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Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"

Oligarchic "Quiet Coup" in the USA, "Greed is good" slogan and loss of trust in neoliberal governments

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Quiet coup The Deep State National Security State / Surveillance State In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Two Party System as polyarchy The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Pareto Law Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Corporatism Inverted Totalitarism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Casino Capitalism Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corruption of Regulators
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment The importance of controlling the narrative New American Caste System The Essential Rules for Dominating Population What's the Matter with Kansas Big Uncle is Watching You
Nation under attack meme American Exceptionalism Neo-fascism Bureaucracies Military Bureaucracy Military Incompetence Bureaucratic Collectivism
Toxic Managers The psychopath in the corner office Female Sociopaths Office Stockholm Syndrome Quotes about Psychopaths Humor Etc


Introduction


There is an 'audacious oligarchy' of self-defined rulers who move freely between private industry and government, whose primary objective is preserving and furthering their own power and self-interest.

Jesse's Café American, Audacious Oligarchy

Audacious behaviour is often connected with the weakened self-preservation instinct, typical for sociopaths. So their audacity take the form of Chutzpah (shameless audacity; impudence, unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall). It's inherently connected with the lack of empathy, which is a defining feature of sociopaths. The key question here is: to what extent the US elite became infected with substantial or even dominant number of sociopaths? Including female sociopaths as we saw recently in the reaction of behaviour of a wife of former president on killing Gaddafy (Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died ) ?

In fact this process of self-selection of sociopaths into neoliberal elite reached dangerous level was noted be many, including famous remark of Robert Johnson at Culture Project's IMPART 2012 Festival that essentially defined the term ("Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."):

Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate.

"Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."

Robert Johnson serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York. Previously, Johnson was a Managing Director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to working at Soros Fund Management, he was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund.

Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin) and of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico). Johnson received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As you can see this idea "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." does not differ much with the modus operandi of three-letter agencies, so the terms "audacious oligarchy" and "deep state" are closely related: deep state can be viewed as a social system in this audacious oligarchy rules the population.

We can also think about the term "audacious oligarchy" as the term related to the rise of neo-fascism, (be it neoliberal fascism or Inverted Totalitarism). For some details National Security State / Surveillance State: Review of Literature and a very interesting discussion of Robert Johnson remarks on financial oligarchy at “They’re All Standing on the Deck of the Titanic Looking in Each Other’s Eyes” (naked capitalism, April 21, 2013). That means the key elements of fascist ideology are preserved, with the replacement of Arian Nation for financial oligarchy, but without ruthless physical suppression of opposition which are replaced by financial instruments, blacklisting, economic sanctions and color revolutions in "deviant" countries. Like in Third Reich dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. there is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

One interesting side effect of the dominance of financial oligarchy is loss of trusts in experts, especially economic expects, professors who now are nothing more then a prostitutes at the service of financial capital Ian Klaus in "Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds, and the Rise of Modern Finance gives the following definition:

Trust, to be simple with our definition, is an expectation of behavior built upon norms and cultural habits. It is often dependent upon a shared set of ethics or values. It is also a process orchestrated through communities and institutions. In this sense, it is a cultural event and thus a historical phenomenon.

As Robert Johnson noted:

"People don't trust experts. If you saw 'Inside Job', you know why. People do not trust the private markets, and they don't trust government."

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

In the case of neoliberal transformation of the USA the state to a large extent seized to defend the population. Instead the state became a predictor, defender of international corporations, as hostile to the US people as Bolshevik rule was to Russians and other nationalities of the USSR. In other word the USA population became hostages of the system much like population of the USSR was. In a way nothing is new in human history.

The most important side effect of neoliberal transformation of the US society is the destruction (or more correctly emasculation) of legal system, which effectively lead to the situation when like in monarchy, some people are above the law. And we can suspect, judging from recent the USSR nomenklatura experience that such a caste might quickly degrades. As Long Aston said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". If you willfully and recklessly tear down the laws in the name of some misbegotten ideology the benefit to "chosen" few, blowback might come sooner or later. even if you successfully hide this in a smokescreen of sophisticated scam ideology (neoliberalism in case of current crony or casino capitalism, which replaced the New Deal "live and giver other chance to live" motto) the blowback eventually might knock the particular country down. In such system nobody trust anybody and the whole society gradually disintegrates becoming just extended version of a mafia clan. With typical for such clans deadly internal fights for power. Mexican drug cartels saying - plomo y plobo ('silver or lead'): either you accept our bribes or accept our bullets is perfectly applicable in this situation. And that's how "audacious oligarchy really operates at least of international scène. But the law of the jungle has one important difference with the regular law system: any more powerful group of states can became both a judge and executioner for less powerful, or competing group of states.

When you take some self-serving fairy tale and take it an extreme by sticking an 'ism' on the end of it, like is the case with neoliberalism, at the beginning everything is fine and population is carries by this lie with ease. But as soon as people discover this despite all the power of propaganda their standard of living is going down, some trouble appear on the horizon and there is no other way then to concert the state into national security state, as proponent of communism have found in the USSR. And under neoliberalism, the essence of which is redistribution of wealth in favor of the top 0.01% of the world population, this disillusionment in inevitable, unless we experience a new technological revolution, similar to computer revolution. it can't be hidden with fairly tales about "undemocratic nature" of poor state or corruption. People can only be suppressed by brute force. and the lead to overextension of the neoliberal empire.

When the financial oligarchy is completely exempt from the law and in this particular area regulation is burned to the ground to serve the interests of financial oligarchy, strange things start to happen. The first glimpse on which we already saw in 2008. There was a demonstration of an immanent feature of neoliberal regimes which might be called financial sector induced systemic instability of economy. The latter which lead to periodic booms and busts with unpredictable timing, severity and consequences for the society at large, but so far all of those crisis work also as mechanism of redistribution of the society wealth toward the top . this time the US oligarchy managed to swipe the dirt under the rug.

This instability happens automatically and does not depend on the presence of "bad apples" in the system, because the financial sector under neoliberalism functions not as the nerve system of the economy of the particular country, but more like an autoimmune disease. In other words financial sector destabilizes the "immune system" of the country by introducing positive feedback look into economic (and not only economic, look at the USA foreign policy since 1991) activities.

What exactly is neoliberal oligarchy ?

When we say audacious oligarchy we essentially mean neoliberal oligarchy, and first of all financial oligarchy. Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by wealth, family ties, commercial, government and/or military positions. The actual literal translation from the Greek is the "rule of the few". The word oligarchy is derived from the Greek words "ὀλίγος" (olígos), "a few"[2] and the verb "ἄρχω" (archo), "to rule, to govern, to command".

Throughout history, most oligarchies have been tyrannical, relying on public servitude to exist, although some have been relatively benign. Plato pioneered the use of the term in Chapter Four, Book Eight of "The Republic" as a society in which wealth is the criterion of merit and the wealthy are in control.

However oligarchy is not always a rule according to the size of the wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be distinguished from plebs by iether personal wealth or bloodlines as in a monarchy. Although often those two types of distinction are present too. For example, in the USSR the oligarchy was represented by special class of government and party servants (nomenklatura). The same is by-and-large true for Communist China. Those types of oligarchy has a lot of features in common with neoliberal oligarchy, although they are national in character. First of all in both system oligarchs are "working oligarchs". They actively participate in the their business or government activities. The second thing is that neoliberal oligarchy has very interesting connection with the idea of Communist International, and can be viewed as an interesting perversion of this concept ("Capitalism International") with some flavor of Trotskyism -- as it strives for and adopts Trotskyism central idea of permanent revolution as the method of reaching of the world dominance (see, neocons and color revolutions)

At the same time starting from 80th in the USA oligarchy by-and-large started to correspond to European aristocracy as vertical mobility became very limited and suppressed in the USA (actually more then in European countries, despite all the hype about the American dream).

The USA oligarchy by-and-large corresponds to European aristocracy, with substantial number of its members being children of oligarchic families. Vertical mobility, despite hype, is very limited and suppressed (actually more then in European countries). In no way the USA con be considered "the county of opportunities" anymore.

Russian oligarchy is very atypical in this sense, and is a pretty interesting case of a very high vertical mobility. As a country Russia is unique that in its history it several times wiped out its entrenched oligarchy. Two last "rotations" happened in 1917 then large part of old oligarchy lost their power and after neoliberal revolution of 1991 which brought into power the corrupt government of Boris Yeltsin. The drunkard, who imitated French proclaiming "enrich yourself" and launches (with gentle support from USA in a form of Harvard mafia) the most corrupt privatization of state wealth in human history.

But most members of the new, Post-Soviet Russian oligarchy did demonstrated tremendous level of upward mobility. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union on 31 December 1991, many directors and sometimes middle managers of state owned Russia-based corporations, especially producers of petroleum, natural gas, and metals managed to privatize their holdings and have become oligarchs. Criminal privatization under Yeltsin regime allowed them to amass phenomenal wealth and power almost overnight. In May 2004, the Russian edition of Forbes identified 36 of these oligarchs as being worth at least US$1 billion. And not of all them came from Nomenklatura. Many members of nomenklatura (even on the level of Politburo) did not fit in the new economic system and stopped being oligarchs.

All modern democracies should be viewed as oligarchies

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the iron law of oligarchy. According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered to be oligarchies. this is what his "iron law of oligarchy" is about. In other word when we speak the word democracy about such regimes as current exist in the USA or Western Europe, it is most self-deception.

That gives a pretty sinister meaning to the "promotion of democracy" and "support of democracy" activities, as in reality it is installation of more favorable to the promoter oligarchic group in power, often via coup d'état (with a specific neoliberal variant, which use developed by Gene Sharp political technology, called Color revolution), as recently happened in Libya and Ukraine.

In "modern democracies", the actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is always only one political party, the party of oligarchy.

This is especially true for winner takes all election systems, which create two party environment, with both party being a factions of the same elite. See Two Party System as Polyarchy

Quiet coup

The term "Quiet coup" which means the hijacking of the political power in the USA by financial oligarchy was introduced by Simon H. Johnson (born January 16, 1963). Simon Johnson is a British-American economist, who currently is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, he was Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund.

The term was introduced in Simon Johnson article in Atlantic magazine, published in May 2009(The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic). Which opens with a revealing paragraph:

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

The wealth of financial sector gave it unprecedented opportunities of simply buying the political power:

Becoming a Banana Republic

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.

Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight — a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.

He further researched this theme in his book 2010 book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (ISBN 978-0307379054), coauthored with James Kwak. They also founded and regularly contributes to the economics blog The Baseline Scenario.

Financial oligarchy as an key part of modern neoliberal elite

Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative. Monopolies are sometimes granted to state-controlled entities, such as the Royal Charter granted to the East India Company. In this regime people move freely from government posts to private industry and back.

In the USA the most rapidly rising part of national oligarchy is financial oligarchy. As Senator Dick Durbin noted referring to the US Congress Banks Frankly Own The Place. Moreover in many cases it is unclear who owns whom, for example whether Goldman Sachs owns NY FED or NY FED Goldman Sachs ( The Fed Under Goldman's Thumb - Bloomberg )

Senators questioned Dudley, 61, on issues ranging from whether some banks are too big to regulate to the Fed’s role in overseeing their commodities businesses.

Some of the criticism was pointed. Warren, a frequent critic of financial regulators, asked Dudley if he was “holding a mirror to your own behavior.”

Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, complained that bank employees involved in misdeeds haven’t been prosecuted and are “too big to jail.”

Dudley repeatedly disagreed with assertions that the New York Fed wasn’t doing enough to regulate banks and said lenders have become stronger and safer in the past few years.

... ... ...

Today’s Senate hearing follows reports that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the New York Fed within the firm.

A junior banker, who had joined the company in July from the New York Fed, was dismissed a week after the discovery in late September, along with another employee who failed to escalate the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs confirmed the memo’s contents.

As Adair Turner noted in The Consequences of Money Manager Capitalism

In the wake of World War II, much of the western world, particularly the United States, adopted a new form of capitalism called “managerial welfare-state capitalism.”

The system by design constrained financial institutions with significant social welfare reforms and large oligopolistic corporations that financed investment primarily out of retained earnings. Private sector debt was small, but government debt left over from financing the War was large, providing safe assets for households, firms, and banks. The structure of this system was financially robust and unlikely to generate a deep recession. However, the constraints within the system didn’t hold.

The relative stability of the first few decades after WWII encouraged ever-greater risk-taking, and over time the financial system was transformed into our modern overly financialized economy. Today, the dominant financial players are “managed money” — lightly regulated “shadow banks” like pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and university endowments—with huge pools of capital in search of the highest returns. In turn, innovations by financial engineers have encouraged the growth of private debt relative to income and the increased reliance on volatile short-term finance and massive uses of leverage.

What are the implications of this financialization on the modern global economy? According to Adair Lord Turner, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a former head of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority, it means that finance has become central to the daily operations of the economic system. More precisely, the private nonfinancial sectors of the economy have become more dependent on the smooth functioning of the financial sector in order to maintain the liquidity and solvency of their balance sheets and to improve and maintain their economic welfare. For example, households have increased their use of debt to fund education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and leisure. And at the same time, they have become more dependent on interest, dividends, and capital gains as a means to maintain and improve their standard of living.

Another major consequence of financialized economies is that they typically generate repeated financial bubbles and major debt overhangs, the aftermath of which tends to exacerbate inequality and retard economic growth. Booms turn to busts, distressed sellers sell their assets to the beneficiaries of the previous bubble, and income inequality expands.

In the view of Lord Turner, currently there is no countervailing power (in John Kenneth Galbraith terms) able to deal with the consequences of neoliberalism, as he calls it "money manager capitalism.” The net result likely will be years more of economic stagnation and deteriorating living standards for many people around the world.

Finance is a form of modern warfare

As Michael Hudson aptly noted in Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011)

Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.

Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and “the miracle of compound interest” that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist, is coming out in May’s 2009 edition of The Atlantic with a fascinating, highly provocative article, on the collusion between the US’ “financial oligarchy” and the US government and how its persistence will contribute to prolonging the economic crisis. Here is the summary (hat tip to Global Conditions):

One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you (…)

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear.(…)

No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. (…)

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders (…)

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. (…)

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (…).

(…) elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

(…) the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. (…)

One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true (…).

By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists—at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy’s favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused (…)

Throughout the crisis, the government has taken extreme care not to upset the interests of the financial institutions, or to question the basic outlines of the system that got us here. In September 2008, Henry Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, with no strings attached and no judicial review of his purchase decisions. Many observers suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks’ hands—indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything. Perhaps because there was no way to make such a blatant subsidy politically acceptable, that plan was shelved.

Instead, the money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves. As the crisis has deepened and financial institutions have needed more help, the government has gotten more and more creative in figuring out ways to provide banks with subsidies that are too complex for the general public to understand (…)

The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary (…)

In some ways, of course, the government has already taken control of the banking system. It has essentially guaranteed the liabilities of the biggest banks, and it is their only plausible source of capital today.

Ideally, big banks should be sold in medium-size pieces, divided regionally or by type of business. Where this proves impractical—since we’ll want to sell the banks quickly—they could be sold whole, but with the requirement of being broken up within a short time. Banks that remain in private hands should also be subject to size limitations.

This may seem like a crude and arbitrary step, but it is the best way to limit the power of individual institutions in a sector that is essential to the economy as a whole. Of course, some people will complain about the “efficiency costs” of a more fragmented banking system, and these costs are real. But so are the costs when a bank that is too big to fail—a financial weapon of mass self-destruction—explodes. Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.

To ensure systematic bank breakup, and to prevent the eventual reemergence of dangerous behemoths, we also need to overhaul our antitrust legislation (…)

Caps on executive compensation, while redolent of populism, might help restore the political balance of power and deter the emergence of a new oligarchy. (…)

(…) Over time, though, the largest part may involve more transparency and competition, which would bring financial-industry fees down. To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine”.

The predatory nature of financial oligarchy

The nature of financial oligarchy is such that the government’s capacity to take control of an entire financial system, and to clean, slice it up and re-privatize it impartially is almost non-existent. Instead we have growing, corrupt collusion between financial elites and government officials which is hall mark of corporatism in its most modern form -- neoliberalism.

Second probably is that institutions are more powerful them individuals and replacement or even jailing of corrupt current officials while a quite welcome move, can't by itself lead to drastic changes. You need to reinstall the whole system of government controls dismantled by Clinton-Bush regime. Otherwise one set of players will be simply replaced by the other, no less corrupt, hungry and unprincipled. As Daron Acemoglu pointed out recently, we are in a situation that attempt to fix the financial system will have to involve those same bankers (albeit in lower positions at the time of the crisis) that created the mess in the first place. To push the analogy a bit strongly, even in Germany post 1945 and Iraq post 2003 new governments still needed to work with some civil servants in the judicial and educational system from the previous regime as well as with tainted industrialists.

In theory, the best way to diminish the power of financiers is to limit the size (limiting the damage) and let them fail and crash badly. Also introduction of a tax of transactions (Tobin tax) can help to cool the frenzy of derivative trading. But there is nobody in power who can push those changes. That means the "silent coup" in which financial oligarchy got control of the state is complete.

Loss of trust led to conversion of the country into national security state

Paranoya of financial oligarchy after 2008 when most of the country wished them what was reflected in the slogan of the corner of Wallstreet (see the picture), led to speed up of creation of comprehensive network of spying over the citizens.

According to UN Human Right Council Report (17 April 2013) innovations in technology not only have increased the possibilities for communication and protections of free expression and opinion, enabling anonymity, rapid information-sharing and cross-cultural dialogues. They also simultaneously increased opportunities for State surveillance and interventions into individuals’ private communications facilitating to transformation of the state into National Security State, a form of corporatism characterized by continued and encompassing all forms of electronic communication electronic surveillance of all citizens.

Even if we assume that data collection is passive and never used it is like a ticking bomb or "skeleton in the closet" it is a powerful method of control of population, not the different from what was used by KGB in the USSR or STASI in East Germany.

So it does not really matter much what the data are collected for and what if official justification of such a collection. The mere fact of collection changes the situation to the worse, making opposition to the system practically impossible. The net result is what is matter. And the net result definitely resembles a move in the direction of a tyranny. US Senator Frank Church said in 1975:

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.".

Today his words sound even more true then in 1975 when computers were still in their infancy and mainframes dominated the computer landscape. With the proliferation of cheap electronic devices such as PCs and laptops, tablets and cell phones this really became "the abyss from which there is no return".

So the real, the key goal is not what is officially declared. Convenience of access to information has a side effect that it makes collection of information about you trivial and at the same time comprehensive. It is to keep the elite safe from common folks, not all those lies about national security. It is all about the security of the elite.

In other words 1984 dystopia materialized in slightly different, slightly more gentle form. The elite as a whole is not interesting in dismantling the tool that serve its interests so well even if it has some side effects on the elite members themselves. This is another confirmation of The Iron Law of Oligarchy

All-in-all it's a good time to smell the coffee and talk about the rise of a new mutation of totalitarism in the USA. That's exactly what this "Internet-inspired" flavor of total surveillance due to modern technical capabilities means. There is also distinct shadow of Stasi in all those activities. As countries of the USSR camp got into similar trap before, nothing is new under the sun. As Reinhold Niebuhr noted

"Communism is a vivid object lesson in the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends."

There is actually little difference between total surveillance as practiced by NSA and what was practiced by three letters agencies of Eastern block dictatorships. The key goal in both cases is protection and preservation of power of existing elite against the will of common people. So this is more about oppression of 99.9% from top 0.1% then surveillance per see.

Phone hacking and police corruption represent neoliberalism attempt to cling to life even entering in 2008 a zombie status. And we do not know if the change is possible (The zombie of neoliberalism can be beaten)

Poor growth figures put a "new" financial collapse back on the cards. The response from politicians, bankers and business leaders is more of the same – more of the same neoliberal policies that got us into this situation in the first place.

Neoliberalism no longer "makes sense", but its logic keeps stumbling on, without conscious direction, like a zombie: ugly, persistent and dangerous. Such is the "unlife" of a zombie, a body stripped of its goals, unable to adjust itself to the future, unable to make plans. It can only act habitually as it pursues a monomaniacal hunger. Unless there is a dramatic recomposition of society, we face the prospect of decades of drift as the crises we face – economic, social, environmental – remain unresolved. But where will that recomposition come from when we are living in the world of zombie-liberalism?

... ... ...

Neoliberalism, however, requires more than the internal realignment of a national ruling class. Every semi-stable form of capitalism also needs some sort of settlement with the wider population, or at least a decisive section of it. While the postwar Keynesian settlement contained an explicit deal linking rising real wages to rising productivity, neoliberalism contained an implicit deal based on access to cheap credit. While real wages have stagnated since the late 1970s, the mechanisms of debt have maintained most people's living standards. An additional part of neoliberalism's tacit deal was the abandonment of any pretence to democratic, collective control over the conditions of life: politics has been reduced to technocratic rule. Instead, individuals accepted the promise that, through hard work, shrewd educational and other "life" choices, and a little luck, they – or their children – would reap the benefits of economic growth.

The financial crisis shattered the central component of this deal: access to cheap credit. Living standards can no longer be supported and, for the first time in a century, there is widespread fear that children will lead poorer lives than their parents.

Conclusions

After 2008 the irresponsibility of the financial elites, the power and proliferation of special interest groups that defend interests of oligarchy, the paralysis of Congress and executive power to deal with challenges the financial oligarchy created have created atmosphere of public cynicism.

This correlated with withdrawal from public activity and elections. voter participation in the 1996 Presidential election reached similar to 1924 figure of 49%, less then half of eligible population. And with electronic surveillance reaching it zenith after 9/11/2001, the country quietly slid in the darkness of Inverted Totalitarism

Disillusionment with government and large corporation is a noticeable feature of contemporary America. There is a the widespread sense that big companies and those who run them are immune from prosecution and can't be held accountable by government for their crimes as that they are ... Too Big To Jail. Part of this leniency is connected with corruption of regulators. Which is an immanent part of neoliberal social order. There is also the issue off gaming the system. For very large and profitable multinationals paying some law firm or accounting firm a couple of million dollars to game the tax system in some sleazy way to park most of the income in tax havens represents a small fraction of their tax savings. So the big boys get away with this and middle market firms are the only ones who really pay corporate taxes.

The fact that no one has been imprisoned for the crime committed before 2008 is seen as outrageous by most Americans and large part of Main Street. At the same time, the multibillion-dollar fines and enforcement actions against financial institutions are providing large TBTF firms such as Goldman Sachs with wrong incentives. Paying with shareholders’ money as the price of protecting themselves is a very attractive trade-off. Punishment of individual executives who committed crimes or who failed in their managerial duty to monitor the behavior of their subordinates is short-changed because the principle that leaders should take responsibility for failure and resign contradicts neoliberal worldview.


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Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2014 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2013 Casino Capitalism Bulletin, 2012 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2011 Casino Capitalism Bulletin, 2010 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2009 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2008

[Jan 17, 2019] The Deep State is not monolithic

Notable quotes:
"... It does appear that a portion of the Deep State was really disappointed and didn't give up when other billionaires got Trump elected. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

gepay , Jan 17, 2019 8:53:55 PM | 34 ">link

The Deep State is not monolithic. I would not be surprised that at the same time as Iran Contra there were other large scale covert operations going on.

There certainly are ongoing operations that are directed at keeping actual nationalists (like I believe Putin to be) from gaining power in important resource countries in Africa and other continents

Llike the operation that brought down Gough Whitlam without the need for Perkin's (Economic hitman) jackals which were probably used to kill Olof Palme.

It does appear that a portion of the Deep State was really disappointed and didn't give up when other billionaires got Trump elected.

[Jan 17, 2019] What makes folks think that the Bush secret cabal has gone away?

Apparently papa Bush was a dirtbag.
Jan 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Pft , Jan 17, 2019 6:36:28 PM | link

psychohistorian , Jan 17, 2019 5:54:09 PM | link

What makes folks think that the Bush secret cabal has gone away?

I see a splintering or bankruptcy of many elite coming as part of the new order.....cull the herd...... If only the elite would take each other down in this event I would be pleased.....grin

Leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces and move on with life after our global private finance/God of Mammon world collapses.

I agree with comment #2 Richard Steven Hack that Hersh is playing his role of keeping focus off more recent crimes against humanity by exposing the deeds of the dead but staying tight lipped about deeds of the living.

lysias , Jan 17, 2019 6:08:17 PM | link

If Hersh is now revealing secrets he couldn't while Bush was still alive, I wish he would tell us what connection there was between Bush and the JFK assassination. Unfortunately, Hersh's disgraceful book "The Dark Side of Camelot," suggests he will not. That book reflects thinking by Hersh's CIA and Secret Service sources that Kennedy was such a bad person and president that it's a good thing he was killed. The book never explicitly says this, but it's the underlying thought.
Hersh seems to be engaged in a bit of revisionism to whitewash Bush's role on Iran-Contra. Probably he has been strong armed, like so many others today

President Bush decapitated the Iran-Contra investigation by pardoning 6 figures including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whose trial was about to begin, with Bush himself likely called to testify. ." Bush first consulted his attorney general at the time, William Barr. Barr has just been named by Trump as attorney general.

Interesting article on Barr here (i broke the link with space). The swamp just keeps getting nastier

https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1994/eirv21n42-19941021
/eirv21n42-19941021_029-william_barr_the_bush_clique_and.pdf


Bush was basically the acting President during the Reagan years like Cheney was during his sons regime. Cheney and Bush go way back. Bush like Cheney knew everything going on.

"On May 14, 1982, Vice President Bush's position as chief of all U.S. covert action was formalized in a secret memorandum (signed "for the President" by Ronald Reagan's National Security Adviser William P. Clark and declassified during the congressional Iran-Contra hearings)."

[Jan 17, 2019] Another bit of evidence backing my hypothesis that the CIA quickly gained control of the Executive branch of the Federal government soon after its inception.

Jan 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 17, 2019 3:22:19 PM | 8 ">link

Gee, what a surprise, GHW Bush committing ongoing acts of treason, first as DCI then, Veep, then POTUS. Yet another bit of evidence backing my hypothesis that the CIA quickly gained control of the Executive branch of the Federal government soon after its inception.

It would be tempting to call it the Mafiosi States of America except that so few Italians or Sicilians are involved.

Saker's Anglo-Zionist Empire is quite close to reality, although I prefer my own Outlaw US Empire.

What I was trained to portray the USA as to students is a massive lie, some of which I knew at the time, but not to the extent I now know. Frankly, I'm rather glad my elders have all passed--to be told you've been living a lie your entire life is an affront to one's dignity that's hard to top.

[Jan 17, 2019] Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC, Accuses Media of Lionizing Destructive Organizations Like the FBI

Notable quotes:
"... By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny! ..."
"... I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. -- William Arkin, former NBC war reporter ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan the latest superspook," they said, "to be reborn as a TV newsie . He just cashed in at NBC News as a 'senior national security and intelligence analyst' and served his first expert views on Meet the Press . The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN , which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity. ..."
"... Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV's grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert Mueller; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC ; and Fran Townsend, homeland security adviser under Bush. ..."
"... At this point Arkin is selling the idea, with which I agree, that the security state has become so powerful that it's able to use the news networks, who compete for "spook parity," as their sales platforms. ..."
"... And there's no real evidence that the FBI is either -- is that competent of an institution, to begin with, in terms of even pursuing the prosecutions that it's pursuing. But yet we lionize them. We hold them up on a pedestal, that somehow they are the truth tellers , that they're the ones who are getting to the bottom of things, when there's just no evidence that that's the case. ..."
"... And we tend, again, to say "Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department." Donald Trump couldn't find the Department of Homeland Security if somebody set him on the streets of New York -- of Washington, D.C. So it's not Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department. It's our Homeland Security Department. And I think it's important for us to recognize that this is a department that is really operating on its own behalf and out of control . ..."
"... if a President Sanders attempted to do all that, what would be the response of the national security apparatus, guardians of the status quo? Whom would they serve, the billionaire owners of the established, corrupt-but-lucrative bipartisan state, or the Sanders-led revolutionary FDR-style government they're constitutionally sworn to defend? ..."
"... The Guard had the power to "make or break emperors." Are we growing our own Praetorian Guard, or giving them leave to grow, under cover of their anti-Trump "resistance"? If I were one of the national security superspooks, I'd want nothing better than to be welcomed -- and washed clean -- by acceptance into that well-praised effort. Doors would open publicly that before were open only in secret. ..."
"... the form of government he leaves behind may be worse, especially if he cements in the public mind the rightness of superspooks acting as new-minted kingmakers. Sanders supporters, take note. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Yves Smith By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

The Praetorian Guard declares a cowering Claudius emperor after murdering Caligula (from a painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema)

I'd argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn't missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. -- William Arkin, former NBC war reporter

File this under "Praetorian Guard Watch."

William Arkin is a longtime NBC reporter, primarily covering war and national security news. He recently quit NBC, offering his reasons in an online " departure letter ." There he castigated the media's coverage of the president, calling them at one point "prisoners of Donald Trump."

"Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor," Arkin wrote. "And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really earn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?"

Please notice the last sentences above, about the growth in reputation -- and irreproachability -- of the national security state: "And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?"

Then he gave an interview to Democracy Now 's Amy Goodman. Part of that interview went this way (emphasis mine throughout):

AMY GOODMAN: So, you talked about the people who populate the networks as pundits, and you've been a fierce critic of the national security state, or at least understanding who it is who is explaining things to us.

Reading from Politico , " Former CIA Director John Brennan the latest superspook," they said, "to be reborn as a TV newsie . He just cashed in at NBC News as a 'senior national security and intelligence analyst' and served his first expert views on Meet the Press . The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN , which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity.

Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV's grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert Mueller; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC ; and Fran Townsend, homeland security adviser under Bush."

And it goes on and on and on. These are now the pundits. And so, when you have a situation like President Trump announcing he will immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and halve the troops that are in Afghanistan, you have this massive attack on him that's actually led by the permanent national security state under the guise of pundits on television .

At this point Arkin is selling the idea, with which I agree, that the security state has become so powerful that it's able to use the news networks, who compete for "spook parity," as their sales platforms.

But in doing so, he's making another point as well, if not mindfully -- that the national security state is approaching (or has approached) the status of a latter-day Praetorian Guard, a military organization without whose approval no one can become or remain president.

He gets there in stages. First, this:

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, I think that you've -- I mean, what you said stands for itself, Amy. But I would add to it that I think the real crisis is that when we have a panel discussion on television, in the mainstream press, and even in the mainstream newspapers, we don't populate that panel with people who are in opposition. We have a single war party in the United States, and it's the only one that is given voice.

And I think that probably because of the phenomenon of Donald Trump -- let's just be honest about it -- really what we see on TV now is former Obama administration officials masquerading as analysts who are nonpartisan, when in fact they are partisan .

Brennan, Clapper (he who lied to Congress but, as an approved insider, was forgiven), and a number of other "former Obama administration officials" are not just partisan, pro-endless war advocates "masquerading as analysts"; they are "analysts" working to delegitimize Donald Trump. Whether not Trump is a legitimate president, that "partisan superspooks" are uncritically accepted as part of the takedown operation should be concerning.

Arkin seems to recognize this. Later in the interview he's asked to explain his comment about the FBI, which I noted above.

AMY GOODMAN: And, William Arkin, you also write, "don't [even] get me started with the FBI : What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?"

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, there's a crazy collateral damage of Donald Trump. And that is that there are a lot of liberals in America who believe that the CIA and the FBI is going to somehow save the country from Donald Trump .

Well, I'm sorry, I'm not a particular fan of either the CIA or the FBI . And the FBI , in particular, has a deplorable record in American society, from Martin Luther King and the peace movements of the 1960s all the way up through Wen Ho Lee and others who have been persecuted by the FBI .

And there's no real evidence that the FBI is either -- is that competent of an institution, to begin with, in terms of even pursuing the prosecutions that it's pursuing. But yet we lionize them. We hold them up on a pedestal, that somehow they are the truth tellers , that they're the ones who are getting to the bottom of things, when there's just no evidence that that's the case.

AMY GOODMAN:
And what do you mean by the "creeping fascism of homeland security"?

WILLIAM ARKIN: You know, I was against the creation of the Homeland Security Department in 2003, to begin with. First of all, don't like the word. "Homeland security" sounds a little bit brown-shirty to me. But, second of all, it was created to be a counterterrorist organization, a domestic counterterrorist organization. And all during the Obama administration, we heard Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, saying, "You know, we are counterterrorism." But since then, we've seen they're creeping into cybersecurity. We've seen them creeping into election security. We've seen ICE and TSA become the second and third largest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. And so, now homeland security sort of has become a domestic intelligence agency with really an unclear remit, really with broad powers that we don't fully understand .

And we tend, again, to say "Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department." Donald Trump couldn't find the Department of Homeland Security if somebody set him on the streets of New York -- of Washington, D.C. So it's not Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department. It's our Homeland Security Department. And I think it's important for us to recognize that this is a department that is really operating on its own behalf and out of control .

I'd like you to ask yourself this. If a President Bernie Sanders wanted better relations with Russia and North Korea, and went about it in a smart, safe way; wanted to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. by smartly but radically renegotiating our billionaire- and corporate-friendly trade deals; wanted to radically reduce spending on the national security apparatus , on our endless wars, and spend instead on government-provided services like Medicare for All (which, by the way, would devastate several powerful, well-funded industries and bipartisan donor constituencies) and for good measure, started jailing bankers again

if a President Sanders attempted to do all that, what would be the response of the national security apparatus, guardians of the status quo? Whom would they serve, the billionaire owners of the established, corrupt-but-lucrative bipartisan state, or the Sanders-led revolutionary FDR-style government they're constitutionally sworn to defend?

As a reminder : The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperors. [T]he Guard became notable for its intrigue and interference in Roman politics, to the point of overthrowing emperors and proclaiming their successors. In 312, the Guard was disbanded by Constantine the Great [after defeating them and their latest declared emperor at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge ].

The Guard murdered Caligula -- insane, incompetent and dangerous -- and declared Claudius emperor, the first of its many "interferences." After Claudius was poisoned, they transferred allegiance to Nero. It went like this for centuries (of which we have none, by the way).

The Guard had the power to "make or break emperors." Are we growing our own Praetorian Guard, or giving them leave to grow, under cover of their anti-Trump "resistance"? If I were one of the national security superspooks, I'd want nothing better than to be welcomed -- and washed clean -- by acceptance into that well-praised effort. Doors would open publicly that before were open only in secret.

In that sense, Trump may be even more dangerous than he's now considered to be. What he may do while still with us may be frightful to consider. But the form of government he leaves behind may be worse, especially if he cements in the public mind the rightness of superspooks acting as new-minted kingmakers. Sanders supporters, take note.

[Jan 17, 2019] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-10/f-35-program-costs-jump-to-406-billion-in-new-pentagon-estimate

Jan 17, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

What a bunch of fools. As Tucker Carlson aptly said

Most terrifying of all, the crew has become incompetent. They have no idea how to sail. They're spinning the ship's wheel like they're playing roulette and cackling like mental patients.

The boat is listing, taking on water, about to sink. They're totally unaware that any of this is happening. As waves wash over the deck, they're awarding themselves majestic new titles and raising their own salaries. You look on in horror, helpless and desperate. You have nowhere to go. You're trapped on a ship of fools.

Plato imagined this scene in The Republic. He never mentions what happened to the ship. It would be nice to know. What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves.

The people who did it don't seem aware of what they've done. They don't want to know, and they don't want you to tell them. Facts threaten their fantasies. And so they continue as if what they're doing is working, making mistakes and reaping consequences that were predictable even to Greek philosophers thousands of years before the Internet.
They're fools. The rest of us are their passengers.

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 15, 2019] Apparently, the FBI, and not the CIA, are the real government by Colonel Pat Lang

More correctly is probably say that FBI and CIA can act as a single agency when their interests are threatened. And based on the fact that investigation was run by FBI counterintelligence division, which is a branch of CIA (with dotted line reporting) it was CIA (Brennan and Obama) which was at the helm. The problem with powerful intelligence agencies that very soon the tail starts wag the dog. Which happened in the USA around 1963.
Clearly this was a soft coup, organized along color revolution schema, so well known by both State Department and CIA, and adapted to the USA government structure. Mueller investigation was a classic move designed to paralyze and undermine the President.
Jan 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Just to review the situation:

1. The president of the US was made head of the Executive Branch (EC) of the federal government by Article 2 of the present constitution of the US. He is also Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the federal government. As head of the EC, he is head of all the parts of the government excepting the Congress and the Federal courts which are co-equal branches of the federal government. The Department of Justice is just another Executive Branch Department subordinate in all things to the president. The FBI is a federal police force and counter-intelligence agency subordinate to the Department of Justice and DNI and therefore to the president in all things. The FBI actually IMO has no legal right whatever to investigate the president. He is the constitutionally elected commander of the FBI. Does one investigate one's commander? No. The procedures for legally and constitutionally removing a president from office for malfeasance are clear. He must be impeached by the House of Representatives for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then tried by the US Senate on the charges. Conviction results in removal from office.

2. According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. Part of the discussions among senior FBI people had to do with whether or not the president had the legal authority to remove from office an FBI Director. Say what? Where have these dummies been all their careers? Do they not teach anything about this at the FBI Academy? The US Army lectures its officers at every level of schooling on the subject of the constitutional and legal basis and limits of their authority.

3. Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. Their application for warrants were largely based on unsubstantiated "opposition research" funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The judge who approved the warrants was not informed of the nature of the evidence. These warrants provided an authority for surveillance of the Trump campaign.

4. IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing. pl

[Jan 14, 2019] Deep State is a new "Inner Party"

Notable quotes:
"... With Warren wanting to be at the table with the elites, perhaps she took the advice of Larry Summers. In her memoir, "A Fighting Chance", she mentions a dinner conversation where she was told by him 'I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. ..."
"... Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. ..."
"... Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.' ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , , January 11, 2019 at 1:26 am

With Warren wanting to be at the table with the elites, perhaps she took the advice of Larry Summers. In her memoir, "A Fighting Chance", she mentions a dinner conversation where she was told by him 'I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider.

Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them.

Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.'

https://billmoyers.com/2014/09/05/i-had-been-warned/

[Jan 13, 2019] The only reason the evil bastards who control our society can get away with their treachery is because most of the American people are out to lunch on the most important issues of our time.

Notable quotes:
"... This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic "cooperation" associations. ..."
"... They are CIA assets who do what they're told. ..."
"... There is an unrecognized plague in our society called antidepressants. More than ten per cent of the people in the industrialized world take drugs which interfere with self doubt. They don't ask themselves whether an idea in their minds is true, fair or kind. They only ask if they believe it. And since the chemical they ingest prevents them from assessing the idea from all sides they always believe that if they think something it must be true. ..."
"... Other symptoms of antidepressant use include high levels of free floating anxiety (because useful anxiety is suppressed) and restlessness. ..."
"... I am still asking myself what motivated a veteran politician like Hillary Clinton to violate a cardinal rule of politics by attacking not her opponent but his supporters with the "basket of deplorable" comment in the closing days of the 2016 campaign except chemically induced madness. ..."
"... If history has recorded that the Roman Empire collapsed due to lead poisoning from the water pipes a future time may also conclude the US Empire was destroyed due to antidepressants. ..."
"... The psychology of the mass of Americans with it's self-righteousness and self-centerdness is really amazing. Just in the last seventeen years the US has invaded or otherwise attacked numerous countries and has caused millions of people to die, become miserable refugees, become orphans and all other manner of evil. ..."
"... Not least of all has been it's creation and patronage of ISIS, one of the most heinous groups in history. Yet Americans have this massive blind spot to the war criminality of all this that their country has committed against the peace of the world. Instead they're being stampeded into some irrational Russia-phobia. It's the US that's been on the march everywhere, labeling those countries that resist it's aggression as being aggressors for being willing to defend themselves. It's all upside-down. ..."
"... "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics." ..."
"... I'd really like to know who wrote that line for the Prez. (Since I think it unlikely that he wrote that, or any of his "prepared remarks".) Stephen Miller? Whoever. But it was a genius comment. ..."
"... "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" obviously the Gods want to destroy the so called western man ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

lavoisier , says: Website July 23, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT

@peterAUS

Anyone with an average intelligence can, in two hours trawling of Internet, get how false all that is. And, yet, here we are.
The same people who can spend hours on social media, shopping and entertainment online can't, for SOME reason, figure all that out.

Easy to blame "them" and media/academia/whatever. Maybe it's time to start passing a bit of blame to people in general. Not holding my breath.

I fully agree with this sentiment. The only reason the evil bastards who control our society can get away with their treachery is because most of the American people are out to lunch on the most important issues of our time. If the sheeple were to take responsibility to inform themselves of what is happening today they would be able to see the lies they are being constantly exposed to as just that -- lies. And then, they could put down the beer and turn off the damn sports channel and get angry at what has happened to their country.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for ignorant people to remain ignorant.

Giuseppe , says: July 23, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT

This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic "cooperation" associations.

They are CIA assets who do what they're told.

Gordon Pratt , says: July 23, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
There is an unrecognized plague in our society called antidepressants. More than ten per cent of the people in the industrialized world take drugs which interfere with self doubt. They don't ask themselves whether an idea in their minds is true, fair or kind. They only ask if they believe it. And since the chemical they ingest prevents them from assessing the idea from all sides they always believe that if they think something it must be true.

This is the perfect environment for the virus of groupthink to spread.

And since our leaders, both on the left and the right, may be ahead of the curve on drug usage the neocons and the politically correct may use antidepressants at greater levels than 10 per cent.

Other symptoms of antidepressant use include high levels of free floating anxiety (because useful anxiety is suppressed) and restlessness.

I am still asking myself what motivated a veteran politician like Hillary Clinton to violate a cardinal rule of politics by attacking not her opponent but his supporters with the "basket of deplorable" comment in the closing days of the 2016 campaign except chemically induced madness.

If history has recorded that the Roman Empire collapsed due to lead poisoning from the water pipes a future time may also conclude the US Empire was destroyed due to antidepressants.

AnonFromTN , says: July 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Gordon Pratt I think you are mistaken trying to rationalize the behavior of the political class and their puppet masters. I believe the real driver are not antidepressants, but an obscene greed, which is so blinding that it made MIC profiteers forget that to enjoy the fruits of their thievery they have to be alive.
anonymous [339] Disclaimer , says: July 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm GMT
The psychology of the mass of Americans with it's self-righteousness and self-centerdness is really amazing. Just in the last seventeen years the US has invaded or otherwise attacked numerous countries and has caused millions of people to die, become miserable refugees, become orphans and all other manner of evil.

Not least of all has been it's creation and patronage of ISIS, one of the most heinous groups in history. Yet Americans have this massive blind spot to the war criminality of all this that their country has committed against the peace of the world. Instead they're being stampeded into some irrational Russia-phobia. It's the US that's been on the march everywhere, labeling those countries that resist it's aggression as being aggressors for being willing to defend themselves. It's all upside-down.

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:01 pm GMT

"I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

I'd really like to know who wrote that line for the Prez. (Since I think it unlikely that he wrote that, or any of his "prepared remarks".) Stephen Miller? Whoever. But it was a genius comment.

Respect , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT
QUOS VULT IUPITER PERDERE DEMENTAT PRIUS

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" obviously the Gods want to destroy the so called western man

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm GMT
@Lauri Törni

Feel free to attack me.

TDS is a convenient shorthand for this form of disconnect from reality. That said it is absolutely fascinating to see and puzzle over this geopolitical tectonic event. The old narrative is crumbling, with the result that people like Lauri are fighting desperately to preserve their "sanity", dependent as it is on their tribal submission to the old order and its old narrative (its timeworn lies).

"Science advances one funeral at a time."
Max Planck

By which he means that people persist in believing in those "truths" (their belief system) they have held for a lifetime. Only when they die out will a new, revised belief system replaced the old. The same in geopolitics as in science.

Jeff Davis , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm GMT
@Tulips "Malefactors of great wealth."
Simple Pseudonym , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
American dementia is not new. It is current but after the false flags of almost all of our (US) wars going back as far as the Barbary Pirates, Americans have thrived on being the good guys in an evil world. We are SO GOOD, and the world thinks we are perfect and want to be part of US so much, that any other thought is treasonous.

The fact that getting along with Russia is necessary to NOT create armageddon, is irrelevant to the typical citizen because no matter how wrong, we are blessed and perfect in the eyes of the gawd we pretend to believe in.

So, same old same old

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment by Diana Johnstone

A mind is a terrible thing to lose
Any unbiased observer would suspect that considerable part of US Congress consists of senile gerantocrats...
Notable quotes:
"... You can accuse only the elites of dementia: they forgot that to enjoy the fruits of your thievery you have to be alive. ..."
"... They tricked us the last time, I hope that the people have learned their lesson – not to trust them anymore. ..."
"... Thank you, this is an excellent summary of the situation right now. It's worth noting too just how disconnected the establishment is from the wider public. They have enormous financial resources and access to the entire legacy media ..."
"... Let's stop using the word "elites". That sounds too positive, as though they have some admirable traits acquired by hard work, as in "elite athletes". Instead, let's call them "oligarchs" so that we get the right nuances of wealth and power, and get the correct emotional connotations of our disgust with them. We should label them with labels that they will dislike: oligarchs, mob bosses, etc. ..."
"... This is not irrational. The screaming, the hysteria, this is the utterly rational, breathtakingly brutal reaction of a ruling elite that has the moral sense of a reptile. And it's working. All of Trump's campaign promises to stop wasting trillions on pointless winless foreign wars of choice, and instead spend that on our own country? Gone. And so much else besides. ..."
"... It's dangerous to underestimate an enemy. The useful idiot foot soldiers, screaming in mindless herd instinct, are one thing. The people behind them – the Koch brothers, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, others – there is nothing at all mindless or demented about them. ..."
Jan 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Where to begin to analyze the madness of mainstream media in reaction to the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki? By focusing on the individual, psychology has neglected the problem of mass insanity, which has now overwhelmed the United States establishment, its mass media and most of its copycat European subsidiaries. The individuals may be sane, but as a herd they are ready to leap off the cliff.

For the past two years, a particular power group has sought to explain away its loss of power – or rather, its loss of the Presidency, as it still holds a predominance of institutional power – by creation of a myth. Mainstream media is known for its herd behavior, and in this case the editors, commentators, journalists have talked themselves into a story that initially they themselves could hardly take seriously.

Donald Trump was elected by Russia ?

On the face of it, this is preposterous. Okay, the United States can manage to rig elections in Honduras, or Serbia, or even Ukraine, but the United States is a bit too big and complex to leave the choice of the Presidency to a barrage of electronic messages totally unread by most voters. If this were so, Russia wouldn't need to try to "undermine our democracy". It would mean that our democracy was already undermined, in tatters, dead. A standing corpse ready to be knocked over by a tweet.

Even if, as is alleged without evidence, an army of Russian bots (even bigger than the notorious Israeli army of bots) was besieging social media with its nefarious slanders against poor innocent Hillary Clinton, this could determine an election only in a vacuum, with no other influences in the field. But there was a lot of other stuff going on in the 2016 election, some for Trump and some for Hillary, and Hillary herself scored a crucial own goal by denigrating millions of Americans as "deplorables" because they didn't fit into her identity politics constituencies.

The Russians could do nothing to build support for Trump, and there is not a hint of evidence that they tried. They might have done something to harm Hillary, because there was so much there: the private server emails, the Clinton foundation, the murder of Moammer Gaddafi, the call for a no-fly zone in Syria they didn't have to invent it. It was there. So was the hanky panky at the Democratic National Committee, on which the Clintonite accusations focus, perhaps to cause everyone to forget much worse things.

When you come to think of it, the DNC scandal focused on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not on Hillary herself. Screaming about "Russian hacking the DNC" has been a distraction from much more serious accusations against Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders supporters didn't need those "revelations" to make them stop loving Hillary or even to discover that the DNC was working against Bernie. It was always perfectly obvious.

So at worst, "the Russians" are accused of revealing some relatively minor facts concerning the Hillary Clinton campaign. Big deal.

But that is enough, after two years of fakery, to send the establishment into a frenzy of accusations of "treason" when Trump does what he said he would do while campaigning, try to normalize relations with Russia.

This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic "cooperation" associations. They have based their careers on the illusion of sharing the world empire by following U.S. whims in the Middle East and transforming the mission of their armed forces from defense into foreign intervention units of NATO under U.S. command. Having not thought seriously about the implications of this for over half a century, they panic at the suggestion of being left to themselves.

The Western elite is now suffering from self-inflicted dementia.

Donald Trump is not particularly articulate, navigating through the language with a small repetitive vocabulary, but what he said at his Helsinki press conference was honest and even brave. As the hounds bay for his blood, he quite correctly refused to endorse the "findings" of US intelligence agencies, fourteen years after the same agencies "found" that Iraq was bursting with weapons of mass destruction. How in the world could anyone expect anything else?

But for the mainstream media, "the story" at the Helsinki summit, even the only story, was Trump's reaction to the, er, trumped up charges of Russian interference in our democracy. Were you or were you not elected thanks to Russian hackers? All they wanted was a yes or no answer. Which could not possibly be yes. So they could write their reports in advance.

Anyone who has frequented mainstream journalists, especially those who cover the "big stories" on international affairs, is aware of their obligatory conformism, with few exceptions. To get the job, one must have important "sources", meaning government spokesmen who are willing to tell you what "the story" is, often without being identified. Once they know what "the story" is, competition sets in: competition as to how to tell it. That leads to an escalation of rhetoric, variations on the theme: "The President has betrayed our great country to the Russian enemy. Treason!"

This demented chorus on "Russian hacking" prevented mainstream media from even doing their job. Not even mentioning, much less analyzing, any of the real issues at the summit. To find analysis, one must go on line, away from the official fake news to independent reporting. For example, "the Moon of Alabama" site offers an intelligent interpretation of the Trump strategy , which sounds infinitely more plausible than "the story". In short, Trump is trying to woo Russia away from China, in a reverse version of Kissinger's strategy forty years ago to woo China away from Russia, thus avoiding a continental alliance against the United States. This may not work because the United States has proven so untrustworthy that the cautious Russians are highly unlikely to abandon their alliance with China for shadows. But it makes perfect sense as an explanation of Trump's policy, unlike the caterwauling we've been hearing from Senators and talking heads on CNN.

Those people seem to have no idea of what diplomacy is about. They cannot conceive of agreements that would be beneficial to both sides. No, it's got to be a zero sum game, winner take all. If they win, we lose, and vice versa.

They also have no idea of the harm to both sides if they do not agree. They have no project, no strategy. Just hate Trump.

He seems totally isolated, and every morning I look at the news to see if he has been assassinated yet.

It is unimaginable for our Manichean moralists that Putin might also be under fire at home for failing to chide the American president for U.S. violations of human rights in Guantanamo, murderous drone strikes against defenseless citizens throughout the Middle East, the destruction of Libya in violation of the UN mandate, interference in the elections of countless countries by government-financed "non-governmental organizations" (the National Endowment of Democracy), worldwide electronic spying, invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the world's greatest prison population and regular massacres of school children. But the diplomatic Russians know how to be polite.

Still, if Trump actually makes a "deal", there may be losers – neither the U.S. nor Russia but third parties. When two great powers reach agreement, it is often at somebody else's expense. The West Europeans are afraid it will be them, but such fears are groundless. All Putin wants is normal relations with the West, which is not much to ask.

Rather, candidate number one for paying the price are the Palestinians, or even Iran, in marginal ways. At the press conference, asked about possible areas of cooperation between the two nuclear powers, Trump suggested that the two could agree on helping Israel:

"We both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu. They would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. In that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly."

In political terms, Trump knows where political power lies, and is counting on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, which recognizes the defeat in Syria and the rising influence of Russia, to save him from the liberal imperialists – a daring bet, but he does not have much choice.

On another subject, Trump said that "our militaries" get along with the Russians "better than our politicians". This is another daring bet, on military realism that could somehow neutralize military industrial congressional complex lobbying for more and more weapons.

In short, the only chance to end the nuclear war threat may depend on support for Trump from Israel and the Pentagon!

The hysterical neoliberal globalists seem to have ruled out any other possibility – and perhaps this one too.

"Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world" Trump declared "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."

That is more than his political enemies can claim.

Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment

exiled off mainstreet , says: July 20, 2018 at 7:02 am GMT

This is a frightening, accurate commentary on what we face as a result of an unaccountable power structure resorting to any and all means to retain power which, if this structure continues to exercise it, will lead to our extinction.
Donatella , says: July 21, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
Thanks to say things that make me feel not alone.
AnonFromTN , says: July 22, 2018 at 3:30 am GMT
In the establishment, it's not dementia as such, it's just serving the highest bidder. You can accuse only the elites of dementia: they forgot that to enjoy the fruits of your thievery you have to be alive. If only they die, it would be a great service to the humanity. Unfortunately, the way things go, they might take us all with them.
Cyrano , says: July 22, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
This mass hysteria over a country hostile to both democracy and gay rights (it's hard to tell which one is worse) has been seen in the west before.

It's very reminiscent of the lead-up to Iraq war in 2003. I mean what's next? Are they gonna accuse Russia of having WMD's too?

They are pretty good at providing false evidence of WMD's, I wouldn't be surprised if they stage another presentation of evidence of Russian WMD's at UN, complete with satellite images of mobile trucks equipped with Uranium enrichment technology and all that.

That Nikki Halley can be quite persuasive, you know. I just hope that the world doesn't buy that BS again. Russia having WMD's? That's preposterous. They tricked us the last time, I hope that the people have learned their lesson – not to trust them anymore.

Cagey Beast , says: July 22, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT
Thank you, this is an excellent summary of the situation right now. It's worth noting too just how disconnected the establishment is from the wider public. They have enormous financial resources and access to the entire legacy media but seem to have almost no real base of support. Remember how the Never Trumpers had no one more prominent and well-known than Evan McMullan (!!) to run as their candidate? Note too the tiny number of views the YouTube videos of the Aspen Institute get: https://www.youtube.com/user/AspenInstitute/videos .

On its own, these things aren't conclusive proof but together they add up. The Aspen Institute crowd is an almost entirely self-contained subculture. They seem to have no base of support, beyond their stacks of money, job titles and the power that come with the various offices they hold. That's probably why they can never stop calling their opponents "populists" or why Bill Kristol keeps tweeting about encountering scrappy shoeshine boys who shout "give Trump hell, Mr Kristol!" as he goes about his urban peregrinations.

Anonymous [115] Disclaimer , says: July 22, 2018 at 11:54 am GMT
OT

Diana Johnstone is not alone. Others on the alt-Left are starting to wake up, too. This is Joaquín Flores:

People are seeing through dishonesty, and the old language traps are used up and done for. If reconquista is the goal, then we need to have an honest conversation about that. If there's a Latino nation with self determination in the south-west US, or rights 'back' to the south-west US, then let's speak of it in such terms. Because then we'd be looking at a Euro-American nation also. Now of course there's issues of interpenetrated peoples, and identities we carry in our minds in diverse urban centers. But the point here is that we have to have an honest discourse, and stop hiding reconquista sentiments under the rubric of 'human rights'. Because European-Americans don't have right of return to Europe, so the left is promoting what will ultimately be a race war, full scale, if they don't chill the fuck out and back off this disingenuous approach to policy-wonkism on immigration.

The paradigmatic question today is, how is wealth made, and where does wealth come from? What is the balance of trade and debts, and how is that is no longer manageable? The US empire and NATO is no longer manageable. Trump is unwinding NATO. That can't be a bad thing.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/07/explaining-trump-to-socialist-liberals-flores/

Fort Russ News is really turning out to be a leading voice of the Third Way movement.

Tulips , says: July 22, 2018 at 7:31 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN Let's stop using the word "elites". That sounds too positive, as though they have some admirable traits acquired by hard work, as in "elite athletes". Instead, let's call them "oligarchs" so that we get the right nuances of wealth and power, and get the correct emotional connotations of our disgust with them. We should label them with labels that they will dislike: oligarchs, mob bosses, etc.
AnonFromTN , says: July 22, 2018 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Tulips You are right, of course, the word "elites" has too many positive connotations. In fact, they are oligarchs, mega-thieves, or something on those lines. Functionally, in our society they are puppet masters of all the venal puppets (politicians, journos, etc.).
TG , says: July 23, 2018 at 4:56 am GMT
I hear you, and I sympathize, but this is not mass dementia. The oligarchy that runs the United States was worried that Donald Trump might actually (!!) take some consideration for the national interest of the people of the United States of America. That will never do.

This is not irrational. The screaming, the hysteria, this is the utterly rational, breathtakingly brutal reaction of a ruling elite that has the moral sense of a reptile. And it's working. All of Trump's campaign promises to stop wasting trillions on pointless winless foreign wars of choice, and instead spend that on our own country? Gone. And so much else besides.

It's dangerous to underestimate an enemy. The useful idiot foot soldiers, screaming in mindless herd instinct, are one thing. The people behind them – the Koch brothers, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, others – there is nothing at all mindless or demented about them.

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 5:48 am GMT
@TG Agree.

Having a title "Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment" and approaching this effort as "mass insanity", "demented chorus" etc. is simply delusional.

They know exactly what they are doing and, it appears, they are doing it well. The are able to create their own reality. What puzzles me a bit isn't "them" or their servants (media etc.). It's people in general. They appear to be buying that manufactured reality with ease. In this era of instant communications it's .sobering. This constant shitting on "them" and their servants is fine and dandy but feels as just a feel good exercise. Perhaps some effort could be spared in trying to analyze and explain common people approach to all this. The buying, hook and sinker, that manufacture.

Anyone with an average intelligence can, in two hours trawling of Internet, get how false all that is. And, yet, here we are.
The same people who can spend hours on social media, shopping and entertainment online can't, for SOME reason, figure all that out.

Easy to blame "them" and media/academia/whatever. Maybe it's time to start passing a bit of blame to people in general.

Not holding my breath.

jilles dykstra , says: July 23, 2018 at 7:31 am GMT
@Tulips I suggest 'ruling class'
Anon [122] Disclaimer , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:07 am GMT
@Daniel Rich The Russians are by nature cautious. They are a conglomerate of individuals, many of whom remember times when they would be sent by communist tyrants to a gulag for Wrongthink. Of course they're cautious.
Daniel Rich , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:13 am GMT
H.E. Mr. Putin clearly knows what the USA/West is about – Link to Youtube [03:42]
nagra , says: July 23, 2018 at 8:34 am GMT
How Hillary Clinton could even run for presidency after the murder of Moammer Gaddafi and Libya destruction, in any decent civilisation and society.
That's planetary shame and the most important question, not DNC hack or anything else, which just trace in wrong direction.

So, Trump should grow some balls and arrest not just her but Barack Obama as well on the same charges, as war criminals as they are, and prove that he really deserves to be trusted. And sacrifice himself in the process if needed as that would do any honest true US president, and he knew what to expect from such position from the start.

It's not TV reality show, as still it is. All he cares about is his ego and popularity, and he is loosing both.

Israel lobby finally see that they put their money in the wrong bank. I intend to believe more that West, namely USA and UK the most, keeps them more hostage in uncertainty for decades than in some Jewish conspiracy. Also, I also believe that only Russia can guaranty Israel security and peace in the region.

Sean , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:12 am GMT

In political terms, Trump knows where political power lies, and is counting on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, which recognizes the defeat in Syria and the rising influence of Russia, to save him from the liberal imperialists – a daring bet, but he does not have much choice.

Saudi Arabia spent 40 billion dollars helping Saddam's Iraq in its war against Iran, the cost of US efforts in the Syria civil war have largely been met by the Saudis. The coming attack on Iran will be as much to please the Saudis as to lock Israel into West Bank Arab expulsion mode. The Israel Lobby will is not pushing Donald Trump, they are playing catch up with him. Trump has already shown with the Jerusalem recognition that he is encouraging Israel in unilateral courses of action.

Cagey Beast , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:42 am GMT
@TG No, I agree with the assessment in this article and its title: the establishment is dangerously detached from reality right now. Our stagnant and locked-down political culture in the West allowed the "elite" to develop a false sense of security and and certainty. They thought they had things pretty much figured out a few years ago but now they're genuinely panicked.
yurivku , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:43 am GMT
Looking to this circus from Russia, to those insane speaches, insulting caricatures in MSM, I understand the huge amount of rotteness of Western society, mainly its high top part, but not only. Even here in comments (not in this particularly article) the percentage of trolls and brainwashed idiots exceeds all I could've imagined. So I stopped writing here – no sense, I beleive that something can change only after the dramatic changes in US/West society and that is possible only after a big war/revolution.
So, I'm afraid our future is vague

[Jan 11, 2019] That is another surefire sign of degeneracy: when a regime can only produce incompetent, often old, leaders who are completely out of touch with reality and who blame their own failures on everyone but themselves

Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete , says: Next New Comment January 11, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT

That is another surefire sign of degeneracy: when a regime can only produce incompetent, often old, leaders who are completely out of touch with reality and who blame their own failures on [everyone but themselves].

Another sign of degeneracy is that masses of people put their faith in such human garbage and fantasize that the essentially effortless task of casting ballots every few years will somehow, perhaps magically, improve their situations. Even more telling is the infantilism demonstrated by the attitude that they're special and "da gweatist" and that the world should cater to their every whim just like mommy and daddy did.

Dream on, darlings!

macilrae , says: Next New Comment January 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT

Unlike the Titanic, most collapsed regimes don't fully sink. They remain about half under water, and half above, possibly with an orchestra still playing joyful music. And in the most expensive top deck cabins, a pretty luxurious lifestyle can be maintained by the elites.

A clever metaphor.

incompetent, often old, leaders who are completely out of touch with reality and who blame their own failures on internal ("deplorables") and external ("the Russians") factors.

Just so.

Dmitry Orlov's assessment rings dead true to me. The most terrifying factor is that a doomed and demented US administration may resort to the use of its vast air and missile power to save itself.

[Jan 04, 2019] A whopping 84 percent of all stocks owned by Americans belong to the wealthiest 10 percent of households. And that includes everyone's stakes in pension plans, 401(k)'s and individual retirement accounts, as well as trust funds, mutual funds and college savings programs like 529 plans.

Jan 04, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 12:58 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/business/economy/stocks-economy.html

February 8, 2018

We All Have a Stake in the Stock Market, Right? Guess Again
By PATRICIA COHEN

Take a deep breath and relax.

The riotous market swings that have whipped up frothy peaks of anxiety over the last week -- bringing the major indexes down more than 10 percent from their high -- have virtually no impact on the income or wealth of most families. The reason: They own little or no stock.

A whopping 84 percent of all stocks owned by Americans belong to the wealthiest 10 percent of households. And that includes everyone's stakes in pension plans, 401(k)'s and individual retirement accounts, as well as trust funds, mutual funds and college savings programs like 529 plans.

"For the vast majority of Americans, fluctuations in the stock market have relatively little effect on their wealth, or well-being, for that matter," said Edward N. Wolff, an economist at New York University who recently published new research * on the topic....

* https://www.nber.org/papers/w24085

Tom aka Rusty said in reply to anne... , January 02, 2019 at 12:13 PM
I am skeptical of the 84% if only because 401(k) plans have gotten so large.
Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Tom aka Rusty... , January 03, 2019 at 01:50 PM
What I could find says 401(k)s have $5.6T, IRAs have $2.5T, and when you add in pensions, the total is $29 trillion. Not sure when those numbers are from.

Hard to know what part of that is stocks vs. bonds.

As of last April, US stock markets had $34 trillion and the rest of the world $44 trillion equiv.

So, if IRA, 401(k) and retirement plans have almost as much wealth as the total of us stocks, and that is 16% of all stocks... does that mean we
1) Americans own a lot more foreign stocks than foreigners own american stocks
or
2) 84% of retirement assets are bonds?

There is, what? $50 trillion is US debt, much of it backed by bonds.

So, $30 trillion retirement assets, $24.5T bonds and $5.5 trillion stocks... such that $5.5T is 16% of $34T?


That doesn't "smell right" to me.

point , January 01, 2019 at 12:37 PM
Meh.

"And it certainly made most Americans poorer. While 2/3 of the corporate tax cut may have gone to U.S. residents, 84 percent of stocks are held by the wealthiest 10 percent of the population. Everyone else will see hardly any benefit."

Wildly unsubstantiated first sentence, though the rest seems likely true. Whether the bulk went to tax cuts for domestic or foreign national or into the furnace, there was indeed some sliver that actually went to the rest of us.

anne -> point... , January 01, 2019 at 01:05 PM
Wildly unsubstantiated...

[ Correct and documented, as always. ]

Plp -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 01:41 PM
"And it certainly made most Americans poorer"

" everyone else will see hardly any
Benefit "

Well which is it

Poorer or a very little benefit ?


Sloppy righteousness

Plp -> Plp... , January 01, 2019 at 01:55 PM
Here's the PK finesse

"since the tax cut isn't paying for itself

it will eventually have to be paid for some other way "

Nonsense !


" either by raising other taxes
or by cutting spending on programs people value"

This pretends the federal government is a household

Not a self determining
sovereign economy

Plp -> Plp... , January 01, 2019 at 02:01 PM
Sovereign debt in the sovereign's own currency

Has no intrinsic real value

Example


The burden of that debt on society
can become zero
Once the rate of intetest
On the whole stock of debt is cycled
into a zero real rate status

The Fed could start that process at any time

Once it's zero real it can stay zero real forever

EMichael -> Plp... , January 02, 2019 at 04:38 AM
It's about efficiency, not just the printing press.

And even the MMT people realize there are limits.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 06:29 AM
Efficiency of what, I might ask? Efficiency of shipping goods halfway around the world from where people work for less in less safe environments is really the efficiency of theft by capitalists, not the efficiency of production. Taking from the land and sea and dumping waste into the land, sea, and air is the efficiency of theft by capitalists too, not the efficiency of resource use. We are very efficient at making billionaires from externalized costs. We continue to cheaply sell ourselves out because the price is right. Ask Paine what lies hidden in the price?
EMichael -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 06:47 AM
Yeah, I got that business and government can both be inefficient in many ways.

My point is that when you reduce the cost of doing business, or reduce the credit worthiness of a borrower, you will see greater inefficiency.

Digging holes and filling them in is one way to spend money. Building a road or a building is another.

Which would you prefer?

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 07:21 AM
I would prefer unhiding externalized costs and allocating domestic labor to pay those costs, not with taxes, but with production of domestic goods and the elimination of pollutants and managed use of limited resources. That's just me and entirely off the subject when it comes to macroeconomics.

In any case, I am also for Paine's KLV full employment macroeconomics. If anything KLV macro is more accessible both politically and intellectually than the kinds of price movements that would be required to place environmentally sustainable caps on carbon emissions or the commercial menhaden catch. A nominal interest rate for interbank lending that was maintained by the Fed to persist at just the rate of inflation except for lower when necessary to recover from a recession is not a terrible thing. The consequence of braking the economy just to avoid hitting some inflation target is reckless driving. As we know the crash victims are always labor.

EMichael -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 07:41 AM
I'd prefer all of that, and a pony.

You need to separate Paine's economics from his politics. He believes a peoples' party can deliver that. It cannot. It will not. As efficiency goes out the door when a small, unregulated group controls everything. Not to say our version of capitalism has anywhere near the government regulation I think it needs to reach your(and my) goals. But it is light years ahead of Paine's dreams.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 07:51 AM
Paine's economics are insightful and useful. Paine's politics are bifurcated. Paine is as much for a progressive liberal democrat as he is for an enlightened communist dictator. Which do you think has a greater chance of actually ever existing in this century?
EMichael -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 08:03 AM
I'm all in on Paine's economics, but I believe his politics make him an opponent to ever coming up with progressive liberal democrats running the country.

All or nothing with him, and that makes it beyond hard to move towards that goal. Many in here like that. I admire them for going through their life without once ever settling for anything but perfect. I never had that opportunity.

A bunch of small steps are necessary, as the Founders insured that. Raging against those facts are immense negatives. And it is why Reps win elections.

Christopher H. said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 09:21 AM
lol the Founders F!@#ed up. They gave us the Senate and electoral college.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 09:33 AM
I am largely in concurrence with you, but I do have some specific caveats.

At least in my part of the country Paine's far left politics are not representative of anything that we come into contact with in public life. Your politics are bit left of us here. I am the far left in these parts. Paine's more populous left side is barely represented by any group in my reality. So, for me, Paine is a unique curiosity reminiscent of my socialist friends from the 60's and early 70's for which I have seen no analog since the introduction of Disco and double-knit leisure suits.

The EV crowd in general is a microcosm of nerdiness rather than a microcosm of well informed constituencies of the US unrepresentative "democracy." There is nothing unsettling about it. This crowd is as normal as the characters of "Big Bang Theory."

Republicans win elections because they get the most votes. The VA voter turnout for 2018 was almost 60%, well above 2014 and 2010 midterms which were just above 40%. Most people think that Trump is the most politically divisive POTUS in history, but I think nothing in my life has done more to unify the Democratic Party given they can curb their enthusiasm about beating Trump in 2020 enough to not rip the party apart over who gets the spoils.

Turnout for POTUS election in VA has been above and sometimes well above 70% for every POTUS election since 1975 except for 2000. Turnout for VA gubernatorial elections has been between 40% and 50% for each election from 1997 up through 2017, but ran much higher before motor voter stopped the purging of voter registration rolls. VA elects state legislators in off years for statewide elections with just over 30% of voters showing up.

https://www.elections.virginia.gov/resultsreports/registration-statistics/registrationturnout-statistics/index.html

Tom aka Rusty said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 12:12 PM
Common sense can still be applied to politics.

Going all flaming leftist is a recipe for losing elections. We need to elect more Democrats.

EMichael -> Tom aka Rusty... , January 02, 2019 at 04:39 PM
Understand. But flaming leftist will help the working class.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 07:44 AM
"...My point is that when you reduce the cost of doing business, or reduce the credit worthiness of a borrower, you will see greater inefficiency.

Digging holes and filling them in is one way to spend money. Building a road or a building is another.

Which would you prefer?"

[While I would prefer bridges to digging holes and filling them, my hesitation in answering this question was with the assumption that lower interest rates generate more wasteful investment, despite that I know it to be true in some contexts. Speculation is the problem more than real projects by far. Diversity among investments can be a very good thing. Failure in this context is just a consequence of innovation by trial and error, one of the more efficient means. Besides, for private investment the risk spread limits useless excursions, while the state needs conscious limits on pork perhaps, but pork is also a useful medium of political exchange. Uncle's discretionary spending is a very small pot of gold.]

EMichael -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 08:05 AM
Lower interest make business plans much easier. In doing so, risks are taken that should not be taken, thus increasing inefficiency.

This is especially true when the planners carry absolutely no financial risk themselves on a project.

Christopher H. said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 09:17 AM
" Many in here like that. I admire them for going through their life without once ever settling for anything but perfect. I never had that opportunity.

A bunch of small steps are necessary, as the Founders insured that. Raging against those facts are immense negatives. And it is why Reps win elections."

The New Deal.

The Great Society.

Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid.

EMichael would have argued against all of them as overreaching.

His excuse for the Democrats was that past Presidents had large majorities in Congress.

He would say the country is too conservative and racist. But they like those programs now.

Christopher H. said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 09:19 AM
During the golden age of social democracy during the post War period, when entrepreneurs failed they had a safety net and could try again.

EMichael has this weird puritanical streak. Just like mulp, another crank on the Interent.

He wants his failed red state family member to wallow in bitterness.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 02, 2019 at 09:48 AM
"Lower interest make business plans much easier. In doing so, risks are taken that should not be taken, thus increasing inefficiency.

This is especially true when the planners carry absolutely no financial risk themselves on a project."


[I understood what you were going for and do not doubt that you have specific instances for which you are sure that is true. For a few years prior to 2008 then I am sure that was true, but those "animal spirits" were drunk on more than just low interest rates. There was a specific sequence of events that played out over a long period of time bringing the US economy to the precipice of financial system euphoria over the infallibility of markets. Lenders and borrowers and especially middlemen stared down into the abyss and then kept on truckin'. Then we all heard a big splat!

Now is not then. Some future now may be then again if we forget about then, but it takes a lot of stupid to get there, not just low interest rates. Taking a bit more risk, but without the stupid is how we learn from failure to achieve greater success.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 09:52 AM
If either the dot.com splat or the mortgage splat were not clearly visible at least three or four years before the splat then either you need a new prescription for your eye glasses or you need to step out of that fog that you were living in.
Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 10:27 AM
"success through failure" has become a norm of American business, with the PotUS as the perfect example.

He never got into the casino, steak, wine, water, university, etc. businesses with intent on making money in those businesses. Heck, he barely breaks even on the condo and golf businesses.

He creates the towers and golf resorts to promote the name, and promotes the name to be able to lease it to doomed businesses which he starts with the intent of losing money on the leasing of his name. I suspect the most profitable thing he's ever done was "realty tv" host and having a book ghost-written in his name.

And yes, low interest rates DO create easy money, and much of it does find its way into "success through failure" investments. Why would you loan money to a business that you know was a scam just created to accumulate debt then go bust? Because you can securitize the debt and sell it off to Main Street suckers to eat the loss.

Why else "success through failure". Well, I've worked for a company that dumped a lot of money into a venture it knew was doomed long-term. Why? Because it intended to go IPO, and it needed the (unprofitable) revenue from the doomed venture to pump its price in the IPO.

I think we'd all agree that "success through failure" is terrible and wish it would go away. Problem is, it works.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 02, 2019 at 12:18 PM
Regarding "Success through failure" I was thinking in terms of the dot.com boom from which sprang the broadband Internet and Amazon. Out there in Phoenix AZ where you and EMichael live things must be really crazy. Back in 70's Phoenix was the yuppy Mecca. What happened?
Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 01:18 PM
True, not all of the dot.com was bad investment. Just most.

We got a lot of housing built during the housing boom too. Too bad most of it was 2000-3000 sqft McMansions on golf courses, 50 miles from any jobs.

"Out there in Phoenix AZ where you and EMichael live things must be really crazy."

1970 Phoenix metro had 1 million people. Today we're at 4.75 million.

Politics are a mess. Big money is pushing to constantly lower taxes, but now people are pushing back wanting more funding for schools. Surprisingly, we've passed phased in $12 minimum wage and medical marijuana (recreational failed by less than 1%), and now have split representation at the federal level indicating a move toward liberal.

And yet, we'll still very Republican in the state house and go highly conservative on many other issues such as animal rights. A recent "green energy initiative" failed ugly.

So, to sum it up... Pretty Liberal, but Very CONservative, with a HUGE swing vote that goes this-way-and-that in random directions and on different issues...

...but in general want low taxes, are hate big government...

...except on the things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, education, transportation, police, fire, courts, justice system, boarder security, anti-terrorism, and the rest of stuff government actually spends almost all of its money on...

... but are all for getting rid of all the wasteful government that practically doesn't really exist...

... and we definitely want religious freedom, as long as that religion is Christianity and the freedom is to force their views onto others, and not allow other religions to have a place in society.

Hope that clarifies what happened.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 03, 2019 at 07:57 AM
"...1970 Phoenix metro had 1 million people. Today we're at 4.75 million...

...Hope that clarifies what happened."

[In spades, Dude. THANKS!]

EMichael -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 02, 2019 at 04:42 PM
Adequate regulation would have stopped that.

No one notices that the biggest factor in the housing bubble was bush ordering the OCC to take regulation of national banks out of the hands of the states.

The bubble would have been much, much less.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to EMichael... , January 03, 2019 at 07:58 AM
Oh, butt for the winged frog...
Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to EMichael... , January 03, 2019 at 08:56 AM
"Adequate regulation would have stopped that."

The population increase? People would have to be somewhere, and unlike coastal California with those stupid oceans, bays and mountains... Phoenix has plenty of open space.

2000-3000 sqft mcmansions 50 miles from jobs? Probably true. Without the housing bubble we would have hit the wall on housing and caused massive rent spike a decade ago instead of a few years ago. With that massive rent increase then instead of now, meaning that a decade ago we would have seen the in-building of small apartments and condos that we are now getting.

Net, we probably would have been better off with more in-building of smaller, multi-family units instead of massive sprawl of McMansions.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 03, 2019 at 09:41 AM
Don't complain too much. The "massive sprawl of McMansions" is a sure sign of widespread prosperity. Here in eastern Henrico County VA we have the massive sprawl of McCracker boxes instead although not just crackers live in them. McMansions are usually on at least 1/2 acre lots, while McCracker boxes are built so close together that most of the time there was not room left for a driveway and people park on the street except that some of those streets are actually the highways to the neighboring cracker box town. On street parking is just one sign of poverty. There are also drug related shootings just like in the big city.

In eastern Henrico there are only a few small McMansion developments in prime real estate overlooking the flood plain of the James River where there is any such high ground in eastern Henrico near the river. Chesterfield County across the James River has the advantage of very high ground near the James River at River's Bend, a.k.a, Meadowville, where there is plenty room for a golf course and marina as well as loads of McMansions and high-end apartment buildings. High and dry western Henrico County is where they build the McMansions along with all the exclusive high end shopping. The "Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands" was probably sad because her basement flooded whenever it rained:<)

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 03, 2019 at 10:50 AM
"Don't complain too much."

I wasn't complaining.

I was adding a tad to the "inefficiencies" discussion caused by disconnecting loan origination from loss risk.

I got my piece of the giant federal government giveaway needed to clean up the mess. In 2011 I bought a 1000 sqft condo for $48K that I now have leased out for a nice cash-flow positive $600+ a month and true after-tax profit of about the same $600 a month (add $100 of the payment that is principal reduction, then subtract 22% income tax on $500 a month ($700 profit - $200 depreciation)).

If you notice the purchase price doesn't match the depreciation, yeah, I've done over $20K in additional capital improvements that increase the base including new roof, new HVAC, replaced all aluminum windows and doors with high-E, gutted and replaced the kitchen and both baths. Summer cooling bill was cut by more than half from ~$300 to ~$125 by the new windows and doors and more efficient HVAC, increasing the monthly rent accordingly.

I've only been spending abut $400 of that $600 profit, letting the rest accumulate for maintenance, repairs, upgrades.

Oh, I also save about $250 a month on the mortgage of my primary by locking in 3% interest rate.

Not big deals in the grand scheme, but the boom->crash->rent squeeze worked out okay for me personally.... for now.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 03, 2019 at 11:10 AM
As for the cracker houses, we got a lot of those in the 80's and 90's before the big McMansion boom.


Like these 1990s beauties with almost, but not quite enough room in the driveway to park a car without blocking the sidewalk.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/globalrelevanceex_sort/33.540639,-112.146931,33.538696,-112.149814_rect/18_zm/

To be perfectly honest, it is exactly those kinds of houses that the Phoenix market needs a lot more of.

Switching from those to McMansions, then hardly any construction at all for 6 or 7 years, is why there is such a crunch on housing, and skyrocketing rents and house prices now.

Even now they aren't building many of those small single family homes.

They are building redevelopment/in-fill condos in downtown/near ASU in Tempe and apartments in the middle-burbs.

anne -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 01:43 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/opinion/the-tax-cut-and-the-balance-of-payments-wonkish.html

November 14, 2018

The Tax Cut and the Balance of Payments (Wonkish)
Lots of financial maneuvering, signifying nothing
By Paul Krugman

What tax cuts were supposed to do

A tax cut for corporations looks, on its face, like a big giveaway to stockholders, mainly bypassing ordinary families: of stocks held by Americans, 84 percent are held by the wealthiest 10 percent; * 35 percent of U.S. stocks are held by foreigners. **

The claim by tax cut advocates was, however, that the tax cut would be passed through to workers, because we live in an integrated global capital market. There were multiple reasons not to believe this argument in practice, but it's still worth working through its implications....

* https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/business/economy/stocks-economy.html

** https://www.taxnotes.com/tax-notes/corporate-taxation/slashing-corporate-taxes-foreign-investors-are-surprise-winners/2017/10/23/1x78l

anne -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 01:52 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/01/opinion/the-trump-tax-cut-even-worse-than-youve-heard.html

The key point to realize is that in today's globalized corporate system, a lot of any country's corporate sector, our own very much included, is actually owned by foreigners, either directly because corporations here are foreign subsidiaries, or indirectly because foreigners own American stocks. Indeed, roughly a third of U.S. corporate profits basically flow to foreign nationals – which means that a third of the tax cut flowed abroad, rather than staying at home. This probably outweighs any positive effect on GDP growth. So the tax cut probably made America poorer, not richer.

And it certainly made most Americans poorer. While 2/3 of the corporate tax cut may have gone to U.S. residents, 84 percent of stocks are held by the wealthiest 10 percent of the population. Everyone else will see hardly any benefit....

-- Paul Krugman

Tom aka Rusty said in reply to anne... , January 02, 2019 at 12:10 PM
It will not make them poorer, but will not make many better off, there is a difference.
Tom aka Rusty said in reply to point... , January 02, 2019 at 12:08 PM
As my first tax professor said, "the best first answer to most tax questions is IT DEPENDS."

In the pro formas I have done not everyone in the middle class is getting a tax cut. Some a slight tax increase, most not too much impact at all.

We will know a lot more by April.

anne , January 01, 2019 at 12:50 PM
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-charts-in-the-nyt-don-t-show-he-says-they-show

December 31, 2018

Steven Rattner's Charts in the New York Times Don't Show He Says They Show
By Dean Baker

Steven Rattner used his New York Times column * to present a number of charts to show Donald Trump's failures as president. While some, like the drop in enrollments in the health care exchanges, do in fact show failure, others do not really make his case.

For example, he has a chart with a headline "paltry raise for the middle class." What his chart actually shows is that middle class wages, adjusted for inflation, fell sharply in the recession, but have been rising roughly 1.0 percent a year since 2014. They recovered their pre-recession levels in 2017 and now are almost a percentage point above the 2008 level. This is not a great story, but the picture under Trump is certainly better than under Obama. (This wasn't entirely Obama's fault, since he inherited an economy that was failing.)

The chart shows more rapid growth at the bottom of the pay ladder and a modest downturn under Trump for those at the top. By recent standards, this is not a bad picture, even if Trump does not especially deserve credit for it. (He came in with an unemployment rate that was low and falling.)

Rattner also presents as a bad sign projections for fewer Federal Reserve rate hikes. While one basis for projecting fewer rate hikes is that the economy now looks weaker for 2019 than had been thought earlier in the year (but still stronger than had been projected in 2016), another reason is that inflation is lower than expected. Economists have consistently over-estimated the impact that low unemployment would have on the inflation rate. With inflation coming in lower than projected, there is less reason for the Fed to raise rates.

Contrary to what Rattner is implying, this is a good development. It means that the unemployment rate can continue to fall and workers at the middle and the bottom of the pay ladder can continue to see real wage gains.

Rattner also shows us how growth projections for the U.S. and the world have been lowered since June of 2018. It's not clear how much Trump can be held responsible for growth in the EU (try blaming the European Commission's austerity drive) and the rest of the world, but his argument about the U.S. is pretty weak. The 2.4 percent growth projection from December 2018 is actually up 0.1 percentage point from the June projection. More importantly, it is up from a projection of 1.7 percent from January of 2017, the month Trump took office.

Then we have the chart showing the rise in the debt relative to GDP. While Rattner is right that the tax cuts to the rich were a waste of resources, the higher debt to GDP ratio is basically meaningless. (Japan's debt to GDP ratio is almost 250 percent and the current interest rate on its long-term bonds is 0.00 percent.)

If anyone is seriously concerned about the debt that the government is passing on to future generations then it is also necessary to include the rents associated with patent and copyright monopolies. These monopolies are alternative mechanisms to direct funding that the government uses to pay for services (i.e. research and creative work).

To take the most important case, suppose the government were the replace the $70 billion (0.35 percent of GDP) in patent monopoly supported research that the pharmaceutical industry conducts each year with direct funding of $70 billion. All research findings could then be placed in the public domain and new drugs would sell at generic prices.

Rattner and his crew would count the $70 billion in addition spending as an addition to the debt and deficit. However, when the industry is able to charge the public an extra $360 billion ** (1.8 percent of GDP) a year in higher drug prices due to patent monopolies and related protections, Rattner and company choose to ignore the burden. This sort of groundless debt fear mongering deserves only ridicule; it is not serious economic analysis.

Trump has done many awful things as president and threatens to do many more. But this is not a reason to adopt Trumpian tactics, the data provide plenty of grounds to attack his performance without playing games with it.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/opinion/trump-2018-charts.html

** http://cepr.net/images/stories/reports/ip-2018-10.pdf

anne -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 02:41 PM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mv7B

January 15, 2018

Real Median Weekly Earnings, * 1992-2018

* All full time wage and salary workers

(Percent change)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mv7D

January 15, 2018

Real Median Weekly Earnings, * 1992-2018

* All full time wage and salary workers

(Indexed to 1992)

anne -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 02:41 PM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mm0s

January 15, 2018

Real Median Weekly Earnings for men and women, * 1992-2018

* All full time wage and salary workers

(Percent change)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mm0v

January 15, 2018

Real Median Weekly Earnings for men and women, * 1992-2018

* All full time wage and salary workers

(Indexed to 1992)

anne , January 01, 2019 at 12:50 PM
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/e-j-dionne-provides-classic-example-of-liberals-missing-the-boat

December 31, 2018

E.J. Dionne Provides Classic Example of Liberals Missing the Boat
By Dean Baker

I often rail against liberals who wring their hands over the unfortunate folks who have been left behind by globalization and technology. E.J. Dionne gave us a classic example * of such hand-wringing in his piece today on the need to help the left behinds to keep them from becoming flaming reactionaries.

For some reason, it is difficult for many liberals to grasp the idea that the bad plight of tens of millions of middle class workers did not just happen, but rather was deliberately engineered. Longer and stronger patent and copyright protection did not just happen, it was deliberate policy. Subjecting manufacturing workers to global competition, while largely protecting doctors, dentists, and other highly paid professionals was also a policy decisions. Saving the Wall Street banks from the consequences of their own greed and incompetence was also conscious policy.

I know it's difficult for intellectuals to grasp new ideas, but if we want to talk seriously about rising inequality, then it will be necessary for them to try. (Yeah, I'm advertising my - free - book "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer" ** again.) Anyhow, let's hope that in 2019 we can actually talk about the policies that were put in place to redistribute income upward and not just pretend that Bill Gates and his ilk getting all the money was a natural process.

* https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/there-is-much-to-fear-about-nationalism-but-liberals-need-to-address-it-the-right-way/2018/12/30/2c6e8f24-0ab7-11e9-88e3-989a3e456820_story.html

** https://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

Plp -> anne... , January 01, 2019 at 01:27 PM
The way forward is not taking the path that got us here in reverse till its say 1976 again

Because once there where do we go next
Where do we go from there
that doesn't by twist and turn
lead back here in another post 2008
Quagmired earth

Christopher H. said in reply to Plp... , January 01, 2019 at 01:27 PM
The Nordic countries have gone further than 1976 - and it works!

But even they have been backsliding.

They key is rising living standards for everyone. That means eradicating poverty & financial precariousness and rising incomes up the income ladder.

End the Dem's fascination with means testing. Make big programs everyone supports. Republican party needs to be destroyed as Jane Curtin said on CNN.

[Jan 04, 2019] Trump Fought For His Withdrawal For a Year by Willy B

Notable quotes:
"... Very interesting. It is understandable that Trump does not read briefings, if all he is fed is a variety of permanent war options at odds with his strategic goals. ..."
"... Trump had lunch with Lindsay Graham who has allegedly said that Trump is "reconsidering ". The Neocons haven't given up.. ..."
Jan 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Gareth Porter, in an article published in the American Conservative, definitively shows that Trump's Dec. 19 announcement of the US withdrawal from Syria was, in fact, the end of a fight of at least a year, between Trump on the one side and his national security team, lead by Mattis and Dunford on the other. Published accounts of the policy process over the past year "show that senior national security officials and self-interested institutions have been playing a complicated political game for months aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite presence on the ground in Syria ," Porter writes. "The entire episode thus represents a new variant of a familiar pattern dating back to Vietnam in which national security advisors put pressure on reluctant presidents to go along with existing or proposed military deployments in a war zone . The difference here is that Trump, by publicly choosing a different policy, has blown up their transparent schemes and offered the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state."

Porter cites an April 2018 Associated Press account of an NSC meeting at which Trump's impatience with his national security team boiled over. At that meeting, Trump ordered them unequivocally to accept a fundamentally different Syria deployment policy. Instead, they framed the options as a binary choice -- either an immediate pullout or an indefinite presence in order to ensure the complete and permanent defeat of Islamic State. Mattis and Dunford, Porter continues, were consciously exploiting Trump's own defensiveness about a timeline–he had attacked Obama during the 2016 campaign for imposing a timeline in Afghanistan–"to press ahead with their own strategy unless and until Trump publicly called them on it."

"The Syria withdrawal affair is a dramatic illustration of the fundamental quandary of the Trump presidency in regard to ending the state of permanent war that previous administrations created. Although a solid majority of Americans want to rein in U.S. military deployments in the Middle East and Africa, Trump's national security team is committed to doing the opposite, " Porter concludes. "Trump is now well aware that it is virtually impossible to carry out the foreign policy that he wants without advisors who are committed to the same objective. That means that he must find people who have remained outside the system during the permanent war years while being highly critical of its whole ideology and culture. If he can fill key positions with truly dissident figures, the last two years of this term in office could decisively clip the wings of the bureaucrats and generals who have created the permanent war state we find ourselves in today."

Trump has called the bluff of the permanent warfare crowd and now has his decision, but the possibility of sabotage by that crowd's assets inside the Pentagon cannot yet be discounted. This is indicated by an exclusive Reuters report claiming that planners at the Pentagon are proposing that the YPG be allowed to keep the heavy weapons that the US has supplied it with, though Reuters' sources stress that the planning is still at an early stage and nothing's been decided yet. And yet, there must be a reason why this is being reported now. It obviously would throw a monkey wrench in the arrangements that Trump is trying to make with Erdogan to keep eastern Syria stable in the wake of the US withdrawal. It would also represent a back down from US promises made earlier to the Turks to retrieve the weapons and Erdogan would throw a fit. Certainly, the idea that the U.S. military can retrieve all of the weapons that it handed over is a dubious one, at best , and there are legitimate questions about whether or not Turkish troops could really operate in the Middle Euphrates valley near the Iraqi border, hundreds of kilometers from the Turkish border.

But the key to the proposal is this: The recommendation "is a rejection of Trump's policy to withdraw from Syria," a person familiar with the discussions told Reuters. So, really, it is an attempt at sabotage.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/trump-scores-breaks-generals-50-year-war-record-syria-mattis-dunford/

https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-commanders-recommend-letting-kurdish-fighters-syria-233235271.html


Barbara Ann , 6 days ago

Very interesting. It is understandable that Trump does not read briefings, if all he is fed is a variety of permanent war options at odds with his strategic goals. The Syrian war that matters is clearly now being fought within the USG and Trump has won the latest battle. As Porter says, this war will only be won if Trump can successfully replace key Borg positions with people of his own.

If the pullout can be completed without being sabotaged, Russia ought to be able to seamlessly step in guarantor of peace - and the SAG and Iraq between then can finish IS. The permanent war crowd with then just have to vent their frustrations elsewhere. A good outcome for all.

Pat Lang Mod -> Barbara Ann , 6 days ago
He was IMO suckered into taking a lot of these people because he didn't know anyone in government. His problem will be to find people not already working for the other side.
Walrus , 5 days ago
Trump had lunch with Lindsay Graham who has allegedly said that Trump is "reconsidering ". The Neocons haven't given up..
John Waddell , 5 days ago
"that the YPG be allowed to keep the heavy weapons that the US has supplied it with"

I would love to find out what those "heavy weapons" were exactly. I have been putting up comments all over the place saying that as far as I have been able to find out the US has not supplied anything with a barrel bigger than an 80mm mortar or a vehicle heavier than a MRAP. Up to now no-one has contradicted me. The reason the US did this was precisely this situation, not to upset the Turks if gear was left behind.

Am I wrong? Is this equipment now regarded as "heavy weapons"?

Taras77 , 5 days ago
I have looked as to where I might post my comment on this important site; this article seems to be the best fit for my comment on another site about the retirement of Gen Kelly and a link to an interview with Gen Kelly (I hope Col Lang will be lenient in allowing a secondary posting of my comment from another site):

__________________________________________________________

My original comment follows:

On the subject of trump this AM, zerohedge has a summary of an interview with Gen Kelly which occurred just prior to his departure-to say that it was "bone crushing hard" probably is a long way from describing the difficulty of that Chief of Staff job in a chaotic white house working for a chaotic individual.

I have just a ton of respect for Gen Kelly-even in this totally mucked up country with all of its unending flustercucks, there are individuals still willing to step up and try, emphasis on try, to restore some sanity to the situations. God speed, Gen Kelly!!

https://www.zerohedge.com/n...

English Outsider -> Taras77 , 3 days ago
Should he not have resigned earlier, or even not taken the job, if he was so opposed to his boss's policy?
Stumpy , 6 days ago
Two factors not mentioned are the SAA and support from Russia. Turkey may be somewhat off the hook for a deep thrust if Syrian forces move in and convince the YPG to stand down, by force or otherwise. As Col. Lang points out, starving the YPG of ammunition is a practical approach. If the PMU links up with Syrian forces to secure the eastern border areas, the Kurdish interests should be balanced out. My point being that the so-called vacuum left for Iran to fill is an overplayed shadow puppet.

[Jan 04, 2019] Trump Walks Back Syria Pullout As Noose Tightens

Jan 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

If anyone still thinks that Donald Trump has some master plan to kill off his Deep State adversaries they should check themselves into therapy. I know withdrawal is hard, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to curing it.

He doesn't have a plan. He may fight them but it won't be with any kind of master plan to trap them in some beautiful bit of political judo.

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

No, Trump is winging things at this point. While he still has the office he's trying to do some of the things he promised. Doing that may keep him in power for a few more months.

But with his walking back the timetable for pulling troops out of Syria after a visit from Lindsay Graham (R-MIC/AIPAC) should tell you all you need to know about Trump's willingness to stand up to the pressure he's under.

Add to that the opening salvo from Mitt Romney (R-Wall St.) and it becomes pretty clear that Trump was told what the score really is. When, not if, the Democrats push for impeachment or a 25th Amendment proceeding against him Graham and Romney will lead a GOP revolt against him, siding with Senate Democrats to get rid of him.

That's been the point of this from the beginning. Pat Buchanan and I both talked about this from the moment he was elected. Pat reminding us of what happened to Nixon who was hounded out of office because he did the unthinkable -- ending the Vietnam War.

I've been simply looking at this from the standard libertarian perspective that "War is the health of the state" and Trump's opposition to our Middle East follies would net him nothing but contempt.

The Makinder "Heartland" view of Geopolitics holds complete sway in Washington, Downing St. and the Pentagon. And as such, the Middle East is the access point to the Heartland and that means destroying both Russia and Iran to ensure that Germany never joins them.

This is why The Swamp will not let Trump make nice with Putin. It's why the British deep state and intelligence community was so eager to help Hillary Clinton fabricate the Russiagate controversy through the creation of the Steele Dossier.

It's why outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, would only entertain a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan as long as the U.S. maintained all of its military presence there.

In other words, accept our colonial presence here to ensure you stay in the 19th century and we no longer have to fight openly.

If for nothing else, Trump's firing Dunford was a brief bit of joy that may outlive his presidency. Not much else will.

Look, the Deep State is vast and cruel. Nancy Pelosi's first act as Speaker of the House was to declare open season on Trump. She'll wait until the Mueller report to start the process but she seems pretty confident she'll get what she needs.

Michael Cohen likely provided the road map to Trump's shady business dealings (far beyond his pecadillos) which will be used against him. Impeachment isn't a legal proceeding, it's a purely political one.

There is no standard of proof. If you're hated by enough of the right people, you're done. That's it. In a time of unlimited corruption counting on people to act honorably is a fool's game.

And Trump at this point is the head fool.

You don't announce something like the withdrawal from Syria and all that that entails only to walk it back 10 days later because someone threatened you.

In fact, Trump's best, and frankly, only course of action now is to go on the offensive. And Elizabeth Warren memes, no matter how entertaining, are not getting this done.

As I lay out in this video, the threat of exposing all of the corruption is his best play. It may cost him everything but if he's going down the best thing he can do to MAGA is take as many of them down as possible.

Otherwise, turn the lights out before you leave.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pcia3eP64TI

Tags Politics

Posa , 29 minutes ago link

Spot on Tom. Ending a Predator Class war for global hegemony (the Makinder World Island quest) is a capital offense for any President. That's why JFK was offed... (the Nixon tale is not credible... Nixon sabotaged LBJ's negotiations with the N. Vietnamese and with Kissinger dragged on the war until the US was kicked out in '75).

Trump could appeal to the American people over Syria and Afghanistan claiming that as the Peace President he is being threatened... Maybe DoJ gets cleaned out; Mueller has nothing.

William Dorritt , 31 minutes ago link

TRUMP NEEDS TO STOP ******* AROUND

Order the acting AG to appoint Special Prosecutors for Clinton, Feinstein and Pelosi and others for their treason and their Chinese Business Dealings

Declassify all of the JFK and other documents that you promised to release, the Mexican stand off ends the day Trump leaves office and they bankrupt and imprison him and his family.

Name the CFR, and all other Globalist Organizations and NeoCons, as Foreign Agents and force register all of their members as Foreign Agents.

Pull the Security clearances from all people not currently employed by the Govt, especially the CFR members and similar organization.

Name the ADL and SPLC as Hate Groups and appoint a special prosecutor to go after them.

PS Stop appointing people who want you dead in the key positions in your government

PPS Pardon Assange and give him diplomatic passage to some country that won't extradite him like Iceland or perhaps Switzerland.

Dr. Acula , 30 minutes ago link

Trump is buddies with Guardian of Zion John Bolton and "pull it" Guiliani

Fireman , 35 minutes ago link

Is it good for the juice? That is the only policy that Golem Don is expected to carry out.

USSA must cure the disease at the heart of this collapsing anglzionazi empire of ****, then all else will follow.

Golem Don was never up to it and never will be. USSANS have been Obummered yet again. Live with it already.

The Lobby Part One

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9dv6_h9Vp0

The Lobby Part Two

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQfZL9tm2tM

The Lobby Part Three

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ixdl7lcLjk

The Lobby Part Four

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiZCTH-CS0c

commiebastid , 33 minutes ago link

We will stay because our Israeli bought government wants it. They will never allow Trump to exit Syria.

Here is a list of politicians who carry Israeli Citizenship ... Good to know and explains a lot

112 CONGRESS
THE US SENATE [13]

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Al Franken (D-MN) Herb Kohl (D-WI) Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Joseph Lieberman (Independent-CT) Carl Levin (D-MI) Charles Schumer (D-NY) Ron Wyden (D-OR) Michael Bennet (D-CO)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES [27]

Gary Ackerman (D-NY) Shelley Berkley (D-NV) Howard Berman (D-CA) Eric Cantor (R-VA) David Cicilline (D-RI) Stephen Cohen (D-TN) Susan Davis (D-CA) Ted Deutch (D-FL) Eliot Engel (D-NY) Bob Filner (D-CA) Barney Frank (D-MA) Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) Jane Harman (D-CA) Steve Israel (D-NY) Sander Levin (D-MI) Nita Lowey (D-NY) Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Jared Polis (D-CO) Steve Rothman (D-NJ) Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) Adam Schiff (D-CA) Brad Sherman (D-CA) Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) Henry Waxman (D-CA) Anthony Weiner (D-NY) John Yarmuth (D-KY)

Here is a list of Israel's 'contributions' to US senators

https://static.wrmea.org/pdf/2016pac_charts_senators.pdf

Dr. Acula , 40 minutes ago link

>he's trying to do some of the things he promised

Day 713

Still in Afghanistan

Still in Iraq

Still in Syria

Didn't lock her up

Didn't end Obamacare

Money for Israel

No money for wall

[Jan 03, 2019] Piketty's World Inequality Review- A Critical Analysis - naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations, University of Texas at Austin. Originally published at the Institute of New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... World Inequality Report 2018 ..."
"... World Top Incomes Database ..."
"... Capital in the XXI Century ..."
"... Development and Change ..."
"... World Inequality Report ..."
Jan 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Piketty's World Inequality Review: A Critical Analysis Posted on January 3, 2019 by Yves Smith

Yves here. It's surprising to see Piketty and even more so, one of this co-authors, Gabriel Zucman, make such strong claims for tax data as a way to measure income inequality. The rich and super rich engage in tax avoidance and evasion, to the degree that Zucman has estimated that 6% of the world's wealth is hidden. First, that wealth was hidden to avoid paying taxes on it and/or to hide its criminal origins (such as looting governments). Second, the income on hidden wealth is also by nature hidden.

By James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations, University of Texas at Austin. Originally published at the Institute of New Economic Thinking website

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues [1] have produced a new exposition of their empirical work, entitled the World Inequality Report 2018 (hereafter: WIR). Their purpose is to showcase the exploration of income and wealth inequalities begun with the World Top Incomes Database (Atkinson and Piketty 2010) and theorized in Piketty's epic Capital in the XXI Century (2014) . In particular the WIR concentrates on the presentation of measures and evidence; the stated goal is to inform a "deliberative process" with "more rigorous and transparent information on income and wealth" than has been available to date. In a review article published on-line and open access in Development and Change on December 24, 2018, I initiate this "deliberative process" by examining the WIR data and the claims made for it.

The ground-breaking, systematic and transparent methodology on which the WIR rests is largely the use of tax records–specifically income tax records–mined to show the income shares of tranches of the income-earning population: top one percent, top ten percent, next forty percent, and bottom fifty percent are the usual divisions. These Piketty and his colleagues argue are more complete, comprehensive, and comparable across countries and through time than the generally-used alternative, which is household or person-based surveys.

The WIR authors write disparagingly of the "Gini index" -- the inequality measure most prevalent in such surveys -- which they find too "technical" and not sufficiently intuitive. But they also object to survey methods: "The main problem with household surveys, however, is that they usually rely entirely on self-reported information about income and wealth. As a consequence, they misrepresent top income and wealth levels, and therefore overall inequality." (p. 29) This sweeping critique carries on for several pages, brushing aside a body of research comprising thousands of papers and millions of survey observations, including the work of the Luxembourg Income Studies, the World Bank, Eurostat, the Economic Commission for Latin America, and the United States Census Bureau among scores of national data-collection agencies. It is a repudiation of what almost every previous researcher has done in this field over fifty years.

But are tax data really better? Where survey and tax measures both exist, and report different results, should one systematically prefer a measure based on taxes? The answer depends in part on the quality of the survey measures. But it also must depend in part on the quality, consistency, length and continuity of the national tax record, and in particular of the income tax. The WIR authors acknowledge that tax data have limits, in particular they cannot cover income and wealth hidden from tax authorities in tax havens. But the question of the quality of tax records goes much further than this.

My new essay examines the question from three points of view: the coverage provided by tax data in the world economy, the consistency of tax data with other sources of information on income inequality, and the peculiarities of tax-based measurement of inequality in the United States. It goes on to make a comparison with measures drawn from other forms of administrative data -- specifically payroll records, used by the University of Texas Inequality Project -- which are generally more consistent with records of inequality measured in household surveys than are the WIR's tax records.

In brief summary, the review shows that by comparison with payroll and survey data, available records from tax files are relatively sparse, and biased toward wealthier countries and those that were once British colonies, which imposed income tax. It shows that tax data are far less consistent with survey and payroll records than are the latter two with each other. And it shows that even within the United States, a country with good tax records by world standards, changes in tax law distort the WIR's measures of changes in the top income shares, while a misunderstanding of the nature of low-income tax filers in the US leads to a dramatic but nonsensical claim that the earnings of the bottom 50 percent of Americans have "collapsed" in recent decades.

Overall, the review casts doubt on claims by the authors of the World Inequality Report to have produced major advances in the study of world economic inequality, and documents that many of the findings touted in the Report as new and unprecedented have in fact been reported in the literature for years, even decades in some cases.

[1] The credited co-authors are Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Figure 1 Top One Percent Shares from the World Inequality Database, showing an unacknowledged data break due to the US Tax Reform Act of 1986. Adjusting the data for the change in the tax definition of income would show that the US top share tracks the UK and Canada very closely. Low numbers for France and Italy are likely due to inferior tax recording of high income persons, not an underlying condition of less inequality.

Mark , January 3, 2019 at 11:27 am

I do not see your and the essay's point about tax evasion impacting actual reported income more harshly than surveys. Even in cases where answers to surveys are required by law, the penalties and effort undertaken by enforcement agencies are going to be several orders of magnitude greater in cases of tax evasion compared to incorrect survey answers. Furthermore income taxes are frequently automated which makes correct or at least some reporting the default case while the default state of surveys is no data at all. Only by taking action is any data generated. While it is theoreticaly possible that surveys are more accurate because the incentive of lower taxes is also stronger, the logic argument given here is not self-evident and actual empirical data is needed for prove.

The critic regarding change in tax reporting over time is quite correct altough I am far from certain that neither survey methods nor questions haven't changed over the last century. A feature not talked about at all is samplesize which always favours actual tax data over surveys given that everyone with an income over a small threshold must pay taxes.

The only empirical evidence provided in the essay is self-referential. If one proxy (survey data) is faulty correlation between it and another proxy (payroll records) does not prove that the first proxy is correct because it remains possible that both proxies have the same deficiencies and are therefore correlated – instead of both being a good approximation of reality.

This is not to say that the essay must be wrong or Piketty et al's assertions must be right, but with only the information provided here a lack of evidence still exists in my opinion.

CanCyn , January 3, 2019 at 12:36 pm

this line towards the end: " nonsensical claim that the earnings of the bottom 50 percent of Americans have "collapsed" in recent decades." is nonsensical itself. Anyone who doesn't believe that low and middle income earners' incomes have collapsed is living in a very opaque bubble, head firmly planted up *ss.

I earned $12.00 per hour in retail with only a high school education in the early 1980s. I'm Canadian but I don't think the two countries are so different in this regard. In 2018 dollars, according to the Bank of Canada inflation calculator that is $26.00 per hour!! Do you know anyone in retail with only a high school education earning $26.00 per hour today? My husband, again, no high school, was making twice that amount in a steel mill in the eighties. Know anyone earning almost $60 per hour in any kind of factory work today? I sure don't. That includes the people who work in that factory now, it is mostly precarious contract work, at much lower wages, the union having been busted long ago

Further, I went back to school in the late 80s and ended with my Masters in Library Science, my first full-time job in the early 90s had me earning the 1990ish equivalent of that $12.00 per hour, things were already going south. It took me quite a few more years to outpace that 1980 retail wage. My husband and I are living proof that wages have collapsed. I don't care how anecdotal that is, I know the truth, just by looking around and talking to people.

It is beyond frustrating to have to argue against this stuff.

CanCyn , January 3, 2019 at 2:57 pm

one correction, that should be "only high school" not "no high school" with regard to my husband's education.

L , January 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

One question for the author. How do you account for the fact that payroll records, at least as I understand them, generally omit capital gains which is where the upper income generally get most of their real wealth. Stock buybacks and share disbursements are not generally considered "payroll" as I understand it.

The advantage of tax is that it should, at least in theory, show money received by individuals rather than just money sent out in one category.

oaf , January 3, 2019 at 4:51 pm

There's a lot more to inequality than money,,,

[Jan 02, 2019] That madness of the US neocons comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of groupthink, and manipulating the language. Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all. ..."
"... That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media. ..."
"... War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lea , Feb 21, 2018 6:16:53 AM | link

Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all.

That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media.

One could argue that they are not going mad, that they know full well they are lying, but I beg to differ: they don't see anymore how ridiculous or how dumb or smart their arguments are. That would be congruent with a real loss of touch with reality.

One wonders what they see when they look at themselves in a mirror, a garden variety propagandist or a fearless anti-Putin crusader?

Another example of the narrative gone mad: they are sending CNN journos to meet pro-Trump folks who "have been influenced by Russian trolls on social media". https://twitter.com/yashalevine/status/966177091875168256

WJ , Feb 21, 2018 6:38:11 AM | link
War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality.
Ger , Feb 21, 2018 7:52:44 AM | link
Dan @ 4

It is partially tied direct to the economy of the warmongers as trillions of dollars of new cold war slop is laying on the ground awaiting the MICC hogs. American hegemony is primarily about stealing the natural resources of helpless countries. Now in control of all the weak ones, it is time to move to the really big prize: The massive resources of Russia. They (US and their European Lackeys) thought this was a slam dunk when Yeltsin, in his drunken stupors, was literally giving Russia to invading capitalist. Enter Putin, stopped the looting .........connect the dots.

Guy Thornton , Feb 21, 2018 9:10:47 AM | link
Watching the USA these days is like watching a loved one with progressive dementia. I've reached the stage where I think the sooner it's over the better for everyone.

[Dec 29, 2018] Two More Spiegel Employees Out After Fake News Scandal Expands -

Is not "Greed is good" a neoliberal slogan
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Relotius, meanwhile, has "gone underground," according to the Guardian, returning several awards for his work while being stripped of others, such as CNN's two Journalist of the Year awards. A German publication also stripped the journalist of a similar accolade.

At least 14 articles by Relotius for Der Spiegel were falsified , according to Steffen Klusmann, its editor-in-chief. They include an award-winning piece about a Syrian boy called Mouwiya who believed his anti-government graffiti had triggered the civil war. Relotius alleged he had interviewed the boy via WhatsApp .

The magazine – a prestigious weekly – is investigating if the interview took place and whether the boy exists. Relotius won his fourth German reporter prize this month with a story headlined "Child's Play".

Klusmann admitted the publication still had no idea how many articles were affected. On Thursday it was revealed that parts of an interview with a 95-year-old Nazi resistance fighter in the US were fabricated. - The Guardian

According to Relotius' Der Spiegel colleague Juan Moreno - who busted Relotius after conducting his own research after his bosses failed to listen to his doubts , released a video in which he attempted to describe how Relotius got away with his fabrications.

"He was the superstar of German journalism if one's honest, and if his stories had been true, that would have been fully justified to say so, but they were not," said Moreno. "At the start it was the small mistakes, things that seemed too hard to believe that made me suspicious."

In addition to having several awards stripped from him, the 33-year-old Relotius now faces embezzlement charges for allegedly soliciting donations for Syrian orphans from readers "with any proceeds going to his personal account," according to the BBC . On Thursday, Relotius denied the accusations.

[Dec 23, 2018] Trump proposes cutting food stamps for over 700,000 people just before Christmas by Matthew Rozsa

Dec 20, 2018 | www.salon.com

President Donald Trump is planning on using his executive powers to cut food stamps for more than 700,000 Americans.

The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing that states should only be allowed to waive a current food stamps requirement -- namely, that adults without dependents must work or participate in a job-training program for at least 20 hours each week if they wish to collect food stamps for more than three months in a three-year period -- on the condition that those adults live in areas where unemployment is above 7 percent, according to The Washington Post . Currently the USDA regulations permit states to waive that requirement if an adult lives in an area where the unemployment rate is at least 20 percent greater than the national rate. In effect, this means that roughly 755,000 Americans would potentially lose their waivers that permit them to receive food stamps.

The current unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.

The Trump administration's decision to impose the stricter food stamp requirements through executive action constitutes an end-run around the legislative process. Although Trump is expected to sign an $870 billion farm bill later this week -- and because food stamps goes through the Agriculture Department, it contains food stamp provisions -- the measure does not include House stipulations restricting the waiver program and imposing new requirements on parents with children between the ages of six and 12. The Senate version ultimately removed those provisions, meaning that the version being signed into law does not impose a conservative policy on food stamps, which right-wing members of Congress were hoping for.

"Congress writes laws, and the administration is required to write rules based on the law," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told The New York Times (Stabenow is the top Democrat on the Senate's agriculture committee). "Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families."

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

[Dec 22, 2018] Check out the RTL coverage: the "reporter" is standing on a street that is filled shoulder to shoulder as far as the lens can see with yellow vests, and states "there are about 50, maybe a hundred people here..."

Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

NotBob , Dec 22, 2018 2:07:21 PM | link

While not specifically labeled, this look like an open thread. So....

The French MSM (and the BBC) are doing the usual underreporting of the numbers involved in todays GJ activities. If interested, check out the RTL coverage: the "reporter" is standing on a street that is filled shoulder to shoulder as far as the lens can see with yellow vests, and states "there are about 50, maybe a hundred people here..."

The police concentrated their manpower around Versailles, and the GJ are everywhere but there, so no gas, no violence. The infiltrators/casseurs didn't get the memo.

Speaking of the gas, one of the men seen bathing in the stuff these past weekends has put out (FB? Twitter? This is being passed along from my French family members) that he has been diagnosed with cyanide poisoning. I am not a chemist, but I don't think this is a usual component of "tear gas ". Probably the Russians tampering with the gendarmes CS supply.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

[Dec 17, 2018] Withouth the USSR as a countervailing force the level of inequality in Western societies will always rise to the level on which riots will start and then will fluctuates around this level.

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

AmyInNH -> Riever , 23 Aug 2016 10:00

Swing between extremes, however, consistent in US history, economic predatory dependence on free/ultra cheap labor with no legal rights. Current instantiation, offshored and illegal and "temporary" immigrant labor. Note neither party in the US is proposing "immigration reform" is green card upon hire. Ds merely propose green card for time served for those over X number of years donated as captive/cheap.
The entitled to cheap/captive now want it in law, national laws and trade agreements.
All privilege/no responsibilities, including taxes.
Doesn't scale. 1929 says so, 2008 says so.
CivilDiscussion , 23 Aug 2016 10:25
Liberals, the Left, Progressives -- whatever you want to call them suffer from a basic problem. They don't work together and have no common goals. As the article stated they complain but offer no real solutions that they can agree on. Should we emphasize gay pride or should we emphasize good-paying jobs and benefits with good social welfare benefits? Until they can agree at least on priorities they will never reform the current corrupt system -- it is too entrenched. Even if the Capitalist Monstrosity we have now self-destructs as the writer indicates -- nothing good will replace it until the Left get their act together.
AmyInNH -> Juillette , 23 Aug 2016 10:16
"Lesser of two evils" needs to go on the burn pile.
Encumbent congress needs a turn over.
Not showing up to vote is not okay. If people can't think of someone they want to write-in, "none of the above" is a protest vote. Not voting is silence, which equals consent.
Local elections, beat back Koch/ALEC, hiding on ballots as "Libertarian". "Privatize everything" is their mantra, so they can further profitize via inescapeable taxes, while gutting "regulation" - safety and market integrity, with no accountability.
Corporation 101: limited liability. While means we are left holding the bag. As in bailout - $125 billion in 1990, up to $7.7 trillion in 2008.
Dave_P -> Isiodore , 23 Aug 2016 09:59
Anything the Economist presents as the overriding choice is probably best relegated to one factor among many. I respect Milanovic's work, but he's seeing things from where we are now. Remember we've seen populist surges come and go from the witch-burnings and religious panics of the 17th century to 1890s Bryanism and the 1930s far right, and each time they've yielded to a more articulate vision, though the last time it cost sixty million dead - not something we want to see repeated. This time it's hard because dissent still clings to a "post-ideological" delusion that those on top never succumbed to. But change will come as what I'd term "post-rational" alternatives fail to deliver. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later.
willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 09:53
"Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt." Thank you Martin, at least someone writing in the Guardian has got the point!
We voted against the EU's unelected European Central Bank, its unelected European Commission, its European Court of Justice, its Common Agricultural Policy and its Common Fisheries Policy.
We voted against the EU's treaty-enshrined 'austerity' (= depression) policies, which have impoverished Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
We voted against the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would privatise all our public services, which threatens all our rights, and which discriminates against the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We voted against the EU's tariffs against African farmers' cheaper produce.
We opposed the City of London Corporation, the Institute of Directors, the CBI, the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, which all wanted us to stay in the EU.
We voted against the EU's undemocratic trilogue procedure and its pro-austerity Semester programme. We voted to leave this undemocratic, privatisation-enforcing, austerity-enforcing body.
AmyInNH -> ciaofornow , 23 Aug 2016 10:39
Bailout was because that was public savings, pensions, 401ks, etc. the banks were playing with, and lost. Bailout is billing all of us for it. Bad, letting the banks/financial "services" not only survive but continue the exact same practices.
Bailout: $7.2 to $7.7 trillion. Current derivative holdings: $500 trillion.
Not just moral hazard but economic hazard when capitalism basic rule is broken, allow bad businesses to die of their own accord. Subversion currently called "too big to fail", rather than tell the public "we lost all your savings, pensions, ...".
AmyInNH -> Dave_P , 23 Aug 2016 09:40
Relocating poverty from the East into the West isn't improvement.
Creating sweatshops in the East isn't raising their standard of living.
Creating economies so economically unstable that population declines isn't improvement.
Trying to bury that fact with immigration isn't improvement.
Configuring all of the above for record profit for the benefit of a tiny percentage of the population isn't improvement.
Gaming tax law to avoid paying into/for extensive business use of federal services and tax base isn't improvement.
Game over. Time for a reboot.
marxistelf -> Tobyrob , 23 Aug 2016 09:24
I am glad you finally concede a point on neo-liberalism. The moral hazard argument is extremely poor and typical in this era of runaway CEO pay, of a tendency to substitute self-help fables (a la "The monk who sold his Ferrari) and pop psychology ( a la Moral Hazard) for credible economic analysis.
The economic crisis is rooted in the profit motive just as capitalist economic growth is. Lowering of Tarrif barriers, outsourcing, changes in value capture (added value), new financial instruments, were attempts to restore the falling rate of profit. They did for a while, but, as always happens with Capitalism, the seeds of the new crisis were in the solution to the old.
And all the while the state continues growing in an attempt to keep capitalism afloat. Neoliberalism failed ( or should I say "small state" ) and here is the graph to prove it:
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/include/usgs_chartSp03t.png
Homer32 , 23 Aug 2016 07:32
Interesting, and I believe accurate, analysis of the economic and political forces afoot. However it is ludicrous to state that Donald trump, who is a serial corpratist, out-sourcer, tax avoider and scam artist, actually believes any of those populist principles that you ascribe so firmly to him. The best and safest outcome of our election, in my opinion, would be to have a Clinton administration tempered by the influences from the populist wings of both parties.
Juillette , 23 Aug 2016 06:42
Great article, however the elite globalists are in complete denial in the US. Our only choice is to vote them out of power because the are owned by Wall Street. Both Bernie and Trump supporters should unite to vote establishment out of Washington.
Dave_P -> ShaunNewman , 23 Aug 2016 06:38
The opiate of the masses. As the churches empty, the stadiums fill.
Dave_P -> ciaofornow , 23 Aug 2016 06:36
There were similar observations in the immediate aftermath of 2008, and doubtless before. Many of us thought the crisis would trigger a rethink of the whole direction of the previous three decades, but instead we got austerity and a further lurch to the right, or at best Obama-style stimulus and modest tweaks which were better than the former but still rather missed the point. I still find it flabbergasting and depressing, but on reflection the 1930s should have been a warning of not just the economic hazards but also the political fallout, at least in Europe. The difference was that this time left ideology had all but vacated the field in the 1980s and was in no position to lead a fightback: all we can hope for is better late than never.
idontreadtheguardian -> thisisafact , 23 Aug 2016 05:16
Yes it is, it's an extremely bad thing destroying the fabric of society. Social science has documented that even the better off are more happy, satisfied with life and feel safer in societies (i.e. the Scandinavian) where there is a relatively high degree of economic equality. Yes, economic inequality is a BAD thing in itself.

Oh, give me a break. Social science will document anything it can publish, no matter how spurious. If Scandanavia is so great, why are they such pissheads? There has always been inequality, including in workers' paradises like the Soviet Union and Communist China. Inequality is what got us where we are today, through natural selection. Phenotype is largely dependent on genotype, so why shouldn't we pass on material wealth as well as our genes? Surely it is a parent's right to afford their offspring advantages if they can do so?

SaulGe -> John Black , 23 Aug 2016 03:30
Have you got any numbers? Or references for your allegations. I say the average or median wealth, opportunity, economic circumstance and health measures are substantially better than a generation (lets say 30 years) ago.

Heres this years data. Note the top 25 or so are almost all liberal western type democracies with mixed economies. http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_price_rankings?itemId=105

And here is the graph showing growth in wages whilst it slowed for a variety of complex reasons has been overall strong for 25 of the last 30 years http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2015/jun/pdf/bu-0615-2.pdf

Again I don't think our system is perfect. I don't deny that some in our societies struggle and don't benefit, particularly the poorly educated, disabled, mentally ill and drug addicted. I actually agree that we could better target our social redistribution from those that have to those that need help. I disagree that we need higher taxes, protectionism, socialism, more public servants, more legislation. Indeed I disagree with proposition that other systems are better.

shastakath -> TimWorstall , 23 Aug 2016 03:17
George Orwell said, in the 30s, that the price of social justice would include a lowering of living standards for the working- & middle-classes, at least temporarily, so I follow your line of thought. However, the outrageous tilt toward the upper .1% has no "adjustment" fluff to shield it from the harsh despotism it represents. So, do put that in your statistical pipe and smoke it.

[Dec 13, 2018] Why inequality matters?

Notable quotes:
"... Somewhat foolishly he deepened the cleavage between himself and ordinary people by both his patrician predilections and the love of lecturing ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , December 07, 2018 at 04:13 PM

https://glineq.blogspot.com/2018/12/why-inequality-matters.html

December 5, 2018

Why inequality matters?

This is the question that I am often asked and will be asked in two days. So I decided to write my answers down.

The argument why inequality should not matter is almost always couched in the following way: if everybody is getting better-off, why should we care if somebody is becoming extremely rich? Perhaps he deserves to be rich -- or whatever the case, even if he does not deserve, we need not worry about his wealth. If we do that implies envy and other moral flaws. I have dealt with the misplaced issue of envy here * (in response to points made by Martin Feldstein) and here ** (in response to Harry Frankfurt), and do not want to repeat it. So, let's leave envy out and focus on the reasons why we should be concerned about high inequality.

The reasons can be formally broken down into three groups: instrumental reasons having to do with economic growth, reasons of fairness, and reasons of politics.

The relationship between inequality and economic growth is one of the oldest relationships studied by economists. A very strong presumption was that without high profits there will be no growth, and high profits imply substantial inequality. We find this argument already in Ricardo where profit is the engine of economic growth. We find it also in Keynes and Schumpeter, and then in standard models of economic growth. We find it even in the Soviet industrialization debates. To invest you have to have profits (that is, surplus above subsistence); in a privately-owned economy it means that some people have to be wealthy enough to save and invest, and in a state-directed economy, it means that the state should take all the surplus.

But notice that throughout the argument is not one in favor of inequality as such. If it were, we would not be concerned about the use of the surplus. The argument is about a seemingly paradoxical behavior of the wealthy: they should be sufficiently rich but should not use that money to live well and consume but to invest. This point is quite nicely, and famously, made by Keynes in the opening paragraphs of his "The Economic Consequence of the Peace". For us, it is sufficient to note that this is an argument in favor of inequality provided wealth is not used for private pleasure.

The empirical work conducted in the past twenty years has failed to uncover a positive relationship between inequality and growth. The data were not sufficiently good, especially regarding inequality where the typical measure used was the Gini coefficient which is too aggregate and inert to capture changes in the distribution; also the relationship itself may vary in function of other variables, or the level of development. This has led economists to a cul-de-sac and discouragement so much so that since the late 1990s and early 2000s such empirical literature has almost ceased to be produced. It is reviewed in more detail in this paper. ***

More recently, with much better data on income distribution, the argument that inequality and growth are negatively correlated has gained ground. In a joint paper **** Roy van der Weide and I show this using forty years of US micro data. With better data and somewhat more sophisticated thinking about inequality, the argument becomes much more nuanced: inequality may be good for future incomes of the rich (that is, they become even richer) but it may be bad for future incomes of the poor (that is, they fall further behind). In this dynamic framework, growth rate itself is no longer something homogeneous as indeed it is not in the real life. When we say that the American economy is growing at 3% per year, it simply means that the overall income increased at that rate, it tells us nothing about how much better off, or worse off, individuals at different points of income distribution are getting.

Why would inequality have bad effect on the growth of the lower deciles of the distribution as Roy and I find? Because it leads to low educational (and even health) achievements among the poor who become excluded from meaningful jobs and from meaningful contributions they could make to their own and society's improvement. Excluding a certain group of people from good education, be it because of their insufficient income or gender or race, can never be good for the economy, or at least it can never be preferable to their inclusion.

High inequality which effectively debars some people from full participation translates into an issue of fairness or justice. It does so because it affects inter-generational mobility. People who are relatively poor (which is what high inequality means) are not able, even if they are not poor in an absolute sense, to provide for their children a fraction of benefits, from education and inheritance to social capital, that the rich provide to their offspring. This implies that inequality tends to persist across generations which in turns means that opportunities are vastly different for those at the top of the pyramid and those on the bottom. We have the two factors joining forces here: on the one hand, the negative effect of exclusion on growth that carries over generations (which is our instrumental reason for not liking high inequality), and on the other, lack of equality of opportunity (which is an issue of justice).

High inequality has also political effects. The rich have more political power and they use that political power to promote own interests and to entrench their relative position in the society. This means that all the negative effects due to exclusion and lack of equality of opportunity are reinforced and made permanent (at least, until a big social earthquake destroys them). In order to fight off the advent of such an earthquake, the rich must make themselves safe and unassailable from "conquest". This leads to adversarial politics and destroys social cohesion. Ironically, social instability which then results discourages investments of the rich, that is it undermines the very action that was at the beginning adduced as the key reason why high wealth and inequality may be socially desirable.

We therefore reach the end point where the unfolding of actions that were at the first supposed to produce beneficent outcome destroys by its own logic the original rationale. We have to go back to the beginning and instead of seeing high inequality as promoting investments and growth, we begin to see it, over time, as producing exactly the opposite effects: reducing investments and growth.

* https://www.gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/CUNY-Graduate-Center/PDF/Centers/LIS/Milanovic/papers/2004/challenge_proofs.pdf

** http://glineq.blogspot.com/2015/08/all-our-needs-are-social.html

*** http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/888731468331207447/pdf/WPS6963.pdf

**** https://www.gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/LISCenter/Branko%20Milanovic/vdWeide_Milanovic_Inequality_bad_for_the_growth_of_the_poor_not_the_rich_2018.pdf

-- Branko Milanovic

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to anne... , December 07, 2018 at 05:59 PM
"he argument is about a seemingly paradoxical behavior of the wealthy: they should be sufficiently rich but should not use that money to live well and consume but to invest."

I disagree on this. I do not care if they use the high income to invest or to live well, as long as it is one or the other.

The one thing I do not want the rich to do is to become a drain of money out of active circulation. The paradox of thrift. Excess saving by one dooms others into excess debt to keep the economy liquid.

If you invent a new widget that everyone on earth simply must have, and is willing to give you $1 per to get it, such that you have $7 billion a year income... good for you!

Now what do you deserve in return?

1) To consumer $7 billion worth of other peoples' production?

Or

2) To trap the rest of humanity in $7 billion a year worth of debt servitude, which will have your income ever increase as interest is added to your income, a debt servitude from which it will be mathematically impossible for them to escape since you hold the money that they must get in order to repay their debts?

I vote 1.

Paine -> Darrell in Phoenix... , December 08, 2018 at 05:33 AM
Yes it's corporate capitalist actions that matter

The choice of capitalists to buy paper not products

Wealthy households are obscene But not macro drags. When they buy luxury products and personal services

When they buy existing stocks of land paintings and the like of course this is as bad as buying paper. But at least that portfolio shifting
Can CO exist with product purchases. So long as each type of spending remains close to a stable ratio

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Paine... , December 08, 2018 at 07:07 AM
In my "ideal" tax regimen, steeply progressive income taxes would be avoided by real property spending or capital investment to get deductions.

This, of course, would lead to over-investment in land, buildings, houses, etc. WHICH is why my regimen also includes a real property tax (in addition to state and local real estate taxes). The income tax would not be "avoided" by real property purchases as much as "delayed".

To avoid 90% income tax, buy diamonds, paintings, expensive autos... then only pay 5% per year on the real property, spreading the the tax over 20 years. Buy land, buildings, houses, etc., get hit with the 5%, plus the local real estate taxes.

Paine -> Darrell in Phoenix... , December 08, 2018 at 09:33 AM
A 100 % ground rent tax Ie a location value confiscatory tax

Can be off set by credits earned with the costs of "real " land improvements

Paine -> Paine... , December 08, 2018 at 09:36 AM
Existing stocks of jewels and paintings should be taxed
to extract the socially created
value of the item
This is an analogue to location taxes

Yes this can be avoided by.domation to a non.profit museum archive

kurt -> Darrell in Phoenix... , December 10, 2018 at 03:00 PM
It really depends on what is consumed. Consumption can lead to malinvestment. For instance, buying 1960s ferraris does very little for the current economy. This is an exceptionally low multiplier activity.
Soul Super Bad said in reply to anne... , December 07, 2018 at 06:37 PM
inequality have bad effect on the growth of the lower deciles of the distribution as Roy and I
"
~~BM~

keep in mind that there are many directions of growth. there is growth that benefits the workers, the rank-and-file. there is growth that benefits the excessively wealthy. but now, finally there's a third type of growth, the kind of growth that destroys the planet, and perhaps a 4th a new channel of growth that would help us to preserve the planet. we need to think about some of these things.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/Screen-Shot-2018-11-29-at-2.41.17-PM.png?itok=WhDnbuoT

thanks, gals and
guys
!

reason -> anne... , December 08, 2018 at 01:59 AM
One VERY important item is missing from that list - environmental sustainability - giving people control over much more resources than they need is a waste of something precious.
Paine -> reason... , December 08, 2018 at 05:35 AM
Capitalists
Owning the planets surface
and its natural resources and products
Is pathological
mulp -> reason... , December 10, 2018 at 01:16 AM
Ted Turner owning millions of acres of land he's restoring to prairie sustained by bison, prairie dogs, wolves, etc is bad?

I wish he had ten times as much land. Or more so a million bison were roaming the west and supplying lots of bison steaks, hides, etc, as they did for thousands of years before about 1850.

anne , December 07, 2018 at 04:14 PM
https://glineq.blogspot.com/2018/12/first-reflections-on-french-evenements.html

December 5, 2018

First reflections on the French "événements de décembre"

Because I am suffering from insomnia (due to the jetlag) I decided to write down, in the middle of the night, my two quick impressions regarding the recent events in France -- events that watched from outside France seemed less dramatic than within.

I think they raise two important issues: one new, another "old".

It is indeed an accident that the straw that broke the camel's back was a tax on fuel that affected especially hard rural and periurban areas, and people with relatively modest incomes. It did so (I understand) not as much by the amount of the increase but by reinforcing the feeling among many that after already paying the costs of globalization, neoliberal policies, offshoring, competition with cheaper foreign labor, and deterioration of social services, now, in addition, they are to pay also what is, in their view and perhaps not entirely wrongly, seen as an elitist tax on climate change.

This raises a more general issue which I discussed in my polemic with Jason Hickel and Kate Raworth. Proponents of degrowth and those who argue that we need to do something dramatic regarding climate change are singularly coy and shy when it comes to pointing out who is going to bear the costs of these changes. As I mentioned in this discussion with Jason and Kate, if they were serious they should go out and tell Western audiences that their real incomes should be cut in half and also explain them how that should be accomplished. Degrowers obviously know that such a plan is a political suicide, so they prefer to keep things vague and to cover up the issues under a "false communitarian" discourse that we are all affected and that somehow the economy will thrive if we all just took full conscience of the problem--without ever telling us what specific taxes they would like to raise or how they plan to reduce people's incomes.

Now the French revolt brings this issue into the open. Many western middle classes, buffeted already by the winds of globalization, seem unwilling to pay a climate change tax. The degrowers should, I hope, now come up with concrete plans.

The second issue is "old". It is the issue of the cleavage between the political elites and a significant part of the population. Macron rose on an essentially anti-mainstream platform, his heterogenous party having been created barely before the elections. But his policies have from the beginning been pro-rich, a sort of the latter-say Thatcherism. In addition, they were very elitist, often disdainful of the public opinion. It is somewhat bizarre that such "Jupiterian" presidency, by his own admission, would be lionized by the liberal English-language press when his domestic policies were strongly pro-rich and thus not dissimilar from Trump's. But because Macron's international rhetoric (mostly rhetoric) was anti-Trumpist, he got a pass on his domestic policies.

Somewhat foolishly he deepened the cleavage between himself and ordinary people by both his patrician predilections and the love of lecturing others which at times veered into the absurd (as when he took several minutes to teach a 12-year old kid about the proper way to address the President). At the time when more than ever Western "couches populaires" wanted to have politicians that at least showed a modicum of empathy, Macron chose the very opposite tack of berating people for their lack of success or failure to find jobs (for which they apparently just needed to cross the road). He thus committed the same error that Hillary Clinton commuted with her "deplorables" comment. It is no surprise that his approval ratings have taken a dive, and, from what I understand, even they do not fully capture the extent of the disdain into which he is held by many.

It is under such conditions that "les evenements" took place. The danger however is that their further radicalization, and especially violence, undermines their original objectives. One remembers that May 1968, after driving de Gaulle to run for cover to Baden-Baden, just a few months later handed him one of the largest electoral victories -- because of demonstrators' violence and mishandling of that great political opportunity.

-- Branko Milanovic

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , December 10, 2018 at 08:28 AM
"So, harvesting energy from the sun is unsustainable?"

No. I'm saying it is not scale-able.

How are you going to do it? Run diesel fuel powered tractors to dig pit mines to get metals, to be smelted in fossil fuel powered refineries. Burn fossil fuels to heat sand into glass. Use toxic solvents purify the glass and to electroplate toxic metals. Then incinerate the solvents in fossil fuel powered furnaces.

That may get us to a 40% reduction in carbon, but it isn't getting us to 90% reduction.

Even then, how are you going to get nitrogen fertilizers for farms? Currently we strip H2 from CH4 (natural gas), then mix with nitrogen in the air, apply electricity, poof, nitrogen fertilizers, and LOTS of CO2. I have yet to see a proposal for large-scale farming that offers a method of obtaining nitrogen fertilizers without CO2 emissions.

AND, there is still a massive problem of storing the electricity from when the wind is blowing and sun is shining until times when it isn't.

"So, you are calling for global thermonuclears war to purge 6 billion people from the planet?"

Nope.

"You clearly believe the solution is not paying workers to work, but to not pay them so they must die."

I'm all about paying workers to work. I vehemently disagree with liberals when they breach the idea of "universal basic income"... a great way to end up like the old Soviet Union, where everyone has money, but waits in long lines to get into stores with nothing on the shelves for sale.

"The population is too high to support hunter-gathers and subsistence farming for 7 billion people plus."

Correct.

"You have bought into Reagan's free lunch framing and argue less trash, less processing of 6trash to cut costs, so everyone must earn less so they consume less, ideally becoming dead."

Not even close.

This is where Liberals pissed me off right after Trump won and was still talking "border adjustment tax". The cry from the likes of Robert Reich was "oh noooo... prices will go up and hurt the poor." Since when were progressives the "we need low prices" party? I thought we were the ones that wanted higher prices, if those higher prices were caused by higher wages to workers!


"I call for evveryone paying high living costs to pay more workers to eliminate the waste of landfilling what was just mined from the land."

Not sure how that makes it magically possible to cut carbon emissions 90% though.

[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 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

* * *

To support more work like this and get access to exclusive commentary, stock picks and analysis tailored to your needs join my more than 230 Patrons on Patreon and see if I have what it takes to help you navigate a world going slowly mad.


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 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.

[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

    You forget the women vs. men division.

    Btw, isn't it fascinating that they manage to divide exactly 50:50? How statistically improbable is that?

    • October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

      It is no doubt the media is behind this. THey have been in overtime for quite awhile propping up the left to maintain the balance.

      • October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

        Makes it even more fascinating. Media being pretty much indiscriminately pro left and still there's enough people who vote right. Heh.

  6. October 31, 2016 Michael Ryan

    The Left has been successful appealing to Angry Destructive People but since the seventies they have run out of people with legitimate grievances so all they have are the angry anti-social dregs of society, the lazy Delta Males, Ugly Feminists, Perverts and assorted scum.

  7. October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    To directly address the argument of the article, I'll offer this.

    Divide and Conquer is a known strategy and yes, politicians use it (as do generals on a battlefield). It's legitimate to note the tactic and try to avoid falling for it. That being said, if we go so paranoid that we don't ever, ever take positions based on principle or form opposition groups, we'll have given these very same powers the victory that they're looking for with divide and conquer.

    The moment you form a group to "counter the controlling elite" I guarantee you that it will be attacked and discredited because "divide and conquer!". Even if it succeeds (let's be optimistic) it will simply install itself as the new elite. This is human nature. It may not happen immediately, it may take a few generations (think the early united States, where Washington refused to be a "king" and instead deferred to the new Constitutional Republic) to happen, but it will happen eventually (think the same nation in the 1930's).

    Last, not every mass movement is 'financed by nefarious sources'. Sometimes, people just get pissed off. That said, lots of mass movements are financed by unsavory types. The problem becomes that we tend to default accept "all" instead of taking each group individually for what they are.

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

      Yeah, there's no easy answer as to what we should do.

      But I want to ask since you said you were involved in it: What happened to the Tea Party? Did they achieve any of their goals?

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        They kind of ebb and flow. I really haven't kept up much the last couple of years. My focus since 2010 or so has been pro-2nd Amendment advocacy, to be honest.

      • October 31, 2016 John Galt

        They made significant gains at the local and state level. The RINOs are clinging to the national GOP, but as their candidates just got punked by Trump they are on borrowed time.

    • October 31, 2016 Frank Rook

      Yup. A New Republic can end up becoming the evil Galactic Empire eventually.

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        Not only can, but almost always does if it doesn't collapse under it's own internal contradictions.

  8. October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

    I heard that after the death of Muhammad Ali, the Orlando shootings happened to prevent people's unity. I strongly suspected, after his death, an attack would happen in the US by a Muslim to prevent American Muslim and nonMuslim cooperation and understanding. Media won't say, but the shooter was gay.

    • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

      We don't need mulsim/ non-muslim co-operation in America. America was designed and built by and for whites, for Our Posterity. Freedom of religion clearly meant the sects of Christianity and secular deists. There is no place in America for Islam or muslims.

      • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

        How about natives? Or perhaps we need to reintroduce pox in certain areas? And let us not forget 3/5ths. Designed and built by and for whites, on the red mans land, upon the black man's back.

        • October 31, 2016 John Galt

          That's tired old tripe.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Well reasoned.

        • October 31, 2016 John Galt

          I cherish my time more than educating you. But you have the leftist talking points down pat.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Justify Us, generalize Them. That's education enough, I suppose.

        • November 1, 2016 John Galt

          Your emotive points are not based on fact, but feel free to source your agruement. But slogans like "pox on the red mans land, upon the black man's back" are simply leftist slogans. The "pox" Thing was debunked years ago. Red man lands? Which tribe and under what conditions? One Million Indians inhabited North America until the White man showed up. Now there are more reds that have ever lived in the old days. Black mans back did very little. Most of America was built on white Europeans backs no blacks in the wilderness in the old days and most of the swamp draining, coal mining, tree cutting, etc.. was done by us poor white folk.

          Believe your myths if it makes you feel better, but your bullshit exists to bridge your inferiority complex and has little to do with the truth.

        • November 1, 2016 Cardtheorist

          The pox did wipe out a good chunk of natives, but let us say that was not the case, intentionally or not. Tribes and conditions- does this imply that, were there a formal written declaration, it would have been unethical and they would not have attempted to gain control? More reds than before argument cannot hold water- populations tend to increase in the long run. Blacks did nothing for the same reason economic communism does not- lack of incentives. Why work for your slavemaster if you're not getting much out of it?

          You assume inferiority complex is the cause of these arguments. I have friends of all races but also recognize that all races have their bloody hands. I am simply pointing out the case of the origins of American here, as this is what the conversation became. I find it ironic, as far as the title if this article goes. Also ironic is how I mentioned the possibility of Muslim and American peace and then get opposed while the same people praise the traditionalism of muslim women. Everyone claims they're objective and truthful.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Lets talk about Natives, who, like Stone Age tribes the world over, were in endless inter-tribal warfare with each other. The colonialists that arrived in America often sided with peaceful tribes and co-operated, as they did in New Zealand with the weaker (more peaceful) Maori Iwi, who begged the colonialists to buy land as a buffer between waring tribes. The less technologically developed in terms of producing food and storing it, the more scarcity and the more war. That is just a smple reality, and Stone Age primitives are always at war. Since they are always at war, its an open invite to conquer. Native Indians now have technology and means of living 3000 years in advance of what they had 400 years ago. You are welcome.
          The issue of smallpox is just mythology. Most colonialists either had smallpox or were semi-resistent. Indians were not, and it hit them harder. Are you going to also bring up the Hollywood History theory that whites raped native woemn when the records show that the more violent tribes kidnapped other tribes women and sold them to colonialists for goods – the women were them married off and lived at higher living standards that they otherwise would have, so some good came out of that bad situation.
          As for 3/5th, blacks were classed as 3/5ths yet they were dumped onto America by Jewish Dutch slave merchants, having been bought from African tribesmen. Less than 5% of whites owned slaves, yet freed slaves – who were paid btw (so they were really indentured labor) – bought slaves at higher rates than any other people – except jews, of which 70% owned slaves (as they created the hatred of blacks with their Curse of Ham bullshit). Blacks are not 3/5ths human. They are worthless and have no place in any advanced country. Personally I would wipe them out and have Africa as a big Safari Park for Asians and Europeans.
          Blacks labour didn't build America. There were more whites in indentured labor than blacks. Blacks were freed from slavery by the technological inventions (o white men) which made their labor surplus to requirements. Again, like Native Americans, blacks were given a leg up from Stone Age savages, of at least 3000 years of know-how and technological progress. There is every reason to believe they are incapable of even making metal of their own volition. So again, you are welcome, you are a beneficiary of my ancestors superior creativity.
          BTW, British working class had higher productivty that black slaves, were paid less, worked longer hours, died 5 years younger on average, had to endure Northern Winters often with no shoes and simple clothing, while slaves worked as seasonal farm workers. You have no idea how hard whites worked to build this civilisation you benefit from, and you probably don't care so long as it magically appears to you via your welfare cheque.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          -"Open invite to conquer" By that reasoning, I guess Muslims would be justified entry and establish traditionalism over feminism in the US. Technology=/=happiness.

          -I was referring only to the smallpox, which killed the majority of the native population.

          -Distribution is irrelevant. Mass cheap labor.

          -"Blacks were freed from slavery by the technological inventions (o white men) which made their labor surplus to requirements" Stabbing a guy 9″ deep and pulling out 6 doesn't mean you did him a favor. Progress, which was built on previous civilizations, which is the case for all great nations. But as for your example-I suppose you'd have your mother raped and killed in exchange for technology. I hear kids these days kill for PS4's sometimes.

          -"Had higher productivity" and had freedom of choice. Willing labor>unwilling labor.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Hunter Gatherer peoples do not have concepts such as nations. They have not created property rights, they merely have inter-tribal war, endless revenge killings. In such a society, yes, it is an open invite to walk in and claim unclaimed land. Muslims coming here is exactly the opposite, they are trying to extort property rights we created. If you haven't even grasped the basics of anthropology and patriarchy vs matriarchy (stone age primitivism) then perhaps you are on the wrong website.
          As for smallpox, I was aware that you were talking about smallpox. Smallpox wasn't spread deliberatly, it was just the nature of the airborne virus.
          You comment on native indian women is disingenuous. Colonialists could have bought the women or not, if not, they'd be raped and killed by other tribes (who wholesale slanghtered women and children); why would they not buy them under such circumstances?
          Willing labor vs unwilling labor? Really did British working class have a choice? They didn't own land, and couldn't open property. They were renting as serfs for hundreds of years, and serfdom was really just renamed. They were still a class of tennents, so were they willing workers? They could have refused to work, and be beaten by their master and put into workhouses, where people lasted on average 2 months before dying of injuries. Slaves had an easy life compared to white Irish and British workng class, extremely easy, and in a moderate climate. No sensible person could suggest otherwise.
          You know oppression isn't just a thing niggers have suffered, just because those worthless pieces of shit constantly whine about slavery – slavery their own ancestors sold them into. They wouldn't last 5 minutes in a Northern English or Welsh coal mine from the age of 6, as was standard practice.
          Say what you like, the fact is, blacks sold blacks into slavery, to Dutch Jews. Rich land owners used them to undercut white labor. It isn't the responsibility of the 95% of whites that didn't own slaves, and who worked under worse conditions. Whites freed slaves through technology, so your analogy is bullshit and you know it. You do realise that many niggers went back to African – Libberia, and threw their passports in the sea in protest at America. 2 weeks later they were all in the water looking for their passports to return to the Land of the Free Stuff. They are just worthless parasites like kikes, so why defend them? Can we even really consider them human when their history is basically no better or more advanced than other lower primates? They are just niggers.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Claim unclaimed land land is one thing, unused land is another. I suppose you submit a written consent form before a bang as well. The US has invaded many muslim lands and the government created isis by proxy, which has led to the refugee crisis in the first place. So the US owes something to refugees (although owing something back in such a form will be a failure of epic proportions, I think.)

          -And you think that if they knew, anything would have been different? Smallpox was considered a triumph for them.

          -Not all. If there were a way to tell which ones would have been raped and killed, and which not, I could understand. They just did the same thing. My point still stands; control for benefit. They did not have the natives interests at heart- it was a matter of what method would be best to subjugate and control.

          Slaves in the US vs other nonslaves. If working class whites had it worse off, they could have asked to be slaves too. But that wasn't the case.

          Blacks sold blacks because there are sellouts of all races so they can be on the winning team. Its easy to say the US is better if they take everything if value and leave the other country worse off .

          Does Mansa Musa count?

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          You're pretty ignorant of actual history aren't you?

          I'll bet you can't actually explain to me why blacks were counted as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution, can you? I mean the real reason, not the Malcom X bullshit.

          Blacks barely built anything, most of them worked on plantations in the South. I collect antique photos, your sneering little "reality" bears no resemblance to what was actually going on, at the time.

          As to the "red man's land", well, he should have made a real claim to it instead of doing that stupid hippy "no man can own the land" crap. And, he lost the war. It was a war, he lost, that's what happens when you lose a war. Get, the fuck, over it.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          -Politics and elections. Blacks were property, southerners needed voting power, etc. is what I was taught in school.

          -Worked on plantations, yes. And a lot harder than whites, because they were slaves. Therefore, their contribution per person in labor was greater.

          -Typical justification to do what you want. Sounds exactly like a Jewish method.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Politics and elections. Blacks were property, southerners needed voting power, etc. is what I was taught in school.

          It was to help out blacks. In order to stymie the South and keep them from enshrining slavery as a permanent institution through Congress, the Founding Fathers thought ahead and counted each black slave as 3/5 instead of a full person to keep Southern state representation manageable until slavery could be abolished.

          Worked on plantations, yes. And a lot harder than whites, because they were slaves. Therefore, their contribution per person in labor was greater.

          Oh please. Picking cotton is hard work, no doubt, but it's no harder than being a free man carting around marble and laying down foundations for great buildings, or steel work or any other kind of highly labor intensive job.

          -Typical justification to do what you want. Sounds exactly like a Jewish method.

          LOL! Yeah man, because only Jews say "Woe to the defeated" in regard to war. Well, them and every other ethnicity on the planet. But yeah dude, (((jews!)))

          smh

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          – Which wouldn't ever be enough. Sticking a knife in 9 inches and then taking it out 6 via 3/5ths isn't doing him a favor.

          -A free man is willing labor. Also, they get more say in their hours. Job flexibility.

          -Didn't say something was yours? I'll take it. Oh you're living in it? I'll take it anyway That's basically it in a nutshell, in this regard and with the Jews in regards to Israel-Palestine.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Actually, it was enough. Which is why they passed a law eliminating any more slave states being admitted to the union, which then resulted in Kansas being a bunch of dicks, which then brought on the civil war (in summary).

          A free man is willing labor. Also, they get more say in their hours. Job flexibility.

          You are thinking that "then" is like "now". It wasn't. Good luck trying that attitude in 1830.

          Didn't say something was yours? I'll take it. Oh you're living in it? I'll take it anyway That's basically it in a nutshell, in this regard and with the Jews in regards to Israel-Palestine.

          And the Celts who first sacked Rome. And the Germans in France. And the English across their empire. And Rome across its empire. And China in regards to Mongolia.

          But they're probably all Jews, yeah. My bad.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          -Talking about initial justification. If the blacks weren't that good, never should have brought em. Slavery was the 9 inch.

          -Not as much flexibility, sure. But relative to slaves, I meant.

          – If Empire A was peaceful, but Empire B attacked and lost, then A has the right to conquer B in self defense and simultaneously grow. This is just one example of an ethical conquest, but it has happened. America was anything but.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Shoulda Woulda Coulda has nothing to do with the reality as they then faced it. Slaves were already there, long predating the births of the Founding Fathers. Telling me what they "shoulda woulda coulda" is irrelevant, they had reality, and they dealt with it in a way that ultimately helped end slavery.

          Flexibility. Heh. Yeah, like, none.

          The point on empires is that they did the same thing and used the same justification, just like every other ethnicity on the planet. You trying to make this into "Jeeeewwwwws!" is silly. There are instances where you can call out the wrong perpetrated by some Jews, but this is not one of them. You may wish to cede this point to remain honest and consistent.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Founding fathers supported slavery. Ending slavery wasn't enough. Equality is.

          So slaves and free men have equal freedom of labor?

          Not all empires have done this. Most have, yes. But essentially my point is that you insist that conquering was a good thing and the natives and blacks should be grateful for getting killed, raped, and enslaved in exchange for a television. Same in the middle east. They don't want democracy. Everyone else did it so I should do it too? Well in that case, so does the hate, hence blm and why the world hates america.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Oh bullshit. Now you're back to square one. Some supported it, many were against it. This is precisely why they did the 3/5 thing, which I've patiently explained to you.

          Most have, yes

          Correct Ergo your sneering "you sound like a Jeeeewwww!" is rendered meaningless.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          So are you. Admit it- it wasn't justified, and 3/5ths wasn'tt near enough. Get rid of the white hero complex. Its the reason America is so hated around the world.

          No, you claim victimhood from blacks and all the other people you take from and still claim to be the savior. Hatred outside and within the US takes a special kind of people. It is just retribution. And the Islamic empire, at least the Rashidun caliphate, did not.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Remember when Americans used to be proud of winning wars rather than feeling bad for the vanquished foe?

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          According to the 1850 census blacks were 12.5% of the population.
          Most of the rest of the 35,000,000 of the population at the time were white. Those 3.5 million slaves didn't build everything.
          As for the natives, they had no boundarys no government, no property rights ,they were cavemen who were conquered and white folk started a country with government, property rights and civilization.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          But those 12.5% were slaves, so they were doing more labor per person. Mass cheap labor. I agree that the natives needed codified law, but it would be ridiculous to think that was the reason that was justification to conquer. It was just Manifest Destiny, something that is happening today via western imperialism.

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          Yes I agree the slaves would have worked more man hours but all those other people were not just sitting around.
          The natives just were not prepared.it was was simply the way of the world at the time. It just is what it is.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          I expect the unwillingness to work was a big factor as well; lack of incentives. My main issue is that some people today are still trying to justify that what they did. Just because many other nations of the past did so, does not a right make. This goes the other way too of course- there have been times where whites were massacred and enslaved and driven out, which is also wrong.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Right, but what do you consider white. I mentioned the other day that a girl who was a member of the daughters of the American revolution, had membership to the union club etc called me a "gateway minority" because 5 generations ago my forebearers came her eyes from Italy

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          You know what they say about them dark Eye-talians, though.

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          I don't know, I guess those damn ole wops are white too 🙂
          I get a really really dark tan every year I guess I'm white too.
          What in the hell is a gateway minority anyway? .now I've forgotten the point I was trying to make anyway.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          I have never had a (((tan))) in my entire life. I go from pale to burned directly back to pale

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          Usually by about the middle of May I start looking funny when I take my hat off because my face,neck,arms and legs are dark brown and my head is BRIGHT white.

      • October 31, 2016 jz95

        As usual, you are full of shit.
        America was built BY Anglos, FOR Anglos. This country was never meant to be "whiteopia." The alt-right looks at the 1950s as the glory days of America. The founding fathers would have been disgusted at all of the "lesser European" groups that were in the country at that time, such as the Irish. The blacks have more of a right to be here than many European immigrant groups.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Historically you have a point. But the circumstances are pushing the European derived ethnicities of that country (U.S.) towards the formation of multiple "white" identities (Southern, Midwestern, etc) which are the combination of all types of Europeans. For European observers like me it seems a ridiculous development if it were in Europe, but once again It's happening in America and I am not American. It just is (the phenomenon I just described). Hence your argument is out of date.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          Well, there already were significant differences between the regions of the United States, even when the European population was majority Anglo. Compare the aristocratic, agrarian South to the liberal urban North.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Total bullshit made up from your pathetic negro brainpower. The Irish, Scttish, Germans and French were invited as immigrants from the start of America as a Constitutional Republic – INVITED TO SETTLE. You stupid cunt, you don't even realise that the Founding Fathers got many of their ideas from the French and the French Academy of Sciences, as well as German economists. It was created by white Freemasons, some of whom were Scottish not Anglo YOU STUPID CUNT. You think slave owning Alexander Hamilton was an anglo, dumbshit? Blacks have no right to be in America, they were never part of the Founding Fathers vision. You think they were fucking retarded and wanted the dregs of the bell curve as citizens? OUR POSTERITY means European.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The Irish were INVITED? The fuck are you smoking? The Irish were viewed as little, if any better than the Negroes. If you had told Washington or Jefferson that they were the same race as an Irishman, they would have laughed in your fucking face. Franklin viewed the Germans in America as a problematic presence in the United States. OUR POSTERITY meant the descendants of the (largely) Anglo-Germanic Protestants who founded this country, not all European peoples. Get your head out of Unkie Adolf's ass and learn some history, provided you have more than a single-digit IQ, something which I think you lack.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You are making shit up as you go. What an absurd way to argue. The Irish were invited to settle, its an historical fact. Jefferson was even a proponent of the Irish independence. There were Catholic Founding Fathers, even at a time when in Britain they were persecuted. Oh now America is Anglo-Germanic, not Anglo like you previously stated? What about the Scots such as Alexander Hamilton, or Benjamin Frankin being a product of French schooling, and the American Revolutionary War was funded by Russians, French aristocrats such as Marquez de Lafayette. What about the Dutch colonies, which New York is from. Go and make up some shitty historical fantasy with someone who doesn't know history. America was European – white, from the start.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The United States of America was founded by Anglo-Germanic Protestants, mostly Englishmen. The Dutch, French and Spanish had colonies in North America, but they did not create the country that would become the United States of America. That was almost entirely the English, with a few Scots thrown in there. First point refuted.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          "Irish immigrants of this period participated in significant numbers in the American Revolution, leading one British major general to testify at the House of Commons that "half the rebel Continental Army were from Ireland."[14] Irish Americans signed the foundational documents of the United States -- the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution -- and, beginning with Andrew Jackson, served as President." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Americans

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          This first wave of Irish immigrants were the SCOTS-Irish, Scotsmen and Englishmen who had settled (and in many ways colonized) Ireland. Second point refuted.

        • October 31, 2016 Mac-101

          I had an Irish forefather who fought as a private in the Revolution In the PA Militia and another Irish forefather who came to America to fight the British in the War of 1812. Johnny Bulls were still looked down upon in the 1950s by Irish and vice versa. LOL!

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          So now you have been proven incorrect, lets talk about why you elivate the worthless nigger over fellow Europeans, in light of the evidence that Irish, Russians, Italians (there was an Italian involved with the Founding documents – look up Founding Fathers by Country of Origin), Prussians, Dutch, Scottish and especially French were intimately involved in the creation of America.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          You're a fucking idiot. That's all there is to say. You really are a fucking idiot.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          The Irish and scots were brought in to do the slave labor. Blue bloods don't mate with the help

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Correct. These are the people still pissed that Joe DiMaggio go to to play. Ethnics in the major leagues?

          I've mentioned it before, but there is a great quote from the movie The Good Shepherd. Matt Damon plays an OSS office, Yale, skull and bones, American pedigree, founding member o the CIA. He talks to Pesci who plays the mob boss that the CIA tried to get to kill Castro.

          Pesci: let me as you something. Us Italians, we got our families and the church. The Jews have their traditions. The micks have their homeland. Even the niggers have something, they have their music. What do you have
          Damon: we have the United States of America the rest of you are just tourists

          If you don't date your family back to the mayflower than you are no different than the Muslim invaders. Alt right would do well to remember than in some people's eyebrows most of them are just light skinned niggers

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The alt-right, like their SJW counterparts, don't care about facts. You could lay it all out for them in the simplest terms imaginable and they'd still be living in their fantasylands.

  9. October 31, 2016 onetruth

    While I'm sure there's some truth to the notion of elites using divide and conquer, I nonetheless get tired of fence-sitting rhetoric that implies that coming together with leftists is the only way to defeat the elites.

    Rank-and-file leftists want to BE elite, that's the main thing (other than provably broken ideology) that differentiates them from me. I don't want power, I simply want people to tell the truth and pull their weight. If you can't do that, I'd just as soon kill you as look at you, because you are a cancer on this planet. I'm certainly not going to join up with you to defeat some separate but equally evil group, lol. I prefer to fight and destroy both groups.

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

      And how will you do that exactly?

      • October 31, 2016 onetruth

        I've been thinking about that a lot lately but I don't have the answer. I do know that trying to find common ground with people who are part of the problem is both the wrong answer and a waste of time.

  10. October 31, 2016 HAIDES

    It started in July 2012 at the Anaheim Riots. The whole thing was started by the white anarchist anti authoritarian who s tired of taking shit from the cops.

  11. October 31, 2016 chrish

    I'm afraid your solution on a large scale basis is too ambitious. Most don't want to get involved in any unpleasantness, much easier to go along to get along. Most don't want to observe what's going on around them, it's much more important to walk around with one's face in their iPhone or have it up to their ear. Most don't want to read, it's easier to watch a video and have it summarized and spoon fed them. There is no right and wrong, it's all relative.

    Until the unthinkable happens to them or close friend or family most don't care,and if said unthinkable DOES happen, it's Plan B time. Demand government find a solution to the problem, any solution that makes them feel like something was done. And sure, they'll give up privacy, their own ability to protect themselves, or agree to pay a little more as long as a "feel good" measure is taken.

  12. October 31, 2016 A Wise Man

    I was involved very early on in the Occupy movement, and I must say there were a lot of good people in it who simply wanted to limit global finance capitalism from destroying the American economy. Most of these people were older whites who were more in line with the leftists we picture from the mid to late twentieth century. Unfortunately, the Occupy movement already had the SJW seeds sown into its fabric from the very beginning. During the meetings and marches I attended, it was made VERY CLEAR to me that if you are a white male, it is your job to step aside and let the women and non-whites run the show and set the agenda. And indeed that was the case. I stuck around for a little bit, listening to what these angry black/brown women, socially retarded white women, and the token while male faggot had to say. It started off as more anti-bank/capitalism, but the writing was on the wall and I could see exactly how this movement was going to turn into the anti-white male patriarchy, pro feminism, pro faggot, pro degeneracy movement it has transformed into today.

    • October 31, 2016 Max Tweeter

      "It started off as more anti-bank/capitalism, but the writing was on the
      wall and I could see exactly how this movement was going to turn into
      the anti-white male patriarchy, pro feminism, pro faggot, pro degeneracy
      movement it has transformed into today."

      Most movements and social-justice groups start out benevolent, like many religions. Soon, those whom I call the "Crazy Elements" infiltrate that group/movement and alter its definition. After not long, the "crazy" becomes the movement, and attracts more bat-shit insane types faster than water seeking its own level. Once the lame-stream media get bored, the ranks thin out, and everyone goes home, until the next group of aggrieved shitheads gets loud (i.e. BLM, etc.). This shit is so easy to see from miles away, though.

    • October 31, 2016 Mac-101

      That's because Soros was funding it.

  13. October 31, 2016 Smokingjacket

    We've never had a natural form of capitalism which accords with the natural strengths of people and nations. Instead, the natural instincts of what capitalism in its true sense was meant to signify has always been undermined by the State and creeping socialism along each step of the way. Civics, culture and customs, including religion were meant to be the natural bulwarks against unfettered capitalism, not the State with all its forms of social ideologies.

    When will people ever get it- socialism is the natural blood and substance of modern States in all its forms- the State's future (any western advanced State) is tied up intrinsically with the "guardian" role of "social nanny" who'll protect her downtrodden children from the nasty boggy man (who pays all her bills, including her socialist programs) of libertine capitalism. The truth is that the entire system is rigged this way and if we had a more conservative or traditional set of values (like religion etc) we wouldn't need the socialist State to "protect us" from the free market, ispo facto, end of the State control of peoples lives. Imagine, a world were people could survive in a state of liberty and happiness without the need of the State? A Utopia perhaps??

  14. October 31, 2016 Albionic American

    The news about the Christian cartoonist Jack Chick's death, and the various reactions to it, got me to thinking about how our elites view religion. It looks to me as if they think about religion more rationally than they think about their childish utopianism regarding globalization, race, immigration, feminism and sexual degeneracy.

    Defenders of the elites' world view just laugh off religious obsessives who threaten ordinary people with hell, especially straight white guys who ogle women, like the one in Jack Chick's early tract, "This Was Your Life."

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b5147fd5c1ad960bfa878affc67de3a950bee6671b1a8c368259a6f99b1b8f5.gif

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9467c83b7af0acf004079e5f05f907aac1b47e44cff1f87010134d97a4987f7e.gif

    But they condemned Chick as a homophobe when he published tracts which threatened gays with hell, even if they don't believe in it.

    What accounts for the difference? Gays exist and hell doesn't, obviously. But also gays have privileged status in our elites' project to destroy and remake traditional societies, and they simply must remain immune from criticism, regardless of how much damage they cause along the way, even from some religious nut who draws comic books which threaten them with imaginary harm after death.

    By contrast, notice that Chick also propagandized the fantasy that Israel's existence somehow fulfills "bible prophecy," instead of showing the ordinary reality that people get ideas from books. Not a peep of criticism from our elites about that delusion, curiously. And not because our elites share Chick's belief about Israel, but because the Jews among them have used this belief to play American Christians for suckers to make them support pro-Israel policies in our government.

    Funny how that works.

  15. October 31, 2016 Lovekraft

    South Park Season 20 examines the concept of trolling. Here's my take:

    trolling is defined as doing something to get a reaction from those defending the person you insulted, which then brings a reaction from the other side. Sit back and watch the fireworks.

    We are being trolled when we fail to identify where the latest 'outrage' is coming from. We allow ourselves to waste time and energy when the messenger dictates the terms.

    By, for and about are the three key words with any message. Who is sending the message, who is the message directed at, and what is the message itself. Basic critical analysis is where the alt-right leaders (could) make the most impact.

  16. October 31, 2016 Noa

    Excellent content, Cory. Left and right should unite to fight against billionaires globalists stealing from us. GO TRUMP!

  17. October 31, 2016 skillet

    It is a revolution against the middle class. With elite usiing weaponized poverty, zombies and misfits against the middle clas.sRather than the top 1 percent, the left attacks the privilege of the white assistant manager at Pizza Hut.

    • October 31, 2016 Gil G

      The concept of a free, middle class would be the historic exception. Throughout most of history it was mostly made up of masters and lords as well as slaves and serfs.

  18. October 31, 2016 Mac-101

    Good article except Soros funded Occupy Wall Street and of course he switched to funding BLM and stiring Racial hate since it was much more effective.

  19. November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

    Read or view Milton Friedman on youtube. Every deep recession has been caused by a drastic drop in money supply. The great depression was caused by the fed so that the bankers could purchase the pieces for pennies on the dollar after. For those of you who dont believe in conspiracy theories there has been so much time since 911 and all the videos of all the people have been looked at and analyzed. Amazing stuff. Even better just look at a few videos of speeches that the owner who just bought the trade centers not long before(99 year lease).

  20. November 1, 2016 Hoosier Jimmy

    The Me generation is the worst of America. And now they are in politics. America will be better off when the self-serving, self-absorbed flower children are long gone.

  21. November 1, 2016 Poetry ->

    "Thus, we have our current situation where the masses are divided with "

    Socially engineered 'Useful Idiots' are engineering

    1. Tavistock: the best kept secret in America
    https://anticorruptionsociety.com/2016/08/25/tavistock-the-best-kept-secret-in-america/

    2. The Truth About America's Survival.
    Demographics and the 2016 Election

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/GN_FOCF3vIQ?feature=oembed

    3. Race Differences In Intelligence
    http://niggermania.com/library/Race%20Differences%20In%20Intelligence.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/6SJNVb0GnPI?feature=oembed

    4. The Truth About The Fall of Rome: Modern Parallels

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/qh7rdCYCQ_U?feature=oembed

  22. November 1, 2016 TheChariman

    Think about this – the elites know that white America is developing an awareness. They also know that whites will revolt and correct the issue eventually. As a psychological diffuser, they put a person in like Trump that appears to be everything he is. This will allow whites to relax their defenses while the elites move to limit and censor information that will oppose their long term goals. They do this under a president like Trump so whites will remain docile. After 8 years, they continue their main agenda now with limited, if any real independent news agencies, etc. It allows them to buy time, diffuse white opposition, then continue with their program. Did Trump really "ditch" his inside team?

  23. November 1, 2016 Jair 3

    Agree. The radicals of the 60's supported the URSS against the US, today they want to fight Putin, what is more puzzling is that they oppose Christians because we want to live our faith, but they willingly accept sharia law that forbids women to wear a dress, are shunned and considered second class, honor killings are frequent, feminists say nothing, atheists say nothing, LGBT lobby is quiet, why? Because their leader, Soros has not given the cue. Group thinking!!!