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Resurgence of neofascism as a reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization

News Corporatism Recommended Links Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex National neoliberalism
Predator state National Security State Neocons as USA neofascists Inverted Totalitarism Crisis of Neoliberalism and Shift to neofascism Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime
Nation under attack meme The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Big Uncle is Watching You Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
National Socialism and Military Keysianism F-scale American Exceptionalism Neo Trotskyism aka Neoconservatism Neo-theocratic Movements Audacious Oligarchy and Loss of Trust
Totalitarian Decisionism New American Militarism The Grand Chessboard Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Corruption of Regulators Double High Authoritarians The Iron Law of Oligarchy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Reconciling Human Rights IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
The Tea Party Mayberry Machiavellians Neoliberal rationality Henry A Wallace Quotes Snowden Quotes Etc
"Fascism: Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship, and forcible suppression of opposition."

--Merriam-Webster Dictionary

"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites , abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

- Robert Paxton


Introduction

All forms of fascism (aka "national socialism") are based on the merger of government and corporations. Now we can add intelligence agencies to the list of corporations, as they operate semi-independently from the government and often have goals which does not correlate (and sometimes are opposite) with the goals of executive branch especially in foreign policy.  They form the core of so called Deep State and position themselves of a new praetorian guard that makes of breaks presidential candidates at will.  The suppression of Hillary Clinton "emailgate", surveillance over Trump campaign and launching by intelligence services color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate) after his election is just one the most recent illustration of this trend.

Fascism combines nationalism, militarism and revival/rebirth of nation fantasies in a unique but eclectic framework. It simply  lacks a coherent theoretical/ideological core: oscillating between elitism and populism, between anti-capitalist and anti-socialist themes, and between ethnic and cultural nationalism.  In all cases  fascism (and neofascism) offers  an alternative to liberal and neoliberal (neofascism) ideology and social practice.  And the objective causes of fascism "renaissance" that we observe have less to do with "revival" fantasies of ‘rebirth’ of the society in crisis,  than with the failure of neoliberalism as the ideology of modern "market economies."  In a way fascism  is a revolutionary ‘third way’ ideology, combining elements of conservatism and socialism, anti-materialist revision of Marxism which reflects synthesis of right wing nationalism (some researchers  consider fascism as the most  extreme form of nationalism) and trade unionism (syndicalism). The key fascist myth of unity and national identity oppose both capitalism and socialismIt also has specific flavour due to the fantasy of ‘national rebirth’ ("Make America Great Again" is the variation on the same theme), As an ideology fascism revolves around five major themes:

In this sense the events after WWII proved that the merger of government and corporate power was not accidental and proved to have a staying power. Germany,  Italy and Spain, each with its own national idiosyncrasies were simply pioneers in this direction.  There are strong objections of using the term "fascism" due to its historical baggage (and first of the connection to all the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in WWII), but the ideology of neofascism now experience strong Renaissance in most European countries, the USA and GB. Critics claim that the term lost any precision and in many respects become a catchall for any kind of totalitarianism and far right policies. But this is not completely true. Ideas if national socialism recently muted in more modern forms of "inverted totalitarism" and national security state. 

There are distinct new elements in those new political structures, which were absent in the classic fascist states. Some prominent  element of classic fascist state such using violence to suppress opposition are now lost relevance. Moreover the dominance of "military industrial complex" is viewed by many as a new form of fascism, which was the essence of warning of President Eisenhower.  

Neofascism rejects or revise several postulates of fascism:

Other critics claim that the term became useless because it lacks strict definition.  I disagree with this position. Despite clear deficiency the term "neofascism capture important class of social reaction again neoliberalism in various countries and as such  a legitimate political/sociological term. It does have more or less "well structured" definition which allows to distinguish it from "classic fascism" on one side and "neoliberalism" on the other.  Wikipedia defines the term stressing the neofascism possesses significant elements of fascist ideology, and defining what are those significant elements as:

Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism, anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-anarchism, and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.

You can see the Wikipedia authors experience difficulties with the definition.  That's why they included the phases "usually" and  "where relevant."  So in thier opinion three trait are more important  then the other:

  1. ultranationalism,
  2. populism,
  3. anti-immigration policies

Classic fascism (as implemented in Germany by NSDAP and in Italy by Mussolini) can be viewed as a variant of ultra-nationalism which aspires to bring the renewal of a nation deeply in crisis and advocates the replacement of the corrupt liberal democracy with (supposedly temporary) authoritarian dictatorship under a strong leader with extraordinary powers (like in army).  

At the same time "classic fascism" it was closely linked to the post WWI realities, especially for Germany.  In many ways, Classic Fascism strongly correlates with the mental state of nation which is attacked by strong enemy, the enemy which has supporters inside the country. 

But it is more then that. The distinct feature of fascism is its strong aversion to the excessive financialization of economy and banking, which fascist consider evil (in a way prosecution of Jews under Fascism was closely connected with their role in banking, not only as a repression against the group the refuses to assimilate).  And this feature of national socialism now is instrumental in its revival, as financialization was the essence of neoliberalism.  Which can be consider as the rule of financial oligarchy -- the same class of people against which original German fascist tried to fight, while masking it with the particular national identity, due to historical for Europe overrepresentation of Jew in financial industry. 

Unlike Trotskyism and neoliberalism,  fascism is always nationalistic, so attempt to equate neoliberalism and fascism is the attempt to ignore the core difference between them. That's why neofascism is on the rise due to the crisis of neoliberal globalization. It is true though, that neoliberalism carry elements of neofascism and represent a rich subtract on which neofascism can grow, because like situation after the WWI it creates mass of disenfranchised workers and small entrepreneurs, who are deprived of chances to be the valuable members of society

As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

Both have the elements of Nietzschean Ubermench philosophy imbedded in hem

Elements of neofascist programs

If one looks at NSDAP program of 1920, one can clearly see the requisite elements of fascist social movements. Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party: 

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

In addition Classic Fascism typically promotes militarism and territorial or economic expansion as the way to deal with internal problems.  In this sense it is indistinguishable from neoliberalism (and both have common  roots in Trotskyism). Both consider violence including foreign wars a useful political tool. With neoliberalism openly advocating Trotskyite-type of "Permanent revolution" in countries the refuse to switch this social system.

Another important feature of fascism that distinguishes it from neoliberalism is that this ideology has strong suspicion the liberal democracy is just a tool for the dictate of financial oligarchy, which has all the money to buy politicians.  In this sense neofascism starts when the party/movement that adhere to the fascism social program renounce violence and accepts parliamentary democracy as the "necessary evil", still striving to get to power using the election mechanisms and use for suppression of financial oligarchy, especially international investment banks and speculators like Soros. But instead of military coup d'état they accept the goal of winning the election within the constrains imposed by this model in Western states (although tremendous growth of political power of intelligence  agencies, which really became "kingmakers:, and which in the core can be considered as new type of proto-fascist political parties,  put important corrections into this consideration; in a way they stand in the direct opposition to the parliamentary system, like classic fascism)

In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality.  It remains a viable right wing program for setting up a highly centralized regime with militaristic, nationalistic policies (especially external expansion, for example in the form of neoliberal empire expansion), merge of industrial and financial corporations with the government, total population control, rigid control of MSM by intelligence agencies, and "extra-judicial" methods of suppression of opposition, including McCarthyism witch hunts and  "Russogate"

In its essence any form of fascism is an attempt to simplify control of population by the elite, by "bribing" the dominant in the particular state nationality.

Neofascism essentially relax the same postulates of "classic fascism" making it more socially acceptable, but preserving the core resentment against financialization of the economy (but no longer associates it with the particular ethnic group) as well as immigration, viewing foreigners as a group  which "steals" jobs and wealth from the core demographic group of the particular country. 

Unlike "classic fascism", neofascism does not directly oppose to parliamentary democracy and is ready to work within parliamentary system to get to power. Itt does not advocate violence against political opponents as the primary means of suppressing the opposition, although it does not shut from using it when necessary or expedient. 

At the same time modern technology polished the ways of suppression any opposition by other means (see Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism ) so this difference is pretty superficial -- the level of spying on the population in any modern Western state is comparable with the level that existed in Germany under the rule of NSDAP. 

The strongest common link is rampant militarism and exaggeration of external threat to the nation well-being (for example, the threat from Islamic terrorism),  which makes it surprisingly close to the ideology of National Security State  and not that different from neoliberalism (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

In other words while classic fascism now is almost extinct, there are multiple and more viable mutations of far right nationalism (which experience renaissance due to impoverishment of population caused by neoliberal austerity) that are called by generic name of neofascism. And it proved to be highly adaptable ideology with higher survivability potential than classic Bolshevism.   In almost all European countries and in the USA nationalist movements are on the rise and far right parties often enjoy success in elections.  They come to power in several European states such as Poland, Ukraine, and several Baltic republics.

Preoccupation with the community decline, humiliation and idea of rejunivenation of the nation

The most distinct feature of this set of political movements is obsessive preoccupation with militarism, community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood (Nation under attack meme) and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and the idea of national rejuvenation (as reflected in "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) slogan, although it originated in  the Paleoconservatism movement which is not connected to fascist ideology of any kind).

After all, the concept of national rejuvenation after a deep economic/political crisis historically was one of the key reasons  classic fascist regimes of the last century came to power. Both Mussolini and then Hitler espoused citizens’ duty to recover their respective nations ancient strength and glory from the situation of deep decline after the defeat in the WWI and reparations imposed.  Both fought with valor in WWI.

The key question for particular country is:

"Do the country has an organized, committed nationalistic (please note that "exceptionalism" is a form of nationalism) militants, in alliance with traditional elites, who are ready to use extra-judicial methods (not necessary violence) with minimal legal restrains for internal cleansing of the society and external expansion?".  

Without far right nationalists organized in military fashion as was the case in Ukraine it is difficult to classify a movement which adheres to those ideas and is as a fascist movement. But it can well be neofascist. The readiness to go to extra-legal means is the key distinction between neofascism (and any far right nationalism) and regular nationalism (which essentially adhere to "law and order" paradigm).

Both "Regular" nationalism, "national neoliberalism" followers (Trumpism) and economic nationalists still are adhering to the existing legal framework and fights for their ideas on election booth. Fascists cross this boundary (and that's why they often are called far-right).  They despise traditional dual law enforcement (one for elite and one for common people) and oligarchic democracy (the democracy for only top 1% or less of population) and think that authoritarian model is preferable to the existing level of corruption in legal system as well as harsh punishment for transgression (not understanding that while the existing "far from being perfect" legal system might be eliminated, both injustice in the form of preferential treatment of the elite (which essentially is above the law) and corruption will remain; just the composition of the elite changes)

Animosity toward financial oligarchy; distinguishing between earned and unearned income

Another important distinction is  presence of elements of social democratic requirements, requirements for social justice in their program: neofascists movements typically are more pro-middle class and, at least partially, pro working class then far right movements.  One litmus test is the level of animosity toward  financial oligarchy and "unearned" income.  This is the key distinction of neofascism and "national neoliberalism" (Trumpism).  Unlike neoliberals, which hare many trials with fascism and neofascism they view sovereignty of the nation as an "ultimate good" that need to be preserved and defended.

They are also anti-elite, and anti multinational corporations and transnational organizations like NAFTA or WTO.  And especially against transnational financial oligarchy (in Nazism that degenerated into anti-Semitism as the percentage of Jews among top levels of financial oligarchy was always very high, but it is not necessary for a fascist movement to be anti-Semitic per se; other nationalities can serve as scapegoats).

Like classic economics, a typical neofascist movement distinguished between "earned" and "unearned" income and consider the later a sign of parasitism and decadence of the society.  NSDAP program of 1920 explicitly stated

"Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery."

Without this point we can talk only about for-right nationalism or in case of "economic nationalism" and "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without globalization as to a certain extent professed by Trump administration).

Territorial or economic expansion

The idea of Lebensraum - Wikipedia is inherent of fascist movements but typically is absent or is suppressed  of neo-fascism movements: .

The German concept of Lebensraum (German pronunciation: [ˈleːbənsˌʁaʊm]  "living space") comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901,[2] Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion.[3] The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.[4]

And as far as external expansion goes, neoliberalism can definitely viewed as a form of neofascism ("Permanent War for Permanent Peace"), so there is a strong connection between neoliberalism and neofascism in foreign policy area and for this reason neoconservatism should probably be viewed as a modern flavor of neofascism.  See Professor Andrew Bacevich excellent book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

But, in reality it is not, even if it is used as a synonym of "far right nationalism", because most modern far right nationalism movement borrow key ideas of the three classic fascist regimes -- Mussolini in Italy, Nazism in Germany and Fracoism (falangism) in Spain.  New is often well forgotten old.   As Robert O. Paxton noted in his essay "The Five Stages of Fascism":

We cannot give up in the face of these difficulties. A real phenomenon exists. Indeed, fascism is the most original political novelty of the twentieth century, no less. ... If we cannot examine fascism synthetically, we risk being unable to understand this century, or the next.

We must have a word, and for lack of a better one, we must employ the word that Mussolini borrowed from the vocabulary of the Italian Left in 1919, before his movement had assumed its mature form. Obliged to use the term fascism, we ought to use it well.

Similarly there is a right for existence of the term neofascism, which is general denotes more aggressive and violent forms of far right nationalism, but at the  same time expressing interests of lower middle and working class and having strong anti financial oligarchy sentiments (for example, distinguishing between earned and unearned income (rent)).  This is a set of trends and far right political movements  now observable in many countries which experienced neoliberal austerity, especially in Europe.

Like fascism and neoliberalism, in no way neofascism is a coherent ideology. It is often self-contradicting and contains mutually exclusive elements. That are several sometimes conflicting types of neofascism in modern societies:

Neofascism ideology is pretty fuzzy and flexible (remember that allies of Nazi Germany in WWII were Japanese, which were as far from Arian ethno type as we can get; while Nazi were adamantly anti-Slav, which represents very similar to Arian ethnic type).

All-in-all it represents a popular and rising in importance on the political scene post–World War II ideology, which proved to be more enduring and popular then the communist ideology. It well coexists with neoliberalism (and can be completely merged with it as in Chile under Pinochet). While "excesses" of classical fascism are rejected it still has the key elements of "national socialism" in the form of  "socialism for 1%", if you wish.

There are multiple similar terms, such as military-industrial complex (neoconservatives can be viewed as lobbyists of military industrial complex, and as such neofascist at  least in foreign policy strategy and goals),  predator state, national security state, etc which essentially describe the same phenomenon, stressing different aspects of it. 

Modern technologies makes neofascist regimes more viable

While still adhering to the core postulates of fascism, neofascism is very flexible and thus more difficult to define precisely. It relies on achievement  of modern technologies and first of all new possibility of surveillance. Neofascism replace physical suppression of internal opposition with MSM control (the situation which already is fully achieved in neoliberal societies).  Opposition is simply pushed out of mainstream media into alternative media and ignored, but not physically suppressed.

Along with computers and communication  technologies, other technological achievement plays in neofascism favor as well. for example war against weaker opponents now can be conducted with much less casualties and most via technological supremacy on the battlefield. 

Similar the idea of racial/ethnic purity can be replaced by cultural "belonging", by rejection of speakers of alternative languages (and  culture) in particular country. It can be Spanish in the USA, or Russian in Ukraine. 

Neo-fascism also deploy more sophisticated forms of identity politics, than classic fascism. And it less oriented on open violence. Neo-fascists often reject ethnic-based identity policies replacing "ethnic nationalism" with the "cultural nationalism" based solely on the language and culture identifies.

Similar, the idea of one party rule system present in classic fascism can be replaced with two party system, producing the same effect and allowing to preserve parliamentary democracy, while achieving basically the same goals as one party system as both party candidates are selected by non-elected party functionaries, be it  the "Deep state" in the form o intelligence agencies control of elections,  or the "party elite", or some mixture of the two.  

Mass authoritarian, far right  party can now be replaced by personnel of intelligence agencies which serve the same purpose with intelligence  agencies brass becoming political leaders of the movement, much like Nazi bonzes in the past.

Neofascism and the predator state

Look how close to basic tenets of neofascism (if we assume that Arian nation is limited to financial, government and corporate oligarchy) is what James K Galbraith called the predator state (from the review by Thomas I Palley of the book in Asia Times Online,  Aug 22, 2008):

Economist Jamie K Galbraith's recent book [1] describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a "predator state". Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an "American corporate" predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.

Kleptocratic predator states, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe or Sese Seko Mobutu's Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.

It is important to understand the social origins of the American corporate predator state because understanding is a necessary part of developing responses for caging the predators and replacing them with another, better, order. Those origins clearly trace back to the military-industrial complex that president Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final televised address to the nation on January 17, 1961.

That complex has captured politics and corrupted the business of government, including of course the conduct of national security policy. The fact that it has wrapped itself with the flag makes it impossible to confront without being charged as unpatriotic. Worst yet, its enormous enduring profitability has provided a model for imitation by other industrial complexes like Big Pharma and Big Oil.

The political success of these predators is clearly linked to money's role in politics. Money gives the power to buy the political process, and that power is defended by a gospel of free speech that takes no account of the fact that out-shouting someone is qualitatively equivalent to silencing them. Economics also comes to money's defense with its absurd myth of a market for ideas in which participants compete on a level playing field and truth is effortlessly sorted from error.

The American worship of business and businessmen, which Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt, 1922) wrote about long ago, also plays a role. This worship privileges business over thought and other activities, and is behind the dismissive sneer "if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?" As a result, Americans are all too willing to hand over their government to business predators. Today, it is in Goldman Sachs we trust.

Another feature of business worship is a tendency to conflate profit with free markets. That means the distinction between fair competition (which is good) and fat profits (which are bad) is lost, thereby providing cover for predators.

Lastly, there is the legacy of the Cold War which contributed to economic dumbing-down and suppression of awareness of class and class conflict. This suppression was seen as necessary for blunting the dangerous appeal of Soviet communism, but a consequence was to create blindness to the predators in our midst.

All of this reveals a deep deficit in America's social and economic understanding (some deficits really do matter). And as long as this deficit remains, the predators will have a starting-gate advantage in the game of political persuasion.

Yet, how to close the deficit and insert another understanding is an enormous challenge. There are deep institutional obstructions in the academy, the media, and the Democratic Party. Moreover, raising these issues may create unsettling cognitive dissonance that pushes voters into denial and a closer embrace of the predators.

In effect, there is a paradox to be solved. Lasting progressive political victory requires transforming understanding, but the immediate political incentives are aligned to discourage engagement with such a project.

Note: The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K Galbraith, Free Press, 2008.

Thomas I Palley is the founder of the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project.
 

Classic fascism

Fascism is not a uniform doctrine. From the very beginning there were different flavors of it. In this sense attempt to distill key features of such regimes are difficult and non-rewarding task because fascism was always a national not universal (like Marxism) phenomenon.  Such attempts as Arendt's leave much to be desired. Even within a single country there can be several competing version of fascism. They can be even hostile to such an extent that the supporters of one of fascism movement strive to completely destroy the supporters of the other.

Since 30-ies of XX century, there were four "classic" flavors of fascism: Italian fascism, Nazism,  and Spanish Francoism(falangism) and (mostly Latin American) "induced fascism" régimes.  All "classic" versions rely on mass political movement of the "middle class" making a claim to political power -- to the detriment of the traditional elites and "working classes".  They were mildly hostile to monopolies and, sometimes, to financial oligarchy. For example, Nazi decried  "unearned income" -- rentier capitalism.  All those regimes were revolutionary in a sense that they  accepted violence as the legitimate political tool in the struggle to get to power. 

But even within them there are multiple and significant differences both in social base and proclaimed goals:

The political views of the "new right" coincided with the views of practitioners of neoliberalism in the era of Reaganomics and Thatcherism. Not by chance the Pinochet regime (a classic example of "induced, puppet fascism") is characterized as "Militant Thatcherism". Even the fundamental views publicly expressed by Thatcher and Pinochet, were often identical (e.g., he and the other refused to recognize the existence of society - which was, in fact, merely a repetition of the doctrine of Italian fascism). What parties and movements, connecting the idea of "new right"   has achieved in recent years greater success in elections in Western Europe: the national front of  Le Pen in France, the party of P. Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the freedom Party. Haider in Austria, etc. (revealing, incidentally, that the Freedom Party is included in the Liberal international!).

Other cases pre-war neofascism was monarchist far right regimes developed in countries of Eastern Europe.   Rapid inclusion of these parties and regimes in the orbit of Italian and German influences have masked their identity, on the one hand, and did not allow them to develop into independent phenomenon.

There can me multiple fascism movements in the same country. In France before the war all three classic brand of fascism were well represented: French version of the Italian fascism ("francism", etc.), the French version of Nazism (French people's party, etc.), the French version of francoism ("capulary") and, finally, the original aristocratic elitist fascism "action française", close to the monarchist-fascism. Sometimes the supporters of the different flavors of fascism fight with each other. In Austria  supporters of Italian fascism came to power in February 1934, but in July, the Nazis organized a putsch and killed Chancellor E. Dollfuss, and ended the fight by smashing austrofascism and initiating the Anschluss. In Hungary, the supporters of Italian fascism - hungarista led by Admiral Horthy was overthrown in 1944 by the Hungarian Nazis movement  headed by Salashi. In Romania, the confrontation between supporters of Italian fascism and Nazism - "seleniumselenium", "jeleznovodask", Antonescu and Horia SIMA - has resulted in mutual mass terror .

After World war II the Western ruling elite has never repeated his pre-war mistakes and understood that fascism is a tricky bet in the fight against social revolution. So it was relegated as a tool for countries "About  which we do not care" They understood that such a movement as  "classical" fascism or other extremist movements of "middle class" easily get out of control.  All post-war fascist regimes relied on mass movements. Such movements were outlawed in most Western countries.  

Fascism vs. far right nationalism

As neofascism has a lot of common features with far right nationalism it is very difficult to say when one ends and another starts. Those terms can be used as synonyms, but I would suggest that neofascism is a specific flavor of far right nationalism that has anti-financial oligarchy bent.   It is a more "socialist" version of far right nationalism and always was.

So far right nationalism a more generic term then neofascism: all neofascists are far right nationalists, but the reverse is not true.

Neofascism is more narrow concept that emphasizes/defines more features of the movement then far right nationalism.  Typically neofascism movements are a more radical, more anti-democratic, more statist than an "average" far right nationalism movements.  And their flavor of militaristic bent includes the idea of expanding the "living space"/empire  for the particular nation (or country) by promoting rampant militarism (which also serves as a tool to "unify" the nation and suppress dissent).  Like for example neoconservatives in the USA.  Also neofascism has a certain flavor of "victimhood" which far right nationalism does not necessary possesses. 

What is clear that there is a much larger political space for far right nationalist movements then for neofascist movements in modern societies. The backlash against neoliberal globalization now mainly take the form of far right nationalism, but not necessarily neo-fascism: many such far right movement are completely devoid of the hostility to financial oligarchy and unearned income. 

So it's given that far right movements and their more specific case -- neofascism -- have many common features, many similarities:

  1. Like far right nationalism, neofascism denies equality of people. So in a way it oppose to Christian and other major religions. This is a clearly anti-elitarian ideology "at large" while it can be egalitarian "in  the small", within an  "Arian nation" whatever it means for the particular movement.  In a fundamental way internal fascist policies are just a transfer of policies and methods used Europeans in colonies to the specific ethnicities in European countries (Slavs, Jews, Gypsies).  In a way the Hitler idea of colonizing and exterminating Slavs was a plagiarism from the USA colonists treatment of Indians.
     
  2. If we abstract from external expansion, then the idea Arian ("titular") nation or social group in fascism is a variation of the theme of Apartheid and can be called internal colonialism, or internal colonization of the country.  The same is generally true about far right nationalism although the selection of Arian group is different.
     
  3. Like far right nationalism neofascism  instills hatred and direct, open discrimination of some identifiable social groups and/or nationalities (immigrants, Jews, Gipsy, Russians, Chinese, etc)  -- the key ideas fascism stems from the concept of "national socialism" or socialism for one "chosen"/Arian nationality at the expense of others (the idea very similar to American Exceptionalism, in which the USA is proclaim to be special, blessed nation, that has the right to extent its power and influence any way it likes on other states and nations). In fascist ideology one group of people is classified as Ubermensch  and everybody else as  Untermensch. This division of people into two distinct classes is a fundamental feature of both far right nationalism and neofascism. Various forms of far right nationalism and neofascism differ only in the criteria of this division. It can be separation by race, nationality, language, or even between "creative people" (capitalists) is everybody else as in Randism.
     
  4. The idea of inferiority (of other nationalities, countries, political systems, etc). Neoliberalism is classic example of this trend. It simply denies the right to exist of any other form of political rule and practice so called "export of democracy" (read export of neoliberalism, often by military means, much like fascist governments of the past.
     
  5. Nationalist hysteria with a particular scapegoat as the tool to increase unity,  for example anti-Russian hysteria which replaced anti-Jewish hysteria in the past.
     
  6. Both promote militarism and "national security state".

But there are some minor  differences.

Like communists, classic fascists  promote violence as a legitimate political tool, but this is less true about neofascist.  Classic fascism, Payne says, requires "a philosophical valuing of violence, of Sorelian violence. [Fascists believe] that violence is really good for you, that it's the sort of thing that makes you a vital, alive, dedicated person, that it creates commitment. Fascism makes violence not just a political strategy, but also a philosophical principle. For fascists "war is the health of the nation". That's mentality is unique to fascism. This feature is reduced and subdued in neofascism, but still is present.

Classic fascism also has some anti-clerical bent and typically promotes  a specific  secular, "political religion" in which the nation is considered a real, living, and yet sacred thing to be revered and protected, instead of traditional religion.  This goes well beyond typical far right nationalism views on religion. Far right nationalists more commonly promote an existing religion  (Vox). But those two trends can happily co-exists.

The idea of rejuvenation of the nation also is typical for both. But look more closely at the way Trump talks about rejuvenating America:

These statements are much closer to the "I want my soccer team to win" version of patriotism — and much more concerned with the qualities of Donald Trump as the leader, than America the nation.

Two classes of people and NSDAP Party program of 1920

Neoliberal MSM brainwash people running a campaign hypertrophied dehumanization of  Untermensch. Essentially this campaign is directed toward conditioning people to view "lower classes" as a category of cattle, much like in slavery. This tendency of "blaming poor" is definitely a defining trend of modern day US neoliberalism.  And that's as close to fascism as one can get.

Socialism in national socialism exists only for Ubermensch. And for them (and for them only) it does contain almost all major socialist elements. This is undeniable if we analyze the  NSDAP Party program announced by Hitler on February 20, 1920. It is also important to  remember that some fascists leaders, such as Benito Mussolini, previously were prominent figures in the social-democratic  movement (Wikipedia)

The National Socialist Programme (aka the 25-point Programme and the 25-point Plan) was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP) but on the same day of the announced party program it was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), headed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 in front of around 2000 people in the Munich Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who, having explicitly supported Hitler, had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation.[1]

... ... ...

  1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
  2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
  3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
  4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
  5. Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
  6. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
  7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
  8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
  9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
  10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
  11. Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
  12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
  13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
  14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
  15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
  16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
  17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
  18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
  19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
  20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
  21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
  22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
  23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race; b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language; c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
  24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.[9]
  25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

Neoliberalism demonstrate the resurgence of classic fascism tendencies with the sharp division between upper class (Ubermensch) and lower class, "inferior people"  (Untermensch)  and the associated cult of violence. Although  in new slightly more moderate form, but with the same set of core ideas and principles.

In neofascism unrestricted violence, terror against "inferior people" is subdued. As the criteria nationality is often (but not completely) replaced with culture and especially the national language (language nationalism) and is directed almost exclusively to foreigners, immigrants and national minorities who continue to use "wrong" language because it is their mother tongue (for example, Russians in case of Far Right Forces in Ukraine).

In neoliberalism nationality is replaced by "creative abilities", which are understood as the ability of capital accumulation and self-enrichment. In cultural variant of neofascism the language and culture replace the race as a defining point of "belonging", and the key distinction between "Arian race" and Untermensch. Replacement of nationality with the cultural identity makes it closer to ultra-right republicanism as exists in the USA. It is also clearly visible in Ukrainian far right movement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vUDhy4BA-Xs

But all-in-all neofascism remains just a mutation of classic fascist ideology (yuricareport.com):

Call it Pseudo Fascism. Or, if you like, Fascism Lite. Happy-Face Fascism. Postmodern Fascism. But there is little doubt anymore why the shape of the "conservative movement” in the 21st century is so familiar and disturbing: Its architecture, its entire structure, has morphed into a not-so-faint hologram of 20th-century fascism.

...Unlike the genuine article, it presents itself under a normative, rather than a revolutionary, guise; and rather than openly exulting in violence, it pays lip service to law and order. Moreover, even in the areas where it resembles real fascism, the similarities are often more familial than exact. It is, in essence, less virulent and less violent, and thus more likely to gain broad acceptance within a longtime stable democratic system like that of the United States.

It is important to understand that neofascism inherited the major traits of fascism connected with creating a scapegoat nationality or anti-immigration sentiments, often induced by actual misbehavior of immigrants (such a rapes, beating of people by criminal gangs, etc) or large influx of immigrant from other nation in economic crisis (Immigrants in Europe, Russia, to lesser extent in other "countries of immigrants" such as USA, Australia, Canada, etc). At certain stages it can actually "return to the roots" and adopt violence as the key form of dealing with the opponents (see EuroMaidan )

The key element of any flavor of fascist ideology is rejection of liberalism and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy (and implicitly to the rule of law). It is the cult of "strong hand" the makes it similar to authoritarism. While officially neofascists parties no longer endorses violence as a chief means to silence the opposition, they often resort to it as a temporary mean to achieve their goals, and, especially, to come to power.

Allegations that a group is neofascist are typically hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a political epithet.

Revolt of the elite against "commoners"

neofascism can be viewed as one of the forms of the "revolt of the elite", a mutation of corporatism that invariably emerges during acute economic crises and related loss of profitability of many businesses. While cannon fodder of neofascism are small business owners, the puppeteers always are large business owners and, especially, financial oligarchy and oligarchy connected to  military-industrial complex. For the latter neofascism is an ideal regime.

That's why right now proto-fascist and neofascist groups and sentiments are on the rise in many countries including, but not limited USA, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Poland, Greece, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Norway. In many cases neofascist parties such as Ukrainian Svoboda get enough votes to be represented in national parliaments (algemeiner.com/2013/05/24):

In Ukraine, the noisiest anti-Semitic group is the Svoboda ( "Freedom”) party. Established in 1991 as the "Social-National Party of Ukraine” under the SS-era symbol of the Wolfsangel. In 2004, with new leader Oleh Tyahnybok, the party renamed itself and adopted innocuous symbols.

That, however, didn’t change the Nazi characteristic of the party. Tyahnybok himself has stated on several occasions that the "Moscow-Jewish mafia” is running Ukraine. Other prominent party members have often used the derogatory, anti Jewish slur ”zhid”, including against Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, suggesting she was not a "real” Ukrainian because of her Jewish heritage.

Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division. (To Svoboda’s vocal displeasure, Poland’s parliament recently introduced a resolution condemning the OUN and the UPA for wartime massacres of Polish civilians.)

Here is another telling video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z24XaNIbmp0

Skinheads is also a prominent phenomenon which is typical for many European countries. They are definitely part of neofascism movement. This rage is directed toward immigrants. Torch processions borrowed from classic fascism now became common in many countries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20929755)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MEKJDle0nZ0

7 January 2013 Last updated at 01:38 ET Help

A sudden rise in popularity of Ukraine's ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, has caused concern both inside and outside the country.

Svoboda, which means "freedom" in Ukrainian, is allied with European far-right parties. But many observers warn that its views are extremist.

David Stern reports from Kiev.

Also popular are typical for classic fascism physical violence such as street fights with opponents. A new element is that now it can happen during football matches like recently in Poland:

Removed by Youtube

Neofascism and National Security State

While neofascism is anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, unlike classic fascism which openly declared itself as such, they deployed as thick smoke screen of propaganda to present itself in completely different light. The destruction of meaning by creating "empty phrases" combining opposite ideas has, as we have seen, become a prominent strategy deployed by the conservative movement.]

Another key element of neofascism is "vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people." It often covered with a fig leaf of "fight against terrorism". DW.DE 09.01.2014

Like classic fascism neofascism remains rabidly anti-socialist. Actually socialists and communists, let's not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and "liquidated" by the Nazi regime.

Early on during the first term of the Bush presidency many progressives characterized Bush's statements and actions as "neofascist". It is also true that Bush II has some neofascist baggage, as Bush family did has some ties with fascist regimes in the past and the U.S. government found that Bush's grandfather had illegally aided the Nazis during the 30's. It's true that regime of Bush II has some neofascist leanings. It definitely introduced into public discourse and tried to implement in practice several elements of neofascist ideology. Some of them with some interesting innovations. For example, unlike classic fascism instead of mass mobilization Bush government preferred political passivity as prescribed by Inverted Totalitarism doctrine ("go shopping" was his famous recommendation after 9/11).

But full development of neofascist ideas and forming a popular party is impossible without acute economic distress

www.youtube.com/embed/Z24XaNIbmp0

or political crisis (like the one in Ukraine) and a real economic crisis arrived only at the end of Bush Presidency (2008). So paradoxically the major implementer of Bush neofascist ideas and first of all the idea of total surveillance was the regime of Barack Obama. With a tea-party being a close proxy of radical neofascist parties in Eastern Europe. There is distinct racial element in it. Nobody will try to disprove the claim that it has mainly white middle class composition. And like European radical parties of neofascist orientation it endorses violence to achieve its goals. See Tea Party and right wing rage

But even if we assume that 9/11 was a false flag operation that is reminiscent of Reichstag Fire generally the USA neofascist elements were innovatively mixed with the ideas from the theoretical model called Inverted Totalitarism. Direct violence toward opponents never materialized. Just the pre-existing process of the conversion of the USA into National Security State dramatically increased. Now we know more about the new role assigned to NSA during this period.

American exeptionalism ideas promoted by Bush administration clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. The unique feature here is that they were integrated into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime. So it's more like "top 1% uber alles" then "The USA uber alles" ;-).

The common features that constitute "generic fascism"

It should be stressed that some of ideas inherent in neofascist doctrine are integral part of European culture. As Paxton describes them (Robert O. Paxton, "The Five Stages of Fascism," The Journal of Modern History 70 (March 1998): pp. 3-5.) in the following way:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan [neoliberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Paxton's list makes easier to identify typical "passions" which are at play in proto-fascist environment, particularly during the debate over the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it (Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

In 2002, Laurence W. Britt's Fascism Anyone? analyzed seven fascist regimes in order to find the common features that constitute "generic fascism". He selected the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, Papadopoulos's Greece, Pinochet's Chile, and Suharto's Indonesia. He found 14 common characteristics (reprinted below, with 6 additions by Umberto Eco) and concluded:

"Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not."

We think "maybe not." It's just a matter of degree. There is an ongoing transformation of the US in this particular direction.

It is difficult to tell when far right nationalistic group get brown color. Litmus text is the creation of paramilitary group (death squads, stormtroopers, etc) for repression of opponents and adoption of terror as a legitimate methods of struggle for power. Those paramilitary group exists outside law, the key interpreter of which became the party not the counts. Another telling sign is the creation of concentration camps.

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism is carefully stroked up. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of foreigners that often borders on xenophobia. In the USA the role of nationalism serves American exeptionalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. While the regime can and often pay lip services to human rights, this is just a smokescreen. In reality such regimes views human rights of opponents as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Terror against opponents considered to be legitimate. At the same time, they can promote human rights as false flag operation at home and at foreign policy. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses of paramilitary squads by marginalizing, even demonizing groups or nationalities being targeted. When abuse was egregious as was the case in Guantanamo Bay detention camp and Abu Ghraib, the tactic is to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice -- relentless propaganda and disinformation --were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite 'spontaneous' acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, Russians Chinese, other ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and "terrorists." Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly. Paradoxically the attempt to enforce absolute equality to people of non traditional sexual orientation can serve the same purpose.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. But the immanent feature of this type of regimes is that a disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism/exeptionalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite. See New American Militarism. The second part of this trend is cancer-style growth of intelligence agencies. Which at some point became uncontrolled government of the country and are engages in political actions. Role of CIA in JFK assassination is still covered but many researcher consider CIA the major player in the plot to kill JFK.
  5. A controlled mass media. Under most of neofascist regimes, the mass media is under strict direct or indirect control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Monopolization of MSM works that same way as total government control representing slightly more sophisticated and more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, buyout of journalists and news anchors, various direct or indirect forms of bribes, and implied threats. Sometimes physical violence is used too. The owners of the mass media are an integral part of the elite and as such do its bidding. The net result was usually complete success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes excesses.
  6. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus under direct control of the ruling elite is the most effective tool for crushing social protest, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting 'national security'. Questioning its activities is portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
  7. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as defenders of religion . The fact that the ruling elite's behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda is used to keep up the illusion that the ruling elites are defenders of the faith.

    A perception is manufactured that opposition to the power elite is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  8. Power of corporations, oligarchy is protected, while power of labor suppressed.. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of 'have-not' citizens. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
  9. Suppression of "non-conformist" intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security. In modern day direct physical suppression or elimination of opponents is no longer necessary. Indirect ways such as silencing them are no less effective. Universities are tightly, but indirectly, controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed and deprived of funding. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent are silenced. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
  10. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations, directed at lower classes. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Difference between regular and political crimes sometimes is fuzzy due to trumped-up criminal charges which sometimes are used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred of criminals is promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power and repression of political opponents. Police are militarized and provided with powerful weapons and military level communication tools.
  11. Rampant cronyism and corruption. On propaganda front such regimes often pretend to be anti-oligarchic and populists. But in reality rampant cronyism rules. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
  12. Fraudulent elections. Under such regimes elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls are usually bogus. With public opinion polls servicing as a powerful mean to ensure results of election not as a simple sampling tool. When actual elections held, candidates are preselected and both represents the same "party in power" just under slightly different sauce (Bush vs. Kerry), This way the whole idea of elections is perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Additional methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Here are six more characteristics found in Umberto Eco's "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt," from New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15.

  1. Neofascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For neofascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People. Because of its qualitative populism, neofascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell neofascism.

  2. Neofascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of neofascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show. [When fascism is employed in a society with democratic traditions, one strand of Newspeak is to use the traditional words, like "freedom," but to give them new meaning. This strategy is also employed when new programs are initiated. --Politex]

  3. Disagreement is treason. [As opposed to neofascism,] the critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For neofascism, disagreement is treason. neofascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus neofascism is racist by definition.

  4. Skilled manipulation of social frustration. neofascism derives its power from individual social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

  5. Life is permanent warfare. For neofascism life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

  6. Cult of personality. [The neofascist leader presents himself as a hero, a strong man. As such, his image is ubiquitous in the media, and is often photographed in costume in conjunction with images or people that represent the fascist characteristics noted above. --Politex] Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the neofascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since for such people sex is a difficult game to play, the neofascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

Rise of neofascism in Eastern and Western Europe

Both Eastern and Western Europe are experiencing a new and important cultural and political development: the appearance of a new breed, new generation, of far right, extremist movements. These are some indications of the emergence of a new, emerging political forces in Europe which emerged as a reaction to neoliberalism with its dominance of globalized banking. That lead to paradoxical situation when many of Le Pen's votes come from former Red strongholds. In other word like in 20th and 30th the working class is, for very understandable reasons, is turning to nationalism as an antidote to casino capitalism enforced by the USA. So the USA neoliberal empire is the main precondition for resurgence As Slavoj Žižek noted:

The Ukrainian nationalist right is one instance of what is going on today from the Balkans to Scandinavia, from the US to Israel, from central Africa to India: ethnic and religious passions are exploding, and Enlightenment values receding.

These passions have always been there, lurking; what’s new is the outright shamelessness of their display.

... ... ...

One of the signs of this regression is a request often heard on the new European right for a more "balanced" view of the two "extremisms", the right and the left. We are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme left (communism) the same way that Europe after the second world war treated the extreme right (the defeated fascists)

But in reality there is no balance here: the equation of fascism and communism secretly privileges fascism. Thus the right are heard to argue that fascism copied communism: before becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist; Hitler, too, was a National Socialist; concentration camps and genocidal violence were features of the Soviet Union a decade before Nazis resorted to them; the annihilation of the Jews has a clear precedent in the annihilation of the class enemy, etc.

The point of these arguments is to assert that a moderate fascism was a justified response to the communist threat (a point made long ago by Ernst Nolte in his defence of Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism). In Slovenia, the right is advocating the rehabilitation of the anti-communist Home Guard which fought the partisans during the second world war: they made the difficult choice to collaborate with the Nazis in order to thwart the much greater evil of communism.

Among other condition that favor resurgence of such groups we can name such features of neoliberal regimes, what now dominate the continent as demographic pressures from immigrant labor, social dislocation due to dismantling of social security state, and economic pressures inherent in "dog eat dog" capitalism and outsourcing to lower wage countries advocated by neoliberalism. In many ways neoliberalism represents a perfect environment for nurturing neofascist movements.

Those pressures are very similar to pressures which used to exist in 20th and 30th of the last century. As before they stimulate the formation of a new generation of far right movements whose motives and characteristics while somewhat differ from the right wing groups of the early twentieth century what came to power in Italy, Germany and Spain are still driven by the same resentment of middle class and "Lumpenbourgeoisie". They use the same ideas of dominance of particular ethnic group. scapegoat in form of another ethnic group, glorification of state, using violence against opponents, limitations on civil rights in the name of giving the state more power to protect the populace from "destructive elements" within the society and external aggressors. Fall of "fist generation" fascist regimes did not destroy the movement which acquired strong roots in neoliberal societies across the globe.

They are different from classic far right nationalist of the past that the criteria of belonging is no longer ethnicity per se (although some elements, for example anti-Semitism and Russophobia, of this remained) but "cultural affiliation" and first of all the language. In other words they are not fascists, they are neofascists. But in Ukraine they are not only alive, they are particularly well. Ukraine is the first European state where element of neofascist Party were included in the government after putsch of February 22.

All that means that the huge rise of Ukrainian far right forces is not a unique and isolated phenomenon. Far right organizations that first crystallized around football ultras and skinheads are European-wide phenomenon. See for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG-2HdFdvkY

This process also includes Russia although level of suppression of nationalism and especially neofascism in Russia is probably one of the highest among European countries.

And it goes without saying that all major EU counties experience dramatic rise of far right forces too. That includes Germany, France, Sweden as well as usual suspects Hungary, Poland and Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). The whole story of the EU since the Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Euro was about neoliberal conversion similar to the USA conversion. And this conversion destroyed standards of living of lower middle class, especially small merchants, across southern Europe. Now the Southern Europe have had enough and are going to send nationalists to the European Parliament (The Guardian, May 14, 2014):

In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.

This new wave of nationalism is different then the previous wave which arose in the beginning of XX century and which led to establishment of "classic" fascist regimes. It can be called "cultural nationalism" where not ethnicity, but cultural identity was put in the center of the nationalistic doctrine.

For "cultural nationalism" a common identity is based more on acceptance for the language and the culture than on the racial solidarity (although it dies not exclude xenophobia). Due to the power of the USA and general alliance with the West, fewer of this movements and parties are openly anti-Semitic and if they are anti-Semitic then the stress is on refusal of Jews to accept the national culture, the charge similar to the change of "country less cosmopolitans" trials in the USSR in late 40th of the last century.

Ukrainian fascists love the Russia-hammering NATO, but detest the Russia-accommodating and supra-nationalistic EU.

And they aren’t alone. Fascism — and anti-EU sentiment — pervade parts of Europe that never felt Stalin’s wrath. In the last elections for the European Parliament, "eurosceptics” and xenophobic ultra-nationalists scored significant gains, led by Marine Le Pen, whose National Front took 25% of the French seats.

A lot of it has to do with the equivocal track record of globalized neo-liberal capitalism in the last decade. We’re all Pikettyists now, and it seems that among the most important outcomes of neo-liberalism are income inequality and oligarchs.

It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.

Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the current system to secure and expand their wealth and power; liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear to be recipes for national impotence. Transnational free markets in capital and goods breed local austerity, unemployment, and poverty. Democratic governments seem to follow the free market playbook, get into problems they can’t handle, and surrender their sovereignty to committees of Euro-financiers.

Fascism, with its exaltation of the particular, the emotional, and the undemocratic provides an impregnable ideological and political bulwark against these outside forces.

Fascism has become an important element in the politics of resistance: a force that obstructs imposition of the norms of globalization, and an ideology that justifies the protection of local interests against the demands of liberal democracy, transnational capital, and property and minority rights.

Maybe it’s neo-liberalism, not fascism, that is facing a crisis of legitimacy and acceptance.

So the idea that fascism can be treated as a delusional artifact of the 20th century and the challenge of fascism to the neo-liberal order can be ignored is, itself, wishful thinking.

... ... ...

For some, resentment will, inevitably, congeal around nationalism and the perception that fascist resistance, defiantly militant, uncompromising, and irrational, racial and undemocratic, exclusionary and brutal, is the best instrument to achieve local identity and agency—power– in an ever bigger, more dangerous, and less responsive continental order.

New nationalist movements and far right groups widely use Internet and have well established Web presence including such social sited as Facebook and Google++. They also establish cross-border links with similar parties. For example Ukrainian far-right group have links not only with Germany far right (which is natural for them), but paradoxically also with Polish far-right with which they theoretically should be bitter enemies and sometimes even with Russian neo-liberals (several of them visited EuroMaidan in "support missions") and far-right groups (despite the fact that Russian culture and by extension people are official cultural enemy of Ukrainian nationalism)

Strong support by the government and big business

The story of 20th and 30th repeats again. Far right groups are nurtured by both government and part of the big business as the most adequate response to the challenging and poorly controlled political situation at home.  That happened, for example, in Ukraine under Yanukovich who essentially nurtured his own demise. As Helena Smith reported about Greece (The Observer, [Jun 09, 2014):

It has been a bad week for democracy in Athens. All around this great Greek city, the politics of hate now lurk. On Friday I got a taste of it in the tiny Italian-style cafe I frequent off Syntagma Square.

It arrived in the form of two middle-aged men, both supporters of the neofascist Golden Dawn – and, by their own account, the holders of university degrees, well-travelled and well-informed. Over espressos, they began to engage in an animated discussion about all that is wrong with Greece.

The first, a self-described businessman decked out in designer suit, brogues and silk tie, blamed the country's economic collapse on malfeasance, corruption and uncontrolled immigration. "The only way to teach our filthy politicians is to bring in Golden Dawn," he trilled, his eyes locked in a fierce glare. "These gentlemen are patriots, proud Greek nationalists, and they know how to deal with the scum, the foreigners who never pay taxes, who steal our jobs, who have taken over our streets."

What makes Ukrainian experience more interesting is the Ukrainian far right forces are classic case of forces brought to the front stage and openly supported by the neoliberal government. They were covertly supported by all Ukrainian governments, but, especially, by pro-US "democratic" Yushchenko regime, since 1991 as a way to create "Ukrainian national identity". This is when they got open state support and Yushchenko even dared to bestow the title of hero of Ukraine to the leader of Ukrainian nationalists in WWII Stepan Bandera, who is guilty of serious crimes such an ethnic cleansing against Polish citizens and Jews.

Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology.

But paradoxically it was not Yushchenko, but Yanukovich regime and his financial and logistical support which essentially launch Svoboda into mainstream. As CounterPunch noted (The Durability of Ukrainian Fascism):

Ukrainian nationalists turned largely toward fascism, specifically toward a concept of "integral nationalism” that, in the absence of an acceptable national government, manifested itself in a national will residing in the spirit of its adherents, not expressed by the state or restrained by its laws, but embodied by a charismatic leader and exercised through his organization, whose legitimacy supersedes that of the state and whose commitment to violence makes it a law unto itself.

That leader, at least for many Ukrainians of the fascist persuasion, was Stepan Bandera. The organization, his OUN-B faction.

This state of affairs persists in today’s successor to the OUN-B, Pravy Sektor, with its fascist trappings, leader cult, and paramilitary arm. The "mainstreaming” of the second major fascist grouping, Svoboda, looks more like a strategic repackaging in order to strive for greater electoral success by hiding its fascist antecedents.

So, unfortunately for apologists for the current Kyiv regime, the correct description of these two groups is not "nationalist” or "ultranationalist”; it is "fascist”.

Fatally, the Ukrainian government has turned to fascist nationalism and heroes in order to forge a post-Soviet, essentially Ukrainian, identity for the post-1991 state

Narcissism of small differences

Paradoxically, part of Ukrainian far right groups, at least superficially, are pro-EU. It is less paradoxical then it sounds is we assume that the cultural affinity is the key to the new nationalism. Ukrainian nationalists cultural identity is based on strong, fanatic rejection of all things Russian demonstrating a perfect example of Narcissism of small differences -- the tendency to exaggerate the dissimilarities of those who resemble us in an effort to buttress our own self-regard...

An excellent discussion of why this is the case and why they are nurtured by the US government was provided in the article Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist Insurrection from The Polemicist blog (March 19, 2014). I recommend to read this excellent analysis in full, but here is a (large) relevant quote:

To pretend that the ex-post-facto parliamentary maneuvers that ratified the result of this insurrection actually confer some kind of retroactive constitutional legitimacy on it is ludicrous. As Nicolai Petro points out, these actions were taken by "a Parliament that rules without any representation from the majority party – since most of the deputies of the east and the south of the country are afraid to set foot in Parliament… [and] all across the country, headquarters of parties are being sacked by their opponents,” by a parliament that outlawed the only effective remaining opposition party (the Communists) and that "consolidate[ed] the powers of the speaker of the Parliament and the acting president in a single individual, giving him greater powers than allowed under any Ukrainian constitution,” in a context where "Vigilante militias routinely attack and disperse public gatherings they disapprove of.”25 Please, let’s recognize these parliamentary acts as what they are – the ratification of an insurrection, in defiance of the extant constitutional order. Call them the first steps in a new, post-insurrection constitutional order if you want, but recognize the radical break they represent.

And why not call this what it is? Isn’t that what revolutionary change is all about – a radical break with the old order? To reprise what I said in a previous post on Egypt: An electoral process can be a thin facade of democracy and, effectively, a tool of disempowerment, justifying militant extra-electoral politics, or even insurrection. A serious revolutionary conjuncture, a real break into a new social order, usually involves both. It’s an unapologetic, forceful, seizure of power that seeks to be definitive and irreversible. (Of course, not every insurrection is a revolution, or even a step forward, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.)

As someone who accepts the revolutionary socialist argument, I do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se. And guess what? All the self-proclaimed liberal, conservative, moderate, non-violent, constitutional, parliamentary democratic thinkers, politicians and commentators who are proudly and loudly supporting what happened in Ukraine also do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se – they just don’t want to admit it. Like me, they will support an insurrection, depending on what it’s about. Unlike me, they will pretend it wasn’t really an insurrection at all, just another, maybe somewhat "messy,” but fundamentally non-violent, constitutionally-authorized transition within the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. And that’s because, as the man said: We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

It’s quite amusing, until it gets sickening, to watch American leaders—who cling to the notion that a thin, corrupt, disempowering electoral process legitimizes them — embrace the forceful overthrow of a democratically-elected leader in a functioning parliamentary democracy while insisting they are doing no such thing.

Let’s recognize that virtually nobody really supports or opposes what happened in Ukraine, or anywhere else, because it was an insurrection, but because of what kind of insurrection it was – what it’s explicit and implicit socio-political objective was, what different kind of society and polity it was moving toward creating. And let’s recognize that the US would denounce, and help to crush, any insurrection, no matter how popular or righteous the cause, in which leftist forces played anything close to the prominent fighting role that right-wing, neofascist forced played in this one. If revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists had been the vanguard of the Maidan, Yanukovych would have been America’s "democratic” hero.

As for "democracy” (along with "nonviolent,” one of the most dishonestly abused words in the American political vocabulary), it certainly does not just mean having an election. It means power to the people. Neither Ukrainian oligarchs, nor the EU-IMF neo-liberal "technocrats,” nor the American government, nor NATO, want that. They have too much to lose.

It was a right-wing, imperialist insurrection, powered by fascist groups and permeated with fascist ideology.

The overthrow of Yanukovych was an insurrection accomplished by a political movement that was driven by popular socio-economic discontent and thoroughly imbued by "ultranationalist”—i.e., neofascist—ideology.

It was decidedly not a revolution, in the strong sense of the word. A revolutionary insurrection marks the beginning of a change in the social order. This movement did not, will not, and, given its foundations, could not, establish a popular government that will create anything like more widespread prosperity and deeper democracy, let alone a new social order.

It was a regime change, fuelled by popular discontent, powered by neofascist militants, and surreptitiously managed by American intelligence diplomats, with Ukrainian oligarchs maneuvering for ultimate control behind the scenes—factions that have different, sometimes internally contradictory, agendas. It will create a government that will be controlled by and benefit some Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of others, that will benefit European and American capitalism at the (acknowledged, indeed promised!) cost of austerity and immiseration for Ukrainian working people, and that will benefit American and NATO plans for an ever-tightening military encirclement of Russia at the expense of possible war and perpetual tension for Ukraine.

The only possibility for a more serious, "revolutionary” break from neo-liberal standards of oligarchic-imperial rule in the near future would come from the neofascist groups, who indeed imagine themselves to have a radically different agenda. But guess what? Faced with any popular uprising against its policies, from the right or the left, the new neo-liberal, Euro-facing, Russia-hating, America-loving, Ukrainian government, and its international supporters, will trot out the bourgeois democratic principles that its leaders, of course, never really contravened, and insist, Berkut (by any other name) and all: We won’t permit that in our democratic, European capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

Is there anybody who honestly doubts any of this?

Brendan O’Neill makes the point quite nicely:

For what we have in Ukraine is not revolution, but regime change …As for the word ‘revolution’ … its deployment in Ukraine takes its bastardisation to a new low: there has of course been no replacement of one social order by another in Ukraine, or even the installment of a people’s government; instead various long-established parties in parliament, some of which are deeply unpopular among certain constituencies in Ukraine, are forming an interim government. Revolutionary? Hardly.

The Western debate and coverage … has certainly made externally generated regime change seem revolutionary, and the Western-assisted anti-democratic removal of an elected leader seem like an act of people’s democracy. It has exposed a severe dearth of independent critical thinking among the Western commentariat. …

The truth of what has happened in Ukraine is this: the EU and Washington have effectively brought about regime change, replacing an elected pro-Russian regime with an unelected, still-being-formed new government that is more amenable to the institutions of the West.26

Regarding the "fascism” question, Max Blumenthal’s Alternet piece, and Per Anders Rudling’s detailed scholarly study are indispensable sources. Rudling understates considerably, when he says: "The far-right tradition is particularly strong in western Ukraine.” The fascist currents in the Kiev movement are undeniable. They are represented in the parliament by the Svoboda (Freedom) Party (originally called the Social National Party). In December, 2012, the European Parliament condemned Svoboda for its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views,” and urged other Ukrainian parties "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.”27

As Blumenthal notes, Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, defines his mission as freeing his country from the "Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” His deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn founded a think tank named after a historical figure he admires greatly: The Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. Svoboda’s – and, unfortunately, much of western Ukraine’s – "nationalism” is embodied in the revered figure of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian (OUN), which helped to form a Ukrainian division of the Waffen SS to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. From 1942-1944, Yaroslav Stetsko, the "Prime Minister” of ONU-B (Bandera’s wing), who supported "bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine,” oversaw the killing of "more than 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews” in western Ukraine. Banderists in Lvov circulated a pamphlet telling the city’s Jews: "We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet.”28

After the war, Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) continued its fascist campaign for "a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe,” engaging in a futile armed struggle against the Soviet Union, until KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Nothing "neo” about this Nazi.

Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the "Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a "national liberation” mythology. He "tasked a set of nationalistically minded historians” into "disseminating a sanitized, edifyingly patriotic version of the history of the ‘Ukrainian national liberation movement,’ the leaders of which were presented in iconographic form as heroic and saintly figures, martyrs of the nation.”

Thus, in 2010, against the protestation of the European Parliament—which he accused of having a "historical complex” — Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title of "Hero of Ukraine."29 As Rudling notes: "There was little protest from intellectuals who identify themselves as liberals.” It was the government of big, bad Yanukovych that later annulled the award.

And thus, still satisfied by their political research, Svoboda led a 15,000-person march in honor of Bandera in Kiev on January 1st of this year, with chants of "Ukraine above all” and "Bandera, come and bring order!” 30

Now, as a result of the insurrection, Svoboda, which won about 10% of the vote in the last election, has effectively muscled the much larger (34% of the last vote) Party of the Regions out of parliament, and seeks nationally to outlaw it and the Communist Party (13% of the vote), whose leader’s house was burned down. With the help of its Right Sector allies, these parties have already been banned in a number of regions. Svoboda now holds "key leadership positions in the parliament and law enforcement, four ministerial portfolios in the new government [including Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister] and several appointed governorships.” Svoboda’s co-founder, Andriy Parubiy, is head of the National Security & Defense Council of the new, democratic, government of Ukraine.31

So, fourteen months after denouncing Svoboda for its "racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” European governments are gushing over the new "democracy” in Ukraine over which Svoboda presides. And, as the BBC reports: "Inside the columned central hall of Kiev's city council, an activist base of operations, hung a giant banner with a Celtic cross, a symbol of ‘white power,’ and an American confederate flag….and an immense portrait of Stepan Bandera.”32

Keep in mind, too, Rudling’s point that the whole Banderist "national liberation” narrative "was well received in western Ukraine but was received coldly or met open hostility in the eastern and southern parts of the country.”

As Svoboda represents fascism in the parliament, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) represented fascism in the maidan, and continues to do so with its intimidating tactics in the streets and administrative offices of Kiev and the regions, as well as from its new positions in government. Right Sector is a confederation of far-right groups such as Patriots of Ukraine, the Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Stepan Bandera’s Trident, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Their favorite ensign is the wolfsangel--a favorite, too, of the Waffen SS--which was on display all over the maidan:

As Ukrainian journalist Oleg Shynkarenko points out, Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh defines the group's creed thusly: "We are against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, but we support traditional morals and family values, against the cult of profit and depravity.” Right Sector’s websites rail against the "liberal homodictatorship” of modern Western society.33 Blumenthal points out that Right Sector is: "linked to a constellation of international neofascist parties,” and "through the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN), Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on ‘a great European Reconquest’.” In some ways, the neofascist right does want power to the people—just the morally and ethnically pure people.

BBC did a decent report on the "Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine.” Again, maybe not so "neo.” The reporter, Gabriel Gatehouse, interviews Svoboda and Right Sector militants, meets a group called C14 (apparently an armed wing of Svoboda) under a portrait of Lenin in the Communist Party headquarters they had taken over, and shows two Svoboda MPs displaying "14” and "88” tokens. These numbers, which are often displayed in combination, and which appeared in graffiti throughout the maidan, have special fascist significance: "14” stands for from the Fourteen Words coined by an American white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” (there’s an alternate version, about "the White Aryan woman”); "88” represents a double of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, HH, for Heil Hitler. [I cannot make this stuff up.]

Yes, it depends what you’re fighting for.

My favorite is this 2½-minute tidbit from a young Right Sector gentleman, explaining the group’s, and his, affinity for "National Socialist themes,” and assuring his interviewer that they want a society that’s just "a little bit like” that "under Hitler”:

"http://www.youtube.com/embed/5SBo0akeDMY

The leader of the Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is now the deputy head of the National Security Council, and is running for President, of Ukraine’s new, democratic, government.

You might also take a look at this video, where Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko roughs up a local prosecutor to show him who’s the boss now, and threatens to have him lynched: "Shut the fuck up, you bitch! Your fucking time is over… If you think I am goodie because I’ve come without my rifle, you are gravely mistaken. I’ve come with a pistol. There are a few choice videos of Muzychko, who is also identified as a member of the "Wiking" unit of the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), another post-Banderist right-wing paramilitary group.

So there’s no question that fascists were part of the insurrection, and there is no question that they were crucial to its success. As Oleg Shynkarenko insists, the scenes of fighting resistance and advance were led by Right Sector and allied groups:

[I]t was the far right that first started to talk back to Yanukovych in his own language. They were the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades. They were amongst those who burned two military troop carriers that attacked the barricades on February 18. The Euromaidan won thanks to the resoluteness of people who were ready to fight rather than to negotiate in parliament when any negotiation became pointless.
Nicolai Petro agrees, and points out the political ramifications:
I ascribe a much greater role to the Right Sector…the spearhead of the revolution. … [T]he actual coup was accomplished thanks to the armed intervention of extreme nationalists, led by the Right Sector. And the fact that they were so instrumental in accomplishing this change of power has put them in the driver’s seat. From now on, whatever political decisions are arrived at will really be at the sufferance of the Right Sector.
Let’s be clear, also, that these neofascist groups not only fought and defeated Yanokovych’s police, they attacked and drove away any political group from the left that tried to establish a presence in the maidan. The fascists made sure they controlled the radical politics of the square. Sascha, a member of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, recounts in an interview published in mid-February:
A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.34
And Mira, of the same group, adds:
One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!...
Early on a Stalinist tent was attacked by Nazis. One was sent to the hospital. Another student spoke out against fascism and he was attacked.
Pravy Sektor got too much attention after the first violence, the media gave them popularity and they started to think they’re cool guys. Pravy existed before but now it’s growing and attracting a lot of new people.
Ilya Budraitskis, a Russian Socialist who came to the maidan in January, tells us how the "ultranationalists” brutalized and evicted everyone from leftish Europhiles to anarchists:
Another part of the left repetitively tried to join the movement, even after they were repetitively kicked out of it. Some of the "euro-enthusiastic” leftists came to Maidan in November with red (instead of blue) flag of the EU, with banners for free healthcare and education, and with feminist slogans. They were brutally attacked by Nazis. Then there was an episode when the far-right attacked the tent of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine near the Maidan. A man on the stage said that there were some "provocateurs” and said that "men know what to do”; as a result, a mob of Nazis has broken ribs of the trade union activists, tore their tent with knives and stolen their property. The victims hadn’t been doing anything "leftist” per se, but they were members of the left movement, known to their political adversaries, and that was enough….
[T]here is also another group of people who are often confused with the radical left. …who call themselves anarchists but actually have a very conservative political agenda full of machismo and xenophobia. After the protests have begun, they shifted to the right dramatically; they reached truce with the nazi groups and showered Molotov cocktails at the police together. Eventually, they parted ways with left movement finally.
A week ago they, together with some actual leftists who wanted to "act”, decided to form an "anarchist sotnia [defense unit]” in the Maidan self-defence. In order to do that, they were prepared to give an oath to [Svoboda leader] Andriy Parubiy. But when they formed their ranks to do this, they were met by approximately 150 Svoboda fighters with baseball bats and axes. The fascists accused them of being racially impure and politically irrelevant and forced them out of Maidan.35
So much for Professor Snyder’s agora.

Of course, the great majority of the people in the square are not fascists, but, for all the reasons of history and ideology discussed above, a lot of people in western Ukraine are susceptible to their charms. As Denis, from Kiev Autonomous Workers Union says: "[I]n the long run the rightist political hegemony is being reinforced,” because "That’s what happens when you don’t have a developed left movement and your liberals are too corrupt and ugly!” Here’s how he describes the rightward political momentum on the maidan:

[Far right] ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). ... Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy. … But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media.
The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, "economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists … [whose] political programme had always included critique of the EU’s "liberal fascism”. … The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through…
[P]eople are new to politics, they just "know” they are rightists and nationalists. And therefore they trust the more politically experienced leaders to express their views and formulate their programme for them. It just so happens that those leaders are nationalists or even Nazis. And they shift the centre of the political discourse even further to the right.
But, first of all, their ideas are welcome among the apolitical crowd; second of all, they are very well organized, and also people love their "radicalism”. An average Ukrainian worker hates the police and the government but he will never fight them openly and risk his comfort. So he or she welcomes a "vanguard” which is ready to fight on their behalf; especially if that vanguard shares "good” patriotic values….And since the basic "common sense” had long ago been established on the nationalist fundamental assumptions, the radicalization goes only further in that direction.36
As we all know, fascists don’t have to be a majority to determine outcomes, and their power to do so can increase very quickly under favorable conditions. Perhaps the most telling, and disturbing remark of the leftists cited in these interviews was this, from Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a couple of weeks before the head of Right Sector became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council: "If Pravy [Right Sector] has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.”

Oh, yes they are. Consider the stunning turn of events we have just witnessed: "the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power” in a European country for the first time since WWII, greeted with a stunning non-chalance—nay, embraced as an exemplar of democracy—by the Western liberal democracies. University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski specifies: "The paramilitary right sector has de facto power at least in some Western Ukrainian regions,” and "The far right in Ukraine has now achieved the level of representation and influence that is unparalleled in Europe.”37

Then imagine, please, Professor Katchanovski’s last sentence with "left” substituted for "right,” and consider how unthinkable it is that any American government would be so welcoming of such a "democratic” outcome. The United States and its allied liberal democracies are, in other words, willing to accommodate very hard swings to the right in order to secure and/or extend the neo-liberal capitalist, and US/NATO imperialist, order, but will abide not an inch of movement toward resistance from the left—no matter how righteous or democratic the cause.

Intelligence agencies as pro-fascist organizations

Intelligence agencies represent now a distinct and powerful political force with employees of those agencies as a surrogate of the authoritarian party that brought to power such leaders as Mussolini. And top brass as the leadership of the this quasi-party.  In a way the tremendous growth of intelligences agencies creates state within the state and makes possible neofascism without mass political party.  Professor Stephen Cohen aptly noted this newfound role of intelligence agencies in determining the results of the USA elections as well as the USA foreign policy in his article in Nation (US Congress has no Russian policy other than sanctions)

Oct 17, 2018

Inconvenient thoughts on Cold War and other news. Intelligence agencies,

Nikki Haley, sanctions, and public opinion. 1. National intelligence agencies have long played major roles, often not entirely visible, in international politics. They are doing so again today, as is evident in several countries, from Russiagate in the United States and the murky Skripal assassination attempt in the UK to the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) or were " rogue " operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them.

There have been plenty of purely criminal and commercial " rogue " operations by intelligence agents in history, but also " rogue " ones that were purposefully political. We know, for example, that both Soviet and US intelligence agencies - or groups of agents - tried to disrupt the Eisenhower-Khrushchev détente of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that some intelligence players tried to stop Khrushchev's formal recognition of West Germany, also in the early 1960s.

It is reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the attacks on Skripal and Khashoggi were " rogue " operations undertaken by political opponents of the leaders' policies at home or abroad, with the help of one or another intelligence agency or agents. Motive is a - perhaps the - crucial question. Why would Putin order such an operation in the UK at the very moment when his government had undertaken a major Western public-relations campaign in connection with the upcoming World Cup championship in Russia? And why would MbS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader?

Growth of censorship ad the level of control of MSM are another  two signs of growing influence of intelligence agencies  in political life of many countries and first of all the USA (Article Globalist Traitors Seek to Delete History--Who Are the Real Fascists OpEdNews )

We're living in a moment where we are seeing people adopting what used to be denounced as fascist policies--the shutting down of free speech, the destruction of opposition voices--and the people who are doing it are arguing that the president is a supporter of fascism. It is Orwellian...

--Harley Schlanger

... ... ...

Through the Foreign Intelligence Court (FISC), and a reciprocal intelligence-sharing partnership among the nations of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. called the "Five Eyes," the Obama administration manufactured, altered and misrepresented various pieces of evidence in an attempt to justify conducting surveillance on certain individual Americans. The Obama administration--in conjunction with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and, yes, the CIA--employed the same process that is used to spy on foreigners deemed to be severe terror threats to America against American citizens... specifically, in this case, political opponents vying against the Clinton-Obama globalist cabal.


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Old News ;-)

Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline. [...]

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Robert Paxton

[Dec 14, 2018] The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.

Notable quotes:
"... Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace. ..."
"... The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible. ..."
"... We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants. ..."
"... What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end. ..."
"... Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further.... ..."
"... "Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure. ..."
"... these are the new medieval transnational barons ..."
Jun 09, 2013 | theguardian.com
MysticFish -> Crackerpot , 8 Jun 2013 14:43
@Crackerpot - The whole austerity crisis thing appears to have been engineered so that a few blinkered and unpatriotic, vulture mafia privateers can make a killing, selling off vital state assets, such as infrastructure and ports, to the Chinese. This is a very suspicious and widespread trend.
artheart , 8 Jun 2013 14:38

Bob Marley got it right.... the human race is becoming a rat race, and it's a disgrace.

I see it every day from the window of my flat, on a main road, in Bethnal Green. There's a 'mentally unstable' Rastafarian who stands by the overground station, and shouts things out to people like "You're living in babylon".

I do sometimes think he's not the mental one.

artheart -> HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:32
@HolyInsurgent

The biggest problem is the financialisation of the economy... what is the actual value of things? The market is so manipulated that real price discovery is not possible.

We have an over-cooked service-sector economy unsustainably reliant on cheap debt, cheap energy, and cheap manufactured goods to fuel our 'high-end levels of consumption, and mobility or living standards, and an over-heated housing market that is unsustainably run according to the needs of investors and landlords rather than residents or tenants.

The whole thing is going to blow apart. Our 'aspirations' are slowly killing us - they're destroying the social fabric.

MikeInCanada , 8 Jun 2013 14:28
What we need is a coordinated approach between our nations. Undercutting each other on corporate taxes, writing tax avoidance into law, and continuing to allow multinationals to influence our politicians and play our governments against each other is exactly the game we must end.
HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 14:08

Deborah Orr: Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further....

I never thought I would live long enough to see this level of honesty ATL. It should have been published long ago, but at least the discussion now begins.

"Ransom". There is no better word to describe it. This (the ransom mentality) is exactly the reactionary, vindictive, doctrinaire psychology that must be extracted like a cancer from our institutional lives and the human species. A monolithic task. But identifying the cause is the first step to cure.

peterpuffin -> PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 14:03
@PointOfYou - these are the new medieval transnational barons

[Dec 14, 2018] Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far. ..."
"... The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. ..."
"... the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again. ..."
"... Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead. ..."
"... No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them ..."
"... And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check. ..."
"... There is not a shred of logical sense in neoliberalism. You're doing what the fundamentalists do... they talk about what neoliberalism is in theory whilst completely ignoring what it is in practice. In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism. ..."
"... She, knowingly, let neo-liberal economic philosophy come trumpeting through the door of No10 and it's been there ever since; it has guided our politicians for the past 30 odd years. Hence, it is Thatcher's fault. She did this and another bad thing: the woman who glorified household economics pissed away billions of pounds of North Sea Oil. ..."
"... Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism. In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jenny340 -> EllisWyatt, 8 Jun 2013 13:37

@EllisWyatt - Here's the funny thing about those who cheer the broken neoliberal model. They promise we will get to those "sunny uplands" with exactly the same fervor as old Marxists.
PointOfYou , 8 Jun 2013 13:37

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Neoliberalism? This is not just a financial agenda. This a highly organized multi armed counterculture operation to force us, including Ms Orr [unless she has...connections] into what Terence McKenna [who was in on it] termed the `Archaic Revival'. That is - you and me [and Ms Orr] - our - return to the medieval dark ages, if we indeed survive that far.

The same names come up time and time again. One of them being, father of propaganda, Edward Bernays.

Bernays wrote what can be seen as a virtual Mission Statement for anyone wishing to bring about a "counterculture." In the opening paragraph of his book Propaganda he wrote:

"..The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organised. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind..."[28]

Bernays' family background made him well suited to "control the public mind." He was the double nephew of psychoanalysis pioneer Sigmund Freud. His mother was Freud's sister Anna, and his father was Ely Bernays, brother of Freud's wife Martha Bernays.

Snookerboy -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:17
@OneCommentator - the UK government did intervene in the economy when it bailed out the banks to the tune of many billions of pounds underwritten by the taxpayer. The markets should always be regulated sufficiently (light touch is absolutely useless) to prevent the problems currently being experienced from ever happening again.

Those at the bottom of society and those in the public sector are the ones paying the price for this intervention in the UK. If you truly believe in the 'free' market then all of these failing organisations (banks, etc) should have been allowed to fail. The problem is that the wealth created under the current system is virtually all going to those at the top of the income scale and this needs to change and is one of the main reasons that neo liberalism should be binned!

ATrueFinn -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 13:09
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:21pm

No, it was as recently as ww2 more or less

Traditional liberalism had died decades before WWII and was replaced by finance capitalism. What happened after WW II was that capitalism had to make various concessions to avoid a socialist revolution: social and political freedoms indeed darted ahead.

Do read a book about history!

clairesdad -> brighton2 , 8 Jun 2013 13:06
@brighton2 - No chance mate, at least not all the time greasy spiv and shyster outfits like hedge funds are funding Puffin face and the Vermin Party. They are never going to bite the hand that feeds them.
NotWithoutMyMonkey , 8 Jun 2013 13:01
And in case we get uppity and endeavour to challenge the economic paradigm and the rule of these neoliberal elites, there's the surveillance state panopticon to track our movements and keep us in check.
TedStewart , 8 Jun 2013 12:51
Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

Are you saying neoliberalism is a great big useless pile of shit? Then you are absolutely right!

kingcreosote -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 12:47
@ MickGJ 08 June 2013 1:08pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

I know what you are saying it's just sooner or later as those at the bottom continue to be squeezed the wealthy will sow their own seeds of destruction. I think we are witnessing the end game which is reflected in the desperation of the coalition to flog everything regardless of the efficacy of such behavior, they feel time is running out and they would be right.

taxhaven , 8 Jun 2013 12:44
Call it what you will - "neoliberalism", "neoconservatism", "socialism" or whatever it is...

This debate is not even really solely about money: this is about liberty , about free choice, about being permitted to engage in voluntary exchange of goods and services with others, unmolested. About the users of services becoming the ones paying for those services.

Ultimately the real effect will be to remove power from governments and hand it back to where it belongs - the free market.

dmckm -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 12:43
@ OneCommentator 08 June 2013 5:04pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

voluntary transactions among free agents. That's called a free market and it is by far the most efficient way to produce wealth humanity has ever known.

Could you explain how someone bound by a contract of employment, with the alternative, destitution, is a 'free agent'?

jazzdrum -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 12:25
@SpinningHugo - Nothing comes out of nothing and i well remember black Monday in the City. That was the start of the spivs running the economy as if it were a casino. If you think its only on CiF that Thatcher gets the blame, think on this, Scotland, a whole nation blames her too.
TedSmithAndSon -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 12:24
@theguardianisrubbish -

Unless you are completely confused by what neoliberalism is there is not a shred of logical sense in this.

There is not a shred of logical sense in neoliberalism. You're doing what the fundamentalists do... they talk about what neoliberalism is in theory whilst completely ignoring what it is in practice. In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism.

Savers in a neoliberal society are lambs to the slaughter. Thatcher "revitalised" banking, while everything else withered and died.

Neoliberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom, communism is definitely not. Neoliberalist policies have lifted millions of people out of poverty in Asia and South America.

Neoliberalism is based on the thought that you get as much freedom as you can pay for, otherwise you can just pay... like everyone else. In Asia and South America it has been the economic preference of dictators that pushes profit upwards and responsibility down, just like it does here.

I find it ironic that it now has 5 year plans that absolutely must not be deviated from, massive state intervention in markets (QE, housing policy, tax credits... insert where applicable), and advocates large scale central planning even as it denies reality, and makes the announcement from a tractor factory.

Neoliberalism is a blight... a cancer on humanity... a massive lie told by rich people and believed only by peasants happy to be thrown a turnip. In theory it's one thing, the reality is entirely different. Until we're rid of it, we're all it's slaves. It's an abhorrent cult that comes up with purest bilge like expansionary fiscal contraction to keep all the money in the hands of the rich.

outragedofacton -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 12:02
@MickGJ - You are wrong about the first 2 of course. Banksters get others to do their shit.

But unfortunately the poor sods who went down on D Day were in their way fighting for Wall Street as much as anything else. It's just that they weren't told about it by the Allies massive propaganda machine. So partly right

5/10

LetsGetCynical , 8 Jun 2013 11:57

The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe

Which would be what? State planning? Communism? Totally free market capitalism? Oh wait, we already have the best of a bad bunch, a mixed capitalist economy with democracy. That really is the crux of it, our system isn't perfect, never will be, but nobody has come up with a better solution.

outragedofacton -> artheart , 8 Jun 2013 11:55
@artheart - Thank goodness for RT.

Learn also about the West's nefarious activities in the Middle East.

ATrueFinn -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 11:51
@ fr0mn0where 08 June 2013 4:29pm

Barclays bank "only" paid out £660m in dividends to the bearers of risk capital, while its bonus pot for a very select number of its staff was £1.5bn.

Fascinating! Now, one could infer that Barclays represent "beneficial capitalism", rewarding its hard-working employees, but maybe we won't.

This is not the traditional capitalist style

The Traditional capitalist is not an extinct species but under threat. For the time being the population is stagnant in some countries and even increasing in some others. However, due to the foraging capacity of Neoliberal creature , competing in the same economical niche, the size and life expectation of it are diminishing.

dmckm -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 11:50
@ SpinningHugo 08 June 2013 10:59am . Get cifFix for Firefox .

She, knowingly, let neo-liberal economic philosophy come trumpeting through the door of No10 and it's been there ever since; it has guided our politicians for the past 30 odd years. Hence, it is Thatcher's fault. She did this and another bad thing: the woman who glorified household economics pissed away billions of pounds of North Sea Oil.

szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 11:30
@MickGJ - No, you're right. Why let yesterdays experience feed into what you expect of the future? Lets go forwards goldfish like, every minute a brand new one, with no baggage!
And by the way, who saved the hide of the very much private sector banks and financial institutions? The hated STATE, us tax payers!
fr0mn0where -> ATrueFinn , 8 Jun 2013 11:29
@ATrueFinn -

I think I agree with everything that you say here? The people at the top these days aren't really of much use for anything, including capitalism. The only thing that they do excel at is lining their own pockets and securing their privileged position in society.

They have become quite up front about it. There was a bit of a fuss last year when Barclays bank "only" paid out £660m in dividends to the bearers of risk capital, while its bonus pot for a very select number of its staff was £1.5bn. Barclays released a statement before their AGM explaining:

"Barclays is fully committed to ensuring that a greater proportion of income and profits flow to shareholders notwithstanding that it operates within the constraints of a competitive market."

This is not the traditional capitalist style competition that they are talking about where companies competed as to who can return the biggest profit for their shareholders this now comes secondary to the real competition which is for which company can return the biggest bonuses for a small group of employees.

theonionmurders -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 11:05
@theguardianisrubbish

Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism. In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises.

No wonder you're so ignorant of the basics of economic policy if you won't flick through a book - fear of accepting that you're simply wrong is a sure sign of either pig ignorance or denial, and is as I said embarrassing so its not really much point in wasting anymore time engaging with you.

petercs , 8 Jun 2013 10:44

The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda.

..."neoliberal", concept behind the word, has nothing to do with liberal or liberty or freedom...it is a PR spin concept that names slavery with a a word that sounds like the opposite...if "they" called it neoslavery it just wouldn't sell in the market for political concepts.

..."austerity" is the financial sectors' solution to its survival after it sucked most the value out of the economy and broke it. To mend it was a case of preservation of the elite and the devil take the hindmost, that's most of us.

...and even Labour, the party of trade unionism, has adopted austerity to drive its policy.

...we need a Peoples' Party to stand for the revaluation of labour so we get paid for our effort rather than the distortion, the rich xxx poor divide, of neoslavery austerity.

Crackerpot , 8 Jun 2013 10:43
When the IMF 'admitted' that the first bail out of Greece was 'bungled' are they trying to imply that the subsequent bail outs have been a success....
artheart , 8 Jun 2013 10:34
People need to start watching The Keiser Report to hear the truth, if they can handle the truth. Link here: http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/

I simply cannot recommend it enough.

MickGJ -> bluebirds , 8 Jun 2013 10:30

@bluebirds - deregulated capitalism has failed

Of course it has. And it will continue to "fail", while provide us with all sorts of goodies, for the foreseeable future. Capitalism's endless "failure" is of no more concern than human mortality. Ever tried, ever failed, try again, fail better.
epinoa -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 10:25
@CaptainGrey -

Except it's not. It is still very much alive and growing.

In as much as a zombie is.

The "alternatives" have crashed and burned save Cuba and North Korea.

I'd say the current oligarchical form of capitalism has crashed quite spectacularly. I say this as a free market capitalist too.

[Dec 14, 2018] Noam Chomsky pointed this out aeons ago though-that the American model is to use tax money to benefit private interests through technological infrastructure

Notable quotes:
"... Now we see moneyed entities with vested interests, carpet bagging and flogging off the NHS and an unelected fossil fuel mandarin, at the heart of government decision making, appointing corporate yea-sayers, to the key government departments, with environmental responsibilities. Corporations capturing the state apparatus for their own ends, is 'corporatism.' ..."
"... "Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits." ..."
"... The bailout is simply actual neoliberalism as opposed to the theory inside tiny right wing minds. The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences of their own greed, or it would represent revolution and still not work. ..."
"... Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits. It always amusing to see neoliberal morons shout about the red menace when they're two sides of the same coin. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is nothing if not the opposite extreme of the communist planned economy. Like the communist planned economy, neoliberalism is doomed to failure. I think we've all been sold a lie. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | discussion.theguardian.com

epinoa -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 10:19

@Fachan -

Just as democracy is the worst system of government except for all other, so capitalism is the worst economic model except for all other.

Shame we only have bastardized forms of them.
bridkid5 -> NotAgainAgain , 8 Jun 2013 10:18
@NotAgainAgain - this is very true, it reminds me of an engineering company I worked for in Nottingham (since gone under). The production manger was a corrupt thief. He gradually sub-contracted the production work out to other companies in the area, taking backhanders for his troubles.

Once all the production was farmed out, he somehow got himself promoted to director level, where he and a sycophant subbed all the design work out. So all the production and design was done out of house, standards dropped and the company closed, leaving him with a nice payoff, just prior to retirement.

Some would say he played a blinder, my interpretation is he ruined a perfectly viable company, making a very good product, and over the course of about 5 years put over 30 people out of work.

In a just world he would be spending his retirement in prison.

ATrueFinn -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 10:13
@ MickGJ 08 June 2013 2:16pm

ext year's harvest (possibly of GM food which makes better use of scarce resources)

Indeed. Wheat will grow as flour and fly to our cupboards.

ATrueFinn -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 10:10
@ fr0mn0where 08 June 2013 1:53pm

Income distribution and a happy workforce is actually very good for business as well as society!

Of course it is, but the capitalists do not know it. In many countries, including Finland, the "condition of the working classes", ie. working conditions, have been in rapid decline for the last 20 years.

Permanent salaried jobs have been replaced with temps from agencies, unpaid overtime is becoming the norm, burnouts are commonplace and so on.

If in your country things are different, no mass lay-outs and outsourcing to China, count yourself lucky!

crinklyoldgit , 8 Jun 2013 10:04
On form, Debs. Here is something I like.

But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments

Noam Chomsky pointed this out aeons ago though-that the American model is to use tax money to benefit private interests through technological infrastructure.

It was ever thus, if in slightly different forms. Still it is surprising that they have gone so quickly from their stated position at the start of the republic of a rejection of kings and emperors to their position now of corruption so ingrained it is impossible to make distinctions. Proxy emperors are emperors all the same, no matter the rhetoric that promotes them.

One senses that there is very little 'going back' possible. Besides, the great Neoliberal scam is predicated upon the qualities of the 'governments' we have and the capacity of those 'rhetoricians' with the capacity to say anything or play any role, to lick any arse, to get elected. Such apparent strength is weakness. In this world that now exists here, we have now entered the same world as the USSR in the eighties, where the announcement of bumper harvests of wheat, made everyone with a brain cell groan and think 'Oh fuck! no bread this winter-quick, run to the shops now, and buy up all the flour there'.

But there is now no way to declare that without being seen as beyond the pale-a bug eyed conspiracist.

Still, I am a believer in the connectedness of this world. The economic system and its mythologies are just weird and distorted canaries in the coalmine of the wider environment. It is indicating that there is a misalignment between the way we think and what is possible in this world. Austerity promoters and 'Keynsian' Ballsites are one and the same thing-both pretenders that the key to the problems is within their narrow gifts

Hubris is followed by nemesis. In a wider sense what we seen now is a complete failure of the capacity to educate and to learn,and moderate behaviour, and find some way of caring for our 'others', beyond the core of 'self'. nationalism is essentially an extension of 'self'. We now shall see the failure of a retraction of thought into nationalism and scapegoating.

I predict that the population of the world will decline over the next century-quite markedly.
The only solace is that at the end of the process, the pain will be forgotten. It always is.

MysticFish -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:57
@MickGJ - Cameron said 'We will cut the deficit, not the NHS,' and promised to be the 'greenest government ever,' saying that you could 'go green,' if you voted 'blue.'

Now we see moneyed entities with vested interests, carpet bagging and flogging off the NHS and an unelected fossil fuel mandarin, at the heart of government decision making, appointing corporate yea-sayers, to the key government departments, with environmental responsibilities. Corporations capturing the state apparatus for their own ends, is 'corporatism.'

Spoutwell , 8 Jun 2013 09:53

Much of the healthy economic growth – as opposed to the smoke and mirrors of many aspects of financial services – that Britain enjoyed during the second half of the 20th century was due to women swelling the educated workforce.

There was very little 'healthy economic growth' in Britain in the second half of the 20th century. Britain was bankrupt after WW2 with its people dependent on Marshall Aid and food contributions from its former 'colonies'.

Whatever 'growth' occured after Marshall Aid arrived was scuppered by a class system where company managers were more concerned with walking on the workers than with keeping their businesses afloat while such discrimination provoked hard left trade union policies which left british industry uncompetitive and ultimately non-existent.

If that wasn't enough, Thatcherism arrived to re-inforce class discrimination, sell off national services and assets and replace social policy with neo-liberal consumerism. Whether the workforce was swollen by women or anyone else is immaterial.

The anti-democratic incestuous class conflict latent in British society continues to ensure that the UK will remain a mere vassal state of foot-soldiers and consumers for international neo-liberal capitalism.

MurchuantEacnamai -> DasInternaut , 8 Jun 2013 09:49
@DasInternaut - Completely agree. The performance has been poor to absymal. But this is a failure of democratic governance because the collective interests of citizens as consumers and service users are not being represented and enforced by the elected politicians since they have been suborned by the capitalists elites and their fellow-travellers.

The people, indeed, have been sold a lie, but, unfortunately, it is only UKIP which is making the political waves by revealing selected aspects of this lie. The three established parties have been 'bought' to varying extents. But more and more citizens are beginning to realise the extent to which they have been bought.

Itsrainingtin , 8 Jun 2013 09:44
There is an upside to all of this, maybe I wont get modded so much from now on for being so angry at the ideological criminals . Hopefully the middle classes will cotton on to the fact that all this is not a mad hatters tinfoil hobby, we need more of them to be grumpy.
szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:43
@MickGJ - We've already seen it. Not great so far. GS4, Winterbourne view, southern cross, trains...............Welfare to work companies, delivering no better results than people left to their own devices. Energy companies.

We'll see if the new wave of free schools, academy schools, and all the service outsourced by the council perform any better.

Doubtful, as to make a profit, they have to employ poorer paid people, less well qualified, and once they've got a contract, they've got very little competition, as when the second round of bidding comes around, as the firms having got the first contract are the only one with relevant experience, they are assured of renewal, the money machine will keep going!

MurchuantEacnamai -> TedSmithAndSon , 8 Jun 2013 09:39
@TedSmithAndSon - There's a huge difference between meddling and ensuring effective governance. But I expect in your omniscence you know that.
theguardianisrubbish -> theonionmurders , 8 Jun 2013 09:38
@theonionmurders - I am not going to read a book.

Neoliberalism are policies that are influenced by neo classical economics. If you are suggesting that the neoliberal school of thought would advocate any kind of a bailout then you are mistaken. Where else have I "apparently" embarrassed myself?

theguardianisrubbish -> TedSmithAndSon , 8 Jun 2013 09:28
@TedSmithAndSon - This is just an inaccurate rant not a reply.

"The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences.."

Unless you are completely confused by what neolibralism is there is not a shred of logical sense in this.

"The debt industry are the lenders who take advantage of a financial system..."

Which is what savers are. They come in the form of individuals businesses and governments. This encompasses everyone.

"whilst paying the lowest possible rate. Wonga, for instance."

If you are a lender you do not pay anything, you receive.

"Thatchers revolution was to take our citizenship and give it a value, whilst making everyone else a consumer, all for a handful of magic beans in the shape of British Gas shares."

...not forgetting that she revitalised the economy and got everyone back to work again.

"Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits."

Neoliberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom, communism is definitely not. Neoliberalist policies have lifted millions of people out of poverty in Asia and South America. Communism has no benefits for society open your eyes!

theonionmurders -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 09:24

@theguardianisrubbish - Does this author not realise that a government bailout goes against the whole neoliberal school of thought?

No it isn't. You're confusing neoliberalism with neo classical economics. The level of knowledge on economic theory here is sometimes embarrassing.

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/rsw/research_centres/theory/conf/rg/harvey_a_brief_history_of_neoliberalism.pdf

MickGJ -> ATrueFinn , 8 Jun 2013 09:16

@ATrueFinn - After they are finished, what do Singaporeans eat?

Next year's harvest (possibly of GM food which makes better use of scarce resources). I imagine the sun will eventually stop bombarding us with the energy that powers photosynthesis but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
richmanchester -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 09:13
@MurchuantEacnamai - I think the point is this, Amazon make money by selling books, they avoid paying taxes, yet expect an educated, literate population to be provided for them, on the grounds that illiterate people don't buy books, and expect roads to move the books around on.

So who will pay for this?

TedSmithAndSon -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 09:12
@theguardianisrubbish - No! The bailout is simply actual neoliberalism as opposed to the theory inside tiny right wing minds. The system depends on the wealthy not being allowed to suffer the consequences of their own greed, or it would represent revolution and still not work.

The debt industry are the lenders who take advantage of a financial system designed to push profits upwards (neoliberalism in practice), whilst paying the lowest possible rate. Wonga, for instance.

Thatchers revolution was to take our citizenship and give it a value, whilst making everyone else a consumer, all for a handful of magic beans in the shape of British Gas shares.

Neoliberalism in practice is every bit as bad as Communism in practice, with none of the benefits. It always amusing to see neoliberal morons shout about the red menace when they're two sides of the same coin.

szwalby -> MickGJ , 8 Jun 2013 09:04
@MickGJ -

.and provides them at a massively inflated cost accompanied by unforgivable waste and inefficiency, appalling service and life-threatening incompetence.

as opposed to the private sector, who always does what it says it will do, at reasonable cost, for the benefit of their customers, and with due regards to ethics? Like the Banks, the financial sector, who will never sell you a product that isn't the best for you, regardless of their interest? the private companies like Southern Cross, GS4?

The private insurance who refuse to take you on the minute you've got some illness or disability? Get off it! The state isn't perfect, the services it provides are not perfect, but replacing them with private provision isn't the answer!

DasInternaut -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 08:59
@MurchuantEacnamai - How would you rate how well British government has done in ensuring markets are genuinely competitive. How well has British government done in ensuring our energy market is competitive, for example. Does the competitiveness we observe in the energy market give customers better or worse value than they had before deregulation? How do you rate the British government's performance in rail and public transport, with respect to competitiveness?

Personally, and notwithstanding the notable exception of telecoms, I rate the British (and US) government's performance in deregulating state entities, creating new markets and ensuring competition, as poor.

Neoliberalism is nothing if not the opposite extreme of the communist planned economy. Like the communist planned economy, neoliberalism is doomed to failure. I think we've all been sold a lie.

[Dec 14, 2018] Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom ..."
"... Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law. ..."
"... So it seems that your suggestion is for a return to western capitalism post-war style - would that be right? (b.t.w. if I bring up the whole Soviet Union thing, it is partly because quite a few commentators in this debate come across as if they wish for something much more leftist than that). ..."
"... What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. ..."
"... The taxpayers are left to pick up the tab, nations are divided against immigrants and scroungers and then unfettered evangelists like you can spout as pompously as you like about how much big business would like to remove the state from corporate affairs. ..."
"... Without the state there wouldn't be neo-Liberalism, it took state regulated capitalism to build what unfettered purists insist on tearing apart for short term greed. ..."
"... The trouble is Neo-Liberals do not want to remove the state at all, they want to BE the state and in the process rendering democracy pretty much meaningless. And they've succeeded. ..."
"... The biggest swindle ever pulled was turning the most glaring and crushing failure of unfettered corporatism into the biggest and most crushing power grab implemented in order to suppress the will of the people ..."
"... Nobody hates a market more than a monopoly and capitalism must inevitably end in monopoly as it has. For the profiteering monopolies investment especially via taxation is insane as it can only undermine their monopoly. ..."
"... The bankers have always known that the austerity caused by having to pay off un-payable loans, that increase every year, will eventually produce countries very similar to the "Weimar Days" in pre-Hitler Germany. ..."
"... They also know that drastic conditions such as these often lead to a collapse of democracy and a resurgence of Fascism. ..."
"... Neoliberalism could not exist without massive state support. So the term is meaningless. There is nothing "liberal" about having a huge state funded military industrial complex that acts a Trojan horse for global corporations, invading other countries for resources. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is a branch of economic ideology which espouses the value of the free-market, and removing all protective legislation, so that large companies are free to do what they want, where-ever they want, with no impediments from social or environmental considerations, or a nation's democratic preferences. ..."
"... Business-friendly to who exactly: the nation or hostile overseas speculators? ..."
"... The golden age of 1945 - 1975 or so witnessed huge rises in standards of living so your point linking neo-liberalism to rising standards of living is literally meaningless. There was an explosive growth in economic activity during the three or four post war decades ..."
"... The assumption shared by many round here that the young are some untapped resource of revolutionary energy is deeply mistaken ..."
Jun 10, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

WyldeWolfe , 10 Jun 2013 19:42

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

So it's been a success then.

disorderedworld , 10 Jun 2013 17:21
A wonderful article that names the central issue. Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law. The resultant rise of financial capitalism, which now eclipses the productive manufacturing-based capitalism that was the engine of world growth since the industrial revolution, has propelled a dangerous self-serving elite to the centre of world power. It's not just inequality that matters, but the character of the global elite.
MatthewBall -> murielbelcher , 10 Jun 2013 16:23
@murielbelcher -

The neo-liberal order commenced only in the late 1970s - there was a very different order prior to this which was not "soviet socialism" as you term it.

So it seems that your suggestion is for a return to western capitalism post-war style - would that be right? (b.t.w. if I bring up the whole Soviet Union thing, it is partly because quite a few commentators in this debate come across as if they wish for something much more leftist than that).

Anyway, my worry with this idea is that I am just not convinced that life in "The West 1945-80" was better on the whole than in "The West 1980-present". It's true that unemployment is higher these days, but a lot of work in the post-war years was boring and physically exhausting; in factories and mines where conditions were degrading and bad for health; and where industrial relations were simply terrible. I think as well that the higher unemployment is a localized phenomenon that many developing countries are not experiencing (this is relevant because Deborah Orr proposes change for the whole world, not merely the West).

There were also frequent recessions and booms - in fact, more frequent (albeit shorter) than now. What seems to have changed in this respect is that, whereas we used to alternate regularly between 2-3 years of boom and 1-2 years of bust, we now have 15 years of continuous boom followed by a (maybe?) 10 year bust (this pattern began around 1980). If you asked me which of these two patterns I preferred, then I think I'd go for the pre-1980 pattern, but its not clear to me that the post-1980 pattern is so much worse as to underwrite a savage indictment of the whole system.

As for Casino banking: they should reform that. Britain's Coalition Government has done something in that respect, although its not very radical - I am hoping Labour can do more. There is certainly a lot to be said for banks going back to a pre-"Big Bang" sense of tradition and prudence.

Buts let's not also forget the plus sides in the ledger for post-1980 capitalism: hundreds of millions in the former third world lifted out of poverty; unprecedented technological innovation (e.g. the internet, which makes access to knowledge more equal even as income inequality grows); and the accomodation (at least in the West) of progressive social change, such as the empowerment of ethnic minorities, LGBT people and women.

Change, yes - but lets be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

MatthewBall -> Grich , 10 Jun 2013 15:40
@Grich -

What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/07/58-of-real-income-growth-since-1976-went-to-top-1-and-why-that-matters.html

OK, but both the claim and the link cited in support talk only about a problem in the US. This can't really answer my point, which was that the rest of the world should not be expected to support a change to the economic system of the whole world just because of problems that are mostly localised to North America and Europe. People in developing countries might like the fact that they are, at last, catching "the West" up, and might well not care much about widening inequality of incomes in Western societies.

If you are going to propose changes that you want the whole world to adopt, as Deborah Orr does, then you should be careful to avoid casually assuming that Africa, India, China, et al, feel the same way about the world's recent history as we do. It seems to me that not enough care has been demonstrated in this regard.

MarkHH -> MickGJ , 10 Jun 2013 13:34

@MickGJ - Left to their own devices the most extreme neo-liberals would remove the state almost completely from corporate life.

Except when the State has to step in to prop up an unsustainable ideology. Then it's all meek murmurings and pleas for forgiveness and a timid "we'll be better from now" concessions and the Government obliges the public with the farce that they actually intend to do anything at all but make the public pay for the financial sector's state subsidized profligacy.

Once the begging bowl is re-filled of course then the pretense of "business as usual" profligacy rises to the fore.

The taxpayers are left to pick up the tab, nations are divided against immigrants and scroungers and then unfettered evangelists like you can spout as pompously as you like about how much big business would like to remove the state from corporate affairs.

When you well know that is the last thing big business would like to do. More of the state owned pie is always the most urgent of priorities. Poorer services at inflated costs equates as 'efficiency' until the taxpayer is again left to step in and pick up the bill.

Without the state there wouldn't be neo-Liberalism, it took state regulated capitalism to build what unfettered purists insist on tearing apart for short term greed.

The trouble is Neo-Liberals do not want to remove the state at all, they want to BE the state and in the process rendering democracy pretty much meaningless. And they've succeeded.

The biggest swindle ever pulled was turning the most glaring and crushing failure of unfettered corporatism into the biggest and most crushing power grab implemented in order to suppress the will of the people.

Just as IMF loans come with 'obligations' the principle of democracy itself was sold as part of 'the solution'.

The unsustainable, sustained. By slavery to debt, removal of society's safety net and an economy barely maintained by industries that serve the rich, vultures that prey on the weak and rising living costs and the drudgery of a life compounded by a relentless bombardment of everything in life that is unattainable.

Toeparty , 10 Jun 2013 05:28
Nobody hates a market more than a monopoly and capitalism must inevitably end in monopoly as it has. For the profiteering monopolies investment especially via taxation is insane as it can only undermine their monopoly. With the economy now globalised not even a world war could sweep away the current ossified political economy and give capitalism a new lease on life. It's socialism or monopoly capitalist barbarism. Make your choice.
DracoTBastard , 10 Jun 2013 05:26

The IMF exists to lend money to governments,

Money that the governments don't actually need as they can print their own money and spend it to use their countries own resources and then raise taxes to offset the extra spending and thus maintaining monetary value. The reality is that a government should never, ever borrow money.
Malakia123 , 10 Jun 2013 03:35
The beginning period between the two world wars (1919-33) in Germany called the Weimar Republic shows us exactly what severe austerity imposed by the Treaty of Versailles caused. Because the German economy contracted severely due to reparations payments, steady inflation and severe unemployment ensued. Of course the FED having started the Great Depression in America had not helped matters much anywhere in the world. The bankers have always known that the austerity caused by having to pay off un-payable loans, that increase every year, will eventually produce countries very similar to the "Weimar Days" in pre-Hitler Germany.

They also know that drastic conditions such as these often lead to a collapse of democracy and a resurgence of Fascism.

What causes inflation is uncontrolled speculation of the kind we have seen fed by private banking at various crucial points in history, such as the Weimar Republic. When speculation is coupled with debt (owed to private banking cartels) such as we are seeing in America and Europe now, the result is disaster. On the other hand, when a government issues its own "good faith" commerce-related currency in carefully measured ways as we saw in Roman times or Colonial America, it causes supply and demand to increase together, leaving prices unaffected. Hence there is no inflation, no debt, no unemployment, and no need for income taxes.

In reality, the Weimar financial crisis began with the impossible reparations payments imposed at the Treaty of Versailles. It is very similar to the austerity being imposed on European Nations and America as we speak – regardless of the fact that the IMF is trying to pose as "the Good Cop" at the moment! The damage has been done to nations like Greece, and others are soon to follow. The uncontrollable greed of banks and corporations is leading to an implosion of severe magnitude! It's time to open their books and put a stop to these private banks right now!

brucefiiona -> MysticFish , 9 Jun 2013 20:36
@MysticFish - So the US who has a greater spend on the military than communist China is neoliberal?

Neoliberalism could not exist without massive state support. So the term is meaningless. There is nothing "liberal" about having a huge state funded military industrial complex that acts a Trojan horse for global corporations, invading other countries for resources.

The term neoliberal is not only meaningless but misleading as it implies a connection with true liberalism, of which it has no meaningful connection.

brucefiiona , 9 Jun 2013 20:28
Do away with deceptive terms like neoliberalism, capitalism, socialism, left wing and right wing and things become clearer.

At root a lot of the people who get involved in all of the above have very similar character traits - love of power, greed, deceitful, ruthlessness. Most start out with these character traits, and others gain them as a result of power.

Anyone high up in politics or business is unhinged. You have to be. The organizational structures in these things are so synthetic, the beliefs so artificial, rigid, dogmatic and inhuman that only a unhinged person could prosper in this climate.

Most reasonable people admit doubt, are willing to accept compromise, are willing to make the occasional sacrifice for the greater good. All these things are what make us human, however all these things are seen as weaknesses in the inverted world of business and politics.

Business and politics creates an environment where the must inhuman traits prosper.

fr0mn0where -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 14:42
@murielbelcher -

"no but the highly placed banking and financial class are along with their venal political mates"

For sure but are they capitalists? Although they may well own capital does their power derive from the ownership of capital? You may, or may not be interested in this lecture on the future of capitalism by John Kay.

MysticFish -> AssistantCook , 9 Jun 2013 14:28
@AssistantCook - Neoliberalism is a branch of economic ideology which espouses the value of the free-market, and removing all protective legislation, so that large companies are free to do what they want, where-ever they want, with no impediments from social or environmental considerations, or a nation's democratic preferences. Von Hayek was a major influence and Thatcher was a loyal disciple, as was the notorious dictator, Pinochet. It is economic theory, designed for vulture capitalists, and unpopular industries like fossil fuel or tobacco, and usually the 'freedom' is all one-sided.
MysticFish -> DavidPavett , 9 Jun 2013 14:12
@DavidPavett - If states are too big, then what about multinational banks and corporations? I wonder why Neoliberal ideology does not try to limit the size of these. They are cumbersome and destructive, predatory dinosaurs and yet our politicians seem mesmerised to the point of allowing them special favours, tax incentives and the ability to determine our nation's policies in matters such as energy and health. Why not 'Small is Beautiful,' when it comes to companies? It doesn't make sense to shrink the state but then let non-transparent and unaccountable, multinational companies become too powerful. One gets the feeling the country is being invaded by the interests of hostile nations, using all-too-convenient Neoliberal ideology and hidden behind a corporate mask.
Jesús Rodriguez , 9 Jun 2013 12:46
Is the IMF ever stop evading its responsibility and blaming others for the worldwide financial tragedy it has provoked? Is it ever stop hurting the working class?
theguardianisrubbish -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 07:28
@murielbelcher -

"Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all."

No it is not that is what you want to believe. There is nothing in this statement other than an opinion based on nothing.

"Many people across the globe were lifted out of poverty between 1945-1980 so what does your statement about neo-liberalism prove"

Which countries during this period saw massive sustainable reductions in poverty without some free market model in place?

"It is you who should open your eyes and stop expecting people on here to accept your ideological beliefs and statements as facts."

I don't expect people to accept my beliefs I am just pointing out why I think their beliefs are wrong. This is a comment section the whole idea of it is to comment on different views and articles. How can you ever benefit or make an accurate decision or belief if you do not try to understand what the opposite belief is? I think nearly everything I have said has been somewhat backed up by logic or a fact, I have not said wishy washy statements like:

"Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all."

Unless you can expand on this and give evidence or some form of an example why you think its true then it makes no sense. You are not the only commentor on this article to make a similar statement and the way people have attempted to justify it is due to bailouts but as I have said a bailout is not part of the neoliberal school of thought so if you have a problem with bailouts you don't have a problem with neoliberalism.

theguardianisrubbish -> murielbelcher , 9 Jun 2013 07:10
@murielbelcher - I don't want to go to far into Thatcherism because it is slightly off topic. The early 80s recession was a global recession and yes during the first few years unemployment soared. Why was that because the trade unions were running amok the UK was losing millions of days of work per month.

Inflation was getting out of control and the only way to solve it was a self induced recession. You cannot seriously believe that without the reforms that she implemented we would not have recovered as quick as we did nor can you argue that it was possible for her or anyone else to turn around such an inefficient industry. Don't forget the problems of the manufacturing industry go back way before Thatcher's time.

theguardianisrubbish -> someoneionceknew , 9 Jun 2013 06:34
@someoneionceknew -

"Here's your problem. You believe that banks lend savings. They don't. Loans create deposits create reserves."

I am not claiming to be an expert on this if you are then let me know and please do correct me. I agree banks do not lend deposits but they do lend savings. There is a difference putting money on deposit is different to say putting money into an ISA. I don't agree though that deposits create reserves I believe that they come from the central bank otherwise banks would be constrained by the amount of deposits in the system which is not true and something you have said is not true.

Nevertheless, the majority of liquidity in the bond markets (like most other markets) comes from institutional investors, i.e pension funds, unit trusts, insurance companies, etc. They get their money from savings by consumers as well as sometimes companies. Ok we don't always give our money to insurance companies when we save but via premiums is another way the ordinary consumer contributes to this so called "debt industry". I also said that foreign and local governments buy debt and companies invest directly into the debt market.

MysticFish -> MickGJ , 9 Jun 2013 06:17
@MickGJ - Business-friendly to who exactly: the nation or hostile overseas speculators?
theguardianisrubbish -> TedSmithAndSon , 9 Jun 2013 06:14
"In theory the banks should have been allowed to go bust, but the consequences where deemed too high (as they inevitable are). "

Iceland would disagree.

"The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism."

Why have only the rich benefited from the bailout? You are not making any sense.

"The result is socialism for the rich using the poor as the excuse, which is the reality of neoliberalism."

Why? You cannot just say a statement like that and not expand, it makes no sense.

"Thatcher "revitalised" banking, while everything else withered and died."

...but also revitalised the economy and got everyone back to work.

"Neoliberalism is based on the thought that you get as much freedom as you can pay for, otherwise you can just pay... like everyone else."

Again you have to expand on this because it makes no sense.

"In Asia and South America it has been the economic preference of dictators that pushes profit upwards and responsibility down, just like it does here."

Don't think that is true in most cases nor would it make sense. Why would a dictator who wants as much power as possible operate a laissez-faire economy? You cannot have personal freedom without having economic freedom, it is a necessary not sufficient condition. Tell me a case where these is a large degree of political freedom but little to no economic freedom. Moreover look at the countries in Asia and South America that have adopted a neoliberal agenda and notice their how poverty as reduced significantly.

"I find it ironic that it now has 5 year plans that absolutely must not be deviated from, massive state intervention in markets (QE, housing policy, tax credits... insert where applicable), and advocates large scale central planning even as it denies reality, and makes the announcement from a tractor factory."

Who has 5 year plans?

"In theory it's one thing, the reality is entirely different."

If the reality is different to the theory then it is not neoliberalism that is being implemented therefore it makes no sense to dispute the theory. Look at where it has been implemented, the best case in the world at the moment is Hong Kong look at how well that country has performed.

"a massive lie told by rich people "

I can assure you I am not rich.

"Until we're rid of it, we're all it's slaves."

Neoliberalism is based on personal freedom. If you believe this about neoliberalism in your opinion give me one economic school of thought where this does not apply.

theguardianisrubbish -> theonionmurders , 9 Jun 2013 05:35
@theonionmurders -

"Bailouts have been a constant feature of neoliberalism."

What you are saying does not make sense. Whatever you say about that there was no where else to turn the government had to bailout out the banks a neolibralist would disagree.

"In fact the role of the state is simply reduced to a merely commissioning agent to private parasitical corporations. "

That's corporatism which so far you have described pretty well.

"History has shown the state playing this role since neoliberalism became embedded in policy since the 1970s - Long Term Capital Management, Savings and Loans, The Brady Plan, numerous PFI bailouts and those of the Western banking system during the 1982 South American, 1997 Asian and 2010 European debt crises."

What?! Bailouts have been occurring before the industrial revolution. Deregulation in the UK occurred mainly during the 80s not 70's. Furthermore financial deregulation occurred in the UK in 1986. In the USA the major piece of financial deregulation was the Gramm Leach Bliley Act which was passed in 1999. So you have just undercut your own point with the examples you gave above. You could argue Argentina and we could argue all day about the causes of that, but I would say that any government that pursues an expansionary monetary policy under a fixed ER is never going to end well.

"...policy if you won't flick through a book."

My point was that when people quote a source they tend to either quote the page that the point comes from. To be honest if this book is telling you that neoliberalism and neoclassical are significantly different (which you seemed to suggest in you earlier post) then I would suggest put the book down.

ATrueFinn -> fireman36 , 9 Jun 2013 04:17
@ fireman36 09 June 2013 1:32am

Don't like it? Change the rules.

Exactly! However:

"Google, Amazon and Apple... avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments."

Yes to the first, no to the second. Corporations with revenues exceeding the GDP of a small nation have quite a lot of power: Exxon's revenue is between the GDP of Norway and Austria. In Finland Nokia generated 3 4 % of the GDP for a decade and the government bent backwards to accommodate its polite requests, including a specific law reducing the privacy of employees' emails.

Grich -> MatthewBall , 8 Jun 2013 22:29
@MatthewBall -

I am not sure if this is true. We have the same economic system (broadly speaking, capitalism) as nearly every country in the world, and the world economy is growing at a reasonable rate, at around 3-4% for 2013-14 (see http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/pdf/c1.pdf for more details).

We percieve a problem in (most of) Europe and North America because our economies are growing more slowly than this, and in some cases not at all. The global growth figure comes out healthy because of strong growth in the emerging countries, like China, Brazil and India, who are narrowing the gap between their living standards and ours. So, the world as a whole isn't broken, even if our bit of it is going through a rough patch.

What you have missed, is that the lions share of the proceeds of that growth are not going to ordinary people but to a tiny minority of super rich. It is not working for the majority. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/07/58-of-real-income-growth-since-1976-went-to-top-1-and-why-that-matters.html

oriel46 -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 22:08
@Fachan - Except that it isn't capitalism that was being criticized here, but neoliberalism: a distinction that's often lost on neoliberals themselves, ironically.
TomorrowsWorld , 8 Jun 2013 19:58
I'm sure that Denis Healy and any number of African economists would confirm that the IMF is quite simply a refuge of absolutely last resort, when investor confidence in your economy is so shattered that the only way ahead is to open the shark gates and allow big money to plunder whatever value remains there, without the benefit of any noticeable return for your people. Greece is but one more victim of a syndrome that encompasses all the science and forensic analysis of ritual sacrifice.
murielbelcher -> OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 19:10
@OneCommentator - don't confuse economic deregulation which acted as handmaiden to global finance and multinationals as economic freedoms for population

China's govt was doing what china's govt had decided to do from 1978 BEFORE the election of Thatcher in 1979 or Reagan in 1980 (office from Jan 1981), so very little correlation there I think

The GATT rounds whether you agree with their aims or not were the products of the post war decades, again before Thatcher and Reagan came to power

The golden age of 1945 - 1975 or so witnessed huge rises in standards of living so your point linking neo-liberalism to rising standards of living is literally meaningless. There was an explosive growth in economic activity during the three or four post war decades

murielbelcher -> theguardianisrubbish , 8 Jun 2013 19:04
@theguardianisrubbish - you can't get away with this

She DID not get everyone back to work again. There were two recessions at either end of the 1980s. She TRIPLED unemployment during the first half of the 1980s and introduced the phenomenon of high structural unemployment and placing people on invalidity benefits to massage the headline unemployment count. Give us the figures to back up your assertion that she "got everyone back to work again." I suspect that you cannot and your statement stands for the utter nonsense that it is in any kind of reality.

A few months after she was forced out Tory Chancellor Norman Lamont in 1991 during yet another recession declared that "unemployment was a price worth paying"!!!

Neo-liberalism is based on the thought of personal freedom for the rich and powerful elites is all. Many people across the globe were lifted out of poverty between 1945-1980 so what does your statement about neo-liberalism prove

It is you who should open your eyes and stop expecting people on here to accept your ideological beliefs and statements as facts.

Because they are not: in no shape, way or form

fireman36 , 8 Jun 2013 19:03
Not very impressed to be honest. For starters:

"The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt. And, of course, its loans famously come with strings attached: adopt a free-market economy, or strengthen the one you have, kissing goodbye to the Big State."

That's glib and inaccurate. A better read about the IMF from an insider: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ Digest: the biggest problem the IMF have to deal with in bailouts is always the politics of cronyism; free-market oligarchs and government in cahoots.

"Many IMF programs "go off track" (a euphemism) precisely because the government can't stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program "goes back on track" once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern -- and thus win or lose -- under the IMF-supported plan. The real fight in Thailand and Indonesia in 1997 was about which powerful families would lose their banks. In Thailand, it was handled relatively smoothly. In Indonesia, it led to the fall of President Suharto and economic chaos."

MickGJ -> JohnBroggio , 8 Jun 2013 18:42

@JohnBroggio - who caters for the idealist vote?

Generally whoever happens to be in opposition at the time. This made the LibDems the ideal (sorry) choice for a long time but then they broke a long-standing if unspoken promise that they would never actually be in government.

Last weekś Economist has some very interesting stuff from the British Social Attitudes survey which shows the increasing drift away from collectivist ideals towards liberalism over each succeeding generation.

The assumption shared by many round here that the young are some untapped resource of revolutionary energy is deeply mistaken

[Dec 14, 2018] Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom by Deborah Orr

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe ..."
"... The IMF also admits that it "underestimated" the effect austerity would have on Greece. Obviously, the rest of the Troika takes no issue with that. Even those who substitute "kick up the arse to all the lazy scroungers" whenever they encounter the word "austerity", have cottoned on to the fact that the word can only be intoned with facial features locked into a suitably tragic mask. ..."
"... Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem. ..."
"... Markets cannot be free. Markets have to be nurtured. They have to be invested in. Markets have to be grown. Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments. ..."
"... The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this. It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market. Yet even Adam Smith, the economist who came up with that theory , did not agree that economic activity alone was enough to keep humans decent and civilised. ..."
"... Governments are left with the bill when neoliberals demand access to markets that they refuse to invest in making. Their refusal allows them to rail against the Big State while producing the conditions that make it necessary. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | www.theguardian.com

The crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe

Sat 8 Jun 2013 02.59 EDT First published on Sat 8 Jun 2013 02.59 EDT

The IMF's limited admission of guilt over the Greek bailout is a start, but they still can't see the global financial system's fundamental flaws, writes Deborah Orr. Photograph: Boris Roessler/DPA FILE T he International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was "bungled". Well, yes. If it hadn't been a mistake, then it would have been the only bailout and everyone in Greece would have lived happily ever after.

Actually, the IMF hasn't quite admitted that it messed things up. It has said instead that it went along with its partners in "the Troika" – the European Commission and the European Central Bank – when it shouldn't have. The EC and the ECB, says the IMF, put the interests of the eurozone before the interests of Greece. The EC and the ECB, in turn, clutch their pearls and splutter with horror that they could be accused of something so petty as self-preservation.

The IMF also admits that it "underestimated" the effect austerity would have on Greece. Obviously, the rest of the Troika takes no issue with that. Even those who substitute "kick up the arse to all the lazy scroungers" whenever they encounter the word "austerity", have cottoned on to the fact that the word can only be intoned with facial features locked into a suitably tragic mask.

Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem. They know the crash was a debt-bubble that burst. What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return; even if they do, the same thing will happen again, but more quickly and more savagely. The thing is this: the crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.

The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt. And, of course, its loans famously come with strings attached: adopt a free-market economy, or strengthen the one you have, kissing goodbye to the Big State. Yet, the irony is painful. Neoliberal ideology insists that states are too big and cumbersome, too centralised and faceless, to be efficient and responsive. I agree. The problem is that the ruthless sentimentalists of neoliberalism like to tell themselves – and anyone else who will listen – that removing the dead hand of state control frees the individual citizen to be entrepreneurial and productive. Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further – some setting about the task with greater relish than others. Now the task, supposedly, is to get the free market up and running again.

But the basic problem is this: it costs a lot of money to cultivate a market – a group of consumers – and the more sophisticated the market is, the more expensive it is to cultivate them. A developed market needs to be populated with educated, healthy, cultured, law-abiding and financially secure people – people who expect to be well paid themselves, having been brought up believing in material aspiration, as consumers need to be.

So why, exactly, given the huge amount of investment needed to create such a market, should access to it then be "free"? The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda. But how can the privatisation of societal welfare possibly happen when unemployment is already high, working people are turning to food banks to survive and the debt industry, far from being sorry that it brought the global economy to its knees, is snapping up bargains in the form of busted high-street businesses to establish shops with nothing to sell but high-interest debt? Why, you have to ask yourself, is this vast implausibility, this sheer unsustainability, not blindingly obvious to all?

Markets cannot be free. Markets have to be nurtured. They have to be invested in. Markets have to be grown. Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments.

And further, those who invest in these companies, and insist that taxes should be low to encourage private profit and shareholder value, then lend governments the money they need to create these populations of sophisticated producers and consumers, berating them for their profligacy as they do so. It's all utterly, completely, crazy.

The other day a health minister, Anna Soubry , suggested that female GPs who worked part-time so that they could bring up families were putting the NHS under strain. The compartmentalised thinking is quite breathtaking. What on earth does she imagine? That it would be better for the economy if they all left school at 16? On the contrary, the more people who are earning good money while working part-time – thus having the leisure to consume – the better. No doubt these female GPs are sustaining both the pharmaceutical industry and the arts and media, both sectors that Britain does well in.

As for their prioritising of family life over career – that's just another of the myriad ways in which Conservative neoliberalism is entirely without logic. Its prophets and its disciples will happily – ecstatically – tell you that there's nothing more important than family, unless you're a family doctor spending some of your time caring for your own. You couldn't make these characters up. It is certainly true that women with children find it more easy to find part-time employment in the public sector. But that's a prima facie example of how unresponsive the private sector is to human and societal need, not – as it is so often presented – evidence that the public sector is congenitally disabled.

Much of the healthy economic growth – as opposed to the smoke and mirrors of many aspects of financial services – that Britain enjoyed during the second half of the 20th century was due to women swelling the educated workforce. Soubry and her ilk, above all else, forget that people have multiple roles, as consumers, as producers, as citizens and as family members. All of those things have to be nurtured and invested in to make a market.

The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this. It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market. Yet even Adam Smith, the economist who came up with that theory , did not agree that economic activity alone was enough to keep humans decent and civilised.

Governments are left with the bill when neoliberals demand access to markets that they refuse to invest in making. Their refusal allows them to rail against the Big State while producing the conditions that make it necessary. And even as the results of their folly become ever more plain to see, they are grudging in their admittance of the slightest blame, bickering with their allies instead of waking up, smelling the coffee and realizing that far too much of it is sold through Starbucks.

[Dec 14, 2018] The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens

Notable quotes:
"... The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens. When viewed by outcome rather than ideological rhetoric, it becomes increasingly clear that neoliberalism has nothing to do with shrinking the state, freeing markets, or freeing the individual, and everything to do with a massive power grab by a global elite. ..."
"... What was the billions of pounds in bank bailout welfare and recession on costs all about? You tell me. All the result of the application of your extremist free market ideology? Let the banks run wild, they mess up and the taxpayer has to step in with bailout welfare and pay to clear up the recession debris ..."
"... Market participants and their venal political friends have during the past 30 years of extremist neo-liberal ideology rigged, abused, distorted and subverted their market and elite power to tilt the economic and social balance massively in their favour ..."
"... Neo liberalism = the favoured ideology of the very rich and powerful elite ..."
"... at last somebody is looking at globalisation and asking whose interests is it designed to serve? It certainly ain't for the people. ..."
"... the highly placed banking and financial class are along with their venal political mates ..."
"... We've had three decades of asset stripping in favor of the rich elites and look at the mess we're in now. ..."
"... I strongly believe that people are not being told the full story. Like the NSA surveillance revelation, the effects will not be pretty when the facts are known. No country needs the IMF. ..."
"... The mythology surrounding deficits and national debt is a religion that the world is in desperate need of debunking. Like religion, the mythology is used as a means of power and entrenchment of privilege for the Ruling Caste, not the plebs (lesser mortals). ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com
justamug , 8 Jun 2013 18:09
This article is a testament to our ignorance. Orr is no intellectual slouch, but somehow, like many in the mainstream, she still fails to address some fundamental assumptions and thus ends up with a muddled argument.

"What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return;"

Lending has not stopped - it's just moved out of one market into another. Banks are making profits, and banks profit are made by expanding credit.

Neoliberal ideology insists that states are too big and cumbersome, too centralised and faceless, to be efficient and responsive.

Yes and no. There is a difference between what is preached and what happens in practice. The era of neoliberalism has seen a massive increase in government, not a shrinkage. The biggest change is the role of governments - to protect markets rather than to protect the rights and dignities of its citizens. When viewed by outcome rather than ideological rhetoric, it becomes increasingly clear that neoliberalism has nothing to do with shrinking the state, freeing markets, or freeing the individual, and everything to do with a massive power grab by a global elite.
murielbelcher -> MurchuantEacnamai , 8 Jun 2013 18:06
@MurchuantEacnamai - well righty ideologues such as yourself and your venal political acolytes have utterly failed to support the case or institute measures that: "apply effective democratic governance to ensure market

What was the billions of pounds in bank bailout welfare and recession on costs all about? You tell me. All the result of the application of your extremist free market ideology? Let the banks run wild, they mess up and the taxpayer has to step in with bailout welfare and pay to clear up the recession debris

Market participants and their venal political friends have during the past 30 years of extremist neo-liberal ideology rigged, abused, distorted and subverted their market and elite power to tilt the economic and social balance massively in their favour

You the taxpayer are good enough to bail us out when we mess up but then we demand that your services are cut in return and that your employment is ever more precarious and wages depressed (at the lower end of the scale - never ever the higher of course!! That's the neo-liberal deal isn't it

Neo liberalism = the favoured ideology of the very rich and powerful elite and boy don't they know how to work its levers

freedomrespect , 8 Jun 2013 18:00
Very insightful commentary and at last somebody is looking at globalisation and asking whose interests is it designed to serve? It certainly ain't for the people. Amazing it's been approved on a UK liberal newspaper as well!
Boguille -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 17:57
@Fachan - There was nothing in the article about envy. It was an exposition of the failure of our present system which allows the rich to get ever richer. That would be fine if it weren't for the fact that the increasing disparity in wealth is bringing down the economy and making it less productive while leaving a large part of the population in, or on the verge of, poverty.
murielbelcher -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 17:41
@CaptainGrey - but we're not talking about that form of capitalism are we?

Surely you must realise that there are very very different forms of capitalism. The capitalism that reigns now would not have permitted the creation of the NHS had it not been devised in the1940s when a very different type of capitalism reigned. Its political acolytes and its cheerleader press would have denounced the NHS as an extremist commie idea!!

murielbelcher -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 17:39
@fr0mn0where - it was crumbling in the 1980s

The Chicago boys swarmed into eastern Europe after 1989 to introduce a form of gangster unbridled capitalism. The very Chicago boys led by Milton Friedman who used the dictator Pinochet's Chile as test bed for their ideology from September 1973 after the coup that overthrew Allende

murielbelcher -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 17:35
@fr0mn0where - no but the highly placed banking and financial class are along with their venal political mates

We've had three decades of asset stripping in favor of the rich elites and look at the mess we're in now.

murielbelcher -> MatthewBall , 8 Jun 2013 17:33
@MatthewBall - social democracy

The neo-liberal order commenced only in the late 1970s - there was a very different order prior to this which was not "Soviet Socialism" as you term it.

As such this extremist rich man's ideological experiment has had a long innings and has failed as the events of 2008 laid bare for all to see - it has been tried out disastrously on live human beings for 34 years and has now been thoroughly discredited with the huge bank bailouts and financial crash and ensuing and enduring recession It was scarcely succeeding prior to this with high entrenched rates of unemployment, frequent recessions/booms and busts and unsustainable property bubbles and deregulated unstable speculative aka casino banking activity

Time for a change

RidiculousPseudonym , 8 Jun 2013 17:26
This is basically right, but a few comments.

1. Neoliberalism cannot be pinned on one party alone. It was accepted by the Thatcher government, but no Prime Minister since has seriously challenged it.

2. Neoliberalism is logically contrary to conservative values. Either there are certain moral imperatives so important that it is worth wasting money over them, or there are not. No wonder that Tories are torn in two, not to mention Labour politicians who also try to combine neoliberalism and moral principle.

3. Saying "even Adam Smith" is understandable but unfair. His work was rather enlightened in the context of mercantilism, and of course the Wealth of Nations was not his only book. Others will know his work better than me, but I think he dwells rather strongly on problems of persistent poverty.

4. The political and redistributive functions of nations are indeed damaged by neolib, but I don't think there is any realistic way of getting that power back without applying capital controls. If we apply capital controls, all hell breaks loose.

5. Ergo, we are stuck with a situation where neolib is killing democracy, distributive justice and conservative moral values, but there is nothing we can do about it without pulling the plug altogether and unleashing a sharp drop in wealth and 1930s nationalistic havoc. A bit of a tragedy, indeed.

HolyInsurgent , 8 Jun 2013 17:22

Deborah Orr: The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt.

I strongly believe that people are not being told the full story. Like the NSA surveillance revelation, the effects will not be pretty when the facts are known. No country needs the IMF. Any national government with its own national currency sovereignty can pay its own debts within its own country with its own currency. International borrowing in foreign markets is the biggest myth since religion. But since neoliberalism and its inherent myths have been swallowed whole for so long, we are still at the stage where the child points and laughs at the nude emperor. The fallout from the revelation and remedy is to follow.

The problem with the Eurozone is not that the Euro is the "national" currency. Control of the Euro resides with the European Central Bank, not the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, IMF). The European Central Bank, as sole controller of the Euro (the "national" currency), can issue funds to constituent Eurozone states to the extent necessary. I challenge anyone to demonstrate how any central bank does not have power over its own currency!

The mythology surrounding deficits and national debt is a religion that the world is in desperate need of debunking. Like religion, the mythology is used as a means of power and entrenchment of privilege for the Ruling Caste, not the plebs (lesser mortals).

someoneionceknew -> colonelraeburn , 8 Jun 2013 17:18
@colonelraeburn - Excuse me? Private bank credit caused the housing price inflation.

Politicians were complicit in deregulating and appointing non-regulators but they didn't make the loans.

MickGJ -> DavidPavett , 8 Jun 2013 17:16

@DavidPavett - Does anyone have any idea what this is supposed to mean? There are certainly no leads on this in the link given to "the philosopher" John Gray

Gray wrote this in the Guardian in 2007:

Whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America or post-communist Europe, policies of wholesale privatisation and structural adjustment have led to declining economic activity and social dislocation on a massive scale

This doesn't seem to support Orrś assertion that he is calling for a structural adjustment, rather the opposite. I'ḿ not really familiar with Grayś work but he seems to be rather against the universal imposition of any system, new or old.
katiewm -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 16:46
@CaptainGrey - Capitalism is not an undifferentiated mass. Late-stage neoliberal hypercapitalism as practiced in the US and increasingly in the UK is a very different beast than the traditional European capitalist social democracy or the Nordic model, which have been shown to work relatively well over time. In fact, neoliberal capitalism - the sort Orr is talking about here - is marked by increasing decline both in the state and in the economy, as inequality in wealth distribution creates a society of beggars and kings instead of spenders and savers. The gains achieved through carefully regulated capitalism won't stick around in the free-for-all conditions preferred by those whose ideology demands the sell-off of the state.
jazzdrum -> PeterWoking , 8 Jun 2013 16:16
@PeterWoking - For some parts of the world , yes they are more affluent now , but a huge part of the globe is still without food and water .

I think de regulation of the financial sector has caused a huge amount of damage to the world all round and to be honest, i expect more of the same as the Bankers are still in control.

[Dec 09, 2018] Authoritarianism has always existed. But it hasn't always been clearly visible. Technology makes authoritarianism more powerful. Centralization and urbanization have served the purposes of the elite well

Neoliberalism as the new incarnation of the Animal Farm
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Disturbed Voter , December 8, 2018 at 7:56 am

Authoritarianism has always existed. But it hasn't always been clearly visible. Technology makes authoritarianism more powerful. Centralization and urbanization have served the purposes of the elite well.

People need information and communication. The inverted totalitarianism we live in, doesn't like that. It wants the Internet to implement that inverted totalitarianism (see China). They want everything (in a corporatist way) to be mandatory, except for what is forbidden. What has been revealed, and is being revealed, is that the current political-economic system isn't fit for purpose, human purpose.

So the real answer is like what is happening in France now...

rob , December 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

Attempting to blame the internet for the increasingly authoritarian world we live in is not seeing the forest through the trees. The internet is surely a tool used against humanity,That doesn't make it "bad". I would say the reason people can be fooled by these social media propaganda tactics, is precisely because the fourth estate is practicing such in depth propaganda campaigns, with all propaganda, all the time coverage on every other form of media as well. People have nowhere to turn.
Why do people think some russians posting on facebook and twitter skewed the electorate in this country than say nothing about:fox news,npr,cnn,rush limbaugh,hannity,the new york times, wall st journal,the weekly standard, time magazine,people magazine, etc.All of these organizations and all the others spout disinformation. every day.
And america's trend towards the authoritarian state has been accelerating since at least the national security act of 1947.as a national trend, whereas in the beginning of this countries existence, there have been authoritarian control of local districts by local groups, ie. whites over blacks, or whites over indians, or rich over poor immigrants, etc.
All the internet age and the "information age is doing, is changing the medium. the message is still the same. and there has always been resistance. now that resistance seems more futile, but is it?

Carolinian , December 8, 2018 at 9:35 am

Why do people think some russians posting on facebook and twitter skewed the electorate in this country than say nothing about:fox news,npr,cnn,rush limbaugh,hannity,the new york times, wall st journal,the weekly standard, time magazine,people magazine, etc.All of these organizations and all the others spout disinformation. every day.

Exactly. Our society is mainly shaped by its elites. And other than Twitter they are barely involved with the internet at all but rather get their news and attitudes from the NY Times or (in Trump's case) cable TV. Therefore rather than enhancing the always existing authoritarianism of "manufactured consent," the internet works to undermine it. This of course provokes much fingering of worry beads among the elite who see the mob and their pitchforks as real threats. The situation in France illustrates this phenomenon nicely and there have been calls by some to block Facebook in France so those yellow vests can't communicate with each other.

Diversity of opinion is a good thing, not bad, and some of us scan right leaning websites just to get a different view. The internet is not the problem. Powerful authoritarians are the problem.

Brooklin Bridge , December 8, 2018 at 10:34 am

In my own undoubtedly faulty memory of Animal Farm , Orwell characterized the devolution as "the nature of the beast" through his characters. That is (over and above the allegory of the Russian revolution/devolution), there are strong traits in human character that makes this devolution inevitable. We have the pigs; the aggressors, and the followers, and less savory characters, and the "never quite enough" wise annimal(s) and so on, working unwittingly together against the welfare of the whole making the end result seem precast. Not so much that we did nothing, as that we could do nothing.

1984 never really addressed that issue (or at least I don't remember it doing so), but from the start everything seemed inevitable, there was no discussion of any "might have been," that could have been an alternative to the dystopia of an engineered rivalry between two super-powers that worked off each other to maintain a compliant global society in hopeless mass psychological, never mind physical, irons.

But even assuming this inevitability was Orwell's own belief and intent in his writings (and not simply my misunderstanding of them), I agree with your point that we had plenty of warning, and not just Orwell, and that society as a whole too frequently took the easier road but with a lot of help and insistent guidance (manipulation) from our increasingly corrupt leaders and captains of industry (our own pigs).

Carolinian , December 8, 2018 at 11:52 am

Animal Farm was Orwell's best book IMO because it speaks to universal human tendencies even though the book was also about Stalin and Trotsky. 1984 was far fetched speculation based on, as it turned out, the short lived totalitarianism of figures like Hitler and Stalin. People assume we are living 1984 when it's really Animal Farm.

[Dec 09, 2018] Concentration of wealth drive inverted totalitarism and authoritarian tendencies in the society

Notable quotes:
"... Fear of loss drives the authoritarians. For an example, please consider the treatment of "Occupy." ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Synoia , December 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm

No discussion in the article about concentration of wealth, and the aristocrats, generally authoritarian, who control the money.

For a reason to examine increasing authoritarian look no further than the increasing concentration, historically high, of money,

Fear of loss drives the authoritarians. For an example, please consider the treatment of "Occupy."

Bobby Gladd , December 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

To your point, I recently watched the EPIX "Panama Papers" documentary. Highly recommended.

And, I just now finished episode 3 of the 4-part Showtime documentary "Enemies: the President, Justice & the FBI." Also recommended.

[Dec 09, 2018] Never forget that fascism is the natural defence mechanism of capital. After it is accrued, it must be defended

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal doctrine leads to skyrocketing inequality, a swelling in the desperate and forgotten poor who are vulnerable to populist messaging and the idea of a strongman peddling easy answers to keep people safe as civil unrest increases. Fascism seeks power for power's sake and total control over the populace, and always cruelty to the marginalised, the 'others'. How all the right wingers hand-wringing over the idea of 'socialist communisms!!1!' can't see that, I don't know. ..."
"... All over the world, failed neoliberalism is being replaced by right-wing populist nationalism & I don't think "repairing democratic institutions" is at the top of their to-do list. ..."
"... I'm certainly in favour of greater nationalisation, especially of essential services. But around the world, neo-liberalism has morphed into neo-fascism and this is where the next fight must be. ..."
"... In social systems, natural selection favours cooperation. In addition, we are biased toward ethical behaviours, so cooperation and sharing are valued in human societies. ..."
"... The consequences of four decades of financialized neoliberal trade policies were by no means equally shared. Internal and external class relations were made evident through narrowly distributed booms followed by widely distributed busts. ..."
"... No wonder you get fascist right wing insurgence in this climate! ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

CatPerson420 , 30 Oct 2018 23:18

Never forget that fascism is the natural defence mechanism of capital. After it is accrued, it must be defended. The current trend in global politics is not an anomaly but an entirely predictable outcome.

Neoliberal doctrine leads to skyrocketing inequality, a swelling in the desperate and forgotten poor who are vulnerable to populist messaging and the idea of a strongman peddling easy answers to keep people safe as civil unrest increases. Fascism seeks power for power's sake and total control over the populace, and always cruelty to the marginalised, the 'others'. How all the right wingers hand-wringing over the idea of 'socialist communisms!!1!' can't see that, I don't know.

It's too late for the US I fear, and time is rapidly running out for the UK if they don't pull their finger out and have another referendum before the self immolation of Brexit.

Rikyboy , 30 Oct 2018 23:07
All over the world, failed neoliberalism is being replaced by right-wing populist nationalism & I don't think "repairing democratic institutions" is at the top of their to-do list.

If Australia does swing the pendulum to the left, it, along with NZ, will be one of the few countries to do so. De-privatising will not be easy & will be met with a huge reactionary backlash. They'll need to tread very carefully if they want to stay in government.

jclucas , 30 Oct 2018 23:02
Neoliberalism may be dead but the neoliberals in the government will never admit it as they seamlessly transition to authoritarian nationalism with populist promises - and failure to deliver on them.

The neoliberal project was always a philosophical cover for crony capitalism that betrayed the public interest by rewarding vested interests for their patronage, perverted democracy, and served as a mechanism for perverting the natural function of an economy - to fairly distribute goods, resources, and services throughout society - to favor the welfare of the few over the many.

The self-interested culture of neoliberalism - the cult of the individual that denies the common good - pervades every aspect of Australia's life as a nation - business, politics, sport, education, and health - denying and crowding out public spirit, selfless service, and societal wellbeing.

For meaningful change to occur there must be a rebirth of the conception of the public good, and the virtue and necessity of acting to realise it.

However at this stage there is not a communal recognition of what the problem is let alone how to go about repairing it. For that to happen there must be a widely accepted narrative that naturally leads to the obvious actions that must be take to redress the damage done by the neoliberal con job: decreasing economic inequality, restoring democracy, and rebuilding a sense of common cause.

Piecemeal change will not be sufficient to enact the the sweeping transformation that has to occur in every department of life. It is not enough to tax multinationals, to have a federal integrity commission, to build a renewable future, or to move to proportional representation.

Someone, some party, some coherent philosophical perspective has to explain why it must be done.

BlueThird , 30 Oct 2018 22:57
It's certainly the case that the Liberal party, in particular, are now using ideas that fall outside and to the right of neo-liberalism, but it's also obviously the case that neo-liberalism and current Liberal thinking share the same underlying goal. Namely, the transfer of wealth and power towards a narrower and narrower group of people and corporations.

That suggests the death of neo-liberalism is coming about because – having done so much damage already – it's no longer capable of delivering the required results, and that we're moving into a new phase of the death spiral. I think that can also be seen in both the US (where Trump is using the identified problems of neo-liberalism to further the same basic agenda, but with less decorum and a larger cadre of useful idiots) and the UK (where there's still a very strong possibility that Brexit will be used as an excuse to roll back great swathes of social and democratic safeguards).

Perhaps even more worrying – given the latest reports on how we're destroying habitat as well as the climate, and how much of our biodiversity is in South America, particularly the Amazon – is that Brazil is how on a similar path.

The likelihood is that the Liberal party won't get away with what they have planned, but they – and the forces behind them – certainly won't stop trying. And unfortunately it's far from obvious that the Labor party will repudiate neo-liberalism anytime soon. That they signed up for the latest iteration of TPP is hardly a good omen.

Democratic re-engagement is the better way forward from neo-liberalism, but unfortunately I think it's unlikely to be the one that we end up taking.

All of that said, the deepest problem of all is the way in which democracy and government have been corrupted, often via the media, but typically at the behest of corporations, and if there is a way forward it has to be found in addressing those interactions

tolpuddler , 30 Oct 2018 22:28
I'm certainly in favour of greater nationalisation, especially of essential services. But around the world, neo-liberalism has morphed into neo-fascism and this is where the next fight must be.
slorter , 30 Oct 2018 22:19
Well we have had 3+ decades of the dogma!

In social systems, natural selection favours cooperation. In addition, we are biased toward ethical behaviours, so cooperation and sharing are valued in human societies.

But what happens when we are forced into an economic system that makes us compete at every level? The logical outcome is societal decline or collapse.

Perhaps the worst aspect of neoliberalism was its infection of the Labor party. This has left our social infrastructure alarmingly exposed.

The consequences of four decades of financialized neoliberal trade policies were by no means equally shared. Internal and external class relations were made evident through narrowly distributed booms followed by widely distributed busts.

Globally, debt has forced policy convergence between political parties of differing ideologies. European center-left parties have pushed austerity even when ideology would suggest the opposite.

No wonder you get fascist right wing insurgence in this climate!

Thank you Richard Denniss we need to highlight this more and more and start educating the dumbed down population saturated with neoliberal snake oil!

[Dec 08, 2018] The pervert humor oin Yahoo: White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move

This is Onion-style humor is no it : White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move
Notable quotes:
"... A White House official told Reuters Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Xi and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Canada on Dec. 1, the same day Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

A White House official told Reuters Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Xi and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war.

[Dec 08, 2018] White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move

This is about destruction of neoliberalism. Transnational financial elite under neoliberalism is above the law. the USA blatantly breaches this convention now. And will pay the price.
This is Onion-style humor is no it : White House, Trudeau seek to distance themselves from Huawei move
Notable quotes:
"... The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader U.S.-China trade deal but would not necessarily damage the process. ..."
"... Meng's detention also raised concerns about potential retaliation from Beijing in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to distance himself from the arrest. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Canada on Dec. 1, the same day Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

A White House official told Reuters Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Xi and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war.

Meng's arrest during a stopover in Vancouver, announced by the Canadian authorities on Wednesday, pummeled stock markets already nervous about tensions between the world's two largest economies on fears the move could derail the planned trade talks.

The arrest was made at Washington's request as part of a U.S. investigation of an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to people familiar with the probe.

Another U.S. official told Reuters that while it was a Justice Department matter and not orchestrated in advance by the White House, the case could send a message that Washington is serious about what it sees as Beijing's violations of international trade norms.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader U.S.-China trade deal but would not necessarily damage the process.

Meng's detention also raised concerns about potential retaliation from Beijing in Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to distance himself from the arrest.

"The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference ... we were advised by them with a few days' notice that this was in the works," Trudeau told reporters in Montreal in televised remarks.

[Dec 08, 2018] Internet as a perfect tool of inverted totalitarism: it stimulates atomizatin of individuals, creates authomatic 24x7 surveillance over population, suppresses solidarity by exceggerating non-essential differences and allow more insidious brainwashing of the population

Highly recommended!
Dec 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Livius Drusus , December 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

I think the Internet and the infotech revolution in general have been largely negative in their impact on the world. Ian Welsh has a blog post that largely sums up my views on the issue.

https://www.ianwelsh.net/what-the-infotechtelecom-revolution-has-actually-done/

Contrary to what many people say I think large organizations like governments and corporations have significantly more power now than before and ordinary people have less power. The Internet has made it easier to get information but you have to sift through tons of junk to get to anything decent. For every website like Naked Capitalism there are thousands pushing nonsense or trying to sell you stuff.

And even if you are more knowledgeable, so what? If you cannot put that knowledge to use what good is it? At best it makes you more well-rounded, interesting and harder to fool but in political terms knowing a lot of stuff doesn't make you more effective. In the past people didn't have access to nearly as much information but they were more willing and able to organize and fight against the powerful because it was easier to avoid detection/punishment (that is where stuff like widespread surveillance tech comes in) and because they still had a vibrant civic life and culture.

I actually think people are more atomized now than in the past and the Internet and other technologies have probably fueled this process. Despite rising populism, the Arab Spring, Occupy, the Yellow Jackets in France, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA this is all a drop in the bucket compared to just the massive social movements of the 1960s much less earlier periods. Robert Putnam argued that television, the Internet and other technologies likely helped to produce the collapse of civic life in the United States by "individualizing" people's leisure time and personally I think Putnam is right. Civic life today is very weak and I think the Internet is partially to blame.

Mark , December 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

And even if you are more knowledgeable, so what? If you cannot put that knowledge to use what good is it?

Agreed. If anything these more knowledgeable people had a greater audience prior to the internet. Whether you were a journalist, a great economist, a great author, or a great orator you need to persist and show intellect and talent to have your message heard wide and broad.
(This is probably a little idealistic, but I think there is truth there.)

Now you need very little of this. If your most famous asset is your attractive body you can attract a greater audience than great scholars and politicians.

Rosario , December 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm

I can't speak much on authoritarianism since whatever form it takes on today is wildly different from what it was in the past. Unfortunately, it is hard to convince many people living in western societies that they are living in an authoritarian system because their metal images are goose-stepping soldiers and Fraktur print posters.

I suppose the way I can assure myself that we are living in an authoritarian society is by analyzing the endless propaganda spewed from countless, high-viewership media and entertainment outlets. It is quite simple, if the media and entertainment narratives are within a very narrow intellectual window (with lots of 600 lb. gorillas sitting in corners) than the culture and politics are being defined by powerful people with a narrow range of interests. This is not to say that forming public opinion or preferring particular political views is a new thing in Western media and entertainment, just that its application, IMO, is far more effective and subtle (and becoming more-so by the day) than it ever was in, say, NAZI Germany or the Soviet Union.

I'd put my money down that most educated Germans during NAZI rule were well aware that propaganda was being utilized to "manufacture consent" but they participated and accepted this despite the content for pragmatic/selfish reasons. Much of the NAZI propaganda played on existing German/European cultural narratives and prejudices. Leaveraging existing ideology allowed the party to necessitate their existence by framing the German as juxtaposed against the impure and unworthy. Again, ideologies that existed independent of the party not within it. Goebbels and company were just good at utilizing the technology of the time to amplify these monstrosities.

I question that being the case today. It is far more complicated. Technology is again the primary tool for manipulation, but it is possible that current technology is allowing for even greater leaps in reason and analysis. The windows for reflection and critical thought close as soon as they are opened. Seems more like the ideology is manufactured on the fly. For example, the anti-Russia narrative has some resonance with baby boomers, but how the hell is it effective with my generation (millennial) and younger? The offhand references to Putin and Russian operatives from my peers are completely from left field when considering our life experience. People in my age group had little to say about Russia three years ago. It says volumes on the subtle effectiveness of Western media machines if you can re-create the cold war within two years for an entire generation.

In addition and related to above, the West's understanding of "Freedom of Speech" is dated by about 100 years. Governments are no longer the sole source of speech suppression (more like filtering and manipulation), and the supremacy of the free-market coupled with the erroneously perceived black-and-white division between public and private have convinced the public (with nearly religious conviction) that gigantic media and entertainment organizations do not have to protect the free speech of citizens because they are not government. Public/Private is now an enormous blob. With overlapping interests mixed in with any antagonisms. It is ultimately dictated by capital and its power within both government and business. Cracking this nut will be a nightmare.

Yes, this is an authoritarian world, if measured by the distance between the populace and its governing powers, but it is an authoritarianism operating in ways that we have never seen before and using tools that are terribly effective.

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:40 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat Corbyn, in my opinion one of the many not too bright socialists, who are caught in their own ideological prison: worldwide socialism is globalisation, globalisation took power away from politicians, and gave it to multinationals and banks.
jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm GMT
@niceland The expression class war is often used without realising what the issue is, same with tax evasion.
The rich of course consume more, however, there is a limit to what one can consume, it takes time to squander money.
So the end of the class war may make the rich poor, but alas the poor hardly richer.

About tax evasion, some economist, do not remember his name, did not read the article attentively, analysed wealth in the world, and concluded that eight % of this wealth had originated in evading taxes.
Over what period this evasion had taken place, do not remember this economist had reached a conclusion, but anyone understands that ending tax evasion will not make all poor rich.

There is quite another aspect of class war, evading taxes, wealth inequality, that is quite worrying: the political power money can yield.
Soros is at war with Hungary, his Open University must leave Hungary.
USA MSM furious, some basic human right, or rights, have been violated, many in Brussels furious, the 226 Soros followers among them, I suppose.
But since when is it allowed, legally and/or morally, to try to change the culture of a country, in this case by a foreigner, just by pumping money into a country ?
Soros advertises himself as a philantropist, the Hungarian majority sees him as some kind of imperialist, I suppose.

Tyrion 2 , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Simon in London 90% Labour party members supported remain, as did 65% of their voters and 95% of their MPs.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT
For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred themselves into the present mess ?'.

Well , I am reading " The occult renaissance church of Rome " by Michael Hoffman , Independent History and research . Coeur d`Alene , Idaho . http://www.RevisionistHistory.org
I saw about this book in this Unz web .

I used to think than the rot started with protestantism , but Hoffman says it started with catholic Renaissance in Rome itself in the XV century , the Medici , the Popes , usury

Mike P , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
This whole affair illustrates beautifully the real purpose of the sham laughingly known as "representative democracy," namely, not to "empower" the public but to deprive it of its power.

With modern means of communication, direct democracy would be technically feasible even in large countries. Nevertheless, practically all "democratic" countries continue to delegate all legislative powers to elected "representatives." These are nothing more than consenting hostages of those with the real power, who control and at the same time hide behind those "representatives." The more this becomes obvious, the lower the calibre of the people willing to be used in this manner – hence, the current crop of mental gnomes and opportunist shills in European politics.

Wizard of Oz , says: December 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
I would only shout this rambling ignoramus a beer in the pub to stop his mouth for a while. Some of his egregious errors have been noted. and Greece, anyway, is an irrelevance to the critical decisions on Brexit.

Once Article 50 was invoked the game was over. All the trump cards were on the EU side. Now we know that, even assuming Britain could muster a competent team to plan and negotiate for Brexit that all the work of proving up the case and negotiating or preparing the ground has to be done over years leading up to the triggering of Article 50. And that's assuming that recent events leave you believing that the once great Britain is fit to be a sovereign nation without adult supervision.

As it is one has to hope that Britain will not be constrained by the total humbug which says that a 51 per cent vote of those choosing to vote in that very un British thing, a referendum, is some sort of reason for not giving effect to a more up to date and better informed view.

Stebbing Heuer , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Erm Varoufakis didn't knuckle under. He resigned in protest at Tsipras' knuckling under.
anon [108] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Hypothesis: The British masses would fare better without a privatized government.

"Corbyn may prove to be real .. .. old-time Labour platform [leadership, capable to].. return [political, social and financial] control back to the hands of the UK worker".. [but the privateers will use the government itself and mass media to defeat such platforms and to suppress labor with new laws and domestic armed warfare]. Why would a member of the British masses allow [the Oligarch elite and the[ir] powerful business and foreign political interests restrain democracy and waste the victims of privately owned automation revolution? .. ..

[Corbyn's Labour platform challenges ] privatized capitalist because the PCs use the British government to keep imprisoned in propaganda and suppressed in opportunity, the masses. The privateers made wealthy by their monopolies, are using their resources to maintain rule making and enforcement control (via the government) over the masses; such privateers have looted the government, and taken by privatization a vast array of economic monopolies that once belonged to the government. If the British government survives, the Privateers (monopoly thieves) will continue to use the government to replace humanity, in favor of corporate owned Robots and super capable algorithms.

Corbyn's threat to use government to represent the masses and to suppress or reduce asymmetric power and wealth, and to provide sufficient for everyone extends to, and alerts the masses in every capitalist dominated place in the world. He (Corbyn) is a very dangerous man, so too was Jesus Christ."

There is a similar call in France, but it is not yet so well led.

Michael Kenny , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This sounds like a halfway house between hysterical panic and sour grapes. The author clearly believes that Brexit is going to fail.
T.T , says: December 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
Every working Dutch person is "owed" 50k euro from the bailout of Greece, not that Greece will ever pay this back, and not as if Greece ever really got the money as it just went straight to northern European banks to bail them out. Then we have the fiscal policy creating more money by the day to stimulate the economy, which also doesn't reach the countries or people just the banks. Then we have the flirting with East-European mobsters to pull them in the EU sphere corrupting top EU bureaucrats. Then we have all of south Europe being extremely unstable, including France, both its populations and its economy.

It's sad to see the British government doesn't see the disaster ahead, any price would be cheaper then future forced EU integration. And especially at this point, the EU is so unstable, that they can't go to war on the UK without also committing A kamikaze attack.

Brett Redmayne-Titley , says: Website December 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@Brabantian Thank you for your comment and addition to my evaluation of Corbyn. I do agree with you that Corbyn has yet to be tested for sincerity and effectiveness as PM, but he will likely get his chance and only then will we and the Brits find out for sure. The main point I was hoping to make was that: due to the perceived threat of Labour socialist reform under Corbyn, he has been an ulterior motive in the negotiations and another reason that the EU wants PM May to get her deal passed. Yes, I too am watching Corbyn with jaundiced optimism. Thank you.

[Dec 06, 2018] Social Security benefits will go up in 2019. Find out now how big your check will be

Dec 06, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com

Social Security recipients will get a 2.8 percent increase in 2019, following a cost-of-living adjustment announced by the agency in October.

That marks the biggest hike since 2012, when the cost-of-living adjustment was 3.6 percent .

[Dec 06, 2018] Market Moves Suggest a Recession Is Unavoidable

Notable quotes:
"... In bull markets, everything works. In bear markets, the only thing that really works is short-term government and municipal bonds and cash. Ample opportunity is being given to cut exposure to risk, and it's clear that few people are taking advantage of it. They never do. ..."
Dec 06, 2018 | finance.yahoo.com
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As a longtime market observer, what I find most interesting about the latest correction in equities has the feeling of inevitability that it will turn into something worse. It wasn't this way in late January, when everyone wanted to buy that dip. It certainly wasn't this way in 2007, when the magnitude of the recession was grossly underestimated.

Even the Federal Reserve is getting into the pessimism. Chairman Jerome Powell signaled last week that a pause in interest-rate hikes might be forthcoming. What's interesting about that is Powell surely knew that such a reference might be interpreted as bowing to pressure from President Donald Trump and yet he did it anyway. In essence, he risked the perception of the Fed's independence probably because he knows the economic data is worsening.

Just about everyone I talk to in the capital markets, including erstwhile bulls, acknowledges that things are slowing down. Yes, the Institute for Supply Management's monthly manufacturing index released earlier this week was strong, but jobless claims are ticking up and I am hearing anecdotal reports of a wide range of businesses slowing down. Even my own business is slowing. Anecdotes aside, oil has crashed, home builder stocks have been crushed, and the largest tech stocks in the world have taken a haircut. If we get a recession from this, it will be a very well-telegraphed recession. Everyone knows it is coming.

A recession is nothing to fear. We have lost sight of the fact that a recession has cleansing properties, helping to right the wrong of the billions of dollars allocated to bad businesses while getting people refocused on investing in profitable enterprises. Stock market bears are so disliked because it seems as though they actually desire a recession and for people to get hurt financially. In a way, they are rooting for a recession because they know that the down part of the cycle is necessary.

There are signs that capital has been incorrectly allocated. In just in the span of a year, there have been three separate bubbles: one in bitcoin, one in cannabis and one in the FAANG group of stocks: Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet. This is uncommon. I begged the Fed to take the punch bowl away, and it eventually did, and now yields of around 2.5 percent on risk-free money are enough to get people rethinking their allocation to risk.

Yet, I wonder if it is possible to have a recession when so many people expect one. The worst recessions are the ones that people don't see coming. In 2011, during the European debt crisis, most people were predicting financial markets Armageddon. It ended up being a smallish bear market, with the S&P 500 Index down about 21 percent on an intraday basis between July and October of that year. It actually sparked a huge bull market in the very asset class that people were worried about: European sovereign debt. We may one day have a reprise of that crisis, but if you succumbed to the panic at the time, it was a missed opportunity.

But just the other day, the front end of the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted, with two- and three-year note yields rising above five-year note yields. Everyone knows that inverted yield curves are the most reliable recession indicators. Of course, the broader yield curve as measured by the difference between two- and 10-year yields or even the gap between the federal funds rate and 10-year yields has yet to invert, but as I said before, there is an air of inevitability about it. Flattening yield curves always precede economic weakness. They aren't much good at exactly timing the top of the stock market, but you can get in the ballpark.

I suppose all recessions are a surprise to some extent. If you are a retail investor getting your news from popular websites or TV channels, you might not be getting the whole picture. In the professional community, it is becoming harder to ignore the very obvious warning signs that a downturn is coming. In bull markets, everything works. In bear markets, the only thing that really works is short-term government and municipal bonds and cash. Ample opportunity is being given to cut exposure to risk, and it's clear that few people are taking advantage of it. They never do.

[Dec 04, 2018] The Trump as neocons marionette by Tom Luongo

From ZeroHedge comments it looks like Trump lost a large part of his votters
Dec 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Tom Luongo,

I knew there was something wrong with Donald Trump's presidency the day he bombed the airbase at Al-Shairat in Syria. It was a turning point. I knew it was a mistake the moment he did it and argued as such at the time.

No act by him was more contentious.

It cost me hundreds of followers gained throughout the campaign who wanted to believe Trump was playing 4-D chess. My Periscopes went from being events to afterthoughts.

Those that left needed to believe this because they had invested so much in him.

They had to believe he was playing some deep game with Putin to bring peace to the region.

He wasn't.

I was right and truth is painful. The need for him to be Orange Jesus was so strong they created Qanon and the 'science' of political horoscope as slowly but surely Trump was stripped of all of his power except that of complaining about how unfair it all is.

That day he did something in the moment, with bad intelligence and let fly with tomahawks which Russian and Syrian air defenses misdirected and/or shot down.

Empty President

His goal was to show everyone there was a new, strong sheriff in town.

All it did was weaken him.

The neocons praised him as presidential. They began to get their hooks in him then. But truly, Trump was destroyed before he took office, giving up Michael Flynn, expelling Russian diplomats and compromising his cabinet picks.

Because making war is the only true test of a President to the laptop bombardiers who control foreign policy. With that one act Trump's days as an independent agent in D.C. were numbered.

And since then the hope has been that given the enormity of the opposition to his Presidency he was still fighting for what he campaigned on -- no nation building, bring the empire home, protect the borders, and clean up the corruption.

He's made a few minor changes but not enough to change the course of this country and, by extension, the world.

The people want this change. Those with the power don't.

G-20 Ghost

So here we are with a pathetic Trump outclassed at the G-20, a meeting he should dominate but instead is ushered around like a child, given poor earpieces and looking a little lost. He's only allowed to have one meeting of note by his handlers, with China's Xi Jinping.

Because that meeting wasn't going to end with anything damaging to the long-term plan. Trump's tariff game is tired and all it will do is hasten the demise of U.S. competitiveness in the very industries he wants us to be competitive in.

Because tariffs are a band-aid on the real problems of bureaucracy, corruption, waste and sloth within an economy. They are not a product of China stealing our technology (though they have).

And that $1 trillion deficit Trump is running? Music to the ears of the globalists who want the U.S. brought low. More military spending. More boondoggles the banks can cut a nice big check to themselves for with funny money printed without risk. This can go on for a few more years until it doesn't matter anymore.

Trump's folding on meeting Putin is the final nail in his presidency's coffin. He's not even allowed to make statements on this issue anymore. That's for Sarah Sanders, Mike Pomposity and John Bolt-head to do.

You know, the grown-ups in the room.

No. Putin and Trump met once when they weren't supposed to and since then Trump has been getting smaller and smaller. Sure, he held some rallies for the mid-terms to shore up his base for a few weeks while the Democrats stole more than a dozen House seats, three governorships and a couple of Senate seats, but hey he's still working hard for no pay.

Please.

Trump needed to show some real moral courage and speak with Putin about the Kerch Strait incident like men, not sulk in the corner over a couple of ships. And yet his still throws his full support behind a butcher like Mohammed bin Salman because arms sales and Iran.

Putin, for his part, makes no bones about doing business with the Saudis. He knows that bin Salman is creating a quagmire for Trump while driving the U.S. and European Deep State mad.

Hence: https://www.youtube.com/embed/sggVhrwSAFs Putin refuses to apologize for thwarting our plans to overthrow him in Russia and steal Ukraine.

Time Enough to Win

For this Secretary of Defense James Mattis calls Putin, " A slow learner." This is a flat-out threat that Mattis has more coming Putin's way. But in fact, it is Mattis who is the slow learner since he still thinks Putin isn't three steps ahead of him.

Which he is. The game is all about time and money. And thanks to Mattis and, yes, Trump, Putin will win the war of attrition he is playing.

Because that is what has been going on here from the beginning. Iran, China and Russia know what the U.S. power brokers want and they knew Trump would always cave to them. So, they knew exactly how to get Trump to over-commit to a strategy that cannot and will not ever come to fruition.

I warned that Trump's blind-spot when it comes to Iran was his weakness. I warned that he would eventually justify breaking every foreign policy promise to fulfill his plan to unite the Sunni world behind him and Israel by giving them Iran.

The End of the Beginning

Welcome to today. And welcome to the end of Trump's presidency because now he is pot-committed to regime change while the vultures circle him domestically. He has become Bush the Lesser with arguably better hair.

He has alienated everyone the world over with sanctions and tariffs, hence his desire to " Get me out of here " as the G-20 wound down. No one believes he matters anymore. By tying himself to the Saudis and the Israelis the way he has he, the master negotiator, has left himself no room to negotiate.

And that is leading to everyone defying him versus cutting deals to carve up the world, end the empire and come home.

Trump is not leading here. He is being led. And change requires leaders. He has been led down the path so many presidents have, more militarism, more empire. Because when you're the Emperor everyone is your enemy. This is the paranoia of a late-stage imperial mindset.

It certainly is the mindset of Trump's closest advisors - Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.

So Trump's "America First' instincts, no matter how genuine, have been twisted into something worse than evil, they are now ineffectual keepers of the status quo fueling ruinous neoconservative dreams of central Asian dominance.

And he has no one to blame but himself.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_qlE7PPH9C4

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Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

The Orange Orangutan had his chances to make a difference. He instead chose the Neocunts and his ego.

There will be no more "voting" oneself out of this shitshow. Trump was the last peaceful chance.

It could have been worse, I guess. At least there's that for consolation.

The silver lining to the Trump phenomenon is that the Deep State is at war with itself, and this is bringing down the evil empire from within.

And lastly, Trump was always the symptom, not the cause of all this malaise. A malaise that only Americans can fix.

WTFUD , 1 hour ago link

His nose is wedged right up Adelson's & Bibi's ring-hole.

Even as we speak now, 100 drones crossed over from Turkey into Syria with French experts modifying them to accept warheads of a chemical nature. Simultaneously the innovative British military are providing miscellaneous WMD's/support to Jabhat-Al -Nusra in Idlib.

Time for Putin/Russia to take these cockroaches/vermin out in quick time, for their own good.

Trump's grasshopper mind could be construed for severe Alzheimer's.

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

Trump boasted of how HE would "Make the US Military Great again" (as if it wasn't too big to begin with..) and spent $16 billion EXTRA on 'defence,' yet now he suddenly flip-flopped and calls defence spending "crazy."

https://www.rt.com/news/445463-trump-laments-defense-budget/

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1069584730880974849?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

How mentally UNstable and completely UNhinged is Dufus J. Chump?

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

Spot on, I completely agree with Luongo, and #metoo have been saying this for a long time.

Trump's unstable and unhinged waffling, lying and flip-flopping (i.e. "4D chess") is finally beginning to catch up with him and his presidency will not be marked with him being the one who drained the swamp, but a presidency marked with a trail of destruction.

He has talked himself into so many corners, that it will be impossible to back out of those corners....unless of course he turns the volume of his bullshitting, lying and waffling up to 11.

"You can fool some people some of the time, but you can't fool all people all of the time."

It's easy to fool dumb American Trumptards, but it's not easy fooling the Russians, the Europeans and the Chinese. They see right through his fake bravado and ********.

Expat , 3 hours ago link

"I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race," Trump wrote. "The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!"

Another classic Tweet from Captain Bonespurs. No wall, no change to healthcare, no immigration policy, no amazing trade agreements, no slavery, no mandatory mullets, no mandatory bible study at school, no burning of witches. And now he is talking about reducing the largest military budget in history.

You guys need a box of tissues?

MAGA

I am Groot , 6 hours ago link

Trump is finished. He had two years to replace Sessions and Rosenstein and have someone at the DOJ appoint a Special Councils for each item to look into:

The Clinton Foundation

Uranium One Deal

Hillary's Email Server

The murder of Seth Rich

The Benghazi Consulate Disaster

The Democrats computer scandal with the Iwan brothers.

Bill Clinton giving China classified missile and sub technology

The unelected Deep State actors controlling the country.

Q is a total ******* fraud. Trump has 3 weeks before he is assraped and left bleeding on the floor by the Democrats and the RHINO's in the senate. If he gets impeached, Pence will be impeached and Nitwit Nancy becomes POTUS. And within 2 months of that happening, we will have full balls out, open Civil War II.

[Dec 04, 2018] Neoliberalism and Fascism The Stealth Connection

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism is a set of practices that favors entrepreneurs and corporations, supports--often below the radar--massive state subsidies for the corporate estate, presses for radical deregulation of private markets, treats labor as an abstract factor of production, celebrates the authority of courts governed by a neoliberal jurisprudence, hates collective social movements on the left, protects imperial drives, strives to render democracy minimal, and moves to dismantle or weaken unions, social security, public schools and universal voting if and when the opportunities arise. Fascism is a form of capitalism that dismantles democracy, pushes intense nationalism, pursues racism, deploys big lies systematically, attacks vulnerable minorities to energize its base, corrupts courts, drives to make the media its mouthpiece, places police and intelligence agencies under its wing, colludes with foreign dictatorships, welcomes vigilante groups beneath a veneer of deniability, and jacks up the intensity of cultural ruthlessness. ..."
"... Democracy in Chains ..."
"... MacLean's book, through a close review of an archive not studied before, reveals how the public neoliberal pronouncements by Buchanan between the 1970s and 2000s were soon matched by a set of covert plans and financial funding designed to bring neoliberalism to power by "stealth" strategies. Buchanan had come to see, as had others, that the neoliberal agenda was not apt to be enacted by democratic means. So he adopted a two-track model. ..."
"... MacLean's review of the ruthlessness and narcissism that marked the private and public persona of Buchanan, a review that invites attention to character affinities between him and Trump. Neither Buchanan, Trump, nor Charles Koch -- the latter another key figure in the Buchanan story -- thought highly of compromise. They play a hardball game. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, its critics know so well, periodically spawns the economic crises its hubristic devotees promise will not happen. It also works to foster voter suppression, unlimited dark campaign contributions, extreme gerrymandered districts, take away worker benefits, appoint judges at state and national levels governed by neoliberal jurisprudence, treat voter suppression tactics to be needed to eliminate phantom voter fraud, oppose affirmative action, to weaken labor unions, and attack universal health care. ..."
"... The old, all so familiar, Hayek story of how socialism and social democracy are always on the "road to serfdom" is a fairy tale that has not in fact occurred. The transition, however, from neoliberalism to virulent fascist movements has occurred before and could do so again. ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | www.commondreams.org

Neoliberalism is not fascism. But the fact that many famous neoliberals have been moved to support fascism to protect a regime from social democracy or socialism does give one pause. Hayek, Friedman, von Mises, among others, took such a turn under duress. They also had highly expansive views of what counted as a "socialist" threat.

Neoliberalism is a set of practices that favors entrepreneurs and corporations, supports--often below the radar--massive state subsidies for the corporate estate, presses for radical deregulation of private markets, treats labor as an abstract factor of production, celebrates the authority of courts governed by a neoliberal jurisprudence, hates collective social movements on the left, protects imperial drives, strives to render democracy minimal, and moves to dismantle or weaken unions, social security, public schools and universal voting if and when the opportunities arise. Fascism is a form of capitalism that dismantles democracy, pushes intense nationalism, pursues racism, deploys big lies systematically, attacks vulnerable minorities to energize its base, corrupts courts, drives to make the media its mouthpiece, places police and intelligence agencies under its wing, colludes with foreign dictatorships, welcomes vigilante groups beneath a veneer of deniability, and jacks up the intensity of cultural ruthlessness.

So the two are different. Are there, however, enough affinities between them to help explain how the former -- both in its leadership and its base of support--can migrate rapidly toward the latter during periods of stress? Stress that it often enough creates by its own hubristic market practices? Bearing in mind those noble neoliberals who today call out and hold out against Trumpism -- they are on welcome public display on the Nicole Wallace show on MSNBC--recent experience in the United States suggests that many other neoliberals, in a situation of public stress, too easily slide toward the latter. A whole bunch of neoliberal Republicans in the American Congress, after all, now support or tolerate policies and belligerent practices they did not before the era of Trump. Many do not merely do so because they are cowed by the danger of threats to them in Republican primaries -- they could, for instance, quit politics, or join the Democratic Party to stop aspirational fascism, or staunchly support the principles they embrace in those very Republican primaries and elections.

The recent book, Democracy in Chains , by Nancy MacLean, allows us to discern more closely how such slides and gallops can occur. It is focused on the life of a Nobel Prize winning neoliberal -- who often called himself a libertarian -- loved by the Mt Pelerin Society by the name of James Buchanan. I used to teach critically his book The Calculus of Consent in the 1980s. But MacLean's book, through a close review of an archive not studied before, reveals how the public neoliberal pronouncements by Buchanan between the 1970s and 2000s were soon matched by a set of covert plans and financial funding designed to bring neoliberalism to power by "stealth" strategies. Buchanan had come to see, as had others, that the neoliberal agenda was not apt to be enacted by democratic means. So he adopted a two-track model.

That two-track model is revealing. So is the fact that this refugee from Tennessee -- a former slave state and one that then imprisoned Blacks systematically to replace lost slave labor -- seldom mentioned the specific conditions of Blacks or women as he articulated his abstract defense of liberty. So, too, is MacLean's review of the ruthlessness and narcissism that marked the private and public persona of Buchanan, a review that invites attention to character affinities between him and Trump. Neither Buchanan, Trump, nor Charles Koch -- the latter another key figure in the Buchanan story -- thought highly of compromise. They play a hardball game.

The story starts, really, in Pinochet's Chile, where Buchanan helped that repressive regime impose economic reforms backed by constitutional changes that would make it next to impossible to reverse them. They were called them constitutional "locks and bolts". Buchanan never publicized the extensive role he played with Pinochet in Chile. Nor did he ever express public regret over its fascism, replete with prohibitions of free speech, practices of torture, and decrees making it illegal to organize dissident social movements.

Another key epiphany occurred in the 1980s in the States. Reagan's massive tax cuts, which were promised to spur rapid growth to pay for them, instead created deficits three times larger than those Jimmy Carter had bequeathed. A public reaction set in as the regime proposed to make radical cuts in Social Security and Medicare to make up the shortfall. But those plans failed. After that failure, Buchanan concluded, consonant with advice by Milton Friedman, that such entrenched programs could only be weakened and dismantled through disinformation campaigns. Democracy had to be squeezed. Why? The majority of "takers" will never accept open plans to curtail their benefits to reduce taxes on a minority of "producers". The takers, let's call them for starters workers, the poor and the elderly, don't even believe in "liberty"--meaning above all the freedom of entrepreneurs to roam freely in the market. So, you must pretend you are trying to save the very system you seek to unravel. Talk incessantly about its "crisis". Divide its supporters into older, retired members, who will retain benefits, and younger ones who will have them cut. Celebrate the virtues of private retirement accounts. Propose to have the wealthy be removed from the system, doing all these things until general support for the social security system weakens and you are free to enact the next steps -- steps not to be publicized in advance. Once you finally eliminate the system, people's general confidence in the state will wane more. And new initiatives can be taken -- again in a stealth manner -- with respect to Medicare, pollution regulations, climate change, unemployment insurance, and democratic accountability.

Buchanan, to make a long story short, first increasingly bought into disinformation campaigns and later joined the main financier of his Center at George Mason University, Charles Koch, to support a series of voter suppression programs, neoliberal court appointees, anti-labor laws, and intensely funded political campaigns to shift the priorities of the state. The guiding idea was not only to change the rulers but to change the rules which govern districting, court jurisprudence, voter access and the like. Liberty is for producers, not takers, as Milt Romney also said later when he thought he was speaking only to a closeted room full of producers.

Buchanan's abstract concern for market liberties, and the slanted liberties of association and speech they carried with them, never brought him to speak of the subjugated conditions of Blacks, women and other minorities in this society. The reason seems clear: their living grievances threaten abstract claims about a market system of impersonal rational coordination. The danger, to him, is mass democracy, which enlarges the power of "the state". When Buchanan worried about the state he didn't seem to mean Pinochet. He meant democratic processes through which the state is moved to support a collection of minorities who have been closed out of equality, participation, and representation. Buchanan, as did his hero Hayek, loved to think in abstractions, the kind of abstractions that cover up specific modes of suffering, grievance, and care under shiny terms. As MacLean also notes, Buchanan came to see that neoliberal (and libertarian) propaganda must aim at men more than women, because, on average, the latter are less predisposed to such messages.

The Koch/Buchanan alliance, consolidated through an Institute at George Mason University, soon became a Center to fund movements and generic models of reform on the Right as it informed American movers and shakers how to create constitutional "locks and bolts" in states and the federal government to secure desired reforms from dissident majorities once they were pushed through and their real effects became apparent. A stealth campaign, followed by opposition to "mob rule". Wisconsin, for instance, became a key laboratory under the regime of Scott Walker, both enacting draconian policies and pursuing constitutional changes to secure them from future majorities. To discern the severity of the stealth activities, consider how one of Buchanan's lieutenants, Charles Rowley, eventually turned against them. He became upset when a new Chair of the economics department summarily fired all untenured economists to replace them with a single breed of libertarians. As summarized by MacLean, two things above all dismayed Rowley, who retained his neoliberal outlook but opposed the stealth practices. "First the sheer scale of the riches the wealthy individuals brought to bear turned out to have subtle, even seductive power. And second, under the influence of one wealthy individual, in particular, the movement was turning to an equally troubling form of coercion: achieving its ends essentially through trickery, through deceiving people about its real intentions to go to a place which, on their own given complete information, they would not go." (p. 208) It's like saying "repeal and replace Obamacare" while planning only to make the first move. And then turn the same trick again in several other domains. Eventually, Buchanan himself grew wary of Koch, in a setting where two narcissistic, authoritarian men struggled to control the same Center. The money man won out. In Rowley's own words Koch, the billionaire donor, "had no scruples concerning the manipulation of scholarship."

Neoliberalism, its critics know so well, periodically spawns the economic crises its hubristic devotees promise will not happen. It also works to foster voter suppression, unlimited dark campaign contributions, extreme gerrymandered districts, take away worker benefits, appoint judges at state and national levels governed by neoliberal jurisprudence, treat voter suppression tactics to be needed to eliminate phantom voter fraud, oppose affirmative action, to weaken labor unions, and attack universal health care.

How many neoliberal Republicans called out Donald Trump, for instance, when he launched his presidential campaign by pretending insistently for six long years (with absolutely no evidence) that the first African American President held office illegally. Obama was guilty until proven innocent, according to that Donald Trump. How many stepped to the plate to acknowledge galloping climate change in the face of those who have called it a hoax against all the available evidence? What about the appointment of a judge who lied about his previous record, had trouble with his drinking and temper, and probably tried to rape a young girl when they were in high school? What about Trump's constant suggestions that minorities are guilty until found innocent, punctuated by assertions that men applying for high government positions and accused of harassment must be treated as innocent unless a court of law finds them guilty. Quiet whispers from neoliberals of regret and suspicion against Trumpism on these issues, by the way, do not cut the mustard. Neoliberal stealth tactics and neofascist Big Lies have moved too close together for comfort.

One thing that emerged out of the long-term two track campaigns of neoliberalism is a powerful wealth/income concentration machine joined to a series of precarious and suffering minorities, including so many urban Blacks and poor whites. With labor unions, too, caught in a squeeze. Donald Trump could then play on the prejudices and insecurities created; he thus found himself in a position to incite large segments of the white labor and lower middle classes to return to the old days, while retaining the support of a huge segment of the wealthy, donor class. The disinformation campaigns of the old neoliberal vanguard can too easily slide into the Big Lie campaigns Trump pursues in the service of White Triumphalism, intense nationalism, misogyny, the reduction of critical social movements to mob rule, and militant anti-immigration campaigns. The long time con man and money launderer has not, then, merely cowed a neoliberal elite that had pointed in a different direction. He has pulled its stealth campaigns into channels that most find more palatable than other social visions in circulation.

The memories of Hayek and Friedman in this respect return to haunt us. It need not surprise us, given MacLean's archival history, that the latest Trump Supreme Court appointee supports neoliberal policies in the domains of corporate deregulation, medical care, restrictive voter laws, limits on civil rights, gerrymandering and like while also trumpeting notions of a sovereign president so dear to the dark heart of Donald Trump -- the aspirational fascist who conspired with Russia to win an electoral college majority in 2016. We must light a candle for those noble neoliberals who resist the slide we are witnessing before our very eyes, as we also keep both eyes open with respect to the wider crossing between neoliberalism and neofascism.

The old, all so familiar, Hayek story of how socialism and social democracy are always on the "road to serfdom" is a fairy tale that has not in fact occurred. The transition, however, from neoliberalism to virulent fascist movements has occurred before and could do so again. The current fascist electoral campaign rallies by Donald Trump are designed to up the ante of charges against liberals and the Left by several decibel levels so that people will temporarily forget all the horrible things he has done and will do if Republicans keep both houses. They include halting or weakening the Mueller investigation, eliminating transgender rights, consolidating Trump control over intelligence agencies and the courts, reversing the remaining shreds of ObamaCare, upscaling attacks on universal voting, weakening the media, creating horrendous immigration laws, encouraging vigilante drives, and many other things yet. Drive someone to a voting precinct on election day and give them a copy of the MacLean book a week before you do. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

[Dec 03, 2018] Neoliberalism is just a sanitised-sounding expression, to cover-up the fact that what we are really seeing here is re-branded, far-right corporatist ideology

Notable quotes:
"... 'Neoliberalism' is just a sanitised-sounding expression, to cover-up the fact that what we are really seeing here is re-branded, far-right, corporatist ideology. ..."
"... There is a major dividing line. There are those who recognise the abuses of the system and lobby for changes and there are those who lobby for further exploitation. ..."
"... The West became over-indebted when it embraced globalisation which necessarily impoverishes the Middle and Working Classes of the developed nations. A chap called Jimmy Goldsmith warned of this and was widely condemned for it. There is another issue Guardianistas would rather not confront : you can a welfare state or you can have open borders. But you can't have both. ..."
"... Private enterprise is inefficient because at it's heart it rules out cooperation. Being happiest if it's a monopoly, there's nothing a business would like better than wipe out all competition. ..."
"... Right now, the neoliberals think that those in the Far East are the workers and those in the West are the consumers, until the Far East becomes the market and wages so low in the West that they become the workers, unless of course some kind souls decide to invest money in Education, Health and infrastructure in Africa on a huge scale, so we then have Africa as the workers and the far East as the market, and the West, apart from those who own large numbers of shares or business outright, presumably either starve to death or pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and start all over again, inventing and setting up completely new industries, providing the newly universally educated and healthy Chinese and Africans and South Americans haven't done it first. ..."
"... The economic model we have is bankrupt and in its death throes ..."
"... Except it's not. It is still very much alive and growing. ..."
"... deregulated capitalism has failed. That is the product of the last 20 years. The pure market is a fantasy just as communism is or any other ideology. In a pure capitalist economy all the banks of the western world would have bust and indeed the false value "earned" in the preceding 20 years would have been destroyed. ..."
"... "Multinationals need to recognise that paying tax is an investment. Without that tax, their markets will slowly evaporate." However, the gains for the transnational rich are immediate and enormous, while the failure of their markets is slow and, so far, almost entirely painless. ..."
"... Accountants now hold the whip hand in government and business. They know the price of everything but the value of nothing. They advocate selling off industries, outsourcing to low wage economies, zero hours contracts and deregulation (under the bogus campaign line of cutting red tape). ..."
"... Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can , because they are more powerful than governments. ..."
"... If you invent a set of rules that says a country that deficit spends above an arbitrary percentage of its GDP is horribly inefficient and far too high then it should not be a surprise that when that happens, it is described as such. ..."
"... But the basic problem is this: it costs a lot of money to cultivate a market – a group of consumers – and the more sophisticated the market is, the more expensive it is to cultivate them. A developed market needs to be populated with educated, healthy, cultured, law-abiding and financially secure people ..."
"... The economic model we have is bankrupt and in its death throes is gobbling up the last scintilla of surplus that can be extracted from the poor ( anyone not independently wealthy). ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

MysticFish , 8 Jun 2013 04:29

'Neoliberalism' is just a sanitised-sounding expression, to cover-up the fact that what we are really seeing here is re-branded, far-right, corporatist ideology.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini

NotAgainAgain -> EllisWyatt , 8 Jun 2013 04:15
@EllisWyatt -

There is a major dividing line. There are those who recognise the abuses of the system and lobby for changes and there are those who lobby for further exploitation.

So on the one hand there are relatively rich philanthropists who are quietly supporting campaigns to redistribute wealth and our abstaining, and on the other you have people arguing for repealing employment legislation.Worst of the lot are people who pretend to care about the poor but then proceed to fill their own boots.

As consequence people like Warren Buffet should perhaps be among the good guys, whilst people like Tony Blair are the worst of lot.

Uncertainty -> RedHectorReborn , 8 Jun 2013 04:09
@RedHectorReborn - The rich have extracted all of the wealth from the wells and is now turning to fracking, regardless of the cost to us all.
thenardiers , 8 Jun 2013 04:08
All very true. The failures of markets are well documented in economics: the tendency towards monopoly, the failure to value social goods etc.

In addition, it is ironic that the arch advocates of the 'free market' came begging ( read lobbying) to their governments insisting upon public financial bailouts for themselves or their counter parties. It was the 'free markets' failure to correctly price 'risk' that was the route of the economic collapse.

As regards access to 'free markets' it seems patently obvious that if you extract the most money from that market (Amazon et al), you should contribute a fair share towards the infrastructure of that market: roads, educations, health care etc.

1nn1t -> EllisWyatt , 8 Jun 2013 04:06

@EllisWyatt - ... we have a real problem with corporations that have a default setting of minimize taxes through ever more complex structures. It can't be beyond the wit of HMRC to reduce the complexity of the tax legislation and make it harder to avoid? The prize is continued access to the UK market

We also have the problem that for half the households in the land the level of welfare and benfits rather than wages is the major determinant of their disposable income and general prosperity.

The welfare code is now comparable in size to the tax code. The tax-benefit affairs of the working poor in the UK are now becoming as complex as those of the companies that employ them.

The welfare rights industry, which is essentially tax-benefit-lawyering for claimants, is now as large and complex as the tax-lawyering industry for companies.

It really is insane that we set the minimum wage so low that it attracts income tax, and then attempt to collect tax from the employing company to fund a tax credit to top up the same low wages that the same company is paying.

marienkaefer , 8 Jun 2013 04:00
The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this. It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market

Does it? where does it say that? An article which as usual blanket condemns "financial institutions" but actually means banks.

gyges1 , 8 Jun 2013 03:59
The West became over-indebted when it embraced globalisation which necessarily impoverishes the Middle and Working Classes of the developed nations. A chap called Jimmy Goldsmith warned of this and was widely condemned for it. There is another issue Guardianistas would rather not confront : you can a welfare state or you can have open borders. But you can't have both.
JamesValencia , 8 Jun 2013 03:59
Most interesting.

Though I'd say private enterprise is capable of building markets - but not of sustaining them. Take books: If few people know how to read, someone will start a fee paying school to teach those who can pay for it. Then books will take off. And that will generate money for some, who'll send their kids to school.

However it will always, inevitably, crash at some point: Business can build up, but will always do it in destructuve cycles - exactly like the brush fires that destroy and regenerate the savannas. As somebright spark once said: Capitalism contains the seeds of it's own destruction, or something along those lines.

And we don't want to live like that - so we have regulation, and the state.And the state fertilises, and safeguards, by cutting the grass, making mulch, and spreading the rich gooey muck all over the nice, green, verdant, state controlled pampa.

The cowboys, now, they prefer no cutting of grass, and letting their cattle chomp away undistrurbed. And now my analogy is starting to wear thin.

The bottom line: Private enterprise is inefficient because at it's heart it rules out cooperation. Being happiest if it's a monopoly, there's nothing a business would like better than wipe out all competition.

Hence, the necessity for state spending, and state regulation, which the private sector is blind to, because it can't look ahead.

Rochdalelass , 8 Jun 2013 03:57
Well said Deborah!

People are members of families, and are employers and workers, who are customers or clients, and part of their local communities and professions and trades and hobbyists/clubs who are large scale wholesale consumers who create the markets that provides employment and income to individuals who are workers. And, and, one big circle.

Right now, the neoliberals think that those in the Far East are the workers and those in the West are the consumers, until the Far East becomes the market and wages so low in the West that they become the workers, unless of course some kind souls decide to invest money in Education, Health and infrastructure in Africa on a huge scale, so we then have Africa as the workers and the far East as the market, and the West, apart from those who own large numbers of shares or business outright, presumably either starve to death or pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and start all over again, inventing and setting up completely new industries, providing the newly universally educated and healthy Chinese and Africans and South Americans haven't done it first.

OK. I was against it for a long time, but go ahead. There's no way of avoiding it. Eat the Rich. Apart from the fact that ultra thin is fashionable, and with all that dieting and exercising, they are the only people who actually get the time for lots of exercise these days, and they'll taste incredibly tough and stringy.

EllisWyatt -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 03:56
@CaptainGrey - Ssshhh not on CiF, we all know that capitalism has failed its just that we can't point to a successful alternative model because such a thing has never existed, its just that this time its different and the model I advocate will lead us all to the sunny uplands of utopia.

Obviously there will be a little bit of coercion and oppression to get us to those sunny uplands, but you can't make an omlette etc. plus don't worry that stuff will only happen to "bad people"

CaptainGrey -> emkayoh , 8 Jun 2013 03:55
@emkayoh -

The economic model we have is bankrupt and in its death throes

Except it's not. It is still very much alive and growing. The "alternatives" have crashed and burned save Cuba and North Korea. Capitalism, especially the beneficial capitalism of the NHS, free education etc. has won and countless people have gained as a result.
bluebirds -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 03:55
@CaptainGrey - deregulated capitalism has failed. That is the product of the last 20 years. The pure market is a fantasy just as communism is or any other ideology. In a pure capitalist economy all the banks of the western world would have bust and indeed the false value "earned" in the preceding 20 years would have been destroyed.
MylesMackie , 8 Jun 2013 03:55
In the 19th century based on experience the public services became part of the public sector to avoid corruption and corporate blackmail. The neoclassical revolution of the late 20th century has pushed us back to days when elites regarded the state as their property. Democracy was a threat which won out either through the British model or violent revolution. A small elite cannot endure if the majority feel exploited.

The Bilderberg Conference should look to the past and learn from the mistakes committed. Neoclassicism will eventually impoverish them

1nn1t -> UnevenSurface , 8 Jun 2013 03:53

@UnevenSurface - Multinationals need to recognise that paying tax is an investment. Without that tax, their markets will slowly evaporate.

"Multinationals need to recognise that paying tax is an investment. Without that tax, their markets will slowly evaporate." However, the gains for the transnational rich are immediate and enormous, while the failure of their markets is slow and, so far, almost entirely painless.
EllisWyatt -> UnevenSurface , 8 Jun 2013 03:52
@UnevenSurface - I think corporation tax is becoming obsolete given globalization and the increasing dominance of online / global distribution.

Amazon, Starbucks (and to a lesser extent Google) need to have people on the ground in their market, for customer service, distribution, warehouse staff, baristas etc. So they'll pay employer taxes etc.

The question is is that enough? I think we are missing a trick with the UK market due to outdated tax legislation that hasn't really changed in 30 years.

After the US the UK is arguably the most attractive market in the world. Large, homogenous, wealthy with a low propensity to save and a rapid rate of adoption of new technology / products. We need to think about how we can exploit this in relation to corporate taxes because even though I am far from left wing, we have a real problem with corporations that have a default setting of minimise taxes through ever more complex structures.

It can't be beyond the wit of HMRC to reduce the complexity of the tax legislation and make it harder to avoid? The prize is continued access to the UK market

bluebirds , 8 Jun 2013 03:42
Accountants now hold the whip hand in government and business. They know the price of everything but the value of nothing. They advocate selling off industries, outsourcing to low wage economies, zero hours contracts and deregulation (under the bogus campaign line of cutting red tape).

All of these policies will ultimately end up with capitalism destroying itself. Low wage stagnation will result in penniless consumers which results in no growth which results in cuttin wages to maintain shareholder returns which results in penniless consumers etc etc etc. All our institutions are gradually eroded and life for the average citizen will become more and more unpleasant.

Willsmodger , 8 Jun 2013 03:42
Profit share may be a way forward, it's not perfect, companies can effectively use it to freeze wages and benefit from unpaid overtime, that creates unemployment as four people working a couple of hours extra ever day are denying someone else a job, but used in the right way it could ensure people get a share in the wealth they help create.

At the sharp end it's tough, at the company I worked at, all the managers were summoned to a meeting in September and told they had until Christmas to increase turnover and profits, or they would be out of a job.

At the same company, one of my managers complained that a successful manager at another branch was a crook. The CEO replied 'Yes, but he's a crook that makes a million pounds in profit every year'. I wonder how Deborah's article would have gone down with him?

peterfieldman , 8 Jun 2013 03:42
Everything was easier when the U S and Europe ran the world's economies with Bank regulations, currency controls and only the establishment could avoid income, capital gains and IHT taxes and grow wealthy generation after generation. Today there are simply too many players in the global arena and the rules have been torn up. We are in a jungle where greed is rife and only the powerful and corrupt survive, shipping and burying their loot in offshore havens.

We need a new global order with a change of mentality and more morality among the world's politicians, banking and corporate leaders. Unless we end corruption and exploitation of natural resources in the poor nations and a fairer distribution of the economic wealth the world faces economic and social collapse

Febo , 8 Jun 2013 03:41

Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can , because they are more powerful than governments.

Is it beyond the wit of government to close these (perfectly legal) loopholes? Otherwise, what you are asking for is for these companies to make charitible donations to government - nothing wrong with that per se, but let's not hide behind the misleading term 'tax avoidance' - companies are obliged to minimise taxes within the law, face it.

Liquidity Jones -> NicholasB , 8 Jun 2013 03:35
@NicholasB -

It is perfectly clear that in much of the EU public expenditure has been horribly inefficient and far too high

If you invent a set of rules that says a country that deficit spends above an arbitrary percentage of its GDP is horribly inefficient and far too high then it should not be a surprise that when that happens, it is described as such.

Whether that has any basis in reality or, as I suspect, is only relevant within its own ridiculous framework, is surely the question.

NotAgainAgain -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 03:32
@Fachan -

Deborah Orr is established writer for the Guardian and Married to a Will Self whose is almost certainly a millionaire. She is one of the rich. The idea that envy is driving her politics is just utterly absurd, and suggests a total lack of reflection.

finnkn , 8 Jun 2013 03:31

But the basic problem is this: it costs a lot of money to cultivate a market – a group of consumers – and the more sophisticated the market is, the more expensive it is to cultivate them. A developed market needs to be populated with educated, healthy, cultured, law-abiding and financially secure people

Not really; Amazon is just as happy to sell us trashy films, multipacks of chocolate, obesity drugs and baseball bats to stove our neighbour's head in. There's certainly an argument to be made that companies should have a duty to invest in the infrastructure that enables their product to be transported, stored etc...but they shouldn't be expected to give a toss if their customers are unhealthy ignoramuses. A market's a market.

NotAgainAgain -> NicholasB , 8 Jun 2013 03:24
@NicholasB -

But some countries manage to do this much more efficiently and effectively than others.

In Europe it would appear to be the Social Democratic Nordic countries and Germany which has very strong employment rights. Korea's economic growth was based on government investment and a degree of protectionism. These are precisely the ideas that neoliberalism opposes.

Liquidity Jones , 8 Jun 2013 03:23
If they had adopted The Keynes Plan at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference then the IMF and the World Bank would never have been set up. We most likely would not have had the euro crisis and the problem of trade imbalances between counties would most likely have gone away.

Now that is what I call 'Keynesian'. Feel free to continue to make up your own definitions though.

kingcreosote , 8 Jun 2013 03:19
Socialism for the 1% with the rest scraping around for the crumbs in an ever more divided world run by The Bilderbergers who play the politicians like puppets.
RedHectorReborn -> emkayoh , 8 Jun 2013 03:18
@emkayoh - I am not sure its in its death throes, I think what we are seeing is capitalism attempting to transform itself again. The success of that transformation will depend on how willing people across the western world to put up with reduced welfare, poverty pay and almost no employment rights. If we say no and make things too hot for the ruling class we have a chance to take control of the future direction of our world, if not then what's the point.
NicholasB , 8 Jun 2013 03:16
This is a strange rant. Everyone agrees that free markets need to be nurtured by appropriate state institutions. But some countries manage to do this much more efficiently and effectively than others. It is perfectly clear that in much of the EU public expenditure has been horribly inefficient and far too high.

There is no contradiction between being in favour of free markets and believing that markets and societies should be nurtured appropriately. We think people should be free and all accept that they should be nurtured.

UnevenSurface , 8 Jun 2013 03:10

So why, exactly, given the huge amount of investment needed to create such a market, should access to it then be "free"?

Corporate taxation is best explained as the license that business pays to access the market -- which is in turn created through the schools, hospitals, roads, etc. that the tax pays for. Unfortunately the new Corporate Social Irresponsibility being acted out by multinationals today neatly avoids paying that license, and sooner or later will damage them. Multinationals need to recognize that paying tax is an investment. Without that tax, their markets will slowly evaporate.

emkayoh , 8 Jun 2013 03:09
The economic model we have is bankrupt and in its death throes is gobbling up the last scintilla of surplus that can be extracted from the poor ( anyone not independently wealthy).

[Dec 03, 2018] Neoliberalism is a modern curse. Everything about it is bad and until we're free of it, it will only ever keep trying to turn us into indentured labourers. It's acolytes are required to blind themselves to logic and reason to such a degree they resemble Scientologists or Jehovah's Witnesses more than people with any sort of coherent political ideology, because that's what neoliberalism actually is... a cult of the rich, for the rich, by the rich... and it's followers in the general population are nothing but moron familiars hoping one day to be made a fully fledged bastard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What sticks in the neoliberalism craw is that the state provides these services instead of private businesses, and as such "rob" them of juicy profits! The state, the last easy cash cow! ..."
"... Who could look at the way markets function and conclude there's any freedom? Only a neoliberal cult member. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be dissuaded. They cannot be persuaded. Only the market knows best, and the fact that the market is a corrupt, self serving whore is completely ignored by the ideology of their Church. ..."
"... when Thatcher and Reagan deregulated the financial markets in the 80s, that's when the trouble began which in turn led to the immense crash in 2008. ..."
"... Neo-liberalism is just another symptom of liberal democracy which is government by oligarchs with a veneer of democracy ..."
"... The state has merged with the corporations so that what is good for the corporations is good for the state and visa versa. The larger and richer the state/corporations are, the more shyster lawyers they hire to disguise misdeeds and unethical behavior. ..."
"... If you support a big government, you are supporting big corporations as well. The government uses the taxpayer as an eternal fount of fresh money and calls it their own to spend as they please. Small businesses suffer unfairly because they cannot afford the shyster lawyers and accountants that protect the government and the corporations, but nobody cares about them. ..."
"... Deborah's point about the illogical demands of neoliberalism are indeed correct, which is somewhat ironic as neoliberalism puts objective rationality at the heart of its philosophy, but I digress... ..."
"... There would not be NHS, free education etc. without socialism; in fact they are socialism. It took the Soviet-style socialism ("statism") 70 years to collapse. The neoliberalistic capitalism has already started to collapse after 30 years. ..."
"... I'm always amused that neoliberal - indeed, capitalist - apologists cannot see the hypocrisy of their demands for market access. Communities create and sustain markets, fund and maintain infrastructure, produce and maintain new consumers. Yet the neolibs decry and destroy. Hypocrites or destructive numpties - never quite decided between Pickles and Gove ..."
"... 97% of all OUR money has been handed over to these scheming crooks. Stop bailing out the banks with QE. Take back what is ours -- state control over the creation of money. Then let the banks revert to their modest market-based function of financial intermediaries. ..."
"... The State can't be trusted to create our money? Well they could hardly do a worse job than the banks! Best solution would be to distribute state-created money as a Citizen's Income. ..."
"... To promote the indecent obsession for global growth Australia, burdened with debt of around 250 billion dollars, is to borrow and pay interest on a further 7 billion dollars to lend to the International Monetary Fund so as it can lend it to poorer nations to burden them with debt. ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com
szwalby , 8 Jun 2013 06:03
This private good, public bad is a stupid idea, and a totally artificial divide. After all, what are "public spends"? It is the money from private individuals, and companies, clubbing together to get services they can't individually afford.

What sticks in the neoliberalism craw is that the state provides these services instead of private businesses, and as such "rob" them of juicy profits! The state, the last easy cash cow!

TedSmithAndSon , 8 Jun 2013 06:01
Neoliberalism is a modern curse. Everything about it is bad and until we're free of it, it will only ever keep trying to turn us into indentured labourers. It's acolytes are required to blind themselves to logic and reason to such a degree they resemble Scientologists or Jehovah's Witnesses more than people with any sort of coherent political ideology, because that's what neoliberalism actually is... a cult of the rich, for the rich, by the rich... and it's followers in the general population are nothing but moron familiars hoping one day to be made a fully fledged bastard.

Who could look at the way markets function and conclude there's any freedom? Only a neoliberal cult member. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be dissuaded. They cannot be persuaded. Only the market knows best, and the fact that the market is a corrupt, self serving whore is completely ignored by the ideology of their Church.

It's subsumed the entire planet, and waiting for them to see sense is a hopeless cause. In the end it'll probably take violence to rid us of the Neoliberal parasite... the turn of the century plague.

fr0mn0where -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 05:51
@CaptainGrey -

"Capitalism, especially the beneficial capitalism of the NHS, free education etc. has won and countless people have gained as a result."

I agree with you and it was this beneficial version of capitalism that brought down the Iron Curtain. Working people in the former Communist countries were comparing themselves with working people in the west and wanted a piece of that action. Cuba has hung on because people there compare themselves with their nearest capitalist neighbor Haiti and they don't want a piece of that action. North Korea well North Korea is North Korea.

Isn't it this beneficial capitalism that is being threatened now though? When the wall came down it was assumed that Eastern European countries would become more like us. Some have but who would have thought that British working people would now be told, by the likes of Kwasi Kwarteng and his Britannia Unchained chums, that we have to learn to accept working conditions that are more like those in the Eastern European countries that got left behind and that we are now told that our version of Capitalism is inferior to the version adopted by the Communist Party of China?

jazzdrum -> bullwinkle , 8 Jun 2013 05:51
@bullwinkle - No , when Thatcher and Reagan deregulated the financial markets in the 80s, that's when the trouble began which in turn led to the immense crash in 2008.
Eddiel899 , 8 Jun 2013 05:51
Neo-liberalism is just another symptom of liberal democracy which is government by oligarchs with a veneer of democracy.

This type of government began in America about 150 years ago with the Rockefellers, Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Ford etc who took advantage of new inventions, cheap immigrant labour and financial deregulation in finance and social mores to amass wealth for themselves and chaos and austerity for workers.

All this looks familiar again today with new and old oligarchs hiding behind large corporations taking advantage of the invention of the €uro, mass immigration into western Europe and deregulation of the financial "markets" and social mores to amass wealth for a super-wealthy elite and chaos and austerity for workers.

So if we want to see where things went wrong we need only go back 150 years to what happened to America. There we can also see our future?

WilliamAshbless -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 05:49
@CaptainGrey

The beneficial capitalism of the NHS, free education etc. has won

Free education and the NHS are state institutions. As Debbie said, Amazon never taught anyone to read. Beneficial capitalism is an oxymoron resulting from your lack of understanding.

cpp4ever -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 05:41
@CaptainGrey -

especially the beneficial capitalism of the NHS, free education etc. has won and countless people have gained as a result.

At one and the same time being privatized and having their funding squeezed, a direct result of the neoliberal dogma capitalism of austerity. Free access is being eroded by the likes of ever larger student loans and prescription costs for a start.

ATrueFinn -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 05:41
@ SpinningHugo 08 June 2013 10:02am .

Nah. They achieved this by copying the west.

I would not go that far. The Western Capitalist Party is only now getting to be as powerful as CCP and China started the "reforms" in the late 1970s.

succulentpork , 8 Jun 2013 05:36

they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments

Let's not get carried away here. Let's consider some of the things governments can do, subject only to a 5 yearly check and challenge:

  1. force people upon pain of imprisonment to pay taxes to them
  2. pay out that tax money to whomever they like
  3. spend money they don't have by borrowing against obligations imposed on future taxpayers without their agreement
  4. kill people in wars, often from the comfort of a computer screen thousands of miles away
  5. print money and give it to whomever they like,
  6. get rid of nation state currencies and replace them with a single, centrally controlled currency
  7. make laws and punish people who break them, including the ability to track them down in most places in the world if they try and run away.
  8. use laws to create monopolies and favour special interests

Let's now consider what power apple have...

- they can make iPhones and try to sell them for a profit by responding to the demands of the mass consumer market. That's it. In fact, they are forced to do this by their owners who only want them to do this, and nothing else. If they don't do this they will cease to exist.

generalelection , 8 Jun 2013 05:26
The state has merged with the corporations so that what is good for the corporations is good for the state and visa versa. The larger and richer the state/corporations are, the more shyster lawyers they hire to disguise misdeeds and unethical behavior.

If you support a big government, you are supporting big corporations as well. The government uses the taxpayer as an eternal fount of fresh money and calls it their own to spend as they please. Small businesses suffer unfairly because they cannot afford the shyster lawyers and accountants that protect the government and the corporations, but nobody cares about them. Remember, that Green Energy is big business, just like Big Pharma and Big Oil. Most government shills have personally invested in Green Energy not because they care about the environment, only because they know that it is a safe investment protected by government for government. The same goes for large corporations who befriend government and visa versa.

... ... ...

finnkn -> NeilThompson , 8 Jun 2013 05:20
@NeilThompson - It's all very well for Deborah to recommend that the well paid share work. Journalists, consultants and other assorted professionals can afford to do so. As a self-employed tradesman, I'd be homeless within a month.
finnkn -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 05:17
@SpinningHugo - Interesting that those who are apparently concerned with prosperity for all and international solidarity are happy to ignore the rest of the world when it's going well, preferring to prophesy apocalypse when faced with government spending being slightly reduced at home.
sedan2 -> Fachan , 8 Jun 2013 05:11
@Fachan -

Dont see a lot of solutions in this article - as long as our sentiments revolve around envy of the rich, we wont get very far

Yeah, there actually wasn't anything in this article which even smelled of "envy of the rich". Read it again.

KingOfNothing -> 1nn1t , 8 Jun 2013 05:03
@1nn1t - That is a point which just isn't made enough. This is the first group of politicians for whom a global conflict seems like a distant event.

As a result we have people like Blair who see nothing wrong with invading countries at a whim, or conservatives and UKIP who fail to understand the whole point of the European Court of Human Rights.

They seem to act without thought of our true place in the world, without regard for the truly terrible capacity humanity has for self destruction.

REDLAN1 , 8 Jun 2013 05:03
Deborah's point about the illogical demands of neoliberalism are indeed correct, which is somewhat ironic as neoliberalism puts objective rationality at the heart of its philosophy, but I digress...

The main problem with replacing neoliberalism with a more rational, and fairer system, entails that people like Deborah accept that they will be less wealthy. And that my friends is the main problem. People like Deborah, while they are more than happy to point the fingers at others, are less than happy to accept that they are also part of the problem.

(Generalisation Caveat: I don't know in actuality if Deborah would be unhappy to be less wealthy in exchange for a fairer system, she doesn't say)

Herbolzheim , 8 Jun 2013 04:49
Good critique of conservative-neoliberalism, unless you subscribe to it and subordinate any morals or other values to it. She mentions an internal tension and I think that's because conservatism and neoliberal market ideology are different beasts.
NotAgainAgain -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 04:47
@CaptainGrey -

There are different models of capitalism quite clearly the social democratic version in Scandinavia or the "Bismarkian" German version have worked a lot better than the UKs.

DavidPavett , 8 Jun 2013 04:45

Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem.

How is it a sign of that? We are offered no clues.

What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return;

Try reading a history of financial crashes to dislodge this idea.

... even if they do, the same thing will happen again, but more quickly and more savagely.

This may or may not be true but here it is mere assertion.

The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt.

At this point I start to have real doubts as to whether Deborah Orr has actually read even the Executive Summary of the Report this article is ostensibly a response to.

All the comments that follow about the need for public infrastructure, education, regulated markets and so on are made as if they were a criticism of the IMF and yet the IMF says many of those same things itself. The IMF position may, of course, be contradictory - but then that is something that would need to be demonstrated. It seems that Deborah has not got beyond reading a couple of Guardian articles on the issues she discusses and therefore is in no position to do this.

Thus, for example in its review of world problems of Feb 2013 the IMF comments favorably that in Bangladesh in order to boost competitiveness

Efforts are being made to narrow the skills gap with other countries in the region, as the authorities look to take full advantage of Bangladesh's favorable demographics and help create conditions for more labor-intensive led growth. The government is also scaling up spending on education, science and technology, and information and communication technology.

Which seems to be the sort of thing Deborah Orr is calling for. She should spend a little time on the IMF website before criticising the institution. It is certainly one that merits much criticism - but it needs to be informed.

And the solution to the problems? For Deborah Orr the response

... from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.

Does anyone have any idea what this is supposed to mean? There are certainly no leads on this in the link given to "the philosopher" John Gray. And what a strange reference that is. John Gray, in his usual cynical mode, dismisses the idea of progress being achieved by the EU. But then I suppose that is consistent from a man who dismisses the idea of progress itself.

... Conservative neoliberalism is entirely without logic.

The first step in serious political analysis is to understand that the people one opposes are not crazy and are not devoid of logic. If that is not clearly understood then all that is left is the confrontation of assertion and contrary assertion. Of course Conservative neoliberalism has a logic. It is one I do not agree with but it is a logic all the same.

The neoliberalism that the IMF still preaches pays no account to any of this [the need for public investment and a recognition of the multiple roles that individuals have].

Wrong again.

It insists that the provision of work alone is enough of an invisible hand to sustain a market.

And again.

This stuff can't be made up as you go along on the basis of reading a couple of newspaper articles. You actually have to do some hard reading to get to grip with the issues. I can see no signs of that in this piece.

EllisWyatt -> NotAgainAgain , 8 Jun 2013 04:43
@NotAgainAgain - We are going off topic and that is in no small part down to my own fault, so apologies. Just to pick up the point, I guess my unease with the likes of Buffet, Cooper-Hohn or even the wealthy Guardian columnists is that they are criticizing the system from a position of power and wealth.

So its easy to advocate change if you feel that you are in the vanguard of defining that change i.e. the reforms you advocate may leave you worse off, but at a level you feel comfortable with (the prime example always being Polly's deeply relaxed attitude to swingeing income tax increases when her own lifestyle will be protected through wealth).

I guess I am a little skeptical because I either see it as managed decline, a smokescreen or at worst mean spiritedness of people prepared to accept a reasonable degree of personal pain if it means other people whom dislike suffer much greater pain.

Again off topic so sorry about that

NotAgainAgain -> mountman , 8 Jun 2013 04:43
@mountman -

The critical bit is this

"There is a clear legal basis in Germany for the workplace representation of employees in all but the very smallest companies. Under the Works Constitution Act, first passed in 1952 and subsequently amended, most recently in 2001, a works council can be set up in all private sector workplaces with at least five employees."

http://www.worker-participation.eu/National-Industrial-Relations/Countries/Germany/Workplace-Representation

The UK needs to wake up to the fact that managers are sometimes inept or corrupt and will destroy the companies they work for, unless their are adequate mechanisms to hold poor management to account.

ATrueFinn -> SpinningHugo , 8 Jun 2013 04:42
@ SpinningHugo 08 June 2013 9:26am

More people lifted out of poverty in China over the last 25 years than the entire population of South America.

Maybe we need the Chinese Communist Party to take over the world?

ATrueFinn -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 04:40
@ CaptainGrey 08 June 2013 8:43am

Capitalism, especially the beneficial capitalism of the NHS, free education etc. has won

There would not be NHS, free education etc. without socialism; in fact they are socialism. It took the Soviet-style socialism ("statism") 70 years to collapse. The neoliberalistic capitalism has already started to collapse after 30 years.

irishaxeman , 8 Jun 2013 04:40
I'm always amused that neoliberal - indeed, capitalist - apologists cannot see the hypocrisy of their demands for market access. Communities create and sustain markets, fund and maintain infrastructure, produce and maintain new consumers. Yet the neolibs decry and destroy. Hypocrites or destructive numpties - never quite decided between Pickles and Gove, y'see.
EllisWyatt -> JamesValencia , 8 Jun 2013 04:38
@JamesValencia - Actually on reflection you are correct and I was wrong in my attack on the author above. Having re-read the article its a critique of institutions rather than people so my points were wide of the mark.

I still think that well heeled Guardian writers aren't really in a position to attack the wealthy and politically connected, but I'll save that for a thread when they explicitly do so, rather than the catch all genie of neoliberalism.

bullwinkle -> bluebirds , 8 Jun 2013 04:38
@bluebirds -

@CaptainGrey - deregulated capitalism has failed. That is the product of the last 20 years. The pure market is a fantasy just as communism is or any other ideology. In a pure capitalist economy all the banks of the western world would have bust and indeed the false value "earned" in the preceding 20 years would have been destroyed.

If the pure market is a fantasy, how can deregulated capitalism have failed? Does one not require the other? Surely it is regulated capitalism that has failed?

snodgrass , 8 Jun 2013 04:36
97% of all OUR money has been handed over to these scheming crooks. Stop bailing out the banks with QE. Take back what is ours -- state control over the creation of money. Then let the banks revert to their modest market-based function of financial intermediaries.

The State can't be trusted to create our money? Well they could hardly do a worse job than the banks! Best solution would be to distribute state-created money as a Citizen's Income.

EllisWyatt -> 1nn1t , 8 Jun 2013 04:35
@1nn1t - Some good points, there is a whole swathe of low earners that should not be in the tax system at all, simply letting them keep the money in their pocket would be a start.

Second the minimum wage (especially in the SE) is too low and should be increased. Obviously the devil is in the detail as to the precise rate, the other issue is non compliance as there will be any number of businesses that try and get around this, through employing people too ignorant or scared to know any better or for family businesses - do we have the stomach to enforce this?

Thirdly there is a widespread reluctance to separate people from the largesse of the state, even at absurd levels of income such as higher rate payers (witness child tax credits). On the right they see themselves as having paid in and so are "entitled" to have something back and on the left it ensures that everyone has a vested interest in a big state dipping it hands into your pockets one day and giving you something back the next.

Broken system

1nn1t -> Uncertainty , 8 Jun 2013 04:34

@Uncertainty - Which is why the people of the planet need to join hands.

The only group of people in he UK to see that need were the generation that faced WW2 together. It's no accident that, joining up at 18 in 1939, they had almost all retired by 1984.
BruceMullinger , 8 Jun 2013 04:31
To promote the indecent obsession for global growth Australia, burdened with debt of around 250 billion dollars, is to borrow and pay interest on a further 7 billion dollars to lend to the International Monetary Fund so as it can lend it to poorer nations to burden them with debt.

It is entrapment which impoverishes nations into the surrender of sovereignty, democracy and national pride. In no way should we contribute to such economic immorality and the entire economic system based on perpetual growth fuelled by consumerism and debt needs top be denounced and dismantled. The adverse social and environmental consequence of perpetual growth defies all sensible logic and in time, in a more responsible and enlightened era, growth will be condemned.

[Dec 03, 2018] The banks put their own short-term interests above their long-term interests of financial stability

Notable quotes:
"... Socialism for the 1% with the rest scraping around for the crumbs ..."
"... Don't you think a global recession and massive banking collapse should be classified as 'crash and burn'? ..."
"... It's one of the major contradictions of modern conservatism that the raw, winner-takes-all version of capitalism it champions actually undermines the sort of law abiding, settled communities it sees as the societal ideal. ..."
"... Rich people have benefited from this more than most: they need workers trained by a state-funded education system and kept healthy by a state-funded healthcare system; they depend on lending from banks rescued by the taxpayer; they rely on state-funded infrastructure and research, and – like all of us – on a society that does not collapse. Whether they like it or not, they would not have made their fortunes without the state spending billions of pounds ..."
"... You have to be careful when you take on the banksters. Abe Lincoln John Kennedy and Hitler all tried or (in Kennedy's case planned) on the issuance of money via the state circumventing the banks. All came to a sticky end. No wonder politicians run scared of them. ..."
"... Now, that's a novel interpretation! The working people in "Communist" countries had free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment and heavily subsidized housing. The reason we have healtcare and free education is that working people in Capitalist countries would otherwise have revolted to have Socialism. In the absence of competition, there is no benefit for the Capitalist to be "beneficial". ..."
"... The banks could plainly see that they were stoking a bubble, but chose not to pass on the increased risk of lending to consumers by raising their interest rates and coolling the market. Why? Because they were making a handsome short-term profit. The banks put their own short-term interests above their long-term interests of financial stability. When the house of cards came tumbling down - we bailed them out. It was idiotic banks who failed to properly control their risk of lending that caused the crash, not interventionist politicians. ..."
Jun 08, 2013 | www.theguardian.com
JFBridge , 8 Jun 2013 08:21
Virtually everyone knows what went wrong, with the exception only of uncontrollable ultra-right neoliberal buffs who try and put the blame on everyone else with various out and out lies and deceptions, and they are thankfully petering and dying out by the day, including deluded contributors to CiF, who seem to be positively and cruelly reveling in the suffering their beloved thesis has and is causing.

So, now that we know the symptoms, what about the cure? The coalition want to make the poor and vulnerable suffer even more than they have done over the last three decades or so while still refusing to clamp down and wholly regulate the bankers, corporates and free markets, who still hold too much power like the unions in the 70's,while Ed Miliband and 'One Nation Labour' merely suggest in mild, diffident terms about financial regulation and a more balanced economy, while still not wanting to upset those nice bankers too much.

It's time they were upset though, and made to pay for their errors and recklessness; while they still award themselves bonuses and take advantage of Gideon's recent tax cut, the poor and vulnerable who were never responsible for the long recession now have money taken off them and struggle to feed, pay bills and clothe themselves and their families, supported by the Daily Fail and co. who look on them as scrounging, lazy, criminal, violent, drunken, drug addicted and promiscuous sub-humans, who deserve their fate.

There's quite a few in the middle/professional classes (many bankers) if they didn't know, but they don't bother with such, do they?

MatthewBall -> emkayoh , 8 Jun 2013 08:20
@emkayoh -

The economic model we have is bankrupt and in its death throes

I am not sure if this is true. We have the same economic system (broadly speaking, capitalism) as nearly every country in the world, and the world economy is growing at a reasonable rate, at around 3-4% for 2013-14 (see http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/pdf/c1.pdf for more details).

We perceive a problem in (most of) Europe and North America because our economies are growing more slowly than this, and in some cases not at all. The global growth figure comes out healthy because of strong growth in the emerging countries, like China, Brazil and India, who are narrowing the gap between their living standards and ours. So, the world as a whole isn't broken, even if our bit of it is going through a rough patch.

This is pertinant to a discussion of Deborah Orr's article, because in it she calls for global changes:

The response from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.

My point is: I don't think this argument will work, because I don't see why the emerging countries would want wholesale change to what, for them, is quite a successful recipe, just because it going down badly in Europe. Instead, European countries need to do whatever it takes to fix their banking systems; but also learn to live within their means, and show some more of the discipline and enterprise that made them wealthy in the first place.

jazzdrum -> Uncertainty , 8 Jun 2013 08:12
@Uncertainty - I`m not defending philanthropy, i am saying in answer to some personal attacks on Miss Orr below the line, that her status as either rich or poor is irrelevant, it is her politics that count .
Tony Benn and Polly Toynbee both receive much abuse in this manner on Cif.
00000010 -> colonelraeburn , 8 Jun 2013 08:10
@colonelraeburn - You really are under the quaint illusion you are in a democracy...
MickGJ -> kingcreosote , 8 Jun 2013 08:08

@kingcreosote - Socialism for the 1% with the rest scraping around for the crumbs

And yet the rest have more crumbs than under any other conceivable system. Look at the difference that even limited market liberalisation has made to poverty in China. No loaf, no crumbs. You can always throw the loaf out of the window if you don't like the inequality and then no-one can have anything.

That's fair, isn't it?

Uncertainty -> jazzdrum , 8 Jun 2013 07:57
@jazzdrum - I don't have much time for those rich who feel guilty about their greed and do 'charity' to salve their souls. Oh and get a Knighthood as a result.

The more honest giver is the person who gives of what little they have in their purse and go without as a result. Not a tax dodge re-branded as philanthropy.

Also, such giving from the rich often has strings and may be tailored to what they think are the 'deserving poor'. I don't like that either.

Uncertainty -> CaptainGrey , 8 Jun 2013 07:54
@CaptainGrey - That is not capitalism. You cannot point to the benefits of socialism and call it capitalism.

Don't you think a global recession and massive banking collapse should be classified as 'crash and burn'?

liberalcynic -> Herbolzheim , 8 Jun 2013 07:52
@Herbolzheim - It's one of the major contradictions of modern conservatism that the raw, winner-takes-all version of capitalism it champions actually undermines the sort of law abiding, settled communities it sees as the societal ideal.
Rainborough , 8 Jun 2013 07:51
"Why, you have to ask yourself, is this vast implausibility, this sheer unsustainability, not blindingly obvious to all?"

- asked the journalist employed by an organ of the capitalist press, with an implausible air of puzzlement.

liberalcynic -> szwalby , 8 Jun 2013 07:50
@szwalby -

The state, the last easy cash cow!

Damn, you've just revealed Richard Branson's secret business plan.
AndyPerry , 8 Jun 2013 07:39
More and more people are beginning to understand this as a fundamentally political problem ( ref. @XerXes1369). The 'left' prefers to concentrate on the role of a financial elite (which is supposed to be exerting some kind of malign supernatural force on the state), to divert attention from what mainstream 'left' poltics in this society has turned out to be.
szwalby -> colonelraeburn , 8 Jun 2013 07:26
@colonelraeburn -

When the state is taking over 60% of the income of even those on minimum wages we se how, from the very top to the very bottom, that the state is the problem.

It's become a monster that will destroy us all.

I would query where you get these figures from, but where it not for the state, do you really think that somebody on the minimum wage, keeping 100% of their wages, would be able to afford, out of these wages, health care, schooling for their children, infrastructure maintenance, their own police force and army, their own legal system? This from an article in the Independent:

Rich people have benefited from this more than most: they need workers trained by a state-funded education system and kept healthy by a state-funded healthcare system; they depend on lending from banks rescued by the taxpayer; they rely on state-funded infrastructure and research, and – like all of us – on a society that does not collapse. Whether they like it or not, they would not have made their fortunes without the state spending billions of pounds.

So the state, although not perfect benefit all of us, get over it!
outragedofacton , 8 Jun 2013 07:23
You have to be careful when you take on the banksters. Abe Lincoln John Kennedy and Hitler all tried or (in Kennedy's case planned) on the issuance of money via the state circumventing the banks. All came to a sticky end. No wonder politicians run scared of them.
CaptainGrey -> WilliamAshbless , 8 Jun 2013 07:04
@WilliamAshbless -

Free education and the NHS are state institutions. As Debbie said, Amazon never taught anyone to read. Beneficial capitalism is an oxymoron resulting from your lack of understanding.

Yes they are state institutions and the tax system should be changed to prevent Amazon et al from avoiding paying their fair share. But beneficial capitalism is not an oxymoron, it is alive and present in virtually every corner of the world. Rather than accuse me of not understanding, I think you would do well to take the beam out of your eye.
ATrueFinn -> fr0mn0where , 8 Jun 2013 07:02
@ fr0mn0where 08 June 2013 10:51am

I agree with you and it was this beneficial version of capitalism that brought down the Iron Curtain. Working people in the former Communist countries were comparing themselves with working people in the west and wanted a piece of that action.

Now, that's a novel interpretation! The working people in "Communist" countries had free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment and heavily subsidized housing. The reason we have healtcare and free education is that working people in Capitalist countries would otherwise have revolted to have Socialism. In the absence of competition, there is no benefit for the Capitalist to be "beneficial".

s0lar1 -> colonelraeburn , 8 Jun 2013 06:33
@colonelraeburn -

The banks couldn't stop property hyperinflation, at 20% a year for well over a decade.

The banks could plainly see that they were stoking a bubble, but chose not to pass on the increased risk of lending to consumers by raising their interest rates and coolling the market. Why? Because they were making a handsome short-term profit. The banks put their own short-term interests above their long-term interests of financial stability. When the house of cards came tumbling down - we bailed them out. It was idiotic banks who failed to properly control their risk of lending that caused the crash, not interventionist politicians.

[Dec 03, 2018] The classic form of neoliberal corruption: The rotating door betweens banks and intelligence agencies brass

This is the key feature of modern National Security State. Note where Mueller was after his retirement and before becoming the Special Procecutor.
Dec 03, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MysticFish -> gbru2505 , 8 Jun 2013 16:23

@gbru2505 -

Last week there was a story where HSBC have taken on a senior ex-MI5 person to shore up their money laundering 'problems'. They're being fined over a billion dollars by the fed for taking blood money from murderers, drug dealers and corrupt politicians.

Not the Security Services' Director General by any chance?

-- In a filing to the Bermuda Stock Exchange ("BSX"), HSBC Holdings plc (Ticker: HSBC.BH), announced the appointment of Sir Jonathan Evans to the Board of Directors.

The filing stated:

Sir Jonathan Evans (55) has been appointed a Director of HSBC Holdings plc with effect from 6 August 2013. He will be an independent non-executive Director and a member of the Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee.

Sir Jonathan's career in the Security Service spanned 33 years, the last six of which as Director General. During his career Sir Jonathan's experience included counter-espionage, protection of classified information and the security of critical national infrastructure. His main focus was, however, counter-terrorism, both international and domestic including, increasingly, initiatives against cyber threats. As Director General he was a senior advisor to the UK government on national security policy and attended the National Security Council.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2013 New Year's Honours List and retired from the Service in April 2013.

http://www.bsx.com/NewsArticle.asp?articleID=1100794622

gbru2505 , 8 Jun 2013 16:13
I think there's some really good points in the article.

Last week there was a story where HSBC have taken on a senior ex-MI5 person to shore up their money laundering 'problems'. They're being fined over a billion dollars by the fed for taking blood money from murderers, drug dealers and corrupt politicians.

Their annual fee for this guy with 20 years experience to tackle a billion dollar fine and the disfunction in their organisation? A lousy 100 k. Fee to UK for training him? 0.

Ridiculous! It should have been 10 times that for him and a finders fee of perhaps 10 million to the state.

Realistically, the state has NO clue about it's real value, or the real value of the UK population. And the example above, I think, demonstrates banks' attitude to the global demand that they clean up their act. We neef to take this lot to the cleaners before the stench gets any worse.

[Dec 03, 2018] From I am hearing from reliable anonymous CNN sources that Deep State do not like too much sunlight ;-)

Dec 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DEDA CVETKO , 5 hours ago link

I am hearing from reliable anonymous CNN sources that Deep State cockroaches do not like too much sunlight.

Pass the UV lamp, please!

Wormwoodcums , 5 hours ago link

Hard to piece together? Supposed to be. Story is so unreal it's unbelievable. Aliens Bitchez.

http://xekleidoma.info/

iSage , 5 hours ago link

Spy vs Spy...used to love reading Mad Magazine. Now the world is Mad Magazine, amazing stuff.

scam_MERS , 4 hours ago link

I credit Mad with my warped sense of humor, as well as my skepticism of anything/everything.

And don't forget: Potrzebie!

[Dec 03, 2018] From Killing Kennedy To Kremlin Collusion - Deep State Forced Out Of The Shadows

Dec 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

From Killing Kennedy To Kremlin Collusion - Deep State Forced Out Of The Shadows

by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/01/2018 - 20:15 150 SHARES Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog, The Deadliest Operation

Choose your battles wisely...

One month to the day after President Kennedy's assassination, the Washington Post published an article by former president Harry Truman.

I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency -- CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.

Truman had envisioned the CIA as an impartial information and intelligence collector from "every available source."

But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what's worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.

Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department "treatment" or interpretations.

I wanted and needed the information in its "natural raw" state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions -- and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.

Truman found, to his dismay, that the CIA had ranged far afield.

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue -- and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

The article appeared in the Washington Post's morning edition, but not the evening edition.

Truman reveals two naive assumptions. He thought a government agency could be apolitical and objective. Further, he believed the CIA's role could be limited to information gathering and analysis, eschewing "cloak and dagger operations." The timing and tone of the letter may have been hints that Truman thought the CIA was involved in Kennedy's assassination. If he did, he also realized an ex-president couldn't state his suspicions without troublesome consequences.

Even the man who signed the CIA into law had to stay in the shadows, the CIA's preferred operating venue. The CIA had become the exact opposite of what Truman envisioned and what its enabling legislation specified. Within a few years after its inauguration in 1947, it was neck-deep in global cloak and dagger and pushing agenda-driven, slanted information and outright disinformation not just within the government, but through the media to the American people.

The CIA lies with astonishing proficiency. It has made an art form of "plausible deniability." Like glimpsing an octopus in murky waters, you know it's there, but it shoots enough black ink to obscure its movements. Murk and black ink make it impossible for anyone on the outside to determine exactly what it does or has done. Insiders, even the director, are often kept in the dark.

For those on the trail of CIA and the other intelligence agencies' lies and skullduggery, the agencies give ground glacially and only when they have to. What concessions they make often embody multiple layers of back-up lies. It can take years for an official admission -- the CIA didn't officially confess its involvement in the 1953 coup that deposed Iranian leader Mohammad Mosaddeq until 2013 -- and even then details are usually not forthcoming. Many of the so-called exposés of the intelligence agencies are in effect spook-written for propaganda or damage control.

The intelligence agencies monitor virtually everything we do. They have tentacles reaching into every aspect of contemporary society, exercising control in pervasive but mostly unknown ways. Yet, every so often some idiot writes an op-ed or bloviates on TV, bemoaning the lack of trust the majority of Americans have in "their" government and wondering why. The wonder is that anyone still trusts the government.

The intelligence agency fog both obscures and corrodes. An ever increasing number of Americans believe that a shadowy Deep State pulls the strings. Most major stories since World War II -- Korea, Vietnam, Kennedy's assassination, foreign coups, the 1960s student unrest, civil rights agitation, and civic disorder, Watergate, Iran-Contra, 9/11, domestic surveillance, and many more -- have intelligence angles. However, determining what those angles are plunges you into the miasma perpetuated by the agencies and their media accomplices.

The intelligence agencies and captive media's secrecy, disinformation, and lies make it futile to mount a straightforward attack against them. It's like attacking a citadel surrounded by swamps and bogs that afford no footing, making advance impossible. Their deadliest operation has been against the truth. In a political forum, how does one challenge an adversary who controls most of the information necessary to discredit, and ultimately reform or eliminate that adversary?

You don't fight where your opponent wants you to fight. What the intelligence apparatus fears most is a battle of ideas. Intelligence, the military, and the reserve currency are essential component of the US's confederated global empire. During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump questioned a few empire totems and incurred the intelligence leadership's wrath, demonstrating how sensitive and vulnerable they are on this front. The transparent flimsiness of their Russiagate concoction further illustrates the befuddlement. Questions are out in the open and are usually based on facts within the public domain. They move the battle from the murk to the light, unfamiliar and unwelcome terrain.

The US government, like Oceania, switches enemies as necessary. That validates military and intelligence; lasting peace would be intolerable. After World War II the enemy was the USSR and communism, which persisted until the Soviet collapse in 1991. The 9/11 tragedy offered up a new enemy, Islamic terrorism.

Seventeen years later, after a disastrous run of US interventions in the Middle East and Northern Africa and the rout of Sunni jihadists in Syria by the combined forces of the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, it's clear that Islamic terrorism is no longer a threat that stirs the paranoia necessary to feed big military and intelligence budgets . For all the money they've spent, intelligence has done a terrible job of either anticipating terrorist strikes or defeating them in counterinsurgency warfare

So switch the enemy again, now it's Russia and China. The best insight the intelligence community could offer about those two is that they've grown stronger by doing the opposite of the US. For the most part they've stayed in their own neighborhoods. They accept that they're constituents, albeit important ones, of a multipolar global order. Although they'll use big sticks to protect their interests, carrots like the Belt and Road Initiative further their influence much better than the US's bullets and bombs.

If the intelligence complex truly cared about the country, they might go public with the observation that the empire is going broke. However, raising awareness of this dire threat -- as opposed to standard intelligence bogeymen -- might prompt reexamination of intelligence and military budgets and the foreign policy that supports them. Insolvency will strangle the US's exorbitantly expensive interventionism. It will be the first real curb on the intelligence complex since World War II, but don't except any proactive measures beforehand from those charged with foreseeing the future.

Conspiracy theories, a term popularized by the CIA to denigrate Warren Commission skeptics, are often proved correct. However, trying to determine the truth behind intelligence agency conspiracies is a time and energy-consuming task, usually producing much frustration and little illumination. Instead, as Caitlin Johnstone recently observed , we're better off fighting on moral and philosophical grounds the intelligence complex and the rest of the government's depredations that are in plain sight.

Attack the intellectual foundations of empire and you attack the whole rickety edifice, including intelligence, that supports it. Tell the truth and you threaten those who deal in lies . Champion sanity and logic and you challenge the insane irrationality of the powers that be. They are daunting tasks, but less daunting than trying to excavate and clean the intelligence sewer.


bogbeagle , 1 hour ago link

I sometimes wonder whether the Bond films are a psy-op.

I mean, the 'hero' is a psycho-killer ... the premise of the films is 'any means to an end' ... they promote the ridiculous idea that you can be 'licensed to kill', and it's no longer murder ... and they build a strong association between the State and glamour.

Bond makes a virtue out of 'following orders', when in reality, it's a Sin.

WTFUD , 25 minutes ago link

Can't remember which Section of MI6 Ian Fleming (novelist 007.5) worked but he came into contact with my Hero, the best double-agent Cambridge, maybe World, has Ever produced, Kim Philby. Fleming was a lightweight compared to him and was most likely provided the Funds, by MI6 to titillate the Masses, spread the Word of Deep State.

Norfry , 2 hours ago link

The article makes many good points but still falls into use of distorting bs language.

For example, "after a disastrous run of US interventions" - well, they stole Libya's wealth and destroyed the country: mission accomplished; that's what they were trying to do. It was not an ""intervention", it was a f***ing war of aggression based on lies.

StarGate , 2 hours ago link

Well the good news is that folks now know there is deep State, shadow govt, puppet masters, fake news MSM mockingbird programming, satanic "musik/ pop" promoters, etc.

Not everyone knows but more know, and some are now questioning the Matrix sensations they have. That they have not been told the Truth.

Eventually humanity will awaken and get on track, how long it will take is unknown.

The CIA is a symptom of the problem but not the whole problem. Primarily it is the deception that it sows, the confusion and false conclusions that the easily led fill their heads with.

Now that you know there are bad guys out there...

Find someone to love, even if it is a puppy or a guppy. Simplify your needs, and commit small acts of kindness on a regular basis. The World will heal, it may be a rocky convalescence, yet Good triumphs in the end.

[Dec 03, 2018] Does any country on Earth has a democracy?

Notable quotes:
"... Have you been watching the news over the past few weeks where the clowns who supposedly represent us at Westminster were offering to take cash in brown envelopes for privileged access to the political system? ..."
"... Now we have the Prime Minister attending the Bilderberg Group meeting without any officials or Civil Servants to record what is going on. I suppose he needs to attend to get instructions from his bosses on how he must run his 'democracy'! ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | guardian.co.uk

LetsGetCynical -> Snookerboy , 8 Jun 2013 14:31

@ Snookerboy 08 June 2013 7:14pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

Democracy = a political system in which citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally -- either directly or through elected representatives -- in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. Do we have this in the UK at the moment bearing in mind recent events (brown envelopes and Bilderberg Group to name but two)?

Does any country have this? With all due respect it is just words and sentiment. In my previous comment I said that No i didnt think we had true democracy and I dont think it (if there is such a thing) is achievable, not everyone would be satisfied it would be true democracy thus its legitimacy would be called into question.

In my mind its a bit like saying the best thing would be a "benevolent, incorruptible, sensible dictator", its a fantasy.

Politicians who are found to be on the take or are fiddling the public purse should be dismissed immediately and a by election called. Would stop it happening as much as I am sure we are only seeing the 'tip of the iceberg'.

Agreed and they should always be innocent until proven guilty and if found guilty of abuse of office they should be barred from public office indefinitely in my mind, as long as they break the law, not fudge the rules or whatever, which is also part of the problem. Hazel Blears and countless others was re-elected despite being reviled in the media as an expenses cheat.

So I assume you are happy for our PM to attend a secret meeting where nothing is ever released to the media or press about what is going on or discussed?

I am neither happy nor unhappy, it is a private event that the PM is invited to by a steering committee, I imagine the idea being they can discuss candidly without official airs, graces, platitudes and politician speak for a while, it doesnt particularly concern me.

J Snookerboy -> LetsGetCynical , 8 Jun 2013 14:14
@LetsGetCynical - Democracy = a political system in which citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally -- either directly or through elected representatives -- in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. Do we have this in the UK at the moment bearing in mind recent events (brown envelopes and Bilderberg Group to name but two)?

Politicians who are found to be on the take or are fiddling the public purse should be dismissed immediately and a by election called. Would stop it happening as much as I am sure we are only seeing the 'tip of the iceberg'.

So I assume you are happy for our PM to attend a secret meeting where nothing is ever released to the media or press about what is going on or discussed?

LetsGetCynical -> Snookerboy , 8 Jun 2013 13:55
@ Snookerboy 08 June 2013 6:31pm . Get cifFix for Firefox .

No, but then again what is a "true democracy"? Agreed they are bunch of clowns but then again who are the clowns that repeatedly vote for the same party regardless of what they say or do?

where the clowns who supposedly represent us at Westminster were offering to take cash in brown envelopes

Corruption is about as old as humanity itself, no "true democracy" will ever remove the human element and all the pros and cons that entails.

Now we have the Prime Minister attending the Bilderberg Group meeting without any officials or Civil Servants to record what is going on. I suppose he needs to attend to get instructions from his bosses on how he must run his 'democracy'!

Whether or not you argee or disagree with the conference, it is by invite only, they don't have to invite civil servants or journalists if they don't want to. And it does contain very powerful people, why would the PM not attend?

attend to get instructions from his bosses

I take it the waiters are under permanent surveillance in order to ensure they don't reveal the dastardly secrets about what Eric Schmidt "tells" Cameron to do? A bit fanciful in my opinion.

Snookerboy -> LetsGetCynical , 8 Jun 2013 13:31
@LetsGetCynical - Do you really believe that we live in a true democracy? Have you been watching the news over the past few weeks where the clowns who supposedly represent us at Westminster were offering to take cash in brown envelopes for privileged access to the political system?

Now we have the Prime Minister attending the Bilderberg Group meeting without any officials or Civil Servants to record what is going on. I suppose he needs to attend to get instructions from his bosses on how he must run his 'democracy'!

[Nov 30, 2018] The Power Elite Now by Alan Wolfe

Notable quotes:
"... No longer were the chief executive officers of these companies chosen because they were of the right social background. Connections still mattered, but so did bureaucratic skill. The men who possessed those skills were rewarded well for their efforts. Larded with expense accounts and paid handsomely, they could exercise national influence not only through their companies, but through the roles that they would be called upon to serve in "the national interest." ..."
"... Given an unlimited checking account by politicians anxious to appear tough, buoyed by fantastic technological and scientific achievements, and sinking roots into America's educational institutions, the military, Mills believed, was becoming increasingly autonomous. Of all the prongs of the power elite, this "military ascendancy" possessed the most dangerous implications. "American militarism, in fully developed form, would mean the triumph in all areas of life of the military metaphysic, and hence the subordination to it of all other ways of life." ..."
"... Rather they understood that running the Central Intelligence Agency or being secretary of the Treasury gave one vast influence over the direction taken by the country. Firmly interlocked with the military and corporate sectors, the political leaders of the United States fashioned an agenda favorable to their class rather than one that might have been good for the nation as a whole ..."
"... The new breed of political figure likely to climb to the highest political positions in the land would be those who were cozy with generals and CEOs, not those who were on a first-name basis with real estate brokers and savings and loan officials. ..."
"... the emergence of the power elite had transformed the theory of balance into a romantic, Jeffersonian myth. ..."
"... neither Congress nor the political parties had much substantive work to carry out. "In the absence of policy differences of consequence between the major parties," Mills wrote, "the professional party politician must invent themes about which to talk." ..."
"... the image he conveyed of what an American had become was thoroughly unattractive: "He loses his independence, and more importantly, he loses the desire to be independent; in fact, he does not have hold of the idea of being an independent individual with his own mind and his own worked-out way of life." Mills had become so persuaded of the power of the power elite that he seemed to have lost all hope that the American people could find themselves and put a stop to the abuses he detected. ..."
Jun 01, 1999 | www.returnofkings.com
Power in America today looks far different from the picture that C. Wright Mills painted nearly half a century ago. C. Wright Mills's The Power Elite was published in 1956, a time, as Mills himself put it, when Americans were living through "a material boom, a nationalist celebration, a political vacuum." It is not hard to understand why Americans were as complacent as Mills charged.

Let's say you were a typical 35-year-old voter in 1956. When you were eight years old, the stock market crashed, and the resulting Clutch Plague began just as you started third or fourth grade. Hence your childhood was consumed with fighting off the poverty of the single greatest economic catastrophe in American history. When you were 20, the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, ensuring that your years as a young adult, especially if you were male, would be spent fighting on the ground in Europe or from island to island in Asia. If you were lucky enough to survive that experience, you returned home at the ripe old age of 24, ready to resume some semblance of a normal life -- only then to witness the Korean War, McCarthyism, and the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Into this milieu exploded The Power Elite . C. Wright Mills was one of the first intellectuals in America to write that the complacency of the Eisenhower years left much to be desired. His indictment was uncompromising. On the one hand, he claimed, vast concentrations of power had coagulated in America, making a mockery of American democracy. On the other, he charged that his fellow intellectuals had sold out to the conservative mood in America, leaving their audience -- the American people themselves -- in a state of ignorance and apathy bearing shocking resemblance to the totalitarian regimes that America had defeated or was currently fighting.

One of the goals Mills set for himself in The Power Elite was to tell his readers -- again, assuming that they were roughly 35 years of age -- how much the organization of power in America had changed during their lifetimes. In the 1920s, when this typical reader had been born, there existed what Mills called "local society," towns and small cities throughout Am erica whose political and social life was dominated by resident businessmen. Small-town elites, usually Republican in their outlook, had a strong voice in Con gress, for most of the congressmen who represented them were either members of the dominant families themselves or had close financial ties to them.

By the time Mills wrote his book, this world of local elites had become as obsolete as the Model T Ford. Power in America had become nationalized, Mills charged, and as a result had also become interconnected. The Power Elite called attention to three prongs of power in the United States. First, business had shifted its focus from corporations that were primarily regional in their workforces and customer bases to ones that sought products in national markets and developed national interests. What had once been a propertied class, tied to the ownership of real assets, had become a managerial class, rewarded for its ability to organize the vast scope of corporate enterprise into an engine for ever-expanding profits. No longer were the chief executive officers of these companies chosen because they were of the right social background. Connections still mattered, but so did bureaucratic skill. The men who possessed those skills were rewarded well for their efforts. Larded with expense accounts and paid handsomely, they could exercise national influence not only through their companies, but through the roles that they would be called upon to serve in "the national interest."

Similar changes had taken place in the military sector of American society. World War II, Mills argued, and the subsequent start of the Cold War, led to the establishment of "a permanent war economy" in the United States. Mills wrote that the "warlords," his term for the military and its civilian allies, had once been "only uneasy, poor relations within the American elite; now they are first cousins; soon they may become elder brothers." Given an unlimited checking account by politicians anxious to appear tough, buoyed by fantastic technological and scientific achievements, and sinking roots into America's educational institutions, the military, Mills believed, was becoming increasingly autonomous. Of all the prongs of the power elite, this "military ascendancy" possessed the most dangerous implications. "American militarism, in fully developed form, would mean the triumph in all areas of life of the military metaphysic, and hence the subordination to it of all other ways of life."

In addition to the military and corporate elites, Mills analyzed the role of what he called "the political directorate." Local elites had once been strongly represented in Congress, but Congress itself, Mills pointed out, had lost power to the executive branch. And within that branch, Mills could count roughly 50 people who, in his opinion, were "now in charge of the executive decisions made in the name of the United States of America." The very top positions -- such as the secretaries of state or defense -- were occupied by men with close ties to the leading national corporations in the United States. These people were not attracted to their positions for the money; often, they made less than they would have in the private sector. Rather they understood that running the Central Intelligence Agency or being secretary of the Treasury gave one vast influence over the direction taken by the country. Firmly interlocked with the military and corporate sectors, the political leaders of the United States fashioned an agenda favorable to their class rather than one that might have been good for the nation as a whole.

Although written very much as a product of its time, The Power Elite has had remarkable staying power. The book has remained in print for 43 years in its original form, which means that the 35-year-old who read it when it first came out is now 78 years old. The names have changed since the book's appearance -- younger readers will recognize hardly any of the corporate, military, and political leaders mentioned by Mills -- but the underlying question of whether America is as democratic in practice as it is in theory continues to matter very much.

Changing Fortunes

The obvious question for any contemporary reader of The Power Elite is whether its conclusions apply to the United States today. Sorting out what is helpful in Mills's book from what has become obsolete seems a task worth undertaking.

Each year, Fortune publishes a list of the 500 leading American companies based on revenues. Roughly 30 of the 50 companies that dominated the economy when Mills wrote his book no longer do, including firms in once seemingly impregnable industries such as steel, rubber, and food. Putting it another way, the 1998 list contains the names of many corporations that would have been quite familiar to Mills: General Motors is ranked first, Ford second, and Exxon third. But the company immediately following these giants -- Wal-Mart Stores -- did not even exist at the time Mills wrote; indeed, the idea that a chain of retail stores started by a folksy Arkansas merchant would someday outrank Mobil, General Electric, or Chrysler would have startled Mills. Furthermore, just as some industries have declined, whole new industries have appeared in America since 1956; IBM was fifty-ninth when Mills wrote, hardly the computer giant -- sixth on the current Fortune 500 list -- that it is now. (Compaq and Intel, neither of which existed when Mills wrote his book, are also in the 1998 top 50.) To illustrate how closed the world of the power elite was, Mills called attention to the fact that one man, Winthrop W. Aldrich, the Am erican ambassador to Great Britain, was a director of 4 of the top 25 companies in America in 1950. In 1998, by contrast, only one of those companies, AT&T, was at the very top; of the other three, Chase Manhattan was twenty-seventh, Metropolitan Life had fallen to forty-third, and the New York Central Railroad was not to be found.

Despite these changes in the nature of corporate America, however, much of what Mills had to say about the corporate elite still applies. It is certainly still the case, for example, that those who run companies are very rich; the gap between what a CEO makes and what a worker makes is extraordinarily high. But there is one difference between the world described by Mills and the world of today that is so striking it cannot be passed over. As odd as it may sound, Mills's understanding of capitalism was not radical enough. Heavily influenced by the sociology of its time, The Power Elite portrayed corporate executives as organization men who "must 'fit in' with those already at the top." They had to be concerned with managing their impressions, as if the appearance of good results were more important than the actuality of them. Mills was disdainful of the idea that leading businessmen were especially com petent. "The fit survive," he wrote, "and fitness means, not formal competence -- there probably is no such thing for top executive positions -- but conformity with the criteria of those who have already succeeded."

It may well have been true in the 1950s that corporate leaders were not especially inventive; but if so, that was because they faced relatively few challenges. If you were the head of General Motors in 1956, you knew that American automobile companies dominated your market; the last thing on your mind was the fact that someday cars called Toyotas or Hondas would be your biggest threat. You did not like the union which organized your workers, but if you were smart, you realized that an ever-growing economy would enable you to trade off high wages for your workers in return for labor market stability. Smaller companies that supplied you with parts were dependent on you for orders. Each year you wanted to outsell Ford and Chrysler, and yet you worked with them to create an elaborate set of signals so that they would not undercut your prices and you would not undercut theirs. Whatever your market share in 1956, in other words, you could be fairly sure that it would be the same in 1957. Why rock the boat? It made perfect sense for budding executives to do what Mills argued they did do: assume that the best way to get ahead was to get along and go along.

Very little of this picture remains accurate at the end of the twentieth century. Union membership as a percentage of the total workforce has declined dramatically, and while this means that companies can pay their workers less, it also means that they cannot expect to invest much in the training of their workers on the assumption that those workers will remain with the company for most of their lives. Foreign competition, once negligible, is now the rule of thumb for most American companies, leading many of them to move parts of their companies overseas and to create their own global marketing arrangements. America's fastest-growing industries can be found in the field of high technology, something Mills did not anticipate. ("Many modern theories of industrial development," he wrote, "stress technological developments, but the number of inventors among the very rich is so small as to be unappreciable.") Often dominated by self-made men (another phenomenon about which Mills was doubtful), these firms are ruthlessly competitive, which upsets any possibility of forming gentlemen's agreements to control prices; indeed, among internet companies the idea is to provide the product with no price whatsoever -- that is, for free -- in the hopes of winning future customer loyalty.

These radical changes in the competitive dynamics of American capitalism have important implications for any effort to characterize the power elite of today. C. Wright Mills was a translator and interpreter of the German sociologist Max Weber, and he borrowed from Weber the idea that a heavily bureaucratized society would also be a stable and conservative society. Only in a society which changes relatively little is it possible for an elite to have power in the first place, for if events change radically, then it tends to be the events controlling the people rather than the people controlling the events. There can be little doubt that those who hold the highest positions in America's corporate hierarchy remain, as they did in Mills's day, the most powerful Americans. But not even they can control rapid technological transformations, intense global competition, and ever-changing consumer tastes. American capitalism is simply too dynamic to be controlled for very long by anyone.

The Warlords

One of the crucial arguments Mills made in The Power Elite was that the emergence of the Cold War completely transformed the American public's historic opposition to a permanent military establishment in the United States. In deed, he stressed that America's military elite was now linked to its economic and political elite. Personnel were constantly shifting back and forth from the corporate world to the military world. Big companies like General Motors had become dependent on military contracts. Scientific and technological innovations sponsored by the military helped fuel the growth of the economy. And while all these links between the economy and the military were being forged, the military had become an active political force. Members of Congress, once hostile to the military, now treated officers with great deference. And no president could hope to staff the Department of State, find intelligence officers, and appoint ambassadors without consulting with the military.

Mills believed that the emergence of the military as a key force in American life constituted a substantial attack on the isolationism which had once characterized public opinion. He argued that "the warlords, along with fellow travelers and spokesmen, are attempting to plant their metaphysics firmly among the population at large." Their goal was nothing less than a redefinition of reality -- one in which the American people would come to accept what Mills called "an emergency without a foreseeable end." "War or a high state of war preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States," Mills wrote. In this state of constant war fever, America could no longer be considered a genuine democracy, for democracy thrives on dissent and disagreement, precisely what the military definition of reality forbids. If the changes described by Mills were indeed permanent, then The Power Elite could be read as the description of a deeply radical, and depressing, transformation of the nature of the United States.

Much as Mills wrote, it remains true today that Congress is extremely friendly to the military, at least in part because the military has become so powerful in the districts of most congressmen. Military bases are an important source of jobs for many Americans, and government spending on the military is crucial to companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which manufacture military equipment. American firms are the leaders in the world's global arms market, manufacturing and exporting weapons everywhere. Some weapons systems never seem to die, even if, as was the case with a "Star Wars" system designed to destroy incoming missiles, there is no demonstrable military need for them.

Yet despite these similarities with the 1950s, both the world and the role that America plays in that world have changed. For one thing, the United States has been unable to muster its forces for any sustained use in any foreign conflict since Vietnam. Worried about the possibility of a public backlash against the loss of American lives, American presidents either refrain from pursuing military adventures abroad or confine them to rapid strikes, along the lines pursued by Presidents Bush and Clinton in Iraq. Since 1989, moreover, the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe has undermined the capacity of America's elites to mobilize support for military expenditures. China, which at the time Mills wrote was con sidered a serious threat, is now viewed by American businessmen as a source of great potential investment. Domestic political support for a large and permanent military establishment in the United States, in short, can no longer be taken for granted.

The immediate consequence of these changes in the world's balance of power has been a dramatic decrease in that proportion of the American economy devoted to defense. At the time Mills wrote, defense expenditures constituted roughly 60 percent of all federal outlays and consumed nearly 10 percent of the U. S. gross domestic product. By the late 1990s, those proportions had fallen to 17 percent of federal outlays and 3.5 percent of GDP. Nearly three million Americans served in the armed forces when The Power Elite appeared, but that number had dropped by half at century's end. By almost any account, Mills's prediction that both the economy and the political systemof the United States would come to be ever more dominated by the military is not borne out by historical developments since his time.

And how could he have been right? Business firms, still the most powerful force in American life, are increasingly global in nature, more interested in protecting their profits wherever they are made than in the defense of the country in which perhaps only a minority of their employees live and work. Give most of the leaders of America's largest companies a choice between invading another country and investing in its industries and they will nearly always choose the latter over the former. Mills believed that in the 1950s, for the first time in American history, the military elite had formed a strong alliance with the economic elite. Now it would be more correct to say that America's economic elite finds more in common with economic elites in other countries than it does with the military elite of its own. The Power Elite failed to foresee a situation in which at least one of the key elements of the power elite would no longer identify its fate with the fate of the country which spawned it.

Mass Society and the Power Elite

Politicians and public officials who wield control over the executive and legislative branches of government constitute the third leg of the power elite. Mills believed that the politicians of his time were no longer required to serve a local apprenticeship before moving up the ladder to national politics. Because corporations and the military had become so interlocked with government, and because these were both national institutions, what might be called "the nationalization of politics" was bound to follow. The new breed of political figure likely to climb to the highest political positions in the land would be those who were cozy with generals and CEOs, not those who were on a first-name basis with real estate brokers and savings and loan officials.

For Mills, politics was primarily a facade. Historically speaking, American politics had been organized on the theory of balance: each branch of government would balance the other; competitive parties would ensure adequate representation; and interest groups like labor unions would serve as a counterweight to other interests like business. But the emergence of the power elite had transformed the theory of balance into a romantic, Jeffersonian myth. So anti democratic had America become under the rule of the power elite, according to Mills, that most decisions were made behind the scenes. As a result, neither Congress nor the political parties had much substantive work to carry out. "In the absence of policy differences of consequence between the major parties," Mills wrote, "the professional party politician must invent themes about which to talk."

Mills was right to emphasize the irrelevance of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century images to the actualities of twentieth-century American political power. But he was not necessarily correct that politics would therefore become something of an empty theatrical show. Mills believed that in the absence of real substance, the parties would become more like each other. Yet today the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats are severe -- as, in fact, they were in 1956. Joseph McCarthy, the conservative anticommunist senator from Wisconsin who gave his name to the period in which Mills wrote his book, appears a few times in The Power Elite , but not as a major figure. In his emphasis on politics and economics, Mills underestimated the important role that powerful symbolic and moral crusades have had in American life, including McCarthy's witch-hunt after communist influence. Had he paid more attention to McCarthyism, Mills would have been more likely to predict the role played by divisive issues such as abortion, immigration, and affirmative action in American politics today. Real substance may not be high on the American political agenda, but that does not mean that politics is unimportant. Through our political system, we make decisions about what kind of people we imagine ourselves to be, which is why it matters a great deal at the end of the twentieth century which political party is in power.

Contemporary commentators believe that Mills was an outstanding social critic but not necessarily a first-rate social scientist. Yet I believe that The Power Elite survives better as a work of social science than of social criticism.

At the time Mills was writing, academic sociology was in the process of proclaiming itself a science. The proper role of the sociologist, many of Mills's colleagues believed, was to conduct value-free research emphasizing the close em pirical testing of small-bore hypotheses. A grand science would eventually be built upon extensive empirical work which, like the best of the natural sciences, would be published in highly specialized journals emph a sizing methodological innovation and technical proficiency. Because he never agreed with these objectives, Mills was never considered a good scientist by his sociological peers.

Yet not much of the academic sociology of the 1950s has survived, while The Power Elite , in terms of longevity, is rivaled by very few books of its period. In his own way, Mills contributed much to the understanding of his era. Social scientists of the 1950s emphasized pluralism, a concept which Mills attacked in his criticisms of the theory of balance. The dominant idea of the day was that the concentration of power in America ought not be considered excessive because one group always balanced the power of others. The biggest problem facing America was not concentrated power but what sociologists began to call "the end of ideology." America, they believed, had reached a point in which grand passions over ideas were exhausted. From now on, we would require technical expertise to solve our problems, not the musings of intellectuals.

Compared to such ideas, Mills's picture of American reality, for all its exaggerations, seems closer to the mark. If the test of science is to get reality right, the very passionate convictions of C. Wright Mills drove him to develop a better empirical grasp on Am erican society than his more objective and clinical contemporaries. We can, therefore, read The Power Elite as a fairly good account of what was taking place in America at the time it was written.

As a social critic, however, Mills leaves something to be desired. In that role, Mills portrays himself as a lonely battler for the truth, insistent upon his correctness no matter how many others are seduced by the siren calls of power or wealth. This gives his book emotional power, but it comes with a certain irresponsibility. "In Am erica today," Mills wrote in a typical passage, "men of affairs are not so much dogmatic as they are mindless." Yet however one may dislike the decisions made by those in power in the 1950s, as decision makers they were responsible for the consequences of their acts. It is often easier to criticize from afar than it is to get a sense of what it actually means to make a corporate decision involving thousands of workers, to consider a possible military action that might cost lives, or to decide whether public funds should be spent on roads or welfare. In calling public officials mindless, Mills implies that he knows how they might have acted better. But if he did, he never told readers of The Power Elite ; missing from the book is a statement of what concretely could be done to make the world accord more with the values in which Mills believed.

It is, moreover, one thing to attack the power elite, yet another to extend his criticisms to other intellectuals -- and even the public at large. When he does the latter, Mills runs the risk of becoming as antidemocratic as he believed America had become. As he brings his book to an end, Mills adopts a termonce strongly identified with conservative political theorists. Appalled by the spread of democracy, conservative European writers proclaimed the twentieth century the age of "mass society." The great majority, this theory held, would never act rationally but would respond more like a crowd, hysterically caught up in frenzy at one point, apathetic and withdrawn at another. "The United States is not altogether a mass society," Mills wrote -- and then he went on to write as if it were. And when he did, the image he conveyed of what an American had become was thoroughly unattractive: "He loses his independence, and more importantly, he loses the desire to be independent; in fact, he does not have hold of the idea of being an independent individual with his own mind and his own worked-out way of life." Mills had become so persuaded of the power of the power elite that he seemed to have lost all hope that the American people could find themselves and put a stop to the abuses he detected.

One can only wonder, then, what Mills would have made of the failed attempt by Republican zealots to impeach and remove the President of the United States. At one level it makes one wish there really were a power elite, for surely such an elite would have prevented an extremist faction of an increasingly ideological political party from trying to overturn the results of two elections. And at another level, to the degree that America weathered this crisis, it did so precisely because the public did not act as if were numbed by living in a mass society, for it refused to follow the lead of opinion makers, it made up its mind early and thoughtfully, and then it held tenaciously to its opinion until the end.

Whether or not America has a power elite at the top and a mass society at the bottom, however, it remains in desperate need of the blend of social science and social criticism which The Power Elite offered. It would take another of Mills's books -- perhaps The Sociological Imagination -- to explain why that has been lost.

[Nov 30, 2018] How The Elites Are Using "Divide And Rule" To Control Us by Corey Savage

Notable quotes:
"... The Elites Have One Rule For Themselves, And One Rule For The Rest Of Us ..."
Oct 31, 2016 | www.returnofkings.com
179 Comments Corey Savage

Corey is an iconoclast and the author of 'Man's Fight for Existence' . He believes that the key to life is for men to honour their primal nature. Visit his new website at primalexistence.com

It wasn't long ago that the Left represented the anti-establishment wing in politics. They used to fight against globalism (remember the anti-globalization movement?) even if their motives were different from those of today's anti-globalists, as well as being against censorship, imperialist wars, and the expanding powers of governments and corporations. But today, you see leftists protesting against Brexit, attacking and censoring anyone who disagrees with the establishment (using Twitter on their Apple products while sipping on their Starbucks coffee), and are calling for war in Syria to challenge the Russians. So, just how the hell did did they end up becoming the patsies for the elites?

To understand, we must go back to 2011 when the Occupy movement was ongoing. The Occupy protests, which now seem like ages ago, came about as a response to the economic downturn with the people realizing that they were being screwed by the system. We can debate endlessly about exactly who these people were and the motives behind them, but the important fact is that, to the elites, it was a sign that the people were waking up and challenging their power.

The elites were in a panic as this was the first time in post-war history that the people of West mobilized in mass to threaten their rule. So, the cabals decided that they needed to act fast before the whole movement evolved to a full-blown revolution. And they already had a plan in mind: the never antiquated strategy of divide and rule.

The Diversion

When the people are discontent and angry from being powerless and dispossessed, the pressure will mount and it won't go anywhere. The people want to vent out their frustrations. The elites know that responding directly with repression only inspires greater desire to rise up, so instead of fighting it, they prefer to re-channel that pent up energy elsewhere.

On February 2012, with the Occupy movement still raging, the elites were given that golden opportunity -- or, rather, they created one -- when a black teenager was shot dead in Florida: the none other than the infamous Trayvon Martin case. The shooter wasn't even a full white, but the elites jumped at the chance and used their control of the media to throw everything they had on it; anything to divert the public attention away from them. With their efforts, it quickly became the biggest story of America.

But they didn't stop there. Police shootings, which have always been happening and to all races, were also highly publicized by the mainstream media to stoke liberal outrage and racial tensions that led to the creation of Black Lives Matter movement -- a movement that is financed by George Soros and others to stir up unrests across America.

occupysjw

Did the elites convert Occupy protesters into SJW patsies?

The diversion was complete as the people were now more interested in racial issues than the "1%" who were dictating their lives. The Occupy movement faded away and the people were now venting out their anger elsewhere. Although I don't have as much proof as with the rise of BLM movement, I strongly suspect that the resurgence of social justice warriors around the same time is also the work of the elites who want the Leftists to target fellow citizens over asinine cultural issues rather than the established order.

The Strategy

Back in 19th century, Karl Marx claimed that religion and nationalism was being used to distract the masses from the fact that they were being oppressed under capitalism. If we were to apply this concept to the world today, the culture wars going on now are distractions to keep the masses from undermining the power of the elites.

The goal the elites is simple: divide the masses and let them fight each other so that they will never come together to topple those in power. Meanwhile, they themselves focus on expanding their own wealth and continue to implement institutional control to further their globalist plans. The worst case scenario the elites want to avoid is to have the common people unite as one, so they must do everything they can to fragment them by creating as many divisions as possible.

My understanding of their modus operandi is this: 1) Use hot-button issues to stir up controversy (something that doesn't affect them like gay marriage, race issues, and all other politically correct nonsense). 2) Have the Leftists either get outraged or do something that will provoke a reaction from the Right. 3) Let the people vent out their anger onto each other and get at each other's throats. 4) When the issue fades away, foment a new controversy to repeat the whole process. By cycling through them over and over again, the elites are able to maintain the status quo and keep the people from uniting against them.

Thus, we have our current situation where the masses are divided with blacks against whites, women against men, Islam and atheism against Christianity, Left against Right, and so on, but no more anti-globalization, Tea Party movement, or Occupy Wall Street.

As long as those on the left continue berating the right as racists, sexists, and bigots who are controlled by corporations and the right in turn accuse the left of being degenerate, socialist slackers who just want freebies from a nanny government, nothing will change. As long as the two sides see each others as enemies who are stupid and ignorant, and getting in the way of creating a decent society, the people will remain divided. As long as the rest of the population go berserk over wedding cakes for homosexuals, the latest "misogynist" outrage, or how a lion named Cecil got shot, the elites will continue to win.

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Mgid Reasons Clean Shaven Men Are Switching To This In Droves 22,361 CLICK TO READ A Couple More Points To Consider

I know they look like an occupying army, but there's nothing to be alarmed about. They're just your friendly neighborhood police doing their jobs to protect you from the "terrorists."

First, while this article has been focused on how the Left has been toyed by the globalist elites, let's not forget that the Right are not totally immune to their influence either. Remember how Neo-cons ( globalist puppets disguised as conservatives ) effectively lured the conservatives in America through faith and patriotism? The support they got from that base was the impetus to launch their war against Iraq based on bullshit evidences of WMD's and Saddam–Al-Queda link. While the Right has changed a lot since then, there are still "conservatives" today who are itching for a war with Russia because USA! USA! USA! .

Second, it is crucial to remember that although the main goal is to maintain divide and rule, it is not the end of it. The elites have far more sinister aims. By raising hell in societies through demographic conflicts and terrorism, the elites are preparing for a total social control. I get the feeling that the elites are letting the chaos and violence run its course so that the people from the two opposing camps will join together in their approval of new government measures for social control.

No matter their differences, when the people get terrified of savagery and disorder, they'll welcome the state to intervene in the name of security. Europe is already getting used to large military presence on their streets while the US government is seemingly preparing for a war against their own citizens . A leaked Soros memo also reveals that the BLM movement is potentially being used to federalize the US police . While many people seem to be concerned about violence and terrorism, it seems those are just tools used by the elites to justify a totalitarian state in the near future.

The Culture Wars: Necessary Fight Or Engineered Distraction?

The issue of culture wars is not an easy one as they are important in many ways, but are still forms of distraction implemented by the elites.

On one hand, we are playing into the hands of elites by raging against social justice and feminist pigshits instead of trying to stop the globalists, Zionists , bankers, mega-corporations , and the governments from undermining our existence. Really, do the issues of politically-incorrect Halloween costumes and whatever bathroom trannies use matter more than the fact that the middle-class is being destroyed, revelations of massive corruption in the DNC, the coming police-state, and the globalist wars that are causing death and destruction around the world? All the drama of outrage and counter-outrage is silly when the elites are snickering as their new world order is taking shape.

On the other hand, culture does matter in many ways. Uncontrolled immigration, anti-male laws, and censorship are all very relevant issues. And as much of the Leftists are now serving as pawns of the establishment, the situation isn't exactly the divide and rule model I described above. In a way, we are now forced to fight the Left and everyone else who are getting in the way of fighting the globalist elites.

So, does this mean we should ally with those who scorn us? Or should we continue playing the elite's games and bicker with their SJW drones? I don't have a good answer, but whatever we choose to do, I believe it is crucial for us to focus our battles and not get trolled into petty issues that the mainstream media wants us to focus on. We should always keep in mind that it is always those at the top who are the true enemies of mankind.

Conclusion: Is There Still Hope?

Although we no longer see grassroots movements and popular mobilization, the current US election has shown that the people are still awake and sick of the establishment. To me, that alone is a hopeful sign that people are still willing to challenge the ruling class.

With Bernie Sanders brought down by the establishment and his supporters scattered into different camps, the only anti-establishment movement now is the presidential campaign led by Donald Trump. This is why we are seeing unprecedented efforts by the elites to bring down Trump and use disgruntled Leftists against his supporters.

I have my doubts about Trump , but he is thousand times preferable to the certain nightmare that Hillary Clinton will bring to America and the world if she gets elected. But besides voting, I believe that it is more important for the people themselves to wake up and be aware of the methods of control that are being implemented upon us. We can't constantly expect some knight in shinning armor to come rally us; we must take the initiative ourselves and be willing to fight for our own destiny.

Read More: The Elites Have One Rule For Themselves, And One Rule For The Rest Of Us

  1. October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    The elites were in a panic as this was the first time in post-war
    history that the people of West mobilized in mass to threaten their
    rule.

    The unfunded and grassroots Tea Party had the Soros organized and funded OWS beat by a good three years (2008).

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

      "People of the West", not just the US. It's possible that the Occupy movement, too, was created by the elites to counter the Tea Party until it spiraled out of control.

      • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        It's more than just possible, it's pretty clear that it was. They show up with buses rented and food vendors in tow. Somebody was paying for that shit, and it sure as hell wasn't the unwashed hippy wannabes out shitting on cop cars.

        • Hugo

          Its a false statement by the author to state that the 'left' was anti establishment back in the day. It wasn't. It's goal, then and now was to create a global, Marxist establishment and to do that it had brainwash the masses into believing it was 'fightin the man'.

          When in fact the 'left' has always been 'the man' as Marxism is focused on control and authority. None of this is new. Perhaps new to North America but, exactly the methodology that was used in Europe since WW1 to turn it into the Marxist shiithole it has become. That in essence was what WW2 was about; Nationalism vs. Globalized Marxism. And Nationalism lost.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Although it is in how you define the establishment. At the time of progressives assuming power (around WW1, give or take) the "Establishment" was fairly Classical Liberal and friendly to liberty and free trade, at least to an extent. Now the "establishment" is them, and they are absolutely "the Man" these days.

        • October 31, 2016 Corey

          Koch brothers and Soros are accused of funding Tea Party and OWS respectively; both denied the charges. Buses and food vendors aren't that expensive and they did receive donations from ordinary people.

          But I feel like the whole point of the article is now lost due to this debate of who funded who, who's controlled by who, which is the good side and which the bad, which just confirms that we are divided. I guess some things never change.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Sorry man, but I didn't bring up OWS, the article did. They were so astroturfed that I can't even pretend to take them seriously as legitimate protest. When you have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the bulk of the Democrat party cheering them on, that should give a moment for pause. On the flip side, the Tea Party was reviled by the Dems AND the GOP simultaneously.

        • October 31, 2016 JungleJim

          There is no "side" . Both were part of same team

    • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

      Oh please. Most free-market libertarian organizations are astroturfed by the Koch brothers. They're every bit as insidious as the left, being the pro-free-trade and pro-immigration people they are.

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        Spare me your Leftism. I took part in them, they were locally organized and unfinanced, basically we just showed up (here in central Ohio) when a college sophomore at OSU sent out a mass email to various local groups.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with free trade, and not all libertarians are open borders/pro-immigration.

        • October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

          I concur whole heartedly. The tea party movement was a locally organized movement and stood for ideals that made our country great .which is exactly why the left lied so hard and loud about it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          What it became later of course is up for discussion, I'm only referencing the first year or so. After that, who knows?

          Now that being said, yes, they were hot as holy hell about us, and we were accused of everything short of genocide by the BSM.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Free trade is what caused all the factories in the rust belt to close and outsourced all of American industry.

          The Koch brothers themselves, the one that fund things like FreedomWorks, GMU and certain elements of the Tea Party (simply because they weren't directly involve in events does not make them not involved). They themselves are pro-immigration.

          I'm not a leftist in the slightest. Being an economic nationalist does not make one left-wing.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Give me a break. Nobody "funded" us. There isn't even a leadership hierarchy to fund. That's what you people don't get, it was a decentralized movement, which gives it a lot of advantages that other movements do not have. It's why we can't be "funded" as monolithic group.

          "Free trade" didn't give us the current situation. The government now, and at the time of NAFTA, so regulated the market and taxed it to the hilt that it's laughable to even suggest that it's "free" in any real sense. The best you can say about it is that it's mercantilist, which funny enough, is one step away from "economic nationalism" aka national socialism.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Give me a break. Nobody "funded" us. There isn't even a leadership
          hierarchy to fund. That's what you people don't get, it was a
          decentralized movement, which gives it a lot of advantages that other
          movements do not have. It's why we can't be "funded" as monolithic
          group.

          BLM is also highly decentralized. Doesn't mean it isn't funded.

          > "Free trade" didn't give us the current situation. The government now,
          and at the time of NAFTA, has so regulated the market and taxed it to
          the hilt that it's laughable to even suggest that it's "free" in any
          real sense. The best you can say about it is that it's mercantilist,
          which funny enough, is one step away from "economic nationalism" aka
          national socialism.

          There's a difference between regulating industries and imposing preferential tariffs and lavishing companies with subsidies similar to how China does. They're the ones winning, in case you haven't noticed.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          BLM has a hierarchy, a chain of command and this is easily seen by going to the website of the people who started it.

          If the government is out granting favors (or restricting access) then this is not a "free market". Adam Smith would spit on the economic system that America, and by proxy, most of the West has adopted since the 1930's.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > BLM has a hierarchy, a chain of command and this is easily seen by going to the website of the people who started it

          Yet the fact it can't keep the rank and file in line (as evidenced by the endless rioting) speaks to this command structure not working.

          > If the government is out granting favors (or restricting access) then
          this is not a "free market". Adam Smith would spit on the economic
          system that America, and by proxy, most of the West has adopted since
          the 1930's.

          Funny you mention Adam Smith, because he argued for a social safety net and a tax on beer to pay for it. Free-market fundamentalists love to ignore this.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Yet the fact it can't keep the rank and file in line (as evidenced by the endless rioting) speaks to this command structure not working.

          They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing exactly what they're told to do.

          Sneering at Adam Smith does not change my statement at all. We are not now, nor have we been since at least WW1, a "free market". Not even freaking close. So the position you hold, I reject entirely.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to
          create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing
          exactly what they're told to do.

          Do you honestly think that people trying to win the majority over to their side would encourage beating the shit out of the majority? BLM, for all its failings and Marxism, has lost the media war it was trying to win.

          > They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to
          create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing
          exactly what they're told to do.

          Free-market capitalism is impossible in a situation where the state can easily be used to slant the market in its favor. Corporations, especially big ones, don't really like free markets.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Who says that they're trying to win the majority over to their side? This aggitation is meant to spur a new set of "rules" and enforcers and empower certain political groups at the expense of others.

          Free-market capitalism is impossible in a situation where the state can easily be used to slant the market in its favor. Corporations, especially big ones, don't really like free markets.

          Exactly, this is *exactly* what I'm pointing out. Blaming the "free market" for things like NAFTA thus, is incorrect.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Who says that they're trying to win the majority over totheir side?
          This aggitation is meant to spur a new set of "rules" and enforcers and
          empower certain political groups at the expense of others.

          The people who are most able to facilitate change are the voters and the organizations that control cops. Coming across as a bunch of thugs certainly doesn't help them.

          > Exactly, this is *exactly* what I'm pointing out. Blaming the "free market" for things like NAFTA thus, is incorrect.

          "Economic internationalism" (i.e no tariffs) would be a better term then.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          The people who are most able to facilitate change are the voters and the
          organizations that control cops. Coming across as a bunch of thugs
          certainly doesn't help them.

          You don't understand, this isn't about organizing voters. The changes I'm talking about are not even vaguely connected to "democracy". Their entire point is to be the firebomb throwers that enable a "crackdown". This is an old script.

          "Economic internationalism" (i.e no tariffs) would be a better term then.

          That, I can accept.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Their entire point is to be the firebomb throwers that enable a "crackdown". This is an old script.

          It isn't working, which makes me wonder if they intended to do it in the first place.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          It's just the beginning. My hunch is that they will be fully mobilized after Trump takes POTUS. The violence from the Left and their group of retards will escalate an awful lot, I suspect.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Whether Trump will win POTUS is still an open-question.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Nah, the election is over, he's going to landslide. The only people who see it as "iffy" are the mainstream media, and they're just trying to cover their own asses at this point.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Let's hope you're right.

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          I'm going to pour myself a fine scotch laced with SJW tears when Trump wins.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          I'm going to install a disco ball and light-changing dance floor and dance to "That's the Way I like It" by KC and The Sunshine.

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          Lol

        • October 31, 2016 porcer34

          Be careful, that stuff'll make you impotent.

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/crying-women-turn-men-off/

          Not to mention all the cancer causing chemicals from the red hair dye that leach through.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Its only the first step, its like celebrating because you got a sucker punch in on Mike Tyson.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Luckily none of them know how to shoot straight.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Just imagine, BLM if it got big enough could be the justification for a police state. And when they raise the minium wage to $15 an hour, and even more blacks have even fewer jobs .a desperate man does desperate things. Its BS that blacks won't work, they had a higher employment rate in the 50's than whites. And if you can't get a job you turn to crime. And families get broken up, and welfare and divorce laws break up the family. And what has happened to them is happening to everyone else, they were just the canaries in the coal mine.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          BLM has exceeded spectacularly. George Soros doesnt make many bad bets. The police are against blacks, now blacks can justify killing cops, and cops can justify killing blacks. Divide and conquer and no one sees that we are killing you all.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Why would Adam Smith oppose the current model, when it is a continuation of the British Empire he worked for, except that at least Britain forced Free Trade on everyone else but themselves, this system asset strips every country. BTW you show what an idiot you are mentioning 'what the West has adopted since the 1930'. You do realise that we have had multiple conflicting economic models since the 1930s? There was the Bretton Woods System, which Rockefeller and Kissinger crushed to bring in the floating exchange rate, then Clintons 1999 repeal of the Glass Steagil Act, which set off the last 17 years of madness, so there is no 1930s-2016 Western model Adam Smith would critique, as the current madness is Smiths model. Free Trade was never some mom and pop trading freely with each other utopia you might think, it was all about monopoly and gunboat diplomacy. I thought that cult had ended 5 years ago? There is only 1 working economic model, a high tech, high level education national socialist republic with a national bank, where kikes have no control of finance, with one and only one racial group, whites; no niggers, muds or kikes, then everything we work towards is for Our Posterity.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          When you can contribute more than sneering and tired old Nazi cheerleading, give me a shout.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Resorting to the 'nazi' jibe. Great response. You have obviously donwloaded the full jewish lexicon and parrot it without question. Well done.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Resorting? Fuck dude, you bring up "kikes" and go full dick sucking admiration about "national socialism" which, I'm going to go out on a limb here, is what the *FREAKING NAZIS* practiced.

          And of course, when I note that you're for Nazism, that means that I'm under jewish influence.

          This whole "congruity" thing is new to you isn't it?

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You do realise that national socialism is far older than "the nazisssssssssss". It simply means a nation, as an ethnic group, and a government of the people for the people. Most European countries have been national socialists except the one major factor – they didn't have control of the issuance of currency (as the Founding Fathers planned), ergo, it was a socialist hive for jewish financiers/ central banking cartel. The nazisssssssssss were pretty much the first country (other than Britain briefly after WW1) to get control of the issuance of credit for what the Founding Fathers coined The General Welfare. And look what happened, an economic miracle in under a decade. When whites are given heir own space, free of jewish parasitism, they are completely unbounded and can achieve anything (that was until jew brainwashed America and allies fucked it up).

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          It simply means a nation, as an ethnic group, and a government of the people for the people

          Oh please, save that for people who have no grounding in socio-economic theory.

          Nationalism means what you say (in essence). SOCIALISM does NOT mean anything of the sort. Trying to combine the two as a package deal is not going to fly. Simply put, that dog don't hunt, son.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          The Industrial Revolution from the very start, was a product of what the French called Dirigisme. It was planned, financed and exectuted as a state run project, both in Britian and France with the investment into science and the creation of the canals, which laid the route for sending coal to the factories. Americas developement was all through the same means, actually the US govenment poaching the best scientists and miners etc from Britain, to use in America. I guess you have never heard of Alexander Hamilton and is Report on Manufactures. It is socialism minus any sick minded jewish involvement, ergo national socialism. The left has been completely co-opted by jewish financiers with Marx. Before Marx joined Masonry, he was a proponent of Freidrich List – the true left, before kikes/ Freemasons hijacked it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Your "Argument From The Sneer" really doesn't go over well, chief.

          You can keep your slavery qua socialism. No thanks.

        • November 2, 2016 Will B Candid

          you had a great argument going until you started with the racial horse shit. color and race dont matter to me. Its big government and big business against everyone else, and those on top see no difference between black or white poor people. to them, we are all trolls.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Free trade doesn't exist in the real world. The closer the West got to that idea was in the 19th century. Moreover should we have a free trade, then agreements and other binding documents wouldn't be necessary. A free trade agreement is an oxymoron. Regulated trade agreement would be closer to the truth.

          Moreover China doesn't practice free trade, it practices mercantilism at a high price: the suffering of its own people (check the working conditions and the environmental costs). Had we (the west) exercised the ideas of free market, we wouldn't be in this situation.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Really? Which country practised the uptoian Free Trade? Britian didn't practise it; it forced Free Trade onto everyone else to keep rival countries from developing, whilst using its own working class under worse conditions than Africans-in-America slaves. Workhouses, borstals, child workers in mines from age 6, 14 hours a day 6 days a week, dying on average at 28 years old. The good old days of Free Trade!

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          You can go to Hell if what you search are utopias. In Earth and probably in this universe you will find none. Moreover you misrepresent what I wrote. No matter how you define it, in the 19th century there was more economic freedom than now, at least within the countries. It was not a coincidence that that century marked the zenith of European greatness.

          By the way, I never said worldwide free trade is possible because it's not. Intra-national free trade is possible and necessary along with a smaller government, however not even within the European nations or within the U.S. there is free trade. Endless Regulations, currency manipulation, finance speculation are stifling trade and labor, and are making ever more attractive the replacement of human labor via automation due to the high costs and risks of hiring human beings (sex-lawsuits, constant pay rises) and the currency loss of worth (devaluation).

          By your writings, I can infer that you are just a racist communist. So I guess the pogroms and gulags will continue until the morale improves.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Free trade means freedom for the most prosperous country to flood foreign countries with goods. There are two kinds of systems: overt mercantilism (tariffs) or covert mercantilism (free "trade" with the WTO backing it).

          If free trade benefitted the elite, they'd accept it.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          That's why I said global unfettered (free) trade was impossible. Too many differences. Free trade between two or more similar nations might be possible. But free trade between unequal nations it doesn't work out as intented. However we don't even have free trade within our borders how can you try to have free trade with another nation?

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          "Free trade" is like communism in the sense it is very utopian but impossible.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Not exactly. Free market within a country is possible and the ideal condition. Communism is just hellish ideology that ignores human nature, for the "common good". Global or international free trade is most likely impossible due to the human nature.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          If you have a Free Market within a country, that means you are excluding foreign competition, ergo it is not Free Trade, its just trade within a protectionist country.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Could be. I never said global or international free trade was possible. However today we don't have free market even within one's own country.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Communism is just rebranded dictatorship. Everyone owns everything? Not quite, the person who decides how it is used is effectively the owner.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          I make something that you want, you have money and wish to buy it from me. We agree, you give me money, I give you the object.

          Ta da. Free trade.

          Not quite as utopian as you seem to think.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Wow, is it so simple now that simple minded man has explained it. Now how do you suppose you protect your own economy (that your ancestors gifted to you) from being flooded with cheaper imports, or your companies closing down and moving to slave plantations to under cut wages? You do realise that Free Trade, as an economic model (as opposed to the fantasy interpretation you have deduced), was created with the sole purpose of looting and undercutting prices to keep competators down? We can have a world of nation states – ethnic nation states – where we have borders, regulations, protective tarrifs and a central bank owned by and for the poeple, as opposed to the Roschild family, and have a system of fair trade. It can't be free trade as you will basically give every incentive to people who are not your people to undercut you and practise economic and intellectual/ copyright espionage (like China does). You do realise that this economic system since the start of the Industrial Revolution, was created by known people, it was a conspiracy against the feudal powers by the likes of John Baptiste Colbert and the French Academy of Sciences. This Industrial Revolution didn't just happen by men who were trying to make money and trade. There was a conspiracy by top scientists and mathematicians to unlock nature through technology, in the face of the feudal powers that tried suppressing it, such as the pressure Denis Papin had against his work. There was literally government money all over the Industrial Revolution from the start, and government regulation to protect it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Your life must be so exhausting, surrounded by enemies at every turn.

        • November 10, 2016 I'm not fat I'm just curvy lol

          Being thankful to your ancestors and proud of your ethnicity or race is one thing. This guy however, he takes it to the next level.
          Not white = not good enough.
          All non-whites are enemies.
          ENEMIES EVERYWHERRREEEE!!!
          lol

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Yeah, but then the state and the International bankers come in and demand 20 percent of the proceeds. Utopian in the sense it isn't possible given the circumstances.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Which is when it is no longer free trade.

          It's completely possible and happens all the time, in the black and gray market. If left to our own devices, it would happen naturally and organically among normal people.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          No disagreement here. Hence my rebranding of the term earlier in this thread.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          With the caveat that there is no coercion. Coercion has managed to take on incredible forms these days. I poison your food and try to sell you a health book that promises a cure..free trade? I bribe researchers, to fake studies, then sell drugs that don't work and share the money with doctors who are accepted to be experts. Free trade? The more of a difference in intelligence and money two parties have, usually the less free trade exists.

        • November 1, 2016 woody188

          You are correct. The original Taxed Enough Already movement was designed as a "headless" organization in an attempt to prevent the co-option of the group by the Big Tent Republicans. Didn't work because Sarah Palin and the FreedomWorks goons would show up in their Koch supplied buses and act like they organized the events.

        • November 1, 2016 Observasaurus Rex

          Open borders is fine, as long as you have zero welfare. Once you start giving gibsmedats (welfare, health care, even free road use), then you need to lock down the border tighter than a muslim's 9 year old bride.
          Similarly (though more complex), free trade is great, as long as there is little to no interference by the government, or at least similar business crushing regulations on both ends (which is why free trade between Canada and the US is a problem for neither country). Regulations, minimum wages, maternity leave mandates, and such are the reason that free trade results in jobs going over seas. Get the government to remove the regulations, and you eliminate 99.9% of the problem.

        • November 1, 2016 woody188

          Wrong. Free trade didn't close the factories. Labor arbitrage is NOT a function of free trade. That is how the masters have modified the language to suit their needs.

        • November 2, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          The word you're looking for is arbitration. As for what destroyed the rust belt, the fact the car industry went international and sought to produce cars closer to markets meant that the old industrial heartland went to shit. Free trade (or economic internationalism, just so GOJ doesn't call me out on this) is partially to blame for this.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You're still at that magical thinking level where you think grassroots movements just spring up? How quaint. The Tea Party was always funded by billionaires. The Tea Party cult members acted like it got co-opted, but in this country everything is lead from the top, they just pretend its grassroots so you'll buy into something that really isn't in your best interest. As for people saying America was created on Tea Party principles, it wasn't. The Founding Father opposed the British Empires Free Market model which dumped goods onto the colonies and prevented industry from developing. America is inherently a high wage, high tech, protectionist nation state. Free Trade is the opposite – cheap labor, no workers rights and monopoly, which is really feudalism rebranded. For those who think the battle is Free Trade vs Marxism, read what Marx said about British Free Trade (he was employed by the Empire), he was wholly in support of it and David Ricado. Orginially Marx was in favor of Freidrich List, and wrote essays on his system, then he got got hooked into the Freemasonic networks, joined the British Library (spooks) and pushed Free Trade, i.e British (jewish Freemasonic) Imperialism. There was a left wing that was pushing our values, before the kikes took over it. http://www.schillerinstitute.org/books/Robert-Burns-book-2007.pdf

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Spare me your condescension.

        • October 31, 2016 bem

          I am suspicious of movements
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c19e15d0d4c96e095561ff07b1e0bc6481a6b9448351282d421c12f9e4c1ff6.jpg

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          Another recent ROK article comes to mind, the one about ascribing divine/all knowing qualities to the elites:

          The Elites Are Not Smarter Than You

          http://www.returnofkings.com/98642/the-elites-are-not-smarter-than-you/embed#?secret=g4QCfp1AI0

    • October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

      Occupy always stank to me. I don't know. It's as if I have some bullshit meter in my head. This bullshit meter goes off when I see Obama. When I see people going crazy over their country losing at football. When I see celebrity gossip. And when I see OWS.

      • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

        It stunk to me too because they didn't even seem to have a goal. Im mad so I'm going to sit here stinking up the place. I'm mad, so we should close the federal reserve..now that would have struck fear into the elitists!

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          I guess it stunk to me for two reasons:
          1. Big organized movement with streamlined ideology. I always get a weird feeling around my stomach when great numbers of people gather.
          2. This super-focused blame on bankers, as if they were responsible for everything wrong in their lives. I mean, most of those people aren't even the underprivileged ones. They're probably students who just love the thrill of protesting and get fed by mommy and daddy.

          I experienced no.2 a few years back when a guy came to visit me to go to a protest. So we were there walking with the crowd. A few people shouting through megaphones attacking the police verbally. Police all around the movement. Everybody kinda just walking like a zombie for some nebulous cause. Totally pointless. I don't even feel the thrill. It's just boring to me. I would call it scary, but it isn't even that. Those people are harmless. They aren't killers. They have just enough courage to keep holding up a sign with some slogan. When they shout, they don't even shout with passion. Or in other words: They have just as much courage as the elite wants them to have in order for them to not feel totally powerless. They get a little 'high' from the thing and feel like they are changing the world, while nobody really cares. And this guy who I was there with, he just loved it for fun. He didn't really care about the cause either.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          There were a bunch of enviro protesteres once at an event I went to, and I started talking to them and asking basic enviro questions like " What causes the ozone hole?" They had no clue. For many its a social club, maybe more of a religion, they show up for their protests on Sunday and have a barbeque after, and maybe get laid. But I agree with that guy you mentioned, there is a very famous quote that he who controls the money controls the world. You might like the movie Zeitgeist. The consipiracy theories arent theories, now with the internet the proof can be so strong. I thought there was just NO WAY 911 could have been faked-NO WAY. The fact that they pulled it off shows just how much power the elites really have. 911 was a good deal all around, the new owner made a fortune, the strongest reinsurance companies got stronger, US got the go ahead to invade a few countries, and laws got passed depriving us of more liberties(fear is always the best way to accomplish that). Win win win.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Reminds me 1:1 of a former friend who is now a Scientologist. Scientology has that "Say No To Drugs" campaign. They are against all drugs, no matter what. My former friend happened to be at one of their stands so I went there and confronted him, asked a few questions. The simplest one: Have you ever taken drugs?

          He said he took alcohol. And that's enough for him. He took alcohol and by that he judges all drugs, including psychedelics. He gave some vague examples of some cases where LSD supposedly hurt someone or whatever. But he didn't have much answers either.

          Only that Scientologists don't get laid is my guess. They attract and select for the weakest of society. They appear to me to be mostly like sheep with zero confidence, looking for a cause and a leader and a set of rules that explains everything and blah blah.

          Guess what. I told him I took LSD. He told me that that would probably disqualify me from becoming a Scientologist. Hah! So you have thousands of people working against psychedelics but not a single one of them has actually taken them. 😀

          The more ironic that some people think Ron Hubbard came up with most of his ideas on LSD

          I read something about 911. Has it actually been proven to be true? That would be a great thing to throw at people.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          I've been learning alot about psychedelics lately too-a few interesting things about them. They are all chemically related to adrenochrome-oxidized adrenaline. oxidized adrenaline is a psychedelic(asthmatics take adrenaline, which as it goes bad turns pink red then brown oxidizing), and it looks like schizos are merely producing an excessive internal amount of this. To me, there is a progression of behaviour modification..from normal, to borderline, narcicism and ending with schizo with increased stress. Schizos are narcissists by the way. But to me its adaptive, when you are under a great deal of stress is when you drastically need to learn something and change your situation. Another thing is that it appears mushrooms, reduce brain activity, which to me links it to sensory deprivation and meditation. As for 911 heres a few good videos, the simplest is the amazing stories told by the owner, that have to change because they are so bad. And a multibillion dollar operation and he only lost 4 people..and profited handsomely from the investment! Truly jewish lightning.

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/-jPzAakHPpk?feature=oembed


          its fantasyland stuff that you can demo a building in an afternoon. Which is probably why he changed his story. Oh and he had plans drawn up for WTC 7 a year before the attack. Perfectly normal.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOSObJDs67Y
          this guys says some interesting things

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/fpMrOds1JXo?feature=oembed


          very good complition,and analysis by a guy who actually demos buildings.

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/q3v4QUQpYjc?feature=oembed

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hmm. What do you mean by chemically related? Is that some stuff you have deeper knowledge that I probably wouldn't grasp? If so, that's cool. And what do you mean by "it looks like" when you refer to schizos producing an excessive amount? And where does the link between schizos and narcs come from and where did you get that succession from (normal, borderline, narc, schizo). Seems a bit inconclusive to me, especially since those are all groups of symptoms that, as far as I can tell, have not been somehow linked to a real thing, but rather those people are simply linked together because of similar symptoms. And the symptoms of those 3 things are quite different, I'd say, and not really the same or in some way successive.

          Maybe you have a few good points, but I can't logically follow you because I don't understand the links you make.

          You also use 'it looks like' when you talk about mushrooms. What leads you to that conclusion? Psychedelics have been shown to greatly increase brain activity (not decrease). There was a test with LSD, the video is floating around Youtube etc. Basically, they observed that there was a lot more activity and what they called 'interconnectivity', which basically means all brain parts lit up at the same time.

          In other cultures, schizophrenics have been considered as those who walk among the dead and given great respect. It's all a matter of perspective. My experience with psychedelics is that they greatly raise awareness. They are like an amplifier to all perceptions. I think you have to try it to be able to make a conclusion, but maybe you have

          But even then, schizophrenia is probably not even a real thing, just like narcissism and borderline. More like a group of symptoms that don't necessarily all have the same cause. So it is arguable that one schizophrenic is not the same as another, which rings true from my experience in the nuthouse. One was diagnosed with schizophrenia and yes, I would call him narcissistic. Others were rather quiet and beaten down and shit (partly due to medication probably).

          Also, I wouldn't say meditation has much links to sensory deprivation, although you could say that if you just think of some guy in a cave sitting still. But that can be a good thing, too, because reducing the input from the outside leaves more attention for the stuff that's inside, which can greatly help you be mindful of your emotions and deal with your demons. Psychedelics can help with this, although I use them scarcely. I see psychedelics a bit like signposts for meditation. You take them and kinda know the direction you're going and then you do the rest 'on foot'.

          Thanks for the video links. I thought it was something that was officially acknowledged, but it still seems to be kind of a borderline thing where you have to do your own research, so I'll abstain from that for now. (Other stuff on my mind)

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          By chemically similar I just mean similar molecular shape, if you read more about the guys on that page you found they get more into it. Its good to talk to you sounds like you have much experience on the subject.
          Who knows, maybe my theory is wrong. To explain a little better my theory I should say, a man usually goes through normal narcissism and then schizo, with increasing amounts of stress. Borderline is more for women. And it seems like environmental toxins might be able to cause it as well, and since they tend to lodge in different places, that could cause different specific effects and maybe they don't cause some of the same effects as adrenaline caused narcissism. Now if you look at alot of the typical aspects of Narcissism you'll notice that they would be good for say fighting or fleeing- black and white thinking(no time for gray areas) more impulsive(no time to reflect), lack of empathy(again there isnt enough time to consider nuances). One interesting study found that narcissists actually can read emotion in others, just for some reason they don't react to that info . Do you find that people with narc/schizo have really really good memories? If so thats high adrenaline. If they also tend to have a high heart rate, that would also tend to confirm my theory.
          I had an interesting experience with a woman I know who had a resting heart rate of 110(!) and a borderline personality. Just giving her a gram of sodium ascorbate a day brought her resting heart rate down to 70, and she could sleep 8 hours now, and her personality actually changed. She went from being always cold in a warm environment to absolutely radiating heat. This took place over a few days.
          Oh and for sensory deprivation, you can do the lite version, find some white noise music and put something redish over your eyes. When I did this it was like having a waking dream, very bizarre.
          Yeah 911 is not officially debunked, everything is misinformation wars, and people seem to be finally waking up to it this election.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Some interesting info.

          Personally, I've gone through phases that would apply to pretty much all 3 of the categories. In fact, I dare say most of my life I've been stuck in a fight or flight without realizing it. I think it's spot on. It allows black and white, pretty much. In my case, it's a little more weird, because it kinda conflicts with some other desires, leading to me being somewhat unpredictable (borderline maybe, heh). I also seem to tend to have very high heart rate. Guy at the gym told me this once despite me having not done much work or anything beforehand. It was really just the stress of my social anxiety.

          I find that this kind of stress creates a kind of sensation in my body that may very well have to do with adrenaline. It feels kinda dead-ish. A bit like the taste of blood when you get it into your mouth. Hard to describe. Numb, a little sizzling, dark, oppressive, hot. Well yeah, dead. Also get it during intensive training and too much of this makes me almost faint and gets me into extremely weird states for a short amount of time. Like when I totally power myself out, I can feel it coming. It's like I know shit I went too far and in the next moment, I almost black out. Extremely extremely uncomfortable. It's like I can feel my whole personality being deconstructed very quickly into nothingness and then coming back again.

          Interesting tip with the white noise I'll keep it in mind.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          You might try paying attention to your heart rate more, either feel the side of your neck, time for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4, or there are even programs for smart phones that use the light and camera and can see the blood pulses. What is likely happening to you is that when the heart beats excessively fast, it actually stops pumping effectively, it seems to be a defect we have-horses on the other hand have a max heart rate and wont go beyond that even if they run faster. Now like I was telling the woman i know, its like she's running a marathon, but she can never sit down, its a very unhealthy thing. I think I saw a study in men where it correlates with a 400% increase in mortality rate. There are many consequences of excess acid production(co2 dissolved in blood is acidic). A little talked about fact of the human body is that it goes to extreme effort to maintain PH. When you exercise, your body aggressively and actively releases alkaline bone mineral to help maintain PH, and when you rest it is rebuilt. You also eliminate acid through breathing, urine and to a small extent through sweat. Excessive acid, can cause kidney stones, gout, collagen breakdown, mild scurvy, acne, joint pain, feeling of coldness. You might try like the woman I was talking with some potassium ascorbate around a gram dissolved in a glass of water, take maybe two to three times a day and see what your heart rate does, and if it improves some of your other symptoms(potassium ascorbate I've learned is much better than sodium ascorbate). You may see some initial negative effects too, because sometimes all of a sudden you are eliminating toxins from your body that you werent before. It isnt a panacea, but it can correct some of the basic problems going on. For example the basic problem could be hyperthyroidism, which most likely that woman had, and you have to treat that to decrease hormone production. I suspect heavy metals that cross the blood brain barrier may be able to cause it as well.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Interesting, I'll keep that info in mind. Thanks.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hey, I checked on that adrenochrome thing.
          http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1999/articles/1999-v14n01-p049.shtml

          Quite interesting, I have to say. I am wondering how that can be reconciled with my experiences. Maybe extreme stress is a precursor to death to the body, hence it prepares itself to enter the world of the dead, in a sense. I think it was proven (or hypothesized?) that the brain generates DMT on birth and death, a potent psychedelic substance. It's like the mother of all psychedelics. Let's you talk to God and shit like that.

          This could indicate though, that schizophrenia (if the link is valid) is less a result of a malfunctioning brain than some kind of constant stress that is so severe that it creates those chemicals, leading to a 'disconnect from reality'. If you think about it, death is a form of disconnect from reality, so schizophrenia may be a half-way thing. That doesn't mean though that you have to fight those chemicals with neuroleptika. In fact, I'd say the body produces these things precisely because they are helpful in extreme stress. I have also read here on ROK that extreme stress during lifting can create an almost transcendental experience where you become one with the universe (or perceive so) and stuff like that. If those chemicals create that kind of awareness, it makes sense to me that it can be used constructively if the 'patient' practices a lot of mindfulness or meditation.

          Now, I will readily admit that I had something you could call a psychotic episode on psychedelics. Only that I don't see it as pathologic. I am glad I had that experience and I think it was important. Psychotic only describes the symptoms. But a person that looks like he's freaking out from the outside may be having a great experience on the inside that is actually healing and helpful. Which is why indigenous tribes used psychedelics for thousands of years as a cure, as a guide, as an initiation rite. Hah, and since we're creating links: Initiation rites often deal with a lot of intense pain or even symbolical dying. Christianity also talks about dying and being reborn. I think there is a lot of truth in it. That to enter manhood fully, one has to die in a sense and be reborn. Which is what those experiences can do they literally rip you apart and put you back together in a better way.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Yeah those guys had an 80% ish success rate curing schizo. Looks like toxoplasmosis(common infection) can cause it too. Orthomolecular was started by Linus Pauling a double nobel prize winner. There are numerous things like this where there are amazing cures, and no one cares to study further. Most medicine is a scam. It would be horrible if it turned out simple herbs could cure cancer, I mean they would lose about $50k per patient. Number two monopoly according to Milton Friedman the famous economist. Japan and Germany seem to be exceptions.
          Thanks for the info on DMT and lifting, Ill check it out. Maybe DMT is an even more potent one? I noticed that most of the greatest mathematical discoveries happened during grave illness and a year before death. Look up Riemann or Ramanujan as good examples. Now in my experience heart rate seems to be a good measure of adrenaline..and from what Im reading it seem LSD and mushrooms increases heart rate. As for rebirth in religion watch that movie I mentioned Zeitgeist, it has a very interesting take on it. Many religions share the same beliefs and it seems to be taken from the movement of the Sun.
          Those rituals about killing the boy and going through hardship to be accepted into the group of men seem very important. In a way its the classic heros quest. A man can no longer run from danger as a child would, should no longer cry from pain. Very important lessons that are rarely taught.

        • November 6, 2016 Spaghettimonster

          Zeitgeist is that controlled opposition material the elites love to put out. 98% truth 2% lies – just like David Icke.

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Do you have anything you recommend?

        • November 7, 2016 Spaghettimonster

          Honestly – do your own research. I know that's a redundant statement, but that's what it has come down to. Zeitgeist promotes things such as the Horus/Jesus theory – which has been debunked numerous times by mainstream secular scholars. And that's only one among many other lies it propogates. When it's so glaring that info is false – one is forced to look into their own knowledge gathering

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Doing your own research includes getting info from others with common interests. The term "debunking" is a shit term. There are only better theories, and better evidence. Many mainstream researchers are shit too, I talk alot about medicine, and so much of what they do is provably crap based on their own studies of what they do. And here as we've learned in the manosphere, studies about men and women interactions are often gamed, to show that men are horrible and women are saints. Someone producing a paper showing the wrong results will almost never get published. Just like if you control the media, its easy to have the appearance of authority, when in reality, money bought a fake authority. SO do you have anything good to recommend?

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          But now its so clear how much control the elitists have, and how much they are exerting now, I've had several posts insta vaporized from various places. One was regarding threats to Trump and the other about a high level murder. What they try to contol the most is what is most dangerous to them. They really don't want Trump to win, because then they have to try to control him with bullets, and that never looks good when you murder the highest guys. Because then people notice. Putin is their nightmare, the elites set him up and pretty soon some elites were floating in the river, and some were locked up. He let others stay in their places, but it was clear a new sheriff was in town. I'm enjoying watching them sweat.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hmm but then, if "we" send people floating in the river are we actually better or any different than the elite? Sounds like a perfectly mirror-reversed behavior.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Well at the very least I would say the second was revenge while the first was murder, however revolutions often produce the same tyrants they seek to depose. And Tyrants create the same revolutions that kill them. They have a goal to cull the worlds populations through social engineering(you might notice for example all the porn now with incest one pornhub now) through toxins(drugs, contaminated food and water), and financially. Sounds like a perfect program to create a superman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plVk4NVIUh8

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Amazing video. Truly breathtaking.

          Reminds me of some comment on Youtube by someone who met one of those 'reptilians' and asked why they are causing suffering and that thing replied 'to make humanity stronger'. Heh.

          Yeah, I suppose it is that way. There will always be the oppressed and underprivileged and there will always be those who enjoy being in the current mainstream. The truly oppressed will never be equal with those in power, that's a fever dream.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          And as they say heavy is the head that wears the crown.

        • November 5, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          I looked up the reptillian stuff. It works perfectly if you relace reptilian with"jewish banker" and half reptillian as "collaborator". Sometimes they have to act crazy to even be allowed to spread ideas without getting murdered like say kubrick after eyes wide shut.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Mad that reckless gambling by financial institutions caused a massive economic crash and global recession, millions of people losing their jobs and their homes, job market and middle class still hasn't recovered from it. How do you not know any of that??? It's been in the news for 8 years now.

        • November 5, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Dont be and idiot everyone knows that.b Being mad isnt a goal. If they had said we want to break up all of the biggest banks that would have been a goal. Sitting there because you are mad inspires nothing and no one. And not surprisingly they changed nothing.

        • November 6, 2016 Padge Vounder

          If being mad wasn't a goal, Fox 'news' and Breitbart wouldn't exist.

          You're sadly uninformed about the occupy wall street movement. But you already made up your mind about it, it seems, dismissing people braver and more involved than you who actually went out to risk their safety and freedom protesting the criminal recklessness of financial institutions and their failure to take responsibility for their actions. What was the goal? to show American politicians and the financial industry that American people are fed up with their behavior so much they've shaken off their apathy that infects the brains of so many.

          THAT is what the people in power fear – that the sleeping sheep would wake up and get informed and start fighting back.

          The movement inspired a lot and it's a pity you can't see it ( or simply refuse to ).

          You're the one who is sitting there. These people actually got off their asses to go out and try to make a difference. Doubt you can say the same.

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Great sound and fury signifying nothing.

      • November 1, 2016 ConservativeAtheistRedPiller

        It stank to me as well because the stock exchange isn't some evil globalist tool. Everybody can buy shares and, you know, they don't always go up making you filthy rich, quite the contrary. They are a useful financing tool for companies though.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Yeah, well said. Definitely an aspect.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Do some reading about Goldman Sachs and other fatcat banks, their criminal and reckless and unethical behavior.

        • November 5, 2016 ConservativeAtheistRedPiller

          So? That would only prove that GS etc are bad guys, not that the Stock Exchange itself should go.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Who was proposing abolishing the stock exchange in it's entirety? Total straw man you made up. OWS was about the criminal executives who gambled and crashed the global economy, wanting accountability and new laws to prevent a similar disaster from occuring. I'd think anyone with common sense could agree on that.

          As it stands, they avoid any criminal liability by paying fines as part of a settlement and admitting no guilt. And the fines are a small fraction of their profits so there is no incentive to follow the laws. It's seen as the cost of doing (shady) business.

          They came to the government hat in hand after they screwed up, and got a fat bailout at the taxpayers expense. This is why I can't stand conservatives. They're all for socialism for the rich, but rugged individualism for the poor and middle class. It should be the reverse. Goldman and the others should have been turned away and homeowners bailed out instead.

          Can you imagine going to a casino, recklessly gambling, losing it all, then begging/demanding the government give you more money?

          This is what really stinks.

        • November 6, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Is this what you really imagined happened? You put no blame on the American middle class which effectively tanked the economy due to their own greed?

      • November 2, 2016 david

        Agreed

      • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

        helps if you know the first thing about the crash of 08 as a starting point.

    • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

      that was just a bunch of ignorant conservative rednecks who didn't like paying taxes. Astroturf. That joke of a movement isn't even worth mentioning. But it's funny when they eat their own, like with Eric Cantor. Now he has to take a job as million dollar a year lobbyist subverting our government, how sad.

  1. October 31, 2016 Marcus Antonius

    Great article, and probably true. Part of self-development is seeing through this shit.

    The thing is, if we as Men focus on our own self-development, and on expressing our bigger and better selves by dominating our environments, none of this stuff matters and will eventually change anyway.

    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

    Oh, and vote Trump on the 8th

  2. October 31, 2016 Bourbonman

    Occupy and Tea Party had one thing in common. How quickly they suckered the masses into thinking they were for the people. Movements that large don't suddenly appear overnight.

    • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      If somebody does something heinous, like nationalize 1/6th of the economy (health care) you bet your bippy that great amounts of people will gather suddenly overnight. Same for the nationwide pro-gun demonstrations that happened after the CN shooting.

      Technology has made organizing and getting large groups together in a flash pretty easy. Not everything is some nefarious conspiracy.

      Now if the Tea Party had shown up with organized busses, vendors and pre-selected college faculty in tow, like OWS, then you'd have something.

    • October 31, 2016 John Galt

      Some do and they start out as a emotive grassroots network, but get quickly comprimised. I had relatives active in the Tea Party and after awhile it gets hijacked and ran into the ground.

      Did you read about the Oregon uprising against the feds and how they were acquitted? The evidence revealed half the people involved were paid FBI informants. Thats what happens over time to any organization deemed a threat.

  3. October 31, 2016 Cecil Henry

    Meanwhile in Canada, this:

    An explicit invasion at your expense.

    White Genocide in explicit, unabashed, unapologetic action.

    Immigration Minister John McCallum to reveal 'substantially' higher newcomer targets

    Experts warn that welcoming more immigrants, refugees must come with enhanced support services

    https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/10/23/finance-ministers-key-advisers-want-100m-canadians-by-2100.html

    • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

      You'll not get many thumbs up here, given half the idiots are unrecovered Tea Party Free Trade dupes, that like cheap labor being imported, so long as their jobs are not threatened.

  4. October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

    There has always been elites who have tried to control the masses through divide and conquer. Even if this crop is eliminated, others will arise. The only way we can come together is if we have a common guiding set of principals to go by. Throughout history, violent revolutions that have resulted in a loss of freedom, (French Revolution, Bolshevik, Nazi, Cuban .etc.) all had an anti-christian element, or a bastardization of Christianity.

    In retrospect, as a people, we need to be continually reminded of the principals that enable freedom to exist. Integrity, work, charity, self determination, etc. are taught in church. Go to church, work to strengthen those virtues, and expect virtue from your neighbor. If we as a whole, reject the crap spewed out main stream media and leftists, we will have a stronger society.

    • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      You are exactly correct, and this is *precisely* why the Marxists, back to Marx, targeted things like the church, family and traditional social constructs for destruction. He understood what you're saying perfectly.

  5. October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

    Yo