providing hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance to the Ukrainian government wouldn't help the situation at all, and might lead Kiev to delude itself into thinking that Washington will come to its immediate military aid in order to stabilize the battlefield.

Since 2015, the United States Congress has authorized $750 million to improve the defensive capabilities of the Ukrainian military and security forces. Congress has followed up those funds with an additional $650 million earmarked for the Ukrainians over the next two years, a hefty sum that the next administration would probably use as a message to the Russians that further territorial encroachment on Ukrainian territory would produce more casualties in their ranks.

What the next administration needs to ask itself, however, is whether more money thrown at the Ukraine problem will be more or less likely to cause further violence in the country and turmoil for Ukraine's elected government. Russia has demonstrated consistently that it will simply not permit a pro-Western democratic government from emerging along its western border-and that if a pro-Western government is formed in Kiev, Moscow will do its best to preserve a pro-Russian bent in Ukraine's eastern provinces. Hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriations haven't forced Russia to change that calculation so far; it's not likely that hundreds of millions more will be any more successful. Indeed, every time Washington has escalated its rhetoric or authorized money for Ukraine's military, the Russians have responded in equal terms.

The political crisis in Ukraine is far from resolved, in large measure because of Russia's own actions on the ground and its nonexistent implementation of the Minsk peace agreement. But the situation in the east, while not fully peaceful by any means, is far less violent than it was at the war's peak in 2015. Sometimes, not weighing in can be just as smart for the U.S. national interest as getting involved-a reflex that is has been the forte of Washington's foreign policy establishment since the end of the Cold War.

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities.

[Dec 22, 2016] Kremlin Warns Of Response To Latest US Sanctions, Says Almost All Communication With US Is Frozen Zero Hedge

Dec 22, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In response to the latest imposition of US sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday that the new sanctions would further damage relations between the two countries and that Moscow would respond with its own measures. "We regret that Washington is continuing on this destructive path," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

As a reminder, on Tuesday the United States widened sanctions against Russian businessmen and companies adopted after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the conflict in Ukraine.

"We believe this damages bilateral relations ... Russia will take commensurate measures."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Then again, it is difficult to see how sanctions between the two administration could be any more "damaged": also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it did not expect the incoming U.S. administration to reject NATO enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels between Russia and the United States were frozen, the RIA news agency reported.

" Almost every level of dialogue with the United States is frozen. We don't communicate with one another, or (if we do) we do so minimally ," Peskov said.

Additionally, RIA said that according to Peskov "he did not know whether President Vladimir Putin would seek re-election in 2018."

"Everyone's heads are aching because of work and with projects and nobody is thinking or talking about elections," Peskov said.

Then again, the sanctions may soon be history. According to a Bloomberg report , the U.S. will start easing its penalties, imposed over the showdown in Ukraine in 2014, during the next 12 months, according to 55 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg survey, up from 10 percent in an October poll. Without the restrictions, Russia's economic growth would get a boost equivalent to 0.2 percentage point of gross domestic product next year and 0.5 percentage point in 2018, according to the median estimates in the poll.

"It's still a toss-up whether the U.S. will ease sanctions quickly, with the EU lagging, but the direction of travel is toward easier sanctions or less enforcement, which could reduce financing costs," said Rachel Ziemba, the New York-based head of emerging markets at 4CAST-RGE. "We think the macro impact would be greater in the medium term than short term as it facilitates a rate easing trend that is already on course. In the longer term, it gives more choice of investment."

Trump, who's called President Vladimir Putin a better leader than Barack Obama, has said he may consider recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and lifting the curbs. While dogged by concerns that Russia intervened to tip this year's elections in the Republican candidate's favor, Trump has already showed his hand by planning to stack his administration with officials supportive of closer cooperation with the Kremlin, from Michael Flynn, the president-elect's national security adviser, to Exxon Mobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson, a candidate for secretary of state.

An equally important consequence of any policy change by Trump would be its affect on the EU's own penalties on Russia, with more economists saying the bloc will follow suit. Forty percent of respondents said in the Dec. 16-19 survey that the EU will begin easing sanctions in the next 12 months, compared with 33 percent in October.

"If the U.S. eases sanctions, it won't be possible to achieve a consensus among EU member states to keep their sanctions regime in place as currently formulated," said Charles Movit, an economist at IHS Markit in Washington.

The Count , Dec 21, 2016 10:42 AM
And yet another fantastic foreign policy blunder from Obummer. He's trying real hard to start WWIII before he leaves office.

That a guy with a shady past and forged documents could be come president shows how powerful the Zionists +Deep State are.

Boris Alatovkrap The Count , Dec 21, 2016 10:43 AM
Boris is somewhat look forward to post-Obama Amerika, where Russia can negotiate with adult.
carbonmutant Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:45 AM
We all are... :)
hedgeless_horseman carbonmutant , Dec 21, 2016 10:51 AM
  • The USA invaded and occupied Afghanistan, for 14 years, which is very near Russia.
  • The USA invaded Syria, which is a long-time ally of Russia.
  • The USA staged a coup in Ukraine, which borders Russia.

And we sanction them?

Boris Alatovkrap hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 10:51 AM
Only 14 year?! Is feel like lifetime since Russia is learn painful lesson to avoid land war in Asia.
chunga Pinto Currency , Dec 21, 2016 11:38 AM
Is Obama a Russian Agent?

http://cluborlov.com/

And although it is always possible to claim that all of Obama's failures stem from mere incompetence, at some point this claim begins to ring hollow; how can he possibly be so utterly competent at being incompetent?

BarkingCat chunga , Dec 21, 2016 12:06 PM
Obama is not a Russian agent but could very well be a Soviet agent.

Being a dumb fuck whose only skill is reading a teleprompter, he has no idea how to resolve the change in the world since the Soviet Union disintegrated.

chunga BarkingCat , Dec 21, 2016 12:53 PM
Orlov was being sarcastic.
BullyBearish chunga , Dec 21, 2016 3:17 PM
It could be worse:

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on March 26, 2012, Mr. Romney said that Russia is "without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe."

Oracle 911 chunga , Dec 21, 2016 3:32 PM
The agent part is true, not so much the Russian part.

So, whose agent he is? I don't know for sure, but he ruined the US and made it unable to wage the 3rd WW with weapons or profiting from it.

hedgeless_horseman Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:58 AM

Why is the USA and Europe sanctioning Russia?

  • I hear all these politicians talking, but none ever say why Russia is being sacntioned.
  • Is it because they are stealing land from the Palestinians? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they have nuclear weapons, but do not participate in the Non Proliferation Treaties? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they had special forces filming and celebrating the 9/11 attacks on NYC? No. That is Israel.
  • Is it because they bribe our politicians with millions of dllars each election cycle? No. That is Israel.
7thGenMO Pinto Currency , Dec 21, 2016 1:54 PM
A Russian in Crimea told me of a recent past winter near disaster when Ukraine shut off the power (and water) - somewhat covered here on ZH. Only a truly heroic effort by Russia to bring in generators kept them from living in dangerous conditions. Crimea is more solidly pro-Russian than it was before the vote to secede.

All Ukrainians should understand that the NWO (controlled by the elite and their Western banks) will subjugate the Ukraine. Evidence for this is abundant, but the most striking example is the willingness to accept millions of non-European refugees, while few Ukrainians are allowed into Western countries.

Yes, there is genuine reason for resentment (Holodomar), but this terror was executed by the Bolshevik Lazar Kaganovich (which means son of Kagan - as in Ron Kagan - husband of Nudelman - understand the connection?). More Russians died under this same type of Bolshevik terror than any other ethnicity in the USSR.

Russia is no longer the USSR, and seeks to return to a society of Christian values. Ukrainians should seek peace with their Russian brothers. It would be to the benefit of all Western countries, which is why the NWO is trying everything to prevent it.

X_in_Sweden CuttingEdge , Dec 21, 2016 12:57 PM
"The Zionists invented terrorism in 1948. Read some fucking history."

That's right

CuttingEdge

The UN Mediator for Palestine, "The U.S. appointed Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden" was assassinated in 1948 in Jerusalam by the likudnik-future izraeli Prime Ministers Begin & Shamir....

FACT:

"Folke Bernadotte , Count of Wisborg ( Swedish : Greve af Wisborg ; 2 January 1895 – 17 September 1948) was a Swedish diplomat and nobleman. During World War II he negotiated the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps including 450 Danish Jews from the Theresienstadt camp. They were released on 14 April 1945. [1] [2] [3] In 1945, he received a German surrender offer from Heinrich Himmler , though the offer was ultimately rejected.

After the war, Bernadotte was unanimously chosen to be the United Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab–Israeli conflict of 1947–1948. He was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1948 by the militant Zionist group Lehi while pursuing his official duties. Upon his death, Ralph Bunche took up his work at the UN, but was removed from the post around six months after Bernadotte was assassinated, at the critical period of recognition of the fledgling state. ....."

Likudniks like present-day murderer & chief Benny-Boy Nutandyahoo!!!

It's 100% bonefide fuckin' TERRORISTS that are the leaders of the rothschild colony & real estate project in the eastern Mediterranean.

SOURCES:

TheQuay X_in_Sweden , Dec 21, 2016 4:09 PM
Wow! Those are some stringent sources! Wikipedia, where you can edit the text to read however you wish before citing it, ...great source! ( Seriously? A wiki cite ends the discussion for me every single time. Dead. (Kind of like interviewing an architect who says Fisher-Price is his inspiration). Next up is the legendary duckduckgo. Move over Library of Congress! And of course WhatReallyHappened is the next up on the hit parade. Jeeze, I spent a cargoload of time and money earning a masters in history. I wish I had had wiki. It would have been so much easier, AND I would be as smart as this guy telling us all about how stupid we all are. LOL!. X_in_Sweden, go to Wiki and look up "Useful Idiot" while standing in front of a mirror.
Fractal Parasite TheQuay , Dec 21, 2016 4:32 PM
Wikipedia a.k.a. the info-police ...
HowdyDoody CuttingEdge , Dec 21, 2016 4:38 PM
Zionists are also behind the use of Saudi wahabbists. It's a twofer. It clears land that Israel covets and is part of the plan to get Christians to fight Muslims, wipping each other out.
Luc X. Ifer chumbawamba , Dec 21, 2016 1:04 PM
Well Mr Chumbawamba let me congratulate you on joining the big club of anti-jewish fascism, you share a honorable position together with Nazism and Islamic Fascism. Fuck off paranoid religitard.
Pliskin Luc X. Ifer , Dec 21, 2016 12:41 PM
I don't see you post here very often Luc X. Ifer, the shekels must be drying up?
Manthong hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 11:32 AM

I have done business with Israelis Most of them think that they are in a crunch existential mess.

The reality is that the tech and arms business is pretty cushy and they are reluctant to give it up.

If they get a decent guarantee of their space (and maybe a couple more settlements) they might scale down a tad.

They can do an up-front deal with the head choppers in Riyadh any time they want because the princes do not want to live on a sea of radioactive glass.

For me, I just want the Basilica at Sophia back.

two hoots hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 1:20 PM
Obama and the current congress already locked this in until 2026 (see below) which takes us past 2 terms of Trump. Doubt Trump could change/drain this if he wanted (?) as current congress not only did the deal but added $500M per year to the previous Bush 10 year deal which was set to expire in 2018. Dem/Rep... it is going to happen no matter.

"The United States has finalized a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years, the largest of its kind ever, and the two allies plan to sign the agreement on Wednesday, American and Israeli officials said". NY Times Sept 2016,

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/world/middleeast/israel-benjamin-netan...

Davy Crockett two hoots , Dec 21, 2016 2:06 PM
When I was a kid, we had a pump to fill the water trough for the animals. There was a coffee can near it, that you used to take some of the water that was left in the water trough and pour it into the pump. This was known as "priming the pump". You had to do this to allow the pump to pump more water into the trough from the well.

America is a money-well for Israel. They take a little bit of the money that we flood them with, and they donate to enough politicians campaign to insure that those politicians will vote to turn on the money spigot, filling up Israels trough with money. Don't worry, they'll save a coffee can or two of it to prime the pump again next time.

I really don't care if Israel lives or dies. If they live and prosper, that's just fine with me. But what pisses me off is this system that allows them to pump money from us, just by using a tiny portion of it to bribe our politicians with campaign contributions. This bribing results in not just lost treasure, but also lost blood, as we fight wars to weaken Israels neighbors, again, only because our politicians are being bribed with foreign donations.

I would prefer we find ways to jail any politician that gets money from foreign countries. I would also prefer we put an end to Super PACs, since the foreign money will simply migrate to those. It is bullshit that our system is set up so that the honest politicians that refuse to sell out are promptly voted out of office because their competitor, who is willing to sell out, is flooded with campaign money. This ends up giving us representatives who do not represent our interests at all.

general ambivalent hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 11:50 AM
My greatest fear in Trump being a plant is that he is supposed to calm relations with Russia, which will open up the opportunity for the big event. This gives them more time on the surface while the deep state continues spreading chaos along Russia's borders.

I suspect Russia would be aware of this possibility however.

Mustafa Kemal hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 12:26 PM
hh, with David Friedman as ambassador, it looks like they may move Israels capitol to Jerusalem. Lots of fun then.
Justin Case hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 3:24 PM
Trump is going to keep allowing Israelis to bribe American politicians.

Aid money goes full circle. The tax payers are the losers as usual. Trump needs to look into the dual citizanship of congress stoolies. Drain that swamp first to put that coin into merican infrastructure renewal/upgrades.=.jobs.

dizzyfingers Manthong , Dec 21, 2016 4:19 PM
DEVELOPING -- Federal Judge Orders Release of Search Warrant from Clinton Email Case http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines-2016/developing-federal-judge-orders-release-of-search-warrant-from-clinton-email-case?mc_cid=a6207925cf&mc_eid=18ffccb24c

EXPOSED: Michelle SCREWED Taxpayers, Illegally Giving Our Cash To Daughters http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines-2016/exposed-michelle-screwed-taxpayers-illegally-giving-our-cash-to-daughters?mc_cid=a6207925cf&mc_eid=18ffccb24c

ParkAveFlasher Boris Alatovkrap , Dec 21, 2016 10:53 AM
Biden's son in Ukraine couldn't help things much. How cool was the "invasion" of Crimea? I thought it was cool. I was kind of wishing Texas would pull something like that, maybe with NJ.
Manthong ParkAveFlasher , Dec 21, 2016 11:20 AM
I think that the coke-head Navy reject's gig is going to be gone pretty soon.
reload ParkAveFlasher , Dec 21, 2016 12:23 PM
I know you have "invasion" written in a way that shows you know it was NOT an invasion. The speed a decisiveness was certainly impressive, shame the Donbass has been relegated to the roll of dead buffer zone though. I understand the strategic benefit of letting the Ukrainian `Army` bog down there and bleed resources, but a lot of Ethnic Russians are dying and suffering as a result.
HowdyDoody reload , Dec 21, 2016 5:28 PM
The Ukro-Nazis have just tried to re-run the attack on Debaltsevo, where there were put through the meat grinder last winter. Guess what, they ended up in the grinder again, even though the Novorossians are following Minsk rules on sending heavy armor away from the front. The Ukrops lost up to 100 dead, a large number just left on the ground as the survivors fled. The wounded were airlifted to Kharkov military hospital.

One Ukrop unit reported 25 dead in 3 hours of fighting.

http://novorossia.today/154366-2/

Airlift landing in Kharkov

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-efMU3Cl1o

Meanwhile in west Ukraine, far away from the fighting, there have been around 400 desertions from the Ukraine military.

https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/31...

The Ukrops are still shelling civilian areas of Novorssia for sport.

Luc X. Ifer hedgeless_horseman , Dec 21, 2016 10:52 AM
Obama's main task now is to damage to the max possible the relations with Russia to make it impossible to be amended later by Trump.

[Dec 21, 2016] Russia: The Old-New Official Enemy

Dec 21, 2016 | www.fff.org
by Jacob G. Hornberger December 15, 2016

It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Ever since the advent of the U.S. national-security state after World War II, America has needed official enemies, especially ones that induce fear, terror, and panic within the American citizenry. When people are fearful, terrified, and panicked, they are much more willing, even eager, to have government officials do whatever is necessary to keep them safe and secure. It is during such times that liberty is at greatest risk because of the propensity of government to assume emergency powers and the proclivity of the citizenry to let them have them.

That's what the Cold War was all about. The official enemies were communism and the Soviet Union, which was an alliance of nations that had Russia at its center. U.S. officials convinced Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the world, with its principal base in Moscow.

A correlative threat was Red China, whose communist hordes were supposedly threatening to flood the United States.

There were also the communist outposts, which were considered spearheads pointed at America. North Korea. North Vietnam. Cuba, which, Americans were told, was a communist dagger pointed out America's neck from only 90 miles away.

And then there was communism the philosophy, along with the communists who promoted it. It was clear, U.S. officials gravely maintained, that communism was spreading all across the world, including inside the U.S. Army, the State Department, and Hollywood, and that communists were everyone, including leftist organizations and even sometimes under people's beds.

Needless to say, all this fear, terror, and panic induced people to support the ever-growing budgets, influence, and power of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which had become the national-security branch of the federal government - and the most powerful branch at that. Few cared that their hard-earned monies were being taken from them by the IRS in ever-increasing amounts. All that mattered was being kept safe from the communists.

Hardly anyone questioned or challenged this warfare-state racket. President Eisenhower alluded to it in his Farewell Address in 1961, when he pointed out that this new-fangled governmental structure, which he called "the military industrial complex," now posed a grave threat to the freedoms and democratic processes of the American people.

One of those who did challenge this official-enemy syndrome was President John F. Kennedy. At war with his national-security establishment in 1963, Kennedy threw the gauntlet down at his famous Peace Speech at American University in June of that year. There was no reason, Kennedy said, that the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) and the rest of the communist world couldn't live in peace co-existence and even friendship, even if the nations were guided by different ideologies and philosophies. Kennedy announced that it was time to end the Cold War against Russia and the rest of the communist world.

What Kennedy was proposing was anathema to the national-security state and its ever-growing army of voracious contractors and subcontractors who were feeding at the public trough. How dare he remove the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) as America's official enemy? How could the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA justify their ever-growing budgets and their ever-growing emergency powers? Indeed, how could they justify the very existence of their Cold War totalitarian-type apparatus known as a "national security state" without a giant official enemy to strike fear, terror, and panic with the American people?

Kennedy was considered a neophyte and an incompetent by the national-security establishment, not to mention an immoral adulterous philanderer who was even sleeping with the girlfriend of a Mafia don. What Kennedy didn't realize, the Pentagon and the CIA believed, was that it was impossible for the United States and the communist world to live in peaceful coexistence. This was a fight to the finish. Kennedy was being lulled, perhaps even blackmailed, into surrendering America to the Reds. He was considered a traitor, a betrayer, and the epitome of naïve. (See: JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne; The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger; Regime Change: The Kennedy Assassination by Jacob Hornberger; The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger; and CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley.)

Once Kennedy was removed from the scene, everything returned to "normal." The Cold War continued. The Vietnam War against the commies in Asia to prevent more dominoes from falling got ramped up. The Soviet Union, Red China, and the worldwide communist conspiracy continued to be America's big official enemies. The military and intelligence budgets continued to rise. The number of warfare state parasites continued soaring.

Seemingly, there was never going to be an end to the process. Until one day, the unexpected suddenly happened. The Berlin Wall came crashing down, East and West Germany were reunited, and the Soviet Union was dismantled, all of which struck unmitigated fear within the bowels of the American deep state.

Oh sure, there was still Cuba, Red China, North Korea, and Vietnam but those communist nations, for some reason, just didn't strike fear, terror, and panic within Americans as Russia did.

U.S. officials needed a new official enemy. Enter Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, who had served as a partner and ally of the U.S. government during the 1980s when he was waging war against Iran, which, by that time, had become converted from official friend to official enemy of the U.S. Empire. Throughout the 1990s, Saddam was made into the new official enemy. Like the Soviets and the communists, Saddam was coming to get us and unleash mushroom clouds all over America. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

Then came the 9/11 attacks in retaliation for what the Pentagon and the CIA were doing in the Middle East, followed by with the retaliatory invasions Afghanistan and Iraq. Suddenly the new official enemies were "terrorism" and then later Islam. Like the communists of yesteryear, the terrorists and the Muslims were coming to get us, take over the federal government, run the IRS and HUD, and force everyone to study the Koran. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

The problem is that Americans, including U.S. soldiers and their families, are now growing weary of the forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But U.S. national-security state officials know that if they bring the troops home, the official enemies of terrorism and Islam disappear at the same time.

That's why they have decided to return to their old, tried and true official enemy - Russia and, implicitly, communism. It's why the U.S. broke its promise to Russia to dismantle NATO. It's why the U.S. supported regime change in the coup in Ukraine. It's why the U.S. wants Ukraine into NATO - to enable the U.S. to install missiles on Russia's border. It's why the national-security state is "pivoting" toward Asia - to provoke crises with Red China. It's why they are accusing Russia of interfering with the U.S. presidential election and campaigning for Donald Trump. The aim of it all is to bring back the old Cold War official enemies of Russia, China, and communism, in order to keep Americans afraid, terrified, and panicked, which then means the continuation of ever-growing budgets to all those warfare state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

With his fight against the CIA over Russian hacking and his desire to establish normal relations with Russia, Donald Trump is clearly not buying into this old, tried-and-true Russia-as-official enemy narrative. In the process, he is posing a grave threat to the national-security establishment and its ever-growing budgets, influence, and power.

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This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch . View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context . Send him email .

[Dec 20, 2016] Is the slide toward military dictatorship the poarth the the USA will take due to collapse of neoliberlaism

Notable quotes:
"... But "bastard neoliberalism" that Trump represents in his internal economic policy probably is not a solution for the nations problems. It is too early to say what will be the level of his deviation from election promises, but judging for his appointments it probably will be considerable -- up to a complete reverse on certain promises. ..."
"... So I view his election as the next logical step (after the first two by Bush II and Obama) toward military dictatorship. Previous forms of "Inverted totalitarism" -- a neoliberal version of Bolshevism (or, more correctly, Trotskyism -- many neocons were actually former Trotskyites ) seems to stop working. Neoliberal ideology was discredited in 2008. All three: Bolshevism, Trotskyism and neoliberalism might also be viewed as just different flavors of Corporatism. ..."
"... After 2008 crisis, neoliberalism in the USA continues to exist in zombie state: as a non-dead dead, so it will be inevitably replaced by something else. Much like Bolshevism after 1945. How soon it will happen and what will be the actual trigger (the next oil crisis which turns into another round of Great Recession?) and what will be the successor is anybody guess. Bolshevism in the USSR lasted till 1991 or 46 years. The victory on neoliberalism in the Cold War was in 1991 so if we add 50 years then 2041 might be the date. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

likbez, December 19, 2016 at 09:18 PM

I think the shift from New Deal Capitalism to neoliberalism proved to be fatal for the form of democracy that used to exist in the USA (never perfect, and never for the plebs).

Neoliberalism as a strange combination of socialism for the rich and feudalism for the poor is anathema for democracy even for the narrow strata of the US society who used to have a say in the political process. Like Bolshevism was dictatorship of nomenklatura under the slogan of "Proletarians of all countries, unite!", neoliberalism is more like dictatorship of financial oligarchy under the slogan "The financial elite of all countries, unite!")

In this sense Trump is just the logical end of the process that started in 1980 with Reagan, or even earlier with Carter.

And at the same time [he is] the symptom of the crisis of the system, as large swats of population this time voted against status quo and that created the revolutionary situation when the elite was unable to govern in the old fashion. That's why, I think, Hillary lost and Trump won.

But "bastard neoliberalism" that Trump represents in his internal economic policy probably is not a solution for the nations problems. It is too early to say what will be the level of his deviation from election promises, but judging for his appointments it probably will be considerable -- up to a complete reverse on certain promises.

So I view his election as the next logical step (after the first two by Bush II and Obama) toward military dictatorship. Previous forms of "Inverted totalitarism" -- a neoliberal version of Bolshevism (or, more correctly, Trotskyism -- many neocons were actually former Trotskyites ) seems to stop working. Neoliberal ideology was discredited in 2008. All three: Bolshevism, Trotskyism and neoliberalism might also be viewed as just different flavors of Corporatism.

After 2008 crisis, neoliberalism in the USA continues to exist in zombie state: as a non-dead dead, so it will be inevitably replaced by something else. Much like Bolshevism after 1945. How soon it will happen and what will be the actual trigger (the next oil crisis which turns into another round of Great Recession?) and what will be the successor is anybody guess. Bolshevism in the USSR lasted till 1991 or 46 years. The victory on neoliberalism in the Cold War was in 1991 so if we add 50 years then 2041 might be the date.

And the slide toward military dictatorship does not necessary need to take a form of junta, which takes power via coup d'état. The control of the government by three letter agencies ("national security state") seems to be sufficient, can be accomplished by stealth, and might well be viewed as a form of military dictatorship too. So it can be a gradual slide: phase I, II, III, etc.

The problem here as with Brezhnev socialism in the USSR is the growing level of degeneration of elite and the growth of influence of deep state, which includes at its core three letter agencies. As Michail Gorbachev famously said about neoliberal revolution in the USSR "the process already started in full force". He just did not understand at this point that he already completely lost control over neoliberal "Perestroika" of the USSR. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perestroika

In a way, the US Presidents are now more and more ceremonial figures that help to maintain the illusion of the legitimacy of the system. Obama is probably the current pinnacle of this process (which is reflected in one of his nicknames -- "teleprompter" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/obama-photo-caption-contest-teleprompter_n_1821154.html) .

You probably could elect a dog instead of Trump and the US foreign policy will stay exactly the same. This hissy fits about Russians that deep state gave Trump before December 19, might be viewed as a warning as for any potential changes in foreign policy.

As we saw with foreign policy none of recent presidents really fully control it. They still are important players, but the question is whether they are still dominant players. My impression is that it is already by-and-large defined and implemented by the deep state. Sometimes dragging the President forcefully into the desirable course of actions.

[Dec 17, 2016] You think Putin personally supervised the Yahoo hacking? This could make many people patriotic in a hurry.

Notable quotes:
"... this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified. ..."
"... [Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before. ..."
"... Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz. ..."
"... It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts. ..."
"... "Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed. ..."
"... With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press? ..."
"... I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire. ..."
"... The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened. ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
pretzelattack , December 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm

this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified.

HBE , December 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

[Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before.

B1whois , December 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

The great sucking pit of need that keeps on giving. when will it abate?

different clue , December 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

They are only hurt at the loss of their beloved Clintron, and are seizing on the Puttin Diddit excuse.

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Did they happen to offer you some Guyana Kool-Aid with that order of vitriol ?

Brad , December 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Unfortunately the whole "grief cycle" will get a reboot after next Monday's "Election II".

The rest of us are to be pissed off that the CIA and Clinton clique have continued to agiprop this.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Since the ex-Correct The Record key jockeys are out of a job they have to practice their craft somewhere.

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz.

auntienene , December 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I don't think I've looked at my yahoo account in 8-10 years and I didn't use their email; just had an address. I don't remember my user name or password. I did get an email from them (to my not-yahoo address) advising of the breach.

Do I need to do anything at all?

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

auntienene, probably not, but as a general principle it's better to close accounts down properly than to abandon them.

Tvc15 , December 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

I was amazed as I watched a local am news show in Pittsburgh recommend adding your cell phone number in addition to changing your password. Yeah, that's a great idea, maybe my ss# would provide even more security.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I use yahoo email. Why should I move? As I understood the breach it was primarily a breach of the personal information used to establish the account. I've already changed my password - did it a couple of days after the breach was reported. I had a security clearance with DoD which requires disclosure of a lot more personal information than yahoo had. The DoD data has been breached twice from two separate servers.

As far as reading my emails - they may prove useful for phishing but that's about all. I'm not sure what might be needed for phishing beyond a name and email address - easily obtained from many sources I have no control over.

So - what am I vulnerable to by remaining at yahoo that I'm not already exposed to on a more secure server?

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm

You are vulnerable to the knowledge that Marissa Mayer is STILL employed as a high-level corporate twit --

Lee , December 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts.

Ranger Rick , December 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

"Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Yeah, it isn't like Mr. 'We go high' is going to admit our relationship has declined because we have underhandedly tried to isolate and knee cap them for pretty much his entire administration.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Are you referring to Obama's press conference? If so, I am glad he didn't make a big deal out of the Russian hacking allegations - as in it didn't sound like he planned a retaliation for the fictional event and its fictional consequences. He rose slightly in stature in my eyes - he's almost as tall as a short flea.

With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press?

Why is a lameduck messing with the Chinese in the South China sea? What is the point of all the "fake" news hogwash? Is it related to Obama's expression of concern about the safety of the Internet? I can't shake the feeling that something is going on below the surface of these murky waters.

Susan C , December 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire.

He did respond at one point to a reporter that the hacks from Russia were to the DNC and Podesta but funny how he didn't say HRC emails. Be it as it may, I think what was behind it was HRC really trying to impress all her contributors that Russia really did do her in, see Obama said so, since she must be in hot water over all the money she has collected from foreign governments for pay to play and her donors.

The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

Unfortunately the nightly news is focusing on Obama says Russia hacked the DNC and had it in for Clinton!!! He warned them to stay out of the vote! There will be consequences! Russia demands the evidence and then a story about the evidence. (This one might have a few smarter people going "huh, that's it?!?!")

I do like the some private some public on that consequences and retaliation thing. You either have to laugh or throw up about the faux I've got this and the real self-righteousness. Especially since it is supposedly to remind people we can do it to you. Is there anyone left outside of America who doesn't think they already do do it to anyone Uncle Sam doesn't want in office and even some they do? Mind you I'm not sure how many harried people watching the news are actually going to laugh at that one because they don't know how how much we meddle.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Obamameter. ty L. Scofield ;-)

[Dec 17, 2016] You think Putin personally supervised the Yahoo hacking? This could make many people patriotic in a hurry.

Notable quotes:
"... this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified. ..."
"... [Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before. ..."
"... Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz. ..."
"... It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts. ..."
"... "Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed. ..."
"... With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press? ..."
"... I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire. ..."
"... The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened. ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
pretzelattack , December 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm

this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified.

HBE , December 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

[Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before.

B1whois , December 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

The great sucking pit of need that keeps on giving. when will it abate?

different clue , December 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

They are only hurt at the loss of their beloved Clintron, and are seizing on the Puttin Diddit excuse.

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Did they happen to offer you some Guyana Kool-Aid with that order of vitriol ?

Brad , December 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Unfortunately the whole "grief cycle" will get a reboot after next Monday's "Election II".

The rest of us are to be pissed off that the CIA and Clinton clique have continued to agiprop this.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Since the ex-Correct The Record key jockeys are out of a job they have to practice their craft somewhere.

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz.

auntienene , December 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I don't think I've looked at my yahoo account in 8-10 years and I didn't use their email; just had an address. I don't remember my user name or password. I did get an email from them (to my not-yahoo address) advising of the breach.

Do I need to do anything at all?

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

auntienene, probably not, but as a general principle it's better to close accounts down properly than to abandon them.

Tvc15 , December 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

I was amazed as I watched a local am news show in Pittsburgh recommend adding your cell phone number in addition to changing your password. Yeah, that's a great idea, maybe my ss# would provide even more security.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I use yahoo email. Why should I move? As I understood the breach it was primarily a breach of the personal information used to establish the account. I've already changed my password - did it a couple of days after the breach was reported. I had a security clearance with DoD which requires disclosure of a lot more personal information than yahoo had. The DoD data has been breached twice from two separate servers.

As far as reading my emails - they may prove useful for phishing but that's about all. I'm not sure what might be needed for phishing beyond a name and email address - easily obtained from many sources I have no control over.

So - what am I vulnerable to by remaining at yahoo that I'm not already exposed to on a more secure server?

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm

You are vulnerable to the knowledge that Marissa Mayer is STILL employed as a high-level corporate twit --

Lee , December 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts.

Ranger Rick , December 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

"Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Yeah, it isn't like Mr. 'We go high' is going to admit our relationship has declined because we have underhandedly tried to isolate and knee cap them for pretty much his entire administration.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Are you referring to Obama's press conference? If so, I am glad he didn't make a big deal out of the Russian hacking allegations - as in it didn't sound like he planned a retaliation for the fictional event and its fictional consequences. He rose slightly in stature in my eyes - he's almost as tall as a short flea.

With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press?

Why is a lameduck messing with the Chinese in the South China sea? What is the point of all the "fake" news hogwash? Is it related to Obama's expression of concern about the safety of the Internet? I can't shake the feeling that something is going on below the surface of these murky waters.

Susan C , December 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire.

He did respond at one point to a reporter that the hacks from Russia were to the DNC and Podesta but funny how he didn't say HRC emails. Be it as it may, I think what was behind it was HRC really trying to impress all her contributors that Russia really did do her in, see Obama said so, since she must be in hot water over all the money she has collected from foreign governments for pay to play and her donors.

The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

Unfortunately the nightly news is focusing on Obama says Russia hacked the DNC and had it in for Clinton!!! He warned them to stay out of the vote! There will be consequences! Russia demands the evidence and then a story about the evidence. (This one might have a few smarter people going "huh, that's it?!?!")

I do like the some private some public on that consequences and retaliation thing. You either have to laugh or throw up about the faux I've got this and the real self-righteousness. Especially since it is supposedly to remind people we can do it to you. Is there anyone left outside of America who doesn't think they already do do it to anyone Uncle Sam doesn't want in office and even some they do? Mind you I'm not sure how many harried people watching the news are actually going to laugh at that one because they don't know how how much we meddle.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Obamameter. ty L. Scofield ;-)

[Dec 15, 2016] Georgia asks Trump to investigate DHS cyberattacks

Dec 15, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Pavlo Svolochenko , December 14, 2016 at 2:43 pm
Georgia asks Trump to investigate DHS 'cyberattacks'

If you want to know what Washington is doing at any given time, just look at what they're accusing the competition of.

yalensis , December 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm
As the Worm Turns!
For all those Amurican rubes out there who beleived that Homeland Security was protecting them against foreign terrorists – ha hahahahahaha!

[Dec 15, 2016] Georgia asks Trump to investigate DHS cyberattacks

Dec 15, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Pavlo Svolochenko , December 14, 2016 at 2:43 pm
Georgia asks Trump to investigate DHS 'cyberattacks'

If you want to know what Washington is doing at any given time, just look at what they're accusing the competition of.

yalensis , December 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm
As the Worm Turns!
For all those Amurican rubes out there who beleived that Homeland Security was protecting them against foreign terrorists – ha hahahahahaha!

[Dec 12, 2016] Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials

Dec 12, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

ALberto | Dec 12, 2016 3:02:04 PM | 2

The Nuremberg Court Trials rulings only apply to 'them' not 'US'

Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials.

Saleh filed her lawsuit in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court. The court ruled in December 2014 that the defendants in the lawsuit - George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz - were immune from civil proceedings based on the Westfall Act, a federal law which immunizes government officials from lawsuits for conduct taken within the lawful scope of their authority. Saleh appealed the decision in June 2015.

The Ninth Circuit has not indicated when it will issue an order with respect to Saleh's appeal.

Nuremberg trial also prosecuted Judges unt Doctors.

http://witnessiraq.com/blog/

[Dec 12, 2016] Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials

Dec 12, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

ALberto | Dec 12, 2016 3:02:04 PM | 2

The Nuremberg Court Trials rulings only apply to 'them' not 'US'

Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi woman, claims that former President George W. Bush and other government officials committed the crime of aggression when they launched the Iraq War, an international war crime that was banned at the Nuremberg Trials.

Saleh filed her lawsuit in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court. The court ruled in December 2014 that the defendants in the lawsuit - George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz - were immune from civil proceedings based on the Westfall Act, a federal law which immunizes government officials from lawsuits for conduct taken within the lawful scope of their authority. Saleh appealed the decision in June 2015.

The Ninth Circuit has not indicated when it will issue an order with respect to Saleh's appeal.

Nuremberg trial also prosecuted Judges unt Doctors.

http://witnessiraq.com/blog/

[Dec 10, 2016] Possible connection between Ukraian Diaspora in the USA and

Typically Diaspora is more nationalistic the "mainland" population. This is very true about Ukrainian Diaspora, which partially is represented by those who fought on the side of Germany in the WWII. They are adamantly anti-Russian.
Notable quotes:
"... Here it also bears mentioning that it has been established that Yanukovych's Party of Regions transferred $200,000 to the far right Svoboda party and about $30,000 to the nationalist UNA-UNSO. This is serious money in Ukraine. ..."
"... Firstly, most Ukrainians don't give a shit about Bandera and the OUN. So if they're not speaking out against people using those symbols or slogans it's not because they support them, but because they're more concerned with issues of pure survival. ..."
"... And then these same fascists were whitewashed as noble freedom fighters by Western MSM simply because their interests happen to allign with the interests of the US, for the moment. ..."
"... Uh, no. I haven't noticed anyone here thinking that Russia is some sort of fighter for social and economic justice. Rather, we as a group are sick of noxious propaganda driven by American Exceptionalism. ..."
"... And speaking for myself, I find the rise of Russia to be potentially a very good thing for the US itself, if it manages to curtail the MIC-driven hegemonic drive, weakens its relative power, and forces it to focus its money and energies on pressing domestic issues. ..."
"... The idea of considering Putin to be anticapitalist is risible. Putin represents a limit on a US hegemonized economic order and the greater likelihood that some portion ..."
"... This is some insidious strawman and dishonest argumentation, speaking of "BS." Nowhere does this article state that the entire Maidan revolution was a "fascist coup"-that's you putting words in the author's mouth to make his article appear to be Russian propaganda. The author specifies names of top figures in power today with seriously disturbing neo-Nazi backgrounds-the speaker of Ukraine's parliament, its Interior Minister, and head of National Police. He never once calls it a "fascist coup". Using strawman to avoid having to answer these specific allegations is bad faith commenting. ..."
"... The false analogy to Occupy shows how dishonest your comment is. No one disputes that neo-Nazi leader Parubiy was in charge of Maidan's "self-defense"; and that neo-Nazi Right Sektor played a lead role in the confrontations with the Yanukovych authorities. ..."
"... I suspect that Mr. Kovpak is a member of the Ukrainian diaspora that first infested this country starting around 1945, and has since been trying to justify the belief that the wrong side won WWII. ..."
"... "The appalling corruption of Yanukovich was replaced by the appalling corruption of Yats and Poroschenko " ..."
"... Paruiby (Neo Fascist) was in charge before and after the Maidan for security – the trajectory of the bullets came from his peoples positions that shot the cops – analyzed over and over ..."
"... The Nazi Asov Battalion among other organizations supporting the Regime in Kiev has Nazi symbols, objectives and is one of the main forces armed and trained by American Military. ..."
"... The entire corrupt Kiev administration is Nazi and now it appears the Clinton Campaign has direct ties well beyond the $13 million she received in her Slush Fund from the Oligarchs in 2013. The driving force behind this entire Fake News Initiative and support for Hillary is becoming more visible each day. ..."
"... Not to mention the Ukrainian Nazis penchant for shelling civilians. Or will Kovpak (Ukrainian school perhaps? Did his grandfather emigrate with the other Ukrainian SS?) will repeat the canard that unbeknownst to the locals, the rebels are shelling themselves, using artillery shells that can 180 mid-flight? ..."
"... What is the liberals' talking point these days? "Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all of them decided that racism isn't a deal-breaker. End of story." Hillary's SoS-designate Nuland and Barry 0 decided that Ukie nazism wasn't a deal breaker. End of story. ..."
"... Ukrainian neo-fascists were an integral part of the Maidan (trained in Poland, US, and Canada). ..."
"... Yes, ordinary Ukrainians protested against corruption – but every U. government since 1991 has been corrupt. Yanukovich was no exception – but he was also not the worst one (do some research on J. Timoshenko). ..."
"... There is enough actual footage from Maidan that shows the presence of neo-nazi members on the square from the beginning. They were also the one who completed the violent overthrow of the government that happened on 2/21-22/14 – after a deal had been signed calling for early elections. The burning of 48 people in Odessa was probably done by angels, according to your likely analysis. ..."
"... So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points ..."
"... I was going to say something about how the CIA made Ukraine's Social Nationalist party change its name to Svoboda (freedom), to obscure the obvious Nazi connection, but instead I will just laugh at you. ..."
"... What a shocker that Jim Kovpak, the commenter who tries smearing this article as "repeating a bunch of Russian talking points" -- works for CIA-founded Voice of America and is a regular with Ukraine's "StopFake.org" which is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy , the CIA's color revolution "soft" arm - in other words, PropOrNot's folks. Can't make this stuff up. ..."
"... Wait, so in Kovpak's case our tax dollars are used to fund and disseminate propaganda to America's public, too? I am not shocked or anything, but rather amused that the vaunted American democracy and famously free media is beginning to resemble communist Bulgaria. ..."
"... Okay, but isn't it the case that many far-right leaders have migrated to parties closer to the center, such as People's Front? Svoboda's leaders have done this. Andriy Parubiy, Tetiana Chornovol, and Oleksandr Turchynov, for example, hold high positions in People's Front, but started out as members or Svoboda. If I'm not mistaken, People's Front also has strong connections to the far-right Volunteer Battalions. I believe People's Front has its own paramilitary branch too. ..."
"... What this tells me is that much of Ukraine's far-right may be masquerading as right-center. That's kind of like a political Trojan Horse operation. This way the fascists avoid standing out as far-right, but at the same time, move closer to the mechanisms of power within Ukraine's government. ..."
"... Here's an article by Lev Golinkin commenting on the far-right's strong and dangerous influence on Ukraine today. A fascist presence like this could easily be a powerful element in Ukrainian elections, very suddenly and unpredictably too. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-ukrainian-far-right-and-the-danger-it-poses/ ..."
"... This is getting darker and darker. As much as I dislike Trump I feel happier that Clinton didn't make it. The TINA party is the most reactionary thing by far! ..."
"... Sanders might have had a hard time driving as far left on FP as he did on domestic issues. I'm his constituent, and I have a letter from him from mid-'15 reiterating all the mainstream lies about Russia and Ukraine. ..."
"... and/or incontinence ..."
Dec 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Jim Kovpak December 9, 2016 at 3:45 am

Hello, I'm the blogger of Russia Without BS, a site you cited once in the stories about PropOrNot. As I have recently written on my blog , I believe PropOrNot is most likely one person who is not linked to any real organization group or intelligence agency. The individual is most likely what I call a cheerleader, which is basically a person with no reasonable connection to some conflict, yet who takes a side and sort of lives vicariously through their imagined "struggle."

That being said, you're probably not going to do yourself any favors claiming that Maidan was a fascist coup and that fascists are in charge in Ukraine. Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers (quite the opposite, actually), and they were not the majority of people there. Basically you condemning Maidan is like someone condemning Occupy just because of the presence of neo-Nazis and racists who were sometimes involved in certain Occupy chapters (this is well documented).

Without actually bothering to look at the issues involved, you are basically telling millions of Ukrainians that they should have tolerated a corrupt, increasingly authoritarian government that was literally stealing their future all because some right-wingers happened to latch on to that cause too. Here it also bears mentioning that it has been established that Yanukovych's Party of Regions transferred $200,000 to the far right Svoboda party and about $30,000 to the nationalist UNA-UNSO. This is serious money in Ukraine.

As for the slogan, yes, Slava Ukraini, Heroiam Slava! has its origins in the OUN, but there are some important things to consider when discussing Ukrainian history.

Firstly, most Ukrainians don't give a shit about Bandera and the OUN. So if they're not speaking out against people using those symbols or slogans it's not because they support them, but because they're more concerned with issues of pure survival. Look at the average salary in Ukraine and look into some of the instances of corruption (some of which continue to this day), and you'll understand why a lot of people aren't going to get up in arms about someone waving the red and black flag. Most people have become very cynical and see the nationalists as provocateurs or clowns, and thus they don't take them seriously enough.

... ... ...

olga December 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Before you call this good points, please familiarize yourself with the (accurate) history of the Maidan, Ukraine, neo-nazi presence in that country, and Russian history. Please Kovpak seems to be an embodiment of what Ames tries to convey.

dk December 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

"You're a poseur!"
"No, you're poser!"

The more experienced observer listens to all sides; and all sides lie at least a little, if only for their own comfort. Beyond that, subjectivity is inescapable, and any pair of subjectives will inevitably diverge. This is not a malign intent, it's existential circumstance, the burden of identity, of individual life.

My own (admittedly cursory) analysis happens to coincide with Jim Kovpak's first para (PropOrNot being primarily a lone "cheerleader"). And I can see merit, and the call for dispassionate assessment, in some of his other points. This does not mean I endorse Kovpak over Ames, or Ames over Kovpak; both contribute to the searching discussion with cogent observation (and the inevitable measure of subjective evaluation).

I thank both for their remarks, and also thank our gracious hosts ;).

hemeantwell December 9, 2016 at 9:23 am

Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers

No, but it was hijacked by fascists. It is sad that more democratic/progressive forces lost out, but that's what happened. You seem to be trying to avoid recognizing this fact by affirming the rightfulness of those who began the revolt. Their agency was removed not by Naked Capitalism or Mark Ames, but by fascists who out maneuvered, spent, and gunned them. It's time to mourn, not to defend a parasitic Frankenstein that is trying to develop a European fascist movement. Goons from that movement assaulted and injured May Day demonstrators in Sweden this year and then fled back to the Ukraine. They are dangerous and should not be protected with illusions.

OIFVet December 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

Their agency was removed not by Naked Capitalism or Mark Ames, but by fascists who out maneuvered, spent, and gunned them

And then these same fascists were whitewashed as noble freedom fighters by Western MSM simply because their interests happen to allign with the interests of the US, for the moment. Thus we have the ridiculous situation where supposedly reputable media like NYT and WaPoo cheer on the Azov battalion and its brethren, and deny the very symbolism of the various Nazi insignia and regalia featured on their uniforms. Jim makes some very good points, but he fell way short in ignoring the role of the US MSM in this travesty.

And just in case someone tries to claim that we all make mistakes at times and that the MSM made an honest mistake in regards to these neo-Nazi formations, the same thing has been happening in Syria, where the US and its Gulf allies have armed extremists and have whitewashed their extremism by claiming even Al Qaeda and its offshoots are noble freedom fighters.

hemeantwell December 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Good on the parallel with Syria. The evolution, or distortion, of revolutionary movements as they struggle to gain support and offensive power and then either are modified or jacked by "supporting" external powers is not a cheering subject. The tendency to ignore that this has happened takes two forms. One is what we are here discussing. The other is its opposite, as seen in, for example, the way some writers try to maintain that there never was a significant democratic/progressive/humane etc. element to the Syrian opposition.

flora December 9, 2016 at 9:57 am

Ukraine, as I understand it, is not monolith but has roughly 2 interest areas – western and eastern – divided by the River Dnieper. The Western half is more pro-European and EU, the Eastern half is more pro-Russia. The word "fascist" in Ukraine means something slightly different than in means in the US and the EU. So I take your comment with a grain of salt, even though it is interesting.

Ukraine's geographical location as the land "highway" between Europe and Asia has created a long and embattled history there.

OIFVet December 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points because you mistakenly think Russia is somehow opposed to US capitalism,

Uh, no. I haven't noticed anyone here thinking that Russia is some sort of fighter for social and economic justice. Rather, we as a group are sick of noxious propaganda driven by American Exceptionalism.

And speaking for myself, I find the rise of Russia to be potentially a very good thing for the US itself, if it manages to curtail the MIC-driven hegemonic drive, weakens its relative power, and forces it to focus its money and energies on pressing domestic issues.

Soulipsis December 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

Seconded.

hemeantwell December 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Thirded. The idea of considering Putin to be anticapitalist is risible. Putin represents a limit on a US hegemonized economic order and the greater likelihood that some portion of the fruits of the Russian oligarchic capitalist effort will benefit Russians, not elites tied to the US, because of his self-interested nationalism. Not much to cheer about but better than where things were headed when Yeltsin was in power.

KRB December 9, 2016 at 10:49 am

This is some insidious strawman and dishonest argumentation, speaking of "BS." Nowhere does this article state that the entire Maidan revolution was a "fascist coup"-that's you putting words in the author's mouth to make his article appear to be Russian propaganda. The author specifies names of top figures in power today with seriously disturbing neo-Nazi backgrounds-the speaker of Ukraine's parliament, its Interior Minister, and head of National Police. He never once calls it a "fascist coup". Using strawman to avoid having to answer these specific allegations is bad faith commenting.

The false analogy to Occupy shows how dishonest your comment is. No one disputes that neo-Nazi leader Parubiy was in charge of Maidan's "self-defense"; and that neo-Nazi Right Sektor played a lead role in the confrontations with the Yanukovych authorities. There is absolutely no equivalent to this with Occupy at all. Where does this false analogy even come from? No where does the author state that Maidan was ONLY fascists, that is again your strawman response. Maidan had a lot of support from pro-western, pro-european, pro-liberal forces. But to deny the key and often lead roles played by neo-fascists in the actual organization, "self defense" and violent confrontations with the Yanukovych goons is gross whitewashing.

Much worse is the way you rationalize the fascist OUN salute by arguing that it means something else now, or it's become normalized, etc. These are all the same bullshit arguments made by defenders of the Confederate flag. "It means something different now." "it's about heritage/being a rebel!/individualism!" There is no "but" to this, and anyone who claims so is an asshole of the first order. The salute descends directly from collaborators in the Holocaust and mass-murder of Jews and Poles and collaboration with Nazis. If people claim they don't understand its origins, then educate them on why it's so fucked up, don't make excuses for them. Really disgusting that you'd try to rationalize this away. There is no "but" and no excuse, period.

"Russia Without BS" is one hell of an ironic name for someone bs-ing like this. Your failure to actually engage the article, setting up and knocking down strawmen instead, and evading, using false analogies-reveal your own intellectual pathologies. Try responding to the actual text here, and maybe you'll be taken seriously.

Martin Finnucane December 9, 2016 at 2:47 pm

+1

My thought was that this post was an example of the strawman fallacy. Yet certainly Mr. Kovpak wasn't just shooting from the hip. That is, he thought about this thing, wrote it, looked it over, and said "well enough" and posted it. Poor logic, or bad faith?

I think the tell was his characterization of the article as "repeating a bunch of Russian talking points." What the hell is a "Russian talking point"? How do Ames' contentions follow said talking points? Are he saying, perhaps, that Ames is another one of those Kremlin agents we've been hearing about, or perhaps another "useful idiot"? Perhaps Ames – of all people – is a dupe for Putin, right?

Hasbara, Ukrainian style. Bringing this junk onto NS, either this guy is alot of dumber than he gives himself credit for, or he actually has no familiarity with NS, outside of the now- and rightly-notorious WP/ProporNot blacklist. Probably the latter, since it looks like his comment was a pre-masticated one-and-done.

sid_finster December 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm

I suspect that Mr. Kovpak is a member of the Ukrainian diaspora that first infested this country starting around 1945, and has since been trying to justify the belief that the wrong side won WWII.

AD December 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

I'm glad Jim Kovpak provided this background. I was very troubled to see Ames breezily smear the Ukrainian uprising as "fascist," essentially writing off the protesters as U.S. proxies and dismissing their grievances as either non-existent or irrelevant. Something similar has happened in Syria, of course. Yes, the U.S. ruling blocs try to advance their interests in such places, but if you ignore the people on the ground or dismiss them as irrelevant, you're just playing into the hands of other tyrannical interests (in Syria: Assad, Putin, Hezbollah, etc.).

OIFVet December 9, 2016 at 12:06 pm

$5 billion spent over the past 25 years by the US in Ukraine (per Nuland). Yeah, they ain't US proxies. Gla that you straightened that out for us.

The grievances in Ukraine are many and are legitimate. But that the people's anger was hijacked by US-financed proxies is a fact. Nuland was caught dictating that Yats would be the new PM, and darned if he didn't become just that. The appalling corruption of Yanukovich was replaced by the appalling corruption of Yats and Poroschenko, and the country was plunged into a civil war. But Yats and Porky are freedom-loving democrats! The old saying remains true: "They may be corrupt SOBs, but they are our corrupt SOBs!"

Heck, for all the crocodile tears shed by the West about corruption and democracy, it has nurtured corruption in Eastern Europe and looked the other way as democracy has been trampled. Including in my native Bulgaria, where millions of dollars spent by the US and allied NGOs on promoting and financing "free press" have seen Bulgaria's freedom of media ranking slip to third world levels. But Bulgaria is a "democracy" because it is a member of the EU and NATO, and as such its elites have done the bidding of its Western masters at the expense of Bulgaria's national interests and the interests of its people. Ukraine is headed down that road, and all I can say to regular Ukrainians is that they are in for an even bigger screwing down the road, cheer-led by the Western "democracies" and "free" media.

Meddling by US hyperpower in the internal affairs and the replacement of one set of bastahds with another set of bastahds that is beholden to the US is not progress, which is why we call it out. After all the spilled blood and destruction sponsored by the US, can you honestly say that Ukraine and Syria and Libya and Iraq are now better off, and that their futures are bright? I can't, and I can't say that for my native country either. That's because this new version of neocolonialism is the most destructive and virulent yet. And it is particularly insidious because it fools well-meaning people, like yourself, into believing that it actually helps improve the lives of the natives. It does not.

lyman alpha blob December 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

"The appalling corruption of Yanukovich was replaced by the appalling corruption of Yats and Poroschenko "

That pretty much sums it up. Jim Kovpak does make some excellent points which help to understand what the Ukranians are thinking. The discussion regarding the poor education system and potential lack of knowledge of what certain symbolism refers to was really good. Sort of reminds me of the Southerners in the US who still claim that the Stars and Bars is just about Southern heritage and pride without bothering to consider the other ramifications and what the symbol means for those who were persecuted at one time (and continuing to today). But yeah, I'm sure there are those who think that that flag was just something the Duke boys used on the General Lee when trying to outrun Roscoe.

All that being said, I don't believe anybody here thinks that Yanukovich was some paragon of virtue ruling a modern utopia. The problem is that the new boss looks surprisingly familiar to the old boss with the main difference being that the fruits of corruption are being funneled to different parties with the people likely still getting the shaft.

If your a(just as many in the US are), it's quite possible they are also unaware of the current US influence in their country, just as most US citizens are unaware of what the US has done in other countries.

I'd be very interested in Jim Kovpak's thoughts on this.

RMcHewn December 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm

$5 billion spent over the past 25 years by the US in Ukraine (per Nuland). Yeah, they ain't US proxies. Gla[d] that you straightened that out for us.

Yes, it doesn't get any more blatant than that, and if anyone believes otherwise they are obviously hooked on the officially sanctioned fake news, aka the MSM.

Damian December 9, 2016 at 10:56 am

"Euromaidan was not started by right-wingers / Ukraine certainly does not have more right-wingers than other Eastern European nations" silly at best!

Paruiby (Neo Fascist) was in charge before and after the Maidan for security – the trajectory of the bullets came from his peoples positions that shot the cops – analyzed over and over

The Nazi Asov Battalion among other organizations supporting the Regime in Kiev has Nazi symbols, objectives and is one of the main forces armed and trained by American Military.

The entire corrupt Kiev administration is Nazi and now it appears the Clinton Campaign has direct ties well beyond the $13 million she received in her Slush Fund from the Oligarchs in 2013. The driving force behind this entire Fake News Initiative and support for Hillary is becoming more visible each day.

Your statements are pure propaganda and I would assume you work indirectly for Alexandra Chalupa!

sid_finster December 9, 2016 at 11:35 am

Not to mention the Ukrainian Nazis penchant for shelling civilians. Or will Kovpak (Ukrainian school perhaps? Did his grandfather emigrate with the other Ukrainian SS?) will repeat the canard that unbeknownst to the locals, the rebels are shelling themselves, using artillery shells that can 180 mid-flight?

Young Ex-Pat December 9, 2016 at 11:28 am

"Basically you condemning Maidan is like someone condemning Occupy just because of the presence of neo-Nazis and racists who were sometimes involved in certain Occupy chapters (this is well documented)."

You must be kidding. Where to begin? Can we start with the simple fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry wasn't handing out baked goods to Occupy protesters in NYC, egging them on as they tossed molotov cocktails at police, who, strangely enough, refrained from shooting protesters until right after a peaceful political settlement was reached? Coincidence or fate? Or maybe there is strong evidence that right wing fanatics were the ones who started the shooting on that fateful day? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31359021

And sorry, no matter how much Kovpak denies it, the muscle behind the "glorious revolution" was a bunch of far-right thugs that make our American alt-right look like girl scouts. Andrei Biletsky, leader of Azov Battalion and head of Ukraine's creatively named Social-National Assembly, says he's committed to "punishing severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man." http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28329329 - Just like those hippies at Zuccotti Park, right?! Oh,and this guy received a medal from Poroshenko.

I can keep going, but your "Maidan was just like Occupy!" argument pretty much speaks for itself. Glory to the heroes indeed.

p.s. "Russia Without the BS" is awful.

sid_finster December 9, 2016 at 11:30 am

As someone who lived many years in Ukraine, speaks Ukrainian and Russian and knows personally many of the people involved, yes, Ukrainians know full well the origin of the Nazi slogans that the local Nazis spout.

That doesn't mean that the average frustrated euromaidan supporter is a Nazi, but Nazis bussed in from Galicia did eventually provide the muscle, as it were, and the rest of the country were willing to get in bed with them, appoint them to run ministries, and let them have independent military units.

Those Nazis are perfectly happy to call themselves Nazis.

OIFVet December 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

What is the liberals' talking point these days? "Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all of them decided that racism isn't a deal-breaker. End of story." Hillary's SoS-designate Nuland and Barry 0 decided that Ukie nazism wasn't a deal breaker. End of story.

Foppe December 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

To be fair, there is a fairly wide gap between 'racist' and 'violent racist of the KKK/Nazi variety'.

Also (yes, partly preaching to the choir, but with a purpose), liberals are perfectly happy to stay quiet about enormous income/prosecution/incarceration/kill rate differences, so long as those targeted/affected can (bureau-/meritocratically) be described as 'druggies/criminals/"extremists"/uneducated-thus- undeserving '. And to ignore drone bombing of brown people. Etc. So all the pearl-clutching/virtue-signaling concerning racism is pretty easy to shrug off as concerning little more than a plea to express one's support for racist policy in a PC fashion.

(Highly recommend The New Jim Crow , which I've only recently started reading, for no good reason. Bizarre to realize that all of the stuff that's being reported on a little bit now has been going on for 30 years now (30y of silence / wir-haben-es-nicht-gewusst wrt the structural nature; note that any/all reporting that im/explicitly describes these issues as "scandals"/"excesses" is part of the problem.)

Gareth December 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm

The whole Fake News world is a house of mirrors:

http://www.stopfake.org/en/stopfakenews-98-eng-with-jim-kovpak/

olga December 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

WOW I guess we have democracy, so your comment got through. In a way, your post confirms the existence of rabidly anti-Russian entities – the very point that Mark Ames makes. But you know, there are people who know a thing or two about Russia and Ukraine, and can easily refute much of your diatribe. (1) Ukrainian neo-fascists were an integral part of the Maidan (trained in Poland, US, and Canada).

Yes, ordinary Ukrainians protested against corruption – but every U. government since 1991 has been corrupt. Yanukovich was no exception – but he was also not the worst one (do some research on J. Timoshenko).

Corruption persists in U. today – and based on the now-required property disclosures by U. politicians – may be even worse. It is likely correct that most U. don't give a damn about Bandera – but most U. also do not have any power to do anything about the neo-nazis, as they are (at least in the western part of the country) numerous, vocal, and prone to violence.

There is enough actual footage from Maidan that shows the presence of neo-nazi members on the square from the beginning. They were also the one who completed the violent overthrow of the government that happened on 2/21-22/14 – after a deal had been signed calling for early elections. The burning of 48 people in Odessa was probably done by angels, according to your likely analysis.

(2) But it is your comments about the U. neo-nazi participation in the war that seem to clarify who you really represent. This participation was not much discussed during the soviet times – I only found out that they continued to fight against the soviet state long after the war ended recently – from family members who witnessed it (in Belorussia, west. Ukr., and eastern Czechoslovakia). Some of them witnessed the unspeakable cruelty of these Ukr. "troops" against villagers and any partisans they could find. White-washing this period (or smearing soviet educational system) will not help – there is plenty of historical evidence for those who are interested in the subject.

(3) What you say about the Russian state promoting this or that is just a scurrilous attack, with no proof. Not even worth exploring. On the other hand, there are plenty of documented murders of Ukr. journalists (google Buzina – a highly intelligent and eloquent Ukr. journalist, who was gunned down in front of his home; there are quite a few others).

Ukr. in 2014 may have been protesting inept government, but what they ended up with is far worse – by any measure, Ukr. standard of living has gone way down. But now, the industrial base of the country has been destroyed, and the neo-nazi genie will not go back into the bottle any time soon. Ukr. as a unified place did not exist until after WWI, and the great divisions – brought starkly into contrast by the 2014 destruction of the state – cannot be papered over anytime soon.

lyman alpha blob December 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Appreciate the points you bring up but if the Ukranians truly want an end to an exploitative system, they probably are not going to get it by allying themselves with Uncle Sugar. The US provided billions of dollars to foment the coup and our oligarchs expect a return on that investment – they aren't going to suddenly start trust funds for all Ukranians out of the goodness of their hearts. You are aware of that aren't you?

integer December 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm

So perhaps in the future instead of repeating a bunch of Russian talking points

I was going to say something about how the CIA made Ukraine's Social Nationalist party change its name to Svoboda (freedom), to obscure the obvious Nazi connection, but instead I will just laugh at you.
Hahahahahaha!

Reply
KRB December 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

What a shocker that Jim Kovpak, the commenter who tries smearing this article as "repeating a bunch of Russian talking points" -- works for CIA-founded Voice of America and is a regular with Ukraine's "StopFake.org" which is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy , the CIA's color revolution "soft" arm - in other words, PropOrNot's folks. Can't make this stuff up.

Rhondda December 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm

It was patently obvious from his comment that he's a pro shill but very good to have the proof. Thanks, KRB.

OIFVet December 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Wait, so in Kovpak's case our tax dollars are used to fund and disseminate propaganda to America's public, too? I am not shocked or anything, but rather amused that the vaunted American democracy and famously free media is beginning to resemble communist Bulgaria. The good news is that by the 80's nobody believed the state and its propagandists, even on the rare occasion they were telling the truth, and America's people seem to be a bit ahead of the curve already, which may explain the "fake news" hysteria from the creators and disseminators of fake news.

Eddie Anderson December 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Ukraine certainly does not have more right-wingers than other Eastern European nations, but if you look at their polls and elections you see that the far-right in Ukraine does far worse than it does in other Eastern and even Western European countries

Okay, but isn't it the case that many far-right leaders have migrated to parties closer to the center, such as People's Front? Svoboda's leaders have done this. Andriy Parubiy, Tetiana Chornovol, and Oleksandr Turchynov, for example, hold high positions in People's Front, but started out as members or Svoboda. If I'm not mistaken, People's Front also has strong connections to the far-right Volunteer Battalions. I believe People's Front has its own paramilitary branch too.

What this tells me is that much of Ukraine's far-right may be masquerading as right-center. That's kind of like a political Trojan Horse operation. This way the fascists avoid standing out as far-right, but at the same time, move closer to the mechanisms of power within Ukraine's government.

Here in America we saw something like that in the early 1990s, when KKK leader David Duke migrated to the political mainstream by running for office as a Republican in Louisiana. Of course Duke never changed his views, he just learned to dissemble himself in the way he sold his politics to the public.

Here's an article by Lev Golinkin commenting on the far-right's strong and dangerous influence on Ukraine today. A fascist presence like this could easily be a powerful element in Ukrainian elections, very suddenly and unpredictably too. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-ukrainian-far-right-and-the-danger-it-poses/

Ignacio December 9, 2016 at 4:22 am

This is getting darker and darker. As much as I dislike Trump I feel happier that Clinton didn't make it. The TINA party is the most reactionary thing by far!

Benedict@Large December 9, 2016 at 7:32 am

Yes, these are dangerous people, as are most "true believers". I'm also becoming even more disappointed at Ms, Clinton. For a while, she seemed to be keeping a little distance from her dead-enders, but now that her and Bill are out back on the money trail (How much is enough?), it doesn't look good.

Selling fear? Really? Isn't there a shelf life on that?

notabanker December 9, 2016 at 7:56 am

Ahhh, but it's not money they accumulate, its power. And time is their only constraint. This is what they do.

Jim Haygood December 9, 2016 at 8:03 am

William Banzai7 on "Prop or Nuts." Hillary's "Childen of the Rainbow" button (look carefully) is to die for.

https://c8.staticflickr.com/1/601/30710973103_365b8e0b4d_b.jpg

Clive December 9, 2016 at 9:00 am

There's a crock of something at the end of that rainbow, but I doubt very much that it contains any gold.

ambrit December 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

I'm not certain about the contents of that crock, good sir. We now live in a "culture" where s–t IS gold. Otherwise, why are we now enduring a "popular press" full of "wardrobe malfunctions," new amazing bikini bodies, salacious gossip, and equally salacious "news?" (The Page Three was shut down really because there was too much competition.)

Oh tempura, oh s'mores! (Latinate for "We're crisped!")

Carolinian December 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

Indeed. The above article is great, great stuff and shows why some of us found Hillary more disturbing than Trump. Therefore Ames' final assumption

And the timing is incredible-as if Bezos' rag has taken upon itself to soften up the American media before Trump moves in for the kill.

seems a bit off. It's certainly true that Trump said news organizations should face greater exposure to libel laws but one suspects this has more to do with his personal peevishness and inability to take criticism than the Deep State-y motives described above. Clearly the "public versus private" Hillary–Nixon in a pant suit–would have been just the person to embrace this sort of censorship by smear and her connection with various shadowy exiles and in her own campaign no less shows why Sanders' failure to make FP the center of his opposition was, if not a political mistake, at least evidence of his limited point of view.

It's unlikely that anyone running this time would be able to change our domestic trajectory but this fascism from abroad is a real danger IMO. In Reagan times some of us thought that Reagan supported reactionary governments abroad because that's what he and his rogue's gallery including Casey and North wished they could do here. The people getting hysterical over Trump while pining for Hillary don't seem to know fascism when it's right in front of them. Or perhaps it's just a matter of whose ox is going to be gored.

Soulipsis December 9, 2016 at 11:59 am

Sanders might have had a hard time driving as far left on FP as he did on domestic issues. I'm his constituent, and I have a letter from him from mid-'15 reiterating all the mainstream lies about Russia and Ukraine.

Disturbed Voter December 9, 2016 at 6:45 am

No surprise, ever since the US, and Biden, got involved in Ukraine. And it is even probable, that people like that were behind the Kennedy assassination, that the US has admitted was a conspiracy, that is still protected from "journalistic sunshine" under lock and key by the US government.

integer December 9, 2016 at 6:49 am

Thanks for giving this article its own post, and thanks to dcblogger for providing the link in yesterday's Water Cooler.

Seems to me that this little bout of D-party/CIA incompetence, and/or incontinence, will finally sound the death knell for the Operation Paperclip gang's plan. Good riddance.

integer December 9, 2016 at 7:01 am

and/or incontinence

I'm looking at you, Soros!

[Dec 10, 2016] The head of the worlds largest private surveillance operation, billionaire Eric Schmidt

Notable quotes:
"... the world's largest private surveillance operation ..."
"... Ha! I wish I'd thought of that line! I just laughed out loud on the train and my fellow commuter drones are shuffling and wondering to themselves if I'm on day release from an institution. ..."
"... Of course, the joke's on us, because that's exactly what they (Google) are with all the right friends in high places to boot ..."
"... Something that has been occurring lately with Chrome makes me think that Google is truly watching. A lot of sites (RT et al) are having the https// crossed out in red implying that the connection is no longer secure. ..."
Dec 10, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Clive December 9, 2016 at 2:42 am

" the head of the world's largest private surveillance operation , billionaire Eric Schmidt "

Ha! I wish I'd thought of that line! I just laughed out loud on the train and my fellow commuter drones are shuffling and wondering to themselves if I'm on day release from an institution.

Of course, the joke's on us, because that's exactly what they (Google) are with all the right friends in high places to boot .

heresy101 December 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Something that has been occurring lately with Chrome makes me think that Google is truly watching. A lot of sites (RT et al) are having the https// crossed out in red implying that the connection is no longer secure.

For instance, the "true" link in the article above has the https// in red when using Chrome, but Firefox does not make it unsecure (at least it isn't showing it). https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/maxim-eristavi/terror-against-ukraine-s-journalists-is-fueled-by-political-elites Does this have something to do with certificates or is something more sinister going on?

Chrome puts each tab in a new process versus Firefox creating one big file that becomes unstable if you open too many tabs.

There was a comment on ZH recently that referenced a secure browser but now I can't find the link. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Clive December 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Probably TOR but I would caution this is far from foolproof and may even incur The Panopticon's more intrusive surveillance attention.

I value my privacy as much as anyone but I don't use TOR or similar simply because if they are not a guaranteed solution, what's the point? And besides, why should I have to? It's just another tax on my time and resources.

Dopey Panda December 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm

The opendemocracy link you gave shows up as having issues in firefox also. It looks like they have some insecure images on the page, which is probably what chrome is complaining about.

[Dec 07, 2016] The Pentagon's "2015 Strategy" for Ruling the World Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... On Wednesday, the Pentagon released its 2015 National Military Strategy, a 24-page blueprint for ruling the world through military force. While the language in the report is subtler and less incendiary than similar documents in the past, the determination to unilaterally pursue US interests through extreme violence remains the cornerstone of the new strategy. Readers will not find even a hint of remorse in the NMS for the vast destruction and loss of life the US caused in countries that posed not the slightest threat to US national security. Instead, the report reflects the steely resolve of its authors and elite constituents to continue the carnage and bloodletting until all potential rivals have been killed or eliminated and until such time that Washington feels confident that its control over the levers of global power cannot be challenged. ..."
"... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
Dec 07, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca
Mike Whitney

By Mike Whitney Global Research, December 06, 2016 Counter Punch 3 July 2016 Theme: Militarization and WMD , US NATO War Agenda pentagone

On Wednesday, the Pentagon released its 2015 National Military Strategy, a 24-page blueprint for ruling the world through military force. While the language in the report is subtler and less incendiary than similar documents in the past, the determination to unilaterally pursue US interests through extreme violence remains the cornerstone of the new strategy. Readers will not find even a hint of remorse in the NMS for the vast destruction and loss of life the US caused in countries that posed not the slightest threat to US national security. Instead, the report reflects the steely resolve of its authors and elite constituents to continue the carnage and bloodletting until all potential rivals have been killed or eliminated and until such time that Washington feels confident that its control over the levers of global power cannot be challenged.

As one would expect, the NMS conceals its hostile intentions behind the deceptive language of "national security". The US does not initiate wars of aggression against blameless states that possess large quantities of natural resources. No. The US merely addresses "security challenges" to "protect the homeland" and to "advance our national interests." How could anyone find fault with that, after all, wasn't the US just trying to bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria?

In the Chairman's Forward, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey attempts to prepare the American people for a future of endless war:

Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. We must be able to rapidly adapt to new threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones the application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non state threats. We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important. ( Document: 2015 U.S. National Military Strategy , USNI News)

War, war and more war. This is the Pentagon's vision of the future. Unlike Russia or China which have a plan for an integrated EU-Asia free trade zone (Silk Road) that will increase employment, improve vital infrastructure, and raise living standards, the US sees only death and destruction ahead. Washington has no strategy for the future, no vision of a better world. There is only war; asymmetrical war, technological war, preemptive war. The entire political class and their elite paymasters unanimously support global rule through force of arms. That is the unavoidable meaning of this document. The United States intends to maintain its tenuous grip on global power by maximizing the use of its greatest asset; its military.

And who is in the military's gunsights? Check out this excerpt from an article in Defense News:

The strategy specifically calls out Iran, Russia and North Korea as aggressive threats to global peace. It also mentions China, but notably starts that paragraph by saying the Obama administration wants to "support China's rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security," continuing to thread the line between China the economic ally and China the regional competitor.

None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies," the strategy reads. "Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns which the international community is working to collectively address by way of common policies, shared messages, and coordinated action. ( Pentagon Releases National Military Strategy , Defense News)

Did you catch that last part? "None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies. Nevertheless, they each pose serious security concerns."

In other words, none of these countries wants to fight the United States, but the United States wants to fight them. And the US feels it's justified in launching a war against these countries because, well, because they either control vast resources, have huge industrial capacity, occupy an area of the world that interests the US geopolitically, or because they simply want to maintain their own sovereign independence which, of course, is a crime. According to Dempsey, any of these threadbare excuses are sufficient justification for conflict mainly because they "pose serious security concerns" for the US, which is to say they undermine the US's dominant role as the world's only superpower.

The NMS devotes particular attention to Russia, Washington's flavor-of-the-month enemy who had the audacity to defend its security interests following a State Department-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine. For that, Moscow must be punished. This is from the report:

Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests. While Russia has contributed in select security areas, such as counternarcotics and counterterrorism, it also has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Russia's military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces. These actions violate numerous agreements that Russia has signed in which it committed to act in accordance with international norms. (2015 NMS)

Russia is an evildoer because Russia refused to stand by while the US toppled the Ukrainian government, installed a US stooge in Kiev, precipitated a civil war between the various factions, elevated neo Nazis to positions of power in the security services, plunged the economy into insolvency and ruin, and opened a CIA headquarters in the Capital to run the whole shooting match. This is why Russia is bad and must be punished.

But does that mean Washington is seriously contemplating a war with Russia?

Here's an excerpt from the document that will help to clarify the matter:

For the past decade, our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors. They increasingly have the capability to contest regional freedom of movement and threaten our homeland. Of particular concern are the proliferation of ballistic missiles, precision strike technologies, unmanned systems, space and cyber capabilities, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technologies designed to counter U.S. military advantages and curtail access to the global commons. (2015 NMS)

It sounds to me like the Washington honchos have already made up their minds. Russia is the enemy, therefore, Russia must be defeated. How else would one "counter a revisionist state" that "threatens our homeland"?

Why with Daisy Cutters, of course. Just like everyone else.

The NMS provides a laundry list of justifications for launching wars against (imaginary) enemies of the US. The fact is, the Pentagon sees ghosts around every corner. Whether the topic is new technologies, "shifting demographics" or cultural differences; all are seen as a potential threat to US interests, particularly anything related to the "competition for resources." In this skewed view of reality, one can see how the invasion of Iraq was justified on the grounds that Saddam's control of Iraq's massive oil reserves posed a direct challenge to US hegemony. Naturally, Saddam had to be removed and over a million people killed to put things right and return the world to a state of balance. This is the prevailing view of the National Military Strategy, that is, that whatever the US does is okay, because its the US.

Readers shouldn't expect to find something new in the NMS. This is old wine in new bottles. The Pentagon has merely updated the Bush Doctrine while softening the rhetoric. There's no need to scare the living daylights out of people by talking about unilateralism, preemption, shrugging off international law or unprovoked aggression. Even so, everyone knows that United States is going to do whatever the hell it wants to do to keep the empire intact. The 2015 National Military Strategy merely confirms that sad fact.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

The original source of this article is Counter Punch Copyright © Mike Whitney , Counter Punch , 2016

[Dec 06, 2016] Mattis on Our Way of War

Dec 06, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
General Mattis reportedly spoke of his concerns during discussions over attacking Iran and thus fell afoul of the Washington establishment, so President Obama hastened his retirement. Foreign Policy 's Thomas Ricks reported :

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way-not because he went all "mad dog," which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, "And then what?"

Washington did have a "strategy" when it attacked Iraq, the neoconservative one. This was to intimidate the Muslim world with massive bombing, "Shock and Awe" we called it, so all Muslims would be afraid of us and then do what we ordered. Then we planted giant, billion-dollar American air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These would, they thought, give us hegemony over Central Asia, intimidate Russia and Iran, while Iraq would turn into a friendly, modern democracy dependent upon Washington. Other Muslim nations would then follow with democratic regimes which would co-operate and obey Washington's plans.

With the neocons discredited, no other strategy has replaced theirs except to "win" and come home. This is not unusual in our history. In past wars American "strategy" has usually been to return to the status quo ante, the prewar situation. Washington violates nearly all of Sun Tzu's dictums for success. Endless wars for little purpose and with no end strategy are thus likely to continue. They are, however, profitable or beneficial for many Washington interests.

[Dec 06, 2016] Why is the USA addicted to war?

www.moonofalabama.org
ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10

http://www.addictedtowar.com/ read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

Penelope | Dec 3, 2016 11:47:02 PM | 59

Ben @ 10, it's not the USA that's addicted to war. Rather it is the US govt AS CAPTURED BY THE OLIGARCHS. Nor is it truly an addiction, but a means to the end of a global oligarchy. It isn't enough to see the evil of US aggression. One must also understand why the international institutions which have usurped nationhood around the world are evil: Fed/IMF system, World Bank, WTO and the entire UN system to which they belong. US hegemony has never been intended as the endgame. Oligarchical global govt is-- initially as a decentralized administration which they are already trying to sell you as "multipolarity".

[Dec 06, 2016] Challenges for Western civilization

Dec 06, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 8:02:21 PM | 46

Here is link to an interview with Stephen Hawking that I will pull some quotes from

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality

The quotes:
"
So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.
"
"
What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism that fail to take account of the facts, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few individuals working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their greed leads us astray. So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.
"
"
For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world's leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.
"

[Dec 06, 2016] Mattis on Our Way of War

Dec 06, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
General Mattis reportedly spoke of his concerns during discussions over attacking Iran and thus fell afoul of the Washington establishment, so President Obama hastened his retirement. Foreign Policy 's Thomas Ricks reported :

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way-not because he went all "mad dog," which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, "And then what?"

Washington did have a "strategy" when it attacked Iraq, the neoconservative one. This was to intimidate the Muslim world with massive bombing, "Shock and Awe" we called it, so all Muslims would be afraid of us and then do what we ordered. Then we planted giant, billion-dollar American air bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These would, they thought, give us hegemony over Central Asia, intimidate Russia and Iran, while Iraq would turn into a friendly, modern democracy dependent upon Washington. Other Muslim nations would then follow with democratic regimes which would co-operate and obey Washington's plans.

With the neocons discredited, no other strategy has replaced theirs except to "win" and come home. This is not unusual in our history. In past wars American "strategy" has usually been to return to the status quo ante, the prewar situation. Washington violates nearly all of Sun Tzu's dictums for success. Endless wars for little purpose and with no end strategy are thus likely to continue. They are, however, profitable or beneficial for many Washington interests.

[Dec 06, 2016] Why is the USA addicted to war?

www.moonofalabama.org
ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10

http://www.addictedtowar.com/ read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

Penelope | Dec 3, 2016 11:47:02 PM | 59

Ben @ 10, it's not the USA that's addicted to war. Rather it is the US govt AS CAPTURED BY THE OLIGARCHS. Nor is it truly an addiction, but a means to the end of a global oligarchy. It isn't enough to see the evil of US aggression. One must also understand why the international institutions which have usurped nationhood around the world are evil: Fed/IMF system, World Bank, WTO and the entire UN system to which they belong. US hegemony has never been intended as the endgame. Oligarchical global govt is-- initially as a decentralized administration which they are already trying to sell you as "multipolarity".

[Dec 06, 2016] Challenges for Western civilization

Dec 06, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 8:02:21 PM | 46

Here is link to an interview with Stephen Hawking that I will pull some quotes from

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality

The quotes:
"
So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.
"
"
What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism that fail to take account of the facts, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few individuals working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their greed leads us astray. So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.
"
"
For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world's leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.
"

[Dec 05, 2016] Capitalism Requires World War by Cathal Haughian via TheSaker.ie,

www.zerohedge.com

It has been our undertaking, since 2010, to chronicle our understanding of capitalism via our book The Philosophy of Capitalism . We were curious as to the underlying nature of the system which endows us, the owners of capital, with so many favours. The Saker has asked me to explain our somewhat crude statement 'Capitalism Requires World War'.

The present showdown between West, Russia and China is the culmination of a long running saga that began with World War One. Prior to which, Capitalism was governed by the gold standard system which was international, very solid, with clear rules and had brought great prosperity: for banking Capital was scarce and so allocated carefully. World War One required debt-capitalism of the FIAT kind, a bankrupt Britain began to pass the Imperial baton to the US, which had profited by financing the war and selling munitions.

The Weimar Republic, suffering a continuation of hostilities via economic means, tried to inflate away its debts in 1919-1923 with disastrous results-hyperinflation. Then, the reintroduction of the gold standard into a world poisoned by war, reparation and debt was fated to fail and ended with a deflationary bust in the early 1930's and WW2.

The US government gained a lot of credibility after WW2 by outlawing offensive war and funding many construction projects that helped transfer private debt to the public book. The US government's debt exploded during the war, but it also shifted the power game away from creditors to a big debtor that had a lot of political capital. The US used her power to define the new rules of the monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944 and to keep physical hold of gold owned by other nations.

The US jacked up tax rates on the wealthy and had a period of elevated inflation in the late 40s and into the 1950s – all of which wiped out creditors, but also ushered in a unique middle class era in the West. The US also reformed extraction centric institutions in Europe and Japan to make sure an extractive-creditor class did not hobble growth, which was easy to do because the war had wiped them out (same as in Korea).

Capital destruction in WW2 reversed the Marxist rule that the rate of profit always falls. Take any given market – say jeans. At first, all the companies make these jeans using a great deal of human labour so all the jeans are priced around the average of total social labour time required for production (some companies will charge more, some companies less).

One company then introduces a machine (costed at $n) that makes jeans using a lot less labour time. Each of these robot assisted workers is paid the same hourly rate but the production process is now far more productive. This company, ignoring the capital outlay in the machinery, will now have a much higher profit rate than the others. This will attract capital, as capital is always on the lookout for higher rates of profit. The result will be a generalisation of this new mode of production. The robot or machine will be adopted by all the other companies, as it is a more efficient way of producing jeans.

As a consequence the price of the jeans will fall, as there is an increased margin within which each market actor can undercut his fellows. One company will lower prices so as to increase market share. This new price-point will become generalised as competing companies cut their prices to defend their market share. A further n$ was invested but per unit profit margin is put under constant downward pressure, so the rate of return in productive assets tends to fall over time in a competitive market place.

Interest rates have been falling for decades in the West because interest rates must always be below the rate of return on productive investments. If interest rates are higher than the risk adjusted rate of return then the capitalist might as well keep his money in a savings account. If there is real deflation his purchasing power increases for free and if there is inflation he will park his money (plus debt) in an unproductive asset that's price inflating, E.G. Housing. Sound familiar? Sure, there has been plenty of profit generated since 2008 but it has not been recovered from productive investments in a competitive free market place. All that profit came from bubbles in asset classes and financial schemes abetted by money printing and zero interest rates.

Thus, we know that the underlying rate of return is near zero in the West. The rate of return falls naturally, due to capital accumulation and market competition. The system is called capitalism because capital accumulates: high income economies are those with the greatest accumulation of capital per worker. The robot assisted worker enjoys a higher income as he is highly productive, partly because the robotics made some of the workers redundant and there are fewer workers to share the profit. All the high income economies have had near zero interest rates for seven years. Interest rates in Europe are even negative. How has the system remained stable for so long?

All economic growth depends on energy gain. It takes energy (drilling the oil well) to gain energy. Unlike our everyday experience whereby energy acquisition and energy expenditure can be balanced, capitalism requires an absolute net energy gain. That gain, by way of energy exchange, takes the form of tools and machines that permit an increase in productivity per work hour. Thus GDP increases, living standards improve and the debts can be repaid. Thus, oil is a strategic capitalistic resource.

US net energy gain production peaked in 1974, to be replaced by production from Saudi Arabia, which made the USA a net importer of oil for the first time. US dependence on foreign oil rose from 26% to 47% between 1985 and 1989 to hit a peak of 60% in 2006. And, tellingly, real wages peaked in 1974, levelled-off and then began to fall for most US workers. Wages have never recovered. (The decline is more severe if you don't believe government reported inflation figures that don't count the costof housing.)

What was the economic and political result of this decline? During the 20 years 1965-85, there were 4 recessions, 2 energy crises and wage and price controls. These were unprecedented in peacetime and The Gulf of Tonkin event led to the Vietnam War which finally required Nixon to move away from the Gold-Exchange Standard in 1971, opening the next degenerate chapter of FIAT finance up until 2008. Cutting this link to gold was cutting the external anchor impeding war and deficit spending. The promise of gold for dollars was revoked.

GDP in the US increased after 1974 but a portion of end use buying power was transferred to Saudi Arabia. They were supplying the net energy gain that was powering the US GDP increase. The working class in the US began to experience a slow real decline in living standards, as 'their share' of the economic pie was squeezed by the ever increasing transfer of buying power to Saudi Arabia.

The US banking and government elite responded by creating and cutting back legal and behavioral rules of a fiat based monetary system. The Chinese appreciated the long term opportunity that this presented and agreed to play ball. The USA over-produced credit money and China over-produced manufactured goods which cushioned the real decline in the buying power of America's working class. Power relations between China and the US began to change: The Communist Party transferred value to the American consumer whilst Wall Street transferred most of the US industrial base to China. They didn't ship the military industrial complex.

Large scale leverage meant that US consumers and businesses had the means to purchase increasingly with debt so the class war was deferred. This is how over production occurs: more is produced that is paid for not with money that represents actual realized labour time, but from future wealth, to be realised from future labour time. The Chinese labour force was producing more than it consumed.

The system has never differed from the limits laid down by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Real economy system can never over-produce per se. The limit of production is absolute net energy gain. What is produced can be consumed. How did the Chinese produce such a super massive excess and for so long? Economic slavery can achieve radical improvements in living standards for those that benefit from ownership. Slaves don't depreciate as they are rented and are not repaired for they replicate for free. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants limited their way of life and controlled their consumption in order to benefit their children. And their exploited life raised the rate of profit!

They began their long march to modern prosperity making toys, shoes, and textiles cheaper than poor women could in South Carolina or Honduras. Such factories are cheap to build and deferential, obedient and industrious peasant staff were a perfect match for work that was not dissimilar to tossing fruit into a bucket. Their legacy is the initial capital formation of modern China and one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Chinese didn't use net energy gain from oil to power their super massive and sustained increase in production. They used economic slavery powered by caloric energy, exchanged from solar energy. The Chinese labour force picked the World's low hanging fruit that didn't need many tools or machines. Slaves don't need tools for they are the tool.

Without a gold standard and capital ratios our form of over-production has grown enormously. The dotcom bubble was reflated through a housing bubble, which has been pumped up again by sovereign debt, printing press (QE) and central bank insolvency. The US working and middle classes have over-consumed relative to their share of the global economic pie for decades. The correction to prices (the destruction of credit money & accumulated capital) is still yet to happen. This is what has been happening since 1971 because of the growth of financialisation or monetisation.

The application of all these economic methods was justified by the political ideology of neo-Liberalism. Neo-Liberalism entails no or few capital controls, the destruction of trade unions, plundering state and public assets, importing peasants as domesticated help, and entrusting society's value added production to The Communist Party of The People's Republic of China.

The Chinese have many motives but their first motivation is power. Power is more important than money. If you're rich and weak you get robbed. Russia provides illustrating stories of such: Gorbachev had received a promise from George HW Bush that the US would pay Russia approximately $400 billion over10 years as a "peace dividend" and as a tool to be utilized in the conversion of their state run to a market based economic system. The Russians believe the head of the CIA at the time, George Tenet, essentially killed the deal based on the idea that "letting the country fall apart will destroy Russia as a future military threat". The country fell apart in 1992. Its natural assets were plundered which raised the rate of profit in the 90's until President Putin put a stop to the robbery.

In the last analysis, the current framework of Capitalism results in labour redundancy, a falling rate of profit and ingrained trading imbalances caused by excess capacity. Under our current monopoly state capitalism a number of temporary preventive measures have evolved, including the expansion of university, military, and prison systems to warehouse new generations of labour.

Our problem is how to retain the "expected return rate" for us, the dominant class. Ultimately, there are only two large-scale solutions, which are intertwined .

One is expansion of state debt to keep "the markets" moving and transfer wealth from future generations of labour to the present dominant class.

The other is war, the consumer of last resort. Wars can burn up excess capacity, shift global markets, generate monopoly rents, and return future labour to a state of helplessness and reduced expectations. The Spanish flu killed 50-100 million people in 1918. As if this was not enough, it also took two World Wars across the 20th century and some 96 million dead to reduce unemployment and stabilize the "labour problem."

Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed . The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930's and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. Capitalism only produces for profit and social democracy was funded by taxing profits after WW2.

Post WW2 growth in labour productivity, due to automation, itself due to oil & gas replacing coal, meant workers could be better off. As the economic pie was growing, workers could receive the same %, and still receive a bigger slice. Wages as a % of US GDP actually increased in the period, 1945-1970. There was an increase in government spending which was being redirected in the form of redistributed incomes. Inequality will only worsen, because to make profits now we have to continually cut the cost of inputs, i.e. wages & benefits. Have we not already reached the point where large numbers of the working class can neither feed themselves nor afford a roof over their heads?13% of the UK working age population is out of work and receiving out of work benefits. A huge fraction is receiving in work benefits because low skill work now pays so little.

The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical. Here is how the political aspect of the cycle ends:

If Capitalism could speak, she would ask her older brother, Imperialism, this: "Can you solve the problem?" We are not reliving the 1930's, the economy is now an integrated whole that encompasses the entire World. Capital has been accumulating since 1945, so under- and unemployment is a plague everywhere. How big is the problem? Official data tells us nothing, but the 47 million Americans on food aid are suggestive. That's 1 in 7 Americans and total World population is 7 billion.

The scale of the solution is dangerous. Our probing for weakness in the South China Sea, Ukraine and Syria has awakened them to their danger.The Chinese and Russian leadershave reacted by integrating their payment systems and real economies, trading energy for manufactured goods for advanced weapon systems. As they are central players in the Shanghai Group we can assume their aim is the monetary system which is the bedrock of our Imperial power. What's worse, they can avoid overt enemy action and simply choose to undermine "confidence" in the FIAT.

Though given the calibre of their nuclear arsenal, how can they be fought let alone defeated? Appetite preceded Reason, so Lust is hard to Reason with. But beware brother. Your Lust for Power began this saga, perhaps it's time to Reason.

Uncle Sugar

Seriously - Having a Central Bank with a debt based monetary system requires permanent wars. True market based capitalism does not.

Father Thyme

Your logical fallacy is no true scotsman
http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:21 | 7264475 Seek_Truth

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

If wealth were measured by creating strawmen- you would be a Rothschild.

gwiss

That's because they don't understand the word "capitalism."

Capitalism simply means economic freedom. And economic freedom, just like freedom to breed, must be exposed to the pruning action of cause and effect, otherwise it outgrows its container and becomes unstable and explodes. As long as it is continually exposed to the grinding wheel of causality, it continues to hold a fine edge, as the dross is scraped away and the fine steel stays. Reality is full of dualities, and those dualities cannot be separated without creating broken symmetry and therefore terminal instability. Freedom and responsibility, for example. One without the other is unstable. Voting and taxation in direct proportion to each other is another example.

Fiat currency is an attempt to create an artificial reality, one without the necessary symmetry and balance of a real system. However, reality can not be gamed, because it will produce its own symmetry if you try to deny it. Thus the symmetry of fiat currency is boom and bust, a sine wave that still manages to produce equilibrium, however at a huge bubbling splattering boil rather than a fine simmer.

The folks that wrote this do not have a large enough world view. Capitalism does not require world wars because freedom does not require world wars. Freedom tends to bleed imbalances out when they are small. On the other hand, empire does require world war, which is why we are going to have one.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:27 | 7264485 GRDguy

Capitalism becomes imperialism when financial sociopaths steal profits from both sides of the trade. What you're seeing is an Imperialism of Capital, as explained very nicely in the 1889 book "The Great Red Dragon."

AchtungAffen

Really? I thought that was the re-prints of Mises Canada, Kunstler or Brandon Smith. In comparison, this article is sublime.

Caviar Emptor

Wrong. Capitalism needs prolonged directionless wars without clear winners and contained destruction that utilize massive amounts of raw materials and endless orders for weapons and logistical support. That's what makes some guys rich.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 22:56 | 7264423 Jack's Raging B...

That's was a very long-winded and deliberately obtuse way of explaining how DEBT AS MONEY and The State's usurpation of sound money destroyed efficient markets. The author then goes to call this system Capitalism.

So yeah, the deliberate destruction of capital, in all its forms, is somehow capitalism. Brilliant observation. Fuck you. There are better terms for things like this. Perhaps....central banking? The State? Fiat debt creation? Evil? Naw, let's just contort and abuse language instead. That's the ticket.

My Days Are Get...

From Russia News Feed:

Cathal Haughian Bio :

I've spent my adult life in 51 countries. This was financed by correctly anticipating the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. I was studying Marx at that time. I'm presently an employee of the Chinese State. I educate the children of China's best families. I am the author, alongside a large international team of capitalists, of Before The Collapse : The Philosophy of Capitalism.

I also have my own business; I live with my girlfriend and was born and grew up in Ireland.

===============

Why would anyone waste time to read this drivel, buttressed by the author's credentials.

The unstated thesis is that wars involve millions of actors, who produce an end-result of many hundreds of millions killed.

Absent coercion ("the Draft"), how is any government going to man hundreds of divisions of foot soldiers. That concept is passé.

Distribute some aerosol poisons via drones and kill as many people as deemed necessary. How in the hell will that action stimulate the world economy.

Weapons of mass-destruction are smaller, cheaper and easier to deploy. War as a progenitor of growth - forget it.

The good news is that this guy is educating the children of elite in China. Possibly the Pentagon could clone him 10,000 times and send those cyborgs to China - cripple China for another generation or two.

slimycorporated...

Capitalism requires banks that made shitty loans to fail

Ms No

The term cyclical doesn't quite cover what we have being experiencing. It's more like a ragdoll being shaken by a white shark. The euphoria of bubble is more like complete unhinged unicorn mania anymore and the lows are complete grapes of wrath. It's probably always been that way to some extent because corruption has remained unchallenged for a great deal of time. The boom phases are scarier than the downturns anymore, especially the last oil boom and housing boom. Complete Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

I don't think it's capitalism and that term comes across as an explanation that legitimizes this completely contrived pattern that benefits a few and screws everybody else. Markets should not be behaving in such a violent fashion. Money should probably be made steady and slow. And downturns shouldn't turn a country into Zimbabwe. I could be wrong but there is really no way to know with the corruption we have.

Good times.

o r c k

And War requires that an enemy be created. According to American General Breedlove-head of NATO's European Command-speaking to the US Armed Services Committee 2 days ago, "Russia and Assad are deliberately weaponizing migration to break European resolve". "The only reason to use non-precision weapons like barrel bombs is to keep refugees on the move". "These refugees bring criminality, foreign fighters and terrorism", and "are being used to overwhelm European structures". "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and is a real threat." "Russia is irresponsible with nuclear weapons-always threatening to use them." And strangely, "In the past week alone, Russia has made 450 attacks along the front lines in E. Ukraine".

Even with insanity overflowing the West, I found these comments to be the most bizarrely threatening propaganda yet. After reading them for the first time, I had to prove to myself that I wasn't hallucinating it.

[Dec 05, 2016] New Class War

This is a very weak article from a prominent paleoconservative, but it is instructive what a mess he has in his head as for the nature of Trump phenomenon. We should probably consider the tern "New Class" that neocons invented as synonym for "neoliberals". If so, why the author is afraid to use the term? Does he really so poorly educated not to understand the nature of this neoliberal revolution and its implications? Looks like he never read "Quite coup"
That probably reflects the crisis of pealeoconservatism itself.
Notable quotes:
"... What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. ..."
"... the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus. ..."
"... The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country? ..."
"... The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists. ..."
"... The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined. ..."
"... Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction. ..."
"... concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." ..."
"... It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on. ..."
"... I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom? ..."
"... Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation. ..."
"... Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class. ..."
"... Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles ..."
"... The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service. ..."
"... America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites. ..."
"... Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November. ..."
"... The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. ..."
"... Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. ..."
"... [New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets. ..."
"... "mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite. ..."
"... Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide. ..."
"... Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism. ..."
"... The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense. ..."
"... The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters." ..."
"... The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA. ..."
"... . And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends. ..."
"... Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector. ..."
"... The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization. ..."
"... The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America ..."
"... . Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires ..."
"... There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain. ..."
"... State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those. ..."
"... People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards. ..."
"... People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions. ..."
"... I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period. ..."
"... A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers. ..."
"... It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya ..."
"... Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled. ..."
"... The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now," ..."
"... That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same. ..."
"... "On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests." This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived. ..."
"... The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused. ..."
Sep 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Since the Cold War ended, U.S. politics has seen a series of insurgent candidacies. Pat Buchanan prefigured Trump in the Republican contests of 1992 and 1996. Ralph Nader challenged the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party from the outside in 2000. Ron Paul vexed establishment Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. And this year, Trump was not the only candidate to confound his party's elite: Bernie Sanders harried Hillary Clinton right up to the Democratic convention.

What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. (The libertarian Paul favors unilateral free trade: by his lights, treaties like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are not free trade at all but international regulatory pacts.) And while no one would mistake Ralph Nader's or Ron Paul's views on immigration for Pat Buchanan's or Donald Trump's, Nader and Paul have registered their own dissents from the approach to immigration that prevails in Washington.

Sanders has been more in line with his party's orthodoxy on that issue. But that didn't save him from being attacked by Clinton backers for having an insufficiently nonwhite base of support. Once again, what might have appeared to be a class conflict-in this case between a democratic socialist and an elite liberal with ties to high finance-could be explained away as really about race.

Race, like religion, is a real factor in how people vote. Its relevance to elite politics, however, is less clear. Something else has to account for why the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus.

The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country?

Some critics on the right have identified it with the "managerial" class described by James Burnham in his 1941 book The Managerial Revolution . But it bears a stronger resemblance to what what others have called "the New Class." In fact, the interests of this New Class of college-educated "verbalists" are antithetical to those of the industrial managers that Burnham described. Understanding the relationship between these two often conflated concepts provides insight into politics today, which can be seen as a clash between managerial and New Class elites.

♦♦♦

The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists.

Over the next century, however, history did not follow the script. By 1992, the Soviet Union was gone, Communist China had embarked on market reforms, and Western Europe was turning away from democratic socialism. There was no need to predict the future; mankind had achieved its destiny, a universal order of [neo]liberal democracy. Marx had it backwards: capitalism was the end of history.

But was the truth as simple as that? Long before the collapse of the USSR, many former communists -- some of whom remained socialists, while others joined the right-thought not. The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined.

Among the first to advance this argument was James Burnham, a professor of philosophy at New York University who became a leading Trotskyist thinker. As he broke with Trotsky and began moving toward the right, Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction.

Burnham called this the "managerial revolution." The managers of industry and technically trained government officials did not own the means of production, like the capitalists of old. But they did control the means of production, thanks to their expertise and administrative prowess.

The rise of this managerial class would have far-reaching consequences, he predicted. Burnham wrote in his 1943 book, The Machiavellians : "that the managers may function, the economic and political structure must be modified, as it is now being modified, so as to rest no longer on private ownership and small-scale nationalist sovereignty, but primarily upon state control of the economy, and continental or vast regional world political organization." Burnham pointed to Nazi Germany, imperial Japan-which became a "continental" power by annexing Korea and Manchuria-and the Soviet Union as examples.

The defeat of the Axis powers did not halt the progress of the managerial revolution. Far from it: not only did the Soviets retain their form of managerialism, but the West increasingly adopted a managerial corporatism of its own, marked by cooperation between big business and big government: high-tech industrial crony capitalism, of the sort that characterizes the military-industrial complex to this day. (Not for nothing was Burnham a great advocate of America's developing a supersonic transport of its own to compete with the French-British Concorde.)

America's managerial class was personified by Robert S. McNamara, the former Ford Motor Company executive who was secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In a 1966 story for National Review , "Why Do They Hate Robert Strange McNamara?" Burnham answered the question in class terms: "McNamara is attacked by the Left because the Left has a blanket hatred of the system of business enterprise; he is criticized by the Right because the Right harks back, in nostalgia if not in practice, to outmoded forms of business enterprise."

McNamara the managerial technocrat was too business-oriented for a left that still dreamed of bringing the workers to power. But the modern form of industrial organization he represented was not traditionally capitalist enough for conservatives who were at heart 19th-century classical liberals.

National Review readers responded to Burnham's paean to McNamara with a mixture of incomprehension and indignation. It was a sign that even readers familiar with Burnham-he appeared in every issue of the magazine-did not always follow what he was saying. The popular right wanted concepts that were helpful in labeling enemies, and Burnham was confusing matters by talking about changes in the organization of government and industry that did not line up with anyone's value judgements.

More polemically useful was a different concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." "This 'new class' is not easily defined but may be vaguely described," Irving Kristol wrote in a 1975 essay for the Wall Street Journal :

It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on.

"Members of the new class do not 'control' the media," he continued, "they are the media-just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else."

Burnham, writing in National Review in 1978, drew a sharp contrast between this concept and his own ideas:

I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom?

Burnham suffered a stroke later that year. Although he lived until 1987, his career as a writer was over. His last years coincided with another great transformation of business and government. It began in the Carter administration, with moves to deregulate transportation and telecommunications. This partial unwinding of the managerial revolution accelerated under Ronald Reagan. Regulatory and welfare-state reforms, even privatization of formerly nationalized industries, also took off in the UK and Western Europe. All this did not, however, amount to a restoration of the old capitalism or anything resembling laissez-faire.

The "[neo]liberal democracy" that triumphed at "the end of history"-to use Francis Fukuyama's words-was not the managerial capitalism of the mid-20th century, either. It was instead the New Class's form of capitalism, one that could be embraced by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as readily as by any Republican or Thatcherite.

Irving Kristol had already noted in the 1970s that "this new class is not merely liberal but truly 'libertarian' in its approach to all areas of life-except economics. It celebrates individual liberty of speech and expression and action to an unprecedented degree, so that at times it seems almost anarchistic in its conception of the good life."

He was right about the New Class's "anything goes" mentality, but he was only partly correct about its attitude toward economics. The young elite tended to scorn the bourgeois character of the old capitalism, and to them managerial figures like McNamara were evil incarnate. But they had to get by-and they aspired to rule.

Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation.

Part of the tale can be told in a favorable light. New Left activists like Carl Oglesby fought the spiritual aridity and murderous militarism of what they called "corporate liberalism"-Burnham's managerialism-while sincere young libertarians attacked the regulatory state and seeded technological entrepreneurship. Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class.

Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles. On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests. The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service.

The alliance between finance and the New Class accounts for the disposition of power in America today. The New Class has also enlisted another invaluable ally: the managerial classes of East Asia. Trade with China-the modern managerial state par excellence-helps keep American industry weak relative to finance and the service economy's verbalist-dominated sectors. America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites.

The New Class plays a priestly role in its alliance with finance, absolving Wall Street for the sin of making money in exchange for plenty of that money to keep the New Class in power. In command of foreign policy, the New Class gets to pursue humanitarian ideological projects-to experiment on the world. It gets to evangelize by the sword. And with trade policy, it gets to suppress its class rival, the managerial elite, at home. Through trade pacts and mass immigration the financial elite, meanwhile, gets to maximize its returns without regard for borders or citizenship. The erosion of other nations' sovereignty that accompanies American hegemony helps toward that end too-though our wars are more ideological than interest-driven.

♦♦♦

So we come to an historic moment. Instead of an election pitting another Bush against another Clinton, we have a race that poses stark alternatives: a choice not only between candidates but between classes-not only between administrations but between regimes.

Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November.

The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. For the center-left establishment, minority voters supply the electoral muscle. Religion and the culture war have served the same purpose for the establishment's center-right faction. Trump showed that at least one of these sides could be beaten on its own turf-and it seems conceivable that if Bernie Sanders had been black, he might have similarly beaten Clinton, without having to make concessions to New Class tastes.

The New Class establishment of both parties may be seriously misjudging what is happening here. Far from being the last gasp of the demographically doomed-old, racially isolated white people, as Gallup's analysis says-Trump's insurgency may be the prototype of an aggressive new politics, of either left or right, that could restore the managerial elite to power.

This is not something that conservatives-or libertarians who admire the old capitalism rather than New Class's simulacrum-might welcome. But the only way that some entrenched policies may change is with a change of the class in power.

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative .

Johann , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:02 am
The New Class is parasitic and will drive the country to its final third world resting place, or worse.
Dan Phillips , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:32 am
Excellent analysis. What is important about the Trump phenomenon is not every individual issue, it's the potentially revolutionary nature of the phenomenon. The opposition gets this. That's why they are hysterical about Trump. The conservative box checkers do not.
g , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:51 am
"Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November."

My question is, if Trump is not himself of the managerial class, in fact, could be considered one of the original new class members, how would he govern? What explains his conversion from the new class to the managerial class; is he merely taking advantage of an opportunity or is there some other explanation?

Richard Terrace , says: September 7, 2016 at 12:09 pm
I'm genuinely confused by the role you ascribe to the 'managerial class' here. Going back to Berle and Means ('The Modern Corporation and Private Property') the managerial class emerged when management was split from ownership in mid C20th capitalism. Managers focused on growth, not profits for shareholders. The Shareholder revolution of the 1980s destroyed the managerial class, and destroyed their unwieldy corporations.
You seem to be identifying the managerial class with a kind of cultural opposition to the values of [neo]liberal capitalism. And instead of identifying the 'new class' with the new owner-managers of shareholder-driven firms, you identify them by their superficial cultural effects.

This raises a deeper problem in how you talk about class in this piece. Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. Does the 'new class' of journalists, academics, etc. actually own anything? If not, what is the point of ascribing to them immense economic power?
I would agree that there is a new class of capitalists in America. But they are well known people like Sheldon Adelson, the Kochs, Linda McMahon, the Waltons, Rick Scott the pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Mitt Romney, Mark Zuckerberg, and many many hedge fund gazillionaires. These people represent the resurgence of a family-based, dynastic capitalism that is utterly different from the managerial variety that prevailed in mid-century.

If there is a current competitor to international corporate capitalism, it is old-fashioned dynastic family capitalism. Not Managerialism.

JonF , says: September 7, 2016 at 1:13 pm
There is no "new class". That's simply a derogatory trope of the Right. The [neo]liberal elite– educated, cosmopolitan and possessed of sufficient wealth to be influential in political affairs and claims to power grounded in moral stances– have a long pedigree in both Western and non-Western lands. They were the Scribal Class in the ancient world, the Mandarins of China, and the Clergy in the Middle Ages. This class for a time was eclipsed in the early modern period as first royal authority became dominant, followed by the power of the Capitalist class (the latter has never really faded of course). But their reemergence in the late 20th century is not a new or unique phenomenon.
Kurt Gayle , says: September 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm
In a year in which "trash Trump" and "trash Trump's supporters" are tricks-to-be-turned for more than 90% of mainstream journalists and other media hacks, it's good to see Daniel McCarthy buck the "trash trend" and write a serious, honest analysis of the class forces that are colliding during this election cycle.

Two thumbs way up for McCarthy, although his fine effort cannot save the reputation of those establishment whores who call themselves journalists. Nothing can save them. They have earned the universality with which Americans hold them in contempt.

In 1976 when Gallup began asking about "the honesty and ethical standards" of various professions only 33% of Americans rated journalists "very high or high."

By last December that "high or very high" rating for journalists had fallen to just 27%.

It is certain that by Election Day 2016 the American public's opinion of journalists will have fallen even further.

lee , says: September 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm
An article on the ruling elite that neglects to mention this ? . . . https://www.amazon.com/Revolt-Elites-Betrayal-Democracy/dp/0393313719
david helveticka , says: September 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm
Most of your argument is confusing. The change I see is from a production economy to a finance economy. Wall Street rules, really. Basically the stock market used to be a place where working folk invested their money for retirement, mostly through pensions from unions and corporations. Now it's become a gambling casino, with the "house"-or the big banks-putting it's finger on the roulette wheel. They changed the compensation package of CEO's, so they can rake in huge executive compensation–mostly through stock options-to basically close down everything from manufacturing to customer service, and ship it off to contract manufacturers and outside services in oligarchical countries like mainland China and India.

I don't know what exactly you mean about the "new class", basically its the finance industry against everyone else.

One thing you right-wingers always get wrong, is on Karl Marx he was really attacking the money-changers, the finance speculators, the banks. Back in the day, so-called "capitalists" like Henry Ford or George Eastman or Thomas Edison always complained about the access to financing through the big money finance capitalists.

Sheree , says: September 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm
Don't overlook the economic value of intellectual property rights (patents, in particular) in the economic equation.

A big chunk of the 21st century economy is generated due to the intellectual property developed and owned by the New Class and its business enterprises.

The economic value of ideas and intellectual property rights is somewhat implied in McCarthy's explanation of the New Class, but I didn't see an explicit mention (perhaps I overlooked it).

I think the consideration of intellectual property rights and the value generated by IP might help to clarify the economic power of the New Class for those who feel the analysis isn't quite complete or on target.

I'm not saying that IP only provides value to the New Class. We can find examples of IP throughout the economy, at all levels. It's just that the tech and financial sectors seem to focus more on (and benefit from) IP ownership, licensing, and the information captured through use of digital technology.

Commenter Man , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm
"What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy."

But today we have this: Trump pledges big US military expansion . Trump doesn't appear to have any coherent policy, he just says whatever seems to be useful at that particular moment.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm
[New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets.
jack , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm
"mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite.

maybe Trump could use that

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm
Being white is not the defining characteristic of Trumpers because it if was then how come there are many white working class voters for Hillary? The divide in the working class comes from being a member of a union or a member of the private non-unionized working class.

Where the real class divide shows up is in those who are members of the Knowledge Class that made their living based on the old Virtuous Economy where the elderly saved money in banks and the banks, in turn, lent that money out to young families to buy houses, cars, and start businesses. The Virtuous Economy has been replaced by the Global Economy based on diverting money to the stock market to fund global enterprises and prop up government pension funds.

The local bankers, realtors, private contractors, small savers and small business persons and others that depended on the Virtuous Economy lost out to the global bankers, stock investors, pension fund managers, union contractors and intellectuals that propounded rationales for the global economy as superior to the Virtuous Economy.

Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide.

Mitzy Moon , says: September 8, 2016 at 12:32 am
Beginning in the 50's and 60's, baby boomers were warned in school and cultural media that "a college diploma would become what a high school diploma is today." An extraordinary cohort of Americans took this advice seriously, creating the smartest and most successful generation in history. But millions did not heed that advice, cynically buoyed by Republicans who – knowing that college educated people vote largely Democrat – launched a financial and cultural war on college education. The result is what you see now: millions of people unprepared for modern employment; meanwhile we have to import millions of college-educated Asians and Indians to do the work there aren't enough Americans to do.
Joe , says: September 8, 2016 at 1:25 am
Have to say, this seems like an attempt to put things into boxes that don't quite fit.

Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism.

The core of it is that the government no longer serves the people. In the United States, that is kind of a bad thing, you know? Like the EU in the UK, the people, who fought very hard for self-government, are seeing it undermined by the erosion of the nation state in favor of international beaurocracy run by elites and the well connected.

Emil Mottola , says: September 8, 2016 at 2:15 am
Both this article and many comments on it show considerable confusion, and ideological opinion all over the map. What is happening I think is that the world is changing –due to globalism, technology, and the sheer huge numbers of people on the planet. As a result some of the rigid trenches of thought as well as class alignments are breaking down.

In America we no longer have capitalism, of either the 19th century industrial or 20th century managerial varieties. Money and big money is still important of course, but it is increasingly both aligned with and in turn controlled by the government. The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense.

The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters."

The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA.

EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:29 am
I have one condition about which, Mr. Trump would lose my support - if he flinches on immigration, I will have to bow out.

I just don't buy the contentions about color here. He has made definitive moves to ensure that he intends to fight for US citizens regardless of color. This nonsense about white racism, more bigotry in reality, doesn't pan out. The Republican party has been comprised of mostly whites since forever and nearly all white sine the late 1960's. Anyone attempting to make hay out of what has been the reality for than 40 years is really making the reverse pander. Of course most of those who have issues with blacks and tend to be more expressive about it, are in the Republican party. But so what. Black Republicans would look at you askance, should you attempt this FYI.

It's a so what. The reason you joining a party is not because the people in it like you, that is really beside the point. Both Sec Rice and General Powell, are keenly aware of who's what it and that is the supposed educated elite. They are not members of the party because it is composed of some pure untainted membership. But because they and many blacks align themselves with the ideas of the party, or what the party used to believe, anyway.

It's the issues not their skin color that matters. And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends.

I remain convinced that if blacks wanted progress all they need do is swamp the Republican party as constituents and confront whatever they thought was nonsense as constituents as they move on policy issues. Goodness democrats have embraced the lighter tones despite having most black support. That is why the democrats are importing so many from other state run countries. They could ignore blacks altogether. Sen Barbara Jordan and her deep voiced rebuke would do them all some good.

Let's face it - we are not going to remove the deeply rooted impact of skin color, once part of the legal frame of the country for a quarter of the nations populous. What Republicans should stop doing is pretending, that everything concerning skin color is the figment of black imagination. I am not budging an inch on the Daughters of the American Revolution, a perfect example of the kind of peculiar treatment of the majority, even to those who fought for Independence and their descendants.
________________

I think that there are thousands and thousands of educated (degreed)people who now realize what a mess the educational and social services system has become because of our immigration policy. The impact on social services here in Ca is no joke. In the face of mounting deficits, the laxity of Ca has now come back to haunt them. The pressure to increase taxes weighed against the loss of manual or hard labor to immigrants legal and otherwise is unmistakable here. There's debate about rsstroom etiquette in the midst of serious financial issues - that's a joke. So this idea of dismissing people with degrees as being opposed to Mr. Trump is deeply overplayed and misunderstood. If there is a class war, it's not because of Mr. Trump, those decks were stacked in his favor long before the election cycle.
--------

"But millions did not heed that advice, cynically buoyed by Republicans who–knowing that college educated people vote largely Democrat–launched a financial and cultural war on college education. The result is what . . . employment; meanwhile we have to import millions of college-educated Asians and Indians to do the work there aren't enough Americans to do."

Hmmmm,

Nope. Republicans are notorious for pushing education on everything and everybody. It's a signature of hard work, self reliance, self motivation and responsibility. The shift that has been tragic is that conservatives and Republicans either by a shove or by choice abandoned the fields by which we turn out most future generations - elementary, HS and college education. Especially in HS, millions of students are fed a daily diet of liberal though unchecked by any opposing ideas. And that is become the staple for college education - as it cannot be stated just how tragic this has become for the nation. There are lots of issues to moan about concerning the Us, but there is far more to embrace or at the very least keep the moaning in its proper context. No, conservatives and Republicans did engage in discouraging an education.

And there will always be a need for more people without degrees than with them. even people with degrees are now getting hit even in the elite walls of WS finance. I think I posted an article by John Maulden about the growing tensions resulting fro the shift in the way trading is conducting. I can build a computer from scratch, that's a technical skill, but the days of building computers by hand went as fast it came. The accusation that the population should all be trained accountants, book keepers, managers, data processors, programmers etc. Is nice, but hardly very realistic (despite my taking liberties with your exact phrasing). A degree is not going to stop a company from selling and moving its production to China, Mexico or Vietnam - would that were true. In fact, even high end degree positions are being outsourced, medicine, law, data processing, programming . . .

How about the changes in economy that have forced businesses to completely disappear. We will never know how many businesses were lost in the 2007/2008 financial mess. Recovery doesn't exist until the country's growth is robust enough to put people back to work full time in a manner that enables them to sustain themselves and family.

That income gap is real and its telling.
___________________

even if I bought the Karl Marx assessment. His solutions were anything but a limited assault on financial sector oligarchs and wizards. And in practice it has been an unmitigated disaster with virtually not a single long term national benefit. It's very nature has been destructive, not only to infrastructure, but literally the lifeblood of the people it was intended to rescue.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:36 am
Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector.

There are two middle classes in the US: the old Business Class and the New Knowledge Class. A manager would be in the Business Class and a Bureaucrat in the New Class.

The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization.

The New Class were those in the mostly government and nonprofit sectors that depended on knowledge for their livelihood without it being coupled to any physical labor: teachers, intellectuals, social workers and psychiatrists, lawyers, media types, hedge fund managers, real estate appraisers, financial advisors, architects, engineers, etc. The New Knowledge Class has only risen since the New Deal created a permanent white collar, non-business class.

The Working Class are those who are employed for wages in manual work in an industry producing something tangible (houses, cars, computers, etc.). The Working Class can also have managers, sometimes called supervisors. And the Working Class is comprised mainly of two groups: unionized workers and private sector non-unionized workers. When we talk about the Working Class we typically are referring to the latter.

The Trumpsters should not be distinguished as being a racial group or class (white) because there are many white people who support Clinton. About 95% of Blacks vote Democratic in the US. Nowhere near that ratio of Whites are supporting Trump. So Trumps' support should not be stereotyped as White.

The number one concern to Trumpsters is that they reflect the previous intergenerational economy where the elderly lent money to the young to buy homes, cars and start small businesses. The Global bankers have shifted money into the stock market because 0.25% per year interest rates in a bank isn't making any money at all when money inflation runs at 1% to 2% (theft). This has been replaced by a Global Economy that depends on financial bubbles and arbitraging of funds.

William Burns , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:45 am
How are the elites supporting Trump different from the elites supporting financier par excellence Mitt Romney?
EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:23 am
"The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense."

Why other couching this. Ten years ago if some Hollywood exec had said, no same sex marriage, no production company in your town, the town would have shrugged. Today before shrugging, the city clerk is checking the account balance. When the governors of Michigan, and Arizona bent down in me culpa's on related issue, because business interests piped in, it was an indication that the game had seriously changed. Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires.

Same sex weddings in US military chapels - the concept still turns my stomach. Advocates control the megaphones, I don't think they control the minds of the public, despite having convinced a good many people that those who have chosen this expression are under some manner of assault – that demands a legal change - intelligent well educated, supposedly astute minded people actually believe it. Even the Republican nominee believes it.

I love Barbara Streisand, but if the election means she moves to Canada, well, so be it. Take your "drag queens" impersonators wit you. I enjoy Mr. and Mrs Pitt, I think have a social moral core but really? with millions of kids future at stake, endorsing a terminal dynamic as if it will save society's ills - Hollywood doesn't even pretend to behave royally much less embody the sensitivities of the same.

There is a lot to challenge about supporting Mr. Trump. He did support killing children in the womb and that is tragic. Unless he has stood before his maker and made this right, he will have to answer for that. But no more than a trove of Republicans who supported killing children in the womb and then came to their senses. I guess of there is one thing he and I agree on, it's not drinking.

As for big budget military, it seems a waste, but if we are going to waste money, better it be for our own citizens. His Achilles heel here is his intentions as to ISIS/ISIL. I think it's the big drain getting ready to suck him into the abyss of intervention creep.

Missile defense just doesn't work. The tests are rigged and as Israel discovered, it's a hit and miss game with low probability of success, but it makes for great propaganda.

I am supposed to be outraged by a football player stance on abusive government. While the democratic nominee is turning over every deck chair she find, leaving hundreds of thousands of children homeless - let me guess, on the bright side, George Clooney cheers the prospect of more democratic voters.

If Mr. Trumps only achievements are building a wall, over hauling immigration policy and expanding the size of the military. He will be well on his way to getting ranked one of the US most successful presidents.

Joe F , says: September 8, 2016 at 11:11 am
I never understood why an analysis needs to lard in every conceivable historical reference and simply assume its relevance, when there are so many non constant facts and circumstances. There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain.
JonF , says: September 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm
EliteCommInc,

State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those.

The split on Trump is first by race (obviously), then be gender (also somewhat obviously), and then by education. Even among self-declared conservatives it's the college educated who tend to oppose him. This is a lot broader than simply losing some "new" Knowledge Class, unless all college educated people are put in that grouping. In fact he is on track to lose among college educated whites, something no GOP candidate has suffered since the days of FDR and WWII.

Fabian , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm
People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards.

People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions.

Gilly.El , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm
I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American.
Richard Wagner , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm
EliteComic beat me to the punch. I was disappointed that Ross Perot, who won over 20% of the popular vote twice, and was briefly in the lead in early 1992, wasn't mentioned in this article.
JonF , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm
Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American.

The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period.

David Helveticka , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm
A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers.

Who really cares about the federal debt. REally? We can print dollars, exchange these worthless dollars with China for hard goods, and then China lends the dollars back to us, to pay for our government. Get it?

It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya

Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled.

And damn the utopianism of you "libertarians" you're worse then Marxists when it comes to ideology over reality.

Jim Houghton , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:56 pm
Ronald Reagan confounded the GOP party elite, too. They - rightly - considered him an intellectual lightweight.
EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm
"State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those."

Ah, not it's policy on some measure able effect. The seatbelt law was debate across the country. The data indicated that it did in fact save lives. And it's impact was universal applicable to every man women or child that got into a vehicle.

That was not a private bedroom issue. Of course businesses have advocated policy. K street is not a K-street minus that reality. But GM did not demand having relations in parked cars be legalized or else.

You are taking my apples and and calling them seatbelts - false comparison on multiple levels, all to get me to acknowledge that businesses have influence. It what they have chosen to have influence on -

That is another matter.

cecelia , says: September 9, 2016 at 1:34 am
I do not think the issue of class is relevant here – whether it be new classes or old classes. There are essentially two classes – those who win given whatever the current economic arrangements are or those who lose given those same arrangements. People who think they are losing support Trump versus people who think they are winning support Clinton. The polls demonstrates this – Trump supporters feel a great deal more anxiety about the future and are more inclined to think everything is falling apart whereas Clinton supporters tend to see things as being okay and are optimistic about the future. The Vox work also shows this pervasive sense that life will not be good for their children and grandchildren as a characteristic of Trump supporters.

The real shift I think is in the actual coalitions that are political parties. Both the GOP and the Dems have been coalitions – political parties usually are. Primary areas of agreement with secondary areas of disagreement. Those coalitions no longer work. The Dems can be seen as a coalition of the liberal knowledge types – who are winners in this economy and the worker types who are often losers now in this economy. The GOP also is a coalition of globalist corporatist business types (winners) with workers (losers) who they attracted in part because of culture wars and the Dixiecrats becoming GOPers. The needs of these two groups in both parties no longer overlap. The crisis is more apparent in the GOP because well – Trump. If Sanders had won the nomination for the Dems (and he got close) then their same crisis would be more apparent. The Dems can hold their creaky coalition together because Trump went into the fevered swamps of the alt. right.

I think this is even more obvious in the UK where you have a Labor Party that allegedly represents the interests of working people but includes the cosmopolitan knowledge types. The cosmopolitans are big on the usual identity politics, unlimited immigration and staying in the EU. They benefit from the current economic arrangement. But the workers in the Labor party have been hammered by the current economic arrangements and voted in droves to get out of the EU and limit immigration. It seems pretty obvious that there is no longer a coalition to sustain the Labor Party. Same with Tories – some in the party love the EU,immigration, globalization while others voted out of the EU, want immigration restricted and support localism. The crisis is about the inability of either party to sustain its coalitions. Those in the Tory party who are leavers should be in a political party with the old Labor working class while the Tory cosmopolitans should be in a party with the Labor cosmopolitans. The current coalitions not being in synch is the political problem – not new classes etc.

Here in the US the southern Dixiecrats who went to the GOP and are losers in this economy might find a better coalition with the black, Latino and white workers who are still in the Dem party. But as in the UK ideological culture wars have become more prominent and hence the coalitions are no longer economically based. If people recognized that politics can only address the economic issues and they aligned themselves accordingly – the membership of the parties would radically change.

So forget about class and think coalitions.

Clint , says: September 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm
The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now,"
someguy , says: September 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm
Collin, this is straight ridiculous.

"Trump's voters were most strongly characterized by their "racial isolation": they live in places with little ethnic diversity. "

During the primaries whites in more diverse areas voted Trump. The only real exception was West Virginia. Utah, Wyoming, Iowa? All voted for Cruz and "muh values".

In white enclaves like Paul Ryans district, which is 91%, whites are able to signal against white identity without having to face the consequences.

Rick , says: September 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm
Collin said:

"All three major African, Hispanic, & Asian-American overwhelming support HRC in the election."

That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same.

Craig , says: September 13, 2016 at 10:11 am
"On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests."

This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived.

The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused.

[Dec 05, 2016] Capitalism Requires World War by Cathal Haughian via TheSaker.ie,

www.zerohedge.com

It has been our undertaking, since 2010, to chronicle our understanding of capitalism via our book The Philosophy of Capitalism . We were curious as to the underlying nature of the system which endows us, the owners of capital, with so many favours. The Saker has asked me to explain our somewhat crude statement 'Capitalism Requires World War'.

The present showdown between West, Russia and China is the culmination of a long running saga that began with World War One. Prior to which, Capitalism was governed by the gold standard system which was international, very solid, with clear rules and had brought great prosperity: for banking Capital was scarce and so allocated carefully. World War One required debt-capitalism of the FIAT kind, a bankrupt Britain began to pass the Imperial baton to the US, which had profited by financing the war and selling munitions.

The Weimar Republic, suffering a continuation of hostilities via economic means, tried to inflate away its debts in 1919-1923 with disastrous results-hyperinflation. Then, the reintroduction of the gold standard into a world poisoned by war, reparation and debt was fated to fail and ended with a deflationary bust in the early 1930's and WW2.

The US government gained a lot of credibility after WW2 by outlawing offensive war and funding many construction projects that helped transfer private debt to the public book. The US government's debt exploded during the war, but it also shifted the power game away from creditors to a big debtor that had a lot of political capital. The US used her power to define the new rules of the monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944 and to keep physical hold of gold owned by other nations.

The US jacked up tax rates on the wealthy and had a period of elevated inflation in the late 40s and into the 1950s – all of which wiped out creditors, but also ushered in a unique middle class era in the West. The US also reformed extraction centric institutions in Europe and Japan to make sure an extractive-creditor class did not hobble growth, which was easy to do because the war had wiped them out (same as in Korea).

Capital destruction in WW2 reversed the Marxist rule that the rate of profit always falls. Take any given market – say jeans. At first, all the companies make these jeans using a great deal of human labour so all the jeans are priced around the average of total social labour time required for production (some companies will charge more, some companies less).

One company then introduces a machine (costed at $n) that makes jeans using a lot less labour time. Each of these robot assisted workers is paid the same hourly rate but the production process is now far more productive. This company, ignoring the capital outlay in the machinery, will now have a much higher profit rate than the others. This will attract capital, as capital is always on the lookout for higher rates of profit. The result will be a generalisation of this new mode of production. The robot or machine will be adopted by all the other companies, as it is a more efficient way of producing jeans.

As a consequence the price of the jeans will fall, as there is an increased margin within which each market actor can undercut his fellows. One company will lower prices so as to increase market share. This new price-point will become generalised as competing companies cut their prices to defend their market share. A further n$ was invested but per unit profit margin is put under constant downward pressure, so the rate of return in productive assets tends to fall over time in a competitive market place.

Interest rates have been falling for decades in the West because interest rates must always be below the rate of return on productive investments. If interest rates are higher than the risk adjusted rate of return then the capitalist might as well keep his money in a savings account. If there is real deflation his purchasing power increases for free and if there is inflation he will park his money (plus debt) in an unproductive asset that's price inflating, E.G. Housing. Sound familiar? Sure, there has been plenty of profit generated since 2008 but it has not been recovered from productive investments in a competitive free market place. All that profit came from bubbles in asset classes and financial schemes abetted by money printing and zero interest rates.

Thus, we know that the underlying rate of return is near zero in the West. The rate of return falls naturally, due to capital accumulation and market competition. The system is called capitalism because capital accumulates: high income economies are those with the greatest accumulation of capital per worker. The robot assisted worker enjoys a higher income as he is highly productive, partly because the robotics made some of the workers redundant and there are fewer workers to share the profit. All the high income economies have had near zero interest rates for seven years. Interest rates in Europe are even negative. How has the system remained stable for so long?

All economic growth depends on energy gain. It takes energy (drilling the oil well) to gain energy. Unlike our everyday experience whereby energy acquisition and energy expenditure can be balanced, capitalism requires an absolute net energy gain. That gain, by way of energy exchange, takes the form of tools and machines that permit an increase in productivity per work hour. Thus GDP increases, living standards improve and the debts can be repaid. Thus, oil is a strategic capitalistic resource.

US net energy gain production peaked in 1974, to be replaced by production from Saudi Arabia, which made the USA a net importer of oil for the first time. US dependence on foreign oil rose from 26% to 47% between 1985 and 1989 to hit a peak of 60% in 2006. And, tellingly, real wages peaked in 1974, levelled-off and then began to fall for most US workers. Wages have never recovered. (The decline is more severe if you don't believe government reported inflation figures that don't count the costof housing.)

What was the economic and political result of this decline? During the 20 years 1965-85, there were 4 recessions, 2 energy crises and wage and price controls. These were unprecedented in peacetime and The Gulf of Tonkin event led to the Vietnam War which finally required Nixon to move away from the Gold-Exchange Standard in 1971, opening the next degenerate chapter of FIAT finance up until 2008. Cutting this link to gold was cutting the external anchor impeding war and deficit spending. The promise of gold for dollars was revoked.

GDP in the US increased after 1974 but a portion of end use buying power was transferred to Saudi Arabia. They were supplying the net energy gain that was powering the US GDP increase. The working class in the US began to experience a slow real decline in living standards, as 'their share' of the economic pie was squeezed by the ever increasing transfer of buying power to Saudi Arabia.

The US banking and government elite responded by creating and cutting back legal and behavioral rules of a fiat based monetary system. The Chinese appreciated the long term opportunity that this presented and agreed to play ball. The USA over-produced credit money and China over-produced manufactured goods which cushioned the real decline in the buying power of America's working class. Power relations between China and the US began to change: The Communist Party transferred value to the American consumer whilst Wall Street transferred most of the US industrial base to China. They didn't ship the military industrial complex.

Large scale leverage meant that US consumers and businesses had the means to purchase increasingly with debt so the class war was deferred. This is how over production occurs: more is produced that is paid for not with money that represents actual realized labour time, but from future wealth, to be realised from future labour time. The Chinese labour force was producing more than it consumed.

The system has never differed from the limits laid down by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Real economy system can never over-produce per se. The limit of production is absolute net energy gain. What is produced can be consumed. How did the Chinese produce such a super massive excess and for so long? Economic slavery can achieve radical improvements in living standards for those that benefit from ownership. Slaves don't depreciate as they are rented and are not repaired for they replicate for free. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants limited their way of life and controlled their consumption in order to benefit their children. And their exploited life raised the rate of profit!

They began their long march to modern prosperity making toys, shoes, and textiles cheaper than poor women could in South Carolina or Honduras. Such factories are cheap to build and deferential, obedient and industrious peasant staff were a perfect match for work that was not dissimilar to tossing fruit into a bucket. Their legacy is the initial capital formation of modern China and one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Chinese didn't use net energy gain from oil to power their super massive and sustained increase in production. They used economic slavery powered by caloric energy, exchanged from solar energy. The Chinese labour force picked the World's low hanging fruit that didn't need many tools or machines. Slaves don't need tools for they are the tool.

Without a gold standard and capital ratios our form of over-production has grown enormously. The dotcom bubble was reflated through a housing bubble, which has been pumped up again by sovereign debt, printing press (QE) and central bank insolvency. The US working and middle classes have over-consumed relative to their share of the global economic pie for decades. The correction to prices (the destruction of credit money & accumulated capital) is still yet to happen. This is what has been happening since 1971 because of the growth of financialisation or monetisation.

The application of all these economic methods was justified by the political ideology of neo-Liberalism. Neo-Liberalism entails no or few capital controls, the destruction of trade unions, plundering state and public assets, importing peasants as domesticated help, and entrusting society's value added production to The Communist Party of The People's Republic of China.

The Chinese have many motives but their first motivation is power. Power is more important than money. If you're rich and weak you get robbed. Russia provides illustrating stories of such: Gorbachev had received a promise from George HW Bush that the US would pay Russia approximately $400 billion over10 years as a "peace dividend" and as a tool to be utilized in the conversion of their state run to a market based economic system. The Russians believe the head of the CIA at the time, George Tenet, essentially killed the deal based on the idea that "letting the country fall apart will destroy Russia as a future military threat". The country fell apart in 1992. Its natural assets were plundered which raised the rate of profit in the 90's until President Putin put a stop to the robbery.

In the last analysis, the current framework of Capitalism results in labour redundancy, a falling rate of profit and ingrained trading imbalances caused by excess capacity. Under our current monopoly state capitalism a number of temporary preventive measures have evolved, including the expansion of university, military, and prison systems to warehouse new generations of labour.

Our problem is how to retain the "expected return rate" for us, the dominant class. Ultimately, there are only two large-scale solutions, which are intertwined .

One is expansion of state debt to keep "the markets" moving and transfer wealth from future generations of labour to the present dominant class.

The other is war, the consumer of last resort. Wars can burn up excess capacity, shift global markets, generate monopoly rents, and return future labour to a state of helplessness and reduced expectations. The Spanish flu killed 50-100 million people in 1918. As if this was not enough, it also took two World Wars across the 20th century and some 96 million dead to reduce unemployment and stabilize the "labour problem."

Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed . The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930's and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. Capitalism only produces for profit and social democracy was funded by taxing profits after WW2.

Post WW2 growth in labour productivity, due to automation, itself due to oil & gas replacing coal, meant workers could be better off. As the economic pie was growing, workers could receive the same %, and still receive a bigger slice. Wages as a % of US GDP actually increased in the period, 1945-1970. There was an increase in government spending which was being redirected in the form of redistributed incomes. Inequality will only worsen, because to make profits now we have to continually cut the cost of inputs, i.e. wages & benefits. Have we not already reached the point where large numbers of the working class can neither feed themselves nor afford a roof over their heads?13% of the UK working age population is out of work and receiving out of work benefits. A huge fraction is receiving in work benefits because low skill work now pays so little.

The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical. Here is how the political aspect of the cycle ends:

If Capitalism could speak, she would ask her older brother, Imperialism, this: "Can you solve the problem?" We are not reliving the 1930's, the economy is now an integrated whole that encompasses the entire World. Capital has been accumulating since 1945, so under- and unemployment is a plague everywhere. How big is the problem? Official data tells us nothing, but the 47 million Americans on food aid are suggestive. That's 1 in 7 Americans and total World population is 7 billion.

The scale of the solution is dangerous. Our probing for weakness in the South China Sea, Ukraine and Syria has awakened them to their danger.The Chinese and Russian leadershave reacted by integrating their payment systems and real economies, trading energy for manufactured goods for advanced weapon systems. As they are central players in the Shanghai Group we can assume their aim is the monetary system which is the bedrock of our Imperial power. What's worse, they can avoid overt enemy action and simply choose to undermine "confidence" in the FIAT.

Though given the calibre of their nuclear arsenal, how can they be fought let alone defeated? Appetite preceded Reason, so Lust is hard to Reason with. But beware brother. Your Lust for Power began this saga, perhaps it's time to Reason.

Uncle Sugar

Seriously - Having a Central Bank with a debt based monetary system requires permanent wars. True market based capitalism does not.

Father Thyme

Your logical fallacy is no true scotsman
http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:21 | 7264475 Seek_Truth

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

If wealth were measured by creating strawmen- you would be a Rothschild.

gwiss

That's because they don't understand the word "capitalism."

Capitalism simply means economic freedom. And economic freedom, just like freedom to breed, must be exposed to the pruning action of cause and effect, otherwise it outgrows its container and becomes unstable and explodes. As long as it is continually exposed to the grinding wheel of causality, it continues to hold a fine edge, as the dross is scraped away and the fine steel stays. Reality is full of dualities, and those dualities cannot be separated without creating broken symmetry and therefore terminal instability. Freedom and responsibility, for example. One without the other is unstable. Voting and taxation in direct proportion to each other is another example.

Fiat currency is an attempt to create an artificial reality, one without the necessary symmetry and balance of a real system. However, reality can not be gamed, because it will produce its own symmetry if you try to deny it. Thus the symmetry of fiat currency is boom and bust, a sine wave that still manages to produce equilibrium, however at a huge bubbling splattering boil rather than a fine simmer.

The folks that wrote this do not have a large enough world view. Capitalism does not require world wars because freedom does not require world wars. Freedom tends to bleed imbalances out when they are small. On the other hand, empire does require world war, which is why we are going to have one.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:27 | 7264485 GRDguy

Capitalism becomes imperialism when financial sociopaths steal profits from both sides of the trade. What you're seeing is an Imperialism of Capital, as explained very nicely in the 1889 book "The Great Red Dragon."

AchtungAffen

Really? I thought that was the re-prints of Mises Canada, Kunstler or Brandon Smith. In comparison, this article is sublime.

Caviar Emptor

Wrong. Capitalism needs prolonged directionless wars without clear winners and contained destruction that utilize massive amounts of raw materials and endless orders for weapons and logistical support. That's what makes some guys rich.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 22:56 | 7264423 Jack's Raging B...

That's was a very long-winded and deliberately obtuse way of explaining how DEBT AS MONEY and The State's usurpation of sound money destroyed efficient markets. The author then goes to call this system Capitalism.

So yeah, the deliberate destruction of capital, in all its forms, is somehow capitalism. Brilliant observation. Fuck you. There are better terms for things like this. Perhaps....central banking? The State? Fiat debt creation? Evil? Naw, let's just contort and abuse language instead. That's the ticket.

My Days Are Get...

From Russia News Feed:

Cathal Haughian Bio :

I've spent my adult life in 51 countries. This was financed by correctly anticipating the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. I was studying Marx at that time. I'm presently an employee of the Chinese State. I educate the children of China's best families. I am the author, alongside a large international team of capitalists, of Before The Collapse : The Philosophy of Capitalism.

I also have my own business; I live with my girlfriend and was born and grew up in Ireland.

===============

Why would anyone waste time to read this drivel, buttressed by the author's credentials.

The unstated thesis is that wars involve millions of actors, who produce an end-result of many hundreds of millions killed.

Absent coercion ("the Draft"), how is any government going to man hundreds of divisions of foot soldiers. That concept is passé.

Distribute some aerosol poisons via drones and kill as many people as deemed necessary. How in the hell will that action stimulate the world economy.

Weapons of mass-destruction are smaller, cheaper and easier to deploy. War as a progenitor of growth - forget it.

The good news is that this guy is educating the children of elite in China. Possibly the Pentagon could clone him 10,000 times and send those cyborgs to China - cripple China for another generation or two.

slimycorporated...

Capitalism requires banks that made shitty loans to fail

Ms No

The term cyclical doesn't quite cover what we have being experiencing. It's more like a ragdoll being shaken by a white shark. The euphoria of bubble is more like complete unhinged unicorn mania anymore and the lows are complete grapes of wrath. It's probably always been that way to some extent because corruption has remained unchallenged for a great deal of time. The boom phases are scarier than the downturns anymore, especially the last oil boom and housing boom. Complete Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

I don't think it's capitalism and that term comes across as an explanation that legitimizes this completely contrived pattern that benefits a few and screws everybody else. Markets should not be behaving in such a violent fashion. Money should probably be made steady and slow. And downturns shouldn't turn a country into Zimbabwe. I could be wrong but there is really no way to know with the corruption we have.

Good times.

o r c k

And War requires that an enemy be created. According to American General Breedlove-head of NATO's European Command-speaking to the US Armed Services Committee 2 days ago, "Russia and Assad are deliberately weaponizing migration to break European resolve". "The only reason to use non-precision weapons like barrel bombs is to keep refugees on the move". "These refugees bring criminality, foreign fighters and terrorism", and "are being used to overwhelm European structures". "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and is a real threat." "Russia is irresponsible with nuclear weapons-always threatening to use them." And strangely, "In the past week alone, Russia has made 450 attacks along the front lines in E. Ukraine".

Even with insanity overflowing the West, I found these comments to be the most bizarrely threatening propaganda yet. After reading them for the first time, I had to prove to myself that I wasn't hallucinating it.

[Dec 05, 2016] Spanish civil war nostalgics join fight alongside Ukrainian rebels by Kazbek Basayev

Notable quotes:
"... That star and a ribbon around Munez's wrist hint at the Spaniards' motivation for joining a war thousands of miles from home. The ribbon's red, yellow and purple are the colors of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, a conflict in the 1930s where thousands of foreigners joined the leftists against right-wing foes who eventually prevailed. ..."
"... More than 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April, according to the United Nations, in a civil conflict that has dragged ties between Russia and the West to their lowest since the Cold War. ..."
"... Davilla-Rivas blamed the West - which has imposed sanctions on Moscow, accusing it of backing the rebels - for stoking the war. "The United States is trying to provoke a third (world war) against Russia here with your people," he said. "Ordinary people are suffering because they are caught in between three imperial powers - the Russian Federation, the European Union and, certainly, the United States, which is putting money into all this." ..."
"... Civil war in Ukraine is going more then 4 months. 30 000 Ukrainians was killed, and 1 million expelled from their homes. ..."
"... Volunteers, revolutionaries, zealots, idealist, mercenaries are all drawn to conflicts all over the globe. ..."
Aug 08, 2014 | Yahoo/Reuters

Angel Davilla-Rivas, a Spaniard who came to east Ukraine to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels, proudly shows off two big monochrome portraits of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, tattooed on the right and left side of his torso.

Davilla-Rivas and his comrade Rafa Munez, both in their mid-twenties, traveled by train from Madrid to eastern Ukraine where they joined the Vostok battalion, the most prominent and heavily armed unit fighting Ukrainian troops.

"I am the only son, and it hurts my mother and father and my family a lot that I am putting myself at risk. But ... I can't sleep in my bed knowing what's going on here," said Davilla-Rivas, sporting a cap with the Soviet red star pinned to it.

That star and a ribbon around Munez's wrist hint at the Spaniards' motivation for joining a war thousands of miles from home. The ribbon's red, yellow and purple are the colors of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, a conflict in the 1930s where thousands of foreigners joined the leftists against right-wing foes who eventually prevailed.

Angel said he wanted to return the favor after the Soviet Union, under Stalin, supported the Republican side in Spain.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April, according to the United Nations, in a civil conflict that has dragged ties between Russia and the West to their lowest since the Cold War.

The Spaniards are not the first foreigners to enter the fight.

Men from Russia, its former rebel republic of Chechnya and the Caucasus region of North Ossetia have fought on the rebel side along with volunteers from a Russian-backed separatist enclave of Georgia and natives of Serbia.

Russians have also taken top positions among the rebels, though a local took over at the helm of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk Peoples' Republic" on Thursday, in a move aimed at blunting Western accusations the rebellion is run by Moscow.

Moscow said last month there were reports that citizens from Sweden, Finland, France and the former Soviet Baltic states had joined pro-Kiev volunteer battalions in the east as "mercenaries".

Davilla-Rivas blamed the West - which has imposed sanctions on Moscow, accusing it of backing the rebels - for stoking the war. "The United States is trying to provoke a third (world war) against Russia here with your people," he said. "Ordinary people are suffering because they are caught in between three imperial powers - the Russian Federation, the European Union and, certainly, the United States, which is putting money into all this."

A Vostok fighter said he was happy to have the Spaniards. "We need support now, we need fighters. An additional automatic gun will do no harm, to support, to cover one's back," said the young, brown-haired man who did not give his name. The Spanish embassy in Moscow was not immediately available for comment.

(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

blazo 6 months ago

Civil war in Ukraine is going more then 4 months. 30 000 Ukrainians was killed, and 1 million expelled from their homes. Not too bad for only 4 months. But it could be better.

Commander in chief of glorious Kiev army, Mr Porkoshenko, and his sponsor in killings and expulsions, Mr Obama are not satisfied. For money spent, much higher pace of killing should be #$%$ured. What is their reference? In Babin Yar during WW 2, 1200 Ukrainian #$%$, with help of 300 Germans, managed to kill 60 000 Ukrainians for only two days. So Mr Porkoshenko ask from Chef of all Ukrainian security forces, Mr Paruby to explain discrepancy in efficiency in Babin Yar, and in Donbas killings. Mr Paruby said: In Babin Yar Ukrainians to be killed were civilized and unarmed. They even smiled for photographs during killing. But in Donbas they are barbaric armed people, they don t allow us to kill them in peace. They turned arms on us, and killed 10 000 of our brave soldiers. They burned our tanks, APCs, and shot down our jet bombers. And as a extreme barbarism, they captured from us multiple rocket launchers, and fired on us, killing our 25th, 72nd, 79th motorized brigades. Mr Porkoshenko said: You are fired, and kicked him with foot to his #$%$.

The great strategist and visionary, Mr Porkoshenko said on 25th of May: It is not a question of days, weeks, or months, when rebellion in East Ukraine will be defeated. It is the question of hours.... .

Ricardo 6 months ago

Volunteers, revolutionaries, zealots, idealist, mercenaries are all drawn to conflicts all over the globe. Muslims are headed to Syria and Iraq from Europe and North Africa to fight either Assad or along side ISIS, now those that believe the days of the old USSR are returning are headed to eastern Ukraine to fight. If you look at some of the countries mentioned in this article it will not surprise anyone that they are all from Soviet/Russian supported countries that even after the collapse of the USSR still follow the Russians, no matter the consequences to their country.

[Dec 05, 2016] Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of US Led Economic Globalisation?

Notable quotes:
"... By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline ..."
"... President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US. ..."
"... The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values. ..."
"... But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. ..."
"... But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them. ..."
"... Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions ..."
"... All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations ..."
"... So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals. ..."
"... The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself. ..."
"... Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg ..."
"... While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.) ..."
"... Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes. ..."
"... Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way. ..."
"... We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products. ..."
"... the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future! ..."
"... The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder. ..."
"... Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm ..."
"... It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio. ..."
"... The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/ "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike." ..."
"... So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now? ..."
"... Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade". ..."
"... Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy." ..."
"... Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project! ..."
"... Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves. ..."
"... Funny how little things change over the centuries. ..."
"... The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans. ..."
"... "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu. ..."
"... The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China". ..."
"... Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China". ..."
"... Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them. ..."
"... Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret. ..."
"... Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects. ..."
"... It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country. ..."
"... I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations ..."
"... Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St. ..."
Sep 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline

There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union.

President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

However, the changing political currents in the US are making that ever more unlikely. Hardly anyone who is a candidate in the coming elections, whether for the Presidency, the Senate or the House of Representatives, is willing to stick their necks out to back the deal.

Both Presidential candidates in the US (Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) have openly come out against the TPP. In Clinton's case this is a complete reversal of her earlier position when she had referred to the TPP as "the gold standard of trade deals" – and it has clearly been forced upon her by the insurgent movement in the Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders. She is already being pushed by her rival candidate for not coming out more clearly in terms of a complete rejection of this deal. Given the significant trust deficit that she still has to deal with across a large swathe of US voters, it will be hard if not impossible for her to backtrack on this once again (as her husband did earlier with NAFTA) even if she does achieve the Presidency.

The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values.

But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. Even the only US government study of the TPP's likely impacts, by the International Trade Commission, could project at best only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032. A study by Jeronim Capaldo and Alex Izurieta with Jomo Kwame Sundaram ("Trading down: Unemployment, inequality and other risks of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement", Working Paper 16-01, Global Development and Environment Institute, January 2016) was even less optimistic, even for the US. It found that the benefits to exports and economic growth were likely to be relatively small for all member countries, and would be negative in the US and Japan because of losses to employment and increases in inequality. Wage shares of national income would decline in all the member countries.

But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them.

Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying:

  1. the intellectual property provisions,
  2. the restrictions on regulatory practices
  3. the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.
Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations

For example, the TPP (and the TTIP) require more stringent enforcement requirements of intellectual property rights: reducing exemptions (e.g. allowing compulsory licensing only for emergencies); preventing parallel imports; extending IPRs to areas like life forms, counterfeiting and piracy; extending exclusive rights to test data (e.g. in pharmaceuticals); making IPR provisions more detailed and prescriptive. The scope of drug patents is extended to include minor changes to existing medications (a practice commonly employed by drug companies, known as "evergreening"). Patent linkages would make it more difficult for many generic drugs to enter markets.

This would strengthen, lengthen and broaden pharmaceutical monopolies on cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS drugs, and in general make even life-saving drugs more expensive and inaccessible in all the member countries. It would require further transformation of countries' laws on patents and medical test data. It would reduce the scope of exemption in use of medical formulations through public procurement for public purposes. All this is likely to lead to reductions in access to drugs and medical procedures because of rising prices, and also impede innovation rather than encouraging it, across member countries.

There are also very restrictive copyright protection rules, that would also affect internet usage as Internet Service Providers are to be forced to adhere to them. There are further restrictions on branding that would reinforce the market power of established players.

The TPP and TTIP also contain restrictions on regulatory practices that greatly increase the power of corporations relative to states and can even prevent states from engaging in countercyclical measures designed to boost domestic demand. It has been pointed out by consumer groups in the USA that the powers of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate products that affect health of citizens could be constrained and curtailed by this agreement. Similarly, macroeconomic stimulus packages that focus on boosting domestic demand for local production would be explicitly prohibited by such agreements.

All these are matters for concern because these agreements enable corporations to litigate against governments that are perceived to be flouting these provisions because of their own policy goals or to protect the rights of their citizens. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism enabled by these agreements is seen to be one of their most deadly features. Such litigation is then subject to supranational tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards and which do not see the rights of citizen as in any way superior to the "rights" of corporations to their profits. These courts can conduct closed and secret hearings with secret evidence. They do not just interpret the rules but contribute to them through case law because of the relatively vague wording of the text, which can then be subject to different interpretations, and therefore are settled by case law. The experience thus far with such tribunals has been problematic. Since they are legally based on "equal" treatment of legal persons with no primacy for human rights, they have become known for their pro-investor bias, partly due to the incentive structure for arbitrators, and partly because the system is designed to provide supplementary guarantees to investors, rather than making them respect host countries laws and regulations.

If all these features of the TPP and the TTIP were more widely known, it is likely that there would be even greater public resistance to them in the US and in other countries. Even as it is, there is growing antagonism to the trade liberalisation that is seen to bring benefits to corporations rather than to workers, at a period in history when secure employment is seen to be the biggest prize of all.

So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals.

human , September 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

"just _after_ the November Presidential election"

Uahsenaa , September 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

I was watching a speech Premier Li gave at the Economic Club of NY last night, and it was interesting to see how all his (vetted, pre-selected) questions revolved around anxieties having to do with resistance to global trade deals. Li made a few pandering comments about how much the Chinese love American beef (stop it! you're killing me! har har) meant to diffuse those anxieties, but it became clear that the fear among TPTB of people's dissatisfaction with the current economic is palpable. Let's keep it up!

allan , September 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

On a related note:

U.S. Court Throws Out Price-Fixing Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Makers [WSJ]

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $147 million civil price fixing judgment against Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C, ruling the companies weren't liable in U.S. courts because they were acting under the direction of Chinese authorities.

The case raised thorny questions of how courts should treat foreign companies accused of violating U.S. antitrust law when they are following mandates of a foreign government.

"I was only following orders" might not have worked in Nuremberg, but it's a-ok in international trade.

different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself.

Wellstone's Ghost , September 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

Trump has already back peddaled on his TPP stance. He now says he wants to renegotiate the TTP and other trade deals. Whatever that means. Besides, Trump is a distraction, its Mike Pence you should be keeping your eye on. He's American Taliban pure and simple.

RPDC , September 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

This is simply false. Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg

Hillary wants to start a war with Russia and pass the trade trifecta of TPP/TTIP/TiSA.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.)

Trump was run to make Hillary look good, but that has turned out to be Mission Real Impossible!

We are seeing the absolute specious political theater at its worst, attempting to differentiate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Trumpster – – – the only major difference is that Clinton has far more real blood on her and Bill's hands.

Nope, there is no lesser of evils this time around . . .

Quanka , September 23, 2016 at 8:25 am

Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes.

different clue , September 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

Really? Well . . . might as well vote for Clinton then.

First Woman President!
Feminism!
Liberation!

TedWa , September 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way.

a different chris , September 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

>only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032.

At that point American's wages will have dropped near enough to Chinese levels that we can compete in selling to First World countries . assuming there are any left.

oh , September 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Naaah, never been about competition, since nobody is actually vetted when they offshore those jobs or replace American workers with foreign visa workers.

But to sum it up as succinctly as possible: the TPP is about the destruction of workers' rights; the destruction of local and small businesses; and the loss of sovereignty. Few Americans are cognizant of just how many businesses are foreign owned today in America; their local energy utility or state energy utility, their traffic enforcement company which was privatized, their insurance company (GEICO, etc.).

I remember when a political action group back in the '00s thought they had stumbled on a big deal when someone had hacked into the system of the Bretton Woods Committee (the lobbyist group for the international super-rich which ONLY communicates with the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and who shares the same lobbyist and D.C. office space as the Group of Thirty, the lobbyist group for the central bankers [Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Mario Draghi, Ernesto Zedillo, Bill Dudley, etc., etc.]) and placed online their demand of the senate and the congress to kill the "Buy America" clause in the federal stimulus program of a few years back (it was watered down greatly, and many exemptions were signed by then Commerce Secretary Gary Locke), but such information went completely unnoticed or ignored, and of course, the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future!

http://www.brettonwoods.org
http://www.group30.org

Arthur J , September 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder.

Carla , September 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

In June 2016, "[TransCanada] filed an arbitration claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over President Obama's rejection of the pipeline, making good on its January threat to take legal action against the US decision.

According to the official request for arbitration, the $15 billion tab is supposed to help the company recover costs and damages that it suffered "as a result of the US administration's breach of its NAFTA obligations." NAFTA is a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that went into effect in January 1, 1994. Under the agreement, businesses can challenge governments over investment disputes.

In addition, the company filed a suit in US Federal Court in Houston, Texas in January asserting that the Obama Administration exceeded the power granted by the US Constitution in denying the project."

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/transcanada_complains_nafta_sues_us_15_bn_keystone_xl_rejection/

Six states have since joined that federal law suit.

Kris Alman , September 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm

It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio.

Obama's rhetoric May 5, 2015 at the Nike campus was all about how small businesses would prosper. Congresswoman Bonamici clings to this rationale in her refusal to tell angry constituents at town halls whether she supports the TPP.

The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/
"US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike."

That appeals to the other big athletic corporations that cluster in the Portland metro: Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour.

A plot twist!

Vietnam will not include ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the agenda for its next parliament session. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1087705/vietnam-delays-tpp-vote So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

Vatch , September 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade".

hemeantwell , September 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy."

Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project!

ChrisFromGeorgia , September 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves.

Funny how little things change over the centuries.

Brad , September 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans.

"How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu.

Minnie Mouse , September 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

When America writes the rules of the global economy the global economy destroys America.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China".

Would be nice if they had even a passing thought for those people in a certain North American region located in between Canada and Mexico.

different clue , September 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China".

Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them.

different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

If calling the International Free Trade Conspiracy "American" is enough to get it killed and destroyed, then I don't mind having a bunch of foreigners calling the Free Trade Conspiracy "American". Just as long as they are really against it, and can really get Free Trade killed and destroyed.

Chauncey Gardiner , September 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Excellent post. Thank you. Should these so called "trade agreements" be approved, perhaps Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS arbitration) futures can be created by Wall Street and made the next speculative "Play-of-the-day" so that everyone has a chance to participate in the looting. Btw, can you loot your own house?

KYrocky , September 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret.

At the time he made that statement Warren could go to an offsite location to read the TPP in the presence of a member of the Trade Commission, could not have staff with her, could not take notes, and could not discuss anything she read with anyone else after she left. Or face criminal charges.

Yeah. Nothing secret about that.

Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

And add to that everything from David Dayen's book (" Chain of Title ") on Covington & Burling and Eric Holder and President Obama, and Thomas Frank's book ("Listen, Liberals") and people will have the full picture!

Spencer , September 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country.

So, there's a financial incentive (to maximize profits), not to repatriate foreign income (pushes up our exchange rate, currency conversion costs, if domestic re-investment alternatives are considered more circumscribed, plus taxes, etc.).

In spite of the surfeit of $s, and E-$ credits, and unlike the days in which world-trade required a Marshall Plan jump start, trade surpluses increasingly depend on the Asian Tiger's convertibility issues.

Praedor , September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations or even (potential) unfriendlies like China (who can easily put trojan spyware hard code or other vulnerabilities into critical microchips the way WE were told the US could/would when it was leading on this tech when I was serving in the 90s). We already know that US-written rules is simply a way for mega corporations to extend patents into the ever-more-distant future, a set of rules that hands more control of arts over to the MPAA, rules that gut environmental laws, etc. Who needs the US-written agreements when this is the result?

Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St.

[Dec 05, 2016] Is war the health of state ?

Notable quotes:
"... I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries. ..."
Dec 03, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

james | Dec 3, 2016 11:39:28 AM | 2

sst comment -

"b

Well, if you looked at it and decided against it why am I wasting my time? "unlike the U.S. military which is used to destroys foreign cities without much thought of the aftermath" Always with the nasty, sneering, condescending attitude toward us. I remind you that it was the BRITISH army that destroyed your grandparents house, not the US Army. pl"

and the usa has learned and followed the British in so many of it's imperialist ways carrying the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of British or American bullshit..

psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 12:10:21 PM | 4
@ james who wrote " and the usa has learned and followed the british in so many of it's imperialist ways caring the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of british or american bullshit."

I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries.

okie farmer | Dec 3, 2016 12:15:14 PM | 5
"the state made war and war made the state."

Lords of 'Pride and Plunder' by Robert Bartlett

The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government by Thomas N. Bisson Princeton University Press, 677 pp., $39.50

One of the major institutions of pre-industrial society, and one that makes it hard for people in the modern Western world fully to grasp the past, is lordship. Lordship means a personal bond, reciprocal but not equal, tying inferiors to superiors, bringing the latter a power over the former that modern democratic and egalitarian ideologies would abhor. We are not accustomed to address others as "Master" or "Mistress," "My Lord" or "My Lady."

Of course modern Western societies are not communities of equals. Vast differences in wealth and access to education exist. But the world of lordship embraced and endorsed those differences. Hierarchy was a valued ideal, and some people considered themselves better born than others-remember those nineteenth-century novels with characters "of good family." The aristocrats ("aristocracy" means "rule by the best") did not court their inferiors. They ruled them, and, if they were just and well disposed, they protected them and furthered their interests. This is what "good lordship" meant. Not all lords, of course, were good. Submission to cruel, arbitrary, or unhinged masters could mean misery or death. Much of the savagery of the French Revolution is to be explained by the fact that thousands of peasants had suffered just such a submission.

Thomas Bisson's new book concerns itself with lordship, that all-pervasive institution, in a formative period of European history, the twelfth century (or rather the "long twelfth century," starting well before 1100 and continuing after 1200). It is an age that evokes for many the majesty of the great cathedrals, like Chartres and Canterbury, the rise of a new kind of intellectual inquiry, embodied in the questing spirit of Abelard or the emergence of the first universities, and the flourishing of the love lyrics of the troubadours and the tales of Arthurian romance. There is even the (now well established but initially paradoxical) notion of "the Twelfth-Century Renaissance." This book, however, presents a different, and much darker, twelfth century.

Bisson, professor of medieval history emeritus at Harvard, is one of the leading historians of the Middle Ages. His early work concentrated on Catalonia, a region with particularly rich archival sources from this period; he has continually expanded both his geographical range and the breadth of the historical questions he asks. In the 1990s he was a participant in a lively debate on the so-called "Feudal Revolution," the theory that a transformation in the patterns of power and authority took place in Europe in the decades around the year 1000. In those years it was argued that older, official, and public structures of justice and administration were replaced by new, more violent, and more localized forms, based on strongmen and their fortresses.

In his new book many of the elements of that "Feudal Revolution" recur, now extended to a later period. Bisson's summary of developments in Catalonia in the years 1020 to 1060 presents such a picture very clearly: there was "a terrifying collapse of public justice and the imposition of a new order of coercive lordship over an intimidated peasantry." Moving on into the twelfth century, the model is still recognizable: there is an "old passing world" ruled by a few nobles, and a "burgeoning new world" of "vicious men," castle-lords and knights prepared to use violence against the despised peasantry. This book is indeed an extended discussion of the issues arising from that earlier debate. Bisson acknowledges that it is "not a systematic treatise, still less a textbook," and those unfamiliar with the period may soon be lost. The book is an interpretation, an individual assessment of European history of that period, one that takes a stand on a dozen debated issues, often in implicit dialogue with other scholars. The main topics are lordship, violence, and the state.

Lordship was a building block of most societies until relatively recently -- serfdom was abolished in Russia only in 1861. Such societies were distinguished by extreme inequalities, made visible by costume and gestures, like bowing and doffing of hats, and often supported by belief in hereditary superiority and inferiority of blood. Collective groupings existed, but were not powerful, and conflict and ambition were channeled more by vertical than horizontal solidarities: retainers, servants, and other followers and dependants sought patronage from the great, not action alongside their peers. At the highest level, lesser aristocrats became followers of great aristocrats, who themselves would be competing for the ruler's favor. Costume dramas set in Tudor England, like Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth, convey some of the flavor of such a world.

It was the prevalence of lordship that complicates any discussion of the medieval state. Bisson repeatedly uses the far from standard formulations "lord-king," "lord-ruler," and even "lord-archbishop" to convey the point that every ruler of this time was also a lord, a master of men, a patriarch of some kind, possessing his position as inheritance or property, rather than (or as well as) holding it as an office-indeed, he writes, "there is no sign that European people in the twelfth century thought of lordship and office as contrasting categories."

Kings were lords, but also more than lords. Like the great barons, their power was patrimonial: that is, inherited, dynastic, based on ideas of property we might call "private." A king's kingdom was his in the same way that a baron's landed estates were his. Transmission of power was through father-to-son inheritance, not by election. Hence marriages, births, and deaths were the great punctuating points of medieval politics, not caucuses and ballots. Yet a king was also more than just the greatest of the barons. Both the Church and a long secular tradition saw him as having special duties as a ruler, duties that might be called "public."

This dualism of lordship and the state meant that medieval rulership had two distinct faces, which were close to being opposites: on the one hand, the grand promises made at coronation by kings and emperors, to ensure justice and the protection of the weak and the Church; on the other hand, the reality of being a warlord trained in mounted warfare, a leader of proud, hard men, used to wielding lethal edged weapons, and the center of a court full of envy, ambition, and suspicion.

Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was a militarized world: it was "an age of castles," when "those astride horses and bearing weapons routinely injured or intimidated people" -- although, of course, they were still doing it in the thirteenth century, fourteenth century, fifteenth century, and beyond. The Cossacks were still doing it in the twentieth century. This raises a problem. In the absence of even a hint of dependable statistics, it is virtually impossible to weigh up the relative violence of different periods and places of the past. We know all the difficulties involved in dealing with modern crime figures; for the past we rarely have figures of any kind, but must rely on stories told by chroniclers (often ecclesiastical) and interested parties (usually plaintiffs). Historians read the laments, the individual accounts of plunder, murder, and rape, and try to assess whether this was the way life was then, or whether it simply reflects a very bad moment in that world. And while there can be little doubt that levels of violence were higher in the medieval period than in modern Western peacetime societies, we, who live in the aftermath of the worst genocidal atrocities in recorded history, should not make that claim with any complacency.

It is not difficult to gather stories of local violence and oppression from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. But if we put these twelfth-century tales alongside those of the sixth-century historian-bishop Gregory of Tours, whose History of the Franks reveals a world of monstrous cruelty, we might wonder if things had really gotten much worse in the intervening six hundred years. On one occasion, Gregory writes, a noble discovered that two of his serfs had married without his consent: he supposedly said how delighted he was that they had at least not married serfs from another lordship; he promised that he would not separate them, and then kept his word by having them buried alive together. And was the twelfth century any more full of violence than, say, late medieval France, a happy hunting ground for mercenaries and freebooters during the Hundred Years' War?

The rulers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries were trained in, and glorified, war, and expected to live off it, as well as off the tribute of a subjugated peasantry. If such rulers formed "the state" of their day, what are the implications? The state engages in violence; it takes away our property. How then does it differ from a criminal enterprise? This was a question that went back at least as far as Saint Augustine in the fourth century:

What are robber gangs, except little kingdoms? If their wickedness prospers, so that they set up fixed abodes, occupy cities and subjugate whole populations, they then can take the name of kingdom with impunity.

Augustine's ponderings stem from the worrying doubt that states and kingdoms, indeed all lawfully constituted governments, are just the most successful of the robber gangs. This idea, that the state and the criminal gang are but larger and smaller versions of the same thing, was one recurrent strand in medieval thinking. In the words of Gregory VII, the reformist pope of the eleventh century:

Who does not know that kings and dukes had their origin in men who disregarded God and, with blind desire and intolerable presumption, strove to dominate their equals, that is, other men, through pride, plunder, perfidy, homicides, and every kind of crime, under the inspiration of the lord of this world, the devil?

Westerns (like Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) often explore the thin line between the gunslinger and the sheriff, or the poignancy of the bandit turned law officer; and the thinness of that line is clear in the Middle Ages. In the fourteenth century the kings of France, wishing to concentrate their forces against the English, called upon their barons to curtail their own feuds and vendettas: "We forbid anyone to wage war (guerre) during our war (guerre)." What the king does and what the feuding nobles do is the same kind of thing-"war." Nowadays, we make a sharper distinction. For instance, in the modern world, someone who takes our property away is either a criminal or a tax collector. If the latter, then it is the state taking our property away, and most people, of most political outlooks, distinguish the lawmakers from the lawbreakers.

Traditionally the state took away people's property in order to finance war. In Charles Tilly's phrase, "the state made war and war made the state." The war-making, tax-raising state is indeed the standard, familiar political unit of modern world history. If we go back in time, do we reach a period when such an entity did not exist?

Bisson is not a scholar who throws the term "state" around freely. Indeed, the conceptual vocabulary of his book is worth a mention. On the one hand, Bisson is happy to use the traditional but deeply contested terms "feudal" and "feudalism," both of which even have entries in his glossary at the end of the book. He can write of "a massive feudalizing of England by the Normans." Some historians would do away with these concepts altogether. Even if some kinds of estates were called "fiefs" (feoda), they argue, why should that fact lead us to a characterization of a whole society? Perhaps a touch of self-questioning is visible in Bisson's embrace of the terminology: "'Feudal monarchy': is this the right concept?" he asks.
In contrast to his acceptance of this traditional terminology, Bisson has a marked tendency to use large conceptual terms with a peculiar, even personal, connotation. "Political" is an example. The bishops of this period, he says, "vied with one another for visible precedence," yet such struggles "were not political disputes; they were concerned with status, not process." A footnote refers us to an infamous incident when the archbishop of York, noticing that the archbishop of Canterbury had a seat higher than his, kicked it over and refused to be seated until he had a seat as high. Now, one might reasonably class this as a nursery tantrum, but why should not a public dispute over precedence count as "political"?
This wariness about the term "political" (usually in scare quotes in the book) is based on the idea that lordship "was personal, affective, and unpolitical in nature." Might it not be clearer to say that the politics of that time was not the same as the politics of ours? It may be that we have here an example of a recurrent dilemma, either to say that the power relations of long ago are not politics at all, or to say that they are, but that we must differentiate between medieval and modern politics. Similarly, we may say that the superior authorities of that time cannot be called states at all; or we can argue that they were, but that we must distinguish medieval and modern states.

One of the most important examples of Bisson's idiosyncratic use of general terms is his treatment of the word "government." He is reluctant even to apply the term to Norman England. "Royal lordship" was not the same thing as "government." Sometimes government is completely absent. Late-twelfth-century Europe was "an ungoverned society," although there were also "proto-governments" at this time; by the mid-thirteenth century "something like government hovered." This unwillingness to see the rulers of the central Middle Ages as constituting "governments" is to be explained partly because, in Bisson's view, the people of that time lacked any understanding of the state as distinct from lordship, but also because there are certain criteria for government, as distinct from lordship, that the rulers did not meet. He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.

"Accountability" is an important term in Bisson's historical vocabulary. Sometimes it means quite literally the rendering of financial accounts, like the Catalan fiscal records which Bisson himself has edited. He emphasizes the birth, in the twelfth century, of "a newly searching and flexible accountability," as simple surveys of resources and fixed revenues, which can be found from early in the Middle Ages, were supplemented by balance sheets of incoming and outgoing assets. The English Pipe Rolls, annual audits of income and expenditures of the royal sheriffs, are a classic example. The English Dialogue of the Exchequer of 1178, or thereabouts, reveals a department of government that is professional, with its own technical expertise, and (in the Dialogue) its own handbook or manual. Slightly later, in 1202, there appears what has been called "the first budget of the French monarchy."

But Bisson also uses the word in a broader sense: accountability means official responsibility, answerability. He associates it with the idea of office. Record-keeping is in fact one test of official status. And true government is "the exercise of power for social purpose," "social purpose" perhaps to be glossed here as "the common good." It is the emergence of "official conduct aimed at social purpose," linked, interestingly, with the rise of public taxation, that, for Bisson, signals the shift of the balance from lordship to government in the thirteenth century.

However, the chronology of state formation in the Middle Ages is a disputed issue. Some historians talk as if there were a stateless period at some point in the central Middle Ages. Others hold the view that, to take one notable example, the kingdom of England of the year 1000 was not only a state but a strong, centralized, and pervasive state. If taxation and a standardized coinage are, in Bisson's words, parts of "a new model of associative power" around the year 1200, then the uniform land tax and centralized currency of eleventh-century England show that that model already existed in some places two hundred years earlier.

What cannot be disputed is that over the course of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, the state became increasingly bureaucratic. The documents produced by the English government in the eleventh century could be placed on one large table (even given that monumental oddity, Domesday Book, the extensive survey of land ownership made in 1086 under William the Conqueror). The documents produced by the English government in the thirteenth century fill whole rooms and could never be read in one person's lifetime. Written records supplemented or replaced older oral forms of information gathering, testimony, or command (Michael Clanchy's 1979 masterpiece, From Memory to Written Record, analyzes this development for precociously bureaucratic England in the Norman and Plantagenet period). But more bureaucratic government does not necessarily mean less violent, or even less arbitrary, government.

Historians like bureaucracy, because it feeds their hunger for written sources, the raw material with which they work; but the bond between historians and government is deeper than that. The historical profession grew up in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in close symbiosis with government. Not only was the heart of historical study usually the archives produced by past governments, but many of the students and teachers in those generations, the first to study history as a discipline, entered government service. Charles Homer Haskins, the founding father of American medieval scholarship, was an adviser to Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.

He was also the teacher of Joseph Strayer, himself the teacher of Bisson. Such academic genealogies can be overplayed, but there is no doubt that all three great medievalists, Haskins, Strayer, and Bisson, demonstrate a deep-rooted concern with the techniques and records of administration, with the procedures of the bureaucrats and officials. Strayer was as familiar with the modern as with the medieval version, since he worked for the CIA One of his most vigorous pieces of work is entitled On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State (1970; one might notice the emphasis on both the "origins" and the "modern"; we live in the modern state; its origins go back a long way, but the state of those days was not the state of ours). The book contains Strayer's cogent definition of feudalism as "public powers in private hands," with that confident assurance that these adjectives, "public" and "private," convey a simple and evident distinction that will arouse no intellectual discomfort in readers. By contrast, Bisson's book is generated in part by his wrestling with such concepts and their implications.

Bisson's book is called The Crisis of the Twelfth Century. "Crisis" means a vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything. But in that sense, any century of human history is a crisis. One might even say that this is simply the condition of human life-we are always in an Age of Crisis (although the situation might not always be as alarming as today's). Bisson acknowledges that "'crisis' was not a common word in the verbiage of the day," and the one instance he cites of the contemporary use of the word (in its Latin form discrimen) refers to a succession crisis in Poland in 1180. He wishes to see the various distinct political crises he discusses (such as the Saxon revolt of 1075, the communal insurrection in Laon in 1111, the "anarchy" of King Stephen's reign) as part of "the same wider crisis of multiplied knights and castles."

However, a case can be made that the levels of violence and disorder in this period were largely dictated by the patterns of high politics rather than by a deep-seated structural malaise. Disputed successions, or the accession of a child-king, could indeed upset the world of knights and castles, unleashing the strongmen and their castle-based predatory attacks. Yet a regime of knights and castles could also form the basis for fairly stable feudal monarchies, such as one sees in France and England for most of the thirteenth century. If this is so, there were, of course, crises in the twelfth century, but no Crisis.

The violence and greed of European knights of this period were directed beyond the local victims. Bisson's "long twelfth century" was not only an age of predatory lords in their castles bullying their peasantry but also an age of expansionary, one could say colonialist, violence. Christian armies, led by these predatory lords, crossed into Muslim lands, capturing Toledo in 1085, Jerusalem in 1099, and landing in North Africa in 1148; they destroyed the last remnants of West Slav paganism in the Baltic in 1168; they even turned their formidable fighting strength against their estranged Christian cousins in the Greek East, and sacked Constantinople in 1204. The energies generated in the conflicts between mounted men in the West, and the expertise they acquired in subjugating and fleecing the local peasantry, could be exported. The story of European violence is far from unique, but it was in the central Middle Ages that it took a form that shaped the subsequent history of the world.

A traditional view of the development of European society in the central Middle Ages, a view to be found in textbooks past and present, is that the empire of Charlemagne (747–814) and his successors had important elements of public authority, in the form of officials with delegated powers and courts open to all free men, but that this regime was replaced, around the year 1000, with a heavily militarized and violent world of strongmen in castles, lording it over peasants. Over the course of time this world was, in its turn, transformed by the persistent efforts of the kings of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries into a network of more centralized and bureaucratic states, which led ultimately to modern systems of government. Like every model at this level of generality, as long as people who know something about the subject have created it, there must be some truth in this picture, however little it can be the whole truth. But we might have questions. Was the "old public order" of Charlemagne and his successors so public and so ordered? Was the subsequent regime so close to anarchy?

Bisson adds to this traditional account by thinking deeply about the benefits and disadvantages of government. He is very aware of the inhumanity of the past he studies. He refers, with allusion to the words of the twelfth-century cleric John of Salisbury, to "hunter-lords." John was talking about the way that aristocrats were obsessed with the chase, but we might apply his phrase in a wider sense. Since some theorists believe that human society is imprinted with its origins in hunting packs and the mentality of the pack, the predatory lordship of the central Middle Ages could be conceived of as just such a hunting pack-but its prey being fellow human beings, rather than beasts.

Confronting this world of hunter and hunted, Bisson is inspired by attractively humane impulses. In an earlier book, Tormented Voices, a microhistorical analysis of complaints raised by Catalan peasants in the twelfth century, he stated explicitly that he was attempting "an essay in compassionate history." Likewise in this book. And he looks for public, accountable, official remedies for suffering and oppression. He seems sympathetic to the idea that "power is rightly oriented towards the social needs of people." "If ever government was the solution, not the problem," he writes, "it was so for European peoples in the twelfth century." Is the modern world so happy in its governments? Whether we should endure the violence of the state, as a defense against the yet more fearful violence of our neighbors, and whether there comes a point where the violence of the state must be resisted are great recurrent questions of moral and political life. The questions raised by Bisson's book remain open.

james | Dec 3, 2016 1:03:24 PM | 6
@4 psychohistorian.. and i agree with you in that too.. it has to do with the packaging and a tendency in people to identify with the packaging - in this example 'made in the usa' as some sort of rationale for that social sickness many suffer from called 'patriotism'.. it seems to be especially prevalent in the worst nations, the usa at this point in time being the focal point for much of this marketing...
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 1:28:39 PM | 8
@ okie farmer who added a loooong comment that contained the following about the definition of government:
"
He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.
"

The narrative provided did not get into a discussion of "social purpose" but I think that it is an important concept. The example I would posit is the original humanistic motto of the US, E Pluribus Unum which was instantiated by government creations of the time like the pony express....true socialism, if you need an ism to cling to. Social Security INSURANCE is another example of an instantiation of social purpose.

The original US motto was replaced by In God We Trust in the mid 1950's which, IMO, destroyed the social purpose concept of government and instead tells you to trust the leaders and religious institutions.....reversion to kings and feudalism.

You get the government you demand. What sort of world do you want to pass to the children?

ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10
Why is the U$A addicted to war?

read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

http://www.addictedtowar.com/

[Dec 05, 2016] The Real Story of How America Became an Economic Superpower

Notable quotes:
"... Rather than join the struggle of imperial rivalries, the United States could use its emerging power to suppress those rivalries altogether. ..."
"... "a power unlike any other. It had emerged, quite suddenly, as a novel kind of 'super-state,' exercising a veto over the financial and security concerns of the other major states of the world." ..."
"... Peter Heather, the great British historian of Late Antiquity, explains human catastrophes with a saying of his father's, a mining engineer: "If man accumulates enough combustible material, God will provide the spark." So it happened in 1929. The Deluge that had inundated the rest of the developed world roared back upon the United States. ..."
"... "The originality of National Socialism was that, rather than meekly accepting a place for Germany within a global economic order dominated by the affluent English-speaking countries, Hitler sought to mobilize the pent-up frustrations of his population to mount an epic challenge to this order." ..."
"... He could not accept subordination to the United States because, according to his lurid paranoia, "this would result in enslavement to the world Jewish conspiracy, and ultimately race death." ..."
"... By 1944, foreigners constituted 20 percent of the German workforce and 33 percent of armaments workers (less than 9 percent of the population of today's liberal and multicultural Germany is foreign-born). ..."
"... The Hitlerian vision of a united German-led Eurasia equaling the Anglo-American bloc proved a crazed and genocidal fantasy. ..."
www.theatlantic.com

The United States might claim a broader democracy than those that prevailed in Europe. On the other hand, European states mobilized their populations with an efficiency that dazzled some Americans (notably Theodore Roosevelt) and appalled others (notably Wilson). The magazine founded by pro-war intellectuals in 1914, The New Republic, took its title precisely because its editors regarded the existing American republic as anything but the hope of tomorrow.

Yet as World War I entered its third year-and the first year of Tooze's story-the balance of power was visibly tilting from Europe to America. The belligerents could no longer sustain the costs of offensive war. Cut off from world trade, Germany hunkered into a defensive siege, concentrating its attacks on weak enemies like Romania. The Western allies, and especially Britain, outfitted their forces by placing larger and larger war orders with the United States. In 1916, Britain bought more than a quarter of the engines for its new air fleet, more than half of its shell casings, more than two-thirds of its grain, and nearly all of its oil from foreign suppliers, with the United States heading the list. Britain and France paid for these purchases by floating larger and larger bond issues to American buyers-denominated in dollars, not pounds or francs. "By the end of 1916, American investors had wagered two billion dollars on an Entente victory," computes Tooze (relative to America's estimated GDP of $50 billion in 1916, the equivalent of $560 billion in today's money).

That staggering quantity of Allied purchases called forth something like a war mobilization in the United States. American factories switched from civilian to military production; American farmers planted food and fiber to feed and clothe the combatants of Europe. But unlike in 1940-41, the decision to commit so much to one side's victory in a European war was not a political decision by the U.S. government. Quite the contrary: President Wilson wished to stay out of the war entirely. He famously preferred a "peace without victory." The trouble was that by 1916, the U.S. commitment to Britain and France had grown-to borrow a phrase from the future-too big to fail.

Tooze's portrait of Woodrow Wilson is one of the most arresting novelties of his book. His Wilson is no dreamy idealist. The president's animating idea was an American exceptionalism of a now-familiar but then-startling kind. His Republican opponents-men like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Elihu Root-wished to see America take its place among the powers of the earth. They wanted a navy, an army, a central bank, and all the other instrumentalities of power possessed by Britain, France, and Germany. These political rivals are commonly derided as "isolationists" because they mistrusted the Wilson's League of Nations project. That's a big mistake. They doubted the League because they feared it would encroach on American sovereignty. It was Wilson who wished to remain aloof from the Entente, who feared that too close an association with Britain and France would limit American options. This aloofness enraged Theodore Roosevelt, who complained that the Wilson-led United States was "sitting idle, uttering cheap platitudes, and picking up [European] trade, whilst they had poured out their blood like water in support of ideals in which, with all their hearts and souls, they believe."

Wilson was guided by a different vision: Rather than join the struggle of imperial rivalries, the United States could use its emerging power to suppress those rivalries altogether. Wilson was the first American statesman to perceive that the United States had grown, in Tooze's words, into "a power unlike any other. It had emerged, quite suddenly, as a novel kind of 'super-state,' exercising a veto over the financial and security concerns of the other major states of the world."

Wilson hoped to deploy this emerging super-power to enforce an enduring peace. His own mistakes and those of his successors doomed the project, setting in motion the disastrous events that would lead to the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and a second and even more awful world war.

What went wrong? "When all is said and done," Tooze writes, "the answer must be sought in the failure of the United States to cooperate with the efforts of the French, British, Germans and the Japanese [leaders of the early 1920s] to stabilize a viable world economy and to establish new institutions of collective security. Given the violence they had already experienced and the risk of even greater future devastation, France, Germany, Japan, and Britain could all see this. But what was no less obvious was that only the US could anchor such a new order." And that was what Americans of the 1920s and 1930s declined to do-because doing so implied too much change at home for them: "At the hub of the rapidly evolving, American-centered world system there was a polity wedded to a conservative vision of its own future."

Widen the view, however, and the "forgotten depression" takes on a broader meaning as one of the most ominous milestones on the world's way to the Second World War. After World War II, Europe recovered largely as a result of American aid; the nation that had suffered least from the war contributed most to reconstruction. But after World War I, the money flowed the other way.

Take the case of France, which suffered more in material terms than any World War I belligerent except Belgium. Northeastern France, the country's most industrialized region in 1914, had been ravaged by war and German occupation. Millions of men in their prime were dead or crippled. On top of everything, the country was deeply in debt, owing billions to the United States and billions more to Britain. France had been a lender during the conflict too, but most of its credits had been extended to Russia, which repudiated all its foreign debts after the Revolution of 1917. The French solution was to exact reparations from Germany.

Britain was willing to relax its demands on France. But it owed the United States even more than France did. Unless it collected from France-and from Italy and all the other smaller combatants as well-it could not hope to pay its American debts.

Americans, meanwhile, were preoccupied with the problem of German recovery. How could Germany achieve political stability if it had to pay so much to France and Belgium? The Americans pressed the French to relent when it came to Germany, but insisted that their own claims be paid in full by both France and Britain.

Germany, for its part, could only pay if it could export, and especially to the world's biggest and richest consumer market, the United States. The depression of 1920 killed those export hopes. Most immediately, the economic crisis sliced American consumer demand precisely when Europe needed it most. True, World War I was not nearly as positive an experience for working Americans as World War II would be; between 1914 and 1918, for example, wages lagged behind prices. Still, millions of Americans had bought billions of dollars of small-denomination Liberty bonds. They had accumulated savings that could have been spent on imported products. Instead, many used their savings for food, rent, and mortgage interest during the hard times of 1920-21.

But the gravest harm done by the depression to postwar recovery lasted long past 1921. To appreciate that, you have to understand the reasons why U.S. monetary authorities plunged the country into depression in 1920.

Grant rightly points out that wars are usually followed by economic downturns. Such a downturn occurred in late 1918-early 1919. "Within four weeks of the Armistice, the [U.S.] War Department had canceled $2.5 billion of its then outstanding $6 billion in contracts; for perspective, $2.5 billion represented 3.3 percent of the 1918 gross national product," he observes. Even this understates the shock, because it counts only Army contracts, not Navy ones. The postwar recession checked wartime inflation, and by March 1919, the U.S. economy was growing again.

As the economy revived, workers scrambled for wage increases to offset the price inflation they'd experienced during the war. Monetary authorities, worried that inflation would revive and accelerate, made the fateful decision to slam the credit brakes, hard. Unlike the 1918 recession, that of 1920 was deliberately engineered. There was nothing invisible about it. Nor did the depression "cure itself." U.S. officials cut interest rates and relaxed credit, and the economy predictably recovered-just as it did after the similarly inflation-crushing recessions of 1974-75 and 1981-82.

But 1920-21 was an inflation-stopper with a difference. In post-World War II America, anti-inflationists have been content to stop prices from rising. In 1920-21, monetary authorities actually sought to drive prices back to their pre-war levels. They did not wholly succeed, but they succeeded well enough. One price especially concerned them: In 1913, a dollar bought a little less than one-twentieth of an ounce of gold; by 1922, it comfortably did so again.

... ... ...

The American depression of 1920 made that decision all the more difficult. The war had vaulted the United States to a new status as the world's leading creditor, the world's largest owner of gold, and, by extension, the effective custodian of the international gold standard. When the U.S. opted for massive deflation, it thrust upon every country that wished to return to the gold standard (and what respectable country would not?) an agonizing dilemma. Return to gold at 1913 values, and you would have to match U.S. deflation with an even steeper deflation of your own, accepting increased unemployment along the way. Alternatively, you could re-peg your currency to gold at a diminished rate. But that amounted to an admission that your money had permanently lost value-and that your own people, who had trusted their government with loans in local money, would receive a weaker return on their bonds than American creditors who had lent in dollars.

Britain chose the former course; pretty much everybody else chose the latter.

The consequences of these choices fill much of the second half of The Deluge. For Europeans, they were uniformly grim, and worse. But one important effect ultimately rebounded on Americans. America's determination to restore a dollar "as good as gold" not only imposed terrible hardship on war-ravaged Europe, it also threatened to flood American markets with low-cost European imports. The flip side of the Lost Generation enjoying cheap European travel with their strong dollars was German steelmakers and shipyards underpricing their American competitors with weak marks.

Such a situation also prevailed after World War II, when the U.S. acquiesced in the undervaluation of the Deutsche mark and yen to aid German and Japanese recovery. But American leaders of the 1920s weren't willing to accept this outcome. In 1921 and 1923, they raised tariffs, terminating a brief experiment with freer trade undertaken after the election of 1912. The world owed the United States billions of dollars, but the world was going to have to find another way of earning that money than selling goods to the United States.

That way was found: more debt, especially more German debt. The 1923 hyper-inflation that wiped out Germany's savers also tidied up the country's balance sheet. Post-inflation Germany looked like a very creditworthy borrower. Between 1924 and 1930, world financial flows could be simplified into a daisy chain of debt. Germans borrowed from Americans, and used the proceeds to pay reparations to the Belgians and French. The French and Belgians, in turn, repaid war debts to the British and Americans. The British then used their French and Italian debt payments to repay the United States, who set the whole crazy contraption in motion again. Everybody could see the system was crazy. Only the United States could fix it. It never did.

Peter Heather, the great British historian of Late Antiquity, explains human catastrophes with a saying of his father's, a mining engineer: "If man accumulates enough combustible material, God will provide the spark." So it happened in 1929. The Deluge that had inundated the rest of the developed world roared back upon the United States.

... ... ...

"The United States has the Earth, and Germany wants it." Thus might Hitler's war aims have been summed up by a latter-day Woodrow Wilson. From the start, the United States was Hitler's ultimate target. "In seeking to explain the urgency of Hitler's aggression, historians have underestimated his acute awareness of the threat posed to Germany, along with the rest of the European powers, by the emergence of the United States as the dominant global superpower," Tooze writes.

"The originality of National Socialism was that, rather than meekly accepting a place for Germany within a global economic order dominated by the affluent English-speaking countries, Hitler sought to mobilize the pent-up frustrations of his population to mount an epic challenge to this order." Of course, Hitler was not engaged in rational calculation. He could not accept subordination to the United States because, according to his lurid paranoia, "this would result in enslavement to the world Jewish conspiracy, and ultimately race death." He dreamed of conquering Poland, Ukraine, and Russia as a means of gaining the resources to match those of the United States.

The vast landscape in between Berlin and Moscow would become Germany's equivalent of the American west, filled with German homesteaders living comfortably on land and labor appropriated from conquered peoples-a nightmare parody of the American experience with which to challenge American power.

Could this vision have ever been realized? Tooze argues in The Wages of Destruction that Germany had already missed its chance. "In 1870, at the time of German national unification, the population of the United States and Germany was roughly equal and the total output of America, despite its enormous abundance of land and resources, was only one-third larger than that of Germany," he writes. "Just before the outbreak of World War I the American economy had expanded to roughly twice the size of that of Imperial Germany. By 1943, before the aerial bombardment had hit top gear, total American output was almost four times that of the Third Reich."

Germany was a weaker and poorer country in 1939 than it had been in 1914. Compared with Britain, let alone the United States, it lacked the basic elements of modernity: There were just 486,000 automobiles in Germany in 1932, and one-quarter of all Germans still worked as farmers as of 1925. Yet this backward land, with an income per capita comparable to contemporary "South Africa, Iran and Tunisia," wagered on a second world war even more audacious than the first.

The reckless desperation of Hitler's war provides context for the horrific crimes of his regime. Hitler's empire could not feed itself, so his invasion plan for the Soviet Union contemplated the death by starvation of 20 to 30 million Soviet urban dwellers after the invaders stole all foodstuffs for their own use. Germany lacked workers, so it plundered the labor of its conquered peoples. By 1944, foreigners constituted 20 percent of the German workforce and 33 percent of armaments workers (less than 9 percent of the population of today's liberal and multicultural Germany is foreign-born).

On paper, the Nazi empire of 1942 represented a substantial economic bloc. But pillage and slavery are not workable bases for an industrial economy. Under German rule, the output of conquered Europe collapsed. The Hitlerian vision of a united German-led Eurasia equaling the Anglo-American bloc proved a crazed and genocidal fantasy.

How the Great War Shaped the World

[Dec 05, 2016] Peggy Noonan What We Lose if We Give Up Privacy by Peggy Noonan

Notable quotes:
"... A loss of the expectation of privacy in communications is a loss of something personal and intimate, and it will have broader implications. ..."
"... Mr. Hentoff sees the surveillance state as a threat to free speech, too ..."
"... An entrenched surveillance state will change and distort the balance that allows free government to function successfully. ..."
"... "When you have this amount of privacy invasion put into these huge data banks, who knows what will come out?" ..."
"... Asked about those attempts, he mentions the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Red Scare of the 1920s and the McCarthy era. Those times and incidents, he says, were more than specific scandals or news stories, they were attempts to change our nature as a people. ..."
"... What of those who say they don't care what the federal government does as long as it keeps us safe? The threat of terrorism is real, Mr. Hentoff acknowledges. Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees. ..."
"... Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do." ..."
Aug 16, 2013 | WSJ

...Among the pertinent definitions of privacy from the Oxford English Dictionary: "freedom from disturbance or intrusion," "intended only for the use of a particular person or persons," belonging to "the property of a particular person." Also: "confidential, not to be disclosed to others." Among others, the OED quotes the playwright Arthur Miller, describing the McCarthy era: "Conscience was no longer a private matter but one of state administration."

Privacy is connected to personhood. It has to do with intimate things-the innards of your head and heart, the workings of your mind-and the boundary between those things and the world outside.

A loss of the expectation of privacy in communications is a loss of something personal and intimate, and it will have broader implications. That is the view of Nat Hentoff, the great journalist and civil libertarian. He is 88 now and on fire on the issue of privacy. "The media has awakened," he told me. "Congress has awakened, to some extent." Both are beginning to realize "that there are particular constitutional liberty rights that [Americans] have that distinguish them from all other people, and one of them is privacy."

Mr. Hentoff sees excessive government surveillance as violative of the Fourth Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" and requires that warrants be issued only "upon probable cause . . . particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

But Mr. Hentoff sees the surveillance state as a threat to free speech, too. About a year ago he went up to Harvard to speak to a class. He asked, he recalled: "How many of you realize the connection between what's happening with the Fourth Amendment with the First Amendment?" He told the students that if citizens don't have basic privacies-firm protections against the search and seizure of your private communications, for instance-they will be left feeling "threatened." This will make citizens increasingly concerned "about what they say, and they do, and they think." It will have the effect of constricting freedom of expression. Americans will become careful about what they say that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and then too careful about what they say that can be understood. The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship.

All of a sudden, the room became quiet. "These were bright kids, interested, concerned, but they hadn't made an obvious connection about who we are as a people." We are "free citizens in a self-governing republic."

Mr. Hentoff once asked Justice William Brennan "a schoolboy's question": What is the most important amendment to the Constitution? "Brennan said the First Amendment, because all the other ones come from that. If you don't have free speech you have to be afraid, you lack a vital part of what it is to be a human being who is free to be who you want to be." Your own growth as a person will in time be constricted, because we come to know ourselves by our thoughts.

He wonders if Americans know who they are compared to what the Constitution says they are.

Mr. Hentoff's second point: An entrenched surveillance state will change and distort the balance that allows free government to function successfully. Broad and intrusive surveillance will, definitively, put government in charge. But a republic only works, Mr. Hentoff notes, if public officials know that they-and the government itself-answer to the citizens. It doesn't work, and is distorted, if the citizens must answer to the government. And that will happen more and more if the government knows-and you know-that the government has something, or some things, on you. "The bad thing is you no longer have the one thing we're supposed to have as Americans living in a self-governing republic," Mr. Hentoff said. "The people we elect are not your bosses, they are responsible to us." They must answer to us. But if they increasingly control our privacy, "suddenly they're in charge if they know what you're thinking."

This is a shift in the democratic dynamic. "If we don't have free speech then what can we do if the people who govern us have no respect for us, may indeed make life difficult for us, and in fact belittle us?"

If massive surveillance continues and grows, could it change the national character? "Yes, because it will change free speech."

What of those who say, "I have nothing to fear, I don't do anything wrong"? Mr. Hentoff suggests that's a false sense of security.

"When you have this amount of privacy invasion put into these huge data banks, who knows what will come out?"

Or can be made to come out through misunderstanding the data, or finagling, or mischief of one sort or another.

"People say, 'Well I've done nothing wrong so why should I worry?' But that's too easy a way to get out of what is in our history-constant attempts to try to change who we are as Americans."

Asked about those attempts, he mentions the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Red Scare of the 1920s and the McCarthy era. Those times and incidents, he says, were more than specific scandals or news stories, they were attempts to change our nature as a people.

What of those who say they don't care what the federal government does as long as it keeps us safe? The threat of terrorism is real, Mr. Hentoff acknowledges. Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees.

"There has to be somebody supervising them who knows what's right. . . . Terrorism is not going to go away. But we need someone in charge of the whole apparatus who has read the Constitution."

Advances in technology constantly up the ability of what government can do. Its technological expertise will only become deeper and broader.

"They think they're getting to how you think. The technology is such that with the masses of databases, then privacy will get even weaker."

Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do."

[Dec 05, 2016] The internet is at risk of transforming from an open platform to myriad national networks

Notable quotes:
"... Far from being seen as the guardian of a free and open online medium, the US has been painted as an oppressor, cynically using its privileged position to spy on foreign nationals. The result, warn analysts, could well be an acceleration of a process that has been under way for some time as other countries ringfence their networks to protect their citizens' data and limit the flow of information. ..."
"... At the most obvious level, the secret data-collection efforts being conducted by the US National Security Agency threaten to give would-be censors of the internet in authoritarian countries rhetorical cover as they put their own stamp on their local networks. ..."
"... But the distrust of the US that the disclosures are generating in the democratic world, including in Europe , are also likely to have an impact. From the operation of a nation's telecoms infrastructure to the regulation of the emerging cloud computing industry, changes in the architecture of networks as countries seek more control look set to cause a sea change in the broader internet. ..."
www.ft.com

Revelations about US surveillance of the global internet – and the part played by some of the biggest American internet companies in facilitating it – have stirred angst around the world.

Far from being seen as the guardian of a free and open online medium, the US has been painted as an oppressor, cynically using its privileged position to spy on foreign nationals. The result, warn analysts, could well be an acceleration of a process that has been under way for some time as other countries ringfence their networks to protect their citizens' data and limit the flow of information.

"It is difficult to imagine the internet not becoming more compartmentalised and Balkanised," says Rebecca MacKinnon, an expert on online censorship. "Ten years from now, we will look back on the free and open internet" with nostalgia, she adds.

At the most obvious level, the secret data-collection efforts being conducted by the US National Security Agency threaten to give would-be censors of the internet in authoritarian countries rhetorical cover as they put their own stamp on their local networks.

But the distrust of the US that the disclosures are generating in the democratic world, including in Europe, are also likely to have an impact. From the operation of a nation's telecoms infrastructure to the regulation of the emerging cloud computing industry, changes in the architecture of networks as countries seek more control look set to cause a sea change in the broader internet.

[Dec 05, 2016] BuzzFeed Exposes Corporate Super Courts That Can Overrule Government

Corporations are "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy illegitimate
Notable quotes:
"... Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special " corporate courts " in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings. ..."
"... Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ..."
"... International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat. ..."
"... ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. ..."
Sep 03, 2016 | Back to (our) Future

BuzzFeed is running a very important investigative series called "Secrets of a Global Super Court." It describes what they call "a parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else."

Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special "corporate courts" in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings.

The 2014 post "Corporate Courts - A Big Red Flag On "Trade" Agreements" explained the origin and rationale for these corporate courts:

Picture a poor "banana republic" country ruled by a dictator and his cronies. A company might want to invest in a factory or railroad - things that would help the people of that country as well as deliver a return to the company. But the company worries that the dictator might decide to just seize the factory and give it to his brother-in-law. Agreements to protect investors, and allowing a tribunal not based in such countries (courts where the judges are cronies of the dictator), make sense in such situations.

Here's the thing: Corporate investors see themselves as legitimate "makers" and see citizens and voters and their governments - always demanding taxes and fair pay and public safety - to be illegitimate "takers." Corporations are all about "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems of governance. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy to be an illegitimate, non-functional system that meddles with their more-important profit interests. They consider any governmental legal or regulatory system to be "burdensome." They consider taxes as "theft" of the money they have "earned."

To them, any government anywhere is just another "banana republic" from which they need special protection.

"Trade" Deals Bypass Borders

Investors and their corporations have set up a way to get around the borders of these meddling governments, called "trade" deals. The trade deals elevate global corporate interests above any national interest. When a country signs a "trade" deal, that country is agreeing not to do things that protect the country's own national interest - like impose tariffs to protect key industries or national strategies, or pass laws and regulations - when those things interfere with the larger, more important global corporate "trade" interests.

Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Secrets of a Global Super Court

BuzzFeed's series on these corporate courts, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," explains the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the "trade" deals that have come to dominate the world economy. These provisions set up "corporate courts" that place corporate profits above the interests of governments and set up a court system that sits above the court systems of the countries in the "trade" deals.

Part One, "Inside The Global "Club" That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes," describes, "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment."

In a little-noticed 2014 dissent, US Chief Justice John Roberts warned that ISDS arbitration panels hold the alarming power to review a nation's laws and "effectively annul the authoritative acts of its legislature, executive, and judiciary." ISDS arbitrators, he continued, "can meet literally anywhere in the world" and "sit in judgment" on a nation's "sovereign acts."

[. . .]

Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as "the Kremlin's banker."

One lawyer who regularly represents governments said he's seen evidence of corporate criminality that he "couldn't believe." Speaking on the condition that he not be named because he's currently handling ISDS cases, he said, "You have a lot of scuzzy sort-of thieves for whom this is a way to hit the jackpot."

Part Two, "The Billion-Dollar Ultimatum," looks at how "International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat."

Of all the ways in which ISDS is used, the most deeply hidden are the threats, uttered in private meetings or ominous letters, that invoke those courts. The threats are so powerful they often eliminate the need to actually bring a lawsuit. Just the knowledge that it could happen is enough.

[. . .] ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. Especially for nations struggling to emerge from corrupt dictatorships or to lift their people from decades of poverty, the mere threat of an ISDS claim triggers alarm. A single decision by a panel of three unaccountable, private lawyers, meeting in a conference room on some other continent, could gut national budgets and shake economies to the core.

Part Three, "To Bankers, It's Not Just A Court System, It's A Gold Mine," exposes how "Financial companies have figured out how to turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage."

Indeed, financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.

The financial industry is pushing novel ISDS claims that countries never could have anticipated - claims that, in some instances, would be barred in US courts and those of other developed nations, or that strike at emergency decisions nations make to cope with crises.

ISDS gives particular leverage to traders and speculators who chase outsize profits in the developing world. They can buy into local disputes that they have no connection to, then turn the disputes into costly international showdowns. Standard Chartered, for example, bought the debt of a Tanzanian company that was in dire financial straits and racked by scandal; now, the bank has filed an ISDS claim demanding that the nation's taxpayers hand over the full amount that the private company owed - more than $100 million. Asked to comment, Standard Chartered said its claim is "valid."

David Dayen explains this last point, in "The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About": "Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill."

But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

Here's how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties - just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

Part Four of the great BuzzFeed series, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," is expected to be published later this week.

PCCC Statement

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released this statement on the ISDS provisions in TPP:

"Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street would be allowed to sue the government in extrajudicial, corporate-run tribunals over any regulation and American taxpayers would be on the hook for damages. This is an outrage. We need more accountability and fairness in our economy – not less. And we need to preserve our ability to make our own rules.

"It's time for Obama to take notice of the widespread, bipartisan opposition to the TPP and take this agreement off the table before he causes lasting political harm to Democrats with voters."

[Dec 05, 2016] New Class War

This is a very weak article from a prominent paleoconservative, but it is instructive what a mess he has in his head as for the nature of Trump phenomenon. We should probably consider the tern "New Class" that neocons invented as synonym for "neoliberals". If so, why the author is afraid to use the term? Does he really so poorly educated not to understand the nature of this neoliberal revolution and its implications? Looks like he never read "Quite coup"
That probably reflects the crisis of pealeoconservatism itself.
Notable quotes:
"... What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. ..."
"... the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus. ..."
"... The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country? ..."
"... The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists. ..."
"... The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined. ..."
"... Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction. ..."
"... concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." ..."
"... It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on. ..."
"... I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom? ..."
"... Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation. ..."
"... Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class. ..."
"... Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles ..."
"... The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service. ..."
"... America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites. ..."
"... Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November. ..."
"... The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. ..."
"... Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. ..."
"... [New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets. ..."
"... "mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite. ..."
"... Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide. ..."
"... Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism. ..."
"... The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense. ..."
"... The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters." ..."
"... The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA. ..."
"... . And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends. ..."
"... Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector. ..."
"... The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization. ..."
"... The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America ..."
"... . Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires ..."
"... There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain. ..."
"... State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those. ..."
"... People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards. ..."
"... People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions. ..."
"... I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
"... The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period. ..."
"... A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers. ..."
"... It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya ..."
"... Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled. ..."
"... The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now," ..."
"... That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same. ..."
"... "On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests." This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived. ..."
"... The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused. ..."
Sep 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Since the Cold War ended, U.S. politics has seen a series of insurgent candidacies. Pat Buchanan prefigured Trump in the Republican contests of 1992 and 1996. Ralph Nader challenged the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party from the outside in 2000. Ron Paul vexed establishment Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. And this year, Trump was not the only candidate to confound his party's elite: Bernie Sanders harried Hillary Clinton right up to the Democratic convention.

What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. (The libertarian Paul favors unilateral free trade: by his lights, treaties like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are not free trade at all but international regulatory pacts.) And while no one would mistake Ralph Nader's or Ron Paul's views on immigration for Pat Buchanan's or Donald Trump's, Nader and Paul have registered their own dissents from the approach to immigration that prevails in Washington.

Sanders has been more in line with his party's orthodoxy on that issue. But that didn't save him from being attacked by Clinton backers for having an insufficiently nonwhite base of support. Once again, what might have appeared to be a class conflict-in this case between a democratic socialist and an elite liberal with ties to high finance-could be explained away as really about race.

Race, like religion, is a real factor in how people vote. Its relevance to elite politics, however, is less clear. Something else has to account for why the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus.

The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country?

Some critics on the right have identified it with the "managerial" class described by James Burnham in his 1941 book The Managerial Revolution . But it bears a stronger resemblance to what what others have called "the New Class." In fact, the interests of this New Class of college-educated "verbalists" are antithetical to those of the industrial managers that Burnham described. Understanding the relationship between these two often conflated concepts provides insight into politics today, which can be seen as a clash between managerial and New Class elites.

♦♦♦

The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists.

Over the next century, however, history did not follow the script. By 1992, the Soviet Union was gone, Communist China had embarked on market reforms, and Western Europe was turning away from democratic socialism. There was no need to predict the future; mankind had achieved its destiny, a universal order of [neo]liberal democracy. Marx had it backwards: capitalism was the end of history.

But was the truth as simple as that? Long before the collapse of the USSR, many former communists -- some of whom remained socialists, while others joined the right-thought not. The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined.

Among the first to advance this argument was James Burnham, a professor of philosophy at New York University who became a leading Trotskyist thinker. As he broke with Trotsky and began moving toward the right, Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction.

Burnham called this the "managerial revolution." The managers of industry and technically trained government officials did not own the means of production, like the capitalists of old. But they did control the means of production, thanks to their expertise and administrative prowess.

The rise of this managerial class would have far-reaching consequences, he predicted. Burnham wrote in his 1943 book, The Machiavellians : "that the managers may function, the economic and political structure must be modified, as it is now being modified, so as to rest no longer on private ownership and small-scale nationalist sovereignty, but primarily upon state control of the economy, and continental or vast regional world political organization." Burnham pointed to Nazi Germany, imperial Japan-which became a "continental" power by annexing Korea and Manchuria-and the Soviet Union as examples.

The defeat of the Axis powers did not halt the progress of the managerial revolution. Far from it: not only did the Soviets retain their form of managerialism, but the West increasingly adopted a managerial corporatism of its own, marked by cooperation between big business and big government: high-tech industrial crony capitalism, of the sort that characterizes the military-industrial complex to this day. (Not for nothing was Burnham a great advocate of America's developing a supersonic transport of its own to compete with the French-British Concorde.)

America's managerial class was personified by Robert S. McNamara, the former Ford Motor Company executive who was secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In a 1966 story for National Review , "Why Do They Hate Robert Strange McNamara?" Burnham answered the question in class terms: "McNamara is attacked by the Left because the Left has a blanket hatred of the system of business enterprise; he is criticized by the Right because the Right harks back, in nostalgia if not in practice, to outmoded forms of business enterprise."

McNamara the managerial technocrat was too business-oriented for a left that still dreamed of bringing the workers to power. But the modern form of industrial organization he represented was not traditionally capitalist enough for conservatives who were at heart 19th-century classical liberals.

National Review readers responded to Burnham's paean to McNamara with a mixture of incomprehension and indignation. It was a sign that even readers familiar with Burnham-he appeared in every issue of the magazine-did not always follow what he was saying. The popular right wanted concepts that were helpful in labeling enemies, and Burnham was confusing matters by talking about changes in the organization of government and industry that did not line up with anyone's value judgements.

More polemically useful was a different concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." "This 'new class' is not easily defined but may be vaguely described," Irving Kristol wrote in a 1975 essay for the Wall Street Journal :

It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on.

"Members of the new class do not 'control' the media," he continued, "they are the media-just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else."

Burnham, writing in National Review in 1978, drew a sharp contrast between this concept and his own ideas:

I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom?

Burnham suffered a stroke later that year. Although he lived until 1987, his career as a writer was over. His last years coincided with another great transformation of business and government. It began in the Carter administration, with moves to deregulate transportation and telecommunications. This partial unwinding of the managerial revolution accelerated under Ronald Reagan. Regulatory and welfare-state reforms, even privatization of formerly nationalized industries, also took off in the UK and Western Europe. All this did not, however, amount to a restoration of the old capitalism or anything resembling laissez-faire.

The "[neo]liberal democracy" that triumphed at "the end of history"-to use Francis Fukuyama's words-was not the managerial capitalism of the mid-20th century, either. It was instead the New Class's form of capitalism, one that could be embraced by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as readily as by any Republican or Thatcherite.

Irving Kristol had already noted in the 1970s that "this new class is not merely liberal but truly 'libertarian' in its approach to all areas of life-except economics. It celebrates individual liberty of speech and expression and action to an unprecedented degree, so that at times it seems almost anarchistic in its conception of the good life."

He was right about the New Class's "anything goes" mentality, but he was only partly correct about its attitude toward economics. The young elite tended to scorn the bourgeois character of the old capitalism, and to them managerial figures like McNamara were evil incarnate. But they had to get by-and they aspired to rule.

Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation.

Part of the tale can be told in a favorable light. New Left activists like Carl Oglesby fought the spiritual aridity and murderous militarism of what they called "corporate liberalism"-Burnham's managerialism-while sincere young libertarians attacked the regulatory state and seeded technological entrepreneurship. Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class.

Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles. On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests. The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service.

The alliance between finance and the New Class accounts for the disposition of power in America today. The New Class has also enlisted another invaluable ally: the managerial classes of East Asia. Trade with China-the modern managerial state par excellence-helps keep American industry weak relative to finance and the service economy's verbalist-dominated sectors. America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites.

The New Class plays a priestly role in its alliance with finance, absolving Wall Street for the sin of making money in exchange for plenty of that money to keep the New Class in power. In command of foreign policy, the New Class gets to pursue humanitarian ideological projects-to experiment on the world. It gets to evangelize by the sword. And with trade policy, it gets to suppress its class rival, the managerial elite, at home. Through trade pacts and mass immigration the financial elite, meanwhile, gets to maximize its returns without regard for borders or citizenship. The erosion of other nations' sovereignty that accompanies American hegemony helps toward that end too-though our wars are more ideological than interest-driven.

♦♦♦

So we come to an historic moment. Instead of an election pitting another Bush against another Clinton, we have a race that poses stark alternatives: a choice not only between candidates but between classes-not only between administrations but between regimes.

Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November.

The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. For the center-left establishment, minority voters supply the electoral muscle. Religion and the culture war have served the same purpose for the establishment's center-right faction. Trump showed that at least one of these sides could be beaten on its own turf-and it seems conceivable that if Bernie Sanders had been black, he might have similarly beaten Clinton, without having to make concessions to New Class tastes.

The New Class establishment of both parties may be seriously misjudging what is happening here. Far from being the last gasp of the demographically doomed-old, racially isolated white people, as Gallup's analysis says-Trump's insurgency may be the prototype of an aggressive new politics, of either left or right, that could restore the managerial elite to power.

This is not something that conservatives-or libertarians who admire the old capitalism rather than New Class's simulacrum-might welcome. But the only way that some entrenched policies may change is with a change of the class in power.

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative .

Johann , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:02 am
The New Class is parasitic and will drive the country to its final third world resting place, or worse.
Dan Phillips , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:32 am
Excellent analysis. What is important about the Trump phenomenon is not every individual issue, it's the potentially revolutionary nature of the phenomenon. The opposition gets this. That's why they are hysterical about Trump. The conservative box checkers do not.
g , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:51 am
"Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November."

My question is, if Trump is not himself of the managerial class, in fact, could be considered one of the original new class members, how would he govern? What explains his conversion from the new class to the managerial class; is he merely taking advantage of an opportunity or is there some other explanation?

Richard Terrace , says: September 7, 2016 at 12:09 pm
I'm genuinely confused by the role you ascribe to the 'managerial class' here. Going back to Berle and Means ('The Modern Corporation and Private Property') the managerial class emerged when management was split from ownership in mid C20th capitalism. Managers focused on growth, not profits for shareholders. The Shareholder revolution of the 1980s destroyed the managerial class, and destroyed their unwieldy corporations.
You seem to be identifying the managerial class with a kind of cultural opposition to the values of [neo]liberal capitalism. And instead of identifying the 'new class' with the new owner-managers of shareholder-driven firms, you identify them by their superficial cultural effects.

This raises a deeper problem in how you talk about class in this piece. Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. Does the 'new class' of journalists, academics, etc. actually own anything? If not, what is the point of ascribing to them immense economic power?
I would agree that there is a new class of capitalists in America. But they are well known people like Sheldon Adelson, the Kochs, Linda McMahon, the Waltons, Rick Scott the pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Mitt Romney, Mark Zuckerberg, and many many hedge fund gazillionaires. These people represent the resurgence of a family-based, dynastic capitalism that is utterly different from the managerial variety that prevailed in mid-century.

If there is a current competitor to international corporate capitalism, it is old-fashioned dynastic family capitalism. Not Managerialism.

JonF , says: September 7, 2016 at 1:13 pm
There is no "new class". That's simply a derogatory trope of the Right. The [neo]liberal elite– educated, cosmopolitan and possessed of sufficient wealth to be influential in political affairs and claims to power grounded in moral stances– have a long pedigree in both Western and non-Western lands. They were the Scribal Class in the ancient world, the Mandarins of China, and the Clergy in the Middle Ages. This class for a time was eclipsed in the early modern period as first royal authority became dominant, followed by the power of the Capitalist class (the latter has never really faded of course). But their reemergence in the late 20th century is not a new or unique phenomenon.
Kurt Gayle , says: September 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm
In a year in which "trash Trump" and "trash Trump's supporters" are tricks-to-be-turned for more than 90% of mainstream journalists and other media hacks, it's good to see Daniel McCarthy buck the "trash trend" and write a serious, honest analysis of the class forces that are colliding during this election cycle.

Two thumbs way up for McCarthy, although his fine effort cannot save the reputation of those establishment whores who call themselves journalists. Nothing can save them. They have earned the universality with which Americans hold them in contempt.

In 1976 when Gallup began asking about "the honesty and ethical standards" of various professions only 33% of Americans rated journalists "very high or high."

By last December that "high or very high" rating for journalists had fallen to just 27%.

It is certain that by Election Day 2016 the American public's opinion of journalists will have fallen even further.

lee , says: September 7, 2016 at 2:37 pm
An article on the ruling elite that neglects to mention this ? . . . https://www.amazon.com/Revolt-Elites-Betrayal-Democracy/dp/0393313719
david helveticka , says: September 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm
Most of your argument is confusing. The change I see is from a production economy to a finance economy. Wall Street rules, really. Basically the stock market used to be a place where working folk invested their money for retirement, mostly through pensions from unions and corporations. Now it's become a gambling casino, with the "house"-or the big banks-putting it's finger on the roulette wheel. They changed the compensation package of CEO's, so they can rake in huge executive compensation–mostly through stock options-to basically close down everything from manufacturing to customer service, and ship it off to contract manufacturers and outside services in oligarchical countries like mainland China and India.

I don't know what exactly you mean about the "new class", basically its the finance industry against everyone else.

One thing you right-wingers always get wrong, is on Karl Marx he was really attacking the money-changers, the finance speculators, the banks. Back in the day, so-called "capitalists" like Henry Ford or George Eastman or Thomas Edison always complained about the access to financing through the big money finance capitalists.

Sheree , says: September 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm
Don't overlook the economic value of intellectual property rights (patents, in particular) in the economic equation.

A big chunk of the 21st century economy is generated due to the intellectual property developed and owned by the New Class and its business enterprises.

The economic value of ideas and intellectual property rights is somewhat implied in McCarthy's explanation of the New Class, but I didn't see an explicit mention (perhaps I overlooked it).

I think the consideration of intellectual property rights and the value generated by IP might help to clarify the economic power of the New Class for those who feel the analysis isn't quite complete or on target.

I'm not saying that IP only provides value to the New Class. We can find examples of IP throughout the economy, at all levels. It's just that the tech and financial sectors seem to focus more on (and benefit from) IP ownership, licensing, and the information captured through use of digital technology.

Commenter Man , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm
"What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy."

But today we have this: Trump pledges big US military expansion . Trump doesn't appear to have any coherent policy, he just says whatever seems to be useful at that particular moment.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm
[New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets.
jack , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm
"mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite.

maybe Trump could use that

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm
Being white is not the defining characteristic of Trumpers because it if was then how come there are many white working class voters for Hillary? The divide in the working class comes from being a member of a union or a member of the private non-unionized working class.

Where the real class divide shows up is in those who are members of the Knowledge Class that made their living based on the old Virtuous Economy where the elderly saved money in banks and the banks, in turn, lent that money out to young families to buy houses, cars, and start businesses. The Virtuous Economy has been replaced by the Global Economy based on diverting money to the stock market to fund global enterprises and prop up government pension funds.

The local bankers, realtors, private contractors, small savers and small business persons and others that depended on the Virtuous Economy lost out to the global bankers, stock investors, pension fund managers, union contractors and intellectuals that propounded rationales for the global economy as superior to the Virtuous Economy.

Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide.

Mitzy Moon , says: September 8, 2016 at 12:32 am
Beginning in the 50's and 60's, baby boomers were warned in school and cultural media that "a college diploma would become what a high school diploma is today." An extraordinary cohort of Americans took this advice seriously, creating the smartest and most successful generation in history. But millions did not heed that advice, cynically buoyed by Republicans who – knowing that college educated people vote largely Democrat – launched a financial and cultural war on college education. The result is what you see now: millions of people unprepared for modern employment; meanwhile we have to import millions of college-educated Asians and Indians to do the work there aren't enough Americans to do.
Joe , says: September 8, 2016 at 1:25 am
Have to say, this seems like an attempt to put things into boxes that don't quite fit.

Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism.

The core of it is that the government no longer serves the people. In the United States, that is kind of a bad thing, you know? Like the EU in the UK, the people, who fought very hard for self-government, are seeing it undermined by the erosion of the nation state in favor of international beaurocracy run by elites and the well connected.

Emil Mottola , says: September 8, 2016 at 2:15 am
Both this article and many comments on it show considerable confusion, and ideological opinion all over the map. What is happening I think is that the world is changing –due to globalism, technology, and the sheer huge numbers of people on the planet. As a result some of the rigid trenches of thought as well as class alignments are breaking down.

In America we no longer have capitalism, of either the 19th century industrial or 20th century managerial varieties. Money and big money is still important of course, but it is increasingly both aligned with and in turn controlled by the government. The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense.

The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters."

The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA.

EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:29 am
I have one condition about which, Mr. Trump would lose my support - if he flinches on immigration, I will have to bow out.

I just don't buy the contentions about color here. He has made definitive moves to ensure that he intends to fight for US citizens regardless of color. This nonsense about white racism, more bigotry in reality, doesn't pan out. The Republican party has been comprised of mostly whites since forever and nearly all white sine the late 1960's. Anyone attempting to make hay out of what has been the reality for than 40 years is really making the reverse pander. Of course most of those who have issues with blacks and tend to be more expressive about it, are in the Republican party. But so what. Black Republicans would look at you askance, should you attempt this FYI.

It's a so what. The reason you joining a party is not because the people in it like you, that is really beside the point. Both Sec Rice and General Powell, are keenly aware of who's what it and that is the supposed educated elite. They are not members of the party because it is composed of some pure untainted membership. But because they and many blacks align themselves with the ideas of the party, or what the party used to believe, anyway.

It's the issues not their skin color that matters. And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends.

I remain convinced that if blacks wanted progress all they need do is swamp the Republican party as constituents and confront whatever they thought was nonsense as constituents as they move on policy issues. Goodness democrats have embraced the lighter tones despite having most black support. That is why the democrats are importing so many from other state run countries. They could ignore blacks altogether. Sen Barbara Jordan and her deep voiced rebuke would do them all some good.

Let's face it - we are not going to remove the deeply rooted impact of skin color, once part of the legal frame of the country for a quarter of the nations populous. What Republicans should stop doing is pretending, that everything concerning skin color is the figment of black imagination. I am not budging an inch on the Daughters of the American Revolution, a perfect example of the kind of peculiar treatment of the majority, even to those who fought for Independence and their descendants.
________________

I think that there are thousands and thousands of educated (degreed)people who now realize what a mess the educational and social services system has become because of our immigration policy. The impact on social services here in Ca is no joke. In the face of mounting deficits, the laxity of Ca has now come back to haunt them. The pressure to increase taxes weighed against the loss of manual or hard labor to immigrants legal and otherwise is unmistakable here. There's debate about rsstroom etiquette in the midst of serious financial issues - that's a joke. So this idea of dismissing people with degrees as being opposed to Mr. Trump is deeply overplayed and misunderstood. If there is a class war, it's not because of Mr. Trump, those decks were stacked in his favor long before the election cycle.
--------

"But millions did not heed that advice, cynically buoyed by Republicans who–knowing that college educated people vote largely Democrat–launched a financial and cultural war on college education. The result is what . . . employment; meanwhile we have to import millions of college-educated Asians and Indians to do the work there aren't enough Americans to do."

Hmmmm,

Nope. Republicans are notorious for pushing education on everything and everybody. It's a signature of hard work, self reliance, self motivation and responsibility. The shift that has been tragic is that conservatives and Republicans either by a shove or by choice abandoned the fields by which we turn out most future generations - elementary, HS and college education. Especially in HS, millions of students are fed a daily diet of liberal though unchecked by any opposing ideas. And that is become the staple for college education - as it cannot be stated just how tragic this has become for the nation. There are lots of issues to moan about concerning the Us, but there is far more to embrace or at the very least keep the moaning in its proper context. No, conservatives and Republicans did engage in discouraging an education.

And there will always be a need for more people without degrees than with them. even people with degrees are now getting hit even in the elite walls of WS finance. I think I posted an article by John Maulden about the growing tensions resulting fro the shift in the way trading is conducting. I can build a computer from scratch, that's a technical skill, but the days of building computers by hand went as fast it came. The accusation that the population should all be trained accountants, book keepers, managers, data processors, programmers etc. Is nice, but hardly very realistic (despite my taking liberties with your exact phrasing). A degree is not going to stop a company from selling and moving its production to China, Mexico or Vietnam - would that were true. In fact, even high end degree positions are being outsourced, medicine, law, data processing, programming . . .

How about the changes in economy that have forced businesses to completely disappear. We will never know how many businesses were lost in the 2007/2008 financial mess. Recovery doesn't exist until the country's growth is robust enough to put people back to work full time in a manner that enables them to sustain themselves and family.

That income gap is real and its telling.
___________________

even if I bought the Karl Marx assessment. His solutions were anything but a limited assault on financial sector oligarchs and wizards. And in practice it has been an unmitigated disaster with virtually not a single long term national benefit. It's very nature has been destructive, not only to infrastructure, but literally the lifeblood of the people it was intended to rescue.

Wayne Lusvardi , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:36 am
Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector.

There are two middle classes in the US: the old Business Class and the New Knowledge Class. A manager would be in the Business Class and a Bureaucrat in the New Class.

The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization.

The New Class were those in the mostly government and nonprofit sectors that depended on knowledge for their livelihood without it being coupled to any physical labor: teachers, intellectuals, social workers and psychiatrists, lawyers, media types, hedge fund managers, real estate appraisers, financial advisors, architects, engineers, etc. The New Knowledge Class has only risen since the New Deal created a permanent white collar, non-business class.

The Working Class are those who are employed for wages in manual work in an industry producing something tangible (houses, cars, computers, etc.). The Working Class can also have managers, sometimes called supervisors. And the Working Class is comprised mainly of two groups: unionized workers and private sector non-unionized workers. When we talk about the Working Class we typically are referring to the latter.

The Trumpsters should not be distinguished as being a racial group or class (white) because there are many white people who support Clinton. About 95% of Blacks vote Democratic in the US. Nowhere near that ratio of Whites are supporting Trump. So Trumps' support should not be stereotyped as White.

The number one concern to Trumpsters is that they reflect the previous intergenerational economy where the elderly lent money to the young to buy homes, cars and start small businesses. The Global bankers have shifted money into the stock market because 0.25% per year interest rates in a bank isn't making any money at all when money inflation runs at 1% to 2% (theft). This has been replaced by a Global Economy that depends on financial bubbles and arbitraging of funds.

William Burns , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:45 am
How are the elites supporting Trump different from the elites supporting financier par excellence Mitt Romney?
EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:23 am
"The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense."

Why other couching this. Ten years ago if some Hollywood exec had said, no same sex marriage, no production company in your town, the town would have shrugged. Today before shrugging, the city clerk is checking the account balance. When the governors of Michigan, and Arizona bent down in me culpa's on related issue, because business interests piped in, it was an indication that the game had seriously changed. Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires.

Same sex weddings in US military chapels - the concept still turns my stomach. Advocates control the megaphones, I don't think they control the minds of the public, despite having convinced a good many people that those who have chosen this expression are under some manner of assault – that demands a legal change - intelligent well educated, supposedly astute minded people actually believe it. Even the Republican nominee believes it.

I love Barbara Streisand, but if the election means she moves to Canada, well, so be it. Take your "drag queens" impersonators wit you. I enjoy Mr. and Mrs Pitt, I think have a social moral core but really? with millions of kids future at stake, endorsing a terminal dynamic as if it will save society's ills - Hollywood doesn't even pretend to behave royally much less embody the sensitivities of the same.

There is a lot to challenge about supporting Mr. Trump. He did support killing children in the womb and that is tragic. Unless he has stood before his maker and made this right, he will have to answer for that. But no more than a trove of Republicans who supported killing children in the womb and then came to their senses. I guess of there is one thing he and I agree on, it's not drinking.

As for big budget military, it seems a waste, but if we are going to waste money, better it be for our own citizens. His Achilles heel here is his intentions as to ISIS/ISIL. I think it's the big drain getting ready to suck him into the abyss of intervention creep.

Missile defense just doesn't work. The tests are rigged and as Israel discovered, it's a hit and miss game with low probability of success, but it makes for great propaganda.

I am supposed to be outraged by a football player stance on abusive government. While the democratic nominee is turning over every deck chair she find, leaving hundreds of thousands of children homeless - let me guess, on the bright side, George Clooney cheers the prospect of more democratic voters.

If Mr. Trumps only achievements are building a wall, over hauling immigration policy and expanding the size of the military. He will be well on his way to getting ranked one of the US most successful presidents.

Joe F , says: September 8, 2016 at 11:11 am
I never understood why an analysis needs to lard in every conceivable historical reference and simply assume its relevance, when there are so many non constant facts and circumstances. There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain.
JonF , says: September 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm
EliteCommInc,

State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those.

The split on Trump is first by race (obviously), then be gender (also somewhat obviously), and then by education. Even among self-declared conservatives it's the college educated who tend to oppose him. This is a lot broader than simply losing some "new" Knowledge Class, unless all college educated people are put in that grouping. In fact he is on track to lose among college educated whites, something no GOP candidate has suffered since the days of FDR and WWII.

Fabian , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm
People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards.

People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions.

Gilly.El , says: September 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm
I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American.
Richard Wagner , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm
EliteComic beat me to the punch. I was disappointed that Ross Perot, who won over 20% of the popular vote twice, and was briefly in the lead in early 1992, wasn't mentioned in this article.
JonF , says: September 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm
Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American.

The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period.

David Helveticka , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm
A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers.

Who really cares about the federal debt. REally? We can print dollars, exchange these worthless dollars with China for hard goods, and then China lends the dollars back to us, to pay for our government. Get it?

It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya

Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled.

And damn the utopianism of you "libertarians" you're worse then Marxists when it comes to ideology over reality.

Jim Houghton , says: September 8, 2016 at 6:56 pm
Ronald Reagan confounded the GOP party elite, too. They - rightly - considered him an intellectual lightweight.
EliteCommInc. , says: September 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm
"State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those."

Ah, not it's policy on some measure able effect. The seatbelt law was debate across the country. The data indicated that it did in fact save lives. And it's impact was universal applicable to every man women or child that got into a vehicle.

That was not a private bedroom issue. Of course businesses have advocated policy. K street is not a K-street minus that reality. But GM did not demand having relations in parked cars be legalized or else.

You are taking my apples and and calling them seatbelts - false comparison on multiple levels, all to get me to acknowledge that businesses have influence. It what they have chosen to have influence on -

That is another matter.

cecelia , says: September 9, 2016 at 1:34 am
I do not think the issue of class is relevant here – whether it be new classes or old classes. There are essentially two classes – those who win given whatever the current economic arrangements are or those who lose given those same arrangements. People who think they are losing support Trump versus people who think they are winning support Clinton. The polls demonstrates this – Trump supporters feel a great deal more anxiety about the future and are more inclined to think everything is falling apart whereas Clinton supporters tend to see things as being okay and are optimistic about the future. The Vox work also shows this pervasive sense that life will not be good for their children and grandchildren as a characteristic of Trump supporters.

The real shift I think is in the actual coalitions that are political parties. Both the GOP and the Dems have been coalitions – political parties usually are. Primary areas of agreement with secondary areas of disagreement. Those coalitions no longer work. The Dems can be seen as a coalition of the liberal knowledge types – who are winners in this economy and the worker types who are often losers now in this economy. The GOP also is a coalition of globalist corporatist business types (winners) with workers (losers) who they attracted in part because of culture wars and the Dixiecrats becoming GOPers. The needs of these two groups in both parties no longer overlap. The crisis is more apparent in the GOP because well – Trump. If Sanders had won the nomination for the Dems (and he got close) then their same crisis would be more apparent. The Dems can hold their creaky coalition together because Trump went into the fevered swamps of the alt. right.

I think this is even more obvious in the UK where you have a Labor Party that allegedly represents the interests of working people but includes the cosmopolitan knowledge types. The cosmopolitans are big on the usual identity politics, unlimited immigration and staying in the EU. They benefit from the current economic arrangement. But the workers in the Labor party have been hammered by the current economic arrangements and voted in droves to get out of the EU and limit immigration. It seems pretty obvious that there is no longer a coalition to sustain the Labor Party. Same with Tories – some in the party love the EU,immigration, globalization while others voted out of the EU, want immigration restricted and support localism. The crisis is about the inability of either party to sustain its coalitions. Those in the Tory party who are leavers should be in a political party with the old Labor working class while the Tory cosmopolitans should be in a party with the Labor cosmopolitans. The current coalitions not being in synch is the political problem – not new classes etc.

Here in the US the southern Dixiecrats who went to the GOP and are losers in this economy might find a better coalition with the black, Latino and white workers who are still in the Dem party. But as in the UK ideological culture wars have become more prominent and hence the coalitions are no longer economically based. If people recognized that politics can only address the economic issues and they aligned themselves accordingly – the membership of the parties would radically change.

So forget about class and think coalitions.

Clint , says: September 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm
The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now,"
someguy , says: September 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm
Collin, this is straight ridiculous.

"Trump's voters were most strongly characterized by their "racial isolation": they live in places with little ethnic diversity. "

During the primaries whites in more diverse areas voted Trump. The only real exception was West Virginia. Utah, Wyoming, Iowa? All voted for Cruz and "muh values".

In white enclaves like Paul Ryans district, which is 91%, whites are able to signal against white identity without having to face the consequences.

Rick , says: September 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm
Collin said:

"All three major African, Hispanic, & Asian-American overwhelming support HRC in the election."

That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same.

Craig , says: September 13, 2016 at 10:11 am
"On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests."

This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived.

The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused.

[Dec 05, 2016] Capitalism Requires World War by Cathal Haughian via TheSaker.ie,

www.zerohedge.com

It has been our undertaking, since 2010, to chronicle our understanding of capitalism via our book The Philosophy of Capitalism . We were curious as to the underlying nature of the system which endows us, the owners of capital, with so many favours. The Saker has asked me to explain our somewhat crude statement 'Capitalism Requires World War'.

The present showdown between West, Russia and China is the culmination of a long running saga that began with World War One. Prior to which, Capitalism was governed by the gold standard system which was international, very solid, with clear rules and had brought great prosperity: for banking Capital was scarce and so allocated carefully. World War One required debt-capitalism of the FIAT kind, a bankrupt Britain began to pass the Imperial baton to the US, which had profited by financing the war and selling munitions.

The Weimar Republic, suffering a continuation of hostilities via economic means, tried to inflate away its debts in 1919-1923 with disastrous results-hyperinflation. Then, the reintroduction of the gold standard into a world poisoned by war, reparation and debt was fated to fail and ended with a deflationary bust in the early 1930's and WW2.

The US government gained a lot of credibility after WW2 by outlawing offensive war and funding many construction projects that helped transfer private debt to the public book. The US government's debt exploded during the war, but it also shifted the power game away from creditors to a big debtor that had a lot of political capital. The US used her power to define the new rules of the monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944 and to keep physical hold of gold owned by other nations.

The US jacked up tax rates on the wealthy and had a period of elevated inflation in the late 40s and into the 1950s – all of which wiped out creditors, but also ushered in a unique middle class era in the West. The US also reformed extraction centric institutions in Europe and Japan to make sure an extractive-creditor class did not hobble growth, which was easy to do because the war had wiped them out (same as in Korea).

Capital destruction in WW2 reversed the Marxist rule that the rate of profit always falls. Take any given market – say jeans. At first, all the companies make these jeans using a great deal of human labour so all the jeans are priced around the average of total social labour time required for production (some companies will charge more, some companies less).

One company then introduces a machine (costed at $n) that makes jeans using a lot less labour time. Each of these robot assisted workers is paid the same hourly rate but the production process is now far more productive. This company, ignoring the capital outlay in the machinery, will now have a much higher profit rate than the others. This will attract capital, as capital is always on the lookout for higher rates of profit. The result will be a generalisation of this new mode of production. The robot or machine will be adopted by all the other companies, as it is a more efficient way of producing jeans.

As a consequence the price of the jeans will fall, as there is an increased margin within which each market actor can undercut his fellows. One company will lower prices so as to increase market share. This new price-point will become generalised as competing companies cut their prices to defend their market share. A further n$ was invested but per unit profit margin is put under constant downward pressure, so the rate of return in productive assets tends to fall over time in a competitive market place.

Interest rates have been falling for decades in the West because interest rates must always be below the rate of return on productive investments. If interest rates are higher than the risk adjusted rate of return then the capitalist might as well keep his money in a savings account. If there is real deflation his purchasing power increases for free and if there is inflation he will park his money (plus debt) in an unproductive asset that's price inflating, E.G. Housing. Sound familiar? Sure, there has been plenty of profit generated since 2008 but it has not been recovered from productive investments in a competitive free market place. All that profit came from bubbles in asset classes and financial schemes abetted by money printing and zero interest rates.

Thus, we know that the underlying rate of return is near zero in the West. The rate of return falls naturally, due to capital accumulation and market competition. The system is called capitalism because capital accumulates: high income economies are those with the greatest accumulation of capital per worker. The robot assisted worker enjoys a higher income as he is highly productive, partly because the robotics made some of the workers redundant and there are fewer workers to share the profit. All the high income economies have had near zero interest rates for seven years. Interest rates in Europe are even negative. How has the system remained stable for so long?

All economic growth depends on energy gain. It takes energy (drilling the oil well) to gain energy. Unlike our everyday experience whereby energy acquisition and energy expenditure can be balanced, capitalism requires an absolute net energy gain. That gain, by way of energy exchange, takes the form of tools and machines that permit an increase in productivity per work hour. Thus GDP increases, living standards improve and the debts can be repaid. Thus, oil is a strategic capitalistic resource.

US net energy gain production peaked in 1974, to be replaced by production from Saudi Arabia, which made the USA a net importer of oil for the first time. US dependence on foreign oil rose from 26% to 47% between 1985 and 1989 to hit a peak of 60% in 2006. And, tellingly, real wages peaked in 1974, levelled-off and then began to fall for most US workers. Wages have never recovered. (The decline is more severe if you don't believe government reported inflation figures that don't count the costof housing.)

What was the economic and political result of this decline? During the 20 years 1965-85, there were 4 recessions, 2 energy crises and wage and price controls. These were unprecedented in peacetime and The Gulf of Tonkin event led to the Vietnam War which finally required Nixon to move away from the Gold-Exchange Standard in 1971, opening the next degenerate chapter of FIAT finance up until 2008. Cutting this link to gold was cutting the external anchor impeding war and deficit spending. The promise of gold for dollars was revoked.

GDP in the US increased after 1974 but a portion of end use buying power was transferred to Saudi Arabia. They were supplying the net energy gain that was powering the US GDP increase. The working class in the US began to experience a slow real decline in living standards, as 'their share' of the economic pie was squeezed by the ever increasing transfer of buying power to Saudi Arabia.

The US banking and government elite responded by creating and cutting back legal and behavioral rules of a fiat based monetary system. The Chinese appreciated the long term opportunity that this presented and agreed to play ball. The USA over-produced credit money and China over-produced manufactured goods which cushioned the real decline in the buying power of America's working class. Power relations between China and the US began to change: The Communist Party transferred value to the American consumer whilst Wall Street transferred most of the US industrial base to China. They didn't ship the military industrial complex.

Large scale leverage meant that US consumers and businesses had the means to purchase increasingly with debt so the class war was deferred. This is how over production occurs: more is produced that is paid for not with money that represents actual realized labour time, but from future wealth, to be realised from future labour time. The Chinese labour force was producing more than it consumed.

The system has never differed from the limits laid down by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Real economy system can never over-produce per se. The limit of production is absolute net energy gain. What is produced can be consumed. How did the Chinese produce such a super massive excess and for so long? Economic slavery can achieve radical improvements in living standards for those that benefit from ownership. Slaves don't depreciate as they are rented and are not repaired for they replicate for free. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants limited their way of life and controlled their consumption in order to benefit their children. And their exploited life raised the rate of profit!

They began their long march to modern prosperity making toys, shoes, and textiles cheaper than poor women could in South Carolina or Honduras. Such factories are cheap to build and deferential, obedient and industrious peasant staff were a perfect match for work that was not dissimilar to tossing fruit into a bucket. Their legacy is the initial capital formation of modern China and one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Chinese didn't use net energy gain from oil to power their super massive and sustained increase in production. They used economic slavery powered by caloric energy, exchanged from solar energy. The Chinese labour force picked the World's low hanging fruit that didn't need many tools or machines. Slaves don't need tools for they are the tool.

Without a gold standard and capital ratios our form of over-production has grown enormously. The dotcom bubble was reflated through a housing bubble, which has been pumped up again by sovereign debt, printing press (QE) and central bank insolvency. The US working and middle classes have over-consumed relative to their share of the global economic pie for decades. The correction to prices (the destruction of credit money & accumulated capital) is still yet to happen. This is what has been happening since 1971 because of the growth of financialisation or monetisation.

The application of all these economic methods was justified by the political ideology of neo-Liberalism. Neo-Liberalism entails no or few capital controls, the destruction of trade unions, plundering state and public assets, importing peasants as domesticated help, and entrusting society's value added production to The Communist Party of The People's Republic of China.

The Chinese have many motives but their first motivation is power. Power is more important than money. If you're rich and weak you get robbed. Russia provides illustrating stories of such: Gorbachev had received a promise from George HW Bush that the US would pay Russia approximately $400 billion over10 years as a "peace dividend" and as a tool to be utilized in the conversion of their state run to a market based economic system. The Russians believe the head of the CIA at the time, George Tenet, essentially killed the deal based on the idea that "letting the country fall apart will destroy Russia as a future military threat". The country fell apart in 1992. Its natural assets were plundered which raised the rate of profit in the 90's until President Putin put a stop to the robbery.

In the last analysis, the current framework of Capitalism results in labour redundancy, a falling rate of profit and ingrained trading imbalances caused by excess capacity. Under our current monopoly state capitalism a number of temporary preventive measures have evolved, including the expansion of university, military, and prison systems to warehouse new generations of labour.

Our problem is how to retain the "expected return rate" for us, the dominant class. Ultimately, there are only two large-scale solutions, which are intertwined .

One is expansion of state debt to keep "the markets" moving and transfer wealth from future generations of labour to the present dominant class.

The other is war, the consumer of last resort. Wars can burn up excess capacity, shift global markets, generate monopoly rents, and return future labour to a state of helplessness and reduced expectations. The Spanish flu killed 50-100 million people in 1918. As if this was not enough, it also took two World Wars across the 20th century and some 96 million dead to reduce unemployment and stabilize the "labour problem."

Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed . The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930's and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. Capitalism only produces for profit and social democracy was funded by taxing profits after WW2.

Post WW2 growth in labour productivity, due to automation, itself due to oil & gas replacing coal, meant workers could be better off. As the economic pie was growing, workers could receive the same %, and still receive a bigger slice. Wages as a % of US GDP actually increased in the period, 1945-1970. There was an increase in government spending which was being redirected in the form of redistributed incomes. Inequality will only worsen, because to make profits now we have to continually cut the cost of inputs, i.e. wages & benefits. Have we not already reached the point where large numbers of the working class can neither feed themselves nor afford a roof over their heads?13% of the UK working age population is out of work and receiving out of work benefits. A huge fraction is receiving in work benefits because low skill work now pays so little.

The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical. Here is how the political aspect of the cycle ends:

If Capitalism could speak, she would ask her older brother, Imperialism, this: "Can you solve the problem?" We are not reliving the 1930's, the economy is now an integrated whole that encompasses the entire World. Capital has been accumulating since 1945, so under- and unemployment is a plague everywhere. How big is the problem? Official data tells us nothing, but the 47 million Americans on food aid are suggestive. That's 1 in 7 Americans and total World population is 7 billion.

The scale of the solution is dangerous. Our probing for weakness in the South China Sea, Ukraine and Syria has awakened them to their danger.The Chinese and Russian leadershave reacted by integrating their payment systems and real economies, trading energy for manufactured goods for advanced weapon systems. As they are central players in the Shanghai Group we can assume their aim is the monetary system which is the bedrock of our Imperial power. What's worse, they can avoid overt enemy action and simply choose to undermine "confidence" in the FIAT.

Though given the calibre of their nuclear arsenal, how can they be fought let alone defeated? Appetite preceded Reason, so Lust is hard to Reason with. But beware brother. Your Lust for Power began this saga, perhaps it's time to Reason.

Uncle Sugar

Seriously - Having a Central Bank with a debt based monetary system requires permanent wars. True market based capitalism does not.

Father Thyme

Your logical fallacy is no true scotsman
http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:21 | 7264475 Seek_Truth

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

If wealth were measured by creating strawmen- you would be a Rothschild.

gwiss

That's because they don't understand the word "capitalism."

Capitalism simply means economic freedom. And economic freedom, just like freedom to breed, must be exposed to the pruning action of cause and effect, otherwise it outgrows its container and becomes unstable and explodes. As long as it is continually exposed to the grinding wheel of causality, it continues to hold a fine edge, as the dross is scraped away and the fine steel stays. Reality is full of dualities, and those dualities cannot be separated without creating broken symmetry and therefore terminal instability. Freedom and responsibility, for example. One without the other is unstable. Voting and taxation in direct proportion to each other is another example.

Fiat currency is an attempt to create an artificial reality, one without the necessary symmetry and balance of a real system. However, reality can not be gamed, because it will produce its own symmetry if you try to deny it. Thus the symmetry of fiat currency is boom and bust, a sine wave that still manages to produce equilibrium, however at a huge bubbling splattering boil rather than a fine simmer.

The folks that wrote this do not have a large enough world view. Capitalism does not require world wars because freedom does not require world wars. Freedom tends to bleed imbalances out when they are small. On the other hand, empire does require world war, which is why we are going to have one.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:27 | 7264485 GRDguy

Capitalism becomes imperialism when financial sociopaths steal profits from both sides of the trade. What you're seeing is an Imperialism of Capital, as explained very nicely in the 1889 book "The Great Red Dragon."

AchtungAffen

Really? I thought that was the re-prints of Mises Canada, Kunstler or Brandon Smith. In comparison, this article is sublime.

Caviar Emptor

Wrong. Capitalism needs prolonged directionless wars without clear winners and contained destruction that utilize massive amounts of raw materials and endless orders for weapons and logistical support. That's what makes some guys rich.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 22:56 | 7264423 Jack's Raging B...

That's was a very long-winded and deliberately obtuse way of explaining how DEBT AS MONEY and The State's usurpation of sound money destroyed efficient markets. The author then goes to call this system Capitalism.

So yeah, the deliberate destruction of capital, in all its forms, is somehow capitalism. Brilliant observation. Fuck you. There are better terms for things like this. Perhaps....central banking? The State? Fiat debt creation? Evil? Naw, let's just contort and abuse language instead. That's the ticket.

My Days Are Get...

From Russia News Feed:

Cathal Haughian Bio :

I've spent my adult life in 51 countries. This was financed by correctly anticipating the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. I was studying Marx at that time. I'm presently an employee of the Chinese State. I educate the children of China's best families. I am the author, alongside a large international team of capitalists, of Before The Collapse : The Philosophy of Capitalism.

I also have my own business; I live with my girlfriend and was born and grew up in Ireland.

===============

Why would anyone waste time to read this drivel, buttressed by the author's credentials.

The unstated thesis is that wars involve millions of actors, who produce an end-result of many hundreds of millions killed.

Absent coercion ("the Draft"), how is any government going to man hundreds of divisions of foot soldiers. That concept is passé.

Distribute some aerosol poisons via drones and kill as many people as deemed necessary. How in the hell will that action stimulate the world economy.

Weapons of mass-destruction are smaller, cheaper and easier to deploy. War as a progenitor of growth - forget it.

The good news is that this guy is educating the children of elite in China. Possibly the Pentagon could clone him 10,000 times and send those cyborgs to China - cripple China for another generation or two.

slimycorporated...

Capitalism requires banks that made shitty loans to fail

Ms No

The term cyclical doesn't quite cover what we have being experiencing. It's more like a ragdoll being shaken by a white shark. The euphoria of bubble is more like complete unhinged unicorn mania anymore and the lows are complete grapes of wrath. It's probably always been that way to some extent because corruption has remained unchallenged for a great deal of time. The boom phases are scarier than the downturns anymore, especially the last oil boom and housing boom. Complete Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

I don't think it's capitalism and that term comes across as an explanation that legitimizes this completely contrived pattern that benefits a few and screws everybody else. Markets should not be behaving in such a violent fashion. Money should probably be made steady and slow. And downturns shouldn't turn a country into Zimbabwe. I could be wrong but there is really no way to know with the corruption we have.

Good times.

o r c k

And War requires that an enemy be created. According to American General Breedlove-head of NATO's European Command-speaking to the US Armed Services Committee 2 days ago, "Russia and Assad are deliberately weaponizing migration to break European resolve". "The only reason to use non-precision weapons like barrel bombs is to keep refugees on the move". "These refugees bring criminality, foreign fighters and terrorism", and "are being used to overwhelm European structures". "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and is a real threat." "Russia is irresponsible with nuclear weapons-always threatening to use them." And strangely, "In the past week alone, Russia has made 450 attacks along the front lines in E. Ukraine".

Even with insanity overflowing the West, I found these comments to be the most bizarrely threatening propaganda yet. After reading them for the first time, I had to prove to myself that I wasn't hallucinating it.

[Dec 05, 2016] Spanish civil war nostalgics join fight alongside Ukrainian rebels by Kazbek Basayev

Notable quotes:
"... That star and a ribbon around Munez's wrist hint at the Spaniards' motivation for joining a war thousands of miles from home. The ribbon's red, yellow and purple are the colors of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, a conflict in the 1930s where thousands of foreigners joined the leftists against right-wing foes who eventually prevailed. ..."
"... More than 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April, according to the United Nations, in a civil conflict that has dragged ties between Russia and the West to their lowest since the Cold War. ..."
"... Davilla-Rivas blamed the West - which has imposed sanctions on Moscow, accusing it of backing the rebels - for stoking the war. "The United States is trying to provoke a third (world war) against Russia here with your people," he said. "Ordinary people are suffering because they are caught in between three imperial powers - the Russian Federation, the European Union and, certainly, the United States, which is putting money into all this." ..."
"... Civil war in Ukraine is going more then 4 months. 30 000 Ukrainians was killed, and 1 million expelled from their homes. ..."
"... Volunteers, revolutionaries, zealots, idealist, mercenaries are all drawn to conflicts all over the globe. ..."
Aug 08, 2014 | Yahoo/Reuters

Angel Davilla-Rivas, a Spaniard who came to east Ukraine to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels, proudly shows off two big monochrome portraits of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, tattooed on the right and left side of his torso.

Davilla-Rivas and his comrade Rafa Munez, both in their mid-twenties, traveled by train from Madrid to eastern Ukraine where they joined the Vostok battalion, the most prominent and heavily armed unit fighting Ukrainian troops.

"I am the only son, and it hurts my mother and father and my family a lot that I am putting myself at risk. But ... I can't sleep in my bed knowing what's going on here," said Davilla-Rivas, sporting a cap with the Soviet red star pinned to it.

That star and a ribbon around Munez's wrist hint at the Spaniards' motivation for joining a war thousands of miles from home. The ribbon's red, yellow and purple are the colors of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, a conflict in the 1930s where thousands of foreigners joined the leftists against right-wing foes who eventually prevailed.

Angel said he wanted to return the favor after the Soviet Union, under Stalin, supported the Republican side in Spain.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine since mid-April, according to the United Nations, in a civil conflict that has dragged ties between Russia and the West to their lowest since the Cold War.

The Spaniards are not the first foreigners to enter the fight.

Men from Russia, its former rebel republic of Chechnya and the Caucasus region of North Ossetia have fought on the rebel side along with volunteers from a Russian-backed separatist enclave of Georgia and natives of Serbia.

Russians have also taken top positions among the rebels, though a local took over at the helm of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk Peoples' Republic" on Thursday, in a move aimed at blunting Western accusations the rebellion is run by Moscow.

Moscow said last month there were reports that citizens from Sweden, Finland, France and the former Soviet Baltic states had joined pro-Kiev volunteer battalions in the east as "mercenaries".

Davilla-Rivas blamed the West - which has imposed sanctions on Moscow, accusing it of backing the rebels - for stoking the war. "The United States is trying to provoke a third (world war) against Russia here with your people," he said. "Ordinary people are suffering because they are caught in between three imperial powers - the Russian Federation, the European Union and, certainly, the United States, which is putting money into all this."

A Vostok fighter said he was happy to have the Spaniards. "We need support now, we need fighters. An additional automatic gun will do no harm, to support, to cover one's back," said the young, brown-haired man who did not give his name. The Spanish embassy in Moscow was not immediately available for comment.

(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

blazo 6 months ago

Civil war in Ukraine is going more then 4 months. 30 000 Ukrainians was killed, and 1 million expelled from their homes. Not too bad for only 4 months. But it could be better.

Commander in chief of glorious Kiev army, Mr Porkoshenko, and his sponsor in killings and expulsions, Mr Obama are not satisfied. For money spent, much higher pace of killing should be #$%$ured. What is their reference? In Babin Yar during WW 2, 1200 Ukrainian #$%$, with help of 300 Germans, managed to kill 60 000 Ukrainians for only two days. So Mr Porkoshenko ask from Chef of all Ukrainian security forces, Mr Paruby to explain discrepancy in efficiency in Babin Yar, and in Donbas killings. Mr Paruby said: In Babin Yar Ukrainians to be killed were civilized and unarmed. They even smiled for photographs during killing. But in Donbas they are barbaric armed people, they don t allow us to kill them in peace. They turned arms on us, and killed 10 000 of our brave soldiers. They burned our tanks, APCs, and shot down our jet bombers. And as a extreme barbarism, they captured from us multiple rocket launchers, and fired on us, killing our 25th, 72nd, 79th motorized brigades. Mr Porkoshenko said: You are fired, and kicked him with foot to his #$%$.

The great strategist and visionary, Mr Porkoshenko said on 25th of May: It is not a question of days, weeks, or months, when rebellion in East Ukraine will be defeated. It is the question of hours.... .

Ricardo 6 months ago

Volunteers, revolutionaries, zealots, idealist, mercenaries are all drawn to conflicts all over the globe. Muslims are headed to Syria and Iraq from Europe and North Africa to fight either Assad or along side ISIS, now those that believe the days of the old USSR are returning are headed to eastern Ukraine to fight. If you look at some of the countries mentioned in this article it will not surprise anyone that they are all from Soviet/Russian supported countries that even after the collapse of the USSR still follow the Russians, no matter the consequences to their country.

[Dec 05, 2016] Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of US Led Economic Globalisation?

Notable quotes:
"... By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline ..."
"... President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US. ..."
"... The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values. ..."
"... But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. ..."
"... But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them. ..."
"... Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions ..."
"... All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations ..."
"... So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals. ..."
"... The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself. ..."
"... Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg ..."
"... While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.) ..."
"... Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes. ..."
"... Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way. ..."
"... We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products. ..."
"... the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future! ..."
"... The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder. ..."
"... Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm ..."
"... It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio. ..."
"... The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/ "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike." ..."
"... So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now? ..."
"... Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade". ..."
"... Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy." ..."
"... Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project! ..."
"... Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves. ..."
"... Funny how little things change over the centuries. ..."
"... The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans. ..."
"... "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu. ..."
"... The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China". ..."
"... Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China". ..."
"... Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them. ..."
"... Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret. ..."
"... Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects. ..."
"... It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country. ..."
"... I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations ..."
"... Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St. ..."
Sep 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline

There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union.

President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

However, the changing political currents in the US are making that ever more unlikely. Hardly anyone who is a candidate in the coming elections, whether for the Presidency, the Senate or the House of Representatives, is willing to stick their necks out to back the deal.

Both Presidential candidates in the US (Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) have openly come out against the TPP. In Clinton's case this is a complete reversal of her earlier position when she had referred to the TPP as "the gold standard of trade deals" – and it has clearly been forced upon her by the insurgent movement in the Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders. She is already being pushed by her rival candidate for not coming out more clearly in terms of a complete rejection of this deal. Given the significant trust deficit that she still has to deal with across a large swathe of US voters, it will be hard if not impossible for her to backtrack on this once again (as her husband did earlier with NAFTA) even if she does achieve the Presidency.

The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values.

But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. Even the only US government study of the TPP's likely impacts, by the International Trade Commission, could project at best only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032. A study by Jeronim Capaldo and Alex Izurieta with Jomo Kwame Sundaram ("Trading down: Unemployment, inequality and other risks of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement", Working Paper 16-01, Global Development and Environment Institute, January 2016) was even less optimistic, even for the US. It found that the benefits to exports and economic growth were likely to be relatively small for all member countries, and would be negative in the US and Japan because of losses to employment and increases in inequality. Wage shares of national income would decline in all the member countries.

But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them.

Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying:

  1. the intellectual property provisions,
  2. the restrictions on regulatory practices
  3. the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.
Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations

For example, the TPP (and the TTIP) require more stringent enforcement requirements of intellectual property rights: reducing exemptions (e.g. allowing compulsory licensing only for emergencies); preventing parallel imports; extending IPRs to areas like life forms, counterfeiting and piracy; extending exclusive rights to test data (e.g. in pharmaceuticals); making IPR provisions more detailed and prescriptive. The scope of drug patents is extended to include minor changes to existing medications (a practice commonly employed by drug companies, known as "evergreening"). Patent linkages would make it more difficult for many generic drugs to enter markets.

This would strengthen, lengthen and broaden pharmaceutical monopolies on cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS drugs, and in general make even life-saving drugs more expensive and inaccessible in all the member countries. It would require further transformation of countries' laws on patents and medical test data. It would reduce the scope of exemption in use of medical formulations through public procurement for public purposes. All this is likely to lead to reductions in access to drugs and medical procedures because of rising prices, and also impede innovation rather than encouraging it, across member countries.

There are also very restrictive copyright protection rules, that would also affect internet usage as Internet Service Providers are to be forced to adhere to them. There are further restrictions on branding that would reinforce the market power of established players.

The TPP and TTIP also contain restrictions on regulatory practices that greatly increase the power of corporations relative to states and can even prevent states from engaging in countercyclical measures designed to boost domestic demand. It has been pointed out by consumer groups in the USA that the powers of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate products that affect health of citizens could be constrained and curtailed by this agreement. Similarly, macroeconomic stimulus packages that focus on boosting domestic demand for local production would be explicitly prohibited by such agreements.

All these are matters for concern because these agreements enable corporations to litigate against governments that are perceived to be flouting these provisions because of their own policy goals or to protect the rights of their citizens. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism enabled by these agreements is seen to be one of their most deadly features. Such litigation is then subject to supranational tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards and which do not see the rights of citizen as in any way superior to the "rights" of corporations to their profits. These courts can conduct closed and secret hearings with secret evidence. They do not just interpret the rules but contribute to them through case law because of the relatively vague wording of the text, which can then be subject to different interpretations, and therefore are settled by case law. The experience thus far with such tribunals has been problematic. Since they are legally based on "equal" treatment of legal persons with no primacy for human rights, they have become known for their pro-investor bias, partly due to the incentive structure for arbitrators, and partly because the system is designed to provide supplementary guarantees to investors, rather than making them respect host countries laws and regulations.

If all these features of the TPP and the TTIP were more widely known, it is likely that there would be even greater public resistance to them in the US and in other countries. Even as it is, there is growing antagonism to the trade liberalisation that is seen to bring benefits to corporations rather than to workers, at a period in history when secure employment is seen to be the biggest prize of all.

So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals.

human , September 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

"just _after_ the November Presidential election"

Uahsenaa , September 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

I was watching a speech Premier Li gave at the Economic Club of NY last night, and it was interesting to see how all his (vetted, pre-selected) questions revolved around anxieties having to do with resistance to global trade deals. Li made a few pandering comments about how much the Chinese love American beef (stop it! you're killing me! har har) meant to diffuse those anxieties, but it became clear that the fear among TPTB of people's dissatisfaction with the current economic is palpable. Let's keep it up!

allan , September 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

On a related note:

U.S. Court Throws Out Price-Fixing Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Makers [WSJ]

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $147 million civil price fixing judgment against Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C, ruling the companies weren't liable in U.S. courts because they were acting under the direction of Chinese authorities.

The case raised thorny questions of how courts should treat foreign companies accused of violating U.S. antitrust law when they are following mandates of a foreign government.

"I was only following orders" might not have worked in Nuremberg, but it's a-ok in international trade.

different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself.

Wellstone's Ghost , September 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

Trump has already back peddaled on his TPP stance. He now says he wants to renegotiate the TTP and other trade deals. Whatever that means. Besides, Trump is a distraction, its Mike Pence you should be keeping your eye on. He's American Taliban pure and simple.

RPDC , September 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

This is simply false. Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg

Hillary wants to start a war with Russia and pass the trade trifecta of TPP/TTIP/TiSA.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.)

Trump was run to make Hillary look good, but that has turned out to be Mission Real Impossible!

We are seeing the absolute specious political theater at its worst, attempting to differentiate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Trumpster – – – the only major difference is that Clinton has far more real blood on her and Bill's hands.

Nope, there is no lesser of evils this time around . . .

Quanka , September 23, 2016 at 8:25 am

Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes.

different clue , September 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

Really? Well . . . might as well vote for Clinton then.

First Woman President!
Feminism!
Liberation!

TedWa , September 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way.

a different chris , September 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

>only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032.

At that point American's wages will have dropped near enough to Chinese levels that we can compete in selling to First World countries . assuming there are any left.

oh , September 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Naaah, never been about competition, since nobody is actually vetted when they offshore those jobs or replace American workers with foreign visa workers.

But to sum it up as succinctly as possible: the TPP is about the destruction of workers' rights; the destruction of local and small businesses; and the loss of sovereignty. Few Americans are cognizant of just how many businesses are foreign owned today in America; their local energy utility or state energy utility, their traffic enforcement company which was privatized, their insurance company (GEICO, etc.).

I remember when a political action group back in the '00s thought they had stumbled on a big deal when someone had hacked into the system of the Bretton Woods Committee (the lobbyist group for the international super-rich which ONLY communicates with the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and who shares the same lobbyist and D.C. office space as the Group of Thirty, the lobbyist group for the central bankers [Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Mario Draghi, Ernesto Zedillo, Bill Dudley, etc., etc.]) and placed online their demand of the senate and the congress to kill the "Buy America" clause in the federal stimulus program of a few years back (it was watered down greatly, and many exemptions were signed by then Commerce Secretary Gary Locke), but such information went completely unnoticed or ignored, and of course, the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future!

http://www.brettonwoods.org
http://www.group30.org

Arthur J , September 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder.

Carla , September 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

In June 2016, "[TransCanada] filed an arbitration claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over President Obama's rejection of the pipeline, making good on its January threat to take legal action against the US decision.

According to the official request for arbitration, the $15 billion tab is supposed to help the company recover costs and damages that it suffered "as a result of the US administration's breach of its NAFTA obligations." NAFTA is a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that went into effect in January 1, 1994. Under the agreement, businesses can challenge governments over investment disputes.

In addition, the company filed a suit in US Federal Court in Houston, Texas in January asserting that the Obama Administration exceeded the power granted by the US Constitution in denying the project."

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/transcanada_complains_nafta_sues_us_15_bn_keystone_xl_rejection/

Six states have since joined that federal law suit.

Kris Alman , September 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm

It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio.

Obama's rhetoric May 5, 2015 at the Nike campus was all about how small businesses would prosper. Congresswoman Bonamici clings to this rationale in her refusal to tell angry constituents at town halls whether she supports the TPP.

The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/
"US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike."

That appeals to the other big athletic corporations that cluster in the Portland metro: Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour.

A plot twist!

Vietnam will not include ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the agenda for its next parliament session. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1087705/vietnam-delays-tpp-vote So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

Vatch , September 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade".

hemeantwell , September 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy."

Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project!

ChrisFromGeorgia , September 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves.

Funny how little things change over the centuries.

Brad , September 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans.

"How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu.

Minnie Mouse , September 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

When America writes the rules of the global economy the global economy destroys America.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China".

Would be nice if they had even a passing thought for those people in a certain North American region located in between Canada and Mexico.

different clue , September 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China".

Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them.

different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

If calling the International Free Trade Conspiracy "American" is enough to get it killed and destroyed, then I don't mind having a bunch of foreigners calling the Free Trade Conspiracy "American". Just as long as they are really against it, and can really get Free Trade killed and destroyed.

Chauncey Gardiner , September 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Excellent post. Thank you. Should these so called "trade agreements" be approved, perhaps Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS arbitration) futures can be created by Wall Street and made the next speculative "Play-of-the-day" so that everyone has a chance to participate in the looting. Btw, can you loot your own house?

KYrocky , September 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret.

At the time he made that statement Warren could go to an offsite location to read the TPP in the presence of a member of the Trade Commission, could not have staff with her, could not take notes, and could not discuss anything she read with anyone else after she left. Or face criminal charges.

Yeah. Nothing secret about that.

Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects.

sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

And add to that everything from David Dayen's book (" Chain of Title ") on Covington & Burling and Eric Holder and President Obama, and Thomas Frank's book ("Listen, Liberals") and people will have the full picture!

Spencer , September 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country.

So, there's a financial incentive (to maximize profits), not to repatriate foreign income (pushes up our exchange rate, currency conversion costs, if domestic re-investment alternatives are considered more circumscribed, plus taxes, etc.).

In spite of the surfeit of $s, and E-$ credits, and unlike the days in which world-trade required a Marshall Plan jump start, trade surpluses increasingly depend on the Asian Tiger's convertibility issues.

Praedor , September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations or even (potential) unfriendlies like China (who can easily put trojan spyware hard code or other vulnerabilities into critical microchips the way WE were told the US could/would when it was leading on this tech when I was serving in the 90s). We already know that US-written rules is simply a way for mega corporations to extend patents into the ever-more-distant future, a set of rules that hands more control of arts over to the MPAA, rules that gut environmental laws, etc. Who needs the US-written agreements when this is the result?

Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St.

[Dec 05, 2016] Is war the health of state ?

Notable quotes:
"... I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries. ..."
Dec 03, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

james | Dec 3, 2016 11:39:28 AM | 2

sst comment -

"b

Well, if you looked at it and decided against it why am I wasting my time? "unlike the U.S. military which is used to destroys foreign cities without much thought of the aftermath" Always with the nasty, sneering, condescending attitude toward us. I remind you that it was the BRITISH army that destroyed your grandparents house, not the US Army. pl"

and the usa has learned and followed the British in so many of it's imperialist ways carrying the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of British or American bullshit..

psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 12:10:21 PM | 4
@ james who wrote " and the usa has learned and followed the british in so many of it's imperialist ways caring the mantel for empire building forward into the 20th and 21st century.. enough of british or american bullshit."

I keep trying to point out that these nations are proxies for the global plutocrats that own private finance and everything else. That is the social cancer we need to eliminate. The British people are not all bad any more than all Americans but all of private finance is bad and has been for centuries.

okie farmer | Dec 3, 2016 12:15:14 PM | 5
"the state made war and war made the state."

Lords of 'Pride and Plunder' by Robert Bartlett

The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government by Thomas N. Bisson Princeton University Press, 677 pp., $39.50

One of the major institutions of pre-industrial society, and one that makes it hard for people in the modern Western world fully to grasp the past, is lordship. Lordship means a personal bond, reciprocal but not equal, tying inferiors to superiors, bringing the latter a power over the former that modern democratic and egalitarian ideologies would abhor. We are not accustomed to address others as "Master" or "Mistress," "My Lord" or "My Lady."

Of course modern Western societies are not communities of equals. Vast differences in wealth and access to education exist. But the world of lordship embraced and endorsed those differences. Hierarchy was a valued ideal, and some people considered themselves better born than others-remember those nineteenth-century novels with characters "of good family." The aristocrats ("aristocracy" means "rule by the best") did not court their inferiors. They ruled them, and, if they were just and well disposed, they protected them and furthered their interests. This is what "good lordship" meant. Not all lords, of course, were good. Submission to cruel, arbitrary, or unhinged masters could mean misery or death. Much of the savagery of the French Revolution is to be explained by the fact that thousands of peasants had suffered just such a submission.

Thomas Bisson's new book concerns itself with lordship, that all-pervasive institution, in a formative period of European history, the twelfth century (or rather the "long twelfth century," starting well before 1100 and continuing after 1200). It is an age that evokes for many the majesty of the great cathedrals, like Chartres and Canterbury, the rise of a new kind of intellectual inquiry, embodied in the questing spirit of Abelard or the emergence of the first universities, and the flourishing of the love lyrics of the troubadours and the tales of Arthurian romance. There is even the (now well established but initially paradoxical) notion of "the Twelfth-Century Renaissance." This book, however, presents a different, and much darker, twelfth century.

Bisson, professor of medieval history emeritus at Harvard, is one of the leading historians of the Middle Ages. His early work concentrated on Catalonia, a region with particularly rich archival sources from this period; he has continually expanded both his geographical range and the breadth of the historical questions he asks. In the 1990s he was a participant in a lively debate on the so-called "Feudal Revolution," the theory that a transformation in the patterns of power and authority took place in Europe in the decades around the year 1000. In those years it was argued that older, official, and public structures of justice and administration were replaced by new, more violent, and more localized forms, based on strongmen and their fortresses.

In his new book many of the elements of that "Feudal Revolution" recur, now extended to a later period. Bisson's summary of developments in Catalonia in the years 1020 to 1060 presents such a picture very clearly: there was "a terrifying collapse of public justice and the imposition of a new order of coercive lordship over an intimidated peasantry." Moving on into the twelfth century, the model is still recognizable: there is an "old passing world" ruled by a few nobles, and a "burgeoning new world" of "vicious men," castle-lords and knights prepared to use violence against the despised peasantry. This book is indeed an extended discussion of the issues arising from that earlier debate. Bisson acknowledges that it is "not a systematic treatise, still less a textbook," and those unfamiliar with the period may soon be lost. The book is an interpretation, an individual assessment of European history of that period, one that takes a stand on a dozen debated issues, often in implicit dialogue with other scholars. The main topics are lordship, violence, and the state.

Lordship was a building block of most societies until relatively recently -- serfdom was abolished in Russia only in 1861. Such societies were distinguished by extreme inequalities, made visible by costume and gestures, like bowing and doffing of hats, and often supported by belief in hereditary superiority and inferiority of blood. Collective groupings existed, but were not powerful, and conflict and ambition were channeled more by vertical than horizontal solidarities: retainers, servants, and other followers and dependants sought patronage from the great, not action alongside their peers. At the highest level, lesser aristocrats became followers of great aristocrats, who themselves would be competing for the ruler's favor. Costume dramas set in Tudor England, like Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth, convey some of the flavor of such a world.

It was the prevalence of lordship that complicates any discussion of the medieval state. Bisson repeatedly uses the far from standard formulations "lord-king," "lord-ruler," and even "lord-archbishop" to convey the point that every ruler of this time was also a lord, a master of men, a patriarch of some kind, possessing his position as inheritance or property, rather than (or as well as) holding it as an office-indeed, he writes, "there is no sign that European people in the twelfth century thought of lordship and office as contrasting categories."

Kings were lords, but also more than lords. Like the great barons, their power was patrimonial: that is, inherited, dynastic, based on ideas of property we might call "private." A king's kingdom was his in the same way that a baron's landed estates were his. Transmission of power was through father-to-son inheritance, not by election. Hence marriages, births, and deaths were the great punctuating points of medieval politics, not caucuses and ballots. Yet a king was also more than just the greatest of the barons. Both the Church and a long secular tradition saw him as having special duties as a ruler, duties that might be called "public."

This dualism of lordship and the state meant that medieval rulership had two distinct faces, which were close to being opposites: on the one hand, the grand promises made at coronation by kings and emperors, to ensure justice and the protection of the weak and the Church; on the other hand, the reality of being a warlord trained in mounted warfare, a leader of proud, hard men, used to wielding lethal edged weapons, and the center of a court full of envy, ambition, and suspicion.

Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was a militarized world: it was "an age of castles," when "those astride horses and bearing weapons routinely injured or intimidated people" -- although, of course, they were still doing it in the thirteenth century, fourteenth century, fifteenth century, and beyond. The Cossacks were still doing it in the twentieth century. This raises a problem. In the absence of even a hint of dependable statistics, it is virtually impossible to weigh up the relative violence of different periods and places of the past. We know all the difficulties involved in dealing with modern crime figures; for the past we rarely have figures of any kind, but must rely on stories told by chroniclers (often ecclesiastical) and interested parties (usually plaintiffs). Historians read the laments, the individual accounts of plunder, murder, and rape, and try to assess whether this was the way life was then, or whether it simply reflects a very bad moment in that world. And while there can be little doubt that levels of violence were higher in the medieval period than in modern Western peacetime societies, we, who live in the aftermath of the worst genocidal atrocities in recorded history, should not make that claim with any complacency.

It is not difficult to gather stories of local violence and oppression from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. But if we put these twelfth-century tales alongside those of the sixth-century historian-bishop Gregory of Tours, whose History of the Franks reveals a world of monstrous cruelty, we might wonder if things had really gotten much worse in the intervening six hundred years. On one occasion, Gregory writes, a noble discovered that two of his serfs had married without his consent: he supposedly said how delighted he was that they had at least not married serfs from another lordship; he promised that he would not separate them, and then kept his word by having them buried alive together. And was the twelfth century any more full of violence than, say, late medieval France, a happy hunting ground for mercenaries and freebooters during the Hundred Years' War?

The rulers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries were trained in, and glorified, war, and expected to live off it, as well as off the tribute of a subjugated peasantry. If such rulers formed "the state" of their day, what are the implications? The state engages in violence; it takes away our property. How then does it differ from a criminal enterprise? This was a question that went back at least as far as Saint Augustine in the fourth century:

What are robber gangs, except little kingdoms? If their wickedness prospers, so that they set up fixed abodes, occupy cities and subjugate whole populations, they then can take the name of kingdom with impunity.

Augustine's ponderings stem from the worrying doubt that states and kingdoms, indeed all lawfully constituted governments, are just the most successful of the robber gangs. This idea, that the state and the criminal gang are but larger and smaller versions of the same thing, was one recurrent strand in medieval thinking. In the words of Gregory VII, the reformist pope of the eleventh century:

Who does not know that kings and dukes had their origin in men who disregarded God and, with blind desire and intolerable presumption, strove to dominate their equals, that is, other men, through pride, plunder, perfidy, homicides, and every kind of crime, under the inspiration of the lord of this world, the devil?

Westerns (like Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) often explore the thin line between the gunslinger and the sheriff, or the poignancy of the bandit turned law officer; and the thinness of that line is clear in the Middle Ages. In the fourteenth century the kings of France, wishing to concentrate their forces against the English, called upon their barons to curtail their own feuds and vendettas: "We forbid anyone to wage war (guerre) during our war (guerre)." What the king does and what the feuding nobles do is the same kind of thing-"war." Nowadays, we make a sharper distinction. For instance, in the modern world, someone who takes our property away is either a criminal or a tax collector. If the latter, then it is the state taking our property away, and most people, of most political outlooks, distinguish the lawmakers from the lawbreakers.

Traditionally the state took away people's property in order to finance war. In Charles Tilly's phrase, "the state made war and war made the state." The war-making, tax-raising state is indeed the standard, familiar political unit of modern world history. If we go back in time, do we reach a period when such an entity did not exist?

Bisson is not a scholar who throws the term "state" around freely. Indeed, the conceptual vocabulary of his book is worth a mention. On the one hand, Bisson is happy to use the traditional but deeply contested terms "feudal" and "feudalism," both of which even have entries in his glossary at the end of the book. He can write of "a massive feudalizing of England by the Normans." Some historians would do away with these concepts altogether. Even if some kinds of estates were called "fiefs" (feoda), they argue, why should that fact lead us to a characterization of a whole society? Perhaps a touch of self-questioning is visible in Bisson's embrace of the terminology: "'Feudal monarchy': is this the right concept?" he asks.
In contrast to his acceptance of this traditional terminology, Bisson has a marked tendency to use large conceptual terms with a peculiar, even personal, connotation. "Political" is an example. The bishops of this period, he says, "vied with one another for visible precedence," yet such struggles "were not political disputes; they were concerned with status, not process." A footnote refers us to an infamous incident when the archbishop of York, noticing that the archbishop of Canterbury had a seat higher than his, kicked it over and refused to be seated until he had a seat as high. Now, one might reasonably class this as a nursery tantrum, but why should not a public dispute over precedence count as "political"?
This wariness about the term "political" (usually in scare quotes in the book) is based on the idea that lordship "was personal, affective, and unpolitical in nature." Might it not be clearer to say that the politics of that time was not the same as the politics of ours? It may be that we have here an example of a recurrent dilemma, either to say that the power relations of long ago are not politics at all, or to say that they are, but that we must differentiate between medieval and modern politics. Similarly, we may say that the superior authorities of that time cannot be called states at all; or we can argue that they were, but that we must distinguish medieval and modern states.

One of the most important examples of Bisson's idiosyncratic use of general terms is his treatment of the word "government." He is reluctant even to apply the term to Norman England. "Royal lordship" was not the same thing as "government." Sometimes government is completely absent. Late-twelfth-century Europe was "an ungoverned society," although there were also "proto-governments" at this time; by the mid-thirteenth century "something like government hovered." This unwillingness to see the rulers of the central Middle Ages as constituting "governments" is to be explained partly because, in Bisson's view, the people of that time lacked any understanding of the state as distinct from lordship, but also because there are certain criteria for government, as distinct from lordship, that the rulers did not meet. He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.

"Accountability" is an important term in Bisson's historical vocabulary. Sometimes it means quite literally the rendering of financial accounts, like the Catalan fiscal records which Bisson himself has edited. He emphasizes the birth, in the twelfth century, of "a newly searching and flexible accountability," as simple surveys of resources and fixed revenues, which can be found from early in the Middle Ages, were supplemented by balance sheets of incoming and outgoing assets. The English Pipe Rolls, annual audits of income and expenditures of the royal sheriffs, are a classic example. The English Dialogue of the Exchequer of 1178, or thereabouts, reveals a department of government that is professional, with its own technical expertise, and (in the Dialogue) its own handbook or manual. Slightly later, in 1202, there appears what has been called "the first budget of the French monarchy."

But Bisson also uses the word in a broader sense: accountability means official responsibility, answerability. He associates it with the idea of office. Record-keeping is in fact one test of official status. And true government is "the exercise of power for social purpose," "social purpose" perhaps to be glossed here as "the common good." It is the emergence of "official conduct aimed at social purpose," linked, interestingly, with the rise of public taxation, that, for Bisson, signals the shift of the balance from lordship to government in the thirteenth century.

However, the chronology of state formation in the Middle Ages is a disputed issue. Some historians talk as if there were a stateless period at some point in the central Middle Ages. Others hold the view that, to take one notable example, the kingdom of England of the year 1000 was not only a state but a strong, centralized, and pervasive state. If taxation and a standardized coinage are, in Bisson's words, parts of "a new model of associative power" around the year 1200, then the uniform land tax and centralized currency of eleventh-century England show that that model already existed in some places two hundred years earlier.

What cannot be disputed is that over the course of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, the state became increasingly bureaucratic. The documents produced by the English government in the eleventh century could be placed on one large table (even given that monumental oddity, Domesday Book, the extensive survey of land ownership made in 1086 under William the Conqueror). The documents produced by the English government in the thirteenth century fill whole rooms and could never be read in one person's lifetime. Written records supplemented or replaced older oral forms of information gathering, testimony, or command (Michael Clanchy's 1979 masterpiece, From Memory to Written Record, analyzes this development for precociously bureaucratic England in the Norman and Plantagenet period). But more bureaucratic government does not necessarily mean less violent, or even less arbitrary, government.

Historians like bureaucracy, because it feeds their hunger for written sources, the raw material with which they work; but the bond between historians and government is deeper than that. The historical profession grew up in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in close symbiosis with government. Not only was the heart of historical study usually the archives produced by past governments, but many of the students and teachers in those generations, the first to study history as a discipline, entered government service. Charles Homer Haskins, the founding father of American medieval scholarship, was an adviser to Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.

He was also the teacher of Joseph Strayer, himself the teacher of Bisson. Such academic genealogies can be overplayed, but there is no doubt that all three great medievalists, Haskins, Strayer, and Bisson, demonstrate a deep-rooted concern with the techniques and records of administration, with the procedures of the bureaucrats and officials. Strayer was as familiar with the modern as with the medieval version, since he worked for the CIA One of his most vigorous pieces of work is entitled On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State (1970; one might notice the emphasis on both the "origins" and the "modern"; we live in the modern state; its origins go back a long way, but the state of those days was not the state of ours). The book contains Strayer's cogent definition of feudalism as "public powers in private hands," with that confident assurance that these adjectives, "public" and "private," convey a simple and evident distinction that will arouse no intellectual discomfort in readers. By contrast, Bisson's book is generated in part by his wrestling with such concepts and their implications.

Bisson's book is called The Crisis of the Twelfth Century. "Crisis" means a vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything. But in that sense, any century of human history is a crisis. One might even say that this is simply the condition of human life-we are always in an Age of Crisis (although the situation might not always be as alarming as today's). Bisson acknowledges that "'crisis' was not a common word in the verbiage of the day," and the one instance he cites of the contemporary use of the word (in its Latin form discrimen) refers to a succession crisis in Poland in 1180. He wishes to see the various distinct political crises he discusses (such as the Saxon revolt of 1075, the communal insurrection in Laon in 1111, the "anarchy" of King Stephen's reign) as part of "the same wider crisis of multiplied knights and castles."

However, a case can be made that the levels of violence and disorder in this period were largely dictated by the patterns of high politics rather than by a deep-seated structural malaise. Disputed successions, or the accession of a child-king, could indeed upset the world of knights and castles, unleashing the strongmen and their castle-based predatory attacks. Yet a regime of knights and castles could also form the basis for fairly stable feudal monarchies, such as one sees in France and England for most of the thirteenth century. If this is so, there were, of course, crises in the twelfth century, but no Crisis.

The violence and greed of European knights of this period were directed beyond the local victims. Bisson's "long twelfth century" was not only an age of predatory lords in their castles bullying their peasantry but also an age of expansionary, one could say colonialist, violence. Christian armies, led by these predatory lords, crossed into Muslim lands, capturing Toledo in 1085, Jerusalem in 1099, and landing in North Africa in 1148; they destroyed the last remnants of West Slav paganism in the Baltic in 1168; they even turned their formidable fighting strength against their estranged Christian cousins in the Greek East, and sacked Constantinople in 1204. The energies generated in the conflicts between mounted men in the West, and the expertise they acquired in subjugating and fleecing the local peasantry, could be exported. The story of European violence is far from unique, but it was in the central Middle Ages that it took a form that shaped the subsequent history of the world.

A traditional view of the development of European society in the central Middle Ages, a view to be found in textbooks past and present, is that the empire of Charlemagne (747–814) and his successors had important elements of public authority, in the form of officials with delegated powers and courts open to all free men, but that this regime was replaced, around the year 1000, with a heavily militarized and violent world of strongmen in castles, lording it over peasants. Over the course of time this world was, in its turn, transformed by the persistent efforts of the kings of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries into a network of more centralized and bureaucratic states, which led ultimately to modern systems of government. Like every model at this level of generality, as long as people who know something about the subject have created it, there must be some truth in this picture, however little it can be the whole truth. But we might have questions. Was the "old public order" of Charlemagne and his successors so public and so ordered? Was the subsequent regime so close to anarchy?

Bisson adds to this traditional account by thinking deeply about the benefits and disadvantages of government. He is very aware of the inhumanity of the past he studies. He refers, with allusion to the words of the twelfth-century cleric John of Salisbury, to "hunter-lords." John was talking about the way that aristocrats were obsessed with the chase, but we might apply his phrase in a wider sense. Since some theorists believe that human society is imprinted with its origins in hunting packs and the mentality of the pack, the predatory lordship of the central Middle Ages could be conceived of as just such a hunting pack-but its prey being fellow human beings, rather than beasts.

Confronting this world of hunter and hunted, Bisson is inspired by attractively humane impulses. In an earlier book, Tormented Voices, a microhistorical analysis of complaints raised by Catalan peasants in the twelfth century, he stated explicitly that he was attempting "an essay in compassionate history." Likewise in this book. And he looks for public, accountable, official remedies for suffering and oppression. He seems sympathetic to the idea that "power is rightly oriented towards the social needs of people." "If ever government was the solution, not the problem," he writes, "it was so for European peoples in the twelfth century." Is the modern world so happy in its governments? Whether we should endure the violence of the state, as a defense against the yet more fearful violence of our neighbors, and whether there comes a point where the violence of the state must be resisted are great recurrent questions of moral and political life. The questions raised by Bisson's book remain open.

james | Dec 3, 2016 1:03:24 PM | 6
@4 psychohistorian.. and i agree with you in that too.. it has to do with the packaging and a tendency in people to identify with the packaging - in this example 'made in the usa' as some sort of rationale for that social sickness many suffer from called 'patriotism'.. it seems to be especially prevalent in the worst nations, the usa at this point in time being the focal point for much of this marketing...
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 1:28:39 PM | 8
@ okie farmer who added a loooong comment that contained the following about the definition of government:
"
He identifies three: accountability, official conduct, and social purpose.
"

The narrative provided did not get into a discussion of "social purpose" but I think that it is an important concept. The example I would posit is the original humanistic motto of the US, E Pluribus Unum which was instantiated by government creations of the time like the pony express....true socialism, if you need an ism to cling to. Social Security INSURANCE is another example of an instantiation of social purpose.

The original US motto was replaced by In God We Trust in the mid 1950's which, IMO, destroyed the social purpose concept of government and instead tells you to trust the leaders and religious institutions.....reversion to kings and feudalism.

You get the government you demand. What sort of world do you want to pass to the children?

ben | Dec 3, 2016 2:01:32 PM | 10
Why is the U$A addicted to war?

read the books online. don't let the books format fool you, massive thought, with footnotes.

http://www.addictedtowar.com/

[Dec 05, 2016] Peggy Noonan What We Lose if We Give Up Privacy by Peggy Noonan

Notable quotes:
"... A loss of the expectation of privacy in communications is a loss of something personal and intimate, and it will have broader implications. ..."
"... Mr. Hentoff sees the surveillance state as a threat to free speech, too ..."
"... An entrenched surveillance state will change and distort the balance that allows free government to function successfully. ..."
"... "When you have this amount of privacy invasion put into these huge data banks, who knows what will come out?" ..."
"... Asked about those attempts, he mentions the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Red Scare of the 1920s and the McCarthy era. Those times and incidents, he says, were more than specific scandals or news stories, they were attempts to change our nature as a people. ..."
"... What of those who say they don't care what the federal government does as long as it keeps us safe? The threat of terrorism is real, Mr. Hentoff acknowledges. Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees. ..."
"... Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do." ..."
Aug 16, 2013 | WSJ

...Among the pertinent definitions of privacy from the Oxford English Dictionary: "freedom from disturbance or intrusion," "intended only for the use of a particular person or persons," belonging to "the property of a particular person." Also: "confidential, not to be disclosed to others." Among others, the OED quotes the playwright Arthur Miller, describing the McCarthy era: "Conscience was no longer a private matter but one of state administration."

Privacy is connected to personhood. It has to do with intimate things-the innards of your head and heart, the workings of your mind-and the boundary between those things and the world outside.

A loss of the expectation of privacy in communications is a loss of something personal and intimate, and it will have broader implications. That is the view of Nat Hentoff, the great journalist and civil libertarian. He is 88 now and on fire on the issue of privacy. "The media has awakened," he told me. "Congress has awakened, to some extent." Both are beginning to realize "that there are particular constitutional liberty rights that [Americans] have that distinguish them from all other people, and one of them is privacy."

Mr. Hentoff sees excessive government surveillance as violative of the Fourth Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" and requires that warrants be issued only "upon probable cause . . . particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

But Mr. Hentoff sees the surveillance state as a threat to free speech, too. About a year ago he went up to Harvard to speak to a class. He asked, he recalled: "How many of you realize the connection between what's happening with the Fourth Amendment with the First Amendment?" He told the students that if citizens don't have basic privacies-firm protections against the search and seizure of your private communications, for instance-they will be left feeling "threatened." This will make citizens increasingly concerned "about what they say, and they do, and they think." It will have the effect of constricting freedom of expression. Americans will become careful about what they say that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and then too careful about what they say that can be understood. The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship.

All of a sudden, the room became quiet. "These were bright kids, interested, concerned, but they hadn't made an obvious connection about who we are as a people." We are "free citizens in a self-governing republic."

Mr. Hentoff once asked Justice William Brennan "a schoolboy's question": What is the most important amendment to the Constitution? "Brennan said the First Amendment, because all the other ones come from that. If you don't have free speech you have to be afraid, you lack a vital part of what it is to be a human being who is free to be who you want to be." Your own growth as a person will in time be constricted, because we come to know ourselves by our thoughts.

He wonders if Americans know who they are compared to what the Constitution says they are.

Mr. Hentoff's second point: An entrenched surveillance state will change and distort the balance that allows free government to function successfully. Broad and intrusive surveillance will, definitively, put government in charge. But a republic only works, Mr. Hentoff notes, if public officials know that they-and the government itself-answer to the citizens. It doesn't work, and is distorted, if the citizens must answer to the government. And that will happen more and more if the government knows-and you know-that the government has something, or some things, on you. "The bad thing is you no longer have the one thing we're supposed to have as Americans living in a self-governing republic," Mr. Hentoff said. "The people we elect are not your bosses, they are responsible to us." They must answer to us. But if they increasingly control our privacy, "suddenly they're in charge if they know what you're thinking."

This is a shift in the democratic dynamic. "If we don't have free speech then what can we do if the people who govern us have no respect for us, may indeed make life difficult for us, and in fact belittle us?"

If massive surveillance continues and grows, could it change the national character? "Yes, because it will change free speech."

What of those who say, "I have nothing to fear, I don't do anything wrong"? Mr. Hentoff suggests that's a false sense of security.

"When you have this amount of privacy invasion put into these huge data banks, who knows what will come out?"

Or can be made to come out through misunderstanding the data, or finagling, or mischief of one sort or another.

"People say, 'Well I've done nothing wrong so why should I worry?' But that's too easy a way to get out of what is in our history-constant attempts to try to change who we are as Americans."

Asked about those attempts, he mentions the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Red Scare of the 1920s and the McCarthy era. Those times and incidents, he says, were more than specific scandals or news stories, they were attempts to change our nature as a people.

What of those who say they don't care what the federal government does as long as it keeps us safe? The threat of terrorism is real, Mr. Hentoff acknowledges. Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees.

"There has to be somebody supervising them who knows what's right. . . . Terrorism is not going to go away. But we need someone in charge of the whole apparatus who has read the Constitution."

Advances in technology constantly up the ability of what government can do. Its technological expertise will only become deeper and broader.

"They think they're getting to how you think. The technology is such that with the masses of databases, then privacy will get even weaker."

Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do."

[Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

Notable quotes:
"... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
"... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "How America Was Lost" ..."
"... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
"... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
"... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
"... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
"... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
"... "historical turning point," ..."
"... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
"... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
"... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
"... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
"... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
"... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
"... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
May 13, 2015 | RT News
The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

"On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

"Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

[Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

Notable quotes:
"... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
"... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "How America Was Lost" ..."
"... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
"... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
"... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
"... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
"... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
"... "historical turning point," ..."
"... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
"... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
"... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
"... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
"... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
"... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
"... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
May 13, 2015 | RT News
The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

"On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

"Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

[Dec 04, 2016] Bernie Sanders launches presidential campaign

Unfortunatly, under neoliberalism it's not people who vote. It's only large corporations which use two party system to put forward two canditates that will follow thier agenda. quote "Unfortunately the US propaganda system is now so entrenched and so heavily financed by the financial elites that such campaigns as that by Sanders, admirable as it is, have no chance of changing the US system. The only thing that will is violent revolution and that is highly unlikely given the monopoly of legitimate force commanded by those elites."
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie Sanders is the first candidate since Carter to actually project a sense of positive values and integrity. ..."
"... Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box. ..."
"... The function of the sheepdog candidate is to give left activists and voters a reason, however illusory, to believe there's a place of influence for them inside the Democratic party,... ..."
May 26, 2015 | http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/26/bernie-sanders-launches-presidential-campaign
Nad Gough
This is a good man. He is Independent, running as a Democrat as 3rd party candidates are doomed from the start. He is elderly, so choosing his running mate will be extremely important in terms of his electibility. Elizabeth Warren? If she won't run for President, maybe this is the ticket?

So far this is the ONLY candidate whose desire for "change" matches what folks want. The other potential candidates are known sleight of hand change artists. And I use the word "artist" in the way one might describe someone who draws stick figures. Badly.

lutesongs
Bernie Sanders is the first candidate since Carter to actually project a sense of positive values and integrity. He is the frontrunner for most Americans who care about fairness and a sustainable future. Don't allow the corporate media to marginalize him by innuendo or non-coverage. Don't allow the Democratic Party to turn a blind eye to the issues. Don't allow the Repubs to steal another election through blatant electronic voter fraud, hacking the voting machines and gaming the results. Start a campaign for voters to photograph their results and compile independent vote counts. An honest election would likely favor a populist with integrity. Bernie Sanders is the one.
BabyLyon
The country is ruled by greedy corporation, all governmental authorities are corrupted to the limit, unstoppable wars and overall torpidity and all these candidates are able to offer is doubtful solutions for two-or three "serious" problems. Either they're blind or just fool American people.
PhilippeOrlando

This population is too stupid to elect a guy like Sanders. With a median household income of 50K/year it will vote, one more time, for people who don't represent it. The only two running candidates who represents 99% of the population are Sanders and Stein, the Green candidate. All others will cater first to the wealthy. Clinton will be chosen over Sanders because for some weird reason 'mericans vote for the guy they think will fight for who they think they'll be one day, not for whom they are now. I think it's about time to stop feeling sorry for most Americans, half of them won't bother to go vote anyway, and a huge majority will keep voting for the wrong guys.
Justin Weaver -> PhilippeOrlando
I totally get you, but I think that a lot of Americans truly believe that they ARE prosperous even if they have minimal savings, no job security, and are only one medical disaster away from bankruptcy. Many American's have really bought the American dream narrative even if they have little chance of achieving it.
patimac54
Bernie's brother Larry, long time UK resident, stood for the Green Party in my constituency in the recent elections. He has spent his adult life working for others, particularly carers, and is a man of great integrity and intelligence. Of course he didn't win but was by far the most impressive candidate at the local hustings, and thereby exposed the audience to a viewpoint most will not have experienced previously.
If Bernie is half the man his brother is, US voters have a fine candidate, and similarly he may open up the electorate's eyes to the idea that it is possible to believe in something better.
amorezu
A man that openly calls himself a 'democratic socialist' will never win in the USA. People here have an allergy to the word 'socialism'. Unfortunately that allergy is causing them to be OK with living in a de-facto oligarchy.
Observer453
Something I love about Bernie Sanders is that he is straight forward, honest in his views and cannot be bought. I imagine he's something of a mystery to the many 'politicians', as Barack Obama recently described himself.

Someone that actually thinks about what is best for the people, not for himself. Bernie calls himself a Socialist, if that is what Socialism means - and caring for the environment - sign me up.

jdanforth
Part of an analysis of the Sanders campaign, written three weeks ago by Bruce A. Dixon:

Bernie Sanders is this election's Democratic sheepdog. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there's no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.

1984 and 88 the sheepdog candidate was Jesse Jackson. In 92 it was California governor Jerry Brown. In 2000 and 2004 the designated sheepdog was Al Sharpton, and in 2008 it was Dennis Kucinich. This year it's Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. The function of the sheepdog candidate is to give left activists and voters a reason, however illusory, to believe there's a place of influence for them inside the Democratic party,...

Doro Wynant jdanforth

Except:

1. Not one of the candidates cited had the legislative background that Sanders has -- not the duration in office, not the proven appeal to a diverse constituency, not the proven ability to work respectfully with unlike-minded peers.

2. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson clearly never had a chance; they're not at all in the same category.

3. Poverty is at a 50-year high in the US, and many once-middle-class, educated, professional persons (myself included) are -- thanks to the recession -- part of the nouveau poor. Even the formerly-non-activist-types are angry, and they're paying attention to his talk of income inequality -- and Sanders has more credibility as a potential reformer than does wealthy insider HRC.

4. What Dixon condescendingly refers to as "left activists and voters [who have no influence in the party]" are in fact people with mainstream ideas about building and maintaining a stable society. The right, having skewed the debate over the past 25 years, luvvvvvs to pretend that these centrist, humane ideas are wacky and way-out when in fact they're, well, mainstream ideas. Who among us doesn't want a safe, clean world in which to live, love, work, raise our families?

Not only is that not a wacky idea, it's a very -- GASP -- Christian idea/ideal!

Jon Phillips

If you vote for Hillary you are accepting that America is now an oligarchy. How else can you explain the amount of time the Bush & Clinton families have occupied the White House?

300 million Americans and 2 families have occupied the White House for 20 of the last 28 years........

RickyRat

This business comes down to just two choices: You can vote for Pennywise the Clown in either his Republican or her Democratic persona, along with the creature's Robber Baron backers, or you can vote for Sanders. You could cast a protest vote somewhere else, but doing that will just further the cause of the Robber Barons. Let's take back the wheel of the American political process!

Bertmax RickyRat

That is a fallacy called "false equivalency". It is wrong to say that both parties are to blame. Sure, both have their share of corruption, but at least the Democrats are pushing legislation that actually benefits the 90%. I am a member of neither party, since I don't believe in supporting only a narrow set of ideals one way or the other, but the GOP are the true scourge of my country. People like Sanders and Warren actually care about this country.

Doro Wynant Needsmorecow

This site links you to legislation he sponsored or co-sponsored, to his bio, and to his website:
https://www.congress.gov/member/bernard-/bernie_sanders.S000033

Chris Plante
A recent poll had Bernie "lagged behind the favorite by a margin of 63% to 13%" Is that among the fake people "Hillary Who" has supporting her?

He's probably doing much better among real people.

RickyRat Chris Plante
There is a machine out there, running full blast. Sanders is the wrench the machine's owners fear.
Jeannie Parker
I take offense at the suggestion he's from far left field. It's absurd to say in the least. He's been drafted by us. He's running for us. All of us. I admin on few Bernie Sanders' pages on FB and I can tell you with all certainty that the folks getting behind this man and his campaign are coming from across the political spectrum.

The beauty of it is, he has a thirty some odd years long record that cannot be altered.
This man has and always will work for the interests of everyone.

No one can listen to him and his policy positions and not get behind him.

Bernie Sanders is coming and a revolution is coming with him.

No amount of money can sway us or turn us from our goal of seeing this fine gentleman ascend to the highest office of our Land. Cheers.

[Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

Notable quotes:
"... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
"... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "How America Was Lost" ..."
"... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
"... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
"... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
"... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
"... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
"... "historical turning point," ..."
"... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
"... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
"... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
"... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
"... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
"... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
"... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
May 13, 2015 | RT News
The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

"On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

"Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

[Dec 02, 2016] Fascism or national-chauvinism is a tool purposefully utilized by the neoliberal center to divert economic discontent that might otherwise find a home on the left.

Notable quotes:
"... At the end of the day Trump isn't a real national-chauvinist, the compromise term I'll settle for here instead of you-know-what. He's a backbench member of the neoliberal ruling class, and a participant in the ongoing game in which two neoliberal electoral blocs make vague rhetorical overtures toward leftism and national-chauvinism while taking turns implementing different aspects of a thoroughly neoliberal governing agenda. ..."
"... the greater danger this US election season was Democrats' decision to validate and legitimize the so-called "moderate Republicans" who for decades have been laying the groundwork for Trump and all the future Trumps to come. ..."
"... In that vein, MisterMr touches on the crucial point that fascism or national-chauvinism is a tool purposefully utilized by the liberal center to divert economic discontent that might otherwise find a home on the left. ..."
"... Politics is about priorities. You don't need a policy statement "dropping" someone to drop them. All you have to do is make them one of your lowest priorities. ..."
Dec 02, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
Patrick 12.01.16 at 6:34 pm 88

"Since the collapse of faith in neoliberalism following the Global Financial Crisis, the political right has been increasingly dominated by tribalism. "

And the political left has been increasingly dominated by neoliberalism.

WLGR 12.01.16 at 7:02 pm 89 ( 89 )

faustusnotes, to blur the divide between the neoliberal center and the socialist left is to fall totally and completely into the trap. At the end of the day Trump isn't a real national-chauvinist, the compromise term I'll settle for here instead of you-know-what. He's a backbench member of the neoliberal ruling class, and a participant in the ongoing game in which two neoliberal electoral blocs make vague rhetorical overtures toward leftism and national-chauvinism while taking turns implementing different aspects of a thoroughly neoliberal governing agenda.

The fact that all these "never Trump" Republicans are now clamoring for roles in what's predictably shaping up as a neoliberal administration with a national-chauvinist veneer should validate what the left has been saying all along: that Trump as a politician is not in any meaningful sense unprecedented, his rhetoric proceeds logically or even inevitably from the long (and bipartisan) tradition of national-chauvinist ideology in US electoral politics, and if anything the greater danger this US election season was Democrats' decision to validate and legitimize the so-called "moderate Republicans" who for decades have been laying the groundwork for Trump and all the future Trumps to come.

... ... ...

In that vein, MisterMr touches on the crucial point that fascism or national-chauvinism is a tool purposefully utilized by the liberal center to divert economic discontent that might otherwise find a home on the left.

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Sebastian H 12.02.16 at 8:03 am 93 ( 93 )

"WLGR, where is the democratic policy statement that they are "dropping" the interests of blue collar workers?"

This isn't a clear way of analyzing the problem. Politics is about priorities. You don't need a policy statement "dropping" someone to drop them. All you have to do is make them one of your lowest priorities.

[Nov 30, 2016] Trump Loves to Win, But American Generals Have Forgotten How

Notable quotes:
"... By Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is ..."
"... So, yes, Trump's critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn't: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems?